Ye Olde Natural Philosophy Discussion Group

Reviews and comments on
Curtis White: The Middle Mind:
Why Americans Don't Think for Themselves

Rosie summed up the group discussion of this book as follows:

Everyone thought it was more of a rant than an argument. Everyone agreed that White is annoyingly arrogant and elitist. Most thought he was unconvincing... i.e., no reasoned arguments... just his opinions and a lot of labeling without defining.

Several found him really annoying. A few thought he was in his ivory tower and unaware of the real world. One or two thought he needed to publish something and just tossed it off. Several thought he was just purposely trying to piss people. A few thought he really meant to be serious. Two enjoyed reading the book because it was provocative.

That said, all found themselves in agreement with some of his statements... especially those about manipulation of us by the media, manipulation of the media by the government and business interests, and verbal terms that are created to mislead the public going over most people's radars.

Jim made the point that White wants to change human nature—most people in most societies throughout history are not critical thinkers. Rosie noted that though he wanted Americans to have a real conversation about their real values, if he ever got one... he might be disappointed to hear what they had to say. Kirby and Kay reacted very badly to his bringing up "spirituality" in the last chapter.

Scott didn't attend the session, and hasn't yet finished the book, but so far he pretty much agrees with the above summation.

The group average for the book was just 3.3 on a scale of 0 to 10.

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