Nearly half the world’s population today lives in an urban area. Before the first Industrial Revolution, only about 3% did. Industrialization created urbanization. Not only did it create incentives for people to pack themselves into dense cities, it also created the means to overcome the challenges of density.Read More
The steam engine was the product of centuries of experimentation, economic necessities, strong business acumen, and colorful personalities. This is how it happened.Read More
During the 18th Century, the British came up with many innovations that allowed them to get more out of the land. Not only did the increased production of food, iron, and coal make the first industrial revolution possible, but many innovations had indirect applications for new technologies.Read More
Dave interviews Kate, a textile weaver using pre-industrial methods to create 21st Century products.Read More
We’ll never know the name of the first farmers of that Neolithic Revolution, but we do know the names of the inventors who kick-started the Industrial Revolutions. Their simple innovations gave us a new world of nearly constant, explosive economic growth and a total restructuring of society everywhere and forever. This is how it happened.Read More
Dave's wife makes her first appearance to ask some questions!Read More
Are we living in Thomas More’s Utopia? In this chapter, we’ll explore his book and his life to chart the path toward the industrialized world we inhabit today.Read More
Beginning in the 1300s, a rivalry between two kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula led to a whole lot of exploring, trading, and conquering. Before long, other European powers were getting in on the action. Not only did it transfer the gravity of the world’s political and economic power toward Europe, it set Europe on a path toward industrialization.Read More
In the first bonus episode of the podcast, I want to quickly give you an overview of scientific and technological history in China, and explore the so-called “Needham Question.” Why wasn’t it China that conquered the world and started the Industrial Revolutions?Read More
Europe was (rightly or wrongly) considered the backwater of the civilized world for most of history. So how is it the Europeans built global empires and changed the world with industrialization?
In this 25-minute episode, I’m going to run through the developments of the Middle Ages and the circumstances of life in Europe that gradually led to a new world order.Read More
We take the modern world for granted, but maybe we shouldn’t. Homo sapiens have existed for about 200,000 years, and 94% of that time we were all hunter-gatherers, living in small groups of no more than 50 people or so. And only in the last one tenth of one percent of our existence have we lived in a global society complex and sophisticated enough to create skyscrapers, automobiles, smart phones and vaccines.
In this 30 minute episode, I cover the origins of human society, which remained relatively unchanged until the Industrial Revolutions.Read More
When the founding fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution in the 1780s, life on planet earth had changed very slowly over the previous 10,000 years. Life in 1780 wasn’t all that different from life in 1500. Life in 1500 wasn’t all that different from life in 1250. Life in 1250 wasn’t all that different from life in 1000. And so on, and so on.
But then the human experience changed completely: Where we live, how long we live, when we work, when we sleep, how we go about our lives. It’s time we told that story. This is the Industrial Revolutions.Read More