SIO41: Talking Free Speech, with Michael Shermer

I’m very pleased to be speaking to Michael Shermer this week, someone who has been more on the free speech war side of things, and someone who has said previously that liberals won’t dialogue with him. Well, to his credit, he eventually noticed my Twitter chirpings at him and was willing to have a long form conversation about our disagreements. I think there’s a lot of room for optimism at the result, so check it out!

Links discussed: Overblown Piece on WaPo Advocating Censorship; Study on Racism and Trump Voting; George Mason Study on Dissonance and Party Affiliation; 538 Article on Perceived Discrimination;

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OA71: Free Speech Left and Right (featuring the Grand Canyon) - Opening ArgumentskyleKappaSt. Ralph Recent comment authors

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St. Ralph

You need to let go of the Jordan Peterson thing. You’re coming across as a nut job, like a toy terrier that has someone by the pant leg and won’t let go. This was off topic for a Michael Shermer interview. You just wanted validation from someone at the big people’s table. Other than that, it was an interesting interview. You actually make some good points about white identity politics dominating the American scene since forever (don’t forget it’s white male identity politics—women don’t count no matter what color they are). What you don’t get is that you have about… Read more »


What I’ve learned from this is Michael Shermer has not seen fit to look into racial and feminist theory (“who are the racists making bad decisions behind closed doors?” is not an informed way to describe how racism/sexism functions in a society), seems to be aware of discrete studies that address the effect of racism and sexism when presented with them, but feels pretty comfortable dismissing explanations that try to contextualize these findings because they seem “complicated” or immediately counterintuitive. Honestly, that was disappointing. I thought you did a great job pushing back in a way that was thorough, pointed,… Read more »


There’s not an option to edit past comments, but in light of Shermer’s recent publication and personal endorsement of a vacuous hit piece on gender studies, I feel the need to take back my statement about him deserving credit, and to insist on calling him a conceptual penis.


Hello, do you believe in evolution? Do you believe that evolution has an effect on the brain? The biggest problem in the argument of sexism in the hard-fields in STEM is the disregard of actual diffences between the sexes. If you look into the data in psychological differences you see that a) women are more interested in people b) men are more interested in things. This has been proven to be true across multiple cultures, and even the infants speaking against the tabula rasa -model. This is a very large explaining factor explaining the differences in the academical fields (as… Read more »


[…] but you should check out Thomas’s other show, Serious Inquiries Only, and in particular episode #41 featuring Michael Shermer backpedaling on his the-left-is-killing-free-speech tweets and […]