Boomers & Doomers

πŸ”₯ Hot off the press! πŸ”₯ Issue #390 of Digitally Literate is here! Dive into the latest insights on education, technology, and the digital landscape.

🌟 After a rejuvenating break, I’m back with fresh perspectives from my travels and family time. Prioritizing mental health and connections is key. βš–οΈ

Stay ahead of the curve with Digitally Literate. Don’t miss out on the discussions shaping our future! πŸš€

πŸŒ‰ Navigating Complexities

TikTok has faced scrutiny in Washington, with a bipartisan bill aiming to force ByteDance to sell the app. Banning TikTok could potentially help competitors such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube by providing an advantage to larger players like Meta and Google who already have significant presence and influence in the social media space. This could lead to a further consolidation of power within the tech industry, with fewer companies dominating the market. Read more

It’s essential for policymakers to consider the potential impact on competition before making any decisions regarding TikTok or other similar platforms. While some arguments against TikTok seem based on vague claims, incidents such as surveillance of journalists and restrictions on data tools have fueled doubts about its independence from its Chinese owner, potentially setting a precedent that authoritarian governments could use to justify censoring online speech they did not like. Explore

While much focus has been on TikTok, we need to consider the broader implications of this bill beyond just a single app, with potential long-lasting consequences if enacted into law. Dig deeper

Reddit, once known as a dark corner of the internet, has successfully transformed into a trusted news source, culminating in its recent IPO at a valuation of $6.4 billion. The platform underwent a significant shift, moving away from hosting toxic content to becoming a valuable space for authentic conversations and news sharing. Reddit’s success story highlights the importance and effectiveness of content moderation, despite the challenges and criticisms it faces from various parties in today’s digital landscape. Connect here

⚑ e/acc (Effective Accelerationism)

Silicon Valley is witnessing the rise of “effective accelerationism,” a belief system advocating for rapid technological advancement and criticizing anything that hinders progress. This movement is gaining traction online and labeling those who oppose it as “decels” while supporters are known as “e/accs.” Seen as a techno-utopian cult, this ideology pushes for unimpeded innovation and has sparked debates about the implications of unchecked acceleration in the tech industry. Watch here

Image Credits: Alex Wilhelm/TechCrunch

One of the world’s first big efforts to regulate AI is nearing legislative reality. After a marathon negotiation session, European Union lawmakers have agreed on a provisional deal to advance the sweeping AI Act. The landmark law is set to add new guardrails around everything from facial recognition to large language models (LLMs), and could serve as a blueprint for other countries looking to curb AI’s riskier tendencies. Read here

Vernor Vinge, known for coining the term “singularity” in relation to technology, passed away at 79 due to Parkinson’s disease. A prolific sci-fi author, Vinge’s works explored themes of AI surpassing human intelligence. Despite concerns over the implications of the tech singularity, Vinge remained optimistic about humanity’s ability to overcome challenges.

πŸ•³οΈ How Deep Does this Go?

Teens and parents have varying perspectives on screen time, with 72% of teens feeling peaceful without their phones and 44% feeling anxious. Parents often check their teen’s phone, leading to arguments in about 40% of households. While most teens have not limited their screen time, some have taken steps to cut back, especially those who believe they spend too much time on social media or smartphones. The study reflects that parents prioritize managing their teen’s phone use, with differences noted based on factors like ethnicity and income levels. New research

The Five Deeps are the deepest points in each of Earth’s oceans. Esri’s animated map showcases these trenches and explains the challenge of accurately mapping the ocean due to its three-dimensional nature. Efforts like the United Nations Seabed 2030 aim to create a comprehensive bathymetric ocean map by the end of the decade to better understand the depths and contours of the seafloor.

Several weeks ago in this newsletter, I shared a storyline that examined what happens if we look at generational differences through a gendered lens. This piece expands that narrative by looking at the candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is reaching out to politically disaffected, very online men, who are known for their own fondness for indulging in conspiracy theories and misinformation. As online spaces build, and local personal connections and systems dissolve, are we seeing a group of young and disaffected men gathering, waiting to be shown the way?

πŸŒ‹ A Tipping Point

Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.

Vernor Vinge

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Cover photo credits.

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