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PZ Myers dissects evolutionary psychology: brief, sharp and fabulous

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The Brian Ferguson Interview

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Another Steven Pinker - Razib Khan love fest

Racemonger Razib Khan, like professional racist Steve Sailer, has benefitted by having his career promoted by Steven Pinker. 

But unlike with Sailer, whom Pinker has refused to mention since about 2011, Pinker is not afraid to be linked in public to Razib Khan, which is why he granted Khan an interview to promote his book Rationality. Khan first interviewed Pinker in 2006.

Khan recently wrote a review of Charles Murray's book "Facing Reality," in which Khan agreed with Murray that we need to "connect the dots" about Black Americans or face "disaster." It was published in Quillette, which is probably why almost nobody outside of other racemongers has read it, but it's still a blatantly racist and menacing thing to say and nobody besides me seems to have written about it. 

Instead, people with establishment media platforms keep on promoting Khan, people like Noah Smith,  Lindsay Beyerstein and Julia Ioffe and most recently the New York Time's Nathaniel Popper.

I asked Popper via tweet and direct message if he agreed with Khan about the incipient disaster of refusing to accept the "reality" about Black people, but Popper refused to respond. I was blocked by Beyerstein and Smith on Twitter, and ignored by Ioffe. Their refusal to acknowledge the awfulness of Khan's lucrative racemongering career opens the question of whether Smith, Beyerstein, Ioffe and Popper either didn't know about Khan's racemongering career (very unlikely in Beyerstein's case); don't care that he's a racemonger and want to play nice with Khan in case he can benefit their career somehow; or agree with him, but don't want to admit it. 

And now there is the Albany Public Library.

I hadn't listened to the Pinker/Khan interview because as far as I knew it was only available via Khan's substack behind a paywall and I was not about to help support Khan's career. 

But while doing various Google searches recently I came across the interview available for free, and even better, because both Pinker's and Khan's voices get on my nerves, a transcript.

Pinker and Khan avoid politics for much of the interview, but they couldn't help themselves for long and eventually bemoan the fact that their evolutionary psychology and racemongering crackpottery is being called to account now, far more than it was when Pinker published his very political "The Blank Slate" in 2002:

Yeah, it's interesting that a number of the Catholic abuses of the scientific and public intellectual reasoning arena that I documented in "The Blank Slate" in '02 all of the elements of what we now call cancel culture, there were there were threads of it then going back even to the 70s in the reaction to E.O Wilson's, sociobiology But it has, it has exploded, you say the last 10 years, we've probably even more so in the last five years and still more so in the last two years, I think. After, I think a period following "The Blank Slate" in which there was a bit of a window, but it has, I think it has gone in the other direction certainly with with the whole set of movements that are sometimes called critical social justice and wokeism, it has taken a... an extreme form the denial of human nature, particularly when it comes to sex differences. And it is... I did luck out with that Nation review. Because, as I explained in a chapter at "The Blank Slate", there is a kind of historical alignment between the left and the blank slate and the right and somewhat dark vision of human nature. Although I pointed to a number of counter examples, even back then, like Peter Singers book a "Darwinian Left", like Noam Chomsky, like some of the behavioral economists, who use research on human nature as a justification for interventions in the economy. But the that alignment has, has reasserted itself, and a lot of the canceled culture that existed prior to '02 has really exploded since.

Of course social media was virtually non-existent outside of discussion boards in 2002. Pinker and Khan wish for the days when they could promote their pseudoscience-justified political beliefs with very little pushback. Blogger, which I use for Pinkerite.com was created in 1999, but didn't start to become big until Google bought it in 2003. Facebook was founded in 2004 and Twitter in 2006.

Another important aspect of social media is that it reveals who Pinker and Khan really are, and gave a chance for Steve Sailer to testify what a big influence he is on Pinker's beliefs. This only happened because I had direct access to Sailer, via Twitter, at least until he blocked me.

But the really interesting aspect of this interview is how it begins:

"This podcast is brought to you by the Albany Public Library main branch the generosity of listeners like you..."

I have to look into that.