Week 8: Sustainability and ethics + visualizations

Thanks, all, for your responses in our anonymous Google form. What I’m reading from you is simply this: we’re all exhausted. So, while this week is going to have some heavy materials, we’re also going to spend a little time getting outside–yes, outside–and doing a few little fun things. It’s not exactly fall break, but we’re going to try to ease up a little bit.


Ordinarily in this week, we talk about your particular duties to be ethical and sustainable in your own creation of digital content. But I’m going to move that to a different week. (Principle one for responsible digital content creation: Cite your sources. Don’t use things you don’t own or have the rights to. We shall now move on.)

Instead, I want us to think about techno-utopia this week. In other words, sometimes we think that technology is going to save us. But the problem is that all technology is, at its heart, created by humans.

You get a choice for your response this week–do one (or more) of these things and then respond via a blog post or audio:

In your response, answer these questions:

  • What is the technology being described in this piece? What is its purpose?
  • Why might we think of this technology as a good?
  • What went wrong?
  • How might we fix this problem?
  • What can we conclude about technology based on this piece?

Once you’ve submitted your own response, read a few others’ responses as well, and respond to them. You can choose whether to talk about things in Slack or in blog comments.


Go for a walk! Seriously, go for a walk. Post a photo in your group of the most interesting thing you saw on your walk.

Then, once you’ve gone for a walk, you can watch this video which I’ve made for you, telling you what’s coming up for the rest of the semester.