Assignment due Wednesday, 20 November

We will be reading only two chapters this semester. For Wednesday, please read Chapter 1: New Mediocracy. For the following Monday (25 November) we will be reading Chapter 4: Attention Dilution Disorder.


Question for Chapter 1:

The core argument in this chapter is a remark about free will essentially: about how increasingly effective, customized marketing can undercut the concept of fair and free choice, whether in the arena of consumerism or even in the sphere of politics. For your reaction, I am curious whether you think that robotic sensing and action change this basic tension between “marketing advances” and free choice in any fundamental way, or is this nothing but incremental changes to the relationship between information, corporations and people? So, reflect on the chapter and explain whether you find this to be incremental or on the cusp of a major transformation in terms of power relationship, and why?