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[lost in the bubble]

Visual Literacy and the Information Bubble

Posted 04/27/2013 by Stacey Cornelius

Literacy in the age of information
It’s not a connection one would normally make: listening to a thoughtful discussion about the need for teens to learn porn literacy reminded me of British chef Jamie Oliver’s 2010 TED prize talk.

That may sound odd, even a little disturbing, but bear with me.

At 11:15 in his talk, Oliver shows a group of children an assortment of vegetables. The kids can’t identify them. Not even a potato. This, Oliver explains, is normal. Many children have no idea what real food looks like.

Then consider that some studies have shown up to 90% of adolescents have seen pornography online. Other studies put that number at 50%.

Without the tools to help them deconstruct the images they see, teens get a serious dose of unreality. The unspoken message? This is normal.

This is where we are, in what we call the Information Age.
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Service on Your Own Terms

Posted 12/19/2012 by Stacey Cornelius

Yesterday social networking sites erupted with both outrage and a chorus of I-told-you-so’s over Instagram’s new terms of service.

The anger wasn’t just because the language was the usual opaque legalese, which led to the initial interpretation that users’ photographs could be sold without compensation (which, apparently, is not true). It was more a case of Facebook Strikes Again.

That’s a sequel no one wants to see.

In response to the uproar, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom clarified their position—that is, clarified that they would clarify their position—in a blog post.

“Legal documents are easy to misinterpret…”
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Artwork by Stacey Cornelius

The Measure of a Life

Posted 12/13/2012 by Stacey Cornelius

The voicemail light is flashing. I play the message. “Happy birthday. You’re nearly half a century!”

I glare at the phone.

Yes? And? Is this supposed to be important?

There’s a yardstick in my head. I’ve had it for nearly (cough) half a century, and over time, mostly the past few years, I’ve been whittling it down to shavings.

According to that yardstick I should have a PhD. A career. Offspring.

The lack of any of those could be considered failures. Even admitting my age, as a woman with lines around her eyes and greying hair, living in a youth-obsessed, augmented, implanted culture, could be perceived as failure.

It all depends on how you measure it.
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