What's your opinions on Jordan Peterson?

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I decided to make this a topic into itself because I am curious.

As for my opinion so far, all I have is impressions, and so far all I can see from him is that he's pretty much become the Alt Right's professional and "clean" spokesperson like he's no Milo Yiannopolis or Sargon thats for sure, or he is, for lack of a better word, a useful idiot to the Alt Right. Whether or not he is in league with the Alt Right or not I have no idea which is why I made this thread.

But I like to see any other opinions regarding him.

From what little I've seen, he seems about as deep as an ad campaign for an energy drink.

Jordan Peterson is a university of Toronto professor who's claimed himself several times not to be in league with the Alt-Right and he, himself, doesn't have any idea why that happens.

But one just has to listen to Jordan Peterson for any amount of time to hear how much he says "And you see, that's where the SJWs get up in arms about..." or "And that's what the Left gets wrong."

It's simple math. If there are two sides of a subject (and reality, there never is), and you speak of one side in a disparaging tone over and over again and never spent enough time pointing out the faults of the other... reason permits the assumption that you are against the first side and are at least amicable to the other. And the proof is in his own mannerisms. He is a man who seems to be possessed with the notion of disproving what he believes to be falsehoods. And he goes about this by bringing up stats, studies, and the like, saying "Without bias or prejudice, this is what the studies have shown"... and then proceeds to bash the political side he doesn't seem to like with them.

Now, the problem is I like a good deal of what he has to say. He has a talk about how we shouldn't teach our children to be victims, how to deal with psychopaths. But if he can't settle his own confirmation bias (i.e. "This is how all SJW's fail society" while ignoring or not speaking of how the Right is doing the same but just on opposite sides of the issue), it all rings a bit false to me.

Like, here. I'm a great example now. If a Right-leaning member who liked Peterson read what I just said about Peterson, they might think I'm just another SJW sycophant who just hates the truth that Peterson puts out. And their next thought would be "Why isn't he saying the same thing about..." ... You know, I just realized I don't know of any Left leaning social figures like Peterson. But whatever name they have off the top of the head. They'll probably say "He talked about Peterson, but not X. X does the same exact things, but Obsidian didn't take any time to point that out."

First point, this thread is about Peterson. We're talking about the man. We can't have a discussion about the entire political population of the world if we're discussing one man. Such efforts are only meant to distract, and they are disingenuous.

Second Point... So, if you realize X does the same thing as Peterson, and if it's wrong enough to point out... why don't you have the same problem when Peterson does it?

I think Peterson has a lot of good ideas, but as with all of us, it's filtered through his biases. A lot of the right picked up on it as they feel they can base their biases on science, which a lot of them want to do. I don't think he's racist at all. I don't think he's even particularly bigoted to anyone. But I feel he's so convinced of the 'truth of the facts' that the only thing that's keeping him from turning into a bigot is his heart and nature. Those things just don't seem to interest him.

I haven't heard of him. But if he is as clean as you say, he probably won't help the Alt Right to spread itself as much as Milo or Sargon did.

Samtemdo8:
so far all I can see from him is that he's pretty much become the Alt Right's professional and "clean" spokesperson like he's no Milo Yiannopolis or Sargon thats for sure, or he is, for lack of a better word, a useful idiot to the Alt Right. Whether or not he is in league with the Alt Right or not I have no idea which is why I made this thread.

That's a rather binary way of looking at the world. What he does is challenge ideas, and he does so predominantly in a fact based manner. His most viewed works are ones where he challenges predominantly "left" ideas, but that's probably because those generate the most hysteria / media outcry.

The worst thing you could say about him is his borderline conspiracy theory about cultural marxism. Which takes legitimate issues and turns it into some grand plot.

All in all, probably just a relatively centrist guy who isn't afraid to challenge ideas. And actually does so from an informed position.

Catnip1024:
All in all, probably just a relatively centrist guy who isn't afraid to challenge ideas. And actually does so from an informed position.

Nah. Unless that informed position is also disingenuous and/or idiotic.

ObsidianJones:
SNIP

So he's a more thoughtful and well spoken Milo, with some of the same views, and some different ones, sprinkled with reasonable ideas and common sense approaches, but the majority of his ideas fall right of center so some view him as a slippery slope to a Milo world?

Sounds interesting enough, might give him a listen on a long car ride across state.

Silentpony:

ObsidianJones:
SNIP

So he's a more thoughtful and well spoken Milo, with some of the same views, and some different ones, sprinkled with reasonable ideas and common sense approaches, but the majority of his ideas fall right of center so some view him as a slippery slope to a Milo world?

Sounds interesting enough, might give him a listen on a long car ride across state.

I recommend his fringe stuff first, just because of who I am. I'm more interested in a person's views than their politics normally.

I'm currently listening to his thoughts on Antisocial psychopathic males. It's very interesting.

~Edit: I didn't even plan it, but even in a conversation about a segment of broken individuals, Peterson couldn't resist sneaking in a dig to the Left. It's in that link I just sent, 3/4ths to completion.

A traditional religious fundamentalist opportunistically turned cynical self-help guru upheld by young right-wing men and women in the Western world as a beacon of reason against """Leftism""" and "SJWs"/substitute father figure.

He's an enabler for the alt-right, but I wouldn't lump him in with them.

Most of his discourse is so vague that you can basically apply your own meaning to it, though it's filled to brim with dogwhistles about "cultural Marxism" and whatnot.

Sonmi:
A traditional religious fundamentalist opportunistically turned cynical self-help guru upheld by young right-wing men and women in the Western world as a beacon of reason against """Leftism""" and "SJWs"/substitute father figure.

He's an enabler for the alt-right, but I wouldn't lump him in with them.

Most of his discourse is so vague that you can basically apply your own meaning to it, though it's filled to brim with dogwhistles about "cultural Marxism" and whatnot.

I do have to say though, I cant help but think of the saying, "You can judge a man by the quality of his enemies" whenever I see charlatans like these doing their rounds.

Ninjamedic:

Sonmi:
A traditional religious fundamentalist opportunistically turned cynical self-help guru upheld by young right-wing men and women in the Western world as a beacon of reason against """Leftism""" and "SJWs"/substitute father figure.

He's an enabler for the alt-right, but I wouldn't lump him in with them.

Most of his discourse is so vague that you can basically apply your own meaning to it, though it's filled to brim with dogwhistles about "cultural Marxism" and whatnot.

I do have to say though, I cant help but think of the saying, "You can judge a man by the quality of his enemies" whenever I see charlatans like these doing their rounds.

Pretty much, my dude.

Hard to respect the man when he sits there self-satisfyingly declaring himself a brilliant academic and debater right after shooting fish in a barrel.

Sonmi:

Pretty much, my dude.

Hard to respect the man when he sits there self-satisfyingly declaring himself a brilliant academic and debater right after shooting fish in a barrel.

Agreed.

Conversely though, I have little time for the protracted anger against him too. Like Milo, there are far bigger targets on the range.

Seanchaidh:
Nah. Unless that informed position is also disingenuous and/or idiotic.

Eh, no offence, but I don't have time to watch some dude rant for 49 minutes. Is there a written version somewhere?

Maybe I ought to clarify that, for the same reasons as just mentioned, I haven't actually watched vast amounts of Peterson's work.

Except for his religiosity, I quite like him.
Much wisdom and wit, coupled with facts.
He has the leftist marxist SJW's pegged.

Jordan Peterson is cool because he thinks openly, instead of reciting someone else's prepared script. We used to have a whole culture of that, but then everybody joined the Volunteer Inquisition and started policing each other for deviant opinions. Plus he has that healthy tragic sense of life, the lack of which often leads to utopianism and associated ills.

The whole "Alt Right" thing is a total charade. Either it's a negligible bunch of edgy "race realists" OR it's everyone who is not firm enough in the evolving SJW Orthodoxy, not both of them in some quantum superposition to be switched at convenience. What people really need to understand is that it's never going to be enough to go with the flow of the SocJus crowd, with private reservations for the more glaring cases of totalitarian overreach. You're going to have to constantly be adjusting your frame of what's sane in order to stave off the denunciations and excommunications. That's why the only responsible thing to do is to make a point of stepping off that spiral and recognize it's not "mostly for the better", but fundamentally misconceived.

Yes, he sounds harsh when he's talking about the disgraceful state of "higher education", but that's because so many of us prefer to live in denial. All the overt displays of nuttiness get downplayed as "kids being kids", neglecting the reality that it's the institutions that are teaching things like the essentially genocidal logic of irreconcilable "racial" conflict to the susceptible, sheltered young people of current year, neatly mirroring the exact same position they execrate actual white supremacists for espousing. Of course it's not because these people are capable of maintaining an elaborate conspiracy as such, but because it's a self-perpetuating, self-radicalizing social organization, as suggested in this article written by an academic working in the humanities: http://quillette.com/2018/04/22/the-incentives-for-groupthink/

Regarding the concerns about pernicious "dog whistles" concealed in otherwise commonsensical statements, that is just evidence of Richard Hofstadter's "paranoid style in American politics" going mainstream from its humble origins within the "John Birch Society" Right. If you experience a constant whistling in your ears, it may be the problem is in the ears, rather than hiding under every rock, in every bush and probably hollowed-out tree trunk that you think should be chainsawed just to be sure.

But moving on. I went through something of a Jungian phase myself, so my mind isn't that blown by Peterson's talks. Which is not to belittle them, just to point out that it's kind of sad that so many people have never heard anything like what he's saying before, probably because "intellectualism" has been so thoroughly colonized by tedious mongers of schematic resentment. So, in that sense his success is great, but I do worry about someone being fitted into the mantle of a guru, both for his sake and everyone else's. It's just not a good mode of being.

Vendor-Lazarus:

He has the leftist marxist SJW's pegged.

Yeah, I mean it's Marxism that's running rampant right now eh?

He seems like the kind of douchenozzle who gets off on baiting people that he disapproves of and the fact that people call him out on that is considered to be censorship of his radical edgy ideas maaaaaaan. Hell, he reputedly started an introduction to a class by declaring, seemingly for no reason, that he would not use neopronouns (which is an odd thing to just announce).

Now that was an obvious dig at transpeople but the funny thing is, I know several trans men and women IRL (although not all that well) and they all use the regular pronoun of the gender they self-identify with. In other words, he creates issues where likely none would otherwise exist.

Granted I did not attend U of T so I have no idea what he's really like.

Quite negative, overall. He seems like a huckster who has become popular for just repeating the same mytho-poetic idea of masculinity that fell out of favor when the 90's ended.

BreakfastMan:
Quite negative, overall. He seems like a huckster who has become popular for just repeating the same mytho-poetic idea of masculinity that fell out of favor when the 90's ended.

Question Breakfestman, what was your avatar before your current one becaus I think I already know you, just forgot what yoyr avatar was.

Samtemdo8:

BreakfastMan:
Quite negative, overall. He seems like a huckster who has become popular for just repeating the same mytho-poetic idea of masculinity that fell out of favor when the 90's ended.

Question Breakfestman, what was your avatar before your current one becaus I think I already know you, just forgot what yoyr avatar was.

Before this, I had a fuzzy zoomed in image of some guy in corpse paint that I ripped off the cover of a random norwegian black metal album because I thought it was hilarious.

BreakfastMan:

Samtemdo8:

BreakfastMan:
Quite negative, overall. He seems like a huckster who has become popular for just repeating the same mytho-poetic idea of masculinity that fell out of favor when the 90's ended.

Question Breakfestman, what was your avatar before your current one becaus I think I already know you, just forgot what yoyr avatar was.

Before this, I had a fuzzy zoomed in image of some guy in corpse paint that I ripped off the cover of a random norwegian black metal album because I thought it was hilarious.

Hmm well this just confirms my issue with people chanig their username and avatars, I completely for who was who.

But that is a whole different topic, that I already made mind you, so I will drop it here.

BreakfastMan:

Before this, I had a fuzzy zoomed in image of some guy in corpse paint that I ripped off the cover of a random norwegian black metal album because I thought it was hilarious.

Fuck me, I always thought it was a picture of the WCW wrestler 'Sting'

He's got a good grift going is about the most generous thing I can say of him.

That said, while there is a lot of really great criticism of him practically everywhere (Canadaland and Current Affairs in particular have some interesting analysis of his shit, Google it) I'd be interested in seeing what his contemporary peers have to say about his bizarre, meteoric rise to fame among angsty white guys. What do actual academics and other practicing psychologists think of his rambling lectures?

Because last I checked, his first tome Maps of Meaning sold like 500 copies before he took the ever so brave stance of refusing to use unconventional pronouns.

I'm not going to engage too much in this topic, as I haven't read any of Peterson's work nor paid much attention to him or criticisms of him. But I did stumble across an article on the topic of Peterson. Here is it. I read it because I noticed my brother bought a copy of 12 Rules for Life. I heard the name in connection to some controversy or another and I was mildly interested in seeing what people were saying about him.

However, the main gist of this criticism is that Peterson's ideas are so broad and vague that it is hard to really debate and disagree with them, especially since he seems to resist actually defining his terms in any concrete way. In essence, he's very good as using a lot of impressive sounding words to say not very much at all.

I did find this academic's criticism of 12 Rules for Life. His closing paragraph begins with 'Peterson?s allusive style makes critiquing him like trying to nail jelly to a cloud', so it would seem that a major criticism of Peterson is that of Robinson's in the first article.

Just the right wing talking head flavor of the month. I'll forget about him pretty quick.

Because I already basically said this in another file...

Jordan Peterson has a certain amount to say about self-respect and so on which is all perfectly healthy, psychologically defensible stuff. There then exists this extreme tension, because he goes on about fact and reasoning based discourse and applies it his psychology... before then ranting wild and uninformed alt-right dog whistles about things such as cultural Marxism.[1]

And I can absolutely bet you, it's the alt-right dog whistles that have won him popularity, not the self-respect stuff.

After all, you can go to virtually any psychologist on the planet and hear about the importance of having confidence and self-esteem, and ways to improve your own. If you're a raging alt-righter, it sounds a lot better coming from another raging alt-righter than a normal psychologist. Although frankly, I'm not sure most of Peterson's adherents are actually there to listen to the psychological advice, they're there to laud an intellectual they feel sticks up for their political beliefs.

[1] As Feynman said "I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy - and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter."

To rightists, who are used to all of their media reperesentatives either being comically stupid, like Alex Jones, comically evil, like Milo Yiannopoulos or both, like... well, Donald Trump, I'm sure he must seem like a great thinker and moralist. To anyone else he's a pompous old guy with a decent education and some farfetched mumbo jumbo about male identity that he hides behind an overly flowery vocabulary, saying nothing of actual significance.

So basically, to understand Peterson we need to go back to Carl Jung.

Carl Jung was a contemporary and initial supporter of Freud, but their relationship broke down as Jung's theories started to take a very different trajectory to those of other psychoanalysts of his time. Jung, in essence, believed that there were fixed and stable points, ideas and themes within the human mind which he called "archetypes" and that while some of these were individual many were in fact shared across all human beings through a mechanism he called the "collective unconscious".

In the last few decades, Jung has experienced a revival among conservative psychologists who are attracted by his very fixed and ordered idea of the human mind and relatively sympathetic attitudes to religion. Peterson is one of these new generation of conservative Jungians, but he's also one of the most obnoxious examples of the failure of that group. Namely, he doesn't seem to understand basic concepts from outside his own discipline. His method is ludicrously unscientific (amusingly, for someone who often accuses other disciplines of being unscientific) and relies heavily on presenting his own imagination and interpretation as fact. His reading of other people's work is often extremely poor quality, which is made worse by the fact that he often tries to read people who are notoriously difficult, like Jacques Derrida.

But essentially his weakest quality comes straight from his own Jungian background and is reflected in both his self-help and academic writing (which is a problem). Essentially, he divides the world into these fixed, archetypal notions of "order" and "chaos", assumes that "order" means "functioning/good/productive/masculine" and "chaos" means "dysfunctional/bad/useless/feminine" (and I'm not adding the gendering) and then projects this distinction onto just about everything he encounters or looks at. Now, anyone remotely familiar with the intellectual history of Europe, for example, will tell you that the spread of liberalism or the enlightenment was met with an absolute terror at the "anarchism" which these positions represented. But this would dilute or weaken the case that modern SJWs are trying to spread chaos and destroy western civilization, so Peterson doesn't notice it (even though it's brought up by numerous people he claims to have read and understood). This wilful ignorance makes an already contrived point vacuous.

Essentially, like most Jungians, he's ultimately peddling a kind of vague modern mysticism which actually stands in very sharp contrast to the razor sharp and critically precise language of the people he ironically denigrates as anti-scientific or "cult-like". It's a bunch of easy, oversimplified answers to modern problems which substitute critical engagement for a vague, comfortingly fuzzy tone and pandering political sentiment.

StatusNil:

The whole "Alt Right" thing is a total charade. Either it's a negligible bunch of edgy "race realists" OR it's everyone who is not firm enough in the evolving SJW Orthodoxy, not both of them in some quantum superposition to be switched at convenience. What people really need to understand is that it's never going to be enough to go with the flow of the SocJus crowd, with private reservations for the more glaring cases of totalitarian overreach. You're going to have to constantly be adjusting your frame of what's sane in order to stave off the denunciations and excommunications. That's why the only responsible thing to do is to make a point of stepping off that spiral and recognize it's not "mostly for the better", but fundamentally misconceived.

If the "alt right" is a charade, so is "SocJus". SocJus and alt right are both just a diffuse collection of different individuals with individually different perspectives and understandings who can be loosely bundled together because of a certain amount of shared outlook.

You don't get to slap labels on the people you don't like and then conveniently deny one should apply to yourself. This goes double when employed to further some arrogant delusion of being an "independent thinker" set in contrast to those who you disagree with and would imply to be sheep. You and Peterson do not have some magic capability to resist other people's opinions that you appear to assume SocJus don't - you just have different sources that moulded how your thoughts developed over the years with a sprinkle of self-determination on top. And that's all any of us are, really.

Agema:

If the "alt right" is a charade, so is "SocJus". SocJus and alt right are both just a diffuse collection of different individuals with individually different perspectives and understandings who can be loosely bundled together because of a certain amount of shared outlook.

You don't get to slap labels on the people you don't like and then conveniently deny one should apply to yourself. This goes double when employed to further some arrogant delusion of being an "independent thinker" set in contrast to those who you disagree with and would imply to be sheep. You and Peterson do not have some magic capability to resist other people's opinions that you appear to assume SocJus don't - you just have different sources that moulded how your thoughts developed over the years with a sprinkle of self-determination on top. And that's all any of us are, really.

No. I'm not making up the readily observable trend of people declaring themselves proponents of "Social Justice", or that various institutions that keep redefining their missions from the furthering of knowledge to the promotion of said special justice. Furthermore, they are quite explicit in their rejection of "individually differing perspectives" in favor of collectively defined "lived experience as a [Fill In Blank]". You, on the other hand, are lumping people into this "Alt Right" despite their crystal clear objections to what I take to be the essence of Dicky Spencer's "Alt Right", namely the white "racial" collectivism. Obviously, "SocJus" is a conflation meant to evoke comparisons to the "IngSoc" of 1984, which to me are absolutely, undeniably pertinent in light of the conceptual engineering going on. Maybe it won't convert true believers, but the clear parallel should serve as a warning for those reluctant to engage of what's at stake.

If you're going to slap a label on me (or Jordan Peterson, or anyone), you should at least try to get it right, instead of deploying the routine Scarlet Alt. I'm not under any illusion of totally "independent thinking", as I'm aware I'm mostly drawn to react to what I think is colossal, destructive folly, rather than being some visionary of a World+. But the thing about this is that the "Alt Right" in its proper sense is just another branch of the same poison tree as SocJus. And Jordan Peterson for example rejects that whole framework. It's like you're thinking inside a box and refusing to consider the possibility that the voices from the outside of it are not just the other team inside trying to trick you with their devious whistles.

evilthecat:

But essentially his weakest quality comes straight from his own Jungian background and is reflected in both his self-help and academic writing (which is a problem). Essentially, he divides the world into these fixed, archetypal notions of "order" and "chaos", assumes that "order" means "functioning/good/productive/masculine" and "chaos" means "dysfunctional/bad/useless/feminine" (and I'm not adding the gendering)

Really? Or could it be you're just confusing the Jungian archetype with the structuralist dichotomies of Levi-Strauss? Perhaps because your education might be pretty much based on the project of "deconstructing" those alleged structures?

Obviously Jung is not "scientific" as much as hermeneutic, or even downright hermetic in the occult sense. I've always got the sense that Peterson separates his Jungian speculations from the kind of replicable psychological lab work that he accuses the "implicit bias" theorists of failing at. I've always got the impression he's engaged in both kinds of endeavor.

Catnip1024:
Maybe I ought to clarify that, for the same reasons as just mentioned, I haven't actually watched vast amounts of Peterson's work.

You're not missing much. What is profound is not new, and what is new is not profound. As it pertains to Marx, it's pretty clear he hasn't even read him or, if he has, that he has nothing to say in counterargument.

StatusNil:
Really? Or could it be you're just confusing the Jungian archetype with the structuralist dichotomies of Levi-Strauss? Perhaps because your education might be pretty much based on the project of "deconstructing" those alleged structures?

No, I'm not confusing them, and you should not be confusing "structuralism" with the idea that there is a natural order or meaning to concepts themselves, which is in fact the opposite of what structuralism implies.

A structuralist binary opposition consists of arbitrary and contingent concepts which achieve temporary meaning through their relation with each other. The idea is that binary oppositions themselves form the universal grammar of human culture, not that any given concept forms of the universal meaning of human culture. Big difference.

"Deconstruction" in the sense you're attempting to use it is not the process of unmaking structures, but is rooted in the contingent nature of the structures themselves. A text deconstructs itself through the lack of an external referent, precisely because each individual sign within it is arbitrary. Grammar alone, ultimately, cannot grant meaning to the meaningless, and thus to preserve the meaning of our thought we have to try and look beyond structuralism itself.

This is the same issue Peterson has with "postmodernism" (he doesn't seem to know what poststructuralism is). He assumes that the "post" implies an opposition and that postmodernism is the intentional rejection of meaning, whereas in reality it is the failure of modernism to substantiate its own meaning that makes postmodernism necessary at all.

Seanchaidh:

Catnip1024:
Maybe I ought to clarify that, for the same reasons as just mentioned, I haven't actually watched vast amounts of Peterson's work.

You're not missing much. What is profound is not new, and what is new is not profound. As it pertains to Marx, it's pretty clear he hasn't even read him or, if he has, that he has nothing to say in counterargument.

See, I never got the impression that he was profound. I don't think he thinks he is profound. But he does raise interesting points, and some of his less out there stuff was reasonably interesting to a degree. Kind of like Obsidian Jones was saying.

The thing is, when he is speaking about "Cultural Marxism", this is not meant as anything to do with Karl Marx. He's talking about a completely distinct mentality, and using a confusing term.

Then again, as a psychologist, geopolitics isn't exactly his strong point.

Catnip1024:

Seanchaidh:

Catnip1024:
Maybe I ought to clarify that, for the same reasons as just mentioned, I haven't actually watched vast amounts of Peterson's work.

You're not missing much. What is profound is not new, and what is new is not profound. As it pertains to Marx, it's pretty clear he hasn't even read him or, if he has, that he has nothing to say in counterargument.

See, I never got the impression that he was profound. I don't think he thinks he is profound. But he does raise interesting points, and some of his less out there stuff was reasonably interesting to a degree. Kind of like Obsidian Jones was saying.

The thing is, when he is speaking about "Cultural Marxism", this is not meant as anything to do with Karl Marx. He's talking about a completely distinct mentality, and using a confusing term.

Then again, as a psychologist, geopolitics isn't exactly his strong point.

His theory of "Cultural Marxism" is that it's a reaction to the 20th century failure of "Marxism".

Seanchaidh:
His theory of "Cultural Marxism" is that it's a reaction to the 20th century failure of "Marxism".

And this is what I mean when I talk about the conspiracy theory element of his speeches. Marxism was put together by academic white people as a counter to the aristocracy / business / whatever. To suggest that "cultural marxism" is some bizarre continuation of that is nutty.

Sure, there may be some apt comparisons to make between them, but he does lose me at that point.

But it's like a lot of these highly praised people you see on Youtube. Most of them have some decent points if you ignore the crap they also come out with.

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