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8.28.14: Facebook's Positive Feedback Loop & Steve Almond's Anti-Football Manifesto

West McGowan via flickr Creative Commons

The preseason has already started, and football fans across the country are gearing up for another action-packed season of hard losses, big wins, and epic hits.

On today’s show, a provocative new book makes a case for why not to watch football. Plus, Iraqi cities under siege, Ebola cases climbing, unrest in Ferguson; despite the tough news, your Facebook news feed may look remarkably chipper, we’ll look into Facebook’s carefully orchestrated positive feedback loop.    

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Facebook's Algorithms Bring You The Good News

  • Casey Johnston is culture editor at Ars Technica covering business, privacy, the internet and new media. Her article, “Facebook’s Route To Becoming A Reassurance Machine,” appeared on Ars Technica earlier this month.
  • Click here to listen to our earlier conversation about Facebook with Clifford Lampe,  Associate Professor of Information at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His op-ed for the Chronicle of Higher Education about recent social experiments conducted by Facebook is titled “Facebook is Good for Science”.

Facebook's Reassurance Machine

That Crime of the Month

  • In this episode of the podcast “Criminal”, host Phoebe Judge takes a look back at the first use of the “PMS Defense”. This story is part of the PRX STEM Story Project, made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Listen to it at PRX.

Steve Almond - Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto

  • Steve Almond the New York Times bestselling author and lifelong football enthusiast has a new book that charges that fans are complicit in the astonishing brutality of the game. So is it immoral to watch the Super Bowl?

Steve Almond's Anti-football manifesto

Is HBO's The Leftovers Being Treated Like Leftovers?

HBO's The Leftovers Isn't Getting Critical Love, But Why?

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