February 21, 2020


Llamas are cat horses! This scheme makes sense to me, although goat must be much closer to horse because in my experience there is no love in those beady eyes. Have a great weekend!

  1. The 2020 Election Will Be a War of Disinformation, The Atlantic. “I’d assumed that my skepticism and media literacy would inoculate me against such distortions.” Something I’ve learned in teaching information literacy is that the more you think you’re a critical thinker and immune to propaganda or disinformation, the more vulnerable you are. I thought the concept of “censorship through noise” was interesting, and harmonizes last week’s advice to decide how much information you need to make a decision on a candidate, and then step back from the coverage. I’m especially interested in this story from an information literacy perspective, thinking about how I can help equip students (citizens!) to navigate this confusing, relentless, and upsetting landscape. “Disinformation” sounds stale and sterile, but it preys on our emotions, and this article gives some chilling examples of how. And this is important: “By the time [President Obama] left office, he told me, he was convinced that disinformation would continue to thrive until big tech companies were forced to take responsibility for it.”
  2. Family Business, Truly*Adventurous. What a wild story. Con men continue to be interesting to me (and a lot of people), and this story scratches that itch. True crimes, but no murder. Refreshing.
  3. What the coronavirus forcing me in lockdown’s taught me about cooking, Reddit user mthmchris.That is why ‘authenticity’ in food is a valuable goal, despite it being a… controversial word in many circles. It’s not that cuisine can never change, or that there’s only one recipe for any given dish. It’s about respecting the idea that (1) the generations that came before us were probably much better cooks than we are and (2) you can generally find a lot more interesting food by looking back, by peeking in dusty corners, than you can by inventing your own hack or whatever.” I’ve been thinking about this essay ever since I read it, especially the parts about fusion and innovation. I highly recommend this one!
  4. The Case Against Italicizing “Foreign” Words, Khairani Barokka. “It wouldn’t hurt, however, for anyone using forms of italicization in a highly specific way to examine the antecedents of these standards; to take a beat and sit with what exactly is meant, really meant, by italicizing a word in a specific context, including those not mentioned here. What it means in terms of power: who deserves it, who defines it, who has more or less of it.” Language and power are all wrapped up together. Plus, when writing for the web with accessibility in mind, italics are becoming less recommended for emphasis (bold is preferred).
  5. Poetry Month: What Resembles the Grave But Isn’t, Anne Boyer. This prose poem is a little bit of a puzzle and I recommend reading it aloud to yourself to follow the mantra-like rhythm. But you will find this poem rewarding. “…sometimes falling into holes with other people, with other people, saying “this is not our mass grave, get out of this hole,” all together getting out of the hole together, hands and legs and arms and human ladders of each other to get out of the hole that is not the mass grave but that will only be gotten out of together.”

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