The reason governments and religion should be afraid of air pumps and electrical machines is simply because scientific advancement is such a powerful tool. Whoever holds the newest technology inevitably holds more power over those who don’t have access or understanding of it. In Priestley’s eyes, conflict from the outside world looked like progress, but the fear generated by the public was much more violent than helpful. The most topical version of this situation happening today is the large number of people who believe the science surrounding COVID-19 is a hoax. While not actively burning down the homes of scientists, these people have been known to meet up in huge groups just to protest against wearing masks. In a way, they are inciting violence and death even without knowing that is what they are doing.
A technological fix is the idea that technology is a ‘cure-all’ for society. This view puts some amount of pressure on scientists and engineers to fix problems in society that previously were on the shoulders of social scientists. These technological fixes have been increasingly popular after World War II partly due to rallies that went around glorifying them. In general, this was a period of technological advancements for the modern consumer. Many everyday items that make our lives easier were created during this period. We are warned against the reliance on these fixes however. Humans are constantly in competition with nature and trying to improve on it which is proven in many cases to not even be possible. There is a delicate balance there that humans have little problem messing with but could lead to larger problems if left unchecked.