It's a pretty lousy choice of words. That said, what the author means is this:
All things being equal, it's experience that human beings are expected to learn from. Apart from technological progress, thousands of years of war, famine, slavery, inequality, iniquity, the Black Plague, and so forth, that we have overcome multiple times, were supposed to have taught us to be kind, chivalrous, courageous, steadfast, sympathetic, loving, wise, and so forth. As a group, humanity has been through a lot. And yet, there doesn't seem to be much wisdom going around these days: we aren't really different from our cave-dwelling ancestors.
Case in point:
It took us (as a group) thousands of years to realize that slavery should not be tolerated. Being a slave is a misfortune; being a slave owner is ignominy. It's vile. It's shameful. Ew.
And yet our science fiction stories keep mentioning robots. Not just any robots, but ones that resemble humans.
There's no practical application for those. We've got plenty of robots working for us as it is, each perfectly suited to its function: phones, TVs, tractors, trains, assembly lines: all those are robots. Making them look human would only reduce their efficiency while increasing their energy consumption by orders of magnitude. And yet we insist (or at least science fiction writers do, and their readers welcome the idea) that we must have humanoid robots. The only explanation for this obsession one can think of is we want to be served on by beings that look, sound, and behave like ourselves. Subconsciously, we still want indentured servants - in spite of everything we know about the matter (i.e. in spite of our experience).
And, yes, we use our phones mostly to gossip, and our technology to buy shit we don't need, and upon close scrutiny the cry of "Pizza and YouTube!" is all but identical to "Bread and circuses!"