WISE Tech Tip – October 2023

Here we go again

It’s common sense that social media apps, and their persistent use, is messing up the young people. We need only look at the news reports of TikTok mayhem as well as the report from the Surgeon General about Social Media and Youth Mental Health.

The report cites a study that shows that youth who have spent more than 3 hours per day on social media have a doubled risk of poor mental health. Well, as we’ve known for quite a while, correlation does not equal causation. The study didn’t say that high social media use caused poor mental health, only that the behavior is a risk factor. The study’s authors concluded, “This study suggests that increased time spent on social media may be a risk factor for internalizing problems in adolescents.” Those hand-waving verbs, “suggest” and “may,” are a pretty good indicator that there’s a lot that we don’t know.

So, we know that we don’t know. Let’s leave it at that.

Today I Learned (TIL)

  • https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/488077678351145340/I took three years of Latin in high school. Although I did pick up a few things that have helped me, mostly what I remember are semper ube sub ube and Quid, me anxius? When started work in publishing, I learned about Lorem ipsum, the pseudo-Latin filler text that’s used to help designed work on layout of books, websites, and other 
    If the traditional Lorem ipsum doesn’t excite you, you can Choose your ipsum. For example, you can fetch a shot of caffeinated text from Coffee Ipsum :
    Decaffeinated, mazagran, blue mountain galão robusta fair trade foam a dark. Con panna galão cortado, caffeine cup strong redeye ristretto aroma medium caffeine. Redeye crema cup bar , cultivar aromatic, at, caffeine ristretto froth at affogato.Café au lait coffee, java aftertaste aroma galão robust beans. In viennese café au lait, aged trifecta extraction latte shop. Grinder a, white viennese macchiato sweet qui dark.
  • In the mid-1930s, my father bought an acre of land on the shore of Queen Lake in Phillipston. The property was one of several parcels in the cove that had been used by a man as a woodlot for his furniture manufacturing business in a neighboring town. The factory owner was sick and needed money for his medical treatments. (The owner died in 1942.) 
    Today I learned that the trees cut from this type of forest became lumber,  but the Brits would have called it timber. Across the pond, lumber is old furniture that you’d find in the attic. You can read about this and and a whole bushel of corn more on  The Early Days of American English
  • A few years ago, we read about a German artist who, annoyed at the traffic going through his area of the city, filled a wagon with iPhones, turned on Google Maps, and crossed a bridge to fake a traffic jam. In this one small act of rebellion, this person tried to thwart a growing problem: navigation apps are now in charge of traffic. The issue is one of “selfish routing.” What’s good for me is good for me and to heck with the neighborhoods through which I travel. 
    It might be, however, a self-limiting problem if, as happened in this case, drivers follow Google Maps right off the bridge. Also, if you’re waiting for your takeout order, you might want to check on the location of your driver: DoorDash driver follows GPS all the way to water in Middleton.
  • The U.S. government is funding research for intelligent fabrics. The name of the program is, wait for it …, SMART ePANTS. Nuff said.