The Roots of Progress


The Roots of Progress began in 2017 as a blog and intellectual side project by Jason Crawford. From that modest beginning it has grown into a full-fledged nonprofit dedicated to establishing a new philosophy of progress for the 21st century.

This site is for Jason’s essays on the history of technology and the philosophy of progress, and for his talks and interviews on the same.

See here for the nonprofit organization itself and its programs. In 2023 we launched the first cohort of The Roots of Progress Fellowship, featuring twenty talented up-and-coming progress writers. We are helping them grow their audience and influence and improve their writing, by providing training, coaching, and connection to a network. Through this program we are developing the talent that will power the progress movement.

We also host the Progress Forum for long-form discussion of progress studies and the philosophy of progress.


We have been funded by a variety of individuals and institutions. We would like to give special thanks to Emergent Ventures for writing the first check to support Jason’s work, and to Patrick and John Collison for making the founding donation to the nonprofit organization.

We also have a Patreon. Thanks to our supporters at the “Edison” level and above (for May 2024):

Adam Wiggins, Andrej Karpathy, Andrew Coyle, Andrew Zey, Anu Seppala, Arno Vel, Arthur Uhimov, Axel Ericsson, Ben Springwater, Benjamin Bernard, Brad Hakes, Christopher Wallace, Coleman Foley, Daniel Horowitz, David Lang, David Samuelson, Edmund Zagorin, Edward Pierzchalski, Emerson Spartz, Eric Magro, Frederic Bastiat, Glenn Willen, Grady Simon, Greg Salmieri, Hayato Kumagai, Jared, Jason Gritman, Jeff Ridpath, Jeremy, John Beatty, John Cerasuolo, John D. Crawford, Konstantin Levinski, Leo Polovets, Luke Therien, M Co, Mark Wickens, Matheus Carvalho, Matt Bateman, Matt Monihan, Matthew Zuck, Michael McCormick, Michael Williams, Randal Vegter, Scott Alexander, Sean Linehan, Sean Saito, Steve Newman, streydand, Susan Crawford, Tim Disney, Tisza Gergő, Tom Walczak, Trevor Blackwell, Trey Knighton, Tristan Homsi, Vignan Velivela, Yedidya Feldblum, Zachary Pinto.

You can add your name to the list via PayPal or on Patreon:

Become a patron

We are a 501(c)(3) public educational charity; in the US, donations to such organizations are tax-deductible.

Our EIN: 86-3502300

Amazon affiliate disclosure

As an Amazon Associate, I earn commissions from some purchases made through Amazon links on this site.


Questions or feedback? Email Jason:

Mailing address:

9450 SW Gemini Dr
PMB 74328
Beaverton, OR 97008-7105