Refer ONLY to readings from this course in your essays. You may not copy and paste any content from a PowerPoint slide or external website. You must write your own essays. Any quotations from readings MUST BE PLACED IN “” and should be cited in one of the following ways:
- Lindgren (2017) argues that media are “environments for social interaction” (4).
- From the perspective of a media ecologist, media are “environments for social interaction” (Lindgren, 2017, p. 4).
- Historian of technology Melvin Kranzberg (1986) points out that “[t]echnology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral” (qtd. in Lindgren, 2017, p. 4).
- Nadler et al. (2018) argue that “digital advertising infrastructure creates disturbing new opportunities for political manipulation” (1).
- Recent critical theorists of the internet have argued that “digital advertising infrastructure creates disturbing new opportunities for political manipulation” (Nadler et al., 2018, p. 1).
Failure to follow these basic rules and guidelines will lead to point deductions.
Q1. How will networked drone technologies change society? Who serves to benefit from the development of this technology, and who will be harmed? Theories about the impacts of the internet on society serve as models for answering such questions about emerging technologies like networked drones. For this portion, you will need to watch a 16 minute documentary film titled Elevation: How Drones Will Change Cities (2018),
and then write an essay using materials from the class about the development of the internet to analyze its claims. Follow the rubric below to answer this question:
Paragraph 1: Summarize the film and its core argument. Be sure to quote relevant comments from the film to help show evidence for your claims. (2 points)
Paragraph 2: Draw from the ideas of: Marshall McLuhan, Yochai Benkler, Manuel Castells; James Surowiecki (The undersea network. Durham: Duke University Press, 1-25) to describe the cyber-optimists’ case for the democratizing, liberating influence of digital technologies and the internet on everyday life (Lindgren, Chapters 1 and 3). You should have four cyber-optimist tenets in this paragraph. Only base on their opinion and write in your own word. (4 points)
Paragraph 3: How do the ideas of cyber-optimists align with comments made by interviewees in the film? Identify and explain four points of overlap. (2 points)
Paragraph 4: Draw from the ideas of: Safiya Noble (conclusion. algorithms of oppression, 171-182), (algorithms of oppression, “a society searching”, 34-63); Christian Fuchs, Allison Cavanagh, and/or the film The Facebook Dilemma to critique the cyber-optimists’ position. You should have four cyber pessimist tenets. Reference the source for each point you make. (4 points)
Paragraph 5: Using the ideas of one of the theorists mentioned in paragraph 4, analyze and critique one claim made in the film about the virtues of drones, or draw from your author’s theory to point out a potential negative impact of drones not considered in the film. (4 points)
Paragraph 6: Drawing from the section of the Lindgren book on digital divides and “Internet Competence” (146-49), write a conclusion in which you summarize who you think will benefit and who not by the unregulated incorporation of drones into everyday life. (4 points)
Q2. In On Government (1689), John Locke argued that there were social benefits to a government that allowed hard-working individuals to privatize natural resources and accumulate property. This question will ask you to consider the relevance of this theory to understanding media industries and infrastructures that have developed over the last century.
- Paragraph 1: Summarize Locke’s theory of property. Point out 4 key assumptions he makes, quoting from the reading to provide evidence. (2 points)
- Paragraph 2: Using Locke’s theory, assess how and when attention functions as a form of property for media industries. Refer explicitly to one of the case studies we read from Tim Wu’s book The Attention Merchants. (4 points)
- Paragraph 3: Identify 2 limitations of Locke’s theory of property for creating sustainable, equitable living conditions today, and refer to a contemporary example for each. Draw examples from two of the following course readings to make your case: Farrell, Siegle, Bernat, Hawkins, Noble, Patel, Nadler et al., and/or Starosielski. (4 points)
Reading resources that instructor provided:
Lindgren (2017) argues that media are “environments for social interaction”
Lindgren book on digital divides and “Internet Competence” (146-49)
James Surowiecki (The undersea network. Durham: Duke University Press, 1-25)
Safiya Noble (conclusion. algorithms of oppression, 171-182), (algorithms of oppression, “a society searching”, 34-63);