Friday, September 22, 2017

Sam Harris interviews Charles Murray for two-plus hours

Excellent stuff!... and my first significant exposure / listen to Harris.

-a very powerful ten-minute intro from Harris, esp. starting at minute 7 or 8, including concerns about fundamentalism and hypocrisy in its response to The Bell Curve (including not reading are the book summaries and here are my responses to some responses to Murray)

-interesting on the Left's past passion for IQ and the history of the SAT back in the day at minute 46

-57:30 on the messiness of race as a variable, something he talks about in Losing Ground (when he carefully focuses on blacks) and Coming Apart (when he talks about whites)

-1:02 Murray notes that he and H started the name, "the Flynn effect"!

-starts with 1:08 on groups vs, individuals...and since Murray is a libertarian, the emphasis on individuals is paramount for him (although not so much for other folks-- and maybe that's why their inferences go south so easily?)

-1:12:30 Harris asks why go there? (Just before that, I love Murray's reference to his critics "doing the Lord's work"!) Murray's answer: if policy is based on groups (e.g., race), then it's going to be wrong-headed (impractical and unethical)-- and if we're going to pound group differences, you're going to get identity politics.

-and then at 1:27, he gets to summaries of Coming Apart (absolutely necessary to read if you're into inequality, social problems, etc.)

-finally, Murray's advocacy of UBI at 1:52, his account/thoughts on Middlebury at 2:02, and a poignant/powerful ending on the benefits of such scurrilous attacks at 2:15


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