Why People Feel Like Victims

Getting to the core of today’s social acrimony. BY MARK MACNAMARA In a polarized nation, victimhood is a badge of honor. It gives people strength. “The victim has become among the most important identity positions in American politics,” wrote Robert B. Horwitz, a communications professor at the University of California, San Diego. Horwitz published his study, “Politics as Victimhood, Victimhood as Politics,” in 2018.1 He focused on social currents that drove victimhood to the fore of American political life, arguing it “emerged from the contentious politics of the 1960s, specifically the civil rights movement and its aftermath.” What lodges victimhood in … Continue reading Why People Feel Like Victims

The truth behind the ‘genius’

IMDB/COURTESY BY JEANA LEE  In 1939, a first-year doctoral student at UC Berkeley named George Dantzig, arrived late to class. His professor, famous statistician Jerzy Neyman, had written two statistics problems on the blackboard. Dantzig quickly jotted them down, assuming that they were homework problems. A few days later, Dantzig turned in the problems late to Professor Neyman, apologizing for the overdue assignment. The problems had seemed “a little harder to do than usual.” Six weeks later, an ecstatic Professor Neyman knocked on Dantzig’s door. As it turns out, the problems weren’t homework at all. They just so happened to be … Continue reading The truth behind the ‘genius’