Why Quillette sucks

Jus what the Earth needs, another cess pool of ambiguity of non-intelligence. Please stop the circus, I wan’na get the f@ck off.


I can’t help but believing in order to write that exhaustive list, you would have to have read an awful lot of Quillette. Why?


Painful as it may be, someone had to read The Bell Curve in order to debunk it.

He may not have needed to read everything there, or even read it all the way through; cliched example but how far into Mein Kampf do you need to get before you realize it’s racist and hateful.


This is a helpful breakdown!

I’ve often been pointed to pieces there, and they’ve always struck me as pseudo intellectual blather, tired reactionary ideas tarted up to be “smart” sounding, in ways that are just a bit harder to see through than the witticisms of some poser like Ben Shapiro.


I’ve read enough of it, that’s for sure.


18 posts were split to a new topic: Scientism and Paths to Knowledge, Understanding, and Truths

I’ve always seen it as a home to privilege-blind white Libertarian twits. It’s yet another gateway to right-wing-populism, white supremacy, and denialism of inconvenient truths. Due to its airs, it’s less successful in that mission than Jordaddy, Ben Shapiro, or Joe Rogan.

It still pops up, though. Whenever a commenter here links to one of Quillette’s “impressive” articles in an attempt to support his point, I can safely assume he’s either a tr0ll or a pseudo-intellectual naif and dismiss his comment accordingly. In the future, I’ll be sure to respond to any of them with a link to this great piece.


Can’t forget who else used to write for Quillette:


It’s been edited into shape!


A hidden gust in Quillette’s sails (at least to American readers, I feel) is the anti-religious “skeptic movement” whose admirable work debunking psychics, aliens, popery and so forth once helped made the internet fun. This movement ossified as the perceived public influence of its traditional religious enemies waned, and its scolding attitude toward religious authority was brought to bear on other, less establishmentarian foes. This made the movement, such as it was, fertile ground for young reactionaries. A place where the old religions are absent but the new enemies are shared.

If I understand what you’re getting at here, I think this somewhat understates and even obscures the full weirdness of the voyage the “skeptic movement” has taken over the last decade or two.

I don’t think it’s so much that the influence of their traditional enemies waned, as that, as it turned out, a substantial segment of the “skeptic” never really knew who they or their enemies were in the first place. They’ve been navigating with a broken compass all along, in a heavy fog of unexamined Islamophobia, sexism and racism. The course they’ve charted has veered from opposing bigfoot, antivaxxers and creationists to Muslims, then to feminists and now BLM, ‘Me Too’, and “SJWs” of all sorts.

This has fetched them up on a bizarre far shore where they find themselves sharing a harbor with creationists like Dennis Prager. Ditto anti-maskers, ‘race realists’, global warming deniers, etc. It’s reached the inevitable point where (former) skeptics are now converting to religion (IIRC, Dave Rubin himself is a prominent example).


Indeed. Back in the day, getting absolutely slaughtered in “debates” by creationists was a rite of passage for public-facing skeptics who thought they would prevail through reason, science and logic.

But now I see the skeptics challenging people to “debates”!


Don’t forget Toby Jones too.

Edit: meant Toby Young. Nowt wrong with Toby Jones.

You mean Toby Young?

Toby Jones is an English actor.


I wish I could forget Toby Young…


Sam Harris became addicted to participating in bad-faith “debates” as part of his personal brand, to the point that he kept going even after the creationists weren’t there to Gish Gallop him. If his fellow New Atheist Christopher Hitchens was still alive, he’d be doing the same (and would also likely be a regular contributer to Quillette).




I’ve never read Quillette, and only heard of it via the Trash Future podcast (which is in large part the podcast version of this post). But the description definitely rings a bell.

A thing that can be difficult to understand about Britain is how its ruling elite can seem so urbane and detached in person, yet so reactionary in the outcomes of the system they run. And the key is that they can be as open-minded and affable as they like – indeed, they see it as noblesse oblige – because they know for certain that civilisation has already reached its final, perfect form, and they’re it.

They’re genuinely interested in new ideas and other lives, because why not? it can’t possibly threaten their self-belief. Any political or scientific or emotional argument is just a fun story to be enjoyed, and they are nothing if not game. It won’t alter how they mean to live their life, though, because nothing does.

To anyone who hasn’t grown up around these people, it can be incredibly hard to grasp how false their appearance of sophistication is. It’s like how everyone persists in thinking Boris Johnson is anything other than an inflatable pig. This has been driving me up the wall for nearly 20 years now. He is an erudite sophisticate in exactly the same way an Xbox shut-in is an expert space marine.


First, I’m really not sure it’s anywhere near accurate to say TERFs are center-right. They may call themselves radical feminists, but every single thing out of their mouths is textbook anti-feminist and usually extremist right-wing.

Second, I’m not sure there’s much to say about Quillette other than that it’s yet another pro-Nazi rag, written by people who pretend the Holocaust never happened and for people who want it to happen again. Really, at this point, that describes basically every right-leaning publication out there.


I had em filed under the Guardian center-left lot


“This movement ossified as the perceived public influence of its traditional religious enemies waned, and its scolding attitude toward religious authority was brought to bear on other, less establishmentarian foes.” Woo is woo, no matter how new and no matter the source, even it’s from the left. That some right-wingers might find some aspects of scientific skepticism attractive should be encouraged. It might be the beginning of clearing up their conspiracy-filled view of life.