Can I Stick a Chip In Your Brain? The Ethics of Biological and Technological Integration.

Do you know what one of the most annoying things about having a cell phone is? Having to remember where I put it. It's so obnoxious: One day it's in my laundry, the next it's in the office. I just can't keep track of it. Wouldn't it be nice if I could just integrate the phone into my brain, and bingo! No more losing it.This simple argument is pushing many towards the idea that we can combine our biological parts with technological parts, not simply for the sake of empowering those who are … [Read more...]

Last Hurrah for ABC’s Last Resort

I will confess that I have a tendency to form attachments to television shows doomed to premature cancellation: Firefly, of course, Jericho, Kings, Terra Nova, Missing (does anyone else remember Push, Nevada?). The latest addition to this list is Last Resort, an ABC series from The Shield creator Shawn Ryan that, unfortunately, will air its final episode this Thursday, January 24.The series follows Captain Marcus Chaplin (an outstanding Andre Braugher) and his crew aboard the powerful … [Read more...]

What Would You Do If You Saw a Man about to Be Crushed by a Subway?

Newspapers have been hit hard in recent years. Even such venerable and influential papers as The New York Times have had to make sacrifices to stay afloat as revenue shrinks and as digital and online sources for news grow in popularity. So, from that perspective, perhaps it's not too surprising that the editors of The New York Post would choose to publish a photo of a man about to be crushed by an oncoming subway on the front page of their December 4, 2012, edition. Such a shocking and … [Read more...]

Ethical Dilemmas Arise When You Turn Science Fiction into Reality

Once again, something that was formerly in the domain of science fiction has crossed the line over into reality. But in this case, that's not the only line that has been crossed.NPR recently reported that geneticists at the Oregon Health & Science University had created an embryo containing genetic material from three individuals as part of research aimed at curing genetic diseases caused by defective mitochondrial DNA. The geneticists located the bad DNA in unfertilized eggs, replaced it … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: The Ethical Dilemma of Nashville Ghost Writing

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music.Today, and really for the last half century, much of popular music has not been written by the performers. And in all genres of popular music, and country in particular, ghostwriting has turned into a legitimate profession. Let’s look at it this way, just about every country song that you have heard on the radio in the last twenty ye … [Read more...]

Politics, Ethics, and Compromise.

I'll start by saying... I really enjoy politics.  I've been studying it for 11 years; the philosophical underpinnings, the history, the institutions, the policies, and the backroom dealings.  I've worked for two election campaigns, two lobbyist organizations, a state senator, and a U.S. Congressman.  I follow political news closely.  For whatever reason, I just think it's extremely fun.However, the first thing you lose when you study a subject is any pristine sense of idealism about what it can … [Read more...]