thinking critically

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.”

Some tricks to identify fake Twitter accounts, via @eskokilpi [long read & a good reference]

“What is most important, however, is awareness. Users who can identify bots themselves are less likely to be manipulated by them; they may even be able to report the botnets and have them shut down. Ultimately, bots exist to influence human users. The purpose of this article is to help human users spot the signs.”

A Fake-News Warning From a Former Propagandist, via @johnrobb

“Larry Martin, a retired professor who lives in the seaside town of Rockport, Massachusetts, used to be Ladislav Bittman, deputy commander of the Department for Active Measures and Disinformation in the Soviet-directed Czechoslovak intelligence service. To create the kind of disinformation that changes the world, he told me, you need a story that’s at least 60, 70 or even 80 percent true. Even well-educated people will swallow untruth without too many questions if it’s plausible and it reinforces their existing beliefs.

out of all major energy sources, nuclear is the safest, via @juliomarzullio

“Based on historical and current figures of deaths related to energy production, nuclear appears to have caused by far the least harm of the current major energy sources. This empirical reality is largely at odds with public perceptions, where public support for nuclear energy is often low as a result of safety concerns … At a global level, opposition to nuclear energy stood at 62 percent in 2011.”

Why are the Danes so happy?, via @edwarmi

“The Danish people did not produce utopia, nor are they first in every measure. Norway has more social ownership of the means of production than Denmark does, and Sweden generates more innovation as measured by patents. The Danes did not end the push-back from the economic elite. Class struggle remains a reality in Denmark, as it does everywhere.

The Danes did, however, end centuries of domination by their 1 percent and empowered the democratic majority to make decisions about the future direction of the economy. They designed a different economy, one that centers labor instead of capital, correctly understanding this shift to be the pre-condition for the abolition of poverty. They also turn to nonviolent direct action to do the heavy lifting when they see it is needed, rather than putting all their eggs in the parliamentary basket.”

Design Thinking is Bullshit, via @nicolasnova

“If Google Image search is your sole barometer, “design thinking uses just one tool: 3M Post-Its,” says Pentagram partner Natasha Jen. “Why did we end up with a single medium? Charles and Ray Eames worked in a complete lack of Post-It stickies. They learned by doing.” In her provocative 99U talk, Jen lobbies for the “Crit” [peer criticism] over the “Post-It” when it comes to moving design forward.”

@connecto: “serendipity is a boundary-crossing human capacity actualizing ‘adjacent possibles'”

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