Chapter 2, “Progressing Away from Progress”
Socrates has wandered to “Have-It Square” where he meets a divinity student, Bertha Broadmind. Socrates is surprised by automobiles displacing the pleasure of walking. Upon finding hat most people would not continue their work without pay, Socrates equates them with slaves. He is perplexed by the lack of freedom which labor-saving devices have created. He also identifies progress as the new god. Yet this new god does not value beauty. People live in ugly but expensive surroundings and go to visit beautiful areas rather than building beautiful places.
The conclusion is that progress is not making beautiful things. It is not making people happier. It does not put people in control of their world. Socrates goes on to discuss wisdom and knowledge. He finds that people value wisdom but pursue knowledge in the name of progress.
The discussion turns to progress. Socrates views progress as a move toward what is perfect, i.e., the god. His interlocutress, Bertha, views deity as always changing. Rather than progressing to a clear goal, we live in an undefined hope.
Disappointed, Socrates asks if the divinity school deals with eternal truth. The answer is hopeful, but indistinct. Yet it leaves him ready to continue his investigation.