Week Six: Guinea Pigs

Tuesday, October 3rd

  • Read: “You Are the Product”
  • Listen: The Trust Engineers Radiolab Podcast
  • Keywords: “The Word ‘It’s'”, “Trust Engineers”,  nudge, attention
  • Questions:1 . What makes this type of research, in the podcast, different from other social science research that went on before the era of the internet? and before Facebook was involved?  What are the advantages/disadvantages of this type of research, should we be concerned about it?2. Lanchester is pretty critical of Facebook in his article, if we take Lanchester at his word (assume he is correct) what should we do about this problem? socially? legally? technologically?


Thursday, October 5th

  • Social Network Experiments (No work to prepare, just come to class)



Week Five: Socializing Online

Thursday, September 28th

  • We Live in Public
  • Keywords: “Quiet, We Live in Public,” Pseudo, “We Live in Public,” Apple Orchard.
  • Answer the following questions: 1. What most shocked or surprised you in the film, why? 2. What do you make of Josh?

Week Four: Bad News

Tuesday, September 19th
  • “The Internet Must Go”
  • No Key Words.
  • In two paragraphs (or so) explain what you take “Net Neutrality” to mean.
  • Finally make a list of people/institutions/interest groups/companies etc that would be for and against Net Neutrality
Thursday, September 21st
  • Black Mirror. “Nosedive” (Season 3 Episode 1) (Easiest way to watch this is on Netflix)
  • Zeynep Tufekci, “Social Media’s Small, Positive Role In Human Relationships”
  • Notes: No Key Words
  • In the Black Mirror episode we are provided with a distopian future. What parts of this imagined world relate to our own? Which parts do you find unrealistic?
  • Tufekci supplies an important corrective to the idea that socializing online is “fake”, in your experience as a high schooler/college student is her position accurate?

Week Three: How the Internet Works

Tuesday, September 12th


  • Define: Packet Switch, Circuit Switch, Arpanet, IP address.
  • Standage makes the claim (from last weeks reading) that the telegraph was the “Victorian Internet” these works above make a case that the internet is a fairly radical idea, different from the telegraph. According to the above readings what makes the internet different from the telegraph.
  • Remember that you should also post to your notes two examples of Techno-determinism, and two of cultural determinism.

Thursday, September 14th

  • No Class