Interconnected

The Scientific Revolution began in the 1500s; the Industrial Revolution not until the 1700s. Since industrial progress is in large part technological progress, and technology is in large part applied science, it seems that the Industrial Revolution followed from the Scientific, as a consequence, if not necessarily an inevitable one.

~ Jason Crawford from, https://rootsofprogress.org/relationship-of-the-scientific-and-industrial-revolutions

It seems clear to me, (and the article does not disagree,) that the the Scientific Revolution was a necessary precursor to the Industrial. So, “was it necessary?” isn’t a very interesting question.

But the question, “how did it lead to and enable the Industrial revolution?” is a very interesting question. I hadn’t thought about how, specifically, did the one lead to the other. The Scientific Revolution didn’t simply create some sort of encyclopedia of human knowledge, (spread out among all the scientists.) It did that, yes. But it also set things up for the Industrial revolution because suddenly the regular, uneducated people believed the world was knowable and believed that they could tinker, and iterate to improve things.

Which is an interesting point to keep in mind the next time I’m ready to throw my hands up in frustration at some wacky something-or-other.

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Fire

Stone tools were the first invention, dating back to the beginning of that 2.5-million year period, eventually including simple hand tools such as axes and spears. Maybe a million years later or more, other cavemen learned to control fire, and at some point began cooking their food. They lived in tribes, hunting and foraging together, possibly caring for their weak and infirm, and burying their dead. But other than stone tools, fire, and simple tribal behavior, they had almost nothing else, for most of that 2.5 million years—including at least 100,000 years or more of Homo sapiens existing.

~ Jason Crawford from, https://rootsofprogress.org/the-beginning

I often joke that there are three thing I can stare at endlessly: Fire, moving water, and other people working. And I’ve often expressed my theory that it’s the movement of those first two, (the third we’ll leave aside for today,) which is the key to holding my attention. Fire and water both dance semi-predictably; But not so predictably that the movement is easily ignored. There’s always just enough movement to hold my attention.

When I let the idea settle in that we’ve been staring at small fires—fires which literally represented warmth, safety, food and tribal companionship—for about a million years… Actually, a “million” is hard to apprehend. Let’s say, there are 25 years per generation. We’ve been staring at small fires for about 40,000 generations. No wonder I’m staring at this fire. We’ve evolved to be attracted to fire!

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