The "Intellectual Dark Web" Is a Terrible Name for an Interesting Idea



"while the policies I support fall to the left of Karl Marx" lmao


Hilarious since The Stranger has been one of the champions of purging people from their own ranks for not being dogmatically pure enough.


So how many "Poor Katie" posts is that for Herzog now?


@2 They're lapping whoever the intellectual vanguards off the orthodox progressive left, whoever they are. Rachel Maddow?

If you aren't hep to the concept that it's become as "rigid and doctrinaire" as the right, then I don't know what more to tell you; other than a snowball doesn't disprove global warming.

Y'all should pay attention to The Amazing Randi.


@3 you should follow the "fire katie herzog" threads on twitter. Some even described her as "personally harmful" - a #wickedpixel hall-of-fame tweet if I ever saw one.


I think you are onto something with your exploration of how liberals seem to be joining conservatives in being reactive and intolerant of anyone whose views fall even slightly outside of liberal doctrine. My own views are almost entirely mainstream progressive, but I find it disgusting how my own intellectual allies go for the throat and attempt to ostracize anyone who wanders outside the lines. Shame and ostracization are the major tools in public discourse today.

Even in my personal life, in social and public situations, I sense many people carefully picking their way through the minefield that expressing thoughts and opinions has become. It's like people fear being denounced all the time.

Even among those I basically agree with, I find myself not sharing my opinions and thoughts lest a put a foot wrong, mistakenly use some forbidden term, and be cast out. Makes for a bunch of boring conversations about weather and our kids.

Keep at it Katie, their potlucks aren't that great anyway.


@Katie. You may not like the name, but you’re a skeptic yourself and as much a part of this phenomenon as anybody.

It’s not bad company to be included in.


Just another "identity group" created to keep morons happily yelling at each other. Nobody articulates reasonable ideas using data or principles anymore. It is always "our group", or "my new group after I left the old one," and then back to having idiotic social media tribe wars about what the other group is up to. It's a big reason we have the political shitmess we have now.


As long as the world doesn’t go Osama crazy again the next generation will have gone outside and endured experiences called “life”.

That’ll be nice.


Same as it ever was, yeah.

The further left you go, the more likely you are to find yourself mired in fractious, emotionally charged ideological purity debates with other leftists. It's been that way at least since the breakup of the First International, but The Left's reading of its own history tends to skip over events like that that.

And it's pretty easy to understand, too. "Further" in a given political definition tracks very closely with "more absolutist," and when you get more absolutist, you of course get less tolerant of disagreement with any particular aspect of your politics.

You don't really need a new term for people who have been personally singled out for attack by rigid ideologues; that would include just about everyone who's ever held a public opinion.


If you're going to reference Candace Owens being shit on by the left, you'd do well to remember that EVERYONE was doing the same thing, for the same reasons: trying to create a website that was effectively enablement for doxxing.

To wit:


It's hilarious to me how the "rational skeptics" who are fans of these people never pick up on the fact that they are almost all shameless grifters. Almost like they drop their skepticism when they are being told what they want to hear.



Outing is itself a politically contested practice, of course, and not universally regarded as objectionable.

But then I suppose not everyone on the Left these days remembers the radical queer politics of the late '80s and early '90s.



Perhaps, but their fans don't seem to be showering them with quite as much praise as I see for the grifters of the Pure left or the grifters Pure right. Even the grifters of the milquetoast Real Centrist Center seem to be raking in book royalties and speaking fees, while these bumblers have to get by on YouTube micropayments.

I guess not every grifter is good at it, eh?


Just FYI that story you quote probably never happened.


No one is being silenced, just criticized. The horror.


About ten days ago I listened to an episode of the the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on this subject in which the guests were Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz. Not sure how I stumbled onto it, since I barely recognized the name Sam Harris, would have confused Joe Rogan with Seth Rogan (and not sought out either of their podcasts), and had never heard of Maajid Nawaz.

If you can get past the podcast logo, it was worth listening to, primarily for Nawaz, who had the distinction of being on the SPLC's list of anti-Muslim extremists at the same time he was on Britain's list of (pro-) Muslim extremists, which is a pretty neat trick.

At two hours long, it was hardly succinct, but it was a good way to occupy the attention a bit while doing chores or commuting.



I mean, I'm just as inclined as most normal people to regard internet death threats as nothing more than a particularly debased means of expressing a dissenting opinion, but I do see where the people who don't agree with me on that might at least have a case to make.


In other words, disgruntled cranks.

Wow, can't wait to read their manifestos.

(rolls eyes)


Holy shit finally it’s a Stranger article that isn’t a shrill, heinously uninformed hit piece. Excellent writing Ms. Herzog please keep at it.


@13 Jordan Peterson clears $60K a month just having people listen to his kermit-ass voice cry on Patreon about lobsters, mining cranky people's outrage is and always has been very lucrative


I guess Katie took my joke about going to see Peterson’s speaking tour to heart and is now blatantly promoting the conservative outrage machine.

I don’t get it, is it an act? Clickbait? Is the Stranger seriously promoting these asshats feeding into conservative radicalization? Trying to up their Gamergate demographic?


OK, since Bret is still playing victim, let's go through this ONE MORE TIME(eye roll)

Nobody at Evergreen had an issue with Bret simply appearing on Fox News(I was a part-time student then, I'm a full-time student now). What legitimately outraged TESC students and faculty was that he said nothing to correct it when Tucker Carlson stated that whites were "banned" from campus on the Day of Absence. Nobody was banned from being on campus. A couple of hundred white students attended workshops off campus(in the normal turn of events on DoA, it was students of color, who happened to number about 200 out of the 3800 students enrolled, who left to go to those workshops). Everyone else who wished to be on campus was free to show up-I myself was in a 5:30 class that day that included some major activists of color, a pair of whom were later banned from campus. The ONLY thing that was said was that white students might consider not being on campus, FOR ONE FREAKING DAY, and might consider being decent enough to stay in the background and not take up too much space(as those of us who are white too often do). Nobody was coerced on the DoA and it's absurd to act as though it was segregationist for white students, rather than students of color, to be either absent if they wished to be, or voluntarily attending off-campus antiracist workshops, or just not centering ourselves in the space. Most of the white students simply took it as a chance to catch up on their studies, sleep in, or maybe go skiing or something. Nothing in that equated to white students or faculty being banned, and Bret damn well knew it. He owed it to the school he was still employed at, and the students he still had some responsibility to protect from unfair attack, to at least, at LEAST turn to Tucker and say "no, that's not true. White students weren't banned, and I'm not going to let you lie about this in the name of your anti-intellectual, anti-critical thinking agenda". Bret failed to meet that responsibility, and was justly called out for leaving a demagogic lie, a lie which led to death threats against the entire student body and an occupation of the campus by white supremacists, completely unchallenged when he had a moral duty to challenge it.


The response by students at Evergreen was mob violence.


Ms Rand - I don't know; if Professor Plum starts catching on among SS women, that might be the kiss of death for his appeal to straightciswhitemen, which really ought to be one word - or is that being too Teutonic?


I had to stop at the Sam Harris anecdote.

You know that conversation Harris claimed never happened. Never happened.

Harris does that shit all the time. Recounts these imagined conversations as straw men. And he get's busted for it and goes on to say stupid shit like "Well, that's how I remember it..."

I assumed a journalist would be schooled in this basic ethical premise: If you're going to quote some conversation get both parties on record or you don't have a conversation. You have an anecdote of straw man.

I mean that reminds me of this conversation I had with one of your friends once. She said "Katie likes to kill kittens. All the time. She's out killing kittens." She went on to work for the Trump administration and a geologist.


Compare and contrast to "minority voices aren't being amplified in _" (womens march, post-msdhs anti-gun protests, whatever) when literally nobody is doing nothing, @17, @22, @23, et al. But sure yeah yelling is violence but to qualify as "silencing" you've got to meet your moving-goalposts criteria got it. Of course, nevermind that both this piece and then one it's responding to go out of their way to NOT refer to what's happening as "silencing". Fuck y'all, you're bitches (and i don't mean that as a compliment)


none of this is new, the self-styled skeptics and freethinkers are the usual mostly conservative mostly men doing reactive whaddaboutist group think, but like the dorks they are. they are easy to find (and so unlike the dark web which is the unlisted web) and c- and d-listed because they are rambling dorks, uncool but very much part of and for a dominant, domineering culture. they fancy themselves rebels because their commonplace, uninteresting, wrong, and unsupported ideas (harris' tortured justification for torture and peterson's casual 'feminists support muslums because of "their unconscious wish for brutal male domination"' come to mind) need some fantasy (of suppression, being in on hidden prima facie truths, "thought criminals" (hahahahahahahahahahahaha!), etc) to be unscrutinized by the nominally scrutinous. #notalldorks (duh) and it's cool to be a dork but dorks will never be cool; be suspicious not a skeptic.


@28 Facts don't care about your feelings bucko, go clean your room


28 yeah i was agreeing the claim made in the column that people aren’t being silenced - they are only being disagreed with, which is exactly how these things are supposed to work. The people cited by bari weiss literally get paid to express their opinions for public consumption.


@16 @27

The Sam Harris anecdote smelled of shit immediately.


I don't know anybody on the left who thinks that forcing women to wear burkas is a good so I'd say this is more of the "left is against free speech" corporate media propaganda we are fed on a regular basis.


Thank you, Katie. So many true liberals/skeptics/moderates are pushing back against the authoritarians on the right and left. I find it very difficult to understand how anyone with any kind of a functioning bullshit detector whatsoever can't see right through the transparently preposterous dogma of the far left identitarians. These ideologues are not liberals, and at their core they are as anti-science and anti-Enlightenment as their brethren on the far right. Conversation and rational exchange of ideas among people of various backgrounds and opinions is the best way to move towards a more prosperous and equal society. The social justice cult has completely lost the plot here.


Spend some time play-acting as an egoist or individualist anarchist and watch as this becomes your whole world. Then watch as nobody does anything because that would cut into time that could be spent declaring intellectual victory over strangers on Facebook. The last meaningful centrist to produce a notable work was Eric Hoffer.


Since when did clicking on the "read more" link on the main slog page take you to another page entirely instead of just opening up the copy so you can scroll down? This is HIGHLY annoying. This only used to happen with the "read article" link so you KNEW if you were going to be dragged away from the main page.


25: Uh no. I was there. The students, who had voluntarily ended the encounter with Bret because the students of color among them wished to "caucus"(i.e., meet among themselves to discuss what choices to make next in the situation)then ran for sanctuary in the library because they'd heard that the campus police had called in both the Olympia PD AND THE STATE PATROL. Every student of color in that march-the white kids knew their race privilege would protect them from any real harm-had reason to believe the three levels of kops involved would find some reason to use violence to suppress them, might well end them-we're all familiar with how casual white law enforcement is about ending black and brown and Indigenous lives-so they sought sanctuary and put up some mainly symbolic barricades. They gave some speeches in the library lobby, then, without harming anyone, they occupied the rest of the building and FORCED the administration to meet with students and faculty about the issues the administration had refused any and all polite, respectful requests that they deal with. I was there for some of it, I saw it go down. The students harmed no one, and Bret caused most of the tensions leading up to that by bogusly calling the reversal of the Day of Absence "an act of oppression", comparing a ONE DAY event where a handful of white students VOLUNTARILY left campus, as the students of color had voluntarily left campus every OTHER year the DoA had been done, to the Middle Passage, Jim Crow, the genocide and land theft inflicted on the Indigenous, the Inquisition, the Nakba and the Holocaust.

If you make that kind of absurd, inflammatory, demagogic comparison, a comparison no one had any moral right to make, and you're going to throw gasoline on the fire.

Bret is a college professor. He presents himself as an intellectual. If you are an intellectual, you are expected to know how words work and the effects words can have. For whatever reason, Bret forgot that.