Our society is fundamentally changing. These days, almost nothing works without a computer chip. Processing power doubles every 18 months and will exceed the capabilities of human brains in about ten years from now. Some time ago, IBM’s Big Blue computer already beat the best chess player. Meanwhile, computers perform about 70 percent of all financial transactions, and IBM’s Watson advises customers better than human telephone hotlines. Will computers and robots soon replace skilled labor? In many European countries, unemployment is reaching historical heights. The forthcoming economic and social impact of future information and communication technologies (ICT) will be huge – probably more significant than that caused by the steam engine, or by nano- or biotechnology. The storage capacity for data is growing even faster than computational capacity. Within just a year we will soon generate more data than in the entire history of humankind. The “Internet of Things” will network trillions of sensors. Unimaginable amounts of data will be collected. Big Data is already being praised as the “oil of the 21st century”. What opportunities and risks does this create for our society, economy, and environment?
The success of Wikipedia demonstrates that open collaboration can be an effective model for organizing geographically distributed volunteers to perform complex, sustained work at a massive scale. However, Wikipedia’s history also demonstrates some of the challenges that large, long-term open collaborations face: the core community of Wikipedia editors—the volunteers who contribute most of the encyclopedia’s content and ensure that articles are correct and consistent—has been gradually shrinking since 2007, in part because Wikipedia’s social climate has become increasingly inhospitable for newcomers, female editors, and editors from other underrepresented demographics. Previous research studies of change over time within other work contexts, such as corporations, suggests that incremental processes such as bureaucratic formalization can make organizations more rule-bound and less adaptable—in effect, less open—as they grow and age. There has been little research on how open collaborations like Wikipedia change over time, and on the impact of those changes on the social dynamics of the collaborating community and the way community members prioritize and perform work. Learning from Wikipedia’s successes and failures can help researchers and designers understand how to support open collaborations in other domains—such as Free/Libre Open Source Software, Citizen Science, and Citizen Journalism. In this dissertation, I examine the role of openness, and the potential antecedents and consequences of formalization, within Wikipedia through an analysis of three distinct but interrelated social structures: community-created rules within the Wikipedia policy environment, coordination work and group dynamics within self-organized open teams called WikiProjects, and the socialization mechanisms that Wikipedia editors use to teach new community members how to participate. To inquire further, I have designed a new editor peer support space, the Wikipedia Teahouse, based on the findings from my empirical studies. The Teahouse is a volunteer-driven project that provides a welcoming and engaging environment in which new editors can learn how to be productive members of the Wikipedia community, with the goal of increasing the number and diversity of newcomers who go on to make substantial contributions to Wikipedia.
The Internet has altered how people engage with each other in myriad ways, including offering opportunities for people to act distrustfully. This fascinating set of essays explores the question of trust in computing from technical, socio-philosophical, and design perspectives. Why has the identity of the human user been taken for granted in the design of the Internet? What difficulties ensue when it is understood that security systems can never be perfect? What role does trust have in society in general? How is trust to be understood when trying to describe activities as part of a user requirement program? What questions of trust arise in a time when data analytics are meant to offer new insights into user behavior and when users are confronted with different sorts of digital entities? These questions and their answers are of paramount interest to computer scientists, sociologists, philosophers, and designers confronting the problem of trust.
Over the past decade there has been a growing public fascination with the complex connectedness of modern society. This connectedness is found in many incarnations: in the rapid growth of the Internet, in the ease with which global communication takes place, and in the ability of news and information as well as epidemics and financial crises to spread with surprising speed and intensity. These are phenomena that involve networks, incentives, and the aggregate behavior of groups of people; they are based on the links that connect us and the ways in which our decisions can have subtle consequences for others. This introductory undergraduate textbook takes an interdisciplinary look at economics, sociology, computing and information science, and applied mathematics to understand networks and behavior. It describes the emerging field of study that is growing at the interface of these areas, addressing fundamental questions about how the social, economic, and technological worlds are connected.
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In this case study, a mixed-method approach is used to examine the extent and type of changes in workplace attitudes and behavior, as self-reported by soldiers who had participated in 6- to 10-day “Experiential Leadership Development Activities” (ELDAs) delivered by the New Zealand Army Leadership Centre. Observations made by workplace colleagues of ELDA participants corroborated the self-report data, both reports being made on an average of 4 months after a course. The findings indicated that almost all participants (97%) perceived improvements in their own attitude and/or behavior, the main changes being in the areas of “improvements in dealing with challenges” and “having a more positive attitude.” Most colleagues (87%) also noticed some improvement in behaviors, in similar areas. This mixed-method evaluation provides evidence of the benefits of adventure education courses, both prescribed and unpredicted outcomes, enhancing intra- and interpersonal skills in the workplace.
This study focused on the mediating effect of two adventure programs emphasizing relationship establishment between youth on the relationship between family styles and levels of intrinsic motivation. Family style is defined as the levels of caring and discipline family members give to their children. Because of its connection to interest, autonomy, competence, and relatedness, family style is considered as a variable impacting on levels of motivation participating in experiential-based programs. Findings indicated that during the overall adventure experiences, the high support and high challenge (HSHC) family group showed an enhanced level of relatedness than the low support and low challenge (LSLC) group. In addition, pairwise comparisons indicated differences in competence and relatedness between the HSHC and the LSLC groups in the pretest, but were no longer significant at the posttest. The paired t tests showed that the LSLC group improved on interest, competence, and relatedness throughout the adventure experiences. The findings indicated that the adventure programs offer an environment, which enhance youth participants’ perceived interest and psychological needs, especially for youth from the LSLC group.
In response to the crisis of sustainability, this paper revisits understandings of human–environment relations established through skill-based outdoor activities that are used commonly among adventure recreation, education, and tourism. Reconsidering a predominant focus on risk and a persistent tension between technical and environmental knowledge, a case is made for skill as an important avenue for research related to participants’ environmental learning and engagement. Diverse qualitative and quantitative research literature concerning outdoor education, recreation specialization, place, and skilled performance are reviewed. The author argues that developing theoretical and practical approaches to outdoor adventure education, recreation, and tourism within a sustainability paradigm will require perspectives that position humanity as belonging within environments, and that skill provides an important avenue for doing so. Ultimately, research and practice will need to account for skill development and performance as shaping—for better or worse—participants’ socioecological engagement.
This study reports the perceptions of faculty 10 years after participating and sustaining their involvement in academic service-learning. Issues explored include why participants became involved in service-learning, the perceived impact on the promotion and tenure process, the challenges and rewards reaped by participants, and what sustained them in their work. The study is unique in that faculty report on the factors that have impeded or allowed them to sustain their involvement in service-learning over a period of 10 years. The study supports earlier findings that suggest faculty become involved for a variety of reasons, primarily the potential outcomes that service-learning provides and the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary fashion; that service-learning can have both a positive and negative impact on promotion and tenure; and that support at the institutional level is essential for engaging faculty in service-learning.