It is hardly worth becoming agitated by the splenetic biologist and blogger PZ Myers’ bafflingly spiteful and woefully ignorant screed against Effective Altruism and theorists of existential risk. Who could be convinced by such blatant bare assertions and such obvious ad hominem? Who is unaware that the man is a boorish hack?
Yet there are those who wax nostalgic about Myers’ golden years as the preeminent atheist blogger. They never existed. His bad habits were evident long before he used them in the cause of leftism. His most famous act was the childish desecration of the rituals of Catholics. His most famous idea was an excuse for ignoring arguments you cannot understand. His blog could be so cruel that he celebrated the death of a harmless Brazilian priest who was killed as part of a stunt to raise funds for charity.
Any fool can observe mean-spirited philistinism when it is directed against members of their ingroup. The challenge is to recognise it when it is not.