I was looking at an old French house in a magazine and it struck me: never before, I think, in the history of mankind, have we had more capability to do more, and yet, we do less, every day, all the time. Even a hundred years ago, houses had wood molding because corners were difficult to manage with lathe and plaster. Iron workers, since they were working in the hot forge anyway, bothered to make something beautiful rather than just make do. End result: beauty in every day places.
Now our houses are filled with sheetrock sculpture rather than wood molding. Builders spray walls with more gunk and make it a selling point, in order to cover mistakes. We walk on photographs of wood and molded plastic tile on our floor rather than natural materials.
It gets to the root of our dichotomy of capability vs, effort, which may be the root of more problems than we can name.