Why do certain ideas succeed? In a previous post, we looked at how idea entrepreneurs are able to lift ideas to the surface on the strength of their compelling personal narratives and powers of persuasion. Now here’s another take.
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Passing the usefulness test crucially involves the ability of ideas to propagate themselves, just as biologically successful humans are able to pass on their genes. In the case of the wheel, two ideas met, and reproduced. In other words, the wheel was carried by humans to another place where it was then improved upon by other people.
So everything we’re doing in society today, such as expanding access to education and research tools, Naam says, “is accelerating this process of the Darwinian evolution of ideas.”