How a controversial rationalist blogger became a mascot and martyr in a struggle against the New York Times.
By my count there are 34 named individuals in this article and 32 of them are men. The other two are Hillary Clinton (mentioned by way of the fact that a man voted for her) and Taylor Lorenz (mentioned in the third to last paragraph).
"the rationalists, despite their fixation with cognitive bias, read into the contingencies a darkly meaningful pattern" "the reactions bear the classic markers of grandiosity: the conviction that they are at once potent & beleaguered" Excellent journalism
The New Yorker piece on Slate Star Codex is... certainly a thing. The author finds it ridiculous that SSC readers would assume the NYT would run a hit piece on Scott Alexander... but also thinks it's likely SA is trying to hide something
I am a huge fan of . I really hope he continues to write and blog. I also think Gideon Lewis Kraus has a brilliant overview of the current spat between Scott Alexander and the NYT.
If you want to understand “tech vs. journalism” AS “tech vs. journalism,” this is the piece to read
This was far more fair and reasoned than I expected from the New Yorker on this topic
Rationalism: an extremely volatile, emotional, and biased community who built an identity around how they are none of those things and has longstanding, troubling relationships with racists and bigots
"although there often seems to be some confusion about this matter in Silicon Valley, journalism and public relations are distinct enterprises"
Great story in the classic New Yorker way: this could be the first thing you’ve ever read about any of the subjects or controversies mentioned herein and you’d basically be in the same place as me, someone who reads about it obsessively
The New Yorker has a surprisingly long piece about Scott Siskind, SlateStarCodex and the NYT, despite little to no help from the antagonists in this drama.
Calling belief in sex-based biological differences "egregious" without investigation is exactly the kind of willful acquiescence to the moral fashion of the majority I've come to expect from journalists, and it's exactly why SSC was so important.
The New Yorker published an in-depth article about Scott Siskind and his Slate Star Codex blog today. They speculate that the reason Scott Siskind deleted his blog is because it was full of softly pro-neoreactionary content under the guise of "debate."
"Epistemic status: treading carefully"
I'm constantly amazed by the sheer number of different types of Weird Online People out there, just new ones popping up all the time
Haven't been following this too closely, but I recall being surprised and saddened by the amount of fear of #cancelculture by SSC supporters... "Alexander’s supporters were working themselves into a tizzy about a story that had not been published..."
The media is declaring that , , , , and the rest of Silicon Valley have declared war against the media. (That's not how war works.)
For those interested in the tech/media culture war happening right now, this article is mandatory reading
"This atmosphere of danger & mistrust gave rise to a spate of conspiracy theories. … But the rationalists, despite their fixation with cognitive bias, read into the contingencies a darkly meaningful pattern." Uh, a FEW rationalists did; most did NOT.
A rationalist vs journalist culture war would probably produce more interesting writing than some rival configurations. (It would probably realign me!) But would also on the whole be sad. This piece doesn't seem good to me, or to portend good things.
reading this
of the "centrists," who, while claiming to care about free speech, are among the most censorious, heavy-handed, dogmatic people out there. (Remember when Thiel canceled Gawker?) The narrative is such a dishonest mess. 2/2
All the LOLs in one article. Online MoreWrongs are hilarious. "But the rationalists, despite their fixation with cognitive bias, read into the contingencies a darkly meaningful pattern."
Great piece turning the rationalists arguments against them lol
Slate Star Codex and Silicon Valley’s War Against the Media | The New Yorker
Hope this is not behind a pay-wall. Food for thought. Slate Star Codex and Silicon Valley’s War Against the Media via
"The rationalists regularly fail to reckon with power as it is practiced, or history as it has been experienced, and they indulge themselves in such contests with the freedom of those who have largely escaped discrimination." 1/2
Finally read the NYer piece on the SSC/Scott Alexander affair (rapidly followed by the Balaji/Taylor affair). Media: Got lots of things wrong, some things right. Tech: Core views misunderstood, some things wrong (mostly due to their unique delusions).
Curious story. I occasionally read Slate Star Codex, a mixed bag, not terrible, not deep, sometimes "rational," sometimes parochial and naive. Naturally, the New Yorker journalist denies that journalists could have bad motives!
What a fascinating piece about the NYT/SSC/Scott Alexander kerfuffle (& I was surprised to see playing such a big role) via
Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s piece on the affair ⁦⁩ was as fun - and, mostly, as fair to the parties involved as everyone said. (Although ⁦⁩ may feel a little ill-used.)
This is a great description of what I also feel is wrong with the "rationalist" community: Those folks are so convinced of their rationality that they are basically blind to their very prominent, ritualized irrationality (groupthink, basically).