More on Creative Destruction in Science Fiction

On April 11, 2007 I posted an entry noting a new science fiction book with the title Creative Destruction.  Not having read the book, I wondered aloud whether the book contained any reference to Schumpeter.

Yesterday (4/13/07), I was delighted to receive an email from the author of the book, answering my question.  With his permission, I reproduce his email below:


Dr. Diamond,

I noticed your blog entry about Creative Destruction, my computer-themed SF collection.  You asked:  Does Schumpeter get a mention?

Absolutely.  Here are the opening lines of the foreword:

     If the Internet bubble had a patron saint, he was an obscure economist named Joseph Schumpeter.

     Schumpeter owes his posthumous celebrity to two words: creative destruction.  In 1942, he wrote of the "… Process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.

     "Creative destruction," he said, "is the essential fact about capitalism."  Every dotcom, of course, claimed its new technology would sweep out the old in a frenzy of creative destruction. Occasionally — think Yahoo! and Amazon — they were even correct.

The stories in the collection are most definitely science fiction — I have degrees in physics and computer science — but I also have an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Best regards,

– Ed Lerner


(Note:  I have changed the format of the email, a little.  The ellipsis was in the original.)


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