… is from page 251 of Matt Ridley’s brilliant 2020 book, How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom (link added):
Innovation happens, as I put it a decade ago, when ideas have sex. It occurs where people meet and exchange goods, services and thoughts. This explains why innovation happens in places where trade and exchange are frequent and not in isolated or underpopulated places: California rather than North Korea, Renaissance Italy rather than Tierra del Fuego. It explains why China lost its innovative edge when it turned its back on trade under the Ming emperors. It explains the bursts of innovation that coincide with increases in trade, in Amsterdam in the 1600s or Phoenicia 3,000 years earlier.
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