Details get filled in as the course progresses
This term has 28 class meetings (two were stolen without your consent)
The on-line reader has links to most of the readings.
The S19 schedule and S19 class.
The F19 schedule and F19 class.

ECS 188 – Ethics in an Age of Technology – Spring 2023 – Phillip Rogaway

Class How we spent the class: For today you need to: Comments:
1M 4/03 Two hour class. Meet the TA, Sydney Wood, and me. Questionaire. Watch Dekalog 1 (alt link) (in class). Show up (attendance is mandatory through the end of week 2) See Wednesday’s slot for assignments due before your section meets on Wednesday.
1W 4/05 Q1. We discussed Dekalog. (a) Read the Course Information sheet.
(b) Read A Brief Note to the Student.
(c) Submit HW2 (there is no HW1; it’s on the survey you did). Recall that homeworks are submitted on Gradescope
. .
1F 4/07 Q2. We discussed the two science fiction readings. (a) Read The Machine Stops (1909) by E.M. Forster. (b) Read The Murderer (1953) by Ray Bradbury Science Fiction day!
2M 4/10 Q3. We discussed some vocabulary, ethical relativism, utilitarianism, and deontology. Read Philosophical Ethics by Deborah Johnson (2001) Read critically, thinking about ways in which the described systems fall short
2W 4/12 Q4. Then we broke into small groups and discussed most of the Jonas reading. (a) Read The Altered Nature of Human Action by Hans Jonas (1984) (vocabulary list). (b) Watch: The Superior Human? (2012) .
2F 4/14 Q5. Discussed the final project. Finished presentations on Jonas reading. Discussed Land Ethic. Discussed Superior Human film. Read The Land Ethic by A. Leopold (1949). Another documentry on Chomsky’s work: Manufacturing Consent (1993)
3M 4/17 Q6. Discussed the tree. Made a chart on tech optimism vs. tech pessimism. Started film (about 30/40 mins in). (a) Finishing environmental ethics: Read Oldest Living Tree Tells All by Michael Cohen (1998). (b) Read Views of Technology by Ian Barbour (1993). .
3W 4/19 Q7. Discussed Berman reading and Chomsky film. We looked at images of the changing city. In Sect 1 listened to NPR report on Carter's "malaise speech" (a) Read Why America Failed by Morris Berman (2011). (b) Watch: Requium for the American Dream (2015). .
3F 4/21 Small-groups discussions of ethical scenarios from Sara Baase's book Start reading Industrial Scoeity and Its Future by Theodore Kaczynski (1995). (b) HW3: As you read, write about two sentences to summarize each (all-caps titled) section. Together, your prose should form a cogent summary of Kaczynksi’s essay. You may have until Sunday evening to turn this in. The Unabomber and the origins of anti-tech radicalism by Sean Fleming (2022)
4M 4/24 We finished doing scenarios from the Baase book. Then Q8. Then we discussed the Kaczynski manifesto. (a) Finish the Kaczynski reading. Upload HW3 (described above) by Sunday night. (b) Draft project-proposals due tonight, submitted in the shared Google Sheets. Films about TK: Unabomber · Ted K
4W 4/26 Q9. We discussed The Corporation. Project-approval deadline tonight. (a) Watch The Corporation (2004/2016) (Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott) (YouTube version) (support independent and documentry filmmaking by paying a few dollars) The New Corporation (2020) (Jennifer Abbott, Joel Bakan)
4F 4/28 Sect1, outside Wickson, heard from Haven Kiers. ChatGPT response. (b)  Discussed the two readings. (a) Read Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? (Jean Twenge, 2017). (b) Read How Technology is Hijacking Your Mind (Tristan Harris, 2016). .
5M 5/01 Q10. Karim Abou Najm. Why We Fight. Is overseas militarism related to domestic violence? (a) Read: Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation (1961). (b) Watch: Why We Fight (2005) (Eugene Jarecki) .
5W 5/03 Q11. Discussed McLuhan. Watched a short video. Read a Marshall McLuhan interview (1969) (some vocabulary for it). .
5F 5/05 Q12. Discussed Bill Joy Reading and ChatGPT. (a) Read Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us by Bill Joy (2000). (b) Find and read at least one news article about ChatGPT / large language models. Come prepared to talk about it. .
6M 5/08 Q13. We watched Testament (1983) Start reading Ishmael (Daniel Quinn) (1995). Read roughtly the first half. Testament at 20 (26 mins) · The Last Testament (Carol Amen) (short story film is based on)
6W 5/10 Q14. We discussed Testament. And the street-sweeper bristles. Continue reading Ishmael. Finishing by today is recommended. .
6F 5/12 Q15 (worth double). We discussed Ishmael. Finish reading Ishmael. I scrapped having an essay on it due today. .
7M 5/15 We spoke about students not doing well on the Ishmael quiz. We watched Racing Extinction (2015) Start reading This Civilisation is Finished (Kindle or Paperback) (Rupert Read and Samuel Alexander) (2019) By the same filmmaker: The Cove (2009) (Academy Award for Best Documentary)
7W 5/17 Q16. Watched a short video and discussed the RR book. Finish reading This Civilisation is Finished. More R. Read: video-1
7F 5/19 We discussed Racing Extinction. Students talked about the news articles they read. (a) News-article day. Find and read a good article about the topic that you suggested on Monday’s attendance list. (b) HW4: Write a 1-paragraph summary of your article (include a traditional and hyperlink reference) followed by a 1-paragraph personal-analysis of it. Submit on Gradescope. Example political soungs: This is America (Donald Glover) · 99 Red Balloons (Nena)
8M 5/22 First half of class we continued to listen to student new articles. Second half we watched Black Mirror: Hang the DJ . Milestone 2 due for groups presenting on day-1. No other HW: be working on your projects! .
8W 5/24 Q17. We discussed the Black Mirror episode we watched. We discussed the Schmidt reading. Milestone 2 due for groups presenting on day-2. Read Disciplined Minds (Jeff Schmidt) (2000) .
8F 5/26 Q18. Giving good talks. Sect-1: Sandra visits, sustainability. Sect-2: Cars. Milestone 2 due for groups presenting on day-3. Read Pinto Fires and Personal Ethics. Watch Dirty Money: Hard NOx .
9M 5/29 Holiday: Memorial Day . .
9W 5/31 Q19.We discussed the three films. (1) Watch one of the following three films: (a) Earthlings (2015) (or youtube); (b)  Cowspiracy (2014); or (c) Food Inc. (2008) (or youtube). If you have seen one already, choose a different one. The first one is deeply disturbing and I recommend watching it with someone. Come prepared to talk about the film you watched. (2) Complete your two peer-reviews before 10am. If you can finish early, please do. .
9F 6/02 Q20. We discussed the ACM Code. Then we discussed dying, death, and the Gawande reading. (a) Read the ACM Code of Ethics (2018). (b) Read Being Mortal (Atul Gawande, 2014) .
10M 6/05 Student presentations 11x and 12x (a) Sect 1: Read p111 · p112 · p113 · p114 · p115 · p116.
      Sect 2: Read p211 · p212 · p213 · p214 · p215 · p216.
(b) HW5: Bring a single page, name on top, with 1–3 sentences of comments on each of the six paper that you read. Skip your own paper if you are presenting.
10W 6/07 Student presentations 21x and 22x (a) Sect 1: Read p121 · p122 · p123
      Sect 2: Read p221 · p222 · p223.
(b) HW6: Bring a single page, typed, name on top, with 1–3 sentences of comments on each of the three paper that you read. Skip your own paper if you are presenting.
11R 6/15 10:30 am: Final for Section 1 (10 am section). Student presentations 13x. Closing remarks. Read p131 · p132 · p133
11R 6/15 6 pm: Final exam for Section 2 (2 pm section). Student presentations 23x. Closing remarks. Read p231 · p232 · p233.