I haven’t written much lately… seems to be something I struggle with. Sometimes, even figuring out a Tweet or a Facebook post seems to be too much trouble.
I’ve been bothered lately by the habit of the academics and intellectuals I know, in person and through social media, to dig in without truly hearing the other point of view, or to assume the worst of someone when disagreeing with or questioning them. These same people tend to get frustrated and hurt when they feel they are being judged, but then are the quickest to make snap judgments on others, without asking for clarification, and when those snap judgments don’t actually take into account the character of the person they are judging.
It’s a disturbing habit of academics, to feel the need to completely obliterate their opposition, and to dig in even harder when we realize we might be wrong.
Of course, this is a disturbing habit of culture at large. It’s just that, the longer I’m in academia, the more I realize the educated aren’t actually that much better at being self-aware and self-reflective than the uneducated. In fact, they seem to be just as bad at it. I’m not sure where that comes from. As academics, as people who have learned more, who have studied critical theory and thought, who read about history’s past mistakes and are supposed to be trained to take a more objective view of things, we certainly seem to get just as bad about our tunnel vision sometimes.
It’s disheartening. And it leaves me often without the heart to even voice my disappointment.