Programmers, Engineers and Politics
Should engineers and other technical people be more involved in politics? Yes, we probably should. With our analytic problem solving minds we could or should be able to provide a stabilizing hand to the sound-bite laden hubris. However that means dealing with the kind of people that we’d normally prefer to avoid. Almost universally there has been a rise in a political class – career politicians with no experience of the world beyond that of politics. There is the amusing anecdote of former British minister for health under Tony Blair, Alan Milburn who by default was in charge of one of the world’s largest employers – the NHS. He actually had business experience having run a second hand book store in the 60s caused Daze of Hope, which more usually went under the name Haze of Dope. This is still more than could be said of his fellow ministers with the exception of John Prescott, who had been a ship’s steward in the 1950s. Read more...
Ethics and Your Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
With great power comes great responsibility
goes the phrase. In computing circles I would say that we’d be liable to think more along the lines of With great power comes great electricity bills
or With great power comes great cooling problems
. But should we also be more often considering the original intention? Should we as the engineers wielding the computer power be concerned with how this technology could be abused? A quick trawl of the internet shows precious little concern for such issues – we are almost all completely entranced by the rush of technical possibilities coming at us. If we give the matter any concern at all we tend to think in altruistic terms, of the great potential for a safer, more organized, more open, more equal, more efficient and faster world. Read more...