Ethics of Programming

Started by Ryex, November 17, 2014, 12:18:38 pm

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I happened across this today as a linked article from of All places, Code Project.

It presents an interesting point. Programmers as a whole hold a great deal of power over how the modern world operates. And as a result hold a great deal of responsibility in how that power is used with attached ethical ramifications.

Thought on the matter?
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It's pretty much like the ethics of any other profession. Of course programming and technology is still in its infancy, so it's a lot more exaggerated at this point. There are actual ethical codes that engineers should follow (IEEE) and they can almost directly be applied to programming. Ethics in engineering is actually one of my favorite topics. ( I believe that i've told kk20 a couple of times )


November 19, 2014, 08:29:20 am #2 Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 08:30:24 am by ForeverZer0
I think it's a bit of an overstep. Actually it is a rather large overstep, and a bit self-righteous.

You could use the same logic and far-fetched "what if" of any group and they could make the claim that they rule the world. "What if" every farmer in the world decided that they would use their source of food to dictate how the world is run, and only give up their crops to those who they deemed fit? "What if" every single power plant worker in the world decided they would use the electricity they provided as leverage against the world? It's a ludicrous "what if" statement, and the answer would be that all these fancy programmers wouldn't be able to even use their computers for their devious plots.

It is also important to point out the obvious: that our modern world has only recently begin to put so much faith into computers, and we could, if need be, go back to living without them "if" their was some great revolt by every programmer on the planet. Hate to break it to the writer of the article, and I am sure that there are exceptions, but my oven turns on just fine without a computer, and before cars had a chip that controlled so much of how the motor runs, lets not point out the obvious that it isn't really a piece of "software" that some programmer could do a damn thing with. My car does not run on WiFi.

So all in all, it is a just a huge "what if" piece, totally devoid of a real base from which it is written, albeit it is an interesting read. Maybe the day that will come that every human who knows how to write code will unite as one to overtake the world, and the article might have some relevance, but until then, it's merely just a theoretical story.
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