Links to the readings can be found in our on-line reader.
Q1, Q2, Q3, ... are quizzes; #A, #B, #C, ... are written assignments.


ECS 188 – Ethics in an Age of Technology – Fall 2011 – Phil Rogaway

Class How we spent the class: For today you need to: Comments:
#01 R 9/22 Overview. Watched Dekalog 1, by K. Kieslowski. Surprise! Nothing due on our first day of class. See Tuesday’s slot for assignments due Tuesday, etc.
#02 T 9/27 Q1. Discussed Dekalog and started the discussion of Barbour. Read the course information sheet. Read Views of Technology by I. Barbour.
#A: Write a 1-2 page analysis answering Why did Kieslowski kill Pavel?
More by Kieslowski: Blue, Red, The Double Life of Veronique
#03 R 9/29 Q2. Continued our discussion of Barbour and then discussed Heilbroner. Read Do Machines Make History by R. Heilbroner. Not required: Marx and the Machine by D. MacKenzie.
NB: Smith, Ch.1 of Smith/Marx book.
#04 T 10/4 Q3. Discussed writing. Discussed Winner and Joerges articles. Read Do Artifacts Have Politics? by L. Winner. Wait a day or two and read Do Politics Have Artefacts? by B. Joerges. UC-Blackwelder Tomato Harvester
#05 R 10/6 Q4. Discussed the Layard reading. Read the transcript of the first two lectures (two pdf files) by R. Layard Layard’s well-known book.
#06 T 10/11 Q5. Discussed first two sections in Johnson: ethical relativism and utilitarianism. Read Philosophical Ethics by D. Johnson You might enjoy Scientist Finds the Beginnings of Morality in Primate Behavior by N. Wade (NY Times, 2007).
#07 R 10/13 Discussed rest of Johnson. Some discussion of Cohen. Sect 2: some ethical “puzzles”. Read Oldest Living Tree Tells All by M. Cohen.
#B: Write a brief analysis on the reading, asking yourself if/how it relates to conventional moral philosophy as summarized in your prior reading by Johnson
Kant and animal torture: short or long
#08 T 10/18 Q6. Discussed the Cohen article and then the first half of the Jonas reading. #C: Milestone #1 due. Read The Altered Nature of Human Action by H. Jonas.
#D: Collect quotes from the Jonas reading.
Helpful vocabulary for the Jonas reading.
#09 R 10/20 Q7. Finished Jonas discussion. Discussed Joy reading. Read Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us by B. Joy. R. Kurzweil response
#10 T 10/25 Watched An Inconvenient Truth (by Al Gore) Read This was a Crime by Mark Hersgaard. Perhaps next year: The Age of Stupid instead
#11 R 10/27 Q8. Saw J. Hansen interview. Discussed the essay question. Read Environmental Ethics by A. Brennan and Y. Lo.
#E: Write a short essay (click for topic).
A really dystopian end: the Runaway Greenhouse Effect
#12 T 11/1 Q9. Discussed the McLuhan interview. Saw some short video(s). Read an interview of M. McLuhan
#F: Prepare questions on the reading
Vocabulary for today’s reading
#13 R 11/3 Discussed the Friedman reading. Saw the first part of Why We Fight by E. Jarecki Read The Lexus and the Olive Tree by T. Friedman Video: Why We Fight (watched until 59:00)
#14 T 11/8 Q10. Saw the rest of Why We Fight. Discussed film and readings. Read The Lexus and the Olive Tree Revisited by H. Chang.
Read President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address.
YouTube: Eisenhower Farewell Address (Full)
#15 R 11/10 Q11. Discussed the Schmidt reading. Read Disciplined Minds by J. Schmidt .
#16 T 11/15 Discussed the Mehta reading. Watched The Corporation, Chapts 1-10. #G: Milestone #2 due.
Read Bhopal Lives by S. Mehta.
Bhopal update: 2004 and 2010
#17 R 11/17 Q12. I presented a talk about giving talks. Discussed The Corporation, and then the codes of ethics. Watched the rest of The Corporation (start: Ch. 11)
Read the ACM Code of Ethics.
Read the IEEE Code of Ethics.
Read Some Pledges for Scientists and Engineers.
You might want to read The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis (which I often assign) to see that not everyone behaves badly...
#18 T 11/22 We discussed the pepper-spray attack and the study questions related to it #HPepper-spray assignment.
#I: Each person (not each group) should email to the authors careful comments on the Milestone 2 you received, copying me.
Question H.12: why can this emerge from Physics, while the Comp Sci could not agree to use the word apologize, let alone assert that the chancellor is responsible?
#xx R 11/24 No class — it’s Thanksgiving No class No class
#19 T 11/29 Presentation Day #1 (four groups) Section 1 read: p101, p102, p103, p104
Section 2 read: p201, p202, p203, p204
#20 R 12/1 Presentation Day #2 (four groups) Section 1 read: p105, p106, p107, p108
Section 2 read: p205, p206, p207, p208
#J: complete the paper evaluation (print twice) (omit your own, if you’re presenting).
#xx T 12/6 Final for Sect 1 (8-10 am)
Presentation Day #3
Read p109, p110, p111
#K: complete the paper evaluation (print twice) (omit your own, if you’re presenting).
Bronowski video.
#xx W 12/7 Final for Sect 2 (6-8 pm)
Presentation Day #3
Read p209, p210, p211
#K: complete the paper evaluation (print twice) (omit your own, if you’re presenting).
Bronowski video.