From the twitter feed: campus outrage, fragile-child parenting, and obesity

Three articles that I wanted to share, each of which doesn’t individually merit its own blog post in terms of my comments on it:

From City Journal, “The Age of Outrage; What the current political climate is doing to our country and our universities,” by Jonathan Haidt.  Why is there such increasing polarization?  Haidt identifies five trends:  the lack of a common unifying enemy, the “outrage stories” in today’s social media, the impact of immigration and diversity reducing “social solidarity and social capital,” the growing radicalization of the Republican Party in Washington, and the growing campus identity politics of the Left.

From Reason, “The Fragile Generation; Bad policy and paranoid parenting are making kids too safe to succeed,” by Lenore Skenazy and Jonathan Haidt (yes, it’s just coincidence that Haidt appears twice; this wasn’t from someone’s “list of Jonathan Haidt articles”).  Very brief bottom line:  the article lists multiple examples of the change in parenting to an excessive emphasis on safety — e.g., Trunk or Treat because it’s too risky to send even late-elementary or middle-school kids out on their own — and connects this to today’s “fragile” college students.  This tracks very closely with Jean Twenge’s iGen that I wrote about earlier.

Third, from MarketWatch, “The future depends on our ability to curb obesity,” by Alicia H. Munnell.  A brief but very stark analysis of life expectancy trends over the last 50 years, in which the relative position of the U.S. has fallen behind, and obesity is a top culprit.  What’s to be done?  It’s not easy — and the current answer among many of “eat fewer carbs and more meat” (e.g., Paleo, Keto, Atkins, etc.) bumps up against “sustainability” worries (meat-eating is bad for the environment, as is eating vegetables trucked in from distant locales), as well as cost considerations for families on a budget).  (Old blog post here.)  But it’s not as if Europeans eat low-carb diets — they are just much more active, what with walking or biking instead of driving everywhere.

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