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September 26, 2023


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History C192: History of Information (Spring 2014, UC Berkeley). Instructors: Professor Geoffrey Nunberg and Professor Paul Duguid.

This course explores the history of information and associated technologies, uncovering why we think of ours as "the information age." We will select moments in the evolution of production, recording, and storage from the earliest writing systems to the world of Short Message Service (SMS) and blogs. In every instance, we'll be concerned with both what and when and how and why, and we will keep returning to the question of technological determinism: how do technological developments affect society and vice versa? The course is also listed as Cognitive Science C103.

Course Curriculum

  • Lecture 01 – Introduction Unlimited
  • Lecture 02 – The Age of Information Unlimited
  • Lecture 03 – Technological Determinism Unlimited
  • Lecture 04 – The First Information Technology: Writing Systems Unlimited
  • Lecture 05 – What Follows from Writing? Unlimited
  • Lecture 06 – Manuscript “Culture” Unlimited
  • Lecture 07 – The Print “Revolution” Unlimited
  • Lecture 08 – The Scientific “Revolution” Unlimited
  • Lecture 09 – The Emergence of the Public Unlimited
  • Lecture 10 – Language and the Dictionary Unlimited
  • Lecture 11 – Unnoticed Revolutions?: Time, Space and Money Unlimited
  • Lecture 12 – The Organization of Knowledge Unlimited
  • Lecture 13 – Communications and Progress Unlimited
  • Lecture 14 – Information and Advertising Unlimited
  • Lecture 15 – The Rise of Literacy Unlimited
  • Lecture 16 – Information as Property Unlimited
  • Lecture 17 – The Impact of Photography Unlimited
  • Lecture 18 – The Rise of Broadcasting Unlimited
  • Lecture 19 – Computer “Revolution” Unlimited
  • Lecture 20 – Information, Propaganda, and Objectivity Unlimited
  • Lecture 21 – Governing the Commons: Wikipedia Unlimited
  • Lecture 22 – Storage and Search Unlimited
  • Lecture 23 – Advent of the Internet Unlimited
  • Lecture 24 – Social Implications of the Internet I Unlimited
  • Lecture 25 – The Internet: Social Effects Unlimited
  • Lecture 26 – Breaking up is Hard to Do: Politics, Porn and the Press Unlimited

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