Social Informatics Film Series at IU Cinema

This fall IU Cinema, along with School of Informatics and Computing, will be hosting a film series exploring various aspects of the relationship between computers, individuals, and society.

The films include Humanexus, Desk Set, Her, and TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard.

Of particular interest to I222 students will be Desk Set, which is a wonderful romantic comedy starring Katherine Hepburn, Spenser Tracy, and EMERAC. I will be introducing the film, and extra credit will be available for everyone who attends.

You can find more details about the series at the IU Cinema website.

Learning to Read

In class on Thursday we talked about the Print Revolution in Early Modern Europe, and explored the ways in which the “print” in “print revolution” is used as a technological proxy used as a convenient short-hand for a whole series of larger, more complex social historical developments. These include the development of inexpensive inks and wood pulp-based papers, the emergence of an increasingly literate middle-class, the expansion of commercial networks and systems of production and distribution, the “social construction” of new literary genres and notions of individual authorship, and
innovations in the legal structures of intellectual property control.

The video neatly (and humorously) illustrates the point that the codex book is a technology, and that people had to learn to use. Take a few minutes and watch it. It is very funny.

Welcome to the Fall 2014 Semester!

The new semester is upon us, and our first session of I222 will meet on Tuesday, August 26 at 2:30pm in the Wendell W. Wright Education Building, room 1120 Jordan Hall, A100.

NOTE: my apologies for the last-minute relocation from the Education Building to Jordan Hall A100. This was imposed by the registrar, and they informed me only a few hours before the start of the first class.

In preparation for class, you should review the syllabus and assure yourself that you have access to the course Canvas page.  If you Tweet,  follow the Twitter feed; at the very least, bookmark this page and subscribe to the RSS feed to keep track of updates.


Final Exam Information

The final exam for the Information Society has been set for Tuesday, May 6 from 8-10 am in our usual meeting room.

The exam schedule is set by the registrar.  For more information on IU policies on exams, including conflicts, can be found here.

The architecture of the Internet

Normally I use the course Twitter account to post links to contemporary developments relevant to (but not required reading about) course material.  This one I want to elevate to the front page of the course site.

We spent both lectures this week talking about the history and architecture of the Internet, with a particular focus on what Langdon Winner called “the politics of the artifact.”

Today Vint Cerf, a key author of the TCP/IP protocol, is now suggesting that the NSA influenced his decision not to include stronger encryption in the original standard.

Primary Source Assignment

Spring break is over and we are starting our sprint to the end of the semester!   Over the next few weeks we will be working on our primary source assignment, which will provide a first-hand perspective on the history of the personal computer revolution.

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We will be talking about the projects in class, but here is an description of the project, an outline of what is expected of you, and a list of the curated document collections.

The primary source assignment is due in class on April 10.