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Course Outline


Topical Outline

World brain motifs in contemporary interpretations of the World Wide Web:
Current examples of web versions of the world brain motif in popular culture
Derrick de Kerckhove's "webness" or connected intelligence;
Pierre LÚvy's dream of collective intelligence;
Connecting intelligence to serve C3I (command, control, communications, intelligence/information) readings from The Closed World).
The historical origins of world brain motifs:
Nineteenth century documentalism, and Paul Otlet’s modernist dream of a mechanism for the organization and retrieval of all scientific knowledge;
The World Brain as a solution to the crisis of the early twentieth century; H. G. Wells, the world brain, and the world state;
Memex, MIT, and the Cold War State; Vannevar Bush’s "mind machine" as technological support for the military-university-industrial axis.

Chronological Outline




Week 1: 11/09 Introduction; Derrick de Kerckhove's "webness" de Kerckhove: Prologue, Ch.1-4,9
Week 2: 18/09 de Kerckhove de Kerckhove: Ch. 1-4, 9
Week 3: 25/09 Pierre LÚvy's "collective intelligence"  LÚvy, Prologue, Introduction, Chs. 1-3
Week 4: 2/10 Paul Edwards's "Closed World" Edwards, Chs. 1-3
Week 6: 16/10 LÚvy
Explication de texte DUE
LÚvy, Chs. 4, 7-8, 12
Week 7: 23/10 Edwards Edwards, Chs. 4, 6-8
Slide show, Chs 4-7
Week 8: 30/10 Paul Otlet’s documentalism Buckland 1991, 1997; Day 1997; Rayward 1991, 1994.
Week 9: 6/11 H.G. Wells's World Brain Rayward 1999; Wells 1938
Week 10: 13/11 TEST
Week 11: 20/11 Wells Rayward 1999; Wells 1938
Week 12: 27/11 Edwards; Vannevar Bush's "memex" Edwards, Ch. 10; Bush 1945
Week 13: 4/12 Course summary
Research Paper due

Page last updated: 20 Nov 2000