What do we mean by "advancement"? Technological or logical/intellectual or artistic or economic/GNP related?
How did the Greeks in Ancient Athens etc (eg Pericles' times) produce philosophy and culture and thinking in general, notably on personal and political ethos that is still relevant in 2007?
In any case, relatively recent awareness of threats to our survival (climate change, asteroid risks, pandemics, mega-quakes, etc.) and our modern and techno way of life may (I say may, not sure) requires us, while keeping the basics of our "way of life" (which are they, that is the question!!!), to go back to the basics and rid our daily lives of acquired habits (not central/core to the genuine fundamentals of our way of life) which harm us as the world we live in (eg energy over-consumption, esp. CO2 emitting one).
One could only speculate what the daily life of the American and the European will look like in 20 or 30 years, if we decide to take better care of the world we and are children and their children will live in.
So, what do we mean by "advancement"?
Back to basics and simpler and less materialist , more intellectual products consuming lives?
I guess the thing with things that attract attention, eg a nice car is that they attract two types of attention a) positive and b) negative. That is why eg red cars tend to get more tickets, or movie stars attract stalkers etc!
Attention usually "cuts" both ways. C'est la vie.That is why many people prefer to "go with the flow" and "When in Rome ...".
Or have PR agents and spin doctors. To max the positive and min the negative.