I mentioned that Satoshi Kanazawa has a new column on Big Think. Now I’ve got two flavors of responses for you!
Flavor #1 is spicy! Adam Lee, who is also on Big Think, is indignant that standards have dropped so low.
I can only speculate as to the lapse in editorial judgment that must have occurred for Big Think to extend this racist, sexist, genocide-advocating pseudoscientific bigot a platform. Were they unaware of his views? Were they aware, but went ahead anyway because controversy is good for traffic? (Racism can’t be good for traffic, can it?)
I don’t want to be accused of giving any extra publicity to Kanazawa, so I won’t be writing to criticize him again. However, I want to make it clear in the most emphatic terms that I think him utterly vile and contemptible. And rest assured, I intend to follow up with Big Think’s upper echelons to find out who made this decision and why, and I’ll update when I know more.
Apparently, he did talk to the upper echelon at Big Think, because a nameless editorial source posted a response, which is Flavor #2.
Flavor #2 is oleaginous, lumpy, and full of sugar — it’s a kind of lard-flavored ice cream, with bullshit chunks (Hmm, what would Ben & Jerry’s call that? “Fecal Globsplosion”?). The editors support Kanazawa with many adjectives.
Having tracked his thinking for years, including having him appear for an interview on Big Think, we cannot help but admire Satoshi’s convictions to freedom of thought, even if sometimes we too have cringed at his missteps . At its best, it yields wondrous new perspectives on confounding aspects of modern life, such as the challenge of dating in big cities. At its worst, it yields the intellectual equivalent of shock-jock antics which serve as a call-to-arms for the legions of self-righteous self-promoters eager to decontextualize and oversimplify matters into stark injustices they condemn into oblivion across the cable news airwaves.
Our support for his approach to thinking, and intellectual purview, should not be confused with an endorsement of his conclusions and prescriptions, to the extent that he actually argues on behalf of any specific outcome or conclusion in any given instance. The best and fairest criticisms of his work are truly academic in nature and involve just how far his cross-cutting postulates (one might call them intellectual mash-ups) can extend on the backs of the (current) consensus theories that underpin them and the empirical data he marshals alongside them (often circumstantially).
Whoa. Read the whole thing. It reeks of desperate justifications, but it’s entertaining to watch this person twist themselves into knots trying to simultaneously praise Kanazawa while also trying to make sure they don’t get splashed with the slime from his certain eruptions.