I write about Risk, Progress, and the Future. Follow my work at http://www.lianeon.org
All good points. Even such concerns as the pileup of animal waste in New York City, the pollution problem of the day, were solved through the unexpected popularization of the automobile.
I think the risk for us "Progress-types" is to assume that all problems will be solved and solved timely.
I am somewhat pessimistic, for example, about population decline. I do not see any one problem as insurmountable, but confronting many challenges with fewer minds to solve them worries me. In the 21st Century, we may create problems faster than we can solve them.
On the other hand, perhaps AI will be advanced enough also overcome this challenge as well? I think only time will tell.
"So the usual, natural state is the state of those millions of weavers who preceded Kay, who never knew another innovator and so never even received the idea of innovating."
What if there had been innovation that entire time, but that innovation was more an exercise of physical skill?
No doubt that it took great skill to exercise their craft and they refined their processes by improving their skills to execute them. Once the limits of human potential were achieved, naturally, the next step is to improve technology itself.