The Ethical Technologist

Giving technologists an ethical mind-set

If technology is powerful and pervasive, how can we make sure it remains friendly? After all, it is here to stay. We could not get rid of it, even if we wanted to. We need ethical technologists who understand the true nature of technology, beyond the clich├ęd images and whiz-bangery.


Lone Pine of Girraween

A tough little pine tree and the persistence of life in an ancient landscape

Girraween National Park in Queensland’s Granite Belt is a plateau of ancient weathered granite formed some 200 million years ago. Untouched by the scouring glaciation that terraformed much of the northern hemisphere, Terra Australis largely escaped the ravages of the ice age. Its landscape is a trip back in time tens of millions of years before humans existed.

An Australian Beach

Currumbin, Gold Coast

The Australian coast is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Thousands of kilometers of sand and waves. It is not hard to find a deserted, beguiling stretch of beach where a person can become one with the age-old duality of land and sea.

Beating the Rip

How to Avoid Drowning in the Surf

Every day at surf beaches around the world, thousands of swimmers are caught unawares by rip-currents (also known as rip-tides and undertows). One moment you are enjoying a swim, the next you feel yourself being irresistably carried out to sea to an uncertain fate. It can be a very scary thing. Sadly, some of these swimmers will drown. Don’t let this happen to you or someone you know. With a little knowledge and a cool head, tragedy can be averted.

Beating the Rip

How to Survive Drowning in the Surf

Practical advice on how you can recognize and deal with the sometimes scary situation of being caught in a rip-current at the beach. Explains how a rip forms, what do do if caught in one, and finishes with some reasons why humans love to swim from an evolutionary point of view.

Politics and the English Language

by George Orwell

Most people know Orwell as the author of 1984 and Animal Farm. How many know that he practically invented the modern journalistic form of writing, and that this essay is arguably the most influential piece of writing of it’s kind. A must read for any aspiring writer.

John Steinbeck’s View on Personal Ethics

John Steinbeck (see end for biographical note) has considered the issue of personal ethics more deeply than most. He distilled it to a very basic proposition; the ongoing internal struggle in each of us between good and evil. While this notion has been trivialized in popular culture, the passage below nonetheless contains a powerful truth. Read this short chapter with an open mind.