Nye ch. 8
How Nye's argument develops:
"How should a society select technologies?"
oconee nuclearExample: should we build new nuclear power plants?

Do we trust the voters to make decisions:

Nye argues that we need to be careful what we leave to corporations and the free market (and he also mistrusts experts)

Free market:free market
cold war: capitalism and democracy vs. communism: centrally controlled economy and dictatorship
democracy in the sense of an equal voice for all may be diminished by big business capitalism


but he isn't convinced the government does a good job

what is the role of government?
are there other possible ways of making decisions?
Role of public opinion:
should we just do things based on public opinion?
poll on environmental vs economic issues
Voters?  Government?
What should be left to private industry and where should the government intervene?
Economists ask this as a question about the market
Assume that to reduce global warming we want to reduce production of carbon dioxide
co2 production by
            sector
Should the government regulate technological innovation? 
Can we rely on the market to give us all the technology we want and don't want?
consider what new medications are developed:
Or should the government step in to make adjustments where we don't think the market is working well?

Nye gives three examples:
Can we find other ways to make decisions:
California voted on whether genetically engineered foods should be labeled


Does this make sense?  In the case of pet cloning, where this technology goes is being left up to private industry, so consider two questions:


definition of risk 
regulation of technology:

what has shaped the history of regulation?

What is the impact of regulation? An engineer named Samuel Florman says regulation is a good thing
Nye's basic question in this chapter is whether it is ok to let corporations control technological innovation, or whether there should be regulation of new technologies--both prohibiting the development of some technologies and encouraging the development of others

If you think the government should be intervening in what technologies get developed, how do you do that?  Can we invent a better way?  What mechanism will lead to the best possible decisions.
The Technological Fix=the idea that all problems (even social problems) have technological solutions

New York
            skyline
 New York
The difficulty of social problems:

What do we miss when we are focused on progress?
Does technological change always hurts someone?



If you think government should have a role then the next question is:
How could the public participate more effectively in decision-making for science and technology?  Nye believes that many decisions about what direction we want to go in in the future are too important to be left to corporations thinking only about profit
How to increase public engagement?

  table of campaign news sources
Politics--future:
Making good choices of technology is something we need to work at--just leaving it to market or government isn't enough
how can we we set up a system where the values of the public and the knowledge of experts are put together


This page written and copyright Pamela E. Mack
HIST 1220
last updated 11/20/2017