Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Samuel Morse as well as #57 Acts and Omissions

Morse is significant in the evolution of the modern age. I read a little about Samuel Morse in recent IET Journal such that I wanted to find out more.
Dah Dah Dit
When I worked in BT Tower central London I used to often pass one of those blue plaques commemorating the fact that Morse had lived there -I think from this I thought he was a 'Brit' (he was in fact an American), I also thought he was an Engineer (in reality he was more of a painter).
What I learnt from the IET article was that he missed news of his wife's illness and subsequent death through his travels and lack of effective communication. I also learnt that as he was not an 'engineer' he worked with others.
Have a look at the timeline of his life here - I find it inspiring to learn what he achieved and did - although he did not invent the 'Telegraph' his name is inextricably linked with it and before radio enabled the capture of a murder (Dr Crippen) Morse code had already done this when John Tawell was captured with the help of Telegraphy.

 And Idea number 57 concerns Acts and Omissions

Many say that it is not what they did in life that they regret but what they didn't - the sin of omission.
In Philosophy there are two groups (for consideration of this 'idea') they are consequentialists and deontologists.
So deontologists are concerned with following rules (e.g. Thou Shalt not Kill) consequentialists worry more about the outcomes and could in some cases ignore the rules - e.g. perhaps an instance where a single killing causes ultimately less deaths.
 If you look here you might be able to see that there are downsides to both approaches and here's a video giving some pointers to the two approaches