Summary of Gutenberg’s moving type propelled Europe towards the scientific revolution

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Gutenberg’s moving type propelled Europe towards the scientific revolution summary
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The smartphone, internet and social media are reshaping economies and society in the 21st century on a par with Johannes Gutenberg’s revolutionary invention of the printing press six centuries ago. That machine brought automation, competition and mass production to the world of information, with enormous consequences for people’s daily lives. In this fascinating and insightful historical analysis, economist Jeremiah Dittmar and data scientist Skipper Seabold report on the profound changes wrought by the printing press and cast them as precedents for the scope of the digital transformation taking place in the 2000s.

About the Authors

Jeremiah Dittmar is an assistant professor at the London School of Economics. Skipper Seabold is the director of data science at Civis Analytics in Chicago. 



One of European history’s most momentous technologies sprouted from the mind of Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century: the printing press, based on the mechanism of moving type. Before then, individuals labored to transmit ideas, express thoughts and exchange information via handwritten text. Gutenberg’s creation transformed a broad swath of human activity. High-volume printing drove large-scale disruptions throughout the economic, political and social infrastructure.

The automation of setting words to paper substantially reduced the costs of manufacturing books&#...

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