If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve likely seen headlines about the tumultuous atmosphere on many college campuses in the United States, which primarily centers around what is and isn’t okay to say or express. The interesting thing is that not too long ago, it was the students who were protesting against the administration placing controls on free speech. But a few years ago, my guest noticed that things had gotten flipped: the students had started protesting that administrators weren’t doing enough to limit speech. What happened?
Well, my guest explores the answer to that question in a book he co-authored with Jonathan Haidt entitled The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. His name is Greg Lukianoff and he’s the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Today on the show, Greg tries to explain what’s going on on college campuses with the trigger warnings, microaggressions, protests, and sometimes violent clashes between social justice warriors and far-right provocateurs. He argues that there are 3 great untruths that have become woven into childhood and education that are leading the rising generation astray. Greg gets into where these untruths come from and how they’re creating a culture of “safetyism” that’s not only affecting intellectual discourse but the normal process of maturation.
If you’re looking for some thoughtful, non-polemical insights about some of the craziness you see going on at college campuses, this episode is for you.
- Examples of “cognitive distortions” on college campuses
- Why this is actually a problem of progress
- How young college students came to want controlled speech on their campuses
- The role of social media in these cultural changes
- The 3 “untruths” that have taken hold of this young generation
- What is “safetyism”? Why is it a problem?
- Speech and violence
- Why you shouldn’t always trust your feelings
- Catastrophizing, black and white thinking, and the lies we tell ourselves
- Why you need to learn how to talk back to your emotions
- How did we get to this point? What factors play into young people thinking like this?
- Raising kids who have resiliency and an internal locus of control
- The fear pervading professors and students on college campuses
- What do you do when you encounter a zealous ideologue?
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- The original article that appeared in The Atlantic
- Microaggressions and the Rise of Victimhood Culture
- Why Insults Stings and How to Handle Them
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Freedom From Speech
- The Milo riots at Berkeley
- iGen by Jean Twenge
- AoM series on honor
- AoM series on overprotective parenting
- Quit Catastrophizing
- Jim Livingston, Rutgers, and the Limits of Free Speech
- My interview with Nicholas Nassim Taleb about having skin in the game
- My podcast with Lenore Skenazy about free-range kids
- The gift of failure
- Achtung Baby
Connect With Greg
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