Jordan Peterson humiliates himself

Like most of his fans at the Peterson-Zizek debate, The Guardian is unimpressed with the Canadian Charlatan:

Peterson’s opening remarks were disappointing even for his fans in the audience. They were a vague and not particularly informed (by his own admission) reading of The Communist Manifesto. His comments on one of the greatest feats of human rhetoric were full of expressions like “You have to give the devil his due” and “This is a weird one” and “Almost all ideas are wrong”.

I’ve been a professor, so I know what it’s like to wake up with a class scheduled and no lecture prepared. It felt like that. He wandered between the Paleolithic period and small business management, appearing to know as little about the former as the latter. Watching him, I was amazed that anyone had ever taken him seriously enough to hate him.

He said things like “Marx thought the proletariat was good and the bourgeoisie was evil”. At one point, he made a claim that human hierarchies are not determined by power because that would be too unstable a system, and a few in the crowd tittered. That snapped him back into his skill set: self-defense. “The people who laugh might do it that way,” he replied. By the end of his half-hour he had not mentioned the word happiness once.

I read part of the transcript. It was actually worse than The Guardian describes. As I noted in Jordanetics, Jordan Peterson knows nothing about Marxism despite the way in which he blathers on about “Marxist post-modernists”. But at least he read The Communist Manifesto in preparation for the debate!

But that’s a fitting epitaph for Jordan Peterson’s career as a public pseudo-intellectual: “I was amazed that anyone had ever taken him seriously.” His fifteen minutes are already ending because even his biggest fans are beginning to see through his act.

Context and comprehension

It’s true, Jordan Peterson’s defenders only have two defenses for their hapless hero. The first is “you don’t understand him.” Because obviously only losers who believe they have benefited from being told to clean their room can understand the deep brilliance of the man. The second is “you’re taking him out of context,” which is amusing in light of Jordan Peterson’s own difficulties in that regard:

Whenever I hear it I can only remember that one video where Jordan Peterson sat on a couch with two professors and discussed how a womens studies book was insane. They got the quote wrong ( from memory to be fair), they got the point wrong, and none of them even understood the point being made. They didn’t disagree with it – they didn’t even understand it. It was one small quote but they are supposed to be knowledgeable about the subject since they believe it’s destroying the world.

Jordan Peterson who fixates on debate as a kind of masculine battle where the loser is dominated could not wrap his head around a womens studies book saying the exact same thing. It was a quote about how debate as a means of ascertaining “truth” in a social setting was a historically masculine and black female communities used co-operative methods I think. Jordan Peterson who fixates on redefining truth in a social history instead went on a rant how about the book was actually saying “facts and logic are white oppression!” and then all three sniffed each others farts about how the subject was insane. I’ve never studied it but after research I understood what they were saying even if I didn’t agree with their solutions.

Peterson is a man who does not read the people he criticises. He is a person who struggles to understand the people he criticises as the creators of the next holocaust when they’re discussing similar topics. He doesn’t read context, he doesn’t read, and he demonstrated it regularly.

But everyone else has to listen to his fanfiction of history and religion for hours to understand him.

The more you hear Peterson babble about anything that isn’t himself, the more it becomes apparent that he’s simply not very intelligent or very well-read.

It needs to be said

Dr Jordan B Peterson@jordanbpeterson
Because it needs to be said, apparently here’s what the Alt-Right, in its own words, thinks of my work (much as I hate to advertise the book).

The amusing thing is that anyone who reads Jordanetics is going to realize that Jordan Peterson isn’t an “alt-right darling”, in fact, he isn’t of the Right at all, he’s something much worse and considerably more disturbing than even his most vociferous left-wing critics are claiming.

I look forward to the inevitable one-star fake reviews from the buckos. Because that will TOTALLY stop people from reading it. LEAVE JORDY ALONE!

JBP vs VD: a rational assessment

This video series promises to be interesting, particularly if James Fox Higgins carries through by completing a comparative analysis of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life versus my Jordanetics. He’s done six videos to date, taking him through chapter four of the latter.

Not to give the whole thing away, but the answer, of course, is yes. Jordan Peterson is lying to you.

On a not-unrelated note, the Voxiversity video The Madness of Jordan Peterson just hit 50,000 views. YouTube instructs us to celebrate.

Your fans love this video! Your video hit 50K views. Create a post to celebrate with your fans!

So, that was fun…. 

An absolute grifter

The fact that the Left sees through Jordan Peterson doesn’t mean they are wrong:

Over the summer I read 12 Rules, his wildly popular self-help book. On Saturday I went to see him speak at the Logan Campbell Centre. Outside the venue, I spoke to people who had bought tickets in a genuine attempt to understand his appeal.

Dr Peterson’s fans have been stereotyped as angry young men lashing out at feminism, or older guys furious that their grip on societal power seems to be slipping.

That’s not the impression I got. One man told me Dr Peterson saved him from addiction. A couple of 20-year-olds said they felt disconnected from their generation and had finally found someone to look up to. Everyone who spoke to me was eloquent and reasoned, aware of the common criticisms of Dr Peterson and armed with decent counterarguments.

I don’t think they’re wrong for connecting with a public intellectual who has made cerebral topics like philosophy and mythology mainstream. I’m not angry with them.

I am angry with Dr Peterson, who has pulled off the greatest scam of our time.

I watched him pace around the stage on Saturday, listened to him ramble through half-baked ideas, and reached the conclusion that he is an absolute grifter.

He’s convinced millions of people that watching a middle-aged man pontificate for 90 minutes is akin to a religious experience. You can get that for free at any bar in the world.

I don’t think the people who like this guy are stupid. I think they’re lost and scared and desperate for someone to show them the way.

White men made up the majority of his audience on Saturday, a fact he mentioned during the Q&A segment in an incredibly defensive bad faith argument. He sneered at the idea that the demographics of a fanbase might be relevant information.

Notice how Jordan Peterson confirmed Milo’s criticism of him even as he tried to defend himself from it:

Dr Jordan Peterson defended himself on Australian TV this week after being hit by an unexpected question from far-right internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. The 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos author was a panellist on ABC’s Q&A on Monday night (local time), following his recent tour of New Zealand.

Yiannopoulos featured in a pre-recorded video, in which he attacked Dr Peterson for “betraying his allies” – specifically citing the Canadian clinical psychologist’s perceived silence on the controversies surrounding US judge Brett Kavanaugh and footage of Catholic school students facing off with a Native American protester.

“I don’t believe that I’m obliged to comment on absolutely everything that happens everywhere in the world,” replied Dr Peterson. “I don’t think that I am betraying my fundamental base… I’m also, by the way, not trying to talk to young men. I’m trying to talk to people. There’s been this idea generated in the news by news people who keep reading the news that other news people create that somehow I have a coterie of angry, young, white men surrounding me because they’re angry about feminism and about all these other ‘isms’, let’s say. I don’t see it like that at all.”

“You talk a good game about standing up for men and for boys and you’ve certainly amassed a big army of them, but a few of us have been wondering,” Yiannopoulos told Dr Peterson on Q&A.

“Can you explain why, although you talk a good game about standing up against social justice warriors and the ‘chaotic feminine’, when it comes down to it, you always seem to either fold, stay silent or betray your allies?”

Dr Peterson suggested in his response that Yiannopoulos had the wrong idea about him – just as he and his fans believe much of the news media has.

“I’m trying to suggest to people that their best bet in life – and this is men and women alike – is to adopt as much responsibility as they can for their own lives,” said Dr Peterson.

“Because that is where the meaning in life is to be found. The notion that that’s somehow a message that’s limited to young men is an absurd message.”

Got that, young men? The grifter you thought was your champion just cast you off. He’s got bigger cons to sell now.

Someone was talking to you

But it wasn’t God. I’m not even remotely surprised by Jordan Peterson’s account of one of his spiritual experiences. The Fencing Bear shares an interview with the Manufactured Man:

Peterson: I can tell you one of the experiences that I had… When I was…. This would be in 1985 or thereabouts, when I was busily working on the first draft of my book Maps of Meaning, where I was outlining this idea that the path of the Hero who voluntarily confronts uncertainty and stands on the border between Chaos and Order is the appropriate target for human development. It’s an alternative to the chaos of nihilism and the totalitarianism of rigid belief. So, and that’s the bearing of responsibility for Being. I was working all of that out. It’s actually an answer to the postmodern conundrum as far as I can tell as well. But anyways, at the same time I was making this sculpture, which is about a foot thick. It’s made out of layers of what’s called  foam core, which is styrofoam pressed between two pieces of paper that’s about a quarter of an inch thick and so often used for backing on prints and so on if you get them framed. I made this piece that I called “The Meaning of Music,” and it’s a mandala, so it’s a circle inscribed inside of a square, although I tried to make it multidimensional in a complex way that I can’t really describe at the moment. But what I was trying to do—and I broke it into pieces—what I was trying to do was to produce a visual object that flickered and changed when you looked at it because it was too complex to process visually. You know, like a Necker cube? That’s one of those cubes that reverses when you look at it.

Trussell: Yes.

Peterson: Well, this is like a Necker cube on steroids. Because music, of course, it stays the same across time, but also transforms across time. And it’s full of layered patterns, you know. And the patterns interact harmoniously with one another… And I was fascinated by music because it gives people the direct intimation of meaning. Even if they’re nihilistic punk rockers, they still can’t criticize the experience of meaning that they engage in when they’re listening to their favorite band. It helps them transcend the nihilism of their irrationality…. And you can’t argue with it. It’s like arguing with dance…. It’s beyond argument. And so I was making this sculpture, and I spent like four months on it. I was thinking about it a lot. And I got it mostly assembled, and then I was in my living room in Montreal, and I was listening to Mozart’s Fourth Symphony, the Jupiter Symphony, and I was really listening to it, and it’s one of these complexly, multi-leveled, patterned pieces of auditory sculpture that I believe represents Being. Because what Being is is multiple levels of patterned transformation interacting simultaneously, and music is a representation of that, which is why I think we find it meaningful. Anyways, I was listening intently to this symphony and at the same time I was concentrating on the sculpture that I had made, and all of a sudden—and everything I am about to say is a metaphor because there’s no way of encapsulating it properly in words—it was as if the heavens opened up above me. I mean, I was still in my living room, but the experience is best represented by one of those early Renaissance paintings where you see God or Christ up in the sky with an opening in the sky against the clouds and against the sun so…it was like that, even though I didn’t really see that, it felt like that, and there were some visuals that were associated with it. And then I felt something descend upon me that had a personal nature. You know, something like you were describing as a… higher consciousness that was actually a being of a sort, and it filled me from the inside out. And…it was enrapturing, let’s say. And it was an incredible feeling…. It was a divine feeling, I suppose is the right way of thinking about it. It was certainly a religious experience…. And it transformed me. And it turned me into something far more than I normally was. And maybe you can think about that as an intimation of what you could become if you worked on it for the rest of your life, which is sometimes what I think hallucinogens provide people with—an image of who they could be if they shed all of their dead wood.

Trussell: Right.

Peterson: Anyways, it was as if an offer was being made to me that I could be like that from now on permanently. And I thought, well, I don’t know how to do that. I couldn’t walk down the street in this condition, in this elevated condition. I wouldn’t belong in the world anymore. I wouldn’t know how to function. I don’t know how I could do it… So, this experience, this thing, say, that was communicating with me…accepted that as an answer, although I would say, with some sorrow, and then it receded. And then I went and talked to my wife, and I told her what had happened, and I was shaking, like, a lot…. Like, a tremendous amount. And my pupils were completely dilated.

An offer was almost certainly being made. And Peterson isn’t telling the whole truth about it. Whether or not he accepted the offer that was made to him then, he certainly accepted it, or one very much like it, later.

The con man at work

Another conservative sucker is “dazzled” by Jordan Peterson’s preemptive mirroring:

Peterson takes the stage almost hesitantly. He has no script and no shtick. Instead, he pauses to ruminate a bit and then, drawing from his capacious brain, announces that he thinks he’ll start the talk by looking at the centuries’ long struggle between science and religion. He speaks hesitantly at first. There are long pauses during which he plays an invisible piano while he gathers his thoughts.

For the first ten minutes or so, it’s easy to believe that, after last year’s grueling schedule (100 touring days, more than 100 talks), Peterson has burned out. Then, he slowly starts gathering speed. The words come faster, the literary, psychological, sociological, and scientific data flows in an unending stream of fascinating data. As he gains momentum, Peterson balances the data and in-depth analysis with merely funny asides, which he follows with profoundly funny asides and conclusions.

By the end of the talk, Peterson is, as I said above, dazzling. He’s given the audience, not Oprah-esque pabulum, but an intellectual tour de force about the human condition, about man’s search for meaning, about the Leftist war on competence, about the nature of power, and about universals traits in both humans and animals, to name just a few of the topics he covered. Despite both the sheer breadth of information he offers, Peterson never loses his main point. He wraps everything up in a truly profound package that speaks, not to partisanship, but to core human needs, both personal and societal.

To be honest, Peterson’s speech was so information rich that I’m struggling to remember precisely what he said.

It’s amusing how he has “no script and no shtick” and yet runs through the same performance every single time. These people are going to be very, very angry when they finally realize how completely they’ve been conned by an intellectual charlatan.

This quote from another piece by the same bedazzled author struck me as hauntingly familiar.

The Dark Web consists of a loose federation of people, from conservative Jews to Sanders-supporting atheists, all of whom share a desire to speak the truth about important issues and to do so in a spirit of shared intellectual inquiry. 

How very magickal indeed. Now consider this quote from Cuckservative about the dawn of the conservative movement in the mid-20th century.

Despite their conceptual shortcomings, the early conservatives were relatively successful. To many, they came as a breath of fresh intellectual air after a generation of monolithic post-New Deal liberal-left dominance. At the same time, their ideas were sufficiently broad generalities that they were fully in accord with the blank-slate, universalist ideals that became popular during the 20th century. They also contrasted strongly with those older elements of the traditional American right that had emphasized the unique importance of liberty and limited government to Anglo-Saxon history. But the broad congeniality of conservatism to the mid-20th-century zeitgeist helped the conservatives reach a wider audience than the purely American base of the pre-WWII right. Because the new conservatives were merely skeptical of the benefits of an expansive state rather than vehemently and passionately hostile to it, they began to build a following from among segments of the American population, such as the post-war immigrants and their children, who came from less stubbornly independent political traditions than the sons and daughters of the American Revolution.

The nascent conservative movement did attract some of the surviving remnants of the old right, including the intellectual forerunners of the libertarian movement, Southern agrarians, and isolationist nationalists of various sorts. Others joined the movement as well, including the dissident Trotskyites and cold-war hawks who later evolved into the neoconservatives. Contrary to what is often believed today, the first wave of conservatives did not include fundamentalist Christians in any numbers.

Neither does the Intellectual Dark Web. That’s not a coincidence. Jordan Peterson is not the antichrist. He’s William F. Buckley 2.0.

Jordan Peterson’s sketchy “Fellowship”

A letter to Dr. Jordan Peterson from a disappointed fan:

Dr Peterson, the following is an unedited transcript of the email exchange I have had with Acton since being accepted as a Peterson Fellow. I’m confused. Your message of responsibility speaks to me deeply and it does not seem very “responsible” to ask someone to uproot their life, move across the country, lose a year of wages, go into $65,000+ in debt, all for a program that refuses to answer basic questions about your level of involvement. The Acton MBA seems like a wonderful standard program but Fellows applied for this because of YOUR NAME, not because of Acton. If you just signed off on this as a branding deal I’m profoundly disappointed. I’m flummoxed that you haven’t mentioned it once in a public interview that I can find in the past months, not even your recent Q&A.

​I spent well over 20 hours working on my submissions for this Fellowship. I’m so sad this time seems to have been wasted.

Perhaps you really are selecting for those “most comfortable with ambiguity” and they will get a chance to work with your team on the revolutionary online university project, I hope that’s true, and I wish I could have been a part of it. I can not and will not risk my family’s future for something that appears so outwardly unprofessional and sketchy. I hope you understand that I have personally contacted more than a dozen Fellowship Recipients who were fully accepted and rejected the offer for the same reasons I have. We are very unhappy and disillusioned. We are some of your most devoted fans. We deserve answers and an apology.

I am not even a little bit surprised. Peterson has always been a charlatan. His “self-authoring” program is total psychological snake oil