Bookmarked Beyond the Rhetoric of Algorithmic Solutionism by dana boyd (Points)
Rather than thinking of AI as “artificial intelligence,” Eubanks effectively builds the case for how we should think that AI often means “automating inequality” in practice.
danah boyd reviews a book by Virginia Eubanks which takes a look at the way(s) that algorithms work within particular communities. Along with Weapons of Math Destruction and Williamson’s Big Data in Education, they provide a useful starting point for discussing big data today.
Bookmarked Ancient Tree Structure Is Like a Forest unto Itself by Daisy Yuhas (Scientific American)
Some 370 million years ago cladoxylopsid trees stood at least eight meters tall, capped by branches with twiggy appendages instead of leaves. They looked a bit like spindly palm trees. Today their scant remains reveal little about their insides; in most cases their innards had rotted before the trees fossilized, and storms had filled them with sand. But the recent find of two well-preserved fossils in China has exposed the trees' inner workings—which are like no other species studied before.
Daisy Yuhas documents the discovery of an extinct tree with a trunk made up like laticework, a hollow core and no leaves.

via Freshly Brewed Thoughts by Laura Hilliger

Bookmarked All The Ways Your Smartphone And Its Apps Can Track You (Gizmodo Australia)
In the end your smartphone use is helping to build up a picture of who you are and the kind of advertising you're interested in for companies like Google, Facebook, and others -- even if an app isn't part of a massive advertising network, it may well sell its data to one. Apple stands apart in this regard, keeping the data it tracks for its own use and largely on a single device, though of course the apps that run on iOS have more freedom to do what they want. Even if you're reasonably content to put up with some monitoring on Android and iOS, it's important to know what kind of data you're giving up every time you switch your smartphone on. Whether it means you uninstall a few social media tools, or disable location tracking for a few apps, it gives you some semblance of control over your privacy.
Mark Nield explains some ways that phones track users, including capturing location settings via photographs. He also provides some tips for how to regain some of the control through the privacy settings. Along with Adam Greenfield’s breakdown of the smartphone, these posts help to highlight what data is being gathered about us and how.
Bookmarked The human solution to Facebook's machine-produced problems also won't work by Doc Searls (dsearls)
The best thing for Zuck to do is get the hell out, let it finish failing, and start over with something new and better, based on what he and others have learned from the experience. (Which tends to be the best teacher. And hell, he's still young.) It should help him—and all of us—to know that all companies fail; they just fail faster in Silicon Valley.
Doc Searls on why Facebook’s attempt to fix itself will fail and how the world has changed.
Bookmarked Good theft vs. bad theft (austinkleon.com)
Despite the common saying, imitation is not flattery. It’s transformation that is flattery: taking what you’ve stolen and turning it into something new.
Austin Kleon returns to an idea that is central to his book Steal Like an Artist. Summarising TS Eliot, Kleon suggests that the secret is not imitation, but rather transformation. This reminds me of Harold Bloom’s idea of ‘anxiety’. I also love Kleon’s closing remarks:

If you met the artist you’re stealing from in a stalled elevator, would they shake your hand or punch you in the face?

Bookmarked What I would like to see in online learning in 2018: 1: a theory of classroom affordances (tonybates.ca)
Under what conditions and for what purposes is it better to learn in a face-to-face context rather than online? And when and how should they be used to complement each other when both are readily available?
Tony Bates suggests that there is research needed in regards to online learning, as well as a theory of learning. I am reminded of Richard Olsen’s post on link between research and theory. I wonder where this fits with Dron and Anderson’s Teaching Crowds and Ian Guest’s investigation into Twitter.
Bookmarked 'We must kill this cult of measuring everything that schools do' (Tes)
The idea that the solution to the nefarious effects of constant high-stakes measurement is to bring in more high-stakes measurement – albeit of a different thing – is palpably insane. It is further evidence, if we needed any, that we have surrendered our profession to a cultish scientism whose mantra is measurement.
JT Dutaut wonders about a future where the solution to too much testing in education is more testing.
Bookmarked Founding a Startup, Just One More Time – Ben Werdmuller – Medium by Ben Werdmuller (Medium)
Knowing what I know now, from the founders I work with, my background in startups, and what I’ve learned from working at a values-based accelerator: if I was to do it all again, what choices would I make?
Ben Werdmuller reflects on his experiences with three different startups and provides a number of lessons he has learnt along the way. These include starting by getting your feet wet, working out how far you can go without going full-time, identifying who else might be needed for the journey, which ownership structure will work best, how you will build the solution and who will buy it.
Bookmarked Behaviour Management: A Bill Rogers Top 10 (teacherhead)
The series titles give a flavour of the Bill Rogers approach: Positive Correction: the basic premise that teachers and schools should adopt a non-confrontational approach to discipline, based on positive teacher-student relationships, respect for the dignity and rights of individuals, choices about consequences of behaviour and encouragement for student self-discipline. Prevention: planning for good behaviour; teaching the routines and the rules. Consequences: have a clear structure that students understand and use to inform the choices they make. Repair & Rebuild: the imperative to work hard to build and repair the damage that is done when things don’t work out.
Tom Sherrington breaks down Rogers main ideas, including positive language, take up time and partial agreement. This post offers a useful overview and an important provocation.
Bookmarked The Social-Media Star and the Suicide (The Atlantic)
There were no gatekeepers to stand in his way, and YouTube itself only acted after the video became news. In every step but the filming of the dead body, this is not the system breaking, but the system functioning as intended. And as with the recent discovery of widespread exploitation on “child-safe” parts of YouTube, it points to a dark tendency in today’s engagement-optimized web. As online platforms have pursued engagement to the detriment of everything else, they have come to favor content that dehumanizes us. Meanwhile, the same platforms dominate more and more of teen culture.
Robinson Meyer discusses the situation in which Logan Paul posted a corpse on YouTube. The post provides some wider context associated with the Paul brothers and the dehumanised web that they are a part of.