M9 – Liam Cassell



After reviewing the Hawthorne Studies video, for this week’s Class Discussion, what, if any, has been your experience with the Hawthorne effect on a job?

I tend to do my best work when I don’t have someone looking over my shoulder. I feel as though whoever is watching me is trying to micromanage me. I find that if someone is micromanaging me, I am less likely to want to do a good job because I perceive it as their work not my own. So, in these terms the when I feel I am being watched I am less productive. This is due to me feeling like I can’t make something that is mine. Personally, when I can take ownership over something, I get invested and do a better job. In this regard this the Hawthorne Effect has the opposite impact on me as it did on the people in the video.


Describe a supervisor who inspired and motivated you — what were their characteristics or actions that made such a positive impact?

I worked at McDonalds when I was about 16 to buy my first car. I had a boss that really help motivate me to do a good job. He was super charismatic and always cheerful. He was always happy to see his employees and would always make sure to let them know they are doing a good job. When someone would mess up, he would never lose his temper. Instead he would give constructive criticism and would help them out to make sure they know how to do it properly next time. This helped motivate the team to work harder and really improved morale. He also treated me as an equal and as a teenager that respect was something, I desired from adults but never really got. All of these things made him a really good boss.

M7 – Liam Cassell

Research and find an alternative/opposing point of view to Climate Change as proposed in the Introduction.  

An article written  by  Matt Ridley and published by The Spector has some different  ideas on global warming then what was presented  in the book [1]. In “Why climate change is good for the world’ Matt Ridley argues why climate is  a good thing. His main arguments are as follows:  fewer winter deaths, lower energy costs, better agricultural yields, probably fewer droughts, and maybe richer biodiversity. The crux of most of his arguments is that since  carbon monoxide help plants grown the rising CO2 levels will provide better condition to grow plants. This in return will help bring down the cost in money and energy to produce our food which would be a huge benefit. There were more ideas presented in this article and it is an interesting read even if I don’t  agree with all of them.    


The traditional business attitudes toward the environment that have encouraged environmental degradation and resource depletion.  

I would argue that  traditional business attitudes  do not encourage  environmental  degradation  but rather does not reward  environmental  conservation. Meaning companies  can get more money from being less eco-friendly, but given the chance to gain or save money they would be more eco-friendly. This can be seen in investments in energy efficient  technologies. As well as  companies  changing their  regulations to obtain tax breaks and other  government subsidies. This why we should encourage  funding for  research and government programs that are involved in these  entities.      


Does nature have value in itself?  

Nature does have a price since you can pay money to obtain some nature. This can either be in the form of buying land or spending money on a trip to Alaska to get the experience the wild. Due to this yes nature does have value.    


Lastly, as you read through Chapter 7, answer this question: Who should pay the cost for protecting the environment — those responsible for causing the pollution or those who stand to benefit from protection and restoration. Explain your position.  

Everyone  is  responsible for the environment. From boy scouts I learned I should leave nature as I found it and only take pictures. I fully believe this think that everyone should be held accountable. Therefore, everyone should be responsible for the cost because we have all added to the problem in one way or another.    

[1] Ridley, Mike. “Do the Benefits of Climate Change Outweigh the Costs?’                        RealClearScience,www.realclearscience.com/blog/2018/06/19/do_the_benefits_of_climate_change_outweigh_the_costs.html.  


M6 – Liam Cassell

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new law set in the EU to regulate how companies collect and store the data of the EU citizens [1]. This regulation was implemented to protect EU citizens from companies abusing the data  the collected from their users. The reason the GDPR was implemented is due to egregious business practices such as the Facebook Data scandal in 2018. It was found that Facebook was collecting data and sharing it with advertising companies that was not specifically stated in their terms and services [2].   Some of the data was collected were from the private messages of the Facebook users. Advertisers would then send targeted ads to the people who the data belonged to. Facebooks also shared the data with such companies as Google, Yahoo, Netflix, and others who also collected data on their users. This led to Facebook benefiting from the shared pool of data by targeting their users with advertisements for their paid services. This is just one of the many examples of why regulation such as the GDPR is needed to stop companies from using people’s data in egregious ways.  


[1] Palmer, Danny. “What Is GDPR? Everything You Need to Know about the New General Data Protection Regulations.’  ZDNet, ZDNet, 23 May 2019,  www.zdnet.com/article/gdpr-an-executive-guide-to-what-you-need-to-know/.  

[2]  Blumenthal, Eli. “Facebook’s Latest Privacy Scandal: What We Know about the Company’s Handling of User Data.’  USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 19 Dec. 2018,  www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2018/12/19/facebooks-latest-privacy-scandal-what-we-know-now/2361257002/.  


M2-(Liam Cassell)

While reading about the key concepts in this chapter I could not help but think about the political landscape that the USA is in right now. It seems there are two groups of people who don’t share the same ethical beliefs. The Right seems to have more of an Egoism/ Utilitarianism view. Whereas, the Left hosts more of a Noconsquesnatlaist school of thought. A good example of this would be the proposed Pebble Mine and its negative impact on the Native Alaskans in that region. A lot of Republican’s argue that the resulting jobs and boost to the state’s economy would greatly benefit the majority of the people in the state. This would cause a lot more happiness for the entire state and would outweigh the slight against the indigenous people because they are just a fraction of the state populous. However, the Left would argue that there is a moral law to not have a negative impact on the Native Alaskans way of life. They believe that we as a state have an obligation to uphold this moral law no matter how much potential growth there is for the state’s economy. These arguments reflect the ethical reasoning mentioned expressed the book and have affected many people in Alaska including myself.

M1 (Cassell)

I believe that peoples morality come from a drive to fit into a culture. Something that the book mentioned was conformity. This is the driving force behind people wanting to fit into a group of people. I was watching a video once online that shared some interesting ideas that social norms and peoples desires to conform to social norms is built into our DNA. The video explained that in our evolution development we as a species had adapted a survival instinct to confirm to these norms as to be part of the group or tribe. If one of the members did not conform to the social norm, they would be cast out of the tribe and their chances of survival would go down drastically. Because of this we have a biological driving force to conform to social norms. We feel this in the forms of emotions such as embarrassment and shame. In my personal experience, these are the emotions I feel when I do something I perceive as immoral. Now the morals of one culture differ from the next and people learn and perceive their morality from their respective culture. But my belief is we are biologically driven to be moral creatures because we have a unique desire to conform to social norms because we want to be part of the tribe.