I got an email bringing this guy, Owen Benjamin, to my attention and asking if I’d ever heard of him.
No, I had not.
Now I have, and I regret it greatly. He’s a conspiracy theorist who is a fan of Jordan Peterson, thinks we never landed on the moon, that the arguments for a flat earth are reasonable, and that evolution is false. Watch this excerpt in which he brags incessantly about his high IQ, greater than that of any scientist, and then bumbles about claiming that macroevolution couldn’t have happened.
Warning: this video brings on an “expert” to debunk him, and that “expert” is Jean-François Gariépy, a lousy fascist/racist white-ethnostate crusader who doesn’t understand evolution, either. It’s generally a hot mess of ugly.
I had to resocket my jaw after watching that, so I figure it’s only fair that I inflict him on everyone else, too. Jeez, but YouTube is a hothouse for growing the worst people on Earth.
The Correspondent and The Volkskrant recently published a research which revealed how YouTube algorithms are driving people to the extreme right. They also explained why it works towards the right and not to the left. It was a very thorough research, but of course the extreme right is not pleased to hear that their red pill is an illusion. After all, they are only critically thinking and being realistic and not extreme at all, and of course IQ is correlated to race and different cultures do not match. It’s science.
Oh yeah, this guy is totally smarter than the average bear.
Smarter than the average human, however…not so much.
He may be “smart” enough to beat tRump in 2020.
Jeremy Shaffer says
I think I’ve heard of him before. If he’s who I think he is, he was a tertiary member of the IDW or one of their sycophantic hangers-on but had a falling out with them not too long ago and made a rather on-point video calling Sam Harris out as a result.
One thing I remember from the university lectures about IQ is that if there are IQs* above 130, then it cannot be reliably tested anyway because there are not enough people in that group to calibrate the tests.
BTW, two of the least performing students I’ve had so far both boast with “above average IQs”
*Periodict reminder that IQ as a universal measurement is bullshit anyway.
Anyone who has to start by informing their audience about how smart they are, probably isn’t, and spectacularly so.
Slightly related: We’ve got a city councillor over on the Quebec side who seems to be a flat-earther (or at least, a round-earth “skeptic”), and denies there is such a thing as Islamophobia in Quebec. Is there something going around? https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/nathalie-lemieux-gatineau-earth-round-1.5007009
Whenever someone brings up their IQ, my feet start shifting and I begin looking for the exit signs. There is no human so boring as a man who thinks his IQ makes him interesting.
If all else fails, I’ll call over an acquaintance, introduce him/her to the bore and shortly make my exit, leaving my colleague to fend for him/herself. This is probably cowardly, but I can never feign a heart attack because I can’t remember which shoulder is supposed to hurt.
Akira MacKenzie says
I’m sure Benjamin is “a very stable genius.”
IQ . . . “We don’t know what it is, but we’re getting better and better at measuring it.” (David Owen, “None of The Above”)
stevewatson: the premier of Quebec denied there was islamaphobia in Quebec on the anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting. He used that as a reason why there was no need to have an officially recognized day against islamaphobia.
Forget city councilors, the rot is rather worse.
IQ is fine when it’s used for its original purpose: a standardised test to see which school students could benefit from extra learning support. When people use it for other purposes (e.g. ego-preening or racial stereotyping), then it’s fair to say that their minds, however clever they are at a subset of problem-solving, have been rotted by motivated reasoning.
johnson catman says
Nope. You have already taken the bullet for me.
Frederic Bourgault-Christie says
What I love the most about these chucklefucks is the pretense, the few times they even consider it, to intellectual diversity or being unbiased or whatever else. I’m reminded of Jordan Owen and Davis Aurini posing as if they were “the left and the right” criticizing Sarkeesian. Yeah, Jordan, a Randian spewing racist screeds about “smiling like a white person” is on the political left.
If I was going to have someone “debunk” a view of mine, and that view was remotely political, I’d call someone as far on the opposite side of the spectrum as one can be while maintaining credibility. I’d consider Armored Skeptic, or Thomas Sowell, or Ben Shapiro. I wouldn’t pretend like I was being open-minded and exposing myself to the full spectrum of ideas by calling over HBomberguy, under the reasoning that he’s a libertarian socialist and I’m an anarchist WHAT A DIFFERENCE. And if it came to science, well, I’d try to invite a person who was centrist both in their field and politically, and someone with a sterling reputation.
But the Sacred Windtunnel must be maintained.
Pfff, I usually don’t need a standardized test for that. Like, if I notice that a student is struggling, I allocate extra learning support.
I think it’s a lot to do people wanting to feel smart but not being smart enough to learn enough about the real world to make them feel smart.
Before mass communication, especially the Internet, that need to feel smart could be fulfilled pretty easily, since most communities had access to very limited amounts of information. Even a small amount of exclusive knowledge gave you a chance to feel smarter than the people around you.
But now we all have the fruits of decades of scientific research at our fingertips, it’s much harder to get that feeling of superiority over your peers. Understanding the latest and greatest theories of science can take a lot of work, and is beyond the abilities of many people, even if they had the time and inclination.
And that’s where the flat-earth theory comes in. It’s easy to grasp, and the conspiracy claims of a cover-up by opponents absolves you from having to work to back up your claims with evidence. So it gives otherwise very ordinary people a chance to feel they know something others don’t know, or don’t understand. It gives them that feeling of superiority that comes with feeling smarter than everyone else.
“It gives them that feeling of superiority that comes with feeling smarter than everyone else.”
With exactly zero effort on learning anything at all. They consider that win/win.
@11, I’ve had IQ tests a few times at various points in my life to find out what’s wrong with me. They were always one on one, always took a few hours, most of the day in one case. Funny thing, none of those bloody S.O.B.s actually gave me a number. I made the last one promise to give a number. He said he’d mail it to me.
John Morales says
pilgham, it can’t be too bad; most people would seek an online test. :)
Gariepy’s also the guy who… well, “trying to kidnap a mentally disabled girl to turn her into a baby factory” doesn’t really roll off the tongue.
Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says
So, I’m not sure how to make this comment without some people thinking I’m trying to demonize the guy in the video, but I’m going to say it anyway:
He comes across as a meth addict. I can’t diagnose people, certainly not from clips excerpted from his longer videos that have been hand-picked by someone not him, but I have worked with addicts in anti-DV shelters. Meth addicts had a different set of “most common problems” than other addicts, and this guy is setting off my alarm bells.
It makes me seriously worried for that child and anyone else in that person’s family that can’t easily and conveniently get away…
Unfortunately I watched the whole thing. His defense of flat earth was great. It was basically “you see stars and shit, are they spheres or ARE THEY DISCS, SHEEPLE???!?!!!???”
Well, OK, if they’re disks, they are all pointing the round bits directly at us or the thin bits directly at us so we can’t see them at all but nothing in between. That seems like something that would require explanation. Also, I’m now getting a bit creeped out at all these stars and things deliberately orienting themselves so they look round from this one, exact point in the universe. Do all objects in the universe do that (except for that one snowman-looking-depending-on-how-you-look-at-it rock) or do they swivel round every time we build a more powerful telescope?
The part about the poison penises was good, too.
Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says
Having now watched some more, I find myself as genuinely disturbed by the video’s narrator/creator as I am by Owen Benjamin. There’s just so much in this that’s fucked up.
@ 10 numerobis
the rot is rather worse
I used to be rather proud of our tolerance when I lived in Québec—Hull, in fact. I would probably be hiding my head in shame now. LeGault seems a fool at times.
Still, I do dream of moving back.
@ 17 pilgham
Funny thing, none of those bloody S.O.B.s actually gave me a number.
Given that extensive a testing session a single number is meaningless. Still, if he promised, he should have sent something. Not to do so sounds unethical to me.