Quillette‘s Jonathan Kay talks to two ex-Portlanders—Nancy Rommelmann and Michael Totten—about how the COVID-19 pandemic and a year of violent protests turned their once beloved city into a fractured, downwardly mobile arena for America’s culture war. Sources discussed in this podcast include: Leaving Portland, by Michael Totten The Internet Locusts Descend on Ristretto Roasters, by Nancy Rommelmann ‘You’re Not Allowed To Film’: The Fight To Control Who Reports From Portland, by Nancy Rommelmann American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, by Colin Woodward
Quillette’s Jonathan Kay speaks to Canadian researcher Andrew Lustig about his research on the web-based communities of individuals who believe they are surrounded by evidence of an enormous “gangstalking” conspiracy, involving dozens or even hundreds of individuals, aimed at causing them to become insane or commit suicide.
Quillette’s Jonathan Kay speaks with Concordia University marketing professor Gad Saad about his take-no-prisoners social-media style, Lebanese politics, and the inner ideological life of Seth Rogen.
Jonathan Kay interviews comedian, social critic, and book author Andrew Doyle on why he thinks government censors are a bigger threat to a free society than the bigots they’re seeking to cancel.
Quillette‘s Jonathan Kay talks to long-time New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier about Liberties, the ambitious literary journal he founded after getting Me-Too’d—and many other subjects besides, including the future of journalism, the innocence of Woody Allen, the allure of jazz music, and Nicolas Cage’s underrated cinematic masterpiece, Gone In 60 Seconds.
Jonathan Kay speaks to eminent French sociologist Nathalie Heinich, founder of a new organization that opposes the spread of America’s race-fixated academic movements into French campuses. While conservatives have traditionally complained about the excesses of “French theory,” Prof. Heinich argues, many harmful ideas are now crossing the Atlantic in the opposite direction.
“As a social psychologist, I understand why using women’s sports to argue against transgender rights works,” tweeted behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert this week. “But it is tough to imagine a more morally bankrupt position: ‘I’m going to make you sit in a gender that doesn’t fit you so my daughter can win her soccer game.’” And when that tweet predictably attracted scathing criticism, he doubled down on his claim that women need to do their part in accommodating trans rights by becoming more graceful losers: “This really is it: I’d rather teach my kid how to lose well than how to win through oppression.” Walleart, best known for a Malcolm-Gladwellian 2019 business book called Start at the End: How to Build Products That Create Change, describes his approach as “a science-based process to create behavior change.” And so he offers a fitting stand-in for all the many other grandiloquent progressives who posture as rigorous scientists, even as they demand that sports leagues cast aside the plain biological reality of sexual dimorphism. The condescending, more-disappointed-than-angry tone …
Quillette’s Jonathan Kay talks to Brian Amerige—a former team leader at Facebook, and now the CEO of Thoughtful—about the content-moderation lessons he’s learned from established social-media giants, and how we can create something better.
Speaking recently at a Quillette Free Thought Lives event, Columbia University professor John McWhorter expounded on his thesis that social justice comprises an ersatz religion, complete with rites of confession and penance. It’s a compelling metaphor, especially in the way it helps explain adherents’ overwrought professions of faith and demands for the persecution of heretics. But when it comes to the New York Times’ recent firing of reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr., the metaphor falters. The Times management dismissed McNeil because he was caught instructing a student about racism in 2019; and, in so doing, said the N-word as an example of a gravely racist term. The Times management had initially concluded that McNeil showed “poor judgment” by uttering these two forbidden syllables, but also that he hadn’t harbored any “hateful or malicious” intent. That last part certainly seems sensible, given that McNeil wasn’t actually directing the N-word at another human being or using it to describe a third party. But since these same Times managers had already shown staff they can be bullied by …
Quillette’s Jonathan Kay speaks with Bill Ottman, co-founder of the Minds social-media network, about the challenges facing Silicon Valley communications giants