Massive Immorality

This, it seems to me, is the problem with our world. It has become so bad, its immorality cannot be seen – because it is so shocking.

We have to start over – and recognize that moral behavior is essential to our survival – especially in business.

And this means we have to define what moral behavior is. And we have to take this task seriously – and not just brush it aside, as an unimportant consideration.

Our prevailing attitude seems to be “We have to concentrate on making money!” With the implicit assumption, that morality is less important.

Throughout history, people have struggled to make power moral – usually unsuccessfully. And this time will not be any easier. Power Corrupts – and now we have more power to deal with – with the introduction of TV and the Computer.

We have to take a hard look at this new power.

Consider this:

Technology is a powerful force in our society. Data, software, and communication can be used for bad: to entrench unfair power structures, to undermine human rights, and to protect vested interests. But they can also be used for good: to make underrepresented people’s voices heard, to create opportunities for everyone, and to avert disasters.

But this is followed by:

Computing is pop culture. […] Pop culture holds a disdain for history. Pop culture is all about identity and feeling like you’re participating. It has nothing to do with cooperation, the past or the future—it’s living in the present. I think the same is true of most people who write code for money. They have no idea where [their culture came from].

Both of these are from Designing Data-Intensive Applications. A book about designing software.

The second quote is more important – people have no idea where their culture came from – or, for that matter – what it is. They just act it out.

As a person who once wrote code for money, and wrote much else for money – I developed an allergic reaction to it, and dropped out. The people I left behind, who had the same problem – simply ignored it.

The problem was too big for them to deal with. So it continues.


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