Introduction Welcome to your first major essay of the semester. This essay is called the WMD Essay wherein you will be documenting sources that you’ve been given (WMD & Privacy) and scholarly sources you’ve found on your own. This essay is argumentative, and I consider it a practice run toward eventually writing about your final paper topic. However, this essay relies on thoughtful use of the ideas from WMD. This essay will require one rough draft due a week before the final draft. You will receive credit for a complete rough draft as well as crucial feedback to make your paper great. As more information about ourselves is available online, whether through our own choice or compelled by the exigencies of living in a modern world, our privacy and its value to our liberty and democracy is at stake. This information ecosystem (big data) and its various players have provided countless conveniences we often take for granted and generate billions for economies worldwide. However, many of the applications of big data models, Cathy O’Neil argues, “encode human prejudice, misunderstanding, and bias into the software systems that increasingly manage our lives” (3). These models are invisible, and their verdicts are “beyond dispute or appeal. And they tend to punish the poor and the oppressed in our society, while making the rich richer” (O’Neill 3). O’Neill’s book focuses “on the damage inflicted by WMDs and the injustice they perpetuate [and explores] harmful example that affect people at critical life moments: going to college, borrowing money, getting sentenced to prison, or finding or holding a job. All of these life domains are increasingly controlled by secret models wielding arbitrary punishments. Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.” (13). Instructions Essay, and its thesis statement will answer the following question: Which chapter in WMD illustrates the most dangerous kinds of algorithms and why? Explanation of Essay Question: For your essay, you must make an argument that the algorithms in your chosen chapter are the most dangerous and provide reasons why supported with evidence from outside sources. Requirements 4 pages minimum of content and works cited page (works cited doesn’t count as part of the four pages) Sources You Need to Use Minimum of 2 secondary scholarly sources (book/academic journal/government source) from the library database Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil Privacy: Everything You Need to Know by Francis and Francis Be sure to include at least one quotation/summary/paraphrase from each source to support your original claim. Include at least two in-text citations to an outside source per body paragraph MLA format Reasons why it could be the most dangerous (think of O’Neil’s criteria of Opacity, Scale, and Damage) Data is exploited without consent People’s privacy (as it relates to information about a person) is not respected Information collection and analysis is not fair, ethical, nor transparent Class/Economic inequality Detriment to marginalized groups Privacy upholding choice/control Supporting Resources (to help you start & complete Reasons why a particular chapter’s algorithms could be the most dangerous (think of O’Neil’s criteria of Opacity, Scale, and Damage) Data is exploited without consent People’s privacy (as it relates to information about a person) is not respected Information collection and analysis is not fair, ethical, nor transparent Class/Economic inequality Detriment to marginalized groups Privacy upholding choice/control ==================================================== Student Sample (Word document)Preview the document Read LSH pages 17-29 (on developing quality body paragraphs), 105-107 (on synthesizing others’ ideas into your own argument) BEAT/BEAM Framework for Using Sources an approach to meaningfully using outside source, not just quote fishing) (PDF)Preview the document (Powerpoint)Preview the document Read this passage on Synthesizing Source w/examplesPreview the document (PDF) Watch this video on Synthesizing (video) (Links to an external site.) Revisit the Thesis Statement HandoutPreview the document (PDF). This will help you understand the qualities of a good thesis statement
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