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Keith W
  • Keith W
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States

TEDCRED 10+

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If the Industrial Revolution did not begin in Western Europe, could it have or would it have began somewhere else?

I read "Guns Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond and it really made me think. He said once "If another continent was blessed with environment and resources like Europeans, than they would have built skyscrapers and Helicopters" or something to that effect. I dont want this to turn into a racial/cultural debate by any means. I am merely asking if Technology was inevitable? I believe Diamond was correct in much of his assumptions he made in his book, but i do believe he was being overly deterministic? Anyway, is modern society just a fluke? What would have happened if the Industrial Revolution did not begin when it did?

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  • Apr 17 2013: Keith,

    Popular sentiment or innovation comes out when

    1/ the 'pain or need' crosses a particular level and
    2/ it equals or exceeds the 'forces' acting against it.

    The bar for point 2 (opposite forces) is lower in few regions than in the others and also the drive for point 1 ( pain or need) varies across regions.

    So finding a solution is inevitable and technology is part of it. See my debate on related subjects

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