Monthly Archives: January 2015

Freedom and the internet

There are two parts to this assignment. Both parts are due by Wed, Feb 4th, by noon.

Part 1:

“Boing Boing co-editor and sci-fi author Cory Doctorow explains the idea behind his novel Little Brother, which he describes as “related” to George Orwell’s 1984 in that both explore similar themes of technology and control. Although Doctorow argues that Orwell may have underestimated the ability of technology to empower individuals, he warns that future technologies may allow governments more control over their citizens — and parents more control over their children — than ever before.”

Assignment: Watch the video and write a 300 word reflection piece. What’s one thing about which Doctorow strikes you as clearly right? What’s one thing about which you think he’s wrong? What’s one question you’re left with at the end? Give examples and reasons.

Part 2:

TED talk

Technoblogger, activist, and science fiction writer Cory Doctorow talks about three things: 1. The internet is broken. 2. We can fix it. 3. This is not a foregone conclusion.

Assignment: Watch the video and write a response piece explaining why he thinks the internet is broken and how we can fix it. On what does fixing it depend? 200 words.


Privacy, Technology and Ethics


What’s a moral operating system? Why do we need one? What are some of the options presented here? Give an example showing how they relate to privacy…
(max 500 words)

On privacy and shaming racists

What are the ethical issues involved in cyber shaming racists?
How is this related to concerns about privacy?
In the end do you think it’s morally permissible. Why/why not?

Write a response arguing for your point of view. Max 400 words.

Due Wed, Jan 21 by noon. You can leave your response here as a comment or in the OWL forum.

Peter Singer: ‘Ethical Issues in an Online World’

How has the internet changed our world for the better, for the worse? What are some of the ethical challenges that Singer identifies?

Write a 1 paragraph response to the Singer video either here as a comment on this post or in the OWL forum.

Due by next Wednesday, January 14, at noon.