peristaltor: (Default)
[personal profile] peristaltor
Full disclosure: I don't have much of an opinion of Sam Harris. He had books. He was interviewed. I didn't read his work, I didn't listen to what he had to say. A lot of people were either enchanted with him or hated him. Whatever.

But now I learn he has a podcast. I've dipped a toe and heard a few. It's not bad. He's a bit arrogant, but if you're interesting, I can overlook that.

There is, however, a line between arrogant and insulting. And he crossed that.

I guess he interviewed this guy who gave his book a bad review. Again, I've read neither the book nor the review. I don't have a dog in this fight.

But he dredged up one of my most hated, condescending phrases. He told this guy, "Let me educate you." Oh, Harris, you fucking idiot.

It doesn't matter if you have greater knowledge that you could share. It doesn't matter if you teach a course on the topic, even. Unless the person to whom you are speaking approaches you and asks you to be a teacher, you cannot educate. You can only share, or inform. To assume that the person to whom you are speaking is a pupil is to demean that person, to belittle that person, to denigrate that person.

Not only that, in the podcast to which I've linked, he is actually defending his actions, reviewing an interview that he felt did not go so well. He actually played the section where he says "Let me educate you" as if he were unaware of what he was saying was so incredibly insulting. That shows a complete lack of awareness socially.

His interview guest, as everyone should expect, explodes. He's just been personally insulted.

And Harris discounts his reaction as childish.

Well, Sam, let me educate share with you a little something: You've just proven yourself worse than childish.
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