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TEDxEunji: Fact/Fiction

I really liked this TED talk, I had never watched it but the title of it stood out for me as I was browsing through the videos. The title of this talk is Markham Nolan: How to separate fact and fiction online. This title stood out because this practice was the first thing we were assigned to do as part of this course. We had to look for articles related to our topics. These articles had to follow the CRAAP (still can’t get over that name) guidelines: current, relevant, authority, accuracy, and purpose. As I searched for interesting yet CRAAP approved articles, I encountered articles that weren’t very reliable.

Markham Nolan is a journalist in the Ireland. At the begginning of his TED talk, Nolan points out how the relationship with the media has changed. Before the audience would react to news. Now, journalist react to the audience.  This same audience  helps them find the news. The internet has allowed this relationship to change. The audience can now help journalists figure out how to react to news and what is the best angle to take. We, make these news outlets now what it is we want to hear. This practice has evolved because it is through the internet that this happens quick, in real time.

Nolan tells us that today, even though there is a greater flow of information, there are free internet tools that help us verify the legitimacy of our sources allowing us to filter the truth from the lies.

I would like to end this post quoting Nolan’s closing statement of his TED talk.

“But here’s the thing. Algorithms are rules. They’re binary. They’re yes or no, they’re black or white.Truth is never binary. Truth is a value. Truth is emotional, it’s fluid, and above all, it’s human. No matter how quick we get with computers, no matter how much information we have, you’ll never be able to remove the human from the truth-seeking exercise, because in the end, it is a uniquely human trait.”

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TEDxEunji ;)

Today we talked about the impacts the internet has had in our lives that be it socially, culturally or economically. This panel reminded me of one of the TED talks I watched as part of my FSEM last semester.

This TED talk is called “Txtng is killing language. JK!!” by John McWhorter. McWhorter is a professor at Columbia University and has contributed to extensive works in the fields of linguistics and politics and how these are affected by race.
I highly recommend you watch his talk which I have provided a link to above. It is not very long. Also, the funny and relaxed atmosphere he creates while communicating his ideas at his TED talk, is the one I hope to be able to attend in the future (yes, it is one of my lifelong goals to a attend a TED talk, ANY talk).

In class today, we were talking about the wink ;) involved in texting. When people use the wink face when texting it has other connotations than simply an innocent wink. This got me thinking about the lack of tone and other aspects of face to face conversation that texting lacks. People use emojis (like the wink), the word “lol”, or a period at the end of a very brutal statement to give written speech, face-to-face conversational characteristics. In this TED talk, McWhorter describes texting as fingered speech. He further discusses what we were talking about in class today and the whole wink emoji. The internet is helping us change our forms of interaction and by doing so are also shaping these forms. McWhorter further supports the evolution of texting by saying that ” Increasing evidence is that being bilingual is cognitively beneficial. That’s also true of being bidialectal. That’s certainly true of being bidialectal in terms of your writing. And so texting actually is evidence of a balancing act that young people are using today, not consciously, of course, but it’s an expansion of their linguistic repertoire.”

We are shaping the ways we communicate with people. We try to incorporate a tone in our texting in order to imitate it the way we would say that same thing in person. We are shaping the internet and technology phenomena no more than it is shaping us and our lives!!

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TEDxEunji Blog Series

I’ve been meaning to begin a blog series merging my Computer Science course and TED talks. I can’t describe my love for TED talks, they have not only taught me about contemporary ideas in many fields but also brought tears to my eyes, many times…
I have enjoyed TED talks for many years now so when last semester, I took a class called FSEM: TED.com I was beyond excited. It was the only class I would look forward to  because it was engaging and I felt I learned more from discussing TED talks with my classmates than reading my biology or polisci textbook.

So, from here until the end of the semester I will try to blog biweekly about TED talks I find reflecting the topics we have discussed in our computer science class.

Please look out for my posts about my TED and TIC104 reflections I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them.

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