The Canadian Richard Lipsey is the author of a well-known multi-edition economics textbook and he also worked on general purpose technologies (GPT). These are innovations that have transformative effects like the wheel, the internal combustion engine and electricity.
There are many of them. However, if ever there was a GPT, it is electricity because it enables the great bulk of all modern technologies that would not be possible without it. If you doubt this, observe what stops functioning when electricity is cut off by some power failure.
He contributed a paper to a collection in honour of our old friend Joe Agassi for his 90th birthday a year or two ago. I visited Joe and his wife Judith in Tel Aviv three months ago, only just in time, Judith died a couple of weeks later. She was a girl during the siege of Jerusalem by the Arabs in 1947, her mother did time in both Hitler and Stalin’s camps and her grandfather was the significant philosopher-theologian Martin Buber. But we digress.
This is the paper that Lipsey contributed to the Agassi collection. It tells the story of his engagement with the philosophy and methodology of Karl Popper that he picked up from Agassi in a famous informal seminar on methodology that Lipsey and others conducted in the London School of Economics to undermine the hegemony of Lionel Robbins.