Posts Tagged ‘ Sam Harris ’

The trouble with Harris is more prosaic

Sep 12th, 2019 10:46 am | By

Jonathan Rash points out that Sam Harris doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does.

A recent episode of Sam Harris’ podcast Making Sense features Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel and, most recently, Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis. According to Harris’ website, he and Diamond discuss

the rise and fall of civilizations,…political polarization, disparities in civilizational progress, the prospect that there may be biological differences between populations, the precariousness of democracy in the U.S., the lack of a strong political center, immigration policy, and other topics.

Most of these categories have little to do with Diamond’s work. Rather, they concern Harris and his well-worn personal grievances with “The Left.” These grievances cover

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Sam says we have to get out of the identity politics game

May 17th, 2018 11:18 am | By

Updating to add: I forgot to point out that the tweet is from last October.

Sam Harris is unbearable.

I recommend listening to that one-minute clip, to get the full sense of how his flat cold affectless voice combines with his smugly confident words on a subject he knows NOTHING about to create a monster of I’m Not a Racistism.

Virtually everything that’s said, in the identity politics space, about what’s happening, is at best slanted. There are Trumpian levels of dishonesty on the left around these topics, and it’s harmful. And BLM is part of that problem, and if you’re going to argue that in the aftermath of having a two-term black president, that nothing has changed with

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I begin to sense a pattern

Apr 12th, 2018 5:02 pm | By

From March 2016: Omer Aziz had an experience with Sam Harris.

In December 2015 he had published an essay in Salon on the book by Harris and Maajid Nawaz on reforming Islam.

I argued that the book was a simplistic and unoriginal take on a complex topic, more of a friendly conversation than any kind of serious analysis. The piece concluded by lamenting the erosion of public debate, as intellectuals of previous eras have been replaced by profiteers more interested in advancing narrow agendas than in exploring difficult questions.

The piece got Harris’s attention, and he publicly reached out to me on Twitter to invite me on his podcast to “discuss these issues.”

He accepted happily, but it then … Read the rest

He sees himself as somehow immune to these impulses

Apr 10th, 2018 3:30 pm | By

Daniel Bastian on the Harris-Klein conversation:

What’s clear from the outset is that Harris’s ego is still perhaps the central problem blinding him to many of his own strong biases. This is literally how he frames the conversation from the get-go:

“I’m not saying that everyone who did the work, who listened to the podcast and read all the articles would take my side of it, but anyone who didn’t do the work thought that I was somehow the aggressor there and somehow, in particular, the fact that I was declining to do a podcast with you was held very much against me. That caused me to change my mind about this whole thing, because I realized this is

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No one talks about inferiority who’s actually having a dispassionate argument

Apr 10th, 2018 11:52 am | By

Let’s do the Klein-Harris again.

Ezra Klein

I think you’ve had two African Americans as guests. I think you need to explore the experience of race in American more and not just see that as identity politics. See that as information that is important to talking about some of things you want to talk about, but also to hearing from some of the people who you’ve now written out of the conversation to hear.

Sam Harris

So this is the kind of thing that I would be tempted to score as bad faith —

Ezra Klein

I’m shocked!

Sam Harris

In someone else, but actually, I think this is a point of confusion, but it is, nonetheless, confusion here.


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A truly rational conversation not contaminated by identity politics

Apr 9th, 2018 11:23 am | By

Ezra Klein did the podcast with Sam Harris, and there’s a transcript. It is, naturally, an interesting read. One sample:

Ezra Klein

One of the things I’ve come to think about you that I actually did not come into this believing is, you’re very quick to see a lot of psychological tendencies, cognitive fallacies, etc. in others that you don’t see applying to yourself, or people you’ve written into your tribe. You say words in there like confirmation bias, etc., to me about how we’re looking at Murray. The whole thing I just told you is that Charles Murray is a guy who works at conservative think tanks, whose first book was about why we should get rid of

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It’s the asymmetry stupid

Mar 28th, 2018 4:35 pm | By

Sam Harris has added an update to his attack on Ezra Klein / email dump, to explain how sad it is that everyone did such a crap job of reading his attack / email dump, it’s enough to make a person lose faith in the power of shy-racist thought-making.

NOTE (3/28/18)

Judging from the response to this post on social media, my decision to publish these emails appears to have backfired. I was relying on readers to follow the plot and notice Ezra’s evasiveness and gaslighting (e.g. his denial of misrepresentations and slurs that are in the very article he published). Many people seem to have judged from his politeness that Ezra was the one behaving honestly and ethically.

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It’s all about Sam Harris’s reputation

Mar 28th, 2018 12:19 pm | By

So, as you’ve probably seen already via comments, Sam Harris retorted to Ezra Klein’s Vox piece yesterday. He retorted in his usual prickly, self-righteous, mind-blind, egomaniacal way.

Most of the (nearly 900 so far) replies to that tweet point out that he doesn’t come across as well in that piece as he clearly thinks he does. Did I mention mind-blind? Yes I did. He reminds me of Trump in his helpless inability to perceive his own presentation of self from the point of view of not-SamHarris.

Exactly so. He’s always done that though – this isn’t some new thing. Remember that time he tried to make Chomsky do a dialogue with him? And posted their email exchange as … Read the rest

Brave heroes of Whites Are Smarter Ltd

Mar 27th, 2018 4:27 pm | By

Ezra Klein on Sam Harris and “we brave awesome white guys are going to talk Forbidden Truth about race now, so suck it up, cowards.”

It starts with a typically smug taunt by brave awesome Sam himself.

Klein explains:

The background to Harris’s shot at me is that last year, Harris had Charles Murray on his podcast. Murray is a popular conservative intellectual best known for co-writing The Bell Curve, which posited, in a controversial section, a genetic basis for the observed difference between black and white IQs.

Harris’s invitation came in the aftermath of Murray being shouted down, and his academic chaperone assaulted, as he tried to give an invited address on an unrelated topic at

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Mar 25th, 2018 5:18 pm | By

Sam Harris just keeps getting more tiresome. (Not more smug. He started out at maximum smug so he can’t get any more so.) (Unless he performs a miracle.)

Ooh edgy.… Read the rest

Intrinsically male

Mar 3rd, 2018 10:41 am | By

I’m reading comments on this post about the reasons Lawrence Krauss got semi-banned from Case Western Reserve, and I’m brought up short by this comment – by, specifically, a bit where it quotes Sam Harris.

It’s an elephant that looms large for female atheists, but is invisible for male atheists: Ed Drayton noticed the gender disparity, didn’t know why, so he asked and got knowledgeable answers: Sam Harris also noticed it, didn’t know why, but didn’t let ignorance get in the way of instant expertise when, off the cuff at a book signing, he supplied an answer from his own imagination:

“I think it may have to do with my person[al] slant as an author, being very critical of bad

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Want to actually wrestle?

Feb 22nd, 2018 12:42 pm | By

Oops. This could be awkward.


On a hotel bed? No thank you.

Ohhhh – no wonder his method is pinning women to beds.

God these bros are repulsive.… Read the rest

A person so good at his job

Oct 11th, 2014 3:40 pm | By

This is one big reason I don’t like Sam Harris. It always has been (since he became someone to like or not like, that is). I went to his blog to look for his post on liberals and Islam, and in the process of looking (which I haven’t completed yet because I paused to say this) I read the first sentence of the first post.

From time to time one discovers a person so good at his job that it is almost impossible to imagine him doing anything else.

It’s just odd, and stubbornly clueless, that even now, even after a big disagreement with a lot of feminists about the way he talks about women, he does that. I … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Dana’s advice for Coyne Dawkins and Harris

Sep 24th, 2014 5:37 pm | By

Dana Hunter has a brilliant post on all this. It draws on brilliance from Libby Anne and from Hiba Krisht, for a hat trick of brilliance.

I’d like to ask a favor of anyone who can manage to get a critical viewpoint through the defenses of atheist celebrities like Harris and Dawkins: please get them to read Libby Anne’s infuriating and heartbreaking post, Do They Care about Women, or Simply Bashing Religion? Because it’s a question they need to address. They’re driving people like Libby Anne away from movement atheism. That is very much to the detriment of the movement.

It most certainly is. And Libby Anne is very far from the only one they are driving away.

I … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

He has never heard a sexist word pass their lips

Sep 20th, 2014 5:44 pm | By

As some of you have already seen, Jerry Coyne has written a blog post complaining that Adam Lee has had the unmitigated temerity to criticize Richard “Beyond Reproach” Dawkins. This is great, isn’t it? Constantly being told by Important Guy Atheists that other Important Guy Atheists must not be criticized by underlings? It’s like being a nun, or a corporal.

One of the most despicable attacks on Richard Dawkins in recent years (and that’s saying a lot!) has been posted at the Guardian; it’s by Adam Lee, atheist blogger who writes at “Daylight Atheism”. I won’t bother to dissect it in detail because reading it makes me ill. Dissing Richard is a regular thing at the Guardian these

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Sam Harris is one of its latest victims

Sep 20th, 2014 5:09 pm | By

A few days ago Andrew Sullivan put on his George Will hat and did a big harrumph about political correctness run mad. Apropos of what? Why, poor browbeaten (or should I say pussywhipped?) Sam Harris. I usually don’t expect to see Sullivan leaping to the defense of vocal atheists.

Writers are not just condemned any more for being wrong or dumb or rigid. They are condemned as sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, blah blah blah – almost as a reflex in trying to discredit their work. That’s particularly true when it comes to fascinating issues like race or gender or sexual orientation, where liberalism today seems to insist that there are absolutely no aggregate differences between genders, races, ethnicities, or sexual

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)