Escape Pods

Escape Pods
Digitally Lit #258 – 9/5/2020

Welcome back to Digitally Literate and issue #258. I took off the month of August from this newsletter and my social media feeds. I discuss more about this below.

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This week I worked on the following:

  • Gone for a minute – I was on a digital detox for the month of August. I disconnected to focus on my family as we prepare for the upcoming academic year.
  • Is social media bad for us? – Every week in this newsletter we see evidence that social media might not be good for us.

I’m in the process of making changes to my social media feeds and signals. This will include modifying content in this newsletter. I hope you’ll forgive me as you see some loose wires for a couple of weeks.

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Why I quit trying to build the perfect morning routine.


How do you start your day?

How do you build routines into your life?


U.S. court: Mass surveillance program exposed by Snowden was illegal

U.S. court says mass surveillance program exposed by Snowden was illegal.

Warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans’ telephone records violated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act & may have been unconstitutional.

Keep in mind this is still focused on “Americans” data.

All Students Need Anti-racism Education

Schools across the nation are committing to the all-important work of anti-racism. Schools with predominately white or privileged students should be no exception.

  • Teachers must re-evaluate their curriculum
  • Students need to understand privilege and rethink power
  • Schools must interrogate their practices and how they gained institutional privilege to begin with

The Privileged Have Entered Their Escape Pods

This piece by Douglas Rushkoff is a followup to “Survival of the Richest,” a report about how the wealthy plot to leave us behind after an apocalyptic event.

Unlike their human mothers, a predictive algorithm could anticipate their every need in advance and deliver it directly, removing every trace of friction and longing.

I Write the Songs

A fascinating long read about algorithms and how they try to replicate the “creation of coercive fun.”

Requiring novelty is a learned behavior. When you consume an algorithmic feed, you are constituted as a subject who is continually winning at wanting.

Video game playing and literacy: a survey of young people aged 11 to 16

Video games can provide young people with a route into reading and improve confidence in reading & writing skills. Video games can have potential benefits for increasing empathy & mental wellbeing.

Findings from survey exploring literacy-related interactions of 4626 youth in the UK using BounceTogether as a data collection tool.


Get a password manager

This week I started using Bitwarden as I clean up my password system and move away from LastPass.

Here’s how to get started with Bitwarden.



Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.

Albert Einstein

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Digitally Literate is a weekly review of the news, notes, tips, and tricks from the week that resonated with me.

I really love white noise generators while I’m working. The Implanted Memories and Electric Sheep audio streams are perfect if you want that Blade Runner vibe all day while you’re working.

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1 comment

  1. Aaron Davis
    September 9, 2020 at 2:15 am

    Ian, in regards to the rich and their escape pods, I recommend reading (or listening to) Cory Doctorow’s story The Masque of the Red Death from his book Radicalized.

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