Tuesday, May 1, 2012

eWaste and eEthics... Two (too) new thoughts

"The person next to you might not be able to read the cover on your eBook and may not know what you are reading, but Amazon certainly does...and they'll sell that information."   -- Annie Miller 

Last week in the NY Capital area we held an eBook Symposium which brought to light interesting discussions surrounding privacy, copyright, and eWaste ethics.   While some are still trying to grapple an understanding of formats, devices, and downloading, others have moved beyond to tackle more philosophical issues such as the pile of electronics that will be in a dump five years from now.  Librarians are innately tuned-in to privacy issues and we often champion that cause like a cheerleader.  The same cannot be said for eBook vendors, perhaps. Today, a great blog posting tackles the issue whether eReaders are really green.  It's well worth the read. 

Here are some great Pro-Con discussion starters for debates in your classroom: 

  • While books last for years and year, electronics age overnight. Which is "greener"?
  • Is there an ethical side to being "green" that isn't measured by the non-use of "paper" products? 
  • Is there an ethical issue with Amazon, Google, and vendors archiving information profiles and then using these for profitable gain? Should they be allowed? 
  • Imagine and speculate that someday books will be embedded with advertising - as our airways are now polluted by advertising on TV?  Should that be permitted or defended? 


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