Interesting podcast conversation between Sam Harris and Charles Murray (of "Bell Curve" fame)

Or, many might say, of Bell Curve “infamy”. But it sounds like he’s gotten a raw deal.

I’d be interested in discussing this podcast, but I would ask that you actually *listen *to it in its entirety before weighing in. If you listen at 1.5x speed like I do (though you’d have to use a podcatcher of some sort to do that, or wait a few days until Sam puts it up on YouTube), it’s only an hour and a half of your time.

In case anyone’s wondering why I posted this in the Pit: the title of the episode is “Forbidden Knowledge”, and that kind of says it all. Sam said he thinks The Bell Curve was the most controversial book of the past half-century, and as they dig increasingly into its contents, he talks about “beginning to pull out the control rods” and so on.

I somehow doubt you’re getting many takers on a podcast that’s over two hours long featuring a guy talking about his signature achievement, a book which acts like racism is black people’s fault.

EDIT: stupid software

I can’t imagine two people I’d rather listen to less on the subject of poverty, class, and race than those two. If Murray is ever interviewed by someone who isn’t a bigoted autodidact on matters of sociology, then I’ll listen.

I recommend a book of essays called Racecraft, which discusses Murray and the idea of forbidden knowledge.

I have nothing to say to anyone who refuses to listen to the episode and instead just spouts boilerplate ad hominem. If that means crickets, so be it.

Doesn’t make them wrong though.

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You’re asking for quite a commitment. If there was a transcript, then I might take the time to read it, or at least take a look… but 90 minutes or more of listening? For a guy made famous by promoting “blacks are inherently intellectually inferior” and one of the kings of Islam broad-brushing attacks? No thanks.

The OP will bring America together in not wanting to hear these two guys talk.

You’re going to have a lot of nothing to say then, amigo.

In what universe does this even qualify as a thread? Is it good enough for me to say, “Here’s this youtube documentary about Chemtrails by Mike Adams I’d like everyone to talk about. Please watch it, it’s only five hours long and almost certainly contains a massive load of bullshit, tell me what you think!”? Is that a good thread starter?

Arguement by Podcast is no better than Argument by Youtube. This goes into the pile with all the Truthers and Birthers who insisted we watch the latest 3-1/2 hour conspiracy video without any commentary of their own.

I did skim and checked some bits of that podcast.

In essence, his naiveness shows by thinking erroneusly that he was essentially exonerated in academia. And no, while intelligence can be inherited (as he wants to pretend that it was the main reason of many disagreeing with him) the point from most experts is that it does happens in all “races”. And latest evidence about brain plasticity and other issues show that there is a lot of environmental and nurturing factors that are giving us what we see, we are are more than just genes.

There is also a lot of talk in the podcast about the recent mistreatment Murray got at a university he was making a speech. Even I do agree that any student that put a hand on him should be expelled or suspended, but then a typically fascist side seen on many scientific racists shows up when he demanded in the podcast that all students that did protest by showing their backs and chanting against him should also be suspended or expelled.

Go away, kid.

For those of us who read that fish-brained, bigoted pile of pseudoscience the first time around, and the many pieces debunking it, and listened to all the debates surrounding it, and had a right to think we’d put it behind us, listening to Charles Murray cry about it today is not necessary or helpful. He declined to have the trash peer-reviewed before publication, which would have prevented his well-earned opprobrium.

In fact, I resent the attempt to re-litigate 20 year old discredited racist tropes for the benefit of any snot-nosed Derbyshire wannabe who thinks it’s a clever argumentative tactic to take discussions of race in America back to first principles.

What else you got in your kit bag to peddle? A copy of Bilbo’s Separation or Mongrelization, some passages of which sound quite reasonable and maybe the late Senator got a bad rap?

Go away.

Sam’s podcast has been as high as #4 in the iTunes rankings (and that was pretty recently: Feb. 2017).

AFAICS, Sam Harris has given time to him because his first amendment rights and well being were threatened. Mind you, I think Sam should not had done so for the pedantic reason that the college had prepared to make an interview regardless if there was a hecklers veto. His interview and speech was in any case made, so giving him more of an audience was dumb IMHO.


Bolding mine. Fucking cosigned. Murray belongs in the same category as Andrew Wakefield and Peter Duesburg - absolutely terrible pseudoscientists whose main, horribly flawed or dishonest work resulted in the world being a substantially worse place. The fact that he got attacked for going to a university should not by any stretch of the imagination be an excuse to give them more exposure. It should be seen as a reason to ask, “what the fuck is wrong with this university?!”

It took me a few seconds to realize you weren’t talking about the hobbit.

Stop being a dictator. You want to discuss something, you bring up what it is you want to discuss. That’s how this board works. You don’t get to say “click this link.” That gets threads closed.

There is no ad hominem here, as you have not brought up any sort of argument. We’re simply pointing out that this guy is a racist, and thus we have no interest in listening to him.

The thing about the freedom of speech issue is that, while you have the right to speak, you can’t demand that people listen to you.

Maybe you want to listen. I don’t. I would think you’d sympathize, with you saying you were going to not listen to Trump (something I also do).

If you want to talk about some of what he said, then actually bring forth an argument about what he said. Just like people do when they discuss shitty things Trump has said.

I don’t go into a thread about a Trump speech and insist that although I refuse to watch the speech, I will mouth off about it anyway.

And how is it okay to say “I just saw an interesting movie on a controversial topic–let’s discuss” but not to do the same with a podcast? In this case you don’t need to shell out $20 or more, hire a babysitter, etc. You can just click the link I helpfully provided, and listen while you wash dishes​ or drive to work.

Or you can just pass on the podcast…and the thread. I’m not making anyone do anything.

He mentioned that early on, but then they went into an extensive discussion of science. Sam’s main counterpoint was not “your data/methodology/conclusions are flawed”, but (paraphrased) “what good does it do society to shine a light on these facts?”, which is a valid question/objection to explore.