Go to the U of M home page.

Course Details

Law, Technology, Inequality & Opportunity
#6646

Type

LEC

Credits

3 cr.

Student Year

2L/3L

Description:

Many argue that technological innovations increase inequality while others argue that they offer opportunities to level the playing field. Both effects depend on the political, economic, and legal infrastructure that underlies the technology. This seminar will start with an examination of the competing arguments, including readings from Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, and Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. It will then examine particular technological developments and their impact on inequality including automation and employment, the pill, egg freezing and women’s lives, smart phones, telecommunications and their impact on marginalized groups, pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine, social media, the internet and the dissemination of ideas, sports, doping and genetics, climate change and green technology, synthetic biology and genetic engineering, arcane financial transactions, big data across various fields, and changes in the use of technology in the legal profession.
show all

Sections

Fall 2014: Law, Technology, Inequality & Opportunity

show details

Type

LEC

Credits

3

Student Year

2L/3L

Details:

First day: Read: Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, Chap. 1, pp. 1-38 (Chapter 1 except for discussion of Iraq), Chapter 2, 45-57, 64-71, 80-81, 103-44, 157-61, 169-71.  When you read chapter 2, make sure you see what Friedman's 10 flatteners are, but you can skip the discussion of #2, Netscape Going Public, #3, Work-flow software, #4, Open sourcing, but then concentrate more on ##5, 6, 7 and 8.  

Identify the factors Friedman describes that 1) are used to implement new technologies; 2) their likely impact on wages in the United States and other countries; 3) his assumptions on the increased or decreased ability of companies to exploit or empower employees in this model; 4) the factors he does not discuss that might be relevant to assessing the impact of the changes he describes.


Second class: Continue reading Friedman, Companies and the Flat World, Chapter 10, How Companies Cope.
 Send to me at least 24 hours before the class, a critique of Friedman.  My example is Matt Taibbi, Flathead: The Peculiar Genius of Thomas L. Friedman, http://www.delong.typepad.com/egregious_moderation/2009/01/matt-taibbi-flathead-the-peculiar-genius-of-thomas-l-friedman.html

(no readings)

Spring 2014: Law, Technology & Inequality

show details

Type

LEC

Credits

3

Senior Writing?

Yes

Student Year

2L/3L

Details:

(see course description, above)

(no readings)