“Destroy nature, destroy yourself”

Douthwaite stated that while technological fixes can often be necessary to solve social problems, these technological fixes can often have unforeseen negative effects.                                      Douthwaite additionally claims that technological fixes are often short term in their scope. Problems solved only to be replaced with more, and potentially worse problems in the future. Douthwaites concept of how technology impacts the world relates directly to the other readings.  Johnston describes several cases where technology has created problems that are quickly solved by new technology. One such example would be oil spills that are being cleaned up by oil digesting microbes. Because of the nature of technology and the potential for unforeseen consequences, engineers are often called upon to solve issues caused by other engineers.  Michael and Joyce Huesemann warn that as a part of the world we effect and are affected by the planet. The knowledge of human interconnection with the planet is a conception shared among many aboriginal people. For Example, Huesemann heeds warning from the Maori such as “Destroy nature, destroy yourself.”

As technology advances, we are subject to suffer the consequences left in the wake.  We as a species are terrible foreseers of the future. I think it is foolish to think humans will ever stop creating new technology, now is the time for us to create a code of engineering ethics, and begin analyzing global technological impacts.  It is impossible to see the future, but now is the time for us to make cultural decisions about technology that limit its destructive potential.

2 thoughts on ““Destroy nature, destroy yourself””

  1. I agree with most of what you said in the first paragraph I will say that from my general understanding Douthwaite more made the statement that technological fixes should only be short-term in their nature. I like how you talked about the Maori’s quote from the article as it was a really good summary of the idea that we shouldn’t rampantly use technological fixes as they tend to destroy us in the long run. I also like your point in the second paragraph that we should make a cultural decision that limits its destructive potential. In my own opinion, I think we as a society should listen to our scientist more in our lawmaking and that our engineers and scientists need to become more connected with the laymen.

  2. I would also like to say I agree with what Edward said in his first paragraph. Technological fixes are short term. A lot have unforeseen negative effects. Authors Johnston, huesemann and huesemann counter douthwaite argument that technological fixes should solve our social problems. I also like your example of the oil spills. This can greatly be used for such problems. In your second paragraph I greatly believe that humans will never stop creating new technology. Lets just hope we don’t destroy ourselves in the process.

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