I Thought Derbyshire was a Smart Guy, but Actually He’s a *Racist*

People are up in arms about a recent article by John Derbyshire in Taki’s Magazine. I didn’t think the article was that interesting, myself, but apparently the proper response is to think that it’s ‘racist trash,’ which seems to mean that Derbyshire had the temerity to say what everyone thinks.

This Atlantic article is extremely annoying for the author’s obtuse assumption that a real ‘intellectual’ couldn’t say or think the things Derbyshire says and thinks. She actually offers a convoluted theory about why Derbyshire has a job (it seems to boil down to: “he flatters prejudiced people’s prejudices.”)

The truth is that John Derbyshire is one of the smartest pundits out there. If for some reason you can’t see this from his writing, you can see it from his two book-length attempts to popularize number theory. They’re not popularizations in the bad sense, either. To my shame, I gave up halfway through Unknown Quantity, because it was too hard—though admittedly I’ve done shamefully little formal mathematics.