technological “fixes”

In Douthwaite’s article, “Commentary: The Terrible Temptation of the Technological Fix”, he states that technological fixes are necessary to solve social problems. In Sean F. Johnston’s article “The Technological Fix as Social Cure-All”, he writes about a “well-connected engineer” named Dr. Alvin Weinberg. In this article, Johnston portrays Weinberg’s claim as one that would absolutely support Douthwaite’s. Although both Douthwaite and Weinberg mention that technological fixes aren’t absolute cures for social problems, they both support the notion that “technological innovation could confidently resolve any social issue.” Where Weinberg supports Douthwaite’s claim, the Huesemann’s realize that there is more to the story than this. They support that technology is useful, but they would critique Douthwaite’s and Weinberg’s opinion in terms of how these technological fixes affect the world around them. The Huesemanns realize that although technology can provide temporary fixes to human’s social issues, these fixes are not long lasting and they will negatively affect the environment around them. They would critique that Douthwaite and Weinberg forgot that we are all connected to everything around us, and the fact that what we do now will affect us later, therefore these temporary technological fixes may be causing larger problems down the line.

Technological fixes to social and environmental systems have negative repercussions because these fixes allow humans to put up a front and forget that we are all a part of a larger whole. This keeps us from seeing the long term effects that our technologies can have on both us and the environment around us. Although there are negative repercussions of using technological fixes, I don’t believe that these consequences should prevent us from finding technological solutions. Technology has already been useful in so many ways, although it can produce unintended negative consequences, we could possibly use technology to modify and improve the solutions we have in place, and find solutions to some of the issues that have been created.

3 thoughts on “technological “fixes””

  1. I completely agree with your stance. Technological fixes are only good for common sense problems. I don’t think we can determine how people think just by plugging in numbers into a logarithm. From a diplomatic stand point, if there was an obvious way to stop war between countries by knowing what to say to change there mind, everyone would be doing it. At the same time, it would be foolish to stop trying to advance technology because the pros outweigh the cons. Evolution is a complex and difficult thing to not only understand, but to fix with a technological solution. It’s like duck taping the biggest problems so that they work. It will work for a little bit, but then it begins to fall apart and is worthless.

  2. To add, not only would they be worthless, but it is a possibility that we could go backwards in technological development, and have major consequences, meaning that we would have to re-engineer or re think a problem from square one.

  3. I appreciate your comment it made everything I was trying to say so much clearer, the duct tape analogy is perfect I just wanted to thank you for that. also, I agree with your idea about possibly moving backwards in technological development, especially in terms of these temporary “fixes”

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