We are so used to rapid progress in so many fields, especially in the communications devices and computers that we can hold in our hands and that keep getting cheaper. In addition, the media is filled with thrilling advances in biotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence. It's hard to imagine that there might areas of our lives in which progress has not only ceased but been reversed.
One area with which many readers are certainly familiar is air travel. I was struck by Robert Gordon's account of this phenomenon in his marvelous tome, The Rise and Fall of American Growth. Here is what Gordon discovers: