Nanotechnology and the Sixth Technological Revolution5 Mar 2012
One of the major driving forces, if not the major driving force, behind nanotechnology is economics. The argument that nanotechnology will radically alter the world as we know it is often made by people who stand to profit from the changes. They expect that there will be new winners and losers, and they are trying to be among the winners. In this chapter, Mark Knell reviews the thinking of evolutionary economists on the relationship between economic inequalities and long waves of technological change. According to this line of thought, when a revolutionary new technology is first introduced it disrupts social relationships, including the institutions developed under the old technological regime for redistribution of wealth to reduce inequality.