< 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›
 
   
 

#123- Identity & Honesty A Conversation with Ezra Klein

 
GRMasson
 
Avatar
 
 
GRMasson
Total Posts:  5
Joined  16-06-2017
 
 
 
09 April 2018 10:24
 

I would suggest skipping to 01:33. The 90 minutes before that is a painful listen. An actual conversation begins at 01:33. It ends again at 01:37 when they start talking about the 1700s. Ezra is erudite, articulate but deathly dull.

The debate is whether Murray is capable of presenting data in ‘good faith’. Sam believes that Murray is capable of producing high-quality data and that we can view that data in a vacuum. Harris views Murray as unfairly maligned for revealing scientific unbiased facts. Harris views Murray as a scientist with political interests.

Ezra believes that Murray is incapable of acting in good faith due to his entrenched conservative views. Ezra believes he is sounding the alarm around pseudoscience used to justify racist policy. Ezra views Murray as a political actor who uses scientific evidence to fit his agenda.

Ezra actually states the main crux of their argument at 01:33 with “We disagree agree with what a reasonable extrapolation of the data is”. Here Ezra thinks that the extrapolation of the data is the be reflective and see who is pushing their agenda with some selective data. Sam thinks his extrapolation is to see this as ‘forbidden knowledge’, but given the nature of an egalitarian society. it shouldn’t alter policy. Both

Sam’s hypothetical example of hoarding behaviour genes being discovered in Jews (01:43) is not a perfect parallel to Murray’s position because his hypothetical messenger is some blemish-free apolitical scientist. He hasn’t got that in Murray, and his inability to see that is becoming a huge blind spot.

Sam needs to take a hiatus and to distance himself from Ruben Report crowd - he’s been infected with a victim complex. Ezra actually hits the nail on the nose at 01:56.

Go back to what he did well. Have conversations with unique minds about meditation, science, consciousness and religion. He may not get as many clicks or pageviews, but he might say something interesting over the course of two hours.

 
czrpb
 
Avatar
 
 
czrpb
Total Posts:  126
Joined  17-11-2006
 
 
 
09 April 2018 10:27
 
LordranBound - 09 April 2018 10:03 AM
czrpb - 09 April 2018 09:49 AM

If you are correct what do you propose we do about it?  Suppressing speech and/or thought, or shaming people for speaking about truth (assuming that it is just that) tends to have the opposite effect of what I assume you want.

Excellent, thx! I think both of those would suck.

Basically here is what I would do in such a discussion: I would simply assert/agree to the existence of population differences in IQ. The discussion would be over in about 1min.

But, I would then ask: Now what do you want to do with that data? If I were to have a long discussion on this topic, this is where I would want to have it.

Any of that make sense?

That would be great!  But I don’t think most people feel that way.  Ezra certainly seems not to.  The reason Sam had Murray on his podcast wasn’t to talk about race and IQ, it was to talk about how he was treated for discussing it.

Agreed!! Thx!

 
czrpb
 
Avatar
 
 
czrpb
Total Posts:  126
Joined  17-11-2006
 
 
 
09 April 2018 10:40
 
GRMasson - 09 April 2018 10:24 AM

The debate is whether Murray is capable of presenting data in ‘good faith’.

I dont think this is the debate Sam thinks or meant to have. I think he is very worried about the “left” not owning up to facts. I have some sympathy with that.

But, I also (as mentioned in previous posts) dont think there is a way to have separate discussions, or any of real substance. Ezra needs to quickly move past the genetic truth debate and hammer home problems that can happen when using genetics as a basis for policy.

 
Trumanhw
 
Avatar
 
 
Trumanhw
Total Posts:  5
Joined  14-03-2014
 
 
 
09 April 2018 10:47
 
Gamril - 09 April 2018 07:46 AM

Well that was a waste of time…  relatively cordial but didn’t see either side really coming out ahead just restating positions over and over.  It would be more interesting to get some scientists on to talk about the data.

He wasn’t reasoned in to his dogmatic “ought” position; all we were going to get were his (very intelligent) justifications for [his] religion. He did basically admit that “Sam was only looking at the data—and the tables.” This concedes the point Sam was arguing. Aka, IS THIS THE CASE? Is this the present fact? And Ezra, rather than affirming that it is a fact, interjects a hypothesis he has that if we wait longer and see the world through the lens of not justice, but “social justice” ... that in 1,000 or 10,000 years past slavery, dedicated to discriminating against white’s scholastically, asian nor not, that one day—the ineffective SAT padding will pay off—and blacks will be IDENTICAL to ...? whites? Asians? Ashkenazi jews? Who knows? He don’t assert the entirety of his hypothesis. But if he did, it might advocate intentionally lowering the IQ of others in the pursuit of equality. Concisely; he can’t emotionally separate what he wants to be true, from what the data says.

We have an entire PLANET from which to confirm or falsify Ezra’s hypothesis. Use wikipedia’s “IQ by Country” list—and evaluate it for yourself. 
- What country or region has the HIGHEST performing blacks on IQ tests
- If you sort countries by IQ, ALL of the last entries are black countries; CONTIGUOUSLY. If it’s not genetic, why is the dominican grouped with African averages?
- As Sam pointed out—if race is a social construct of a meaningless superficial trait—why have all gold medals for 40+ years been awarded to blacks?
- If slavery and racism make IQ performance worse—why do U.S. blacks do better on IQ tests than those from Canada, which didn’t have slaver7
- If US slavery is deleterious,—why is it South African black development, having escaped the legacy of slavery comprise the LOWEST, EXCLUSIVELY black “dominance?”
- Is there ANY black-population which has higher IQ scores than those of the US’ “Inter-raced blacks” - perhaps alone explaining the US-black-IQ advantage..?

Seriously—how DID slavery and racism make American blacks—globally, [the] smartest?
Why do countries which NEVER had slavery (Canada for instance) have the same rates of black violence, xeVRIMIunemployment, and more importantly, their IQs
Why do BLACK ISLANDS—far from Africa—score identically to those of black AFRICANS

How can Ezra KNOW it’s not genetics—and—yet simultaneously, be certain it’s explained by racism?
explained by a racist interpretation. Yet, we still engage in discrimination.

Gamril - 09 April 2018 07:46 AM

Well that was a waste of time…  relatively cordial but didn’t see either side really coming out ahead just restating positions over and over.  It would be more interesting to get some scientists on to talk about the data.

He wasn’t reasoned in to his dogmatic “ought” position; all we were going to get were his (very intelligent) justifications for [his] religion. He did basically admit that “Sam was only looking at the data—and the tables.” This concedes the point Sam was arguing. Aka, IS THIS THE CASE? Is this the present fact? And Ezra, rather than affirming that it is a fact, interjects a hypothesis he has that if we wait longer and see the world through the lens of not justice, but “social justice” ... that in 1,000 or 10,000 years past slavery, dedicated to discriminating against white’s scholastically, asian nor not, that one day—the ineffective SAT padding will pay off—and blacks will be IDENTICAL to ...? whites? Asians? Ashkenazi jews? Who knows? He don’t assert the entirety of his hypothesis. But if he did, it might advocate intentionally lowering the IQ of others in the pursuit of equality. Concisely; he can’t emotionally separate what he wants to be true, from what the data says.

We have an entire PLANET from which to confirm or falsify Ezra’s hypothesis. Use wikipedia’s “IQ by Country” list—and evaluate it for yourself. 
- What country or region has the HIGHEST performing blacks on IQ tests
- If you sort countries by IQ, ALL of the last entries are black countries; CONTIGUOUSLY. If it’s not genetic, why is the dominican grouped with African averages?
- As Sam pointed out—if race is a social construct of a meaningless superficial trait—why have all gold medals for 40+ years been awarded to blacks?
- If slavery and racism make IQ performance worse—why do U.S. blacks do better on IQ tests than those from Canada, which didn’t have slaver7
- If US slavery is deleterious,—why is it South African black development, having escaped the legacy of slavery comprise the LOWEST, EXCLUSIVELY black “dominance?”
- Is there ANY black-population which has higher IQ scores than those of the US’ “Inter-raced blacks” - perhaps alone explaining the US-black-IQ advantage..?

Seriously—how DID slavery and racism make American blacks—globally, [the] smartest?
Why do countries which NEVER had slavery (Canada for instance) have the same rates of black violence, xeVRIMIunemployment, and more importantly, their IQs
Why do BLACK ISLANDS—far from Africa—score identically to those of black AFRICANS

How can Ezra KNOW it’s not genetics—and—yet simultaneously, be certain it’s explained by racism?
explained by a racist interpretation. Yet, we still engage in discrimination.

 
Libertarian
 
Avatar
 
 
Libertarian
Total Posts:  221
Joined  26-03-2018
 
 
 
09 April 2018 11:05
 
Gamril - 09 April 2018 08:56 AM
tik - 09 April 2018 08:47 AM

It seemed that Ezra kept saying something like: “no no, you don’t in fact think what you’re saying you think - let me explain to you what you think.” You think you’re arguing for one idea but in fact you’re argument is motivated by your intellectual tribalism .

Uh they both were saying that…  Your tribalism/bias will cause you think that only one side is doing it because you agree with that side.  But they were both doing the exact same thing which is why the podcast was so frustrating.

Sam is maybe the least tribalistic and least biased person I can think of off hand. He doesn’t even embrace the term atheist even though he admits he is one.

 
Libertarian
 
Avatar
 
 
Libertarian
Total Posts:  221
Joined  26-03-2018
 
 
 
09 April 2018 11:08
 
czrpb - 09 April 2018 10:40 AM
GRMasson - 09 April 2018 10:24 AM

The debate is whether Murray is capable of presenting data in ‘good faith’.

I dont think this is the debate Sam thinks or meant to have. I think he is very worried about the “left” not owning up to facts. I have some sympathy with that.

But, I also (as mentioned in previous posts) dont think there is a way to have separate discussions, or any of real substance. Ezra needs to quickly move past the genetic truth debate and hammer home problems that can happen when using genetics as a basis for policy.

If races have different genetic IQ on average why would you use affirmative action to remove hiring outcome differences on racial lines?

 
CausticMango
 
Avatar
 
 
CausticMango
Total Posts:  7
Joined  09-04-2018
 
 
 
09 April 2018 11:09
 

I don’t know if Sam Harris reads these forums, but I want to thank him for posting this episode. I think it took some bravery to open up they both did in public.

I really hope Sam will listen back to this episode after a some time has passed, because there was a lot that Ezra said I think he should hear once he has a little emotional distance.

My initial reaction was that Ezra *roundly* defeated him, though really this was not a debate. It was two people trying hard reach across a gap in perspective and Sam just couldn’t see anything but an enemy. Even though I look up to Sam and find that I tend to agree with him more often than not, I do often find Sam’s desire for a dispassionate intellectually pure reasoning pushing him to what I can only call a sometimes too simplistic narrative that too often slots into an illiberal perspective at odds with the more messy real world. At the risk of making an unintentionally insulting analogy, it’s almost like watching an earnest young man read Rand for the first time, being swayed little by little to objectivism.

I don’t know much about Ezra, but in the episode he made his case very well, I felt. I think his characterization of Sam’s position on the criticism and on “identity politics” valid and well argued. I also think Ezra was correct about Sam’s unwillingness to recognize the connection between the admittedly valid empirical data Murray presented from the much greater social and political context the discussion takes place. (It may be true there is a real, measurable genetic mechanism that mediates differences in IQ capacity between groups, but Sam’s unwillingness or inability to recognize that American society in particular is not place where that can be in any way useful is frustrating and worrisome.)

I fear that Sam is being pushed little by little into a rhetorical and intellectual “corner” that will unfairly align him with people he has no real affinity with.

I hope this point of view doesn’t make me a pariah here, but was genuinely moved by the episode to post.

 
Libertarian
 
Avatar
 
 
Libertarian
Total Posts:  221
Joined  26-03-2018
 
 
 
09 April 2018 11:14
 
CausticMango - 09 April 2018 11:09 AM

I don’t know if Sam Harris reads these forums, but I want to thank him for posting this episode. I think it took some bravery to open up they both did in public.

I really hope Sam will listen back to this episode after a some time has passed, because there was a lot that Ezra said I think he should hear once he has a little emotional distance.

My initial reaction was that Ezra *roundly* defeated him, though really this was not a debate. It was two people trying hard reach across a gap in perspective and Sam just couldn’t see anything but an enemy. Even though I look up to Sam and find that I tend to agree with him more often than not, I do often find Sam’s desire for a dispassionate intellectually pure reasoning pushing him to what I can only call a sometimes too simplistic narrative that too often slots into an illiberal perspective at odds with the more messy real world. At the risk of making an unintentionally insulting analogy, it’s almost like watching an earnest young man read Rand for the first time, being swayed little by little to objectivism.

I don’t know much about Ezra, but in the episode he made his case very well, I felt. I think his characterization of Sam’s position on the criticism and on “identity politics” valid and well argued. I also think Ezra was correct about Sam’s unwillingness to recognize the connection between the admittedly valid empirical data Murray presented from the much greater social and political context the discussion takes place. (It may be true there is a real, measurable genetic mechanism that mediates differences in IQ capacity between groups, but Sam’s unwillingness or inability to recognize that American society in particular is not place where that can be in any way useful is frustrating and worrisome.)

I fear that Sam is being pushed little by little into a rhetorical and intellectual “corner” that will unfairly align him with people he has no real affinity with.

I hope this point of view doesn’t make me a pariah here, but was genuinely moved by the episode to post.

I’m saddened to say that I actually think many people will agree with you, Ezra virtue signaled in all the right ways and made many references to racism being really bad and the fact that Sam and he were white men who shouldn’t be speaking about the issues of black people. Many on the left will find this sort of language completely compelling, it saddens me that my old team is so unaware of it’s emotional biases that it cannot see or admit truth.

 
GDKOpinionator
 
Avatar
 
 
GDKOpinionator
Total Posts:  25
Joined  25-08-2016
 
 
 
09 April 2018 11:23
 

So, to sum up:
- Sam wants to talk about the specifics of the science.
- Ezra feels that talking about the specifics of the science without a full discussion of the historical context is wrong.

...and around and around we go for 2.5 uncomfortable hours.

In the end, it seems that both men believe in free speech, but have very different views of what is responsible speech.  In the end, it is not up to them, but up to the listener.  I am an educated man, and I don’t need either Sam or Ezra to “explain” things to me.  They should be less interested in this, than they should be in helping people develop critical thinking skills.  A critical thinker would be able to separate discussion of science from discussion of public policy.  A critical thinker would be able to discern honest dissent, from libelous attacks.

Both of these men are judging each other largely upon the company they keep:  Harris judges Klein based upon retweets by Aslan and Greenwald.  Klein judges Harris based upon Murray’s policy positions.  Perhaps Sam and Ezra should have a conversation without Aslan, Greenwald and Murray being a part of it…

 
Mkay
 
Avatar
 
 
Mkay
Total Posts:  8
Joined  27-10-2017
 
 
 
09 April 2018 11:41
 

this was tough to listen to indeed. Ezra managed create a persona that sounded reasonable and friendly for the most part, but there were a few instances in the end were the mask crumbled. most visible at the 2 hour mark, during his efforts to frame Sams argument regarding the lack of jewish gold medalists as relativizing and equating that fact with the suffering of blacks and their consequent poor performance on IQ tests.
bad faith strawman right there. of course there`s the possibility that his intellectual capacities got impeded by his emotional reaction to scientific facts, but I`m not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

the good thing is: if Sam is patient enough, in a couple of years when Ezra gets into the crosshairs of these highly unstable and cannibalistic tribal structures (possibly for sexual misconduct or not apologizing fast enough for a stupid joke at a party) they will have a laugh about this time of ideological misguidance and intellectual dishonesty. at least that`s my dream wink

 
LordranBound
 
Avatar
 
 
LordranBound
Total Posts:  18
Joined  28-12-2012
 
 
 
09 April 2018 11:42
 
GDKOpinionator - 09 April 2018 11:23 AM

So, to sum up:
- Sam wants to talk about the specifics of the science.
- Ezra feels that talking about the specifics of the science without a full discussion of the historical context is wrong.

...and around and around we go for 2.5 uncomfortable hours.

In the end, it seems that both men believe in free speech, but have very different views of what is responsible speech.  In the end, it is not up to them, but up to the listener.  I am an educated man, and I don’t need either Sam or Ezra to “explain” things to me.  They should be less interested in this, than they should be in helping people develop critical thinking skills.  A critical thinker would be able to separate discussion of science from discussion of public policy.  A critical thinker would be able to discern honest dissent, from libelous attacks.

Both of these men are judging each other largely upon the company they keep:  Harris judges Klein based upon retweets by Aslan and Greenwald.  Klein judges Harris based upon Murray’s policy positions.  Perhaps Sam and Ezra should have a conversation without Aslan, Greenwald and Murray being a part of it…

Very well said.

 
Selfish Jeans
 
Avatar
 
 
Selfish Jeans
Total Posts:  5
Joined  26-05-2017
 
 
 
09 April 2018 12:16
 

Kudos to Sam and Ezra for having this conversation.  Just a glance at twitter looks like the major camps are digging their respective heels in the ground.  While they both seemed to talk past each other ~80% of the time, I think the discussion wasn’t a waste of time.  Although I do think they both made a good faith effort to see the other’s point of view, each are heavily invested in their own point of view.  Basically EK does not have the scientific expertise to make statements like “I don’t think the data are compelling”.  I don’t think any amount of data or evidence will be compelling enough for him.  It is clear that SH wants to interpret the scientific data in a vacuum separated from social influence, etc.  Unfortunately, with respect to this topic that is impossible.  Any discussion of race in the context of science has to be couched with caveats and endless apologies/declarations of no interest in the matters at hand.  Having said all this, EK was better equipped to potentially see that Charles Murray may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  I am not convinced of this notion (but maybe more so than at the beginning of the conversation).

Anyway this conversation demonstrates that brilliant people can talk to each other about sensitive and controversial topics in a thought out, but not necessarily a convincing manner.  Also, now I know who John van Neumann is.

[ Edited: 09 April 2018 12:23 by Selfish Jeans]
 
czrpb
 
Avatar
 
 
czrpb
Total Posts:  126
Joined  17-11-2006
 
 
 
09 April 2018 12:23
 
Libertarian - 09 April 2018 11:08 AM
czrpb - 09 April 2018 10:40 AM
GRMasson - 09 April 2018 10:24 AM

The debate is whether Murray is capable of presenting data in ‘good faith’.

I dont think this is the debate Sam thinks or meant to have. I think he is very worried about the “left” not owning up to facts. I have some sympathy with that.

But, I also (as mentioned in previous posts) dont think there is a way to have separate discussions, or any of real substance. Ezra needs to quickly move past the genetic truth debate and hammer home problems that can happen when using genetics as a basis for policy.

If races have different genetic IQ on average why would you use affirmative action to remove hiring outcome differences on racial lines?

Hi! Two possible reasons:

1.  To address the non-genetic component
2.  Because its the outcome I want! smile

Thoughts?

 

 
CausticMango
 
Avatar
 
 
CausticMango
Total Posts:  7
Joined  09-04-2018
 
 
 
09 April 2018 12:23
 
Libertarian - 09 April 2018 11:14 AM

... Ezra virtue signaled in all the right ways ...

I had to lookup “virtue signaling” to be sure what you meant, but whether Ezra was just performing to his audience to curry favor or being honest, I can’t say. To me it’s irrelevant because I found what he was saying to be relevant and compelling. Specifically, I think Ezra was correct when he said:

1. Sam does come across as blind to being guilty of what he accuses others of being (someone else in the thread said it, he is tending to see himself as the victim too often, especially in this case).
2. Sam is not recognizing that he is playing “identity politics” almost as much as those he criticizes & that accusing people of “playing identify politics” sounds, even to a fan of his, like he’s just shutting them down.
3. There is validity to considering “identity”, especially for disadvantaged groups. It is far too early to want society to be blind to it.

There were other points I think Ezra had that were valid. I’m not trying to say Ezra is blameless or is right about everything, but in this case I do hope that Sam may be able to reflect on what I believe are valid and just critiques.

It would be useful to hear him speak with more clarity on this subject of “identity politics” because I think maybe he comes across the wrong way.

Libertarian - 09 April 2018 11:14 AM

... that Sam and he were white men who shouldn’t be speaking about the issues of black people ...

I don’t recall Ezra saying that (though he may have in the discussion or elsewhere in print), but as a white man myself who is part of a mixed race family, we do need the humility to step back and recognize that we actually do not understand what it is to be black in America and nobody owes it to us to hear our perspective on it.

Is it hard to hear sometimes, but I do think our voices are over represented and it’s time to speak less and listen more, especially on matters of race and gender.


You say is makes you sad ... what do you feel is being lost? I’m genuinely curious.

 
czrpb
 
Avatar
 
 
czrpb
Total Posts:  126
Joined  17-11-2006
 
 
 
09 April 2018 12:39
 
CausticMango - 09 April 2018 12:23 PM
Libertarian - 09 April 2018 11:14 AM

... Ezra virtue signaled in all the right ways ...

I had to lookup “virtue signaling” to be sure what you meant, but whether Ezra was just performing to his audience to curry favor or being honest, I can’t say. To me it’s irrelevant because I found what he was saying to be relevant and compelling. Specifically, I think Ezra was correct when he said:

1. Sam does come across as blind to being guilty of what he accuses others of being (someone else in the thread said it, he is tending to see himself as the victim too often, especially in this case).
2. Sam is not recognizing that he is playing “identity politics” almost as much as those he criticizes & that accusing people of “playing identify politics” sounds, even to a fan of his, like he’s just shutting them down.
3. There is validity to considering “identity”, especially for disadvantaged groups. It is far too early to want society to be blind to it.

There were other points I think Ezra had that were valid. I’m not trying to say Ezra is blameless or is right about everything, but in this case I do hope that Sam may be able to reflect on what I believe are valid and just critiques.

It would be useful to hear him speak with more clarity on this subject of “identity politics” because I think maybe he comes across the wrong way.

Libertarian - 09 April 2018 11:14 AM

... that Sam and he were white men who shouldn’t be speaking about the issues of black people ...

I don’t recall Ezra saying that (though he may have in the discussion or elsewhere in print), but as a white man myself who is part of a mixed race family, we do need the humility to step back and recognize that we actually do not understand what it is to be black in America and nobody owes it to us to hear our perspective on it.

Is it hard to hear sometimes, but I do think our voices are over represented and it’s time to speak less and listen more, especially on matters of race and gender.


You say is makes you sad ... what do you feel is being lost? I’m genuinely curious.

Agreed, I dont really understand either.

I do wonder at this point if accusations of “virtue signaling” is itself “virtue signaling”!?? wink I prefer to just assume initially that people mean what they say.

 
 < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›