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Scott Alexander blogs:

A recent spat on Twitter, which I won’t link: some guy using his real name tweeted an offensive joke about how women should make sandwiches at a group of women. A feminist columnist with tens of thousands of followers retweeted with the comment “This is a young man who ostensibly wants a job someday, tweeting at professional women in his field under his own name…RT to help ensure [REAL NAME]’s prospective employers know this when they search for [REAL NAME]’s name”. …

What particularly bothered me about this situation was that the columnist involved was a libertarian who writes for Reason, and her supporters were mostly other influential libertarians.

Not Cathy Young, by the way.

And they were all using the old argument that the concept of “free speech” came into existence ex nihilo on December 15, 1791 with the ratification of the First Amendment, and has no meaning or significance outside a purely legal context of delimiting government power.

My view centers around what I call the concept of being “In the Arena.” The more you choose to be In The Arena of, say, national debate, and the more successful you are at accomplishing your ambitions to be In the Arena, the more reasonable it is for you to be a target for criticism.

I try to be In the Arena, so I’m fair game for critics.

Similarly, I worked pretty hard at times from 2005 to, say, 2010 to point out flaws in the thinking of Malcolm Gladwell, because Malcolm, selling millions of books, giving many highly compensated speeches, and writing lots of long articles in a top magazine, had very much chosen to be In the Arena and was quite successful at accomplishing that.

Over time, my critique of Gladwell has spread, and Malcolm has responded somewhat by refocusing his efforts more toward his strengths than toward the weaknesses I had identified.

This would seem to be a constructive process, even if it involved hurt feelings on Malcolm’s part.

On the other hand, I don’t see much point in putting much effort into critiquing people who either haven’t chosen to be In the Arena or haven’t much succeeded at it.

 
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  1. Seneca says:

    Steve, this may be of interest to you and your readers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/trump-affirmative-action-universities.html

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced plans to investigate and target colleges and universities who discriminate against Whites and Asians!

    DOJ will be recruiting lawyers to work on the project.

    I know Steve has a bunch of readers who are lawyers. Anybody interested and have their resume handy?

    God bless AG Sessions and DT. Something like this NEVER would have happened under Hillary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @midtown
    Yes, this is fantastic news.
    , @Smiddy
    Would be even better if they differentiated the "whites" who are most discriminated against from the other "whites" discriminating everyone else (including the aforementioned)...
    , @Sunbeam
    Law of Unintended Consequences. Maybe.

    Look my take based on what I think I've learned reading this site over the years, that if Ivy or just "elite" college admissions were based solely on GPA and test scores all those institutions would get a lot more Asian. Other than the geography and campus features most of them would wind up looking like UCLA's student body. Sure, we have a limited number of Chinese, it's them we are talking about after all. Well we have a limited number - for now. But most elite colleges have a limited student population by design.

    I think we have enough that the precious snowflakes from Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, LA, Portland are going to have a heck of a lot harder time getting into Yale than mom and pop did - if they get in at all.

    What then? What does that mean? Right now the way the US functions is that elite colleges are the gatekeeper for most of the places and situations where the real money is made, and the decisions that affect everyone are made.

    Unless that changes things like the State Department, Wall Street, think tanks, become a lot more Asian (read Chinese) in a few decades at most.

    I guess that may seem like hyperbole to some. But it seems entirely reasonable to imagine a sector like Wall Street becoming the province of Chinese and Indians (boy that one would be extra special).

    Then what about the current crop of elites? Like that chick at Middlebury College, Elizabeth Dunn? Somehow I think she is going to lose if she ever has to compete on merit with an Asian girl who wants the same things.

    Just saying this seems like a pretty quick way to get a new set of elites. At least if the system keeps on functioning the same way.

    The events are unpredictable. Because my belief is that these freshly minted elites really don't give two figs for the concept of "Diverisity," or something as nebulous as "American Identity."

    The idea seems ludicrous, but if any country ever does it, I think the US does.
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  2. IHTG says:

    Not Cathy Young, by the way.

    Why point this out?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Because I read "Reason," libertarian, woman and thought of Cathy Young, but it turned out not to be Cathy Young. So I wanted to inform other people who had the same thought process of what I had found out.
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  3. @IHTG

    Not Cathy Young, by the way.
     
    Why point this out?

    Because I read “Reason,” libertarian, woman and thought of Cathy Young, but it turned out not to be Cathy Young. So I wanted to inform other people who had the same thought process of what I had found out.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Why not use her name since she is "in the Arena"?
    , @Name
    The only Libertarian worth following is Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

    https://youtu.be/KD6efV3dEPs
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  4. Nolan Brown’s feminism is utterly putrid and in a lot of ways more cynical than Dworkin et al. who genuinely disliked men. Brown just wants to weild feminism as a shield and use it as a leg up

    My theory of the demise of libertarianism is that in the wake of smoking’s ignomious retreat from the public sphere libertarians realized that stigmatization does about eighty percent of the heavy lifting that illegalization does. Libertarians came to see stimigazation and illegalization as effectively equivalent. This unleashed libertarianism libertinism which had been kept in check by the bad but not illegal ideology. at that point that libertarian social policy become indistinguishable from leftism. True freedom can only be exercised without censure or judgement lest judgment start the ball rolling towards proscription.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    In my experience, Libertarians have always been heavy on the (selective) libertinism and rather light on the liberty. Someone once described them as "closeted homosexual pot smokers who like low taxes" and the type seems to have some truth in it. Their gambit is ratifying leftist social war victories (no matter the means or the implications for conflicting liberties) while not putting their shoulders behind the right's push back against creeping left wing authoritarianism. They seem to get off on opportunities for finger-wagging to their right with "neener-neener, I told you so" (e.g., the bizarro-world where if government was never "in the marriage business" we wouldn't be forcing pizza parlors to cater gay "weddings" at gun point).
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  5. whahae says:

    The guy who made the joke tweeted it at a feminist organization. Yeah, threatening his job prospects is crappy behaviour but the guy had to see this coming.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel H
    >>Yeah, threatening his job prospects is crappy behaviour but the guy had to see this coming.

    Well, if he was going to be just another fake media bullshitter they did him a favor by curtailing his "career". Let him get a real job.

    He should take up a grade. Tell your kids to go long on electricians. Tesla model 3 is going to be such a huge hit that everybody will be thinking electric within 3 years. Need a licensed electrician to install all these 240 volt outlets, and there will be 10s of millions of them.
    , @Olorin
    If what I'm seeing locally is any indication, having the globes to make a joke like that and suffer the consequences will at some point lead him to a far better earning situation than "feminist columnist" for Reason.
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  6. The problem today is that everyone is in the Arena, whether they want to be or not. Every comment, even off-hand or impulsive, can be the subject of a campaign of social and professional ostracism. It’s like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
    As a regular person it is easy out of the Focus. It is pretty transparent which things one should simply only say to people you know and trust.
    , @AM

    It’s like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.
     
    The Romans that were feeding Christians to the lions for not worshiping the gods of Rome. Stalin actually stunted the growth of his population. Rooting out heresies is hardly limited to medieval Christianity.

    Meanwhile, if you're thinking about the Cathars, read about them sometime a bit more closely. They were hardly a harmless bunch, especially given the technical/food supply limitations of the late medieval era. By philosophy were this side of a vegetarian, free love, suicide cult, who by the time someone took up arms against them had the protection of all that evil violence they claimed to hate. (If you read very closely, you'll see that we are in fact in a similar era of neo-gnosticism. )

    At any rate, every era has it's orthodoxy and heresy, which is why I'm a bit surprised that Steve is surprised by libertarians going after little guy badthink. Christians tend to be the slowest and most muted bunch in doing so because we have God to take care of all but the worst bits (see Cathars). A libertarian can only root out heresy with money and must because there's no other fall back. It's this world, money, and the freedom to do whatever it is they feel like.
    , @Dr. X

    It’s like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.
     
    Or, perhaps, like 20th-century Soviet-bloc communism.
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  7. @Diversity Heretic
    The problem today is that everyone is in the Arena, whether they want to be or not. Every comment, even off-hand or impulsive, can be the subject of a campaign of social and professional ostracism. It's like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.

    As a regular person it is easy out of the Focus. It is pretty transparent which things one should simply only say to people you know and trust.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Samuel Skinner
    Yeah, CP members were the primary focus of the routine purges.
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  8. Anyone using social media must be aware that others such as the unReasonable people do not play by the same rules. Do not expect fair play or civil discourse. The Marquis of Queensbury was obviously part of the dreaded Patriarchy so his influences must be eliminated.

    Read More
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  9. DJF says:

    Why should a man worry about women interfering in his job prospects when the women say they have so little influence with employers that they can only get 78% of what men get?

    Read More
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  10. Daniel H says:
    @whahae
    The guy who made the joke tweeted it at a feminist organization. Yeah, threatening his job prospects is crappy behaviour but the guy had to see this coming.

    >>Yeah, threatening his job prospects is crappy behaviour but the guy had to see this coming.

    Well, if he was going to be just another fake media bullshitter they did him a favor by curtailing his “career”. Let him get a real job.

    He should take up a grade. Tell your kids to go long on electricians. Tesla model 3 is going to be such a huge hit that everybody will be thinking electric within 3 years. Need a licensed electrician to install all these 240 volt outlets, and there will be 10s of millions of them.

    Read More
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  11. Corn says:

    I used to read Reason but let my subscription expire years ago. I got tired of their pro-immigration cheerleading.

    Read More
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  12. Jake says:

    Basically there are 2 types of Libertarians (beyond the choice between the Marx Brothers and The 3 Stooges). The minority of Libertarians are culturally conservative. The vast majority are culturally LIBERAL. Most of the culturally Liberal Libertarians are as self-righteously vicious as any Hillary Democrat.

    Read More
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  13. midtown says:
    @Seneca
    Steve, this may be of interest to you and your readers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/trump-affirmative-action-universities.html

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced plans to investigate and target colleges and universities who discriminate against Whites and Asians!

    DOJ will be recruiting lawyers to work on the project.

    I know Steve has a bunch of readers who are lawyers. Anybody interested and have their resume handy?

    God bless AG Sessions and DT. Something like this NEVER would have happened under Hillary.

    Yes, this is fantastic news.

    Read More
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  14. This appears to be the tweet:

    https://twitter.com/ENBrown/status/891256227619123201

    Shouldn’t this be an example of Sailer’s first law of female professionals: They can’t stand criticism!

    Or is it: They can be vicious when someone makes a silly remark they don’t like but they expect their mistakes to be instantly forgiven.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kylie
    WTF--??

    My takeaway from that tweet was that women should eat bacon. As I did last night. (My husband cooked it.)

    Jeez Louise, talk about thin-skinned.
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  15. AM says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    The problem today is that everyone is in the Arena, whether they want to be or not. Every comment, even off-hand or impulsive, can be the subject of a campaign of social and professional ostracism. It's like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.

    It’s like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.

    The Romans that were feeding Christians to the lions for not worshiping the gods of Rome. Stalin actually stunted the growth of his population. Rooting out heresies is hardly limited to medieval Christianity.

    Meanwhile, if you’re thinking about the Cathars, read about them sometime a bit more closely. They were hardly a harmless bunch, especially given the technical/food supply limitations of the late medieval era. By philosophy were this side of a vegetarian, free love, suicide cult, who by the time someone took up arms against them had the protection of all that evil violence they claimed to hate. (If you read very closely, you’ll see that we are in fact in a similar era of neo-gnosticism. )

    At any rate, every era has it’s orthodoxy and heresy, which is why I’m a bit surprised that Steve is surprised by libertarians going after little guy badthink. Christians tend to be the slowest and most muted bunch in doing so because we have God to take care of all but the worst bits (see Cathars). A libertarian can only root out heresy with money and must because there’s no other fall back. It’s this world, money, and the freedom to do whatever it is they feel like.

    Read More
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  16. Dr. X says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    The problem today is that everyone is in the Arena, whether they want to be or not. Every comment, even off-hand or impulsive, can be the subject of a campaign of social and professional ostracism. It's like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.

    It’s like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.

    Or, perhaps, like 20th-century Soviet-bloc communism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AM
    Yes, exactly the same, except that Christianity regards very few propositions as materially heretical, only punished activist dissidents, and killed fewer people in two millennia than the Communists did in an afternoon - Communism being a completely fictional theory of life that rendered all people but a few nuts or liars as "guilty" on heresy charges.
    , @AM
    Yeah, apart from the fact that few propositions are heretical in Christianity, and Christianity killed fewer people in two millennia than Soviets killed in a productive afternoon - Communism being an integral, delusionary view of life that rendered almost all men guilty of total heresy for every opinion.
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  17. Libertarianism is a Jewish ideological plot to atomize and destroy the European Christian ancestral core of the United States. Wow, that is some statement. It must be said that that is a doozy.

    How to explain Krauts like Ron Paul who claim to be Libertarians? Pennsylvania Germans such as Ron Paul, especially Germans who came late to Pennsylvania, might be avoiding questions of national identity altogether by embracing Libertarianism.

    Libertarian cowards don’t want to live in Detroit. Libertarian cowards would never have the guts to say that they don’t want to live around Blacks.

    Ayn Rand and John Stossel get on my damn nerves something fierce.

    Libertarianism in one country, said some wag somewhere. No, they’ll never go for that one. Libertarians are just Globalizers.

    Read More
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  18. @Sam Haysom
    Nolan Brown's feminism is utterly putrid and in a lot of ways more cynical than Dworkin et al. who genuinely disliked men. Brown just wants to weild feminism as a shield and use it as a leg up



    My theory of the demise of libertarianism is that in the wake of smoking's ignomious retreat from the public sphere libertarians realized that stigmatization does about eighty percent of the heavy lifting that illegalization does. Libertarians came to see stimigazation and illegalization as effectively equivalent. This unleashed libertarianism libertinism which had been kept in check by the bad but not illegal ideology. at that point that libertarian social policy become indistinguishable from leftism. True freedom can only be exercised without censure or judgement lest judgment start the ball rolling towards proscription.

    In my experience, Libertarians have always been heavy on the (selective) libertinism and rather light on the liberty. Someone once described them as “closeted homosexual pot smokers who like low taxes” and the type seems to have some truth in it. Their gambit is ratifying leftist social war victories (no matter the means or the implications for conflicting liberties) while not putting their shoulders behind the right’s push back against creeping left wing authoritarianism. They seem to get off on opportunities for finger-wagging to their right with “neener-neener, I told you so” (e.g., the bizarro-world where if government was never “in the marriage business” we wouldn’t be forcing pizza parlors to cater gay “weddings” at gun point).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Travis
    well said...I was a Libertarian for years and most so-called libertarians annoyed me. Always bothered me when people like Camlia Paglia and Bill Maher called themselves Libertarian yet supported the green party candidates and always rejected the Libertarian candidates. It seems most libertarians are actually ignorant of Rothbard and other leading libertarian philosophers. Learning about HBD was one of the reason I stopped calling myself a libertarian. Trump was the first GOP candidate I ever voted for and i have never voted for a democrat.
    , @The preferred nomenclature is...
    Leftists are sexual perverts who want everyone but themselves to pay taxes.

    Libertarians are sexual perverts who want no one to pay taxes.
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  19. New political leaders are going to emerge who will speak the truth about the cultural rot in the United States. When President Trump said the fake news media is the enemy of the American people, that opened up a lot of space for Republican Party primary candidates to begin attacking the ruling class stooges in the Republican Party.

    After all, it is clear that the fake news media or the corporate media protects the ruling class rats in the Republican Party just as much as the rodent politicians in the Democrat Party.

    The Alt-Right will be considered a serious political movement when candidates who defend the Alt-Right start doing well in GOP primaries. You only have to say that the Alt-Right has something to say and you won’t disavow them. The Alt-Right needs candidates who are, perhaps, more brave than smart, in order to withstand the crud that the corporate media will throw at you.

    PRESIDENT TRUMP GOT IN THE ARENA, YOU SHOULD TOO!

    Read More
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  20. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Sailer decided to target Gladwell because it’s easier to punch down. A popularizer without a college degree is a lot easier to beat up on that someone like, let’s say, Nassim Taleb. Had you thrown a critiquing punch at Taleb you would’ve been on the mat in no time trying to cover up and tap out as Taleb strikes withering blows of complex probalistic mathematics to your ego while shouting humiliating aphorisms as to why social science is bullshit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Hot stuff.

    https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/789447484351377408
    , @theo the kraut
    Why would Steve do that? Taleb is as un-PC as it gets. I argued with an Arab recently and he lost his marbles when I mentioned Taleb--"racist"," "he hates Arabs!" "who reads him anyway!?"

    https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/820717260792885251

    , @Anonymous
    An interesting comment, if quite misguided, in my view.
    It was fairly recently that I too put Taleb in the same category as Gladwell. It struck me that the topics they were addressing were intellectually interesting, but that what they were saying was probably so much BS. Then, after seeing Taleb mentioned more than a few times on non-mainstream sites, I got one of his books and actually started reading.... and TALEB IS NOT GLADWELL!!!!!!!!!! Taleb is extremely insightful. At the VERY worst, he is one of the most stimulating writers of intellectual non-fiction in recent times.
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  21. Okay, but you, Steve, are talking about critiquing, whereas Scott is talking about shaming.

    Critiquing is wholly compatible with his (your?) broad definition of free speech.

    An interesting discussion would be to try to identify where critiquing and shaming intersect and blend and what to do in that situation.

    BTW, I wish you wouldn’t use his broad definition of “free speech”. I think legal freedom and social freedom are both desirable but in different times, places, and ways. Putting them both under the same umbrella term is confounding and confusing.

    Part of the problem is that when we talk about our “right” to free speech, we’re referring to something somebody is obligated to be our champion over (especially, gov’t). I prefer to live in a society where people can form communities and enforce social norms in those communities. If everyone has a right to very broadly defined free speech, that kind of society is impossible–in fact, it would result in a society where Scott’s brand of rationality would be enforced with totalitarian thoroughness.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Well, I see Scott is already addressing these things on his blog...
    , @ThreeCranes
    "I prefer to live in a society where people can form communities and enforce social norms in those communities."

    Speaking of which, whatever happened to white guys ganging together in clubs like the Elks, Oddfellows, Moose and such? Weren't those basically hangouts where like-minded civic movers and shakers could plan and advance their agenda through networking?

    Seriously now, many here bemoan our comparative inability to organize and fight the cabal of cabalists whom we perceive to be arrayed against us. Have we forgotten that at one time we too had organized ourselves into clubs, the better to influence and wield power?

    Why can't we do this today?
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  22. peterike says:

    I don’t see much point in putting much effort into critiquing people who either haven’t chosen to be In the Arena or haven’t much succeeded at it.

    Well Steve, because unlike nearly all Progressives, you don’t like the taste of blood.

    Read More
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  23. @Erik Sieven
    As a regular person it is easy out of the Focus. It is pretty transparent which things one should simply only say to people you know and trust.

    Yeah, CP members were the primary focus of the routine purges.

    Read More
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  24. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Steve Sailer
    Because I read "Reason," libertarian, woman and thought of Cathy Young, but it turned out not to be Cathy Young. So I wanted to inform other people who had the same thought process of what I had found out.

    Why not use her name since she is “in the Arena”?

    Read More
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  25. When I first encountered the ‘make me a sandwich’ meme, I thought it was horrible.
    But after years of poor feminist arguments which amount to ‘let me take everything while not giving anything in return’ I have begun to think the sandwich meme is indeed fitting.

    Read More
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  26. @Chrisnonymous
    Okay, but you, Steve, are talking about critiquing, whereas Scott is talking about shaming.

    Critiquing is wholly compatible with his (your?) broad definition of free speech.

    An interesting discussion would be to try to identify where critiquing and shaming intersect and blend and what to do in that situation.

    BTW, I wish you wouldn't use his broad definition of "free speech". I think legal freedom and social freedom are both desirable but in different times, places, and ways. Putting them both under the same umbrella term is confounding and confusing.

    Part of the problem is that when we talk about our "right" to free speech, we're referring to something somebody is obligated to be our champion over (especially, gov't). I prefer to live in a society where people can form communities and enforce social norms in those communities. If everyone has a right to very broadly defined free speech, that kind of society is impossible--in fact, it would result in a society where Scott's brand of rationality would be enforced with totalitarian thoroughness.

    Well, I see Scott is already addressing these things on his blog…

    Read More
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  27. Jacobsson says:

    So who did it and why they are hidden?

    They have to be shamed back

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  28. while tweeting like the young man might seem to be being “in the arena” I think modern media has changed the game, youre implying hes almost a freelance journalist. I think it more like as we realized democracy has been hacked we are either in a new form of democracy voice or new form of civil war 4g meme war. as a new democratic vote it deserves anonyimity and the protection afforded belonging to a political party, as a new form of warfare again anonymity. That said the left does both democracy and war dirty and this new generation is supposed to get that above all things so being vulnerable is stupid. Nevrtheless the left should be forced to accept internet anonymity and privacy instead of being allowed to blow up skyscrapers as an excuses to spy on us all

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  29. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    One ought not use their real name on Twitter or elsewhere. Bad move. In any event an his name be excised, with only the message remaining? Am curious as to exactly what he wrote, how worded etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    Update:


    ElizabethNolanBrown
    ElizabethNolanBrown @ENBrown

    Replying to @Tina_Russell
    "Ruining someone's life" is a bit melodramatic don't you think? This will have 0 long term effect. But it's a pattern that needs addressed
    12:38 PM · Jul 29, 2017
     

    Tina Russell
     

     

     
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  30. Richard Spencer is in The Arena. People he has tarnished were not.

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  31. It’s remarkable how eager so many “libertarians” are to play the identity politics game, and most viciously, when it offends their own favored groups.

    Cathy Young will be the first to call something “anti-Semitic” and “racist” when it suits her. This other woman at Reason is happy to sic her dogs on anyone who disrespects her “feminist” needs. I see also that Reason is seriously bent out of shape over Trump’s transgender ban.

    How different are these people, really, from the PC left? How can they not see that their own behavior is just more of PC gone wild?

    Frankly, as usual, these “libertarians” just give me the creeps. Like all ideologues, they lack entirely any sense of proportion.

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  32. It’s an angry twitter mob trying to change social norms. They’re gonna demonize anyone they can, because it takes minimal effort (they’re all simply retweeting that man’s tweet). Why would they care about “in the Arena” vs not? I think you are overthinking this.

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  33. I saw this Twitter exchange too. I was appalled, thought about it for a minute, and decided that mob violence is intellectually consistent libertarianism, and continued to be appalled.

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  34. Randal says:

    the old argument that the concept of “free speech” came into existence ex nihilo on December 15, 1791 with the ratification of the First Amendment, and has no meaning or significance outside a purely legal context of delimiting government power.

    That’s an interesting assertion by Alexander. Back when I used to pay attention to libertarians’ doctrinal disputes (a few decades ago now) there was almost always an attempt to regard freedom of speech as part of the right to freedom of action, and derive it from some first principles – either unalienably endowed by the God for Christians and Deists, or deduced from tautology for Objectivists, or whatever. A libertarian would never regard a right as merely contingent on constitutional or legal definition. The most such things can do in respect of rights is to enact them into law or infringe upon them.

    The standard excuse for suppressing freedom of speech was always the private property argument – your right to free speech ends at the entrance to someone else’s property (or when you post on someone else’s software or website, or write in their newspaper). The alternative was the voluntary rules one – that when you sign up to a group you accept its rules for speech.

    I’ve generally preferred the pragmatic approach derived from JS Mill’s argument, that free speech is the only way we can have any real confidence in the strength of any of our beliefs, which is not of course inconsistent with an underlying inherent rights based position.

    But it does require a robust rejection of hippy nonsense about personal offence or making people upset or politically fearful being “harm”, and an old school requirement for people in the public square to need a thick skin, along with social norms of actively disrespecting those who seek to manipulate debate by crying like little girls over such matters.

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  35. Name says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Because I read "Reason," libertarian, woman and thought of Cathy Young, but it turned out not to be Cathy Young. So I wanted to inform other people who had the same thought process of what I had found out.

    The only Libertarian worth following is Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

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  36. It’s going to be tough for Reason to crawl out of this hole, and it is a pity too, because they had good research in certain areas, which I wish Trump knew so he wouldn’t waste his time.

    But instead, Reason has decided to join other libertarian outlets in proving Marx right- apparently there is class logic, and instead of defending the principles libertarianism would seem to suggest, they defend their class.

    So forget pointing out to the left this backlash has come because they’ve consistently violated freedom of association, private property, etc… – no, let’s call everyone racist, attack men again, and pretend like America has some sort of social obligation to let trannies serve in the military- and pay for these patently non-therapeutic ‘therapies’ too! I wonder if the Koch brothers are actually getting what they want out of these operations, or are they wondering what is going wrong there too?

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  37. Randal says:

    All in all, just another reinforcement of how vital anonymity is becoming in our ever less tolerant world run by politically correct ideologues and identity group fanatics.

    My view centers around what I call the concept of being “In the Arena.” The more you choose to be In The Arena of, say, national debate, and the more successful you are at accomplishing your ambitions to be In the Arena, the more reasonable it is for you to be a target for criticism.

    This seems a reasonable and pragmatic approach, and really quite similar in some ways to my own thick skin approach.

    It’s an easier approach to adopt in practice in the US so long as your First Amendment still applies. It’s rather more problematic in places like Europe and the UK, where speechcrime and libel laws are increasingly available for use by the politically powerful and the wealthy to actively criminalise or to pauperise critics.

    Alexander is surely correct when he writes: “You only get good results if good laws are matched by good social norms”, though he uses a bad example (he bases it on the identity lobbyist fantasy that there is such a thing as “gay people” who are inherently different to other people other than in their behavioural choices and the particular sexual perversions to which they are more tempted).

    We desperately need very strong social norms against revealing anonymous identities, to counteract the increasing intolerance and power of the politically correct lobbies.

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  38. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    One ought not use their real name on Twitter or elsewhere. Bad move. In any event an his name be excised, with only the message remaining? Am curious as to exactly what he wrote, how worded etc.

    Update:

    ElizabethNolanBrown
    ElizabethNolanBrown @ENBrown

    Replying to @Tina_Russell
    “Ruining someone’s life” is a bit melodramatic don’t you think? This will have 0 long term effect. But it’s a pattern that needs addressed
    12:38 PM · Jul 29, 2017

    Tina Russell

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  39. @Chrisnonymous
    Okay, but you, Steve, are talking about critiquing, whereas Scott is talking about shaming.

    Critiquing is wholly compatible with his (your?) broad definition of free speech.

    An interesting discussion would be to try to identify where critiquing and shaming intersect and blend and what to do in that situation.

    BTW, I wish you wouldn't use his broad definition of "free speech". I think legal freedom and social freedom are both desirable but in different times, places, and ways. Putting them both under the same umbrella term is confounding and confusing.

    Part of the problem is that when we talk about our "right" to free speech, we're referring to something somebody is obligated to be our champion over (especially, gov't). I prefer to live in a society where people can form communities and enforce social norms in those communities. If everyone has a right to very broadly defined free speech, that kind of society is impossible--in fact, it would result in a society where Scott's brand of rationality would be enforced with totalitarian thoroughness.

    “I prefer to live in a society where people can form communities and enforce social norms in those communities.”

    Speaking of which, whatever happened to white guys ganging together in clubs like the Elks, Oddfellows, Moose and such? Weren’t those basically hangouts where like-minded civic movers and shakers could plan and advance their agenda through networking?

    Seriously now, many here bemoan our comparative inability to organize and fight the cabal of cabalists whom we perceive to be arrayed against us. Have we forgotten that at one time we too had organized ourselves into clubs, the better to influence and wield power?

    Why can’t we do this today?

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  40. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Of course, the always-nauseating Alex Nowrasteh had to chime in, but he actually did a really great job of summarizing Libertarianism in the Current Year:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AlexNowrasteh/status/891337022505439232.

    “If you have any qualms about ruining a guy’s career because of one stupid little joke, even if you don’t suggest we make doing so illegal, then why don’t you move to Iran, because, frankly, I don’t have any other arguments?”

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  41. Tulip says:

    Should the Princess be feared or loved?

    Its important to make sure the little people get the boot in the face, so they know they are being watched, and if they step out of line, they may get black-listed. Also important to remember, whatever people tell you, they can never be trusted because most are just speaking out of fear, so never indulge in mercy or let up in the persecutions so that they lose fear.

    Never forget, everyone who disagrees with you is a fascist and deserves what they get.

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  42. AM says:
    @Dr. X

    It’s like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.
     
    Or, perhaps, like 20th-century Soviet-bloc communism.

    Yes, exactly the same, except that Christianity regards very few propositions as materially heretical, only punished activist dissidents, and killed fewer people in two millennia than the Communists did in an afternoon – Communism being a completely fictional theory of life that rendered all people but a few nuts or liars as “guilty” on heresy charges.

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  43. Travis says:
    @Alec Leamas
    In my experience, Libertarians have always been heavy on the (selective) libertinism and rather light on the liberty. Someone once described them as "closeted homosexual pot smokers who like low taxes" and the type seems to have some truth in it. Their gambit is ratifying leftist social war victories (no matter the means or the implications for conflicting liberties) while not putting their shoulders behind the right's push back against creeping left wing authoritarianism. They seem to get off on opportunities for finger-wagging to their right with "neener-neener, I told you so" (e.g., the bizarro-world where if government was never "in the marriage business" we wouldn't be forcing pizza parlors to cater gay "weddings" at gun point).

    well said…I was a Libertarian for years and most so-called libertarians annoyed me. Always bothered me when people like Camlia Paglia and Bill Maher called themselves Libertarian yet supported the green party candidates and always rejected the Libertarian candidates. It seems most libertarians are actually ignorant of Rothbard and other leading libertarian philosophers. Learning about HBD was one of the reason I stopped calling myself a libertarian. Trump was the first GOP candidate I ever voted for and i have never voted for a democrat.

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  44. AM says:
    @Dr. X

    It’s like in medieval Christianity: you can express different views within the overall structure of orthodoxy, but heresy has to be identified, punished and rooted out.
     
    Or, perhaps, like 20th-century Soviet-bloc communism.

    Yeah, apart from the fact that few propositions are heretical in Christianity, and Christianity killed fewer people in two millennia than Soviets killed in a productive afternoon – Communism being an integral, delusionary view of life that rendered almost all men guilty of total heresy for every opinion.

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  45. Kylie says:
    @Peripatetic commenter
    This appears to be the tweet:

    https://twitter.com/ENBrown/status/891256227619123201

    Shouldn't this be an example of Sailer's first law of female professionals: They can't stand criticism!

    Or is it: They can be vicious when someone makes a silly remark they don't like but they expect their mistakes to be instantly forgiven.

    WTF–??

    My takeaway from that tweet was that women should eat bacon. As I did last night. (My husband cooked it.)

    Jeez Louise, talk about thin-skinned.

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  46. @Anonymous
    Sailer decided to target Gladwell because it's easier to punch down. A popularizer without a college degree is a lot easier to beat up on that someone like, let's say, Nassim Taleb. Had you thrown a critiquing punch at Taleb you would've been on the mat in no time trying to cover up and tap out as Taleb strikes withering blows of complex probalistic mathematics to your ego while shouting humiliating aphorisms as to why social science is bullshit.

    Hot stuff.

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  47. Those who wish to restrict free speech call for a ban on anonymous commenting on the Internet.

    If discussions on the Internet are trying to elucidate, to bring to light, to develop reasoned, coherent arguments, to persuade or justify, then why should it matter from where or whose voice the argument emanates from?

    If one is serious in their quest for Truth, then the name and identity of the commenter is the LEAST important thing about the comment–completely irrelevant in fact.

    That spokespersons for the Left call for naming the commenter demonstrates that they have other things on their mind and it’s not discovering the Truth.

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  48. anonn says:

    Pointing out the idiocy of libertarians is like shooting paralyzed, motionless fish in a tiny barrel. Half of them are libertarians because they think having to pay some taxes on the money they expect to inherit from Daddy is worse than genocide. The other half are libertarians because they want to have sex with children.

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  49. Smiddy says:
    @Seneca
    Steve, this may be of interest to you and your readers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/trump-affirmative-action-universities.html

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced plans to investigate and target colleges and universities who discriminate against Whites and Asians!

    DOJ will be recruiting lawyers to work on the project.

    I know Steve has a bunch of readers who are lawyers. Anybody interested and have their resume handy?

    God bless AG Sessions and DT. Something like this NEVER would have happened under Hillary.

    Would be even better if they differentiated the “whites” who are most discriminated against from the other “whites” discriminating everyone else (including the aforementioned)…

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  50. I wish people would just say that they don’t believe in free speech. It’s ok not to, but instead they claim to and add multiple qualifications.

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  51. Sunbeam says:
    @Seneca
    Steve, this may be of interest to you and your readers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/trump-affirmative-action-universities.html

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) just announced plans to investigate and target colleges and universities who discriminate against Whites and Asians!

    DOJ will be recruiting lawyers to work on the project.

    I know Steve has a bunch of readers who are lawyers. Anybody interested and have their resume handy?

    God bless AG Sessions and DT. Something like this NEVER would have happened under Hillary.

    Law of Unintended Consequences. Maybe.

    Look my take based on what I think I’ve learned reading this site over the years, that if Ivy or just “elite” college admissions were based solely on GPA and test scores all those institutions would get a lot more Asian. Other than the geography and campus features most of them would wind up looking like UCLA’s student body. Sure, we have a limited number of Chinese, it’s them we are talking about after all. Well we have a limited number – for now. But most elite colleges have a limited student population by design.

    I think we have enough that the precious snowflakes from Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, LA, Portland are going to have a heck of a lot harder time getting into Yale than mom and pop did – if they get in at all.

    What then? What does that mean? Right now the way the US functions is that elite colleges are the gatekeeper for most of the places and situations where the real money is made, and the decisions that affect everyone are made.

    Unless that changes things like the State Department, Wall Street, think tanks, become a lot more Asian (read Chinese) in a few decades at most.

    I guess that may seem like hyperbole to some. But it seems entirely reasonable to imagine a sector like Wall Street becoming the province of Chinese and Indians (boy that one would be extra special).

    Then what about the current crop of elites? Like that chick at Middlebury College, Elizabeth Dunn? Somehow I think she is going to lose if she ever has to compete on merit with an Asian girl who wants the same things.

    Just saying this seems like a pretty quick way to get a new set of elites. At least if the system keeps on functioning the same way.

    The events are unpredictable. Because my belief is that these freshly minted elites really don’t give two figs for the concept of “Diverisity,” or something as nebulous as “American Identity.”

    The idea seems ludicrous, but if any country ever does it, I think the US does.

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  52. Olorin says:
    @whahae
    The guy who made the joke tweeted it at a feminist organization. Yeah, threatening his job prospects is crappy behaviour but the guy had to see this coming.

    If what I’m seeing locally is any indication, having the globes to make a joke like that and suffer the consequences will at some point lead him to a far better earning situation than “feminist columnist” for Reason.

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  53. Olorin says:

    If one is truly in an Arena–meaning a place where blood sports and pitched battle occur–one should not focus on swatting gnats.

    Gnat-swatting is my #1 tip-off that the Arena is actually a play-pen.

    Histrionically swatting gnats, or going after them with a flamethrower, is asylum behavior.

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  54. @Alec Leamas
    In my experience, Libertarians have always been heavy on the (selective) libertinism and rather light on the liberty. Someone once described them as "closeted homosexual pot smokers who like low taxes" and the type seems to have some truth in it. Their gambit is ratifying leftist social war victories (no matter the means or the implications for conflicting liberties) while not putting their shoulders behind the right's push back against creeping left wing authoritarianism. They seem to get off on opportunities for finger-wagging to their right with "neener-neener, I told you so" (e.g., the bizarro-world where if government was never "in the marriage business" we wouldn't be forcing pizza parlors to cater gay "weddings" at gun point).

    Leftists are sexual perverts who want everyone but themselves to pay taxes.

    Libertarians are sexual perverts who want no one to pay taxes.

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  55. @Anonymous
    Sailer decided to target Gladwell because it's easier to punch down. A popularizer without a college degree is a lot easier to beat up on that someone like, let's say, Nassim Taleb. Had you thrown a critiquing punch at Taleb you would've been on the mat in no time trying to cover up and tap out as Taleb strikes withering blows of complex probalistic mathematics to your ego while shouting humiliating aphorisms as to why social science is bullshit.

    Why would Steve do that? Taleb is as un-PC as it gets. I argued with an Arab recently and he lost his marbles when I mentioned Taleb–”racist”,” “he hates Arabs!” “who reads him anyway!?”

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I like how Ali Khanifer can't even manage what seems an attempt at English, while Taleb seems to have mastered tweetspeak.
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  56. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    Sailer decided to target Gladwell because it's easier to punch down. A popularizer without a college degree is a lot easier to beat up on that someone like, let's say, Nassim Taleb. Had you thrown a critiquing punch at Taleb you would've been on the mat in no time trying to cover up and tap out as Taleb strikes withering blows of complex probalistic mathematics to your ego while shouting humiliating aphorisms as to why social science is bullshit.

    An interesting comment, if quite misguided, in my view.
    It was fairly recently that I too put Taleb in the same category as Gladwell. It struck me that the topics they were addressing were intellectually interesting, but that what they were saying was probably so much BS. Then, after seeing Taleb mentioned more than a few times on non-mainstream sites, I got one of his books and actually started reading…. and TALEB IS NOT GLADWELL!!!!!!!!!! Taleb is extremely insightful. At the VERY worst, he is one of the most stimulating writers of intellectual non-fiction in recent times.

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  57. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @theo the kraut
    Why would Steve do that? Taleb is as un-PC as it gets. I argued with an Arab recently and he lost his marbles when I mentioned Taleb--"racist"," "he hates Arabs!" "who reads him anyway!?"

    https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/820717260792885251

    I like how Ali Khanifer can’t even manage what seems an attempt at English, while Taleb seems to have mastered tweetspeak.

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