4.3 Possible solutions

According to Figure 7, our map of the problem-solving process, once we've defined the problem according to the need the next step is the creative bit – to look for 'possible solutions', Author(s): The Open University

4.3 Decimals

A decimal number is a different way of representing numbers smaller than one. You put them after a full stop (the decimal point), for instance 0.5. The first digit after the decimal point represents tenths. If you sliced a cake into 10 slices, each slice would be a tenth of the cake. So 0.5 is the same as saying 5 tenths, and can be written Author(s): The Open University

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Visible Cities: International Media Portrayals of Cities in the Global South [Audio]
Speaker(s): Dr Shakuntala Banaji, Dr Vandana Desai, Jamal Osman, Susan Parnell, Dr Scott Rodgers, John Vidal | As the world population urbanises, it is crucial that we critically examine how the media invites us to ""see"" cities. Visible Cities will bring together academics and journalists to critically examine the ways in which cities in developing countries are currently portrayed and consider alternatives. Dr Shakuntala Banaji is a lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications at th
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Bridge girders

Figures 11 and 12, below, are photographs of the bridge taken from the south and north banks of the firth.

The girders of the bridge were supported on a total of 85 piers. The first 14 piers were made from brick and masonry, built up as a solid structure. The rest were fabricated from iron on masonry platforms, and by comparison, appeared rather insubstantial (Author(s): The Open University

Rewable and Nonrenewable Energy and Energy Resources
This is another in the series of Blinding you with Science videos produced to assist elementary students with science concepts. In this episode Dr. Loopy and his friends look at renewable and non-renewable energy resources. Run time 30:00.
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3.1.1 (A) Science and certainty

Pupils should appreciate why much scientific knowledge, particularly that taught in school science, is well established and beyond reasonable doubt, and why other scientific knowledge is more open to legitimate doubt. It should also be explained that current scientific knowledge is the best that we have but may be subject to change in the future, given new evidence or new interpretation of old evidence.


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1 International human rights: an introduction

There are many examples of claims for rights in the international sphere.

One example was reported in September 2002. The British government was asked to make efforts to have a British man held by the Americans at Guantanamo Bay deported to Britain to face charges of terrorism there in connection with the attacks on 11 September 2001. Concerns were expressed about the denial of this man's human rights at Guantanamo Bay. Are alleged terrorists entitled to human rights? Can the denial of
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2.2 Fibre types

A strand of glass (or plastic, but the best performance comes from glass) has a core surrounded by a cladding, where the refractive index of the glass in the core is higher than that of the cladding (see the box on ‘Refractive index>’).

Light is contained within the core by
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4.4 Legitimacy vs rights

Another major theme in the play relates to the surveillance equipment. The general question about surveillance is raised as soon as we are told that the company is installing a system for that purpose. You might be inclined to think that the government is entitled to deploy a surveillance system because there are problems that need to be dealt with, somehow; perhaps you view the system as just a technological extension of the police. However, individuals too have rights, and this raises quest
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4.2 The good, the bad and the loyal

Activity 15

Read the script of the play Last Call by clicking on the link below. Jot down some ideas on the main issues, you feel, the play suggests.

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4.1 Introduction

The main resource for this section is the play Last Call by Mike Walker, the play that follows Call Waiting in the BBC Radio 4 series. This is a text rich in ethical issues, and, as you will see, these include not only ‘big’ questions (concerning, for example, the deployment and use of surveillance technologies) but, interestingly, everyday issues that you or I might face in our professional practice. This is, indeed, one of the reasons why I have chosen to explore this play
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3.5 The story so far

I have been discussing ethics as related to labelling things as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or using more parochial words as substitutes. Different kinds of things could be said to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’, including means, ends, relationships, feelings, appearances, radiation levels and so on. The big ethical problem is how to combine this variety of things to reach a judgement, especially when combining them, it is possible that we end up with ambiguity or contradictions. I have explored the
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3.2 Relationships and ethics

Activity 12

Read the script of the audio play Call Waiting attached below. Jot down some answers to the following questions:

  1. What is valued in the play?

  2. What a
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2.5 The story so far

I have now established an understanding of ‘ethics’ as something related with ‘good’ and ‘bad’. There are other derivative words like ‘optimal’ that might also be used, and there are parochial words which are related to particular communities. When we talk about ethics, we are liable to confront cultural differences that are reflected in differences in vocabulary. But there are other kinds of differences too. Things have different properties; for example, ‘appearance’ and
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2.3 Style and rhetoric

In the dialogues in Section 2.2, Plato, the author, is trying to point out convincingly the features of a ‘virtuous’ life and, therefore, offers templates for presenting a case with an ethical content.

In looking at the style of the dialogues, most of Protagoras is in the form of a narrative similar to something you might find in a novel, as I suggested earlier. Meno is much more like a play script, but it is noticeable that Meno (the character) mostly agrees with what
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2.1 Introduction

The first section introduced some basic ideas and vocabulary to get you started on thinking about ethics and ethical questions. In this section I would like to start using those ideas and vocabulary to tackle some examples taken from a selection of dialogues.

One of my reasons for focusing on dialogue is that dialogue is a written form of conversation. A crucial point about conversations is that they do not have to be logical. If a conversation comes to a halt, then someone starts on a
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1.8 ‘Ethics’, ‘ethical’ and authority

There is some confusion over the uses of the terms ‘ethical’ and ‘ethics’. Often people use the adjective ‘ethical’ to signal things that they would expect virtuous people to do. That is they use the word ‘ethical’ instead of ‘good’. Companies, institutions and even governments might claim to have ‘ethical’ policies. Probably such a policy declares the ideology. For example, saying that ‘sustainability is ethical’ may be part of an individual's ethic but it is a ta
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1.5 Reasons

One thing that reasons do is to provide explanations as to why someone acted in a certain way. If someone gives ‘wrong’ reasons, then doubts may arise about the quality of any deliberations undertaken by that person. So, ‘wrong’ reasons raise doubts concerning his or her future actions and the products of those actions. Quite a lot hinges on people's experiences of other people's judgements, so if someone's judgements seem to have given satisfactory results in the past, then we're inc
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5.14 Desalination

In many parts of the world, surface water or non-saline groundwater stocks are not adequate to satisfy the water demand. While one may immediately think of the Middle East as being one such area, it is less obvious that many islands (e.g. the Canary Isles, Madeira, the Channel Islands) also suffer the same problem. In such circumstances, people have been forced to consider the sea and brackish underground aquifers as water sources. To make these saline waters potable, the salt has first to be
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2.1 Introduction

The hydrological cycle, the continuous cycling of water between land, open water surfaces and the sea, either directly or indirectly, is an extremely complex process which has been known for a long time (Figure 1). The identifiable mechanisms of the cycle are complicated not only by the characteristics of air-water-land interfaces across which the cycle operates, but also by climatic factors which vary in both time and space. The various operations and mechanisms within the cycle are illustra
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