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The Story of Industrial Civilization: Impacts on Commerce, Politics, and Culture

December 19, 2021 at 10:00 am - 1:00 pm PST

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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 8, Impacts on Commerce, Politics, and Culture:

Transportation and information technologies combined to unite the world in a network of commerce and socialization. How did this transform both industry and personal life? In this salon, we’ll explore the second- and third-order effects of these technologies. How did containerization in the shipping industry help create a global market for materials and products? How did retail evolve from the medieval festival, to the rural general store, to the urban department store and supermarket? How did the railroads and the Internet each give rise to massive new mail-order businesses? How did the ability to travel encourage greater cultural exchange and understanding? And how has all of this changed the way we find and form relationships—romantic, business, or community? We’ll discuss these topics and see how the world went from isolation to globalization.

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

Image credit: Open Clip Art



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December 19, 2021
10:00 am - 1:00 pm PST
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