Bookmarked Human rights for the 21st century: by Margaret Atwood, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Dave Eggers and more by Margaret Atwood, Josh Cohen, Dave Eggers, James Bridle, Anne Enright, Olivia Laing, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Bill McKibbon (the Guardian)
As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70, leading authors reimagine it for today
  • The right to be a person, not a thing (Margaret Atwood)
  • The right to an inhabitable planet (Bill McKibben)
  • The right to live free from blame (Anne Enright)
  • The right to understand (James Bridle)
  • The right to live free from discrimination (Reni Eddo-Lodge)
  • The right not to work (Josh Cohen)
  • The right to define yourself (Olivia Laing)
  • The right to a life offline (Dave Eggers)
Bookmarked Australia's war on encryption: the sweeping new powers rushed into law by Paul Karp (the Guardian)
Australia has made itself a global guinea pig in testing a regime to crack encrypted communication
Paul Karp discusses the new digital laws that have been passed meaning that providers can now be asked to provide access to users.

While a law enforcement agency may only be targeting one criminal suspect, that does not mean a technological trap will not harm others.

Danny O’Brien from EFF also provides context on this change.

Tristan Greene argues that it will kill the Australian tech scene:

Another way of putting it: Australia‘s tech scene will soon be located on the Wayback Machine.

Bookmarked On Blogs in the Social Media Age - Study Hacks - Cal Newport by Cal Newport
As any serious blog consumer can attest, a carefully curated blog feed, covering niches that matter to your life, can provide substantially more value than the collectivist ping-ponging of likes and memes that make up so much of social media interaction.
This is a useful reflection on the difference between blogging and social media. It was something that I think was left ambiguous from Newport’s TED Talk.
Bookmarked Pausing Twitter by Pernille Ripp
So for now, I will be on here. I will be in my classroom fully present. I will try to find a better balance between sharing and staying quiet. I will be in the Global Read Aloud community, the Passionate Readers community. I will be actually reading more of the fantastic things written by others whose work inspires me to be more than I am. I will be diving back into research. I will be looking at my own practices in order to grow. I will be by my fireplace reading a book. I will be at my dinner table laughing with my kids. I will be just Pernille, not Pernille that has a lot to say and doesn’t always know when to be quiet. If you see me on there, it is probably a cross-posting from Instagram or a very rare moment indeed. But until then, take care of yourself. I am trying to take care of me.
This is another insightful reflection from Pernille Ripp. It continues on from her apology earlier this year for stepping back. It makes me wonder what happens to the ‘edu-influencer‘ when they step back? As much agree with Joe Sanfileppo about the power and potential of being connected, what happens when those people stop answering?
Bookmarked 7 Ps of Platform Education by an author
Social media research is not pop-cultural. It is a mechanism for understanding the very real performativity in platform education.
Naomi Barnes explores the effect of the platform economy on education. She breaks this investigation down into seven considerations: platforms, publics, profiles, produces/prosumers, professional expectations, policy and performativity. In closing, she highlights three points to be taken from all this: platform education is here and there is no pragmatically viable way to avoid it, social media policy makers should be aware of the ebbs and flows of social media platforms and factor that into workload and human resourcing, and policy makers must be aware of the effect of their presence on social media. This touches on the work of Ben Williamson and his book Big Data in Education.
Bookmarked Doing my research work is like walking a city. How would you walk this city? by Dr. Naomi Barnes (EduResearch Matters)
If you were to walk to the top of the tallest tower and look down on the network of roads and people, it might look planned, straight, considered. Plenty of people have taken that path and many know where to go. You can tell by the structures. But when you get down to ground level, the steps people are taking are not all in unison. They wander, stop, turn around, bump into things.
Naomi Barnes reflects on walking around cities, irruptions and the way in which we shape our research and our research then shapes us. This was an interesting read in light of Ian Guest’s reflections on flânography and his description of riches.
Bookmarked The Problem With Feedback by Megan Ward (The Atlantic)
Companies and apps constantly ask for ratings, but all that data may just be noise in the system.
Megan Ward looks back at the history of feedback. She touches on its origins associated with improving machine efficiency and explains how it has been appropriated in recent times as a tool for managing people. Ward explains that this confuses things and in the process we risk making the activity one of noise, rather than any sort of meaning.

Marginalia

Traceable to antiquity, the idea of feedback roared to prominence in the 18th century when the Scottish engineer James Watt figured out how to harness the mighty but irregular power of steam. Watt’s steam governor solved the problem of wasted fuel by feeding the machine’s speed back into the apparatus to control it. When the machine ran too fast, the governor reduced the amount of steam fed to the engine. And when it slowed down, the governor could increase the flow of steam to keep the machine’s speed steady. The steam governor drove the Industrial Revolution by making steam power newly efficient and much more potent. Because it could maintain a relatively stable speed, Watt’s steam engine used up to one-third less energy than previous steam-powered engines.

Wiener broadened the definition of feedback, seeing it as a generic “method of controlling a system” by using past results to affect future performance. Any loop that connects past failures and successes to the present performance promises an improved future. But instead of energy, Wiener thought of feedback in terms of information. No matter the machine, Wiener hypothesized, it took in “information from the outer world” and, “through the internal transforming powers of the apparatus,” made information useful. Water flow, engine speed, temperature—all become information.

Positive ratings are a kind of holy grail on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, and negative reviews can sink a burgeoning small business or mom-and-pop restaurant. That shift has created a misunderstanding about how feedback works. The original structure of the loop’s information regulation has been lost.

Feedback may matter to the corporations that solicit it, but the nature of the feedback itself—the people who provide it, the relevance of their opinions, and the quality of the information—seems not to matter at all.

Bookmarked Digital Survival Skills by Tom Woodward (Bionic Teaching)
The confluence of distraction and rapid change in today’s digital environment can result in confusion and frustration. We’ll focus on limiting distraction and choosing tools and workflows that will help you do more with less effort. The foundation will be a quick overview of digital productivity patterns (pomodoro, GTD, etc.). From there, we’ll move into successful patterns for getting work done in key workplace applications.
Tom Woodward reflects on the skills required for living online. He discusses knowing how you use your time, checking your data, avoiding distractions, optimising workflows and knowing the ‘basics’. It is interesting to think about this alongside Doug Belshaw’s work with digital literacies. It also has me reviewing my ten step program to being a connected educator.
Bookmarked Dropping Acid by Shuja Haider (Logic Magazine)
Today, contemporary pop music has fully incorporated acid house’s sonic range, if not its production method. Producers used it as a starting point for the sound of R&B and hip-hop in the new millennium—in 2000, Timbaland’s backing track for Aaliyah’s “Try Again” used a TB-303 for its bass line, inspiring countless producers to imitate the sound on other synthesizers and computers. For his part, Pierre sees something prophetic in the name that he and Earl Smith chose for their work: Phuture. “Twenty-six years later and acid is still going strong,” he said in 2011. “You can see the proof of this when platinum-selling groups and artists like LMFAO and Skrillex are putting ‘acid’ in their songs.”
Shuja Haider talks about the sounds and methods associated with Acid House music. Along with the TR808, this article documents the place of the TB303 on modern music.