Humans have an obvious impact on the things they create. In Where are we Heading?, the author postulates that the things created also impact humans—and not always in a positive way.
The author uses the creation of the spinning wheel and its subsequent industrial machine replacement to illustrate the impact of things on humanity. The spinning wheel allowed the poor to create not only clothes for their families but also items to sell to fund other basic necessities. Once industrial machines appeared, individuals couldn’t compete with their speed or consistent quality. This forced many people to move to cities and deplorable working conditions. Eventually, labor unions and environmental laws forced the factories to move to more business friendly, and poorer, countries overseas. The book also looks at more modern creations like gasoline and electric cars.
There is much to be learned within this book and definitely much to think about. Be warned, it reads like a textbook, which I’m sure it is destined to be. The author has never met a term that he hasn’t stopped to define—even relatively common ones such as “thing”. If you are fine with that, I think you will enjoy Where are we Heading? but for most readers, I will give it 3 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, Yale University Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.