CMPT 320

Sociotechnological Issues of Computing Science

Summer, 2017


SPECIAL ANOUNCEMENTS:

CHANGE in midterm date (June 21st now).

Inspector Kevin McQuiggin VPD (Ret.) will be giving a guest talk on JUNE 7th.




HOMEWORK



Instructor:
Steven Pearce (Burnaby Campus: TASC 1, room 9225)
Phone: 778-782-4444
E-mail: stevenp AT sfu.ca - Emergencies Only

Office Hours:

Instructor: One hour before class and after class when needed - instructor's office.
TAs: - Dogan Erisen and Shadab Romani

Text: Course pack available in bookstore (NO TEXTBOOK for lectures).


GRADING:

  • Research - 10%
  • Midterm - Monday, June 21st - 40%
  • Final Examination  -  Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 from 19:00-21:00 hrs (room TBA) - 50%
NOTES:
  • All assignments must be completed and handed in for a passing grade in this course.
  • It is the student's responsibility to keep track of his/her performance using our new grade-tracking webpage located http://courses.cs.sfu.ca (to be dicussed).
  • Assignments and examinations will be open to review for one week only.
  • Students are expected to communicate in English at a level of proficiency that is becoming of an educated person - particularly, of a university student in upper division standing (please contact The Center for Research for Professional and Academic Writing in the English department for assistance).  Remember, you are not working for a technical certificate.  A university degree is a sign of "education," which entails both breadth of knowledge and acumen for communicating concepts.
  • Be aware of the fact that the midterm date is after the last day to drop classes.
  • Plagiarism will result in an automatic failing grade (note that some departments take harsher measures such as death by hanging).

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF LECTURE TOPICS:

NOTES:
  • You are responsible for the readings listed in BOLD CAPITALS, and some online references (indicated).  PowerPoints will be emailed to the class.  Note that we may not cover all topics listed below.
 
WEEKS
TOPIC
READINGS
1
Introduction. BERKELEY
NONLINEAR SYSTEMS REVIEW VIDEO (MANDATORY)

2
Epistemology.
Theory and Observation of Culture, Society and Technology.
Sociocultural Treands
HERGENHAHN,
(Kuhn & Popper are reference only)
WINDSCHUTTLE (the section, From Relativism to Absurdity)
,
HARPER
,
Class Notes (Non-Mandatory)
3
Continuted,
Metrics on the Computing Revolution.
Mumford,
Barbour,
BARABASI
MICHAELS (only Fig. 4)

Social Resistance,
Parkinson's Law,
Personal, Corporate and National Security.
Mander, Ellul,
NOTES ON JACQUES ELLUL (MANDATORY)
Slideshare Online Reference to Jacques Ellul (Not Mandatory)
5   Privacy continued WESTIN,
Warren & Brandeis,

6  `
MIDTERM
.
NOTE: There will be no class after the midterm.
7
Information Warfare PARNAS
RAND (the figure on 4 theatres only)
Federation of American Scientists (Non-Mandatory),

Wikipedia (Non-Mandatory)
8
Software Engineering and Reliability. Forester and Morrison
9
Modeling and Social Policy. Gotlieb & Borodin (ONLY SECTION 7.7 on Social Systems)
BAASE
My article to SFU News on Kyoto (Non-Mandatory)
10
Economics and the Productivity Paradox Madrick
11
.Aesthetics. Risset,
Truax,
12
AI and Conscious Experience. Evans,
SEARLE.
13 Summary and Review


TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF VIDEOS AND CLIPS (shown in class and available on-line)

NB: You are responsible for the content of these videos if discussed in class.
  • Nonlinear Systems (MANDATORY 12 part tutorial - same as listed in preceeding table)
  • Koyaanisqatsi.
  • O.B.I.T (The Outer Limits, 1963).
  • Failsafe (1964).
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (HAL 9000 sequence).
  • Various videos on Information Warfare (Knowledge Network) and Privacy (CBC) from my personal collection TBA.
  • McLuhans Wake

RECOMMENDED VIDEOS ( some in the Bennet Library Multimedia Collection)

The following are NOT required, but are suggested for those of you who are actually interested in learning about society and from non-conventional (i.e., sources other than from commercial media) perspectives.
  • Century of Self: HC 79 C6 C45 2004b  - part 2 only  (This is afour part BBC documentary on how our post-WWII consumer society was born out of Freudian ideas).
  • Her (2013).  This is a very intelligent Hollywood movie about a man falling in love with an artificially intelligent operating system in not too distant future (around the so-called singularity).  It is, in fact, centerec upon the present decline of interpersonal relationships in Western society.
  • Commanding Heights: HD 87 C66 2002b (A three part WGBH documentary on the rise of the global economy with emphasis on free markets).
  • Why We Fight: DS 79.76 W49 2006 (Documentary on the rise of the American military industrial complex) 
  • Gun, germs, and steel: HM 626 G86 2005.
  • Manufactured Landscapes TR 140 B868 E25 2007

Revised: April 2017