There's been a lot of talk recently about the need for a careful consideration of how the technology and disciplines we build interact with society at large. Luckily, there's already a big body of scholarly work in this area in the humanities from fields like Science, Technology, and Society studies, philosophy of technology, history, and media studies. Unfortunately, most of us in CS aren't familiar with that work. Let's change that.
Here's some of the topics we're considering exploring:
What is objectivity? What is efficiency? What is correctness? And how do we think about these ideals?
Is technological development our destiny? How does our technical work fit within broader historical and social contexts?
Did the development of the stirrup make feudalism inevitable? (Or, how does tech affect politics?)
How can theory help us think about the impact of our technical work on the world?
The reading group will last for the summer and is open to everyone in SCS. This group will be at a beginner level; we’re all coming in from different places and learning together, so please prepare to discuss and be open to new types of thinking. All that’s required is enthusiasm and kindness.