Technology. Good or bad?

On the one hand, Douthwaite defends the technological phenomena to make our life easier in a short term, and he comments on some examples, such as the mass production or some devices to help us when we are drunk. On the other hand, the other two authors seem to criticize technology. In the Johnston’s reading, we can perceive that technological fixes are condemned for “inadequate engineering practice, failures of government policy, or outcomes of modern consumerism.” (Johnston, 52). Other examples he gives is that nuclear technologies are regarded as dangerous, as well as the DDT elements, which are blamed for ecological damage. In addition, in the Huesemann’s reading, it is also highlighted the importance of the damage some artificial compounds can suppose. Furthermore, “technology is directly related to the scale of exploitation of nature.” (Huesemann, 8), and there are irreversible consequences of these technology fixes, such the climate change or their impact in planetary ecosystems.

Technological fixes to social and environmental systems have negative effects as they provoke irreversible consequences. It also has to do with the overuse of nature, as it “depends not only on the magnitude of human activities but also on the speed at which they are carried out.” (Huesemann, 8). One example for this could be that regarding the extinction of species as well as indigenous human cultures. Perhaps, this might be a reason why unintended consequences should help us stop using technology in the way we are applying it. If we notice that something is wrongly used or that have serious and dangerous consequences, we should give up employing it so as we could find another alternative for that.

2 thoughts on “Technology. Good or bad?”

  1. I do not believe that Douthwaite defends technological fixes, I believe he simply makes the claim that they are an important barrier to protect the human race from its own cultural complications. I see it as, Douthwaite is stating that technological fixes are necessary, yet still a problem, simply a place holder for natural human evolution. However, I agree with your final assertion that if we are able to identify a problem, we should eliminate said problem.

  2. The question is how do we move to a state where we can stop employing technologies that we know are dangerous? I agree with your position that we should continue using technology. It needs to be “safe”, but since that currently isn’t the case around the world, how do we get there? How can we determine where the line is on how safe a technology is? I would say cars are very dangerous pieces of technology, and we should get rid of them. Unfortunately, that would be a hard sell to the vast majority of the population. Once you start talking about getting the entire global community on board with cutting technology, it seems like an impossible task.

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