"Hmm. 'Progress' is a pretty straightforward song. I'm surprised it hasn't been interpreted yet. Progress (the progress of the USA more specifically – 'they speak of progress in red, white and blue') seems to help us all in the short run, but in all reality it does more harm than good. We don't think about the long term ramifications of new ideas. In moving forward we bring the human race closer to its demise. Progress may benefit a select few for the time being, but it ruins countless others in process. Grr. It's hard to summarize and explain a song that's already so simple..."
-Amish Rake Fighter
"I'd say that the above is true enough, but I'd also add that one emphasis of the song seems to be the inability, or even unwillingness of people to make connections in regard to their actions. Like how our dependence upon convenience has rendered us blind to the reality that the convenience is not only false, but ultimately our downfall. This is portrayed in near every line with first the offering of an apparent positive and then juxtaposing that positive with the reality; ex. 'The structure of our heritage as demise comes seething through', 'One step closer to the future, one inch closer to the end', before finally driving it home with 'Before you go and contribute more to the destruction of this world you adore'. This is really one of the most well written songs that I've ever heard."
"I think the first entry was 100% right. It was 'superficial progress' (numbers game fame).. kind of like what just happened (2001 09 11) we thought were so above it. Cos we thought there was an amount of 'progress' that got us there, but of course... it was only superficial. Like the above entry said. it's way too simple to explain. But there ya go! :p"
"I don't think that's it really so simple. I think this entire album was written with the concept of the universal system of increasing disorder that allows life to exist. I think to some extent. besides the literal pitfalls of progress, the song is also a metaphor for the biological nature of life, becoming ordered by increasing the disorder of the surroundings. I think it also has to do with the idea that progress is not a linear expression of human intellectual evolution as we might hope, but a much more chaotic system that in the process of advancing humanity's total knowledge has also altered what it means to be human."