Interview with the grievance studies hoaxers

Interview with the grievance studies hoaxers


You All right, well I’m talking today with Dr. James Lindsay, Dr. Peter Boghossian, and Dr. Helen Pluckrose and they’re all Famous or infamous depending on your perspective as the authors of a series of hoax Articles that were published in what purport to be academic journals in the last year Following up work done by Sokal how long ago was that? Now it’s got to be like 25 years now. Right, right So we’ve all assumed or you’ve always said that the situation hasn’t improved so the first thing I’m going to do we’re going to have an extended discussion about these articles and about the motivations for producing them and and then the necessity for that and the morality of that and the aftermath and all of that and the first thing I’m going to do is have Each of you introduce yourself and then we’ll launch right into a discussion about the, Let’s call it the scandal Dr. Lindsay, yeah, um good to be here So I have a background in mathematics and physics my PhDs in math I left academia in 2010 and have been studying mostly religious and moral philosophy and psychology since and Then got wrapped up in this idea. I kind of was the I guess epicenter of the project I did all the submissions and managed all the emails and all of that and then Peter and Alan Filled in all of my weaknesses And so we spend you know an 18 about 18 months working on this a year really ten months writing papers then there is the getting ready to go public so That’s kind of who I am and how I got into this I just a lapsed mathematician who gives a lot of concern to how we produce knowledge and what what academic standards are and should be So what did, why did you leave Academia? I wish I could say that it was like this prescient thing. I saw the writing on the wall that it was going mad And I wanted out but really it was just a number of personal responsibilities and commitments that led me to now want to pursue Employment where I didn’t know where I would be placed from, you know one postdoc to the next it was family commitments primarily But you were still interested enough to continue while with this project interested enough in the academic world. Yeah, I never really wanted to stop Researching or reading and thinking and coming up with new ideas It’s very difficult to do mathematics without some institutional Backing a math is hard as some people have noticed so I didn’t have the resources necessary really to pursue Mathematical research independently, but I found that I could you know dig into philosophy and I could dig into psychology kind of on my own not professionally, of course, but Enough to get an idea of what I was was looking at in a philosophical sense to answer questions that I was it was really deeply interested in mostly the question that drove me probably from about 2011 forward was you know, what do people really mean? What are they talking about when they say the word God and so I really got involved in talking about their thinking about religion that’s what led me to religious and moral psychology trying to understand why people believe things that they do and why they why they manifest their beliefs in certain ways and ultimately because I was you know That kind of a guy. I just wanted to find out what the I figure I live in the southeast US It’s a really religious area. People talk to me about their belief in God all the time. I hear it constantly at different levels from the you know, yeah there’s I kind of believe level all the way to the borderline insane level of conviction to very implausible Propositions level and I wanted to understand I know the people talking about ideas like God Means something when they save the term It’s something very not just do they mean something They mean something very important to themselves and I wanted to figure out from a perspective that didn’t rely upon The religious the theology or the religious mythology or narrative What they were speaking to as articles within in the material world And so I became very interested in that and spent a number of years reading and writing about it and by the way the kind of culture war, if you want to call it that, progressed at seeing what was happening to people I was Interested in Sam Harris for example was certainly one of these people you see these people get called racist or sexist for what seemed to be nothing and you try to dig into it again with the interest in meaning of words kept seeing these references back to these, you know, power dynamics and sociological definitions that they only see racism or sexism is structural entities that allow basically people of People to be considered racist or sexist just because of their identity By just by virtue of being say a white male you could be racist and sexist. You inevitably are that’s exactly exactly so That’s what led me to get curious about the grievance Studies canon ultimately. I see. okay. Peter, okay, let’s hear sir lets hear from you and tell everybody who you are and what you’re up to I’m currently teaching philosophy at Portland State University in the philosophy department and I Am up to James Lindsay and I just finished a book how to have impossible conversations that will come out probably in 2019 from Da Capo press and I don’t know what I’m up to now because I may be Looking at a career change very soon. So We will get into that later but the University filed charges against me they found me guilty of not seeking IRB approval and the Investigation is ongoing for the falsification.. Oh! So we better have quite a conversation as well about IRB approval; that’s another rabbit hole we can plunge down because that’s another catastrophic catastrophe that the university has inflicted upon itself over the last two decades. So that’s something that’s become increasingly Politicized so it’s very difficult to understand how you could get IRB approval for a satire, or why you might need it. Yeah, okay. Okay. Good Helen. Let’s hear from you Well, I’m the member of the group who isn’t doctor I’m a lonely MA but I have a background in literature and early late medieval early modern studies I’m I’m interested in how women used the Christian narrative to To get Authority in autonomy for themselves sort of 1300 to 1700 So I’m looking at how this changed before and after the Reformation how the narratives changed I I left at the end of my Master’s. I was intending to go back and do my PhD in medieval manuscripts But it’s just got I keep going early on earlier because it is so difficult to get away from the ideology. I’m Interested in medieval manuscripts, but not overwhelmingly I want to look at social history But it’s so difficult to do that because there is a pressure now to do so anachronistically: to read it through Gender ideology of today, so I have to accept that the reason I was going to do medieval manuscripts is because I can translate and transcribe and this is something objective that I can do. I can produce an edition of Texts, which aren’t readily available and explain them and that’s the only real way that I’m able to look at religious writing by and about women in any objective way and it isn’t really I want to do so I stepped away for a year And in that year I started writing about about post-modernism about feminism about liberalism and ideology and Then they just got to be so much to do with that But I I haven’t gone back at all so involved in in writing about what’s going on right now and so that is where I’m now. I see. Well, it’s interesting because you you talked about your your belief that women in the mid stages of development of the Christian Church we’re using the idea is to actually liberate themselves and to Yeah Example from Marjorie Kemp to Amelia Lanier and we’re looking at very different ways in Which you know it within the Catholic narrative, for example, women would say well God speaks directly to me he is the ultimate patriarch so that gives me a certain authority to disagree with a patriarchial church. if I think it’s fair with my husband and then later after the Reformation there was a slightly different emphasis in which Women, you know everyone, could interpret the Bible and that includes women so there was a different kind of authority There too. So that that’s generally have been what up what I’ve been interested in. There’s slightly different ways that women have approached biblical text biblical narratives and And yes, and used them to challenge that our mainstream Interpretations and and makes them make some pretty good arguments. Well Amelia Lenya certainly did Marjorie Kemp mostly screams Okay Why are you guys telling us what the genesis of this project was? let’s outline the project itself that the sequence of papers that you wrote and Let’s talk about the genesis of that as well. So I want to take that one. Okay? It’s really kind of kind of interesting I don’t know if your audience would know this Jordan or not, but all three of us you know were writing a bit within what might have been considered the new atheist vein and working within that and And I was working on a book trying to answer my big kind of early 2010’s research question What do people mean when they say god I was writing a book called that I eventually titled Everybody is wrong about God and I Peter called me one day while I was working on Either the book itself or the research for it I don’t recall the specifics at the time, but he called me one day and said, you know, dude, dude I think I’m going crazy. I keep trying to tell people something that’s as obvious as can be to me and Somebody has to believe I’m not crazy everybody thinks. I’m nuts. Please tell me I’m not crazy and so I said, you know, what is it and he said I Look at the way People in gender studies used their scholarly Canon, the way they they produce that the way that they refer to it, the the fact that it seems disconnected in a literal sense from what’s going on in reality and It feels like it’s their bible, it feels like it’s a holy scripture for something like a religion Am I going nuts and as it turned out the reason I started writing the book Everybody’s wrong about God was partly to answer my big research question But it was also because I noticed that the community built up around new atheist activism which called itself the atheism community showed almost all of the symptoms of qualifying as a religion at least from like Durkheim’s perspectives and Maybe even from some others So I immediately latched on to what Pete said and I said no, you’re not crazy. I think you’re probably right I think you are absolutely right that the scholarly Canon in gender studies and so on is operating like a book of faith for Something but I don’t know exactly what this is And so we got curious about that scholarly canon kind of from that point It wasn’t long after that that the infamous feminist Glaciology paper came out where the a few four or five researchers published a very well funded study showing they’re claiming to show that the Glaciology is inherently sexist all the way back to its roots Back to you know, the intrepid explorers of mountains and polar regions and all this so is justified by being a big tough guy in the 19th century or whatever and That apparently somehow this masculinist bias hangs over it and so the answer to this is to put feminist art projects as part of glacier science and (…) ology is as part of glacier science or else it’s racist and sexist and I Mean, I remember reading the paper Lightly at the time and thinking there’s no way this is real and Peter and I had a phone call We started looking at new peer review on the Twitter at the same time. Oh, you should never look at that. Oh my gosh, so so we’ve we’ve actually got two issues here then. Let’s say now all the sudden because yeah, there’s a there’s the there’s the issue of what’s going on in the Social justice oriented academic disciplines and then there’s a deeper issue of how people view the world individually and collectively yes through the lens of a belief system and the probability that that Belief system will take on something approximating the trappings of a religious movement. Mm-hmm Yes, so so that’s a deeper question. I mean one of the things that I discussed continually with Sam Harris when we had our series of debates was the question of the Inescapability of something approximating the religious framework to orient people in relationship to action in the world All right, like I happen to believe that a framework like that is inescapable. The question is not whether you’re going to have one it’s which one you’re going to have and what is it going to be rooted in and I mean one of the things I think that both Nietzsche and Dostoyevsky warn people about in the late 19th century was that What what this isn’t a quote from either of them, but it’s something approximating someone else. Whose name. I don’t remember He who believes in nothing will end up believing in anything? and And there’s something there’s something in that that’s extraordinarily deep as far as I’m concerned All right, so you were interested in religious phenomenology, and then you guys started to see that as far as you were concerned a variety of different quasi academic or academic movements were taking on the trappings of our Religious They were starting to look religious in their approach and in their application of their beliefs, right On the social justice end of it, right community for example was definitely engaging in of course they had kind of their their unique vocabulary that they speak to one another in and identify one another by which is kind of like an ecclesiastical vocabulary, but if social justice and then they were Definitely involved, what what they call political correctness is in practice virtually identical to what you see with people carrying blasphemy So these parallels started to stick out at the same time The way that we started looking at the real peer review Twitter account in the way that they seem to be producing Our knowledge that they could then refer to virtually Replicates special revelation the they came up with their ideas they believed that they came from some morally backed source of Goodness, and put them forth. And then where they were were morally vetted and Given an epistemological status they didn’t deserve as a result. Okay. What do you think the sources? The source at the time I had no idea but now after having done the project I think the source is actually what I’ve come to call a postmodern mythology that Our social reality is conditioned upon use of language and representation and it’s all done in service to power dynamics that underlie how society works those power dynamics are trapped up in identity and Mediated primarily through language and media weather Okay, so I’ve identified the sources of that not only me obviously but I’ve identified the sources of that belief with the French post modernist movement fundamentally other people trace some of it back farther to What’s essentially something approximating a Marxist doctrine which is the doctrine of which is a doctrine of power relations I would say sure you have any Criticisms or further comments on that. Let’s call it geneology geneology or Lynne Helen Good yeah, I I largely agree I with the idea that that we had a quite a profound epistemic shift in the late 60s with the rise of the post modernists I disagree with people who Cry and kind of relate this closely to Marxism I think it’s clear that they they have a common ancestor and that they have certain ideas in common, but if we complete Marxism and post-modernism Too closely on more than those yet that that sort of oppressor and oppressed group that sort of them false consciousness these sort of key ideas which really were floating around at the same time and they’ve come up in the same place if we complete those two closely and we are not looking at the really profound differences in Epis theology in which Marxism was really trying to continue a modernist project. It was totalitarian It was Objectivist mostly and it went sort of in a straight line and the if there is a word for the extremes Marxism it is totalitarianism. If there’s a word for the extremes of post-modernism its disintegration its fragmentation So we’re looking now at something very different something very intangible that is coming in and it’s saying we cannot access an Objective truth. Everything is created in discourses empowers us in systems of power Ok, so why in the world is power and privilege them? I mean it still seems that the post modernists are willing to Assume that the pursuit of power is first of all obvious that everyone’s pursuing it But it’s also ok for those who don’t have it to pursue it So it’s not as if they’ve abandoned the idea as far as I can tell above a linear narrative Towards some end the end seems to me to be power And so why is that justifiable from the postmodern perspective given that linear? movement and Meta-narratives aren’t justifiable because of this change that happened in the late 80s so when circle for example he he did his hoax what he was looking at was this quite sort of pure post-modernism this Very sort of intangible idea. That’s an objective reality can’t exist that we can’t grasp anything that everything is a construct But what happened in the 80s? Gradually, was that this just after? prolific amounts of writing it just kind of fizzled because once you’ve Disintegrated and dismantled absolutely everything and it’s all in a mess on the floor. You have got nowhere to go with this So we started seeing then the rise in materialist feminism first of all And then within sort of critical race approaches Intersectionality in queer theory in post colonialism particularly. We started seeing a change towards Okay, so everything is a cultural construct But we can’t address anything If we don’t accept that a certain group of people in a certain place at a certain time experience certain things so what we’re looking at now is an objective reality that oppression and systems of power exist, but but already Mm-hmm. Everything else is socially constructed so the funding That construct has power yes, it is objectively true That power is benefiting straight white men and disadvantaging women of color trans women etcetera So this this was the the change that happened then so now it’s politically actionable and this I mean kimberlé crenshaw But this most explicitly when she said it’s politics applied to postmodern theory, okay? So we want to get this straight because it’s very very important. So you just you distinguish the postmodern movement from the Marxist movement because the Marxism Marxists were still moving in a Single direction and you considered that still part of the modernist project. You equated Marxism and post-modernism Insofar as they both adopt, let’s say an oppressor Jarett Yes, although many other things do too and often that that’s quite warranted. I mean the the American Revolution for example was an oppressor oppressed revolution Power and power differentials exist the issue is not there are other realities that might be considered Exactly history is whether that we’re seeing and truly it Yes, and whether it’s reasonable to reduce everything to a single dimension of motivation so the postmodern project collapses into its own nihilism and something emerges out of the ashes and that’s the assumption that a transcendent reality does in fact exist, but the only Defining feature of that transcendent reality is the existence of power in the existence of power differential And identity and that’s associated with identity Okay, but then the question becomes just there’s a question that goes underneath that even which is well Why is it why is it that that is accepted as the fundamental reality because there’s no rationale for that in post-modernism itself in fact Should criticize that they do they do very much and this the argument that goes on repeatedly with the old-style postmodernist saying this isn’t post-modernism and So a week we’ve tended to call it applied post-modernism John nurse to build it the pomide cluster because it’s just a set of ideas about identity about power about privilege about language the importance of language and and hierarchies and things which have come from Post-modernism which have got politicized and then within activism have got convinced into kind of user friendly chunks and further Bastardized so we can’t we can’t take this away from post-modernism it didn’t come from anywhere else, but neither is it the That they’re pure sort of deconstructive or post-structuralist or any of that of that whole sort of massive range of Theory that it existed from the late 60s into the mid 80s. That’s that died. It’s it’s gone It’s fragmented itself as it is always bound to do so Drive to your question about why or how they justified this change I’ll just say we we called this This set of disciplines or approaches grievance studies for a reason it’s about grievances. It’s the politics of grievance So they feel aggrieved therefore they feel justified in trying to disrupt power They see that exists and to claim power for themselves. It’s social revenge. That’s what they’re that’s what they’re animus is. That’s their moral justification for For continuing to fragment and and to chase the very thing they say is You know the great corruptor of man, which is power If this is true I do I have some sympathy with that claim it doesn’t matter that there are philosophical Incoherencies within the structure within the intellectual structure at all. What matters is that? There’s an animus and a motive and the motive is fundamentally something approximating revenge why why would you say look why would you say revenge and not justice like and this this goes to another issue just obviously all three of you opposed this movement and we’ve already decided in this discussion that it’s something like The Revenge of the Marginalized but the marginalized could well object well, this isn’t revenge you only see it that way because you’re part of the privileged Power Group and it’s actually a search for It’s a search for it’s a search the genuine search for justice you’re and also most of the marginalized on social justice Orientated that that’s what we have to remember this is speaking on behalf of women and racial and sexual minorities most members of every group Do not ascribe to it. They’re they’re politically diverse. So That’s one of the reasons that that the claim for the pursuit of justice is Invalidated it’s that there’s no evidence whatsoever that the activist types who dominate these disciplines are valid representatives of the communities That they purport to stand for it. And in fact if you surveyed the communities themselves In any reasonable manner then the communities indicate their lack of agreement with with this way of looking at the world. Yeah Yes, okay, okay and Of course There is also the the complicating element that nearly always appears that you do have kernels of truth on both sides of that discussion there are legitimate questions of justice that are being tied up into this and then there are legitimate reasons to see it as being motivated primarily by something approximating revenge or grievance or reparations or something like that and They get intertwined and as you were mentioning with any time, you’re working with postmodern epistemologies. There’s no reason to expect consistency They reject consistency as a bug in the system They’re unrepentant that unrepentant about being inconsistent. So that’s no small point And I think for people watching that that point needs to be punched home. So Jim, could you speak to a little more about that? Well, yeah, it’s um the the idea that you would be consistent is One of the ideas that would be caught up in the Western philosophical tradition as they would phrase it It’s caught up in the exam tradition that was bred of white and male power And so that needs to be disrupted because that power inherently from the perspective of this World view that power inherently corrupts, but more importantly and inherently always acts to preserve and maintain and legitimize itself okay, so the demand for consistency becomes itself an act of oppression against me back lane is that all seems reasonable to me so so look so so here’s a peculiar thing and It’s an observation of something approximating Let’s say a Freudian notion of projection um The people who are pushing this viewpoint aren’t legitimate representatives of their communities in any real sense of the matter and They push a particular viewpoint that has very little academic credibility as far as I’m concerned and it is primarily concerned with political activism and with the obtaining or the justification of obtaining power Now we could assume that this is being done on behalf of the people who are putting forward the doctrine and so to me, see I’ve come to understand that part of the reason that people cling to their belief systems is because they have Their the reason they have the moral authority To occupy the hierarchical position that society has granted them is because they’re regarded as experts in an in a belief structure and if the their claim to that expertise is questioned and their moral justification for occupying their position is eradicate and it’s the position that gives them purpose in life and that protects them from Uncertainty and anxiety. It’s not the belief structure itself You see it’s very fabric that they’re experts in the belief system and that justifies their position in the hierarchy So they put forward this claim to continue Justifying the fact that they occupy, and very perversely, and this is the for any projection is very perversely the very positions of power whose existence they criticize this would be the university professor claims in particular that seems reasonable to you or or is there something wrong with that line of it that comports actually with what I From reading John hight, for example who talks about psychosocial evaluation and the way that human beings do that with one another how we identify where we stand in our social and moral hierarchies and how we where we position ourselves and others and each other in relation to one another and that One of those three dimensions he named divinity and so that would be the Part you’re speaking to so we gain we gain status and the hierarchy through our closeness of kin so if you and I are friends you rank me higher than I probably deserve because that’s how humans do and We gain status by reputation and that’s why we care what Michael Jordan things about politics and we gain status by Our moral standing which is what John hight called divinity and of course he explored it primarily in the happiness hypothesis with regard to his trips I think to India and seeing a traditional religion and then comparing that directly against so-called weird societies in Western democracies, and I think that what we’re actually seeing in a lot of these cases as we’re seeing Partly at least people are acting out What what often gets completed with religion, in fact is that they’re acting out the need to Fulfill or participate in that third dimension of psychosocial evaluation Although in secular societies we throw out the the explicit religious structure for it and we have to find it in other ways So that’s what you’re actually talking about. They occupy a moral expertise that moral expertise gives them standing within the prevailing Moral and social Malou and then that defines their place in the community As in both in terms of prestige and in terms of hierarchy So they’re basically acting out precisely what they’re accusing all other disciplines of doing Irony oh, yeah, and the difference is to see the thing is the difference as far as I’m concerned is that If you look at a discipline like engineering Which I think is perhaps as close to the polar opposite of this. This might be managed One of the things that engineers do is look at the world in a certain way, but another thing they do is build bridges Exactly, right. That’s right There’s an objective real world Direction there – there philosophizing and their beliefs that results in something of tangible and Universally recognized benefit to the community at large and something that can fail And that’s right. Right right. Also, that’s very important. Okay now, okay next issue. So now the first issue first of the next two issues say is Why is it that you three? Found yourself in the position where you decided to take this on as a critical project and why is it that so few other? academics are doing so I Don’t have good answers for why so few Academics are doing so because I don’t want to just blatantly call people cowards that I don’t know But you don’t get treated well for fighting let’s dig into that a bit Okay, because I think I think cowardice is one or fear and let’s let’s not fear Let’s go with fear. And let’s also note that the fear is well justified very just yeah, that’s correct, right Well Peter you’re in a great position to speak to that because what’s happening to you? Yeah, so I don’t know if you want to go down the path of what’s happening to me it but I Think you’re right our mutual friend Brett Weinstein said to me that academia when we had a conversation about academia is self selecting for cowardice And I think it’s a process that people go through before they have tenure where they’re Afraid to buck the system afraid to challenge ideas. They’re afraid to Question because they won’t get tenure and then once they do get tenure then they won’t make it a moat climb now Dad a sort of the same thing happens in corporations at the middle manager level like it’s not a disease that’s endemic to to academia Well, it’s not but it’s one variable and a suite of variables that we have to take a look at The other one is the culture in which the cultural milieu that Jim spoke about in which people are terrified to be called sexist racist Bigot, they don’t challenge those. I’m even hesitant to say the things they don’t challenge but I’ll say it like race and IQ or and Trans issues transform issues if you teach an ethics class people won’t really dig into those issues in a substantive way But I think that there are many factors but not just one but it’s just you that people will come up to Jim and myself and I haven’t spoken explicitly to Helen about This and they’ll thank me. Yeah. Oh, thank you so much. Oh great. Can you do that publicly? No, no No, the same thing happened to me So so I think Peter we should talk about what’s happening to you because look we talked about fear We can talk about cowardice we can talk about Justifiable fear because there’s no there’s no pleasure in being isolated and mobs and undermined and fired Right so that the the apprehension of that is not merely cowardice. It’s it’s realistic and I’m not under estimating the potential role the additional role of cowardice, but and there’s another issue too here And I’ve been thinking about it’s like to me many of these postmodern activists propositions are so fundamentally absurd and so Academically weak that most serious social scientists and pretty much all serious stem Types, the stem researchers have just ignored them You know They thought they were beneath contempt You know a brilliant postmodern activist idea like intersectionality or like patriarchy theory or like white privilege all you have to do is spend an hour thinking through those things critically and you realize that there’s Absolutely, nothing whatsoever to them methodologically or conceptually As Jim was saying, you know that can be a kernel of truth in things But when they are theoretically built up I mean obviously they’re there there are societies in which white people are regarded more positively on average but this is something that can be measured empirically which can be looked at which can be talked about and we don’t actually have that we have imaginary knapsacks and talk of complicity and and epidemiological Environments in which white people literally can’t understand what’s going on So we get it and we get a big mess and it’s it’s the kernel of truth is in there And so that gives them the opportunity to kind of retreat To this sensible space where they’ll say but there is racism and that there is sexism Well, yes of course there is but what you’re doing here with these theoretical concepts is is not Looking realistically and reasonably at that Problem of univariate reduction right? It’s like, okay. Well racism is a problem in sexism is a problem. We’ll say and well any form of Discrimination that isn’t associated with the hypothetical outcome of the project is a problem But there are methods that everyone who is a decent social scientist knows to measure those and to estimate the proportion of the variance in the Outcome problem that those issues are accounting for and the postmodern activist types – absolutely none of them. Yeah We’re the attention. Yeah. What do you said? I mean, why would they because they don’t care about their agenda driven in there? They’re not a truth oriented. So There’s gonna be no point to even think like that. Well, they also can’t they don’t have the method without the training knowledge exactly So so that also provides additional impetus for being motivated to criticize those to do because it’s a lot easier than facing the reality and the consequences of your own ignorance and because gaming Let’s talk about what’s happening to you because I want to know about the cost that you’re buried for this and then we’ll go back To why you guys decided to do what you did? so PSU, like many college campuses has become an Ideological community and I’ve demonstrated that I don’t fit that mold and I suspect that They’re gonna go to great lengths to get rid of me. So what’s happened is I’ve been found guilty of not seeking IRB approval and Okay, you should tell the viewers what that means and provide some background detail because it’s okay Okay. So RB approval is theirs It’s called IRB institutional Review board and whenever you do a an experiment on human subjects human beings or animals by the way You need to go through the IRB and you need to get permission and you detail Exactly what it is that you’re going to do and they say to you Well, you have to change this you have to do this. Don’t do this etc. And then they give you permission Okay. Now these these systems just a little more background. These systems were originally said fundamentally to monitor Relatively or potentially dangerous medical experimentation on human beings, but they’ve expanded their purview so that now it’s impossible for anybody Who’s an academic in any institution to even interview people without? Seeking permission from a very vast and rigid bureaucratic structure that’s easily politicized Yeah they came out of and they do exist for good reasons the Nuremberg trials mainly at cetera et cetera and people were and that envelope as has The number of experiments or the number of things that are caught under that umbrella continues to increase we can talk about the ethics of the IRB more generally, but in our case or particularly marketing though the IRB has no Jim and James and Helen don’t fall under the auspices of PSU SRV so they can’t be sanctioned. I however Allegedly can can be sanctioned. So I’ve been found guilty on that first charge Which Howard why now? Look let’s tell everybody he published a sequence of papers How many papers in journals how many so we we wrote? 27 of them were accepted and four were published On the cusp of publication for example, okay Let’s get it straight these are satirical publications that were published in hypothetically serious academic journals And now Peter you’re being gone after for not seeking Institutional review board permission to publish studies that didn’t exist. Yeah to two things that’s the first thing I’ve been found guilty of that and it’s escalated to the provost and the president University and I believe that the Provost is a former Gender Studies scholar and on the names of those people just I’ll let that sit there. I do I do I can’t pronounce the president’s name to be blunt with you And the provost is new Provost. I’m not avoiding the question. I just don’t maybe that’s fine We can always put that in the description of the video So so what are you guilty of, exactly, because these studies didn’t exist. You didn’t undertake research on any human subjects Now they’ve decided that the journals editors and reviewers are the human subjects that we were studying so not the studies themselves, but go up one level of meta to the fact that we were studying the culture of Journal journal review and publication so the editors who are not anonymous and then the anonymous peer reviewers are considered to be the human subjects of our I see so that’s supposed to be distinguishable from you thinking and writing about the things that you encounter in your own life For example, which is also what now supposed to be subject to IRB approval yeah, so so Okay, so there’s a lot of moving parts of this. So we need to break it down I want to I want to continue with the Excuse me guilty of not seeking IRB approval that can include term up determination from my current position and I just want to speak to that before I talk about the data fabrication charges, so I don’t agree with the decision But I definitely understand the pressures that they have on them to do something Who knows what’s happening Russia’s pressures from a who these activist types are very tiny proportion of the population So and when we’re talking about pressure, what exactly do we mean? well, there was an anonymous hit piece by 12 or 11 of my colleagues published in the student newspaper the Portland Vanguard and They may be a small Representation, it’s unclear to me… In academia I don’t think they’re a small proportion of the population. they are a large and I think that they wield institutionalized power and have weaponized things like title nine against people they don’t like so there’s that but I do want to say I don’t really know what’s happening behind the scenes like my guess. Is that these? This group is extraordinarily Vocal but with their face with no as a decision for what kind of university they want to be Is it one that uses power to support freedom of inquiry and pursue the truth? or do they want to protect social justice at all costs and the fabrication of data thing is interesting because that’s an ongoing a currently ongoing Investigation and again, those are very very serious charges Let’s look here too. Like there’s a very big difference Let’s get this very clear between a self-admitted satire Which had historical precedent and which has ethical justification, even if you don’t agree with the justification, and data fabrication. Data fabrication occurs When you put data forward and you claim that it’s a truthful representation of a real-world situation. And.. Obviously that’s distinct from satire in comedy. Everyone understands that distinction. Well, the idea is that those rules were put in there for very good reasons and that is people wouldn’t use that to advance their careers, which And they wanted to hide the results so they don’t didn’t want anybody to see what it was So the problem with that is that it would as Sokol wrote that it would contaminate the research lines in perpetuity, so what the success of our project depended upon it being revealed so that no longer applies and the idea that we would somehow not only have I not benefited from this, but this has come at a tremendous cost to me so Yes It’s in my opinion. It is a grotesque abuse of what it means to fabricate data and It may be interesting to see it’ll be interesting to see what happens and be interesting to see when it goes to court Okay, so so well, yeah tell me about the proceedings when it goes to court. What kind of court is it going to I? Don’t know. I mean first let me even take a step back from there so if you look at the timeline of events when this occurred and I have that off the top of my head, but the when I was found guilty from the IRB, there’s been a series of not seeking IRB approval There is a series of a time when the university president could just end this Just like that. You can say well we’re gonna put a letter of reprimand in your Wiener, we’ve decided you’ve already done this they can ominous kind of awkward Who found you guilty That was the IRB in the day. That was December 14th I see. So the IRB is policing its own its own policies here Yeah, so that was it for the IRB charge the open the data falsification charge is open and still being investigated And that actually started I think like two or three days after we went public He got an email and said you’ve been summoned to a meeting but we were all in Portland together at the time and I was over the IRB which purports to be an ethics committee doesn’t have any problem with the ethics of policing themselves No Okay, so you might want to point that out very strongly if they’re not in a position to be policing Accordance with their own policies no conflict of interest clearly There’s something appalling about that and it’s not surprising because there’s plenty of calling about the institutional review boards. Hmm Guilty it’s been escalated to the president. And again the president could just decide Just like that You know we’re just gonna put a letter in this file of reprimand and we’re gonna move on and I think that the whole problem would be Ended except my guess is that there are a lot of people Crying for vengeance right now against me, right? So they want to hang you out to dry as an object lesson to people who would dare to do the things that you threw you’ve done because I’m a heretic and I’m a blasphemer and I have Attacked their canons and there has to be some price that’s paid for this That’s my guess on their thinking and then the fabrication of data charge again. That’s a very serious charge Okay data, and those rules are put in put in place for a reason I don’t think a court would find I Mean it would be if see when this goes to court or if it does even go to court The idea that this was fabricated either for personal gain Or that would have to not be revealed at some time and that the future lines of literature would be contaminated and polluted It’s just it’s just not true. And I think that Well, they also a clear it it’s a career-ending charge. So that’s partly why it’s being brought against you right data fabrication There is anything rich? Well, there isn’t any same thing worse within the domain of science than you can do that you can do than that And it it’s really unfortunate and preposterous because the data fabrication occurred intentionally in the sense that we wanted to find out if they could detect because we Suspected from the very beginning as we were kind of discussing earlier that these people who largely work in Humanities are not equipped to do social science, but that’s ultimately what they’re basically doing and so we wanted to see if they could detect utterly ridiculous data or Data that were clearly cherry-picked or data or conclusions. I should say that we’re drawn from data that aren’t warranted And so we wrote papers that included in this case. For example a dog park paper just Transparently ridiculous data, in fact the first draft of that paper even we we knew the data were so bad that they were probably going to ask to see it and Road okay, so you go through the papers then so so we’ll talk about the dog park paper why don’t you go through the papers that have been published just briefly and say yes, they are and and and tell us why they’re transparently ridiculous because that’s also Attention, right? Yeah. Yeah the dog park paper was the first one we had accepted in February and it chronicles it’s a feminist scholar putative Lee that’s chronicling dog rape culture by examining dog humping in Portland dog parks and Then draws conclusions from that Using black feminist criminology as a tool to conclude that it would be appropriate to train men as we train dogs if only it were politically feasible, so we have to come up with metaphorical equivalents and that it concludes that oppression of dogs based on perceived gender is real and the reason that that was Allegedly concluded was we claimed that? humans intervened and broke up Gay dog rape much more frequently and vigorously than they broke up straight dog rape And the peen it’s already a bit weird These things the paper the paper in included for instance the detail that the that the scholar our sat in the dog park for a thousand hours over the course of a year, but never in the heavy rain and Observed and then examined personally closely examined the genitals of just short of ten thousand dogs, which if you’ve been to a dog park You’ve probably realized the same people bring their dogs almost every day It’s there’s not 10,000 dogs in any dog park in a year, but never mind Develop a reputation for looking at dogs genitals. Yeah, I think so and then immediately turning to ask their owners Excuse me, sir. Could you tell me your sexual orientation? That’s what the paper says week and it’s very native of 10,000 dogs Genitals of 10,000 dogs and then interrogated their owners as to their sexual orientations It includes details that are irrelevant like whether dogs used the bathroom in the in the other dogs or in the the food bowl The water ball it talked about, you know The way people would break up dog fights like doing jumping jacks and singing we thought this data was so absurd That we put in the first draft which the journal saw a Line that said that we took the data and put it in a recycle bin So that they couldn’t possibly ask us to produce it because we thought oh man if they ask for this data Which is so stupid it’s over. So we said that we recycled the data which is already its own research miss practice and No problem, you know the journal was like just write it up. Okay. I can’t believe we’re having this conversation Listen the more we talk about this the more ridiculous it gets There was the paper where we argued that if straight white or straight man, I’m sorry It doesn’t matter what their races if straight men were to anally penetrate them selves with sex toys. They’d become less transphobic and more feminist Which apparently got that conversation either they may not want to have that conversation But this data was this conclusion Which was called a truly marvelous paper in an important contribution to knowledge by one of its reviewers This paper was published this paper was based on interviews with 13 men only eight of whom were straight and of course, it was all interview data, and it was just just people saying the most ridiculous things about their experience of sticking things in their own butts and then their feelings about feminism and Concern for rape culture and in their attitudes about trans people and so on including one so-called social conservative Who was quoted saying he didn’t want to take part in some stupid liberal study about sticking things up his butt. I mean It’s almost impossible to have looked at this and not thought, you know, something’s going on here but instead they thought truly marvelous paper in Its that that’s a second paper a third paper Was an ethnography allegedly of a 70 some-odd year-old man who went to Hooters with his Brazilian jiu-jitsu class after workouts and sat there and basically just womanized for Hours upon hours. It recorded something like 10,000 hours or sorry 10,000 minutes of Conversation at the table which could all be summarized This was an example of clear cherry-picking of data the only features of the Conversation that were relevant were the way that the guys hit on the servers or talk about the servers you know various body parts or most importantly how much they enjoyed the fact that Hooters provides them a place that they can go and Tell young attractive women what to do in a situation in which they are Contractually obligated to fulfill those those orders like literally double entendre on the word order like please I would like some beer that’s an order so That was an example of clear cherry-picking and of course deriving ridiculous conclusions didn’t you guys know while you were doing this that you are going to get yourself in like a boatload of trouble I mean and Now I see when you’re talking about it you laugh And so you still got a sense of humor, which is quite a remarkable thing But leave you you did this for a long time and like yeah It’s hard to believe actually that you did manage to do it. I had some some moments especially where I mean we were always aware that there would be a backlash and then when I started actually signing the transfer of copyright documents to have the papers actually published I started to feel a little like, you know, we might really get in some trouble for this but at this point we’re kind of in deep and Might as well carry on and try to finish the experiment. We had intended to try to write papers for 12 months and Then spend six to eight months kind of, you know, following up. The academic publishing process is slow They do the review you get it back a couple months later you have to do edits It takes maybe another month or two before they accept or whatever then publication maybe another couple months later. So all it’s slow So we want to do a lot, you know six to eight months after Twelve months of writing and that was the intended and duration that we should be wrapping up the project now if we didn’t get busted But about late summer, the the dog park paper got picked up by some journalists and the real peer-review and got made fun of and we realized we were probably Not going to make it to the end of our intended year and a half dish Time span, so we ended up writing for 10 total months which is a bit of time and Then what a lot of papers still under review which was really a shame because I’m fairly sure that I had to got in But I do want to speak to that Jordan because somebody had to do this. Yeah Because the ideology because the perfect these professors are looking at their classrooms as an ideology now and They’re attempting to indoctrinate people and do Things about reality that have nothing to do with reality. They’ve placed an agenda ahead of the truth, and it’s corroding our Institutions in it’s eroding trust in those universities and institutions and You identified the problem many people identified the problem but something had to be done about it beyond identification and calling these people out we needed to show that needs to deal Ajith amides canon’s because they’re The way that they were coming to knowledge is just epistemological to say it’s not rigorous. This child is is charitable So there kind of few pieces to that right? So you everybody as we mentioned a little bit earlier we touched upon Is now familiar with the idea that racism and sexism don’t seem to mean the same thing They meant ten years ago you Used to be able to say racist and sexist and amend Discrimination based on race or sex and it could go in any direction But now it’s got this this power dynamic privilege plus power stuff. Everybody’s talking about privilege. So that’s everywhere but if that’s one dimension that it’s impossible to avoid that the sociological or grievance studies definitions for concepts are Everywhere, but they’re also two other pieces of evidence one that we saw before we started that would be a paper that was done by charlotta Stern who documented how Insular Gender Studies is how they literally took the year since Steven Pinker published the blank slate 2003 Until 2015 or 16. She looked at a bunch of papers got a sample of those papers and determined whether or not they incorporated or ignored the information that Pinker had shared as a as a as a test and found that there was an Overwhelming amount of just putting the blinkers on and pretending that biology still doesn’t exist. And that human nature is totally a pretense here I mean the reason it’s not a pretense is because as far as I can tell the people who are in these disciplines know Absolutely. Nothing whatsoever about biology. No, they don’t want it the less, you know about biology the more you don’t want to know that you need a Daunting task. Yeah, I want to speak to that for a moment if I may so At my university there’s a course offered on the philosophy of race and it would seem to me that a minimum qualification one would need to teach that is that one would have to have some kind of degree in evolutionary biology, but that does not seem to be the case and I think again we’re seeing consistently You know race is such an explosive explosive topic but when you start with the idea that you have the And then you work backward and cherry-picked the literature and in this case is extraordinarily easy because you just go to these The journals and the canons of literature and then you start teaching that so what happens then? is the kind of the self fulfillment of the postmodern Condition is that they then manufacture Pieces and information that people take as knowledge. That’s right We see that happening in our institutions now and it’s nobody’s calling them out on it So it’s again I say that because it’s your point of why did we do this? Because the public trust in these institutions is being eroded and we’re teaching our kids things that are just not true they’re just they’re totally untethered to reality even though some of these people may be very well-meaning and There’s always a citation we learned there’s always a cite all the citations you want to find something that says Anything ridiculous about sex toys and anal taken care of there’s questions power dynamics using that already that Really is that is the important thing to sort of realize it about what we did I mean all of that ridiculous stuff that Jim was saying earlier He we were able to say that because there was already something out there which led to it or said it itself, and so if you’re actually looking at what our project is something that’s very important to look at is our references because to Make its its satellite. I mean some of it like the dog park really yet. It’s there’s this humorous There’s a very humorous element in it But on a deeper level what it is is just gathering so much of this nonsense together Sighting it putting it in there and then kind of making it do whatever it whatever we wanted it to do that That was was the project and it’s so your point is that you have embedded Literature They really, I mean a lot of the some of the academics have said well We haven’t been fooled because we still stand by the papers what you wrote was Reasonable because they are indistinguishable and that really was The point we wanted to have we’ve ended up with a really good resource for anyone who wants to know what is out there they can look at our references they can look at the arguments if they enabled us to make they can look at how the reviewers What they rejected us for what they accepted us for what they pushed us to do There’s a very clear pattern but because it is so complicated and so few people have taken the time it would take to read all of our papers to read all of the comments to follow up our, um, our references it’s not always clear that what we’re doing is putting it right in the Canon that is The other issue, and that has To do with the motivation of other academics not to be bothered with this, let’s say, is that The statistic that I’m most familiar with is that about 80% Of humanities papers get cited 0 times and the problem Is that even to go after very bad ideas in an academically rigorous way is actually an extraordinarily daunting task and it might be daunting in direct proportion to the to the Appallingness of the ideas. So for example, if you’re grading out a very bad undergraduate essay It’s way more difficult to grade a D paper than it is to grade a B paper Because a D paper has so many errors in it. You don’t even know where to start write the words are wrong The sentences are wrong. The sentences aren’t organized in the paragraph the paragraphs are chaotic and disjointed and the whole thing makes no sense and you actually have to … There isn’t a level of criticism that can’t be applied to a very bad paper And so it’s absolutely exhausting intellectually apart from the danger that it poses Personally, and so, you know before we assume that it’s mere Lack of character on the part of our fellow academics that is stopping them from taking a stand against such things although I do by the sort of entrenched cowardice idea that emerges as perhaps an inevitable consequence of participating in a structured hierarchy It’s that there are there are many more reasons why this has flourished including the inappropriate, what would you call it, subsidization of these viewpoints for the last 50 years? Yeah, I think that’s right, it’s really really Painstaking to pour through these papers and as a person, you know with a commitment to science and a background in science It wasn’t just even painstaking. I actually went into some pretty dark places I have dark psychological places I remember reading the so I mentioned reading the Glaciology paper earlier the feminist glaciology But I didn’t read it in depth when we first found it, but when we started to do this project I wanted to emulate it and write one about feminist astronomy. You do it. Yeah And I read the thing in tremendous depth and with great care Taking notes all the way through and and you know preparing so I could could write a facsimile and I shut down I mean, I just almost locked myself in a room by myself for three days in a dark depression I had to talk him down because he just got so despairing and he was just Quoting bits to me. Look at this. How can this be? Look, the same thing happened to me when I was writing 12 rules for life. I wrote a chapter called don’t bother children when they’re skateboarding and it’s about the discouragement. Let’s say of Primarily of young men as a direct consequence of this the kind of rhetoric that we’re discussing like that made me Unbearable to my family for about three months because the more I studied it the more, well, It has a really Fragmenting and chaotic effect going on you psychologically and I’ve also seen this manifested in my students who, you know, who undergo this kind of activist indoctrination. It’s such a it’s such a corrosive and cynical view of the world that all were we’re all in it in our groups and that all the groups are fighting one another for Power and that that’s a fundamental transcendent reality It’s just yeah Now imagine imagine the sort of person who looks at that as an epistemological and moral virtue, and who teaches that to their students; who attempts to indoctrinate their students into these, they don’t even rise to the level of being false, in terms of these morally dangerous ideas, and then they think that there are better people as a result; And then they think that if somebody calls them out on it, they’re evil. Okay, so let’s look at this too. When Haidt and Lukianoff wrote “The Coddling of the American Mind” (wonderful book) they pointed out as the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association should have that all of the safe space and Doctrines and trigger warning doctrines and and and that sort of thing And the speech codes, for example that are increasingly forbidding even sarcasm are Exactly the opposite of the approach that you would take if you were a trained psychologist Trying to produce people who are more resilient You actually make them weaker and more anxiety prone more anxiety prone more depressed and more hopeless and I think the evidence for that’s Absolutely clear and I think it’s appalling that it wasn’t clinical psychologists or psychiatrists who pointed it out and so it is that the These doctors are being put forth for the benefit of those who formulate the doctrines and that the students are sacrificial victims in that in that process. Yeah, there’s one here’s one more piece that I think is important it goes back to what Jim said about not not seeing that a contradiction is problematic because the whole idea of contradiction is white science or Western science and that’s That’s problematic is that we found that these folks don’t really value discourse and dialogue and so They don’t really value having ideas challenged and questioned That’s not their their reason for teaching these ideas in the first place. And if I may give you a quick example Here’s me well in state university wants to include ER has included at this point a course on Native American philosophy which which I think is a great idea and Somebody in the audience Asked a question And and the question was I went to a presentation and the question this individual asked was well What do we do as settlers as colonialists when we want to question or challenge these? ideas in the Native American philosophy and the presenter said You know, I’ve struggled with this it’s very difficult for me. But the bottom line was it shouldn’t it should be exempt from Tools that we have used for other disciplines, you know the dialectic, you know Challenging and so that first of all that places me in an almost impossible position What am I supposed to do say, you know? Why is it exempt what it should play by the rules every other philosophy because then I become the God who hates Western eight Indigenous people who age into this phosphate and then on the tool of the patriarchy which gets back to what you were Question or asking before is why do we have this? Silenced in academia and what’s the problem of it? So I think part of the problem is that these folks don’t value discourse They don’t value dialogue. They don’t value open expression They don’t vote they view that and again There’s a paper for this they view that as a type of violence words or type of minds this type of form of violence And so then their students develop brittle Epistemologies because they’ve never heard the other side of the story Right and they develop them just when they should be developing resil resilience. Exactly, correct? And Yeah, it is a litmus test I always I always ask folks why who are gender studies in my class or study in the ingredient Studies fields why isn’t Martha Nussbaum’s criticism of Judith Butler taught and (I don’t) hear a single single student that says yes, I’ve learned about that in my classes well they don’t they don’t teach that because they have a prevailing moral orthodoxy and they want to indoctrinate students with it and they’ve kind of hijacked the administration and as I said before they’ve weaponized offices of diversity inclusion etcetera to punish people who are heretics and who question or challenge this Okay, so we’re gonna run out of time we run down to about ten minutes here so I want to here’s a question that I want to bring to all three of you I think one is Why in the world should anybody outside of academia care about this? that’s the first thing (great question) and most a very careful answer that and the second is For each of you what’s been the personal consequence of this and would you have repeated it if you knew what the Consequences were going to be so let’s start with the first one Why in the world should they why in the world should anyone care that some half-witted academic journal? published an insane paper by three renegade academics about what about dog rape of all the absurd of the observe absurd topics It’s so surreal that it seems Virtually incomprehensible. Sensible people should avoid it. So what’s the answer to that? Well, go ahead Ellen The university is It is our source of knowledge production If we look back through history When our cultures were Christian the new knowledge about this was coming from the universities when we had the Scientific Revolution when we went into the Enlightenment This was coming from the universities these things don’t stay in the universities We have seen it is coming out in Its what is essentially happened with the kind of identity studies that we’re looking at is that it has been made directly actionable by activists It has been tagged on to the end of the civil rights movements and liberal feminism and gay pride When those movements have started to see diminishing returns and people wanted to continue Then it’s it’s tagged on to the end of that to a society, which is just seeing the end of empire The end of Jim Crow and is geared towards Towards social justice and it is kind it is it is seeded here So its also a warning to the corporations because it is permeating the HR department. It’s like think something this insidious is going to stay in the Universities and don’t be thinking that you can import 2% of it without importing the other 98%. Yeah, people leave University and they join these industries. Also, there’s pressure on corporations to comply with the the reigning moral orthodoxy I mean I don’t think that the average business owner or the average person in the street knows anything about Foucault or Crenshaw or even thinks much about this but it is in the air now and it is it is in the air now, and it is effecting it is effecting everything and we do need to take it seriously without sort of having a moral panic We need to look at it calmly and empirically and address it as it actually is. Yeah, and what should we do about it? That’s the next issue because that’s a podcast. Yeah, okay fine. That’s another podcast. And the final question for all three of you is and maybe one at a time Would you do it again I Would yeah, I would definitely do it again Okay, so we know that you’re an unrepentant troublemaker. I am definitely an unrepentant troublemaker. I’ve also found like my one great talent in the world and I feel like it I’ve made my own life obsolete now Okay, I can be a wonderful bullshit artist if anybody is looking for one Okay. Yeah, I would definitely do it again. It’s worth the risk. I think it needed to be done Helen let’s ask you next and then we’ll get let Peter have the last word because he’s the one that’s got the most on the Line at the moment. Yes. Yes, I would do it again I mean I’ve I was imagining all sorts of things from being arrested under sort of hate Speech Act to being physically attacked because I have an uncommon name. I’ve had an awful lot of online abuse I’ve got some persistent stalkers But that has essentially … I probably won’t get into a PhD program in my own country though somebody in Germany has offered, bless her, but it’s been It’s been it’s been quite necessary for survival, it was worth doing and I would do it again. Okay Peter It had done. It had to be done. There’s a crisis in the universities. There’s a crisis with knowledge production as a crisis of confidence this may come at a heavy price to me and I have had to weigh out my family obligations helping put my son through school, you know being a Part of a, I’m married so being in a relationship in which I economically contribute to the to the house but this had to be done someone had to do it and if I am a Consequence of this then. So be it it had to be done. Yeah Well Peter weren’t there’s a bunch of us who are not particularly inclined to let you be a sole sacrificial victim; So if your university wants to get too stupid with you then, um, Let’s let’s assume that they’re going to be consequences. I sincerely appreciate your support the bottom of my heart. Thank you Yeah, well enough is enough. So well look guys. It was really good talking to you. Although I think that you’re quite the Surreal bunch of troublemakers and perhaps exactly what this crazy situation requires and Well, and I and I hope that I hope Peter that that things work out for you properly over the next few years It’s gonna be a tough haul for a while. There’s no doubt about that. So well, are you getting any student support at your university? Yeah, I’m getting a lot of student support the University, but you know I have to be blunt with you I’ve people are threatened to attack me a few weeks ago someone spit at me My colleagues literally well walk down the corridor they’ll turn their heads It’s it’s a but that you know, the uncomfortable things they own it’s not that much different from the typical University Department yeah, it’s it has seemed to be I Am I mean I I want to be blunt with you It is a concern for my safety in Portland when I leave the house now yeah, and I now been threatened on more than one occasion by people and I’m concerned. Do you, You do you find the threats credible? I mean, I know every every threat is upsetting But like are you actually in the situation where you have some apprehension about leaving your house? Or are you able to put that aside? I don’t have any apprehension about leaving my house look, You know, I wake up in the morning and I in emails and tweets people telling me how stupid I am and what a Bad person I am a homophobe and a racist. All right, that doesn’t do anything to me But when I walk out in the street.. I was out at a bar a few weeks ago Or maybe a few months ago. I don’t need no lifetime lines, but you know someone Someone came up to me and he started harassing me. I fortunately with my jujitsu coach John Biggins and he’s a black belt in jujitsu, and he immediately pulled up the chair beside us and I kept saying let’s talk Let’s have a conversation. No, he followed me in the bathroom. I came out of the bathroom Finally I look I don’t know what’s happening I don’t know why you’re so upset But I’m happy to talk to you and he said I don’t want to talk to you Peter. I want to hurt you That’s that’s pretty that’s pretty serious Yeah, and then it happened again on the street when I was surrounded about a week and a half ago, by people I assume they’re antifa or people or something clearly wanted to hurt me, so You know, I am I am concerned. I am concerned look, I mean those four people who have a been through It’s very hard for people how to be true that sort of thing to understand just exactly how distressing that kind of occurrence is not Only good things happens, but because it could happen again and it could become more serious. So I’m really sorry to hear that I didn’t realize it didn’t come to that. That’s that’s no laughing matter I appreciate that and Threats on your door left on your door and on any poster that’s got anything to do with you and there’s there’s this swastikas There’s insults, there’s leaflets and notices Oddly, that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me it’s when it’s in the physical world where I feel Someone I mean if someone tells you they’re gonna hurt you. You should take their word. Yes Definitely when it’s that direct and when it’s that in-your-face, so those threats are credible. That’s that’s a real. That’s a real danger So that’s that’s well. Look. I’m really sorry to hear that. And I’m I’m also sorry to hear that. You’re paying a substan I’m sorry to hear a general that you’re paying a substantive price for that I’m going to do what I can for what that’s worth to try to make sure that people hear about this and that you’re not in it alone because I think you guys are like comedians, you know you’re Canaries in the coal mine and whatever happens to you is going to happen to a lot of other people if if it’s allowed to happen to you so it can’t Be allowed to happen to you. That’s what it looks like to me. So thank you for supporting yeah. Alright guys Well, thanks a lot for talking to me all it was, it was stupidly interesting talking with you. I know that’s a hell of a thing to say. You know, it’s so ridiculous you you can’t you couldn’t invent this in a bad piece of fiction And it’s it’s so sad that that this is the sort of thing that we have to occupy ourself with when there is serious work to be done, so Maybe. All right. Well happy new year. I suppose hopefully this will be a watershed year and things will get more intelligent from here on in Yeah, I’m sure hoping that’ll be the case. Me, too. Thank you All right, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your time and I’ll let you know when this is all coming online. Okay?

100 Comments on "Interview with the grievance studies hoaxers"


  1. Think the quote about believing in anything was GK Chesterton? Good luck, Jordan, strength to your elbow!

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  2. On JRE, Lindsay said he left academia because he "saw the writing on the wall". Those were his precise words. So whats true now, Mr. Lapsed Mathematician

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  3. Violation of Facebook "community standards" provides ex-communication to those who violate the scripture of political correctness.

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  4. Heroes, every one of them.

    14:50 – 16:40 is where you can listen to James' thought process as he so eloquently – without a spare word! – explains his analogy of post-modernism and religion.

    Right on.

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  5. Free room and dinner for any and all of you – please please come to (US) Cambridge! Such inspiring thinkers, every one of you, bravo!!!

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  6. @ the 1:16:10 mark… get a CCL and a lot of your concern will dissipate. If your state makes that burdensome, find a new state.
    An armed society is a polite society. 🙂

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  7. Sokal wrote the hoax article, but Sokal and Bricmont then published a book, in French in 1997, and in English in 1998. There was later a second edition which is what one should read now.

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  8. IRB's are totally politically motivated horseshit. I remember getting approval for something years ago for some likert surveys. Just getting approval took months while they try to drag their heels to prevent me from doing anything (they didn't want sexuality research for reasons that still elude me, they'd done something similar for a play that was sexual in nature). One subject allegedly complained (it was on sexuality, but optional, crossword puzzle on the back so no one would be offended) though I never received any proof of this complaint and they were going to revoke my approval (after approving it, in writing). I had already finished the research and they threatened to expel me and warned of some kind of hearing or something for my grievous misconduct. I laughed at the crazy lady telling me this. I had already graduated with my Master's. And that's when I decided I was never going back to a university for further education. They use IRB's to stifle thought, not protect subjects.

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  9. The social justice religion is rooted in the idea of power dynamics, which means it is ultimately rooted in war. There's no articulation in the social justice epistemology of universal love, self-reflection or compromise.

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  10. I have watched a few of Dr Peterson’s videos and he appears to me to be thoroughly decent man with a great deal of common sense and compassion. The experiences he describes in relation to academia indicates to me it is full of quite useless oxygen thieves. The preponderance of opaque academic jargon appears to be an attempt to prove to your peers how clever you are. The fact that jargon laden hoax papers were actually published is hilarious. Clearly the university is pissed off because they have been exposed. If you aren’t committed to evidence based study and research what earthly use are you to the rest of society? Decisions made on false premises can only ever be flawed.

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  11. These universities on the west coast do need to be called out. Just the lack of integrity with these professors makes the process earning a degree a complete rip off and scam!

    I can vouch…have a BA from a csu. The dog peer review journal is basically what is presented in the humanities department 😂 and the csu I went to would actually require for it to be taken seriously.

    And true story I almost wrote a paper on rape sloth but when I presented the idea to the class of course one female reacted with offense. Its bad you guys!

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  12. "I don't want to talk to you, I want to hurt you."

    I know that's disconcerting, and it's unacceptable. But it's also the sort of thing that makes it insufferable to hear the left cry about violence. It's not barbaric or juvenile to rise to the level of threat by someone who confronts you in a bar like that. ANTIFA and leftist punks are, by and large, pussified pussies. I'm not a particularly tough dude, but I've found it remarkably easy to get these types to cower when you accept their invitation to escalate the conflict.

    I hate the fact that, as a lifelong liberal, at 44 years old, I hate the left more than the right.

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  13. Indoctrination by academia…pure and simple. We are seeing the results of this in growing SJWs and prevailing PC culture today.

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  14. Really valuable conversation. Unbelievable that it has come to this current state of affairs. My utmost respect to Boghossian, Lindsay and Pluckrose for their courage and effort.

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  15. The fact that these guys still laugh so deeply after the blowback shows how awesome they are.

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  16. I love Dr. Peterson but I wish he wouldn't interrupt so quickly , it makes me think that he may not be listening too well .

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  17. These three are indeed heroes for western culture , thank you Peter , Helen , James…

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  18. May I suggest you write a book about this with the 20 papers you wrote – it would be a best seller and you won't have to worry about jobs.
    Please! I'll buy one – start a GoFundMe now with a description – I reckon you'll sell 1 mil plus copies

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  19. I'm not even half way through, and this is already super interesting. Totally new take on postmodernism as a religion

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  20. Big fan Mr. Peterson, but please let your guests speak with less interruptions?

    Seriously, this was a good conversation, and totally understandable your passionate about the topic, but this felt almost like an inquisition to the hoaxers by you, which is a bit 'Kathy Newman'ish of ya.

    Not because your setting them up incorrectly. But because as they try to explain it you interrupt and lead the guest down an alleyway they have to either agree or defend an interruption barrage.

    Again, I'm a fan. I've been suggesting your work for years. I still will, the goal is to important. But this was not handled well, at least imo.

    Keep up the good fight though.

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  21. Basically these reviewers have been shown to be a bunch of hacks and they need to cover their arses to save face.

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  22. The reviewers of the papers got caught with their pants down and shown not to be doing their job and they don't like it. Maybe the process is flawed and should be re-examined.

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  23. Peterson needs to talk less and let his guests speak. They are there to talk about their papers not Peterson's own personal definition of post-modernism and Marxism. He is a great speaker but a terrible interviewer. He did this same thing with Jonathan Haidt and other people he was supposed to be interviewing. Bogosian even has to play interviewer at times to try to keep Peterson out of it– without much success unfortunately.

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  24. Re: Helen Pluckrose' point about pulling together existing citations to weave a web: it reminds me that we're cautioned not to make dryer lint available to birds, who may incorporate it into their nests (it rains, the nest disintegrates, the eggs are lost). The editors apparently didn't recognize dryer lint–they read it uncritically, published it, and are embarrassed (if they have any brains at all). Rather than examine a flawed process, the IRB acts as though a crime has been committed.

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  25. Peterson drinking game:

    -Rock paper scissors to take a shot every time you hear "postmodernism"
    -"Hierarchy" everyone takes a shot!
    -"marxist" person to your left takes a shot starting with first looser of the earlier rock paper scissors
    -"lobster" finish the bottle

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  26. Exactly as a chem major we just called all liberal arts students, glorified future burger flipping man babys

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  27. I would apply the conclusions to all PC subjects, like also climate change. We can never trust science again. Thanks, scientists.

    Every subject can be politicized (that's inevitable with totalitarian regimes as every government anywhere in the world is. Apart from perhaps, Bhutan, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and obviously Liberland)

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  28. A sane discussion among truly educated people. What a delight, and how very unique on Youtube.

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  29. They said in another video that the quick response of JBP and sam Harris and the others, saved them from insane backlash.

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  30. I am from the deep mountains. I am stupid and inbred. Study me like an insect. Here is the problem with all human thinking. The truth is far too complicated to easilly define. If you try to simplify- stereotype- generalize then you immediately murder the fucking truth.

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  31. The United States government, the universities and the kangaroo courts are starting to resemble those of various African nations very nicely. The level of devastation they're bringing on us is actually quite impressive I must say.

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  32. What's your net worth now? At least get a Blue Yeti, JP. Just go to Best Buy. Or the Canadian equivalent.

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  33. Nothing short of a stroke of genius. To shine such a inextinguishable light on how little academics plays in Social Justice. The backlash shows how desperate they really are for an ounce of legitimacy in any claim they make. The more they fund studies the more they get evidence against their claims.

    The man that started Gender Studies made a brother simulate sex acts with his castrated brother who was told he was a female from birth. It caused both of them to kill themselves later on in life. He figured out he was a guy during puberty and in an interview he said "You are born either male or female, you will know, i am living proof, what do I have to do? Blow my brains out?" He later blew his brains out. Even if born in the wrong body, you are either male or female. Hopefully treatment comes up that isn't making yourself infertile for life after pumping you full of hormones. Because the suicide rate doesn't drop and it needs to stop.

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  34. This is hilarious on the one hand, on the other hand it is a sad reflection of the current state of “scientific” journalism.

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  35. To hear the bullying stories and the tales of people shunning in the halls, I can’t help but think of grade school bullies who also saw nothing wrong with their actions and were lauded by their sycophants as well as those who feared the bullies. This is advanced academia? Go to college online, kids.

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  36. Kings and queens and royal courts used to have a jester to point out absurdities. The jesters are needed now, more than ever.

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  37. This a great conversation guys. It should be seen by the students of these grievance studies for they to know what they are really being taught.

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  38. These so-called "Grievance Studies" come from the politics of resentment. It is where Neo Marxist ideology and Post Modernist Mumble-Jumble-Hocus-Pocus intersect. Total Bunkum.

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  39. I’ve never heard this much boomer mix in my life. Great substance and I enjoyed the vid, but pls fix mics

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  40. George Carlin : Comedian, Philosopher, Linguist
    "Political Correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness yet attempts to restrict and control peoples’ language with strict codes and rigid rules. – Political Correctness is fascism pretending to be Manners.

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  41. Isn't it obvious that the counter claim should have been that the paper was entirely satirical in nature and therefore conferred no actual ' false data' but authentic 'fictitious meta data'.

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  42. Grievance studies I've never even heard of this shit before what a bunch of f**** baby's this world has turned into what a bunch of spoiled rotten Cunts this world is filled with nowadays

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  43. If you're a straight white male get your s*** together start working out arm yourselves don't take any s*** from anybody or else flatten them out

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  44. University students are the true human experimentation victims in this story. The focus of IRB boards should be professors who are laying waste to the minds of our children. It's an outrage that kids are suffering this level of abuse.

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  45. Dr. Lindsay makes me proud to be a mathematician. As an insider I can tell you that mathematics will be the last refuge of reason and logic in the university.

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  46. Fascinating! I saw the BBC documentary series, beginning with "Survival – Ep. 1: Full Episode | History of the World | BBC Documentary" and even though I think it’s a well-made series overall I thought it was slightly jarring because they seemed to have made a deliberate effort to replace generic or male pronouns for entirely female pronouns. e.g. when describing the inventors of needles or farming etc., they said 'she' or 'her' instead of perhaps a 'they' or 'he'. It seems like a mistake to deliberately choose a specific pronoun, when there is no way to confirm who those people were. The odd thing is that instead of going for accuracy and perhaps using a neutral pronoun the BBC seems to have made the decision to risk being deliberately wrong. I was thinking that perhaps they did it because in the past, perhaps, documentaries used male or neutral pronouns by default; but to replace one potential error with a new potential error rather than implement a more accurate neutral answer (when they don't have the identity of the person they're referring to) seems bizarre. Basically, it seems they may have decided to double down on either a type 1 or type 2 error. Perhaps this is another example of some kind of identity politics leaking into education?

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  47. Ann Coulter wrote the book Godless; The Religion of the Left! Describing there sacraments of abortion, sex pervert's rights, Global warming, Free Stuff Rights, etc. etc. And death to any dissenters!

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  48. Could you imagine writing a spoof piece on the RCC Catholic church in the 15th century ! As the good book says "Nothing new under the sun"!

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  49. Could you imagine Jordan Peterson et al. organizing a "We're mad as hell and we ain't gunna take it anymore" theme and "Move On Portland's Lib university" protest march and camp out

    My Portland grandson who was threatened with graduation for "corrupting the youth" by not worshiping at the godless Lib's pro Gay anti gun alter would gladly attend !

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  50. Proverbs 26:4-5 To let a fool speak his nonsense without reproof encourages him to remain wise in his own eyes and possibly gives credibility to his folly in the eyes of others.

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  51. "When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” (G. K. Chesterton)

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  52. The great geneticist Francis Crick once wrote of a very bad graduate student paper: "Not only is your argument not right, it is not even wrong."

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  53. if we consider this articles were an experiment, so if you give true data it means the data you presented is not fake which mean this is cheating and you fabricated the experiment , but when you present fabricated data it means you did it right for the experiment! so what fabrications they are talking about here!
    you did great job

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  54. Of course the SJW shtick has all the elements of a religion… key: This movement was "EXTREMELY WELL FUNDED". A weaponized brain-virus spread by academia into the general culture. Not an accident. Our education system laid the foundation by replacing logic and independent thought (Trivium) with authority-based (Prussian) education. This weakened mental immune system is fertile ground to inject any ideology you choose. These goats are f-ing with you. Not trying to be a smarty pants here, but I was writing about this more than 20 years ago. It has now advanced to a fever boil. Great video here with some excellent hybrid vigor.

    They entered academia, and they did eat; only to realize the bright shinny apple tasted of poo and was full of worms.

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  55. In a day and age when academia is on the decline, the value of a degree is on the decline, real world value of a degree is dubious to life success, there are still a few people who are metaphorically willing to be burned at the stake to preserve truth. The academic community would do well to revere people who are standing up against blind group think. Pointing out the absence of true scientific research should be applauded. Without proper scrutiny, the institutions devolve into government sanctioned indoctrination camps; we're funding public universities. Not questioning necessarily means we become useful idiots for the state or institution. These people are heroes and history will treat them as such. We've seen this pattern in the past. It's so sad to look in the mirror and accept that we are no better than our ancestors. Our institutions should be better than this and it remains to be seen if leadership sees that bigger picture.

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  56. So much of this is out of the average person’s world. It is disturbing to know how detached from the real world some people in academia have become. It has oozed into the real world and this video has enlightened me greatly on several levels.
    The papers are ridiculous and funny but my heart breaks not only for how these three brave individuals will be and are being now mistreated but also how intelligent people must not be all that intelligent after all to be willingly fooled by such obvious nonsense. We are witnessing the destruction of our civilization for painfully stupid and darkly sick reasons.

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  57. It seems like Marx was concerned with wealth inequality. and oppressed groups in that sense. But these new feminists have perverted the original intent to include groups not identified before. Marx is closer to the truth than these feminists are. I just want to say something else about gender studies in general. They seem to have zero applicable skills to market aside from psychology. Yet this is what hordes of women gravitate towards. It seems as if this is a self-defeating exercise.

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  58. Men(human beings) are never so happy as when the agree about what they can't abide, and when they do they tend to tack IST onto one or another word, or certainly I do. Modern is a bit of a weasel word, and has very little sensible meaning except in terms of fashion-itself a curious human trait(which is pronounced tray because it is a french word and the T is silent)

    Modernism is a religion and POST adds nothing to it. Men get very weird indeed when that start spouting about that bunk that they invent which they call morals or ethics; worse, they become dangerous because they become impassioned – they say that they " care" about something or other, they find it almost impossible to cultivate indifference in themselves, mostly because they suppose it to be god/likeable/desirable to what-they-call " care" About(their famous and infernal*about*)something or other, and it is this strange urge to be GOOOD, that lies at the root of the many and varied miseries. This famous goood of theirs is pure dreaming, and, like all dreams, constantly changing.

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  59. I'm so delighted to get the breakdown of the "classical" french post-modernism to the described "applied" post modernism. The classical philosophers sound much different than todays post modernist about and around 20:00

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  60. Hindsight is of course, 20/20, but this is one of those times that some type of "letter of intent" be pre-drafted and given to a lawyer. That lawyer would be instructed to release that letter to all participants at a certain date REGARDLESS of exposure or not. The downside would be selecting a date of when to release that info.

    Crux of the issue: the subjects were embarrassed

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  61. its aful that prof Peter Boghossian is threatened phisically. But apart from that how did these (wonderful) papers impact on the academic debate? has something new happened?

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