Replied to Does anyone else keep their own knowledge wiki? by nikivi (lobste.rs) I’ve been extending and improving my personal wiki for 1 year now and it has been one of the best things I’ve done. I found writing blog posts was too high friction and very often didn’t finish things because th...
Meanwhile, post by post, click by click, people of all ages are being slowly groomed into conspiracy cultures that turn fear into violence and authoritarian rule. Once people’s reality is warped in this way, bringing them back is difficult, and yet we are moving at a snail’s pace on educational and technological fronts. The media is still talking about the problem as if the core was people being impolite. The world slowly slides toward a dark future, across the globe. We have educational solutions (just read the rest of this blog) but they remain un-deployed or under-deployed.
While mass education is good and should be pursued as a long-term solution, if I was going to target our online literacy immediately and had a limited number of seats, I would target it at everyone that will find their way to positions of influence. Politicians. Policy leads. Product managers at tech startups. Future FBI agents and social workers and department heads. I would look at the gears of democratic institutions — political, civic, administrative — and see who has their hands on the levers, from the mid-level bureaucrats to the top.
In 2002, Chico State University did a little rearranging and got the letters into the CRAAP acronym. Others organized the questions into RADCAB. And we taught this and its variations for almost twenty years even though it did not work, and most librarians I’ve talked to realized it didn’t work many years back but didn’t know what else to do.
One of the nice things about running a blog-fueled grassroots semi-funded initiative is the agility. The Digipo project has moved far and fast in the past year. But one of the bad things is all the old blogposts a just a snapshot in time, and often out of date.
Another interesting take on Mike Caulfield’s current work is his post ‘The Fast and Frugal Needs of the Online Reader‘.
One of the things I’ve been trying to convince people for the past year and a half is that the only viable literacy solution to web misinformation involves always checking any information in your stream that you find interesting, emotion-producing, or shareable. It’s not enough to check the stuff that is suspicious: if you apply your investigations selectively, you’ve already lost the battle.
Mike Caulfield continues his work on fact checking arguing that we need to develop the habit of doing check every time we engage with a new link. He makes the comparison with checking your rear view mirrors when driving.
Now imagine a world where checking your mirrors before switching lanes was rare, three standard-deviations-out behavior. What would the roads look like?
Caulfield focuses on two what is the site and is this new correct true. In a world where abundance is only a click away, maybe we are at a point where it is time to reassess what that actually means.
All my former university hosted sites are gone. We built up a WPMU instance at Keene in 2010, and the lack of broad adoption meant when I left in 2013 we shut it down. I ran some wiki on university servers here and at Keene, and those are gone too. All my self-hosted sites are corrupted from hacks or transfer errors in imports. Go back into this blog and you’ll find sparse posting schedule for some years between 2010 and 2012 and it’s because those posts got nuked in a 2012 hack. I had to go out to the Wayback Machine and reconstruct the important ones by hand.
Responding to Dave Winer’s news that Harvard are closing down blogs.harvard.edu, the first academic blog hosting space, Mike Caulfield wonders about the temporal nature of institutional and self hosting. He discusses the multitude of sites that have now disappeared as they were either closed or corrupted. This is something he has discussed before. It makes me wonder whether things are any different now? It also makes me wonder about the Domain of One’s Own project and the IndieWeb, what happens when we move out of our homes? What does it mean to have a canonical link or keep a digital commonplace book?
If Facebook was a tool for confirmation bias, that would kind of suck. It would. But that is not the claim. The claim is that Facebook is quite literally training us to be conspiracy theorists. And given the history of what happens when conspiracy theory and white supremacy mix, that should scare the hell out of you. I’m petrified. Mark Zuckerberg should be too.
Mike Caulfield explains the dangers of fake news and the way in which the repetition and familiarity with such lies can lead to an odd sense of truth.
People exposed themselves to Facebook multiple times a day, every single day, seeing headlines making all sorts of crazy claims, and filed them in their famil-o-meter for future reference.
As I say — it’s the internet — you’re not stuck with that one story that comes to you. By going out and actively choosing a better story you will not only filter out false stories but also see the variety of ways an event is being covered.
Reflecting on the extremes of utopian and dystopian imaginings, Mike Caulfield calls for another possibility, Neartopias:
Neartopias are not utopias. They have problems. They have to have problems because problems are what drive plots. And on another level problems are just interesting in a way that non-problems are not. They also aren’t post-scarcity Star Treks, or visions of a perfect 6030 A.D. They are “near”-utopias both in the sense that they lack perfection and in that they seem near-enough to be achievable.
Neartopias also have blindspots. Each neartopia pulls from cultural assumptions that will be eventually — like all things — be revealed as problematic. The Golden Age of sci-fi produced some neartopias, for instance, but had a relationship with technological progress and industry, for example, that was — well, let’s say underdeveloped.source