The industrial revolution didn’t happen everywhere at the same time, but it did have the sam effect everywhere: massively rising GDP/person.
The Japanese and Chinese stories are the most dramatic. Japan, which was behind Eastern Europe before World War I, nearly caught the United States by the end of the 20th century. China, which fell behind Africa in the middle of the 20th century, is now perhaps the most massive success story in industrialization history.
Source: The Atlantic
…One way to read the graph, very broadly speaking, is that everything to the left of 1800 is an approximation of population distribution around the world and everything to the right of 1800 is a demonstration of productivity divergences around the world — the mastering of means of manufacturing, production and supply chains by steam, electricity, and ultimately software that concentrated, first in the West, and then spread to Japan, Russia, China, India, Brazil, and beyond.
Source: The Atlantic
The story the timeline tells is a fascinating one: of how, in a multitude of steps, our civilization has systematized more and more areas of knowledge—collected the data associated with them, and gradually made them amenable to automation.
History cannot be used to reliably predict the future, and data-driven extrapolation from past trends or ‘analysis by analogy’—practices rife in the business and financial sectors—are particularly hazardous because they can give decisionmakers an unjustified sense of confidence. However, history is vital to understanding present conditions; without such knowledge, strategic policy planning efforts are likely to go awry.
As a former Volvo employee as well as a Göteborg citizen I am delighted to highlight the 50 year celebration of the 3-point belt with a link to an article about Nils Bohlins invention in 1958 and the anniversery in Wired.
Bohlin and Volvo saw the significance of what they’d created, but they didn’t keep it to themselves. Volvo patented the design under what was called an “open patent,” meaning it was available to anyone.
Within five years, three-point belts appeared in cars throughout Europe and the U.S. Bohlin’s invention has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented or reduced the severity of injuries for countless people. That makes the three-point safety belt the single most important safety device in the 120-year history of the automobile.