The Coddling Of The American Mind (Trigger Warning Article In The Atlantic...)

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posting this here instead of that pitchfork thread where people were talking about social justice warriors and then we started talking about college kids and i wanted to know what you think, america. also, is this happening everywhere? meaning outside america. my wife has been dealing with college kids at the college radio station she vounteers at and those kids all use this language and they really do feel attacked in a pretty visceral way if people question them or are critical of them. my wife has a theory that college-age kids were traumatized by 9/11! which i never would have thought of. but the helicoptering parents and emphasis on safe spaces....well, it kinda makes sense! but i'm no shrink.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

scott seward, Saturday, 3 October 2015 17:02 (four years ago) link

good article

the late great, Saturday, 3 October 2015 17:23 (four years ago) link

related article about how some comedians won't play college campuses anymore.

scott seward, Saturday, 3 October 2015 17:25 (four years ago) link

I've been skeptical of these articles -- I read this one last week -- because I work at a public university in a major metropolitan center and have seen little evidence of these phenomena, which doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

However, I DO see the use of the politics of offense in smaller communities within the university, like the college radio deejays whom scott alludes to and to a lesser extent student newspaper employees. But these are students who already feel besieged, and when we include sexual experimentation, a muddled absorption of classroom concepts, hours on the internet not knowing the difference between a blog post and a scholarly article but responding as if they were the same, I can understand. Students are fun.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 3 October 2015 17:28 (four years ago) link

lots of discussion in the "free speech and creepy liberalism" thread iirc

marcos, Saturday, 3 October 2015 17:53 (four years ago) link

and Alfred otm, I work a university too and I think the article is overblowing the issue, I've seen some really good responses to the article and I'll try to post a few

marcos, Saturday, 3 October 2015 17:54 (four years ago) link

Childhood itself has changed greatly during the past generation. Many Baby Boomers and Gen Xers can remember riding their bicycles around their hometowns, unchaperoned by adults, by the time they were 8 or 9 years old.

so close

playlists of pensive swift (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:00 (four years ago) link

riding their bicycles watching TV

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:02 (four years ago) link

"lots of discussion in the "free speech and creepy liberalism" thread iirc"

ah, okay. i never go there.

scott seward, Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:10 (four years ago) link

Students are fun to be avoided

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:19 (four years ago) link

contemporary college students are awesome (i teach them) and seem exactly the same as college students did when I was in college

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:28 (four years ago) link

article's kind of a weak entry in this extremely competitive field imo. over half of it is earnest recap, like a rocky and bullwinkle episode.

i'm also increasingly suspicious, maybe unfairly, of "cognitive behavioral therapy"? really seems to be reaching critical mass right now as something people who are not therapists recommend to people who are not their patients. it's got this nice sellable new-age connection to buddhist right-thought stuff but in practice it seems over and over again to come down to an expert way of saying "your perspective is invalid, use mine." that this article positions it as the clinical antidote to those nasty Feelings rings a little alarm bell that harmonizes with other little alarm bells, like the one at the part where the authors muse on the horror of "a culture where everyone must think twice"; or the one at the part where they say that instead of changing the world, you should change your desires, because of buddhism, not the maintenance of hegemony at all; or the one at the part where one of them describes his qualifications as ceo of something called "the foundation for individual rights in education". idk. i think i left college just before this started, if it started.

playlists of pensive swift (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:35 (four years ago) link

xp iirc article was linked by on fs & cl thread but there wasn't much discussion of it
(lol maybe thread participants felt a little exhausted of topic by then)

fairly good article overall. not sure about suggested prescriptions (eg introducing cbt training); agree shd be reform of federal standards language
anyway largely agree with diagnosis (tho nb i currently do not inhabit a campus)

drash, Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:36 (four years ago) link

ya dlh, share yr ? re cbt (particularly, idea of institutionalizing training of it on campus)
prima facie seems harmless but

drash, Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:39 (four years ago) link

well, it's good to have some anecdotal evidence from people here that this isn't as big a deal as you might think based on articles like this.

it's funny that i don't ever really remember hearing people talk about "mindfulness" until i moved to western mass. though i don't know if it's a long-time western mass thing or just a recent faddish term. i've been here 6 years. i hear it all the time. speaking of cognitive therapy.

scott seward, Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:50 (four years ago) link

not dismissing cock/ball torture in itself because obviously lots of people (lots and lots of people) are extremely anxious all the time and living in a whole assortment of horrible moments that aren't this one, and cbt as practical diy tool to solve this is probably plenty useful. (it's probably so useful that people use it all the time without knowing it; "teaching" it seems more like a matter of highlighting+formalizing one of your basic cognitive defenses.) however because its fundamental premise is your perceptions are distorted and its fundamental mechanism is replace them with this, it imo really and unfortunately lends itself to the culture wars, where there hadn't been a breakthrough in ages in the r&d of how to talk about certain people's insanity and irrationality and how to get them to see that the hegemonic perspective isn't really a "perspective" at all but in fact the realm of pure form. so recommending it be imposed en masse by a corporate bureaucracy for the good of its customers, as a way of fixing their alarming, inexplicable political dissatisfaction, doesn't seem to me like a road to compassion and mental health.

playlists of pensive swift (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 3 October 2015 18:52 (four years ago) link

so are we just going redo that whole other thread in this thread

j., Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:01 (four years ago) link

seems to work for the atlantic

playlists of pensive swift (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:01 (four years ago) link

you don't have to do anything!

scott seward, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:02 (four years ago) link

it's a free country! or is it....

scott seward, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:02 (four years ago) link

never saw this as a college prof in the USA and haven't seen it yet in frogland though over here kids get yelled at a lot more, by parents, by teachers, than in the USA so I don't expect it to cross over here, if indeed it is a thing aux États-Unis

droit au butt (Euler), Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:08 (four years ago) link

xp :)
(btw sorry for omission of 'j' in 'linked by j')

drash, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:09 (four years ago) link

links by j

playlists of pensive swift (difficult listening hour), Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:12 (four years ago) link

I think this culture exists (mostly) among politically active left-wing kids in relatively-elite universities. so a subset of a subset of college kids. that doesn't mean it's 'not a thing' but it's also not something you want to associate w/ a whole generation. I would guess the majority of American college students have never heard the term 'trigger warning'.

iatee, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:15 (four years ago) link

a related atlantic article
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/will-black-lives-matter-be-a-movement-that-persuades/407017/

On the left, I constantly see activists and cultural critics trying to police public discourse by calling out people who run afoul of their preferred social norms, even when the vast majority of the public does not share a given social norm. What if Americans all started hashing out our disagreements again instead? The social-justice movement in particular relies heavily on shaming and norm-policing, tactics responsible for a large part of its unpopularity and, I’d argue, its ineffectiveness. The left should start recognizing that its focus on policing social norms in enclaves where it wields unusual influence undermines its effectiveness everywhere else.

iatee, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:18 (four years ago) link

codling warning

http://cs4304.vk.me/u1753898/87471552/x_cbabc6e4.jpg

kinder, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:18 (four years ago) link

i just wanna know why their voices go up at the end of a sentence, and they all have the Valley Girl accent

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:23 (four years ago) link

you mean, the young?

j., Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:23 (four years ago) link

Obama's fault

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:25 (four years ago) link

uptalk is just a sign of a generation willing to question everything and anything

iatee, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:26 (four years ago) link

disruptors, is their appellation

j., Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:41 (four years ago) link

codling warning
http://www.worldseafishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/mt_cobh_cod.jpg

Aimless, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:45 (four years ago) link

disruptors are throwing figurative bang snaps at the feet of startled normies everywhere.

nomar, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:46 (four years ago) link

please, it's neurotypicals

j., Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:49 (four years ago) link

i wonder if what is really at issue here is something like the "political" in carl schmitt's sense: the political as the space of legitimate conflict. or if schmitt's critique of liberalism as obscuring the political could be useful here.

ryan, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:51 (four years ago) link

oh boy, a whole other thread for this shit

qualx, Saturday, 3 October 2015 19:56 (four years ago) link

shit, now we've bummed out qualx too. good ol' qualx.

scott seward, Saturday, 3 October 2015 20:01 (four years ago) link

I don't work in academia, but I find it hard to believe that kids today are more "sensitive" or demand more coddling than they did a decade ago when I was in college. I feel like the trend pieces have been popular due to:

-The insane insecurity of the academic job market, and how easy it is lose work if you're not tenured. This is not necessarily the students' fault, but I get the impression reading these things that some academics feel besieged on all sides, and students are an easier scapegoat because students are more likely to be obnoxious and self-righteous than the administrators who are actually the ones with the power.
-The fact that young people now have a "published" platform in the form of social media, particularly in the post-twitter age. So suddenly things that professors wouldn't have even heard about a decade ago may be more likely to develop publicly, and that has people nervous and scared. Even if there's a certain boogeyman quality to the whole thing.

Add this to editors knowing that bashing millennials will get you clicks, and you get a slew of stories like this.

intheblanks, Saturday, 3 October 2015 21:11 (four years ago) link

Also one thing that bothers me about a lot of these pieces is that they imply that trigger warnings let students opt out of course readings without providing any evidence that professors are actually allowing that. It's in the Atlantic article repeatedly.

intheblanks, Saturday, 3 October 2015 21:15 (four years ago) link

What are we doing to our students if we encourage them to develop extra-thin skin just before they leave the cocoon of adult protection?

Hopefully they will find the unmitigated courage to get a job writing for the Atlantic about how college kids are wimps.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 3 October 2015 21:59 (four years ago) link

I read the thread title as The Coddling Of the American Mind (Trigger Warning -- Article in the Atlantic)

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Sunday, 4 October 2015 02:03 (four years ago) link

that was exactly how i read it too, a warning against articles in the atlantic, which is the sort of warning i'm cool with tbqh

where the sterls have no name (s.clover), Sunday, 4 October 2015 02:20 (four years ago) link

one of my typed-and-deleted posts this morning was "thread title needs a colon"

playlists of pensive swift (difficult listening hour), Sunday, 4 October 2015 02:22 (four years ago) link

yeah I was thinking like trigger for IA at nu-Atlantic terribleness

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Sunday, 4 October 2015 02:28 (four years ago) link

intheblanks otm

there is also a totally lame element of "political correctness gone mad!!!!" bullshit imo

marcos, Sunday, 4 October 2015 02:34 (four years ago) link

shit, now we've bummed out qualx too. good ol' qualx.

― scott seward, Saturday, 3 October 2015 20:01 (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

lol <3

deejerk reactions (darraghmac), Sunday, 4 October 2015 03:03 (four years ago) link

contemporary college students are awesome (i teach them) and seem exactly the same as college students did when I was in college

― Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, October 3, 2015 1:28 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i would say "yes" except for one thing, i think they've largely lost the ability to read more than a few paragraphs at a time. all but the very the best students seem constitutionally unable to process an entire chapter (let alone an entire book) and follow an argument. i can even feel this happening to myself, gradually, as a result of spending too much time on the web.

wizzz! (amateurist), Sunday, 4 October 2015 05:02 (four years ago) link

Also one thing that bothers me about a lot of these pieces is that they imply that trigger warnings let students opt out of course readings without providing any evidence that professors are actually allowing that. It's in the Atlantic article repeatedly.

― intheblanks, Saturday, October 3, 2015 4:15 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this sort of thing absolutely happens... sometimes... not often. basically these articles take a very real but marginal phenomenon and make it sound as if it's a majority practice at american universities. which it isn't.

that said, some of the things that always come up in these articles (like the "safe space" with stuffed animals and candy brown university set up when a pro-life speaker was on campus...or something like that) are so absurd that you really have to wonder what sort of echo chamber the people involved exist in that they don't recognize their own ridiculousness.

wizzz! (amateurist), Sunday, 4 October 2015 05:05 (four years ago) link

the brown thing was hilarious in that it basically wrote one of thee articles about the infantilizing of undergraduates all by itself....

wizzz! (amateurist), Sunday, 4 October 2015 05:06 (four years ago) link

'it has always been wrong to bet against america'

i thought this guy was supposed to be a fucking scientist

j., Wednesday, 20 December 2017 22:04 (one year ago) link

what a shitty article

the late great, Wednesday, 20 December 2017 22:12 (one year ago) link

oh now he's a professor of 'ethical leadership' in a business school

j., Wednesday, 20 December 2017 22:15 (one year ago) link

I like the physics metaphors. That’s the only way I’m gonna communicate on ilx from now on.

treeship 2, Wednesday, 20 December 2017 23:57 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

http://alicedreger.com/Wellesley

All in all, I think the engagement at the Wellesley protest went well, even if it was an ironic lesson in the social construction of identity. A number of students came up to me to say they had really had their minds opened by realizing what they’re told about someone might not at all be true. A few told me they were planning to push back against the problem of what amounts to falsehood-based activism.

So, I felt like I did a pretty good job for the students and faculty there. But it was impossible not to leave with a renewed sense of just how fucked up campuses are right now.

j., Monday, 19 February 2018 20:33 (one year ago) link

a renewed sense of just how fucked up campuses are right now

It seems to me that the people who are creating fake Facebook and Twitter accounts impersonating her, and the Facebook and Twitter corporations who allow impersonations to persist, are the truly fucked-up people and entities. Students being taken in by such impersonations may be naïve or gullible, but that is not the same as fucked up.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 19 February 2018 20:46 (one year ago) link

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/no-wonder-wayne-lapierre-is-on-edge/2018/02/23/3aedcab0-18af-11e8-b681-2d4d462a1921_story.html?utm_term=.be1d376677ba

He saw a “tidal wave” of “European-style socialists bearing down upon us,” creating a “captive society,” eliminating “resistance,” making a “list” in a cloud database of those who spank their children, expunging the “fundamental concept of moral behavior,” controlling speech through “safe zones.”

...

LaPierre singled out three billionaire capitalists to blame for the socialist revolution: George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer. But he saw conspirators everywhere in the government — Trump’s government: the FBI (with its “corruption” and “rogue leadership”) the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the intelligence agencies. He also blamed the Democrats, media, Hollywood, universities, classrooms, Black Lives Matter, elites and Keith Ellison.

Even the CPAC audience seemed to be stunned by this unhinged time-traveler from the Cold War. “You know, I hear a lot of quiet in this room, and I sense your anxiety,” he said. “And you should be anxious, and you should be frightened.”

j., Friday, 23 February 2018 19:37 (one year ago) link

A certain ex-ilxor:

https://splinternews.com/if-you-truly-care-about-speech-you-will-invite-me-to-y-1823614969

If You Truly Care About Speech, You Will Invite Me to Your Office to Personally Call You a Dipshit

Civil society requires the toleration of the expression of opposing viewpoints, no matter how personally discomforting you may find them. Therefore, it would be profoundly hypocritical for the editorial staff of the New York Times opinion section not to immediately invite me to come to their offices to call them all morons and trolls.

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Thursday, 8 March 2018 22:37 (one year ago) link

tick vg

nyt op-ed seems especially rudderless/clueless these days even for them

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 8 March 2018 22:41 (one year ago) link

Pareene was on ILX?

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 8 March 2018 22:49 (one year ago) link

One of Pareene's best. It even got Lawyers Guns & Money linkage.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 8 March 2018 22:49 (one year ago) link

he was here for quite awhile!

xpost

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 8 March 2018 22:51 (one year ago) link

My local alt-weekly’s resident Bari Weiss fan wrote a great article today detailing the history of Satanic child abuse hysteria and then comparing it to the current calls for a boycott of a local business over an allegedly racially-motivated firing.

JoeStork, Friday, 9 March 2018 00:36 (one year ago) link

Did Sommers actually have to cut her speech short as a result of the heckling? That seems like a key point.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 9 March 2018 03:12 (one year ago) link

David French has some words for y'all sliming Bari Weiss!

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 9 March 2018 03:14 (one year ago) link

grownups with power really are the worst

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Friday, 9 March 2018 08:16 (one year ago) link

was the response incorrect do u just not agree with his..........tone......................................

things you looked shockingly old when you wore (darraghmac), Friday, 9 March 2018 09:09 (one year ago) link

Did Sommers actually have to cut her speech short as a result of the heckling? That seems like a key point.

Because I do think that a university's obligation to allow student groups to invite speakers of varying persuasions on various topics, and to allow these speakers to speak without being shut down by hecklers, is greater than an editorial board's (or e.g. the university administration's) obligation to allow someone to insult them privately in their office. Neither is really a free speech issue in the legal sense but I do think there is an academic freedom issue here. Perhaps an argument could be made in cases where e.g. a speaker might single out and harass individual students but I definitely don't think that Christina Hoff Sommers is an example of this.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 9 March 2018 13:14 (one year ago) link

the academic freedom to give a platform to dumb-as-a-rock speakers must be upheld

War, Famine, Pestilence, Death, Umami (bizarro gazzara), Friday, 9 March 2018 13:19 (one year ago) link

Um, yes, that is my position (although I don't agree that Sommers is dumb as a rock, even when I disagree with her).

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 9 March 2018 13:26 (one year ago) link

I'm glad that's your position but it's important that you know that it's not the position of this particular vein of "free speech activists," whose position is that it's a big problem for free speech if hollering students delay a speech by five minutes, but nbd when speakers with political beliefs that might offend state legislators are barred by the administration from appearing on campus in the first place, or are fired by universities when already employed there.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 9 March 2018 16:22 (one year ago) link

Well, the latter sort concerns me more and my posts to these threads probably show as much. That doesn't mean that one can't be concerned about both things. One can also both be frustrated by the hypocrisy of selective 'free speech activists' and disagree with the parallel that Pareene seems to be implying.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Friday, 9 March 2018 18:08 (one year ago) link

The local Muslim Students’ Association wanted to invite a speaker to ASU.
*The university sent a contract stipulating that any speaker that comes cannot be involved in the BDS movement.
*This is a gross violation of free speech
*Therefore, we are suing.https://t.co/wWprq2lGOD pic.twitter.com/tzdZ8krRhc

— Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) March 2, 2018

while my dirk gently weeps (symsymsym), Friday, 9 March 2018 19:49 (one year ago) link

For this tweet I am being told I am a racist

j., Sunday, 11 March 2018 18:55 (one year ago) link

isnt this the lady with an extensive twitter history of using slurs and shit?

NBA YoungBoy named Rocky Raccoon (m bison), Sunday, 11 March 2018 19:30 (one year ago) link

ah, this is the lady who thinks Hamilton makes it ok for members of the press to call people immigrants even if they were born in the country

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 11 March 2018 19:42 (one year ago) link

isnt this the lady with an extensive twitter history of using slurs and shit?

No, that was Quinn Norton, who was (publicly) hired and sacked within a 24-hour timespan.

Simon H., Sunday, 11 March 2018 20:12 (one year ago) link

Double lol: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/02/afflictions

Frederik B, Sunday, 11 March 2018 20:20 (one year ago) link

scroll to the bottom for Sully's weekly screed on lib intolerance

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 11 March 2018 20:22 (one year ago) link

ross 'relentlessly careful and smooth' douthat

j., Sunday, 11 March 2018 20:40 (one year ago) link

god that's a lot of paragraphs of robert mueller fan fiction

while my dirk gently weeps (symsymsym), Sunday, 11 March 2018 23:34 (one year ago) link

andrew "daddy issues" sullivan

map, Monday, 12 March 2018 01:08 (one year ago) link

https://www.minnpost.com/education/2018/03/edina-young-conservatives-club-lawsuit-inspires-bill-legislature

“Let me be very clear, I think the emotion and the fear and the retaliation and the anger and the hurt that we have heard, regarding what has happened in one of our schools — and perhaps many other schools — is something we, as education leaders, need to take very seriously,” Nelson said, referring to Edina high schoolers who’d testified in support of her bill. “I do not believe it’s the job of a teacher to tell a student that his or her opinion — or their parents’ opinions — are wrong. But it is their job to make sure that we have a fair and academic balance when we talk about these controversial issues.”

that's the R talking, about presumably butthurt bad faith conservative highschoolers

j., Monday, 12 March 2018 17:57 (one year ago) link

Edina, huh?

The town so white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant that it’s school mascot is a fucking hornet.

kim jong deal (suzy), Monday, 12 March 2018 18:11 (one year ago) link

might be hope for the states yet

the clodding of the american mind (darraghmac), Tuesday, 13 March 2018 19:17 (one year ago) link

one month passes...
two months pass...

Bari Weiss just won a 0,000 prize for good writing https://t.co/Q3rCrMpwA8 pic.twitter.com/nWPQXSmQZM

— Hamilton Nolan (@hamiltonnolan) July 18, 2018

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 21:51 (one year ago) link

Remembering this classic from the @CillizzaCNN AMA pic.twitter.com/9XXCyAGIIU

— noah ☭ (@voidsrus) July 18, 2018

Glower, Disruption & Pies (kingfish), Wednesday, 18 July 2018 22:18 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

Feeling very triggered by those findings tbrr.

Logy Psycho (Old Lunch), Friday, 12 July 2019 19:30 (five months ago) link

The methods are the same as the 2018 paper, but with a pool of 451 participants who had experienced trauma. (A consent form required for ethical purposes did require that participants acknowledge that they would be reading emotional material, Jones told me, which is sort of a trigger warning all on its own but a required step of the process).

hmmm, seems like that might potentially stack the pool of people involved.

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Friday, 12 July 2019 19:35 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

Sarah Silverman aka the cancelled:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/aug/12/sarah-silverman-fired-from-film-blackface-photo

pomenitul, Monday, 12 August 2019 13:34 (four months ago) link


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