DTEM1401-Fall20 Readings & Material

The syllabus is here.

It is useful for you to know how technology works. Unfortunately we will not be able to go through this in great detail in the course. Fortunately there are some excellent resources online. See for example: How does the Internet work?, How Internet Infrastructure Works, and McNamee et al, How the Internet Works: A guide for policy-makers. European Digital Rights. Also check out Julien Hopkins: How to Define Social Media – An Academic Summary. Smith, A., & Anderson, M. (2018).

Social media use in 2018. Pew Research Center http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/03/01/social-media-use-in-2018/

Quiz: Our Surveillance Society or Black Mirror

This quiz asks if you can tell the difference between surveillance techniques which currently exist and techniques used in Black Mirror episodes. For each question select Surveillance Society or Black Mirror. This was inspired by @hypervisible’s thread on invasive surveillance.

Tim Wu, The Tyranny of Convenience, New York Times Opinion. Feb. 16, 2018.

Convenience is the most underestimated and least understood force in the world today. As a driver of human decisions, it may not offer the illicit thrill of Freud’s unconscious sexual desires or the mathematical elegance of the economist’s incentives. Convenience is boring. But boring is not the same thing as trivial.

Jay Owens, Post-Authenticity and the Ironic Truths of Meme Culture, Medium. April 11, 2018.

Reality’s been having a tough time of it lately. From fake news to fake video to the utter charade of our Instagram personas, ‘authenticity’ seems to be over. When everything is an ironic meme, what are the new vectors for talking truth?

In 2017 Jean Twenge wrote that smartphones have destroyed your generation and made several claims about you and your phones. Is she right about you?



Greenfield: A Sociology of the Smartphone Longreads & Twenge: Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

Watch: Black Mirror: Nosedive (S0301)

Teens, Social Media, and Technology (full film) | FRONTLINE


Manovich: New Media: A User’s Guide & Bernstein: Alienated, Alone, & Angry: What the Digital Revolution Really Did To Us.

Watch: The American Meme


MODULE 3 History & Infrastructure
Stallman: The GNU Project and Cohen: Internet History

Watch: Digits: Connecting to the Future (Schnall, 2016)

History of the Internet 2018 Documentary

MODULE 4 Reality & Hyperreality, Control

Lessig: What things regulate and Winner: Do artifacts have politics

Watch: Black Mirror (S02E01) Be Right Back

Introduction to Langdon Winner’s “Do Artifacts Have Politics?” for Digital Culture Students
iLaw 2004: Lawrence Lessig on Regulation
Is The Internet a Public Place?

MODULE 5 Selfies

Tiidenberg: How do we selfie and Selfies are just the contemporary version of the art masters’ self-portraits and Nikunen Once a refugee selfie activism

The Art History of the Selfie | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios
We’re all selfish superficial and too fat? | Katrin Tiidenberg | TEDxTTU
Why Do We Hate Selfies? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

MODULE 6 Digital Labor
Digital labour platforms and the future of work Chap 1, 2

Watch Black Mirror (s01e02) 15 Million Merits

What is the Labor Theory of Value?
The big debate about the future of work, explained
When Does Play Become Work? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

MODULE 7 Identity

Kang & Wei: Let me be at my funniest and McInroy & Craig: Online fandom

Watch Black Mirror (S05E01) Striking Vipers

Which identity is your true identity? | Emma Gannon | TEDxHull
Is Facebook Changing Our Identity? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

MODULE 8 Surveillance and Privacy

Watch Black Mirror (s04e02) Arkangel

“Unseen – the History of Privacy,” Jill Lepore, The University of Kansas
Surveillance and the City: Know When You’re Being Watched
The Rise of Surveillance Capitalism | Mark Weinstein | TEDxIVC
Do You “Choose” To Have Your Privacy Invaded By Using Tech? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios


MODULE 10 Algorithms of Control

Watch Black Mirror (S03E05) Men Against Fire

Why algorithms are called algorithms | BBC Ideas
How I’m fighting bias in algorithms | Joy Buolamwini

MODULE 11 Digital Activism

Milan Enter the WhatsApper and Madison & Klang The Case for Digital Activism

Watch Black Mirror (s03e06) Hated in the Nation

How teen activists are mobilizing using social media | The Weekly with Wendy Mesley

MODULE 12 Trolling

Massanari: #Gamergate and Hannan Trolling ourselves to death

Watch Black Mirror (S03E03) Shut up and Dance

Why Are You So Angry? Part 4: An Autopsy on GamerGate
The world’s greatest internet troll explains his craft
The Experience of Being Trolled | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios
When Is A Troll No Longer A Troll?

MODULE 13 Future of Property

Perzanowski & Schultz End of Ownership Chapter 8

Watch Black Mirror (s02e04) White Christmas

Aaron Perzanowski on The End of Ownership

MODULE 14 Manufactured Outrage

Klang & Madison: Vigilantism or Outrage and Al-Rawi & Rahman: Manufacturing rage

Watch Black Mirror (SE0202) White Bear

Why Outrage Rules YouTube & The Internet – Wisecrack Edition
How NOT To Spot Fake News