Do you remember when intelligent interviews and discussions were the norm? When you got to learn something of incredible value from an interview and it wasn’t a pissing contest with an interviewee leaving the stage because they couldn’t take a few basic questions that journalists asked so they could clarify any confusion for audiences? Or when people could just be part of a panel and not have someone storm off for hashtags and tweets and then be rewarded by the worthless rabble for refusing to even be part of a discussion?
Free Speech seems to already be dead and it is dead because so-called advocates of it don’t even follow its core tenants. The people who behave like the recent so-called “public intellectuals” have killed it and continue to defecate on its corpse while claiming to be its paragons.
Here’s one by a Left-leaning activist and journalist, Owen Jones. His refusal to just have a simple conversation on the issue of Islamic Jihadist violence against the LGBT. He deliberately averts and trivializes a crime because he doesn’t like word usage despite the perpetrator’s claims and ignores the amount of dead bodies this horrible atrocity caused. Instead, Owen’s focus is on offensive words when others were pointing out it was inspired by Islam:
More recently, here is Ben Shapiro accusing a journalist of Leftist bias because the Conservative British journalist was asking an assortment of basic questions meant for the interviewee to clarify their positions to the audience and clear-up any confusion so that Shapiro could get more potential book sales. These are the most standard questions that anyone could ask. A question about a recent law and how it intersects with Shapiro’s political leanings, his clarifications on tweets that he himself wrote, and clarifying the context when Shapiro tries to confuse his audience:
What the fuck happened to the English-speaking Western world? How did our civilizations get so retarded with these idiots? My indictment of them is not their politics; it’s that they’re both completely fucking stupid and unable to take part in civil discourse. If it isn’t someone making shouting matches and accusing them of something, they try to make the situation into an “Us Versus Them” pissing contest in order to cause that. They refuse to participate in civil discourse in a civil society. They just add more to the outrage culture that is infecting and destroying our civil society. It’s about clicks, hashtags, and followers and not logical, measured, and evidence-based reasoning. What the fuck happened in just a few short years?!
I can only blame one man, just one for all these problems. No, not Donald Trump and not Barack Obama. I blame Christopher Hitchens. Clearly, when he died, the entire planet dropped in IQ points, but I didn’t realize the drop was in the double digit area until too late and Hitchens love of the “bohemian lifestyle” was quite clearly due to the fact that he was just too smart for the world. Even his religious enemies miss him because at least he brought interesting and intelligent discussions about religion instead of the vapid crap that we have today that people need to debunk repeatedly.
It’s not all bad though, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only people around the intelligence level of Christopher Hitchens seem to be Ex-Muslim and Ex-Christian Atheists. And, since there is credible links to high IQ and being an atheist, it should come as no surprise. I guess I’ll go back to watching some Ex-Muslim and Ex-Christian Atheist videos as a detox from all the outrage culture stupidity along with some other atheistic leaning content.
And honestly, can someone please tell me why any one of these people are not public intellectuals when they challenge or discuss serious questions, yet melodramatic characters like Owen Jones and Ben Shapiro are?
Alternatively, if you come from a more Eastern background or self-identify as Buddhist or Hindu atheist, then these might be more your chai:
If you’re interested in the sharpest criticisms of religion:
If you want a personal favorite of mine, and in my own biased opinion the highest standard of inquiry on intellectual topics, here’s Julia Galef’s Rationally Speaking Podcast.
Addendum: Here’s a video in which she explains Bayesian thinking from her old Youtube channel.