Debt and progress

When people think or talk about debt it is usually in the context of financial debt, the borrowing of money against the future to pay for something today. But there are other forms of debt, the one that most readily comes to mind is the concept of “technical debt” from the world of software development.

“You can pay me now or you can pay me later.”

Recently I’ve been thinking about debt in the more general, more broad sense, specifically as it might apply to cultural and societal progress (or lack thereof).