HSSC 213. Summer Session 1, 1998
Perspectives on Technological Revolutions
We will meet twice a week in 392 Logan Hall. Attendance at all class meetings is compulsory and will be recorded. Because the course is taught intensively, each of these meetings represents a weeks work for a normal course, and will have its own readings and assignments. Each meeting will include opportunity for discussion as well as lecture material, so it is vital that you prepare for it thoroughly and do all the assigned readings. An average of about 150 pages of reading will be set for each meeting. A portion of the discussion mark will be available for each session, so you should aim to make some contribution to as many as possible.
The course is organized around teamwork. Students will work in groups of three people to produce a web-site dealing with the issues raised in the course. This web-site will include multimedia elements such as pictures and video-clips. However, credit will primarily be awarded for clear presentation, good writing, powerful story telling, selection of evidence and the coherent presentation of interesting arguments. This is not primarily a technical exercise.
Time will be scheduled in a computer lab for group work and meetings. Technical assistance will be available, so any students unfamiliar with particular computing skills need not be handicapped. Work on the project will begin early in the course and continue throughout. Teams will meet briefly with the instructors to discuss progress. To ensure fair distribution of credit, each individual team members will submit his or her own report on the work of the group.
Students will also take part in a personal presentation. Details for this assignment announced later, but considerable choice and flexibility will be offered. Each student will present the results of their work (presentations to last 15-20 minutes) which will then discussed by the class. All assignments will involve some kind of research on a topic related to the class. Examples include learning how to program an early microcomputer and producing a simple demonstration program, research on press coverage of the introduction of the VAX minicomputer, and an exploration of the controversy over the attempt of the Computer Decency Act to impose censorship on the Internet. Multimedia and computer facilities may be used in these presentations.
There will be no final examination or final paper.
Course Credit to be distributed as follows:
Books To Buy:
The following are available for purchase as House of Our Own books, 3920 Spruce Street (222 1576). Other readings will be made available on paper in the HSS Lounge (3rd Floor, Logan Hall) and as hyperlinks from the course web page.
Seminar and Reading Schedule:
a: Technological Revolutions
b: Course Mechanics and Introductions.
a: ENIAC and the Giant Brains
Computer, chapters 1, 3 & 4 (pages 9-28, 53 -104)
Eniac Press Release - February 16, 1946.
W. Barkley-Fitz, "The Women of Eniac", in Annals of the History of Computing 18:3 (1996). pp. 13 23.
Edward Callis Berkley. Giant Brains: Machines That Think (NY: New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1949), pages 180-195.
b: FILM Dr. Strangelove
a: Computers Enter the Corporation (T)
Computer, chapters 2, 5 & 6 (pages 29-52 and 105-153)
COMPARISON: The Telegraph, the File.
b: SAGE and Whirlwind (A)
Computer, chapter 7 (pages 157-181)
Paul Edwards, The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996), Chapter 3, "SAGE"
GROUP PROJECTS AGREED
a: Silicon Valley and Route 128
Computer, chapter 9 (pages 207-229)
T.A. Wise, "I.B.M's $5,000,000,000 Gamble," Fortune (Sept. 1965)
b: The Minicomputer Culture
The Soul of a New Machine. (Entire book)
a: Loving the Machine: The Much Discussed MIT Hackers
Hackers, Chapters 1-4
Sherry Turkle, "Hackers: Loving the Machine for Itself" from The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1984) Chapter 6.
COMPARISON: Radio - Susan Douglas, "Popular Culture and Populist Technology," in Inventing American Broadcasting (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), Chapter 6.
b: Spreading the Dream in Southern California
Hackers, Chp 5.
Video Extract: Revenge of the Nerds (PBS). Also check out its web site.
COMPARISON: Counterculture Revolution (From FILM: Berkley in the 60s).
PROJECT CHECK-IN ONE
a: The Information Society
Evans, Christopher. The Micro Millennium, Viking, 1979. Pages 72-175 and 236-262
b: Telecommuting and the Network Society
Winner, Langdon. "Mythinformation", from Winner, Langdon. The Whale and the Reactor, University of Chicago Press, 1986.
COMPARISON: Steam and the Industrial Revolution. Kranzberg, Melvin. "The Information Age", in Tom Forester, Computers in the Human Context, MIT Press, 1991. Pages 19-32.
Nilles, Jack. "Teleworking from Home", in Tom Forester, The Information Technology Revolution, MIT Press, 1985. Pages 202-208.
Forester, Tom. The Myth of the Electronic Cottage in Tom Forester, Computers in the Human Context, MIT Press, 1991. Pages 213-227.
a: The Home PC
Accidental Empires: Chapters 4-5, 7-10
b: The New Paradigm for Education: Logo
Seymour Papert, "Computers for Children" in Tom Forester, The Information Technology Revolution, MIT Press, 1985. Pages 229-241.
Alison Bass, 'Computers in the Classroom" in Tom Forester, Computers in the Human Context, MIT Press, 1991. Pages 237-247
Donald Ely and Tjeerd Plomp, "The Promise of Educational Technology: A Reassesment" Tom Forester, Computers in the Human Context, MIT Press, 1991. Pages 248-261.
PRESENTATION: Stefani - Papert and Educational Computing
PROJECT CHECK-IN TWO
a: FILM: Wargames
b: Teens in Peril: Hackers, Videogames and Popular Culture
Stone, Allucquere Rosanne. "The End of Innocence, Part I" in The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Machine Age, MIT Press, 1995. Pages 123-155.
Hackers, chapters 17 and 18. (Rest of section III is optional).
"Noted and Notorious Hacker Feats", 20th Anniversary Feature, Byte, September 1995. Also online.
Landreth, Bill ("The Cracker") with Howard Rheingold, "Out of the Inner Circle: A Hacker's Guide to Computer Security", Microsoft Press, 1985. Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 4. (pages 1-24, 57-72)
Markoff., John "A Most-Wanted Cyberthief is Caught in His Own Web", The New York Times, 16th February 1995. (Front page, main section).
Hafner, Katie. "Kevin Mitnick, Uplugged (Computer Hacker)", Esquire 124 (August 1995), p 80-89.
Oder, Norman. "Cybercrime - or hype?", Publishers Weekly 242 (Nov 27, 1995 - n48), page 28.
(OPTIONAL) Michelle Slatalla dn Joshua Quittner. Masters of Deception: The Gang That Rules Cyberspace, HarperCollins, 1995. Chapters 3, 5, 10, 12.
a: Life Online in the 80s (N)
From Hiltz, Starr Roxanne & Turoff, Murray. The Network Nation: Human Communication Via Computer, The MIT Press, 1993. (1st ed: Addison-Wesley, 1978). The Boshwash News - a collection of pages between chapters.
De Lacy, Justine. "The Sexy Computer", in Tom Forester, Computers in the Human Context, MIT Press, 1991. Pages 228-236. Originally published in The Atlantic, July 1987.
Mayer, Martin. "The Videotext Revolution", in Tom Forester, The Information Technology Revolution, MIT Press, 1985.
b: Neuromancer and the Invention of Cyberspace (T)
Gibson, William. Neuromancer.
WEB SITE ASSEMBLY BEGINS
Norberg, Arthur L. & Judy E. O'Neill, "Improving Connections among Researchers: The Development of Packet-Switching Computer Networks", from Transforming Computer Technology (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986). pages 153-196.
Spafford, Eugene H. "The Internet Worm Incident", in Rogue Programs, Viruses, Worms and Trojan Horses,(New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990), pages 203-227.
Winston, Brian. "The Illusion of Revolution", in Tom Forester, Computers in the Human Context, MIT Press, 1991. Pages 71-81.
a: Virtual Community (T)
NOTE: In keeping with our theme, all this session's readings are on-line.
Hafner, Katie. "The Epic Saga of the Well: The Worlds Most Influential Online Community (and its not AOL)". Wired, Vol 5.05, May 1995, 98-142. Read it on-line.
Turkle, Sherry "Virtuality and its Discontents: Searching for Community in Cyberspace," The American Prospect no. 24 (Winter 1996): 50-57 (http://epn.org/prospect/24/24turk.html).
Rheingold, Howard. "A Slice of My Life in My Virtual Community", in Ludlow, Peter (ed.) High Noon on the Electronic Frontier: Conceptual Issues in Cyberspace. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1996. 413-436. Read it on-line.
OPTIONAL: Jones, Steven G. "Understanding Community in the Information Age", in Cybersociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community, 1995, pages 10-36.
b: Totally Wired (T)
Coupland, Douglas. Microserfs (Regan Books: 1995), chapter 1 (pages 1-42) Read it on-line.
a: The Productivity Paradox (N)
Jeff Madrick. "Computers: Waiting for the Revolution", The New York Review of Books, March 26th 1998, pages 29-33.
Levy, Steve. "A Spreadsheet Way of Knowledge", in Tom Forester, Computers in the Human Context, MIT Press, 1991. Pages 318-326.
b: Final Presentations, Web-Site Unveiling