Making Sense of the Information AgeTM
A Web Site By David H. Gleason
Your ideas about how to treat people get embedded into technology, from e-mails to facebook postings to system design decisions in your workplace.
Is all this happening the way you want? That is the core issue of information ethics.
Once a technological system is up and running it stores data, makes copies and repeats operations whether or not anyone is watching. The ethical outcomes of technology are usually irreversible: the angry e-mail you sent that got widely forwarded and is now stored forever...
Subsumption Ethics is the name for the process by which decisions become incorporated into systems and eventually get forgotten. For good or ill, technological systems repeat instructions and copy material - they are "value-neutral."
Stored material and systems instructions can have unethical effects (consider spam, hate sites and viruses), the systems don't care — like Mickey's brooms in the Sorcerer's Apprentice.
This website is designed to help developers, planners and end-users to subsume good decisions. It is divided into three areas: