Is There Such Thing as Too Much Progress?

            The reason that powerful organizations would fear such machines is because these devices could innovate to challenge the technology and ideas currently in place. When speaking of Priestley’s innovations, it was said that, “He was riding the crest of a great dialectical wave… destroying all of the structures in its path.” (Johnson 151). Johnson also sheds light on the advancement of the “chemical revolution” in France with gunpowder, and alludes to the making of bombs, in a more modern take on the social consequences of technology (Johnson 128). According to Johnston, a “techno-fix” is a way of life that uses technology to make life easier and fix societal issues. After World War II, especially after the Manhattan Project, many people saw what the discipline of engineering was like and were inspired to “apply rapid innovation to recalcitrant human problems that had outlasted the war.” (Johnston 49). Michael and Joyce Huesemann warn that it can be dangerous to simply engineer a technological solution to every problem, detailing “scientific reductionism” and “the knowledge of very specific cause-and-effect mechanisms without understanding… the complex relationship within the entire system.” (Huesemann and Huesemann 13). Human matters aren’t as simple as an engineering solution, and a plethora of factors need to be considered. 

            Upon reading all of these texts, I personally think that there needs to be a balance of engineering with the “techno-fix’s” as well as the careful consideration and implementation of ideas and technologies that the Huesemann’s wrote about. The rapid fire of technology and ideas in Priestley’s time didn’t seem as effective as it could have been, so I feel that finding a way to integrate technology and consider more facets of the human experience would be more beneficial to everyone. Maybe society could benefit more from progress in moderation. 

Published by chasedboyd1

Hello! My name is Chase and I’m a computer science major at Montana State University.

One thought on “Is There Such Thing as Too Much Progress?

  1. Hi Chase. The idea of “progress in moderation” really struck me. Hindsight is always 20/20 and when we humans look back on all of the advancements we have made there are certainly a fair number of blunders that accompany them- both in terms of misinterpreting data as well as the unforeseen consequences of some of our scientific pursuits. In modern times, science is really a monies game- by that I mean where there is funding, there is research and where there isn’t money, typically there lies a dead end. Of course if humans were to “slow down” and assess the cause and effect of every scientific endeavor, we could likely mitigate a fair number of these unfavorable outcomes. But when the boss man starts applying the pressure to get some new drug on the market or whatever it may be, our greed and desire to elevate ourselves seems to take precedent. You gave me a lot to think about here. Nice post!

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