Jeff Douthwaite believes that the majority of our societal issues can be fixed through advancements in technology. Douthwaite states on page 32 of his article, The Terrible Temptation of the Technological Fix, “Whatever the moral, ethical, or legal implications of a technological fix, if it works even temporarily to solve an important social problem, then it is an important contribution.” His main point in the article is that technology can at least buy us some time while we try to solve the issues through the social sciences, regardless of the unpredicted negative, moral or ethical repercussions. In Sean F. Johnson’s article The Technological Fix as Social Cure-All, he explains some less controversial ways that technology has permanently influenced society such as in the invention of radio, which according to Johnson has educated, entertained and unified the nation. He also talks about the advancements in travel, such as motor vehicles and aircraft. Unlike Douthwaite, Johnson believes that we need to be careful and be held responsible regarding the technological fixes we choose to entertain, and that we must not just consider the benefits of the technological fix. Likewise, Michael Huesemann and Joyce Huesemann have a similar thought to Johnson. In their article Techno Fix- Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, Michael and Joyce Huesemann state, “We have to continuously be vigilant for the possible occurrence of negative side effects of innovative technologies.”
There are many issues surrounding the environment as well as our society. Although there have been many great technological achievements throughout history that have made an enormous positive impact on the world as a whole, I think it would be ignorant for us to believe that there is a technological solution to solve every single one of our environmental and social issues we face today. I whole heartedly believe that we should not ignore the unintended consequences of technological fixes, but that we should be extremely vigilant in trying to understand and think through any negative consequences before we proceed with the technological fix. If the benefits outweigh the anticipated negative consequences, then it is something to consider. If the negative consequences could potentially exceed the benefits, maybe we should not move forward with that specific technological fix, and should instead pursue a different path. Obviously not all consequences of a technological fix can be predicted, there will always be some negative consequences, they are unavoidable and sometimes unpredictable, but it is my belief that we must do our best.