The Online Course: Program or Be Programmed

Although I’m not teaching any courses at NYU or The New School this year, I am teaching course available to everyone: Program or Be Programmed, at MaybeLogic Academy.

It will run from October 11 to December 19, online through lectures and in forums and chats. Enrollment includes a copy of the ebook of the upcomingProgram or Be Programmed. We’ll also look at some other texts by Kevin Kelly, Jaron Lanier, Sherry Turkle, Clay Shirky, and Norbert Weiner. Required assignments will be as short as ten pages per week. Optional reading can go as deep as you like.

The basic idea is to explore the main biases, or “leanings” of digital media. What is it good for, what is it bad for? How does the digital color what happens in a digital context? If conversations do tend to get more polar or over-simplified, why is that? Why do people seem content to use these technologies with little or no understanding of how they work? Does human agency increase even if we don’t recognize what the tools we are using really do? Is a new elite arising that does?

This course will be as grounded in the practical or as abstractly theoretical as you like. And since it is online, we can have more than one kind of conversation running through this material. I’m finding online courses – though they lack the level of human contact – actually provide more time for more contexts than we get by putting ten or twenty people in a room to have one conversation over a specific hour of time.

If you want college or grad school credit for the course and I’ll be happy to talk to your advisor about how to make that work.

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