Here are just some of the many other ways that my life — that of an ordinary middle-class American of the early 21st century — differs from the lives of ordinary people prior to the Industrial Revolution.
• Assuming I don’t start playing ice hockey, I’ll keep all of my real teeth for 80 or 90 years.
• I’ve never been at any real risk of suffering the loss of a child.
• I can listen to many people perform beautiful music as I sit alone in my living room or drive alone along a lonely road. And if I grow tired of listening, say, to the Vienna Philharmonic perform Beethoven symphonies, I can summon immediately John, Paul, George and Ringo to entertain me with songs about a boy wanting to hold a girl’s hand or about strawberry fields.
Even if I were to die today, my life would count as one of the richest and fullest in all humanity.
Over at A Force for Good, the insightful young economist Jon Murphy reflects on businessman Dan Price’s recent attempt (using his own money) to pay his workers wages above the value of those workers’ productivity .