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robertogreco : kenyattacheese   13

McDonald's: you can sneer, but it's the glue that holds communities together | Business | The Guardian
[Tweeted previously:
"“Unlike community centers, it is also free of bureaucracy.” When our public institutions no longer serve the public."
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/742821334476951554

and noting
"Same with other chains (like Starbucks, KFC) in my neighborhood. Places for youth to assemble too, when programs come with too many strings."
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/742821897553874944

"When many lower-income Americans are feeling isolated by the deadening uniformity of things, by the emptiness of many jobs, by the media, they still yearn for physical social networks. They are not doing this by going to government-run community service centers. They are not always doing this by utilizing the endless array of well-intentioned not-for-profit outreach programs. They are doing this on their own, organically across the country, in McDonald’s.

Walk into any McDonald’s in the morning and you will find a group of mostly retired people clustering in a corner, drinking coffee, eating and talking. They are drawn to the McDonald’s because it has inexpensive good coffee, clean bathrooms, space to sprawl. Unlike community centers, it is also free of bureaucracy."



"In almost every franchise, there are tables with people like Betty escaping from the streets for a short bit. They prefer McDonald’s to shelters and to non-profits, because McDonald’s are safer, provide more freedom, and most importantly, the chance to be social, restoring a small amount of normalcy.

In the Bronx, many of my friends who live on the streets are regulars. Steve, who has been homeless for 20 years, uses the internet to check up on sports, find discarded papers to do the crossword puzzle, and generally escape for a while. He and his wife Takeesha will turn a McDonald’s meal into an evening out. Beauty, who has been homeless for five years, uses the internet to check up on her family back in Oklahoma when she can find a computer to borrow.

Most importantly though, McDonald’s provide many with the chance to make real and valuable connections. When faced with the greatest challenges, with a personal loss, wealthier Americans turn to expensive therapists, others without the resources or the availability, turn to each other.

In Sulfur Springs, Texas, in the late morning, Lew Mannon, 76, and Gerald Pinkham, 78, were sitting alone at a table, the last of the morning regulars to leave. She was needling him about politics. (“I like to tease the men who come, get them all riled up, tell them they just don’t want a female as president.”) Both are retired, Gerald from working for an airfreight company, and Lew after 28 years as a bank teller.

When I asked Lew about her life, she started to tear up, stopped for a second, and composed herself. “Life is hard. Very hard. Seven years ago I lost my husband to leukemia. Then three years ago I lost one of my sons. Health complications from diabetes. When my son died, I had nobody to help me, emotionally, except this community here. Gerald lost his wife three years ago, and we have helped support each other through that.”

She stopped again, unable to speak from tears. After a moment of silence: “I look composed on the outside. Many of us do. But I struggle a lot on the inside. This community here gives me the support to get by.”"

[Update: Kenyatta Cheese blogged this with the following notes:
http://finalbossform.com/post/145925082985/mcdonalds-you-can-sneer-but-its-the-glue-that

I’ve learned through @triciawang that spaces like these are known as third places in sociology. Third places are neutral, accessible spaces where people can meet with old friends and be exposed to possible new ones.

Tricia spent a decade living in, mapping, and understanding third places in Beijing, Wuhan, Brooklyn, Bangalore, and Oaxaca. (She’s badass that way.)

She taught me that Starbucks and Pizza Hut serve a similar role among young folks in China, especially for people who don’t necessarily feel comfortable sleeping in the third places that are internet cafes.

Small note on how this connects to @everybodyatonce: tv networks and creators sometimes ask us if they should create a dedicated app or website for their fandoms to which we almost always say no.

Much like the government-run community center, a dedicated app creates an unnecessary barrier to entry for new fans and requires you to program the space in the same way that you need to program and organize physical space. By meeting fans in neutral spaces (tumblr, twitter, IG, LJ, even reddit), you build bigger community by supporting the culture that already exists. ]
2016  chrisarnade  community  cities  mcdonalds  poverty  society  inequality  elitism  us  bureaucracy  elderly  aging  economics  civics  lowerclass  precarity  classism  thirdspaces  kenyattacheese  triciawang  beijing  starbucks  china  brooklyn  wuhan  bangalore  oaxaca  pizzahut  kfc  everybodyatonce  fandom  socialmedia 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form — gifsboom: Strong cat. [video] The lessons we...
"Strong cat. [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxFPG6Gcx2w]"

"The lessons we are taught about the entire animal kingdom supposedly being “every animal for themselves” is so incredibly, comically wrong. I always wondered who these narratives actually serve."
cats  multispecies  animals  pets  survivalofthefittest  socialdarwinism  individualism  kenyattacheese 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form — Criticism doesn’t just make people defensive,...
"
Criticism doesn’t just make people defensive, criticism can also worsen a person’s performance. In the book The Man Who Lied to his Laptop, Clifford Nass outlines a study that he did with a Japanese car company that illustrates this point. This car company had created a sophisticated system that used sensors and artificial intelligence to determine when someone was driving poorly and let the driver know. They asked Professor Nass to help them evaluate the effects of this system on driver performance in simulations before putting it live in cars. It’s a good thing too because what they found is somewhat counter-intuitive.

The system gave well-intentioned feedback when people drove too fast or took corners too sharply. It would say things like, “You are not driving very well. Please be more careful.” If you think that people were delighted to hear when they weren’t driving well, you are mistaken. People were frustrated and angry when the system told them their driving wasn’t very good. People’s damaged egos would not have mattered if the system actually improved their driving. What they found through the simulations was that the feedback actually worsened people’s driving. People got annoyed and, rather than slowing down or taking corners more cautiously, they sped up, oversteered, and generally drove worse the more critical feedback they received.


—Kate Heddleston [https://www.kateheddleston.com/blog/criticism-and-ineffective-feedback ] (via treblekicker)

I need to get better with giving feedback. I come from a tribe of self criticizers who accomplish great things by constantly evaluating one’s own work as being “not good enough.” [http://www.vulture.com/2015/04/how-age-of-ultron-nearly-broke-joss-whedon.html ]

It turns out that that’s a great way to self motivate but disastrous when working with teams."
kenyattacheese  criticism  motivation  work  perfectionism  feedback  howwework  teams  intrinsicmotivation  2015  kateheddleston  josswhedon 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form — …elementary school and high school students should...
"
…elementary school and high school students should treat Wikipedia as a dangerous place, exactly as they treat Internet chat rooms. Students should be warned to avoid contributing to the encyclopedia and, if they do contribute, to prepare for harassment that may well spill over into email and even physical encounters. College students may have more latitude, but even then, they should understand that any significant editing about their favorite game, YouTube personality, or historical event might bring the Army of Mordor down upon them. —Mark Bernstein (via azspot)

That’s messed up.

We always said that the guiding principle of knowyourmeme contributions was to Be Not Wikipedia and value experience over expertise and it was because of culture like this. If someone says that they first saw a certain meme was on genmay in 1998, we’d say “great! thanks for the tip!” and hope that the positive feedback would lead to more contributions and leveling up. Meanwhile, the burden was on us to track down proof. While there are still negative elements of the community and folks who want to yell “deadpool!” with every new entry, none of those users had the power to chase a Brand New Member off the site just for trying to contribute.

Now at ea1, we’re using this same principle when thinking about the new user experience in fandoms: how do you make their first interaction a positive one and how do you build paths for leveling up?"
kenyattacheese  wikipedia  knowyourmeme  community  newbs  debate  experience  expertise  popculture  culture  cultureproduction  meta  inclusion  fandom  ea1  everybodyatonce  inlcusivity  inclusivity 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form: An Incomplete List of Interesting Books about Economics
"Here are the three most important books in forming my own worldview on economics.

• Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber. Before there was money, there was debt. This makes this book a great place to start. One of my favorite books of the last decade.

• The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Economy of Cities, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, and The Nature of Economies by Jane Jacobs. Jane Jacobs was not a traditional economist but her work in understanding how cities operate made me see economies not as a product of nations but as the result of the activity within cities and regions. ‘Death and Life’ and ‘The Economy of Cities’ are so important to me that I gift them to people like missionaries hand out bibles. Here’s a nice writeup of two of her books.

• Civilization and Capitalism (Vol. 1-3) by Fernand Braudel.The single most important book in getting me to understand the connection between capitalism, markets, and everyday life. It also introduced me to the Annales School which is full of interesting ideas. Note: this one is loooooooooong and it took me years to read all three volumes (ok tbh, I’ve read two and half volumes.)

If I were to start reading from scratch, I would start with one or more of these books as an intro. They’re clever and fun and great texts for getting your bearings.

• Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan. A good introduction to general concepts in economics through fantastic storytelling. Check out socoftw's outline of the book here.

• The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in The Real World by Greg Ip. Nice primer. Some bits are a little too FREE MARKET RULEZ! for me but it was also a really good book for me to read. I recommend it because I was able to leap tall-ish articles in a single read after this book.

• The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford. This is the book that explains why your cup of Starbucks costs what it does (among other things.)

These books are a good place to begin thinking critically about conventional economic theory.

• Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. A clever look at conventional wisdom in economics. Also just a fun read. Also available as an excellent blog, podcast, and twitter feed.

• Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. A summary of three decades of Kahneman’s work in understanding individual behavior in markets. Questions a lot of the “rational behavior” assumptions of neoclassical economics.

• How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff. Statistics are stories told to people as “facts.” Considering how many economic decisions are made based on statistics, it’s important background to know. This book is a classic. (Speaking of facts: I got introduced to this book in high school by none other than George Gallup Jr.)

• The Surprising Design of Market Economies by Alex Marshall. The government builds our markets through property law, taxation, and infrastructure and yet our political conversations purposefully ignore this. This would be lolworthy if not for, you know, people making really bad policy decisions that affect the rest of us.

Okay, now that I’m into this, I want to dive a bit deeper.

• An Engine, Not a Camera by Donald Mackenzie. Finance theory doesn’t exist separate from the economy. By creating a theory of markets, you alter the fate of those markets over and over again.

• Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen. Economic development shouldn’t be seen merely an increase in basic income but as an increase in personal freedom, political freedom, opportunity (including credit), and social security. (Excerpt here.)

• The Work of Nations by Robert Reich. How do you value labor over wealth and reconfigure a workforce for a globalized economy? (I’d also follow his tumblr)

• Capitalism: Its Origins and Evolution as a System of Governance by Bruce R. Scott. A comprehensive look at capitalism and market economies. (Note: this book is sitting on my shelf but I haven’t read it yet.)

These are the books that reflect my current interest in heterodox economics and economic dynamics.

• Capital and Affects: The Politics of the Language Economy by Christian Marazzi. This book was a good introduction to “postfordism” which is a funny word for what comes after an age of industrial, mass market production.

• The Science of Passionate Interests: An Introduction to Gabriel Tarde’s Economic Anthropology by Bruno Latour & Vincent Antonin Lépinay. How do you measure economics not solely in terms of money but as an intensification of passionate interests?

• The Atlas of Economic Complexity by Ricardo Hausmann, CA Hidalgo, et al. Can you predict economic growth based on a measure of “productive” knowledge? Read an overview of the Atlas here. Peep all of the visualizations here and here. (Beware: charts are a highly evolved form of statistics.)

• Complex Economics: Individual and Collective Rationality by Alan Kirman. We make lots of assumptions in our current economic models: rationality, independence, and impersonal interactions. These aren’t based in any mathematical or market truths — they’re just formalisms. So what happens if the purpose of economics wasn’t efficiency but coordination? (Note: this is another book that is sitting on my shelf but I haven’t read it yet.)

Reading Important Old Theorists Is Important Because Everybody Interprets Their Words For Their Own Ends.

• The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. I suggest reading the whole thing but also understand if you can’t — it’s a long ass book written for an audience from 200 years ago. In that case, the Wikipedia article is a decent summary as long as you follow the links.

• Capital, Vol 1-3 by Karl Marx. I’ve only read Volume 1. Friedrich Engels’ synopsis is a great overview of the basics. The WP article is also a good primer.

• Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. I would suggest reading the Wikipedia article about him.

• The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes. Oh, so this is where macroeconomic theory comes from.

Oh yeah, these books are good too.

• Principles of Economics by Greg Mankiw. This is a good 101 read but it’s also an overpriced textbook so look for a used earlier edition that only costs $20 or so. Also browse Greg Mankiw’s blog here.

• The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson. You can also watch the PBS series based on the book here"
books  booklists  economics  2014  kenyattacheese  capitalism  davidgraeber  janejacobs  fernandbraudel  annalesschool  charleswheelan  gregip  timharford  stevenlevitt  stphendubner  danielkahneman  darrellhuff  statistics  alexmarshall  donaldmackenzie  amartyasen  robertreich  brucescott  christianmarazzi  gabrieltarde  brunolatour  vincentantoninlépinay  ricardohausmann  cahidalgo  alankirman  adamsmith  karlmarx  miltonfriedman  johnmaynardkeynes  gregmankiw  niallferguson 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Kenyatta Cheese - How Visual Media Affect Culture and Identity Globally - Video Archive - The Conference by Media Evolution
"Prepare to fall in love with .gif!

The shift to imagery and animation as a primary mode of communication on the web is a fun, creative shift from the primacy of text online. It is also having numerous effects on identity, civic engagement and creative expression. In this session we want to look at the broader implications of this shift, and what it can mean for brands, governments, organizations and anyone else working in this space.

Kenyatta Cheese is a professional internet enthusiast. He studies the ways that ideas spread through culture. Kenyatta is also the co-founder of Everybody at Once which develops audiences for television, media, and sports. In a past life Kenyatta co-created the internet meme database Know Your Meme."
kenyattacheese  2013  gifs  gif  tumblr  internet  web  reactiongifs  communication  elasticself  online 
august 2014 by robertogreco
GIF hearts Tumblr: a fairytale for the internet age (Wired UK)
""The reason everyone thought MySpace was going to die, was because these (GIFs) are really ugly," says meme-master general Kenyatta Cheese, speaking at Story Festival in London. Cheese helps to run the Doctor Who Tumblr for BBC America, the second biggest Tumblr in the world, and was also a cofounder of Know Your Meme.

Cheese describes himself as being "of the internet", but says he is mainly interested in the way people do things online. "Our myths that we have don't necessarily reflect the things that we do, so I want to create new myths," he says.

The GIF, he continues, is a 30-year-old file format, which is woefully inefficient and yet despite all the innovation in technology, is used to tell stories all over the internet today. When he looked it up on a Wikipedia, all that was there was was a description of what it was and where it came from, but a disappointing lack of insight into its cultural significance. "I don't think it's the facts that are important," he continues. The GIF has a story of its own -- a fairytale, in fact -- but it is a story based on emotion, not fact.

"There was a king named browser and a queen named CompuServe," he begins. The king and queen have a daughter called GIF, who is considered a novelty, but is not taken seriously as "she can render rainbows and unicorns", even though all she wants to do is be useful. When the queen dies, the king remarries and his new queen -- Queen Flash -- decides to banish GIF to the subculture forest, as her magic mirror on the wall -- the tech blogs -- tell her she is no longer the most useful format of them all.

Fortunately for GIF, the trolls take her in and she makes her GIFs again using viral video clips and NSFW webcam footage, which lays the foundation for the viral web. The forum users get to work making GIFs, simply for the purpose of having fun and expressing themselves. "This is creating these small moments in time that we're able to share with one another," says Cheese. "You're now using GIFs on forums instead of writing a 200-word response."

While even Queen Flash realises her reign is over, along comes Prince Tumblr into the subculture forest, where he meets and falls in love with GIF (Prince Tumblr: "Your work gives me all the feels"; GIF: "lol thanks").

It is this union that spread the culture of GIF creation far and wide. "What happens on the internet is when people migrate from forum to forum they take their culture with them," says Cheese. It has led to people making GIFs in all kinds of different contexts -- as works of art, as sets of instructions and even for making porn, says Cheese. It also resulted in people using and reappropriating GIFs to suit their own purposes.

"GIFs were perfect for Tumblr, because people started using them in ways not just to express themselves but in a reblog so they spread really fast," Cheese explains. People might create a GIF set of their favourite scene from a film and that post gets flagged and reposted, and then somebody might take one of those images, save it to their hard drive and use it as a reaction GIF. "All of a sudden it's used everywhere," he says.

Since that's happened all the other kingdoms on the internet have realised that they too can use GIFs, including journalism -- from Buzzfeed writers to data journalists.

"This becomes a story of a 30-year-old file-format that everyone thought was dead," he says. In all its archaic inefficiency, he adds, it rose up again "not because people thought they could profit off it, but because they wanted to do something useful"."

[See also (another talk): http://videos.theconf.se/video/8580175/kenyatta-cheese-how-visual-media ]
kenyattacheese  gifs  tumblr  web  internet  animation  animatedgifs  2014 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form
"
Dozens of psychological studies have consistently shown that giving expected extrinsic rewards for an activity (e.g. “If you do x, I will give you y amount of cash/points/…”) often reduces intrinsic motivation of people to do it. The first reason is that people feel controlled by the person giving the rewards, reducing their sense of autonomy… Secondly, giving a reward for an activity sends a strong social signal that you don’t consider the activity worth doing for its own sake.


—Sebastian Deterding, Don’t Play Games With Me! Promises and Pitfalls of Gameful Design (via maxistentialist)

This is one of the reasons Story War doesn’t really reward players for winning battles other than keeping track of how many battles they’ve won.

(via bradofarrell)

Gamification sucks (except when it doesn’t.)

I used to talk with Chris Poole about how the genius of 4chan is that it was built on a system of intrinsic motivation.

Because everything is posted anonymously, you feel safe in posting your ideas/thoughts/creative work. If it gets rejected, nbd because nobody knows it’s you. If it gets praise, only you know who is responsible for it. So you cache that praise, that feeling, that reward internally and your relationship to the space grows from that.

I would argue that despite their notes and upvotes, social equity is built on Tumblr and reddit in a very similar way.

This concept is central to the work I do designing fanspace which is a name I just made up for “building rules and operations for fan communities.”

It’s also central to Tricia Wang’s understanding of the way that we build identity and relationships online."
kenyattacheese  triciawang  4chan  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  chrispoole  sebastiandeterding  gamification  tumblr  reddit  psychology  autonomy  meaning  value  purpose  rewards  control  relationships  anonymity 
june 2013 by robertogreco
The Elastic Self
"Ohai! Welcome to my research blog where I archive material about identity making. I'm still working through my theory, but do take a look at An Xiao's lovely article that uses my theory of the Elastic Self to explain the cultural value of social media, such as Tumblr. I gave a talk about the Elastic Self at the first Tumblr Arts Symposium, scrub to 1:11 for my talk. I do a lot of research on Chinese youth, so you'll find lots of info about that topic. The one minute version of Elastic Self so far: The Elastic Self is both the feeling that one's identity is flexible and the action of trying on different identities that are different from a prescribed self. Individuals enact and manifest the Elastic Self in informal spaces that provide social distance from existing social ties and under conditions of relative anonymity, which minimizes social risks. In the presence of unknown others (strangers), individuals feel liberated to try on different identities without pressure to commit to an identity, to take greater risks in expressing ideas or emotions, and to try on selves that are reversible, easy to abandon, and impermanent."

[Kenyatta makes a link from Quinn Norton to Tricia's blog: http://finalbossform.com/post/49785356426/people-dont-go-online-to-become-someone-else ]
[The related post from Quinn: http://www.quinnnorton.com/said/?p=721 ]
triciawang  tumblr  youth  elasticself  china  identity  flexibility  online  adaptability  codeswitching  strangers  trust  socialrisks  quinnnorton  2013  kenyattacheese 
may 2013 by robertogreco
The problem with "excluding" content - Braintag - Kenyatta Cheese
"The perfect Way is without difficulty,

Save that it avoids picking and choosing.

Only when you stop liking and disliking

Will all be clearly understood.

A split hair's difference,

And heaven and earth are set apart!

If you want to get the plain truth,

Be not concerned with right and wrong,

The conflict between right and wrong

Is the sickness of the mind."

[Here too: http://finalbossform.com/post/43727155049/the-perfect-way-is-without-difficulty-save-that ]
[See also: http://www.dharma-rain.org/StillPoint/archives/graphics7_8_03/hsin2ming.html ]
hsinghsingming  rightandwrong  liking  disliking  opinions  truth  conflict  kenyattacheese 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Our Internet intellectuals lack the intellectual... | Final Boss Form
"who wants to bother submitting papers to conferences, hoping that it gets accepted and published so that you can talk about your ideas twelve months from now when you can affect tangible change by posting them to the fucking internet right fucking now?

Would we even have half of the internet we have now if people like danah and clay waited years to publish their work on online social behavior and community? And, by the way, if you spend any time in a half decent web community, you soon learn that’s it’s nothing but a giant critique machine.

The other, smaller problem with this “critique” is that Jeff Jarvis wrote a fucking business book. Faulting him for not wasting hundreds of pages on theory is like faulting Dr. Phil for not citing Abraham Maslow."
change  time  criticism  via:preoccupations  community  webcommunities  jeffjarvis  academia  publishing  online  web  internet  clayshirky  danahboyd  evgenymorozov  kenyattacheese 
december 2011 by robertogreco

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