The “Intellectual Dark Web” Trilogy

The so-called “Intellectual Dark Web” has taken the web by storm. Fortunately, we at the Vim are here with some quality content about the group. (In our view, quality content about the IDW is in short supply.)

Part I

In this first of the series by Dylan and Zach, we start with the basics:

– What is this group?
– What unites them?
– What makes them intellectual?
– What makes them dark? (Ok, we don’t really discuss this.)

We focus mainly on Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson. In the following episodes, we get more specific.

1:35 – Intro- the Bari Weiss Article
2:40- Prolegomenon
3:30- What is this group? What do they say about themselves? Their political views?
13:35 – Who is Sam Harris?
16:05- Who is Jordan Peterson
19:50- What do philosophers think of these guys?
23:15- the Kate Manne incident and the tribalism of the IDW/academic philosopher divide
29:10- Is the IDW willing to talk about their disagreements? And the importance of ‘civility’
34:16- the economic incentives driving the IDW
36:30- the politics of civility/the performance of civility
39:20 – what they DON’T talk about
41:00- Is it all political!?
42:45- A posteriori superergatory deductions


Part II

In this episode, Dylan makes his case that Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris (the IDW’s biggest names) are fundamentally different types of thinkers. That is a strong claim because it means that they shouldn’t be members of the same group.

The case comes in two waves. First, Dylan discusses some specific points from a couple debates between Harris and Peterson. Then, once we have a test case in hand, Dylan moves on to give his reasons: Harris and Peterson have fundamentally different types of intellectual attitudes.

The episode is for two groups:
1. Philosophers who hate Harris and Peterson indiscriminately (*cough* philosophers…)
2. Adoring fans of Harris and Peterson (but mostly Peterson)

The episode is based on Dylan’s article.

See the Atlantic article on the beef diet.


Part III

The trilogy is complete! In this episode, Zach makes his case that Sam Harris’ attitude on racism is hypocritical. Zach thinks that Harris’ critique of religious moderates should lead him, by the same logic, to critique people with moderate attitudes on racism (like Harris himself). Big if true, surely.

The episode is based on Zach’s article called “Wake Up, Sam Harris.”

See the hypocrisy episodes.


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