👓 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)
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.

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👓 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.”

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📺 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.

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📺 Webstock ‘18: Jeremy Keith – Taking Back The Web | Vimeo

Watched Taking Back The Web | Webstock '18 by Jeremy KeithJeremy Keith from Vimeo

In these times of centralised services like Facebook, Twitter, and Medium, having your own website is downright disruptive. If you care about the longevity of your online presence, independent publishing is the way to go. But how can you get all the benefits of those third-party services while still owning your own data? By using the building blocks of the Indie Web, that’s how!

Presentation slide-deck: speakerdeck.com/adactio/taking-back-the-web

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👓 WordPress at 15 | Ma.tt

Read WordPress at 15 by Matt Mullenweg (Matt Mullenweg)
This weekend, May 27, marks the 15th anniversary of the first release of WordPress. It is an understatement to say that I am immensely proud of what this global community has become, and what it ha…
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👓 So, Was Agatha Christie Anti-Semitic? |The Art of Words

Read So, Was Agatha Christie Anti-Semitic? by Lucy R. Fisher (wordcount-richmonde.blogspot.com)
In the Daily Telegraph 20 March 2013, Matthew Sweet reviews Perspectives, a programme by David Suchet on Agatha Christie’s disappearance in 1926. Did differing responses to the affair reflect attitudes to Christie’s (conservative) politics as expressed in her books? It’s an interesting question, but Sweet uses it as an opportunity to wheel out the old accusation that Christie was anti-Semitic:

Some throw away comments in one of her books I was looking at the other day made me want to look this up.

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👓 Jason Bateman Showed How “Family” Is Used To Excuse The Inexcusable | Buzzfeed

Read Jason Bateman Showed How “Family” Is Used To Excuse The Inexcusable by Anne Helen Petersen (BuzzFeed)
When Bateman dismissed Jeffrey Tambor’s outburst at Arrested Development costar Jessica Walter by saying “this is a family,” he reminded us how often that word is used to paper over serious problems.

There’s an interesting new viewpoint hiding in here. We’re going to need to redefine how we view families and their power structures as a result of the painful things they can hide. I’m reminded of some of the toxicity of the way that children can be indoctrinated within their families as well as ideas like “quiverfull” which are generally creepy conceptual ways of living.

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👓 Google News Drops RSS Feed Subscription Buttons | Search Engine Roundtable

Read New Google News Drops RSS Feed Subscription Buttons (seroundtable.com)
With the new Google News, they didn't just drop the standout tag and editors pick but it seems like the direct method to subscribe to Google News via RSS and Google News keyword searches is gone.
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👓 Can we PLEASE talk about privacy, not GDPR, now? | Sebastian Greger

Read Can we PLEASE talk about privacy, not GDPR, now? by Sebastian Greger (Sebastian Greger)
It’s the “morning after”: a mere twelve hours have passed since the GDPR applies and while still awaiting breaking news on hobbyist blog owners being fined EUR 20 million, an army of burnt-out web and legal professionals has begun to clean up from the party that was “the final dash towards GDPR”.

A nice article pushing folks to focus more on the privacy portion of the discussion rather than the non-nonsensical technical GDPR regulations.

tl;dr: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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👓 Hiding Information in Plain Text | Spectrum IEEE

Read Hiding Information in Plain Text (IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News)
Subtle changes to letter shapes can embed messages

An interesting piece to be sure, but I’ve thought of doing this sort of steganography in the past. In particular, I recall having conversations with Sol Golomb about similar techniques in the past. I’m sure there’s got to be prior art for similar things as well.

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👓 Women accuse Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, harassment | CNN

Read Women accuse Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, harassment (CNN)
Eight women accuse Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior. They say it happened on movie sets, at his company and in interviews.

I suspect this one is going to quickly have some sketch video to go along with it.

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