I disagree that progress can’t stop. It’s in fact possible, to limit or control our own consumption. An extreme example might be to look at the Amish/Mennonite communities, who still use horses over cars. But to them, life is normal.
As for my assessment for why 1990 ~ 2006 was best? Well, truth be told, a lot of things manage to peak in that era, that we had to go “backwards” to compete.
20 years ago, I could buy a physical copy of Photoshop or 3DS Max, and NEVER worry about being connected to the internet to use them. Today? Both products now force an online subscription, making it impossible to own [legally].
The same is true with video games and even movies. You could buy hard copies of VHS tapes or DVDs, and enjoy your products however you wanted. But now there are games or movies that can only be played by streaming them. If the Online Servers ever go down, so does the product with it forever.
This is when convenience becomes inconvenience. But not only that, it’s absolutely creating a system where only the most intelligent or wealthy people get to call the shots. If in the future, everything we ever purchase requires an online subscription, guess who has all the power in society? The guys running Server farms with all your information on it.
Maybe it’s even possible this type of technology could turn into digital blackmail, since after all, we keep feeding these computers all our life history, that someone can just quickly look it up and begin to make threats knowing exactly where you live.
Again, I’m not saying we should completely cut off technology like the Amish, but we also shouldn’t be rushing to live in a Terminator/Matrix future, where your right to eat food or breathe oxygen are all being monitored by a robot.