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Robot welders work on the bodies of Kia cars at a factory in Zilina, Slovakia. Technological advances and globalization are eating away at both blue- and white-collar jobs.
Robot welders work on the bodies of Kia cars at a factory in Zilina, Slovakia. Technological advances and globalization are eating away at both blue- and white-collar jobs.
(PETR JOSEK/REUTERS)

Super-strong material renews faith in technological advancement

In the past 25 years, three market bubbles, a once-in-a-generation financial crisis and the rise of China have convinced many that the long-feared decline of Western civilization is fully under way.

But miraculous innovations like graphene – a new material with the potential to transform the world similar to the advances in plastics during the years following the Second World War – make me inclined towards a more optimistic view.