Let me tell you something about progress. 40 years ago man walked on the moon. Today the US air force doesn't have a plane that can as fast (mach 2) as a commercial airliner you could buy a ticket for 10 years ago (The Concorde). The world highest flying plane, the U2, was designed 50 years ago, in less then nine months, a fraction of just the delays of the 7E7.
Some one said the best thing that ever happened to the US space exploration was sputnik. It was a PR disaster that pushed the US in to the space race and mankind to the moon.
If only we could get an iceberg to hit the Empire state building we could probably solve global warming fairly quickly. Its too bad we aren't clear headed enough to create our own disasters, and instead we let fundamentalists decide what direction the disasters pull us.
If we outlawed fossil fuel power plants today, Power bills would sky rocket, and so would conservation, investment in alternative power, insulation, and green energy production. Too bad the people who keep saying that the market can sort out anything are the biggest opponents of actually letting it do it. But then again Capitalists have always been a lot less ideological then then they seem. Down with government spending, but please bail me out. Manhunt2 is freedom of expression, while ISPs must block torrent sites. I don't think we should have progress, ideals and goals because its easy but because it is hard.
I must admit that video games are worrying me a bit. Yes they are fun to play but not as fun as they are to make. Sometimes i think we are surrounded by so many choices of things that are easy that we refuse to do anything with the least bit of resistance. Why learn to program when you can use flash? Why design your own web page when there is facebook? Why make a real film when you can upload a youtube clip? Why make a real game when you can make a iPhone game in 2 weeks, or why not just play one someone else have made? The indie game scene is so overwhelmed by all the platforms, interfaces, and distribution models, that it becomes more about how easy it is to make something then making something that lasts.
Ive been fighting very hard to build platforms so that every step one takes in game development can be used as a stepping stone in the next project. Some how this isn't happening around me. GTA4 was smaller then San Andreas, and RE5 had fewer mechanics then RE4. Games are becoming more and more dumbed down. Are we heading for a point when we dream of the days of "Concorde" in gaming too? We have lost the ability to by a ticket to a plane that flies mach 2, We have lost the ability to go to the moon, we have lost the ability to build the Versailles or the pyramids. What is the point of making new progress if we can build on the progress we already have?
While waiting for the right disasters we are going to have to really on what i fear is a shrinking group of people with the right stuff, who still looks to the sky and commit themselves to realizing their dreams of the impossible.