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Exercise 2: enron--a puzzle or mystery?

  • Reread the summary of Malcolm Gladwell's distinction between a mystery and a puzzle.
  • Was Enron a puzzle? Explain your answer. Was Enron a mystery? Explain why or why not.
  • If Enron is a puzzle, then who do we blame? What do we blame them for? (How does moral responsibility function under a puzzle versus a mystery?)
  • Pretend you are Jeffry Skilling, and you are testifying before the U.S. Congress on your role in the Enron disaster. How would you try to present Enron? As a puzzle or mystery? In other words, which framing of the case does the most to mitigate your blame?
  • Now, think about this further question. Enron financial tools such as energy futures, mark-to-market accounting, and Special Purpose Entities function differently in the context of a puzzle than in the context of a mystery. Were these tools (say mark-to-market accounting) used to cover up crucial information and prevent experts and the public from solving the Enron puzzle?
  • Or were these tools elements in a mystery where, properly interpreted by financial experts, could lead to the telling of the story of Enron's collapse.
  • To re-frame the question slightly, are financial tools like mark-to-market accounting, energy futures, and SPEs value-neutral in that they become good or bad only the context of the use to which we put them? Or are these tools, themselves, value-laden so that they channel us in certain directions to realize some values and not realize others?
  • Try thinking of financial tools as technologies. (John Dewey starts this process by thinking of operations of logic as tools for conducting inquiry. See Hickman's book cited below.)

Exercise 3: baltimore case role-play

  • Rashamon is a Japanese movie about a killing and a sexual encounter. These events are inserted into three different narratives by the three different participants. The killing may be a murder or a suicide, depending on the story-teller. The sexual encounter may be a tryst or a rape, depending, again, on the narrative point of view.
  • In this assignment, the class will recreate the Baltimore case from the standpoint of the different perspectives of the case's participants. Margaret O'Toole is the heroine-whistle-blower, false accuser, incompetent researcher, or trouble maker depending on who is telling the story. David Baltimore is a Nobel Prize winning biologist who is either exemplary of scientific virtue or an arrogant insider. John Dingell is a Congressional representative holding hearings into scientific integrity; he is either a McCarthy-type figure engaged in a witch hunt or a genuine crusader placing the public spotlight on an internally corrupt scientific community. Theresa Imanishi-Kari is either a ruthless investigator playing the publish or perish game or the innocent victim of the accusations of a disgruntled former subordinate.
  • Your job is to argue sympathetically from within each of these participant perspective. Then as a class, we will see if we can construct an overarching narrative or story that reconciles these conflicting perspectives.

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Graduate education in research ethics for scientists and engineers. OpenStax CNX. Dec 14, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10408/1.3
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