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Culture, Fate, and Public Policy

The always astute and nuanced John McWhorter’s take on Vance’s Hillbilly Elergy which I’m now ready to dive into having recently spend some time (albeit briefly) in Appalachian country. Hillbilly Elegy throws down a gauntlet to those who shape opinion on inequality and race in this country. Any reader must ask, “If Vance makes sense…

Race Pimping

Race pimping is more than a cottage industry and goes hand-in-hand with conceptual creep. Here is the ever insightful John McWhorter on the topic, well called by Booker T. Washington a long time ago. McWhorter grasps the idea of the imperfectability of mankind, something that rationalists (perhaps necessarily) delude themselves about. The way we use the…

The soft bigotry of low expectations

“Identity and power structure” type courses are ubiquitous across universities these days. It has fed the “activism masquerading as inquiry” expansion of the university underwritten by bureaucraps, mutually reinforcing each other and attracting students who prefer to regurgitate some off-the-peg easily digestible worldview to do their “teacher’s” bidding in the absence of critical thinking and evidence-based theorizing. Now I’m…

The Central Scrutinizers

Released on this day in ’79 Zappa’s target was, according to some sources, motivated by the banning of music in revolutionary Iran. The target we do know Zappa had in mind was the ascendancy of the fundamentalist Right of the ’80s and the idiotic PMRC proposal . . . but now the target is more appropriately applicable to the regressive…

The Saad Truth

I’ve been singing the praises of Glenn Loury and John McWhorter of Blogging Heads (“Where great minds don’t think alike”) here and here. Another channel that is doing terrific work in the fight against illiberalism and its most conspicuous manifestation, i.e. the suffocation of free speech, is The Saad Truth. The prime mover is Gad Saad, an evolutionary…

John McWhorter: public intellectual par excellence

In a crowded field of public intellectuals, John McWhorter stands head and shoulders above most. He has a genuine commitment to the Socratic method (i.e. intellectual honesty), never peddling an over-rehearsed hardened position that he’s been married to since the year dot. One always feels that he really values the provisionality of intellectual discourse and is always…