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The Ethics Sage Addresses Cyberbullying

 

The Ethics Sage Addresses Cyberbullying

The Ethics Sage has a new blog post on the issue of Cyberbullying. I would appreciate it if you would go to his blog and read the entire entry. The two paragraphs below do not do full justice to the depth of his thought.

James Pilant

The Ethics Sage

The Ethics Sage

Are our Schools a Safe Place for Students to Grow and Learn?

Cyberbullying and Random Acts of Violence Threaten American Exceptionalism

http://www.ethicssage.com/2013/10/are-our-schools-a-safe-place-for-students-to-grow-and-learn.html

Cyberbullying in our schools threatens the safety of our students both in and out of school. It creates an environment where learning is negatively affected and potentially devastates the bullied individual. The result may be embarrassment, withdrawal from social and educational activities, attempted suicide and worse. I am tired of hearing schools defend their inaction when cyberbullying attacks occur after school hours and on weekends by claiming they are not responsible because the attacks did not occur on school grounds or during school time. If one student shot another outside of school would they look the other way? I don’t think so (or at least I hope not).

The extent of the phenomenon is hard to quantify. But one 2010 study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, an organization founded by two criminologists who defined bullying as “willful and repeated harm” inflicted through phones and computers, said one in five middle-school students had been affected. The purpose of this blog is to address what can be done about it. I have blogged before on the behavioral impact of being bullied through the use of social media. Attacks using Facebook, and Instagram, an online photo- and video-sharing service, and other social media threaten to stifle emotional development and growth, two factors so important to becoming a productive member of society.

From around the web.

From the web site, Stop Cyberbullying.

http://stopcyberbullyingsite.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/cyberbullying-research-paper/

People should never feel like they are useless or lonely or like they don’t matter. However, when people cyberbully other people, that is exactly how the victims feel. No one should feel that way. Cyberbullying is bullying that happens in cyberspace, hence the name. People can get bullied over text, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Cyberbullying is becoming a bigger situation as time passes and the internet comes into play more and more, and people need to notice and do something about it.

    There are many statistics on cyberbullying. 43 percent have been cyberbullied, 70 percent have reported that they have seen it happen, 68 percent of teens agree that is a problem (Eleven).  When pictures or posts get put on the internet is impossible to delete it, even if you do delete it it will still be up there (Cyber-bullying). The most common way to be cyberbullied is instant messaging. Most cyberbullies are girls, it is twice as likely for them to be girls. One third of people have been threatened online (Cyberbullying). Most people who have been cyberbullied will not tell anyone about, only one tenth of victims will tell someone. Victims who have been bullied can be two to nine times more likely to commit suicide (Eleven). Many people ask why they do it, but also people ask how it happens.

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I’m Beginning to Like Josh Barro

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

Ted Cruz speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m Beginning to Like Josh Barro

This guy can take this kind of nonsense and instead of being hurt or offended, he turns it into informative and, in a way, defiant essay. I’m impressed.

And he has a good point, this kind of passion (hatred, rage?) is frightening. As a fellow writer, I find this kind of thing daunting but as a politician it must be far more threatening because not only do these people wield influence power in the party, encountering them personally must be an exciting and memorable experience.

James Pilant

One Look At These Emails, And You’ll See Why Republicans Let Ted Cruz Lead Them Off A Cliff

http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-congressional-republicans-let-ted-cruz-lead-them-off-a-cliff-2013-10

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-congressional-republicans-let-ted-cruz-lead-them-off-a-cliff-2013-10#ixzz2i1i1VxFE

The people whose letters I’m printing below are literally the people Republicans depend on to re-elect them to Congress. Keeping these people happy is their job — which is why the Republican Party has become so inept and crazy.

Jim Kennedy says I’m a “low information voter” in league with “the black racists”:

Senator Cruz is right on. I am one of those “crazy people” the liberal left does not like, being former Marine, a supporter of Tea Party, college graduate, member of NRA, member of Sons of Confederate Veterans. It is you low information voters and the black racists that hate us conservatives. Watch out in 2014!

William Neisser found me on Facebook and sent this frank message:

do you really believe the crap coming out of your mouth so 2 million people who think this Obama care isn’t good are wrong and living on another planet wow. life for you must be hard when did it become American to make people eat there vegetables. everyone has something to say but please stop talking your breath stinks like the crap you write come back to reality like the 2 million that are wrong an don’t like Obama’s health care academy for idiots thank you again yours truly screwed middle class living on another planet oh an have a great day

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-congressional-republicans-let-ted-cruz-lead-them-off-a-cliff-2013-10#ixzz2i1hj93is

From around the web.

From the web site, The Left-handed Nib.

http://lefthandednib.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/the-gops-messiah-complex/

The GOP’s Messiah Complex

To paraphrase Dana Milbank, the Republican Party is Cruzifying itself.

Lots of good reads on Cruz in the last few days:

  • Josh Barro writes at Business Insider that “Ted Cruz is living on another planet” — and the Tea Party base is more than willing to hang out with him there.
  • This AP article is one of many I’ve seen lately that talk about how fed up establishment Republlicans are with Cruz and his Tea Party fellow crazies. But look at the establishment Republicans they’re quoting by name! …

A Business Etiquette Video for My Students

A Business Etiquette Video for My Students

Business Etiquette – SCPD CBA CSULB – YouTube

One day, I discussed with the class my idea for teaching upper class communication skills to the business students. They asked me to go further with it, so here is the first video in what will be a series discussing the social class skills necessary for business success.

James Pilant

Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper – Upper class mannerisms.

From around the web –

From the web site, IndiTech’s Blog:

Realize that online networking is similar to real life networking. In real life networking, you make connections one person at a time. The same is true for online networking. Don’t be seduced into thinking that you can create meaningful relationships with a lot of people at once, simply by posting updates about what you do.

A better approach would be to consider the online social networks as tools to provide you more access to more people, from the comfort of your home or office, while realizing that the basic relational skills when making a connection remains comparable to both online and offline. In other words, meet a lot of people, but meet them one by one.

From the web site, Quite Continental:

I think the best way to start a business is to look at what you love and think about how you can formulate that into a plan. It’s important to ask questions, always take calculated risks, and develop the ability to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself.There are no failures if you learn from the mistakes you made along the way. I think a bit of self-reflection always helps to build the foundation of a company and let it take shape. Passion, Hard Work, Kindness, Generosity and patience are definitely some of the key factors in making something successful.

It is always important to remember that a business is built in a series of blocks or stages. Slowly but surely it all comes together over time.

 

 

 

 

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Netflix Hammers Privacy Protections

Netflix Hammers Privacy Protections
Netflix Hammers Privacy Protections

Netflix Hammers Privacy Protections

Netflix now has the right to share your viewing habits – Salon.com

After nearly two years of intense lobbying, Netflix has won the reform it needs to integrate its services with Facebook. Ars Technica first reported that the Senate quietly passed a reform to the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) last week, giving video streaming companies the right to share your data for up to two years after asking for your permission once. (Mother Jones notes that “The Senate didn’t even hold a recorded vote: The bill was approved by unanimous consent”).

Netflix now has the right to share your viewing habits – Salon.com

 

This is a government subsidy to a business, in this case, a particular business. The act gives away a right to privacy with no return to the consumer.

Is this good business ethics? One of the first tests of ethics is the question, “Is it legal?” The “reform” makes what was previously illegal into a legal act. It’s also intensely profitable. This passes the sole test of Friedman’s code, “Does it enhance shareholder value?” Yes, it makes more money for the company. I would expect the company’s value to be enhanced.

But this is slicing good business ethics pretty thin. It’s legal and profitable. But so are a great many things that we can be ashamed of.

Is it bad business ethics? It takes a public good, privacy, and converts it to private profit. What did consumers gain from allowing Netflix to sell their information to other companies? That easy, they won the right to be specifically targeted in advertising. Their viewing habits can be used to get a handle on their political beliefs, whether they have children, etc.

It might be argued that the consumer has to give permission to access his records. A blanket right has been abolished and replaced with a private opt out clause. One of the things I have learned is that few of my students even though they are computer literate have any concept of how their data can be used against them. Considering that observation and the mass of e-mails we are bombarded with, I find it unlikely an informed decision is going to be made in many cases.

A company has been profited at a cost to the public interest. It is a government subsidy with all that implies. The company could have done better.

James Pilant

From around the Web –

From the web site, 33 Bits of Entropy: (This article highlights another important issue in online privacy. jp)

New lines will need to be drawn defining what is acceptable data-release policy, and in a way that takes into account the actual re-identification risk instead of relying on syntactic crutches such as removing “personally identifiable” information. Perhaps there will need to be a constant process of evaluating and responding to continuing improvements in re-identification algorithms.

Perhaps the ability of third parties to discover information about an individual’s movie rankings is not too disturbing, as movie rankings are not generally considered to be sensitive information. But because these same techniques can lead to the re-identification of data, far greater privacy concerns are implicated.

From the web site, Tech of the Hub:

Today, Netflix presented at the F8 conference to talk about their planned integration with Facebook. You can see what you friends are watching and they can see what you are watching on Facebook. Not only on a granular level, but Facebook will present what it finds to be interesting trends among your friends’ viewing habits. Mark Zukerberg’s example showed that four of his friends just watched movies staring Johnny Depp. Netflix will be integrating with both Facebook’s newly announced Timeline as well as their OpenGraph platform. Facebook will have similar integration with Hulu.

And, finally, from the web site, Addicting Info:

An archaic 1988 law, the Video Privacy Protection Act, currently prevents the sharing of your video watch lists, such as with services like Netflix or Hulu, on social media outlets such as Facebook or Google+. Earlier this month, the US Senate put through an upgrade to the bill to address this issue, to little notice. It was a minor correction to an old set of laws. But when the US House got ahold of it, they put forth some edits, which is where the problem begins.

These changes, as reported by the ACLU, divorces the bill from a larger set of laws, called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. In so doing they eliminated protections which were in place to require a warrant for accessing of cloud-based private electronic communications and other content, such as email, private social network posts, any information stored on cloud based servers. Instead, a subpoena is all that is required, a legal process but one which does not require the due diligence of a warrant, not even requiring an active investigation to acquire.

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System Rigged Against Small Investor.

System Rigged Against Small Investor.

Facebook IPO: Retail Investors Lose Out While Wall Street Clients Make Profits

In case a reminder was needed, the fallout from the Facebook IPO illustrates that Wall Street appears to be designed to serve the well-connected at the expense of ordinary people.

Ordinary investors may have lost as much as $630 million collectively from the plunge in Facebook’s stock following its public debut, Bloomberg reports. These are the same people who used hundreds or even thousands of dollars of their prized savings to bet on the stock only to have its value drop to way below its opening price of $38 per share.

Facebook IPO: Retail Investors Lose Out While Wall Street Clients Make Profits

Is it moral or ethical to have a rule system which allows the large institutional investors to thrive while penalizing the small investors? Does this encourage responsible investment and make Americans better people?

I think not.

This kind of thing drives people away from investment and it should. That the game is rigged is obvious to the most casual observer. It takes an enormous amount of advertising and badly written text books to get people to buy stock.

Now let’s differentiate here. I heartily approve of investment, that is, buying stock in a company to collect regular dividends and over time have the value of the company go up. That is investment. It carries some risk but it is not the kind of risk carried by those that believe they can buy and sell stock hour by hour, day by day, and make a profit thereby. That is speculation and speculation is inherently risky.

But not all speculators are equal. Let Facebook be a warning to all small investors. Whether you win or lose, investment banks will win.

This is wrong.

It damages faith in the system because the system doesn’t deserve it. If people don’t believe in the basic fairness of society than they will begin to act in ways that are detrimental to that society.

More simply, if playing by the rules doesn’t work, they’ll try something else.

Justice and fairness are for everybody and when they are denied we all suffer.

We should always have in the back of our minds the basic concept of fairness in our dealings. That is how you build a just and fair society.

You punish the wicked and protect the innocent. Is it hard to understand that rule?

James Pilant

 

A Song For Occupy Wall Street

Nathan Shaffer – Come Back America – YouTube

(Something I found on You Tube – You can buy the music and other works by the artist online.)

Sometimes the music has a message.
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Arizona Humane Society Kills Scruffy

Humane Society; Sparks Outrage By Euthanizing Man’s Kitten Over Money

I was more than a little surprised by this. The Arizona Humane Society was unable to find the money to help Scruffy or take a credit card over the phone but was able to hire a publicist and scrub its Facebook site of all those nasty comments made by people who were obviously unaware of the souless minions running its operations. I went to the Facebook site for the organization and if you want to see professional damage control in action, I recommend it as a model. If it weren’t for their own carefully written remarks suggesting alternate places to write your complaints, you wouldn’t have know known that some poor cat had been wacked.

From the article –

Animal lovers threatened to pull donations to an animal rescue group and the public flooded the agency with scathing comments and calls after a man’s cat was euthanized when he couldn’t afford its medical care, prompting the Arizona Humane Society to go into damage-control mode Wednesday.

The group has hired a publicist, removed dozens of comments on its Facebook page and directed a team of five volunteers to respond to the overwhelming calls and emails it has received since The Arizona Republic published a weekend story about Daniel Dockery and his 9-month-old cat, Scruffy.

Humane Society‎ Sparks Outrage By Euthanizing Man’s Kitten Over Money

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Andi comments on the previous post – The 99 Percenters – Why is New York the Center of their Protests?

This is a comment on a previous post –  The 99 Percenters – Why is New York the Center of their Protests?

(The article was actually motivated by one of my reader’s comments on Facebook and while I hope there are elements of a call for economic justice implied in it, I didn’t have any ethical argument except for inequality itself – James Pilant)

Here’s Andi’s response to the post –

While reading this article, I wondered about the ethics and what the author wanted us to tell. Is it the question whether it is morally right that people do the protests in NY or is it the question if it’s ethically that 1 percent of the population in NY owns about 44 percent of all income?! Or is it the more general question whether it is ethically to do protests in the street?

To answer this question it is necessary to know the definition of an ethical decision. A decision is ethically if it affects others, has alternative courses of action and is perceived as ethically relevant by one or more parties.
By comparing the questions with the definition, it becomes clear that the second question cannot be discussed under ethical terms. Only the questions whether it is ethically to to protests or to do them in NY, has alternative courses of actions.
Therefore I focus on protests and try to state my opinion about it.

To answer the question with the postmodern ethical theory (= decision is morally right if the person follows his emotions in a situation), I would say that doing protests to point to abuses is morally okay because it is a good medium to raise high attention in the press and in tv newscasts. But that’s only half of the story. To answer this question in a more rational view, the combination of postmodern ethical theories and ethics of rights and justice is needed. Here the question of fair procedures or fair outcomes comes up.

Whether protests are morally right or wrong, is difficult. What do you think about the following questions?:

Can a protest really influence decisions that there are fair outcomes for everybody? Or is it only a way to highlight unfair procedures?

My great thanks to Andi for taking the time to comment and not just to comment but to comment with intelligence and insight. I want Andi to know that author identification is up to the contributor. If you want to be clearly identified with e-mail, blog links, etc.., you have only to ask and I will modify the posting.

Thanks!!!

James Pilant

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Steven Mintz, the Ethics Sage Comments my post on the Power Elites.

This is from January 7th and I did not (to my regret) publish the comment as a post. It was a thoroughly excellent comment and I am pleased to post it now. (The original posting can be found here.)

Here are the comments of the Ethics Sage

James, I agree with your sentiments. The divide between rich and poor with a growing middle class is expanding rapidly. I wouldn’t classify all billionaires as greedy. The pursuit of self-interest is always a factor and often at the cost of others as too often occurs in corporations. There are, however, a few good people that either use their money to better society, improve our educational system, help those who can’t help themselves, and even fight world hunger and illiteracy. We know of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in the business world who have started foundations for these purposes. They seem to be trying to do the right thing. The jury is still out on Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, who has pledged to donate a significant amount of his money. Oprah Winfrey comes to mind and her charitable efforts as well as using personal gravitas to improve conditions around the world. Perhaps we can include someone like Angelina Jolie who seems genuinely concerned about the unfortunate circumstances of way too many people in other countries. That said, you are absolutely right that the fabric of our nation has changed and not for the better. The middle class get squeezed more and more. The sad part is nothing has be done, even with the financial crisis, to address these issues and I fear nothing will be done because of the influence and desire of those with the billions to continue the trend and the willingness of our Congressional leaders, many of whom are already wealthy (or hope to be so after leaving office)to support the obsessively rich because they hope to join their ranks some day.

The Ethics Sage latest post can be found here.

James Pilant

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Stephanie Lewis Comments on My Post – Toronto Acts to Eliminate Kitten-Mills!

Kitten

Image via Wikipedia

Stephanie Lewis commented on this post from her Facebook account. I have transported it here for your viewing. She is commenting on the post, Toronto Acts to Eliminate Kitten-Mills!
Here are her comments –
Canada seems to be always ahead of the curve.   I’ve said for a long time that prohibiting sales of purebred dogs and cats in pet stores will force mills into smaller, more responsible breeding operations and will eliminate puppy brokers al…together.  This is a hard-sell in the U.S. because of the pervasive belief that when it comes to making money, anything goes.  Some people have and will continue to bristle at such bans.
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