The right to know: How does censorship affect academics?

When academics and journalists forego sharing their findings, out of intimidation, we all lose out.

  • Academic freedom is what makes a university space work as a setting to develop students' capacities. It is the permission to think freely, and have contrarian discussions, that leads to new insights.
  • There are whole zones of knowledge that we never get to because of intimidation put on academics: "We simply don't know what we haven't even thought to ask."
  • Self-censorship, especially regarding sensitive topics, is the dark matter of the academic freedom universe. Out of fear of being attacked, or their families being harmed, some journalists and scholars will forego publishing their findings.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.

How can we improve the quality of higher education?

By welcoming various intrepid thoughts, we welcome learning.

  • Viewpoint diversity describes a community where you have people approaching questions from a range of different perspectives.
  • When you have a lot of people asking questions and interrogating claims from a lot of different perspectives, community members are better able to see the nuance in whatever that subject of inquiry happens to be.
  • Heterodox Academy improves the quality of scholarship in higher education by increasing open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement across lines of difference. A range of viewpoints are allowed in and are then interrogated on campus.
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  • Human beings are psychologically hardwired to fear differences
  • Several recent studies show evidence that digital spaces exacerbate the psychology which contributes to tribalism
  • Shared experiences of awe, such as space travel, or even simple shared meals, have surprising effectives for uniting opposing groups
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Why the wars America starts are unwinnable

Why do we continue to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan? Because of two big reasons.

Danny Sjursen—a prominent U.S. Army strategist and also a former history instructor at West Point Academy—posits that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aren't winnable. So... why don't we leave? As he puts it: "We have the inertia of a military-industrial complex, which makes a lot of money for a lot of people and keeps a lot of people employed, on one end, and then we have the sunken cost fallacy on the other side, where we say "We’ve committed so much we can’t possibly leave." Danny is brought to you today by the Charles Koch Foundation. The Charles Koch Foundation aims to further understanding of how US foreign policy affects American people and societal well-being. Through grants, events, and collaborative partnerships, the Foundation is working to stretch the boundaries of foreign policy research and debate by discussing ideas in strategy, trade, and diplomacy that often go unheeded in the US capital. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org. NOTE: The views expressed in this video are those of the guest speaking in an unofficial capacity and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Command and General Staff College, Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US government.

Why the World May Be Safe with More Nuclear Weapons, Not Fewer

What's really involved in snuffing out a country’s nuclear capabilities—and is that the right war to be waging?

Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, and Kim Jong Un.

The United States tries hard to keep nuclear weapons away from countries it considers foes. Given how close the world came to nuclear armageddon during the Cold War, and recent threats from so-called “rogue states" like North Korea, it may seem like an essential goal. But America's strategy for thwarting nuclear proliferation may be reaching a point where the costs outweigh the benefits.

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