Is it really true that the assembly line made us all a lot richer? The conventional wisdom is that a lot of people became poorer, especially in the short term (because trades/artisan jobs went away). Why shouldn't we expect the same thing from AI?
Edit: I bring this up because I think most people are concerned about the potential for a huge spike in inequality/unemployment.
Alternate idea: "loan" the books by asking people to pass them on to someone else when they are done reading them (e.g. to a friend, to a Little Free Library, etc.)
"The Bobiverse" series is lighthearted and generally techno-optimistic, but does portray this in a way that seems accurate to me.
I absolutely misread that same Wikipedia article. My bad.
As for the annuities, while they could have been sold, some may have still been held by the decedents of the slave holders.
Slave owners were also compensated in the USA. There were other reasons (cultural, political, economic) that legalized slavery lasted longer in the USA than it did in Britain.
Additionally, the UK didn't borrow from random people - they allowed slave owners to convert the payments into annuities. The UK could have decided to stop paying these annuities at any point.
I just want to shout out and say that, although my only interaction with the series has been through reading the posts, it has had a big impact for me and my workplace. Several coworkers and I now regularly use Excalidraw and Guesstimate. This has shaved about ~1 week off of a large project. Just napkin math here but we estimate our project will save 50 lives/week with a 1 in 10 chance of success. So by those numbers I'd say you saved about 5 lives with this project. Anyway, just napkin math, but I just wanted to say thank you!