68 People Like This...

Facebook Likes are the new audience interaction. More than 50 people liked my post on Facebook simplifying their Facebook Page management tools on the Involver blog, yet only one person commented.


Now, granted, this is also indicative of a few other factors, most importantly: the topic matter wasn’t very evocative, there was nothing to create a vibrant discussion. But I found it interesting how popular the “like” action was. It also made me wonder, how many people shared comments or discussions along with the articles (or would if they were prompted to do so).

I’d love to see next-generation blogging platforms (Echo, Disqus, Intense Debate) aggregate comments and discussions back from Facebook in a better fashion than they do today. Because none of these do a great job of this today, I’ve started using Facebook as the sole commenting system on this blog. I use Facebook Comments to do this. I’d love to see this plug-in work more natively with pre-existing comments or non-signed in users. It’s not perfect yet, but this plugin is definitely on the right track.

The ability to import Facebook comments into the WordPress database and vice-versa is listed as an upcoming feature. That feature is going to make switching to this plugin much easier for most bloggers.

Anyway, if you’re interested in learning more about Facebook’s new management tools for Facebook Pages, read about it on the Involver blog.

A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

Credit: Benjavisa Ruangvaree / AdobeStock
Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
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Astrophysicists: Gamma-ray jets exceed the speed of light

Scientists find that bursts of gamma rays may exceed the speed of light and cause time-reversibility.

An artist's drawing of a particle jet emanating from a black hole at the center of a blazar.

Credit: DESY, Science Communication Lab (used with permission by Astronomy Picture of the Day, which is co-managed by Robert Nemiroff at Michigan Tech).
Surprising Science
  • Astrophysicists propose that gamma-ray bursts may exceed the speed of light.
  • The superluminal jets may also be responsible for time-reversibility.
  • The finding doesn't go against Einstein's theory because this effect happens in the jet medium not a vacuum.
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Is free will an illusion?

Philosophers have been asking the question for hundreds of years. Now neuroscientists are joining the quest to find out.

Sponsored by John Templeton Foundation
  • The debate over whether or not humans have free will is centuries old and ongoing. While studies have confirmed that our brains perform many tasks without conscious effort, there remains the question of how much we control and when it matters.
  • According to Dr. Uri Maoz, it comes down to what your definition of free will is and to learning more about how we make decisions versus when it is ok for our brain to subconsciously control our actions and movements.
  • "If we understand the interplay between conscious and unconscious," says Maoz, "it might help us realize what we can control and what we can't."

We’ve mapped a million previously undiscovered galaxies beyond the Milky Way. Take the virtual tour here.

See the most detailed survey of the southern sky ever carried out using radio waves.

Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash
Surprising Science

Astronomers have mapped about a million previously undiscovered galaxies beyond the Milky Way, in the most detailed survey of the southern sky ever carried out using radio waves.

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Surprising Science

New data reveals Earth closer to a black hole and is moving 16,000 mph faster

A new study shows our planet is much closer to the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center than previously estimated.

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