Unformatted text preview: I.B.2. David Parnas, “SDI: A Violation of Professional Responsibility” of Play Reagan mpeg Starts off with some Starts ethical principles that apply to all engineers and applied scientists and 1. Personal responsibility 1. Ultimately Ultimately it’s your name that goes on the documents documents 2. Part of your job is to consider the risk and benefits to society risk Why? Why? Because people will be affected by your product, system, drug, etc. your Not criticizing SDI on pacifist or political grounds political He He believes self-defense among nations is morally justified morally This isn’t a political hatchet-job His conclusion: It won’t work His He He looked at the proposals looking for ways to solve the major technical problems, but couldn’t find any that could be trusted be If the system couldn’t be trusted, then it If would not stop the arms race would Unique challenges of software design design
When designing hardware, one has the When hardware one following resources: following 1. Mathematical analysis 2. Case analysis 2. 3. Testing under realistic conditions 3. How these come into play in SDI How Mathematical Mathematical analysis isn’t applicable to computer code Since SDI was the only system of its kind, Since there was very limited case history there Realistic testing meant a simulated nuclear Realistic war war Some of the technical issues Some The 90% Rebuttal The Loose Coordination Rebuttal Rationalizations Rationalizations Others Others agreed with Parnas that the system wouldn’t work, but wanted to accept the money anyway for some “greater good” “greater Advancement of computer science, etc. Treating the customer merely as a means What about the new missile defense program? defense
Dear Dr. Parnas, As you probably know, your "SDI: A Violation of As Professional Responsibility" is often used in engineering and/or computer science ethics courses. I teach such a course here at SVSU. My students and I have a question. How applicable are your criticisms of the old SDI program to the new missile defense proposals in the news today? Prima facie, many of your key points carry over, especially those concerning testing and reliability. On the other hand, their might be relevant differences between the approaches with which I am not aware. Would you mind briefly commenting on this? Would Best wishes, Jeff Koperski Answer Answer
I believe that all of the issues I raised at that time are valid believe today. Moreover, the limited nature of the plan introduces new problems. Nobody would have trusted SDI and nobody could trust this one either. SDI
Prof. David Lorge Parnas, P.Eng. Prof. Director of the Software Engineering Programme Director Department of Computing and Software Faculty of Engineering McMaster University, McMaster Hamilton, Ontario Canada L8S 4L7 Hamilton, Telephone: 905 525 9140 Ext. 27353 Telefax: 905 525 6246 email: [email protected] ...
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- Winter '09
- Software engineering, Strategic Defense Initiative, new missile defense, I.B.2. David Parnas, old SDI program