on The Smartest Guys in the Room

Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room [Motion picture]. (2005). This film nicely wrapped up what was a very complicated story. As the scandal took place, uncovering the important pieces of the narrative was difficult because they were competing with everything else in the daily news information deluge. Letting a few years pass and waiting for the dust to settle makes stepping back and taking the 10,000 foot view easier. When Enron was originally in the news I didn’t have any sense of the great impact that company shareholders suffered, and I didn’t understand what a celebrated and ‘accomplished’ company it had been shortly before the scandal broke out. Being a high school student in 2001, I wasn’t as tuned in as I would be if something like this happened now, so I appreciate the deep-dive explanation of what really happened. I am proud that investigative reporting was one of the catalysts for …

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on my Ethical Radar

‘A man got to have a code.’ – Omar As I wrote in a previous post, I just began a class in ethics and technology. During lecture last week, I couldn’t help but remembering the quote from Omar in The Wire on how everyone should have a code, or sense of morals – even if they don’t adhere to societal norms. One of the ideas I’ve been most interested in, after two sessions with the class, is the concept of ‘discussion stoppers,’ and how they can be categorically expected to occur and also why they should be avoided. I’ve never really enjoyed arguing for the sake of it. Many people get pleasure from the competition of proving their own righteousness or intelligence through ethical battles, and those people always turned me away from the activity. I prefer finding common ground in conversation, rather than exploring differences of opinion. In class, …

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on Opening Doors

One afternoon last week, S. made some scrumptious turkey burgers for me to scarf down before heading out to my first night class of the Fall semester. I was recently accepted to, and enrolled in a Technology Management program at Georgetown University. My first class is called ‘Technology & Ethics.’  Occasionally in our apartment, the sound of neighbor’s doors opening and closing slides in to our kitchen, or a gust of wind rattles the window. Otherwise, it’s fairly quiet.  We were entirely surprised when halfway through the meal, we heard our front door open. Not just the kind of brief shake that happens if wind clatters through, but a full-on human powered door opening.  Generally our door is locked, but in the hectic few moments between coming home from work and leaving for school, I must have forgotten to secure it.  From the angle I was sitting, I was able to turn and see an arm on the handle …

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The ‘Capote’ film and ‘In Cold Blood’

I was interested to watch the film after finishing the book, and my interest was definitely rewarded.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s ‘Best Actor’ Oscar was well deserved.  One of the first statements the Capote character makes in the film, after arriving in Kansas, is “I don’t care if they catch the killers or not.”  In a room full of the KBI investigators, this comment doesn’t go over particularly well.  For students wondering about objectivity, however, the character makes his point clear:  he is going to be a non-discriminatory observer.  At least until the killers are caught, and he develops a fascination with Perry Smith. The inclusion of Harper Lee in the film was unexpected.  As I read In Cold Blood, I had no idea Capote was traveling with another author who helped him out periodically with community relations and research.  I had heard before they were friends, but wasn’t aware to …

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