So I was looking through Sam Harris’s “Project Reason.” Harris writes:
Project Reason seeks to encourage critical thinking and wise public policy through a variety of interrelated projects. The foundation will convene conferences, produce films, sponsor scientific studies and opinion polls, publish original research, award grants to other charitable organizations, and offer material support to religious dissidents and public intellectuals — all with the purpose of eroding the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world.
I’d say it’s fairly narcissistic to think your web page is going to erode “the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world.” After all, I doubt Harris can accomplish the more meager feat of convincing his fellow Gnus about his views on guns. And what’s more, while I admit I am not very knowledgeable about the revolutionary and groundbreaking work of Project Reason, I don’t see much out there in terms of convening conferences, producing films, sponsoring scientific studies and opinion polls, publishing original research, and awarding grants to other charitable organizations.
Of course, Project Reason seems to have a rather impressive “Advisory Board.” Although, you have to wonder if this is mostly for show. Does this Advisory Board actually do anything? Given that Christopher Hitchens is still on it, that might be difficult. Then again, given Harris’s fascination with mysticism, maybe Hitchens weighs in during the semi-annual séances.
As for the trustees, there is Harris, his wife, and Jai Lakshman. Jai Lakshman? Who in the world is that? According to the web page, he “has served as an Executive Director, Program Manager, Board Member and Strategic Consultant for non-profit and business organizations focusing on international public health, community & economic development, Native arts and culture, the environment, and youth education.” My, my. That’s a little….eccentric, shall we say? So I google this trustee and this image comes up:
And the source says: “with Ram Dass and Jai Lakshman at Omega.”
Okay, the guy in the middle, the one between the bongo player and the guru, looks like the trustee of Project Reason. What do you think?