Throughout the semester in our STS class, we’ve looked at how technologies can be tools for consciously implementing social ideals, but also how technologies can sometimes unwittingly be agents for forming or producing those ideals rather than just tools for implementing them.
The readings for this week ask you to consider the question of how technologies shape our social goals and behaviors. You will read articles on cybermobs and cyberbullying, from Anita Sarkeesian, to Adria Richards, to Violentacrez, to Anonymous. You will see both good and bad elements and outcomes, and have to think long and hard about the fine line between free speech and harassment, and between productive self-organizing of concerned citizens versus vigilante-ish mob behavior. You will be asked to consider the force that specific technologies exert in these cases, and how these cases connect up, ideologically, with uncomfortable instances of unchecked technological use by our government, such as in the case of drone warfare or the Stuxnet virus.
In class on Thursday I will ask each of you to play an active role in leading the discussion, so please keep this in mind as you write your your blog comment and please come to class prepared to share specific insights. This class will be about your ideas and the connections you’re making between various class materials.
In 500 words or less, discuss the connections between the items that I asked you to look at for this week, and connect at least one issue raised in these materials to a topic, idea, or theory that we’ve talked about this semester. At the end of your post, pose a discussion question or discussion topic for class on Thursday.
Comments are due Wednesday, April 17th by 5pm.