THE West may run out of stamina long before it runs out of ideas. We are, after all, living in an exception. Technologically creative societies are unusual in history. Our age is unique: only in the last two centuries has Western society succeeded in raising the standard of living of the bulk of the population beyond the minimum of subsistence. What made the West successful was neither capitalism, nor science, nor an historical accident such as a favorable geography. Instead, political and mental diversity combined to create an everchanging panorama of technologically creative societies. ... There are no sufficient conditions for technological creativity in any society. Precisely for that reason it is crucial that the world preserve a measure of diversity. ... As long as some societies remain creative, others will eventually be dragged along.