The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Rob Henderson — Foster Care, Family, and Social Class

Shermer and Henderson discuss: hindsight bias • genes, environment, luck, contingency • foster care • incarceration rates • marriage, divorce, childhood outcomes • poverty, welfare programs, and social safety nets • the young male syndrome • alcohol, drugs, depression • luxury beliefs of educated elites • wealthy but unstable homes vs. low-income but stable homes • inequality • Henderon’s experience in the military, at Yale and Cambridge • the Warrior-Scholar Project.

Thomas Curran — Embracing the Power of “Good Enough”

Shermer and Curran discuss: Curran’s own perfectionism and how that led him to research perfection • What is perfection? Is he measuring perfection or something else? • The Big Five Personality Scale (OCEAN) and where perfection falls in it • goals, meritocracy, high standards, and conscientiousness • self-oriented vs. other-oriented vs. socially prescribed perfectionism • Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong • origins of perfectionism • consequences of perfectionism • social media • income inequality, UBI, GDP, economics • helicopter…

Umut Özkirimli — How the Left Can Make Its Way Back From Woke

Shermer and Özkirimli discuss: identity politics, cancel culture • woke, TERF, anti-fragility, anti-racism • diversity, equity, and inclusion • Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo • Loretta Ross, rape, retributive vs. restorative justice • Woman’s March • leftism, progressivism, democratic socialism, liberalism, classical liberalism, libertarianism, conservatism, populism, nationalism, white nationalism, authoritarianism, tyranny • moral panics • MAGA, Trump • victimhood • safetyism • trigger warnings, safe spaces, microaggressions • What Went Wrong?

Greg Lukianoff — How Free is Free Speech?

Shermer and Lukianoff discuss: the state of free speech • how coddled today’s students are • rates of depression and anxiety in students today • possible causes: social media, screen time, culture of safetyism, culture of victimhood, helicopter parenting, the decline of unsupervised, child-directed play • cancel culture • current rates of deplatforming and canceling in academia, the polarization of politics • when self-censorship is healthy, and more…

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