Friday, March 30, 2018


The past couple of weeks, have been punctuated for me by friends asking 'have you heard of Jordan Peterson?' indicating that they have either just heard of him, or they have just become concerned that he is something they need to take seriously. In most cases, the question has not been one of curiosity, but seeking reassurance. That no reasonable person would credit Jordan Peterson. Or perhaps just that they are not the only person blindsided by his rise in popularity.

If you are concerned about the rise of JP, I would suggest you relax, and no need to 'research' what he's all about. You won't like him. He is riding a market opportunity though, by and large created by the popular conventional wisdom of the left.

I offer my shitty synthesis of what you just need to take note of, and meditate on.

1. To argue badly for a cause is the same as supporting the opposition.

This talk by Van Jones, whom hopefully is more likable than JP opens with the words "I think Liberals have a very hard time understanding their role in creating a market for Trump."

2. You probably can't demand empathy if you don't yourself extend it.
3. Empathizing is really, really hard, easy to mistake with projecting, and few people are good at it.
4. Oppression, tragically, is never as personal to the oppressor as it is to the oppressed.
5. Most oppression is a bi-product, an oversight.
6. The world as it is may be flawed, but that doesn't mean it came to these flaws arbitrarily.
7. Popular and egalitarian movements will be defined by the lowest common denominator.
8. Just because you won't let a psychoanalyst put you in a box, doesn't mean you don't behave as if you are in that box.
9. Be skeptical of anyone telling you who you are, but remember also that you are not the final authority on who you are. If it were so, you'd never have met a liar.
10. If you can't entertain dissenting opinions, you will be doomed to live a life under the foot of people who can.
11. It's a poor idea to lie to yourself. Take inventory of any vindictiveness or desire for group membership, and status within a group that may be motivating your righteousness.
12. When Bertrand Russel said 'The trouble with the world is the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt' it was an apolitical statement.
13. You will probably never meet someone 10 times your height, but it is possible to meet someone 10 times your psychological size and it's much harder to spot them coming. So brace for the greater variance.
14. Having everyone accommodate your problem into irrelevance is not only inefficient but does not actually fix your problem.

There, there's plenty of thoughts to feast upon and digest. I could do so myself and perhaps emerge a better thinker and advocate of whatever, and it doesn't require watching hours upon hours of JP lectures trying to force down your distaste to extract some granules of valuable criticism.

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