Not so irrelevant 010

My latest roundup of links and tools...

By now we should be thinking about the Internet like we do water and electricity

Slate Magazine notes that

Camp McCain . . . fundamentally does not see the Internet as essential infrastructure. . . . Instead, Camp McCain dreams of a competitive market in Internet services, and so if Obama sees the Internet as a road, McCain takes it as a car: something that consumers will buy if they want it. In fact, in 2001, Michael Powell compared the Internet to a luxury car: 'I think there is a Mercedes divide. I would like to have one, but I can't afford one.' Any too-ambitious government project to put a fiber cable in people's homes, thinks Camp McCain, is likely doomed to failure.

All I have to say about this is that any country that doesn't see the Internet as essential infrastructure for driving forward its national economy and societal well-being is doomed. Doomed, I tell you! [hat tip to Will Richardson]

Speaking of which...

  • The Partnership for 21st Century Skills just issued a new report on education and global competitiveness. Lots of yummy statistics in there about the changing American workplace. a plum reading choice for school leaders. Visit
  • Huh?

    • It's easy to find examples of why we need people to translate the world of educational research for practitioners. To most K-12 educators, for examples, paragraphs 5 through 7 of this study summary (which purports to report the instructional value of using interactive whiteboards) are complete gibberish.
    • The power of transparency

      • I love being able to peer into the innards of Dan Meyer's mind and instruction. How many other teachers do we know that would even be comfortable with the thought of opening up their entire classroom curriculum for critique and discussion?
      • The power of the aggregator

        • A couple of weeks back, Doug Johnson had a great post about the power of RSS aggregators. I've been introducing our new principal cohort to Google Reader. Comment from last night's class: There's a whole world out there that I didn't know about!
        • The power of prefetching

          • I like the fact that FeedDemon, the software I'm using as my primary aggregator, lets me read stuff offline.
          • Do you know the way to San Jose?

            • The ILC conference is coming up... So is the Online Teaching & Learning Conference (which, by the way, happens to be online!).
            • Smackdown!

              • Finally, make sure you read the responses of Karin Chenoweth and Ben Wildavsky to Charles Murray's latest book, Real Education. If you've forgotten, Murray is the guy who wrote The Bell Curve and believes that poor kids should just be slotted into menial (but somehow emotionally-fulfilling) educational tracks and jobs so that our schools can go back to their business of educating the elites to run the world. [hat tip to Eduwonkette]
              • LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

                Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

                Getty Images
                Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

                No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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                26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

                The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

                Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
                Politics & Current Affairs
                • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
                • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
                • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
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                People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

                Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

                Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer

                Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

                Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.

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                • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
                • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
                • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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