Considered Replies: Parts I and II

Learning Goals

In this assignment you will develop a series of thoughtful replies to subjects raised in, and directly related to, the course.

The assignment's learning goals:

    • To converse in a deliberate, substantiated, nimble manner on-line;
    • To integrate and synthesize ideas and elements of the course;
    • To investigate how considered, consistent on-line writing shapes our thinking, hence our ability to offer well-reasoned, cogent arguments in a digital environment.


We are performing research and reading and discussing books, and other media, that deal with questions regarding technology, generally, and with ideas regarding our contact with digital technologies, specifically. Let's develop and refine our thinking online using our research, our readings, our class and on-line discussions, our experiences, our daily observations, and our web surfing as specific grounding and as points of departure.

Our considered replies will be posted to the wiki and will take place during two, two-week, periods in the semester: September 27 to October 11 and October 18 to November 1. You may post as many times as you wish during each period, but must post on no fewer than on four regular occasions. For each two-week period, please post 1000-1500 total words (so, assuming only four posts, approximately 250-375 words per post). Your posts can vary in length, but need to follow these parameters:

    • Please identify yourself and give the date of the post. I suggest that you put your name and date on the first line of the post, then provide the content (in much the same style as the Slate exchange mentioned below);

    • You must specifically identify, directly mention (through direct quotes and/or linked resources), and base your replies on either — or a combination of — the research presentations; the course readings, related readings and media (the "Consider This" page on the wiki and the additional resources on the course calendar provide examples); replies in the question forums; class discussions; and existing considered replies;

    • You must post on a scheduled basis. For example, consider each two-week period as consisting of four shorter periods (each 84 hours). Post at least one reply (you may, of course, post more) during that 84 hour period. Why? The purpose of these replies is for you to have a sustained, thoughtful, considered, on-line conversation. And as you know from your own web surfing, the goal of on-line posting is constant, updated, significant content. I want you to gain an understanding of how to generate and understand web-based writing. In keeping with the theme of the course, I also want you to consider how this form of online conversation affects your expression and the expression of others.

Style and Structure

Please take a look at this discussion on Slate"What's the Matter With Twentysomething Kids Today?" Our considered replies can model themselves (to some degree ... I trust we will make a better go of it) on the style and structure of these posts.

On reading the Slate discussion, you will see use of first person and hear a generous, but direct and critically thoughtful, tone. You will see specific references to one another's posts and to other sources. The posts are relatively brief and substantive. The author of each post is identified. In short, in reading this discussion, we get an expanded, considered reply to the a New York Times Magazine article, "What Is It About 20-Somethings?"


Part I: Reply Period 1, September 27 to October 11

Part II: Reply Period 2, October 18 to November 1.

Living Through Technology