Goldilocks Principle: Techno-fix Edition

“Whatever the moral, ethical, or legal implications of a technological fix, if it works even temporarily to solve an important social problem, then it is an important contribution” (Douthwaite, 32). An outlook on technological fixes like Douthwaite explains is exactly why Johnston and Huesemann and Huesemann critique the “good faith” behind it. It was obvious in Johnston’s article that he agreed upon the idea that technological fixes could serve positive purposes and that there is grand opportunity for these fixes in the future, and even right now. However, it seemed to be the “solutionism” and “short-cut” mentality behind the advancements alongside the unaware outcome of them that held his concern the most. Huesemann and Huesemann differ in views, as they had nothing very positive to say about the movement of technological fixes. Their critique focused on scientific reductionism and the irreversible consequences that follow. Ultimately, I think the major difference between Douthwaite and others is that technological fixes deserve concern and attention for its inevitable consequences, not that these fixes are good because of reason.

 

I believe that technological fixes have negative repercussions due to the reductionist view behind them. We have, for years in science, reduced anything and everything from its complexity to simplicity. When creating technological fixes, there seems to be a historical pattern that long term affects or consequences are left out of the conversation — which is why we abruptly stopped using DDT, we stopped using asbestos, we stopped allowing airports to be such a leisure, and so on. Unintended consequences are inevitable, that’s a part of learning how to control them in the future. What draws me away from these technological fixes is the notion that one fix will cover up the mess of another fix, with another, and continue this process until we’ve got it just right. We should not stop finding technological solutions to our problems, but we should have concern and balance moving forward.

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