A month ago, I was at a conference in the
We’re supposed to be better than that.
The thing I want to know is: what makes this sort of culture of severity happen? It's easy to blame it all on 9/11, or claim that it is solely the result of the current administration's policies, but I think that there is more to it than that. It seems that this sort of severity is very close to the idea of zero tolerance, the idea that if you crack down on the minor infractions, people will fall in line. It seems to work to some degree, but it also tends to make us somewhat less than what we were.
The big question is: why? The Zero Tolerance explanation is appealing but I don't think it's the whole answer. The whole thing feels much less calculated than that.