TED Conversations

  • Keith W
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States


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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 26 2013: Industrial revolution would have happened somewhere else regardless because Technology is something thought about by many and in today's world if you think about an idea, chances are that you can use Google and find at least one or two people in the world who thought about a roughly similar idea and those are just people who cared enough to write about it.

    Nowadays when we finally see the limits and cropping of the industrial world, it is clear that the advances it allowed us are not only something that would have come in one form or another out of need, they also did little to non in terms of advancing the way our society is structured (thank you Mr.Chaplin for pointing it out ages ago)

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