Bloody shovel

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Jordan Peterson

Last week Jordan Peterson went to Sam Harris’ podcast. I had mixed feelings about it. I thought nothing good could come out of that. And as I had expected, Sam Harris trounced Jordan Peterson. Completely. The podcast got into a complete bog down on epistemology, where Jordan Peterson tried to define the word “truth” as “good”, and Harris wasn’t buying it, explaining 30 times how it’s very useful to have a concept of truth which is separate from the concept of good. Peterson stood his ground and confronted with volley after volley of sheer logic, refused to concede the point. The guy is stubborn. Which would be ok if he explained his logic, which he fails to do.

Now, I’m no fan of Sam Harris. I find him a bit of a narcissistic douche.  You can see that on his completely unhinged criticism of Trump. And of course his dumb promotion of atheism alongside some senseless mystic crap aided by Amerindian drugs or something. This guy wants to be a liberal with the status it brings, but he wants to make sense too. And he also wants to be a guru. He’s trying to sell you the leftism of yesterday as it if were some new awesome deal. Well it doesn’t work like that.

That said, Sam Harris is smart. He’s very articulate, his thinking is fast and precise. The guy can do logic. All things which aren’t Jordan Peterson’s strong suit. So he got trounced. He didn’t get trounced on ideology, mind you. Jordan Peterson has semi-overtly become a prophet of Gnon, mostly on grounds of his brave refusal to submit to Ontario’s Social Justice Tribunals. Sam Harris would never confront the establishment openly like that. But, credit where it’s due, he’s no fan of the extreme left either, and he has been quite outspoken as a critic of Islam, which hasn’t made him any friends in polite society. So the guys aren’t that far away in ideological terms. But they’re selling different stuff. Sam Harris is selling logic. Materialism. Science. Jordan Peterson is selling pragmatic psychology. But Sam Harris knows his stuff better than Jordan Peterson knows his own stuff.

Now not knowing quite well what he’s selling doesn’t stop him from making $15,000 a month on Patreon, which I’m sure Sam Harris isn’t making. So maybe he knows what he’s doing better than anyone in pragmatic terms. But still, I do like consistent and articulate ideas, so let me do some fisking of Mr. Peterson. I do think he’s on the right direction, widely speaking. His stuff has more potential than Sam Harris. Atheism has been tried. There was this thing called objectivism. Doesn’t work very well. Pragmatic philosophy is a more robust philosophical framework to understand how living beings actually work. And putting that in a wider Darwinian framework is exactly the way it should be done. But it’s hard. It’s really hard. So I don’t blame Jordan Peterson for being confused. I do blame him for being so inept at arguing with Sam Harris. Getting emotional I guess works for a class full of 18 year old girls or to do clinical therapy, but it sure fails to work as robust pragmatic philosophy. It’s a pity, because again he’s on the right track. He has really brilliant moments. So I’ll try to improve on some of his ideas myself, I believe I have an advantage. Jordan Peterson is trying to understand Wittgenstein while being monolingual. It doesn’t work very well like that. As insightful as he is, he just lacks in worldly experience. And that comes pretty handy if you want to see things as they are and not just as your culture primes you to see.

Anyway, you can check out the podcast here. If you have a long commute by all means check it out. Seeing Sam Harris come up with a very good thought experiment every 5 minutes is something to behold. He’s really good at it. But all in all I found the whole conversation pretty infuriating. The two professors speaking of morality this, morality that, how we need to make science subordinate to morality, either through cold unbiased logic, or through wholesale reform of our definition of reality. I’m starting to hate the very sounds of the word “moral”. I mean, please. Science is already subordinate to morality. To morality as it actually exists in the world: to politics. Try to make science against the establishment. Try to deny global warming, or HNU. Heck, Jordan Peterson himself is getting tarred and feathered and risking life and limb for fighting those who would subordinate science to social justice.

Yet again, Professor Peterson is a prophet of Gnon, of a sort, and he is a brave man, so he deserves the benefit of the doubt. I went through the whole set of lectures of this Maps of Meaning class he gives every year, and some other stuff. I’ve reached the point where he’s repeating the same stuff all over again, so let me put some highlights and my comments on them.

The first few sentences. Brilliantly put. It doesn’t work. Evolutionary thinking takes you to the dark side. The Dark Enlightenment. I don’t agree that rationality is new, though. Language is new, but animals are plenty rational at following their goals. A good compromise is to say, indeed, that it hardly matters, but he should explain why. He should explain that behavior is what matters, and what we call “rational” behavior is a tiny subset of behavior which doesn’t need any special rules to explain.

Watch until 39:30 or so. I don’t know if he has read Roissy, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Yes, sexual selection is very important. Natural selection is adapting to a changing enviroment. Sexual selection on the other hand drives you back to a more fixed, ancient standard. That standard of course evolves, but slowly. So modern men still kinda like cavewomen and modern women most certainly like cavemen.

Watch until 1:14 or so. This guy has balls of steel. Here he’s telling a psychology class, which must be 80% female, that conflict resolution requires violence, better still the complete destruction of the enemy. But women don’t do that; and when men get an annoying women, it’s really hard to know what to do. Because the way to resolve that would be to beat the hell out of her. But that’s not proper in our society, so men will basically remove themselves out of society. Which to some extent is happening.

http://www.unz.com/isteve/white-women-drinking-themselves-to-death/

The Yungian argument for immigration restriction. “Every place where the things that you expect to happen, happen, is your territory. You’re at home whenever you know what to do”. Yes, yes. Bringing people from foreign cultures into your land makes you not know what to do; because you learn what to do, you learn your culture when you’re a child. Bringing foreigners, especially hostile foreigners, messes with the cognitive map of your environment. How many people in Europe say they don’t feel at home in their own countries?

Yes, yes. It’s behaviorism. Prof. Peterson is a smart guy to make that connection. But there’s nothing wrong with behaviorism. You’re the guy who said that you can’t be a rationalist if you understand evolution. Well if you’re not a rationalist you’re a behaviorist. Or you should be. Now of course, Behaviorism with a capital B was a historical movement with people like Skinner, and yes many of those guys were blank-slatists, who though they could condition any behavior on any animal given enough time and food pellets. Then they were beaten by the nativist rationalism of Chomsky. But Chomsky and Fodor and all those were full of shit too, let us remember that. There is no necessary link between nativism (i.e. anti-blank slatism, the idea that the brain has an innate structure) and rationalism (or it’s modern descendent cognitivism). Conversely there’s no necessary link between behaviorism (the idea that the brain is organized to produce behavior and not to manipulate abstract information) and blank slatism. Surely we can all agree that the brain has an innate structure, and innate behaviors. We call that instincts. Surely we can say that some behaviors are hard coded, and others rather less soft-coded, and others very soft-coded, so that there are pathways that given certain experiences over time will produce broadly similar behaviors. That’s all compatible with a behaviorist perspective while being perfectly nativist.

And please, let us stop with the Magna Carta nonsense (1:50:00). The Magna Carta wasn’t about “the people” against “the monarchy”. It was about the nobles vs. the king. The nobles had hereditary rights which the king couldn’t invade. That happened in Hungary in 1222 too, by the way. It resulted in the complete destruction of the Hungarian state by the absolutist Turks, but anyway. The point was about how to share the spoils of state power, not about “the people”. That came way later when the much expanded nobility fought a war against the English king in 1642, by which time demotism was a thing.

So people aren’t consciously computing what to do in every instance. Which is… behaviorism. Come on Jordan, don’t fight it. Join the Dark Enlightenment.

The point of how wolves and other animals have evolved strategies to come up with a dominance hierarchy without having to actually kill their rivals is a good one. Humans of course do that all the time, with the highly ritualized wars of tribal people, where people basically just show up and shout to each other. Or the very limited wars of antiquity with those chariots and stuff. Then cavalry happened and proximity vs. diversity produced vicious war. Those guys just didn’t get the joke. There’s this story on the Mongol invasion of Japan. The early Samurais had this fairly lame form of warfare, where they would run to the battlefield, start reciting their ancestry. My father was Lord Fujiwara this my grandfather was Lord Fujiwara that, I am the lord of here and there, then they would have this jousting contest and maybe have their minions shoot an arrow or two. Then the Mongol army came with gunpowder bombs and shooting arrow waves on sight, killing thousands of people in minutes.

Now of course we’ve gone back to ritualized fights to minimize bloodshed. We call that democracy. You count the armies’ soldiers, whoever has more gets to rule for some years.

Jordan Peterson has many little gems like this; you might have caught the general gist of his worldview. But then he goes into epistemology and moral realism and he gets confused. You can see that very clearly because he actually doesn’t know what to say. He stops for seconds trying to find a way of putting it. I think he’s trapped. He’s pwned by his Christian rationalist substratum. Next time let’s see if I can help him get out of his confusion. Hopefully I’ll be briefer than Moldbug’s depwning Richard Dawkins.

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85 responses to “Jordan Peterson

  1. Pingback: Jordan Peterson | @the_arv

  2. Corporate Lawyer January 23, 2017 at 22:59

    One crucial missing link is the realization that morals don’t objectively exist, they’re just feelings that evolved because they happened to promote survival and reproduction. And apparently they worked really well when the people that felt them believed they were absolute, real entities that existed outside human minds. Jordan P should read Helian Unbound. Perhaps everyone should, then we could avoid these meaningless debates about morality.

  3. Pingback: Jordan Peterson | Reaction Times

  4. Steve Johnson January 23, 2017 at 23:18

    “The Yungian argument for immigration restriction. “Every place where the things that you expect to happen, happen, is your territory. You’re at home whenever you know what to do”. Yes, yes. Bringing people from foreign cultures into your land makes you not know what to do; because you learn what to do, you learn your culture when you’re a child. Bringing foreigners, especially hostile foreigners, messes with the cognitive map of your environment.”

    That’s the deeper – probably unintended initially – meaning of “diversity + proximity = war”. There’s the easy surface meaning – “diversity + proximity is a powder keg in a spark factory” but past the surface there’s the other meaning of war. Man is a killer ape and every interaction is mediated by culture to reduce the risk of accidental escalation to violence and family violence and tribal violence. Remove the cultural mediation and every interaction is in anarchy – get away with what you can since the other person is doing the same to you. That’s Hobbsean “war of all against all”.

  5. ricksean January 23, 2017 at 23:59

    Your podcast link lead me to enoch powell :)

    • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 00:07

      Well you’re better off watching that, but sorry.

      If someone’s interested, here’s Enoch Powell

      • ricksean January 24, 2017 at 01:17

        I liked that podcast, if only for watching sam harris use all his cleverness to not understand what peterson had to say; There’s newtonian truth (true statements about the mechanics of the world), and darwinian truth (truth that can survive). And not only is newtonian truth proven to be incomplete, it is also at odds with darwinian truth. Newtonian Truths can be Darwinian Falsehoods. And since Darwin always wins, Newtonian truths, are true in a sense that ultimately doesn’t matter. But that’s against Harris’s religion, so he can’t admit that.

        Unfortunately for us, the only way to find out if a truth is darwinian is to fight with it and see if we win, there’s no way to predict it from inside the system.

        I am also never ceased to be amazed how rationalists can claim that darwin somehow doesn’t apply anymore, while it is a simple consequence of pure and universal logic, on the same level as 1+1=2. I’m sometime afraid that darwinism may not be a darwinian truth.

        • Corporate Lawyer January 24, 2017 at 05:52

          Maybe it’s the lawyer in me but, while I find your comment insightful, the terminology you use is purposefully vague. By Darwinian “truths” you just mean ideas that biological entities believe to be true, the belief of which helps to promote their survival and reproduction. So why not use a more clarifying term like “beliefs” instead of truth? It would also help to clarify that there are no grand Darwinian “truths” – they depend on specific circumstances at each point in time, which is why it is difficult to predict their fitness effect. That’s more clear if you use the term beliefs.

          • ricksean January 24, 2017 at 13:29

            First, by darwinian truths I mean ideas that survive. Some ideas die because they are forgotten, because they are too complex to understand, or because they contradict some other fitter ideas. Catastrophic effects for the believers is not the only way an idea can die. And Beliefs may or may not be darwinian truths, so the term ‘belief’ is not a good qualifier.

            And there may very well be some ‘Grand Darwinian Truth’, such as the existence of god, which while not objectively proven, has proven historically very beneficial. But yes the root of the problem is that there aren’t easy and practical methods to determine the fitness of an idea.

            It is so much easier to prove something as ‘scientifically true’ that ‘true’ in that sense, has replaced all other meanings of truth, but for me that is just laziness.

        • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 08:20

          That’s just a very unproductive terminology to use. “Newtonian truths” is just objective truth, and his “Darwinian truth” are just not truths at all, they’re good ideas. But you never know which are good Darwinian ideas beforehand. And the idea that objective truth is a bad thing to conceive because some Soviet guy has a chemical weapons lab; well you may not be interested in war but war is interested in you. Sorry about that, but that ship has sailed.

          • ricksean January 24, 2017 at 13:11

            Well let’s say that I give you two boxes, one contains all “Objective Truths”, and the other all “Good Ideas”. (I don’t like the ‘good’ qualifier as it adds a needless moral undertone but let’s roll with it) Which one do you pick ? You’ll obviously pick the “Good Ideas” Box, as it will contain all “Good Objective Truths”, as well as “Good Objective Falsehoods”.

            So why do you reserve the “Truth” qualifier for the content of the first one ? They do not seem to be of a higher nature to me. They both tell something about the nature of the world, but some seems to survive, and some doesn’t. Why put the survival part on a lesser plan ? Aren’t ideas that die disproving themselves in some very fundamental sense ?

            • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 13:22

              Because truth has nothing to do with “higher nature”. Truth is truth. Every culture on earth has a word to define objective facts. You don’t get to mess with that definition, it is *very* useful.

              And at any rate we don’t have a box with good ideas. We just don’t know in advance. Any claim to know what works in advance leads to the sort of totalitarian politics which Prof. Peterson is supposedly against.

              • ricksean January 24, 2017 at 13:36

                All I am telling you is that your definition of objective is incomplete. Ideas can objectively disprove themselves by disappearing from the world, indicating that they are inconsistent with the world in a very objective and fundamental way.

                But yes we don’t have that second box. And the left is looking really hard for it while telling everybody else to look for the first.

            • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 13:44

              I’m not talking about ideas. I’m talking about objective “facts”. Stay there.

              Objective facts are those which does not depend on subjectivity. Things that are there whether you look at them or not. Yes, of course, that is an assumption which you can’t prove, humans are annoying like that. You can always pull an O’Brien and kick somebody’s face with a boot until they agree that 2+2=5 and objective facts are determined by the party.

              Or we can all agree that objective facts are a thing and enjoy the joys that accurate perception of reality brings.

              • ricksean January 24, 2017 at 14:10

                I very much agree with the existence of objective facts, things exist independently of the observer, I agree.

                My first problem is that there are true facts which cannot be objectively observed or proven. And thus defining truth as only the observable subset is an incomplete definition. A silly example of unobservable fact is the existence of god. It either exists or it doesn’t. One of those proposition is a true fact. But you can’t prove either objectively.

                The other problem is that ideas about these facts are facts themselves, and it seems the world has a funny way of dealing with that, by making some ideas about true facts eventually not being factual themselves.

                Isn’t that what Gnon is all about ?

                • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 14:39

                  Now we’re talking. That is a good point, and one that I intended to do later. But denying objective truth is not the way to make that point.
                  Arguing about the limitations of human understanding is the way to do it, but playing with the word true isn’t making the point clear at all. Sam Harris isn’t stupid, he didn’t get it because it didn’t make sense.

                  If anything we need to separate objective facts from socially mediated facts. No more “moral truth” or “truth is beauty” sophistry. Precision we need.

              • ricksean January 24, 2017 at 14:30

                Anyway, I’ve got the flu and I’m tired, I have an essay about this that I really should stop procrastinating about, let’s continue this conversation once I’ve got some more grounded context.

              • Candide III January 24, 2017 at 15:32

                My first problem is that there are true facts which cannot be objectively observed or proven. And thus defining truth as only the observable subset is an incomplete definition.

                I don’t think that’s a productive way of thinking about it. Allowing non-provable facts invites no end of philosophical trouble. You end up arguing about the procession of the Holy Spirit in no time at all. Do you know Heisenberg’s famous answer to physicists who pressed him on which hole does the electron really go through, “I don’t have to answer questions you can’t ask experimentally”? I feel it’s quite possible to construct notions of fact and prove and truth that keeps Heisenberg’s attitude and yet doesn’t tumble down the manhole of ultimate skepticism that denies objective reality. Roughly, what we usually call facts are nodes in a web of interconnected hypotheses woven and roped to our direct experience so tightly that if you rip them out it will leave a gaping big hole that will spread, unless cauterized by will or habit (doublethink/crimestop belong here), weakening other parts of the web and eventually undermining fitness. Some types of insanity (schizophrenia?) happen when major parts of the web become untethered from direct experience and float off to form separate domains. “Proving facts” refers to demonstration of links on this web and their degree of strength; unless you are in the position to prove the existence of bricks by dropping one on your opponent’s foot, however, you must find some place to start from that’s solid enough to hold the weight of what you’re trying to prove, and maybe shore it up first. Etc. To go back to non-observable facts, sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether it is unobservable in principle or just because we’re ignorant, so e.g. physics used to devote much effort to finding plausible ways to observe hypothesized facts or restating hypotheses in such a manner that the “volume” of things you know how to observe increases, factoring out non-observable statements (“how do magnets work?”) and pushing them out to where they aren’t important.

              • Steel T Post January 24, 2017 at 15:39

                Proving that GNON exists is easy when the proper definition of GNON is used: God = Nature. See objective facts of Nature out there in reality land? That Nature you see in the sky, clouds, trees, wind, stars, and crows is God.

                If there exists an ever-desired “personification” of God that Nature favors more, God is a whale, because whales have larger and more evolved brains than any other creature on Earth. And Nature created Earth to favor whales, with 70% of the surface of the earth being water. Whales haven’t behaved as stupidly as humans. Whales have more complex songs than humans. Carl Sagan, singing whale song, is GNON’s Vicar to humankind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc If a whale personification of GNON sounds blasphemous to smaller human minds, a human personification is even more so to Gnon’s probing mind, as the holy word of Star Trek IV revealed, say amen.

              • ricksean January 24, 2017 at 16:40

                @Candide III (Can’t seem to reply to your post specifically)

                The thing is you can’t avoid non provable facts as they have real world consequence, hence the no end of philosophical trouble that we’re in. Heisenberg’s position is a solid one, but even in mathematics, it is not the one usually taken. Mathematics is not the self-consistent crystal of truth people assume it is. There are many contradictory axioms that still produce useful results in different contexts and are thus explored in parallel. Some popular axioms lead to crazy conclusions (see Banach-Tarsky paradox), but people seem to roll with it regardless.

              • Candide III January 24, 2017 at 17:48

                The thing is you can’t avoid non provable facts as they have real world consequence

                Hm. What do you have in mind?

                Mathematics is not the self-consistent crystal of truth people assume it is.

                It kind of is — a tree can have limbs and a crown while being a perfectly good single tree — but it is not true the way statements about objective reality can be true. How mathematics relates to the real world is tricky, and I have only a vague idea how it might be formulated. I know a little about the foundations crisis of the first half of XX century. Banach-Tarski “paradox” only feels paradoxical, or rather contrary to our expectations based on everyday experience. As a mathematical result it is solid. Physicists, though, don’t worry about it because doubling the sphere requires dividing it into parts with infinitely thin “tentacles”, and matter (which is the only thing we can divide, space-time being a set of relationships rather than “something”) isn’t infinitely divisible. Also, experience has shown that the results which are important for mathematical physics can be proven without involving the full axiom of choice, even if such proofs are circuitous and cumbersome. There used to be a cottage industry in mathematics reconstructing calculus etc. On their side, mathematicians have discovered that arguing which set of axioms is “better” and in what sense is rather pointless, so while there is some activity around e.g. finding out which minimal axioms suffice to produce this or that result, or what is the strongest version of this or that result you can prove with a given set of axioms, interest has shifted to other areas.

              • reactionaryfuture January 29, 2017 at 05:13

                “So people aren’t consciously computing what to do in every instance. Which is… behaviorism.” No it isn’t.
                Your positions are odd, and incoherent. You demonstrate glimpses (probably as a result of Wittgenstein?) that language is formative to understanding, yet claim ontological realism over and against it as you promote behavioralism and evolutionary ethics as being a solid neutral anchor point or a precise value free understanding of this ontological reality after completely misconstruing them because you are trying to formulate an ethical understanding in the Hume tradition. The result is a strange construct.
                I am interested to what you take of MacIntyre’s Neo-Aristotlean approach to resolving this problem you are struggling with (ontological realism and understanding language as formative): http://www.iep.utm.edu/mac-over/ scroll down to “b. Two Books on Rationality: WJWR and 3RV” for a concise outlining of MacIntyre’s thesis regarding rationality. It gets somewhat more complicated than this brief entry, but fundamentally he both retains ontological realism, and the understanding that any actors reasoning can only take place within a rational system which they have inherited (such as that provided by language and beliefs.) Interestingly, this conception derives from epistemology of science (Polanyi etc) and Aristotle and Aquinas’s “empiricism” based on a thorough understanding of the tradition informed observation (not to be conflated with deranged anglo-empiricism.)

                You are completely right about Magna Carta, though. It appears Bishop Langton was responsible for that nonsense as part of a papal, baron, king battle, then by the time of the Glorious Revolution, the Whigs did the “point horse make deer” thing, and those liberties which were clearly granted by the king became natural liberties which they always actually had. Even Wiki is informative on this.

        • pdimov January 24, 2017 at 17:23

          “And since Darwin always wins…”

          Not really.

          Newton is a formidable opponent. He needs no food, no water, no air, no sleep. He never grows tired, never dies, never stops pushing back. You can’t really defeat him. He never makes mistakes, and yet he ruthlessly exploits all of Darwin’s mistakes.

          Newton is also known as Gnon. He’s a god because he exists independently of people, whereas Darwin only exists in their minds.

          In the long run, it’s Newton who always wins, not Darwin. Since people are apt to discover Darwin’s deviations from Newton on their own, the more Darwin suppresses them in the particular, the more he selects for people who are susceptible to ignoring Newton in general. Earlier or later, Darwin deviates too much from Newton and the latter strikes a killing blow.

          • Steel T Post January 24, 2017 at 17:43

            Newton, Darwin, what’s the difference? It’s all physics.

            “Jeremy England, a 31-year-old physicist at MIT, thinks he has found the underlying physics driving the origin and evolution of life.” -A New Physics Theory of Life
            http://www.quantamagazine.org/20140122-a-new-physics-theory-of-life/

            Unmentioned in the article, H. T. Odum (1994) and A. Lotka (1922) have already done the heavy lifting on recognizing life as being “unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.”

          • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 18:22

            Let’s say I buy your Newton=Gnon. But Darwin != human minds. Evolution is not in your mind.
            To follow the metaphor, Darwin is the agent of Gnon that comes down to make sure things are following Gnon’s plan.

            • pdimov January 24, 2017 at 19:39

              In this context, Darwin is a metaphor for things people (sometimes falsely) believe to be true because these beliefs have an evolutionary advantage. “Evolved truths.” Those “truths” only exist in people’s minds.

              Evolution is the process by which these beliefs come into being. Evolution is not in the mind.

              Darwin doesn’t make sure things follow Gnon’s plan; Gnon does, by killing everything that strays too far from the truth. Darwin just survives.

              Rick says that Darwin always wins over Newton, that objective truths don’t matter. They do because objective truths are independently discoverable by lone individuals, while evolved truths aren’t.

              • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 19:43

                I see what you mean. For image’s sake, though, I kinda think we should give sir Charles a break and not imagine him as some sneaky multiplier that keeps running away from the sickle-wielding Grim Reaper Gnon as some road runner.

              • Steel T Post January 25, 2017 at 21:43

                Natural de-selection (i.e., the Darwin Awards) is the handiwork of the Grim Reaper.

                “The secrets of evolution are death and time—the deaths of enormous numbers of life forms that were imperfectly adapted to the environment; and time for a long succession of small mutations that were by accident adaptive, time for the slow accumulation of patterns of favorable mutations.” -Carl Sagan (Cosmos, 1980, p. 3.)

  6. jamesd127 January 24, 2017 at 01:57

    “Now of course we’ve gone back to ritualized fights to minimize bloodshed. We call that democracy. You count the armies’ soldiers, whoever has more gets to rule for some years.”

    This works until, in order to ensure the correct political outcomes, you stop counting the soldiers, and instead count women and gays and people on welfare.

    If we have republic after things blow up, (which I doubt) we need to count only males, probably only males with property and guns, and men of rank in the army, police, rentacops, and mercenaries higher than men without rank. Don’t count women. Don’t count anyone who is not allowed to have a gun, and don’t allow anyone to have a gun who lacks property, unless of course he is a cop, soldier, guard, or mercenary.

    • Steel T Post January 24, 2017 at 16:36

      Women have the vote today largely because of the gun. Sam Colt is the great Equalizer, and the first state to accept pistol packin’ mamas as equals was wild west Wyoming, on Dec 10, 1869.

      Bicycles too played a role in women’s suffrage. See “Women on Wheels: The Bicycle and the Women’s Suffragette Movement of the 1890s” http://www.annielondonderry.com/womenWheels.html

      Turned ye into a Luddite yet? :)

      • jamesd127 January 24, 2017 at 22:24

        Guns make one woman with a gun equal to one man with a gun, but they do not make a group of women with guns equal to a group of men with guns. Observe the hilarity that results when you make women firemen or policemen.

        • Steel T Post January 25, 2017 at 21:28

          I agree with you that differences in upper body strength means women firefighters or police or women in combat are much less effective than men. But technology that disrupts traditional social roles based on sexual dimorphism has has clearly been a driver in women gaining suffrage, Sam Colt’s Equalizer especially.

          As far as your proposals on limiting suffrage to those who have skin in the game, maybe a system like Heinlein’s Starship Troopers that gives suffrage only to retired veterans would be to your liking.

          • jamesd127 January 26, 2017 at 00:23

            Upper strength is not the problem. Cowardice and disloyalty is the problem. Men instinctively cooperate in the face of danger. Women instinctively rat out everyone around them in the face of danger. This behavior is in fact correct an in accordance with ancient social roles – women are the precious sex, men the expendable sex, and it is acceptable for women to act accordingly in the face of danger – but profoundly disruptive to an organized group that attempts to do dangerous things for women to act accordingly in the face of danger.

            A group of male soldiers facing danger will bond together to fight the enemy. Female soldiers will instinctively fuck the enemy.

          • jamesd127 January 26, 2017 at 00:25

            The problem with female firemen is not that they lack upper body strength. The problem is that in actual practice they simply will not fight fires.

            The same problem occurs with female police and soldiers, but it is more readily observable with firemen.

          • jamesd127 January 26, 2017 at 00:28

            The instinctive response of a man threatened by a dangerous enemy is to kill him. The instinctive response of a woman threatened by a dangerous enemy is to fuck him. Socialization, social pressure, and military discipline completely and spectacularly fail to overcome these natural instincts.

          • jamesd127 January 26, 2017 at 00:36

            To expose women to danger, to make women into soldiers and firemen, is as shameful, revolting, evil, contemptible, and disgusting as for a man to dress up in women’s clothing and sell his ass on the street – and when danger actually threatens, we see men and women revert to their ancient social roles.

          • jamesd127 January 26, 2017 at 01:20

            When a man dresses up as a woman, and attempts to do female things, he behaves as a very bad woman. All trannies under forty are whores. When a woman dresses up as a man and attempts to do male things, she behaves as a very bad man. All female soldiers and police are cowards and traitors.

            • Alfred Woenselaer January 26, 2017 at 11:29

              Jim what’s your take on female doctors?

              • jamesd127 January 26, 2017 at 19:18

                Nothing wrong with female doctors, that being an extension of the natural role of women as nurses, midwives, and carers.

              • jamesd127 January 26, 2017 at 19:21

                Also, nothing wrong with female nurses and doctors on the battle field. What is wrong is dressing them in men’s uniforms and giving them male titles as if they were transexuals. Tulsi Gabbard “combat veteran”, nursed men on the battlefield, which was honorable and brave, but everyone pretends she shot men on the battlefield and she had to dress in the corresponding uniform.

              • jamesd127 January 27, 2017 at 00:54

                The corresponding highly unflattering uniform.

  7. danielchieh January 24, 2017 at 03:31

    I look forward to your ideas. I think this blog may be one of the most productive elements of the Right at present.

  8. Leonard January 24, 2017 at 05:42

    “pawned”? Dude, if you must use such nomenclature, I’d suggest just “pwned”, or if you don’t wanna be leet like Moldbug, and want a phonetic word, “owned” or (yech) “powned”, which is how it’s pronounced.

  9. iFruit January 24, 2017 at 16:26

    “That happened in Hungary in 1222 too, by the way. It resulted in the complete destruction of the Hungarian state by the absolutist Turks, but anyway.”

    You really like analytical-type philosophy (linguistics is part of it), history and geography.

    This is nothing more than a more verbal kind of puzzle games: good training for logic intelligence, and a good way to assess it too.
    But philosophy as the pursuit of truth has never been anything within the scope of the UK-North America’s “philosophy”: that’s computing… no wonder they invented computers and have been consistently very good at computer science.

    Even the comments section is hyper-rationality’s territory.
    Continentals and Atlantics are really different people thinking in different ways, I some times wonder if it makes sense at all to use the umbrella definition “white people” for all of them (Southern Europeans are a third different kind, moreover: few things are more ridicuolous than the same laws being intended to apply to Portugal, Southern Italy, Southern Spain, Greece, and Norway, Sweden, Belgium…).

    You put a lot of analytical reasoning in your posts, but never declare the ultimate purpose of it.
    Is it a quest for ultimate truth?
    Is it a quest for the ultimately rational (=good??) form of government?
    Is it a pragmatic effort to lay foundations for a rightist political culture?
    Is it that you like to do verbal-logical (linguistic) exercises for high-IQ people, because to you they are funny?
    A bit of each of the above?

    Days ago on another thread we were talking of sovereigns and sovereignty, and a guy brought up logic, drawing conclusions on what could be and what could be not owing to being or being not logical.

    Logic applied to human business, politics and society?!
    What do these things have to do with each other?
    And then, objective truth?!

    I remember Bertrand Russell believing he’d found out how to solve every problem of politics and social matters: by reducing it to equations and solving these.
    What a stupendous ******** he was, all his life.

    A note, in brackets: you have noticed what the % of women running blogs like this, constructing theoretical buildings like Moldbug’s, commenting on blogs like this (or sites like Unz Review), is, haven’t you? It’s an awesomely small %.

    How do you put together this statistical evidence with their Majestic Success of Wooo-men in University, Research (specially black women have been rocking hard since the Apollo Mission… you have heard of the recently released film telling this bit of hidden history, I assume. No man on the moon without black women!), Culture? How? Lol. It’s refreshing that there are still indirect, not tampered-with, settings where you can see reality concerning gender and else.
    It goes far beyond differences in intelligence: they just aren’t interested.

    They can be very keen on marching bearing “Resist Fascism, No More Borders!” banners, but a seclusive activity like sitting and reading learned material written by learned people to, well, learn status-ineffective things? Not their trade.

    In school they toil to learn by memory and repeat at light-fast speed every word in the book because, well, you get an amazing grade and praise for doing that; it’s like wandering about on the streets with an enlightened people’s banner over your head.
    But as soon as there’s no praise-bait/status incentive, they are interested no more.

    (In facts! A lot of high-IQ women post on Quora. Why? Because it’s the ideal place to have a lot of people appreciate How Smart Are You™: there’s viewers, on Quora or Twitter or Facebook, you can work to be applauded: therefore there is women participation.

    They will stop being women while failing at being men: this is what hardline feminism, and more broadly an idea as silly as universal equality (an idea that could not win the stage in every over-comfortable setting: it’s problems that made gaps in skills arise) will achieve.

  10. August Hurtel January 24, 2017 at 17:18

    I am not sure that good=true, but I am sure that, in many cases, similar things happen, where we imagine more complexity exists than is actually there. I tend to think this is true with the past and the future, for instance. People seem to treat them as existent, as actual places you can travel to, so when they say something like ‘all things’ they end up meaning more than there actually is, which can lead to various errors.

    So, one of thing that happens with certain insights is exactly what you heard in the podcast. Assume that good=true. How do you convince anyone of it? Your opponent has imagined and can imagine ten thousand things. You do not have ten thousand things to replace them with- you do not have one thing to replace them with. You are collapsing all of it down. It isn’t the same as true or false, Republican or Democrat. You are saying, hey take all of this stuff out of your head, and replace it with nothing. People hate that. They like their ideas. The identify with their ideas. Many have such a poorly developed sense of self that they actually think they are their ideas.

    • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 18:29

      A good rule of thumb (controlling for IQ perhaps) is that people’s opinion on things they don’t really have first-hand experience on is just social posturing, i.e. signaling. Messing with signaling brings heavy social consequences so of course people get angry.

      You can’t convince people of what would harm them socially if it were true, or what is not readily observable. That is why science was so hard to invent, and is so hard to maintain these days.

      • August Hurtel January 24, 2017 at 21:49

        If Harris is throwing up a bunch of logically sound hypotheticals, and Peterson is just repetitively saying no, that might just be what the truth is going to sound like.

        It’s funny because I actually got some flak from my objectivist brother after sending him a link to one of Peterson’s videos. He started trying to school me on logic, and it was not logic, but just the sort of thing that looks like logic to an atheist. Makes no sense, and on some level my brother knows it- more than once he referred to his ideas as a non-functional language- i.e., he can’t speak to anyone else in the language. The thing that left me with a cheated feeling was that Peterson was talking about the sort of things I thought we had been talking about during Christmas vacation.

        • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 22:52

          Nah; the guy gets paid for teaching his stuff to dumb teenagers, he should know how to express his ideas.

          • August Hurtel January 24, 2017 at 23:40

            Admittedly, if I actually listened to Harris’s podcast, I might agree with you on this particular idea. But that is self-torture I am unwillingly to subject myself to.

          • August Hurtel January 26, 2017 at 17:11

            I thumbed through his book- it’s not going to work. He’s on the right track, but he gets some important stuff wrong. The obvious one to me is his explanation of the Great Father as what is known. The problem with that is it is a devolution from Christianity. In the non-degenerate form of Christianity, the Father is not known, for the same reason that perfection is not known, infinity is not known, etc…

            It might keep the upper middle class Protestants going to their jobs and living in their quiet subdivisions for a few more generations, but a JP religion is not going to maintain or improve Western Civilization.

      • jamesd127 January 24, 2017 at 22:52

        Everything in science is being politicized. Not just IQ, evolution, and global warming, but even the proton radius. There is a gold rush of politicals colonizing new frontiers.

        • Steel T Post January 25, 2017 at 22:08

          The cutting edge of science is dangerous to the cathedral; we just can’t let a sharp weapon of intellectual incision to be swung around wildly, lest their be schisms! :)

  11. Steel T Post January 24, 2017 at 17:31

    Hopefully Peterson can learn something from Harris; he’s smart enough to do it, hopefully he has the humility to admit his pollyannish error in defining “truth.”

    While I don’t like many atheists’ leftist politics, their atheism has often been the result of the utter stupidity of Bible-bangers, as this disciple of GNON observes: “Indeed I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to Atheism by their general dogma that, without a revelation, there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a god.” -Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823)

    Another factor in Bible-thumpers creating atheists is their penchant to immediately call anybody an atheist who doesn’t fawn over their particular creed, such as they did by calling the disciple of GNON a “howling atheist” during the Election of 1800. Not surprisingly—just as it is today with The Cathedral calling good people fascists/rayciss/etc.—a few freethinking folks began to agree and amplify when they realized they didn’t have anything to lose.

    • spandrell January 24, 2017 at 18:33

      What is laughable is being an atheist in Dawkins’ time, in the fucking 1970s. Being an atheist in 1870 was something. In 1920 it was something. In 1970 it was just lame posturing. And that sucks, the selfish gene is a brilliant book. But he should have been content with that money and not make himself into some liberal celebrity. Now at least he’s being consistent and fighting Islam. At least his vanity has translated into healthy stubbornness.

      • Alfred January 25, 2017 at 09:18

        So unifying, so brave. Evolution tells us we really aren’t so different after all !

        • Steel T Post January 25, 2017 at 16:11

          Funny seeing Dawkins take a piss on science for liberal creationism.

          “Europeoid haplogroups did not descend from ‘African’ haplogroups”
          http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=19566#.VARiq_ldWqg

          Klyosov, A. & Rozhanskii, I. (2012). Re-Examining the “Out of Africa” Theory and the Origin of Europeoids (Caucasoids) in Light of DNA Genealogy. Advances in Anthropology, 2, 80-86. doi: 10.4236/aa.2012.22009.

          I’ve done an experiment of youtube, and simply “shitposted” references like the above from refereed journals. I’ve had three accounts shadow-banned and then shut down. The Cathedral is as damn touchy about quoting scientific journals as fundamentalist creationists.

          • Candide III January 25, 2017 at 17:34

            Come on, two guys from an “Academy of DNA geneaology” publish this in a Chinese pay-to-print rag? Seven out of ten citations to his own papers, six of which published in his own rag? A minute of googling and a grain of common sense suffices to color this highly suspect, to put it mildly. Being published in a peer-reviewed journal is unfortunately no longer an assurance of quality. That atrocious EMDrive paper was published in a peer-reviewed journal, too.

            • Steel T Post January 25, 2017 at 20:27

              There are no publishing avenues that have not been corrupted at one time or another; thus anything published anywhere is suspect. So you have to address the evidence, which you haven’t done. Perhaps you’re trying to sound as common sense as the folks at Institute for Creation Research, who use the same hand-waving.

              • Candide III January 25, 2017 at 21:25

                Sure, but being suspect is a matter of degree. Take that Nature Letter about the three ancestor-kings of 60% of Europeans that’s doing the rounds, I have much more confidence in that based on superficial features than in the publication you linked. Certainly I might be wrong, but I’ve read enough papers and know enough about the mechanics of science to feel fairly confident in my estimates. Also, I don’t know enough population genetics, and don’t want to study it right now, to evaluate either paper on its own merits. I do know enough physics to evaluate the EMDrive paper, and my evaluation of it on its merits matches my evaluation based on its superficial features. Your mileage, of course, might vary.

              • Steel T Post January 25, 2017 at 21:32

                Would you place the citations I mentioned as more informed than the opinion published on Dawkin’s T-shirt?

              • Candide III January 27, 2017 at 10:19

                You’re asking me whether apples are better than oranges. Dawkins is making an idiotic rhetorical point from the scientific fact that Homo sapiens sapiens originated in Africa. Those guys you linked to pretend to be scientists disputing this fact for no better reason, and with no better success, than this guy has for doing what he does.

              • Steel T Post January 28, 2017 at 04:42

                T-shirt it is! Scientific fact! I may as well just join in and sing along…

                Father Bantu had many sons,
                Many sons had Bantu’s proto-jism,
                I am one of them and so are you
                So let’s praise (Liberal) Creationism!

              • Candide III January 28, 2017 at 09:23

                If you can’t see the difference between rhetorical points and scientific facts, or process that the cluster in biological organism space usually called homo sapiens sapiens originated in Africa and nevertheless has very distinct subgroups with distinct characteristics that have all sorts of real-world consequences, there is nothing for us to discuss.

              • Steel T Post January 28, 2017 at 15:21

                If you can’t discern that Dawkins T-shirt is a double-entendre, then there is nothing to discuss. (The double-entendre is meant to conflate scientific fact that humankind originated in Africa with the false notion that Whites are descended from the Bantus who now inhabit Africa, thus making us all equals.) So run a way with your tail tucked between your legs; you’re not up to this.

  12. jamesd127 January 25, 2017 at 10:46

    Anything useful in mathematics, such as calculus, can be done without the axiom of choice, and without the more pathological and dubious infinities, but it gets mighty messy and complicated.

    By and large, for every useful theorem that relies on the axiom of choice, there is a more precise, arguably more informative, but excruciatingly complicated, messy and difficult to comprehend theorem that does not.

    One may generalize this to the conclusion that assuming the reality of things that are in principle unobservable often makes it a lot easier to think about things that are observable – but one should not get carried away with asking questions about the unobservable and unanswerable.

    • Frank January 25, 2017 at 11:02

      Mistaking the heuristic, the approximation for the real thing: the eternal Platonist error.

      • Steel T Post January 26, 2017 at 16:52

        True.

        “…bringing Plato to the test of reason, take from him his sophisms, futilities, and incomprehensibilities, and what remains?” -Thomas Jefferson (to John Adams, July 5, 1814)

        Furthermore, “Platonist error” is a tautology. :)

    • Alfred January 25, 2017 at 11:44

      Infinity is useful as a rallying point just like God, but because abstraction always susceptible to deceit.

      An hotel with infinite rooms houses infinite guests. A new guest shows up. How to fit in?
      A: ask every guest to move up 1 room.

  13. James James January 25, 2017 at 14:17

    Couple of typos: It’s “Jungian”, not “Yungian”, after Carl Gustav Jung. And Charles Darwin was never knighted.

    • Steel T Post January 25, 2017 at 16:18

      At least we know it’s being pronounced correctly. :)

      I’ve often embarrassed myself by too much reading—and not enough hearing—of new words. It sure makes folks giggle when they correct you. Now I’m careful to head over to google and hear them pronounced. Google > Giggle.

  14. 2017 ICONOCLAST January 27, 2017 at 03:25

    I don’t think Harris trounced Peterson AT ALL. Harris was clearly missing the point. Peterson made it clear he believed what Harris calls “truth” exists, under “facts.” Peterson’s use of the word “truth” is in fact a colloquial use of the word, to denote saying stuff that resonates with people. As in the phrase, “dropping a truth bomb.” Harris’s examples are also retarded and trying so hard to contradict Peterson but of course they are not even relevant because no matter how hard he tries to make them relevant (way too far fetched and has nothing to do with real life; hence has nothing to do with Peterson’s definition of truth).

    • spandrell January 27, 2017 at 08:58

      You’re not very bright are you.

      • iFruit January 30, 2017 at 17:16

        And are you, when you address people this rudely and curtly?

        I’ve never seen telling anybody they aren’t bright lead to anything good for anyone (have you?).

        btw, I watched the Peterson’s video you recommended “if we had to watch only one” and:

        1) (after skimming over a few others) your recommendation was correct (= I agree with it)

        2) After 3 minutes of Peterson, I had no need to watch his “debate video” to know this man will lose any debate where he is vis-a-vis a good orator.
        You say his talking is confusional (no wronger more in front of the mob than confuse it: firstly, it wounds their egos).

        Yes, it is, but you know why? Because he’s not cut for the job or giving speeches and moving crowds, he’s not a persuasde, he’s a truth seeker, the two kinds of people have an absolutely diverse mental makeup.

        The guy is, like all who really genuinely move culture onwards, an addict to truth-seeking and knowledge-expanding.
        They are still thinking over things and looking for alternatives and byways of thought while they speak, even during their talk their mind is focussed on grasping more truth than of winning the listener’s mind.
        So you don’t have neat arguments, let alone persuasion.
        For the people suited to it, it’s a trip you and him do together: sure, he’s smarter than his trip mates, but they are all venturing into uncharted territory, they’re all exploring.

        These are the only kind of men I’m interested him culturally speaking: they aren’t doing it for personal gain, they serve the subject they are studying.
        The others tend to like to be served, instead… by the subjects of their work as well as by people.

        Don’t rate this guy by his debate performances.

        • iFruit January 30, 2017 at 17:21

          For the truth-seeker his cultural activity is a source of labor, for the opposite type a source of comfort and other more or less narcissism-related psychological rewards.

          The first type, you’ll see in their eye, they’re suffering for what they have studied, and also they’ll never be satisfied.
          After each answer, they’ll have 2 or more new questions, to no end.
          Because what they want, “truth” and perfect knowledge, can’t be reached.

          That’s why (another common marker for these people) they look and are restless.
          They’re very likely to care about their dressing and physical outlook less than their counterpart, also.

  15. Peter January 29, 2017 at 11:48

    I don’t understand. You don;t give Peterson enough credit. He was going along with Sam’s pigeonhole parameters and did a good deal of dancing in a very small cage.

  16. IA January 30, 2017 at 03:34

    “Well if you’re not a rationalist you’re a behaviorist.”

    Where does courage fit in?

  17. Alrenous February 4, 2017 at 22:12

    It looks like Harris won to you? He comes across as a drooling idiot to me. Or perhaps a parochialism robot incapable of understanding anyone who isn’t identical to the second-last layer.

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