“I think the rate of innovation is just getting faster and faster,” Mr. Mokyr said over noodles and spicy chicken at a Thai restaurant near the campus where he and Mr. Gordon have taught for four decades.
“What’s the evidence of that?” snapped Mr. Gordon. “There isn’t any.”
The men get along fine when talk is limited to, say, faculty gossip. About the future, though, they bicker constantly. When Mr. Mokyr described life-prolonging medical advances, Mr. Gordon cut in: “Extending life without curing Alzheimer’s means people who can walk but can’t think.”
Mr. Gordon, the more famous of the two men, has the credentials to buck conventional wisdom…..