I signed The Copenhagen Letter. Perhaps you should too, if you think that all people should control the technology that runs the world, not just the surveillance capitalists. Well, at least read it, please.
who shapes technology today
We live in a world where technology is consuming society, ethics, and our core existence.
It is time to take responsibility for the world we are creating. Time to put humans before business. Time to replace the empty rhetoric of “building a better world” with a commitment to real action. It is time to organize, and to hold each other accountable … We who have signed this letter will hold ourselves and each other accountable for putting these ideas into practice. That is our commitment.
In 2009 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that journalism is no longer the sole domain of professionals [my highlights].
 A second preliminary question is what the new defence should be called. In arguments before us, the defence was referred to as the responsible journalism test. This has the value of capturing the essence of the defence in succinct style. However, the traditional media are rapidly being complemented by new ways of communicating on matters of public interest, many of them online, which do not involve journalists. These new disseminators of news and information should, absent good reasons for exclusion, be subject to the same laws as established media outlets. I agree with Lord Hoffmann that the new defence is “available to anyone who publishes material of public interest in any medium”: Jameel, at para. 54.
Source: Grant v. Torstar Corp.,  3 SCR 640, 2009 SCC 61 (CanLII), par. 96, <http://canlii.ca/t/27430#par96>, retrieved on 2017-09-19.
It is not just our perception of what is news and what makes a journalist that has changed but our collective understanding of what is literacy and what should be the focus of education. Our relationship with knowledge is changing as we move into a post-print and post-channel era. It is becoming critical for democratic societies to have educated and engaged citizens sharing their knowledge, given this new age of ubiquitous connectivity and pervasive proximity (UCaPP) to our digital surround. This new literacy makes us all journalists. The network now decides who has the authoritative voice once reserved for professional journalists.
Probably one the greatest barriers to positive change is convenience. For example, we know that automobiles contribute significantly to pollution, obesity, and greenhouse gases. However, most of us own at least one car and many of us own more than one. Why? Cars are extremely convenient. Having lived car-free in a rural North American town for the past three years I can attest to how inconvenient it is to not own a car. We are even thinking of buying a car since our car share program shut down this Winter.
Drugs, as in pharmaceuticals, are also convenient. It’s easy to take antibiotics, just in case. Pain relief is only a tablet away. As a result we are so over-prescribed that: “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today”, according to the World Health Organization. (more…)
The latest technology gadget or silicon valley ‘disruptive’ business model is merely incremental change. But I am convinced that we are living in the middle of an epochal change. I use David Ronfeldt’s TIMN model (2009) to explain that we are shifting from a tri-form society, where markets dominate, to a quadriform society, where networks dominate. This new societal form will be one of working and learning in perpetual beta. (more…)
Jane Hart compiles a list every year of the Top 100 Tools for learning. This is the 11th year!
Voting closes on 22 September 2017.
Here are my top tools this year, with the past five years shown below. It’s interesting to note that my preferred tools have not changed that much over the years.
Please add yours! (more…)
Christian Madsbjerg concludes in his book, Sensemaking: “What are people for? Algorithms can do many things, but they will never actually give a damn. People are for caring.”
How can we understand the complexity of human networks, especially when they are massaged by algorithms that drive our social media? Empathy can put us in other people’s shoes. We can try to understand their perspective. Empathy is a requisite perspective for the network era. Empathy means engaging with others. The ability to connect with a diversity of people is the human potential of the internet: but it takes effort.
B.J May shared his story on ‘How 26 Tweets Broke My Filter Bubble’, which enabled him to see the word beyond a workplace that he described as, “All men, all heterosexual, all white”. He decided to follow Marco Rogers’ advice to use “Twitter as a way to understand viewpoints that diverge from your own”. At the end of this experiment, which turned into a permanent practice, May concluded that you can learn when your mind is open, but it can hurt.
“Every one of my opinions on the issues at hand had been challenged, and most had shifted or matured in some way. More importantly, however, was this: The exercise had taught me how to approach a contrary opinion with patience and respect, with curiosity and an intent to learn, with kindness and humanity.” —B.J. May
The challenge for workers in what is becoming a freelance & gig economy is to survive in the global jungle. Work is moving toward temporary, negotiated hierarchies. The challenge for the modern organization is to have a flexible enough structure to let people move in and out of the jungle. Workers can also find short-term informal communities which can function like game preserves to develop skills necessary for the jungle, but in a safer environment. Staying too long in an organization (a zoo) destroys their jungle instincts and disconnects them from the world of their clients. Read more at life in the jungle. (more…)
Every fortnight or so, I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“Experience plus reflection is the learning that lasts.” —Charles Handy, via @olliegardener
On internet privacy, be very afraid [including the canvas fingerprinting on this link] via @courosa
“Unfortunately, we live in a world where most of our data is out of our control. It’s in the cloud, stored by companies that may not have our best interests at heart. So, while there are technical strategies people can employ to protect their privacy, they’re mostly around the edges. The best recommendation I have for people is to get involved in the political process. The best thing we can do as consumers and citizens is to make this a political issue. Force our legislators to change the rules.”
What is Sensemaking?
Christian Madsbjerg, in Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm, describes sensemaking as an interaction with fellow humans in the real world.
“Sensemaking is practical wisdom grounded in the humanities. We can think of sense making as as the exact opposite of algorithmic thinking: it is entirely situated in the concrete, while algorithmic thinking exists in a no-man’s land of information stripped of its specificity. Algorithmic thinking can go wide — processing trillions of terabytes of data per second — but only sense making can go deep.” —Christian Madsbjerg, Sensemaking, p. 6
“Too many of the top cadre of leadership I have met are isolated in their worldview. They have lost touch with the humanity of their customers and their constituents and, as a result, they mistake numerical representations and models for real life. Their days are sliced and diced into tiny segments, so they feel they don’t have time to wander around in the mess of real-world data. Instead, they jump into a problem-solving process and a conclusion without understanding the actual question.” —Christian Madsbjerg, Sensemaking, p. xiv
Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“Cars are like pharmaceuticals. There’s a legitimate place for them, but we resort to them too much.” —Peter D. Norton, via @grescoe
“And then you automate it, and it makes that same mistake hundreds of millions of times.” —@eskokilpi (more…)