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Topic: So Sam Harris is a racist asshole . . . who knew? (Read 703 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • nesb
Re: So Sam Harris is a racist asshole . . . who knew?
Reply #50
after much  :crai:, Harris and Ezra Klein had a discussion.

I couldn't make it past the second paragraph without laughing at how dumb and awful Harris is:

Sam Harris
Almost exactly a year ago, I had Charles Murray on my podcast. Murray, as many of our listeners will know, is the author of the notorious book The Bell Curve. It has a chapter on raising IQ and differences between racial measures of IQ that was extremely controversial. Murray is a person who still get protested on college campuses more than 20 years later.

While I have very little interest in IQ and actually zero interest in racial differences in IQ, I invited Murray on my podcast, because he had recently been de platformed at Middlebury College. He and his host were actually assaulted as they left the auditorium. In my view, this seemed yet another instance of kind of a moral panic that we were seeing on college campuses. It caused me to take an interest in Murray that I hadn't previously had. I had never read The Bell Curve, because I thought it was just ... It must be just racist trash, because I assumed that where there was all that smoke, there must be fire. I hadn't paid attention to Murray. When I did read the book and did some more research on him, I came to think that he was probably the most unfairly maligned person in my lifetime. That doesn't really run the risk of being much of an exaggeration there.

eta: finished the piece now. Man, Harris sure does love completely misrepresenting (or maybe just misunderstanding) Murray's claims about race and genetic factors, and he also loves jerking himself off about "science" without possessing any apparent understanding that science and data can itself be biased in how it's collected and interpreted.

Ezra Klein
I think there is what you would call confusion here. I do think it's just important to say this. I have not criticized you, and I continue to not, for having the conversation. I've criticized you for having the conversation without dealing with and separating it out and thinking through the context and the weight of American history on it.

Sam Harris
The weight of American history is completely irrelevant.


I feel like Harris really wanted to bring up the is/ought problem in that debate, but he's rejected it in writing, so sucks to be Harris. Not that it would have applied in the end, because Ezra ultimately doesn't end up conceding the descriptive point. Thankfully. Listening to the discussion, though, it's obvious that Harris is on the ropes from the start, and never gets off them.

Re: So Sam Harris is a racist asshole . . . who knew?
Reply #51
So some Americans still believe in the validity of IQ tests? Ages ago - ugh, I'm old - our pedagogy professors warned us not to take those tests seriously, not only because of the above mentioned problems of growing up malnourished and living in polluted environments (e.g. lead-white painted rooms) but also because those tests measure "white" skills and are not able to detect street smarts.