Quick Critique – Julius

As a reminder, my topic was about certain vending machines. The problem was that one can take advantage of certain vending machines to get themselves an extra drink.

I chose to respond to this critique:

Be ethical!!

At first, this critique made me enraged. First of all, ethics is purely subjective in the first place. Secondly, the critique had nothing to do the topic nor the presentation, it had to do with the presenter, i.e. me. This violates an important rule of critiquing in that one should separate the subject from the person. Lastly, I was confused why this critic thought I was being unethical.  Almost half my critiques were along the lines of “Is this really a problem?” So a lot of people didn’t see it as an unethical act. I was the who actually saw it as a problem and tried to solve it. Unless this critic thought that providing a solution to this problem is unethical, it just doesn’t make sense.

After I got over my fury, I started pondering. I was wondering why the ethical views on this action was so divided. Let’s say I took a drink from a convenience store without paying. I think that most people would consider that unethical. However, in this situation, only 1 out of 31 people thought I was being unethical. I was thinking of possible reasons for this. Is it because there is a human element in one but not the other? Is it because because we like to show dominance and cleverness over technology? Is it because we see it as the machines fault and not our own? Or does it have to with the fact that vending machines are just corporate beacons? Who knows?

Even though this critic infuriated me at first (and probably still does), I would like to thank them for inspiring me to think.




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