"We can no longer call actual development by the old name of progress. This development seems to be taking place by itself, by an autonomous force or 'motricity'. It doesn't respond to a demand coming from human needs. On the contrary, human entities (individual or social) seem always to be destabilized by the results of this development. The intellectual results as much as the material ones. I would say that mankind is in the condition of running after the process of accumulating new objects of practice and thought. In my view it is a real and obscure question to determine the reason of this process of complexification. It's something like a destiny towards a more and more complex condition. Our demands for security, identity and happiness, coming from our condition as living beings and even social beings appear today irrelevant in the face of this sort of obligation to complexify, mediate, memorize and synthesize every object, and to change its scale. We are in this techno-scientific world like Gulliver: sometimes too big, sometimes too small, never at the right scale. Consequently the claim for simplicity, in general, appears today that of a barbarian."
excerpt by Jean François_Lyotard: "Defining the Postmodern" (1986)
in "The Cultural Studies", 2nd Edition, ed. by Simon During
original Lyotard text in "The Postmodern Condition: a Report on Knowledge"
Manchester University Press, 1986