Technology and Morality

What’s the difference between new ideas that are good, and those that are merely novel? Professor Alan Jacobs insists on asking moral questions as technology progresses.

The old distinction between science as "pure" knowledge and technology as "applied" knowledge is too facile if used absolutely, but it has practical value. Johnson deals in both kinds of knowledge without discrimination: what led Darwin to the theory of natural selection is grist for his mill, but so too is what led Willis Carrier to invent the air conditioner. Yet it seems to me that there’s a difference between "good ideas" that lead to increased understanding of the world and the creatures in it, and the "good ideas" that are instrumental, that lead us to manipulate the created order for purposes that vary greatly in their character and value.

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
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Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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What would happen if America defaulted on its debt?

Sure we know it would be bad, but what do all of these scary numbers really mean?

Politics & Current Affairs
  • At the press time, the value was $21.7 trillion dollars.
  • Lots of people know that a default would be bad, but not everybody seems to get how horrible it would be.
  • While the risk is low, knowing what would happen if a default did occur is important information for all voters.
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