My application to BigThink

Some of you may remember the story of Satoshi Kanazawa, a “scientist” and “researcher” who made fame by raising some “tough questions” about the relationship between race, IQ, and health outcomes. He also pondered the evolutionary reasons why black women are just so damn unattractive (hint: it’s because they have so much testosterone – I’m not making that up). There was a predictable backlash against this brave scholar simply for asking “the tough questions”, and he was drummed out of academia, never to be heard from again.

But the career necromancers that are the BigThink editorial board have raised this errant genius from the depths of oblivion and have restored him to prominence on their group blog site:

Without a doubt, Satoshi Kanasawa is a willful, and highly effective, intellectual provocateur.  In his scholarship, he has boldly overstepped traditional academic disciplinary bounds to posit interconnections and relationships between our evolutionary past and psychological present that address questions very few of his colleagues are even asking, let alone attempting to answer.  In daring to ask these questions, Satoshi has made us think more than most.

His passion for endeavoring to think bigger and his deep-seeded contempt for the constraints of orthodoxy have informed a diverse body of scholarship that have turned a scientific light on an array of taboos, sacred assumptions and unquestioned — even unnoticed — realities.  Like all heretics, Satoshi has become a lightning rod for criticisms across the spectrum which has only hardened his resolve to defy convention and expectation.  In his public writing and blogging, he doesn’t posture or hedge to insulate himself from attack; on the contrary, he opts for the most extreme hypotheticals couched in the most sensitive, real-world contexts — he then stands firm and unflinching against the blowback.

Such a brave maverick! Not letting little things like “proper research design” or “understanding the topic” or “restricting your conclusions to the strength of the data” get in the way of preaching bold truths! Fuck your taboos of scientific rigour, squares! Satoshi is here to blow to roof off your narrow-minded “needing to do things correctly”!

While I have been happy at Freethoughtblogs, I’m always looking for new frontiers to explore, and it seems like BigThink is hiring. The bonus is that I no longer have to pretend that I care about facts or research design. As long as I make wild assertions, back them up with the flimsiest “evidence” possible, and then staunchly refuse to accept the myriad of people who point out that I’m wrong, I will qualify as a “willful and highly effective intellectual provocateur”!

And so, in that spirit, I would like to submit the following abstracts as my resume for a BigThink Blog:

Being gay is just a lifestyle choice

ABSTRACT: I am not gay, but some people are gay. I suspected that they might have just chose to be abnormal. So I went out and kissed a bunch of guys. I didn’t like it. Therefore being gay is a choice.

Trans gendered people don’t exist

ABSTRACT: I have heard a number of people talk about transgender people, but I’ve never met one. I began to suspect that they might not be real. So I asked a bunch of my friends if they knew a trans person. None of them did. Therefore, trans people are made up.

Magic is real

ABSTRACT: I went to watch a magician. He put a woman in a box and sawed her in half. I could not for the life of me explain how he could have possibly done that unless he had actual magic powers. Therefore, magic exists, and that guy has it.

Ireland and Scotland are actually the same country

ABSTRACT: I met an Irish guy and a woman from Scotland. They both had really silly accents that were like English, but harder to understand. They both came from somewhere around England, but not England. Therefore, Ireland and Scotland are the same place.

All Chinese/Japanese/Korean people are identical

ABSTRACT: Seriously. I can not tell them apart. Therefore, they all look the same.

Are my findings and methods provocative enough for you? Well it’s certainly not because they’re a bunch of reheated bullshit based on dumbass conclusions smeared with the thinnest veneer of science. No no no, it’s because you’re all too emotional:

Ultimately, however, it doesn’t matter, because this is no longer about empirical facts or scientific truths.  It’s a matter of emotions and feelings, history and culture.  What I have learned in this ordeal is that, in the Year 2011, there are certain questions that scientists may not ask, or, more accurately, for some questions, there are certain answers that scientists must a priori preclude from consideration.  There are certain conclusions that scientists may not reach about some groups of people.

The wonderful thing about science is that you don’t have to actually, you know, learn about the research that other people have done in racialized perceptions of attractiveness, systemic racism and victim blaming, the transcultural problems with IQ measurement, or really anything at all that’s relevant to the topic you’re curious about. No no, the proper way to do science is to pull a hypothesis out of your ass, find some data that supports it, and then ignore all other possible explanations. If people get mad, it’s because you’re being persecuted by the political correctness police.

So, BigThink board, I hope you will see that all of the above research projects reach your rigorous standards of being “provocative” and having the faintest hint of being accurate (if you completely ignore all the other relevant evidence). Also, I promise to be even more belligerent and ruthlessly self-pitying that Mr. Kanazawa could ever hope to be. In other words, I am the ideal candidate to represent the commitment to quality that BigThink so evidently has.

This post needs some otters:

Two otter cubs

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