2 min read

Wolmania - Friday, October 22, 2021

Hi everyone. I’m still on vacation so we’re trying something a little different this week - GUEST BLOGGERSNEWSLETTER WRITERS! I’ve asked some good friends to chip in for me so I can sit on the beach drinking frozen margaritas etc. Thank you to Rachel, Fletcher, Arlene, and Emily for your help keeping the content mill running! I will note that despite appearances I did not instruct anyone to "feel free to get meta with it". Other than that, I'll let my pals' brilliant contributions do the talking.

I hope you enjoy this issue just slightly less than the ones I write.

The Race to Document Endangered Languages, Now That We Have the Technology

The Race to Document Endangered Languages, Now That We Have the Technology

Rachel Balsham reports: An abridged primer on linguistics and intonation, a medium-dive into the complexities of keeping indigenous languages alive, and a reminder of the far-reaching effects of COVID’s death toll among elders.

Item 2: a list

Fletcher Durant gazes deeply into our navel:

Jacob Wolman's Most Controversial Facebook Ranked Lists, ranked:

  1. Potato Dishes, ranked
  2. Breakfast Meats, ranked
  3. The thirteen best TV shows ever, ranked
  4. Letters of the Modern English Alphabet, ranked
  5. Bagels, ranked
  6. Pets, ranked
  7. Sharing social network messages to other social networks, ranked
  8. Weather, ranked
  9. Astrological Signs, ranked
  10. Italian Pasta Shapes, ranked
  11. Temperature ranges, ranked
  12. Goldfish crackers, ranked
  13. Seven Dwarves, ranked
  14. ROYGBIV colors, ranked
  15. Yoga poses, ranked
  16. Names people have incorrectly called me instead of my actual name, ranked

Item 3: a media recommendation

Yola - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Arlene Fletcher testifies: "This week's media selection is an homage to Jake's former blog En Dash" [technically it was called 'Hello World' but it was hosted at en-dash.com, which arguably was a confusing setup by yours truly - ed]

Item 4: a photograph

Emily Thorson elucidates:

This is one of several graphs from a forthcoming peer-reviewed article attempting to answer the question "just how unusual are online commenters?" (link to download) The answer is: very unusual. They are more polarized, more politically interested, and -- as this graph shows -- they leave more toxic comments. The gray plot shows the distribution of toxicity of comments left by a nationally representative sample. The red plot shows the distribution of toxicity of comments on Facebook. Two lessons from this: first, don't assume that the people who you see commenting online are representative. They're not. Second, this pattern is not inevitable, and each one of us has the power to change it by participating in non-toxic ways. It's quite possible to engage in civil online deliberation, but currently, we are ceding that ground to people who are more extreme and less civil than most Americans.

See ya!

All typos and libelous errors my fault, all wit and wisdom thanks to my buddies.

Thanks to you for reading. Have a good weekend and I hope to see you again next week.