I’ve gone through a bit of loss and grief the last few years, as have many of us, and it has given me a lot of opportunity for personal growth and reflection. It has also taught me how fortunate I...
My sons love building things. Given their love of building, I thought why not make a kit to make things. And since I have seen them build systems reminiscent of Rube Goldberg devices, I thought a Rube Goldberg kit would...
Kale chips are a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional potato chips. My cousin Katie makes THE BEST ones and I could eat a whole head of kale prepared in this way. Ok, two heads. Surprisingly, they’re easy to make...
by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel
I'VE STARTED MOST MORNINGS with prompts to my favourite AI. Today I asked Mem.ai to guide me in a process that ensured the results of my questions would include trustworthy evidence from high quality sources. Its first set of answers drilled down into my personal knowledge management (PKM) system.Because I had included ideas about workflows that incorporate note-taking techniques, Mem shared some observations worth considering.
I teach students that they need to incorporate note-taking techniques into their interactions with their personal knowledge management systems. In my opinion, this is a powerful way to educate whatever AI service you select because this workflow helps to ensure results are based on trustworthy evidence from high quality sources.
In my work with university students, I know there is rampant usage of AI tools. So here are the processes I use to ensure there's a human at the other end of the computer screen:Source Verification
I insist on seeing verified sources. High-quality sources often include academic journals, reputable news outlets, and government publications.Critical Thinking
I teach fundamentals of prompt engineering to my advanced students. By refining prompts, students learn to critically think about the information provided by the AI. This includes questioning the source of the information, the methodology used to obtain it, and the credibility of the 'expertise' if the information is based on expert opinion.Iterative Questioning
If you want to explore nuances embedded in the results served by an AI, you need to ask follow-up questions to dig deeper into the topic. This can help uncover more detailed and accurate information.Note-Taking
Not only do I take written notes on the information provided by the AI, I normally write down key points in my Travelers Notebook and then use the OCR capability inside my Readwise app to inject these core discoveries back into my PKM. This reinforces my corpus of information and also provides a record of the information for future reference.
I'm glad that I never abandoned a requirement for students to keep a personal Media Writing Journal. There are some high quality nuggets in the journals I'm currently reviewing and I plan to capture the best content with Readwise so students next year can benefit from workflow that revolves around personal note-taking.Bonus Link
[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel Digital Campus. The photo at the top was snapped at the Grow Remote Summit in 2023.]AI
Disney movies often explore themes of grief and loss. I mean, can you name a Disney movie in which the main character has both parents still alive and not cursed? It’s ok, I’ll wait. But with those characters and situations,...
DURING MY 3000 FLYING HOURS I vividly remember two occasions when we were cleared to land on a runway that was occupied by another aircraft or by a vehicle. In both cases, I didn't see the conflict but a crew member sitting in the jump seat pointed out the problem.
Knowing this, I believe the JAL crew landing their Airbus on Flight 516 in Haneda yesterday didn't see anything on the runway as they prepared to land with clearance.The Japan Airlines aircraft caught fire after it landed on top of a Dash 8 turboprop. All 367 passengers and 12 crew members on the JAL flight evacuated their Airbus A350 but five crew members in the Coast Guard turboprop plane that was on the landing runway passed away.
I saw some footage recorded inside the Airbus as it was careening down the runway. Flight attendants were yelling in Japanese, urging passengers to evacuate. An eerie orange glow burned outside the windows of the aircraft as the evacuation slides were activated.
The cabin crew proved their professionalism as they evacuated all 367 passengers and 12 crew members safely within 90 seconds. That was remarkable as was the fact that the collision did not sever hydraulic lines or critical electrical cables while the aircrew was trying to control the Airbus while landing.
The root cause of this accident has not been decreed but I've listened to the Air Traffic Control audio recordings and the JAL crew received two clearances to land during their five mile final approach. Two aircraft are not supposed to be on the same patch of concrete while an aircraft is landing.
As an instructor pilot in the T-38, I flew in the back seat with significantly reduced visibility. Landing on an unfamiliar civilian airport always concerned me because the T-38 has to maintain a nose-high attitude through approach and landing.
While piloting a C-141 on six different continents, I vividly remember two occasions when either vehicles were on the runway or when another aircraft had not cleared its landing roll-out. I failed to spot either incursion but crew members sitting in the jump seat alerted us to the conflicts.
Some airports have technology in place that causes the landing zone lights to turn red when sensors detect vehicles or aircraft on the runway. Perhaps the Haneda accident will spur Japanese aviation authorities to install that warning system in the largest airports in Japan.flying
Shortbread cookies are a classic and beloved treat, perfect for any time of year. They are simple to make, only requiring a few basic ingredients. The buttery, crumbly texture, and rich flavor of shortbread cookies make them a satisfying snack....
From The Sunday Business Post:One of the main differences is that it no longer appears to have a functioning business model, with scores of advertisers deserting it due to the policies enacted by one of the world's most successful businessmen. As our investigation reveals today, X's new rules allow users to post violent speech and lies related to the Israel-Hamas war, without any enforcement being taken against their accounts. We also show how users were able to spew hate during the Dublin riots, and how X advised its content moderators not to suspend them. The revelations help explain what many X users have been complaining about since Musk acquired the company that the platform is, now more than ever, a place where hateful and abusive people can go without fear of sanction. They also bring to life the behind-the-scenes decisions that have prompted many advertisers to flee X - something Musk himself has admitted could kill the company outright. Musk, a freespeech absolutist, is ultimately the owner of a company funded by advertisers. From a commercial perspective, then, Musk's policies and his personal behaviour on the platform have clearly damaged X's ability to perform its main commercial function. But the questions raised by the Business Post's investigation are more substantial than the efficacy of the company's business model. X is a platform with an enormous global impact and the way it polices content can have ramifications for the fabric of society. The European Commission, with its Digital Services Act, wants to make this clear to organisations like X - which is why it has launched formal proceedings against the company. Social media platforms - as well as governments and regulators - have been grappling with how and where to define the limits on free speech, and how to translate this into healthy digital spaces, for more than 20 years. If you allow people to post lies that can go halfway around the world in minutes, then you are going to create a space where people who want to propagate hate and falsehoods feel emboldened. Ahead of a year of crucial elections around the world, it's urgent that we have a conversation about why so much false and foul material is appearing on social media - and why X, one of the world's most important online platforms, is allowing it to spread. Source: "We need to talk about X and the damage it is doing", The Sunday Business Post in Ireland, December 24, 2023. Image from Ann Handler. [Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation for the Technological University of the Shannon.]
by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel
I'M FLIPPING BACK through 2023 and pointing to 12 items that deserve special mention. I discovered each of them have landed inside several online camera rolls where I can see what was happening around the same time these significant events occurred. The most memorable of the dozen items involve people.Dylan Took the Mic
Dylan (12) has been walking around the house with a mic in his hands since he turned five. It's been a natural progression for him to add video recordings to his skill set. Several of his video interviews gained more than 1000 views, including his review of the Clonmel Sports Hub.Digital Transformation
I started teaching classes in digital transformation and ended in a new (yet comfortable) thought space. I have totally integrated generative artificial intelligence into my workflow. My core technology is Mem.ai, a service I'm using to cross-check the validity of this blog post. I pay to use Magisto, a video production software as a service owned by Vimeo.
Consulting with fellow lecturers, I surveyed several AI-enhanced image editors that I used with text prompts to create photos from real people such as the one in this paragraph. If you follow my blog, you might be interested in how a wide variety of students interpret "digital transformation" by the images and short descriptions that they share in the Flickr Digital Transformation Group.Journaling with TN
I enjoy the routine of journaling and this year I converted from Leuchtturm 1917 hard covers to soft cover B6 format Traveler's Notebooks. The TN format is smaller which means the journals fit easier in my pannier bags or in the Tumi messenger bag that I carry everywhere.
I lost one month worth of my notebook when I left it behind on an Irish train and since that time, I've promised myself to keep line items of each page in my Obsidian digital notebook. I add content in Markdown format to my Obsidian database by using my five year old Samsung Note 9 or a three year old Microsoft Surface Book.Hosting Friends from America
It's always a big day when friends from America visit. In May 2023, Huck Donovan and Thomasine Sahd reset their COVID travel plans and dropped into County Tipperary enroute to the O'Donovan ancestral home in County Cork.
I hope to host a crew of my high school graduating class before the end of the decade. I know we would have a blast remembering times past. And a large cross-section of graduates from Lancaster Catholic High School can trace their roots to Ireland.Leargas and Erasmus
I attended several Application Clinics hosted by Leargas in 2023 but I haven't made an application--yet. I hope to co-ordinate with two other European collaborators and produce a series of intergenerational conversations with young people interviewing elders in their communities.Fibre Broadband
It took six attempts to connect our home to fibre broadband but we got gigabit speed in time for the new academic year. And then we didn't connect Vodafone TV service until December, in time for New Year's Eve parties.Proud of Mia
We watched Mia turn 16, earn five distinctions in her Junior Cert, and start a part-time job. If she can continue focusing on academic achievements, she will have a wide assortment of options for higher education.Grow Remote in Clonmel
I've become a chapter lead for Grow Remote Ireland. The Clonmel group doesn't have an activity level that the community deserves. But the national organising committee is strong, focused, and willing to help South Tipperary show people the importance of working remotely and in hybrid versions in the 2020s.RUN-EU
The Regional Universities Europe is a relatively new grouping and TUS.ie is a lead partner. I attended a Short Advanced Programme (SAP) about Critical Thinking in Portugal and got motivated to see if I can spin up a similar offering in Ireland.
My current collaboration is with Filipe Santos in Polytechnic Leiria. We hope to launch a "Building a Second Brain" SAP to run in September 2024.Best Ever Graduates
I worked with the Digital Animation Class of 2023 from start to finish and then attended their graduation ceremony in Limerick. They shared their energy and creativity with me from COVID through film studies and during break-out sessions. I sincerely doubt that we will see another creative collective with their group dynamic until their children arrive on campus.Friends In Person
Only after connecting over coffee with a group of friends I used to see on a daily basis did I realise how important the person-to-person connection is. During the run-up to Christmas, I squeezed in change meetings with Darragh Doyle (pictured), Larry Maguire, Dermot Casey, and Kevin O'Rourke.
It's the personal connections that often yield the strongest professional collaborations. I plan to prove this point during the next 12 months by following through with a series of plans involving each of these four men. And as I write these words, I realise (1) there are strong women who should be in this mix of collaborative energy and (2) none of those I cited here are local. I am not ignoring local talent and need to pay a visit to Skypaper to ensure we're still sharing the same motivations.Meta View
The latest technology to grace my life comes from Meta in the form of Ray-ban Wayfarer glasses. I snapped a shot of mine on the table.
I hope Dylan and I can make content with the two sets of glasses while he interviews people for his YouTube channel.
If you've read this far, please consider sharing a memory you cherish from 2023 by commenting to me @topgold on Threads.Timeline
WHILE READING MAX READ in the New York Times Opinion section, my thoughts go out to all the millennials who have passed through my social networking classes.
Here's what Max Read shared in the NYT:
For my entire professional life, I have started nearly every weekday morning with an extremely important productivity ritual: I make a coffee, I sit down at my computer, and I mess around on the internet for an hour or so. And, for most of my career as a writer, this has been an effortless task. I’ve had accounts on dozens of social networks, message boards and online communities thronging with similarly bored and truant peers, vibrant with creativity and delight. Or, at least, with tolerably decent jokes.
But recently I find the task of wasting time online increasingly onerous. The websites I used to depend on have gotten worse, and it seems as if there’s nowhere else to look. Twitter has been transformed under new management into an increasingly untenable social experiment called X. Instagram is evolving into a somehow-even-lower-rent TikTok, while TikTok itself continues to baffle and alienate me. Even Reddit, a stalwart last resort of time-wasting, briefly went dark in June during a sitewide revolt over new policies.
Something is changing about the internet, and I am not the only person to have noticed. Everywhere I turned online this year, someone was mourning: Amazon is “making itself worse” (as New York magazine moaned); Google Search is a “bloated and overmonetized” tragedy (as The Atlantic lamented); “social media is doomed to die,” (as the tech news website The Verge proclaimed); even TikTok is becoming “enjunkified” (to bowdlerize an inventive coinage of the sci-fi writer Cory Doctorow, republished in Wired). But the main complaint I have heard is was put best, and most bluntly, in The New Yorker: “The Internet Isn’t Fun Anymore.”
It’s indisputable that we are living through a transitional period in the short history of the internet. The end of the low interest-rate era has shaken up the economics of startups, ending rapid-growth practices like “blitzscaling” and reducing the number of new internet businesses vying for our attention; companies like Alphabet and Facebook are now mature and dominant businesses instead of disruptive upstarts. But I suspect there is another factor driving the alienation and discomfort felt by many of the people who feel as though the internet is dying before our eyes: We’re getting old.
For more than a decade now, millennials like myself have effectively (and, in the case of our cohort’s richest member, Mark Zuckerberg, quite literally) run the internet. We were the earliest adopters of smartphones and we once consistently (not that I’d brag about it) led the generational pack in screen time. Over that period we’ve grown used to an internet whose form and culture was significantly shaped by and molded to our preferences. The American internet of the 2010s was an often stupid and almost always embarrassing internet — but it was a millennial internet. There were no social networks on which we felt uncomfortable; no culture developments we didn’t engender; no image macros we didn’t understand.
This now seems to be changing. There was a time in my life when it was trivial to sign up to a new social network and pick up its patterns and mores on the fly. Now, I feel exhausted by the prospect.
Google Search and Amazon may have gotten worse in an absolute sense, but so too has my patience for finding stuff. Millennials are increasingly joined online and off by people who have never heard the sound of a modem handshake in their lives and never asked “a/s/l” in an AOL chat room. We’ve been used to wielding an innate understanding of the web’s capabilities and culture to our advantage; our knowledge of “how to search Google” and “how to use emoji” and “how to deploy the ‘Sarcastic Wonka’ meme,” which may once have given us an edge in multigenerational workplaces and social settings, is simply irrelevant to people younger than us.
According to the consumer research firm GWI, millennials’ screen time has been on a steady decline for years. Only 42 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds say they’re online “almost constantly,” compared to 49 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds. We’re no longer the earliest adopters, even: 18- to 29-year-olds are more likely to have used ChatGPT than 30- to 49-year-olds — though maybe only because we’re no longer being assigned homework.
These stats confirm what a brief survey of popular posts on TikTok or Instagram or X will already tell you: The heaviest users and most engaged American audience on the internet are no longer millennials but our successors in Generation Z. If the internet is no longer “fun” for millennials, it may simply be because it’s not our internet anymore. It belongs to zoomers now.
Zoomer internet is, at least on the surface, quite different than ours. The celebrities are unrecognizable (Kai Cenat???); the slang is impenetrable (gyatt???); the formats are new (GRWM???). Austerely tasteful overhead shots of meticulously arranged food posted on Instagram have been replaced with garishly lit minute-long videos of elaborate restaurant meals posted on TikTok. Glibly chatty blog posts about the news have been replaced with videos of recording sessions for podcasts. No wonder millennials feel so alienated — the language and terrain of the internet are now entirely foreign.
And yet zoomers — and the adolescents in Generation Alpha nipping at their generational heels — still seem to be having plenty of fun online. Even if I find it all inscrutable and a bit irritating, the creative expression and exuberant sociality that made the internet so “fun” to me a decade ago are booming among 20- somethings on TikTok, Instagram, Discord, Twitch and even X. “Skibidi Toilet,” “Fanum tax,” “the rizzler”: I won’t debase myself by pretending to know what these memes are, or what their appeal is, but I know that zoomers seem to love them. Or, at any rate, I can verify that they love using them to confuse and alienate middle-aged millennials like myself.
True, the fun I’m talking about is co-opted and exploited by a small handful of powerful and wealthy platform businesses. But platforms have sought to mediate and commodify our online activity since the beginning of the commercial web. Millennial memorials to the “fun” internet tend to rely on a rosy vision of the web of the 2000s and 2010s as a space of unmediated play and experimentation that doesn’t always stand up to scrutiny. Engagement-driven platforms have always cultivated influencers, abuse and misinformation. When you drill down, what mostly seems to have changed about the web over the last few years isn’t the structural dynamics but the cultural signifiers.
In other words, “enjunkification” has always been happening on the commercial web, whose largely advertising-based business model seems to obligate an ever-shifting race to the bottom. Perhaps what frustrated, alienated and aging internet users like me are experiencing here is not only the fruits of an enjunkified internet but also the loss of the cognitive elasticity, sense of humor and copious amounts of free time necessary to navigate all that confusing junk nimbly and cheerfully.
Frankly, that should be freeing. Being extremely online, on an internet geared to your interests (in the same way that heroin is geared to your brain), is not exactly a quality conducive to personal happiness. Young people themselves will tell you they have, at best, an ambivalent relationship to their internet. The more alienating the mass internet is to me, the more likely I will put to good use the hours I previously spent messing around. Or, at least, the more likely it is I will find corners — group chats, message boards and elsewhere — geared to my specific interests rather than the general engagement bait that otherwise dominates.
And even if you’re jealous of zoomers and their Discord chats and TikTok memes, consider that the combined inevitability of enjunkification and cognitive decline means that their internet will die, too, and Generation Alpha will have its own era of inscrutable memes and alienating influencers. And then the zoomers can join millennials in feeling what boomers have felt for decades: annoyed and uncomfortable at the computer.
Max Read is a journalist, screenwriter and editor. He writes Read Max, a newsletter about technology, politics and culture. His writing appeared in The New York Times, December 21, 2023, under the title "The Year the Internet Left Me Behind".
[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation for the Technological University of the Shannon.]social media
WE GOT TWO Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses and I believe they are the best piece of tech I've purchased this year. Their design, audio performance, camera quality, and charging case deliver value for the €495 I spent to get the two sets of glasses. And I believe I will open new opportunities to spam friends with live streams before the end of the spring semester 2024.
I discovered a few things during the first two days of ownership.
TL;DR This is the time for you to consider wearing connected eyeglasses as you walk, run, and drive.
It looks like there will be opportunities to converse with Meta AI soon. I did a factory reset with the glasses and saw more than 10 DALL-E libraries the had to be deleted in the process of resetting the glasses from one phone to another. Here are a few other first impressions.
- Using the glasses to record video and then download more than a dozen video clips to my phone used 30% of my phone's battery. That's about the amount of battery power drained from the glasses themselves.
- These are Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, not Ray-Ban Stories. Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses. They are truly a worthy second-generation model and much better than the original.
- I bought Wayfarer and Headliners The glasses come in many more styles with fashion-aware finishing.
- I used them on the street in the rain, proving their water-resistance. I wouldn't recommend showering with them.
- The audio is louder than you would expect and at max volume your tracks are audible to those around you.
- The well-stabilised camera records only in portrait BUT it also records when off your nose so that means I could record in landscape format. This would mean holding the glasses vertically and away from my face, then post-producing for landscape viewing. I want to see if Magisto AI will automatically produce the landscape viewing option for me in the cloud.
- The Meta View Android app is top class.
- The built-in Meta AI voice assistant lets me query my phone book, answer text messages from WhatsApp, and knows simple things like the time.
- If I had the money, I would buy the next generation Smart Glasses with Transition Lenses. I'm trying to figure out if my Irish health benefits pay to fit transition prescription lenses in the Ray-Ban Smart Glasses that I bought.
If you've questions about my journey with Smart Glasses, ping me on Threads.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel Digital Campus.]sightings
hocolate crinkle cookies are a classic holiday treat that are known for their unique texture and appearance. The cookies are made by mixing together a chocolate dough, which is then rolled into balls and coated in powdered sugar before baking....
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by Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel
CATHERINE CRONIN launches Higher Education for Good in Galway today and I've asked our main library to add the book to our local reference section. In the book, editors Catherine Cronin and Laura Czerniewicz break down neoliberalism in higher education through a critical lens. They argue that the neoliberal influence has led to a pervasive austerity logic that constricts not just budgets, but every facet of what higher education does.
Like the authors, I see neoliberalism as a significant challenge to higher education. The neoliberalist agenda spawns underfunding, increased costs for students, and a shift away from viewing education as a public good. In the case of my small regional campus, the neoliberals have stamped a market-driven approach onto our course offerings and that has led to a focus on sustaining course numbers on the larger campuses at the expense of offering local student an easier pathway to higher education.
There's hope in the pages of Higher Education for Good. Hope springs from an advocacy for just, humane, and globally sustainable values. Among the chorus of contributors, there lies a vision of universities reclaiming their roles as change agents, empowering different sections of society--like our small pocket of South Tipperary.
But confronting the challenges posed by neoliberalism requires a radical acceptance that the status quo is neither desirable nor acceptable. It means senior management must "commit to higher education for good, promoting a pluriversality of knowledge, embracing a horizontal strategy of openness to dialogue among different epistemic traditions, and addressing the underlying structures that prevent such transformation from taking place".
If you're on the front line of education or if you manage higher education, you should read Higher Education for Good during the upcoming Christmas holidays.
Czerniewicz, L. and Cronin, C. (eds). Higher Education for Good: Teaching and Learning Futures. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2023.teaching
Parsnips have a unique sweet and earthy flavor that is similar to a carrot but with a slightly nuttier and sweeter taste. They are a great addition to soups, stews, and purees, and can be roasted or mashed to bring...
I am making nearly all of my gifts this year and isn’t as crazy as you may imagine. You could knit, sew, paint, or carve your loved ones something special. It doesn’t have to be exactly like something out of...
I NEED A NEW Logitech MX Anywhere mouse because my long-serving Logitech MX Anywhere 2 has walked away from one of my classrooms. I used that faithful mouse for more than six years and want to replace it with a newer and pinker version of itself.So I'm wishing for a Logitech MX Anywhere 3S Compact Wireless Mouse. Like its predecessor, it scrolls fast, tracks across glass, clicks silently and when linked to one of our lab computers the MX Anywhere works 10m away from the host. This means I can stand in front of our large studio classroom and control the screen with a mouse in my hand. That is a big win for me.
The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 in rose is going to cost me more than €100 but I can vouch for its value for money. I know I can get more than three weeks of hard use between recharging it via USB-C. This means my phone can recharge my mouse. It also means the MX Anywhere will pair to my phone and I can use the Logitech mouse to scroll and click on items seen on my phone.
The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 incorporates Logitech’s Flow feature and that lets me move my cursor to copy and paste content from one Windows or Mac computer to another, as long as those devices have the Logitech Options software installed.Three Things I Like
- I have become accustomed to the fluted effect on both lower sides of the mouse. This sculpting make gripping the Anywhere 3 very pleasant and that means I can easily use the mouse for several hours at a time without my hand cramping. And as a bonus, the metal scroll wheel feels very upmarket.
- Logitech's optical sensor means my mouse works on a glass surface. That's important to me because I often find myself in hotel lobbies with glass tables or highly highly reflective white table tops. I don't like carrying a mouse mat so this level of surface tolerance is essential.
- Battery life is superb. Logitech claims its 500mAh Li-Ion battery will run for 70 days. I have definitely gone that long with the MX Anywhere 2. And I really like knowing I can get three hours of use from a one-minute quick charge on my mains power adapter.
I use the Logitech MX Anywhere with Bluetooth most of the time but when I need long range service, I pair it with the add-on 2.4 GHz dongle. I have a slot in my Tumi shoulder bag for the MX Anywhere. It's empty at the moment but hopefully I will find a replacement mouse in a Christmas stocking next month.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches digital transformation on the Clonmel Digital Campus of the Technological University of the Shannon.]technology
From office gift exchanges to something to bring when going to a holiday party at a friend’s home, there is a necessary place for thoughtful [but not too personal] gifts that don’t break your budget. I mean, you can’t always...
The post 8 Thoughtful [But Not Too Personal] Gifts That Don’t Break Your Budget first appeared on EvinOK.
The post 8 Thoughtful [But Not Too Personal] Gifts That Don’t Break Your Budget appeared first on EvinOK.
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