Shocked, but not surprised
A lot has happened in the world of technology and education since our last issue. A lot of news that we should cover. There are times that a story eclipses all others and I need to try and unpack all of the angles. Sadly, the events of January 6th, 2021 require our full examination. As regular readers of this newsletter, we are shocked…but not surprised at what occurred.
This week I worked on the following:
- Technology is a Tool, Not the Strategy – When we’re looking for new tools, we should focus on solving problems by considering interest, focus, and attention.
- Considerations of Death – It is interesting to watch our considerations of death and the changes brought about by the influx of technology and social networks.
- Before You Post that Hot Take – Seek first to understand, then be understood.
- Residue of Learning – Who “owns” the content in online courses after they are over?
- From Trash to Treasure – When life isn’t going the way you had hoped, take a step back and look beneath the layers.
- How Are You Complicit? – How are you complicit in creating the conditions of your lives that you say you don’t want?
- How To Write a Blog Post – Some guidance on how to write something others may want to read.
- Luck, Preparation, & Opportunity – Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
President Trump gave a speech to his supporters on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021. The audio of that speech was synced with images of the events that directly followed it. The audio of President Trump includes misinformation about the results of the 2020 presidential election. This video illustrates how his words helped incite the violence that ensued.
On Wednesday, thousands of Trump supporters flocked to Washington to protest and overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss indicates that supporters listened to their president say he would never concede, that American elections were no longer free or fair. Then he implored his audience to march on the Capitol building. Moments later, Trump supporters chanting, “This is our house” broke past police lines at the Capitol.
Much of the planning for this event has been plotted for weeks in the bowels of Reddit, Twiter, Parler, Telegram, and other corners of the far-right Internet.
Insurgent forces and the MAGA Right were welded together on the streets of Washington D.C.
The mob that rampaged the halls of Congress included infamous white supremacists and conspiracy theorists.
Thousands invaded the highest centers of power, and the first thing they did was take selfies and videos. They were making content as spoils to take back to the digital empires where they dwell.
Members of the mob also used a site called Dlive to livestream while they rampaged.
A coup with no plot, no end to achieve, no plan but to pose.
As the world came to terms with the insurrection, many highlighted the role that internet platforms—Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, in particular—have played in fomenting and facilitating these events.
Calls came for Trump to be deplatformed (removed) from all social networks.
Facebook indicated that they would block Trump on their platforms (Facebook, Instagram) until the end of his term. Twitter removed many of his tweets and froze the account before permanently suspending him citing the risk of further violence.
Although we would like to believe that Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms have moved to address this situation out of concern for society, I believe that it is far more likely that they (especially Facebook) are concerned about the incoming group of policymakers in the US, and calls for regulation.
Please also keep in mind, this is not just about Trump’s account, it’s the ecosystem built up around his messaging.
Not long after the insurrection, and Trump’s removal from Twitter
The president’s removal from his favorite platform created a vacuum for alternative Twitter sites Parler and Gab, both of which have courted Trump in the past.
Shortly after Trump’s ban from Twitter, both Parler and Gab experienced technical issues, likely from the number of users attempting to access their platforms. Parler users encountered a “networking error” on their home feeds.
Gab was one of the first platforms to brand itself as a “free speech” social media site and has been a haven for right-wing terrorists and other violent extremists. Parler bills itself as a “free speech” platform, but has also been identified as a major network for sharing and amplifying talk of guns, violence, and misformation.
There is also concern about a network of YouTube channels that popped up and started spouting hoaxes and lies as part of a disinformation campaign.
As indicated by Marc-André Argentino, if you are interested in QAnon, QAnonCasualties is a must-read subreddit to read regularly and to get to know what is happening in QWorld from those closest to QAnon adherents.
The heartbreaking thread that I shared at the top of this story is the accounting of one individual that was able to escape the cult’s grip.
As the world seems to be going crazy, you need to carve out time for yourself and those around you. Re-evaluate what is important to you…and how you show it.
Leave Behind: Predicting the Future
Adopt: Planning to Adapt
Leave Behind: Letting Your Phone Rule the Day
Adopt: Setting Yourself Up for Success
Leave Behind: Overscheduling
Adopt: Editing Your Workday Ruthlessly
Leave Behind: Blending Everything
Adopt: Setting More Boundaries
Leave Behind: Isolating Excessively
Adopt: Finding New Ways to Connect
Leave Behind: Clinging to What’s Not Working
Adopt: Making Time for Better Habits
Are We Talking Or Doing?