Most of us prefer to walk backward into the future, a posture that may be uncomfortable but which at least allows us to keep on looking at familiar things as long as we can.
The sobering thought is that individuals and societies are not, in the end, remembered for how they made their money, but for how they spent it.
I believe that a lot of our striving after the symbols and levers of success is due to a basic insecurity, a need to prove ourselves. That done, grown up at last, we are free to stop pretending.
Forget land, buildings, or machines-the real source of wealth today is intelligence, applied intelligence. We talk glibly of "intellectual property" without taking on board what it really means. It isn't just patent rights and brand names; it is the brains of the place.
If economic progress means that we become anonymous cogs in some great machine, then progress is an empty promise.