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Comment: Re:I've grappled with the ethics of CS for 20 year (Score 1) 183

by genx76 (#46813479) Attached to: The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

So I guess that for you anything that is based on a bit of moral sense and thought about the result of our doing is communism, because there is little relation between what I said and communism.

I am not a native English speaker, so I can easily miss the nuances of vocubulary : I do not know if "common good" is only used in English by communists ; I do not know the difference of meaning between "mankind" and "humankind".

For the rest of your "remarks", even considering you are an AC, I think you have a problem with English. I said nothing about cars, nothing about cars being replaced by public transportation, nothing about public jobs. I did not say anything made for billionaires would be stupid, what was stupid was using several man-years for a gadget that the guy will be using 2 minutes and then be tired of (and there was not even any artistic value in the thing, juste a pure waste). And yes, I find more useful to work on a 100 M$ transportation system that is used by hundreds of thousands people everyday, than on (an addition to) a 100 M$ vehicule (we were not talking about cars!) that is used to transport one single guy every now and then.
I said that the limit between the different categories will highly vary, depending on people. If you do not have any moral sense at all, it is normal that you do not care about anything but yourself and your money, so you will put everything that brings you money in the "useful" category (and think any other people who has some kind of moral sense is an evil commie).

Comment: Re:I've grappled with the ethics of CS for 20 year (Score 1) 183

by genx76 (#46810715) Attached to: The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

I like to classify the things we do as useful/useless/harmful for the progress of humankind (or, to be less pompous, for the use of the society, or for the common good). I consider that during my years of work, I have been 90% useless, 8% useful, and 2% harmful.

Naturally, everyone may set different limits for these categories. As far as I am concerned, in my useless category, I put the products I have developped when a competitor already had a very similar product, and the stuff that should have been useful if the projects had not been canceled and trashed. In the useful, what I have done for public transportation (well, the small part that was not trashed). I was lucky to avoid most of the harmful kind until my last position, where I had to design stupid and polluting gadgets for billionaires, which was partly the cause of my early resignation.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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