40 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2020
    1. When this happens, Blackness—or what is perceived as Black identity—thrives outside of context. It's diluted and remixed to a dizzying degree. Black people lose control over how their humanity is presented.

      Is this not an ever present factor of life though? In the US, the media has controlled how the humanity of white people, black people, Arab people, and everyone else in the world is presented. In North Korea, Russia, and China, they've controlled how the humanity of Americans is presented. Africans certainly has zero control over how our humanity is presented to the rest of the world.

    2. “At the end of the day, clout is still clout—whether it's good clout or bad clout,” she says, waving a finger in and out of the frame. “Because through the good clout you're always going to have haters, and if you got bad clout you're always going to have supporters. So either way you win.”

      This is so true. Similar to how people say "no publicity is bad publicity". I think this potentially goes a step further though. It's very possible that at the beginning, people post controversial things, knowing they're controversial, but that they'll get a big response from them. What happens though, when you have a large group of people validating and agreeing with what you're saying? Is it possible that those views then become less controversial to you, and you start to believe those things more and more? That social validation has to have an impact. So you started out as a troll, just trying to stir the pot, but then you actually do end up believing in the things you've been saying.

    3. “There were little white girls slicking their edges and drawing their eyebrows all weird,” Roberts says. “They would wrap tape around their fingers to be their fake nails. They'd put hoops on. When you call them out, it's, ‘Anyone of any race can be a Hot Cheeto Girl.’ No sweetheart, we know what you're doing. We know that the Hot Cheeto Girl is just a derivative of the ghetto girl, the hood rat, the Shanaynay that people used to call Black and Latinx women.”
    4. The most effective videos come down to one factor: how well a creator grabs hold of our attention. That is to say, how deftly they make what we watch theirs. Blackness is a proven attention getter. Its adoption is racism, custom-fit.

      This last line needs more explanation. Why is its adoption racism?

    5. the tenets of minstrel performance remain alive today in television, movies, music, and, in its most advanced iteration, on the internet.

      I wonder if it's the history of minstrelsy that makes this a problem. When I think of people laughing at minstrel shows, I think they were laughing at the racist caricatures of black people on show, so it was hateful entertainment and their joy was derived from it. When I think of what people are doing today on TikTok, it doesn't immediately seem to be for the same reasons. And the laughter doesn't seem to come from a place of hatred of black people. A person painting themselves black and making a "joke" about black people being stupid feels very different from someone imitating Nene Leakes to call an airline ghetto. Is it possible to imitate black culture innocently?

    6. In a video uploaded to TikTok last December, a white teen saunters through an airport terminal, roller suitcase in hand. As he passes the check-in counter for Spirit—the notoriously awful low-cost airline—a look of mild irritation crosses his face. He glances left, then right. “Whew chile, the ghetto,” he says, elongating the o in ghetto. Only it's not the young man's voice we hear. It's that of reality diva NeNe Leakes, whose audio was pulled, edited, and resynchronized for the eight-second clip.
    7. As Blackmon puts it, “Be clear: Without Black culture, TikTok wouldn't even be a thing.”
    8. TikTok, it turned out, was reminiscent of Vine in more ways than one. The common denominator of many of its viral moments is an unspoken partiality to Black cultural expression
    1. I have a theory that time scarcity is also linked to something I'll call time scatteredness. This happens when you really have no idea how long it takes us to complete tasks, and this skews how much time you think you have or need.

      I relate to this so much I can still feel the sting on my cheek from where it slapped me

    1. it’s a wise idea to begin tracking your time in order to get a more realistic handle on how long specific projects and tasks take you. That’ll override your optimism bias and keep your expectations for your own productivity in check.
    2. Pushing a deadline back once is one thing. Needing to do it over and over again will make it appear as if you don’t know how to manage your own workload.
    1. See it as an experiment where failure yields valuable insights 🔬.

      Try and figure out when you actually are the most productive. When your usage of tools actually works. The insight you gain there could help you figure out what your ideal "productivity situation" is.

      Side note, just realized this is a perfect application of cybernetics (at least as far as I understand it so far).

      1. Apply a system
      2. Observe myself within that system
      3. Gain feedback by observing how I behave in that system
      4. Use that feedback to tweak that system until I've achieved my desired goal
    2. Time management is more about a system that works and less about a tool or just a method

      I've been focusing on the wrong things. To do lists aren't going to help me manage my time more effectively. It's a tool through which a system needs to be applied. If I don't have the right system, no tool is going to work.

  2. Jul 2020
    1. first-order cybernetics is “the science of observed systems,” while second-order cybernetics is “the science of observing systems.

      Inception, but make it Cybernetic.

      When observing a system, it's important to also observe the observer of the system

      This is important because the observer is directly influencing the observation of said system. One must consider any implicit bias the system's observer may introduce in what they're observing.

    2. If shared conceptual models applicable to solving problems in many sciences could be found, then “by agreeing on the usefulness of these models, we get glimpses of a new lingua franca of science....

      Cybernetics is key in that it allows for models of thought to be transferred across areas of knowledge

    1. Most people think of their impact as their intention, but those two things are actually quite different. Here’s how: Intention is personal to you and your team, and what you hope to achieve. Impact is how what you make is lived and experienced in the real world in actual communities. Intent does not undo impact!

      This is key. And extends to other parts of life too. Too often we think in terms of what we "intended" as opposed to the actual "impact" on others. I think trying to think in terms of impact instead, can help one become more empathetic.

    2. if dominant culture is used as the norm from which we create and design, then we will undoubtedly end up excluding everyone else.

      Considering that dominant culture right now is tech, and that we (Africans) are fairly very well behind the rest of the world in this regard (and underrepresented), we're at risk of becoming excluded by design.

    3. The pilot’s checklist isn’t just about order of operations—instead, it’s a way of thinking about preparation, accountability, and teamwork.

      What kind of checklist can our team build?

    4. DESIGN is the creation of a plan to build an object, system, or human interaction. DIVERSITY is quantitative. It’s the composition of different people represented in what you make, and the decision makers on your team. INCLUSION speaks to the quality of the experience you’ve designed for these diverse folks, so they experience themselves as leaders and decision makers. EQUITY lives in how we design our systems and processes; the way we work, and who we work with, so we are upholding our commitment to diversity and inclusion. FRAMEWORKS are the basic structures that enable complex systems to function. MISREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES are communities that have been defined by dominant culture, denied the ability to define themselves on their own terms, and are therefore falsely or narrowly represented. We use this instead of “underrepresented” or “marginalized,” because those identifiers again center the POV of dominant culture.

      I love these definitions and want to remember them

    1. Be bold and provide concise suggestions on moving projects forward instead of letting them sit in limbo. Bold writing will win you the reputation of an un-blocker and problem solver.

      Never really thought about doing this. I should try following up my suggestions with recommendations on what to do next, such that I leave people with actionable next steps and cut out time spent deliberating

  3. Jun 2020
    1. The strange focus of state-sponsored Depression-era propaganda on consumption becomes understandable in this light. As a consequence, the 20th century citizens of the U.S. didn’t embark on consumption as mere personal indulgence—but as a pro-social and patriotic duty

      Convincing people that spending money was vital to the rebuilding of their country? Capitalism is wild lol

    2. A peacetime alternative for sustaining a technology is to make it necessary for participation in society and in everyday life

      Eg. Fintech. Payments are ubiquitous with life, whether in peacetime or wartime. To be a participating member of society, one needs to be able to pay for things. Financial systems enable that, thereby giving Fintechs the opportunity to always stay relevant

    3. But no society can wage war forever, even if wartime is the origin of much of technology

      How much has constantly being at war contributed to the advancement of American society and technology?

    4. The rapid spread of the state-mandated Prussian model of education as an aid in economic development owes as much to preparing workers for a lifetime of such discipline as it does to loftier goals like imparting literacy.

      Will need to read up more on this. From what it sounds like, there's a certain level of forced learning, mandated by the state, that was necessary to get the Industrial Revolution going. I wonder if the same would be possible/benefit a society/economy like Nigeria's

    5. An invention does not achieve adoption because of its mere existence, but only when it has found a stable socioeconomic niche

      Building things is cool and all, but what worth do those things have if nobody wants to use them?

    1. Personal learnings from this one for me. I can be a bit quick to criticize, particularly with customer support at work. How can I retrain myself to ask questions about what made the customer do what they did? As opposed to just trashing whatever they've said and assuming they don't know what they're doing?

    1. How can techniques like mindful context switching, asynchronous communication, and mindful breaks help me with my work?

      1. Mindful Context Switching - It happens very often that I have up to 3 or 4 tasks on my plate at a time. 1 or 2 I've defined for myself and another two that come in from requests in the company. With mindful context switching, I can try to dedicate chunks of time to each task, where I completely focus on that task, get some work done, then move onto another task for another chunk of time. This way, I'm as efficient as possible on each given task for a given window. That way I don't have the other tasks hanging over my head waiting for me to get to them. I've put the tasks in a queue of sorts, which will allow me to manage them more effectively.

      2. Asynchronous Communication - Turning Slack notifications off maybe? Setting windows within which I will respond to people on Slack. I'm not sure how well this would work out though. How do I handle situations where I need to have a conversation with someone on Slack? I'll need to think about this more.

      3. Breaks - This is straightforward. Set up chunks of time to work, then take short breaks in between those chunks. Refresh your mind, relax a bit, then continue working.

    2. Not taking breaks leads to decision fatigue, where we make simplistic choices because we lack the mental energy to ponder our options properly.
    1. By deciding you will write a short note about everything you read, you will naturally slow down and reduce your content consumption levels.

      I'm already seeing the effects of this. I feel like my reading is more of a participatory experience now, and as a result, the knowledge "sticks" better.

    2. Anytime you struggle to write about something you just read, watched, or listen, make sure to take the time to understand properly. The fact that you’re struggling to express it in your own words often means you haven’t completely grasped the new idea.

      Need to start doing this regularly

    3. Writing is a great tool to compound your learning. To write about something, you need to first understand it. Forcing yourself to write after reading something can help you create a "generational effect". Your brain retains the information more by having to "create" the information as opposed to passively reading it off of a screen/page.

      Writing in public is the preferential mode of writing. It allows you to receive critiques on your writing, which in turn can help you gain more knowledge. You can gain perspective, or discover new ways to tacke a problem.

  4. May 2020
    1. Last, but not least, a skillset can be rare and valuable if you specialise in it before it becomes clear that it is valuable.

      Being ahead of the pack. Another way to increase your value

    2. A skillset can also be rare and valuable if the skillset is unattractive but valuable.

      I take this to mean that your value is then buffeted by the fact that nobody else really wants to do what you do

    3. A skillset can be rare and valuable if the path to your unique combination of valuable skills is opaque.

      To me, this sounds like it means that people are unable to discern the path you took to acquire your skill and therefore, are unable to recreate it. That makes you uniquely positioned to be the best at what you do

    1. Piaget’s research establishes that when a toddler is learning to walk, they build a mental model of their body in their brains. (This mental model is sometimes referred to as ‘embodiedness’, and explains things like the phantom limb phenomenon in amputees).

      This is interesting. I never would have thought of my perception of my physical presence as a mental model. But in essence, I suppose that's what it is. I've created a model of what my body looks, feels and moves like. And it's within that "framework" or "mental representation" of myself, that I define my being

    1. “An inflated style of writing; a kind of writing in which high-sounding words are used, above the dignity of the thoughts or subject; bombast.”

      Gotta use this word sometime

    2. … Flashing differs from exploding or disploding in not being accompanied with a loud report. To glisten, or glister, is to shine with a soft and fitful luster, as eyes suffused with tears, or flowers wet with dew.

      How has American English gone from this to what it is today???

    3. You’ll find a sense of the word that is somehow more evocative than any you’ve seen. “2. To convey as by a flash… as, to flash a message along the wires; to flash conviction on the mind.” In the juxtaposition of those two examples — a message transmitted by wires; a feeling that comes suddenly to mind — is a beautiful analogy, worth dwelling on, and savoring. Listen to that phrase: “to flash conviction on the mind.” This is in a dictionary, for God’s sake.

      Very poetic

    4. There’s actually this great history of how he almost singlehandedly invented the very idea of American English, defining the native tongue of the new republic, “rescuing” it from “the clamour of pedantry” imposed by the Brits.

      I find this interesting given how we feel about American vs British English now. America seems to have strayed further from this "pedantry" as the years have gone by. It's also ironic, seeing how so many Americans now find the British accent and English to be attractive

    5. Webster’s dictionary took him 26 years to finish. It ended up having 70,000 words. He wrote it all himself, including the etymologies, which required that he learn 28 languages, including Old English, Gothic, German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Welsh, Russian, Aramaic, Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit. He was plagued by debt to fund the project; he had to mortgage his home.

      This is an insane amount of dedication