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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Steven & Bari & Stefan & Eric

A little over a year ago Bari Weiss published "Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web" subtitled "An alliance of heretics is making an end run around the mainstream conversation. Should we be listening?"

Weiss wrote:
Go a click in one direction and the group is enhanced by intellectuals with tony affiliations like Steven Pinker at Harvard. But go a click in another and you’ll find alt-right figures like Stefan Molyneux and Milo Yiannopoulos and conspiracy theorists like Mike Cernovich (the #PizzaGate huckster) and Alex Jones (the Sandy Hook shooting denier).
Eric Weinstein, his brother Bret and his sister-in-law Heather Heying all appeared in the silly photoshoot for the article, and were interviewed by Weiss, so there was certainly a high level of cooperation on the article from them. But Eric, who has been given credit for the name "intellectual dark web" does not consider Molyneux to be a member of the gang, in spite of Weiss's including him in "the group". As we can see in this tweet exchange from September 2018.

Later the same day Weinstein claimed he never met Molyneux and that he barely knew his ideas.

In January of this year, Weinstein still says he does not know Molyneux.

It seems that Bari Weiss did not speak to Molyneux for the article. 

As we can see by his reaction.

Weiss has never been on Molyneux's show, although several other people she included in the IDW have, including Michael Shermer, Charles Murray, Jordan Peterson and Candace Owens. Meanwhile Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan both had Molyneux on their shows. Weiss appeared on Rogan's show.

Weiss opened her Intellectual Dark Web article like this:
Here are some things that you will hear when you sit down to dinner with the vanguard of the Intellectual Dark Web: There are fundamental biological differences between men and women. Free speech is under siege. Identity politics is a toxic ideology that is tearing American society apart. And we’re in a dangerous place if these ideas are considered “dark.” 
I was meeting with Sam Harris, a neuroscientist; Eric Weinstein, a mathematician and managing director of Thiel Capital; the commentator and comedian Dave Rubin; and their spouses in a Los Angeles restaurant to talk about how they were turned into heretics. A decade ago, they argued, when Donald Trump was still hosting “The Apprentice,” none of these observations would have been considered taboo.
Before I continue, there are skeptics who doubt Sam Harris is an actual neuroscientist and that Dave Rubin has ever been a comedian.

Also "fundamental biological differences between men and women" is not nearly the extent of what they believe, and the description doesn't mention race, which is at least as important to IDWers as gender.

This is Weiss's group definition in the article:
Most simply, it is a collection of iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades and media personalities who are having a rolling conversation — on podcasts, YouTube and Twitter, and in sold-out auditoriums — that sound unlike anything else happening, at least publicly, in the culture right now. Feeling largely locked out of legacy outlets, they are rapidly building their own mass media channels.
Then Weiss links to this web site as the "closest thing to a phone book for the I. D. W." which includes many people not mentioned explicitly by Weiss, including Carl Benjamin, AKA Sargon of Akaad, described in his Wiki:
British political commentator, politician, anti-feminist, polemicist and YouTuber with the online pseudonym Sargon of Akkad. He was a UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate for the European Parliament's South West England constituency in the 2019 election, although he failed to win his election. Benjamin grew to prominence through the Gamergate controversy. Since Gamergate, he has covered topics such as identity politics, the alt-right, Brexit and political correctness.
However, the site does not include Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, Alex Jones nor Stefan Molyneux. Weiss writes:
But in typical dark web fashion, no one knows who put the website up.
By the end of the article, there is still no explanation for why Bari Weiss grouped Molyneux in with the IDW. She writes:
I get the appeal of the I.D.W. I share the belief that our institutional gatekeepers need to crack the gates open much more. I don’t, however, want to live in a culture where there are no gatekeepers at all. Given how influential this group is becoming, I can’t be alone in hoping the I.D.W. finds a way to eschew the cranks, grifters and bigots and sticks to the truth-seeking.

But I think that what Pinkerite has been demonstrating, blog post by blog post, is that in fact there really are few differences in point of view, especially about race and gender, between those Weiss considers respectable, like Steven Pinker, and "the cranks, grifters and bigots."

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