. . . Of the Week (6-13-14)

Well, I missed Of the Week last week, but I made sure to set aside time for it this week.  Let’s get to it, shall we?

Article of the Week

I first came across this at one of my favorite sites, io9, so a shout-out to them.  The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan info gathering organization, recently published a study that shows Americans have become more politically and ideologically divided than they have been in over twenty years.  My contention is that much of this polarization has occurred for largely two reasons:

1) The advent of the internet has exposed people to others who do not think like they do on a scale unprecedented in history, and we know that when their beliefs are strongly challenged, most people do not immediately adjust to the change but instead have a tendency to become entrenched a la the Backfire Effect.  When and if they do revise their beliefs, they generally do so very slowly and often inadequately, meaning not enough to compensate for the Backfire Effect.  (See also the Semmelweis Reflex.)

2) In times of uncertainty and hardship (e.g. that caused by an economic recession), people often dig in their heels, retreating into what is familiar and unchallenging to them.

Anyway, it’s a pretty interesting read, with lots of lovely graphs and charts.

Political Polarization in the American Public

Album Cover of the Week

I don’t know much about this band other than that they are a doom/death metal band.  Not really my cup of tea, but I do love this black-and-white cover design for their album Ritual of Passing.  It adheres to my preference for strong basic shapes as design elements, and I’ve always loved the Eye of Providence concept (as my last banner design attests).  It always seems to make for a strong graphic design element.

Atriarch - Ritual of Passing (cover)
Atriarch – Ritual of Passing (cover)

Artwork of the Week

I spotted this sweet design on the TeeFury site and felt it was worth sharing.  The design is a mash-up of Aliens and Jurassic Park done by Justyna Dorsz.  I love it!

Justyna Dorsz - LV-426
Justyna Dorsz – LV-426

Song/Video of the Week

I love a good sci-fi themed song, and the band Only Son hit my sweet spot with this one.  It’s a creepy tune about a future society in which genetically engineered children are par for the course and your financial status determines the quality of the child you will get.  An eerily effective song,  and the music video beautifully reinforces the music.

Only Son – It’s a Boy

Quote of the Week

Finally, a quote from Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, a rare religious leader who has the courage to be honest about the Bible.

“The Bible has been used for centuries by Christians as a weapon of control. To read it literally is to believe in a three-tiered universe, to condone slavery, to treat women as inferior creatures, to believe that sickness is caused by God’s punishment and that mental disease and epilepsy are caused by demonic possession. When someone tells me that they believe the Bible is the literal and inerrant word of God, I always ask, ‘Have you ever read it?'” – Bishop John Shelby Spong

Have a great weekend and enjoy the week ahead!

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