Imagine what life would be like if there were no electricity or communications networks available.
How many days of food do you have at your house? How much cash do you have on hand? Can you go out to try to buy up what’s left at the stores that still have their doors open? What else would you be worried about? What would you prioritize? What would you want to make sure you had on hand to survive indefinitely in a world without electricity and communications networks? What would you do if the world were suddenly knocked back hundreds of years?
Fortunately, this scenario that I have laid out is nearly impossible. It would require some suspension of disbelief — how could all electricity and communications networks be knocked offline at the same time without hope of rebooting them? The chances of such an event happening approach zero, but if such a world were to come to fruition, it would represent an indescribably massive step for the entire world’s way of life in the worst direction. So much of our lives is existentially tied to the internet and other communications networks. Bricking them would send the world into chaos.
Try to think of a business or organization that isn’t immensely dependent on access to electricity and the internet. You probably can’t. But is that a bad thing?
Progress Can’t Be Destroyed
I would argue that it is not. Our standards of living have been massively improved by the development and continued increasing consumption of energy, all while the actual work exerted by the collection of human bodies on the physical world remains the same (holding aside population growth). We can manipulate nature around us to make our lives considerably easier and more enjoyable without changing anything in our physical forms. We can only claim to be just a little healthier and stronger than our ancestors because we have exploited our environments in such a way that we can use tools to save our backs…