While this module doesn’t have any practical tasks, it does require consideration of some concepts prior to writing the final essay:
- Information ecologies: the internet is still a relatively new, but rapidly expanding, medium and one way of considering its impact and development is as an ecological environment. I’m not sure that the analogy holds completely (the internet, to a large extent, is planned and regulated, whereas a true ecology develops only through outside pressures to survive and reproduce) but it does see the internet as a thriving, growing, changing structure.
- Case study: peer to peer: while the media frenzy about P2P networks has died down (though organisations such as the RIAA and movie studios are still as incensed), there are always new topics for the “debate” (just as there have always been with new technologies). Currently, social networking is fashionable. But is it a force for good, or the potential cause of fascist control of society? Probably, neither, just as P2P continues, both for legal and illegal purposes.
- Preparing for ‘future shock’: knowledge of the nature of the internet, its history, and the plans for its future can help navigating that future, though there will always be unexpected developments (and, perhaps, the whole point of preparing for ‘future shock’ is to expect and embrace those unexpected developments).