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PZ Myers dissects evolutionary psychology: brief, sharp and fabulous

I admit I LOL'd at the part about "lighting up like a Christmas tree." WATCH AND LEARN all IDWs!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Steven Pinker, Harper's and Hypocrisy

Well if Steven Pinker is involved in something there's a good chance you'll find hypocrisy.

Jesse Singal and his mob
I've documented what a hypocrite Pinker has been, claiming Stephen Jay Gould's criticisms of evolutionary psychology were invalid because Gould held left-wing views while at the same time Pinker supported the career of a race science-promoting, right-wing operative like Razib Khan and a right-wing plutocrat-funded racist like Steve Sailer.

So no surprise that many of the co-signers of the letter in Harper's whining about "intolerant culture" and free speech are huge hypocrites. Many I've already documented.

Several of the signers are associated with Quillette. In addition to Pinker: Jesse Singal, Cathy Young, Megan Daum, McWhorter. I haven't heard of one of them championing free speech in the face of Claire Lehmann and her recent SLAPP threat against an op-ed.

Cathy Young was a cheerleader for the vicious Gamergate campaign against feminist women.

Jesse Singal is known for his obsession with trans people, as well as his dissembling defense of Steven Pinker's alt-right statements.

Meanwhile, J. K. Rowling is a billionaire who could publish anything she wants, any time, but is annoyed because she published some things that were felt as attacks by trans people, she got criticism for it and now she's a poor suffering martyr to "an intolerant society."

I enjoyed this Twitter response to the Letter from Vice senior features editor.

And I enjoyed this parody.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Steven Pinker and climate change denier Michael Shellenberger

You could smell the right-wing anti-science stench off Michael Shellenberger a mile away. He was discussed by Pinkerite in connection with Quillette and Steven Pinker:
It was recently brought to my attention that (Claire) Lehmann is publishing Michael Shellenberger, whose speciality is anti-renewable energy. Here he defends Koch.
Shellenberger runs a pro-nuclear power organization "Environmental Progress" - what a perfect Koch brothers-esque astroturf name - and one of his Science and Economy Advisors is... Steven Pinker.
What I didn't realize until recently is that Schellenberger is listed as a member of the Quillette "team" and a "Contributing Writer."

I am not at all surprised that Shellenberger is now promoting climate change denialism. Per the publication PressProgress:
In a recent Quillette article titled “On behalf of environmentalists, I apologize for the climate scare,” author Michael Shellenberger writes that although “climate change is happening,” he does not believe it is “ the end of the world” and “not even our most serious environmental problem.” 
Shellenberger previously headed a think tank called the Breakthrough Institute, an organization that does acknowledges climate change is real but spends a lot of time criticizing environmentalists — the organization has been criticized by scientists for pushing messages that play down the impacts of climate change and sometimes appear to align with US Republican talking points
Shellenberger himself has been described by fellow environmentalists as a “nuclear salesman posing as a new generation environmentalist.”
While I was researching Quillette's About page I noted Quillette bragging about its pedigree of race science and incompetence.
How did Quillette begin?  
Quillette began in Claire Lehmann’s living room in 2015. Claire had recently dropped out of her graduate program in psychology and wished to create a space for academics to publish their ideas. Quillette’s first contributors included Associate Professor Brian Boutwell and documentary film-maker Jamie Palmer.
Brian Boutwell is a biosocial criminologist who has pushed race "science" many times as I have documented. He's currently associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, associate dean for Research and Corporate Partnerships, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice,

Jamie Palmer is apparently the Quillette editor responsible for failing to fact check "Archie Carter" resulting in Quillette publishing a hoax.
Quillette senior editor Jamie Palmer encouraged the hoaxer to expand on his essay, telling him at one point to mention clips from the DSA convention that had gone viral in right-wing media. At one point, Palmer asked the writer for identification to prove his identity, prompting the hoaxer to declare he wanted to ditch the Randolph alias and go by his “real” name, Archie Carter.

“I'm tired of biting my tongue, and they can’t do anything about it,” he wrote back to Palmer. “I need it off my chest, and I’ll be damned if I care what they think about me.”

It’s not clear if Quillette made any other attempt to fact-check the essay. Palmer didn’t respond to a request for comment.
And no, of course Palmer was not sacked for his incompetence. This is Quillette.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

How racist are Stefan Molyneux, Jared Taylor and Biosocial Criminologists?

Although Molyneux's been booted off YouTube, you can still find a small number of his YouTube videos on Archive.org.

This video, titled "An Honest Conversation About Race" Molyneux talks to infamous white nationalist Jared Taylor.

At minute 26, Molyneux says that successful Blacks are successful by countering "the narrative of insurmountable white racism" to which Taylor replies:

Well two points there. First of all, even when you do control for IQ, there are residual differences (between Blacks and whites). These can perhaps be attributed to differences in the willingness to forgo present satisfaction for future gain. There seems to be an independent variable along those lines as well. Blacks, have, I never can remember if there's a greater or lesser ti-... how that works out according to the lingo - 
Less capacity to defer gratification I think would probably be the easiest way to put it. I have that problem too. 
They are less able to sacrifice now for future benefit. And this is found from childhood on. Even when you control for IQ. But I agree with you, IQ is really the fundamental differential...

Molyneux smiles and nods vigorously. I haven't watched the whole thing because  it is revolting to have to look at Taylor's smiling smug face while he peddles, with total self-confidence, mind-boggling bullshit.

Jared Taylor's publication, the white nationalist American Renaissance has republished several articles that first appeared in Quillette.

Now Taylor and Molyneux are infamous racists and not considered part of the mainstream. But what's important to realize is that Taylor is saying the exact same things as "biosocial criminologists" who hold positions in several American colleges. 

In the 2015 book published by Sage,  The Nurture Versus Biosocial Debate in Criminology: Origins of Criminal Behavior and Criminality, the chapter Human Biodiversity and the Egalitarian Fiction,  co-written by John Paul Wright and Mark Alden Morgan echoes Taylor (my highlight):
...Lynn (2002), in a comprehensive investigation of psychopathology, presents evidence that Native Americans, Blacks, and Hispanics score higher on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventorys (MMPI) Psychopathic Deviate scale compared to Whites, while East Asians score lower. Furthermore, Lynn argues that this racial trend extends to a host of related social outcomes measures including childhood conduct disorder, ADHD, recklessness, aggression, criminality, the ability to delay gratification, marriage rates, and even moral understanding. Across the multitude of studies analyzed, a clear pattern emerges where Blacks score the worst on these measures, Whites intermediate, and Asians the best even when controlling for the effects of age and IQ.
Important items to note about this passage:
  • Although a major point of the essay is that "race" is a biological phenomenon and therefore test scores are genetics-based "racial" traits, the Lynn citation in fact demonstrates that race science and biosocial criminology claims are based on cultural race categories. 
"Latinos across the Americas have differing proportions of Native American, African, and European genetic ancestry, shaped by local historical interactions with migrants brought by the slave trade, European settlement, and indigenous Native American populations."
The paper is co-authored by David Reich, whom race science supporters erroneously believe is one of them.

 So in effect the alleged biological race classifications per Lynn, Wright and Morgan are Black, White, East Asian, Native American, and (Black/White/Native American in unspecified combination who speak Spanish.)

But it's even worse than that. 

As Carl Zimmer (who used the Reich paper as a source) noted in the New York Times article White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier in 2014: 
The scientists also have been developing software that learns to recognize the origins of the short segments of DNA that make up our genomes. Recently they used their program to calculate what percentage of each subject’s genomes was inherited from European, African or Native American forebears. 
“This year we saw that we were in a great position to do the analysis,” said Joanna L. Mountain, senior director of research at 23andMe. 
On average, the scientists found, people who identified as African-American had genes that were only 73.2 percent African. European genes accounted for 24 percent of their DNA, while .8 percent came from Native Americans.
So genetically, in Lynn's study, "black" does not mean 100% Sub-Saharan African it means a combination of African, European and Native American that varies from one person to another culturally identified as "black."

Although the Zimmer article references information from 23andMe, it doesn't mention what I think is the worst blow of all to race science claims of test scores and biological race: East Asians and Native Americans are close enough genetically that 23andMe groups them together as a single "global population" which is as close as 23andMe gets to race categorization. 

The 45 Ancestry Composition regional populations are organized in a hierarchy, which reflects the genetic structure of global populations. For example, British & Irish is a part of Northwestern European, which is part of European.
In April 2018, we added over 115 new recent ancestor locations which reflect specific countries where your ancestors likely lived during the last 200 years. These recent ancestor locations are noted in each of the regional populations below. You can learn more about Recent Ancestor Locations here. Currently, there are over 150+ recent ancestor locations in the Ancestry Composition Report.
The global populations available in Ancestry Composition are:

What this means is that genetically, East Asians and Native Americans are as close to each other as Europeans are to other Europeans. 

So the biological racial classifications according to Richard Lynn are, in terms of 23andMe's global populations:
  • White (European)
  • Black (Sub-Saharan African, European and (East Asian & Native American) in various combinations per individual)
  • East Asian (East Asian & Native American)
  • Native American (East Asian and Native American)
  • Hispanic (European, Sub-Saharan African and (East Asian & Native American) in various combinations per individual.)
Demonstrating that race "science" is a pseudo-scientific mess. It is an ideology pretending to be science, using science-sounding language promoted by biosocial criminology college professors.

I'm not the first to notice the scientific failures of biosocial criminology. The 2018 article Biosocial criminology and the mismeasure of race by Julien Larregue of Institute des Science Sociale du Politique and Oliver Rollins, Assistance Professor University of Louisville notes (my highlight):
...We focus on the way biosocial criminologists operationalize race to outline the sociological consequences of what we see as a renewed commitment to the bio-criminalization of race. Biosocial criminologists do not reject that race is socially constructed, but in practice they disregard the main consequences and raison d’ĂȘtre of this postulate. Though biosocial criminologists praise the incorporation of cutting-edge science into criminology, the research programme’s actual findings concerning race do not necessarily align with views from genetic and neuroscientific research. Instead, we argue that biosocial criminology solicits social constructionism as a shield to re-insert antiquated biologic notions of race through a guise of bio-sociality.
Richard Lynn in 2002 did not have access to genetic findings via 23andMe, but John Paul Wright and Mark Alden Morgan, in their 2015 article in an allegedly scholarly publication, certainly did - the Carl Zimmer article I cited is from 2014.

Now if Stefan Molyneux and Jared Taylor were hired by American colleges, there would be a  controversy. So why is there not a peep about the fact there are colleges employing people who are teaching criminology theories based on the same unscientific race theories that are peddled by people like Jared Taylor and Stefan Molyneux?

Biosocial criminologists who have endorsed the racist ideology also promoted by Jared Taylor and Stefan Molyneux includes:
I can't help but laugh at the bitter irony of Brian Boutwell, a fervent believer in race science and a practiced denialist of environment in general and the impact systemic racism has had on Black Americans in particular, being associate dean of a "college for public health and social justice."

There are more race science-swilling biosocial criminologists which I will add as I confirm them. It is unknown whether these colleges endorse the race beliefs of their teachers, whether they don't think it's a big deal that their students are being taught by peddlers of pseudo-scientific garbage, or if they are completely ignorant of the situation.

The colleges:
  • Boise State University
  • Florida State University
  • Iowa State University
  • Miami University
  • Saint Louis University
  • University of Cincinnati
And of course there are other college promoters of race science who aren't officially biosocial criminologists - Ben Winegard has coauthored race science-promoting articles with Brian Boutwell, but is Professor of Psychology at Carroll College.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

At Fardels Bear: On the intellectual dishonestly of recent hereditarian papers

Fardels Bear's John Jackson has a guest blogger this week, Jonathan Kaplan, who wrote a three part series about recent hereditarian papers.

Part One addresses a paper by the Winegards and Jonny Anomaly.

Part Two is about a paper by Nathan Cofnas

Part Three is about a paper by Jonny Anomaly (sans Winegards)

All four authors have Quillette bylines.

Part three contains this section, which I think is a great summation of the hereditarian strategy: deny the existence of institutional racism. I quoted one of the co-authors of the NHAI paper, Henry Harpending, apparently agreeing with the statement that a belief in institutional racism and white privilege is the equivalent of believing in witchcraft.
...modern “Jensenism” has always been about justifying the (terrible) status quo for Black Americans, by claiming that it is not the result of the gross racism and discrimination faced by Black Americans, but just the ‘natural’ result of genetically mediated cognitive sorting in a (mostly) fair environment (or something like that). (As in the previous post, note well that reasonable people do not think that the best evidence we have for the continued existence of racism, and profound effects of past racism, is differences in outcomes, but rather direct evidence of continued racism itself, and clear historical evidence of past racism and its effects. One reason, as I suggested in my paper “Ignorance, Lies, and Ways of Being a Racist,” to believe that many hereditarians are in fact racist is their apparent inability or unwillingness to perceive racism, and its importance, even when the evidence is staring them in face, and their willingness to outright lie about the existence of equal opportunities in cases where it is blindingly obvious that none in fact exist or have existed.)
Hereditarians push the notion that because African Americans failed to achieve socio-economic parity one hundred and fifty years after the end of slavery it proves that Black people are a "group" with lower intelligence and higher innate propensity for crime than other "groups."

The question of course is who are the controls? How are race science hawkers so certain that only Black Americans, of all "groups" would fail to achieve parity with the ethnic majority in a country, after a history that includes slavery, lynching, community destruction, segregation, suppression of voting and the "war on drugs"?

Well I have asked them, and they have offered what they consider comparable group experiences, which I will address in a future post.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Current Affairs: Welcome to Pinkertown

First there was the Intellectual Dark Web Carnival.

Now there's Pinkertown at the magazine Current Affairs.

The image most pointedly aimed at Pinker, with the caption:

Thought leaders give speeches at conferences! They make a lot of money, because they have earned it.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

No Molyneux No Mo

On the one hand, I am very pleased that Stefan Molyneux has had one of the sources of income from his hate-based business model cut off.

According to The Verge:
YouTube has banned several prominent white supremacist channels, including those belonging to Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, and Richard Spencer.

Other channels banned include American Renaissance (with its associated channel AmRen Podcasts) and the channel for Spencer’s National Policy Institute. The channels repeatedly violated YouTube’s policies, a YouTube spokesperson said, by alleging that members of protected groups were inferior. These come alongside other violations that led to YouTube taking action.
“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge. “After updating our guidelines to better address supremacist content, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies.”
However according to Cointelegraph:
White supremacist Stefan Molyneux received roughly $100,000 in donations following the removal of his YouTube channel.
Demonstrating just how popular Molyneux's brand of pseudo-scientific racism and misogyny is, especially among crypto-currency douchebros.

On the other hand, I have linked so many times to interviews between Molyneux and people associated with race science and the IDW and now none of those links work. My post prior to this listed all the Quillette contributors who promote race science, who also appeared on Molyneux's channel: Beaver, Boutwell, Haier, Haskell, John Paul Wright, Shermer, Richwine, Perkins and Damore.

And I listed all those who promote race science who also have Quillette bylines and when I mentioned someone who also appeared on Molyneux's channel I linked their name to their Molyneux video.

Now when someone clicks those links they will see this:

It's an inconvenience, but a small price to pay to keep Molyneux from an easy way to promote his hatred and white supremacy.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

How conservative and white supremacist is Quillette? Part 2

As we discussed in Part 1, Claire Lehmann threatened via tweet to sue an Australian writer for opining that the publication she founded, Quillette, is a conservative website happy to publish authors known for promoting theories of white supremacy.

It was quick work to demonstrate that Quillette is widely considered to be a conservative website.

The white supremacy issue is a little more complicated.

White supremacy is a term used to characterize various belief systems central to which are one or more of the following key tenets: 1) whites should have dominance over people of other backgrounds, especially where they may co- exist; 2) whites should live by themselves in a whites-only society; 3) white people have their own "culture" that is superior to other cultures; 4) white people are genetically superior to other people. As a full-fledged ideology, white supremacy is far more encompassing than simple racism or bigotry. Most white supremacists today further believe that the white race is in danger of extinction due to a rising “flood” of non-whites, who are controlled and manipulated by Jews, and that imminent action is need to “save” the white race.
The other is "traditional white supremacists"
Traditional white supremacists are one of the major segments of the white supremacist movement in the United States, as well as the oldest. The term is used to refer to a variety of groups and individuals whose white supremacy centers around or originated from the struggle to deny equal rights to African-Americans. Ku Klux Klan groups are the most common type of traditional white supremacist, but the movement also includes other groups, such as the Council of Conservative Citizens, the League of the South, and others.
Quillette is devoted to race science, and the main focus of race science is the claim that black people are intellectually inferior to all other "races." Race science also believes Ashkenazi Jews are the most intelligent "race," a belief expressed in the Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence (NHAI) hypothesis published in 2005, which has been promoted by Steven Pinker.

The intellectual inferiority of blacks and the intellectual superiority of Jews are also white supremacist beliefs as demonstrated in segregationist Henry E. Garrett's article "The Equalitarian Dogma" published in Mankind Quarterly in 1961.

However, race science promoters can defend themselves against the charge of white supremacy by pointing out that they either consider Jews to be separate from whites, and consider Jews the most intelligent "race" or, in the case of the race science intelligence rankings that don't separate Jews from whites, East Asians are claimed to be genetically most intelligent. And so they don't, theoretically, believe whites are supreme.

But because they share many core beliefs, it is easy to mistake race science promoters for white supremacists, and there are certainly cases where race science promoters are also white supremacists, as in the case of one of the co-authors of the NHAI paper, the late Henry Harpending.*

So it is correct to say Quillette is happy to publish those who promote white supremacist theories.

To get an idea of how strongly race science promoters believe in the genetic intellectual inferiority of blacks, here are two examples, both by Quillette authors.

The first is a couple of selections from John Paul Wright, professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati College of Education Criminal Justice and Human Services, as well as its director of the graduate program in criminal justice. I've referenced these selections a lot on this blog because they are the plainest demonstration of the beliefs of race science.

In Biosocial Criminology: New Directions in Theory and Research edited by Anthony Walsh and Kevin M. Beaver (Quillette author) Wright said:
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.
It's important to note that Wright is a "biosocial criminologist" so not only does he believe blacks are intellectually inferior, he believes they are more inclined, genetically, to criminal behavior than other "races."

On his blog, Conservative Criminality, Wright expressed his antipathy for Black Lives Matter:
So, I’m inclined to see BLM as movement that is largely immoral even if it contains individuals who are moral. I’m inclined to view their general claims as largely hollow even if the occasional case supports their view. And I see more and more how their rhetoric and their actions are brining (sic) harm to people.
The second example is by Bo Winegard, former assistant professor at Marietta college and currently on staff at Quillette and his twin brother Ben who is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology at Carroll College. Bo and Ben Winegard wrote a defense of The Bell Curve in Quillette called "A Tale of Two Bell Curves" in which they agree with John Paul Wright, in so many words that "No other paradigm explains these inconvenient truths" about the failure of African Americans to thrive, post-Emancipation:
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 can be seen promoting the work of John Paul Wright here.

Quillette has published many supporters of race science, several of whom have been previously mentioned on this blog. 
There are probably others. I will add them as I find them.

For those who are wondering why Andy Ngo, who is currently listed in Quillette as Sub-editor, Contributing Writer, didn't make the list, it's because although he is a grifter and a Trump flunky, I have not found anything written by him about race science or associated theories. On the other hand, Emil O. Kirkegaard, while very much a proponent of race science, and who would seem to be a natural fit for Quillette, hasn't had a Quillette byline.

Several on the list have appeared on the video channel of Stefan Molyneux, who is described as a white supremacist by Vice, and Media Matters: Beaver, Boutwell, Haier, Haskell, John Paul Wright, Shermer, Richwine, Perkins and Damore.

I will look at more white supremacist-race science connections in a future post.

* In a blog called West Hunter, which Harpending shared with Gregory Cochran and in which Cochran still writes as of June 2020, Harpending published a post in 2012 called My friend the witch doctor in which he shared a colleague's thoughts, with apparent approval:
A colleague pointed out a few weeks ago, after hearing this story, that if (the belief in witchcraft) is nearly pan-African then perhaps some of it came to the New World. Prominent and not so prominent talkers from the American Black population come out with similar theories of vague and invisible forces that are oppressing people, like “institutional racism” and “white privilege”. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

How conservative and white supremacist is Quillette? Part 1

Weren't we just talking about Claire Lehmann and her threats to sue people because she doesn't like their flagrant use of free speech?

She did it again.

Lehmann's threat is over an opinion piece, clearly marked "opinion," by Sean Kelly in Australia's Sunday Morning Herald called Australian politics is becoming a sick, inside joke.

Kelly makes a passing reference to Quillette in this sentence:
...That video was retweeted by the editor of Quillette, a conservative website which has been happy to publish authors known for promoting theories of white supremacy. My point is not any direct connection. It is that non-crazy senior members of the Liberal Party, in the midst of a global pandemic, feel the need to pander to the same audience as these publications
So there are two claims for which Lehmann might want to cry defamation, probably both:
  • Quillette is a conservative website 
  • Quillette has been happy to publish authors known for promoting theories of white supremacy

The Australian magazine Crikey responded by including a link to a Nation article by Donna Minkowitz.
Freedom Fighters You can set your watch to it. Yesterday columnist Sean Kelly briefly observed that Quillette “has been happy to publish authors known for promoting theories of white supremacy”. (He hasn’t been the only one to make such an observation.) 
Quillette founder Claire Lehmann, doing her bit for free speech and “broadening the Overton Window“, responded with a loaded reference to Australia’s complainant- friendly defamation laws.

“This is going to be fun” she tweeted, presumably referring to the ability of people with money to shut down debate in Australia using the court system. And while we’d never dare quibble with the leader of the… sigh… “intellectual dark web”, we’re not sure what her being born in Australia has to do with defamation law.
Minkowitz wrote:
Meghan Daum, the feminist memoirist and opinion writer, told me that she had joined a Facebook group for Quillette fans and attended the group’s meetup as part of what she wrote was an “affair” she’d been having with the “intellectual dark web,” the far-right grouping for which Quillette serves as the house organ.
As an aside, Meghan Daum is friendly with professional misogynist Christina Hoff Sommers, which I wrote about. I don't think Daum is much of a feminist these days.

In any case, plenty of other established publications have described Quillette as conservative or right-wing. Inside Higher Education describes Quillette as "the conservative academic publication Quillette."

The Daily Beast wrote:
Quillette, a site that fancies itself intellectually contrarian but mostly publishes right-wing talking points couched in grievance politics...
The New Republic:
This should all be abundantly clear—as should Quillette’s real role in the conservative media ecosystem.
The Ringer:
It’s easy to read Quillette and detect a classic conservative magazine; it’s more like National Review, or even Taki’s Magazine, than the old libertartian standard-bearer, Reason. Quillette channels the key right-wing anxieties: the fussiness about modernity, the antipathy against civil rights activism and college students, the general hysteria about various “hysterias.” The publication’s writers have the knee-jerk tendency to describe any left-wing articulation about anything as “ahistorical,” with vague but nonetheless vigorous gestures toward Plato and glib but nonetheless fearful reassessments of Marx. And they agonize about all the same watchwords: “political correctness,” “cancel culture,” “wokeness,” “wrongthink,” etc. In fact, the distinctions among so many figures and forums—Quillette and Reason, National Review and Breitbart, 4chan and 8chan, the Intellectual Dark Web and Gamergate, Shapiro and Milo Yiannopolous, Jordan Peterson and Alex Jones—have spent the Trump years delivering one long, unpunctuated screed in defense of “wrongthink.”
And it isn't only Claire Lehmann's ideological enemies who call Quillette conservative. Lehmann's right-wing admirers, the Koch-funded "Independent Women's Forum" agreed with a characterization of Quillette as "a conservative niche publication."

I know nothing about Australian defamation laws, but it seems very unlikely that any court would agree that Quillette has been smeared by Sean Kelly for calling it a conservative website.

The "happy to publish authors known for promoting theories of white supremacy" charge is a little less of a slam-dunk than "Quillette is a conservative web site," but there is certainly evidence for the claim, which I will get into in How conservative and white supremcist is Quillette? Part 2.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Good work by Colbert and Stewart

Pinkerite is a long-time fan of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, but I really didn't expect them to get into the socio-economics of American post-Emancipation racism from the Homestead Act to Levittown. KUDOS!

This history is essential for understanding the African American failure to thrive, which leads to things like lower test scores, which is used by race science proponents like Charles Murray and friends to claim as evidence that black people are innately, evolutionarily inferior.

Stewart boils it down perfectly:
"while (black people) were fighting for equality, white people were building equity."
And that's why so many of the IDW hate the 1619 ProjectHow dare those African Americans talk about the actual circumstances of America!

Maybe - as Stewart points out in this clip - if the right-wing race science mongers hear it from two white men it will register in their brains.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Emil O. Kirkegaard and his friends

Pinkerite has written about Emil O. Kirkegaard, whose work was promoted by Charles Murray.

He's mentioned in passing in a column written about Toby Young by comedian Stewart Lee which I blogged about yesterday.

But Kirkegaard isn't only admired by Charles Murray.  Kirkegaard has a contingent of Nazis who will jump on a Twitter thread and defend him and attack his enemies.

And I don't mean Nazis in any hyperbolic Godwin's law sense. I mean actual, self-confessed Nazis.

This is not surprising. But it's important to recognize how much rightwing extremists love promoters of race science.

Here is Nazi Ed admitting to be a Nazi.

Nazi Ed's tweet was retweeted by one person, Nazi "Kneeger Historian" who is much less subtle than Nazi Ed. From the silent-K name to the Schutzstaffel insignia to "parties like it's 1933."

These are Emil O. Kirkegaard's people. In addition to Charles Murray.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Stewart Lee vs. Toby Young

I discovered Stewart Lee in 2013 when Rebecca Watson linked to his routine about Top Gear which is perfect in its sharp and funny criticism of the "it's just a joke" Jeremy Clarkson defense, now used so flagrantly by Trump and his cult.

The Top Gear bit is from Lee's 2010 show If You Prefer a Milder Comedian Please Ask for One.

Lee has never presented any of his shows in the United States, although he did work in Canada in his early days. As a result Stewart Lee is not as well known as he should be by Americans, in spite of the fact that he is the co-author of Jerry Springer: the Opera.

All opponents of the race science-mongering promoted by Quillette should know Lee because he is the liberal mongoose to Toby Young's eugenicist snake. Young is Quillette's Associate Editor London, and Quillette founder Claire Lehmann is lately promoting Young's "Free Speech Union."

In March of this year on the Guardian, in a column devoted to Toby Young, Lee had this to say:
The word “free” in the Free Speech Union™®’s name refers only to free speech. Membership actually costs between £49.95 and £250 a year, depending how freely you need to speak. If you are a student oppressed by political correctness gone mad, jonesing for freedom, Toby Youngs gives you the first hit half-price. It is not clear if the Free Speech Union™® will defend non-members on principle or members who are, as Youngs says, “ghastly, puritanical, po-faced, sanctimonious, finger-wagging, woke” people or “universally unattractive, small, vaguely deformed” working-class students. It’s a protection racket, capeesh?

It wasn't the first time Lee wrote a column about Young. In How Toby Young got where he isn't today, Lee wrote about the fallout when it was discovered that Young was a eugenicist hobnobbing with Richard Lynn:
while national media slept, or commissioned supportive thinkpieces from his wealthy and powerful celebrity friends, the London Student newspaper was about to reveal that the Maverick Toadmeister had attended a secret conference on “intelligence”, featuring notorious speakers including in previous years white supremacists and a weird far-right paedophilia apologist called Emil.
"Emil" is Emil O. Kirkegaard, promoted by Charles Murray in December 2019, who I recently discovered (although was not surprised) has a fervent following among self-confessed Nazis, which I will talk about soon.

Lee continues:
But where now for the Maverick Toadmeister? Can even vile jam-rags like the Telegraph and the Daily Mail employ him now? Who calls themselves, as an adult, the “Toadmeister” anyway? And “maverick” is what the commissioner shouts at Dirty Harry. It’s not what Dirty Harry tells the commissioner he is himself. That would be very uncool. Who does these strange and desperate things? Someone in search of an identity that has eluded them. 
Sometime around 20 years ago Toby Young started being nasty about people less fortunate and privileged than him, and, like a shit Clarkson, he found it was easy to do and paid good money...
When the Telegraph and the Daily Mail won't have you anymore, where can you go? To Quillette of course. And you can count on Quillette's cousin, the right-wing garbage Post-Millennial to defend Toby Young against Stewart Lee. Although author Kathrine Jebsen Moore apparently feels that Toby Young is such a snowflake that Stewart Lee might drive him to suicide.
It’s telling that the Guardian is just as bad at ad hominem—perhaps worse—than the British gutter press it loves to deride. Just last week, it published an article condemning the tabloids, particularly the Sun, for their “media frenzy” in the months before TV presenter Caroline Flack’s suicide. Putting themselves on a pedestal in this instance is easy when the target of relentless media attention is a young woman. A white, middle aged, “privileged” (I hate that word) man such as Toby Young is fair game, however. I can’t for one minute imagine slurs found in these two articles – and there are more like them – being used against a woman. Especially not a woman on the left. Imagine the uproar if, say, Afua Hirsch, black feminist and author, was ridiculed in the same way by the Telegraph or the Daily Mail. 
But men suffer from mental illness, too. In fact, men are at much higher risk than women from death by suicide. According to the Samaritans, middle-aged men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women. Yet the Guardian doesn’t seem to bat an eyelid as its journalists devote their column inches to insulting conservative men like Young. #bekind doesn’t apply to people like him.
As Stewart Lee rightly notes, Toby Young has made a living being shitty to the less-fortunate, but the garbage Post-Millennial expects people to be nice to him anyway. Talk about privileged.

For his part, Stewart Lee is not bothered at all by Toby Young's hostility towards him, he uses a Young quote in the announcements of his latest show - which of course I can't see unless I go to England - called Snowflake/Tornado, which is getting very good reviews in publications like the Telegraph.

Monday, June 22, 2020

A celebration of African Americans - get down, boogie-oogie-oogie

A Taste of Honey was not 100% African American, lead singer Janice-Marie Johnson is Native American, but most of the band was. And they were badass.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Andrew Sullivan, race science monger

Rightwing pundit Andrew Sullivan has long been known as a fan of evolutionary psychology, pointed out so perfectly by Slate's Tom Scocca in this tweet.

To understand Scocca's point you have to know that proponents of evolutionary psychology are strict adaptationists - they believe almost all current human behavior is based on sexual selection, the sexual choices made by pre-historic people. This is why the existence of homosexuality is such a problem for evolutionary psychology.

June 19 was Juneteenth and Sullivan decided to observe it by misrepresenting a piece in the NYTimes by Jamelle Bouie about the participation of the enslaved in fighting for freedom, including in the Civil War.

Now we see Sullivan joining in with the Intellectual Dark Web/Quillette gang to mourn the loss of statues to white supremacists and slavers. It seems there are few things that get IDW types madder than the loss of their beloved public statuary to scumbags who never should have been honored in the first place. 

And he isn't content to retweet a Christina Hoff Sommers - he has to go even lower than that - writer and journalist Donna Minkowitz who wrote an excellent piece about Quillette for The Nation caught Sullivan retweeting race science monger "HBD Chick" - HBD stands for human biodiversity, a term invented by professional racist Steve Sailer, and a code word for the race science belief in black genetic inferiority. 

Can Andrew Sullivan sink any lower?

A lawyer representing Bill Watterson really has to
put a stop to HBD Chick associating her grotesque racism
with his character Hobbes.

Meanwhile, good news about Ron Unz's pal Stephen Hsu:
Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. announced Friday that Stephen Hsu is resigning as Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation, returning to a tenured faculty position, effective July 1.
John Jackson of Fardels Bear has more.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

A celebration of African Americans - No Woman No Cry

There are few songs or performances more beautiful than Bob Marley doing "No Woman No Cry." Although when I think of how young he was when he died - 36 - it makes me want to cry.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Happy Juneteenth 2020!

Pinkerite has been observing Juneteenth for several years now: 2019, 2018 back to 2014 when I said I thought it should be a national holiday.

So I am very pleased that Juneteenth is finally getting the attention it deserves.

These companies are giving their employees time off for Juneteenth  
Google, Nike and Target have joined a growing list of companies around the country that have decided to give their employees time off for Juneteenth, June 19. 
The decision comes as businesses balance how to fight racism and support black employees in the wake of George Floyd's death and global protests demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality.
Juneteenth has been designated an official holiday for the city of Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney announced Tuesday.  
As a result, all city offices and facilities will be closed to the public on June 19 to observe Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
“Now more than ever, it’s critically important to acknowledge America’s original sin of slavery -- something we as a nation have never atoned for,” Kenney wrote. “The only way to dismantle the institutional racism and inequalities that continue to disenfranchise Black Philadelphians is to look critically at how we got here, and make much-needed changes to the governmental systems that allow inequality to persist.”
What is Juneteenth? It could become a state holiday in Virginia 
Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19, commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all slaves in Texas were free. The day is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

It's become big enough that Trump caught flack for scheduling one of his Nuremberg rallies on Juneteenth, so he moved it to the next day.

Meanwhile the Mighty Krugman makes some excellent points about the history of African Americans - the struggle was not over after Emancipation:
Freed slaves started with nothing, but over time many of them would surely have worked their way up, acquiring property, educating their children and becoming full members of society. Indeed, that started to happen during the 12 years of Reconstruction, when blacks briefly benefited from something approaching equal rights. 
But the corrupt political deal that ended Reconstruction empowered Southern white supremacists who systematically suppressed black gains. African-Americans who managed to acquire some property all too often found that property expropriated, either through legal subterfuge or at gunpoint. And the nascent black middle class was effectively subjected to a reign of terror. 
Which is where Tulsa fits in. In 1921 the Oklahoma city was the center of an oil boom, a place to which people in search of opportunity migrated. It boasted a sizable black middle class, centered on the Greenwood neighborhood, which was widely described as the “black Wall Street." 
And that was the neighborhood destroyed by white mobs, who looted black businesses and homes, killing probably hundreds. (We don’t know how many because the massacre was never properly investigated.) The police, of course, did nothing to protect black citizens; instead, they joined the rioters.
I find this part especially interesting though... not too long ago Krugman was saying and Steven Pinker was agreeing with him that we don't know why there was so much crime in New York City in the 1970s - 1980s.

Now Krugman seems to have gotten it:
Unfortunately, for many African-Americans Northern cities turned into a socioeconomic trap. The opportunities that lured migrants disappeared as blue-collar jobs moved first to the suburbs, then overseas. Chicago, for example, lost 60 percent of its manufacturing employment between 1967 and 1987. 
And when the loss of economic opportunity led, as it usually does, to social dysfunction — to broken families and despair — all too many whites were ready to blame the victims. The problem, many asserted, lay in black culture — or, some hinted, in racial inferiority. 
Such implicit racism wasn’t just talk; it fueled opposition to government programs, up to and including Obamacare, that might help African-Americans. If you wonder why the social safety net in the U.S. is so much weaker than those of other advanced countries, it comes down to just one word: race.
That last sentence tells you so much about why the American white middle-class is so opposed to social programs. They are always afraid social programs will help "those people" - so afraid that they are willing to hurt themselves economically to spite black people.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Caliper Claire Lehmann, still mourning the loss of statues that glorify white supremacy

Claire Lehmann founded the last bastion for phrenology apologists, Quillette, and is in constant turmoil recently along with other members of the Intellectual Dark Web, over the removal of monuments to white supremacy.

And as you can see in the image, Lehmann is trying to use love of white supremacist imagery to rally her troops, the defenders of race science, against Kevin Bird.

Free speech panics in Academia are a favorite tactic of the right-wing free speech grifters so memorably discussed in the GQ article The Free Speech Grifters.

And now Caliper Claire is going to make Stephen Hsu her latest "free speech" cause.

Per Kevin Bird's web site:
Against a backdrop of protests, uprisings against police brutality, and calls for real reform and racial justice, the Particles for Justice collective began an initiative to #ShutDownStem and #ShutDownAcademia to take a day to focus on issues of racial equity in the academy. https://www.particlesforjustice.org/ 
A group of faculty and graduate students began discussing what to do to make tangible change. The topic of Stephen Hsu’s role as Senior Vice President of Research & Innovation came up (note: It was incorrectly thought his title was Vice President of Research & Graduate Studies; his title had recently changed). 
Hsu’s views had been brought up before as a problem, but there had never been a concrete sense of what could or should be done. In line with the focus of the day, which was to discuss and uproot racism and structures that protect racism in the university culture, the group turned its attention towards gathering publicity and public knowledge around Hsu’s views. 
Acacia Ackles (GEU Vice President of Organizing & Outreach), as part of the group, brought me (Kevin Bird, GEU President) into the discussions, because of my experience with addressing the recent resurgence of scientific racism (my efforts in this area were recently highlighted in a 2018 New York Times article). The group gathered evidence from Hsu’s blog and past tweets regarding his publication of views which the group believes to be racist, sexist, eugenicist and anti-scientific, and his promotion of known white supremacists and Holocaust deniers, along with evidence that he failed to uphold conflict of interest protocols regarding his status as a co-founder, shareholder and board member of Genomic Prediction Inc. The following Twitter thread was published. The tweets went live at 5:23 PM on June 10th. See Tweets and Unrolled. The thread immediately gained support from MSU faculty, staff, and students who are familiar with Hsu, and within the broader scientific community, where many are aware of Hsu’s conduct and beliefs. Another account of Hsu’s conduct was published shortly after by MSU professor John Jackson, who studies the history of scientific racism.

Predictably Hsu threatened to sue his critics.

Free speech champion Caliper Claire once suggested to Sam Harris that he sue the Southern Poverty Law Center because they truthfully and accurately reported on Harris's influence on the alt-right.

Meanwhile, as explained by John Jackson on his indispensable Fardels Bear web site:
It has been six days since my post on Stephen Hsu hosting a Holocaust denier on his podcast. He has not responded in any way and certainly not apologized. It has been four days since he has threatened a lawsuit against his critics, including graduate students at his own university. He has not explained or apologized for that threat. 
There is a right-wing, online magazine called Quillette that is a home for people to publish their ideas about how race is real and black people are just dumber than white people, how scientists are afraid to talk about it, and regurgitate segregationist ideas about how the “equalitarian conspiracy” covers up the truth about racial differences. Naturally, they have now decided to ride to Hsu’s rescue. Hsu claims to be agnostic, on race differences in intelligence. But he seems to happily accept support from those who do believe in those differences. He claims everyone should be treated equally, but people who reject that idea rally around him. In their call to defend Hsu, Quillette simply recycles ancient arguments against racial egalitarianism that have been floating around the racist right for half a century. This time the strategy is what I like to call the “Lysenkoist Exchange.”
Stephen Hsu, among other questionable features, considers himself a friend of racist and Holocaust-denying crackpot Ron Unz. I wrote about Unz in detail here. Professional racist Steve Sailer also considers Ron Unz a friend. 

Kevin Bird is a graduate student, and it looks like Lehmann is trying to smear Bird by pointing out his opposition to the glorification of white supremacy through statuary.

Claire Lehmann's hypocrisy strikes me once again - I criticized Bo Winegard's race science mongerism in Quillette two years ago on my personal blog (and continue to do so on this blog) and Lehmann had a meltdown about it, screaming I was " bullying and smearing" him, a wee little grad student.

I "smeared and bullied" Winegard by truthfully recounting his beliefs and expressing my contempt for same. Lehmann is trying to smear Bird by noting he's opposed to public art that glorifies slavers and white supremacists. But that doesn't actually smear him, except with the right-wingers and racists who adore Claire Lehmann.

To get a really good idea of the racist bubble Claire Lehmann lives in, observe her tweet about the statues to white supremacists and slavers:

"No-one" meaning no-one among the race science mongers and white supremacists and Confederacy apologists and eugenic fans and Koch-funded libertarians that comprise Claire Lehmann's social and professional world.

There is a grassroots organization in New Orleans devoted to removing statues raised to the glory of the Confederacy called Take 'Em Down NOLA which has been around since at least 2015.  And of course the Southern Poverty Law Center, but I guess Lehmann doesn't think of them unless she's urging someone to baselessly sue them. 

Certainly none of them count as "someone" in the book of failed human being Claire Lehmann.

Bo Winegard is supporting the cause of his boss.

I wonder if Winegard feels that he has to kiss up to his boss even more than before, Quillette recently put hard-core hereditarian Colin Wright on its payroll and Winegard has some competition.

I think Quillette has become the gateway drug to the wingnut welfare system so beloved of rightwingers.