When faced with an apparently intractable human problem, the habitual technocratic response is to seek the building of a technological system or artefact. The superficiality of this thinking in the information age limits solutions to the level of gadgetry rather than allowing the more fundamental nature of the problem to be confronted, acknowledging its complexity and difficulty, recognizing the need for progress at a more human level. Yet, not only are such solutions attractive to policy makers, by virtue of their superficiality, but this very quality also leads them to de-emphasize their associated costs.
2. People in many countries are offended by a sense that IMF's technocrats believe they know what is best for others. Responsible technocrats do not of course claim to know people's ultimate best interests better than the people themselves. They claim expertise in means rather than ends. But the distinction is not always easy to see. The technocrats' habit of relying on abstract principles to deal with concrete problems breeds impatience with local detail and indifference toward the particular interests that are critical for elected officeholders.
3. The radical technophile is incorrect, since there is nothing intrinsic to technology as a human activity and a means to ends that on balance guarantees use towards beneficial purposes.
4. Technological fixes for environmental problems have a mixed record, just as do fixes for food problems. They often work locally or temporarily but prove unworkable on regional or global scales or over the long term.
5. What is technically and economically feasible is often sociopolitically impossible. People consider many technological "solutions" (the widespread use of nuclear power, for example) to be unacceptable, often because they do not trust the political entities that propose to manage the technologies safely for the benefit of all.