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What are other examples of leapfrogging?

One of the hoped-for blessings of technologies in the third world is that new stuff can allow them to leapfrog across the dirty industrial development the North has experienced. The first example to come to mind is cell phones in China, which promises to leapfrog over the laborious chore of wiring the large country with land lines. But when it comes to a second example, everyone draws a blank.

Does anyone know of other examples of leapfrogging technology -- where a latter generation of technology leapfrogs over a intermediate generation? At any time in history.

Posted on March 25, 2004 at 1:41 AM