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Community Mourns Closing of Urban Greenspace - YouTube
"A group of volunteers and patrons of Antonio's Nursery got together one last time to recall the good times of the short lived micro farm on 44th Street near University Avenue.

It's hard to imagine that weeks ago the lot was full of natural life. Visitors from the surrounding neighborhood stopped by to browse the flowers, trees and edible plants. Some purchased the plants to grow at home or were there to seek gardening advice from Antonio himself.

Others were just there. To them, the nursery offered an escape from the grey urban landscape and an opportunity to meet others. Tall corn and sunflowers blocked the view of asphalt streets and traffic. A small awning created a shaded meeting space.

"It wasn't just a business," said Andrea Carter, a frequent visitor of nursery.

Her sentiment was echoed by the others. In a neighborhood with great residential density and a lack of nature, parks and recreation centers, the nursery was a substitute for the community spaces newer, less dense neighborhoods might have.

Antonio's nephew Hector said the community needs green space where folks living in the city can learn about growing plants.

"It's basically a City Heights Balboa Park, without us having to go to Balboa Park," Hector said.

Antonio is a familiar face around City Heights. For years he's been growing and selling flowers across the alley at the IRC New Roots Aqua Farm and down the road at the City Heights Farmers' Market.

Some say before Antonio rented the vacant lot, an old decaying house sat empty on the property for some time and drug dealers moved in. In an attempt to rid the bad elements from the neighborhood, the house was demolished and the lot was enclosed with a chain link fence.

Antonio saw the vacant lot as an opportunity to expand his nursery operation. He leased the property at the beginning of the year and quickly turned it in into an urban oasis.

Neighbors quickly noticed the changes Antonio was making. Rich Macgurn is a caretaker at the nearby Remedy Garden. He said Antonio is magic with his hands and would often take stubborn seeds to Antonio to sprout and return as plants.

"He made this space look so alive. There were so many people coming in and out," Macgurn said. "It was really vibrant."

Unfortunately for Antonio, he was unaware of the zoning restrictions the property has. When city code enforcement officers showed up a few months after he broke ground, he was told he would need to cease operation of the nursery immediately.

Antonio and volunteers have since removed the plants and farming equipment from the lot. The few fruits hanging from vines on the fence are the only relics remaining of the once productive nursery. It's now just another familiar site in City Heights: a vacant lot collecting wind blown debris.

Nursery volunteer Ricardo Cantano said spaces like the nursery help shape a better community and this zoning restriction hinders the momentum.

"Regardless that that was the reason, I feel that the good impact in the community was bigger and there has to be a better way," said Cantano.

Andrea Carter said that because the nursery offered public, health, environmental and community benefits, Antonio should have been given more support to bring the lot up to code.

"We should be moving in this other direction of creating more of these kind of spaces and facilitating them to exist, not making it difficult for people who are not sophisticated in permitting and zoning," she said.

By Brian Myers"
sandiego  cityheights  2013  antonio'snursery  gardening  urbangardening  urbanfarming  brianmeyers 
september 2014
Taxi-Turned-Uber Drivers Get a New Lease on Life - YouTube
"San Diego cab companies insist they aren’t losing customers to the mobile rideshare app Uber. But they are losing money because of it.

The cash is following cabdrivers, who are making the jump to Uber in droves.

“I don’t have a customer problem. I have enough customers to fill these cabs everyday,” said Anthony Palmeri, who owns taxi dispatcher Yellow Radio Service. “My owners don’t have enough drivers to drive the taxicabs, so the cab sits idle.”

The people who own cabs, and the city permits to operate them, often don’t make their living from actually picking up passengers. Their income comes from leasing the vehicles to drivers, who pay them an average of $400 a week and take home whatever profits are left over.

By Megan Burks

Read more at Speak City Heights,
http://www.speakcityheights.org/2014/...

Video Production: Brian Myers, Media Arts Center San Diego
http://www.mediaartscenter.org/ "
sandiego  cityheights  uber  taxis  transportation  labor  2014  meganburks  sharingeconomy 
september 2014
Bikes del Pueblo Seeks Permanent Space to Help Mid-City Residents With Bike Repairs - YouTube
"A flat tire or a broken chain is all it takes to put a bike out of service if the cyclist doesn’t know how to fix the problem or can’t afford a mechanic.

Eleven year old BMX rider Erick Mwesa found that out last week. Biking allows him to get to school in the mornings so his mother can drive to work. A couple of mechanical issues could mean being tardy to class or a major disruption in his mom’s schedule.

That’s where Bikes del Pueblo steps in. Seven years ago a group of volunteer bicycle mechanics started helping and educating the City Heights bike community about repairs and maintenance. They provide the tools and assistance to fix common bike issues.

Mwesa heard about the group’s assistance from a friend at school. He biked over to the City Heights Farmers Market Saturday on a flat tire to visit the Bikes del Pueblo booth, where the group operates its weekly bicycle workshops.

Volunteer mechanic Olivier Clerc diagnosed the problems and Mwesa soon had tools in hand to disassemble his bike. Clerc worked with Mwesa for about 20 minutes, teaching Mwesa what he needed to do to fix the bike, but never actually doing the work himself.

That’s because Bikes del Pueblo is built on a foundation of education and self-sufficiency. Volunteer mechanic Leah Shoecraft sums up their services.

“If you have some issue with your bike, you bring it by and we’ll walk you through the steps on how to repair it. So in the future if that happens again, you’ll be able to do it yourself,” she said.

The organization has started to grow. It has more volunteers, it’s filed for nonprofit status and it has more donations of bike parts than it has storage space.

Currently, other than the four hours on Saturdays, Bikes del Pueblo resides in the basement and backyard of Clerc’s house. To continue to expand, the group took to the online social fundraising platform Indiegogo to raise enough money to move into their own venue in City Heights.

“We want to be open every day and help people fix their bikes every day,” said Clerc.

Ending their campaign on Tuesday night, Bikes del Pueblo is about a third way to their fundraising goal.

By Brian Myers
Editor: Megan Burks

[Disclosure: Brian Myers volunteered with Bikes del Pueblo from 2007 to 2008.]"
sandiego  cityheights  bikes  biking  bikesdelpueblo  2014  brianmyers  leahshoecraft  olivierclerc  erickmwesa 
september 2014
Metafoundry 6: Accident Blackspot
"AGE OF NON-CONSENT: On my way home from the airport last week, I got into a cab that had a TV screen in the passenger area (as is now common in Boston and other cities). As I always do, I immediately turned it off. A few minutes later, it turned itself on again. That got me thinking about this amazing piece [http://modelviewculture.com/pieces/the-fantasy-and-abuse-of-the-manipulable-user ] by Betsy Haibel at Model View Culture, about ‘when mistreating users becomes competitive advantage’, about technology and consent (seriously, go read it; it’s more important that you read that than you read this). I had started thinking more about how technology is coercive and how it pushes or crosses the boundaries of users a few weeks ago, when I got a new phone. Setting it up was an exercise in defending my limits against a host of apps. No, you can’t access my Contacts. No, you don’t need access to my Photos. No, why the hell would you need access to my Location? I had to install a new version of Google Maps, which has crippled functionality (no memory of previous places) if you don't sign into Google, and it tries to convince you to sign in on every single screen, because what I obviously really want is for Google to track my phone and connect it to the rest of my online identity (bear in mind that the only objects that have have a closer average proximity to me than my phone does are pierced through bits of my body). Per that Haibel article, Google’s nagging feels exactly like the boundary-crossing of an unwanted suitor, continually begging for access to me it has no rights to and that I have no intention of providing.

This week, of course, provided a glorious example of how technology companies have normalized being indifferent to consent: Apple ‘gifting’ each user with a U2 album downloaded into iTunes. At least one of my friends reported that he had wireless synching of his phone disabled; Apple overrode his express preferences in order to add the album to his music collection. The expected 'surprise and delight' was really more like 'surprise and delete'. I suspect that the strong negative response (in some quarters, at least) had less to do with a dislike of U2 and everything to do with the album as a metonym for this widespread culture of nonconsensual behaviour in technology. I've begun to note examples of these behaviours, and here are a few that have come up just in the last week: Being opted in to promo e-mails on registering for a website. Being forced by Adobe Creative Cloud into a trial of the newest version of Acrobat; after the trial period, it refused to either run Acrobat or ‘remember’ that I had a paid-up institutional license for the previous version. A gas pump wouldn't give me a receipt until after it showed me an ad. A librarian’s presentation to one of my classes was repeatedly interrupted by pop-ups telling her she needed to install more software. I booked a flight online and, after I declined travel insurance, a blinking box appeared to 'remind' me that I could still sign up for it. When cutting-and-pasting the Jony Ive quote below, Business Insider added their own text to what I had selected. The Kindle app on my phone won’t let me copy text at all, except through their highlighting interface. When you start looking for examples of nonconsensual culture in technology, you find them absolutely everywhere.

Once upon a time, Apple was on the same side as its users. The very first iMac, back in 1998, had a handle built into the top of it, where it would be visible when the box was opened. In Ive’s words, ‘if there's this handle on it, it makes a relationship possible…It gives a sense of its deference to you.’ Does anyone feel like their iPhone is deferential to them? What changed? Part of it is what Ethan Zuckerman called ‘the original sin’ of the Internet [http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/08/advertising-is-the-internets-original-sin/376041/ ], the widespread advertising-based model that depends on strip-mining user characteristics for ad targeting, coupled with what Maciej Ceglowski describes as ‘investor storytime’ [http://idlewords.com/bt14.htm ], selling investors on the idea that they’ll get rich when you finally do put ads on your site. The other part is the rise of what Bruce Sterling dubbed “the Stacks” [http://www.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/topics/459/State-of-the-World-2013-Bruce-St-page01.html ]: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft. Alexis Madrigal predicted [http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/12/bruce-sterling-on-why-it-stopped-making-sense-to-talk-about-the-internet-in-2012/266674/ ], “Your technology will work perfectly within the silo...But it will be perfectly broken at the interfaces between itself and its competitors”, and that can only be the case if the companies control what you do both inside and outside the silo. And, finally, of course, our willingness to play ball with them—ie why I didn't want to sign into Google from my phone—has eroded in direct proportion to our trust that the data gathered by companies will be handled carefully (not abused, shared, leaked, or turned over). Right now, a large fraction of my interactions with tech companies, especially the Stacks, feel coerced.

One of the reasons why I care so much about issues of consent, besides all the obvious ones (you know, having my time wasted, my attention abused, and my personal behaviours and characteristics sold for profit) is because of the imminent rise of connected objects. It’ll be pretty challenging for designers and users to have a shared mental model of the behaviour of connected objects even if they are doing their damnedest to understand each other; bring in an coercive, nonconsensual technology culture and it doesn't take a lot of imagination to consider how terrible they could be. The day before Apple’s keynote this week, London-based Internet of Things design firm BERG announced that they were closing their doors (although I prefer to think of them as dispersing, like a blown dandelion clock). The confluence of their demise with Apple’s behaviour made me extra-sad, because BERG were one of the few companies that worked in technology that really seemed to think of their users as people. Journalist Quinn Norton recently wrote a fantastic piece on the theory and practice of politeness, "How to Be Polite...for Geeks" [https://medium.com/message/how-to-be-polite-for-geeks-86cb784983b1 ], which could just as easily be "...for Technology Companies". The Google+ 'real name' fiasco and Facebook's myriad privacy scandals could have been averted if the companies had some empathy for their users, and listened to what they said, instead of assuming that we are all Mark Zuckerbergs [http://dashes.com/anil/2010/09/the-facebook-reckoning-1.html ]. As well as laying down some Knowledge about Theory of Mind and Umwelt [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umwelt ], Quinn notes that politeness is catchy--social norms are created and enforced by what everyone does. I commute by car daily in Boston but I spent a year on sabbatical in Seattle. The traffic rules in Boston and Seattle are virtually identical, but a significant chunk of driver behaviours (in particular, the ones that earn Boston drivers the epithet of 'Massholes') are the result of social norms, tacitly condoned by most of the community. And driving is regulated a lot more closely than tech companies are.

I don’t know what it’ll take to change technology culture from one that is nonconsensual and borderline-abusive to one that is about enthusiastic consent, and it might not even be possible at this point. All I really know is that it absolutely won’t happen unless we start applying widespread social pressure to make it happen, and that I want tech companies to get their shit together before they make the leap from just being on screens to being everywhere around us."
coercion  culture  privacy  technology  consent  debchachra  2014  maciejceglowski  anildash  ethanzuckerman  jonyive  berg  berglondon  quinnnorton  google  apple  facebook  data  betsyhaibel  functionality  behavior  alexismadrigal  socialnetworks  socialmedia  mobile  phones  location  socialnorms  socialpressure  ethics  abuse  jonathanive  maciejcegłowski 
september 2014
Why Girls Get Better Grades Than Boys Do - The Atlantic
[My tweet: https://twitter.com/rogre/status/512741051941924864 "“Why Girls Get Better Grades Than Boys Do” http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/09/why-girls-get-better-grades-than-boys-do/380318/ … Missing: Conscientiousness or deference? Innate or conditioned?"]

"This self-discipline edge for girls carries into middle-school and beyond. In a 2006 landmark study, Martin Seligman and Angela Lee Duckworth found that middle-school girls edge out boys in overall self-discipline. This contributes greatly to their better grades across all subjects. They found that girls are more adept at “reading test instructions before proceeding to the questions,” “paying attention to a teacher rather than daydreaming,” “choosing homework over TV,” and “persisting on long-term assignments despite boredom and frustration.” These top cognitive scientists from the University of Pennsylvania also found that girls are apt to start their homework earlier in the day than boys and spend almost double the amount of time completing it. Girls’ grade point averages across all subjects were higher than those of boys, even in basic and advanced math—which, again, are seen as traditional strongholds of boys.

What Drs. Seligman and Duckworth label “self-discipline,” other researchers name “conscientiousness.” Or, a predisposition to plan ahead, set goals, and persist in the face of frustrations and setbacks. Conscientiousness is uniformly considered by social scientists to be an inborn personality trait that is not evenly distributed across all humans. In fact, a host of cross-cultural studies show that females tend to be more conscientious than males. One such study by Lindsay Reddington out of Columbia University even found that female college students are far more likely than males to jot down detailed notes in class, transcribe what professors say more accurately, and remember lecture content better. Arguably, boys’ less developed conscientiousness leaves them at a disadvantage in school settings where grades heavily weight good organizational skills alongside demonstrations of acquired knowledge.

These days, the whole school experience seems to play right into most girls’ strengths—and most boys’ weaknesses. Gone are the days when you could blow off a series of homework assignments throughout the semester but pull through with a respectable grade by cramming for and acing that all-important mid-term exam. Getting good grades today is far more about keeping up with and producing quality homework—not to mention handing it in on time.

Gwen Kenney-Benson, a psychology professor at Allegheny College, a liberal arts institution in Pennsylvania, says that girls succeed over boys in school because they tend to be more mastery-oriented in their schoolwork habits. They are more apt to plan ahead, set academic goals, and put effort into achieving those goals. They also are more likely than boys to feel intrinsically satisfied with the whole enterprise of organizing their work, and more invested in impressing themselves and their teachers with their efforts.

On the whole, boys approach schoolwork differently. They are more performance-oriented. Studying for and taking tests taps into their competitive instincts. For many boys, tests are quests that get their hearts pounding. Doing well on them is a public demonstration of excellence and an occasion for a high-five. In contrast, Kenney-Benson and some fellow academics provide evidence that the stress many girls experience in test situations can artificially lower their performance, giving a false reading of their true abilities. These researchers arrive at the following overarching conclusion: “The testing situation may underestimate girls’ abilities, but the classroom may underestimate boys’ abilities.”

It is easy to for boys to feel alienated in an environment where homework and organization skills account for so much of their grades. But the educational tide may be turning in small ways that give boys more of a fighting chance. An example of this is what occurred several years ago at Ellis Middle School, in Austin, Minnesota. Teachers realized that a sizable chunk of kids who aced tests trundled along each year getting C’s, D’s, and F’s. At the same time, about 10 percent of the students who consistently obtained A’s and B’s did poorly on important tests. Grading policies were revamped and school officials smartly decided to furnish kids with two separate grades each semester. One grade was given for good work habits and citizenship, which they called a “life skills grade.” A “knowledge grade” was given based on average scores across important tests. Tests could be retaken at any point in the semester, provided a student was up to date on homework.

Staff at Ellis Middle School also stopped factoring homework into a kid’s grade. Homework was framed as practice for tests. Incomplete or tardy assignments were noted but didn’t lower a kid’s knowledge grade. The whole enterprise of severely downgrading kids for such transgressions as occasionally being late to class, blurting out answers, doodling instead of taking notes, having a messy backpack, poking the kid in front, or forgetting to have parents sign a permission slip for a class trip, was revamped.

This last point was of particular interest to me. On countless occasions, I have attended school meetings for boy clients of mine who are in an ADHD red-zone. I have learned to request a grade print-out in advance. Not uncommonly, there is a checkered history of radically different grades: A, A, A, B, B, F, F, A. When F grades and a resultant zero points are given for late or missing assignments, a student’s C grade does not reflect his academic performance. Since boys tend to be less conscientious than girls—more apt to space out and leave a completed assignment at home, more likely to fail to turn the page and complete the questions on the back—a distinct fairness issue comes into play when a boy’s occasional lapse results in a low grade. Sadly though, it appears that the overwhelming trend among teachers is to assign zero points for late work. In one survey by Conni Campbell, associate dean of the School of Education at Point Loma Nazarene University, 84 percent of teachers did just that.

Disaffected boys may also benefit from a boot camp on test-taking, time-management, and study habits. These core skills are not always picked up by osmosis in the classroom, or from diligent parents at home. Of course, addressing the learning gap between boys and girls will require parents, teachers and school administrators to talk more openly about the ways each gender approaches classroom learning—and that difference itself remains a tender topic."
gender  schools  boys  girls  education  homework  compliance  conscienciousness  angeladuckworth  2014  martinseligman  deference  authority  self-discipline  adhd  grades  grading  gwenkenney-benson  conditioning  goalsetting  persistence  lindsayreddington  connicampbell  disaffection  testtaking  timemanagement  studyhabits  learninggap  attention  distraction  academics  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  gendernorms  society  enricognaulati  assessment  standardization 
september 2014
THE FLOYD LEG
"The Floyd Leg was born from the idea of creating frameworks for people to make their own furniture. We're constantly thinking about the evolving idea of home, the spaces we inhabit and how this relates to the objects in our lives. Our furniture is simple to ship and uncomplicated for people to transport and adapt. The Floyd Leg is about people, who bring soul to our products—each with a unique point of view, style, and preference.

The Floyd Leg has shipped to over 30 countries, and in 2015 we will be launching a wider line of furniture and home goods."
furniture  tables  schooldesign  mobility 
september 2014
Yes We Can. But Should We? — re:form — Medium
"Quirky has been clever in melding the old-school notion of being an “inventor” with the new-school notion of being a “maker.” But somewhere in the course of entering the pop culture zeitgeist, the warm and fuzzy self-empowered “maker” idea got turned into an engine for output and profit. No idea is too superfluous. Many of the items the company sells are gadgets like “Pivot Power,” designed expressly for plugging in other gadgets. It felt to me that the very purpose of Kaufman’s endeavor was to get more stuff on shelves, or what he referred to as “social product development.

Not so long ago it felt like we were beginning to recognize that as a society, our patterns of production and consumption were not sustainable. Messages like The Story of Stuff went viral, refocusing our collective eyes on our culture’s stunning material wastefulness. But that period was short, and the resolve for change it seemed to herald has all but evaporated. While many innovative companies have been focusing on selling experiences rather than manufacturing goods, the drive to produce more has only accelerated.

Technology has become not only more sophisticated, but access to its bells and whistles has become relatively more affordable and accessible. With this, ideas around designing and making have shifted and sectors of the maker movement have veered from basement workshop projects to the production of i-accessories and other trinkets that make Kickstarter fanboys drool. Just as desktop publishing tools made everyone [think they were] a graphic designer, 3-D printers and the like have empowered legions to be the next Jony Ive. (Not incidentally, why must every last bit of product design be measured by whether it would make Ive proud?)

I won’t point the finger at one company or one discipline but I am struck by the absence of sustainable discourse in the maker movement. Daily, we read swooning odes to the 3-D printer, the CNC router and other cutting edge manufacturing technologies but read almost nothing that approaches these developments through a much-needed critical lens. Every tchotchke is celebrated as if it were as significant as the wheel or the printing press.”



"In Why Things Bite Back, Edward Tenner writes of what he calls the “ironic unintended consequences’’ of human ingenuity, ranging from antibiotics that promise the cure of disease but end up breeding resistant microorganisms, to a new football helmet, designed to reduce injuries, that actually encourages a more violent style of playing, thus creating the risk of more serious injury. We’re experiencing some of these ironies now as we use technology to solve the wrong problems. We’re in a period where almost anyone has the tools to make almost anything – but are we making the right things? Or too many of the wrong ones?

There seems to be a misconception about what 3D printing does and does not enable. Does it allow us to delight a four-year-old by pulling a mini Darth Vader toy seemingly out of thin air? It does. But the object doesn’t materialize from nothing. A 3D printer consumes about 50 to 100 times more electrical energy than injection molding to make an item of the same weight. On top of that, the emissions from desktop 3D printers are similar to burning a cigarette or cooking on a gas or electric stove. And the material of choice for all this new stuff we’re clamoring to make is overwhelmingly plastic. In a sense, it’s a reverse environmental offset, counteracting recent legislation to reduce plastic use through grocery bag bans and packaging redesigns. While more people tote reuasable cloth bags to the supermarket, plastic is piling up in other domains, from TechShop to Target."



"Good design is often defined as being an elegant solution to a clear problem. Perhaps we’re solving the wrong problems — or inventing problems that don’t exist — as justification for our excessive output. Do we need more products? Not really. But we need better ones. So why aren’t we designing them? Why are we reading about so many bad ones? Why, for example, did more than 62,000 people recently pitch in to fund a new drink cooler that doubles as a beverage blender (and triples as a stereo) to the tune of $13,285,226?"
makers  invention  3dprinting  design  makermovement  sustainability  waster  responsibility  allisonarieff  2014  capitalism  profits  production  productivity  output  materials  unuseless  chindogu 
september 2014
Emotional Processing and Qualitative Research on Race (with tweets) · alwaystheself · Storify
"A few notes from the methodological appendix of "Resurrecting Slavery", a book I'm writing about the contemporary legacies of racial slavery and white supremacy in France."
crystalfleming  research  emotions  race  methodology  2014  slavery  whitesupremacy  academia  repression  recism  inequality  experience  analysis  storify 
september 2014
My Synesthesia Types | Synesthesia & Such
"Hello everyone! I decided that it was time to make a post about my synesthesia types. Many synesthetes will have many types of synesthesia, and I am one of them! I have 5 types (that I know of) (EDIT) : I have discovered that I have 6 (SECOND EDIT) : I may have a 7th type (THIRD EDIT) : I have a 8th type (FOURTH EDIT): I have 9 types , and some of them are weaker than the others. I don’t know if I have others, since I only just discovered I have synesthesia about nine or ten days ago. I won’t write too much about my types, since I will be doing separate posts for pretty much every type of synesthesia and I’ll explain them more in depth later.

Grapheme-color (numbers-colors, letters-colors)

My grapheme-color synesthesia is probably my weakest type. Only 7 letters have colors, and only the numbers 0 to 9, and 17 have a color. For the other numbers, they have a color, but I need to focus to pinpoint them. As you can see for my letters, they have kind of weird colors (the letter m isn’t that exact shade, and the c has a bit more of a turquoise tint to it). My z is kind of like a ‘moving’ rainbow. My numbers can be yellow, white or a dark blue.

Spatial sequence (days of the week, dates and memories)

My spatial sequence is with the days of the week, but also the way I remember my memories. It’s as if I’m… reaching into files that are interconnected… I’ll ‘jump’ from memory to memory… like actually jump in my head. All the memories (and years and dates I have to remember for history) are connected in some tiny way that only makes sense to me, and that has always helped me remember things.

Ordinal-linguistic personification (OLP) (numbers-personalities)

Pretty much every number has a personality, although most of them are really ‘faint’. And my personalities are simple; the numbers are either neutral, good or bad. They have some ‘degrees’ of good or bad, for example 7 is a really bad number, any irrational number too. 17 is the best, and that makes it my favorite number. None of my letters have personalities.

Mirror-touch (touch, pain and emotions)

My mirror-touch synesthesia, even though it’s a bit weak, it’s way more present in my life, and I now notice it way more. When somebody gets touched, I can feel kind of a tickle. Sometimes I won’t notice it, since it’s a part of my life. When I’m watching a horror movie (I only watched one in all my life and HATED it), I’m always so tense sand I don’t feel good at all. When somebody gets hurt, I’ll feel an extreme discomfort in that place in my body, and I noticed that I always need to shake it to get the feeling out of my body. Mirro-touch also affects my empathy. I always over-empathize! It’s just ridicule!

Ticker-tape (English and French)

Even though it sounds weird, Ticker-tape synesthesia is actually my ‘favorite’ synesthesia. And, it’s also my ‘strongest’. I love it, since it helps me remember things better. Since it’s a rare type of synesthesia, it’s not really well know. Well, basically, when somebody talks, I see ‘subtitles’ of the words they are speaking. It can get annoying when either I just don’t want to listen to someone, or that TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE TALKING AT THE SAME TIME. When too many people are talking at the same time, I’m like : asdfghjkl; and my ticker-tape goes WILD, and I have a hard time concentrating on one of the conversations.

I love my synesthesia. Pretty much any synesthete will tell you that. It can sometimes bug me a little, but most of the time, it helps me! I wish everyone could experience it!

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below!

(EDIT): I have discovered that I have a sixth type of synesthesia; mirror-emotion. It’s similar to mirror-touch, except… you guessed it…. with emotions! I’d say this type is as strong, if not stronger, than my ticker-tape synesthesia.

(SECOND EDIT) : New type : Mirror-sound.

(THIRD EDIT) : ANOTHER new type : Mirror-kinetics

(FOURTH EDIT) : I have nine types, since mirror-touch and mirror-pain aren’t the same"
synesthesia  via:alexismadrigal  2013 
september 2014
Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites - NYTimes.com
"When you get past the details of the Scottish independence referendum Thursday, there is a broader story underway, one that is also playing out in other advanced nations.

It is a crisis of the elites. Scotland’s push for independence is driven by a conviction — one not ungrounded in reality — that the British ruling class has blundered through the last couple of decades. The same discontent applies to varying degrees in the United States and, especially, the eurozone. It is, in many ways, a defining feature of our time.

The rise of Catalan would-be secessionists in Spain, the rise of parties of the far right in European countries as diverse as Greece and Sweden, and the Tea Party in the United States are all rooted in a sense that, having been granted vast control over the levers of power, the political elite across the advanced world have made a mess of things.

The details of Scotland’s grievances are almost the diametrical opposite of those of, say, the Tea Party or Swedish right-wingers. They want more social welfare spending rather than less, and have a strongly pro-green, antinuclear environmental streak. (Scotland’s threatened secession is less the equivalent of Texas pulling out of the United States, in that sense, than of Massachusetts or Oregon doing the same.) But there are always people who have disagreements with the direction of policy in their nation; the whole point of a state is to have an apparatus that channels disparate preferences into one sound set of policy choices.

What distinguishes the current moment is that discontent with the way things have been going is so high as to test many people's tolerance for the governing institutions as they currently exist.

The details are, of course, different in each country.

In the case of Britain, a Labor government led by a Scottish prime minister (Gordon Brown) and his Scottish finance minister (Alistair Darling) supported the financialization of the British economy, with the rise of global mega-banks in an increasingly cosmopolitan London as the center of the economic strategy.

Then, in 2008, the banks nearly collapsed and were bailed out, and the British economy hasn’t been the same. Their failures ushered in a conservative government in 2010 that is even less aligned with the Scots’ preferred policies, bringing an age of austerity when the Scots would prefer to widen the social safety net.

In the United States, we watched a bipartisan push toward financial deregulation in the 1990s and 2000s lay the groundwork for the 2008 crisis. The inability of the Bush or Obama administration to contain the damage (and indeed to fight it with financial bailouts) ushered in a Tea Party in 2010 elections that is beyond the control of elder statesmen of the Republican Party.

It is in continental Europe that the consequences of bungling by mainstream elites are perhaps the most damaging. The decades-long march toward a united continent, led by the parties of the center-right and center-left, created a Western Europe in which there was a single currency and monetary authority but without the political, fiscal and banking union that would make it possible for imbalances between those countries to work themselves out without the benefit of currency fluctuations. When it all came to a head from 2008 to 2012, national leaders were sufficiently alarmed by the risks of budget deficits that they responded by cutting spending and raising taxes.

As such, the imbalances that built up over the years in Europe are now working themselves out through astronomical unemployment and falling wages in countries including Spain and Greece. Even the northern European economies, including Germany, are experiencing little or no growth. As Paul Krugman noted this week, while the Great Depression of the 1930s was a sharper contraction in economic activity initially, the European economy is performing worse six years after the 2008 crisis than it was at the comparable point in the 1930s.

"The details of the policy mistakes are different, as are the political movements that have arisen in protest. But together they are a reminder that no matter how entrenched our government institutions may seem, they rest on a bedrock assumption: that the leaders entrusted with power will deliver the goods.

Power is not a right; it is a responsibility. The choice that Scotland is making on Thursday is of whether the men and women who rule Britain messed things up so badly that they would rather go it alone. And so the results will ripple through world capitals from Athens to Washington: The way things are going currently isn’t good enough, and voters are getting angry enough to want to do something about it."
2014  scotland  power  politics  policy  governance  neilirwin  government  ey  economics  responsibility  finance 
september 2014
Why Scotland Should Vote Yes | Jacobin
"Before turning to these arguments, it is worth considering one pro-independence position that can only be held in England. Expressed most recently (if eccentrically) by Will Self in the New Statesman, this holds that an independent Scotland would be a social-democratic — perhaps even socialist — inspiration to the English Left, finally galvanizing it into posing a serious challenge to neoliberalism and imperialism. And in some respects, a survey of social legislation in Scotland even under devolution, including that passed by the first two Liberal/Labour coalition governments, tends to support this perspective.

Scotland has free care for the elderly, free prescriptions for all, and no student tuition fees (at least for Scottish students). And the bedroom tax, while it is beyond the power of Holyrood to abolish, has effectively been neutralized by the current Scottish National Party (SNP) government’s declaration (in a move supported by Labour) that it would set aside £15 million to meet the additional costs of the 76,000 social housing tenants deemed to have a “spare bedroom.”

Furthermore, although there are longstanding private schools in Scotland, education has not been subjected to the disintegrative effect of academies and free schools; water remains in public hands; the extent of privatization of the National Health Service in England has not been replicated north of the border; private finance initiatives and public–private partnerships are no longer in use. And while it would be absurd to pretend that racism is not a problem in Scotland, the public culture in this respect is different from England, not least because the SNP government — to its endless credit — has argued for welcoming migrants rather than attacking them."
scotland  independence  2014  socialsafetynet 
september 2014
petcam snaps the world through the eyes of four-legged friends
"if you’ve ever wondered what the world looks like through the eyes of your four-legged friend, american photographer chris keeney has amassed a series of snapshots taken from curious creatures’ own point of view. the ‘petcam’ book is collection of images from all over the world, captured by a chihuahua, a manx cat, a red angus cow and a tiny abyssinian guinea pig — just to name a few. using a small, lightweight digital camera attached to the animal’s collar — and set to take photos at predetermined intervals — the pet becomes the photographer, and their wild adventures are documented from an unparalleled perspective."

[See also: http://www.papress.com/html/book.details.page.tpl?isbn=9781616892586
http://www.amazon.com/Petcam-World-Through-Four-Legged-Friends/dp/1616892587 ]
cameras  pets  animals  petcam  2014  via:anne  books  chriskeeney 
september 2014
What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making | Quiet Babylon
"This is an era of networked wealth, going to scale, first mover advantage, positive feedback loops, virtuous cycles, high concentration, and high disparity. These are some of the intolerable conditions of the time we call (with subversive hope) Late Capitalism.

4
“We.”

5
I suspect that much of this essay will make very little sense unless you believe as I do that we are beset by wicked problems exacerbated by networks of sublime scale that have been built on top of millenia of injustice chaotically interacting with good works and hope.



8
I do not think it is possible to feel empathy for 7 billion people. I know it is not possible to mourn the ~400,000 souls we lose to death every day on this planet earth. In a city like New York, it is not even reasonable to say Hi to everyone you pass on the street. Forget New York, it wasn’t reasonable to say Hi to everyone I passed at XOXO. There are too many humans. Boundaries must be drawn. Who are our friends, who is in the community, who gets to count. The boundaries can be drawn wider or narrower, and with more or less care. But the starting points of those boundaries are necessarily accidents of history, and history is pretty messed up.

Andy and Andy have been public about their struggles to redraw the boundaries of the community that takes part in XOXO. This year was better, they said, but still too male and still far too white. They are working to do better still if they ever do an XOXO again.

If they do, they will have to carefully consider who gets on stage and work with those people about what they have to say. Because people who make things is a broad remit. The mission of XOXO is an admirable one: to be a place where independent creators can find themselves amongst people like them; to give the participants the feeling that even though independence can be lonely, we are not alone.

But to be sat amongst a community who do not share your concerns is a terribly alienating experience, especially if the speakers on stage are claiming a we for the room that you do not feel. A greater diversity of speakers and a greater diversity of participants means by definition fewer common experiences and a more complicated we.

9
Chinese factory workers are not welcome at XOXO. This is a profoundly uncomfortable thing to say because it feels like punching down, but it is true. Chinese factory workers are not independent creators. What inspiration would they find in hearing John Gruber talk about Google Reader’s impact on his business model? What advice would they pull from Anita Sarkeesian describing the conspiracy theories leveled against prominent women on the Internet? What series of completely patronizing assumptions did I make when I wrote those last two questions?

Marketers, brand managers, advertising agencies, and social media gurus are also not welcome at XOXO. This feels less uncomfortable to say because it feels like punching up. Harassers are completely unwelcome and Andy and Andy took public glee in sending them away.

Community design is a tricky thing and the debate about incremental improvement vs radical transformation is far from settled. Figuring out how to ethically exclude people, how to effectively include people, and which intolerable conditions of ambient injustice to accept as given is a wicked problem. Working through it requires care and nuance and vigilance against derailment.

Derailment is when discussion of one issue is diverted into another issue. For example: if someone were to say, We need to work hard to increase the non-white percentage of conference attendees, and someone else said, Yeah, but what about the Chinese workers who make your devices?

10
Context collapse is an important way of making sure that marginalized people and issues aren’t allowed to disappear completely and an excellent derailing tactic. Arguing that an issue being raised is a derailment is an excellent derailing tactic.

11
A lot of the problems described by people on stage at XOXO would not have been problems if no one on earth should ever be at risk of starvation or lack medical care was not a radical idea. But it is a radical idea and it is not possible to mourn everyone. So boundaries are drawn and communities are constructed which help their members understand what’s possible and not everyone gets to count.

The inability to effectively address all of this is also one of the intolerable conditions of late capitalism."
timmaly  xoxo  latecapitalism  capitalism  supplychains  labor  timcook  apple  disclosure  context  contextcollapse  inclusing  exclusion  canon  derailment  conferences  complexity  boundaries  communitydesign  making  makers  scale  hope  dematerialization 
september 2014
Traveling Stories
"Traveling Stories is a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to outsmart poverty one book at a time & inspire a love for reading everywhere. Your donation today gives a child the chance to fall in love with reading for the first time!

We are active both locally and internationally!

Since 2010 we have established seven international libraries and two local Story Tent programs with free literacy coaching for at-risk kids.

Our long-term goal is to establish libraries in every book-poor village around the world & to have Story Tent programs in every State!

Our strategy is to offer Traveling Stories Social Franchises for those who want to start an international library or Story Tent, but don't want the bother of starting their own nonprofit."

[via: https://medium.com/storytelling-for-good/el-transito-is-a-fishing-village-that-hugs-the-pacific-ocean-on-the-coast-of-north-central-e91f5ac51326 ]
sandiego  cityheights  literacy  books  libraries 
september 2014
Science teacher: Buckets with holes
"Buckets come as they are, and they do one thing--they hold things. Everything, actually.

In these parts they're generally made of plastic, the residual order of plants that took in the sunshine unfathomably long ago. (Oh, I could give you a number with a lot of zeroes, but let's be honest, none of us beyond the Feynmans and the Einsteins know how big a few hundred million truly is.)

Most of the buckets in my home were likely made in China, because it's cheaper to make them there than here, even with the cost of shipping. I used to work on the docks. I've been in the hold of very big ships. If the ship is big enough, it can carry enough buckets to make shipping costs almost negligible.

But someone making a bucket in China, a long, long away, cannot possibly know why I need this particular bucket today.

But I do. So I modify it.

***

I bottled a bucket's worth of mead today. Eric, who loves my daughter Kerry, keeps a couple of hives in Montclair. He gave me a gallon of honey from his hive. A gallon of honey weighs about 12 pounds, a gallon of water about 8 pounds. There's a lot of stuff in honey that's not water.

Each pound of honey took over 50,000 miles of bee flight, so my melomel took the better part of a million miles of flight to make. Millions of yeast critters took the honey and converted it into mead--those surviving now sit in my compost pile in the backyard. I said a prayer for them, or maybe I said it for me, but I prayed anyway, because something good happened to me that I did not deserve.

My mead bucket has a 3/4" hole drilled near the bottom, so I can put in a plastic spigot (also made in China) that lets me drain the fermented mead in a controlled fashion.

***

I clam. Every couple of weeks I get enough meat from the mudflats around here to feed Leslie and me for a few days. I pray for the clams, too, as I drop them into scalding water. I have no idea what they feel, but I know what I do, and praying helps.

My clam bucket has about a hundred tiny holes drilled in the bottom. I used an electric drill.

The power to drill the holes came from Beesley's Point Generating Station a few miles north of here. It burns coal (made from old plants, but not as old as those that made the plastic for my bucket). It also uses old tires, made from rubber plants likely alive in my lifetime.

And yes, I think of these things as I muddle through my day.
I pray a lot.

***

I teach biology. Our desires change all the time, but our needs are the same as they have been for millenia.

Our needs come down to the stuff of plants, of yeast, of love. Most of what we need I'll never understand, but I teach a very human process that gets us closer to understanding the infinite every day.

But, of course, the infinite can never be understood.

So I pray…"
michaeldoyl  2014  systems  systemsthinking  prayer  supplychains  materials  clamming  energy  networks  zoominginandout  process  everyday  complexity 
september 2014
Medieval Animal Data-Network | Multidisciplinary research on medieval animals
"The aim of the blog is to stimulate academic conversations and debates between scholars concerned with all aspects of the animal-human relationship in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age. The blog will cover multi-disciplinary information ranging from texts to image to material culture and bio archaeology. The MAD project considers critical to examine human-animal interactions in the past from many different angles. At the same time, the project acknowledges that true interdisciplinary research is extremely difficult to achieve. However, the tendency in research approaches to use only single data sources often results in a “flat” picture of the way animals were integrated into all aspects of medieval society. We envision publishing posts based on analyses of multiple data categories including textual sources, images, archaeological topographic data, artifacts, and archaeozoological faunal data. Blog posts may also contain bibliographic information connected to particular beasts or animal topics. We also aim to provide up-to-date information on activities of the MAD project, conferences reviews, book reviews and other relevant research projects on medieval animal studies. The blog will provide a virtual space for researchers, students and all people interested in animal-human connections in the past, to access information which is otherwise dispersed and difficult to find."
middleages  animalhumanrelationships  animals  archaeology 
september 2014
Living Simply in a Dumpster - The Atlantic
"One professor left his home for a 36-square-foot open-air box, and he is happier for it. How much does a person really need?"
tinyhomes  tinyhouses  small  houses  housing  homes  jeffwilson  architecture  dumpsters  2014  jameshamblin 
september 2014
A broader tax base, it is thought, will insure... • see things differently
"A broader tax base, it is thought, will insure that wealthy suburbanites pay for essential services needed by the poor. No evidence is available to indicate that this actually happens in large cities.

Poor neighborhoods receiving ”services” which are not tailored to their needs may not be better off when increased resources are allocated to their neighborhood. In large collective consumption units, residents of poor neighborhoods may have even less voice about levels and types of services desired than they do in smaller-sized collective consumption units. Increasing the size of the smallest collective consumption unit to which citizens belong may not help solve problems of redistribution."

[PDF: http://socsci.colorado.edu/~mciverj/Ostrom-PG%26PC.PDF ]
elinorostrom  vincentostrom  economics  resources  colonization  imperialism  universalbasicincome  taxes  services  pverty  cities  urban  urbanism  development  democracy  redistribution  ubi 
september 2014
BBC - Culture - Yves Klein: The man who invented a colour
"“The genius of Klein is becoming more and more apparent,” says Catherine Wood, Tate Modern’s curator of contemporary art and performance. “He has been dismissed by some art historians as a charlatan or – because of his use of naked female models – as conventional and sexist, but his strategies were playfully critical and are becoming more significant in their influence for the younger generation. It could be argued that he was a critical prankster on par with Duchamp.”

Expanding the spectrum

For all his influence on conceptual art, though, Klein was most preoccupied with colour. As early as 1956, while on holiday in Nice, he experimented with a polymer binder to preserve the luminescence and powdery texture of raw yet unstable ultramarine pigment. He would eventually patent his formula as International Klein Blue (IKB) in 1960.

Before that, though, he made his name with an exhibition held in Milan in January 1957 that included 11 of his unframed, identical signature blue monochromes, one of which was bought by the Italian artist Lucio Fontana. This show ushered in what Klein called his “Blue Revolution”, and soon he was slapping IKB onto all sorts of objects, such as sponges, globes and busts of Venus. Even his ‘living brushes’ dipped their flesh in IKB.

Art historians still debate the significance of Klein’s use of ultramarine. For some, it represented a break with angst-ridden abstraction, which was popular in the wake of World War II. Painted mechanically using a roller, Klein’s flat, blank monochromes seemed to rebuff expressionist art.

For other scholars, though, Klein’s depthless monochromes and obsession with ‘the void’ can be understood as expressions of the threat of nuclear holocaust. “We absolutely must realise – and this is no exaggeration – that we are living in the atomic age,” Klein once said, “where all physical matter can vanish from one day to the next to surrender its place to what we can envision as the most abstract.”

Yet perhaps his love of blue is less specific and more profound. Klein was a pious Catholic, and in religious art blue often represents eternity and godliness. For instance, Giotto, whom Klein admired, was a brilliant advocate of blue. Klein’s ultramarine monochromes are not overtly Christian, but he certainly used the sensuousness of IKB to suggest spirituality. As he once said, “At first there is nothing, then there is a profound nothingness, after that a blue profundity.”

Certainly, his rich, radiant monochromes share a singular characteristic: they all have a vertiginous quality that seems to suck us out of reality towards another, immaterial dimension. The effect of looking at them is not dissimilar to meditating upon a deep azure sky – something that Klein perhaps intuited as a young man, on that beach in Nice in 1947.



When considering Klein, then, it is important to remember that for all his stunts and attention-grabbing performances he was a sensualist as much as a provocateur – and that this accounts for his fondness for colour. “For Klein, pure colour offered a way of using art not as a means of painting a picture, but as a way of creating a spiritual, almost alchemical experience, beyond time, approaching the immaterial,” explains Kerry Brougher, who curated the major retrospective Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, in 2010.

“Out of all the colours Klein used, ultramarine blue became the most important. Unlike many other colours, which create opaque blockages, ultramarine shimmers and glows, seemingly opening up to immaterial realms. Klein’s blue monochromes are not paintings but experiences, passageways leading to the void.”"
yvesklein  blue  art  history  color  ikb  internationalkleinblue  2014  arthistory 
september 2014
cliqueonomics | savasavasava
"I observe communities. I try to understand what makes communities come together and then cohere, how communities work to include and exclude people, what the parameters of that inclusion and exclusion are, and what effect that might have on people within and without those communities. we can form community around our love of coffee, our emotional response to particular music or tv shows, or our need for cat gifs. we also form communities around social and personal experiences. communities are important places for support, love, and connection. but we know this.

as much as I am sensitive to why communities are formed, I’m also sensitive to who gets left out and why. there are those we should be wary of (like people with malicious intent) but in our zeal to “belong”, we sometimes overlook people we might be keeping out because of things we take for granted.

I found myself thinking about this a little more than usual recently because of a couple of things.

a few days ago, The Digital Ecologies Research Partnership was launched. it has an aptly named website, too: http://derp.institute/. the partnership was formed to allow researchers access to data across the social network platforms Reddit, Twitch, and Imgur, among others. this is a good thing – it will help researchers examine and understand social behavior across platforms in interesting ways. I’ll be following along with interest. and there’s a good group of people involved – I know some of these people and their work, and I look forward to the excellent stuff that will come from this.

when the partnership was announced, I expressed some reservations about the acronym (ambiguously on twitter (which went off in a slightly contentious direction), more in-depth in a DM exchange with a twitter friend involved with the project, and further in-depth vocally over a pint), not because I don’t think it’s clever, but because I worry that it adds to a culture that continues to frame an internet we’d like to believe is democratic as a string of inside jokes.

the word “derp” has meaning and history and can mean different things for different people. and this is all good. but, it’s an inside joke, and one that those who get will giggle at, and those who don’t might have condescendingly explained to. as a twitter friend pointed out, it could also be considered ableist – something I hadn’t even thought of. also, the partnership is an academic endeavor, which is my specialty. and though I love many of them dearly, academics are some of the cliquiest people I know.

there’s also been a recent proliferation of TinyLetter newsletters. to be fair, I subscribe to a couple. I used to subscribe to more but I found myself not reading most of them because of the volume of email I deal with, and there are some I won’t subscribe to because I already get enough of their particular brand of cleverness on twitter. in some ways, these newsletters seem like a nostalgic adoption of an older form of community communication like listservs or usenet; in other ways, they seem like a way to create a more captive audience now that the popular platforms seem to be on the verge of being drowned out by the noise of mass adoption; and in yet other ways, they seem to be a way to create new forms of community, both inclusive and thus possibly eventually exclusive – almost secretive communities, shying away from the discoverable spotlight of open social media and search engine results. in a time when there is much discussion of issues surrounding paywalls and net neutrality they feel, somewhat ironically, like a new form of walled, hidden information sharing.

I won’t pretend that I’m not privy to some internet in-jokes, and I’m on the periphery of enough cliques to understand some of them or at least recognize when I’m not in on the joke. and I’ve certainly engaged in behavior that puts me on the inside and has made other people aware of how they aren’t part of whatever little internet circlejoke that I’m a part of. but both these examples have made me more aware of how important inclusivity and exclusivity are in communities, and my role in participating in and contributing to one or the other or both. communities are important – they provide safe spaces for people, emotional and intellectual nurturing, a way for us not to feel like we are alone. but we seem to be creating “clique economies” – exclusive clubs for the special few, the practice of which I will call cliqueonomics.

we’re forgetting how we’re here trying to create a more democratic space. we’re forgetting that we’re trying to make a place that is safe and accessible to all. we’re forgetting how it felt to be on the outside looking in. those of us involved in creating communities need to remember to talk about who we might inadvertently leave out, else one day, we’ll find ourselves left out."
savasahelisingh  twitter  cliques  networks  communities  socialmedia  tinyletter  cliqueonomics  derp  2014  democracy 
september 2014
The Myth of Magical Futures — Kate Losse
"Despite its (now frequently mocked) claims to meritocracy, Silicon Valley loves its hierarchies. However, because these hierarchies often look somewhat different than old-time corporate ones, they are often opaque to outsiders looking in. My book The Boy Kings is among other things a diagram of hierarchy as it was architected at Facebook in Facebook’s early years, where the closer one was to a Mark-Zuckerberg-when-he-started-Facebook combination of age, race, and gender qualities the higher one was in the hierarchy (a hierarchy that appears not to have changed much given the industry's recently released diversity data). In the past year tech's particular version of hierarchy has been more widely acknowledged and critiqued, and thus we are now in the situation where people as powerful as Peter Thiel are being asked to comment on tech’s diversity and misogyny problems, as in yesterday’s Reddit Ask Me Anything interview with Thiel.

Peter Thiel’s answer to misogyny in tech was that we need more women founders, and this answer struck me as interesting on a number of levels, and also somewhat opaque to someone looking into this world from outside. Why women founders? On the one hand, the possibility that a woman founder would construct the hierarchy at her company differently than Mark Zuckerberg is compelling. On the other, the idea of women founders as a solution to tech misogyny also makes existing male founders and investors unaccountable for misogyny as it exists today. Thiel is saying that he and his funded companies are not responsible for the misogynist environments they themselves have built, and furthermore, that they can’t fix them-- only a woman founder can.

This is a problem, because the misogynist hierarchies that exist in tech today are not mystical outcomes, but very real products of the values of the people involved at the formation of a company, which are investors and founders. Investors and board members in addition to founders influence everything from how much equity goes to individual employees, to perks and play budgets (which often are not evenly distributed across the company), to the construction of departments, their relative importance, and the resources accordingly allocated to them. And not coincidentally the privileged departments, on this model, tend to be those occupied by people who look most like the founder and investors (at Facebook this was product engineering, which dominated other forms of engineering, which dominated non-engineering departments, which tended to have the largest degree of race and gender diversity).

But when Thiel is arguing for more women founders he isn’t just deflecting responsibility from himself and his fellow investors. He is also doing something else that I want to unpack: he is re-inscribing a form of hierarchical thinking that is part of the reason tech is such a mess regarding diversity. That is, when Thiel points to “more women founders” as a solution, he is asking women to become founders in order to possess a status that would allow Thiel to acknowledge women in tech at all. That is, all of the women who are currently working in tech, up and down the employee stack, many at companies that Thiel may be invested in, do not seem in Thiel’s formulation to really exist to him. They do not have a seat at the table. They are not acknowledged as agents of change, or as subjects of discrimination (for example, in the AMA, Thiel cited the Bay Area “housing crisis” as a worse problem than sexism in tech, not knowing that the housing crisis disproportionately affects women and people of color because of the wage discrimination marginalized people face at work).

That is, according to Thiel’s “women founders” logic, he can only imagine women as agents/subjects if they are the founder of a company. And this, in the end, is exactly why and how tech is such a diversity disaster: because there are so many ways powerful people in the industry have of ignoring that marginalized people are working at their companies and are experiencing multiple forms of discrimination right now. This is why many powerful people in tech can only conceive moves to “change” the industry in terms of magical futures like “more women founders” or “getting young girls to code”. The women working in the industry right now are being written off in favor of these magical futures, and as long as this is the case, the now of tech (whether the now is today or twenty years from today) will be unchanged.

This is why you should be skeptical whenever you see powerful men arguing for magical future outcomes in regard to diversity. Instead, ask what they can do right now to affect discrimination in their companies. For example, what are they doing to rectify across the board pay and equity discrepancies between men and women, or white men and people of color? What do their harassment policies look like? Investors like Peter Thiel directly influence these decisions at startups they fund (even if “influence” means “failing to advise founders to avoid discriminatory practices”, which is a form of influence). So when men like Thiel speak of magical futures, we should always be asking them: what are you doing today?"
katelosse  siliconvalley  sexism  internet  culture  business  women  technosolutionism  peterthiel  gender  californianideology  meritocracy  facebook  markzuckerberg  vc  venturecapital  technology  libertarianism 
september 2014
Hustle and Flow: Here's Who Really Controls California's Water | Mother Jones
"The Golden State's historic drought has made these water power brokers more powerful than ever."
water  california  power  control  2014 
september 2014
Pics or It Didn't Happen: The New Crisis of Connected Cameras - The Atlantic
"Networked lenses have, in short, marvelous potential. But cameras that are everywhere and connected to everything else have graver consequences, too—consequences we’re just beginning to suss out.

And I think it’s this, the import and ethics of networked lenses, that we’re wrestling with in story after story. Networked images are simply different than the products of film cameras. They’re easier to edit and slipperier to steal. Networked pictures get away from you, via black hat Torrenting, social media drag-and-dropping, or illicit iCloud downloading.

And even if not every lens in every story is truly networked, we’re still talking about the same technological advances. The smartphone camera is part of a global proliferation of photography, generally. The cheap sensor in your flip phone and the cheap sensor in your surveillance camera are, if not twins, then cousins.

Networked lenses require further serious thinking, but here are some questions that to me seem particularly unresolved. We only have the beginning of provisional propositions here, and analogies that we’re struggling to extend and apply, but here are some key questions.

What should you watch? This summer alone, it hasn’t been hard to find digital images or video of Ray Rice punching Janay Palmer unconscious; of masked ISIS militants executing not only James Foley but also Steven Sotloff; of St. Louis Police shooting and killing mentally ill Kajieme Powell; of Michael Brown’s lifeless body; and of the bodies of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 victims.

In each of those cases, I have seen exhortations not to watch the video, not to look at the images.

Sometimes these appeals are argued from a place of respect. “The intent of the ISIS video is to strip James Foley of his humanity, to turn him into a symbol,” writes Margaret Eby. “We can pay tribute to him best by refusing to participate in the twisted one-act play, this allegory that his killers have scripted for us.”

Sometimes this respect becomes a call for consent: Did Jamay Palmer permit the video of her abuse to become public? If not (and it sure seems not), then the average viewer shouldn’t see it.

And sometimes these entreaties are paired with an appeal to the viewer’s mental health. Not only should you abstain from watching a video because it’s disrespectful to the victim, but you should also avoid it because it’s bad for you. Watch too many of these—watch even just one—and you will be worn down, made a little less hopeful. Yes, it’s your duty to know about the monstrosities committed by humans, but you risk losing something vibrant in yourself if you watch a document of every new one.

I’ve seen all of these arguments sketched by different readers—but I’ve seen all of them contested, too.

How should the media treat the products of networked lenses? In 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and executed. Film of the murder was uploaded online, but, as Eby writes, that was “before the reign of social media, when images and videos did not automatically embed in your timelines, unbidden.” (The Internet as a whole was just much slower then too, and video content more time-consuming to obtain and download.)

Still, some journalists made the video available. “This is the the single most gruesome, horrible, despicable, and horrifying thing I've ever seen,” wrote Stephen Mindich, the publisher of alt-weekly the Boston Phoenix, before he linked to the video.

This year, New York tabloids placed images from the beginning of the Foley video on their front-cover. Even The New York Times embedded a still. Should they have? Just yesterday, The Intercept’s Peter Maass argued that he thought more Americans should watch the execution videos in their entirety.

And this goes beyond snuff films, too: Should the media show images of Michael Brown’s body? Should it screen-cap Ray Rice punching Janay Palmer? Should it embed Instagrams of Flight 17 victims?

If not, should it give readers a way to access these videos? Or are we unwise to ask these questions: Perhaps films like these should always be handled case-by-case. Yesterday, a roommate of mine said he thought images from the Foley video should be shown, but not any that depicted the murder weapon.

What do the product of networked lenses do, once you add them to a situation? We know something about the violence the American press should and shouldn't depict—there have long been rules, however loose, about those sorts of things. But we know less about how to handle and assess the consequences of showing, or not showing, those images when they’re available elsewhere. Are we preparing to bomb ISIS because of the horror of the images of the Foley and Sotloff murders? Should the press account for that somehow?

Or return again to the NFL’s suspension of Ray Rice. Though it was public knowledge that Rice knocked his girlfriend unconscious, he was only suspended two games for it. But he received an indefinite suspension once TMZ released video of the incident. Why is that—because everyone could see his violence now? Because the assault was shown to be as bad as it was?

What may different kinds of people do with a networked lens? What should they do? I’m thinking of two different events here, both since July.

The first: Black protesters in Ferguson were barred by cops of taking pictures of arrests. The First Amendment protects citizens’ right to film cops.

The second: Recent security breaches have allowed users to steal photos from various female celebrities, a tranche which included nude pictures they had taken of themselves. On Twitter, New York Times columnist Nick Bilton tossed off:

"Put together a list of tips for celebs after latest leaks: 1. Don't take nude selfies 2. Don't take nude selfies 3. Don't take nude selfies"

— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) September 1, 2014

This struck me (and many others) as almost victim-blaming: Shouldn’t the real injunction be, don’t steal other people’s property and don’t sexually harass anyone? Who are we to tell women what they can or cannot do with their phones and networked cameras?

Yet with the state of online security as dismal as it is, maybe Bilton’s tweet constitutes good advice. We shouldn’t bar anyone from doing anything with their camera, but until we improve cultural consideration of and respect for women, maybe we can say, affirmatively but respectfully, that taking nude selfies constitutes a certain kind of potentially worthwhile risk.

What underlies both of these incidents might be obvious: Existing oppressions, whether misogyny, racism, or otherwise, practically limits how networked lens can be used. Yet this must inform how we consider the products and circumstances of any Internet-connected camera.

And above all these questions, there’s an ultimate one: What happens when you change a camera into a networked lens?

And: What happens when you add a networked lens to a situation?

Who gains power: the people holding the camera or the people being filmed? (Some argue that cop bodycams would in fact empower the police. After all, who has time to review all that footage?) Whose behavior changes, and how much? What can we expect will happen to the images that result? (Will they disappear into a database forever? If so, what can be done to them there? How will that affect us?)

We don’t know the answer to these twinned questions—but we’re learning a little more every day.

This is not all to say every issue today is a networked lens issue. NSA surveillance as a whole isn’t, I think. But the agency’s mass-facial recognition is. Labor on the whole isn’t, but workplace surveillance is. Urban planning isn’t, but public security cameras deployed en masse are. Scope this all the way up and you have Google Earth.

At the close of his piece, Mod quotes Sontag: “While there appears to be nothing that photography can’t devour, whatever can’t be photographed becomes less important.” Mod spins that, riffing, “Whatever can’t be networked becomes less important.” And whatever is networked can send us to war."
2014  robinsonmeyer  cameras  mobile  phones  photography  web  internet  culture  networkedculture  craigmod  behavior  ethics 
september 2014
Cheat Sheet for a Non (or Less) Colonialist Speculative Design — Medium
"Earlier this year Luiza and I published a text here on Medium where we, apparently, said a few things that resonated quite well among design practitioners and researchers alike. In that text, we pointed out a general disregard for issues of race, class and gender privilege within Speculative and Critical Design projects and publications. For us, it was a serious problem we felt the need to call out.

Naturally, a good number of other design practitioners and researchers claimed we were exaggerating, being unfair or “augmenting” the facts so as to fit our own purposes, whatever they were. However, questions very similar to ours were raised by others during this year’s Design Research Society Conference in Umeå, Sweden, and we were also invited to speak about our positions in July at the Open Design Conference in Barcelona, Spain. In the meantime, other essays that echoed our concerns showed up, mostly from other designers that were actually catalysts of the discussion that originated our text in the first place. All in all, there is an elephant in the room that demands some attention, and these texts elaborate and expand considerably what our own writing left off.

Still, those texts and the subsequent reactions to them only showed us what we expected: (1) these are issues that are still in need to be acknowledged and dealt with as serious concerns and (2) what we initially set off to challenge lies well beyond “representation” or the danger of tropes and tokenism – unlike most of the criticism we received seem to think. Notwithstanding, SCD projects and publications are still letting plenty of “narrow assumptions” sneak in, and they will only continue to reinforce the status quo of colonialism and imperialism rather than effectively challenging it.

To try to make things a bit easier, we developed this very simple and straightforward “Cheat Sheet” you, Speculative and/or Critical Designer, should consult when developing new projects. This is (very) loosely based on Sandrine Micossé-Aikins’ “7 Things You Can do To Make Your Art Less Racist” – which is a strongly recommended read for before and after you get through this cheat sheet of ours – as well as María del Carmen Lamadrid’s “Social Design Toolkit”, also a mandatory read. Ready?

Cheat-Sheet for a Non (or Less) Colonialist Speculative Design

1. Acknowledge the Truth. This one we’ll borrow straight from Sandrine. If you were born in Europe, there is a good chance your country had (or has) colonies and gave (or gives) them a very, very bad time. It is not your fault, and no, #NotAllEuropeans are like that. We also know that the USA, though a former British colony on its own, has given itself the task to treat other parts of the world as if its own backyard, something we call imperialism. Indeed we all know this, but so should you – it is a fact you cannot and will not change. So acknowledge that part of your privilege comes from the very fact that your society has built – and still builds – its wealth upon the disaster of others.

2. Check Your Facts: ask yourself “does my dystopia happen already in other ‘invisible’ (sic) places of the World?” It is good to know if what would be terrible for you and your audience isn’t already reality for others. Before asking “what if…?” ask “is there…?” Particularly if you consider how colonialism helped shape the power inequalities and uneven economic relations we currently live in.
(Tip: Wikipedia is a good starting point, but be creative and don’t stop there.)

3. “Am I developing more ‘civilised’, ‘highbrow’ or ‘educated’ solutions for ‘endangered’ places in the world?” It might be that you already know the answer to this, but double-check it. Constantly challenge your design decisions and see if they do not reflect narrow-minded views of how aesthetics could or should be. Minimalism and clinical asepsis are not the only aesthetically pleasant values of design.

4. “Is my scenario/story/object somewhere else’s local aspect/culture, appropriated as to fit my own?” If yes, please refer to point 2 and check if your culture/country did not already do that a few years ago by the use of violence and other less friendly means.
(Tip: start from the basics of Cultural Appropriation. Yes, it is a very controversial topic and there is no consensus about it. Yes, you have to read it anyway.)

5. “Does my dystopian scenario contain the following:”
a) Slaves or any depiction of middle-class (white) people suddenly turned into slaves;
b) People of Color in the role of Robots, Subaltern or others in general;
c) Objects coming from places that are or were colonies, whose aesthetics look invariably “recycled” or “kitsch”.

6. Is my research biased by my own privileged views of how society could or should be? Or in other terms, “am I b(i)asing my research exclusively on authors and references that come exclusively from colonialist countries?” This is very important, because as Raewyn Connell explains in her Southern Theory (2007), much of the so-called “canons” of social sciences come from northern, metropolitan authors whose work inquiries the “primitiveness” of the colonies.

7. “Does my textual production contain any of the following words:”
a) “global” for economic models;
b) “neutral” for cultural models;
c) “universal” for theoretical models;

8. In case you succeed on all of the above and will most definitely go on portraying your dystopia, the final question is: “have I consulted myself with other people, designers or not, from other places of the world to check if this is not a #firstworldproblem?”

We strongly believe that following these simple steps may positively contribute to not only Speculative and Critical Design projects becoming more powerful in their line of questioning, but also avoiding the mishaps it sets itself up so boldly to criticise.

To be once again very clear, we are also not advocating that every single SCD Project should talk about, tackle or depict issues of colonialism and imperialism. Rather, we say “know where you come from and know where your privileges are.” If “all design is ideological”, as Dunne says, do take that statement seriously.

Giving yourself the task to stop navel-gazing and to always second-guess your own decisions is not a shame. It is for the better, trust us."

[See also: https://medium.com/@luizaprado/questioning-the-critical-in-speculative-critical-design-5a355cac2ca4 ]
speculativedesign  criticaldesign  luizaprado  pedrooliveira  2014  colonialism  designcolonialism  imperialism  dunne&raby  designfiction  speculativefiction  fionaraby 
september 2014
Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations - The Atlantic
"Kids today with their selfies and their Snapchats and their love of literature.

Millennials, like each generation that was young before them, tend to attract all kinds of ire from their elders for being superficial, self-obsessed, anti-intellectuals. But a study out today from the Pew Research Center offers some vindication for the younger set. Millennials are reading more books than the over-30 crowd, Pew found in a survey of more than 6,000 Americans.

Some 88 percent of Americans younger than 30 said they read a book in the past year compared with 79 percent of those older than 30. At the same time, American readers' relationship with public libraries is changing—with younger readers less likely to see public libraries as essential in their communities.

Overall, Americans are buying more books than they borrow, the study found. Among those who read at least one book in the past year, more than half said they tend to purchase books rather than borrow them. Fewer Americans are visiting libraries than in recent years, but more Americans are using library websites.

This is significant given what people say they value most about libraries—it's the place, not the books available there, that young people cite as most important.

Not surprisingly, high school and college-aged people reported reading more than survey respondents in their late twenties. From the report: "Deeper connections with public libraries are also often associated with key life moments such as having a child, seeking a job, being a student, and going through a situation in which research and data can help inform a decision."

Beyond age, Pew found that women, Hispanics, African Americans, and adults with lower incomes and lower levels of educational attainment were all more likely than other groups to call library services "very important."

Another key finding from the study: People under 30—those who use Internet-connected technologies the most—were also more likely than older adults to say that there is "a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the internet."

In other words, the demographic that gets criticized for relying on the Internet most was also the most likely to acknowledge its limitations."
adriennelafrance  2014  libraries  internet  reading  literacy  us  books  howweread  online  web 
september 2014
Naomi Klein: the hypocrisy behind the big business climate change battle | Environment | The Guardian
"Richard Branson has pledged $3bn to fight climate change, and delivered just $230m. Naomi Klein looks at the 'greenwashing' of big business and its effects – on the planet, and our own bodies"



"A great many of us engage in this kind of denial. We look for a split second and then we look away. Or maybe we do really look, but then we forget. We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons. We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this crisis will change everything.

And we are right. If we continue on our current path of allowing emissions to rise year after year, major cities will drown, ancient cultures will be swallowed by the seas; our children will spend much of their lives fleeing and recovering from vicious storms and extreme droughts. Yet we continue all the same.

What is wrong with us? I think the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe: we have not done the things needed to cut emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have struggled to find a way out of this crisis. We are stuck, because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe – and benefit the vast majority – are threatening to an elite minority with a stranglehold over our economy, political process and media.

That problem might not have been insurmountable had it presented itself at another point in our history. But it is our collective misfortune that governments and scientists began talking seriously about radical cuts to greenhouse gas emissions in 1988 – the exact year that marked the dawning of "globalisation". The numbers are striking: in the 1990s, as the market integration project ramped up, global emissions were going up an average of 1% a year; by the 2000s, with "emerging markets" such as China fully integrated into the world economy, emissions growth had sped up disastrously, reaching 3.4% a year.

That rapid growth rate has continued, interrupted only briefly, in 2009, by the world financial crisis. What the climate needs now is a contraction in humanity's use of resources; what our economic model demands is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it's not the laws of nature."
naomiklein  greenwashing  capitalism  business  environment  2014  nature  economics 
september 2014
Extinction Symbol
"The symbol above represents extinction. The circle signifies the planet, while the hourglass inside serves as a warning that time is rapidly running out for many species. The world is currently undergoing a mass extinction event, and this symbol is intended to help raise awareness of the urgent need for change in order to address this crisis. Estimates are that somewhere between 30,000 and 140,000  species are becoming extinct every year in what scientists have named the Holocene, or Sixth Mass Extinction. This ongoing process of destruction is being caused by the impact of human activity. Within the next few decades approximately 50% of all species that now exist will have become extinct. Such a catastrophic loss of biodiversity is highly likely to cause widespread ecosystem collapse and consequently render the planet uninhabitable for humans.

In order to spread the message as widely as possible, please create this symbol in any location you feel able to. Thank you."
symbols  extinction  via:warrenellis  massextinction 
september 2014
The 'Sunny' side of Taiyo Matsumoto | The Japan Times
"Matsumoto works at what’s considered a steady clip, and says he always starts with the artwork before the story. His settings and many of his establishment shots in “Sunny” appear to be single thoughts, and stories often build into the background through secondary dialogue. He works for the most part without assistants, though his wife, the artist and manga illustrator Saho Tono, helps in prepping and coloring while occasionally giving editorial guidance.

“She helps me a lot — with my erasing, coloring,” he explains. “She reads first drafts and tells me if something is boring.”

Tono’s choice of abstract tones complement Matsumoto’s graphic illustration, but when asked if he assists her work, too, he jokingly dismisses the idea: “Absolutely not. I wouldn’t dare.” At this, Michael Arias joins in the conversation with “Yeah, but her work is so much more far out, too.”

Whether her work is “far out” or not, as a confidant, Tono’s advice regarding protecting Matsumoto’s privacy through editorial strategy has been sound.

“My wife actually suggested that I don’t bring up the fact that ‘Sunny’ is based on my childhood,” Matsumoto says. “She thought I should take the story to my editor and only bring up the back story if it felt necessary.”

The couple also discussed whether he should mention the personal nature of the work in interviews, and he admits to being uncomfortable with calling his work a “biography,” referring instead to the Japanese generic conceit of literary “I-Novels,” or confessional fiction. This, he quickly adds, wasn’t because he was fazed by a memoirist’s responsibility to the facts.

“I knew each character was based on someone, but I couldn’t attribute anyone’s behavior (to anyone specific),” he claims. “And I couldn’t avoid making them all me.”

But at least one old acquaintance of Matsumoto has recognized his illustrations of characters in “Sunny.”

“I got a letter from someone I knew from the orphanage who I hadn’t heard from in 30 years,” he says. “He recognized the people I had drawn and even called it out. ‘That’s so-and-so and that’s such-and-such, no?’ And he was right.”"
taiyomatsumoto  manga  comics  2013  sahotono  michaelarias  sunny 
september 2014
Interview: Taiyo Matsumoto - Time Out Tokyo
"Were there any artists in particular who really grabbed you?

There was Miguelanxo Prado, a Spanish writer, Enki Bilal and Moebius, who passed away last year – they all had a huge influence on me. I can't read French, so I was only looking at the pictures, but it was a style of drawing I hadn't seen before.

What are the main points of difference between European comics and Japanese manga?

It's hard to say for sure since I can't actually read them, but I felt like they didn't really have any rhythm. I thought there was a lot of text crammed into all the speech bubbles. It's changed a bit since then – there are writers who don't use much dialogue, or who choose to work in black and white instead. Around 25 years ago, all the bande déssinée writers were working in colour, and it was like they didn't waste a single panel. In Japanese manga, lots of panels are just for setting the scene, without any dialogue, but you don't see that very much in bandes déssinées. I've read some of it in translation, and you can't skip over anything, which I think can be a challenge for Japanese readers. You might say the balance is different.

Could you get bandes déssinées in Japan at the time?

I don't think they were available. You had to go abroad if you wanted to get them. Even now, I don't think most people know what ‘bandes dessinées’ are. You hear ‘amekome’ (American comics) much more often.

Were there any manga writers in Japan at the time who were influenced by European comics?
I'm not entirely sure, but Katushiro Otomo and Kamui Fujiwara were probably influenced – maybe Hisashi Eguchi too. I honestly haven't talked with them about bandes dessinées before, but I think that's true."
taiyomatsumoto  2013  interviews  katsuhirootomo  manga  comics  osamutezuka  michaelarias 
september 2014
The Product » Manifesto.
"Manifesto.

We Love People
We *only* design for people. We believe that people are interesting, capable and intelligent. We also believe that they are complicated, rational, and emotional beings. We think that anticipation and fascination is the key to creating challenging and interesting situations.

Zeitgeist
When we do what we do, we are well aware of the fact, that all we do is deeply embedded into some kind of context. This context often is called zeitgeist. We like the notion of zeitgeist. We also like to believe, that we are aware of zeitgeist and are capable of drawing from its creative power.

Networks
We never work alone. The projects we do almost always involve a wide range of expertise. We don’t know everything. If we feel that we need support for certain aspects of a project we sure know someone in our network who backs us up.

Fascination and Anticipation
A reoccurring theme in our work is the concept of fascination. We believe that creating fascination is key to a successful piece of work. People who are fascinated about something develop curiosity and are willing to invest time, thought and passion. Another theme is anticipation. Only when people believe that they can anticipate the outcome of an action, they are willing to get involved; no matter if their anticipation is meet or challenged.

Comprehensible versus Admirable
Making someone understand is a beautiful goal. We are proud to think of ourselves as designers who are able to use a variety of materials, technologies and disciplines to make people understand. There is a flipside to understanding though; it can be disenchanting too. It is like finding out that David Copperfield slowly rotates a room to create the illusion that the statue of liberty has been removed from the face of new york. We believe that it is vital to keep a subtle balance between the comprehensible and the incomprehensible. A grain of incomprehensibility leaves room for admiration.

Function versus Emotion
We believe that we have grown beyond the idea that the quality of design can be measured by its functional value. We certainly value functional designs but we are aware of the fact that a piece of work can be quite spectacular yet dysfunctional. Sometimes we even value the dysfunctional more than the functional aspects as they are often the source of poetic situations, empathy and emotion. Take for example cats and dogs. Research has shown that cats are perceived as being more intelligent than dogs, because they frequently disobey orders; an obviously dysfunctional behavior. We like to play with both. By the way are you a dog- or cat-person?"
via:ablerism  manifestos  design  humanism  fascination  anticipation  function  emotion  admiration  comprehension  networks  zeitgeist 
september 2014
Ello | dymaxion - Creatures of the Network
"In the interests of thinking in public, this is the talk I submitted yesterday to CCC (well, the interesting one -- there's also one on threat modeling for organizations, which should be a good, functional talk, but it's pushing few intellectual boundaries for me). I'm not sure if I know how to give it yet, but I think I can get there between now and then, which is exactly where I want to be:

Creatures of the Network

Our tools change us in fundamental ways. When we learned to cook food, our brains grew in size and made us the humans we are now. As we organized into more complex social groups and now as we've built tools that can act on our behalf, we have been and will continue to be changed by these tools. In the meantime, we live in a world that we haven't completely caught up with. There are four big fractures between our bodies and our lives right now: trust, agency, tempo, and scale.

Each one of these fractures causes a host of problems, touching everything from security failure modes in our global network to the damage venture capital is doing to the future of humanity. Solving these problems means building prostheses for our brains while we wait for our bodies to catch up. In this talk, I'll share some of the prostheses we've found.

We are at a juncture in the story of humanity. The decisions we make and the systems we build in the next twenty years will determine not just whether we live free from the boot of repressive dictatorships, but whether we live at all. The way out lies through hope, empathy, and learning to think like our systems -- through becoming creatures of the network."
eleanorsaitta  future  futures  humanity  2014  tools  society  systems  systemsthinking  systemsbuilding  networks  learning  empathy  hope  agency  trust  tempo  scale 
september 2014
'No aceptaría el Nobel de la Paz en este mundo loco' | Internacional | EL MUNDO
"Fiel a sí mismo, José Mujica ha cambiado las comodidades del palacio presidencial por una chacra a las afueras de Montevideo. EL MUNDO ha viajado hasta esta pequeña finca para entrevistar al presidente de Uruguay, el hombre que ha logrado que su país pueda presumir de ser el menos corrupto de la región."
josémujica  uruguay  2014  interviews  leadership  politics 
september 2014
A Not-So-Simple Majority | This American Life
"We take it for granted that the majority calls the shots. But in one NY school district, that idea — majority rules — has led to an all-out war. School board disputes are pretty common, but not like this one. This involves multimillion-dollar land deals, lawyers threatening to beat up parents, felony criminal charges, and the highest levels of state government. Meanwhile, the students are caught in the middle."
politics  schools  2014  thisamericanlife  publischools  money  government  governance 
september 2014
9/15-9/28 Unit 1: Why We Need a Why | Connected Courses
"Title: The End of Higher Education

Description: As shrinking budgets, skeptical publics, and rising alternatives continue to threaten the end of higher education, we host this conversation as a contemplation of what the end – or purpose – of higher education should be. We will also reflect on how individual teachers might find their own core reason for teaching a specific class, and ways to build buy-in to that reason among students."

[Direct link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFcjrwaJV0E ]

"Why We Need a Why:

As we design our courses, we have to address three questions:

What is to be taught/learned?

How should it be learned?

Why should it be learned?

We usually start by addressing the “What” question first. We have a course title or subject area and we begin populating our syllabus with the “whats” to be learned. Or, we peruse textbooks looking for the text that we think best covers the field. If we have time, we address the “How” question by considering how we can best teach the material. We sharpen our teaching technique, seek out better examples for the more difficult concepts, compile photos and videos to improve our presentations, and seek other ways to get the students engaged with the material. We may jump to incorporate the latest tools and techniques, whether it is social or interactive media or a new technique like a flipped classroom. Our syllabus, teaching materials, and educational technology in order, we rush into the semester, rarely asking, “Why?”

Starting with “Why” changes everything. When I, Mike Wesch, first started contemplating the “why” of my digital ethnography course, I realized that what I was really hoping to do was to teach my students “critical thinking.” I place “critical thinking” in quotes here because I had not yet given a great deal of thought about what I meant by the term, but I did immediately recognize that my previous “how” was completely inadequate to the task. I had spent most of my time thinking up elaborate and memorable performances (like the “shake your tailfeather” dance featured in this video) so that they would remember the concepts. Their task in my class was to simply memorize the material as performed by the authority (me) at the front of the room. Indeed, all of my teaching to that point had been in service of a very thin, unquestioned, and ultimately wrong notion of learning as the simple acquisition of knowledge.

As I contemplated the “real why” of my course further, I soon recognized that anthropology was not a bunch of content and bold faced terms that can be highlighted in a text book, but was instead a way of looking at the world. Actually, that is not quite right. It is not just a way of looking at the world. It is a way of being in the world. To underscore the difference, consider that it is one thing to be able to give a definition of cultural relativism (perhaps the most bold-faced of bold-faced terms in anthropology which means “cultural norms and values derive their meaning within a specific social context”) or even to apply it to some specific phenomenon, but it is quite another to fully incorporate that understanding and recognize yourself as a culturally and temporally bounded entity mired in cultural biases and taken-for-granted assumptions that you can only attempt to transcend.

To adopt such an understanding is often transformative and psychologically disruptive. It is not to be taken lightly, and no student will dare take on such disruption if it is not clear that there is a good reason to do so. As Neil Postman has noted, you can try to engineer the learning of what-bits (The End of Higher Education, Postman), but “to become a different person because of something you have learned — to appropriate an insight, a concept, a vision, so that your world is altered — is a different matter. For that to happen, you need a reason.” This also means asking hard questions about how new technology and techniques can support real student transformation and not simply reinforce old patterns with new tools."
michaelwesch  cathydavidson  randybass  2014  highered  highereducation  purpose  education  colleges  universities  pedagogy  theywhy  learning  howwelearn  why  howweteach  teaching  crits  studioclassroom  criticism  designthinking  design  critique  constructivecriticism  writing  howwewrite  revision  peerreview  learningcontracts  classconstitutions  student-ledlearning  mooc  moocs  authenticity  tcsnmy  ownership  lcproject  openstudioproject  contracts  cv  classideas  deschooling  unschooling  community  communities  communitiesoflearning  learningcommunities  profiteering  difficulty  economics  engagement 
september 2014
Discover Appmaker
"Appmaker is a free tool for creating personal mobile apps, even if you don't know code! Combine individual bricks to create and share custom mobile apps right in your web browser."

[See also: https://apps.webmaker.org/designer
http://mimiszeto.com/2014/07/31/mobile-app-with-mozilla-appmaker-without-code/ ]
mozilla  appmaker  webapps  edg  srg  mobile  webdev  webdesign 
september 2014
Ditching Twitter | Incisive.nu
"I spent a good piece of my childhood on a farm in Montana, and a thing you learn about on a farm out there is water. There isn’t enough of it, even in the comparatively lush part of the state where I grew up, so when the snowpack starts melting in the mountains, how you handle the meltwater—the runoff—has everything to do with whether the things you’re growing will actually manage to grow. The same rush of silty water that can erode away a freshly planted field will keep that same soil safely and evenly watered if you divert it into the right system of ditches. And if you’re a kid given to messing with makeshift dams and mini hydro-engineering projects, that same freezing torrent is endlessly entertaining, and instructive.

It took me a few weeks of feeling quietly glum about losing Twitter before I remembered that I know a few things about streams, and ditches. And beyond that, that figuring out how to make better use of communication systems is kinda what I’ve been doing for a living for a decade or so.

So I thought more formally about what I want and don’t want, and I worked out some practical ways of diverting and fussing with my various streams to get them to do what I want and need. For me, it looks something like this:

• I want to keep being exposed to interesting links and ideas from people I choose to follow, and I want to keep my own conversations quieter, but not completely private, so that friends of friends can wander in and out and perhaps eventually become friends themselves.

• I want to use the odd little public platform I’ve ended up with to redirect attention to people who, in my estimation, deserve a wider audience.

• I want to reduce the volume of awareness-raising angry tweets I see about issues that already saturate my awareness—things like vulgarity and bias in the software industry, the existence of truly horrible politicians, and the latest squalid online mob attack against women who have the nerve to write or speak in public about something other than Women’s Topics.

• I want to be gentle to my followers’ emotional equilibrium, and I want to avoid attracting followers who like to fight on Twitter or cheer people fighting on Twitter.

• I don’t want to spend another minute of my life responding to or even seeing angry tirades from people who don’t know me and have no interest in the context surrounding whatever tweet of mine that makes them feel mad.

• I need to conserve my own resources more wisely, and channel more of them into less ephemeral mediums.
Most of the things on the above list can’t be obtained simply by changing the list of people I follow, so I put together a more involved plan.

• I’ve moved much of my conversational Twitter activity to an account I think of as “unlisted”—not a locked one, but one that isn’t obviously connected to the rest of my online traces so that I retain soft access control. I now check the mentions on my main account once every couple of days instead of once an hour.

There are other things, too: Work-specific lists that let me look at the streams of my colleagues in journalism without 24–7 exposure to world news. A fat stack of muted keywords designed to block the more corrosively detailed anecdotes in my timeline while letting through the system-level background information and thoughtful commentary. Deleting Twitter apps from my iPad, cutting web-Twitter out entirely, and dropping some accounts from my phone to make sure I’m behaving more intentionally.

Beyond the tools, though, I’m trying to make an emotional shift from exuberant joyful angry frenetic Twitter to something subtler and gentler. When moved to discuss something about which I feel strongly, I’m beginning to default to a longer form first, to reduce the heat of my Twitter conversations and boost the light I work by elsewhere.

I’ll let you know how it goes."

[See also: http://incisive.nu/2014/ditching-twitter/
http://notch.net/2014/09/im-leaving-mojang/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmTUW-owa2w ]
erinkissane  2014  twitter  ditches  flows  flow  celebrity  microcelebrity  infooverload  online  internet  lists  self-preservation 
september 2014
Oregon Story Board
"Oregon Story Board is fueling a new digital storytelling ecosystem in Oregon. Our goal is to increase the economic viability, innovation, impact and stature of companies that fit within this network.

Emerging technologies are radically changing the entertainment, media, and communications industries. These changes are driving opportunity across the digital creation and distribution landscape, which is fueled by a mix of industries that all fit within a digital storytelling ecosystem.

People of Oregon
We believe that Oregon is well positioned to be a hub in this growing ecosystem, based on our collective experience in film & video, animation and visual effects, gaming, digital media, and content creation.

Oregon is home to multiple accelerator programs that focus on the technology cluster, but Oregon Story Board is the only accelerator designed to cultivate job growth and economic vitality within the digital storytelling space."

[Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONV5T-x-s5E ]
storytelling  oregon  networks  2014  technology  incubators 
september 2014
Redesigning The Office — David McKinney
"I think most things around us can be designed to be better for people. Here’s my take on the modern office — a better place to do good work.

It has all the usual office things like Wi-Fi, AC power, and a desk for working. It also has a couch for thinking, and a view and fresh air. And it’s always near the ocean or a place for exploring.

This has been my main office for the last year or so, and it’s my favorite place for intense, focused work. But what about working together with your colleagues? That's easy — just drive over… I love it."



"FAQ

I received a heap of questions after this post. Here are some answers to the most common questions.

How do you get power?

I have two batteries in the van: a 12v “Start” battery which starts the engine, and a 12v “House” battery which runs everything else. The House battery is connected to an inverter which converts 12v DC to 240v AC (I’m in Australia). From there I just plug all of my devices into the inverter, as if it were normal office power.

What about charging?

The Start battery and House battery both get charged whenever the van is running. The start battery is also isolated from the inverter system and House battery, so it’s not possible for the Start battery to get run down accidentally when using normal 240v devices.

How long do the batteries last?

Just running off the House battery I can do a full day’s work with no problems at all. All of the batteries are constantly getting charged up as you drive around, and you can obviously charge your devices and laptop battery while driving as well. Running out of juice hasn’t been an issue so far, except for extended camping trips in which case a quick drive charges everything up again.

What about a window at the back?

I like being super focused when I’m working at the monitor workstation, which is why I didn’t install a window there. If I need a view I sit on the couch with my laptop with both side doors open and work like that.

How much did it cost?

I spent a couple of hundred bucks on hardware supplies (timber, plywood, paint etc). The couch was $300, the inverter was $100, the 4G Wifi Hub was $100.

How does network connectivity work?

I have a Telstra 4G Wi-Fi Hub which is connected to a booster aerial (used for 4wd CD radios). You can see this aerial on the front left of the van. This gives me great network coverage everywhere I need to go."
office  officedesign  via:maxfenton  mobility  nomads  nomadism  mobile  2014  davidmckinney  design  vans 
september 2014
I’m leaving Mojang | notch.net
"I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It’s certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.

A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I’ve had so much fun with work. I wasn’t exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.

I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn’t understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.

As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.

Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them.

I’m aware this goes against a lot of what I’ve said in public. I have no good response to that. I’m also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I’m not. I’m a person, and I’m right there struggling with you.

I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.

It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity."

[Also here: http://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM ]

[See also: http://kottke.org/14/09/this-is-phil-fish
http://incisive.nu/2014/ditching-twitter/ ]
games  gaming  microsoft  minecraft  notch  2014  celebrity  making  work  fun  play  philfish  makers  creativity  business  obligation  internet  web  twitter 
september 2014
An Alphabet of Accessibility Issues – The Pastry Box Project
"This alphabet soup of accessibility is not a collection of personas. These are friends and family I love. Sometimes I’m describing a group. (One can only describe chemo brain so many times.) Some people are more than one letter. (Yay genetic lottery.) Some represent stages people were in 10 years ago and some stages we know they will hit — we just don’t know when.

Robin Christopherson (@usa2day) points out that many of us are only temporarily able-bodied. I’ve seen this to be true. At any given moment, we could be juggling multiple tasks that take an eye or an ear or a finger away. We could be exhausted or sick or stressed. Our need for an accessible web might last a minute, an hour, a day, or the rest of our lives. We never know.

We never know who. We never know when.

We just know that when it’s our turn to be one of the twenty-six, we will want the web to work. So today, we need to make simple, readable, effective content. Today, we make sure all our auditory content has a transcript, or makes sense without one. Today, we need to make our shopping carts and logins and checkouts friendly to everyone. Today, we need to design with one thought to the color blind, one thought to the photosensitive epileptic, and one thought to those who will magnify our screens. Today we need to write semantic HTML and make pages that can be navigated by voice, touch, mouse, keyboard, and stylus.

Tomorrow, it’s a new alphabet."
accessibility  ux  webdesign  webdev  2014  annegibson  abilities  ability  disability  technology  assistivetechnology  disabilities 
september 2014
A Better Tomorrow by Benjamen Walker on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds
"This week we examine the legacy of The Work of Art in the Age of Technological Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin. Media Theorist and Benjamin scholar (and translator) Thomas Levin explains why this essay resonates today and what Benjamin has to tell us about the utopian power of new media. Also Russell Meyer tells us about the Wu-Tang clan's plan to release a sole copy of their new album and why he has turned to Kickstarter so he can buy it and release it to the world. And your host shares an imaginary story about Hitler and Goebbels encountering Benjamin's essay during their final days in the bunker."
walterbenjamin  russellmeyer  benjaminwalker  thomaslevin  2014  newmedia 
september 2014
Mozilla Web Literacy — Andrew Sliwinski has recently joined Mozilla as a...
"Andrew has a background in learning, as well as engineering and design. He thinks digital literacy is a ‘huge and valuable thing’ that has shaped is life. The first thing we discussed was that the Web Literacy Map presupposes that the user sees value in the web / technical domain being described. People in Bangladesh or under-served communities in the US don’t necessarily see this straight away. Job One is getting them to care.

Web Literacy is about empowerment, says Andrew - not trying to turn users into anything other than more empowered versions of themselves. This is tricky, as this empowerment is not something you understand before (or even during) the process. Only afterwards do you realise the power of the skills you now have. Also, contextualisation only happens after the learning has taken place. That’s why learning pathways are interesting - but “as a reflection tool rather than an efficacy tool”. Pledging for a pathway is aspirational and has motivational benefits, but these aren’t necessary to learning itself.

Andrew thinks that the ‘creamy nougat centre’ of the Web Literacy Map is great. The Exploring / Building / Connecting structure works and there’s ‘no giant gaping holes’. However, we should tie it more closely to the Mozilla mission and get people to care about it. Overwhelm them with how amazing the web is. One way of doing this is by teaching problem-solving. Get them to list the things they’re struggling with, and then give them the mental models to help them solve their problems.

Getting over the first hurdle can be difficult, so Andrew explained how at DIY.org they used personas. The skills on the site are aspirational titles - e.g. ‘Rocketeer’ - which draws the user into something that gives them “enough modeling to start momentum.” Andrew did add a disclaimer about research showing that over-specificity of roles is not so motivational.

We need a feedback loop for the Web Literacy Map. How is it being used? How can we make it better? Andrew also thinks we should use personas across Webmaker to represent particular constituencies. We could liaise with particular organisations (e.g. NWP) which would inform the design process and elevate their input in the discussion. They would be experts in a particular use case.

We discussed long-term learning results and how subject matter plays into the way that various approaches either work or don’t. For example, Khan Academy is linear, almost rote-based learning, but that suits the subject matter (Maths). It does efficacy really well. Everyone points to DuoLingo as a the poster child for non-linear learning pathways, but there’s no proof it works really well.

Andrew’s got a theory that “the way to get people to build life-changing, amazing, relevant things is to have fun and be creative”. We should build tools to facilitate that. Yes, we can model endpoints, but ensure the onboarding experience is about whimsy and creating environments where the user is comfortable and feels accepted. It’s only after the fact that they realise they’ve learned stuff.

We should start from ‘this is awesome!’ and then weave the messaging on the web into it. Webmaker as a platform/enabler for cool stuff. What are the parts that we all see at the same time that makes the web special, Andrew asked? He thinks one of these things is the incredibly long tail of content, from which comes incredible diversity. This is the differentiator, making the web different from Facebook or the App Store. We don’t see this from an individual user perspective, though. Although we love looking at network maps, we don’t really get it because we visit the same 20 websites every day.

Part of web literacy is about building ‘cultural empathy’, says Andrew - and showing how it helps on an everyday basis. We should focus on meaning and value first, and then show how skills are a means of getting there. What’s our trajectory for the learner?

Andrew believes that we should approach the Web Literacy Map from a ‘personas’ point of view - perhaps building on the recent UX Personas work. These are very different from the Mobile Webmaker personas that Andrew’s team have put together. We should focus on a compelling user experience from start to finish for users to navigate literacies and to create their own learning pathways. For Andrew, the Web Literacy Map is the glue to hold everything together."
andrewsliwinski  2014  interviews  webliteracy  web  online  problemsolving  learning  fun  projectbasedlearning  webliteracymap  mozilla  personas  motivation  duolingo  howwelearn  modeling  culturalempathy  inclusivity  webmaker  roles  contextualization  khanacademy  rotelearning  linearity  efficacy  dougbelshaw  beginners  making  care  lcproject  openstudioproject  onboarding  experience  userexperience  ux  whimsy  sandboxes  pathways  howweteach  momentum  remixing  enabling  platforms  messiness  diversity  internet  open  openweb  complexity  empowerment  teaching  mentoring  mentorship  canon  facilitation  tcsnmy  frameworks  understanding  context  unschooling  deschooling  education  linear  literacy  multiliteracies  badges  mapping  reflection  retrospect  inclusion  pbl  remixculture  rote  inlcusivity 
september 2014
ALONE... on the App Store on iTunes
"ALONE is a handcrafted, intense survival journey through space. Navigate caves, rip through rocky debris, dodge rocks and comets and test your endurance as you pursue ever higher scores in this ultra fast, procedural runner."
games  videogames  gaming  ios  applciations  via:tealtan  edg  iphone 
september 2014
Part of the club : Columbia Journalism Review
"Voice of San Diego’s membership model has once again earned the organization a place in the national spotlight. If the model succeeds in San Diego, can it succeed elsewhere?"
voiceofsandiego  2014  journalism  nonprofit  sandiego  news  nonprofits 
september 2014
Ello | budnitz
"This is what made me want to become a photographer when I was 17, and led me to quit a physics degree for fine arts.

Seeing the world without seeing the world, revealing shape and meaning that is distinct from assumed shape and meaning. I've always been attracted to looking very closely at things, to try to find out what is really going on beneath what we assume is real.

The older I get, and the closer I look, the more it appears that nothing in the world has independent substance of its own.

Beneath the surface of forms, if you really very diligently and very hard, there's nothing there."
seeing  paulbunditz  photography  2014  art  meaning  meaningmaking  looking  noticing  substance  nothingness  nothing 
september 2014
When Scientists Give Up : Shots - Health News : NPR
"But it was not a surefire idea. Like a lot of science, it might not have worked at all. Glomski never found out. His repeated grant applications to the National Institutes of Health never made the cut. Funding is so competitive that reviewers shy away from ideas that might not pan out.

"You actually have to be much more conservative these days than you used to," Glomski says, "and being that conservative I think ultimately hurts the scientific enterprise." Society, he says, is "losing out on the cutting-edge research that really is what pushes science forward."

Historically, payoffs in science come from out of the blue — oddball ideas or unexpected byways. Glomski says that's what research was like for him as he was getting his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. His lab leader there got funding to probe the frontiers. But Glomski sees that farsighted approach disappearing today.

"That ultimately squashed my passion for what I was doing," he says. So two years ago, at the age of 41, he quit.

Instead of helping society improve its defenses against deadly anthrax, he's starting a liquor distillery, Vitae Spirits. He's actually excited about that. It's a big challenge, and it allows him to pursue an idea with passion, rather than with resignation.

Meanwhile, Randen Patterson is not passionate about his post-science career as a grocery store proprietor. He recently bought the Corner Store in the tiny town of Guinda, Calif.

Patterson, 43, once worked for Dr. Solomon Snyder at Johns Hopkins University in one of the top neuroscience laboratories in the world. His research is published in some of the most prestigious journals.

And Patterson got there against the odds. He was raised in a trailer park in Pennsylvania by a single parent, he says, and stumbled into science quite by accident. Mentors realized his potential and encouraged him to make a career of it.

He landed a tenure-track assistant professorship at Penn State University, and then moved on to a similar job at University of California, Davis (a 45-minute drive from his new "hometown" of Guinda).

But Patterson struggled his entire career to get grants to fund his research, which uses computer simulations to probe the complex chemistry that goes on inside living cells. And he chose an arcane corner of this field to focus his intellectual energy.

"When I was a very young scientist, I told myself I would only work on the hardest questions because those were the ones that were worth working on," he says. "And it has been to my advantage and my detriment."

Over the years, he has written a blizzard of grant proposals, but he couldn't convince his peers that his edgy ideas were worth taking a risk on. So, as the last of his funding dried up, he quit his academic job.

"I shouldn't be a grocer right now," he says with a note of anger in his voice. "I should be training students. I should be doing deeper research. And I can't. I don't have an outlet for it."

When the writing was on the wall a few years ago, Patterson says he bought his own souped-up computer so he could continue dabbling in research on the side. But those ideas aren't adding to the world's body of knowledge about biology.

"The country has invested, in me alone, $5 million or $6 million, easily," Patterson says, thinking back on the funding he received for his education and his research. And he's just one of many feeling the brunt of the funding crunch.

There are no national statistics about how many people are giving up on academic science, but an NPR analysis of NIH data found that 3,400 scientists lost their sustaining grants between 2012 and 2013. Some will eventually get new funding, others will retire; but others, like Glomski and Patterson, will just give up.

"We're taking all this money as a country we've invested ... and we're saying we don't care about it," Patterson says.

He watches with some trepidation as his daughter, a fresh college graduate, hopes to launch her own career in science.

The funding squeeze could persist for his daughter's generation as well. So Patterson is hoping she will settle on a field other than biomedical research — one where money isn't quite so tight."

[via: https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/509993455913680896 ]
academia  research  funding  2014  conservatism  risk  risktaking  certainty  uncertainty  competition  us  highered  highereducation 
september 2014
Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today - The Washington Post
"A perfect stranger pours her heart out to me over the phone. She complains that her 6-year-old son is unable to sit still in the classroom. The school wants to test him for ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder). This sounds familiar, I think to myself. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’ve noticed that this is a fairly common problem today.

The mother goes on to explain how her son comes home every day with a yellow smiley face. The rest of his class goes home with green smiley faces for good behavior. Every day this child is reminded that his behavior is unacceptable, simply because he can’t sit still for long periods of time.

The mother starts crying. “He is starting to say things like, ‘I hate myself’ and ‘I’m no good at anything.’” This young boy’s self-esteem is plummeting all because he needs to move more often.

Over the past decade, more and more children are being coded as having attention issues and possibly ADHD. A local elementary teacher tells me that at least eight of her twenty-two students have trouble paying attention on a good day. At the same time, children are expected to sit for longer periods of time. In fact, even kindergarteners are being asked to sit for thirty minutes during circle time at some schools.

The problem: children are constantly in an upright position these days. It is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, and spinning in circles just for fun. Merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters are a thing of the past. Recess times have shortened due to increasing educational demands, and children rarely play outdoors due to parental fears, liability issues, and the hectic schedules of modern-day society. Lets face it: Children are not nearly moving enough, and it is really starting to become a problem.

I recently observed a fifth grade classroom as a favor to a teacher. I quietly went in and took a seat towards the back of the classroom. The teacher was reading a book to the children and it was towards the end of the day. I’ve never seen anything like it. Kids were tilting back their chairs back at extreme angles, others were rocking their bodies back and forth, a few were chewing on the ends of their pencils, and one child was hitting a water bottle against her forehead in a rhythmic pattern.

This was not a special-needs classroom, but a typical classroom at a popular art-integrated charter school. My first thought was that the children might have been fidgeting because it was the end of the day and they were simply tired. Even though this may have been part of the problem, there was certainly another underlying reason.

We quickly learned after further testing, that most of the children in the classroom had poor core strength and balance. In fact, we tested a few other classrooms and found that when compared to children from the early 1980s, only one out of twelve children had normal strength and balance. Only one! Oh my goodness, I thought to myself. These children need to move!"

Ironically, many children are walking around with an underdeveloped vestibular (balance) system today–due to restricted movement. In order to develop a strong balance system, children need to move their body in all directions, for hours at a time. Just like with exercising, they need to do this more than just once-a-week in order to reap the benefits. Therefore, having soccer practice once or twice a week is likely not enough movement for the child to develop a strong sensory system.

Children are going to class with bodies that are less prepared to learn than ever before. With sensory systems not quite working right, they are asked to sit and pay attention. Children naturally start fidgeting in order to get the movement their body so desperately needs and is not getting enough of to “turn their brain on.” What happens when the children start fidgeting? We ask them to sit still and pay attention; therefore, their brain goes back to “sleep.”

Fidgeting is a real problem. It is a strong indicator that children are not getting enough movement throughout the day. We need to fix the underlying issue. Recess times need to be extended and kids should be playing outside as soon as they get home from school. Twenty minutes of movement a day is not enough! They need hours of play outdoors in order to establish a healthy sensory system and to support higher-level attention and learning in the classroom.

In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move."
adhd  education  health  2014  children  schools  schooling  schooliness  angelahanscom  drugs  attention  movement  fidgeting  strength  balance 
september 2014
Los Angeles Vaccination Rates 2014
"Vaccination rates are plummeting at top Hollywood schools, from Malibu to Beverly Hills, from John Thomas Dye to Turning Point, where affluent, educated parents are opting out in shocking numbers (leaving some schools’ immunization rates on par with South Sudan) as an outbreak of potentially fatal whooping cough threatens L.A. like “wildfire”"
antivax  medicine  parenting  losangeles  2014  whoopingcough  publichealth  schools  science  health  vaccinations  immunizations  immunization 
september 2014
Louisiana Loses Its Boot — Matter — Medium
"The boot-shaped state isn’t shaped like a boot anymore. That’s why we revised its iconic outline to reflect the truth about a sinking, disappearing place."

[See also: http://projects.propublica.org/louisiana/ ]
cartography  climataechange  maps  mapping  2014  louisiana  history  brettanderson 
september 2014
PLOS Medicine: Medicine Goes to School: Teachers as Sickness Brokers for ADHD
"Over the last twenty years, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has emerged as a disorder of importance in childhood. Prescription of psychostimulants for ADHD escalated in many countries through the 1990s. Between 1990 and 1995, prescriptions of methylphenidate for young people increased 2.5-fold in the US [1], and 5-fold in Canada [2]. In New South Wales, Australia, rates of treatment for children in 2000 were nine times those in 1990 [3].

ADHD joins dyslexia and glue ear as disorders that are considered significant primarily because of their effects on educational performance. Medicalising educational performance can help children receive specialised medical and educational services; at the same time it can lead to them receiving medications or surgical therapies which may have short-term and long-term ill effects.

In the case of ADHD, there has been a complex, often heated debate in the public domain about the verity of the illness and the personal cost-benefit ratio of treatment with psychostimulant medication [4–6]. Much of the polemic for and against psychostimulants is concerned with the part played by doctors, the prescribers of medication, in diagnosing or discounting ADHD. ADHD is, however, a disorder of educational performance, and so teachers have a critical role in advocating for the illness, and its medical treatment. This essay explores the roles of teachers as brokers for ADHD and its treatment, and the strategies used by the pharmaceutical industry to frame educators' responses to ADHD."
education  schools  teaching  teachers  2006  adhd  medication  diagnosis  drugs  christinephillips  pharmaceuticals  business  performance 
september 2014
Courthouse News Service
"A Texas school district is illegally using small "calm or blue rooms" to discipline and isolate disabled students - possibly to the point of neglect or abuse, Disability Rights Texas claims in Federal Court.

Disability Rights Texas sued the Mansfield Independent School District and Superintendent Jim Vaszauskas on Aug. 28.

The group says it is Texas's officially designated protection and advocacy group, under the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.

It claims it was alerted in April by several news sources and social media of isolation rooms at Annette Perry Elementary for students in the SUCCESS program - students who require "specialized social and behavioral instruction."

The school has two such rooms - one is 80 square feet, the other 58.5 square feet, according to the lawsuit.

Disability Rights Texas claims that the program guidelines indicate that "most" SUCCESS students will have "a disability of an emotional disturbance."

"The calm/blue rooms are used when APE [Annette Perry elementary] staff determine that a student's behavior warrants removing them from the SUCCESS classroom, " the complaint states.

"There is no limit to the amount of time a student is to be placed in the calm/blue room, and after placing a student in the room, APE teachers hold the door shut so the students cannot get out, thus turning the calm/blue room into seclusion." Program guidelines require a student to be locked in the room for the rest of the day if they have already been removed two or more times, the advocate says.

It claims that students who "engage in physical aggression" are put in isolation for the rest of the day or the next day.

Disability Rights Texas says that disabled students may be subjected to abuse or neglect by the use of the rooms. It asked Vaszauskas on June 5 to turn over the identities of SUCCESS parents to conduct a full investigation under its federal Protection and Advocacy System authority.

Five days later, the district declined, saying the information is confidential and not subject to release under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The district rejected a second request, saying it would not release the information "absent parent consent, subpoena or a court order." So Disability Rights Texas seeks a court order.

District officials said they could not comment on pending litigation.

Disability Rights Texas seeks declaratory and injunctive relief for violations of the Development Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, the Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights Act and the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act.

It is represented by Colleen Elbe in Lubbock and Elise Mitchell in Dallas. "
texas  calmingrooms  via:subtopes  education  schools  discipline  disability  neglect  abuse  2014  behavior  disabilities 
september 2014
How Skipping School Could Land Kids in Jail | TakePart
"A controversial interpretation of a law intended to protect troubled teens has opened a new branch of the school-to-prison pipeline."



"Elizabeth Diaz spent 18 days in an adult jail when a judge issued warrants to arrest minors and force them to pay truancy fines or get thrown in jail. Elizabeth’s $1,600 in fines had been imposed in a court where she had no lawyer. She missed her high school exit exam."



"When counselors take the time, they find that most chronic truants are struggling with learning disabilities, emotional distress or mental-health illness, bullying, violence, or financial or other crises."
schooltoprisonpipeline  2014  discipline  law  legal  delinquency  compulsory  truancy  criminalization  education  schools  policy  schooling 
september 2014
Drug seizures along the U.S.-Mexico border | The Center for Investigative Reporting
"The U.S. Border Patrol seized 13.2 million pounds of marijuana from 2005 to 2011 at checkpoints and stations near the U.S.-Mexico border. (Much less was seized at ports of entry.) Arizona and Texas are increasingly the epicenters of marijuana seizure activity."
maps  mapping  border  borders  us  mexico  drugs  marijuana  2014 
september 2014
Why You Want a Code of Conduct & How We Made One | Incisive.nu
"Now, this is all stuff that many others have said better than I have—see the big list of resources below for evidence. The thing I want to add is that the opportunity to define a code of conduct—to set clear behavioral and safety expectations—is an extraordinary opportunity.

I’m writing this in the late summer of 2014, and the last few weeks have been rough ones where I live. From the tech world’s routine accounts of casual harassment to the grind of violence and systemic unfairness that defines some part of every human society, we are surrounded on all sides by news that is alternately heartbreaking and enraging. And most of the time, in the face of these wrongs, we are helpless. Some of us can vote, some can investigate and expose. That’s often as far as it goes.

But to define a code of conduct is to formally state that your community—your event or organization or project—does not permit intimidation or harassment or any of the other terrible things that we can’t seem to prevent in the rest of the world. It’s to express and nurture healthy community norms. In a small, limited way, it’s to offer sanctuary to the vulnerable: to stake out a space you can touch, put it under your protection, and make it a welcoming home for all who act with respect.

And I think that’s what’s going to win. Enough of us clearly stating that in our spaces, this fuckery will not pass. And continuing to do it—one home, school, workplace, and community at a time—until the ground we cover with a mandate of mutual respect is larger than the gaps in between. Not out of any special benevolence, but because that’s what the world should be.

That’s enough to get me out of bed in the morning."
erinkissane  events  codeofconduct  ethics  community  2014  srccon  inclusion  safety  pocketsofresistance  planning  conferenceplanning  accessibility  behavior  conferences  howto  inclusivity  eventplanning  inlcusivity 
september 2014
Not for Teacher – The New Inquiry
"If you were to build a 21st century public education system from scratch, the teacher’s role would undoubtedly be quite different. You don’t have the same cheap women’s labor, but you do have a number of labor-saving technologies. When it comes to imparting basic knowledge—the kind of skills measured on standardized tests—well-­tailored computer programs could do it at least as well as the average human instructor. In the 19th century, every classroom needed its own lecturer, but wouldn’t kids today rather have Neil deGrasse Tyson backed by million-dollar graphics than a local 25-year-old with a degree in political science?

Against all evidence, experience, and common sense, we cling to and generalize our idea of the perfect teacher. Among nonpornographic depictions of teachers—I admit that most movies about teachers are probably porn—fantastic teachers are vastly overrepresented. It’s part of the national bargain with schoolteachers: We won’t pay you as well as a dental hygienist, but as an individual, people will assume you’re doing a good, important, and generous job. Whether it’s Matilda’s Miss Honey or Ryan Gosling teaching ghetto dialectics in Half Nelson, we have to imagine that all teachers share a common passionate commitment because the alternative is unbearable: We force all children to spend most of their waking time being evaluated and instructed by some underpaid randos because otherwise we’d have no idea what to do with them. Ask any babysitter how much they charge per hour to watch 30 nine-year-olds. It’s an absurd thing to require of a person, and America was able to pull it off because the women they were asking didn’t have a lot of other options.

The teacher wars will continue for now, but I’m not sure the unions can hold on. The National Education Association’s membership has been dropping significantly over the past five years, and the new corporate reformers are advancing mission-directed charter schools as the newest way to undermine organized teachers. The union’s enemies plan to break its back state by state and they’ve got history—though not the angels—on their side. When most 11-year-olds can access most of the information in the world with a quick search, the instructor’s job has to change. The system has survived near 200 years now; it’s time to imagine what comes after the teachers finally lose the war."
education  unions  labor  danagoldstein  malcolmharris  2014  history  horacemann  economics  policy  politics  society  teaching  teachers  tearcherunions  salaries  tenure 
september 2014
My letter of application to the Harvard Kennedy School's Senior Professorship of Social Innovation
"Dear Sir or Madam, But Most Likely Sir:

I am writing to apply for your advertised position in Social Innovation. As a Comparative Literature Ph.D, I am proficient in the fabrication of closed tautological circles of non-meaning; this makes me the ideal candidate for a job seeking “innovative teachers…for the position of lecturer in innovation.”

On the other hand, as an Assistant Professor of English, I know only too well the dangers of failing to innovate. For example, I am often forced to talk to human students who are sitting in bounded classrooms often wired for multimedia applications I am unable or simply unwilling to use. Paper books are an obsolete technology barely worthy of the word, and poetry, despite its promising shortness, takes far too long to understand. These hardships have granted me an acute understanding of the innovation deficit your department so bravely seeks to overcome.

In spite of English Literature’s disciplinary hostility to “innovation,” change agency, and both entre- and intra-preneurship, my training as a literature scholar would offer immediate benefits to your department’s offerings in Social Innovation. For example, I would be pleased to proofread your job advertisements, in order to innovate their presently sub-optimal levels of intelligibility.

The professorship is open to both distinguished practitioners, especially those with a deep understanding of social entrepreneurship, and to tenure-level scholars in fields related to social innovation, including social entrepreneurs, social intrapreneurs and, more broadly, social change makers.

“Social entrepreneurs” are not a field, as the sentence’s syntax suggests, and that final clause could be made nimbler by using the adjective “social” only once, as here: “social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and change makers.” In addition, it’s not clear that “change makers” constitutes a broader category than “entrepreneurs,” yet neither is it obviously more specific. Given my exposure to creative industries like literature, I would be excited to invent more terminology to make this list of synonyms for “businessman” even longer.

But innovating new ways of saying “entrepreneur” isn’t the only thought-leadership I would exercise within the field of Innovation Studies. As thinkfluencers have argued persuasively, disruption must occur not only within fields and businesses but institutions and organizations. My first intrapreneurial initiative, therefore, would be to fatally disrupt your (hopefully soon to be our) department. Moving our courses entirely online and replacing department faculty other than myself with low-wage adjuncts armed with xeroxes of J.S. Schumpeter quotations would improve efficiency, reach even more students, and ultimately make a bigger difference.

To paraphrase a great disruptor: We must destroy the Professorship of Social Innovation in order to save it. I am available for immediate Skype interviews.

Sincerely,

John Patrick Leary"
2014  via:javierarbona  johnpatrickleary  language  business  education  highered  malarkey  highereducation  bullshitjobs  intrapreneurs  entrepreneurs  changeagency  thoughtleaders  leadership  thinkfluencers  disruption  endoftimes  socialentrepreneurship  entrepreneurialism  jsschumpter  innovation  canon  changemaking  changemakers 
september 2014
Ello | quinn - Ethics of borders
"The tension is around the perceived problems of providing services to people, but the answer there is simple: don't provide services to non-citizens, easily enough done. You already must show ID id obtain services, which is authorized and issued by the state. The state is particularly keen on providing services to as few people as possible. so why not open borders but deny services to non-citizens? It's easy enough to turn away people at hospitals and children from schools, and even sweep up the bodies of the homeless dead, all of whom are likely to even spend what little the have on local products and business before they die or flee. All of these things are in fact done routinely all over the world. The problem is they are also detested as deranged and inhuman by the citizenry of many nations, who would like to take care of children, the sick, and the elderly. So, in order that a government doesn't face the will of its people, those who may need help must be stopped at the border. The question for a nation is simple: if humans are seeking services, is it moral to deny them? The borders make no moral difference to this question. anymore than shutting a door on a request makes the request go away. To only give services to those who then sneak in the window, and call was yourself moral for it, seems insane. If we only want to give service to "our own" we might as well face the dying and pain-ridden hoenstly.

Then there's the foundations of these services and systems of wealth. I'm typing this on an electronic device I took out of a sleeve while wearing clothes all made by people not subject to the services my nation provides, but all this labor is to my and its benefit. I mostly write words, often to criticize my nation -- why on earth am I more eligible for services than the people who make the clothes, electronics, and pick the food that benefits western nations? An accident of birth at best.

(None of this of course applies to migrant labor forces, who both must be imported but given no rights. Hence the industry of illegal immigration, which creates the fully exploitable portion of the labor force every western nation craves.)

When we think about how to better the situations of people from poor nations, we rarely suggest not exploiting them and when we talk about providing services to the poor we never talk of just providing them, where the poor are. In all cases, the governments between people won't let them, as ever, for governments' favorite excuse: their own good.

The obvious problem is that rich states can't provide services to all who need them. This may be the case, which is arguable, but not the subject of this piece. For the sake of argument, let us assume it is. So, how does one choose who to give services to? The accident of location of birth seems an odd criteria, and it is. The real criteria this describes is similarity or genetic relationship to the ruling class, for which location is a reasonably proxy. It's also an obviously amoral criteria: be related to strongmen or apetheir culture, and you may eat and learn and live. Another calculus, a growing one, is extractative: award services to those most likely to generate tax and draftees. But in this phase of history governments are more interest in tax than draftees, and that changes the extractive "in-group" -- fewer soldiers, more elites. Tax is not labor, tax is most likely to come from people who are, on purpose or by accident, the beneficiaries of global slave labor. These are the people governments want in their borders.

Is any of this good? I'd argue no -- it puts extractive lives, be they exploiting labor or destroying the environment -- above all other lives. The extractive class is often just as trapped as everyone else in the situation, in that the majority of them aren't amoral nihilists, only interested in cheap labor and using up the planet as fast as they can, but lack access to political change or even political education."
borders  ethics  geopolitics  2014  quinnnorton  location  genetics  services  labor  exploitation  extraction  extractiveclass  class  society  migration  immigration  rights  illegalimmigration  poverty  wealth  coincidence 
september 2014
0xDB
[need to look into this]
toresearch  video  opensource  database  p2p 
september 2014
Maker Movement Reinvents Education
"Ten years from now, primary and secondary education may look more like a scene from Tim Allen’s workshop in The Santa Clause than Ben Stein’s economics class in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In some schools, like San Diego’s High Tech High, it already does."



"Tony Wagner, current expert in residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab, and the founder of Harvard’s Change Leadership Group, calls High Tech High his “favorite school” and says of what goes on there, “That’s the future.” According to Wagner, the idea of school as a place where knowledge is transferred from teacher to student, whose success is measured by the accuracy of his/her regurgitation of it, is antiquated. This instructional model does not foster what Wagner believes is the most essential skill in today’s world: the ability to innovate.

In his most recent book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, Wagner profiles some of America’s great innovators and observes a pattern in their youths: A childhood of creative play led to their development of deep-seated interests and curiosities, and these passions fueled their intrinsic motivation to set and achieve career and life goals. Another trend Wagner found was that the adults in these innovators’ young lives nurtured their imaginations and taught them to persevere and learn from failure. “What we’re learning about innovation,” says Wagner, “is the importance of failing early and failing often...failing forward, failing fast and cheap. The whole idea of trial and error is something that is antithetical to our formal systems of education.… In fact, we penalize failure.… So there’s a complete contradiction between the world of schooling and the world of innovation.”

THE MAKER MOVEMENT is a global community of inventors, designers, engineers, artists, programmers, hackers, tinkerers, craftsmen and DIY’ers—the kind of people who share a quality that Rosenstock says “leads to learning [and]…to innovation,” a perennial curiosity “about how they could do it better the next time.” The design cycle is all about reiteration, trying something again and again until it works, and then, once it works, making it better. As manufacturing tools continue to become better, cheaper and more accessible, the Maker Movement is gaining momentum at an unprecedented rate. Over the past few years, so-called “makerspaces” have cropped up in cities and small towns worldwide—often in affiliation with libraries, museums and other community centers, as well as in public and independent schools—giving more people of all ages access to mentorship, programs and tools like 3-D printers and scanners, laser cutters, microcontrollers and design software.

At schools with makerspaces, students are already starting to follow the pattern that Wagner observes among young innovators. Henry Simonoff, a ninth-grader at St. Ann’s School in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of New York City, is one such example. The summer after sixth grade, Simonoff went to a St. Ann’s computer camp, where his teacher, Lizbeth Arum, taught him how to model and make electronics cases using the 3-D design Web app Tinkercad. He discovered that he loved designing, so the following school year he took a 3-D printing elective and began experimenting with his own ideas. However, 3-D printing is a slow process, and the MakerBots in the classroom couldn’t keep up with Simonoff and his classmates’ creative demand."



"While this kind of education does result in the gain of measurable, practical skills, “it’s really about the problem-solving skills as opposed to the specific [technical] skills,” says David Wells, manager of creative making and learning at the New York Hall of Science. It’s about teaching kids how to break down their big ideas into smaller components in order to figure out a plausible first step. It’s about helping students become familiar not just with makerspace tools but, more important, with the process of finding, accessing and using information to teach themselves how to do whatever it is they want to do, and make whatever they want to make.

As Wells says, “We’re developing the ‘I can’ mentality.”"
lcproject  openstudioproject  education  schools  future  learning  hightechhigh  makermovement  makerspaces  2014  pammoran  tonywagner  larryrosenstock  making 
september 2014
El estómago revuelto de la educación: El colegio omitiendo su misión más básica | Stgo Maker Space
"Para hablar del último problema, abro la pregunta: ¿para qué educamos? No es para poner en duda el hecho de que sea necesario; sino que más bien, cómo se configura y diseña la educación. Si la educación es un automóvil; ¿éste es para carreras, o para hacer viajes familiares?. ¿Para qué enseñamos?, podemos enseñar para mantener el fenotipo educativo vivo (éste que llevamos miles de años juntando, y en cierta forma nos determina como especie ya tanto como nuestro genotipo), o bien, puede que eduquemos para habilitar a los alumnos a ganar dinero. O bien, educar para ser felices. Más bien parece que a todos esos objetivos debería atacar la educación, pero bien parece que cada persona ve la educación de una manera radicalmente diferente porque entiende el significado de la educación en su forma propia.

Me gustaría poner de relieve, el mayor y más dramático fracaso de los colegios. Por el enorme fracaso que han tenido para transmitir los contenidos académicos a sus alumnos, se proyecta una sombra escondiendo el problema de enseñarnos y formarnos como seres humanos. Alguien intentando apagar incendios y salvar urgencias, se olvida de salvar lo que es importante. A lo largo de nuestras vidas, estamos confinados a lidiar por nuestras teorías y conclusiones propias (y a veces deformes por traumatismos) con las demás personas, y con nuestros propias dificultades personales.

Algunas personas con la suerte de surgir en entornos amistosos, desarrollan una inteligencia emocional que los hace abiertos a escuchar críticas, encontrar problemas propios, y descubrir los orígenes de sus miedos, limitaciones y dolores psicológicos. Pero el resto no. Ante un miedo, reaccionan de la forma más natural, intentando ocultarlo en lo más oscuro de sus mentes, y generando muchas veces patrones dolorosos y depresivos.

Pues tales son los ladrillos que construyen ya casi todos los países hoy en día. Un gran grupo de ovejas que no tienen ánimos ya ni de levantar la cabeza, porque les aquejan demonios. Unos sintiendo codicias enormes que no les dejan vivir tranquilamente, otros con inseguridades que los invalidan socialmente, otros incapaces de dominar sus impulsos para lograr objetivos mayores. Sólo basta ver videos en youtube, de peleas ridículas; personas que sienten pulsiones fuertes, que no pueden identificar, y que su contraparte tampoco sabe cómo recibir. Todo se origina en la incapacidad de auto conocerse, en la poca información que se entrega en la mayor parte de los colegios en referencia a nosotros mismos. ¿no era más importante conocer los mecanismos de autoengaño, que el nombre que decidieron ponerle a los componentes adenina, timina, citosina y guanina, del adn? Realmente no sé que decir.

[video embedded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mmNH8WKQ2s ]

(este video está como referencia contextual; no pude verlo entero)"

[Parte 1: http://www.stgomakerspace.com/el-estomago-revuelto-de-la-educacion-introduccion/
Parte 2: http://www.stgomakerspace.com/el-estomago-revuelto-de-la-educacion-parte-2/
Parte 3: http://www.stgomakerspace.com/el-estomago-revuelto-de-la-educacion-parte-3/ ]
chile  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  2014  joaquínaldunate  howwelearn  schools  schooling  purpose  thewhy  self-knowledge  self-deception 
september 2014
El estómago revuelto de la educación: El colegio como base de la injusticia social. | Stgo Maker Space
"He aquí el tema más obvio, álgido y doloroso al que se enfrenta nuestra educación; y de hecho, podría ser la razón que produzca este infarto del que hemos hablado con anterioridad. El sistema educativo es la base de la injusticia social: un padre que tiene ingresos insuficientes, no puede educar a sus hijos tan bien como los padres de mayores ingresos. No podemos pedir a los padres de mayores ingresos que eduquen peor a sus hijos para que se den más oportunidades a los otros, porque están directamente con ellos, y es legítimo que les quieran dar lo mejor. Tampoco el país puede subvencionar educación gratuita y de calidad para una población gigante que no la puede pagar, y agregando a una población que dejaría de pagarla en caso de que fuera gratuita. Es claro que terminaría por producir un fracaso educacional generalizado por falta de presupuesto; haciendo un agujero económico nacional que tomará muchas generaciones en sortearse (por falta de competitividad de este país con el resto). Este es el drama: nuestro sistema no es meritocrático, puesto que los desafortunados de nacer en familias de pocos recursos, están cuesta arriba, mientras que los que pueden pagar buena educación, tienen el camino más allanado.

El problema de injusticia social a primera vista parece no tener solución. En nuestro país, se discute si la educación ha de ser gratuita o no. Los principales pesos en esta balanza son la inequidad social versus la capacidad del país para solventar algo tan enorme como esto. La peor parte es que detrás de cada posición, hay una bandera política; y por lo tanto, cada bando sólo está abocado a “ganar” (¡¿a ganar?!) la discusión, y probar que el equipo contrario está equivocado. El foco de la discusión tiene que estar en otra parte, puesto que las dos teorías que están sobre la mesa, son radicalmente destructivas. La discusión debería estar en cómo hacemos un sistema educativo eficiente. Nuestro sistema educacional despilfarra toneladas de horas de los profesores en actividades infructuosas. Estamos limpiándonos los dientes con mondadientes de uranio: el uranio es caro, se debería estar usando en otra cosa, está haciendo muy mal su trabajo, y para colmo, está dañando al que lo usa. Un proceso educativo quizá podría estarse llevando con contactos profesor-alumno de dos horas al día solamente; y con un método completamente distinto, sólo por pensar en una idea vaga."

[Parte 1: Parte 1: http://www.stgomakerspace.com/el-estomago-revuelto-de-la-educacion-introduccion/
Parte 2: http://www.stgomakerspace.com/el-estomago-revuelto-de-la-educacion-parte-2/
Parte 4 (ingnora el URL): http://www.stgomakerspace.com/el-estomago-revuelto-de-la-educacion-parte-5/ ]
chile  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  2014  joaquínaldunate  howwelearn  schools  schooling  socialization  meritocracy  inequality  socialjustice  socialinjustice  injustice 
september 2014
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