Stuff in the news 6/12/2013 – Communication

Vintage Telephone

Image courtesy of Daniel St. Pierre /

I was going to make this topic social media but I want to keep it out there that social media is just a mode of communication, like the telephone or the megaphone or messages in bottles. Sure, you may have to modify your message to fit it into allotted space but that was true if your dime ran out in a phone booth, too (Remember phone booths?).

  • Former FCC Head: In times of crisis, open WiFi can keep us connected (6/6)
  • Another great use of #Skype –> Fordham Notes: Using Skype to Bridge the Gap Between Cultures –
  • “What matters more than the goal of language learning is its motivation. Instead of regarding “foreign” language instruction as a means for preserving academic privilege or meeting the demands of a global marketplace, we need to embrace the acquisition of languages as a preparation for one of the most fundamental experiences we share as human beings—the encounter with difference. We should all learn how to become translators so we can appreciate and negotiate the inherent challenges and promises of traversing gaps in meaning between languages and people. Inter-human understanding lies somewhere between the puzzling incommensurability of languages and the utopian desire to achieve the seemingly impossible—a common language.” Source: Patrick M. Erben: Learning Foreign Languages Increases Inter-Human Understanding
  • Interesting…. A quoted statement by Facebook powers-that-be says that they have long allowed scientific photos of the human body and photos of women breast-feeding. Yet friends are still protesting removals of such photos. Who’s right? Old protest, as sometimes happens? What is it that makes some people not want to talk about such things? How can a mother feeding her child be obscene? Strange, that.  Facebook Announces It Will Now Allow Post-Mastectomy Photos
  • Nothing new here, in my opinion. I’ve long put hashtags on my page for searchability and archiving during fires and other disasters. Use of hashtags is perfectly fine. Using Facebook as if it were Twitter and posting blow by blow accounts of an event, not so much. How hashtags will change Facebook | Digital Trends

  • Another book for the queue… Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection [Kindle Edition] It turns out I actually agree with the author of the essay that he is reviewing on his blog here…

“Dobelli asks, “Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business.” Most stories, he argues, “are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence. The daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitised, sarcastic and fatalistic.”

But I’m interested to see Ethan Zuckerman’s arguments to the contrary. – See more at:

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