Nice Try Douthewaite

A technological fix is a noble idea; however, the idea is not without its own flaws. There is no such thing as a universal answer to every problem. People vary in every way imaginable and with that there problems even more so, some problems can be fixed with an easy solution, usually that is because it is a more simplistic problem. For example, a rather simple and easy to solve problem would be not remembering which side of your car the gas tank is on. At first it may not appear to be a problem at all but slowly as you mistake which side the tank is on you become rather annoyed this problem has a simple fix. To alleviate this common issue, engineers began placing a little arrow next the the gas tank to indicate which side of your car the gas tank was on. As I said earlier, I applaud the idea of a technological fix despite the many ramifications that may ensue. Hypothetically this fix would be amazing, solving all the world’s problems but, people tend to create problems with solves that would only create new problems. Douthewaite failed to note this concept, that even the simplest solutions on an environmental scale will consequently produce further obstacles. “Noting this predicament, the Huesemann article asserted that “the negative and sometimes irreversible consequences brought by the application of science and technology are not inherently unavoidable but intrinsically unpredictable” (Husseman and Husseman 15).  The final argument of Johnston contended that technological fixes would result in an economic hierarchy that would in turn allow those with more wealth and availability to access this technology and host a monopoly over the industry (Johnston 53).


Sociological issues contain vastly complex components and cannot be simply solved by a by a singular technological fix. As a species we must realize our place within the environment, understanding that every action we take has some underlying consequence.


Works Cited:

“Techno-Fix: Why Technology Wont Save Us or the Environment.” Choice Reviews Online, vol. 49, no. 09, Jan. 2012, doi:10.5860/choice.49-5021.

Johnston, Sean F. “The Technological Fix as Social Cure-All: Origins and Implications.” IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, vol. 37, no. 1, 2018, pp. 47–54., doi:10.1109/mts.2018.2795118

Douthwaite, Jeff. “Commentary: The Terrible Temptation of the Technological Fix.” Science, Technology, & Human Values, vol. 8, no. 1, 1983, pp. 31–32., doi:10.1177/016224398300800107.