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Weekend Reading: Social Graphs Edition

My Social Graph from facebook  I am in DC this weekend for a meeting of the Collective Bargaining Congress‘s executive committee, a meeting which this year overlaps a bit with the AAUP’s shared governance conference. Keeping that in mind, let me congratulate the AAUP conference in Ohio for its part in the defeat of overreaching anti-union legislation (story here; you can also read a letter from the state conference).

On to this week’s links . . .

  • Cal Newton argues that “if you’re busy, you’re doing something wrong”: If you’re chronically stressed and up late working, you’re doing something wrong. You’re the average players from the Universität der Künste — not the elite. You’ve built a life around hard to do work, not hard work.
  • Alexandra Carmichael offers strategies for hosting “carefully curated unconferences”: We don’t generally put a lot of effort into videotaping every session, or livestreaming the event, or documenting every talk in writing. To really experience a QS event you have to be there in person. At the beginning of the conference, we set the tone – this is a weekend for collaboration and learning, you are free to spontaneously start new sessions as ideas pop up, everyone here is an expert, it’s more important to dive deeply into conversation with a newfound connection than to attend every session. Bring your full attention to where you are, and tweet later.
  • Stephen Poole offers up a critical reminder about web services: I hereby declare the following iron law of “free” internet services: If you’re not paying for something, you have no reason to expect it to be there tomorrow. This is an important corollary to the law “If you’re not paying for something, you’re not a customer; you’re the product being sold.” (Via Dave Winer)
  • Maciej Ceglowski, the creator of Pinboard (cf. posts by Mark and Matt) explains why dismantles the popular metaphor of ‘the social graph’”: There’s no way to take a time-out from our social life and describe it to a computer without social consequences. At the very least, the fact that I have an exquisitely maintained and categorized contact list telegraphs the fact that I’m the kind of schlub who would spend hours gardening a contact list, instead of going out and being an awesome guy. The social graph wants to turn us back into third graders, laboriously spelling out just who is our fifth-best-friend. But there’s a reason we stopped doing that kind of thing in third grade! (Via Marco Ament).
  • danah boyd, Eszter Hargittai, Jason Schultz, and John Palfrey have a great essay in First Monday called “Why Parents Help Their Children Lie to Facebook about Age: Unintended Consequences of the ‘Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act’”: Our data suggest that, by creating a context in which companies choose to restrict access to children, COPPA inadvertently undermines parents’ ability to make choices and protect their children’s data.

In this week’s video, Iain McGilchrist discusses the conceptual problems posed by our divided brains:

Have a great weekend!

Photo “My Social Graph from facebook” by Flickr user Paul Irish / Creative Commons licensed

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