We Lost Control of Our Faces


Welcome back all.

This week I posted the following:

  • Where I’m From – Learning Event #3 – Consider your own culture & where you’ve been. How are these people, values, practices, & places a part of you?
  • Narrative for Tenure & Promotion – Sharing the Narrative for my Tenure and Promotion materials in an attempt to promote open scholarship.
  • Leadership Roles, Skills, and You – I have been spending some time researching leadership to better understand the qualities and interactions that go into creating a worthwhile leader.
  • Remembering in Digital Contexts – The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

If you haven’t already, please subscribe if you would like this newsletter to show up in your inbox. Feel free to reach out and say hey at hello@digitallyliterate.net.


Love Your Servitude – Aldous Huxley & George Orwell (17:34)

Aldous Huxley foresaw a Central State that persuaded its people to “love their servitude” via propaganda, drugs, entertainment and information-overload. In his view, the energy required to force compliance exceeded the “cost” of persuasion, and thus the Powers That Be would opt for the power of suggestion.

As prescient as he was, Huxley could not have foreseen the power of electronic media hypnosis as a conditioning mechanism for passivity and self-absorption. We are only beginning to understand the immense conditioning powers of 24/7 social and news media.


They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them.

Times Researchers Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson were able to identify individuals from a trove of leaked smartphone location data.

Key to bringing the mob to justice has been the event’s digital detritus: location data, geotagged photos, facial recognition, surveillance cameras and crowdsourcing.

If you think that even your political adversaries deserve data protection rights then you understand why it’s a fundamental civil rights issue. – @profcarroll

This is the second time these reporters have received this kind of information. Both times, they have demonstrated that it is far from anonymous, despite carrier claims.

Collection and use of this data REALLY needs to be better regulated. – @Iwillleavenow

This is how we lost control of our faces

Deborah Raji, a fellow at nonprofit Mozilla, and Genevieve Fried, who advises members of the US Congress on algorithmic accountability, examined over 130 facial-recognition data sets compiled over 43 years. They found that researchers, driven by the exploding data requirements of deep learning, gradually abandoned asking for people’s consent. This has led more and more of people’s personal photos to be incorporated into systems of surveillance without their knowledge.

Read the report, About Face: A Survey of Facial Recognition Evaluation here.

Three American Mothers On The Brink

Eleven months, multiple breakdowns, one harrowing realization: They’ve got to get back up and do it all again tomorrow.


Banning White Supremacy Isn’t Censorship, It’s Accountability

In an earlier issue of DL, I shared some thinking about freedom of speech and digital spaces by malkia devich-cyril. In that issue, I indicated that I appreciated the balanced view of freedom of speech.

devich-cyril expands on this thinking in this post in Wired.

Claiming that deplatforming racists violates First Amendment rights shows a distorted understanding of how speech, race, and power work online.

To expand on this point, Margaret Sullivan indicates that this is not cancel culture, this is accountability.

Mathematics in Context: The Pedagogy of Liberation

Teaching Tolerance changes its name to Learning for Justice to reflect evolving work in the struggle for radical change in education and community.

Social justice education isn’t limited to humanities courses. In this post two math educators explain how their commitment to equity informs the way they teach.


Get started with Joplin, a note-taking app

I’m in the process of switching up my toolkit.

Part of this involves finally shutting down my Evernote account and moving to something open source.

I’ve been testing out Joplin…and loving it. In fact, I’ve been using it to write this newsletter over the last couple of months.

I’ll discuss more in upcoming posts.



It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free people that want to remain servile, as it is to enslave people that want to remain free.

Niccolo Machiavelli

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