May 13th, 2017 by Jon Becker

Tonight, my wife and I saw the Circle. I’d read the book by Dave Eggers. Frankly, to me, the book read as if it was anticipating a mkvie. So, I was eager to see how it would work as a movie.

Verdict? It was terrible. And that’s unfortunate. The issues the book raises (social media + big data + privacy) are really important. We need for more people to be thinking and talking about these things. While The Circle is not a perfect story, I thought it could work as an accessible entry point into those conversations. But, the movie is just bad. #sigh

Fortunately, Zeynep wrote another good article in the New York Times that advances some of the issues. I hope lots of people read it.

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February 2nd, 2017 by Jon Becker

So, Audrey Watters becomes the first person to earn a 2nd tweet of the day from me. No surprise, really, since of Audrey Watters, I am a big fan.

Today, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Audrey again, face-to-face, as she delivered a powerful talk, the text of which she shared via the tweet. Though I know it’s been a big part of her thinking and writing, I didn’t know that Audrey’s focus today would be on data and privacy. For whatever reason, I thought it would be focused more on the automation and teaching machines aspect of her research and writing. It was a timely and powerful talk, though. And, it so happens that it came on the same day that the New York Times published an article on “big data” in #highered. On top of that, shortly before Audrey’s talk, a big red blip came across my Twitter radar screen in the form of a new report called The Legacy of inBloom. The report is accompanied by pieces by smart folks like danah boyd and Bill Fitzgerald. I haven’t had a chance to dig into any of those resources yet, but I look forward to it.

So, yeah, today’s major theme for me was education + data + privacy. And, far and away, the highlight of the day was Audrey’s talk (and the hug I got afterwards).

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