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Why Pinker? Why Pinkerite? Blame Bari Weiss

Hello and welcome to Pinkerite. Pinkerite is this website and YouTube channel looking at race science and the Intellectual Dark Web with a focus on Steven Pinker.

Why Steven Pinker?

According to Bari Weiss, who wrote the definitive article about the Intellectual Dark Web for the New York Times in May 2018, Pinker is the exemplar of Intellectual Dark Web respectability. She wrote:
Go a click in one direction and the group is enhanced by intellectuals with tony affiliations like Steven Pinker at Harvard. But go a click in another and you’ll find alt-right figures like Stefan Molyneux and Milo Yiannopoulos and conspiracy theorists like Mike Cernovich (the #PizzaGate huckster) and Alex Jones (the Sandy Hook shooting denier).

It’s hard to draw boundaries around an amorphous network, especially when each person in it has a different idea of who is beyond the pale.
 And of course Pinker is an author in Quillette (described in the same article as "...the publication most associated with (the IDW) movement.") The "race science" positions in Quillette are so extreme that several Quillette articles have been reprinted in the white supremacist American Renaissance and several Quillette authors have appeared on alt-right Stefan Molyneux's Youtube Channel, as I have documented in Steven Pinker's right-wing, alt-right and hereditarian connections.

Another reason is that Pinker is admired by the media and people who describe themselves as liberal. Even my beloved Justin Trudeau who tweeted images of himself with Pinker in March of 2018.

Some of them may not care that Pinker is a long-time promoter of race science but my hope is that this project will prevent them from pleading ignorance.

Finally, I know a lot about Steven Pinker's career because I've been following it since the publication of The Blank Slate. I've mentioned Pinker many times on my personal blog, which I've had since 2005.

I thought Pinker might be moving away from extreme hard-right positions on race, among other things, until the beginning of 2018 when there was a controversy over Pinker's remarks on political correctness, the alt-right and his charge that academia and the "respectable media" refuse to discuss things like black crime. As I discovered in the first few months of this Pinkerite project, Pinker made those remarks as part of an "Unsafe Space" tour by Spiked magazine, funded by the Charles Koch Foundation.

Predictably, respectable media and the NYTimes jumped in to defend Pinker as with Jesse Singal's piece in the NYTimes. On reviewing Singal's work and tweets it appeared to me that Singal could fairly be described as a Pinkerite - someone in agreement with the evolutionary psychology-based views of Steven Pinker.

I'm not the first person to use the word Pinkerite though - it appeared at least as early as the superb review of "The Blank Slate," called "What Comes Naturally" by Louis Menand in the New Yorker. Menand suggested that in spite of Pinker's misunderstanding of Virginia Woolf's literary views, "Woolf, in short, was a Pinkerite."

I won't stick exclusively to talking about Steven Pinker though. I think that there's lots of information about race science and the "intellectual dark web" that should be known more generally. I will also critique the concept of race and discuss how sloppy the race science proponents themselves are when doing studies and making claims about race and intelligence.

I will interview scientists and anthropologists and others about race and "race science."

I will also talk about the history of Black Americans and the ways that race science proponents attempt to erase their history in an effort to claim that the failure of Black Americans to thrive is due in part or in whole to genetic inferiority.

A word about this project's devotion to accuracy: if anybody notices anything inaccurate or factually incorrect in this web site, or on the Mastodon or YouTube accounts, please contact me at info@pinkerite.com. I have no interest in inventing anything about Pinker, race pseudoscience or the intellectual dark web.

The truth, as always, is stranger than fiction.

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