This is an excellent article by a historian who relates innovation to human capital formation. Special conditions must exist to foster human capital formation and innovation. Unfortunately, most societies are hierarchical, and hierarchy is often designed to keep people in their place. Innovation most often occurs where there is ample opportunity for human capital formation. Access to education plays an important role but children born under conditions of extreme poverty fail to achieve many of the conditions that are prerequisite to success in school. We are all shaped by our history. We interpret much of what we perceive by the accidents of history.