Newton’s 3rd Law and Technological Fixes

Newton’s third law of motion states: ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’. I can’t say I’m a huge physics guy, but after this week’s readings I found that statement to be very applicable to all three texts. This observation was only reinforced when I read the Huesemann and Huesemann article “Techno-Fix”, which basically mimics the same phrase in a critique of technological fixes being necessary to solve social problems. They claim that “technology will produce both positive and negative effects”, which is something that needs to be realized by people like Douthwaite, who “ignore, the often-enormous negative” aspects of technology (Huesemann & Huesemann 7). It is then Johnston who goes into even more detail, stating that “technological fixes have cultural, ethical, and political dimensions”, all of which often create more of a mess then there was to begin with (Johnston 52).
Following the theme of this blog, I believe that technological fixes to social and environmental systems have negative repercussions because every action humans take have equal and opposite reactions. Like from last weeks Diamond reading, we saw that Montana’s need for lumber for livelihood and industry has now directly caused sediment runoff and more intense forest fires. In short, we never want to cause these problems, but our mere actions will cause issues to arise in environment and society. Should this prevent us from finding technological fixes to our problems, however? Absolutely not. With this being said, however, I still believe it is just as important to preserve the environmental and social systems we live in, but we can’t hinder advancement because of them. That’s why I believe its important to know the consequences of our actions before we act, which will help foster better growth for technology and the environment/society.

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