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> This seems like a weirdly brazen type of falsehood for a major newspaper.

This seems like a validation of your skepticism about the NYT.

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I recognize this article and the process leading up to it has caused you a substantial amount of distress. As someone who was not aware of your original blog (and now wishes I had been) I didn’t take away a negative impression, more that you were open to any viewpoint as a jumping off point for discussion. I’m now a subscriber as a result.

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Thanks for putting this up, I want to comment near the start and say that racism doesn't belong around Scott. Yes, there are sometimes weird positions brought up here, but arguing with someone who thinks we should have a king is NOT the same as wanting one; it's actually the opposite.

People hear from the NYT should read some old stuff before trying to mess with Scott, he's a really nice guy who is trying to help people through thinking.

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As a long time SSC reader, I hope this does not violate the "don't want to think about this further" or whether the lack of a "call to action" was intended to be proscriptive, but today I finally got off the fence about whether or not to be a paid subscriber

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A better solution to poverty would be building an economic system that didn't require poverty and unemployment. You align yourself with Charles Murray here and strawman the people who thinking planning a better system is possible. This does seem quite conservative, to say the least.

The New York Times is a banal centrist newspaper, but I don't not think that it's unfair that they connected you to Charles Murray. If you wish to make the case that this is "unconnected" then you'll have to show how you can disconnect Charles Murray's opinions on IQ and class from his opinions on IQ and race. As far as I can tell you only did this by using a "55 year old Kentucky trucker" - a job and location that is coded as white. This is a surface-level change using an example smartly chosen to reduce flak, not a deep difference in your actual analysis.

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I'm broadly sympathetic to the press, especially newspapers - I think they have a lot of faults and biases, like every other industry, but that they're indispensable to a free country.

I'm still canceling my NYT subscription over this article. Didn't think I would before it came out, but this was written in jaw-dropping bad faith.

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I am a newbie to this blog. I absolutely love the top-notch quality of writing here - it is very hard to find an expert in medicine who also understands data. This is a huge gift to people who want to understand a medical expert's honest take on cost vs benefit on various health choices. I have pointed two friends wrestling with an ADHD diagnosis for their children, to your blog. You owe no one any explanations. The NYT has only revealed something about itself with what it did here. Thank you for all the work you put into your writing! What a wonderful sense of humor and way with words.

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reading "Nobody Is Perfect, Everything Is Commensurable" ~1 year ago led directly to me deciding to give more to charity. in 2020, i gave 30% of my income to charity (up from ~2% the previous few years).

when swapping "EA origin stories" with people in the EA community, i've found this particular post comes up pretty frequently (also "Fear And Loathing at EA Global" :)

so, thanks for your writing, Scott. it really does matter.

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Scott and the SSC crowd just wanted to cultivate their garden; to catalogue and know the world; to say true things, wisely and carefully and at length. Then the NYT came from its ivory tower, with words of honey on a forked tongue. At first it professed respect, but it soon became clear that it only wanted to kill SSC and burn it for fuel-- in the end it was all a hatchet job. The time for endurance is past. Our enemy is making war on all the free peoples of the world. Soon the nerds are going to wake up and discover that they are strong, and then--

-- wait, sorry, that's the Ents and Saruman.

Anyway, just remember: our business is with Isengard tonight, with rock and stone. Not with the Orcs. Best way to make the NYT regret this is to subscribe today-- and remind all your friends that the Times is now a left-wing party organ, not a trustworthy paper of record. The White Wizard's staff is forfeit!

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"I was worried that if my psychiatry patients knew about my theories on race science and my use of brainpan calipers, they might trust me less."

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My emotional response to this reminds me of "Radicalizing the Romanceless." I agree with most of what the NYT and the liberal zeitgeist _say_, but not how they act; it seems like they're forcing me to take a side, and I'm not going to take the side that lies through its teeth about a harmless blogger.

Unfortunately, in the minds of most, there seems to be only one category for everyone who opposes Cancelling. I guess I'm on Moldbug's team now? I don't want to be!

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Cade Metz is a troll, and the NYT has stooped to trolling

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The purpose was not merely retaliation. It was also to use you to increase pressure on tech oligopolies to expand censorship.

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Calling SSC a safe space is like calling atheism a religion.

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I expressed some thoughts over on the open thread, but while I don't think I entirely agree with your assessment of the article I think most of the complaints here are right and proper. Two quibbles though:

> Also, this became a weird go-to thing for people who wanted to do hatchet jobs to hit me with, so much so that sometime before 2017 I edited the post involved telling people not to do that.

I'm kind of surprised that *you're* surprised that this didn't work. I mean, I'll be the first to tell you "don't apologize to systems incapable of accepting an apology", but this isn't even that (or any other sort of retraction), it's just an expressed desire to avoid notoriety. Which is understandable and completely fair, but leaving it up while highlighting it as a pain point seems thoroughly counterproductive. I mean, if any other blogger included an inflammatory line in a piece then asked that not be the part people quoted, would you be surprised if people disregarded them? Would they even necessarily be wrong to do so?

> I believe they misrepresented me as retaliation for my publicly objecting to their policy of doxxing bloggers in a way that threatens their livelihood and safety. Because they are much more powerful than I am and have a much wider reach, far more people will read their article than will read my response, so probably their plan will work.

There is a miniscule chance that the story wouldn't have started pivoting organically the moment people started reacting to your blog's deletion. As you noted it made significant waves, and most journalists will predictably fail to resist the temptation to make themselves part of the story. Given that and consequences the author faced as a result of their efforts, I don't know that there's enough evidence to ascribe the negativity to any particular theory of retribution.

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Seems like you're just continuing to throw your old friends under the bus even after the bus ran over you. That's some slavish dedication to your tribe.

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Well m'dears, 'tis often true the simplest explanation is the real one. Our boy Cade is bigging up his forthcoming book (it will be out on 16th March if you want to mark that date on your calendars!) which is all about "Genius Makers: THE MAVERICKS WHO BROUGHT AI TO GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, AND THE WORLD".

There's no such thing as bad publicity, and having a story about Silicon Valley and AI researchers and Rationalists (oh my!) in the NYT is nicely ploughing and harrowing the ground before his BIG IMPORTANT BOOK (you too could win a free one by entering a draw! or something https://twitter.com/DuttonBooks/status/1354822023634018308) is released for the tens of people who will want to buy it.

Reserve your copy now! (Or don't, whatever you like):

"Artificial intelligence is changing the world, for better or for worse. But you don’t know half the story. For the tale behind all the hype and the hand-wringing, I suggest my book, "Genius Makers," due from @duttonbooks on March 16. Pre-order here: http://bit.ly/GeniusMakers"

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Thanks for all your writing, and for keeping going even when facing blowback. You've done a lot for a lot of us - and for me personally - over the years, both directly in your writing and indirectly by helping us find fair-minded decent friends and community. And it's shitty that they did this to you.

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This isn't pleasant, but the article (while distorting) isn't that much worse than I'd expect. On net, the impacts are likely going to be mildly positive. I wouldn't expect the NYTimes to put a non-normy group in glowing terms, so this is probably as glowing as is likely.

The NYTimes did garble certain views & nuances (which is incredibly common for non-friendly interlocuters), however, they also did successfully link this blog to the larger movements, with crude summaries. The "Silicon Valley" link is a little bit weaker, but likely done so for clicks. (Not that there are NO connections, but pretending SSC was the mouth or happy place for Silicon Valley is absurd)

I'm actually curious whether Manoel Horta Ribeiro is correctly cited, because if anything his practice gets larger questions than the reporter's. (I expect a lower accuracy bar from reporters than academics)

The thing that actually feels weird is how much this article is fixated on this blog, because this blog really WASN'T the story the NYTimes was trying to tell, and if anything, was a bit tangential. The "right to privacy" argument also feels a bit tacked on. (& to be honest, if Cade is right on how easy this was to look up, I'm unsure why directly revealing the name was so critical)

Lastly (to this article), I didn't get much value from the Rob Rhinehart article. I'd be happy to see a more serious bit of media criticism, because I haven't really seen any media source I would suspect wouldn't make errors on the same level or degree as the NYTimes. I think there are bloggers, but that gets back to earlier conversations about how "media" is a system for aggregating, vetting, and promoting content, and that this will always recreate as people are unlikely to scour all sources, and rely on reputations, & references.

If there's some serious analysis on the matter, then great. Most of the time, I see blatantly unhelpful invective on certain media groups, and then the substitution of completely absurd media sources as a replacement. Or even proposals to institute massive legal changes that will almost certainly make the world a worse place to live in.

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I largely didn't take the article to be "very negative", just sceptical, but I greatly appreciate the rebuttals, regardless! Especially the Murray paragraph of the NYT article left a sour taste in my mouth - it wasn't exactly false, but the subtext it was deliberately spinning (with the second unconnected sentence, which by merit of its placement implied it *was* connected to the first, and the author will definitely have been aware of this) was implying way, way more than was true.

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i read the NYT story, the authors reply and one of the links to the authors work in the Times piece. They are all good, i would consider subscription to SS because the writing is so good. Alot of good story's come out of SV as any read of Anna Weiner in the New Yorker makes clear and i simply thought editors at the times pursued an off beat interest story. I did not see it as a hit piece. The long SSC piece that i read was on "out-groups" and it was exceptionally thoughtful, insightful, filled with examples of a writer who thinks alot about his subject. Big media is trying to do its job, substack is a great platform for creative writers.

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The hit piece seems to me like part of the death throes of legacy journalism. Reading it was a reminder of how bad and intellectually dishonest the old corporate media is, and how much better blogs, podcasts, substack, etc are by comparison.

It was a reminder of why I don't know anyone under 40 who has a subscription to the New York Times.

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Here's a quote from the article that confused me:

'The voices also included white supremacists and neo-fascists. The only people who struggled to be heard, Dr. Friedman said, were “social justice warriors.” They were considered a threat to one of the core beliefs driving the discussion: free speech.'

That's strange. I remember the comment sections having feminists, trans activists, far leftists, and so on. They weren't a dominant faction like on some blogs, but they were there, and their arguments were taken seriously.

Scott used to keep a register of bans. Slightly more than half the bans for political topics went to right-wing posters.

Can Dr Friedman confirm that this is what he said? The fact that it's a paraphrase and not a direct quote makes me wonder.

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To save others a reverse image search: the preview picture is of Walter Duranty, a disgraced reporter who wrote for the New York Times in the 1930s.

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Thanks for pointing out the Rob Rhinehart article. After a while it becomes pure Abbie Hoffman, Alan Ginsberg. 👍.

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Just canceled our subscription, which had been maintained for the puzzle section. Straws on the dorsal part of a camel, etc.

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Here's a boring summary of my relationship with The NY Times. I was a long term, though not particularly enthusiastic subscriber, and would comment maybe two or three times a year with no ideological axe to grind. Then one day I was just skimming through a very dull story on men's fashion by their fashion editor, Vanessa Friedman. And somewhere in the article she was writing about the men's industry being based in Italy rather than France, and listed Gucci etc. In that list of Italian fashion houses she mentioned Berlutti, which I was 100% sure was a French maker of very expensive shoes. So I thought, gee they're quite famous and the writer is a big deal in fashion, I'm surprised she just looked at the name and figured they were probably Italian? But I didn't write anything like that, I just wrote a one sentence comment, "FYI Berlutti is actually French, not Italian." And bizarrely they held my comment and refused to publish it! There was no hostility, no epithets, no nothing, just a factual correction. I waited a few hours and nothing, and of course I'm stupidly obsessing about something so trivial. So the next day I write another comment saying all I did was correct your article for you, so either publish my comment or, ideally, correct your article, or I'm cancelling my subscription. And again, that comment was held indefinitely and since I stupidly threatened to cancel my subscription over this triviality, I figured I had to go through with it.

That was about five years ago, and I've gone through five years of following various pundits that are. always referencing The NY Times, and I can't access the linked articles due to my feud with Vanessa. Then finally last month I decided I should just grow up and resubscribe a the princely rate of $4 a month, figuring they're not really raking it in over my change of heart. And then this stupid Rationalist hit piece just came out and I just cancelled my subscription again. I don't think we were made for each other.

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Since June I've been sad not to have a NYT subscription to cancel. I just used this to convince a family member to cancel theirs, so hopefully a tiny good to come out of this shitshow...

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The Rhinehart post was long, meandering, and pointless.

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I just found out about this blog thanks to the NYT article and must say that I'm confused about the alleged negativity of it. The way I read the article I got the impression that the blog insists on freedom of thought, showcased by: rejecting extreme feminists, accepting valid opinions even from racists etc.

The association of the blog with influential figures, served more to show that your kind of thinking resonates with various people than to condemn you of "conspiring with Trump supporters" or whatever it is that you saw in it.

I'm sorry to say that your reaction to the article seems infused with way more negativity than the article itself, though I understand that probably has something to do with you feeling exposed where you once felt safe.

Though I can't say that I understand why NYT needed to expose your name when that has obvious implications for your practice and patients.

In the end, "I'm a Democrat, I voted Biden" was this really needed?

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SSC is about as far the opposite of a safe space as you can get (not that there is anything wrong with safe spaces). Metz even mentions in his article how people all over the spectrum were welcome, which isn't exactly a safe space. I know writers typically do not write headlines but this is egregious. Did the editor even read the article before fixing the headline?

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A very reasonable and measured response, unlike what the NY times did. Please keep blogging and stay sensible and sane. We need more people like you..

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This was a good and reasonable response until the last paragraph. You would never write the article you linked to about the New York Times, because it doesn't do any of the things that an SSC/ACT article would do, like marshaling evidence for its position or putting forward some theory of cause-and-effect.

Why/how/since when is the New York Times the root and embodiment of all evil in the universe? Was it when Ezra Klein joined? You just said Ezra was okay! (Admittedly, while attacking Vox, which is merely Ezra Klein internet-incarnate.)

I think Cade was the guy who wrote a not-very-good article. It happens: Not every Times columnist is Ezra Klein. And I suspect the article reflects Cade's view of SSC – also less than ideal, but not all that abnormal. (Even people who trust and love your blogs think you have an exaggerated view of the evils of extreme feminists.) But it's okay: A lot of people like your blog and I expect more will as you continue to put out great content. (A lot of the response to the NYT article was "go read SSC!" (eg. by Scott Aaronson and a blog called How the Hell.)

If this was a hit piece it was a really crummy hit piece (they should have hired Nate Robinson or the ghost of Chris Hitchens). Ultimately, it will just get you readers.

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Well said sir.

I'm a leftist and I like some NYT writers, like Cohn and Kristof, but I just feel that overall the NYT does not relate to me anymore. I can only handle so much woke outrage.

And for all their dislike of Thiel, it was the NYT that decisively tilted the 2016 election for Trump, with their careless, excessive reporting about Comey and "The emails" a week before that election. They've never really owned up to this.

Threatening to dox Scott was just another loser move that would have made me cancel my NYT sub had I not already done so months before.

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“This seems like a weirdly brazen type of falsehood for a major newspaper.” Succumbing to Gell-mann amnesia? No this is their standard modus operandi on most topics: race, gender, crime, riots, policing, Russia, Syria, heredity...

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> For the sake of my own peace of mind, I am hoping to stop thinking about it the moment I hit “publish” on this post.

For what it's worth, I think this is exactly the right thing to do, and I hope it works out and this article --- and really the whole saga --- fades away as quickly as possible.

Thank you for returning to writing. We're all glad you're back.

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People who read this should cancel their subscriptions to the NYT and use the money to subscribe to Astral Codex Ten instead. The prices are similar but it it would be a massive improvement for the world to have the money sent to Scott instead of them.

(Actually it would still be an improvement if you burned the money you saved from cancelling your NYT subscription but I digress.)

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Hi. I'm a regular NY Times reader who had never heard of this blog before. But after reading about it as a place where rational people can have intelligent, informed and civil discourse on a range of subjects, I knew I wanted to check it out. It sounded like the kind of place where I could learn a thing or two, even if I wasn't going to agree with all ideas or contributors. Any virtual community is a microcosm of ideas, and even though I get the impression this one leans left (or, fine, gray), it was immediately clear to me that I would probably encounter some ideas here that I might find deeply offensive. But I'm an adult. I can handle it, as long as it's not a place that's overrun by trolls and edge lords.

Strong virtual communities seem to develop a distinct tribal identity, so I'm also not surprised to read that what I thought was a fairly balanced and interesting article is perceived to be a hit piece here. Maybe it is. Again, I'm coming at this with no prior knowledge. But consider that I am probably not the only somewhat rationally-thinking adult reader of the NYT who was intrigued by the possibilities of this community which the very same article described. It'll blow over soon enough.

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As someone who knew nothing about you or your blog before reading the NYT article, I didn't read it as overtly negative about you, or wildly biased. To the contrary, it piqued my interest and provided plenty links for me to judge your writing for myself. And indeed, your blog speaks for itself. I wouldn't worry about it, if I were you. You've gained at least one new viewer as a result of the NYT piece, and I'm grateful.

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I feel that the NYTimes piece treated you fairly. Plus, it didn't help your case that your name is easily searchable, despite your attempts at being anonymous.

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I have my own experiences with "guilt by association" and with the negative spin the press can put on things - and not just the NYT. In fact, my own experiences are similar to yours; some people seem to be looking for a way to misinterpret anything you say in a most negative way.

I'm happy I signed up here, this seems to be the real "No-Spin Zone!" (No apologies to Bill O'Really are given or deserved.)

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Read NYT article today. Have little respect for them. Article linked to this blog. Subscribed. You seemed quite interesting, take care of yourself.

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I honestly don’t get the soft pedaling of any criticism of Cade Metz, Scott. He lied to you, refused to respect your pseudonymity, and then wrote a piece libeling you.

You’re an honest man, and there’s nothing honest about making excuses for Cade. Forgive him if you can, that’s an act of virtue. But pretending you have not been attacked by someone who obviously did it and meant it, and went against much of what you stand for to do it... I don’t get it. Remember, turning the other cheek is an act of defiance.

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I think you're missing that the Murray issue turns on how bad you consider him to be. If his views on race were ten times worse, you might still agree about poverty reduction, and you could still say the two are unconnected, but you might not do so.

The nytimes is a normie mainstream publication that understandably reflects middle of the road morality. It's not bad, it's just limited. The assumption is that if a person is very bad, you don't "align" yourself with them. And from their point if view, or their presumed point of view of their readership, Murray is that bad. You disagree, so you think the matter of agreement is relevant.

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Summary of the Wizard of Oz is funny. Also the Sound of Music: an ex-nun disrupts both a planned wedding and a distinguished military career.

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Sorry Dude. At least unlike Donald McNeil you did not get fired and have to apologize for being a old white man.

I would cancel my subscription as a protest but I did that 15 years ago because I couldn't stand it anymore.

BTW: It is stylistically incorrect to call the NYTimes, "The Times". The Times is a newspaper published at London England under that name since 1788. All other newspapers that use the word Times in their names should have a geographic or other delimiter: e.g., New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Straights Times, Times of India, Air Force Times, etc. see Wikipedia: The_Times_(disambiguation) for a listing.

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"Please don’t cause any trouble for the journalist involved, both because that would be wrong, and because I suspect he did not personally want to write this and was pressured into it as part of the Times’ retaliatory measures against me."

You have the right to forgive him yourself. You don't have the right to tell us to forgive him.

He's an enemy of free speech, and a threat to us all whether he was pressured or not. It would be wrong, for a consequentialist, to play "always cooperate" instead of "tit-for-tat". This sort of attempt by the good people to hold a bogus moral high ground is why the neo-Nazis are winning.

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I’ve canceled my subscription to the New York Times.

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The Peter Thiel thing is really annoying. Peter insists on doing and saying embarrassing political stuff while being so awesome that I still do have to resist the urge to "do something awkward like starting a cult".

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This response was a big mistake. Given its importance, such a post should be very well-thought and cool-headed. Dry repudiation of misleading claims by NYT with no emotional content was what was needed, not this. Since your goal here is to stop incoming outrage machine, the response should be boring and not inviting further fight. Few people here in comments are calm enough to understand it, but NYT article is a godsend for promoting your/rationalist ideas. So your response should not alienate such possible future readers.

Lets be rational and honest about NYT: they are not an octopus, aiming to destroy everybody who disagrees with them and subvert the truth. They are just a media, which only cares about maximizing clicks and creating social media outrage, since it is what they need to maximize profits.

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One problem that I am having wrap my head around is why does the nytimes care enough to do a hit piece on an excellent (but not extremely popular) blogger? Surely there are other enemies more deserving of the nytimes wrath. Trump and putin are still running around....

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I never heard about you or your blog before. But I am a regular reader of NYT. I happened to read NYT article today, and then, out of curiosity, googled Astral Codex Ten, that led me to this. If I were you, I would laugh the whole thing off and not give two hoots. Readers of NYT are smart too. In the first two sentences, a reader could figure out what the journalist was up to: about to write a hagiography or about to do a smear job. Given the prevailing orthodoxy at NYT now, it was obvious that he was about to do a smear, in a sohisticated way. Careers of journalists are melting away at NYT for the slightest deviation from the party line. The latest is Donald McNeil Jr. I don't have a clue what he said back in Peru a few years ago, but they showed him the door. It must be a pressure cooker working at NYT. You got to to be terrified that the Word Police are watching your every utterance. The paper has gotten nutty in its new orthodoxy. I just laugh out loud when I read the articles in the paper, which I am a faithful reader of for thirty years. Ezra Klein wrote the other day that it is "aesthetic" to spout these orthodoxies, writing about failures of liberal government in San Francisco in his column this week, in NYT. I now think that every journalist working at NYT nowadays feels like it is obligatory for professional safety to sport their official social justice credentials in every article. They are making fools of themselves, insulting the intelligence of their readers. If I were you, I would have put a big yawn emoji as a reply to their article. Silly piece of journalism.

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I don’t know. Seems like much ado about not much. Not knowing anything about Scott or the blog, I didn’t take the article as very negative. The bit about Murray was more of a slam against him then Scott. Murray was crucified over something he never really said, and this article is a continuation...betrays the NYT author’s ignorance more than anything.

The article focused on so-called Rationalists, with whom Siskind is apparently quite influential. Pointing out Siskind has a popular and influential blog is a an attack?

As for the feminist reference, the article states “He described some feminists as” Voldemort, which according to Siskind’s response is perfectly accurate. The online version contains a link to the full blog post – yes, with the strike-through text and PLEA FOR MERCY. Since when is a link in the NYT to your blog bad for business?

The reason I’m here is that the article piqued my interest in Siskind’s writing. Based on the post linked in the article it’s unlikely I’ll be back. Not for the content, or the impression made by the NYT, but that it’s crazy-f’n LONG. Who’s got the time for that? Apparently a bunch of tech gurus and (based on the comment section) people interested in taking vengeance on journalists.

I can’t comment on the concerns of a psychiatrist vis-a-vis having clients know his views, but I’m not convinced there is a right to blog anonymously. In most cases, if you’re going to publish your views to the world, you should be willing to stand behind them. If your profession precludes that, perhaps give up one or the other.

Maybe I read the article too charitably, but I came away intrigued. It was far from a hit-piece. Siskind’s response would be appropriate if he’d been labeled a Nazi and had his address published, but is overwrought and veers into entitled snoflakery. If the commenters, like “Adrian” (if that’s your real name), who desire retribution or are canceling their subscriptions are typical of Siskind’s readership, perhaps the NYT was too soft on the type of people Siskind influences.

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Bravo! So glad to see SlateStar>Astral Codex back and even better; so sorry you had to face trashing; so disappointed in NYT... But mostly, so glad to see SlateStar>Astral Codex back and even better. Thanks!

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I didn't think it was a negative article. If it had been posted on someone's blog, well, maybe it's a bit of an essay that uses someone as an example for developments that they are maybe connected to in some way but doesn't define them. and ok, maybe there are some nitpicks. the real issue people have is the impact of the NYT and how central the NYT is to the social construction of reality. and what happens when the mainstream discovers niche stuff. but anyway, sometimes a bit of shared reality can be a good thing to have. The NYT is never going to be very congruent with iconoclasm. For mass media we could do much worse (and do to disastrous results).

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What the Times did was absolutely wrong.

I'm bothered, however, by the author's running away from Murray, whose work has been validated by years of improvement in psychometrics and research. Charles Murray does not have offensive views on race. The running away from scholarship when it reveals a truth that is uncomfortable, is what has set the table for today's Medieval culture. "Intellectualism" is now based on "feelings," not on the constant subjecting of ideas to rigorous testing.

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I've heard people make "New York Slimes" jokes for close to twenty years now. (I don't tend to agree with the right-wing fever swamps, but I run into them from time to time.)

I don't think I've ever seen it be quite this literal, though.

Also, one other point that I think is worth mentioning (though perhaps awkward for you to do yourself, or implied by your intro): his article's ending, where he makes it look like your request for anonymity was irrational, and you just dropped it when you weren't trying to spite him. Which completely neglects the fact that you could do so specifically because you'd spent those months completely uprooting your life in order to deal with Cade Metz holding a (proverbial) gun to your head.

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Scott should take a few deep breaths, and laugh a bit.

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I'm seeking some advice on how to replace the NYT in my life.

I've been a subscriber since they put up the paywall, and NYT has been a go-to pinned tab on my browser since long before that. I believe in supporting investigative journalism and quality explanatory reporting. I like having a page of timely, mostly trustworthy world and national news. I think the NYT still gets the most important things right about as often as anyone else.

But, like many, over the years, I've noticed a steady reduction in objective reporting in favor of ideological agenda pushing, to they point where I began to feel like the NYT was actually *creating* the sorts of "movements" they most like to report on. This has made me uncomfortable, even when I agree with at least the core objective, as was the case with #metoo. More recently, they seem to have decided a "backlash" against big tech is underway -- though as has been noted by others (including Scott, iirc), this "backlash" seems practically nonexistent outside of the media.

There is a sort of game I play now where I scan the headlines of the NYT homepage and count how many seem to be about "intersectionalist" issues or will be discussed through an intersectionalist lens. I'm much less likely to read those. I'm all for everyone treating everyone the best way we can figure out how, but I feel like the NYT is gradually becoming less of a newspaper and more of an issues magazine. But I am the proverbial frog in the warming pot of water, and I don't know where else to go.

So, how might I replace this browser tab?

I want my subscription money to be directed to careful, objective journalism -- or at least opinion writers who do some homework and think deeply before writing (another percentage in decline at the NYT).

Can anyone suggest where to find an informative, timely dashboard of trustworthy major headlines and other stories? One that links directly to quality articles instead of to paywalled other sites or ad-spammed & ad-block prohibited pages? I have some subscription money waiting to be freed up to this end. (And yes, I'm already subscribed to Scott.)

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so we're scared of being doxxed and beaten for having met someone who knows trump.

so we're scared of being doxxed and beaten for noticing girls don't do tech.

so we're scared of being doxxed and beaten for noticing IQ test results.

so we're scared of being doxxed and beaten for ... the voldemort thing is particularly weak.

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I'm sorry this happened to you, but this is what the New York Times has become. Earlier this week, NYT's staffer Nikole Hannah Jones doxxed a reporter from the Free Beacon. That is who they are.

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> This seems like a weirdly brazen type of falsehood for a major newspaper.

That's, like, what they do. This sounds like an example of Gell-Mann amnesia. There are a myriad of cases where major newspapers presented extremely tenuous multi-stage links as proof of tight cooperation and forever agreement on all subjects, guilt by association as fact, replaced "once criticized a person who happens to be of Jewish origin" with "rabid anti-semite", "argued that open borders policy has its dangers" as "xenophobe and white supremacist", of immigration laws, "doubted that allowing male-bodied people compete in feats of strength with female-bodied ones would be fair to the latter" as "transphobe", etc. This happens so much it turns from separate cases to constant low-level hum of deception and misinterpretation. So it is not strange at all to expect this done to you - even if they don't do it to everybody all the time, they certainly know how to do it, and certainly wouldn't hesitate to do it when they're writing a hit job article.

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"I suspect he did not personally want to write this and was pressured into it as part of the Times’ retaliatory measures against me": Even if that were true, he was perfectly willing to smear someone and get paid to do it. He should be held accountable for it.

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"I continue to believe these studies are true, I’ve spoken with some of the researchers who have performed them, and the New York Times itself has previously written about and praised these same studies."

Hilarious

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Charles Murray's views on race and IQ are logical and measured (eg, overlapping distributions). Your decision to not affirm or reject them via logical argument highlights an understandable tactic of avoiding censure without rejecting the obvious. Alas, rejecting/avoiding profound truths to placate the mob only works for plutocrats and demagogues, not intellectuals.

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It seems like an awful lot of the controversy and tension in all of this - going right back to its start - could have been avoided if you and Metz had talked on the phone or met for a single coffee/beer. It appears that you two only communicated via e-mail, and the most basic form of human interaction could have been employed to find a much more civil and productive way forward.

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I wonder if it was always going to be a hit piece all along.

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I put out a blog post on this hitjob, partly because I feel like given the close association between my blog and SSC it's important to be clear on what I think. Long story short, the article stinks.

https://deponysum.com/2021/02/14/of-guilt-by-association/

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It was a bummer to find out today that while I was having a wonderful time rebuilding my life as a result of Scott's psychiatry work, he was busy dealing with all of this garbage. At the very least, this (not so) confused former patient is quite happy to have found this bright new evolution of Slate Star Codex.

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In the words of one of those murdered people from that Oz movie, "What a world, what a world!"

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@nfergus brought me here.

I have never heard about Alex's blog nor did I read the NYTimes hit piece on him. That being said I think this post did have 4 good points where the NYTimes deliberately taken his quotes out of context in order to make a him out to be a monster who hits all the points in the current group think fear matrix. Racist, misogynistic and worse of all Pro-Trump.

It was by all accounts the NYTimes attempt to cancel him.

I fear that he is only wrong in his his explination as to why he became a target. It was not because he refused to be doxxed by the NYTimes, but because he was presenting arguments as to why certain things are the way they are that are. Arguments that were not the same as the NYTimes' reasons that things are as they are.

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FWIW, I did subscribe to ASX, but it was a tough call for me, since $100 is not cheap. I ultimately chose to subscribe anyway, just to send a signal to Scott that I respect his willingness to stand against NYT -- but I could've gone either way. Now, I'm very happy I made that call; if I was not subscribed yet, I surely would've done it after reading this post.

Also, if Scott wanted to start some sort of a legal fund for victims of modern journalism, I'd happily donate.

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Excellent complaint about the article itself, without worrying about the negatives or the shaded mistakes:

You are writing about one of the most prolific and talented writers of our generation. How the hell do you not actually quote them? - https://howthehell.substack.com/p/nyt-ssc-quoting

Including a few of the quotes he lists would've made the article about 100x better, while giving a much more accurate impression of what SSC was.

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Well the one thing the article *did* do was redirect me back to this blog. And now there's a picture available! So hurrah?

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Scott, first of all, let me express my sincere thanks for your writing over the years. You are an excellent writer and I sincerely believe you've made a positive contribution to the world through it. You've also built a successful enterprise through your avocation and you're surely one of the top 50 voices in the country in terms of your influence on elite opinion.

Clearly you experienced a lot of anguish over this whole saga, and you seem to be especially sensitive to the natural feeling of distress we all share when we learn someone out there thinks we are a Bad Person. But let me urge you to take a deep breath and look at it from a more detached point of view.

You were subject to a tendentious and intellectually dishonest piece from an ideological adversary. As you know, your ideological adversaries do not prize intellectually honest debate as highly as you do, indeed part of the whole beef is they think other values like social responsibility are more important. Also lets remember that Substack, and the tech platforms like google and facebook, and by extension you, in your small way, are competitors to NYT!

I don't blame you for being upset about the article, it's a shoddy hit job. But you aren't the first to be the subject of the Why My Ideological Adversary Sucks piece. Having people who love to hate you is part and parcel of being a public intellectual. The existence of this piece is both a sign of your success as a writer thus far, and something that will totally help you rather than hurt you in objective terms.

So please continue to skewer your ideological adversaries with your wit, but go easy on the personal grievance side of it going forward (which I fully expect you will do given what you say here). Just keep being awesome and let your success be the best revenge. For my part, I hope this whole saga inspires you to lean into this avocation of yours all the more, and to see how far and how high your talent can take you.

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Its coming faster than you realize -- war.

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I love that bit about the Wizard of Oz. Cracks me up every time. Sorry to hear you had to go through all this trouble. You sounds amazingly adaptable to have gotten to this point.

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Honestly the thing that really got me about the article was the way the entire thing was in past tense, like the continuing lives of the people it mentions aren't even worth acknowledging. I don't know if that's part of their style guide, but it just felt completely dehumanizing.

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In an academic environment, research is advanced by arguments based on evidence. That research won't get published unless you identify yourself and take responsibility for what you have written. Every aspect of your argument and every shred of your evidence is out there for others to dispute. This is a generally a good thing and usually done in the spirit of advancing the research. Sometimes unfair attacks are made, sometimes egos are bruised and it is no doubt a demanding job with a lot of stress because everyone knows whether or not you are succeeding. I'm not sure that anonymous blog posts, however brilliant, can really compare to the risks you take when you have to stand by your words (and back down if you are wrong).

I checked out this blog based on the NYT article and thought it might be interesting. I am surprised at the indignation. Seriously, the NYT like most journalism has journalists writing on timelines with small budgets. They never expect to be the last word on something nor the definitive version. Even someone writing a 1000 page book would never expect this. Anyone can write rebuttals and they have huge numbers of people writing comments on their opinion pieces. I can understand the policy of requiring stories to identify real people. How would any newspaper work if stories always let their subjects have anonymity? I may be persuaded by the argument that patients of a doctor would be concerned if their cases were directly discussed. But maybe such identifiable discussion is not a good idea anyway.

On the topic of genetics which I see is popular here, why not just read about genetic research instead of indulging in hypothetical speculation? Maybe one day the shape of your big toe will be correlated with intelligence, or maybe the arch of your foot or how tall you are. Anything is possible I guess--hypothetically. But to date the overwhelming consensus among geneticists is that the so called human "races" are the same, and individuals differ within these "races" far more than between them. The physical traits we happen to notice most are actually trivial and have no bearing on our brains or on "intelligence" which by the way is a very complex and by no means straightforward or "testible trait". Moreover, anyone looking at genetics, can't ignore epigenetics which highlights the effects of environment on how genes are turned on or off. So the real question is why is there always so much interest in speculating on when we will find a genetic marker for "racial" differences in intelligence? It was no coincidence that this field flourished in the 19th century when the need to justify colonialism and slavery was at its height. But why now? I think it would be better to focus on the big toe idea. Perhaps someone could write a book exploring this theory-at least hypothetically...

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I dunno, you may be greatly underestimating the skepticism of the average reader. I read the article, and when it came to the few guilt-by-association with some inflammatory keywords threw in, I just started skimming. It's always clear to me when that happens that the writer has lost the thread and is groping around, so throws in a few boring cliched keywords to substitute for the actual facts and/or interesting narrative that is part of an <i>interesting</i> story.

So even if I knew nothing at all about you, I would've come away from the article mildly curious and mildly impressed -- the gist of the story is (1) you write a blog that is wide-ranging and does not self-censor, (2) are interested in rational principles of discussion, and (3) have attractive the attention and admiration of quite a number of very accomplished and smart people. That's a very positive impression. The fact that the writer threw in some low-brow sneering <i>your mama wears Army boots!</i> kind of commentary doesn't really change that.

Perhaps the dogs for whom the dogwhistles <i>work</i> are not very important, and to anyone else, the three main facts I stated above are what will stick -- which makes it on balance a positive story about you, whether that was the <i>Times's</i> intention or not.

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I just read the NYT piece, which is why I am here. It didn't seem negative to me. It was thoughtful and nuanced. Thanks for the blog. I will enjoy reading it.

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You think like a nice guy....

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Not a fan of today’s NYT article, but glad Scott’s link to the unhinged and underinformed Rhinehart post about the NYT was apparently deleted.

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Omg, this balanced and reasonable response! C-can we have.... You.... instead of the NYT?

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Hostile Media Effect.

Hostile Media Effect. Hostile Media Effect.

A lot of non community members exposed to the article seem to be seeing it as mildly positive about the rationalist community. The particular friend who is a fan of the NYT who I had read this thought that it was praising the community as a place that controversial topics could be discussed calmly. That possibly is even how Cade Metz sees the article.

Note: It still is terribly for Gell Mann Amnesia reasons, ie journalists generally don't have any sort of deep understanding of what they are talking about, and make lots of dumb mistakes. Cade Metz clearly does not have a deep understanding of the rationalist community. It also is still embedded in a narrative that all of the facts have to still be embedded in.

But the way that we want to perceive it as a 'hit piece', ie something designed to make people think worse of Scott, and then by extension us as individuals, is probably due to a well known perceptual bias.

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I hate the NYT. I just wanted to say that.

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This justifies the initial deletion of the blog. While not guaranteed, a piece this negative would have been much more difficult to deal with before you had taken steps to prepare yourself.

However, the article is just so badly written that I think it may generate minimal interest. How many months went into that tedious sloppy mess?

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crybaby guy and hides on a blog! funny without thinking twice he accepted NYT toilet paper offer then he realised that he had to show up such a little boy

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Scott, your response to that sad, badly written and/or edited NYT article is just the sort of calmly rational statement I expected from you. I hope the new arrivals and old hands who have suggested that the attention could work to your benefit will prove to be right. Poetic justice is still a thing, y'know?

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I found the NYT piece to be kind of lame as a hit piece... but I think that's more due to Scott's material than Cade Metz' intentions. He had thousands of pages material to work with, and the worst he could come up with were some half-assed association, out-of-context quotes and tortured innuendo. Could have been worse.

It is another step in the decline of the NYT, though, which seems to be in the process of getting rid of all contributors who are not 100% on board with wokeism. Which is worrying, because reliable mainstream media are necessary for a healthy public discourse.

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Cade Metz links "I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup", and describes it as a critique of the Blue Tribe. The outgroup for the Blue Tribe is described as "Anyone who did not agree with the Blue Tribe".

This is an incorrect description of an outgroup, which Scott defines as requiring proximity and small differences.

The first 3 references to the blog vanishing/disappearing are written in a jarringly passive voice.

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A misogynist is a man whose general patronising attitude towards normal women, his contempt for her opinions and beliefs, his denunciation of her choices in life, his mockery of her preferred sexual behaviour, and his vicious loathing of her chosen appearance, is almost as bad as that of a radical feminist activist.

Pretending that some feminists are not the moral equivalent of Voldemort is giving intolerant fascistic bigots a free pass.

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It's a bit unrelated to the current topic, but in these comments, IQ mentioned quite often, and it appears that there's some controversy on whether people from different ethnic groups differ in their average IQ. I don't follow this discussion. One thing that strikes me a bit is the belief in the construct of IQ among many of you rationalist guys. See e.g., Nassim Talebs critique ("IQ is largely a pseudoscientific swindle"). Whatever IQ is, it is probably not unidimensional, so it cannot be a single number. It's probably just weakly predictive of meaningful other things - unless you have people with learning disabilities in your sample, I think that's Nassim's main argument. The sentence I like most: "And one has to be a lunatic (or a psychologist) to believe that a standardized test will reveal independent thinking."

Just want to mention this because I think one of the major fallacies of "rationalist" people is their belief in measurement and numbers.

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Hi, Scott

The day ACX/SSC came back online was the happiest day of the year (so far) for me. I don't understand much about the NYT situation - probably because the cultural outrage du jour it's based on doesn't translate well to my (non-US) context.

I just want to let you know I appreciate that you've decided to damn the torpedoes and continue doing what makes you (read: me) happy.

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A hit piece in the same vein as the NYT's infamous pieces on Wen-Ho Lee.

The NYT vendetta is not with Scott. It is with Tech. Tech must be tarred with the brush of Trumpism if it is to be demonized effectively, thus the construction of a narrative of a secret cabal of tech industry Trumpists nefariously conspiring chez SSC and professing to love free speech only as a cover for their Trumpism.

The real reason Big Media hates Tech is that Tech has eaten its lunch, and career prospects for journalism grads range from poor to dismal, hence the axe to grind. It doesn't require a conspiracy on Big Media's part (although the Murdochs certainly have their knives out for Google, even though it's Facebook they should worry about more).

The fact that the media in general and the NYT in particular have lost credibility because of their boosterism of Gulf War II, and generally acting in connivence with their more successful classmates in the politics establishment instead of afflicting the comfortable, would require a level of introspection and honesty they are simply incapable of evincing.

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I have somewhat recently discovered your writings. So happy you are back from exile. I am a european psych resident. In recent years my confidence in "the psychiatric project" as a whole has been shaken, to say the least. Maybe not so much because of data on the (lacking) efficacy of our treatments, or our bad diagnostic systems. But by the fact that psychiatrists don't seem interested in reflecting about issues like those. At least not here, where I am. So thank you for thinking and writing about the topics you do. It is of more than trivial importance to me, at least right now. Thank you.

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My two biggest quibbles with the times article, in reverse order:

-It’s extremely condescending to minorities or other “intersectionally oppressed” categories, by implying that they can’t themselves discover rationalism or things like Bayesian thinking (aka...thinking) and game theory, nor be tech-minded or rationalist. It’s the same fallacy that left the blue team flat footed to all the minorities who saw themselves as greater than their identity and voted for trump. If we had better primary and secondary education in poor neighborhoods we’d have even more minorities interested in stem, systems thinking, EA, AI, and rationalism because - and it’s crazy that this is controversial in 2021 - there’s nothing inherent in skin color, sex, gender identity, etc that precludes somebody with the right opportunities from learning and finding interesting anything they want.

-More fundamentally, and the thing Scott pointed out in his inaugural AC10 article but upon which I haven’t seen many comments since, where does the times get off deciding they can dox somebody just because they find his blog interesting and they think they want to do an article on him. I’d SA had approached the times, and the reporter had told him “we’d love to run the article, but we can’t run it without your real name; your call” that falls within the common-sense realm of consent. But saying “hey we’d like to do an article, btw we’re revealing your identity whether you want us to or not”?!?! Whether or not that’s a breach of journalistic ethics (I’m sure they have some legal fudge factor for “public figures” and that definition is doing a lot of heavy lifting), it sure seems a breach of common sense ethics/keeping it gangster.

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I just read the summary blogpost.

Can someone clarify why NYT would not honor someone's request to not doxx him/her? It is a very reasonable request and seems to be the starting point before things spiraled out of control

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Part of me is glad that they posted this article. I've been reading SSC for years. I know what Scott is about. I also know that there are ways to attack people without evidence. What I do not know is how to tell attacks on people for being evil from pro forma attacks that can be aimed at everyone.

This article is an almost perfect example of a pro forma attack, and it helps me know what to look for.

1. Uncharitable portrayal of belief. I reread the blog post on women in tech. Summarizing it as "women are less interested in joining" was about as bad as a misrepresentation could be without outright lying.

2, Extreme cherrypicking. Scott wrote a lot of stuff. That he wrote something that would look bad out of context is inevitable.

3. Guilt by association with minimal evidence. The first attempt to link neoreactionary thought to SSC is very bad (with three links to neoreactionary sources, no links to Scott endorsing neoreactionary thought, and the weak claim that some rationalists are neoreactionary), Later on, it's bad that Scott linked to someone that white nationalists liked. The Charles Murray reference is a work of evil art.

4. Paraphrased quotes. I suspect that David Friedman was treated poorly. There's an exact quote about how open the comment section is. Then a paraphrased portraying SSC as anti SJW. That looks fishy, why not use the full quote?

This provides me with some evidence of what to look for. I hope to get better at identifying pro forma attacks.

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Consider the possibility that you overestimate by quite a lot damage done to the therapeutic relationship by revealing your name and status. Patients find out things about their psychiatrist Willie Nilly. This kind of knowledge might come up and can be dealt with in the therapeutic arena. If patients develop distortions or emotional reactions, It can be dealt with as transference is always dealt with – clarification, interpretation, etc. Any of your patients to read your blog will be proud and how are you live, not simply preach, about the importance of truth. Keep up the good fight. As they say, bad press is good pr

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Carry on.

Minor member of the media on here who thinks what has happened to you in this case is garbage.

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A recurring idea in the work of Milan Kundera is that the spirit of totalitarianism lives on in our mass media. In a world without privacy, will we all be perpetually on trial?

James Warner

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They mentioned EA and neoreaction in the same paragraph - EA could have linked to 80000 hours, the EA foundation or anything else. No links. But they put in no less than three separate links to neoreactionaries right after their mention of EA. Negative association.

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When the orange Man called them the enemy of the people, he wasn't far off

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> I am writing this as a necessary ritual to avoid silence being taken as evidence for guilt.

The problem with this approach is that the people you’re responding too very often take defense of oneself as evidence of guilt. Instead, you need to point out that they lack any legitimacy in making accusations in the first place. First, because they don’t have legitimacy and second because it puts them on the back foot where they need to justify their legitimacy (which they can’t because they don’t have it beyond the fallacious argument of appealing to authority of the institution they write for.)

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122

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Nicely written Sir. Stay strong & God Bless you.

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Make no mistake---the furor this article has aroused will not in any way, shape or form hurt Cade Metz's career at the New York Times.

When I wrote this piece last June https://medium.com/@garyweiss_86200/cade-metz-pulls-a-deep-capture-on-slate-star-codex-da649e8efe7 harkening back to my own experiences with Metz, I implied otherwise. But I underestimated Metz. He maliciously framed the piece to make Scott seem as if he gave a forum to "white supremacists." Right now he no doubt is slanting the criticism to make it seem as if he is "under attack from the right." Remember too that the Times published this piece, gave it play on the first page of the business section, and is invested in it. I doubt that they would even run a letter to the editor from Scott on this, though it is worth a try. If the Times behaved correctly, given Metz's ethnical lapses, errors and distortions, they would run not just a letter but an editor's note.

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I think the best way to deal with this would be to have an open conversation with Cade Metz. It would certainly be beneficial for this blog, the New York Times and the community at large rather than establish yet another pointless feud.

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You may not want to say the truth about the NY Times but I will. They commonly lie to their readers about anything they oppose. They omit critical facts, they commonly manipulate "quotes" and they dox opponents who can't hit back. The current management has ruined the reputation of this once great newspaper and no thinking person, any longer, takes them seriously as a news source.

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PayPal link please! So readers can donate.

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It's a great example of how the NYTimes likes to make everything about race. It's why I stopped subscribing too. At least with this article more people can see how #FakeNews they really are and stop subscribing too.

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And so, I´ve just cancelled my subscription to NYT

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truth is, the NYT has never been a very good paper and it never will be.

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Sorry this happened to you. Hoping this aides in the growing trend towards general awareness that the NYT is biased ideological drivel (:

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I am just here because of Streisand effect

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Having read you on and off for going on 5 years now, I don't think that NYT article was a hit piece. I think it kinda reflects my own thinking on this blog and the commenters and your own prickly personality.

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Obfuscate much? Really, if you want to say something and have me respond thoughtfully then please do actually say something!

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My favorite line in the article:

"(Rationalists) deeply distrusted the mainstream media"

Gee, I wonder why...

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This is a necessary article that correctly points out that whatever the new York Times are optimising for, it sure ain't truth.

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The NYT has the ethical maturity of a zygote. What more can it take to snap subscribers out of their moral slumber? Its hit pieces and distortions and pure propaganda are beyond the pale. They promote falsehoods, and they--to put it simply--do ugly things to people, uncalled for things. Just in the last few days, Scott Alexander and Donald McNeil. Bret Stephens has to have his say at the Post. Bari Weiss is long gone. Whatever you might think about Jordan Peterson, the NYT hit piece on him was simply disgusting in its supposed humor. He cannot be a person, after all. Now they have been ridiculing his daughter. The Times is an ugly and hurtful wrecking ball. I cancelled my subscription some time ago now. I can still read in the chunks they permit, but it is a miserable read, still. I unsubscribed at about the time Bill Cunningham died. He was so joyful, such a light! Not coincidentally, that was about the same time Jim Rutenberg wrote his letter justifying the jettisoning of traditional journalistic standards--because Trump. Then came the "moral clarity" slogan, folowed by the overt attacks on objective reporting.

Enough is enough.

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What is eminently strange is how the NYT refers to Scott as "Mr. [last name]" in lieu of "Dr. [last name]."

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I did not know about Slate Star Codex or Astral Codex 10 till today’s NYT article. It got me intrigued and I’m going to subscribe today. Hope it brings lots of people to the discussions.

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I think that what a lot of gray-tribe folk fail to understand is just how damaging this article is from a blue-tribe perspective. The New York Times wrote an article calling Scott a racist and a sexist. Of course, they didn't *say* those things, but they heavily implied it. And they did so by using guilt-by-association. They established for the blue-tribe that Scott once said something kind about Charles Murray, and so he endorses Murray's beliefs. In the blue-tribe, this guilt-by-association forms a chain that never ends. I am an academic, trying to make a career in academia. I thought about posting a defense of Scott somewhere, but ultimately that would be too risky to my career. It opens me up to become a link in the guilt-chain. "Professor [me] supports Scott Alexander, who is known to support Charles Murray and who thinks feminists are Death Eaters [ergo I am both racist and sexist]". Then they will cite a NYT article "proving" their claims. This is the kind of thing that harms careers and friendships.

To a certain sector of society (which btw has large intersections with the Bay/academia that Scott calls home), Scott has now become toxic. Of course, it made me go pay $100 to support Scott and read his content, so in some ways he won. But it made me far less likely to openly defend him. If certain coworkers of mine came to work one day and talked about how they read a NYT article about the white supremacist tech bro culture that claims to be "rationalist" and how racist and sexist it is - well, my choices are now "agree with the NYT article" or "be seen as racist and sexist".

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Conservatives have been trying to warn everyone for years about THIS EXACT THING, but instead of being supported by upstanding Democrats like yourself we have been villainized, fired, threatened, physically assaulted, called racists, extremists, and even insurrectionists. While I feel bad for you, I'm hoping this is an overall learning lesson for what almost half the country has been dealing with for years. The only difference is you'll get your life back.

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Hello Scott, I'm not calling you a fascist or a nazi or anything like that. I'd just like to know your answer to this question:

Yes or no, do you believe that the current social inequalities between black and white people (whether they be in the US or between say Africa and Europe) are partially due to black people being genetically dumber?

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Almost Famous:

"Scott Alexander, Philosopher King of the Weird People" written by Kenneth R. Pike

https://quillette.com/2021/02/14/scott-alexander-philosopher-king-of-the-weird-people/

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Whatever, I'm just happy that Scott's hiatus is over.

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Trump had the greatest response ever to accusations of sexism: "only Rosie O'donnell." That should be the stock answer for everyone, no matter what the context. lol

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I had never heard of Scott Alexander. I came here after reading the NYT article, very much ready to pay for this blog! The first article I read was the one about Ezra Klein's book and the second one is this one. I honestly did not think the NYT article was "negative", especially in the way Scott described it. My first impression was "wow here is an interesting corner of internet that I was not aware of and I should be part of it!" But then again I was never a "loud" person on the interwebs so if I say relax I am being flippant I guess. Best of luck from a chronically depressed PhD statistician & left leaning gay economist.

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Would love to know the subscriber bump this week

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I hope that you can move past this and continue blogging, Scott. Though your discussions are often beyond my poor comprehension abilities, I appreciate them.

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I have decided to treat the NYT in casual conversation as it treats others. So I will append a true fact that is irrelevant except to imply guilt by association whenever I mention it. For example, "in an article in the NYT, which has the same business model as Pornhub, ..."

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Why did the NYT article imply that Scott is a member of the "Grey Tribe"? In that "I can Tolerate Anyone Except the Outgroup" post from SSC, he actually had an interesting meta section near the end where he admitted he is part of the blue tribe.

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Unpleasantness aside, am I the only person who found the NYT article... weird? In the following senses:

1. It's existence is weird. People either know what SSC was or they don't. People who do will see through this. People who don't will wonder why they're reading about "some guy has a blog that's maybe problematic but not in an interesting or outrage-inducing way." Including Scott Aaronson's quote looked a bit like a shoe-horn that doesn't add anything for non-SSC people who've presumably never heard of him.

2. It's waaay too obvious: in basic reading comprehension terms a sentence like the Charles Murray one just looks like it's grasping at straws.

3. Part of it comes across as a having been a much better hit-piece that's been neutered. I love(d) SSC, but anyone who's read all of it knows that with a proper argument in there it could be crucified (for obvious reasons, this should be left as an exercise for the reader). This article could have been, "rich tech people read evil blog" as both a more readable/relevant article and kicking Scott harder. This looks like it's trying to be a hit piece without being one, when you'd assume the intention would be the opposite.

4. "Mostly, but not all, white men." That phrase is bizarre in context. "Mostly white men" has much more sting in SJW terms, and means the same thing so is still accurate. It's pulling a punch it didn't have to throw.

5. The last line almost has a double meaning - it sounds begrudgingly respectful to anyone who's read the first post here, but

Overall, this looks like the NYT decided they had to write an article and name Scott (although missing out the "Dr"), but didn't really have a hook to hang it on (hence the non-hitting hit-piece). Either that or Cade Metz couldn't be bothered to re-write parts of it and knocked this out quickly, or his editor wanted a hit-piece but he didn't want to write it. Not worth worrying about though; no-one who's never heard of SSC will ever remember they read it.

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New York Times? What's that? A font? I never heard of it until Scott mentioned it.

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I remembered that our Fearless Leader is not the only person the NYTimes has seen fit to cancel. Try this one on for size:

"In Virginia teenager N-word story, where are the adults?" by Becket Adams, Commentary Writer | December 28, 2020

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/in-virginia-teenager-n-word-story-where-are-the-adults

"The New York Times published a grotesque report this weekend cheering an 18-year-old named Jimmy Galligan, a biracial Virginia resident who targeted a white girl for destruction after he obtained a years-old video of her using the N-word.

"The white girl, Mimi Groves, used the racial slur jokingly in 2016 in reference to having just acquired her learner's permit. Groves, who was a freshman in high school at the time, said specifically in a Snapchat video, "I can drive, n-------." ...

"The New York Times reports, “Mr. Galligan, who had waited until Ms. Groves had chosen a college, had publicly posted the video that afternoon. Within hours, it had been shared to Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter, where furious calls mounted for the University of Tennessee to revoke its admission offer."

"The University of Tennessee bowed to the mob, first by removing Groves from its cheer squad and then by pressuring her into rescinding her application for enrollment. Groves, who is both contrite and embarrassed for what she said as a freshman in high school, took the hint. She withdrew her acceptance and ended up attending community college online. ...

"Galligan is outrageously misguided. That much is clear. But he is not even the most disturbing thing about this wretched story. That dubious distinction goes to both the New York Times and the University of Tennessee.

"It is one thing if Galligan is a bitter, vindictive young man suffering from personal hang-ups, but what good reason does the New York Times have to run his story? What public interest is served? Are we to believe now that the private remarks of children, remarks, by the way, for which they have apologized, merit attention from the most powerful media organizations in the United States? Surely, the New York Times is not serious when it says of this incident that it paints a "complex portrait of behavior that for generations had gone unchecked in schools in one of the nation’s wealthiest counties, where Black students said they had long been subjected to ridicule." Next up, I suppose the paper will dispatch a team of reporters to investigate the mean-girl table. ...

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I didn't think much of the article, but it seems entirely plausible to me that the NYT [mistakenly] thought it was being fair, and I think this is a good lesson in the perils of "both sides" journalism.

I'm imagining a thought process along the lines of 'ok, this rationality thing, some people like it and some people don't, so let's get some material from both sides!' along with some pretty sloppy fact checking. The rat community, like any large and weird enough subculture, has generated people who dislike and are weirdly obsessed with it, and if you make half the story about what they have to say your readers are usually going to get the wrong idea.

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After reading the NYTimes article, I decided to subscribe. Scott needs our support to keep alive one of the last bastions of free and respectful debate on the Internet.

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It looks like a thousand other comments have already said everything I could possibly think of, so… *hug?*

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I read the New York times article and it wasn't bad publicity! Brought me here. The article didn't seem that unjust. Despite the fact you take umbrage with some of what they wrote, they also sung your praises. Don't sweat it.

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I continue to wonder as the Times & progressive media continue to "eat" their own why rational liberals continue to to support it. Perhaps you should come to the actually tolerant right. Good day sir.

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You have a new reader!! I am SO disappointed with the way the Times treated you and your blog.

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The vague associating with Silicon Valley and offensive ideas might be annoying, BUT the fact that the article provides so many links to your articles, and that by now you’ve arranged things so that your real name being out there doesn’t hurt you that much, definitely will make this exposure add up to a net positive here in the long run.

I also back in the day initially found you through a link of somebody misrepresenting you, read the article and was hooked. Same will happen here to many people. The content will speak for itself.

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Honestly, I'm astounded that the New York Times would write a hit piece and not bring up this blog post on Tumblr.

https://archive.is/I85mC

Feels like a missed opportunity, tbh. And I know for a fact that one of the people who consulted on the article was well-aware of this incident, so maybe, *just maybe*, you're throwing a massive hissyfit over an article that was both extremely charitable to you and your writing and which also refused to talk about the stuff that really makes you look awful. Maybe, *just maybe*, responding to that with hostility and conspiracy theories about the media is not a good look. Personally, I'm looking forward to the article about you that talks about this incident, and about how Steve Sailer is a member in good standing, and how that subreddit you publicly endorsed is full of weird, creepy reactionaries.

Also nice new website. It runs really badly and the comments are full of HBDers. The old site ran well and had comments full of HBDers; personally I would have changed the latter rather than the former when moving to a new platform, but I'm not the innovative thinker you are. Have fun!

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I’m one of the (probably innumerable) people who were brought to this blog by the Times article expecting to find fascinating discussions “ re-examin[ing] the world through cold and careful thought,“ as the times put it. Opening the comment section with “If there's anyone in history who doesn't deserve to have his ideas discussed properly, it's Marx,” “The comment section will instantly improve the moment you are banned,” and “You can’t be a Marxist with anything approaching a rational viewpoint” (from someone who calls themself “Reality,” no less), is not an auspicious beginning.

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I appreciate your work here. I hope this evaporates and leaves you with fresh, spring air.

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I'm new to Scott's work, having recently discovered it due to the NY Times controversy. I thought this was a good response, but this part kind of weirded me out: "Again, it would not surprise me if I was a few degrees of social separation from some of these people. I don’t feel like this means I have done anything wrong, and I assume most people are a few degrees of social separation away from a Republican or Trump supporter. I myself am a Democrat, voted Warren (IIRC) in the primary, and Biden in the general."

Just feels a little spooky that the "newspaper of record" can publish a hit piece on someone and then that person feels compelled to publicly beg "Please don't blame me for knowing a few Republicans. Everybody does! I'm a member of The Party, honest I am!!" I don't know that you can definitively say at this point that we are living in a one-party state, but seems like we're getting closer and closer.

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All I can suggest is that people read Metz's book The Genius Makers when it comes out in a few weeks, and offer an honest, substantive review. https://www.amazon.com/Genius-Makers-Mavericks-Brought-Facebook/dp/1524742678

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You provide so much entertainment, intellectual stimulation, and sense of community for so many people. Which is a net GOOD. I'm sorry that your reward for this net GOOD behavior is this.

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Why is Charles Murray so demonized? I've read a few of this books, "Coming Apart", "In Our Hands" and I've listened to a few talks. (Sam Harris comes to mind first.. though also AEI stuff.) From what little I can tell, Charles is a good person. You don't have to agree with him on everything to acknowledge he is worth reading.

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The founder of Gawker wrote a piece defending Metz...

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I'll look forward to reading some of Scott's old posts.

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Really? Thanks for the nice thought.

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I was surprised by your defensive about the New York Times article because my reaction was wow, how can he write about some many topics.

In anycase, many of the disputes come down to causation vs correlation as well as individuals not understanding the biophysics of the brain and nervous system and the neuroplasticity of neural networks. But this is a larger topic with many dimensions.

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Looking for a larger context, the NYTimes published long article with at least a partial replay of the Donald McNeil fiasco: The author, Ben Smith, the NYTimes media correspondent, has some trenchant observations:

Postcard From Peru: Why the Morality Plays Inside The Times Won’t Stop

Other news organizations have their own personnel dramas. But none attract the spotlight the way The Times does.

By Ben Smith

Published Feb. 14, 2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/14/business/media/new-york-times-donald-mcneil.html

"The exhaustive coverage led The New Republic last week to ask, “Can We Stop Obsessing Over Every Personnel Decision Made by The New York Times?”

"Not just yet.

"The Times is an object of obsession because of its unusual, perhaps unhealthy, central place in American news, culture and politics. Its actions — and those of its internal factions — carry huge symbolic weight. That’s the thing that struck me most when I got here a year ago, and wrote that “because The Times now overshadows so much of the industry, the cultural and ideological battles that used to break out between news organizations now play out inside The Times.” The Times’s media ambitions have also intensified its status as a cultural lightning rod. It is no longer just a source of information. It seeks to be the voice whispering in your ear in the morning, the curriculum in your child’s history class and the instructions on caramelizing shallots for the pasta you’re making for dinner."

***

"I think it’s a sign that The Times’s unique position in American news may not be tenable. This intense attention, combined with a thriving digital subscription business that makes the company more beholden to the views of left-leaning subscribers, may yet push it into a narrower and more left-wing political lane as a kind of American version of The Guardian — the opposite of its stated, broader strategy."

*****

"The questions about The Times’s identity and political leanings are real; the differences inside the newsroom won’t be easily resolved. But the paper needs to figure out how to resolve these issues more clearly: Is The Times the leading newspaper for like-minded, left-leaning Americans? Or is it trying to hold what seems to be a disappearing center in a deeply divided country? Is it Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden? One thing that’s clear is that these questions probably aren’t best arbitrated through firings or resignations freighted with symbolic meaning, or hashed out inside the human resources department."

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"This is true only insofar as I once expressed agreement with an unrelated position of Charles Murray’s... The Times points out that I agreed with Murray that poverty was bad, and that also at some other point in my life noted that Murray had offensive views on race, and heavily implies this means I agree with Murray’s offensive views on race..."

This seems to downplay what you agreed with Murray on. In the linked post, you wrote

"Neither he nor I would dare reduce *all* class differences to heredity, and he in particular has some very sophisticated theories about class and culture. But he shares my skepticism that the 55 year old Kentucky trucker can be taught to code, and I don’t think he’s too sanguine about the trucker’s kids either..."

This sounds like you're agreeing with Murray that heredity is part of the reason for class differences, and that you think heredity is part of *why* the Kentucky truckers will be hard to teach code. Is that what you were saying? If so, then that is a contentious position, one that is associated with Murray, and one that is related to his part-heredity opinions about race and IQ.

(tangentially related: why "it's only partly heredity" isn't the middle-ground opinion Murray thinks it is: https://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/philo/faculty/block/papers/Heritability.html; the context is race but the same point is general.)

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I see a lot of comments saying they came here from the NYT article and don't feel like it was that negative. I think a part of that is that the 'rationalist' community generally has much higher standards for literary honesty. The attempt to link Murray's racial views to Scott's may seem run-of-the-course for the average reader, but to someone who's had the pleasure of reading the painstakingly honest attempts at representation of opposing views within this community for the past few years, it feels much worse.

Another point is that the NYT articles glosses over the fact that Scott was a practicing psychiatrist whose practice was destroyed, and patients hurt, by the NYT's threat of doxxing. Reading about Scott's descriptions of his practice, and what he learns from it, for years likely makes this fact hit much harder than learning about it from the one or two throwaway lines mentioning it in the NYT article.

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