The Death and Birth of Technological Revolutions

What was especially remarkable about Carlota Perez’s Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital was its timing: 2002 was the middle of the cold winter that followed the Dotcom Bubble, and here was Perez arguing that the IT revolution and the Internet were not in fact dead ideas, but in the middle of a natural transition to a new Golden Age.

Perez’s thesis was based on over 200 years of history and the patterns she identified in four previous technological revolutions:

  1. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain in 1771, with the opening of Arkwright’s mill in Cromford
  2. The Age of Steam and Railways began in the United Kingdom in 1829, with the test of the ‘Rocket’ steam engine for the Liverpool-Manchester railway
  3. The Age of Steel, Electricity and Heavy Engineering began in the United States in 1875, with the opening of the Carnegie Bessemer steel plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  4. The Age of Oil, the Automobile, and Mass Production began in the United States in 1908, with the production of the first Ford Model-T in Detroit, Michigan
  5. The Age of Information and Telecommunications began in the United States in 1971, with the announcement of the Intel microprocessor in Santa Clara, California

Perez’s argument was that the four technological revolutions that proceeded the Age of Information and Telecommunications followed a similar cycle:

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