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Sapiens 14 The Industrial Revolution

Page history last edited by Ian Kimber 8 years, 3 months ago



Lecture 14      The industrial revolution.

This is not the classical meaning of the industrial revolution during the 18th and 19th centuries but a look at industry all the way through to today


Segment 1 introduction

Economic growth requires energy and raw materials.  There are limits and there have been may threats over the years but scientific investment has always managed to solve the problem.  Steam power,  Oil engines and nuclear power are examples of these.  New materials like plastics and different metals also allow new sorts of structures to be built.  Electricity allows energy to be converted into all sorts of things it even fuels information technology.  There is no shortage of energy all we need is the will to collect it


What about raw materials.  Once cheap energy is available, previously inaccessible materials can be sourced and new raw materials synthesised.


Segment 2   The first industrial revolution was in fact in agriculture. 

Mechanisation and chemical fertilisers greatly increased productivity.  This was also seen in animal breeding. Nowadays this has been taken to the limit with animals being used as machines for production of their product.  This is a result of indifference and the aim of high efficiency and profitability.


He then digresses to consider that these attitudes cause distress to the animals and that it causes psychological damage to the animals.  ALL mammals (and birds) have to social contact with extended families.


This agricultural revolution has released a large number of people to create the rest of the industrial revolution which has allowed todays society to be created.  This has of course its own problem.


Segment 3   The problem of consumption. 

The amount of products available is now so great that unless people buy and consume these goods and luxuries the economy would collapse Frugality is bad!


Consumerism is the new code. Advertising makes us desire new goods and only the latest fashions.


Obesity is the biggest problem and tends to be a problem of the poor.  Where does this fit into the capitalist ethic?  Is this investment in excess a good idea?


The rich tend to manage their affairs well and invest as capitalists  but the poor are lured into excess and debt as consumerists


This is the first religion in history where people are doing what their “faith” asks them to do!


Society and politics today are totally different to what they were before this revolution.


Return to  1 Index page Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind



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