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Like the rest of the world, I rejoiced when that boys’ soccer team and their coach were rescued from the cave in Thailand after being entombed for 16 days.
I have a phobia about caves in general. I can feel panic rising even thinking about having to strap on an unfamiliar scuba mask, wade into murky water, dive way down into a hole in the rock in total darkness and then turn and feel my way towards a narrow cranny I have to wriggle through, rock walls scraping my skin…
So I am in absolute awe of the courage and compassion of the divers who risked their own lives to get those boys and their coach out of the cave alive.
I suspect the Thai cave rescue will become a text-book case study for students of ethics in the not-too-distant future.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: ethics, rescue, Thailand, cave, soccer team
Joan and I bought a new car recently. It almost makes me obsolete. It will brake if there’s something in front. It will brake if there’s something behind. It will slow down when the car in front slows down. It will stay in its own lane. It will warn me if I’m not paying enough attention.
All these programs run on what’s called an algorithm. Basically, that’s a computer program, a step by step set of coded instructions that’s supposed to take into account all possible circumstances.
An algorithm has no ethical principles. It is utterly amoral. It just does what it’s told to do.
I wonder what it would do with the classic question posed by ethicists. There’s a beautiful maiden strapped to the railway tracks. And a runaway train coming. You can’t stop the train. But you could throw a switch and divert the train onto a different track, where it will wipe out a work crew.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: ethics, algorithms, cars
Tags: ethics, selfies