Just a short follow up: I just wrote a post on the hedonic treadmill and suggest that it is an interesting concept to reflect about in relation to life in general:
To me it seems like you have a wrong premise. A wellbeing focused perspective is explicitly highlighting the fact that Sentinelese and the modern Londoners may have similar levels of wellbeing. That’s the point! This perspective aims to get you thinking about what is really valuable in life and what the grounds for your own beliefs about what is important are.
You seem to have a very strong opinion that something like technological progress is intrinsically valuable. Living in a more technically advanced society is “inherently better” and, thus, everyone who does not see this is “objectively wrong”. That argument would seem strange to even the most orthodox utilitarian. Even if your argument is a little bit more nuanced in the sense that you are seeing technological progress only as instrumentally valuable to sustain larger population sizes at similar levels of wellbeing, this perspective is still somewhat naive because technological progress also has potentially devastating consequences such as climate change or AI risks. In that sense, one can actually make the case that the agricultural revolution was maybe the beginning of the end of the human race. So maybe if there would have been a way to grow our societies more deliberately and to optimize for wellbeing (rather than economic growth) from the beginning, it wouldn’t have been such a bad idea? I just want to illustrate that the whole situation is not as clear cut as you make it out to be.
Altogether, I would encourage you to keep more of an open mind regarding other perspectives. The post but also this comment of yours make it seem like you might be very quick in dismissing perspectives and being vocal about it even if you have not really engaged with them deeply. This makes you come across as naive to a somewhat more knowledgeable person which could put you at a personal disadvantage in the future and, in addition, could also be contributing to bad epistemics in your community if the people you are talking to are less informed and, thus, not able to spot where you might be cutting corners. Hope you don’t resent me for this personal side note, it’s meant in a constructive spirit.