Humans invented it—and not that long ago.
Why might people in the past have been hesitant to embrace the idea of progress? The main argument against it was that it implies a disrespect of previous generations. As the historian Carl Becker noted in a classic work written in the early 1930s, “a Philosopher could not grasp the modern idea of progress … until he was willing to abandon ancestor worship, until he analyzed away his inferiority complex toward the past, and realized that his own generation was superior to any yet known.”
Progress, as was realized early on, inevitably entails risks and costs. But the alternative, then as now, is always worse.
Source: Joel Mokyr: Progress Isn’t Natural – The Atlantic
Maj. John Spencer argues that the miles of concrete walls that lined streets and surrounded bases in Baghdad demonstrate that the most effective weapon in an urban counterinsurgency is concrete.
Source: The Most Effective Weapon on the Modern Battlefield is Concrete – Modern War Institute
“Normal,” as a concept, matters. The old adage that it is just the setting on a dryer is not just wrong but misleading. When something is abnormal it is important to understand why.
Source: This Is Not Normal | Joshua Foust
Modern slot machines develop an unbreakable hold on many players—some of whom wind up losing their jobs, their families, and even, as in the case of Scott Stevens, their lives.
Even by the estimates of the National Center for Responsible Gaming, which was founded by industry members, 1.1 to 1.6 percent of the adult population in the United States—approximately 3 million to 4 million Americans—has a gambling disorder. That is more than the number of women living in the U.S. with a history of breast cancer. The center estimates that another 2 to 3 percent of adults, or an additional 5 million to 8 million Americans, meets some of the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria for addiction but have not yet progressed to the pathological, or disordered, stage.
Source: How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts – The Atlantic
Take a look at her tips for capturing your congressman or congresswoman’s attention, which also includes what doesn’t work.
I worked for Congress for 6 years, and here’s what I learned about how they listen to constituents.
— Emily Ellsworth (@editoremilye) November 12, 2016
Source: Emily Ellsworth Explains How to Get Congress To Listen