ECS 188 – Ethics in an Age of Technology – Winter 2013
Last updated: Tue, Mar 26 at 10:00 pm
- Finals have been graded and grades have been posted. The grades
were generous; many students got a grade half or more above what
I suppose they“should have” assigned.
(Maybe it emphasizes the essential ludicrousness of grading?)
The final exams themselves were pretty poor—
a mean of 28/50 in Section 1, and a mean of 32/50 in Section 2, and a range of
- Please come pick up the package of materials on your final projects early Spring term. You’ll find it
outside my office. Come in and chat too, if you like.
- You might not have followed the brilliant but difficult
Bronowski clips I played on our final meeting.
The first is a warning about our not letting science be reduced to serving as the
handmaiden of power (which, to Bronowski, meant
governments—but to which, nowadays, one would need to add
corporations and capital). The second clip implores that we espouse humility in our beliefs,
to always remember that we may be wrong.
It suggests, too, that a root cause of the Holocaust was a collective failure
to internalize this humility. Both clips,
indeed the entire TV mini-series,
are infused with Bronowski’s
conviction that the advance of science
is a profoundly human activity. This TV show was my own introduction to such ideas and,
as a child, I suppose it left me struggling and in awe.
I cannot help but think that
Bronowski, who died shortly after shooting this series,
would be saddened to see the direction in which the US has subsequently evolved—a world of
high-tech weapons, science for profit, and radical individualism.
- I compiled a summary of the questionaires you filled out
abuot on basic attitudes towards technology & ethics.
I may go in later and add in some comments; for now, it’s just the data.
Some of the data are disturbing (but less disturbing, I suppose,
then if I had asked my fellow faculty members to answer the same questions).
Home page of Prof. Phil Rogaway