Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

I Don't Speak German

May 9, 2021

In this bumper edition, we begin a projected trilogy of episodes on James Lindsay, Twitter's favourite anti-Critical Race Theory obsessive and bullying prick. 

This time, we track the earlier part of James' career as a professional reactionary, leading up to the embarassing 'Conceptual Penis hoax' of which James still seems inexplicably proud. 

Daniel demonstrates (to a Jack still groggy from all the AstraZeneca nanobots coursing through his brain) that James was pretty much always the obnoxious douchebag he is now, but simply needed to learn through experience (of being called on his bullshit) how to successfully present his obnoxious douchebaggery as a profound quest to save Western civilisation from standpoint epistemology or something.

Content Warnings.


Podcast Notes:

Please consider donating to help us make the show and stay independent.  Patrons get exclusive access to one full extra episode a month.

Daniel's Patreon:

Jack's Patreon:

IDSG Twitter:

Daniel's Twitter: @danieleharper

Jack's Twitter: @_Jack_Graham_

IDSG on Apple Podcasts:


Show Notes:

James Lindsay [Twitter]

James Lindsay [Wikipedia]

James Lindsay's PhD Dissertation, [Combinatorial Unification of Binomial-Like Arrays]

Joe Rogan - Exposing Social Justice with Peter Boghossian & James Lindsay

CPAC 2021: James Lindsay on How Critical Theories Work to 'Tear Apart' the Values of America 

Serious Inquiries Only (formerly Atheistically Speaking)

AS83, Category 5 Shitstorms, with James Lindsay

AS84, James LIndsay Part Two

Peter Boghossian "Proud of Being Gay" [Tweet]

James Lindsay, [Not Pride and Not Prejudice: Is "Pride" Right for Uses Like "Gay Pride?"]

"Knowing him, and having bothered to discuss it with him more thoroughly, Peter's point is that the term "pride" carries certain meanings (here: in reference to achievement, in particular) that may make it somewhat inappropriate to apply to a concept like "gay pride." As he has done in the past--controversially with groups wedded to certain other terms and ideas connected with them--he has asked for a disambiguation of the term "pride" in this context. Perhaps unsurprisingly, though for some legitimate reasons, there was a rather substantial blowback to his request to carefully consider the terminology being employed as dispassionately as possible."

Greta Christina, [Peter Boghossian, and What Gay Pride Actually Means]

"Okay. Fine. As a fully licensed and registered LGBT person, I will spell out to Peter Boghossian what, exactly, “gay pride” means. (Actually, to be precise, I will point out what “LGBT pride” means.)

"LGBT pride does not mean being proud of having been born lesbian, gay, bisexual, or trans.

"It means being proud of having survived.

"It means being proud of living in a homophobic, biphobic, transphobic society — a society that commonly treats us with contempt at best and violent hatred at worst — and still getting on with our lives. It means being proud of flourishing, in a society that commonly thinks we’re broken. It means being proud of being happy, in a society that commonly thinks we should be miserable. It means being proud of being good and compassionate, in a society that commonly thinks we’re wicked. It means being proud of fighting for our rights and the rights of others like us, in a society that commonly thinks we should lie down and let ourselves get walked on — or that thinks we should be grateful for crumbs and not ask for more. It means being proud of retaining our dignity, in a society that commonly treats us as laughing-stocks. It means being proud of loving our sexuality and our bodies, in a society that commonly thinks our sexuality and our bodies are disgusting. It means being proud of staying alive, in a society that commonly beats us down and wants us dead."

AS191: Everybody Is Wrong About God, with James Lindsay

AS192: Everybody Is Wrong About God, Part 2

David Chivers, ["Book Review: James A. Lindsay's Everybody is Wrong About God"]

"Given that Lindsay feels most people don’t intellectually believe in God anymore, his next main inquiry is an exploration of what people do mean when they say they “believe” in God. He argues that most of these people are actually articulating a more subtle need for community, comfort, and a set of morals, which they then equate with God. God is the embodiment of their ideas on what makes a good life. But once personified, they confuse their ideas of what makes for a good life with the actual individual they have created and then stubbornly argue for the existence of the said character, i.e. “God.”

"Lindsay calls on atheists to recognize this phenomenon and change their arguments accordingly, addressing the needs that God personifies for the person rather than the actual belief in God. This is the next step of “post-theism.” Society must find ways to fulfill those needs in a secular way. Once those needs are addressed and met in those other ways, the need for “God” will quickly and naturally fall away."

AS237: James Lindsay and Eli Bosnick on Social Justice

AS238: Eli and James, Part 2

AS239: Eli and James on Trigger Warnings

Crisis and Trigger Warnings: Reflections on Legal Education and the Social Value of the Law

"Abstract: In the same moment that law schools are embracing neoliberal strategies in response to the economic crisis caused by declining admissions, students in the classroom have begun to agitate for advance content notices (or “trigger warnings”) to alert them to any potentially trauma-inducing course materials. For faculty who have already adopted a defensive posture in response to threats to eliminate tenure, this demand feels like an additional assault on academic freedom; one that reflects a distressing student-as-consumer mentality. From this vantage point, students are too easily cast as another group of adversaries when, in actuality, students are straw targets who have little power compared to the real threat—the unchecked corporatization of legal education. This essay attempts to redirect faculty outrage back to the proper mark by decoupling the trigger-warning movement from the broader phenomenon of the neoliberal law school. It presents an alternate reading of trigger-warning mandates: as a student critique of legal pedagogy that demands access and opportunity for all students to fully engage in classroom discussions that can be difficult and are often painful. Trigger warnings give lie to the myth that law is based on dispassionate and objective legal analysis. Seen this way, trigger warnings invite students to become partners in the production of knowledge, while allowing faculty to maintain intellectually rigorous classroom environments. Faculty cannot afford to view students as antagonists. Instead, students should be enlisted as allies in our efforts to challenge the orthodoxy of market-based solutions to the legal education crisis."

Katie J.M. Baker, "Teaching Rape Law in the Age of the Trigger Warning."

"You're in a Harvard Law classroom, which is supposed to be this advanced, high-minded environment, and when we got to rape, the conversation totally devolved into bullshit," one Harvard Law graduate said. "I don't need to pay Harvard tuition to hear men be dumbasses."

"Criminal law is a required class, so even students who want to practice tax law or litigate intellectual property cases must participate in "rape week." It also means that professors who aren't necessarily experts in the field sometimes teach it. For many students, that's where the problems start.

"Some hate when professors insist on using the Socratic method, a common law school teaching practice in which students are cold-called and mercilessly questioned, because a rape survivor might have to argue an accused rapist's case. Others don't understand why professors engage with students who make insensitive remarks about victims such as "What if she looked older than 12?" or "Is it still rape if it wasn't consensual but he really thought it was?" instead of shutting them down. Some law students even told BuzzFeed News that they chose to skip their "rape week" classes completely rather than seethe in silence."

AS296: Life in the Light of Death, with James Lindsay

SIO44: Debunking the Conceptual Penis Stunt with Eli Bosnick

SIO45: James Lindsay, Co-Author of the ‘Conceptual Penis’ Hoax Paper

Very Bad Wizards

VBW Episode 116: Pain, Pleasure, and Peer-Reviewed Penises

VBW Episode 118: We Don't Love Them Hoax

The conceptual penis as a social construct

"We conclude that penises are not best understood as the male sexual organ, or as a male reproductive organ, but instead as an enacted social construct that is both damaging and problematic for society and future generations. The conceptual penis presents significant problems for gender identity and reproductive identity within social and family dynamics, is exclusionary to disenfranchised communities based upon gender or reproductive identity, is an enduring source of abuse for women and other gender-marginalized groups and individuals, is the universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change.

"An explicit isomorphic relationship exists between the conceptual penis and the most problematic themes in toxic masculinity, and that relationship is mediated by the machismo braggadocio aspect of male hypermasculine thought and performance. A change in our discourses in science, technol-ogy, policy, economics, society, and various communities is needed to protect marginalized groups, promote the advancement of women, trans, and gender-queer individuals (including non-gendered and gender-skeptical people), and to remedy environmental impacts that follow from climate change driven by capitalist and neocapitalist overreliance on hypermasculine themes and exploitative utilization of fossil fuels."

Skeptic Magazine [writeup]

"Assuming the pen names “Jamie Lindsay” and “Peter Boyle,” and writing for the fictitious “Southeast Independent Social Research Group,” we wrote an absurd paper loosely composed in the style of post-structuralist discursive gender theory. The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn’t be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions. We made no attempt to find out what “post-structuralist discursive gender theory” actually means. We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal."

Charmaine Chua, The Slow Boat to China

"The captain tells me that the Ever Cthulhu, like all other ships, never stops for a break. It continues traversing the globe’s surface in 45-day rotations, reaching one end of its route and turning around almost immediately. Container ships are monuments that move, and 100, 000 of them ply the oceans at any given moment. In 2014, the Ever Cthulhu traveled a total of 103,000 sea miles — halfway to the moon. All that distance, all that steel, all that power. Yet, even ships as large as these require very little human labor: a few seamen to navigate, engineers to monitor the ship’s internal workings, others to keep watch, clean, fit, change the oil. The Ever Cthulhu itself has a crew of 22 men – four German, one Polish, seventeen Filipino, and one passenger: myself. Across the world’s ocean, 1.5 million invisible seafarers toil on three to nine month contracts to bind the world together through trade, though they remain, for the most part, isolated in their cabins and mess rooms, retained on precarious short-term contracts, and kept away from their families – indeed, from most of the world. The third mate, a young Filipino, tells me that all his sacrifices are worth it for a salary that pays much more than he could possibly hope for on land. In some sense then, as a container of both aspiration and drudgery, one might think of the ship more as a space than an object; a floating island of both hard labor and the possibility of better futures.

"This trans-pacific passage is of particular interest to me because it is by far North America’s largest trade lane, and accounts for nearly twenty million TEUs in U.S. trade alone. This U.S.-China market is dominated by large U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot – companies notorious for cutting labor costs by using the enhanced mobility of labor to shift work to third parties, erecting cruel hierarchies in both their Chinese factories and U.S. stores. Transoceanic shipping is, in large part, responsible for these widening inequalities: since shipping operates beyond the territorial spaces governed by labor regulations, it allows corporations to do away with the hard-fought democratic and labor rights struggled for and earned within local labor contexts. The internationalization of the supply chain, in other words, is aided by increasing innovations in the speed and efficiency of the shipping market. As a result, circulation has been folded into the production process, becoming a field of experimentation for value-generation in its own right. Of course, there are highly uneven aspects to this story of logistics. Even as members of the International Longshore and Workers Union [negotiate their contract under embattled circumstances]( on the west coast of North America, indentured truck drivers [struggle against overwhelming legal barriers]( to unionization in Oakland and LA, port workers in mushrooming Chinese ports can scarcely dream of ILWU wages or safeguards, and factory workers around the world toil under the poverty line. The world of logistics looks very different indeed from the perspective of Taiwan, California, or the Ocean."


You're Wrong About podcast on Political Correctness:

Samuel Hoadley-Brill on James Lindsay and CRT: