Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"Pinker’s op-ed presents an extreme case of a pattern familiar from other debates: a frightening or primarily negative view of disability is paired with an overly optimistic view of technology"

George Estreich on Steven Pinker:

As a tenured academic dismissing an entire academic field, Pinker resembles a politician who, in a bid for status within a system, pretends to be outside it. It’s a maverick’s pose: say things shocking enough to go viral, but not shocking enough to disqualify. Like other faux outsiders, Pinker takes a simple approach: sketch a black-and-white moral narrative, with an obvious problem and an obvious solution; populate it with good guys (researchers who heal) and bad (bioethicists who obstruct); and inject a crude emotional appeal (do you really want your loved ones to die early?). The Internet, duly infected and feverish, keeps you in the news, and the outrage only confirms your outsider status.

The rest is on Biopolitical Times.

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