The Digital Gap Between Rich and Poor Kids Is Not What We Expected

(The New York Times)

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The parents in Overland Park, Kan., were fed up. They wanted their children off screens, but they needed strength in numbers. First, because no one wants their kid to be the lone weird one without a phone. And second, because taking the phone away from a middle schooler is actually very, very tough.

“We start the meetings by saying, ‘This is hard, we’re in a new frontier, but who is going to help us?’” said Krista Boan, who is leading a Kansas City-based program called START, which stands for Stand Together And Rethink Technology. “We can’t call our moms about this one.”

I first noticed this gap almost a decade ago visiting college campuses. When I would sit in on classes​ at small private colleges​s students with ​laptops were a rare sight. At community colleges,​ they were slightly​ more common. At state universities, with amphitheater​ sized classrooms,​ they were all too common. Equally all too common was how many were all tuned to social media.​

Universal Broadband Won’t Save Us

(The Nation)

All of this isn’t to say that we don’t need universal broadband access; we unequivocally do. The problem isn’t that centrist technocrats seek to broaden Internet access; it’s how they seek to broaden it. As others have argued, leaders should embrace the conceit of Internet access for all, but instead of funneling millions of additional dollars to telecom giants, dedicate broadband policy to serving the public, like any other public utility. At the local level, this prospect has already proven feasible and popular—perhaps a glimpse into how a piecemeal, inchoate series of projects might mature into a robust nationwide public infrastructure.

Connect Local?  Think Local, Connect Global? Local/Global to Table?  Free Range Access? It needs a chatchphrase and the catchphrase needs a movment. A national policy with lots of little local hubs.  Done right this makes the American portion of the global Internet  more secure on multipule levels.

 

 

More people are taking Facebook breaks and deleting the app from their phones

(The Verge)

According to new data from Pew Research Center that sampled US Facebook users aged 18 and up, 4 in 10 (42 percent) of those surveyed have taken a break from the social network for “several weeks or more” in the last year; a quarter of respondents said they’ve deleted the mobile app entirely from their smartphones.

I was always stunned​ adults put that app on their phone. I have serious regrets about ever advocating​ the use of Facebook.

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Rewilding the American Child​​

(Outside)

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Children are much more likely to enjoy outdoor activities—and stick with them—if they start out at the right moment in their physical and cognitive development.

This months Outside contains more than a dozen articles about”Rewilding the American Child” but that is not what this site is about. It’s about cataloging and sharing good resources. It’s definitely not about click​ bate. I have not read through all of these articles yet. As I do I will be adding links below. My addition of a link only means I have read it and it has something​ to offer to my larger project. ALL of the articles are available​ here.

French kids are heading back to school today without their most beloved possessions

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(Quartz)

On July 30, 2018, the French government passed a law banning the use of phones in primary and middle schools, to come into effect in the beginning of the 2018 school year. The law allows exceptions for disabled children, in cases of emergency, or “within the framework of explicit and specific pedagogical use, supervised by the teachers.” The law also states that high schools can ban cell phones if they choose to, but the decision will be left up to individual establishments (link in French).

The purpose of the law, according to the Ministry of Education, is threefold (link in French). It is meant to help kids’ ”attention, concentration and reflection” in class; encourage kids to actually play with each other, make friends, and exercise during recreation times; and to combat racketeering, theft, online bullying, and harassment in schools, as well as limit young children’s exposure “to shocking, violent, or pornographic images.”

They’ll be fine.

Finding silence online is difficult, but the pursuit is worthwhile

(The Verge)

What silence looks like online is hard to describe, because it’s necessarily individual: I have a different threshold than you, for example, for dealing with Twitter trolls or rogue Instagram commenters. But I do think there are a few rules. First, quiet is found in considered spaces — think @everycolorbot or #cloudtwitter. Second, if silence is found through listening, then peaceful places online are more generative (like Glitch or Codecademy, or one of my favorites, Twine) and, generally, focused on maintaining small, healthy communities (like Metafilter). Silence pools like the tides. It’s hard to find at high tide, and immediately obvious where the pools are when the tide are out.

True silence​ online​ can only be found at Zombocom

The Obliteration of Night: On the Consequences of Electric Light

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(Undark.org)

I expressed the first serious concern about the potential health consequences of electric light at night 30 years ago, when I asked whether over-lighting might increase the risk of breast cancer. It was during the 1980s, just as researchers were finding that a fatty Western diet might not much alter the breast-cancer risk in individuals, that a friend from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle pointed me to research on the impact of melatonin. Lowered levels of melatonin (an effect of over-lighting) had been traced to heightened levels of oestrogen (at least in rodents), a clear breast-cancer risk factor when fatty diets were not. Later evidence has shown that women who work the night shift are at higher breast-cancer risk. Evidence suggests that circadian disruption from over-lighting the night could be related to risk of obesity and depression as well. In fact, it might be that virtually all aspects of health and wellbeing are dependent to one extent or another on a synchronized circadian rhythmicity, with a natural cycle of bright days and dark nights.

This makes me very​ happy about preference​ for a firelight level of light at night.

Putting a finer point on the risk is ‘The New World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness’, published in 2016. The atlas uses data from NASA’s Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite to estimate skyglow across the globe. The images in the atlas are either dazzling or horrifying, depending on how you look at it. In its colored maps of cities and countries, using brighter colors to show greater skyglow, Europe and North America appear ablaze. According to the atlas, the Milky Way cannot be seen at night by one-third of humans. In Europe, it’s not visible to 60 percent of people, and in North America, it’s a whopping 80 percent.

That would be me.