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)

LinkedIn [...]

If you have a job, you might lose it. If you don’t, you might find one. So, we stay. Even if it sucks.  (Source)

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Pre-mortem [...]

Instead of asking what might go wrong, in a pre-mortem we assume that the project has failed, and the question is what did go wrong. The difference might appear subtle, but the change in mindset is actually profound. This illusion of outcome certainty makes it safe for those who are knowledgeable about the initiative and concerned about its weaknesses but reluctant to share to speak up (especially about the types of things that are uncomfortable or awkward to talk about). Also, working backwards from a known outcome (i.e. asking why something did happen rather than why it might happen) is a great way to spur the team’s creativity and imagination.  (Source)

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Biased Observation Creates Reality [...]

Bacardi Jackson, a senior supervising attorney for children’s rights for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said designating those kids as potential criminals could have a “circular effect.” They would likely receive even more attention from school resource officers and as a result, face additional discipline. (Source)

The Privilege of Ignorance [...]

Most cisgender people are unaware of the fact that the millimeter wave scanners operate according to a binary and cis-normative gender construct; most trans* people know, because it directly affects our lives. (Source)

Visioning public cyberinfrastructure [...]

While the philanthropic community is rightly focused on countering surveillance and limiting the power of platforms through legislation, this agenda runs the risk of continually “playing defense” without offering an affirmative vision to work toward. This critical defensive work needs to be complemented with a wave of funding focused on experimentation around what might be possible with purpose-built social networks, specialized search engines, new technologies for revenue generation, and other digital public services. Philanthropic and government funders should focus on funding a range of experiments, accepting that some will fail, with the expectation that successes will spark interest in pushing the boundaries of what constitutes the digital public infrastructure. (Source)

New Tool Buddy [...]

Like any tool, Slack is a learned skill. DeLanghe says Slack has employees who start without prior experience of the software, or who are used to using desk phones. And while much of the company's informal policies and tricks are covered during the onboarding process, she always recommends having a safeguard as well.

"Have somebody who you trust, who can help you, who already understands it," she said. "So if you feel nervous posting to a public channel, you can have a buddy and get social proof [beforehand]." (Source)

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