“Predictive policing could help prevent crime. But do we want a future where computer oracles and spies track us from birth?” Probably not, according to Henrick Karoliszyn. Consider this scenario: “I am walking down the street and a mobile brain scan looks at my brain along with a picture of a training camp in Afghanistan. If I’ve not been there, I’m sent happily on my way. But if I have, my brain lurches a certain way, I’m taken off the street and carted off to Guantánamo and detained indefinitely as a potential enemy combatant.” Would that be moral?
Are you an optimistic person always looking on the bright side? Not likely, says Jacob Burak. But there is a bright side to the fact that we are wired to be gloomy: “In fact, studies show that depressed people may be sadder, but they are also wiser … . This ‘depressive realism’ gives the forlorn a more accurate perception of reality, especially in terms of their own place in the world and their ability to influence events.”
How and why do people change? For those big changes, Will Storr says that “when the storyline of one’s life hits a dead end, a redemption narrative offers an alluring, if dubious, transformation.” Quite a few interesting points about self-identity, including whether there is such a thing as a self.
Good overview of John Rawls’ methods and philosophy. “Many of us feel that our societies are a little – or even plain totally – ‘unfair’. But we have a hard time explaining our sense of injustice to the powers that be in a way that sounds rational and without personal pique or bitterness. That’s why we need John Rawls (1921-2002), a twentieth-century American philosopher who provides us with a failproof model for identifying what truly might be unfair – and how we might gather support for fixing things.”
Do individuals have a right for their medical records to remain private after death, or can public interest prevail? Do their family members have a right to privacy? Your great grandmother had a lobotomy. You don’t know this because your family buried this bit of your family’s history. Is it morally permitted for a writer to mention your great grandmother by name in a book he is writing about the history of lobotomy? Jack El-Hai, the author of a book about lobotomy, claims it is.