Bookmarked Would you like ethics with that? The possibilities and risks of (Mc)Mindfulness in schools (EduResearch Matters)

Mindfulness has multiple meanings, and a complex history. Therefore, we cannot take for granted that we always agree about what is involved in discussions of mindfulness in schools. To help us think more clearly about specific uses of mindfulness I have developed a distinction between ‘thin’ and ‘thick’ mindfulness.

Christopher T. McCaw discusses his research into the rise of mindfulness in education. To make sense of the different ways in which it is practiced, McCaw differentiates between thick and thin implementations.

It should be clear that a school classroom embracing a ‘thin’ version of mindfulness might look, sound and feel quite different to one embracing a more ‘thick’ version. The former might be more concerned with maximising student attention, focus and emotional stability in order to support behavioural compliance and enhanced academic performance. The latter might be more concerned with developing students’ personal awareness and responsibility, building a classroom culture of compassion, respect and deep listening, and calling into question competitive individualism as the basis for student motivation.

This touches on some of the concerns raised by Ronald Purser and McMindfulness. For McCaw, the questions that we need to consider is what is the type of mindfulness being taught, who decides this is what it looks like and what are the implications of this. It would be interesting to use the Modern Learning Canvas to frame this.

Listened Suddenly, by Caribou from Caribou

12 track album

This is an album that ebbs and flows, just as you start to settle in it changes. I think that Alexis Petridis explains this best when he says:

Suddenly is appropriately named: it’s an album that keeps unexpectedly changing course, often in the middle of a track. Like I Loved You swiftly succumbs to what might be Suddenly’s signature sound: letting the music – in this case an ornate, proggy guitar figure – warp out of time and pitch, as if someone’s pressing their finger down on a record as it plays. It’s disorientating and woozy and it happens again and again: to the sweet, tumbling piano figure that opens Sunny’s Time, to the arpeggiated synths that run through the closing Cloud Song and to the entire chorus of You and I, which shifts the song’s mood from cosseting warmth to uncertainty.

Marginalia

Song Exploder

Caribou: Suddenly review – perfectly imperfect pop

Dan Snaith On The All-Consuming Suddenness Of Caribou’s New Album

Premature Evaluation: Caribou Suddenly

Snaith operates a bit like a magpie himself, finding shiny trinkets from all across the musical landscape — or his record collection — and bringing them together to create a comforting new nest to live inside. And on Suddenly, he unites different strains and different decades of pop and electronic and hip-hop music all for the sole purpose of making you feel. Bangers like “Ravi” and the classic house-leaning “Never Come Back” aside, Suddenly is an insular, inward-focused work, but it might also be his most varied. So yes, two decades into his career, Caribou is still moving — despite everything life has thrown at him, and because of everything life has thrown at him. Life doesn’t sit still, so why should his music?

Bookmarked Under the Weather – Believer Magazine (Believer Magazine)

As a philosopher, Albrecht determined to identify and name this condition. The word he came up with was solastalgia, a portmanteau word of the Latin solus, which means “abandonment and loneliness,” and nostalgia. Nostalgia has not always had the warm and fuzzy connotations it does now. When it was first used, in the seventeenth century, it described a diagnosable illness that afflicted people who were far from home but could not return. Soldiers were particularly susceptible, as were people forced into migration by conflict, colonization, and slavery. The cure, it was thought, was simply to return home and be soothed by familiarity — otherwise, the sufferer’s distress would continue, even to the point of death. To Albrecht, if nostalgia was a sickness caused by the displacement brought about by seventeenth-century globalization, solastalgia was its twenty-
first-century counterpart.

Ash Sanders takes a deep dive into living with the burdens of a world falling apart.
Bookmarked Sharenting, BYOD and Kids Online: 10 Digital Tips for Modern Day Parents (Troy Hunt)

I was invited into the local ABC Radio studio to comment on this piece and online safety in general so in a very meta way, I took my 7-year old daughter with me and captured this pic which, after discussion with her, I’m sharing online:

Discussion quickly went from sharenting to BYOD at schools to parental controls and all manner of kid-related cyber things. Having just gone through the BYOD process with my 10-year old son at school (and witnessing the confusion and disinformation from parents and teachers alike), now seemed like a good time to outline some fundamentals whilst sitting on a plane heading down to Sydney to do some adult-related cyber things!

For Safer Internet Day, Troy Hunt provides a number of tips when it comes to digital parenting. He argues that everyone needs to find there own balance, but this needs to involve guiding children, managing administration duties and living with the chance that anything shared could be made public. In the end, the message that eminates from Hunt’s piece is the importance of being an active parent.

Digital controls can never replace the role parents play in how the kids use devices; they should be complimentary to parenting rather than a substitute for it.

Some other useful pieces on this topic include:

Replied to Episode 81 – The Return, Parent Rapport, Specialist Support & PA Debacles (2 Regular Teachers)

Fantastic to have you back on the airwaves Adam and Rick. Honest and enthralling as always.

Rick, I enjoyed your reflections on becoming a specialist teachers. With so much focus on literacy and numeracy, I always find that specialists provide an insight into a school. This was something I reflected upon a few years ago in regards to electives in Secondary school.

From a primary perspective, it feels as if some roll out the usual PE, Art, Language and Technology combination, while others put a bit more thought into this to make it as meaningful as possible for the context at hand.

For example, I was lucky enough to visit one school last year that ran all the specialists together with a massive STEM focus. They would balance between projects and immersion sessions. While another school had a vineyard/farm and operated all their sessions around this. I am not sure of the realities of either program, but it was definitely food for thought.

On a side note Rick, how have you found building relationships with parents as a specialist? I imagine that having been in the classroom previously within the school you would already have some preexisting connections, which may help?

P.S. recommend listening to Waleed Aly’s interview on the Take 5 Podcast for an interesting reflection on taking the PA in primary school.

Replied to Microcast #086 — Strategies for dealing with surveillance capitalism (Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel)

Over the last year (at least) I’ve been talking about the dangers of surveillance capitalism. Stephen Haggard picked up on this and, after an email conversation, sent through an audio provocation for disucssion.

I have tried and failed to record an audio response to this, so have turned to text. I think the challenge we face in regards to surveillance capitalism is one around narrative. Although we live in an ‘Informed Era‘, there is always more that can be done. As I have discussed elsewhere:

The challenge as I see it is to understand that consent is something that we inadvertently give each time we tap into an application. I would argue then it is a constant state of becoming more informed. In an ever changing world, with goals forever moving, it is a case where we can never quite be fully informed.

One of the issues with this is the danger to be black and white with such conversations. I recently read a piece the discussed the problem with science research being one of narrative, rather than just explaining the facts. I think that the same applies for discussions around surveillance capitalism.

Although people like Douglas Rushkoff have raised concern about narrative and storytelling, I feel that until we have different people talking about the topic it is not going to go anywhere.

Replied to Spain builds submarine 70 tons too heavy after putting a decimal in the wrong place (canada.com)

A new, Spanish-designed submarine has a weighty problem: The vessel is more than 70 tons too heavy, and officials fear if it goes out to sea, it will not be able to surface.

And a former Spanish official says the problem can be traced to a miscalculation — someone apparently put a decimal point in the wrong place.

I guess this is a good reminder why mathematics is important?
Bookmarked Alec Couros was used by scammers to catfish thousands of women and he’s a victim too – ABC News (abc.net.au)

After seven years and two beautiful children, Alec’s marriage ended in divorce. Or maybe his wife died, depending on who you ask. But thousands of women believe he is the love of their lives.

Bridget Judd dives into the world of catfishing, focusing on the use and abuse of Alex Couros’ identity. Judd discusses the way in which fake profiles are created, the challenges associated with challenging these and the various intentions behind such accounts. For more on the topic, read posts by Alan Levine, Dean Shareski and Alec Couros himself. Also the case of Lydia Abdelmalek provides another detailed case.
Liked 1,000 True Fans? Try 100 by Li Jin

The monetization strategy for 100 True Fans also differs from the 1,000 True Fans convention. Easy perks like offering users ad-free content and access to back-catalogs can help creators monetize at a lower dollar amount. But to gain fans who are willing to pay $1,000 a year—no small sum—creators need to offer a step-function increase in value. The recipe, then, is to go niche and to tap into users’ desire for results. Practically, what does that look like? It means providing differentiated content, community, accountability, and access.

  1. Premium content and community that has no close substitutes
  2. Delivering tangible value and results
  3. Accountability
  4. Access, recognition and status
Bookmarked A DJ Mixes Songs That Sound The Same (kottke.org)

Each video is about a minute long and features him playfully mixing two or more songs together that sound very similar.

This is an novel take on the idea of ‘covers’ in that the connections may not always be intentional. This reminds me of the project to record all possible melodies and place them in the public domain. It is also interesting to compare this with the investigation of samples within music on the Switched on Pop podcast.
Listened What Happens When Justin Bieber Samples Your Music by an author

When Bristol-based producer Laxcity logged onto Twitter to find out that Justin Bieber sampled his music, he was at first unphased. The sampled material came from a royalty-free sample pack on Splice.com, free for Splice users to add to their track. Then accusations of theft started rolling in. Another artist, Asher Monroe, had used the same sample just a few weeks earlier and he accused Bieber of copying the idea. Laxcity inserted himself into the argument to show that the so-called offending sound, was in fact his, but not limited to anyone’s use. This mixup led to Bieber shouting out Laxcity, giving the nascent producer a career boost. On his episode we speak with Laxcity, Splice CEO Steve Martocci, PEX COO Amadea Choplin and Verge reporter Dani Deahl (who first reported the story) to unpack how sampling works in today’s music. Then we hear how Beiber’s new album, “Changes,” interprets the sample to convey Bieber’s personal evolution in the public eye.

Bookmarked ABC Politics with Annabel Crabb

This week, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg adjusted his soundtrack from “Back In Black” to “Back In Balance”, a phrase whose resolute non-catchiness probably explains why it was discarded at the whiteboard stage by AC/DC.
Mr Frydenberg unwisely employed the present tense on Budget night last year when pre-announcing the “Back in Black” surplus of 2020/21.

I love Annabel Crabb’s turn of phrase, always so poignant and witty.
Liked The coronavirus emergency plan has been activated. Here’s what that means for you (ABC News)

What if things get worse?

The emergency response plan outlines responses to three levels of outbreak severity — low, moderate and high.

Under the plan, a worst-case scenario outbreak would see:

  • Large gatherings cancelled
  • People having to work from home
  • Mortuary services prioritised
  • Aged care homes locked down
  • Childcare centres closed
Bookmarked ABC Weekend Reads

Australia was now supposed to be a much safer place for a child. Were we really listening?

I keep thinking about institutions, and the reflex to protect — at any cost.

I keep wondering at how some of us manage to look past individual pain and powerlessness to somehow believe that the status and reputation of a name, a brand, an order, a building can be worth more.

Are we cowards? Are we unfeeling?

What I know for certain is that some of us have learned nothing, and that vigilance and scepticism will always be the price we need to pay for the safety of our children.

The story unpacked by Four Corners is sad to say the least.
Bookmarked Google redraws the borders on maps depending on who’s looking (Washington Post)

Google’s corporate mission is “to organize the world’s information,” but it also bends it to its will. From Argentina to the United Kingdom to Iran, the world’s borders look different depending on where you’re viewing them from. That’s because Google — and other online mapmakers — simply change them.

Greg Bensinger discusses the way in which Google often gets involved in border debates through the display of different boundaries in Google Maps depending on who is viewing.
Listened Tame Impala: The Slow Rush from Pitchfork

Parker may want to be a Max Martin type in another facet of his career, but in his own band, he’s still a sonic-maximalist introvert searching for inner peace. He seems to locate it in the quietest moments of the album’s show-stopping seven-minute closer, “One More Hour.” “As long as I can, as long as I can spend some time alone,” he sings atop steady piano chords, the barest he’s sounded all record (and still drowning in echo). Suddenly there are tense, fluttering strings and an apocalyptic, heavily phased guitar, then another gnarly riff, crashing drums, and Moog synths firing in all directions. The effect is something like multiple YouTube videos accidentally playing at once, a restless mind making gorgeous chaos—the work of a true perfectionist.

I remember going through a phase when I got sick of guitar and the palette that it offered. A friend bought a Jupiter, I bought a drum machine. That was as far as we got. I feel like The Slow Rush is what we were trying to get at. Although it tells a story, first and foremost this album offers up a sound that envelopes you. Time will tell, but I think that this album is an instant classic.

Place between Yeasayer and Primal Scream

Marginalia

Review: On ‘The Slow Rush,’ Tame Impala Masks Inner Turmoil With Sonic Euphoria

As a producer, Parker has more moving parts to balance this time, but he arrives at a deft auteur-pop synergy in which every last decision, down to the assorted cathedral-like reverb effects that lend his voice an otherworldly aura, become as intrinsic to the music as the melodies or the words. Though there’s a lot going on in the latticework of the music — springy analog synthesizer arpeggios, guitars doing unguitarlike things, layers upon layers of pastel lushness — the post-psychedelic swirl of The Slow Rush registers as an organic blend, with the songs never feeling cluttered or too tightly scripted.

RIYL: Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush

To create music that fits this mood, he recasts the sounds of yacht rock, early ’80s R&B, French touch, experimental synth music from the ’70s, Italo house, prog, trip-hop, his own back catalog, and much more. You can hear the Moog synths doing filter sweeps, the steady backbeat of drums with a phaser effect on them, and a big obvious nod to “The Logical Song” by Supertramp.

Kevin Parker breaks down Tame Impala’s ‘The Slow Rush’ album

Tame Impala – Zane Lowe and Apple Music ’The Slow Rush’ Interview