Saturday, January 21, 2017

Weekly Web Roundup (1/21/17)

Photo Credit: David_Bekaert
Here is a collection of items from around the web that caught my attention this past week:

Are You a Confirmation Bias Christian? by Jared C. Wilson (For The Church)
"There's really no new idolatry in our brave new world; we just find new ways with which to orient our worlds around ourselves. I think you and I see this every day in the world of social media, and it was ramped up especially so during the last election cycle. When it comes to political pontificating, my Facebook feed in particular appears to be one huge exercise in confirmation bias -- my liberal friends share and "amen" articles, videos, and memes that fit their pre-adopted left-leaning narratives and my conservative friends share and "amen" articles, videos, and memes that fit their pre-adopted right-leaning ones. I've been guilty of this myself. It is stunningly easy to fall into, this "confirmation bias" thing. If something sounds true -- meaning, it seems to fit what we already believe -- we believe it to be true without corroborating. It is the widespread epidemic of confirmation bias that has given us the relatively new phenomenon known as "fake news."
6 Types of “Dangerous Charisma” by Eric Geiger
"Charisma is often defined as “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others." But that type of charisma can be dangerous. We have seen leaders known for their charisma lead people in horrific directions or crumble because their own inner health was woefully inconsistent with their external persona."
U.S. Abortion Rate Falls To Lowest Level Since Roe v. Wade (NPR)
"The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds. The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That's the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades — down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981. The report also finds that in 2013, the total number of abortions nationwide fell below 1 million for the first time since the mid-1970s. In 2014 — the most recent year with data available — the number fell a bit more, to 926,200. The overall number had peaked at more than 1.6 million abortions in 1990, according to Guttmacher. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the longstanding controversy around abortion policy, the meaning of the report is somewhat in dispute."
Dustbin of History: The Green Book (Today I Found Out)
"But for African Americans living in many parts of the United States in the early and mid-20th century, the automobile was little more than a symbol—that of a freedom that, for them, remained out of reach. In those years, a trip by automobile for African Americans was an experience all its own, quite unlike car trips taken by white Americans. A black family preparing for a long trip had to pack enough food to get them all the way to where they were going, in case the restaurants along the route refused to serve them—a form of discrimination that was perfectly legal at the time. They had to pack pillows and blankets so that they could sleep in their car if the hotels they stopped at refused to provide them with lodging. They had to put extra cans of gas in the trunk—enough to get them through towns where none of the service stations would sell them gas. And they had to leave enough room in the trunk for a bucket that they could use as a toilet in places where restrooms were reserved for whites only."
The 5 craziest hours in the White House by Bonnie Berkowitz (The Washington Post)

On the day that a new U.S. President is sworn in as commander-in-chief, there is a group of White House staff that has to busily move out the belongings of the current president and prepare for the new. This account explains all that takes place at the White House on inauguration day.

Here's a short video explaining this process:

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