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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 268 of Matt Ridley’s excellent 2010 book, The Rational Optimist:

So although government can pay people to stumble upon new technologies – satnav and the internet were by-products of other projects – it is hardly the source of most innovations.  During the twentieth century, as companies sewed innovation into their culture and as industrial behemoths repeatedly fell prey to upstarts, most public-sector agencies just trundled on as before, neither trying to become especially innovative themselves, nor dying to make was for new versions of themselves….  If food retailing in Britain had been left to a National Food Service after the Second World War, one suspects that supermarkets would now be selling slightly better spam at slightly higher prices from behind Formica counters.


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