Win A Copy Of A Book About Moral Grandstanding, Unless You're The Sort Of Evil Person Uninterested In This Vital Subject

This one's really good and important

I just got the Covid-19 test. The nasal one. I had heard wildly different things about how unpleasant it is. Honestly? I’m someone who is rendered physically uncomfortable pretty easily (sorry, every dentist I’ve ever had since I was a child) and I didn’t think it was that bad.

This has been my review of the Covid-19 nasal test.

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Win A Copy Of Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk by Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke

From the publisher, Oxford University Press:

We are all guilty of it. We call people terrible names in conversation or online. We vilify those with whom we disagree, and make bolder claims than we could defend. We want to be seen as taking the moral high ground not just to make a point, or move a debate forward, but to look a certain way--incensed, or compassionate, or committed to a cause. We exaggerate. In other words, we grandstand.

Nowhere is this more evident than in public discourse today, and especially as it plays out across the internet. To philosophers Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke, who have written extensively about moral grandstanding, such one-upmanship is not just annoying, but dangerous. As politics gets more and more polarized, people on both sides of the spectrum move further and further apart when they let grandstanding get in the way of engaging one another. The pollution of our most urgent conversations with self-interest damages the very causes they are meant to forward.

Drawing from work in psychology, economics, and political science, and along with contemporary examples spanning the political spectrum, the authors dive deeply into why and how we grandstand. Using the analytic tools of psychology and moral philosophy, they explain what drives us to behave in this way, and what we stand to lose by taking it too far. Most importantly, they show how, by avoiding grandstanding, we can re-build a public square worth participating in.

You can see why this one caught my eye! Because it came out right as the world started exploding (and as the stretch run of my own book-writing process began), I wasn’t able to give it the attention it deserved at the time. As it turns out, the book is great, so I’m glad to be able to rectify that in two ways. First, I’m recording an interview with Tosi for Blocked and Reported later today which you’ll all be able to listen to soon. 

Second, well, you know the drill: Send an email with ‘grandstanding’ as the subject line to and I’ll pick three entries from those I receive by 10:00 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow, September 1st. Two copies go to anyone who is at least a free subscriber, and the third only to a paid subscriber.

And I hope you will consider buying the book regardless of your luck in the contest.

As for the sort of person who doesn’t want to read a book about moral grandstanding? All I can say is that it’s hard for me, personally, to even identify with someone who doesn’t see the urgent need to increase the level of kindness and understanding in the world. I mean, people are dying.

Questions? Comments? Other things I can stick up my nose? I’m at or on Twitter at @jessesingal.