I guess part of my point was that there may be a difference between events happening more quickly, and history happening more quickly. The persistence of history's average pace (containing large variability) I suspect might hold, would result from the average pace of human emotional processing. So far tech really hasn't affected that.
I wasn't aware of all the ST backstory -I guess that illustrates the dangers of making a reference without knowing the source material well (this probably won't prevent me from doing it again in the future. oh well)
Colin, you write:
They or we can hope that in our technological age even very complex and conflictual historical processes may sometimes reach their end points more quickly, but why should we presume that they will develop by any other means than they seem to have done in all ages?
As you suggest with your rhetorical ?, we shouldn't, or at least we should hope they don't at least as much as we hope they do. The idea that tech will create the conditions for what amounts to an end of history (at least on Earth a la Star Trek) is implicit I think in a lot of what drives a range of thought/action ranging from technophilia to transhumanism. This may be stated as an expectation that the sheer accumulation of tech progress will create a kind of Moores's Law for politics. As result, another kind of "self-evident" truths are biding constructed.
Another way to put it is that the only end points are deaths.