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Course Schedule

All readings for the course are below, organized by week



Week 1 | Defining New Media

Due Date By Thursday, January 31st: Before class read the 5Cs article below and come to class prepared to discuss.

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Class Thursday, January 31st: Introduction to the class, Blogs@baruch, Hypothesis Discussion

By Sunday, February 3rd:

  • Assignment Join this site by clicking “add me” in the side bar –>
  • Assignment POST: Expand on what we did in class. Choose a New Media example write about how it does or doesn’t display all 5 Cs. Link to your New Media example. Create a ~*catchy title*~ and categorize this post as “Intro to New Media”.

For directions about how to post see here: How to Post

Week 2 | The Digital

By Tuesday, February 5th:

On Wednesday February 6th:

  • COMMENT: on a classmate’s post. Choose a post that is about a different koan than the one you wrote about on Tuesday.

Class Thursday, February 7th: What is the nature of New Media? What are bits?

Week 3 | Computers: How they (do and don’t) work

By Tuesday, February 12th:

  • READ + ANNOTATE Chapter 2: “Hello World” from Artificial Unintelligence by Meredith Broussard
  • POST to address the following questions:
    • What is technochauvinism? What do technochauvinists believe? Where do you stand?
    • What happened with tacocopter? Try to answer her questions at the end of the chapter: “What would it mean to design buildings and urban environments to enable drones instead of people?” What would the social costs be of getting rid of mundane interactions like talking to someone at the checkout counter or delivering your food? Do you want to say ‘Hello World’ to that reality?

By Wednesday, February 13th:

  • WATCH: Broussard on AI and The Art of Imperfection
  • COMMENT: Below the video comment (3-5 sentences) on her talk. What made sense? What was confusing? Are there points where you agree or disagree with what she is saying? Why? What would you like to talk more about in class?

Thursday, February 14th: Comptuers, AI, and Data By SUNDAY Feb 17th : Sign up to be a class facilitator here (link)

Week 4 |Search and Algorithms

By Tuesday, February 19th:

Wednesday February 20th:

CLASS | Thursday, February 21st: Search engines and bias OPTIONAL READ:Browne, Simone. 2015. “Branding Blackness: Biometric Technology and the Surveillance of Blackness” in Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness. Duke University. OPTIONAL LISTEN: Did you Google it?

Week 5 | Evolution of the Web

Tuesday, February 26th:

Wednesday February 27th:

  • READ + ANNOTATE: We are the Web (WIRED)
  • Optional Read: “What-is-Web-2.0” by Tim O’Reilly in The Social Media Reader
  • POST: Based on the readings and videos, describe the evolution of the web. From what you understood: how has the web changed over time? What were some of the major turning points? What stage are we at right now?

CLASS | Thursday, February 28th By Sunday March 2nd:

  • READ + ANNOTATE: Why the net giants are worried about the Web 3.0 (Medium)
  • EXPLORE: How Solid works
  • POST: The success of web 3.0 depends on users to move away from centralized, corporate tech platforms in favor adopting and participating on decentralized web platforms. How does blockchain play a role in Web 3.0? What would it take to get you to adopt these new systems? Can you imagine Web 3.0 becoming a reality? Categorize as Web 3.0
  • Remember: start thinking about which new media entity you might want to explore in your midterm

Week 6 |History: Rise of the ‘Information Age’

Tuesday, March 5th:

Wednesday March 6th:

  • READ + ANNOTATE: “Introduction to the Information Age by Manuel Castells. City 2, 7 : 6–16.
  • POST: Then, pick one of the characteristics of Castells’ “network society”. Explain this characteristic in your own words and describe an example of this in real life (IRL). How has this aspect of life changed over time? How did things used to be before digital devices and the internet? Create a ~*catchy title*~ and categorize this post as “The Information Age”

CLASS | Thursday, March 7th SUNDAY Begin to explore a new media entity to propose for your Midterm Project

Week 7 | Big Data

Tuesday, March 12th:

  • READ + ANNOTATE: A Digital Declaration by Zuboff, Shoshana in Frankfurter Allgemeine (2014)
  • POST answer the following questions:
    • What are “institutional facts”? How are they established?
    • What kind of declaration does Zuboff believe we should adopt to resist surveillance capitalism?
    • Do your best to define “collective intentionality”. Why might this be important for our digital future?
    • What is the difference between a synthetic and counter declaration?
    • How does a declaration change the world?

Wednesday March 13th

  • READ: Tech’s Frightful Five: They’ve Got Us (NY Times)
  • Identify an example of surveillance capitalism in your own life. Take some notes about how this instance demonstrates the concept that Zuboff described. Come to class prepared to discuss.

CLASS | Thursday, March 14th

  • Finish discussion of Castells, discuss Zuboff

Week 8 | Social Media

Wednesday March 20th: READ TWO & POST: (annotation optional)

CLASS | Thursday, March 21st: social media discussion, midterm questions MIDTERM Paper/Project Due by SUNDAY March 24th 11:59pm

Week 9| Tech Ethics

Wednesday, March 27th:

  • READ+ANNOTATE When Tech Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself” from WIRED
  • POST Read the transcript and analyze the ideas and arguments of one of the speakers. Provide a 250 summary of the ideas put forth by ONE of the men in this article, Yuval Harari or Tristan Harris.
    • Who is he? What is his professional background?
    • What ideas does he present?
    • What is his approach or stance on technology?
    • What is one quote that stood out to you?
    • What questions would you ask him if you could chat with him?
    • Categorize your post as “Tech Ethics”
  • WATCH Anil Dash consider “What if We’re Not the Good Guys?” and COMMENT on the video:
    • What does Dash say about responsibility?
    • According to Dash, why are the platforms we create disconnected from the values we hold in the real world?
  • Quick Read: Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: ‘The system is failing’

CLASS | Thursday, March 28th

Week 10| Platform Capitalism

Tuesday, April 2nd

Wednesday April 3rd:

  • WATCH+COMMENT: John Oliver on Net Neutrality
    • If you are first to comment, have at it. If someone has commented before you, respond to what they said and add to the discussion. Do you agree disagree? Understood it differently? Have a different view? Respond +Add to the discussion.

CLASS | Thursday, April 4th SUNDAY April 7th: Final Manifesto Proposal due. Provide background info on your proposed topic and issue that your manifesto will address.

Week 11| Information & Social Inequality

SUNDAY April 7th: Final Manifesto Proposal due. Provide background info on your proposed topic and issue that your manifesto will address. Tuesday, April 9th:

  • READ + ANNOTATE: The Commodification of Information and Social Inequality.” by Adair, Stephen (2010) from Critical Sociology 36 (2): 243–63.
  • POST: In your own words, summarize one of the numbered points Adiar uses to describe how commodified information promotes inequality. After your summary, provide a real life of example that demonstrates this point. Categorize this post as Tech & Social Inequality

Wednesday April 10th:

CLASS | Thursday, April 11th

Week 12 | Identifying Publics

Tuesday, April 16th:

  • READ+ANNOTATE: Issues Spark a Public Into Being
  • POST: What is this article about? What does the author mean by an “object oriented democratic politics”? Why do you think we are reading this for this class? As best you can, in your own words, summarize one of the number sections of the article and raise questions to discuss in class.

Wednesday April 17th:

  • PREP Outline and Bibliography – Bring 3 copies to class

CLASS | Thursday, April 18th: Manifesto Peer Review MONDAY April 22nd: Final Manifesto Outline and Bibliography Due

Week 13| Spring Break

MONDAY April 22nd: Final Manifesto Outline and Bibliography Due ALL WEEK: Find time this week (or next week before Tuesday) to visit Hudson Yards. Take a picture to document your visit and take notes to write your post for next week. Read the post directions below to make sure you make observations that will help you complete the post. Before your trip: READ + ANNOTATE:Instrumental City: The View from Hudson Yards, circa 2019.” by Shannon Mattern in Places Journal (2016)

Week 14|Hudson Yards & Amazon

Tuesday, April 30th:

  • READ + ANNOTATE:Instrumental City: The View from Hudson Yards, circa 2019.” by Shannon Mattern in Places Journal (2016)
  • POST: Tell us about your visit to Hudson Yards by answering the following questions. Post a picture of your explorations!
    • What are two things you notice in the park that connect to the reading?
    • What is the environment like at Hudson Yards? Who is there? What are people doing?
    • What kinds of stores and amenities are there? What does that say about the people who might go there?
    • What are 1 or 2 instances of the digital world intersecting with the material/physical environment?

Wednesday May 1st: READ: “Hudson Yards Is Manhattan’s Biggest, Newest, Slickest Gated Community. Is This the Neighborhood New York Deserves?” CLASS | Thursday, May 2nd:

Week 15| Imagining the Future: Digital Manifestos

Tuesday, May 7th: Listen to Anil Dash discuss (or read the transcript of) Tech’s Moral Reckoning with Krista Tippett in the On Being podcast series. Create a Post to provide short answers in response to the questions below. Categorize the post as Tech’s Moral Reckoning.

  • According to Dash, what kinds of training are missing in technology industry?
  • Does Dash think technology is neutral? Why or why not? Do you agree?
  • What does Dash think about Google? How does this relate to other topics we have covered in class?
  • When it comes to incorporating technology into our lives, what questions does Dash suggest we ask ourselves?
  • What sort of “reckoning” does Dash think we are going to face in the near future?

About Anil Dash: “Dash is an entrepreneur, activist and writer recognized as one of the most prominent voices advocating for a more humane, inclusive and ethical technology industry….Dash was an advisor to the Obama White House’s Office of Digital Strategy, and today advises major startups and non-profits…Described as a “blogging pioneer” by the New Yorker, Dash has a unique presence on social media…In 2013, Time named @anildash one of the best accounts on Twitter, and he is the only person ever retweeted by both Bill Gates and Prince, a succinct summarization of Dash’s interests.” (more here) Wednesday May 8th: Come to class prepared to discuss the podcast and your manifestos CLASS | Thursday, May 9th:

Week 16 | Finals

THURSDAY MAY 16th | Final Exam Period 6-8pm: Manifesto Presentations MONDAY MAY 20th 11:59 pm: FINAL MANIFESTO Due (email)  

Course Information

What:  Principles of New Media, CIS 3810 (Hybrid-Sample Course)

When: Thursday, 5:50-7:05 pm, Semester year

Where: Baruch College

Instructor: Laurie Hurson

Email: lhurson (at) gc.cuny.edu

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