spinning jenny

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pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

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And not simply a huge increase in the number of new inventions but a radical transformation in the process of invention itself.14 In June 1770, Hargreaves submitted a patent application, number 962, for a version of the spinning jenny that could spin, draw, and twist sixteen threads simultaneously. The delay between this patent application and his first prototypes meant that others were already using the jenny by the time his patent was granted, making it difficult for him to enforce his patent rights. Even worse, the machine made enemies. Starting in Hargreaves’s native Lancashire, the spinning jenny’s magical multiplication of productivity was initially, as you might expect, little welcomed by the local artisans, whose guilds had controlled production for centuries—they hated it. As yarn prices started to fall and opposition from local spinners grew, one mob came to his house and burned the frames for twenty new machines.

Ironically, this is almost a return to the very earliest days of the First Industrial Revolution. The spinning jenny changed the world not by creating the manufacturing plant, but by creating the cottage industry. And the cottage industry can be a very powerful economic force indeed. What we now know as cottage industries (originally known as “the domestic system” or “outwork system”) began with wooden-framed machines with foot pedals that could make many threads at the same time, essentially acting like many spinning wheels operating simultaneously. They were relatively easy to build or cheap to buy, and could be operated in a table-sized space. In a sense, they were the “desktop manufacturing” of the day. The spinning jenny was used in the home, multiplying the work of one spinner manyfold, and for the first time making indoor work more lucrative than outdoor work for much of the population.

For some reason it kept spinning, and something about the contraption still working in the unfamiliar orientation triggered a vision in Hargreaves’s mind: a line of spindles, side by side, spinning multiple threads of cotton from flax simultaneously. When he returned home, he started whittling up just such a machine from spare wood, with the spindles connected by a series of belts and pulleys. Many versions later, he had invented the spinning jenny, a pedal-powered device that could allow a single operator to spin eight threads at the same time (jenny was Lancashire slang for “machine”). The machine amplified the output of a single worker by a factor of eight at the start, and could easily be expanded beyond that. And this was just the beginning. There was nothing new about textile-making machines themselves. The ancient Egyptians had looms, after all, and the Chinese had silk-spinning frames as early as 1000 BCE.


pages: 420 words: 124,202

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen

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In 1675, weavers in Spitalfields attacked engines (not, of course, steam-powered) able to multiply the efforts of a single worker. Not only was Richard Hargreaves’s original spinning jenny destroyed57 in 1767, but so also was his new and improved version in 1769. Nor was the phenomenon exclusively British. Machine breaking in France was at least as frequent, and probably even more consequential, though it can be hard to tease out whether the phenomenon contributed to, or was a symptom of, some of the uglier aspects of the French Revolution. Normandy in particular,58 which was not only close to England but the most “English” region of France, was the site of dozens of incidents in 1789 alone. In July, hundreds of spinning jennys were destroyed, along with a French version of Arkwright’s water frame. In October, an attorney in Rouen applauded the destruction of “the machines used in cotton-spinning59 that have deprived many workers of their jobs.”

While visiting a friend, Hargreaves observed a spinning wheel that had been knocked down; with the wheel and spindle in a vertical position, rather than their then-traditional horizontal one, they continued to revolve. In a flash, Hargreaves imagined25 a line of spindles, upright and side by side, spinning multiple threads simultaneously. Nearly fifty years later, the first description of the spinning jenny (“jenny” is a dialect term for “engine” in Lancashire) appeared in the September 1807 issue of The Athenaeum, in which readers learned that the first one was made “almost wholly with a pocket knife.26 It contained eight spindles, and the clasp by which the thread was drawn out was the stalk of a briar split in two.” The result is not just a romantic tale; the jenny immediately delivered an eightfold increase of the amount of yarn that a single spinner could produce.

As would be subsequently revealed, Kay had invented the new spinning machine in much the same way that John Lombe had invented the silk mill. Given the rather fluid attitudes of the day concerning intellectual property, it’s probably too much to say that he stole the design, but he certainly borrowed it, from a Lancashire reed maker and weaver named Thomas Highs, who may even have a claim on the invention of the spinning jenny (Highs’s daughter, Jane,33 always maintained that it was named for her). Whatever his contribution to the jenny, he was clearly responsible for the design of the machine that Kay reproduced—from memory—for Arkwright, since two years before, Highs had hired the clockmaker to turn his wooden model into a working machine made of iron. Fig. 6: This is the diagram that accompanied Arkwright’s patent application, which became the 931st patent awarded by Britain, in July 1769.


pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

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The chronometer allowed navigators at sea to determine longitude and latitude by providing an accurate representation of time at a particular location. LIGHTNING ROD (1750) Ben Franklin first proposed the idea of a lightning rod in a letter written in 1750, and his descriptions were ultimately translated into French. The first test of Franklin’s theoretical design was actually implemented in France in 1752. SPINNING JENNY (1764) A longstanding debate questions whether James Hargreaves was the true inventor of the spinning jenny, a machine that greatly improved the efficiency of the cotton industry. Some evidence suggests that Hargreaves was merely improving the design of an artisan named Thomas Highs. What is clear is that the Hargreaves design was greatly improved upon in the years following the production of his first model by weavers throughout Northern England.

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pages: 296 words: 82,501

Stuffocation by James Wallman

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If you thought about this idea for a moment, it sounded an awful lot like the industrial revolutions of recent years. When James Hargreaves had invented the spinning jenny in Lancashire in the 1760s, for instance, the spinner could now spin yarn twenty times more efficiently than if she had been using her old spinning wheel. That new spinning jenny not only revolutionized how quickly a spinner could produce yarn. It also meant the spinning wheel would now only be useful for burning. It had become, in a word, obsolete. And as Hargreaves’s jenny had replaced the wheel and made it useful only as firewood, so, a few years later, the spinning jenny became obsolete – as the new spinning frame made much stronger yarn. Once you had noticed this happening with the process of producing yarn, you would also see that it was a natural part of the progress of other industries.


pages: 218 words: 63,471

How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets by Andy Kessler

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Not surprisingly, in 1755, a mob broke into John Kay’s house and destroyed one of his looms, but fortunately, he had a few spare. Making thread or yarn, on the other hand, remained old fashioned. Shear a sheep, and then wind the wool on a spinning wheel. Invented who knows how many centuries before, as quaint as could be. But as weavers demanded more yarn of higher quality, they substituted cotton from the New World for expensive wool. Along came the Spinning Jenny. Invented in 1764 by James Hargreaves, it combined eight and eventually 80 spindles of wool into a thread strong enough to sew with. Hargreaves got the idea (or at least according to legend) when his daughter Jenny knocked over the family spinning wheel and had to chase it through the house. When local spinners heard of the invention, they broke into his home in Lancashire and busted the Jenny up, the wooden one.

They destroyed several stocking frames, considering the frames a threat to their jobs as artisans. These so-called Luddites were not the first and certainly not the last group to feel threatened by automation. But all you have to do is look at Arkwright’s Water Frame factory and cottages to figure out that automation creates plenty of new jobs. Still, the yarn from a Water Frame was thick and the thread from the Spinning Jenny was coarse. One can only imagine how itchy clothing was in 1775, not just clothes from wool but cotton as well. Royalty still insisted on silk, it beat scratching and twitching all day. Comfortable clothing was yet another thing that separated the rich from the poor. 32 HOW WE GOT HERE Tailors were interested in a yarn that was strong, smooth and soft, to replace expensive silk. In 1775, an inventor named Samuel Crompton crossed the Jenny and the Water Frame and invented the Spinning Mule.

By 1790, 400 spindles hung off the Spinning Mule, and no man or mule or horse or even running water could keep up with the power needed to run one of these things. Boulton & Watt steam engines to the rescue. The Spinning Mule was a breakout device. It was just what the textile business needed: cheap, smooth material. And of course, it was just what Boulton and Watt needed, something to soak up lots and lots of horsepower. *** The Carding Engine stripped the fibers into cardings. Spinning Jennies created thread. Water Frames created yarn. Spinning Mules turned out smooth yarn and thread. Looms were still run by hand. So, around the time Watt was extending his steam engine patent 25 years to 1800, all but the weaving step of textile manufacturing was under mechanical power that steam engines could run. In 1785, Edmund Cartwright sought to fix this problem by applying mechanical power to hand looms.


pages: 250 words: 88,762

The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World by Tim Harford

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This seems like an unusually straightforward case, but on closer inspection the same turns out to be true of many of the Industrial Revolution’s technological advances. Cotton-spinning machinery, for example, did not require any scientific knowledge, just a careful process of development and experimentation plus a little creativity: Legend has it that the spinning jenny was inspired by a traditional medieval spinning wheel that fell over and kept spinning while lying on the ground. The inventors of spinning machines such as the spinning jenny and the water frame launched serious research programs; they knew exactly what they hoped to achieve, and just needed to solve a series of modest engineering problems. They expended this considerable effort rationally—and those in France or China rationally did not—because the financials added up: Allen’s calculations show that British workers were at that time the most highly paid in the world, whether measured against the price of silver, of food, of energy, or of capital.

They expended this considerable effort rationally—and those in France or China rationally did not—because the financials added up: Allen’s calculations show that British workers were at that time the most highly paid in the world, whether measured against the price of silver, of food, of energy, or of capital. That meant that they were big consumers of imported cotton, but also that a labor-saving device would pay dividends. In Britain, a spinning jenny cost less than five months’ wages, while in low-wage France it cost more than a year’s wages. It was cheap French labor that accounted for the machine’s slow take-up on the continent, not the superior scientific ingenuity or commercial acumen of the British. That was even more true of steam engines. They were, unusually for Industrial Revolution technology, based on an actual scientific advance: Galileo discovered that atmosphere had weight and so could exert pressure. Yet the practical invention took place in Britain, not Galileo’s Italy, and again, the reason was neither genius nor an entrepreneurial culture but the fact that labor was expensive and fuel was incredibly cheap.


pages: 323 words: 92,135

Running Money by Andy Kessler

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In 1764, James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, which Pressure Drop 65 wound strands of cotton into thread. Around the same time, Richard Arkwright invented and patented a device named the Spinning Frame to wind thread into bundles of yarn. Although the Spinning Frame was originally designed to be hand cranked, Arkwright ended up needing horses to operate it, and even they proved not to be powerful enough, so he moved the whole thing riverside, changing the machine’s name to a Water Frame. Around 1785, Arkwright was visited by Boulton and became one of the early manufacturers to use Watt’s engine. Make power cheap enough, and someone new will figure out how to use it. The yarn from a Water Frame was thick, and the thread from the spinning jenny was coarse. Common folk wore clothes that were basically like burlap—what they wouldn’t have done for smooth underwear.

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pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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Its fibers were easier to work with than those of wool, silk, or flax, and its market was huge. The goal was to mechanize the movements made by the hands and arms of the spinners and weavers. Four men, working independently, transformed textile making with their inventions of the spinning jenny, the spinning mule, and the power loom, all designed to speed up the process of turning wool into thread and thread into cloth. Their differing success epitomizes the mixed fate of inventors. Both James Hargreaves and Thomas Arkwright came up with the spinning jenny, a simple device that multiplied the spindles of yarn spun by one wheel. Once it was in operation, the number of additional spindles went quickly from eight to eighty. Hargreaves was a weaver, but Arkwright had better connections to backers and was able to set up a factory where he successfully brought six hundred workers, many of them women and children, under one roof.

Edmund Cartwright, a country clergyman and graduate of Oxford, became absorbed with the weaving process after visiting a cotton spinning mill. A year later, in 1785, he patented a power loom that used steam power to operate a regular loom for making cloth. It became the prototype of the modern loom. Although Cartwright built a weaving mill, he went bankrupt. Samuel Crompton invented the spinning mule, which, as the name suggests, combined two inventions, the spinning jenny and the power loom. He had to sell the rights to his mule because he was too poor to pay for the patenting process. Steam power gave the British the competitive edge in textile making, particularly cotton. They could undersell almost all Indian and Chinese producers. The market for cotton was global, and England’s fabrics were so cheap that they were able to break open many of the world’s protected markets.

In the second decade of the nineteenth century, Yorkshire laborers whose families had sheared sheep for generations smashed the shearing frames that were undermining their way of life. They took the name of an earlier resister, Ned Lud. These Luddites declared war on the machines that violated venerable work routines and banished comfort and conviviality from the workplace. Actually woolen clothmakers in the west of England had earlier embarked on a serious effort to thwart clothiers from introducing the spinning jenny. Menacingly, this device could do the work of twenty spinners. These craftsmen had the advantage of a long tradition of regulation in the woolen trade, so they called upon Parliament to enforce laws that had been on the books for generations. After a decade of petitioning, lobbying, and pamphleteering clothmakers finally secured a parliamentary inquiry. These workers were fighting to retain an old and stable way of life; their employers, to enhance profits by saving labor costs.

Investment: A History by Norton Reamer, Jesse Downing

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, backtesting, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, break the buck, Brownian motion, buttonwood tree, California gold rush, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, colonial rule, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, equity premium, estate planning, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the telegraph, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, land tenure, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, margin call, means of production, Menlo Park, merger arbitrage, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, statistical arbitrage, survivorship bias, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, underbanked, Vanguard fund, working poor, yield curve

For instance, Johannes Gutenberg’s revolutionary printing press of the fifteenth century clearly facilitated the diffusion of knowledge that made the Industrial Revolution—and its necessary technological innovations and inventions—possible in the first place. Among the other facilitating technologies of the Industrial Revolution was James Hargreaves’s spinning jenny, a spinning frame with multiple spindles that vastly increased production volume in the textile industry. Combined with the flying shuttle, the spinning jenny took the textile industry into the next competitive era. James Watt’s late eighteenth-century steam engine changed most industries using mechanical power, especially transportation and agriculture, quite significantly. The previous costs of producing this mechanical power, no matter the application, were generally higher than the costs of heating water to steam, and thus enormous cost savings were realized and industrial and transportation projects became more feasible.

See Singapore International Monetary Index Simonide, 24 Singapore International Monetary Index (SIMEX), 170–72 Singleton, Henry, 7 Small Business Act of 1958, 278 Small Business Administration, 275 Index 433 smart-beta funds, 302 Smith, Adam: South Sea Bubble and, 68–69; theories of, 70, 79, 326; The Wealth of Nations, 36, 69 snowball effect, 94 social change, 320–25 Social Security: private investment accounts, 116; private pensions and, 109–10; retirement age and, 59, 107 societas, 50–51 societas maris, 53–54 societas publicanorum, 51, 56, 64 Société Générale, 172–74 Socrates, 18–19, 24 Soros, George, 263 South Sea Bubble, 67–69, 87 sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), 128–31, 145 S&P 500. See Standard & Poor’s 500 speculation: art, stamps, coins, and wine, 283; in derivatives, 221; excesses, 197; impacts of, 232; value and, 4–5 spinning jenny, 71 split-strike conversion, 151–52 sponsor, 286–87 Stabilizing an Unstable Economy (Minsky), 214 Stagecoach Corporate Stock Fund, 284–85 Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500), 187, 228, 285, 305–6, 309 Stanford, Allen, 153–56 Stanford, Leland, 155 Stanford Financial Group, 154 Starbucks, 277 State Street Corporation, 299 State Street Global Advisors, 299 State Street Investment Trust, 141 statistical arbitrage, 267 steam engine, 71 steamships, 90 Stefanadis, Chris, 94 sterling, 65 stock company, 134 stock exchanges: national or international, 94; new, 96; regional, 94–95 stock market: dislocations, 205; in England, 86–87; in Paris, 85 stock ownership: age and, 93–94; direct and indirect, 91, 93; gender and, 93–94; regulations prohibiting too much, 123; study of, 96; in United States, 90–94, 97 stock ticker, 89–90; network, 95 stones (horoi), 27, 60 Strong, Benjamin, 200–203, 206, 226 strong-form efficiency, 249 Studebaker-Packard Corporation, 111 sub hasta (public auction), 50 subprime, 39 subprime-mortgage lending, 223 Suetonius, 59 sugar consumption, in England, 75, 77 Sumerian city-states, 15–16 supply curve, 229 Supreme Court, 108 survivorship bias, 252 swap spread, 266 Swensen, David, 296, 328 SWFs.


pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

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AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

In fact, we can easily trace three eras of automation, based on the types of work they have brought machines forth to challenge. First, machines relieved humans of work that was manually exhausting and mentally enervating. This was the story of the late industrial revolution, which, having pulled all those workers off farms and into factories, proceeded to make most of them unnecessary with contraptions like the flying shuttle, the spinning jenny, and the power loom. And it’s a process that continues around the world. Consider Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturing subcontractor to global electronics brands like Apple. Starting in 2011, it started putting robots on the lines to perform welding, polishing, and such tasks—ten thousand of them that first year. In 2013, Chairman Terry Gou noted at Foxconn’s annual meeting that the firm now employed over a million people.

The step-in job of today probably won’t even be very much like the one of tomorrow. The Future of Stepping In Is Bright We think that anyone who’s capable of stepping into automated decision systems should do so. In general, the future for this group is very bright. It’s as if we’re in the early days of the industrial revolution, and there are very few mechanics for the power looms and spinning jennies that inventors have come up with. Those who know how to set up, get running, and maintain these new machines are going to be in huge demand. We certainly haven’t found any people with this focus and set of capabilities that are out of a job today. Perhaps we should include here the obligatory complaint that there aren’t enough STEM graduates, at least in the United States, to fill out the ranks of the stepping-in role in the future.


pages: 353 words: 91,211

The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 by David Edgerton

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, British Empire, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, creative destruction, deglobalization, dematerialisation, desegregation, deskilling, endogenous growth, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, interchangeable parts, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, V2 rocket

They replaced 40,000 tractors.12 The decline of the ‘mule’ spinning machine The twentieth century has seen the decline in use of many industrial machines. A good example is the cotton-spinning machine that dominated the most important cotton industry existing in 1900 – the ‘mule’ spinning machine of the British cotton industry. The ‘mule’, invented in the early nineteenth century, was so-called because it was a hybrid of two different types of spinning machines – it used the stretching motion of the spinning ‘jenny’ and the roller action of the ‘water-frame’. Each twentieth-century mule had around 1,500 spindles, and each pair of mules was operated by the male spinner and his two assistants, called the ‘big piecer’ and the ‘little piecer’. The spinning mule was at the centre of what was a globalised industry. Cotton was processed thousands of miles from where it was grown and was exported from a few industrial centres to the whole world.

.: Small is beautiful 191 science museums 28, 29, 38, 104 science parks 192 scientific revolution 3 scientists government 192–3 nature of xiii scramjet ix Scud missiles 154–5, 156 sea transport, cheap 115 Second World War 1, 34, 34, 127, 142, 155 artillery-intensive 144 battle of France 150 battleships x, 93, 148–9 casualty rates 146 conquest of Malaya 150–51 conventional and atomic bombing 12–18 dispersal of forces in space 147–8 horsepower x, 34, 35–6 motor torpedo boats 68 a physicist’s war 138 R&D 197 repair organisations 99 transfer machines 85 US atomic bomb project 198, 199 service industries 70–74 extension of 53 IKEA 72 shift from industry 52 Seversky, Alexander de 104 sewing, domestic 81 sewing machines 50, 55, 58–60 sexual revolution 22, 24 Shakuntala Express 96 shanty towns xii, 40–43, 49, 207 Sheffield 173 shellac records 7 Shenzhou-5 capsule 137 shipbreaking 207–8, 208 Shippingport nuclear reactor, Pennsylvania 20 ships container 74 cruise 49–50 efficiency 68 inventive activity in 190–91 lascar employment 135–6 maintenance 91–5 ocean-going x, 28 refits 91–2 reserve technologies 11 sailing 91, 95 world merchant fleet 73–4 Siemens 130, 196 significance 1–27 assessing aviation and nuclear energy 11–19 assessing technologies 4–5 malaria 25–7 small technologies and big effects 22–5 spin-off 19–22 technological choice 8–11 use is not enough 5–8 Silicon Valley, California, USA 133, 186, 195–6 Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle 168–9, 173–4 Singapore 91, 150 Singer Sewing Machine Company 57, 58, 59, 71, 130 Sino–Japanese War, second 140, 179 slaughterhouses 168–73, 171, 175 small arms 143–6, 190 smallpox 163 Smith, Kline French 196 Smithsonian Institution, Washington 104 Sobibor extermination camp, Poland 179 society civil 22 seen as slow to adapt to new technology vii, viii transition from industrial to post-industrial society 3 Soho, London 47 Solvay process 190 sound reproduction 7 South Africa national industrial development 118 output per head 207 petrol production 122 South America guerrilla rebellions 152–3 torture in 157 South Vietnamese army 152 Soviet bloc 118, 126, 129, 133, 145 Soviet Union agriculture 79 car production 69 China produces Soviet technology 44 dams and hydro-electric projects 127 economic growth 110, 112, 206, 207 engineers 102 entry into the Second World War 17 family farms 62–4 foreign technology and socialism 126–9 German invasion of 34, 35–6 Great Terror 179 hydrogenation 121 imitation of foreign technologies 112, 136–7 links with China (1949–60) 131 a multi-national state 131 R&D 110, 128, 137 rifles 144–5 soldiers’ deaths in Second World War 144 television 131 space rockets 1, 2 Spain 122 aviation 125, 126 economic growth 109, 112 executions 176 Francoist 118 imitation of foreign technologies 112 nationalistic and autarchic 131 R&D 109, 121–2 spare parts 79, 96 Speer, Albert 14, 18 spermicides 23, 25 spin-off 19–22, 190 Spin-off magazine (NASA) 21 Spindles Board 38 spinning ‘jenny’ 36 spinning mule 36–8, 47, 60 spinning wheels 54, 60, 63, 107 Sputnik 128, 189 SS 182 Stalin, Joseph 104, 125, 152 Stalinets (tracked Caterpillar 60) 126 Stalingrad tractor factory 126 Stalinism 73, 126, 127 ‘Stalin’s falcons’ 104 Standard Oil 121 Stanford University 186 Star Wars programme 155 state and boundaries 117 and engineers 101–2 funding of big, controversial technologies 22 television 131 statistical offices 5 steam engine 3 reciprocating 3, 29 steam power ix, 2, 3, 29, 105 steam turbine 3 steamships xiv, 113 steel ix, 2, 19, 44, 68, 73, 127, 208–9 sterilisation 23 Stopes, Marie 23–4 Suame Magazine, Ghana 83 Suez Canal 134 suicide, and reserve technologies 11 sulphonamides 163 Swift meat packers 171, 172 Switzerland 80 synthetic ammonia 119 System 360 196 T Ta 183 fighter aircraft 125 Tabun nerve gas 153, 164 Taiwan 45, 109, 136, 177, 207–8 Tamil Tigers 153 Tank, Kurt 125 tanks 159 tank warfare 141–2 tape recorders 7 tariffs 117 Taxol 187 Taylorism 72 TB (tuberculosis) 25 tea-making machines 38 techno-globalism 105, 113–17 techno-nationalism 103–8 Asia and 136–7 technological boosterism 4 technological choice 8–11 ‘technological dualism’ 44 technological futurism vii–viii, xiii–xiv technological importance, assessing 4–5 technological nationalism 117 technological retro x technological revolution 74 technological sharing 111 technology museums 28, 29, 38, 104 technology transfer 111, 127 Tefal 20 Teflon (PTFE) 19–21 Tehran, Iran 154 Telefunken 131 telegraphy xiv, 3, 6, 7, 19, 113, 193 telephone xiv, 6, 7, 55, 193, 195 telephony 3 television ix, 3, 7, 31, 32, 55, 59, 103, 111, 130–31 ‘terotechnology’ 77 Texas Instruments 195 textiles ix, 2, 28, 60, 65, 105 Thailand 177 Thermo-King 170 Three Gorges dam, China 128 tide predictors 7 time 28–51 creole technology 43–5 decline of the ‘mule’ spinning-machine 36–8 horses, mules and oxen 32–6 not Alphaville but bidonville: technology and the poor megacity 39–43 remodelling the boat 47–9 retro and reappearance 49–51 times are changing 31–2 transport 45–7 time between overhaul (TBO) 88, 89 Time magazine 170 timelines, technological vii, ix, x, 29, 31, 212 Tirpitz (battleship) 149 Titanic 50 Togliatti, Palmiro 127 Togliattigrad, Soviet Union 127 Tokaev, Colonel Grigory 125 tools disappearance of 29 Ghananian car repairers 83 of household production 56–7 and small trades 60–62 torture 156–7, 212 Trabant car 10, 129 tractors animal power replaces 36 displacement of horses xiii, 62 Fordson 62, 63, 126 maintenance 79 number on US farms 55 oxen replace 36, 207 USA 62 USSR 63, 126–7 trade global 115 interwar years 115 names 57 ‘traditional technology’ 28–9 trains see railways transfer machines 85–6 transistors 195 Treblinka extermination camp, Poland 179 trucks British truck production 69 Jiefang 126 Model AA 126 number on US farms 55 Tu 4 bombers 123 Tunisia 169 Turkish Navy 92 Tutsis 41–2, 182–3 typhus 26, 162, 163 Tyson Foods 175 U Ukraine: Carpathian foothills 48 Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) 122 Unamuno, Miguel de 133 Unilever 166 Union Cold Storage 172 Union Stockyards, Chicago 168 United Arab Republic (UAR) 125 United Fruit Company 134 United Nations 18, 79, 122, 129 United States agricultural horsepower xiii, 33 attitude to blacks 132–3 aviation 104, 111 car production 111 domination of world production/innovation 112 economic growth 206 energy use levels 209 executions 165, 176, 178, 182 family farms 62 and guerrilla armies 153 horsepower in First World War 35 Korean War 13 mechanised agriculture 34 modification of cars 97–8 the most motorised nation in the world 69 patents 200 post-war atomic programme 18–19 R&D spending 108, 110 railways 5–6 rifles 144 space programme 19, 20 television 131 torture techniques 157 uptake of new technologies 32 wheat and cotton exports 65 universities 185–7, 192 University of Goettingen 186 University of Oxford 186 UNIX operating system 195 uranium bomb 164 urbanisation, new 40, 207 Uruguay 170–71, 171, 172, 173 Uruguay (liner) 124 US Air Force 95 US Army Air Force 12 US Army Corps of Engineers 11–12, 198 US Food and Drug Administration 201 US Navy 68 US Steel Corporation 127 US Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) 14–15 USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) 12, 18 use-centred history ix–xii alternatives for technologies x–xi appearance, disappearance and reappearance of technologies x genuinely global ix, xi–xii gives a radically different picture of technology ix involves rethinking of the history of all technology xii the most significant technologies x novel technological worlds xi–xii refutes some conclusions of innovation-centric history xii rethinking of the history of all technology xii V V-2 rocket x, 17–18, 142, 154, 181 V-agents 164 vacuum cleaners xiv, 55 vehicles, electric vs petrol-powered 9–10 Veinticinco de Mayo (aircraft carrier) 94–5 Venerable, HMS 94 Vengeance, HMS 95 Vestey family 172 Vickers 130, 154 video recorders 55 Vietcong 152, 163 Vietnam war 94, 145, 146, 151–2 Vikrant, INS 95 vinyl records 7, 50 Volkswagen Beetle 44, 70 Golf 70 VX agent 164 W Wal-Mart 71–2, 74, 137 Walla Walla County, Washington xiii Walter Rau floating factory 166 Walton, Sam 72 war 138–59, 212 casualty rates 146 civilianisation of 138–9, 145–6 the conventional story 139–42, 140 industrialisation of 138–9 Iraq and the past 153–6 old weapons and killing in war 142–6 paradoxes of lethality 146–8 power and effect – unused and unusable weapons 148–9 technological and economic determinism in war 150–53 torture 156–7 war, technology and the history of the twentieth century 157–9 Warsaw Pact powers 149 washing machines xiv, 4, 32, 55 water ancient dependence on the control of 76 treatment/supply systems 4 wax cylinders 7 Weber, Albert 165 Wehrmacht 35–6 Wellcome 196 Wells, H.


pages: 796 words: 242,660

This Sceptred Isle by Christopher Lee

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, failed state, financial independence, glass ceiling, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, urban decay

1401 First Lollard Martyr 1403 Percy’s Revolt; Henry Percy killed at Shrewsbury 1406 James I of Scots 1409 Owen Glyndŵr 1411 Foundation of Guildhall in London 1413 Henry V 1415 Agincourt 1420 Treaty of Troyes; Paston Letters 1422 Henry VI 1429 Joan of Arc at Orléans 1437 James II of Scots 1450 Cade’s Rebellion 1453 End of Hundred Years War; Gutenberg Bible 1455 Wars of the Roses begin 1460 James III of Scots 1461 Edward IV c.1474 Caxton prints first book in English 1483 Richard III 1485 Henry VII; founding of the Yeomen of the Guard 1488 James IV of Scots 1492 Christopher Columbus reaches America 1509 Henry VIII marries Catherine of Aragon 1513 James V of Scots 1519 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor 1527 Henry VIII fails in attempt to divorce Catherine of Aragon 1533 Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn; Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury 1536 Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour; Wales annexed to England 1540 Henry VIII marries and divorces Anne of Cleves; marries Catherine Howard 1540 Henry VIII, King of Ireland 1542 Mary, Queen of Scots 1547 Edward VI 1549 First Book of Common Prayer 1553 Mary I 1556 Cranmer executed 1558 Elizabeth I 1561 Mary, Queen of Scots returns to Scotland from France 1562 British slave trade starts 1567 James VI, King of Scotland 1571 First anti-Catholic Penal Law 1580 Drake’s circumnavigation 1587 Mary, Queen of Scots executed 1596 Robert Cecil, Secretary of State 1600 British East India Company incorporated 1601 Essex executed 1603 James I 1603 Ralegh treason trial and imprisonment 1611 Authorized Version of the Bible 1616 Death of William Shakespeare 1618 Ralegh executed; Thirty Years War starts 1625 Charles I 1632 Lord Baltimore granted patent for the settlement of Maryland 1641 The Grand Remonstrance issued 1642 Civil War starts; Battle of Edgehill 1643 Battle of Newbury 1644 Battle of Marston Moor 1645 New Model Army established 1649 Charles I executed; massacres at Wexford and Drogheda 1651 Charles II crowned at Scone; Hobbes’ Leviathan published 1655 Jamaica captured 1658 Cromwell dies 1660 Charles II; Declaration of Breda; Pepys begins his diary 1662 The Royal Society; Boyle’s Law 1666 Fire of London 1670 Hudson’s Bay Company 1673 Test Act 1678 Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress 1685 James II 1689 William III and Mary II 1690 Battle of the Boyne 1692 Massacre of Glencoe 1694 Bank of England 1695 Bank of Scotland 1702 Queen Anne 1704 Battle of Blenheim; capture of Gibraltar 1707 Union with Scotland 1714 George I 1719 Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe 1722 Walpole, first Prime Minister 1727 George II 1740 War of Austrian Succession; Arne composes ‘Rule Britannia’ 1742 Handel’s Messiah 1746 Battle of Culloden 1751 Clive captures Arcot 1755 Dr Johnson’s Dictionary 1756 Seven Years War 1759 General Wolfe dies at Battle of Quebec 1760 George III 1765 Stamp Act; Hargreaves’ spinning jenny 1767 Revd Laurence Stone’s Tristram Shandy 1768 Royal Academy of Arts founded 1772 Warren Hastings, first Governor General of Bengal 1773 Boston Tea Party 1774 Priestley isolates oxygen 1775 American Revolution – Lexington and Concord 1776 American Declaration of Independence 1779 Captain Cook killed in Hawaii 1780 Gordon Riots; Epsom Derby 1781 Battle of Yorktown 1783 Pitt the Younger PM 1788 Regency Crisis 1789 French Revolution 1792 Tom Paine’s The Rights of Man 1799 Napoleon 1801 Union with Ireland 1805 Trafalgar 1807 Abolition of Slave Trade Act 1815 Waterloo 1820 George IV 1828 University of London founded 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act 1830 William IV 1832 First Reform Act 1833 Abolition of slavery in British colonies Act 1834 Houses of Parliament burned down 1836 Births, Marriages & Deaths Act 1837 Queen Victoria 1838 Public Records Office founded 1839 Bed Chamber Crisis; Opium War 1840 Prince Albert; Treaty of Waitangi 1843 Joule’s First Law 1844 Rochdale Pioneers; first telegraph line in England 1846 Repeal of Corn Laws 1847 Marks and Engels’ The Communist Manifesto 1849 Punjab conquered 1850 Public libraries; Tennyson, Poet Laureate 1854 Crimean War; British Medical Association founded 1855 Daily Telegraph founded; Palmerston PM 1857 Sepoy Rebellion (Indian Mutiny); Trollope’s Barchester Towers 1858 Canning, first Viceroy of India 1859 Darwin’s On the Origin of Species 1861 Prince Albert dies; American Civil War 1865 Abraham Lincoln assassinated 1867 Second Reform Act; first bicycle 1868 TUC 1869 Suez Canal opened; Cutty Sark launched 1870 Death of Dickens 1876 Victoria made Empress of India 1880 Gladstone PM 1881 First Boer War 1884 Third Reform Act 1885 Gordon dies at Khartoum 1887 Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee 1891 Elementary school fees abolished 1895 Salisbury PM 1896 Daily Mail founded 1898 Omdurman 1899 Second Boer War 1900 Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius 1901 Edward VII 1903 Suffragettes 1904 Entente Cordiale 1908 Borstal opened 1909 Old Age Pensions 1910 George V 1914 Irish Home Rule; First World War 1916 Lloyd George PM 1918 RAF formed from Royal Flying Corps; Marie Stopes 1919 John Maynard Keynes’ Economic Consequences of the Peace 1920 Black and Tans; Anglican Church in Wales disestablished 1921 Irish Free State 1922 Bonar Law PM 1923 Baldwin PM 1924 First Labour Government (MacDonald PM); Baldwin PM; Lenin dies 1925 Britain joins Gold standard 1926 General Strike 1928 Women over twenty-one given vote 1929 The Depression; MacDonald PM 1931 National Government; Statute of Westminster 1932 British Union of Fascists 1933 Hitler 1935 Baldwin PM 1936 Edward VIII; George VI; Spanish Civil War 1937 Chamberlain PM 1938 Austria annexed by Germany; Air Raid Precautions (ARP) 1939 Second World War 1940 Battle of Britain; Dunkirk; Churchill PM 1942 Beveridge Report; fall of Singapore and Rangoon 1944 Butler Education Act; Normandy allied landings 1945 Attlee PM; Germany and Japan surrender 1946 UN founded; National Insurance Act; National Health Service 1947 India Independence; Pakistan formed 1948 Railways nationalized; Berlin Airlift; Ceylon (Sri Lanka) independence 1949 NATO; Irish Independence; Korean War 1951 Churchill PM 1952 Elizabeth II 1955 Eden PM; Cyprus Emergency 1956 Suez Crisis 1957 Macmillan PM 1958 Life Peerages; EEC 1959 Vietnam War; Fidel Castro 1960 Macmillan’s Wind of Change speech 1963 Douglas-Home PM; De Gaulle veto on UK EEC membership; Kennedy assassination 1964 Wilson PM 1965 Southern Rhodesia UDI 1967 Pound devalued 1969 Open University; Northern Ireland Troubles; Robin Knox-Johnston first solo, non-stop sailing circumnavigation 1970 Heath PM 1971 Decimal currency in UK 1972 Bloody Sunday, Northern Ireland 1973 Britain in EEC; VAT 1974 Wilson PM 1976 Callaghan PM; first Concorde passenger flight 1979 Thatcher PM; Rhodesian Settlement 1982 Falklands War 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev; Global warming – British report hole in ozone layer 1986 Chernobyl; Reagan–Gorbachev Zero missile summit 1987 Wall Street Crash 1988 Lockerbie 1989 Berlin Wall down 1990 John Major PM; Iraq invades Kuwait 1991 Gulf War; Helen Sharman first Briton in space; Tim Berners-Lee first website; collapse of Soviet Communism 1992 Maastricht Treaty 1994 Church of England Ordination of Women; Channel Tunnel opens 1995 British forces to Sarajevo 1996 Dolly the Sheep clone 1997 Blair PM; Diana Princess of Wales dies; Hong Kong returns to China 1998 Rolls-Royce sold to BMW; Good Friday Agreement 1999 Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly elections 2001 Terrorist attacks on New York 2002 Elizabeth the Queen Mother dies 2003 Second Gulf War 2004 Asian Tsunami 2005 Freedom of Information Act; Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles wed; terrorist attacks on London 2006 Queen’s eightieth birthday 2007 Ministry of Justice created; Brown PM 2008 Northern Rock collapse 2009 Market crash; banks partly nationalized; MPs expenses scandal 2010 Cameron PM.

Hanway was not much interested in the Englishness of the infants, only that 47 per cent died before the age of two. While social pleading depended on debate and Parliament’s whim, the industrial upheaval brought added miseries. Take, for example, the plight of hand spinners. In 1765 James Hargreaves, a carpenter and weaver, produced his most famous invention and named it after his wife. It was to be called the spinning-jenny. By using eight spindles driven by a great wheel, Hargreaves revolutionized the methods of the textile industry. And just like those who, 200 years on, viewed automation with dismay, the spinners understood perfectly that their livelihoods would never be the same again. This era was the beginning of what is now called the Industrial Revolution. And inventiveness was not confined to the industrial drawing board: musicians, writers, painters and diarists were prolific, and to be found at every coffee house, salon and studio.

John ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Smith, William ref 1 Smith-Stanley, Edward ref 1 Smollett, Tobias ref 1, ref 2 Smuts, Jan ref 1 Smythe, Thomas ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 Solway Moss, Battle of ref 1 Somers, George ref 1, ref 2 Sophia of Hanover ref 1 Soult, Marshal Nicholas ref 1 South Africa ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6 South America ref 1, ref 2 South Sea Company ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Spain ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6, ref 7, ref 8, ref 9, ref 10 and Bermuda ref 1 Britain’s wars with ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6, ref 7, ref 8, ref 9, ref 10 and Convention of Prado ref 1 Empire of ref 1 and Huguenots ref 1 James I/VI’s peace with ref 1 in Napoleonic Wars, see main entry and Treaty of Vienna ref 1 Spanish Armada ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 Spanish Succession, War of ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 spinning-jenny ref 1 Spurs, Battle of ref 1 Stainmore, Battle of ref 1 Stalin, Iosif ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Stamp Act ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Stamp Tax ref 1 Statute of Marlborough ref 1 Stephen, King ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Stephen, William fitz ref 1, ref 2 Stephens, James ref 1 Sterne, Laurence ref 1 Stigand, Archbishop ref 1, ref 2 Stirling Bridge, Battle of ref 1 Stockmar, Baron ref 1 Strabo ref 1 Strachey, William ref 1 Stuart, Charles Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie) ref 1 Stuart, James Edward (Old Pretender) ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5; see also Jacobites Stukeley, Thomas ref 1 Sudan ref 1, ref 2 Sudetendland ref 1 Suetonius ref 1 Suez Canal ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Sunday Schools ref 1 Sunderland, Earl of ref 1, ref 2 Sutton Hoo ref 1 Sweden ref 1, ref 2 Sweyn I (Forkbeard) ref 1, ref 2 Swift, Jonathan ref 1 Switzerland ref 1 Symeon of Durham ref 1 Tacitus ref 1, ref 2 Tahiti ref 1 Tasmania ref 1 taxation ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6, ref 7, ref 8, ref 9, ref 10, ref 11, ref 12, ref 13; see also Britain: income tax in Taylor, Jeremy ref 1 tenant farming ref 1 Territorial Army ref 1 Test Acts ref 1, ref 2 Tewdwr, Rhys ap ref 1 textile industry ref 1 Textus Roffensis ref 1 Thackeray, William ref 1 Thatcher, Margaret ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Theobald, Archbishop ref 1 Thirty Years War ref 1 Thirty-Nine Articles ref 1 Thistlewood, Arthur ref 1 Thomas, Earl of Lancaster of ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester ref 1, ref 2 Times, first edition of ref 1 Tinchebrai, Battle of ref 1 Tirel, Walter ref 1 tobacco ref 1 Tobago ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Togodumnus ref 1 Tokig of Walligford ref 1 Toleration Acts ref 1 toll roads ref 1 Tolpuddle Martyrs ref 1, ref 2 Tone, Wolfe ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 Tories ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6, ref 7, ref 8, ref 9, ref 10 associations of ref 1 beginnings of ref 1 and Corn Laws ref 1 and Emancipation ref 1, ref 2 thought of as Conservatives ref 1 Torrington, Lord ref 1 Tostig ref 1 Townshend, Charles ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 Towton, Battle of ref 1 trade unionism ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 Trafalgar, Battle of ref 1, ref 2 Transvaal ref 1, ref 2 Treaty of Versailles/Paris (1783) ref 1, ref 2, ref 3 Treaty of Versailles (1919) ref 1, ref 2 Trevelyan, Charles ref 1 Trinidad ref 1 Troy, Thomas ref 1 Trueman, Harry ref 1 Tudor, Margaret ref 1 Tull, Jethro ref 1 Turkey ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 Tyler, Wat ref 1, ref 2 Tyrell, James ref 1 Tyrwhitt, Thomas ref 1 Ulster ref 1, ref 2 see also Ireland; Northern Ireland Ulster experiment ref 1 United Irishmen ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4, ref 5, ref 6 United States of America: Declaration of Independence of ref 1 first president of ref 1 Irish migration to ref 1 and Monroe Doctrine ref 1 New Deal of ref 1 and War of 1812 ref 1 and World Wars, see First World War; Second World War see also North America USSR ref 1 Utrecht, Treaties of ref 1, ref 2, ref 3, ref 4 Valentinian ref 1 Vaughan, Henry ref 1 Vere, Robert de ref 1 Vesey-FitzGerald, William ref 1 Vetch, Col.


pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Pearl River Delta, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

The second and third of these increased in quantity in the nineteenth century,* but it was the qualitative improvement that really mattered – the fact that total output exceeded the combined increments of workers and mills. In terms of supply, then, the Industrial Revolution was a hunt for efficiency. James Hargreaves’s spinning jenny (1766), Richard Arkwright’s water frame (1769), Samuel Crompton’s mule (1779), Edmund Cartwright’s steam-powered loom (1787) and Richard Roberts’s self-acting mule (1830): these were all ways of making more thread or cloth per man-hour. The spinning jenny, for example, allowed a single worker simultaneously to spin cotton yarn with eight spindles. Thanks to these innovations, the unit price of British cotton manufactures declined by approximately 90 per cent between the mid-1790s and 1830.7 The same applied to the other key breakthroughs in iron production and steam-power generation.


pages: 274 words: 66,721

Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Shaped the Modern World - and How Their Invention Could Make or Break the Planet by Jane Gleeson-White

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, British Empire, carbon footprint, corporate governance, credit crunch, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Gordon Gekko, income inequality, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Islamic Golden Age, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Naomi Klein, Ponzi scheme, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, source of truth, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile

But in fact his system was no more than a cumbersome, complex version of Pacioli’s and has been summarised as follows: instead of two columns in the ledger, make ten; and then in all essential points proceed as directed by Pacioli. Jones and his claims for the labour-saving virtues of his system were so persuasive they almost undid his book’s potential success: in an era of rioting provoked by the introduction of labour-replacing machinery such as the power loom and the spinning jenny, the public worried that the purported efficiency of Jones’s system—‘the most extensively useful invention which had ever made its appearance’—would put bookkeepers out of work. Once Jones had reassured them that no such thing would happen, that no jobs would be lost through the adoption of his system, his book, ‘by unblushing impudence’, went on to find phenomenal success. Jones’ English System became the first English work on accounting to achieve international fame.


pages: 231 words: 72,656

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, Colonization of Mars, Copley Medal, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, Lao Tzu, multiplanetary species, out of africa, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

Arkwright, the youngest of thirteen children, had first displayed his entrepreneurial talent when he began collecting human hair, dyeing it using his own secret formula, and then fashioning it into wigs. The success of this business provided him with the means to embark on a more ambitious venture, and in 1767 he began developing a "spinning frame." This was a machine for spinning thread in preparation for weaving; but unlike the spinning jenny, a hand-operated device that required a skilled operator, the spinning frame was to be a powered machine that anyone could operate. With the help of a clockmaker, John Kay, from whom he gleaned details of an earlier design, Arkwright built a working prototype and established his first spinning mill, powered by horses, in 1768. This mill so impressed two wealthy businessmen that they gave Arkwright the funds to build a far larger one on a river at Cromford, where the spinning frames would be powered by a waterwheel.


pages: 385 words: 111,807

A Pelican Introduction Economics: A User's Guide by Ha-Joon Chang

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberation theology, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, post-industrial society, precariat, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working-age population, World Values Survey

In the poorest ones, child labour is still prevalent, while a lot of people are still tenants of semi-feudal landlords. Anything between 30 per cent and 90 per cent of the workforce in these countries may be self-employed, many of whom are engaged in subsistence farming. * Yes, that’s the scientist, who also doubled as an alchemist and a stock market speculator. * These included the flying shuttle (1733) and spinning jenny (1764) in the textile industry, coke-smelting (1709) in steel-making and various processes for large-scale sulphuric-acid manufacture (the 1730s and the 1740s) in the chemical industry. * To simplify the story, the 1932 famine happened because too much food was shipped out of the rural areas, following the 1928 agricultural collectivization. The rapidly rising urban population had to be fed, and grains had to be exported to earn foreign exchanges with which to import advanced machinery that the Soviet Union needed for industrialization


pages: 361 words: 105,938

The Map That Changed the World by Simon Winchester

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British Empire, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, mortgage debt, spinning jenny, the market place, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman

This might suggest that aspects of the religious climate into which William Smith was born—and that he was to help start changing—are now starting to return. * Smith was to feel somewhat embarrassed in later years about his forebears’ determined ordinariness, and he tried long and hard to prove that through his mother he was a descendant of Sir Walter Raleigh. He convinced no one and eventually abandoned the quest. * James Hargreaves, whose mechanical spinning jenny was destroyed by fearful proto-Luddites, and Samuel Crompton, whose spinning mule was a hybrid of its two predecessors, came only a little later. * William Smith was born during the administration of the sixth and least distinguished, the duke of Grafton, who acted as caretaker between the administrations of William Pitt the Elder and Lord North. † The radical politician in whose memory the famous actor Junius Brutus Booth named the son who would assassinate Abraham Lincoln in April 1865


pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

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Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

Shears, sewing needles, and scrapers for converting animal skins into protective coverings for the body are among the oldest tools recovered from the Paleolithic age. To be sure, much of that innovation was utilitarian in nature. Ascots and hoop skirts aside, most clothing has some functional value, and certainly our ancestors fifty thousand years ago were making clothes with the explicit aim of keeping warm and dry and protected from potential threats. The fact that so much technological innovation—from the first knitting needles to hand looms to the spinning jenny—has emerged out of textile production can seem, at first glance, more a matter of necessity’s invention. And yet the archeological record is replete with early examples of purely decorative toolmaking: a shell necklace discovered in the Sikul Cave in Israel was crafted more than a hundred thousand years ago. As soon as humans became toolmakers, they were making jewelry. Whatever mix of playfulness and practicality drove early human garment design, the invention of Tyrian purple announced a fundamental shift toward delight and surprise—a shift, in a sense, from function to fashion.


words: 49,604

The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy by Diane Coyle

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, clean water, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, full employment, George Santayana, global village, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McJob, microcredit, moral panic, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, night-watchman state, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pension reform, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, two tier labour market, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, working-age population

According to eyewitness reports one of the crowd ran towards the armed soldiers, shouting: ‘I would rather be killed here than go home to starve’. His wish was granted. The troops prevented that march from reaching the bigger industrial centres of Rochdale and Manchester, where it might have inflamed a serious insurrection. According to some estimates investment in the Manchester cotton mills had reached £20 million as early as 1816. The owners of capital had a lot at stake. The Lancashire inventors of the mule, Samuel Crompton, the spinning jenny, Richard Hargreaves, and the flying shuttle, John Kay, found themselves under personal attack. Kay had to flee the mob, Crompton was burnt out of his home. Jeremy Rifkin has launched no physical assaults on today’s equivalents of the cotton barons, men such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, but he makes it clear that he thinks computers are to blame for depriving people of work. In his book, one of the most dangerous and misleading economic tracts published in the past quarter century, he predicts that 90 million jobs out of a US labour force of 124 million are vulnerable to replacement by robots and computers.


pages: 293 words: 91,412

World Economy Since the Wars: A Personal View by John Kenneth Galbraith

central bank independence, full employment, income inequality, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, means of production, price discrimination, price stability, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, War on Poverty

Most important, in all the earlier stages of development there was no close and predictable correlation between the supply of educated men and the nature of their training and the rate of technological innovation. Inventions were more often the result of brilliant flashes of insight than the product of long prepared training and development. The Industrial Revolution in England was ushered in by the invention of the flying shuttle by John Kay, the spinning jenny by James Hargreaves, the spinning frame by (presumptively) Richard Arkwright and, of course, by James Watt's steam engine. These represented vast improvements in the capital which was being put to industrial use. But only in the case of Watt could the innovation be related to previous education and preparation. Kay and Hargreaves were simple weavers with a mechanical turn of mind. Arkwright had been apprenticed as a boy as a barber and a wigmaker and was barely literate.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

But increasing supply was not easy, because even the remotest Pennine valleys and Welsh marches were now thickly settled with the cottages of weavers and spinsters, transport was dear and some of the workers were earning good enough wages to take weekend holidays, occasionally even drinking their pay away till Monday night, preferring consumption to extra income. As the twentieth-century economist Colin Clark put it, ‘Leisure has a real value even to very poor people.’ So, stuck between booming demand and stalling supply, the putters-out and their suppliers were ripe customers for any kind of productivity-enhancing invention, and with such an incentive, the inventors soon obliged. John Kay’s flying shuttle, James Hargreaves’s spinning jenny, Richard Arkwright’s water frame, Samuel Crompton’s mule – these were all just milestones on a continuous road of incrementally improving productivity. The jenny worked up to twenty times as fast as a spinning wheel and produced a more consistent yarn, but it was still operated entirely by human muscle power. Yet by 1800 the jenny was already obsolete, because the frame was several hundred times as fast.


pages: 522 words: 144,511

Sugar: A Bittersweet History by Elizabeth Abbott

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agricultural Revolution, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, flex fuel, land tenure, liberation theology, Mason jar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working poor

HIGH TEA AND THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION The second half of the eighteenth century spawned two fundamental social and economic transformations: the Industrial Revolution and the Sugared Tea Revolution that sloshed into being within it. Led by England, the Industrial Revolution recast primarily agricultural Europe into ever-urbanizing industrial societies fueled by capitalism, overseas trade, growing consumption and changing mores. Technological innovations, most notably the cotton gin, the spinning jenny and the steam engine, transformed how English cotton was produced. Historian David Landes provides this eloquent summary: “The abundance and variety of these innovations almost defy compilation, but they may be subsumed under three principles: the substitution of machines—rapid, regular, precise, tireless—for human skill and effort; the substitution of inanimate for animate sources of power, in particular, the introduction of engines for converting heat into work, thereby opening to man a new and almost unlimited supply of energy; the use of new and far more abundant raw materials, in particular, the substitution of mineral for vegetable or animal substances.


pages: 448 words: 142,946

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein

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Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate raider, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, God and Mammon, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, land value tax, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, lump of labour, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail

Freed of that pressure, we will turn our gifts toward that which inspires us—for more and more of us, that is the healing of society and the planet from the ravages of Separation. (If you still think that freedom from survival pressure will lead to dissipation and indolence, please go back and reread “The Will to Work” in Chapter 14.) 6. ECONOMIC DEGROWTH Motivation: Over hundreds of years of inventing labor-saving devices, from the spinning jenny to the digital computer, we have at every turn chosen to consume more rather than to work less. This choice, driven by the money system, accompanied an accelerating drawdown of social and natural capital. Today, the option of accelerating consumption is no longer available to us. Absent the driving force of positive risk-free interest, economic growth will no longer be necessary to promote the flow of capital, and a degrowth economy will become feasible.


pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lifelogging, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Metcalfe’s law, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

That model builds on the ‘Ricardian model of the labor market’, set out in Daron Acemoglu and David Autor, ‘Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings’, in Handbook of Labor Economics, Volume 4, Part B, ed. David Card and Orley Ashenfelter (2011), 1043–171. 28 The spirit of their anxieties is shared with the original nineteenth-century ‘Luddities’ (whose name derives from their declared support for Ned Ludd, an East Midlands weaver who smashed a set of framing machines in anger and in fear in the early tremors of the Industrial Revolution). The Luddites viewed James Hargreaves’s spinning jenny in the nineteenth century with the same anxious suspicion that today’s pessimists view Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web in the twenty-first century. See Eric Hobsbawm and George Rudé, Captain Swing (2001). 29 David Autor, ‘Polanyi’s Paradox and the Shape of Employment Growth’, NBER Working Paper 20485, National Bureau of Economic Research (2014). 30 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (2014).


pages: 565 words: 164,405

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein

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Admiral Zheng, asset allocation, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, call centre, clean water, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, domestication of the camel, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, ice-free Arctic, imperial preference, income inequality, intermodal, James Hargreaves, John Harrison: Longitude, Khyber Pass, low skilled workers, non-tariff barriers, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Port of Oakland, refrigerator car, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, working poor, zero-sum game

Just a dozen years after the passage of the act of 1721, John Kay perfected the flying shuttle, which doubled weavers' productivity. This served to increase the demand for thread, whose spinning was more difficult to mechanize. In 1738, Lewis Paul and John Wyatt patented the first mechanical spinning machine, but no commercially feasible device became available until the mid-1760s, when such machines were invented by James Hargreaves, Richard Arkwright, and Samuel Crompton. (These were, respectively, the spinning jenny, the water frame, and the mule, the latter so-called because it was a hybrid of the first two.)55 As the economic historian Eric Hobsbawm famously said, "Whoever says Industrial Revolution says cotton." The new machines that were the heart of the great transformation made redundant untold thousands of spinners and weavers, who engaged in spasms of "machine breaking" in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries before finally disappearing into the new mills.56 (The term "Luddite" derives from the probably fictional leader of the machine-breaking riots in the 1810s, Ned Ludd.)


pages: 517 words: 139,824

The Difference Engine by William Gibson, Bruce Sterling

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card file, clockwatching, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Plutocrats, plutocrats, spinning jenny, the scientific method

He knew how far Sybil Gerard had fallen, that she had been an educated girl, with airs and graces, as good as any gentry girl, once. From the days of her father's fame, from her girlhood, Sybil could remember Mick Radley's like. She knew the kind of boy that he had been. Ragged angry factory-boys, penny-a-score, who would crowd her father after his torchlight speeches, and do whatever he commanded. Rip up railroad tracks, kick the boiler-plugs out of spinning jennies, lay policemen's helmets by his feet. She and her father had fled from town to town, often by night, living in cellars, attics, anonymous rooms-to-let, hiding from the Rad police and the daggers of other conspirators. And sometimes, when his own wild speeches had filled him with a burning elation, her father would embrace her and soberly promise her the world. She would live like gentry in a green and quiet England, when King Steam was wrecked.


pages: 410 words: 114,005

Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn From Their Mistakes--But Some Do by Matthew Syed

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Airbus A320, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, crew resource management, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, publication bias, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, US Airways Flight 1549, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War

But there is a problem with the linear model: in most areas of human development, it severely underestimates the role of bottom-up testing and learning of the kind adopted by the Unilever biologists. In his book The Economic Laws of Scientific Research, Terence Kealey, a practicing scientist, debunks the conventional narrative surrounding the Industrial Revolution: In 1733, John Kay invented the flying shuttle, which mechanized weaving, and in 1770 James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny, which as its name implies, mechanized spinning. These major developments in textile technology, as well as those of Wyatt and Paul (spinning frame, 1758), Arkwright (water frame, 1769), presaged the Industrial Revolution, yet they owed nothing to science; they were empirical developments based on the trial, error and experimentation of skilled craftsmen who were trying to improve the productivity, and so the profits, of their factories.5 Note the final sentence: these world-changing machines were developed, like Unilever’s nozzle, through trial and error.


pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, BRICs, British Empire, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, endogenous growth, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income per capita, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Economic Geography, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, V2 rocket, very high income, working poor, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

The old Soviet Union was admired even by many economists — an instance of a “cultural contradiction of capitalism,” in which ideas permitted by the successes of innovation rise up to kill the innovation. We should resist it. 338 Chapter 32: It was Not Allocation, but Language The main economic puzzle with the explanations of the Age of Innovation proposed so far is that they assume that, until 1750 and the wave of gadgets sweeping over England, opportunities for profit were simply ignored. As I’ve said now repeatedly, that’s not economically reasonable. If the spinning jenny was such a swell idea in 1764 C.E., why was it not in 1264, or 264, or for that matter in 1264 B.C.E.? If factories extracted surplus value in 1848, why not in 1148? Thus the economic puzzle of the Industrial Revolution. The other, historical puzzle, as I’ve also noted repeatedly, is that many of the so-called preconditions (high savings rates, lots of international trade, private property, science) happened long before, and in other places than northwestern Europe.


pages: 456 words: 123,534

The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris

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air freight, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, clean water, colonial exploitation, computer age, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, lone genius, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, refrigerator car, Robert Gordon, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

They had much more privacy at the mill than on the farm, and compared to mill work, farmwork was dirty, brutally hard, and often dangerous. Farm life could also be isolating, and the girls seem to have taken great delight in meeting and living with so many girls of their own age. It’s no surprise that most of them seem to have remembered the mills with fondness. The first Waltham mill started operations in February 1815 with twenty-three yarn-making machines—carders, rovers, and spinning jennies of various kinds—and twenty-one looms, seven wide and fourteen narrow ones. The initial machinery was rapidly added to, replaced, and rebuilt, as operations expanded and Moody piled on his process improvements. One of Nathan Appleton’s firms, a wholesale distributorship, took care of the marketing at a modest 1 percent of sales. It was hardly an auspicious time for a textile venture. If 1812 had been a bad time to embark on a new venture, 1815 may have been the worst possible time to open a new mill.


pages: 859 words: 204,092

When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Rise of the Middle Kingdom by Martin Jacques

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Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, credit crunch, Dava Sobel, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, illegal immigration, income per capita, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, one-China policy, open economy, Pearl River Delta, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, spinning jenny, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

Nor did Western Europe enjoy a decisive advantage over China and Japan before 1800 in terms of capital stock or economic institutions, with plenty of Chinese companies being organized along joint-stock lines. Even in technology, there appears to have been little to choose between Europe and China, and in some fields, like irrigation, textile weaving and dyeing, medicine and porcelain manufacture, the Europeans were behind. China had long used textile machines that differed in only one key detail from the spinning jenny and the flying shuttle which were to power Britain’s textile-led Industrial Revolution. China had long been familiar with the steam engine and had developed various versions of it; compared with James Watt’s subsequent invention, the piston needed to turn the wheel rather than the other way round.6 What is certainly true, however, is that once Britain embarked on its Industrial Revolution, investment in capital- and energy-intensive processes rapidly raised productivity levels and created a virtuous circle of technology, innovation and growth that was able to draw on an ever-growing body of science in which Britain enjoyed a significant lead over China.7 For China, in contrast, its ‘industrious revolution’ did not prove the prelude to an industrial revolution.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The urban fabric of modern Hong Kong was knit following the end of China’s civil war in 1949, which sent two million refugees streaming across its border with little more than the shirts on their backs— appropriate, considering Shanghai’s fleeing capitalists underwrote its first textile factories. Textiles are the bottom rung of industrial economies. Britain’s woolen mills were the first to be mechanized in the eighteenth century by the flying shuttle and spinning jenny, and the first to be copied on cut-rate American looms. Hong Kong followed in their foot-steps until Deng’s Reform and Opening in 1978, when its reservoir of cheap labor was undercut by the bottomless one pooling in Shenzhen. The Delta was built with Hong Kong’s jobs and Hong Kong’s dollars. By the early 1990s, the territory’s budding industrialists had spent $40 billion in China, two-thirds of its total foreign investment.


pages: 651 words: 180,162

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, hygiene hypothesis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, money market fund, moral hazard, mouse model, Myron Scholes, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law

Kealey presents a convincing—very convincing—argument that the steam engine emerged from preexisting technology and was created by uneducated, often isolated men who applied practical common sense and intuition to address the mechanical problems that beset them, and whose solutions would yield obvious economic reward. Now, second, consider textile technologies. Again, the main technologies that led to the jump into the modern world owe, according to Kealey, nothing to science. “In 1733,” he writes, “John Kay invented the flying shuttle, which mechanized weaving, and in 1770 James Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny, which as its name implies, mechanized spinning. These major developments in textile technology, as well as those of Wyatt and Paul (spinning frame, 1758), Arkwright (water frame, 1769), presaged the Industrial Revolution, yet they owed nothing to science; they were empirical developments based on the trial, error, and experimentation of skilled craftsmen who were trying to improve the productivity, and so the profits, of their factories.”


pages: 843 words: 223,858

The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

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Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

Since our experience of the new is shaped by our recent past, I think the answers to these basic questions could be helped by a brief reminder of the historical record of the industrial revolution, still present in our institutions, and therefore in our mind-set. Lessons from the Industrial Revolution Historians have shown that there were at least two industrial revolutions: the first started in the last third of the eighteenth century, characterized by new technologies such as the steam engine, the spinning jenny, the Cort’s process in metallurgy, and, more broadly, by the replacement of hand-tools by machines; the second one, about 100 years later, featured the development of electricity, the internal combustion engine, science-based chemicals, efficient steel casting, and the beginning of communication technologies, with the diffusion of the telegraph and the invention of the telephone. Between the two there are fundamental continuities, as well as some critical differences, the main one being the decisive importance of scientific knowledge in sustaining and guiding technological development after 1850.22 It is precisely because of their differences that features common to both may offer precious insights in understanding the logic of technological revolutions.


pages: 1,197 words: 304,245

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Commentariolus, commoditize, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge economy, lone genius, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Philip Mirowski, placebo effect, QWERTY keyboard, Republic of Letters, spice trade, spinning jenny, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Friedrich von Knauss (1724–89) invented a mechanical hand that wrote on a piece of paper just like a living hand; he also constructed the first typewriter.38 The Industrial Revolution would depend on the skills of such men, skills that would have been familiar to the craftsmen who built the first Strasbourg Cathedral clock. The Scientific Revolution started as a revolution of the mathematicians; it would eventually turn into a revolution of the mechanics. There is a direct line of descent from the Strasbourg clock to the spinning jenny. This brings us back to the problem with which we began. The Strasbourg clock was built in the middle of the fourteenth century – but the mechanical philosophy was invented three centuries later. Machines did not change much in the meantime, but philosophers did. Once Lucretius was available (he was rediscovered in 1417), his concept of the machina mundi could be turned into a quite new idea, the idea of a clockwork universe.