It’s interesting, working in a modern knowledge economy (I’m not yet sure whether I like that term), how much happens behind the scenes that you’re not aware of. This is the wonder of economic specialisation and trade.
I was reminded of this today on a small level, because one of the buildings here at Hursley has broken air-con (the south of England is currently experiencing a mini-heatwave and I think it’s just become too much for our system). I thought of the time I toured the tunnels and back-rooms of our office buildings here, and became aware of all that happened - the huge heaters and air-con units, the electricity and water supply, and all the things we take for granted. The engineer showing us round (who was a contractor) was clearly a specialist in all of this, and took great pride in his domain. I knew next to nothing about what he was showing us, and became aware how dependent we were on him and his colleagues.
That’s an example of one aspect of a mini-economy inside one organization. Every time I come across something like this, I’m grateful that there are experts on every topic imaginable. This is the way for society and man to progress - increased specialisation - ‘green’ advocates should remember this when they rail against globalisation and advocate trade based on protectionism, barriers, and governmental control.