Berkman Buzz: August 22, 2014

August 22, 2014

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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David Weinberger reflects on the social web of 2003


The Web was social before it had social networking software. It just hadn’t yet evolved a pervasive layer of software specifically designed to help us be social.

In 2003 it was becoming clear that we needed?—?and were getting?—?a new class of application, unsurprisingly called “social software.” But what sort of sociality were we looking for? What sort could such software bestow?


From David Weinberger's piece for Medium, "The social web before social networking: a report from 2003"
About David | @dweinberger

Sara Watson explores legible data and digital literacy


I had the honor of speaking in a session about a Crash Course in Digital Literacy at The Conference in Malmö this week. It got written up in Wired UK, which provides a really good summary of my talk.

I argued that in order to develop digital literacy, we need to take the first step towards making data legible. To do so, I outlined how platforms, plugins, and personal interventions are allowing us to read the data and algorithms around us, and are teaching us how to interrogate our digital environments.


From Sara Watson's blog post, "Legible Data"
About Sara | @smwat

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The first public statement by one of the #Facebook emotional manipulation experiment's co-authors. #ethics
Christian Sandvig (@niftyc)


Justin Reich examines the privacy problems of big data


You can have anonymous data or you can have open science, but you can't have both.

That's the conclusion that several colleagues and I reach in an article now online at Queue and forthcoming in Communications of the Association of Computing Machinery.

The short version: many people have called for making science more open and transparent by sharing data and posting data openly. This allows researchers to check each other's work and to aggregate smaller datasets into larger ones. One saying that I'm fond of is: "the best use of your dataset is something that someone else will come up with." The problem is that increasingly, all of this data is about us. In education, it's about our demographics, our learning behavior, and our performance. Across the social sciences, it's about our health, our beliefs, and our social connections. Sharing and merging data adds to the risk of disclosing those data.


From Justin Reich's piece for EdTechResearcher, "Privacy, Anonymity, and Big Data in the Social Sciences"
About Justin | @bjfr

Schneier-Sherlock fanfic now exists

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The man's eyes darted around the room.... "By the paper cups circling your desk I further deduce that you're out of coffee, which indicates that you haven't left your office in some time ... or that your colleagues keep stealing your coffee from the kitchen. Yes, from the hastily-scrawled Post-It notes, I'd say that's it. I'd talk to Zittrain if I were you."

Schneier took a step back, taking in the man's rapid-fire deductions with an eyebrow raised. "And what is your name, sir?"

"Holmes," the man in the chair said. "Sherlock Holmes. I'd say I'm pleased to make your acquaintance, but to be quite frank, I'm terrified by your hair." He stood up, refusing Schneier's handshake. "No touching, please."


From "notlosers" on LiveJournal, as linked to from Bruce Schneier's blog post, Chapter 137 of My Surreal Life
About Bruce | @schneierblog
Photo of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock by Fat Les. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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Starting to list fall research asst. opportunities with our projects! List evolving here:
Berkman Center (@berkmancenter)


Inuit Filmmakers Are Documenting Their Traditional Way of Life in the Small Canadian Hamlet of Arviat

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"Just think what the next generation will be able to do...."

Those words of wisdom were shared by the late Inuit elder Mark Kalluak, who marveled at the possibilities provided by digital technologies in the hands of young people in the community of Arviat, which sits on the western shore of Hudson Bay in the Nunavut Territory in Canada. Much of Kalluak's life was devoted to passing along traditional Inuit knowledge to the next generations through the creation of educational curricula.


From Eduardo Avila's post for Global Voices, "Inuit Filmmakers Are Documenting Their Traditional Way of Life in the Small Canadian Hamlet of Arviat"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated

November 13, 2015