[Cosmo-torun] Re: [Cosmo-media] the shape of the universe (fwd)

Boud Roukema boud w astro.uni.torun.pl
Pią, 17 Lut 2006, 14:09:24 CET

hi again cosmo-torun :)

On Thu, 16 Feb 2006, Bartosz Lew wrote:

> hi cosmo-torun again :)
> On Thu, 16 Feb 2006, Boud Roukema wrote:
> > On Thu, 16 Feb 2006, Andrzej Marecki wrote:
> >
> >>> A boycott by just one person is not a boycott.
> >>
> >> Yes, but denying boycott, even in that "useless" form, you support them!
> >> You help them fill their pages and... make money.
> >
> well, I have an idealistic point of view that if someone is interested in
> publishing some interesting stuff, which potentialy can result in making
> interested some reader latter on, then provided that it doesn't collide with
> self education or research, such informations should be easily given out
> to the public - i.e. a journalists with best intentions of creativity,
> thoughts sharing etc, regardless of matters who earns money from it or reveives
> some side profits. Everybody has to do his/hers job. If someone politely
> asks he should be politely heard and answered, otherwise he or she should
> rather be ignered.

Well, it's true that a polite and clear request by email is different to
a general request to speak on a radio station.

The idea of having
public archives is that even if Radio Marija asked for a cosmology comment,
we could reply with a copy on-list, so that if later on they tried to use
it in ways we felt were misleading, then people interested in checking the
original text could see it on the archive.

On the other hand, IIUC, Andrzej's point is about the information
distribution system as a whole, and media organisations as
organisations or "institutions".  Most people who work in corporations
are nice people - as individuals (well, except maybe Bill G.) - the
only problem is how they function together as an organisation.

And our role in providing cosmology info is to help the organisation do
other non-cosmo stuff.

Here's an attempt to summarise the ethics arguments/counterarguments
for/against giving an answer:


1  the individual reporter asking politely and clearly has good intentions

2  our social role is to provide information, we are morally obliged to do this

3  an individual boycott of an organisation is ineffective

3b  cutting off communication with people/organisations you disagree with only
helps if other people are aware of this and of the reasons why

4 (utilitarian argument) the "politically correct" side of axel springer
(newsweek) is much more likely to be taken seriously and have an effect on
CAUMK funding (e.g. grants) than RM would have (though this is not totally


1  our answer provides a "legitimate" cover for an organisation which as a whole
plays many negative roles in information distribution

2  one of us has already carried out a boycott of such an organisation

Is this a fair summary of the arguments?


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