I'm not kidding.
After reviewing my options, I decided to dig into an anthropology course called Cultures of Computing. The syllabus describes it thus:
This course examines computers anthropologically, as artifacts revealing the social orders and cultural practices that create them. Students read cultural analyses of historical and contemporary computing worlds alongside influential texts in computer science. Students explore the history of automation and capitalist manufacturing; cybernetics and WWII operations research; artificial intelligence and gendered subjectivity; the creation and commoditization of the personal computer; the growth of the Internet as a military, academic, and commercial project; the making of new social and economic forms online; the worlds of hackers and gamers; technobodies and virtual sociality; robots and new material substrates for computing. Emphasis is placed on how ideas about gender and other social differences shape labor practices, models of cognition, and material and symbolic practices of networking.It really does call for three, seven-page essays.
I was trying to track down some of the books at my local library, but realized it would be easier and more fun to
Okay, so basically I'm just using the syllabus to create a viewing list.
A few years ago, we watched old musicals until the boys complained every time they saw me with a new DVD case. True story. Now I've traded Gene Kelly for The Terminator.
And War Games
AI: Artificial Intelligence
2001: Space Odyssey (Not required, but helpful for paper number 2, "Representations of computers in film.")
Not a bad list. And if you combine them with the readings, in order, and discuss them in the context suggested by Professor Stefan Helmreich, I'm sure you'll have a lot to think/talk/write about.
For now, I'm just happy to snuggle on the couch with my family and watch.
Read more about MIT's Open Courseware and let me know what class you might take.
The fine print:
Helmreich, Stefan. 21A.350J Cultures of Computing, Fall 2011. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), http://ocw.mit.edu (Accessed 11 Sep, 2012). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
MIT in no way endorses me or the mockery I'm making of this cool course.
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