We won’t lift ourselves out of poverty by first adopting these gadgets, just because the gadgets are in use in rich countries. Classic disease-symptom mixup.
The other point to appreciate is that, faced with a rapidly shrinking resource base, “technology as a bypass around discipline and responsibility” must be shunned. There is no alternative to strengthening the woeful state of our national character in the public space.
On Jevon’s paradox:
Have you heard of Jevon’s paradox? One version says, historically, improving the efficiency of technology has never led to a decrease in the volume of resource consumed; instead, people spend the money saved on consuming other resources. Another version says that very often, the energy spent (include the lifestyle of the German and American engineers who designed and built sunlight-sensing street lights, and their vacations in the Bahamas) in trying to save energy is often more than the energy saved.
And now for something classic:
I strongly believe that “we’ve got to do something to save energy and the environment” is typical Western hyperactivity at work. The best way to save energy and the environment is to do *less*.
Yet another classic: (on buying motion sensing urinal flushes):
The solution was not to fix the mechanical flush with minimum number of replaced parts. The solution was not to train Estate Office to maintain the mechanical flushes better, hiring people if needed for this one specific job. The solution was not to replace the mechanical flush with simple wall valve you work by hand, depending on your national civic character to dutifully flush after you flush. The solution was to import a gadget for which there is no local technical support base.