Maybe the long boom of technological disruption will slow down, ponders sf writer Charlie Stross.
We are undeniably living through the era of the Great Acceleration; but it’s probably[*] a sigmoid curve, and we may already be past the steepest part of it. [link in original]
Ah yes, that famous S-curve. Slow to start, fast to build, massive in effect, then ultimately tapering off, like so:
So we can imagine the tide of industrial-technological change rising in the 1700s, roaring into life during the 1800s, turning into a transformational riptide through the twentieth century, and then, in the 21st, gradually… slowing… down. The rate of innovation drops. We become accustomed to the new. Future shock stops shocking.
And then what? Stross imagines political outcomes:
When the Great Acceleration stops, my guess is that the oligarchy will ossify into a nobility, and eventually a monarchical-system-in-all-but-name, within a century at most. And there are already worrying signs that this is happening. [link in original]