The Necessity of a Technological Fix

Philosopher Arne Naess would argue that the technological fix is inadequate, as they are all too often shallow, and fail to fully solve a problem. Rather than rely solely on a technological fix, Naess would suggest a combination of various solutions depending on the situation at hand. Economist Ernst Schumacher would argue that the technological fixes do not properly consider important details relating to problems, such as the resources involved or the people themselves. Alongside that, he would argue that technological fixes incorporate elements that may be counterproductive for creating a proper solution or system. Naess, Schumacher, and Douthwaite would likely all agree that technology has an important place in remedying social problems, but their method of applying it differs.


Technological fixes of the past were fueled by optimism and a narrow view of what the actual problems were. Without fully considering the aspects of a problem, fixing it becomes much harder, and can have unforeseen consequences. That being said, preventing all consequences when solving a problem is far easier said than done, even if the solution is not a technological one. Technological solutions do have their place in our society, and should not be cast aside because of risks. However, risks should be properly evaluated and considered before implementing any kind of solution that may impact that lives of human beings. It is very important that when solving one problem, you do not accidentally create more. There are almost definitely problems that can be solved with technological fixes, but that does not mean that every problem can be solved in the same way. Properly understanding a problem should be the first step to solving it.