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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Success and Leadership - Science Quantifies Progress In A Materialistic World

Banking and FinanceSuccess and Leadership

Science Quantifies Progress In A Materialistic World

Progress can be defined in many ways. First of all, one has to define who or what it regards. In addition, consider that progress, improvement, and evolution, for example, are three different things, so one has to be specific if one wants to talk about progress specifically. Progress can be financial, cultural, and so on, and it is a real challenge to decide which we are going to talk about. However, financial progress is the only one that can be quantified simply and mathematically, allowing us to talk in numbers. It is exciting to see how this phenomenon can be calculated. Today, we will share some thoughts about how progress is conceived and which parameters had to be taken into consideration to quantify it.

Defining progress as accurately as possible
The term is often used to describe the progress of a population, a country, or a certain place on earth throughout the years. Some have dared to claim that they can count it in numbers and give us a precise number that tells us how much progress has been made every x years. The idea is that if there is one thing that matters a lot and that we can measure accurately, this is energy. The energy we need to survive and to produce is specific. The radical concept came after the invention of electricity, which made the life of thousands of people easier since they had access to light during the night hours. That practically meant that they could be productive during the night as well. The hours one could work could be extended.

Combining salaries and time
William Nordhaus, in 1994 used lamps to quantify human progress. To evaluate the materialistic progress through time, we can compare the salaries of each historical period with the proper adjustments based on each period’s inflation. However, this method does not allow us to include other parameters in our calculations. For example, as society has evolved, luxurious technological discoveries have transformed human life. Today everyone can buy products that save time, like cleaning machines and dryers, at very low prices.
Another way to approach this problem is by using the example of lamps. This is to see how much you would have to pay to have the same light in two different periods. Nordhaus’s genius comes from how he decided to establish the question. His question was: ”How many hours does someone have to work to be able to pay for electricity in order to have the lamp on for one hour during the night.”

Talking numbers
In Babylon, in 1700 BC, a person would have to work for 50 hours to pay to use a lantern for one hour. Almost 3500 years later, in 1800, burning a candle for one hour was translated into 6 hours of work. Today, following the same concept, one will only have to work half a second to buy electricity to have light for one hour! This is progress of 50 million percent, right 50.000.000%! If this is not impressive, then what is? We could say it is hard even to realize.

Free time and progress as the ultimate bond
The fact that we have to work less to produce more is important for one single reason. It allows us to have free time in order to be creative. This is why measuring progress is so concentrated on time. The idea is ”how much time will we need to spend to do that?” Because the more we save time to produce stuff to secure our survival, the more time we have to dedicate to ourselves. The concept of free time allows us to be creative; if you think about it, humans are the only animals that have managed to break free from the chains of survival. Only in a few cases will you see other animals having the luxury of free time. They have the luxury to rest but not the luxury to become creative. It is only pets that you can see them playing freely in the garden. This is because their owners have cared for their food. Otherwise, they would have to be somewhere out to find their food on their own.

 

Have you read?
Why Employers Should Grant More Flexibility to Increase Quality of Work
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How your money story impacts the way you treat your finances by Clare Wood.
The Human Factor: The Post Covid Era of Leadership & Employee Loyalty by Deepak Ohri.
THE ROLE OF MINDFULNESS AND HOW IT PREVENTS BURNOUT by Melo Calarco.


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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Success and Leadership - Science Quantifies Progress In A Materialistic World
Anna Siampani
Anna Siampani, Lifestyle Editorial Director at the CEOWORLD magazine, working with reporters covering the luxury travel, high-end fashion, hospitality, and lifestyle industries. As lifestyle editorial director, Anna oversees CEOWORLD magazine's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. You can reach Anna by mail at anna@ceoworld.biz