CSE 275: Social Aspects of Technology and Science - Fall 2003
Reading Assignments
Assignments will normally be posted by Saturday, due the next Thursday, 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.
  1. Due 2 October:
    1. Section 1, Section 2, and Section 3 of the course notes.
    2. Information and computer scientists as moral philosophers and social analysts, by Rob Kling, in Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob Kling, pp. 32-38.
    3. Webpage on Technological Determinism UK Technology Education Centre. You may also enjoy browsing some of the other related material on this site.
    4. IT: Education Technology, Curriculum and Assessment. This is a simple example of technological determinism in an advertisement for a conference.
    5. Lecture Notes on Technological Determinism, by Daniel Chandler, at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.
  2. Due 9 October:
    1. Section 4 of the course notes, and re-read Section 3 (it has been updated).
    2. 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.
    3. Two news reports on the crash of EgyptAir flight 990, one on the American investigation and the other on Egyptian reactions.
    4. More Technology, More Expensive, by an (anonymous!) lawyer, in the Summer 1998 issue of In Formation Magazine discusses some effects of technology in law.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
  3. Due 16 October:
    1. Section 5 of the course notes, and re-read Section 4 (it has been updated).
    2. KJ Method; this was used in the headhunter case study to classify evaluative material in stories, and hence determine values of the company.
    3. Webpage on Descartes and Mind/Body Dualism, by Serendip at Bryn Mawr. Read all six parts, of which this is the first.
    4. 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.)
    5. John Banville's review of The Magus, by James Gleick, from the Guardian.
    6. 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).
    7. Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice, by Thomas Kuhn. This fills in some points that are not so clear in Kuhn's book.
    8. Profile: Reluctant Revolutionary, by John Horgan, Scientific American, May 1991, pp.40-49. An interview with Kuhn containing much pertinent information.
    9. A Bayesian Critique of Statistics in Health, by Robert Matthews. A controversial discussion of statistical issues in medical research. Although the author's Bayesian stance is dubious, the reports about failed medical studies are significant.
    10. Sociobiology by C. George Boeree; a (somewhat opinionated) overview of the field.
  4. Due 23 October:
    1. 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 and Time Line, and optionally, a Biography with more on his mathematical works.
    2. Read carefully at least the homepage of the St Andrews website on Galileo.
    3. A very short Clarification of Kuhn's definition of "paradigm", by Cunningham.
    4. Optional: The lyrics to Zero, Connected, Empty.
    5. Section 6 of the course notes.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Online Voting, by Gary Chapman. An LA Times column on some difficulties with computer-based voting.
    9. Optional: Al Gore and Inventing the Internet.
  5. Due 30 October:
    1. Section 7 of the course notes, and re-read Section 6, which is both difficult and important.
    2. 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.
    3. Traduction / Trahison - Notes on ANT, by John Law, Univeristy of Lancaster. Some case studies applying ANT, with some comparative discussion. (Originally from www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/sociology/stslaw2.html.)
    4. Re-read How things (actor-net)work: Classification, magic and the ubiquity of standards, by Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star. It is a key paper for this course.
    5. A Physicist Experiments with Cultural Studies, by Alan Sokal, in Lingua Franca, vol. 4, May/June 1996, pp. 62-64.
    6. What's Wrong with Relativism?, by Harry Collins, in Physics World, vol. 11, no. 4 (1998).
    7. Review of Intellectual Impostures, by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont (second edition). To appear in the (London) Times Higher Education Supplement.
  6. Due 6 November:
    1. Section 8 of the course notes, except Sections 8.3 and 8.6; and reread Section 7, especially sections 7.2 and 7.5.
    2. The Market and the Net, by Phil Agre. A dense but fascinating discussion of economic and mythological theories about the internet. (The original is at http://dlis.gseis.ucla.edu/people/pagre/boundaries.html.)
    3. 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.
    4. The brief 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.
    5. 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.
  7. Due 13 November:
    1. Re-read Section 8 of the course notes, especially Section 8.3, but not yet Section 8.6.
    2. 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 style protocols.
    3. Preface to The Friction Free Economy by Ted Lewis, plus an excerpt from and some advertising for the book.
    4. All 11 sections of 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).
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
  8. Due 18 November:
    1. Section 8.6 of the course notes.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Information and Libraries, a good example of how politics and other social factors can conspire with mythology about information technology and economics to produce a startlingly bad decision.
    6. Section 5 of the CSE 175 course notes, on ethics, up to and including Section 5.2.
    7. Information and computer scientists as moral philosophers and social analysts, by Rob Kling, in Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob Kling, pp. 32-38.
    8. The ACM Code of Ethics; also in Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob Kling, pp. 878-888.
    9. Codes of professional ethics, by Ronald Anderson, Deborah Johnson et al., in Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob Kling, pp. 876-877.
  9. Due 25 November:
    1. Section 5 of the CSE 175 course notes.
    2. 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 Acknowledgement.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Power in systems design, by Bo Dahlbom and Lars Mathiassen, in Computerization and Controversy, ed. Rob Kling, pp. 903-906.
  10. Due 2 December:
    1. Section 9 of the CSE 275 class notes.
    2. What we talk about when we talk about context, by Paul Dourish.
    3. The Multiple Bodies of the Medical Record, by Marc Berg and Geoff Bowker.
    4. Medical Database Security Guidelines, from University of Plymouth ISHTAR project; please be sure to also read the linked "Security Glossary."
    5. Data Fusion for the Multi-media Medical Database, from the Fraunhofer Center for Research in Computer Graphics (Hamburg, Germany). (The original of this webpage was moved to www.crcg.edu/projects/medvis/medviswww/mmmdb.html, with some parts deleted, and has now disappeared.)
    6. Understanding Net Users Attitudes about Online Privacy, by Lorrie Faith Cranor. A report on a survey of users attitudes towards privacy.
    7. Identity and Choice: The Implications of Market Power for the Technologies of Privacy, by Phil Agre. An essay on technologies of privacy, with an interesting critique of some arguments based on neo-classical economics.

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Last modified: Thu Dec 4 08:48:56 PST 2003