👓 Scandal after scandal focuses scrutiny on USC leadership, culture | LA Times

Read Scandal after scandal focuses scrutiny on USC leadership, culture by Paul Pringle, Matt Hamilton, Sarah Parvini, and Harriet Ryan (latimes.com)
How USC handled the case of a campus gynecologist allowed to practice for years despite complaints of misconduct has sparked outrage and demands for change in the university’s leadership and management culture. To some, it is part of a troubling pattern.

If I were a journalist, I would just start tracking people leaving posts and then dig into what the scandal must surely be. USC is definitely stinking from the head and needs to begin digging itself out of an ever-deepening hole.

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👓 Electric Scooter Charger Culture Is Out of Control | The Atlantic

Read Electric Scooter Charger Culture Is Out of Control (The Atlantic)
“Bird hunting” has become a pastime and a side hustle for teens and young professionals, but for some it’s a cutthroat business.
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👓 How heavy use of social media is linked to mental illness | The Economist

Read How heavy use of social media is linked to mental illness (The Economist)
Youngsters report problems with anxiety, depression, sleep and “FoMO”
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👓 How to Join Our Podcast Club | New York Times

Read How to Join Our Podcast Club by Samantha HenigSamantha Henig (nytimes.com)
It’s like a book club, but for on-demand audio.

This ironic quote from the piece sticks out to me:

Podcast listening can be harder to crack. There are so many shows! How do you find the ones you’ll like? And once you’ve found a show, where do you start: with the most recent episode? At the beginning? Some specific gem of an episode buried deep in the back catalog?

Perhaps the New York Times could simply start with making the RSS feeds for their podcasts easily discover-able?! Why are they hiding this simple piece of functionality? I just spent 20 minutes doing some reasonably serious web gymnastics to extract the RSS feed for Caliphate out of the iTunes feed using a JSON request tactic. Why can’t the podcast’s main page have or advertise the raw RSS feed?!

Corey Doctorow complained of this type of growing issue on the web recently in a short tweetstorm as well:

How hard is it to add the following simple line to the header of their generally beautiful and functional Caliphate page?
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Caliphate" href="https://rss.art19.com/caliphate” />
They’ve got so many advanced resources, yet somehow they’re missing some of the simplest and best supported web technology that goes back more than a decade.

By the way, that link https://rss.art19.com/caliphate is the correct one for the RSS feed of the show by the way, in case others are searching for it.

If anyone needs a one-click button to subscribe to the series in their favorite feed reader, I’ve set up a SubToMe button on the follow post I made for the podcast.

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👓 What Communities Are We Building? A Discussion With Drs. Jessie Daniels and David Golumbia | Tressie McMillan Cottom

Read What Communities Are We Building? A Discussion With Drs. Jessie Daniels and David Golumbia by Tressie McMillan Cottom (Medium)
This semester our sociology honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta, had the great fortune to hear from Dr. Jessie Daniels. Jessie is a…

Sadly, like the prior article I read, there just isn’t much here in the way of content.

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👓 Whose Speech? More From Our Chat With Jessie Daniels | Tressie McMillan Cottom

Read Whose Speech? More From Our Chat With Jessie Daniels by Tressie McMillan Cottom (Medium)
As previously mentioned, the Sociology students at VCU recently benefitted from a chance to hear from Jessie Daniels. Our informal…

This post was so sparse in information I’m not quite sure what Dr. Cottom was trying to communicate here. The post does have some well produced (and very short) snippets from the talk, but other than knowing that a talk occurred and vaguely what it was about, all the value stemming from it seems to be missing to me in this post.

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👓 GOP lawmaker says rocks falling into ocean to blame for rising sea levels | TheHill

Read GOP lawmaker says rocks falling into ocean to blame for rising sea levels (TheHill)
A Republican lawmaker on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee said Thursday that rocks from the White Cliffs of Dover and the California coastline, as well as silt from rivers tumbling into the ocean, are contributing to high sea levels globally. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) made the comment during a hearing on technology and the changing climate, which largely turned into a Q&A on the basics of climate research.

The headline was just so sadly painful to me that I couldn’t resist reading. Unfortunately, reading didn’t help things…

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👓 What is “Critical Pedagogy”? | W. Ian O’Byrne

Read What is “Critical Pedagogy”? by W. Ian O'Byrne (W. Ian O'Byrne)
In an earlier post, I presented an overview of the literature on critical literacy and how it informs my perspectives on my work, research, and thinking. This was motivated by discussions in which colleagues and students indicate that they know/understand critical literacy, and then go on to equate it with critical evaluation. I think the two are linked, but to me critical literacy is much broader, and (IMHO) much more important.

The cynic in me sees the headline and wants to respond “All students’ reactions to their teachers.”

There is some interesting history and background to come back and read some references here.

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👓 The platform patrons: How Facebook and Google became two of the biggest funders of journalism in the world | Columbia Journalism Review

Read The platform patrons: How Facebook and Google became two of the biggest funders of journalism in the world by Mathew Ingram (Columbia Journalism Review)

Taken together, Facebook and Google have now committed more than half a billion dollars to various journalistic programs and media partnerships over the past three years, not including the money spent internally on developing media-focused products like Facebook’s Instant Articles and Google’s competing AMP mobile project. The result: These mega-platforms are now two of the largest funders of journalism in the world.

The irony is hard to miss. The dismantling of the traditional advertising model—largely at the hands of the social networks, which have siphoned away the majority of industry ad revenue—has left many media companies and journalistic institutions in desperate need of a lifeline. Google and Facebook, meanwhile, are happy to oblige, flush with cash from their ongoing dominance of the digital ad market.

The result is a somewhat dysfunctional alliance. People in the media business (including some on the receiving end of the cash) see the tech donations as guilt money, something journalism deserves because Google and Facebook wrecked their business. The tech giants, meanwhile, are desperate for some good PR and maybe even a few friends in a journalistic community that—especially now—can seem openly antagonistic.

A stunning and relatively detailed overview of where we’ve been in the last several years on the journalism front with too many questions about where we may be going.

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👓 Donald Trump’s Business Empire Is No Longer Growing | Mother Jones

Read Donald Trump’s Business Empire Is No Longer Growing by Russ Choma (Mother Jones)
The art of not making deals.

Hard to grow when so many begin hating you. And if suggestions of money laundering are true, then it’s even harder to grow while under such scrutiny.

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👓 How Same-Sex Couples Divide Chores, and What It Reveals About Modern Parenting | New York Times

Read How Same-Sex Couples Divide Chores, and What It Reveals About Modern Parenting (nytimes.com)
They divide chores much more evenly, until they become parents, new research shows.

This is fascinating, though I now have so many additional questions…

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👓 After 5 years and $3M, here’s everything we’ve learned from building Ghost | Ghost

Read After 5 years and $3M, here's everything we've learned from building Ghost by John O'Nolan, Hannah Wolfe (Ghost)
It's always fun to use these milestones to take a step back and reflect on the journey so far. On previous birthdays I've talked about revenue milestones and product updates, but this year I'm going to focus more on all the things we've learned since we started.

In reading this, I took a look at downloading and self-hosting a copy of Ghost for myself, but the barrier and work involved was beyond my patience to bother with. For an open source project that prides itself on user experience, this seemed at odds. Perhaps this is playing itself out better for the paid monthly customers? But in this case, it doesn’t support many of the pieces of infrastructure I find de rigueur now: Webmention support and microformats which I understand they have no plans to support anytime soon.

Looking at their project pages and site though it does seem like they’ve got a reasonable layout and sales pitch for a CMS project, though it’s probably a bit too much overkill on selling when it could be simpler. Perhaps it might be a model for creating a stronger community facing page for the WithKnown open source project, presuming the education-focused corporate side continues as a status quo?

They did seem to be relatively straightforward in selling themselves against WordPress and what they were able to do and not do. I’m curious what specifically they’re doing to attract journalists? I couldn’t find anything specifically better than anything else on the market that would set it apart other than their promise on ease-of-use.

There were some interesting insights for those working within the IndieWeb community as well as businesses which might build themselves upon it.

Highlights:

Decentralised platforms fundamentally cannot compete on ease of setup. Nothing beats the UX of signing up for a centralised application.

We spent a very long time trying to compete on convenience and simplicity. This was our biggest mistake and the hardest lesson to learn.

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👓 Ultra-Accurate Clocks Lead Search for New Laws of Physics | Quanta Magazine

Read Ultra-Accurate Clocks Lead Search for New Laws of Physics (Quanta Magazine)
Atomic clocks are letting physicists tighten the lasso around elusive phenomena such as dark matter.
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👓 A Linguist Explains Why 'Laurel' Sounds Like 'Yanny' | The Atlantic

Read A Linguist Explains Why 'Laurel' Sounds Like 'Yanny' (The Atlantic)
It’s the audio version of The Dress.

The science is far more interesting than the meme portion at least.

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👓 How Many Genes Do Cells Need? Maybe Almost All of Them | Quanta Magazine

Read How Many Genes Do Cells Need? Maybe Almost All of Them (Quanta Magazine)
An ambitious study in yeast shows that the health of cells depends on the highly intertwined effects of many genes, few of which can be deleted together without consequence.

There could be some interesting data to play with here if available.

I also can’t help but wonder about applying some of Stuart Kauffman’s ideas to something like this. In particular, this sounds very reminiscent to his analogy of what happens when one strings thread randomly among a pile of buttons and the resulting complexity.

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