Saturday, July 4

digital literacy

Tech for Evil Case Study: Clearview AI
product strategy, digital literacy

Tech for Evil Case Study: Clearview AI

You may have heard about Clearview AI in the news, especially around facial recognition. But who is this company, and what do they actually do? Setting the Stage First a bit of background to this post. Four years ago I published this post about Tech for Evil during the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. In it, I gave a technical review of how law enforcement used drones and LRAD devices against peaceful protesters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0pnEZ6cen4 Weapons used against the peaceful pipeline protesters at Standing Rock Here we are, four years later. People have forgotten about Standing Rock, if they even heard about it when it happened. Now, we're in the midst of a global outcry against police violence against black people, that ironically is ...
Small Worlds can Hide the Truth
digital literacy

Small Worlds can Hide the Truth

Small worlds give us social structure and help us make sense of how we fit into the greater society. But sometimes they can also prevent important change from happening by narrowing our world view. Let's dig into some theories of information seeking behavior to see if there are patterns we can optimize to ensure that lasting social change finally comes. Digital Literacy Relies on Information Seeking Behavior Digital Literacy is more important than ever in light of the enormous societal change to which we currently bear witness. However, it is becoming harder and harder to parse the information that is coming our way, let alone evaluate its relevance, because of the sheer volume of information. This article by Sonja Blignaut: Resist the Urge to Simplify Stories discusses how h...
Evaluating Digital Sources During an Epidemic
digital literacy

Evaluating Digital Sources During an Epidemic

Evaluating digital sources is an important component of being digitally literate. During an epidemic, this skill can literally mean life or death. But how do you sift through sources to evaluate them when you are fatigued and stressed out from the information itself? NSE: Never Stop Evaluating Digital Sources You must look at the source of the information that you consume. Can you trust everything that the nightly news reports? Can you trust things your friends post on social media? This exercise is great to template for evaluating digital sources: Who wrote the article/post? Just because they have a title such as doctor, are they really a doctor? Use Google to find out!Who do they quote? Sometimes articles will have great quotes from credible people, but they don't link...
Can Small World Theory Explain Polarization? #blogredux
Blog Redux, community strategy, digital literacy

Can Small World Theory Explain Polarization? #blogredux

This week in Blog Redux: can small world theory explain polarization? This week I’m reviving an old post from blog.ginaminks.com from July 10, 2010. The post was titled How information needs and small world signatures are related to affinity and relevance. Ahh the good ole days when we didn't have to worry about SEO and we could just write to communicate! This blog post was based on my undergrad degree, in particular the work of Elfreda Chatman. Unfortunately she passed away very unexpectedly soon after I graduated. I wish she were around to know how much she impacted my work, and so I could work with her now. As always, I’ll re-post the blog in its entirety here, and add my comments as a quote that start with Thoughts from 2020. How information needs and small world signatures...
Does Literacy Matter in a Digital World?
digital literacy

Does Literacy Matter in a Digital World?

Literacy. It is the foundation of American Public Schools, and an important arc in the story of democracy. But what does literacy really mean, especially in a modern, digital world? Definitions This is the Miriam Webster definition of literacy: Being educated, cultured; able to read and write; versed in literature or creative writing; lucid, polished; having knowledge or competence. But when you boil it down, the generic definition of literacy is the ability to read, write, and perform math so that you can function in your society. That’s why in the United States, children are required to attend school and obtain a high school diploma. Graduating from high school (or passing a GED [General Educational Development] test) is the measure to prove basic adult literacy. But is...