Friday, December 05, 2008

Have you developed evil tech today?

I've always respected Google's 'Don't be evil' moto, although it can get blurry on occasion (think China censorship), I like to believe they try and follow it as much as possible. Well I trust them more than I do Facebook.

Technology is being infused into more of our lives. Everything is being connected and I look forward to the day when my refrigerator tells me I need to get some more milk as I'm running low. (Maybe even automatically orders it).

As engineers, we have great power in the world today. We can build anything.

With this is mind, I think it's beneficial to constantly question how are skills are being used in the world.

Since I've come to the US, I've been exposed to more of the unpleasant sides of capitalism. Anything to make a buck. Overly complex packages being offered (e.g cable/cellphone service), and then getting nickel 'n dimed. grrhh
I'm sure the same thing happens in the UK, I would like to think to a lesser degree. (Maybe this is a tad unrealistic)

Are you doing good or are you doing evil? You might not know if your doing good, but you should know if your leaning in the wrong direction.

There are two things, I've said I'll never get involved in. One is military tech and the other is pornography.

However cool you think military tech is with all those laser guided missiles, it still kills people. TV never shows you aftermath. If they did, it would hopefully make us more hesitate in entering that endeavor.

It's naive to think its only going to be used against bad people. Putting aside how sometimes you can miss bad people, what about when that tech gets in the hands of bad people. e.g Taliban was armed by the US to fight the russians or in the current conflicts, M16s are somehow being used to shoot at the allied troops. No I'm not some anti-war nut..

Pornography is obvious. I have nothing against it. Living in the SF Bay area, I'm not some religious conservative fruitcake, I'm liberal as the next guy. People are free to do what they want. I'm talking about development of it and in particular my development of it. It's just not something I want to devote my life force in producing.

There's a whole bunch of other stuff I'm a little concerned with. Privacy is one.
Yes.. privacy is moot nowadays. If it can help sell more targeted products I can live with it (well with ad blockers I rarely have to deal with it). Yahoo got a lot of trouble when they ratted on a dissendent.

Are there things your doing that your less than proud of? Post annonymously if your concerned.

Maybe its time to stop feeling bad and do that startup you've always thought about?