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Ta-Nehisi Coates

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From the New York Times:

MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ Winners for 2015 Are Announced

Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the best-selling nonfiction book “Between the World and Me,” was at home in his Paris apartment when the call came.

“I wished I could be cool,”** Mr. Coates said in a telephone interview. “But you just can’t be cool.”

These three were among the 24 people selected as 2015 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The fellowships, which have come to be known as “genius grants,” come with a stipend of $625,000 over five years — no strings attached. …

Correction: September 29, 2015

An earlier version of a capsule summary for this article misspelled the given name of one of the winners of this year’s MacArthur fellowships. He is Ta-Nehisi Coates, not Ta-Nehesi.

When it rains, it pours: The New York Times misspelling his name should give Mr. Coates’ enough material for yet another memoir about how oppressed he is by people who think they are white. This flagrant example of insensitivity to black bodies’ creative spelling would furnish a worthy follow-up to his current bestseller about how an Upper West Side woman on an escalator once racistishly said “Come on!” to his son for blocking the exit. ***

* From TV Tropes:

Arkham’s Razor

… A trope mostly in comedic works where, when given multiple explanations for an event, the oddest one is most likely to be true. The inverse of Occam’s Razor. As such, it can be summarized as “When you hear hoofbeats; think zebras, not horses.” The name is a take off of Occam’s Razor, combined with Arkham, which refers to the fictional Massachusetts town in the works of HP Lovecraft, and also to the fictional insane asylum in Batman comic books. Thus, the term “Arkham” is closely tied to the idea of madness or surprise.

** TNC will never be cool. His dweebiness is his essential quality.

*** I know it sounds like I’m trying to pull your leg, but I’m not making this up: TNC really did just get $625,000 for his body being a Genius.

My jokes are next week’s news.

Dave Pinsen wonders whether TNC’s future Nobel Prize will be in Literature or Peace or both. I’d say: Physics. After all, he’s the world’s leading expert on black bodies.

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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

Occam’s Rubber Room

by Steve Sailer

In the 14th century, the English philosopher William of Ockham introduced what has come to be known as Occam’s Razor for its usefulness in slicing through intellectual bloviations: Among competing theories that predict equally well, the simplest should be preferred.

About a decade ago, I coined the term Occam’s Butterknife to characterize the contemporary liberal insistence upon implausibly convoluted explanations.

But now that race man Ta-Nehisi Coates is back with a giant article in The Atlantic about “The Enduring Myth of Black Criminality,” I need a more all-encompassing term to describe this increasingly fashionable rejection of reality. Let’s try: Occam’s Rubber Room.

Read the whole thing there.

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From The Atlantic website:

The Enduring Myth of Black Criminality
Sep 10, 2015 | 12-part series
Video by The Atlantic

In his upcoming October cover story, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores how mass incarceration has affected African American families. “There’s a long history in this country of dealing with problems in the African American community through the criminal justice system,” he says in this animated interview. “The enduring view of African Americans in this country is as a race of people who are prone to criminality.” You can read the full story on September 15, 2015.

Authors: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jackie Lay

So you can’t yet read TNC’s blockbuster article about “The Enduring Myth of Black Criminality,” but you can salve your impatience by listening to TNC talk about his next effusion here.

Meanwhile, from The New Republic:

Screenshot 2015-09-10 14.54.38The New Black Intelligentsia Is Shaping American Thought Online


… A new generation had come onto the scene, with pedigrees that didn’t include terminal degrees, but who were driving the conversation nonetheless. Between the World and Me, which currently holds the second spot on the Times’ nonfiction best-seller list, was written not by a professor but a young black thinker who did not graduate from college: Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates established his reputation not in scholarly publications but through popular blog posts and articles for The Atlantic.

Along with Coates, a cohort of what I would like to call the “black digital intelligentsia” has emerged. They wrestle with ideas, stake out political territory, and lead, very much in the same way that my generation did, only without needing, or necessarily wanting, a home in the Ivy League—and by making their name online.

The only problem for blacks with having TNC as the face of your New Black Intelligentsia, however, is that TNC obviously isn’t exceptionally intelligent.

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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