What too is interesting is how technology and machines generally add more time into our lives by replacing work with "magic" (non-work), by making some dumb machine do it. Innovation was quite slow for a long time not only because of a natural exponential growth curve of progress but also because the affluent didn't have much need or really any need for technology and progress; they only required that a general level not exist which they themselves could not refashion into a system that kept themselves in the top. But the average person strives for more time and space, like all good Being, and thus even in the deep heart of the wealthy there are seeds of "curiosity" that sometimes, as in the case of men of genius, flower up. After all one eventually gets bored of all that time and space.
Men are trying to push up toward their estranged justice with thei technologies while the elite try to tighten control and keep themselves ahead of the curve. That's why things like the federal reserve exist, as circuits in the social machine acting as control mechanisms. Like a class of priests we have today's "experts" as media, scientific, political or pop culture figures (interesting the new Pope is trying to be all of these at once.. there is still a powerful lust in the Catholic soul) who act as gatekeepers to keep the rest out, capitalism being the genius device of realizing one doesn't need absolute control or even very much control at all, that it's more effective to cede control and keep a small bit out of view. It is important to note that if the elite or affluence classes are pushing for development and technology it is only as a reaction to development and technology that is somewhat out of their own hands. Everyone is fighting an unconscious arms race to be on top of the dung pile or at least as high up as possible. "One big anthill society" or however Valery put it.
Affluence doesn't really justify anything, except on some metaphysical level, which doesn't matter anyway except probably to the affluent themselves. Since communism in all its possible forms is a failure we will continue with consumer society becoming more "nice" over time, niceness that only exists to compel more forced compliance by undercutting possibility to state one's objections. Like if you make the jails nice enough maybe people will choose to live there.
Anyway, I predict the seemingly endless upward spike in technological innovation and scientific development is going to stop. If only because the upper will gain measures success against the lower through increased Christian subtleties and economic tricks, like in Rome we simply won't care anymore but to stare at the screens, and whatever geopolitical, environmental or economic situations unfold in the coming century to "cause" scientific progress to stall on a global scale will not in fact be causes at all, but only will be outward excuses and images that mask the deeper reality. It is almost impossible to imagine scientific progress stalling like that since research and application are like capital, they flow wherever there is least resistance and most profit, and because application especially represents nation-state and cultural power. So what does it require for it to arrest? "Peace".