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The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck
Chris Mooney, Mother Jones 2013/01/14

We'll use the word 'science' a little loosely here, but meanwhile there's an interesting survey on the consequences of comment trolls: "it appeared that pushing people's emotional buttons, through derogatory comments, made them double down on their preexisting beliefs." The author offers an explanation, "the psychological theory of motivated reasoning," akin to Hume's dictum, but I think the interplay between thoughts and feelings (if they are even distinct things) is a lot more complex than that. That said, I can attest first-hand to the way comment trolls can drain the life out of a discussion, out of a website, out of living itself. Which, of course, if their intent.

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Photo Essay: When a Kid's Bedroom Isn't a Room
James Mollison Mother Jones 2012/12/28

fascinating photo essay comparing children from around the world. To be sure, the subjects chosen are at the extreme end of variability. But the wide range of backgrounds and interests (and jobs) will cause anyone working in education to take pause.

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