Technology and an Avalanche of Problems

The article by the Huesemann siblings and the article by Sean Johnston give great explanations of why technological fixes won’t solve our problems. Johnston’s concluding sentence (Johnston, pg. 54) clearly states his view, that social problems we face are sometimes too complicated to be solved by technology or engineering. Similarly, the Huesemann siblings view is made clear in the concluding paragraph (Huesemann, pg. 15) that technology can sometimes bring negative and irreversible consequences.  Both the Huesemann’s and Johnston would argue Douthwaite’s claims by giving negative outcomes of Dothwaite’s examples (Dothwaite, pg. 31). For instance, they would probably argue that mass production has led to some of the world’s climate change problems. Also, more powerful weapons would lead to more deadly wars because the wrong people would eventually use those weapons.

In my opinion Johnston has a great answer for why technological fixes have negative repercussions. “Human goals are diverse and constantly changing.” (Johnston, pg. 54) Even if humans use technology to fix a social problem, our views on that problem may shift in the future. Solving one problem may lead to an avalanche of new problems that are unforeseen. Although technology does lead to unintended consequences I don’t think it should be abandoned. I think that humans need to try and work together more to figure out what the possible side effects are from new technologies. Creating multidisciplinary teams to work on a problem will give a better understanding from different views. This will not catch all the problems, but finding more informed ways of creating safe technology will be key in a more advanced future.