Frustrationwise and in terms of raw busy, this has been the worst weekend of my entire semester. Application deadline for MOST (Ministry of Sci & Tech) grants is once again near, so had to finish that up and try for my Ethical Researcher Scout badge from them. This involves reading through 19 chapters of random facts and taking an exam that you must pass having missed no more than 4 questions. (I keep missing 5 or more for reasons soon to be explicated). They say it’s only 6 hrs, but here’s a case where time really is relative and subjective. The contents of those 19 chapters are about 50% idiotic information every college sophomore should know, and 50% arbitrary facts about what they call “ethical science” and regulations/laws for copyright infringement. I get questions like the following:
The right answer is 3, but you probably wouldn’t know it if you hadn’t been indoctrinated into their belief system over the past 3 hours. You see, there isn’t anything about “emotional release” in the text, however, they did supply us with this convenient illustration explaining what that privacy business is all about:
Pretty arbitrary stuff but I’d be lying if I denied the perverse pleasure I’ve taken in “mastering” this whacko ethical info system from the MOST. I just tell myself someone took the Kevin Walker approach to ethics, making it a set of tables and rules to memorize so your lvl 64 Paladin can make killer savings throws every turn in AD&D. I fail my ethics savings throws when encountering questions like these:
Now isn’t the right answer, 2, just saying that these two profs did research on the same topic, got together and co-authored two separate papers? My answer, 1, was given because I’d think re-writing someone else’s work and listing them as a co-author would automatically be considered unethical, but that’s just me. Careless wording in English combined with the arbitrariness of the content is what academic ethics is about:
This example captures the spirit of the whole exam: not only arbitrary, but they do not consistently translate the official names of these so-called “ethics norms.” Why wife saw these and was like “why don’t you just take it in Chinese, probably a lot easier to understand?” I thought about that too but the problem is, once you begin using one language it doesn’t allow you to switch to the other. Plus I read the “textbook” chapters in English so it would be like starting over and wasting even more of life!
To be cont’d.