Comment on Neil Kay's paper—‘Rerun the tape of history and QWERTY always wins’

@article{Arthur2013CommentON,
  title={Comment on Neil Kay's paper—‘Rerun the tape of history and QWERTY always wins’},
  author={W. Brian Arthur},
  journal={Research Policy},
  year={2013},
  volume={42},
  pages={1186-1187}
}
  • W. Arthur
  • Published 1 July 2013
  • Computer Science
  • Research Policy
Every so often a paper comes along and applies theoretical reaoning to settle some particular question in history. Neil Kay’s is uch a paper, and it settles two seemingly trivial questions in techology history: whether it is a coincidence inherited from the past hat the top line of our typewriter keyboards can spell out the word YPEWRITER (Kay argues it is not); and whether it is speculation hat the keyboard’s layout was designed to prevent jamming (Kay gain argues it is not). These questions… Expand
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References

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The Fable of the Keys
This paper examines the history of the QWERTY typewriter keyboard, often put forward as the archetypical case of markets choosing the wrong standard. Contrary to the claims made by Paul David andExpand
On Competing Technologies and Historical Small Events: The Dynamics of Choice under Increasing Returns
This paper explores the dynamics of microeconomic choice between objects with increasing returns. It finds that such dynamics possess four features: (a) a potential inefficiency of aggregate outcome,Expand
Clio and the Economics of QWERTY