Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Professor explains the rise of ‘precious snowflakes’

Thought your readers would be interested in this. I am not the author.

“People now experience the entire world as a form of bullying. The helicopter parent protects the children from real dangers but also fantasy dangers. These precious snowflakes are the children of political correctness, their parents and schools lead them to believe that the world is perfectly moralistic — they don’t live in the real world, it is a fantasy,” he said.

The Misery:


  1. Gee, I remember when "political correctness" was a mostly benign stand-in for interacting with dignity and respect. Funny how it was first co-opted by social justice types who wanted to dictate behavior and now is an elide for social conservatives to decry all the horrors of the reality they helped create by entrenching themselves in a mythic past Golden Age where everything was bright, happy, and prosperous (as long as you were white, male, wealthy, straight, Christian, etc.)

  2. Since the Internet and video games can allow individuals to immerse themselves so deeply into some form of imaginary reality, more so than by reading a book or watching a movie, what is even the point of trying to live in the real world?

    The real world is basically just the hardware support for that imaginary world, including the biological support (the human body, its physical location and the satisfaction of its biological needs). It's like the Matrix except that fully conscious individuals who live naturally, not in artificial life support pods, choose their own dream or self-created society that makes them happy. Some activities, such as interacting with other humans, are not imaginary and may not deal with imaginary topics, but people are free to choose like-minded friends and perhaps embellish the reality.

    The physical world keeps them alive, fed and protected from the elements, but also interferes with their happiness by placing various demands on them. For instance, people who would like to play video games all day have to go to school or to work. I'm not surprised some people are trying to change the real world and feel disappointed when they can't transform it into what they would consider an ideal place.

  3. It is amazing how the party of self responsibility now seems utterly incapable of accepting any responsibility for how they've contributed to the mess that is the modern world. Were it not for reduced funding for state universities, spiraling healthcare costs (costs that were out of control long before Obamacare), and the explosion of the administrative class in the corporate university, college wouldn't be so expensive and we wouldn't be forced to cater to student bullshit for fear of losing our jobs. If the right wing hadn't spent the last 40-plus years demonizing teachers and professors, we might still have the authority to curb said bullshit. If all the same forces hadn't convinced us that every relationship in life is equivalent to a business transaction, we wouldn't have been reduced to glorified customer service representatives. But it's ALL because of "political correctness." Right.

    1. The world of academia is controlled by the left? Hardly. The world of academia, especially for public universities, is controlled by the declining contribution of the state to the university and the increasing reliance of university administrators on securing funding, mainly from the business community. While the predominantly liberal faculty might have some say in the faculty senate and over faculty and educational matters, the power of the purse is retained by the administrators and is the real power in determining the direction of the university. The faculty are merely slowing the rate at which public universities are transition to the "business model" that is championed by right-wing education reformers.

    2. Where to start..."Illiminate-style" explanation? Gimme a break. To accept that systemic/structural factors are important in determining experiences on the ground doesn't require one to believe in the proverbial smoke-filled room. (And if you honestly don't believe that conservatives have explicitly targeted higher ed, along with other supposedly liberal institutions, we inhabit such different epistemological universes that attempts at true dialogue are probably futile. And you HAVE heard of ALEC, right?) A big part of my argument is that universities are not sealed off from or immune to larger cultural trends. Compared to 30 or 40 years ago, faculty have much less control over institutions of higher learning--shared governance has become a joke at most places (especially considering that over half of faculty are part-time/contingent workers). If you don't see this, then I don't actually believe you are an academic. We increasingly serve alumni donors, politicized boards of trustees, and the student-as-customer (and there's a whole industry that has popped up to support students supposedly aggrieved by liberal professors). A few anecdotes about students taking social justice ideas to ridiculous extremes does not prove that liberal faculty are indoctrinating students to do their bidding. If administrators cave to ridiculous demands, it's not because they agree that students should be coddled, per se, but because they want to keep their tuition dollars.

    3. Sorry--I typo-ed "Illuminati". Just to add: I don't disagree with some of the things Patty says. I just think she exaggerates the PC problem (like so many people) and I reject her simplistic (which is not a synonym for "logical") explanation. Without even addressing all the influences on kids before they enter college (and before they fall into the evil clutches of liberal professors), which Patty actually acknowledges herself without adjusting her argument, let's ask ourselves what the cultural conditions were that allowed the "self-esteem movement" to flourish. Could extreme individualism be implicated? What about the more recent idea that we are all "brands" and we need to endlessly self-promote--this is individualism plus materialism taken to a grotesque extreme. These things do not come from modern liberalism (yes, I know that the philosophical roots of liberalism are all about individual rights, but conservatives are the great defenders of individualism these days, whereas liberals are portrayed as socialists). There are ways in which folks at both ends of the ideological perspective--and at all points in between--have contributed to the current state of affairs, good, bad, and ugly. I just would like to hear conservatives own even a portion of their fare share of responsibility, for a change (without even getting into which ideologies are more powerful or how we explain Trumpism).


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