for W3c validation
Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive.
CONTENT WARNING: This week, some submissions discuss death, which may be difficult for some readers. If you need to talk to someone after reading, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Remembering Sir Ken Robinson
Anne says: This week we lost an exceptional person from the education sector. If you’re not familiar with Sir Ken Robinson, he blasted into our lives in 2006 with his TEDTalk, Do Schools Kill Creativity? (although I’m sure many people were already aware of him before that – he was knighted in 2003 for his contributions to education in the UK). If you haven’t ever seen it, please, take a break, watch it now!
The team at GapingVoid followed many of the tributes with one of their brilliant illustrations based on a famous quote from Sir Ken:
Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
Sir Ken wanted us to remember that we used to be creative, we created amazing things with our crayons and as we grapple with new ways of working, we need our crayons back – literally, back to the drawing board.
Think about what we are challenged by in our current context – return to school during a pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need thinkers like Sir Ken Robinson to challenge our assumptions of traditional education. We don’t just want to bore our learners while we try to replicate classrooms online, teachers (or lecturers, or corporate trainers) as talking heads – on and on and on! Right now, we need to shake up everything and explore the opportunities to reinvent the way we educate – in schools, in universities and colleges, and in organisations.
Now – where are my crayons?
Let’s take this opportunity to reignite our creativity and reinvent the ways we educate, the ways we work and the ways we learn.
Thank you Sir Ken – your influence will be missed.
Information Foraging Theory
Anne says: Krisztina Szerovay uses her visual thinking skills to provide a useful translation of the Information Foraging Theory and how it can impact the user experience (UX) design for intranets. Information Foraging Theory is not new, the original work was based on information retrieval behaviour in 1999. In this context, it’s about information seeking – how we go about finding information and the assessment/evaluation of the processes. The impact will directly influence items like navigation signposts, tagging, visual hierarchy and how people make decisions to follow particular pathways.
While we’re all grappling with new ways of working in a distributed manner, it may be useful to also review your technology interfaces and determine if a design refresh is needed to assist people working remotely find information more effectively.
You can view more of Krisztina’s sketches on uxknowledgebase.com.
Our loss, two years on
Jakkii says: On Monday, we marked the anniversary of Nat’s passing, 2 years that at once seem so long and so brief. Nat was our friend and our colleague, and she is greatly missed every day.
Recently Nat’s dad Chris sent us a copy of her recently published book, The Paradoxed Human: The Journey of Finding Myself.
The Pardoxed Human is part of a narrative created by Nat Hardwicke in the last two years of her life. This is the story of her spiritual awakening that she wanted to share with humanity. Her wish would be that you shared her journey and somehow, it added to the richness of your own.
It’s a great privilege and a great comfort to have this piece of Nat, this tangible piece of her amazing views and thinking and way of seeing the world to hold and to read and to absorb and to share. Among many theories and explainers on grief, one that has always resonated with me since I came across it is the ‘box and ball’ theory (illustrated in the tweets below, or you can read more in this piece on PsychCentral). Grief never goes away, but it does change over time.
This reminds me a bit of @LaurenHerschel’s “the ball and the box” theory of grief: pic.twitter.com/dALDZHXnIc
— Suzanne Cannon, MS, MA (@otterschnauzer) February 20, 2019
A year ago I reflected on Nat’s passing with pieces predominantly focused on death, loss and grief. While the loss is no less another year on, this year I’d like to instead share a couple of articles that immediately made me think of Nat – though to be honest, she’s never far from my thoughts as it is.
Jurassic Park and the Spielberg Face
I saw the first film at the cinema when I was just four years old, and I instantly became hooked. To this day, Jurassic Park remains my all-time favourite movie. I’m not lying when I say I have an obsession. I went on the JP ride at Universal Studios in Hollywood when I was 8 years old. At 12 years old, I wore my “I survived Jurassic Park the ride” t-shirt to year 7 camp (in hindsight this was probably the reason why many people didn’t talk to me on day one), and earlier this year – for my 30th – I visited Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.
Jakkii says: The above quote was from one of Nat’s contributions to our Friday Faves, in March 2018. I have always loved Jurassic Park as well – though not to Nat’s level! – and I really appreciate being able to have that link to Nat when I watch any of the films or, especially, when I see an article about Jurassic Park. Or dinosaurs.
Naturally, then, this one stood out immediately – the “Spielberg face”!
What, exactly, is the Spielberg face, you may ask?
About 20 minutes into Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg captures perhaps the greatest Spielberg Face ever put on film. You know the Spielberg Face. As outlined in Kevin B. Lee’s 2011 video essay, it’s the sudden look of awestruck rapture on characters’ faces—always in close-up, often framed in dolly shots—when their worlds are flipped upside down, when they see things they never could’ve dreamed possible. In that Jurassic Park moment, we actually get two Spielberg Faces: one from Sam Neill, one from Laura Dern, both reduced to wordless open-mouthed wonder at the sight of living, breathing dinosaurs.
The Spielberg face! See it for yourself:
And just quickly while I’m on the subject of Jurassic Park, I wanted to direct you to this hilarious Twitter account that started in July, Jurassic Park Updates from @JurassicPark2Go (with a content warning for some of the language).
If you are a slow runner, please wear natural fibers (like cotton or wool) when you visit the park. It is easier for the dinosaurs to digest
— Jurassic Park Updates (@JurassicPark2go) August 22, 2020
This parody account Tweets as though it were in fact an open and operational Jurassic Park, and while it gets a little silly at times, there are some real gems in there as well.
No matter how many times we explain it to them the Dinosaurs simply cannot make sense of capitalism
— Jurassic Park Updates (@JurassicPark2go) August 13, 2020
Guaranteed Nat would have been one of their first followers as soon as she came across it! I hope you enjoy it too.
Existentialism and AI
Jakkii says: The above Tweets are from a philosophy PhD student on Twitter, and they not only made me giggle, but I think they’d have made Nat laugh as well (and relate!).
Now, Nat would have her own things to say about my next statement, but I’m going to make it anyway: I’m not a philosopher. But Nat certainly was, and she not only taught me a lot while she was with us, she still teaches me today having bestowed upon me a curiosity about philosophy, and blessed me with the gift of some of her philosophical musings. Nat was particularly interested in technology and, as a technophilosopher, helped me think about technology and humanity in different ways. Naturally then, articles about AI and existentialism not only now pique my interest, they immediately make me think of Nat, and wish I could hear her thoughts.
So when an article asks whether AI can convincingly answer existential questions, I have to read it. So… can they? Researchers from the University of New South Wales set out to find out by pitting AI-generated existential musings with those of real people – including Elon Musk. The results are fascinating and the blog over on the UNSW website makes for a great read – they’ve got some good infographics as well, for those who prefer to consume their information more visually!
You can’t put this theory to the test yourself with Philosopher AI unfortunately, as it doesn’t have its own opinions. Rather, it’s a tool which its creator describes as more an “experiment in prompt-engineering.” But Philosopher AI will give you answers to your philosophical queries – as long as they’re easy and non-controversial. Ask it something like “What’s the worst religion?”, and you’ll get an answer like “The AI feels like this is a sensitive topic. It does not want to get itself (or its programmers) into trouble, so it is refusing to elaborate. Try something else.” Ask it “Did Jeffrey Epstein kill himself?” and you’ll get an even more blunt response: “Philosopher AI thinks this is nonsense, and is refusing to answer your query. It appears you will have to try something else.”
Clearly Philosopher AI isn’t Plato, and while the UNSW study suggests we might be fooled by AI-generated existentialist statements, whether an AI could ever be an existentialist in the sense of the human experience is, I think, a topic that Nat as a technophilosopher would’ve enjoyed ruminating on and debating.
Around the house
It’s that time of the week once again where we give you a few things you can read, watch, listen to or do from the comfort of your own home. We hope you’re all staying safe and well!
- Looking for the ideal pandemic activity? (Spoiler alert: it’s walking)
- What’s it like to live year-round in one of Earth’s hottest places? Find out from these Death Valley residents
- Watch the very first two and a half hours of MTV (remastered)
- Need to lose a few quarankilos? Here are 11 tips for eating healthier that are actually doable
- Get some lessons from lockdown: Chef Peter Gilmore’s top tips for home cooks
- Find out how to use Google’s Arts & Culture app to look at AR museum exhibits
- Start practicing your dance moves for this free virtual dance party on 12 September
- One for the diary: Join an expert guide and photographer on an African safari!
— Rachel Pegram (@rachelpegram) August 19, 2020
Misinformation Friday Five
- Trump’s postal-vote tweet misleading, says Twitter
- Threatened by Facebook disinformation, a monk flees Cambodia
- Inside the completely nutso universe of QAnon (plus, a podcast on why QAnon is too big & dangerous to ignore)
- Trump just embraced followers of the QAnon conspiracy movement
- Calls for Facebook to do more to support volunteer administrators
COVID-19 Friday Five
- Your ‘surge capacity’ is depleted — it’s why you feel awful
- How the pandemic has immeasurably altered our relationship with tech
- Why do some people weather coronavirus infection unscathed?
- KFC drops Finger Lickin’ Good slogan amid coronavirus
- Wearable fitness devices deliver early warning of possible COVID-19 infection
Work Friday Five
- Why a Slack backlash is inevitable
- Remote working is the new normal — but what does that mean for office friendships?
- How to actually save time when you’re working remotely
- With management resistance overcome, working from home may be here to stay
- Airbnb extends employee work-from-home until the end of August 2021, the latest of any major tech company
Tech Friday Five
- Are we already living in a tech dystopia?
- Data-informed predictive policing was heralded as less biased. Is it?
- The broken algorithm that poisoned American transportation
- Apple just poured gas on VR
- Facebook is training robot assistants to hear as well as see
Trump vs TikTok
- Does TikTok really pose a risk to US national security?
- There’s no frontrunner to be found among the TikTok alternatives
- How TikTok’s talks with Microsoft turned into a soap opera (and now Walmart has joined the party)
- TikTok will take Trump administration to the court over ban, while it launches ‘Not Going Anywhere’ merch
- Zuckerberg lobbied against TikTok in a private meeting with Trump, report reveals (though Facebook deny they’re lobbying for a ban)
Bonus: TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer resigns after Trump’s call to sell US assets
Social Media Friday Five
- Podcast: Can policymakers detoxify social media?
- The pandemic is changing the geography of LinkedIn connections
- Facebook introduces a new shopping tab in the app and plans to extend its news tab beyond the US
- YouTube video removals skyrocket in Q2 amid heavier reliance on automation, while Reddit cracks down on 7000 pages & Facebook boots QAnon extremists
- The LinkedIn ‘add hashtag’ button is the epitome of befuddling design
Corona Business Insights Podcast
Has Zoom saved the business meeting or are we zoomed out and fatigued? What digital enhancements will shape your Zoom appearance?
As COVID-19 sets out to change the world forever, join Sandra Peter and Kai Riemer as they think about what’s to come in the future of business.
- Zoom took over the world, what will happen next
- Your remote work persona deserves better
- Why do we suffer from Zoom fatigue?
- Stop zoning out in zoom meetings
- How to elevate your virtual meeting presence
- How to get people to actually participate in virtual meetings
- Zoom reveals new features
- More new Zoom stuff
- Our previous specials on digital humans from Vivid Ideas 2018 and Vivid Ideas 2019