Bookmarked Is our privacy out the window? (Lens: Pioneering research stories, commentary and opinion told by leading academics – Monash University)

New facial recognition technology and its potential uses are justifiably raising fears.

Mark Andrejevic and Neil Selwyn talk about the various ways that surveillance technology has crept into our society through:

The use of facial recognition to deter marathon runners from cheating, relieving teachers of the burden of taking the class roll, and saving home-owners the worry of losing their door keys.

They also discuss some of the function creep, such as the whereabouts of Workforce and the tracking of customers in stores. The authors close with a call that we must all pay more attention, especially as governments begin the debates about regulation.

Amid growing calls in the US and elsewhere for outright bans on all forms of facial recognition, it’s time for Australia to begin to pay closer attention. At present, most uses of the technology remain speculative or in the early stages of development. There’s a brief window for us all to have an influence on what happens next. It will be important to regulate not just the use of public databases, but also the creation of large-scale private databases, and the uses to which these can be put.

Liked Asimov’s Empire, Asimov’s Wall | Public Books,Asimov’s Empire, Asimov’s Wall (Public Books)

Isaac Asimov loved large numbers. He was born a century ago this month, and when he died, in 1992, he was both the most famous science fiction writer in the world and perhaps the most prolific author in American history. He kept close track of his publications, most of which were nonfiction, and confessed that he was generous when it came to including borderline cases, such as anthologies, in his total of nearly five hundred books: “We all want to be known for something, and I was beginning to see that there would be a good chance that if for nothing else, I would be known for the vast number of books I would publish.”

In the end, however, another number might turn out to be equally meaningful. Over the course of many decades, Asimov groped or engaged in other forms of unwanted touching with countless women, often at conventions, but also privately and in the workplace

Bookmarked Caught in the Spotlight | Urban Omnibus (Urban Omnibus)

Rather than ease or eliminate friction, these technologies often increase feelings of unease, anxiety, and fear on the part of both the watcher and the watched. Inasmuch as those tensions (whether acknowledged or not) come from a fear of the other, more cameras, devices, tracking, alerts, and notifications will not deliver on their promises. Rather, these technologies will continue to fuel a negative feedback loop between individuals and communities on both ends of the surveillance spectrum, where the only real winners are the companies who profit from the fear they help to manufacture.

Chris Gilliard explores how technologies that track create different spatial experiences for users. He compares ankle monitors with fitness tracks, and discusses the panoptic nature of Ring Doorbells and Automated License Plate Readers

ALPRs tend to be hidden. However, like so many aspects of police surveillance, they are not a secret. In true panoptic fashion, the preponderance of ALPRs establishes the possibility that you are always being observed. And as with Ring, powerful and connected surveillance tech in the hands of “regular” citizens ramps up fear with constant notices of “invasions” by outsiders.

Gilliard reflects on the influence that such technology has on various situations.

In a technologically-created environment where “crime” becomes content, people will be moved to find crime.

Bookmarked Starting this semester’s seminar on education and technology (Bryan Alexander)

This week my new education and technology seminar began. It’s in Georgetown University’s Learning, Design, and Technology program, and called LDES-702: Studies in Educational Technology. I first taught it in 2019.

Here I wanted to introduce the class, starting with my plans for it, then the tentative reading and assignment schedule.

The general idea is for students to work through a different tech or tech-related practice each week. They’ll read and engage with scholarship about the stuff, both asynchronously (online) and synchronously (in person or via video). They will also get some hands-on work with the tech, like recording audio, creating a class in an LMS, creating an information literacy guide, etc.

Bryan Alexander provides a number of resources associated with research into education and technology.
Bookmarked Strategic approaches to the development of digital literacies • Literacies (Literacies on Svbtle)

This workshop will cover the eight essential elements of digital literacies, exploring ways in which AMICAL institutions can benefit from a strategic approach to the area. The sessions will be of particular use to those who wish to think critically about the role of universities in 21st century society. Participants will leave the workshop empowered with the knowledge and skills to begin implementing digital literacies in a relevant context at their home institution.

Doug Belshaw provides the resources he used to run a session exploring digital literacies.
Bookmarked Talking to youth about privacy, security, & digital spaces by Sign in – Google Accounts (W. Ian O'Byrne)

As parents, we need to ask questions of caregivers about the why/what of tech use. Why are they using ClassDojo or SeeSaw to take photos of our children and send us notices. Do we (as parents) want or need this communication? We need to ask questions about why our child’s art is uploaded to websites like Artsonia to sell products to friends and family members. Most importantly, we need to ask questions about where all of this data goes after our children have moved on, and the teacher, network admins, tech companies, and perhaps schools may no longer be there. Who will be tasked with ensuring this content is private and secure?

Ian O’Byrne provides some concrete examples of situations you could create to teach kids about digital security/algorithms. Ideally, O’Byrne suggests that this should start as early as possible.

My gut reaction is that these discussions need to start when children are 4 or 5. My indication that these discussions need to be developmentally appropriate means that we need to use terms and analogies that make sense to the child

Two ideas include the discussion of online spaces like ‘physical’ spaces and clues provided about a character within a story with a focus on what story you want to tell. Beyond all this, the most important thing you can do is model appropriate practices as a parent and being mindful of such things as sharenting.

This reminds me of something from danah boyd who provided two strategies:

Verbalize what you’re doing with your phone’
Create a household contract

Listened Happy Birthday Bowie – relive his most awesome party, attended by Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters and more from NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM

On what would be David Bowie’s 72nd birthday, relive one of his best and biggest parties – his star-studded 50th bash at New York’s Madison Square Garden

This is a fascinating concert. Recorded during the time Bowie was exploring industrial sounds, many of the tracks therefore take on a new sound to match with this.

Added to this are the wealth of guests.

‘Little Wonder’
‘The Hearts Filthy Lesson’
‘Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)’ (with Frank Black)
‘Fashion’ (with Frank Black)
‘Telling Lies’
‘Hallo Spaceboy’ (with Foo Fighters)
‘Seven Years In Tibet’ (with Dave Grohl)
‘The Man Who Sold The World
‘The Last Thing You Should Do’ (with Robert Smith)
‘Quicksand’ (with Robert Smith)
‘Battle For Britain (The Letter)’
‘The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)’
‘I’m Afraid Of Americans’ (with Sonic Youth)
‘Looking For Satellites’
‘Under Pressure’
‘Queen Bitch’ (with Lou Reed)
‘I’m Waiting For The Man’ (with Lou Reed)
‘Dirty Blvd.’ (with Lou Reed)
‘White Light/White Heat’ (with Lou Reed)
‘Moonage Daydream’
‘Happy Birthday To You’ (performed by Gail Ann Dorsey)
‘All The Young Dudes’ (with Billy Corgan)
‘The Jean Genie’ (with Billy Corgan)
‘Space Oddity’

Bookmarked New Zealand schools to teach students about climate crisis, activism and ‘eco anxiety’ (the Guardian)

While the Paris climate agreement, signed in 2015, urges signatory countries to implement climate education, many countries who made the pledge have not fulfilled it, including New Zealand’s nearest neighbour Australia, according to the science publication The Conversation.

Charlotte Graham-McLay discusses the new curriculum provided to schools in New Zealand to confront eco-anxiety.

The curriculum will put New Zealand at the forefront of climate change education worldwide; governments in neighbouring Australia and the United Kingdom have both faced criticism for lack of cohesive teaching on the climate crisis. The New Zealand scheme, which will be offered to all schools that teach 11 to 15 year-old students, will not be compulsory, the government said.

This is in contrast to the Australian government, which does not believe students should be involved in such debates. There have been various resources developed for schools, such as CSIRO’s Sustainable Futures, Cool Australia, Future Earth, the Climate Reality Project, Climate Watch and Scootle. However, on a whole schools are left to themselves.

Liked Some Thoughts As We Go Through Our Internet Technology Awakening | Kin Lane (Kin Lane)

Don’t get me wrong, I am one of the new found awakened beings, not one of the ones that have been pushing back on things from the beginning. I have only begun to wake up to the damage being done about five years ago—-alongside some other awakening around gender and racism. However, I happened to be married to someone who has been critical since day one with her blog Hack Education, and happen to know other folks like Tressie McMillan Cottom (@ tressiemcphd), David Columbia (@dgolumbia), Bill Fitzgerald (@funnymonkey), Chris Gilliard (@hypervisible), Tim Maughan (@timmaughan), and others who have been highly critical all along. Even with these voices ringing in my ear over the last decade, I have struggled with clearly seeing a path forward and coming to terms with the damage I’ve incited as part of my work as the API Evangelist.

Liked Worried about 5G and Cancer? Here’s Why Wireless Networks Pose No Known Health Risk – TidBITS (TidBITS)

With no evidence of sensitivity, no increase in cancers, irreproducible studies that have led to dead ends, and no epidemic of conditions among the large, long-term population of cell-phone and Wi-Fi users, we’re led to one conclusion: There is no health risk associated with everyday exposure to common EMFs. That’s the case even if, intuitively, it feels like there must be a link. We may never get over that feeling, but we should base our behavior and policy on solid science, not feelings.

via Adam Tinworth
Liked I tried to warn Scott Morrison about the bushfire disaster. Adapting to climate change isn’t enough | Greg Mullins (the Guardian)

The established trend of dryness, hotter temperatures, extreme weather and lengthening fire seasons is unfortunately our “new normal”. Scott Morrison didn’t give us an opportunity to explain to him Tasmania’s increasing frequency of fire seasons, the two-month lengthening of NSW fire seasons, how Queensland is now a “bushfire state”, the now common dry lightning storms (no, not all fires are caused by arsonists), the critically dry fuels after a 20-year drying trend restricting hazard reduction (no, not caused by greenies stopping “backburning”), fires creating their own weather (pyro-convective activity), and how these factors and others, driven by climate change, have made Australia more dangerous.

Liked Now that climate change is irrefutable, denialists like Andrew Bolt insist it will be good for us | Van Badham (the Guardian)

The ideological resistance among conservatives to address the source of climate crisis is so powerful, so historically entrenched, that flames literally surround the city in which the conservative Australian prime minister himself has announced that “resilience and adaptation” amid the fires will substitute for climate mitigation, prevention, action to make them stop. On cue, the megaphones insist this nightmare will be good for us.

Bookmarked Behind the smokescreen, the Coalition’s stance on climate change hasn’t changed | Greg Jericho (the Guardian)

If Scotty from Marketing and his coal-fired peers really believed in the climate crisis, they’d be doing something about it

Greg Jericho explains that,

Just because we all desire the Coalition to do something on climate change doesn’t actually mean they will.

He suggests that although the government may have changed its ‘position’ on climate change, the language is still the same as that used by Tony Abbott in 2015.

In a seperate article, Jericho states,

And so we enter the next stage of climate change politics – a subtle and sinister shift – the talk will be about practical measures of adaptation rather than of reducing emissions: gone will be direct action, in its place will be “direct adaptation”.

It is a stage that, if successful, will signal the end for our planet.

Replied to

This is such an interesting point. Intriguingly, I came upon this link via Ana Rodrigues’ post which I follow via Chris Aldrich’s OPML file.
Listened Beach House’s ‘Teen Dream’ Turns 10 from Stereogum

With Teen Dream, Beach House became a touchstone for melancholic nostalgia. Their songs have such a marvelous, effortless sweep. But they were never as dreamy as they were made out to be; a lot of Beach House songs are closer to nightmares, like walking down endless hallways searching for an answer that doesn’t exist. They’d refine the formula they established on Teen Dream throughout the rest of their career, find new ways to define love by tragedy.

Liked ‘Parents are genuinely confused’: the problem with tech in schools (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Department of Education secretary Mark Scott said students would use technology for the rest of their lives.

“They are going to use it at work, it will be a feature at home, it can be a powerful educational tool,” he said. “I don’t think the answer is to deny students access to technology, to not recognise technology’s presence in our society, but to continue to interrogate what’s going to be important.”