Communities of Belonging

Welcome to Digitally Literate, issue #396. Your go-to source for insightful content on education, technology, and the digital landscape.

I recently posted the following:

🔦 Shedding Light

Search is an invisible platform that shaped the entire web. And it’s changing. Google Zero is a theory about Google Search keeping traffic to itself. The future of online platforms and audience-building is uncertain. Read more.

Big media publishers dominate Google search results with product recommendations lacking real testing. Independent sites like HouseFresh struggle to compete, losing traffic to big names with questionable practices. Google’s algorithm favors big publishers, raising concerns about the reliability of product recommendations online. Two months after this story first broke, HouseFresh saw a significant drop in Google search traffic.

A collection of 2,500 leaked internal documents from Google filled with details about data the company collects is authentic, the company confirmed today. Until now, Google had refused to comment on the materials.

Google confirmed the authenticity of 2,500 leaked internal documents about its data collection practices. The leaked material reveals details about Google’s search ranking algorithm and is expected to impact the SEO industry. The documents offer insights into how Google approaches ranking websites, shedding light on a usually secretive process. Check this out

Google’s vagueness and mincing of words has not helped, but the influx of internal documents offers, at least, a sense of what the company dominating the web is thinking.

🫢 Deception and Half Truth

A report by the AAUP reveals over 150 bills targeting academic freedom in state legislatures, with 21 signed into law. The report links these attacks to right-wing think tanks and a culture-war backlash against higher education. It highlights efforts to restrict faculty speech and influence curricula with conservative viewpoints.

Former OpenAI board member Helen Toner explains why CEO Sam Altman was fired, citing trust issues due to lying and lack of transparency. Toner reveals instances of Altman’s deceptive behavior, leading to his ousting by the board. Despite some pushback, the majority of employees supported Altman’s reinstatement as CEO. Explore

🫂 Winning Back The People

Liberal democracies face distrust from the people. To regain trust, policies must focus on shared prosperity, quality jobs, and climate action. A new political consensus is needed to address deep-rooted issues and secure a better future. Read more from the Berlin Summit Declaration and the new consensus around industrial policy.

Children are striking against climate change, inspiring hope for a better future. George Monbiot argues that humans have a strong capacity for altruism and cooperation, but societal forces have hindered these qualities. George Monbiot acknowledges the failures of older generations and calls for collective action to protect the planet. He advocates for a shift towards a politics of belonging, emphasizing community, cooperation, and the commons to counter individualism and competition.

Working fewer hours can lead to better quality work and a more fulfilling life, as seen in the story of Josh Epperson. Epperson’s “Experiment” of working fewer hours while focusing on meaningful work and personal well-being resulted in improved productivity and happiness. Thanks to Doug Belshaw for sharing this.

⚡️ Some Perspective

We are a society of altruists governed by psychopaths.

George Monbiot

Thanks for reading Digitally Literate. Stay tuned for more insights and discussions. Contact me at or connect on social media.

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