Thursday, September 06, 2007

More at your service

After 10,000 years, farming is not the world's leading industry anymore, surpassed recently by "services," according to Peter Magnusson, reading from a recent world labor report:
In the west we're accustomed to the farming sector being 4-6% or so, but that certaintly not true in most of the world. You might think the industrial revolution was a long time ago, but the reality is that more people have continued to work in farming. Until sometime in these past few years that is.
And thus passes a tremendous milestone in the history of our species.
This observation also shows how various disciplinary lenses lead to differing interpretations of the same data and news. As Magnusson points out, the business and economics writers focused on worker productivity and economic growth and missed the really big picture, which Magnusson and John Hawks, who writes a good anthropology blog, seized on.
The post's comments are worth checking out, too. 
Hat tip: John Hawks, who first excerpted the same interesting passage.