It is no secret that the quality of consumer merchandise has dropped significantly in recent decades. Products made today are not designed to last more than a season or two and are nearly always cheaper to replace than to repair.
Both human development and the evolution of life share another significant trend – a journey towards greater freedom from physical constraints.
Some early evolutionary examples of increasing degrees of freedom are the processes by which living systems obtained energy. Evolutionary biologists believe that early living cells used simple fermentation. These bacteria broke sugar molecules down into smaller molecules such as carbon dioxide and water, taking for their own use the energy which bound these molecules together.
The pace of life is forever speeding up. Technological breakthroughs spread through society in years rather than centuries. Calculations that would have taken decades are now made in minutes. Communication that used to take months happens in seconds. In almost every area of life, change is occurring faster and faster.
Yet, this acceleration is not confined to modern times. Medieval architecture and agriculture, for instance, varied very little over the period of a century. But even then change occurred much faster than it did in prehistoric times. Stone Age tools remained unchanged for thousands of years.