Image from referenced NYT article

From the NYT article “Privacy Concerns for ClassDojo and Other Tracking Apps for Schoolchildren:”

One morning in mid-October, Mr. Fletcher walked to the front of the classroom where an interactive white board displayed ClassDojo, a behavior-tracking app that lets teachers award points or subtract them based on a student’s conduct. On the board was a virtual classroom showing each student’s name, a cartoon avatar and the student’s scores so far that week.

“I’m going to have to take a point for no math homework,” Mr. Fletcher said to a blond boy in a striped shirt and then clicked on the boy’s avatar, a googly-eyed green monster, and subtracted a point.

The program emitted a disappointed pong sound, audible to the whole class — and sent a notice to the child’s parents if they had signed up for an account on the service.

Inheriting Trauma

Image from referenced article.

The New Republic has an article titled “The Science of Suffering Kids are inheriting their parents’ trauma. Can science stop it?:”

But researchers are increasingly painting a picture of a psychopathology so fundamental, so, well, biological, that efforts to talk it away can seem like trying to shoot guns into a continent, in Joseph Conrad’s unforgettable image from Heart of Darkness. By far the most remarkable recent finding about this transmogrification of the body is that some proportion of it can be reproduced in the next generation. The children of survivors—a surprising number of them, anyway—may be born less able to metabolize stress. They may be born more susceptible to PTSD, a vulnerability expressed in their molecules, neurons, cells, and genes.


Image from referenced article.

The Scientist has an article titled “A Face to Remember: Once dominated by correlational studies, face-perception research is moving into the realm of experimentation—and gaining tremendous insight:”

Neuroscientists are now capitalizing on this specificity to unpack the fundamental computational processes that go into identifying a face, a feat most of us perform without thought or effort. The face patches—and even individual neurons in them—appear to do different jobs, such as analyzing the features of the face, responding to how the head is tilted, and, ultimately, determining someone’s identity.

‘Speed Limits’

Maybe the right track/wrong track polls highlighting a deteriorating mood and growing anxiety is a result of the increased speed of our lives driven by hyperactive media platforms, all exploited by the appearance of a broken political system. Ultimately, how do we get to the truth of matters when the ways we seek and receive information are rooted in fear and anxiety, leaving little space for the slower ways of reflection and inquiry.

Political parties and corporations can capitalize on speed keeping us overwhelmed and confused. Only simple narratives of us vs them, good vs evil, right and wrong can exist in the realm of speed. Deeper thought and complexity suffer when we do not take the time to know. Apparently depth does not garner ratings or votes.There is also money to be made and power to be gained through our collective anxiety. Continue reading