Nerd Nite Baltimore!

I’ll be speaking at Nerd Nite Baltimore 8 on April 18th. My talk, “The Needs of the Many and the Needs of the Few,” will explore ethics in Star Trek and how they apply in the real world: In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (WOK) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (SFS), an ethical dilemma was posed. In WOK, Spock sacrificed his own life to save the ship and his shipmates, explaining to Kirk, that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. But in SFS, Kirk sacrifices his ship to save Spock,

And Behind Door #3…

I am in Atlanta right now and tomorrow morning I am giving a talk on the SMBC cartoon, “An Ethical Trilemma”: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – An Ethical Trilemma No Description Despite the punchline, “So far, no ethicists are impressed with the Monty Hall Trolley Problem,” I am impressed with the problem. It represents a much more interesting problem than the comic gives it credit for. You can check out my slides here: This is an embedded Microsoft Office presentation, powered by Office Online. Also, as an aside, this is my first presentation since going to work for the Johns

Listen to My Interview About “the Purge” on KPHX

On Saturday, I discussed the ethics of The Purge on Breakthrough Entertainment on KPHX in Phoenix. While The Purge is a bad horror movie, some of the underlying ethical ideas exposed raise some interesting questions. In addition, I discussed how some of the ideas in The Purge reflect the current political environment and oter historical parallels. I also talked about some antecedent media that addressed these ideas including “The Return of the Archons”, “The Lottery”, and The Hunger Games.

Runaway Trolley, Never Coming Back

The trolley problem is a relatively standard problem in ethics that arose from Phillipa Foot in 1967: Suppose…the driver of a runaway tram which he can only steer from one narrow track on to another; five men are working on one track and one man on the other; anyone on the track he enters is bound to be killed. The question posed is what should the driver of the runaway trolley do. The problem is complicated by the ethical and moral frameworks that surround causation. From a strictly utilitarian point of view, the analysis is straightforward: The driver should steer

Listen to Me Discuss The Purge on KPHX This Saturday

At 12:40 (EDT) / 9:40 (PST) on Saturday, I will be discussing the ethics of The Purge on Breakthrough Entertainment on KPHX in Phoenix. While The Purge is a bad horror movie, some of the underlying ethical ideas exposed raise some interesting questions. I will also be talking about some antecedent media that addressed these ideas including “The Return of the Archons”, “The Lottery”, and The Hunger Games. Tune in to find out more and I will post an MP3 a few days after the show or listen to the live stream here: 1480 KPHX Phoenix Arizona’s Progressive Talk Radio