Bookmarked How to Fight Amazon (Before You Turn 29) by Robinson Meyer (The Atlantic)

Amazon’s history seems to belie this claim. For more than a decade, Wall Street allowed the company to plow any profits into price discounts. Partly as a result, Amazon has grown so large that it can undercut other companies just by announcing that it will soon compete with them. When Amazon purchased Whole Foods, its market cap rose by $15.6 billion—some $2 billion more than it paid for the chain. Meanwhile, the rest of the grocery industry immediately lost $37 billion in market value. (Amazon protests that it has no control over how investors value its competitors.)

When a company has such power, Khan believes, it will almost inevitably wield that power far and wide, distorting not just the market itself, but the whole of American life. With sufficient power, companies can commission studies, rewrite regulations, bulldoze neighborhoods, and impoverish education and welfare systems by securing billions in sweetheart tax cuts. When a company comes to monopolize a market—when it grows so big that it can threaten other industries just by entering them—it ceases to be merely a company. It becomes an institution so powerful that it can rule over people like a government.

Robinson Meyer unpacks the story of Lina Khan and her investigation into Amazon and the antitrust movement. This stems from a paper, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” Khan wrote in the Yale Law Review. Although Meyer focuses on Amazon, this has ramifications for all the platform monopolies. It is also increasingly having an influence on education.
Liked Why We Need the #IndieWeb: A Short History by Cathie LeBlanc (Desert of My Real Life)
Members of the IndieWeb community are building tools to try to make moving your web presence off the corporate web easier, giving you more control over your digital identity. I like to think of the IndieWeb as a way of trying to regain the democratic ideals of early Web 2.0. IndieWeb wants us all to have a web presence that we own and control. We can still use tools like Twitter and Facebook to bring us together but we publish our content first on our own web sites and then decide where we want to share them.
Bookmarked Citizen of Apple, State of Lego (Julian Stodd's Learning Blog)
Imagine a future state, one of multiple citizenships, so i can be a Citizen of the UK, a Citizen of Apple, and a Citizen of Lego, not traversing physical borders to move from one to the other, but rather conceptual, or internalised ones. Each providing real utility, it’s own type of ‘space’, and each giving us it’s own component of culture. Perhaps in this model, ‘Culture’ becomes a meta entity that we each construct, through a combination of our geolocation within space, and our subscriptions online.
Julian Stodd explores the evolving idea of ‘citizenship’. Whereas it was defined by geography and culture in the past, Stodd wonders if in the future it will be subscription based. Rather than depending on the state and taxes to provide societies infrastructures, we now rely on the various multi-national platforms, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google. This reminds me of the conversation that was had recently around being a citizen of the #IndieWeb. If states lose their sway, I wonder if this upon up other alternatives? This is something Aral Balkan touches upon. I also wonder what this means for rituals?
Liked The Digital Heroes That Fought Against Government Surveillance Are Quiet About Facebook. They’re Missing Their Moment. by April Glaser (Slate Magazine)
Moments like the one we’re in don’t come often. While advocacy groups who deeply understand the intricacies of online data-collection wait and see what happens with privacy regulation, the news environment is going to move on. They’ll miss their chance. Maybe that’s what they want.
Replied to Podcast #39 – Using Adaptive Change Methods to Revolutionize Education (Modern Learners)
Do you know the difference between technical change and adaptive change? Most change in schools involves technical change, like “dressing up” the current situation, but not really addressing the underlying issues. Adaptive change, as defined by Harvard’s Ron Heifetz, is changing culture, worldview, and self-worth. These are the changes that are the hardest to make and require a re-imagination of our culture and our basic roles. The message is that we need to stop “playing around the edges” and make changes that really get to the core.


Another interesting listen, with so much to reflect upon.

One thing that stood out though was Will Richardson’s reference to “a post shared on LinkedIn and Facebook.” I wonder if this is the ‘Modern’ world, one ruled by platform capitalism? If:

We need to stop “playing around the edges” and make changes that really get to the core

then I wonder if this is really the core?

I understand our focus should be about ‘learning’, but if there is anything to come out of the recent Cambridge Analytica revelations, then it is surely that we need a better model moving forward.

The future may not involve everyone to #DeleteFacebook, but I would hope that those leading technological change would lead the way? I have the same concern about Anil Dash writing about the open web in a post on Medium. For me, the future is the IndieWeb, for others it is a Domain of One’s Own. I think that both of these discussions touch upon the idea of a canonical URL.

Liked Platform Literacy in a Time of Mass Gaslighting – Or – That Time I Asked Cambridge Analytica for My Data by Autumm Caines (Is a Liminal Space)
Perhaps then when inside of social platforms people would not so easily give away their data and when they did they would have a better understanding of the scope. What if we were really transparent with the data that learning systems have about students and focused on making the student aware of the existence of their data and emphasised their ownership over their data? What if we taught data literacy to the student with their own data? If decades ago we would have focused on student agency and ownership over platforms and analytics I wonder if Cambridge Analytica would have even had a product to sell to political campaigns let alone ever been a big news story.