Interesting thesis, but I don't buy it. Audience were not discovering technology for the first time, and it was not the first time cinema explored it. One of the most classic sci fi films ever was Metropolis, made in the 1920s. There were some very good sci fi films made in that era (and some very bad ones too).
In fact, Blade runner didn't appeal to audiences much when it was released. It has become a classic afterwards, probably because it's based on a quality story and the acting, direction, music and atmosphere of the film are great. And because Ridley got rid of the annoying voice over, which the movie execs mandated so the dumb audience could understand it. Not a passionate audience, note, or at least, that's not how the movie industry saw the audience and the films they were creating for them.