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Monday Morning Optimism: 6/12/23
The Unabomber & The Industrial Revolution
Welcome to our Monday Morning Optimism series. To start each week, we’ll send you an economic trend/fact/idea that shows how some aspect of the economy (or world) has improved over time.
Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, died on Saturday. His manifesto begins, “The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.” I strongly disagree with neo-luddism (and also with murder, mailing people bombs, and all other forms of domestic terrorism).
Average worldwide life expectancy was just under 30 years at the end of the Industrial Revolution in 1840 but then began to increase, gradually at first, then sharply, reaching a high of 73 years in 2019 as technological progress spread across the globe.
The sudden increase in life expectancy is even more apparent when you plot it back to 1,000 BC, as Luke Muehlhauser did in his great piece How big a deal was the Industrial Revolution? The answer to that titular question is, obviously, a very big deal.
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