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Techno-fixers : origins and implications of technological faith

Author: Sean Johnston
Publisher: Montreal ; Chicago : McGill-Queen's University Press, [2020]
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"A critical examination of modern faith in technology, Techno-Fixers evaluates past mistakes, present implications, and future opportunities for innovating societies."--
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Johnston, Sean, 1956-
Techno-fixers.
Montreal ; Kingston ; London ; Chicago : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2020
(OCoLC)1125323551
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Sean Johnston
ISBN: 9780228002055 0228002044 9780228002048 0228002052
OCLC Number: 1125323650
Description: 1 online resource (xvi, 324 pages)
Contents: 1 Modern Times and Technological Faith --
2 Rational Society: The Technocrats and "Technological Social Design" --
3 Mid-Century Confidences --
4 Engineering Culture: Alvin Weinberg and the Packaging of Technological Fixes --
5 Technological Promises in Popular Culture --
6 Tracing Life Histories of Technological Choices --
7 Implications of Technological Confidence --
8 The Future for Fixing.
Responsibility: Sean F. Johnston.
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Abstract:

"A critical examination of modern faith in technology, Techno-Fixers evaluates past mistakes, present implications, and future opportunities for innovating societies."--

"This is the story of a seductive idea. Over the past century, the potential of new technology to solve social dilemmas has captivated modern culture. From apps that encourage physical activity to airport scanners meant to prevent terrorism, the concept that clever innovation can improve society is irresistible, but faith in such technological fixes is seldom questioned. Where did this idea come from, what makes it so appealing, and how does it endanger our future? Techno-Fixers traces the source of modern confidence in technology to engineering hubris, radical utopian movements, science fiction fanzines, policy-makers' soundbites, corporate marketing, and optimistic consumer culture from the turn of the twentieth century until today. Sean Johnston demonstrates that, through the promotion of prominent government scientists, technocrats, entrepreneurs, and popular media, modern invention became the favourite tool for addressing human problems and society's ills. Nonetheless, when it comes to assessing the success of cigarette filters as the solution to safe smoking, or DDT as the answer for agricultural productivity, the evidence is sobering. Cautioning that the rhetoric of technological fixes seldom matches reality, Johnston examines how employing innovation to bypass traditional methods can foster as many problems as it solves."--

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"Sean Johnston has written an innovative study of a movement that has become a dominant feature of the modern world's obsession with technology. This is an important story that will be of interest to Read more...

 
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