On the matter of technology and literacy

kviiri

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Innovations were teased in the "Everything we know so far" Reddit post (May 2021) to have both spread from outside and through internal innovation. Of course a lot has changed since but the basic gist seems to be this:
  • Technology spreads from outside AND can be researched from "Innovation points" as well
  • Innovation points are created in Universities by Academics, and can be spent on researching a particular tech
  • Literacy speeds up spread to your country
  • Low literacy can limit the amount of Innovation points one can spend but overflow Innovation points are added to inbound tech spread
So it seems to me it will work a bit like this: countries with low literacy but active academic sectors will do a little original research, but mostly focus on importing foreign innovations faster than countries without Academics. This would be the case eg. in Qing China, who have a bad literacy rate but a solid clique of academic elites. Meanwhile, countries with good literacy but few Academics would also receive foreign innovations easier but similarly produce little original research – I'd assume this is true for eg. Finland.

The real drivers of science and ideology therefore are countries that have both a high rate of literature and a healthy amount of Academics of their own, and their high rate of literature will presumably also help them learn of foreign innovations fairly quickly.
 
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mikhail321

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Innovations were teased in the "Everything we know so far" Reddit post (May 2021) to have both spread from outside and through internal innovation. Of course a lot has changed since but the basic gist seems to be this:
  • Technology spreads from outside AND can be researched from "Innovation points" as well
  • Innovation points are created in Universities by Academics, and can be spent on researching a particular tech
  • Literacy speeds up spread to your country
  • Low literacy can limit the amount of Innovation points one can spend but overflow Innovation points are added to inbound tech spread
So it seems to me it will work a bit like this: countries with low literacy but active academic sectors will do a little original research, but mostly focus on importing foreign innovations faster than countries without Academics. This would be the case eg. in Qing China, who have a bad literacy rate but a solid clique of academic elites. Meanwhile, countries with good literacy but few Academics would also receive foreign innovations easier but similarly produce little original research – I'd assume this is true for eg. Finland.

The real drivers of science and ideology therefore are countries that have both a high rate of literature and a healthy amount of Academics of their own, and their high rate of literature will presumably also help them learn of foreign innovations fairly quickly.
The system sounds good, but unfortunately ignores elites acceptance factor mentioned in the thread. Though it could be done with modifiers gained through institutions and/or IG interaction.
For me a big question is how difficult it is to get enough academics. I hope it is more complicated than just build a university and throw in some paper. From what we know, the pops eligibility for promotion is influenced by standard of living, literacy and acceptance. So a country with poor average literacy but a substantial wealthy and literate elite (like aristocrats in case of Russia, Ottomans or Japan) could have an advantage in tech race against uniformly low-literacy societies.
 
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kviiri

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For me a big question is how difficult it is to get enough academics. I hope it is more complicated than just build a university and throw in some paper. From what we know, the pops eligibility for promotion is influenced by standard of living, literacy and acceptance. So a country with poor average literacy but a substantial wealthy and literate elite (like aristocrats in case of Russia, Ottomans or Japan) could have an advantage in tech race against uniformly low-literacy societies.
True!

I would assume getting a robust population of Academics as a low-literacy country is somewhat difficult, as there will probably be a shortage of qualified pops for other jobs as well. If there's different jobs available the pops will decide based on whether your research institutes pay better than being an engineer or capitalist in the factories – of which you'll likely not have that many of either.
 
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Roye

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The system sounds good, but unfortunately ignores elites acceptance factor mentioned in the thread. Though it could be done with modifiers gained through institutions and/or IG interaction.
For me a big question is how difficult it is to get enough academics. I hope it is more complicated than just build a university and throw in some paper. From what we know, the pops eligibility for promotion is influenced by standard of living, literacy and acceptance. So a country with poor average literacy but a substantial wealthy and literate elite (like aristocrats in case of Russia, Ottomans or Japan) could have an advantage in tech race against uniformly low-literacy societies.
It's money, resources and qualified pops. Don't forget that not all pops are qualified for every job, so by putting them in the intelligentsia, you are putting them out of jobs that produce actual products. And it's not 100% that you have other qualified pops to work in the factories as mechanics and engineers if you put those pops in the intelligentsia ... They also need various items to fulfill their desires aside of whatever is consumed by the industry. So it probably ends up as a large expense of both manpower and wealth, unless they produce more than just research points and you get something you can sell?
 
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GrafKeks

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True!

I would assume getting a robust population of Academics as a low-literacy country is somewhat difficult, as there will probably be a shortage of qualified pops for other jobs as well. If there's different jobs available the pops will decide based on whether your research institutes pay better than being an engineer or capitalist in the factories – of which you'll likely not have that many of either.
I hope they change this a little bit, as higher literacy and acceptable SoL should result in some pops choosing academia over economic interests ( although this can easily be modeled via changing the gravity of academia jobs according to SoL ).
 

VineFynn

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I hope it’s a little more nuanced than that. I won’t make any hard opinions until I see it, but there were a lot of universities around the Muslim world in the 1800s, including in places like Mali and Arabia, but none of those universities produced technological advancements in this period, and definitely didn’t teach sciences anywhere on the level of European universities. They were mostly religious institutions that did teach sciences and learning, but due to the lack of the scientific method, the rate of progress was about a glacial as it was in Europe prior to the scientific method.

They were mostly there to share old knowledge, not to discover new knowledge. And to that it would be cool if they were represented ingame somehow in a way that let them help spread literacy or become institutionalized if the state wanted, but I also know a lot of people here aren’t big fans of region, culture, or country-specific mechanics, and I’m not sure how you could do it otherwise.
Those sound like they fit in under the religious schools law.
 

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Those sound like they fit in under the religious schools law.
The issue with that is that religious schools in Europe did produce scientific advancements. A wide range of universities were run by the Catholic Church, and Catholic clergy produced a lot of important scientists of the era. Madrasas did not, for the simple reason that the countries with madrasas had neither the scientific bases required to conduct experimental research, nor the interest in studying the wider learnings of the world.
 

mikhail321

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The issue with that is that religious schools in Europe did produce scientific advancements. A wide range of universities were run by the Catholic Church, and Catholic clergy produced a lot of important scientists of the era. Madrasas did not, for the simple reason that the countries with madrasas had neither the scientific bases required to conduct experimental research, nor the interest in studying the wider learnings of the world.
I think we just need to agree that the term “university” or “academy” in game denotes a scientific institution, and Islamic scholarship centers simply don’t qualify. To make it historic, the building itself should be gated behind tech that was little present outside Europe and settler countries at game start. But it would make all the non-recognized countries passive recipients of tech spread until they get it, which wouldn’t be fun for the players and so I doubt the devs will go that far.
 

Jamaican Castle

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The importance of this for Vic 3, is that technology should be something that countries, though interest groups, can try to block the spread of. Their arrival from other countries should provoke social unrest and disruption. Farm workers rioting, for example, as new machines put them out of work. Aristocrats actively trying to block the spread of industry to preserve their power bases. When it comes to tech spread, you should be essentially forcing disruption onto your population to drive long term growth.
As I understand it, these effects will mostly be tied to the implementation of technology (in production methods) rather than the technology itself. For instance, knowing how to make mechanized farms doesn't upset people, but if you actually do mechanize a ton of farms and people subsequently end up out of work (because the new production methods call for many fewer Laborers) they will be upset - and the people whose employment ends up in demand (such as Machinists) will be happy. If the Aristocrats see their standard of living stagnating while Capitalists and Officer zoom past them, they'll grow angry.

But in those cases, you'll have the option to roll out new technologies more slowly, maybe changing production methods on a few buildings at a time so that each step is less shocking to the economy, or even sit on them (not using the new production methods, gaining no benefits but no penalties) until you're in a political situation where you can afford to change them all at once.

The missing piece, to me, seems to be the ability for interest groups to demand production methods directly, rather than just demanding laws. (Or, alternatively, a whole bunch of "ban" laws that enforce particular sets of production methods.) Right now an impoverished group of, say, Rural Folk can only generically make trouble, they can't specifically demand that you set all of their farms back to non-mechanized production.
 
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mikhail321

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As I understand it, these effects will mostly be tied to the implementation of technology (in production methods) rather than the technology itself. For instance, knowing how to make mechanized farms doesn't upset people, but if you actually do mechanize a ton of farms and people subsequently end up out of work (because the new production methods call for many fewer Laborers) they will be upset - and the people whose employment ends up in demand (such as Machinists) will be happy. If the Aristocrats see their standard of living stagnating while Capitalists and Officer zoom past them, they'll grow angry.

But in those cases, you'll have the option to roll out new technologies more slowly, maybe changing production methods on a few buildings at a time so that each step is less shocking to the economy, or even sit on them (not using the new production methods, gaining no benefits but no penalties) until you're in a political situation where you can afford to change them all at once.

The missing piece, to me, seems to be the ability for interest groups to demand production methods directly, rather than just demanding laws. (Or, alternatively, a whole bunch of "ban" laws that enforce particular sets of production methods.) Right now an impoverished group of, say, Rural Folk can only generically make trouble, they can't specifically demand that you set all of their farms back to non-mechanized production.
In my view this covers only a subset of potential resistance to innovation, that is resistance to innovation that materially affects large strata of population. So you’d have luddites covered under those. But there are many innovations that do not reduce pops standard of living but still could be resisted for multiple reasons. Like generals resisting military innovation they don’t understand. Or Chinese peasants revolting against railways as they disturb ancestors’ graves. Or Russian peasants resisting the introduction of potato because they don’t trust the authorities and prefer to stick to the old ways. Or Muslims rejecting modern banking. Too many examples that don’t cause a standard of living change but get rejected anyway.
 

Froonk

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The issue with that is that religious schools in Europe did produce scientific advancements. A wide range of universities were run by the Catholic Church, and Catholic clergy produced a lot of important scientists of the era. Madrasas did not, for the simple reason that the countries with madrasas had neither the scientific bases required to conduct experimental research, nor the interest in studying the wider learnings of the world.

Madrasas since 11th century did also provide education beyond religious teaching, such as law, mathematics, medicine, geometry and natural sciences. However it was generally practical rather than theoretical which lead to training of civic personnel rather than researchers or "scientists" as if it were. Meaning madrasas were good at training bureaucrats, architects, surgeons, civil or military engineers but they were not really "universities". One of the key differences was that madrasa curriculum was static, it was the whole members of madrasa being taught by the same teachers all in same classes which lead to general practical knowledge of several topics. In this way they are more comparable to trade schools than universities. Compared to universities which had certain people teaching certain topics that can be taken. When madrasas produced what we can call a "scientist", they were polymaths rather than researchers. Madrasas were also necessarily teaching a much smaller portion of population than universities.

I would keep madrasas, universities and academies as different buildings. They were indeed different. However it is not true that they were just limited to theology. It can even highlight the difference that Muslim states at the time had functioning and literate civil service despite general low literacy overall. They also existed simultaneously in most of the Muslim world.
 
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kviiri

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Those sound like they fit in under the religious schools law.

I think schools and higher education (universities etc) are separate, and if my understanding of the new science mechanics are correct, low-literacy countries will mostly use their universities to facilitate in-bound tech spread.

EDIT: forgot to add, I think schools won't exist as structures but will instead be handled by Laws and Institutions, with their labor abstracted away into administration capacity expenditure.
 
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Froonk

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[/I]The Ottoman Empire, a ‘recognized’ power, had a life expectancy of 35 in 1930.

May I ask where are you getting this number? There wasn't an Ottoman Empire in 1930. Moreover, life expectancy in Ottoman Empire in 1830s was 26-28 while by 1870s it increased to 30 and it was just 36 in 1910 at the eve Balkan Wars and WW1 which reduced it significantly. Turkey, main state that inherited Ottoman institutions and personnel, had life expectancy of 40 at 1930 and over 45 just before breakout of WW2 which also seemingly had a negative effect on life expectancy in Turkey as well. Rest of the middle-east also seems to have followed a similar trend as Turkey with improvement towards 40 until start of WW2 then sharp decrease. So the idea that there wasn't an increase in living standards anywhere outside of Europe seems patently false.

Of course Ottoman Empire was in worse condition than Japan, which was worse than Northwestern Europe. However as stated Portugal was in a bad situation comparatively as well. So it's a matter of institutions and general development and the idea that it was static outside of Europe or Japan categorically seems wrong.

My main source is Cambridge Economic History of the Modern World and some other articles.
 
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VineFynn

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The issue with that is that religious schools in Europe did produce scientific advancements. A wide range of universities were run by the Catholic Church, and Catholic clergy produced a lot of important scientists of the era. Madrasas did not, for the simple reason that the countries with madrasas had neither the scientific bases required to conduct experimental research, nor the interest in studying the wider learnings of the world.
..but there's no issue with that. If catholic universities are better captured by universities in-game, then that's what you use to represent them. That doesn't have any bearing on whether you'd represent madrasas with the religious schools law.
 
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GDQuirm

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Madrasas since 11th century did also provide education beyond religious teaching, such as law, mathematics, medicine, geometry and natural sciences. However it was generally practical rather than theoretical which lead to training of civic personnel rather than researchers or "scientists" as if it were. Meaning madrasas were good at training bureaucrats, architects, surgeons, civil or military engineers but they were not really "universities".
This is true, which is why I said in my original comment that they did teach science and learning, and that they were mostly there to share old knowledge, not discover new knowledge. I didn’t mean to imply they only taught theology.

But it’s a good point to specify how good they were at training the civil service in particular, since that’s a feature that really helped countries which had them to maintain a functional bureaucracy, as compared to many of the countries around those areas that struggled much more with tribal governance.

I agree they should be in the game. But since even my comment just mentioning the fact people here don’t like the idea of culture/region specific mechanics got disagrees for some reason, it’s safe to say people really don’t want that. Or at least, that some people feel very strongly about it.
 
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grommile

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When madrasas produced what we can call a "scientist", they were polymaths rather than researchers.
Many of the great names of 18th century European science were both polymaths and researchers :)

The problem is that by the 19th century, science was too big to fit in a polymathic genius's head and domain-specialist researchers became the only reasonable way to drive innovation.
 
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GrafKeks

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Madrasas since 11th century did also provide education beyond religious teaching, such as law, mathematics, medicine, geometry and natural sciences. However it was generally practical rather than theoretical which lead to training of civic personnel rather than researchers or "scientists" as if it were. Meaning madrasas were good at training bureaucrats, architects, surgeons, civil or military engineers but they were not really "universities". One of the key differences was that madrasa curriculum was static, it was the whole members of madrasa being taught by the same teachers all in same classes which lead to general practical knowledge of several topics. In this way they are more comparable to trade schools than universities. Compared to universities which had certain people teaching certain topics that can be taken. When madrasas produced what we can call a "scientist", they were polymaths rather than researchers. Madrasas were also necessarily teaching a much smaller portion of population than universities.

I would keep madrasas, universities and academies as different buildings. They were indeed different. However it is not true that they were just limited to theology. It can even highlight the difference that Muslim states at the time had functioning and literate civil service despite general low literacy overall. They also existed simultaneously in most of the Muslim world.
Polymaths like John von Neumann were produced by the university system ( knowing very little in a very small array of disciplines shouldn't be considered polymaths by modern standard, and considering how empty of research and disciplines those times back then were ( just like our times will likely be compared to a hundred years in the future ) ).

Scientists, as in modern-day researchers are quite different than researchers back then. For one specialists are the keystone of modern science, as humans have limited capacities, and considering it's an economics game; the division of scientific labour. Modern day academia has the benefit of far more people, as in it's accessibility is far better, which is also an extremely important cornerstone ( "only the smartest should....." smart by what measurement, IQ? Flynn-effect, go back to class ). Giving more people access also enables universities to keep the best and send the rest into the workforce.

@grommile: John von Neumann, Gödel, Turing etc. ( I am aware that using mathematicians as polymaths is cheating, but still there used to be some, the extreme need for specialization arose like 40-50 years ago I'd say.
 
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Froonk

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Many of the great names of 18th century European science were both polymaths and researchers :)

The problem is that by the 19th century, science was too big to fit in a polymathic genius's head and domain-specialist researchers became the only reasonable way to drive innovation.

Of course, this is what I intend to get across as well but you put it more eloquently than I did. I didn't mean to say that Europe or university system didn't produce polymaths, rather that madrasas only produced polymaths and they were inadequate for training researchers and doing collaborative science as it developed in 19th century Europe, which as you said was the only reasonable way to drive innovation. At least, it was the only consistent and reliable way to drive innovation.
 
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GDQuirm

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May I ask where are you getting this number? There wasn't an Ottoman Empire in 1930. Moreover, life expectancy in Ottoman Empire in 1830s was 26-28 while by 1870s it increased to 30 and it was just 36 in 1910 at the eve Balkan Wars and WW1 which reduced it significantly. Turkey, main state that inherited Ottoman institutions and personnel, had life expectancy of 40 at 1930 and over 45 just before breakout of WW2 which also seemingly had a negative effect on life expectancy in Turkey as well. Rest of the middle-east also seems to have followed a similar trend as Turkey with improvement towards 40 until start of WW2 then sharp decrease. So the idea that there wasn't an increase in living standards anywhere outside of Europe seems patently false.

Of course Ottoman Empire was in worse condition than Japan, which was worse than Northwestern Europe. However as stated Portugal was in a bad situation comparatively as well. So it's a matter of institutions and general development and the idea that it was static outside of Europe or Japan categorically seems wrong.

My main source is Cambridge Economic History of the Modern World and some other articles.
Turkey. I mean Turkey in 1930, not the Ottomans.

I got my source from Statista, which is not exactly a rigorous academic source, but not exactly a listicle either. I haven't studied the topic of Turkey in this period much, I just stumbled on the number and slapped it in my post. Mostly, I study the history of bureaucratic institutions, which is only tangentially related, so I'll totally admit my sloppy research there.

I assume you're right that Turkey had a higher life expectancy than I quoted. But to say that it's wrong that it was static outside of Europe and Japan seems, put bluntly, wrong. Central Asia, South Asia, SEA, Oceania, Polynesia, and Subsaharan Africa saw no significant changes in lifestyle, better or worse, beyond the changes introduced by contact with or conquest by the West, excepting a few notable cases of regions that were periodically conquered by their neighbours, such as the jihads in West Africa. Slow change was the standard of the past millennia, and Europe is very much a strange exception in changing so dramatically in such a short span of time.

What's different about the Ottomans is, I think, that it's not entirely accurate to consider them outside of 'the West'. They didn't have to 'learn' of inventions like Stephenson's train or Marconi's radio, because they were in the channels of information talking about those things. They'd been a part of the cultural and mercantile exchange in Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean for centuries, and contributed a lot of their own ideas to the other countries in those areas over those centuries too. That didn't stop in the 19th century.
 
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Nibbes

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There’s going to be techs, I presume. There’s going to be idea-based techs too, like in V2, I presume (economic theories, evolution, stuff like that). So I suggest three ideas:

-Importing ideas and technologies should not only be a normal part of the game, but central to the tech system. Everybody didn’t invent the train. Britain invented the train, everybody else copied and iterated on it. Some technologies were invented in multiple places, but most were not.
-You should need a base level of good literacy to be able to import technologies and ideas. Japan had 40% in 1864, which is why, along with Rangaku (the body of imported European scientific texts studied in Japan for 200 years leading up to the 1850s), Japan was the only country outside of the Western world to dramatically improve their standard of living in this time period.
-You should need to import a range of scientific concepts before being capable of inventing new ones.

To be extra, extra clear: Japan was the only country outside of Europe with a high literacy rate by the standards of the 1860s, 1900s, or 1930s, and had continuously imported European sciences for the last 200 years. They didn’t magic into being developed because the Americans showed up and asked them to do it, or because they pressed a ‘Westernize’ button. But if there’s no ‘Westernization’, there should still need to be scientific importing and prerequisites to it that aren’t there to begin with, because it serves the same goal of making sure Ethiopia doesn’t wind up as a developed country in 1900 just because the AI happens to be moderately competent at urbanizing.

To put it bluntly, it isn’t period-accurate for the standard of living to increase outside of the West, regardless of whether a country is colonized by Europeans or not. I won’t ramble about the history, but to keep things brief, I’ll just mention some life expectancies. In 1850, Chinese life expectancy was 32 years. In 1930, it was 32 years. In 1850, Indian life expectancy was 25 years. In 1930, it was 21 years. The Ottoman Empire, a ‘recognized’ power, had a life expectancy of 35 in 1930. By contrast, almost everywhere in Europe went from life expectancies in the 30s in 1850, to 50-65 in 1930. It didn’t matter what country. Imperialists or puppet states; empires or tiny nations; landlocked, resourceless, barren mountains, or lush, fertile valleys… from Switzerland to Britain to even the conquered regions of Poland, living standards skyrocketed.

And, of course, in Japan. Where life expectancy rose to 46. Unlike in every other country outside of Europe, where it didn’t rise at all.

And to make one last argument, I’ll throw up Portugal. Portugal left the 19th century as one of the poorest countries in Europe, even poorer than Japan, which had only started trying to dramatically copy Western state models halfway through the 19th century. Why?

Because as it turns out, even if you free the peasantry, allow free political debate, promote exports, abolish fees paid to landowners, prohibit monopolies, codify a civil code that provides rights to everybody regardless of class, secularize the state, nationalize church property and sell it to the public…

None of that matters if people aren’t literate.

Poor 19th century Portugal. It tried so hard to give the people social reform, and tried so little to give them schools. Even in 1930, the government had still made no serious effort to establish public schools, and the literacy rate was 33%.

That’s right. 33%. It was lower in 1930 than it was in Japan in 1864.

There might be some error there in the polling methods, but the point stands.

TL;DR:

Importing technology and ideas should be more common than developing your own technology and ideas, even in Europe, but overwhelmingly important for undeveloped countries. Literacy should be central to allowing this to happen. Inventing new technologies should first require importing a range of technologies and ideas.
Those life expectancies can’t be right or is more based off mortality rate. This is why I dislike way they measure life expectancy.

Early industrialization actually saw drop in living standards and health for poor and lower middle class that wasn’t corrected until much later(world wars set that back but). You got to consider dangerous living or working conditions and pollution of industrial society is worse then steam/colonial era on that.

There always been people who live into their 50s to 80s. It is more of question of food/water access along with Utilities and living/working conditions.
My papa worked on railroad and that was in post New Deal/ww2 era industrial America before de industrialization. Working stuff like that could easily lead to serious on job accidents not always even due to neglect of employers but being in wrong place at wrong time or drunk on job. They made prohibition partly because alcoholism was even widespread in work place with people showing up to work harmed or buzzed.

Also opium drugs and “snake oil doctors”(drug dealer basically) are selling increasingly cheap and accessible hard drugs to masses.
Also because you work hard does not mean you still don’t eat unhealthy. Even in place like US were we have larger food production yield you can still have people who don’t eat healthy especially when busy.

A lot of health stuff was likely not well understood or examined fully by censuses either especially with how many countries likely lied about them at times as well.

Most sickly kids would still die before puberty especially poor. When people had 10 kids or more it becomes “quality” over quality at times. That’s less food for rest of kids and resources/time given. That alone probably drops average death and morality rates.
The better question is what is morality rates for people who make puberty.

Also if your old and can’t work anymore many did leave you to die back then because they can’t afford to take care of you. That didn’t start changing until late era. Urban Industrialization unlike rural agrarian society makes this harder to ignore and more extreme