From the way we work, travel, communicate and entertain ourselves, technology has shaped almost every aspect of our lives. Unsurprisingly, we largely assume technological progress to be relentless and inevitable. But might this be a mistake? "Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards", argued Aldous Huxley.  The arms industry would certainly be a case in point.  But the key advances in technology today linked to phones, computers and the internet have coincided with increases in depression and mental ill health, and have not led to the rise in productivity that was heralded. 

Do we need to impose greater checks and regulation on technological change to encourage better outcomes?  Or should we give up the idea that technology is the way to make our lives better altogether and focus instead on other factors such as relationships, community and purpose? Or is technology the only credible reason for hoping that the future will be better than the past?

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