Unethical Quote of the Week: Adam Dachis

“All posts that belong to the Dark Side are going to feature some ideas that might be a little evil or at least require some flexible ethics. Some things will be downright horrible, and you should not do them, but are either for your information or simply for the point of interest (and will be noted as such). Your judgment and actions are your own, so think before you do anything you read here and only use your dark side for good.”

Adam Dachis, ethics corrupter, in the “Dark Side Disclaimer” that accompanies his column on the website Lifehacker, called “Secrets from the Dark Side.”

His current “Secrets from the Dark Side” column is entitled “How to Lie, Cheat, and Steal Your Way to a Perfect Flight,” which is an accurate description of its contents. Some of Dachis’s “tips” (scams? cheats?) are interesting, some are humorous, and all (well, maybe with one exception) are unethical. Dachis, for his part, doesn’t have the guts to advocate outright the conduct that he is explicitly promoting, nor does he condemn it. As his ethically incoherent ( “Only use your dark side for good”) disclaimer demonstrates, he thinks ethics is a game of some sort, and that being a “little evil” is cute, or trivial, or something.

A true ethics corrupter, Dachis wants to avoid personal accountability for the unethical acts of his readers spurred entirely by his post, while at the same time getting credit for his cleverness. This is the Richard Nixon approach to ethical corruption, planting seeds and disclaiming responsibility for the crop, telling followers, “We could do that, but it would be wrong.” Wink, wink.


More Zombie Ethics: George Lucas, Re-Animator

It seems that cinema innovator and mega-mogul George Lucas is using a large chunk of his “Star Wars” merchandising lucre to purchase the rights to screen images of dead movie stars. His plan is to give his tech-magicians at LucasArt the opportunity to perfect the process of re-animating and manipulating them to appear in new roles in new films. Imagine Humphrey Bogart in “Pirates of the Caribbean 5”! Imagine Marilyn Monroe joining the girls in “Sex and the City 2”!  Imagine Cary Grant in a buddy picture with Adam Sandler! Or Jar Jar Binks.

Undoubtedly there are many movie fans who would enjoy having digitally resurrected Hollywood legends appearing side-by-side current idols, and there is probably a lot of money to be made by giving them what they want. Turning deceased stars into computer-generated images and making them do and say anything the programmers choose, with the pace, volume and inflection the directors desire, would represent a significant technological advance. Another obvious benefit is that Lucas’s method is preferable to just digging up the carcasses of the acting greats, hanging them on wires, and using machinery to parade them through movie sets like marionettes.

But not much. Continue reading