🎞️ RBG (2018)

Watched RBG (2018) from CNN Films, Storyville Films
Directed by Julie Cohen, Betsy West. With Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gloria Steinem, Nina Totenberg. A look at the life and work of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior's rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans - until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg's exceptional life and career from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films.
An awesome little movie. It has a bigness in the theater with a large crowd that it may not have had if I’d watched it on television. Either way, a great documentary.

🎧 ‘The Daily’: ‘Dear Mr. Chairman …’ | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: ‘Dear Mr. Chairman …’ by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

President Trump abruptly canceled on Thursday the highly anticipated summit meeting with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, that was scheduled to take place on June 12. In a letter to Mr. Kim announcing his decision, Mr. Trump wrote, “The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace.”

On today’s episode:

• Mark Landler, who covers the White House for The New York Times.

Background reading:

• Mr. Trump announced his decision to call off the summit meeting in a strikingly personal letter that contained mixed messages, both raising the possibility of military action against the North and leaving the door open for a future diplomatic encounter between the two men.

• The announcement came hours after North Korea appeared to destroy its only known nuclear test site in a spectacle that was attended by foreign journalists and was meant to be a sign of good faith ahead of the meeting with Mr. Trump.

• North Korea responded in a carefully worded statement that it remained “willing to sit down with the United States any time, in any format, to resolve the problems.”

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Putting ‘Fake News’ on Trial | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Putting ‘Fake News’ on Trial by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com

The families of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012 are suing a conspiracy theorist who claims the massacre was a hoax. Their lawsuits are bringing the issue of “fake news” to the courts.

On today’s episode:

• Elizabeth Williamson, a reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times.

Background reading:

• The families of eight Sandy Hook victims, as well as an F.B.I. agent who responded to the massacre, are suing the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for defamation. Relatives of the victims have received death threats from those who embrace the falsehoods Mr. Jones has propagated on his website Infowars, which has an audience of millions.

👓 I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous | The Star

Read I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous (The Star)
A former UofT colleague examines the bestselling author’s increasingly controversial positions and concludes in an opinion piece that Jordan Peterson is using fear to unleash ‘dark desires’

👓 As He Heads Back To Prison, A Nashville Man Says 'Goodbye' To The New Life He Hoped To Build | Nashville Public Radio

Read As He Heads Back To Prison, A Nashville Man Says 'Goodbye' To The New Life He Hoped To Build (nashvillepublicradio.org)
When a Nashville man named Matthew Charles was released from prison early in 2016 after a sentence reduction, he’d spent almost half his life behind bars.

👓 Why Do Americans Stay When Their Town Has No Future? | Bloomberg

Read Why Do Americans Stay When Their Town Has No Future? by Alec MacGillis (Bloomberg.com | ProPublica)
Family and community are the only things left in Adams County, Ohio, as the coal-fired power plants abandon ship and the government shrugs.
A stunning long read here. The problems presented in this story are multi-faceted and are a good microcosm of some of the major complex issues that America is facing. There’s economic, cultural, and political.

I particularly find it interesting how very little that any politician was able to generally offer here. Unmentioned generally is the Trump administration which during the campaign promised to do more for the coal industry, but apparently those cries here have gone unheeded. I suspect that those who have been pulled into Trumpism will be generally left unsupported and will end up needing to change camps again. The real question is to where will they go for help? The divisiveness of the two party system will have to have some sort of change for things to get any better, particularly as the inevitable changes of globalization continue apace.

Also addressed here in part is the subtle changes in the “American Spirit” which don’t seem to be widely written about or reported on.

👓 Facebook and Google hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits on day one of GDPR | The Verge

Read Facebook and Google hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits on day one of GDPR by Russell Brandom (The Verge)
Time to regulate

👓 How Social Media Became a Pink Collar Job | Wired

Read How Social Media Became a Pink Collar Job (WIRED)
When companies ask for sociable, flexible, compassionate workers, they’re silently signaling women to sign-on to an undervalued job that powers the digital economy.
As a country we’re killing ourselves and our economy by devaluing women like this.

👓 Understanding How WordPress Outputs Code From Child Themes | WPMU DEV Blog

Read Understanding How WordPress Outputs Code From Child Themes (WPMU DEV Blog)
If you’ve ever needed to make tweaks to a third party theme, or you’re using a theme framework, you’ll be familiar with child themes. They’re a powerful feature of WordPress, giving you the flexibility to make customizations to any parent theme without losing them when the theme is updated. I use them to make edits to third party themes, or with the framework theme I’ve developed myself.

👓 Invisible Labor and Digital Utopias | HackedEducation

Read Invisible Labor and Digital Utopias by Audrey WattersAudrey Watters (Hack Education)
This is the transcript of the talk I gave this afternoon at a CUNY event on "The Labor of Open"
Interesting to hear that Audrey has now also removed the Creative Commons license from her website now as well as having disabled comments and the ability to annotate using Genius and Hypothes.is. I’m all for this and happy to support her decision despite the fact that it means that it’s potentially more difficult and circuitous to share and comment on some of her excellent work. I’m sad that we’re in a place that people on the web would attack, target, and otherwise bully people into needing to take such steps, but I’m glad that there are ways, means, and tools for blocking out these bad actors. While I might have otherwise reposted and annotated her piece directly, I’ll respect her wishes and her digital sovereignty and just quote a few interesting phrases instead. This being said, you’re far better off reading the original directly anyway.

While reading this I was initially worried that it was a general rehash of some of her earlier work and thoughts which I’ve read several times in various incarnations. However, the end provided a fantastic thesis about unseen labor which should be more widely disseminated.

almost all the illustrations in this series – and there are 50 of these in all – involve “work” (or the outsourcing and obscuring of work). Let’s look at a few of these (and as we do so, think about how work is depicted – whose labor is valued, whose labor is mechanized, who works for whom, and so on.

What do machines free us from? Not drudgery – not everyone’s drudgery, at least. Not war. Not imperialism. Not gendered expectations of beauty. Not gendered expectations of heroism. Not gendered divisions of labor. Not class-based expectations of servitude. Not class-based expectations of leisure.

And so similarly, what is the digital supposed to liberate us from? What is rendered (further) invisible when we move from the mechanical to the digital, when we cannot see the levers and the wires and the pulleys.

As I look back upon the massive wealth compiled by digital social companies for what is generally a middling sort of job that they’re not paying nearly as much attention to as they ought (Facebook, Twitter, et al.) and the recent mad rush to comply with GDPR, I’m even more struck by what she’s saying here. All this value they have “created” isn’t really created by them directly, it’s done by the “invisible labor” of billions of people and then merely captured by their systems, which they’re using to actively disadvantage us in myriad ways.

I suppose a lot of it all boils down to the fact that we’re all slowly losing our humanity when we fail to exercise it and see the humanity and value in others.

The bigger problem Watters doesn’t address is that with the advent of this digital revolution, we’re sadly able to more easily and quickly marginalize, devalue, and shut out others than we were before. If we don’t wake up to our reality, our old prejudices are going to destroy us. Digital gives us the ability to scale these problems up at a staggering pace compared with the early 1900’s.

A simple and solid example can be seen in the way Facebook has been misused and abused in Sri Lanka lately. Rumors and innuendo have been able to be spread in a country unchecked by Facebook (primarily through apathy) resulting in the deaths of countless people. Facebook doesn’t even have a handle on their own scale problems to prevent these issues which are akin to allowing invading conquistadores from Spain the ability to bring guns, germs, and steel into the New World to decimate untold millions of innocent indigenous peoples. Haven’t we learned our lessons from history? Or are we so intent on bringing them into the digital domain? Cathy O’Neil and others would certainly say we’re doing exactly this with “weapons of math destruction.”

❤️ ehernandez tweet

Liked a tweet by Elizabeth HernandezElizabeth Hernandez (Twitter)

👓 Roger Stone to Associate: “Prepare to Die” | Mother Jones

Read Roger Stone to Associate: “Prepare to Die” by Dan Friedman (Mother Jones)
The radio host who claims Stone used him as a false alibi says Stone threatened him.

📺 re:publica 2018 – Jim Groom: Domain of One’s Own: Reclaim Your Data | YouTube

Watched re:publica 2018: Domain of One's Own: Reclaim Your Data by Jim GroomJim Groom from YouTube

A Domain of One's Own is an international initiative in higher education to give students and faculty more control over their personal data. The movement started at the University of Mary Washington in 2012, and has since grown to tens of thousands of faculty and students across hundreds of universities. The first part of this presentation (5-10 minutes) will provide a brief overview of how these Domains projects enable not only data portability for coursework, but also a reflective sense of what a digital identity might mean in terms of privacy and data ownership.

The second part of this presentation will explore how Domain of One's Own could provides a powerful example in how higher education could harness application programming interfaces (APIs) to build a more user-empowered data ecosystem at universities. The initial imaginings of this work has already begun at Brigham Young University in collaboration with Reclaim Hosting, and we will share a blueprint of what a vision of the Personal API could mean for a human-centric data future in the realm of education and beyond.

A short talk at the re:publica conference in Germany which touches on the intersection of the Domain of One’s Own which is very similar to the broader IndieWeb movement. POSSE makes a brief appearance at the end of the presentation, although just on a slide with an implicit definition rather than a more full-fledged discussion.

Toward the end, Groom makes mention of MyData, a Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing, which I’d not previously heard of but which has some interesting resources which look like they might dovetail into some of what those in the IndieWeb are looking at. I’m curious if any of the folks in the EU like Sebastian Greger have come across them, and what their thoughts are on the idea/model they’ve proposed? It looks like they’ve got an interesting looking conference coming up at the end of August in Helsinki. There seems to be a white paper outlining a piece of their philosophy, which I’ll link to below:

MyData: A Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing by Antti Poikola (t), Kai Kuikkaniemi (t), Harri Honko (t)

This white paper presents a framework, principles, and a model for a human-centric approach to the managing and processing of personal information. The approach – defined as MyData – is based on the right of individuals to access the data collected about them. The core idea is that individuals should be in control of their own data. The MyData approach aims at strengthening digital human rights while opening new opportunities for businesses to develop innovative personal data based services built on mutual trust.

Based on a quick overview, this is somewhat similar to a model I’ve considered and is reminiscent to some ideas I’ve been harboring about applications of this type of data to the journalism sphere as well.