I found this book Be Good by accident at the library, and ever since I opened the book it is hard to put it down.
Why? Randy Cohen writes about challenging ethical dilemmas, exploring a wide range of issues, but cuts right to the core offering a clear recommendation with a delightful sense of humor.
No wonder about the humor.....he used to write for David Letterman.
BE GOOD is endless entertaining because of Cohen's acerbic wit and sense of humor but he doesn't drift from difficult topics. Chapters include: "Money, Love & Sex, Community, School, Religion, Work, Arts, and Community." That was just a few that I read first. There are many more chapter topics.
If you read ASK Harriete, you'll know that I have been discussing ethical issues within the art and craft community. It isn't easy to tease apart the tangle that new technologies are placing on our workbench. (Lots more to say about this in past and future posts.)
In the chapter about "Technology" Cohen is able to digest many of the issues into one sentence that resonated with me as a tool that I will keep forever:
"When You injure yourself, that is unfortunate; when you injure someone else, that is unethical."
Here is one quote from the "Community" chapter that applies to many ethical and legal issues in the arts and crafts community.
"To lead an ethical life requires us to empathize with other people and ask, 'What circumstances would induce a person to behave this way?' "
This is where discussing the legal and ethical issues and behavior needs to come to the surface, bubble up from the depth of private whispers, and become a construct for a health vibrant craft community. While giving people the benefit of the doubt that they did not understand the impact of their actions.....and then, discuss the ethical use of copyright materials.
- Use tutorials and instructional materials for what they were intended….. your personal use.
- Do not copy, distribute or share tutorials or instructional materials unless you wrote the content.
- Do not sell or exhibit work derived from tutorials, workshops, or books.
- Teach only materials for which you are qualified Master, not an imposter.
- Be more specific about how books, tutorials and information are to be used ethically and legally.
The ethical and legal problems surfacing are not just limited to one media. I
have heard stories for years, but often lacked the tools for how to address the issues. That is what I think is so helpful about reading Be Good and practice discussing ethics.
The problems are growing exponentially with the Internet and digital technologies. While the issues/solutions are rarely black and white, there are definitely ethical boundaries that we should not cross in our "desire for attention" or "carelessness, provided no one will notice."
"These serious issues pervade the craft community.
But too often the elephant in the room is an unspoken concern of being
ostracized by one's own community for being outspoken despite the
honesty. We should not be afraid to discuss difficult topics."
I highly recommend reading the book "BE GOOD."