Information in Culture and Society Spring 2002 Syllabus

U48 334—Information in Culture and Society
Washington University University College

Spring 2002
Mondays 7:45 p.m.–9:45 p.m.

Instructor: Scott Granneman
Senior Consultant in Internet Services
Bryan Consulting

Course Description

We are said to live in an information society and work in an information economy, but what does that mean? If we have indeed experienced a "paradigm shift" in what information means to society, then how do we adapt to these changes and what do they mean for the traditional ways society functions? This course examines how we think about, communicate and use information in a variety of contexts, including political, financial, historical, ethical, organizational, educational and technological. Guest lecturers from business, engineering, humanities and social sciences will provide these perspectives. Note: Web-based instruction and online requirements will complement the two-hour weekly class meeting. Students must have an e-mail account and access to the Internet to take the course. This course is offered on the same evening, back-to-back with U09 314, Organizational Psychology.

Required Texts

Readings will consist of articles, analyses, & ephemera from the Internet.


Your grade will be based on the following factors:

Grades will be based on an average of the above as follows:

100 A+
94-99 A
89-93 A-
86-88 B+
83-85 B
79-82 B-
76-78 C+
73-75 C
69-72 C-
66-68 D+
63-65 D
59-62 D-
0-58 F

Policy regarding academic dishonesty: This course will follow Washington University's policies concerning academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will result in failure for the assignment in question and/or referral to the college's Academic Integrity Office, which has discretion to impose a stricter penalty. While academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and quizzes, it also includes plagiarism in written assignments. Plagiarism is not only passing off someone else's work as your own, but also giving your work to someone else to pass off as their own. It also includes submitting work from another course. While I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with eachother in and out of class, and while you may research issues together, your writing should be your own. The papers you submit must be your work alone, and must include citations to all references in your work. Please include the URL, or Web address, for internet articles.

Accommodation of disabilities: If you have a disability that might affect your ability to complete the required assignments, please contact me during the first week of class to discuss an accommodation.

Tentative Schedule

Jan. 7 ~ Introduction. History of communications technologies. Technology Drivers. How to use the Content Management System.

Jan. 14 ~ Information Retrieval & Processing. Content Management Systems. Blogging. The Semantic Web. The Web never forgets.
Assignments for 14 January 2002

Jan. 21 ~ MLK Day—NO CLASS

Jan. 28 ~ Trust & Identity. Advice on the Web. The Diablo II massacre. Are they who they say they are?
Assignments for 28 January 2002

Feb. 4 ~ Privacy. Customer tracking. Biometrics. Digital Angel. Spyware. Sealand.
Guest: Matt LeMieux, Executive Director, ACLU of Eastern Missouri.
Assignments for 4 February 2002

Feb. 11 ~ Intellectual Property. Digital Rights Management. Fair Use. DeCSS. UCITA. DMCA. SSSCA. Monsanto's seeds.
Assignments for 11 February 2002

Feb. 18 ~ First Amendment. Free speech. Pornography. Nazi memorabilia. Domain names. Linking.
Guests: Denise Lieberman's University College class "Courts and Civil Liberties" & Mark Sableman, Attorney, Thompson Coburn
Assignments for 18 February 2002

Feb. 25- Open Source. Linux. Microsoft. Licensing issues.
Assignments for 25 February 2002

March 4 ~ Spring Break—NO CLASS

March 11 ~ Dot coms & dot bombs, success stories & failures. A vanished time. Google, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon.
Assignments for 11 March 2002

March 18 ~ Marketing. Memes. Branding. Tipping points. Advertising. Viral marketing.
Guest: Jerry Bryan, President, Bryan Consulting.
Assignments for 18 March 2002

March 25 ~ E-commerce. Dynamic pricing. Personalization. Abandoned purchases. Exchanges.
Assignments for 25 March 2002

April 1 ~ Money. Paypal. Banking. Screen scraping.
Assignments for 1 April 2002

April 8 ~ Peer2Peer. Napster. KaZaA. DeskSwap. Freenet. Groove.
Assignments for 8 April 2002

April 15 ~ Telecommuting. Recruiting. Government. Law. Medicine. Religion.
Assignments for 15 April 2002

April 22 ~ Education. Technology {in|and} the classroom. Opening the walls.
Assignments for 22 April 2002

April 29 ~ Technology & Ethics. Equity.
Assignments for 29 April 2002

WebSanity Top Secret