Technological Fixes: A Guide on How to Create More Problems

Douthwaite’s statement that technological fixes are necessary to solve social problems would be critiqued in two vastly different ways by the other two authors. Johnston seems to play devil’s advocate within his own piece, stating both the positive and negative consequences that technological fixes have had in the modern world, more specifically in solving social problems; for this reason, I believe Johnston would probably either remain neutral or just introduce some potential flaws Douthwaite addressed but never explained, like the ethics behind technological advance and the fact that technological fixes are really just short-term. The Huessmann’s hold completely opposite views to Douthwaite, as they believe that technology definitely has more negative consequences than positive ones. I believe they would heavily critique Douthwaite on the idea of “short term fixes”, primarily because their main argument is for the environmental detriment that technological fixes have caused. Since these fixes are temporary according to Douthwaite, and there seems to be a cascade of issues created by each one, the Heussmanns would argue that it’s morally wrong to keep destroying the environment to promote one temporary fix of some trivial human social issue.

Technological fixes to social and environmental systems have such negative repercussions because it’s humans, in essence, trying to play God. As humans, we believe that we have the ability to solve all problems, which isn’t correct because we don’t understand how a majority of the world works. We try to solve environmental issues, like maintaining elk populations by killing wolves and just end up causing more problems because we don’t understand how nature works. When we apply technological fixes to environmental and social problems, we are trying to change nature or human nature, respectively, when we don’t even understand fully how either works. This gap between actual and perceived understanding is why the technological fixes humans introduce yield such negative consequences.

1 thought on “Technological Fixes: A Guide on How to Create More Problems”

  1. Hi Sophie,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog, and I found your first paragraph to be especially detailed. You did a great job of giving a through background and supporting details for how each author may disagree with Douthwaite. This being said, I also found your second paragraph to be very insightful. I’m not sure humans are intentionally trying to play God, however, rather we look out for our own interests which will often times hurt the environment and social systems around us. In other words, we don’t view the world as our own laboratory, rather we create what we believe to be solutions to our own problems without understanding the future effects of our actions.

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