A large number of the significant improvements to the guitar that matter to guitarists have all happened ahead of the output jack. Humbucking pickups (which you already mentioned), active electronic pickup systems, locking tuners, various vibrato assemblies, noise cancelling single coil pickups like the Fender Lace Sensor and its successors, the Sustainiac and Fernandes Sustainer systems, piezoelectric pickups, different formulations of guitar strings and different neck and body materials and dimensions are all examples. Certainly, great gains have been made in amplification technology, and the proliferation of cheap mass-produced digital effects and moderately priced high-quality analog effects have allowed a greater variation of noises to emanate from the speakers of guitarists everywhere, but it's not like Ted Nugent could plug in some effect box and sound like Eddie Van Halen - a lot of things happen before the output jack. Also, to borrow the phrase from the coders - "Garbage In, Garbage Out." To marginalize what happens before the output jack is like the director that lets a bad take go and tells the crew "We'll fix that in post". Anything that can be done to get a better quality or more desirable signal out of the guitar in the first place should be considered, since it makes the job of all the things after the output jack all the easier. IMO, guitar effects are best like makeup - most of the time they're better when tastefully done and not noticed, and if you are going to draw attention to it, it better be awesome.)
If I already have a problem with people not knowing where they really are on the internet, and they get horrid stuff all over their computers, and I can't get them to change mbam.exe to mbam.com to run sneakily run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware because they're either completely unfamiliar with file extensions or just plain can't see them to change them, how could I possibly be in favor of the foreseeable URL-free future where they don't even know where they're browsing/downloading stuff from?
At the risk of being pedantic (which I doubt is much of a problem on
Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.