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Dr. Helen

Dr. Schneider Responds

January 20th, 2014 - 3:56 pm

I heard back from Dr. Kirk Schneider, the author of The Polarized Mind: Why It’s Killing Us and What We Can Do about It who I discussed in a previous post of mine entitled “Take Me Off Your List of Hate.” Here is what he had to say in response to the press release sent out about his book likening the Tea Party to Nazi Germany and Maoist China:

Dear Dr. Smith,
I read your response to my press release (1/15/14) and I’m sorry I
offended you and others who read the release on your blog. I see how
you could read the release as one-sided and in a way that does not
reflect the central message of my book, which is that destructive
polarization is humanity’s problem not just that of the left or right.
There are assuredly gradations of the polarized mind in elements of
both left leaning and right leaning movements, and I make that clear
in my book. For example, I critique absolutist elements of
technocratic-atheistic perspectives as well as those of religiosity. I
urge you and your fellow bloggers to read the complete book before
forming a judgment based on a press release, which I have since had
revised. The essence of my message is for people to more deeply
understand and take steps to address the polarized mind.

Kirk Schneider, Ph.D.

–Perhaps this can be the basis of a further dialogue.

Press releases often can be exaggerated to make a splash and to get people to buy a book. However, authors need to be aware of what is being sent out in their name and it is their job to make sure that press releases really reflect what their book is about. If you are an author who is working with a publicist,  make sure that you review the releases.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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They are the NAZIs!

How much myth and misunderstanding is at work here? The people in Dr. Schneider's intellectual circle are of the mind to use government power guided by technical "experts" to plan society and save people from themselves. This is the very same premise that drove the National Socialist and all other Socialist movements in the early 20th century. Maoist China was no exception. The Tea Party could not be further from a central planning, omnipotent government political movement. It is being grossly misrepresented in popular culture. Most important is the real origin of the movement. The Tea Party arose in response to the government expansion and profligacy of George W. Bush. It is not a racial or social conservative movement - Obama is just double GWB.

To clarify: The word experts is in quotes because in practice these people have no idea what they are doing.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am not a blogger, but I am a moderately prolific commenter. If Dr. Schneider would like to me review his book, I'd be happy to do so. He just needs to contact me and I'll send him my address so he can drop a copy in the mail. Upon receipt of the book, I'll review it as objectively as possible.

However, I am a fan of the punitive power of the free market to bring the hammer down on incompetence. I will let the noxious nature of the press release guide my spending on the book. In short, not a dime.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
And, of course, being polite people we PURCHASE HIS LOUSY BOOK while he laughs all the way to the bank.
What a maroon.....

44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
On just about the same topic, you'll probably all appreciate Jonathan Haidt's book, "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion" ( )

Part of the book is that he exprimentally verified the 'constrained/tragic' (see Sowell) view of human nature that serves as the foundation for the right.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
My apologies to Dr. Helen - who I find to be intelligent - for the statements below:

Why do I always see people with less strenuous doctorates pushing it in your face, whereas people with rigorous doctorates ... just work?

I don't care if this dope has a Ph.D. in psychology. I'm just not impressed. If he writes something worth reading, great. If he writes dopey crap as in this case, not so great.

I worked side-by-side with a guy for years before I even knew he had a doctorate in physics with a pretty bitchin' thesis from a good school. And this dope - Schneider - is in your face with some degree from a diploma mill if I can believe some of the comments on Amazon and in the Internet in general.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not generally impressed with doctorates in psychology.Still, I am impressed with the clinical psych degree.I guess I'l do a little background check on the author
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
His reply is more BS. You don't "start a dialogue" by portraying ordinary American political dissent and free speech with the Nazi or Communist Parties. Such language is a cheap smear.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course he's concerned about book sales. What author isn't? But for him to say "I urge you and your fellow bloggers to read the complete book before forming a judgement base on a press release" is hypocritical.

What he's saying is buy my book before you form a judgement. In other words, send me money first before you form an opinion.

Well, Dr. Psycobabble, I don't need to read your book. I only need to read the title to know that the entire book is nothing but political propaganda dressed as psychology to give it authority. Besides, the subject is of no interest to me whatsoever.

By the way, I addressed the polarized mind, or the culture of hate whatever you want to call it, in a previous comment. It actually can be traced back to the Kennedy assisination, as Piereson argues in his book, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution, which is not propaganda but a careful study of history.

Something happened between 1963 and 1968 that fundamentally transformed the progressive mind, not only in politics but in the media and academia as well, and it's been going on for 50 years. Now anyone who questions or challenges progressivism is immediately branded as a hate-filled mental defect. It's a defense mechanism to deflect attention away from progressives' desperate need for self-reflection on their own polluted politics.

Of course there are intolerant extremists on both the left and the right. But the polarized mind is a mental condition almost exclusive to the left. Anyone who has ever tried to have a conversation with a leftist knows that.

And comparing the Tea Party to the Nazi Party is neither original nor accurate. In fact, it's rather boring and oh so predictable. A metaphor so misplaced and misguided it casts doubt on the author's ability to reason, much less to write anything worth reading, at all.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll take calls for more understanding seriously when I see them FIRST address the hate of The Left.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
To address 'the' polarized mind?
Hmmm. Are we talking Tron, the Borg from Star Trek, or Metroid's motherbrain?
Trying to keep it light over here...
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Being the son of a clinical psychology professor, I grew up in a world of psychologists. I can attest to the fact that plenty of them, including my father, gladly passed these judgements on conservatives, especially religious conservatives. People who didn't conform to the ideals of the psychologists were seen by them has having some sort of mental defect.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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