The Internet and Social Implications

Report
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?

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