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Monday, January 3, 2022

The Lockwood Saga

What to do when your stupid Twitter argument 
is winding down but you want to keep it going

I think the new book by Max Chafkin, The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power is very good, although very concerning, considering Thiel is, like Charles Koch, a right-wing extremist billionaire who is happy to throw his money behind horrible people and evil causes. 

As I demonstrated in the previous post, long before me, people were calling Peter Thiel a psychopath or a sociopath. 

It isn't only because of his political positions, as repellent as they are, but because of the ways he expresses himself,  and because of his priorities, which seem to be exclusively wealth and power. 

But recently I got into a stupid argument on Twitter with an individual named Dr. Patrick Lockwood, because Lockwood didn't like my use of the term "psychopath" to describe Thiel.

Now without stupid Twitter arguments, Twitter itself would scarcely exist, and I wouldn't usually mention the argument on Pinkerite.com. But it turned out that Patrick Lockwood, who I initially assumed was some garden-variety false-certainty Twitter rando, is part of the Quillette/IDW industrial complex. Oh lucky me.

A pretty strong hint about the Quillette/IDW connection was when, after the stupid argument was winding down, and without my knowledge, Lockwood posted one of my tweets and asked for opinions about me. Lo and behold, Quillette managing editor Colin Wright and Quillette author, Gamergate cheerleader and Koch money recipient Cathy Young popped up.

Colin Wright claimed I was a psychopath because that's what Colin Wright always does because I criticize his political views and his employer. Since his views and employer are indefensible, he has no option but to defame me. 

But hey - although my conflict with the Quillette/IDW industrial complex is a war of words, it's still a war and war is hell. 

I did a little Googling and discovered Lockwood has had a profile for almost a year in a little club called "Reality's Last Stand" along with a bunch of people associated with Quillette and race pseudoscience, including Claire Lehmann, Jonathan Haidt, Razib Khan and Wright.

Eventually I discovered that Lockwood had recorded a very cordial interview with Quillette author and racist Bo Winegard

I'm not calling Winegard a racist because of his race pseudoscience beliefs, as idiotic as they are - I'm calling him a racist because of his neo-Nazi policy dream of national race quotas. 

But, you see, he doesn't think it's racist to want to "preserve a country's demographic composition." The boldness of Bo Winegard's stupidity is un-freaking-believable. 

Now of course unlike the Nazis, Winegard doesn't specify which racial groups he has in mind and how exactly the "demographic composition" would be apportioned, and how exactly he would achieve his ideal composition.

But then, the Nazis took quite a while to figure out a final solution to their racial demographics apportionment quandary, long after they had a racial demographics concept in mind.

Many people were annoyed with Sam Harris because he gave a very friendly interview to Charles Murray - another indisputable racist - without pushback against Murray's race pseudoscience beliefs. Ezra Klein debated Harris about it, and the late Michael Brooks did a smart and funny episode on his show about it. 

In this video, Lockwood and Winegard are a second-string Harris and Murray. They even mention the Harris/Murray controversy early on in the conversation. Warning: the video is 90 minutes of self-serving race pseudoscience justification and appeasement.

I will be discussing the lowlights below the video. 


At around minute 3, Winegard expounds on his "sacred values" theory, the transparently self-serving claim that anybody who has issues with his race pseudoscience is simply reacting out of taboo aversion rather than reacting to the clownishness of his "science."

Lockwood responds: 

Interesting so this would probably partially I think explain maybe one of the reasons why people are so just flabbergasted by the concept of a race and IQ when it shows up online or in a Sam Harris talk or whatever, like people lose their minds over this concept because it seems to be reinforcing racism and bias and prejudice in a way that, you know, we shouldn't be using science to do that, I guess it's the attitude because of the sacred values.

Lockwood's turn of phrase doesn't indicate that critics of race pseudoscience might have rational reasons for their criticism, but rather Lockwood, a clinical psychologist, describes the critics of race pseudoscience as people who "lose their minds" over the concept.

I'm not gonna lie -  it was painful to listen to these two dummies affirm Bo Winegard's idiotic belief-system, with Winegard moaning about his role as martyr for The Pure Scientific Truth while Lockwood smiles and nods. 

Adding to the pain of listening is Winegard's extreme vocal fry. He sounds like a 14-year-old goth girl. Also his speech patterns occasionally reminded me of Forrest Gump, which is awful because I love Tom Hanks and there's no comparison between him and a grubby neo-Nazi like Bo Winegard.

At minute 11:55 Lockwood mentions Helen Pluckrose as if she's the voice of sweet reason. Pluckrose is an infamous grifter, only slightly less repellent than James "your mom" Lindsay and bitter Peter Boghossian with whom she perpetrated her big grift. Haaratz did an excellent piece on the scam they ran to get themselves noticed by the gullible of this world:
According to their own account, the writers took parts of the chapter and inserted feminist "buzzwords"; they "significantly changed" the "original wording and intent” of the text to make the paper "publishable and about feminism." An observant reader might ask: what could possibly remain of any Nazi content after that? But no one in the media, apparently, did.

Indeed, in public, the trio constantly downplayed the amount of re-writing they did to the original text. On Joe Rogan’s podcast in October 2018, Lindsay described how they'd "modified the words and added theory around it so that it would fly," and in another interview explained that this was to "get past plagiarism." 

Chapter 12, he noted, included sentences like: "This is why we need the Nazi Party, and [this is] what is expected of people who are going to be part of it." What did they change? "We took that out [the Nazi party reference] and replaced it with ‘intersectional feminism.’" What's left is an entirely anodyne sentence, stripped of any identifiable Nazi vestiges. Hardly "owning the grievance warriors."

So what did the text in the article accepted by Affilia actually look like? Was it, as Fox News claimed, a "feminist Mein Kampf", suggesting men should be treated the same way as Hitler victimized Jews?

It is surprising, to say the least, that none of the journalists reporting on the controversy actually bothered to compare the two texts. If they'd done so, they would have found that the Affilia article didn't contain anything that could be recognized as "Mein Kampf" even by a Hitler expert, let alone a lay person

After a positive reference to an ethics-free grifter, and after having suggested critics of race pseudoscience lost their minds, Lockwood shifts into appeasement mode:


I was just chatting with Helen Pluckrose about this a little bit. It seems like there's a spirit or an intention that people are missing out on, and how do we arrive at this intention or spirit of, kind of a charitable or favorable attitude towards our quote-unquote opponents and -


- Yeah 


- and from from my take just as a clinical psychologist not a research psychologist, it seems like most of what I observe online with incendiary characters and topics is, people start off with, it seems like people start off with the intention to prove someone wrong. And that might end of itself be the place to start with a respectful disagreement - is as opposed to having this intention to prove someone wrong, what if we had the intention to understand. And that's why I like kind of the Buddhist concepts of beginner's mind and whatnot. Because if you have the idea in your head that you know nothing then generally speaking you're more apt to learn something and respectfully disagree like I'm walking into this chat with you knowing almost nothing about your research, kind of on purpose because I could easily kind of creep on you online to figure out what you've written. I'm not going to do that because I actually want to kind of learn for the first time from you what you believe. And without any bias or preconceived notions on my part, you know what I mean?

Yeah because why would you want to prove that racist bullshit, presented as science, is factually incorrect? How rude.

And of course Lockwood knows exactly what Winegard's "research" is about, that's why they talk about the Sam Harris/Charles Murray controversy right at the beginning of the interview. That's what prompted Lockwood to say "people lose their minds."

Throw in Lockwood's reference to Buddhist beginner's mind ("and whatnot") and that paragraph is a recipe for vomit stew. If you did not feel like puking after reading that paragraph (and hearing it spoken is ten times worse) you have a stronger stomach than I do, my friend.

I'm calling it now - Patrick Lockwood is the Neville Chamberlain of race pseudoscience.

But there's only so much I can take of this double-barrel bullshit in one sitting. I will discuss more lowlights in the future. 

After my gorge lowers back the hell down.

Part 2 of the Lockwood Saga: the influence of Jordan Peterson

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