What does activism mean, really?
You know, people like to say something, usually in reference to politics: If it ain't broke, don't fix it (IIABDFI).
"Fix" and "broke". Nice choice of words. Seems to imply something mechanical.
So let's apply this precept to engineering!
Do we maintain the same technology year after year, only fixing problems when they crop up? Or do we seek to improve them a bit?
If we do, then
Would it be better to continually improve the oil lamp, or replace it with something entirely different--say, a lightbulb?
Do we just keep souping up our horse and wagon, or shall we overturn the whole damn system and drive cars?
IIABDFI is, we can see, an entirely silly aphorism based on--what, ignorance and lack of basic sense? Often the best thing is not to fix what ain't broke, but improve upon it.
And the greatest advances in human history are based on sweeping away what came before entirely, and making something new.
It is taking an active stance towards world affairs and society. We don't seek to repair what's broken (return to the past, which nostalgia proves was better). We may make small improvements.
And sometimes we'll pull out the tablecloth from under the dishes and change the whole thing. And that's gonna be a good thing, in the long run, and people have to learn to cope.
Activism. Not trying to preserve order or return to an older state of being, but advance in a new and better one.