Getting Right Down To It

Dave Warlick, 2 cents worth, Aug 23, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Dave Warlick posts a "Student and Teacher Information Code of Ethics." I personally think that a code of ethics is not useful, because if one believes in the ethics, the coded is not needed, and if one doesn't, the code will not be followed. Moreover, there is no need, again in my view, for an "Information" code of ethics - the basic principles apply in all areas of life: be honest, and take care not to harm others. And some of the specifics of this proposed code are, in my view, just wrong. To sample a few: "Always question the sources' motives?" No, because the motives are often irrelevant. "Consider all possible outcomes to the information you express?" Nice, but requires omniscience. "Encourage the information consumer to voice grievances about your information products?" Ack, ack ack! "Never use information from another person without proper citation and permission?" A bad principle; I would not be able to criticize most people and companies.
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