The Roots of Progress

Some elements of industrial literacy

Part of industrial literacy might be termed “industrial appreciation”. That is, part of it is learning to appreciate or value certain things that may otherwise be dry, abstract concepts (or even distasteful, to the romantic, anti-industrial mindset). For instance:

Without industrial literacy, hearing about “a 6% increase in battery energy density” sounds boring and technical. With it, you know that a dozen such improvements mean a doubling; that a doubling in energy density means that our machines and devices can be lighter and cheaper, or that their charge can last longer, or both; that this translates to cost, convenience, and reliability; that those things make a difference in the capabilities and freedoms we enjoy. When you make all those connections, a 6% improvement in energy density can be downright exciting.

What would you add to the above list?

Comment: LessWrong, Reddit

Get posts by email:

Become a patron

Get posts by email