Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Geography of Innovation, or, Why Almost All Japanese People Hate Root Beer

For innovation, migration trumps density at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Innovation geography.

Subject Article: "Downtown and out? The truth about Tony Hsieh’s $350m Las Vegas project."

Other Links: 1. "Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer."
2. "Our Japanese reporter visits an American sushi restaurant in Japan."

Postscript: The folly of engineering serendipity:

Between 1997 and 2012, Jussieu’s campus in Paris’s Left Bank reshuffled its labs’ locations five times due to ongoing asbestos removal, giving the faculty no control and little warning of where they would end up. An MIT professor named Christian Catalini later catalogued the 55,000 scientific papers they published during this time and mapped the authors’ locations across more than a hundred labs. Instead of having their life’s work disrupted, Jussieu’s researchers were three to five times more likely to collaborate with their new odd-couple neighbors than their old colleagues, did so nearly four to six times more often, and produced better work because of it (as measured by citations).

Forced to be nomads, the researchers did better work. The magic of cities are new odd-couple neighbors, not great density.

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