Liked A changing of the guard by Malcolm BlaneyMalcolm Blaney

It took me many years to join the FSF as a member, even though I have considered myself a supporter of Free Software for as long as I have written code. I’ve only been a member for a year, but today I emailed the FSF to cancel my membership. This makes me very sad as I really believe in the Free Software movement, but I refuse to contribute to an organisation that supports RMS and the views he is currently sharing.

Now we have RMS jumping into the conversation, just when another unkind and t…

Replied to 8 key pieces of research for teachers – Issue 141 – Dialogic Learning Weekly

This article by Ryan Holiday takes a radical look at changing our phone habits – just one of many technology-centric rituals we need to keep in check.

You want to use it. Just grab it and alleviate the boredom or discomfort. Might as well check the headlines instead of struggling to type words on a blank screen. And why stay in this tense argument with your spouse when you can see what’s new on Instagram? “Hey, sorry buddy, I can’t play dinosaurs right now — I have to answer this email.”

A Radical Guide to Spending Less Time on Your Phone – When I used these strategies, I finally took back my life by Ryan Holiday.

What did you think of Ryan’s suggested strategies? Have you tried any? What have been the results?

I found Ryan Holiday’s list interesting. For example, I scrapped alerts long ago, yet I have found myself subsequently checking for updates. I think the benefit is that this is at least on my terms. These posts are a useful provocation to at least stop and reflect.

I was intrigued by another post recently discussing the humane technology movement and the point that although they are pushing against platform capitalism, they are still very much in favour of the templated self.

Bookmarked HEWN, No. 321

It’s not simply that the Silicon Valley positivity machine only rewards positive ideas. (“We build things,” someone once told me. “You just tear things down.”) Without a grounding in theory or knowledge or ethics or care, the Silicon Valley machine rewards stupid and dangerous ideas, propping up and propped up by ridiculous, self-serving men. There won’t ever be a reckoning if we’re nice.

Bookmarked Why it’s time to stop worrying about the decline of the English language (the Guardian)

The long read: People often complain that English is deteriorating under the influence of new technology, adolescent fads and loose grammar. Why does this nonsensical belief persist?

In an adaptation from Don’t Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language, David Shariatmadarin reflects on the continual fear over time of the death of the English Language. Rather than death, he argues that it is continually changing.

Any given language is significantly reconfigured over the centuries, to the extent that it becomes totally unrecognisable. But, as with complex systems in the natural world, there is often a kind of homeostasis: simplification in one area can lead to greater complexity in another. What stays the same is the expressive capacity of the language. You can always say what needs to be said.

Some of the ways that language changes, include:

  • Reanalysis: when a word or sentence has a structural ambiguity and changes to a new understanding.
  • Grammaticalisation: a phrase is made into a word with a solely grammatical function.
  • Sound Changes: where certain ways of saying things are seen as having prestige, while others are stigmatised.

Another reason that writer’s fear death is that it is the death of the English language as they know it. Shariatmadarin argues that older people experience greater linguistic disorientation as the language that they have grown up with changes.

Replied to French city makes its buses free, spurring new ridership and decreasing car use (Boing Boing)

A year ago, the city of Dunkirk in France made its bus system entirely free — causing a boom in ridership, as well as a drop in car usage.

It is interesting that there has been an increase in rides that may not have occurred previously Clive. This reminds me of an episode of RN Future Tense exploring whether free transport can save our cities? Also, Jonathan English wrote an interesting piece explaining what this is not necessarily the solution for the US.
Replied to

In danah boyd’s book It’s Complicated, she argued that:

A central challenge in addressing the sexual victimization of children is that the public is not comfortable facing the harrowing reality that strangers are unlikely perpetrators. Most acts of sexual violence against children occur in their own homes by people that those children trust.Page 110


Vala Afshar provides some useful advice in regards to engaging on Twitter. This is useful alongside Sherri Spelic’s recent tips
Replied to

The treatment of culture is something that really stood out when I visited New Zealand a few years ago.
Bookmarked Switched on Pop (Switched on Pop)

A podcast breaking down the music of pop hits

Switched on Pop is a music podcast featuring Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding. Like other podcasts, such as Chilly Gonzalez’ Music is Cool, Song Exploder and Holistic Songwriting, the podcast breaks down songs and looks at how they work. However, where it differs is that Sloan and Harding often provide a lot more interpretation on the interconnection between lyrics and music. Sometimes this is about word painting, but other times it is about interpreting meaning and connection with artists wider oeuvre.

via Triple J

Listened #70 – Virtual Community with Howard Rheingold – Modern Learners from Modern Learners

Howard Rheingold brings a sense of perspective and history to the conversation around our current understanding of community

Howard Rheingold discusses the development of virtual communities over time. From The Well to DS106, Rheingold discusses the power of learners to lead their own learning within such spaces. This is something Clint Lalonde discusses in regards to untrackable learning in private spaces.
Liked Seductive Fascist Style (

Theodor Adorno remains one of the key sources for understanding the desire for Fascism, notably in his groundbreaking work The Authoritarian Personality. In this article Max L. Feldman reads Adorno’s writings on Fascism, alongside Disney’s 1991 film The Beauty and the Beast, to analyse the contemporary resurgence of the far-right and the enduring relevance of Adorno’s work.

Bookmarked How an Élite University Research Center Concealed Its Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein (The New Yorker)

New documents show that the M.I.T. Media Lab was aware of Epstein’s status as a convicted sex offender, and that Epstein directed contributions to the lab far exceeding the amounts M.I.T. has publicly admitted.

Ronan Farrow reports on the steps Joi Ito and others took to conceal Jeffrey Epstein’s involvement with the MIT Media Lab.

Ito and other lab employees took numerous steps to keep Epstein’s name from being associated with the donations he made or solicited. On Ito’s calendar, which typically listed the full names of participants in meetings, Epstein was identified only by his initials.

One voice a part of the effort to lift the lid is Signe Swenson, a former a former development associate and alumni coordinator at the lab. She explains the how the message to keep Epstein’s donations secret came from the top. Another employee to speak up is Ethan Zuckerman, who recently resigned in protest:

In 2013, Zuckerman said, he pulled Ito aside after a faculty meeting to express concern about meetings on Ito’s calendar marked “J.E.” Zuckerman recalled saying, “I heard you’re meeting with Epstein. I don’t think that’s a good idea,” and Ito responding, “You know, he’s really fascinating. Would you like to meet him?” Zuckerman declined and said that he believed the relationship could have negative consequences for the lab.

Farrow highlights how Epstein’s association with élite institutions like MIT helped shield him.

The revelations about Epstein’s widespread sexual misconduct, most notably reported by Julie K. Brown in the Miami Herald, have made clear that Epstein used the status and prestige afforded him by his relationships with élite institutions to shield himself from accountability and continue his alleged predation.

In a Twitter thread, Siva Vaidhyanathan argues that Epstein’s intent in donating to MIT was not whitewashing, but rather to gain access to powerful men. This all highlights the moral rot and bankruptcy of the techno-elites.

Audrey Watters calls it a ‘plutocratic horror show’.

Rafranz Davis asks when we stop promoting MIT’s products?

Jay Rosen also asks why the New York Times did not publish the information?

Replied to How to Conduct a Study & Write a Paper in 10 Days (Reflecting Allowed)

First of all, the answer to this should be NEVER. NEVER EVER DO THIS. Especially if you’re not in a context where you’re fully immersed in it, but actually just got back from a long trip, are starting a new semester, and your kid is starting the school year. Definitely not a good idea.

But I did it. For reasons that make no sense to anyone but myself. I decided to submit a proposal to a CfP on my own rather than with a partner, submitted it slightly late but it got accepted, the I discovered the extremely tight deadline, then submitted to IRB here for ethical approval, and that took time despite their willingness… because… summer. Then I basically had 10 days to deadline.

Although not an ideal scenario Maha, I like how this experience concisely breaks down the process associated with writing a paper. Thank you.