The Fable of the Keys

  title={The Fable of the Keys},
  author={Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis},
  journal={The Journal of Law and Economics},
  pages={1 - 25}
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 and Brian Arthur, we find virtually no evidence to support a view that QWERTY is inferior to DVORAK. Instead, using records of typing experiments, studies by ergonomicists, and examining the historical record of competition among different keyboard designs back when QWERTY first became dominant, we… Expand
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“Kataptation” or the Qwerty-Effect in Language Evolution
  • A. Moro
  • Medicine, Psychology
  • Front. Psychology
  • 2011
The theoretical point I would like to raise here is that this state of affairs is expected on purely conceptual grounds as the opposite of what is known as “exaptation,” i.e., the persistence in a population of a trait that survives unmodified even if the original function that the trait was selected for disappeared and no other function has replaced it. Expand
Comment on Neil Kay's paper—‘Rerun the tape of history and QWERTY always wins’
Neil Kay’s is 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 the authors' typewriter keyboards can spell out the word YPEWRITER (Kay argues it is not); andWhether it is speculation hat the keyboard’'s layout was designed to prevent jamming (Kay gain argues it are not). Expand
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