In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with physicist Lawrence Krauss about the utility of public debates, the progress of science, confusion about the role of consciousness in quantum mechanics, the present danger of nuclear war, the Trump administration, the relative threats of Christian theocracy and Islamism, and realistic fears about terrorism.
Lawrence Krauss is a theoretical physicist and the director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. He is the author of more than 300 scientific publications and nine books, including the international bestsellers, A Universe from Nothing and The Physics of Star Trek. The recipient of numerous awards, Krauss is a regular columnist for newspapers and magazines, including The New Yorker, and he appears frequently on radio, television, and in feature films. His most recent book is The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far: Why Are We Here?
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with psychologist Jordan B. Peterson about freedom of speech and the nature of truth.
Jordan B. Peterson is a clinical psychologist and Professor at the University of Toronto. He formerly taught at Harvard University and has published numerous articles on drug abuse, alcoholism, and aggression. He is the author of Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief.
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Richard Dawkins at a live event in Los Angeles (first of two). They cover religion, Jurassic Park, artificial intelligence, elitism, continuing human evolution, and other topics.
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with author Lawrence Wright about al-Qaeda & ISIS, Arab culture, 9/11 conspiracy theories, the migrant crisis in Europe, Scientology, parallels between L. Ron Hubbard and Donald Trump, the Satanic cult panic, and other topics.
Lawrence Wright is an author, screenwriter, playwright, and a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. His works of nonfiction include In the New World, Remembering Satan, The Looming Tower, Going Clear, and Thirteen Days in September. He has also written a novel, God’s Favorite. His books have received many prizes and honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for The Looming Tower. His most recent book is The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.
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In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Maajid Nawaz about the Southern Poverty Law Center, Robert Spencer, Keith Ellison, moderate Muslims, Shadi Hamid’s notion of “Islamic exceptionalism,” the migrant crisis in Europe, foreign interventions, Trump, Putin, Obama’s legacy, and other topics.
Maajid Nawaz is a counter-extremist, author, columnist, broadcaster and Founding Chairman of Quilliam – a globally active organization focusing on matters of integration, citizenship & identity, religious freedom, immigration, extremism, and terrorism. Maajid’s work is informed by years spent in his youth as a leadership member of a global Islamist group, and his gradual transformation towards liberal democratic values. Having served four years as an Amnesty International adopted “prisoner of conscience” in Egypt, Maajid is now a leading critic of Islamism, while remaining a secular liberal Muslim.
Maajid is an Honorary Associate of the UK’s National Secular Society, a weekly columnist for the Daily Beast, a monthly columnist for the liberal UK paper the ‘Jewish News’ and LBC radio’s weekend afternoon radio host. He also provides occasional columns for the London Times, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, among others. Maajid was the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate in London’s Hampstead & Kilburn for the May 2015 British General Election.
A British-Pakistani born in Essex, Maajid speaks English, Arabic, and Urdu, holds a BA (Hons) from SOAS in Arabic and Law and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics (LSE).
Maajid relates his life story in his first book, Radical. He co-authored his second book, Islam and the Future of Tolerance, with Sam Harris.
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Garry Kasparov about the problem of waning American power, the rise of Putin, the coming presidency of Donald Trump, computer chess, the future of artificial intelligence, and other topics.
Garry Kasparov spent twenty years as the world’s number one ranked chess player. In 2005, he retired from professional chess to lead the pro-democracy opposition against Vladimir Putin, from street protests to coalition building. In 2012, he was named chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, succeeding Václav Havel. He has been a contributing editor to the Wall Street Journal since 1991, and he is a senior visiting fellow at the Oxford Martin School. His 2007 book, How Life Imitates Chess, has been published in twenty-six languages. He lives in self-imposed exile in New York with his wife Dasha and their children. His most recent book is Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped.
“Social justice warrior” (commonly abbreviated SJW) is a pejorative term for an individual promoting socially progressive views, including feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, and identity politics. The accusation of being an SJW carries implications of pursuing personal validation rather than any deep-seated conviction and being engaged in disingenuous social justice arguments or activism to raise personal reputation, also known as virtue signaling.
The phrase originated in the late 20th century as a neutral or positive term for people engaged in social justice activism. In 2011 when the term first appeared on Twitter, it changed from a primarily positive term to an overwhelmingly negative one. During the Gamergate controversy, the negative connotation gained increased use and was particularly aimed at those espousing views adhering to social liberalism, cultural inclusiveness, or feminism, as well as views deemed to be politically correct.
The term has entered popular culture, including a parody role-playing video game released in 2014 titled Social Justice Warriors.
In Popular Culture
In May 2014, the concept was incorporated into a parody role-playing video game titled Social Justice Warriors. Developed by Nonadecimal Creative, Social Justice Warriors involved the concept of debating online against Internet trolls who make racist and other provocative comments by choosing from different responses such as “‘dismember their claims with your logic,’ rebroadcast their message to be attacked by others, or go for the personal attack.” Users were able to select a character class and gameplay involved changes to user meters of Sanity and Reputation. The game became available on the computer platform Steam in February 2015. Game creator Eric Ford explained that the game was designed to foster critical thinking and was not “intended to suggest that racist, sexist, or other offensive comments shouldn’t be confronted online. The goal is to encourage critical thinking on how it can be done more effectively, and at less cost to the real-world social justice warriors.” He commented: “Once you’ve embarked down the path of correcting every incorrect statement an anonymous stranger is making online, the only inevitable outcomes are that your patience is exhausted by frustration, your reputation is obliterated by the trolls’ defamation or your own actions, or you give up in disgust.”
Actress Caitlin Barlow described her character on the 2016 U.S. comedy television series Teachers as a social justice warrior. Barlow explained: “I play Cecilia Cannon, who is a super-crunchy hippie social justice warrior who is always trying to save the world, whether people care or not. And she’s always pushing her left-wing agenda on her students.”
The Hollywood Reporter journalists Lesley Goldberg and Kate Stanhope noted in March 2016 that actress Isabella Gomez was cast in the Netflix remake of One Day at a Time and portrayed Elena, a character content to self-identify as a social justice warrior. Goldberg and Stanhope wrote: “A proud nerd, idealist and social justice warrior, Elena is opinionated and not afraid to speak her mind.”
While promoting his film The Green Inferno, Eli Roth said “I wanted to write a movie that was about modern activism. I see that a lot of people want to care and want to help, but in general, I feel like people don’t really want to inconvenience their own lives. And I saw a lot of people just reacting to things on social media. These social justice warriors. ‘This is wrong, this is wrong, this is wrong.’ And they’re just tweeting and retweeting. They’re not actually doing anything. Or you see people get involved in a cause that they don’t really know a lot about and they go crazy about it. I wanted to make a movie about kids like that.”
No. It’s because Sam Harris tries to explain social, economic, geopolitical issues by focusing on people’s beliefs and worldviews (their identity). He’s the ultimate “SJW”.
Harris comes across as more honest to me. Sam is always willing to put himself out there and be open to any environment of discussion. You’ll never see Chomsky do a four-hour podcast with Joe Rogan for example. Chomsky comes across as an arrogant SJW at times. Sam comes across as a guy you could have a beer with and enjoy the stimulating conversation of an honest thinker. Whereas Chomsky comes across as the guy who would snub you and any conversation you had with him would leave you with the impression that he was a biased thinker.
Despite what your average SJW or Black Matter Lives affiliate might argue, Muslim imperialism existed way before the birth of the US. They conquered half of the known world and ethnic cleansed it. They tried to push into Europe twice in the Middle Age and it’s for sheer luck that today Europe doesn’t speak Arabic. Had Islam conquered Europe, there wouldn’t be an America to speak of, and no ignorant arrogant assholes like the Chomskians to criticize it either.