Famous Industrial Revolution Quotes

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You could become famous just for being, well, famous.
Terry Pratchett (Moving Pictures (Discworld, #10; Industrial Revolution, #1))
Similar ecological disasters occurred on almost every one of the thousands of islands that pepper the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Archaeologists have discovered on even the tiniest islands evidence of the existence of birds, insects and snails that lived there for countless generations, only to vanish when the first human farmers arrived. None but a few extremely remote islands escaped man’s notice until the modern age, and these islands kept their fauna intact. The Galapagos Islands, to give one famous example, remained uninhabited by humans until the nineteenth century, thus preserving their unique menagerie, including their giant tortoises, which, like the ancient diprotodons, show no fear of humans. The First Wave Extinction, which accompanied the spread of the foragers, was followed by the Second Wave Extinction, which accompanied the spread of the farmers, and gives us an important perspective on the Third Wave Extinction, which industrial activity is causing today. Don’t believe tree-huggers who claim that our ancestors lived in harmony with nature. Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to their extinctions. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology. Perhaps if more people were aware of the First Wave and Second Wave extinctions, they’d be less nonchalant about the Third Wave they are part of. If we knew how many species we’ve already eradicated, we might be more motivated to protect those that still survive. This is especially relevant to the large animals of the oceans.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Paint in several colors was squeezed out of tubes and mixed and applied to woven fabric stretched on a wooden frame so artfully we say we see a woman hanging out a sheet rather than oil on canvas. Ana Teresa Fernandez’s image on that canvas is six feet tall, five feet wide, the figure almost life-size. Though it is untitled, the series it’s in has a title: Telaraña. Spiderweb. The spiderweb of gender and history in which the painted woman is caught; the spiderweb of her own power that she is weaving in this painting dominated by a sheet that was woven. Woven now by a machine, but before the industrial revolution by women whose spinning and weaving linked them to spiders and made spiders feminine in the old stories. In this part of the world, in the creation stories of the Hopi, Pueblo, Navajo, Choctaw, and Cherokee peoples, Spider Grandmother is the principal creator of the universe. Ancient Greek stories included an unfortunate spinning woman who was famously turned into a spider as well as the more powerful Greek fates, who spun, wove, and cut each person’s lifeline, who ensured that those lives would be linear narratives that end. Spiderwebs are images of the nonlinear, of the many directions in which something might go, the many sources for it; of the grandmothers as well as the strings of begats. There’s a German painting from the nineteenth century of women processing the flax from which linen is made. They wear wooden shoes, dark dresses, demure white caps, and stand at various distances from a wall, where the hanks of raw material are being wound up as thread. From each of them, a single thread extends across the room, as though they were spiders, as though it came right out of their bellies. Or as though they were tethered to the wall by the fine, slim threads that are invisible in other kinds of light. They are spinning, they are caught in the web. To spin the web and not be caught in it, to create the world, to create your own life, to rule your fate, to name the grandmothers as well as the fathers, to draw nets and not just straight lines, to be a maker as well as a cleaner, to be able to sing and not be silenced, to take down the veil and appear: all these are the banners on the laundry line I hang out.
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
The Sputnik moment for the Open Classroom movement came in 1983, when a blue-ribbon commission appointed by Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Education, T. H. Bell, delivered a scathing report, entitled, A Nation at Risk, whose famously ominous conclusion warned that “the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” The response this time was a fervent and growing bipartisan campaign for more accountability from schools, mostly in the form of more of those standardized tests. And by 2001, “accountability” had become a buzzword. Under President George W. Bush that year, the “No Child Left Behind” Act tied federal funding to students’ performance on tests. Eight years later, President Barack Obama’s “Race to the Top” program sought similar results, although this time using carrots instead of sticks. However the federal policy was constructed, the message was becoming clear: for schools to survive, their students would have to score high on mandated tests. Teachers consequently understood that to preserve their own jobs, they’d have to spend more time and energy on memorization and drills. The classrooms of the so-called Third Industrial Revolution began to look ever more like the dreary common schools of the turn of the twentieth century, and the spirit of Emile retreated once again.
Tom Little (Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools)
the device had the property of transresistance and should have a name similar to devices such as the thermistor and varistor, Pierce proposed transistor. Exclaimed Brattain, “That’s it!” The naming process still had to go through a formal poll of all the other engineers, but transistor easily won the election over five other options.35 On June 30, 1948, the press gathered in the auditorium of Bell Labs’ old building on West Street in Manhattan. The event featured Shockley, Bardeen, and Brattain as a group, and it was moderated by the director of research, Ralph Bown, dressed in a somber suit and colorful bow tie. He emphasized that the invention sprang from a combination of collaborative teamwork and individual brilliance: “Scientific research is coming more and more to be recognized as a group or teamwork job. . . . What we have for you today represents a fine example of teamwork, of brilliant individual contributions, and of the value of basic research in an industrial framework.”36 That precisely described the mix that had become the formula for innovation in the digital age. The New York Times buried the story on page 46 as the last item in its “News of Radio” column, after a note about an upcoming broadcast of an organ concert. But Time made it the lead story of its science section, with the headline “Little Brain Cell.” Bell Labs enforced the rule that Shockley be in every publicity photo along with Bardeen and Brattain. The most famous one shows the three of them in Brattain’s lab. Just as it was about to be taken, Shockley sat down in Brattain’s chair, as if it were his desk and microscope, and became the focal point of the photo. Years later Bardeen would describe Brattain’s lingering dismay and his resentment of Shockley: “Boy, Walter hates this picture. . . . That’s Walter’s equipment and our experiment,
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
Hans Rosling was a world health economist and an indefatigable campaigner for a deeper understanding of the world’s state of development. He is famous for his TED talks and the Gapminder web site. He classifies the wealthiness of the world’s population into four levels: Barefoot. Unable even to afford shoes, they must walk everywhere they go. Income $1 per day. One billion people are at Level 1. Bicycle (and shoes). The $4 per day they make doesn’t sound like much to you and me but it is a huge step up from Level 1. There are three billion people at level 2. The two billion people at Level 3 make $16 a day; a motorbike is within their reach. At $64 per day, the one billion people at Level 4 own a car. (Numbers are rounded for simplicity.) There are of course parallel improvements along other axes as well, including Rosling’s famous washing machine, standard of housing, diet, and infant mortality rates. But we can use transportation as an example, given our overall subject. The miracle of the Industrial Revolution is now easily stated: In 1800, 85% of the world’s population was at Level 1. Today, only 9% is. Over the past half century, the bulk of humanity moved up out of Level 1 to erase the rich-poor gap and make the world wealth distribution roughly bell-shaped. The average American moved from Level 2 in 1800, to level 3 in 1900, to Level 4 in 2000.
J. Storrs Hall (Where Is My Flying Car?: A Memoir of Future Past)
The eighteenth century is famously the age of wigs and salons, of wits and philosophes, of experimental science and the first turning of the wheels of the Industrial Revolution—and the transatlantic slave trade. In England, the era dubbed itself the Augustan Age. On the other side of Europe, Immanuel Kant coined another term: the Age of Enlightenment. They might just as well have called it the Age of Locke. No thinker since Socrates dominated the minds of his immediate successors as John Locke did. His ideas were the flammable fuel of the Enlightenment, and sent it soaring to new intellectual heights.
Arthur Herman (The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization)
Aren’t fears of disappearing jobs something that people claim periodically, like with both the agricultural and industrial revolution, and it’s always wrong?” It’s true that agriculture went from 40 percent of the workforce in 1900 to 2 percent in 2017 and we nonetheless managed to both grow more food and create many wondrous new jobs during that time. It’s also true that service-sector jobs multiplied in many unforeseen ways and absorbed most of the workforce after the Industrial Revolution. People sounded the alarm of automation destroying jobs in the 19th century—the Luddites destroying textile mills in England being the most famous—as well as in the 1920s and the 1960s, and they’ve always been wildly off the mark. Betting against new jobs has been completely ill-founded at every point in the past. So why is this time different? Essentially, the technology in question is more diverse and being implemented more broadly over a larger number of economic sectors at a faster pace than during any previous time. The advent of big farms, tractors, factories, assembly lines, and personal computers, while each a very big deal for the labor market, were orders of magnitude less revolutionary than advancements like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving vehicles, advanced robotics, smartphones, drones, 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of things, genomics, digital currencies, and nanotechnology. These changes affect a multitude of industries that each employ millions of people. The speed, breadth, impact, and nature of the changes are considerably more dramatic than anything that has come before.
Andrew Yang (The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future)
The importance of capital in the early Industrial Revolution was so great and so obvious everywhere that it gave rise to several new social and economic theories, of which the most famous is Marxism. It also gave rise to the term ‘capitalism’, and this was by no means so acceptable a development. As
Hugh Brogan (The Penguin History of the USA)
There was support for Immelt’s foray into software in the traditionally gritty industrial world. Marc Andreessen famously wrote in 2011 that “software is eating the world,” meaning that it was transforming and disrupting businesses and sectors throughout the economy. But the widespread innovation, he noted, wouldn’t be as destructive for certain companies. “In some industries, particularly those with a heavy real-world component such as oil and gas, the software revolution is primarily an opportunity for incumbents,” he wrote. “Over the next 10 years, the battles between incumbents and software-powered insurgents will be epic.” GE
Thomas Gryta (Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric)