A revealing look at how user behavior is powering deep social divisions online—and how we might yet defeat political tribalism on social mediaIn an era of increasing social isolation, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are among the most important tools we have to understand each other. We use social media as a mirror to decipher our place in society but, as Chris Bail explains, it functions more like a prism that distorts our identities, empowers status-seeking extremists, and renders moderates all but invisible. Breaking the Social Media Prism challenges common myths about echo chambers, foreign misinformation campaigns, and radicalizing algorithms, revealing that the solution to political tribalism lies deep inside ourselves.Drawing on innovative online experiments and in-depth interviews with social media users from across the political spectrum, this book explains why stepping outside of our echo chambers can make us more polarized, not less. Bail takes you inside the minds of online extremists through vivid narratives that trace their lives on the platforms and off—detailing how they dominate public discourse at the expense of the moderate majority. Wherever you stand on the spectrum of user behavior and political opinion, he offers fresh solutions to counter political tribalism from the bottom up and the top down. He introduces new apps and bots to help readers avoid misperceptions and engage in better conversations with the other side. Finally, he explores what the virtual public square might look like if we could hit "reset" and redesign social media from scratch through a first-of-its-kind experiment on a new social media platform built for scientific research.Providing data-driven recommendations for strengthening our social media connections, Breaking the Social Media Prism shows how to combat online polarization without deleting our accounts.
In Foxhunting in Paradise, a major work of research and practical exploration in and around the hunting field, Michael Clayton brings entirely up to date histories of the Quorn, Belvoir, Cottesmore and Fernie Hunts. He describes the glamour, the risks and the controversy surrounding hunting in the paradise of Leicestershire's ridge and furrow grasslands, divided by fly fences and dotted with fox coverts.
Royalty, captains of industry, young bloods from the services, and not a few fortune hunters and courtesans have been among those gracing the houses and hunting fields of Leicestershire. Yet the sport depends ultimately on the continued goodwill of the vast majority of Leicestershire's farmers and landowners, a prize which has always been retained. Clayton does not shrink from the essential conservation issues which he believes justify hunting, and he deals with the most recent accusations against the sport's conduct in Leicestershire.
Foxhunting in Paradise throws new light on a peculiarly British phenomenon in an area of understated beauty in the heart of England, described by the great hunting correspondent Nimrod thus: 'In the absence of all perfection, it is as a hunting country as nearly approaching to it as nature and art can make it, and its fame may be said to have reached the remotest corners of the civilised world'.
Antarctica's Larsen Ice Shelf is disappearing section by section. A fast-growing rift, one of the largest ever seen, is now teetering on the edge of breaking away from the glacier. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien explores how scientists have tracked the steady loss of ice.
An accessible, nontechnical overview of active touch sensing, from sensory receptors in the skin to tactile surfaces on flat screen displays.Haptics, or haptic sensing, refers to the ability to identify and perceive objects through touch. This is active touch, involving exploration of an object with the hand rather than the passive sensing of a vibration or force on the skin. The development of new technologies, including prosthetic hands and tactile surfaces for flat screen displays, depends on our knowledge of haptics. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Lynette Jones offers an accessible overview of haptics, or active touch sensing, and its applications.Jones explains that haptics involves integrating information from touch and kinesthesia—that is, information both from sensors in the skin and from sensors in muscles, tendons, and joints. The challenge for technology is to reproduce in a virtual world some of the sensations associated with physical interactions with the environment.
Eminent ecologist Jeremy B. C. Jackson and award-winning journalist Steve Chapple traveled the length of the Mississippi River interviewing farmers, fishermen, scientists, and policymakers to better understand the mounting environmental problems ravaging the United States. Along their journey, which quickly expands to California, Florida, and New York, the pair uncovered surprising and profound connections between ecological systems and environmental crises across the country. Artfully weaving together independent research and engaging storytelling, Jackson and Chapple examine the looming threats from recent hurricanes and fires, industrial agriculture, river mismanagement, extreme weather events, drought, and rising sea levels that are pushing the country toward the breaking point of ecological and economic collapse.
Yet, despite these challenges, the authors provide optimistic and practical solutions for addressing these multidimensional issues to achieve greater environmental stability, human well-being, and future economic prosperity. With a passionate call to action, they look hopefully toward emerging and achievable solutions to preserve the country's future.
The work of explorers, surveyors and spies in the race to conquer Southern Asia is vividly recounted in this history of British imperial cartography.
In the 19th century, the British and Russian empires were engaged in bitter rivalry for the acquisition of Southern Asian. Although India was the ultimate prize, most of the intrigue and action took place along its northern frontier in Afghanistan, Turkestan and Tibet. Mapping the region and gaining knowledge of the enemy were crucial to the interests of both sides.
The Great Trigonometrical Survey of India began in the 18th century with the aim of creating a detailed map of the subcontinent. Under the leadership of George Everest—whose name was later bestowed to the world’s tallest mountain—the it mapped the Great Arc running from the country’s southern tip to the Himalayas. Much of the work was done by Indian explorers known as Pundits. They were the first to reveal the mysteries of the forbidden city of Lhasa, and discover the true course of Tibet’s mighty Tsangpo River.
These explorers performed essential information gathering for the British Empire and filled in large portions of the map of Asia. Their adventurous exploits are vividly recounted in Mapping the Great Game.
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