10/12/2015 – Mind Change chapters 15-20

This week we conclude the discussion of Mind Change.

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10/5/2015 – Mind Change chapters 9-14

This week we continue with Mind Change, reading chapters 9 through 14.

Students: Post your comment on this entry by 5pm on Monday the 5th.

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9/28/2015 – Mind Change Preface and chapters 1-8

This week we begin our discussion of Susan Greenfield’s Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains. You should read the Preface and chapters 1-8 for Monday’s discussion.

Post your comment (not more than 250 words!) on this week’s reading before 5pm on Monday, as a comment on this week’s blog post.

Important:

  • See the comment guidelines for tips on writing blog comments, as well as info on the scoring scale.

You should make sure you have an account with which you can log in and comment. Go back to the 9/21 post and make a practice comment there before posting here.

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9/21/2015 – Overview and introductions

Welcome to Symsys 201!

The first class session is an introduction to the course (the material presented) and to the class (the people taking the course and the contingent facts about this instance of it).

NOTE: If you are on the waiting list for the class, you must attend the session to maintain your position on the waiting list. The class size is limited to 20. There are currently four students on the waiting list.

You can practice commenting by posting a comment on this post. You need to create or use an existing account to post comments. Make sure you let me know what name you are posting under if it is not obviously connected to your real name.

Update: Here is a photo of the chalkboard at the end of this session. showing the events and phenomena we identified as important in each of the past 8 and a half decades:

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Photo of chalkboard at the end of class on 9/21/2015 – Symsys 201, showing the events and phenomena the class identified as important in each decade from the 1930s through the present decade.

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12/2 – Student-led Discussions II

In this final session we will be hearing presentations about, and discussing, 4 books:

  1. Heidi Boghosian (2013), Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance  [led by David Olson]
  2. Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson (2011/2012), Infinite Reality: The Hidden Blueprint of Our Virtual Lives [led by ericw213]
  3. Ray Kurzweil (2012), How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed  [led by ilyagaidarov]
  4. Jaron Lanier (2013), Who Owns the Future?  [led by maggiesko]

Presenters, please review the presentation guidelines for tips on preparing and leading your presentation/discussion. Excerpts should be sent out preferably by Friday, November 22nd, and definitely no later than Monday, November 25th.

Everyone: Read the distributed excerpts.  Blog responses may be posted about any or all of the readings other than one you are presenting.

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11/18 – Student-led Discussions I

In this session we will be hearing presentations about, and discussing, 5 books:

  1. Dave Eggers (2013), The Circle [led by kjpoppen]
  2. Andrew Blum (2012), Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet [led by A. To]
  3. Jonah Berger (2013), Contagious: Why Things Catch On [led by vrjbndr]
  4. Adam Alter (2013), Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave  [led by hramesh2013]
  5. William G. Bowen (2013), Higher Education in the Digital Age [led by miguel914]

Presenters, please review the presentation guidelines for tips on preparing and leading your presentation/discussion.

Everyone: Read the distributed excerpts.  Blog responses may be posted about any or all of the readings other than one you are presenting.

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11/11 – Hot Topics

In this session we will be discussing eight articles that were chosen by the class on “hot topics” related to the course. The articles are:

(1) UK Guardian (2013), The NSA Files – “Essential Guide”

(2) Ken Auletta (April 30, 2012), “Get Rich U. There Are No Walls Between Stanford and Silicon Valley. Should There Be?”

(3) Lori Andrews (February 4, 2012), “Facebook Is Using You”

(4) Ethan Kross, Philippe Verduyn, Emre Demiralp, Jiyoung Park, David Seungjae Lee, Natalie Lin, Holly Shablack, John Jonides, and Oscar Ybarra (August 14, 2013), “Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults”

(5) Mark Zuckerberg (August 20, 2013), “Is Connectivity a Human Right?”

(6) Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger (January 17, 2013), “Obscurity: A Better Way to Think About Your Data Than ‘Privacy'”

(7) Michael Erard (September 20, 2013), “No Comments”

(8) Tim Kreider (October 26, 2013), “Slaves of the Internet, Unite!”

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