This unit introduces a range of sociological frames for understanding the digital paradigm, including the work of Jean Baudrillard, particularly his discussion of simulacra and simulation, which informed the Matrix trilogy. The trilogy introduced a virtual world wherein computer hackers worked to free humanity from their enslavement in a digital environment. But surely Baudrillard was not saying that our present-day world is like that presented in the Matrix? With reference to key components of our digital world, such as video games and other sites, students will take up Baudrillard's thesis, and in particular his proposition that computer hacking comprises a cancer-like outcome of a system grounded in digital logics. Students will critically evaluate the validity of Baudrillard's claims with reference to contemporary cyber-security related activities and events, and reflect critically upon the implications of such claims and realities for our use of digital technologies in education.
NO TEXTBOOK REQUIRED
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