January 20th, 2018

(no subject)

I am not quite sure what I think of Jordan Peterson. I first heard of him about a month ago, on Hacker News, in a thread about the best lectures of 2017. Someone pointed out how impressed he was by this Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories series of lectures by a professor Jordan Peterson. I got intrigued, and turned on the first lecture. I didn't really finish it; it seemed rather unfocused and pointless, and reminded me too much of our useless physiology professor, who would waste about half of every class rambling about nothing in particular (certainly not related to physiology) and would then thankfully leave us alone for the other half of the class, free to do the lab work.

I was also put off by his repeated use of the word meaning (meaning of life, meaning in life), which, to my ear, does not belong in a rational discourse.

But apparently Peterson has become a Youtube celebrity; so after I watched a part of his Bible Series talk, Youtube began suggesting me other videos of him. The one below — his interview on British TV — is actually good. If nothing else, it's very instructive in how differently a trained academic and a trained journalist think. Peterson is very careful with his language and gives measured, qualified statements. The journalist is not interested in the nuances of his position; she is grabbing his statements (often observational, empirical), turns them into easily digestible prescriptive generalizations, and repeats those back to him, much to his annoyance. It is both funny and appalling, and insulting to reason to see how she processes his statements.

I think after this interview I began to like Jordan Peterson more.