A Ceaseless Shape-Shifting

As one journalist put it, “It’s a strategy of power that keeps any opposition “constantly confused – “a ceaseless shape-shifting that is unstoppable “because it is indefinable.” Meanwhile, real power was elsewhere – hidden away behind the stage, exercised without anyone seeing it. And then the same thing seemed to start happening in the West.

Many of the facts that Trump asserted were also completely untrue. But Trump didn’t care. He and his audience knew that much of what he said bore little relationship to reality. This meant that Trump defeated journalism – because the journalists’ central belief was that their job was to expose lies and assert the truth. With Trump, this became irrelevant. Not surprisingly, Vladimir Putin admired this. The liberals were outraged by Trump. But they expressed their anger in cyberspace, so it had no effect – because the algorithms made sure that they only spoke to people who already agreed with them. Instead, ironically, their waves of angry messages and tweets benefitted the large corporations who ran the social media platforms. One online analyst put it simply, “Angry people click more.” It meant that the radical fury that came like waves across the internet no longer had the power to change the world. Instead, it was becoming a fuel that was feeding the new systems of power and making them ever more powerful.

via http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/entries/02d9ed3c-d71b-4232-ae17-67da423b5df5

 

McLuhan Mashups

The Mother Corp hosted a Demystifying McLuhan Mashup Challenge that yielded some great submissions.  The contest was in 2 parts: an HTML5 powered audio ‘soundboard’ puzzle and the mashup challenge.  The un-geolocked (c’mon CBC – can’t we figure out a way to share nicely?) grand prize winner and runner up are below.

 

Communicating in the Global Village

 

“The city itself outside the classroom now has all the answers, and the classroom no longer has anything comparable to the answers that are outside the classroom …  I think what is needed is that the schools use their space and their time for questions and dialogue, rather than just feeding out answers and just specialist data.”

 

Demystifying McLuhan 2.2

 

Phraselator

I have been out walking in the woods lately – really long walks.  I load up my mobile with some podcasts for my treks and recently had some familiar voices pass through my headphones.  Freelance journalist Philippe Morin in Inuvik, Northwest Territories put together a story for CBC Spark back in March 2011 about the use of weatherproof, handheld military translation devices called Phraselators and how they are being used to assist Inuvialuktun language education in the Canadian High Arctic.

As I have mentioned before, I spent 4 wonderful years as a community school administrator and teacher in Aklavik, NWT.  I often reflect and remember the people I had the good fortune of living and working beside.  I landed in Aklavik just before Nunavut became a new Canadian territory and just as the federal government became involved in funding initiatives to bring internet connectivity to the Arctic.

As an educator with a background in programming, I became the network/systems administrator for the school and was tapped for work with the NWT Ministry of Education, Culture, and Employment to explore and develop curricula for this newly arrived medium.  It was an exciting time to live and work in the Arctic.

Many of the voices in this interview are of people I worked with – it was so good to hear their voices again.

[audio:http://networkeffects.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/cbc_report_machinetranslation.mp3]

Arctic Translation [MP3]