Lies don’t end relationships…the truth does

Welcome to the new year. Let’s hope that it’s a new year. Here is Digitally Literate, issue #316.

I posted the following this week:

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zoe (& rocco) fcking with the sanity of everyone on sesame street for 7 minutes and 45 seconds

Elmo — yes, that Elmo — is beefing with a rock. And Twitter has been eating it up.

These Elmo clips on Twitter sum up most of the discussions I’ve had in 2022 so far. I feel like they perfectly encapsulate gaslighting.

Wordle Is a Love Story

Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, knew his partner loved word games, so he created a guessing game for just the two of them. As a play on his last name, he named it Wordle.

This is not Mr. Wardle’s first brush with suddenly capturing widespread attention. Formerly a software engineer for Reddit, he created two collaborative social experiments on the site, called The Button and Place, that were phenomena in their moment.

“It’s really sweet,” his partner said. “This is definitely how Josh shows his love.”


8 ways teachers are talking about Jan. 6 in their classrooms

A new NPR/Ipsos poll finds that 64% of Americans believe U.S. democracy is “in crisis and at risk of failing.” The root of this rests in the verifiably false claim that “voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election” — a key pillar of the “Big Lie” that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. As political divides persist, polls show Americans still don’t agree on basic facts about why a mob overran the Capitol one year ago, attacked police, and threatened lawmakers.

It is an understatement to say that Teachers across the country faced a daunting challenge this week. How do they talk with students about the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

This report by the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) suggests that the threat posed by domestic extremists is even greater a year after the Capitol Attack.


Want to rule the metaverse? Symbolism is key

Symbolism is key. Symbols speak louder than words, because our brains decode meaning thousands of times faster from images than from text. But symbolism in the metaverse is different than symbolism in the physical realm.

As a literacy and technology researcher, this is nothing new to me. I’ve been teaching about multimodal content and semiotics for longer than I can remember. I do wonder how the move to more virtual and augmented spaces will change things.

What’s clear is that in this new ‘phygital’ space of the metaverse, the power of symbolism for brands knows no bounds. Those that can harness it to elevate what they stand for will be the ones who cut through and ultimately succeed in connecting with their target in new and exciting ways.

Phygital? Really? Knowing this work…we’ll all be using phygital in the coming years. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Here’s a reading list of emerging tech predictions for this year

A good list of readings for the upcoming year from Emerging Tech Brew.

  • Food Tech – Hopefully there will be a “shroom boom,” for everything from regular consumption to use in packaging
  • Crypto – 165 pages spanning bitcoin to Web3, trying to figure out how big 2022 will be
  • 3D printing – 2022 will hopefully be less wasteful in 3D printing
  • Semiconductors – This was the story of 2021, and the chip crunch will hopefully ease up this year
  • Electric vehicles – This upcoming year will hopefully be when promises start to become reality
  • Climate – A lot of attention and $$$ may have some impact in the upcoming years
  • Data Science & AI – Reputational harm due to bias and a lack of accountability in AI processes will most likely continue

People who are obsessed with celebrities tend to score lower on measures of cognitive ability

Cognitive performance is slightly reduced among those with higher levels of celebrity worship, according to a new study published in BMC Psychology.

Celebrity worship was measured using a scientific questionnaire known as the Celebrity Attitude Scale. The scale asks participants the extent to which they agree or disagree with statements such as “I often feel compelled to learn the personal habits of my favorite celebrity,” “I am obsessed by details of my favorite celebrity’s life,” and “If I were lucky enough to meet my favorite celebrity, and he/she asked me to do something illegal as a favor I would probably do it.”

Raises serious questions about celebrity worship and addictive or problematic social media use. Research published here.

Sheet Music for Playing the Piano with Your Bottom

The wonderful (and occasionally obscene) Twitter account Threatening Music Notation is filled with pictures of strange slices of musical notation, such as instructions to consume cocaine, moo like a cow, slap a fish, and produce fart-like sounds.

Before we chalk this up to foolishness, Twitter user @ONEiROSEB says that playing the piano with your bottom may be taken from the works of Victor Borge, a Danish-American musical comedian.

You can lie to anyone in the world and even get away with it, perhaps, but when you are alone and look into your own eyes in the mirror, you can’t sidestep the truth. Always be sure you can meet those eyes directly. Otherwise, it’s big trouble, my girl.

Betty White

32 Hard-hitting Narcissist Quotes To Walk Away For Good. I picked up this gem from that list.

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