We Cannot Eat Data: The Need for Computer Ethics to Address the Cultural and Ecological Impacts of Computing

We Cannot Eat Data: The Need for Computer Ethics to Address the Cultural and Ecological Impacts of Computing

B. Paterson (Marine Biology Research Institute, Zoology Department, University of Cape Town, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-310-4.ch011
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Abstract

Computer ethicists foresee that as information and communication technology (ICT) increasingly pervades more and more aspects of life, ethical issues increasingly will be computer-related. This view is underpinned by the assumption that progress is linear and inevitable. In accordance with this assumption, ICT is promoted as an essential component of development. This notion ignores the cultural origin of computing. Computer technology is a product of the Western worldview, and consequently, the computer revolution is experienced differently by people in different parts of the world. The computer revolution not only threatens to marginalize non-Western cultural traditions, but the Western way of life also has caused large-scale environmental damage. This chapter argues that computer ethics has to critically analyze the links between computing and its effects on cultural diversity and the natural environment and proposes that the Earth Charter can function as a framework for such holistic research.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
John Weckert
Acknowledgments
Soraj Hongladarom, Charles Ess
Chapter 1
J. H. Søraker
The purpose of this chapter is to explore whether information and information technology in certain cases ought to be valued as ends in themselves... Sample PDF
The Moral Status of Information and Information Technologies: A Relational Theory of Moral Status
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Chapter 2
F. S. Grodzinsky, H. T. Tavani
We examine some pros and cons of online communities with respect to two main questions: (1) Do online communities promote democracy and democratic... Sample PDF
Online Communities, Democratic Ideals, and the Digital Divide
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Chapter 3
L. Magnani
We already are hybrid humans, fruit of a kind of co-evolution of both our brains and the common, scientific, social, and moral knowledge we have... Sample PDF
The Mediating Effect of Material Cultures as Human Hybridization
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Chapter 4
T. Herdin
The aim of this chapter is to discuss the mutual influence between culture and technology on a broad inter- and transcultural level. Especially, how... Sample PDF
Culture and Technology: A Mutual-Shaping Approach
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Chapter 5
T. Chokvasin
This chapter is to offer a critical study of what the human living condition would be like in a new era of hi-tech mobilization, especially the... Sample PDF
Mobile Phone and Autonomy
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Chapter 6
M. van der Velden
The diversity of knowledge is crucial for finding credible and sustainable alternatives for living together. Yet, a preoccupation with content and... Sample PDF
Invisibility and the Ethics of Digitalization: Designing so as not to Hurt Others
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Chapter 7
D. L. Burk
Adoption of information technologies is dependent upon the availability of information to be channeled via such technologies. Although many cultural... Sample PDF
Privacy and Property in the Global Datasphere
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Chapter 8
S. Hongladarom
The perspective of various Buddhist traditions offers an illuminating insight into the nature and justification of the concept of privacy in... Sample PDF
Analysis and Justification of Privacy from a Buddhist Perspective
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Chapter 9
P. R. Rananand
This chapter examines information privacy as manifested and understood in Thai society. Multidisciplinary perspectives—philosophical... Sample PDF
Information Privacy in a Surveillance State: A Perspective from Thailand
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Chapter 10
P. Bhattarakosol
Information is important to humans because without information, no task can be performed. Therefore, information and communication technology (ICT)... Sample PDF
Interactions among Thai Culture, ICT, and IT Ethics
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Chapter 11
B. Paterson
Computer ethicists foresee that as information and communication technology (ICT) increasingly pervades more and more aspects of life, ethical... Sample PDF
We Cannot Eat Data: The Need for Computer Ethics to Address the Cultural and Ecological Impacts of Computing
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Chapter 12
B. Carsten Stahl, S. Rogerson
The ever-changing face of ICT can render its deployment rather problematic in sensitive areas of applications, such as healthcare. The ethical... Sample PDF
Current and Future State of ICT Deployment and Utilization in Healthcare: An Analysis of Cross-Cultural Ethical Issues
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Chapter 13
G. T. Yamamoto
IT ethics cannot be analyzed without assessing business ethics in general and the cultural environment. This study is based on the Turkish case.... Sample PDF
Business Ethics and Technology in Turkey: An Emerging Country at the Crossroad of Civilizations
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Chapter 14
L. Kvasny
During the 1990s, the digital divide figured prominently in the discourses of academics, corporate leaders, educators, and policymakers worldwide.... Sample PDF
The Existential Significance of the Digital Divide for America's Historically Underserved Populations
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About the Authors