“Now, finally, our attention has turned inward. Think of Prozac and Viagra and Adderall. Think of cosmetic surgery and of antiaging creams infused with stem cells. Think of Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest. Think of all the other tools we use to indulge our vanity and pursue our desire for self-expression and self-promotion. These are the inventions that we prize today and that our entrepreneurs are motivated to deliver.
One consequence is that inventions have become less visible and transformative. We’re no longer changing the shape of the physical world or even of society. We are altering internal states, transforming the invisible self or its bodily container. Not surprisingly, when you step back and take a broad view, it often looks like stagnation—or decadence.”