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The “Intellectual Dark Web”

Posted by V the K at 7:00 pm - May 8, 2018.
Filed under: Ideas & Trends

NYTimes covers the “Intellectual Dark Web,” and isn’t completely dismissive and horrified.

Here are some things that you will hear when you sit down to dinner with the vanguard of the Intellectual Dark Web: There are fundamental biological differences between men and women. Free speech is under siege. Identity politics is a toxic ideology that is tearing American society apart. And we’re in a dangerous place if these ideas are considered “dark.”

I guess I was IDW before it was cool to be IDW.

Debra Soh, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, self-deported from the academic track, sensing that the spectrum of acceptable perspectives and even areas of research was narrowing. Dr. Soh said that she started “waking up” in the last two years of her doctorate program. “It was clear that the environment was inhospitable to conducting research,” she said. “If you produce findings that the public doesn’t like, you can lose your job.”

When she wrote an op-ed in 2015 titled “Why Transgender Kids Should Wait to Transition,” citing research that found that a majority of gender dysphoric children outgrow their dysphoria, she said her colleagues warned her, “Even if you stay in academia and express this view, tenure won’t protect you.”

Right. Can’t have the left-wing’s trendy social causes debunked by actual science.



  1. The Intellectual Dark Web the NY Times is alluding to:

    1 + 2 = 3.

    Little Johnny likes to play with model cars, and Little Lucy prefers to play pretend merchant and clients.

    Oh my gosh.

    The Dreadful New Frontiers of Science!

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 8, 2018 @ 7:23 pm - May 8, 2018

  2. I guess with need Allah to save us from this New Un-PC Sin?!

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 8, 2018 @ 7:25 pm - May 8, 2018

  3. The 21st century mainstream intellectual:

    so enlightened (read: woke) you wish you’d still be deep in your sleep.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 8, 2018 @ 7:32 pm - May 8, 2018

  4. Right. Can’t have the left-wing’s trendy social causes debunked by actual science.

    Darn. You might be on to something!

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 8, 2018 @ 7:36 pm - May 8, 2018

  5. The IDW — as early as March, 2010 — for your viewing pleasure,

    Nature by Numbers


    Comment by Cyril J. — May 8, 2018 @ 8:01 pm - May 8, 2018

  6. Nice of them to supply this convenient list of controlled opposition.

    Comment by damaged justice — May 8, 2018 @ 8:23 pm - May 8, 2018

  7. I can’t help but laugh internally at the NYT’s consternation. The fact of the matter is, the Right and Left agree on some very fundamental levels. People do have rights. The authorities do deserve a cut of your money in exchange for doing stuff for you. People should be treated equally. It’s just that there are also some very fundamental differences in what the Right and Left believe are rights, or how the government can use the money it takes from you, or how one realizes the notion of “treating everyone equally.”

    The NYT doesn’t know the “intellectual dark web.” The real IDW sneers at sites like this as “playing along” with the Left on too many first principles. The IDW actively rejects the notion of intrinsic rights, of self-determination, of ethnic cooperation. When the NYT wades into the midst of a discussion of how Islam is right to restrict women to the house, or how meritocratic life-long dictatorships are the way to go, then they can talk about the IDW.

    If anything, it’s people like the NYT who enable the IDW. My years-long flirtation with the real alt-right started out of skepticism at the Left’s cries of “Wolf.” The wolf, I discovered, was a urbane and charming gentleman, not some feral monster. Every now and again he would say something that startled me or made me feel uneasy, but he would always allay my misgivings with a few choice words, stroking my ego and making me feel wanted. But the second he crossed a line I could not ignore and I called him out on it, he turned on me with a snarl. And by the time I realized what I had gotten myself into, I was horrified. Those memes worm themselves into your head, carefully calibrated to appeal to your vanity, insecurities, and biases. I still consider my “deprograming” a work in progress, because the damnedest thing about them is that every lie they spout is wrapped around a kernel of the truth, not matter how much they distort it. And trying to sift out what is a cold, hard fact from the exaggeration and propaganda is a nightmare.

    Yes, there is a wolf in the woods. And he isn’t the monster the Left claims he is. Their image of him is a Saturday cartoon villain. He’s far worse than that. And he’s grateful to the Left, because their depiction of him is so laughable that it makes his disguise all the more convincing. The more they promote the image of a ravenous beast, the more people get conned by the image of the misunderstood hero.

    Comment by Sean L — May 8, 2018 @ 9:17 pm - May 8, 2018

  8. Comment stolen from the Instapundit thread on this topic:

    Where on the list is Steve Sailer, Audacious Epigone, HBD Chick, the Derb, Paul Kersey, Heartiste, the Inductivist, Jared Taylor, and hundreds of others?

    Comment by Southern Man — May 8, 2018 @ 9:45 pm - May 8, 2018

  9. Leftism is a bait-and-switch. “People do have rights. The authorities do deserve a cut of your money in exchange for doing stuff for you. People should be treated equally.”

    Then it turns out that only certain favored groups have rights. You can criticize Christianity, but you cannot criticize Islam. A Christian baker cannot refuse to bake a customized cake for a gay wedding, but a Muslim truck driver can refuse to deliver beer.

    And the government gets a percentage of your earned income, which they then spend on services for people who do not work and do not pay taxes.

    Comment by Tom — May 8, 2018 @ 10:20 pm - May 8, 2018

  10. Get off my lawn. = Life,
    Leave me alone. = Liberty,
    Taxation is theft. = Pursuit of Property Happiness.

    That sums it up…

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 8, 2018 @ 11:00 pm - May 8, 2018

  11. Scene — it’s a fine, fine, sunny day in the forest, and a rabbit is sitting outside his burrow, tippy-tapping on his typewriter.

    Along comes a fox, out on a walk.

    Fox: “Hey rabbit, what are you working on?”

    Rabbit: “My thesis.”

    Fox: “Hmm. And what is it about?”

    Rabbit: “Oh, I’m writing about how rabbits eat foxes.”

    (incredulous pause)

    Fox: “That’s ridiculous! Any fool knows that rabbits don’t eat foxes!”

    Rabbit: “Come with me, and I’ll show you!”

    They both disappear into the rabbit’s burrow. After a few minutes, gnawing on a fox bone, the rabbit returns to his typewriter and resumes typing.

    Soon a wolf comes along and stops to watch the hardworking rabbit.

    Wolf: “Hey rabbit, what’s that you are writing?”

    Rabbit: “I’m doing a thesis on how rabbits eat wolves.”

    (loud guffaws)

    Wolf: “You don’t expect to get such rubbish published, do you?”

    Rabbit: “That’s no problem. Do you want to see why?”

    The rabbit and the wolf go into the burrow, and again the rabbit returns by himself, after a few minutes, and goes back to typing.

    Finally a bear comes along and asks, “Hey rabbit, what are you doing?”

    Rabbit: “I’m doing a thesis on how rabbits eats bears.”

    Bear: “Well that’s absurd!

    Rabbit: “Come into my home and I’ll show you.”

    Scene: inside the rabbit’s burrow — in one corner, there is a pile of fox bones. In another corner, a pile of wolf bones. On the other side of the room a huge lion is belching and picking his teeth, by a dead bear.


    It doesn’t matter what you choose for a thesis subject. It doesn’t matter what you use for your data.

    What does matter is who you have chosen for a thesis advisor.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 6:09 am - May 9, 2018

  12. Welcome to the new counterculture.

    Comment by Juan — May 9, 2018 @ 7:27 am - May 9, 2018

  13. Q: How many postmodernists does it take to change a light bulb.
    A: None. Why bother?

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 8:04 am - May 9, 2018

  14. Q: How many existentialists does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: Just one — the light bulb — which will eventually decide it can change itself.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 8:46 am - May 9, 2018

  15. The majority of “trans-friendly” proponents wouldn’t advocate gender reassignment surgery for kids. The ones that do get the most coverage on the internet because people people live off of outrage.

    Comment by Frank — May 9, 2018 @ 9:29 am - May 9, 2018

  16. Cyril (#11), I would have liked to have known this story when I made my Master’s program (mumbles) years ago. I actually went to the non-thesis option that my school had at the time because of the thesis advisor issue.

    Overall, I am bitterly amused at the reaction to how discourse starts to appear on underground or “dark” sites when it’s forced out of allegedly polite discussion. Orwell’s Newspeak goal of not even having the vocabulary of thoughtcrime doesn’t work–at least not yet.

    Comment by TheQuietMan — May 9, 2018 @ 10:35 am - May 9, 2018

  17. @16 Indeed.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 11:04 am - May 9, 2018

  18. On a tangent — at my young age of 48 here, after crossing that Atlantic almost a decade ago, I see a gap widening.

    I’m serious.

    In my teenage, that’d be the mid 1980s, my father (who once caressed the dream of making it to America) used to say —

    “in America, they are 10 years or more ahead of us in way of life, and they are late by about the same in adopting our stupidity”

    (I’m paraphrasing, but not that much)

    When I heard that, I already knew how staunch an anti communist he was, and I was starting to realize why (on the reading list he put for me was the Gulag Archipelago.

    Now of course, today, I can see his wisdom of a lower middle class man so disillusioned of what his own youth had witnessed in the late 1960s — he had learned the lesson.

    What he hadn’t seen though is how bad Europe and France in particular could become and how resilient America could prove to our infectious civilization diseases, despite all odds of having the same low lives baby boomers (his generation) on the left taking over entire governments and their deep states.

    He would have never imagined a Milo, a Ben Shapiro, … and sites like this one multiplying slowly but surely in an organic defense against that wanna be-Orwellian western evolution.

    Again, that’s why I can’t despair although it’s still certainly so irritating to see so much waste in time and energy against … human progress, by the very same who self-proclaim to be its champion.

    Ah well.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 12:03 pm - May 9, 2018

  19. What used to be one of my favorite come backs to the (seldom asked, as you may know) question, “how are you grateful with your life in general?” :

    Well, I’m just glad I wasn’t born in the same year in Cambodia, or decades prior or decades after in dozens of other places (literally).

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 12:25 pm - May 9, 2018

  20. People usually know about some version of the Wolf and the Lamb, from Aesop’s fables — here, my personal favorite is

    The Fox, the Rooster, and the Dog

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 12:45 pm - May 9, 2018

  21. “What used to be one of my favorite come backs to the (seldom asked, as you may know) question, “how are you grateful with your life in general?” ”

    You said it. This is my privilege: born in the USA to parents who stayed together, who raised me in the Church, who taught me the importance of both education and hard work, and assured me that if I kept my nose to the grindstone in high school that I’d have a shot at college.

    Ditto for my (farmer) uncle for whom I worked in summers, who said “Southern Man, you’re not stupid. Work hard in high school, go to college, and you won’t be on a tractor for the rest of your life.”

    It was like winning the birthright lottery. I consider myself firmly in the top 1%. I rarely see anyone with whom I’d trade places.

    Comment by Southern Man — May 9, 2018 @ 1:48 pm - May 9, 2018

  22. I know of the ” Dark web” and the Dark Enlightenment but never heard of the Intellectual Dark Web

    Comment by James — May 9, 2018 @ 1:50 pm - May 9, 2018

  23. @22 to be honest I’m a newbie on that one.

    I’ve always thought the Dark Web was that part where people put content that isn’t “kosher” (just a figure of style).

    I suspect the IDW is that even more specific part where people merely put content after thinking for themselves.

    The Ultimate Heresy, you know!

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 2:57 pm - May 9, 2018

  24. Ook! Ook! Ook! Ook! Ook! Algebra

    bone & bone & bone = bone! bone! … uh?! Ook! … bone!

    Roman Numerals Algebra

    II + III = V

    Modern Algebra

    2 + 3 = 5

    Postmodern Algebra

    he / (?!) = she

    … Or zhe.

    … Or xe.

    … Or it.

    We’re good. We keep making progress.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 6:24 pm - May 9, 2018

  25. By the time 2020 comes around with its new wave of societal cringe, we may very well have become pretty decent contenders to Douglas Adams’ maniaco-depressive elevators which (on the author’s imaginary planet) were craving to go sideways, instead of up and down.

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 6:48 pm - May 9, 2018

  26. Got an update from my publisher, btw — he confirmed me my latest two are selling like hotcakes via BuzzFeed (*) :


    Hurry. Only $399.95/paperback copy or $199.95/single download eBook !

    (*) I don’t do Amazon (evil capitalists)

    Comment by Cyril J. — May 9, 2018 @ 9:50 pm - May 9, 2018

  27. The IDW is just a fake opposition to reign in the Overton Window. They are leftists who the only RIGHT issue they support is $8billion a year of taxpayers money to Israel

    Comment by Steve — May 10, 2018 @ 1:42 pm - May 10, 2018

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