IF the next few decades go as I (and Roberts) think, that will be the end of any sort of technological progress right there. At least for the duration and until it's settled out RE: socialism or barbarism.
And yes, popular culture over the last 20 years or so has reflected the "dumbing down" (for lack of a better metaphor) of technological progress. It's all part of the "individualist vs collectivist" battle that's going on. As I said in my article on Paul Ryan (hopefully posted soon), the BEST of human society resulted from a collectivist mindset, NOT from an individualist one. "Rugged individualism" might appeal to the egoist in all of us, but it won't advance society as a whole like a collectivist mindset will.