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Author Topic: The moral responsibility in giving help?  (Read 5009 times)
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I personally don't want to educate someone on how to, say, make a basic explosive
I think that is entirely the point. If any one is determined to get information then they will get it but not through me.

I think I agree with most of what has been put here, glad to know I am not just an old stick in the mud.
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glad to know I am not just an old stick in the mud.

Well you actually are, however that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.  smiley-grin

Lefty
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OK I asked for that.  smiley
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I don't think you connected the grounds, Dave.
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I'm with Mike on this - whenever I see posts like "I want to modify my anti-lock brakes/mains-powered water heater/rocket roller skates", I usually reply "could you tell me where you live, please, so I'll know where to avoid and possibly where to send the flowers"

There have been several cases in the UK recently of people who thought that robbing copper from an unattended electricity sub-station was a route to easy riches.
Now, even my teenage son recognised that this was akin to stealing a petrol pump with an acetylene torch.
These poor sods are on an intellectual level with the benighted souls in Nigeria who steal products from pipelines, and seem to be regularly killed in droves in doing so.
As a child, it was instilled in to me by my family that you don't mess with electricity, or any energy storage or transmission system.
This simple education seems not to be available to many, despite the middle-class health-and-safety culture (or possibly, simply because of it!)
How far are we from people cutting down distribution pylons for scrap steel?

Unfortunately now, for us, even the relatively uneducated can type stuff into Google.

(I should add, that like many of my generation as a teenager, I was no angel, and my activities with simple garden chemicals (now unavailable), and inflammable substances would now lead now, to someone of my age then, to an ASBO at best, or detention at worst. However, I did take considerable care, and would have been horrified if anything higher than invertibrates had been damaged by my experiments)



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the Nobel Prize was essentially created as an apology to the planet for creating TNT
That would be dynamite, surely?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 03:31:47 pm by AWOL » Logged

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If incomplete means not done, why does inflammable mean it will burn?

Sometime I blame GB for most of whats wrong in the world.  smiley-wink

Lefty
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Sometime I blame GB for most of whats wrong in the world
I blame the Romans.
How can you have blame culture without culture?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 03:36:58 pm by AWOL » Logged

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Sometime I blame GB for most of whats wrong in the world
I blame the Romans.
How can you have blame culture without culture?

Well using google, I guess we have to blame Greece. It's a Latin derivative. No wonder their budgets are always unbalanced, or is that imbalanced, dam Latins anyway.

Lefty
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Flammable and inflammable are synonyms and mean capable of burning. The word "inflammable" came from Latin inflammāre = "to set fire to," where the prefix "in-" means "in" as in "inside", rather than "not" as in "invisible" and "ineligible". Nonetheless, "inflammable" is often erroneously thought to mean "non-flammable". In the United States, this safety hazard is typically avoided by use of flammable, despite its not being the proper Latin-derived term, on warning labels referring to physical combustibility.
The antonym of flammable/inflammable is non-inflammable, incombustible, or non-combustible.
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I am above your silly so-called "Laws", Mister Ohm.
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Hehehe, yep- run with the concept, not my all-too-fallible memory.  Dynamite, not TNT.  Even now in the days of Google, I demand my god-given right to be completely wrong in every salient fact.  So there.   smiley-razz

You know what might be interesting, statistically?  Actuarial tables on hobbies like electronics, rocketry, or any other whose mishaps can be (in)flammable or directly lethal, but wouldn't normally be considered a rather risky behavior like skiing or BMX.  Does anyone know if you pay higher homeowner or life insurance rates for Electronics, as you do with some other things such as Ceramics (kilns) or Swimming (pool)?

Our hobby is one with potential dangers, fact of the matter is, many of us have done really stupid things and just got lucky.  I guess on many levels, we just have to hope that newer crops of inquisitive kids have at least as much luck and maybe even a little more knowledge than we had, to do some of the things we survived..

The question is, where do we as people with potentially dangerous knowledge, fit in?  I don't think it's possible to design a protocol, a set of guidelines.. what you are try to stop is more amorphous than rules.  It actually takes someone with a bit of expertise to decide what's reasonable and what's not.  There's no easy answer here.

What happens if someone uses an Arduino to build and use a device like an IED or worse?  I certainly don't think anyone connected to the project should feel guilty if it does happen, but if the event happened, they undoubtedly would.  Human nature again, damnable thing..
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 11:33:51 pm by focalist » Logged

When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

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A small light just went on, probably I read some item(s) relating to this in some IEEE publication in the last few years. It seems to me that several of these points are applicable:

http://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/governance/p7-8.html
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Well, I do think that the overall number of people potentially hurt by our hobby is far less than many others.. How many injuries and such can be attributed to Teenage Johnnie emulating the race on NASCAR?  BMX bike jumping?  skateboarding?  Yes, some projects are dangerous.. but to be honest, I really doubt someone is going to go through all the things required to replace the steering in a Honda with an Arduino and a Servo and during all of it not reach the conclusion that it's a dangerous idea.  If they have the sense to make it work, it's likely they will figure out the danger and have a fallback, hopefully.  I think we often are reacting to "blue sky" projects, things that may never be built but are simply being thought about by the posters.  Our discouragement may be preaching to the choir.. but I don't think it's possible to forego the sermon.

I think it's great that we at least take the time to consider the downsides of what we're putting out there.  At least some sort of thinking is occurring, which to my eyes, is often not the case in many activities.  Overall, I feel far more good is done by an educational hobby such as this, and all we can hope for is that those tinkerers out there are either lucky or smart enough to not get themselves killed.  Though we should try to steer folks away from bad ideas, particularly kids, I also don't feel an actual need to parent someone else's children.

Being the "Mad Scientists" we are, the world at large views us tinkerers oddly at times.  I realize this when friends ask me "what you making?" and I reply "Oh, just an orbital death ray..." and for just a moment, a look of concern crosses their faces.  I love that moment... but doesn't it say something about how folks view us through the heaps of ribbon cable, eyes watering in the rosin-smoke filled air.... that there's that microsecond where people have to pause and rule it out.  Per Wonka (I don't want to be a God Member, I want to be a Wonka Member), "We are the makers of music, and we are the dreamers of dreams.." (note, that's lifted from Poet Arthur O'Shaughnessy)

My daughter likes the Disney cartoon "Phineas and Ferb".  The main Antagonist is Dr. Doofenshmirtz.. of "Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated" (including a catchy little jingle).  More than a little geek pride shines through when she grins and tells me I'm Doofenshmirtz.... lol

   
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 08:50:14 am by focalist » Logged

When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

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What about the morality of this one?
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,69685.0.html
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What about the morality of this one?
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,69685.0.html

Helping with homework assignments does have a ethical element, but does not carry the same danger/safety issues as helping the inexperienced with using AC power questions in my mind. I can just passively ignore request for homework help if I wish, ignoring people wishing to wire up their arduino to their house mains is a little harder.

Lefty

« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 04:03:40 pm by retrolefty » Logged

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Well I remember that one and I decided to keep out. Glad to see so many people had the same idea. It probably didn't stop him cheating again. Hopefully with him being so educationally challenged he failed other stuff as well. Hopefully he won't go on to be in a position to do anything actually dangerous in our area. I love the idea that he just didn't get why so many people were unwilling to help him for cash.
I suspect a cheat and lair like this might end up as a banker or politician.
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What about the morality of this one?
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,69685.0.html

Highly suspicious, especially with comments like below.  I might treat it as spam, maybe even pull the account.  I can't imagine what they could be so desperate for.

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Why I need the help isnt really of concern, just the issue that I do and am prepared to pay for it.

At the end of the day it is not in your interest to question my reasons...

On the one hand we have

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Right I need a very basic piece of code. For a skilled Aurduino user this will probably take about 30 mins of your time

and then we have

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If my problem was so trivial there would be a /solved at the end of it right.

Definitely not adding up, in whatever your numbering system of choice may be.  OTOH I have a curious side and might play along to try and learn more.
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