Welcome to Digitally Literate, issue #369. 3-6-9, damn, you fine
As this week began, I spent time in my garage wiring new outlets and lights. While working, I was listening to The Road to take my mind away from the work. Not soon after, did I find out that the author, Cormac McCarthy passed away this week at the age of 89.
I should also indicate that tomorrow is Father’s Day and I’m moved by McCarthy’s indication that it was his love for his son that helped him write The Road.
The declining school-age population in America has implications for K-12 public schools, colleges, and universities, as well as for communities as a whole. As Bryan Alexander points out in the article, this demographic trend may lead to school closures and consolidations, which could impact the quality and availability of education, particularly for vulnerable students who have the least amount of choice.
Why this matters. While there’s a lot of parental and political energy burned on culture war issues like book banning, we need to start thinking about the hard choices that will have to be made in the near future.
Every summer I take our kids out to sign up for the summer reading challenges that are offered by the local library. It’s been interesting to see how their literacy practices have changed over the years. It’s also been interesting to see how libraries have changed since I first visited them.
Why this matters. Libraries are an essential part of a community’s social infrastructure but are struggling to meet the growing demand for their services. Understanding the challenges faced by libraries and their workers is critical to ensuring that these public places continue to serve their communities effectively.
Teenagers’ social media use has come under scrutiny from parents, policymakers, and psychologists who argue that it could be detrimental to their mental health. However, despite these concerns, little research exists to prove the exact impact on adolescents and what sites, apps, or features could be problematic.
Why this matters. It is unclear if time on social media is the problem, or if it’s time away from other things like exercising or sleeping. I’d suggest setting limits on social media use, modeling responsible internet use, engaging teens in conversations, and creating a family screen time plan.
Tim Urban discusses the different levels of AI, from Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Artificial Superintelligence (ASI), and the challenges in creating AGI. One key requirement for AGI is an increase in computational power, which is currently on track to rival the power of the brain by 2025. Urban indicates that we’re currently standing at the precipice of an incredible amount of change.
Why this matters. Our own perceptions of the world and how it exists may limit our ability to understand and prepare for these futures.
Change is difficult to implement when leaders try to convince everyone at once; it is more effective to identify those who are already enthusiastic. Starting with a small group allows for a local majority to take hold, potentially transforming an entire organization.
Why this matters. Allow for success to be sold rather than the idea, providing an opportunity to involve others and grow participation. Success leads to greater success as initiatives become transformative through building upon success.
Chris Bailey with a great piece on what really matters and our perceptions of the world. When it comes to happiness and overall satisfaction in life, psychological factors like how we think about experiences matter more than the experiences themselves. If expectations are not met, our perception of events can influence how positively or negatively we feel about them.
These biases and mental models influence our lives, and by choosing to perceive experiences differently, our overall happiness and satisfaction can improve. Changing our mindset around how we relate to life is essential if we want to live a better life.
We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth.
By teaching these survival skills, you can help children become adaptable, resilient, and resourceful individuals with the confidence to handle different situations.
Cover Photo CC BY using DreamStudio.AI