While I was at the gym this morning, I was listening to Thomas Smith’s podcast, Serious Inquiries Only, and in particular, the latest episode, SIO108: Sam Harris Sides with Ben Shapiro Over the FFRF. The title covers the problem. Sam Harris, once again, has a nice civil conversation with a flaming conservative asshole, Ben Shapiro, and they end up agreeing that bakeries ought to be able to discriminate against gay people, since the Market will just fix everything up.
Right. Business as usual for the Harris wing of atheism.
Smith does a phenomenal job of flaying all of the participants, but I want to pick on one thing. Another participant was Eric Weinstein, who got a lot of attention for his assertion that there was an “Intellectual Dark Web” where all the smart guys, like Jordan Peterson (??!? Fuck me!) were hanging out, and that they expected to be persecuted any moment now by the Powers That Be.
Wait, “Intellectual Dark Web”? What the heck is that? In the conversation, it is revealed that there are about 25 people that Weinstein turns to to discuss matters of import.
Hang on there, guy. That’s not a “web”, it’s a bubble. We’ve had those for decades. I’m on a couple of mailing lists that are much bigger than that, and talk about substantial stuff like teaching biology. We don’t call ourselves the Bio-Intellectual Web. It’s a goddamn trivial mailing list.
It could also be something like a Google Group. We’ve got one of those with about 30 people on it for Freethoughtblogs. We’ve been missing an opportunity — we should rename it to the Brilliant Freethought Web! And don’t you wish you were good enough to be on it.
I suspect he called it the “Dark” web because it sounds edgy. Probably the only reason it deserves that adjective, though, is because it includes people like Peterson, who are pretty dim to begin with.