Bookmarked Tracking Exposed: Demanding That the Gods Explain Themselves (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Tracking Exposed is a small collective of European engineers and designers who systematically probe social media algorithms to replace the folk-theories that inform Algospeak with hard data about what the platforms up- and down-rank.

Cory Doctorow discusses Tracking Exposed, a collective of designers using adversarial interoperability to go beyond the guessing game of algospeak to provide a more concrete understanding of algorithms and content moderation. I really like Doctorow’s argument about moderation, comparing it with a boss keeping it secret what a worker’s job is.

The gold standard for a security system is one that works even if your adversary understands it. Content moderation is the only major domain where “if I told you how it worked, it would stop working” is considered a reasonable proposition. 

This is especially vexing for the creators who won’t get compensated for their creative work when an algorithmic misfire buries it: for them, “I can’t tell you how the system works or you might cheat” is like your boss saying “I can’t tell you what your job is, or you might trick me into thinking you’re a good employee.”

Bookmarked 10 steps to running an event I’d want to attend | Open Thinkering by Doug Belshaw (Open Thinkering | Doug Belshaw's blog)

This post is the outgrowth of an (online) conversation I had yesterday after an event I’d attended. It was a conference I used to go to every year which, for some reason this year mostly left me cold.

Doug Belshaw reflects on a negative conference experience. In response he shares ten steps associated with running an event:

1. Encourage participation
2. Provide clear scope
3. Ensure a diverse range of speakers/facilitators
4. Challenge the audience with different views
5. Have tracks and/or themes
6. Provide space for chatting
7. Recognise off-stage talent
8. Provide a mix of session formats and lengths
9. Get the food right
10. Build a community

This reminds me of a post I wrote a few years ago, but with more depth.

Liked DuckDuckGone (

I switched my mobile browsing to Firefox Focus with StartPage as my search engine of choice on mobile and desktop (although I use LibreWolf browser with uBlock OriginStartpage Privacy Protection add-on and Ad Nauseum on Desktop). And, run all that with a Private Internet Access, my favorite VPN.

Are those choices going to guarantee total privacy? Probably not. It’s still worth doing because it just isn’t anyone’s business.

Replied to Lost Cities of the Amazon Discovered From the Air (

From an aircraft, a lidar system fires down a grid of infrared beams, hundreds of thousands per second, and when each beam strikes something on the Earth’s surface it bounces back with a measure of distance. This produces an enormous cloud of data points, which can be fed into computer software that creates high resolution images in which scientists can digitally deforest the Amazon. By scrubbing away trees the maps reveal the Earth’s surface and the archaeological features on it. In this case, the images clearly showed 26 unique sites, including 11 that were previously unknown.

There is something odd and poetic to me about the idea of ‘scientists digitally deforesting the Amazon’.
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Andrea, Adam Grant’s discussion of care and ‘feeling joy of progress’ reminds me of Dave Cormier’s post about ‘care’ as learning’s first principle.

Once we jointly answer questions like “why would people care about this” and “how does this support people starting to care about this for the first time” and “will this stop people who care now from caring”, we have a place to work from.

I’m in this business because i think i might be able to help, here and there, with trying to build a culture of thinkers.

Bookmarked Send email when a Google Sheet is edited (

Suppose you’re a school teacher and you’re planning an upcoming Parent-Teacher conference. Instead of using a printed sign up sheet, you decide to use a Google Sheets spreadsheet where parents can sign up for a meeting slot.

In the past you’ve had parents forget which slot they signed up for so you’re hoping that a shared Google Sheet that they can access at any time will help solve this problem. You also want to receive an email notification whenever a parent signs up for a slot. This will help you keep track of who hasn’t signed up yet so you can remind them when they drop off or pick up their kids.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to send email notifications whenever a Google Sheets spreadsheet is edited. We’ll use Google Sheets and some Google Apps Script code to create this “application”.

Although there is a built in Notification Rules within Google Sheets, one of the limitations is that it does not actually stipulates what has changed. I subseqently found this guide for creating a script to send an email when a Google Sheet is edited, as well as this solution to sending to multiple users.

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The next step is to think about how this information can be made clearer, possibly listing the specific changes, rather than just highlighting the particular school updated.

Replied to Everything* is learnable (

You simply can’t learn everything and some things are very long undertakings. There are contextual limits too – some things are very expensive to access for example. However, my general approach to things personally is that things are learnable until proven not to be. I accept that I’m extraordinarily privileged to rarely hit the contextual limits of this. For people who experience these sorts of constraints much more regularly it must be very difficult to adopt this mindset.

Oliver, I really enjoyed your reflections on mindset and learning. It is always intriguing watching things like 16 Levels of Piano. I think that the issue sometimes is that we do not know the next step. This inability to break things down leads people to talk about supposed magic:

I may not have all the answers, but I think I am good at capturing particular problems at hand and with that drawing on past practice to come up with possible solutions. I am going to assume this is why people come to me with such diverse questions and quandaries.

I often think that the real magic is finding the time to take the next step.

Bookmarked A Behind The Scenes Look At How I Create A Technical Video Course (

Last week I launched a new Google Sheets course — The QUERY Function In Google Sheets — so I thought it would be interesting and helpful to share how such a course comes about.

It’s my 14th online course and my 19th launch. Along the way, I’ve made just about every mistake in the book, but I’ve now settled on a reliable framework for online course creation, the outline of which I share below.

Ben Collins methodically breaks down his process for creating a technical video course. He breaks I think about technical video course creation in six distinct phases:

  • Ideation
  • Research
  • Planning
  • Course Creation
  • Launch
  • Post-launch

What I actually enjoyed the most in Collins’ reflection was the way in which he uses Sheets throughout to help manage everything.

I have long been inspired by Collins’ work. I feel like I get as much out of how he addresses technical problems as I do about what he discusses. It was therefore great to get an insight into the thinking associated with his work.

Bookmarked The only question you need to ask about education technology. by Dan Meyer (Mathworlds)

My own rubric for evaluating edtech is very simple. One question tells me most of what I need to know.

What happens to wrong answers?

Dan Meyer discusses his simple rubric for evaluating edtech, “What happens to wrong answers?” He explains that “every wrong answer is a resource and we shouldn’t waste it.” The challenge is to value the student’s answer.

Meyer ends his post with a collection of others useful resources associated with reviewing technology, including a framework for thinking about technology centered in equity and Robert Talbert’s post re-considering points-based scoring.

Bookmarked YouTube RSS feed Bookmarklet (Colin Devroe)

A simple bookmarklet to find the RSS feed for a YouTube channel. On a YouTube channel’s page, like this one, tap the bookmarklet and you’ll be redirected to its RSS feed.

I remember reading about how to capture the YouTube feed, but always found it cumbersome. Colin Devroe’s bookmarklet makes it all so much easier. I really should make more of an effort to collate my feeds reclaim my YouTube consumption.
Liked The Opposite of Depression (

Happiness is fleeting. It doesn’t sustain itself, not like depression can. Happiness isn’t a formidable foe to depression. But purpose is. Purpose can be maintained, and sustained. Purpose doesn’t dissipate when something goes wrong, like happiness does. Purpose forces you to look forward, to look ahead, to see promise beyond the moment.

The opposite of depression is purpose.

Liked GitHub – pyscript/pyscript: Home Page: (GitHub)

PyScript is a Pythonic alternative to Scratch, JSFiddle, and other “easy to use” programming frameworks, with the goal of making the web a friendly, hackable place where anyone can author interesting and interactive applications.

“Clive Thompson” in Clive Thompson on Twitter: “Python in the browser, people:” / Twitter ()

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Richard, can’t help but be reminded of what we discussed all those years ago

I really love the idea of a space/platform where people add their own pieces and it grows over time, not exactly sure what that is though.

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Not sure about Excel, but pretty confident I could do it with Google Sheets using QUERY formula. Are the datasets public on the web?
Liked Lil Beat Maker: Simple Online Beat-Making Machine | (

A free online beat-making machine based on a circular timeline. Have fun creating simple drum loops and patterns with this easy web app.

“Clive Thompson
in A Wooden Microphone, “Missile Command” As Therapy, and The Secret Life of Soil | by Clive Thompson | May, 2022 | Medium ()

Played Top games tagged Bitsy (

Find games tagged Bitsy like novena, catching the train, ✨💻ENDLESS SCROLL💌✨​, Flirting, UNDER A STAR CALLED SUN on, the indie game hosting marketplace.

“Clive Thompson” in Clive Thompson on Twitter: “I’ve been playing some amazing Bitsy games while doing wool-gathering for my next Linkfest omg the top-ranked stuff at @itchio is *amazing*: And there are 3,758 Bitsy games at itch get playin’” / Twitter ()

Replied to Homework every night for the rest of your life by Austin Kleon (Austin Kleon)

I was browsing YouTube with my son and we came across musician Jacob Collier answering questions about music theory, which led to videos of him explaining harmony in 5 levels of complexity and playing the same song in 18 increasingly complex emotions. I love this kind of stuff, so if you have favorite videos or podcasts about music theory, send ‘em my way!

I too love videos and podcasts about music theory. Two of my favourites are Kirk Hamilton’s Strong Songs podcast and Andrew Huong’s YouTube channel. i long how Hamilton carefully breaks down all sorts of songs, while Huong is always snappy and often incorporates electronic music (another love).