Liked Storytelling — End-Times Tales by Venkatesh RaoVenkatesh Rao (ribbonfarm.com)

But definitely, something is going on that has temporarily shut down our ability to access a sense of the timeless in order to construct stable notions of ourselves in relation to it. For the time being, we seem to be eternity blind, unable to see past the sound and fury of reboots and reruns of our collective memories.

Bookmarked “Eduspeak” Reconsidered (alfiekohn.org)

Not all of our lingo can or should be replaced with simpler words. Nor would everyone who criticizes it be satisfied with greater clarity. Nevertheless, educators, like other professionals, have a responsibility to communicate as clearly as possible with people outside their field. It’s a matter of basic courtesy to elucidate terms that may be puzzling to others even though we’ve come to take them for granted. And that clarity may also help more people to understand why traditional practices so often fall short and thus to build a constituency for change.

Alfie Kohn explains that the complexity of language depends upon the context and situation.
Bookmarked GitHub – timhutton/twitter-archive-parser: Python code to parse a Twitter archive and output in various ways (GitHub)

Python code to parse a Twitter archive and output in various ways – GitHub – timhutton/twitter-archive-parser: Python code to parse a Twitter archive and output in various ways

Although I am happy enough with my Twitter archive stored in Github via Martin Hawksey, Tim Hutton’s code to turn a Twitter archive into markdown is interesting.

“Matthias Ott “ in Converting Your Twitter Archive to Markdown · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer ()

Bookmarked The Man Behind Mastodon, Eugen Rochko, Built It for This Moment by Will Knight (WIRED)

People fleeing Twitter have turned to Eugen Rochko’s alternative. He says social networks can support healthy debate—without any one person in control.

In an interview with Will Knight, Eugen Rochko discusses the current move to Mastodon, Musk’s free publicity and the differences with Twitter. Rochko also explains why the same thing that has happened with Twitter cannot happen with Mastodon.

What if someone—say an impulsive billionaire—wanted to buy Mastodon or take control of it somehow?

The network is protected from something like that. The code is free, open-source software, and nobody can change the license or take it back retroactively, and all of the different servers are owned by other people. Somebody could buy Mastodon gGmbH [the German nonprofit that maintains the software] and with it the trademark and the servers we run—mastodon.social and mastodon.online—but it wouldn’t affect the Fediverse in any significant way.

In other pieces on Mastodon, Clive Thompson suggests that it is an example antiviral design that encourages murmuring conversations, rather than the must-see post.

And I’ve realized that Mastodon is a superb example of antiviral design.

It was engineered specifically to create friction — to slow things down a bit. This is a big part of why it behaves so differently from mainstream social networks.

Jeremy Keith compares the exodus from Twitter to being at Dunkirk.

Right now, Twitter feels like Dunkirk beach in May 1940. And look, here comes a plucky armada of web servers running Mastodon instances!

Wouter Groeneveld wonders if social media scrolling is the answer, something I have been wondering about for a while.

I don’t really know what I’m trying to say here except that it’s perhaps not worth it to scroll endlessly on yet another social media platform where posts are starting to converge into the emptiness that Twitter had to offer.

Jim Groom and the team at Reclaim Hosting have documented how to setup your own instance.

📓 The Next Most Useful Thing

Tom Critchlow talks about going beyond the right answer to instead positing the ‘next most useful thing’.

I’ve been using this phrase “the next most useful thing” as a guiding light for my consulting work – I’m obsessed with being useful not just right. I’ve always rejected the fancy presentation in favor of the next most useful thing, and I simply took my eye off the ball with this one. I’m not even sure the client views this project as a real disappointment, there was still some value in it, but I’m mad at myself personally for this one. A good reminder not to take your eye off the ball. And to push your clients beyond what they tell you the right answer is.

This reminds me about Donald Winnicott’s notion of ‘good enough mother’.

Winnicott thought that the “good enough mother” starts out with an almost complete adaptation to her baby’s needs. She is entirely devoted to the baby and quickly sees to his every need. She sacrifices her own sleep and her own needs to fulfill the needs of her infant.

As time goes by, however, the mother allows the infant to experience small amounts of frustration. She is empathetic and caring but does not immediately rush to the baby’s every cry. Of course, at first the time-limit to this frustration must be very short. She may allow the baby to cry for a few minutes before her nighttime feeding, but only for a few minutes. She is not “perfect” but she is “good enough” in that the child only feels a slight amount of frustration.

So often when developing ideas, it can be easy to get caught up with the ideal, rather than coming up with an idea that responds to the situation at hand.

Bookmarked The Problem with Teaching Sophisticated Vocabulary (theconfidentteacher.com)
Alex Quigley shares some activities to support students with making apt vocabulary choices, including:

  • ‘Vocabulary 7-up’ is a simple vocabulary game that encourages pupils to record as many synonyms as they can for common words (seven ideally!).
  • ‘Word Triplets’ offers students three words to choose from, or synonyms, so that we can begin to shape their apt vocabulary selections.
  • ‘Said is dead’. The use of ‘said’ is part of the fabric of academic writing.
  • ‘Simple >< Sophisticated’. Teachers can quickly and repeatedly model apt word choices, along with the movement from simple to sophisticated, and the reverse when it is needed.
  • Word gradients. A common approach is to have pupils discuss and select from a range of word choices – debating their meaning and value for a given task.
Bookmarked Teaching After Twitter (danmeyer.substack.com)

I am interested here as someone who realizes how much a) community, b) professional learning, and especially c) knowledge production arose from the particular context (including technological, political, personal, epidemiological, generational factors, etc) of 2005 to 2015. And I’m wondering where teachers–especially new teachers–will get that next.

With the changes to Twitter, Dan Meyer wonders where people might go to in order to engage with community now? He suggests that platforms like TikTok do not allow for the same level of engagement. This has me thinking about Dron and Anderson’s Teaching Crowds and Ian Guest’s research into Twitter. For Miguel Guhlin, the answer is Mastodon. He has published a number of posts to help with the transition.
Liked Wikipedia is swimming in money—why is it begging people to donate? by Andreas KolbeAndreas Kolbe (dailydot.com)

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the non-profit that owns Wikipedia and other volunteer-written websites, is about to reach its 10-year goal of creating a $100 million endowment five years earlier than it planned. Its total funds, which have risen by about $200 million over the past five years, now stand at around $300 million. Its revenue has risen every year. In just the first nine months of its current financial year, it has raked in $142 million in donations according to an internal document—and already obliterated its previous annual record.

Listened Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022) – Wikipedia from en.wikipedia.org

Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022) is the third album from British producer Fred Gibson under the stage name Fred Again. It was released on October 28, 2022, through Atlantic Records.[6] Similar to the previous two releases in the Actual Life series, Actual Life 3 incorporates samples and audio clips from existing material, such as Instagram videos.[7]

I stumbled upon Fred Again last year. I was fascinated in the use of seemingly real-life samples to capture the world. What was interesting is the way in which Fred Gibson continually captures video of his experiences and how he incorporates this into his performances. I loved his use of his Maschine. This desire to move away from the dependency on the computer reminded me of James Blake’s focus on hardware when playing live. See his short demonstration for Zane Lowe for example. Yet at the same time this ability is balanced with a deep knowledge of music. Listening to his interview with Jamie Lidell, I was left wondering how one falls in with Brian Eno?
Listened 2022 studio album by Phoenix by Contributors to Wikimedia projects from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Alpha Zulu is the seventh studio album by French indie pop band Phoenix, released on 4 November 2022 through Loyauté and Glassnote Records.[3] Self-produced by the band, it is their first album since 2017’s Ti Amo. The singles “Identical”, “Alpha Zulu”, “Tonight”, and “Winter Solstice” preceded the album.[4] The band embarked on a North American tour in support of the album, which will visit the UK and Europe in October and November 2022.[5] The album received critical acclaim.

For me, Alpha Zulu is a feel good album. I often find myself putting it on in the background when doing this and that:

In a continuation of the direction Phoenix took on their previous two albums, Bankrupt! and Ti Amo, the band favors needling synths and skittering drum machines over the crisp guitars and live percussion of their earlier efforts. Guitars still tinker in the background in spots across Alpha Zulu, and they finally take center stage on both “Artefact” and the penultimate track, “My Elixir,” but the instrument’s usage almost feels antiquated after the more contemporary, computer-effect-dominated songs that precede them.

I also love the film clip for Alpha Zulu and the manipulation of art pieces.

Bookmarked Z-Library: The price of academic knowledge – The Fulcrum by Grace Kim-ShinGrace Kim-Shin (thefulcrum.ca)

Piracy is theft, but the gatekeeping of knowledge should be seen as a crime of its own.

Grace Kim-Shin discusses the FBI’s closure of Z-Library. It makes me wonder how much has changed since the death of Aaron Swartz.

via Stephen Downes