I am losing faith in progress
I am losing faith in progress. This was sparked, I think, by the realisation that my day-job is writing software for companies who work for other companies who try to sell people things they probably don't need. That's a mighty precarious place to be, right at the top of the house of cards.
I mean, most of the trappings of my day-to-day life have the purpose of either (a) helping me forget how boring my life is or (b) helping me fit in with what society expects me to do. A car? Occasionally useful, but I use it about twice a week, and don't really travel distances walking couldn't get me (apart from Timaru.) Nintendo Wii? If my life was more interesting/exciting/closer to the survival line, I doubt I'd have much desire for video games. TV? Ditto. Work? Surely, given the right environment, a few hours a day would allow me to collect enough food to survive on, after which time I could do whatever the hell I felt like. Even half of the books I read are just ‘simulations' of less civilised and less comfortable lives.
What benefits does progress actually have? Is there any purpose beyond short-term competitive advantage?