One of the things that differentiates our culture from those that have come before is the extent of our mastery of science. We have mastered much of the Earth, oceans, and space. Our machinery for media generation, communication, transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture have completely changed the way we live.
Now this is reaching even greater orders of magnitude as we begin to master biotechnology, micromachining, and nanotechnology. These endeavors hold the promise of unleashing our culture from our usual problems of waste disposal and energy generation until we become more fully free than ever. More free even than most can imagine.
It is true that it is possible to lead a simple and fulfilling life without much technology. But most of us have made a decision not to live simply, if only by overpopulating the world far beyond the means of simple technologies to support our vast population. We communicate and travel more broadly than ever, we relegate our chores and production to machines, and it is difficult if not impossible to turn back from our current direction to leading a simple life again.