Filtering Applied to #Unboundeq

I have found it difficult to connect with the the Equity Unbound course.  I have been contributing in a one-way direction.  At least it mostly seems that way.  Whether the failure is my filters or theirs is a big question for me.  I know that my tweets have not been responded to in any way by the principals of the event.  I, too, have been unable to attend the live twitter chats or virtual conversations that have been provided.  Hence my exploration here using a pair of tools (Twitter Lists and Twitter Moments)that I used in my last post, Filtering Original Signal Into New Noise?

Below is an embed of my #unboundeq moment, where my ‘filtering’ question was: does the tweet make me want to move beyond a comfortable conversation and to act?

Here are my responses just as before, but with an emphasis on actionable stuff. (There are, of course, detours and “snookers” down some prairie dog warrens.) This is very much thinking out loud on paper so it probably does not warrant a close read.

Filtering Question: What does this make me want to “do”, to act?

1. Correct dystopia. How can anyone know enough of the future to predict the correct dystopia? This is not an idle question. Persuasion architectures. Is there an apt comparison between impulse buying at the checkout counter and online ads? AI can make the sale much more personalized? Really so? Perhaps we need to think about the source of this information. Is this from Facebook-based and massaged data? Like the ‘discovery’ that FB inflated the average time lengths of video views by 900%? Where does our speaker’s info come from? Big issue: it’s like the sorting hat in Harry Potter, we are being chosen but we don’t know how. Effectively it is magic. She asserts that *no one* knows how they chose. Only the machine consciousness knows. And how do we know that? What if you could target bipolar patients who are at the onset of a manic episode? Well, she says they have. YouTube example: the recommend column. I can say from my experience that it is not a particularly effective algorithm for me. I don’t allow autoplay because the autoplay is…stupid. “You’re never hard core enough for YouTube.” Ahh, a transcript. Handy to read and listen and watch. Nice TED interface for doing this. The issue: YouTube algorithms make all target demographics equal. Need to ‘play’ the algorith overtly? Need to fuck with it? How to do that? Let’s play “Fucking Up YouTube”. Example of demobilizing folks to not vote. The FB tweak that added 340000 voters to the 2010 election–we are relying on FB data. They are known to lie. The whole company’s business model was stolen by Zuckerberg. This is a talk that my friend Jimmy Dore needs to know about. Some platforms, if they have become this powerful, represent an unchecked power in the body politic. They are outside the three parts of government and the fourth estate. They are an unchecked power unto themselves that has no effective countervailing forces to check them. FB doesn’t have to tell anyone what they are doing and if the speaker is to be believed they themselves don’t know. AI as a political force to be reckoned with. “Imagine what a state can do with the immense amount of data it has on its citizens.” We don’t have to imagine. We can see.

“So what can we do? This needs to change. Now, I can’t offer a simple recipe, because we need to restructure the whole way our digital technology operates. Everything from the way technology is developed to the way the incentives, economic and otherwise, are built into the system. We have to face and try to deal with the lack of transparency created by the proprietary algorithms, the structural challenge of machine learning’s opacity, all this indiscriminate data that’s being collected about us. We have a big task in front of us. We have to mobilize our technology, our creativity and yes, our politics so that we can build artificial intelligence that supports us in our human goals but that is also constrained by our human values. And I understand this won’t be easy. We might not even easily agree on what those terms mean. But if we take seriously how these systems that we depend on for so much operate, I don’t see how we can postpone this conversation anymore. These structures are organizing how we function and they’re controlling what we can and we cannot do. And many of these ad-financed platforms, they boast that they’re free. In this context, it means that we are the product that’s being sold. We need a digital economy where our data and our attention is not for sale to the highest-bidding authoritarian or demagogue.”

There are some very interesting comments. I need to read all of them to get balance from the speaker’s POV.

2. Virtual Connection with #OWLTEH18: What is the Disruptive Media Lab of Conventry and what do they do and what something actionable can come from this place? I visited their YouTube channel. Subscribed. The intro video emphasizes ‘action’. OK, what kind: dreaming of 21st century safe learning space, yeah, that would be cool so how could I act that way?
Action: instead of having everyone do a presentation, go larger and just require that everyone share their larger project in some way including presentations
Actions: Tools suggestions sections are always a call to action. I went to the 23 things page in Tools. amazing to see how others are using the tools and connections I used in #clmooc. Makes me want to do more with #clmooc again besides doodles and such.
Issue: only thirty minutes long?

3.Commentary–capitalism is killing you: Awareness (scary stat) Action (check out scary stat) Classic ‘problem-solution’ writing. Action is the solution. Not enough just to become aware. So what can i do? I turn to Diigo, my go to social Swiss Army knife. I highlight everything that implies or suggests action. And some other stuff too. (I created an annotated view on Diigo: ). Action list (pretty generic, like a credo)
a.real work for real living pay
b.autonomy in a job worth doing
d.retirement with dignity
e.rebuilding community
f.supporting public goods like Medicare for all
g.refuse capitalism as we know it.

4.B.F. Skinner, a history: clicking of mice=the pecking of pidgeons. Bar none the worst analogy ever. And almost nothing actionable.

5. Kevin’s gathering of videos and discussing “that person in the room.”I stopped here at the #unboundeq video when the speaker began speaking about “weaponizing white dudes”.  I tried to go on, to understand how I could act on this phrase, to allow myself to be weaponized.  All I wanted to do was to act against that metaphor.  Instead of weaponizing me, instead of manipulating me, instead of making me part of a not-so-hidden agenda, why not ask me to help.

I oftentimes do lend help to people who have less power than I do just as I ask for help from those who can help me.  For example, the other day I leant my public support to a colleague applying for a job advancement.  She didn’t have to ask.  I did it in solidarity and as an act of empathy for all the help she has given me over the years.  If she had tried to weaponize me in service to her cause, I would have remained silent in the face of such a shaming tactic.

So…Kevin’s article did provoke my outrage.  I DM’d him on Twitter to thank him for his post and to explain my position and that led me to be more public here.  Filtering lesson learned: be open to being angered and outraged.

6.Mike Caulfield’s Tribalisma:  Caulfield lays out the problem for students in the modern classroom as outlined in a Knight Foundation survey.  What can I do?  Get skilled with fact-checking and truth-sussing; then help others do the same thing. And make it into a habit in class. Practice until it is a second nature action. AND go to Caulfield’s “Four Moves Blog”

7.The Nine Ways:  Clickbait or actionable? The big idea is to get people (particularly students) to believe in their own voices.  This is big lift–create confidence.  I have never seen this listed as a bullshit learning outcome. Hard to measure. Hard to conjure.

But…action is possible.

1.I could learn and share a new tool: MediaBreaker / Studios

2.Oh, look, I found Popcornmaker’s new home on  I didn’t know that this was more than an archive.  Immediately went there to create something for my friend Kevin.

3.Visited and signed up for Soapbox Nation although it says 5th-12th only.  I teach at-risk first year students so maybe they can push the envelop along with me if I can use their curriculum.

I wondered if this was sustainable.  Probably not on a daily basis, but on a once a week publishing schedule. Yes.  Might it fit into my newsletter? Yes, again once a week.  Mostly what I discovered is how central the ‘filtering question’is and how I need to get better at asking better questions. This question acts as a compass for the community you have brought together.  The filtering question helps you make sense of the pile of stuff you have gathered.  And that is a big deal.

Here is the action list that I have gleaned from my filter. 

Action Items from #Unboundeq Filter

More than a doc, Dropbox Paper is a flexible workspace that brings people and ideas together.

Next, I will create a new Twitter List about #el30 visiting guests for Stephen Downes’ E-Learning 3.0 Distributed Learning Technology MOOC.

Here are the names I will place in my Twitter List:

Confirmed guests for E-Learning 3.0 #el30 include the following:
– George Siemens
– Shelly Blake-Plock
– Tony Hirst
– Ben Werdmuller
– Maha Bali
– Sukaina Walji
– Viplav Baxi
– Amy Burvall
– Silvia Margarita Baldiris Navarro
– Jutta Treviranus

From each of those filtered sources I will be looking for interesting tweets that I can ask the question: how does this tweet help me connect meaningfully across the network?

Why this question?  It seems to be the central one as voiced in the course outline.


Filtering Original Signal Into New Noise?

I am very slowly working my way through Harold Jarche’s “Personal Knowledge Mastery” course. Thanks again to my department for fronting the tuition for this online conference. Here is one of the activities Jarche suggests:

Aim #4:
Create a network filter
Activity #4:
You are already following 20-30 people on Twitter from Activity #2. Some of these people may have their own blogs or post links to blogs or other websites. Find 5 of these that you think are interesting. You can bookmark these in your browser and review them from time to time. Another option is to let a feed reader do that for you. An easy web feed reading tool is which will let you subscribe to any website that publishes an RSS (or Atom) feed. If you put the link into Feedly, it will let you know if the site has RSS enabled. For example, my website does.
Using a tool like Feedly lets you organize your information feeds with other social media, as shown in the image below.

So instead of the above suggestion I decided that two tools in Twitter make nice together, Lists and Moments. I don’t know why this combo never occurred to me before, perhaps I have never asked myself serious questions about my filters before.

What I did was to create a List in twitter from my @telliowkuwp account.  I made it as diverse as I could within the limits of time and circumstance and then I created a Moment to filter tweets of interest that I  put under the category “Stuff I Might Never Have Attended to Had I Not Created this Filter”.

Here is an embed of the Moment:

Here is the RSS feed for the List, but I was unable to easily create an RSS feed for the Moment. Here is the link instead.

I think my issue here is to decide how to make sense of the gathering of tweets.  My original filter was very general: what might I have never seen?  Questions are really important filters. I think I am realizing that I don’t know enough about asking useful questions-as-filters.  Need to work on that.

Another filter (or in this case a set of filters) was simply observing different aspects of the Moment. Here is a list of what I observed in each pass:

First pass: I have a bias for images in my tweets. Why?

Second pass: A gender filter–more women that men.  Was I subconsciously trying to counter male bias in my Twitter account?

Third pass: There is a mix of what might be called first order tweets, that is the tweets from those on the original List, and second order tweets, those derived from drilling down into the original List.  This was totally unconscious.  I don’t know what it means.

Fourth pass:  I got my notepad out and characterized each tweet in general terms while also exploring them further.

Lastly, for now, here are the actions I took with each tweet:

1.Labor ‘scab’ story: watch YouTube video.  Yeah, I hate scabs. Verified. Yeah, I love the trash talking they did with the megaphone.

2.International policy story on China:  read tweet, read the re-tweet, looked over image. Image reinforces Chinese foreign policy strategy.

3.Whitewashing in Dear Abby:  skimmed the thread, followed @SikhProf and retweeted his tweet, interesting observation by @arianadelawari  that DearAbby “has a platform,” ran across the interesting phrase, “use your whiteness,” and asked myself if the terms “whitewashing” and “gaslighting” are really the same.

4. Music: I listened to John Cage’s “Williams Mix” for 8 single-track magnetic tape (1952) while reading tweets. Quirky, but inside the notes section was an interesting observation about how the piece was created:

The sounds are in 6 categories: A (city sounds), B (country sounds), C (electronic sounds), D (manually produced sounds), E (wind produced sounds) and F (“small” sounds, which need to be ampified). Pitch, timbre and loudness are notated as well. Approximately 600 recordings are necessary to make a version of the piece. The compositional means were I Ching chance operations.

These are Cage’s filters.  When did he come up with them, before he found the sounds or afterwards? In my case I am filtering after the fact, after I have gathered my material.

5. Soylent, future food in a powerful image: makes the future look real AND scary. 20% of your daily nutrition? NFW!

6. Halloween costume ideas: one from column A and one from column B. A neat filter. We call it a mashup.  I drilled down into the #NPSCostume hashtag. Charming.

7.Radical podcast:  The Guillotine   Provocative.  The opening mashup of Infowars audio is worth the listen.  The rest may not be your cup of tea considering they dox one of the ProudBoys involved in the recent street fight. I like how my filter worked here just like it does in YouTube. I was carried down an even more extreme rabbit hole by wanting to listen to someone really different from me.

8.Decolonization: What does a decolonized digital library look like?  No clue, but I dug down into the hashtag #DLFforum and discovered a very powerful flow chart I would have never seen. (Had to google the image to get untruncated chart.)

9.Vegan racism:  I am in deep and unknown waters here as the connection between vegan radicalism can be tied to vegan racism.  It also led me @ClaireShrugged.  I tweeted to her with thanks and a note that I am following. Grateful.

10. Podcast interview: Linda Nochlin, the ‘first’ feminist art critic, speaks. Mentor, critic, collaborator, surrogate family member. Really fascinating person who I knew zero about. Also, discovered the Art Movements podcast.  Way cool. More deep and grand depths about stuff I am ignorant about.

11. Political podcast:  I live under a hill and in a hollar.  These guys are channeling my country although one is from New Mexico and the other from GodKnowsWhere. I found one of the darkest tweets about the unnecessariat ever tweeted:


‘Nuff said. Their latest podcast is hilariously appalling.

All of this “slow filtering” was inspired by the “Filtering” activity in PKM. Thanks to Harold Jarche for nudging me down this road.  Still not sure what this could mean, not sure how sustainable this activity is, but it sure has been fun to think out loud and with an attitude. Is it the ‘new noise’, a kind of fuzzy, dampened signal?  I reckon. I leave with an incongruity.



Webrecording: Weeks Five & Six

I am not sure what this post has to do with equity,  but it definitely has something to do with exploring.  I am using the free program, Webrecorder, to archive all the links on the introductory post for weeks five and six of #unboundeq.

I am doing this because, of late, as I explore my own blog and the so-called archived material there, I find so much has been broken by the web. Webrecorder, according to the their website, is an open source tool that

… takes a new approach to web archiving by “recording” network traffic and processes within the browser while the user interacts with a web page. Unlike conventional crawl-based web archiving methods, this allows even intricate websites, such as those with embedded media, complex Javascript, user-specific content and interactions, and other dynamic elements, to be captured and faithfully restaged.

As best I can, I have archived all the material in the post including the videos. This makes everything downloadable and useful if you play it in the free webrecorder software that is available. Forever…or as close to that as is possible. I’d give it five years.

#EquityUnbound:Weeks 5-6

I am not sure what this post has to do with equity, but it definitely has something to do with exploring. I am using the free program, Webrecorder, to archive all the links on the [introductory post for weeks five and six of #equityunbound](http://unboundeq.creativitycourse….

One of the side benefits of doing this is that it got me to read and watch everything at least once. Another is that I can upload this to my Internet Archive account and share it with others…for a long time.  This is part of my beginning efforts to archive more usefully.The web recording is about 200 megs. You can download it and then play it with the free player or just use the embed above to access it.  You can also download it as a .torrent file as well from the Internet Archive link above.