<span class='p-name'>Too Long; Didn’t Read #186</span>

Too Long; Didn’t Read #186

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Walk the walk…talk the talk
TL;DR #186 – 2/23/2019

Hi all, welcome to TL;DR. My name is Ian O’Byrne. I research, teach, & write about technology in our lives. I try to synthesize what happened this week in tech…so you can be the expert as well.

I posted a couple of other things this week:

I wanted to share with regular readers of my newsletter a beta launch of my latest podcast. It’s called Technopanic…and it is a measured discussion about the challenges and opportunities as we live and learn in an age of screentime.


4 Mindset Changes That Massively Improved My Life (11:59)

Thomas Frank with some guidance on changing your perspective on things:

  • Be okay with being the worst person in the room.
  • Treat real life goals like video game levels.
  • Be comfortable with confronting harsh realities.
  • Build a feedback loop where you always ask yourself…“How could I be wrong here?”

The imperfect truth about finding facts in a world of fakes

Small rule of thumb in my book…when Zeynep Tufekci writes something…immediately read it. This definitely applies to this latest piece in Wired.

Tufekci identifies the need for a trail of revisions, or an audit trail of changes to online information. I started thinking about this in my dissertation. Zeynep indicates the challenge behind this is that we often build in mechanisms for surveillance.

Fighting disinformation across our products

Over the weekend, Google presented a white paper at the Munich Security Conference detailing how it fights disinformation across its largest services. This includes efforts covering Google Search, News, and YouTube, as well as advertising platforms.

At a high-level, the company’s efforts are comprised of three strategies tailored to suit each product.

  • Make quality count
  • Counteract malicious actors
  • Give users more context

I’m glad Google is proving this transparency in their decisions. I hope they stick to this plan…and are open in their processes along the way.

Stop saying, “We take your privacy and security very seriously”

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In a good parallel to the post above…talk is cheap. Users should demand more from the use of our data online. We should demand more transparency from these companies. We should also demand that companies do as they say.

Zack Whittaker points this out that the standard operating procedure from most companies tends to be “deflect, defend, deny.” We deserve better.

I’m a neuroscientist. Here’s how teachers change kids’ brains

Teachers help change the wiring of the brain, as evidenced by recent brain research into neuroplasticity. This involves three practices:

  • Proliferation – Brain building
  • Pruning – Eliminating unnecessary connections
  • Consolidation – Develop automaticity and responsive patterns

You may also consider this post about what teachers need to know about pedagogy…and don’t.

Why Russia is planning to briefly disconnect from the Internet

As I read a bit too much sci-fi, and connect this with my thinking about tech…I’ve been wondering if we would reach a time when people would have a license (or permission) to view certain parts of the Internet. Would we have different parts of the “Internet” for different people. Yes, I know that as a U.S. citizen…I have access that some others do not. But, I’ve wondered if/when we’d come to a time when people would have access determined by some descriptor or license.

According to a report from _ZDNet, Russia will disconnect from the Internet as part of a planned experiment.

The reason for the experiment is to gather insight and provide feedback and modifications to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament in December 2018. This law is dubbed the Digital Economy National Program, which aims to bolster the self-sufficiency of Russian internet space. I’ll be paying attention…and thinking critically about these tests.


Get kids into podcasts and audio books with Pinna

This post is pretty much an ad for Pinna, a new ad-free streaming service for kids from ages 3 to 8. I don’t think that you need to use/pay for this service. Podcasts are already free…and super easy to use. Wow in the World is a great starter for your kids. Audiobooks are also an awesome option…your local library, and apps like Hoopla will help.

Read more about how podcasts are becoming the new bedtime story.

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When you turn over rocks and look at all the squiggly things underneath, you can either put the rock down, or you can say, ‘My job is to turn over rocks and look at the squiggly things,’ even if what you see can scare the hell out of you.

Fred Purdue


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.

Say hey with a note at hello@wiobyrne.com or on the social network of your choice.

6 Comments Too Long; Didn’t Read #186

    1. wiobyrne

      Hey Aaron, absolutely. I’m in the process of rebuilding a former website into my newsletter and indieweb feed. I’ll then have a site that carries all updates, posts, and newsletter content. Once I iron out the theme…it should be ready to go. I’ve been ironing out my podcasts up to now.

      I hope all is well. 🙂


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