John Penn Posted 5 months ago What should be the focus of human progress and achievement? I'm not sure what you have in mind for "advancing our species", but I think cultures evolve and advance naturally. Ideas are like genes. Ones that meet our needs tend to spread. Ones that don't eventually die. Cultural evolution too is effected by its environment. So, if consumerism no longer suites our needs, it will die and we will adapt. Perhaps the Opensource movement is evidence that this is already starting to happen. It started with software, but now some Opensource hardware designs are starting to appear (for example, Arduino micro-controllers). There are currently 20 TED talks related to Opensource. There's even one about Opensource farm equipment. Opensource has done a lot to eliminate the "planned obsolescence" problem.