Recommendation: Jonathan Haidt on Coddling U. vs. Strengthening U.

Jack Kirwan wrote in the National Review that the novel is “about two men and two women in a time machine safari through this and other universes. But describing The Number of the Beast thus is like saying Moby Dick is about a one-legged guy trying to catch a fish”. He goes on to say that Heinlein celebrates the “competent person”.
Kirwan, Jack (1980-12-12). “Books In Brief”. National Review; , , p1522-1523 32 (25): 1522–1523. ISSN 00280038.

I’ve recommended works by Haidt before, e.g., his talk “Why So Many Americans Don’t Want Social Justice and Don’t Trust Scientists” (and his book “The Righteous Mind”, a few thoughts prior to reading it here), or his essay with Greg Lukianoff titled “The Coddling of the American Mind“.

In the following presentation “Jonathan Haidt on Coddling U. vs. Strengthening U.” from the BuckleyProgramAtYale YouTube channel he plays two opposite views on what university can/should be: a place where people become competent individuals or where they are protected.

He’s not a comedian, but putting both view opposite each other strikingly shows how detrimental it is to try to protect students at all costs.

It seems to me the problem is mainly departments and people who maintain and gain power (and income) by addressing “issues”, relevant or not. It looks like an unintended, now self-reinforcing structure that keeps growing. And yup, kinda like cancer. And yeah, if you focus on it, it’s easy to get discouraged. But you miss out what university actually should be. And yeah, it shouldn’t be mud-wrestling “Coddling U.”, it should be creating “Strengthening U.”

And as Victor Zen once said: “You’re buying an environment, not an education. The education is something you build for yourself.”.

Make sure it’s an environment that makes you stronger, which helps you grow and to acquire the skills you need to live a fulfilling life.