Suppose we are at the point where the evolution of technology may need to stop for three reasons. First, we don’t use most of the technology we have anyway. Second, the technology can’t sustainably work anymore. And third, as a result we’re not going to risk using it.
I stress the ‘suppose’: I gather the iPhone 7 is selling so some people still want tech, but I will guarantee that most users (like me, as owner of a relatively cheap smart phone) use only a fraction of what their phone is supposedly capable of doing.
What happens when we all realise we can happily downgrade, as I did a while ago, without any loss to convenience, at all?
Of course you could say that’s just a syndrome of a mature market (when getting off a tube yesterday I noticed all 12 people who did so we’re carrying a phone in their hand at the time). But what if it’s not just a mature market but technology itself that has matured, and we have realised that? That we will say no to driverless cars? And no to all that automation that will render so many of us redundant? That the human will strike back because although we might get grumpy and we might make mistakes we’re still a lot more comprehensible and a bit less combustible than technology?
I think that possible.
Reminds of the US patent examiner who resigned because everything had already been invented. In the 19th century.
Also entirely ignorant of the development of technology. Things start out as impossible, then luxuries for the very rich and some decades later they’re good enough and cheap enough for the masses at which point we get a bit of polishing but not much more. and all the effort goes into the next impossible thing the rich would like to do.
As Schumpeter pointed out it happened with stockings which started out as Queenly adornments and became something factory girls could have. It happened with cars, it has/is happening with mobile phones (quite possible the widest adopted technology in the history of humanity and certainly the fastest) and at some point in the future it will happen with driverless cars, cancer treatments and that bloody flying car we were promised.