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Hurtcore Porn and the Dark Web: Why We Need an Ethics of Technology

In a famous scene from the original Jurassic Park, Ian Malcolm (played by Jeff Goldblum), is lunching with John Hammond. They are discussing the ethics of building a theme park of dinosaurs and Goldblum's character says:

"Gee, the lack of humility before nature that’s being displayed here um ... staggers me. ... Yeah. Don’t you see the danger, uh, John, inherent in what you’re doing here? ... I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here. It didn’t require any discipline to attain it. ... You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should."

Known to me as the Jurassic Park rule, I find myself reminding others of it when discussing the implications of technology, specifically when the tech has the unintended consequence of causing very real harm. Lately, we’ve become so infatuated with creating and using the next big thing — rushing headlong into crafting new technologies — that we’ve neglected to think through the ethics of it. Read more...

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