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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Apparently you can make this stuff up ~ Steven Pinker and the non-ban of James Flynn

Steven Pinker continues to aid and abet the Quillette grievance grift.

This time, Quillette published an article by well known intelligence researcher James Flynn in which he claims that his book was "banned" by his publisher.

Pinker echoes the term "banned" in this tweet.

But he wasn't actually banned. He submitted his work to Emerald Publishing in Great Britain and they rejected it and explained why:
I am contacting you in regard to your manuscript In Defense of Free Speech: The University as Censor. Emerald believes that its publication, in particular in the United Kingdom, would raise serious concerns. By the nature of its subject matter, the work addresses sensitive topics of race, religion, and gender. The challenging manner in which you handle these topics as author, particularly at the beginning of the work, whilst no doubt editorially powerful, increase the sensitivity and the risk of reaction and legal challenge. As a result, we have taken external legal advice on the contents of the manuscript and summarize our concerns below. 
There are two main causes of concern for Emerald. Firstly, the work could be seen to incite racial hatred and stir up religious hatred under United Kingdom law. Clearly you have no intention of promoting racism but intent can be irrelevant. For example, one test is merely whether it is “likely” that racial hatred could be stirred up as a result of the work. This is a particular difficulty given modern means of digital media expression. The potential for circulation of the more controversial passages of the manuscript online, without the wider intellectual context of the work as a whole and to a very broad audience—in a manner beyond our control—represents a material legal risk for Emerald. 
Secondly, there are many instances in the manuscript where the actions, conversations and behavior of identifiable individuals at specific named colleges are discussed in detail and at length in relation to controversial events. Given the sensitivity of the issues involved, there is both the potential for serious harm to Emerald’s reputation and the significant possibility of legal action. Substantial changes to the content and nature of the manuscript would need to be made, or Emerald would need to accept a high level of risk both reputational and legal. The practical costs and difficulty of managing any reputational or legal problems that did arise are of further concern to Emerald. 
For the reasons outlined above, it is with regret that Emerald has taken the decision not to publish your manuscript. We have not taken this decision lightly, but following senior level discussions within the organization, and with the additional benefit of specialist legal advice. I realize that this decision will come as a disappointment to you and hope that you will be able to find an alternative publisher with whom to take the work to publication.
As the rejection letter points out, the book might be actionable in the United Kingdom and they'd rather not take the legal risk of publication.

As with the James Damore controversy, Quillette is ready to take a stand against the right of a private enterprise to make its own decisions about its best interests.

And in fact James Flynn, a New Zealander, could look for another publisher, like say, in New Zealand, or even self-publish. Apparently the right to a platform, regardless of the opinion of the owner of the platform, is what "free speech" means to the right-wing Quillette and IDW gang.

The big enemy here is the government of the UK with its restrictive speech laws. But Quillette has a narrative that says that the left is oppressing free speech, especially of right-wing views, especially race science. And they are not interested in an anti-UK narrative. So instead they spun the story as a "ban" - and Steven Pinker went right along with it.

Quillette fans understand what the correct narrative is supposed to be, in spite of the facts stubbornly refusing to conform with the narrative.

What surprised me most from this little incident was all the people who had no idea Steven Pinker has a long and friendly association with Quillette:

As readers of this blog know, Pinker has been retweeting Quillette articles, especially race science articles, for years, and even published a piece in Quillette.

And of course Pinker was a booster of race science careers long before Claire Lehmann, Australian correspondent for the right-wing extremist Rebel Media, founded Quillette.

So it's clear that this Pinkerite blog is still necessary to continue letting the public know who Steven Pinker really is.