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Description - The Way of the Intellectual Dark Web: What Joe Rogan and His Associates Can Teach Us about Political Dialogue by Jamie Q Roberts

Roberts presents a rigorous and accessible assessment of the Intellectual Dark Web’s origins, shared philosophy, cultural importance, and limitations.

Since the mid-2010s, the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) has been an unprecedented cultural and intellectual phenomenon. Using primarily podcasts and YouTube videos, a new generation of public intellectuals has appeared, loosely coalesced, and gained a vast global audience. This movement has encompassed a range of individuals, notably Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson, Eric and Bret Weinstein, Ben Shapiro, Heather Heying, and Sam Harris. Other names more broadly associated with the grouping have included Steven Pinker, Jonathan Haidt, Elon Musk, Niall Ferguson, and Stephen Fry. There is a sprawling and ever-growing list of those who have appeared on IDW podcasts and videos, started their own podcasts along similar lines, and share a general ethos. It is a dispersed movement, but a significant one, given the reach of these various online outlets is in the millions globally. Roberts draws together and synthesises the core ideas espoused by the members of this movement and critically assesses its origins, coherence, and the impact it has had on politics and public discourse. He asks – to what extent has the IDW lived up to its professed goal of moving beyond polarisation and radicalisation?

An insightful read both for followers of the IDW looking for a coherent and critical overview and for students of popular culture looking to understand this massive but decentralised popular intellectual movement.

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