Rather than be dismissive, critics need to take any boosterist and solutionist claims around technology seriously, and take time to genuinely develop “an appreciation of the experiences that make extreme technical views seem so compelling” (Malik & Malik 2021, p.368).
As Malik and Malik (2021) contend, there is obvious appeal in the idea of a world that is fundamentally knowable. There is also obvious appeal in maintaining a faith in the liberating power of science. It can also make practical sense to see oneself as addressing ‘real problems’ – i.e. issues that are tangible and solvable, rather than abstract and infinite.
All these orientations give one a sense of purpose and a clear direction of action. In contrast, the more sceptical, questioning outlook of everything being ‘messy’ and ‘complicated’ offers little room for improvement and innovation. Seen from this perspective, perhaps the most radical and revolutionary stance to take is to fully embrace the potential of technology and work towards its realisation.
Malik, M. and Malik, M. (2021). Critical technical awakenings. Journal of Social Computing, 2(4): 365−384