Too fucking long to excerpt, comes to no specific conclusions why the world blows again (Inertia is my guess.) so here's the "Where's my flying car?" conclusion:
But it could have been so much better. If the pace of change had continued, we could be living in a world where Alzheimer’s was treatable, where clean nuclear power had ended the threat of climate change, where the brilliance of genetics was used to bring the benefits of cheap and healthy food to the bottom billion, and where cancer really was on the back foot. Forget colonies on the Moon; if the Golden Quarter had become the Golden Century, the battery in your magic smartphone might even last more than a day.Coulda woulda shoulda, all is entropy & dull.