Pay-sithanatos

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Well, at least one can hardly accuse this ethicist of mere armchair philosophising:

A man with a neurodegenerative disease testified to [the Canadian] Parliament that nurses and a medical ethicist at a hospital tried to coerce him into killing himself by threatening to bankrupt him with extra costs or by kicking him out of the hospital, and by withholding water from him for 20 days.

Of course, what one really wants to know is missing, i.e. was the ethicist a utilitarian?

Bemused

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It’s always nice to see stout defences of intellectual liberty:

It is both a hallmark of a democratic society and a cornerstone of museum ethics that our sector should operate at arm’s length from the government. Museums must be able to carry out research and inquiry into all areas of history – it is not for ministers to dictate what constitutes a legitimate subject for investigation or what the outcome of that research might be. […] We are particularly concerned that a climate of fear has been created amongst museums and museum staff, especially those working on subjects relating to Britain’s imperial past, and we support the rights of everyone working on these issues to do so free of interference, threats and intimidation.

Researchers’ freedom from interference is an interesting framing for the organisation’s concerns. The Museums Association openly states that it is worried about interference in the ‘work to decolonise museums’ which it ‘unreservedly supports’. It proudly considers ‘decolonising work to be ethically the right thing to do’ and believes that ‘sector support organisations, the MA Ethics Committee and museums should work together to establish new guidance for the sector and ensure that museums take a proactive approach in the reinterpretation and decolonising of collections’.

Of course the Museums Association is not obliged to affect neutrality on a matter of moral imperatives; but then it does become hard to look like a convincing champion of sectoral non-interference and academic freedom.

Uneventful

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From a gaming forum thread on the atmospherics of loneliness and isolation:

In games that progress you in a linear fashion from area to area, sometimes you’re able to go back quite a distance through previous areas, although you’re not really expected to. In these games, there’s almost like an intangible sphere of “life” or “action” or “presentness” that you would normally follow, but you can go back to previous areas where it used to be but isn’t anymore. Previous areas where you’ve cleared out the enemies, solved the puzzle, met the new character, watched the cutscene, whatever... and there’s less than nothing left. If you were to go back to a very early area, it feels deader than dead. It’s still there physically, being correctly rendered and behaving as designed and all, but the intangible feeling of livingness has left it. There’s a very strong and foreboding feeling that you are not meant to be here. That you’re in a place “forgotten by the game”.

This seems like a relative of the phenomenon where you can sense that an area feels oddly empty as you explore it, and either you’ve been able to go there ‘too early’ for the plot, or you’ve found the remnants of something that was planned but otherwise largely cut, like the huge gate that will never open in Horizon Zero Dawn: a sort of digital Thomasson.

Unexperted

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With the rapid evolution of technology and AI in recent years, many experts predicted that expert networks will be rendered obsolete by 2021. However, our research suggests otherwise. (April 2021)

Vexingology

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I wonder whether the university made any use of its research centre with specific expertise on the ethics of cultural heritage: