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ethics

This tag is associated with 10 posts

In bad taste

France, and some other countries, use the two-round election system. If there’s no majority vote winner from among a set of candidates then there’s a second election. It’s a playoff between the top two candidates. Binary choices are often easier to deal with, and are decisive. Of less consequence than state elections, I find it easy enough to choose … Continue reading

Testing ethical acuity

Ethical sensitivity is best cultivated through examples. To test this proposition I ran a class in which ethical matters were addressed through a series of contemporary case studies. There were 50 masters students in the class. Before the students broke into their groups to discuss the case studies I asked them all some simple binary questions, … Continue reading

The hermeneutical intractability of Asimov’s three laws of robotics

In his sci-fi detective mystery, I, Robot, Isaac Asimov writes: “Powell’s radio voice was tense in Donovan’s ear: ‘Now, look, let’s start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics — the three rules that are built most deeply into a robot’s positronic brain.’ The rules follow. A robot may not injure a human being or, … Continue reading

What have the arts to do with ethics?

Ethics checklists, committees, codes of practice and approvals came late to the arts. The place of ethics in the practical arts and their study looks like an afterthought, as if peripheral to the act of creation. After all, art has to begin at least with the freedom to say and do what you want. The ethical may come later to … Continue reading

What does it all mean?

Art provides a soft target for opinion and prejudice. I recently read a comment at the end of a Huffington Post blog about the 2012 Turner prize winner (Elizabeth Price): “most of the stuff is self-indulgent nonsense that couldn’t possibly mean anything to anyone other than the artist.” Meaning is tricky. Think of meaning as … Continue reading

Shōjo Manga morals

Shōjo Manga is a genre of Japanese graphic novel, animation and merchandising that’s marketed for a young female audience. Search images for “Princess Tutu” for some saccharine sweetness laced with cute gooeyness. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s kids’ stuff. But whatever manga is, it’s not innocent. We are not 14 anymore. Transformation features … Continue reading

Crowdfunding in the gift society

How do you get financial support for a project in these difficult times? Hsiao Ying Huang is helping Eglė Petrauskaitė raise funds to support her development of a digital animation. They are doing this through crowd funding, via an Indiegogo campaign (site active June/July 2012). Hsiao Ying is the “broker” or coach, Eglė is the talented designer (perhaps reticent … Continue reading

Zero Stars

The ubiquitous star ratings that accompany listings of hotels, books, films, restaurants, apps and blogs reveal the human propensity constantly to evaluate the world, and to share our opinions with others. Anyone can rate a product by scoring it from 1 to 5, though of course not everyone does, and there are unaccounted biases. Though random … Continue reading

Derrida and WikiLeaks

In his article Archive Fever Derrida suggests that the desire to preserve information is in some way a symptom of an inbuilt and unavoidable desire to destroy it. Drawing on Freud’s concepts of the pleasure principle and the death drive, Derrida argues that an information store (archive) on the one hand involves a desire to … Continue reading

Hermeneutics and ethics

Some ethical problems: uneven access, inflated claims of egalitarian access, presumption of growth, the deception of conspicuous simulations, the primacy of calculative reason, and obsessions with devices rather than the socio-technical systems of which they are a part. The critical theorists (see Wired-up Words) identify potent areas of critique, but a hermeneutical perspective presents an ethical … Continue reading

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