TCH110 - Discussions



Online Discussion 1 (10 points). 



Instructions: Below are five choices for articles, websites, or videos to read or watch, and associated questions to write about. Pick any two (2) of these five and write at least two paragraphs (three to five sentences per paragraph)answering the questions that go with each choice (feel free to take longer if you need it, and you may for some of these choices). Try to write as if you were speaking your response out loud to the class: be concise (without leaving out your best thoughts!), use good sentence structure and word choice, be interesting, honest, insightful, and show some of your unique voice and style, as well as your unique ideas.

Please put your two answers in the same post, with their associated numbers in the title of your post (like “2 and 3”). Then post a helpful response to one of your colleague’s posts. In courteous language, tell your colleague 1)something you like about the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves, and 2) something you might have written differently regarding the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves. If you decided to do your post on “2 and 3” you can respond to another “2 and 3” (if you can find one) or to a different post (say, a “2 and 4” or “1 and 5”). It’s your choice, but with one condition: as long as one is available, please respond to a post that no one has yet responded to. If an unresponded post is not available go ahead and respond to one that has multiple responses already.

You are free to work in groups and to look at questions that others have posted before posting yours. The first person to post on each of the five choices is graded easier than everyone else, so pioneers are rewarded! Also feel free to discuss any or all of these questions with me, either in class or in office hours after class. Of course your written words need to be your own, not copies of others work. Be sure to cite others if you want to directly quote or use brief bits of their work.

(4 grading points available for each question, and 2 for your colleague response)

Here are the Choices for Readings/Watchings and their associated Questions (pick two): 

1. Video: “Did You Know?/Shift Happens (V2.0 6.2007 – You Tube) (8 min), Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. What do you think of this slide show? What is it “good for,” in your opinion? What statistics in this video are you suspicious of, if any? Pick one of the “harder” statistics/statements from the video and briefly tell us how you might research to find out if it was accurate or not. What other subjects or questions would you like to see addressed in a short YouTube slide show or video on accelerating change? (You can find other versions of this video, just for your own interest, here). 

2. Article: “The Acceleration of Tranquility,” Mark Helprin, Forbes, Dec 1996. Quote something Helprin says that you find interesting and respond to it. After you do that, tell us whether you agree with him that some or most people in U.S. society are too enthusiastic, uncritical, arrogant, or careless in their attitude to accelerating change. What about geeks, do they have such attitudes, on average? If not, why not? If so, how could they respond better?

3. Article: "How [Accelerating] Science Will Change Careers," (go to Doc Sharing for the PDF if this link fails) Jim Carroll, 2006. Do you agree or disagree with Carroll’s article, in general? Does it seem like a “scare” article? Is anything exaggerated? Is it a good wake-up call? Quote something from the article and tell us what you like about it, and what you don’t like (if anything). If you end up changing the type of job you do 19 times over the course of your career, like it says here, what kind of education do you think you should get in college? What kind of education would be bad to get?

4. Article: "Everybody's an Expert," Louis Menand, The New Yorker, Oct 2005. What are some of the ways that people who try to predict the future can be fooled by the randomness or complexity of life, so that they see and talk about and predict “patterns” in things that aren’t really there (e.g., the things they think are predictable actually happen randomly, or happen in ways that are much different than their models)? How can you keep from getting “fooled by randomness or complexity” in your own life?

5. Website: Retrofuture
Pick and read one of the topics (“Let them Eat Fake!” etc.) in the two center columns on the home page of this website. What do you think of the author’s (Eric Lefcowitz’s) perspective on this topic? What did you like or not like? Did he miss anything? 




Online Discussion 2 (10 points). 

Instructions: Below five questions are related to TFIO Chapter 1 readings. Pick any two (2) of these five and write at least two paragraphs (three to five sentences per paragraph) answering the questions that go with each choice (feel free to take longer if you need it, and you may for some of these choices). Try to write as if you were speaking your response out loud to the class: be concise (without leaving out your best thoughts!), use good sentence structure and word choice, be interesting, honest, insightful, and show some of your unique voice and style, as well as your unique ideas.

Please put your two answers in the same post, with their associated numbers in the title of your post (like “2 and 3”). Then post a helpful response to one of your colleague’s posts. In courteous language, tell your colleague 1)something you like about the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves, and 2) something you might have written differently regarding the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves. If you decided to do your post on “2 and 3” you can respond to another “2 and 3” (if you can find one) or to a different post (say, a “2 and 4” or “1 and 5”). It’s your choice, but with one condition: as long as one is available, please respond to a post that no one has yet responded to. If an unresponded post is not available go ahead and respond to one that has multiple responses already.

You are free to work in groups and to look at questions that others have posted before posting yours. The first person to post on each of the five choices is graded easier than everyone else, so pioneers are rewarded! Also feel free to discuss any or all of these questions with me, either in class or in office hours after class. Of course your written words need to be your own, not copies of others work. Be sure to cite others if you want to directly quote or use brief bits of their work.

(4 grading points available for each question, and 2 for your colleague response)

Here are the Question Choices (pick two): 

1. What do you think of Boulding’s idea (TFIO, p. 4) of the “200 Year Present”? How could it change the way you live your life if you believed this idea was valuable to you? 

2. Galtung said (p. 9) that the nations of Eastern Europe in 1976 (when they were still under the control of the Soviet Union) had a better-developed “future consciousness” than Western European nations did at that time. What reason did he give, and how might his reason make people in the more developed societies (America, etc.) turn people away from thinking about the future rather than toward it? What other reasons might make Americans to think less about the future than they should? What about the less-developed societies, what keeps them from thinking about the future? What do you think are some of the more effective ways we could address both of these problems (low foresight in both the developed and the developing countries)? 

3. Give one of the main reasons discussed in TFIO (p. 11-14) for why many of us don’t care much about problems that we expect will appear 30 years ahead, rather than problems we expect to happen 3 months ahead. Name a world or social problem that you think might be a lot bigger in 30 years, unless we start doing more about it now. Name a personal problem of the same type. What is different in the minds of people who take such problems seriously today? How could you get and use that “difference” yourself? 

4. The Lily Pad Example (p. 15) talks about exponential growth (things that double in a fixed period of time). Computers and digital networks show this kind of growth behavior. Many types of measures of computer and network performance ability (processing, memory, bandwidth, network speed, etc.) double their abilities roughly every two years, and have done so relatively consistently for many decades (since the 1960’s by one measure, and since the 1890’s by another). Now assume that inexpensive (say, $1,000) computers and their networks (wired and wireless) have some general performance ability today (let’s call it 100%, or 1), and that you need a threshold performance of 100,000%, or 1,000, before our computers and networks can gain some important new ability (let’s call it the “1000X Threshold"). Based on this simple model, what year would you expect the 1000X Threshold to be reached? What year would you expect a 2000X Threshold to be reached? (Hint: Going from an ability of 1 to 2 takes 2 years, from 2 to 4 takes 2 years, etc. Expand the series by hand or do the math on your scientific calculator, or ask someone). Now give us an example of something (anything) that you think inexpensive computers and networks will probably be able to do at that time (but probably not much earlier in time), that they can’t do today. How could you try to improve the “prediction” you just made, if some company was willing to pay you a lot of money to do so? 

5. Bell et. al. (p. 16-17) says that for those who live in advanced societies, “their chief struggle is with themselves and other men,” as opposed to with nature. May (p. 17) expands on this by saying that “human influence is increasingly significant” (by comparison to nature) in the modern world. What are some examples of this way of thinking? What are some of the limits of this kind of argument? 




Online Discussion 3 (10 points). 

Instructions: Below are five choices for articles, websites, or videos to read or watch, and associated questions to write about. Pick any two (2) of these five and write at least two paragraphs (three to five sentences per paragraph)answering the questions that go with each choice (feel free to take longer if you need it, and you may for some of these choices). Try to write as if you were speaking your response out loud to the class: be concise (without leaving out your best thoughts!), use good sentence structure and word choice, be interesting, honest, insightful, and show some of your unique voice and style, as well as your unique ideas.

Please put your two answers in the same post, with their associated numbers in the title of your post (like “2 and 3”). Then post a helpful response to one of your colleague’s posts. In courteous language, tell your colleague 1)something you like about the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves, and 2) something you might have written differently regarding the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves. If you decided to do your post on “2 and 3” you can respond to another “2 and 3” (if you can find one) or to any otherpost (say, a “2 and 4” or “1 and 5”). It’s your choice, but with one condition: as long as one is available, please respond to a post that no one has yet responded to. If an unresponded post is not available go ahead and respond to one that has multiple responses already.

You are free to work in groups and to look at questions that others have posted before posting yours. The first person to post on each of the five choices is graded easier than everyone else, so pioneers are rewarded! Also feel free to discuss any or all of these questions with me, either in class or in office hours after class. Of course your written words need to be your own, not copies of others work. Be sure to cite others if you want to directly quote or use brief bits of their work. 

(4 grading points available for each question, and 2 for your colleague response)

Here are the Choices for Readings/Watchings and their associated Questions (pick any two):

1. Video. The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version), (5 min), Michael Wesch, Jan 2007.
Article: A Brief Interview with Michael Wesch, John Batelle’s Searchblog (2 pages).
This video is an introduction to some basic ideas of Web 2.0 technologies, and a brief glimpse (in the last 30 seconds) on where they may be taking us in the future, “as we shape them and they shape us.” What do you think of Wesch’s “rethink” statements at the end of the video? What things do you feel that Web 2.0 (also called the Participatory Web or the Social Web), may make you "rethink" in coming years? From the article, what do you think of the New Guinean’s perspective that the quality of our relationships determines our physical and emotional health? Is this perspective common in America today? In coming years, do you think Web 2.0 technologies will more deeply interconnect us, further isolate us, or both? What are your hopes and fears? What small things can each of us do in coming years to help Web 2.0 become a positive force in society?

2. Article: A History of Violence, Steven Pinker, The New Republic Online, 19 March 2007 (6 page PDF).
What do you think is the main reason human violence has decreased so dramatically around our planet since the 1950’s? Are people reallyexercising more “self control, long-term planning, and sensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of others” as Pinker suggests? Which, if any,of the four explanations offered in pages 4-5, Hobbes, Payne, Wright, or Singer, do you find most compelling for the decline of global violence over the last two generations? Are there any other explanations you might offer? Do you think this trend is likely to continue over the next generation (next 25 years)? If so, why, and if not, why not?

3. Article: Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us, by Bill Joy, Wired, April 2000. 
Please read the first 2.5 pages and the last two pages (pages 10 and 11). Then go back and reread this paragraph, from the middle of the page 3: “
Thus we have the possibility not just of weapons of mass destruction but of knowledge-enabled mass destruction (KMD), this destructiveness hugely amplified by the power of self-replication. I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment of extreme individuals.” What do you think of Joy’s argument here? Are we entering a new and more dangerous world, a “further perfection of extreme evil” in the ability of "extreme individuals" to do harm with our technology? If so, why? If not, why not? If so, do you see any potential solutions to this problem? What can we do as a society to “manage” this possible dystopian future?

4. Article: The Inescapable Digital Me, Richard Cohen, The Washington Post, 5 Jul 2005.
Consider Cohen’s observation that because his intellectual life is so public, so available to everyone on the web, he is “denied denial,” and thus accountable to everyone else in some significant newway.Some might say that because of his prolific work as a weekly columnist, Cohen is building a very primitive“digital twin (DT)” online of his values and ideas, even today. In coming years, millions of us, perhaps beginning with the youth, may be able to cheaply record and share our life experiences in audio form(turned automatically to text) and video form (automatically stored and indexed). We may be able to talk with avatars which can record our conversations and serve as "memory assistants" and interfaces to these “lifelogging” systems. What would be the benefits and drawbacks of a society where many of people’s past conversations (and eventually, video histories) were available for public inspection the way blogs are available today? Would you run an audio or a videolifelog, at least part of the time? If you are able to speak to your computer in normal English in 2020, would you want to speak to a face--an avatar (a "digital butler" or even a"digital twin")? If not, why not? If so, would you want to record any of those conversations? Make any of them public? Most or all of them? Explain.

5. Question: It is often said that skills like 1) verbal ability (written and spoken) and 2) managing and motivating people, are “foundational” talents that never get outdated. Like the foundations of a house, they support you and let you build anything you want on them (any kind of a career) and "remodel" that career as often as necessary. If you gain such skills in college, they will serve you well no matter what you end up doing, no matter how many times your job is changed because of advancing technology or global change. How do you think you might best learnskills#1and #2 while in college? Can you think of at least three other foundational skills that like these, don’t easily get outdated? There may not be classes for some of these skills, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Pickone of the three skills you mentioned and give us a sentence on how you might get better at it now, before you graduate.




Online Discussion 4 (10 points). 

Below are five choices for questions to write about. Pick any two (2) of these five and write at least two paragraphs (three to five sentences per paragraph) answering the questions that go with each choice (feel free to take longer if you need it, and you may for some of these choices). Try to write as if you were speaking your response out loud to the class: be concise (without leaving out your best thoughts!), use good sentence structure and word choice, be interesting, honest, insightful, and show some of your unique voice and style, as well as your unique ideas.

Please put your two answers in the same post, with their associated numbers in the title of your post (like “2 and 3”). Then post a helpful response to one of your colleague’s posts. In courteous language, tell your colleague 1)something you like about the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves, and 2) something you might have written differently regarding the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves. 
If you decided to do your post on “2 and 3” you can respond to another “2 and 3” (if you can find one) or to any otherpost (say, a “2 and 4” or “1 and 5”). It’s your choice, but with one condition: as long as one is available, please respond to a post that no one has yet responded to. If an unresponded post is not available go ahead and respond to one that has multiple responses already.

You are free to work in groups and to look at questions that others have posted before posting yours. The first person to post on each of the five choices is graded easier than everyone else, so pioneers are rewarded! Also feel free to discuss any or all of these questions with me, either in class or in office hours after class. Of course your written words need to be your own, not copies of others work. Be sure to cite others if you want to directly quote or use brief bits of their work.

(4 grading points available for each question, and 2 for your colleague response) 

These discussion questions are for Commanding Heights, Episode One - The Battle of Ideas, 2003 (120 min). Pick any two. If you missed any of this episode in class, please watch the chapters you missed at:http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/lo/story/index.html 

1. Is a free market “necessary but not sufficient” for a functioning democracy, as Friedrich Von Hayek and his colleagues contend? If so or if not, why? In what ways may our global market economies of the 2000's and beyond be “less free” than our market economies of the early 1900's? Does this mean we have poorer democracies today than we had in the early 1900's? Finally, if our largest corporations continue to become even more global and economically powerful than governments in coming decades, what are the upsides and downsides of living in a low-regulation free market economy? 

2. “The Battle of Ideas” notes that control of the “commanding heights” (leading industries) of the world’s largest economies went from a corporate-owned, free market model in 1900, to a high point of government ownership and control (state socialism) in 1950’s, to a more free market model again by 2000. Do you expect another big swing back to either more government ownership or more governmental regulation in leading industries in coming generations (a pendulum model), or do you think the battle for the commanding heights is basically over, a battle that the corporations have won? If so, will today’s markets get more free and less regulated in coming years? Explain.

3. This episode suggests that unemployment and inflation (“stagflation”) in the 1970’s in the US, and strikes and stagflation in the UK were the major reasons why Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were able to institute their smaller-government, free market reforms (deregulation, money supply reduction, lower government spending, tax decreases, and privatization) beginning in the early 1980’s. Do you agree with this analysis? What other reasons might have been involved?

4. Pick any three of the following bulleted items or industries below and say how much (a state control choice) or how little (a free market choice) you think the governments of the most developed countries should either own or regulate them:
  • Natural environment (national parks, ocean and waterways use, air quality, etc.)
  • Defense (armies, police, arms industries, etc.)
  • Investment and banking industries (loans, stocks, bonds, commodities, etc.)
  • Utilities industries (water, power, gas, etc.)
  • Transportation industries (railroads, airlines, highways, automobiles, etc.)
  • Telecommunications industries (telephone, internet, wireless, etc.)
  • Energy industries (coal, oil, gas, nuclear, electricity, etc.)
  • Construction industries (steel, concrete, machine tools, etc.)
Do you think a different mix, duration, or degree of state vs. free market control for some of these industries might make sense in less developed countries? If so, giveat least oneexample of a particular item or industry you might treat differently. If not, say why not. Who has more choices for the structure of their political and economic future, developed or developing countries? Why?

5. The webpage http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/lo/discuss/picks.htmlgives several Editors Picks for particularly interesting discussion items from the Commanding Heights bulletin boards. Do you find yourself agreeing with any one of these posts in particular? Disagreeing? Pick one and tell us what you agree and disagree with (if anything) about the post. Did any of these posts make you think differently about what you saw in the film? If so, how?



Online Discussion 5 (10 points).

Below are five choices for articles, websites, or videos to read or watch, and associated questions to write about. Pick any two (2) of these five and write at least two paragraphs (three to five sentences per paragraph) answering the questions that go with each choice (feel free to take longer if you need it, and you may for some of these choices). Try to write as if you were speaking your response out loud to the class: be concise (without leaving out your best thoughts!), use good sentence structure and word choice, be interesting, honest, insightful, and show some of your unique voice and style, as well as your unique ideas.

Please put your two answers in the same post, with their associated numbers in the title of your post (like “2 and 3”). Then post a helpful response to one of your colleague’s posts. In courteous language, tell your colleague 1)something you like about the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves, and 2) something you might have written differently regarding the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves. 
If you decided to do your post on “2 and 3” you can respond to another “2 and 3” (if you can find one) or to any otherpost (say, a “2 and 4” or “1 and 5”). It’s your choice, but with one condition: as long as one is available, please respond to a post that no one has yet responded to. If an unresponded post is not available go ahead and respond to one that has multiple responses already.

You are free to work in groups and to look at questions that others have posted before posting yours. The first person to post on each of the five choices is graded easier than everyone else, so pioneers are rewarded! Also feel free todiscuss any or all of these questions with me, either in class or in office hours after class. Of course your written words need to be your own, not copies of others work. Be sure to cite others if you want to directly quote or use brief bits of their work.

(4 grading points available for each question, and 2 for your colleague response)

Here are the Choices for Readings/Watchings and their associated Questions (pick any two):

1. Video: Dr. Jared Diamond Talk Excerpt, (8 min), Jared Diamond, 2006
In his latest book (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, 2005) Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel, 2005) examines how great civilizations of the past either collapsed or went into long-term decline, and what can we learn from their fates. Despite great wealth, unrivaled political influence and superior military power, America is facing significant, environmental, competitive, and other threats today. Could these lead the U.S. into collapse or decline? Are they already? Diamond mentions three “core values” he considers “up for grabs” in the future U.S.: 1. U.S. consumption rates. 2. Type of U.S. response to overseas threats (military, economic, short-, or long-term). 3. U.S. legal balance between individual and national rights. How would you want to see the U.S. act in regard to any of these values (pick one or more) in coming years? What part could you play in making that happen?

2. Website. PopSci Predictions Exchange (PPX)
PopSci PPX is a “prediction market” where the “stocks” are predictions about future events in science or technology. Check out some of their “stocks” (predictions). Stock prices for each range from POP$0 to POP$100. A stock trading at POP$60 means the betting community presently thinks there is a 70% chance of that prediction coming true in the timeframe. Anyone who logs in gets $250,000 “PopDollars” (virtual currency) to buy and sell shares in prediction stocks, and the best performers win monthly prizes. Other online prediction exchanges, such as Intrade (betting real money on any general future event) and Betfair and TradeSports (real money sports betting) also exist. Such betting is legal in the UK and Australia but not presently in the U.S. What do you think will be the future of general (not just sports) prediction exchanges? Will they play a role in improving social foresight? What are their positives and negatives?

3. Website. Issue Dictionary Quiz at IssueDictionary.com.
Spend a few minutes taking this quiz, which says it can quickly tell you which 2008 U.S. presidential candidates most closely share your views on big political issues (health, sci-tech, human and civil rights, immigration, foreign policy, environment, etc.). Which candidate most closely matches your views according to the quiz? Did you expect this or was it a surprise? As the internet develops, we can expect many more such websites in the future, both “bottom-up,” or citizen-built, like Congresspedia, and “top down” sites from big companies and media outlets. These sites will try to provide us with “political statistics” as easily as we can get sports statistics today. Will the emergence of such sites empower or confuse the citizen, or both? Are they a big future trend or relatively unimportant? What are some of their strengths and weaknesses? 

4. Article: Not enough fish in the sea, Kenneth Weiss, LA Times, 26 Nov 2006
This article is from Altered Oceans, a Pulitzer-prize winning series by the Los Angeles Times on our global marine environment. Talk about something interesting you learned from this article. What do you think of the idea of “managed” fisheries? What do you think of what Wal-Mart Stores pledged to do? According to the article, overfishing is presently being funded by governments around the globe, as they give $30 billion in annual subsidies for fishing boats, fuel, and other assistance to their national fishing industries. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about global fish stocks improving in the next 20 years, and why?

5. Article. By 2012, today’s teens will rule, Greg Muller, 13 Jun 2007
What do you think of the “Citizen 2.0” concept? Is it an accurate description of today’s first world teenager? Does it overemphasize, underemphasize, or leave anything out? Do you think the social changes predicted in the article will happen as early as 2012? In what ways, either positive or negative, may the author’s experience (see last line of article) influence his perspective? Finally, how could you employ some of the positive aspects of the Citizen 2.0 ideal more effectively in your own life?



Online Discussion 6 (10 points).

Below are five choices for articles, websites, or videos to read or watch, and associated questions to write about. Pick any two (2) of these five and write at least two paragraphs (three to five sentences per paragraph) answering the questions that go with each choice (feel free to take longer if you need it, and you may for some of these choices). Try to write as if you were speaking your response out loud to the class: be concise (without leaving out your best thoughts!), use good sentence structure and word choice, be interesting, honest, insightful, and show some of your unique voice and style, as well as your unique ideas.

Please put your two answers in the same post, with their associated numbers in the title of your post (like “2 and 3”). Then post a helpful response to one of your colleague’s posts. In courteous language, tell your colleague 1)something you like about the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves, and 2) something you might have written differently regarding the content of their answer and/or the way they expressed themselves. 

If you decided to do your post on “2 and 3” you can respond to another “2 and 3” (if you can find one) or to any otherpost (say, a “2 and 4” or “1 and 5”). It’s your choice, but with one condition: as long as one is available, please respond to a post that no one has yet responded to. If an unresponded post is not available go ahead and respond to one that has multiple responses already.

You are free to work in groups and to look at questions that others have posted before posting yours. The first person to post on each of the five choices is graded easier than everyone else, so pioneers are rewarded! Also feel free todiscuss any or all of these questions with me, either in class or in office hours after class. Of course your written words need to be your own, not copies of others work. Be sure to cite others if you want to directly quote or use brief bits of their work.

(4 grading points available for each question, and 2 for your colleague response)

Here are the Choices for Readings/Watchings and their associated Questions (pick any two):

1.Video: EPIC 2015, Version 2, (8 min) Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson, 2005
Today, Google News is a free online news source put together entirely by software (no human editors), which “aggregates” news content on the web. Google News allows all its news sources to opt out if they want, so the “Supreme Court” part of this video could never happen as written. Nevertheless, is something like EPIC (Evolving Personalized Information Construct) the future of news? Could it happen by 2015? Will platforms like Google News one day get smart enough to deliver us personalized news we really care about? If writers, videomakers, gamemakers, podcasters etc. are paid through such a system for their content, based on its popularity, will this lead a new class of full-time jobs for content creators or is the video overselling that idea? What are the good and bad consequences of a world with EPIC being used by lots of people to get their news and entertainment?

2. Video: A Vision of Students Today, (5 min), Michael Wesch, YouTube, 2007
What did you think of this video? Which statistics or topics stood out for you and why? Is a traditional U.S. university education less relevant today than ever before? If not, why not? How internet-oriented, globally-oriented, tech-oriented, and future-oriented should a modern education be? If companies are now treating the world as a single marketplace and creativity pool, should a university education require you do team projects with students in rapidly developing countries (China, India, etc.)? If a whole U.S. generation graduates underprepared for the future, what will be the consequences to our country? What can you do to make up for the shortcomings of your university education, as you see them?

3. Article: Working the Good Life (at SAS), 60 Minutes, CBS News, 20 Apr 2003
SAS has consistently set a national standard for employee benefits. They offer free onsite daycare, exercise facilities, medical, food, flextime, and 40 hour work weeks—perks unheard of in the software industry. They also don’t lay off their employees in a slump, unlike most tech firms. At the same time, SAS has grown to be the largest (in revenues) private software firm in the US. Its CEO, Jim Goodnight, owns two thirds of the company’s stock, so he can keep SAS’s employee-friendly culture even if the typical owner might want to make more profit by running SAS more like a typical tech company. Do you think the public stock market makes companies too short-term and profit-focused? Are private companies a better way to go to build a great culture? What are the downsides of “staying private” as your company grows? 

4. Article: 10 Future Web Trends, Richard McManus, Read/Write Web, Sept 2007
What do you think of McManus’s summary of emerging Web 2.0 features? Which of these trends (pick three or more, and rank them if possible) seem the most socially important to you and why? Are any of his trends poor choices for a Top Ten list? Can you suggest an 11th major trend he may have missed? Did you find the 66 comments at the bottom of this article to be as useful (individually or as a whole) as the article itself? Pick one of the comments and tell us what you like about it.

5. Article:25 Web 2.0 Startups to Watch, Business 2.0, 2007
Which of these twenty fiveWeb 2.0 companies do you find the coolest? Which seem like they might grow as big as Facebook or YouTube in coming years? Pick two companies and tell us in detail what you like about them. Unlike in 2000 (Web 1.0 era) several of these Web 2.0 startups are already profitable, with revenues from online advertising or licensing. Will growth in online user time and advertising make more of these kind of startups possible in the future? How much longer do you think Web 2.0 companies will be diversifying (many new small companies emerging) before we see consolidation (a few large companies merging and buying up most of the small ones) in the Web 2.0 space?


All material on this wiki is open source, creative commons licensed. Feel free to use any portion of this with appropriate attribution to "University of Advancing Technology, Foresight Development curriculum."
Comments