The Internet and Social Implications Lauren Stentz and Liz Pisano Democracy on the Web Question to consider: Does the openness and “democracy” of the Web increase the distribution of useful information or inaccurate, foolish, and biased information? The “Wisdom of the Crowd” vs. Mediocrity of the Masses When is the wisdom of the crowd appropriate or trustworthy and when is it not? Should we, experts, or the government prevent such incorrect information from appearing? What would our ethical theorists say? Democracy and the Internet If it is a democracy, what about the people who don’t have access to the net? Can it truly be described as a democracy? What forensic investigations can we do in 400 years now that almost everything is produced digitally? The Digital Divide Are individuals without access to technology going to be “left behind”? Social policy decision: the government provides basic necessities for those who cannot afford to for themselves. Is technology one? If so, what forms of technology should the government provide? Democracy on the Web Question to consider: Does the openness and “democracy” of the Web increase the distribution of useful information or inaccurate, foolish, and biased information? Computers and Community Question to Consider: How do computers and telecommunications affect human interactions and community? Writing, Thinking, and Deciding Can computers (and technological machines in general) encourage “mental laziness”? I have a spelling checker. It came with my PC. It plainly marks four my revue, Miss steaks aye can knot sea. Eye ran this poem threw it, I’m sure your pleased too no. It’s letter perfect in it’s weigh My checker tolled me sew. - Jarrold H. Zar, “Candidate for a Pullet Surprise” Essentially, do people let computers do the thinking for them? Relationships Technology “disconnects us from each other, having us “interfacing” more with computers and TV screens than looking in the face of our fellow human beings. Is this progress?” Jim Hightower Can you have a relationship online when you’re interfacing with a computer? Is it for the “good of the people” if an extra tax is added for spending time on the internet? Would it increase family time? *What would our ethical theorists say? Making decisions about Technology Does it matter if you’re dealing with a machine instead of a human? Is it safe to say that these machines are smarter than humans? Evaluations of the Impact of Technology Reflection: Does technology create a need for itself?