Posts

Dealing with distraction

In an age of constant information and infinite distractions what can we do to pay more attention and engage, online and in real life?

TEDx video talk in the library – Thursday 15 November, 2 to 4 pm

Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci says ‘We’re building a building a dystopia just to make people click on ads’. Jaron Lanier has a solution to this in his talk ‘How we need to remake the internet’. ‘What exactly is attention and how do we reclaim it?’ asks neuroscientist Amishi Jha in ‘How to tame your wandering mind’ and maybe there’s a simple antidote to all of this as Kio Stark explores in ‘Why you should talk to strangers’.

Where and when

More information, booking your free ticket

  • Eventbrite site
  • Do it the easy way — just tell Rick you want to be there.

The 15 November TEDx videos

We’re building a building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

We’re building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren’t even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us — and what we can do in response.


How we need to remake the Internet

In the early days of digital culture, Jaron Lanier helped craft a vision for the internet as public commons where humanity could share its knowledge — but even then, this vision was haunted by the dark side of how it could turn out: with personal devices that control our lives, monitor our data and feed us stimuli. (Sound familiar?) In this visionary talk, Lanier reflects on a “globally tragic, astoundingly ridiculous mistake” companies like Google and Facebook made at the foundation of digital culture — and how we can undo it. “We cannot have a society in which, if two people wish to communicate, the only way that can happen is if it’s financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them,” he says.


How to tame your wandering mind

Amishi Jha studies how we pay attention: the process by which our brain decides what’s important out of the constant stream of information it receives. Both external distractions (like stress) and internal ones (like mind-wandering) diminish our attention’s power, Jha says — but some simple techniques can boost it. “Pay attention to your attention,” Jha says.


Why you should talk to strangers

“When you talk to strangers, you’re making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life — and theirs,” says Kio Stark. In this delightful talk, Stark explores the overlooked benefits of pushing past our default discomfort when it comes to strangers and embracing those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.

What we did – June to October 2018

We have been busy!

We have had 30 to 40 people, sometimes more, every Wednesday morning. So posting on this blog has not been top priority. And we don’t do as much photography as we used to, mainly because of the extra admin load dealing with the consent forms, and general GDPR-related uncertainty.

But we have remembered to acknowledge all the volunteers from Benefacto — the list is on the Benefacto volunteers page.

Hackney and TFL want to change Stoke Newington High Street

Hackney and TFL want to change Stoke Newington High Street, to make it both ways working including two cycle lanes. It would also make Rectory Road and Manse Road both way working including the 67 Bus route down these roads.

This will effect ALL the bus routes and car, lorry etc transport to and from Dalston, KIngsland Road etc.

There is a meeting today at the Methodist Church at 3pm on Stoke Newington High Street to discuss the plan with residents, but it does not seem to have been well published.

As the High Street is part of the A10 in and out of the City of London.

There is also three road closures and changes to the direction of traffic flows in the local streets which might create rat-runs.

Please attend, even if it is only to get information on the proposed changes!