<span class='p-name'>Too Long; Didn’t Read #178</span>

Too Long; Didn’t Read #178

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Time Travel & Other Dimensions
TL;DR #178 – 12/15/2018

Welcome to this week’s issue of Too Long; Didn’t Read. This will be the last episode of 2018. I’ll be unplugging for the final two weeks of the year to reflect on the past year…and plan for upcoming initiatives. See you on the other side. 🙂

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Keri Facer on Learning Futures (18:28)

Keri Facer, Professor of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University author, discusses the future of learning in the context of an underlying shift in the foundation of society and its impact.

Social efficiency is all about future-proofing rather than future-building. We need to focus on future building as opposed to future proofing.


Social media for the first time tops newspapers as a news source for US adults

According to a new report from Pew Research Center, social media has for the first time surpassed newspapers as a preferred source of news for American adults. However, social media is still far behind other traditional news sources, like TV and radio, for example.

One-in-five U.S. adults say they often get news via social media, slightly higher than the share who often do so from print newspapers (16%) for the first time since Pew Research Center began asking these questions. In 2017, the portion who got news via social media was about equal to the portion who got news from print newspapers.

My question is…what happens when we move from one version of “Meet the Press” that everyone watches…to 60 different versions of “Meet the Press” that different groups watch each week?

Is Screen Time Bad for Kids’ Brains?

A new week, and some new technopanic from the New York Times around screentime.

A study featured on “60 Minutes” is sure to alarm parents. Here’s what scientists know, and don’t know, about the link between screens, behavior, and development.

On Sunday evening, CBS’s “60 Minutes” reported on early results from the A.B.C.D. Study (for Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development), a $300 million project financed by the National Institutes of Health. The study aims to reveal how brain development is affected by a range of experiences, including substance use, concussions, and screen time. As part of an exposé on screen time, “60 Minutes” reported that heavy screen use was associated with lower scores on some aptitude tests, and to accelerated “cortical thinning” — a natural process — in some children. But the data is preliminary, and it’s unclear whether the effects are lasting or even meaningful.

Read more here at Scientific American, Newsweek, and Big Think.

Sorry, your data can still be identified even if it’s anonymized

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Urban planners and researchers at MIT found that it’s shockingly easy to “reidentify” anonymized data that people generate all day…especially in cities.

Carlo Ratti, Professor of Urban Technologies from the MIT Senseable City Lab, who co-authored the study in IEEE Transactions on Big Data, says that the research process made them feel “a bit like ‘white hat’ or ‘ethical’ hackers” in a news release.

They combined two anonymized datasets of people in Singapore, one of mobile phone logs and the other of transit trips, each containing “location stamps” detailing just the time and place of each data point. They then used an algorithm to match users with phone logs, transit slips, GPS data, and other data points. In the end, it took a week to match up 17% of the users and 11 weeks to get to a 95% rate of accuracy.

Digital Media and Our Experience of Time

Michael Sacasas writing about time, and what David Strayer and Matt Ritchel, researchers from the University of Utah, describe as the “third day syndrome.”

The “third day syndrome” is the tendency, after about three days of being “unplugged,” to find oneself more at ease, more calm, more focused, and more rested. Sacasas asks, “If we can find out that people are walking around fatigued and not realizing their cognitive potential … What can we do to get us back to our full potential?”

I’m sure the idea that we are walking around fatigued will strike most as entirely plausible. That we’re not realizing our full cognitive potential, well, yes, that resonates pretty well, too. But, that’s not what mostly concerns me at the moment.

What mostly concerns me has more to do with what I’d call the internalized pace at which we experience the world. I’m not sure that’s the most elegant formulation for what I’m trying to get at. I have in mind something like our inner experience of time, but that’s not exactly right either. It’s more like the speed at which we feel ourselves moving across the temporal dimension.

The science of “vibes” shows how everything is connected

In a recent post in Scientific American, lawyer and philosopher Tam Hunt and psychologist Jonathan Schooler from the University of California at Santa Barbara describe their new theory of consciousness.

They ask the question…“What physical processes underpin mental experience, linking mind and matter and creating the sense of self?” This search for the rules that relate mind and matter (pdf) is often referred to as the “hard problem of consciousness.”

Hunt and Schooler posit that every physical object, including you, is vibrating and oscillating. The more synchronized these vibes are, the more complex our connection with the world around us, and the more sophisticated our consciousness. Their “resonance theory of consciousness” indicates that synchronized vibrations are central not only to human consciousness but to all of physical reality.


7 digital privacy tools you need to be using now

Everyone wants your data. Here’s how to protect it.

  • A VPN (virtual private network)
  • A privacy-focused web browser
  • An encrypted DNS (domain name system)
  • A secure messaging app
  • A password manager
  • An encrypted hard drive
  • A data destroyer
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Don’t time travel into the past, roaming through the nuances as if they can change. Don’t bookmark pages you’ve already read.

James Altucher


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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