Many of us rely heavily on our smartphones and computers. But does it make sense to say we “trust” them? On today’s episode of Examining Ethics, the philosopher C. Thi Nguyen explores the relationship of trust we form with the things we use. We not only can trust non-human objects like smartphones, we tend to trust those objects in an unquestioning way; we’re not thinking about it all that much. While this unquestioning trust makes our everyday lives easier, we don’t recognize just how vulnerable we’re making ourselves to large and increasingly powerful corporations.

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Calls for increased transparency and oversight are common in the public realm. Our guest today, the philosopher C. Thi Nguyen argues that transparency can actually erode important parts of community life. He claims that while transparency might root out corruption, it also has a sort of chilling effect on the very work people are required to be transparent about.

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Should society always follow the wishes of the dead?

Listen to friend of the podcast Barry Lam dissect this question in the first episode of his new podcast, Hi Phi Nation.

We’ll be back with regularly scheduled programming on February 22nd, 2017.

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