I remain fascinated by the neoreactionaries (most of whom have ceded their soap 
boxes to their alt-right offspring).  And Google's tendency to promote fringe 
garbage (https://www.wired.com/story/google-autocomplete-vile-suggestions/) 
landed Jordan Peterson in my Youtube recommendations awhile back.  Based on the 
videos Youtube recommended, he sounded like a typical right-wing 
pseudo-intellectual.  But when I noticed Sam Harris taking him seriously, I 
thought I'd look a little closer.  Sure enough, the majority of his online 
lectures spout fairly reasonable (albeit justificationist) rhetoric ... a lot 
like Harris and fellow right-wing flirt Jonathan Haidt, both of whom appeal to 
our xenophobic friends for differing reasons.

I'm reminded of the argument I made on this list some time ago that, although I 
believe open source is necessary for pretty much all things, it *facilitates* 
nefarious action by obscurity.  Because your library (e.g. RSA backdoors or 
JavaScript cryptocurrency miners) has so much code in it, and is just one 
library in a gamut of libraries you invoke, there's absolutely no way you can 
*trust* that stack ... even if it's FOSS and gets lots of eyeballs.

Peterson, Harris, and Haidt, rely on the overt reasonability of 90% of what 
they say in order to Trojan Horse the racist or otherwise questionable content 
of the other 10%.  Sure, they make a *technical* effort to weight their 
assertions.  And that's laudable.  (Slate Star Codex and Alexander's ilk do 
this well with their "epistemic status" rating, displayed fairly prominently 
most of the time.)  But this raises the reason I'm posting this to FriAM.  The 
quote from the Alternet article is (should be) provocative:

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/rights-favorite-new-intellectual-has-some-truly-pitiable-ideas-about-masculinity
"Devotees of the pseudoscience of evolutionary psychology are fond of this 
particular maneuver: locate some behavior in the more ancient branches of the 
tree of life and project it forward across eons to explain little Johnny 
pulling little Susie’s pigtails, or the collapse of Lehman Brothers, or the 
Holocaust, or whatever. In any case, I like to imagine the diaphanous, 
energy-based extraterrestrials in their invisible starships, so unutterably 
alien that they gaze upon man and lobster and can’t tell them apart."

In particular re: Peterson, I've actually *used* (although mostly jokingly) the 
alpha- beta-male (false) dichotomy at cocktail parties ... to justify why I, as 
a proud beta male, am a wallflower.  But now, I'm worried that (like the many 
memes I learned from my libertarian friends) it's not merely a useful fiction, 
but complete garbage: https://youtu.be/YTyQgwVvYyc

-- 
☣ uǝlƃ

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