CourseReader – ECS 188 – Ethics in an Age of Technology
Beyond Computer Ethics

This ever-evolving course reader has been assembled by Prof. Phillip Rogaway for use in UC Davis course ECS 188, Ethics in an Age of Technology. Some of the material is password protected; see the copyright notice at the bottom of the page. Write to Prof. Rogaway if you’re doing related research or teaching and need the login and password. The title I’ve used for the reader is Beyond Computer Ethics.

  1. A Brief Note to the Student (Phillip Rogaway, 2018)
  2. Basic attitudes towards technology (Phillip Rogaway). Given at beginning+end of each term.

  3. The Machine Stops (E. M. Forster, 1909) (audio)
  4. Dekalog I (1989) (Krzysztof Kieslowski) (51 mins)
  5. Industrial Society and Its Future (Theodore Kaczynski, 1995)
  6. Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline (scan) (Morris Berman, 2011)
  7. Sapiens (Yuval Noah Harari, 2014)
  8. Marshal McLuhan Interview (1969) (helpful vocabulary)
  9. Views of Technology (scan) (Ian Barbour, 1993).
  10. Do Artifacts have Politics? (Langdon Winner, 1984)
  11. Do Politics have Artefacts? (Bernward Joerges, 1999)
  12. Do Machines Make History? (Robert L Heilbroner, 1967)
  13. Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change (Neil Postman, 1998)

  14. The Murderer (Ray Bradbury, 1953)
  15. Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? (Jean Twenge, 2017)
  16. How Technology is Hijacking Your Mind (Tristan Harris, 2016)
  17. ‘Irresistible’ By Design (Fresh Air, 2017, 30 mins)
  18. The Value of Deep Work (Shankar Vedantam, 2017, 37 mins)
  19. Center for Humane Technology (website, Tristan Harris)
  20. Empowering Design (Joe Edelman, 2015, 19 mins)

  21. The Corporation (2003) (Mark Archbar, Jennifer Abbott, Joel Bakan; 145 mins)
  22. Manufacturing Consent (Noam Chomsky, 1992)
  23. The Lexus and the Olive Tree (scan) (Thomas Friedman, 1999)
  24. The Lexus and the Olive Tree Revisited (Ha-Joon Chang, 2008)
  25. An Economic Hit Man Confesses and Calls to Action (John Perkins, 2016) (video, 19 mins)
  26. A Road Map for Natural Capitalism (original) (Lovins, Lovins, Hawken, 1999)
  27. Chap-1, Chap-4, Chap-6, and Chap-7 from Making Globalization Work (Joseph Stiglitz, 2007)
  28. Bhopal Lives (Suketu Mehta, 1996). CNN photos

  29. War (original URL) (Brian Orend, 2005)
  30. Farewell Address to the Nation (Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961)
  31. Why We Fight (2005) (Eugene Jarecki, 98 mins)
  32. Angry Eyes: The “God Trick” and the geography of militarized vision (Derek Gregory, 2016, 48 mins)

    Nuclear Threats
  33. Existential Risk Prevention as Global Priority (Nick Bostrom, 2013)
  34. Arkhipov Day: Celebrate the Man Who Saved the World (Milan Rai, 2014)
  35. Testament (1983) (Lynne Littman, 90 mins)
  36. Threads (1984) (Mick Jackson, 112 mins)

    Environmental Threats
  37. Ishamel (Daniel Quinn, 1992)
  38. This Civilisation is Finished (Rupert Read and Samuel Alexander, 2019) (Kindle version)
  39. The Uninhabitable Earth (annotated, pdf, mobi) (David Wallace-Wells, 2017)
  40. The End of Ice (pdf) (Dahr Jamail, 2019)
  41. The Land Ethic (Aldo Leopold, 1949).
  42. The Conceptual Foundations of the Land Ethic (J. Baird Callicott, 1989)
  43. Oldest Living Tree Tells All (Michael P. Cohen, 2004)
  44. The Tragedy of the Commons (Garrett Hardin, 1968)
  45. What Lies Beneath: The Underestimate of Existential Climate Risk (David Spratt and Ian Dunlop, 2018)
  46. Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy (Jem Bendell, 2018)
  47. Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene (Will Steffen et al., 2018)
  48. Chasing Coral (2017) (Jeff Orlowski, 87 mins)
  49. Time to Choose (2015) (Charles Ferguson, 97 mins)
  50. Green Illusions (Ozzie Zehner, 2012, 63 min)

    More Ways to Die
  51. Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us (Bill Joy, 2000)
  52. Promise and Peril (Ray Kurzweil, 2001)

    Philosophical Ethics
  53. Philosophical Ethics (scan) (Deborah Johnson, 2001)
  54. The Question Concerning Technology (Martin Heidegger, 1954/1977) (explanation)
  55. The Altered Nature of Human Action (scan) (Hans Jonas, 1985) (helpful vocabulary)
  56. Technological Subversion (David Strong, 1995)
  57. The Superior Human? (2014) (Jenia Meng, 73 mins)

  58. Moving Beyond Fast Food Nation (Peter Singer and Eric Schlosser, 2006, 89 mins)
  59. Interview with Michael Pollan (Marc Eisen, 2008)
  60. Earthlings (2005) (Shaun Monson) (film, 95 mins)
  61. Vegucated (2011) (Marisa Miller Wolfson) (film, 76 mins)

    Personal Well-Being
  62. Technology and Happiness (James Surowiecki, 2005).
  63. Happiness: has social science a clue? (Richard Layard, 2003)
  64. World Happiness Report 2019 (U.N.; editors John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard, and Jeffrey D. Sachs)
  65. Could a Green New Deal Make Us Happier People? (Kate Arnoff, 2019)
  66. Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behavior (Piff, Stancato, Cote, Mendoza-Denton, Keltner, 2012)
  67. How We See Ourselves and How We See Others (Emily Pronin, 2008)
  68. Can Psychology be Taught? (Daniel Kahneman, 2011)

    Dying and Death
  69. Being Mortal (Atul Gawande, 2014)
  70. Why I hope to Die at 75 (2014) (Ezekiel Emanuel)

    Discrimination and Bias
  71. The Student as Nigger (Jerry Farber, 1967)
  72. 13th (2016) (Ava DuVernay)
  73. Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM (html, audio) (Rebecca Roanhorse, 2017)
  74. The ‘Thumbprint of the Culture’: Implicit Bias and Police Shootings (Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam, 2019)
  75. Project Implicit Bias
  76. Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber (James Damore, 2017) Why is Silicon Valley so Awful to Women? (Lizy Mundy, 2017)
  77. Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women and Computing (scan3, scan6) ( Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher, 2002) (book)

    Surveillance, Machine Learning, and AI
  78. The Snowden revelations. Articles: Verizon (2013.06.2013), PRISM (2013.07.07), The NSA Revelations All in One Chart (2014.06.30), How spy agencies defeat security mechanisms (2013.09.06). Videos: Poitras 1 (2013, 13 mins), Poitras 2 (2013, 7 mins), How we take back the internet (Edward Snowden, 2014, 80 mins)
  79. Administration response on telephone metadata collection (2013.08.09), PCLOB Report on PRISM/Upstream surveillance, TED2014 talk by Richard Ledgett.
  80. The Lives of Others (2006) (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 137 mins) (Amazon streaming)
  81. The Fate of Internet (John Naughton, 2013)
  82. Taking back the Internet (Bruce Schneier, 2013)
  83. The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work (Phillip Rogaway, 2015)
  84. Information Consumerism (Evgeny Morozov, 2013)
  85. Big other: surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization (Shoshana Zuboff, 2015)
  86. Automated Inference on Criminality using Face Images (Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang, 2016)
  87. The Paranoid State (Sarah Kendzior, 2013)
  88. The Transparent Society (David Brin, 1996)
  89. Against Transparency (Lawrence Lessig, 2013)
  90. Cambridge Analytica - The Power of Big Data and Psychographics (Alexander Nix, 2016, 11 mins)
  91. How China is Using Artifical Intelligence in Classrooms (Yifan Wang, Shen Hong, and Crystal Tai, 2019/2021)
  92. Haunted by Data (Maciej Ceglowski, 2015)
  93. The Data That Turned the World Upside Down (Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus, 2017)
  94. Facebook’s role in Brexit—and the threat to democracy (Carol Cadwalladr, 2019)
  95. Bodies in Seats (Casey Newton, 2019) and The Trauma Floor (Casey Newton, 2019)
  96. The Social Dilemma (Jeff Orlowski, 2020, 94 mins)
  97. Haunted by Data (Maciej Ceglowski, 2015, 20 mins)

    Intellectual Property
  98. The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (author’s website) (James Boyle, 2008)
  99. The GNU Manifesto (original URL) (Richard Stallman, 1985)
  100. Microsoft Research DRM Talk (Cory Doctorow, 2004)

    The Imperative to Act
  101. Disciplined Minds (Jeff Schmidt, 2001)
  102. The Disadvantages of an Elite Education (William Deresiewicz, 2008)
  103. Computers, Ethics, and Collective Violence (scan) (Craig Summers, Eric Markusen, 1992)
  104. The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis (Joe Morgenstern, 1995)
  105. Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract (Kate Conger, 2018)
  106. An open letter (Norbert Wiener, 1947)
  107. pledge
  108. Russell-Einstein Manifesto (1955)
  109. Bethe to Clinton (1985)
  110. Fatal Dose: Radiation Deaths linked to AECL Computer Errors (html) (Barbara Wade Rose, 1994)
  111. Dirty Money S1:E1: Hard NOx (Alex Gibney, 2018) (75 mins)
  112. Pinto Fires and Personal Ethics (Dennis Gioia, 1992)
  113. ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (1992) and the IEEE Code of Ethics (2006) and the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (1999)
  114. Scenarios (drawn from Sara Baase, 2004)
  115. The Two Cultures (C. P. Snow, 1959)
  116. An Interview with Ralph Nader (Pete Davis, 2019)
  117. ‘You Did Not Act in Time’: Greta Thunberg’s Full Speech to MPs (Greta Thunberg, 2019)
  118. Rachel Carson (2017) (113 mins)
  119. This is Silicon Valley: I feel myself becoming part of the machine (Glori Liou, 2019)

    Concluding Remarks
  120. Some pledges
  121. Video clip from The Ascent of Man (Jacob Bronowski, 1973)

This reader is a living document. If you have suggestions for additions, deletions, or changes, please let me know.

Copyright Information The materials assembled here are exclusively for educational purposes in one particular class at UCD. Some of the readings are believed to be in the public domain, or have unrestrictive use permissions (eg, they are CC-licensed). Other materials fall under traditional copyright, and are included with due consideration to the four factors used in ascertaining fair use; these have placed in a password-protected subdirectory. Some readings have been OCR’d from scans, to reduce file size and improve legibility.

Last updated May 2018