The Ones Who Walk Away
Full Title or Meme
How long can any one person remain in an ecosystem that depends on the misery of even one other person?
More editorials are written lately using the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas' where the well-being of the entire community of Omelas is conditioned on the suffering of just one child of its residents. On the surface everything seems to be wonderful, but one by one the citizens leave and no one needs to ask them why they leave. This story seems to embody the issues addressing the employees of the large social networks today that decide to ignore the suffering of the few for benefit of the employees and shareholder.
Everyone knows about the ethical crimes committed by the big guys like Facebook, but that big problem is the hordes of graduates from Computer Science schools like Stanford who treat the education as a prelude to an LPO. Most professions, including most engineering degrees, require ethical behavior to perform as a professional. Computer Science aspires to be a profession, but ethics appears to be entirely optional.
Some crimes against the social order, like fostering Anarchy, are couched in terms of personal liberty. Don't be deceived by block-chain schemes that people can prosper without a strong government that promotes the rule of law, society cannot prosper.
The question that everyone needs to ask themselves is: "Are my personal preferences more important than the survival of our human ecosystem?"
If you are part of any company that causes suffering while making money, be one of The Ones Who Walk Away.
- Andrew Marantz, Good Intentions, New Yorker (2021-10-25) p 20-21
- Ursula Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas in The Wind's Twelve Quarters: Stories (2004-01-01) ISBN 978-0060914349
- Ryan Mac and Sheera Frenkel Internal Alarm, Public Shrugs: Facebook’s Employees Dissect Its Election Role New York Times (2021-10-22) https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/22/technology/facebook-election-misinformation.html
- Daron Acemoglu +1 'Why Nations Fail (2013-09-17) ISBN 978-0307719225