The Roots of Progress


March 17, 2017

My motivation in this project is to discover the nature of human progress: to learn its history and therefore to discover its nature. By “progress”, I mean progress of all kinds: technological, scientifical, political, moral.

I began this project a few months ago thinking that I was setting out to study the history of the Industrial Revolution. But after reading A Culture of Growth, by Joel Mokyr, I became inspired to set my sights on a broader concept of human progress, and to set this as a goal for myself over the next 5–10 years.

I am interested in this because I believe that the story of human progress is the most important story in the world. I believe that understanding it is the foundation for some of the most important questions of philosophy and politics.

This is a long-term project. I don’t know exactly where it’s going to go or how I’m going to go about it. But I’m inspired to do this, and if you’re inspired too, I hope you’ll enjoy going on the journey with me.