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Comment author: Yvain 21 November 2014 07:09:01AM *  49 points [-]

I've been advised to come here and defend myself.

If you haven't been watching closely, David Gerard has been spreading these same smears about me on RationalWiki, on Twitter, and now here. His tweets accuse me of treating the Left in general and the social justice movement in particular with "frothing" and as "ordure". And now he comes here and adds Tumblr to the list of victims, and "actual disgust" to the list of adjectives.

I resent this because it is a complete fabrication.

I resent it because, far from a frothing hatred of Tumblr, I myself have a Tumblr account which I use almost every day and which I've made three hundred posts on. Sure, I've gently mocked Tumblr (as has every Tumblr user) but I've also very publicly praised it for hosting some very interesting and enlightening conversations.

I resent it because I've posted a bunch of long defenses and steelmannings of social justice ideas like Social Justice For The Highly Demanding Of Rigor and The Wonderful Thing About Triggers, some of which have gone mildly viral in the social justice blogosphere, and some of which have led to people emailing me or commenting saying they've changed their minds and become less hostile to social justice as a result.

I resent it because, far from failing to intellectually engage with the Left, in the past couple of months I've read, reviewed, and enjoyed left-leaning books on Marx, the Soviet economy, and market socialism

I resent it because the time I most remember someone trying to engage me about social justice, Apophemi, I wrote a seven thousand word response which I consider excruciatingly polite, which started with a careful justification for why writing it would be more productive and respectful than not writing it, and which ended with a heartfelt apology for the couple of things I had gotten wrong on my last post on the subject.

(Disgust! Frothing! Ordure!)

I resent it because I happily hosted Ozy's social justice blogging for several months, giving them an audience for posts like their takedown of Heartiste, which was also very well-received and got social justice ideas to people who otherwise wouldn't have seen them.

I resent it because about a fifth of my blogroll is social justice or social justice-aligned blogs, each of which get a couple dozen hits from me a day.

I resent it because even in my most impassioned posts about social justice, I try to make it very clear that there are parts of the movement which make excellent points, and figures in the movement I highly respect. Even in what I think everyone here will agree is my meanest post on the subject, Radicalizing the Romanceless, I stop to say the following about the social justice blogger I am arguing against:

[He] is a neat guy. He draws amazing comics and he runs one of the most popular, most intellectual, and longest-standing feminist blogs on the Internet. I have debated him several times, and although he can be enragingly persistent he has always been reasonable...He cares deeply about a lot of things, works hard for those things, and has supported my friends when they have most needed support.


I resent it because it trivializes all of my sick burns against neoreactionaries, like the time I accused them of worshipping Kim Jong-un as a god, and the time I said they were obsessed with "precious, precious, white people", and the time I mocked Jim for thinking Eugene V. Debs was a Supreme Court case.

I resent this because anyone who looks at my posts tagged with social justice can see that almost as many are in favor as against.

And I resent this because I'm being taken to task about charity by somebody whose own concept of a balanced and reasonable debate is retweeting stuff like this -- and again and again calling the people he disagrees with "shitlords"

(which puts his faux-horror that I treat people I disagree with 'like ordure' in a pretty interesting new light)

No matter how many pro-social-justice posts I write, how fair and nice I am, or what I do, David Gerard is going to keep spreading these smears about me until I refuse to ever engage with anyone who disagrees with him about anything at all. As long as I'm saying anything other than "every view held by David Gerard is perfect and flawless and everyone who disagrees with David Gerard is a shitlord who deserve to die", he is going to keep concern-trolling you guys that I am "biased" or "unfair".

Please give his continued campaigning along these lines the total lack of attention it richly deserves.

Comment author: David_Gerard 21 November 2014 11:17:40PM -47 points [-]

This is a frankly boggling rant I have no intention of engaging.

Comment author: jaime2000 19 November 2014 12:24:32AM *  8 points [-]

The traditional neoreactionary counter is that increased quality of life is due to technological advancement, and that social "progress" has been neutral at best and detrimental at worst.

Comment author: David_Gerard 19 November 2014 02:37:51PM 0 points [-]

Yes, but if it's not visible in quality of life, and it's not visible in technological advancement ... what quantity is it detrimental to?

Comment author: Risto_Saarelma 19 November 2014 06:30:36AM 2 points [-]

I feel sorry for the feminist women in cryonics who don't see this as a distinct possibility of the kind of Future World which would revive them. They might find themselves in a conservative, patriarchal society which won't have much tolerance for their assumptions about women's freedoms.

I haven't really seen much discussion on the intersection of neoreaction and transhumanism. Neoreactionary theories of long-range probable societal trends, like dysgenics or a return to generally pre-Enlightenment social order also tend to assume that humans stay mostly as they are and only get selected by natural evolution. Meanwhile, getting to the point of being able to revive cryonically stored people successfully would probably include a bunch of human condition gamechanger technologies, like an ability to make the whole notion of fixed gender optional on any level (genetics, cognitive architecture, body plan) you'd care to name.

Comment author: David_Gerard 19 November 2014 02:34:45PM 2 points [-]

I haven't really seen much discussion on the intersection of neoreaction and transhumanism.

Is there much other than Michael Anissimov's essay?

Comment author: CellBioGuy 18 November 2014 05:23:50AM *  16 points [-]

For that reason, I'm a little worried that it will receive disproportionate attention.

Worried? This is the only place I've even heard of it. This place gives the very false impression that it's something that matters to people out in the real world.

Edit: the only exposure elsewhere ive had is when a friend who is a conisseur of bizarre stories about silicon valley shenanigans he can laugh at linked me to some article called 'geeks for monarchy'. He was 100% sure the writer had been trolled and found it hilarious.

Comment author: David_Gerard 19 November 2014 02:32:29PM 1 point [-]
Comment author: skeptical_lurker 19 November 2014 11:11:49AM 1 point [-]

Are "nerd-focused extremist movements" a thing? I can't think of any other examples.

Comment author: David_Gerard 19 November 2014 02:30:45PM *  8 points [-]
Comment author: MichaelAnissimov 19 November 2014 09:40:36AM 4 points [-]

Where did Yvain state this? I didn't think he had any neoreactionary friends.

Comment author: David_Gerard 19 November 2014 02:21:35PM *  -8 points [-]

"In the past two months I have inexplicably and very very suddenly become much more conservative. This isn’t the type of conservativism where I agree with any conservative policies, mind you. Those still seem totally wrong-headed to me. It’s the sort of conservativism where, even though conservatives seem to be wrong about everything, often in horrible or hateful ways, they seem like probably mostly decent people deep down, whereas I have to physically restrain myself from going on Glenn Beck style rants about how much I hate leftists and how much they are ruining everything. Even though I mostly agree with the leftists whenever they say something."


"friends" may be an overstatement. But definitely "people whose ideas he steeps himself in". Well done, you have a convert in the making.

Comment author: advancedatheist 18 November 2014 04:54:07PM 7 points [-]

"Work better" in what sense? Nassim Nicholas Taleb argues that the longevity and "anti-fragile" nature of practices like religion and patriarchy indicate that they work quite well indeed, despite recent efforts to make them go away.

Comment author: David_Gerard 19 November 2014 12:09:14AM 0 points [-]

We have more people living better than ever before in history, and this is because of the Enlightenment.

Comment author: ChristianKl 18 November 2014 02:57:57PM 3 points [-]

"Lesswrong is that place that sounds very similar to Neoreaction minus the explicit politics".

That's only an observation that could be made by someone who knows what neoreaction sounds like. On the other hand by having LW posts about neoreactionary ideas anybody reading LW comes into contact with them.

Comment author: David_Gerard 19 November 2014 12:06:49AM -2 points [-]

For a long time, LW was the only place you would read this stuff outside the tiny NRx blogosphere.

Comment author: [deleted] 18 November 2014 11:34:53AM *  2 points [-]

I think a call for patriarchal racially-stratified monarchy is catnip around here. Independently of its native virtues, I mean. It's a debate that couldn't even happen in most communities, so it's reinforcing our sense of LW's peculiar set of community mores.

Personal opinion follows. Contest it if you like, but your chance of swaying me by arguments without giving very hard evidence is low.

The fact that this is "catnip" for LW-ers is a bad thing. We ought to be giving neoreaction about as much credence as we give Creationism: it's founded on bad ethics, false facts, and bad reasoning, and should be dismissed, not discussed to death.

Comment author: David_Gerard 19 November 2014 12:04:37AM *  -27 points [-]

The fact that this is "catnip" for LW-ers is a bad thing. We ought to be giving neoreaction about as much credence as we give Creationism: it's founded on bad ethics, false facts, and bad reasoning, and should be dismissed, not discussed to death.

I note (and others have noted) that SSC, although hosting the definitive NRx takedown, still puts NRx ideas in the sphere of things to be discussed calmly with steelmanning; whereas it reacts with actual disgust and lack of philosophical charity to feminism, social justice, Tumblr, etc. And that Yvain was literally surprised to find himself becoming more right-wing after hanging around neoreactionaries, i.e. that he was picking up his ideas from his friends.

Comment author: ChristianKl 10 November 2014 10:32:59PM *  1 point [-]

Your fallacy is: tu quoque.

No, my claim is about the process in which memes succeed. As such it's not invalid ad hominem to analyse that process.

If you forbid all kinds of ad hominems than you basically say that it's in general a fallacy to call out someone who's suffering from bias. To stay in the overall argument, there no reason to blind yourself and ignore features of the process that produces memes.

You've made a claim and aren't supplying evidence for it, formal or even non-negligible Bayesian.

I haven't made a claim that includes the word "conspiracy". You used that word. There no reason for my to provide evidence for claims I haven't made. Given the kind of claims I'm arguing there no reason to attack straw mans.

If you want evidence for big pharma paying kickbacks to promote drugs : http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q22013/feds-sue-novartis-pharma-for-paying-kickbacks/

The database shows Pfizer has made at least $538,200,000 in side payments to doctors, while Eli Lily comes in a close second having paid out $490,600,000.

That are two companies paying together a billion in bribes and it only counts the bribes of doctors. Whether or not you want to call a billion in bribes a conspiracy is semantics which doesn't have much to do with Bayesian reasoning and I specifically didn't use the word 'conspiracy' because I don't think it's very helpful in this case.

Do you doubt that big pharma has a bunch of lobbyists that have a lot of influence on the medical system? Is that a claim for which you want proof?

Do you want me to search of the marketing budget of various big pharma companies and for the amount of money that the chiropractor associating can afford to spend on similar activities?

Comment author: David_Gerard 12 November 2014 07:54:58PM *  -4 points [-]

You haven't advanced a dot of evidence relating to chiropracty, which is the subject of this subthread. You've advanced evidence of lobbyists, but not that the lobbyists are destroying a deserved good reputation of chiropracty. Do you have any evidence to this effect? (Both of the lobbying and of the good reputation.)

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