How An Enormous Project Attempted To Map The Sky Without Computers

from ars technica Recently, the European Space Agency released the third installment of data from the Gaia satellite, a public catalog that provides the positions and velocities of over a billion stars. This is our most recent attempt to answer some of the most long-standing questions in astronomy: How are stars (and nebulae) spread out across the sky? How many of them are there, how far away are they, and how bright are they? Do they change in position or brightness? Are there new classes of objects that are unknown to science? For centuries, astronomers have tried to answer these […]

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Change: The Inevitable Choice Forward

from Educause If you ask people how they feel about change, many will say that change can be difficult, especially when it is rapid and unexpected. If change is difficult for many, then why do it? Why change? We change inevitably as we age, and we change intentionally when we alter the conditions of our mental and physical environments. Positive change is a balance of tradition and innovation; society has shown it can adapt to new trends while standing on the shoulders of tradition. For instance, successful efforts to develop and distribute effective COVID-19 vaccines rested on decades of accumulated […]

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‘We Still Have A Lot To Prove’: VC-Backed Union Startup Responds To Skepticism Around Its Model

from Fast Company Jamie Earl White grew up in a rural Texas town near Uvalde where there was a clear resources divide between “the ranching class and the non-ranching class.” As an MIT student, he took careful notes during Occupy Boston and helped lead the “Justice for Janitors” campaign—a lesson in how, even with the support of the powerful Service Employees International Union, it could still take workers a year and half to win better contract terms. So, once White found success in tech a few years later, his mind returned to the problem of workers being under-resourced. He chatted […]

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When They Don’t Know What They’re Talking About…

from Seth’s Blog People tend to do one of two things: not talk talk Both are a problem. If we’re facing an important issue at work, at school or in our community, our instinct is to let others who are better informed speak up. Which prevents people from voting on a school budget or even volunteering to speak in class. We need their input and their solutions, but without insight and understanding, folks understandably hold back. More here.

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Happy Pi Day!!!

Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant pi. Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant figures of ?. It was founded in 1988 by Larry Shaw, an employee of the Exploratorium. Celebrations often involve eating pie or holding pi recitation competitions. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. Visit here if you are interested in different ways to use Pi.  

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‘Disruption’ Is a Two-Way Street

from Wired BIG TECH AS we know it was built on the ethos of subverting sanctity. Ideas, institutions, service delivery, how I make my chai—nothing could be beyond the reach of technological disruption. In this vision, the tech company was the lean, scrappy, innovative underdog taking on the powerful, entrenched status quo, freeing the consumer from the shackles of history. But tech can no longer claim to be the underdog (if it ever could). So-called tech disruptors today have unchallenged access, funding, and regulatory support (or at least acquiescence). As the current hype of technological disruption reaches the markets of […]

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Network As Net Worth: Increasing Access To Social Capital For Young People

from Forbes Research shows that anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking. And others are filled before they are even posted. When we talk to young people about career aspirations, we often center that conversation on the academic and professional preparation that entails – the degrees they need, the certifications that are essential. But ultimately so much of our careers are shaped – and driven by –our social connections. It feels difficult in this moment to center connections as an essential component of career success when so many young people feel disconnected – from their […]

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Larry Fink’s Capitalist Shell Game

from Project Syndicate BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink’s latest annual letter has taken the business world by storm. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, and Fink, addressing the CEOs of the companies whose assets his firm manages on behalf of investors, took the opportunity to advocate a more ecologically sustainable, socially conscious, forward-looking form of capitalism rooted in stakeholder rather than shareholder value. Fink’s exhortation seems like a welcome break from orthodox dogma. But if his vision is supposed to be “woke,” it is not nearly woke enough. We’ve heard all this before, including in Fink’s own 2018 […]

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The Great Resignation and The Great Deflate

from Serendipity35 2021 was the year of the “Great Resignation.” We have been told that it was a year when workers quit their jobs at historic rates. This is an economic trend meaning that employees voluntarily resign from their jobs. Blame has been aimed at the American government for failing to provide necessary worker protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to wage stagnation. There was also a rising cost of living. The term was coined in May 2021 by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at Texas A&M University. It’s now 2022 and unemployment rates have fallen […]

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Why Can’t We Make Women’s Equality the Law of the Land?

from NYTs Even if you are a political junkie, there’s a good chance you didn’t realize that the United States Constitution grew 58 words longer this week. Those words, which begin, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” are the text of the Equal Rights Amendment. Section 3 of the amendment states that it takes effect two years after its ratification, which happened on Jan. 27, 2020, when Virginia became the 38th state to sign on. By its own terms, then, the 28th […]

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The Metaverse Is Coming, and the World Is Not Ready for It

from NYTs The metaverse is coming. It was once a science-fiction fantasy, most notably in Neal Stephenson’s novel “Snow Crash,” of an all-encompassing virtual universe that would exist alongside the physical one. But technological advances have brought this transformation of human society close enough to reality to demand that we consider its consequences. In the metaverse, a user might curate a digital avatar, like a character in a video game. Through the eyes of their avatar, they would experience a digital reality as active and engaging as the physical one. Some futurists believe that soon we might attend doctor’s appointments […]

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Do You Feel Rich?

from Seth’s Blog It’s not the same as being rich. Rich is always relative. Compared to your great-grandparents, we’re impossibly, supernaturally rich. We have access to information and technology that was unimagined a century ago. At the same time, compared to someone ten miles away or ten years in the future, we’re way behind. Two people with precisely the same resources and options might answer the question of ‘rich’ completely differently. Because money is a story. More here.

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Educating in the Metaverse

from SERENDIPTHY35 There is not much mention of education in all the discussions this year about the metaverse, but it is thought that it will better allow students to have a cyber-physical learning experience. The virtual world will merge with the real one more and more seamlessly. For the past 20 months, there has been a global educational experiment in online learning. But don’t think that what has happened in education because of the COVID-19 pandemic is an accurate account or prediction of what teaching and learning are at their best, or what they will become in a metaverse. The […]

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Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should […]

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With China, a ‘Cold War’ Analogy Is Lazy and Dangerous

from NYTs A new idea is gaining currency among some politicians and policymakers in Washington: The United States is in a cold war with China. It’s a bad idea — bad on history, bad on politics, bad for our future. The Biden administration has wisely pushed back on the framing. But the president’s actions suggest that his strategy for dealing with China may indeed suffer from Cold War thinking, which locks our minds into the traditional two-dimensional chess model. Competition with China, though, is a three-dimensional game. And if we continue to play two-dimensional chess, we will lose. While neither […]

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‘The Great Resignation’ Misses the Point

from Wired IN EARLY MAY, Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, did an interview with Bloomberg about a possible spike in job turnover. “The Great Resignation is coming,” he warned. A few weeks later, the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed a record 4 million Americans had left their jobs in April. Suddenly, people were reaching for ways to refer to the phenomenon unfolding before them—to brand it, to make sense of it. Klotz’s catchy off-the-cuff terminology, now printed on Bloomberg’s pages, seemed to fit the bill. And just like that, a name was born. We […]

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A Brief History of Online Influence Operations

from Lawfare The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files series resumed last week, revealing that the platform took action against an online campaign to set up a new right-wing “Patriot Party” after the Jan. 6 insurrection. Earlier this month news outlets reported that a number of former employees excoriated the company’s content moderation practices in their departure emails. And on Oct. 25, a dozen news outlets released new stories based on yet more leaked Facebook documents. In congressional hearings on the initial Facebook leak, Sen. Richard Blumenthal succinctly captured the tone of the public sentiment, saying that “Facebook and Big Tech […]

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The Qualities Of An Indispensable Leader

from Forbes What is the secret sauce that makes some leaders stand out from the rest? These are the leaders who rise through the ranks, great at managing their teams while also keeping the company’s vision in mind, the type of people identified for advancement into senior leadership. According to Janet Altman, Marketing Principal at Kaufman Rossin and indispensable leader herself, the number one factor she looks for in promising leaders is their ability to handle a strategic scope. “The most important thing for me, when I think of my go-to people, is the ability to look at the big […]

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