Built in bias

One of the biases that people rely on when they make decisions is loss aversion: like in the insurance example above, they tend to overweight small probabilities to guard against losses. Even though the likelihood of a costly event may be miniscule, we would rather agree to a smaller, sure loss — in the form of an insurance payment — than risk a large expense. The perceived likelihood of a major health problem is greater than the actual probability of such an event actually occurring. We would all like to believe that we are logical decision makers. In the field of user experience, we often talk about how users weigh the expected utility of different alternatives to determine what action to take or where to go next.

Radio beaming in differently

Of all media, radio will undergo the most dramatic change in the coming decade, and these changes will radically transform the industry. Below are some of the most important of those changes, based in insights by various media forecasters and analysts and media buyers, and the Media Life’s radio advisory panel. (via The future of radio: Seven important trends)

Crazy monkeys, egged on by human behavior

When monkeys lose their subsidized housing. The villagers are now being terrorised by the monkeys who have taken to destroying crops and homes, as well as starting fights among themselves. So far, only half of the Xianfeng monkeys have been recaptured and sent back to live in the wild. Experts said the remaining half are determined to stay and the villagers will have to learn to co-exist with the apes, until they leave on their own accord. (via Chinese village under siege by wild monkeys after tourism plans backfire)

It’s that time of year. Pew’s State of the News

It’s that time of year. Pew’s State of the News Media is out. Eight years after the Time of Shedding and Cold Rocks sent the U.S. newspaper industry into a tailspin, the pressures facing America’s newsrooms have intensified to nothing less than a reorganization of the industry itself, one that impacts the experiences of even those news consumers unaware of the tectonic shifts taking place. (via State of the News Media 2016 | Pew Research Center)

Display of information

From Digiday, an interview with Alan Smith,  data-visualization editor
The team has also started using a new tool to boost efficiency: D3, an open-source visualization library that allows staff to create different versions of graphics in one go, which can then easily be used for print, online and social media. (via The Financial Times guide to data visualization – Digiday)

Thinking is a skill that can be taught – and should be taught

 
Educators today are talking a lot about the need to equip students with 21st century skills. In a democratic society, reasoned discourse should be one of them, if citizens are to participate in shaping the future of the society they live in. A culture that supports discourse is certainly needed, but so is each individual’s development of the skills and values that reasoned discourse requires
(via Reasoned Discourse as a Vital 21st-Century Skill – Scientific American Blog Network)

This is equivalent to what Piaget says about concrete and abstract knowledge, and how disequilibration is one way to foster the transistion

A look at BLM (#BlackLivesMatter) via tweetstream

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology looked at nearly 29 million tweets surrounding four recent Black Lives Matter (BLM) events to identify the social media patterns of its activists. They found that the community is unlike many other social movements because of its ability to bond over the course of many months. (via The social media profile of the Black Lives Matter movement)

Dan O’Neil Reflects on the “Community” in Community Technology

A lot of it was an education—and sometimes not a very pleasant one. I was a believer in open data, a believer in the power of technology to help people, a believer in the founding idea that technologists could solve problems if they just coded the right things. I came to see the limits of these tools and the value of bringing technologists together without a community context. An Education in Community Technology | Civicist by Daniel X. O’Neil

This is a very interesting exit interview with Dan O’Neil as he leaves the Chicago Community Trust and Smart Chicago, where he has been transforming the relationship between technologists and civic communities for five years. While ChicagoTalks.org was intended to bring journalism to communities so they might find a voice, we had similar experiences as we realized that communities already exist, and it is better to join and work with those, rather than try and create a new on and get everyone under your own tent.