Do We Need a Moral Operating System?

by | Jul 20, 2011 | Culture, Education

Following up on the last post, the one about cities adopting a set of guiding principles, we’d also like to share this video from TEDtalks by Damon Horowitz. The entire talk is just over 15 minutes, and is well worth watching. Horowitz, a Silicon Valley technologist, begins by describing the sort of power that comes with technological innovation. He then asks how we should use that power. He shifts the question from the more common what can we do? to the thornier, but perhaps even more important, what should we do?

He then takes us on a quick crash course of ethical philosophy, from Plato to Aristotle to Kant and Mill, in search of a moral operating system—a formulaic procedure for determining right and wrong—that might mirror computer operating systems. And then things get really interesting…

I won’t spoil the rest, but I will say that this video is a splendid call to arms for reflection, consideration, and personal responsibility, and it is relevant to us all our lives. Enjoy!