Bookmarked Tiny Loops, Hold Me Closer — Roden Explorers Archive

Each time you load Instagram it’s entirely different. A place with no concept of time or continuity. It’s like being stuck at the bottom of a well with oil slicked walls. There is no end. No edge. No rhyme or reason to the order. Just keep scrambling up the stone walls like a squirrel. Try as you might, you’re forever down in the wet darkness of that infinitude of sweet, sweet content.

Craig Mod reflects on detaching and learning to live with boredom. He discusses the tiny loops provided by social media and argues that the web needs something different. Continuing on from his post in Wired, he argues that newsletters are one of those things. Mod also provides some interesting thoughts on comments and community.


Bad is being stuck in a “tiny loop” of the mind and body — a senseless series of actions that span minutes, hours, days, consume years, and add up to nothing or almost nothing, and that benefit (ideally: tranquility, growth, curiosity) no one but the company (in reality: engagement, ad views) who owns the container in which the loop takes place.

I find the tiny loop problem to be terrifying. Tiny loops tend to be perfectly designed to satisfy the id’s raw impulses. That raw id is great fuel for creativity. The concern I have coming back and feeling the loops again for the first time in a long time is: if you’re not careful, tweets and their ilk can burn all your fuel with nothing to show.

I think we’ll look back with shock on many “fundamentals” of the internet as it exists today. I’m still amazed that any private organization would allow unfiltered public commenting. I remained totally unconvinced of its benefits. Twitter, in this sense, is just insanity — an endless stream of public comment posturing and signaling and, largely, screaming. Dumb dumb. Basic ’net folly 101.

I believe there is a place for public comments, but the amount of energy required to nurture a positive community is beyond the means or desires of most institutions. And so most comment sections simply don’t provide a healthy place for conversation.

Repetition builds templates. Templates can be recalled and deployed later, once the asceticism is complete.

Bookmarked With Apologies to Orwell, We’ve Gone Way Past 1984 (Literary Hub)

Social media made this process all too easy as it became the primary news source for millions of Americans while lacking the editorial oversight of traditional media. Responding to criticism in 2017, Facebook’s chief of security, Alex Stamos, pointed out that using the blunt instrument of machine learning to eliminate fake news could turn the platform into “the Ministry of Truth with ML systems,” but by failing to act in time, Facebook was already allowing bad actors such as the Internet Research Agency to spread disinformation unchecked. The problem is likely to get worse. The growth of “deepfake” image synthesis, which combines computer graphics and artificial intelligence to manufacture images whose artificiality can only be identified by expert analysis, has the potential to create a paranoid labyrinth in which, according to the viewer’s bias, fake images will pass as real while real ones are dismissed as fake. With image synthesis, Winston’s fictional Comrade Ogilvy could be made to walk and talk while the crucial photograph of Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford could be shrugged off as a hoax. There is no technological remedy; the bug resides in human nature.

Excerpted from Dorian Lynskey’s book The Ministry of Truth, in which he argues that we have gone past George Orwell’s dystopia in 1984.
Bookmarked Why We Replaced Heroes with Antiheroes by an author

We often use the word “hero” to describe the main character of a story. But since the 19th Century, our most popular stories usually aren’t about heroes.
Instead, they’re about anti-heroes.
So what’s the difference, and why are traditional “heroes” getting so hard to find?
To understan…

Justin Kownacki explores the notion of the hero versus the anti-hero.

A classic hero also requires a clear code: to boldly stand FOR something, which requires clearly and simultaneously standing AGAINST its opposite.

Where as:

An anti-hero is a compromised hero.

Kownacki discusses the popularity of the anti-hero (The Watchmen), the way that the anti-hero is sometimes cast as a hero (Wolverine) and where the hero masquerades as an anti-hero (The Rock).

Bookmarked AirPods Are a Tragedy (Vice)

Apple claims that AirPods are building a “wireless future.” Many people think they’re a symbol of disposable wealth. The truth is bleaker.

Caroline Haskins breaks down the impact of Apple’s AirPod headphones. She touches on the quality of production, the materials used, the short battery life, the inability to properly recycle them, their social standing and their position within the Apple ecosystem. This post is similar one on Amazon Echo.
Liked Quickly making watch posts on my website (BoffoSocko)

If others have better/faster methods, I’d love to hear them or see them documented. Perhaps one day someone (or maybe even IMDb or Letterboxd) will build a custom Micropub client specifically for watch posts (something akin to Teacup for food/drink or Indiebookclub for reading) that will automatically poll the data related to a film/television title and post it to one’s site?

Bookmarked School Growth: Small Changes Lead to BIG Impact by Chris Wejr

Too often in my career, I have seen schools, districts, and provinces make huge changes without really knowing if they will be successful. When we make large changes, we take big risks as these changes require so much capital (funds, time, resources, etc) and if we do not achieve the intended outcomes, it is a big loss for all those involved. Learning Sprints allows us to bring in evidence-based practice for a short cycle to determine if it has a positive impact in our context. If it doesn’t work with our context, it is not a significant loss and we can pivot or reset to take a different path to support teacher growth and student learning. By making these small changes, over time, we begin to see big results… and a significant impact on school growth.

Chris Wejr reflects on his experiences of using learning sprints as a means of making small and meaningful impact.
Liked Helen DeWitt (

Writing can be a way of thinking. Sometimes it seems as though a voice comes into the head and one writes down what it says — that would count as thinking, it seems to me, only if any conscious mental activity counts as thinking.

You’ll probably see, from my answer above, that I don’t think thinking is always done in language. Tufte’s work surely shows a wide range of non-linguistic thought that makes use of the page.

Liked Backfeed without code by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett

Here’s a hand wavy design sketch:

– Create a new task that’s triggered by a new reply to one of your posts.
–  Configureit to send a POST webhook to Telegraph’s API ( with these query parameters:
token: your API key
source: the reply’s URL
target_domain: your web site’s domain

Bookmarked Reflections on Domains 19 by John StewartJohn Stewart (John Stewart)

If act one was the development of the technical, financial, and human resource models for building Domain of Ones Own projects, act two will I think focus on answering the existential challenge of integrating Domains into “normal” pedagogical practices.

In light of #Domains19 finishing, John Stewart reflects on the achievements of domain of one’s own and the challenges that still need to be overcome. These include the seeming demise of blogging, problems of privacy, the fear that EdTech does more harm than good and the ongoing challenge of getting buy-in. Stewart suggests that for domains and digital literacies to thrive, then they need to become more ingrained:

I do not think Domains can thrive or that digital literacy more broadly can thrive, if we are only teaching digital literacy skills in DS type courses. The idea of consciously constructed digitally intensive courses that slowly contribute to the students’ digital literacies throughout their matriculation, seems more realistic. Just as no student is likely to become a great writer after their comp101 course, no student is going to grok the problems with social media, the difficulties of web sec, the affordances and production of multi-modal communication, the promise of new media, and the challenges of surveillance capitalism after a single digital studies course.

I think that this is a problem facing all facets of education, especially how we provide structured experiences, not just information.

Replied to This Deepfake of Mark Zuckerberg Tests Facebook’s Fake Video Policies (Vice)

A fake video of Mark Zuckerberg giving a sinister speech about the power of Facebook has been posted to Instagram. The company previously said it would not remove this type of video.

It is interesting that Canny AI did not quite capture the voice. I guess this is where the technology is at? What ever happened to Adobe VoCo? It would seem that from discussion on an Adobe Forum that it was only a thought experiment:

VoCo was presented in an ideas forum – nothing there was guaranteed to be developed or released, neither were any timescales given if they were to be. All sorts of things could get in the way of any of them, and clearly a few have in this case. You may be disappointed, but you’re going to have to get over it, I’m afraid.

And if you’re doing anything commercially viable, then yes, you budget for voices. If you took somebody else’s voice and ‘repurposed’ it for your own ends, you’ve effectively stolen from them, haven’t you? Simply by depriving them of work they might have otherwise got. I think that the other thing that’s possibly happened over VoCo is that somebody has realised this, and is somewhat concerned about the possible backlash – and I don’t blame them.(SteveG)

It would seem that others will come though, such as LyreBird.

Jason Kottke provides a further discussion which was also interesting.

Bookmarked RIP, iTunes: A Eulogy for Apple’s Inefficient but Essential Music Software (The Ringer)

Eighteen years after its launch, iTunes is going the way of the 8-track—but we’ll never forget the joy of compiling our first digital music libraries

Alyssa Bereznak discusses the growth and demise of iTunes.
Replied to

Mark, I really enjoyed Alma’s presentation, as well as the book (Distributed Leadership Matters) associated with it. I feel that freedom and discipline associated with the process
Watched Miley Cyrus and Jimmy Fallon Surprise NYC Subway Performance 06/13/17 from YouTube

Miley Cyrus and Jimmy Fallon Surprise NYC Subway Performance 06/13/17

This pop-up performance of Jolene and Party in the USA is another interesting example of the way that space influences performance. Something captured by the La Blogotheque through their Take Away and One 2 One shows.
Replied to

Danny Steele, your discussion of what matters and what is often recorded reminds me of #altcv and the stories that often go untold.