Written by: Lily | October 9, 2011
If you read my blog regularly, one thing you’ll realize is that my diet is not that of your typical college student. I’ve never eaten at Cane’s, (blasphemy!) I have Ramen once in a blue moon, and despite being over 21 now my alcohol intake is irregular and not particularly high. I do however, enjoy good food! Like homemade lasagna!
Written by: Alex | October 8, 2011
I love food. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by: Sierra J. | October 8, 2011
This is kind of awkward, especially because we’ve only been together for three weeks. But I have to say, it’s not me. It’s you. I can’t put up with this bipolar personality of yours anymore. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by: Michael | October 7, 2011
For this picture, I didn’t do anything to my desk. All I did was take my laptop off so there wouldn’t be a glare from my camera flash. It’s no secret that my desk is clear. Keeping your desk clear doesn’t sound so easy, though. It is a distraction, and almost everyone is a victim of it.
I got a comment from a reader saying that he couldn’t keep his desk clear. But that shouldn’t stop him from having a clean desk space. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by: Andrew | October 7, 2011
I can only imagine all my previous school teachers shaking their heads right now. It seems that I am being reminded of every lesson I was taught throughout my younger years. I’m not talking about scholarly lectures; this is much more simple. I’m referring to avoiding the stupid mistakes.
Written by: Cara | October 7, 2011
Not so easy, dudes. But not so hard. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by: Kapil | October 6, 2011
After a few weeks of technical problems, I’m back. Things have been going well, albeit I’m still a little overwhelmed by the fact that all my classes have to do with engineering, so I’m offering myself a short break by discussing a problem posed in the field of ethics.
Background: I was walking by a bike rack outside Taylor Tower, when I saw a bike with a missing front tire. At first I thought it was the owner that had taken it out to prevent theft, but as I pondered it more, it occurred to me that someone had likely stolen the front wheel. Here’s why.
1. The bike was locked. If the owner had room for a front tire, they could likely store the whole bike.
2. The bike had 2 locks.
3. It looked old.
In any case, I half- chuckled to myself while wondering why anyone in their right mind would take 1 tire. Then I realized.
You take someone’s bike, they can always buy another one, or walk … or whatever… but you take someone’s tire, that’s a pain to replace and even more annoying to deal with. I’m not condoning theft, but whoever did this was trolling…hard. But, I was more interested, at the time, to answer the question “why would someone steal”? Out of necessity ? To fight ‘The Man’? Because they can? To me this was more a question of morality than anything else. The idea that someone could steal something (anything) seemed a bit puzzling to me not because I didn’t know theft existed but because in some sense, I felt more connected to this instance.
A trolley is on a track that will soon run over 5 people tied onto the track. You can flip a switch to divert the trolley onto another track where 1 person has been tied down. What will you do?
Human nature is interesting. For the most part, we tend to be utilitarian, meaning that we believe that the greatest good is that which benefits a greater percentage of humanity. And in some instances, for example, free food for all, it seems (at least initially) like a good idea. The concern, for me, is that we use the same standards in this instance.
Most people would flip the switch, because 5 innocent people are “worth” more than 1 innocent person. Sure, lets assume that this is correct (mainly because I have no answer to this dilemma).
Then lets consider this.
The fat guy trolley problem:
You are standing on a bridge under which a trolley is quickly approaching. The tracks are broken and the trolley will fall into a hole. destroying it and the passengers inside it. A large weight can stop the trolley before it falls off the tracks. A fat man is standing next to you and he is standing off-balance directly above the hole in the tracks. What will you do?
In this situation, most people would choose not to do anything. My question: why not? There are few approaches to this: first, utilitarianism dictates that the greatest good would be served if we pushed the fat man over and saved the train but moralism indicates that it would be our choice to push the fat man that would result in the fat man’s death. How would that choice be different than the one made in the original trolley problem ?
Most people argue that in the first trolley problem, flipping the switch changes the track, which satisfies the intent to save 5 people (not to kill 1 person) but in the second scenario while the intention may be the same, the action is to kill the fat man not to flip a switch. That action of killing the fat man happens to result in the trolley being saved.
My Trolley Problem: A trolley is headed on a incomplete track and will fall off the edge resulting in the death of everyone inside it. Two adjacent tracks exist. The first has an old, blind man tied to it, while the second has the president tied to it. There is a switch that allows the tracks to be diverted. You control the switch. What will you do?
I’ve never posed this problem to anyone but it seems obvious to me that the average person would flip the switch to the first track and run over the old man under the justification that he’s old. Similarly, the president is too important.
I guess that makes humanity predictable but also interesting. Assigning arbitrary value to people is much too rampant. Personally, I’d choose not to do anything. I guess that means I let a trolley full of people die, but that’s a result of my inaction not as a result of my intentions, so it wouldn’t rest on my conscience. Why? Because I DIDN’T ACTIVELY CHOOSE TO KILL OFF A PARTICULAR PERSON/GROUP OF PEOPLE. That’s just me. And break time’s over. Next time, Schrodinger’s Cat.
Citations: Troll face: http://howimetyourotaku.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/troll-face.png
Written by: Anthony | October 6, 2011
Despite the many, many upsides to living on campus, there is just one thing that you will always miss. That one thing that brought nothing but good memories. That one thing you will never forget. I’m talking, of course, about meal swipes. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by: Cara | October 5, 2011
Okay, that might mean something different for this post. Read the rest of this entry »
Written by: Sierra L. | October 5, 2011