@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar



For our intertwined, collective liberation.

Working toward open access, open education, & accessibility.

ADHD; he, him, his.

Instructional designer, former librarian.

Cultural studies, humanities, and library & information studies background.

Slow to approve follow requests. I don't see any DMs unless I follow you.

Header image of some of my pocket notebooks with cute stickers. Profile pic of me, a white guy with eyeglasses smiling.

Toots licensed CC-BY-NC. (Or just ask!) #nobridge

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ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

On this and every DDay, it's worth remembering how proudly America once was to be antifa.

America's armed forces were segregated and had many other internal problems—but the shared struggle against fascism also changed the previously-bigoted minds of people like some of my own relatives.

We've never been perfect, and we never will be. But if we can't articulate how concrete struggle against fascism abroad was connected to America discovering its own strength in diversity, we'll have a profoundly difficult time motivating the currently comfortable to work toward liberation, equality, and justice for all.

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

I absolutely don't think we should ever be able to read each other's "private notes" about other accounts (one of the best UX features on here in my opinion).

¡and also!

I am delighted to share that I just described someone in part as "An argumentative, reading comprehension-challenged bad penny at best."

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

Lazy Boyz II Men

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

The best at being convicted.

Bigly convicted, beautiful felonies.

StillIRise1963, to random
@StillIRise1963@mastodon.world avatar
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@StillIRise1963 I appreciate that each headline mentions "diving to" but not "returning from."

Delightful to see accurate reporting!

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

I guess a reminder that, if you're in the so-called United States of America, you might hear some loud jets flying overhead?

I think they're celebrating petro-masculinity or something?

@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@msquebanh Yuck. I'm sorry this waste of resources is becoming more frequent there as well!

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

I swear, inline styles copied & pasted over from online versions of Goggle Docs, Micro$oft Word, etc. are the glitter of the contemporary internet.

No matter how much time you spend trying to remove them, they're everywhere.

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar
  1. start a non-binary moving company.

  2. name it "they haul."

  3. profit!

BigAngBlack, to random
@BigAngBlack@fosstodon.org avatar

Clark Neily on X: "Judge Carlton Reeves has criticized #QualifiedImmunity before, but wow, he really cut loose this time. It's extremely rare for a sitting judge to express this level of disdain for a legal doctrine that #SCOTUS has consistently and repeatedly affirmed. /1 https://t.co/1TdShAVOdC https://t.co/Z58WxY3TSU" / X


@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@BigAngBlack Fantastic news!

And for anyone who can't see the tweet (because of how that site works now), here's a link to the legal document itself: https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/24674613/green-v-thomas.pdf

inquiline, to random
@inquiline@union.place avatar

Serious question: when and in which contexts did calling people "individuals" emerge as a common practice, as a synonym for people? Or "an individual" for "a person"?

I ask because I'm noticing it in student writing, and I associate it with police-speak. I don't know if it's in some corners of social science or medicine too


@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@inquiline @billseitz

My (lacking citations, but lived/remembered experience) perspective is that I first noticed it years ago in cop / legal speak, which is one of the few places where "person" cannot be a simple synonym for "individual." (i.e. "They had the drugs on their person" vs "They had the drugs on their individual [nonsense!]")

From there, it seeped into common usage through sports reporting, and then other news more generally. To my ears the usage always felt deeply unnatural, like the sports reporters had been coached to say "individual" on air in order to not accidentally imply or outright say decidedly racist things.

Then, from there, people much younger than I seem to have taken it up as an apparently "inclusive" way of referring to other folks.

I feel it's anti-social, alienating, & mostly dehumanizing. But even the lefty younger folks I know use it thinking that they're respecting individuality, rather than doing Zombie Reagan's work of breaking social bonds.

@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@inquiline I'm thinking back to the sports reporting I'd actually have caught on TV (I almost never watch sports) and I just realized it would generally have been in the context of sexual harassment or similar scandals, and often quotes from coaches.

These would have been situations where it would have been potentially very awkward to say "player", as that has obvious connotations beyond sports.

So, surprisingly(!), I can see why coaches might be trained by campus media relations teams to avoid generally saying "player" for fear of perhaps sounding like they condone misogynistic behavior… or more generally, fear of sounding like they were instrumentalizing the team member or only valuing their function within sports, rather than viewing them holistically as a person.

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

My brain is too exhausted to clarify further, but lately it seems like "what if we recognized social constructivism instead?" is an appropriate starter response to almost everything.

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

Still mad that instead of the semantic web and customizable, intentive user agents we've ended up with people breathlessly insisting we should clap when tech baron LLMs manage to compute the correct time twice an hour.

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

Very relieved that the new AI "features" of #iTerm require an API key to actually work (per the "AI" section in the release notes: https://iterm2.com/downloads/stable/iTerm2-3_5_0.changelog ).

Not to yuck anyone else's yum, but the absolute last place I personally would invite spicy autocomplete is anywhere near the place that an -rf could lead to great recursive unhappiness.

LLM output in your terminal input? It's not for that.

Ted Danson as Michael on the Good Place being intensely both disgusted and pedantic. He's insisting 'Kissing is gross. You just mash your food holes together. It's not for that.'

@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

But like, you do you. As long as the AI stuff is done with your consent?

Have fun you crazy kids.

(Because of the ongoing plague of drive-by reply-guy-ism, here's fair warning: anyone being "cute" or trying to convince me that AI is a great idea will likely catch a mute at best.)

@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@trochee Precisely, that lack of consent is an enormous & ongoing problem with AI!

(There are many other problems, like it being correct only by coincidence and the commercial tech baron versions of it requiring massive water use to cool data centers and not being informed about what the mathematical probabilities do to those of us who happily exist as outliers in a world that requests we refashion ourselves as normative and etc and etc.)

bw, to random
@bw@social.lol avatar

If you have a version of your resume in HTML, I’d love to see it! For learning/curiosity/inspiration.

@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@bw Not sure if this will be helpful, since higher ed uses the much more verbose "curriculum vitae" instead of a resume, but here it is in case it's useful somehow. Feel free to ignore!


jonny, to random
@jonny@neuromatch.social avatar

You wont believe the number of stormtroopers theyre deploying against unarmed students unless you see it. This is just one side: at least 7 police departments with at least two layers at every point of egress, with several layers in back for rear control and rotation. They've got the army out against your kids for having the audacity to do whatever they can to stop a genocide

a wide (~50m?) staircase with maybe 20 rows of cops in full riot gear stare down a handful of unarmed students

@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@jonny Furthermore, this particular campus was designed as a series of chokepoints in the wake of 1960s student uprisings.

Its campus design highlights how much of the last 60+ years of American built space is a physical apparatus for the police state & social control.

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

Sometimes I high-key wonder whether some folks who are super hyped about AI are a newer variant of the audiophile equipment super-spenders.

matthiasott, to random
@matthiasott@mastodon.social avatar

By the way, do you have a personal website and does it have a home page? (I’m pretty sure it does… 😁)

I would love to know: what’s on your “home” and why?

Feel free to share a link, of course. 🤗 As always, I’m also asking on behalf of my newsletter subscribers.

@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@matthiasott My site's landing page has a relatively brief "About Me" description, plus links to "featured sections" and recent or featured blog posts: https://www.ryanpatrickrandall.com

I used to have a much, much longer "About Me" section, but I recently was inspired to massively trim it down by looking at @kissane & @dansinker 's sites.

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

The contorted excuses people concoct to excuse not adding #altText boggle my mind.

Case in point: even if alt text is "now primarily used to train AI" [citation desperately needed], as I've just seen claimed, there are still real-world humans who benefit from it, just as there have been since the web emerged.

If AI tech is now being trained on alt text, it's also now being trained on all the rest of your whatever.

By only concerning yourself with the alt text, you're routing all the AI-related harm to screen reader users, actual humans who already experience massive social & technical marginalization.

Solve the image issues for humans.

Then, in parallel, solve your more widespread AI problem (like adding rules to your robots.txt https://darkvisitors.com/docs/robots-txt ).

It's much simpler to just start adding "cute cat" to your cute cat photos than it is to invent new excuses for behaviors that ultimately just harm screen reader users.

Here's a great alt text guide! https://axesslab.com/alt-texts/

@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

@LALegault I can definitely believe that AI tech bros would try to "accessibility-wash" their content scraping! That's super sketchy & manipulative, just like much of the tech industry!

I'm an instructional designer and librarian, plus my parents taught at a few state schools for the Deaf & Blind. So I've been around discussions of alt text and other accessibility things for so long that I honestly don't know just what you mean by "the alt text push" here. Helping faculty learn to write appropriate image descriptions is a big part of my current job, so my perspective here is undoubtedly going to be different than a lot of other people's. From my point of view, the widespread, increased reliance on tech in 2020/2021 made non-disabled people more attuned to inclusion.

The thing I'd worry about with any new format or technology is whether it would be supported by the older devices that many disabled people have to keep using due to the frequent financial implications of being disabled.

ryanrandall, to Palestine
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

Happy to say that there's an protest encampment here in , near the Capitol. At least 50 folks there when I went an hour or so ago.

Also relieved that our local newspaper's piece on it seemed subtly supportive, rather than making up a bogus "both sides" framing that's all too common.

> The protest in Boise began Friday night at the Anne Frank Memorial, where protesters left flowers to “honor victims of everywhere,” Boise to Palestine, a group that says it is seeking the liberation of , wrote on its Instagram.

> The Idaho chapter of IfNotNow, a national organization that describes itself as movement of American Jews advocating to “end U.S. support for Israel’s apartheid system,” in a post on Instagram called for an end to the “mass slaughter of Palestinians” and pushed back against claims that equated anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

ryanrandall, to random
@ryanrandall@hcommons.social avatar

Random reminder that data cannot be "raw"; what you're encountering under the guise of "data" has already (at minimum) undergone processes of selection and representation.

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