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OpenLearn Live: 19th November 2015

Updated Thursday 19th November 2015

The Monday which understands the internet, and the coral that glows. Then more free learning through the day.

OpenLearn Live is the place where free learning meets up with the things that matter to you. This page will be updated during the day, and you can also follow us on Twitter.

Yesterday, we saw Richard Hammond making the weather, looked at colours you can't see, and asked why the attacks in Beirut and Paris got such different reactions

See the complete collection of OpenLearn Live

OpenLearn Live is the place where free learning meets up with the things that matter to you. This page will be updated during the day, and you can also follow us on Twitter.

Yesterday, we saw Richard Hammond making the weather, looked at colours you can't see, and asked why the attacks in Beirut and Paris got such different reactions

See the complete collection of OpenLearn Live


Today's posts


Telegram jam

A quick update to a piece we published on Tuesday, about ISIS' use of social media. Telegram has blocked 78 channels of ISIS progaganda, says Wired quoting the company's official announcement:

"We were disturbed to learn that Telegram's public channels were being used by Isis to spread their propaganda," Telegram said in its own channel, which is only available to users of the service.

It continued to say: "All Telegram chats and group chats are private amongst their participants. We do not process any requests related to them. But sticker sets, channels, and bots on Telegram are publicly available". The company said it will block terrorist bots and channels but won't block those who "peacefully expresses alternative opinions."

Read Isis propaganda blocked at Wired

Read Social media - villain of the piece; hero of the hour


Paddington eats marmalade... but do polar bears eat Marmite*?

A tale from behind the scenes of The Hunt, when our intrepid crew find themselves under attack:

In the summer months the chances of you seeing a polar bear are very, very slim. Then one day we came back from filming and something had broken in to our cabin. It had pulled the door off its hinges, eaten all the chocolate, oil and butter and then gone through all the trash out back. He’d also worked his way through 20 kilos of new food stock we’d just got in, which meant no fresh food for us. Suddenly we were all a bit more nervous about that 500m walk to the toilet hut.

But... what of the Marmite? Read the full story and find out

* - we know of this; we don't consider it canon


Cameron's letter kicks things off

Somewhat overshadowed by other events in Europe, last week David Cameron formally started the process of renegotiating the UK's relationship with the rest of the European Union. The UK Prime Minister sent a letter to Donald Tusk issuing his demands. The OU's Anne Wesemann didn't see much substance:

Some of the detail of Cameron’s list include claims that due to the high level of immigration, renegotiations on the terms allowing free movement and access to benefits are necessary. Although the Office for National Statistics suggests that more jobs were created than taken up by EU immigrants, it is claimed that benefit tourism is a main cause for the UK’s economy struggling. Net migration, which is calculated reducing the number of people immigrating, by the number of people emigrating, stood at 318,000 last year, which entailed 178,000 coming from the EU. Overall, about 2.3 Million people in the UK are EU citizens (obviously excluding those having British citizenship). It remains a question how about 1.6 % of the UK's population claiming benefits in addition to working can become an "unsustainable" burden for the welfare state.

Read: A letter that starts the renegotiation process


BBC Radio 4, 4.30pm & 9pm today: BBC Inside Science

Our weekly co-produced science magazine hits the air in about an hour (at time of writing, probably about six hours ago by the time this post has fought its way through the wheezy memcache system into the outside world), and this week it's looking at ice sheets, coral and the evolutions of accents.

It's all quite exciting, but the bit we're really looking forward to is the section on coral flouresence. Which, in case you've not come across it before, is like this:

If you want to know more, tune in today at 4.30, or catch it on iPlayer from about 5.15ish.

Find out more about BBC Inside Science


Monday week: First Monday

This week, every day we're starting with a Monday. Yesterday, we celebrated the tradition of Saint Monday, when people would simply stay in bed. Today, our focus shifts to the internet, and First Monday.

A tear sheet for people addicted to the internet Creative commons image Icon Michael Mandiberg under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license Where do you turn to find out about internet addicts?

For nearly twenty years, First Monday has been publishing peer-reviewed, open-access research on the internet, on the internet. It was one of the first open access journals in the world, and one of the first research titles to explore the then nascent internet.

Since its start, it has covered all aspects of digital life. For example, it's explored internet addiction in relation to peer-and-parent pressure:

The present study has shown that a modified uses and gratifications framework is useful in explaining how significant others might influence adolescent Internet usage motives and addiction. Escape, social interaction and erotic motives are key drivers of adolescent Internet addiction, with escape being the most important motive. Perhaps most importantly, the results suggest that dysfunctional parental attachment and a consequent need for psychological escape are likely to be more highly implicated in the aetiology of Internet–related addiction than peer attachment. 

This month, First Monday has published a special edition about studying digital refuseniks:

In “Lines of power,” David A. Banks presents an engaging socio-historical analysis of the origins of the terms “online/offline,” first in the early rail industry and then in the computer industry. In the process, he highlights the discursive role these terms play in linking “online” to positions of social and economic power. He then proposes that given the parallels between these worlds, resistance in the Internet service provision industry could perhaps take a lesson from successful resistance in the rail industry, where instead of individualized market-based solutions, “users” collectively fought for distributed control of the railways such as “common carrier” laws. Through this, Banks illustrates that being “online” necessarily constitutes a social relationship — a collective, not individual state, with strong implications of power.

Want to catch up? Try our free course My Digital Life

 

 

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