Who’s Afraid Of The “Intellectual Dark Web”?

I have been meaning to comment on the sound and fury about Bari Weiss’New York Times piece on the “Intellectual Dark Web,” an informal network of “heretics” and “renegades” who dissent from various progressive orthodoxies and are often sidelined by the academic and media establishment. (The term, coined by mathematician and Thiel Capital managing director Eric Weinstein, is semi-facetious.)

I don’t know if I should consider myself a Dark Webizen. I’ve written for Quillette, mentioned in Weiss’ article as part of the IDW — a smart publication committed to genuine intellectual pluralism. I’ve also been a guest on the IDW-identified Dave Rubin show on YouTube, of which I take a considerably dimmer view these days. I share the IDW’s distaste for identity politics, “political correction,” and the “Oppression Olympics.” But I’m wary of cliques and intellectual ghettos, and I don’t consider myself exiled or self-exiled from the mainstream, even if my views on many issues consign me to its margins. On some things, I’m a probably fellow traveler of the IDW; on other things, a critic.

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