ESP Biography



CHRIS PETERSON, All purpose social software / social science dude




Major: Critical Legal Studies

College/Employer: MIT Employee

Year of Graduation: 2009

Picture of Chris Peterson

Brief Biographical Sketch:

think about and work with Internet technologies and how they affect human communication and behavior.

My full time gig is at MIT, where I work on web communications, outreach, and strategy for MITAdmissions.org. If I wanted to be “professional” – which is to say, if I wanted to obscure my individual unimportance behind interlocking bulkheads of buzzwords, like a pufferfish wrapped in chain mail and festooned with mines – I would say that I leverage social software to facilitate digital conversations between MIT and its latent global community. In English, that means I use cool technology to help MIT talk to prospective students and prospective students talk to MIT.

I’m also on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship, an Associate at the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and a former research assistant at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. In these capacities I spend a lot of time reading and writing and thinking about the Internet and how it impacts the way we all communicate and experience our lives.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


How To Apply To MIT (And Other Awesome Colleges) in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
I will give an admissions information session, which will contain both a ton of information about MIT and a ton of information about how to apply to college in general.


How Judges Think (Or Don't) in Splash! 2011 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2011)
An introduction to mainstream theories of legal consciousness, historical and present. We’ll broadly review how formal legal actors have conceived of the roles (order? dispute resolution? tradition?) and origins (nature? god? man?) of law throughout history, and how these different views of law have helped shape society. We’ll then do a deep dive into the issue of precedent and how it works, with a special focus on the critique of “activist judges” and whether or not it is conceptually coherent.


The Privacy Architecture of Facebook in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
Everybody knows that privacy is a problem on social network sites. But what is privacy, and what kind of problem is it? Why do these problems occur, and what can stop them? This course will introduce students to some basic theories of privacy as a sociolegal construct. It will then discuss the environmental or architectural elements of privacy that are often invisible in our world. It will describe how these factors contribute to Facebook privacy problems, and what steps we might take to fix them. This class is taught from an interdisciplinary humanities perspective. It will feature wide-ranging discussion about the various issues, and plenty of time for derails and interesting explorations of marginally related issues with privacy and social software.


How Law Works in Splash! 2010 (Nov. 20 - 21, 2010)
An introduction to mainstream theories of legal consciousness, historical and present. We'll broadly review how formal legal actors have conceived of the roles (order? dispute resolution? tradition?) and origins (nature? god? man?) of law throughout history, and how these different views of law have helped shape society. We'll then do a deep dive into the issue of precedent and how it works, with a special focus on the critique of "activist judges" and whether or not it is conceptually coherent.


The Privacy Architecture of Facebook in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
Everybody knows that privacy is a problem on social network sites. But what is privacy, and what kind of problem is it? Why do these problems occur, and what can stop them? This course will introduce students to some basic theories of privacy as a sociolegal construct. It will then discuss the environmental or architectural elements of privacy that are often invisible in our world. It will describe how these factors contribute to Facebook privacy problems, and what steps we might take to fix them. This class is taught from an interdisciplinary humanities perspective. It will feature wide-ranging discussion about the various issues, and plenty of time for derails and interesting explorations of marginally related issues with privacy and social software.


Why Facebook Sucks At Privacy in SPLASH (2011)
Everybody knows that privacy is a problem on social network sites. But what is privacy, and what kind of problem ...