Imagined New Worlds

WELCOME

This week I published the following:

  • There Are Always Two Paths – There are always two paths. The darker heavier path, or the lighter easier path. You can always choose to make something already hard worse by your response, or you can choose to make it easier by a different response.
  • Thank You. I’m Sorry. – Thinking about language and my daily interactions with culturally diverse communities and individuals.

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Watch

Misinformation around COVID-19, vaccines an ‘urgent threat,’ surgeon general says

Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, called on social media companies and politicians to take more responsibility, saying misinformation threatens the nation’s health.

Much of my original line of research focused on the critical evaluation of online information. In this, there was always in the back of my mind thought about how this was primarily an academic exercise. But, I knew that this could turn deadly if we focused on health information.

Read

Can We Imagine a Better Internet?

On 17 June 2021, over 40 participants from all over the world joined the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy for a workshop exploring ‘the cost of convenience’ and the opaque impact that digital technology has on the environment.

This visual representation below shares some of the responses collected in the sessions.
convenience

In order to understand and better address the environmental consequences of digital tech, researchers need to be more clear about the concepts we use but also to be more open to the experiences of individuals and communities on the ground who often ‘know better’ since they live (and occasionally also cause) the very consequences of tech we research.

Why Is the Country Panicking About Critical Race Theory?

The battles over Critical Race Theory (CRT) are raging. So…what is CRT?

Critical race theorists tend to share several key assumptions, as Janel George, a law professor at Georgetown, explains at the American Bar Association website:

  • Race is not a biological fact but a social construction.
  • Racism is not aberrational but an inherited, ordinary feature of society.
  • Racial hierarchy is primarily the product of systems, not individual prejudice.
  • Racial progress is accommodated only to the extent that it converges with the interests of white people.
  • Lived experience, not just data, constitutes relevant evidence to scholarship.

Treatment for gun injuries costs more than $1 billion a year, federal watchdog says

In a groundbreaking report released on Wednesday, a federal watchdog estimated that the cost of medical treatment for survivors of gun injuries in the United States amounts to at least $1 billion each year, but is likely much higher.

The report provides shocking new evidence of how gun violence strains our health care system and disproportionately harms historically marginalized communities in the United States.

Students’ abilities to evaluate the credibility of online texts: The role of internet-specific epistemic justifications

Elina K. Hämäläinen, Carita Kiili, Eija Räikkönen, and Miika Marttunen with some interesting research about critical evaluation of online texts.

Evaluation of online texts is challenging for adolescents and their ability to evaluate the credibility of online texts varies considerably. Beliefs in justifications for knowledge may contribute to the evaluation of online information.

The research suggests students’ evaluations of online texts reflected different credibility aspects and depth in reasoning. Students used more frequently venue, evidence, and author than intentions and corroboration as evaluation criteria. Students’ beliefs in justification by authority and justification by multiple sources predicted their evaluation performance.

This means that students should be instructed to evaluate various aspects of credibility and engage in deep reasoning. Students would benefit from learning how to use corroboration with multiple texts as an evaluation strategy.

The Game Makers and Artists Pushing Roblox to its Limits

Last year, when the pandemic made in-person gatherings impossible, digital artist Everest Pipkin downloaded Roblox Studio, the platform’s game creation software, to construct a digital space to host their own party.

It’s still publicly accessible, a giant mountainous landscape packed full of hang-out spots and, befitting the celebratory occasion, a balloon dispenser. Friends rolled through virtually over the course of six hours, an event Pipkin describes as “goofy,” “strange,” and, above all, “lovely.”

In fact, Pipkin was so taken with the platform that they decided to use it to build a new project entirely within it. The so-called Dream Diary is a little different from the birthday zone; it allows players to peek into the most intimate recesses of its creator’s nocturnal mind.

It’s interesting to see the storytelling, art, and narrative in these spaces.

Do

How ‘Soft Fascination’ Helps Restore Your Tired Brain

Attention fatigue is a threat to your cognitive and mental health. Certain activities seem to reinvigorate the brain in ways that support directed attention and self-regulation.

  • A 20-20-20 rule for your brain?
  • Schedule some “soft fascination” into your day

Discuss

consider

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.

George Orwell

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Viral virtuoso Marcin returns with rip-roaring, reverb-drenched rendition of Metallica’s Master of Puppets.

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