Thursday, March 15, 2018

Is Steven Pinker as Dishonest as He is Stupid?

[“Pollyanna Pinker: Pay No Mind to Those Ugly Facts Saying the World is Going to Hell!”]

By Nicholas Stix

For all I know, Steven Pinker might have 10 IQ points on me. And yet, he’s an idiot. What that means is that I could probably whip him in a debate, as long as I wouldn’t let him intimidate me with academics’ tricks.

When I was an undergraduate, that would happen to me, but I got pretty good at dealing with such tricks over time.

For instance, as a senior at SUNY Stony Brook, I was the only man taking a senior seminar on women’s history. I did a wildly ambitious project on women in Judaism, comparing the implicit theory of ethics that corresponded to each major denomination (something like, Orthodox=deontological; Conservative: utilitarianism; Liberal=egoism).

I was crazy about the gorgeous, Jewish prof teaching the class, and I have good reason to believe the feeling was mutual. However, what I didn’t know was that she was a feminist. How could that not be obvious, you ask?

1. At the time, she was still in the closet; and
2. She would occasionally criticize feminists like lesbian poet and feminist “theorist,” Adrienne Rich.

So, I give my presentation, and then prof sucker punches me with a question that went something like this:

‘So, what is the difference with women’s economic status for each denomination?’

I was at a complete loss for words. She never pulled that sort of stunt with any of my 20 female classmates.

If a feminist pulled something like that today, I’d just say, “Your question is completely irrelevant to this research.”

I know I could do this because I’ve since ducked sucker punches from feminists and other academic hacks when I read papers at philosophy and education conferences.

Steven Pinker is very smart, but he’s also very dishonest. And since, to paraphrase John Stuart Mill, the study of society and politics ain’t rocket science, if you are pretty smart, hard-working, honest and refuse to be intimidated by academics and activists of any political stripe, you can whip them in debate.

Like I always say, the First Law of Lying is plausibility.


Anonymous said...

"I was crazy about the gorgeous,Jewish prof",answers the question why you didn't have the quick retort to her adlibbed poser.If it's any consolation,she probably had to change her panties afterwards,from the drenching they
--GR Anonymous

Anonymous said...

ONLY as long as what is being said agrees with with what the lefty believes to be so. Free speech yes but only for me. Everything else is hate speech and must be banned.

Hank Phillips said...

Pinkert probably looked up "liberal" in a pre-1932 dictionary.