Review

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

I know a man who deleted his Twitter account out of fear after he read So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. Curious about the book’s contents and what could have prompted such a move, I decided to check it out. A fair few people know the case of Jonah Lehrer, a once popular up and coming author who […]

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Features

The Moral Contamination of Free Speech

We find ourselves living in an age where free speech is considered by many as a concept that only right-wingers care about. “You think free speech is important?” I’m asked. When I respond, “Yes,” eyebrows are raised, shoulders tilt away, and through the forehead of my interlocutors I envision some panicked calculations in their minds: Is […]

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Religion | Politics

Glenn Greenwald Still Doesn’t Get Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo is at the center of controversy — again. The latest fracas swirls around the illustration which depicts flooding in Houston and comes with the caption: “God exists. He drowned all the Neo-Nazis of Texas.” To provide commentary on the matter, Glenn Greenwald, a consistent critic of the journal, recently released an article titled “Charlie Hebdo […]

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Culture | Media

A Cartoon to Ease Your Existential Dread

— Some spoilers for Rick and Morty — I first realized how good we are at pushing away the insignificance of our existence while creating a PowerPoint at 2:30 a.m. in a second-floor office in New York City with my colleague. I paused and mentioned to her then: “Is this what you want to be doing?” hinting, vaguely, at […]

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Features

In Defense of the Google Manifesto

James Damore, the Google employee who wrote the viral Google manifesto, was fired yesterday for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” From the various reactions I’ve read, you would think Damore wrote the next iteration of Mein Kampf. Gizmodo labelled it an “anti-diversity screed.” Mashable called it a “racist/sexist manifesto” when reporting that the author’s identity had been revealed. Tweetstorms were fashionable, with […]

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Review

15 Years Later, Why Do We Still Believe in the Blank Slate?

On Twitter, I once saw a cultural anthropologist refer to Steven Pinker’s toenails as “magical” when accosting an evolutionary psychologist who had angered him. Some time later, on another scroll session, I saw a sociologist and gender/ masculinity/ post-colonial theorist very politely say to another professor: “Hi Diana, I remember discussing my view that Evolutionary […]

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Features

My Stealthy Freedom: The Hijab in Iran and in the West

In 1979, after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, more than a hundred thousand woman took to the streets to protest the compulsory veiling that was to be enforced under the new Khomeini regime. Mothers, nurses, and students — women from all walks of life — gathered to voice their displeasure at the new policy. But the […]

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Features

The Sam Harris Outrage Industry

It started for me (and for many) with the angry words frothing out from above that famous cleft-chin. The one which now resides — at least cinematically — under Batman’s cowl. A quiet atheist and new to the movement, I saw and heard many grumblings about Sam Harris’ tussle with Ben Affleck on Real Time with […]

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Culture | Media, Religion | Politics

No, Tucker Carlson — You’re Wrong

You see it very often now. Some imbecilic professor or student says or writes something beyond the bounds of sanity and the conservative media machine jumps into action. Campus Reform, The College Fix, and Fox News’ Campus Craziness all capitalize. The latest iteration? Trinity College professor of sociology Johnny Williams’ Facebook posts on June 18th calling for the confrontation of […]

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Culture | Media

Skepticism, Salon, and Gender Studies

James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian’s “Conceptual Penis” article in Cogent has split the skeptic community into two broadly opposing factions. Generally, one claims that the hoax does not prove anything except the ingrained prejudices of the authors while the other finds that it has struck a blow to the field of gender studies to […]

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Review

Mumbo Jumbo Has Conquered the World

Post-truth, post-fact, post-reality. You don’t need a lengthy introduction on the state of the world. You just need to take a look around: A man who wavers between imbecile and potential despot sits in the highest office of the land; the far-Left in the academy enjoys titillating itself with concepts of postmodernity; the GOP engages in […]

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