Featured Post

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!

The Brian Ferguson Interview

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Colbert on Dave Chappelle

Really good response by Steven Colbert to Dave Chappelle's jokes about transpeople.

Bonus points for the reference to My Dinner with Andre

Monday, November 22, 2021

Timothy B. Lee of Full Stack Economics and the career of Razib Khan

Who cares that Razib Khan stated publicly that
Black Americans are an existential threat?
Certainly not Timothy B. Lee of Full Stack Economics

I've noted here several people associated with establishment media who have recently promoted the
career of Razib Khan. Every time I've reached out to any of them to ask why they are promoting him, in spite of his infamous racist views, they refuse to respond.

So I'm not expecting a response from Timothy B. Lee of Full Stack Economics.

The hall of shame so far includes (in addition of course to Steven Pinker):

The issue as always remains: either they didn't know about Khan's racemongering career; don't care that he's a racemonger and hope he can benefit their career; or agree with him, but don't want to admit it. 

They clearly don't want to hear that Khan recently reviewed Charles Murray's latest book, in race pseudoscience-promoting Quillette, and agreed wholeheartedly with Murray:

...I had the pleasure and honor of becoming (Charles Murray's) friend. And rather like Murray, I am now the sort of public figure that certain types of people feel they have to publicly denounce in order to establish their own group bona fides.

Given this personal history, you might reasonably ask why I agreed to write about Murray’s latest book, Facing Reality: Two Truths about Race in America. The answer is simply that I am one of the few people willing to write about it. The book’s thesis is that American society faces disaster if it is not prepared to confront certain politically uncomfortable facts about race—Murray has described it as a cri de coeur. But the difficulty of finding someone willing to admit to even reading one of Murray’s books, let alone someone willing to review it, may doom the project before anyone turns the first page. After all, most of those willing to listen to Murray are already familiar with the data he presents here, and those who are unaware of the uncomfortable facts he wants us to confront would never admit to touching one of his books for fear of peer condemnation. 

But why read a book on this topic when you can discover these facts within a few minutes? Tables on SAT scores by race are available in the Journal of Blacks In Higher Education, which pointed out in 2005 that “whites were more than seven times as likely as blacks to score 700 or above on the verbal SAT.” Wikipedia, meanwhile, has an entry entitled “Race and Crime in the United States,” which plainly states that a bit over 50 percent of victims and offenders in homicides are African American. The same website tells us that African Americans are about 13 percent of America’s population. Would you also be surprised to face the reality that the perpetrators of homicides are overwhelmingly young and male as well? These dots are there for anyone to connect if they like.

And yet very few choose to do so. Indeed, the failure—refusal, even—to connect the dots has become a vaunted feature, not a bug, of 2021’s regnant culture. Acknowledging unambiguous patterns of this kind will often result in the rebuke that some beliefs are divine mysteries, to be accepted on faith rather than analyzed more deeply. Which is precisely why Murray wants to inject these taboo realities into the intellectual bloodstream of our society. Despite being a brisk read, Murray’s short book lays out all the inferences and conclusions that remain lacunae in our public discourse. Without these facts on the table, the contemporary American debate has had to rely upon the ether of social science and nebulous theoretical explanations of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy.” 

Khan is stating that Black crime has nothing to do with systemic racism and white supremacy but rather, since social circumstances don't count, the problem with Black Americans is their own genetic inferiority.

It is for this reason that Khan is so hostile to American history - so much so he believes the only way to truly understand our present situation is to "remove all the history." 

Khan, writing for the Koch-funded City Journal in March of this year:

To realize these possibilities, Americans need to look up from their own concerns and shed the dead weight of their history. 

Although in that same article, written before his July 2021 denial of the existence of white supremacy in Quillette, Khan wrote:

American history is riven with white supremacy, but more than half of children born today in America are not white.

So which is it? White supremacy or "white supremacy"? Apparently in addition to being a racemonger and a bad writer Khan also utterly lacks integrity and changes his position depending on his audience. This reminds me of Khan's first mainstream champion, Steven Pinker.

Is this what we're going to do now? Mainstream people with repugnant, pseudoscientific and racist beliefs? And beliefs that are not in the distant past - but clearly expressed just a few months ago.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Perjurer & racist Emil O W Kirkegaard comes for me

Recently I got a heads-up from someone on Twitter that Emil O W Kirkegaard was lying about me - on the same issue that Razib Khan lied about me - some anonymous rando Twitter account. I caught Razib Khan promoting that lie a couple of weeks ago.

Kirkegaard appears to have a team of anonymous Twitter randos who attack on his behalf. In the image above a rando named "Trevor Sutcliffe" provides his crackpot theory on how I was involved in the anonymous Twitter account. Then Kirkegaard encourages him to write up his "findings" which Kirkegaard can then share. 

It was no surprise that Kirkegaard calls me a "catlady" - misogyny usually goes along with racism.

Emil Kirkegaard is such a big liar, he even committed perjury, as documented by Oliver Smith in his court case with Kirkegaarrd:

Emil Kirkegaard committed perjury

Kirkegaard is not only in contempt of court for breaching costs order(s) but lying to the High Court were he lives (he committed perjury by falsely claiming he lives at a different address and seems to have given a dubious description of his employment). I raised this with my solicitor, only to learn Kirkegaard’s own solicitor dropped him; not a surprise, given his bad conduct and dishonesty. In the last few months of litigation – Kirkegaard was pro se and he refused to respond to any emails (sent by my solicitor and the court). Kirkegaard’s alma mater also criticised him for making untrue claims about himself, so he has a history of lying (even his colleagues have described him “extremely dishonest”).

Emil Kirkegaard, who edits frequently under the username Deleet, is a research fellow at Richard Lynn’s Ulster Institute for Social research and the co-founder of the online pseudojournal OpenPsych.
Meanwhile, Encyclopedia Dramatica accuses Kirkegaard of defending pedophilia.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Pinkerite's 3rd anniversary

It's November 17, Pinkerite's third anniversary, and quite a few things have happened since the second anniversary, in the world of Steven Pinker, the Intellectual Dark Web and Race Science.

And coincidentally tomorrow, November 18 is the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the great Satan of the Intellectual Dark Web. Pinkerite has referenced the SPLC on many occasions. Consider donating to this worthy organization. Pinkerite donates automatically each month out of gratitude for all the information SPLC provides about racists and racemongers.

If the IDW hates SPLC, they must be doing something right!

Some noteworthy items from the past year:
    • At that point, many in the group became suspicious of a fellow protester, who was wearing tinted oversized ski goggles, a mask that obscured his face, black clothing and a Black Lives Matter flag worn as a cloak. Protesters said the man was attending the demonstration alone and did not respond to questions.
  • I was attacked by grifter Peter Boghossian for criticizing Pinker, which Boghossian apparently believes is inappropriate because Pinker is far more becited than me.
    • And then out of the blue, traditional gender roles entrepreneur Evan Marc Katz, who I last criticized way back in 2017 on my personal blog, jumped on board the Boghossian thread to attack me.
  • The University of Austin - associated by some with the Intellectual Dark Web was announced. Steven Pinker was initially part of the project but then quickly dropped out.

Top posts for year 3:

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Racist or racemonger?

Pinker believes "race"
classifications are biological,
not "social constructions."

Although both racists and racemongers share a (scientifically invalid) belief in biological "races," there are some differences between a racemonger and a racist. 

I classify all promoters of race pseudoscience as racemongers. That includes many Quillette authors including Steve Pinker and members of the Intellectual Dark Web like Sam Harris.

They either claim outright that there is something different and inferior or superior about one or more "biological" races, or, in cases like Pinker, they support the careers of those who do, while making race pseudoscience-friendly statements.

Steve Sailer, Quillette author Bo Winegard and Charles Murray are also racemongers. Sailer and Murray have built their careers on racemongering. Bo Winegard seems headed in that direction. 

But Winegard, Murray and Sailer are also racists. 

Racemongers generally defend their race beliefs on the grounds that those beliefs are based on science. 

Now the fact that their "science" is garbage, based on various combinations of careless categorizations, badly-done studies (some funded by hardcore racists) and 18th century beliefs doesn't matter. They cling to the claim that theirs is a science-based opinion.

But every now and then they slip up.

In his defense of The Bell Curve, for the American Enterprise Institute, Charles Murray wrote:

I will focus on two sorts of differences: between men and women and between blacks and whites. Here are three crucial points to keep in mind as we go along:
The differences I discuss involve means and distributions. In all cases, the variation within groups is greater than the variation between groups. On psychological and cognitive dimensions, some members of both sexes and all races fall everywhere along the range. One implication of this is that genius does not come in one color or sex, and neither does any other human ability. Another is that a few minutes of conversation with individuals you meet will tell you much more about them than their group membership does.
That was in 2005. More recently, Murray contradicted that statement in a tweet, suggesting that it is appropriate - "economically rational" - to judge an individual's potential based on the individual's race.

Charles Murray is a racist, and probably has been ever since he was a cross-burning teenager

Steve Sailer has been revealing himself as a racist for decades. One of the more recent, blatant examples is when he implied that the exonerated "Central Park Five" accused of a crime that occurred in 1989, were guilty by comparing them to a non-white teenager accused of murder in Central Park in 2019. The two assaults occurred 30 years apart. Sailer's "logic" is classic racism: all those people are the same. If one of them commits murder it proves that they are all murderers.

But since Charles Murray is also a racist, the racism of Steve Sailer bothers him not at all.

Murray is such a racist now that even Andrew Sullivan backed away from him, in the recent 60 Minutes interview, although Sullivan was promoting Murray as recently as May 2021.

 As Variety's Daniel D'Addario notes, Sullivan was treated deferentially on the issue. And I would add, almost as deferentially as Steven Pinker is treated by the establishment media (with rare exceptions.)
Sullivan’s musings, by contrast, lack a clear reason to be broadcast at this particular moment and deserve to be placed within context — something Pelley seems fundamentally uninterested in doing.

To wit: Pelley comes close to asking a tough question about Sullivan’s tin ear (at best) on race, noting the incident when, as then-editor of The New Republic, Sullivan published an excerpt of a book asserting genetic deficits in IQ among Black people. Pelley notes, though, that Sullivan published rebuttals, “but he’s criticized for airing the debate at all.”

Well, yes: Lending the institutional voice of a prestigious publication to a racist crackpot theory and then letting others write in to contest it is worthy of criticism. With an interviewer like Pelley, though, Sullivan barely needs defenders: Sullivan’s eventual admission that the “harm outweighs the good” of the “Bell Curve” publication “doesn’t mean he’s giving up on debate,” Pelley tells us. He then recites Sullivan’s claims that newsrooms “pander to the left and right and are intimidated by political correctness.”
I think it's likely that Sullivan is a racist. I haven't seen anything as clear-cut as in the cases of Winegard, Murray and Sailer, but until this 60 Minutes interview he has been a dedicated racemonger.

I've been debating with myself for awhile whether or not Razib Khan is a racist rather than just a racemonger. He's certainly built his career on racemongering, and lately I've been leaning towards putting him in the racist category, since he agreed with racist Charles Murray that we need to "connect the dots" about Black Americans or "face disaster." It's apparent that Khan wants to promote the notion that Black Americans as a group are a serious threat and something needs to be done about that - unless you know, you're OK with disaster. 

That's about as racist as you can get.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Michael Shermer and Equalitarianism and the Citizens' Councils

Last time I wrote about Quillette author Michael Shermer it was to note his agreement with Quillette author Nathan Cofnas on the issue of "genetic diversity." 

Lately I've found that Michael Shermer is in agreement with racist Bo Winegard on the issue of the term "equalitarian." Both believe it would be a good term to use against those who oppose and criticize race pseudoscience and racism - the ideological enemies of Shermer and Winegard.

Shermer cites Thomas Sowell, a rightwing economist. From a Washington Post review of a book by Sowell:

Sowell’s central message is that the reason some people are poor — in any country, at any period in history — is not discrimination or exploitation or malicious actions on the part of the rich. Rather, people are poor because they don’t or won’t produce. For him, the only mystery is why.

Michael Shermer and his friends are ready to supply the answer to the mystery, via pseudoscience: they believe poor people have genes that make them poor. 

This belief isn't new of course, racist Charles Murray has made a career out of that belief since at least The Bell Curve. 

The term equalitarian is not new either. It was a favorite term of segregationist Carlton Putnam as noted by Neil R. McMillen in The Citizen’s Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction:

Setting forth his ethnological assumption in an influential and widely circulated book, Race and Reason (1961), Putnam asserted that one need not have advanced scientific training to dispute theories of racial equalitarianism: “Any man with two eyes in his head can observe a Negro settlement in the Congo… can compare this settlement with London or Paris, and can draw his own conclusions regarding relative levels of character and intelligence…” That so few informed Americans saw things so clearly was compelling proof to Putnam that the nation had been victimized by a “pseudo-scientific hoax” popularized by such early exponents of racial equipotentiality as Franz Boas and several subsequent generations of like-minded anthropologists more devoted to “the demo-goddess of Equalitarianism” than to “the Goddess of Truth.”

Putnam's pro-segregation pamphlet "High Court's Arrogance is Viewed by Northerner" was published by the Educational Fund of the Citizens' Councils of Greenwood, Mississippi.

If you do a search for "equalitarian" you can see how popular the term is with racists:

  • The Equalitarian Dogma by HE Garrett · 1961 · 
  • The equalitarian dogma revisited by JP Rushton · 1994  
  • (PDF) Equalitarianism: A Source of Liberal Bias by Bo Winegard, Cory Clark, Connor Hasty, Roy Baumeister - Oct 30, 2020 
  • "Equalitarianism" and Progressive Bias - Quillette by Bo Winegard 2018
Garrett was a segregationist and briefly a director of The Pioneer Fund. J. P. Rushton was an infamous racist and racemonger.

Rushton's "The equalitarian dogma, revisited," is a defense of Garrett's "The Equalitarian Dogma."

Rushton is listed as a reference in "Equalitarianism: A Source of Liberal Bias" by Winegard, Clark, Hasty and Baumeister.

I don't believe any of these authors are ignorant of the use of "equalitarianism" by segregationists, racists and racemongers. I think that, more likely, this attempt to revive the term "equalitarian" by Shermer, Winegard, Clark, Hasty and Baumeister is a knowing homage to 20th century racists, and perhaps a dogwhistle to other promoters of race pseudoscience.

Cory Clark is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and co-author with Bo Winegard of this retracted paper; Connor Hasty is a professor at Florida State University; and Roy Baumeister was associated with Winegard at Florida State University and is now Emeritus professor at the University of Queensland.

Putnam's Wikipedia entry includes these passages from his book "Race and Reason: A Yankee View": 
In the next 500,000,000,000 years I would be quite prepared to concede the possibility the Negro may, through normal processes of mutation and natural selection within his own race, eventually overtake and even surpass the white race. [...] When the Negro has bred out his limitations over hundreds, or thousands, of years, it will be time enough to consider absorbing him in any such massive doses as would be involved in the South today.[6]: 53 

The mulatto who was bent on making the nation mulatto was the real danger. His alliance with the white equalitarian often combined men who had nothing in common save a belief that they had a grudge against society. They regarded every Southerner who sensed the genetic truth as a bigot [...]. Here were the men who needed to be reminded of the debt the Negro owed to white civilization.[6]: 117 

Contemporary racemongers must be so jealous of Putnam, who could get away with such blatant public racism and still have a career in business, serving as chief executive officer of Delta Airlines after he published his racist swill.

Winegard's career seems to be wholly supported by the racist wingnut welfare system via Quillette, but Shermer still has Skeptic magazine. I can only assume Skeptic is supported by racists and idiots who either don't know Shermer is a racist, or don't care.

Fun fact: Ruby Bridges, whose quest for desegregated education was supported by the "equalitarians" so hated by Shermer, Putnam, Garrett, Rushton, Clark, Hasty, Baumeister and Winegard, is 67 years old. The same age as Steven Pinker (within 10 days) and Michael Shermer (same birthday) and one year younger than Roy Baumeister.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

When the IDW comes after you

Lehmann claimed, without evidence,
that Ngo was the victim of a chemical attack.
There was no chemical attack.

Quillette was identified by Bari Weiss, in her NYTimes article as "the publication most associated with (the IDW)."

In spite of claims that can be found online that Andy Ngo was fired by Quillette, he is in fact still listed as a "contributing writer" at Quillette.

As Buzzfeed News wrote:

He’s whittled his themes down to a brutally efficient, social media- and Fox News–friendly trio: Hate crimes are hoaxes, anti-fascists are the real fascists, and liberals are naive about Islam, which is violent. And he now edits part time for Quillette, the so-called heterodox publication that has staked out a position as a home for centrist journalists and academics disgruntled about left-wing activism and woke culture. It gives him an easy way to defeat charges that he’s a right-wing activist.

Ngo also had connections to the Trump administration, and Ngo's relentless attempts to demonize the rag-tag group of unorganized anonymous leftists, Antifa, was so popular with the Trump administration that at one point during the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Trump claimed the attackers were Antifa.

So I was very interested to see an article in The Intercept, A Right-Wing Brawler Asked a Court to Protect Him From an Antifascist’s Tweets

It seems that rightwing extremists went after an activist who had volunteered to investigate far-right groups:

LODER FIRST BECAME alarmed while working as a consultant for tech companies that wanted to keep their sites clear of hate speech and messages that promote violence; they realized that social media platforms were not doing enough to keep extremists “from fundraising and recruiting and spreading their hateful messages.” Paying attention to what was on those platforms during Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and in the lead-up to the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Loder said, felt like “pointing at an oncoming freight train, and then just watching it happen.” 
So, working on weekends, Loder started to tackle the problem as a volunteer, watching hours of footage from right-wing social media feeds and trying to identify groups that might be using political rallies as “grass to hide in, to recruit and carry out violent acts.” 
Loder has tried to prod social networks into taking action against users who threaten violence. In 2019, Loder set up searches to collect death threats directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar, after then-President Donald Trump tweeted a video that distorted her comments on the 9/11 attacks alongside images of the World Trade Center in flames. Loder then urged other users to mass-report those tweets to press Twitter to enforce its rules and remove them.

The article reports on Andy Ngo's connection: 

In July, Loder helped identify  far-right activist Aaron Simmons as the masked attacker who clubbed an independent filmmaker in the head during an anti-trans protest in Los Angeles. (That attack had been wrongly blamed on antifascists after video of the assault was tweeted with a misleading caption by Andy Ngo, a far-right commentator.) Simmons was subsequently arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon for the attack on the filmmaker (Simmons had menaced Loder outside the Torrence courthouse in September)...

Ngo was identified as a "free speech grifter" in 2018 along with a named member of the IDW, Christina Hoff Sommers. But of course free speech only goes one way with grifters:

In the meantime, Loder has also repulsed two recent legal complaints from lawyers working for Andy Ngo. The first was a copyright complaint over a photograph Loder tweeted of Ngo posing in front of fascist graffiti in Poland. The second was a cease-and-desist letter concerning Loder’s role in a Twitter campaign to shame companies into pulling their ads from the Canadian website Ngo writes for, The Post Millennial.

Loder scoffs at Ngo’s complaint that putting pressure on the site’s advertisers is a form of censorship. “I’m not censoring you,” Loder said they would tell Ngo. “But I am showing advertisers what your site looks like and what’s on there, and they’re dropping you.”

Thanks to Quillette and other rightwing media, Ngo was classified as a "journalist" for a time, but soon news outlets discovered that Ngo was very much a partisan:
Nowhere was this demonstrated more quickly than in the case of the meteoric rise and equally rapid fall of Andy Ngo, the provocateur and social media personality who garnered nationwide sympathy last June, when he tweeted that he was attacked by antifascist protesters at a Proud Boys rally. Last week, the local newspaper the Portland Mercury reported that a left-wing activist going undercover as a member of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group known for promoting and engaging in violent clashes with leftist activists, had given the publication an 18-minute video that included footage of Ngo with a group of Patriot Prayer members as the members discuss an upcoming brawl, including weaponry to be used in altercations with antifa. Ngo, who describes himself as a journalist, did not record the conversation, and does not appear to have his camera or notebook out. For part of the footage, he is seen on his phone.
It should be mentioned here that both Ngo and Proud Boys have shown up at public demonstrations disguised as Antifa and BLM supporters.

Luckily for Loder, California has a robust anti-SLAPP law:
Unfortunately for Kiefer, that is not how the law works. Thomas Burke, a lawyer who wrote a book on California’s anti-SLAPP statute, told me that it doesn’t matter at all if Loder is defined as an activist or a journalist. The law is designed to protect anyone whose free speech in a public forum or on a matter of public interest is threatened by a meritless lawsuit or injunction.... 
...As Burke explained, the original aim was to stop wealthy corporations from suing environmentalists or residents of an area who protested a company’s use of land but could not afford the legal fees to defend themselves from a libel suit. A later amendment added language saying that the statute “shall be construed broadly.” Since then, courts have ruled that anti-SLAPP protections apply to people who are providing information to the public, whether they are activists or journalists.

My work is different from Loder's: he focuses on the rightwing extremists themselves. I am less likely to be the target of violent threats, since I focus on the mainstream right-wingers who sometimes aid and abet extremists, and "celebrity intellectuals" like Steven Pinker, who, while he may not support Andy Ngo directly, seems to have no problem supporting Quillette, which helped legitimize Ngo's grift. Pinker even has a couple of bylines in Quillette.

Quillette also published Razib Khan's review of Charles Murray's latest book in which Khan agreed with Murray we need to "connect the dots" about Black Americans or "face disaster." That information is public, but few people outside the Quillette audience are aware of it. It's possible Khan considers my publicizing his menacing views of Black Americans as some kind of threat to his career.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

University of Austin: Clown Car of Intellectual Dark Web Dweebs

Some good responses to IDW University (University of Austin.)

The University of Austin or UATX, which is absolutely not to be confused with the University of Texas at Austin, a real school, aims to offer “forbidden courses” that will spark students to ask “provocative questions that often lead to censorship or self-censorship in many universities.” It boasts a bevy of headache-inducing personalities on its Board of Advisors, which consists largely of the type of people who have branded themselves as the last defenders of liberalism (against the tide of woke liberals).

Those personalities include Bari Weiss, a former New York Times opinion editor who has spent most of her professional energy yelping about left-wing Twitter mobs; conservative British historian Niall Ferguson, who left Stanford after leaked emails showed him encouraging campus Republicans to do “opposition research” on a left-wing student; former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who has somehow tried to make the “wokeness” of central bankers a culture-war issue; amateur race scientist and self-declared ethnic penis size expert Andrew Sullivan; scorched-earth culture warrior Sohrab Ahmari; and cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, an identity politics alarmist who is popular with the neoliberal crowd. One of its “founding faculty fellows” is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Hoover Institution scholar who believes Islam is inherently violent and has more recently begun parroting the line that “wokeism” is just like white supremacy.

Bari Weiss and Andrew Sullivan’s New University of Austin Is Already Getting Trump University Comparisons

Journalist Bari Weiss announced Monday that she and a team of likeminded colleagues plan to launch a university to counter America’s “broken” higher education system. It will be called the University of Austin, but it is already garnering comparisons to Trump University.

Bari Weiss Has a New Grift in the Unaccredited “University of Austin’s” “Forbidden Courses”

Professional cancel culture victim Bari Weiss introduced a new grift Monday, announcing that she and a number of other right-wing figures are founding “a new university dedicated to the fearless pursuit of truth.”

The new university is called The University of Austin and if you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait, isn’t there already a University of Austin?”, there is not. You’re thinking of the University of Texas at Austin. But also, this new university isn’t really a university at all, in that it’s not accredited, offers no degrees, and does not have a physical campus. It is seeking accreditation, but apparently it’s doing so from an accreditor that doesn’t operate in Texas.


A slew of conservative thinkers, ideologues and media personalities have signed on to the creation of a new alternative university in Austin, Texas, according to tweets and articles published by the newly-announced school's staff Monday morning.

Called the University of Austin, the college announced in a Monday video tweet its charter, objectives and a list of staff and supporters. Those associated with the new institution range from former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss to experimental psychologist and one-time Jeffrey Epstein associate Steven Pinker. 

The former New York Times opinion columnist Bari Weiss, known for her diatribes against “cancel culture,” announced on Monday that she is helping launch a new “university” that will be “dedicated to the fearless pursuit of truth.”

The somewhat vague mission statement suggests that the institution—called the University of Austin, or UATX—will be a home for those who have been shunned from “illiberal” college campuses.

“Four out of five American PhD students are willing to discriminate against right-leaning scholars,” griped UATX’s inaugural president, Pano Kanelos, in an essay announcing the new venture, which was posted to Weiss’ Substack newsletter.

Buried in the school’s FAQ section: it does not actually offer degrees, nor is it yet accredited.

Whatever it winds up being, though, the University of Austin promises to be an institution dedicated to litigating the same hoary “forbidden questions” about race and gender and The West that have been beguiling stupid people for generations, and to creating some institutional credibility around the small, wrong answers those people want those questions to have; it will be, as Sarah Jones put it, “a Bible college for libertarians.” Or anyway it might be, if it becomes something more than what it is now, which is nothing. If everything goes right for the University of Austin, this movement—dusty Koch Brothers cynicism re-skinned as a bold and dangerous exercise in intellectual insurgency—may someday have a diploma-granting institution dedicated to institutionalizing that grandiose and curdled worldview. If not, maybe we’ll get a version of Prager University with an actual physical plant. Or maybe not.

Consider the parties involved. As a student at Columbia University, Weiss developed a censorious reputation of her own. A campus organization Weiss co-founded “did demand that the administration change the department’s curriculum and make it easier to file complaints against professors, measures that would have affected certain scholars’ responsibilities and duties, as well as their future job prospects,” the writers Mari Cohen and Joshua Leifer observed in Jewish Currents. Weiss and her fellow activists targeted Arab professors for speech they deemed hostile to Israel, efforts she’s since downplayed to better portray herself as a campaigner for free expression. A University of Austin “founding faculty fellow” Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has called Islam “a nihilstic cult of death” and has claimed that violence is inherent to the religion, which bodes ill for any Muslim who might wish to attend the new university. The new university’s positions on sex and gender aren’t hard to guess, either. Another fellow, the anti-trans academic Kathleen Stock, voluntarily resigned her position at the University of Sussex, claiming that student protests curtailed her own academic freedom. Put another way, Stock found free expression a bit too lively to tolerate.

Others linked to the university stand accused of crossing professional lines with female students. One, Joshua Katz, received a year-long suspension from Princeton University over an inappropriate relationship with an undergraduate woman. Another, Joe Lonsdale, has been accused of raping a woman he mentored, an allegation he vehemently denies. Lonsdale’s nonprofit, Cicero Research, is “fiscally sponsoring” the new institution.

So what rights will a University of Austin student actually possess? They can’t count on a right to free expression, that much is clear. The presence of Lonsdale and Katz raises further questions about the university’s position on due process for survivors of sexual misconduct. Students won’t even benefit from an intellectually diverse faculty. Survey the school’s website, and you won’t find a single leftist scholar. Nor should we expect to find one. Lonsdale’s nonprofit, Cicero, says it’s committed to “free-market based solutions to public policy issues.” And as a private institution, the University of Austin will retain the broad freedom to censor students and faculty as it sees fit — as does Liberty and my alma mater. What we’ve got, then, is a Bible college for libertarians. Those disturbed by progress will find shelter on campus. Pledging freedom from wokeness, the University of Austin actually seeks freedom from free exchange. There is a soup├žon of social liberalism, which extends no further than equality for LGB people and not to trans people and which is too inadequate to greatly distinguish the school from other conservative institutions. In this university, Falwell would see kindred minds. There’s nothing new here.

I'm disappointed the author didn't mention Hirsi Ali's husband, Niall Ferguson, who created a scandal in higher education in 2018:

Ferguson seemed to view Michael Ocon, a left-wing student activist slated to graduate in 2020, as a threat to the program. In an email to two members of the Stanford Republicans, John Rice-Cameron and Max Minshull, he wrote that “some opposition research on Mr. O [Ferguson’s name for Ocon] might also be worthwhile.” Minshull, who works as Ferguson’s research associate, said he’d “get on” the dirt-digging.

Some of the emails had an overtly sinister tone. Rice-Cameron, who is, oddly enough, the son of Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice, wrote in one email that “slowly, we will continue to crush the Left’s will to resist, as they will crack under pressure.”

Ferguson wrote in another note, “now we turn to the more subtle game of grinding them down on the committee,” adding that “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

IDW University

Well it looks like the usual IDW gang has started a new grift.

From the Bari Weiss substack:

But we are done waiting. We are done waiting for the legacy universities to right themselves. And so we are building anew. 

I mean that quite literally. 

As I write this, I am sitting in my new office (boxes still waiting to be unpacked) in balmy Austin, Texas, where I moved three months ago from my previous post as president of St. John’s College in Annapolis.

I am not alone.Our project began with a small gathering of those concerned about the state of higher education—Niall Ferguson, Bari Weiss, Heather Heying, Joe Lonsdale, Arthur Brooks, and I—and we have since been joined by many others, including the brave professors mentioned above, Kathleen Stock, Dorian Abbot and Peter Boghossian.   

We count among our numbers university presidents: Robert Zimmer, Larry Summers, John Nunes, and Gordon Gee, and leading academics, such as Steven Pinker, Deirdre McCloskey, Leon Kass, Jonathan Haidt,  Glenn Loury, Joshua Katz, Vickie Sullivan, Geoffrey Stone, Bill McClay, and Tyler Cowen.

We are also joined by journalists, artists, philanthropists, researchers, and public intellectuals, including Lex Fridman, Andrew Sullivan, Rob Henderson, Caitlin Flanagan, David Mamet, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sohrab Ahmari, Stacy Hock, Jonathan Rauch, and Nadine Strossen.

So basically, if you support race pseudoscience, are on the Koch payroll or are a grifter, you are welcome to teach at The University of Austin.

Of course Pinker is part of this. You can't escape Pinker.

And you can't have an Intellectual Dark Web scam without a connection to  Peter Thiel:

At present, UATX is fiscally sponsored by Cicero Research, which is an exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Joe Lonsdale is listed as an officer of Cicero Research. Lonsdale is a longtime associate of Peter Thiel:

Lonsdale, after all, spent much of his early career in Thiel’s footsteps. He served as an editor of the Stanford Review, the provocative conservative student publication that Thiel co-founded, years earlier; interned at Thiel’s PayPal before it became a Mafia; and eventually became a right-hand man to Thiel, himself. Lonsdale would become one of the first employees at Thiel’s first investment shop, Clarium Capital, and then in 2004, helped him found Palantir, the data-mining, terrorist-hunting software company that made them both fabulously wealthy. That kickstarted a meteoric career—interrupted by a too-tangled-to-quickly-explain personal scandal—in which Lonsdale struck out on his own, founding the wealth management platform Addepar and a venture capital firm, 8VC.

Although race pseudoscience supporters are already listed as part of the Austin University team: Pinker, Andrew Sullivan and Jonathan Haidt, it is inevitable that even more extreme, more obviously racist people will be brought in to teach "Forbidden Courses" on race pseudoscience.

Noah Carl and racist Bo Winegard are ready.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Steven Pinker, Steve Sailer and the Cousin Marriage Conundrum part 5

Illustration by Slug Signorino

<-- Continued from Part 4

Unlike Nicholas Wade, who refers to a metaphorical Adam and Eve, Steve Sailer's Biblical characters are actual:

The Muslim practice is similar to older Middle Eastern norms, such as those outlined in Leviticus in the Old Testament. The lineage of the Hebrew Patriarchs who founded the Jewish people was highly inbred. Isaac married Rebekah, a cousin once removed. And Isaac’s son Jacob wed his two first cousins, Leah and Rachel. Jacob’s dozen sons were the famous progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Due to inbreeding, Jacob’s eight legitimate sons had only six unique great-grandparents instead of the usual eight. That is because the inbred are related to their relatives through multiple paths.

While it's possible cousin-marriage was practiced during the time period portrayed by the Old Testament, Jacob's biography is not evidence of "older Middle Eastern norms." The Bible also claims Jacob lived to be 147 years old. Does this mean that cousin-marriage is positively correlated with record-breaking longevity? 

So, from incoherence, to ignoring data, to using the Bible as a source, Sailer's piece fails to meet any standards for good science writing. 

Even worse, it reflects badly on Pinker's explanation for including Sailer's piece: 
Many misconceptions about behavior are harmless, but in these dangerous times some could lead to catastrophe. Steve Sailer's "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum" correctly predicts that it would be unwise to try to graft a political system onto a society without understanding how the psychology of kinship and ethnic identification plays out in the local environment.

Steve Sailer's prediction was proven wrong: currently available on the GitHub account of FiveThirtyEight is a table-based comparison of global consanguinity rates. The least consanguineous, Hungary, is no longer considered a democracy. While Fareed Zakaria, writing in The Washington Post last month calls Iraq's democracy a success.

The third-most consanguineous country, Nigeria, with a rate of 51.2 has been a democracy since 1999.

Neither of those democracies are perfect but then, neither is the democracy of the United States, in which one political party appears to be hell-bound to destroy voting rights and install Trump loyalists in a slow-moving coup. US consanguinity rate: 0.2%.

It may have been a bad idea to invade and "nation build" Iraq on the pretense that it had chemical weapons and was connected to al-Qaeda (I participated in the large NYC protest against the invasion) but Sailer comes nowhere near making a convincing case that the big problem with Iraq and democracy is consanguinity.

Steven Pinker apparently read the utter failure that is "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum" and decided it would be a perfect addition to a volume of "the best science and nature writing" of 2004. 

People claim Steven Pinker is smart, but this is the kind of thing that makes me wonder. 

But perhaps quality wasn't Pinker's overriding concern. Pinker has not acknowledged Sailer in public, as far as I have been able to discover, since 2011, but Sailer's recent review of Pinker's book "Rationality" demonstrates that Sailer still deeply admires Pinker, even comparing him to Sailer's stout defender, the racist Charles Murray:

Pinker competes with venerable thinkers like Noam Chomsky, Jared Diamond, Charles Murray, Thomas Sowell, Francis Fukuyama, and so forth for the mythical title of America’s Top Public Intellectual.



Sailer doesn't seem to hold any resentment towards Pinker for refusing to acknowledge his existence for the past ten years (while Pinker still gives interviews to racemonger Razib Khan) and it doesn't even seem to bother Sailer that Pinker is quoted in the Guardian article, saying that racism is "not just wrong - it's stupid." 

This is the very same article in which Sailer doubles-down on his own racism. He quotes Malcolm Gladwell referring to Sailer as "perhaps best known for his belief that black people are intellectually inferior to white people" and Sailer follows that quote with this:
Other beliefs of mine include that Reno is west of Los Angeles, the Holocaust happened, and the sun comes up in the east.
So Pinker says racism is wrong and stupid and Sailer follows that up by claiming that it is self-evident that Black people are intellectually inferior to white people. 

It makes no sense: being a racist is the core of Sailer's career and personality, why would he continue to admire and align with anti-racist Steven Pinker?

In spite of Pinker's statement against racism, we know Pinker has consistently supported racists and racemongers for the past 20 years: Sailer, Khan, Quillette, Linda Gottfredson, Bo and Ben Winegard, Noah Carl, Brian Boutwell; as well as his continuing promotion of the speculative and extremely improbable claims about Ashkenazi intelligence by Steve Sailer's friendsRon Unz grant recipient Gregory Cochran and white nationalist Henry Harpending.

Tweet from James Beacham, particle physicist at 
the Large Hadron Collider at CERN

Sailer never needs to account for his evidence-free assertions and his absurd racist statements: his career is based on getting paid by racists to mumble racism at other racists. He lives inside a racist echo chamber.

And until recently, Steven Pinker, celebrity intellectual and "venerable thinker" didn't have to answer questions either, about his support for racists. That Guardian article, asking Pinker about his connection to Sailer, is something new, and Steve Sailer knows it, which is why he claims it was an attempt to cancel Pinker:
Pinker goes on:
Sometimes the ad hominem and genetic fallacies are combined to forge chains of guilt by association: “Williams’ theory must be repudiated because he spoke at a conference organized by someone who published a volume containing a chapter written by someone who said something racist.”
Therefore, it was ironic but hardly surprising that The Guardian last week attempted to cancel Pinker.

And again, Pinker's connection to Sailer isn't "guilt by association" as defined by the tortured chain Pinker uses to illustrate the concept, above. The plain truth is that Pinker himself published an incompetent work by a racist.

Is Pinker himself an incompetent editor? Or did Pinker include "The Cousin Marriage Conundrumin spite of it being so bad, because he wanted to promote the career of the indisputably racist Steve Sailer?

Pinker has publicly expressed regret over contributing to Jeffrey Epstein's defense

He has never, to my knowledge, and in spite of his unexplained break with Sailer in 2011, publicly expressed regret over supporting the career of Steve Sailer. Why not?


UGH RACISTS! I feel that I am doing necessary work by documenting racists and the way mainstream media and media celebrities have promoted and continue to promote race pseudoscience, but it's nauseating to have to think about them for days at a time.

Let's have something from Curtis Mayfield to elevate the mood.

Bite your lip
And take a trip
Though there may be wet road ahead
And you cannot slip
Just move on up!
For peace you will find
Into the steeple of beautiful people
Where there's only one kind.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Steven Pinker, Steve Sailer and the Cousin Marriage Conundrum part 4

<-- Continued from Part 3

So the articles that Steven Pinker chose to include in "The Best Science and Nature Writing" of 2004 are a mixed bunch. Several seem to have barely anything to do with science or nature, several are long-winded. But several were quite good, or at least clear and coherent and did not use the Bible as a source.

You cannot say the same about Steve Sailer's "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum," originally written for the American Conservative, which was founded by three likely anti-Semites and racists, Pat Buchanan, Scott McConnell and Taki Theodoracopulos

"The Cousin Marriage Conundrum" is Sailer's first of 54 bylines, the last of which was published in 2013. He's also been the subject of more recent articles in American Conservative, as when Noah Millman celebrated Sailer's "moment" in May 2017 - his moment was said to have arrived thanks to a New York Magazine profile of Sailer.

Sailer's byline for "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum" says he's a columnist for VDARE. Which is a white nationalist extremist rag.

In the first paragraph of the piece, Sailer states the issue to be addressed: neocons want to "nation build" Iraq but that will be impossible because Iraqis are inbred. 

...Americans know so little about the Middle East that few of us are even aware of one of the building blocks of Arab Muslim cultures: cousin marriage. Not surprisingly, we are almost utterly innocent of how much the high degree of inbreeding in Iraq could interfere with our nation-building ambitions.

In the second paragraph he says they are really very inbred indeed and introduces the term "consanguinity" which is a synonym for cousin marriage.

In the third paragraph he says there are factions and sub-factions in Iraqi society and the "engine" of those social divisions is cousin marriages. He reiterates this unsupported claim in the next paragraph:

"The clannishness, corruption, and coups frequently observed in countries such as Iraq appear to be in tied to the high rates of inbreeding."

He makes another unsupported assertion in the next paragraph: 

" But, in Islamic countries, family loyalty is often at war with national loyalty. Civic virtues, military effectiveness, and economic performance all suffer."

Then in the next paragraph he gives us what I expected would be expert testimony on the problem of Iraqi inbreeding:

Commentator Randall Parker wrote, “Consanguinity [cousin marriage] is the biggest underappreciated factor in Western analyses of Middle Eastern politics...

Commentator Randall Parker owns several blogs active since around the turn of the century. Some are defunct, and the two that survive are ParaPundit and FuturePundit but they don't appear to have been updated since 2017. Parker now has an up-to-date Twitter account, @futurepundit.

Contrary to what I expected, Randall Parker has no expertise on the subject of consanguinity and politics. I know because I asked him via Twitter direct message and received this response:

Then Sailer conflates cousin-marriage with any close-knit and/or extended family:

Similarly, as Francis Fukuyama described in his 1995 book, Trust: The Social Virtues & the Creation of Prosperity, countries such as Italy with highly loyal extended families can generate dynamic family firms. Yet, their larger corporations tend to be rife with goldbricking, corruption, and nepotism, all because their employees do not trust each other to show their highest loyalty to the firm rather than their own extended families. Arab cultures are more family-focused even than Sicily, and therefore their larger economic enterprises suffer even more.

Italy has nothing to do with the point of Sailer's piece: cousin marriage. The "family-based" society of Italy has one of the lowest consanguinity rates, below Canada, France, Sweden and Ireland. 

There goes the clarity that Steven Pinker said is so important for good science writing.

It's not surprising that the American Conservative has no editorial standards, but it appears that neither does Steven Pinker.

When I reviewed this article for the first time, a few years ago, I assumed Steve Sailer had not had access to international consanguinity data. But thanks to Randall Parker's blog, I discovered that he did have access, by 2002

Knowing that Steve Sailer loves to think about the intersections between biology and society I sent him a link to Kurtz's writings. Steve immediately wanted to find more social science data about rates of consanguinity throughout the world. I went Google searching without any luck. Now several months later Steve just found a site with worldwide measurements of the incidence of consanguinity.

The site, consang.net, is in transition but it has archives available via the Wayback Machine. The data Sailer used is more difficult to use than the more current Five-Thirty-Seven data available on Github because larger countries are broken up into many sub-sections. But if you make an effort and average the rates out, some non-democracies have considerably lower rates of consanguinity than democracies. For example, according to Sailer's data source, China, with an authoritarian Communist government since 1949, has an average consanguinity rate of 9.4, while India, a democracy since 1947, has an average consanguinity rate of 24.2.

It's a mystery if Sailer looked at his own data when making his assertions about cousin marriage and democracy, and it doesn't seem to matter. He must have known without checking the data that India, at the time he wrote "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum" was a decades-long democracy. Yet he lumps India in with other inbred countries, which are presumably incapable of achieving democracy, like Iraq.

American society is so biased against inbreeding that many Americans have a hard time even conceiving of marrying a cousin. Yet, arranged matches between first cousins (especially between the children of brothers) are considered the ideal throughout much of a broad expanse from North Africa through West Asia and into Pakistan and India.

The case of India, alone, should have given Sailer pause about his premise that consanguinity and democracy are incompatible, but he completely ignores it, not willing to let facts interfere with his beautiful theory. 

Sailer's data failure is especially interesting because a few years later, Steven Pinker, in a quarrel with Malcolm Gladwell, would defend his use of Sailer's work on the grounds that it doesn't matter that Steve Sailer is a racist, because he's so good with data.

Just this past month, in his review of Pinker's latest book "Rationality, " in Taki's Magazine, Sailer discusses the incident, and uses the opportunity to double-down on being a racist:

Therefore, it was ironic but hardly surprising that The Guardian last week attempted to cancel Pinker by repeating Malcolm Gladwell’s complaint that Pinker had humiliated him in a 2009 book review in The New York Times by citing data I’d compiled debunking Gladwell’s knuckleheaded assertion that the NFL performance of college quarterback prospects “can’t be predicted.” The Guardian whoops:

…the journalist Malcolm Gladwell has called Pinker out for sourcing information from the blogger Steve Sailer, who, in Gladwell’s words, “is perhaps best known for his belief that black people are intellectually inferior to white people.”

Other beliefs of mine include that Reno is west of Los Angeles, the Holocaust happened, and the sun comes up in the east. The Guardian goes on to explain that because I am a bad person, according to the impartial geniuses Malcolm Gladwell and Angela Saini, logically, Pinker must be one too:

Angela Saini, a science journalist and author of ‘Superior: The Return of Race Science,’ told me that “for many people, Pinker’s willingness to entertain the work of individuals who are on the far right and white supremacists has gone beyond the pale.” When I put these kinds of criticisms to Pinker, he called it the fallacy of “guilt by association”—just because Sailer and others have objectionable views, doesn’t mean their data is bad. Pinker has condemned racism—he told me it was “not just wrong but stupid”—but published Sailer’s work in an edited volume in 2004, and quotes Sailer’s positive review of ‘Better Angels,’ among many others, on his website.

The article of mine that Pinker reprinted in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004 is my January 2003 effort “Cousin Marriage Conundrum” predicting that the Bush administration’s planned invasion of Iraq would fail at nation-building because the extraordinarily high rate of inbreeding in Iraq makes the population clannish—perhaps my most insightful essay ever.

Pinker is a really good editor.

But Steve Sailer, is, as usual, wrong. His article is not insightful - and Pinker is a bad editor by selecting "The Cousin Marriage Conundrum" to include in "The Best Science and Nature Writing."

Unless Pinker had motives besides quality. 

But let's get to the part where Sailer uses the Bible as evidence. In Part 5 -->

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