R804 Winter 2019 More Things That Keep Me up at Night: Technology’s Severest Challenges
Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 28–Feb. 18
Instructor: Stephen Ruth
If you are comfortable with today’s information technology (IT) world, this course is probably not for you. The instructor, who teaches technology policy at Mason, continues to collect dozens of what he thinks are the scarier, more worrisome, and potentially game-changing topics in IT that may be in our near-term and long-term future. Many are already major news stories, while others are just about to break the surface. Here are some of the topics that will be covered: revenge porn, phishing, cyberbullying, disruption by cryptocurrencies, big data, crowdsourcing, bots and scrapers, e-waste, cyber terrorism, fake news, skin gambling, weapons of math destruction, e-gambling, ransomware, doxing, twitterbots, Etherium, network neutrality, the Twitter effect, algorithms, the Internet of Things, and many more. It’s not all bad news because there are solutions for each one of these challenges, and we will discuss what governments, individuals, businesses, and churches might be able to do to cope with them.
Stephen Ruth, PhD, is a professor in the School of Public Policy and has been at George Mason University for over 30 years, specializing in return-on-investment measurements of IT projects, especially in poor nations. He is director of the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology (ICASIT), which has used grant-generated funding to set up computer-based systems in over 20 developing nations over the past two decades. He has been with OLLI for many years, teaching courses in the Bible, politics, and religion.