How much does this pattern I see correlate, or am I just looking for patterns? If they correlate, is there causation?
I see many industries driving growth to the point of defining historical eras as based in craving, even addiction. Look at some of the biggest:
- Refined Sugar, which drove the growth of plantations in the Caribbean.
- Coffee, likewise
- Fashion, likewise, for indigo and cotton
- Drugs, likewise for coca, poppy, ephedra plants
- Social media
Meanwhile, the necessities of life, like fruit, vegetables, and shelter seem to lead to large markets, but not especially profitable or growing.
Energy seems to fit the pattern, historically through fossil fuels and slavery. Sex, probably too. Finance seems big and not itself addictive, but I think it supports the others.
Are there big, profitable fields that grew enough to define a historical era that don’t involve craving and addiction?
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