Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Slate Star Codex Is Gone

I first mentioned SSC for his article on how it is that in an online extremist world, reasonable people trying to promote their cause get overwhelmed by nutcases.  I have linked to him and referenced him many times.  I have called that essay "The Toxoplasma of Rage" the best essay of the 21st C.  Steve Sailer called him the greatest public intellectual to emerge in the 2010's. You can find my store of references to him here.

But now Slate Star Codex is dead, because the NYTimes is going to doxx him, to reveal his full name and how to find him, which is always a danger for a public psychiatrist. This includes not only the danger of people trying to get him shamed and fired in cancel culture, but actual physical violence.


Donna B. said...

Do you think that article is still going to be written?

Douglas2 said...

There is a place one normally goes to find what content web pages used to contain.

That organization is no longer adhering to the robots.txt which would allow a site owner to make them disappear there also -- I understand one can write them and say "hey don't store this set of pages", but who knows but that the arbiter of whether they should be dropped, might be of the same mindset as the NYT with regard to privacy and newsworthiness.

Anyway, I wouldn't be explicitly directing people there any time soon, and undoubtedly Mr. Alexander has fans who are well aware of the same thing and will advise him on the feasibility of making those versions go away too.

In the longer term, if SSC doesn't come back, I suspect that after things die down there would be little harm in fixing the links to point there though.

And of course one can personally save a copy, if one can find it. Even just web-searching on an uncommon phrase quoted from a webpage is often good for finding it in Bing's cache or Google's cache, at least until the search engines attempt to crawl it again days later.

Thos. said...

It's increasingly clear that the clerisy has decided that they are done pretending to tolerate independent voices.

They've put up with the enlightenment and it's openness for long enough; biting their tongues as they paid lip-service to the ideas of freedom and equality both in the realm of legal rights and the free exchange of ideas. Now that they've discovered that they can harness the miracle of private corporate monopoly power, they are impatient to put humanity back on a pre-enlightenment footing – one where the masses don't pretend to be equal to their betters.

The erasure of SSC is the loss of an incredible forum where rigorous thinkers traded in ideas for no other reason than love of the pursuit of understanding (and, with any luck, some measure of truth).

But the free exchange of ideas offends the clerisy. People ought to Know. Their. Place. (the filthy peons). And they certainly ought to know better than to go around thinking about things on their own, without the proper sort of direction and approval.

So now these new inquisitors (and a nasty pack of schoolmarms and suck-up hall monitors they are, indeed) are loose among us, hunting out every last corner of uncontrolled discourse. Whatever they cannot have silenced by their accomplices in the BigTech monopoligarchies, they will pursue by other means – doxxing, cancelling, deplatforming, or demonetizing; and, as Scott mentioned in his farewell note, through more overt violence (like Swatting), when the opportunity presents itself.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yes, Alexander is politically liberal and atheist, but he would give considerable credit to ideas that he thought were at least partly right and partly persuasive. He wrote in detail a couple of years ago of how he had nearly found CS Lewis persuasive, for example. An honorable gentleman and extremely intelligent.

Jonathan said...