The on-line reader has most links.
The Fall 2017 schedule serves as an example for where we might head.
Q1, Q2, Q3, ... are quizzes; #A, #B, #C, ... are written assignments.

ECS 188 – Ethics in an Age of Technology – Spring 2019 – Phillip Rogaway

Class How we spent the class: For today you need to: Comments:
01 M 4/01 Week 1. Questionaire on views of technology. Course basics. Why I teach this class. Watched Dekalog I (Kieslowśki, 1988) Surprise! Nothing due on our first day of class. See Wednesday’s slot for assignments due on Wednesday, etc.
02 W 4/03 Q1. Discussed the Kieslowśki film. Read (a) the Course Information sheet; (b) A Brief Note to the Student; and (c) The Machine Stops (by E. M. Forster, 1909). Do assignment #A. More by Kieslowśki (recommended!): The Double Life of Veronique (1991), Blue (1993), White (1994), Red (1994).
03 F 4/05 Q2. Discussed the Forster reading and the Roanhorse reading. PTA decisions coming on Monday. Read Welcome to your authentic Indian experience (html, audio) (R. Roanhorse, 2017) Hikikomori phenomenon mentioned by a student in Section 1: (video1, video2, video3). Claim I made that 26 people own half the world’s wealth. Dunbar’s number, a proposed limit on how many stable social relationships a person can maintain
04 M 4/08 Week 2. Q3. Discussed the Berman reading. Watched the last two chapters of Requiem for the American Dream (you are encouraged to watch the rest). Listened to an NPR broadcast on Carter’s Malaise Speech (Sect 1). Read and #B prepare quotes on Why America Failed (M. Berman, 2011). Upload #B to Canvas, but also bring it as hardcopy to read aloud and turn in. Manufacturing Consent (Chomsky, 1992). Advertising-related article-1, article-2, video a student mentioned in class 2
05 W 4/10 We watched the last 25 mins of Koyaanisqatsi (stream) (G. Reggio, 1982) Read paragraphs 1-135 of Industrial Society and Its Future (html) (T. Kaczynski, 1995). Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber (A. Chase, 2000). Manhunt: Unabomber (TV series, 8×42 mins). Manufactured Landscapes (2007)
06 F 4/12 Q4. We discussed the Kaczynski reading Finish Industrial Society and Its Future Then #C write a two-sentence summary for each section of the article and upload it to Canvas. .
07 M 4/15 Week 3. Q5. We discussed Assange; gave time for people to meet up with projuect partners; then discussed the Barbour reading. (a) Read or watch anything you select on or by Julian Assange (but not just a news article on his arrest). Eg: article1, vdo1, vdo2, film1, film2, film3) (b) Read Views of Technology (I. Barbour, 1993) Barbour’s obituary. Charging document against Assange
08 W 4/17 Q6 (which was not graded). We discussed the McLuhan reading. We watched a video of Terence McKenna. Read an interview with Marshal McLuhan some vocabulary for the interview
09 F 4/19 We spent class discussing smartphones Read/watch the following: (1) Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? (pdf) by J. Twenge (2017); (2) How Technology is Hijacking Your Mind by T. Harris (2016); (3) watch Joe Edelman’s talk on Empowering Design (2015); (4) Read ‘Our minds can be hijacked by Paul Lewis (2017). M1:You first proposal for Milestone 1 is due at end-of-day. Email to and copy you partner. ‘Irresistible’ by Design (2017); Harris Ted talk; Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products (2014); The value of deep work;; Your Addiction to Social Media is No Accident (2017); Smartphones reduce smiles between strangers (2019); Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity (2017)
10 M 4/22 Week 4. Q7. We watched The Corporation (2003) (1) Watch Dirty Money: Hard NOx (2018) (A. Gibney) (on the VW emissions scandal). (2) Read Pinto Fires and Personal Ethics (D. Gioia, 1992). (a) Milestone-1: You need to have an approved proposal for Milestone-1 by end-of-day (only relevant if we’ve had to go back-and-forth a few times). .
11 W 4/24 Q8. Discussed The Corporation. Started discussion of the Pinto reading. (1) Finish watching The Corporation (2003) (continue from: Part 2, offset 16:05). (2) Do assignment #D. Interface Mission Zero
12 F 4/26 Q9. Finished the discussion of the Pinto and VW readings. Discussed the Friedman and Chang readings. (1) Read The Lexus and the Olive Tree (T. Friedman, 1999); (2) Read The Lexus and the Olive Tree Revisited (Ha-Jooh Chang, 2008) More on VW
13 M 4/29 Week 5. Q10. We discussed ethical relativism, utilitarianism, and deontology Read Philosophical Ethics (D. Johnson, 2001) Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals (I. Kant) (examples begin on the top right column of p. 24)
14 W 5/01 Q11. We discussed Leopold’s The Land Ethic (1) Read The Land Ethic (A. Leopold, 1949) (unabridged) (2) Read The Conceptual Foundations of the Land Ethic (J. Baird Callicott, 1987) .
15 F 5/03 Q12. Small-group discussions of the Jonas reading. (1) Read The Altered Nature of Human Action (Hans Jonas, 1984) (helpful vocabulary) (2)  #E. Prepare a Summary and Questions for the reading, and bring this in as hardcopy. .
16 M 5/06 Week 6. We started our discussion of Why We Fight. Then we watched Testament (1983) (L. Littman). (1) Read Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: War (S. Lazar, 2016). (2) Watch Why We Fight. (E. Jarecki, 2005, 98 mins). (3) Read Eisenhower’s farewell address (1961). Facing Nuclear Reality: 35 Years after The Day After (1983)
17 W 5/08 Q13. Discussion of Testament. In Section 1 we watched Slaughterbots Find a quiet place, alone, no gadgets on your person, to think about the two films you just saw, other relevant readings or films we have done, and the nexus between technology, war, and the human condition. Quietly reflect for at least an hour. The Senate’s Military Spending Increase Alone is Enough to Make Public College Free. Retrospective article about the film: The Day After (1983)
18 F 5/10 We discussed The End of Ice. (1) Read three sections from The End of Ice (pdf) (D. Jamail, 2018): your assigned chapter; a chapter of your choice; and the Conclusion. (2) #F Write a one-paragraph summary for each section you read. Don’t worry about the length. Upload it to Canvas. (3) If you are liking the book and want to read more, write a paragraph summary for any additional chapter you read, and I will consider it “extra credit”. .
19 M 5/13 Week 7. Q14. We discussed the climate-change films people watched. We discussed Bendell’s essay and why people aren’t moved to act. In Section 1 I showed Forget Shorter Showers (2015, 11 mins) and a clip of Greta Thunberg (1) Read Deep Adaptation (J. Bendell, 2018). (2) Watch one of the following films on climate-change. Select one you haven’t yet seen. (a) How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change (2016), (b) Chasing Coral (2017), (c) This Changes Everything (2015), (d) Chasing Ice (2012), (e) An Inconnvenient Sequel (2017), (f) Gasland (2011) and  Gasland 2 (2013) Forget Shorter Showers (2015, 11 mins)
20 W 5/15 Q15. We discussed Disciplined Minds. Read a selection from Disciplined Minds (Jeff Schmidth, 2000) .
21 F 5/17 “Psychology day” (a) Happiness, (b) empathy, (c) depression, and (d) correlates of ethical/unethical behavior. (1) Spend one to two hours on study materials of your choice from the psychological literature on any of these topics. Spend enough effort to gather some insight you did not have before. Come to class ready to discuss what you learned. Here are some example materials (but find what you wish): Virtually anything by Prof. Paul Piff; Are you happy while you work? (Bryson, MacKerron, 2015); World Happiness Report 2019. (2) Read a Davis Enterprise article that caught my eye about a student’s suicide. Then #G respond to it in any manner you wish. .
22 M 5/20 Week 8. Food. I expect to show Vegucated (2010, 76 mins) in Section 1 and Earthlings (2005, 96 mins) in Section 2. Students may attend either or both sections today. (1) Watch any of the following films: Food, Inc. (2009) ($3, get over it) or Cowspiracy (2014) or Fed Up (2014) ($3) or Food Choices (2016) (2) Start reading Ishmael (D. Quinn, 1992). You will need to finish it by Friday. .
23 W 5/22 Q16. We discussed the smiling exercise and then the food-related films. Milestone 2 due 15 mins before class. (1) Continue reading Ishmael (2) By today, before class: smile at lots of people as you walk around schoool, or elsehwere. Try talking to a stranger or two (God forbid). Keep track of how it goes, and reflect on it. (3) Read Could a green new deal make us happier people? (K. Aronoff, 2019) (4) Please attend to what you eat between Sunday and now, and your considerations in eating it. We will discuss it on Wednesday. .
24 F 5/24 Q17. We discussed Ishmael. (1) Finish reading Ishmael (D. Quinn, 1995). #H. Do a peer-review of the M2 submission of the paper you were assigned. Return comments, via Canvas, as thorough and useful as possible. Return the sort of comments that you yourself would hope to receive. These should be fair, thoughtful, critical. You can have through the weekend. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Y. Harari, 2015).
xx M 5/27 Week 9. Memorial Day Holiday . .
25 W 5/29 Q18. We discussed Rogaway’s essay. (1) Watch Snowden video-1 and Snowden video-2 (L. Poitras, 2013, 20 mins total) or, alternatively, watch Citizenfour (L. Poitras, 2014). (2) Read The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work (footnotes instead of endnotes) (P. Rogaway, 2015) (feel free to skim the few technical parts). MLK-related article 1 and article 2 (2014) (came up in Section 1)
26 F 5/31 Q19. We talked about activism and personal choices. Zane led the discussion in section-2. Today: more on activism and personal choices. (1) Read This is Silicon Valley (G. Liou, 2019). (2) Read ‘You did not act in time’: Greta Thunberg’s full speech to MPs (2019). Then spend 30+ minutes reading or listening to other materials by or about Thunberg. (3) Select some other contemporary tech-related activist or non-profit organization (such as the EFF) and spend 30+ minutes learning about him/her/them. (4) Read the IEEE Code of Ethics and read some pledges. From an opinion about their value. .
27 M 6/03 Week 10. Student presentation day #1. #I. Provide typeset comments (a paragraph of at least a few sentences) on each paper of your section that is being presented today. Clearly indicate each group number (make this a section heading) and order your paragraphs by group numbers. If you are presenting today, then write “my own group” in lieu of a paragraph for your own group. (Of course you should provide comments for all the other groups presenting today.) Your comments will be provided to the group, stripped of identifying information. Upload your comments to Canvas at least 15 minutes before your class.
Section 1: read papers 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105.
Section 2: read papers xxx, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205.
28 W 6/05 Sutdent presentation day #2 #J. Same instruction as with #I, but this time only three groups.
Presentations by groups 106, 107, 108
Presentations by groups 206, 207, 208
bb R 6/13 Section 2 Final at 1:00 pm While you don’t have to submit an assessment of the papers, you do need to read them. All three:
Presentations by groups 209, 210, 211
Sample final exam
aa R 6/13 Section 1 Final starts at 3:30 pm.
But if you can, please come by 3:05 pm to hear the presentation on paper 101 (on prisons) by Caz and Jugal. For no fault of the authors, that presentation had to be rescheduled. I wanted to put it in the final-exam slot, but decided that would create too much time pressure for the exam.
While you don’t have to submit an assesssment of the papers, you do need to read them. All three:
Presentations by groups 109, 110, 111
Sample final exam