Mapping the imaginary lines we use to segregate our schools

Today, Vox posted Mapping the imaginary lines we use to segregate our schools, an excellent article and tool to look at the state of school segregation in the United States. It's generally not good.

From the data & tool, our district (Kenmore-Tonawanda) unfortunately re-creates the current neighborhood segregation:

In America, there is already a massive amount of residential segregation, shaped by a long history of racist government policies. This is why everyone going to the nearest school perpetuates very segregated classrooms.

Two of the elementary schools included in the data closed due to consolidation since the findings were reported, but I can't imagine things are much different with the new district lines.

For the United States overall, the percentage of black students who attend schools that are at least 50% white has rapidly decreased since the late 80s, to a level not seen since the late 60s. We're literally going back in time -- pretty disheartening.

Worth a read and looking at your area's school districts.

The Better Web

Om Malik has another gem, as he reminisces about the "old" web in The Internet of Love

I share these stories, not to laud these individuals, but as a way to remind us that the web we had before the madness and monetization of relationships began, is still around. We don’t need to focus on the negative, and instead try to use the social web, by being accountable to each other. All it takes is one to focus on how to be good to each other on the Internet – not by shouting, but by helping and encouraging absolute strangers.

The community has reminded me a lot of the old web over the last few months, as Manton has worked to officially launch the site. It's been a refreshing and welcomed change.

Our Now

Om Malik writes Our Dystopian Now:

However, I often wonder why we don’t think of now as dystopian. We live in a time where we have had destructive hurricanes and wildfires reach our urban borders. Information warfare unleashed by totalitarian regimes is impacting the democratic process. The reality is torn between real and fake.

We live in a now where a YouTube star will show a dead body hanging in the jungle, for a few thousand views to make a few extra dollars. A $1.50 bet between two online strangers leads to a trigger-happy police force to fire at and kill an American citizen. If this isn’t dystopian, then what is?

My 2018 is going to involve a lot of reflection and improving where I spend my time and attention.

If we all used the advice we gave our oldest daughter tonight -- to not give the negative attention seeking younger sister what she wants -- and apply it to the chaos agents, the narcissists, the trolls, and the digital negative attention seekers, we'd all be way better off.

And that goes for the platforms that enable and profit off them as well.