Issue #363: supporter edition

Hi reader,

This week has been la semana estresante as they (probably) say in Spain, which is where I'm headed as I type this. Suffice to say we're doing a beta demo of MoodleNet in Barcelona on Tuesday, and my part-time team of contractors have been working all week, including this weekend.

    In addition to my Moodle work, I'm getting back into consultancy. So I'm delighted to announce that I'll be heading to NYC next month (thanks Bryan!) and Kuwait in January (thanks Maha!) If you, or someone / organisation you know, could do my help, please email:
    Thanks for supporting Thought Shrapnel. Just a reminder that I've paused your Patreon charges for November and December!
    xkcd: voting referendum

    Weekly roundup

    I noticed these things when I wasn't fretting about MoodleNet...
    • Reimagining Privacy Online Through A Spectrum of Intimacy ( blog) — "To start creating solutions for online harassment, tracking, and targeting in social networks, and to create better protections for users online, communication apps and online technology need to think of privacy not just as a security protocol, but as an intimate setting—and something that is already an organic part of our lives. This privacy needs to be designed into how conversations unfold. In practice, this could mean better privacy filters to create small and large groups easily, the ability to turn off comments or replies, the ability to easily share posts or content with a handful of people, and security protocols that protect user’s data and online behavior."
    • Can Text You A Pile of Poo, But I Can’t Write My Name (Model View Culture) — "To help English readers understand the absurdity of this premise, consider that the Latin alphabet (used by English) and the Cyrillic alphabet (used by Russian) are both derived from Greek. No native English speaker would ever think to try “Greco Unification” and consolidate the English, Russian, German, Swedish, Greek, and other European languages’ alphabets into a single alphabet. Even though many of the letters look similar to Latin characters used in English, nobody would try to use them interchangeably. ҭЋаt ωoulδ βε σutragєѳuѕ.
    • Companies behind on digital transformation get ahead with open leaders ( — "Implementing open values, principles, and processes into all facets of our lives—such as culture (both organizational and societal) education, access to information, co-creation models, engineering, and computing—is the best way to build a balanced and free society that paves the way not only for future technological advances but also new ways of working together to build our world."
    • If I Touched The Moon, What Would It Feel Like? (The New York Times) — "Moon dust may not burn you, but it’s no picnic. Like Earth sand, moon dust is effectively made of tiny glass shards, but the sharp edges have not been worn down by erosion. As a result, it can be pretty unhealthy. But so long as you avoided touching rocks or metal, washed your hands afterward and didn’t mind some temporary swelling, you could probably touch the moon and survive."
    • Why xHamster Is So Much Better at Content Moderation Than Facebook (OneZero) — "But as Big Tech argues against even the most minimal acts of oversight, it is worth noting that extreme scrutiny placed on the adult industry has not eradicated the industry or made it incapable of innovating. What it has done, however, is make members of the adult industry cautious and considered about enforcing safety measures that Big Tech has long been cavalier about."
    • On Reading “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” Chapter 10 (Jack Lule) — "It is a fine argument: The content of curriculum is being determined by the character of television. Students raised on television will come to expect education in this form. “Indeed,” Postman writes gloomily in conclusion, “they will expect it and thus will be well prepared to receive their politics, their religion, their news and their commerce in the same delightful way” (154)."
    • This chart from Mastodon’s creator shows just how angry some Indian Twitter users are (Quartz) — "Mastodon is being described as the paradisiacal social media platform free from vitriol, abusive trolling, and targeted advertising. Indian intelligentsia on Twitter have been creating accounts on Mastodon in hordes, particularly because they say Mastodon takes reports of abusive content seriously."
    • Pointless work meetings 'really a form of therapy' (BBC News) — "Regardless of what they are meant to be discussing, they serve a purpose as an 'opportunity to complain and be acknowledged by colleagues'. But people going to many meetings can lose patience - and can spend much of the time playing with their mobile phones, say the researchers."
    • A burro learns to breathe (Identity, Education, and Power) — "That’s what folks like me have been trained to do — black folx, educators, women. We have been taught that our worth is determined by the load we carry. We have learned that the weight of the world is not greater than our strength. We are proud."
    Image via xkcd
    Until next week,
    PS At some point I'll update my blog about what I've been up to this week. Not high on the priority list right now...
    Doug Belshaw
    Dr. Doug Belshaw is an Open Educational Thinkerer, currently working with Moodle and We Are Open Co-op to improve our world.

    You can connect with Doug by replying to this email, or via Twitter, LinkedIn, or Mastodon (here's a guide to getting started with latter!)

    Some say he's stressed. Others say he's blessed. No-one thinks he's well-dressed.
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