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The Coddling of The American Mind

ben2974
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8/14/2015 8:47:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
http://www.theatlantic.com...

This long read discusses the rising phenomenon of emotional reasoning among young adults and students (gen Y) that has created a new and different wave of censorship and intolerance.

The following is a snippet from the reading discussing the disinvitation of graduation speakers :

"Consider two of the most prominent disinvitation targets of 2014: former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the International Monetary Fund"s managing director, Christine Lagarde. Rice was the first black female secretary of state; Lagarde was the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 country and the first female head of the IMF. Both speakers could have been seen as highly successful role models for female students, and Rice for minority students as well. But the critics, in effect, discounted any possibility of something positive coming from those speeches.

Members of an academic community should of course be free to raise questions about Rice"s role in the Iraq War or to look skeptically at the IMF"s policies. But should dislike of part of a person"s record disqualify her altogether from sharing her perspectives?

If campus culture conveys the idea that visitors must be pure, with r"sum"s that never offend generally left-leaning campus sensibilities, then higher education will have taken a further step toward intellectual homogeneity and the creation of an environment in which students rarely encounter diverse viewpoints. And universities will have reinforced the belief that it"s okay to filter out the positive. If students graduate believing that they can learn nothing from people they dislike or from those with whom they disagree, we will have done them a great intellectual disservice."

Everybody should read this . . . It's long, but well worth the read!!!
Garbanza
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8/15/2015 1:13:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:47:48 PM, ben2974 wrote:
http://www.theatlantic.com...

This is a really interesting article. Obviously, censorship of ideas in academia is a bad thing, but I wonder if they're missing the point of a lot of it. For example, with microaggression. It IS a microaggression when someone asks someone of "ethnic" appearance how long they've been in the country, because even if their family has been in the country for five generations, there is the assumption that they're an outsider, which a white person with immigrant parents wouldn't be subjected to.

I think it's really important to acknowledge these microaggressions, because without acknowledgement, they are internalized, and that means that the person begins to believe that they really are an outsider, and they believe they deserve that treatment.

I think the problem is the idea that microaggressions can be avoided entirely, and that any incident is therefore a transgression. I think that's the idea we need to lose. Because the truth is, if we're in the social world and interacting all day long, we will inevitably commit microaggressions, even with the best intentions in the world. I think of my head of department who is trying to improve standards, and he seems genuine and focused about it, but he is inevitably causing harm, because most actions and most change brings damage, and the people who are harmed by the changes are different people from the ones who benefit. Or like giving drugs to treat an illness in a population - there will inevitably be side effects.

So even if we learn not to ask Asian-looking people how long they've been in the country, we still probably think of them as different and outsiders to some small extent. The damage of being in the minority still exists, even if we learn better manners, and that kind of thing may need to be acknowledged, even if it can't be avoided entirely. Manners are good, though.

We don't do trigger warnings where I live, but maybe it's for the same reason. Like acknowledging the traditional owners of the land before any any public event, or thanking the animal before you eat it. It's not because we expect people to leave the event or to not read the novel or not eat the aardvark, but it's just acknowledging that harm may be caused here.

The most ridiculous one is asking rape law not to be taught, but I wonder if this may have been misreported. For example, if we consider all the law that's been discussed on DDO, I'd estimate that rape law would constitute at least half of all legal discussion here. That's obviously disproportionate. I could understand that if rape law was discussed excessively in law school, it would constitute a microaggression and it would be reasonable to ask for more balance.
ben2974
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8/15/2015 4:02:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 1:13:51 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 8/14/2015 8:47:48 PM, ben2974 wrote:
http://www.theatlantic.com...

This is a really interesting article. Obviously, censorship of ideas in academia is a bad thing, but I wonder if they're missing the point of a lot of it. For example, with microaggression. It IS a microaggression when someone asks someone of "ethnic" appearance how long they've been in the country, because even if their family has been in the country for five generations, there is the assumption that they're an outsider, which a white person with immigrant parents wouldn't be subjected to.

I think it's really important to acknowledge these microaggressions, because without acknowledgement, they are internalized, and that means that the person begins to believe that they really are an outsider, and they believe they deserve that treatment.

I think the problem is the idea that microaggressions can be avoided entirely, and that any incident is therefore a transgression. I think that's the idea we need to lose. Because the truth is, if we're in the social world and interacting all day long, we will inevitably commit microaggressions, even with the best intentions in the world. I think of my head of department who is trying to improve standards, and he seems genuine and focused about it, but he is inevitably causing harm, because most actions and most change brings damage, and the people who are harmed by the changes are different people from the ones who benefit. Or like giving drugs to treat an illness in a population - there will inevitably be side effects.

How on earth are we supposed to be able to avoid microaggressions when the majority of them, if not all, are subjectively determined? That's one of the points this article tries to make. Basically, stop pandering to people's requests just because they might get their feelings hurt; it limits freedoms and it limits discussion. And we know the implications of these limitations (as was beautifully illustrated in the article).
Garbanza
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8/15/2015 4:15:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 4:02:02 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 1:13:51 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 8/14/2015 8:47:48 PM, ben2974 wrote:
http://www.theatlantic.com...

This is a really interesting article. Obviously, censorship of ideas in academia is a bad thing, but I wonder if they're missing the point of a lot of it. For example, with microaggression. It IS a microaggression when someone asks someone of "ethnic" appearance how long they've been in the country, because even if their family has been in the country for five generations, there is the assumption that they're an outsider, which a white person with immigrant parents wouldn't be subjected to.

I think it's really important to acknowledge these microaggressions, because without acknowledgement, they are internalized, and that means that the person begins to believe that they really are an outsider, and they believe they deserve that treatment.

I think the problem is the idea that microaggressions can be avoided entirely, and that any incident is therefore a transgression. I think that's the idea we need to lose. Because the truth is, if we're in the social world and interacting all day long, we will inevitably commit microaggressions, even with the best intentions in the world. I think of my head of department who is trying to improve standards, and he seems genuine and focused about it, but he is inevitably causing harm, because most actions and most change brings damage, and the people who are harmed by the changes are different people from the ones who benefit. Or like giving drugs to treat an illness in a population - there will inevitably be side effects.


How on earth are we supposed to be able to avoid microaggressions when the majority of them, if not all, are subjectively determined? That's one of the points this article tries to make. Basically, stop pandering to people's requests just because they might get their feelings hurt; it limits freedoms and it limits discussion. And we know the implications of these limitations (as was beautifully illustrated in the article).

See - you're acting like a jerk and I'm not attracted to you! That whole jerk attraction theory in that other thread is just completely wrong.
ben2974
Posts: 767
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8/15/2015 4:31:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 4:15:55 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 8/15/2015 4:02:02 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 1:13:51 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 8/14/2015 8:47:48 PM, ben2974 wrote:
http://www.theatlantic.com...

This is a really interesting article. Obviously, censorship of ideas in academia is a bad thing, but I wonder if they're missing the point of a lot of it. For example, with microaggression. It IS a microaggression when someone asks someone of "ethnic" appearance how long they've been in the country, because even if their family has been in the country for five generations, there is the assumption that they're an outsider, which a white person with immigrant parents wouldn't be subjected to.

I think it's really important to acknowledge these microaggressions, because without acknowledgement, they are internalized, and that means that the person begins to believe that they really are an outsider, and they believe they deserve that treatment.

I think the problem is the idea that microaggressions can be avoided entirely, and that any incident is therefore a transgression. I think that's the idea we need to lose. Because the truth is, if we're in the social world and interacting all day long, we will inevitably commit microaggressions, even with the best intentions in the world. I think of my head of department who is trying to improve standards, and he seems genuine and focused about it, but he is inevitably causing harm, because most actions and most change brings damage, and the people who are harmed by the changes are different people from the ones who benefit. Or like giving drugs to treat an illness in a population - there will inevitably be side effects.


How on earth are we supposed to be able to avoid microaggressions when the majority of them, if not all, are subjectively determined? That's one of the points this article tries to make. Basically, stop pandering to people's requests just because they might get their feelings hurt; it limits freedoms and it limits discussion. And we know the implications of these limitations (as was beautifully illustrated in the article).

See - you're acting like a jerk and I'm not attracted to you! That whole jerk attraction theory in that other thread is just completely wrong.

I think I misunderstood your original post.

.___.

but yeah I'd also like to add "personal/mental development"
Garbanza
Posts: 1,997
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8/15/2015 4:46:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 4:31:53 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 4:15:55 AM, Garbanza wrote:
See - you're acting like a jerk and I'm not attracted to you! That whole jerk attraction theory in that other thread is just completely wrong.

I think I misunderstood your original post.

.___.

but yeah I'd also like to add "personal/mental development"

Don't be nice. It wrecks the mood.
ben2974
Posts: 767
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8/15/2015 4:48:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 4:46:24 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 8/15/2015 4:31:53 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 4:15:55 AM, Garbanza wrote:
See - you're acting like a jerk and I'm not attracted to you! That whole jerk attraction theory in that other thread is just completely wrong.

I think I misunderstood your original post.

.___.

but yeah I'd also like to add "personal/mental development"

Don't be nice. It wrecks the mood.

@sshole
Garbanza
Posts: 1,997
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8/15/2015 5:36:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 4:48:01 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 4:46:24 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 8/15/2015 4:31:53 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 4:15:55 AM, Garbanza wrote:
See - you're acting like a jerk and I'm not attracted to you! That whole jerk attraction theory in that other thread is just completely wrong.

I think I misunderstood your original post.

.___.

but yeah I'd also like to add "personal/mental development"

Don't be nice. It wrecks the mood.

@sshole

Nothing. That jerk myth is bullsh1t.
slo1
Posts: 4,350
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8/15/2015 2:23:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
A refutation of the Atlantic article.

http://www.salon.com...

Here is an excerpt

And Lukianoff and Haidt leave readers outside of academe with the impression that present-day college syllabi are literally dripping with trigger warnings. Let me say unequivocally " and using proof every bit as flimsy and anecdotal as theirs " that I see no evidence of this. In six years as a college-level course instructor at a major American research university, and in the same number of years as a doctoral student in a dual-title Women"s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program " ostensibly one of the hotbeds of political correctness " I have yet to encounter a single classroom trigger warning.

What I have seen is people being cognizant of their students" and peers" feelings and concerns. For four semesters now, I"ve been showing students in my introductory American Civil War course portions of "12 Years a Slave." Before doing so, I regularly warn them that the content of the film is graphic " that it contains scenes of brutal violence, racist language, and nudity. I even give students the option to skip class, without penalty, on the days when I show the film " though, to date, I"ve yet to have a single student take me up on this offer.
ben2974
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8/15/2015 3:53:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 2:23:50 PM, slo1 wrote:
A refutation of the Atlantic article.

http://www.salon.com...

Here is an excerpt

And Lukianoff and Haidt leave readers outside of academe with the impression that present-day college syllabi are literally dripping with trigger warnings. Let me say unequivocally " and using proof every bit as flimsy and anecdotal as theirs " that I see no evidence of this. In six years as a college-level course instructor at a major American research university, and in the same number of years as a doctoral student in a dual-title Women"s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program " ostensibly one of the hotbeds of political correctness " I have yet to encounter a single classroom trigger warning.

What I have seen is people being cognizant of their students" and peers" feelings and concerns. For four semesters now, I"ve been showing students in my introductory American Civil War course portions of "12 Years a Slave." Before doing so, I regularly warn them that the content of the film is graphic " that it contains scenes of brutal violence, racist language, and nudity. I even give students the option to skip class, without penalty, on the days when I show the film " though, to date, I"ve yet to have a single student take me up on this offer.


The dude's writing gives me a headache - I hope he doesn't take that the wrong way!!

In all seriousness, though, if someone's going to try to debunk the article in the OP, they're going to have to present an equally detailed and comprehensive overview of the dilemma. This professor simply uses his own status and experience as a cover for his argument, and pretty much glosses over the ideas of his opponents (authors in the OP) and provides near blanket statements in response.

P.S - if he's going to link incidents to their wiki page to inform the reader, he best not link something that doesn't help his argument, such as the water buffalo Wikipedia link, that does him no favor.
slo1
Posts: 4,350
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8/15/2015 6:23:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 3:53:31 PM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 2:23:50 PM, slo1 wrote:
A refutation of the Atlantic article.

http://www.salon.com...

Here is an excerpt

And Lukianoff and Haidt leave readers outside of academe with the impression that present-day college syllabi are literally dripping with trigger warnings. Let me say unequivocally " and using proof every bit as flimsy and anecdotal as theirs " that I see no evidence of this. In six years as a college-level course instructor at a major American research university, and in the same number of years as a doctoral student in a dual-title Women"s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program " ostensibly one of the hotbeds of political correctness " I have yet to encounter a single classroom trigger warning.

What I have seen is people being cognizant of their students" and peers" feelings and concerns. For four semesters now, I"ve been showing students in my introductory American Civil War course portions of "12 Years a Slave." Before doing so, I regularly warn them that the content of the film is graphic " that it contains scenes of brutal violence, racist language, and nudity. I even give students the option to skip class, without penalty, on the days when I show the film " though, to date, I"ve yet to have a single student take me up on this offer.


The dude's writing gives me a headache - I hope he doesn't take that the wrong way!!

In all seriousness, though, if someone's going to try to debunk the article in the OP, they're going to have to present an equally detailed and comprehensive overview of the dilemma. This professor simply uses his own status and experience as a cover for his argument, and pretty much glosses over the ideas of his opponents (authors in the OP) and provides near blanket statements in response.

P.S - if he's going to link incidents to their wiki page to inform the reader, he best not link something that doesn't help his argument, such as the water buffalo Wikipedia link, that does him no favor.

PS. You don't know whether that is an error on the author's part or the on line editor's part, so it is immaterial.

I'm not certain why the author would have to present an overview of the dilemma to refute the Atlantic article. The author is stating that the dilemma is manufactured and not as serious as the Atlantic authors proclaim.

There are valid points in the refutal:

1. Atlantic proclaim that "some students" have requested warning on graphic content in a book with racial violence or violence towards women.
A. Salon article, while one professors experience would say. So what? We give content warnings for movies. It allows individuals to make their own informed decision and it hasn't stopped anything from being taught anyway. It is a non-starter.

2. Atlantic authors write:
The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into "safe spaces" where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable.

Salon author
Educators" job, after all, is not to surprise, humiliate, and traumatize their students, but rather teach them how to navigate these challenges with maturity and competence. Contrary to Lukianoff and Haidt"s belief, warning students about disturbing material actually helps, rather than hinders, in this process.

3. Atlantic article
But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong.

That is completely backwards at least from a corporate standpoint. Corporations are bastions of political correctness and for promoting conformity to the corporate culture and business direction.

I'm not going to go on further. Personally, I think that both sides have a point. I however do not think that trigger warnings are a problem in any shape or form. I remember going though a sexuality class and it was probably wise that the prof gave fair warning about content such as looking at slides of vages and wankers.

There is more unpopular ideas and concepts including non-political correct content being studied and spoken about on college campus than there is on Fox News. I can see the need to making sure that individuals on campus have a venue to use controversial content for learning purposes. We need people like the Atlantic folks watching when we do tighten up too much to the point it becomes a detriment.

I thus believe the truth is somewhere in the middle of these two articles and both are valid.
ben2974
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8/16/2015 1:16:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 6:23:01 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 3:53:31 PM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 2:23:50 PM, slo1 wrote:
A refutation of the Atlantic article.

http://www.salon.com...

Here is an excerpt

And Lukianoff and Haidt leave readers outside of academe with the impression that present-day college syllabi are literally dripping with trigger warnings. Let me say unequivocally " and using proof every bit as flimsy and anecdotal as theirs " that I see no evidence of this. In six years as a college-level course instructor at a major American research university, and in the same number of years as a doctoral student in a dual-title Women"s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program " ostensibly one of the hotbeds of political correctness " I have yet to encounter a single classroom trigger warning.

What I have seen is people being cognizant of their students" and peers" feelings and concerns. For four semesters now, I"ve been showing students in my introductory American Civil War course portions of "12 Years a Slave." Before doing so, I regularly warn them that the content of the film is graphic " that it contains scenes of brutal violence, racist language, and nudity. I even give students the option to skip class, without penalty, on the days when I show the film " though, to date, I"ve yet to have a single student take me up on this offer.


The dude's writing gives me a headache - I hope he doesn't take that the wrong way!!

In all seriousness, though, if someone's going to try to debunk the article in the OP, they're going to have to present an equally detailed and comprehensive overview of the dilemma. This professor simply uses his own status and experience as a cover for his argument, and pretty much glosses over the ideas of his opponents (authors in the OP) and provides near blanket statements in response.

P.S - if he's going to link incidents to their wiki page to inform the reader, he best not link something that doesn't help his argument, such as the water buffalo Wikipedia link, that does him no favor.

PS. You don't know whether that is an error on the author's part or the on line editor's part, so it is immaterial.

I'm not certain why the author would have to present an overview of the dilemma to refute the Atlantic article. The author is stating that the dilemma is manufactured and not as serious as the Atlantic authors proclaim.

There are valid points in the refutal:

1. Atlantic proclaim that "some students" have requested warning on graphic content in a book with racial violence or violence towards women.
A. Salon article, while one professors experience would say. So what? We give content warnings for movies. It allows individuals to make their own informed decision and it hasn't stopped anything from being taught anyway. It is a non-starter.

2. Atlantic authors write:
The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into "safe spaces" where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable.

Salon author
Educators" job, after all, is not to surprise, humiliate, and traumatize their students, but rather teach them how to navigate these challenges with maturity and competence. Contrary to Lukianoff and Haidt"s belief, warning students about disturbing material actually helps, rather than hinders, in this process.

3. Atlantic article
But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong.

That is completely backwards at least from a corporate standpoint. Corporations are bastions of political correctness and for promoting conformity to the corporate culture and business direction.


I'm not going to go on further. Personally, I think that both sides have a point. I however do not think that trigger warnings are a problem in any shape or form. I remember going though a sexuality class and it was probably wise that the prof gave fair warning about content such as looking at slides of vages and wankers.

There is more unpopular ideas and concepts including non-political correct content being studied and spoken about on college campus than there is on Fox News. I can see the need to making sure that individuals on campus have a venue to use controversial content for learning purposes. We need people like the Atlantic folks watching when we do tighten up too much to the point it becomes a detriment.

I thus believe the truth is somewhere in the middle of these two articles and both are valid.

I mean I agree with your general sentiment as well. Nonetheless, your examples pulled from the articles pretty much all relate to what looks like the casual trigger warning, which by itself isn't really controversial. Unfortunately that's not the limit of this issue, and the Atlantic makes a point in trying to discuss how deep students' emotional fragility is, as applied in various scenarios (not just basic trigger warning in class).

Also, to your last comment (point 3), that could work as double-edged sword, right? It would depend on the business and its positioning on things. IF you're in line with them, then that's fine. But if you aren't? Also, I think it's fair to assume that when we mean professional life, we mean interacting with others in a professional manner both business related and personal (say, disputes among colleagues).
ben2974
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8/16/2015 1:40:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 4:31:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Read this last night, very good article. Do you follow Steven Pinker on Twitter? That's how I found it.

I don't have a Twitter account. Someone on fb shared this.
YYW
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8/16/2015 1:42:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I agree that trigger warnings are stupid, and I also think that the entire point of going to college is to make people uncomfortable within their little bubble.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
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8/16/2015 3:20:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 2:23:50 PM, slo1 wrote:
A refutation of the Atlantic article.

http://www.salon.com...

Here is an excerpt

And Lukianoff and Haidt leave readers outside of academe with the impression that present-day college syllabi are literally dripping with trigger warnings. Let me say unequivocally " and using proof every bit as flimsy and anecdotal as theirs " that I see no evidence of this. In six years as a college-level course instructor at a major American research university, and in the same number of years as a doctoral student in a dual-title Women"s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program " ostensibly one of the hotbeds of political correctness " I have yet to encounter a single classroom trigger warning.

If this is actually true, then it's nothing short of extraordinary. Just in my senior year of high school I probably over 20 trigger warnings. There were at least three per book we read and one or two per documentary.
dylancatlow
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8/16/2015 3:50:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/15/2015 6:23:01 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 3:53:31 PM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 2:23:50 PM, slo1 wrote:
A refutation of the Atlantic article.

http://www.salon.com...

Here is an excerpt

And Lukianoff and Haidt leave readers outside of academe with the impression that present-day college syllabi are literally dripping with trigger warnings. Let me say unequivocally " and using proof every bit as flimsy and anecdotal as theirs " that I see no evidence of this. In six years as a college-level course instructor at a major American research university, and in the same number of years as a doctoral student in a dual-title Women"s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program " ostensibly one of the hotbeds of political correctness " I have yet to encounter a single classroom trigger warning.

What I have seen is people being cognizant of their students" and peers" feelings and concerns. For four semesters now, I"ve been showing students in my introductory American Civil War course portions of "12 Years a Slave." Before doing so, I regularly warn them that the content of the film is graphic " that it contains scenes of brutal violence, racist language, and nudity. I even give students the option to skip class, without penalty, on the days when I show the film " though, to date, I"ve yet to have a single student take me up on this offer.


The dude's writing gives me a headache - I hope he doesn't take that the wrong way!!

In all seriousness, though, if someone's going to try to debunk the article in the OP, they're going to have to present an equally detailed and comprehensive overview of the dilemma. This professor simply uses his own status and experience as a cover for his argument, and pretty much glosses over the ideas of his opponents (authors in the OP) and provides near blanket statements in response.

P.S - if he's going to link incidents to their wiki page to inform the reader, he best not link something that doesn't help his argument, such as the water buffalo Wikipedia link, that does him no favor.

PS. You don't know whether that is an error on the author's part or the on line editor's part, so it is immaterial.

I'm not certain why the author would have to present an overview of the dilemma to refute the Atlantic article. The author is stating that the dilemma is manufactured and not as serious as the Atlantic authors proclaim.

There are valid points in the refutal:

1. Atlantic proclaim that "some students" have requested warning on graphic content in a book with racial violence or violence towards women.
A. Salon article, while one professors experience would say. So what? We give content warnings for movies. It allows individuals to make their own informed decision and it hasn't stopped anything from being taught anyway. It is a non-starter.

Movies are a bit different, because they're meant to be enjoyed and nothing is really expected of the viewer. Students, on the other hand, have responsibilities, and letting them skip assignments which offend them sends the message that they have the right to sail through life without having to think unpleasant thoughts, which is completely unrealistic and will eventually have to be unlearned. My generation is by far the wimpiest generation to ever exist.

2. Atlantic authors write:
The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into "safe spaces" where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable.

Salon author
Educators" job, after all, is not to surprise, humiliate, and traumatize their students, but rather teach them how to navigate these challenges with maturity and competence. Contrary to Lukianoff and Haidt"s belief, warning students about disturbing material actually helps, rather than hinders, in this process.

If someone is actually humiliated or traumatized by something they read, then they are incredibly fragile and should be exposed to even more of the "frightening" material until they are desensitized to it. I don't think very many students actually fall into this category, but many are pressured into feeling this way. I've seen it first hand.
slo1
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8/17/2015 1:32:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 3:50:18 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 8/15/2015 6:23:01 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 3:53:31 PM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 2:23:50 PM, slo1 wrote:
A refutation of the Atlantic article.

http://www.salon.com...

Here is an excerpt

And Lukianoff and Haidt leave readers outside of academe with the impression that present-day college syllabi are literally dripping with trigger warnings. Let me say unequivocally " and using proof every bit as flimsy and anecdotal as theirs " that I see no evidence of this. In six years as a college-level course instructor at a major American research university, and in the same number of years as a doctoral student in a dual-title Women"s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program " ostensibly one of the hotbeds of political correctness " I have yet to encounter a single classroom trigger warning.

What I have seen is people being cognizant of their students" and peers" feelings and concerns. For four semesters now, I"ve been showing students in my introductory American Civil War course portions of "12 Years a Slave." Before doing so, I regularly warn them that the content of the film is graphic " that it contains scenes of brutal violence, racist language, and nudity. I even give students the option to skip class, without penalty, on the days when I show the film " though, to date, I"ve yet to have a single student take me up on this offer.


The dude's writing gives me a headache - I hope he doesn't take that the wrong way!!

In all seriousness, though, if someone's going to try to debunk the article in the OP, they're going to have to present an equally detailed and comprehensive overview of the dilemma. This professor simply uses his own status and experience as a cover for his argument, and pretty much glosses over the ideas of his opponents (authors in the OP) and provides near blanket statements in response.

P.S - if he's going to link incidents to their wiki page to inform the reader, he best not link something that doesn't help his argument, such as the water buffalo Wikipedia link, that does him no favor.

PS. You don't know whether that is an error on the author's part or the on line editor's part, so it is immaterial.

I'm not certain why the author would have to present an overview of the dilemma to refute the Atlantic article. The author is stating that the dilemma is manufactured and not as serious as the Atlantic authors proclaim.

There are valid points in the refutal:

1. Atlantic proclaim that "some students" have requested warning on graphic content in a book with racial violence or violence towards women.
A. Salon article, while one professors experience would say. So what? We give content warnings for movies. It allows individuals to make their own informed decision and it hasn't stopped anything from being taught anyway. It is a non-starter.

Movies are a bit different, because they're meant to be enjoyed and nothing is really expected of the viewer. Students, on the other hand, have responsibilities, and letting them skip assignments which offend them sends the message that they have the right to sail through life without having to think unpleasant thoughts, which is completely unrealistic and will eventually have to be unlearned. My generation is by far the wimpiest generation to ever exist.

There is a fine line. I hope you are never asked to work on a project where you have to make decisions or perform actions that go against your ethics. If you choose to suck it up rather than find a new job, what would that say about you? I understand it if you are asked to work 60 hours a week for 6 months on a special project and can't handle it versus being told to do something unethical or illegal such as over billing customers or even working in a mail room where lots of pornography is coming through (worked for publishers clearing house where people would send porn back in the prepaid envelopes).

As far as being the wimpiest generation don't believe everything that is being told about millennials. Trust me when I say that most people 55 and younger if had to slaughter their own meat would end up vegetarians. This trend of being "protected" started in the 70's and millennials have the most difficult transition of modern times in to information and technology. Just alone that transition would set up any population of people for failure during a catastrophic event. It is more important to know how to program today than do copper plumbing.

2. Atlantic authors write:
The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into "safe spaces" where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable.

Salon author
Educators" job, after all, is not to surprise, humiliate, and traumatize their students, but rather teach them how to navigate these challenges with maturity and competence. Contrary to Lukianoff and Haidt"s belief, warning students about disturbing material actually helps, rather than hinders, in this process.

If someone is actually humiliated or traumatized by something they read, then they are incredibly fragile and should be exposed to even more of the "frightening" material until they are desensitized to it. I don't think very many students actually fall into this category, but many are pressured into feeling this way. I've seen it first hand.

There is nothing new there. People have been pressured to conform since the beginning of time. In fact we live in times where one can support more fringe beliefs on college campuses ever. I recall reading an article from a prof just in last couple years ago about a white supremacist who actively engaged in the message around campus and how the teacher struggled with the dichotomy of having a good active student versus the vile message the student preached.

Try being an openly gay student on a college campus in the 70's. If there ever was true suppression of ideas and people on public campuses it more so happened decades ago.

Not that it does not happen today, but this anti-pc lash back is over blowing it. So humor has changed. Humor is a cultural thing it is bound to change. If kids don't find humor in stereotypical type humor I grew up on big deal. Adapt or get out of the business. It is like the old codger complaining about how rap music and all this new age stuff is terrible. Musicians of the 80's don't have the luxury of demanding millennials like their music. Change is a guarantee. If you can't run with the big dogs stay on the porch.
slo1
Posts: 4,350
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8/17/2015 1:56:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/16/2015 1:16:44 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 6:23:01 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 3:53:31 PM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/15/2015 2:23:50 PM, slo1 wrote:
A refutation of the Atlantic article.

http://www.salon.com...

Here is an excerpt

And Lukianoff and Haidt leave readers outside of academe with the impression that present-day college syllabi are literally dripping with trigger warnings. Let me say unequivocally " and using proof every bit as flimsy and anecdotal as theirs " that I see no evidence of this. In six years as a college-level course instructor at a major American research university, and in the same number of years as a doctoral student in a dual-title Women"s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program " ostensibly one of the hotbeds of political correctness " I have yet to encounter a single classroom trigger warning.

What I have seen is people being cognizant of their students" and peers" feelings and concerns. For four semesters now, I"ve been showing students in my introductory American Civil War course portions of "12 Years a Slave." Before doing so, I regularly warn them that the content of the film is graphic " that it contains scenes of brutal violence, racist language, and nudity. I even give students the option to skip class, without penalty, on the days when I show the film " though, to date, I"ve yet to have a single student take me up on this offer.


The dude's writing gives me a headache - I hope he doesn't take that the wrong way!!

In all seriousness, though, if someone's going to try to debunk the article in the OP, they're going to have to present an equally detailed and comprehensive overview of the dilemma. This professor simply uses his own status and experience as a cover for his argument, and pretty much glosses over the ideas of his opponents (authors in the OP) and provides near blanket statements in response.

P.S - if he's going to link incidents to their wiki page to inform the reader, he best not link something that doesn't help his argument, such as the water buffalo Wikipedia link, that does him no favor.

PS. You don't know whether that is an error on the author's part or the on line editor's part, so it is immaterial.

I'm not certain why the author would have to present an overview of the dilemma to refute the Atlantic article. The author is stating that the dilemma is manufactured and not as serious as the Atlantic authors proclaim.

There are valid points in the refutal:

1. Atlantic proclaim that "some students" have requested warning on graphic content in a book with racial violence or violence towards women.
A. Salon article, while one professors experience would say. So what? We give content warnings for movies. It allows individuals to make their own informed decision and it hasn't stopped anything from being taught anyway. It is a non-starter.

2. Atlantic authors write:
The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into "safe spaces" where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable.

Salon author
Educators" job, after all, is not to surprise, humiliate, and traumatize their students, but rather teach them how to navigate these challenges with maturity and competence. Contrary to Lukianoff and Haidt"s belief, warning students about disturbing material actually helps, rather than hinders, in this process.

3. Atlantic article
But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong.

That is completely backwards at least from a corporate standpoint. Corporations are bastions of political correctness and for promoting conformity to the corporate culture and business direction.


I'm not going to go on further. Personally, I think that both sides have a point. I however do not think that trigger warnings are a problem in any shape or form. I remember going though a sexuality class and it was probably wise that the prof gave fair warning about content such as looking at slides of vages and wankers.

There is more unpopular ideas and concepts including non-political correct content being studied and spoken about on college campus than there is on Fox News. I can see the need to making sure that individuals on campus have a venue to use controversial content for learning purposes. We need people like the Atlantic folks watching when we do tighten up too much to the point it becomes a detriment.

I thus believe the truth is somewhere in the middle of these two articles and both are valid.

I mean I agree with your general sentiment as well. Nonetheless, your examples pulled from the articles pretty much all relate to what looks like the casual trigger warning, which by itself isn't really controversial. Unfortunately that's not the limit of this issue, and the Atlantic makes a point in trying to discuss how deep students' emotional fragility is, as applied in various scenarios (not just basic trigger warning in class).

Look at one of their examples. They state an Asian American group put out materials showing how offensive it is to Asians when you assume all of them are good at math. Asian Americans complained about the materials and the University listened to those complaints and took out the materials.

I don't understand how that is coddling the American Mind. As someone who has managed very diverse sets of people for over 15 years, when you get complaints you have to make a decision on the best response that protects the company. I guarantee the primary concern of the university in that case is legal exposure, not some concept they need to coddle the students and protect them.

People are confusing creating the most inclusive environment with coddling. Everyone who has global responsibilities in advertising quickly learns that the rules are different in different societies. There is nothing wrong with calling myself a US citizen versus an American when traveling to Canada despite all the conservative mentality of, "why should I change what I say because I'm proud to be an American".

Understanding how to work with many different types is the point of this PC movement, not restricting ideas.


Also, to your last comment (point 3), that could work as double-edged sword, right? It would depend on the business and its positioning on things. IF you're in line with them, then that's fine. But if you aren't? Also, I think it's fair to assume that when we mean professional life, we mean interacting with others in a professional manner both business related and personal (say, disputes among colleagues).
ben2974
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8/17/2015 3:40:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/17/2015 1:56:26 PM, slo1 wrote:
Look at one of their examples. They state an Asian American group put out materials showing how offensive it is to Asians when you assume all of them are good at math. Asian Americans complained about the materials and the University listened to those complaints and took out the materials.

I don't understand how that is coddling the American Mind. As someone who has managed very diverse sets of people for over 15 years, when you get complaints you have to make a decision on the best response that protects the company. I guarantee the primary concern of the university in that case is legal exposure, not some concept they need to coddle the students and protect them.

People are confusing creating the most inclusive environment with coddling. Everyone who has global responsibilities in advertising quickly learns that the rules are different in different societies. There is nothing wrong with calling myself a US citizen versus an American when traveling to Canada despite all the conservative mentality of, "why should I change what I say because I'm proud to be an American".

Understanding how to work with many different types is the point of this PC movement, not restricting ideas.



Do you mean this example?

"Some recent campus actions border on the surreal. In April, at Brandeis University, the Asian American student association sought to raise awareness of microaggressions against Asians through an installation on the steps of an academic hall. The installation gave examples of microaggressions such as "Aren"t you supposed to be good at math?" and "I"m colorblind! I don"t see race." But a backlash arose among other Asian American students, who felt that the display itself was a microaggression. The association removed the installation, and its president wrote an e-mail to the entire student body apologizing to anyone who was "triggered or hurt by the content of the microaggressions.""

If this is what you were referring to, then i'm sorry because I can't agree with you here. This example really does blow my mind. A group of Asian American students providing stereotype/microagression awareness for the campus is being aggressed by the very people who they are trying to help (themselves!!). That's crazy man...

And even if this was a legitimate microagression, you cannot forbid such a group of people expressing their issue with sincerity and positive intention.

And again, how far does society have to go in pandering to the emotional whims and needs of the people? Where's the cutoff point? You can't just accept subjective grievances left and right.
slo1
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8/17/2015 4:19:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/17/2015 3:40:04 PM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/17/2015 1:56:26 PM, slo1 wrote:
Look at one of their examples. They state an Asian American group put out materials showing how offensive it is to Asians when you assume all of them are good at math. Asian Americans complained about the materials and the University listened to those complaints and took out the materials.

I don't understand how that is coddling the American Mind. As someone who has managed very diverse sets of people for over 15 years, when you get complaints you have to make a decision on the best response that protects the company. I guarantee the primary concern of the university in that case is legal exposure, not some concept they need to coddle the students and protect them.

People are confusing creating the most inclusive environment with coddling. Everyone who has global responsibilities in advertising quickly learns that the rules are different in different societies. There is nothing wrong with calling myself a US citizen versus an American when traveling to Canada despite all the conservative mentality of, "why should I change what I say because I'm proud to be an American".

Understanding how to work with many different types is the point of this PC movement, not restricting ideas.



Do you mean this example?

"Some recent campus actions border on the surreal. In April, at Brandeis University, the Asian American student association sought to raise awareness of microaggressions against Asians through an installation on the steps of an academic hall. The installation gave examples of microaggressions such as "Aren"t you supposed to be good at math?" and "I"m colorblind! I don"t see race." But a backlash arose among other Asian American students, who felt that the display itself was a microaggression. The association removed the installation, and its president wrote an e-mail to the entire student body apologizing to anyone who was "triggered or hurt by the content of the microaggressions.""

If this is what you were referring to, then i'm sorry because I can't agree with you here. This example really does blow my mind. A group of Asian American students providing stereotype/microagression awareness for the campus is being aggressed by the very people who they are trying to help (themselves!!). That's crazy man...

And even if this was a legitimate microagression, you cannot forbid such a group of people expressing their issue with sincerity and positive intention.

And again, how far does society have to go in pandering to the emotional whims and needs of the people? Where's the cutoff point? You can't just accept subjective grievances left and right.

I agree that there is some irony in that example. One of the things I teach my teams is that if they are offended by something someone says, in a private setting, approach that person and explain why you were offended. In other words, try to work it out first. I absolutely have zero problem with individuals or groups explaining their view point to others.

Here is the difference between a University and a place of business. At a University t is going to be hung out to be examined from every angle versus in a business the higher authority will take action and kill the discussion via an order to an employee to cease and desist.

I have looked up that example and it seems the entire matter did not include the University administration and the project was voluntarily removed by the Asian Students Association. It seems to me that the entire situation enhanced discussion rather than suppressed discussion.

I am unable to see any negative resulting from the entire incident. What you are fundamentally asking is that people suppress their ideas at the university because you disagree with the message. Individuals and groups need the freedom to express themselves on public campuses. They also need the freedom to experience the repercussions of the communication.
ben2974
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8/17/2015 4:37:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/17/2015 4:19:24 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 8/17/2015 3:40:04 PM, ben2974 wrote:
At 8/17/2015 1:56:26 PM, slo1 wrote:
Look at one of their examples. They state an Asian American group put out materials showing how offensive it is to Asians when you assume all of them are good at math. Asian Americans complained about the materials and the University listened to those complaints and took out the materials.

I don't understand how that is coddling the American Mind. As someone who has managed very diverse sets of people for over 15 years, when you get complaints you have to make a decision on the best response that protects the company. I guarantee the primary concern of the university in that case is legal exposure, not some concept they need to coddle the students and protect them.

People are confusing creating the most inclusive environment with coddling. Everyone who has global responsibilities in advertising quickly learns that the rules are different in different societies. There is nothing wrong with calling myself a US citizen versus an American when traveling to Canada despite all the conservative mentality of, "why should I change what I say because I'm proud to be an American".

Understanding how to work with many different types is the point of this PC movement, not restricting ideas.



Do you mean this example?

"Some recent campus actions border on the surreal. In April, at Brandeis University, the Asian American student association sought to raise awareness of microaggressions against Asians through an installation on the steps of an academic hall. The installation gave examples of microaggressions such as "Aren"t you supposed to be good at math?" and "I"m colorblind! I don"t see race." But a backlash arose among other Asian American students, who felt that the display itself was a microaggression. The association removed the installation, and its president wrote an e-mail to the entire student body apologizing to anyone who was "triggered or hurt by the content of the microaggressions.""

If this is what you were referring to, then i'm sorry because I can't agree with you here. This example really does blow my mind. A group of Asian American students providing stereotype/microagression awareness for the campus is being aggressed by the very people who they are trying to help (themselves!!). That's crazy man...

And even if this was a legitimate microagression, you cannot forbid such a group of people expressing their issue with sincerity and positive intention.

And again, how far does society have to go in pandering to the emotional whims and needs of the people? Where's the cutoff point? You can't just accept subjective grievances left and right.

I agree that there is some irony in that example. One of the things I teach my teams is that if they are offended by something someone says, in a private setting, approach that person and explain why you were offended. In other words, try to work it out first. I absolutely have zero problem with individuals or groups explaining their view point to others.

Here is the difference between a University and a place of business. At a University t is going to be hung out to be examined from every angle versus in a business the higher authority will take action and kill the discussion via an order to an employee to cease and desist.

I have looked up that example and it seems the entire matter did not include the University administration and the project was voluntarily removed by the Asian Students Association. It seems to me that the entire situation enhanced discussion rather than suppressed discussion.

I am unable to see any negative resulting from the entire incident. What you are fundamentally asking is that people suppress their ideas at the university because you disagree with the message. Individuals and groups need the freedom to express themselves on public campuses. They also need the freedom to experience the repercussions of the communication.

underlined: I don't see how the situation enhanced discussion when discussion was supposed to be had between one ethnicity and the other (the actual purpose of the project) but was instead defeated by its own people.

Bold: Whaaaat? I'm definitely an advocate for free speech and totally against suppression of words and ideas. I don't care if one half of the Asian American student body thinks calling out stereotypes is a bad idea; they shouldn't be allowed to stop the other half from expressing their concern!
j50wells
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8/21/2015 8:43:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/14/2015 8:47:48 PM, ben2974 wrote:
http://www.theatlantic.com...

This long read discusses the rising phenomenon of emotional reasoning among young adults and students (gen Y) that has created a new and different wave of censorship and intolerance.


The following is a snippet from the reading discussing the disinvitation of graduation speakers :

"Consider two of the most prominent disinvitation targets of 2014: former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the International Monetary Fund"s managing director, Christine Lagarde. Rice was the first black female secretary of state; Lagarde was the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 country and the first female head of the IMF. Both speakers could have been seen as highly successful role models for female students, and Rice for minority students as well. But the critics, in effect, discounted any possibility of something positive coming from those speeches.

Members of an academic community should of course be free to raise questions about Rice"s role in the Iraq War or to look skeptically at the IMF"s policies. But should dislike of part of a person"s record disqualify her altogether from sharing her perspectives?

If campus culture conveys the idea that visitors must be pure, with r"sum"s that never offend generally left-leaning campus sensibilities, then higher education will have taken a further step toward intellectual homogeneity and the creation of an environment in which students rarely encounter diverse viewpoints. And universities will have reinforced the belief that it"s okay to filter out the positive. If students graduate believing that they can learn nothing from people they dislike or from those with whom they disagree, we will have done them a great intellectual disservice."

Everybody should read this . . . It's long, but well worth the read!!!

Personally, I don't think there are any young people who can think anymore. I do say this to their shame. Todays 25 and under population reminds me of the Hippies from the 60's. With these types of people it doesn't matter how many facts and data that you show them, they still will not believe what you say. It's called fanaticism. Fanaticism was responsible for the mass suicide in the Jim Jones Christian cult. It was responsible for women leaving their husbands to becoming the wives of David Karesh and then the burning of many men, women, and children. Fanaticism was responsible for the Russians handing their land, money, wealth, and brains over the Lenin, and then Stalin, which led to the largest genocide in human history at that time, and the largest prison system ever, in which a third of the whole population of Russia spent at least ten years in.
Fanaticism is the most dangerous form of thinking that can be worked up in the human mind. It can come in many forms but it is usually accomplished by appealing to 100% emotion. The emotion that is constituted is usually based on a feeling of love and compassion, and then a hope for a better and more complete future for everyone. With this comes a feeling of loathing and hatred towards those who don't share the groups ideas. And unction that these other people are outsiders and deserve punishment is then recited in the minds and hearts of the fanatics, until anyone who opposes them is all of the sudden the enemy and the evil ones. Christianity does this sort of thing to people's brains. So does socialism. So does any cult.
Today, there is a huge population of young people who can't say no to the fanaticism. These young people will do anything for the acceptance and protection of their group, including walking off a cliff together.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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8/21/2015 10:48:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The huge problem here is that self-control on a mental level is no longer seen as a virtue. If someone becomes offended, instead of examining their own emotional reactions, they blame whoever sparked the response, and feel entitled to control the behaviors of other people in a futile effort to control themselves. It's patently absurd, unhealthy, disgraceful, and pathetic. It not only leads to this sort of grotesquely censorial society, it also leads to to a sense of loss of control for the people who demand to be coddled. As Epictetus put it:

"If a person gave your body to any stranger he met on his way, you would certainly be angry. And do you feel no shame in handing over your own mind to be confused and mystified by anyone who happens to verbally attack you?"
- The Enchiridion -
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -