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From The New Yorker:

Slate Star Codex and Silicon Valley’s War Against the Media

How a controversial rationalist blogger became a mascot and martyr in a struggle against the New York Times.

By Gideon Lewis-Kraus

July 9, 2020

On June 22nd, visitors to Slate Star Codex, a long-standing blog of considerable influence, discovered that the site’s cerulean banner and graying WordPress design scheme had been superseded by a barren white layout. In the place of its usual catalogue of several million words of fiction, book reviews, essays, and miscellanea, as well as at least as voluminous an archive of reader commentary, was a single post of atypical brevity. “So,” it began, “I kind of deleted the blog. Sorry. Here’s my explanation.” The farewell post was attributed, like virtually all of the blog’s entries since its inception, in 2013, to Scott Alexander, the pseudonym of a Bay Area psychiatrist—the title “Slate Star Codex” is an imperfect anagram of the alias—and it put forth a rationale for this online self-immolation.

“Last week I talked to a New York Times technology reporter who was planning to write a story on Slate Star Codex,” the post continued. “He told me it would be a mostly positive piece about how we were an interesting gathering place for people in tech, and how we were ahead of the curve on some aspects of the coronavirus situation.” …

The final post went on, “It probably would have been a very nice article. Unfortunately, he told me he had discovered my real name and would reveal it in the article, ie doxx me.” Alexander explained that he has a variety of reasons to prefer that his real name, which can be ascertained with minimal investigation, be left out of the paper of record. As a psychiatrist, he suspects that his relationships with his patients could be compromised if they were made aware of his “personal” blog, which gets six hundred thousand monthly page views.

That’s less than iSteve, although SSC’s pages are likely considerably longer.

… Many rationalist exchanges involve lively if donnish arguments about abstruse thought experiments; the most famous, and funniest, example, from LessWrong, led inexorably to the conclusion that anyone who read the post and did not immediately set to work to create a superintelligent A.I. would one day be subject to its torture. Others reflect a near-pathological commitment to the reinvention of the wheel, using the language of game theory to explain, with mathematical rigor, some fact of social life that anyone trained in the humanities would likely accept as a given. A minority address issues that are contentious and at times offensive. These conversations, about race and genetic or biological differences between the sexes, have rightfully drawn criticism from outsiders. Rationalists usually point out that these debates represent a tiny fraction of the community’s total activity, and that they are overrepresented in the comments section of S.C.C. by a small but loud and persistent cohort—one that includes, for example, Steve Sailer, a peddler of “scientific racism.”

Alexander has long fretted over the likelihood that the presence of these fringe figures could tarnish the reputation of the blog and its community. In late 2013, he published “The Anti-Reactionary FAQ,” a thirty-thousand-word post now regarded as one of his first major contributions to the rationalist canon. The post describes the world view of a group, centered around a figure called Curtis Yarvin, also known as Mencius Moldbug, whose “neoreactionary” views—including an open desire for the restoration of feudalism and racial hierarchy—contributed to the intellectual normalization of what became known as the alt-right. Alexander could have banned neoreactionaries from his comments section, but, on the basis of the view that vile ideas should be countenanced and refuted rather than left to accrue the status of forbidden knowledge, he took their arguments seriously and at almost comical length—even at the risk that he might lend them legitimacy. Ultimately, he circumscribed or curtailed certain “culture war” threads. Still, the rationalists’ general willingness to pursue orderly exchanges on objectionable topics, often with monstrous people, remains not only a point of pride but a constitutive part of the subculture’s self-understanding.

Monstrous, monstrous, I tell you!

They have given safe harbor to some genuinely egregious ideas, and controversial opinions have not been limited to the comments. It was widely surmised within the S.S.C. community, for example, that the arguments in the engineer James Damore’s infamous Google memo, for which he was fired, were drawn directly from an S.S.C. post in which Alexander explored and upheld research into innate biological differences between men and women. (As it turned out, the Damore memo was written before the post, but there was a noticeable overlap between them.) It remains possible that Alexander vaporized his blog not because he thought it would force Metz’s hand but because he feared that a Times reporter wouldn’t have to poke around for very long to turn up a creditable reason for negative coverage.

One of Alexander’s particularly controversial posts, written shortly after Donald Trump’s election, took up the question of whether it was accurate to call the President’s racism “overt.” Alexander, despite his unambiguous distaste for the President and endorsement (in swing states) of Hillary Clinton, presented evidence for the semantic claim that Trump’s actions did not qualify as “overt” racism. (Alexander is conscientious in his efforts to, as the community likes to put it, “update his priors,” and, since that post, he has not minced words about the President.) In 2017, Alexander identified himself as a member of the “hereditarian left,” defined as the ability to believe, on the one hand, that genetic differences play a determining role in human affairs and, on the other, that we ought to act as though they don’t. Often nothing at all appears to turn on such arguments. The rationalists regularly fail to reckon with power as it is practiced, or history as it has been experienced

Did I mention redlining?

, and they indulge themselves in such contests with the freedom of those who have largely escaped discrimination.

… Gideon Lewis-Kraus is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He is the author of the memoir “A Sense of Direction” and the Kindle Single “No Exit.”

 
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  1. But where are the cartoons?

    • Replies: @Dissident
  2. wren says:

    The writer really seems to dislike that guy Balaji Srinivasan for some reason.

    Perhaps the next time that the New Yorker or nyt experience financial problems (soon, I’m sure), Balaji can work out a deal with Ron Unz and Peter Thiel to take over.

    And then offer the position of chief editor to Steve.

    I’d subscribe.

    • Replies: @Jane Plain
    , @nebulafox
  3. Alexander could have banned neoreactionaries from his comments section, but, on the basis of the view that vile ideas should be countenanced and refuted rather than left to accrue the status of forbidden knowledge, he took their arguments seriously

    Why doesn’t Alexander know? You must BAN the bad people, otherwise others might accidentally listen to their arguments

    and at almost comical length—even at the risk that he might lend them legitimacy

    .

  4. It probably would have been a very nice article.

    Journalists who want to get a few quotes from you always like you to think that they’re going to write a nice article. They’re like the detective who pretends to be on your side when he’s interrogating you.

    he feared that a Times reporter wouldn’t have to poke around for very long to turn up a creditable reason for negative coverage

    I’d be willing to bet that the Times reporter had already gathered everything he needed for negative coverage. As Limbaugh has pointed out, when a reporter approaches a high profile figure for an interview, he’s already basically written his story. Nothing the subject says will change his mind. If he’s interviewing someone who’s considered conservative or non-pc, all he wants are some quotes that he can twist or take out of context to make him look bad.

  5. Anonymous[504] • Disclaimer says:

    Just curious, did their famous fact checking department call to find out how scientific is your Racism?

  6. One of Alexander’s particularly controversial posts, written shortly after Donald Trump’s election, took up the question of whether it was accurate to call the President’s racism “overt.”

    I love how “overt” is in quotes but not racism, as if Trump’s “racism” is so bloody obvious, what with all his talk about “the darkies,” and how he never, ever, mentions black Americans.

  7. J.Ross says:

    This is an appropriate time to bring in that journalists have become aggressive punitive activists and thought policemen in a way they weren’t before. In the past they policed thought passively, by selective omission and framing in the writing of stories, but now they are often found clearly intimidating people into conformity or threatening to ruin them with what is effectively defamation and, at worst, lynching. If the target is smart enough to not “like to take a moment to share why [he’s] a violent terrorist racist baby-killer,” his silence becomes proof. The frat house defamed by Lying Stone magazine had its property trashed and windows broken by people who thought they were sending a message to violent gang rapists. Part of what drove Mercedes Grabowski to suicide (after she was “caught” telling the truth about alarmingly sloppy porn industry safety standards) was a journalist threatening her with a story about how she was a bigot, in a business and a part of the country where that could have huge consequences. NPR has always been irritating but they are often now downright nasty. Only NPR could consider that trust funded, privately schooled, upper class nits viciously attacking white working class people and calling it “journalism” is not “punching down.” Don Lemon’s mincing performance as Herod (against Terry Crews’s Jesus Christ Superstar) will survive in textbooks of media decay as a uniquely disgusting nadir. And there’s all the selectively edited and uncontextualized videos bearing out the fixation on Phantom Nazis.

    • Agree: bomag
  8. anon[199] • Disclaimer says:

    It probably would have been a very nice article.

    Yeah, they just wanted to ask a few questions.

    • LOL: Kyle
  9. newrouter says:

    >One of Alexander’s particularly controversial posts, written shortly after Donald Trump’s election, took up the question of whether it was accurate to call the President’s racism “overt.” <

    The "woke mob" found your weak point. You accepted the "woke mob's" description but you then started quibbling about the "seriousness of the charge". You became an infidel in their eyes right there. Better luck next time?

  10. Nathan says:

    Why does the so-called rationalist community lack the courage of its convictions? There was absolutely no rational reason to endorse Hillary Clinton, who would have continued Obama’s policies, which were rationally disastrous. I won’t re-litigate the entire progressive agenda here, but suffice it to say, it’s been roundly invalidated by experience.

    And they KNOW this. I’ve read arguments about “rational sillies” which make NO sense, are obviously self refuting, and would better be described as rationalizations rather than rational actions. Now that it’s obvious that complying with the progressive agenda won’t be sufficient to protect people if they aren’t True Believers, will the rationalist comminity abandon it’s lip service to the left? I doubt it.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @AnotherDad
  11. Rodep says:

    With you as a regular reader and occasional commenter on SSC, I was expecting more from this much-anticipated Slate Star Codex / iSteve crossover event.

    Like, what about the time he banned you for linking to… yourself. That’s pretty funny.

    Where’s the pathos? As his most infamous commenter, are you glad to watch the lefties come for him after he’s worked so hard to keep them off his back, or is it more like a greek tragedy?

    Instead it’s just the usual Steve Sailer breakdown of all the article’s cliches… uh, I mean “tropes.”

    • Replies: @Pericles
    , @moshe
  12. controversial rationalist

    • LOL: Thulean Friend
  13. @Harry Baldwin

    Journalists who want to get a few quotes from you always like you to think that they’re going to write a nice article. They’re like the detective who pretends to be on your side when he’s interrogating you.

    I think you’re quite correct here, Harry. Jared Taylor, who, no matter what you think of his politics, is the most civil, cordial, low-keyed dude around, had a video in which he described his getting suckered into some interview that he really regretted giving permission for later.

    Or, yeah, they can just leave out 1/2 of your sentence, and make you say just the opposite of what your point was, as per my introduction to the Lyin’ Press many years ago.

  14. Kronos says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Vox Day made a superb point on being interviewed by hostile (or potentially hostile) media outlets.

    DON’T GET INTERVIEWED!

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  15. I have just been made aware that the following traffic sign is being displayed on Main Street. I have ordered that it be taken down immediately and am taking steps to find out how this happened. I apologize to the residents of Melrose.

    –iStweet retweet of mayor’s reaction to “The safety of all lives matter.”

    They should change it to “Your Life Matters”.

    That way, the other side’s objections sound personal. As they indeed are.

    • Agree: MEH 0910
  16. Mr. Anon says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Journalists who want to get a few quotes from you always like you to think that they’re going to write a nice article. They’re like the detective who pretends to be on your side when he’s interrogating you.

    Quite right. Nobody from the Times or any MSM source is out to write a fair piece. They are out to reinforce the narrative. We all know how they vote and how they think. Nobody should be under the illusion that they are disinterested or fair. The detective who says “I’d like to help you out here” or “I’m the only friend you’ve got” is a good analogy.

  17. Hey, Steve, any publicity is good publicity, right? I didn’t think of you as a peddler, though, before. “Hey, 2 bucks, 2 bucks, get your ‘who, whom?’ here, I got 6-packs of ‘invade-the-world/invite-the-world”, hey, how ’bout a little New York Times stupidity for the missus?

    I note the author didn’t link to you, just like they never do with VDare. He couldn’t have the reader going to the site himself and checking out the scientific racism, he might learn something, can’t have any of that, heavens no! What a low-down piece this Gideon Krauss is.

    .

    BTW, this Codex guy voted for the Hildabeast? I could see not voting for Trump, but as soon as I’d read that, it’d be it for me for that blog. You start off stupid, and it’s bound to come back.

  18. Hemid says:

    Then-obscure blogger “lend[s] them legitimacy,” they transmute it to “normalization,” yadda yadda yadda, Drumpf?

    Yes. This is how power is practiced.

    Scott’s a lucky boy. He could be hitpieced to oblivion without misrepresentation, but no journalist works like that. They’re constitutionally incapable. And retarded.

    a group, centered around a figure called Curtis Yarvin, also known as Mencius Moldbug, whose “neoreactionary” views—including an open desire for the restoration of feudalism and racial hierarchy—contributed to the intellectual normalization of what became known as the alt-right.

    It’s like a little kid trying to explain the plot of a grown-up movie he slept through.

    • Agree: ic1000
    • LOL: Hhsiii
    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    , @bomag
    , @gregor
  19. post in which Alexander explored and upheld research into innate biological differences between men and women. (As it turned out, the Damore memo was written before the post, but there was a noticeable overlap between them.)

    Yeah, it’s weird how often that happens when both parties are speaking the truth.

    • Replies: @Nicholas Stix
  20. MLK says:

    Alexander, despite his unambiguous distaste for the President and endorsement (in swing states) of Hillary Clinton. . . .

    Well, then he got what he deserved, didn’t he?

  21. Anonymous[334] • Disclaimer says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    when a reporter approaches a high profile figure for an interview, he’s already basically written his story.

    Apparently the reporter contacted multiple peripheral figures of the blog (notable commentators, meet up organizers, etc.) well before approaching the man himself.

    Many such cases

  22. Ron Unz says:
    @Kronos

    Vox Day made a superb point on being interviewed by hostile (or potentially hostile) media outlets.

    DON’T GET INTERVIEWED!

    I entirely disagree…

    I’m only very slightly familiar with the writings of that Scott Alexander fellow, but based upon the tone of the New Yorker piece, I’d say my own articles have been at least 100x as “controversial”…maybe 150x.

    I write under my own name, and I’d have absolutely no problem talking at length with any serious MSM journalist. We’ve been getting 6-7x the traffic of SlateStarCodex, and I suspect that we’re far more influential.

    But it’s very obvious why none of them would ever dare take me up on that sort of offer. I call it “the Lord Voldemort Effect”…

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/scott-alexander-self-cancels-his-blog-under-threat-of-being-doxed-by-the-nyt/#comment-3986316

  23. Neoliberalism is no different from ‘authoritarianism’. The only difference is that the suppression is outsourced to private companies/media instead of the state doing it. This mere technicality is the basis for the neoliberal propaganda about ‘human rights’. Process over outcome.

    • Replies: @Forbes
  24. Everybody knows you are notorious. There was one significant detail in the New Yorker piece left unsaid. They didn’t dox Scott and their comprehensive presentation of the story means that there is no point now in the dilly-dallying New York Times publishing their story and doxxing Scott.

    The glass is half full my good sir!

    • Replies: @Gabe Ruth
  25. BTW. The Wall Street Journal is doing it too.
    The caps thing. Everyone’s doing it.

    Elizabeth Margles, vice president of marketing for quartz manufacturing company Caesarstone, says the racial justice protests shocked her into an awakening about racial inequalities in the areas she oversees in her company. While her company has joined with designers from around the world, none have been Black. Ms. Margles, who is white, says she wants to showcase a Black designer at one of the major design shows, and remove requirements that might block Black designers from becoming more closely tied to the company. “I need to broaden my personal view,” she says.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-black-designers-a-surge-of-new-visibility-and-business-is-bittersweet-11594312276?mod=mhp

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Bleuteaux
  26. What the hell happened?

    • LOL: Forbes
  27. Harold says:

    Mr. Lewis-Krauss can strike an air of condescension, and throw around belittling adjectives like ‘peddler’ all he wants, but he still comes across as a tiresome buffoon compared to Scott Alexander or the monstrous Steve Sailer. I do agree that Alexander is too long-winded though.

    At the pearly gates…

    St Peter: Tyrone, it says here that on earth you have engaged in looting and assault.
    Tyrone: Wypipo be racist to me.
    St Peter:
    Tyrone: Yo, have you heard about redlining?

  28. Ron Unz says:

    In late 2013, he published “The Anti-Reactionary FAQ,” a thirty-thousand-word post now regarded as one of his first major contributions to the rationalist canon.

    Good God! So that Scott Alexander fellow had published a 30,000 word(!!!) “rationalist” denunciation of reactionary thought! Now admittedly I’ve (very occasionally) published articles almost as long, but they’ve covered an enormous amount of detailed ground on actual substantive issues rather than being vague ideological ramblings.

    Presumably he was rebutting that crazy Moldburg fellow, whom I seem to recall was also always absurdly long-winded.

  29. Polynikes says:

    Rationalist? That endorsed Hillary Clinton? Trendily hates on Trump? Got fooled by a NYT columnist? Gee…where will humanity find such a unique pearl to fill that intellectual void…

    Doesn’t seem like much of a loss. Maybe he can moonlight at the Lincoln Project.

    • Agree: Kylie, Gabe Ruth
  30. Anonymous[180] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    I would guess that if Trump loses in November Unz.com will be targeted and taken down by Deep State. Same with Tucker Carlson. The FBI and one or more federal judges will see to it. They won’t even need much of an excuse to so in the coming America (which is already where we’re now at).

  31. yanouz says:

    Steve, if you’re gonna be the “bad boy” of technoliberalism, you oughtta at least have a gangster rap theme song – one that sets you apart from the competition:

    “I’m Steve Sailer, yes I’m the real Sailer
    All you other Steve Sailers are just Jared Taylors
    So won’t the real Steve Sailer please stand up?
    Please stand up? Please stand up?…”

    I’ll spare you the next five verses about Steve Pinker.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
  32. Rodep says:
    @Ron Unz

    It was a 30,000 word defense, actually. He says he wrote it so that people would understand what he was talking about when he wrote his rebuttal a week later.

    But since the neo-reactionaries had never actually written a manifesto for their movement, his take became very influential. If you’ve ever heard people talk about “50 Stalins,” that’s where it comes from.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20200110182751/https://slatestarcodex.com/2013/03/03/reactionary-philosophy-in-an-enormous-planet-sized-nutshell/

  33. Hhsiii says:

    All of these recent efforts to speak up slightly for freedom of thought are so equivocal. Like the authors expect to have to backtrack soon. It’s like they think the main selling point of free speech is exposing and defeating in ideological combat the vile, monstrous and heinous thinkers and their thoughts. Freedom isn’t thought of as worthwhile in its own right. Notice how often the value is scoffed at: of course you’re free to have whatever thoughts you want; but everyone else is free to attack you for them and strip you of your livelihood, property and dignity. Or rather you can have the thoughts. But you can’t express them. That’s how things that everybody actually thinks become taboo.

    • Replies: @anon
  34. These conversations, about race and genetic or biological differences between the sexes, have rightfully drawn criticism from outsiders. Rationalists usually point out that these debates represent a tiny fraction of the community’s total activity, and that they are overrepresented in the comments section of S.C.C. by a small but loud and persistent cohort—one that includes, for example, Steve Sailer, a peddler of “scientific racism.”

    You could safely place a bet about what will turn out to be the central point of this kind of debate. – I could write this stuff myself while half asleep. It’s very important, but it’s not – up to the task, intellectually, what these woke debaters write.

    The most aggressive point in the above quote is the – archaic, ironically enough – attempt to single out and destroy in the name of civilization.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
  35. Bumpkin says:

    This portion may be the funniest part of this excerpt:

    It was widely surmised within the S.S.C. community, for example, that the arguments in the engineer James Damore’s infamous Google memo, for which he was fired, were drawn directly from an S.S.C. post in which Alexander explored and upheld research into innate biological differences between men and women. (As it turned out, the Damore memo was written before the post, but there was a noticeable overlap between them.)

    OK, if the SSC post had nothing to do with the Damore memo, why mention it? Oh right, cuz you just want to throw the red flags “infamous” and “fired” in there and tar SSC by association, even though Damore himself has been wrongly demonized.

    This Lewis-Kraus sounds like a real dimbulb, glad I don’t read that rag and have never heard of him before.

    I wonder how much of this anti-racism BS is simply because they believe that whatever the truth of genetic differences, it is a dangerous idea because it could lead to mass tribal violence. However, they have bent over so far to accommodate the opposite side of “mostly peaceful protestors” that they don’t seem to realize that they’re inviting such a violent counter-reaction, ie Antifa begets the Proud Boys.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  36. @Ron Unz

    I’m sure you know how to handle yourself, Ron.

    VD’s advice was aimed at the more typical dissident – especially the kind lacking in FU money.

  37. njguy73 says:
    @Ron Unz

    Gary North had the right idea.

    Hang up on them.

    garynorth.com/public/7954.cfm

  38. @Ron Unz

    Due to your hard work and genius, you are blessed with proverbial fuck you money. My guess is that SlateStarCodex has an extremely comfortable upper middle class lifestyle, but one still subject to a Bay Area level mortgage. SlateStarCodex may have a spouse that works in a corporate environment that can be cancelled at any moment. Possibly children applying to college or starting out in the workforce who could have their lives derailed by a targeted smear campaign.

    The System targets gatekeepers that are at the edges of permissible discourse, especially elite permissible discourse like SlateStarCodex, because they act as gatekeepers to the Overton Window. The System is less concerned with those who are , no offense intended, already off the reservation.

    I think you are correct that a massive collective action could reverse this social movement, but most people simply act out of shame and self preservation on an individual level.

    You are lucky that dumb people are not that interested in you. If they the target you, things go south pretty fast.

  39. anon[192] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hhsiii

    Notice how often the value is scoffed at: of course you’re free to have whatever thoughts you want; but everyone else is free to attack you for them and strip you of your livelihood, property and dignity. Or rather you can have the thoughts. But you can’t express them. That’s how things that everybody actually thinks become taboo.

    Sure is good that evil Joe McCarthy was defeated. His blacklist was a very bad thing.

    Bumpkin
    I wonder how much of this anti-racism BS is simply because they believe that whatever the truth of genetic differences, it is a dangerous idea because it could lead to mass tribal violence. However, they have bent over so far to accommodate the opposite side of “mostly peaceful protestors” that they don’t seem to realize that they’re inviting such a violent counter-reaction, ie Antifa begets the Proud Boys.

    What if there is no counter reaction, but the Antifa / BLM purges get more kinetic, thanks to the current hands-off Anarcho Tyranny policy that obviously exists from the FBI down to a lot of city PD’s?

    The Woke clearly have a desire to corner their enemies in a box with no way out except death. So far it’s working.

    • Agree: ben tillman
  40. @Ron Unz

    Ron, everybody gets old, even you. Try to keep up.

  41. @Dieter Kief

    “Steve Sailer, a peddler”

    They always accuse YOU of what THEY are doing.

  42. @Harry Baldwin

    Anything you say, can, and will, be used against you. Best to exercise your right to remain silent.

    The New York Times is scum. Their current project is to shut down any corner of free thinking left on the internet. So that their authoritarian Hivemind can rule unopposed.

  43. Kronos says:

    I recall that after 9/11 Homeland Security would try to rate buildings/open areas as either “soft” targets or “hardened” targets. The former had little or no security and was potentially easy to terrorize. While the latter may embody something like a police station or military base that possessed routine security screenings and armed guards.

    I’d argue that today’s “mainstream” or legacy media uses a business model that should really designate them as PR firms for hire. They like nothing more than to attack easy soft targets like “Star Slate Codex” or the unfortunate Dr. Steve Hsu (I recall you had a great interview with him on Hsu’s “Manifold” podcast.) They don’t prefer attacking people who are trained in media and have their own media outlets backing them up. (Think Alex Jones and Steve Brannon.) NBC remembered that shooting people that can easily shoot back isn’t as fun as shooting the unarmed when Alex Jones flipped the script on Megyn Kelly a few years back.

    It also helps that InfoWars possessed legal counsel (I’m assuming) that’s competent in navigating the complex legal arena of media broadcasting. Sure, Gawker got blown up from one mishandled legal case, but it helped them navigate 1st Amendment waters and deter competing outlets from pulling much more basic legal trickery.

    Brannon has tried going it alone and getting interviewed at other people’s choosing (and makeup teams.) On both these two occasions they tried to present him in a bad light (both literally and figuratively) and serve the interview itself as a platform for humiliation. With the interviewers trying pull multiple cheap-ass Frost/Nixon gotchas.

    They attack anyone associated with the dissident right and anyone associated with the “dirtbag” left and other true socialist types. Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast tried an ambush interview on members of “Chapo Trap House,” a Bernie Bro/socialist podcast highly ranked on Patreon earlier this year. They got suckered into a “friendly” interview and it nearly became a exercise in power and humiliation. They weren’t trying to scalp Matt Christman or Virgil Texas but to provide “justification” for neoliberal snobbery and self-righteousness. Virgil Texas held his own overall but Christman got a little higher-pitched which the interviewer took as a sign of weakness and went for the jugular. Chapo also tried to bring up Joe Biden’s potential senility on a Yahoo podcast which currently has a de facto news blackout on that touchy issue.



    Overall, interviews with legacy media are high risk and low reward. They’re dying and don’t possess the same pull from the days when three channels were the norm. (CNN better still be receiving Operation Mockingbird money because their ratings suck and their stocks are overvalued.)

    Genuine debates about actual ideas now currently reside on the Internet. So I still accept Vox Day’s advice on blanket “no comments” for legacy media interviews is still the best choice of action.

    • Replies: @Bugg
  44. RSDB says:
    @Clifford Brown

    OTish but to your comment

    [MORE]

    G.K. Chesterton’s “A Ballade of Suicide”:

    The gallows in my garden, people say,
    Is new and neat and adequately tall;
    I tie the noose on in a knowing way
    As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
    But just as all the neighbours–on the wall–
    Are drawing a long breath to shout “Hurray!”
    The strangest whim has seized me…. After all
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

    To-morrow is the time I get my pay–
    My uncle’s sword is hanging in the hall–
    I see a little cloud all pink and grey–
    Perhaps the rector’s mother will not call–I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
    That mushrooms could be cooked another way–
    I never read the works of Juvenal–
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

    The world will have another washing-day;
    The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
    And H.G. Wells has found that children play,
    And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall,
    Rationalists are growing rational–
    And through thick woods one finds a stream astray
    So secret that the very sky seems small–
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

    Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal,
    The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;
    Even to-day your royal head may fall,
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

  45. MattinLA says:

    “Lewis-Kraus.” Have you noticed that anyone with a hyphenated name like this is invariably evil? Check it out – – every single time.

    • Replies: @Change that Matters
  46. Kronos says:
    @Ron Unz

    I somehow forgot to link my reply. It’s posted up above as number 45.

  47. BenKenobi says:
    @yanouz

    All you other Steve Sailers are just Jared Taylors

    Ok that was funny

  48. @Achmed E. Newman

    …this Codex guy voted for the Hildabeast? I could see not voting for Trump, but as soon as I’d read that, it’d be it for me for that blog. You start off stupid, and it’s bound to come back.

    I felt the same way when I found out he was banging a tranny

    (I don’t feel right commenting on the gentleman’s personal life, but, well, it’s public information already, and I’m half-certain that he was the one to put it out there anyway, and also, you can’t ask people to take you seriously when your girlfriend’s a dude and you’re pretending he’s a lady)

    • Replies: @whahae
    , @moshe
    , @James O'Meara
  49. Mr. Anon says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    What a low-down piece this Gideon Krauss is.

    His father is a homosexual which, I would imagine, can mentally f**k up a guy pretty good.

    I know that’s a very retrograde, cis-het sort of thing to say.

    Because it’s true.

  50. anon[291] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    You run a website that isn’t in too much danger of being canceled and you can provide for yourself financially. That isn’t true for most people. A good rule of thumb is to ignore interview requests. Most “journalists” are activists, some may even be acting as proxies for the government. Most of the time, they write hit pieces. There are countless examples I can think of where interviews were used to defame the subject. By agreeing to the interview, you are tacitly lending legitimacy to the attack in the minds of the audience: “why are you a wife beater?” They think there has to be a grain of truth if you were willing to acknowledge their authority on the subject by your cooperation. The better course is to refuse cooperation and wait for them to publish their piece. You can denounce them and debunk their attack on your own terms.

  51. …[Slate Star Codex] gets six hundred thousand monthly page views.

    That’s less than iSteve, although SSC’s pages are likely considerably longer.

    Don’t worry, Steve, size doesn’t matter, it’s what you do with it that counts

  52. As a psychiatrist, he suspects that his relationships with his patients could be compromised if they were made aware of his “personal” blog, which gets six hundred thousand monthly page views.

    Love those scare quotes around “personal”: oh, sure, he provides a rational rationale for his anonymity… but that’s just the lies of an evil blogger!

    Apparently if your writing is popular, you’re de facto a professional writer and therefore a public figure. I suppose the logic goes like this: I, an occasional contributor to The New Yorker, probably with an MFA behind me, am definitely a Professional Writer and a Public Figure, but I don’t get a fraction of SSC’s page views – therefore how much more professional and public is Scott Alexander?

    • Replies: @Kronos
  53. … for example, Steve Sailer, a peddler of “scientific racism.”

  54. Yikes! If Steve Sailer is a monstrous “fringe figure,” then what are we, who merely comment from time to time on his fringe blog?

    • Replies: @Forbes
    , @Lurker
  55. Dumbo says:

    The post describes the world view of a group, centered around a figure called Curtis Yarvin, also known as Mencius Moldbug, whose “neoreactionary” views

    I get annoyed when things like this are mentioned. First, Mencius/Yarvin could be witty or insightful at times, but he was comically long-winded. I rarely could finish his posts.

    Second, his influence in the “alt-right” (or anywhere, really) has been wildly exaggerated by the media. Other people were more relevant. And I’m no longer sure his “neo-reactionarism” was even serious. Has anyone read his quite ridiculous last text about corona?

    Also, he is Jewish but kept talking about the “Cathedral”, not the “Synagogue”.

    • Replies: @black sea
    , @Ian M.
  56. Dumbo says:

    martyr in a struggle against the New York Times.

    LOL. “struggle against the NYT”. As if it wasn’t the NYT, and the New Yorker, and Youtube/Google, and Facebook, the ones who are crushing and silencing any opposition. There would be no “martyrs” if they just let people express themselves.

  57. @Nathan

    will the rationalist community abandon its lip service to the left? I doubt it.

    This is also true for over the top feminism. As Jordan B. Peterson pointed out so clearly and so often: The public is in dire need of women to stop their lip-service to the dogmatic/fundamentalist/irrationalist feminists. It’s about time!

    Except for that: The scientific community will have to make a distinction and make clear that the public which wants to be on par with the scientific community and their standards would better respect this distinction and this distinction goes as follows: Scientific debates should always be about the right argument – not about the consequences an insight might have. – Violators of this rule are people who corrupt the scientific discourse.

    • Agree: ic1000
    • Replies: @Joseph Doaks
  58. @Clifford Brown

    You are lucky that dumb people are not that interested in you. If they the target you, things go south pretty fast.

    They figure that targeting Ron Unz would come at a too high price.*****

    ***** You can’t get rid of mud rakers without arousing some of that mud. Ron Unz – no pun intended – is like an octopus (and this metaphor works even better in German because the German name has ink in it – the Tintenfisch is a fish wich protects itself by his ink – now this is Ron Unz, isn’t it?

  59. Well, better than a peddler of non-scientific racism, I suppose.

    • LOL: Dissident, Sam Malone
  60. @Hemid

    It’s like a little kid trying to explain the plot of a grown-up movie he slept through.

    If only it were that innocent. An “accurate representation of the opposition” is one thing the Establishment will never, ever permit. Except, in the rare instance, by accident.

    • Agree: Forbes
  61. black sea says:
    @Dumbo

    Also, he is Jewish but kept talking about the “Cathedral”, not the “Synagogue”.

    He addressed this issue in his posts. You may or may not agree with his explanation, but I don’t think he ducked the question.

  62. @silviosilver

    He couldn’t possibly admit that Alexander and Damore had both read the same scientific literature.

  63. @MattinLA

    Gideon Lewis-Kraus has dined off his gay rabbi father’s coming-out story for years.

    Every. Single. Time.

  64. Pericles says:
    @Rodep

    Steve is a pretty thick-skinned fellow. Just read the comments he lets through here.

  65. gate666 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    trump donated to the same hildabeast yet you kiss his ass.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  66. Pericles says:
    @Clifford Brown

    My guess is that SlateStarCodex has an extremely comfortable upper middle class lifestyle, but one still subject to a Bay Area level mortgage.

    According to himself*, SA lives with ten housemates and has an unfaithful (“polyamorous”) partner. Doesn’t seem all that comfy.

    * See SSC current home page: “I live with ten housemates including a three-year-old and an infant,”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Escher
  67. The rationalists regularly fail to reckon with power as it is practiced

    And vice versa, of course.

    The megalomaniacs regularly fail to see reason.

    [MORE]

    Since we all possess both awareness and feeling, what might be termed masculine and feminine, it would certainly be good if those, whose personas are lopsided, developed their weaker half.

    The problem is that such a thing will seem very “unfair” to the more feelings based, and it will seem, to the aware,
    that they’ll be giving up much that makes them “good.”

    Ultimately the two can be transcended, but at least a little effort towards balance could be attempted without getting too esoteric.

  68. bomag says:
    @Hemid

    Yes, LOL!, and it reveals that this “journalist” filters everything through class and race.

  69. eugyppius says:
    @Ron Unz

    Just a bit further to this:

    Most of those getting doxxed/canceled/whatever are left-adjacent figures. The campaigns of cancellation are primarily about maintaining ideological uniformity within leftist and leftist-colonised organisations, like unis. The rationalist sphere meets the left-adjacent criterion unusually well, and so they’ve felt quite heavily the most recent round of ideological enforcement.

  70. @Pericles

    Some zillionaire really should pay for Scott Alexander to take as much time off from his practice as he wants to write, and to pay for a research assistant.

    I like that Scott is a practicing psychiatrist because he has the potential to be for psychiatry what Bill James was for baseball:

    https://www.takimag.com/article/moneyball_for_medicine_anyone_steve_sailer/

    But, zillionaires, please help him out financially.

  71. I do not understand what all the fuss is about. I read some of the self-selected “best of” pieces after he deleted the blog. I found his writing to be mainly a lot of rambling without much substance. But yeah, I find it ironic that he was a Hillary-voting, tranny-banging offspring of a homosexual, and that psychobabble peddler still got canceled.

  72. @gate666

    No, I absolutely do not kiss his ass (far from it, lately), and Trump did not donate to her campaign. Go show me a comment in which I figuratively kissed Trump’s ass, and also work on your logic.

    • Agree: Dissident
  73. Gosh, Steve. How does it actually feel to be monstrous? Do you wake up in the morning saying to yourself, ‘Stand back, world! Here comes a monstrous one.’

  74. Bugg says:
    @Kronos

    Bannon’s debate with David Frum was a triumph to the point Frum conceded Bannon had won. Wish Trump took him back. There doesn’t appear to be much candlepower to the Trump campaign. For example, the Alabama Senate primary; Tuberville is everything that’s wrong with the GOPe, and Sessions despite a disaster of a term at Justice is clearly a superior candidate. Trump is letting the personal get in the way of possibly holding the Senate. And Li’Jared is worried more about whether he and the Mrs. can get a table at brunch in Manhattan. than the country. Would help if Bannon shaved and pressed his suit from time to time.

  75. whahae says:
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    I think he was banging a women pretending to be a men, not vice versa.

  76. Dissident says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    But where are the cartoons?

    After a many-year complete hiatus from The New Yorker, I perused a number of issues a few years ago that were within recent vintage at the time. What a disappointment. The cartoons were barely even a shadow of what they once were. The drawing style was decidedly less quaint, crisp and refined. The messages were tediously, bluntly and even disgustingly politically correct and Narrative-advancing. Same for at least two covers that stand-out in my memory. (One was at the time of the Ferguson or similar riots; the other Muppets Bert and Ernie celebrating the infamous Supreme Court decision on Gay Marriage.) The articles? There were some that I found okay, a few good. But I could never read too far before encountering that overbearing smugness, self-righteousness and utter predictability in upholding The Narrative. Just insufferable. The whole experience was more depressing than not and I just gave up on it.

    • Agree: Escher
  77. Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @HammerJack

    This change in capitalization has a subtext which is quite horrifying. It humiliates Whites and signals that Whites are officially second-class citizens. What is the endgame?

  78. @black sea

    Now see this needs a citation since most of us have read no more than .1% of his absurd long windedness. Yarvin and Scott are two birds of a feather. Every once in awhile they come up with an incredibly brilliant zinger but reading them to get that is like trying to eat corn kernels out of pig shit. What I do is never read them, except when I come across a reference with link to one of the corn kernels then I go read around that. So I did read (some of) the post where Scott told the Trump haters they were still just crying wolf.

    And I did hear the snip where Yarvin said the ethos of GDP maximization was “do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” which he mis-labeled as a Satanic credo, about twenty degrees off dead center. But a sharp observation nevertheless.

    An editor is a very nice thing to have.

    • Replies: @black sea
  79. Art Deco says:

    Our public discussion is dominated by people like Gideon Whatshisface, whose skills begin and end with being able to turn in usable copy on time. Idiocracy is now.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  80. ic1000 says:

    My favorite sentence of Gideon Lewis-Kraus’ article is:

    Rationalists usually point out that these debates [about race and genetic or biological differences between the sexes] represent a tiny fraction of the community’s total activity, and that they are overrepresented in the comments section of S.C.C. by a small but loud and persistent cohort—one that includes, for example, Steve Sailer, a peddler of “scientific racism.”

    I like it for the link, which goes to this article on Fascist Creep:

    Why Racists (and Liberals!) Keep Writing for ‘Quillette’. The online magazine of the “intellectual dark web” is repackaging discredited race science.
    By Donna Minkowitz, The Nation, Dec. 5, 2019

    The thesis of this 28-paragraph essay is that Quillette is a poisonous and literally fascist abuse of free speech, because Claire Lehmann publishes ideas that The Nation‘s editors dislike. Madame Minkowitz calls out people who have appeared in its pages and must be cancelled. The names she knits are, in order: Stephen Elliott, Cass Sunstein, Phyllis Chesler, Meghan Daum, Claire Lehmann, Ben Winegard, Bo Winegard, Brian Boutwell, John Paul Wright, Kevin M. Beaver, Adam Perkins, Jason Richwine, Eoin Lenihan, and Kathleen Stock. Those in italics are of the Left.

    (Which brings to mind Clifford Brown’s comment (currently at #40, supra), “The System targets gatekeepers that are at the edges of permissible discourse… because they act as gatekeepers to the Overton Window.”)

    Ms. Minkowitz’ condemnation of Sailer is limited to the middle of paragraph 8,

    Many of the writers of its race pieces are proponents of the Human Biodiversity Movement (HBD), a euphemistic name for a campaign to advance scientific racism [link to The Forward] launched in 1996 by Steve Sailer, a blogger for the white supremacist website VDare. (Sailer famously said [link to Daily Kos] that “in contrast to New Orleans, there was only minimal looting after the horrendous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan—because, when you get down to it, Japanese aren’t blacks.”)

    Thus, both The New Yorker and The Nation adhere to Journalistic Best Practices, by privileging links to condemnations of badthinkers, rather than to their actual essays.

    I commend Mr. Lewis-Kraus for shielding vulnerable readers from Sailer’s 2014 The Race FAQ. In any case, it’s becoming outdated, given the torrent of new genetic information adding so many details to the story.

    • Replies: @ic1000
    , @Anonymousse
  81. ic1000 says:
    @ic1000

    “I did not read Pasternack Sailer, but I condemn him.”

  82. moshe says:
    @Rodep

    Like, what about the time he banned you for linking to… yourself. That’s pretty funny.

    That is a grossly uncharitable way to mischaracterize Scott’s take on that comment and whether it broke the rules.

  83. I snort-laughed when the author compared the NY Times’s double standards on its policies to Facebook’s. Journalism/publisher v. platform (at least ostensibly). After that it was all downhill with his nonsense.

    I can’t believe we let gibbering morons like him rise to cultural power. Sad!

  84. moshe says:
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Boy you people really do like your juicy gossip don’t you?

    Pretty dirty of you to misrepresent him though.

    He claims to be mainly asexual but to have romantic cuddle relationships with multiple girlfriends, including at one time with a pretty girl who decided that she liked having thinky smart discussions with boys so she called herself a boy.

    Quite different from “banging trannies”, ey?

    You people disgust me. I don’t mean bevause you liked with x or y or z but because your essence is gross. You are dedicated to untruth that besmirches other people in a sexual manner because your own natural sexual urges have gone awry.

    Or not, I don’t care.

  85. moshe says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve, you’re awesome.

  86. @wren

    It’s nice to see the elites squabbling. Maybe this will intensify and become a real blood bath. We can hope.

  87. @Dieter Kief

    “Scientific debates should always be about the right argument – not about the consequences an insight might have.”

    I think you have articulated the problem.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  88. @ic1000

    (Sailer famously said [link to Daily Kos] that “in contrast to New Orleans, there was only minimal looting after the horrendous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan—because, when you get down to it, Japanese aren’t blacks.”

    Including quotes like that as proof of monstrousness a purity test for the true believers reading.

    You know you’re supposed to go “WHAT?! How MONSTROUS!” and you know you’re not supposed to go “well… obviously” but everyone really can’t help thinking the latter. Angrily suppressing your own thought crime is good practice.

    The classic one is when they point out how racist the system is by showing that blacks get arrested more or score lower on cognitive tests… they are asking the reader to demonstrate their submission to the narrative.

    It’s like showing how absolutely obedient your dog is by leaving a piece of steak in front of him and telling him not to eat it.

    Gradually they’re rolling out more and more telling hatefacts this way, removing the sting they used to have as hidden knowledge and training people to know thinking about them is not allowed. Soon enough I think they’ll be casually dropping how geneticists say blacks have less gene markers for high intelligence… as prima facie evidence that genetics is wrong and racist. Low income whites have higher SATs than high income blacks… how racist the SATs are! Etc…

  89. Anonymous[488] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bumpkin

    I wonder how much of this anti-racism BS is simply because they believe that whatever the truth of genetic differences, it is a dangerous idea because it could lead to mass tribal violence.

    Here’s the deal. If knowledge of genetic differences were more widespread among Whites, there would be greater White solidarity. Whites would have a greater feeling of group self worth. Whites would be less susceptible to demoralization campaigns, such as false accusations relating to differences in group outcomes. White women would be less inclined to date or marry people from other groups.

    White solidarity and White continuity are seen by Jews as a threat. Whites are worthy competitors in the sexual market and in the job market. Whites, when Whites are free (and even when they aren’t), are attractive to Jews, and White societies generally welcome Jews who are willing to actually assimilate into White society (a fair condition, is it not?). And there is some small risk that Whites, acting in concert, could exclude non-assimilating Jews from White resources.

  90. Anonymous[251] • Disclaimer says:

    It keeps getting worse. The New York Times has gone way way worse than “Liberal Bias” as documented in Bernard Goldberg’s “Bias”.

    The New York Times has gone down in to full out Cult Marxist Maoist hatred and calls for cultural genocide and physical genocide or mass replacement of poor and working class White Americans or really anyone that dares say or think:

    2 + 2 = 4

    Yes, basic math is racist.

    I commissioned this Farstar Cartoon that just “noticed” what the New York Times was presenting though the likes of Sarah Jeong

    Bernard Goldberg’s main theme in “Bias” was that CBS and most of the American mainstream media had a “Liberal, Leftist” bias.

    I think that’s only a small part of the media problem.

    My observaation is that the “American media” , is dominated by ethnic, racial and sexual groups that hate us.

    Ted Turner was pretty much of a secular Liberal when he ran TBS and CNN. Ted Turner supported Bill Clinton, The UN and strongly disliked fundamentalist Christians. But Ted Turner was a White Southern Gentile and stood out as really the only White Gentile that owned an important American media/news company. Ted Turner tried to make it in LA/Hollywood media circles when he married Hanoi Jane Fonda, moved to LA and merged TBS/CNN with Gerald Levine’s Time Warner Inc. Ted Turner was never accepted by the New York/LA/Hollywood Jewish Media mafia.

    When we turn on CNN in our homes, airports, health clubs, we’re basically letting CNN top guy Jeff Zucker in to our homes/minds – Jeff Zucker really really hates White Gentile Americans – he hates us as much as the worst J Bolsheviks hated Christian farmers/peasants in the Ukraine 1930- that was another cultural and physical genocide and the main reason most Ukrainians went with the Germans in World War II.

  91. Gordo says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Some zillionaire really should pay for Scott Alexander to take as much time off

    Our side deem to be lacking in very rich guys who are prepared to come out on our side.

  92. gregor says:
    @Hemid

    I’ve noticed in MSM articles on the “alt-right” and similar topics that there’s a curious overemphasis on Moldbug and neoreactionaries. Contrary to what the New Yorker suggests here, I’ve never noticed feudalism to be a hot topic on the right.

    I slogged though some of Moldbug’s ponderous writing a couple of years ago. He had some interesting critiques of liberalism and democracy. But he would always run cover for Jews and push all the blame toward “Calvinists.” He says that Jews were just following the lead of the liberal WASP establishment.

  93. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Which just proves that the only cancel insurance is being a (leftwing) Jew. Which we kinda already knew, right?

  94. @black sea

    Unless his explanation was “Because I want to convince you that Harvard is staffed exclusively by Calvinists rather than my tribe” it was more Talmudic bullshit.

  95. @Steve Sailer

    I’m asked this for years: where are the rightwing (or just nonleft) billionaires? I know we all agree that Wokeness is part of a plot by the uber-wealthy globalists (at least in part) and so the “evil rightwing billionaire” is a diversion, but are there NO such animals?

    Where is the rightwing Charles Foster Kane?

    Thatcher reminds Kane that his “empire” is costing him a million dollars a year.

    Kane replies, “I did lose a million dollars last year and I expect to lose a million dollars this year, I expect to lose a million dollars next year! You know Mr. Thatcher at the rate of a million dollars a year…”

    New shot, closing up on Kane. “…I’ll have to close this place in…sixty years.”

    Same with “celebrities” who get threatened; no matter how much money and fame they have, they always crumble and apologize. Same with SCOTUS justices.

    Right now J K Rowling is the only one with both FU money AND balls.

  96. Ian M. says:

    …he took their arguments seriously and at almost comical length…

    “Comical length” – that could describe any number of articles published by The New Yorker, no?

  97. Ian M. says:
    @Dumbo

    Right, the neoreactionary movement (which is mostly underground now) is a different phenomenon than the alt-right. The fundamental principles and central features of their respective ideologies are different. Mencius Moldbug has almost no influence on the alt-right, as far as I can tell.

  98. @Clifford Brown

    Try editing the Wikipedia page for The Unz Review sometime. It’s one of those pages where any effort to present a balanced assessment is immediately canceled.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  99. Forbes says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    It probably would have been a very nice article.

    That reveals the problem–it wouldn’t have been a nice article.

    Hence, The New Yorker takes it on so as to get in the slant about a “controversial” psychiatrist-blogger hosting comments from “fringe figures,” “neoreactionaries,” and conversations that “have rightfully drawn criticism from outsiders” (passive language much?).

    It’s not a feature article discussing a topic in all its glory. It’s “reporting” on a Bad Man who condones discussions of wide-ranging topics, which rather should go unmentioned, as if the Dowager Countess Grantham were censoring the dinner conversation at Downton Abbey, a century ago in 1920.

    Between trashing iconography and censoring speech, the woke-left are neo-puritans.

  100. @Clifford Brown

    A minority address issues that are contentious and at times offensive. These conversations, about race and genetic or biological differences between the sexes, have rightfully drawn criticism from outsiders.

    biological differences between the sexes”

    Well, i never!

    ~~

    Seriously, what is wrong with these people.

    How, you can even amble through life paying the least bit of attention–much less start to reason–then accept the utter nonsense you’re supposed to believe that not only contradicts everything you see around you, but is fundamentally semantically self-contradictory–i.e. false.

    • Replies: @anon
  101. Forbes says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Good observation. I had been thinking the problem with (neo) liberalism was the lack of natural limits or constraint–but that’s the feature, not a bug, for true believers. So yeah, the outsourcing of the enforcement, as a distinction without a difference with authoritarianism.

  102. Escher says:
    @Pericles

    See SSC current home page: “I live with ten housemates including a three-year-old and an infant,”

    Maybe he’s referring to his family.

  103. Forbes says:
    @Tono Bungay

    Miniature fringe figures…

  104. @Nathan

    Why does the so-called rationalist community lack the courage of its convictions? There was absolutely no rational reason to endorse Hillary Clinton, who would have continued Obama’s policies, which were rationally disastrous. I won’t re-litigate the entire progressive agenda here, but suffice it to say, it’s been roundly invalidated by experience.

    Spot on Nathan.

    These “rationalists” who endorse or vote for modern “progressives” are simply a joke. They are not “rationalists” at all.

    The core progressive slogan — “Diversity is our strength” — is an open sociological and historical lie.

    Their core programmatic slogan — “Nation of immigrants” — is, depending on how taken either
    – a trivial tautology
    – a contradiction of their prog program
    – numerically false
    – historically false
    or — what the progs mean —
    – semantically and sociologically false.

    And as their desired policy–mass immigration forever–mathematically and logically (“rationally”) means the US must become the shittiest nation on the planet.

    Note: A “rationalist” can certainly be interested in and support any number of “progressive” causes–universal health care, population control, consumer protection, environmental protection, reining in sprawl/transit/urbanism, etc. etc. Basically the stuff that WASPy “progressives” were interested in before the rise of Jewish minoritarianism.

    But the modern minoritarian progressives core fundamental belief/ideology–the *innate* equality of everyone, with all differences due to “socially constructed”–i.e. “structural” blah, blah, blah or “discrimination”, “racism”, “sexism”, blah, blah, blah–is simply biologically, factually, false and actually biologically and logically impossible. And as a political program destroys any chance for comity, for peace, prosperity and liberty–for having a free and pleasant nation. Rather it engenders endless conflict and necessarily tends to generate and overweening, imperious policy state to manage all the conflict, by micro-managing all human affairs.

    There is nothing “rational” about supporting that.

    Minoritarianism is simply a logically irrational and destructive ideology.

  105. anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    Seriously, what is wrong with these people.

    Dude, do we have to go through all the quotes from Orwell and Dalrymple about how commies require people to believe lies again? How doublethink and cog-dis are a thing that anyone should be able to spot easily?

    Anecdote: I talked once with an older German who was an Ossi, and he said that when the Berlin wall started crumbling people began to admit to each other that, eh, they didn’t really believe the official line, hadn’t believed it for years….but they had been convinced they were the only skeptic. He said it was an incredible, almost indescribable relief when his neighbor told him “I didn’t believe in it” because he could say “You, too? I didn’t either!” and most of his friends were in the same situation.

    Suddenly nobody had to pretend that East Germany’s food stores were adequate or Trabants were great cars, etc. because the informers no longer had a STASI minder demanding reports. It was an example of a preference cascade.

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-preference-cascade?share=1

    I’m hoping we can have one of those, too.

  106. Kyle says:
    @Ron Unz

    “He who must not be named.” I love JK Rowling. She’s astute, and that phrase is genius. People are afraid to admit they know who you are. That would imply guilt by association. It’s less problematic to pretend you don’t exist. Even if that requires massive cognitive dissonance.

  107. Bleuteaux says:
    @HammerJack

    Was “African American” ditched for the sole purpose of repeatedly writing “white” and “Black”?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  108. @Bleuteaux

    I’ve always been fine with using both “black” and “African American” for purposes of variation. It’s not important, but it’s nice for prose style to have two virtually identical synonyms for a thing you write about a lot.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  109. Gabe Ruth says:
    @Morton's toes

    That is interesting, and I’m impressed with Scott for asserting some control of the situation. It seems to me that the NYT guy must have decided to punt it to someone else, rather than prove Scott was right to distrust him. Now the nature of what he intended to write is ambiguous. Maybe the guy’s just paranoid? Skeletons in the closet? Just look at his known associates…

    The writer betrays the game with lines like this: “These conversations, about race and genetic or biological differences between the sexes, have rightfully drawn criticism from outsiders.” RIGHTFULLY, bitch, and don’t you forget it. Settled science.

  110. Lurker says:
    @James O'Meara

    Thatcher reminds Kane that his “empire” is costing him a million dollars a year.

    Kane replies, “I did lose a million dollars last year and I expect to lose a million dollars this year, I expect to lose a million dollars next year! You know Mr. Thatcher at the rate of a million dollars a year…”

    New shot, closing up on Kane. “…I’ll have to close this place in…sixty years.”

    Definitely the YouTube business model.

  111. Kronos says:
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Keep in mind many current journalists have lots of personal anger. The Ryan Holiday book I posted above describes a lousy existence for 95% of journalists. Many work near minimum wage and typically don’t possess a high social status. Many who worked at Gawker relished tearing the high and mighty people down.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  112. @moshe

    Quite different from “banging trannies”, ey?

    Mkay. Personally, I do not care that much and I find voting for Hillary a much worse sin.

    Who are you people who actually enjoy reading his rambling essays ?

  113. nebulafox says:
    @wren

    Srinivasan’s a SV entrepeneur with a background in computational biology and genomics, though he’s more into crypto these days.

    He’s a pretty interesting and deeply intelligent dude who is worth listening to, even if I do not agree with his more overtly libertarian tendencies. He was among those calling COVID accurately from the start.

  114. @moshe

    Alternatively, I misremembered, or was misinformed in the first place, and never cared enough to investigate the man’s personal life further.

    I will say though that banging a girl dressed like a boy is still weird and gay. Call me old-fashioned…

    You people disgust me… You are dedicated to untruth that besmirches other people in a sexual manner because your own natural sexual urges have gone awry.

    Did you not notice the irony, or did you mean that you disgust yourself, too?

  115. @James O'Meara

    I expect it’s hard to get rich without believing in it. A major point of persuasion is the degree to which you’re getting screwed over by the elites, but if you’re benefiting from the screwjob, it’s easy to think that it’s all right and good.

    I also think it’s still pretty easy for a rich person to get crushed. Lots of those people are more precarious than you might think, and their reputation is easily attacked. Remember Donald Sterling? What was his life like after he lost the Clippers? Reviled, abandoned; still rich, but your only company is employees and grifters…

  116. @Steve Sailer

    Some zillionaire really should pay for Scott Alexander to take as much time off from his practice as he wants to write, and to pay for a research assistant.

    Me too

  117. @Steve Sailer

    What about Bleuteaux’s point?

  118. From circa 1925-1970, the New Yorker was a place where you could find often exquisite short stories; brilliant essays by E.B. White (circa 1940-1970); humor by James Thurber; the Talk of the Town column; New York stories by Joseph Mitchell; and cartoons by Charles Addams, et al. that became world famous. And prior to the appearance of Tina Brown in 1992, it actually managed to turn a profit.

    I don’t know when the tide turned. Thurber died in 1961; White went senile during the early 1970s.

    In 1992, the late S.I. Newhouse hired serial magazine killer Tina Brown, as editor-in-chief. Brown was big on “buzz,” but was an incompetent, pc manager. Covers like the peyes-wearing Hasid kissing a black West Indian woman got “everyone” in the MSM talking about the rag, and increased subscriptions, yet Brown drowned it in red ink, leaving in 1998. (Everywhere Brown went, her allies wrote glowing tributes to her, never mentioning her history of failure.)

    In recent years, under Editor David Remnick, the thing simply regurgitates DNC talking points, and its affirmative action staffers celebrate black and Hispanic performers who curse in their work.

    Apparently, if you belong to an AA group, your curses have a mystical meaning.

    The thing by this guy, the professional-son-of-a-gay-rabbi, is a couple of thousand words too long, not to mention anti-intellectual. He must have been paid by the word.

    He indicts Steve for “scientific racism,” and calls him a “monster.” The former term is part of a hoax that was popularized by communist literary fraud Stephen Jay Gould, in The Mismeasure of Man, a book that has been debunked as a hoax. (Gould’s lies cost me nine years—1990-1999—of my life.) However, said debunking had no effect on the racist Left.

    I wouldn’t even assume that the professional-son-of-a-gay-rabbi has read Mismeasure. He may have been content to repeat DNC talking points, which he read in SPLC fundraising letters.
    Meanwhile, this overlong thing was to provide cover fire for the character assassination assignment by NYT operative Cade Metz. Gay rabbi’s son even pulled up the hoary, “conspiracy theory” line.

    That’s the way it’s done these days.

  119. black sea says:
    @Morton's toes

    Now see this needs a citation . . . .

    Not from me, I’m not wading through all of that prose.

  120. @Nicholas Stix

    The thing by this guy, the professional-son-of-a-gay-rabbi, is a couple of thousand words too long, not to mention anti-intellectual. He must have been paid by the word.

    It’s that sprawling New Yorker shit

  121. black sea says:

    Brown drowned it [the New Yorker] in red ink, leaving in 1998. (Everywhere Brown went, her allies wrote glowing tributes to her, never mentioning her history of failure.)

    The New Yorker had been losing money since the mid 80s. Brown was made editor in 1992, and she reduced its losses, though the magazine under her editorship never turn a profit. I wasn’t a big fan of Tina Brown’s New Yorker, but it wasn’t going to pay for itself by continuing along the same path. It was losing money before Brown came there; it lost money during her tenure; and it continued to lose money after her departure.

    David Remnick did manage to reverse this avalanche, which says something for him from a business standpoint, but it’s an entirely different and much less interesting magazine, at least from my perspective. I dropped my subscription during the Tina Brown era, and now almost never look at the articles unless someone posts something that I think might be worth the time. As you point out, the political and cultural perspective is more or less contemporary liberal boilerplate, and as I plow along, I feel my already diminished brain cells withering.

    At the old New Yorker, someone once made reference to the proverbial “30, 000 word article about zinc,” i.e. the sort of article which characterized the magazine and which only a small group of eccentric subscribers would ever want to read. However, these sorts of readers were necessary to the New Yorker, and as they aged and disappeared, that magazine would inevitably disappear with them, even if a rag by the same name still exists.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  122. @black sea

    I can remember reading an interview in 1981 with the founder of MTV, Robert Pittman, about how MTV was going to be the opposite of The New Yorker. No 30,000 word articles about zinc on his network!

  123. @Joseph Doaks

    Thanks for noticing, Joseph Doaks. You talk about this thought of mine:

    “Scientific debates should always be about the right argument – not about the consequences an insight might have. – Violators of this rule are people who corrupt the scientific discourse.”

    May I add, that this is a very short version of sociologist/philosopherJürgen Habermas’ thoughts about communication and “discourse architecture” – especailly in his Theory of Communicative Action and in Discourse of Philosophical Modernity and last but not least Truth and Justifiction (Frankfurt/M, 1999).

    Habermas acknowledges that there has to be a public debate over what is right or wrong, but this debate has to separate the different rules in the separate realms of – science, politics, esthetics and (as of late – This Too a History of Philosophy 2019) – religion.

    He holds that is is none of the smaller accomplishments of – the West, by and large, to understand and develop these four different realms. And that these four realms of insights create different types of insights and contribute all to the overall good of a rational society, as long as they don’t get confused with one another and/or mixed up.

    Politics is the realm of strategic communication. Science the realm of systematically inclined communication (three types of rational knowledge, as established by Immanuel Kant in his three Critiques. It is of no good use especially to bring the strategic type of communication into science, because this would establish power as a criterion and this power-criterium is fundamentally detrimental to what science is all about*****: It is about finding correct results, not about establishing power.

    ***** This was the biggest disservice Stephen Jay Gould did to the western public sphere.

  124. Art Deco says:
    @Kronos

    Nothing prevents them from changing trades. If they’re so ill-paid, just about anything will do as far as their domestic economy is concerned. They’re journalists because they have verbal skills and character defects.

  125. @Art Deco

    Hunter Thompsons sez

    The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits—a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.

  126. Anonymous[715] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco

    Nothing prevents them from changing trades.

    Such as to what?

    • Replies: @anon
  127. anon[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Such as to what?

    Uber driver?

  128. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @ben tillman

    Try editing the Wikipedia page for The Unz Review sometime. It’s one of those pages where any effort to present a balanced assessment is immediately canceled.

    I take it you mean The Unz Review section of Ron Unz’ Wikipedia entry, yes?

    In any event, Ron Unz’ page does contain mention of TUR (or rather, a series of complaints about it), but it does not appear to have its own individual page.

    My guess is that Wikipedia desperately wanted to include it, but ran out of room.

    • Replies: @Pericles
  129. Pericles says:
    @Anonymous

    My guess is that Wikipedia desperately wanted to include it, but ran out of room.

    The Game of Thrones section needed the pages.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  130. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pericles

    The Game of Thrones section needed the pages.

    Well, obviously.

  131. MEH 0910 says:

    Steve gets one mention in this new piece:

    A surprising number of right-wing Trump-era provocateurs, it turned out, came from or gathered in supposedly liberal Los Angeles and its environs: Not just Drudge and Bannon but Stephen Miller, Dennis Prager, Mike Cernovich, Steve Sailer, and Peter Thiel; early Breitbart employees Ben Shapiro and Julia Hahn were Angelenos, too. It is easy to imagine them palling around and getting into petty spats like characters in a dark mirror version of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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