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The story of keyboard layouts (QWERTY vs Dvorak)

May 15, 2012 -- William
Last modified on August 2016

The story of keyboard layouts is often used as an example to illustrate the predominance of historical events over reasonable judgement. It involves a lot of factors like the importance of being the first, the usual resistance to change, network effects and the relationship between initial investment and long term return. We will see in the next paragraphs that it's rather easy to understand why we use today the standard “QWERTY” layout and how the same mechanisms apply to all sorts of things in our lives.