One way to look at it is, how much technology has improved. The other way, we're heading for a fall because of technology.

One of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, the philosopher of technology Lewis Mumford talked about technology as a twofold phenomenon. He defined "polytechnic" as a complex framework of technology which solves human problems, and "monotechnic" as technology for the sake of technology which oppresses humanity as it progresses. He viewed fashion, planned obsolescence and all technologies requiring dependence as authoritarian.

He criticized the increasing reliance on automobiles and roadways in America and saw modern transportation as "monotechnic". Automobiles created reliance and became obstacles to other modes of transportation such as walking or cycling; They pollute and are a danger to people. He also thought that cities built around the automobile distanced humans from "their relationship to the natural environment and to the spiritual values of human community".

Mumford wrote that, in the early 20th century, America had a chance to build sustainable cities, develop environmentally friendly modes of technology which allowed for human development at all levels. In his later writings, he stated that America (and the world) blew this chance.
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