The Industrial Revolution was like America taking a shot of meth, in terms of our social, economic, and technological development. That's what I was taught in school at least.
Maybe not verbatim, but it still wasn't the whole story.
This revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.
They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in "advanced" countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling,
have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering--to physical suffering in the Third World as well--and has inflicted severe,
massive damage on the natural world.
The continued development of technology continues to worsen the situation, because we were not advanced enough as a species to see what these devices could really teach us.
The hubris of the collective human race inflated to the point that we subject ourselves to greater indignities and allowing tech to inflict greater damage on the natural world.
This is what led to our greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and also leads to increased physical suffering even in "advanced" countries.
But are we so "advanced?" Every piece of tech--rather than let it show us ways about ourselves and the world--we find ways of letting it destroy us.
The television teaches us that everything we see is perceptual because we know we are looking at a screen that makes images out of dots rather than actual people.
We actually have this ability, and TV teaches us how it's done--transmitting an idea into an image, so when an outer image manifests in our lives, it is actually an inner idea.
In other words, your dog or cat only appears when your inner image draws it to you. Everything that appears before you is created by your mind. We are telepathic beings.
Instead, we let television become the idiot box that it is.
The microwave shows us that everything in the world is made of waveforms, or vibrations.
Before it, we needed fire to activate the energy in food, but now we can warm it by bombarding it with a section of the wave spectrum that vibrates faster than 3D.
Instead of seeing this, the microwave can and has been used as a weaponized means of control and death from toxic levels of radiation.
Instead of using computers or cell phones for researching and sharing ways to improve ourselves and the world, we let it become the biggest distraction and escape from reality.
The industrial-technological system has not only survived, it thrives today, achieving a level of physical and psychological suffering.
Right now, we are passing through a long and very painful period of adjustment,
at the cost of permanently reducing human beings and many other living organisms to engineered products--mere bolts in the social machine.
Reforming or modifying the system in order to prevent it from further depriving people of dignity and autonomy may seem futile at this point.
However, there is still the main contributor to the current downfall of man, but it's shutdown would require tremendous effort on everyone's part.
Since everything relies on the internet today, it's shutdown would suddenly seem like the dark ages, especially to those who don't like camping.
If the system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful.
But the bigger the system grows the more disastrous the results of its breakdown will be, so if it is to break down it had best break down sooner rather than later.