A friend and colleague of mine, Keisha McKenzie, is spending time at home in Jamaica this summer but apparently is not taking time off as an ethicist. She seems to have taken issue with this article on the state of ethics vs. Jamaican law, which appeared in the Jamaica Gleaner:
The Jamaican people are now aware that corruption is rampant in high places. Scandal after scandal is exposed in the media but the political apologies, quick to limit wrongdoing to what is defined in law, rationalise away the ethical element by claiming that there is no corruption unless it can be proved that the act resulted in unjust enrichment, conveniently forgetting the benefit that might accrue to party or comrade.
It is high time that we stop trying to deal with corruption in purely legal terms. The Prime Minister’s recent call for the development of a code of conduct to address corrupt officials in the public sector may be a long overdue step in the right direction, especially his instructions that every ministry and agency should appoint a senior officer who would have responsibility for monitoring the ethical behaviour of staff.
Nobody should ever defer his/her thinking-about-ethics (and, hence, his/her accountability) to an ‘ethics expert.’ Let every bucket stand on its own bottom: private citizens and public officials must accept full responsibility for their own ethical or unethical reasoning and behaviour. Employing ethics experts or relying on periodic workplace training is an insufficient response to ‘rampant corruption’ unless individual employees also integrate strong ethical principles into their personal and business practices.
One won’t learn to drive by yielding the steering wheel to someone else, however knowledgeable or well-meaning that substitute is. In the same way, ethics cannot appropriately be legislated by the government or delegated to company monitors. Ethics flow from the bottom up, not from the top down; we must all develop ethical sensitivities and habits individually. If, however, we each cede our ethical authority to ‘professional ethicians,’ unfortunate excuses like ‘the expert made me do it’ won’t be long in coming.
Well said, Keisha. Ethics cannot only be legislated, it must happen at a much more smaller, organic and self-deliberating level. When Keisha returns to Texas, I look forward to picking up on some of our discussions pertaining to the state of ethics in Technical Communication.
Lauren and I spent Memorial Day at the pool with our iPods, Subway, and a textbook or two. I think I got too much sun.
My fiance Lauren’s parents and grandmother came over tonight. Lauren’s grandmother turns 97 on Wednesday, and I am pretty sure she is in better shape than anyone I know. She’s an inspiration to everyone who knows her. Literally, everyone.
To put her 97 years into context:
– she was 33 when Pearl Harbor was attacked – she was 61 when man set foot on the moon – she was 25 when The New Deal began – she was 78 when the space shuttle Challenger disaster occured – she was 43 when Mickey Mantle first appeared in a Yankee uniform
When you put her life experience into context like this, you can see how truly amazing her history and experience is. Now consider that she lives on her own, and she still makes the finest cheddar cheese dinner rolls you have ever eaten.
I won’t mention the gravy she makes, because words cannot describe it.
Apple iTunes on their site tonight had a “redeem song” button with the Slurpee logo affixed to it. I haven’t found any information that suggests Apple is partnering with Slurpee or anyone else in apromotion like the Pepsi/iTunes initiative that took place last Spring. Clicking on the Slurpee button only results in a “Server Error” message.
Could Apple be partnering with 7-11 for a song giveaway? If so, its evident that Apple has a thing for associating with the sugared-water business. Perhaps it might be better for them to partner with associates who promote somewhat healthier lifestyles than Pepsi and Slurpee.
On Thursday I sent an e-mail to Lubbock Mayor Marc McDougal briefly outlining the need for a free wireless network downtown. I hope to post McDougal’s response as I get it. I’m also considering starting an organization that can make this project its focus. I was downtown briefly last night and was considering what areas might be suitable for access points.