I don’t know if this is a good book or not. I don’t know if us talking about it might lead to partisan unpleasantness (I sincerely hope not, there’s enough of that to go around). I just read the review in the NY Times here today. But it seems like in our little area of interest, our blog might be working toward the needs that Haidt’s research suggests.
Our task, then, is to organize society so that reason and intuition interact in healthy ways. Haidt’s research suggests several broad guidelines. First, we need to help citizens develop sympathetic relationships so that they seek to understand one another instead of using reason to parry opposing views. Second, we need to create time for contemplation. Research shows that two minutes of reflection on a good argument can change a person’s mind. Third, we need to break up our ideological segregation. From 1976 to 2008, the proportion of Americans living in highly partisan counties increased from 27 percent to 48 percent. The Internet exacerbates this problem by helping each user find evidence that supports his views.
I think I’ll order it from the library and see if there is more relevant information therein.