Matching Items (10)

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Mediums and Messengers: Congress and Technological Misunderstandings

Description

This thesis examines congressional discussions of media technologies at two distinct historical moments in order to see how Congress evaluated and sought to regulate technologies with the potential to reshape

This thesis examines congressional discussions of media technologies at two distinct historical moments in order to see how Congress evaluated and sought to regulate technologies with the potential to reshape public modes of thought and communication. Specifically, it examines congressional discussions centered around Television and the Fairness Doctrine, as well as Facebook and the recent scandal involving Cambridge Analytica by asking how Congress has understood what is at stake while attempting to regulate emerging media technologies. Specifically, it probes questions such as: What is assumed about the technologies while attempting to legislate them? What is treated as subject to assessment and revision; what is given priority for consideration over other alternate angles? How do the legal and political contexts in which these discussions are framed impact legislative proceedings and society’s ways of knowing and relating to the world?
While these moments are only a subset of such moments in US history, and Congress is only one of a range of forums in which such political discussions can take place, the thesis focuses on these cases because not only are they important in themselves, but also they reveal issues and approaches that are not unique to these moments. The thesis draws on the on the work of Neil Postman, who argues that the emergence and subsequent dominance of media like television have the capacity to alter the manner in which we think and thus have profound effects on the texture and character of American civic life. In this vein it uses a comparison of how lawmakers attempted to regulate television and social media platforms like Facebook to explore whether and how lawmakers have attended to the capacity of these media to shape public thought.
The thesis demonstrates that understanding of media’s epistemological influence is only ever tacitly acknowledged by lawmakers and is not regarded as an important consideration during evaluative legislative efforts. Instead, Congress tends to focus on matters that are of immediate concern and pragmatic in nature, eclipsing questions about how these technologies fundamentally alter our perceptions of the world and the ways we as individuals and as a society relate to it. By not taking such questions into account during our legislative proceedings, the thesis argues, we cede opportunities to employ and regulate technologies to better serve our cultural ideals and remain susceptible to unwanted forms of cultural erosion mediated by technologies.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Morality of the Past: How Two Committees Judged Past Human Subject Experiments

Description

In 1996, President Clinton ordered the formation of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE), which undertook to evaluate the morality of a myriad of secret and publicized radiation

In 1996, President Clinton ordered the formation of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE), which undertook to evaluate the morality of a myriad of secret and publicized radiation experiments ranging from 1944 to 1974. The goal of this thesis is to analyze the ways in which that committee formed moral evaluations and the extent to which its strategies related to a broader historical and philosophical discourse. Here I attempt to describe two specific techniques of simplification the committee deploys in order to make a retrospective moral analysis possible. Although the techniques comprise specific problems, frameworks, subjective perspectives, and conceptual links, their unifying principle is the field of choices the techniques produce. In the first technique I outline, I argue that by focusing on the problem of historical relativism, the committee gains a platform through which it would be granted flexibility in making a distinction between moral wrongdoing and blameworthiness. In the second technique of simplification I outline, I argue that the committee's incorporation of a principle to reduce uncertainty as an ethical aim allow it to establish new ways to reconcile scientific aims with moral responsibility. In addition to describing the structure of these techniques, I also demonstrate how they relate to the specific experiments the analysts aim to evaluate, using both the ACHRE experiments as well as the Nuremberg Trial experiments as my examples. My hope is not to show why a given committee made a particular moral evaluation, or to say whether a decision was right or wrong, but rather to illustrate how certain techniques open up a field of choices that allow moral analysts to form retrospective moral judgments.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Perceptions of Pharmaceuticals to Alter Consciousness in Popular Culture: How do College Students View the use of Cognitive Enhancers

Description

Popular Culture of today, particularly books and movies have begun to influence the way individ- uals and society as a whole, views specific concepts. In this case, the fairly recent

Popular Culture of today, particularly books and movies have begun to influence the way individ- uals and society as a whole, views specific concepts. In this case, the fairly recent phenomenon of the Sci- ence Fiction Drug Niche has produced significant thought among audiences as to both the benefits and costs of cognitive enhancers in our world. Through the use of both a thorough analysis of modern films and novels on the topic as well as focus groups of the average college students this study analyzes the influence that this niche has had on the perceptions that students have towards the use of such cognitive enhancements. Small groups of students were shown the same film: Limitless, and discussion after the film displayed the students thoughts and attitudes towards the ideas shown in the film. Limitless itself falls into this Science Fiction drug niche and discusses both benefits and harms of chemical cognitive enhancement. The study indicates that audiences have thought not only about the issues that may arise with the presence of cognitive enhancement in our world but also the possible benefits of this enhancement. The results go even further to preliminarily show that there are common thoughts that arise in such situations. These common ideas that arise show, at least on a very basic level, that the presence of these Science Fiction Drug-inspired works are influencing the way audiences perceive the use of cognitive enhancement as well as influencing what doubts, questions, hopes, and fears arise from these pharmaceuticals. This preliminary study could use further research to ana- lyze the effects of popular culture on perceptions of cognitive enhancement and pharmaceuticals to alter consciousness.

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  • 2016-05

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The Facebook Revolution: A Case Study in the Need for New Forms of Social Responsibility in the Way Private Owners Manage Essential Public Services.

Description

This paper uses Facebook as a case study for other technological and social media companies given factors presented by the Digital Age. Three different pillars are used to analyze the

This paper uses Facebook as a case study for other technological and social media companies given factors presented by the Digital Age. Three different pillars are used to analyze the company. First an examination of the manipulation of users on Facebook by Russian actors is presented. Next, the paper examines whether Facebook is promoting civic participation for good. Lastly, an analyzation of the rising trend of hate speech and extremists using the site is presented. This examination of Facebook then posed three questions regarding companies in the Digital Age as a whole. The first was "What is the extent of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Age?" The second was, "What special obligations do for-profit companies have when it comes to safeguarding the privacy of individuals, or at least insuring that their stored information does not harm them?". The last question presented was, "How Can the Profit Motive and Corporate Morality Co-Exist in the Digital Age?" The findings of this case study showed that due to different factors that are presented in the Digital Age, these ideals of Corporate Social Responsibility, Privacy and Corporate Morality may be even more challenging to uphold during this Age of Information. Due to this fact, companies such as Facebook have an even greater responsibility to abide by these ideals of Corporate Social Responsibility, Privacy and Corporate Morality. This is because of an even larger potential for negative effects due to technological change. Regardless of the possibility for regulation by government, third-party organization or by the organizations themselves, Digital Age Corporations have the duty to protect their users from harm and maintain these three ideals.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Fiction's Role in Science and Society: An Analysis and Implementation

Description

Journalism, by its very nature, is limited, often adhering to a repetitive format and narration style. Consequently, the depth of journalistic stories will always hit a barrier. Fiction, on the

Journalism, by its very nature, is limited, often adhering to a repetitive format and narration style. Consequently, the depth of journalistic stories will always hit a barrier. Fiction, on the other hand, provides an elegant solution by exploring the world through a myriad point of views including complete omniscience. This thesis explores the link between journalism and fiction by taking real-world scenarios and exploring them without journalism's limitations. It includes three novellas totaling 25,000 words drawn from true-to-life research papers, news stories and manifestos to paint a realistic picture of a technological reality in the near future, a style of writing one might call futurecasting. The thesis also contains an analysis of the techniques used in contemporary fiction and an analysis of their implementation within the novellas. The goal of the novellas is to let researchers to explore the impact of their work before its mass dissemination in order to shape societal, national and international policy responsibly. Similarly, novellas like this and others similar allow society to discover the beauty of science through fiction. These are some of fiction's greatest roles in science and society.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Escape Rooms: Learning by Doing

Description

The experiences of 14 groups of 2-8 players in a local escape room were observed through the lens of small-group teamwork and goal-based communication. Their interactions were used to explore

The experiences of 14 groups of 2-8 players in a local escape room were observed through the lens of small-group teamwork and goal-based communication. Their interactions were used to explore how escape rooms could be used as a tool to improve the retention of knowledge using experiential learning and to develop substantial interpersonal relationships between teams of strangers. These observations were used to develop an ASU-themed escape room for educating prospective students about ASU's culture and campus with a focus on total inclusion and enthusiastic participation.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Factors Influencing Bone Marrow Donation Among the College-Aged Population

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The purpose of this study was to identify attitudes and perceptions regarding bone marrow donation among the college-aged population. This was examined by distributing an online survey via ASU e-mail

The purpose of this study was to identify attitudes and perceptions regarding bone marrow donation among the college-aged population. This was examined by distributing an online survey via ASU e-mail list-servs. The survey was designed to measure motivations and barriers to bone marrow donation and involved a demographics questionnaire, a participant motivation survey, an incentives questionnaire, and paired comparisons between bone marrow and other forms of medical donation. The results were analyzed using one way ANOVAs, chi-square analysis, and presence or absence coding using SPSS v. 22. Significant differences were found in the way that the sexes answered parts of the participant motivation questionnaire. Significant differences were also found in the responses of participants who planned to donate bone marrow and those that did not. The main differences between those planning to donate bone marrow and those who were not planning on are as follows. Those planning to donate bone marrow or something other than bone marrow were more likely to be curious about what bone marrow donation is like and feel good about themselves for donating marrow than participants who were not planning on donating anything. Those planning to donate bone marrow were more likely to have a friend group that would be supportive than those were were not planning to donate bone marrow. Those who were not planning to donate bone marrow had more concerns regarding the risks and health effects of the act of donation itself.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Joseph Rotblat, the Physicist Who Left the Manhattan Project: a Biography of Scientific Responsibility

Description

Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005) was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project for moral reasons before its completion. He would spend the rest of his life advocating for nuclear disarmament.

Joseph Rotblat (1908-2005) was the only physicist to leave the Manhattan Project for moral reasons before its completion. He would spend the rest of his life advocating for nuclear disarmament. His activities for disarmament resulted in the formation, in 1957, of the Pugwash conferences, which emerged as the leading global forum to advance limits on nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Rotblat's efforts, and the activities of Pugwash, resulted in both being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. Rotblat is a central figure in the global history of resistance to the spread of nuclear weapons. He also was an important figure in the emergence, after World War II, of a counter-movement to introduce new social justifications for scientific research and new models for ethics and professionalism among scientists. Rotblat embodies the power of the individual scientist to say "no" and thus, at least individually, put limits of conscience on his or her scientific activity. This paper explores the political and ethical choices scientists make as part of their effort to behave responsibly and to influence the outcomes of their work. By analyzing three phases of Rotblat's life, I demonstrate how he pursued his ideal of beneficial science, or science that appears to benefit humanity. The three phases are: (1) his decision to leave the Manhattan Project in 1944, (2) his role in the creation of Pugwash in 1957 and his role in the rise of the organization into international prominence and (3) his winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. These three phases of Rotblat's life provide a singular window of the history of nuclear weapons and the international movement for scientific responsibility in the 50 years since the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. While this paper does not provide a complete picture of Rotblat's life and times, I argue that his experiences shed important light on the difficult question of the individual responsibility of scientists.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Evaluating applications of a telemedicine taxonomy on the classification of research

Description

By offering increased access to medical care, telemedicine offers significant opportunity for the process of development under Amartya Sen’s definition, that development is freedom, including freedom from illness, early death,

By offering increased access to medical care, telemedicine offers significant opportunity for the process of development under Amartya Sen’s definition, that development is freedom, including freedom from illness, early death, and preventable disease. It advances development by freeing people from these burdens. However, like many emerging technologies, organizing information and understanding the field faces significant challenges. This paper applies Bashshur's three-dimensional model of telemedicine to the classification of telemedicine literature found in databases to assess the value of the model as a tool for classification. By standardizing language and creating a repository of research done to date in a centralized location, the field can better understand how it is progressing and where work still needs to be done. This paper aims to see if Bashshur's model serves well for this task.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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NGOs in the global conservation movement: can they prevent extinction? : (African apes as an example)

Description

Development throughout the course of history has traditionally resulted in the demise of biodiversity. As humans strive to develop their daily livelihoods, it is often at the expense of nearby

Development throughout the course of history has traditionally resulted in the demise of biodiversity. As humans strive to develop their daily livelihoods, it is often at the expense of nearby wildlife and the environment. Conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs), among other actors in the global agenda, have blossomed in the past century with the realization that there is an immediate need for conservation action. Unlike government agencies, conservation NGOs have an independent, potentially more objective outlook on procedures and policies that would benefit certain regions or certain species the most. They often have national and international government support, in addition to the credibility and influencing power to sway policy decisions and participate in international agendas. The key to their success lies in the ability to balance conservation efforts with socioeconomic development efforts. One cannot occur without the other, but they must work in coordination. This study looks at the example of African Great Apes. Eight ape-focused NGOs and three unique case studies will be examined in order to describe the impact that NGOs have. Most of these NGOs have been able to build the capacity from an initial conservation agenda, to incorporating socioeconomic factors that benefit the development of local communities in addition to the apes and habitat they set out to influence. This being the case, initiatives by conservation NGOs could be the key to a sustainable future in which humans and biodiversity coexist harmoniously.

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Date Created
  • 2019