Theory Gang
NeoAcademia
NeoAcademia Episode 3: Todd Kashdan
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NeoAcademia Episode 3: Todd Kashdan

The Art of Insubordination | How to be a NeoAcademic rebel
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NeoAcademia is a biweekly exploration of the shifting walls of the ivory tower. 

This week I asked Dr. Todd Kashdan about applying Art of Insubordination to the university. Todd shared insights on how to be a Principled Rebel that can stand up to social pressure and fix problems. 

Todd’s book is a fun, useful read for anyone who wants to know how to make effective change and be a better leader - or just a better human.

It’s so good, I’m going to give a copy away to one of you. I’ll randomize the entries for anyone who does the following by October 12th: 

  1. Subscribe to Todd’s newsletter (and mine!).

  2. Write NeoAcademia a review on Apple podcasts. 

  3. Tweet out your review and tag @theory_gang and @toddkashdan. 


Show Notes

2:17 The Art of Insubordination in academia.

5:31  Play, disagreeableness, and room for error are missing in our educational institutions

10:22 The permanence of the internet coupled with a fear of being wrong keeps people in their overspecialized lanes and stifles progress

14:45  The dysfunctional currency of academia - credit for the final version of innovation, not ideation, validation, iteration.

17:59 The story of Emotional Intelligence and ideas for distributing the currency for innovation

20:16 Higher education is consumer-centric.  Students are looking to confirm their beliefs through study.  To fix this, broaden the student’s perspective.

24: 26 What is the purpose of higher education?

25:10 Psychological conflicts of interest and shifting research topics

28:44 The value of Institutional Review of Research

30:34 Has our intolerance for boredom led to a less valuable college degree?

32:06 The trajectory of Heterodox thinkers, public intellectuals, and why professors should be politically ambiguous in a classroom

37:06 How thinkers could institute a principled rebellion - invert the financial structure, fight against social pressure, and collect evidence

41:47 Why people go to college: To showcase conformity, elevate status, make more money

44:05 A misunderstanding about wealth in academia leads to a system of social comparison

46:39 Attracting people that have your back for your rebellion. It’s not about attracting the majority. 

48:42 Where is the humor in academia? Todd was booed off stage at a conference for a joke about mindfulness

52:11 The importance of public dissemination of knowledge created in the university


For more resources from this episode, check out the collection Todd and I created for you. Use the password “neoacademia” for access.

Readocracy is NeoAcademia’s first sponsor, and I highly encourage you to check out the tool. I have been using it daily for years now, and I even include some of my personal metrics in my monthly Rabbithole newsletter for my paid subscribers. It’s a fun way of reflecting on what you consume.

To receive Behind The Scenes bonus footage of NeoAcademia and more, you know what to do…

Some food for thought:

Where could you apply the Art of Insubordination? What field/system needs an overhaul?

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Theory Gang
NeoAcademia
Exploring the shifting walls of the ivory tower...