Okay, so here is my take on this Question and taking it apart since there are sub-questions embedded within.
What is “technological progress” and is it a net positive for all?
First, we need to split up technological progress into what we actually mean by that:
- “Digital Tech” Computers, Smartphones, Internet, IoT (this is a bad thing), AI, selfdriving Cars, etc.
- “Ancient Tech” Tools humans made and used to get this whole civilisation thing going (Aqueducts, Writings,)
- “Infrastructure Tech” like Roads, Power Grid, Sewage System, Hospitals, Firefighters & Police
- “Consumer Tech” Basically Digital Tech but from the perspective of the non-tech user
- “Entertainment Tech” All the bells and whistles that arise to make movies even bigger than ever before
Now we need to clarify what we mean with "a net positive for all"
Obviously we don’t actually mean, that “a net positive for all” equals
pure benefits without any sort of disadvantage for literally all 7 billion people on
this floating rock thing in space. That’s bullshit.
What we can say tho is: The Tech we came up with made life significantly better for the population that
has access to it and this number grows exponentially for the last couple of years, hence “for all”.
So let’s pick it apart:
- “Accessibility” Who as access to what kind of tech can we increase that number and who has not access and what disadvantage does that equal?
- “Benefits” What kind of Tech brought what kind of benefit to it’s “users”?
- “Cognitive Multiplier” Computers enhance our cognitive ability if we chose to use that way, how far can we go with it?
- “Proficiency” Who can actually use what kind of tech and how does that plays out in a given amount of time?
Because I’m a sorta conservative person I now would like to make a little matrix with checkmarks but that Obviously doesn’t work…
So to summarise a little bit to get the “old” outta the way so we can go forward to the actual problems that we have no in our time:
Ancient and Infrastructure “Tech” has enabled us to move forward as civilisation in the regard, that we (as the west) consider places where our “standards”
(meaning “How we defined and expect and are used to live with our kind of Infrastructure”) is not met as uncivilised or backwards or just “I don’t wanna live there!”
which may sound harsh but actually reveals our intrinsic need to strive forward to exceed our limitations towards a prosperous future.
So in a way the progress we as mankind made has shaped us to progress further and strive towards even better tech to enable us even more.
That those people who are not fortunate enough to participate in that endeavour share some resentment is understandable but those people are also getting the benefits
of the movement forward, maybe a generation later but nonetheless, even as passive beneficiaries their standard of living increases with time.
Thats that for my first thought of this matter.