#ethics21 Week 8

Now that the negative thoughts from the previous post are out of my way, I can turn to this week’s topic.

In the Monday’s introduction, there was a lot of talking about “society as a whole”. In particular, the ethics of the whole society. As 10 years before with the knowledge of a whole society, I had my difficulties to get my head around that. So I’ll first revisit how it became easier for me to understand it then after Stephen’s comment.

I considered approaching the ‘knowledge’ of a profession or discipline xxx as a newcomer, namely learning how ‘they’ think and speak and how it may ‘feel like’ to be one of them. First I might encounter ‘them’ as some individual new colleague, a ‘you’ in the singular. Then gradually, the commonalities and patterns of their ‘being an xxx professional’, become ever more familiar, and the borders between them begin to blur, and I see them as a ‘you’ in the plural. At the end of this process, the xxxs’ collection ‘as a whole’ contains, strictly speaking, all of them except myself. Then it is only a small step to get from the ‘they’ or ‘you’ to the ‘we’. We all.

Now ethics is similarly learned. From individuals in one’s close proximity. Via ‘ripple’ effects or, as I expressed it in my first vague post, via contagion. Later I learned that this is compatible with connectivism, see ebb and flow. And it has a lot to do with decentralisation, as opposed to central authorities and templates.

A decentralized network topology, with nodes in the proximity of one red node having icon colors and connector colors in tones of decreasing warmth.

Both with knowledge and with ethics, it seems like the ideas ‘spread’ across the interface, or more precisely, grow at the interface, between human and human. That’s why it is so dangerous to poison the trust at this interface with fakes.

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