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The intellectual dark web: Increasingly, a refuge from approved stupid noise


From Douglas Murray at the UK Spectator:

Of course the intellectual dark web partly thrives because it does not have the limitations of the traditional media. For any public intellectual or thinker the experience of a Newsnight or Channel 4 News studio is always the same. The evening is wrecked by having to travel to a studio where you will be given a maximum of three minutes’ airtime to correct a set of false presumptions which the presenter has already gathered against you. ‘So what you’re saying’ could be the epitaph for this form of journalism. There is no opportunity for nuance, not much opportunity for correction and very little to recommend it to anyone but the producers. Certainly not to viewers or participants. News broadcasts and political discussion shows have largely become a carousel of closely scripted talking points by people with predictable views.

On the internet, the situation is completely different. Internet-based programmes like the LA-located Dave Rubin’s show demonstrate an entirely different model. There people are invited into the studio for discussions that can run to a couple of hours. People have an opportunity to put their case as well as they can and their way is not littered with booby traps and barely disguised agendas.

Good venue for a debate on design in nature, actually, if it is all it is cracked up to be. Imagine no stupid, approved noise; just a discussion of facts.

And while sparks certainly can fly, these discussions are rarely set up in the dated red-corner/blue-corner style of a BBC or Channel 4 debate. It is not decided that if you have someone of one view you must have someone of a contrary view, that if you have somebody who is right on a subject you need to balance them with someone who is wrong, or that if you have a world authority on a subject you must complement them with someone who can just throw fireworks around. Crucially, the entire political axis on which traditional media still operates is shown on the intellectual dark web to be moribund.

That stuff is drop-dead moribund, of course, but it is so often taxpayer-funded that it just hangs in the air.

Is there any ecological consequence from the total waste of bandwidth? Could we make it an environment issue?

The idea that everything is a left-right issue is one that for a lot of people feels not only unnecessarily divisive but ignorant of the actual dividing lines which exist in our societies. Increasingly, the real divide is not between people who believe one thing about a subject and people who believe another, but about whether you are the sort of person who even wants to allow a full and frank discussion to go on in the first place. When one of the heroes of the intellectual dark web, James Damore, was sacked from Google last year, he was fired for doing what he was asked to do, which was to suggest why tech programming tended to be an area that was male-heavy. He came back with a detailed analysis which suggested that there might be certain tasks at which women and men have different aptitudes and towards which they are differently attracted. In the new orthodoxy that is being created, the suggestion that there are differences between men and women is the highest heresy. Even if it is also something that is recognised to some extent by most of the population. More.

Damore, kiddo, post-modernism is a war on reality: Fact is oppressive. Biology is sexist. So is algebra. No, wait, the rap against algebra is that it is racist. But maybe also sexist, of course. After all, objectivity is sexist too. Engineering is especially foul. Word on the street is, there is even a contract out for Dilbert so you be careful now. 😉

As elite science organizations watch the toxic snowstorm rage from their penthouses, it’s a good thing there is a dark web where thinking people can still hang out.

See also: Biology is real, if not popular: Lone scientist squares off with social justice warriors. Wouldn’t it be nice if big science boffins recognized that the squall of toxic snowflakes reported here (future leaders?) are a much more serious threat to science than whatever Florida parents want. If not, others will need to dig out the snow shovel but the results will not be pretty.

no serious rule re overcommenting around here
Thank goodness! Andrew asauber
asauber at 2, no serious rule re overcommenting around here in principle, if people care what you say. Only rule: If horse dead, don't beat. ;) News
I may be over-commenting recently, but since the subject is noise, I thought I would share a link for a book that I am currently reading. https://www.amazon.com/Power-Silence-Against-Dictatorship-Noise-ebook/dp/B06Y419GYG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520007677&sr=1-1&keywords=cardinal+sarah+the+power+of+silence "Noise, as C.S. Lewis' devil Screwtape famously said, is the music of hell." Andrew asauber

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