This week’s selection is “The Industrial Revolution: A Very Short Introduction” by Robert C. Allen.
The Industrial Revolution was a phenomenon that swept Britain two centuries ago. Since then the concepts that evolved in that time have passed through many countries of the world, albeit at different times and rates of progress. Perhaps that one event has had more effect on today’s world than most others in world history.
The Industrial Revolution made it possible to produce all of today’s daily tools and services, but at the same time introduced social issues that haunt us to the current day.
This book reviews the events before, during and after the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Allen covers the pre-revolution period up to about the year 1700, and explains the conditions that made it possible for the revolution to ignite, specifically in Britain.
Allen explains the details of how the revolution unfolded, and the effects it had upon social policies and democracy itself.
Finally, Allen discusses how the concepts of the Industrial Revolution spread across the world, and to some degree, are still spreading.
Why is this book important to Fabbaloo readers? It’s because we’re likely in the midst of another revolution as we sit today. Never before in history have so many foundational things changed at such speed. You might have a hard time explaining your daily activities to someone from only ten or twenty years ago, and that rate of change is only increasing.
3D printing is certainly one of the elements of the next revolution, along with other key technologies such as robotics, material science, AI and networking. We, the 3D printer operators of the world, are a big part of the future.
But as revolutions go, it’s sometimes hard to notice that they’re in progress. Things seem to change slowly and it’s only when we look back do we realize how far we’ve come. It’s like suddenly realizing you need to get a haircut; it crept up on you.
By reading about the original Industrial Revolution, perhaps we can gain some perspective on what’s happening today all around us. There will be technological changes to be sure, but certainly there will also be social changes.
Watch for them.
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