Mixed Signals: Fear as opportunity

I've just finished reading Mindf*ck, Christopher Wylie's story from inside Cambridge Analytica.

No. 26 – 15th of October, 2021

I've just finished reading Mindf*ck, Christopher Wylie's story from inside Cambridge Analytica.

I had a rough understanding of what happened, but as the revelations about Facebook just keep coming, I wanted to improve my knowledge.

The questions the book raises are powerful.

Without Facebook, would there have been Brexit? Or Trump?

What really jumped out at me linked to my experience of how our brains work. Working with kids who have experienced trauma, time and effort is invested to help them avoid dysregulation, and to help them regulate when it occurs.

Cambridge Analytica saw dysregulation as an opportunity.

Put people into a state of fear, and they'll worry less about the truth. Trigger people, then tell them what to do. Wind them up, and watch them go.

On with the links...

01. Out of school.

We still think of school as the only way to learn. It really isn't, and for many kids it likely isn't even close to being the best way to learn. More people are realising they can do the opposite of school.

+ Don't Exclude Me, the two-part documentary from the BBC, is an interesting insight to what's happening in primary schools right now.

02. A load of cognitive.

I keep seeing discussions around Cognitive Load Theory, and why it's either a fantastic teaching tool, or a worrying direction to be headed. So I went back to basics, to understand this fight for our focus during a the constant changes and distractions of a pandemic.

+ Education and psychology author, Guy Claxton, has some interesting thoughts on why CLT has no place in schools, and this response to his post argues against his thinking.

+ So who to believe? Naomi Fisher calmly explains what all this cognitive science misses about our kids:

They are novices in every way, and yet their observations and experiments are frequently more creative and insightful than the adults around them.
On the other hand, their ability to remain seated and listening to an expert is seriously lacking when compared to most adults, and so it seems perverse to insist on a method of learning which plays to children’s weaknesses rather than their strengths.

03. Reading to learn.

On a related note, I've just ordered Naomi's book, Changing Our Minds, after hearing Nick Asbury (see my first link) say this about it:

Being a writer, I’m supposed to believe in the power of books to change your life. But I’ve never had a good answer to the question of which book has changed mine. Now I do.

+ I also had the pleasure of joining Adele Bates' launch of her new book, Miss, I Don't Give a Sh*t.

+ Are we ready for remote-first work?

+ Building schools that won't scale.