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Category Archive: Ethics

Jan 29 2014

On the ethics of public shaming & digital mob justice

I wrote a post for the New Statesman on using public shaming and digital “mob justice” – even when aimed at those people we consider to be wrong. I’m unconvinced of public shaming as a tactic, in terms of “justice” – since one would hope that enforcing justice is itself considered in moral terms; that …

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Jan 20 2014

Responses to common claims made against childfree people

The Huffington Post helpfully aggregated some common assertions and questions people make against childfree people (in their case, it was women they focused on). Anyway, I wrote a response to each one on Big Think. I added some snark. Let me know if they’re questions or assertions you’ve got. And, also, how often do you get …

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Jan 18 2014

Is it ever right to target an individual?

I blogged a longish piece about the ethics of using your platform to target an individual, as we recently saw with Bill and Emma Keller targetting Lisa Adams; and, recently, Caleb Hannan “outing” Dr V for being born a different sex in a piece about golfing equipment. Not to mention how so many piled on Justine …

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Jan 16 2014

Suicide can be moral, but that’s no reason to egg people on

At the moment, in Cape Town, there’s a man threatening to jump to his death. Some are calling for him to jump. I jotted down some thoughts about why suicide can be moral, but why that’s not the same as being part of a crowd yelling for him to leap to his death. And also …

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Jan 13 2014

Golden Globes “Red Carpet” “reporting” makes me hate this species more

So there’s this thing called the Golden Globes, in which awards are given out to famous people for doing things for which they’re famous for: i.e. pretending to be other people on television. Famous people arrive, wearing clothes that cost an amount more than you or I will ever spend in several years, to an …

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Jan 04 2014

Why should we get married?

My latest for the Guardian, I engage with some reasons and thoughts behind why we should get married. Spoiler: I’m not in favour.

Jan 01 2014

This list of how American conservative media treated women in 2013 is too long

Seriously. Lou Dobbs described a Pew Research study that found an increase in female breadwinners as full of “concerning and troubling statistics.” Dobbs said the study was suggestive of “society dissolv[ing] around us.” On the June 20 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, frequent Fox guest and conservative radio host Bill Cunningham shouted down Fox contributor Tamara …

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Dec 27 2013

Should we stop supporting lostprophets, on streaming services, because of Ian Watkins?

The Welsh band, lostprophets, have essentially disbanded, after lead singer Ian Watkins was found guilty of horrible crimes against children. I stopped listening many years ago, thankfully, but I can imagine my first instinct would be to delete all their albums, destroy their CDs and remove any posters or paraphernalia. People have, obviously, also wondered …

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Dec 26 2013

Wrong (or right) is a conclusion – not judgement

A commenter indicated, in a post on my comment policy, that “having a comment policy is wrong.” That was the end of the statement. This touches on something broader: Right and wrong are conclusions, not the beginnings of a judgement. When people declare something is wrong – or, worse, is just wrong – we have …

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Dec 23 2013

Justine Sacco wasn’t the biggest problem about her Twitter storm UPDATE

Over at Big Think, I argued that Sacco’s apparent racism – or rather, her racist Tweet – was probably the least worrying part of her whole “Twitter storm”. What worried me and continues to worry me are our default responses to people and how we caricature, so we can attack, convey pure bile, and do …

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