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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Bari Weiss and her allies

Although James Lindsay, Christian nationalist ally/business partner and Trump-lover and shameless hypocrite, was not mentioned in Bari Weiss' article about the Intellectual Dark Web, I was not kidding when I said that he is what passes for an intellectual in the IDW world.

Today we see Bari Weiss retweeting James Lindsay, who then retweeted her retweet.


The "liberals aren't liberal, right-wingers are the new liberals" line that Weiss is promoting in this tweet is a leading strategy for those associated with the Intellectual Dark Web, a strategy which Claire Lehmann admitted in her reference to the "Overton Window."

A stooge like James Lindsay, who claims to be a leftist while voting for Trump is a prime example of that IDW rat-fucking strategy.

Currently Bari Weiss' pinned Tweet is promoting a variation on the same IDW strategy, suggesting that American liberalism is a dangerous ideology now.

She's worried about the Jews, but she doesn't seem to be at all worried about the fact that leading IDW intellectual James Lindsay has a business partnership with a Christian nationalist kook like Michael O'Fallon, nor that he is cozy with neo-Nazi Richard Spencer.

It's striking how supportive these IDW-connected people are of each other, refusing to criticize each other for anything. It's almost as if they are all working for the same bosses and the bosses wouldn't like to see signs of disharmony among the employees. 

The possibility that the IDW gang are getting paid by a group of rightwing plutocrats would go a long way towards explaining the disconnect between what they say they care about and what they actually care about, well-illustrated by this Twitter thread.

As Jamison Foser points out, the people who signed onto the Harpers letter seem far more concerned about the well-known and well-paid being criticized for their right-wing opinions than the Trump administration's abuses of power. Bari Weiss seems perfectly comfortable that her pal James Lindsay is an outspoken Trump supporter.

It seems that anything goes in the IDW world as long as someone hates the 1619 project and "critical race theory" as James Lindsay does. 

Here he is demonstrating once again how to have difficult conversations through civility.

The IDW gang, although dominated by white conservatives, does have Black associates, whose primary focus is to attack the work of other Black people. Coleman Hughes, Quillette author who also works for the Koch-funded City Journal is a leading example

Here is a City Journal piece from yesterday, promoting Charles Koch's thoughts on "solving America's social problems."

Fourteen percent of the people who signed the Harpers letter had Koch connections and the initiator of the Harpers letter, Bari Weiss' friend Thomas Chatterton Williams, (the "self-expelled guy,") was given a job at the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute some months after the Harpers letter was published.

Thanks to Bari Weiss retweeting James Lindsay, I discovered another Black Quillette author,  Chloe Valdry, being promoted by Weiss as providing an alternative antiracism to DiAngeloism.

I'm a long-time critic of Robin DiAngelo & White Fragility, but I doubt that an antiracism campaign created by someone aligned with the race science-promoting Quillette is a significantly better alternative. Valdary's IDW connections indicate she is unlikely to have any problems with "racial essentialism" - or at least not enough to cut her connections to the IDW & Quillette.

Valdary runs a project called Theory of Enchantment and there is no information on its site as to where Valdary gets her funding. I have a few theories about that.

So why doesn't Bari Weiss criticize James Lindsay for supporting Trump, or for being friendly with Richard Spencer or for going into business with Michael O'Fallon? Why are Coleman Hughes and Chloe S. Valdary unconcerned that Quillette and the IDW promote race science

The answer as always is likely wingnut welfare. As Krugman said:

Wingnut welfare is an important, underrated feature of the modern U.S. political scene. I don’t know who came up with the term, but anyone who follows right-wing careers knows whereof I speak: the lavishly-funded ecosystem of billionaire-financed think tanks, media outlets, and so on provides a comfortable cushion for politicians and pundits who tell such people what they want to hear. Lose an election, make economic forecasts that turn out laughably wrong, whatever — no matter, there’s always a fallback job available.

The plutocrats who fund wingnut welfare are keenly interested in swaying pubic opinion, as we see with Charles Koch sharing his thoughts on "solving America's social problems." And they have access to incredible amounts of money. Why wouldn't they use it to buy people to support their right-wing causes? And they don't even care if the people they buy are smart - James Lindsay is a manifestly stupid oaf. But he had a success in the conservative world with his laughable hoax grift - for which he was paid although he refuses to say who paid him. Plutocrats don't care if Lindsay is a fool - he is willing to spend hours online promoting their interests which are then retweeted by the higher-profile Bari Weiss or praised by Steven Pinker.

And if we look at the things James Lindsay says online, when he isn't insulting those who question him or disagree with him, it's clear that one of the things his bosses care about most is erasing Black history in order to promote the notion that Black people are innately less intelligent and their failure to thrive, post-Emancipation is the fault of their own bad genes.

Bari Weiss' pal Andrew Sullivan is well-known for that very thing, from promoting the Bell Curve to his attacks on the 1619 project.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

James Lindsay and Your Mom

UPDATE: thanks to James Lindsay for sending all his followers my way. 

This isn't the first time I've written about what a grifting, hypocritical oaf Lindsay is. Enjoy.

Ever since Bari Weiss introduced her pals the Intellectual Dark Web to the world in May, 2018, the IDW like to congratulate each other for how civil they all are.

But far from being exemplars of reason and civility, the IDW and their friends are often not just uncivil, but outright vicious on social media, as when Claire Lehmann, Cathy Young and Christina Hoff Sommers attacked a writer for fiction they felt was too disrespectful of a male character, or when  Christina Hoff Sommers retweeted Camille Paglia calling Lena Dunham a "pile of pudding" or the time Michael Shermer called a critic of Steven Pinker a "cockroach" or recently when Quillette's managing editor Colin Wright claimed I was "demonstrably insane" for presenting evidence for facts he didn't want to know about.

But the most shameless, most blatant hypocrite in the crowded field of IDW shamelessness is James Lindsay, author of a book, with Peter Boghossian called "How to Have Impossible Conversations a Very Practical Guide" which stresses the importance of civility in public discourse.

So how does James Lindsay, in his public persona on social media, demonstrate the lessons he presumes to teach others? With oafish and extreme incivility.

One of his favorite responses to critics is to mindlessly repeat some variation on "your mom."


That's 23 so far.

In case you have't guessed by his witty repartee, James Lindsay is a leading "intellectual" of the Intellectual Dark Web, praised by IDW race science promoters like Steven Pinker, Jerry Coyne and Andrew Sullivan.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Gretchen Mullen, Colin Wright and Vladimir Putin

The IDW branch of race pseudo-science is so frequently triggered by information presented in graphic format that I have an ongoing series about it here at Pinkerite.

First it was The graphophobia present in Steven Pinker's fan base

Next, Pinkerite graphophobia: meet Colin Wright and Lee Jussim

Then More weirdness from Pinkerites

Next The IDW v Big Data

Then Bret Weinstein targets Rebecca Lewis

A few months ago Steven Pinker and his fan boys.

Steven Pinker's supporters on Twitter, who in my experience are mostly right-wingers, hate my infographic (and accompanying text) entitled Steven Pinker's right-wing, alt-right and hereditarian connections with an atavistic hysteria.

And now this latest incident. 

Recently I happened to stumble on a Twitter account called Skeptic Review, who, about a week earlier, expressed derision for my Pinker infographic, seconded by Quillette's managing editor Colin Wright - the second time he's been noted here as a graph-o-phobe. 

You can see Wright's Linked-In profile here. His boss, Quillette founding editor Claire Lehmann also has a Linked-In profile and I was fascinated to see that while she's been founding and running Quillette she's simultaneously been a public relations consultant for Vendorable.

But back to the graph-o-phobia. No matter how many times I've asked Pinker defenders to tell me which part of my diagram is inaccurate, the only thing I can get out of them is insults. 

Colin Wright's comment about my work was predictably stupid and in bad faith. He complains that I didn't explicitly make a line between twin brothers of race science, Quillette's own staff member and blatant racist Bo Winegard, and his brother Ben. 

Besides the fact that they are obviously related - Winegard is not a very common name - and they are right on top of each other and there's not really any room to put a line without it looking weird, I explained at the bottom of the diagram: 

Please note: in an effort to keep the diagram readable I sacrificed completeness. For example: Richard Lynn has also appeared in a Stefan Molyneux video.

I didn't know much about Skeptic Review (the account sometimes goes by the name of Gretchen Mullen) so I checked out its web site and there I found something even weirder than Gretchen Mullen's and Colin Wright's phobia about infographics: Skeptic Review has on several occasions posted North Korean and Russian propaganda, sans comment. 

There doesn't seem to be any connection to skepticism in these posts. Gretchen Mullen, or whoever, apparently just decided to randomly share the propaganda of dictatorships. 

The best one is probably this glorification of Putin as a manly and deeply religious man

Apparently "skeptic" means something different in Gretchen Mullen's world.

Predictably, when I asked Mullen and Wright to explain why a self-proclaimed "all things skeptic" site would publish such things, they hurled insults.

Once again the issue wasn't that I had said something inaccurate - I shared links to the Skeptic Review, which was irrefutable evidence. It seems that Wright is appalled and outraged that someone would point out inconvenient facts.

I've made a big deal about what an absolutely shameless hypocrite James Lindsay is, piously mooing about civility and difficult conversations while being a gigantic asshole on Twitter.

It's not a coincidence: lecturing others about civility and reason while demonstrating the exact opposite, without any apparent awareness or shame, is absolutely on-brand for the IDW/Quillette gang.

Or as IDW stooge Ayaan Hirsi Ali proclaimed of the recently-published Quillette self-congratulation fest:
These authors are living, breathing examples of how to fight for Enlightenment values and how to do it with dignity and civility. --Ayaan Hirsi Ali

And before I forget to mention it - although Colin Wright claims to be a liberal and others claim he's a Trump critic, when it comes to race, Wright and Trump are on the exact same page.


Friday, December 11, 2020

From the metro-lib-elite desk of Stewart Lee - October 2020

There is a lot of older Stewart Lee content online, but good luck to you if you want even the tiniest snippet of a preview of his current show Snowflake/Tornado at the present time on hiatus due to Covid.

There is not a scrap of Snowflake/Tornado content to be found.

It's frustrating since, tantalizingly, Lee keeps posting insults aimed at him by British Quillette editor Toby Young in his publicity

The latest is “Ghastly, puritanical, po-faced, sanctimonious, finger-wagging, Woke-Witchfinder-in-Chief” Toby Young, Twitter - which I took the trouble of finding on Twitter and posting here.

I was hoping if I followed the link Young offered, the guy in Breitbart attacking Lee would mention bits from Snowflake/Tornado if only to slam them but instead all he did was criticize Lee's Guardian column.

And it's clear from James Delingpole's piece that he's never seen Stewart Lee's standup:

Lee’s is the perfect example of the type of comedy which is not designed to provoke laughter so much as solemn head-nodding and applause at the politically correct sentiment. “Brexit, Orange Man bad. etc” *clap clap clap*.”

I love when Lee does political bits but I'd say that's only 20% of his body of work, and even when he does political bits, he has his own unique surrealist take. For instance his references to Margaret Thatcher's England in the context of a Scooby Doo cartoon.

It's available on the Internet, but I expect that Delingpole, like his race-mongering Quillette pal Toby Young, is just too lazy to do any research, and Breitbart's literary standards certainly don't require research.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Reading recommendation: Byline Times

I already like the article in Byline Times called Alt-Right Pseudoscience 'Free Speech' & Scientific Racism by Nafeez Ahmed.

And then I saw where they linked to Pinkerite (highlighted):

In 2016, Quillette published an article by eugenicist and incoming Boris Johnson aide, Andrew Sabisky, who had been hired by former No. 10 chief advisor Dominic Cummings. In his piece, Sabiski – who believes black people are genetically predisposed to have lower IQs – lamented “the white death”, which “sits on a throne of ethnic diversity” and is driven by globalisation and mass immigration. 
Lehmann has also interacted favourably online with the Dutch far-right eugenicist Emil Kirkegaard. 
Claire Lehmann did not respond to Byline Times‘ request for comment.
Numerous Quillette contributors also sit on Young’s FSU advisory council or board including Lee Jussim, who defended the famous Google memo attacking gender diversity; the HJS anti-Black Lives Matter contributor Konstantin Kisin; ex-HJS director Douglas Murray; classicist Jaspreet Singh Boparai; IQ researcher James Flynn; and CEO of Koch-funded campus ‘free speech’ lobby Pamela Paresky.
Quillette’s output on race is eagerly sought after by white supremacist groups, with its articles regularly republished by American Renaissance, the far-right platform funded by the neo-Nazi Pioneer Fund – whose scientists and research Quillette editor Toby Young staunchly defends.

And that's a passel of Quillette/IDWs in this article: Douglas Murray, Toby Young, Claire Lehmann, plus mentions of Lee Jussim and Linda Gottfredson.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

More free speech grifting from Claire Lehmann - Jerry Coyne approves

The sitting president of the United States is still trying to nullify the US presidential election and record-setting numbers of people are dying of Covid 19

But in the far-right world of the Intellectual Dark Web the biggest threat to life and to democracy is occasional random nonsense from college kids. One of the IDW bosses, Claire Lehmann, founder of the racist-employing Quillette lists the world-shattering atrocities in the Weekend Australian:
It has been five years since a group of Yale students were filmed verbally abusing a professor in a quadrangle over his lack of willingness to police Halloween costumes. It has been four years since it was reported that students at Cornell University held a mass “cry-in” in response to Trump’s surprise election win. It has been three years since students took over Evergreen State College, effectively holding staff hostage. Just this week, my colleague Jon Kay broke the story of another campus meltdown, this time at Haverford — a wealthy private college near Philadelphia — in which students protesting against racism joked about killing the ­college president’s dog.
Four incidents. Lehmann treasures each and every incident of a few dozen random college students acting like asses. Or as Mari Uyehara said in her important piece in GQ Free Speech Grifters - one of the most important articles for understanding the plutocrat-funded Intellectual Dark Web:

hyperbolic charges familiar to anyone who has spent time on a college campus

After at least five years of this strategy, Lehmann and friends are experts at making mountains out of molehills, cooking up a Marxist-Leninist-Muslim-feminist-Black Lives Matter "woke" apocalypse out of a few feeble ingredients.

You can imagine the Quillette gang were beside themselves with joy when, once again, random unnamed nobodies were reported:
...when Penguin Random House Canada published Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos in 2018. But instead of popping the champagne at the prospect of publishing the follow-up, it was reported last week that dozens of staff had lodged official complaints when they learned they would be publishing the ­sequel, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life. According to reports, a “teary” meeting was convened where staff expressed their concerns about Peterson, claiming he was a far-right figure who had radicalised people and whose views harmed LGBTQ and “non-­binary” individuals.
There has never been any evidence provided other than hear-say, to support the claims that this happened. 

But even if it did happen, so what? A bunch of people cried? That's the best that soulless grifting stooge Claire Lehmann can do now? Trying to build a big scary woke threat on the basis of a few people crying and complaining?

But when you are utterly shameless and stupid, like Claire Lehmann, that's what you do for a living.

I see that Quillette is now being demonized by many Leftists as some sort of “alt-right” or conservative website. And although some of their articles are indeed too Right-wing for me, most of the articles seem to be doing what I do—calling out the excesses of the Left, the same excesses that, I suspect, held back the predicted Blue Wave in November’s election. Further, it’s not a good idea to denigrate an entire website as a way of avoiding—or urging others to avoid—reading anything published there. Regardless of what you see as Quillette‘s overall ideology, you will benefit from reading some of its pieces, if for no other reason than some of the follies of the Left, which threaten a liberal government, simply can’t be found in mainstream media.
First, note that Coyne is too big a chicken-shit coward to provide names of the "many Leftists" accurately calling Quillette an alt-right or conservative web site. Hm, more claims against the anonymous, does anybody see a pattern with the IDW and its friends here?

I haven't seen evidence that it bothers Coyne that James Lindsay, who, Coyne was finally forced to admit is a hard-core Trump supporter, is working with right-wing religious extremists like Michael O'Fallon and intelligent design-promoter Christian Rufo. Or cozies up to neo-Nazi Richard Spencer.

No, the bad guys are always anonymous college students and anonymous Leftists. I bet those scoundrels use words like "tone deaf" and enjoy listening to that "jazz" too.

Although believe it or not, Coyne's latest op-ed on Quillette might actually represent a gradual awakening by Coyne. For it wasn't too long ago that he claimed that articles in Quillette were "generally left-wing"!

The real question about Jerry Coyne is whether he's a grifter too, getting money from plutocrats like the rest of the gang he admires so much, or just the most gullible mark the grifters ever had.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Thomas Chatterton Williams agrees to accept wingnut welfare

Pinkerite noted the high number of Reason magazine contributors associated with the Thomas Chatterton Williams-led Harper's letter, back in July.

So this latest news is not surprising:

Author and journalist Thomas Chatterton Williams joins the American Enterprise Institute

I think it's likely that the Harper's letter was Williams' audition, to show he was sufficiently on board the free speech grift, to be worthy of a post at AEI.

Reason magazine, like the American Enterprise Institute, is heavily funded by Charles Koch. 

Williams is now part of the wingnut welfare system, AEI division, along with IDWs Charles Murray and Christina Hoff Sommers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Kudos Ezra Klein

Pinkerite has been a fan of Ezra Klein since Klein read Sam Harris the riot act on race science and its efforts to erase Black American history.

So I was glad to learn, via Krugman that Klein will now be a columnist at the New York Times:

Ezra Klein Joins Times Opinion as Columnist and Podcast Host

We’re delighted to announce that Ezra Klein will become Opinion’s newest columnist and podcast host. 
Most of you already know Ezra’s work through podcasts, blogs, Vox, books and video. He helped set the standard for modern explanatory journalism early in his career, and he’s been able to do it through virtually every medium.

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