I recommend the Jerry Seinfeld documentary “The Comedian” for explaining the hard work of comedy. It is great because consumers of comedy (and movies) don’t realize the complex distillation, the months of reworking and practice, that goes into each minute of stand-up comedy.

And every other industry is about the same. Consumers benefit from this distillation combined with division of labor, and each product and service around us embodies hundreds or thousands of hours of design and development work (work that has value only if consumers approve).

Each good and service tends to require a much smaller slice of manufacturing labor. So once Seinfeld finishes thousands of hours and months of development on his stand-up routine, millions can enjoy the routine on cable or TV, and similarly once the thousands of hours of design and development work are finished and tested for a MacBook or iPod, millions of identical copies can be manufactured with very little human labor expended per unit.

Technology brings great progress for computers as well as comedy.


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