Industrial Revolution

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We Need A Social Revolution

Our future depends on our willingness to fight for it
Friday, August 18, 2017, 6:12 PM

Governments and corporations cannot restore social connectedness and balance to our lives.

Only a social revolution that is self-organizing from the bottom-up can do that. » Read more

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What Triggers Collapse?

Massive disruption often happens quickly
Friday, October 14, 2016, 6:33 PM

Though no one can foretell the future, it is self-evident that the status quo—dependent as it is on cheap oil and fast-expanding debt—is unsustainable. So what will trigger the collapse of the status quo, and what lies beyond when the current arrangements break down?  Can we predict how-when-where with any accuracy? » Read more

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Growth is Obsolete

Society needs to realize growth does not equal prosperity
Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 8:19 PM

Despite the wishful thinking and happy-talk propaganda lighting up the media-space, we have arrived at the problematic point of the story: the end of cheap oil. The sad, stark fact is that oil is now too expensive to permit further expansion of economies and populations.  » Read more

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We're Living Through a Rare Economic Transformation

Those who understand its post-capitalist rules will prosper
Thursday, April 4, 2013, 8:47 AM

In 1993, management guru Peter Drucker published a short book entitled Post-Capitalist Society.  Despite the fact that the Internet was still in its pre-browser infancy, Drucker identified the developed-world economies as knowledge-based as opposed to from industrial economies, which were were from the agrarian societies they superseded.

Drucker used the term post-capitalist not to suggest the emergence of a new “ism” beyond the free market, but to describe a new economic order that was no longer defined by the adversarial classes of labor and the owners of capital.  Now that knowledge has trumped financial capital and labor alike, the new classes are knowledge workers and service workers. » Read more

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The Siren Song of the Robot

It may not be the boon we're counting on
Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 1:03 PM

The quest for cheap energy and cheap labor is a conquering human urge, one that has played out with notable ferocity starting with the Industrial Revolution. The introduction of coal into British manufacturing and the more recent outsourcing of Western manufacturing to Asia have marked key thresholds in this ongoing progression.

But despite the harvesting of additional productivity gains from the more recent revolution in information technology, the suite of macro data suggests that the rate of advancement in physical production has slowed, notably, in the past thirty years.

Seen in this light, the greatest gains to global industrial production were probably enjoyed from the late 18th century (when coal extraction and use began in earnest) into the mid-20th century (when oil reached broad distribution). In contrast, computers, the Internet, and the leveraging of developing world labor might eventually be seen as the finishing touches on this great industrial wave. » Read more