🎧 The Daily: What Hollywood Keeps Getting Wrong About Race | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: What Hollywood Keeps Getting Wrong About Race from New York Times

Wesley Morris joins us to talk about “Green Book,” the latest Oscar winner to focus on a white character’s moral journey in an interracial friendship.

I love Wesley Morris’s analysis here. Racial reconciliation fantasy is a great name for a rampant problem we’ve got in America. While it’s nice to try to sweep the problem under the rug, we really need to bring it out front and center and have a more honest discussion about it.

This may be one of the best podcast episodes I’ve heard in two months. I highly recommend it.

🎧 The Daily: Why Controlling 5G Could Mean Controlling the World | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Why Controlling 5G Could Mean Controlling the World from New York Times

In the race to dominate the next generation of cellular networks, both the United States and China know there’s much more at stake than ultrafast internet.

Some great thought and analysis here about the coming issues with world wide communication networks.

🎧 The Daily: The American Women Who Joined ISIS | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The American Women Who Joined ISIS from New York Times

They traveled to Syria, swore loyalty to the Islamic State and married its fighters. Now, as the extremist group’s “caliphate” crumbles, they’re asking to come home.

What a painful culture shock it must have been for women to go from America to ISIS held territory.

I can only think that given the terrorism that they experienced and their mindsets as depicted here that they ought to be treated more like brainwashed ex-cult members than enemy combatants. Of course this also means that they should certainly be getting the appropriate mental health care after the fact as well.

I have to wonder whether they would have gone if they’d even spent a little bit of time thinking about the long term consequences.

🎧 PressED WordPress and Education twitter conference | Radio #EDUtalk 27-02-19 | EduTalk

Listened to Radio 27-02-19: PressED WordPress and Education twitter conference from EDUtalk

Pat Lockley talking  about PressEd the conference about WordPress run completely on twitter. PressEd uncovers many aspects of the use of WordPress in all areas of education.

We discussed some of the aspects and features of running a conference on twitter the previous and upcoming conferences. Pat invites anyone who uses WordPress in any area of education to submit a proposal to the conference.

While listening to John Johnston on this topic, I couldn’t help but think how cool it would be if PressEd, an education related conference that is held online via Twitter, could actually be held on WordPress itself. There was a quick mention by Pat Lockley about their consideration of using the P2 theme to effect this, but they’re right in that P2 has been left behind on the side of the road.

I think that such a conference could be held online and actually use WordPress; it would require more of the participants to be using IndieWeb philosophies and technology/plugins like Webmention and perhaps one of the more modern feed readers that are using Microsub.

Alternately, I could see a place where a platform like IndieWeb.xyz could be leveraged as a location to which all the participants could syndicate their content to a particular sub there (it has the ability to force Webmentions for people who can’t send/receive them yet) and then act as the reader in which the conference was taking place. In this sense IndieWeb.xyz would act a bit like an impromptu planet to aggregate all the conversation. I haven’t looked, but if IndieWeb.xyz also had RSS or other feeds coming back out of individual subs, then it would be a bit more like a traditional planet and people could subscribe in their feed reader of choice, and with WebSub or an occasional manual refresh, a conference like this could be done directly from WordPress (or honestly any IndieWeb friendly platform/website) and have much the same impact. In fact, perhaps a bit more impact since all the presenters and participants would and could have archival copies of the conference on their own websites at the end of the day and the ephemeral nature of such an online conference could tend to disappear.

Incidentally, I could almost hear the gears turning in John’s head as I’m sure he was thinking much the same thing. He carefully restrained himself and managed to keep the conversation on track though.

Now I’ll have to brainstorm an IndieWeb for Education using WordPress proposal for this year’s pending PressEd Conference if there’s time left.

I loved the short snippet at the end of the episode where Pat Lockley gave a brief bio on his Twitter handle and domain name. It reminds me a bit of the podcast My URL Is, which I hope comes back with more episodes soon.

🎧 Triangulation 380 The Age of Surveillance Capitalism | TWiT.TV

Listened to Triangulation 380 The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Leo Laporte from TWiT.tv

Shoshana Zuboff is the author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. She talks with Leo Laporte about how social media is being used to influence people.

Links

Even for the people who are steeped in some of the ideas of surveillance capitalism, ad tech, and dark patterns, there’s a lot here to still be surprised about. If you’re on social media, this should be required listening/watching.

I can’t wait to get the copy of her book.

Folks in the IndieWeb movement have begun to fix portions of the problem, but Shoshana Zuboff indicates that there are several additional levels of humane understanding that will need to be bridged to make sure their efforts aren’t just in vain. We’ll likely need to do more than just own our own data, but we’ll need to go a step or two further as well.

The thing I was shocked to not hear in this interview (and which may not be in the book either) is something that I think has been generally left unmentioned with respect to Facebook and elections and election tampering (29:18). Zuboff and Laporte discuss Facebook’s experiments in influencing people to vote in several tests for which they published academic papers. Even with the rumors that Mark Zuckerberg was eyeing a potential presidential run in 2020 with his trip across America and meeting people of all walks of life, no one floated the general idea that as the CEO of Facebook, he might use what they learned in those social experiments to help get himself (or even someone else) elected by sending social signals to certain communities to prevent them from voting while sending other signals to other communities to encourage them to vote. The research indicates that in a very divided political climate that with the right sorts of voting data, it wouldn’t take a whole lot of work for Facebook to help effectuate a landslide victory for particular candidates or even entire political parties!! And of course because of the distributed nature of such an attack on democracy, Facebook’s black box algorithms, and the subtlety of the experiments, it would be incredibly hard to prove that such a thing was even done.

I like her broad concept (around 43:00) where she discusses the idea of how people tend to frame new situations using pre-existing experience and that this may not always be the most useful thing to do for what can be complex ideas that don’t or won’t necessarily play out the same way given the potential massive shifts in paradigms.

Also of great interest is the idea of instrumentarianism as opposed to the older ideas of totalitarianism. (43:49) Totalitarian leaders used to rule by fear and intimidation and now big data stores can potentially create these same types of dynamics, but without the need for the fear and intimidation by more subtly influencing particular groups of people. When combined with the ideas behind “swarming” phenomenon or Mark Granovetter’s ideas of threshold reactions in psychology, only a very small number of people may need to be influenced digitally to create drastic outcomes. I don’t recall the reference specifically, but I recall a paper about the mathematics with respect to creating ethnic neighborhoods that only about 17% of people needed to be racists and move out of a neighborhood to begin to create ethnic homogeneity and drastically less diversity within a community.

Also tangentially touched on here, but not discussed directly, I can’t help but think that all of this data with some useful complexity theory might actually go a long way toward better defining (and being able to actually control) Adam Smith’s economic “invisible hand.”

There’s just so much to consider here that it’s going to take several revisits to the ideas and some additional research to tease this all apart.

🎧 Triangulation 383 Meredith Broussard: Artificial Unintelligence | TWiT.TV

Listened to Triangulation 383 Meredith Broussard: Artificial Unintelligence by Megan MorroneMegan Morrone from TWiT.tv

Software developer and data journalist Meredith Broussard joins Megan Morrone to discuss her book Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World, which makes the case against the idea that technology can solve all our problems, touching on self-driving cars, the digital divide, the difference between AI and machine learning, and more.

I’ve been waiting a while for Meredith’s book Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World to come out and this is an excellent reminder to pick up several copies for some friends who I know will appreciate it.

I’m curious if she’s got an Amazon Associates referral link so that we can give her an extra ~4% back for promoting her book? I don’t see one on her website unfortunately.

The opening of the show recalling the internet in the 90’s definitely took me back as I remember being in at least one class in college with Megan Morrone. I seem to recall that it was something in Writing Seminars, perhaps Contemporary American Letters?

There’s so much good to highlight here, but in particular I like the concept of technochauvinism, thought when I initially heard it I had a different conception of what it might be instead of the definition that Broussard gives as the belief that technology is always the solution to every problem. My initial impression of it was something closer to the idea of tech bro.

My other favorite piece of discussion centered on her delving into her local educational structure to find that there was a dearth of books and computers and how some of that might be fixed for future children. It’s reminiscent of a local computer scientist I know from Cal Tech who created some bus route models for the Pasadena school system to minimize their travel, gas cost, and personnel to save the district several million dollars. I’m hoping some of those savings go toward more books…

🎧 This Week in Google 489 I'm An Engineer, Darn It! | TWiT.TV

Listened to This Week in Google 489 I'm An Engineer, Darn It! by Leo Laporte, Jeff Jarvis, Stacey Higginbotham from TWiT.tv
  • Facebook hopes for a better 2019 after a public image drubbing in 2018.
  • Google's Waymo Under Fire in Arizona - Literally.
  • Your cell phone has a huge security flaw, and there is no plan to fix it.
  • How much of the internet is made of bots? And how soon will people be the exception, not the rule?
  • Copyright expires for all works created in 1923 - the 1st time this has happened in 20 years. Is Mickey Mouse next?
  • One Oregon man takes his fight to call himself an engineer all the way to federal court.
  • Who owns your tattoo? Not you!
  • What will happen if the US tries to ban exports of AI tech?
  • A cafe in Tokyo where the staff is all robots controlled remotely by paralyzed workers.

Picks of the Week

🎧 This Week in Google 487 You're Filling It Wrong | TWiT.TV

Listened to This Week in Google 487 You're Filling It Wrong by Leo Laporte, Jeff Jarvis, Mathew Ingram from TWiT.tv
  • Google takes Manhattan
  •  Almost 50% of Google's workers are temps, contractors, or vendors.
  •  Facebook vs New York Times
  •  Harassment on Twitter
  •  Jack Dorsey's beard shavings, Azalia Banks, and ISIS
  •  A very Google holiday season
  •  RIP Oath
  • Tesla fart app
  •  Peter Jackson restores WWI footage

Picks of the Week

  •  Leo's Tool: NexJack DeX Station
  •  Jeff's Number: Chartbeat's 2018 Most Engaged Stories

🎧 Gillmor Gang: Dead Flowers | TechCrunch

Listened to Gillmor Gang: Dead Flowers from TechCrunch

Doc Searls, Denis Pombriant, Keith Teare, Frank Radice, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Saturday, February 10, 2018.

  • Reference to SCAD
  • Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple’s home assistants
  • blockchain mention with respect to the S.E.C.

🎧 Gillmor Gang: Day Zero | TechCrunch

Listened to Gillmor Gang: Day Zero from TechCrunch

Esteban Kolsky, Denis Pombriant, Keith Teare, Gené Teare, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Saturday, February 3, 2018.

An entire episode on water and sustainability.

Without seemingly knowing it they dance around the idea of needing a mixed economy. It’s almost as if they only know about capitalism and competition and there are no other options out there. We need protections (read “regulations” if you’re a Republican) put in by a planning and forward thinking government and then we can use capitalism as the fulcrum to ramp up and accelerate potential solutions when competition will bring them about.

🎧 Episode 46: Ben Norris aka @bennorris | Micro Monday

Listened to Episode 46: Ben Norris aka @bennorris from monday.micro.blog

This week’s guest, Ben Norris, is a husband and father of six children (plus a new puppy), as well as being an iOS developer, a blogger and a sketchnoter. He has also written quite movingly about mental illness and healing, and we chat about that a bit.

Ben’s Sketchnote of Manton’s Talk at Peers Conference

Sketchnotable

Mormon Sketcher

Coming Out
(tl;dr Hi, I’m Ben, and I have OCD.)

🎧 Episode 45: Annie Mueller aka @Annie | Micro Monday

Listened to Episode 45: Annie Mueller aka @Annie from monday.micro.blog

This week, Annie Mueller is our guest. She’s a freelance writer who has recently relocated with her family to Puerto Rico. “I do the words,” her About page says. And she likes Micro.blog:

I feel that it’s less about me expressing myself, and more about being part of this conversation with other people who are making their own cool things. It’s a neat meeting of interesting minds, and creative, thoughtful people. I just really enjoy the conversations that take place there.

🎧 Episode 44: Tony aka @tones | Micro Monday

Listened to Episode 44: Tony aka @tones from monday.micro.blog

This week we head back to the home of the Kiwis and talk to Tony in New Zealand. An engineer by trade, he’s been blogging since 2002.

I love writing but most of my writing I do for me…I just basically do what I think I would want to look back and read. I don’t really have an audience in mind.

Tony indicates an unusual but very valid method of having found his way into the IndieWeb via calendars from Tantek Çelik (🎧 00:02:51) and (🎧 00:19:34).

🎧 The Daily: Dispatches From the Border, Part 2 | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Dispatches From the Border, Part 2 from New York Times

A visit to one of the deadliest places in the United States for migrants shows that even for those who’ve made it across the border, a treacherous journey often awaits.

I’m really appreciating this series and how they’re bringing some actually reporting and storytelling about what is actually happening at the border. It’s far better than the simple pontificating we’re hearing from politicians who seem to have some broad strokes, but never quite seem to have the whole picture.

🎧 The Daily: The Story of Roger Stone and WikiLeaks | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Story of Roger Stone and WikiLeaks from New York Times

The special counsel’s indictment of the longtime Trump adviser establishes a direct connection between WikiLeaks and the president’s campaign.

I’m curious if there are charges the special prosecutor is holding back on to get people to flip for one final round that will come back and knock down the entire house of cards?