Techno-Fix Why Technology Won't Save Us or the Environment

ISBN-10: 0865717044

ISBN-13: 9780865717046

Edition: 2011

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: New Society Publishers, Limited
Publication date: 10/4/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 464
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.694

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction
Technology and Its Limitations
The Inherent Unavoidability and Unpredictability of Unintended Consequences
Interconnectedness
Human Improvement upon Nature
Unavoidable Negative Effects of Technology
Irreversible Consequences
The Limitations of Reductionism
When Things Bite Back: Some Unintended Consequences of Modern Technology
Unintended Environmental Consequences
Unintended Consequences of Industrialized Agriculture
Unintended Side Effects of Genetic Engineering
Unintended Consequences of the Automobile
Intended and Unintended Consequences of High-Technology Welfare
Unintended Consequences of High-Tech Medicine
Unintended Consequences of Technological Revolutions
The Decline in Fitness of Future Generations
Technology, Exploitation and Fairness
Technology and Exploitation
Technological Exploitation of Nature
Human Domination of Nature
Machines and the Control and Exploitation of Workers
Television: A Powerful Tool for Social Control and Manipulation
Military Technologies
In Search of Solutions I: Counter-Technologies and Social Fixes
Counter-Technologies
Social Fixes
Environmental Counter-Technologies
Military Counter-Technologies
Medical Counter-Technologies
Unintended Consequences of Counter-Technologies and Social Fixes
In Search of Solutions II: Efficiency Improvements
Technological Progress and Rising Material Affluence
Efficiency Improvements and Limited Resources
Inherent Limits to Efficiency Improvements
Unintended Consequences of Efficiency Solutions
Sustainability or Collapse?
Sustainable Development and Eco-Efficiency
Three Conditions for Long-term Sustainability
Challenge #1: Serious Environmental Impacts of Large-Scale Renewable Energy Generation
Challenge #2: Replacement of Non-Renewable Materials with Renewable Substitutes
Challenge #3: Complete Recycling of Non-Renewable Materials and Wastes
Sustainability or Collapse?
The Uncritical Acceptance of Technology
Technological Optimism and Belief in Progress
Belief Progress: A Brief History
Comparison of Belief in Progress to Religious Faith
Ignorance: The Basis of Most Techno-Optimism
Medical Techno-Optimism
Techno-Optimism and the Mass Media
The Decline of Techno-Optimism
The Positive Biases of Technology Assessments and Cost-Benefit Analyses
An Overview of Cost-Benefit Analysis
Problem #1: Boundary Selection and Externalization of Costs
Problem #2: Prediction of Potential Impacts and Selection of Appropriate Indicators
Problem #3: Institutional Biases and the Perception of Costs and Benefits
Problem #4: Monetization of Non-Market Values
Problem #5: The Ethics of Cost-Benefit Analyses
The Uncritical Adoption of the Automobile
The Hidden Costs of Biofuels
Limited Testing of the Effectiveness of Medical Therapies
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): A Biased Indicator of Economic Progress
Happiness
Technological Innovation, Consumerism and Materialism
Material Affluence and Happiness
Explaining the Paradox
Sources of Happiness
The Destruction of Traditional Sources of Happiness
The Uncritical Acceptance of New Technologies
The Myth of Value-Neutrality
The Myth of Autonomous Technology
The Technological Imperative
Technological Dependency and Loss of Freedom
The Undemocratic Control of Technology
Profit Motive: The Main Driver of Technological Development
Technological Development as a Social Process
Understanding the Meaning of Profit
Profit Maximization and the Development of New Technologies
Profit Maximization: Agriculture and Food
Profit Maximization: Medical Care
Profit Maximization: Military Technologies and Foreign Policy
The Next Scientific and Technological Revolution
The Need for a Different Worldview
The Power of Worldviews and Paradigms
Conflicting Worldviews and Paradigm Shirts
A Different View of Reality
A Different View of the Economy
A Different View of Science and Technology
A Different View of Medicine
The Need for Increased Awareness
The Design of Environmentally Sustainable and Socially Appropriate Technologies
Design Criteria for Environmental Sustainability
Design Criteria for Social Appropriateness
The Prevention of Unintended Consequences
The Democratic Control of Technology
Local Organic Agriculture: A Model of Environmentally Sustainable and Socially Appropriate Technology
Critical Science and Social Responsibility
The Myth of Value-Neutrality
A New, Critical Science
The Question of Responsibility
The Problem of Professionalism
The Need for Comprehensive Professional Ethics
Toward a Critical Science and Engineering
For Further Thought
Bibliography
End Notes
Index
About the Authors
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