Bookmarked How Masks Went From Don’t-Wear to Must-Have During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Wired)

Floridians were screaming at their city councils that their rules on wearing masks were part of a 5G/pedophilia conspiracy that involved “the devil’s laws.” A discredited documentary, widely spread on social media, wrongly claimed that masks actually made people sick, or cut off their air supply. Some anti-mask conservatives co-opted the rallying cry of the abortion rights movement—“my body, my choice”—to defend their anti-mask-ness. People who believe that the whole pandemic is some kind of left-wing hoax (it is not) declined to wear masks. Mask use somehow got tied up in the heady, conspiratorial brew of rugged individualism, 5G paranoia, and anti-vax sentiment. They became symbols of an insidious, freedom-sapping plot.

Megan Molteni and Adam Rogers dive into the world of masks and how there place in confronting the current pandemic has changed. The current hope is that mask wearing maybe enough to get RO under 1.

Based on the available evidence, his team estimates that near-universal mask wearing could cut transmission by as much as a third. Would that be enough to turn back the record-smashing tide of new cases breaking across large parts of the US? Probably, says Murray. It will depend on exactly how fast local outbreaks are growing. The reproduction number, or R0 (pronounced R-naught), is a measure of how many people one contagious person infects. If R0 is higher than 1, cases will grow exponentially. If it’s below 1, an outbreak will shrink. In places like Brazil, where a chaotic response and lack of social distancing measures has led to an R0 trending above 1.3, a mask mandate likely won’t be enough to bring cases under control. But Murray says the US still has a chance.

It is interesting to read this investigation alongside Maciej Ceglowski’s post. I think what stands out is that other than slight inconvenience, what is lost?

Liked A Community Transmission Worth Spreading

We’ve been open for business for over two weeks now and we LOVE watching people stop in front of the house and browse the selection. We check in on the stock levels at LEAST once a day and celebrate the appearance of new books and the removal of others.

This thing is actually working!

Our current selection includes books for both children and adults and we even have a bottle of nice smelling hand sanitiser to use when browsing.

Our street library is officially registered with Street Library Australia. You can visit their website to find libraries near you.

Listened The artist and the algorithm: how YouTube is changing our relationship with music

You often hear about artists under-appreciated in their time, who don’t find recognition until long after they’ve died.

Little known Japanese composer Hiroshi Yoshimura was one of those people.

Despite being a pioneer of the unique genre of kankyo ongaku – ambient music produced in Japan in the 1980s and 90s – most of his airplay came from the speakers of art galleries, museums and show homes.

He died in 2003, with most of his albums sitting as rare vinyls on the shelves of obscure record collectors.

That was, until a few years ago, when Hiroshi suddenly found millions of fans in the most unlikely place – YouTube.

Miyuki Jokiranta explores the way in which YouTube algorithms promote certain types of music to sustain our time and attention on the platform. This is something touched upon by the Rabbit Hole podcast.
Replied to Will curriculum reform take students back to basics, or prepare them for the future? ([object Object])

After two years, months of consultation and much debate, the government has firmly committed only to decluttering syllabuses – in other words, to act on something everyone agreed was necessary from the outset.

The consultation ensured the teaching profession had a voice, and Masters’ report provided food for thought. But on the question of whether the process has advanced debate, one insider pauses. “I would say not a lot.”

Putting aside questions of logistics, I think that the ‘crowded curriculum‘ debate encapsulated in the NSW review is intriguing.

“He’s [Masters] put his finger on the right problem, and it’s particularly an issue at primary school,” says one insider. “There are kids going from primary to secondary, they can’t write, they can’t read, they can’t spell, they can’t do basic maths. We can’t let kids move ahead without these basic literacy and numeracy skills. But that’s not a curriculum problem. It’s a pedagogy [teaching method] problem.”

How schools choose to implement and enact the curriculum will still be at a school level, right?

Replied to Getting Started with Writer’s Notebook

Sometimes called the ‘messy attic of the mind’, the writer’s notebook is a magical place. It’s a place writers can collect, store, grow and nurture their ideas for writing. It is often filled with a collection of seeds (artefacts that provoke writing) like photos, sketches, holiday mementos, lists, news clippings, postcards, assorted ephemera. It is personal and varies in style from writer to writer.

It is an invaluable tool in helping our young writers to understand that their own ideas are the epicentre of the writing they will do during their time with you. It’s a place where writers practice being writers…

Thank you for sharing Emily. Another source of inspiration that might interest you is Austin Kleon. He often shares thoughts and strategies associated with keeping a notebook. Also, Riss Leung recently shared some reflections from Claire Saxby on the topic too.
Replied to Uncertainty as the new norm

Uncertainty is the new norm, and we’ll just have to get used to this.

David, Simon Breakspeare presented a webinar to a group of Victorian education leaders. What stood out to me most is the importance of honoring the effort and adaption that so many have put in, rather than snapping back into so sort of semblance of the old normal, it that is even possible.
Listened Artificial cities – from futuristic urban dreams to ghost towns

When it’s completed the futuristic city of Neom will sit in the Saudi Arabian desert, a US$500 billion dollar metropolis, thirty times larger than New York.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman believes the project will transform his kingdom into the innovation centre of the world, but critics say it risks further widening inequality and dividing the country in two.

Also, what’s to become of China’s “ghost cities”? Built for future expansion, they now haunt the urban landscape. 


Anne Stevenson-Yang – Co-Founder, Research Director, J Capital Research 

Bill Bostock – Journalist Business Insider

Sarah Leah Whitson – Former executive director of Human Rights Watch’s MENA Division 

Replied to How ‘Sustainable’ Web Design Can Help Fight Climate Change (Wired)

But even if small design tweaks don’t zero out the belching emissions of movies or bitcoin, they are still worth talking about. It’s good to shine a spotlight on the CO2 footprint of our daily software—it makes the value of lower-energy code feel tangible. Imagine if websites ditched their tracking bloatware and ran badges boasting about their spiffier performance and lower carbon footprint. Competitors would be green-with envy.

Clive, this discussion of sustainable reminds me of Mike Monteiro’s book on the difficult choices associated with ethical web design:

If the lessons in this book seem hard, it’s because they are meant to be. If the job I’m asking you to do seems difficult, it’s because it is. Hard and difficult aren’t the same as impossible. When it comes down to it, all I’m asking you to do is the job you signed up for.

It also reminds me Greg McVerry’s question critique of responding with a gif:

Do you really need that gif? If we think climate and energy think can I get my message across in text? Each gif uploaded and converted to movie? How much more energy is worth the engagement when the Arctic seacap is melting? #digped

Replied to Pluralistic: 03 Jul 2020 by Cory DoctorowCory Doctorow

It’s not a “license,” it’s a sale. You bought it, you own it. It’s a book. Books are older than copyright, than publishing, than paper, than commerce.

Cory, the only other published that I have come across that works as openly as Craphound is Verso Books. The book that you buy is yours and actually is imprinted with your name.
Replied to a post by john john

Watched What are Containers and Cloud Hosting?
and Creating New Environments in Reclaim Cloud – YouTube
Reclaim Cloud – Reclaim Your Adventure! looks interesting. Might poke around in the beta, but probably way over my head, needs and pay grade…

I agree John. Definitely looks interesting, just not sure it is for me. I guess we will see.
Liked Snowden: Tech Workers Are Complicit in How Their Companies Hurt Society

Snowden said many in the tech industry believe their work is value neutral, making a comparison to the physicists who worked to harness the power of the atom believing it would be used to build clean energy. The result of course was one of the most devastating weapons in human history.

via Cory Doctorow

📰 Read Write Respond #054

What day is it again? Let alone what month? I really respect those people who have kept count of the days. Sadly that is not me, maybe it should be?

On the home front, The Victorian government relaxed restrictions. It would seem that some people responded as if the witch is dead. Wrong. We are now on the edge of an outbreak that has forced many back into isolation once again. However, then I open the internet and see the rest of the world in turmoil and am reminded how lucky and privileged my family and I are.

At work, we crawled our way through to the end of the semester doing all the usual last minute reporting runarounds. It is always a challenge to balance between problem solving and building capacity. Although people seem happy with my support, I still wonder what steps I can take to help others help themselves? With this in mind, I have been exploring creation of short videos.

Personally, I have been listening for solace in soundscapes from Chris Beckstrom and Joseph Shabason, as well as rewatching the Marvel series.

Here then are some of the posts that have distracted my thinking:


Build Back Better

Simon Breakspeare explains the importance of honouring the effort and adaption that many staff and students have gone through and building upon some of the lessons learnt.

Toddlers and teens – better understanding their digital needs

Antony Funnell dives into a range of initiatives currently being developed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to help children make better use of the digital world.

The 7 elements of a good online course

George Veletsianos reflects on his experience studying online learning to provide some advice about what to look for as many sectors stay online for the foreseeable future.

The Inhumanities; Or, the war on the humanities & why our humanity is at stake

Mark Tredinnick responds the challenge being made to the traditional liberal arts education in Australia.

Writer’s Notebook: 5 myths to debunk

Narissa Leung responds to some the myths associated with the use of writer’s notebooks to support learning.


The Ed-Tech Imaginary

Tracing a narrative from Frankenstein through to Skinner, Audrey Watters wonders about the possibilities of creating a different ed-tech imaginary focused on care not conquest.

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Virtual Meetings

The team at We Are Open Coop have created an email-based course that helps map out a lay of the land when it comes to virtual meetings.

How Big Tech Monopolies Distort Our Public Discourse

Cory Doctorow responds to Shoshana Zuboff questions about mind control powers supposedly held by platform capitalists and instead suggests they are good at lying to us.

How To Write Great Microcopy

Anthony Diké provides a series of tips for designing for the web, such as being clear, concise and useful, as well as creating a framework to ensure wording stays consistent.


Do Protests Even Work?

Zeynep Tufekci explores the potential of protests to challenge the legitimacy of those in power.

Jacob Collier on staying creative and his 646 track song “All I Need”

Charlie Harding talks with Jacob Collier about recording music during a pandemic, his method for collaborating with other artists from around the world and how he mastered the live streaming rhythmic multiverse.

Taking a Long Term View During Turbulent Times

Tim Kastelle discusses the current challenges facing organisations and the importance of slow thinking.

Why must Indigenous claims for justice always be cast as an attack on the state?

Stan Grant discusses the long history of waiting to be recognised in the Australian constitution. The current crisis is therefore a critical test for democracy.

Yes! and … How to be Effective in the Theatre of Work

Tom Critchlow explores the analogies between the improv acting and the work of a consultant.

Read Write Respond #050

So that was February for me, how about you? As always, love to hear.
Bryan Mathers' sketch
Cover Image via JustLego101

Listened Jacob Collier on staying creative and his 646 track song “All I Need” (EPISODE 169 B)

Quarantined in his family’s music room, musician Jacob Collier has been remarkably productive. Known for his polymathic musical talents, Collier has used this time to reflect on, and release new music. His latest song “All I Need,” was created with new technology that let him record remotely with his collaborators Mahalia and Ty Dolla $ign. The song is uplifting. It modulates into arcane keys that evoke the euphoria of newfound love. Collier’s also been convening live streams with artists like Tori Kelly and Chris Martin where Collier seemingly defies the laws of physics to collaborate, in time, over long-distance video chat. Collier is a hopeful voice, demonstrating how music can boost our spirits in dark times.

Charlie Harding talks with Jacob Collier about what it means to make music during the current coronavirus pandemic. Collier says that his process for recording music has not changed, however his perspective on things has. Being forced to stay at home has helped see past the big things to recognise the disarming characteristics of the everyday small things. This is something he describes as the ‘space between the notes’, where you need to look within something to find something.

He explains that as his music has grown in complexity over the years, he has had to rethink how he collaborates. One thing that has made this more doable has been technology, such as Source Connect, that allows you to record live sessions from across the world.

In regards to live streaming, Collier elaborates on how he taught his brain to compensate the latency by perceiving the music in two times to perform live, rather than the perception of being live that many performances are. Something Harding labels a ‘rhythmic multiverse’. He worked this out live with Tori Kelly:

He moves onto a discussion of his track All I Need. This includes an explanation of his intent in moving away from A 440 halfway through the song to musically capture the uncanny experience of love. He also touches on how he managed to have 646 tracks in his Logic session.

He closes the interview with a reflection on playing live and how the most joyous instrument to play live is actually the crowd.

I remember coming upon Jacob Collier a couple of years ago via his explanation of harmony:

As well as his breakdown of Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke:

I find his take on music so interesting.

Paul Browning talks with Steve Austin about trust, leadership and his book Principled. Really enjoyed the discussion about service and trust:

leadership is about service, it’s about giving of yourself to empower others to be remarkable people, so supporting them to become people that they were designed to be.

Asked about the decision to apologise for absuse that occured at St. Pauls long before his time, Browning explains that:

When you look at leadership through the lens of service you’re actually taking on responsibility for the organization, for the community of people and its history … you have to own that.

Browning is asked about whether truth or trust comes first:

If I genuinely listen to you and walk in your shoes then I actually might end up changing my view of the world … Trust is the key

Liked The Pandemic’s Worst-Case Scenario Is Unfolding in Brazil

Brazil has nowhere near the medical resources to handle a second wave of cases—let alone the first, which is still expanding, spreading along bus routes and waterways deep into the interior. To make matters worse, July, August, and September are winter months in the southern hemisphere, potentially bringing an even faster uptick in infections. Researchers at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro estimate cases could reach 1.4 million before the end of June, bringing the death toll to almost 60,000. By mid-July, says the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Brazil will overtake the U.S. in per-capita fatalities.

Replied to Pluralistic: 01 Jul 2020 by Cory Doctorow

Today’s links EFF on EU interoperability policy: Securing Europeans’ technological self-determination. BAHA Blues: Patrick Costello’s harrowing hearing aid implant experiment

Thank you Cory for the tip to email Dark Delicacies. Have now put my order in after discovering that it would cost $44 AUS from my local bookstore 🙁 (It was cheaper on, but.)

I also wanted to say, I have really been enjoying Plurasitic (via RSS). My usual method of reading is to skim the links and then dive in deeper to those things that interest me. I initially signed up for the email version, but found that the formatting within my email client was really problematic.

Bookmarked How to Use And, Or, and Not in Google Sheets Query by Prashanth
Prashanth KV provides some options for complex string comparison operators in regards to the QUERY formula using the WHERE clause:

We can use the AND, OR, NOT logical operators in the Where clause in Query. The purpose of Where clause in Query is to return only rows that match a specified condition.

To NOT select a particular condition, you can use <> or !=. This would look something like this: =QUERY(ICON,"Select B,C,A,AF,AG,AH,Z WHERE AF!='NO'")