Ethics

Is GamerGate About Media Ethics or Harassing Women? Harassment, the Data Shows

Is GamerGate About Media Ethics or Harassing Women? Harassment, the Data Shows:

analysis by Newsweek found that Twitter users tweeting the hashtag #GamerGate direct negative tweets at critics of the gaming world more than they do at the journalists whose coverage they supposedly want scrutinized.

Data shows that GamerGate is basically attacking feminists. I expect the GG crowd to ignore the data, act as if the people who want the harassment to stop are basically anti-media ethics and continue on their toxic way.

Sam Harris On the Mechanics of Defamation

Sam Harris On the Mechanics of Defamation:

Why would it be ethical to drop a bomb on the leaders of ISIS at this moment? Because of all the harm they’ve caused? No. Killing them will do nothing to alleviate that harm. It would be ethical to kill these men—once again, only if we couldn’t capture them—because of all the death and suffering they intend to cause in the future. Why do they intend this? Because of what they believe about infidels, apostates, women, paradise, prophecy, America, and so forth.

Aslan and Greenwald know that nowhere in my work do I suggest that we kill harmless people for thought crimes. And yet they (along with several of their colleagues) are doing their best to spread this lie about me. Nearly every other comment they’ve made about my work is similarly misleading.

Shame on Aslan and Greenwald for taking a cheap shot.

ScienceNOW: Findings suggest that privilege promotes dishonesty

ScienceNOW: Findings suggest that privilege promotes dishonesty

To see whether dishonesty varies with social class, psychologist Paul Piff of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues devised a series of tests, working with groups of 100 to 200 Berkeley undergraduates or adults recruited online. Subjects completed a standard gauge of their social status, placing an X on one of 10 rungs of a ladder representing their income, education, and how much respect their jobs might command compared with other Americans. The team’s findings suggest that privilege promotes dishonesty. For example, upper-class subjects were more likely to cheat.

Freakanomics’ bagel story reports the same findings. There was more theft of bagels at the wealthier client sites and more theft on executive floors.

Are You a Moral Relativist? Take This Test to Find Out: Scientific American

Are You a Moral Relativist? Take This Test to Find Out: Scientific American
Philosophical leanings might seem impossible to pin town with exacting word problems. But recent work by Geoffrey Goodwin and John Darley shows that it might be possible to employ a simple mental puzzle to assess a person’s perspective on moral questions.

Turns out I’m a Moral Relativist.

I suppose I agree with Will Wilkinson about the importance of "an ethos of initiative, hard work, and individual responsibility" though I have no real idea why he thinks most progressives are against such an ethos. It strikes me that cultivating such an ethos is sort of integral to making a progressive agenda work. I think back sometimes to the time when I stumbled into a Stockholm Metro station and got the person working the booth to explain what I needed to do to use the city's bikeshare system. This wasn't really her job, and the conversation wasn't in her native language, and obviously no practical harm would have come to her if she'd blown me off but I take it that she took pride in working for Stockholm Metro and had a self-conception as someone who's a helpful public servant. Any effective public agency from the United States Marine Corps on down is built in pretty profound ways on an ethos of duty and hard work in an even more profound way than things in the for-profit business sector. People who believe in public sector work and public services must believe in the idea of a strong work-ethic.

I suppose I agree with Will Wilkinson about the importance of "an ethos of initiative, hard work, and individual responsibility" though I have no real idea why he thinks most progressives are against such an ethos. It strikes me that cultivating such an ethos is sort of integral to making a progressive agenda work. I think back sometimes to the time when I stumbled into a Stockholm Metro station and got the person working the booth to explain what I needed to do to use the city's bikeshare system. This wasn't really her job, and the conversation wasn't in her native language, and obviously no practical harm would have come to her if she'd blown me off but I take it that she took pride in working for Stockholm Metro and had a self-conception as someone who's a helpful public servant. Any effective public agency from the United States Marine Corps on down is built in pretty profound ways on an ethos of duty and hard work in an even more profound way than things in the for-profit business sector. People who believe in public sector work and public services must believe in the idea of a strong work-ethic.

Who Killed Hard Work And Personal Responsibility? | ThinkProgress

Worth a read.

Activism of Thomas's Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues

It is the most partisan role ever for a spouse of a justice on the nation's highest court, and Mrs. Thomas is just getting started. "Liberty Central will be bigger than the Tea Party movement," she told Fox News in April, at a Tea Party rally in Atlanta.

But to some people who study judicial ethics, Mrs. Thomas's activism is raising knotty questions, in particular about her acceptance of large, unidentified contributions for Liberty Central.


From Activism of Thomas's Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues - NYTimes.com


What would the right say if a liberal judge took money from some undisclosed donor?

Darwin at the Zoo

Our own species has been talking, volubly and passionately, for at least 50,000 years, and it’s a fair guess that arguments about right and wrong were prominent in our conversation pretty much from the beginning. We started writing things down 5,000 years ago, and some of our first texts were codes of ethics. Our innumerable volumes of scripture and law, our Departments of Justice, High Courts, Low Courts, and Courts of Common Pleas are unique in the living world. But did we human beings invent our feeling for justice, or is it part of the package of primal emotions that we inherited from our ancestors? In other words: Did morality evolve?
From Scientific American

This is a really fascinating area. Now that we know we aren’t alone in tool-making, counting, abstract thinking and other trademarks of humanity, what is left after ethics? What makes us human? Is it all down to faith and reason?