James Stephen Lindsay was born in Ogdensburg, New York. He moved to Maryville, Tennessee at the age of five, later graduating from Maryville High School in 1997. Lindsay attended Tennessee Technological University, where he obtained both his B.S. and M.S. in mathematics; he later earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Tennessee in 2010. His doctoral thesis is titled “Combinatorial Unification of Binomial-Like Arrays”, and his advisor was Carl G. Wagner.
Lindsay, along with Peter Boghossian, is the co-author of How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide, a nonfiction book released in 2019 and published by Lifelong Books. In 2020, Lindsay released the nonfiction book Cynical Theories, co-authored with Helen Pluckrose and published by Pitchstone Publishing. The book became a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller upon release. Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker praised the book for exposing “the surprisingly shallow intellectual roots of the movements that appear to be engulfing our culture”. Tim Smith-Laingit charged it with “leaping from history to hysteria” in a Daily Telegraph review.
Lindsay is a critic of woke culture, which he analogizes to religious belief. He describes “the Social Justice Movement” as his “ideological enemy”, and wrote an essay branding the movement as “critical social justice”, arguing that “it’s nearly always best to name your enemy something that they would or do call themselves.” In 2020, columnist Cathy Young described Lindsay as “an author with a large ‘anti-woke’ online following”. Despite opposing Donald Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election, Lindsay announced his intention to vote for Trump in the 2020 United States presidential election, citing a perceived illiberalism on the left as the reason.Wikipedia