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Introducing Our Upcoming Book, Heroes of Progress

Blog Post | Science & Education

Introducing Our Upcoming Book, Heroes of Progress

Over the past two centuries, humanity has become massively more prosperous, better educated, healthier, and more peaceful.

The underlying cause of this progress is innovation. Human innovation―whether it be new ideas, inventions, or systems―is the primary way people create wealth and escape poverty.

Our upcoming book, Heroes of Progress: 65 People Who Changed the World, explores the lives of the most important innovators who have ever lived, from agronomists who saved billions from starvation and intellectuals who changed public policy for the better, to businesspeople whose innovations helped millions rise from poverty.

If it weren’t for the heroes profiled in this book, we’d all be far poorer, sicker, hungrier, and less free―if we were fortunate enough to be alive at all.

Considering their impact on humanity, perhaps it’s time to learn their story?

Heroes of Progress book advertised on Amazon for pre-order

Heroes of Progress Book Forum

On March 21st, the author of Heroes of Progress, Alexander Hammond, will present the book live at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. He will be joined by Marian Tupy, the editor of Human Progress, and Clay Routledge, the Archbridge Institute’s Vice President of Research, who will speak on the individual’s role in advancing human progress and the need for a cultural progress movement.

Learn more about the event here.

Praise for Heroes of Progress

Making an inspiring case for progress at this time of skepticism and historical ingratitude is no easy feat. Yet, by relentlessly outlining the extraordinary ability of individuals to shape our world for the better, Alexander Hammond does just that.

Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Innovation is a team sport achieved by people working together, using precious freedoms to change the world, so it’s sometimes invidious to single out one person for credit. But once an idea is ripe for plucking, the right person at the right time can seize it and save a million lives or open a million possibilities. Each of these 65 people did that, and their stories are both thrilling and beautiful.

Matt Ridley, author of How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom

The figures in this book are the overlooked and often unknown figures who have transformed the lives of ordinary people, for the better… This book is a correction to widespread pessimism and is both informative and inspirational.

Dr. Stephen Davies, author of The Wealth Explosion: The Nature and Origins of Modernity

Superman and the Avengers are all very well, of course, but the real superheroes are thinkers, scientists, and innovators of flesh and blood who saved us from a life that used to be poor, nasty, brutish, and short. Alexander Hammond tells their inspiring stories in this magnificent book that will leave you grateful to be living in the world these men and women created.

— Johan Norberg, author of Open: The Story of Human Progress

The 65 innovators honored here made us happier, healthier, and longer-lived. Indeed, it is thanks to some of them that we are here at all. Their story is the story of how the human race acquired powers once attributed to gods and sorcerers―the story of how we overcame hunger, disease, ignorance, and squalor. I defy anyone to read this book and not feel better afterwards.

Lord Daniel Hannan, president of the Institute for Free Trade

The 65 fascinating stories in Heroes of Progress are
testaments to the ingenuity of humankind in delivering a richer,
healthier, and hopefully freer world. Alexander C. R. Hammond
provides an inspirational reminder that when individuals are
free to speak, think, innovate, and engage in open markets, the
heroic potential of humanity knows no bounds.

Lord Syed Kamall, Professor of politics and international relations, St. Mary’s University

In Heroes of Progress, Alexander Hammond reminds us that human minds are the fundamental driver of every discovery, invention, and innovation that has improved our lives. By telling the stories of pioneering men and women who have advanced civilization, this book not only honors past heroes of progress, but also provides inspiration for the next generation to use their uniquely human imaginative and enterprising capacities to build a better future.

— Clay Routledge, Vice President of Research and Director of the Human Flourishing Lab at the Archbridge Institute

Blog Post | Cost of Material Goods

The Good Old Days Were Really Expensive

Most things are more abundant and affordable today.

If you had a dime in 1900, you could buy a 1-ounce Hershey chocolate bar and a 6.5-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola. It sounds like those were happy days indeed. That is until you look at wages, which were around 14 cents an hour for blue-collar workers.

At Walmart today, a 1.55-ounce Hershey bar costs $1.17 and a 1.25-liter bottle (42.27 ounces) of Coke is $1.52. Blue-collar workers earn closer to $36.15 an hour in compensation.

We buy things with money but pay for them with our time. Money prices are expressed in dollars and cents, while time prices are expressed in hours and minutes. A time price is simply the money price divided by hourly income.

In 1900, it took more than 21.4 minutes to earn an ounce of chocolate and 3.3 minutes for an ounce of Coca-Cola. By 2023, the chocolate time price had fallen to 1.25 minutes, and sodas were down to 0.06 minutes (3.58 seconds).

Chocolate cost fell 94.2 percent while cola cost fell 98.2 percent. For the time required to earn 1 ounce of chocolate in 1900, you get 17.1 ounces today, and for the time required to earn 1 ounce of Coca-Cola in 1900, you get 55.2 ounces today. Chocolate is 1,611 percent more abundant while cola is 5,425 percent more abundant.

Things can get more expensive and more affordable at the same time. This is why you must always compare prices to wages to see the true price, which is how much time things cost you.

This article was published at Gale Winds on 3/19/2024.

Castanet | Food Production

Company Gets Green Light for GMO Non-browning Apple

“An Okanagan-based company is thrilled that their latest trademarked non-browning apple has been green-lit for sale on Canadian shelves, after a history of public nerves surrounding genetically modified crops.

Okanagan Specialty Fruits is the developer and grower behind ‘Arctic apple’ varieties, sold pre-sliced or diced with the promise of staying fresh and avoiding browning for up to 28 days thanks to bioengineering tweaks to the apples’ genetic codes.”

From Castanet.

Reuters | Food Production

Southern Brazil Reaps Record Soy to Offset Center-West Crop Failure

“A record soybean harvest in Brazil’s southernmost state should offset losses in the drought-hit center west, keeping a lid on prices in the world’s largest producer and exporter and slowing the pace of sales, according to local farmers and cooperatives.

Rio Grande do Sul will produce 68% more soybeans this season than last, according to estimates from national crop agency Conab, which said Thursday the state would regain the post of Brazil’s No.2 producer after Mato Grosso. Another state crop agency Emater projects a record crop of 22.25 million metric tons, up 71.5% from a year ago.”

From Reuters.