IS 200 Information in Society

Preparation for the Discussion Groups in Week Ten, Dec 4

  • Does the design of an information delivery system affect how people will use it?  Does it affect what information they will find and how they will perceive it?
  • In Phil Agre's lecture last week, he emphasized that personal computers don't have to be designed the way they were, and that in fact most of the things around us could have been designed in very different ways.  How does the design of our software distribution system influence our views of software as a commodity or as a tool?  How does the design of our socio-political systems affect how we regard information and how we situate our information industries?
  • Do artifacts have politics?  Is technology neutral?
  • Are there designs for information exchange that do not treat information as a commodity?