Since the Medieval Industrial Revolution, Western Civilization has relied on increasing wealth through the replacement of human power for other power sources. In the Medieval times it was water power. Then we switched to coal, then to oil, and now we're starting to move to electricity. This transference is a Good Thing - the elimination of slavery, for one - but it comes at a cost.The assertion is partially true: the medieval economy did not have the same rules of contract or the same attitude toward experimentation than we did. Thus, the argument overlooks one possible way out.
Further, the energy becomes a fundamental necessity for that level of technology in that Fitness Landscape. When all of the potential sources for water power had been used the Medieval economy stopped growing. There was only so much energy that could be used to do so much work with so much raw resources.I agree, the Actors might to adapt. Their adaptation, however, might include new rules for the more complex world.
When that happens the Fitness Landscape has to change because the conditions have changed. This means the Actors who were the fittest during times of growth are no longer the fittest and they, and the Fitness Landscape simplify.