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Technology and Society: Is Belief in Technological Progress Justified?

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Published on Apr 21, 2013

Why do we apply one crazy techno-fix after another? Listen to Dr. Huesemann on the ExtraEnvironmentalist Show. Visit http://www.newtechnologyandsociety.org

In this in-depth ExtraEnviromentalist Podcast interview, Dr. Michael Huesemann questions a primary paradigm of our age: that advanced technology alone will extricate us from an ever increasing load of social, environmental, and economic ills. Dr. Huesemann is discussing the new book, Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us ore the Environment. In Techno-fix, it is demostrated why negative unintended consequences of science and technology are inherently unavoidable and unpredictable, why counter-technologies, techno-fixes, and efficiency improvements do not offer lasting solutions, and why modern technology, in the presence of continued economic growth, does not promote sustainability but instead hastens collapse. Despite the serious shortcomings and consequences of past technologies, the public often uncritically accepts new technology, believing that additional and more advanced technology will eventually provide satisfactory solutions. Techno-Fix analyzes this paradox and assert that technological optimism and the unrelenting belief in progress is based on ignorance, that most technological cost-benefit analyses are biased in favor of new technologies, and that increasing consumerism and materialism, which have been facilitated by science and technology, have failed to increase happiness. The common belief that technological change is inevitable is questioned, the myth of the value-neutrality of technology is exposed, and the ethics of the technological imperative: "what can be done, should be done" is challenged. Instead, the profit motive of corporations is identified as the main determinant of the direction of technological change. Techno-Fix asserts that science and technology, as currently practiced, cannot solve the many serious problems we face and that a paradigm shift is needed to reorient science and technology in a more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable direction.

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