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The Shape of Techno-Moral Revolutions: Lessons from Carlota Perez

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Adapted from Perez, Technological Revolutions and Financial CapitalOne thing that is always daunting about scholarship is the sheer incomprehensible vastness of it. We strive for originality and novelty in research, but this is hard to achieve. So much has been written about so many topics that it is not unusual to find that one's hard earned 'insights' have been pipped by someone else’s hard earned insights of three decades ago. I felt a bit like this recently when I read Carlota Perez's book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital. The book reviews five historical technological revolutions, and the impact they have had on our economies and our social structures. It also examines the role of financial capital in fuelling bubbles and speculation around novel technologies. It's a fascinating ride, the centrepiece of which is a general theory about the structure and progression of technological revolutions. Although not exactly the same, I found that much of what Perez had to say resonated with my own thinking about technology and moral revolutions (which has, admittedly, become something of an obsession of late). In the following article, I want to tease out some of those points of resonance. This serves the dual function of both summarising key aspects of Perez's book and showing how they can be mined for insights on other topics. I am going to focus on four key insights in what follows. I'll start by summarising Perez's take on them. I'll then consider their relevance for the study of techno-moral revolutions. I'll also offer some critical reflections along the way. 1. The Five Revolutions Before I get into the four specific insights, it is worth offering a brief overview of Perez's theoretical framework. As noted, Perez looks at five technological revolutions that have occurred since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and the impact they have had on our economies and societies. Perez defines a technological revolution as: ..a powerful and highly. . .

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News source: Philosophical Disquisitions

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