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

Week Two: The Internet of Long Ago

Tuesday, September 5th

    • Read: The Victorian Internet Tom Standage (Chp 4-8, pages 56-144)
    • Reading Notes:
      • Define: Transatlantic Telegraph, “make muskets into candlesticks,” congestion, William Storey
      • Write: make a list of what you take to be the three most positive effects of the telegraph and the three most negative. You should write a few sentences on each justifying your choices.
    • Here is a guide and sample for Reading Notes.  (The notes say “COM 473” ignore that part, as they are from a previous class that was “473” but the rest is accurate.)

Thursday, September 7th

    • Read: The Victorian Internet Tom Standage (Chp 9-Afterward, 144-217)
    • Reading Notes:
      • Define: New York Associated Press, Western Union, The Stock Market Ticker, “speaking telegraph”
      • Answer:
        • In the Epilogue and Afterward Standage updates the book for the changes in the Internet since he originally wrote it. The Afterward was written in 2007. Since that time there have already been significant changes. If you were to write a second Afterward for the book covering the Internet today what would you want to add?
        • Standage wants you to believe that the telegraph was the Victorian Internet, or the “first internet” in what ways to you find his argument persuasive, in what ways do you think his claims fall short?

By Monday the 11th (at noon) add to your notes 2 Cultural Determinist statements you have heard, and 2 Technological Determinist statements. Quote it as accurately as you can and supply the context (who said it, in what circumstances  etc.)

For Thursday (Week One)

For Thursday, August 31st:

  • First set up a Google Doc and share with dparry@sju.edu. Make the name of your document Your Name + COM 201.
  • Read: The Victorian Internet (Preface, Chp 1-4 . . .up to page 56)
  • Write the three most surprising/interesting/intriguing/important things you learned from the reading. Bring those to class.

Start of the Semester

This is the course website for COM 201: Ethics in Communication. Fall 2017. You can click the links up top for syllabus information or the schedule of classes.