On the loss of knowledge and backwards developments that can and have happened in human future and history.
A talk about the loss of earlier civilisation’s loss of knowledge and a thought about the same happening in game engine design and making.
Third, how technological progress in one area can lead to surprising regressions. I mentioned how the advent of steam travel made it possible to accidentally replace an effective antiscorbutic with an ineffective one. An even starker example was the rash of cases of infantile scurvy that afflicted upper class families in the late 19th century. This outbreak was the direct result of another technological development, the pasteurization of cow’s milk. The procedure made milk vastly safer for infants to drink, but also destroyed vitamin C. For poorer children, who tended to be breast-fed and quickly weaned onto adult foods, this was not an issue, but the wealthy infants fed a special diet of cooked cereals and milk were at grave risk.
But the villain here is just good old human ignorance, that master of disguise. We tend to think that knowledge, once acquired, is something permanent. Instead, even holding on to it requires constant, careful effort.