Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles"

Great 10 minute TED talk about how the personalization algorithms of sites such as Facebook and Google are creating a situation whereby users only see things that they might be interested in.

That in creating such personalization for commercial reasons because it goes hand in hand with creating targetted advertisements there is the unintended consequence that important events get filtered out as irrelevant.

Ethics of the fur trade explored in Kill It, Skin It, Wear It

I stumbled across the Channel 4 documentary Kill It, Skin It, Wear It on YouTube today in which chef Merrilees Parker explores the ethics of the fur trade.

Kill It, Skin It, Wear It

Parker admits to liking fur, but can she kill it, skin it and still wear it? She want to find out if it’s possible to source ethical fur as we source ethical food. Contains graphic footage of animals in distress, slaughter and butchery which some viewers may find upsetting.

I had pretty strong feelings going in that however ethical the fur trade might be that I could not ever find myself supporting it and the documentary largely didn’t change my position. I did however find myself somewhat convinced by the trapper whose selling of pelts came as a byproduct of controlling the population of wild animals that threatened the livestock of farmers.

I feel there is a fundamental difference between farming animals for meat and farming them for fur even if the end result is the death of an animal. This might not be a completely rational position but I value the human need for food much higher than that for fashion.

Children Full of Life – Japanese documentary

Children Full of Life (viewable in its entirety here) is a very moving documentary about a teacher Mr. Kanamori and his 4th grade class in Kanazawa, Japan.

Mr. Kanamori, tells the children that their primary goal is to be happy, and that sharing feelings is part of the path to happiness. He encourages the children to keep a journal of their lives and feelings and to share them with one another in class.

I think Mr. Kanamori is a fantastic teacher and I can only hope that my own children will be lucky enough to have somebody this wonderful during their schoolyears.

Via TokyoMango and Metafilter