Author Topic: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?  (Read 16498 times)

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Offline PriscaTopic starter

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Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« on: September 26, 2022, 09:57:07 am »
Heya!
I am Priscilla and I write about Ethics in Electronics for Elektor Magazine
(also a media psychologist and a boutique manufacturer of modular synthesizers)
We are organising our second World Ethical Electronics Forum on 15 november at Electronica, Munich
and would love your input on WHO to put in a ethical people index

Please send us your suggestions https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/nomination-form
and browse through our current collection here https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index

 :-+

My writings for Elektor https://www.elektormagazine.com/authors/167432/priscilla-haring-kuipers
« Last Edit: October 27, 2022, 08:06:10 am by Prisca »
 

Offline 2N2222A

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2022, 12:40:23 am »
Everything that I can think of that connects to the Internet seems to stop being supported after 6 to 10 years. The old device is "recycled" by being shipped to Asia or Africa to be stripped of metals and burned in the open air. Meanwhile the company has released a new version of the product that is marginally better or sometimes worse than the previous version and the cycle repeats. I can't think of anything in the Internet connected home electronics category where the manufacturer doesn't behave this way.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2022, 12:43:12 am »
What is the definition of being ethical in electronics?
 

Offline PriscaTopic starter

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2022, 07:54:09 am »
Even getting to 10 years isnt always a given...
but dumping it in Asia / Africa should change soon as this will no longer be allowed under the European Green Deal and incoming climate law - manufacters are already now obliged to become part of the WEEE program where you pay to have proper recycling within the EU of the amount of electronics you produce (by weight). Currently not very workable for small companies but compulsary anyway...

Know anyone doing anything else that you might judge as ethical?
 

Offline PriscaTopic starter

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2022, 07:58:52 am »
What is the definition of being ethical in electronics?

Doing something morally good? Better than most?

Some deem legal as ethical - I personally do not, at least not always..

What do you think that being ethical in electronics means?
I would think working more than is usual on sustainability, workers circumstances, new materials, repairability, or getting laws in place that force everyone in tech to behave better to name a few things.
 

Offline jpanhalt

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2022, 09:42:48 am »
It seems you are adding a new definition to ethical.  Not once is morality mentioned [edit: by you].  On the other hand, you do mention laws to force people, and things like new materials, repairability, and sustainability.

As for advice on who to invite, how about inviting world leaders such as Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping, Greta Thunberg, and John Kerry.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 10:14:02 am by jpanhalt »
 

Online RoGeorge

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2022, 10:33:20 am »
What do you think that being ethical in electronics means?

To me it means bullshit.  It sounds like the modern version of how many angels can sit on a pinhead.  Find something useful to spend your time on.  Don't fell for whatever the current day propaganda is.  You only live once.  Make it count.

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2022, 01:41:42 am »
It seems you are adding a new definition to ethical.  Not once is morality mentioned.
JP, I beg to differ.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethics

Morality is indeed ingrained in the concept of acting/being ethical (more on this below).

(...)
What do you think that being ethical in electronics means?
I would think working more than is usual on sustainability, workers circumstances, new materials, repairability, or getting laws in place that force everyone in tech to behave better to name a few things.
Priscilla, I suspect that anyone's concept of being ethical will not be followed by the words force everyone, as the reality is that many initiatives like these have been misused for the benefit of a few.

I sincerely hope you are looking for a sincere discussion about this topic and find good all around suggestions and opinions around here, but do not get discouraged by the directness and opposite views of the crowd here. 
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2022, 02:23:46 am »
Priscilla, I suspect that anyone's concept of being ethical will not be followed by the words force everyone, as the reality is that many initiatives like these have been misused for the benefit of a few.

Looking in from a US perspective, it is indeed difficult to imagine a system that wouldn't be corrupted.

Alas, our chronic corruption biases our perception here.  Real ethical progress is, in fact, possible; at least in some places, and given enough concerted effort.  We have a long way to go in the US, sadly.

Or, put more mimetically (but significantly less charitably), one might note: snapping back at "force everyone" is a very USAian "muh freedums" kind of reaction.  That's a reaction which short-circuits the conversation, denying a meaningful engagement.

I don't know if that outcome was exactly intended, above -- but it is an extremely common application of it, and in the interests of highly (or potentially so) self-aware and introspective ethics or philosophy in this thread here, I think it is worthwhile and interesting to include this observation.

Indeed, substance!  Examples would be illustrative here, and if a few would like to air their thoughts, or stories perhaps, there would be some substance to fill that void.  A substance, a... food for thought, you might say. :-+


Others might like to air, oh I don't know -- standing up for engineering principles; customer values over exploitative dictates; workers rights; workplace safety / OSHA / etc.; or, say with respect to materials, choosing "which" companies that have better ethical tracks (in respect to "what" ethical values); etc.

---

For my part, uhh, well I could probably give many thoughts (no one here doubts my ability to do that....), but more particularly, I might highlight:

My success at work-from-home these last couple years, which I'm sure is over 90% and may be more like 99% (I haven't been tracking that specifically but could add up the logs).

Not that that's particularly special these days -- indeed, it's still actually pretty common.  But, that it's continued so well, since that catalytic event, is actually quite encouraging.

Anyway, this greatly saves on transportation costs (implication: reduced oil consumption, pollution).  Unfortunately, because almost all cities here in the US are devoid of walkable access [extremely car centric], it'll still be a long time before I'm able to get rid of my car entirely.  (Thus drawing attention to the in-environmentalism that is thrust upon me; I'm all but required to own a car -- among other costs I'm required to pay here.  What is the ethical role of that environment?  Good question, see!)

Or, picking one from the above list -- I haven't designed in a tantalum capacitor in quite a while.  They feel... almost obsolete, I guess, for power purposes?  That's not quite the right word, but, the workarounds are more than adequate for most purposes, and I would say they are niche use now (e.g. where the stable value is most useful -- long timing constants perhaps?).

Tim
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Electronic design, from concept to prototype.
Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2022, 02:56:15 am »
If you can't get 50 years of virtually continuous use from a product then the designers weren't even trying.
There are many examples of products made in the mid-1900's still in operation daily today.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline temperance

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2022, 01:07:14 pm »
I think you will get better answers by addressing giant corporation lobbyists who decide what's good for you. Perhaps it's more important to stop them from doing what they are doing.

In general women aren't very interested in a electrical engineering career. If you look up the ratio between female / male doctors in west EU you might see it's about 50/50. I don't think it has has something to do with the toys you've played with. Stating that being exposed to only female toys determines your choices later in life is a little short sighted. Maybe we can start to produce some statistical data. Perhaps it will show that girls who played with my little pony became veterinarians. Educated women are well represented amongst Doctors, Veterinarians, Dentists (wonder what kind of toys you must have been exposed to to decide to become a dentist. Any idea?), biologists, Lawyers, Mathematicians... Did you ever ask them why they didn't want to become electrical engineers? You probably didn't.


The problem with this gender propaganda is that some groups think they can force whatever idea into children and teenagers minds which confuses them even more making them do things like taking hormones and have their bodies modified which they regret some years later. Examples and testimonials can be found on the web and YT. Those people have the idea they got dragged into something which they didn't understand at that time and for which this ethical propaganda didn't prepare them. I don't think the group creating this kind of propaganda can be considered ethical.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 02:44:33 pm by temperance »
 

Offline fourfathom

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2022, 04:40:01 pm »
If you can't get 50 years of virtually continuous use from a product then the designers weren't even trying.
There are many examples of products made in the mid-1900's still in operation daily today.

I use my hand-cranked calculator every day.  It would be unethical for me to buy one of those new electronic ones when the old one still functions perfectly. [/sarcasm]
We'll search out every place a sick, twisted, solitary misfit might run to! -- I'll start with Radio Shack.
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2022, 08:12:33 pm »
Oh great, more trans panic. :palm:

Tim
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Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2022, 10:47:26 pm »
If you can't get 50 years of virtually continuous use from a product then the designers weren't even trying.
There are many examples of products made in the mid-1900's still in operation daily today.

I use my hand-cranked calculator every day.  It would be unethical for me to buy one of those new electronic ones when the old one still functions perfectly. [/sarcasm]

Takes out HP-15C from 1980 and still uses it.
Uses 1176 and LA-2A audio compressors daily. From 1960's.
Neve 1073 and 1084 preamps and EQ's. From 1970's.

Nobody ever chucks this stuff out. It still works and works really well.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline PriscaTopic starter

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2022, 02:44:49 pm »
Yes - so what I was hoping for is that you would know some people that I hadnt heard of yet

It is obvious to say that things are bad or jump into a discussion 'but what even is ethical?'
or that Big Tech and Big Money is killing us all without any considerations beyond profit -ethical considerations or otherwise
and it's all bullshit and greenwashing and very depressing

but you care about electronics, right? it is why you are here on this forum, right?

and maybe you know someone who is honestly trying to make the industry better
somehow
anyhow

I am looking for those people
please share the names here with us all
or nominate them here https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/nomination-form

thank you!

 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2022, 08:31:19 pm »
I just picked a random example from your website: https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/180442/Johannes_Brenner

My conclusion is that I don't have the slightest idea what you are trying to achieve here. Some sales & marketing guy who did what exactly? Was he even (ever) in the electronics business? What does "Leuchtturm Unternehmen" have to do with electronics; what does it do anyway; why is that ethical?

Sorry, but this looks painfully like a circle of people patting each other on the back. Or like the "Handbook of Important People" which you can get into by invitation only or by paying a modest fee.  ::)
 
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Offline jpanhalt

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2022, 09:17:24 pm »
Deja vu.

I have had many invitations to join a "Who's who of xyz" on payment of a small fee.  Glad you pointed that out far better than I could have done.
 

Offline ogden

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2022, 09:34:09 pm »
If we talk about electronics manufacturing then "put customer needs and safety first over profits".
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2022, 09:37:37 pm »
Sounds like "Big Ethics"is trying to sell you something you probably don't need, or harvest your data for their own ethical purposes...
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline jonpaul

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2022, 10:34:07 pm »
reading the conference program and OP Percilla magazine articles, a moment please!

Is it " ethical" to diffusé political propaganda thinly disguised as " ethics"?

The entire political thread and ESG/other   concepts being promulgated as "Ethics" insults me.

Perhaps I am "unethical"?

Bon Soirée


Jon

An optimist in the nuclear age
« Last Edit: November 01, 2022, 09:22:46 am by jonpaul »
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Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2022, 12:50:34 am »
reading the conference program and OP Percilla magazine articles, a moment please!

Is it " ethical" to diffusé leftist political propaganda thinly disguised as " ethics"?

The entire political thread and leftist  concepts being promulgated as "Ethics" insults me.

Reality has a liberal bias.

Tim
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Offline floobydust

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2022, 06:07:42 pm »
"Make the industry better"? This thread is a colossal waste of time, why put ethics on EE's when the business and finance execs have none whatsoever and are doing incredible damage. Example: Boeing 737 Max, Audi/Volkswagen Dieselgate etc. Sure, they ended up with a few token engineers as fall guys but the execs are eating caviar right now despite killing people and commanding products to generate mass pollution in order to save a few litres of bluetec.

To me it seems to be another SJW narrative when it's really corporate malfeasance and big money as the problem, not the engineers.
Please put your journalistic talents someplace useful. You won't help/change/modify the profession, when all the while its gatekeepers run wild. Especially in Elektor which I was first reading in the late 1970's.
I looked at the world ethical electronics forum website and laughed, you seem to forget that profit is king on Wall Street never mind supporting the ethical veneer of those executives, for fame and glory.

I once worked applying electronics to handicapped people, amputees and spinal cord injuries. That's when I realized if EE's could actually give a shit about humanity there would be 1000's of projects to help the lesser people. And there are not - because it's a money loser and not a business case. No business is interested in making the devices en mass.
Look at all the maker covid ventilator projects, all purporting to help humanity yet ending up more as attention seeking projects.
OP, care to comment on the "media psychology" there? Where people build devices for fame and glory, to lure investors under the guise of "ethics". It's a rampant scam. Can we discuss Theranos, or Nikola?
 
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Offline temperance

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2022, 06:50:41 pm »
I've been reading some articles on the webpages she linked too. It can be reduced to the following:

-Gender equality propaganda. (reducing the "why women are not in tech" to: the problems are the toys they have been exposed too. If that would be the case, some of my old neighbors would be ninja turtles.

-TED talk meaningless language use all over the place such as: "change must come from within, from the people." But it seems to make a certain group of people feel happy flappy.

And the remainder:
companies talking about ethics while using the economic gain in the same paragraph....That's not ethical but business as usual.

But I got disappointed. No mention of arduinos and sensors to improve peoples lives. That's probably for next year.
 

Offline fourfathom

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2022, 06:57:29 pm »
That's when I realized if EE's could actually give a shit about humanity there would be 1000's of projects to help the lesser people. And there are not - because it's a money loser and not a business case.

I was an engineer at a company that made products for people with speech and hearing handicaps.  We did all sorts of custom work, but with the goal of turning those special designs into volume-production products.  Most "specials" never took off, but they were quite useful for the few people we were working with, and I found this highly gratifying. 

But the company did have products that sold in enough volume to keep us all employed.  And that's the key.  Unless you have a bottomless barrel of cash you are willing to burn through, you do need a business case .  It takes revenue to keep the doors open.
We'll search out every place a sick, twisted, solitary misfit might run to! -- I'll start with Radio Shack.
 

Offline jonpaul

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2022, 07:55:13 pm »
A moment please....

Can the  OP precise exactly which mandarins with sinecures at her organization/group/government  shall decree to the rest of us lowly peons, exactly how to define "ethical" ?

Who is funding this entire venture?

EXAMPLES: Are the   EV mfg like Tesla, that steal $7K...15K subsides per vehicle of taxpayer money, as being "ethical"?

 
Is Apple building its ijunk by Foxcomm slave labor  in Communist China "ethical" ?


Perhaps "ethical"  is defined like the Supreme Court Justice's definition of pornography "We know it when we see it"

Have a great day!

Jon



« Last Edit: November 01, 2022, 08:57:56 pm by jonpaul »
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Offline PriscaTopic starter

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2022, 09:25:06 pm »
I just picked a random example from your website: https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/180442/Johannes_Brenner

My conclusion is that I don't have the slightest idea what you are trying to achieve here. Some sales & marketing guy who did what exactly? Was he even (ever) in the electronics business? What does "Leuchtturm Unternehmen" have to do with electronics; what does it do anyway; why is that ethical?

Sorry, but this looks painfully like a circle of people patting each other on the back. Or like the "Handbook of Important People" which you can get into by invitation only or by paying a modest fee.  ::)

I am literally inviting you to come up with someone - no fees anywhere
change the patting on the back than by adding someone
 

Offline temperance

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2022, 10:16:04 pm »
Good luck trying to address the OP. She's just fishing for names active in this ethical business from a windows machine.


 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2022, 10:34:51 pm »
A moment please....

Can the  OP precise exactly which mandarins with sinecures at her organization/group/government  shall decree to the rest of us lowly peons, exactly how to define "ethical" ?

I would assume, the standard teachings on ethics.  Moral philosophy.  Kant, Bentham and others; it's standard curricula these days.  You're probably old enough not to have had such (or, to remember anything from them?) -- but no doubt familiar with the authors, so their application in the workplace should be straightforward. :-+

Tim
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Offline tszaboo

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2022, 10:59:54 pm »
You have Greta Thunberg on this list, who has nothing to do with electronics, nor being ethical since she is a wunderkid talking about things she desn't understand. There are also a bunch of token people with gender and activist in their bio. Select someone, who consistently hired people based on their merit, and made sure that the employees have a low-stress working environment, and received fair compensation for their work, adjusted for inflation. Eg, probably none of these people.
BTW Last time I redesigned a board, and I removed a Tantalum capacitor from it. It's a conflict mineral, children in Afrika are forced to mine it. So I literally saved children.
 
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2022, 05:42:19 pm »
You are not collating a list of people begin Ethical in Electronics.

You are collating a list of people who are Popular by telling others to behave ethically with respect to electronics, instead of behaving ethically themselves.

Seeing PR people on that list is like claiming that you are looking for the most intelligent physicists in the world, based on who has the most popular TikTok videos.  This is inane; stupid beyond belief.  You are not only misleading others, you are misleading yourself here too.  As a "modern journalist", you probably see yourself doing the right thing here: after all, you believe you journalists have the obligation of being "the gatekeepers of knowledge and right-think", instead of serving the public.

Popularity has no causation, and very little to no correlation, with anything else; definitely not ethics.  Even "ethics super-gurus" like Mahatma Gandhi were quite unethical in some of their practices – for example, his way of testing his resolve in abstinence by sleeping with nubile young women.  Yet, if he had ever fixed even a single electrical appliance, I'm sure he would be at the very head of your list.



If you genuinely wanted to find out those who actually are ethical in electronics –– as opposed to who are the most popular people that demand others to be more ethical –– you would immediately rule out all PR people, and instead look at past and present companies, especially smaller companies, and how they operate day-to-day.

As an example, consider PJRC, the developer and manufacturer of the Teensy microcontrollers.  They are not open-source hardware, because their bootloader is proprietary, but nevertheless, the general schematics and even the preprogrammed bootloader chip are available if one wants to make their own compatible board.  During COVID, PJRC took care of all of its employees, much beyond what the law would require there.  Recently, during the chip shortages, PJRC has kept users up to date on the forums on future availability and expected changes, and has deliberately avoided any kind of price gauging on the boards (see examples here and here).  Also, the Arduino add-on, Teensyduino, and all related libraries are available at Paul's GitHub repositories.  He has contributed several libraries to Arduino proper, too.

I'm sure there are lots of similar companies out there.  It's just that they're not popular enough to be considered "ethical" in lists like the one collated by OP, which is infuriating in my opinion.  Old timers here also occasionally reminisce about the old HP days, during the Bill and Dave era; I'm pretty sure it was a good example of an ethical electronics business back then.

Honestly, this popularity-is-the-key approach to problem solving nauseates me.  It's not just inane, it is deliberately misleading, and I consider it an indication of how a large fraction of humanity is devolving towards eusociality; how the physical reality does not matter at all when compared to how communications make people feel.  Utterly, utterly despicable.
 
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Offline PriscaTopic starter

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2022, 01:40:30 pm »

So I thought I would ask some actual engineers to give me examples of people they think are being ethical in engineering, exactly because I do not know this as well as you would - a lot of insulting has followed
One post does at least contain a very helpful addition
(although PJRC is a company and not a person - who this would refer to is Paul Stoffregen I think https://github.com/PaulStoffregen )
THANK YOU! I will send him in to be be part of the index

There are multiple people putting this list together, we are all putting in people we know about so yes this is very limited set
and there is some googling/scraping going on for people that have 'sustainable' or 'ethical' function titles
I work as a freelancer for Elektor, my network comes both from the social science side of technology and being a very small scale manufacturer of electronic synthesizers, my adds to this WEEF index have been
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/182985/Heleen__de_Coninck
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/182983/Alexandra_Deschamps-Sonsino
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/182841/Eva_Gouwens
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183268/Auke__Hoekstra
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183342/Andrew_%22bunnie%22_Huang
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/184014/David_L._Jones
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183020/Chris__Julien
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183024/Marijn__Vervoorn
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183025/Niels_Wielaard
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/184015/Naomi_Wu
You will notice - as I did - that these are often not the engineers but the CEOs, Proffessors or communicators in the space of electronics
This has to do with that they have a more powerful position to steer a company towards more ethical conduct and/or they are more openly communicating and can therefor be found and put in a list like this

I was hoping to improve this list with your contributions
 I now have 1  :-+





 

Offline temperance

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2022, 10:01:01 pm »
People posting critique have or had, including me, probably a genuine interest in the topic. I really spend some some time reading things here and there on the webpage you've linked too. Unfortunately, and that's the conclusion brought to you by those who posted here is that ethics in engineering is being abused by some of the people CEO's if you want on that list to push their marketing agenda. That in itself is not ethical and as stated more literally by some disgusting. It's also very unfortunate.

I was hoping to find some discussions, technical insight, thought provoking ideas, research... perhaps I didn't look deep enough after being confronted with marketing.

An other one if you want: from the article with Niels Wielaard.

a quote:
"They work together with fine brands and organizations: Bunge. Cargill. Wilmar. GAR. Musim Mas. Mondelez. Unilever. Pepsico. WorldBank. IFAD. Rabobank. ING Bank. Robeco. Actiam. Solidaridad. WWF. SOS. UTZ. And many others."

Ethical? What's next. Some of those companies have been in the news for:
-False marketing
-exploiting employees
-Supporting armed conflict
-Hiding information
...

Or, in general not giving a f-ck duck about anything.

Lobbyists of those companies can be found around the parliament almost every day having diner with those who can bring them some benefit.

It's rather strange if the critique you've received seems to insult you. A description of the tactic being put forward can be found in the works Charles Baudelaire if you want.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2022, 10:55:22 pm by temperance »
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2022, 10:22:06 pm »

So I thought I would ask some actual engineers to give me examples of people they think are being ethical in engineering, exactly because I do not know this as well as you would - a lot of insulting has followed
One post does at least contain a very helpful addition
(although PJRC is a company and not a person - who this would refer to is Paul Stoffregen I think https://github.com/PaulStoffregen )
THANK YOU! I will send him in to be be part of the index

There are multiple people putting this list together, we are all putting in people we know about so yes this is very limited set
and there is some googling/scraping going on for people that have 'sustainable' or 'ethical' function titles
I work as a freelancer for Elektor, my network comes both from the social science side of technology and being a very small scale manufacturer of electronic synthesizers, my adds to this WEEF index have been
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/182985/Heleen__de_Coninck
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/182983/Alexandra_Deschamps-Sonsino
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/182841/Eva_Gouwens
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183268/Auke__Hoekstra
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183342/Andrew_%22bunnie%22_Huang
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/184014/David_L._Jones
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183020/Chris__Julien
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183024/Marijn__Vervoorn
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/183025/Niels_Wielaard
https://worldethicalelectronicsforum.com/index/184015/Naomi_Wu
You will notice - as I did - that these are often not the engineers but the CEOs, Proffessors or communicators in the space of electronics
This has to do with that they have a more powerful position to steer a company towards more ethical conduct and/or they are more openly communicating and can therefor be found and put in a list like this

I was hoping to improve this list with your contributions
 I now have 1  :-+

I am going to try to explain this politely.

This whole thing is misguided and a farce.
Most of people (persons with a name) working in industry are very ethical.
Electronics engineers are amongst smarter and generally well behaved people. They work hard and are honest. They all are ethical for most part.
There are no engineers that use slaves, child workers or toxic materials. It is companies that decide to do that and force employees to keep quiet about that. Or else..
I can name dozen of simple people that would better deserve to be on that list. But they are not digital celebrities...

It is companies that are those that don't behave ethically. Compile a list of that... That would useful.
Otherwise this is your version Miss Ethical Pageant competition. Or most ethical batchelor list... Or whatever useless lists "journalists" compile in todays second rate news publications...

That is why we all are completely confused what the heck are you trying to do here and to what purpose..




 
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Offline coppice

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2022, 10:30:38 pm »
A moment please....

Can the  OP precise exactly which mandarins with sinecures at her organization/group/government  shall decree to the rest of us lowly peons, exactly how to define "ethical" ?
I would assume, the standard teachings on ethics.  Moral philosophy.  Kant, Bentham and others; it's standard curricula these days.  You're probably old enough not to have had such (or, to remember anything from them?) -- but no doubt familiar with the authors, so their application in the workplace should be straightforward. :-+
Since her list includes someone who promotes mass murder (Greta Thunberg) I suspect the original poster's concept of what is ethical does need to be questioned.
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2022, 11:11:07 pm »
I'd looked at building elektor 2MHz LCR Meter Kit but €799.00 seemed a bit high priced.
Fortissimo-100 Audio Power Amplifier Kit single channel €229.00 plus dual power supplies, and again it seems way overpriced.
Should we discuss the ethics of gouging your customers lol. Oh wait, this where the money comes from for these bogus virtuous endeavors.
Elektor issue sells for CAD $16 at the magazine store, or CAD $8 for the e-magazine. I grieve the death spiral of electronics magazines as they try to adapt- and fail. They have limited energy and this kind of journalistic activity seems so nice and as I've said, a colossal waste guaranteeing the end of the magazine whilst changing nothing significant in the world.
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2022, 01:21:58 pm »
Most of people (persons with a name) working in industry are very ethical.
Electronics engineers are amongst smarter and generally well behaved people. They work hard and are honest. They all are ethical for most part.

Well, I wouldn't go that far.  I've met some rather mediocre engineers in my time.  Some of whom I'm sure would be quite interested in joining or supporting $shady_organization as long as it pays well.  Or, put another way... I'm sure there's no shortage of ones that gambled their savings on the crypto boom.  I don't know anyone... who's admitted to it, at least, ;D but I'm sure they're out there.

Other cases in point:
Engineers had to design all those things used for killing and oppression.  Weapons (whether side arms, military bombs, etc.), surveillance, vehicles (anything from battleships and tanks, to whatever customized builds cops drive around), and just general industry nastiness (abattoirs, say?).

And sure, maybe an individual doesn't have a problem with any one of those things, or does but happens to work in a different sector, or etc.  Not everyone is vegan.  Not everyone is pacifist / prefers peace.  Or even those that do, perhaps prefer to weigh the defense value more highly (a mixed-use clause, in effect), simply accepting that such tools are as often used for oppression (whether domestic or foreign, and by whoever happens to have them).

But, well, that's in part why you'll never run out of engineers to do things.

Anyway, for the most part, none of this matters, as -- both by common understanding, and in practice -- engineers largely do what managers tell them to.

Hence the general griping above.

Despite being "professionals", we really have very little liberty, or autonomy, in our work.

So it reduces to the usual case of, who's giving orders.  No soldier ever got executed for "I was just following orders" (or at least... not nearly as many), but they sure as hell did for disobeying them.

For better or worse, we're little more than highly educated soldiers in a much larger "conflict" that is the world market, waged with dollars rather than bullets, but both are interchangeable at a sufficient level of abstraction (read: "money is violence", even if incrementally so).

So it reduces to the same old class conflict as ever.

And in that vein, I might suggest some examples:

https://www.google.com/search?q=apple+engineer+walkout
This is mostly retail workers, but for the retail arm of a major tech company.

Likewise Facebook (mostly low level employees I think, not so much engineers?), Amazon (especially their exploitative warehouses), etc.

Amazon in particular has uniform management pressure i.e. massive mandatory turnover, by upper-level decree, even in their cloud/software space.  Not so bad that workers have sought to unionize that segment, AFAIK.

https://www.npr.org/2021/01/08/954710407/at-google-hundreds-of-workers-formed-a-labor-union-why-to-protect-ourselves
Google isn't immune.  It's been a long, long time since they pulled their "do no evil" slogan, remember.

https://www.google.com/search?q=blizzard+unionization
Game devs however are facing not just the same bullshit that's clamping down on the rest of us, but actually abusive, harassing workplaces besides.  Mandatory crunch time and unpaid overtime are just the beginning at some of these places.

Perhaps some of the union leaders are worthy of highlighting, but I would suggest an individual focus is erroneous, and highlighting the effort that these collectives have put in (or are trying to achieve).

Tim
« Last Edit: November 04, 2022, 01:24:37 pm by T3sl4co1l »
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2022, 07:57:16 pm »
So I thought I would ask some actual engineers to give me examples of people they think are being ethical in engineering, exactly because I do not know this as well as you would - a lot of insulting has followed
We may be crass, but we are honest, and we care.  Which would you rather have, vapid but ignorant encouragement, or crass but honest opinions with the basis for those opinions explained?  I am limited, and politically correct perky socially aware discourse taxes me more than hard, disgusting, physical labour.

Do note that the "insults" are due to the fact that by "asking who people think are being ethical in engineering", you are not finding out who are actually ethical in engineering; you are finding out who are popular and project themselves as caring about ethics in engineering.

The exact same thing has been discussed with respect to sites like StackOverflow (and the entire Stack Exchange network), where the assumption is that the most popular answer is the likeliest to be correct.  Here, there are quite a few scientists and engineers who have participated there but left in disgust, exactly because that is definitely not the case.  Instead, the easiest answers are the most popular.  The only rational conclusion is that treating such sites as if they promote correct answers is propagating a falsehood; lying and misleading others.

I want to help, be useful, and help others learn.

I also did run my own IT business during the turn of the millenium, in the '95-'05 timeframe.  I was not suitable to be a CEO, because this industry is so full of exploiters, and especially "posers" –– people who talk one thing, but do a completely different thing, and really only succeed because of their ability to manipulate social situations and handle PR.  I myself consider my practices ethical, up to once cutting out a client I was subcontracting for, and going to the actual paying client and doing the job pro bono, because the one I was subcontracting for was trying to shaft both of us.  That's how I "retaliate".

Okay, so how would this kind of article be properly researched, then?  Two words: investigative journalism.  At minimum, you would look at the suggested people, and check if they are PR, marketing, or pure Cxx-level executives –– in which case they might be ethical business people, but have very little to do with actual electronics! –– or if they actually do ethical electronics in their day-to-day operations.

Yet, it seems that there are no journalists anymore doing this kind of drudge work.  Instead, there are just opinions, interviews, and lists of opinions.
Heck, even science/engineering topics are no longer covered as science/engineering, but as a human story: instead of describing what, why, where, the "articles" describe who, how they felt, how should you feel about this.

Again, we may be crude and seem hostile (when one is used to politically correct socially aware interactions), but we are honest and would prefer you to do better and succeed, than just push the same crud everyone else is pushing in your field; just like we'd prefer other scientists and engineers to do better than what the fields are overall doing right now.  I personally consider direct honesty more ethical than being socially aware but reserved.

PJRC is a company and not a person
It's a company run by Paul J. Stoffregen and Robin Coon, as you would have found if you had bothered to open PJRC.com and clicked the About Us button in the About Us box in the left side of the page.
Paul is the main author (for both the hardware and software), and Robin handles most of the business side.
I do recommend you take a look at the forum PJRC maintains, to see how actual users see the company.  My opinion is irrelevant, but the underlying reasons for my opinions may be useful to others.

Can you not see why engineers and scientists here are unhappy about how you (plural, indicating "even science and electronics journalists in leading publications") are doing this task?  It is first instinct for us to go look at the background information – typically vendor site, manufacturer site, part datasheets or application notes –, because that is absolutely required for understanding the task at hand.  It is among the first things anyone learns at college or university, finding pertinent information.

Similar well known companies are Adafruit, founded by Limor "Ladyada" Fried; Sparkfun, founded by Nathan "Nate" Seidle; and Olimex, a Bulgarian company founded in 1991.  Many, if not most, of their products have been copied by Chinese manufacturers, and are the reason for the proliferation of the various microcontroller modules available on eBay, AliBaba, Banggood, Amazon, etc.  Not only are many (but not necessarily all, due to various reasons) of their designs open-source hardware (OSHW), but they have even provided the software and drivers needed for hobbyists and prototype developers to use to get quickly started!
Just look at Olimex, for example, and their OLinuXino OSHW Linux single-board computers, and the support they provide for all; no registration or even being a customer required.

Only when something cannot be completely open (like the Teensy boot loader, to stop them being duplicated by cheap Chinese manufacturers, and ensure the further development of the boards), is it closed, to ensure their products are of maximum utility to users/hobbyists/developers.  Even the lifetimes of their products are much longer than typical in electronics –– see Olimex and PJRC for example.  What is more ethical than that in electronics?

Or, say, people like Dave (the owner of this site, Dave Jones the EEVblog guy), who debunk horribly wasteful ideas (like solar roadways and walkways, batterizers) and reviews tools he finds useful; or say BigClive of bigclive.com, who takes apart lights (especially cheap decorative lights) and power supplies and powerbanks, and as an electrician, describes how useful they are?  Isn't that more ethical than a CEO flying around in a private jet, talking about how the plebs ordinary people need to cut their consumption so that the world won't self-destruct?

If I were you, assuming you work somewhere around Europe, I'd definitely contact Olimex and do a bit of research on how they came up with their attitude towards their customers (which most do consider ethical, and thus relevant), and use that information to reflect on the backgrounds and actions (as opposed to written speeches and PR talk) of the people already in your list.

Unless, of course, you (plural, your editor etc.) are really only interested in collating a list of popular people that other people consider ethical and who might be tangentially involved in some electronics stuff.  I suspect that is actually the case; I do recommend you check with your editor first.

I work as a freelancer for Elektor, my network comes both from the social science side of technology and being a very small scale manufacturer of electronic synthesizers
If it matters any, I do wholeheartedly believe you have only the best of intentions here.  You should not consider any of what I've written here as being about your person; it is all specifically, and only, about how you're going about this particular task.  Any insults are directed at what and how you are doing a thing, not at yourself.

(This distinction is important to me, because I use the pseudonym "Nominal Animal" for that express purpose: to remind myself that any feedback I get is about my interactions with others, and not about my person.  I can change my interactions somewhat, but not who I am as a person.  As a result, if you look at my posting history here, you'll find cases where I am in "heated" debate with someone in one thread, while perfectly calmly trying to help them with a completely unrelated issue in another, or thanking them for useful help in one of my own issues.  This is what it means to be a "technical person".)

The topic at hand is sensitive to many of us, because we are tired of dealing with people who talk the talk, but do a completely different thing in real life, and we hate that kind of behaviour being rewarded.  We are the people who work hard to make better things, but whose efforts are almost never acknowledged, simply because we're not people-persons.  Yet, without us (technical people), everyone else would fall into the dark ages.

This has to do with that they have a more powerful position to steer a company towards more ethical conduct and/or they are more openly communicating and can therefor be found and put in a list like this.
And yet, a vast majority of them only do so because at the moment, it makes business sense.  The moment they no longer get additional publicity by "making ethical decisions", they immediately change.

I have a particular favourite example, but outside electronics: former Finnish minister of interior, Maria Ohisalo.  Before her political career, she was an often-interviewed poverty researcher, who often berated politicians about hiring officials based on their political affiliations instead of their credentials and ability.  A couple of years later, as minister of interior, one of her first acts was replacing the highest officials in the ministry (which is not common in Finnish politics at all) by people affiliated with her own party.  "Do as I say, not as I do."



To be honest, I really expected to be excoriated, because I have been mulling this for weeks now, and couldn't hold back my own strong emotions on this.  I do hope Prisca (and others) see that my negative feelings are about the thing at hand, and that there is no ill will towards any person here.  Well, except for the PR and Cxx types that talk one thing, and do the opposite; they I hope get their comeuppance, and learn to do better.  I don't want any physical or lasting emotional damage to befall them either; only enough of a temporary hit that they see how the dissonance between their speech and actions  is causing lasting damage to not only the society overall (because it turns people from appreciating good actions towards good speech while ignoring any actions), but to the world itself –– you should check how much emissions a private plane has per flight if one considers the manufacturing and fuel production and transport costs as well, as is often done for "consumer" car emissions.

I would wager half my disposable monthly income that the vast majority of members here agree with the second and third sentence in the above paragraph.  Hopefully that still counts.
 
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Offline fourfathom

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Re: Who is being Ethical in Electronics?
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2022, 11:19:08 pm »
[ a long post that I completely agree with, and I thank Nominal for writing]  BTW, David Jones (EEVblog) is on that big list of ethical nominees, I don't know when that happened.

Ethical?  What does that even mean in this context?  I read the nomination page and apparently this is all about "influencers".

But here's a name: Hans Summers, founder and owner of QRP Labs.  I have no idea what Hans thinks about politics, sustainability, diversity, or any of the other areas that are apparently so critical to being considered "ethical", and I don't know what he would think about this "ethical" list.  But I can tell you that Hans has taken his passion and turned it into a small business developing and selling ham radio kits for an extremely fair price.  Hans is clever and helpful, and by his efforts has contributed much to the amateur community.  I will take that over yet another "influencer" any day of the week.
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