Reading business news sites is not a bad idea if you’re, say, interested in business. A lot of them have crap articles just like any other “news” site does but they still can keep you mildly informed on the world. (Remember: Every article written for a newspaper is written by a human. Who has beliefs and ideas that – if they’re a good journalistic – they try to keep out of the analysis. Which they don’t always succeed at doing. Everyone’s got an agenda, right?)
Anyway, this article caught the ‘Snark’s attention:
In case you’re not familiar: ad blocking is when you install a plugin on your browser to prevent ads from being displayed on the websites you go to. Since much of the internet is “free” then many sites are being supported by their advertisers. You can read the whole article if you want to learn more.
What struck us about the headline though were the words “unethical” and “immoral.” (Had to look up “mendacious” – it means “dishonest” – why the IAB dude couldn’t just say that is unclear. Simpler words are best when trying to communicate.)
Point of clarification: The quote from the IAB dude is saying that the developers of AdBlock Plus – the company – are the ones who are immoral and unethical liars. The way it’s written makes it sound like the product or its users are unethical (which the IAB dude probably does think but the headline only makes sense when it’s understood in the proper context, of remarks about the company behind the product). The reason that these advertising execs are so up in arms about the company is not specific to the plugin that blocks ads; it’s because of a separate initiative that the company is launching about allowing some ads through to its users – if the advertiser pays the company. There are other “blocker” technology companies that the IAB apparently is not so vocal about.
Anyway. This got the ‘Snark thinking: What are ethics and morals?
It’s something that we claim to care about a lot. It’s something that is a come-again trend at bschools in the U.S. It was really big following the 2008 financial crisis which so many wanted to blame on the bad behavior of the banks and mortgage lenders with the subprime market. The cause of the collapse is more nuanced than that, but a lack of morals and ethics are often blamed.
Now, EssaySnark is no academic. There are smart people all over the world who dedicate their entire lives to stuff like ethics. This is really the domain of the philosophers.
Except that it’s not. This stuff matters in everyday life.
Some philosophers even feel that their work should be part of the standard elementary school curriculum. That article mentions Bill Belichik and Drake; honestly, it won’t kill you to read it.
Of note is this:
[In the 1960s, a Columbia University philosophy professor] saw that his students were passionate to change the world but deficient in their ability to reason soundly and exercise good judgment.
Many of you eager-beaver BSers are equally passionate – and as we often can tell from the way essays are written 🙂 perhaps lacking in some ability to reason soundly.
If you want to implement your big ideas, then not only do you need to have skills as an influencer of people and a motivator of others, but along with that are requirements of clear thinking and fair decision-making. Ethics – and philosophy – all factor in on this.
More to come.
Update: Next post in this series is here! “Real life examples of ethics”