Computers and Society 01 - Course Overview

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Presentation for COMP 3309 (Computers and Society), a third-year course in our CIS degree. This presentation provides a quick overview of the themes and approach used in the course.

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Computers and Society 01 - Course Overview

  1. 1. What is this course about?A study of the relationship between informationtechnology and the rest of society and its individuals.
  2. 2. Specific Topics include:Thinking about TechnologyThi ki b tT h lHistorical Context of ComputerizationPrivacy and SurveillanceP i dS illCommunityIntellectual PropertyI t ll t l P tFree SpeechIdentityId tit and Virtuality d Vi t litWork and Economics
  3. 3. Classic/ACM Approach to This Type of Course:Learn some evaluative ethical approaches(e.g.,(e g utilitarian vs universalist)Use these ethical approaches toevaluate and judge various high-techissues.
  4. 4. You’re bad!(i.e.(i you have been engaging i morally wrong h b i in lltechnological practice).
  5. 5. public void TeachSocialIssuesCourse() { EthicalTheories[] ethics = TeachRulesOfEthicalEvaluation(); foreach (SocialIssue issue in issuesList) { Impacts[] impacts = ArticulateSocialImpacts(issue); EthicallyEvaluateImpacts(issue, impacts, ethics); } TeachProfessionalCodes();}
  6. 6. This algorithmic approach and the g ppunderstanding of the relationship betweensociety and technology that it is groundedupon has some real limitations and may infact give our students an impoverishedunderstanding of the social issues ofcomputation.
  7. 7. Impact Approach toComputers and SocietyIn this approach, technologyis an independent force …
  8. 8. … and the social world is“impacted” by thetechnology.
  9. 9. The whole "impacts" approach is impactsextremely flawed from a socialtheory point of view.It is also ethically irresponsible as wellin that it ultimately inculcates a kind ofpowerless passivity towardstechnology.
  10. 10. My Approach toComputers andSocietyInitial course focus will beon examining a variety ofways of thinking abouttechnology.
  11. 11. Part of the initial focus will also be onhistory and context.
  12. 12. We will be opening up the boxof technological practices forunderstandingandinterrogating the assumptionswe b i bring to those practices. h i
  13. 13. Part of that process will be ausing displaced practices suchas paper readingandhand-written journaling.

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