Progress, like many things, is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s step forward is someone else’s one step too many.
What’s wrong, one will argue, with the status quo? What’s wrong with familiarity and routine and the way things have always been, or always been done? A serious asking of such questions betrays a certain fear.
I’m as much a creature of habit as anyone, but a static existence is a waste of space and time and oxygen. One could argue that any advancement or discovery in any field has come because someone couldn’t just sit still and do nothing. They weren’t content to let the world go by without changing it, without finding a better way. Some among us are indeed endlessly curious, restless, dissatisfied, driven. Possessing ideas deserving of the light of day. This is what has brought us from oil lamps to LEDs, from horseback to rocket power, from poultices to gene therapy.
Still, I’m trying to get my head around this Jobsian notion that we can’t live without things we initially didn’t know we needed. Are we easily seduced by slick and shiny things? Are we lacking such vision that we need some sort of prophet to show us the way and tell us what we’re missing? Are some people somehow able to glimpse the future, allowing them to see what others can’t see?
Sometimes it feels like we’re moving too fast, that technology is outpacing our capacity for adaptation and proper grasp of implications. Sometimes it feels like we’re skipping some steps.
Spoken like a true dinosaur, I suppose.