IDW says...

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Quillette's far-right position is finally being acknowledged far and wide

As someone who has been talking about Quillette's rightwing positions for a long time, it's gratifying that mainstream journalism is finally doing the same.

Although it took the targeting of mainstream journalists, themselves, to get them to sit up and pay attention.

The other day it was the Columbia Journalism Review.

Now it's the New Republic in its just-published piece "Quillette’s “Antifa Journalists” List Could’ve Gotten Me Killed which concludes:
None of us should have been targeted in this way. I shouldn’t have to worry about being murdered by a neo-Nazi in between writing reviews for Pitchfork or interviewing queer labor activists for Teen Vogue (you know, the stuff I actually do). Others shouldn’t have to worry about violent threats while they’re doing the important work of tracking right-wing extremist movements, either. This should all be abundantly clear—as should Quillette’s real role in the conservative media ecosystem.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The IDW & the Trump administration mainstream race science

Lee Jussim, like Betsy DeVos, is a fan of @cjprofman
I missed an article in US News and World Report from March of this year reporting that Betsy
DeVos, Trump's extremely controversial choice for Secretary of Education, used the work of John Paul Wright, author at Quillette and guest of Stefan Molyneux to justify recent actions:
In making the latter point, DeVos' commission cited several times a study in which researchers argued that the discipline discrepancies between black and white students are "likely produced by pre-existing behavioral problems of youth that are imported into the classroom, that cause classroom disruptions, and that trigger disciplinary measures by teachers and school officials." 
"Differences in rates of suspension between racial groups thus appear to be a function of differences in problem behaviors that emerge early in life, that remain relatively stable over time, and that materialize in the classroom," researchers wrote in a 2014 paper that counters the concerns about inequitable discipline that caused the Obama administration that same year to enact its guidance. 
"Early misbehavior is tied to later misbehavior and, in turn, that misbehavior is tied to school suspensions," the researchers concluded. "These findings highlight the importance of early problem behaviors and suggest that the use of suspensions by teachers and administrators may not have been as racially biased as some scholars have argued." 
The research was published in the Journal of Criminal Justice by John Paul Wright, a professor at the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, and four others.
Later on in the article Wright is quoted as saying:
"I would never say that black children are, categorically, more of a discipline problem than other students," he says. "That said, any number of studies show that problem behavior, including juvenile delinquency, is not uniformly distributed across racial groups. In general, African-Americans have the highest comparative rates of problem behavior – a fact that shouldn't surprise anyone given many African-American youth remain socially and economically disadvantaged."

But that's not what Wright believes is the fundamental problem with African Americans as he explained in his chapter "Inconvenient Truths: Science, Race, and Crime" in Biosocial Criminology: New Directions in Theory and Research edited by Anthony Walsh and Kevin M. Beaver, he wrote:
Page 149:
...Areas afflicted by crime and other social pathologies are more frequently black than white, and even less frequently Oriental. Part of the reason for these visible and dramatic differences may have to do with the differential abilities of races to organize socially.
Page 150:
From the available data it would seem ludicrous to argue that "race" is a construct devoid of a biological or evolutionary backdrop. That evolutionary forces have produced biological variance across races is now scientifically undeniable. That many of the characteristics that define races appear to be universal and time stable is also undeniable. Evolution can produce many forms of adaptations, but it cannot produce equality. 
The connection between race and criminal behavior is clearly complex and involves a range of historical, social, psychological and individual variables. Evolution however, provides a powerful mechanism to understand the development of human races and the distribution of traits and behaviors within and across races. It helps explain why races would appear and under what conditions races would appear. It helps to explain why certain traits would be beneficial and why these traits such as higher IQ, would be unequally distributed across races. Moreover evolutionary theory helps explain why race-based patterns of behavior are universal, such as black over-involvement in crime. No other paradigm organizes these patterns better. No other paradigm explains these inconvenient truths.
Betsy DeVos is not the only fan of John Paul Wright in mainstream academia. Lee Jussim, acting head of the Rutgers Psychology Department recently tweeted his dream team for a hypothetical university. In addition IDW member Claire Lehmann, Jussim listed John Paul Wright, by his Twitter account handle cjprofman, to lead his dream Criminology department.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Quillette is yet again a disgrace to journalism

Columbia Journalism Review published a piece about the failure of Quillette to fact-check one of its stories. According to the piece, Right-wing publications launder an anti-journalist smear campaign by Jared Holt:
On May 15, Eoin Lenihan, a far-right social media user presented what he said were excerpts from a data set that proved prominent reporters who cover extremist movements were “closely associated” with antifascist activists. He identified himself as an online extremism researcher, despite having no association with any previously known organization that researches extremism. In reality, Lenihan was already an established right-wing troll, now blanket banned for “violating rules against managing multiple Twitter accounts for abusive purposes.”

Then continuing...
Lenihan tells CJR via email that his methodology consisted of labeling Twitter users as “highly connected” to Antifa if they had “8 or more connections” on Twitter to either accounts run by antifascist activists, or one professor at the University of Hong Kong. He also said he had provided “snippets” of his work to journalists to support his claims. “Those who received them were asked not to make them public as peer review demands exclusivity on publishing said data,” he told CJR. “Who received that information is, obviously, confidential.” Lenihan did not specify which peer-reviewed journal was considering his work for publication.
And finally he demonstrates what an absolute closed echo-chamber the rightwing media is, including Quillette:
But for conservative media, the endorsement of peers within its narrow confines is all the expertise necessary for publication. Quillette writer Andy Ngo, who called attention to Lenihan’s work on Twitter and whose work Lenihan cites in his article, insisted that the legitimacy of Lenihan’s findings was self-evident from Lenihan’s Twitter posts. Human Events publisher Will Chamberlain told CJR that it considered Quillette a “reputable outlet” and would not independently fact-check work appearing on its site when commenting on it “in broad terms.” CJR did not receive responses to emailed requests for comment from PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil, RT’s Margarita Simonyan, or Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari. It seems unlikely that anyone reading these publications will encounter the sort of media criticism that dogs the steps of reporters for mainstream news outlets.
There's a reason why Quillette publishes people like Johnny Anomaly, Colin Wright, Cathy Young, Lee Jussim, Helen Pluckrose, Andy Ngo. Bo Winegard, Ben Winegard, Razib Khan, biosocial criminologists and Steven Pinker. It's not journalism, it's a rightwing political project.

Brian Ferguson v Steven Pinker

I first interviewed anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson fifteen years ago when I was considering writing a biography about anthropologist Marvin Harris. Unfortunately I never did write it. I may still have the interview, on cassette tape, but no longer have the equipment on which to play cassette tapes.

But strangely enough, after I become a devoted critic of Steven Pinker I realized that Ferguson was also a critic of Pinker. This should not have surprised me though, since Marvin Harris was a critic of  sociobiology in general, and Harris had been Ferguson's anthropology professor at Columbia University, and then his colleague.

So I interviewed Ferguson again last week in a Manhattan diner, about his work and his critiques of Pinker. This time I used a Snowball microphone feeding into a Garageband audio channel. The audio quality is much better than the one on the cassette, although background noise from the diner can be heard. I will post the recording soon, with transcript, on YouTube.

Ferguson has written two papers debunking hereditarian theories that Steven Pinker has supported.

Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence

The first theory supported by Pinker was presented in a paper by Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy, Henry Harpending entitled Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence, which claims that Askhenazi Jews are innately more intelligent than other ethnic groups.

Ferguson wrote a response entitled How Jews Became Smart: Anti-"Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence"

Pinker's List

The second hereditarian theory was both more formally supported by Pinker and more formally refuted by Ferguson.

The theory, presented in Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature, was that our pre-historic past was extremely violent.

Ferguson's response is a chapter in a book, War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views edited by Douglas P. Fry. Ferguson's chapter, which he has made publicly available for free, is entitled Pinker's List, Exaggerating Prehistoric War Mortality.

I will be focusing on the Ashkenazi papers and the Pinker's List debates in separate posts.

Ferguson discusses Pinker's List issues and Pinker's name comes up in this interview with John Horgan.

The transcript can be found on Pinkerite here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Steven Pinker doubles down on blaming critics of the alt-right for the alt-right

The impetus for this blog (and soon to be Youtube channel/podcast) Pinkerite was when Steven Pinker declared among other things:
“The other way in which I do agree with my fellow panelists that political correctness has done an enormous amount of harm in the sliver of the population that might be ... I wouldn't want to say persuadable, but certainly whose affiliation might be up for grabs... comes from the often highly literate, highly intelligent people who gravitate to the alt-right. Internet savvy, media savvy, who often are radicalized in that way — who swallow the red pill, as the saying goes, the allusion from The Matrix.  
When they are exposed the first time to true statements that have never been voiced in college campuses, or in The New York Times, or in respectable media, they are almost like a bacillus to which they have no immunity. And they're immediately infected with both the feeling of outrage that these truths are unsayable, and no defense against taking them to what we might consider to be rather repellent conclusions..."
He said it in late 2017 and Learn Liberty - a Koch-funded project which supports Dave Rubin directly, posted it on Youtube in January 2018, which is when the controversy erupted.

Those of us who were familiar with Steven Pinker's career knew he had been a long-time promoter of advocates of race science including Steve Sailer and Razib Khan, but a Twitter friend of Razib Khan, Jesse Singal wrote an apologia for Pinker in the NYTimes, which was full of bullshit - but then it is Jesse Singal, part-time Koch brothers hack.

Biologist PZ Myers, one of the people who had long since become fed up with Pinker, called Pinker a shitweasel and dissected Singal's apologia.

The ignorance of alleged journalists like Singal about Pinker's alt-right and racist-friendly career appalled me and I created a diagram: Steven Pinker's rightwing, alt-right and hereditarian connections especially for the reading-challenged like Singal.

Then in May 2018 Bari Weiss wrote an article about the "intellectual dark web" and included Steven Pinker as its most respectable member.

Pinker has covered himself with plenty of shame since then, as I have documented in this blog, while at the same time being presented as the world's favorite science celebrity, appearing with an actual intellectual of value like Paul Krugman and speaking at the United Nations.

And it turns out that the Spiked Magazine "Unsafe Space" tour in which Pinker blamed the media and academia for the alt-right was paid for by the Charles Koch Foundation.

Yesterday Pinker decided to double down, agreeing with right-wing Catholic op-ed NYTimes columnist Ross Douthat that "political correctness" is making smart young men become alt-right radicals.

There were some good responses to Pinker's tweet.

The most disgusting aspect of this is that, by using his science celebrity to promote evolutionary psychology and race science, it is Pinker himself who is radicalizing the alt-right.

Steven Pinker is shameless individual.

And he's also a lousy researcher. I talked to Brian Ferguson about that and I will be posting that conversation soon.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Quillette Poetry Qorner

Recently the Koch-funded Independent Women's Forum declared Quillette to be the hot conservative "High-Brow Publication for Academics" and it's clear that Quillette is taking this declaration seriously by publishing poetry.

It's odd that a Quillette bard would mention something coming from 1955 like it's a bad thing, since Quillette's platform is to push women and non-whites back to at least 1955.

Meanwhile I'm thinking of instituting a poetry competition for non-Quillette bards, with a cash prize, and with limericks greatly encouraged, inspired by this perfect panegyric to the literary excellence that is Claire Lehmann's brainchild.

If you are on Twitter you should follow Ted McCormick.

I proudly present his "There was an old man at Quillette" by permission.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Stefan Molyneux is a member of the IDW, Eric Weinstein is an asshole

I disagree with this infographic in the NYTimes. It mentions Stefan Molyneux in the top caption and the next caption says "Mr. Cain also watched many videos by members of the so-called intellectual dark web."

It should be other members of the intellectual dark web since Molyneux is considered a member per the Bari Weiss article about the IDW.

The article in which this graphic can be found is The Making of a Youtube Radical and observers:
Mr. Molyneux, in particular, seemed to be veering further to the right. He fixated on “race realism,” a favored topic of white nationalists, and went on an Infowars show to discuss his opposition to multiculturalism with Mr. Jones. He hosted far-right figures on his channel, including Mr. Taylor of American Renaissance and Brittany Pettibone, a self-described “American nationalist” who pushed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.
The article also mentions Rebecca Lewis who wrote a report on Youtube algorithms:

“YouTube has been able to fly under the radar because until recently, no one thought of it as a place where radicalization is happening,” said Becca Lewis, who studies online extremism for the nonprofit Data & Society. “But it’s where young people are getting their information and entertainment, and it’s a space where creators are broadcasting political content that, at times, is overtly white supremacist.

Predictably Eric Weinstein had a problem with article.

Weinstein was so agitated by the NYTimes article he was still ranting about the mainstream media a day later and blaming it - in the Steven Pinker tradition - for radicalizing people.

I'm not sure which high prestige and high paying cognitive activities he means in the tweet below, but if he wants to suggest "being a toady for Peter Thiel" I'm inclined to go along with him.

The belief in the inferiority of lady brains IS the radical position. So apparently the only way we can beat radicalization is to give into radicalization. Yep, sounds like IDW logic.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Unpleasant encounters with science celebrities

Well that was a weird experience.

I had to block Angela Saini and her sycophants on Twitter after Saini had a melt-down over my offhand remark when discussing a review in Quillette a few days ago:
I haven't read the book so I won't evaluate how accurately the review describes Saini's arguments. My impression of the book is that Saini made it as much about herself as about a critique of race science, with big glossy photos of herself with every article about the book, which dampened my enthusiasm for reading it. Plus I haven't had time.
Apparently Saini and her friends felt I was not deferential enough to Saini, not only in daring to express an opinion about the marketing of her book, but because I then expressed disappointment that Saini did not include anything about Steven Pinker's support for Steve Sailer, in her book  Superior: The Return of Race Science and she didn't mention Razib Khan at all.

I observed that her failure to include that information made me a better journalist, although that's too subjective - better to say it makes me a more comprehensive journalist. 

When I finally get around to finishing and reviewing Saini's book I will try not to let my impression of her personality shade my response, but she really seems full of herself. One of her sycophants, Leonor Goncalves, insisted that Saini is not a science celebrity, but the bar for "celebrity" must be set very high in their privileged circle, considering that Saini is all over the BBC, per her own website bio.

Goncalves can also be seen in the tweet above making a big deal out of Saini's two masters degrees - which per Saini's bio are Masters in Engineering from Oxford University, and a second Masters in Science and Security from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

It must be nice to have the time and money to get two advanced degrees. Although it seems odd to me, that Saini has a masters in engineering and yet she is not an engineer but instead a journalist. You don't need any degrees to be a journalist, even to be a science celebrity journalist.

Also, I see that although Saini is hyper-sensitive about the smallest criticism of her work, or even just the marketing techniques for her work, she feels that many scientists are rather presumptuous when she interrogates them.

It's all a tempest in a teapot of course - once Saini is done making the interview rounds for her book I assume she'll move onto another project with another topic. Meanwhile the rest of us will still be in the trenches, fighting Steve Sailer and letting people know that Steven Pinker, the world's favorite science celebrity is helping to mainstream race science. Somebody has to talk about such an important issue and Saini couldn't be bothered.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The good guys: Fardels Bear on race science

"Fardels Bear" banner art
I found a great web site via Twitter: Fardels Bear - A History of the Alt-right.

The site has posted two great pieces on race science this week:

False premise 5: “When dealing with this topic, it’s useful to step back from any definitive assertion to contemplate a less divisive question: is it possible that human populations could differ in cognitive ability, at least in part, because of their different evolutionary histories?” 
See how reasonable they are being? Just asking the question: isn’t it possible black people are just stupider than white people because of how they are from Africa and all? What? I’m just asking!
Since Quillette goes to great lengths to deny there are any social or political reasons for asking this not-at-all provocative question we are free to ask why they are asking it. What scientific question is at stake? It is very difficult to posit an answer outside the context of a racist society where such “cogitive differences” have huge social consequences.
And, to be clear, the history of race science has shown that the question is not a new one and that it has been explored in a lot of depth for over a century. And the research program proposed by Quillette has failed to establish any reasonable conclusion at all. If there were evolutionary reasons for differences in “cognitive capacity” among “races” we would know by now. It is reasonable to conclude that the question is no longer a reasonable one to ask.  How long must we suffer people with very questionable motivations asking it?
And more recently Fardels Bear published Arthur Jensen and His Nazi Friends. The whole article is informative and excellent, and he discusses something discussed in Pinkerite - the incredibly slipperly way - seemingly by design - that race science proponents use race-related terminology.
Several times in this space I warned of equivocating between a “genetic population” and “race.” The trick of simply substituting “population” for “race” leads readers to think that our conventionally defined races are genetic populations which they definitely are not, but allows the writer to sound scientific and up-to-date.  Jensen gained enormous credibility by using the language of population genetics.   But all he did was steal that language without properly using the concepts. Jensen actually studied conventionally defined (and socially constructed) “races” unless his subjects actually took some kind of genetic test to make sure they were of the same breeding population with their fellow test-takers. Jensen claimed to study genetic populations because he wanted sound scientific. He simply claimed that we can tell just by looking at someone what “population group” they belonged to. Here’s the key passage:
This is practically axiomatic, according to the geneticists with whom I have spoken…. Races are more technically viewed by geneticists as populations having different distributions of gene frequencies. These genetic differences are manifested in virtually every anatomical, physiological, and biochemical comparison one can make between representative samples of identifiable racial groups (Kuttner, 1967). (p. 80)
Jensen simply moves from a socially defined “race” like “black” to the claim that they are the same as a genetic population. He knows this because of “geneticists with whom I have spoken.” Which geneticists? He provides us with a citation with to (Kuttner, 1967). Aha! Regular readers know Robert Kuttner!
Kuttner, as you probably guessed without even checking the link, is a hard-core racist.
Fardels Bear is a project of writer and history John Jackson.
Pinkerite will be making an effort to include more science-based opponents of race science in this blog going forward. Starting with an interview with anthropologist and Pinker critic R. Brian Ferguson.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Rebecca Watson v the IDW

Watson v Candace Owens

Watson criticizes Ben Shapiro

In her most recent video Watson talks about a sexual harassment and career study and reveals that eight years after the horrific, Richard Dawkins-created "Elevatorgate" she is still getting attacked by men.

Elevatorgate was a sort of precursor to Gamergate, another misogyny-fueled attack mob phenomenon, which was celebrated by Cathy Young and Christina Hoff Sommers.

Recently I mentioned that Bret Weinstein was telling his Twitter followers that Rebecca Lewis, author of Alternative Influence Broadcasting the Reactionary Right was just trying to get power by claiming that she was getting threats on Twitter.

Like it's so unbelievable that a woman would actually get threats on social media.

One of the problems with the response to Dawkins over his part in Elevatorgate, the reason he got so little pressure to take responsibility for what he had wrought, was that it took a long time for people to believe it was really Richard Dawkins who wrote the "Dear Muslima" letter.

It used to be so hard to believe that science celebrity men could be assholes, but now we know better - they can be and they often are.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Quillette doubles down on race science: Bo Winegard and Noah Carl

The Sami people ("Lapps") of northern Finland
were not considered  by Blumenbach to be
part of the "becoming" Caucasian sub-group.
Today we see a team-up of long-time Quillette-published proponent of race science and other forms of hereditarianism, Bo Winegard, and Noah Carl, who was in the news recently after he was dismissed from a Cambridge University college due to his "collaboration with far-right extremists."

I haven't read the book so I won't evaluate how accurately the review describes Saini's arguments. My impression of the book is that Saini made it as much about herself as about a critique of race science, with big glossy photos of herself with every article about the book, which dampened my enthusiasm for reading it. Plus I haven't had time.

The review itself is chock-full of the usual race science claims which I have been critiquing, but I want to focus on one section in particular:
The primary reason that natural philosophers began to classify humans into different races is that human populations look different from one another. Their skin colors, hair textures, facial structures, and stature all differ, often in predictable ways. Furthermore, these differences reflect their divergent geographical origins. 
The "philosophers" link is to work by Johann Frederich Blumenbach, whom I was just talking about recently in relation to carelessness in race science terminology and Blumenbach's invention of the term "Caucasian."

It's interesting to compare Blumenbach's description of "Caucasian" to Winegard's. In "The Anthropological Treatise of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach" he describes light skin as "most handsome and becoming" but he also includes "Eastern Asians" (which are now known as South Asians) and North Africans.
Caucasian variety Colour white cheeks rosy s 43 hair brown or chestnut coloured s 52 head subglobular s 62 face oval straight its parts moderately defined forehead smooth nose narrow slightly hooked mouth small s 56 The primary teeth placed perpendicularly to each jaw s 62 the lips especially The lower one moderately open the chin full and rounded s 56 In general that kind of appearance which according to our opinion of symmetry we consider most handsome and becoming To this first variety belong the inhabitants of Europe except the Lapps and the remaining descendants of the Finns and those of Eastern Asia as far as the river Obi the Caspian Sea and the Ganges and lastly those of Northern Africa.
He says that Caucasians are all the way to the Ganges river, which is on the eastern border of India. As I mentioned in the other post, people of South Asian descent, considered Caucasian by Blumenbach, are sometimes called "black" in Great Britain.

Although Blumenbach loves those rosy cheeks, he also includes people with different skin colors and people outside of Europe as Caucasians, and excludes the entire eastern half of Russia.

Winegard uses the term Caucasian differently, in another article in Quillette, "On the Reality of Race and the Abhorrence of Racism":
If one knows that Thomas is a Caucasian, one can be reasonably sure that Thomas has relatively light skin, and that he has recent ancestry in Europe. 
We see Winegard's approach - you create a category, "Caucasian" and then you see if a person can be placed into the category by looking at his skin color and checking the geography of his ancestors.

Winegard, who clearly knows the provenance of the word "Caucasian," has redefined Blumenbach's term - no longer may North Africans or Asians be considered part of the group, now a Caucasian must have light skin and come from Europe.

Winegard's redefining "Caucasian" for his own artisanal classification system is not an error though, it's deliberate - for Winegard's article, co-written with his brother Ben and "biosocial criminologist" Brian Boutwell makes it clear that you can decide who counts as whichever race at your convenience:
But racial categories, like film categories, aren’t immutable essences that perfectly sort humans into distinct groups. There aren’t a fixed number of racial categories, and the number researchers use is partially a matter of convenience. One might start with five continentally based categories (i.e., Caucasians, East Asians, Africans, Native Americans, and Australian Aborigines) and then add more categories as one’s analysis becomes more granular (e.g. Ashkenazi Jewish, Mizrahi Jewish, and so on). These categories aren’t real in some metaphysical sense, but they are useful, and they do have predictive value. 
He mentions Ashkenazi Jews as a "granular" category, but other race science proponents, including Linda Gottfredson, whom Winegard mentions with approval in his Quillette article in defense of "The Bell Curve" counts Ashkenazi Jews as a distinct race, more intelligent than Caucasians as we see her doing in this interview with Stephan Molyneux.

In other words, Bo Winegard's race classification system is "Caucasians, East Asians, Africans, Native Americans, and Australian Aborigines" with Ashkenazi being presumably a granular sub-category of Caucasian, while for Molyneux and Gottfredson, the race classification system is "Ashkenazi Jews, Asians, Caucasians, Hispanics, Blacks and African Blacks."

As we see, again and again, sloppy, incoherent and "useful" race classification is the very essence of race science. Race science proponents don't even agree with each other on which races exist.

Winegard claims these hazy random ad hoc classifications are useful.

How are they useful? Unless your goal is the Libertarian one - to declare that some poor people, easily identified by the color of their skin, are just too genetically stupid to help via tax-payer funded social programs, and so we should therefore stop funding them.

In other words the policy proposal at the heart of The Bell Curve.

I will be getting back to my Bell Curve series soon, but first I will talk about anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson's critique of the claims of Ashkenazi intelligence (claims that were endorsed & promoted by Steven Pinker) that Molyneux uses to place Ashkenazim at the top of the racial intelligence hierarchy as well as Ferguson's critique of another theory endorsed by Pinker - and a discussion of Pinker's shamefully sloppy work.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Quillette is awful again

In today's NYTimes: Canadian Inquiry Calls Killings of Indigenous Women Genocide

To nobody's surprise Quillette editor Jon Kay and grifter-for-hire Andy Ngo have horrible takes.

Good people on Twitter respond:

Meanwhile Claire Lehmann comes the closest I've seen to defending race science in public - besides of course publishing articles by people who support race science -  in an argument with Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  They are talking about Noah Carl.

I didn't find if Lehmann responded.

This must have been a shock for Lehmann to have Carl, defended by Quillette, attacked and called a charlatan by Taleb.

And then Taleb went after IQ which is the basis of most race science arguments.

I mean, Taleb was their guy. You can see how often Quillette has referred favorably to Taleb in this screen cap of search results

Taleb's resume, which includes making a bundle on the stock market and attacking Paul Krugman is Ayn Rand's wet dream.

What an unpleasant surprise for the gang at Quillette.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Sam Seder v Alex Jones

Sam Seder is convinced that Alex Jones gets Koch money.

If that could be proven it would mean six members of the IDW get Koch money.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

The misogynist Christina Hoff Sommers

I've pointed out before that IDW women don't just hate feminists - they are full-on misogynists.

Christina Hoff Sommers demonstrated that again recently with this tweet telling women to STFU about menstruation because men never talk about bodily secretions.

Then she promoted a tweet where someone compared menstruation - a healthy normal process - to jock itch, a fungal infection.

There is nothing especially feminist about wanting to talk about menstruation. And nobody is making Christina Hoff Sommers listen to people talking about it. I think she just doesn't like the idea of women talking about their lives and their icky gross bodies.

To a certain extent this is probably an example of rightwing empathy deficiency. Sommers, at age 68, has probably not had to deal with menstruation for well over a decade. And if it's of no interest to her, Christina Hoff Sommers, why should anybody else be talking about it?

The best part of the responses to her tweet was all the people asking her if she's ever known any men.

For example:

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Has Claire Lehmann finally dropped the centrist mask?

Looks like Claire Lehmann is going to be at the National Conservatism Conference with right-wingers like John Bolton, Tucker Carlson and Peter Thiel, of whom we were speaking just the other day, since he is Eric Weinstein's boss.

According to their about page:

The conference on “National Conservatism” will bring together public figures, journalists, scholars, and students who understand that the past and future of conservatism are inextricably tied to the idea of the nation, to the principle of national independence, and to the revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing. 
We see this public conference as the kick off for a protracted effort to recover and reconsolidate the rich tradition of national conservative thought as an intellectually serious alternative to the excesses of purist libertarianism, and in stark opposition to political theories grounded in race. Our aim is to solidify and energize national conservatives, offering them a much-needed institutional base, substantial ideas in the areas of public policy, political theory, and economics, and an extensive support network across the country. 
The Edmund Burke Foundation is a new public affairs institute dedicated to developing a revitalized conservatism for the age of nationalism already upon us.
The National Conservatism Conference will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Washington DC.
Lehmann might have trouble with the goal of opposing political theories grounded in race though.

Meanwhile, the Koch-funded Independent Women's Forum has declared Quillette to be a conservative publication:
While Bartlett presents Quillette as a conservative niche publication (and quite rightly)
My guess is that Lehmann agreed to admit she and Quillette are rightwing after being prompted by the Kochs, whom I am convinced, more than ever, help fund Quillette. Because, per this IWF article, they think Quillette is hip - or rather "People Are Talking about Quillette, a High-Brow Publication for Academics. No, Really--It's Hot"

This is something the Right wants very much - a "high-brow publication for academics" that is conservative and "hot."

They really live inside their own bubble.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Steven Pinker: The World's Most Annoying Man

I generally like the work of Nathan J. Robinson, the author of the article in Current Affairs, The World's Most Annoying Man, although I was disappointed I didn't learn anything new about Pinker. I already knew he is full of himself, is fairly empathy-deficient, is a phony liberal and yes, supremely annoying.

The fact that I have devoted a blog to critiquing Pinker, albeit focusing on his support for race science, might account for my already knowing much of what Robinson reports.

However, Robinson does get credit for making me laugh out loud at the end of this passage:
Now, for me, it is trivializing, even downright insouciant, to talk about the depth of anguish and despair that millions of people endure daily in this country as a “modicum of anxiety.” And it is dismissing the urgency of the problem to say it might just be a price we have to pay. 40,000 people, measured in the official American mass death unit, is over 13 annual 9/11s. It does not matter if this was worse long ago. It doesn’t follow that it’s not a “crisis,” merely that the crisis is a recurring one and we have never done what we ought to do in order to try to fix it. It is trivially true that “not every problem” is a “crisis.” But surely, if you do not see 40,000 people taking their lives each year as urgent, you are the most insouciant of insouciant assholes.
Robinson wrote pieces about Sam Harris and Ben Shapiro too. I'd love it if Robinson wrote a piece about each member of the IDW.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Heather Heying: "we’re now getting the chance to do something on a much larger scale than we could ever do in the classroom"

Michael Shermer demonstrating
IDW "civility" by calling a critic
of Steven Pinker a cockroach while
suggesting the critic's motive was

nothing but being desperate for attention

I recently discussed the mystery of why Bari Weiss decided for herself to group people like Stefan Molyneux in with Steven Pinker and other presumably more respectable individuals in her article Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web.

I did not solve the mystery.

But while reading the article more thoroughly than I ever have before, several things jumped out at me.

One is a Big Lie of the IDW, which Weiss promotes in her piece:
...they all share three distinct qualities. First, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly, about nearly every meaningful subject: religion, abortion, immigration, the nature of consciousness...
If Pinkerite has demonstrated anything, it's that nobody in the IDW is especially civil. And in fact Weiss demonstrated it herself when she wrote:
“I’ve figured out how to monetize social justice warriors,” Mr. Peterson said in January on Joe Rogan’s podcast. On his Twitter feed, he called the writer Pankaj Mishra, who’d written an essay in The New York Review of Books attacking him, a “sanctimonious prick” and said he’d happily slap him.
So why does Weiss repeat the IDWs self-congratulatory marketing copy?

And who exactly is writing the copy?

My bet is on Eric Weinstein. He's often mentioned as merely the coiner of the term "Intellectual Dark Web" but Weiss's article makes it clear that it's about more than just the nomenclature:
...when Ms. Owens and Charlie Kirk, the executive director of Turning Point USA, met last week with Mr. West at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, just outside of the frame — in fact, avoiding the photographers — was Mr. Weinstein. He attended both that meeting and a one-on-one the next day for several hours at the mogul’s request. Mr. Weinstein, who can’t name two of Mr. West’s songs, said he found the Kardashian spouse “kind and surprisingly humble despite his unpredictable public provocations.” He has also tweeted that he’s interested to see what Ms. Owens says next.
And then there is this quote from Weinstein:
“I’m really only interested in building this intellectual movement,” Eric Weinstein said. “The I.D.W. has bigger goals than anyone’s buzz or celebrity.”
Weinstein has goals for the IDW.

And then there is Heather Heying, Eric's sister-in-law. I've argued several times with fans of the IDW on Twitter, pointing out that there is another side to the Evergreen story than the one promoted by the IDW and Fox News narrative. As Bari Weiss puts it:
A year ago, Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying were respected tenured professors at Evergreen State College, where their Occupy Wall Street-sympathetic politics were well in tune with the school’s progressive ethos. Today they have left their jobs, lost many of their friends and endangered their reputations.
But then Weiss includes Weinstein and Heying in her discussion of IDW profitability:
That hunger has translated into a booming and, in many cases, profitable market. Episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which have featured many members of the I.D.W., can draw nearly as big an audience as Rachel Maddow. A recent episode featuring Bret Weinstein and Ms. Heying talking about gender, hotness, beauty and #MeToo was viewed on YouTube over a million times, even though the conversation lasted for nearly three hours.

As Weiss writes:
The exile of Bret Weinstein and Ms. Heying from Evergreen State brought them to the attention of a national audience that might have come for the controversy but has stayed for their fascinating insights about subjects including evolution and gender.
Spoiler alert: their "fascinating insights" on gender are garden-variety evolutionary psychology and in Heying's case scolding young women to wear more clothes lest they be guilty of "toxic femininity."

All in all, it sounds like they've used the Evergreen controversy to level up. And Heying seems to agree. Weiss quotes her:
“Our friends still at Evergreen tell us that the protesters think they destroyed us,” Ms. Heying said. “But the truth is we’re now getting the chance to do something on a much larger scale than we could ever do in the classroom.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The IDW rightwing plutocrat support report - UPDATE

UPDATE - adding Candace Owens - so that is now five IDWs getting direct Koch funding.

Charlie Kirk, is the founder of Turning Point USA.
TPUSA’s upcoming Student Action Summit in December has additional sponsors including the Reason Foundation, the Koch-connected Generation Opportunity Institute and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. (International Business Times)
Candace Owens
Communications director for Turning Point USA (Source: Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web)

Charles Murray - AEI scholar.
David H. Koch is on the American Enterprise Institute's National Council, whose members "serve as ambassadors for AEI, providing AEI with advice, insight, and guidance as [it] looks to reach out to new friends across the country."
Between 2002 and 2013, the American Enterprise Institute received a total of $867,289 in funding from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. 

David Rubin - political commentator whose work is supported by Learn Liberty
Learn Liberty is a project of the Institute for Human Studies. Members of the IHS Board of Directors includes Charles Koch and Koch-related organization employees

More IDW-rightwing plutocrat connections as they are discovered...