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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

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Charles Murray is done

Just a wretched excuse for a 
human being - which is why
the American Right loves him

I completed the Rational Wiki article on Charles Murray. He is just an absolute stinker of a human being. 

Probably my favorite parts of the piece are:

  • Casting doubt on Murray's claim that as a "bright" high school senior, planning to attend college, he had no idea that burning a cross would be racially charged.
  • Pointing out that Murray was motivated to trash "Hidden Figures" because Twitter critics did not like his tweet that cast doubt on the mathematical accomplishment of two Black teenage girls. Murray got his revenge!
  • Digging up astronaut Michael Collins' criticisms of Murray's no-longer-in-print book "Apollo: The Race to the Moon"
And having another excuse to share Al Franken's rip on The Bell Curve.

Monday, September 25, 2023

More Hossenfelderbashing and capitalism

Sabine Hossenfelder is a fool, in my opinion, to make videos outside of her supposed area of expertise, physics. But considering that her non-physics opinions on issues like race and trans are invariably conservative and reactionary, I can't help wondering if she's getting funding from the usual plutocratic creeps.

Hossenfelder's claim that capitalism is a driver of scientific discovery is absurd and simplistic. 

Unfortunately I don't agree with Rebecca Watson either, that capitalism is responsible for "most if not all of society's greatest ills, including but not limited to income inequality and runaway climate change."

It's been my observation that on the Left, even more than before, capitalism is now considered the root of all evil. I doubt that. 

Capitalism was not created by a bunch of heartless monsters out to destroy the world. It evolved in response to the problems of daily human existence. 

I looked around the Internet to see what the consensus was on the origins of Capitalism, and Teen Vogue sums up what I found, pretty well:
The origins of capitalism are complicated, and stretch back to the 16th century, when the British systems of power largely collapsed after the Black Death, a deadly plague that killed off up to 60% of Europe’s entire population. A newly formed class of merchants began to trade with foreign countries, and this newfound demand for exports hurt local economies and began to dictate overall production and pricing of goods. It also led to the spread of colonialism, slavery, and imperialism.

The death of feudalism — a hierarchical system often seen as oppressive that kept poor people bonded to their masters’ land, which they farmed in exchange for a place to live and military protection — also left rural British peasants with no homes and no work, which eventually funneled them away from the countryside and into urban centers. These former farm workers then had to sell their labor in a newly competitive work environment in order to survive, while the state worked in concert with the new capitalists to establish a maximum wage and “clamp down on beggars.”

I doubt many would argue that feudalism is better than capitalism. And the claim that capitalism led to "the spread of slavery" is easily disputed by the many and varied forms of slavery that have existed outside of the age of capitalism. 

As for Watson's claim that capitalism is responsible for "runaway climate change" I think that's a case of "correlation is not causation." While climate change may have happened during the age of capitalism, humans destroying their environment and the phenomenon of unintended consequences also exist outside of capitalism.

And since I assume Watson doesn't want to trade capitalism for feudalism, what is her alternative? Socialism? Does she seriously think that humans couldn't make decisions with unintended consequences in a socialist system?

Humans fuck up - they trust people who should not be their leaders - see the Roman emperors, the European monarchies, the Catholic Church, Hitler, Stalin, Trump etc. etc. etc.; they don't think through all the possible consequences of decisions; they can be greedy and cruel and careless - and all without capitalism. 

Capitalism is just a collection of human-value exchange mechanisms, basically an accounting system, which is being mistaken for the actual root causes of human error and weaknesses and bad judgment - in Watson's case - and is being mistaken for the root cause of scientific discovery - as in Hossenfelder's case.

Just as nobody plotted to replace feudalism with capitalism, if capitalism dies out, it won't be the result of a plot, it will be because a new system of human-value exchange mechanisms evolved to better meet the needs of the people living in that society. 

In other words, human behavior is much more complicated than either Hossenfelder or Watson seem to understand. 

I don't claim to have a grasp on the whole thing myself - just enough to know that both Hossenfelder and Watson are being simplistic.

But at least Watson is not impressed by Pinker's idiotic "The Blank Slate" as Hossenfelder is. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Razib Khan still promoting racist neo-Nazi ghoul Richard Hanania

Because of course he is. 

If Khan's biggest booster, Steven Pinker, isn't ashamed to be associated with the neo-Nazi racist ghoul; and Khan's buddy Matthew Yglesias isn't bothered by Hanania's racism and extremism; you know Razib Khan's not bothered by Hanania's racism and extremism and neo-Nazism.

I think what all this means is that right-wing racist billionaires have increased their funding of ghouls like Hanania so much that courtiers like Pinker, Yglesias and Khan no longer worry about being "cancelled" because not only do they have the option of wingnut welfare - see Carole Hooven and Thomas Chatterton Williams - but their plutocrat patrons have decided to go full steam ahead in the project of mainstreaming race pseudoscience and racism.

And to nobody's surprise, Charles Murray is also promoting the neo-Nazi racist ghoul - but Murray has been promoting exactly that kind of ghoul - Steve Sailer, Emil Kirkegaard, etc. for years. 

Murray doesn't just promote Hanania, he grovels before him. Holy crap is that revolting.

Jerry Coyne was lately seen promoting Hanania too. Of course.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Meet Nina Paley, culture wars grifter and Kiwi Farms fan

I assumed Alex Byrne was a garden-variety culture wars grifter, writing for racist rag Quillette. I figured he was hoping to advance his career by maybe scoring some wingnut welfare, like Carole Hooven, or maybe getting a Fox News interview, also like Carole Hooven.

But I discovered Byrne has a very interesting collaborator: Nina Paley who did illustrations for Byrne's forthcoming book which is apparently loved by Steven Pinker and Christina Hoff Sommers.

Paley is notable enough to have her own Wikipedia page, although I never heard of her until today.

Paley has created a "Gender Wars" deck of cards. The red cards are the "gender-critical" good guys and the black cards are people she lumps together as "transactivists," including a mass murderer. 

Now I don't have a high opinion of culture war grifters to begin with, but even I was stunned to see that Paley included Kiwi Farms as one of the good guys in her deck of cards.

Kiwi Farms is evil to the point of being psychopathic:

Founded by Joshua Moon, a former 8chan administrator, Kiwi Farms evolved into a popular platform for creating harassment campaigns. Its users often fixated on transgender people, relentlessly stalking and doxing them. At least three of its victims died by suicide.

In the image Paley created, the cow represents "lolcows" - the people selected by Kiwi Farms for torture. Paley apparently thinks this is cute and funny.

Paley did a podcast with Joshua Moon. She and her podcast co-host Corinna Cohn provide a dishonest description of Kiwi Farms:

In 1993 John Gilmore famously said, “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” To learn why that’s no longer true, listen to Josh Moon enumerate “the amount of things that have broken that people in the industry assumed could never break,” as activists with personal vendettas and political agendas relentlessly employ every possible strategy to silence his small but notorious gossip site Kiwi Farms. From Cloudflare to Hurricane Electric, ISPs, data centers, and payment processors, literally anything up and down the Border Gateway Protocol has been targeted to shut down the ‘Farms. With ISIS, the KKK, Stormfront, neo-nazis, and child porn all continuing to enjoy online services, who expected “the gossip site that makes fun of troons” to be the straw to break the Internet’s backbone? And why have the individuals and organizations who once stood against censorship lost their own?

Here's what is actually meant by "makes fun of the troons":

Mother Jones:

Kiwi Farms harvests anguish. It thrives on pain and revels in death. Users of the innocuously named forum prey on the vulnerable and marginalized—people who are transgender, neurodivergent, disabled, financially struggling—with persistent and twisted harassment campaigns. Despite its penchant for destroying lives, Kiwi Farms has been mostly overlooked by the media for much of the site’s existence. That is partly because of who it attacks, but also because reporters are wary of becoming targets themselves. The users call their victims “lolcows” because their pain can be milked for laughs. The group made its purpose clear on its Twitter page before it was taken down: “Gossip and exploitation of mentally handicapped for amusement purposes.” 
Kiwi Farms users deploy slightly different tactics for various victims, but the rough beats are the same. First, the group assembles extensive dossiers. Then they use the information (some true, some contorted, some fabricated) to torment their targets. 
When Sagal posted about her suicidal thoughts, Kiwi Farms users sent private messages urging her to kill herself, a friend said. When posters learned that Terryberry, an 18-year-old with learning disabilities, used the internet to make friends, they worked to get her social media accounts shut down while mocking her mental health struggles. They relentlessly tormented Ginder for being nonbinary. One thread went on for more than a dozen pages. 

Lacking a sense of empathy is said to be an indicator of psychopathy

I'm wondering if Alex Byrne and Carole Hooven like Kiwi Farms as much as Nina Paley apparently does. (YES - see below)

And you'll never guess - Paley is also an author at Quillette. Also interviewed by Paley: Razib Khan, Alice Dreger, Alex Byrne and Carole Hooven.

And as you've probably guessed, Joshua Moon is also a huge racist.

UPDATE: Paley conveniently posted fans of her cards on Twitter, and it turns out Carole Hooven is a big fan, promoting them on Twitter.

Stay classy, you poor cancelled martyr!

Also a fan, another Koch employee (besides Hooven) Pamela Paresky. Hooven cited her when she promoted the crackpot sociobiologists' social affinity theory. Apparently Paresky thinks these cards are hysterical! I knew Paresky was a wingnut ass, but I didn't guess what a hate-filled ghoul she is.

Paresky wants to "protect kids" - but presumably NOT the ones selected to be lolcows by Kiwi Farms.

And crackpot Jordan "enforced monogamy" Peterson is a fan.

Imagine hating trans people so much that you condone the glorification of psychopathically evil Kiwi Farms.

It's hard not to laugh at a right-wing wacko like Peterson: This Jordan Peterson Impression Will Absolutely Make Your Day

Oh, and in case you're a wingnut and you think I'm a hypocrite because I detest Kiwi Farms attempting to destroy the lives of nobodies, while condoning a mocking impression of celebrity grifter Jordan Peterson, consider this an illustration of the difference between rightwing humor and leftwing humor.

Rightwing humor punches down - at misfit nobodies and sexual minorities.

Leftwing humor punches up -  at wealthy public grifters.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Carole Hooven accepts that sweet sweet wingnut welfare

Back in March, I predicted that Carole Hooven would get her very own Quillette byline, thanks to her willingness to promote neo-Nazi Bo Winegard, plus her connection to Steven Pinker.

But I should have aimed a little higher. 

Charles Murray, advocate of ethnicity-based job discrimination, reports that Hooven is now, like him, on the easiest of all possible career trajectories: wingnut welfare via the American Enterprise Institute.

And you know Hooven is presenting herself - the way all hereditarian stooges do when they get pushback - as a martyr.

Of course Jerry Coyne, when he isn't posting pictures of victims of the Holocaust,  portrays Carole Hooven as a victim - the real question is who does Coyne think had it worse, Hooven or Anne Frank.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

The terrible decline of Morrissey

I'm the right age that I should have been a huge Smiths fan in their heyday, but somehow I missed out on the humor and left-leaning (and anti-monarchist) political commentary and ineffable beauty of their greatest songs until well into my 40s and by then the Smiths were broken up and the magical synthesis that was Morrissey and Johnny Marr was no more.

But Morrissey had given signs of what was to come long before then, per The Guardian:

Yet other aspects of his character were on display even in his heyday. In 1986, Morrissey gave an interview to Melody Maker in which he claimed that a “black pop conspiracy” was keeping his band down, describing reggae as “the most racist music in the entire world” and declaring that he “detests … black modern music”.

You can get a pretty good idea of how low he has sunk by who his fans are now - the some-time employer of Steve Sailer, the viciously anti-immigration, white supremacist castle-owning VDARE is raffling tickets to see Morrissey

Morrissey claims he is not on the far right - but come on, the VDARE freaks would not love him this much except that he is.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Woki Wiki

Edward Dutton, a bigot who covers just about all the bigotry bases, thinks Rational Wiki is too woke - but then you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody who is not to the left of that extremist. 

He even thinks Wikipedia is too woke:

Unfortunately, some people, who are otherwise highly intelligent and discerning, don’t seem to realise its true nature, possibly because it involves the word ‘Wiki,’ which should be a red-flag anyway, considering the Woke biases of Wikipedia. It is written in a deliberately mocking-style, which should, surely, sound alarm bells.

 I assume he doesn't like Wikipedia in part because editors there gave Emily Willoughby, a bigwig at the International Society for Race Pseudoscience Intelligence Research a bad time when she tried to post racist garbage there.

Dutton is disappointed that the stooges at City Journal took down the libelous hit piece they published by some pseudonymous rando (the smart money is on Emil Kirkegaard.) 

I guess Dutton wants to see City Journal - and its Manhattan Institute Death Star - sued.

Dutton links to an article by Steve Sailer, who is such a chickenshit coward that any time I get anywhere near his Twitter/X account with a new burner Twitter/X account, he blocks me - I don't even tweet at him - just tweeting at anybody on a thread near him makes him block me. 

I mean, why is he so afraid? What could I possibly do except tweet at him? And Twitter/X is an absolute rightwing racist cesspit now, he'd have an absolute home field advantage, with his loser racist goons there all around him, to cheer him on.

Is he still sore because I got him to embarrass Steven Pinker on Twitter, years ago?

Oh and who does Dutton go running to for comfort in the case of the libelous City Journal article? 

Why every racist hereditarian ghoul's hero - Steven Pinker. 

Dutton shared this Pinker tweet:

And speaking of the wingnut welfare Manhattan Institute, I'm working on a draft for a Rational Wiki article about the Institute’s most famous funding recipient - Charles Murray - and as I research him I find he's an even bigger asshole, personally and professionally than I ever dreamed. 

Just the part where he wants to deny welfare to single mothers to punish them for their immorality, combined with bragging about how he used Thai prostitutes while working for the Peace Corps - qualifies him as one of the world's most repulsive hypocrites. 

Although maybe this isn't about sex - maybe Murray thinks that single mothers on welfare are immoral because they are using tax-payer funded programs, and Murray would find it more moral if they escaped starvation instead through the free enterprise of prostitution.

Either way, it explains why Murray is the perfect thought leader for the grotesquely evil Manhattan Institute.

I gave up on Dutton responding to me via the academic email address he provides online, so I tried another email address someone gave to me. We'll see if Dutton responds this time - I will make a full report if he does.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Steven Pinker 🖤 Michael Shermer

Two pals who love race pseudoscience
I recently discovered Steven Pinker has an Instagram account. He's had it for years, I just didn't bother to look for it.

He doesn't post the usual reactionary offensiveness there, like he does on Elon Musk's shitshow "X," but he did reveal there that he has a warm personal relationship with Michael Shermer

The caption is: "MAMILs (middle-aged men in Lycra) - me and Michael Shermer in Santa Barbara"

First, since when is late 60s "middle-aged"? The image was taken in October 2021 when both were 67. 

But also never forget that Michael Shermer is a blatant racist, much more so than Pinker.  I'm not saying Pinker is not a racist, I'm saying he's much less blatant about it.

Certainly Pinker is not so disturbed by racism that it prevents him from being good buddies with Shermer, who is so racist he agrees with extreme racist and thankfully dead J Philippe Rushton and his bogus claims about Black people.

When E. O. Wilson's promotion of Rushton's career was in the news, not long after Wilson died, Shermer tweeted: "I thought (Rushton) was (a racist) too until I looked at the evidence. You should try that some day instead of motivated reasoning"

Rushton is well-known for the very poor quality of his work in addition to his racism. So it's Michael Shermer who is guilty of "motivated reasoning" and he's projecting here: Michael Shermer wants to believe that Rushton was correct that Black people are virtually a different species from white people, and intellectually inferior and genetically inclined to crime.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

E. O. Wilson is to blame for the pseudo-science of evolutionary psychology

Although Pinker is often identified as an
"evolutionary psychologist"
his view on race 
is the opposite of the Tooby/Cosmides-branded
evolutionary psychology which says
"there is no such thing as race"

In my opinion, PZ Myers' video "The Problems with Evolutionary Psychology" is the gold standard of evo-psycho critiques. First Myers explains evolutionary theory basics, briefly but effectively, and then explains how evolutionary psychology deviates from evolutionary biology.

But Myers has another good video Heather & Bret: Warmed over evolutionary psychology which includes a thorough look at the crackpottery of everybody's favorite free speech grifters this side of Jordan Peterson. (And they love Game Theory!)

Myers recommends a 2013 book that examines the follies of evolutionary psychology, "Paleofantasy : what evolution really tells us about sex, diet, and how we live" by Marlene Zuk, which you can read for free here.

I knew there was a connection between E. O. Wilson's sociobiology and Tooby/Cosmides' evolutionary psychology, but I didn't realize how much until I researched Wilson for the Rational Wiki page I created about him

Wilson took credit for evolutionary psychology in the afterward to the 2006 edition of his autobiography:
…the twelve years since the original publication of Naturalist have seen many changes in sociobiology, from which I have received, as its nominal founder, both anguish and satisfaction. Applied to ants and other animals, it has flourished. Applied to human social behavior it has also proliferated, but under the name “evolutionary psychology,” now an academic subject with a life of its own. Evolutionary psychology has generated some excellent research and much else that is less than distinguished. Overall it has created an industry of popular books, with substantial combined impact, and become part of the popular culture.
But as Steve Sailer tells it, evolutionary psychology succeeded as an academic subject because Tooby and Cosmides removed race from the equation. But then, Steven Pinker put race back in:
(Pinker) started out completely under the spell of Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, the founders of evolutionary psychology, which has succeeded on politically-correct campuses by stripping from Edward O. Wilson's discipline of sociobiology its emphasis on explaining human differences.
And of course we know how devoted Wilson was to the racial component of sociobiology thanks to his correspondence with Sailer's hero, arch-racist J. Philippe Rushton.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Jerry Coyne traveling with his "CPAC for racists" pals ~ are those THIELBUX?

In the past I have speculated that the reason Jerry Coyne is constantly posting photos from his deluxe vacations is because he's on the payroll of a far-right plutocrat.

His latest vacation pix don't argue against it.

He identifies his travel pals as Anna Krylov and Jay Tanzman

Both have written for racist rag Quillette, and Krylov must be especially close to Peter Thiel through her work with his CPAC for racists.

I don't doubt this is part of their reward for doing what one or more rich men tell them to do, spreading race pseudoscience.

But hey, it's no doubt very easy money, if you don't have a conscience.

Speaking of Jerry Coyne, by request, I added my two cents worth to his Rational Wiki profile. Supposedly Coyne doesn't like Rational Wiki. I don't think he's going to like it any better now.

 More about Peter Thiel's funding schemes at Salon:
Then there was Compact Magazine, the hybrid "radical American journal" Ahmari co-founded last March with fellow Catholic Matthew Schmitz and Marxist populist Edwin Aponte. Its professed agenda was to wage "a two-front war on the left and the right" and promote "a strong social-democratic state that defends community — local and national, familial and religious — against a libertine left and a libertarian right." 

Although Compact has declined to specify who funds the magazine, a source familiar with its operations told Salon that it was launched with significant support from right-wing tech billionaire Peter Thiel — who has funded numerous other "new right" projects, from NatCon conferences to the political campaigns of J.D. Vance, Blake Masters and Josh Hawley — and Claremont Institute chair Tom Klingenstein (another top NatCon donor). Klingenstein did not respond to requests for comment. A source close to Thiel denied that Thiel has directly funded Compact, but couldn't rule out the possibility that an entity Thiel funds has in turn donated to the magazine. In a statement, Ahmari said, "Compact is an independent, for-profit publication supported by our subscribers. A group of investors helped us jump-start it. We respect their privacy and decline to name them." 

Monday, September 4, 2023

Elon Musk is a stochastic terrorist who needs to be pushed out of the American government

Elon Musk is out of control. He needs to get out of our government.

Elon Musk blames ADL for lost revenue, says he's 'against anti-Semitism of any kind'
The tech mogul said Monday he was considering legal action after blaming pressure from the Anti-Defamation League for lost advertisers.

Libs of TikTok is thrilled. There is something seriously wrong with Chaya Raichik.

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