Regretting your Choices

The choices we make are statements to the world about who we are. When all you could do was buy Lee’s or Levi’s, the jeans you bought were not a statement to the world about who you are because there wasn’t enough variety in the jeans you bought to capture the variety of human selves. When there are 2,000 kinds of jeans, or 20,000 kinds of jeans, well, now all of a sudden it is a statement to the world about who you are because there’s so much variety out there. This is true of jeans. It’s true of drinks. It’s true of music videos. It’s true of movies. That makes even trivial decisions seem important, and when that happens, people want the best. We’ve got a bunch of studies that show that large choice sets induce people to regard the choices they make as statements about the self, and that, in turn, induces them to raise their standards.If there are 200, and you buy a pair of jeans that don’t fit you as well as you hoped, now it’s hard to avoid blaming yourself. The only way to avoid regretting a decision is not making it, so I think a lot of the reason people don’t pull the trigger is that they’re so worried that when they do pull the trigger, they’ll regret a choice they made.

Barry Schwartz quoted in Vox

Information overload is nothing new

The ever-expanding array of digital material can leave you feeling overwhelmed, constantly interrupted, unable to concentrate or worried that you are missing out or falling behind. No wonder some people are quitting social media, observing “digital sabbaths” when they unplug from the internet for a day, or buying old-fashioned mobile phones in an effort to avoid being swamped.

This phenomenon may seem quintessentially modern, but it dates back centuries, as Ann Blair of Harvard University observes in “Too Much to Know”, a history of information overload. Half a millennium ago, the printing press was to blame. “Is there anywhere on Earth exempt from these swarms of new books?” moaned Erasmus in 1525. New titles were appearing in such abundance, thousands every year. How could anyone figure out which ones were worth reading? Overwhelmed scholars across Europe worried that good ideas were being lost amid the deluge.

Figuring out book reviews, indexes and the rest took several centuries, so we shouldn’t expect an immediate solution. In the meantime we must endure information overload: the feeling that arises in the space of time between a sudden increase in the flow of information and the development of the tools to enable us to cope with it.

Tom Standage writing in 1843 magazine 

Articles of Interest - Dec 17


‘Deepfake’ technology can now create completely real-looking human faces  BigThink

Taylor Swift used facial recognition to track her stalkers at a concert  Quartz

Morgan Stanley's Numbers on Flying Cars: $2.9 Trillion, 20 Years  Bloomberg  

The rise of the internet and a new age of authoritarianism  Harpers

The Growing Gulf Between Silicon Valley and Washington  The Atlantic 

Google says it won’t sell face recognition for now—but it will be hard to slow its use  MIT Technology Review 


Microsoft launches its Clarity web analytics tool for A/B testing sites  The Next Web

Magazines and the iPad  Bloomberg 

The downfall of digital media (podcast)  Columbia Journalism Review 

How Companies Like Bored Panda, REI, and Vox Are Growing Their Organic Reach on Social Media  Buffer 

New media hit stumbling block, scaring away some investors  Washington Post 


Time's 2018 'Person of the Year' is killed and imprisoned journalists  NBC News

The Best of Nonprofit News 2018 Institute for Nonprofit News  Institute for Nonprofit News 

Beyond 800 words: What user testing taught me about writing news for young people  BBC News Lab 

'They don't care': Facebook factchecking in disarray as journalists push to cut ties  The Guardian

New Report Finds That More Than 250 Journalists Were Jailed For Their Work in 2018  NPR

ProPublica Picks 14 Newsrooms and Investigative Projects for Year 2 of Its Local Reporting Network  Propublica

Best News Bloopers of 2018  News Be Funny 

Journalists perpetuate myth about suicide during winter holidays  Journalists Resources  

Access to police records is an issue all across the country  Muck Rock

What happens when the third-party tools journalists rely on are shut down?  Poynter


Local Newspaper Closures Come With Hefty Price Tag For Residents  NPR

How to understand different reader types and drive each type to subscribe  American Press Institute

Jessica Starr, Fox 2 meteorologist, commits suicide at age 35  New York Post 

Popular Young Reporter For NewsChannel 9 Terminated By Sinclair As She Battles Cancer  The Chattanoogan


Troll Factory Contributes To Russia's Worldwide Interference  NPR

How Whatsapp fuels fake news and violence in india  Wired 

How do you make fact-checking viral? Make it look like misinformation  Poynter 

How Russian trolls used meme warfare to divide America  Wired 


Kevin Kelly talks about the brain, the mind, what it takes to make AI  Gigaom

Machine learning firm win a Homeland Sec contract to develop predictive models to let computers predict who might be a terrorist  The Intercept 


Facebook exposed 6.8 million users' photos to cap off a terrible 2018  Wired

We asked 19 fact-checkers what they think of their partnership with Facebook  Poynter 

Social media is ruining our minds—it also might save them  Wired 


Homeland Security will let computers predict who might be a terrorist on your plane — just don’t ask how it works  The Intercept 

Mapping Service Accidentally Locates Secret Military Bases  Popular Mechanics 


Google's top searches in 2018  Engadget 

How Google’s Autotype Contradicts Orwell’s Advice  The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Most Googled 'Should I?' Question Of Each State In 2018, Mapped  Digg

YouTube ‘Rewind’ was supposed to celebrate 2018: It’s now the most disliked video in the site’s history Washington Post 


Seeking the Best is a Trap Becoming (my blog)

The quest for the best: a psychologist explains why it makes us miserable  Vox


How Emily Dickinson Writes A Poem  Nerdwriter1

How the CIA Helped Shape the Creative Writing Scene in America Open Culture


Jane Austen’s Subtly Subversive Linguistics  Daily Jstor  

'Justice' Is Merriam-Webster's 2018 Word Of The Year  NPR


Santas of color, once met with controversy, now in high demand  MPR


Report: 9 in 10 American colleges restrict free speech  The Fire 

LA College settles Lawsuit after Student Barred from handing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on Campus  City News Service 


Tribute Bands - Are They Legal?  Music Think Tan

Paramount Defeats 'Wolf of Wall Street' Libel Suit From Stratton Oakmont Alum  Hollywood Reporter

Katie Couric Wins Appeal Against Gun Rights Group Arguing Documentary Was Defamatory  Hollywood Reporter 

Appeals court rules that secret OxyContin documents must be released  Stat News  

Donald Trump, Wedding Crasher, Ends Up Being Bad Copyright News for  Hollywood Reporter


Shooting Victims Face Lifelong Disabilities, Financial Burdens, Newspaper Finds  NPR

Report: Half of US adults have immediate family member who has been in jail or prison  CNN   


Max Lucado Reveals Past Sexual Abuse at Evangelical #MeToo Summit  Christianity Today

The Return of Paganism  New York Times

Evangelical Author Rethinks his Book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”  NPR

Christianity Today's 2019 Book Awards  Christianity Today 

Judge sides with religious groups in ObamaCare birth control mandate fight  The Hill

At Trump's hotel, spiritual warriors pray for the president in his 'darkest hour'  Religion News Service


Minister accused of stealing $800,000 from Houston's First Baptist Church  ABC-13

Former elders, pastors, and staffers from Chicago’s Harvest Bible Chapel accuse the church of financial mismanagement and a culture of deception and intimidation  World Magazine

Houston pastor on $200K Lamborghini gift  Houston Chronicle 


Meme Confuses Lincoln’s Bible With A Quran  Fact Check 

Slave Bible From The 1800s Omitted Key Passages That Could Incite Rebellion  NPR


California woman and her dog reunite after Camp Fire evacuation  CNN

Teens Surprised Their Professor After She Told Them The Holidays Are Difficult For Her  BuzzFeed News  

DNA Test Helps Mother Reunite With Daughter She Thought Died Nearly 70 Years Ago  New York Times


We made our own artificial intelligence art (and so can you)  Wired 

The world's best cities for street art  Afar    

The 75 best book covers of 2018 according to book cover designers  LitHub 


Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' becomes most-streamed song of the 20th century  Entertainment Weekly

Our Favorite Songs of 2018  The New Yorker

The 51 Best Albums of 2018  Spin 

'Blurred Lines' suit against Robin Thicke, Pharrell ends in $5 million judgment  CNN

Vladimir Putin Makes Moves To Control Rap Music In Russia  Huffington Post

Beyoncé, Kendrick, Cardi, and more: The Year in Good Music News 2018  Pitchfork

How Music Can Awaken Patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia  Open Culture 


Ex-Baylor frat president indicted on 4 counts of sex assault won't go to prison  CNN 

What Went Wrong in a University Harassment Investigation — and How Officials Are Trying to Fix It  Chronicle of Higher Ed 


How the IRS Was Gutted  ProPublica

More Americans are making no weekly purchases with cash  Pew Research  

How Many Hours Americans Need to Work to Pay Their Mortgage  How Much 


New studies suggest coral reefs are more resilient than previously thought  Royal Society Publishing  

Five years of record warmth intensify Arctic's transformation  Nature 

The state of climate change coverage: An analysis  Columbia Journalism Review


Questions About Treatments For Pregnant Women Arise From Study  NPR

Sleeping too much can be just as damaging to your health as having too little  MarketWatch  

A clash between modern lifestyles and circadian rhythms can lead to the development of obesity and breast cancer, USC scientist says  USC

Exercise Wins: Fit Seniors Can Have Hearts That Look 30 Years Younger  NPR

Rare brain-eating amoebas killed Seattle woman who rinsed her sinuses with tap water  Seattle Times 

Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder  Reuters 


Scant Evidence Behind the Advice About Salt  New York Times 

What Is Behind the Spread of a Mysterious Allergy to Meat?  The Guardian   


Newly elected Tennessee Rep. Mark Green says he'll question vaccines  NBC News 

Was a Scientist Jailed After Discovering a Deadly Virus Delivered Through Vaccines?  Snopes

Scientists find more evidence that Alzheimer's can be passed to new patients via the transmission of "sticky" proteins under particular, but rare, conditions  Nature 

How personalized medicine is transforming your health care  National Geographic 


These Are The Hottest Travel Destinations for 2019, According to Airbnb  Thrillist

A U.S. Transit Atlas That Ranks the Best (and Worst) Cities for Bus and Rail  CityLab  


What's lurking in your stadium food?  ESPN


Researchers found one way that long-term marriages get happier  Quartz  

Rediscovering My Daughter Through Instagram  New York Times

Why shaming your children on social media may make things worse  The Conversation 

Most parents – and many non-parents – don’t expect to have kids in the future  Pew Research


Rare white reindeer calf spotted on camera in Norway  BBC   

A City in Spain Plans to Exile 5,000 Pigeons  New York Times


Scientists identify vast underground ecosystem containing billions of micro-organisms  The Guardian

Blood Splatter: How a Dubious Forensic Science Spread Like a Virus  Propublica 


What it’s like to live with a chronic urge to die  Huffington Post 

The bad news on human nature, in 10 findings from psychology  Aeon 


Histomap: Visualizing the 4,000 Year History of Global Power  Visual Capitalist

Showering Has a Dark, Violent History  The Atlantic  

America returns treasured church bells it stole during the Philippine-American war  New York Times


Amid ethics outcry, should journals publish the ‘CRISPR babies’ paper?  Stat News

You can donate your wedding dress to a person in need  New York Times


EPA science adviser allowed industry group to edit journal article  Science Magazine   

Lessons learnt on transparency, scientific process and publication ethics: The short story of a long journey to get into the public domain unpublished data, methodological flaws and bias of the Cochrane HPV vaccines review  BMJ 

China introduces ‘social’ punishments for scientific misconduct  Nature 

Independent bodies – not universities – should investigate suspicions of scientific misconduct (opinion)  Horizons 

Solving the fake news problem in science: : A “citation refuting a report is counted the same way as one supporting it”  Stat News  

It is getting harder to publish in prestigious journals if you haven’t already  Science Magazine

How art and craft can boost reproducibility  Nature 


Fallout from on-campus tragedies and athletic program controversies prompts donors to circle the wagons -- or flee  Inside Higher Ed

Facing Enrollment Declines, Colleges Seek Out New, Creative Ways To Make Money  NPR


Azusa Pacific University board members resign amid LGBTQ policy turmoil  San Gabriel Valley Tribune  

Southern Baptist Convention’s flagship seminary details its racist, slave-owning past in stark report  Washington Post 

Catholic U. fires professor for relationship with subordinate  Washington Post 

Council for Christian Colleges and Universities & the NAE back LGBT Rights in Order to Protect Religious Freedom  PJ Media  

Bridging the gulf between conservative Christian colleges and the arts  Christian Century 


How Can Colleges Help Liberal-Arts Majors Enter the Job Market?  Chronicle of Higher Ed

The Liberal Arts May Not Survive the 21st Century  The Atlantic


Teaching the Students We Have, Not the Students We Wish We Had  Chronicle of Higher Ed

How 2 Professors Use a ‘Grade Insurance’ Project to Motivate Students  Chronicle of Higher Ed

How to Help a Student in a Mental-Health Crisis  Chronicle of Higher Ed


Ganging Up on a Student Journalist?  Inside Higher Ed  

Faculty groups respond to censure issue: A “troubling disregard for the First Amendment” on the university’s part  Times Daily  


What Straight-A Students Get Wrong (opinion)  New York Times

Does It Matter Where You Go to College?  The Atlantic 

Trump administration held back report revealing bank charged high fees to students  Politico 

Researchers find an easy way to improve high school students' grades: Let them sleep in  Science Mag

Sleepless No More In Seattle — Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens NPR


Binge drinking among US high schoolers hit a record low in 2018  Quartz

Teen Vaping Soared In 2018  NPR


University of Illinois professor fired for falsifying data in grant applications  Chicago Tribune

Illinois Regulators Are Investigating a Psychiatrist Whose Research With Children Was Marred by Misconduct  Propublica 

Scientists are leaving academic work at unprecedented rate  Inside Higher Ed 

University of Illinois professor fired for falsifying data in grant applications  Chicago Tribune

Professor sent mercenaries to save her student from ISIS  The local 

Man charged with beating instructors at community college  KARE 11


Seeking the Best is a Trap

We have this sense that there is an objective best, and in virtually no area of life is that true. It’s not even that, “Well, there’s the best for me, and then there’s the best for you.” It isn’t even clear that there is a best for me. There’s a whole set of things that are probably more or less equivalent.

If you have this mindset that says, “I have to get the best,” it’s so hard to figure out what that is that you end up looking in panic around you at what other people are choosing as a way to help you figure out what is the best. I think it’s partly because they are struggling to define the best, and they can’t do it on their own, so they’re madly checking out other people’s decisions as a way of figuring out what really is the best. It’s extremely destructive.  

Barry Schwartz quoted in Vox

Writing your Own Eulogy

A visualization technique that asks people to write their own eulogy. It’s a technique that Daniel Harkavy, CEO and executive coach at Building Champions and co-author of Living Forward, has been teaching executives for over 20 years.

Harkavy’s tip is to write your eulogy first as if your funeral was today and everything you’ve accomplished so far was all you ever would. “Picture your memorial service as if it were being held right now. Your casket is sitting center stage, and as you look down the center aisle you see the first three rows, usually reserved for those with whom we were closest. Who’s sitting there for you?” he asks. “Most likely your family and dearest friends. Now keep looking down the aisle, and now you’re looking at rows 10 through 20. Who’s sitting there? Probably acquaintances, clients, customers. What did you give to the people in these rows?”

Harkavy says when he walks clients through this exercise during his speaking engagements, they usually all say the same thing: “We gave them our best!” He then asks them what they gave to the people sitting in rows one through three–and their answers usually amount to “We gave them our leftovers.” In other words, their work-life balance is out of whack.

“When you go to write your eulogy, you need to be brutally honest. Don’t pull any punches. You want to really feel this,” Harkavy says. “What would those closest to you say about who you were, how you lived, and what you had to give them, and why would they say that?”

Michael Grothaus writing in Fast Company

Tuesday Tech Tools: Audio

The list below includes links to a variety of audio tools—from podcasting helps to recording phone interviews, from microphones to audio editing software.

Ableton Live
Audio editing program especially for music.

Audio editing program. Basic version is free and includes MP4 and AAC import and export filters.

Helps you record, process, edit and publish your podcast.

Amadeus Pro
Multi-track recorder. Can pull audio off of videos. Includes options for cleaning up noisy audio. No mobile option but easy to use. $59.99

An app for recording short-form audio snippets and podcasts. Similar to Alitu. Free but Anchor changed its terms of service to claim ownership of any material published on the site.

Audio editing software. Free and open source.

Think of it as YouTube for audio.

Searching for a section of audiocorresponding to a note is easy to find.  The recording time is insertedat the beginning of each line oftext. $9.99.

Adobe Audition
Audio editing program.  Formerly Cool Edit Pro.  $349 but it can be purchased as part of Creative Suite.

Avid Pro Tools
An industry-standard, studio-grade audio editing tool. $699 for the base version.

Using phones, you can interview someone and it both streams and records downloadable MP3 of the interview.

Mobile app to record meetings, interviews. Records and sincs audio (from news conferences, for instance) with typing so you can find quotes easier. Allows for tags and annotations. Always recording so picks up the 15 secs before you turn on recording.  Enables recording calls, highlighting key parts of the conversation, and transcription.  Free. $5 for more features.

Transcrption service uses artificial intelligence to transcribe large audio files and allow users to search them using keywords. Free.

Post your audio here link to it from your blog or embed it into your blog.

Dragon Anywhere
Voice to text app for iOS. Have to finish dictation before seeing the text. Free. 

Recup (formally DropVox)
Records audio and sends it directly to your Dropbox account. $1.99.

App that records Facetime audio and video for Mac. Convert your calls into MP3 files for podcasting or easily move the video to YouTube and Vimeo. Allows you to split the audio tracks after a call for easy editing. $39.95.

Access notes on any computer, tablet or phone. Search function lets you find a note in either text or audio format. Free for iOS and Android. For more options there is Evernote Plus $2.99 a month, while Premium is $5.80 per month.

Final Cut Pro
Video editing program from which you can rip the audio.

Intended for music editing. Only 5 minutes of audio can be edited.

Giant Squid Audio Lab Omnidirectional Mic*
Great quality sound but requires an adapter for it to work with a phone. $49.99.

Google Voice
Your own phone number. Can be used to record interviews but sometimes not reliable and they have to call you. Free.

Background horror noise generator.

iOS udio editing app for interviews, podcasts, or voiceovers. Can import clips from other applications and export directly to Dropbox and iTunes. Free.

iRig Handheld Mic*
A handheld microphone with a built-in headphone socket allowing users to monitor audio and control levels when paired with the iRig Recorder app. $59.99.

iRig Mic Studio*
Professional studio mic that comes with many adaptors including a lightning port plug so it will work with the iPhone 7 (which is it smaller than). Includes gain control, level indicator, and headphone output (with its own level control).  Tripod stand included. $179.

iRig Pre*
A preamp which allows you to plug your quality mic into an your iOS device. It takes an XLR input and turns it into a 3.5mm jack. A built in headphone socket allowing users to monitor audio when paired with the iRig Recorder app, which also gives audio control levels. Very simple to use. Uses 9-volt battery. $39.99. If you want better sound quality, and control, try the iRig Pro or even better theiRig Pro Duo.

iRig Pro Duo*
Royalty fAllows you to plug two XLR microphones into your iPhone through the lightning port, so that you and the person you are interviewing can be mic’ed with separate gains. A headphone port allows you to monitor the audio. Uses two AA batteries so it does not draw power from your iPhone. $199.99

Keep Vid
Post your audio here and then link to it from your blog or embed it into your blog.

Liberted Syndication
For creating podcasts. Small monthly fee.

Podcast Hosting Services. Starting at $5 a month.

Logic Pro
Audio editing program, especially music.

Post your audio here and then link to it from your blog or embed it into your blog.

Audio editing program, especially music. $75.

Live internet audio app. Share in social media, text with listeners, embed player on your website. Free.

Audio editing program.

Audio editing program designed to normalise MP3 files so that they all have the same loudness in a more effective way than other programs.

MP3 Quailty Modifier
Audio editing program to adjust the quality of your MP3 files so you can save disk space.

Music Editor Free
Free audio editing program. You'll need a converter since it can only save WAV files.

Simple audio editor made for users who do not need all the options offered by Audacity free. 

Transcribe recorded interviews.

A podcasting platform focused on ease of use. Doesn’t include some of the extras of other sites but low learning curve. Monthly fees from $12-50,

Podcasting made easy. Some users have said it rather clunky.

Audio Editing program. $225 full commercial license. $60 for discounted license.

Record your incoming and outgoing phone conversations on any phone without needing equipment.  Works for interviews.

Rode i-XLR*
A broadcast quality XLR adaptor that lets you connect it to the lightning port of the iPhone. The cable is about 10 feet long in order to reach an interview subject. You can adjust the headphone volume but there is no preamp or gain control. $149.

Rev Voice Recorder*
Quality voice recorder and editor for both iPhone and Android. Includes Dropbox and Evernote integration. Free but voice-to-text human transcriptions in 12-hours for $1 a minute.

Shotgun Mic*
Popular RodeVMGO Video Mic GO Lightweight On-Camera Microphone SuperCardiod. Lightweight directional microphone. Adaptor and extension cord needed as well for it to work with a iPhone 7.  $99.

Popular resentation tool owned by LinkedIn. Use documents, PDFs and video to create webinars, audio presentations, for online lectures etc. Solid analytics for free. Watch a slide show about SlideShare here.

Smart Voice Recorder
Android recording app. Good for memos and group meetings. Decent audio quality. Allows users to skip silences, test the mic, determine where recordings are saved, etc. Free.

A project of Northwestern University's Knight Lab, it lets users embed audio into posts. So, for instance if you write "..thick, one-note guitar riffs shuffle and stomp with a heavy beat" you can make it so that when someone clicks on "thick, one-note guitar riffs" they will hear a short example. Watch a video explanation here.

Post your audio here and then link to it from your blog or embed it into your blog. Limited space free, more for a fee.

Free. Audio editing program. Especially for music.

Create photo and video stories on an iPhone with an emphasis on mobile design. Create collections and share on social networks. Free. Sample.

Shure Mic for iOS*
Shure MV88 Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone for iOS. Stereo and mono options. Small and portable, it plugs directly into the iPhone’s Lightning Port. A 90-degree hinge allows you to adjust it to different angles to capture the best sound. Comes with an app that controls the gain, EQ, and stereo width. $129.

Record cell phone calls and export the audio for editing, to email or upload to Google Drive or Dropbox. IoS and Android. Dial the TapeACall line, then dial the person you want to talk to, and merge the two calls into a conference. The recording is saved on the app. $24.99 a year. Watch a video here.

For call-in podcasts. Samples.

Speech to text transcription in 5 minutes Advanced speech recognition software. 10 cents a minute.

All things audio. A performance space, editorial session, an audition stage, a library, and a hangout. How to guides for podcast beginners.

Audio editing program (Mac only). $80.

VideoMic ME*
Compact and lightweight, directional microphone for smartphones. Adaptor and extension cord needed.

Transcribes audio to text.

VoiceRecord Pro
Professional voice recorder. Record audio from events, voice memos and on-site sounds at unlimited length, add markers, share or upload. iOS. Free.

Free audio editing program.

Free audio editing program.  Bit-perfect, minimizing the loss of quality by altering files only when absolutely necessary.

Free Audio editing program.

Video and audio file converter.

Zoom iQ7 Mic*
This compact condenser mic is portable. Can be set to record a source from the front with or without the surrounding ambiance from the sides. $99.

More tech tools here.

Articles of Interest - Dec 10


The top 25 news photos of 2018  The Atlantic  

Get rid of the content no one reads: Offer surprises and “candy” and other tricks for retaining subscribers  Harvard’s Nieman Lab 

'Killed for speaking the truth': nine journalists murdered in 2018  The Guardian  

From a Myanmar jail, a children’s book about the power of journalism  Columbia Journalism Review  Columbia Journalism Review 

A Capital Gazette photographer had a powerful rebuttal to “enemies of the people”  Washington Post 

Podcasts Are Getting Newsier. Here Are 8 New Ones Worth a Listen  New York Times  

Interviewing white-collar criminals: 6 tips from Harvard Business School’s Eugene Soltes Journalism Resources

A Future With Less News:  The possibilities and limits of journalism in the digital era  New Republic 


Thomson Reuters will cut 3,200 jobs by 2020  CNN

It's Almost Impossible to Be a Mom in Television News For female television reporters, the decision to have kids can be a career-ending one  The Atlantic 

How two traditional competitors are working together to grow audience  Better News

How many of us pay for online news?  Reuters 

At NPR, an army of temps resents a workplace full of anxiety and insecurity  Washington Post


China study abroad trip proceeds as planned despite journalist arrests  Daily Nebraskan 

My advice for aspiring explainer journalists  Vox


How Does Misinformation Spread Online?  Psychology Today

The War on Truth Spreads Democratically elected leaders borrow from the anti-press playbook of dictators and tyrants (opinion)  New York Times 


Your smartphone's AI algorithms could tell if you are depressed MIT Technology Review  

New Scam Apps Take Advantage of iPhone Touch ID  Wired 

***BIG DATA & AI  

Plunging into AI? Not a good idea  Zdnet 

Google's artificial intelligence program, DeepMind, wins competition to predict how complex proteins fold themselves into 3D shapes  The Guardian  

The latest AI-enhanced gadget you're using is probably not actually 'intelligent'  Poynter


LinkedIn Learning Opens Its Platform (Slightly)  Ed Surge

The Psychological Toll of Becoming an Instagram Influencer  Medium

Social media outpaces print newspapers in the U.S. as a news source  Pew Research Center


Here’s How Facebook’s Local News Algorithm Change Led To The Worst Riots Paris Has Seen In 50 Years  BuzzFeed News

Facebook Emails Show Its Real Mission: Making Money and Crushing Competition New York Times

Facebook must decide: Is it for the mob or for democracy? (opinion) Monday Note


The Best Podcasts of 2018  New Yorker  

The 11 best documentaries of 2018  Vox


Google's Autocomplete Suggestions For Questions About Every State, Mapped  Digg

Poll: Smartphones are winning the internet Axios


Study: after 75 years the most fulfilling lives had one thing in common  Becoming (my blog)

How an 18th-century priest gave us the tools to make better decisions: The world is a complicated place and Bayes’ theorem can help us navigate it  Vox 

A Harvard study tracked two groups of men over 75 years and those with the most fulfilling lives had one thing in common  Fast Company


The best-selling fiction novels of the last 100 years LitHub

Writing has ‘got to be weird before it gets good,’ says Casey Gerald  PBS 

Is Listening to a Book the Same Thing as Reading It?  New York Times 

7 Essential Tools to Improve Your Business Writing Skills  The Frisky 


Scholars Talk Writing: Hyphens, Oxford Commas, and Pronoun Preferences (sub. req’d)  The Chronicle of Higher Education  

One in ten British adults don’t know when to use ‘their’, ‘there’ and ‘they’re’  The Sun

Twitter responds to the Smocking Gun incident  TIME


Who decides what words mean Bound by rules, yet constantly changing, language might be the ultimate self-regulating system, with nobody in charge  Aeaon 

How We Ask Questions Matters  The Chronicle of Higher Education

George H.W. Bush, Language Guy  The Chronicle of Higher Education


Should Studying Literature Be Fun?  Chronicle of Higher Education 

The Bookshelf shares a video homage to literature  Quill and Quire

Why the Hell Are We Still Reading Ernest Hemingway?  The Daily Beast 


The Woman Who Outruns the Men, 200 Miles at a Time  New York Times

This journalist created a system to make sure more female experts got on air  Poynter


Campuses are seeing a Surge of Anti-Semitic Incidents  Inside Higher Ed

Students at Columbia University interrupted Comedian deeming his jokes too offensive  Inside Higher Ed 

Veterans Affairs’ diversity chief was told not to condemn white nationalists  Washington Post 

Nursing while black  The Tennessean 


Confidential informants are supposed to keep their work confidential. These two didn't  USA Today 

This map shows where in the US cyber crime costs people the most CNBC

Florida schools cover up crimes: Rapes, guns and more Sun Sentinel


Sorry, your data can still be identified even if it’s anonymized  Fast Company 


Fundamental Baptist church pastors cover up sex abuse, rape  Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Wiccans Outnumber Presbyterians in the US  Christian Post 

25 Questions about Hanukkah, Answered!  Mental Floss 

6 things a Texas pastor learned from traveling with a group of migrants  CNN

Book charting decline of white Christian America wins Grawemeyer Award in Religion  The Presbyterian Outlook

Under pressure, Museum of the Bible moves charismatic Christian conference off-site  Religion News Service 

Christian Activist who burned LBGTQ books from library charged with misdemeanor Sioux City Journal

Nuns improperly took as much as $500,000 from Torrance Catholic school  Press Telegram

ATF: There have been 5 attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses in Washington state this year  CNN


Southern Baptist pastor turned aspiring congressman embroiled in Election Fraud Controversy: Mark Harris owes $53K to man at center of allegations  CNN


9-year-old gets Colorado town to end ban on snowball fights  ABC 13 

Homeless man turns in $17,000 cash he found outside local food bank The News Tribune

Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free  The Guardian

UPS driver takes home shelter dog who hopped into his truck  The DoDo

California nurse adopts baby left at his hospital  The Week magazine

Nurse overhears conversation: Decides to donate a kidney to a woman she'd never met Chicago Tribune  

FIU student defies odds, walks across stage for his diploma Local 10  


Why we all take the same travel photos  Wired 

Walmart Acquires Art & Décor Retailer  Tech Crunch 

The Best Art of 2018  New York Times


The Best Music Of 2018 (all female)  NPR 

Spotify’s Most Streamed Artists are all Male  Mashable 

The 12 Days of Christmas: the story behind the holiday’s most annoying carol  Vox

How J.R.R. Tolkien Influenced Classic Rock & Metal (video)  

The Strange History of Smooth Jazz: The Music We All Know and Love … to Hate (video)  


The American Film Institute releases annual list of its Top 10 movies  Entertainment Weekly

NPR's Favorite Movies Of 2018  NPR


Media pivots away from advertising  Axios


482 hiring managers looked at nearly 20,000 résumés and found the classic advice to limit your résumé to one page might be wrong after all  Business Insider 

Telemundo Stations Launch ‘University’ to Staff Newsrooms Broadcasting & Cable

How to advocate for yourself in the newsroom  The Ground Truth Project 


Ranking the most charitable states in the country  Thrillist 

Start-Ups Aren't Cool Anymore: It’s harder for Millennials to thrive as entrepreneurs now  The Atlantic

How To Recognize The Signs Of A Toxic Work Environment (infographic) Daily Infographic


Researchers find plastic particles in every sea turtle tested for study  Axios

Carbon emissions rise again in 2018, new report finds  Axios


In Minneapolis-St. Paul, the nation’s healthiest urban region, almost everyone lives within a 10-minute walk of a good public park. Shouldn’t we all?  New York Times   

Giving Patients a Voice in Their Mental Health Care Before They’re Too Ill to Have a Say  New York Times   

A shot-in-the-dark email leads to a century-old family treasure — and hope of cracking a deadly flu’s secret  Stat News

41 Percent of Americans Do Not Intend to Get a Flu Shot this Season  National Opinion Research Center 

Cushioned shoes aren't good for your feet  BigThink 


1st baby born using uterus transplanted from deceased donor  KUTV 


Dollar General tries to make healthy food more accessible CNN


Stay-at-Home Mom says Judge left her feeling bullied: “I don’t care about your children”  Sacramento Bee

Guatemalan father denied temporary visa to attend 13-year-old daughter’s funeral after she was murdered in the US  Newsweek 

How Incarcerated Parents Are Losing Their Children Forever  The Marshall Project

Couple endures emotional crime in bizarre botched adoption  Orange County Register


First data from massive NIH study shows effects of screen time on kids  Axios

Teaching kids to code: I’m a developer and I think it doesn’t actually teach important skills  Slate 


Dog waited weeks for owners at home burned in Camp fire  Press Democrat  

Twitch and Izzy with unusual condition wobble their way into your heart  Freep 

Police officer rescues chicken from shed fire  New York Daily News

Origins Of The Top Dog Names Of 2018: Pop Culture, Brunch, And Baby Names  NPR


Psychology’s Replication Crisis Has Made The Field Better  FiveThirtyEight 


Neuroscientist: we are always hallucinating  The Atlantic 

How does chemo brain work? One cancer drug might interfere with brain signaling  Science Magazine


A Russian city is embroiled in protests over Immanuel Kant  Quartz 


Plague linked to the mysterious decline of Europe’s first farmers  Nature 

The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul From the Revolution to the Civil War  The Week magazine 


Why Are Scientists So Upset About the First Crispr Babies?  New York Times  

How to know if you’re an ethical leader  Fast Company 


A look at how four institutions responded to scientific misconduct  Science and Public Policy

Tips from seven academics on how to do a good peer review (sub req’d)  Times Higher Education  

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Phil now has an entry on reproducibility  Stanford  Encyclopedia of Philosophy 


In Unusual Letter, Democratic Senators Ask ‘U.S. News’ to Change Emphasis of College Rankings  Chronicle of Higher Education 

Brightwood College announces sudden closure amid accreditation, financial turmoil  10 News 

Moody’s Gives Higher Ed a Negative Outlook, Again  Chronicle of Higher Education 

Actually, Academe Never Was All That Great (opinion)  Chronicle of Higher Education 

Small private colleges are shrinking and struggling  The Texas Monitor

50 Colleges Hit With ADA Lawsuits Inside Higher Ed


Disgraced Ole Miss coach expected to be next Liberty U head coach College Football Talk

Northwestern College vice president chosen to lead Christian Canadian university  Northwestern College 

Ex-Wheaton College student pleads guilty to theft for stealing classmates' technology Daily Herald

Four fires under investigation at Wheaton College Boston Globe

Northwest Christian University athlete arrested on suspicion of rape  Register-Guard

Azusa Pacific Trustees Resign, Citing Objections  Inside Higher Ed 


One Way to Set Up Liberal-Arts Majors for Success: Focus on Skills The Chronicle of Higher Education

What a Liberal Arts College Is and What You Should Know US News

Humanities and STEM as Overlapping Circles Inside Higher Ed

Lies About the Humanities — and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (sub. req’d)  Chronicle of Higher Education


How College Faculty Can Beat the Cheat  Ed Surge

How One University Uses ‘Sneaky Learning’ to Help Students Develop Good Study Habits Chronicle of Higher Education  

A Teacher Was Fired For Refusing To Use A Transgender Student’s Preferred Pronoun  BuzzFeed News 

Another Study Debunks the idea of Learning Styles  eLearning Inisde 


The Student Press Law Center issues a Censorship Alert over an Arkansas Student Newspaper  Student Press Law Center

Media adviser in Alabama being ousted after students post story upsetting provost  Student Press Law Center


Millennials experience work-disrupting anxiety at twice the US average rate  Quartz  

Millennials Didn’t Kill the Economy. The Economy Killed Millennials  The Atlantic 


Writing and Teaching With a Terminal Illness  Chronicle of Higher Education 

The Expensive Superficiality of M.F.A Programs: They exist to train aspiring artists in how to sound sophisticated — not how to create art  Chronicle of Higher Education

American higher education has always had some profoundly serious flaws, so let’s stop pining for an idealized past and work on a better future  Chronicle of Higher Education

Are numbers of doctorates awarded finally starting to reflect the poor academic job market?   Inside Higher Ed

Study: after 75 years the most fulfilling lives had one thing in common

For over 75 years, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study has tracked the physical and emotional well-being of two populations: 456 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939 to 2014 (the Grant Study), and 268 male graduates from Harvard’s classes of 1939-1944 (the Glueck study).

Due to the length of the research period, this has required multiple generations of researchers. Since before WWII, they’ve diligently analyzed blood samples, conducted brain scans (once they became available), and pored over self-reported surveys, as well as actual interactions with these men, to compile the findings.

The conclusion? According to Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one thing surpasses all the rest in terms of importance: “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period. ”Not how much is in your 401(k). Not how many conferences you spoke at–or keynoted. Not how many blog posts you wrote or how many followers you had or how many tech companies you worked for or how much power you wielded there or how much you vested at each.

No, the biggest predictor of your happiness and fulfillment overall in life is, basically, love.

“It’s not just the number of friends you have, and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship,” says Waldinger. “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”

Melanie Curtin writing in Fast Company 

In search of the digital facelift

Unsurprisingly, a large body of research shows that viewing idealised or retouched images adds to the dissatisfaction that many people already feel towards their body. Research by Kristen Harrison, a media psychologist at the University of Michigan, shows that even disclosing that celebrity and advertising images are retouched makes many of us feel worse about ourselves. Becoming more aware of what others edit may heighten our awareness of our own supposed flaws. That may encourage us to spend longer using digital tools to repair them. And once you start it’s hard to stop. I felt better about posting my first FaceTuned photo than I would have if I hadn’t edited it. And since we’re more inclined to post images of ourselves that we like, says Harrison, “it’s self-sustaining because you want to do it again and again and again.” Beauty is attainable for all. Just don’t expect it to be more than a pixel deep. 

Amy Odell writing in 1843 magazine 

Articles of Interest - Dec. 3


Americans Still Prefer Watching to Reading the News – and Mostly Still Through Television  Pew Research 

The red couch experiments: Early lessons in pop-up fact-checking  Nieman Journalism Lab 

In Yemen, Lavish Meals for Few, Starvation for Many and a Dilemma for Reporters  New York Times  

Journalism and journalism students are experiencing a ‘Trump Bump’ (opinion)  Tampa Bay Times 

Canada’s Supreme Court Ruling likely to have a Chilling Effect on Journalism  Vice 

Pro tips from scholars for journalists (and vice versa)  Journalists Resources 

In defense of documentaries as journalism  Columbia Journalism Review  

Kentucky newspaper wins public records lawsuit, but what will actually be released is uncertain  Muck Rock 

More than two dozen journalists worldwide have been killed by members of organized crime since the start of 2017  New York Times 


How recasting the “online producer” job helped the Miami Herald focus on audience and mission  Better News  

Freelancer Rate Database  Contently 

Where the death of local news hits hardest  Axios

Why ‘news for millennials’ media plays never panned out  Digiday 


Misinformation bots, smarter than we thought  Axios 

The godfather of fake news  BBC News

An Anti-Vaxxer’s New Crusade  Propublica

Facebook Should Enlist Its Users to Clean Up Fake News (opinion)  Bloomberg


Instagram 'Close Friends': What It Is and How to Use It  Wired

Twitter has banned misgendering or "deadnaming" transgender people  the Verge 

“What Are Those?” Meme Creator Young Busco Has Died, According To Reports  BuzzFeed News 

The Infinite Lifespan of Memes  Wired

Tumblr Moves To Ban All 'Adult Content' — Here's Why That Matters  Digg 

Critics Say YouTube Hasn't Done Enough To Crack Down On Extremist Content  NPR

Inside TikTok, the premier app for firefighters who enjoy lip-syncing to ‘Baby Shark’  Washington Post


A guide to recording spatial audio for 360-degree video  NPR 


The Friendship That Made Google Huge Coding together at the same computer, Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat changed the course of the company—and the Internet  The New Yorker 

New report suggests Latin America will lag in internet growth  Axios


Rogue Scientist Says Another Crispr Pregnancy Is Underway  Wired

Google to shut down Hangouts in 2020  Axios

The CRISPR Baby Scandal Gets Worse by the Day The alleged creation of the world's first gene-edited infants was full of technical errors and ethical blunders  The Atlantic 

***BIG DATA & AI  

Amazon Says the same machine learning courses that it uses to teach its own engineers will be offered for free  Tech Crunch 

A Bayesian linear regression in R for time series forecasting  Towards Data Science

The Surprising Power of Small Data: More information isn’t necessarily better in health care or business  Stanford


Nexstar To Buy Tribune Media For $4.1 Billion, Creates Giant TV Station Group  Media Post

Sunset magazine, a California icon, struggles amid declining ad sales and management missteps LA Times


The rise of the professional “influencer”  Becoming (my blog)

How vividly imagining your own death can help your next career move  Fast Company


Ben Yagoda Crunches the Contractions  Chronicle of Higher Ed


‘That Walk Was a Bear!’ Is ‘Bear’ Slang in That Sentence?  Chronicle of Higher Education  

The World’s Most Efficient Languages  The Atlantic  


The 10 Best Books of 2018 The editors of The Times Book Review choose the best fiction and nonfiction titles this year  New York Times  

NPR’s Guide to 2018 Great Books  NPR 


Global report on gender violence says women most likely to be killed by intimate partners or family members  Axios 

Smart dress shows how often women are groped at clubs  Quartzy

Inside the All-Female Trek to the North Pole  Wired 

America’s sexist obsession with what women politicians wear, explained  Vox


Teaching while black: white professor calls security on black adjunct  The Commonwealth Times

Swastikas spray-painted on walls of Jewish professor at Columbia  Washington Post  

Analysis on the diversity of magazine covers from 2012-2018  Ceros


Everything You Wanted to Know About Emojis and the Law  Technology & Marketing Law Blog


The police departments who destroy rape kits before testing them  CNN's ground-breaking look at police force  Poynter 


Killing Of American Missionary Ignites Debate Over How To Evangelize  NPR 

Do missionaries help or harm?  BBC 

This Pastor Is Melting Purity Rings Into A Golden Vagina Sculpture  Huffington Post

Kenny Marks, CCM star of the '80s and '90s Dies  Cross Rythms 

Brawl forces Church to Briefly shutdown Christmas Display  KJRH  


Members of both parties find meaning in family but differ when it comes to faith  Pew Research


Twitter users help reunite friends who met on vacation 12 years ago  Teen Vogue 

97-year-old New Jersey woman has served on every Election Day since 1939  NBC News  

Vietnam War veteran meets stranger whose Christmas card lifted his spirits  CBS News

San Diego man donates $1 million to California school devastated by fire  NBC Los Angeles

A Texas cotton farmer is battling cancer and couldn't harvest his crop. So his neighbors did it for him  CNN

Hundreds pack funeral for Vietnam veteran they did not know after viral obituary post  MSNBC

He opened his motel to families hit by flooding: Now he's a full-service good Samaritan  CBS  

Anonymous 'Santa Claus' Surprises Customers by Paying Off All Layaway Items at Vermont Walmart  People 

Sinatra the blue-eyed Brooklyn husky's mysterious journey and miraculous reunion  ABC News


Couple Forced to Prove that New Mexico is a state while applying for a marriage license  Las Cruces Sun News

Grandfather banned from US holiday after accidentally ticking 'terrorist' box on visa form  The Independent

Accused maple syrup bandits fly through Canadian Town during police chase  Calgary Sun 

A homeless man found rare artwork from Disney's 'Bambi' in a trash bin. When it sold for $3,700, the seller tracked him down to split the proceeds  CNN

Women Sue After Breaking Into Theme Park And Hurting Themselves  WBTW 

The 40 Most Insane Things That Happened In Florida In 2018  BuzzFeed News 

Grandma mistakenly booked into all-male jail, staff thought she was transgender  WWLP 

American Airlines passenger left in wheelchair overnight at airport after flight was canceled   Fox-17


I spent 15 years sanding and grinding mussel shells to create my sculptures. Then I was diagnosed with heavy-metal poisoning  Toronto Life 

Google is Building Digital Art Gallaries you can Step Into  Tech Crunch


National Geographic's 100 best images of the year  National Geographic 

Reuters' best pictures from 2018  Reuters 


Neuroscience says listening to this song reduces anxiety by up to 65%  Fast Company

Can you teach AI to dance? 


Watch 99 Movies Free Online Courtesy of YouTube & MGM: Rocky, The Terminator, Four Weddings and a Funeral & More  Open Culture 

This is the most influential film of all time  MarketWatch 


A High School Newspaper Was Suspended For Publishing An Investigation Into Football Players’ Transfers  BuzzFeed News 

Liberty University students create independent news outlet  News Advance  


More millennials now live in suburbs than in cities  CNBC 

Graduate School Is Terrible for People's Mental Health  The Atlantic  

Millennials are killing countless industries — but the Fed says it's mostly just because they're poor  San Francisco Gate 

Teens Say Social Media Isn’t As Bad For Them As You Might Think  BuzzFeed News

Pot is edging out alcohol and cigarettes as the teenage drug of choice  Pacific Standard   

Is a smartphone a necessity for college students today?  Inside Higher Ed  


Student made social media threat to kill FAU professor, cops say  Sun-Sentinel 

Judge: UM deprived professor of due process in disciplinary case  Michigan Live 


Why US life expectancy is falling, in three charts  Quartz  

40 years ago, this journalist survived the Jonestown massacre: He warns it could happen again Washington Post

What the dip in US life expectancy is really about—inequality: While poor Americans are dying earlier, the rich are enjoying unprecedented longevity  Vox  

My mom’s suicide changed everything: Here’s how I found hope again  USA Today  

The American abortion rate is at an all-time low  Vox

More than one-in-ten U.S. parents are also caring for an adult  Pew Research


What we know about illegal immigration from Mexico  Pew Research 

Families Are Still Being Separated at the Border, Months After “Zero Tolerance” Was Reversed  Propublica 

BuzzFeed gave six kids traveling in the migrant caravan cameras to document what life looks like for them  BuzzFeed News


Pension Plans For Millions Of Americans Are On The Brink Of Collapse  NPR

Competition Is Dying, and Taking Capitalism With It (opinion)  Bloomberg 

Americans Value Equality at Work More Than Equality at Home  New York Times 


The new  arctic frontier: As the ice melts, U.S. prepares for possible threats from Russia and China  Washington Post 

Climate change strike: thousands of school students protest across Australia  The Guardian 

The World's Largest Ocean Cleanup Has Officially Begun  Forbes 

Only vehicles producing zero emissions will be allowed to drive freely in downtown Madrid  The Guardian

In California’s Fertile Valley, Industry and Agriculture Hang Heavy in the Air  Undark 


Interactive map shows how many years breathing dirty air takes off your life  Air Quality Life Index  

The science is clear: dirty farm water is making us sick  Wired

What’s in 5-hour energy shots? 17 ingredients: 16 of them are basically useless  Mel Magazine

FDA’s ‘flawed’ device pathway persists with industry backing  Associated Press  

Investigation: Lives Lost Amid ER Violations  Web-MD 

Intermittent fasting is no better than conventional dieting for weight loss, new study finds  The Conversation


Why We Sleep, and Why We Often Can’t  New Yorker

Why screen time can disrupt sleep  Salk 

Why Hospitals Should Let You Sleep  New York Times 


Docs Say Kids With Concussions Don't Have To Stay In The Dark For Days  NPR

Number Of U.S. Kids Who Don't Have Health Insurance Is On The Rise  NPR


Want to Escape Modern Life? Try a Weekend in a Prison Cell  The Atlantic

Mic’s best places to travel interactive  Mic 

The Best Things to Do in 25 of America’s Most Fun Cities  Thrillist   


The Hidden Struggle to Save the Coffee Industry From Disaster  Medium 

The Best Craft Brewery in Every State  Thrillist    

Sainsbury's to stock edible insects on shelves in a UK first  The Guardian 

52 of the World’s Most Out-There Myths About Food  Atlas Obscura 


These Are the Most Popular Baby Names of 2018  Fatherly 

ADHD Diagnosis Is More Common For Youngest Students In Class  NPR 

The "homework gap": 12 million schoolchildren lack internet  Axios

New Harvard Study Shows the Dangers of Early School Enrollment  Foundation for Economic Education 

The best new perks for working parents  Quartz 


New inequality trend: how parents approach screen time  Axios 

Should You Make Your Kids Wait Until High School for a Cell Phone?  Life Hacker  


The Insect Apocalypse Is Here  New York Times


New Quantum Paradox Clarifies Where Our Views of Reality Go Wrong  Quanta Magazine

Archaeologists Are Looking for Dead Sea Scrolls Inside 2 Newfound Qumran Caves  Live Science  


Lack of sleep intensifies anger, impairs adaptation to frustrating circumstances  Iowa State University  

Using imagination to unlearn fear  The Naked Scientist 


This Is Your Brain on Hate Researchers are studying how white supremacism may rewire people  Vice

The Pathology of Prejudice What neuroscience tells us about the persistence of hatred  New Republic 

Experimental Brain Stimulation Relieved Depression Symptoms In Study  NPR 


An exhaustive, interactive mapping of the history of philosophy  Deniz C Önduygu blog 

6 essential books on existentialist philosophy  Big Think 


My Mother Taught Me to Kill  Narratively 

Harvard Medical School Dean Weighs In On Ethics Of Gene Editing  NPR

The Ethical Pitfalls of the Viral “Best Burger in America” Essay  The New Yorker


Controversial visiting researcher — heavily criticized as having racist work — sparks pushback Daily Northwestern

New COPE guidelines on publication process manipulation: why they matter  Research Integrity and Peer Review   

Canadian scholar says he's been 'persecuted' for his research on colleagues who published in predatory journals  Inside Higher Ed 

The double standard of retractions  The Varsity 

A look at retractions from Science from 1983 until 2017  Springer

Where are the ethics in academic publishing?  Times Higher Education 

A suite of automated tools is now available to assist with academic peer review—but humans are still in the driver's seat  Nature 


What the Rise of the Mega-University Might Mean for the Rest of Us  Chronicle of Higher Ed

This "coding bootcamp" is now accredited as a bachelor's program  Axios

Why Your HR Officer Is Leaving  Chronicle of Higher Ed

UW-Stevens Point Faculty Want Regents To Oust Administrators  Wisconsin Public Radio

Why One University Is Handing Out Hockey Pucks to Prepare for an Active Shooter  Chronicle of Higher Ed  


Why Are Students Ditching the History Major?  Chronicle of Higher Ed

In a High-Tech World, Humanities and Other Liberal Arts Are More Essential Than Ever  The Daily Beast


Students Evaluating Teachers Doesn’t Just Hurt Teachers. It Hurts Students  Chronicle of Higher Ed  

What Is the Purpose of Final Exams, Anyway?  Chronicle of Higher Ed

Seniors Think What They’ve Learned Will Help Them Do Their Jobs. Do Employers Agree?   Chronicle of Higher Ed 

“Transformative” teaching is exhausting. Here are some suggestions on how to lighten the load Chronicle of Higher Ed 

The Influencers

The internet now means influence can come from anyone, anywhere; it can be visible or invisible, paid for by any power, approaching you any of myriad ways. Influence used to be understood as a top-down phenomenon, with governments, advertisers, donors or other powerful figures holding sway over the masses. These days we understand that the most powerful influences aren’t the distant ones but the most immediate and social — so the powerful tend to exert their influence by pretending to be ordinary people.

Marketers, for instance, work harder and harder to obscure the distinction between ads and real life. The last decade featured the rise of the professional “influencer” — someone paid to use their personal magnetism to promote specific agendas online. Instead of the top-down influence of a commercial or a billboard, these ads are embedded, shared by someone who seems, on some aspirational level, like a peer. The companies paying teenagers to hawk diet tea on Instagram are using the same tactics the Chinese government did when it recruited commenters to post hundreds of millions of pro-Communist Party messages online.

We like to think of our characters as fixed: We have our beliefs and our morals, religions and parties, states and countries, friends and enemies. We are inevitably ourselves — inescapably ourselves. We should be able to resist this kind of manipulation. But a steady stream of social-science studies suggests otherwise, demonstrating again and again how easily social pressures can affect the things we say, believe, do, think, eat. Our anxiety over influence goes back to the same fear Thomas Aquinas had, the same doubt families of alcoholics or cult members have. In the face of powerful influences, how can you locate and hold onto that original, irrefutable spark of self, your free will, your character, even your soul? That’s the fear that the idea of influence lays bare: that you can’t. Or that it might never have existed in the first place.

Annalisa Quinn writing in the New York Times

Self-Control can be Contagious

Not only do you tend to hang out with people like yourself, your friends will influence you toward or away from self-control. Even the people you are forced by circumstances to hang out with (like co-workers) have an influence on your behavior. 

That's the finding of researchers who asked participants to watch people either select carrot sticks or cookies to eat before taking tests related to self-control (not involving cookies and carrots). Participants who watched someone eat cookies before the tests did not do as well as those who had watched someone decide to eat carrots. 

In another test, participants were told to think of a friend with good self-control. This group performed better on a handgrip test (used to measure self-control) than did the participants assigned to think about a friend with weak self-control. Other tests showed similar results.  

The conclusion: If you surround yourself with people who make wise choices, you are more likely to do the same. You can boost your self-control simply by networking with other people who reinforce positive behavior (or vise versa). And when you show a lack of self-control, you are probably influencing someone else to do the same. 

Details of the study were published by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 

(more info)

Stephen Goforth