American Crises: Mental Health and Political Polarization

by Preston Stovall ___ U.S. citizens are facing a crisis in political polarization and mental health today. Over the last decade, rates of self-harm and depression have skyrocketed among young Americans. This impact is not evenly distributed across the population, however, as it is centered on heavy users of social media (“heavy use” varies from... Continue Reading →

Caring

By Kevin Currie-Knight ___ Political and cultural polarization is on the rise. And it’s not just that we increasingly see things differently, but that we’re more hostile to views that differ from ours, often seeing them as threats rather than mere differences. Social media – and this likely bleeds into other online and real-life spaces... Continue Reading →

Sharing

By Kevin Currie-Knight ___ What follows is the first part of three essays on the trends of increasing political and cultural polarization as well as our diminishing willingness to tolerate opposing ideas. In a sense, these are an outgrowth of previous thoughts I’ve had about toleration and its conditions. What is toleration? What does it... Continue Reading →

The Summit and the Battle

by Kevin Currie-Knight ____ I won’t shock you when I point out how nasty and unproductive social media arguments often are. I’ve also come to find them repetitive and predictable, which is why I recently wrote about my decision to pare down my already thin presence on social media. Here, I want to think a... Continue Reading →

To Share or Not to Share (On Social Media)

by Kevin Currie-Knight ___ There is a joy to not sharing one’s thoughts with others. This is an unexpected benefit I stumbled onto when I recently all but gave up social media. A story might illustrate. I made the decision in very late 2021 to radically restrict my social media use. [1] Around two weeks... Continue Reading →

The (Im)Possibility of Discussion on Social Media

by Kevin Currie-Knight ___ Sheena Mason (SUNY Oneonta) and Kevin Currie-Knight dialogue about the perils and promises of discussion on social media. (Sheena is more optimistic about the potential than Kevin is.) Along the way, they talk about perspectives on truth and whether humans are capable of getting it in an objective way, the postmodern-y... Continue Reading →

Endgame

E. John Winner ___ This essay is a response generally to an article Dan Kaufman posted here at EA [https://theelectricagora.com/2021/10/14/some-cranky-thoughts-on-philosophers/], and in some ways also to some implications embedded in comments on that article by Robert Gressis, which extend the problems Dan noted beyond philosophy departments to include the whole of the Humanities and even... Continue Reading →

Three New Books: Three — How to Keep an Open Mind, edited by Richard Bett

by Kevin Currie-Knight ____ A friend  of mine posted a meme about how vegans are cultural elitists because they do not take seriously the fact that many societies are dependent on eating animals. Against my better judgment, I chimed in. I pointed out that it isn’t necessarily cultural elitism to see something another culture does... Continue Reading →

Liberalism, Diversity and Social Cohesion

by Kevin Currie-Knight ___ I am not as sure as I once was, and I suppose that means I’m doing this “getting older” thing right. What am I not so sure of? For the last ten years or so, I have been convinced that the technological and cultural inertia toward increased diversity and pluralism is... Continue Reading →

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