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I talked with Rutgers University professor of anthropology R. Brian Ferguson about Steven Pinker, Napoleon Chagnon, Marvin Harris, anthropo...

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The endless, irritating hypocrisy of the IDW


As Pinkerite demonstrated not long ago, Bo Winegard & evolutionary psychology refuse to acknowledge new evidence. Ninny Claire Lehmann of course pretends this is not so but rather a problem of her enemies, the social sciences.

Evolutionary psychology is a pseudoscience and its claims and publications need to be debunked.

Unfortunately there's money to be made if your pseudoscience makes claims pleasing to rightwing plutocrats, and real scientists are doing real science and often don't have time to debunk every stupid claim made or supported by people like Claire Lehmann and Bo Winegard.

PZ Myers explains the problem with EP's strict adaptationism, a problem that EP proponents will never, ever acknowledge.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Razib Khan and Steven Pinker 2006

Blogging will be light in the next week or so, because of the Fourth of July and because I promised to help a friend with her video project.

For today, here is a blog post I wrote in 2006 about the team-up of Steven Pinker and Razib Khan. FYI - most of the links are outdated and don't work. Sorry.



Gene Expression is a full-blown racist site - and Steven Pinker gladly lends his name to it. Based on a few hours of studying the contents, the most seriously misogynistic of the regular contributors is a critter named TangoMan, and the most hardcore racist is called razib.

Of course neither of them will admit to being misognyist and racist. In their minds, they are intrepid scientists, searching for data to prove their hypothesis that women and non-whites (especially blacks) are inferior in a world full of politically correct nazis out to thwart the TRUTH. As razib explains it:
I believe different groups probably have different aptitudes (not moral inferiority or superiority)-and the axiom of equality-that all groups have the exact same tendencies as our common evolutionary heritage, could cause serious problems when applied to public policy"

As for TangoMan, he likes to let his racist and sexist freak flag fly over at Pandagon until I chase him back to the GNXP asylum. I couldn't believe he actually linked to the post himself from gnxp.com. You know you're in for a stimulating intellectual exercise when the author's opening shot is to make a deal out of a typo.

But since they are so typically craven about admitting their true, right-wing beliefs, I wasn't at all surprised with what occured tonight.

I saw this post on the home page of Gene Expression:

-----------
Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hot, smart brown girls

Sometimes you notice patterns that don't fully crystallize consciously until some precipitating event really "wakes you up" to the reality. I was riding the metro home tonight and across from me was a girl who was engrossed in Kafka on the Shore -- apparently a high-brow fiction book, not like The Da Vinci Code or something (I don't keep up to date on fiction) -- and who got off at the extremely affluent Friendship Heights neighborhood. So you get the rough idea of her IQ. Unusually for someone that smart & well-to-do, at least in my experience, she was smoking hot. She looked South Asian, maybe Persian. Then it clicked on a conscious level: for those of you who are say, aged 18-40 -- have you ever noticed how many hot, smart brown girls there are in your age group?


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Read full post....
posted by agnostic | 8:00 PM | Comments (1) |
------------

I didn't read the full post, but went directly to the comments. There I found a most amazingly racist comment from razib. So I responded - I found it hard to believe he was serious, and didn't want to assume he was. What happened next convinced me that he was. Now I've seen what pussilanimous little cowards these racists were in action on their own site and on Pandagon so I expected them to screw with my comment, or delete it completely. So I copied the comment thread after I left my comment. See it here.

A couple of hours later, this is what it looked like.

The original post now included this transparent excuse: [Originally posted by agnostic, reposted by Razib since blogger mystifies his assoliphic self]

I love the fact that Steven Pinker hobnobs with these creeps.

UPDATE: this web site has some interesting info on razib

so does this one

And in case there is any doubt exactly what Razib means about social policy and certain groups, here is what he wrote in another blogger's comments:
right now, we assume that ALL GROUPS HAVE EQUAL APTITUDES. the result is that liberals devise new social programs to “uplift” groups to express their potentional. conservatives excoriate underclass social structures and cultures and encourage their own rival social engineering programs (vouchers, enterprise zones, privating public housing). if some aptitudes were genetic on average between groups, then we have an even harder task: identify the points in the genome that effect “g”-general intelligence, and figure out ways to manipulate these segments of the genome (gene therapy).


You see, razib does want to help "groups" with their "aptitude" problem. He doesn't want to help them with social programs, because the problem isn't discrimination or lack of opportunity for the "group" - they are suffering from bad genetics and need gene therapy.

I can't believe some newspaper or magazine hasn't focused on Steven Pinker's support for such raging racists.

In addition to Steven Pinker, Razib Khan pals around with David HorowitzJohn Derbyshire giving him Randy Thornhill-type advice on rape, and his pal Steve Sailer is a regular contributor to Gene Expression, as in this comment thread in which they all desperately try to find a comfortable explanation for why it appears that black and white intelligences as measured by IQ tests are converging. He writes for American Conservative Magazine. Razib also does book reviews for Science & SpiritHere he argues American liberalism is about fleeing reason. Truly amazing - the person who argues that a certain "group" needs gene therapy to increase its intelligence level says this:
over the past few years I have had the recurrent experience of being first thought of as a member of an ethno-national group (after physical inspection of my appearance) and so resulting in a barrage of questions about South Indian Hindu temples, vegetarianism and the like, and when I respond that this is inappropriate, most people have the decency to be embarrassed, but several have simply stated to me plainly that I should know what my true culture is. The implication is that my true culture is encoded in my DNA, in my blood, in my ancestry. There is where the flight from reason will always lead.


Talk about a complete lack of self-awareness.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Bret Weinstein promoting more IDW bullshit about race

I'm much more comfortable bashing race science promoters than the "social justice" left, even when represented by Robin DiAngelo, so I'm moving on from my series on her. And onto one of the official members of the "Intellectual Dark Web" Bret Weinstein.

Not long ago Weinstein revealed that in spite of his constant claims of being a liberal, he is completely in the tank for race science and race essentialism, when he tried to use vague and careless terminology in a NYTimes article written by a non-scientist to claim victory for the biological reality of race.

In this tweet we see Weinstein trying to suggest that racism is part of evolution.

Weinstein has a typical evolutionary psychology belief that humans always act in favor of their own offspring, or contrariwise, to attack the offspring of others as with Wilson and Daily claims about stepfathers killing children, a claim that was debunked by anthropologist R. Brian Ferguson.

It's not surprising that Weinstein ignores the counter-example of American slavery since one of the goals of the IDW is to erase African American history in order to maintain that the failure of African Americans to thrive, post slavery is to due to genetics, rather than systemic oppression.

Thanks to relatively recent commercialized DNA testing it's been shown that on average African Americans have twenty-five percent non-African ancestry, which, since white and black marriage was criminalized in the United States right up until 1967, in addition to being a social taboo, is almost all the result of slaves being raped by white men.

So many white Americans believed that a master had a right to rape his slaves that when Celia, a slave, fought back and killed her master who was trying to rape her, she was convicted of murder and executed for it.

Clearly the slavers who raped their slaves and then kept the resulting children - their own children - as slaves, to mistreat them or sell them or even murder them as they wished, didn't care about lineage.

Weinstein would do better to say that racism can lead to the rejection of lineage entirely.

But Weinstein has two reasons to push nonsense about race and lineage competition:

  • It is part of the simple-minded & extreme adaptationism promoted by evolutionary psychology with its untestable claims of "lineage competition."
  • It denies the reality of slave rape, an important aspect of the history of African Americans, and the way the slaver-rapists treated their own "lineage."


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 4: Her easily debunked claim about Jackie Robinson

Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 1: Race essentialism
Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 2: She broke US labor law and bragged about it
Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 3: she supports micro-revenge

Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 4: her easily debunked claim about Jackie Robinson

In 2017 The Good Men Project published DiAngelo's article No I Won't Stop Saying White Supremacy in which she made this claim:
Take, for example, the Jackie Robinson story. Robinson is often celebrated as “the first African American to break the color line and play in major-league baseball.” While Robinson was certainly an amazing ball player, this story line depicts Robinson as racially special; a black man who broke that color line himself. The subtext is that Robinson finally had what it took to play with whites, as if no black athlete before him was strong enough to compete at that level. Imagine if instead, the story went something like this: “Jackie Robinson, the first black man whites allowed to play major-league baseball.” This is a critical distinction because no matter how fantastic a player Robinson was, he simply could not play in the major leagues if whites—who control the institution—did not allow it. Were he to walk onto the field prior to being granted permission by white owners and policy makers, the police would have removed him.

Narratives of racial exceptionality obscure the reality of ongoing institutional white control while reinforcing the ideologies of individualism and meritocracy. They also do whites a disservice by obscuring the white allies behind the scenes who worked hard and long to open the field to African American players. These allies could serve as much needed role-models for other whites (although we also need to acknowledge that in the case of the desegregation of baseball, there was an economic incentive for these allies).
DiAngelo says: Imagine if instead, the story went something like this: “Jackie Robinson, the first black man whites allowed to play major-league baseball.”

But that is how the most popular story goes.

DiAngelo virtually never gets pushback from a respectful, verging on worshipful media, but occasionally nobodies get a chance to argue back, as some do in the comments section of this article. This commenter starts by quoting DiAngelo (bold):
The subtext is that Robinson finally had what it took to play with whites, as if no black athlete before him was strong enough to compete at that level. Imagine if instead, the story went something like this: ‘Jackie Robinson, the first black man whites allowed to play major-league baseball.’ ”

There is NO ONE… and by that, I mean literally NO ONE who thinks Jackie Robinson was the first black person “strong enough” or good enough. In fact, many people consider Satchel Paige to be the greatest pitcher of all time and he wasn’t allowed to pitch outside the Negro Leagues until he was almost 40 and well past his prime. Everyone understands that in football, baseball and the NBA, as in other aspects of life, there were black athletes who were capable of competing but not allowed to and further, I don’t know of anyone who represents it as anything else. I wasn’t taught anything other than that when I was in school in the 70’s.
For you to misrepresent this is an indication of either serious ignorance or a very warped sense of reality and a need to assign blame that doesn’t exist.

The movie "42" was released in 2012, five years before DiAngelo's 2017 article. Robinson's widow was pleased with the results:
Jackie Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, was involved in the production of the film and has praised the end result, saying, "It was important to me because I wanted it to be an authentic piece. I wanted to get it right. I didn't want them to make him an angry black man or some stereotype, so it was important for me to be in there. ... I love the movie. I'm pleased with it. It's authentic and it's also very powerful."[23]
There is a scene early in "42" where Rachel sees a "whites only" bathroom and comments she's never seen one before. Jackie responds "we aren't in Pasadena anymore." This speaks to the point I made in Part 3 of this series - the atrocity of Emmett Till's death was very much a Southern-specific event.

"42" does not downplay the racism of the entire United States, but it does make a distinction between parts of the country. Even in the late 1940s white Americans were not completely homogenous in their levels of racism. And the movie certainly doesn't downplay the racism within baseball itself.

There is a scene in "42" where Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers owner who was the leading force for baseball integration, tells Robinson that the reason he wanted to integrate was because he played with a great black ballplayer who was "broken because of the color of his skin." In other words the movie makes clear that there were certainly great black ballplayers before Robinson. So in 2012, a major motion picture was pushing the narrative that DiAngelo claims is not being pushed: "Jackie Robinson (was) the first black man whites allowed to play major-league baseball."

Then in 2016, just a year before the DiAngelo piece, Ken Burns made a documentary about Robinson which clearly represents the intense racism that had kept Robinson - and all black players - out of the major leagues.

It's certainly possible that two things can be true at once - that blacks were not allowed by whites to play major league baseball and at the same time Robinson was promoted first because he had personal qualities that Branch Rickey felt were needed (and this is portrayed in the movie 42) in order to withstand the enormous pressure of being the first black player in a racist country.

There are no media alternatives in the last ten years, as far as I know to these two portrayals of Jackie Robinson. There is zero evidence that anybody, anywhere is suggesting that Robison was selected only because he was the first black ballplayer who was good enough. And given how many black ballplayers have excelled since Robinson, only the most delusional of racists would believe that somehow no black players were good enough before Robinson.

So why does Robin DiAngelo feel she has to lie about the "white" attitude towards Jackie Robinson? Why does she feel she can get away with making such an easily-debunked assertion?

And why should anybody accept DiAngelo without question on anything knowing she seemingly deliberately misrepresents the facts?

I said in part 3 that DiAngelo does not care about facts. I believe her goal is to provide justification for micro-revenge. Yes white people behaved horrifically towards Robinson, black athletes and blacks in general - all this is presented in "42" and in the Burns documentary. DiAngelo wants to pretend that nothing has improved since 1947, just as she pretends that what happened to Emmett Till in 1955 Mississippi somehow represents a typical social interaction in the present.

White people as a group, dominating non-white people, as groups, is an accident of history.

Europeans just happened to get their hands on superior technology in the context of nation-states (after the nation-states had spent centuries slaughtering each other) before the inhabitants of other geographies did.

As Thomas Chatterton Williams noted, white supremacists are similar to the "woke" like DiAngelo in their belief in the specialness of white people. The only difference is whether white people are especially good, per the white supremacists, or especially bad, per "white fragility."

I say white people are not special. "We" were the beneficiaries of technology and nation-state organization through chance, not through innate superiority.

And "we" have the same intelligence and stupidity, bigotry and charity, brutality and sympathy as people of color. And "we" are increasingly making love matches with "them."

Normally Pinkerite must fight those who think that white people are innately superior. But sometimes Pinkerite must fight those who think that white people are innately inferior - most often morally inferior.

Now if Robin DiAngelo wants to call herself a racist, based on her own invented terminology, she's welcome to do so. But I am not a racist, in spite of being white. And I believe that judging someone for the color of their skin, instead of the content of their character is, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., bullshit.

I'm not saying I am a saint. I have a preference for people who are like me, like most people.

But our values determine which differences matter the most.

The oldest of my brothers is a rightwinger, so extreme that a few years ago he argued with me on Facebook on behalf of the Confederacy. And this in spite of the fact that two of our maternal great-great grandfathers fought for the Union.

I've barely spoken to my brother since we were teenagers, so different in outlook, taste and habits we are that there's virtually nothing we have to say to each other. And since he's come out as a Confederacy sympathizer, I haven't spoken to him at all.

I am sure that I would prefer to spend time with each and every black person I have ever known than with my own brother. My brother and I are only thirteen months apart in age, "Irish twins" as they say. By both nature and nurture he is the closest living person to me, but he is a virtual stranger to me. Because our values are so completely different.

Human sympathies are far more complex than essentialists like race science proponents or "white fragility" proponents like Robin DiAngelo would have you believe. And we must not accept their simple-minded view of the world, and force everybody into these artificial "race" silos. We must acknowledge not only the history of European brutality against others, but also we must acknowledge that European imperialists invented "race" categories. And in order to create a more just future, the concept of race itself must be rejected.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 3: She supports micro-revenge

Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 1: Race essentialism
Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 2: She broke US labor law and bragged about it

Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 3: she supports micro-revenge

In Part 2 of Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad, we saw that DiAngelo admitted she discriminated against white people (and in doing so likely broke US labor law) in a workplace setting because a bigot complained in advance of a company workshop about "white women's tears."

DiAngelo then asked the bigot to act as a consultant for her article for "The Good Men Project" as she says in the article:
I asked the woman of color I referred to in the opening of this article if I had missed anything in this list. This was her response:
“It’s infuriating because of its audacity of disrespect to our experience. You are crying because you are uncomfortable with your feelings when we are barely allowed to have any. You are ashamed or some such thing and cry, but we are not allowed to have any feelings because then we are being difficult. We are supposed to remain stoic and strong because otherwise we become the angry and scary people of color. We are only allowed to have feelings for the sake of your entertainment, as in the presentation of our funerals. And even then, there are expectations of what is allowed for us to express. We are abused daily, beaten, raped and killed but you are sad and that’s what is important. That’s why it is sooooo hard to take.”
Now recall that the offense in question was the possibility that a white person might cry in sympathy over the shooting of a black person. How would crying in sympathy over violence against a black person demonstrate "We are abused daily, beaten, raped and killed but you are sad and that’s what is important"?

I think the unspoken reasoning behind such a statement is this: black people have been the targets of extreme injustice by a white majority, therefore, as a white person you should be the target of a small injustice like, for instance, you are not permitted to cry in the presence of a black person.

That is what micro-revenge is. And it's about time that Social Justice social media admit that this is what they support. Although I suspect they only support it when the target of the micro-revenge is some unnamed, random "white" person. I think they might feel differently if they themselves became the target of micro-revenge.

The advantage of micro-revenge is that you can target any white person for punishment on behalf of any and all injustices ever perpetrated against people of color but since the revenge is small - being told to leave the room, being told you can't cry, being told it's OK if a person of color tweets #CancelWhitePeople - one is unlikely to be held accountable, even if US labor law is broken.

DiAngelo then adds support to the workplace bigot's argument in favor of micro-revenge by using the murder of Emmett Till:
Men of color may also may come to the aid of white women in these exchanges, and are likely also driven by their conditioning under sexism and patriarchy. But men of color have the additional weight of racism to navigate. This weight has historically been deadly. For black men in particular, the specter of Emmett Till and countless others who have been beaten and killed over a white woman’s claims of cross-racial distress is ever present. Ameliorating the woman’s distress as quickly as possible may be felt as a literal matter of survival. Yet coming to the rescue of a white woman also drives a wedge between men and women of color. Rather than receive social capital that reinforces his status, a man of color put in this position must now live with the agony of having to support racism in order to survive.
I don't know where Robin DiAngelo grew up or what her experiences have been, but I am not much younger than her, and it has not been my experience that black men are going around comforting white women. I mean sure, I've known lots of black men and many have been very nice, and so I assume they would comfort someone in distress - but black men going around comforting white women as a "matter of survival" did not exist in any place I have lived, which has mainly been in New York and New Jersey.

Emmett Till's death was a very specifically Southern phenomenon. Till himself grew up in Chicago and was killed when he was visiting relatives in Mississippi. It is very likely that had Till stayed in Chicago he would never have been murdered, even if he had whistled at a white woman.

This is the kind of sleazy thing that Robin DiAngelo does - takes an event that happened in the South in 1955 and presents it as if it is typical of the present time. As if all white American women living now are scheming Southern belles looking for a chance to grab power by weaponizing emotions and the threat of lynching.

And then there is the stretcher that Americans are haunted by the "specter of Emmett Till" - not only do most white Americans not know who Till was, I'll wager that a considerable percentage of black Americans don't know who he was either. Americans are famously bad at history, so this should surprise nobody.

Ultimately though, I don't think DiAngelo cares whether her assertions about white people are literally true: sixty-four years ago, a white woman's sensitivities were used to justify Emmett Till's murder. Therefore white women in the workplace in the present time, many of whom were not born in 1955, do not deserve to have their sensitivities respected - even if their sensitivities are in  sympathy with black people. That is the logic of ethnic revenge, in this case, micro-revenge.

DiAngelo's career is based on selling "white fragility" and white people being assholes is the essence of white fragility. So why wouldn't she jack up her rhetoric to make white people in general seem even worse than a too-high percentage already are? It's good for business. And certainly the media, let alone her followers, will never ask her to provide evidence to support her claims.

She is so bold about making unsupported statements about white people's attitudes that she made a claim about Jackie Robinson, which she not only failed to provide evidence for, but she made the claim in spite of all kinds of easily-accessible evidence against.

Which we will discuss in Part 4.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 2: She broke US labor law and bragged about it

Sarah Jeong was defended by people who
cited Robin DiAngelo
Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad continued from part 1

2. Robin DiAngelo broke US labor law and bragged about it.

Now I am not a lawyer so my opinion is not backed by professional expertise, but I am fairly confident that Robin DiAngelo broke the law.

She certainly discriminated against someone on the basis of "race."

This is from the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission web site:
Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.
Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color.
Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same race or color.
Robin DiAngelo's article for "The Good Men Project" entitled White Women’s Tears and the Men Who Love Them demonstrates what I'm talking about:
When another police shooting of an unarmed black man occurred, my workplace called for an informal lunch gathering of people who wanted to connect and find support. Just before the gathering, a woman of color pulled me aside and told me that she wanted to attend but she was “in no mood for white women’s tears today.” 
I assured her that I would handle it. As the meeting started, I told my fellow white participants that if they felt moved to tears, to please leave the room. I would go with them for support, but asked that they not cry in the mixed group. After the discussion, I spent the next hour explaining to a very outraged white woman why she was asked not to cry in the presence of the people of color. 
So just to recap:
  • An employer called for a gathering to be run by DiAngelo.
  • One bigoted individual in the workplace told DiAngelo she had a problem with a specific group of people on the basis of their gender and ethnicity.
  • DiAngelo assured that individual she would "handle it."
  • DiAngelo then informed the members of that ethnicity only that if they cried during the discussion, they had to leave the room.
  • At least one individual was very upset by being singled out by race that way.
Please note - the reason an individual would cry in this scenario is in sympathy with a mistreated black person. Diangelo is so dedicated to race essentialism that even when a white person expresses sympathy for a black person it is considered offensive.

If expressions of human sympathy are to be judged by race, what possible hope is there to make bridges across the biologically bogus, but socially real chasm of race in the United States?

Now I'm not sure how much the claim of the innate racism of white people and the related belief that non-white people can't be racist was created by DiAngelo or whether the "woke" discourse of academia influenced DiAngelo. In any case, it is a common belief among segments of progressives that it's OK to be bigoted against "white" people.

We saw this last year in the case of Sarah Jeong, when Jeong was invited to join the NYTimes and it was pointed out that she had tweeted anti-white comments, including #cancelwhitepeople.

One of Jeong's defenders went with the "that's just how we talk" argument:
This is, incidentally, why you hear a lot of people on the social left say there’s no such thing as “reverse racism.” We interpret language through social context. Because of the way racial power structures are set up, the same set of words mean very different things when you swap out “white people” for “black people,” “Asians,” “Jews,” etc. The phrase might be racist in one context, in the sense of conveying actual racial animus, but not in another. 
This meaning of the phrase “white people” is obvious to people who have been listening to these social media conversations, or even from even a cursory search of Twitter for the term.... 
Jeong’s tweets, in context, clearly fit this type of rhetoric. When she writes “dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants,” she is not, as Sullivan accuses her of doing, “equat[ing whites] with animals.” Rather, she is commenting on the ubiquity of (often uniformed) white opinion on social media — a way of pointing out how nonwhite voices often don’t appear or get drowned out in social media discourse. 
Again, this is obvious to people who are steeped in the kind of online communities Jeong spends time in. But what happened, as my colleague Aja Romano notes, is that a few alt-right websites pulled out Jeong’s tweets in a deliberate attempt to hurt her career and reputation. What’s actually happening here is a racist movement, the alt-right, trying to damage a left-wing woman of color — and mainstream conservatives are furthering their narrative. 
I don’t necessarily blame Sullivan and French for not hanging out on Social Justice Twitter, where their views would be ... unwelcome, to say the least. What I do blame them for is joining an alt-right pile-on without trying to understand where their left-wing intellectual opponents are coming from and what they’re talking about.
As usual the responsibility is not on "Social Justice Twitter" to explain themselves, but on their critics to educate themselves and accept - without question or complaint - the ways in which Social Justice Twitter has decided to redefine terminology.

Is there any greater example of privilege than assuming that if there is misunderstanding over your in-group terminology the fault lies with members of the out group?

"White fragility" was used to attack those who had issues with Jeong's hiring:
But that’s pretty much what the Times did with its explanation. It more or less validated the dangerous misconception that conservative trolls harassing a woman of color in a male-dominated field, an action that could potentially drive away even more marginalized voices, is equal to a woman of color joking about “canceling” white people, which carries no real-life weight because that doesn’t mean anything. White fragility is real, and so I’ll grant that some readers may have had their delicate skin stung by Jeong’s comments, but it’s more than likely that the very same trolls who tried to endanger Jeong’s position at the Times were acting in bad faith. The Times also ignores the fact that the current alt-right hysteria about besieged whiteness is also fuel for a violent movement that uses its power in the White House to justify inhumane and racist policies. 
Another aspect ignored by Jeong's defenders is that the force of American racism varies quite a lot depending on the ethnicity of the target. Jeong's defenders call her a "woman of color" but does anybody think the racial animosity against Asians, especially at the present time, is comparable to the African American experience?

Do you really have the right to sing the blues - and use the history of the most extreme American racial injustice to excuse your anti-white bigotry - when you are not an African American?

The New York Times, in refusing to rescind Sarah Jeong's offer, made it clear that in some cases it is perfectly fine to attack a "race" without consequences.

In contrast Razib Khan had his offer to join the NYTimes rescinded (something I played a small role in) although his anti-black beliefs had been stated much less blatantly than Jeong's anti-white beliefs.

So there is a demonstrably popular belief that there is a white exception to prohibitions of public expressions of racial bigotry.

However, the United States Equal Opportunity Commission does not make exceptions for anti-white bigotry. And that is why I believe Robin DiAngelo broke the law.

It's important to understand the reasoning behind the Social Justice belief in a white exception, which is something I call "micro-revenge." If you point out to them that this is in fact what they are doing, they will deny it.

But Robin DiAngelo revealed that ethnic revenge is a motivating factor when she justified her support for anti-white bigotry by citing the death of Emmett Till.

And that is the third reason why Robin DiAngelo is bad - she promotes ethnicity-based revenge. I will talk about that next.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Reasons why Robin DiAngelo is bad Part 1: Race essentialism

The problem with a confidence trickster is that they prey on people's tendency to believe them. People who are opposed to racism will tend to believe and side with others who oppose racism.

And Robin DiAngelo, author of "White Fragility" published last year, has made a profitable career based on the credence given to her claims by people of good will who oppose racism, including many in the media.

And that is why Robin DiAngelo is so pernicious.

And since many anti-racists on Twitter think DiAngelo is a great thinker and a great opponent of race-based injustice, it is necessary to explain why DiAngelo is not helping to improve the situation of race in America.

1. DiAngelo is a race essentialist much like the proponents of race science are.

Like the proponents of race science, DiAngelo uses terms like "black" and "white" but refuses to explain exactly who falls into these categories. But that does not prevent race science - nor DiAngelo - from making essentialist claims about "whites" and "blacks" when it suits them.

In the case of race science, "black" people are held to be innately less intelligent and more criminal.

In DiAngeloism "white" people are held to be racist, regardless of actions or beliefs.

DiAngelo literally believes that all white people are racist, from Donald Trump to herself, quoted here in a Slate interview:
I want to be clear. I don’t see myself as redefining the term. I want to change the way the average white person understands what racism is, but I am using the sociological definition. You asked me, “What would you call the difference perhaps between Trump and me?” But I actually think, yeah, we both are racists. I see that as a continuum that I’m on and will be on for the rest of my life. In any given moment, I have to ask myself, “How am I doing on this continuum? What end am I behaving closer to? How do I know?” He and I may be on different spots on the continuum, but we’re both on it. I don’t tend to distinguish between the two of us, which probably shocks some readers, but if you’re asking me to somehow identify that difference, I would say “avowed” versus maybe “implied” or “implicit.”
So DiAngelo thinks there is a continuum of racism - but all white people are on it.

The race science proponents don't think all black people are stupid or criminal. They just think blackness gives them a likelihood of being that way.

Just as DiAngelo thinks being white gives one a tendency to be racist. 

And in fact by these standards DiAngelo is more extreme than race science proponents, which hardly seems possible and yet: race science proponents will admit there are black people who are smart and who are not criminals. 

DiAngelo will not admit any white person is not racist.

You don't have to take my word for it that DiAngelo believes all white people are racist - this is what one of her admirers wrote:
That anyone can be prejudiced, but in America, only white people are racist. And, actually, all white people are racist because, as DiAngelo says:  
"Racism comes out of our pores as white people. It's the way that we are."
DiAngelo constantly mentions America, as in the Slate interview. If you haven't been following her career for four years, as I have, you might think she is, reasonably, basing her belief in white racism on the North American race system begun with slavery and continued up to the present time, which impacts relationships between "white" and "black" people. But that is not the case.

Unlike many who write about race, DiAngelo also applies the charge of innate racism to those who grew up outside the North American system, as in the story DiAngelo tells in her recent book:
 I was working with a small group of white participants when a woman I will refer to as Eva stated that because she grew up in Germany, where she said there were no black people, she had learned nothing about race and held no racism. I pushed back on this claim by asking her to reflect on the messages she had received from her childhood about people who lived in Africa. Surely she was aware of Africa and had some impressions of the people there? Had she ever watched American films? If so, what impression did she get about African Americans? I also asked her to reflect on what she had absorbed from living in the U.S. for the last 23 years, whether she had any relationships with African Americans here, and if not, then why not. 
We moved on, and I forgot about the interaction until Eva approached me after the workshop ended. She was furious and said that she had been deeply offended by our exchange and did not “feel seen.” “You made assumptions about me!” she said. I apologized and told her that I would never want her to feel unseen or invalidated. 
However, I also held to my challenge that growing up in Germany would not preclude her from absorbing problematic racial messages about black people. She countered by telling me that she had never even seen a black person “before the American soldiers came.” And when they did come, “all the German women thought them so beautiful that they wanted to connect with them.” This was her evidence that she held no racism. With an internal sigh of defeat, I gave up at that point and repeated my apology. We parted ways, but her anger was unabated. 
A few months later, one of my co-facilitators contacted Eva to tell her about an upcoming workshop. Eva was apparently still angry. She replied that she would never again attend a workshop led by me. Notice that I did not tell Eva that she was racist or that her story was racist. But what I did do was challenge her self-image as someone exempt from racism. Paradoxically, Eva’s anger that I did not take her claims at face value surfaced within the context of a volunteer workshop on racism, which she ostensibly attended to deepen her understanding of racism.
"Eva" was understandably insulted that Robin DiAngelo would tell her that she, Robin DiAngelo, understands her more than she understands herself. That Robin DiAngelo would imply she doesn't know whether she is racist or not.

DiAngelo implies that the German woman was racist because although she consciously grew up with the message that black people were beautiful, she might have seen an American film or received "messages" about people who live in Africa and that would have made her unconsciously racist.

As an aside: exactly which American films does DiAngelo think would make a German into an anti-black racist? I am not aware that black people are routinely shown as bad in American films, and until very recently the problem was more about an absence of black people than black people being portrayed badly.

Now it is certain that DiAngelo could find bigotry and a preference for whites in Germany. Human beings tend to prefer their own groups and people who look like them. What DiAngelo does is attempt to make that solely a "white" pathology, not an unfortunate pan-human tendency.

But as Germany, of all places, has demonstrated, "white" people are certainly capable of injustice and horrific cruelty against other "white" people. A system of "othering" is what is necessary and doesn't have to be other based on skin color. But of course it isn't just white people who can be vicious towards members of their own "race" as the Rwandan genocide or the killing fields of Cambodia demonstrate.

And as with race science, there is a problem with DiAngelo's essentialist race system - where do those who are "mixed-race" fall in the black-white continuum? Is one only innately half-racist if one is half-white?

This demonstrates the problem with all forms of race essentialism - it attempts to freeze human ancestry at one point in time, call that frozen essence "race" and then make claims based on that bogus construct. And it is especially ironic that race science and white fragility essentialists are doing this at a time when intermarriage happens more now than ever.




Saturday, June 22, 2019

Turkheimer debunking Charles Murray-approved race science claims at Unz

From the Genetics and Human Agency site:
As is often the case when people of a hereditarian persuasion write about the three laws, Jayman gets it almost entirely wrong, reacting only to the headline, “Everything is Heritable” and ignoring the great majority of the paper that completely undercuts his conclusions. The paper is actually titled, “Three Laws of Behavior Genetics And What They Mean”, and it is in fact much more about the what-they-mean part than about the laws themselves. And what they mean is: Behavioral differences are in a weak sense heritable, but that doesn’t mean that behavior in general has a genetic explanation. Quite the opposite.
Ugh, so much to do for Pinkerite on Steven Pinker and the IDW and Race Science - continue the review of The Bell Curve, post the interview with Brian Ferguson, discuss the recent reparations hearings (I agree with Ta-Nehisi Coates on reparations in spite of recently posting Thomas Chatterton Williams' critique of white essentialism and Coates) etc. etc. - it's hard to do it all when you have a day job and a side hustle. Sigh.

Friday, June 21, 2019

American Prospect on Koch-IDW connections

Good article in the American Prospect: Why Should We Care About Faux Free-Speech Warriors? Because the Koch Brothers Are Paying Their Bills.

The article doesn't have much that hasn't been discussed at Pinkerite, and no evidence for the likely Koch-Quillette connection is provided.

However this was new and interesting:
Bret Weinstein was hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Free Speech Week, a project of their Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation — funded by, you guessed it, the Charles G. Koch Foundation.
I'll say it again. When all is said and done, there will be evidence that virtually every member of the "intellectual dark web" was funded, one way or another, by Koch.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Pinkerite's statement against all forms of race essentialism

Pinkerite follows a good number of progressive Twitter accounts, but unfortunately some of them believe that although it is unacceptable to make race-based claims about human beings, in most cases, they believe it is OK to make them about "whites."

Pinkerite believes that it is unacceptable to make race-based claims about individuals regardless of which "race" they are.

So, for example Pinkerite opposes a highly profitable business run by Robin DiAngelo, which insists that all white people are racists. DiAngelo considers both herself and Donald Trump to be racists. She does recognize a "continuum" - you can either be a conscious racist, or an unconscious one.

Regardless of political views or actions, there is no way any individual so labeled "white" by DiAngelo can demonstrate they are not racist.

DiAngelo not only considers white Americans to be racists due to the influence of the centuries-long slave system and its aftermath: she considers all white people racist. She demonstrates this in her recent book when she rejected a woman's defense against automatic racism because she did not grow up in the North American race system. DiAngelo made it clear that this did not matter. To be white is to be racist, according to DiAngeloism.

Many white people, especially liberals, one of DiAngelo's primary targets, consider racism to be both evil and stupid, and many, like Pinkerite, believe that race itself should be understood as a social convention invented by European colonizers to justify exploitation of non-Europeans. It is not a biological reality, interchangeable with "ethnicity" or "ancestry" or "lineage" in spite of claims and careless use of terminologies by people such as Steven Pinker.

DiAngelo believes it is perfectly just to declare any individual white person to be racist and if they push back against what they consider an unfair accusation of evil and stupidity, they are then declared an exemplar of "white fragility." In this way DiAngelo and her followers never have to support their claims, because to even question DiAngelo's claims is evidence of "white fragility" which renders one's opinions a sign of pathology.

This is a rather ingenious tactic by DiAngelo, whose profitable career benefits from compliant media people who justifiably fear that asking DiAngelo hard questions will result in a "white fragility" scarlet letter.

But you don't even have to push back to be declared an example of "white fragility."

The term "white fragility" is defined as "a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation."

DiAngelo uses the neutral-sounding term "racial stress" but what that means, in practice, is that an individual is accused of racism.

Please note, the white fragility response to the accusation of racism is signaled by "argumentation" and "silence" and withdrawal. There is no response of the accused that is acceptable to the cult of DiAngelo. To be accused of racism is to be proven a racist in DiAngeloism. Even displaying the emotion of guilt is considered a sign of white fragility.

It's understandable that many assume DiAngelo's good faith because she claims to represent an important and worthy cause, the opposition to race-based injustice. But pathologizing white "race" does not counter racist beliefs - rather it feeds into race-based essentialism.

Thomas Chatterton Williams said it best:
This, more than anything, is what is so unsettling about Mr. Coates’s recent writing and the tenor of the leftist “woke” discourse he epitomizes. Though it is not at all morally equivalent, it is nonetheless in sync with the toxic premises of white supremacism. Both sides eagerly reduce people to abstract color categories, all the while feeding off of and legitimizing each other, while those of us searching for gray areas and common ground get devoured twice. Both sides mystify racial identity, interpreting it as something fixed, determinative and almost supernatural. For Mr. Coates, whiteness is a “talisman,” an “amulet” of “eldritch energies” that explains all injustice; for the abysmal early-20th-century Italian fascist and racist icon Julius Evola, it was a “meta-biological force,” a collective mind-spirit that justifies all inequality. In either case, whites are preordained to walk that special path. It is a dangerous vision of life we should refuse no matter who is doing the conjuring.
Williams has both European and recent African ancestry and there is no place for "mixed-race" people in the essentialist systems of a Robin DiAngelo or a Julius Evola.

It is interesting to note that both the race science proponents and "white fragility" proponents are doing their best to make race a more rigid and more essential component of human identity at a time when humans of all "races" are socializing and having babies more than at probably any other time in human history.

Pinkerite disagrees with DiAngeloism that the way to fight racism is to double-down on essentialist thinking by accusing individuals of stupidity and evil based solely on their "race."

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Happy Juneteenth!

Juneteenth is celebrated as the day the last of the enslaved people were informed that they were legally freed.

Vox:
As the Civil War came to a close in 1865, a number of people remained enslaved, especially in remote areas. Word of slavery’s end traveled slowly, and for those who were largely isolated from Union armies, life continued as if freedom did not exist. 
This was especially the case in Texas, where thousands of slaves were not made aware of freedom until June 19, 1865, when Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued an order officially freeing them. Their celebration would serve as the basis of June 19 — or Juneteenth — a holiday celebrating emancipation in the US. 
Ironically, while Juneteenth has become the most prominent Emancipation Day holiday in the US, it commemorates a smaller moment that remains relatively obscure. It doesn’t mark the signing of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, which technically freed slaves in the rebelling Confederate states, nor does it commemorate the December 1865 ratification of the 13th Amendment, which enshrined the end of slavery into the Constitution. Instead, it marks the moment when emancipation finally reached those in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy.

Juneteenth should be a national holiday, and should not only be celebrated by African Americans. All people who believe in fundamental human rights should celebrate Juneteenth.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Dark Web Think Spot

New York Magazine has a perfect description of Jordan Peterson and his right-wing safe space alternative to Gab which became known as the "chosen social network of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter."
Jordan Peterson, the Canadian academic whom I think I could absolutely describe as a “Dingus Supreme,” has a new idea for an online platform. This is very important to Peterson because he and his largely alt-right fan base need a safe space online to share controversial opinions and practice free thought. So Peterson is launching Thinkspot, self-described as “a collaborative community where individuals can explore and exchange ideas in a thoughtful and respectful manner. The platform is an intellectual playground for censorship-free discourse.” It will also shadowban users.
The grand idea of Thinkspot, as far as I can tell, is that it’s a place for people who know how to be racist and sexist in a more dog-whistle-y way, not in the more direct way you might see on Twitter — or on Gab, the platform for people who are somehow too racist for Twitter.
I wonder how long it will take to be completely overrun by racists, misogynists, men's rights activists, Libertarians, Bitcoin cultists and fans of Ayn Rand.

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.

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