Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vindictive Protectiveness, Wisdom Meets PC

How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus - The Atlantic:

This is longish, but WELL worth the read! I love virtually everything Jonathan Haidt writes (if you scan the blog for his name, you will find a long list ...), and unfortunately, I've been exposed to Cognitive Therapy and Dr David Burns writings as progenitor of this approach. I say "unfortunately" because like being exposed to surgery means you have had a problem, likewise my exposure to Burns means battling anxiety and depression. While I don't enjoy those problems, I'm also aware that those problems for writers are possibly as common as knee injuries in football or shoulder separations in bicycling.

The base conclusion here is that the thinking patterns of the millennial generation are being driven toward de facto mental illness by the progression from "Politically Correct" to "Microaggression", and "Trigger Warnings" to create an environment of "Vindictive Protectiveness". Our schools have become a hostile environment for independent and mature thought.

The article does a masterful job of going through many of the 12 common mental errors made by people with a tendency toward anxiety and depression, and shows how they are the same errors used to convince students that none of their carefully constructed left wing politically correct thought need ever be questioned.

The 12 thinking errors are at the end -- even if you have mind like a steel trap, being aware of how these things can slip into your brain is worth the time, so I'll do a VERY quick synopsis here with a SLIGHT tongue in cheek political flavor. These errors are very common to ALL kinds of thinking!
  1. Mind Reading -- You know what lurks in the evil mind of Condoleezza Rice. No need to have her speak! 
  2. Fortune Telling -- If I read or hear about rape it will trigger all sort of bad thoughts, so the best idea is to not be exposed to the topic! 
  3. Catastrophizing --  (mountains out of molehills)  I saw a gun! I can't go on living in such a violent culture! 
  4. Labeling -- He is a Christian, therefore he is racist, sexist, homophobic and loves only rich people!
  5. Discounting the Positive -- Sure W Bush did some AIDs stuff in Africa, but that was just an attempt to cover his true evil! (the reverse binocular trick -- you look at the positives with the wrong side of the binoculars) 
  6. Negative Filtering -- Focus on the negatives, ignore the positives. Sure, the economy seemed good from 2002-2007, but it was all a sham. 
  7. Overgeneralizing -- Produce a global pattern from one or a small number of incidents. Katrina proves that we will have lots of strong storms for years to come! 
  8. All or Nothing -- Everything is stark with no gray -- for depressed or anxious people, usually BAD, and even the smallest thing is huge. "I can't love America as long as one person flies the Confederate Flag!"
  9. Blaming -- Republicans and Big Business have created a world where there is no hope for the little guy. 
  10. What if? -- My favorite is "What if Napoleon had a B-52 at Waterloo?" What if I have a motorcycle accident? What if the Stock Market goes to $500? ...
  11. Emotional Reasoning -- Republicans make me feel bad, therefore they are bad. 
  12. Inability to Disconfirm -- Global Warming is settled, nothing can convince me otherwise. 
What you should really do is ignore what I say and take the time to read it. What Haidt won't say very directly but I will (though he comes very close as I show below), is that since our educational system is completely left wing, as well as most of our media and entertainment, what we are really looking at here is a problem of the left. Here I depart to charges of possibly justified paranoia in saying that I don't believe it is an accident. The Party explicitly wants a nation of sensitive followers rather than strong minded classically educated individuals. Religion, Philosophy and Classical Literature all create bulwarks against the kind of state sponsored "offendedness sweepstakes" we see today ... I'd argue that reality also argues against it. 
If campus culture conveys the idea that visitors must be pure, with résumés 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.
When the ideas, values, and speech of the other side are seen not just as wrong but as willfully aggressive toward innocent victims, it is hard to imagine the kind of mutual respect, negotiation, and compromise that are needed to make politics a positive-sum game.
Haidt has managed to continue to use science and reason to create what I see as wisdom writing  -- the largest single missing element in the modern world. Ignore what I say -- read his wise words.

'via Blog this'

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