Introduction to Social Machines — Class Information
Instructors: Deb Roy, Preeta Bansal, William Powers, Russell Stevens
Link to Class Tumblr: smintro
Upcoming Seminar Schedule
Seminar: Wednesday, 10 am — 12 pm, E15-341
1: FEB 4 — Course Introduction
The Public Sphere Part 1 (William Powers) — Presentation Deck
- Stuart Jeffries, A Rare Interview with Jürgen Habermas, FT Magazine, FT.com, April 30, 2010.
- Walter Lippmann, The Phantom Public (excerpt), in eds. Jostein Gripsrud, Hallvard Moe, Anders Molander, Graham Murdock, The Idea of the Public Sphere (Lexington Books, 2010), pp 25-42.
- John Dewey, The Public and Its Problems (excerpt), in eds. Jostein Gripsrud, Hallvard Moe, Anders Molander, Graham Murdock, The Idea of the Public Sphere (Lexington Books, 2010), pp.43-53.
- Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (excerpt), in eds. Jostein Gripsrud, Hallvard Moe, Anders Molander, Graham Murdock, The Idea of the Public Sphere (Lexington Books, 2010), pp.93-113.
- Jürgen Habermas, The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article, in eds. Jostein Gripsrud, Hallvard Moe, Anders Molander, Graham Murdock, The Idea of the Public Sphere (Lexington Books, 2010), pp. 114-120
2: FEB 11
The Public Sphere Part 2 (William Powers)
3: FEB 18
Introductory Machine Lab
4: FEB 25
Public Engagement and the State (Preeta Bansal) — Presentation Deck
- Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, excerpts from Books I and X (ca. 350 BC); Politics, Book I.
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan: Or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill, excerpts from Chapters XIII, XIV, XV, XVII, and XVIII (1651).
- Gandhi on “Swaraj”
- The Federalist Papers, Excerpts from Numbers 1, 10 and 51 (1788).
- E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, “A Question of Size” (Chapter 5)(1973).
- Stephen Goldsmith & Susan Crawford, The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance, Introduction and Chaps. 1-3 (2014).
- Francis Fukuyama, “America in Decay: The Sources of Political Dysfunction,” Foreign Affairs (September/October 2014).
6: MAR 11
The Open Web (Tim Berners-Lee)
7: MAR 19 — 2 pm — 4 pm
Code as Law, Law as Code (Larry Lessig and Preeta Bansal)
Lawrence Lessig, Code Version 2.0 (2006), Chapter 1 (pp. 1-8)
Lawrence Lessig, “Code is Law: On Liberty in Cyberspace,” Harvard Magazine (January-February 2000)
Primavera De Filippi & Aaron Wright, “Decentralized Blockchain Technology and the Rise of Lex Cryptographia” (unpublished manuscript, not for further distribution; publication forthcoming) (March 2015)
Lawrence Lessig, “The Biased Filter: Money in Politics, Net Neutrality, Voter Suppression,” Speech delivered at US Capitol on March 7, 2015
Optional: Chapters 10-11 (pp. 169-232) of Lawrence Lessig, Code Version 2.0 (2006)
8: APR 1 — Technology and Journalism (Andrew Heyward and William Powers)
Assignments for LSM Seminar, 4/1/2015: Technology and Journalism, Andrew Heyward and Bill Powers
[Total estimated time: 1 hour 53 minutes]
- Tow Center for Digital Journalism, “Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present,” Introduction http://towcenter.org/research/post-industrial-journalism-adapting-to-the-present-2/ [reading time 15:00]
- Ernie Pyle, “A Dreadful Masterpiece” (London in the Blitz) http://mediaschool.indiana.edu/erniepyle/1940/12/30/a-dreadful-masterpiece/ [reading time 2:00]
- Optional background on Ernie Pyle’s life and death: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/22980127/ns/us_news-military/t/death-photo-war-reporter-ernie-pyle-found/#.VRGncUbgD7U
- Edward R. Murrow, radio broadcast (London in the Blitz) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clKaP5YCB8k
- John Hersey, Hiroshima (book excerpt), originally appeared in The New Yorker, August 31, 1946. Read pp. 16-23 (start with the sentence beginning, ‘Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge’). [reading time 10:00]
- Walter Cronkite announces JFK assassination, CBS News, November 22, 1963 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PXORQE5-CY
- “All the President’s Men,” 1976 movie, 3 short clips: “Campaign Funds,” “Danger,” “Surveillance” http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/catch-up-with-a-classic-watch-6-clips-from-all-the-presidents-men-coming-to-blu-ray-this-month-20131106 [videos – running time 4:40]
- Optional background on the film: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_President%27s_Men_%28film%29
- Pro Publica: “Antebellum Data Journalism: Or, How Big Data Busted Abe Lincoln” http://www.propublica.org/nerds/item/antebellum-data-journalism-busted-abe-lincoln [reading time 8:00]
- The New York Times: “Snowfall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek — Part 1, three sections, stopping at “To The Peak” [reading time 7:00] — Watch both videos [running time 2:00] — Look at animated maps and slide shows [estimated time 3:00]
- The Guardian: “Three Little Pigs” TV ad http://www.theguardian.com/media/video/2012/feb/29/open-journalism-three-little-pigs-advert?CMP=EMCNETTXT12384I
- Vice News: “Storming Spain’s Razor-Wire Fence: Europe or Die (Episode 1)”, opening scenes (through 2:30) https://news.vice.com/video/storming-spains-razor-wire-fence-europe-or-die-episode-1
- Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, “Guardians of the Veracity” http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/j3ware/guardians-of-the-veracity
- Jeff Jarvis, No Mas Mass Media (from the book, Geeks Bearing Gifts) https://medium.com/whither-news/no-mas-mass-media-e7ed95079a43 [reading time 7:00]
- Sarah Koenig, Serial, Chicago Public Radio, Episode 1 (podcast) http://serialpodcast.org/season-one/1/the-alibi — Listen through 10:10. Briefly browse supplementary materials on the website. [total estimated time 12:00]
- ProPublica, About page: http://www.propublica.org/about/ [reading time 3:00]
Buzzfeed: [reading time 2:00]
- Home page: http://www.buzzfeed.com
- About page: http://www.buzzfeed.com/about
- Ben Johnson, Stratechery blog, “Why BuzzFeed is the Most Important News Organization in the World” http://stratechery.com/2015/buzzfeed-important-news-organization-world/ [reading time 6:00]
- Jonathan Stray, NiemanLab, “Take two steps back from journalism: What are the editorial products we’re not building?” http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/03/take-two-steps-back-from-journalism-what-are-the-editorial-products-were-not-building/ [reading time 5:00]
- Marc Andreessen, “The Future of the News Business: A Monumental Twitter Stream All in One Place” http://a16z.com/2014/02/25/future-of-news-business/ [reading time 8:00]
9: APR 8 — The Emergence of Mutual Visibility (Deb Roy and Dan Dennett)
- Daniel C. Dennett and Deb Roy, “Our Transparent Future: What life in the primordial oceans can teach us about the future of technology and society,” Scientific American, March 2015
- Daniel C. Dennett, “The social cell: What do debutante balls, the Japanese tea ceremony, Ponzi schemes and doubting clergy all have in common?” New Statesman, December 19, 2011
- Sean Wilentz, “Would You Feel Differently About Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange If You Knew What They Really Thought?” The New Republic, January 19, 2014
- Daniel C. Dennett, “What is information?” Manuscript, Chapter VI Draft 5, February 24, 2015
10: APR 22 — Designing for Wisdom: Filling the Governance Gap (Preeta Bansal)
- James C. Rettie, “But a Watch in the Night: A Scientific Fable” (1948)
- EF Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered (1973), Excerpts: Foreword; Introduction & Part I, Chapters 1-2 (pp. 1-41); Part II Chapter 1 (pp. 83-107)
- Preeta Bansal, “Social Transformation Through Inner Transformation: a Gandhian view of Social Change” (2015; unpublished)
Designing Organizations for Wisdom:
- Harriett Rubin, “The Perfect Vision of Dr. V.”, Fast Company, February 2001 [case study of Aravind Eye Hospitals]
- Q&A with Nipun Mehta, “ServiceSpace Design Principles” (2009) [case study of Service Space]
- Richardo Semler, TED Talk: Radical wisdom for a company, a school, a life (2014)
Designing Technology for Wise Development:
- Masanobu Fukuoaka, The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming (1978), Excerpt: Toward a Do-Nothing Farming
- Nipun Mehta, “Would Gandhi Use Social Media?” (February 21, 2012) (adapted from talk delivered at the United Nations on February 15, 2012
- Kentaro Toyama, “Can Technology End Poverty?”, Boston Review (Nov/Dec 2010), pp. 12-29 (Essay by Toyama; Responses by Nicholas Negroponte, Dean Karlan, Ignacio Mas, Nathan Eagle, Jenny C. Aker, Christine Zhenwei Qiang, Evgeny Morozov, and Archon Fung; reply by Toyama).
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854), Excerpts
- Interview with Ernesto Sabato, “A Sense of Wonder,” The Unesco Courier (August 1990), pp. 4-9
11: APR 29 — Engendering Trust in Social Networks and the Digital Public Square (Sandy Pentland)
Alex (Sandy) Pentland, “To Signal Is Human: Real-time data mining unmasks the power of imitation, kith and charisma in our face-to-face social networks,” American Scientist, Volume 98, May–June 2010
Alex (Sandy) Pentland, “The Data-Driven Society,” Scientific American, October 2013
Alex (Sandy) Pentland, “The New Science of Building Great Teams,” Harvard Business Review, April 2012
Alex (Sandy) Pentland, “Saving Big Data from Itself,” Scientific American, August 2014
12: MAY 6 — The Making of Social Movements (Russell Stevens)
Note: List is composed of two videos and many short readings that should go quickly.
MOVEMENT IN AN INCREASINGLY SOCIAL WORLD
US CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
1] 8-minute video on the American Press and the Civil Rights Movement – A compact overview that will [re]familiarize everyone with some of the movement’s iconic imagery.
Important, the video requires a log in we set up for the class.
- Go to: http://www.newseumdigitalclassroom.org/
- Under “Sign In” in the upper right corner, enter:
- Navigate to the Video Lessons tab and scroll down to “The Press and the Civil Rights Movement”
2] New York Times: “Washington: The Rising Spirit of Protest,” James Reston, March 19, 1965
A March, 1965 New York Times piece by one of its most famous columnists, James Reston, who comments on the media “machines” of the day as “instruments for equality and justice.”
Two short news articles on the yellow LIVESTRONG wristband phenomenon
- New York Times: “The Race Is On for Bracelets Benefiting Armstrong Charity,” Elaine Aradillas, July 29, 2004
- USA Today: “Livestrong Shows Solidarity of 50M; Yellow bracelets go from fad to brand name,” Sal Ruibal, May 13, 2005
- TIME, “Inside the Secret World of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win,” Michael Scherer November 7, 2012
- KONY 2012 Movie Trailer [1 minute, 19 seconds], Invisible Children, March 5, 2012
- New York Times: “Online, a Distant Conflict Soars to Topic No. 1,” Josh Kron and David Goodman, March 8, 2012
- New York Times: “Lessons Learned From #Kony2012,” Jennifer Preston, March 15, 2012
- CBS News: “Jihadists on the move in Iraq with weapons, hashtags,” Alexander Trowbridge, June 16, 2014
- Council on Foreign Relations: “The ISIS Propaganda Machine Is Horrifying and Effective. How Does It Work?” Emerson Brooking, August 21, 2014
J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan, The ISIS Twitter Census Defining and describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter, The Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, Analysis Paper, No. 20, March 2015
FROM MOVEMENT TO CHANGE
New York Times Magazine: “Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us,” Jay Caspian King, May 4, 2015
Moyers & Company, “Making Social Movements Matter,” 6-minute video clip of interview with activist and organizer Marshall Ganz, May 10, 2013
New York Times: “The Square People, Part 2,” Thomas L. Friedman, May 17, 2014
The Atlantic: “Why Street Protests Don’t Work,” Moisés Naím, April 7, 2014
New York Times: “After the Protests,” Zeynep Tufekci, March 19, 2014
Slate: “How the Right Was Won,” Mark Joseph Stern, November 3, 2014 [book review of Marc Solomon’s Winning Marriage]
“Three Complaints about Occupy Wall Street,” Post by Charles Lenchner, January 5, 2012
Charles Lenchner was/is active at Occupy Wall Street with the Tech Operations and Labor Outreach Working Groups. He’s interested in CRM, digital strategy, nonprofit software and cats. In his spare time he is executive director of Organizing 2.0, a nonprofit that trains activists in online organizing. The website is from the NYC General Assembly, an organization composed of dozens of groups working together to organize and set the vision for the #occupywallstreet movement.
13. MAY 13 — Project Presentations (written projects due by 5 pm on May 15)
Machine Lab Description
Schedule: Thursdays, 2 pm — 4 pm, E14-493
- Sophie Chou (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Neo Mohsenvand (email@example.com)
- Martin Saveski (firstname.lastname@example.org>)
- Ivan Sysoev (email@example.com)
- Prashanth Vijayaraghavan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Pau Pernghwa Kung (email@example.com)
Russel M. (2013) Mining the Social Web. 2nd edition. O’Reilly. http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/9781449368180
Examples from this book can be found on http://bit.ly/MiningTheSocialWeb2E
We will need the following Python environment and libraries:
- IPython Notebook
- numpy and scipy
We suggest Python distribution called Anaconda, which contains everything from above, as well as many other useful libraries. You can find it here: http://continuum.io/downloads.
We will also need Mathematica for visualizations. You can find it here: https://ist.mit.edu/mathematica.
1. Twitter access.
Toolkit: sqlalchemy (for storing data in a database)
- Setting up Twitter pipeline
- Setting up database
(For the three subsequent topics, our plan includes a very brief introduction to the basics of each respective area + practical usage of respective toolkits)
Topics (very brief introduction to principles of work + practical usage):
- Supervised and unsupervised learning
- Clustering: K-Means, EM
- Classifiers: Naïve Bayes, Logistic Regression, SVM, Decision Trees
- Named Entity Recognition
- Language models
- Sentiment analysis
- Feature design for classification tasks
- Topic modeling
4. Network analysis.
- Local and global graph metrics
- Random graph models
- Homophily, small world, community detection
This topic doesn’t have a dedicated section. Rather, at the end of each session we plan to explain how to visualize results.
Toolkits: Gephi and Mathematica.