This is sort of a frustrating summation:
"But those who do concern themselves with the formal regulation of "technology" might wish to worry less about possible negative effects of innovation and more about the damage being done to our environment and our prosperity by the mid-20th-century technologies that no sane and responsible person would propose today, but in which we remain trapped by mysterious and ineffable forces."
Stephenson gets there after listing all the very concrete reasons why we might be stuck with non-optimal solutions -- and they are not mysterious and ineffable forces at all. There's nothing mysterious and ineffable about federal regulations, after all. Ending the article on the "mysterious and ineffable" tip is possibly meant to be sarcastic, but it's neither accurate nor helpful in understanding the situation. Better to ask why and how path dependency and lock-in (Stephenson's preferred culprits) came to be.
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