Sunday, September 29, 2013

Instructions for seminar 3 (Thu Oct 3)

Seminar 3 will be held:
- For group A on Thursday October 3 at 10-12 in L21
- For group B on Thursday October 3 at 10-12 in L22
- For group C on Thursday October 3 at 14-16 in E36
- For group D on Thursday October 3 at 14-16 in E53.


At the seminar, we will look closer at the connection between energy and our daily computing/social media habits. You will also have heard two more lectures relating to this topic. Beyond reading the literature connected to these lectures (here and here), you should prepare for seminar 1 by:
- 1) reading a number of (short) text
- 2) thinking about/writing a seminar question and a "position paper" and
- 3) entering your question and position paper into a Google form

---------- 1 -----------

There are a number of texts you should read, but they are all pretty short:
- Pargman (2009) on The energy footprint of Google searches - published as a blog post in the course companion blog.
- Pargman (2008) on The energy footprint of online avatars - published as a blog post in the course companion blog.
- McAfee's (2009) report on The carbon footprint of spam email.
- Bloomberg's (2013) article on The carbon footprint of Bitcoin ("Virtual Bitcoin mining is a real-world disaster")
- The first 8 pages of Mill's (2013) report "The cloud begins with coal - Big data, big networks, big infrastructure and big power: An overview of the electricity used by the global digital ecosystem". You should read only the first 8 pages - you are welcome to read the rest but it's optional.
- Watch at least the first minute, preferably the first 12 minutes and optionally the whole television program "Bang goes the theory" (Season 1, episode 11, "Human power station").

---------- 2 -----------

Write a seminar question and a position paper (see below). You are free to find a question of your own based on this week's readings and lectures, or you might want to consider the following two questions (which some of you might have discussed when you played GaSuCo):

- Is it sustainable to have free Internet services (mail, twitter, facebook)? Can/should/will such services (by all means include Google searches, calendar services, Youtube etc.) continue to be free?
- From an environmental point of view, what are the pros and cons of Facebook building a huge server hall in northern Sweden?

To gain maximum points on this seminar assignment, you should either:
- write a text that explicitly refers to and makes use of a majority of this week's readings and lectures, or,
- use the seminar texts as a starting point for either doing detective work and updating the examples you  read about above, or, make a back-of-the-envelope calculation of some other example that relates our daily use of ICT/Media technologies to their energy/CO2/environmental footprint. 

Position paper instructions:
- Make a stand (take a position) and write about it in the position paper. Your paper should be between 200-600 words long. Make sure that you in some way refer to and make use of (some of) the lecture/seminar course materials in your paper. It is not the job of the teachers to in detail query and make sure that you have prepared for the seminar - it is your job to convince us that you have.
- There should preferably be some connection between your position paper and your seminar question. Your position paper should ideally lead up to you seminar question, or, your seminar question should be "grounded" and explained in your position paper.

---------- 3 -----------

Please submit your seminar question though this Google form. The deadline is 24 hours before the first seminar groups will meet, i.e. Wednesday October at 10.15. Write/paste your short seminar question and "position paper" directly into the Google form. 


  1. Just a note on the submission form (again :)): It is identical to the form for seminar 1 (i.e. it says "Seminar 1"). But I suppose you'll treat it as submissions for the 3rd seminar.

    Ps. I didn't choose "option 1" this time either ;)

  2. Must have forgotten to change. Am having some problems with creating different forms but piping them to the same Google spreadsheet document but to different sheets within that document. Didn't work perfectly this time around and I must have missed the detail you point out when I mucked around with the form, sorry...