… is from pages 359-360 of Matt Ridley’s marvelous new (2020) book, How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom:
Innovation is the child of freedom, because it is a free, creative attempt to satisfy freely expressed human desires. Innovative societies are free societies, where people are free to express their wishes and seek satisfaction of those wishes, and where creative minds are free to experiment to find ways to supply those requests – so long as they do not harm others….
This reliance on freedom explains why innovation cannot easily be planned, because neither human wishes nor the means of their satisfaction are easy to anticipate in the detail required; why innovation none the less seems inevitable in retrospect, because the link between desire and satisfaction is only then manifest; why innovation is a collective and collaborative business, because one mind knows too little about other minds; why innovation is organic because it must be a response to authentic and free desire, not what somebody in authority thinks we should want; why nobody really knows how to cause innovation, because no one can make people want something.
DBx: This. This to the nth power, where n is very large.