24 votes

My Semester With the Snowflakes

3 comments

  1. cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Thanks for posting this. The title had me a little worried at first, but it turned out to be a great read. The part about what a "safe space" really means in academic circles, i.e. not being...

    Thanks for posting this. The title had me a little worried at first, but it turned out to be a great read.

    The part about what a "safe space" really means in academic circles, i.e. not being sheltered from ideas but merely from disrespect, hostility and harsh judgement, struck me as an incredibly important lesson. It's depressing to me how twisted so many concepts like that have become now, and it's insane how effective they are being used as a political weapons to divide us... but it also gave me hope, since all it really took for this man to realize how wrong some of the notions he had developed were, that were based on the false narratives he had been fed, was some real life exposure to some of the people that had been demonized with it.

    p.s. Because the author interested me so much, I decided to google him, which lead me here:

    https://www.stripes.com/news/navy-seal-dog-handler-how-a-failed-mission-to-rescue-bowe-bergdahl-caused-irreparable-loss-1.385511

    That is one badass dude!

    16 votes
  2. Grzmot
    Link
    Funny thing about the typical snowflakes is that they only seem to exist on the internet. The closest I've ever come to one in real life is in conversation with an old classmate of mine, who's...

    Funny thing about the typical snowflakes is that they only seem to exist on the internet. The closest I've ever come to one in real life is in conversation with an old classmate of mine, who's currently studying to become an Arts teacher. In her entire university (a university focused on art) there are about fifteen people who fulfill absolutely every stereotype that the internet snowflakes do. Their opinions are amplified because they've found a nest in the local Student's Association (and thus are occasionally covered in the news). They hate men, especially white men. They only let you in the association if you're a woman, and only then if you're lesbian or queer. They hold talks on racism where white people are banned (in a country where white people make up 90%+ of the population). She met one person who changed names and pronouns in a matter of hours. These people have interruped talks because someone didn't use the correct words (and I don't mean insults, I mean words that wouldn't be special to the normal person).

    My point here is, that even on probably the most liberal place on earth you could go; an Arts University, only about fifteen people out of a few hundred fulfill the strawman arguments often hurled at "all liberals" by conservative think-tanks or alt-right articles. Only fifteen people are so extremist that you probably couldn't talk them off their pedestal no matter how hard you tried. The rest quietly roll their eyes at them and move on with their lives.

    This exactly same situation is mirrored with the other side. There isn't some magical switch that people hit on their 50th birthday where they suddenly isolate themselves and start posting bad memes about Trump and how fake global warming is.

    Of course, just like those 15 internet snowflakes from Arts Uni, you'll meet older people who are so set in their ways that you will never be able to change them, no matter how many conversations you'll lead with them. The best thing you can do then is ignore them and move on. Talk to the next person. Don't try and evangelize them. Go into conversations looking to learn something from someone who's lived longer than you and try offer your perspective on issues they have questions on. Surprise, if you treat people as equal in conversations, don't be dismissive or belittling, you may learn something, and they may learn in return. Because as it turns out, older people have opinions for a reason, and often enough, these are good reasons.

    The author in this article had a classic view on college and snowflakes, tainted by his past path in life and probably the source of his news and his friends. But he changed, because he realized that the world was bigger, because he went and talked to people who he knew disagreed with him, he was open-minded and learned from others, and probably helped the younger people at Yale gain a more nuanced outlook on life.

    It's easy to say that radical change is necessary due to the issues the planet is facing, but if you take a practical look at everything: In the West older people are already the majority. They always will be, and it's going to get worse. We'll have to compromise, and if it kills us because we didn't do enough in the end, is that really going to be any worse than if it killed us, and we didn't do anything?

    12 votes
  3. Akir
    Link
    Honestly, if I were to say that there is one thing wrong with culture in general right now, this is the very core of it. I've spoken about a racist coworker in the past, and about a week or two...

    We don’t need more condescending friction in humanity. We need less. One step in the direction of less societal friction is to seek commonalities. Another step, and one that is sorely needed, is respect.

    Honestly, if I were to say that there is one thing wrong with culture in general right now, this is the very core of it.

    I've spoken about a racist coworker in the past, and about a week or two ago, I realized that the main reason why I was hating him so much was that in spite of how much respect I was giving him, he didn't actually respect anyone. He didn't respect the people who live in the area, he didn't respect Latinx people, and he certainly doesn't respect me.

    Likewise this explains the current state of online discourse. If you look at practically any Reddit thread that has anything about oppinion, you will always see at the bottom of the pile a collection of comments that are written specifically to be insulting.

    11 votes