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Topic: The moral responsibility in giving help? (Read 5 times) previous topic - next topic


Aug 17, 2011, 03:09 pm Last Edit: Aug 17, 2011, 03:50 pm by focalist Reason: 1
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

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


"Pete, it's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.


Aug 17, 2011, 11:02 pm Last Edit: Aug 17, 2011, 11:03 pm by retrolefty Reason: 1

What about the morality of this one?

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.



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.

Jack Christensen

What about the morality of this one?

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.

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

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

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.
MCP79411/12 RTC ... "One Million Ohms" ATtiny kit ... available at http://www.tindie.com/stores/JChristensen/

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