Just as it was impossible for those hunter-gatherers to see where things were going with glass technology, it is also impossible for us to know what we’re working towards. But we will improve our solutions, and I think build things faster and better if everyone is free to use the ideas they have on their own, that they get directly from observing others’ work, and those that they synthesize from their own and others’ ideas. (And of course it’s that last which is mostly happening. Ideas don’t exist in a vacuum.)
Why hamstring progress so that a few people, replaceable by any number of other people in our time, can benefit unfairly from monopoly? Especially now, with so many more smart people, and so much more knowledge available to all. Ideas and software should must be free, or I’m afraid we’ll continue to see the same clumsy and slow development as in ages past. Relatively speaking, that is. Things are moving fast right now, sure, but I think it would be all too easy to stagnate under protectionist and corrupt laws, to the point where a thousand years from now our descendants will look at us as dark age simpletons, and marvel that we couldn’t get this right.