Listened Daði Freyr from dadifreyr.com

The Icelandic, Berlin based musician Daði Freyr had been making music for over a decade before his career took off in 2020 with the song ‘Think About Things’ which seemingly went viral overnight with celebrities such as Russel Crowe and Jennifer Garner posting about it. It all started in his Berlin studio, a tiny space in his flat where he writes and records most of his music. The lyrics for Think About things are directly inspired by Daði becoming a father in 2019 and all the changes in his life around that. The song was supposed to be Iceland’s contribution to the Eurovision song contest in 2020, performed with Gagnamagnið (the Data Plan) a fictional band made up of Daði’s friends and family members. Think about Things was high in the polls before the contest got cancelled due to Covid but the song grew exponentially in the following months earning a silver record in the UK and recognition as Time magazine’s number six on the top10 songs of 2020 list.

Inspired by Daði Freyr’s collaboration with Montaigne, I took a dive into his music. I really enjoyed Welcome, but wanted more. This led me to watching quite a few live clips, including Jam in the Van, performance for Vogue, live at Lowlands and performance of Eurovision Songs.

Other than the fact that the music is infectious, I think I like Freyr’s humour and humble nature the most.

Place between Calvin Harris and Twinkle Digitz.

Replied to Creating a Catalogue in Google Sheets by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (readwriterespond.com)

To create the SWITCH, I created a UNIQUE list of all the folders and then pasted them as values so that I could delete those not required to be displayed in the directory. After culling the list, I then added the area in the cell next to each folder. Once I had these two columns complete, I used this formula to add quotation marks to them all:

=ArrayFormula(“”””&Sheet1!A:D&””””)

I then copied this list into the SWITCH formula and added in the commas

I have found a cleaner method for adding in the commas and quotations required for the SWITCH formula:

=char(34)&join(“””, “””,ARRAYFORMULA(QUERY(A1:A,”SELECT A WHERE A IS NOT NULL”)&”””,”””&QUERY(B1:B,”SELECT B WHERE B IS NOT NULL”)))&char(34)

Liked Pluralistic: 07 Oct 2022 “Don’t spy on a privacy lab,” and other career advice for university provosts by Cory DoctorowCory Doctorow (pluralistic.net)

the students arrange the sensors into a “public art piece” in the lobby – a table covered in sensors spelling out “NO!,” surrounded by Sharpie annotations decrying the program.

Meanwhile, students are still furious. It’s not just that the sensors are invasive, nor that they are scientifically incoherent, nor that they cost more than a year’s salary – they also emit lots of RF noise that interferes with the students’ own research.

Bookmarked The GIF Is on Its Deathbed (theatlantic.com)

I think there will always be, at least, a handful of masochists who want to struggle to make a GIF and struggle again to post it somewhere—all because they are devoted to the perfect animated loop, and because they think there is something spiritually important about contorting themselves to create it. “[Igor] Stravinsky has a quote about constraints,” Kohler told me. Then he read the whole thing aloud: “The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution.”

Kaitlyn Tiffany reflects on the demise of GIFs. She discusses the embarrassing nature in which particular GIFs are used on repeat. In addition to this, the MP4 format is a lot smaller.

Ir is interesting to look back on when I presented on GIFs as a form of quick makes.

Replied to

We recently purchased an air fryer and have not looked back. Soak the potatoes in water before.  Can do spuds, wedges, fries … all awesome.
Liked What Teaching Movies Get Wrong About Teaching by Dan Meyer (Mathworlds)

It’s interesting to see how often teaching in TV and movies is characterized as:

  • Easy for outsiders—perhaps even easier for outsiders than for insiders, the people who have studied and practiced teaching for years. (Dangerous Minds, School of Rock, Stand and Deliver, Kindergarten Cop, etc.)
  • Individualistic—a profession where you’re successful in spite of rather than because of your colleagues, most of whom are weighted down by their antiquated traditions or their inadequate beliefs in the potential of their students. (The Wire, Blackboard Jungle, Stand and Deliver.)
  • Sacrificial, indeed to the extent that successful teaching may require you to forsake your marriage (Freedom Writers) or your health (Stand and Deliver).
  • An economic equalizer, where classroom success is the engine of economic mobility, rather than, say, wealth redistribution or a strong social safety net. (Dangerous Minds, Blackboard Jungle, Stand and Deliver.)
  • Cultural discipline, a medium for transmitting cultural and social values from the middle class to the lower. (Dangerous Minds, Freedom Writers, Lean on Me, The Principal, Stand and Deliver, The Substitute, Blackboard Jungle, and on and on.)
Liked Building a JavaScript guitar pedalboard (trysmudford.com)

I’ve just launched a new side project in the form of a JavaScript guitar pedalboard. It’s a handy crossover of my coding and guitaring hobbies. Try the pedalboard out for yourself!
The original intention for the project was to build a delay pedal, but after a Wednesday evening of hackery, I had …

Checked into https://www.montaignemusic.com.au/tour-shows
I was not sure what to expect from seeing Montaigne live at the Corner Hotel. Personally, I was interested in how Making It! would translate to the stage. Although it was the Making It! tour, I did not expect the album to be played straight-through. The point made was that was how it was meant to be appreciated as an album, therefore this is how it was to be played.

In regards to the intricacies of the album or guest performances, these were covered by pre-recorded tracks, something that has become common in the evolution of music performance, or substitutes, with Montgomery stepping in for David Byrne in always be you. The set also closed with ‘the hits’.

The official set time was to finish at 11:20, but Montaigne provided a track-by-track breakdown in-between each track. This included discussions of Pat, failed concept album and the music industry. This blew the set out to 12:00.

One of the other things that I was looking forward to seeing were the support acts. Both Montgomery and Molly Millington were solo acts, supported by pre-recorded tracks, sequencers or guitar. I remember seeing Twinkle Digitz thinking that the all-in-one setup was somewhat quaint. However, it now occurs to me that the support gig comes with certain conditions. I have been at the Corner before where they utilise both the main stage and the smaller stage, but there are challenges which changing over. It made me wonder about the impact on what is possible. For example, I could imagine Montgomery being a band experience, similar to say Chvrches. I feel that I now appreciate Sylvan Esso’s WITH tour. It also makes me think about the way in which Jake Webb reimagines Methyl Ethel for different contexts.

Checked into Art of Fighting – Melbourne Recital Centre
I was a late call-up for Art of Fighting’s 21st anniversary performance of Wires at Melbourne Recital Centre.

The debut album of Melbourne-indie band Art of Fighting, Wires, received widespread acclaim, receiving the ARIA in 2021 for Best Alternative Album, featuring the soaring tracks Give Me Tonight, Reasons Are All I Have Left and Skeletons.

Marking the 21st anniversary of Wires, the band will play the 2001 album in full in the intimate surrounds of Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, in all its grandeur and melancholy. In 2019, after over a decade’s hiatus, Art of Fighting returned with their fourth album the dream-pop Luna Low, showcasing their refined beauty and sonically serene palette.

I loved Wires. It sat alongside Ukiyo-E’s Inland, Prop’s Small Craft Rough Sea and Augie March’s Sunset Studies. It provided space.

“When we’re playing them, there’s so much of a gap between the beats that if we don’t all hit the beat at the same time it’s gonna sound terrible, so it’s like walking a tightrope when you’re playing those really slow tempos,” he added. “And I think it worked really well for the lyrical content for that album, because all of that was about to fall apart any minute too.”

I remember seeing them at the Hi-Fi Bar in 2003, however I feel that Melbourne Recital Centre was a better match for their music. Then maybe again I am just getting old and would rather sit down at gigs.

📰 Read Write Respond #080

Another month and another change to the team at work. Why is it that everyone seems to have had such amazing lives? The new manager at work ran a 10 hour charity music conference in his spare time. I am often happy if I have done the washing and got food on the table, I clearly need to work harder on my pitch.

On the family front, we went on our first holiday post-COVID to country Victoria. It was interesting returning to various places with children. I think it is fair to say wine tasting and children do not always match.

Personally, I finally got around to loading Linux on my old Macbook Pro and Chromebook. Other than the ability to run music applications, I am pretty happy and not missing a think. I continued my dive back into books listening to Thomas More’s Utopia, Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. I also nostalgically binged The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. (Was this really made for children?) In regards to music, Montaigne’s Making It has been on repeat.

Here then are some of the other dots that have had me thinking:

Education

The Tricky Ethics of Being a Teacher on TikTok

Amelia Tate considers the place of TikTok in the classroom. She discusses the trend of content created about and even with students.

The Enduring Allure of Choose Your Own Adventure Books

Leslie Jamison dives back into the world of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series.

Unbeaching the whale – The education revolution failed — and so did its way of thinking

Dean Ashenden reflects on the failure of Gonski and the education revolution.

Timetable Absurdity

Cameron Paterson discusses the way in which schools are still held hostage by the timetable.

I want, I wish, I hope, I dream

David Truss shares an activity where he creates a portrait wall with a want, a wish, a hope or a dream underneath it.

Technology

After Self-Hosting My Email for Twenty-Three Years, I have Thrown In the Towel. The Oligopoloy has Won.

Carlos Fenollosa reflects on the demise of self-hosted email. One of the main reasons he argues for the failure is the crude blacklisting of large swaths of email, rather than a penalty process.

We Spoke With the Last Person Standing in the Floppy Disk Business

Niek Hilkmann and Thomas Walskaar interview Tom Persky about the dying art of maintaining floppy disks.

Interoperable Facebook

Cory Doctorow unpacks how an interoperable Facebook might work.

Tech Fear-Mongering Isn’t New—But It’s Time to Break the Cycle

Jason Feifer provides insight into Amy Orben’s four-step Sisyphean cycle of technology panics.

We need to deal with data privacy in our classrooms

Bonnie Stewart reflects upon the online learning with the return to the classroom in a post-COVID world.

AI’s dark arts come into their own

Alex Hern discusses the dark-side to the magic of artificial intelligence.

General

Electric Bike, Stupid Love of My Life

Craig Mod shares his passion for electric bikes.

After Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Indigenous Australia can’t be expected to shut up. Our sorry business is without end

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth, Stan Grant considers legacy of colonisation for indigenous people around the world.

Music on the brain: Listening can influence our brain’s activity

Abdullah Iqbal unpacks some of the research into the benefits of music on the brain.

Ark Head

In order to survived the battered psyche, Venkatesh Rao explains that way have resorted to the ‘ark head’ mental model. This involves giving up on solving the world’s ills and simply hiding in our ark.

The credibility of science is damaged when universities brag about themselves

Adrian Lenardic and Johnny Seales argue that the rewarding of attention economy has corrupted scientific research.

Florence Nightingale Was Born 197 Years Ago, and Her Infographics Were Better Than Most of the Internet’s

Celebrating the birth of , Cara Giaimo discusses Florence Nightingale’s impact in regards to the spread of ideas, not just as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’.

Read Write Respond #080

So that was September for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.

Image by Bryan Mathers

 

Read novel by Sylvia Plath by Contributors to Wikimedia projects
Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar has sat on my shelf for years. I was always intrigued by the association with The Catcher in the Rye, but for some reason never actually got around to reading it. Bekir Konakovic and Beth Scussel provide a summary of the comparisons:

The Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar, though different in their themes and styles, both  present the coming of age of their characters thoroughly. Though the protagonists of both novels completely contrast each other, they are both put in similar situations through a lack of identity, isolation from society and an absence of purpose in life. The key point of both coming of age tales is expressed through the ultimate idea of growing up and entering the adult world. The central idea of growing up is expressed in both novels through the characters’ struggles in figuring out what they want, understanding and dealing with death, and examining their relationships with their peers, parents and other adults. Both coming of ages are reached once the characters escape their set views and open up to looking at things in a different light from a maturity and sensible aspect of things.

Although both novels are coming of age novels, I feel that Holden Caulfield will never quite seem the same after meeting Esther Greenwood.

Robert McCrum summaries what is essential to the Bell Jar as follows:

Plath’s essential theme, a staccato drumbeat, is Esther’s obsession with the opposite sex. At first, released from her mother’s repressive scrutiny, she decides to lose her virginity (a “millstone around my neck”) to Constantin, a UN Russian translator, but he’s too sensible to fall for her. Then, having failed on another date, in which she is labelled a “slut”, she hurls her clothes off her hotel roof, and returns home for a suicidal summer, a worsening depression which she compares to suffocating under a “bell jar”. Esther’s predicament, more generally, is how to develop a mature identity, as a woman, and to be true to that self rather than conform to societal norms. It’s this quest that makes The Bell Jar a founding text of Anglo-American feminism.

Associated with this, Naomi Elias discusses the myth around Plath and the novel:

Though The Bell Jar traffics in many themes, including classism, sexism, and mental illness, it has become synonymous with depressed and/or moody women. On film and television specifically, it has become a popular visual and textual prop to code an exclusively female experience of sadness.

Let alone Plath as the person.

Marginalia

How could I write about life when I’d never had a love affair or a baby or even seen anybody die? A girl I knew had just won a prize for a short story about her adventures among the pygmies in Africa. How could I compete with that sort of thing? Page 125

My mother smiled. “I knew my baby wasn’t like that.” I looked at her. “Like what?” “Like those awful people. Those awful dead people at that hospital.” She paused. “I knew you’d decide to be all right again.” Page 148

To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream. Page 231

Read 1516 book by Thomas More by Contributors to Wikimedia projects
I was inspired to reread Thomas More’s Utopia after reading Dave Eggers’ The Every. A part of me wondered if it was how I remembered it from twenty years ago. It was how I remembered it, but then I read Susan Bruce’s introduction to Three Early Modern Utopias and I discovered that there was much more to More’s text than I appreciated.

Bruce explores the many ways More’s text has been interpreted over time:

The text has generated diametrically opposed interpretations from its critics, ranging from the dubious claim that Utopia describes a real historical community to the assertion that it is only a literary game; and from readings which maintain that it is a vision of an ideal Catholic society to those which see it as a proto-Communist text.

Discusses utopian texts in general, she makes the connection between the fictional creations and the exploration of the New World. Although More’s text is sometimes construed as an ideal, it is not clear that this is what More was trying to achieve. This is something Terry Eagleton captures in his reflection on utopias:

Not all More’s proposals would delight the heart of Jeremy Corbyn. The perfection of his utopia is not tarnished in his view by the fact that it contains slaves. On certain festive days wives would fall down at their husbands’ feet, confessing that they have performed some domestic duty negligently. Adultery would be punished by the strictest form of slavery. One should recall that More, far from being the liberal-cum-existentialist portrayed in Robert Bolt’s play A Man for All Seasons, showed not the slightest compunction in torturing and executing heretics. In choosing one’s mate, men should be allowed to see their prospective wives naked, since who wants goods that aren’t on show? Feminists, however, should note that women would enjoy the same prerogative. Brothels would be abolished, but so would alehouses. There would be no lawyers (a generous-hearted proposal, since More was one himself), but no tolerance for those who waste time, either.

The other worldliness of the utopias served as a critique of the dominant ideology, often They often capturing what these societies are not. More’s Utopia is probably best appreciated as a provocation written to promote further debate.

For a different approach to utopians in general, Tom Hodgkinson unpacks the history of utopias before and after More’s Utopia.

Bookmarked Florence Nightingale Was Born 197 Years Ago, and Her Infographics Were Better Than Most of the Internet's (Atlas Obscura)

With such a massive tome on offer, though, Nightingale feared that this most vital conclusion might be overlooked. So she developed a series of charts meant to make it even clearer to the reader. Her most famous graph, displayed at the top of this article, shows the number of soldier deaths per month from various causes. Each pie slice represents a different month, from April 1854 through March 1856, and each color stands for a different cause of death. It takes just a quick glance to achieve the two main takeaways: that disease, colored blue, killed far more soldiers than either “wounds” (red) or “other” (black), and that it was reduced greatly in 1855.

Celebrating the birth of Florence Nightingale, Cara Giaimo discusses her impact in regards to the spread of ideas, not just as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’. After returning from Crimea, Nightingale spent two years putting together her notes and data. Fearing that the conclusions might be lost in the length of the report, she developed a series of infographics, some of which she even leaked to the press.

It is interesting considering this in light of the modern world where all information is presented to the press using such visuals and then the scientific community. I wonder if it would have still been lost in the noise?

Bookmarked The credibility of science is damaged when universities brag about themselves by Freelance AuthorFreelance Author (bigthink.com)

About 25 years ago, it was predicted that attention would come to dominate the marketplace. The prediction was correct. Science is not immune to the “attention economy.” In fact, it plays an active role in it. However, the things that are seen as being of value to individual scientists or institutions, like media attention, are undermining public trust and devaluing science as a collective resource.

Adrian Lenardic and Johnny Seales argue that the rewarding of attention economy has corrupted scientific research. They explain how historically, scientists would distribute findings amongst their peers before going public with those that findings that were ‘breakthroughs’. Whereas these days the roles have been flipped. Results are firstly presented to public before going through the scrutiny of the scientific community. One of the particular challenges with this is that social media does not usually reward uncertainty and nuance.

Attention economy has changed the ecosystem. Results are now presented to the public as influential well before community assessment can take place. What often turns out to be small findings and/or non-reproducible results are hyped as significant enough to share with the public. The insatiable drive for attention leads to a framing of results in a way that downplays uncertainty, as well as viable alternative hypotheses. It also devalues studies that reproduce (or fail to reproduce) previous results.

This is something that I noticed with the release of pre-prints associated with COVID. For me this also highlighted my own deficiencies in regards to understanding of scientific research, but maybe that is a part of this wider change.

Bookmarked Why ‘digital literacy’ is now a workplace non-negotiable (bbc.com)

The growing importance of digital literacy doesn’t mean workers have to master all the software out there to get a job. Instead, they have to be digitally confident: keen to try new technologies; embrace how the right tools can streamline routine tasks and improve workplace collaboration; while also having the flexibility and adaptability to learn new processes.

Today, employees need to assume they’ll keep upgrading digital skills. After all, the expectation when a worker begins a new role is either they have the digital skills to do the job or they’ll learn them – fast. “Hybrid and remote working were only relevant to 5% of the workforce before the pandemic,” says Zhou. “It’s nearly half of all workers now. Regardless of what work you did previously, an employer now expects you to learn whatever digital skills are required in a role.”

Alex Christian talks about the importance of digital literacy today. Beyond my issue with the plural of ‘literacies‘, I am left wondering about how we talk about something that is continually morphing and changing? There is a danger of describing it as something that one all of the sudden becomes, like Neo learning Kung Fu in The Matrix.

In part I was reminded of a tweet from Gillian Light:

Of course ‘digital literacies’ are a non-negotiable, my question is when are we going to stop talking about them as if they are static and instead talk about them as a process and practice, not a product or professional development session attended?

Replied to Tangle Logic by Venkatesh RaoVenkatesh Rao (ribbonfarm.com)

Millennia of human building have convinced us that orderliness (with or without greebles) is somehow efficient and tangles are “messy and inefficient.” And it’s not a modern or even medieval phenomenon. I recall my high-school history teacher instructing us that the streets of Indus Valley cities were “efficient” because they intersected at right angles and were “well-laid out” in an obviously planned way, compared to other Bronze Age peer civilizations. She taught us the usual textbook justification: that this somehow made them self-cleaning because the wind swept the streets naturally. More modern thought typically treats straight lines anywhere (roads from capitals to airports, and colonial-era boundaries being the classic examples) as a mark of an authoritarian presence. There may be some accidental benefits for narrow use cases, such as street-sweeping by prevailing winds, but that’s not the reason they exist. They exist because an authoritarian has carved out an island of surplus resources for himself and his buddies, and decided to lay it out as a neat, untangled zone.

Complex answers, how else to describe a complex world? This reminds me of Dave Cormier’s discuss of complicated and complex in education.