CS009: Computers and Human Values
Department of Computer Science, Brown University
Notes, November 11th --
Roger B. Blumberg
Sunstein III: Democracy, Democracies and the Internet
Introduction: Topics for the Second Essay
We'll begin by reading all the topics and trading questions
and comments. We'll then turn to a final discussion of
Sunstein's republic.com. Some questions we might
- What are examples of "government regulations" you
think justified and unjustified? Do you agree with
Sunstein's point about there not being a non-regulated
option for the Internet?
- What is Sunstein's defense of the view that "free
speech is not absolute," and how do his views on free
speech compare with your own?
- Which of the (6) "reform possibilities" discussed
in chapter 8 do you think useful/practical/desirable?
- In the "Afterword", written for the paperback
edition, Sunstein says that a central inspiration for
republic.com was Jane Jacobs' 1961 classic,
The Death and Life of Great American Cities,
which among other things pointed to and celebrated
the function, diversity and vitality of public urban
spaces. To what extent is the City (rather than the
Village) your model of a well-functioning democracy?
Identifying the Domains of Politics, Knowledge and
We'll decide on the final form of the 3rd unit of the
Seminar syllabus today, and try to come up with preliminary
distinctions between the subjects of epistemology (i.e.
ideas about knowledge), politics (i.e. ideas about
government); and ethics (i.e.ideas about .... what?).
For Tuesday:: Read Chapter 8 of Duncan Langford's
Internet Ethics, and remember that the papers
are due by the end of the day on Wednesday, the 17th.
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