A collection of things I have read this week, and some tools for tech and/or learning new stuff, especially languages. Your first comment is checked, after that you are free to comment.

Learning: Laura Ritchie writes about making web pages and online courses. Matching the message to the audience is the key. Or maybe finding an audience for your message. Reminds me of the definition of a politician, one who gets in front of a line and makes noise. But this is different.

Language: Research papers often have impenetrable jargon-laden language with obtuse grammatical structures. Read about the movement to write in simpler language. I really like MIT Media Lab because they already make at least a version of much of their research in language comprehensible to the layman. A good example is one I am using next semester in my class, to teach about reading research papers. The ideas are all there, but the language is easier to understand. This one is about children learning from robots.

Tech: Inspiration for when I retire in a few years. An 83-year-old becomes a game developer. Gets well enough known that Tim Cook from Apple met her. Right here in Japan, too. (CNN)

Politics: Sad, sad story from Myanmar and China. Kachin (NE Myanmar) women sold into sexual slavery to Chinese men because there is a shortage of women in China because of the one-child policy years ago. Once the Kachin women have a kid, they can return home, but without the kid. (Guardian)

Research: I just finished an article where I had an embarrassingly rich amount of data, and a great way to analyze it, but could not find any significant relations among groups. Maybe that was not so bad. Researchers are taking a look at what really is statistical significance. (Vox)


Materials for becoming a responsible digital citizen ($40).

Watch a series of videos about how conservatives (and extremists) think in the US. Good balanced approach (BoingBoing). Much like the one from Jennifer Lawrence (YouTube).

A really good list of things to do to increase your privacy online. Get Firefox, install some extensions, use StartPage as your search engine, use DNS Start form the first one and work your way up. But don’t wait.