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Free Minds & Free Markets

Jordan Peterson vs. the Left

Left-wing critics try to silence the University of Toronto professor.

(Page 2 of 2)

But students are taught that every time there's a difference in outcome, it's an injustice, a new reason for outrage. The anger never ends.

Peterson says the activists who are so angry about injustice should be happy they live in societies like America, places founded on individual liberty and free markets.

"Everyone is doing better here than anybody has ever done on the face of the planet throughout recorded history, and the whole West is like that!" he told me. "To call that all a tyrannical patriarchy is indicative of a very deep resentment and ahistorical ignorance that's so profound that it's indistinguishable from willful blindness."

That's opened some young people's eyes.

But as Peterson has learned, these days some on campus get very angry if you try to open people's eyes.

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  • DajjaI||

    Peterson does not believe in free speech. He thinks 'hate speech' is a valid exception and if you don't believe me just ask him or watch any of his videos. He's absolutely right that compulsory preferred pronouns are a violation of free speech but still you should use a person's pronoun out of respect, at least for he/she. As for xir that is a troll and one shouldn't feel obliged to comply. Basically he's just cleverly exploiting Canada's absurd speech restrictions to promote his cult.

    Don't criticize others until you're perfect

    This is blatant cult doctrine designed to shut people down when you disagree with them. In AA they say, "Keep your side of the street clean" and "Find your part in it", which are similar techniques.

    "Always pet a cat", "always tell the truth" and "get married young" - more terrible advice to create fodder for the psychotherapy industry.

    Other than that some of his advice is good and I like that he's a capitalist and a technophile and optimistic about the future.

  • John C. Randolph||

    He thinks 'hate speech' is a valid exception and if you don't believe me just ask him or watch any of his videos

    I've seen a dozen or more of his videos, and I haven't seen him support the notion that it's OK to forbid "hate speech". Got a specific example you can point to?

    -jcr

  • richard657||

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  • perlchpr||

    So, seriously, why are these things so persistent? Is there some huge iceberg of comment readers here at Reason, 99% of them never actually posting anything, some of whom are gullible enough to click on link spam?

    The ROI just seems inconceivably low to justify the effort that it must require to get them posted in the first place.

  • Paulpemb||

    But there is practically no effort involved. In fact, in most cases it's a bot. You find them anywhere where people are able to post comments, unless they are very aggressively moderated. It's a numbers game, the more eyeballs you get on your spam post the more likely you are to get somebody to click, and it doesn't take many clicks to compensate for the minimal effort.

  • perlchpr||

    Yeah, I know it's all about the marginal value of any given post adding up through pure brute volume, but even at that, going to the effort to maintain a commenting presence here, of all places... *shrug* I dunno.

    Also, I mean... they're just so obvious. Does anyone, anywhere, actually believe they're going to earn $75 an hour for simple labor on a laptop at home? Especially if they've never earned anything like that before?

  • Probably_a_bot||

    Never underestimate the stupidity and/or naivety of humans.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I just clicked the report spam button on this comment in a different post. It was especially aggravating because the spambot was first to comment. How dare he usurp Fist!

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure these are not posted by any person. It probably costs the spammers next to nothing to post 10,000 at a time.

  • perlchpr||

    No, I know the actual postings are done by a bot, but there's still the effort of signing up for an account, unless they automated that too.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    They probably automated it too.

  • Sevo||

    "So, seriously, why are these things so persistent? Is there some huge iceberg of comment readers here at Reason, 99% of them never actually posting anything, some of whom are gullible enough to click on link spam?"

    I'm guessing that Reason's web-site budget hovers around $0.000001/month. They can't afford an edit button, you have to code links, it jumps up and down as the WalMart server tries to keep up with demand, etc.
    It is free to post here and worth every penny. And because of that, the last penny they got from me was in, oh, '15 or so.
    I suggest that you donate NOTHING.

  • BlondeJustice||

    Just report them by clicking on the "report as spam" link at the bottom of their spam comment. That's what I do.

  • Thomas O.||

    But Jordan never said that...

  • DarrenM||

    Is this "hate speech"?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Ditto. Dajjal is one of those obtuse trolls like OBL or the Rev who thinks just saying something enough will make it true. I've noticed that trend in far left comments; basically stating the opposite of what's true, and something absurd, and never being able to back it up. Then again, that's how extremist politics work - just keep repeating the same lies and defame your perceived enemy.

  • Vaelyn||

    OBL is a satirist, though. The Rev is sincere.

  • TGoodchild||

    Very good of you to point this out.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Thanks for pointing that out. He's razor sharp as a parody. I'm still a pretty new poster here so one moment I think I've got it figured then the next I'm trying to sort the parodies from the genuine propagandists.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    that's how extremist politics work - just keep repeating the same lies and defame your perceived enemy.

    Lie, make it big, repeat it often. Right out of Goebbels play book,

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Indeed. I wouldn't be surprised if we see book burnings in the next few years. No, wait, too much carbon dioxide produced by combustion. Whatever a digital/virtual book burning by zealous neo-commie hate groups looks like.

  • DarrenM||

    I'm sure they'll make an exception.

  • Cogito Ergo Cogito||

    Book compostings.

  • ShermanLogan||

    JBP is Canadian. He agrees that it is permissible to, as allowed by Canadian law, prohibit certain types of speech, with hate speech one of those. That's exactly why he says he's opposed to compelled speech, a step farther and one too far, according to him.

    I am an American and don't believe hate speech should be illegal, but then Americans are in a very distinct minority worldwide on this point.

  • NathanReid||

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    unique site... https://howtoearn.club

  • ThomasD||

    Didn't even read the article did you?

    "That it has to do with transgender people is virtually irrelevant," replies Peterson. "The issue is compelled speech."

    Peterson opposes a law compelling specific speech.

    So, fuck off slaver.

  • Widhalm19||

    Dajjal ~ I see you've brought your trainload of nonsense from The Atlantic to Reason. Try and listen to JP with an open mind and stop drinking the bong water.

  • DarrenM||

    That would be too much work. It's so much easier to remain self-righteous and outraged by distorting what someone says (or at least what they actually *mean*). What's even better is to rely solely on what some other ignoramus says he says. Then, of course, both ignoramuses can then refer to each other to "prove" that their fantasy is correct.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Dajjal,

    --- but still you should use a person's pronoun out of respect, at least for he/she. ---

    "Out of respect" is calling a lady 'madam', or 'missus', or calling a man 'mister', or 'sir'. Those are pronouns meant to convey respect towards the person you're TALKING TO.

    The pronouns you're referring to are in the third person singular, used to refer to someone who is not in the presence of the two interlocutors. In that situation, you don't have to refer to a third person as 'sir' or 'madam' (albeit 'lady' is used as a noun many times).

    Using pronouns such as I, You, He and She is not meant to convey respect or non-respect but to accurately place the focus on the person one is talking about. Using a different 'pronoun' meant to HUMOR someone who feels insecure sbout his or her decision to change gender is something you can practice voluntarily but cannot be compelled using brute force (i.e. through State-sanctioned aggression and violence).

  • ThomasD||

    What he said.

    Mr. OM-MH, that is.

  • SchillMcGuffin||

    In environments where I'm asked about my "choice of pronouns", I always respond "as the user deems appropriate", for the very reasons you're describing. The point of pronouns is supposed to be clarity, not supporting the subject's self-image.

    If a trans-person is actively "presenting" as their chosen gender, I'd generally use the pronoun appropriate to that presentation (unless they're doing it really half-assedly). That also extends to someone really trying for an ambiguous/agender presentation -- I'd go with whatever they visually strike me as, or possibly not use a pronoun at all, or something like "that one", if they're really successfully obscurantist about it.

    Things like "ze" are essentially just trolling, and I don't feel any more need to respect them than I do any other part of their politics.

  • ThomasD||

    Calling Ru Paul Mr. likewise seems entirely appropriate. Since you aren't really in drag unless you are a guy.

  • BlondeJustice||

    Thank you for making that clear to those people who don't have a clue. Prof. Peterson was very clear to distinguish the difference, but I'm not surprised you had to translate that to the "hate speech" crowd.

  • StackOfCoins||

    I suspect you have a beef with Mr. Peterson. But more importantly, I'd love to hear how "always pet a cat" is terrible advice designed to create fodder for the psychotherapy industry.

  • ThomasD||

    As long as you pet hard enough it's ok.

  • DarrenM||

    What he really meant was "always pet a pussy".

  • Mock-star||

    I dont know about creating fodder for the psychotherapy industry, but petting a bobcat creates fodder for the plastic surgery industry.

  • Sam Grove||

    Do you think urging people to violence should be unlawful?

  • aajax||

    It's situational.

  • ||

    Bull fucking shit. He absolutely believes in free speech and on no terms does he suggest we disrespect anyone. That's the remedially retarded left and all their sloppy sophistry saying that.

    He NEVER EVER said not to in a private mode of communication. If someone wants to be addressed as Captain Misrepresent Your views (as you do here) that's between the persons involved. All he's saying is no COMPULSORY DEMANDS BACKED BY THE STATE.

    FFS, it's not that difficult to grasp.

  • The_Hoser||

    but still you should use a person's pronoun out of respect, at least for he/she.

    If you don't, you should go to jail or be subject to human rights tribunals, right?

  • Rockabilly||

    Tear it up: 40 years ago, the Cramps played the Napa State Mental Hospital

    https://tinyurl.com/ydgwa7w5

    Rock On Lux = We Miss You !!!

  • JeremyR||

    They were kind of phonies, though. Who tapes themselves playing for a mental hospital? Only people who want to use it as a PR stunt.

    Then again, I guess that's the whole point of punk, to be hypocritical phonies.

  • Paloma||

    Like Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison?

  • Longtobefree||

    "ze" is not a pronoun.
    If the left can support a law mandating these "pronouns", the right can support a law prohibiting the same.

  • Ben of Houston||

    They should be neither mandated nor prohibited.
    The government is not in the business of enforcing manners.

  • ThomasD||

    Pretty sure that is the crux of Longtobefree's (and Peterson's) argument.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    They never quite manage to see the inverse of what they demand, in that whatever you empower a government to do unto others, will inevitably be done unto you. But then moral indignation leads to blindness, in that regard.

  • aajax||

    I'm not sure the Canadian law requires anyone to use "ze" or any of those other non-standard pronouns, but Peterson seems to be worried that it doesn't preclude requiring them, either.

  • BillyG||

    If the "Left" enacts a law requiring people to use anothers preffered pronoun, ensure it is enforced fully. And require them to refer to you as Master, Lord, Most Correct One, etc.

  • JWatts||

    You can be sure that the Law will specify what pronouns to use and the list will have come from a distinctly Left wing group. Using anything not included on the list will be declared as intentional hatefulness.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Peterson says the activists who are so angry about injustice should be happy they live in societies like America, places founded on individual liberty and free markets."

    I cannot remember which Niall Ferguson book it was that I read, but he compared and contrasted Spanish held territories in the past to British held territories. Spain had the biggest gold mines, the largest supply of ready slave labor, the best territories, arrived first. Essentially they had all the advantages. There was one big difference, the British arrived with John Locke and the Enlightenment. Look at the USA and other Anglophile countries now compared to former Spanish colonial possessions, seems one side had the better ideas than the other, no?

    I know it has become popular to crap all over this Max Weber "Protestant work ethic" cultural history in favor of Marxist structural bullshit, but I for one believe culture is important it. Thank God the Brits founded our country and populated this place with people who cared about things like individual liberty and freedom and not the Spanish.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: JoeBlow123,

    --- Thank God the Brits founded our country and populated this place with people who cared about things like individual liberty and freedom and not the Spanish. ---

    Indeed, although, to be fair, Spanish-held territories abolished slavery much earlier than the Brit-founded United States.

  • ThomasD||

    Yep, keeping slavery longer gave us the immense benefit of the deadliest war in our entire history.

  • hiccup1dt||

    Might I point out that the Brits did not found this Country. People who fought the British founded this country and they weren't all British either. I guess you forgot that Spain also contributed to our Revolution by being an ally against the Brits.

  • JWatts||

    "Indeed, although, to be fair, Spanish-held territories abolished slavery much earlier than the Brit-founded United States."

    That's not really true. Mexico officially abolished slavery in 1829, but effectively practiced slavery into the 20th century.

    "By 1908, at least 5,000 Yaqui had been sold into slavery. At Valle Nacional, the enslaved Yaquis were worked until they died."

    https://goo.gl/LQcXdf

  • Headache||

    Not true. The Brits outlawed slavery in 1762, Spain 1820. It was illegal to import slaves into the American British colonies since the abolition. Slave bred in the Americas was tolerated. the New Laws of 1542, were enacted early in the colonial period to protect natives from bondage but not African slaves..

    Search Slavery in the Spanish New World colonies

  • Mark22||

    Indeed, although, to be fair, Spanish-held territories abolished slavery much earlier than the Brit-founded United States.

    False

    Spain was an imperialist, repressive, evil empire well into the 20th century; as you illustrate, its culture cherishes those values to this day.

  • ThomasD||

    I've noticed the same sort of pattern when travelling in Asia, where the former British posessions are noticeably distinct from other former colonial properties. The influence is both beneficial and persistent.

  • gclancy51||

    As an Irish person, I whole-heartedly agree. They can take a joke, too.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    And amazingly [if you read enough articles about them just here] America remains much freer than present day GB, with very broad hate speech laws and soon no kitchen knives with no pointy ends.

  • hiccup1dt||

    What have you been smoking? We are not in the United States of Britain. Our forefathers fought against the British Empire. They not the Brits,founded this Country. Your living in a alternate history.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Heh, you are a funny man.

  • ThomasD||

    Try reading this

    https://tinyurl.com/ya7gwoqw

    to get a sense of just how wrong you are.

    The colonists largely rebelled, not because they rejected British culture, custom, and law but because they felt they were being denied their due according to British culture and custom, and law.

    And you might want to consider that, even then, only about a third of colonists actively supported the rebellion.

    To think that we are somehow not descended directly from their tradition is beyond ignorant. It is flat ahistorical.

  • Paloma||

    Still glad we kicked their asses out. And grateful for the Louisiana Purchase.

  • Paloma||

    You might reread the Declaration of Independence. And listen to the rather anti Enlightenment anthem "God Save the Queen". England was moving away from the Enlightenment.

  • ||

    You didn't need Ferguson to observe this fact.

    I came to that conclusion in the 1980s before he was popular and all over TV.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Peterson says the activists who are so angry about injustice should be happy they live in societies like America, places founded on individual liberty and free markets."

    I cannot remember which Niall Ferguson book it was that I read, but he compared and contrasted Spanish held territories in the past to British held territories. Spain had the biggest gold mines, the largest supply of ready slave labor, the best territories, arrived first. Essentially they had all the advantages. There was one big difference, the British arrived with John Locke and the Enlightenment. Look at the USA and other Anglophile countries now compared to former Spanish colonial possessions, seems one side had the better ideas than the other, no?

    I know it has become popular to crap all over this Max Weber "Protestant work ethic" cultural history in favor of Marxist structural bullshit, but I for one believe culture is important it. Thank God the Brits founded our country and populated this place with people who cared about things like individual liberty and freedom and not the Spanish.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    I don't know about Locke. He advocated dispossessing Indians of their land, so it could be turned into plantations. He invested in the slave trade.

  • Paloma||

    Spain kicked out the Muslims. They were the reason the Brits can have their Protestant "work ethic". And anyone who would rather live in England than Spain is warped.

  • Headache||

    Now wait a minute! In 1976 when stationed in Spain, they had a 100% tariff on imports.

  • Widhalm19||

    Trying to rationalize with the Left is no different than trying to parent a spoiled child given to throwing temper tantrums. Be firm, be fair and do not tolerate their idiocy.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Trying to reason with right-wingers?

    The folks who believe fairy tales are true, and that the bigotry and backwardness of yesteryear will and should make a comeback?

    You might as well yell at a lamp.

    Except . . . some new-fangled lamps (the fancy kind that some city folk have) respond usefully to verbal command, or to clapping.

    So . . .

    Carry on, clingers.

  • VOTE MILES||

    The "Rev." is one nasty POS.

  • Ariki||

    He is isn't he.
    If I were carrying so much hate I wouldn't get out of bed.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The "Rev." is one nasty POS.

    You gotta take 'ol Artie in context.

    Artie IS a bumpkin, fresh from the meth laden trailer parts that dot his incestuous wet dreams. He desperately wants to be more or better or something that'll make his daddy-sister proud.

    To this end he's adopted the persona of the 'city slicker' that bedevils the dreams of our more rural brethren. He showers country folk with disdain and disgust and is forever demanding that we recognize that his new citified self is superior.

    He just does not seem to grasp that it's not his city or country-ness that makes us revile him--it's the fact that he's a bigoted moron who seeks to fight any enlightenment to stay that way.

  • Headache||

    His disguise is lassitude.

  • Sam Grove||

    You conflate all right-wingers under the social conservative meme. This is not reality.
    There are fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, Republicans; there are even Christian socialists!

  • JWatts||

    He's a bigot. That's pretty much what bigotry is. Taking the worst traits of people, exaggerating and attributing the exaggerated behavior to a much larger group.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It is important to remember that not all Christians are bigoted, backward, poorly educated rubes.

    Not nearly.

    But enough to warrant mention and derision.

  • ||

    The progressive left are far worse.

  • Paloma||

    It's important to mention that only a minority of Christians are Protestants. And a minority of Protestants are Evangelicals. Does that make you feel better?

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    Throw yourself off a tall building.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    "" and that the bigotry and backwardness of yesteryear will and should make a comeback?""

    White hate is a form of bigotry and wanting to have black only clubs is college is a form of segregation from yesteryear, but enough about the progressive left.

  • BlondeJustice||

    Where in the world did you get your world view of right wingers and conservatives? I do know one thing, our fairy tales are nicer than your Marxist/utopian version of 'social justice's. God teaches to love ALL of his children, no matter their color, religion and even lifestyle.

    Marxist/communist dictators and Margaret Sanger backers are racist, bigots, and murderers. I will take a Christian, Buddhist or non-radical Muslim over a murdering Marxist any day.

  • Headache||

    The Rev in not a Marxist. The Rev is a Stalinist.

  • The_Hoser||

    The folks who believe fairy tales are true

    In the same way you believe anyone here gives a shit what you think?

  • DarrenM||

    Trying to rationalize with the Left is no different than trying to parent a spoiled child given to throwing temper tantrums.

    That's appropriate given that so many on the Left seem to have trouble growing up.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    From the yahoos who believe fairy tales are true.

    Why are right-wingers impervious to self-awareness?

  • BlondeJustice||

    Self awareness. Just love that term you fake "Reverends" use. I'm aware there is a God, who's bigger than anything you can imagine. He created all of us and this big, beautiful world. However, He gave us a free will and mankind chooses to do good or evil. Pointing out evil, is not hate speech. It's identifying and
    describing the evil and admonishing the evil doer. There's nothing reverent about the BS you spew, but by all means, keep trying to amuse us, because it's hilarious watching the pot calling the kettle black.

  • BlondeJustice||

    Self awareness. Just love that term you fake "Reverends" use. I'm aware there is a God, who's bigger than anything you can imagine. He created all of us and this big, beautiful world. However, He gave us a free will and mankind chooses to do good or evil. Pointing out evil, is not hate speech. It's identifying and
    describing the evil and admonishing the evil doer. There's nothing reverent about the BS you spew, but by all means, keep trying to amuse us, because it's hilarious watching the pot calling the kettle black.

  • gclancy51||

    What a wierdly written article. Mostly quotes entwined with with positive affirmations of said quote. Its voice is...odd...

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It's uniquely Stossel. Short talking points. Set up the point, drive it home, repeat as necessary. He writes much like he speaks during his video editorials.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "It wasn't just radical college kids protesting. Hundreds of Peterson's academic colleagues signed a petition "

    So pretty much the same flock.

  • BlondeJustice||

    You mean the indoctrinated staff that were once indoctrinated students at the same left-wing ideology college?

  • mtrueman||

    ""Everyone is doing better here than anybody has ever done on the face of the planet throughout recorded history, and the whole West is like that!"

    The world looks good from the view[point of an popular academic, but it doesn't take into account things like a dramatic increase in suicides this century. If everyone were doing better, suicide rates would be lower, life spans increasing, mental illnesses decreasing. You'd think a clinical psychologist would appreciate this.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    " If everyone were doing better, suicide rates would be lower"

    This implies suicide rates are very high in impoverished societies. Would be interested to see if that is true. I doubt it. I'm guessing suicide is one of those luxuries, like leisure time, that only appear in affluent societies.

  • mtrueman||

    I don't think suicide is a luxury. I doubt clinical psychologists look at suicide as a luxury. It may be more common countries like US but I would attribute this to despair and hopelessness rather than affluence. The fact that wealthy people also commit suicide simply means that you can't buy your way out of despair and hopelessness.

  • Rossami||

    You're missing the point, mtrueman. Tom was using "luxury" as in the economic definition - that is, something that statistically appears more often the higher your income rises. While it is true that the poor do (and always have) sometimes committed suicide, it is also true that the incidence of suicide is weakly correlated with affluence. Not only do the wealthy also commit suicide but that actually do it at (very slightly) higher rates than the poor.

    To be blunt, life spans are increasing, mental illnesses are being better diagnosed and more people are getting treated than at any time in history and suicide rates have not shown any "dramatic increase in ... this century".

  • mtrueman||

    I think I understood Tom's point. Basically that suicide was something that the wealthy could truly appreciate, much like a cleaner environment.
    Still, I think an increasing rate of suicide is an indication of something bad in a society. I haven't yet seen or heard a politician or pundit boasting of increased suicides as a celebration of societal affluence.

    Check the figures for American suicides since the year 2000. I'd be surprised if you didn't find them increasing.

  • ThomasD||

    Many of our leading diseases and health problems are associated with obesity, lack of strenouous physical activity, and/or other forms of overconsumption.

  • mtrueman||

    No wonder suicide is getting more popular.

  • ThomasD||

    Pretty much this. Suicide is a disease of affluence.

    Not that popverty doesn't kill, just that poverty doesnt creat the need for positive steps towards death.

  • mtrueman||

    The largest increases of suicide are in poorer, more isolated places like the rust belt and rural states. More affluent states also saw an increase but lower than less affluent ones, in general. You should have a look at current statistics.

  • ThomasD||

    " poorer, more isolated places like the rust belt"

    Poorer than what? More isolated than what?

    Comparing the poor in Buffalo, NY or Ashland, KY to actual poverty in the third world is beyond ignorant.

    You should stop and think about the forest before reading tree statistics.

  • mtrueman||

    Some states are more affluent than others. Some are not as well connected with the outside world. Compare New York and California with Kansas and Oklahoma, for example. Never mentioned 'the third world,' so I think you may have misunderstood. Happy to answer any other questions you have.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    """ If everyone were doing better, suicide rates would be lower""'

    Perhaps suicide rates would be lower if people were not taking a medication where suicide is a listed side effect.

  • Paloma||

    Suicide seems to be more common in affluent societies, and especially among men. 97% of all suicides in the US are male. Younger males under 25 and older males over 65 are those most likely to commit suicide. Most typical suicide case would be a white male policeman living in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Headache||

    That fucking bitch made him do it.

  • DarrenM||

    So, how long have suicide statistics been kept?

  • mtrueman||

    Since shortly after police and doctors took to noting suicide as a cause of death.

  • Paloma||

    Police and doctors have very high suicide rates.

  • mtrueman||

    Dentists. Higher still. Been a while though since a dentist filled out a death certificate.

  • ShermanLogan||

    Ahh, but you're missing the point. As JBP often notes, it depends on how you define "doing better."

    Almost everybody in western societies has more stuff, better health care, greater safety AND more freedom than his ancestors of 100 or 200 years previously.

    So is he doing better? That depends. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

    The meaning and purpose of life does not consist of stuff, health care, safety or perhaps even freedom. You can have all those things in abundance and feel no sense of purpose or meaning, no reason to go on. Anthony Bourdain demonstrated that just a couple days ago. Meaning has to come from somewhere else. JBP tries to help people find it. You may contend that he's not succeeding, but not that he isn't trying.

  • mtrueman||

    "it depends on how you define "doing better."

    America's latest dispossessed - those uneducated whites who once could coast through life on their skin tone and an expanding economy - are certainly not doing better. I'd bet they make up a healthy portion of America's growing craze for suicide.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Damn you're stupid.

    I mean, everyone knows, and kinda just takes it as a given, but sometimes you just let that fucktard flag fly and let loose such a blazing incandescence of idiocy that we have to stop and take notice.

  • mtrueman||

    "Damn you're stupid."

    And a liar too.

  • Paloma||

    And you'd bet wrong.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    As we address (cure) more and more ways of dying, the remaining ways of dying are going to be a larger and larger percentage of the ways people die.

    At some point suicide will account for 100% of all deaths.

    As to the other points - overall lifespans are increasing and our standard for deeming something a mental disease is broadening so it's catching far more conditions.

    For the small number of groups where lifespans are decreasing, my guess is our newly found ability to live a completely sedentary life style has a lot to do with that. One way or another, that problem will be solved.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    these days some on campus get very angry if you try to open people's eyes


    Is Mr. Stossell writing about the campuses that suppress science and history to flatter superstition?

    Is he describing the campuses that codify and enforce censorship with speech codes, conduct codes, loyalty oaths, and the like?

    Is he referring to the campuses that mock academic freedom by forbidding research that conflicts with silly dogma?

    Or is he just another faux libertarian who gives censorship-shackled, fourth-tier right-wing campuses a pass while nipping at the ankles of our strongest educational institutions, which are operated in the liberal-libertarian mainstream?
  • ace_m82||

    Straw-man, Ad Hominem, Red Herring. Appeal to Authority (majority).

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    You should be beaten about the face mercilessly with a claw hammer.

  • perlchpr||

    This is a pretty good parody account.

  • ThomasD||

    Sadly, this one is not faking anything.

  • Lee Moore||

    I've watched a lot of Peterson's university lectures on Personality and "Maps of Meaning" and I've seen some of his "political" interviews including the Cathy Newman one. I think he's a superb lecturer, invariably interesting and thought provoking, and I find it easy to believe that lots of people in trouble have found his advice and his philosophy on life very helpful in getting their lives together.

    I understand perfectly why the SJW left hates him. He's an articulate enemy. Why wouldn't they hate him ? But I also understand why some lefties who think (they exist) and middlies find themselves thinking he might be a charlatan.

    He harps on about how careful he is with words, and in set piece snake pit interviews like the Cathy Newman one he is indeed very careful, and he controls his temper (which also exists) and so he comes across as very calm, reasonable and together.

    But that's not who he really is. He's actually rather emotional. He often exaggerates. Sometimes he catches himself and walks an exaggeration back, sometimes he doesn't. He has his own private dictionary in which words take on a metaphorical meaning. ("Truth" is an obvious example.) His soaring metaphors are not intended to be deceitful, they are intended to illuminate deeper points. But if you aren't tuned in to the way he talks and if you're not initially sympathetic you could easily assume he's being deliberately obscure, or worse.

  • Lee Moore||

    So while he's on the side of the good, folk who only catch glimpses of him can get quite the wrong impression. He can play Mr Logic in a TV interview, but it's an effort. The real Peterson is a brilliant teacher, or even preacher, who uses metaphor to explain and make you open up to unfamiliar thoughts. That's not really logical terrain, it's more artistic. There's a good quote about his time at Harvard where someone said : "Taking a course from him was like taking psychedelic drugs without the drugs." That seems a much "truer" (JP TM) view of him than the cool and calm Mr Logic we saw with Cathy Newman.

  • Ariki||

    I've been thinking about this issue lately. How explaining complexity with simplicity can be detrimental.

    To explain to others something truly complex in simple terms requires the speaker to have a deep understanding of the topic at hand.

    However, those others may be incapable of obtaining the same depths so their understanding of the topic will always be secondhand and superficial, despite whether they think they understand the depths or not.

    These people then go on to teach others, not the depths codified in simple terms, but rather the simple terms alone. The simplicity becomes a form of truth, independent of the depths of understanding that spawned it.

    Over generations this truth will essentially be seen for what it is, an arbitrary explanation of something that nobody left alive truly understands. Where the deeper points that the simplicity alludes to are discounted precisely for the fact that they are too simple.

    So the grand ideas that Peterson encompass in simple statements like "clean your room" can seem arbitrary to those who cannot see past the shallow depths they are accustomed to.

    I also wonder if this could also affect science where the understanding of deep conceptual truths, like relativity, could be lost overtime, leaving behind a superficial understanding bogged down in mathematics rather than reality.

  • Lee Moore||

    Interesting thoughts.

    1. I'd agree that some folk (Group B) will absorb nothing more than the simplified metaphors. But what's the alternative ? If you hedge every statement with the correct, but interminable, qualifiers, eschew metaphor and stick to the long, dry, Latin and Greek rooted words that have a precise meaning but which 99% of listeners will have to look up, you'll have lost Group B already, and you'll also have lost most of Group A (those who would have understood the deeper meaning behind your metaphors) because they'll have got stuck in your hedged about detail. It seems to me that the greater risk is to drone on with dry as dust correctitude.

    2. Peterson himself is rather good on the matter of the stultification and corruption of culture, and the need for it to be renewed with fresh insight. His view is that the best place to be is on the border between order and chaos. Chaos is the source of new ideas that can repair corrupted order. Although his book is called An Antidote to Chaos, that's because he perceives we've strayed too far towards chaos - one point on which I'm not sure I agree with him, btw. I understand why coming from the lunatic world of modern academe, he worries about chaos, but I think in the world as a whole, there are places where we've got too much corrupted order and a little more chaos might be useful. eg "Drain the Swamp !"

  • Think It Through||

    Lee, you almost sound like you're describing someone who's not perfect or perfectly consistent across all manner, time, and mode of communication. In other words, a human.

  • Lee Moore||

    Yes. But I think some of the inconsistency in Peterson's case is deliberate. He talks about different types of conversation - eg

    (a) a conversation where both participants are genuinely trying to explore the truth, exchange ideas, develop their own ideas by exposing them to criticism by the other party, and

    (b) rhetorical combat, where the object is to defeat the other guy

    Obviously there are other kinds of conversation, but let's stick with those two. If you're doing (b) then the JP who showed up for the Cathy Newman interview was perfect. Cool, calm, unflappable, logical and with a little light humour to make the audience symathetic. But when you're doing (a) you are throwing out ideas you're not sure you agree with yourself, you're trying to explain a complicated point with a metaphor. You give a lot of hostages to fortune because you trust the other guy to take what you say in the spirit that it was meant. Peterson gets into trouble when one of those friendly exploratory conversations are posted, and critics use it to do an (b) on him. Or which I think is a fault of Peterson's, he tries to do an (a) with an interviewer he ought to know is has no intention of departing from (b) turf.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Lee Moore - this is an amazing piece of writing and well expressed thought. Thank you!

  • ||

    In fairness to Peterson and the potential for letting temper get in the way, I think we all would feel some anger if every single interviewer you encounter misrepresents your views in an effort to catch you in a 'gotcha!' moment.

    I actually marvel at his restraint.

    It can't be easy on the soul.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Peterson starts from a) always. With everyone.

    Because this is the type of conversation that he sees as enriching and he expects the same of others. He offers them the best in the hope that the best will be returned.

    He usually discovers, much too late, that the other participants were starting from b)

  • DarrenM||

    Somehow, he remains calm while people shout at him and interviewers twist his words.

    The reason Peterson is calm, as someone once pointed out, is because he's a psychologist and is used to sitting and listening to crazy people.

  • Echospinner||

    I have seen some of his videos and managed to get through about a third of his book. I don't see what the big deal is with this guy. Just another pop psychology guru of the day. He dresses up his writing and lectures with impressive sounding philosophy and fake science. What he actually says pretty much amounts to "get off your mom's couch, get a job and a haircut and suck it up like the rest of us". Nothing new there.

  • Lee Moore||

    An example of some fake science from one of his lectures on, say, Personality, would be of interest.

  • Echospinner||

    I don't know about that but two things stood out from what I read.

    His famous lobster analogy is one. Yes lobsters can have a sort of heirarchy and seratonin can affect lobster behavior. Lobsters however are not humans. Technically they do not even have a brain. There is no reason to think that behavioral effects of a ubiquitous neurotransmitter would have any similarities between lobsters and humans. There is also no way to compare lobster social behavior to humans. Some insects eat their young, or the offspring eat their mother. I don't think this says anything about people.

    So it is a rhetorical device to make it seem that his theories are innate and rooted in biological facts.

    I am also bothered by his frequent references to Jung and Jungian archetypes. While Jung is interesting reading it is not even pseudoscience. It is not science at all. There is no scientific evidence for the existence of a collective unconscious. Yet he presents these ideas as if they were established authoritative facts.

    He frequently and correctly attacks social science as lacking in scientific rigor, yet he is not above doing so himself to make it seem that he is the true scientist here.

    I really have nothing against him. He has some good advice. There is always another Dr. Oz out there.

  • Lee Moore||

    Lobsters are an excellent example of Peterson's critics entirely missing the point. He is not saying that humans are like lobsters. He's saying that humans are so unike lobsters, that it's truly amazing that both animals have hierarchies, regulated by serotonin, if - as is claimed by some - the existence of hierarchy in human society is an artefact of human culture, dispensible by revsions to human culture (aka politics.)

    So all these arguments about how unlike humans and lobsters are simply underline Peterson's point. If humans and lobsters (and pretty much all animals in between) have hierarchies (regulated by neurotransmitters) the notion that humans would not have hierarchies but for their imposition by culture is obviously absurd. Either there's a common evolutionary root, or there's convergent evolution because the environment favors hierarchy in pretty much all social animals, or there's a mixture thereof. It can't just be culture. (Note Peterson does not dispute that the particular forms of hierarchy that exist from time to time in human society are shaped by culture. He merely argues that if you try to get rid of a particular hierarchy, a different one will pop up to do the same job.

  • ThomasD||

    He never claimed lobsters are human. Lobsters are creatures with a central nervous system that utilizes neurotransmitters. Some (actually most) of these are also common to the human CNS.

    That these neurotransmitter tend to exert similar sorts of affects on both organisms is not remotely controversial. It forms the basis for all manner of research.

  • ||

    The Dr. Oz comparison is unfair.

    His opposition to Bill C-16 is tremendously important to the West where free speech is concerned.

    And he's teaching people to argue in good faith - calmly and with respect.

    It just goes to show how far off track we've gone that his popularity is largely based on these 'lost' modes of debate and critical thinking.

    Perhaps to the well read (and I agree he says nothing really that is new) he comes off as 'meh' but in case you haven't noticed, we have a whole generation of people who have forgotten how to think and debate.

    That's where his usefulness lies. I welcome it.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    My 26 year old stepson, who went to an urban woke high school (I apologize to everyone), gave me the Jordan Peterson book, which was my first exposure to him. After reading the first couple of chapters, I concluded exactly what you said "get off your mom's couch, get a job and a haircut and suck it up like the rest of us". Nothing new there

    When I made that observation to my stepson, he told me it was nothing new to me, but to people his age who had similar educations, it was a completely new message

  • JWatts||

    "When I made that observation to my stepson, he told me it was nothing new to me, but to people his age who had similar educations, it was a completely new message"

    Yes, and never forget, humans learn through repetition and confirmational messaging from various sources.

  • damikesc||

    That the Left hates him so is odd as nothing he says, to me, is controversial. It is all fairly obvious bits of reality. But then, yes, you notice that so few people are speaking these obvious truths and he becomes a radical by being a very normal guy. Nothing about him is special. And, I am assuming, that is a large part of his appeal.

    I find his talks fascinating. And his willingness to sit there and not yell when people slander the shit out of him is actually impressive. The lack of "Go fuck yourself" in his TV interviews is borderline miraculous.

    But, if you go off the reservation a little bit, then you're hated. It is how he is now "alt-right" when, quite honestly, he leans left. Ditto Rubin.

  • buybuydandavis||

    'That sounds like a reasonable, libertarian take on the issue, but for comments like that, Peterson is called "bigot," "Hitler," "transphobic piece of s—." '

    You say that like it's somehow surprising.
    The Left's go to arguments are identity politics slurs.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    You read along and it sounds like Peterson is making sense. Then you come to:

    Everyone is doing better here than anybody has ever done on the face of the planet throughout recorded history, and the whole West is like that!" he told me. "To call that all a tyrannical patriarchy is indicative of a very deep resentment and ahistorical ignorance that's so profound that it's indistinguishable from willful blindness.

    That's either bigotry talking, or the very ahistorical ignorance Peterson condemns. And he's the guy telling folks to set their own house in order first. That must mean he thinks he's studied history sufficiently, and chooses out of knowledge of actual conditions to say everyone here is doing better than anyone previously. If you accept that at face value, it leaves only bigotry to account for his remark. I prefer to think he is much more ignorant than he knows.

  • JWatts||

    "I prefer to think he is much more ignorant than he knows."

    His statement is correct. Oh, pedantically you could always point to some person who was just run over by a bus and say that this person would have been better off before buses. So, the word Everyone is a slight exaggeration. But that's pedantry. It's clear and trivially proven that Western society is vastly richer, fairer and individually enjoyable than any comparable society in the past.

    The statement is correct.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    JWatts, when you suggest the "trivial" provability of something no one can prove, what are you thinking? Do you suppose you can reason from ideology to discover (or in this case, prove) facts?

  • ThomasD||

    Considering that few prior civilizations have enjoyed remotely the sorts or amounts of material existence we enjoy - abundant food, clean water, shelter, sanitation, leisure time, etc. - and that every one of those was predicated on, and entirely dependent upon massive amounts of slave labor I'd say, insofar as any sort of historical analysis amounts to proof, then the assertion is eminently provable.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    ThomasD, I doubt you have any notion how much leisure time a pre-industrial craftsman in England might have had. I think you start—like pretty much all adherents of the ideology of progress—with an abstract idea about today that you project into the past without the slightest inclination to check for evidence. On the question of leisure, what's your proof? Let's see you do it without using any assumptions about the past at all. Just use facts you can prove from the historical record.

  • Lee Moore||

    "better" obviously involve a value judgement - to that extent it's not provable; if you don't agree with Peterson about the content of "better" then you're not going to agree with his conclusions.

    However, those who attempt to measure "better" tend to look at things like : life expectancy, health, adequate food, clean water, material possessions, hours of labor v hours of leisure, probability of violent death etc. You can then - and people do - compare different socieities in the present world on these criteria (which allows you to add the addition clue of "direction of migration.") You can then paste on a backward comparison - measurements of these things going back in time. Certainly the further back you go, the less reliable the measurements. But you can then tack on a little common sense. If agricultural productivity has measureably shot up in the past hundred years, it's highly unlikley that people had a lot more leisure two hundred years ago - the technology for more sofa time didn't exist. As to life expectancy there are records going back hundreds of years in graveyards throughout Europe and there are bones that used to estimate age at death. Pinker did a whole book about the history of declining violence.

    So when folk look at the historical record they find that out ancestors did a lot worse on those measures of "better" that I mentioned. And even in the last twenty years or so, the sums show astonishingly quick progress.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    First, your notion that you can extrapolate trends over the last 100 years, to get insight into situations 200- or 300-years old is one of the commoner causes of especially unreliable historical musings. Thinking that whatever happened during a recent past interval establishes a trend about the past, and that therefore whatever is more-past will display that same trend to a greater degree is in no way related to either history or reason. It's just a groundless assumption, based on present experience, and indulged unreflectively.

    Consider your point about leisure and agricultural productivity. We know today's productivity is higher. We don't know what that, by itself, tells us about leisure, either in today's society, or in the past. Far greater percentages of the population practiced agriculture 200 or 300 years ago. What do you know about whether the productivity then existing was sufficient, when multiplied by those greater percentages of workers, to deliver leisure, and how much leisure, to those who practiced farming?

    One might suppose that if surplus food is the precondition for leisure, and productivity per worker is now 10 times higher, then we get 10 times more leisure now. But what if that agricultural worker today must feed more than 10 times as many people, as we know he must? What does that mean for leisure? Your style of reasoning can't answer that question. You have to turn to history, and stay willing to be surprised.

  • DenverJ||

    Hmm. One would think that better lighting alone would increase the amount of leisure time simply by expanding the amount of time that could be used for leisure. The 1874 factory act limited the workweek to 56.5 hours in Britain. That seems an indicator of increasing leisure time. Average football gate was 5,000 in 1905, rising to 23,000 in 1913. This also seems an indicator. New additions to adult fiction doubled during the 1920s, reaching 2800 new books a year by 1935.
    And what about women/domestic chores. Do you honestly believe that water heaters, washing machines and other appliances, etc. didn't increase leisure time?
    The history of leisure actually has been studied rather extensively, and yes, we have much more leisure time than before.

  • Trollificus||

    If you, yourself, Lathrop, worked on a farm, today, 100 or 1,000 years ago, you would not have the leisure to post bullshit on the Internets. You admit that "a higher percentage of people worked in agriculture" in the past, but you nowhere imply in any way that it was ever easy, or non-time-consuming.

    You haven't really made a case, only presented quibbles about the methodology by which people conclude that life is better in the 21st century West than ever before. Prove YOUR case, asshole. Show how easy. free and enriching and safe life was in the glorious primitive past.

  • Lee Moore||

    "First, your notion that you can extrapolate trends over the last 100 years, to get insight into situations 200- or 300-years old is one of the commoner causes of especially unreliable historical musings."

    This is exceptionally clueless. People have been keeping score on agricultural productivity, the price of agricultural produce, agricultural wages, the working day since at least Roman times.

    It's simple math. If agricultural productivity, per unit labor, has gone up to ten times* what it once was, then all other things being equal, nine workers now have nothing to do, and so are inundated with leisure.

    All other things are not equal of course – the nine other workers produce stuff that isn't food. Like motor cars, TVs, computers, bank savings accounts and foreign vacations. Oh wait – cars, TVs, computers, foreign vacations – we use those exclusively for work don't we ? Back in the day when our weary days of gleaning were over we went home to…spend a few more hours collecting firewood and repairing our leaky roof.

  • Lee Moore||

    Most people, including agricultural workers, don't just produce more stuff, they also work shorter hours. Higher productivity has produced more and better food, more and better goods, more and better services, AND more leisure. And of course more people – in any animal population surplus food tends to produce population growth. So if you want to know whether humans are doing better than in days of yore, all you need to do is count them.

    * actually there's good evidence that it's more like a hundred times since the Iron Age.

  • Mark22||

    We have detailed economic and social data on major human societies going back thousands of years, so your idea that we can't answer these questions is false.

  • Mark22||

    That's either bigotry talking, or the very ahistorical ignorance Peterson condemns.

    Even if you disagree with him, it is absurd to call his statement "bigoted" or "ignorant". To most people, the statement is plainly true, and there are tons of justifications people can give in support.

  • ||

    "That sounds like a reasonable, libertarian take on the issue, "

    You would think.

    Yet, two articles published here about him were off the mark.

  • DudeAbiding||

    The left's attacks on Peterson are 98% comprised of statements they made up that he never said.
    That is pretty much the modus operandi of the left on virtually any subject with which they disagree.

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