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Sunday, May 7, 2023

Sabine Hossenfelder and the Intellectual Dark Web

Hossenfelder is not nearly as impressive
as she finds herself.


I recently became aware of German physicist Sabine Hossenfelder when I came across her videos on nuclear energy, in which she minimizes the dangers of nuclear energy and especially nuclear waste storage. 

(Watch John Oliver on that topic.)

I immediately smelled Intellectual Dark Web.

Also, I found her personality so irritating that even though I basically agree with her about the absence of free will, I found myself coming up with pro-free will arguments as I watched her video on the subject.

So, did she have an IDW connection? I Googled her and found her hobnobbing with race pseudoscience promoter Michael Shermer. Bingo. I have a practically infallible nose for the stench of the Intellectual Dark Web after doing this blog for four and a half years.

But worst of all, Hossenfelder thinks Steven Pinker's melange of sociobiology and reactionary politics, "The Blank Slate," is an important book. 

I've read The Blank Slate. It's hot garbage. The New Yorker had Pinker's number when the book was first published.

(Fun fact: in The Blank Slate we find that Pinker is a big fan of pro-pedophilia Camille Paglia.)

I just found Rebecca Watson has a great response to Hossenfelder's feckless and poorly-supported commentary on transgender issues. And I had to share.

But then (Hossenfelder) did the stereotypical physicist thing: she studies the fundamental building blocks of the universe, energy and matter and mathematics, so she decided to slide over into a field she knows nothing about and explain it to us. That’s why people were pestering me to critique her recent video, titled Is being trans a social fad among teenagers? I guess having a Ph.D. in physics makes you an expert in psychology and sociology as well as biology.

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