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The magnetic field generated or disturbed by an object is often overlooked when we need to inspect or detect it. In this tutorial Steve Macintyre describes the fundamental design principles of a range of magnetic field sensors.
The Bureau of Economics in the Federal Trade Commission has a three-part role in the Agency and the strength of its functions changed over time depending on the preferences and ideology of the FTC’s leaders, developments in the field of economics, and the tenor of the times. The over-riding current role is to provide well considered, unbiased economic advice regarding antitrust and consumer protection law enforcement cases to the legal staff and the Commission. The second role, which long ago was primary, is to provide reports on investigations of various industries to the public and public officials. This role was more recently called research or “policy R&D”. A third role is to advocate for competition and markets both domestically and internationally. As a practical matter, the provision of economic advice to the FTC and to the legal staff has required that the economists wear “two hats,” helping the legal staff investigate cases and provide evidence to support law enforcement cases while also providing advice to the legal bureaus and to the Commission on which cases to pursue (thus providing “a second set of eyes” to evaluate cases). There is sometimes a tension in those functions because building a case is not the same as evaluating a case. Economists and the Bureau of Economics have provided such services to the FTC for over 100 years proving that a sub-organization can survive while playing roles that sometimes conflict. Such a life is not, however, always easy or fun.
During the late 1990s there has been an increasing interest in the concept of “food deserts” (populated areas with little or no food retail provision). It has been…
During the late 1990s there has been an increasing interest in the concept of “food deserts” (populated areas with little or no food retail provision). It has been suggested that they are more likely to be found in deprived areas; however there has been little systematic research on their prevalence and distribution. This paper describes a preliminary analysis of the location of food outlets in the Greater Glasgow Health Board Area. Data were collected as part of a project on spatial variations in the price and availability of food. Based on all 79 multiple stores, and a 1 in 9 sample (n = 246) of all non‐multiple stores in the area, we did not find any evidence for the existence of food deserts, and found that food stores were more numerous in the more deprived localities and postcode districts in the study site.
During the socialist calculation debate, Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek made a positive argument regarding the impossibility of economic calculation under socialism. In…
During the socialist calculation debate, Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek made a positive argument regarding the impossibility of economic calculation under socialism. In this study, I argue that the arguments made by Mises and Hayek have normative implications for capitalism. I do so by drawing an analogy between an Austrian account of the market process and a neo-Aristotelian account of human flourishing. Neither economic calculation follows passively from implementing a set of profit-maximizing rules nor does human flourishing follow passively from following a set of universal moral norms (be they of utilitarian, deontological, or natural law inspiration). Both economic calculation and human flourishing are inherently based on individual acts of knowledge creation, actualized only by self-directed individuals. In both cases, the creation of such knowledge is both contextual and specific to the unique circumstances of each individual of a particular time and place. Therefore, to assume that such knowledge exists ex ante, and is objective and transpersonal across time, place, and institutional context renders both economic calculation and human flourishing into a technological problem of given means and given ends, in essence defining both activities out of existence. The possibility of economic calculation and human flourishing are therefore dependent upon a political/legal order that protects the possibility of self-directed knowledge creation in both the economic and moral realms, that is, to say an institutional framework of private property rights.
This paper aims to explore human technology relations through the lens of sci-fi movies within the life cycle of the ETHICOMP conference series. Here, different…
This paper aims to explore human technology relations through the lens of sci-fi movies within the life cycle of the ETHICOMP conference series. Here, different perspectives on artificial intelligent agents, primarily in the shape of robots, but also including other kinds of intelligent systems, are explored. Hence, IT-ethical issues related to humans interactions with social robots and artificial intelligent agents are illustrated with reference to: Alex Proyas’ I, Robot; James Cameron’s Terminator; and the Wachowski brothers’ Matrix. All three movies present robots cast in the roles of moral agents capable of doing good or evil. Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence, A.I. gives rise to a discussion of the robot seen as a moral patient and furthermore reflects on possibilities for care and trust relations between robots and humans. Andrew Stanton’s Wall-E shapes a discussion of robots as altruistic machines in the role as facilitators of a flourishing society. Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report allows for a discussion of knowledge-discovering technology and the possibility for balancing data utility and data privacy.
Observations of themes in sci-fi movies within the life span of the ETHICOMP conference series are discussed with the purpose of illustrating ways in which science fiction reflects (science) faction. In that sense, science fiction does not express our worries for a distant future, but rather casts light over questions, which is of concern in the present time.
Human technology interactions are addressed and it is shown how sci-fi films highlight philosophical questions that puzzle us today, such as which kind of relationships can and ought to be formed with robots, and whether the roles they play as social actors demand that one ought to assign moral standing to them. The paper does not present firm answers but instead pays attention to the selection and framing of questions that deserve attention.
To relate sci-fi movies to topics raised during the past 20 years of the ETHICOMP conference series, seemed to be an appropriate way of celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the ETHICOMP conference series.
This article models debt market equilibrium given an expanded notion of rational behavior. The model extends Diamond's model of reputation acquisition, by assuming that…
This article models debt market equilibrium given an expanded notion of rational behavior. The model extends Diamond's model of reputation acquisition, by assuming that some prospective borrower‐investors are opportunistic utility maximizers, while others are unwilling to mislead borrowers as to their intended use of borrowed funds. We find that the presence of honest borrowers is necessary to the function of debt markets, and that, as in real‐world markets, opportunistic and honest agents can coexist. We further find that total economic activity is positively correlated to the proportion of trustworthy agents. A major research concern in financial economics is the reconciliation of observed behavior with the predictions of the perfect‐markets, utility‐maximization models, which have traditionally supplied the dominant paradigm in finance. The main focus of recent research has been on the predictions of Agency Theory, or simply Agency (Jensen and Meckling, 1976). Agency has its origins in the property rights literature of economic theory (Alchian, 1969) and, in essence, addresses the following question: How do rational agents act in imperfect markets? A whole range of market imperfections have been analyzed ranging from the simplest type of moral hazard and adverse selection (Thakor, 1989) to the debt capacity of an industry (Maksimovic and Zechner, 1991). Indeed, few if any areas of business theory have escaped Agency's scrutiny; it has, in effect, recast the theory of the firm. In this light, the firm becomes a structure whose efficiency depends upon its ability to mitigate the costs associated with Agency. Firms are “legal fictions which serve as a nexus for a set of contracting relations among individuals” (Jensen and Meckling, 1976, p.310). One of the major gaps in the one‐period models of agency behavior has been the inability of these models to explain management's “honest” behavior (Thaler, 1992). That is, managers do not always engage in such “rational” acts as risk‐shifting, or paying excessive dividends, in order to enrich shareholders (and themselves) at the expense of bondholders. A significant move toward reconciling Agency's predictions with observed behavior has resulted from the reputation‐acquisition work of Diamond (1989), building on the work of Kreps and Wilson (1982) and Milgrom and Roberts (1982). In these models, agents acquire reputations by demonstrating some consistent mode of behavior through multiple iterations of a contractual situation. Through these iterations, principals modify their beliefs concerning the future behavior of the agent by observing certain outcomes. In Diamond's model, rational agents will not continually choose either a risky project or safe project. Their choice is a function of the interest rate and the stage of the game. Specifically, these agents choose the risky project initially; then, as attrition among risk‐takers causes interest rates to drop, they shift to the safe project for some iterations. As the end of the game approaches, however, these agents once again revert to investing in the risky project. In comparison with the attention that has been devoted to identifying and analyzing market imperfections, the former part of the Agency question — namely the “rational agents” part — has attracted much less attention in the finance literature. In Agency models, rationality has been defined strictly in terms of the individual pursuit of pecuniary wealth. This expected‐utility model has been tested experimentally and has been found to be systematically violated, in at least two fundamental ways: 1) Individuals do not behave as if they are attempting to maximize wealth (Plott, 1986), and 2) Individual behavior is affected by notions of fairness and cooperation (Kahneman, et al, 1986). Attempts to construct a theory of capital market behavior which can accommodate this observed behavior are virtually nonexistent. This lack is probably due to the presumption that opportunistic agents will drive ethical agents out of the market. However, as we demonstrate in the model developed in this paper, this is not necessarily the case. By focusing attention specifically on Agency's rationality premise, the model developed here differs from antecedent Agency models. This article investigates the implication, for financial‐market equilibra, of an alternative rationality premise. We assume that some agents will display the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness in their dealings with Other agents. Modifying Diamond's (1989) model of reputation acquisition in debt markets, the impact of these ‘virtuous’ agents on financial‐market equilibria is investigated. The model indicates that the existence of trustworthy agents in financial markets is not merely desirable from an economic perspective, but actually is essential if debt markets are not to fail. Specifically, if lenders do not belief that some non‐trivial cohort of trustworthy agents exists, then lenders cease to lend and debt markets cease to function. Also, the greater the proportion of honest agents, the greater is the overall level of economic activity; indeed, the existence of honest agents will tend to induce at least some of the opportunistic agents to act virtuously. We find that, as Bowie observes in a more general context, “[i]t only pays to lie or cheat when you can free ride off the honesty of others” (1991, pp.11–12). In addition, the belief in a non‐trivial cohort of trustworthy agents can lead to the elimination of some agency problems.
This paper identifies considerations for managing the risks of abuse during intimate and personal care for people with learning disabilities and complex needs. Drawing on…
This paper identifies considerations for managing the risks of abuse during intimate and personal care for people with learning disabilities and complex needs. Drawing on insights gleaned from research involving interviews with staff, policies and procedures in specialist day and residential services, and the development of a staff training resource, the paper identifies a framework for adult protection practice in this critical area of support.