Links To Go (August 11, 2017)

As always, links are shared with no implied agreement nor endorsement. These are things that made me think or made me laugh… Tim

Patriotism and the Church: Is It Too Much to Ask Churches to Be Careful?

Yes, people come to different conclusions about how to be patriotic and how that relates to church. And, I’m not assigning motives to each and every person or church who does things differently than I prefer.
However, can we all agree that we need to do it carefully? Can we at least consider that there might be some dangers—both scripturally and historically—that we might want to consider?

Meeting with God in the Airport

God showed up when I was in my suit and heels, and He winked. We shared a secret. During those days of client presentations, excel spreadsheets, and conference calls, He was whispering, I want to meet with you, here. What I might once have considered a waste of time conversation with Him in the midst of a demanding day—became, instead, food for my hungry heart. It was a gift of hiddenness during a season when my work required me to be on during the workday.

Seven Facebook Growth Hacks for Churches

  1. Invite those who like your content to like your page.
  2. Do more Facebook Live broadcasts.
  3. Boost content.
  4. Use high quality images.
  5. Engage with those who comment on your posts.
  6. Turn on messages and monitor them.
  7. Turn off reviews.

Moral luck

There is a contradiction in our ordinary ideas about moral responsibility. Let’s explore it by considering two examples. Killer, our first character, is at a party and drives home drunk. At a certain point in her journey, she swerves, hits the curb, and kills a pedestrian who was on the curb. Merely Reckless, our second character, is in every way exactly like Killer but, when she swerves and hits a curb, she kills no one. There wasn’t a pedestrian on the curb for her to kill. The difference between Killer and Merely Reckless is a matter of luck.

Sham surgery

If you don’t think marketing works, and you’re wondering about the power of the placebo, that’s all the evidence you should need. That sham surgery on knee pain is virtually as effective as the real kind. Which means it’s not a sham at all, is it?

Inside The Partisan Fight For Your News Feed

The most comprehensive study to date of the growing universe of partisan websites and Facebook pages about US politics reveals that in 2016 alone at least 187 new websites launched, and that the candidacy and election of Donald Trump has unleashed a golden age of aggressive, divisive political content that reaches a massive amount of people on Facebook.
Thanks to a trinity of the internet, Facebook, and online advertising, partisan news websites and their associated Facebook pages are almost certainly making more money for more people and reaching more Americans than at any time in history. In some cases, publishers are generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in revenue, with small operations easily earning five figures thanks to one website and at least one associated Facebook page.

This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit

Throughout the 20th century, politicians, moguls, and academics knew the value of this influence. It had a name: propaganda.
Propaganda required money, talent, and infrastructure to create and distribute. It was an expensive and blunt instrument for top-down control.
Today we have democratized propaganda — anyone can use these strategies to hijack attention and promote a misleading narrative, a hyperbolic story, or an outrageous ideology — as long as it captures attention and makes a profit for advertisers.

Computer Users, Rejoice: You’re Finally Allowed to Create Easy-to-Remember Passwords

Plus, research now shows that longer passwords—a series of around four words—are ultimately harder to crack than shorter combinations of letters, characters, or numbers. (And at the end of the day, computer users ended up paradoxically choosing the same “random” passwords used by millions of others.) The NIST now recommends long, easy-to-remember passwords (not the “#!%”-filled ones of yesteryear) and for people to switch codes only if they suspect that their existing one has been stolen.

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