Blog#3 Case in Point “Best Buy Hunts Down Bad Customers”

For my Case in Point I chose to do, “Best Buy Hunts Down Bad Customers”. This Case in Point talks about how Best Buy found out that they had three different kinds of shoppers. They categorized them as the ” “angles” the high spending people, “devils” – savvy, bargain-hunting customers who apply for rebates, return purchases to buy them back as discounted merchandise, and “flippers” the people who buy goods for a profit on eBay. The CEO says “100 million of its 500 million annual customers fall into this category”. Best Buy found out this information from a data mining system that is collected from the products that customers buy and when they buy them. After receiving information that “devils” were hurting their revenue Best Buy took away the online promotions and coupons that would be seen by the “devil” customers. By doing this they were basically trying to lessen the use of coupons and increase their revenue. In this example, data mining helps the companies stay in business and helps them keep making profit. McWilliams stated, “They can wreak enormous economics havoc” talking about devils but with data mining this helps companies weed out the devils. Data Mining might help companies but not always the case for customers. For example, one of the points we talked about in class that had to do with data mining was how Target found out this teen was pregnant from the products the teen was looking up online and products she had purchased. Through data mining Target started to mail her information and product that pregnant people would need. The father having no idea his daughter was pregnant was not very happy with Target because they were sending her information he thought was inappropriate. The father ended up finding out later that his daughter was pregnant and realized why Target was sending his daughter that information.

I think that data mining has its pros and cons. I think for companies it is smart of them to have to keep track of customers like Best Buy did. Help them find out what kind of buyers they have to keep their company going strong. Where for customers it is nice when you have been looking for a certain products and you get information about what other product would be good to purchase. On the other hand, some cons would be in the case of the pregnant teen where she wanted to keep the information to herself but Target gave out information she didn’t want others to see. Also for those customers that are bargain shoppers, they are being discriminated against. Is it ethically fair to not put certain ads on certain consumer’s web browsers just so they will spend more money in stores? The problem is that it could go well for the store or bad. By not giving the consumer available promotions it will be taking away a customer. Or possibly it could work out in their favor by making that customer by the tool for full price.

Personally, I believe it is ethically wrong that Best Buy used data mining in that sort of way. I think it is interesting how through data mining they were able to learn more about their customers. However, ethically it seems that the company is trying to deceive those customers who may not have the means to purchase something without coupons or cheaper rates. It is not fair or just to discriminate against a customer based on the type of shopper they are.

Blog Post #2

truman_show_ver1_xlg-the-truman-show-tv-show-movie-gets-own-tv-showNiccol, A., & Weir, P. (1999). The Truman show. Hollywood, CA: Paramount Pictures.

        The Truman show is a story and television show about a man who was bought by a corporation. Truman is the main character and is in a large dome or studio with actors playing out his every move in his everyday life. Truman has no idea that his whole life has been watched by millions of people through the 5,000 cameras in the studio.

One could say the dome or the studio is the government and Truman is a person being watched over. For example, when people found out the government was recording peoples phone calls the ethical issue was lack of privacy. Lack of privacy is a huge problem, especially in the United States. However, one of the bigger ethical issues is the thought that Truman was being watched without the consent of him. During the movie it seemed as though there was a Big Brother aspect because the directors and producers were watching over him at all times. By not getting consent from Truman at all the ethical issues result in dishonesty. It may not seem as intense watching our every move. With the Internet you could say life has become more controlled like the Truman show. You can still make your own decisions but your every click on the Internet is being watched and collected for data use or other reasons.

In an interview that takes place with the producer of The Truman Show and a news station that talks about advertising and how one thing that the show does a lot of is advertising. All the clothes that the actors are wearing are for sale. Also throughout the movie there would be advertisements and obvious acts of product placement. For example, when Truman was sitting at the dinner table and his wife Meryl says “Why don’t you let me fix you some of this Mococoa drink, all natural cocoa beans from the upper sloped of Mount Nicaragua, no artificial sweeteners.” That quote is a huge example of deceptive product placement. The ethical issue with product placement is that it is sometimes not obvious to an audience and can sometimes take advantage of an audience. Also, sometimes the products that are being advertised are not good for certain age groups which makes it unethical when tricking an audience into watching advertisements when aiming to watch a movie.

Blog Post #1- Corbin Hyde

In a society that is driven by many forms of media it is clear that the public has many concerns and feelings about media ethics. In an article discussing the publics feelings about media ethics the concerns consisted of deception, invasion of privacy, advertising saturation and excessive violence (Cooper 2008). One of the biggest concerns highlighted by Cooper stated that 19% of the people questioned had a concern of media bias or one-sidedness (Cooper 2008).

When interviewing people the article’s findings were accurate in terms of their feelings of media ethics as well. One student in particular said, “As a Communications student I know that the news and many sources are bias. I feel like I try my best to never fully believe every source until I learn different aspects of a story.” This response coincides with data from Cooper’s article when it discusses that 60% of news organizations are politically biased (Cooper 2008). Based off of the article and the interview conducted it is accurate to understand that the public views the media as biased and untrustworthy.

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For example, within the case study chosen, journalist Stephen Glass revealed that as many as half of his articles were fabricated or made up in some way. He wrote groundbreaking articles for both The New York Times and The New Republic. When discussing this article with the interviewee’s they each had similar responses and feelings. In regards to Glass’s actions one answered, “This is why I rarely trust articles or the news.” Another stated, “After hearing about this story I think Glass is a perfect example of how one person can ruin the reputations of others. I think journalism is great and can be really honest but things like fabrication make it hard for people to trust many stories.”

These quotes also relate to the findings within Cooper’s article that one of the biggest concerns was plummeting news credibility. The data states that journalistic credibility and trust in the media were at first incrementally and later substantially eroded (Cooper 2008). Therefore, stating that the public’s opinion of news credibility has only decreased as time has gone by. Within the case study of Stephen Glass the article depicts “Every name, every company, virtually every single solitary detail—except Glass’s own byline—had been a product of the young man’s imagination” (Bissinger 1998).

Ultimately, it is mind-blowing to think that the people we hold responsible to deliver truthful news stories lack the honesty and integrity to do so. Just as Cooper’s article describes the lack of trust in journalists, the findings suggest that there are escalating concerns such as the erosion of press credibility. The accumulation of responses within the interviews also support the overall feeling that the public has little trust in news outlets and do not necessarily trust those in charge of those responsibilities. In response to the case study and media ethics overall one person stated, “I feel that the only way we can trust our media outlets is if we challenge them and create a balanced system.” Overall, it seems very evident that people perceive media ethics to be something that should be utilized highly within different fields of communications and the media. However, it is imperative that the public begins to trust the media outlets and the decisions that are being made throughout articles and the way they conduct their research.

References:

Bissinger, B. (1998, September 1). Shattered Glass. Retrieved February 24, 2015, from http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/1998/09/bissinger199809

Cooper, T. (2008). Between the Summits: What Americans Think About Media Ethics. Journal Of Mass Media Ethics, 23(1), 15-27. doi:10.1080/08900520701753106

Rosin, H. (2014, November 1). Hello, My Name Is Stephen Glass, and I’m Sorry. Retrieved February 24, 2015, from http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120145/stephen-glass-new-republic-scandal-still-haunts-his-law-career

My Philosopher: Philippa Foot

OBIT-FOOT-popup

Philippa Foot was born on Oct. 3,1920, in Owston Ferry, Lincolnshire and grew up in Kirkleatham, in North Yorkshire. Philippa went to Somerville College, where she studied philosophy, politics and economics and earned her bachelor’s degree in 1942. Just four years later, after receiving her bachelor’s degree she got her master’s degree and started to teach at Somerville in 1947. She was also a philosophy professor at the University of California, Los Angles until 1991 where she then retired.

Foot was highly influenced by philosophers such as R. M. Hare and Charles L. Stevenson. These philosophers’ moral ideas involved maintaining that moral statements were expressions of attitude and emotion. They believed this because they felt that these statements could not be deemed true or false in the same way factual statements could be. After being highly influenced by these philosophers, Foot began to argue about the interconnectedness of facts and moral understandings. In her argument she insisted that virtues such as courage, wisdom and temperance are essential to human life and the foundation of morality. Foot’s research and study on this subject contributed to the concept of virtue ethics. Foot also opposed deontology, utilitarianism and consequentialism. More importantly, Foot disagreed with arguments that free will requires determinism and more specifically that one could not be held responsible for “chance” actions chosen for no reason. She wrote,

To say that a man acted freely is, it is often suggested, to say that he was not constrained, or that he could have done otherwise if he had chosen, or something else of that kind; and since these things could be true even if his action was determined it seems that there could be room for free will even within a universe completely subject to causal laws. (The Philosophical Review, vol LXVI, (1957), p.439).

On the other hand, Foot also argued against the argument that everything happens by chance or because it is determined.

One of Philippa Foot’s most famous works is called the Trolley experiment. The experiment entailed a runaway trolley that is coming quickly down railroad tracks. Beyond the tracks are five people tied up unable to move. There are options in the experiment if you pull a lever you are able to switch the trolley to a different track, however there is one person on that different set tracks.

Untitled

https://birdgei.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/2.jpg?w=620&h=484

In regards to Philippa Foot’s argument, the ways in which she defended her argument and opposed other’s arguments is valid. The statement that courage and wisdom are important to morality is justifiable. For instance, in life everyone is faced with hard decisions whether they are easy or hard to make. Virtue ethics is used in day-to-day life as individuals begin to make decisions, which later shape them for their future. Every decision he or she makes will allow them to inform further decisions and to grow as a human being. Foot’s trolley experiment is an occurrence that can happen in everyday life. For example, when you make a decision to harm one person and not a group of people, however at the end of the day you are still responsible for that one person injured. It is very true that in life emotions and morals such as courage and wisdom need to come into play in order for an individual to grow and transform.

Work Cited:

Grimes, W. (2010, October 9). Philippa Foot, Renowned Philosopher, Dies at 90. Retrieved February 14, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/us/10foot.html?_r=0 https://philosophynow.org/issues/41/Philippa_Foot

Philippa Foot. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2015, from http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/foot/

Philosopher’s Toolkit: The Trolley Problem. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2015, from http://www.philosopherstoolkit.com/the-trolley-problem.php

Schneider, R. (n.d.). Philippa Foot. Retrieved February 14, 2015, from https://philosophynow.org/issues/41/Philippa_Foot

My Philosopher: Philippa Foot

OBIT-FOOT-popup

Philippa Foot was born on Oct. 3,1920, in Owston Ferry, Lincolnshire and grew up in Kirkleatham, in North Yorkshire. Philippa went to Somerville College, where she studied philosophy, politics and economics and earned her bachelor’s degree in 1942. Just four years later, after receiving her bachelor’s degree she got her master’s degree and started to teach at Somerville in 1947. She was also a philosophy professor at the University of California, Los Angles until 1991 where she then retired.

Foot was highly influenced by philosophers such as R. M. Hare and Charles L. Stevenson. These philosophers’ moral ideas involved maintaining that moral statements were expressions of attitude and emotion. They believed this because they felt that these statements could not be deemed true or false in the same way factual statements could be. After being highly influenced by these philosophers, Foot began to argue about the interconnectedness of facts and moral understandings. In her argument she insisted that virtues such as courage, wisdom and temperance are essential to human life and the foundation of morality. Foot’s research and study on this subject contributed to the concept of virtue ethics. Foot also opposed deontology, utilitarianism and consequentialism. More importantly, Foot disagreed with arguments that free will requires determinism and more specifically that one could not be held responsible for “chance” actions chosen for no reason. She wrote,

To say that a man acted freely is, it is often suggested, to say that he was not constrained, or that he could have done otherwise if he had chosen, or something else of that kind; and since these things could be true even if his action was determined it seems that there could be room for free will even within a universe completely subject to causal laws. (The Philosophical Review, vol LXVI, (1957), p.439).

On the other hand, Foot also argued against the argument that everything happens by chance or because it is determined.

One of Philippa Foot’s most famous works is called the Trolley experiment. The experiment entailed a runaway trolley that is coming quickly down railroad tracks. Beyond the tracks are five people tied up unable to move. There are options in the experiment if you pull a lever you are able to switch the trolley to a different track, however there is one person on that different set tracks.

Untitled

https://birdgei.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/2.jpg?w=620&h=484

In regards to Philippa Foot’s argument, the ways in which she defended her argument and opposed other’s arguments is valid. The statement that courage and wisdom are important to morality is justifiable. For instance, in life everyone is faced with hard decisions whether they are easy or hard to make. Virtue ethics is used in day-to-day life as individuals begin to make decisions, which later shape them for their future. Every decision he or she makes will allow them to inform further decisions and to grow as a human being. Foot’s trolley experiment is an occurrence that can happen in everyday life. For example, when you make a decision to harm one person and not a group of people, however at the end of the day you are still responsible for that one person injured. It is very true that in life emotions and morals such as courage and wisdom need to come into play in order for an individual to grow and transform.

Work Cited:

Grimes, W. (2010, October 9). Philippa Foot, Renowned Philosopher, Dies at 90. Retrieved February 14, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/us/10foot.html?_r=0 https://philosophynow.org/issues/41/Philippa_Foot

Philippa Foot. (n.d.). Retrieved February 12, 2015, from http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/foot/

Philosopher’s Toolkit: The Trolley Problem. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2015, from http://www.philosopherstoolkit.com/the-trolley-problem.php

Schneider, R. (n.d.). Philippa Foot. Retrieved February 14, 2015, from https://philosophynow.org/issues/41/Philippa_Foot