Social Implications of Computing

CS 195, Spring 2018

Topics, Readings, and Assignments

Essay 1 is due 11:59pm Wednesday, 2/28.

The review period for Essay 1 has been extended. Reviews are due 11:59pm Friday, 3/9.

Sign up for Piazza.

For some of the linked readings you need to install the Berkeley VPN on your computer.

3/19 Free Time and Attention

Complete the Free Time and Attention by 2pm Monday ( login required).

Twenge, "Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?"

Becker, Rachel, "Why calling screen time 'digital heroin' is digital garbage"

Tufecki, "Youtube, the Great Radicalizer"

Optional: Tufecki, "We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads"

Optional: Harris, "How better tech could protects us from distraction"

Optional: Lil B, "The Age of Information"

3/12 Government Censorship and Surveillance

Complete the Government Censorship and Surveillance by 2pm Monday ( login required).

Times Editorial Board, "No more secret surveillance technology in local law enforcement"

Rainie, Maniam "Americans feel the tensions between privacy and security concerns"

Kayyali, "FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance" and Gage, "What an Uncensored Letter to M.L.K. Reveals"

Grabmeier, "Why many Russians have gladly agreed to online censorship"

Gladwell, "The Outside Man" (Optional)

Foucault, "Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison" (Ultra optional)

3/5 Politics & Media

Complete the Politics & Media Survey by 2pm Monday ( login required).

Tufekci, "Zuckerberg's Preposterous Defense of Facebook"

Kolbert, "Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds"

Bertoni, "How Jared Kushner Won Trump The White House"

Garrett, Resnick, "Resisting Political Fragmentation on the Internet" (optional)

Smiley, "The College Kids Doing What Twitter Won't" (optional)

2/26 Memes

Complete the Memes Survey by 2pm Monday ( login required).

CGP Grey, "This Video Will Make You Angry"

Heath, Bell, Sternberg, "Emotional selection in memes: the case of urban legends" (required VPN or being on campus) - alternative link

Haddow, "Meme warfare: how the power of mass replication has poisoned the US election"

Optional: Shullenberger, "Mimesis, Violence, and Facebook: Peter Thiel's French Connection" (very weird/questionable read, but interesting)

2/19 Moral Philosophy (No class)

There is no survey and no class this week.

Video on Consequentialism.

Video on Virtue Ethics.

Videos by Paul Stearns (Blinn College), Kant's Morality part 1, Kant's Morality part 2 (optional).

Systems of Ethics Game (optional): Socrates Jones, Pro Philosopher

2/12 Finance

Complete the Finance Survey by 2pm Monday ( login required).

Hug, "A Stock Market Primer (draft)"

Uzzi, "How AI Machines Could Save Wall Street Brokers' Jobs"

Economist, "Machine learning promises to shake up large swathes of finance" (optional)

Maney, "Goldman Sacked: How artificial intelligence will transform wall street" (optional)

Complete the Copyright Survey by 2pm Monday ( login required).

Cardenas, "Patent vs. Copyright Protection for Computer Software" (very short, read first)

Stallman, "Misinterpreting Copyright"

Mullin, ""Your criticisms are completely wrong": Stallman on software patents, 20 years in"

Optional: Stallman, "The Dangers of Software Patents" (or watch Video)

Optional: Heckel, "Debunking the Software Patent Myths" (pro-patent piece)

1/29 Privacy

Complete the Privacy Survey by 2pm Monday ( login required).

Homayoun, "The Secret Social Media Lives of Teenagers"

Moody, "Can an Employee be Fired for Activities Outside the Workplace?"

Popken, "Sites Spying on You in Weird New Ways, Princeton Study Exposes"

Powazek, "I'm Not Tte Product, But I Play One on the Internet"

Rachels, "Why Privacy is Important" (optional, but interesting; VPN required)

1/22 Free Speech

In future weeks, readings will be required and there will also be a survey to fill out. For week 1, readings are optional and you can technically just show up cold, though it might be nice to have read the readings below for more context.

Optional: Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression

Optional: The History of Twitter's Rules