The final chapters of The Invention of Air, focuses on Priestley’s involvement in multiple controversies (Johnson 152). He published History of the Corruptions of Christianity, picking apart core Christian beliefs (Johnson 152-153). Priestley’s challenge of religion from a scientific perspective, is not only an attack on a belief system, but an attack on how the country is run. Governments and religions should fear air pumps and electrical machines, because knowledge is power that, in many cases, take their power away. A current example is AI technology, how can AI be regulated in the government? Can it be regulated at all? Is furthering human advancement worth the controversy this kind of technology could cause?
In Sean F. Johnston’s “The Technological Fix as Social Cure-All” he describes a “technological fix” as the idea that technology can solve or “fix” any problem (Johnston 48). The World War II introduced many new technologies especially in nuclear energy (Johnston 49). The war is often looked at as “fixed” by technology and not by human growth, the motivation to continue this easy solution would have been ideal. Essentially, technology provided an easy way out of the war. Although, Huesemann and Huesemann state “the benefits of technology” cannot be “obtained without cost”. They cite the example of global warming stating some costs of advancing technology are very irreversible (Huesemann and Huesemann 9). A quick and easy “techno-fix” may be efficient and cheap, but these qualities exemplify human complacency. A modern example of this is modern Instagram culture. People seek a quick solution to their mood through the instant gratification they receive from likes on social media. But the longterm effects of seeking satisfaction on the internet are actually very detrimental to mental health.