Enlightenment Peddlers

Because the IDW thrives on consumer popularity rather than peer scrutiny, it doesn’t have mechanisms for sorting out the worthwhile stuff from the trash. The burden is on the consumer to decide to what extent the dark web pundits have something valuable to offer or to what extent they’re "enlightenment peddlers."

An Antidote to Bullshit

One of the problems with the Intellectual Dark Web, in common with other online, non-academic outlets for discussing big ideas, is that it doesn’t have have any effective mechanisms for intellectual quality control. With this in mind, I’ve assembled a twelve-point checklist for evaluating what you might come across on the IDW and beyond.

On Deepities and Bullshit

The so-called Law of Attraction, one of the cornerstones of New Age positive thinking, is a textbook case of what Dan Dennett calls a "deepity"—an ambiguous claim that on one reading is either true but trivial, on another is false but would be earth-shattering if true.

Is There a Case for Bullshit?

In Harry Frankfurt's famous paper "On Bullshit" he argues that because bullshit is "indifference to the truth," silence is better than bullshit. Stefano Zorzi challenges this view arguing that bullshit can actually help us reach the truth.

Is Donald Trump Lying or Bullshitting?

You might think that Trump is an inveterate liar, whose lies disguise the truth in a way that causes favor among gullible constituents. But here’s an alternative hypothesis: Trump is bullshitting.