<span class='p-name'>Too Long; Didn’t Read #150</span>

Too Long; Didn’t Read #150

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Trimming the fat
TL;DR #150 – 5/18/2018

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You’ll notice some changes this week as we’re sliming down for the summer. Let me know what you think about the changes. 🙂

This week I posted the following:


Alexa ruins families (2:54)

For her “True Stories” series, cartoonist Lauren eLL (Lorenzo) gives us a candid look into her dysfunctional (her words) family’s life by secretly recording their conversations and then animating them.

The Alexa video above is her most popular and was uploaded in March. You might also want to check out her latest, called _A Family Dinner.


Searching for alternative facts

Searching for Alternative Facts is an ethnographic account drawn directly from Francesca Tripodi’s research within upper-middle class conservative Christian communities in Virginia in 2017. Tripodi uses Christian practices of Biblical interpretation as a lens for understanding the relationship between so-called “alternative” or “fake news” sources and contemporary conservative political thought.

“By applying the practices of scriptural inference to Google searches, this report also implicates Google in reaffirming people’s existing beliefs.”

Major depression on the rise among everyone, new data shows

Major depression is on the rise among Americans from all age groups, but is rising fastest among teens and young adults, new health insurance data shows.

So what is possibly behind the data? Possibly a mix of “how busy people are” in addition to time spent in front of screens, lack of community, isolation, and sleep disruption.

“It is possible that the increased rates of depression in adolescents is related to a combination of increased electronics use and sleep disruptions in already vulnerable individuals.”

I’d also recommend reading this post from NPR about when teens cyberbully themselves.

Are my friends really my friends?

More examination and reflection of the role and substance of social media connections in society. The article examines a lower threshold for maintaining friendships, and indicates that some people strongly favor mediated interactions over in-person interactions, especially millennials accustomed to constant communication via devices.

Most interesting:

However, digital media channels “don’t distinguish between quality of relationships,” he said. “They allow you to maintain relationships that would otherwise decay. Our data shows that if you don’t meet people at the requisite frequencies, you’ll drop down through the layers until eventually you drop out of the 150 and become ‘somebody you once knew.’ What we think is happening is that, if you don’t meet sometime face to face, social media is slowing down the rate of decay.”

Analysis: How poverty can drive down intelligence

The usual side effects of poverty are abundant and well documented. They include crime, chronic stress and a long list of health conditions. This post from PBS posits that you may have not heard of another one…lower IQ.

When asked to explain these results, scholars disagree on the possible causes.

“Instead,” they write, in their depressing conclusion, “it appears that poverty itself reduces cognitive capacity. We suggest that this is because poverty-related concerns consume mental resources, leaving less for other tasks.”

# Academia’s #MeToo moment: ‘I’m really struck by how endemic this is’

The #MeToo movement, which has rocked politics, media, business and entertainment, is exploding with full force in academia and on college campuses across the country.

Since December, more than 2,400 anonymous accounts of sexual misconduct have been posted online through a spreadsheet in which victims and witnesses describe incidents they say occurred in their work with lecturers, professors, deans and others.

In a somewhat related story, I have been thinking about the literature and research that I read and cite. More to the point, I need to cite more diverse scholars, and more women.

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Exploring interruptions in conversations

I have two little ones in the house, so interruptions are a frequent event in our house. 🙂

I have also (tried) to be more present in discussions, and listen to students, colleagues, and friends while in discussion. This includes listening, and not just waiting to present my points. This also includes the subtle balance between leadership, and monopolizing the discussion.

Within these contexts, it’s important to recognize lenses of power, identity, and gender. In this post, Stanford doctoral candidate Katherine Hilton found that people perceive interruptions in conversation differently, and those perceptions differ depending on the listener’s own conversational style as well as gender.

Watch this video clip and calibrate your perspectives.


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This is the artist, then, life’s hungry man, the glutton of eternity, beauty’s miser, glory’s slave.

Tom Wolfe

TL;DR is a summary of all the great stuff from the Internet this week in technology, education, & literacy. Please subscribe to make sure this comes to your inbox each week. You can review archives of the newsletter here.

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1 Comment Too Long; Didn’t Read #150

  1. Aaron Davis

    I am really interested in the posts of ‘friends’ and ‘depression’. I was really taken by Sarah Jeong’s recent reflection on leaving Facebook. One of the things that stood out from her discussion was the habits that we have lost or forgotten.
    I sometimes feel bad about letting relationships lapse, but then I think that it takes two to tango. Really not sure. I think that the “True friends will stay in contact if you leave ” is an interesting one. Having wiped my Facebook content, I don’t agree. It can be easy to assume that others are still there, listening, watching, following, lurking. The irony with this is that even if we are active in such spaces, we are often at the whim of the algorithm.
    It will be interesting to look back at the influence of technology on the current society. That is, to look at all the parts, such as change in work habits, family, society. Time will tell.


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