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Monday, May 25, 2020

Bari Weiss promotes the IDW ~ 2020 edition

Contempt for women
This is where the Dirtbag Left, the IDW and Trump supporters find common ground: contempt for women


New York Times columnist Bari Weiss famously promoted her friends, mostly right-wingers as the "Intellectual Dark Web" two years ago.

Since then, the Intellectual Dark Web has had its ups and downs. Ben Sexmith of the right-wing, Trump-loving Spectator USA was ready to perform an autopsy on it just this month:
The ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ has fractured now. Sam Harris is still droning on his podcast with more soporific power than a packet of Restoril. Rubin has become an overblown Fox News personality. God bless Jordan Peterson, wherever he is. The phenomenon left lots of people with a lot of questions. If we want them to have answers, well — now is our chance.
And Quillette certainly isn't what it was in 2018. Sure, it's still a sausagefest - I counted two bylines from women among twenty-four on its homepage today, but lately the coronavirus pandemic has shifted its focus from Quillette's usual enemies list: liberals, socialists, feminists, Muslims, and opponents of race science. Although reliably there is an article attacking transgender activism as a mob by bigot and hypocrite Jon Kay.

According to Graphetron, Quillette has fewer patrons now than when Bari Weiss promoted it in 2018 as "...the publication most associated with (the IDW) movement."



But Quillette is not dependent on individuals, it has an admitted funder, right-wing plutocrat Mark Carnegie, and other unnamed funders. My bet is one of them is Koch.

And speaking of sausagefests - Joe Rogan is the most successful of Bari's IDW friends. Bari wrote an article for the NYTimes today celebrating Rogan's Spotify deal:
When I saw the news that the king of all podcasting, Joe Rogan, had inked a deal with Spotify for his widely popular show I texted to congratulate him on getting crazy rich. How rich? 
“Weirdly richer,” he replied. “Like it doesn’t register. Seems fake.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal could amount to more than $100 million, a number that Rogan doesn’t want to discuss. “It feels gross,” he told me Thursday night. “Especially right now, when people can’t work.”

News of Tuesday’s deal, which gave Spotify exclusive rights to “The Joe Rogan Experience,” sent the company’s stock soaring: It added $1.7 billion to its market cap in 23 minutes. The musician and critic Ted Gioia pointed out on Twitter that “a musician would need to generate 23 billion streams on Spotify to earn what they’re paying Joe Rogan for his podcast rights.”

OK, so it’s a lot of money. But Spotify reportedly paid almost double for Bill Simmons’s podcasting company, the Ringer, earlier this year. Money is not the only reason this deal matters.
 
Rogan is a friend of mine, and I’ve been on his show. But I still find the extent of his popularity mind-boggling. Imagine if I had told you, a dozen years ago, that the former host of “The Fear Factor,” an MMA color commentator who loves cool cars and shooting guns and working out, a guy with a raw interview show featuring comedians, athletes and intellectuals, was more influential than the entire slate of hosts on CNN.
You’d think I was nuts. But it’s true. His fans are everywhere — I’ve met them working behind the register and wearing loafers at hedge funds.
With "His fans are everywhere" Weiss links to an article in The Atlantic about Rogan. But Weiss never mentions a major point in The Atlantic piece: Rogan's fans are overwhelmingly male.
Most of Rogan’s critics don’t really grasp the breadth and depth of the community he has built, and they act as though trying is pointless. If they decide they want to write off his podcast as a parade of alt-right idiots and incels (as opposed to a handful of cretins out of about 1,400 guests) they will turn up sufficient evidence. And his podcast is a parade of men. So many men. Talking so (so, so, so) much about the things men talk about in 2019 when they think no one’s listening.
 It's curious that Weiss omits this - possibly because she's trying to help out her self-declared friend Joe Rogan achieve a bigger audience.

Although the article is about Rogan, Weiss can't help mention other members of the IDW:
But there is also a very practical reason Rogan can say whatever he thinks: He is an individual and not an organization. Eric Weinstein, another podcaster and a friend of Rogan, told me, “It’s the same reason that a contractor can wear a MAGA hat on a job and an employee inside Facebook headquarters cannot: There is no HR department at ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’.” 
Eric Weinstein is not only a member of the Intellectual Dark Web, he's its founder. If Bari Weiss is getting paid as the IDWs press agent, Weinstein would be the one cutting the checks.

And Joe Rogan has done exactly as the IDW would want. Before it was clear that Biden was the front-runner, Rogan supported Sanders. After Biden was the presumed nominee, he supported Trump and he said it while he was talking to Eric Weinstein who works for Trump supporter Peter Thiel.

In standard IDW fashion, Weiss claims several times in the article that Trump-supporting IDW Joe Rogan is not political. But he is absolutely political and he clearly is right-wing and has a special antagonism towards women. This is again from the Atlantic article Weiss linked to:


Rogan’s most recent Netflix special is often funny because Joe Rogan is a professional stand-up comedian, but if you look past the jokes themselves and focus on the targets he’s choosing, the same patterns emerge. Hillary, the #MeToo movement, why it sucks that he can’t call things “gay,” vegan bullies, sexism. Of all the things in the world for a comedian to joke about right now, why these? “I say shit I don’t mean because it’s funny,” he says during the special, which is something all comedians say, and is sort of true but also sort of not. People reveal their deepest selves in the subjects they keep revisiting, and the hills they choose to die on. With Rogan, you can often see and hear the tension between what he knows he’s supposed to believe and what he really thinks. Joe Rogan may be all about love, but beneath the surface he’s seething.
The members of the dirtbag left
 that Bari Weiss likes
In the article, Weiss mentions podcasts she likes to listen to, including one by Sam Harris. She also mentions a podcast called Red Scare, which is part of the Dirtbag Left. One of the hosts of Red Scare is Anna Khachiyan known for trashing feminists with Chapo Trap House's Amber A'Lee Frost in Spiked, a media outlet funded by Koch to run its free speech grift called the "Unsafe Space Tour", the one in which Steven Pinker made his pro alt-right remarks.

Red Scare demonstrates exactly where the Dirtbag Left and the IDW meet, in their admiration for Camille Paglia, stating at one point in their podcast which promotes an article by her: "(Paglia's) right about everything."

Camille Paglia is the ideal feminist for the IDW and the Dirtbag Left because she has utter contempt for women, proclaiming:

"If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts."

Quillette founder Claire Lehmann referenced this remark by Paglia with approval.

Many members of the IDW admire Camille Paglia: Michael Shermer, Christina Hoff Sommers, Steven Pinker, Jordan Peterson, Claire Lehmann (of course), Charles Murray, Eric Weinstein, (Anna Khachiyan and Eric Weinstein admire Paglia together on Weinstein's podcast)

This is where the Dirtbag Left, the IDW and Trump supporters find common ground: contempt for women. As the Atlantic article says:
In 2019, men feeling thwarted and besieged is a bipartisan experience. This is the era of the Angry White Man, and it’s not just the MAGA army. It’s a description that also matches your garden-variety “Bernie bro,” the Biden guy who just wants to change the subject, and that walking man bun who charged the stage at a Kamala Harris campaign event and showed his “profound respect” for all the women present—for a conversation about equal pay—by grabbing the microphone to lecture her about animal rights. All kinds of men out there are pissed off and looking for someone to blame.
They are looking to blame women. Especially women who don't know their place in what the Dirtbag-IDW-Trump coalition consider the natural male-dominated order of things.

This is especially well-illustrated by a recent NYTimes article about Chapo Trap House, the leading Dirtbag media outlet:
They dove into a discussion of the caucuses, and polling, and whether the media is fair to Mr. Sanders (they think not). 
“Should everything go according to plan on Monday, you will have the opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of every single one of the most insufferable cowards in the world,” Mr. Menaker said. 
“I’ve been keeping a list,” Ms. A’Lee Frost said. “Have you been keeping a list?”

There was a case of White Claw, an alcoholic seltzer water, onstage.
 
When Hillary Clinton’s name came up, the reaction was nearly indistinguishable from a Trump rally.

“Lock her up,” the co-host Matt Christman said to the crowd.

The crowd began to chant: Lock her up. Lock her up.
 
“She never really cracked the glass ceiling,” Mr. Biederman said. “She more like fell down the glass staircase.”
This photo from the NYT article demonstrates the male:female ratio for the 
Chapo Trap House audience is about the same as Quillette's bylines
Speaking of misogynist media that is doing very well financially, Chapo Trap House rakes in millions of dollars. Someone on Twitter posted a listing of how much money leftist podcasts make and it's a lot, especially because for some of the podcasters, like Jacobin and the Bruenigs, the podcast is a side hustle.

Ken Klippenstein, an author at The Nation magazine, found it offensive that someone pointed this out.


The top four earners in this list are part of the Dirtbag Left, and #5 on the list, The Dig, which is Jacobin, is very friendly with the Dirtbag Left and has the same hostility to feminism as the Dirtbags.

Jacobin recently published an article in which it was asserted that feminism isn't about women, it's about every gender. Although this being Jacobin the actual point is that women should stop focusing on their own rights like selfish capitalist bitches and learn where they rank in the socialist hierarchy (not very high.)

 I'm still waiting for Jacobin to publish an article about Black Lives Matter declaring it's not about black lives.




Weiss' article tells us that Joe Rogan is the new mainstream, but ends like this:
The real question for Rogan Nation is whether their man will be changed by a Spotify contract. “Why would I sell out now? You sell out to get what you want.”
And he’s got it.
Now that Rogan is taking Spotify's money, its guidelines may well change Rogan's show. According to Spotify's web site:
Hate content is content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability. We do not permit hate content on Spotify. When we are alerted to content that violates this standard, we will remove it from the platform. If you believe a piece of content violates our hate content policy, complete the form here and we will carefully review it against our policy. We are also continuing to develop and implement content monitoring technology which identifies content on our service that has been flagged as hate content on specific international registers.
Repeated violations of our prohibited content policies can result in losing access to the Spotify platform

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Blocked by Jerry Coyne - because he loves free speech so much

Steven Pinker's most groveling fan boy Jerry Coyne blocked Pinkerite on Twitter.

Because I posted a link on one of his Twitter threads to my blog post criticizing Pinker and other Koch toadies for their charade, pretending to care about free speech in a long-cold controversy when their real interest lies in promoting race science, and possibly just as important, attacking the press as Orwellian on behalf of Koch.

What race science promoters mean by free speech is the ability to promote their crackpot 18th-century based race theories as science, free of criticism.

It's important to note, however, that Coyne isn't only Uriah Heep, the toadies' toady, he is also a hypocritical, misogynist, Islamaphobic, cranky old man, supporter of race "science."

White supremacist American Renaissance likes Coyne enough to reprint him.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Four Koch toadies defend race science

Steven Pinker has been quiet lately about race science, but never fear, he still firmly supports it.

Politico recently published an article The New York Times Surrendered to an Outrage Mob. Journalism Will Suffer For It  by Pinker, Jonathan Haidt, Pamela Paresky and Nadine Strossen defending Bret Stephens' citation of a wildly speculative paper, Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence (NHAI), in an op-ed in the NYTimes.


Jerry Coyne, Pinker's ever-loyal toady, promoted the Politico article on his blog, in a post entitled Four heavy hitters criticize the New York Times for “Orwellian” retroactive censorship

Pinkerite discussed the article in question by Stephens, The Secrets of Jewish Genius, at the time it was published. I quoted Stephens from the article: 
The common answer is that Jews are, or tend to be, smart. When it comes to Ashkenazi Jews, it’s true. “Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average I.Q. of any ethnic group for which there are reliable data,” noted one 2005 paper.
The 2005 paper quoted by Stephens is Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence, which Stephens linked to in his op-ed.

Now if it's "common" to believe that Jews tend to be smart, couldn't Stephens have found another source to back up his claim? And in fact, Stephens supporters, while trying to defend Stephens, were able to do just that (my highlights.)
Stephens took up the question of why Ashkenazi Jews are statistically overrepresented in intellectual and creative fields. This disparity has been documented for many years, such as in the 1995 book Jews and the New American Scene by the eminent sociologists Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab. In his Times column, Stephens cited statistics from a more recent peer-reviewed academic paper, coauthored by an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. Though the authors of that paper advanced a genetic hypothesis for the overrepresentation, arguing that Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average IQ of any ethnic group because of inherited traits, Stephens did not take up that argument. In fact, his essay quickly set it aside and argued that the real roots of Jewish achievement are culturally and historically engendered habits of mind.
So if the four defenders of Stephens could find a source of statistics other than NHAI, why couldn't Stephens? I think it's likely because Stephens agrees with NHAI and wants to promote it but also wanted to maintain plausible deniability. For in spite of the claim by his four defenders that Stephen's essay "argued that the real roots of Jewish achievement are culturally and historically engendered habits of mind" what Stephens actually does is throw out a bunch of possible explanations without committing to any one of them. Then Stephens leaves it as an open question:
These explanations for Jewish brilliance aren’t necessarily definitive. 
Stephens is practiced at this method, as in his piece on climate change, in which he says:
None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences. But ordinary citizens also have a right to be skeptical of an overweening scientism. They know — as all environmentalists should — that history is littered with the human wreckage of scientific errors married to political power.
He's not saying severe anthropogenic climate change is impossible, he's just implying ordinary citizens should be skeptical of environmentalists.

I imagine this trick, of casting doubt on settled science while maintaining a pose of neutrality, or contrariwise promoting an unfounded speculation while maintaining a pose of neutrality makes him a desirable ally of the Kochtopus.

And of course faux neutrality is a favorite tactic of the IDW - associates of Quillette have long tried to claim the rag is centrist while it has relentlessly promoted right-wing views and its founder  Claire Lehmann hobnobs with conservatives and takes their money.

Steven Pinker is a practiced hand at plausible deniability.

The Stephens defenders attempt to downplay the connection between Henry Harpending's racism and his co-authoring a paper that supports race science:
Second, the Times redacted a published essay based on concerns about retroactive moral pollution, not about accuracy. While it is true that an author of the paper Stephens mentioned, the late anthropologist Henry Harpending, made some deplorable racist remarks, that does not mean that every point in every paper he ever coauthored must be deemed radioactive. Facts and arguments must be evaluated on their content. Will the Times and other newspapers now monitor the speech of scientists and scholars and censor articles that cite any of them who, years later, say something offensive? Will it crowdsource that job to Twitter and then redact its online editions whenever anyone quoted in the Times is later “canceled”?
The four Stephens defenders imply that the problem critics have with citing NHAI is not because of its lack of "accuracy" (the real issue is NHAI is unsupported speculation) but because it's "immoral" which is always race science promoters response to criticism of their poorly-supported, speculative claims about race.

Steven Pinker, as the Politico article fails to mention, is in the public record as a supporter of the NHAI paper. Some years ago he gave a speech, still available on Youtube, called "Jews, Genes and Intelligence." Although he never bluntly states that the NHAI hypothesis is correct, he begins the lecture by strongly defending a pillar of race science belief - that "race" is biological:
I think it's safe to say that the current approach at least the approach for in recent decades was to deny the existence of intelligence I. mentioned the miss measure of man as the foremost example to deny the existence of genetically distinct human groups. there is a widespread myth that there is no such thing as race whatsoever that there are that it's purely a social construction and to call the people who don't do this Nazis but on the other hand there is a quotation I don't know who's responsible for it reality is what refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.
Pinker then spends the rest of the lecture coming up with support for the NHAI hypothesis.

So contrary to his misleading self-presentation in the Politico piece, Pinker is not a neutral observer of a controversy about NYTimes "censorship" or simply a believer in free speech - he is a devoted partisan of the cause of race science. As is another co-author of the piece, Jonathan Haidt.

You can see Haidt here speculating, much as Charles Murray has done, that any day now we will have evidence for innate ethnic inferiority:
The protective "wall" is about to come crashing down, and all sorts of uncomfortable claims are going to pour in. Skin color has no moral significance, but traits that led to Darwinian success in one of the many new niches and occupations of Holocene life — traits such as collectivism, clannishness, aggressiveness, docility, or the ability to delay gratification — are often seen as virtues or vices. Virtues are acquired slowly, by practice within a cultural context, but the discovery that there might be ethnically-linked genetic variations in the ease with which people can acquire specific virtues is — and this is my prediction — going to be a "game changing" scientific event. (By "ethnic" I mean any group of people who believe they share common descent, actually do share common descent, and that descent involved at least 500 years of a sustained selection pressure, such as sheep herding, rice farming, exposure to malaria, or a caste-based social order, which favored some heritable behavioral predispositions and not others.) 
I believe that the "Bell Curve" wars of the 1990s, over race differences in intelligence, will seem genteel and short-lived compared to the coming arguments over ethnic differences in moralized traits. I predict that this "war" will break out between 2012 and 2017.
What I find most interesting in this passage is Haidt's emphasis on "ethnic differences in moralized traits" which is a favorite topic of biosocial criminologists

 The Politico article provides bios of all four authors, but none of them mentions the authors' connections to Koch.

I have mentioned frequently on this blog Pinker's connection to Koch.

I have also mentioned the fact that Pamela Paresky works for FIRE, which is funded by Koch.

Haidt co-wrote "The Coddling of the American Mind" with Greg Lukianoff, who is president of FIRE. And I suspect if I dig I could find other connections between Koch-funded organizations and Haidt. Once I get around to that I will report what I find.

Nadine Strossen, former president of the ACLU is now tight with the Koch network through her connections to the Cato Institute, founded by Charles Koch:
Cato has also worked on occasion with the American Civil Liberties Union. For example, Nadine Strossen, the president of its board, contributed a chapter to a 2000 book on President Clinton's civil liberties record, and she delivered the B. Kenneth Simon Lecture at Cato's 2005 Constitution Day event, a speech that was subsequently published in Cato's Supreme Court Review.
...the Federalist Society, a lavishly funded conservative legal group that currently serves as a pipeline to the Trump administration. (Many of Trump’s judicial nominees are members of the Federalist Society, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, whom Leo reportedly selected for the seat himself.) Leo is friends with David and Charles Koch, who have both donated generously to his organization.
So I think it's fair to say all four of the co-authors defending Bret Stephens are Koch toadies.

And in typical right-wing hypocrisy, it seems to bother the four toadies not at all that Bret Stephens himself is no friend of free speech. He infamously tried to get professor David Karpf fired because Karpf made a joking reference to Bret Stephens and bedbugs in a tweet.

Race science promoters and Koch toadies are nothing if not massive, shameless hypocrites.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Nikole Hannah-Jones wins Pulitzer for 1619 Project

Nikole Hannah-Jones
One of the reasons why idiots like Sam Harris, Charles Murray, Steven Pinker and others associated with the IDW can get away with their claims about the innate inferiority of African Americans is because so much African American history has been ignored and professional racists like Steve Sailer earn a living lying about Africa Americans.


So Pinkerite was very pleased when the 1619 project came along to help remedy the situation, something that Sailer in particular was very displeased about.

And now that Jones has won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, Sailer and his racist scum followers at Unz are having a meltdown. I won't link to it though, I've given Sailer enough links.

No surprise, James Lindsay, crackpot and another friend of the IDW and sugar baby of right-wing religious fanatic Michael O'Fallon is also triggered by it.


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Malcolm Gladwell: Good Blacks, Bad Blacks

In 1997 Malcolm Gladwell discussed the phenomenon of Jamaican blacks in New York being contrasted favorably for their work ethic to native African Americans. The phenomenon demonstrates how much cultural conditions influence the ways people are perceived and how they act.

Gladwell published his thoughts in the New Yorker and then he read an excerpt for This American Life which you can listen to here.

The excerpt ends:
There must be people in Toronto just like (Gladwell’s Jamaican cousin and her husband) Rosie and Noel with the same attitudes and aspirations, who want to live in a neighborhood as nice as Argyle Avenue, who want to build a new garage and renovate their basement, and set up their own business downstairs. But it’s not completely up to them, is it? What has happened to Jamaicans here is not the end of racism, or even the beginning of the end of racism, but an accident of history and geography. In America, there is someone else to despise. In Canada there is not. In the new racism, as in the old, somebody always has to be the nigger.

The black slaves brought to Jamaica were from the same ethnic groups as those brought to the US.

Clearly being black does not make you more criminal or stupid than other "races" although that is exactly the view supported by people like John Paul Wright, professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati College of Education Criminal Justice and Human Services, and director of the graduate program in criminal justice there.

I recently found Wright's Wikipedia page, which had no mention of Wright's views on race even though he was briefly famous as the author of a study used by Trump administration Education Secretary Betsy Devos.

I fixed the Wikipedia entry. But I fully expect someone to come along and white-wash it. I will report about that here when it happens.

Pinkerite has discussed Gladwell's conflict with Steven Pinker which took place in 2009. Pinker reviewed Gladwell's book "What the Dog Saw" and argued with some of Gladwell's claims by using professional racist Steve Sailer as his source for statistics.

Race science promoters refuse to acknowledge such clear-cut evidence against the notion that race is biological rather than cultural. And they are not asked to acknowledge it. Race science promoters go along making claims which are rarely given critical examination because race science promoters are mostly ignored and that's how they keep getting away with promoting their racist views, as John Paul Wright does as a professor and director at the University of Cincinnati.

There is a whole network of biosocial criminologists promoting race theories of criminality. Eventually some journalist will wake up and do an article about them and I fully expect the people at the University of Cincinnati responsible for hiring Wright to express complete surprise over his views. Whether they knew about them or not.

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Guardian has Michael Shermer's number

The Guardian reviewed Michael Shermer's recent collection of Deep Thoughts and pointed out...
Pick up a book, any book. Is it dedicated to “my friends Christopher Hitchens and Steven Pinker, peerless champions of liberty”? Does it have cover puffs by Jordan Peterson and Pinker? Do the chapter headings refer to many alpha men and “controversial intellectuals” (Richard Dawkins, David Hume, David Irving, Hitchens, and Peterson again) but not a single female? 
Is the text peppered with fond reminiscences of boozing with Hitch et al on the global conference circuit? By now you will be getting a strong whiff of a distinctive, testosterone-filled musk. Yes, you’ve wandered into the habitat of that fearless, self-assured celebrity creature: the ageing, raging, white, male, “scientific” truthteller.
It's hard to select a most obnoxious member of the Intellectual Dark Web, but Shermer is certainly in the running, calling a critic of Steven Pinker a "cockroach" for daring to accurately criticize Pinker for misrepresenting the words of others for his own ends.

But if Shermer had considered any woman good enough to mention in his chapter headings it would probably have been Camille Paglia.

Paglia doesn't only hate feminists, although of course she does, she also has utter contempt for women as a group, which is why so many members of the Intellectual Dark Web adore her.

They especially love her when she says things like this:



You really cannot over-estimate how much the Intellectual Dark Web hates women.

Paglia also has a soft spot for pedophilia which is why NAMBLA is proud to quote her on its web site.

Shermer certainly loves her.




Also as The Guardian notes in its review:
For many years now, as the Washington Post and other reputable media outlets have reported, women have been coming forward with claims of sexual harassment and assault by Shermer. He has never been charged with any offences and he denies the allegation. Recently, some of his public speaking engagements have been cancelled as a result. A few months ago, Scientific American discontinued his longstanding column for the magazine. 
Michael Shermer has nothing to do with science so it's surprising they gave him a column in the first place. Like all members of the IDW he is a right-wing political operative attempting to use "science" to claim that women and African Americans have evolved to be intellectually inferior to white men.

Which is why, although Camille Paglia is not named in the Bari Weiss article introducing the world to the term "Intellectual Dark Web" she is what the IDW considers a perfect exemplar of a feminist: a woman who has utter contempt for women.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Brian Ferguson on Infrastructural Determinism

I posted my interview with anthropologist Maxine Margolis recently and included a link to the book she co-edited with Martin F. Murphy, Science, Materialism and the Study of Culture.

I also interviewed anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson last year, and he has a chapter in the Margolis/Murphy book called Infrastructural Determinism, which he has posted on the Academia web site and which can be read in PDF format here.

Infrastructural determinism is the most important concept of cultural materialism, a research strategy most prominently championed by anthropologist Marvin Harris. It is summed up very nicely by Ferguson in his chapter:
The principle of infrastructural determinism begins with a simple premise: the physical world conforms to physical laws that must be accommodated by a society's infrastructural organization. This interface with nature is what gives the infrastructure causal priority within socio-cultural systems. In simplified form, the principle of infrastructural determinism holds that changes in the infrastructure probabilistically determine changes in the rest of the sociocultural system.
It seems common sense, and Karl Marx acknowledged the importance of the means of production, an infrastructural aspect, which Harris considered an important intellectual breakthrough. But Harris notes the infrastructural insights of Marxism were rendered virtually useless by the primacy of the quasi-mystical Hegelian dialectic inserted into Marxist theory.

Meanwhile infrastructural determinism is essentially denied by other research theories like postmodernism, which holds the primacy of thought as the determinative factor as opposed to material conditions, and which denies the possibility of objective standards; and sociobiology which holds that biological differences among humans is the causal factor in human social differences, and which is the ancestor of contemporary hereditarian theories such as evolutionary psychology and race science.

Pinkerite holds that cultural materialism is the most useful and even predictive approach to human culture. And even Steven Pinker has expressed admiration for Marvin Harris, although he apparently never really understood what Harris was saying.


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Donald Trump plans to steal some of the 2.2 trillion dollars in pandemic relief

It was a foregone conclusion that Donald Trump, the biggest, filthiest crook the United States has ever seen, was going to try to steal some of the 2.2 trillion dollars in pandemic relief.

So it was no surprise to read today in the NYTimes:

Trump removes inspector general who was to oversee $2 trillion stimulus spending

The question isn't IF Donald Trump, a life-long crook, is going to steal some of it, the question is how much he's going to get away with stealing, and how much the Republican establishment - in the Congress, the executive and the judiciary and Trump's evil cult - are going to help him.

Anybody who thought Trump's evil scheming was going to pause just because there is a pandemic has not been paying attention.

Monday, April 6, 2020

The IDW does its part to help Trump

The podcast host Joe Rogan has said he will vote for Donald Trump over Joe Biden in the presidential election, should the former vice-president be the Democratic nominee. 
The comic was speaking on Friday’s edition of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, which regularly tops the iTunes chart for downloads. Rogan has nearly 6m Twitter followers, regularly appears on television as a commentator on mixed martial arts, and is seen as an influential voice with young and blue-collar male voters. 
During a conversation with guest Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital, talk turned to the election. Weinstein, who works for the Trump-supporting tech mogul Peter Thiel, said he would not vote for Trump or Biden, the probable challenger in November.
Of course only gullible Sanders supporters ever believed Rogan sincerely want Sanders to become POTUS.

It's screamingly obvious that Trump would rather face Sanders than Biden which is why Trump was ratfucking so hard with Ukraine.

Rogan was only doing his part for the Trump team, trying to get the nomination for Sanders.

And Weinstein of course is the founder of the IDW and we see how much use he is in opposing a monster from hell like Trump - not at all.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

The race crackpottery of Steve Sailer and Bo Winegard part 2


PART 1

Steven Pinker has not, as far as I have been able to discover, acknowledged the existence of Steve Sailer since 2011, although prior to that Pinker promoted Sailer's career, using him to support his position in a dispute with Malcolm Gladwell and even included him in a collection of "the best" science and nature writing.

But since 2011, no acknowledgement, and I have looked. Although Steve Sailer will tell you that he has had a big influence on Pinker.

Sailer has certainly been a big influence on the thinking of "human biodiversity" proponents like Bo and Ben Winegard.

The Winegards together with the Koch-supported Johnny Anomaly, can be seen promoting "human biodiversity" in this 2020 paper, which cites many of the biggest names in scientific racism including Linda Gottfredson, J.P. Rushton and Richard Lynn. No mention of Sailer though, even to mention he coined the term human biodiversity.

The Winegards like to use a Sailer term "platonic essence" to justify how, although they are certain that a category of humans called "black" exists, and that this category has special evolved traits, at the same time they deny the existence of clear-cut races. How nice to have things both ways, without being conscious of the logical disconnect.

But Pinker, who has also promoted the work of the Winegards, has pioneered the use of equivocation as a career choice.

The Winegards, in their A Tale of Two Bell Curves, included the results of a survey of, they claim, "expert opinion" on intelligence testing and Sailer was deemed to be the most reliable source.

However there isn't much else online linking the Winegards with Sailer. Which is not to say there is no evidence of a relationship. Last June Bo Winegard can be seen having a friendly exchange with Sailer, on Twitter, about movies.

Winegard must have a pretty friendly relationship with Sailer, not only because he engages in casual conversation with him in public, but because Winegard is aware that Sailer is radioactive, since Sailer is infamous as a racist.

Sailer himself acknowledged this recently on his Unz blog (also double-dipping at VDARE) by quoting someone else saying Winegard claimed in his Quillette podcast interview:
one of the triggers to his being fired was him liking a tweet by Steve Sailer…
Pinkerite has discussed the professional racist career of Sailer, in depth in a series of posts but I kept meaning to come back to one particular thing that Sailer said, which demonstrates the utter failure of race "science" as a science.

In my post The racist logic of Steve Sailer, I quoted Sailer from a VDARE article:

Q. But I see all these black people on TV being highly entertaining. They look pretty lively upstairs. Could IQ tests be missing something? 
A. Yes. IQ test questions, by their nature, must have fixed, objective answers. If African Americans are better at subjective, improvisatory responses than they are at objective problem-solving, then IQ will fail to predict fully their patterns of success in the real world. And, indeed, we see much evidence for that every time we turn on the TV (e.g., Oprah).  
Unfortunately, there aren't nearly as many jobs being entertainment or sports superstars as black youths seem to assume, so, overall, IQ remains a quite accurate predictor outside of the tiny sliver of celebrities.
The link to support Sailer's claim that African Americans have a "subjective, improvisatory" kind of intelligence is an article by Sailer himself from 1999 in the National Post of Canada available via the Wayback Machine.

The article contains gems of science such as:
Interestingly, while blacks tend to be more masculine in physique and personality than whites or East Asians, they are often better at typically feminine, more subjective cerebral skills like verbalization, emotional intuition and expression, sense of rhythm, sense of style, improvisation, situational awareness, and mental multi-tasking. Jordan's brain, for instance, enables him to anticipate his opponent's every move while simultaneously demoralizing his foe with nonstop trash-talking. (Try it. It's not easy.)
So Steve Sailer has a problem, which he presents as a frequently asked question, about his racist theories. The problem is that many black people seem very smart indeed.

So Sailer invents a special kind of intelligence for African Americans - "subjective and improvisatory" as opposed to "objective problem-solving." And Sailer declares in his 1999 article that blacks are better at "feminine, more subjective cerebral skills."

There is no scientific evidence that the abilities Sailer claims are black and female are mutually exclusive with objective problem-solving, never mind evidence that women and black people are innately less able to solve problems.

But the absence of evidence will never stop a bigot. Steve Sailer needed a "scientific" justification so he pulled one out of his ass.

And that's where Bo Winegard gets his science - from Steve Sailer's ass.

Although we don't know for sure the reason why Marietta College declined to keep Bo Winegard on its payroll, it has every right to regard Winegard as a crank and a charlatan who dresses up 18th century beliefs and the crackpot theories of Steve Sailer as "science" to try to make a buck.

He might be able to make a buck, but like the career of Steve Sailer, he won't make a buck from people who value intellectual excellence and serious scientific work. Bo Winegard's hope for a career as a race monger rests on the right-wing racist eco-system funded by the same wealthy, cranky, old white men who have supported Steve Sailer for decades. 

And from Winegard's perspective, why not? Shilling the contents of Steve Sailer's ass as "science" sure beats working for a living.

Friday, April 3, 2020

The race crackpottery of Steve Sailer and Bo Winegard part 1

Bo Winegard, fired for "science"
The image above shows Winegard
promoting one of his favorite terms, 

"Equalitaranism" also a favorite term
of Southern segregationists.
I've been thinking about the randomness of race classification systems quite a bit lately thanks to recently posting my interview with anthropologist Maxine Margolis.

Margolis has studied Brazil for decades and discussed the race classification there, which is very different from the system in the United States. In the interview she said: 

Brazil never had a history of legal segregation, the way of defining race in Brazil is very different from the US, there is no "one drop rule" in Brazil.  
Brazil has always classified people by two things: how they looked, so that full brothers and sisters could be classified differently in terms of race, if one was lighter skinned and the other was darker skinned. So how people look. Not who their parents no less grandparents, but also socioeconomic status. Darker people tend to be poor in Brazil, lighter people tend to be wealthier in Brazil. People who are mulattos, who are mixed-race tend to be seen as lighter if they are educated and of a higher social class. 

And Brazil has many, many racial categories not two, like in the US. And there is something like forty different racial terms in use in Brazil, based on how people look, their features, their hair type, their skin color, their lip type, etc. There are all kinds of combinations.
So various cultures have various folk classifications of "race." And nobody claims folk classifications are science. Except of course the proponents of race "science."

Bo and Ben Winegard and their biosocial criminologist pal Brian Boutwell promoted folk classification schemes as useful to science, as I discussed in my post I Have a Nightmare: Steven Pinker, Quillette and the "Biological Reality of Race." They wrote in their article for Quillette, "On the Reality of Race and the Abhorrence of Racism" (my highlight):
Race, then, is not a platonic essence and racial groups are not discrete categories of humans. Instead, race is a pragmatic construct that picks out real variation in the world (which corresponds to shared ancestry) and allows people and scientists to make useful inferences.
The term "platonic essence" they most likely got from professional racist Steve Sailer. But notice that they say that "pragmatic" race categories allow people and scientists to make useful inferences.

This is the kind of sleaze you can expect from race science proponents: equating the understanding of race by non-scientists with scientists. And they expect their audience will be easily gulled by a simple conflation like that.

And considering their article was written for a Quillette audience, they were probably right.

And it must be noted that for all the Winegard brothers claiming that race is not "a platonic essence" and can be mixed and matched in any way, it does not stop them from promoting the notion that there are "black" people and that these "black" people are less intelligent, evolutionarily, than non-black people. Or per Winegard's favorite weaselly euphemism, "human population variation."

Bo Winegard is a race science stooge, so Marietta college did the right thing by declining to renew his employment with them. But there is no actual evidence that's why they declined.

An article at Inside Higher Ed, by Colleen Flaherty, basically pushes Winegard's side of the story calling on race science promoters to weigh in on poor Bo's plight, including Lee Jussim, Richard Haier and Nathan Cofnas. All Flaherty got out of Marietta was:
Marietta declined comment, saying Winegard’s case was a private personnel issue.
Which race science supporters interpreted as their free pass to claim virtually anything they wanted about the case.

Winegard published an article declaring his free speech martyrdom in the Right's favorite race science rag, Quillette. Breitbart promoted Winegard 's Quillette article and Areomagazine, (Quillette's twin sister) said:
Those progressives who consider the firing of Winegard to be a victory, might consider the precedent this sets for conservative policy makers empowered to make decisions about university funding and policy.
Ignoring the fact that what Winegard promotes is pseudoscience. But you can't outdo Rod Dreher in The American Conservative, whose article Hounding The Heretic Bo Winegard is illustrated by someone being burned at the stake.

The idea that this teratoma Bo Winegard promotes, a grotesquerie composed of 18th century belief, contemporary folklore and segregationist defenses, is actual science would be funny except that so many people on the Right believe it is science.

Or as some fool of a lawyer named Scott H. Greenfield put it: Bo Winegard, Fired for Science.

Unfortunately for Bo, the Right's plans to celebrate him as a martyred saint were foiled by the coronavirus. And by the time the pandemic is over the Right will probably have moved onto another grift.

But don't cry for Bo, he is still the house race science promoter at Quillette, and Charles Murray is pretty old. Once Murray is gone, Bo might have a chance at an even more lucrative slot in the generous world of wingnut welfare,  as resident race science promoter at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Right is willing to pay well for anybody who can put a veneer of science, no matter how transparent, on their racism.

Probably because Winegard wants to keep all avenues of potential income open, he recently wrote in Medium claiming race doesn't mean anything to him.

Unfortunately for him, you can still find him and his brother Ben in Quillette, claiming that The Bell Curve was correct about innate African American intelligence and they explicitly rule out the legacy of slavery:
Of course, there are other possible explanations of the Black-White gap, such as parenting styles, stereotype threat, and a legacy of slavery/discrimination among others. However, to date, none of these putative causal variables has been shown to have a significant effect on the IQ gap, and no researcher has yet made a compelling case that environmental variables can explain the gap. This is certainly not for lack of effort; for good reason, scholars are highly motivated to ascertain possible environmental causes of the gap and have tried for many years to do just that.
Bo Winegard is as sleazy as he is an intellectual failure. But to truly understand how unscientific, how shameless and how utterly stupid race science is, we must return to Steve Sailer, who has been a big influence on the Winegard brothers and their promotion of "human biodiversity" a term Sailer coined. We'll talk about Sailer in the Part 2 of the race crackpottery of Steve Sailer and Bo Winegard.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Candace Owens, Trumpian Coronavirus Denier

IDW member Candace Owens features prominently in a NYTimes article today about the right-wing approach to the Coronavirus pandemic: denialism and then when that is no longer tenable, blame the left:
Alarm, Denial, Blame: The Pro-Trump Media’s Coronavirus Distortion.
On March 10, the day that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned every American to adopt an “all hands on deck” mind-set, Ms. Owens scoffed at what she called “the mass global mental breakdown” as financial markets plunged. “People think it’s novel that 80 year olds are dying at a high rate from a flu,” she wrote, adding that when future generations study the world’s coronavirus response, “This tweet will age well.” 
Ms. Owens is the kind of influential conservative — she has a huge online audience as well as sway with the White House and top cable news and radio producers — who has been central to spreading doubt about the seriousness of the virus to Mr. Trump’s most loyal supporters. 
In an interview, Ms. Owens said she did not believe that her tweets were irresponsible. “Do I think it’s irresponsible to say the economic impact will be the legacy?” she said. “It’s not about being responsible. It’s about being honest.”

Trump and his team of monsters from hell cannot lose access to the White House soon enough for sane people in the world.

Speaking of Trump and his team, the current pandemic must have put a real crimp in Trump's plans to ratfuck the Democrats.

Way back a million years ago, in August, I posted an article called Trump is the ratfucker.

And just a month later, Trump's biggest ratfucking scheme (so far. that we know of.) was revealed when his quid pro quo attempt with Ukraine hit the news on September 25. Trump Pressed Ukraine’s President to Investigate Democrats as ‘a Favor.'

Now I don't doubt that Trump is planning more ratfucking attempts. That's who Trump is. You can't expect Trump to do anything without cheating. He's cheated his way through life - when he wasn't just handed advantages - and he's not about to stop cheating now.

I still think Trump and his malicious elves Andy Ngo and Ngo's lawyer, Republican committeewoman Harmeet K. Dhillon are likely to try a ratfucking attempt a la the Nazi's Reichstag fire - frame the Democrats for the actions of one rando.

And I think they are likely to do it via antifa. But they can't very well use antifa performance art in the middle of a stay-at-home pandemic.

But once social distancing is over, expect to see more signs of Trumpian ratfucking. All the polls now indicate Biden will beat Trump and Trump is not about to stand by and let that happen without using every possible dirty trick that he and his monstrously evil supporters can dream up.

Our country depends on stopping Trump.

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Maxine Margolis Interview

I spoke with anthropologist Maxine L. Margolis about her research topics: gender and society and Brazil, with a focus on Brazilian immigrants, race classification schemes of Brazil vs. the US, and her association with Marvin Harris.

Dr. Margolis is Professor Emerita of Anthropology, University of Florida, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Latin American Studies, Columbia University.
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, elected 2009
  • Lifetime Contribution Award, Brazilian Studies Association, 2014
Maxine Margolis' Wikipedia Entry

The video has a transcript available on YouTube and also available on Pinkerite here.



Some links associated with this interview:

Books by Margolis


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Meet the IDW's rightwing Christian extremist sugar daddy Michael O'Fallon

O'Fallon, Lindsay and Boghossian
made a video together
We already know that the 3 Stooges of the IDW, Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian got paid to run their hoax grift because James Lindsay admitted as much - and refused to reveal who paid them.

Their latest clown college project is a web site called New Discourses, promoted by Steven Pinker's #1 fanboy Jerry Coyne who writes:
It’s useful to know about this resource. The articles will change, and I haven’t yet had time to peruse them, but the Wokish Dictionary is already a good resource when trying to decipher the argot. There are also videos.
Coyne was once a worthwhile thinker but he's turned into a bigot and a right-wing stooge over the past ten years or so. And he's such a groveling fanboy of Steven Pinker he can be seen on his web site mooning over Steven Pinker's cowboy boots. Featuring a full-body shot of Pinker modeling his boots, which I assume Coyne printed out and taped to his bedroom wall.

The devolution of Jerry Coyne is a sad and sorry spectacle.

It's a hallmark of race science proponents that they are astoundingly lazy and clearly Jerry Coyne couldn't be bothered trying to learn anything about New Discourses before promoting it. But I made an effort and boy howdy are they in deep with Christian fanaticism.

Meet the funder behind New Discourses, Michael O'Fallon. His various activities are listed at Right Wing Watch.

According to the web site Religion News Service:
There aren't many cruise "experience" directors who spend their days defending what is described as America's Judeo-Christian heritage and promoting "nation-ism" — a version of nationalism that champions "the right of self governance and the right of people to be self-governed.” 
But Michael O'Fallon does, and he argues both are under attack by the Open Society Foundation, founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros. He often says as much on his website, Sovereignnations.com, as well as through conferences with speakers who range from controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson to a slate of evangelical Christians of the Calvinist variety. 
And when he has some spare time, he goes on a cruise — like a recent journey to the Galapagos Islands, which O'Fallon recently highlighted on his personal Facebook page.
It's hard to overstate how obsessed Michael O'Fallon is with George Soros conspiracy theories. They are plastered all over his web site.


O'Fallon is mentioned nowhere on the New Discourses web site. 

I first made the connection between O'Fallon and New Discourses by Googling the address given on the New Discourses web site and found it is the same address used by O'Fallon's Christian cruise business. I took a screen shot of the two side-by-side.



And once I found Sovereign Cruises, I found two other O'Fallon web sites, Sovereign Productions and Events and then finally Sovereign Nations.

Although as someone on Twitter pointed out, I could have made the connection more quickly if I just Googled New Discourses LLC.

NEW DISCOURSES LLC

Company Number
L19000234287
Status
Active
Incorporation Date
17 September 2019 (6 months ago)
Company Type
Florida Limited Liability
Jurisdiction
Florida (US)
Agent Name
O'FALLON W MICHAEL
Agent Address
118 WOODLAND CT, SAFETY HARBOR, FL 34695
Directors / Officers

New Discourses doesn't have a single mention of O'Fallon, but he sure has no problem connecting himself to Linsday, Boghossian and Pluckrose on Sovereign Nations.

And there's a video series: GRIEVANCE SCHOLARS EXPOSE THE TROJAN HORSE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN FAITH & ACADEMICS which is a discussion with O'Fallon, Lindsay and Boghossian. 

Note the word "faith" in the title. As a fanatical Christian, faith is a huge deal with O'Fallon. As the article with the video says:
This isn’t merely a problem within the secular university system, however. As many will be aware, it has gone forth from our halls of higher education and taken root in education, law, the corporate world, society at large, and even public policy. Not only that, it has also been making significant inroads into the Christian faith, even conservative Evangelical Protestant faith. In June of 2019, the largest Protestant denomination in the world, the Southern Baptist Convention, passed a resolution stating that Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality could effectively be used by Christians as “analytical tools” alongside but subordinate to Scripture. This is what Lindsay describes as “a very fine wooden horse sitting outside your gates.”  
And since O'Fallon is a right-wing Christian extremist and a supporter of hereditarianism and the IDW, it was extremely likely he would turn out to be a Trump supporter. Which he is, as can be seen by the relentlessly positive mentions of Trump and defenses of Trump in Sovereign Nations.

O'Fallon is not pleased with homosexuality as noted in the Religious News Service article:
Speakers at Sovereign Nations' 2019 conference were united in their opposition to certain claims of “social justice” among progressives — including progressive people of faith. In December 2018, Ascol, O’Fallon and White were all listed as initial signers on a “Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel.”

The document rejected “the postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism, and critical race theory,” calling them inconsistent with biblical teaching.
“We are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality,” read the statement’s introduction. “The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for ‘social justice.’”
 
The statement also rejected “‘gay Christian' as a legitimate biblical category." 
The 2019 Founders Ministries conference was sponsored in part by Sovereign Alliance (an umbrella organization that includes Sovereign Cruises) as well as Ligonier Ministries, a group created by Presbyterian Church in America theologian R.C. Sproul. (O’Fallon and his wife worked for Sproul’s ministry for 10 years.) 
But O’Fallon pushed back on the idea that his movement is restricted to Calvinist Baptists.
He noted that the 2017 Sovereign Nations’ conference, which was convened in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., included a talk by controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson on “Identity Politics & the Marxist Lie of White Privilege.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former White House Senior Advisor Stephen Bannon were also invited to speak but did not appear to attend.
 
Brad Vermurlen, a scholar who has a forthcoming book on the New Calvinist movement entitled “Reformed Resurgence: The New Calvinist Movement and the Battle Over American Evangelicalism,” said the invitation of Jordan Peterson points to an often unspoken overlap between his audience and that of the Calvinist leaders highlighted at Sovereign Nations events.
New Discourses' strategy is straight out of the Quillette playbook: pretend to be non-political or centrist while relentlessly promoting right-wing positions and taking rightwing money.

According to the New Discourses About page.

New Discourses is, by design, meant to be apolitical in the usual sense. That means it is not interested in conservative, progressive, left, right, center, or any other particular political stances. It is, in this regard, only broadly liberal in the philosophical and ethical stance. In that case, whether you’re a progressive left-liberal or a conservative right-liberal, traditional or classical in any case, you’re likely to find what we’re doing refreshing. (And if you don’t, we can talk about it! That’s the point!
In their alignment with a far-right Christian fanatic like O'Fallon, this is obviously bullshit.

Some of the most prominent IDWs are outspoken atheists, and Jerry Coyne certainly is. Does the IDW and friends hate feminists, Muslims, trans-people, socialists, the left and critics of race science so much that they are willing to align with a religious extremist?