Michael Sacasas has a very interesting essay at The American (the AEI's magazine) about America's long love affair with technology, as discussed by Alexis de Tocqueville way way back in the 1830s:

The citizens of democratic nations, according to Tocqueville, “are always dissatisfied with the position which they occupy, and are always free to leave it, they think of nothing but the means of changing their fortune, or of increasing it.” Tocqueville, himself an aristocrat, did not think this restless, entrepreneurial climate the ideal habitat of sustained theoretical reflection.

Tocqueville understood what impressed Americans and it was not intellectually demanding and gratifying grand theory. It was rather “every new method which leads by a shorter road to wealth, every machine which spares labor, every instrument which diminishes the cost of production, every discovery which facilitates pleasures or augments them.” This was how democratic societies measured the value of science and America was no exception.

In other words, early Americans were particularly disposed to the 'practical sciences' because they were, to a historically unprecedented degree, starting from scratch--given the latitude to make their own position in the world, but also, simultaneously, not guaranteed a likely position other than by making it.

This seems plausible. If it's true, we might expect growing technophilia elsewhere, in places where older social institutions are dismantled or enfeebled. We might also expect some dropoff in American inventiveness as alternative pathways to stability, prosperity, and satisfaction emerge--inheritance, education, negotiation, etc--although it's possible that Americans have just made a cultural habit of restless innovation.

Incidentally, as Sacasas notes, this tendency among Americans is not without his hazards. His concern is largely to do with ephemerality and public virtue: if we're built to believe that we can always make things easier, then how are we to build characters tempered by dealing with difficulty, contemplation, and irreducible complexity?

I would add the usual technoskeptic complaint that at times our faith in our expertise and practical wisdom has made us overconfident. Another aside from The Forgotten Man:

What the public liked about [Herbert Hoover] was their sense of him as guardian, that he would protect them and what they had. If Hoover could win the presidential election the following year, then he might hold back whatever waters of adversity threatened...He could pick up where Coolidge left off--thought he might update things, for everyone knew that Hoover, a mining engineer, could do amazing things with technology.

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