FOSCIS Week 10
2015 04 12
- The Gist
- This article covers the development of general purpose computing and the ways it influenced (both positively and negatively) "freedom" (in various interpretations of the word).
- The Good
- In addition to being a really stupid acronym (which I'm a huge fan of), the WELL is apparently still running: http://www.well.com/.
- ""You lack political liberty or freedom only if you are prevented from attaining your goal by human beings” (Berlin 1958, 7)."
- "J. C. R. Licklider" is a really funny name. Granted, he was pretty influential in computing history, but man. "Licklider".
- The Bad
- I can't see the phrase "serious business" without giggling. Thanks internet.
- "I would like to do that by reference to a third domain: that of political philosophy." Oh, jeeze man, can you not? I'm still recovering from last week...
- Oddly enough, this is an article where I dislike the frequent footnotes and annotations. When every other sentence is "Author (year)," it's hard to distinguish the original ideas in the text.
- The acronyms "STS" and "MCS" are used like I am expected to know what they are. It took me a good couple minutes until I figured out they stand for "Science and Technology Studies" and "Media and Communications Studies" respectively.
- The Questions
- This article makes frequent use of the phrase "high tech industry". Is the low tech industry vibrant enough that the distinction is needed?
- "smartphones (note the focus on augmented intelligence in the very name)" - I thought the "smart" in "smartphone" referred to the phone itself. What's the etymology behind the term?
- This text seems intent on slapping labels (such as "libertarian") on various technologies. Why is labeling things so important in philosophy?
- I had hopes for this week. Maybe we would be out of philosophy-town. We are not out of philosophy town. That being said, it was still more readable than last week's assignment. There were a handful of fun computing history facts, but the majority of it was still philosophical madness. I can't tell if I'm getting a subpar version of this course by doing it as an independent study, or the "real" version of this course is equally baffling and crazy. We may never know.
2/5 <review increments>