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more of the same

Life after Capitalism - Beyond capitalism, it seems, stretches a vista of... capitalism: [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 25, 2011 - 33 comments

When Drug Trials Go Horribly Wrong

In 2004, Minnesota student Dan Markingson committed suicide while participating in a clinical drug trial for various mood disorders. Trial sponsors the University of Minnesota and AstraZeneca were cleared of blame by the FDA in 2005. Last week, a group of faculty members at the university wrote an open letter to the university's Board of Regents requesting further investigation due to "troubling questions" that remain unanswered and a concern over "conflicts of interest" in the Academic Health Center.
posted by modernnomad on Dec 6, 2010 - 21 comments

What will future generations condemn us for?

Kwame Anthony Appiah discusses honor, moral revolutions, and the condemnation of future generations. His new book The Honor Code chronicles how the concept of honor has been crucial in the fight against immoral practices like dueling, foot-binding, and slavery. (See also 1, 2)
posted by anotherpanacea on Sep 28, 2010 - 14 comments

The Force of liberal guilt, it is strong.

Kill Whitey. It's the Right Thing to do. [more inside]
posted by googly on Sep 28, 2010 - 142 comments

It's a shoop.

An Associated Press photo of last Wednesday's Middle East peace talks in Washington D. C. was enhanced for publication in Al-Ahram, Egypt's state-run and largest newspaper. Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak was electronically moved to a more central position.
posted by Obscure Reference on Sep 17, 2010 - 34 comments

Dark Patterns

Dark Patterns is a list of deliberately user-hostile web site design patterns typically intended to deceive or exploit unwary users. These range from the trivial and clumsy (interfaces designed to impair price comparisons) to slyer tricks such as sneaking add-ons into shopping baskets, making specific options deliberately hard to find and spamming all your friends, typically after getting permission on a false pretext. Among the offenders listed are the likes of Ryanair, CreditExpert, various travel and electronics shopping sites, and, of course, Facebook, which has its very own pattern.
posted by acb on Sep 17, 2010 - 69 comments

Gutter journalism

Victoria (Australia) had moderate flooding last week, which journalists were keen to report. Perhaps too keen. Full story here.
posted by wilful on Sep 13, 2010 - 27 comments

Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography

The Rehabilitation of Ernest Gellner - It is easy to imagine why Ernest Gellner would be one of the universally known figures in Anglophone intellectual life. A polymath whose work ranged across anthropology, history, philosophy, and sociology, his mind wrestled with an encyclopedia's worth of nagging questions about nationalism, modernity, civil society, imperialism, Islam, psychoanalysis, ethics and epistemology ... All of this, to repeat, should explain Gellner's monumental prominence – except for the fact that he has no such prominence. (via mr) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 25, 2010 - 7 comments

Birth of a booming baby industry

Couples from Western countries, such as Australia, the US, and the UK are turning to surrogates in India to carry their babies. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jul 12, 2010 - 45 comments

Experiments in Torture

The Torture Papers. "In the most comprehensive investigation to date of health professionals' involvement in the CIA's 'enhanced' interrogation program (EIP), Physicians For Human Rights has uncovered evidence that indicates the Bush administration apparently conducted illegal and unethical human experimentation and research on detainees in CIA custody. The apparent experimentation and research appear to have been performed to provide legal cover for torture, as well as to help justify and shape future procedures and policies governing the use of the 'enhanced' interrogation techniques. The PHR report, Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the 'Enhanced' Interrogation Program, is the first to provide evidence that CIA medical personnel engaged in the crime of illegal experimentation after 9/11, in addition to the previously disclosed crime of torture." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 6, 2010 - 42 comments

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti

In the late 1950s, psychologist Milton Rokeach was gripped by an eccentric plan. He gathered three psychiatric patients, each with the delusion that they were Jesus Christ, to live together for two years in Ypsilanti State Hospital to see if their beliefs would change. Vaughan Bell tells the story of one of the weirdest experiments in the history of psychology. (via)
posted by The Mouthchew on May 27, 2010 - 57 comments

The Ban on Blood Donation

Are the Rules That Determine Who Can Donate Blood Discriminatory? Canadian AIDS researchers Dr. Mark Wainberg and Dr. Norbert Gilmore say that while the ban on blood donation from men who have sex with other men may have been ethically and scientifically justified in the 1980's, it no longer makes sense. (CMAJ.) Even though the US FDA reaffirmed their long-standing ban in 2007, they plan to revisit the policy in June. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 26, 2010 - 69 comments

The Ethicist, on biking in New York City

Randy Cohen, the New York Times's Ethicist, happily chats about biking.
posted by Greg Nog on May 20, 2010 - 24 comments

Abortion Not OK in OK

Provoking pro-choice advocates, Oklahoma passed two highly restrictive abortion laws on Tuesday. One (rtf file) requires doctors to show women an ultrasound of their fetus and point out its physical characteristics — even if the patient was impregnated through rape or incest. The second (rtf file) stipulates that doctors cannot be sued if they decide to lie to an expectant mother regarding her baby's birth defects. A third requires clinics to post signs telling patients they cannot be forced to have an abortion. The first law prompted an immediate lawsuit from Tulsa's only abortion clinic. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 30, 2010 - 169 comments

Genetic material and informed consent

The Havasupai Tribe of Grand Canyon won a $700,000 settlement from Arizona State University, plus the return of remaining blood samples, regarding the use of members' blood and DNA for research. The Havasupai had originally contacted researchers at ASU concerning the Type II diabetes that has ravaged that tribe and others, particularly in the Southwest. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Apr 22, 2010 - 96 comments

'It seemed like the right thing to do'

When Raymond Dunn, Jr. was born in 1975, he had a fractured skull, an undersized brain, and severe developmental disabilities due to a lack of oxygen. He was not expected to survive his first year. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Apr 19, 2010 - 63 comments

Legality and Ethics in downloading e-books

On the ethics of illegally downloading e-books; a Teleread essay full of interesting links about these modern e-reading times. Inspired in part by this New York Times Ethicist column, and brought to my attention by this ask.metafilter question.
posted by Greg Nog on Apr 7, 2010 - 159 comments

"Enhance 15 to 23. Give me a hard copy right there."

Image Error Level Analyser [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 5, 2010 - 30 comments

Taxes and Ethics on C Street

When is paying $950/month for a bedroom in a boarding house potentially tax evasion and an ethics violation? When you're a congressman living at the C Street House in Washington D.C., where the going rates for similar accommodations is typically four times that amount. Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics In Washington (CREW) has filed official complaints with both houses of Congress. Rachel Maddow covers the scandal on her show. [Transcript here -- it's the lead story on this page.]
posted by hippybear on Apr 1, 2010 - 89 comments

Wildlife for hire

"When you see a wildlife photo or film that looks too good to be true, it probably is." Audubon Magazine's Ted Williams investigates game farms and the widespread use of captive animals in wildlife photography. (via) [more inside]
posted by The Mouthchew on Mar 18, 2010 - 45 comments

I'm sure this'll end well....

We may soon be able to clone Neanderthals. But should we? An essay from Archaeology Magazine examines the ethical, scientific and legal ramifications. (Via Heather Pringle's Time Machine blog, where essay author Zach Zorich posted a reply and elicited a response.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 22, 2010 - 207 comments

Why they don't trust Devil Mountain Software

ZDNet(!) reports on a strange case of technology journalism malfeasance. It turns out that journalist Randall C. Kennedy has been posing as the CTO of Devil Mountain Software, purveyor of Windows performance data.
posted by whir on Feb 21, 2010 - 45 comments

If it feeds, it leads

"..when a victorious chief minister openly admits that he himself approached the leading newspaper of his state with money for “positive stories” after learning that the newspaper had signed a “package deal” with his rivals to print negative stories, you had better sit up and take urgent notice"
posted by Gyan on Feb 12, 2010 - 4 comments

The Purpose Of The Universe And Other Easy Questions

The Disenchanted Naturalist's Guide to Reality (see also)
posted by anotherpanacea on Feb 9, 2010 - 31 comments

Blogging for dollars (and goodies, and freebies, and demo units, and...)

Much has been made of the ethics of bloggers who receive compensation -- usually in the form of demo units and trial versions of products -- in exchange for reviewing those products, often with the implicit understanding that the review is a positive one. These questions prompted an FTC investigation, and last fall the agency revised their formal guidelines governing endorsements and testimonials to include bloggers or other "word-of-mouth" marketers. The Interactive Agency Bureau maintains that the guidelines are unconstitutional, and is calling for the FTC to rescind the rules as they apply to bloggers and other online outlets. The latest casualty? An intern at TechCrunch asked for a MacBook Air in exchange for a post. In the wake of this revelation, TechCrunch fired the intern and issued a formal apology. To his credit, the intern has posted his own mea culpa.
posted by shiu mai baby on Feb 5, 2010 - 69 comments

You might think it's just a haircut, but lawn mowers actually decapitate your lawn

Do plants have a consciousness? Michael Pollan seemed to argue they do in The Botony of Desire (original book) and that they were inextricably involved in co-evolution with their human cultivators, affecting human development, perhaps as much as the humans who are selectively choosing traits in plants. If that’s true, that plants are conscious, is it okay to eat them?
posted by Toekneesan on Dec 22, 2009 - 99 comments

We are a marriage preservation service

The Ashley Madison agency: Adultery business now open for gays! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 21, 2009 - 76 comments

...Their tastes may not be the same

On Thursday, the 12th of November, Karen Armstrong (previously & previously) unveiled her Charter for Compassion. The charter is the product of her Feb 2008 TED prize wish to “restore the Golden Rule as the central global religious doctrine.” The project began with a “unique web-based decision making platform”, allowing “thousands of people from over 100 countries added their voice to the writing of the Charter.” These contributions were then given to the Council of Conscience for the construction of the final charter. Previous attempts at the promotion of a "global ethic" grounded in the Golden Rule have been largely, globally, ignored. Some people dislike the idea of blurring the differences between religions, some have problems with the Golden Rule itself. [more inside]
posted by ServSci on Nov 17, 2009 - 56 comments

Meat is Murder is Movie

Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home Tribe of Heart's first film, "The Witness", was an eye opening look at how one man's whole life was changed by an encounter with a kitten. Their new film, "Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home", tells the story of a group of farmers coming to grips with the realization that they can't continue to make a living from the suffering of animals.
posted by DaddyNewt on Nov 13, 2009 - 7 comments

I prefer to think of it as a 'trolley opportunity'

Michael Sandel's "Justice" has long been one of the most popular courses at Harvard. Now for the first time the class is being broadcast online. The site for "Justice." [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Sep 27, 2009 - 25 comments

First, do no harm

Was it triage or murder? A disturbing NY Times story about the choices made by certain medical staff at a New Orleans hospital during Hurricane Katrina. Long and not easy reading.
posted by anigbrowl on Aug 28, 2009 - 81 comments

Putting a 14-year-old in a "lie detector" - what did you expect would happen?

Sydney radio station 2dayFM earned the ire and backlash of the Australian public - rape counsellors, Australian media, and Community Services ministers - after an on-air stunt by morning crew Kyle and Jackie O went horribly wrong. During their regular "lie detector" segment, a 14-year-old girl was interrogated by the hosts and her mother over her sexual history, against her will, and revealed that she had been raped at 12 on air (warning: possibly triggering audio clip embedded in news article). [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jul 29, 2009 - 131 comments

Tyler Cowen on why it's OK to pay for sex

Tyler Cowen on why it's OK to pay for sex [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jul 22, 2009 - 111 comments

Neurosecurity

Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices. "An increasing number of neural implantable devices will become available in the near future due to advances in neural engineering. This discipline holds the potential to improve many patients' lives dramatically by offering improved—and in some cases entirely new—forms of rehabilitation for conditions ranging from missing limbs to degenerative cognitive diseases. The use of standard engineering practices, medical trials, and neuroethical evaluations during the design process can create systems that are safe and that follow ethical guidelines; unfortunately, none of these disciplines currently ensure that neural devices are robust against adversarial entities trying to exploit these devices to alter, block, or eavesdrop on neural signals. The authors define 'neurosecurity'—a version of computer science security principles and methods applied to neural engineering—and discuss why neurosecurity should be a critical consideration in the design of future neural devices." [Via Mind Hacks]
posted by homunculus on Jul 8, 2009 - 22 comments

Mother Courage and her Infuseion

The Medill School of Journalism's Washington Program revealed its Pentagon Travel project last week (multimedia). Most privately paid for travel was found to be within the bounds of federal law, but some still show a clear conflict of interest. Key findings: From 1998 through 2007, sources outside the federal government paid for more than 22,000 trips worth at least $26 million. The medical industry paid for more travel than any other outside interest — more than $10 million for some 8,700 trips, or about 40 percent of all outside sponsored travel. Among the targets: military pharmacists, doctors, and others who administer the Pentagon’s $6 billion-plus annual budget for prescription drugs. Medill acquired 10 years worth of trip data and partnered with the Center for Public Integrity to form a searchable database which includes destination, date, sponsor, sponsor nationality, cost of trip or agency.
posted by Smedleyman on Jun 16, 2009 - 3 comments

Sir Allen Stanford, the Ponzi artist

The Dark Knight - On Sir Allen Stanford
posted by Gyan on Apr 29, 2009 - 9 comments

Morality and context.

How wrong is it to use a kitten for personal sexual pleasure? Depends on whether you've washed your hands.
posted by limon on Apr 26, 2009 - 96 comments

Before there was Photoshop

The New York Evening Graphic was published by Bernarr Macfadden, body builder, health crusader, and prolific author (Strong Eyes [1901], How Success is Won [1904], and Brain Energy [1906] to name a few of his hundred titles). [more inside]
posted by starman on Apr 8, 2009 - 5 comments

X-Phi

Philosophy’s great experiment. "Philosophers used to combine conceptual reflections with practical experiment. The trendiest new branch of the discipline, known as x-phi, wants to return to those days. Some philosophers don’t like it." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 4, 2009 - 45 comments

Stephen Glass Didn't Pass

In 1998, a journalist at The New Republic named Stephen Glass wrote a compelling piece in the influential magazine entitled 'Hack Heaven'. It told the story of how Glass witnessed a 15 year old hacker named Ian Restil being hired by a large Californian computer company named Jukt Micronics at a hacker convention as a security analyst after Restil hacked Jukt's website. But the entire story was, in fact, entirely fictional. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 14, 2009 - 46 comments

Value Altered Tax

The Tax Gap - "The Guardian will examine the extent of tax avoidance by big business, day-by-day over two weeks. We are naming more than 20 major British companies, and analysing their secretive tax strategies to ask: are they paying their fair share?".
posted by Gyan on Feb 4, 2009 - 34 comments

Facts, Opinions, Tools, Advice, and Connections

The Canadian Journalism Project (CJP) and its websites, J-Source.ca (English) and ProjetJ.ca (French), provides a source for news, research, commentary, advice, discussion and resources about the achievement of, and challenges to, excellence in Canadian journalism.
posted by netbros on Feb 2, 2009 - 5 comments

Soy Milk: I'm Sam Adams, and I'm here to seduce you.

Sam Adams, the recently elected openly gay mayor of Portland, Oregon, has come under fire for lying about a relationship he had with a teenage legislative intern in 2005 named Beau Breedlove. When first asked about the relationship in 2007 during the election campaign, Sam (then 42) claimed he was being a mentor to the young man. Sam recently cut short a trip to DC to return to Portland to publicly apologize and control damage over a new article in which he admits to having a sexual relationship with Beau. It's got the town divided over whether he should resign of if the whole thing is being blown out of proportion.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink on Jan 22, 2009 - 116 comments

Studies In Getting Smacked

Three psychology experiments that raise ethics questions because of the danger they posed to the research assistants. (via) [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Jan 17, 2009 - 38 comments

Avast ye!

Professor Mills Kelly of George Mason University had his History 389 class spend the fall semester on a class project about the intriguing figure of Edward Owens, the "Last American Pirate". They blogged about their research, made videos for YouTube, and gave Owens a Wikipedia entry. The story even got some media attention. There was just one problem: History 389 was a class on historical hoaxes, and Edward Owens was their fictional creation. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 4, 2009 - 47 comments

Society upto speed?

Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy - a commentary in Nature that says, "we call for a presumption that mentally competent adults should be able to engage in cognitive enhancement using drugs". Farkesque debate here. [more inside]
posted by daksya on Dec 8, 2008 - 57 comments

APA bars participation in military interrogations

Psychology Group Changes Policy on Interrogations. The American Psychological Association has adopted a measure prohibiting its members from participating in interrogations of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay and other military prisons where detainees have been tortured (previously). [Via Paper Chase]
posted by homunculus on Sep 20, 2008 - 36 comments

Roger Williams

The First Founder: The American Revolution of Roger Williams. [Via 3quarksdaily]
posted by homunculus on Aug 31, 2008 - 8 comments

Do no harm?

To treat, or not to treat? Samuel Golubchuk is 84 years old, in a coma on life support in a Winnipeg hospital, and the subject of ethical, religious, and legal debates. Three doctors have refused to continue providing care, while one has stepped in, potentially keeping the intensive care unit in operation.
posted by Paid In Full on Jun 18, 2008 - 41 comments

Dignity and Bioethics

The Stupidity of Dignity: Conservative bioethics' latest, most dangerous ploy. Steven Pinker reviews Human Dignity and Bioethics, the latest report from the President's Council on Bioethics. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on May 28, 2008 - 28 comments

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