Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Topic ideas from The Master Switch

After Spring Break, we will work to find an idea and then write a short proposal for a research project.  Our research essay will be 8 to 12 pages in length and will require the use of at least five varied sources.  As such, we need to start to generate topics appropriate for such an essay together, and work to find our own approaches and interests among the many topics convered in class so far this semester.

Below this post, using the Comments feature, please provide two essay ideas that you have brainstormed out of reading The Master Switch.

By having them all in one place, we can contemplate and discuss them.

Author Tim Wu.


  1. 1. Why is Monopoly happening and who ultimately decides to buy the other companies?
    2. What happens to the lives of people who have been bought out by their own company? How do they change and why have they?

  2. One idea that I would like to research is the idea of the Kronos Effect.
    And another idea that I would like to research is the idea of the separations principle.

  3. 1. The Legion of Decency. Why was it started and why did it disappear. Their beliefs, oaths, leaders and members.

    2. The return of AT&T

  4. Capitalism can turn into a form of government.

    Don't think an idea is free from corruption, even the purest of new entities can be converted from the intended purpose

  5. How will the further advances in technology change the way the internet operates?
    How big of an influence do universities have on the way the internet operates?

  6. I would like to research the beginning of the internet and how it has evolved and how it was created. Another topic would be how much technology impacts our lives or how technology has been used for propaganda.

  7. Topics I think may be good for analysis:

    How do the existence of conglomerates in media like Disney and Warner affect the artistic value of the media they create? What is good about them? What is bad? Are there any examples of media such as movies that would have gone in different directions without their influence?

    Will the internet be doomed to suffer the closed status of other communication mediums like telecommunications and broadcast radio? What factors will influence this (e.g., government, industry, activists, insiders, outsiders)?

  8. 1. I would like to know more about The United artists and how they rose and fell in the time of “open” film making. I think it is interesting how the epic fail of one movie could be the downfall company this big, and how it is different today.

    2. How or who might try to control the internet in the future? I think it would be interesting to find out if there is any predictions of this specifically, and how we could try to prevent it.

  9. One topic idea could be: Did the Independents (Burch Mursa Telephone Company) really stand a chance against AT&T? It's a very controversial topic and could be written in argumentative form.

    Another is to look more into the Hays Codes and really dig deep into what they believed, why they believed they had so much power, and what they did if a director violated the Codes.

  10. 1) We could pick one of the people Tim Wu mentions in his book and write about their accomplishments

    2) We could find instances in the real world were the cycle applies and elaborate that, tying the book in with our current lives.

  11. One-How much of an influence the government has on a big company doing well, and how they are able to do things like Bush letting AT&T and Verizon spy on telephone coversations with out a warrant.

    Two-How someone or a company would be able to control the internet, like blocking Wikipedia for a day a couple years ago.

  12. 1. How has AT&T evolved and changed?
    2. How does the Cycle Theory apply to our lives in technology?

  13. My two choices for topics would have to be...
    1.) Along with tapping phone lines (like George W. Bush did in 2002), how else is the "big brother" affect influencing our society today.
    2.) I would also like to look into the idea of a signifier, with various big corporations or figures and how they affect people, or what comes to mind when you see them. Or something dealing with movies and how they can either be a flop or not, even with or without the influence of money.

  14. One idea is the suppression of ideas and technology's to benefit large companies.
    Another would have to be the kronos effect and what happens after they have been absorbed into the whole.

  15. 1. The idea that it is neccessary to choose between perfection and freedom - they are not compatible.

    2. The pros and cons of destructive innovation.

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  17. 1. How history repeats its self and with every new technology it goes through the same cycle.

    2. The limit of our advancement in technology is not determine by our abilities to create new thing but, by who controls the market and wether it will benefit them (Gain Money).

  18. 1. how the government is trying to let big companies run themselve and not getting finacially involved like repeating a buyout.
    2. What ideas are out there for technology in the future. They had the envolope idea for the internet way before technology could ue it. whats out there like that today that will one day be the future

  19. 1. My topic is how big corporation's are still staying afloat.

    2. How bigger businesses are eventually going to be beat out by smaller ones.

  20. 1. how history repeat ts itself
    2. how technology effects everydaylife.

  21. 1.What is the government's involvement to stop the rising monopolies? Are they doing anything to prevent these things or are they going to wait until the last minute to step in?

    2.How the internet has followed the cycle, where it is now, and where it is headed next?