Hire Thine Enemy: Daniel Kahneman on Adversarial Collaboration
Daniel Kahneman makes an important point, one rarely addressed so directly in academic circles – that the ego-clashes we tend to excuse among high-achievers are dangerously counterproductive when it comes to advancing human knowledge. He proposes adversarial collaboration as one alternative.
I think that a lot of the higher quality of American discourse, when it has been high, is out of respect for the fact that, yes, these [founding documents] are interesting and valuable things that impose respect for people of other views. And, at this point, things have deteriorated to the point that it is as if morally wrong to have a sort of attitude of presumptive respect toward someone you disagree with. That's just bizarre and it’s obviously not a formula for civilized society.
– Marilynne Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author of Gilead, on Big Think TV
Having grown up in Israel, psychologist Daniel Kahneman knows a lot about conflict. And he doesn't like it. While the Nobel laureate psychologist sees the Israeli-Palestinian tension as tragically unresolvable, he has approached professional disagreements throughout his long career with a strategy he calls adversarial collaboration; whenever possible, Kahneman remains in open dialogue with his most outspoken critics, going so far on one occasion as to co-author a paper with a dissenting colleague, presenting both scientists’ differing conclusions.
Kahneman describes an intense aversion to anger as part of his natural temperament.
Daniel Kahneman: I happen to be an extreme case...for me, anger goes into depression very quickly. I hate being angry and so I hate the adversarial exchanges that you frequently find in the social sciences and actually in the physical sciences as well, where people are snide and they use sarcasm. I haven’t initiated that much, not because I'm a saint, but because I hate being angry,
His modesty aside, Kahneman makes an important point, one rarely addressed so directly in academic circles – that the ego-clashes we tend to excuse among high-achievers are dangerously counterproductive when it comes to advancing human knowledge. In the social sciences, and (possibly to a lesser extent) in the physical sciences, they can result in warring schools of thought whose differences (think Freud and Jung) persist for generations.
VIDEO: Daniel Kahneman on Adversarial Collaboration
Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen discusses whether our society should always defend free speech rights, even for groups who would oppose such rights.
- Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen understands that protecting free speech rights isn't always a straightforward proposition.
- In this video, Strossen describes the reasoning behind why the ACLU defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, 1977.
- 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.
The results contradict the popular assumption that men react far more strongly to pornography.
- The review examined the results of 61 brain-scanning studies that involved 1,850 people.
- The results of the review found no significant differences in how male and female brains respond to viewing visual erotic stimuli.
- Still, one of the researchers noted that there are sex-specific differences in sexual behavior.
Strangely, the sun showed no sunspots at the time the photo was taken.
- The photo shows the International Space Station as it orbits the Earth, as it does every 90 minutes.
- The photo is remarkable because it offers a glimpse of the star at a time when there were no sunspots.
- In November, astronauts aboard the ISS plan to grow Española chili pepper plants.
The reason one diet does not suit all may be found in our guts.