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Old 02-06-2018, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
The above suggests to me that form of government is the biggest keys to economic/technological prowess for a nation. The U.S. could be another case in point. What's you opinion on why the West advanced while others lagged, over the past 5 centuries or so?
Certainly. Successful industrialization required a large shift in societal structure. Most had a feudal royalty-peasant structure. Consumer/capitalist/socialist structure has proven most successful for industrialization. Fortunately for us, this system relies on prosperous consumers, and also encourages freedom and human rights. The US did not need to make a shift, since it was anti royalty and pro freedom before industrialization began.

In the rest of the west, the protestant reformation had already weakened the hegemony of the Catholic Church, and governments as well.

I suspect that Muslim and Asian societies were much more resistant to change.

Currently the biggest obstacles to development are weak governments and institutions, and corruption.

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Old 02-07-2018, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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Originally Posted by JimRom View Post
. If you regularly deal with math or science, you can ultimately thank a Muslim.
Thank you now I know where to focus my ire.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:11 AM
 
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I think urbanization and the industrial revolution are the real drivers of recent rapid technology advances, as well as government turmoil. Prior to that phenomenon, I don't think you can really point to any particular government form as superior, nor describe The West as especially technologically innovative compared to other civilized parts of the world.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Why then would the industrial revolution pass by some countries almost completely?

Society and government were certainly important factors. Feudal societies were not structured to take advantage of industrialization, which needed a consumer/capitalist system to thrive. They had to *change*. Weak governments and turmoil are negative factors, because the government needs to protect investment and property, be able to invest in infrastructure, have a long view.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Why then would the industrial revolution pass by some countries almost completely?

Society and government were certainly important factors. Feudal societies were not structured to take advantage of industrialization, which needed a consumer/capitalist system to thrive. They had to *change*. Weak governments and turmoil are negative factors, because the government needs to protect investment and property, be able to invest in infrastructure, have a long view.
Urbanization was key to develop and sustain the industrial revolution, and accelerated innovation. Government is not critical, and many different societies with different government types have industrialized.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
Urbanization was key to develop and sustain the industrial revolution, and accelerated innovation. Government is not critical, and many different societies with different government types have industrialized.
Greater urbanization was a result if industrialization, not the cause. Previously societies depended on labor intensive agriculture, so rural living was a necessity for most. Industrialization brought large factory production and denser living. People moved off the farm to work in the factory.

Whatever differences governments had before industrialization, all the successful ones became consumer/capitalist/socialist. I can't think of any exceptions.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
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One more interesting point in the bookAfter Tamerlane is that Europe is a 'peninsula of peninsulas.' Prof. Darwin thinks that this was conducive to maritime development that was important after the 15th cent.


Of course that does not explain why Spain and Portugal lagged economically (and still do) whereas Britain, the Netherlands and America grew at higher rates. The latter three all had conceptions of individual liberty and equality. Britain was still a monarchy but very strong intellectual current of individualism, e.g. John Locke. I don't know enough Span/Port history to know to what extent that was present in those lands.
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
The latter three all had conceptions of individual liberty and equality.
We've been extremely fortunate that successful industrialization depended on the invention of a wealthy middle class. Competition from communism ensured that rights and freedom would dominate as well. Success always belongs to the system that functions most efficiently, and all wealthy developed countries followed the consumer/capitalst/socialist paradigm.

But what will happen when advanced robotics and AI become mainstream? Workers and consumers will steadily become less important and less powerful. We've been seeing the trends for some time now. Flat wages (all the wealth ends up in a few hands), escalating debt, reduced freedom, increased surveillance. Totalitarian state, oligarchy. The most efficient paradigm will be one where the conditions for the average person will be far worse than they were before the industrial revolution. We need to exercise the power of our collective interest (the common good) and liberty now more than ever.
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
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For me, the jury's still out on the question of robotics and job loss. From 1900 to 2000, after 100 years of intense tech advancement, the employment rate did not go up.


A caveat is that we've never a technology that could entirely replace a human worker. When cars and trucks came along in the 30's and 40's the horse became strictly a pet/hobby. I had an uncle who was a farmer in the mid west. Before WWII he said that much farm work was still done w/ horse and mule. When he came back from fighting in the war, the car and truck had virtually 100% replaced them. Ranchers even use off-road motorcycles now to do fence repair work, rather than horse.
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso, NM
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Originally Posted by wutitiz View Post
A caveat is that we've never a technology that could entirely replace a human worker.
Yes, you are getting warm. In the past there was no shortage of positions where humans had an advantage over machines, but that is rapidly changing. And unless AI tech advances stall very soon, there won't be many "havens" for humans. It will be possible for AI and machines to do nearly everything that needs doing better and more efficiently than a person.

The important threshold is when a significant % of the population becomes functionally unemployable at a decent wage. Consumer/capitalism/socialism will no longer be efficient. The worker/consumer will lack relevance, and naturally will then lack power.
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