CSE 175: SOCIAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Midterm Examination, 13 February 2001

You may write answers on this sheet or in a blue book; be sure to write your name on what you hand in.
  1. [64 pts] After each phrase write the letter of the definition that most closely matches its meaning. You will be graded +4 for each correct answer and -4 for each incorrect answer, with possible partial credit for close answers.

    phrase answer definition
    1. reification   a. maximizing a measure of value
    2. technological determinism   b. the study of the good
    3. the categorical imperative   c. evolve together
    4. normative theory   d. a most typical example
    5. holistic   e. viewed as a single entity
    6. actant   f. society is an autonomous force on technology
    7. acausal   g. tells how things should be
    8. anthropomorphism   h. forming into an entity
    9. causal presupposition   i. what some group believes
    10. hagiography   j. act as you want others to act
    11. science wars   k. not having a cause
    12. methodological relativism   l. having a cause
    13. constructivism   m. something that acts
    14. infrastructural inversion   n. assigning human qualities to non-humans
    15. prototype   o. mutual criticism between sciences and humanities
    16. ethics   p. not involving causality
        q. stories of heroes
        r. the construction of beliefs
        s. order of events is order of clauses
        t. technology is an independent force on society
        u. sociologists can't do better science than scientists
        v. narrative includes values
        w. order of events is order of causes
        x. unbounded ability to reason
        y. bounded ability to reason
        z. looking for hidden structure
        aa. emphasizing the supporting actants
        ab. the belief that reality is constructed

  2. [14pts] Give an example where negative effects might be attributed to technology. Briefly say why. Is this an example of technological determinism? Why?
     
  3. [12pts] Given a actor-network for some socio-technical system, briefly discuss how you would go about finding the values that are involved in its operation.
     
  4. [10pts] Briefly discuss the "say-do" problem - say what it is, and give at least one simple example involving information technology.

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