Episode Bio: https://thebasementny.com/podcast/eps-029-intellectual-dark-web/
The Intellectual Dark Web
A short list of and the most well known “members” of The Intellectual Dark Web:
- Sam Harris, A Neuroscientist and Podcaster
- Eric Weinstein, A Mathematician
- Bret Weinstein, An Evolutionary theorist
- Dave Rubin, A Podcaster and comedian
- Joe Rogan, A Podcaster and comedian
- Ben Shapiro, Radio talk show host and Podcaster
- Jordan Peterson, A Psychologist
New York Times Opinion piece on IDW by Bari Weiss: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/opinion/intellectual-dark-web.html
The Intellectual Dark Website: http://intellectualdark.website/
Who are these people?
This group, The intellectual Dark Web (IDW) are as diverse as you can get, some progressive some conservative, some atheist others firm believers in faith, some fighters and then some educators. Individually they have radically different ideas in government, policies and religion but their differences is what unites them rather than pull them apart.
Freedom of speech/ expression
Most people, will tell you they are all for free speech/ expression until someone says or does something that offends them. Freedom is freedom regardless if it offends people or not. They, for the most part are free speech absolutist.
You should be able to say whatever you want, up until you call for violence. That means you should have the right to say racist, sexist, bigotry all you want and the government shouldn’t step in. This means that even hate speech is protected speech. Now you will face consequences over your words but the government shouldn’t be part of it. That of course is extreme but the reason they believe you should be for free speech is because you shouldn’t be afraid to offend someone when debating nuances or hashing out facts. As one of the members of the IDW says “facts don’t care about your feelings”. Because of their belief that people should have the right and freedom to say what they want, the IDW are willing to engage in conversations with people they disagree with politically and religiously. With this free conversation ideas can be communicated and articulated in fine detail. They all invite us into this conversation via podcast and YouTube as not only observers but as participants as we can engage in comment sections and websites. In these conversations everyone, regardless of their presuppositions are willing to listen for nuggets of truth in the others argument. They are always seeking for the truth in every conversation.
Always searching for Truth
The search for truth is what lead humanity out of the dark ages and into enlightenment. Asking questions like, why? And how? Is what is fundamental to learning and understanding and without those two things there will be no progression into the next step of our evolution. The 1st step of progress is understanding and to understand you have to question. The road to understanding is paved with questions and answers. It seems like everyone favors questioning until you ask the wrong ones. The deeper you delve into a difficult topic the more difficult the questions become and when people ask to many difficult questions, especially those nuanced in race and culture, they get labeled negatively. This label applies regardless if the answers are factual or not.
This group of individuals have all been labeled negatively by group idenitarians on both sides of the aisle. The same person can be labeled a black lives matter shill by one side and a racist by the other. Ben Shapiro was called an alt righter and at the same time was the number 1 online journalist attacked via twitter by the alt right. This is the price they are willing to endure for truth. This is the price we should all be willing to endure for truth. They, as we should be, are also willing to change their minds as they grapple and mentally wrestle with ideas and facts. open mindedness is at the center of this group of radically different individuals, and that leads me to the next point.
The herd mentality does not suit them. Each and everyone of them is a free thinker (as we should all be). They have their own thoughts and can expound on them, even those who hold to a traditional point of view whither that be a right or left view point, can articulate them well and they know they hold those views and just don’t believe them because its what their group holds as truth. They don’t always fit into classic labels we are used to, like progressive or conservative, although they may hold some of the beliefs of those ideologies, they hold them because they find truth in them and not because its what comes with the ideology. The group they associate with doesn’t dictate who they are and they are in fact counter to identity politics.
Reject Identity Politics
Identity politics has done so much harm in human history, from Arianism attacking Jewish citizens in Germany in the 40s to Black lives matter attacking people because of their skin color today. This ideology does nothing but drive wedges in society. It dissect us into smaller and smaller groups and causes tension in cities, towns, neighborhoods, and families. Its tribalsm at its worst. People may see that identity politics has united people that was once fractured, but the question I have for them is, has the same identity politics united other groups against your group? The KKK was once nothing but some hillbillies in some forgotten area down south but identity politics has united them like nothing I have ever seen before. Identity politics is nothing but a reason to have sides to choose from in a war. The only war should be a war of ideas, and this idea of identity politics is clearly flawed.
This point goes hand and hand with the rejection of identity politics. The main issue with political correctness is that its nearly impossible to say anything of substance with out offending people. We should all be conscious of our speech and language and do our best not to offend people but it should not dictate our lives. If truth or fact offends “group” then that group has 3 options, 1 ignore the facts and continue as it doesn’t exist. 2 attack the truth teller, best weapon is calling them some form of racist or bigot. 3 examine the truth, learn from it and use it to improve the future of your group and in turn the improvement of your group is going to influence the greater good. Political correctness stops the conversation before it starts.
lets Take a look at some videos online so you can see them in action.
(some of these videos are lengthy but most definitely worth the time.)
Bret Weinsteins interview on Joe Rogans Podcast, Bret explains the situation that placed him in the spotlight. : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq4Y87idawk
This is what happened in evergreen state collage, in this video this guy does a good break down about the actual situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CVA6Nw6VxM
Jordan Peterson being interview by Cathy Newman a British journalist, in this interview it seems that Cathy Newman had a misunderstanding of Jordan Peterson’s views, and is almost entirely on the attack the whole interview. But don’t take my word for it.
This is a short clip from a Munk debate on political correctness.
Michael Eric Dyson has a back and forth with Jordan Peterson and you can see the fact that one of them in the debate uses identity politics as an insult and a weapon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMSzOmWaE7g
There are many more videos that I could post but I suggest you google their names and just subscribe to their channels, download their podcast and watch their videos, and also please do the same for us. 😉