samedi 14 janvier 2012

Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us or the Environment by Michael Huesemann & Joyce Huesemann - Book review


Why Technology Won't Save Us Or the Environment

By: Michael Huesemann, Ph.D., Joyce Huesemann, Ph.D.

Published: October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback, 464 pages
ISBN-10: 0865717044
ISBN-13: 978-0865717046
Publisher: New Society Publishers

"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", write research scientist Michael Huesemann, Ph.D., and activist and academic Joyce Huesemann, Ph.D., in their deeply profound and thought provoking book Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us Or the Environment. The authors present a compelling rebuttal to the widely held belief that technology will solve the challenges facing the environment, energy, social needs, and the economy, but instead may even make the existing problems worse.

Michael Huesemann, Ph.D. and Joyce Huesemann, Ph.D. recognize that while technology has solved many problems in the past, that same technological imperative has created new and even more dangerous and unpredictable unintended consequences. The authors consider those unintended consequences to be both unpredictable and unavoidable, and that continued faith in technology is based on a lack of knowledge and understanding of both the nature of the problem, and of the technology employed to address and resolve that same challenge.The authors point out that both public and private sector analyses are biased in support of untested and potentially dangerous new technology. For the authors, the unquestioning faith in technology has not only failed to resolve the salient issues or provide real happiness, but instead leads away from sustainability and toward collapse.

Michael Huesemann, Ph.D. and Joyce Huesemann, Ph.D. challenge directly what they consider the myth of technological inevitability. The authors demonstrate that technology is not value neutral and that the ethics of the technological imperative are deeply flawed in both conception and application. For the authors, the profit motive is the driving force behind the technological imperative and that science and technology as currently practiced are unable to meet the challenges facing the environment, society, and the economy.

The authors propose a complete paradigm shift toward reorienting science and technology in a different direction that is more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable. The authors address the following challenges and realities facing society and its worldview regarding science and technology that demand a new paradigm:

* Technology and its limitations
* The uncritical acceptance of technology
* The next scientific and technological revolution

For me, the power of the book is how Michael Huesemann, Ph.D. and Joyce Huesemann, Ph.D. apply their scientific and engineering credentials and expertise the critical challenge posed by the uncritical acceptance of the technological imperative. The authors address the myths of technological advancement and progress, as not only unable to solve the problems facing the modern world, but instead are hastening collapse. The authors take a holistic approach to the issues of technology, science, the environment, society, and the economy. Through this big picture analysis, the authors point out how technology has impact, as well as unpredictable unintended consequences elsewhere in the system.

Importantly, Michael Huesemann, Ph.D. and Joyce Huesemann, Ph.D. write that the potential problems unaddressed, made worse, or even created by the unchallenged acceptance of new technology can be stopped. The authors consider the march of technology is by no means inevitable, and does not automatically equate to progress. Instead, the authors propose that everyone within society take a closer look at science and technology, and reconsider their flawed and failing worldview. That fresh thinking will also reclaim control over science and technology, and consider sustainable benefit to all of society and the environment. For the authors, a continued uncritical acceptance of the scientific imperative will not solve any problems, but will lead inevitably to collapse.

I highly recommend the landmark and must read book Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us Or the Environment by Michael Huesemann, Ph.D. and Joyce Huesemann, Ph.D., to anyone seeking a comprehensive analysis of and challenge to the widely held belief in the technological imperative and its ability to provide solutions to the problems facing the environment, society, and the economy. Whether you agree with the authors' premises or conclusions, it's crucial that a person read and understand the arguments presented by the authors. All of our futures depend on making the right decisions that are sustainable and benefit everyone.

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