robertogreco : via:lukeneff   276

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The Secret to Enjoying a Long Winter
“I grew up in Wisconsin, and have lived in Iowa, Minnesota, and New York. Except for a two-year stint in the Bay Area, I’ve experienced winter — real winter, with lots of snow, below-freezing temperatures, and little daylight — every year of my life and never had a problem with it. So I was surprised when my last two Vermont winters put me on my ass. In winter 2017-18, I was depressed, anxious, wasn’t getting out of bed in the morning, spent endless time on my phone doing nothing, and had trouble focusing on my work. And I didn’t realize what it was until the first nice spring day came, 70 and sunny, and it hit me: “holy shit, I’ve been depressed because of winter” and felt wonderful for the next 5 months, like a completely different person. Then last year I was so anxious that it would happen again that all that stuff was worse and started basically a week into fall.

Nothing helped: I tried getting outside more, spent more time with friends, got out to meet new people, travelled to warm places, took photos of VT’s beautiful winter landscapes, spent time in cities, cut back on alcohol, and prioritized sleep. Last year I skied more than ever before and enjoyed it more than I’d ever had. Didn’t matter. This stuff worked during the spring and summer but my winter malaise was seemingly impenetrable. The plan for this fall was to try a SAD lamp, therapy, maybe drugs, and lots more warm travel. But then something interesting happened.

Sometime this fall — using a combination of Stoicism, stubbornness, and a sort of magical thinking that Jason-in-his-30s would have dismissed as woo-woo bullshit — I decided that because I live in Vermont, there is nothing I can do about it being winter, so it was unhelpful for me to be upset about it. I stopped complaining about it getting cold and dark, I stopped dreading the arrival of snow. I told myself that I just wasn’t going to feel like I felt in the summer and that’s ok — winter is a time for different feelings. As Matt Thomas wrote, I stopped fighting the winter vibe and tried to go with it”
winter  happiness  kottke  psychology  weather  jasonkottke  2019  mindset  acceptance  via:lukeneff
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
David Klion🔥 on Twitter: “@DanLehner1 Less that centrism is cool and more that it’s aloof and unconcerned with human affairs, and thus willing to passively align itself with various conflicting ideological projects out of apathy” / Twitter
“Less that centrism is cool and more that it’s aloof and unconcerned with human affairs, and thus willing to passively align itself with various conflicting ideological projects out of apathy”
politics  davidkion  centrism  apathy  distance  2019  policy  via:lukeneff
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
Ayn Rand Is a Dick – Mike Monteiro – Medium
"Silicon Valley has exhibited total comfort with destroying the social fabric of humanity to make a profit.

I got mine. Fuck you."
venturecapital  siliconvalley  aynrand  technology  mikemonteiro  uber  2019  libertarianism  californianideology  economics  politics  policy  via:lukeneff  objectivism
june 2019 by robertogreco
The Sum of All Beards | The New Republic
"How did facial hair win American men’s hearts and minds? Thank the war on terror."

"You could consume more than half a century of American popular culture, from World War II to Korea to Vietnam to September 11, without encountering many bearded manly heroes; facial hair was generally reserved for wild enemies foreign and domestic, swarthy terrorists and libertine hippies. Even American westerns posited a surprising number of neatly trimmed frontier protagonists, reserving scruff for their foes. Italian-produced spaghetti westerns, which introduced Clint Eastwood’s perpetually unshaven man with no name, seem the exception that proves the rule, deploying beards as to emphasize that their protagonists are deeply flawed antiheroes, operating outside mainstream norms."
beards  masculinity  culture  us  2019  waronterror  via:lukeneff
june 2019 by robertogreco
Middle-Aged Moralists – Snakes and Ladders
"When C. S. Lewis gave the Memorial Address at King’s College, London in 1944 — the occasion being very like an American university commencement — he began by commenting, “When you invite a middle-aged moralist to address you, I suppose I must conclude, however unlikely the conclusion seems, that you have a taste for middle-aged moralising. I shall do my best to gratify it.”

It was a shrewd move. Lewis himself always loathed the pompous didacticism he had found endemic to the English educational system, and expected that his audience would too. “Everyone knows what a middle-aged moralist of my type warns his juniors against. He warns them against the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.” But with a smile on his face, he declared that he would play to type: “I shall, in fact, give you advice about the world in which you are going to live.”

Let’s fast-forward about sixty years, to a commencement address at Stanford University. The speaker this time is not a professor but rather a businessman named Steve Jobs, and he makes it clear from the outset that he’ll not be doing any “middle-aged moralising.” Rather, he says, “Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.”

And yet it’s not clear, when you think about it, that Jobs’s message is any less moralistic than Lewis’s. It just bears a different moral.

Lewis warns his listeners against the power of what he calls the “Inner Ring” — the desire to belong to a certain admirable group, to be allowed to sit at the cool kids’ table — because he believes that, among all our desires, that one is the most likely to make un-wicked people do wicked things.

Jobs also warns his listeners, but warns them not to allow Death, when he knocks on their door, to find them “living someone else’s life.” Lewis points to the dangers of letting the desire to belong make you a “scoundrel,” and while Jobs too thinks others can endanger us, he frames that danger very differently: “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

This is the permissible moralism of 2005: College graduates can be exhorted, but not to the old-fashioned virtues that Lewis implicitly appeals to, but rather to self-fulfillment: For Jobs, what is “most important” is this: “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

This makes a neat story, once which can be read either as emancipation from constricting rules or as a decline into egotism. But the story gets slightly more complex if we look at one more middle-aged moralist: David Foster Wallace.

Wallace was, I’d say, barely middle-aged when he delivered the commencement address at Kenyon College just a few weeks before Jobs spoke at Stanford: he was 43. (Jobs was 50, and when Lewis gave his “Inner Ring” address he was 45.) If Lewis acknowledges that the genre invites moralism and cheerfully accepts the invitation, and Jobs disavows moralism but delivers it anyway, in a new form, Wallace seems almost desperate to avoid any such thing.

Having begun with a little story about fish, he continues, “If you’re worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise old fish explaining what water is, please don’t be. I am not the wise old fish.” Then: “But please don’t worry that I’m getting ready to preach to you about compassion or other-directedness or the so-called ‘virtues.’” And: “Again, please don’t think that I’m giving you moral advice, or that I’m saying you’re ‘supposed to’ think this way.” Finally: “Obviously, you can think of [this talk] whatever you wish. But please don’t dismiss it as some finger-wagging Dr Laura sermon.” Please.

Yet for all those disavowals, Wallace’s speech may be the most passionately moralistic of them all, though in a complex way. He tells us to be suspicious of that inner inner voice that Jobs wants us to listen to, because that voice always says the same thing: “There is no experience you’ve had that you were not at the absolute center of.” Consequently, our “natural, hard-wired default setting … is to be deeply and literally self-centred, and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.”

And why should we want to think otherwise? Why should we turn outward? Not in order to avoid becoming scoundrels, Wallace says, but because such other-directedness can bring us freedom. “The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom.”

Substantively, it seems to me, Wallace’s ethic is far closer to that of Lewis than to that of Jobs, though he and Jobs were near-contemporaries and formed by much the same culture. (Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters was one of Wallace’s favorite books.) But he could not, and knew he could not, speak as Lewis spoke — even with an ironic nod towards the inevitable clichés of the commencement-speech genre.

Universities still invite middle-aged moralists (professors rarely, writers and business leaders more often) to give speeches to their graduating students, even though those students are generally inoculated against middle-aged moralism — the moralism of self-fulfillment always excepted. What’s remarkable about Wallace’s speech, which has become the great canonical example of the genre, is that he found a way to rescue the occasion; and that he rescued it by pretending to refuse it."
commencementaddresses  2019  1944  2005  alanjacobs  via:lukeneff  davidfosterwallace  cslewis  stevejobs  moralism  morality  advice  middleage  commencementspeeches
june 2019 by robertogreco
Eros Black Sauce and Noodles – The Slow Zone
"If you pay no heed to what certain foods, in certain situations, tell us then we are missing something important and fundamental about the plot of a story.

Food in fiction allows the reader to share an intimate moment with a character, place or event. [Spoiler warning if you haven’t read Leviathan Wakes : Chapter 22 or S01E06]

“He’d stopped at a noodle cart, two new yens’ worth of egg noodles in black sauce steaming in their cone, when a hand clapped on his shoulder.” (Leviathan Wakes: 22 : Miller)

When Josephus Miller loses his job and travels to Eros searching for Julie Mao, he stops at a noodle cart for a steaming cone of “two new yens’ worth of egg noodles in black sauce.”

What do these noodles and sauce really represent?

The price gives us a first glance at the budget restrictions on Miller. We aren’t really sure what two new yen can really buy, but we infer that it isn’t much. Noodle carts are seen throughout the book and television series. They represent an irreplaceable part of the culture in which they feed. They are cheap, easy and abundant.

Out of all of the sauces James S. A. Corey could’ve have used, why does Miller select black sauce?

This imagery of black sauce represents two aspects of Miller’s current situation,

1. His sense of self-worth is low and the color black represents the dark thoughts, and confusion, that go unsaid. James S. A. Corey could have simply said that Miller wasn’t himself felt sad for the cards he’d been dealt. Instead we order some noodles alongside Miller taking in the scene. We, the readers, get to view the depth of his anguish for just two new yen.

2. We imagine the sauce as something dark and thick. It is a symbol of the situation Miller finds himself in. The troubles he has encountered, and will in the future, are seemingly inescapable. His difficulties seem so impassable. so dense and impenetrable.

All of this is communicated to us in a single sentence. This is the power of food in fiction. In a story that may seem distant and difficult to comprehend, we are able to engage with the story on a very human level.

Eros Black Sauce and Noodles

[recipe follows, with video]"

"I, Carlo, created this site dedicated to everything Expanse: novels, novellas, and the series. The inspiration to make this site came from a literal hunger. Yes, my stomach made me do it!

Every time James S. A. Corey made reference to food, my stomach growled and protested. The meals presented were different, but described so well that I could almost smell the curry or peanut sauce.

My focus is not only on the food of the Expanse, but also the literary elements of the novels and novellas.

Cordially,

Carlo"]
theexpanse  recipes  srg  food  noodles  via:lukeneff  2019  belters  jamescorey  books  fiction
may 2019 by robertogreco
What’s Wrong with Dot Voting Exercises – Medium

“Let’s fix the UI. The UI is terrible.” But what if beneath these user interface frustrations is the real behemoth — the underlying tech structure that really needs to be fixed first. And if everyone understood this, then they’d also understand that fixing the user interface issues now would be throwaway work when the foundation is eventually repaired. But everyone sees the visible problem, and cares about the visible problem, so the visible problem is what gets voted on.

Years ago, I started thinking about product and feature prioritization through the lens of pace layering. For the uninitiated, ‘pace layering’ is essentially a way to discuss different layers in a system, and how each layer changes at a different pace, from the fastest layers to the slowest layers in the system. Pace layering is often shown like this:

“Pace Layers” diagram from Stewart Brand. See: https://jods.mitpress.mit.edu/pub/issue3-brand
Pace layering is also explained using a house metaphor, where rearranging furniture (changing “Stuff”) is far easier than adding an extra bedroom (changing the “Structure”).

This metaphor is especially relevant for software design, where we have technology stacks and deep — and slow changing — layers of infrastructure sitting behind things that are far easier to change. Editing a misspelled word is far easier to change the the underling technical architecture everyone has committed to. If we think of user interface changes through this lens, it’s a good way to prioritize things according to where they sit in the stack."
design  thinking  mentalmodels  pacelayers  dotvoting  decisionmaking  voting  2019  stephenanderson  via:lukeneff
may 2019 by robertogreco
The Notre Dame Fire and the Invisible Tragedy of the Everyday
"Executive director of the World Peace Foundation Alex de Waal says that almost all the famines that occur today are political decisions, a “matter of system” as Kinsella puts it. In the modern world, hunger, homelessness, lack of proper healthcare, and lack of access to education are all political decisions as well. The simple truth is that we can take care of everyone on Earth, but we choose not to."

"The Nazis Used It, We Use It: Alex de Waal on the return of famine as a weapon of war"
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n12/alex-de-waal/the-nazis-used-it-we-use-it

"Reaction of the rich to the Notre Dame fire teaches us a lot about the world we live in"
https://www.joe.ie/life-style/notre-dame-feature-665670

"Billionaires raced to pledge money to rebuild Notre Dame. Then came the backlash."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/billionaires-raced-to-pledge-money-to-rebuild-notre-dame-then-came-the-backlash/2019/04/18/7133f9a2-617c-11e9-bf24-db4b9fb62aa2_story.html ]
health  suffering  humanity  politics  alexdewaal  hunger  healthcare  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  choices  capitalism  policy  education  2019  notredame  society  via:lukeneff  inequality  shame  famine  tragedy  2017
april 2019 by robertogreco
getting a new Mac up and running – Snakes and Ladders
"Things I do when I get a new Mac, more or less in order:

• install Homebrew [https://brew.sh/ ]
• use Homebrew to install pandoc [https://pandoc.org/ * ]
• install BBedit
• install MacTex
• type this into the terminal: defaults write com.barebones.bbedit FullScreenWindowsHogScreen -bool NO
• type this into the terminal: defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool true (followed by killall Dock)
enable Night Shift
• install TextExpander
• install Alfred
• install Hazeover
• install Hazel

Everything else can wait; once I have the above in place — plus of course syncing all my existing TextExpander snippets — I can do almost everything I really need to do on a computer, with maximum focus and speed."

If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife. Pandoc can convert documents in (several dialects of) Markdown, reStructuredText, textile, HTML, DocBook, LaTeX, MediaWiki markup, TWiki markup, TikiWiki markup, DokuWiki markup, Creole 1.0, Vimwiki markup, roff man, OPML, Emacs Org-Mode, Emacs Muse, txt2tags, Microsoft Word docx, LibreOffice ODT, EPUB, Jupyter notebooks ipynb, or Haddock markup to

HTML formats
XHTML, HTML5, and HTML slide shows using Slidy, reveal.js, Slideous, S5, or DZSlides

Word processor formats
Microsoft Word docx, OpenOffice/LibreOffice ODT, OpenDocument XML, Microsoft PowerPoint.

Ebooks
EPUB version 2 or 3, FictionBook2

Documentation formats
DocBook version 4 or 5, TEI Simple, GNU TexInfo, roff man, roff ms, Haddock markup

Archival formats
JATS

Page layout formats
InDesign ICML

Outline formats
OPML

TeX formats
LaTeX, ConTeXt, LaTeX Beamer slides

PDF
via pdflatex, xelatex, lualatex, pdfroff, wkhtml2pdf, prince, or weasyprint.

Lightweight markup formats
Markdown (including CommonMark and GitHub-flavored Markdown), reStructuredText, AsciiDoc, Emacs Org-Mode, Emacs Muse, Textile, txt2tags, MediaWiki markup, DokuWiki markup, TikiWiki markup, TWiki markup, Vimwiki markup, and ZimWiki markup.

Interactive notebook formats
Jupyter notebook (ipynb)

Custom formats
custom writers can be written in lua.

Pandoc understands a number of useful markdown syntax extensions, including document metadata (title, author, date); footnotes; tables; definition lists; superscript and subscript; strikeout; enhanced ordered lists (start number and numbering style are significant); running example lists; delimited code blocks with syntax highlighting; smart quotes, dashes, and ellipses; markdown inside HTML blocks; and inline LaTeX. If strict markdown compatibility is desired, all of these extensions can be turned off.

LaTeX math (and even macros) can be used in markdown documents. Several different methods of rendering math in HTML are provided, including MathJax and translation to MathML. LaTeX math is converted (as needed by the output format) to unicode, native Word equation objects, MathML, or roff eqn."
mac  alanjacobs  computers  osx  macos  via:lukeneff  homebrew  pandoc  files  filetype  conversion  text  plaintext  markup  html  epub  latex  setup
march 2019 by robertogreco
List: If People Talked to Other Professionals the Way They Talk to Teachers - McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
"“Ah, a zookeeper. So, you just babysit the animals all day?”

- - -
“My colon never acts this way at home. Are you sure you’re reading the colonoscopy results correctly? Did you ever think that maybe you just don’t like my colon?”

- - -
“I’d love to just play with actuary statistics all day. That would be so fun! I bet you don’t even feel like you’re at work!”

- - -
“You’re a sanitation worker, huh? I hated my garbage collectors when I was growing up. One of them once yelled at me when I stood directly in front of their truck and kept it from completing its appointed rounds, and ever since then I’ve just loathed all of them, everywhere.”

- - -
“So you run a ski lodge? Do you just, like, chill during the summer? Must be nice.”

- - -
“Since my singer-songwriter thing isn’t taking off yet, I’ve been thinking about going into lawyer-ing. I mean, how hard can it be? I know criminals like me, or at least the two that I see once a year at Thanksgiving do.”

- - -
“I bet that’s the best part of being a banker — all the free money!”

- - -
“Do you even read your patients’ charts, or do you just assign them a random dosage based on how nice they’ve been to you?”

- - -
“Before you give me a ticket, Officer, I just wanted to mention: My taxes pay your salary.”

- - -
“Excuse me, my seven-year-old son, who mere minutes ago lied about whether he had to pee or not, just told me that you wouldn’t give him any ketchup even though he says he asked for it politely. Now I’m going to ask the manager to move us to another server’s table, and also fire you.”

- - -
“Since you’re a plumber, and you’re around them all day, I have to ask — do you ever find one of your pipes attractive? Even though you know you shouldn’t go there?”

- - -
“Sure, the pay is low, but I bet the joy of putting together press releases for local events is reason enough to stick with this job in the events division of the Chamber of Commerce. You must really believe in its mission.”

- - -
“Oh, you’re a stand-up comedian, huh? So, you just stand up there and bullshit until your set is done?”

- - -
“Damn! Look at you in that dress! Now I’m Hot for Quality Control Manager for the Western Division!”"
humor  teaching  education  shannonread  via:lukeneff  2018
january 2019 by robertogreco
Austin Kleon — A library in the middle of a community is a cross...
"A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen, instead. A human with a brain and a heart and a desire to be uplifted, rather than a customer with a credit card and an inchoate “need” for “stuff.” A mall—the shops—are places where your money makes the wealthy wealthier. But a library is where the wealthy’s taxes pay for you to become a little more extraordinary, instead. A satisfying reversal. A balancing of the power." —Caitlin Moran [from "Libraries: Cathedrals of Our Souls" https://www.huffingtonpost.com/caitlin-moran/libraries-cathedrals-of-o_b_2103362.html ]
libraries  ausinkleon  caitlinmoran  via:lukeneff  2018
december 2018 by robertogreco
Studying Humpback Whales to Better Communicate with Aliens
"In this video, a pair of scientists talk about their work in studying the communication patterns of humpback whales to learn more about how we might someday communicate with a possible extraterrestrial intelligence. No, this isn’t Star Trek IV. For one thing, whales have tailored their communication style to long distances, when it may take hours to received a reply, an analog of the length of possible interplanetary & interstellar communications. The scientists are also using Claude Shannon’s information theory to study the complexity of the whales’ language and eventually hope to use their findings to better detect the level of intelligence in alien messages and perhaps even the social structure of the alien civilization itself."

animals  biology  communication  whales  2018  multispecies  morethanhuman  sound  audio  via:lukeneff  intelligence  informationtheory  seti  complexity  language  languages  structure  anthropology  social
november 2018 by robertogreco
White Kids | Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America | Books - NYU Press | NYU Press
"Riveting stories of how affluent, white children learn about race

American kids are living in a world of ongoing public debates about race, daily displays of racial injustice, and for some, an increased awareness surrounding diversity and inclusion. In this heated context, sociologist Margaret A. Hagerman zeroes in on affluent, white kids to observe how they make sense of privilege, unequal educational opportunities, and police violence. In fascinating detail, Hagerman considers the role that they and their families play in the reproduction of racism and racial inequality in America.

White Kids, based on two years of research involving in-depth interviews with white kids and their families, is a clear-eyed and sometimes shocking account of how white kids learn about race. In doing so, this book explores questions such as, “How do white kids learn about race when they grow up in families that do not talk openly about race or acknowledge its impact?” and “What about children growing up in families with parents who consider themselves to be ‘anti-racist’?”

Featuring the actual voices of young, affluent white kids and what they think about race, racism, inequality, and privilege, White Kids illuminates how white racial socialization is much more dynamic, complex, and varied than previously recognized. It is a process that stretches beyond white parents’ explicit conversations with their white children and includes not only the choices parents make about neighborhoods, schools, peer groups, extracurricular activities, and media, but also the choices made by the kids themselves. By interviewing kids who are growing up in different racial contexts—from racially segregated to meaningfully integrated and from politically progressive to conservative—this important book documents key differences in the outcomes of white racial socialization across families. And by observing families in their everyday lives, this book explores the extent to which white families, even those with anti-racist intentions, reproduce and reinforce the forms of inequality they say they reject."
race  racism  society  education  privilege  class  parenting  books  toread  via:tealtan  2018  opportunity  margarethagerman  sociology  affluence  police  policeviolence  inequality  socialization  segregation  bias  via:lukeneff
august 2018 by robertogreco
Whale Fossils Reveal Bizarre Evolution, Amazing Adaptations
"Pakicetus fits into the bestiary of these early whales that are experimenting with various ecological modes. It may have looked more like a dog or a wolf—others looked more like otters or sea lions—but all these variations ended extinct. Those branches begat nothing, but there was one that did beget the whales we have today, and those were the ones that went fully aquatic, divorcing themselves from the land. That one branch then radiated into the 80-odd species of cetaceans we see today. Not just the big ones. Dolphins and porpoises all descend from that ancestral whale that went back to the water full time."
whales  animals  multispecies  evolution  dolphins  porpoises  via:lukeneff  foreden
august 2018 by robertogreco
Kurt Vonnegut on how to write a good story
"1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages."
story  writing  vonegut  storytelling  via:lukeneff
july 2018 by robertogreco
Opinion | Wrap Your Mind Around a Whale - The New York Times
"The facts of a blue whale seem improbable; it is hard to wrap your mind around an animal with jaws the height of a football goal post. Those jaws are not just the ocean’s utmost bones (to borrow from Melville) but the utmost bones in the history of life on Earth.

And yet these superlative whales haven’t been huge that long. In fact, they emerged just about 4.5 million years ago, coinciding almost perfectly with the human era.

We are living right now in the age of giants. Blue whales, fin whales, right whales and bowhead whales are the largest animals, by weight, ever to have evolved. How did this happen? And what does this tell us about how evolution works?

Fossils show that the earliest whales were more obviously mammalian — they had four legs, a nose, maybe even fur. They had bladelike teeth and lived in habitats that ranged from woodlands with streams to river deltas, occasionally feeding in the brackish waters of shallow equatorial coasts. And they were the size of a large dog."
whales  nature  multispecies  history  naturalhistory  evolution  scale  size  oceans  mammals  via:lukeneff  foreden
july 2018 by robertogreco
The Guest House: A Poem - Mrs. Mindfulness
"The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks"
poetry  mindfulness  jellaludinrumi  poems  colemanbarks  hospitality  via:lukeneff
may 2018 by robertogreco
“The Moral Crisis of the University” | Gardner Writes
"Michael B. Katz is a new discovery for me (h/t Roving Librarian). His scholarship on the history of public education in the U.S.is fascinating, troubling, and revelatory. I’m sure his conclusions are contested–whose aren’t?–but at times the clarity and forcefulness of his insights take my breath away.

“The Moral Crisis of the University,” reprinted in Katz’s last book, Reconstructing American Education (1987), is full of such insights. The essay doesn’t make for happy reading, but every time I read it I come away with a renewed understanding of what will be lost if higher education centered on the life of the mind and nurtured by a strong sense of civic obligation disappears. In many cases, this has already happened. The change Katz describes in 1987 has accelerated in ways that may go beyond his worst nightmare. Along with that acceleration, of course, is a great deal of business as usual, as there always is. We look here when the real erosion is happening there. It’s hard to know where to look, even when there are no distractions–and there are always distractions.

There’s an old joke about going broke, credited to Hemingway: Q: “How did you go bankrupt?” A: “Little by little, then all at once.” During the little by little stage, people who sound various alarms risk being called cranks, or worse. And it’s true: a premature or mischievous cultivation of outrage may damage or destroy what little semblance of community may be left.

And yet, the little by little becomes greater every year. Michael Katz gives me a way to see that. With that clarity also comes hope, the hope that recognizing problems really is the first step toward addressing them, managing them, perhaps even solving them.

Here, then, for Week 7 of Open Learning ’18, my last week as hub director, is some Michael Katz for us to consider together.
[W]hat is it exactly that makes a university distinct from other social institutions? [Robert Paul] Wolff offered a compelling definition based on a conception of the ideal university as a “community of learning.” The ideal university, he argued, should be “a community of persons united by collective understandings, by common and communal goals, by bonds of reciprocal obligation, and by a flow of sentiment which makes the preservation of the community an object of desire, not merely a matter of prudence or a command of duty.” Community implies a form of social obligation governed by principles different from those operative in the marketplace and state. Laws of of supply and demand lose priority; wage-labor is not the template for all human relations; the translation of individuals into commodities is resisted. The difficult task of defining common goals or acceptable activity is neither avoided nor deflected onto bureaucracy….

For all their problems, universities and their faculties remain immensely privileged. They retain a freedom of activity and expression not permitted in any other major social institution. There are two justifications for this privilege. One is that it is an essential condition of teaching and learning. The other is that universities have become the major source of moral and social criticism in modern life. They are the major site of whatever social conscience we have left…. If the legitimacy of universities rested only on their service to the marketplace and state, internal freedom would not be an issue. But their legitimacy rests, in fact, on something else: their integrity. Like all privileges, the freedom enjoyed by universities carries correlative responsibilities. In their case it is intellectual honesty and moral courage. Modern universities are the greatest centers of intellectual power in history. Without integrity, they can become little more than supermarkets with raw power for sale. This is the tendency in the modern history of the higher learning. It is what I call the moral crisis of the university.

I firmly believe that these large questions are essential foundations for any effective change or conservation in higher education. For always some new things must be invented, some things will benefit from change, and some things must be conserved. Some core principles must remain non-negotiable. I agree with Katz: tenured faculty in higher education are the last, best hope for addressing these large questions of common goals and acceptable activities.

It may not yet be too late."
gardnercampbell  via:lukeneff  2018  lifeofthemind  liberalarts  highered  highereducation  colleges  universities  community  learning  civics  robertpaulwolff  michaelkatz  1987  howwelearn  purpose  meaning  bureaucracy  interdependence  collectivism  understanding  responsibility  integrity  morality  ethics  neoliberalism
april 2018 by robertogreco
Inside Einstein's head - an explorable explanation of relativistic spacetime
"An explorable explanation of relativistic spacetime, inspired by Albert Einstein's thought experiments."
via:lukeneff  examples  science  visualization  explainer  classideas  alberteinstein
march 2018 by robertogreco
Krita | Digital Painting. Creative Freedom.
"Krita is a professional FREE and open source painting program. It is made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.
• concept art
• texture and matte painters
• illustrations and comics"
opensource  via:lukeneff  applications  windows  linux  mac  osx  illustration  painting  software
february 2018 by robertogreco
The Perils of PBL’s Popularity | Blog | Project Based Learning | BIE
"As readers of this blog well know, Project Based Learning is a hot topic in education these days. The progressive teaching method is being touted as one of the best ways to engage 21st-century students and develop a deeper understanding of content as well as build success skills such as critical thinking/problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and self-management.

At the Buck Institute for Education, we think PBL is even more than that; it can be absolutely transformative for students who experience enough high-quality PBL in their K-12 years. They gain not only understanding and success skills but also confidence in their ability as independent learners and a greater sense of their own efficacy and power.

PBL is transformative for teachers and schools, too, as they create real-world connections to learning, change school culture, and guide students to successfully complete high-quality projects. And teachers who use PBL regularly can experience “the joy of teaching,” which they may not – make that likely will not – in a test-prep, drill-and-kill environment.

You’ll notice I use the term “high-quality” twice in the above, which points to a real concern we have at BIE. We don’t want PBL to become yesterday’s news, another education fad for which much is promised and little delivered. This is why BIE developed and promotes the Gold Standard PBL model: to help ensure PBL’s place as a permanent, regular feature of 21st century education for all students.

If it’s not done well, I see PBL facing three dangers:

1. Unprepared Teachers & Lack of Support
Teachers who are not prepared to design and implement projects effectively will see lackluster student performance and face daunting classroom management challenges. Shifting from traditional practice to PBL is not a simple matter of adding another tool to a teacher’s toolbox. PBL is not just another way to “cover standards” that’s a little more engaging for students. PBL represents a different philosophy about what and how students should learn in school, and many teachers and school leaders do not yet realize its implications. It was born in the progressive education movement associated with John Dewey, with more recent ties to constructivism and the work of Jean Piaget. Adding to this situation is the fact that most teachers teach the way they were taught, and did not experience PBL when they were students – so they don’t have a vision for what it can be.

Schools and districts need to provide teachers with opportunites for extensive and ongoing professional development, from workshops provided by experts (like BIE’s) to follow-up coaching, to work in their professional learning communities. Policies around grading, pacing guides, benchmark assessments, and more will need to be re-examined. It also means having longer class periods or blocks of time for project work, and rearranging how students are assigned to classrooms to allow for shared students for secondary-level multi-subject projects. And – I can’t stress this enough – teachers will need LOTS of time to plan projects and reflect on their practice. This means changing school schedules to create collaborative planning time, re-purposing staff meetings, perhaps providing (paid) time in the summer, and finding other creative solutions. All of this is a tall order, I realize, but these are the kinds of changes it will take for PBL to stick.

2. PBL-Lite
Many teachers and schools will create (or purchase from commercial vendors) lessons or activities that are called “project-based” and think they’re checking the box that says “we do PBL” – but find little change in student engagement or achievement, and certainly not a transformation. I’ve been seeing curriculum materials offered online and in catalogs that tout “inquiry” and “hands-on learning” that, while better than many traditional materials, are not really authentic and do not go very deep; they do not have the power of Gold Standard PBL. (For example, I've seen social studies "projects" from publishers that have kids writing pretend letters to government officials - instead of actually taking action to address a real-world issue - and math "projects" where students go through a set of worksheets to imagine themselves running a small business, instead of actually creating a business or at least an authentic proposal for one.)

With materials that are PBL-lite, we might see some gains in student engagement, and perhaps to some extent deeper learning; many of these materials are in fact better than the traditional alternatives for teaching the content. But the effects will be limited.

3. PBL Only for Special Occasions or Some Students
PBL might be relegated to special niches, instead of being used as a primary vehicle for teaching the curriculum - or being provided equitably for all students. I’ve heard about really cool projects that were done in “genius hours” or “maker spaces” or Gifted and Talented programs, or by A.P. students in May after the exams are over… but most students in the “regular program” did not experience PBL. Or schools might do powerful school-wide projects that do involve all students once a year or so, but the teaching of traditional academic subject matter remains unchanged. If this happens, the promise of PBL to build deeper understanding, build 21st century success skills, and transform the lives of all students, especially those furthest from educational opportunity, will remain unfulfilled."
projectbasedlearning  via:lukeneff  2016  johnlarmer  sfsh  progressive  education  learning  howwelearn  schools  teaching  collaboration  communication  self-management  efficacy  power  confidence  constructivism  johndewey  jeanpiaget
february 2018 by robertogreco
Gendered Text Project
"Keep the plot. Keep the prose.
Change the pronouns.

Purpose
Dynamically rewrite the gender of personae in texts
Challenge unconscious biases about gender and characters"
gender  literature  flipforlessonplans  writing  classideas  via:lukeneff
november 2017 by robertogreco
Dear Parent: About THAT kid… « Miss Night's Marbles
"I want to talk about THAT child, too, but there are so many things I can’t tell you.

I can’t tell you that she was adopted from an orphanage at 18 months.

I can’t tell you that he is on an elimination diet for possible food allergies, and that he is therefore hungry ALL. THE. TIME.

I can’t tell you that her parents are in the middle of a horrendous divorce, and she has been staying with her grandma.

I can’t tell you that I’m starting to worry that grandma drinks…

I can’t tell you that his asthma medication makes him agitated.

I can’t tell you that her mom is a single parent, and so she (the child) is at school from the moment before-care opens, until the moment after-care closes, and then the drive between home and school takes 40 minutes, and so she (the child) is getting less sleep than most adults.

I can’ tell you that he has been a witness to domestic violence.

That’s okay, you say. You understand I can’t share personal or family information. You just want to know what I am DOING about That Child’s behaviour.

I would love to tell you. But I can’t.

I can’t tell you that she receives speech-language services, that an assessment showed a severe language delay, and that the therapist feels the aggression is linked to frustration about being unable to communicate.

I can’t tell you that I meet with his parents EVERY week, and that both of them usually cry at those meetings.

I can’t tell you that the child and I have a secret hand signal to tell me when she needs to sit by herself for a while.

I can’t tell you that he spends rest time curled in my lap because “it makes me feel better to hear your heart, Teacher.”

I can’t tell you that I have been meticulously tracking her aggressive incidents for 3 months, and that she has dropped from 5 incidents a day, to 5 incidents a week.

I can’t tell you that the school secretary has agreed that I can send him to the office to “help” when I can tell he needs a change of scenery.

I can’t tell you that I have stood up in a staff meeting and, with tears in my eyes, BEGGED my colleagues to keep an extra close eye on her, to be kind to her even when they are frustrated that she just punched someone AGAIN, and this time, RIGHT IN FRONT OF A TEACHER.

The thing is, there are SO MANY THINGS I can’t tell you about That Child. I can’t even tell you the good stuff."
inclusion  children  teaching  education  schools  inclusivity  humans  howweteach  via:lukeneff
november 2017 by robertogreco
Front Matter | How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition | The National Academies Press
"Expanded Edition
How People Learn
Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning

John D.Bransford, Ann L.Brown, and Rodney R.Cocking, editors

Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice

M.Suzanne Donovan, John D.Bransford, and James W.Pellegrino, editors

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
National Research Council
Washington, D.C."
via:lukeneff  learning  books  toread  brain  howwelearn  schools
october 2017 by robertogreco
What is it like to be white?
"Here’s Fran Lebowitz talking about race in the US in a 1997 Vanity Fair interview:
The way to approach it, I think, is not to ask, “What would it be like to be black?” but to seriously consider what it is like to be white. That’s something white people almost never think about. And what it is like to be white is not to say, “We have to level the playing field,” but to acknowledge that not only do white people own the playing field but they have so designated this plot of land as a playing field to begin with. White people are the playing field. The advantage of being white is so extreme, so overwhelming, so immense, that to use the word “advantage” at all is misleading since it implies a kind of parity that simply does not exist.

It is now common — and I use the word “common” in its every sense — to see interviews with up-and-coming young movie stars whose parents or even grandparents were themselves movie stars. And when the interviewer asks, “Did you find it an advantage to be the child of a major motion-picture star?” the answer is invariably “Well, it gets you in the door, but after that you’ve got to perform, you’re on your own.” This is ludicrous. Getting in the door is pretty much the entire game, especially in movie acting, which is, after all, hardly a profession notable for its rigor. That’s how advantageous it is to be white. It’s as though all white people were the children of movie stars. Everyone gets in the door and then all you have to do is perform at this relatively minimal level.

Additionally, children of movie stars, like white people, have at — or actually in — their fingertips an advantage that is genetic. Because they are literally the progeny of movie stars they look specifically like the movie stars who have preceded them, their parents; they don’t have to convince us that they can be movie stars. We take them instantly at face value. Full face value. They look like their parents, whom we already know to be movie stars. White people look like their parents, whom we already know to be in charge. This is what white people look like — other white people. The owners. The people in charge. That’s the advantage of being white. And that’s the game. So by the time the white person sees the black person standing next to him at what he thinks is the starting line, the black person should be exhausted from his long and arduous trek to the beginning.

https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2016/01/fran-lebowitz-on-race-and-racism ]
race  culture  equity  whiteness  1997  franlebowitz  racism  privilege  us  society  via:lukeneff
august 2017 by robertogreco
some thoughts on the humanities - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"The idea that underlies Bakhtin’s hopefulness, that makes discovery and imagination essential to the work of the humanities, is, in brief, Terence’s famous statement, clichéd though it may have become: Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto. To say that nothing human is alien to me is not to say that everything human is fully accessible to me, fully comprehensible; it is not to erase or even to minimize cultural, racial, or sexual difference; but it is to say that nothing human stands wholly outside my ability to comprehend — if I am willing to work, in a disciplined and informed way, at the comprehending. Terence’s sentence is best taken not as a claim of achievement but as an essential aspiration; and it is the distinctive gift of the humanities to make that aspiration possible.

It is in this spirit that those claims that, as we have noted, emerged from humanistic learning, must be evaluated: that our age is postmodern, posthuman, postsecular. All the resources and practices of the humanities — reflective and critical, inquiring and skeptical, methodologically patient and inexplicably intuitive — should be brought to bear on these claims, and not with ironic detachment, but with the earnest conviction that our answers matter: they are, like those master concepts themselves, both diagnostic and prescriptive: they matter equally for our understanding of the past and our anticipating of the future."
alanjacobs  posthumanism  2016  humanities  understanding  empathy  postmodernism  postsecularism  georgesteiner  kennethburke  foucault  stephengrenblatt  via:lukeneff  erikdavis  raykurzweil  claudeshannon  mikhailbakhtin  terence  difference  comprehension  aspiration  progress  listening  optimism  learning  inquiry  history  future  utopia  michelfoucault
july 2017 by robertogreco
The Ultimate Collection of Google Font Pairings (Displayed Beautifully with Classic Art) | Reliable
"How this post came to be

I have to be honest - I love the concept of Google fonts, but I find the execution to always be somewhat... lacking. I don't know. When compared to classics like Futura, Bodoni, Garamond - even Helvetica - they just fall short, and I rarely, if ever, end up using them.

Can you relate?

Again, I love the concept of Google font pairings: the fast download of cool fonts (and even cute fonts) from their high-speed library is great, and has brought far more unique, web friendly fonts and font pairs to the internet than ever before. They sort of broke us out of the standard web fonts and web safe fonts we were all chained down to a few years back of Arial and Verdana and even the Times New Roman font (remember those days? Can you believe they were just a few short years ago?).

But because of that feeling of something "lacking" - I've stayed away from Google fonts. Until now.

A while ago, my partner and co-founder of Reliable, David Tendrich, challenged me to do something about it.

"Make Google fonts work," he said.

And so that's how this post was born.

I wanted to create the best font pairings Google has to offer that even high-end agency designers would be tempted to use. I wanted to assemble Google font pairs that even I would have trouble turning down.

So I combed through Google's vast library and tested hundreds of font combinations, from their most famous and top fonts like the Roboto font, Railway font, Montserrat font, Lato font, Oswald font, Lobster font, and more, to more obscure, funky ones you may have never even seen before this post.

The wonderful Rijks collection

It was also about this time that I came across the Rijks Museum's online art collection. In short, it's a beautiful collection of both classical and modern art that is 100% royalty free and available for any use you'd like. (Can you say "aaaamazing?")

I took my favorite pieces from the Rijks collection and combined them with my Google font pairings to create a truly beautiful display of Google fonts that really work. We've also organized them by filters to help you find a font to fit that project you're working on right now. You'll find dozens of font pairings you can re-use time and time again for different clients and projects.

But that's not all!

I undertook one more challenge in this project: To express these font pairings through profound, time-tested quotes on design from world-renowned designers of all styles. So we have beauty in art, functionality in fonts, and wisdom in quotes.

If you too have had trouble finding great Google fonts and combinations, this might win you over to the Google Fonts Team like it won me over. Or maybe not! The beauty of design is that, at the end of the day, our own preferences and styles are what truly matter.

One last thing:

To help you find font pairings, we organized them in two ways: Style (Serif, Sans Serif, Both), and Mood (Any, Modern, Striking, Eccentric, Classic, Minimal, Neutral, Warm).

Here's a brief explanation of each of these moods:

Modern: Feels like it was made for the 21st century, and wouldn't make sense in any other period. Typically clean, more on the minimal side, and great for projects that require a more polished feel.

Striking: Impact. Boldness. Weight. These font pairs reach out and grab you and pull you into their message.

Eccentric: Quirky. Odd. Different. These fonts communicate uniqueness in various ways. Great for personal blogs, companies in a crowded marketplace that need to be set apart, and more.

Classic: These font combinations feel like they could have existed for generations. They're reminiscent of classic, time-tested and weathered fonts that last. Great for projects that need to project confidence, reliability, style.

Minimal: These minimal font pairings say so much, with a whisper. They almost try to blend into the background and get out of the way to help you more purely take in the message. Clean. Concise. Polished.

Neutral: Some brands are like the friendly local baker who greets everyone with a smile. Others are more professional, cerebral. These neutral fonts are more on the cerebral side - conveying professionalism and cleanliness above all else. Think Helvetica, but for Google fonts.

Warm: For brands who are the "friendly local baker," these fonts are for you. They convey heart, creativity, openness. They say, "Come talk to me, let's be friends." Great for brands that have that personal touch.

So there you have it!

Beautiful fonts and combinations from Google you can use to fuel your personal and client projects. They're completely web safe fonts, and due to their vast use worldwide, I think it's safe to say Google fonts are the new standard web fonts.

(By the way, we've made this entire collection of Google font pairings into a downloadable PDF that you can easily reference at any time. You should see a small yellow tab at the bottom of your screen - click that to download the post now!)

I hope displaying them on top of various colors, with various beautiful works of art behind them, helped you envision how they might work in your projects. That was one of my biggest goals in creating this post.

An important lesson

That's actually a lesson that was greatly reinforced in me throughout this Google font quest - that how fonts are used are just as important, if not more so, than the fonts themselves.

I think often Google fonts are strewn across designs that are lacking the fundamentals of good design. They're the cool, hip thing to use - and as a result, so many people us them. But design is a spectrum ranging from bad to great, and as bell curves go, few designs are truly great.

By simple math, most designs using Google fonts need improvement. Perhaps that's where my initial bias against Google fonts came from. Design is something I take so seriously, and am so passionate about, that when I see bad or lazy design, it hurts. From seeing so much sub-par design riddled with Google fonts, I associated Google fonts with sub-par design.

A new perspective

But undertaking this challenge to create this collection forced me to see Google fonts from a new perspective. Namely, it forced me to throw away my previous conceptions and see them anew. When I did, I simply viewed them like I would anything else in a design - as an asset to be used and manipulated to achieve an end-goal.

When I had no choice but to make them work, I viewed them as something that actually "could" work. And that's where the creativity and magic began.

That leads me to another important lesson I became re-acquainted with in this process - that when we think something won't work, it won't work. And when we truly think it can, we really can make it work.

Strategies for choosing font pairs

I also wanted to talk about some of the strategies behind these Google font combinations to help you create even more of your own. Because while I have 50 here, I'm certain there are dozens more waiting to be made.

If you'll notice, there's a pattern to nearly every pair: The headline is very bold and impactful, and then the body font is very light and airy. This contrast creates a nice tension and context for the fonts. It makes it very interesting as you scroll. Our eyes and brains desire constant change and flux and small contrasts like this deliver.

Another reason the body fonts are very light and airy is that they have to be palatable and legible to the eye over the course of a long piece of text. If I throw a bold, impactful font at you for more than 10 or so words - your eye will go crazy. It's like talking on the phone with someone who only screams.

When you go from a louder headline font to a body font, there's almost a feeling of relief. The headline was a nice, momentary burst of excitement - but then the eye is relieved to handle something easier and less demanding.

Serif & Sans

In addition, still in line with that concept of contrast, I often paired a serif headline with a sans serif body, or vise versa. Again, this just emphasizes contrast and keeps things interesting.

It also takes things a step further and shifts the feel. Serif fonts tend to feel more grounded, conservative and calm. Sans serif fonts tend to feel more modern, daring, progressive. By paring the two together, you get a great balance that's interesting to the mind and the eye.

Work with what you (don't) love

Finally, in line with the attitude shift I mentioned above, in going from "Google fonts don't work" to "Let's make them work" - I purposefully chose some fonts I simply thought I'd never like or want to use in any context. If I looked at a font and felt like it was a "heck no" - I felt compelled to give it a try.

This is so important for the creative process. Often, without even realizing it, we confine ourselves to our creative comfort zones, which slowly shrink over time. But when we step outside and try something we thought we'd never like - we often have our biggest breakthroughs."
font  typography  fonts  design  google  googlefonts  free  loulevit  2017  webdev  graphicdesign  via:lukeneff  webdesign
july 2017 by robertogreco
Poemage: A Visualization Tool in Support of Close Reading
Poemage is a visualization system for exploring the sonic topology of a poem. We define sonic topology as the complex structures formed via the interaction of sonic patterns — words connected through some sonic or linguistic resemblance — across the space of the poem. Poemage was developed at the University of Utah as part of an ongoing, highly exploratory collaboration between data visualization experts and poets/poetry scholars. Additional details are provided in the companion paper [http://www.sci.utah.edu/~nmccurdy/Poemage/images/Poemage.pdf ].
poetry  visualization  poems  via:lukeneff
may 2017 by robertogreco
A world map for fossil finds
"The Paleobiology Database Navigator is a world map that shows where hundreds of thousands of fossils have been found. The data is maintained by an international group of paleontologists and you can filter the map by type of fossil and when it was found. There’s even a toggle to flip back and forth between the current placement of the continents and much earlier Pangea-like configurations."

classideas  fossils  via:lukeneff  paleontology  maps  mapping  sfsh
may 2017 by robertogreco
The revolt of the back row kids – Medium
"1. I earlier predicted Hillary would win in a landslide and I was wrong.

2. I predicted this despite spending the last year talking to voters all over the country and hearing from them nothing but anger.

3. Along with hearing anger, I have heard very little good said about Hillary Clinton. From anyone. Black or white.

4. I hear awful things about her, outright lies and nastiness, from many Trump voters. She is hated beyond anything.

5. I hear less awful things, but still bad, from Reagan Democrats who voted for Obama. They “just don’t like her.”

6. I hear from working class whites who love Bernie. Who will not vote for Hillary. “She is in Wall Streets hands.”

7. I spend an equal time in working class black neighborhoods, & they will vote for her. With little enthusiasm.

8. Many older blacks love Bill Clinton. And that is why they are voting for Hillary.

9. Is all of this anger and tepid support for Hillary just about sexism? Partly. But it is far more than that. She is viewed as aloof & calculating. As the establishment. As the elite. She represents the front row kids.

10. She is everything everyone dislikes about the front row kids. And this election is about everyone else throwing them out.

11. Bill Clinton was a back row kid at heart. That is what he came from. (Go visit his hometown. Really.)

12. Trump is what the back row (and middle rows) often love best. Someone from the front row who joins them.

13. Not only is Trump joining them, he is shooting spitballs at the kids in the front. Making them all mad!

14. And what does team Hillary do? Goes full front row on everyone, throwing scorn. “How dare you behave so awfully! Grow up! Bad kids!”

15. That is why “basket of deplorable” was so damaging. It is exactly how everyone who isn’t in the front row thinks the front row thinks about everyone else.

16. And the thing is, as someone who was in the front row for much of my life (Wall Street banker). It is exactly how many in the front row think!

17. Hillary and the front row kids can still easily win. But only if they become a little self aware and a little humble. Offer up real ideas and admit fault, rather than just dish out condescending scorn.

18. Judging from the dismissive yells of “Racist!” of, “They are stupid”, I hear daily from smart front row kids. Hillary, and her front row supporters, are in trouble.

PS: Here is a more mathematical description of the same thing: Why Trump voters are not “Completely idiots” [https://medium.com/@Chris_arnade/trump-politics-and-option-pricing-or-why-trump-voters-are-not-idiots-1e364a4ed940 ]

PSS: Feel free to yell at me on Twitter."

1. The US right now is massively divided. The biggest division is race. Even after Obama. The next biggest division is education.

2. There are the Front Row Kids (Below is my summary of how I define that) [image]

3. There are the Back Row Kids (Again. My definition) [image]

4. These are two entirely different world views. They are two different realities. Neither understands each other! Both want power.

5. How we frame & see everything, especially politics, is function of what group we are in [https://medium.com/@Chris_arnade/divided-by-meaning-1ab510759ee7 ]

6. Politics is about each group wanting to run stuff. For last X yrs, until this election, Front Row kids & their world view has run stuff

7. Frustrated, with their world view devalued, back row kids figured their only option was to knock over the game. Break the system. Trump

8. Now the Front row kids are flippin out. Because their world view is being questioned, broken, and devalued.

9. Just like the Back Row kids spent last X years flippin out.

How each flips out is also a function of their world view.

10. Back row kids flip out by anger/exclusion. Embracing populist. Strength is key
Front row kids flip out by condescending. Casting scorn.

11. In both cases it is to deny validity as they define it. Back row says Front row is "Weak/unAmerican." Front row says Back row is "Dumb"

12. These competing world views & realities are only growing bigger, driven by those wanting to intentionally exploit them (Trump!)

But....

13. They are also getting bigger by folks just not understanding they have a worldview that is limiting & often selfish. On both sides!

14. Most people are just good people (on both sides!), and overwhelmed with the daily realities of THEIR world to focus beyond that.

15. They are immersed in their reality, and when another reality comes slamming in -- the natural reaction is to retreat further. Not talk

16. And this social media thing ain't helping at all.

I myself don't see things getting better. I only see further division & more storms

17. Last 6 yrs talking to voters has been uplifting/depressing. Uplifting because individually we are great. But collectively we are divided

18. I can only hope, and stay focused, on the basic decency of everyone I have met all over the US. And hope that wins out."]
via:lukeneff  chrisarnade  us  elections  2016  politics  donaldtrump  hillaryclinton  elitism  inequality  meritocracy  value  worth  communication  worldview  meaning  opposition  2017  division  frontrowkids  backrowkids  government  power  reality
march 2017 by robertogreco
The font that escaped the Nazis and landed on the moon - YouTube
"Futura is familiar. But its journey from avant-garde German type to hipster favorite is unusual — and it includes Nazis and the moon."
futura  history  typography  via:lukeneff  nazigermany  design  graphicdesign  fonts  nasa  paulrenner
march 2017 by robertogreco
“All the time.”
"David Cox:
Yesterday, a student gave me step-by-step directions to solve a Rubik’s Cube. I finished it, but had no idea what I was doing. At times, I just watched what he did and copied his moves without even looking at the cube in my hands.

When we were finished, I exclaimed, “I did it!”, received a high-five from the student and some even applauded. For a moment, I felt like I had accomplished something. That feeling didn’t last long. I asked the class how often they experience what I just did.

They said, “All the time.”

Featured Comment

Lauren Beitel:
Is there an argument to be made that sometimes the conceptual understanding comes from repeating a procedure, then reflecting on it? Discovering/noticing patterns through repetition?

Great question. I wrote a comment [http://blog.mrmeyer.com/2016/all-the-time/#comment-2430188 ] in response."
math  teaching  education  danmeyer  learning  understanding  sfsh  repetition  mimicry  davidcox  laurenbeitel  via:lukeneff  howwelearn  howweteach  schools  meaningmaking
november 2016 by robertogreco
Abolishing Homework Pledge - Google Sheets
"I saw Race To Nowhere, and then I did some research. If you read someone like John Hattie, you realize that there are a handful of different interventions that teachers can use before homework that are more effective. I've committed to using those interventions that have larger effect sizes than homework during the time we have in class. Here's a link to a chart: http://www.teacherstoolbox.co.uk/T_effect_sizes.html . I encourage students to pursue the projects that they are interested in during all that time they have not doing homework for my classes."
homework  racetonowhere  teaching  howweteach  johnhattie  via:lukeneff
november 2016 by robertogreco
[locked out, but saw this via Luke…]

"3. Is the question merely engaging? Or will pursuing it lead to the topic's big ideas?
4. Is the question general enough to use across other units? Or is it bound too narrowly to just this topic or text?
5. Does the question get at what's odd, counterintuitive, or easily misunderstood? Or is it a predictable question with mundane and relatively superficial answers?"
teaching  unitplanning  projectbasedlearning  howweteach  essentialquestions  sfsh  via:lukeneff
november 2016 by robertogreco
li.st: How My Friends Described Some Colors To Me When I Couldn't See by Ashley (@ajesster)
"When I was a kid, I was legally blind due to the improper development of neurological connections as well as underdeveloped muscles. After a great doctor and a lot of work, I can see just fine now but for a while in my childhood, after a period of nothing, all I had was light and dark - this is how I remember family/friends describing colors to me.

(ran out of room in the description but these beautiful, old memories were brought up to the forefront of my mind by @kcupcaker and @nikkilounoel's lists about how they would describe themselves to somebody who couldn't see- like me!)

Red
They had me stand outside in the sun. They told me that the heat I was feeling is red. They explained that red is the color of a burn, from heat, embarrassment, or even anger.

Yellow
I didn't touch anything for this, they just told me that whenever you laugh so hard you can't stop, that that happiness is what yellow looks like.

Green
I held soft leaves and wet grass. They told me green felt like life. To this day it is still very much my favorite color.

Blue
They put my hands in their pool. They told me that that sensation I felt while swimming, that omnipresent coolness, that's blue. Blue feels like relaxation.

Brown
I held dirt and I touched a tree. They told me brown felt like earth, and like crunchy leaves or wilting flowers.

Grey
They told me that the rain is grey, and that so is concrete or cement. That it is a hard color, stern and with no personality. (Sorry grey, I like you now! But you scared me back then)"
color  writing  description  sight  senses  via:lukeneff
november 2016 by robertogreco
Assembling ClassDojo | code acts in education
The close relationship between ClassDojo, psychological expertise and government policy is indicative of the extent to which the ‘psy-sciences’ are involved in establishing the norms by which children are measured and governed in schools—a relationship which is by no means new, as Nikolas Rose has shown, but is now rapidly being accelerated by psy-based educational technologies such as ClassDojo. A science of mental measurement infuses ClassDojo, as operationalized by its behavioural points system, but it is also dedicated to an applied science of mental modification, involved in the current pursuit of the development of children as characters with grit and growth mindsets. By changing the language of learning to that of growth mindsets and other personal qualities, ClassDojo and the forms of expertise with which it is associated are changing the ways in which children may be understood and acted upon in the name of personal improvement and optimization.
classroommanagement  edtech  psychology  classdojo  2016  teaching  schools  education  behaviorism  via:lukeneff
november 2016 by robertogreco
Privacy Concerns for ClassDojo and Other Tracking Apps for Schoolchildren - The New York Times
"One morning in mid-October, Mr. Fletcher walked to the front of the classroom where an interactive white board displayed ClassDojo, a behavior-tracking app that lets teachers award points or subtract them based on a student’s conduct. On the board was a virtual classroom showing each student’s name, a cartoon avatar and the student’s scores so far that week.

“I’m going to have to take a point for no math homework,” Mr. Fletcher said to a blond boy in a striped shirt and then clicked on the boy’s avatar, a googly-eyed green monster, and subtracted a point.

The program emitted a disappointed pong sound, audible to the whole class — and sent a notice to the child’s parents if they had signed up for an account on the service."
children  data  panopticon  surveillance  edtech  classdojo  2016  teaching  education  schools  privacy  via:lukeneff
november 2016 by robertogreco
Meet the Perennials
"Gina Pell on the Perennials, the growing group of people who aren’t bound by age in the way most people in society used to be.
We are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who live in the present time, know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology, and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded, risk takers who continue to push up against our growing edge and know how to hustle. We comprise an inclusive, enduring mindset, not a divisive demographic.

This is an idea that’s been gathering steam for some time. In 2006, Adam Sternbergh wrote Up With Grups for New York Magazine.
Let’s start with a question. A few questions, actually: When did it become normal for your average 35-year-old New Yorker to (a) walk around with an iPod plugged into his ears at all times, listening to the latest from Bloc Party; (b) regularly buy his clothes at Urban Outfitters; (c) take her toddler to a Mommy’s Happy Hour at a Brooklyn bar; (d) stay out till 4 A.M. because he just can’t miss the latest New Pornographers show, because who knows when Neko Case will decide to stop touring with them, and everyone knows she’s the heart of the band; (e) spend \$250 on a pair of jeans that are artfully shredded to look like they just fell through a wheat thresher and are designed, eventually, to artfully fall totally apart; (f) decide that Sufjan Stevens is the perfect music to play for her 2-year-old, because, let’s face it, 2-year-olds have lousy taste in music, and we will not listen to the Wiggles in this house; (g) wear sneakers as a fashion statement; (h) wear the same vintage New Balance sneakers that he wore on his first day of school in the seventh grade as a fashion statement; (i) wear said sneakers to the office; (j) quit the office job because-you know what?-screw the office and screw jockeying for that promotion to VP, because isn’t promotion just another word for “slavery”?; (k) and besides, now that she’s a freelancer, working on her own projects, on her own terms, it’s that much easier to kick off in the middle of the week for a quick snowboarding trip to Sugarbush, because she’s got to have some balance, right? And she can write it off, too, because who knows? She might bump into Spike Jonze on the slopes; (l) wear a Misfits T-shirt; (m) make his 2-year-old wear a Misfits T-shirt; (n) never shave; (o) take pride in never shaving; (p) take pride in never shaving while spending$200 on a bedhead haircut and \$600 on a messenger bag, because, seriously, only his grandfather or some frat-boy Wall Street flunky still carries a briefcase; or (q) all of the above?

As part of a package of 10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now, Catherine Mayer wrote about Amortality for Time Magazine.
Amortals live among us. In their teens and 20s, they may seem preternaturally experienced. In later life, they often look young and dress younger. They have kids early or late — sometimes very late — or not at all. Their emotional lives are as chaotic as their financial planning. The defining characteristic of amortality is to live in the same way, at the same pitch, doing and consuming much the same things, from late teens right up until death.

Cowell is one of their poster boys; so too is France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, as mercurial as a hormonal teenager. Madonna is relentlessly amortal. It’s easier to diagnose the condition in the middle-aged, but there are baby amortals — think Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, who looks set to comport himself like a student geek to the end of his days. The eldest amortals, born long before the first boomer wave, are still making mischief around the world.

As centers of culture, big cities have always been places where people could go to not act their age. The internet has become another of those places — no one knows you’re a dog or 43 years old or 14 years old — and the sort of reinvention that’s commonplace online has leaked out into the real world."
people  society  socialnorms  millennials  2016  adamsternbergh  catherinemayer  age  aging  amortals  reinvention  agelessness  via:lukeneff
november 2016 by robertogreco
No child left alone: The ClassDojo app | Agata Soroko - Academia.edu
"ClassDojo’s vision for teaching and learning is disconcerting for educators like me, who do not see classrooms of compliant children policed by teachers glued to their smartphones as an ideal for which we ought to strive. While researching ClassDojo on the Internet, I came across various reviews, news articles, blogposts, and online comments where parents, teachers, and educational experts share similar concerns.

In this article, I outline how packaging ClassDojo in labels like “happier students” and “positive classrooms” conceals the problematic nature of the product. I argue that ClassDojo, masquerading as a progressive and empowering tool for student engagement and parental involvement, is a gamiﬁed version of traditional school practices involving intimidation, discipline, and compliance. Finally, I discuss how ClassDojo normalizes surveillance and exempliﬁes current educational trends in corporate-led school reforms"

"The author of the blog Teaching Ace, for example, likened the use of ClassDojo to a virtual taser, suggesting that waiting to get “zapped” distracts all students’ attention from learning, those who are usually motivated and those who have trouble focusing."
edtech  surveillance  education  technology  classdojo  behaviorism  2016  agatasoroko  teaching  howweteach  children  gamification  intimidation  discipline  compliance  via:lukeneff
november 2016 by robertogreco
Bear - Notes for iPhone, iPad and Mac
"Write beautifully on iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose.

Use it everywhere
Bear works on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, so you can write wherever inspiration strikes. Use todos to stay on task across every device.

Keep control
Link notes to each other to build a body of work. Use hashtags to organize for the way you think. All notes are stored in portable plain text.

Bear is perfect for everything from quick notes to in-depth essays. A focus mode helps you concentrate, and advanced markup options are an online writer's best friend. Full in-line image support brings your writing to life.

A beautiful setting
Packed with beautiful themes and typography, and more options on the way, Bear makes your writing look great before and after publishing.

Editing tools and exports
Bear's simple tools take the effort out of writing, whether you need to hit specific word counts and reading times, or you need to convert your writing into PDF and Word docs. With Bear's custom markup shortcuts, you can add style and links with just a tap or keystroke.

Bear features at a glance

• Advanced Markup Editor that supports and highlights over 20 programming languages
• Rich previews while writing so you see prose, not code
• In-line support for images and photos
• Use Cross-Note Links to build a body of work, quickly reference other notes, and more
• Quickly add todos to individual notes to keep yourself on task
• Multiple themes, including dyslexic and color-blind options, to offer a style for everyone
• Multiple export options including HTML, PDF, DOCX, MD, JPG, and more
• Smart Data Recognition of elements like links, emails, addresses, colors, and more to come
• Hashtags to quickly find and organize notes however you like
• One-tap formatting on iPhone and iPad with a custom shortcut bar
• Focus Mode hides notes and other options when it matters
• All your notes are stored in plain text for the ultimate in portability
• Effortless, secure, and private multi-device sync via iCloud

Pricing model

The core version of Bear for iOS and Mac will be free.

Bear Pro will offer advanced features, including themes and exporting, which can be unlocked via a single In-App Purchase that covers all your devices. Unlocking Bear Pro also provide one year of sync between your devices. When the year is over, you'll be able to renew sync for another year. The other unlocked features remain yours forever.

We’ll announce the pricing for Bear Pro at the end of the public beta."
via:lukeneff  applications  notes  notetaking  writing  wordprocessing  web  online  ios  mac  osx
july 2016 by robertogreco
The World Beyond Kant's Head - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"Crawford does some of both, but in many respects the chief argument of his book is based on a major causal assumption: that much of what’s wrong with our culture, and with our models of selfhood, arises from the success of certain of Kant’s ideas. I say “assumption” because I don’t think that Crawford ever actually argues the point, and I think he doesn’t argue the point because he doesn’t clearly distinguish between illumination and causation. That is, if I’ve read him rightly, he shows that a study of Kant makes sense of many contemporary phenomena and implicitly concludes that Kant’s ideas therefore are likely to have played a causal role in the rise of those phenomena.

I just don’t buy it, any more than I buy the structurally identical claim that modern individualism and atomization all derive from the late-medieval nominalists. I don’t buy those claims because I have never seen any evidence for them. I am not saying that those claims are wrong, I just want to know how it happens: how you get from extremely complex and arcane philosophical texts that only a handful of people in history have ever been able to read to world-shaping power. I don’t see how it’s even possible.

One of Auden’s most famous lines is: “Poetry makes nothing happen.” He was repeatedly insistent on this point. In several articles and interviews he commented that the social and political history of Europe would be precisely the same if Dante, Shakespeare, and Mozart had never lived. I suspect that this is true, and that it’s also true of philosophy. I think that we would have the techno-capitalist society we have if Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Immanuel Kant, and G.F.W. Hegel had never lived. If you disagree with me, please show me the path which those philosophical ideas followed to become so world-shapingly dominant. I am not too old to learn."
philosophy  correlation  causation  history  kant  alanjacobs  2016  matthewcrawford  illumination  hegel  whauden  via:lukeneff  individualism  atomization  dunsscotus  williamofockham
july 2016 by robertogreco
The oppression of silence
"And then I explained to him how naive we were, that the world did know and remain silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must -- at that moment -- become the center of the universe."
politics  humanity  eliewiesel  neutrality  science  persecution  oppression  complicity  2016  bystanders  race  religion  dignity  humanism  via:lukeneff
july 2016 by robertogreco
Why Teachers on TV Have to Be Incompetent or Inspiring - The New York Times
"Yet when fictional classrooms are filled with lower-income minority children, the teachers tend to be superheroes who triumph over poverty and racism by sheer force of personality and perseverance. If pedagogy has anything to do with it, these teachers come off as renegades who deploy tactics never before tried by their colleagues. (Cue “Freedom Writers,” “Dangerous Minds” and “Stand and Deliver.”)

Such archetypes tap into fierce debates in education today. Efforts to overturn public school job protections like tenure, for example, stem from the argument that ineffective teachers can stay in classrooms indefinitely. And policies tethering teacher evaluations to student test scores are based on studies that link high-performing teachers to long-term improvements in the lives of students, particularly the most disadvantaged.

“We’re trying to constantly play the top 2 percent off of the bottom 2 percent in different political ways,” said Roxanna Elden, a high school English teacher in Miami and the author of “See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers.”"

"Movies and television rarely show teachers, well, teaching. All kinds of professions, from police work to law to medicine, are routinely distorted in popular culture. But for the most part, competence rather than charisma is seen as a prerequisite for success in those fields. While journalists applauded the accurate portrayal of investigative reporting in “Spotlight,” this year’s Oscar winner, movies or television series tend to avoid the intellectual side of teaching. At least on shows like “The Good Wife” or “C.S.I.” you get to see the characters doing their jobs.

But in films and shows about teachers, the focus is on the teacher’s “connecting on an individual level with the students,” said James E. Ryan, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, “and not so much about the craft of teaching.” Teachers more typically serve as emotional mentors than instructional guides: Tina Fey’s character in “Mean Girls” is a math teacher, but her main role is as social conscience of the school.

For young people considering future careers, the generally negative view of teachers in pop culture can add to more tangible concerns about pay and working conditions. When Aubrey Gray, 18, a senior at Pickerington High School Central near Columbus, Ohio, told her brother of her plans to go into teaching, he responded, “Why in the world would you want to do that?”

Ms. Gray, who is a national vice president in Educators Rising, a student organization for teenagers who want to pursue teaching careers, said she recently watched a couple of episodes of “Teachers” and rolled her eyes. “I really feel like I have a great chance to change the way that people see teachers,” she said.

There is a chicken-and-egg question about whether popular culture can change how teaching is perceived. Dan Brown, a co-director of Educators Rising, said complex portrayals of doctors, for example, came long after an overhaul of standards for training and medical residencies helped cement doctors as respected experts.

“Right now teaching doesn’t have the status of other professions,” said Mr. Brown, “and that’s reflected exponentially in media.”

I asked one of my favorite middle school teachers, Dennis Cardwell, who retired from Kenilworth Junior High School in Petaluma, Calif., after 30 years of teaching English, what he thought of how his profession appeared in pop culture. “All of those tropes definitely exist,” he said. “And I worked with all of them.”

But more realist depictions, he added, could have a downside. “If a film could actually show how hard teaching is,” he wrote, “no one would become a teacher.”"
teaching  film  society  culture  movies  2016  via:lukeneff  motokorich  popculture  teachers
july 2016 by robertogreco
What's the Greatest Edtech Tool? | Edutopia
"So, ironically, the greatest edtech tool isn't available on your tablet, smartphone, laptop or desktop. The greatest edtech tool is informed, inspired teacher leadership complemented by a culture of collaboration and risk taking. It's not about the technology, it's about the people and their commitment to meaningful learning."
edtech  teaching  sfsh  schools  education  relationships  learning  howwelearn  collaboration  risktaking  via:lukeneff  emileferlisi  2016
july 2016 by robertogreco
Apple Offers to Replace iPads With MacBooks in Maine State Classrooms - Mac Rumors
"Apple and the Maine Department of Education have offered to swap school iPads for MacBooks at no additional cost, after it emerged that students and teachers overwhelmingly favor the use of laptops in class.

According to a report in the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, schools in Auburn and other districts in Maine are set to benefit from the "Refresh" swap, following surveys of students and teachers across grades 7 through 12, which revealed that 88.5 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students preferred laptops over iPads. "

"One teacher wrote in the survey that iPads "provide no educational function in the classroom. Students use them as toys. Word processing is near to impossible. I applaud this change."
chromebooks  ipads  laptops  edtech  technology  education  schools  sfsh  learning  apple  teaching  via:lukeneff  ipad
june 2016 by robertogreco
How YouTube Changed The Essay | Evan Puschak | TEDxLafayetteCollege - YouTube
"Evan Puschak, creator of The Nerdwriter, traces the history of the written essay and the essay-film, showing how these two strands feed into a new form of the essay which is becoming increasingly popular on YouTube: the video essay.

Evan Puschak is the creator and producer of The Nerdwriter, a popular web series of weekly video essays about art and culture. Evan launched The Nerdwriter in 2011, a year after graduating from Boston University, where he studied film production. One of his first videos landed him a job at MSNBC as a writer and web content producer. Almost three years later, the Discovery Channel asked him to write and host a show on their digital network called Seeker Daily. After launching a successful show for Discovery, he left to pursue The Nerdwriter full time. Evan has never been fond of offices or working for other people. He hates meetings and quarterly earnings reports. Now that he’s working for himself, pursuing his passion on YouTube, Evan has never been happier."
via:lukeneff  writing  essays  evanpuschak  nerdwriter  videoessays  2016  hansrichter  fforfake  orsonwelles  documentary  commentary  sanssoleil  1973  1983  1940  chrismarker  everyframeapainting  tonyzhou  education  knowledge  explainers  mikerugnetta  vox  internet  web  online  audiovisual  learning  thinking  micheldemontaigne  montaigne
june 2016 by robertogreco
The Overselling of Ed Tech - Alfie Kohn
We can’t answer the question “Is tech useful in schools?” until we’ve grappled with a deeper question: “What kinds of learning should be taking place in those schools?”

"Lucid critiques of ed tech — and of technology more generally — have been offered by educators and other social scientists for some time now. See, for example, the work of Larry Cuban, Sherry Turkle, Gary Stager, and Will Richardson. (Really. See their work. It’s worth reading.) But their arguments, like the available data that fail to show much benefit, don’t seem to be slowing the feeding frenzy. Ed tech is increasingly making its way even into classrooms for young children. And the federal government is pushing this stuff unreservedly: Check out the U.S. Office of Education Technology’s 2016 plan recommending greater use of “embedded” assessment, which “includes ongoing gathering and sharing of data,” plus, in a development that seems inevitable in retrospect, a tech-based program to foster a “growth mindset” in children. There’s much more in that plan, too – virtually all of it, as blogger Emily Talmage points out, uncannily aligned with the wish list of the Digital Learning Council, a group consisting largely of conservative advocacy groups and foundations, and corporations with a financial interest in promoting ed tech.

There’s a jump-on-the-bandwagon feel to how districts are pouring money into computers and software programs – money that’s badly needed for, say, hiring teachers. But even if ed tech were adopted as thoughtfully as its proponents claim, we’re still left with deep reasons to be concerned about the outmoded model of teaching that it helps to preserve — or at least fails to help us move beyond. To be committed to meaningful learning requires us to view testimonials for technology with a terabyte’s worth of skepticism."
edtech  alfiekohn  2016  technology  education  learning  schools  teaching  garystager  willrichardson  larrycuban  sherryturkle  emilytalmage  via:lukeneff
april 2016 by robertogreco
Apple's new short film starring autistic teen shows how tech transforms lives
"Dillan has been using an iPad as a communication tool for about three years. His use of the technology actually went viral in 2014, after he used his tablet and an AAC app to deliver a moving middle school graduation speech.

“For Apple, accessibility is about empowering everyone to use our technology to be creative, productive and independent,” Sarah Herrlinger, senior manager for global accessibility policy and initiatives at Apple, tells Mashable. “Dillan’s message is powerful, and we are grateful the iPad and apps are playing such an impactful role in his life.”"

assistivetechnology  autism  apple  2016  ipad  technology  via:lukeneff
april 2016 by robertogreco
This paragraph on a black kindergartner's view of the world is absolutely crushing - Vox
"I tutored a kid. This little black kid. He looked up to me a lot. One day he asked me, "Mr. Ebbie, is jail a good place to be?" I said, "Why would you ever ask that?" He said: "My daddy's in jail and he said he gets three meals a day. And sometimes my mom can't make me food and I'm hungry." I went home and I cried that night. This is a kindergartner. Teachers told him he was going to jail. I looked at him as a 5-year-old. I didn't see a criminal. I didn't see a drug dealer. I didn't see a rapist. I didn't see a gangbanger. I saw myself, when I was a little kid 10 years ago. The candidates, a lot of them, are from very privileged backgrounds and benefit from a white, male, Christian power structure. And that's O.K. I don't think that white people should feel guilty about their privilege. But they should feel a responsibility to acknowledge it."
race  racism  education  us  2016  schooltoprisonpipeline  prisonindustrialcomplex  via:lukeneff
march 2016 by robertogreco
Queer Teacher | Autodizactic
"Assume someone in the room is LGBTQ. This is different than assuming not everyone is straight.

Use inclusive language. Instead of asking a student if they are going to a social function with what someone of what you perceive to be of the opposite gender, ask if they’re planning on going with anyone or going at all.

Mention LGBTQ people in positive ways. Part of what took me so long to get right with being queer was having Matthew Shepherd as my main touchstone of what it meant to be gay. Think about the lesson implicit in a story about a person whose life came to mean something to people only after he’d been tied to a fence post, beaten, and left to freeze to death.

Call on your unions to champion equity. As I said, 28 states still allow for the dismissal of teachers based on sexuality. If their membership called for it, the teachers unions could at least make this part of the conversation in election cycles.

Out yourself. Give yourself a week of outing yourself as straight when you meet new people or in conversations with people you’ve known for a while but haven’t told you’re straight. If we have to do it, you should at least learn how awkward and annoying it feels.

Know that knowing one LGBTQ person isn’t knowing all or even many. I write this as one queer man, not on behalf of all. In the same way I don’t make assumptions about all members of group X when I meet them, don’t take meeting me or anyone else as having learned what there is to know about someone different from you."
lgbt  sexuality  teachers  teaching  personhood  2016  zacharchychase  inclusivity  lgbtq  via:lukeneff
february 2016 by robertogreco
Cars, trucks, iPads, and laptops | Macworld
"Steve Jobs famously likened touchscreen devices to cars and traditional PCs, including the Mac, to trucks. The idea was that in the future–especially as older people who grew up with keyboards and mice and were accustomed to them–computers would become marginalized, powerful tools that would be used for specific purposes. General-purpose computing, on the other hand, would become the province of the ubiquitous car.

This story is frequently told in the context of the iPad. The argument is that the iPad and touchscreen tablets like it will ultimately replace the PC. And while that may yet happen, I think it misses the larger point. This entire thing has already happened. The world is being transformed into a smartphone-using culture. The smartphone is already the car, and everything else is a truck.

So let’s talk trucks, and consider the iPad again. With the release of the iPad Pro–I’m writing this story on one right now–we’ve all been considering the question of if the iPad fits into getting work done. My feeling is that it absolutely can, though it will be a big adjustment for those of us in that keyboard-and-mouse crowd.

The assumption many of us have made, myself included, is that it will really take a new generation of computer users, those weaned on iPhones and iPads, before the iPad and other touchscreen devices take their place as the computing trucks of the future. It makes sense, right? Kids love iPhones and iPads. The touch interface is easily understandable, even by small children. The future is inevitable.

So here’s the problem with that way of thinking. My daughter, born in 2001 and raised in a world of iPods, iPhones, and iPads, has two devices she absolutely requires in order to live. (My understanding is that she would shrivel up into some sort of husk and die if either of them were to go away.) One of those devices is her iPhone, of course. She is endlessly iMessaging, Instagramming, Snapchatting, and FaceTiming with her friends.

The other device is a laptop. (A Chromebook Pixel, in this case, but it could just as easily have been a MacBook Air.) In fact, when I offered her the use of my iPad Air 2 instead of her laptop, she immediately dismissed it. A native of the 21st century–the century where the keyboard and mouse are left on the sidewalk with a cardboard FREE sign as we embrace our tablet futures–is flatly refusing to switch from a laptop to a tablet.

Of course, I asked my daughter why she prefers the laptop to an iPad. Her school relies on Google Docs for most of the work she does, and she likes being able to do that work on the laptop. (Given the limitations of the Google Docs apps on iOS, I didn’t even try to convince her that her experience on an iPad would be equal to that inside a Chrome browser tab.)

But beyond schoolwork, the main way she uses her laptop is as a video player. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, you name it–she’d rather watch most shows on her 13-inch high-resolution laptop screen than on the 60-inch HDTV in my living room. (Some of that is because this is a screen that she can control and watch without being bothered by another family member.)

She also seems to have been burned by her middle-school experience with iPads, which apparently was rife with buggy apps.

In the end, my daughter’s judgment about the choice was fairly simple: “I feel like you can do more with a laptop than with an iPad,” she told me during an exclusive interview as I drove her home from school.

(As a Mac user, I also have to point out that while my daughter used to use a hand-me-down iMac, she now is exclusively using the Chromebook. So when she says “you can do more with a laptop,” she isn’t referring to native apps–only tabs inside the Chrome browser.)

One teenager’s opinion won’t decide the future of tablets and laptops, but I’m intrigued by the fact that her choice was the opposite of what I expected. Perhaps the computer users of the future are more open to old-fashioned computers than I thought. Perhaps the lack of native apps on the Chromebook isn’t a stumbling block for them, because they live on the web.

Still, if my daughter had to pick only a single device to use, it would undoubtedly be her phone. Her love of the iPhone makes me think that sometime, in the future, she might be willing to try an iPad again. But I’m not sure I’d put money on her switching from a laptop to a tablet anytime soon."
february 2016 by robertogreco
The invention of farming
"Rather than heralding a new era of easy living, the Agricultural Revolution left farmers with lives generally more difficult and less satisfying than those of foragers. Hunter-gatherers spent their time in more stimulating and varied ways, and were less in danger of starvation and disease. The Agricultural Revolution certainly enlarged the sum total of food at the disposal of humankind, but the extra food did not translate into a better diet or more leisure. Rather, it translated into population explosions and pampered elites. The average farmer worked harder than the average forager, and got a worse diet in return. The Agricultural Revolution was history's biggest fraud."
humanity  civilization  history  agriculture  yuvalnoahharari  food  work  labor  life  economics  inequality  via:lukeneff  hunter-gatherers
february 2016 by robertogreco
The Conversations I Want to Have | Autodizactic
"As of June 15, my contract on my day gig will be up, and I’ll need to find some other way to keep my dog fed. As much as I’ve been thinking about geography when grappling with what this change means, I’ve been thinking about what kinds of conversations I want to be in and which ones I want to leave behind. With five and a half months left on the calendar, I’m gaining clarity.

The conversations I most want to sustain and move forward are those around equity and purpose. The first means all equities. I want to talk about the kid in middle school who realizes he’s gay and can’t access educational and social experiences like teachers’ use of heteronormative language and not feeling comfortable asking his crush to the school dance. I want to talk about the fact that if most school leaders say they invited their honors or gifted and talented-labeled students to participate in a program then I can be almost certain they didn’t invite students of color. I want to talk about how students in rural schools don’t have the access to arts, cultural institutions, and educational opportunities their urban- and suburban-dwelling peers have every day. As many flavors of equity as we can bring to the table, that’s what I want.

In all of my grad school experiences, I have asked and searched for an answer to the same question to no avail, “What is the pedagogy and practice that drives this institution of learning?” Silence each time. I ask a similar question of principals and superintendents, “What are the three things we are working toward this year?” Silence (usually uncomfortable), and then a garbled answer.

Thus, I want to improve conversations of purpose. For any action, program, or scheme; I want to help make sure there’s an answer to “Why are we doing this?” Similarly, for all askings of “What are we going to do?” I want to help organizations and people look to their agreed upon purpose for helpful guidance. If you don’t know your mission statement, then it’s probably not your mission.

The conversations I’m willing to step away from are simple. Anything that starts with, “How can technology…” Technology should not drive the question. It should be considered as an answer to a possible problem, and it becomes boring to be in room after room and seen as a person who is there to bring up technology before he brings up people and relationships. In the conversations I’m seeking, I hope to enter fewer rooms with that presumed persona in the same way a master carpenter probably doesn’t want to be “that lady who loves talking about saws.”"
zacharychase  2016  via:lukeneff  purpose  education  schools  conversation  equity  inequality  inclusivity  pedagogy  practice  technology  edtech  teaching  learning  organizations
february 2016 by robertogreco
Small Schools: The Edu-Reform Failure That Wasn't - Education Week
[paywalled, available in PDF here: http://www.holycross.edu/sites/default/files/files/education/jschneider/small_schools_commentary.pdf ]

"But were small schools really the problem? A decade later, we have fairly robust evidence suggesting otherwise. A 2014 study by the nonpartisan research organization MDRC, for instance, found that graduation rates in New York City improved by 9.5 percent at small schools, with effects across every student group—a tremendous increase that also led to higher college enrollments. Another study, by a team at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research, found similar increases in high school graduation rates in Chicago's public schools, despite the fact that small schools generally served a more disadvantaged population in the city.

As it turns out, small schools do exactly what you might expect. Smallness can create more opportunities for young people to be known, both by one another and by the adults in the building. The relative intimacy of small schools can foster trusting, caring, and attentive relationships. Deborah Meier, the godmother of the small-schools movement, consistently made this argument in the 1980s and 1990s when explaining the importance of size. As she put it in a 1989 op-ed essay, small schools offer young people better opportunities to learn forms of participation" necessary to becoming a member of a democratic society." But they are, at best, only one piece of a complex puzzle. And early proponents of small schools were clear about that. As Meier, who also writes an opinion blog for Education Week, prudently observed: "Small schools are not the answer, but without them none of the proposed answers stand a chance.""
small  slow  smallschools  education  educationreform  edreform  2016  via:lukeneff  jackschneider  deborahmeier  smallness  reform  schools  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh
february 2016 by robertogreco
anf — I have a million ideas. I’m boiling over with...
"I have a million ideas. I’m boiling over with them. I had to go for a walk to get away from them, but the problem with ideas is that the more you walk, the more you get. They breed in the brainpan."
— Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies, page 129
quotes  ideas  larengroff  brains  via:lukeneff
december 2015 by robertogreco
Philip Larkin - The Mower
"we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time."
poetry  quotes  poems  kindness  philiplarkin  via:lukeneff
december 2015 by robertogreco
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Facepalm Pilot: Where Technology Meets Stupidity: An Interactive Guide to Ambiguous Grammar.
"Depending on whom you ask, the use of the active voice over the passive is arguably the most fundamental writer’s maxim, thought to lend weight, truth, and power to declarative statements. This absolutist view is flawed, however, because language is an art of nuance. From time to time, writers may well find illustrative value in the lightest of phrases, sentences so weightless and feathery that they scarcely even seem to exist at all. These can convey details well beyond the crude thrust of the hulking active voice, and when used strictly as ornamentation, they needn’t actually convey anything at all."
writing  grammar  language  police  passivevoice  2015  race  journalism  english  bias  lawenforcement  via:lukeneff
october 2015 by robertogreco
Google Art Project - Chrome Web Store
Breathe a little culture into your day! Discover a beautiful artwork from the Google Art Project each time you open a new tab in Chrome.

With this extension, in every new Chrome tab you’ll see masterpieces ranging from Van Gogh and Monet, all the way to contemporary works from street artists around the world. The artwork is refreshed every day, or change the settings to see a new image every time you open a new tab.

If an artwork happens to spark your curiosity, click the image description to discover more on the Google Cultural Institute website."
via:lukeneff  chrome  extensions  art  arthistory  googleartproject
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Up-Goer Five Text Editor
"Can you explain a hard idea using only the ten hundred most used words? it's not very easy. Type in the box to try it out."
writing  language  words  classideas  vocabulary  xkcd  onlinetoolkit  via:lukeneff
july 2015 by robertogreco
William Gibson on Twitter: "Small, inexpensive device instantly injures/kills at a distance, via line of sight. Ubiquitous distribution said to radically further safety"
"Small, inexpensive device instantly injures/kills at a distance, via line of sight. Ubiquitous distribution said to radically further safety"
guncontrol  2015  williamgibson  via:lukeneff
july 2015 by robertogreco
Introducing hypothes.is for Education | Hypothesis
"As a non-profit dedicated to open standards, I think we are poised at hypothes.is to bring annotation to scale in the education space. The school teacher in me remains most focused on classroom applications for this kind of technology, whether that be establishing collaborative digital annotation as a key tool for the implementation of the Common Core Standards in US public schools (see the standards here, annotated and aligned with hypothes.is), or integrating social reading into online and hybrid learning environments as both a close reading and a community building tool (in fact, thanks to Jesse Stommel, we already had a MOOC on Shakespeare experiment with hypothes.is). But I also believe that annotation functionality is key to updating our textbooks for the 21st century, making them rich with multimedia elements and editorial notes, but also with the potential for teacher and peer commentary. And I’ll be working to ship annotation along with the Content and Learning Management Systems (C/LMSs) used by so many teachers today as well. With both textbooks and C/LMSs. my vision is to bring the intimacy and vibrancy of a good classroom environment to the digital technologies that supplement IRL teaching moments asynchronously.

If anyone here is interested in the educational uses of annotation technology, please reach out to me. Here are some tutorials that I’ve created for students and teachers on how to get started using the application. Right now, I’m talking to a lot of former colleagues and current contacts in education about what they think are the most important features of a social reading tool for the classroom. Currently my top three product priorities are: private groups, enhanced notifications, and profile pages. What are yours? I want to know what you and your students need! Reach out anytime for support or discussion: jeremydean@hypothes.is. And follow me on Twitter for live updates and random thoughts about collaborative digital annotation!"
jeremydean  hypothes.is  annotation  education  collaboration  marginalia  2015  via:lukeneff  rapgenius  onlinetoolkit  genius.com
june 2015 by robertogreco
Bullet Journal: An analog note-taking system for the digital age
"For the list-makers, the note-takers, the Post-It note pilots, the track-keepers, and the dabbling doodlers. Bullet journal is for those who feel there are few platforms as powerful as the blank paper page. It’s an analog system for the digital age that will help you organize the present, record the past, and plan for the future."
calendars  productivity  jornals  via:lukeneff  lists  gtd
may 2015 by robertogreco
6, 53: Mapping
"Doing Nepal-related things, some of them involving fancy new satellite imagery and such, but also the simple, repetitive work of contributing to HOT OSM, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. This is easy and makes the delivery of supplies incrementally faster. I don’t know what it’s like in and around Kathmandu right now. It’s almost certainly a lot of traumatized people trying to help injured people as fast as possible, probably without enough clean water or shelter. Some aid agencies I mostly trust (which ain’t all of them) say they need to know where there are roads and potential helicopter landing sites, and we can tell them that.

If you want to, orient yourself with the HOT website, read @meetar’s guide, find other resources (in a pinch, ask me, though I’m not an expert), and pick up some tasks from the tasking manager. I recommend the vanilla, in-browser iD editor for beginners – I still use it mostly. I think the main barrier for many people is an impression that they don’t know enough to help: like you have to be a trained cartographer or something. That is, politely, false. If you can trace a road, you’re helping. This is a case where a bad map is better than no map. Your work will be checked and polished by more experienced people, and then given to responders who understand that it’s the best available, not authoritative. Your help is welcome."
maps  mapping  osm  openstreetmap  charlieloyd  peterrichardson  nepal  2015  hotosm  via:lukeneff
may 2015 by robertogreco
Why Common Core math problems look so weird - YouTube
"There's a pretty good reason why parents are confused by their kids' new math homework.

math  mathematics  education  howweteach  commoncore  numeracy  numbersense  via:lukeneff  2015
april 2015 by robertogreco
Come On Sister by Kevin Nguyen
"The comic might not have been a hit, but we would at least have a good time at the concert. We were seated in the front row of the mezzanine, looking out over the audience and the dozens of cell phones and digital cameras that were recording the show. I made a comment about how dumb it was that everyone was filming the show on their crappy phones. What do people even do with that footage anyway?

Then I turned and saw that Olivia was recording with her camera. She texted and took photos throughout the entire show. She seemed bored, but I figured that’s just how kids were these days. Always texting.

I tried to keep her attention throughout the show by saying really interesting things like “This is the third track on Tigermilk,” and “There aren’t usually drums on ‘Piazza New York Catcher.’”

I asked Olivia which songs she wanted to hear in particular. She named a few, but was really hoping to hear “If You Find Yourself Caught in Love.” I thought it would be unlikely, since it appears toward the tail end of Dear Catastrophe Waitress. I was surprised and grateful when the band played the first few piano notes of the song. Unfortunately, for the first minute, frontman Stuart Murdoch sang into a dead mic, unaware that the audience couldn’t hear him. I kept thinking, Don’t ruin my sister’s favorite song, but Olivia didn’t look the least bit disappointed. Even though we couldn’t hear Murdoch, she sang along anyway.

Belle and Sebastian closed the concert with “Sleep the Clock Around.”

“This is the second track off The Boy with the Arab Strap,” I said.

Olivia nodded.

“This is probably my favorite song,” I added. “This song is really good. I’m glad they’re playing it.”

She started filming again.

After the concert, I asked Olivia if the show was better than the Fray concert she’d been to a few months before.

“Well, you can’t really compare them,” she said.

A week later, Olivia posted a thirty-second video of “Sleep the Clock Around” to Facebook. One of her friends left a comment asking how the show was. She replied, hahahaha the whole crowd were 20 to 30 year olds. the only person who knew [the band] was my AP world history teacher hahaha.

None of my sister’s friends knew who Belle and Sebastian were. And it became apparent that Olivia didn’t actually like Belle and Sebastian that much—but she knew I did. Among all those things my sister was better at than I was: being a thoughtful, unselfish sibling. In truth, I hadn’t taken her to the concert so much as she had taken me."

"I kept telling Olivia that everything would work out, that, in hindsight, she’d see that not getting into her first-choice school wasn’t the end of the world. The last thing a teenager wants, though, is for her distress to be treated with condescension. I could tell her everything would be okay, I could mansplain the college process, I could tell her to stop whining, but none of these things would be very helpful. I realized that I was a woefully inept older brother.

A few years ago, I saw John Green, an author of young-adult fiction, give a talk. He made an offhand comment about how teenagers were selfish, then backed up on the point. He explained that what he meant to say was that teenagers were rightfully selfish. In high school, it’s so overwhelming and difficult to figure out one’s identity and sense of place that teenagers have to be selfish. I think this is the smartest summation I’ve come across about adolescence. A teenager’s pain is unique and singular, and yet it must be understood by everyone around her."
april 2015 by robertogreco
During the Crash
"So Lorna and I came up with a plan. I would, for a four-week period, ruthlessly clear my diary and go on what we somewhat mysteriously called a "Crash". During the Crash, I would do nothing but write from 9am to 10.30pm, Monday through Saturday. I'd get one hour off for lunch and two for dinner. I'd not see, let alone answer, any mail, and would not go near the phone. No one would come to the house. Lorna, despite her own busy schedule, would for this period do my share of the cooking and housework. In this way, so we hoped, I'd not only complete more work quantitively, but reach a mental state in which my fictional world was more real to me than the actual one."
writing  wishlist  kazuoishiguro  attention  howwewrite  via:lukeneff
december 2014 by robertogreco
The Afterlife - NYTimes.com
"A few months after David’s death, my wife and I attended a gathering of grieving parents who spoke lovingly of their lost ones, and then of the knowledge that their child was now at Jesus’ side. There was a light in their faces. I envied them their resurrection, and did not return.

Have I no more than these solicitations, these invitations, these letters delivered late? I do. I have memories. I have places where I feel both his closeness and his distance. And I have the all-too-brief visitations allowed in dreams. For the nonbeliever I’ve become, it is what passes for an afterlife."
via:lukeneff  belief  tedgup  parenting  distance  memory  memories  closeness  afterlife  2014
july 2014 by robertogreco
My wife is a lazy liar | smithdeville
"I work at a real job, and I don’t go to nearly as many “meetings” as my wife does. Many of her meetings, she says, are focused on discussing test results, new testing procedures, testing tests, test testing, tester testing, and test testing testers. Occasionally, she says, these meeting diverge into other topics such as testing evaluations. Some meetings allegedly occur during school hours when my wife should be “teaching.” These meetings are dreamed up by highly-paid, redundant administrators who have clandestine responsibilities no one can figure out. At the end of these meetings, it is determined that “teachers” at my wife’s school are not spending enough time teaching."
education  edreform  policy  meetings  busywork  testing  organizations  standardizedtesting  adminstrativebloat  waste  schools  via:lukeneff
june 2014 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » Adaptive Learning Is An Infinite iPod That Only Plays Neil Diamond
"If all you've ever heard in your life is Neil Diamond's music, you might think we've invented something quite amazing there. Your iPod contains the entire universe of music. If you've heard any other music at all, you might still be impressed by this infinite iPod. Neil wrote a lot of music after all, some of it good. But you'll know we're missing out on quite a lot also.

So it is with the futurists, many of whom have never been in a class where math was anything but watching someone lecture about a procedure and then replicating that procedure twenty times on a piece of paper. That entire universe fits neatly within a computer-adaptive model of learning.

But for math educators who have experienced math as a social process where students conjecture and argue with each other about their conjectures, where one student's messy handwritten work offers another student a revelation about her own work, a process which by definition can't be individualized or self-paced, computer-adaptive mathematics starts to seem rather limited.

Lectures and procedural fluency are an important aspect of a student's mathematics education but they are to the universe of math experiences as Neil Diamond is to all the other amazing artists who aren't Neil Diamond.

If I could somehow convince the futurists to see math the same way, I imagine our conversations would become a lot more productive.

BTW. While I'm here, Justin Reich wrote an extremely thoughtful series of posts on adaptive learning last month that I can't recommend enough:

Blended Learning, But The Data Are Useless
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2014/04/blended_learning_but_the_data_are_useless.html

Nudging, Priming, and Motivating in Blended Learning
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2014/04/nudging_priming_and_motivating_in_blended_learning.html

Computers Can Assess What Computers Do Best
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/edtechresearcher/2014/04/computers_can_assess_what_computers_do_best.html "
danmeyer  edtech  adaptivelearning  education  2014  blendedlearning  lectures  neildiamond  computing  computers  closedsystems  transcontextualization  via:lukeneff  transcontextualism
may 2014 by robertogreco
Searching for Poetry in Prose - NYTimes.com
"Popularized in recent years by writer and artist Austin Kleon, blackout poetry encourages readers to create poems by redacting words from ordinary texts. During the last week of National Poetry Month, we will feature snippets of Times articles you can use to create and share your own short poems."
austinkleon  newspapers  blackoutpoetry  excavation  via:lukeneff  online  nytimes  2014  poems  poetry  diy
april 2014 by robertogreco
SuperShoes - tickling shoes that facilitate urban rediscovery on Vimeo
"Today we immerse in our digital lives through smartphones - we use google maps to navigate to the right location, yelp to find the right restaurant and so on. We don't get lost anymore, we don't wander, wonder and discover. Acts of random serendipity through walking brings us back to our innate nature as explorers, walking is meditating.

SuperShoes are a pair of flexible inner soles that you can flex, twist and put in any of your shoes to make them a supershoe. Each of these soles have three vibrotactile motors that tickle your toes, a capacitive pad that recognizes your touch and serves as an input modality. Onboard micro controller, low-power bluetooth and battery supplement the interface. The soles talk to the smartphone to use its location and data services. Users register onto ShoeCentral - once - where they populate their likes and dislikes (food, people, shopping, weather, places, hobbies, activities, interests etc) and social preferences. The ShoeCentral keeps learning about user preferences as you use the SuperShoes to go around.

The shoes are based on a tickling interface - left toe tickles - turn left, right toe tickles - turn right, no tickle - keep going, both tickle repeatedly - reached destination, both tickle once - recommendation, both tickle twice - reminder.

The shoes perform varying functions -

Map - The shoes take you to your destination by tickling. You input your destination once on the accompanying smartphone app. No more staring at the screen, rather immerse in your surroundings.

Tour guide - Since the shoes know your likes and dislikes, they recommend places of interest nearby. You could look at the smartphone app to know the suggestion, but ideally - the user follows the tickle to reach the suggested place as a surprise. Say you like Sushi and the shoes know this, the shoes know that you are on 33rd St and 7th Avenue, the shoes tickle you to take you to the Sushi place nearby which is highly recommended online. You can pause the suggestion by tapping on the toes to ignore it.

Reminders - Most of our to-do lists are on the smartphone or on the computer, we don't constantly monitor these lists throughout the day. The shoes know your tasks, and they tickle you twice to remind you when you are close to the place. Say you had to pick up wine before reaching home, as you approach close to the wine store, the shoes tickle you - and as you look around - you see the wine store and you remember your task.

Break time - We don't take breaks, we run from one place to the other. The shoes have access to your calendar and know if you have a free slot in the day, they plan a short route for you that starts and ends at your current location. So you can go out and take a break - walk without worrying where you are going - while being assured that you'd reach back at your origin in time.

Getting lost - Given the design of cities and the cross streets, there are infinite number of ways to go from one place to the other. However, we always take the same route from our work to home and vice versa. Depending on how much time you have at hand, the shoes suggest a new route for you everyday so that you can discover, explore more and not worry about getting lost."

[Reminds me of: http://dominicwilcox.com/portfolio/gpsshoe/ ]
via:lukeneff  shoes  walking  supershoes  discovery  meandering  wonder  wandering  haptic  interface  maps  mapping  directions  reminders  gettinglost  exploration  2014  dhairyadand  design
april 2014 by robertogreco
pechaflickr
"pechaflickr = the sound of random flickring

Can you improv a coherent presentation from images you have never seen?

Enter a tag, and see how well you can communicate sense of 20 random flickr photos, each one on screen for 20 seconds. Advanced options offer different settings.

Curious? I used pechaflickr to talk about pechaflickr. [http://cogdogblog.com/stuff/techtalks13/ ] If you are making use of this, please share with me!"
speaking  improv  improvisation  pechakucha  flickr  random  via:lukeneff  pechaflickr  extemporaneous  presentations  classideas
april 2014 by robertogreco
Science Compared Every Diet, and the Winner Is Real Food - James Hamblin - The Atlantic
"A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention."

"I think Bertrand Russell nailed it," Katz told me, "when he said that the whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so sure, and wise people always have doubts. Something like that."
food  diet  research  wisdom  2014  bertrandrussell  certainty  doubt  uncertainty  eating  health  via:lukeneff
april 2014 by robertogreco
danah boyd | apophenia » Whether it’s bikes or bytes, teens are teens
"If you’re like most middle-class parents, you’ve probably gotten annoyed with your daughter for constantly checking her Instagram feed or with your son for his two-thumbed texting at the dinner table. But before you rage against technology and start unfavorably comparing your children’s lives to your less-wired childhood, ask yourself this: Do you let your 10-year-old roam the neighborhood on her bicycle as long as she’s back by dinner? Are you comfortable, for hours at a time, not knowing your teenager’s exact whereabouts?

What American children are allowed to do — and what they are not — has shifted significantly over the last 30 years, and the changes go far beyond new technologies.

If you grew up middle-class in America prior to the 1980s, you were probably allowed to walk out your front door alone and — provided it was still light out and you had done your homework — hop on your bike and have adventures your parents knew nothing about. Most kids had some kind of curfew, but a lot of them also snuck out on occasion. And even those who weren’t given an allowance had ways to earn spending money — by delivering newspapers, say, or baby-sitting neighborhood children.

All that began to change in the 1980s. In response to anxiety about “latchkey” kids, middle- and upper-class parents started placing their kids in after-school programs and other activities that filled up their lives from morning to night. Working during high school became far less common. Not only did newspaper routes become a thing of the past but parents quit entrusting their children to teenage baby-sitters, and fast-food restaurants shifted to hiring older workers.

Parents are now the primary mode of transportation for teenagers, who are far less likely to walk to school or take the bus than any previous generation. And because most parents work, teens’ mobility and ability to get together casually with friends has been severely limited. Even sneaking out is futile, because there’s nowhere to go. Curfew, trespassing and loitering laws have restricted teens’ presence in public spaces. And even if one teen has been allowed out independently and has the means to do something fun, it’s unlikely her friends will be able to join her.

Given the array of restrictions teens face, it’s not surprising that they have embraced technology with such enthusiasm. The need to hang out, socialize, gossip and flirt hasn’t diminished, even if kids’ ability to get together has.

After studying teenagers for a decade, I’ve come to respect how their creativity, ingenuity and resilience have not been dampened even as they have been misunderstood, underappreciated and reviled. I’ve watched teenage couples co-create images to produce a portrait of intimacy when they lack the time and place to actually kiss. At a more political level, I’ve witnessed undocumented youth use social media to rally their peers and personal networks to speak out in favor of the Dream Act, even going so far as to orchestrate school walkouts and local marches.

This does not mean that teens always use the tools around them for productive purposes. Plenty of youth lash out at others, emulating a pervasive culture of meanness and cruelty. Others engage in risky behaviors, seeking attention in deeply problematic ways. Yet, even as those who are hurting others often make visible their own personal struggles, I’ve met alienated LGBT youth for whom the Internet has been a lifeline, letting them see that they aren’t alone as they struggle to figure out whom to trust.

And I’m on the board of Crisis Text Line, a service that connects thousands of struggling youth with counselors who can help them. Technology can be a lifesaver, but only if we recognize that the Internet makes visible the complex realities of people’s lives.

As a society, we both fear teenagers and fear for them. They bear the burden of our cultural obsession with safety, and they’re constantly used as justification for increased restrictions. Yet, at the end of the day, their emotional lives aren’t all that different from those of their parents as teenagers. All they’re trying to do is find a comfortable space of their own as they work out how they fit into the world and grapple with the enormous pressures they face.

Viewed through that prism, it becomes clear how the widespread embrace of technology and the adoption of social media by kids have more to do with non-technical changes in youth culture than with anything particularly compelling about those tools. Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook may be fun, but they’re also offering today’s teens a relief valve for coping with the increased stress and restrictions they encounter, as well as a way of being with their friends even when their more restrictive lives keep them apart.

The irony of our increasing cultural desire to protect kids is that our efforts may be harming them. In an effort to limit the dangers they encounter, we’re not allowing them to develop skills to navigate risk. In our attempts to protect them from harmful people, we’re not allowing them to learn to understand, let alone negotiate, public life. It is not possible to produce an informed citizenry if we do not first let people engage in public.

Treating technology as something to block, limit or demonize will not help youth come of age more successfully. If that’s the goal, we need to collectively work to undo the culture of fear and support our youth in exploring public life, online and off."
teens  adolescence  children  trust  mobility  internet  online  risk  risktaking  2014  danahboyd  via:lukeneff  creativity  ingenuity  problemsolving  isolation  fear  parenting  overprotection  snapchat  tumblr  twitter  facebook  society  culture  safety  social  socialmedia  labor  experience
april 2014 by robertogreco
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