CSE 175: Social and Ethical Issues in Information
Technology - Fall 2003
Assignments will normally be posted by Friday, due the next Wednesday, but
you should check this page frequently for updates. Most readings are in html
or pdf, but some are in postscript (with suffix "ps"). On Unix machines,
postscript can be viewed with ghostview; and on Windows machines with GSView;
you can view pdf files with acrobat.
- Due 1 October:
- Section 1, Section 2, and Section 3 of the course notes.
- Information and computer scientists as moral philosophers and social
analysts, by Rob Kling, in Computerization and Controversy,
ed. Rob Kling, pp. 32-38.
- Webpage on
Technological Determinism UK Technology Education Centre. You may also
enjoy browsing some of the other related material on this site.
- IT: Education Technology, Curriculum and
Assessment. This is a simple example of technological determinism
in an advertisement for a conference.
- Lecture Notes
on Technological Determinism, by Daniel Chandler, at the University
of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.
- Due 8 October:
- Section 4 of the course notes, and re-read Section 3.
- Effects of Technology on Family and
Community, by J.A. English-Lueck; a report on a study of the effects
of technology on family life in Silicon Valley. Also read the followup report from November 2000.
- Two news reports on the crash of EgyptAir flight 990, one on the American investigation and the other on Egyptian reactions.
- More Technology, More Expensive,
by an (anonymous!) lawyer, in the Summer 1998 issue of In Formation
Magazine discusses some effects of technology in law.
- Social Issues in Requirements
Engineering, from Proceedings, Requirements Engineering '93,
edited by Stephen Fickas and Anthony Finkelstein, IEEE Computer Society,
1993, pages 194-195. A brief classification and enumeration of some of the
social issues that arise in requirements engineering.
KJ Method; this was used in the headhunter case study to
classify evaluative material in stories, and hence determine values of the
- Read and think about the theory of narrative, especially the role of
values, as discussed in Notes on
Narrative, and the example and BNF formalization in The Structure of Narrative.
Sociobiology by C. George Boeree; a (somewhat opinionated) overview
of the field.
- Due 15 October:
- Section 5 of the course notes, and re-read Section 4.
- The seductive equation of technological progress with social
progress, by Rob Kling, in Computerization and Controversy,
ed. Rob Kling, pp. 22-25.
- B of A's plans for computer don't add up, by Douglas Frantz, in
Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob Kling, pp. 161-169.
- The UCSD Policy
on Integrity of Scholarship (from the "Academic Regularions" part of
the UCSD General Catalog - you will have to scroll down to find the
relevant section); and the official (at least, as of 1972) UCSD policy on
plagarism, Sources: Their Use and
- A course handout on student cheating by
Prof. Scott Baden, an email from Gary Gillespie to
CSE faculty, describing what he says to students in his classes about
cheating, and a related email from Scott Baden that
gives a faculty point of view.
- Due 22 October:
- Re-read Section 5 of the course notes (it is a bit
tricky, and it has changed).
- The ACM Code of
Ethics; also in Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob
Kling, pp. 878-888.
- Codes of professional ethics, by Ronald Anderson, Deborah
Johnson et al., in Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob Kling,
- Confronting ethical issues of systems design in a web of social
relationships, by Ina Wagner, in Computerization and Controversy,
ed. Rob Kling, pp. 889-902.
- Power in systems design, by Bo Dahlbom and Lars Mathiassen, in
Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob Kling, pp. 903-906.
- Computers as tools and social systems: the car-computer analogy,
by Rob Kling, in Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob Kling,
- Due 29 October:
- Section 6 of the course notes, except Section 6.2;
also review Section 5.
- How things (actor-net)work:
Classification, magic and the ubiquity of standards, by Geoffrey
Bowker and Susan Leigh Star. Although this paper may be difficult for many
of you, it is very interesting and very relevant; you should read it at least
twice. You may need some help with the actor-network theory, for which see
Section 6.1 of the class notes, and the paper Traduction / Trahison - Notes on ANT by John
Law, which is required reading for next week.
- Online Voting, by Gary
Chapman. An LA Times column on some difficulties with computer-based voting.
- Optional: The Nursing
Informatics website. You may want to browse this for more background
information on the case study of the Bowker and Star paper.
- Due 5 November:
- Section 7 of the course notes, except Sections 7.1
and 7.2.1; also review all of Section 6 except Section
- Traduction / Trahison - Notes on
ANT, by John Law, Univeristy of Lancaster. Some case studies
applying ANT, with some comparative discussion. (Originally from
- Technology as Traitor, a
fascinating case study of technology transfer, in which new information
technology in introduced in a large Norwegian company; by Ole Hanseth and
Kristin Braa, of the University of Oslo.
- Re-read How things (actor-net)work:
Classification, magic and the ubiquity of standards, by Geoffrey
Bowker and Susan Leigh Star; it is an important paper for this course.
- Please study for the midterm exam, which is scheduled for today.
- Due 12 November:
- Section 6.2 of the course notes.
- A Physicist Experiments with Cultural
Studies, by Alan Sokal, in Lingua Franca, vol. 4, May/June
1996, pp. 62-64.
Wrong with Relativism?, by Harry Collins, in Physics World, vol. 11, no. 4
- Review of Intellectual
Impostures, by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont (second edition).
To appear in the (London) Times Higher Education Supplement.
- Section 8 of the course notes, except Section 8.6;
also reread Section 7, especially sections 7.2 and
- The Market and the Net, by
Phil Agre. A dense but fascinating and important discussion of economic and
mythological theories about the internet.
- Chapters 1 and 2 of Essentials
of Economics: A Hypermedia Text by Roger McCain of Drexel University.
Chapter 1 provides background background for Chapter 2, The Neoclassical
Perspective, which is our main focus.
- The short Call for Papers: The Political
Economy of Convergence, by Colin Sparks, and Phil Agre's short Review of Institutions, Institutional
Change, and Economic Performance, by Douglass North.
- Due 24 November: Due to fires, holidays and exams, readings are delayed to
next week, but are more than usual.
- Re-read Section 8 of the course notes, especially
Section 8.3, including Section 8.6.
- Risk Management is where the Money
is by Dan Geer. A strong argument that risk is the key
issue for ecommerce, not security as such.
- Dan Tebbutt's Interview with
Andrew Odlyzko; the raw interview transcription is optional. Some
interesting economic arguments about quality of service on the internet.
Odlyzko argues that there is at most a minor role for ATM style protocols.
From an engineering viewpoint, the most interesting claim concerns the actual
statistical distribution of traffic on the internet vs. that expected by ATM
Preface to The Friction Free Economy by Ted Lewis, plus
an excerpt from and some advertising for
the book. Optionally, you may enjoy the 11 short sections entitled Alice in
Wired World by Ted Lewis (note that section 4. is empty - I think I
know why, and we may discuss this in class).
- DigiCash: Failure is
Interesting, by Felix Stadler, and also Editorial on Internet Businesses,
by Phil Agre (the included email by Robert Hettinga is optional -
interesting, but a bit ambiguous and full of technical business jargon); both
of these are about DigiCash, a failed online cash service, and both try to
put the failure into a larger social perspective.
- Chapter 3, Supply and
Demand, from Roger
McCain's webtext; this is a bit long and even repetative, so you may want
to skim parts. Section 8.3 of the class notes does a better job.
- Homesteading the
Noosphere and The Magic
Cauldron, by Eric
Raymond. These papers, plus The
Cathedral and the Bazaar, which is not required, try to explain how
and why open source development works; the discussion of gift culture, the
complexity agrument behind parallel debugging, the open source business
models, and the open source myths, are all interesting.
- Halloween II by Jamie
Love; this email includes URLs to two confidential Microsoft strategy
documents and commentaries on them, called the halloween documents;
the documents themselves are optional, but fascinating. The main topic is
Linux, but the economics and sociology of Open Source Software in general are
also discussed. The direct URL for these and many more very interesting
related documents (there are now 9 halloween documents) is www.opensource.org/halloween/,
but they are not required reading. The most recent one is Halloween
IX, on the SCO suits.
- Optional: Open source's threat to
Microsoft is growing and IBM
donates code to open-source project -- two recent updates on the
open source movement.
- Due 1 December:
- Section 5 of the CSE 275 course notes, on
sociology and history of science, and Section 9 of the
CSE 175 class notes, on some case studies, mainly to health care.
- Webpage on Descartes and
Mind/Body Dualism, by Serendip at Bryn Mawr. Read all six parts, of
which this is the first.
- An Outline of Descartes' thought
. Im not sure where this outline for some introductory philosophy
course is from, but it is mistaken in asserting that God is a substance for
Descartes. (Originally at http://clab.cecil.cc.md.us/faculty/PHL101/ivc1.)
- A Sketch of the Kuhnian Philosophy
of Science, by Silvio Chibeni. A brief summary of The Structure
of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn (Chicago, 1962).
- Objectivity, Value Judgment, and
Theory Choice, by Thomas Kuhn. This fills in some points that are
not so clear in Kuhn's book. Also, very short Clarification of Kuhn's definition of
"paradigm", by Cunningham.
- Profile: Reluctant
Revolutionary, by John Horgan, Scientific American, May 1991,
pp.40-49. An interview with Kuhn containing much pertinent information.
- Two short webpages on Giordano Bruno, one each by SETI and by
Wendt, plus a short webpage each on Sir Francis
Bacon and Thomas Hobbes Brief Biography
Line, and optionally, a
Biography with more on his mathematical works.
- Optional: The lyrics to Zero,
To CSE 175 homepage
Maintained by Joseph Goguen
© 2000, 2001, 2003 Joseph Goguen, all rights reserved
Last modified: Wed Nov 26 18:43:32 PST 2003