Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“For years, a small hand lettered sign hung on the West wall of McLuhan’s Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. It read, ‘The important thing is to acquire perception, though it cost all you have.’” —Eric McLuhan, Poetics on the Warpath 2001 —@McLinstitute
If education is to be measured against the standard of sustainability, what can be done? I would like to make four proposals. First, I would like to propose that you engage in a campus-wide dialogue about the way you conduct your business as educators. Does four years here make your graduates better planetary citizens or does it make them, in Wendell Berry’s words, “itinerant professional vandals”? Does this college contribute to the development of a sustainable regional economy or, in the name of efficiency, to the processes of destruction?
Data ownership is an individual solution when collective solutions are required. We will never own those 6m predictions produced each second. Surveillance capitalists know this. Clegg knows this. That is why they can tolerate discussions of “data ownership” and publicly invite privacy regulation.
What should lawmakers do? First, interrupt and outlaw surveillance capitalism’s data supplies and revenue flows. This means, at the front end, outlawing the secret theft of private experience. At the back end, we can disrupt revenues by outlawing markets that trade in human futures knowing that their imperatives are fundamentally anti-democratic. We already outlaw markets that traffic in slavery or human organs.
“Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.” ― Jean Paul-Sartre
CBC News: So, you think you’ve spotted some ‘fake news’ — now what? [good resource]
The tricky part of spotting disinformation is that it might not look fake at first. Here are a few things you should ask yourself while you’re reading or watching:
Does the story seem too good (or bad) to be
Does it seem to confirm stereotypes about a group of people?
Does it seem to confirm my beliefs?
Are the details in the story thin or unavailable?
Does the body of the story match the headline or tweet?
When was the story published? Is it new? If it’s a few years old, why is it circulating now?
Does the story have a named writer or producer?
Does the video have a named producer or editor?
Does the person appearing in the video have a real name or a nickname?
Have I heard of this organization before?
What do I know about this organization?
Does this organization have contact information? What happens when I try to contact it?
Does this organization have reporters and writers who can be found on social media? Can I see their bylines on the organization’s website?
What is the domain name (web address) of the website? Have I heard of it before? Can I look it up? Does it sound like the address of a similar website with a different ending?
Can I find another source that confirms this information? Can I find one that counters it?
Senior people are time-poor and you should respect that and refine the art of executive briefings and crisp summaries. High level highlights and clear asks. Complexity needs time and concentration and we have no staying power for it these days. But try saying that in an executive boardroom. Try suggesting that the way we work is not conducive to making informed decisions or reflecting on challenges and opportunities. Try suggesting that working like this leaves choice to chance because the seniors can’t see beyond the next half-hour interval and the juniors churn out PowerPoint safe in the delusion that their seniors and betters will notice if something is missing, if something is wrong, if something is inadequate – and too distracted by half by a desire to be at the apex of business themselves: that magical time when they will be reading other people’s badly thought-through slides, too busy to actually help them get the work right.