“One of the strangest portents of the end of progress is the recent discovery that humans are losing their ability to come up with new ideas.” says Bryan Appleyard in this Times article. Thanks to Sam at Elizaphanian for the link.
I’m not sure the specific argument measuring “innovations” holds up to much scrutiny, but the whole article is a reminder that all markets can go down as well as up, even the Darwinian one. The direction of “progress” is driven by morals, not technology or science (or nature) in its broadest sense. In fact the Metaphysics of Quality would suggest the natural direction is towards ever more “sophisticated” intellect – winning memes. Whatever that means, it probably means we should not expect to recognise new innovations by the standards of the old. Technology has progressed beyond the “physical” already, or at least its centre of gravity has; or rather physics has progressed beyond the material.
Clear as mud ?