What an obscure factory in the English Midlands tells you about the way the world works
Major points taken of course, but fountain pens were later. When I started primary school we still had ink wells in our desks (and inky fingers; smile).
'Globalisation' was the 'next big thing' to add to 'economies of scale'. and fossil fuel energy still cheap enough to scale-up? China electrified on vast domestic coal expansion (a one off). And the digital world enabled vast complexity.
What is the 'next big thing' and where is the cheap (and 'energy cheap') fuel to come from? And materials?
PS liked your film about British sewage ... hope 'we' can afford it ... lots of issues ... toxics as well as ordinary NPK flushing through the system ...
This reminds me of the realisation back in the early 2010s that every iPhone shipped from Foxconn was probably a net import into China on a passthrough basis, once you reckoned up the processor fabbed by Samsung or TSMC in Taiwan or Austin, TX, the modem from Qualcomm, the Bluetooth and WiFi radios (from CSR to begin with), the touchscreen from Corning, plus the use of the Apple-specific machine tools and a bunch of intangible contributions.
Indeed difficult, but carbon capture is a form of significant energy consumption. Meanwhile all our food for example gets delivered in diesel trucks on concrete and tarmac roads (maintained) ,while there is huge (fossil-fuelled) investment needed in innovation let alone actual new infrastructure. We ride on the back of legacy structures and prior investment? The going was easy!
I'd be far more comfortable with this work/world view if I felt Adam Smiths invisible hand was controlling the course of events more than the steel gauntleted bludgeon holding hands of (We're from and we're here to help) governments.
Not unexpected to anyone who ever read "I pencil." https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil/