breaking culture

Sep 29

For-profit school plans to cut cost of college degree in half | Minnesota Public Radio News -

This is what MOOCs hope to do.

"Flex Choice, which the school rolled out this year, enables students to earn free credit by taking fully automated online courses in general-education subjects and those related to their major at their own pace. The program uses computer simulations designed to test students’ competency in various areas."

The major catch is that these credits would only be as valuable as the “marketplace” of higher ed will allow. The Business degree is indeed becoming a commoditized degree, but how valuable will this degree actually be once students complete it? And will any other institution accept these credits if students change their minds about attending this one? I imagine the answer to the first is not very and the answer to the second is not very many. But that is only based on my experience as someone who has spent more than a decade teaching and advising students in higher ed: what do I know about the brave new world of crappy ed these fools have planned.

Sep 19

Meet the McGill professor who got inside Anonymous | Toronto Star

Sep 01

On Hacked Nude Photos and Stealing a Piece of the Soul - Esquire -

" There’s a term for seizing access to a woman’s sexuality without her permission when it takes place in the physical world, and yet most of the people who consume these types of images and trade them back and forth like young men might have done with prized baseball cards in a previous generation would scoff at the suggestion that there’s any analogy to be made here to rape. Much like we’ve seen in nearly every other realm, however, our ethics here have not caught up to the technology. Very few of us would hide in the bushes outside of a woman’s home in order to catch a glimpse of her getting changed, but how is that any different from this?"

Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and others posted online by alleged hacker | World news | theguardian.com -

It is a strange sort of cultural capital one derives from posting anonymously to a website. and especially creepy and perverse to use hacking powers in this way.

Aug 21

Anonymous Distances Itself From Member Who Doxed The Wrong Cop - On The Media -

While I think Anonymous is rightly criticized for this op, the piece here says that there is a weakness in a decentralized structure because “with no power structure, people will act autonomously.” This seems a little ironic given the events unfolding in Ferguson.

Aug 20

Police Officers Involved In Fatal Shooting Just Miles From Ferguson (UPDATED) | ThinkProgress -

Police Officers Involved In Fatal Shooting Just Miles From Ferguson (UPDATED) The world is a different place with cell phone cameras everywhere. The incident took place just days after police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Micha…

Aug 19

Isis militants claim to have killed US journalist James Foley | World | The Guardian -

"YouTube took down the gruesome video, but not before it sparked a debate on social media about the ethics of sharing it, adding a metatextual debate to a depiction of a man’s violent death."

People Keep Getting Into Strangers' Cars Because They Think It's An Uber

Uber's New Delivery Service Only Caters To D.C’s White Neighborhoods | ThinkProgress -

"Technology companies in particular, born in the lily-white incubators of Silicon Valley and Alley, are increasingly coming under fire for their questionable relationships to minority communities. Most recently, the makers of smartphone app Sketch Factor, which advises users which neighborhoods are “sketchy,” faced harsh criticism for stoking racial profiling by flagging predominantly minority neighborhoods."

Aug 15

What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson: — The Message — Medium -

The punchline is Algorithms have consequences, but it is worth reading exactly what those are.