Educational institutions have a duty to oppose monomania and to lead students out of its stultifying embrace.
At the risk of lowering everyone's IQ by ten or more points, could we suggest social media are actually evil technologies? As a thought experiment, can anyone suggest anything unambiguously good about social media? I think we all know what's bad. Does the former justify the latter?
I have been trying very hard to see Persuasion and many of the close in commuinity who write for it as other than monomanical -- to use Haidt's terminology - and I am failing badly. Outside of "how to" pieces about civility, how to engage constructively with the "other", there is a fairly relentless drum beat that concentrates on extremes on the left side of the classroom and other locations, once in a while, an aim at bothsidism ermerges and it is said that the extreme right is just as illiberal or stupid, but the emphaisis is on what to me is an exaggeration of the hard views on the left to left of center.It hurts me when authors I admire, like Haidt seem to hve fallen into that camp while criticizing it. Extreme language dominates and Haidt's fairy tale statues and the description of types of monomania fall into the extreme. Words like dangerous and destructive are used too freely. I am sadly turned off. I thought of taking the extreme action of just canceling my sub. I try however to avoid actions that cut to the quick, close doors, better to quietly withdraw, retain watchfulness, hope for better. You all make it very hard.
Thank you Mr. Haidt for a thoughtfully written thought provoking article. I fear too many are barricaded behind their high walls to appreciate it. May I please be wrong.
I use “M.” like the French do, for Monsieur but ALSO for Mesdames and Mademoiselle EQUALLY. ALL CAPS are ITALICS. :)
TY (thank You) M. Haidt. Couldn’t agree more. TYTY.
I might add “a couple” points: (Which sometimes turns out to be more than two. ;)
ICBW, but I believe the BIGGER (italics) problem is that the tertiary institutions THEMSELVES are monomaniacal. Firstly, in their beliefs about supposedly “marginalized” people. And, secondly, in their idea that their job is to create il-liberals just like themselves. Again, ICBW, but my impression is that amongst the voices that are heard the LOUDEST, Yours is a very small minority.
I think what You are “speaking” of is a subset of a LARGE (recall, italics) problem. The FACT that there isn’t much of a repository of agreed-upon facts. I believe ONE reason for this is that Critical Race Theorists have managed to place prominence on “lived experience” over hard facts. I believe this was by DESIGN of M. Crenshaw, et al. In fact, hard-facts are now considered to be an aspect of “whiteness.” And who’s in favor of THAT?
IC-definitely-BW about this. But I think Universities took a 540° turn away from liberal views with the shooting of Michael Brown. As SOME people know, the idea that Michael Brown had his hands up and was saying don’t shoot was a bald-faced lie. I think movements based on bald-faced lies, and incapable of acknowledging their errors…
…Well, I think believers in the ONE TRUE FAITH probably WOULD come outta bald-faced lies. Or maybe it was just coincidence.
TYTY again, Sir, for this essay and Your work. ESPECIALLY if You read this. Bought a couple of Your books, but have about 1K, so haven’t gotten to them yet. (PLAN to, but… :)
I made a hash of it below. I said:
I recommend, if You like to look at the politics of today: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/authority-blob-roundtable
What it's ACTUALLY about is trying to answer who actually IS running things in the US? Where do they come from? Why is it they are all woke? Implied in the conversation is whether it will ever change, I would say. May be of no interest, granted, but I thought it was interesting enough...
People who use the definition of "liberal" from the Oxford Languages as "2. relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise." are using the term liberal in the European meaning. Note the "liberal" political party in the UK. This meaning of liberalism translates as "neo liberalism" in the American context.
Prof Haidt, I am an admirer. But to some extent you speak in tongues. And you end before clarifying. If I am correct, your reticence proves the point you were afraid to make openly.
While the polymania you are advocating is a good long term goal, I would argue that some issues are urgent and pressing enough that it is essential to distill them to the simplest definitions and value judgements. If black people are dying at the hands of police every day, if I were black I don't know if I would see the value, or even have the patience to hold a nuanced discussion about all the lenses through with we could examine that death. I think I would frame it in the most basic terms possible to make my wishes clear and give unambiguous actionable instructions.
While I don't necessarily agree with Ibram Kendi's assertion that all action is inherently either/or racist/non-racist, I don't agree with your interpretation either.
Not discussing race in a chemistry class is not automatically racist by his definition, it's just not ambiguous or neutral.