This week’s readings were very interesting as we heard from multiple perspectives on how technology should be implemented in society. More specifically, Douthwaite writes about how techno-fixes are “not a real solution” but believes they are ideas which must be entertained in order to give us time to understand the more deep-rooted issues we hope to understand in social sciences. Johnston certainly would agree with these statements as he writes about the importance which engineers of techno-fixes must evaluate and give great attention to the “scope of their analysis and longevity of their solutions”. Now what Johnston and Huesamann both criticize techno-fixes on deals with the idea of reductionism and it rather “narrowly defines the complexity of problems” (Johnston). Additionally, Huesamann stresses the importance of interconnectedness which plays a vital role in these complex systems. More descriptively they use examples of global cycles which naturally occur through physical, chemical, and biological processes at different magnitudes. In relation to these extreme levels of interconnectedness present on Earth, Huesmamann makes the argument that techno-fixes only further separates humankind’s understanding of attachment to the natural world and thus ignorant to the implications which are stated to be undeterminable and unavoidable.
With that said I believe the reason why technological fixes to social and environmental problems have negative repercussions is because our world and society can’t be reduced in the same sense which the understanding of technology and engineering can be. Because we live in an open system which is constantly adjusting and readjusting to fit the current environmentally pressures it is extremely difficult for a mechanistic reduced technology to do the same. With that said I do believe there is a place for technology in our society, but extreme caution must be held at a great priority and a more holistic, all-inclusive systems thinking approach would serve to our social, economically and ecological benefit.