Can you imagine that? And more.

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you to the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Aleksander Essex is an Electrical and Computer Engineering professor.

Today, he takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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Read. 

Three Painful Truths About Social Media by Ron Deibert (Citizen Lab). Deibert makes three important-but-painful points about our love of social media.

First. You are not the customer – you are the product. It’s a business model he calls “surveillance capitalism.” Second. We allow it. Partly because many of us don’t realize the extent of this data collection, or what else it is used for. Third. While all this surveillance delivers us more relevant advertisements and cooler gadgets, we’re eventually going to pay the price in the form of greater authoritarianism.

Watch. 

Searching (2018). An excellent movie about a single father (John Cho) whose daughter goes missing. I was initially skeptical as I had heard the entire movie is told from the vantage point of a computer screen. But first-time director Aneesh Chaganty pulls it off masterfully, delivering a gripping movie with a fresh cinematic take.

Listen.

Mary Poppins Returns (Original Soundtrack). I’m going to come clean – the top items in my Spotify heavy rotation list right now are the Mary Poppins soundtracks (old and new). I usually DJ for the kids at bedtime. We jump on the bed and air guitar. But they haven’t quite internalized the mind-blowing powers of Mary Poppins yet, and they mostly just stand there looking at the speaker with their mouths open.

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If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see in Read. Watch. Listen., or would like to participate yourself, drop a line to inside.western@uwo.ca.