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Lonely Ideas Can Russia Compete?

ISBN-10: 0262019795
ISBN-13: 9780262019798
Edition: 2013
Authors: Loren Graham
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Description: When have you gone into an electronics store, picked up a desirable gadget, and foundthat it was labeled "Made in Russia"? Probably never. Russia, despite its epicintellectual achievements in music, literature, art, and pure science, is a negligible  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 9/13/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 216
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990

When have you gone into an electronics store, picked up a desirable gadget, and foundthat it was labeled "Made in Russia"? Probably never. Russia, despite its epicintellectual achievements in music, literature, art, and pure science, is a negligible presence inworld technology. Despite its current leaders' ambitions to create a knowledge economy, Russia iseconomically dependent on gas and oil. In Lonely Ideas, Loren Graham investigatesRussia's long history of technological invention followed by failure to commercialize andimplement.For three centuries, Graham shows, Russia has been adept at developingtechnical ideas but abysmal at benefiting from them. From the seventeenth-century arms industrythrough twentieth-century Nobel-awarded work in lasers, Russia has failed to sustain itstechnological inventiveness. Graham identifies a range of conditions that nurture technologicalinnovation: a society that values inventiveness and practicality; an economic system that providesinvestment opportunities; a legal system that protects intellectual property; a political systemthat encourages innovation and success. Graham finds Russia lacking on all counts. He explains thatRussia's failure to sustain technology, and its recurrent attempts to force modernization, reflectits political and social evolution and even its resistance to democraticprinciples.But Graham points to new connections between Western companies andRussian researchers, new research institutions, a national focus on nanotechnology, and theestablishment of Skolkovo, "a new technology city." Today, he argues, Russia has the bestchance in its history to break its pattern of technological failure.

Introduction
The Problem: Why Can't Russia, after Three Centuries of Trying, Modernize?
The Early Arms Industry: Early Achievement, Later Slump
Railroads: Promise and Distortion
The Electrical Industry: Failed Inventors of the Nineteenth Century
Aviation: A Frustrated Master, a Deformed Industry
Soviet Industrialization: The Myth That It Was Modernization
The Semiconductor Industry: Unheralded and Unrewarded Russian Pioneers
Genetics and Biotechnology: The Missed Revolution
Computers: Victory and Failure
Lasers: Genius and Missed Opportunities
The Exceptions and What They Prove: Software, Space, Nuclear Power
What Are the Causes of the Problem?
The Attitudinal Question
The Political Order
Social Barriers
The Legal System
Economic Factors
Corruption and Crime
The Organization of Education and Research
Can Russia Overcome Its Problem Today? Russia's Unique Opportunity
Creating New Foundations and Research Universities
RUSNANO (Nanotechnology) and Skolkovo (a New Technology City)
How Russia Could Break Out of Its Three-Centuries-Old Trap
Acknowledgments
Chronology
Notes
Glossary of Names
Index

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