Technology Metabolism

There may be no Moore's Law for culture but some countries adopt technology quicker than others. That simple observation provided the germ of a super interesting project run by colleagues at Intel, which was showcased recently at Research at Intel in Mountain View, California – here reported in Wired. The project – "Technology Metabolism Index' – sought to look at the reasons why very different countries, like South Korea and Estonia, adopt technology in very similar ways. It was an attempt to move beyond the 'mature' and 'emerging' markets paradigm.

The work was conducted by anthropologist Dawn Nafus and now that stage one has been completed she's planning to move towards 'Gini coefficients for technology'.







Hi-res pdf: Download tmi_2007_global_map_13.pdf

"The Index shows some surprises. The United States, for example, doesn't stand out as a particularly fast tech adopter relative to our level of wealth. Why not? Nafus explained that population size is actually a constraint on technology adoption, just the sheer number of connections betweens people seems to slow adoption.

As for Estonia and South Korea, her team found that they both have agile governments, strong offline social networks, and major upheavals in living memory (the transition out of Communism and the Korean War). That raised the counterintuitive question: could turmoil actually be good for preparing people for disruptive technologies?"

One Response to Technology Metabolism

  1. Technology adaptation rates

    Yet another world map! Anthropologist Dawn Nafus and Intel has created a map of countries wilingness to adapt new technologies, and the results are quite surprising! My own home country Norway comes out with a negative ranking, in contrast to ne…