The Online Technology and Society Reader
Study Questions Part 4: Section 1. The Conversion of Natural Capital
Reading 1. Industrial Logic by Jerry Manders
What did Jacque Ellul mean by the term tecnic? Why does Manders say the organizational forms that we invent and employ are even further expressions of technique?
What is the internal logic by which corporations operate, and what are the consequences of that logic for forests, farms, and oceans?
Reading 2. The Challenge of Faust and Money and Magic
Goethe, in Faust, describes three of the major instruments of economic growth; what are they?
Goethe also depicts the major problems with industrial capitalism: what are they?
What does Daly mean when he calls Faust a thoroughly alchemical play? In what way is the modern economist an alchemist? In what way is capital conversion itself an alchemical process?
Reading 3. The Politics of Extinction
According to Watson, hat is the rate of species extinction for your generation?
Reading 4. The Growth Consensus Unravels
What are some of the signs that the "growth consensus, as Rowe calls it, is beginning to unravel?
What are "externalities" and what are some examples of them?
Study Questions Part 4: Section 2. The Conversion of Political Capital
Reading 1. Subversive Rationalization: Technology, Power, and Democracy
What are the two ways Feenberg suggests to understand why technology has not been an instrument of democratization?
How would you summarize Feenberg's "critical theory of technology"?
What is technological determinism and what are Feenberg's view of it?
In what ways do users of technology begin to define its meaning? What are some examples?
What are some of the ways that Feenberg suggests that we can democratize technology?
Reading 2. Selection from Democracy and Technology
What are the four questions generally asked in our society about a new technology? What are some of the other questions that should be asked?
What are some of the lessons that we can learn from the Amish's approach to technology?
Reading 3. Big Brother Goes High-Tech
What are the basic components required for the full implementation of surveillance technology?
What are the legal and political safeguards for the abuse of surveillance technology?
Reading 4. Corporate assault on privacy through neo-Orwellian technology
How are corporations using Internet technology to promote consumption? What percentage of buying is the technology predicted to encourage?
Katz's article was written in 1998; how much more can governments and corporations legally find out about your life and behavior?
Reading 5. From Big Brother to Electronic Panopticon
What are some of the similarities and differences between the metaphor of "big brother" and that of the panopticon? According to Foucault, what was the major effect of the panopticon?
For George Orwell in 1984, the main agency of surveillance was the state; what other agency does Lyon mention?
How does electronic surveillance display panoptic features?
How does consumption operate as a panopticon?
Reading 6. Will the Internet be Bad for Democracy?
What are some of the reasons that people believe that the Internet will promote democracy?
What are the reasons that Noam believes undermine the extent to which the Internet will promote democracy?
Study Questions Part 4: Section 3. The Conversion of Social Capital
Reading 1 Bowling Alone
How does Robert Putnam define social capital?
What are some of the measures that Putnam uses to document the decline of social capital in America?
How are the new "mass membership" organizations different from the older, traditional "secondary associations?"
What are the reasons that Putnam cites for the decline of social capital?
Reading 2a The Social Costs of Globalization
What evidence was Norberg-Hodge offer to substantiate the idea that children in America are not doing well?
What are some of the reasons that she offers for the state of children?
Reading 2b. Appropriate Technology and Co-operative Culture in Ladakh
How does Norbert-Hodge describe the quality of life of Ladakh?
How has change affected the outlook of the young regarding their society?
Reading 3. Road to Nowhere
According to Ditmarr, hat are some of the consequences of our use of the automobile?
What are some of the reasons that efforts to reduce the amount that people drive been ineffective?
Reading 4 a,b &c On Television
What sorts of impact did television have on the life of the Dene in the Canadian Northwest?
What are the basics of the four arguments made by Mander for the elimination of television?
According to Mander, what sort of advantages exist for corporation in the adoption of television and computer technology?
Reading 5 a & b. On Computers
For Turkle, what are some of the effects of simulation on our lives?
What sort of transformations occur to sex and violence in the world of virtual reality?
What sort of method did Kraut and his associates use to measure the social impact of the Internet?
What are some of the mechanisms that Kraut and his associates propose that causes declines in social involvement and psychological well-being?
Since January 28, 2003