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The Story of Industrial Civilization: Can Progress Continue?

April 17, 2022 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm PDT

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Progress writer Jason Crawford is writing a book about the modern world and how it was invented. In a series of salons, we will explore this content together, chapter by chapter, and get an inside look at the author’s creative process.

Behind the world of our daily lives, there is a hidden world, one that keeps our world running. It is an industrial world, one of factories, engines, chemicals, and infrastructure, that most people rarely notice or appreciate. But every piece of it is a solution to a problem: a way to satisfy human needs in the face of nature’s constraints.

Session 12 – Can Progress Continue?

We’ve had a good run so far, from the caves to computers. But what comes next? Was progress a fluke of history? Did we just get lucky? Have we seen “the death of innovation, the end of growth”? Are we doomed to run out of resources, in a Malthusian world? Or, if progress depends on new ideas, are ideas “getting harder to find”? Must we adopt a scarcity mindset, or is there a case for an abundance mindset instead? In this talk we’ll look at these questions through the lens of history, philosophy, and economics, including the work of Nobel laureate Paul Romer.

Crawford will open the salon by talking about his research and writing on the topic so far, followed by discussion and Q&A.


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April 17, 2022
10:00 am - 1:00 pm PDT
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