A conversation about the philosophy of progress with Jason Crawford, founder of The Roots of Progress

What is progress and how do we get more of it? It’s a core question here at Faster, Please! and something Jason Crawford thinks a lot about. Jason is the founder of The Roots of Progress, a nonprofit dedicated to establishing a new philosophy of progress for the 21st century. He writes about the history of technology and industry and the philosophy of progress.

In this episode of Faster, Please! — The Podcast, Jason explains how progress is about more than just economic growth, discusses where it comes from, and distinguishes progress from utopianism. Below is an edited transcript of our conversation.

James Pethokoukis: You are part of a growing intellectual movement that aims to understand two big things: why human progress happens and how to speed it up. First of all, why is this of interest to you?

Jason Crawford: Most of my career for almost 20 years was in the tech industry. I have a background in computer science. I was a software engineer, engineering manager, and tech startup co-founder. And about five-plus years ago, I got really interested in progress. It began as an intellectual hobby, and I just came from the perspective that, like, the progress in material living standards over the last couple of hundred years—I mean more than an order of magnitude improvement in industrialized countries—is basically the greatest thing ever to happen to humanity, or at least way up there. You know, in the top three. And if you care about human wellbeing and you look at this fact of history, I think you have to be a little awestruck about it. And I think you have to ask three basic questions: First, how did this happen? Second, why did it take so long to really get going? And three, how can we continue it into the future?

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Πηγή: fasterplease.substack.com

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