Sisyphean Cycles

Welcome back all! Here’s Digitally Literate, issue #342.

It’s good to be back. I have a lot to share in the coming weeks. For now, lets’ get into it. o(^▽^)o

Please subscribe if you would like this newsletter to show up in your inbox. Reach out and say hello at hello@digitallyliterate.net.

Why Are You So Angry? Part 1: A Short History of Anita Sarkeesian

I’m teaching a class on gaming, online discourse, education, and gamergate this year. This video series (this is the first video) is the linchpin of the semester. I use it to unpack some of the larger themes of gamergate and “how to teach Angry Jack.”

Trigger Warning: Content in this video, and in this class includes vulgar language, as well as gendered and racialized harassment.

The Coming Tsunami of Fakery

The Dead Internet Theory , which went viral some years back, posits that the internet is a no man’s land of bots and fakery. At first, it seems like a ridiculous overstatement, but perhaps it’s actually correct, just a bit too early on the scene. Monsieur Grandy suggests that the Dead Internet Theory is fast becoming a reality thanks to zero, marginal-cost content generated at an infinite scale.

The post suggests that the eras of the content on the web are starting to look something like this:

human, real content < human, fake content < AI, fake content

  1. real content generated by real people dominated.
  2. fake content generated by real people to deceive (think fake reviews, Cambridge Analytica, etc.).
  3. Finally, the era of fake content created by AI.

This is interesting given our discussions in previous issues of DL thinking about how we mainly focus on the past when online.


Teach Fear-Mongering isn’t new, but it’s time to break the cycle

Jason Feifer with a good overview of insight gleaned from the work of Amy Orben and others to understand how digital connections compare with other forms of connection.

The post details what Orben calls the Sisyphean Cycle of Technology Panics

To break this cycle, we need to keep aware that this cycle has, and will continue to impact our lives. Stay aware, take notes, and think critically about these movements.


Lifecycle of social media

When a new social platform starts up, early adopters usually jump in, and brands follow up to gobble up market space.

The latest buzzy social network is BeReal. It’s the latest move in authentic social networks. I’m intrigued.


The Grind: My Teen Experience of LGBTQ+ Misrepresentation Within Social Media

Interested in better connecting with others (or yourself) about the stressors and anxieties in their lives? Perhaps you can have them create a diagram and then talk about the grind.

There are many possible grinds that you can discuss:

  • The Game Plan Grind – pressure to have a future path figured out
  • The Achievement Grind – desire to maximize academic achievements
  • The Social Grind – need to display social “thriving” on social media
  • The Appearance Grind – pressure to look one’s best
  • The Self Care Grind – strive toward spiritual goals and pursue hobbies
  • The Activism Grind – need to maximize social impact
  • The Persona Grind – pressure curate a desirable identity online and off

An Ai-powered virtual rapper, FN MEKA, has been signed to Capitol Records

A very interesting story to unpack. First, Capitol Records signed an AI-powered virtual rapper named FN MEKA. They released a single for the major label called ‘Florida Water.’ Lyrics here at Genius.

Not long after, Capitol Records “severed ties” with the recently signed AI rapper FN Meka, who came under intense scrutiny after clips of the project using the N-word went viral. Social media users also surfaced an old image from Meka’s Instagram showing the rapper in a scene of police brutality.

For more on this story, watch this video from Anthony Fantano, and then this video about the fallout.

Gamify your life using Habitica

Habitica is an open source habit building program which treats your life like a Role Playing Game. Level up as you succeed, lose HP as you fail, earn money to buy weapons and armor.

I’m using it in one of my classes this year. If you’d like to join us…let me know and I’ll add you. 🙂

People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.

Epictetus

I’ve been enjoying this collaboration album that has finally been released by Danger Mouse and Black Thought.

Say hey at hello@digitallyliterate.net or on the social network of your choice.

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