Bari Weiss in the NYT: the “intellectual dark web”

I received this link from many readers, so of course I had to read it. Plus it was a piece by Bari Weiss, a beleaguered Leftist who’s been ostracized by her fellow New York Times writers for going after the Authoritarian Left:

A few quotes from Weiss:

What is the I.D.W. and who is a member of it? It’s hard to explain, which is both its beauty and its danger.

Most simply, it is a collection of iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades and media personalities who are having a rolling conversation — on podcasts, YouTube and Twitter, and in sold-out auditoriums — that sound unlike anything else happening, at least publicly, in the culture right now. Feeling largely locked out of legacy outlets, they are rapidly building their own mass media channels.

The closest thing to a phone book for the I.D.W. is a sleek website that lists the dramatis personae of the network, including Mr. Harris; Mr. Weinstein and his brother and sister-in-law, the evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying; Jordan Peterson, the psychologist and best-selling author; the conservative commentators Ben Shapiro and Douglas Murray; Maajid Nawaz, the former Islamist turned anti-extremist activist; and the feminists Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Christina Hoff Sommers. But in typical dark web fashion, no one knows who put the website up.

. . . But they all share three distinct qualities. First, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly, about nearly every meaningful subject: religion, abortion, immigration, the nature of consciousness. Second, in an age in which popular feelings about the way things ought to be often override facts about the way things actually are, each is determined to resist parroting what’s politically convenient. And third, some have paid for this commitment by being purged from institutions that have become increasingly hostile to unorthodox thought — and have found receptive audiences elsewhere.

What she could have said is that all of these people dare to criticize the Authoritarian Left. Period. Otherwise any extreme right-winger could be considered part of the IDW. And of course Weiss is not only part of the IDW, but it’s most visible mainstream scribe. As she says:

Like many in this group, I am a classical liberal who has run afoul of the left, often for voicing my convictions and sometimes simply by accident. This has won me praise from libertarians and conservatives. And having been attacked by the left, I know I run the risk of focusing inordinately on its excesses — and providing succor to some people whom I deeply oppose.

Still, I’m not happy with her piece, largely because of her failure to explain the dissimilarities of people whom she lumps together. The list includes, for example, conservative broadcaster and writer Ben Shapiro, but I wouldn’t include him as part of the IDW because he’s a garden variety Republican, not a liberal of any stripe, though he at least has sympathy for the #MeToo movement. But why not all vocal Republicans who dare risk the chance of being deplatformed by speaking at a college?

I think where Weiss goes wrong is implying that there’s some political agreement between these “renegades” (as she calls them), and the right: between someone like Ben Shapiro and Bret Weinstein. But there isn’t: Weinstein is a classic anti-racist liberal, and Shapiro is a a young and less abrasive William F. Buckley. Michael Shermer? A libertarian Leftist and hardly someone espousing right-wing politics. And putting Steve Pinker in the group with Milo Yiannopoulos? Again, their only commonality is their criticism of Control-Leftism, but Yiannopoulos isn’t a serious thinker but a provocateur.

Most of the people mentioned by Weiss do, as I said, converge in being willing to call out the Authoritarian Left, but that’s where it ends, unless you’re one of those people who claims that Weinstein or Sam Harris or Claire Lehmann or Steve Pinker are “alt right”—accusations that are common but palpably ridiculous.

Jordan Peterson is in the IDW mix too, but I still don’t know what to make of the guy, and haven’t had much time to listen to his stuff or read his books or articles. Alex Jones? He’s a bull-goose looney, as Randle McMurphy would say.

I wasn’t too impressed by this article given that Weiss tosses into the IDW pot a whole group of people having little in common—people like Kanye West and Alex Jones. So I have a hard time taking her seriously when she concludes this:

I get the appeal of the I.D.W. I share the belief that our institutional gatekeepers need to crack the gates open much more. I don’t, however, want to live in a culture where there are no gatekeepers at all. Given how influential this group is becoming, I can’t be alone in hoping the I.D.W. finds a way to eschew the cranks, grifters and bigots and sticks to the truth-seeking.

The association of cranks like Jones or provocateurs like Yianopoulos with serious thinkers like Heather Heying, Christina Hoff Sommers, Sam Harris, and Steve Pinker isn’t the fault of the cranks; it’s the fault of those (I won’t name them) who want to tar with the label “Nazi” any Leftist deviating from Ideological Purity. We already eschew the cranks, and if Weiss thinks there’s more we can do than say what we think, she should suggest a way.

But perhaps her piece is useful in calling the public’s attention to a number of “renegade” thinkers who might have escaped their attention. Yet Weiss damages her effectiveness by an uncharacteristic lack of thoughtfulness, and a desire to lump together people who aren’t all that similar. The stuff about “gatekeepers” I don’t understand, unless she’s somehow trying to make amends with her critical colleagues at the New York Times. 


  1. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    In the last paragraph:

    Yet Weiss damages her effectiveness by an uncharacteristic lack of thoughtlessness, and a desire to lump together people who aren’t all that similar.

    An error I assume

  2. Posted May 8, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    The Intellectual Dark Web site didn’t work for me when I tried it. However, they seem to have a Twitter account: @IntellectualWeb. Of course, there is probably nothing official about it. It may only be someone who got to the handle first.

    The idea of joining these supposedly free thinkers into a group reminds me of Groucho Marx’ famous line:

    “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”

    But, seriously, I don’t see that they really need a group. It must be considered an honor to be invited to join but who is really doing the inviting? Membership is going to make people think they agree with each other even if they don’t. I can’t see how that would be a good thing. Groupthink is the antithesis of what they stand for (or should anyway).

  3. Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Weiss was not lumping all those individuals together. She noted that: move slightly to the left of this group and you find Pinker; move slightly to right and you run into Milo.

    She also questioned the wisdom of IDWers giving platforms to certifiable whack jobs like Cernovich and Jones — she did not include those types in the IDW.

    The primary objective here is to restore civil debate. To do that, one must engage with ‘garden variety Republicans’ like Shapiro who nevertheless share (lower-case ‘l’) libertarian values and who is also willing to debate civilly.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Although Pinker is one of those listed on the IDW website itself.


    • KP
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I didn’t get that she was lumping these disparate thinkers, bloggers, youtubers together except by their willingness to piss off their respective tribes.. There is no ideological “home” here. If she’s guilty of anything, it’s trying to force some kind of left-right parity in failing ideological purity tests, which, in 2018, falls primarily on the left.

      There seems to be a wholesale misinterpretation of what Weiss was getting at. More than a few people (Paul Krugman among them) accused Weiss of co-opting the language of oppression, which is ridiculous as many of the people on this list actively push against the oppression-as-everything narrative.

      • Posted May 10, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Yeah, but Paul Krugman gets everything wrong.

  4. Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if I’ve already read an earlier draft of this elsewhere but most of it was familiar to me.

    I don’t think Weis is the one limping them all together though. I’ve already heard all these names associated with the IDW.

    Frankly I don’t seem Milo staying on the list as his 15 minutes are well and truly up.

  5. GBJames
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    @PCCE: Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think the IDW “pot” is a vessel of ideological agreement. The “pot” represents a commitment to civil argument about ideas. So I don’t see a problem with “a whole group of people having little in common”.

    Nor do I think she is tossing Alex Jones and the world of cranks into the pot. She’s posing a problem: How to make clear that pot’s stew doesn’t include cranks and nut-jobs. It isn’t an easy problem.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      I see the IDW less of a group of people than a group of forums in which honest debate is held.

      Sam Harris’ podcasts, for instance, where he interviews people like Jordan Peterson or Charles Murray where the ‘politics’ of the episode is less defined by Harris’s hippy leftism or his guests’ conservatism but by the civility they extend to each other.

      It’s a matter of standing up for free speech and being unafraid to challenge modern taboos for reasons other than trolling.

      Quillette and Areo Magazine would probably qualify, as would WEIT, some of what appears in more conservative platforms like Reason or The Spectator (not Breitbart!). Even, right now, Mumsnet.

  6. Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Others I’d nominate to the IDW include:
    Dean Amitay
    Frank Bruni
    Helena Cronin
    Janice Fiamengo
    Heather MacDonald
    Bill Maher

    … and PCC himself.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Alice Dreger, maybe.

      • Eli
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        In fact, Alice Dreger was to feature in Bari Weiss’ article but asked to be taken out:

      • Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        She’s on that web site.

    • Richard Sanderson
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Gad Saad was moaning on Twitter that he wasn’t included. Even tweeting at Weiss that she had forgot him.

      It was slightly cringy!

  7. garthdaisy
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with your assessment. She included some names that discredit the rest and who’s inclusion makes it impossible to define this group. I also don’t like the label “Intellectual Dark Web.” Would prefer a label like “The Real Liberals” to refer to true liberals ostracized by the regressive left for not cow towing to political correctness and identity politics, which is why Jones, Shapiro, and Yianopoulos don’t fit.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      But Jones and Y. she explicitly said weren’t part of the IDW.


    • Diane Garlick
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:34 am | Permalink

      It appears that many just skimmed the article and have come to incorrect conclusions about what it actually said.

  8. Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Douglas Murray wrote about the IDW back in Feb:

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Apparently the term “bull goose looney” is a famous one from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Even if it did not originate the phrase, it became far more popular after the advent of that book.

  10. Mike Anderson
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    How did Ben Shapiro get lumped in there with actual thinkers?

  11. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    “” takes a long time to load. Obviously, not being hosted by a mainstream ISP.

  12. Truevo
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Peterson is a serious and smart guy. I may not like his a bit too-religious appearance (atheist bias of mine?), but at least he is consistent in what he says, not like some fundamentalist idiot (in fact he does not come out of the scientific track). His theory of an “evolutionary jungian psychology” that tries to explain the origins of belief systems in darwinian/evolutionary terms could also be wrong, but it remains fascinating and worthy of attention.

    • Hillarump
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      In fact, he sometimes defends Christianity a little too much (even if he does not call himself a Christian), but his theories about an origin of the Jungian archetypes through evolutionary process are strictly compatible with an agnostic neo-Darwinism. In practice he is saying that the dominance hierarchies have been a force of natural selection for the birth of belief systems and the emergence of mythological ethics. And his theory seems fairly consistent.

      Peterson, however, remains a religious type who is not afraid to examine the Bible at the same level as the tales of Pinocchio or Star Wars (which he considers religious stories, in the archetypal-Jungian sense of the term). It’s plausible that many atheists appreciate it.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      I agree.
      The notion that someone must have a complete logical and coherent theory to be worth listening too is both arrogant and foolish.

      I suppose people like that must hate children.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I’m unconvinced by what Peterson says, but I admire his rigour in making clear what he actually says v. what people (through misunderstanding or malice) claim he says.


      • Posted May 9, 2018 at 1:32 am | Permalink

        I suppose some of the blame can be assigned to him for using uncommon definitions of terms.

        • Hillarump
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 3:28 am | Permalink

          You are right. His definition of Christianity (or more generally his definition of religion) is quite particular, it is not that generally understood, on the contrary it’s quite different… maybe that’s why his message is more reasonable than many others.

          His pragmatic definition of truth instead does not convince me, but from a Darwinian point of view he is right.

        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think that was the case in the infamous interview, for ex.


  13. Eric Grobler
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    “The closest thing to a phone book for the I.D.W. is a sleek website…”

    I get a timeout from Ireland – can anyone else access the site?

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Nope, can’t access it. Maybe that’s why they call it the “dark” web.

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      It finally loaded. It’s an amateur hour Word Press site. This whole “intellectual dark web” think is looking like a joke.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink is a fansite loaded down with videos that the unknown author of the site has determined to be part of the group. The author is “Edustentialist” on Twitter:

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t work from sunny Southern California either.

  14. ladyatheist
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    If the “I” in IDW really stands for intellectual, then she’s casting too wide a net. (see what I did there?)

    I think it’s good for the public who have been hoodwinked by various outrage machines to know that not everybody has been drinking the kool-aid.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Again, Weiss didn’t define this group.

      Shapiro is named in the Douglas Murray article from February I linked to above. The term is older than that. Sam Harris has already done a podcast on the subject.

  15. ploubere
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s human nature to look for patterns by identifying similarities among people or things, and then giving it a name. And thus we get IDW, which includes anyone who says anything unorthodox. Well, that’s not very useful if we don’t distinguish between those making valid and those making blatantly false claims.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      How would you know if they are valid or blatantly false if you don’t read them?

      • ploubere
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t say anything about not reading or listening to them, we should. But lumping the whack jobs together with the ones who have some valid points is not useful.

  16. Posted May 8, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I have accessed the IDW site on previous occasions with ease. Today I find it impossible. Too much traffic for its servers to cope?
    I like the idea. It promotes free discourse.

  17. Deputy Van Halen
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jerry,

    I suggest that you read the article from the link below that was written a few years ago by a Yale undergraduate of no particular notoriety that I’m aware of. It addresses a somewhat different phenomenon, but for my money, it’s probably the best piece I’ve read about what’s going on, but what most people — including Weis — have trouble clearly articulating.

    In a nutshell, and I think what you’ve been getting at over the past few years, the issue is not that the authoritarian left is “intolerant,” but that it’s spectacularly wrong and unthoughtful on the merits. What makes them so frustrating is that people who ought to know better are too afraid to call them out for being wrong and unthoughtful.

  18. tubby
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    You’re not dark web if I can reach your site using normal browsing applications and a stock router.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Google evidently spiders it as it shows up in search results. That’s shouldn’t happen if the site is truly dark. However, none of the links I try get any response. Perhaps Bari Weiss’s article has caused it to be overloaded or there’s just some other problem.

      • tubby
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        It seems to be just slow from too much traffic.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, this is not creeps and murderers “dark”.

      It’s just Edustentialist’s attempt – and a successful one, I guess – to give it some notoriety.


      • tubby
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        No, um. Dark web is about anonymity, like the deep web is about privacy. Trying to wear the mantle of dark web anonymity while publishing your content in public areas like Youtube and Twitter is simply trying to give yourself an air of danger, secrecy, and rebellion against “the man”, and maybe some weird attempt at mystery and romance. They’re just using alternate channels to publish. This is in no way dark web in any way, shape, or form.

        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 3:00 am | Permalink

          They didn’t invent the term Dark Web any more than the New Atheists invented New Atheism. Labels the New Atheists claimed for themselves – e.g. Brights – didn’t take off.

          You can complain about the name all you want but the ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ is out there and if you Google it you’ll find the names on this article.

        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think you’re substantially disagreeing with me.


  19. Eli
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I agree that Bari Weiss failed by lumping together different groups of people. There’s a group of people like Dave Rubin, Joe Rogan and (to a lesser extent) Sam Harris who provide broad platforms to other intellectuals rather than stressing their own views. It is this group of “platform providers” who are faced with the question of who to engage with. It is only they who could be accused (as Weiss does) of “blurring the boundaries” and inviting in the alt-right. The other group of people (like Bret Weinstein, Maajid Nawaz, Christina Hoff Sommers etc) are genuinely independent thinkers who face attacks by the regressive left. Finally, there are anti-Trump conservatives like Ben Shapiro who (here I agree with PCC) shouldn’t belong to the group at all.

    Sam Harris is a bit of a mixed case here, being a prolific intellectual himself and also providing a platform for others via his podcast. He has also been the one most careful (among “platform providers”) about associating with the alt-right, expressing several times his view that while he could have a civil discussion with people like Molyneux, it would open him up to being slandered by association. Ironically, that is exactly what happened to Sam once he did the podcast with Charles Murray.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      I have no issue with Charles Murray.

      I think he has interesting points on the breakdown of modern culture/society and I find him a measured and clear thinker.

  20. Posted May 8, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Jordan Peterson — the thinking man(sexist language deliberate)’s Deepak Chopra, only with Jung & Christianity instead of Ayurveda & Transcendental Meditation. Both are whiny authoritarians with a “nice” message; both talk and talk and talk until the only ones left listening are enthralled followers whose most coherent argument is, “Well it works for me.”

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Bingo. It’s bizarre to hear Peterson rant against post modernism then spew his own brand mystical applesauce.

      • Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Well, sure, but what of his arguments against post-modernism? Are they wrong because he has weird views on other things?

      • Hillarump
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 3:38 am | Permalink

        Peterson is the opposite of a postmodern. In fact, he tries to explain the belief systems through the Darwinian evolution of the Jungian archetypes, and on the basis of these archetypes he demolishes any kind of moral relativism. It also has a pragmatic definition of truth, which I don’t like, but at least he states that truth exists. In this sense you can not say that it is a postmodern (the assumption of postmodernism is that all truths – moral or factual – are relative). It would be like saying that Dawkins is a Christian fundamentalist. Madness.

        • Sodium
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          Peterson is actually even farther from postmodernism than Harris is (at least at the level of moral truth). For postmodernists there is no moral truth, only a relativism in which the narrative of those with more power wins. Peterson instead says: evolution has instilled, within us, over hundreds of thousands of years (if not millions) a shared archetypal ethic that was crystallized in ancient mythical narratives. This is totally the opposite of any relativistic vision, like the postmodern one.

          For Harris it’s more problematic, because Harris wants to establish a universal moral on scientific grounds. The huge problem with this approach is that if you base your morality on the scientific method, you must be ready to falsify it (in the Popperian sense): in practice you are saying not only that the moral you are establishing is not absolute, but you have to test it and possibly change it if it does not work. This is a plausible conflagration of morality into relativism. Gold for postmodernists.

          • Hemidactylus
            Posted May 9, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            The only reasonably construed archetypes were put forth by Goethe and Owen. These were historized by Darwin. If you don’t already understand what I am talking about then I cannot help you.

            Jung at one point contemplated the biologization of the psyche via Richard Semon’s engrams and Ernst Haeckel’s recapitulation after proposing other phenomena such as cryptomnesia and complex theory (based on early version of e-meter and word association) that were ontogenetic and not explicitly phylogenetic. He then leaped recklessky into the abyss of murky mystical notions. His approach was a sad doppelganger of Lorenz and the ethologists. Anthony Stevens long ago tried to resolve sociobiology and analytic psychology. Peterson is no Stevens, who was much more throrough and less opaque on the immiscible bridging. That way madness lies. Ev psych has enough problems with unwarranted leaps, we need not add the fluffy burden of Jungian mysticism. But Peterson will and sound profound doing it. Dollar signs.

            Now if you want to talk molecular themes stemming from Susumu Ohno’s principle of duplication and divergence or Goethe’s archetypal leaf or Richard Owen’s vertebrate or the Urbilaterian OK. Jungians cannot point to anything as compelling. And I doubt Peterson has a clue. He’s a strange attractor for transcendent atheists though. Frickin lobster BS.

      • Posted May 9, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        As soon as I figured out that he was both a clinical psychologist and a Jungian, that immediately discredited him almost completely. This isn’t someone with a fringe opinion outside their field which you can debate; this is someone who holds a massively discredited viewpoint within their specialty. Worse, it was a viewpoint that was pseudoscience from the beginning.

        • Sodium
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

          Massively discredited? Where do you live? It’s not true at all. At all. It’s a very active field of study, especially in Europe, both at a clinical (psychotherapy) and scientific level. Just because you don’t like the idea of archetypes you can not say that analytical psychology is a discredited field. It’s false and preposterous. Evidences in its favor are multiple (not only in clinical psychiatry practice, but also in fields like ethology and biology).

          At this point you can also say that Dawkins’ memetics is pure pseudoscience since the basic idea is the same.

          • Hemidactylus
            Posted May 10, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

            Actually Lumsden and Wilson’s culurgens were more an attempt to bridge innate biology with culture than memes. Jung theorized at a time when Haeckel’s student Semon was thinking in neo- Lamarkian mnemic terms and an aspect of that was phylogenetic memory imprints. Jung was also influenced by Durkheim indirectly via Levy-Bruhl. Durkheim’s socifacts and collective representations were a sociological currency for the underpinnings of collective phenomena. Jung merely tried to phylogenize such phenomena. But a sound basis was sorely lacking. Sure themes abound in myths and fairy tales, but diffusion and ecological convergence cannot be ruled out. And let’s not forget Jung’s penchant for the paranormal. He pioneered the misapplication of theoretical physics to psychology that haunts us to this day. Synchronicity anyone?

            Dawkins proposed memes as an afterthought in Selfish Gene, largely ignorant of Durkheim’s sociology or a similar proposal by Julian Huxley in the form of noogenetics as inspired by Teilhard.

        • Hillarump
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

          Jungian psychotherapy is not pseudoscience. Perhaps the terminology is old-fashioned, but there are a lot of scientific evidences that support it on a neurobiological level.

          I recommend this book, it’s amazing.

          • Hemidactylus
            Posted May 9, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            Next you will be telling us to take the triune brain seriously.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I cannot stand Chopra and Jordan’s over romantic interpretation of religion I find irritating.

      However to describe Jordan is a “whiny authoritarian” is just plain nonsense.
      From my perspective about 80% of what he says is interesting.

      Should we only listen to people who we agree with on everything? As far as I am concerned every genius in history was full of shit in some manner.

    • RA
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Seriously, I can’t understand why people like him so much. His first podcast with Sam Harris exposed his Chopra-esque ideas on truth complete with lengthy word salad soliloquies.

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        If that is your only exposure to Peterson I can understand your impression of him.

        I personally cannot stand Chopra, but in contrast Peterson is willing to entertain ideas that are uncomfortable and he is far more open to the notion that he might be wrong.

      • Sodium
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        Peterson has a definition of truth as a pragmatic-Darwinian truth (thought produces order). Harris has a definition of truth as objective-factual truth (order produces thought). These are opposing definitions: in practice, Peterson makes Harris’s definition come from his own, while Harris does the opposite.

        Which one is right? Good question (without answer). It’s an open question, in which both positions have their “raison d’etre”. Harris says: there are objective truths that have led to the evolution that now allows us to investigate the same objective truths that underlie this process (Peterson calls it Newtonian vision). On the contrary, Peterson says we have mental structures (due to the evolutionary process) that allow us to investigate and find order/logic in the world; but if we did not have these structures (or worse if man did not exist), this order/logic would not exist because we are the ones that – in interpreting the world – “place” this order in the world itself (it is practically a Kantian and at least partially Popperian view, in the sense that science and its logic/order would not exist without the man/observer/experimenter).

        In practice Harris is a philosophical objectivist, Peterson is a subjectivist (as Kant, but pragmatic). For Harris, the subjective truths of man descend from the objective truths of nature (in fact he wants also to base moral truths on scientific truths). For Peterson, the objective truths of nature descend from the subjective truths of man (or from his mental structures, due to evolution): we are the ones that try to put order, even logical, in the world while interpreting it according to the scientific method.

        To say that Peterson’s definition of truth is like Deepak Chopra’s one is pure madness, because behind that there is much more (ie a philosophical-scientific diatribe that has been going on for centuries). Peterson’s definition is Kantian-pragmatic (in the Darwinian sense). That of Harris is objective-factual (in the Newtonian sense).

        If you still name Deepak Chopra it can mean two things:
        1) or that Deepak Chopra is Kantian (?)
        2) or that Kant is worth as Deepak Chopra (?)

        Do you realize the madness?

        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          The difference between the subjective idealism of Kant and Chopra is pretty tiny.

          Kant’s god does a lot of the “heavy lifting” to prevent subjectivism, but that’s just as Kant himself would say, something like a “pious hope” – he was himself not conventionally religious.

          • Sodium
            Posted May 9, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            “The difference between the subjective idealism of Kant and Chopra is pretty tiny.”

            Is it a joke?

            I’m talking about the Kantian epistemology. The subjective basis of knowledge has also remained in Popper’s scientific discussion about falsifiability. You can not deny it. No serious scientist would allow himself to say that his theory is objective truth.

            Comparing Kant to Chopra is pure, pure madness. It’s alienating that people can come to distort the philosophy of someone like Kant up to this point.

            • Posted May 10, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

              I’m not going to walk through the subjective idealism in Kant for you, but as for Popper, yes, that’s the whole point – how does one *get* objective knowledge out of a fallible system? Well, Popper’s wrong about the details, but the principle is correct. Remember that “objective” means “independent of the subject” in an appropriate way. So of course knowledge from scientific research is such, *when it happens*. So “water boils at 100 Celsius at whatever atmospheric pressure” is objective knowledge (to the extent that it is true). You can actually develop a formal theory of reference to show this less impressionistically. In fact, that was done in 1974 *precisely to refute* subjectivist misinterpretations of quantum mechanics. (Bunge, _Treatise on Basic Philosophy_, vol 1-2.)

        • Hemidactylus
          Posted May 10, 2018 at 4:41 am | Permalink

          There is a third way from the forced dichotomy…not really give a hoot what Peterson or Harris think or say about anything. How the heck did Harris become the clearinghouse for what freethinkers should think about reality? And they now jump over the Jungian cliff as herded by Peterson. Stand up straight. Clean your room. Pet a cat. Amazing. The pied piper metaphor seems apt.

    • Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      A gross misrepresentation of Peterson’s analyses of myth.

      And, what, exactly, about Peterson do you consider “authoritarian”?

      • Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:53 am | Permalink

        And, what, exactly, about Peterson do you consider “authoritarian”?

        He made me tidy my room. Literally Hitler.

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:55 am | Permalink


        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          I agree that some people need an authoritarian to tidy their room, and I can only underline the fulsome praise this individual gets for this achievement. But I was not referring to that, and I am surprised anyone would find it worthy of any attention at all, to be honest. It doesn’t reflect well on anyone.

      • Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Authoritarian in the way that he asserts that Jung’s idiotic gibberish must be taken seriously without any scientific justification; and in his method of “communicating” with his diatribes.

        • Posted May 10, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          Whether that’s what he does or not (and I think not), that’s not “authoritarian”.

          I’m no fan of Jung, but as for scientific backup to Peterson’s points, his lectures are full of them. And he seems very familiar with the relevant science.

          • Diane Garlick
            Posted May 11, 2018 at 2:08 am | Permalink

            In what way are the concepts Jung produced science?

            • Posted May 11, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

              They aren’t. They are models or paradigms for understanding human behavior that Peterson finds useful – more useful than I happen to. The danger imo lies in reifying Jungian concepts; I don’t know that Peterson does that.

              In any case, Peterson frequently ties into his lectures a good deal of solid science, including modern, science-based psychology, brain science, and sociobiology.

              The latter, of course, only makes him more detestable to the SJWs.

              • Diane Garlick
                Posted May 12, 2018 at 4:31 am | Permalink

                Well, what one person sees as solid science, another might see as soft. OTOH, pissing off the SJWs can’t hurt. 😉

    • BJ
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I don’t like most of what Peterson has to say either, but I’d like to know what makes him whiny or, more importantly, authoritarian. It seems like you’re using “authoritarian” as a random pejorative.

      • Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps by “authoritarian” they simply mean that Peterson asserts his ideas and opinions with great confidence which, of course, he does. I have no problem with that at all but I think it strikes some as hubris.

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          “asserts his ideas and opinions with great confidence…”
          Far less than Sam Harris imho.

          (and I enjoy listening to both of them, although I am the only human I am aware of who is always right)

        • BJ
          Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

          That would be a very unfamiliar and completely silly use of the word, if that’s the case. I doubt that’s what Yakaru meant, especially considering that most or all of the people on this list are “authoritarian” in that way. But regardless, nobody thinks authoritarian means that because it doesn’t.

          I’m not blaming you for trying to posit an explanation, though.

    • Diane Garlick
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      + 2

    • Hillarump
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 3:50 am | Permalink

      Comparing Peterson to Deepak Chopra or saying that he’s an authoritarian means that you did not understand Peterson’s thinking about the evolution of ethic in the mythical archetypes. You may not like him, I myself have doubts about some of his hypotheses (perhaps his definition of religion is too generic), but to label him as the christians’ Deepak Chopra or as an authoritarian is false and preposterous.

      • Sodium
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        In fact, Peterson is a pragmatist/subjectivist/Kantian. He has nothing to do with Deepak Chopra. Behind Peterson there is a centuries-old philosophical tradition, behind Deepak Chopra there is the New Age.

        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          But as Bunge and others have said for decades – New Age is old hat. Subjective idealism explicitly defended does date in the West to Berkeley and (perhaps) some of the sophists as something like precursors. In India, the subjective idealism has been around since the beginning of that tradition.

          As for Peterson specifically, I see no evidence that he understands why Kantianism and science (and technology) do not mix and attempt to resolve that tension. (To be fair: a lot of academic philosophers don’t see it either, they ignore the bits about causation being *only* “in your head”, and other such things that Kant clearly says and focus on what is correct in vague terms – namely the importance of the knower contributing to structure experience.)

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted May 9, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

      • Posted May 9, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Looking at the world through a particular lens and then interpreting everything in terms of it can be an interesting exercise, but it works well for a great many other doctrines too. Christ, next we’ll be debating Anthroposophy here.

        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          Had to look up Anthroposophy. I agree, let’s not discuss that here.

      • Hemidactylus
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Freud put forward “superego” as internalized father figure. That allegedly sparked morality because Israelites felt guilty about murdering Moses during escape from Egypt. Adler countered with Nietzschean explanation of will to power. Nietzsche himself wanked over transvaluation and slave morality versus the ubermench. What more nonsense could Jung or acolyte Peterson as guru flavor of the month add to this matrix of bullshit?

  21. Mike Anderson
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Bari Weiss’s “intellectual dark web” is neither intellectual nor dark web. Amazing bit of nonsense.

    • GBJames
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      “Bari Weiss’s “intellectual dark web”” isn’t Bari Weiss’s. She didn’t invent the phrase or the idea.

      • Mike Anderson
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Correct. It’s nobody’s because it doesn’t exist.

        • GBJames
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          Come on, Mike. This is the kind of thing that exists by virtue of people agreeing that it does. Clearly many people do. An idea doesn’t evaporate because you don’t like it.

  22. John Black
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Ugh. I know Weiss didn’t mean to equate each person on her list with every other, but often (as Jerry points out) this inference gets drawn. And there are people in this article who are vastly different. Stefan Molyneux is quite friendly with Jared Taylor (an unabashed white supremacist) and subscribes to many of the same ideas. Alex Jones is an outright nutjob. Who would put deeply intelligent people like Sam Harris and Steve Pinker on the same list with these people?!

    I threw up in my mouth when Bill Maher referred to Yiannopoulos as a “young Christopher Hitchens.” Who in his right mind would say that??

  23. Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Bari Weiss’s article is blowing up in the Twitterverse. It has been tweeted on Twitter Moments which is Twitter’s own way of showing trending news. All kinds of people with lots of followers are retweeting and commenting on her article. This probably explains why the intellectual dark web site isn’t working.

  24. Patrick
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Professor Coyne has expressed the same feelings I had when reading this. These people are wildly different; some are malicious trolls and some are compassionate intellectuals. Their grouping together in this way makes it easy for someone to scoff at the whole lot of them.

    I also find that labeling one’s own group the “Intellectual Dark Web” is a tad arrogant, and a tad lame.

    I am a big fan of many of the people featured in the article (which is why the piece made me cringe quite a bit).

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      I agree with your concerns about the danger of lumping together sane intellectuals with types like Alex Jones.

      However I also find it irritating that the moral police feel they have to judicate on who is kosher or not.

      • Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I find it alarming that they feel they have the right to adjudicate that.

        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:47 am | Permalink

          Pretty much.

          I mean, if we start policing who can or can’t be in the IDW based on wrongthink what’s the bloody difference between the IDW and everything else out there?

          The IDW should be the marketplace for ideas that has disappeared in universities and across the media, legacy and new.

          We don’t need Deciders protecting us from wrongthink. We need an environment where good ideas can defeat bad ideas simply by being better.

      • Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think it’s a moral issue. I think it’s a quality issue. Does a person have clearly stated and defensible opinions or are they spouting gobbledegook? Are they open to rational debate with opponents or do they want to de-platform them? And (to paraphrase Sean Carroll) do they care enough about the universe to make a good-faith effort to understand it, or do they fit it into a predetermined box or simply take it for granted?


        • Eric Grobler
          Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          “I don’t think it’s a moral issue. ”

          I agree with your sentiments.
          My point it that it is for the individual to make that judgement call, not the elite.
          I am not afraid to say I think Deepak Chopra is spewing idealistic nonsense, but I have no right to deplatform him, or to misrepresent his ideas, or trying to force my opinion of him on others, or worse – trying to discredit people who have interacted with him.

          In addition, as delusional as he might be, one can probably have a very interesting conversation with him, and perhaps learn something.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            In addition, as delusional as he might be, one can probably have a very interesting conversation with him, and perhaps learn something.

            Chopra doesn’t do conversation, doesn’t add valus – he’s a premier wordbingoist & nothing more.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink


            • Eric Grobler
              Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

              Let me repeat myself – I do not like Chopra’s feel good, new-age nonsense, but sweeping statements like “he’s a premier wordbingoist & NOTHING MORE” is perhaps a bit hyperbolic.

              Michael Shermer said he had interesting interactions with him – thus I am inclined to dismiss your “nothing more” opinion.
              (That does not mean there are 1000 other people I rather have a conversion with)

              My point is let’s just allow people with different opinions to communicate – no need to shout racist, idiot, sjw from every roof top.

              • Posted May 9, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

                People can decide for themselves who they wish to engage with. But I regard it as part of the duty of the public intellectual (and I play one on the internet and sometimes in other venues) to warn others of charlatans, fraudsters, the bigoted, etc.

              • Posted May 9, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink


          • Posted May 9, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think it’s a matter of an “elite” making that call. It a courtesy from whoever’s hosting the platform. They’d be saving your time by weeding out the disingenuous. Who’d want to frequent a site about evolution, for example, where the host gave free rein to every creationist nutter/nutjob who wanted to comment?


        • Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          They really only have in common that they somehow ended up on the left’s shit list in a public way and are at least intellectual-ish and/or have a passionate interest in current events and share their opinions with a large audience. Large audience for the internet, that is.

  25. Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    It looks like it was a web site designed to troll PZ Myers – and it worked.

  26. Historian
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    “Michael Shermer? A libertarian Leftist and hardly someone espousing right-wing politics.”

    For me, “libertarian Leftist” is an oxymoron. Modern day leftists, from the most moderate to the most extreme” believe that government should play an active role in regulating and moderating the economy. Of course, individuals on the left differ as the proper degree of this intervention. Libertarians reject this belief. Shermer has just published in Quillette a summary of his political views, which are largely classical liberal, i.e., modern day libertarianism. However, he now acknowledges that government should be involved in “adequate spending to help the needy.” Perhaps this addition to his political philosophy will cast Shermer out of the libertarian camp. Regardless, since Shermer apparently believes the government should not play an active role in the regulation of the economy, he is not a leftist by any means.

    • Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      “Libertarian” in the original sense was a sister to left anarchists, as far as I can tell. There were also right anarchists also from the beginning, and eventually *in the US* they seem to have adopted the “libertarian” term.

      Both Shermer and Pinker are left in US terms as far as I can tell, but would be right in Canada or Europe.

  27. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I take issue with the claim that Ben Shapiro “is a a [sic] young and less abrasive William F. Buckley.”

    WFB was a man of distinct wit and charm, with many close friends on the Left (indeed, he was well known to prefer socializing with leftist intellectuals). Shapiro, OTOH, is devoid of charm and, if he’s ever shown a flash of wit, I’ve missed it. If you think he’s not “abrasive,” you must’ve missed his act on his speaking tour for his hatchet-job The People vs. Barack Obama.

  28. Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    That’s very bad news. What she says is generally correct.

    I saw the whole thing grow since the beginning, opposed the woke before it was cool, followed many of the names and was even followed back in some instances (hi!)

    I cannot do it justice, for there are twentythree ways to go about this. But this pretty much hits it:

    “What’s more, this frog-kissing plays perfectly into the hands of those who want to discredit the individuals in this network.”

    It’s accurate in every regard. The woke people have cried wolf. When the real wolves came, nobody took it seriously. There was this event just days ago “Day For Freedom” and the promotional material is filled with overt Far Righters, even the Austrian Führer of the Identitarian Movement is on it. At this point I feel Adolf Himself could appear on the promo material and atheist-skeptics still fall over each other to explain this as a joke.

    Bari Weiss has boxed this IDW in. This is typical. The various reactions to the Woke Culture were always easily identified and then shot down, while they managed to never investigate or box in the Woke in the same way.

    But now the IDW is filled to the brim with Far Righters, InfoWars Truthers, Identitarian Movement (Fascism Rebranded) and the likes, and there is little chance to get out of that. The only way I see is when the people in that cluster FINALLY pay attention and dedicate plenty of content against the Far Right, to restore the democratic barrier again.

    But this won’t be easy at this point. They can’t get away with a simply statement. The identitarians are completely designed around lip service, using memes and joking-not-joking and emulation of actual edgelords to blend in, to spread their messages. How can one distance from people who have mastered the denial of neo fascism, while advancing it?

    It’s really bad news, especially for the names I like and respect for a long time.

  29. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    As I recall, Harding lost the bull-goose looney contest at the Oregon mental hospital to old R.P. McMurphy when the latter claimed he’d voted for Eisenhower — twice, and the second time, Ike wasn’t even on the ballot.

    My how our standards for lunacy (particularly political lunacy) have shifted over the ensuing 60 years! 🙂

  30. yazikus
    Posted May 8, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Was Thought Leaders™ taken? I kid, I kid. I follow some of these folks on twitter and so have seen the IDW thing thrown about for a while now. Cynical me sees it as them just self-promoting their brand. Not that that is a bad thing, but there is nothing novel about it, and I find very little novel in the ideas they (generally) espouse.

    • AC Harper
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:58 am | Permalink

      I can’t help feeling that it is a category mistake to collect those thinkers/broadcasters into a collective ‘Intellectual Dark Web’. It’s forcing the individuals into a *group* that many of them would not identify with. Yes, there are commonalities but I rather think these are observed from the outside of a *group* created by others.

      Rather like the debates about whether or not “New Atheists” are a thing.

  31. Posted May 9, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Alice Dreger wasnt too happy about being stuck in there either. As one of her friends put it “a bunch of middle-aged white folk who exchange emails isnt an intellectual dark web”
    I’ve had Alice do guest spots in my class. The students will be thrilled to learn that such a deviant was lecturing to them…

  32. Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    The concept of the political spectrum has lost its utility. Dispose of it. I’m a factist. Where does that fit into the spectrum?

    And Jordan Peterson? He’s a stopped clock, right once in a while mostly by chance.

    • Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      I agree with that assessment of Peterson. See above.

  33. Richard Sanderson
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Amused to see some of the OTT reaction from the New Racists and Regressives over the IDW.

    Ophelia “transphobe” Benson seems unhappy with it.

    I can put aside my own criticisms and doubts about the IDW, in the knowledge it is riling up some of the truly awful people.

  34. Posted May 9, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    By the way, seems to work fine this morning. Fast even. Time to explore.

  35. Marta
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    So a Duke University VP–a champion of free speech! walks into a university-contracted coffee shop, hears a rap song with lyrics he doesn’t like, and proceeds to get two of the coffee shop’s employees fired.

    It seems Larry Moneta, the VP, has made quite an issue out of how there shouldn’t be limits on free speech on campus. Of course, one understands that he means all speech should be allowed except the speech which he, personally, disapproves. Naturally.

    Let us not hold our collective breath while we wait for the “intellectual dark web” to riff on hypocrisy, shall we?

    • Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Based on this article,

      it seems that you have it wrong. The VP complained to the manager of the coffee shop that the music they were playing was laced with expletives. Assuming that is true, it seems like a reasonable thing to do. If the coffee shop is to be enjoyed by everyone on campus, it should find more appealing music. It is not a matter of free speech or free music but a tasteful choice.

      The manager of the store (or the company that owns it) made a decision to fire the two employees. Since the company that owns the coffee shop is a contractor to the university, I imagine they were worried about losing their contract. Regardless, the firing issue appears to have nothing to do with the Duke VP.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        The setting may have been beyond the First Amendment’s ambit, but certainly, in a public building run by the government, profanity constitutes protected speech. After all, Paul Robert Cohen had the constitutional right to wear a jacket saying “Fuck the Draft” in a courthouse.

        Tastefulness is in the eye of the beholder.

        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          Sure, but isn’t it a stretch to assert that the coffee shop employees that chose the music need their free speech rights to be protected? I think the coffee shop management’s rights to decide what gets played overrides the employees’ thoughts on the matter. On the other hand, if the music lyrics included “kill the cops”, perhaps the employees in question might think twice about asserting their rights to say that.

      • Marta
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        “Regardless, the firing issue appears to have nothing to do with the Duke VP.”

        Aw. Pull the other one. It’s got bells on it.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      “hears a rap song with lyrics he doesn’t like, and proceeds to get two of the coffee shop’s employees fired.”

      Sounds like an excellent idea – I propose we ban rap music irrespective of the lyrics and force people to listen to Charles Mingus, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman by the point of a gun!

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        You do realize, dontcha, that many, many people — including many jazz aficionados — had a negative reaction to the radical, atonal free-jazz released by Trane and Mingus and Ornette in the early Sixties similar to your own disapprobation toward rap?

        I’ve a feeling that, had those three great innovators lived long enough, they might well have collaborated with rap musicians — way Miles was doin’ with Russell Simmons and Easy Mo Bee when he croaked. (See his posthumously released album Doo-Bop.)

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          “had a negative reaction to the radical, atonal free-jazz ”

          Absolutely, perhaps I add Albert Ayler and Cecil Taylor to really torture the youth.

          On a more serious note, Jazz music was a serious art form and was a positive force in black and american culture. Rap music on the other hand is negative, crude and nihilistic.

  36. Shaney
    Posted May 10, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Seems almost doomsday cult-ish, with the ‘thinkers’ of the IDW being the shining knights to save us from existential annihilation.

    “Because one of the things that unifies many of the thinkers in the IDW is a belief that the evolutionary strategies that got us to where we are now are unlikely to get us any further?—?particularly our hard-wired tribalism. That the tools at our disposal are so powerful that the odds of our survival are not high unless we can find a way to move beyond our current level of thinking.”

    View at

    This is reminiscent of Steve Bannon’s ‘fourth turning’ apocalyptic worldview.

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