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juliusbeezer : informationmastery   30

1990, meet 2018: How far does 20MHz of Macintosh IIsi power go today? | Ars Technica
As expected, the Macintosh IIsi is, unsurprisingly, not going to replace your modern computer. It's not going to replace mine.

To its credit, however, the IIsi was able to get me to where I wanted to go, whether it was a spot of writing, listening to music (kind of), checking emails, unwinding with a classic computer game, or browsing the World Wide Web. The more I interacted with the IIsi, the more I remembered what it was like to enjoy using a computer—to appreciate their capabilities as tools of business and leisure. While I initially wrote this off as misplaced nostalgia (something I am very susceptible to, I'll admit), I eventually found a subtle silver lining to my initial frustrations and setbacks.
Further Reading
A 1986 bulletin board system has brought the old Web back to life in 2017

Modern computing is all about supposed convenience: the convenience of connection, of multitasking, and of high performance. In my case, this means that I'll often have more than 30 open tabs in my Web browser before I even start my day, their contents often a mystery to me before I bother to clean house. I'll jump between multiple email accounts, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other modes of communication throughout the day, fragmenting my attention further. I may write for a few minutes distraction-free before a popup appears on my taskbar—updates pending.

A modern computer, something a thousand times faster than the IIsi, might imply that I'm completing a thousand tasks at once or one task a thousand times faster. Neither is the case—all those open tabs, unread messages, and pending updates are a drain on resources, both computational and personal.

In contrast, taking the IIsi through its paces was a joy. The limitations of the machine, with barely enough power to run more than one application at once, demands your attention to be 100 percent devoted to any single task. Paradoxically, it often felt like I was more productive with significantly fewer resources at hand. It captured and holds my attention on a single problem, rather than splitting my attention across dozens of unrelated tasks. Coming in with low expectations and knowing roughly what 20MHz can do for me these days, I came away from my sojourn pleasantly surprised.
apple  history  internet  informationmastery  email  web  text_tools 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Why don’t journalists link to primary sources? – Bad Science
the Telegraph ran the headline “Wind farms blamed for stranding of whales”. “Offshore wind farms are one of the main reasons why whales strand themselves on beaches, according to scientists studying the problem”, it continued. Baroness Warsi even cited it as a fact on BBC Question Time this week, arguing against wind farms.

But anyone who read the open access academic paper in PLoS One, titled “Beaked Whales respond to simulated and actual navy sonar”, would see that the study looked at sonar, and didn’t mention wind farms at all. At our most generous, the Telegraph story was a spectacular and bizarre exaggeration of a brief contextual aside about general levels of manmade sound in the ocean by one author at the end of the press release (titled “Whales scared by sonars”). Now, I have higher expectations of academic institutions than media ones, but this release didn’t mention wind farms, certainly didn’t say they were “one of the main reasons why whales strand themselves on beaches”, and anyone reading the press release could see that the study was about naval sonar.

The Telegraph article was a distortion (now deleted, with a miserly correction), perhaps driven by their odder editorial lines on the environment, but my point is this: if we had a culture of linking to primary sources, if they were a click away, then any sensible journalist would have been be too embarrassed to see this article go online. Distortions like this are only possible, or plausible, or worth risking, in an environment where the reader is actively deprived of information.
agnotology  informationmastery  journalism  internet  science 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Try Breaking Your Media Filter Bubble - Bloomberg View
I refer to the quality of what you are reading. It is far too glib to say that experts know nothing or that everything on the internet is wrong. If only we could ignore the experts, and assume there is no nuance in the world.

Instead, investors should be more assertive in managing their media consumption. Here are three simple steps that will help you re-engineer your media diet:

No. 1 Create your own media research team: Y
filtrage  informationmastery  twitter  bubble 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
In Response to Guardian’s Irresponsible Reporting on WhatsApp: A Plea for Responsible and Contextualized Reporting on User Security | technosociology
Activists and journalists communicate a lot with ordinary people, and need to be certain that their messages are communicated as reliably as possible, using the same system as their recipient will use–hence the advantage of WhatsApp with its huge user base.

WhatsApp’s behavior around key exchange when phone or SIM cards are changed is an acceptable trade-off if the priority is message reliability. People do not have a free choice in what apps to use; they gravitate towards ones with the largest user base (the ones the people they want to connect to are using) and to ones that are seamless to use. Causing unnecessary and unwarranted concern about WhatsApp is likely to make many users give up on the idea of using secure apps altogether. Again, think of causing alarmist doubts over vaccines in general because of a very rare threat of side effects to a few
security  guardian  journalism  informationmastery  surveillance 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Leak at WikiLeaks: A Dispatch Disaster in Six Acts - SPIEGEL ONLINE
When David Leigh of the Guardian finally found himself sitting across from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as the British journalist recounts in his book "Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy", the two agreed that Assange would provide Leigh with a file including all of the diplomatic dispatches received by WikiLeaks.

Assange placed the file on a server and wrote down the password on a slip of paper -- but not the entire password. To make it work, one had to complete the list of characters with a certain word. Can you remember it? Assange asked. Of course, responded Leigh.

It was the first step in a disclosure that became a worldwide sensation. As a result of Leigh's meeting with Assange, not only the Guardian, but also the New York Times, SPIEGEL and other media outlets published carefully chosen -- and redacted -- dispatches. Editors were at pains to black out the names of informants who could be endangered by the publication of the documents
guardian  wikileaks  assange  informationmastery  security 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Guardian’s "WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies" Documentary:
Completely obscures the fact that David Leigh was responsible for the publication of the unredacted cables, and says that this was an incomprehensible and reprehensible decision made by WikiLeaks.
Does not disclose that David Leigh violated a written legal agreement between WikiLeaks and The Guardian that the material would not be passed to third parties (The New York Times), published before the publishing date, or be kept in an insecure manner. David Leigh has admitted that he deliberately went behind the editor (and his brother-in-law) Alan Rusbridger’s back to break the agreement, inorder to try to avoid liability for breach of contract, in a case study by Columbia University: http://jrnetsolserver.shorensteincente.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Wikileaks-Case-Study.pdf
security  wikileaks  guardian  journalism  informationmastery  digitalhumanities  digitarightsmanagement 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Digital literacy can be an insurgency | Bryan Alexander
digitally literate students make stuff and share it. This leads to instability for the same reasons that free expression often does – powerful institutions and other people may experience speech or art that appalls them. For example, a fine student of mine circa 2000 wrote a religion class research paper about homoeroticism and Christ, then published it on the web. This didn’t go over well with every inhabitant of that Bible belt state.

It’s easy to think of other examples. Professors can publish sites criticizing their institution. Activists can use social media to share thoughts and plan actions. A well-timed and -done YouTube video can arouse passions.

This is where social (or “soft”) skills really come in. That’s where digital literacy should encourage students to think about the affordances and implications of making and sharing, of critique.
socialmedia  informationmastery  digitalhumanities 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think
The main point I want to make is that you, dear reader, are almost certainly in the top category of computer skills, level 3. In the United States, only 5% of the population has these high computer skills. In Australia and the UK 6% are at this level; in Canada and across Northern Europe the number increases to 7%; Singapore and Japan are even better with a level-3 percentage of 8%.

Overall, people with strong technology skills make up a 5–8% sliver of their country’s population, whatever rich country they may be coming from. Go back to the OECD’s definition of the level-3 skills, quoted above. Consider defining your goals based on implicit criteria. Or overcoming unexpected outcomes and impasses while using the computer. Or evaluating the relevance and reliability of information in order to discard distractors. Do these sound like something you are capable of? Of course they do.

What’s important is to remember that 95% of the population in the United States (93% in Northern Europe; 92% in rich Asia) cannot do these things.

You can do it; 92%–95% of the population can’t.
software  psychology  authoritarianism  informationmastery  digitalhumanities 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Facebook, Google, Twitter et al need to be champions for media literacy – Medium
systems.

While I strongly believe Facebook should hire some human editors to downgrade deceit — the algorithm-only approach has visibly failed — I’m leery of pushing them a lot further down a path we may all regret. But there are specific, positive steps they can take that don’t put them in the dangerous — for us as well as them — position of being the editors of the Internet, which too many people seem to be demanding right now.

What are those positive steps? In a nutshell, help their users upgrade themselves.

They can help their users develop skills that are absolutely essential: namely how to be critical thinkers in an age of nearly infinite information sources — how to evaluate and act on information when so much of what we see is wrong, deceitful, or even dangerous. Critical thinking means, in this context, media literacy.

What is media literacy? From my perspective, it’s the idea that people should not be passive consumers of media, but active users who understand and rely on key principles and tactics.

Among them: When we are reading (in the broadest sense of the work, to include listening, watching, etc.) we have to be relentlessly skeptical of everything. But not equally skeptical of everything; we have to use judgment. We have to ask our own questions, and range widely in our reading — especially to places where are biases will be challenged
facebook  news  attention  digitalhumanities  informationmastery 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
The characteristics of a register | Government Digital Service
what do we mean when we say “register”?

Across government we manage and hold data that we need to deliver services to users and to inform policymaking. We make that data in a variety of ways — from bespoke online tools, dumps of databases, through to published lists. A question we’re often asked is:

What is a register, how is it more than just a database, a statistical report, or a simple list?

To try and answer this question we’ve started to collect a list of characteristics based on the things we discovered during our early discovery and alpha work.
opendata  archiving  informationmastery 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
Chris Granger - Coding is not the new literacy
Being literate isn't simply a matter of being able to put words on the page, it's solidifying our thoughts such that they can be written. Interpreting and applying someone else's thoughts is the equivalent for reading. We call these composition and comprehension. And they are what literacy really is.
Coding is not the fundamental skill... When we say that coding is the new literacy, we're arguing that wielding a pencil and paper is the old one. Coding, like writing, is a mechanical act. All we've done is upgrade the storage medium...

Modeling is the new literacy... In the same way that composition and comprehension are not tied to paper, modeling is not tied to computers. This definition encompasses a few skills, but the most important one is specification. In order to represent a system, we have to understand what it is exactly, but our understanding is mired in assumptions...

"The computer revolution hasn't happened yet"... Alan Kay did a talk at OOPSLA in 1997 titled "The computer revolution hasn't happened yet," in which he argued that we haven't realized the potential that computers can provide for us. Eighteen years later, I still agree with him - it hasn't happened yet.
informationmastery  literacy  programming  software  education 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Minding Our Language - why education and technology is full of bullshit ... and what might be done about it | Neil Selwyn - Academia.edu
Similarly, it is surely not helpful to avoid proper discussion of the political economy of digital education, and the corporate reforms of public education through privately sponsored technological means? The limited language of education and technology therefore needs to be challenged by anyone concerned with matters of fairness, equality and genuine empowerment through digital education. In this sense, useful parallels can be drawn with what Henry Giroux has described as “the violence of organized forgetting” that underpins contemporary neo-liberal conditions. Giroux talks of how citizens are continually compelled to overlook and ignore the complex historical, political and moral contexts of the current events in their lives.
education  MOOC  informationmastery  ebm 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
The Convenience Factor in Information Seeking
While participants saw information evaluation as important, the most important factors in determining what resources they used were the amount of weight given to an assignment and the time allocated to work on it... What really struck me, though, was the emphasis of study respondents on the convenience factor. “Convenience trumps all other reasons for selecting and using a source.” The anticipated amount of trouble it would take to find what people wanted was the major determinant of what sort of search tool they would use... I’m concerned, because, if I have anything resembling an information literacy philosophy, it is this: Dumbing down the research process in the interest of convenience is almost always a poor choice, especially when we have the option of educating researchers to excel. Search engines promote convenience. In fact, convenience is their main marketing tool. The resulting elephant in the room is the fact that convenience only breeds a desire for more convenience, not greater skill. Despite our efforts, information seekers continue to prefer Google to library databases...So maybe we should move our information literacy efforts into our users’ arena by teaching them how to optimize Google and Google Scholar, find dissertation archives, and create good search strategies. I already do that in my graduate credit courses but with a crafty twist: First, I have students use the library’s databases to do a search assignment. Then they do the same assignment with Google Scholar. Their reaction? Almost universally, it is that Google Scholar sucks.
informationmastery  search  google  scholarly 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
Troll Thread Interview : Tan Lin : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation
Using Tumblr to host our PDFs and Lulu to print books with no upfront costs, means we didn’t have to waste money on staples, paper, or xeroxing. In effect, Print-on-Demand and PDFs are what poor publishing looks like.

H: The TT [Troll Thread] platform itself has been especially conducive to facilitating the circulation and making of work that otherwise wouldn’t get published if left to the other distribution models out there...
literature is a series of systematic acts of violence committed upon previous notions of “literary” language through violation of convention, which updates the larger cultural definition of “literature” and “literariness” as a result. And it’s funny because it seems like these days, everywhere I look I see nothing but violations of conventional textual codes as a byproduct of this process of digitizing the archive away from the print paradigm.
ebooks  publishing  poetry  literature  informationmastery  internet  citation 
may 2014 by juliusbeezer
SKIMMR: Facilitating knowledge discovery in life sciences by machine-aided skim reading [PeerJ PrePrints]
Unlike full reading, 'skim-reading' involves the process of looking quickly over information in an attempt to cover more material whilst still being able to retain a superficial view of the underlying content. Within this work, we specifically emulate this natural human activity by providing a dynamic graph-based view of entities automatically extracted from text. For the extraction, we use shallow parsing, co-occurrence analysis and semantic similarity computation techniques. Our main motivation is to assist biomedical researchers and clinicians in coping with increasingly large amounts of potentially relevant articles that are being published ongoingly in life sciences.
attention  sciencepublishing  science  informationmastery  reading  tools  screwmeneutics 
april 2014 by juliusbeezer
IL definitions & models | Information Literacy
Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner
informationmastery 
november 2013 by juliusbeezer
Kenneth Goldsmith "Being Boring"
The world is full of texts, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more." It seems an appropriate response to a new condition in writing today: faced with an unprecedented amount of available text, the problem is not needing to write more of it; instead, we must learn to negotiate the vast quantity that exists. I've transformed from a writer into an information manager, adept at the skills of replicating, organizing, mirroring, archiving, hoarding, storing, reprinting, bootlegging, plundering, and transferring. I've needed to acquire a whole new skill set: I've become a master typist, an exacting cut-and-paster, and an OCR demon. There's nothing I love more than transcription; I find few things more satisfying than collation.
writing  funny  informationmastery  socialnetworking  education  literature 
february 2013 by juliusbeezer
Now Proven! Using Twitter At Conferences Increases Attendee Engagement
Adults who tweet during a class and as part of the instruction are more engaged with the course content, the instructor, other students, and get higher grades than the other students.
socialmedia  socialnetworking  twitter  education  informationmastery  literacy 
november 2012 by juliusbeezer
The disappearing web: Information decay is eating away our history — Tech News and Analysis
In fact, the researchers said that within a year of these events, an average of 11 percent of the material that was linked to had disappeared completely (and another 20 percent had been archived), and after two-and-a-half years, close to 30 percent had been lost altogether and 41 percent had been archived. Based on this rate of information decay, the authors predicted that more than 10 percent of the information about a major news event will likely be gone within a year, and the remainder will continue to vanish at the rate of .02 percent per day.
informationmastery  internet  linkrot 
september 2012 by juliusbeezer
A Computer Science Writer's Reading List
Here's a list of some of the books I read while writ­ing Laur­en Ipsum and its up­com­ing sequel, ten­tative­ly tit­led Laur­en and the Jar­gonauts. The second book is about the struc­ture and his­to­ry of the in­ter­net. This list leans toward the his­to­ry of tech­nology and soci­al chan­ge, and not the sci­ence it­self.
informationmastery  science  internet 
august 2012 by juliusbeezer
Project Information Literacy: Smart Talks
What prompts that shift? To some extent it’s practice and a growing sense of confidence. But it also involves opportunities to compose meaning that doesn’t sound to them like “use x-number of sources and show me in x-number pages that you can explain what other people already know without making too many grammatical errors.” Instead, their teachers have made them feel part of a wider community grappling with some unfinished area of knowledge by treating them as co-learners using assignments that require students to accomplish a meaningful task or ask a genuine question or propose and test an original hypothesis.
teaching  writing  citation  informationmastery  literacy 
july 2012 by juliusbeezer
Alzheimer's Translation Services | Alzheimer's Reading Room
For my mother, the depths of her forgetful state are revealed in her relation to words. She can’t hold onto the start of my sentence until its end, unless that sentence is rather short. A sentence that contains those conjunctions – and, but, or – turns into a long and winding road for her. She gets lost. When Audrey gets lost, she gets frustrated and angry and upset
translation  writing  communication  medicine  informationmastery 
may 2012 by juliusbeezer
Languages of the World: Why Some Languages Sound So Fast, or do they?
the conclusion that "at the end of, say, a minute of speech, all of the languages would have conveyed more or less identical amounts of information" is not supported by the figures: Japanese apparently conveys 3.8416 units of information per second (7.84 syllables per second multiplied by the average information density of 0.49 per syllable), whereas English manages to convey nearly 1.5 times more -- 5.6329 units of information per second (6.19 syllables per second multiplied by the average information density of 0.91 per syllable).
english  language  informationmastery 
september 2011 by juliusbeezer
Welcome to SAFARI
More on my delicious if you like these, gathered since 2008
search  open  library  informationmastery 
april 2011 by juliusbeezer
Inadequate sample size calculation and reporting in clinical trials: what does it mean for me? « NPCi blog
Healthcare professionals should be vigilant to claims made in publications of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that may not be based on sound statistical principles. Assessing validity is difficult unless you practice it regularly. Busy clinicians should rely on independent evidence-based, critical appraisals of studies from public sector funded, trusted sources of information (e.g. NICE, Cochrane, CKS, NPC)...

It is unreasonable to expect busy healthcare professionals to be able to carry out detailed critical appraisal of clinical trials, yet alone get involved in evaluating the validity of sample size estimations. This study emphasises the need for healthcare professionals to base their prescribing decisions on evidence-based reviews of studies from public sector funded, trusted sources of information, such as those provided by NICE, Cochrane, CKS, NPC) and not merely rely on the claims made in publications of clinical trials.
alienation  knowledge  medicine  informationmastery 
august 2009 by juliusbeezer

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