The Old College Try for a Quick Fix to Major Social Issues

Douthwaite’s point in solving social issues through engineering and technology is a temporary and quick fix on major social issues. In the second to last and last paragraphs, he states that finding a temporary fix is “buying us time” for a “building block” of a social understanding of the world. In H&H’s article (Huesemann and Huesemann) the conservation biologist David Ehrenfeld States that  evolution is all though “slow and wasteful” it’s the most reliable and has consistently worked for human survival and adaptation. In Johnston Page 52, he states that temporary solutions could be dangerous to the environment and to humanity. Johnston took the example of the H-bomb and how it was a quick fix to the problem at hand which was the second world war, but devastated Japan. And the aftermath was years of rebuilding the country. Two steps forward three steps back I guess. In summary of the critique of Douthwaite, the technological fix is just a way to stall the real problem at hand. It’s similar to using duck tape to fix a car. When people do that, they don’t understand what they’re  doing and there car could blow up eventually. But hey, at least the problem is “kinda fixed.”

H&H on page 9&10 has stated the impact global warming could have on the environment and humanity and this is not a small risk. If science and technology makes to great of an error, there will be nothing more to develop. And the more advanced we get, the greater consequences we could have. I’ve stated the consequences of the quick fix with my crude humor of the H-bombs in Japan. But humor aside, at the time it seemed to be the logical thing to do. Japan were enemies of the U.S. and didn’t show much of a sign that they were going to stop. After the bombs came down, we were able to go back in and rebuild the country of Japan, and they didn’t fall too far behind in technology.  After discovering the potential of nuclear energy and the devastation it could do, we didn’t stop developing it (Until Manhattan Island and Chernobyl, but for my point i’m going to ignore those incidents.)  We as a society were able  to develop and alternative energy that was cleaner than crude oil. And had we stopped from developing nuclear energy because of the scare of the nuclear bomb, we would not be at a point to use it for consumption in urban societies. In summary, I don’t think unintended consequences should stop us from finding technological solutions to our problems because the world is going to rely on technology for the future problems (i.e. global warming).

1 thought on “The Old College Try for a Quick Fix to Major Social Issues”

  1. Hi Cody,

    I think your first paragraph is excellent! I love how you grabbed text from all three passages in order to prove your point. You did a fantastic job of explaining temporary solutions and the issues they create. Saying that people don’t understand the problem but at least it’s “kind of” fixed, really narrowed in on Huesemann’s point! Your example from World War 2 was very fitting. Technology certainly can be used for a variety of things (I focused on phones and other electronics). It is interesting to think about humanity and the logic behind continuously attempting to develop items more devastating than the atomic bomb. I agree with you that the negatives should not outweigh the positives of technology.

    Have a great day 🙂


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