Hormones [...]

Through a strange and cruel biological quirk my body craves but cannot produce the molecule that saves my life. (Source)

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News and the Internet [...]

I get that navigating online bullshit is hard. I wish none of these words I wrote were necessary. I wish journalism wasn’t fully intertwined with commercial advertising platforms that connect millions of people with each other at once. I wish we didn’t outsource our political and cultural conversations to these commercial advertising platforms. I wish newsroom leaders and reporters could completely ignore these spaces and focus on a pure version of journalism. I don’t like this system any more than they do. But it’s the one we’ve got. Newsrooms don’t understand the internet they send their journalists onto. That needs to change. (Source)

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Drakengard Original Soundtrack [...]

It would be difficult to explain the music of Drag-on Dragoon in a single paragraph. I want you to imagine the following: on a morning without school or work, a carefully selected egg has been lying on the table since the previous night at room temperature. You lightly pluck the egg off of the table and crack it over a bowl filled with cooked koshihikari rice, adding a dash of katsuobushi, finely shaved on a wood block. To top it off, and here you need to be careful, you add a few drops of light-colored soy sauce. You take your time to lightly stir in these ingredients. Filtered amidst the grains of cooked rice, part of the egg cooks, and part remains raw. It must not be mixed in too thoroughly. If it is possible, it is best to leavetwo to three clumps of white rice completely untouched by the egg, sitting like clumps of marble. Combined with the raw egg, this rice, which is as hot as possible, will make the perfect temperature. We calmly debate the merits of our respective ingredients as all of this spreads inside your mouth and fills your empty stomach.Then, the song as we kill each other. (Source)

Quality assessment demands resources [...]

Another major step was earmarking CARES Act funding to hire “graders” who could help faculty in high-enrollment courses grade and provide feedback on redesigned authentic assessments, which take longer to grade than traditional exams. The additional assistance of the graders provided more bandwidth to instructors, who normally do not have access to teaching assistants/graduate student instructors (UM-Dearborn is a primarily undergraduate campus with few graduate students). The grader program was aligned with the overall people-centered approach because it provided quality assistance to faculty who were working hard to redesign aspects of their courses and also provided employment to part-time lecturers who filled the grader roles. (Source)

The Fading of Interaction [...]

Good old times... Remember Instagram where you could post an image?Remember Google that allowed you to type your search request? We had Twitter! You could unfollow people! Yes! Yes, in 2020 there were browsers that had a location bar and you could type in an address of a site!!What? Address bar? Website? You could type? Was there a sort of typewriter? Delegating, adapting, forgetting. (Source)

Rituals [...]

The other way I have learned to think about these small acts is that they are rituals. Motifs. Reminders. The rituals locate us in time and space, especially for those moments in which we are together there. (For a synchronous Zoom meeting, we are certainly together in time and space even if we are not in the same physical room.) The rituals also give us a strong set of shared experiences that are not tasks so much as they are acknowledgments and preparations. Like a nod of recognition, or a smile at a neighbor as you go out to check the mailbox, or the greeting I used to give the folks at the pizza place where I’d get my lunchtime slice in the before-time, these are rituals. Some are small, and some are mighty. Some rituals transcend being, some concentrate being, and some do both. Rituals are both intimate and utterly transpersonal.The key, as I have learned from my friend Louis, is kavanah. That’s the Hebrew word for ritual that’s fully inhabited, fully meant, and thus fully meaningful. Kavanah is the energy coursing through our good mornings and our readys and our intro music and our farewell gifts. (Source)

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Conspiracy as Brand [...]

It seems to me that everyone has at least a few people in their online circles who are approaching issues around these events and conspiracies related to them as a brand-building process. In that case, can we really say the motivation is as simple as “confirmation bias”? Or would we be better off thinking of these dynamics around issues of personal brand-building, its incentives and disincentives? (Source)

Horror of unknowability [...]

We instinctively think that 8kun is “worse” than Facebook because its users are free to post the worst content imaginable, and because they are terribly imaginative, do. It feels like 8kun must be “worse” because its content is worse — what is permitted, and what actually is posted. But Facebook is in fact far worse, because by its nature we, as a whole, can’t even see what “Facebook” is because everyone’s feed is unique. 8kun, at least, is a knowable product. You could print it out and say, “Here is what 8kun was on December 29, 2020.” How could you ever say what Facebook is at any given moment, let alone for a given day, let alone as an omnipresent daily presence in billions of people’s lives? (Source)

Disinformation is about elites [...]

Disinformation has always been about getting elites to do things. That’s the point that so many who have looked at what percentage of ppl saw what on Facebook have missed. The public isn’t a target — it’s a vector (and it’s not the only vector). (Source)

Slack Is the Right Tool for the Wrong Way to Work [...]

Though Slack improved the areas where e-mail was lacking in an age of high message volume, it simultaneously amplified the rate at which this interaction occurs. Data gathered by the software firm RescueTime estimate that employees who use Slack check communications tools more frequently than non-users, accessing them once every five minutes on average—an absurdly high rate of interruption. Neuroscientists and psychologists teach us that our attention is fundamentally single-tasked, and switching it from one target to another is detrimental to productivity. We’re simply not wired to monitor an ongoing stream of unpredictable communication at the same time that we’re trying to also finish actual work. E-mail introduced this problem of communication-driven distraction, but Slack pushed it to a new extreme. We both love and hate Slack because this company built the right tool for the wrong way to work. (Source)