Second episode: AWESOME. The thesis that we have placed our faith in machines is far more substantiated in this episode than it was in the first. It discusses systems theory, ecology, communes as experiments in egalitarianism, and the possible illusions to be found in recent Internet-fueled political revolutions. It argues that nature -- which techno-utopians claim to model their ideas after -- is something that is not in balance or equilibrium but in constant, unpredictable flux due to the inevitable outside influence or missing variable. This episode is worth watching.
Not sure if I completely agree with the conclusions made about the Milgram experiment. I would agree that some element of "it was for the greater good" does come into play, but I don't think you can completely disregard the role of obedience to commands. The podcaster asserted that only the 4th prompt was a true command, and that the previous 3 were not commands. I would instead argue that there is no clear distinction between command and not-command here, but that each prompt is progressively more forceful.
The major bias in saying that not one person gave the shock after being commanded to do so (ie after being given the 4th prompt) is that the ONLY people who ever received the 4th prompt were people who had already disobeyed 3 strongly worded prompts asking them to give the shock.
So it seems to me that the only people who were ever given the 4th prompt were the participants who were most assertive in their moral stance. The people who were liable to follow commands against their better moral judgement had already caved at one of the earlier prompts, such as "the experiment requires that you continue."
Suggested answer: Loyalty in Oliver Twist is complicated. Nancy is, on the one hand, loyal to Fagin and Sikes, for which she pays her life, but she also betrays them, and it is this act of betrayal that makes her a moral character. Fagin’s boys are for the most part loyal to him, and Sikes’s dog is so loyal as to jump to its death after Sikes. Oliver does not always exhibit loyalty—he runs away from the Sowerberry’s, he does his best to desert Fagin—but he is eternally loyal to the characters with moral fiber. Loyalty is thus a virtue that is allowed to even the most base characters, but it is also not inherently a virtue—only when it is given to those who deserve it.