Monday, July 30, 2018

Lazy Thinking, Intellectual Cowardice and Safe Spaces On Today's College Campus

Not since the civil war have we been as tribal as a nation as we are today. What’s worse, is that today, through the power of modern communication, social media, bifurcated business models, and 24/7 news, we can be siloed from dawn to dusk. We never have to associate with people whose views are different than ours. We never have to friend people with uncomfortable or different points of view. We get our news, our products and even sometimes our meals, only from people that agree with us.

It’s all very comfortable. But what have we lost in the process. Intellectual challenge, empathy, understanding, compassion, bravery, and getting out of our comfort zone are all lost. All so we can be cocooned in the warm bath of confirmation bias.

And as bad as this is in society at large, no where is it worse than on college campuses. A world where “safe spaces” mean don’t challenge me. 50 Years ago college campuses were alive with ferment and yes, even revolution. Today, to many campuses represent a world of intellectual cowardice and laziness.

No one knows this better than former Williams College student, Zachary Wood. He writes about this experience in Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America.

My conversation with Zachary Wood: