Habits of Multiple Belonging

Friends, I hope all is well with you and those around you.

Welcome to Digitally Literate, issue #385. Your go-to source for insightful content on education, technology, and the digital landscape.

This week I worked on a bunch in the background.

Elements and Situations

The world is full of wicked problems. These are social or cultural challenges that involve many systems and groups, have unpredictable outcomes, and defy typical problem-solving techniques. Wicked problems are also difficult to address as we often are involved or invested in the problem…we choose to, or have to address them. To address these problems, honest description is needed before you can move on to prescription.

Contextualizing collective experiences into four points gives us an opportunity to focus. JP Castlin offers insight into how we might use the Cynefin framework to make sense of our multiple places of belonging in the situation and identify emergent patterns.

Cynefin, pronounced “ku-nev-in,” is a Welsh word that translates as “place” or “habitat.” However, it can also be used to describe the elements of our situation and personal history that influence our thoughts and decisions in ways we don’t understand. David Snowden used the word to describe a framework he developed in 1999, based on concepts from knowledge management and organizational strategy. Along with his colleague Mary Boone, he published the framework in the November 2007 issue of the Harvard Business Review.

Garbage Begets Garbage

A “shocking” amount of the internet is machine-translated garbage, particularly in languages spoken in Africa and the Global South, a new study has found. Researchers at the Amazon Web Services AI lab found that over half of the sentences on the web have been translated into two or more languages, often with increasingly worse quality due to poor machine translation (MT), which they said raised “serious concerns” about the training of large language models. Keep Reading

Like all machine learning efforts, machine translation is impacted by human bias, and skews toward languages spoken in the Western world and the Global North. The proliferation of AI-generated nonsense poses concerning long-term threats for developing advanced AI systems in lower-resource languages. Training sophisticated language models requires substantial datasets of high-quality text. Researchers typically obtain such training data by scraping relevant online content. However, if much of the available content in less widely used languages already comprises low-quality machine translations, it may prove extremely difficult to gather the data necessary for creating useful models. This could severely hamper progress in expanding AI capabilities to more languages before efforts even get off the ground.

Systems and Challenges

The way productivity is measured in many organizations is inaccurate and actually reduces trust, which in turn decreases productivity. Trust is the biggest driver of productivity at work today. Building trust and a relentless focus on outcomes are key elements in creating highly productive organizations. Trust, transparency, and outcomes are all interconnected and foundational for organizational performance. Examine

Trauma is when we experience very stressful, frightening or distressing events that are difficult to cope with or out of our control. Ancient civilizations had various ways of dealing with trauma. Religion, immersive plays, and special permission played a significant role in helping veterans avoid trauma, with prayers and blessings before battles and penances to absolve themselves of atrocities. These ancient methods of dealing with trauma offer lessons for modern society. Read more.

Taoism is a religion, philosophy, and set of practices that originated in ancient China. While it is often misunderstood and reduced to simple concepts, there are practical life lessons that can be learned from Taoism. These teachings provide guidance on how to live in harmony with the Tao and achieve favorable outcomes in various aspects of life. Explore.

Journaling about the story of today

At the start of the new year, I’m back to trying to use a paper planner and journal. I purchased the Moleskine Horizontal Weekly Planner, 12M, Large, Black, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) for myself and my partner. I like it because it offers an overview of the week on the left page, and open lined space for notes on the right page.

In the section to the right, I leave notes about meetings, things to do, and next steps. I also try and leave a simple note about the “story of today.” What did I value, learn, or would do differently.

Time is a storm in which we are all lost.

William Carlos Williams

Thank you for being a part of Digitally Literate. Stay tuned for more insights and discussions. Reach out at hello@digitallyliterate.net or connect on social media.

Cover Photo CC BY using Playground AI

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