Welcome to TL;DR #149 (May 11th, 2018)
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Too Long; Didn't Read (TL;DR) newsletter #149

TL;DR is a summary of all the great stuff from the Internet this week in technology, education, and literacy. Issue #149 is all about sticking the landing. 

This week I posted the following:

  • What is "critical literacy" in education? - Much of my work and thinking is framed by critical literacy tenets. This impacts the ways in which I teach, research, and publish. I've also started recently hearing a lot of bad/incorrect guidance about what is included in critical literacy. This post should help clear things up.
  • Breadcrumbs - As I noted last week, I've started to play more with switching up my signals and Indie Web philosophies. This website is where I'm capturing all of the digital breadcrumbs I leave behind as I read, learn, and connect online. It's still a work in process...but please take a look and let me know what you think. I'll have a post coming soon as I continue to explore.

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Artificial intelligence vs. machine learning (7:26)

Neil deGrasse Tyson, MKBHD, and Chuck Nice briefly talking about the differences between artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. 

This is a topic that had a lot of overlap...and a lot of incorrect information over the last week. Despite all of this, it is a very important set of topics that we need to understand.


Google Duplex is amazing, creepy, and too good to waste

This week we had Google I/O 2018, the developer conference for Google and their varied projects.

Very early in the keynote, they shared some of the latest advancements in artificial intelligence for their Google Assistant. This new tech is currently being called Google Duplex. Google Assistant is their version of a voice automated what you find with Apple's Siri. 

Duplex will allow you to tell your assistant to schedule an appointment for you, reserve a table, or do some other task that involves calling in to a human and talking. Once you ask your device to handle this, Duplex will call the restaurant/business and talk to the person that answers and schedule this for you. Once they've completed this task, Duplex will notify you, and add it to your calendar.

Super cool or super creepy? I'll have more info soon in an upcoming post. Learn more here. Also check out this reflection from MKBHD

The New Octopus

Very interesting long read on the challenges of the future as gigantic corporations scoop up all of the data and information about us. 

The takeaway that has me thinking this past week:

Taming technological power will require changing how we think about technology. It will require moving beyond Panglossian views of technology as neutral, apolitical, or purely virtuous, and seeing it as a form of power. This focus on power highlights the often subtle ways that technology creates relationships of control and domination. It also raises a profound challenge to our modern ethic of technological innovation.

Teach kids creativity. Ultimately, machines will be better at coding.

Interesting view from Tom Hulme of Google Ventures arguing that teaching kids to code isn’t the future proofed ticket to future jobs as framed by many people. Deep machine learning will likely automate the writing of code relatively quickly. Creativity is going to be far more important in a future where software can code better than we can"

Hulme indicates:

We need to rethink the way we teach our children and the things we teach them. Creativity will be increasingly be the defining human talent. Our education system should emphasize the use of human imagination to spark original ideas and create new meaning. It’s the one thing machines won’t be able to do.

A Transformative Year: State of the Commons Annual Report 2017


I'm a big supporter and proponent of Creative Commons and all of the work they oversee. This past year was a big year for the global community that breaks down the walls that keep people from sharing their knowledge.

The 2017 annual report shares data, news, and stories from the community from the past year. 

One of my favorite initiatives is their CC Certificate program in which they teach people about the basics of the licenses, copyright law, and the tools you can utilize.

Escape the echo chamber


Over the past year I've been writing and researching a lot about filter bubbles, echo chambers, and critical media literacy. Across many of these stories, there is this belief that people should just "break free" from your echo chamber and seek other perspectives.

This long read from by C Thi Nguyen reminded me that it can be difficult for people to break free from these bubbles and accept other ideologies.

He notes:

First you don’t hear other views. Then you can’t trust them. Your personal information network entraps you just like a cult.

I definitely recommend reading through to make sense of the "intellectual judo" that happens in groups.


How to be a good storyteller

Some tips on how to be an award-winning storyteller from the group at The Moth website.
  • Know things by heart
  • Have a strong opener
  • Tighten it up
  • Do some break outs
  • Stick the landing
  • Go live your life


Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.

― Karl Marx

Too Long; Didn't Read (TL;DR) #149

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W. Ian O'Byrne · 1261 Discovery Drive · Ladson, SC 29456 · USA

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