Empirical Evidence Sharing Information increases Creativity

Virginia Postrel has an interesting column and comment in her weblog regarding the success of the Industrial Revolution. Joel Mokyr, author of The Lever of Riches, has a new book The Gifts of Athena in which he argues the success of the Industrial Revolution was due to cultural encouragements to share information. Through most of human history, periods of invention did not create sustained economic growth. Population might increase because, say, agricultural yields improved.