THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: Technology: Good, bad, or neutral?




Technology, Sustainability, Sustainable Intensification, Labor


First paragraphs:

Is technology good, bad, or neutral? The pre­vailing sentiment seems to be that technology is neither good nor bad, but is simply a tool that can be used for either. However, once a technology has been developed, its net effects will be one or the other. The consequences will depend on the inten­tion, or perhaps inattention, with which a technol­ogy is developed and applied.

The Encyclopedia Britannica (n.d.) defines technology as “the application of scientific knowledge to the practical aims of human life” (para. 1). The basic purpose of technology, whether mechanical, biological, or digital, is to allow people do things easier, faster, or better. Whether a technology is good, bad, or neutral depends on whose intentions or aims are met and who suffers any unintended consequences. The net effects of a technology, considering both good and bad, is determined not only by whether it contributes to the practical aims of some, but whether it contributes to the betterment of society or life in general. . . .


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Author Biography

John Ikerd, University of Missouri

Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Econom­ics

Portrait of John Ikerd



How to Cite

Ikerd, J. (2022). THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: Technology: Good, bad, or neutral?. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 11(2), 5–8.

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