+
cnn, fox news, echo chambers

CNN host Anderson Cooper and Tucker Carlson of Fox News.

The prevailing logic in today’s political world is that polarization is worsening because people live in media echo chambers where they are only exposed to outlets that mirror their views.

People who live in echo chambers come to distrust any opinions that exist outside of their bubbles and when they're not exposed to any conflicting information. This creates a scenario where the person becomes increasingly entrenched in their worldview.

One would assume that after a person becomes fully entrenched in an echo chamber they have little chance of changing their views. However, a new working paper by researchers at Stanford and Yale universities has found that when people are removed from their bubbles there’s a chance they’ll change their minds.

David Broockman of Stanford and Joshua Kalla of Yale conducted a study where they paid regular Fox News viewers $15 an hour to watch CNN for around seven hours a week for a month. The researchers then surveyed them about their political beliefs and knowledge of current events.


The study is titled “The manifold effects of partisan media on viewers’ beliefs and attitudes: A field experiment with Fox News viewers.” The research was done in fall 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and lead-up to the presidential election.

When the participants were polled, researchers found that they were 5 percentage points more likely to believe that people suffer from long COVID, 6 points more likely to believe that other countries did a better job of controlling the virus and 7 points more likely to support voting by mail.

“CNN provided extensive coverage of COVID-19, which included information about the severity of the COVID-19 crisis and poor aspects of Trump’s performance handling COVID-19. Fox News covered COVID-19 much less,” said the study.

After the Fox viewers switched to CNN, it changed their opinions on the social justice protests happening at the time as well. The switchers were 10 points less likely to think that Biden supporters were happy when police got shot and 13 points less likely to believe that if Biden gets elected “we’ll see many more police get shot by Black Lives Matter activists.”

Many of the participants also realized that when it came to Trump, they weren’t getting the whole story. After switching to a steady diet of CNN they were less likely to agree that “if Donald Trump did something bad, Fox News would discuss it.”

“Despite regular Fox viewers being largely strong partisans, we found manifold effects of changing the slant of their media diets on their factual beliefs, attitudes, perceptions of issues’ importance, and overall political views,” the authors of the study said.

The study shows that Fox News isn’t just a media outlet that affirms its viewers' worldviews, it also feeds them a distorted version of reality that pushes them toward more extreme opinions. The good news is that some of these people can be changed when exposed to better information.

It should also be noted that Fox News viewers aren’t the only ones living in information bubbles and that there are plenty of ideological traps that ensnare people on the left as well.

The study should give everyone hope that all is not lost and that America’s political divide may not be impossible to bridge.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 08.05.21


Six years ago, a high school student named Christopher Justice eloquently explained the multiple problems with flying the Confederate flag. A video clip of Justice's truth bomb has made the viral rounds a few times since then, and here it is once again getting the attention it deserves.

Justice doesn't just explain why the flag is seen as a symbol of racism. He also explains the history of when the flag originated and why flying a Confederate flag makes no sense for people who claim to be loyal Americans.

But that clip, as great as it is, is a small part of the whole story. Knowing how the discussion came about and seeing the full debate in context is even more impressive.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Tod Perry

This article originally appeared 8.18.21


18-year-old Twitter user Aimee recently took to Twitter to ask something most of us have probably wondered about without even realizing it:

"Serious question, what the fuck is this for?" she asked, next to a photo of that handle on the ceiling of every car that we all knew about and probably wondered about but never thought to even ask for some reason?!?!?!?!?!?

Keep ReadingShow less