Tag Archives: ethics

Derren Brown’s Apocalypse

18 Nov


Similar to I’m sure, many of our readers, I have personally gone through the process of meticulously formulating my escape plan should we be faced with an end of the world, ‘Dawn of the Dead’ style emergency, (out the window, shimmy up the drain pipe and wait on the roof for helicopter rescue… Obviously.) So you can only imagine my elation upon hearing of Derren Brown’s latest Channel 4 experiment. The 2 part special saw 20-something layabout Steven Brosnan chosen as the victim of an elaborate stunt, all with the aim of shocking this ungrateful slob into a drastic life change.

After months of planning, phone hacking and the work of over 200 actors, Steven awoke on the day of his birthday with no cake or prezzies, but instead on the ward of a deserted military hospital, facing the distinct possibility of unsavoury death by zombie. Now assuming that contrary to rumour, Steven was in fact totally oblivious to his role in this elaborate stunt, questions really need to be asked about the ethical implications of testing someone’s mental stability in this way; all for the sake of providing some gripping entertainment for the general public to watch with their take-away on a Friday night.

Based on his poor gaping expression in the face of lethal danger, if he is an actor then it’s safe to say his Oscar nomination is some way off! So essentially, Derren left this poor guy in an undeniably traumatising situation without giving any form of legal consent! Yes, you could argue that he put himself forward for selection, but that was with no explanation of the concept or, more seriously, the choice of opting out at any stage, it’s hardly informed by any stretch!

It has been suggested that the programme adopts a utilitarian perspective in the sense that hopefully “the end will justify the means”. They want to transform the attitude of this ambition-less young man, so it’s OK to subject him to this form of extreme, but controlled, peril? Although Brown claimed throughout the show that Steven’s mental state was being constantly monitored, how could he possibly predict entirely how he would react? It’s a hell of a risk for 2 hours of good TV…

Steven Brosnan is now allegedly working as a teacher’s assistant, so looks like it all worked out well in the end! Personally, it’s taught me that if you wake up in a zombie apocalypse in the near future, immediately suspect that Derren is back up to his old tricks again and go call that Zombie’s bluff.

Comment below with your thoughts/ apocalypse plans…


Please Mind The Gap…

8 Nov


Much has been documented in recent times about the ethical treatment of women in the workplace and it is a political argument long fought by activists, going as far back as Emmeline Pankhurst (that lass who chained herself to the Prime Ministers railings for those of you who fell asleep in your history lesson.)

An investigation by the Chartered Institute of Management has today released some genuinely shocking statistics of gender inequality in UK businesses, which would undoubtedly have left the suffragettes spitting in their bonnets… 

According to a nationwide survey, 15% of business women in Britain will essentially work for free the rest of this year! The CMI claims that the average female executive is earning a staggering £500,000 less than her male counterpart, despite the fact they are performing an indistinguishable role. How is it that in the 21st century we are still left with social prejudice towards successful women, who are seemingly deemed as doing a less worthy job due to the fact they have a womb! Surely as a society we are now wholly aware of the notion that a diverse management team is a successful one?

How can anyone justify the idea that a woman deserves such a significantly lower wage packet in comparison to a man in the same position of authority and stature? In this age of ethical activism and freedom of equality, we should not be faced with such stark difference in the treatment of men and women in the corporate domain.


I mean, imagine the horror by the entire male population if the same were to be said in reverse…

A picture’s worth a thousand words…

5 Nov

The biggest news story over the past week has been the devastating hurricane ‘Sandy’ which hit New York last week. Broadcasted all over the World, the hurricane sadly killed the lives of 40 people in New York, 24 in New Jersey and 69 in the Caribbean before it turned North to the Eastern board of America. 30,000 to 40,000 in New York alone are said to have needed housing.

The devastation this has caused is unthinkable and with news updates spreading quick over the internet, each source of information is seen as news worthy but also trusted.

For many of those reading these news stories, the images speak for themselves… but are they all real pictures we have seen?

The images you see have been circulated on the internet, posing asthe truth. The pictures have been processed in photoshop or taken from films and edited once more. These images would have been seen by millions of people, some of which have been directly effected.

So, is it right to publish fake images of a natural disaster…

In the comfort of your own home it is fair enough to entertain yourself with editing pictures – whatever floats your boat! But it is a different meaning when these pictures are published worldwide in relation to a natural disaster effecting so many lives. Many victims, relatives etc. will believe these images are telling the true story, making it seem even worse than the situation is.

These images should have been banned from being published in the first place or even banned from the web after it was revealed these images were fake, censoring should be put in place before harmful images like these appear online.

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