8 Safety

  1. In 2014, two 12-year-old girls were sentenced to psychiatric institutes after brutally stabbing their friend as a sacrifice to Slender Man, a fictitious urban legend, who they discovered on the online wiki Creepypasta.
    1. Should internet forums and literary websites be held legally responsible if they inspire crimes?
    2. Websites like Creepypasta are similar to Wikipedia in that they are open source and publicly run. Do you think these sites need oversight, and if so, what kind?
  2. Driver-less cars are marketed as safer than conventional driving on the grounds that sensing technologies and AI can reduce accidents and risk of intoxicated drivers.
    1. Despite evidence that tried and true methods of improving road safety require automatic braking systems, lower speed limits, and no distracted driving, why do states and corporations encourage driver-less technologies? Is this technology innovation just for the sake of it?
    2. Is society behaving ethically, given the mix of benefits and risks, in moving so aggressively to introduce self-driving cars?
  3. Minerals essential for electronics are mined in Africa, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, by both American and Chinese firms. What are the benefits and dangers of this process to the people and to the region? What have been the effects on political stability? What actions (or lack thereof) have been taken to create a humane and sustainable industry?

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