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Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby Boombats on Sun May 27, 2018 12:14 am

Anthony Flack wrote:
AdamN wrote:Jordie P's champion at the University of Toronto wrote a long piece about the transformation of his friend.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/2018/05 ... erous.html


Well, that pretty much went from funny to terrifying. Back when it was funny:

He was preoccupied with alternative health treatments including fighting off the signs of aging as they appear on the skin, and, one time, even shamanic healing practices, where, to my great surprise and distress, he chose to be the shaman himself.

Jordan Avocado Peterson

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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby GrantMcNeilly on Sun May 27, 2018 8:57 am

unsaved wrote:Lengthy but spot on thread:

https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/997980968886644736

For those who don't know Peterson, he's a pre-Modernist thinker whose embrace of some mid-20th c. philosophical, lit-critical, and psychological dead-ends—an ideology frozen in the 50s—has made him a hero among the alt-right. He's part of the so-called "Intellectual Dark Web."

Peterson owes his success to a growing hostility to postmodernism that's not wholly without merit. But instead of seeking a new evolution from postmodernism that acknowledges all we learned from it—and we've learned an immeasurable amount—he aims to pretend it never happened.

But because severely retrograde conservative thinkers who clearly articulate what they believe are quickly shunned—"Let's return to the 50s!" is a rallying cry for dead-enders, and everyone knows it—he frames his attack on postmodernism as an evolution rather than devolution.

Jordan Peterson is pop psychology for children. But he's articulate, very polished, (seemingly) very earnest, and willing to dialogue on almost any topic and (almost) always cordially, so his vapid ideas seem both profound and also an *evolution* from our contentious culture.


The minute this guy mentions 'metamodernism' he shoots himself in the foot, that whole concept - even though it is real, I know - just gets across how silly and abstract this kind of academic thinking is, which is exactly what Peterson & his followers hate. I'm not saying that anyone should change their discourse for peterson but if you read up on "metamodernism" it's pretty clear it's a frivolous topic that's also a kind of class warfare in itself.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon May 28, 2018 5:25 pm

Peterson and his followers love silly and abstract academic thinking when it draws reactionary conservative conclusions.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby VaticanShotglass on Mon May 28, 2018 6:26 pm

So I read some more of the links up thread. Ugh. Really disgusting dude. It's so gross he's this popular (and taking it to the bank while poor-mouthing).

Also, how sad and empty are these followers of his? This is just the typical quota of turd head jumping at the latest turd trend, no?
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby addley on Mon May 28, 2018 11:29 pm

VaticanShotglass wrote:Also, how sad and empty are these followers of his?


As much as the rest of us, I imagine.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby jimmy two hands on Tue May 29, 2018 11:41 am

Dude thinks the social systems of lobsters are a good stand in for human society. This guy is a fucking joke and should be laughed out of any room he walks into. Anyone who takes this kermit the frog ass motherfucker seriously is a grade-A nimrod.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby VaticanShotglass on Tue May 29, 2018 3:18 pm

jimmy two hands wrote:Dude thinks the social systems of lobsters are a good stand in for human society. This guy is a fucking joke and should be laughed out of any room he walks into. Anyone who takes this kermit the frog ass motherfucker seriously is a grade-A nimrod.


It's sooooo goofy. It's one of those things that makes you think how feasible it could be for most people to start a cult given they were either unscrupulous or bonkers enough.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby AdamN on Tue May 29, 2018 7:45 pm

Someone already critiqued that article I posted on this page. Nathan Robinson works quick.

TWO WAYS OF RESPONDING TO CONSERVATIVES

Instead of criticizing them for poor character, we should show why their “ideas” are shallow, incoherent, and will make people miserable…

by NATHAN J. ROBINSON

It should be easy for a leftist to concede that not all criticism of conservatives is of equal validity or equal persuasiveness. Personally, I think a fundamental requirement of intellectual honesty is to make sure your arguments are fair, and that you are not distorting the truth for ideological reasons. It’s also important, if you are actually trying to advance your ideas, to think about which points are the most likely to convince people rather than which ones are the most satisfying. I have strongly criticized the Democratic Party in particular for its habit of throwing every criticism it can think of at Donald Trump, instead of selecting and emphasizing the criticisms that have the most substantive merit. For example, Chuck Schumer recently condemned Trump for issuing a commemorative coin with Kim Jong Un’s face on it. I am fairly sure that (1) hardly anybody cares about this and (2) the strategy of painting Trump as “soft on North Korea” is both doomed and stupid.

I want to examine two published articles that criticize University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson. Both of them are written from a left perspective, and reach very damning conclusions about Peterson. Both writers clearly think his ideas are harmful and his popularity is depressing. And yet I think one of them is an effective, accurate, and devastating critique, while the other is a desperate, unpersuasive, and counterproductive one. (The good one is not mine, though I do also recommend mine.)
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby VaticanShotglass on Wed May 30, 2018 2:10 am

^I think that guy is right. The prescription is more tedious than difficult.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby Anthony Flack on Wed May 30, 2018 2:53 pm

Indeed. Once you mine down through the layers of obfuscatory waffle it's not difficult to refute Peterson's stupid core points. Oh, you object to the left pushing "equality of outcome"? Well nobody on the left believes equality of outcome is even remotely possible let alone achievable and it's certainly not what anybody is asking for, so that's a massively overstuffed strawman. Next.

In fact all he ever does is wrestle straw men.

I don't expect somebody who used to be Peterson's biggest champion and who still thinks Maps Of Meaning is brilliant to offer an incisive intellectual takedown of Peterson's baloney that would convince other true believers. That one was just a peep show into the freak show.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby VaticanShotglass on Wed May 30, 2018 5:22 pm

Yeah. So the thing that gets me whenever some dude like this pops up and starts popularizing trash reasoning is not the difficulty of argument but the sheer feeling of exhaustion that goes with it.

I mean, I've taught logic, critical thinking, ethics, all sort of philosophy, etc. I'd often break down what what was wrong with the reasoning of this or that when students would bring something up. Very often students have no idea how science works or what the non-straw man version of liberal or leftist positions are. I do this patiently and kindly with the goal of teaching students how to asses positions and arguments themselves. In the classroom this is typically a very positive experience. It's an environment where I develope a relationship with the students and I'm not trying brainwash anyone or chastise anyone. I loved engaging in genuine two way education.

But online or in the wild, it's exhausting. I tend to doubt most of these folks don't care to hear thoughtful responses. They've already got their mental high of feeling emotional resonance with some asshole and only want to share that feeling or shit on those who disagree. I get that all the time when I work on houses with my uncle, who otherwise is nice to work with. At best a dude will slink off. On the internet you get no real reading on the other person.

It often feel like a pearls to swine situation. That sounds snide, but I don't know.

Edit: I agree that the article by the retired colleague only really has voyueristic value. Maybe it can be a cautionary tale about not making excuses for morally compromised people you happen to find charismatic.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby M.H on Wed May 30, 2018 6:47 pm

Anthony Flack wrote: Well nobody on the left believes equality of outcome is even remotely possible let alone achievable and it's certainly not what anybody is asking for, so that's a massively overstuffed strawman.


Nonsense. It’s happening regularly.

The gender pay gap or the focus on the number of BAME students attending university are sources of annual outrage in the UK.

Every year there’s the usual uproar from the usual suspects that piss and moan about the most recent batch of statistics representing an awful injustice.

Nobody talks about the multitude of factors that might be contributing to these stats - the stories are driven by the assumption that systemic discrimination is the only cause. Any deviation from this line is heretical.

All that happens is the usual round of handwringing, followed by shitty legislation or affirmative action BS to correct these ‘injustices’ that make no difference. And surprise, next year, the same shrill, statistically illiterate simps come back to whine that equality hasn’t been achieved.

The problem for the equality fetishists is that song and dance this has been going on for so many years that most people have grown tired of pretending to care.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby Anthony Flack on Wed May 30, 2018 7:23 pm

Pointing out that a (generally quite large) observed INequality of outcome along the axis of race or gender is likely to indicate systemic INequality of opportunity along the same axis is absolutely NOT the same as demanding equality of outcome.

M.H wrote:The problem for the equality fetishists is that song and dance this has been going on for so many years that most people* have grown tired of pretending to care.


* middle class white people who aren't affected by this sort of discrimination and so can make it go away by simply ignoring it

It's never going to be over. It's never going to stop and go away. There's never going to be a time when we can say "yup, looks like society is completely free of unfair discrimination now. No need for any more self-examination ever again."

This hand-wringing/song and dance that you can't be bothered hearing about any more is absolutely necessary and always will be.

Nobody talks about the multitude of factors that might be contributing to these stats - the stories are driven by the assumption that systemic discrimination is the only cause.


Another straw fellow is wheeled out onto the stage for Jordan! Other factors are ENDLESSLY discussed. But this kind of systemic discrimination is death by a thousand cuts. It's never just one thing. What Peterson keeps coming back to is the idea that systemic discrimination on the basis of such things as race or gender doesn't exist or has only negligible effect (he is fond of saying we live in a meritocracy, which is laughable) and these inconvenient stats can be waved away as simply reflecting the natural order of things.

Maybe women don't WANT positions of leadership. Maybe black people are just naturally under-achieving.

And then off he goes to cherry-pick some examples from the animal kingdom that he can enlist in his endless game of special pleading in the service of apologism for institutional bigotry.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby Clyde on Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:03 am

GrantMcNeilly wrote:
unsaved wrote:Lengthy but spot on thread:

https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/997980968886644736

For those who don't know Peterson, he's a pre-Modernist thinker whose embrace of some mid-20th c. philosophical, lit-critical, and psychological dead-ends—an ideology frozen in the 50s—has made him a hero among the alt-right. He's part of the so-called "Intellectual Dark Web."

Peterson owes his success to a growing hostility to postmodernism that's not wholly without merit. But instead of seeking a new evolution from postmodernism that acknowledges all we learned from it—and we've learned an immeasurable amount—he aims to pretend it never happened.

But because severely retrograde conservative thinkers who clearly articulate what they believe are quickly shunned—"Let's return to the 50s!" is a rallying cry for dead-enders, and everyone knows it—he frames his attack on postmodernism as an evolution rather than devolution.

Jordan Peterson is pop psychology for children. But he's articulate, very polished, (seemingly) very earnest, and willing to dialogue on almost any topic and (almost) always cordially, so his vapid ideas seem both profound and also an *evolution* from our contentious culture.


The minute this guy mentions 'metamodernism' he shoots himself in the foot, that whole concept - even though it is real, I know - just gets across how silly and abstract this kind of academic thinking is, which is exactly what Peterson & his followers hate. I'm not saying that anyone should change their discourse for peterson but if you read up on "metamodernism" it's pretty clear it's a frivolous topic that's also a kind of class warfare in itself.


Seth Abramson is the worst. Combining centrist politics with loony conspiracy theories is like mixing paper and plastic: they're both trash but they belong in separate bins.

It kind of reminds of when Stanley Kubrick's daughter ripped on Dr. Phil for exploiting poor Shelley Duvall and everybody was, "yes, yes" but then she kept talking and we realized she was just pushing Scientology and we all backed away quietly.

Also, metamoderism is barely even a thing. If the best way to criticize JP's dark-and-gritty reboot of the 90s Men's Movement is through an inchoate half-discipline that, like, three people have heard of, we buckos might as well concede.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby Anthony Flack on Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:53 pm

Clyde wrote:It kind of reminds of when Stanley Kubrick's daughter ripped on Dr. Phil for exploiting poor Shelley Duvall and everybody was, "yes, yes" but then she kept talking and we realized she was just pushing Scientology and we all backed away quietly.


Oh no, did they get her? That's sad. Did this happen before or after Eyes Wide Shut I wonder.

I can't help but picture Tom Cruise thinking you took my wife, so I'm going to take your daughter.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby GrantMcNeilly on Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:27 am

Clyde wrote:Seth Abramson is the worst. Combining centrist politics with loony conspiracy theories is like mixing paper and plastic: they're both trash but they belong in separate bins.

It kind of reminds of when Stanley Kubrick's daughter ripped on Dr. Phil for exploiting poor Shelley Duvall and everybody was, "yes, yes" but then she kept talking and we realized she was just pushing Scientology and we all backed away quietly.

Also, metamoderism is barely even a thing. If the best way to criticize JP's dark-and-gritty reboot of the 90s Men's Movement is through an inchoate half-discipline that, like, three people have heard of, we buckos might as well concede.


I mean I have to wonder why exactly he's chiming in at all, he must sort of suspect that the last thing that will win over JP's followers is a jewish academic who trumpets the fact that he writes for vanity fair and is a proponent of "metamodernism".

I'm not sure I blame "centrist politics" as much as a system of values that is prevalent in America, and particularly in the media, that this kind of right-wing trolling is riffing off of: you can't simply disagree with your sparring partner, you need to make them either love you also or make them seem "backwards", you need to just talk to people as if you are two steps ahead - it can't ever be about the issues, straightforwardly, ever. You need to absolutely make it seem as if we've "moved passed" all of these very real problems in order to delegitimize whomever you are arguing with. It's a language game that people like Peterson are benefiting from.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby kokorodoko on Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:50 am

Not just America, it's a pretty general attitude. It's wanting to feel like you're above the rest because you know what's "in" and what's "out" and can declare it to all the other suckers. It's most prevalent in entertainment journalism, where it is irritating enough, but when I see it transfered to other subjects I'm ready to start fights.

The mere idea that perspectives on existential and social problems is something that changes like fashion trends, and that some self-appointed group can declare a new "era". And of course you have to give it a nice brand-name. Really, just like the worst of music journalism: "Yeah, we're in post-retro neo-classical revival now".
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby GrantMcNeilly on Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:55 am

i mean, i guess i myself am not being entirely straightforward myself because i'm writing an article on this very topic, in particular about the way history was written in the immediate aftermath of the congress of Vienna. In an attempt to make global commerce / economics "unchanging", certain politicians in France, Austria and Britain ended up "Aestheticizing" politics - hence you get concepts such as "national character" and whatnot, and unsurprisingly nations are virtuous to the degree that they follow the protestant work ethic / emphasize the modern and the new over traditions. Unsurprisingly, the worst of these books, from 1812, was a HUGE SMASH HIT in America... Meanwhile the economy is spoken of in mathematical formulae, giving it an unprecedented degree of legitimacy. before the napoleonic era it was ALL spoken of in terms of "the passions"...
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby Anthony Flack on Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:57 pm

The mere idea that perspectives on existential and social problems is something that changes like fashion trends, and that some self-appointed group can declare a new "era".


Oh, I think they do change.

Historians and social theorists like to divide time periods into eras and name them for the purposes of analysis, but they aren't driving the social change itself. I think it's undeniable that we are no longer in the television age, and the internet age is pretty different and requires new social theories. 1970s-era postmodernism just isn't going to cut it.
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Re: Alt-right darling: Jordan Peterson

Postby Clyde on Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:14 am

Anthony Flack wrote:
Clyde wrote:It kind of reminds of when Stanley Kubrick's daughter ripped on Dr. Phil for exploiting poor Shelley Duvall and everybody was, "yes, yes" but then she kept talking and we realized she was just pushing Scientology and we all backed away quietly.


Oh no, did they get her? That's sad. Did this happen before or after Eyes Wide Shut I wonder.

I can't help but picture Tom Cruise thinking you took my wife, so I'm going to take your daughter.


This was before. I've read somewhere that Tom Cruise's involvement in the Church was at a low ebb around the time of EWS. There is also a conspiracy theory out there--what is it about Kubrick films encouraging such readings?--that Kubrick made EWS as a way of trying to send a message to his estranged daughter.

GrantMcNeilly wrote:
Clyde wrote:Seth Abramson is the worst. Combining centrist politics with loony conspiracy theories is like mixing paper and plastic: they're both trash but they belong in separate bins.

It kind of reminds of when Stanley Kubrick's daughter ripped on Dr. Phil for exploiting poor Shelley Duvall and everybody was, "yes, yes" but then she kept talking and we realized she was just pushing Scientology and we all backed away quietly.

Also, metamoderism is barely even a thing. If the best way to criticize JP's dark-and-gritty reboot of the 90s Men's Movement is through an inchoate half-discipline that, like, three people have heard of, we buckos might as well concede.


I mean I have to wonder why exactly he's chiming in at all, he must sort of suspect that the last thing that will win over JP's followers is a jewish academic who trumpets the fact that he writes for vanity fair and is a proponent of "metamodernism".

I'm not sure I blame "centrist politics" as much as a system of values that is prevalent in America, and particularly in the media, that this kind of right-wing trolling is riffing off of: you can't simply disagree with your sparring partner, you need to make them either love you also or make them seem "backwards", you need to just talk to people as if you are two steps ahead - it can't ever be about the issues, straightforwardly, ever. You need to absolutely make it seem as if we've "moved passed" all of these very real problems in order to delegitimize whomever you are arguing with. It's a language game that people like Peterson are benefiting from.


Your points are spot-on.

Let me add, I didn't mean to suggest that there is much of a connection between Abramson's centrism and metamodernism*; it was meant as a separate thought about how he spends so much time on Twitter pushing fringey Russiagate conspiracy theories while at the same time claiming to be serious and sober-minded in the way the centrists always claim to be.

*I suppose one could make some tenuous connection between centrism and metamodernism in that they're both reverse-engineered movements trying to claim some milquetoast third way.
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