Let’s look at a fan-favorite concept from psychology: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
It follows this basic format:
Basic needs (food, water, safety) → Psychological needs (friends, love, prestige) → Self-actualization needs (creativity, strength, virtue, etc.).
Technology’s purpose is to reduce scarcity. It does this on every level of Maslow’s hierarchy.
Cheaper (commoditized) food, water, houses. Commoditized friends and romance (Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder). Commoditized self-actualization (blogs, spirituality, philosophy).
Cheaper also means less time required. The “40-hour work week” is an invention of the Industrial Age. The “4-hour work week” is an invention of the Internet Age.
Due to technology, we have more money and more time than ever before. This gives us the space to learn, reflect, and become better people.
So, technological progress is the real driver of moral progress. We are not better people than our ancestors, or people who faced difficult situations.
Inventing technology beats preaching morals any day. “Meat = Bad” convinces nobody, the Impossible Burger convinces everybody.
So, go out and build. Talk is cheap. As Charlie Munger says:
“Never, ever, think about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives.”