Liked a post by an author

I think Bridgy鈥檚 development history demonstrates the kinds of challenges that arise when trying to build alternatives alongside corporate platforms, instead of simply opting out. While principled technologists attempt to build a Web for the future, they must work through the present. This means contending with messiness, heterogeneity, and resistance from established infrastructures.

Replied to What is digital literacy? by an author

What are some ways that students can best learn digital literacy skills?

Thank you for the mention Ian. I think the best ways to learn (or teach) digital literacies are through experiences. The problem with this – and I guess a lot of learning when I think about it – is that there is not much room for mistakes. I wonder if this is what you were trying to capture with your post on anonymity. This is why I like the idea of starting out with closed spaces, before moving into the open.
Bookmarked A New Approach for Listening by an author

I am not into frameworks so these are just suggestions for an approach to listening. It may not be rocket science but these are my thoughts鈥t starts with recognizing that our listening is limited by what we hear (how widely we are exposed to diverse ideas and how deeply we interact with them) and also how we hear (how open we are, how aware of our own biases and where others are coming from) and how we notice what we don鈥檛 hear (silence, between lines).

Maha Bali reflects on the different approaches to listening, including widely, deeply, openly, repeatedly, outside, inside, to silence, between the lines and to take action. On the flip side, Bali warns about lip service listening.
Liked WALL路E by an author (Typeset in the Future)

From a trash-filled Earth to the futuristic Axiom and back again, WALL路E is a finely crafted balance between consumerist dystopia and sixties space-race optimism. Please join me, then, for a detailed dive into the uniquely robotic future of a remarkably human film, as seen through the eyes of its eponymous hero, WALL路E.

Liked The Avid Reader: Helen Schulman on As I Lay Dying (Literary Hub)

More astonishing to me was that in mining his characters鈥 thoughts and private struggles, Faulkner used elevated maximalist language, the poetic and truest manifestation of these poor country people鈥檚 psyches and souls鈥攁nd not the inarticulate staccato utterances that we hear realistically employed in active dialogue in scenes. This lashing together of characters and readers, through the tongues of the angels, is I think the most brilliant of all his moves. I felt as if knew each one to the marrow, their secrets and their sorrows, and most intriguingly to me their selfish inner motivations, the motors that made them run.

Listened What future Antarctica? from Radio National

It鈥檚 a golden time for Antarctic research, with more and more countries taking a direct interest in the great southern continent. But suspicions abound as to the real motivations of key Antarctic players.


Antony Funnell leads an investigation of the future of Antarctica, including the positioning of different countries in relation to 2048 when the current treaty to protect the continent expires. The feature investigates the geopolitics associated with military, research and resources. This also includes the place of the surrounding nations as launching points for this activity. I remember teaching about the resources associated with Antarctica in Geography, but what I feel was missed in hindsight was why it matters, especially as the world progressively warms up. Discussing the Arctic, Dahr Jamail explains how the degredation of such spaces impact us all. This is also something James Bridle discusses in his book the New Dark Age.
Listened TER #126 鈥 LGBTI+ Youth in Schools with Benjamin Law 鈥 21 Jan 2019 from TER Podcast

Main Feature: Benjamin Law shares his experience of being a gay teenager in an Australian school.

Regular Features: Marco Cimino discusses his podcast Oh the Humanities! (and Social Sciences), Cameron discusses a UK study on managerialism and teacher professional identity and well-being.

Liked Listening to and Learning from the聽鈥極ther鈥 by Jenny Mackness

I have found myself wondering why Levinas鈥 thinking about the 鈥極ther鈥 and 鈥極therness鈥 continues to hold people鈥檚 attention. I have come to the conclusion that it is not so much whether or not we recognise that the 鈥極ther鈥 exists. In fact I can鈥檛 see how anyone could be unaware of the 鈥極ther鈥. Every person is a unique individual, different to every other person, so every human encounter is with the 鈥極ther鈥. It鈥檚 more about how we respond to the 鈥極ther鈥. Do we try and dominate the 鈥極ther鈥? Do we accept responsibility for the 鈥極ther鈥? Do we try to listen and learn from the 鈥極ther鈥?

Levinas invites us to listen to the voice of the 鈥極ther鈥. This, he believes, is our moral and ethical responsibility.

Bookmarked How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Peterson (BuzzFeed News)

I couldn鈥檛 figure out why small, straightforward tasks on my to-do list felt so impossible. The answer is both more complex and far simpler than I expected.

Anne Helen Peterson discusses the anxieties associated with childhood optimisation and the pressures to find a good job. She highlights the changes in education, social media, personal branding and rise in debt. This subsequent cognitive load is one of the reasons that we struggle with creative solutions and deep work. The concern Peterson raises is that there is no clear solution to this system malaise. This has me thinking about the rise in staff well-being programs. Pushing back on Peterson’s fatalism, Kimberly Hirsh argues that we have to “perceive ourselves and others, and by extension others, as creatures of inherent worth, not merely parties to transactions, in spite of existing within an economic system that views us exactly as such.” Hirsh also curates a number of other responses to the article too.

Marginalia

If anything, our commitment to work, no matter how exploitative, has simply encouraged and facilitated our exploitation.


We鈥檝e exchanged sit-down casual dining (Applebee鈥檚, TGI Fridays) for fast casual (Chipotle et al.) because if we鈥檙e gonna pay for something, it should either be an experience worth waiting in line for (Cronuts! World-famous BBQ! Momofuku!) or efficient as hell.

Even the trends millennials have popularized 鈥 like athleisure 鈥 speak to our self-optimization. Yoga pants might look sloppy to your mom, but they鈥檙e efficient: You can transition seamlessly from an exercise class to a Skype meeting to child pickup. We use Fresh Direct and Amazon because the time they save allows us to do more work.


That鈥檚 one of the most ineffable and frustrating expressions of burnout: It takes things that should be enjoyable and flattens them into a list of tasks, intermingled with other obligations that should either be easily or dutifully completed. The end result is that everything, from wedding celebrations to registering to vote, becomes tinged with resentment and anxiety and avoidance.


Pundits spend a lot of time saying 鈥淭his is not normal,鈥 but the only way for us to survive, day to day, is to normalize the events, the threats, the barrage of information, the costs, the expectations of us. Burnout isn鈥檛 a place to visit and come back from; it鈥檚 our permanent residence.


The problem with holistic, all-consuming burnout is that there鈥檚 no solution to it. You can鈥檛 optimize it to make it end faster. You can鈥檛 see it coming like a cold and start taking the burnout-prevention version of Airborne. The best way to treat it is to first acknowledge it for what it is 鈥 not a passing ailment, but a chronic disease 鈥 and to understand its roots and its parameters. That鈥檚 why people I talked to felt such relief reading the 鈥渕ental load鈥 cartoon, and why reading Harris鈥檚 book felt so cathartic for me: They don鈥檛 excuse why we behave and feel the way we do. They just describe those feelings and behaviors 鈥 and the larger systems of capitalism and patriarchy that contribute to them 鈥 accurately.

Bookmarked Cal Newport on Why We’ll Look Back at Our Smartphones Like Cigarettes (GQ)

The computer scientist on his new book “Digital Minimalism,” why workplaces may go email-free, and why the tech backlash is about to go mainstream.

In this interview with Cal Newport, he compares social media with fast food arguing that we are moving into a period of time when we will develop named philosophies to define our practices. For Newport, Digital Minimalism is one such philosphoy.

Digital minimalism is a clear philosophy: you figure out what鈥檚 valuable to you. For each of these things you say, 鈥淲hat鈥檚 the best way I need to use technology to support that value?鈥 And then you happily miss out on everything else. It鈥檚 about additively building up a digital life from scratch to be very specifically, intentionally designed to make your life much better.

This is in contrast to digital maximalism.

[Maximalism] arose in the 1990s. The basic idea is that technological innovations can bring value and convenience into your life. So, you assess new technological tools with respect to what value or convenience it can bring into your life. And if you can find one, then the conclusion is, “If I can afford it, I should probably have this.” It just looks at the positives. And it’s view is “more is better than less,” because more things that bring you benefits means more total benefits. This is what maximalism is: “If there’s something that brings value, you should get it.”

Newport argues that regulation will not curb social media and that we instead need to understand that we do not really need them.

I’m a skeptic on a lot of privacy legislation, just because I’m a computer scientist who knows it’s very, very hard to even get a sensible definition of what privacy means. So, I personally don’t see the regulatory arena as being what’s gonna save us here. I think what’s gonna save us is this idea that we don’t need the giant walled garden platforms to attract the value of the internet. We would be fine if Facebook went away.

In a separate post, Newport makes the case for blogging and owning your own domain a possible response.

Slow social media and escaping the walled factories of industrial social media are two ways to step toward a more authentic social internet experience. They鈥檙e not, however, the only ways. As with my last post on this subject, I鈥檓 more interested in sparking new ways of thinking about your digital life than I am in providing you the definitive road map.

via Doug Belshaw

Bookmarked Playable Lego Piano (ideas.lego.com)

Making the LEGO piano playable was my main focus when I designed this model, and at the same time, the most challenging part of the build. Finishing the model and seeing it work smoothly brought me great satisfaction. I spent a long time just siting there playing with the LEGO piano keys, imaging the sounds of a real piano. This is a great example of the creativity and diversity of LEGO bricks.

I recently stumbled upon the Lego Ideas series. The intent is for creators to share their custom creations, with some going through the process of being put into production. There are some fantastic creations, but the one that stood out to me was the working piano. What stood out for me was the way in which pieces were appropriated for different purposes.

Replied to The War On the Smartphone: Has Data Cherry-Picking Destroyed a Generation? by an author

The truth is that most issues that are associated with 鈥減roblem technology use鈥 have their roots elsewhere. Bullying existed before smartphones, as did pornography, screen addiction, and social isolation. While it is true that smartphones can exacerbate or facilitate these things, they can also have significant positive benefits for learning, social connection, and communication. We can鈥檛 teach students to balance their screen time with personal interaction by taking the choice away from them. It is difficult to pursue lessons in the pernicious reality of data privacy and surveillance capitalism without a real and critical engagement with these issues.

I am not so concern about ‘access’ to smartphones Mike, as I am about the opportunity for ethical technology. Although we can preach digital minimalism or rooting devices, why can’t there be a solution that actually supports users rights and privacy by default?
Liked School Reborn 2020: Part 9 鈥 Down to business by an author (Eduwells)

Although I鈥檓 very happy with our progress to date and think the two teacher-only days were generally a great success, I鈥檓 not going to hide away from the fact that one in five teachers and parents are still somewhere between 鈥渨e should not be doing this鈥 and 鈥渋t鈥檚 sounds good but I鈥檓 really not sure it will work.鈥 My hope here is that there was enough evidence of staff having 鈥榣ight bulb鈥 moments during these two days that as we get more down on paper and detail added, all staff will get more comfortable and excited at the prospects of not having to micro-manage classes of students through exactly the same workload.

Watched The Handmaid’s Tale (TV Series 2017鈥 ) from IMDb
Season Two of The Handmaid’s Tale had this strange tension the whole time. Where season one set the scene, season two builds on this. Whether it be finding the cracks or challenging assumptions, as a viewer you are left wondering what next, yet never quite surprised at the monstrosities.
Replied to What am I doing /now?

Inspired by Patrick Rhone (who, in turn, was inspired by Derek Sivers), I have created a /now page. As outlined here, this is a that fills a gap that exists amidst blogging, social media et al:
No. If I wonder how someone is doing these days, it doesn鈥檛 help me to see that they went on vacation la…

I think that I capture this in my newsletter, but wonder if it would be useful to record it on a separate page too, including a collation of my links for the month.
Bookmarked What the earliest fragments of English reveal (bbc.com)

The earliest fragments of English reveal how interconnected Europe has been for centuries, finds Cameron Laux. He traces a history of the language through 10 objects and manuscripts.

This collection of historical artefacts is insightful both from the perspective of language, as well as the origins associated with each. It seems that every piece involves some element of luck as to how it survived that it makes you wonder the texts that have been lost over time and how this may impact our appreciation of the past.
Bookmarked 12 Tips For Maintaining Momentum With Blogging by an author (The Edublogger)

So you鈥檝e made it this far and started 2019 with a great start to blogging. How do you keep it going?

Here are 12 tips to offer you some inspiration. Different things work for different people and we鈥檇 love you to share your own tips in a comment!

Closing off the 28 day blogging challenge, Kathleen Morris provides a list of strategies for maintaining momentum. On the flip side, Aaron Hogan provides a list of blogging rules that you do not have to follow. These include the idea that blogs need to look a certain way or be perfect.

10 Blogging Rules You Don't Have to Follow