SOCI221/2AA

Sociology of Cyberspace

 

Meeting 2: September 15, 2014

Logistics

  • Online texts
  • Need to be on campus, in most cases
  • Can download all at once
  • Can do VPN http://lar.me/vpnconu
  • Also coursepack volume, H–1132, library…
  • References on Moodle

Work for the Course

  • Contributions (degree of engagement, putting yourself in…)
  • Reflection posts (working with material, sharing insight…)
  • Activities (hands-on, put into practice…)
  • Exams (define concepts, explain position, contrast terms…)

Podcasts

This Past Week

“Productivity is for machines. If you can measure it, robots should do it.” – Kevin Kelly, via Stowe Boyd http://lar.me/1at

Online History Activity

  • Noticed Patterns?
  • What has changed?
  • Has society changed in sync?

Required Texts

  • Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” Atlantic Monthly, 1945. http://lar.me/2z8
  • Leiner, Barry M. et al. “A Brief History of the Internet.” ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review 39, no. 5 (2009): 22. doi:10.1145/1629607.1629613. http://lar.me/2–9

Vannevar Bush

Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” Atlantic Monthly, 1945. http://lar.me/2z8

Technology and Prospective

  • War context
  • Knowledge Management
    • Power of intellect
    • Shoulder of Giants
  • Scale

End of an Era?

  • Industrial Era
    • Productivity
    • Rationality
  • Post-industrial
    • Hyperproductivity
    • Knowledge work (call centres…)
    • Information Overload
    • Getting Things Done (GTD) http://lar.me/2-a

Engineering mindset

Inspiration

Leiner et al.

Leiner, Barry M., Vinton G. Cerf, David D. Clark, Robert E. Kahn, Leonard Kleinrock, Daniel C. Lynch, Jon Postel, Larry G. Roberts, and Stephen Wolff. “A Brief History of the Internet.” ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review 39, no. 5 (2009): 22. http://lar.me/2–9

Internet Infrastructure

  • Plumbing
    • Commodity
    • Reliability
    • Scalability
    • Flow
  • Information Technology
  • Academics
    • Open publication
    • Vendors and inventors

Internet Infrastructure

  • Beyond Web
  • Finances
  • Social aspect
    • Email
    • Community
  • Political Aspect
    • Who decides?
      • “Core group of designers”
      • Global Inequalities

Sociology Crash Course

Refresher or semester in a few minutes

Sociology Crash Course

  • WMDs: Weber, Marx, Durkheim http://lar.me/wmd
    • Symbolic Interactionism, Conflict Theory, Functionalism
    • Dialogue, Inequality, Stability
  • Group, socialization, role, status…
  • Power, control, conformity, norms, deviance
  • Culture, subculture, counterculture
  • Feminism as key

Cyberspace Background

Making Connections

Cyberspace Precursors

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
  • Charles Babbage
  • Alan Turing
  • Norbert Weiner 1948 “Cybernetics”
  • J.C.R. Licklider 1962 “Intergalactic Computer Network”
  • Vernor Vinge 1981 “Cyberspace”

Macy Conferences

Birth of Cybernetics

The Macy Conference Core

  • http://lar.me/2za
  • Gregory Bateson
  • Lawrence K. Frank
  • Frank Fremont-Smith
  • Margaret Mead
  • Arturo Rosenblueth
  • Warren McCulloch

The Macy Conference Attendees

  • Lawrence Kubie
  • Walter Pitts
  • Paul Lazarsfeld
  • John von Neumann
  • Norbert Wiener
  • Clyde Kluckhohn
  • Roman Jakobson
  • Claude Shannon

Macy Subconference

  • Talcott Parsons
  • Robert Merton

Making Links

Next Week

Cultural Background

Online Exercise/Activity: Before and After

  • Pick a topic related to social change in an online world (education, dating, labour, publishing, networking…).
  • Find someone who lived through a transition to an online world.
  • Ask that person about the change topic, describing a bit of the context for the course.
  • Share a quick piece of insight from that interaction, not giving away any personal detail.

Required Texts

  • Silver, David. “Looking Backwards, Looking Forward; Cyberculture Studies 1990–2000.” Web Studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital Age. Oxford University Press, 2000. http://rccs.usfca.edu/intro.asp
  • Turner, Fred. “Where the Counterculture Met the New Economy: The WELL and the Origins of Virtual Community.” Technology and Culture 46, no. 3 (2005): 485–512. doi:10.1353/tech.2005.0154. http://lar.me/2zb

Silver

Silver, David. “Looking Backwards, Looking Forward; Cyberculture Studies 1990–2000.” Web Studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital Age. Oxford University Press, 2000. http://rccs.usfca.edu/intro.asp

Silver

  • Three phases in Cyberculture studies
  • Enthusiasm to critical thinking
  • Frontier mentality (Web’s soul, “perpetual beta”, libertarianism…)
  • Turner on “frontier” http://lar.me/2-b
  • Globalization
  • Conformity (norms)
  • Gender
  • Hypertext to UI/UX (HCI)

Turner

Turner, Fred. “Where the Counterculture Met the New Economy: The WELL and the Origins of Virtual Community.” Technology and Culture 46, no. 3 (2005): 485–512. doi:10.1353/tech.2005.0154. http://lar.me/2zb

Turner

  • Counterculture
    • Peace
    • Community
    • Capitalism
  • Howard Rheingold
    • Virtual Community

Stewart Brand

  • Merry Pranksters (Magic Trip)
  • Whole Earth Catalog
  • The WELL
  • Global Business Network (GBN)
  • Long Now Foundation

Photo by Joe Mabel

SOCI221 Meeting 2, September 15, 2014

By Alexandre Enkerli

SOCI221 Meeting 2, September 15, 2014

Slides for the second class meeting in Alex Enkerli’s SOCI 221 “Sociology of Cyberspace” course at Concordia University.

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