Is Money Ever Free?

What would you do if a cash machine gave you £100 instead of £10? The law states that you should give the excess funds back, but most of us probably wouldn’t. A recent story on the BBC website reported that cash machines in Melbourne, Australia were giving out more money that they were supposed to. This drew quite a crowd, with people forming queues to take advantage of what one witness described as “free money”. But what are the moral implications of taking money from banks, and why would most of us feel like it’s not really stealing.

Simon Rippon of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics thinks that a person who takes money from a malfunctioning cash machine is often judged Continue reading “Is Money Ever Free?”

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Worried a Computer might steal your job?

When the wheel was invented the man whose job it was to carry things must have been devastated. When the dishwasher reared its watery head, the trade union for human dishwashers mush have been appalled.  Now with the invention of a new super computer called “Watson”, made by IBM, able to beat the two most prolific players of the TV show Jeopardy, are we on the way to a world run by machines? It seems a silly question; that is, on the strength of a computer being able to mimic human linguistic decision making. However, if we are getting this far, how much further can we go?

The Financial Times claims that: “Watson has provoked mostly anxiety – over the practical question of what jobs it will destroy and the metaphysical question of whether talking machines will erode our sense of what it means to be human”. Can a man made machine really erode our sense of what it to be human? Continue reading “Worried a Computer might steal your job?”

Give a Man a Fish: Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion

Or not, as the findings of the Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2010 report by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggest. According to the report, over 58% of all UK cases of poverty are children, with 2.1 million children in poverty having working parents. Although the number of children in poverty from working households has risen, the report finds that the number of children in poverty among ‘out-of-work households’ has fallen to its lowest level since 1984.

Co-author of the report, Tom McInnes, told the BBC: “with more than half of all children in poverty belonging to working families, it is simply not possible to base anti-poverty policies on the idea that work alone is a route out of poverty”. He claims the rise in benefits since 2008 has prevented a growth of child poverty Continue reading “Give a Man a Fish: Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion”