Abraham Al-Janabi

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Industrial literacy

While this was an informative post, I do not think that most people are totally unaware of the main thrust of the argument here. Most people understand we need electricity to live. I think the issue here is that there is not a recognition of the limitations and cons of industrial society. And they are many. While undoubtedly industrial civilization has produced great material benefit, it is debatable whether human beings are actually happier today than they were a century or a millennium ago. 

Let's take one point, for example. Industrial civilization has produced the miracle of modern medicine which has saved countless children's lives, but it's also resulted in the abortion of something on the order of 73 million fetuses per year. Compare that to the 140 million that are born worldwide ever year, and you're looking at a 1/3rd of children being culled. Before, nature would do it - now we use poison or insert a tube. Has "progress" really been made? You might say yes because now we get to choose which children live and which children die - it's convenient and does not hurt our feelings as much; whereas before we were at the mercy of God. A child you very much loved and grew attached to could be snatched from you at any time. Now, we kill them before we form attachment bonds. You might call that progress, but someone else might call that sick. Can you really say he's wrong? Furthermore, what kind of a world is that child now born into? A world of broken families and being raised by TV, entertainment and strangers. Before the industrial revolution, that child would be born into a whole tribe that cared about his wellbeing. Has anything in the industrial world replaced love of one's clansmen? I doubt it. And I doubt we fully appreciate the implications this has on one's well-being and mental health. These are just a few examples, and yes, someone can give a counterpoint to each one of these - but my point is that the issue is not clear cut and the tradeoffs and sometimes much greater than we might think.

The Best Textbooks on Every Subject

Is this list still being updated? Does anyone have any recommendations for linguistics, specifically the study of how languages change over time?