While reading some material on KM I recalled a study made by Tocqueville on democracy in the US in 1838. At that time, newspapers were starting spreading and being affordable to anyone. What he noticed was that although information was becoming more accessible, people were not getting more “informed”. In other words, making knowledge more accessible did not imply that people was making more use of it.
July 04, 2014
June 30, 2014
He was just 26 when, one and a half year ago, Aaron Swartz committed suicide in its appartment in Brookling. Last week a movie came out, "the internet's own boy", to document his life: his ideals, the battles he fought, the pressures he went through.
Aaron thought it was deeply unjustice that knowledge was available to a restric minority of the world, namely academies and corporations that can afford it. He wasn't ok in living in a society in which human knowledge is stored and protected by gate keepers, who didn't create it yet claim rights on it and make profit out of it.
That's why he downloaded the millions of articles stored in the MIT's server and shared it in the most democratic technological invention: the internet. How else could a guy in the third world access the cutting edge human knowledge? Yet, the American governament and the MIT didn't like it and made a case out of it, to discourage all the potential opponents to those institutions that prevent knowledge from being accessed by the majority of human population. Aaron was charged for millions of dollars and 35 years of prison: he couldn't stand such a pressure, which ultimately led him to his extreme action.
A part from hunger, I feel disgusted in living in a society where such episodes are admitted. I see the contraddictions of a university that preaches knowledge sharing, yet when a student shows serious intentions about it, it oppose him with any available mean.
This happened last year to a 26 yo guy in one of the most admired university in the US. Do you think that Warwick University would act differently in a similar situation? I would like to hear your opinion on that... and of course, I strongly reccomend the movie to anyone.
March 31, 2014
March 30, 2014
March 02, 2014
LEADERSHIP INVOLVES RESPONSIBILITIES. I believe we can’t accept such a way of thinking in a Leadership course. That’s not even followership. That’s blind, irresponsible followership.
Lesson learned guys, remember? You spent a week-end trying to convince Jane that you understood how important it is if we want to progress and not make the same mistakes over and over again.
It happened less than 80 years ago that one of the biggest shame of human history took place because of people who irresponsibly followed a crazy leader. They followed orders, they knew they were not moral, but they thought they had no voice to make things go differently. HISTORY SENTENCES THEY WERE WRONG. It is called world war, which means that involves you all regardless of your provenience, language, religion. You have no excuses to not be informed about it.
Please have a look at this documentary. It takes just 15 min of your time. The relevant part according to what I am saying starts from 7:10 and last few minutes.
Your actions count, regardless of your position. We must not compromise, we must refuse to go against our values. And if everybody is doing something which we believe is wrong, we must not accept it. WE MUST NOT BE ACCOMPLICE.
Please note that such question disregard your own definition of what is ethic or not: don’t focus on that. Moreover, I would like to highlight that I am not judging anyone. I absolutely don’t want to spoil the delicate and unique learning environment that we have in our class, which is what allowed today’s discussion to happen and to make me write this entry. I just want to invite you to think about a topic that I consider extremely important for everyone.
Why do you want to be a leader? To create a vision and influence people to support it, or to “grow your kids”?
If it is the first, then it is not tolerable to support something that goes against our ethic. Indeed, that’s exactly the moment in which the leader in us has to come out, to purpose an alternative ACCORDING TO OUR VALUES and to change the way things are running.
If it is the second, I honestly think you should reconsider your leadership ambition. Some business man and politicians are ruining MY country to grow THEIR kids. The world does not need this kind of “leader” anymore. I am not judging you, but if this is your goal please consider some other positions that do not affect other people. Pursue your own goals, which is absolutely fine, but do it on your own.
Coming back to today’s discussion, maybe we could add this consideration: a leader should give up if he/she can’t refuse to undertake an action that clearly goes against his/her ethic and values.
In today class, we held an interesting discussion on CSR. Some of us where sceptic about it, as at the very end it is all about getting a return. I think we all agree business is not charity, and whatever it does aims to have a return. Fair enough.
I would like to share my analysis of CSR from a moral perspective. Let’s take the morality as described by Kant. According to Immanuel Kant, an action can’t be moral if it is driven by extrinsic motivation. Therefore, whatever action a business undertakes in order to get a return, is not moral.
Nevertheless, some business may consider a CSR initiative because it intrinsically believes that it is a good thing to be done, regardless of the return. For example, a company that donates part of its revenue to a social cause may be doing both a moral or immoral action, according to the real motivation that makes it do it.
One of the critics that was moved to Kant’s morality is that it just considers the intention, and not the actual output. Indeed, the same output can be generated by different motivations, which can be extrinsic or intrinsic.
To resume, assuming an aspect of the Kant’s definition of moral action, CSR can be moral or immoral: if it is done just to get a return, for sure it is not moral. The motivation is a necessary condition, but not sufficient. Indeed, other aspects of Kant’s morality have to be considered
I would like to have your view on the morality of CSR according to your personal definition of morality. The one I provided is considered a pillar of European philosophy, I think it would be interesting to compare it with others.