Tech workers are downing tools and refusing to work on unethical projects


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/08/oppenheimer-moments.html


#2

Good for them.


#3

Engineers I’ve known are an apolitical, and frankly an amoral bunch. This is good news, but there’s going to be a generation gap.


#4

AI will fill the gap caused by ethical objection just like smaller professional mercenary armies do the jobs that drafted soldiers refuse. the problem is social stratification of management that shuts out broader social perspectives. we need some kind of virus equivalent that can transfer ethics genes across boardroom/monetary barriers.


#5

Once all the tech work is outsourced to India, this won’t be a problem.


#6

Can’t wait for them to invent collective bargaining.


#7

Some years back I was thinking about ethics in tech in general and kept coming back to the question of “whose ethics?” Got to think about trying to setup a foundation of people of different ethical perspectives and backgrounds to work with schools on the subject. Reached out to Joi Ito at MIT to ask if there was such a course at the Media Lab, at the time there wasn’t according to him. I think thats since changed.

In any case it still comes back to “whose ethics?”

Seriously? A doctoral student who says this is “impossible” without classes?


#8

I’d say that I’m an engineer that grew up on a health diet of 80’s cold war computer/engineering movies where the Military-Industrial complex was the bad guys, so I’ve always been conscious of this. That said, I also don’t work anywhere near Silicon Valley. Thankfully, I do live in the DC area, and there’s enough work here to feed my family without hitting the bad stuff.

But yeah, there’s clearly a couple generation gaps missing out on this, so I have to hang with some early 20-somethings who get it.


#9

It’s called a guillotine and should be reserved as a last resort.


#10

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