Sunday, May 5, 2019

Steve Sailer and his odd use of the term Platonic

During the multi-day arguments with Steve Sailer and his Twitter followers I discovered there are three questions that Steve Sailer won't answer:
  1. Why does Steven Pinker refuse to acknowledge your existence now?
  2. How do you reconcile your belief in the inferiority of Africans in view of the fact that Africans are less likely to have Neanderthal DNA than other humans, so they are purer homo sapiens than everybody else as well as less diluted by a species that was a failed, unfit, evolutionary dead end?
  3. Where did you get your use of the term Platonic as in "Platonic essences" or "Platonic biological family tree?"
Of the three, he was by far the touchiest about the last question. The first two questions he strictly ignored when I asked. The third made him mad and flounce off. For a couple of minutes.

A year ago I discussed Sailer's odd use of the term Platonic and  linked to all the times Sailer used the term in his Unz columns - his usage is frequent and variable and in some cases appears to be completely his own.

Sailer returned a few minutes after he flounced off and he didn't offer any clarification for where he got his use of the term "Platonic" - probably because he invented it himself.

Rather he commented on a definition provided by one of his followers. Here is Sailer's follow-up tweet:

Sailer is offering "precision" to the claim by a Twitterer named Glaivester, an extreme rightwinger who, bizarrely, quotes liberal Canadian songwriter Bruce Cockburn on both his Twitter account and his blog. Cockburn is the author of a song considered by Conservepeidia to be among The Worst Liberal Songs.

Glaiver's defines "Platonic biological family tree" as "the idealized family tree"  without consanguinity. 

But in his follow up, Sailer states "everybody, ultimately must be partly inbred."

This application of "Platonic" to the biological reality of human descent is utterly pointless at best. What possible use to biology is a "Platonic biological family tree"? The only way I can figure that it would make sense is if Sailer is claiming that a completely non-consanguineous structure is the "ideal" in some eugenic sense.

But that can't be right, since Sailer believes that Ashkenazi Jews are the most intelligent "race" due to consanguinity, a theory described in a paper "A Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence" by Gregory Cochrane and promoted by Sailer and Steven Pinker, and debunked by anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson.

But as I am coming to realize, race science uses the most extreme sort of "postmodern" methodology so that, for instance, you can make claims about race and intelligence while insisting that the classification of race itself be completely subjective, per Bo Winegard, Ben Winegard and Brian Boutwell, writing in Quillette; and in the case of Sailer, consider consanguinity to be responsible for a "race" having superior intelligence in the case of Ashkenazi Jews and at the same time being responsible for preventing Iraqis from having a democracy, as he wrote in an essay which Steven Pinker included in "The Best Science and Nature Writing" of 2004.

Demonstrating that not only is there no science in "race science," there is also no coherence nor logic.