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by Stephen Downes
Feb 13, 2015

How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life
Jon Ronson, New York Times, 2015/02/13

Around 13 months ago Justine Sacco was on her way to South Africa when she sent off a tweet from Heathrow that for all appearances was insensitive and racist. The Twittersphere descended on her while she sat unknowing on a 12 hour flight and by the time she landed she was vilified and fired from her public relations job. This article reports on the fallout. A related article, posted by Gawker Media's Sam Biddle has a similar theme. Biddle is the blogger who essentially found the tweet and created the firestorm, and a year later he met Sacco to talk about it. We read now that it was misinterpreted, and that she was parodying a typical midwestern reaction. But my thought is today as it was back then: what was she thinking?

Both articles suggest that the internet responses are overreactions. Biddle writes, "Trayvon Martin blackface costumes (338,000 page views), ill-conceived brand tweets, the Auschwitz selfie teen (179,000 page views), racist radio hosts (291,000 page views), and so on.... Each time, each slap, was the same: If we could only put one more wrongheaded head on a pike, humiliate one more bigoted sorority girl or ignorant Floridian, we could heal this world." Well, no. But I hold a different view. If we respond enough times to enough apparently racist and insensitive tweets, then eventually people will stop being racist and insensitive. As the Times article suggests, "Social media is so perfectly designed to manipulate our desire for approval." Fine. When people stop seeking approval by being racist and insensitive, the world will be a better place. Until then, we should disapprove. Vocally.

[Link] [Comment]

Evidence of Learning
Adam Newman, Terry Miles, Gates Bryant, Tyton Partners, 2015/02/13


I think this is actually quite a good report and regret only that it doesn't dive into deeper detail. That said, the framework around 'evidence of learning' appears to me on first reading to be sound. Here it is:

  • Experience, including formal and informal learning and on-the-job (could include practical - SD)
  • Validate - review experience through assessment protocols, confirm skills
  • Assemble - curate experiences into a narrative, develop personal profile
  • Promote - present narrative for employment goals, attract candidates
  • Align - assess feedback tools for employment fit, provide workforce feedback (aka 'close the loop')

What I like is that is focused on much more than testing and credentials, and is therefore broadly applicable, and it focuses debate on specific entities, for example, hat should count as 'experience'? Via Inside Higher Ed. See also Tyton's evidence of learning Supplier Ecosystem report.

[Link] [Comment]

Rights, restrictions and photos of Cats
Stuart Myles, W3C | ODRL | Slideshare, 2015/02/13

I haven't covered the nuances of version upgrades - Open Digital Rights Language is in final comments for version 2.1 - but the spectrum of automated rights referencing is maturing gradually. This slide presentation illustrates the current state of the art, with workflows for both publishing and consuming systems. The ODRL also has a spiffy new web page on W3C - I love the spinning icon at the top (I want one - maybe I can steal theirs).

[Link] [Comment]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.