Week 4*

M S15          Complexity

Rushkoff, Complexity

Carr, Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Shirky, Why Abundance is Good: A Response to Nick Carr

Shirky, Does The Web Make You Smarter?

Rich, Literacy Debate: RU Really Reading Online?

Dibbell, Is a Tweet the New Size of a Thought?

Silver, The Difference Between Thin and Thick Tweets


Optional Readings:

Nicholas Carr, Why Skepticism is Good: My Reply to Clay Shirky
Sven Birkerts,A Know-Nothing’s Defense of Serious Reading & Culture: A Reply to Clay Shirky
Clay Shirky, Why Abundance Should Breed Optimism: A Second Reply to Nick Carr



W  S17

Videos from class:

Pariser, Beware Online Filter Bubbles

Sloan, EPIC 2014 in the white box, click “click here to watch EPIC 2014” to watch EPIC 2014.

EPIC 2014 was originally made in 2004. Reporting from the future (of 2014) the fictional Museum of Media History projects what will happen in the future of media. The video begins with true events up until the year 2005, then quickly turns into a fictional thought experiment. It has its own Wikipedia entry where you can learn more about the technologies it describes, and invents for the purpose of this fictional story.



F  S19*

In Class Assignment: LITERACY

To fully engage with digital media, to engage on that deeper level of reading that Carr laments us having lost, we must appreciate differences between surface-level engagement online, and deeper readings online. We need certain literacy skills in order to engage with some information spaces online in a more complex way. What digital literacy skills do we need to engage more deeply online?

Use the following links from the Department of Eduction to get a sense of how literacy as a basic skill is defined. Consider the information-related literacy skills you’ve tested in class so far (reading and writing Tweets, Writing a blog post, categorizing your content to be found, finding relevant information, awareness of automated filters and how your behavior fuels them, building your own websites, etc.). Choose one. Define it as a digital literacy skill, list all the things one must know in order to successfully and meaningfully accomplish such a task, and write a quick test to assess whether or not someone has developed that skill or not.

Institute of Education Sciences, Definitions and Types of Literacy



DUE Blog post 2

Create a Twitter account (or use the account you already have). Find and follow some people – this may include your classmates, your teachers, the authors of the readings we’ve done this semester, media outlets, your favorite band, your mom, etc. Post at least two “thick tweets” (tweets that include multiple layers of information). Tag them using #comm200. Also include any other hash tags you think are appropriate. Write a blog posting about your experience tweeting and how it connects to the Dibbell, Carr, Shirky, and/or Rushkoff readings for this week. Read and comment on your classmates’ posts.