Technological Regress, the End of Self-Delusion
Leftists tend to believe in social progress, but the proponents of technological progress have often been right-wingers. It means both sides of the political divide appear to believe things are moving forward. What if all progress is self-delusion?
Just this week, freezing temperatures stranded Tesla cars in parts of the USA and Canada. People weren’t able to recharge their frozen batteries.
Electric vehicles (EVs) prove that technology has begun to regress. What appears to us, at first sight, as *new* modern technology is increasingly inferior to the product we used to enjoy. For almost a century, gasoline-powered cars have been able to traverse soaring hot deserts and icy cold arctic planes.
But electric vehicles cannot. If you would attempt to cross the Sahara desert in a Tesla car, it’s likely that the battery may explode or catch fire. Nor can you bring along barrels of extra fuel for your trip. Electric vehicles are really the brain-child of people who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s when RC toys that ran on batteries gained popularity.
Because the EV batteries are so heavy, car manufacturers need to reduce the weight of every other part of the car. That's why so many EV parts are made of plastic (derived from oil) and feel flimsy. EV cars have a more limited range than gasoline powered cars, especially in colder climates.
For now, a major downside for most people is that these electric vehicles can't be purchased from the second-hand market, not at affordable prices, first and foremost because you will likely have to buy a new battery. Diesel engines, if properly maintained, may last a century, but electric car batteries will only last 4 to 8 years at best.
It would be bizarrely dystopian if, a 100 years from, the only vehicles people will still able to drive are going to be these diesel trucks from the 1950s.
What we are witnessing here, with the switch from gasoline to electric, is not technological progress. It is more akin to environmental change. Perhaps we really are running out of oil. Perhaps the transition from oil to “renewables” has to do with power politics. If we could switch to green before China and Russia can, perhaps we can harm their oil-based industries. I.e., the switch may be a long-term war strategy waged between East and West, though East doesn’t seem to fear the transition at all.
Or perhaps the whole electric vehicle market is some kind of scam sold to us by clever Nigerian Princes who realize that they control most of the lithium supply for batteries. I don't actually believe that, but these are the sort of avenues we are looking at in order to explain why we are no longer progressing, technologically speaking.
I've started to question the very notion of technological progress. What if there was never any “technological progress”. I don’t mean that riding horse-pulled carts and wagons was equal or superior to more advanced cars. What I’m saying is that the talent and mental skillset of the engineers who made horse carriages was equal to that of people now designing EVs.
People didn’t somehow genetically evolve to be smarter. Imagine that certain groups of people of different ethnies and cultures possess a certain fixed technological ability depending on their population size and their habitat. Larger population sizes may be able to succeed technologically at a certain rate beyond smaller population sizes, and certain ethnies may also succeed at technology more than others.
My point is, I see our technological ability as largely innate, though it may be enhanced by the right circumstances, such as access to resources. It means people can never really progress beyond who they really are, despite the existence of certain truly gifted individuals.
The gifted class can only exploit real-world solutions insofar their societies are able to supply then with the tools necessary to do the job. That’s why everyone else writes science fiction novels. The fantasies we can dream up may never be realized in our time because the fantasized solutions aren’t necessary in our time.
If that is how it is, then we should not expect more logical progress, we should rather expect a constant technological adaptation to changing environments. The change itself drains our creative abilities to the max. Though, as I said, some ethnic groups may have a greater ability to adapt, whereas others will always seem “lagging behind”.
The West-African Bantu blacks, who are the ancestors of the African Americans, never invented bow and arrow, even though the Koi-San further South did, as did every other race on planet Earth.
I think that example best explains why we switched from gasoline powered cars to electric vehicles. for I assume that the sort of men who invented the first generation of automobiles were about just as genius as the generation of men now inventing drones.
In terms of *intelligence required* to solve the problems of transportation, the generations of the 21st and of the 20th and 19th centuries (of the same race) were certainly are on par with one another.
Even though today’s electric technology looks a lot more advanced than the gasoline technology, the reverse is equally possible. Videos from the past show us people operating wonderfully advanced technology that we no longer use. Refrigerators from the 1950s look a lot more advanced than the cheap plastic ones we buy today. There is, in other words, real regression.
In all technological societies, it holds true that:
Progress is countered by regression.
Advances of one age are abandoned in another.
Problems that disappear today no longer require solutions later.
What looks old-fashioned today, may look advanced again in the future.
Most progress is just another word for simplification, scaling, and efficiency.
A lot of experienced progress is really change toward changing political goals.
Remember CD’s, CD-ROMs and DVDs? Then came the USB sticks, and now we just stream everything online. But it would be wrong to say that USB sticks, that are quite simple, were somehow more advanced than the highly complex Blue-ray readers. The USB sticks are simpler solutions we arrived at after goings through more advanced solutions.
One day, social changes may force us to abandon internet technologies altogether. New problems will arise and we will be working on other problems. The fact that we moved from “disconnected” societies to more “connected” societies (via phone and internet), doesn’t actually imply technological progress. It merely suggest a shift from local to global networking.
Much of the progress we experienced wasn’t technological but political. When the political desires of a nation change, its technology changes accordingly. When, two centuries later, the politics change back, the technology changes back.
Here’s a great example of this phenomenon: Once, McDonald’s switched from paper packaging to Styrofoam packaging to save the trees. Now, they have switched back to paper packaging (and straws!) to save oil. This technological flip-flopping has nothing to do with technological progress but with changing political goals.
Our societies have not seen a progress in terms of engineering capacity, rather we are applying a similar volume of engineering capacity (relative to the population size and other factors) but to different types of problems. That is, until you actually swap out one ethnic demographic with another.
What happens when you replace the white engineering demographic with an African demographic? This of course is a trick question. You cannot change the white engineering demographic with a black one, because there is no meaningful black engineering demographic.
When I informed people on TikTok Africa was most lacking in engineers, technologists, inventors, and entrepreneurs, my video was reported for racism and taken down. But I was speaking the truth. The resourceful Africa is lacking in inventive intelligence. This, they cannot steal from the West. This must be developed from within, though genetic limitations may constrain the ability to do so.
The mass influx of immigrants into the United States and Europe will see a dilution of this technological ability. For the men who are crossing the borders and the women and children who are following them later, generally do not possess the technological capacity needed to maintain a high-tech society such as the United States.
Our survival was always a prerequisite to developing higher technology, not the other way around. So, let us return to the foundations of our existence, and secure a future for our kind before we waste energy on solutions we don’t presently need.