Are We Creating A Techno Funk?

As explored and discussed in the assigned articles, we are at a place in technology where it can be used in almost all senses of our lives. Douthwaite states that these technological fixes, when applied to social problems, can be an “important contribution”(Douthwaite, 32). Though he does address the instability of these fixes, he states that they can be quite useful. The other two authors have differing opinions on the subject. They believe that these fixes could never be accurate enough to fix much of anything. Johnston states in his closing argument that “Modern problems cannot be reduced to mere engineering solutions over the long term; human goals are constantly changing” (Johnston, 8). His argument pushes the claim that humans and our society(s) are not simple enough to be fixed using technology. Huesemann addresses the negative consequences that come with the use of these fixes. His claim explains how the environment can be impacted. “If both the magnitude of and speed of human actions are greater than the adaptive capacity of nature, certain natural processes may cease to function entirely, resulting in irreversible consequences” (Huesemann, 8). While there are short-term benefits of technological fixes, there are many uncalculated risks that need to be addressed.

These negative repercussions exist because of the ever changing state of society and nature. The characteristics of both aspects makes it near impossible to have long-term and effective results. While these risks can have negative impacts, they can also improve certain issues for a period of time and allow us to find a new solution. I side with Douthwaite in the fact that these fixes, while not perfect, do serve a useful purpose when used in moderation. The exploration of new solutions should not stop just because of failed attempts in the past.

1 thought on “Are We Creating A Techno Funk?”

  1. It’s hard to blame scientists who are on the cutting edge for our societal problems, but it is true that more are arising from the evolution of technology. In terms of risks being not calculated, science is much larger than the individual. Especially the advanced science and technology we have access to in the palm of our hands. It wasn’t a single person who created all the technology we use today, but rather a collective of scientists, engineers, and inventors who all have different goals and morals. I started this comment as more of an exercise in being critical of the authors (and I liked your title). While typing this I realized that since science is a collective of people, the best way to reduce unintended consequences is to fundamentally change how we approach scientific processes. The authors touch on how reductionist reasoning fails in many ways, which is what I’m getting at. Thanks for the post!

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