Closed Mouth, Open Forum…

Well, I can’t talk today. Celebrations in multiple venues are planned. Whether I can think or write is still to be determined, but that has been the case for a very long time.

So time to call up the Reserves, as we do here on Ethics Alarms every Friday when I remember to do it. Enlighten us with your analysis of anything, as long as anything involves ethics.

I’ll be here, watching, reading, and suffering bravely, sort of.

9 thoughts on “Closed Mouth, Open Forum…


    I think I got a good one for you Jack. This happened in a town near me. The mayor was ousted by prosecutors for casting the tie breaking vote to allow his wife to become mayor pro tem. MO law is pretty strict regarding nepotism so he was forced to resign. Interestingly enough, the wife is now the acting mayor.

    • I liked the part where the couple said they didn’t think it would count as nepotism since it wasn’t a public vote. IMHO that’ makes it even worse, since the mayor pro tem isn’t accountable to the public, but to the council, which is more easily influenced.

      • Most valuable line of the article: “instances of nepotism are harder for cities without large interest in political service.” A city of 2,400 people. I doubt people are lined up fifteen deep to fill these positions. The council should have just found a way to get a three to one vote over the finish line so the husband/mayor could have stayed out of the election. I think the prosecutor was more than a little chagrinned by the result. No mention of why an acting mayor was required.

    • I’d say April Fool’s hoaxes are unethical when they have a chance to cause real harm, but genuinely funny, obvious satire hoaxes are okay.

    • I know of some very wealthy guys who have paid the substantial fee to have their bodies (or perhaps just their heads) frozen and kept super cold at the facility in Scottsdale, Arizona where The Splendid Splinter’s head was placed in cold storage. It struck me as almost a weird vanity project or analogous to tooling around in a brand-new Rolls Royce. A very in-your-face thing to do. “I’m rich, so watch this, I’m going to live longer than you! Hah!”

    • I think the main thing to consider is quality of life. I wouldn’t want to extend my life or the life of a loved one just to be stuck in a vegetative state. I think if we could SLOW or even reverse some elements the aging process, like the improved vision they talked about in the article, I think that would be a good thing. Not sure about a self-aware AI. I would prefer to simply pass on rather than merely be “aware” but without my body to see, hear, taste, feel, and exercise.

      One ethical consideration is population density, but we much further away from “too many people” than doomsayers initially predicted. Extended lifespans can help mitigate the demographic collapses some regions are having.

    • It’s not inherently unethical to live forever, just like it isn’t inherently unethical for a person alive now to be alive. It’s the actions that one does that are ethical or not. I wouldn’t consider a person whose conscience is moved into a machine as unethical either, as long as that person consented to the operation. Whether such a feat would ever be possible is another question. Regardless, I see nothing inherently wrong with trying to get yourself to live as long as possible.

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