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Weekend Reads 9/21/19

Study shows some political beliefs are just historical accidents

In two of the ten experimental worlds, people simply saw these statements and were asked, “As a [Democrat/Republican], do you agree or disagree with this statement?”

The other eight worlds are where it got fun. After the first person had responded to these statements, every other participant would also see whether Republicans or Democrats were more likely to agree with the statement, with that statistic updated following each response.

‘Someone’s Gotta Tell the Freakin’ Truth’: Jerry Falwell’s Aides Break Their Silence

In interviews over the past eight months, they depicted how Falwell and his wife, Becki, consolidated power at Liberty University and how Falwell presides over a culture of self-dealing, directing university resources into projects and real estate deals in which his friends and family have stood to make personal financial gains.

Underwater ‘Observatory’ Vanishes Without a Trace in Germany

The trouble started on August 21, when researchers at GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel stopped receiving data transmissions from Eck. At first, GEOMAR’s team thought that the issue was a simple transmission error, but when divers went to check on the unit, it had vanished. It left only chewed-through fiber-optic cable used to tether the sensor to the ground.

Why Angry Librarians Are Going to War With Publishers Over E-Books

“They really did not have any reasonable data to support a narrative that if an author’s new book is withheld from public library lending when it first comes out, that might impact the author’s or the book’s sales during those first few months,” Potash said. “That isn’t borne out. The data that OverDrive has is that for every title that actually gets borrowed or downloaded, the library is engaging with dozens and dozens of readers who are discovering the book, sampling the book, or just looking for a recommendation on what to read next.” Potash said that studies consistently show library patrons to be more frequent book buyers overall—which is another reason Macmillan’s letter stung. “They are taking their readers, their customers, their fans, and intentionally trying to frustrate them,” he said.

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