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Before the Industrial Revolution all work was done by hand, and now it is mainly done by machines. Also when the industrial revolution came, the style of livinng for everyone changed creating other classes other than 'Rich' and 'Poor' hence the 'Middle class' which the majority of the English and American population is.
As Jared Diamond explains in his book, "Guns, Germs and Steel", the Industrial Revolution placed the world on the fast track to the most complex society ever imagined. Look at Apple for example, they are creating a newer and more advanced I-Pad every 6-8 months. That alone has changed the overall "thinking" of societies members, in that no one believes just one technological advancement will ever be good enough.
The Industrial Revolution, which begain in England in the middle 1700's, and spread across the globe, led to every social, political, economic and psychological change made. Man kind can not just stop and enjoy, rather we must create, improve and make money.
The Industrial Revolution began by aiding man in its day to day survival, and has led us to being so dependent upon the things we have revolutionized that we are less capable of surviving without it than the advantage it gave us when we first invented.
This is what Diamond discusses, in that the people of New Guinea are more capable, "smarter", than those of us in the western civilized world because they were not consumed by the Industrial Age.
It has changed the world, but at what point will we be satisfied with good enough.
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