serial twitter account deleter. ringleader, apparently.
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Teen allegedly sexually assaulted at K-Days due to her own 'negligence,' Northlands says

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K-Days

A 13-year-old girl who reported being sexually assaulted at K-Days "ought to have known" she was putting herself at risk when she drank with a man she met that night, the company that produced the midway says in a statement of defence.

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dnorman
2 days ago
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"she asked for it." Jesus Christ. she was 13 years old.
Calgary
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Lawsuit over YouTube persona Poppy ends in settlement

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Poppy is a YouTube persona specializing in adorably offbeat yet creepy ASMR-esque vignettes, like a prototype robot overloaded with coy marketing psychology. The increasingly ironic videos ("I am not in a cult") turned out, a la iamamiwhoami, to be a PR campaign for successfully-launched music act. Think Gary Numan via Ladyhawke and Alison Goldfrapp, but pretty much anything anyone might get nostalgic about is in there somewhere. Mars Argo (AKA Brittany Sheets) is a singer-songwriter focused on YouTube. She claimed earlier this year that Poppy was a knockoff of her act. In a lawsuit filed against Poppy's creator, Corey Mixter (AKA Titanic Sinclair), she alleged she and Mixter were in a relationship, that he was abusive during and after it ended, and that Poppy actress Moriah Pereira is effectively cloning the act she developed while with him. Mixter had a simple reponse: that he "invented Mars Argo" too. For her part, Pereira, also sued by Sheets, said that “Ms. Sheets’ claims of stalking, harassment, and abuse directed at Mr. Mixter are preposterous projections of her own actions." This week a judge dismissed Argo/Sheets' lawsuit following a settlement agreement between the parties. The Verge's Megan Farokhmanesh writes that it's one of the stranger IP cases of late, heightened by serious accusations of violence and stalking.

The case was complicated: it touched on topics of copyright infringement of an internet persona as well as serious abuse charges. In the original lawsuit filed in April, Sheets alleged to have endured “severe emotional and psychological abuse and manipulation from Mr. Mixter,” also known online as Titanic Sinclair. The lawsuit also pointed to Poppy actress Moriah Pereira as “a knowing accomplice to Mr. Mixter’s unlawful actions.” It claims that Poppy was created as a Mars Argo “knockoff,” one that “copied Mars Argo’s identity, likeness, expression of ideas, sound, style.”
The thought of a pop svengali being haunted by an earlier iteration of his media creation is mesmerizing. Humans don't just inhabit these constructs: they inspire them and become them. And there are consequences, emotional and legal, for the real people involved. The quick settlement suggests a more mundane reality: Sheets was significantly involved in the creation of the original act and its material, if not specific key qualities of the Poppy persona, and now she will be paid something for her trouble. But settlements are rarely made public, so that, too, will probably remain a mystery. The following video, from 2014, shows Argo/Sheets and Sinclair/Mixter telling everyone to delete their facebook. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbS-dKD4c9I Here's the "Poppy Copy," as Sheets puts it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Jq38JKN3A Good advice!
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dnorman
2 days ago
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I feel so old. This reads like AI-generated word salad. These names are all just made up, right? Get off my lawn.
Calgary
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UCP leader's trip to India raising ethics questions back home

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Kenney Bilous

Some Alberta cabinet ministers are raising questions about Official Opposition Leader Jason Kenney’s trip to India, suggesting it may be inappropriate.

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dnorman
2 days ago
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a carpetbagger posing as the Alberta minister of infrastructure (which it is certainly not) during what could be perceived as an officially sanctioned state visit to a foreign country (which it is certainly not)? Inappropriate doesn't really cover it.
Calgary
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'Nicoles' strike up friendship after man emails 246 women with same name at U of C

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Nicoles

A Calgary student trying to track down a missed connection inadvertently helped a group of women with the same name make friends.

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dnorman
11 days ago
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This seems like a bit of a breach of the electronic communications policy… campus email directories to spam women to try to find a date? Yikes.
Calgary
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George Zimmerman threatened to feed Beyoncé and Jay Z to alligators

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George Zimmerman, killer of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin and cause célèbre of conservative pundits, has similar plans for Beyoncé and Jay Z, who produced a documentary about Martin's short life. The threats were made over the phone in a recorded medium, reports The Blast.
In a series of text messages obtained The Blast, Zimmerman called Beyoncé a “broke whore” and promised she and Jay would “find themselves inside a 13 foot gator.” We’re told the messages were sent when Zimmerman was contacted by Dennis Warren, a private investigator who tracked down potential participants for the series. Warren found himself on the receiving end of hundreds of harassing messages and voicemails from the man acquitted in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman doesn't just illustrate his right-wing supporters' values, but acts as their media id: feeding black babies to alligators is an atrocity buried deep in the American imagination. He's going to explode sooner or later—just as he did once before.
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dnorman
12 days ago
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As an outsider, isn’t the 2nd supposed to prevent tyrannical government oppression? So that a future government will never again try to unjustly tax American tea? It’s not meant as enforcement for saying whatever hateful bullshit you want. And didn’t he plead self defense in the Trayvon Martin shooting? The flag implies other motivation.
Calgary
jhamill
12 days ago
Yes, it is. And yes, he's just a racist.
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25 Years of Ed Tech: Themes & Conclusions

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25

Now that I have completed the 25 Years of Ed Tech series (which was actually 26 years, because maths), I thought I’d have an attempt at some synthesis of it and try to extract some themes. In truth, each of these probably merits a post of its own, but I wanted to wrap this series up before the 25 Year anniversary of ALT-C next week. Plus, tired.

No country for rapidity – one of the complaints, particularly from outsiders is that higher ed is resistant, and slow, to change. This is true, but we should also frame it as a strength. Universities have been around longer than Google after all, and part of their appeal is their immutability. This means they don’t abandon everything for the latest technology (see later for what tech tends to get adopted). If you’re planning on being around for another 1000 years then you need to be cautious. We didn’t close all our libraries and replace with them LaserDiscs in the 90s. As the conclusion of the Educause piece I wrote stated “it’s no game for the impatient”.

Historical amnesia – I’ve covered this before, but one of the characteristics of ed tech is that people wander into it from other disciplines. Often they wouldn’t even know they’re now in ed tech, they’re doing MOOCs, or messing about with assessment on their psychology course, and they may spend a bit of time doing it and return to their main focus. Ed Tech can be like a holiday resort, people passing through from many destinations, with only a few regulars remaining. What this means is there is a tendency we see repeatedly over the 25 years for ideas to be rediscovered. A consequence of this is that it sees every development as operating in isolation instead of building on the theoretical, financial, administrative and research of previous work. For example, you probably don’t get OER without open source, and you don’t get MOOCs without OER, and so on.

Cycles of interest – there are some ideas that keep recurring in ed tech: the intelligent tutor, personalised learning, the end of universities. Audrey Watters refers to zombie ideas, which just won’t die. Partly this is a result of the aforementioned historical amnesia, and partly it is a result of techno-optimism (“This time it really will work”). It is also a consequence of over enthusiastic initial claims, which the technology takes 10 years or so to catch up with. So while, intelligent tutoring systems were woefully inadequate for the claims in the 90s, some of that is justifiable in 2018. Also, just conceptually you sometimes need a few cycles at an idea to get it accepted.

Disruption isn’t for education – given it’s dominance in much of ed tech discourse, what the previous trends highlight is that disruption is simply not a very good theory to apply to the education sector. One of the main attractions of higher ed is its longevity, and disruption theory seeks to destroy a sector. Given that it has failed to do this to higher ed, despite numerous claims that this is the death of universities, would suggest that it won’t happen soon. Disruption also plays strongly to the benefits of historical amnesia, which is a weakness here, and the cycles of interest argue that what you want to do is build iteratively, rather than sweep away and start anew. There are lots of other reasons to distrust the idea of disruption, but in higher ed at least, it’s just not a very productive way to innovate.

The role of humans – ed tech seems to come in two guises: helping the educator or replacing them. If we look at developments such as wikis, OER, CMC, blogs, even SecondLife, then their primary aim is to find tech that can help enhance education, either for a new set of learners, to realise new approaches, or sometimes, just try some stuff out. Other approaches are framed in terms of removing human educators: AI, learning analytics, MOOCs. Not necessarily – for example, learning analytics can be used to help human educators better support learners. But often the hype (and financial interest) is around the large scale implementation of automatic learning. As I mentioned in a previous post education is fundamentally a human enterprise, and my sense is we (at least those of us in ed tech in higher ed) should prioritise the former types of ed tech.

Innovation happens – for all the above: change happens slowly, people forget the past, disruption is a bust, focus on people – the survey of the last 25 years in ed tech also reveals a rich history of innovation. Web 2.0, bulletin board systems, PLEs, connectivism – these all saw exciting innovation and also questioning what education is for and how best to realise it.

Distance from the core – the technologies that get adopted and embedded into higher ed tend to correlate closely with core university functions, which we categorised as content, delivery and recognition in our recent OOFAT report. So, VLEs, eportfolios, elearning – these kinds of technology relate very closely to these core functions. The further you get from these then the more difficult it becomes to make the technology relevant, and embedded in everyday practice.

So, that’s really the end of the series.

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dnorman
16 days ago
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solid themes from Martin's (Not-so) Brief History of Edtech series.
Calgary
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