Jonathan Haidt: Universities Are Digging Their Own Graves

 

  1. Jonathan Haidt: Universities Are Digging Their Own Graves
    Published On :-2017-April-2nd
    Link

 

Indepth

  1. Micro-aggression
    • Wikipedia
      Link
      A microaggression is the casual degradation of any marginalized group. The term was coined by psychiatrist and Harvard University professor Chester M. Pierce in 1970 to describe insults and dismissals he regularly witnessed non-black Americans inflict on African Americans.
      Eventually, the term came to encompass the casual degradation of any socially marginalized group, such as the poor or the disabled.
      Psychologist Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership”.
      The concept is frequently taught by those seeking to resist racism and oppression.
      However, a number of authors, including Bradley Campbell, Heather Mac Donald, Amitai Etzioni, Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff, Jason Manning, Ralph Nader, and Christina Hoff Sommers, have argued that the concept of microaggressions may be harmful to both individuals and society.
  2. Moral Dependency
    • Victimhood Culture
    • Culture
      • Honor Culture
        • Small insults have to be addressed by you
      • Dignity Culture
        • Trade
        • Little understanding was use
        • I will not make a little thing out of a little name calling
        • Great for diversity
        • What is happening in some small universities
          • In small egalitarian universities, authorities were been brought in to address little things
          • Everyone was trying to get prestige by showing what a victim they are
          • Or by punishing people who they feel might have harmed people
        • Where did this come
          • In the 90s, kids started to be raised by active parents
          • In response to child abduction and things of the sort, parents started to be more active in parenting their children
          • Kids noticed and started using parents as problem solvers and co-opt to punish their siblings
          • Not learnt to
            • Deal with insult
        • Encourage moral dependency
        • Mob Punishment
        • Fear of saying something wrong

Jonathan Haidt

Background

It always humbles me to see how far ahead so many of these guys really are.

Profile

 

Quotes

“If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.”
Sent-ts’an, Buddhist, around c. 700 C.E.

 

 

Videos

  1. Tim Keller & Jonathan Haidt at NYU – The Closing of the Modern Mind – Identity Politics
    Link
  2. Jonathan Haidt: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives
    March 2008
    Link

David Brooks – This Age of Wonkery

Background

Newspaper Man, David Brooks, writes an article only he can write; as it takes not being solidly behind an Ideology.

 

Story

 

Link

If you were a certain sort of ideas-oriented young person coming of age in the 20th century, it was very likely you would give yourself a label and join some movement. You’d call yourself a Marxist, a neoconservative, a Freudian, an existentialist or a New Deal liberal.

There would be certain sacred writers who would explain the world to you — from Jung to Camus, Dewey or Chesterton. There’d probably be a small magazine where the doctrines of your sect would be hammered out.

People today seem less likely to give themselves intellectual labels or join self-conscious philosophical movements. Young people today seem more likely to have their worldviews shaped by trips they have taken, or causes they have been involved in, or the racial or ethnic or gender identity group they identify with.

That’s changed the nature of the American intellectual scene, the way people approach the world and the lives they live.

In his book, “The Ideas Industry,” Daniel W. Drezner says we’ve shifted from a landscape dominated by public intellectuals to a world dominated by thought leaders. A public intellectual is someone like Isaiah Berlin, who is trained to comment on a wide array of public concerns from a specific moral stance. A thought leader champions one big idea to improve the world — think Al Gore’s work on global warming.

As Drezner puts it, intellectuals are critical, skeptical and tend to be pessimistic. Thought leaders are evangelists for their idea and tend to be optimistic. The world of Davos-like conferences, TED talks and PopTech rewards thought leaders, not intellectuals, Drezner argues.

Intellectual life has fallen out of favor for several reasons, he continues. In a low-trust era, people no longer have as much faith in grand intellectuals to serve as cultural arbiters. In a polarized era, ideologically minded funders like George Soros or the Koch brothers will only pay for certain styles of thought work. In an unequal era, rich people like to go to Big Idea conferences, and when they do they want to hear ideas that are going to have some immediate impact — Jeffrey Sachs’s latest plan to end world poverty or Amy Cuddy’s findings on how to adopt the right power stance.

Drezner doesn’t call this a decline, just a shift (let’s not underestimate how silly and wrong some of the grand, sweeping intellectuals could be). But I’m struck by how people’s relationship to ideas has changed.

In the first place, public thinkers now conceive of themselves as legislative advisers. Drezner writes a book called “The Ideas Industry,” but he is really writing about public policy. When George Orwell, Simone de Beauvoir or even Ralph Waldo Emerson were writing, they were hoping to radically change society, but nobody would confuse them with policy wonks.

Second, there was a greater sense then than now, I think, that the very nature of society was up for grabs. Call it a vestige from Marxism or maybe Christianity, but there was a sense that the current fallen order was fragile and that a more just mode of living was out there to be imagined.

Finally, intellectual life was just seen as more central to progress. Intellectuals establish the criteria by which things are measured and goals are set. Intellectuals create the frameworks within which politicians operate. How can you have a plan unless you are given a theory? Intellectuals create the age.

Doing that sort of work meant leading the sort of exceptional life that allowed you to emerge from the cave — to see truth squarely and to be fully committed to the cause. Creating a just society was the same thing as transforming yourself into a moral person.

For George Orwell, this meant being with the poor and the oppressed — living as a homeless tramp in England, a dishwasher in Paris, getting shot through the neck as a soldier in the Spanish Civil War. It meant teaching himself how to turn political writing into an art form.

For the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci, it meant committing fully to ideas, even if it meant years in prison, and doing the rigorous mental work required for a life of hard thinking. He was as left as can be, but he believed in traditional school curriculums, the tough grinding of learning Latin and Greek grammar. “It will be necessary to resist the tendency to render easy that which cannot become easy without being distorted,” he wrote.

It also meant joining a tradition and a team. There were a whole set of moral tests involved with obedience to the movement, breaking ranks when necessary, facing unpleasant truths, pioneering a collective way of living, whether feminist, Marxist or libertarian.

The 20th century held up intellectuals like that, and then discredited them — too many were too wrong about communism and fascism. But we’ve probably over-adjusted, and deprived a generation of a vision of the heroic intellectual. It’s good to have people who think about North Korean disarmament. But politics is most real at a more essential level.

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