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Blogging Ethics

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01/15/2018 - 11:04pm
A few weeks back I read an interesting essay by Jedediah Purdy on Aeon written in the halcyon days of 2015. An article which, given the news, captured something essential and got me a little depressed. Within the space of the last three weeks hurricanes of almost unprecedented magnitude slammed into Houston, then, Florida, then Puerto Rico. All were bad, but the last looked something like something straight out of a Hollywood apocalyptic. It wasn’t just the scale of the storm that hit it which made the situation in Puerto Rico so much more dire, it was the lack of resources to deal with the aftermath, along with the highly racialized response of the American government to hurricane Maria’s destruction. A delayed, politicized rescue, which was inexcusable given the fact that Puerto Ricans are as much US citizens as any of my Pennsylvanian neighbors.
01/15/2018 - 11:04pm

“The junk merchant,” wrote William S. Burroughs, “doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.” He might as well have been describing the commercial, AI-mediated, social-network-driven internet.

Maximizing engagement is the explicit optimization goal of contemporary online businesses. They just rediscovered and implemented, quickly and efficiently, the time-honored tools of compulsive gambling, gaslighting, and continuous emotional manipulation. They aren’t tools that make the user mentally healthier, quite the opposite, but nobody programmed to algorithms to even measure, much less take into account, this side effect....

01/08/2018 - 3:30pm

A new study ranks 20 wealthy countries on childhood deaths. The US comes in last.

01/08/2018 - 2:27pm

In an effort to vault genetics into a new era of big data, six drug companies say they will decode the genes of half a million Brits and then make the data public—all by 2020

01/08/2018 - 1:42pm

When my mother was in her final months, suffering from a heart failure and other problems, she called me to her bedside with a pained expression. She took my hand and asked plaintively, “How do I get out of this mess?”

01/08/2018 - 1:40pm

Pfizer, one of the world’s largest drug companies, announced over the weekend that it would stop work on new drugs to fight Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The reason? Pfizer believes that research on the two diseases doesn’t make sense financially

01/08/2018 - 7:36am

Last week, I reported that Virginia is again considering legislation that, like Texas law, would empower hospitals to adjudicate disputes over life-sustaining medical treatment. 

In that post, I described H.B. 226. Now, John S. Roberts has i...

01/08/2018 - 7:36am

Last week, I reported that Virginia is again considering legislation that, like Texas law, would empower hospitals to adjudicate disputes over life-sustaining medical treatment. 

01/08/2018 - 3:30am

In this recently posted video from the 29th Annual MacLean Conference, William Meadows provides a brief and spirited defense of the "slow code" (aka "tailored code" aka "short code" aka "family centered code."

Consensus on a comfort approach would be ...

01/08/2018 - 3:30am

In this recently posted video from the 29th Annual MacLean Conference, William Meadows provides a brief and spirited defense of the "slow code" (aka "tailored code" aka "short code" aka "family centered code."