July 05, 2005

"Third Way" Europe

Instapundit points to a post by Bill Quick here, about Blair's request for a debate on "socialism lite." Many good comments, including this one by SDB:

Since the end of WWII, Americans invented the transister, the MOSFET, the laser, the first computer made of semiconductors, the hard disk, the first integrated circuit, LSI, the first microprocessor, the cell phone, virtually every significant plastic in common use today, the LCD, the LED, the LED Laser, the first aircraft built primarily out of titanium, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier, the first nuclear powered submarine, and numerous other major breakthroughs in general and applied technology....

During that same time, quite frankly the only significant advance I can think of which originated from Europe was the optical disk drive (the laserdisc, and later the CD and DVD) which were developed by Phillips.

and this one:

Another reason that the brain drain cannot be acknowledged, let alone addressed practically is this: the numbers are fairly small, as you point out further down in your comment. So what? So this: it shows in stark terms that a miniscule percentage of the population has a massively disproportionate impact on prosperity for all. In this case, the effect is negative but the lesson is there for anybody giving it some unbiased thought to see.

Posted by Owlish at July 5, 2005 11:23 AM | TrackBack

Well, the French did invent the Minitel. Remember that? I thought it was so cool when I first saw it. And the Finns have major innovations with Nokia, right?

Posted by: RP at July 5, 2005 02:03 PM

My first reaction was, Minitel? Googled it, looked at the wiki. Kinda cool, but seemingly obsolete now [and I don't know how much of a stepping stone it was].

The broader point is, little in the way of first-gen technical products is coming out of Europe, which has been the source of the United States' growth in the last century, especially the last few decades.

Posted by: owlish at July 5, 2005 03:57 PM

Yeah, I got the broader point, I just kind of wanted to throw a rock at it for the sake of being contrary. No, if you really want to see technological innovation, my understanding is that you should look at the patents coming out of Israel. Do you think that this means that Europe is just at the top of a big, dark slide into obscurity?

I really did like the Minitel back in the late 80's.

Posted by: RP at July 6, 2005 12:14 PM
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