These vignettes draw comparisons between software and medicine — in their dual capacities to heal and to hurt. They explore the nature of addictive technologies in relation to business, the power that software designers are presently wielding over the masses, and a new way of imagining companies: as medicine men for the species. I hope these vignettes will help to inspire the engineering community to adopt a common set of ethical principles to guide the evolution of software (which, in turn, will help to guide the evolution of our species).
Thanks to Sep Kamvar and Annie Correal for reading drafts.
– Jonathan Harris, May 2012