We Think We’re SOOOO Smart

Douthwaite describes the “technological fix” as necessary in solving social issues, but in a way that’s different from both Johnston and Huesemann. My interpretation of Douthwaite’s idea of the technological fix is to use it as a tool rather than a solution. Johnston writes of the technological fix from a free market capitalist perspective wherein engineers can fix social problems more quickly and effectively than government regulation can. Huesemann and Huesemann’s perspective comes from an ecological standpoint. They essentially write that through the process of evolution and natural selection, any human “improvements” made on nature will always have a negative outcome. 

I like thinking of the scientific method as “mechanistic reductionism.” It is such an accurate term that effectively describes the perspective scientists, engineers, and the like, have towards the world. If you can figure out each individual component of an issue, surely that equates to understanding the entire system. This universally accepted method, however doesn’t take into account the complex interactions and relationships that happen as a whole. This is a big reason why there are negative repercussions to technological bandages. Should possible negative repercussions halt the developments of new technologies to fix social issues? I think not. I think developing new technologies just for the sake of developing new technologies should slow down because of possible negative repercussions. Technologies like creating dark matter or worm holes or cloning humans shouldn’t be pursued because the risk is so high for everyone on this planet. Other technologies however, like ones that can assist the elderly or new ways to recycle plastic should be pursued because these issues already exist and can be improved.

Leave a Reply