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About Faith

07/30/11 01:17AM

The news environment tonight required some last minute course correction on the show we had planned. Ultimately there was not enough time in our hour for all of the segments we'd prepared. While it's not uncommon for us to leave some stories on the cutting room floor, because this was Melissa Harris-Perry's last show before Rachel comes back from vacation, and because we felt strongly about this particular segment, Melissa taped it after the show was off the air, to be added to the playlist and podcast and here on the blog.Here is Melissa Harris-Perry on the role of faith in politics. read more

You can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people if ten percent of them are really convinced of their position

07/29/11 08:29PM

Wait, what?Well, the story is that "scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society." That's a pretty bold statement. How the heck could you even test for such a thing?It turns out, the study, Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities (pdf), used an algorithmic model called a binary agreement model. read more

Ahead on the 7/29 Maddow show

07/29/11 07:18PM

Tonight's guests include:Luke Russert, NBC News correspondent  Rep. Barbara Lee, (D) California  Howard Fineman, senior editor for The Huffington Post and msnbc political analyst  Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for The Washington Post and msnbc contributorHere's executive producer Bill Wolff with a preview of tonight's show: read more

Sidewalk talk

Of sidewalks, sprains and society

07/29/11 05:02PM

My lug nut mishap yesterday (update: upon 2nd diagnosis, my ankle is not broken after all! Just a bad sprain!) gave rise to a lively discussion about what sidewalks (and the lack thereof) mean for our communities. Mary in Portland, Oregon:To walk to my bus stop, whenever it rains (which it does often here in Portland), there is a choice between walking through a block-long ankle-deep mud puddle and stepping out onto a 40 MPH street. read more

The voice and the power belong to you. Just ask Horton, who heard a Who

The voice and the power belong to you. Just ask Horton, who heard a Who

07/29/11 03:57PM

By Melissa Harris-PerryWatching the current debt ceiling crisis reminds me of one of my 9-year-old daughter's favorite books: Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss. The book tells the story of Horton the Elephant who hears a small speck of dust talking to him from the end of a flower. It turns out the speck of dust is actually a community of Whos. read more

The Friday Awesome

07/29/11 03:00PM

Given the week we've just had, I think I speak for the room when I say, bring on the dancing baby hippo. And while you're at it, throw in some cartoon dancing hippos as well. Ahhhh, the flabby genius....Pitiless march of time alert: MTV turns 30 years old MondayFun fact---MTV actually stands for Music Television and often featured short clips of popular performers known as "videos." (Got a favorite? Post it in comments. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…)I like this one too. read more

The blue line is where we thought we were. The red line is where we are.

Chart: Toward a Greater Great Recession

07/29/11 02:41PM

Washington, D.C., has been wrestling for weeks now with how to cut government spending -- a key sector of the economy.Meanwhile, as you know from living in the rest of the world, the real problem is the economy. New government figures show that the Great Recession was greater than we thought. The recovery is nowhere. And good luck finding meaningful talk about a public stimulus to get the economy moving again. read more