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A technological fix or technical fix refers to the attempt of using engineering or technology to solve a problem, whether it be an important one affecting many people or a minor inconvenience. Designing automobiles and highways to protect fallible drivers provides one example of such a solution to the former type of problem.
While today's technologically complex world often requires problem solving based on reductionistic analysis, engineering design principles, and computer-aided modeling, the quest for technology-based solutions dates from the earliest primitive attempts to increase human comfort and gain some control over the natural world. The term technological fix is most appropriately applied when considering certain types of problems—ones involving both technology and a human societal dimension. It can then be used to distinguish this family of solutions from a distinctly different family of solutions: those involving an attitudinal fix.
For example, consider the problem of childhood tooth decay. Those seeking a simple technological fix would advocate treating the community water supply with a low level of sodium fluoride; those pursuing a purely attitudinal fix would mount an educational campaign promoting good nutrition and encouraging parents to teach children to take better care of their teeth. An intermediate approach would be built around urging everyone to brush regularly with a fluoride based toothpaste.
Two groups can be considered out at the extremes in their approaches to solving such problems. Those possessing a technological fix mentality believe that technology is the key to solving most problems, conflicts, or unpleasant situations. Luddites, in contrast, with their distaste of technology, might tirelessly work to change attitudes and associated behaviors in their quest to solve societal problems—even when simple technological fixes to them are available. More typically, many problems are solved by intermediate approaches, employing both technological and attitudinal fixes.
Occasionally technological fixes involve impractical and/or humorous proposals such as the Internet Protocol Evil bit or the "suitable application of high explosives" to interpersonal problems.
- Huesemann and Huesemann
1. Cook, Stephen P. The Worldview Literacy Book Parthenon Books 2009 excerpt at <<http://www.projectworldview.org/wvtheme46.htm>
2.Huesemann, Michael H., and Joyce A. Huesemann (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, ISBN 0865717044, 464 pp.
3. Mack, E. Pamela. The Technological Fix. 2005. 9 September 2005 <http://www.clemson.edu/caah/history/FacultyPages/PamMack/lec122/techfix.htm>
4. Volti, Rudi Society and Technological Change. 2006.
5. Teich, Albert H. Technology and The Future. 10th Edition. 2006 (Note: A collection of Essays)