David Thompson
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June 05, 2018

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Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

I think it’s fair to say that your focus is on how men feel in society

And note the implication how while it's OK to obsess over how women and non-whites feel, discussing how white men feel is totally wrong.

On the rare occasions that I talk about immigration, I note that what the political "elites" (the politicians/civil servants/academics/national press) tell people, and what the average people see in their daily lives, are two completely different things. This, and that ignoring what people see in their daily lives is going to have terrible longer-term consequences. Yet suggest those "elites" are selling us a false bill of goods, and the reaction is as if you've said something completely outside the pale. It's the same with Peterson.

David

and the reaction is as if you’ve said something completely outside the pale.

There’s also the exchange, around 47 minutes or so, when Ms McElvoy tries to frame Peterson as sensationalist and needlessly provocative. To which, Peterson points out that the Cathy Newman interview, which boosted his profile enormously, attracted attention not because he said anything intended to scandalise, but precisely because he “refused, under substantial duress, to say anything provocative.” And indeed it was Ms Newman doing her damnedest to provoke, not least with a barrage of unearned conclusions.

David

As with the Cathy Newman interview, what struck me was the interviewer’s apparent struggles with certain, fairly obvious, lines of thought. Listening to Ms McElvoy, you could easily get the impression that many of her conclusions, on which she’s quite emphatic, have been predetermined - that short-cuts have been taken, leaving some basic variables entirely unconsidered. Her mental landscape – what I suppose you might think of as a kind of media class orthodoxy - seems littered with taboos, even regarding fairly prosaic things.

The point about sex differences in expressions of aggression, status and dominance is one of several examples in the interview. As Peterson says following Ms McElvoy’s indignation: Are we to believe that women never have hostile inclinations and never attempt to assert social dominance? I suspect that anyone who’s spent any length of time in a female-majority workplace, or within eavesdropping distance of girls at school, might find that conceit amusing.

PiperPaul

"politicians/civil servants/academics/national press"

Couldn't we just shorten this to, say, "CLB" for Collective Leftist Unibrain or something? It needs a label.

But oh noes, then we'd be pigeonholing them into a Group Identity!

bilbaoboy

Absolutely with David on this one.

Watched and made similar comments to my three kids living in that sceptred isle.

I watched an obviously intelligent woman struggling with her preconceptions being beaten to death and not knowing how to handle it other than 'I don't believe it' written all over her face. And this having had the advantage of Cathy Newman's magnificent performance for her benefit.

Not enough homework done.

Pogonip

Oh, good, I can finally get in at the top with an important question. Brits, is the new Danger Mouse worth watching? I don’t want to pay Netflix if it’s crap.

The original Mr. X

“On your interest in young men, particularly on the young male in Western societies… I think that’s your focus – I think it’s fair to say that your focus is on how men feel in society…”

It's not really surprising that she thinks that -- after all, society in general spends so little time worrying about how men feel as opposed to how women feel, that it must be pretty disorienting for Ms. McElvoy to come across somebody who wants to help men do better.

Or, as somebody else once put it: when you're used to privilege, equality feels like oppression.

Turk Turkleton

Jordan Peterson, the human Rorschach test. It reminds me of the old joke where the patient sees sex in every inkblot, and then complains, "But Doc, you're the one with all the dirty pictures!" Similarly:

Peterson: "You seem to display an unhealthy fixation on racial and sexual identity."

Interviewer: "But Doc, you're the one who's the misogynist hero of young white men!"

David

As I’m sure I’ve said before, while Peterson isn’t an uninteresting chap, the reactions to him are often more interesting, and revealing.

TomJ

The new Danger Mouse is pretty good. Xander Armstrong does a good line in suave and Stephen Fry harumphs magnificently as Colonel K.

R. Sherman

I watched an obviously intelligent woman struggling with her preconceptions...

R. Sherman

Hit "post" too quickly.

It seems these sorts of interactions are no longer "interviews" where one is seeking information. Rather, they are simply pre-written liturgies where the subject of the interview is expected to provide the appropriate response at the appropriate time. Except, instead of singing the Non Nobis when prompted, the congregation erupts in Kanye West.

Joan

Are we to believe that women never have hostile inclinations and never attempt to assert social dominance? I suspect that anyone who’s spent any length of time in a female-majority workplace, or within eavesdropping distance of girls at school, might find that conceit amusing.

That.

R. Sherman

@Joan

Some years back when our daughter was navigating adolescence, my wife remarked that teenage girls don't really have friends. They have allies. And those alliances tend to be of the Ribbentrop/Molotov variety and can shift in a nanosecond.

David

That.

I can’t be the only man who’s been surprised by the enthusiasm and ingenuity with which some women will sabotage the reputations of others.

Sporkatus

"You sound angry" is one of the entries on Sci-Fi author Larry Correia's Internet Arguing Checklist for a reason.

http://monsterhunternation.com/2013/09/20/the-internet-arguing-checklist/

Much as our speech is violence/their violence is speech, our anger is illegitimacy (even if it doesn't exist), proof that *we* are irrational and their anger is the sine qua non of righteousness - e.g. Penny.

Sam

Turk - excellent way to put it, but needs more "SO YOU'RE SAYING..."

Squires

Rather, they are simply pre-written liturgies where the subject of the interview is expected to provide the appropriate response at the appropriate time.

The subject is expected to volunteer to agree to a lie, or be shamed into it. The message to audience is that if they go through the motions of agreeing they will be tolerated, but if they do not obey they will be humiliated, stained, cast out to howl alone the swamp.

I’ve observed this method of destroying probidity being most effective on females and weaker sorts of men.

That is, of course, forbidden to say.

WTP

I’ve observed this method of destroying probidity being most effective on females and weaker sorts of men.

Oh, I think it works quite well on the majority of men. Once something like that starts to work on women, the majority of men will fall right in line. Publicly at least. They may mutter in private or boast how unintimidated they are outside of the context. But for the most part, they fall right in line. Especially those in significant positions of large organizations. Military included. This is where PC gets its power.

Pogonip

I asked David about DM and he said he didn’t know.

I want a refund.

On the actual topic, in most office jobs you will be sent to at least one class instructing you to say “So you’re saying...” whenever someone says something outrageously stupid, giving the dolt a chance to back down and say, “No, what I meant was...”. So the interviewer may have just been doing as she was programmed to do.

David

I want a refund.

Credit note only.

Pogonip

Outrageous! I demand to see a henchlesbian!

I know, I know... “See? They’re all over there at their usual table.”

Tman

I love watching Peterson get interviewed by leftists who have this playbook with them ready to show Jordan that they are prepared to shoot his theories full of holes. They bring up example A of why he's a misogynist and he easily swats it away, so they bring up b-z as if throwing enough shit against the wall will eventually cause something to stick.

This recent interview with Phillip Dodd from the BBC is a classic example.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCnbzIkV_5M

David

interviewed by leftists who have this playbook with them

I think that’s a big part of why Peterson’s interviews often strike a chord with a wider public, in that they tend to reveal a uniformity of assumptions, and begged questions, and vanities, among the media class. They can, and often do, reveal a sort of gulf.

David

This recent interview with Phillip Dodd from the BBC is a classic example.

Thanks, I hadn’t seen that.

David

This recent interview with Phillip Dodd from the BBC is a classic example.

I’m halfway in and so far Mr Dodd isn’t winning me over. His arrogance and dismissiveness, and his insistence on certain conclusions, including on matters that he admits he knows little about, is quite a thing. And again, rather gleefully, and after considerable provocation, evasion and sophistry: “You’ve got angry!”

Tman

One of Jordan's 12 rules is "Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world", which in the book is aimed primarily at the average 20 something protestor who thinks they know everything about the world and how and why and what needs changing.

Dodd argues that Martin Luther King never really had his house in order, so had he listened to Peterson we never would've had the civil rights movement. Peterson responds along the lines of "well there are outliers" and Dodd cuts him off to use another example as if he's proven his point, that every 20 something antifa is potentially Martin Luther King and they shouldn't worry about geting their house in order first. It's just absurd. Dodd keeps bringing up examples that Peterson deconstructs and without admitting he's wrong, Dodd moves on to the next one. I don't know how Peterson puts up with it.

Darleen

I suspect that anyone who’s spent any length of time in a female-majority workplace, or within eavesdropping distance of girls at school, might find that conceit amusing.

I absolutely hated jr high because that seems to be when mean girls really come into their own with the stealth, emotional bullying. One might prefer to slug it out physically with one's bullying rather to endure the kind of sly, toxic game playing from 13/14 y/o amoral clique leaders.

Also, I've now been a supervisor for 10 years of majority female staff (currently stands at 38 women 2 men)... I'll just say retirement in 16 months can't get here soon enough.

David

Dodd keeps bringing up examples that Peterson deconstructs and without admitting he’s wrong, Dodd moves on to the next one. I don’t know how Peterson puts up with it.

Exactly. Whenever Mr Dodd is being proved wrong, or revealed as ignorant of something or other, he repeatedly interrupts, snaps “No!” and changes the subject. “Let’s not go there,” says he, hastily. More than once.

There’s vanity and slyness, and rudeness, but no trace of humility. And again, a gulf comes into view.

Clam

And again, rather gleefully, and after considerable provocation, evasion and sophistry: “You’ve got angry!”

What a twat.

Darleen

teenage girls don't really have friends. They have allies. And those alliances tend to be of the Ribbentrop/Molotov variety and can shift in a nanosecond.

And too many women never, ever grow out of it.

Tman

My personal favorite response that Peterson has had in these interviews lately (and also I think one of the most fascinating one) is when he refers to the Scandinavian studies that show that the more egalitarian the society -as in countries with more gender equality have fewer female STEM grads and a wider "pay gap".

(One of the studies here - http://www.thejournal.ie/gender-equality-countries-stem-girls-3848156-Feb2018/ )

This fact is so counter to the "conventional wisdom" of our media and intelligentsia class that it causes their internal hard drives to crash direct to blue screen of death almost every time. And yet they ignore this point and throw another one as if THIS TIME it will prove why the patriarchy exists.

David

What a twat.

Another vain leftist scold, faring poorly in an argument.

David

This recent interview with Phillip Dodd from the BBC is a classic example.

Setting aside the particulars being debated, what’s striking is the asymmetry of the participants’ behaviour and rhetorical tactics. Peterson tries to be reciprocal, addresses each objection, tolerates repeated insults and petty obnoxiousness, and seems happy, or at least willing, to admit areas of uncertainty, things that may be in doubt or open to further examination, including his own priorities. But Dodd isn’t. He doesn’t concede any of his errors or evasions, or admit any uncertainty, any room for doubt. Instead, he hectors and insults, and preens, even while being wrong.

And I noticed that when Dodd lost his temper and started raising his voice, Peterson didn’t repay the favour and cry, “You’ve got angry!”

ComputerLabRat

And yet they ignore this point and throw another one as if THIS TIME it will prove why the patriarchy exists.

Well, they haven't found an example of Real Socialism yet, because it exists purely in their utopian fever dreams. They won't prove the Patriarchy exists either because it exists purely in their dystopian fever dreams.

Also, I've now been a supervisor for 10 years of majority female staff (currently stands at 38 women 2 men)

Ye gods woman, you have my deepest sympathy.

I've worked as a prep cook in a professional kitchen (read - male-dominated) in the early '90s, those pre sexual-harassment-HR-hysteria years. I've also worked in a hotel laundry and private club dining rooms (read - female-dominated) post HR-nightmare. I would take those crass jokers over the bitchy women ANY day. I absolutely loathed my time working in the female-dominated jobs. And I say that as a female, although I've always been a bit of a tomboy, so that's probably why.

Anyone who thinks women are the "kinder, gentler" sex is an idiot. Their viciousness is less physical and more mental, is all.

Liam

Dodd was a lot angrier than Peterson.

David

Dodd was a lot angrier than Peterson.

Heh. Yes.

Tman

As a Yank I recognize Dodd as the normally soft spoken intellectual voice of the BBC that shows up on our Public Broadcast Services here in the US. To hear him get angry like this was actually hilarious.

And yet the whole time Peterson picks his words carefully, rarely raising his voice above the equal tone. Who knew we needed an overtly polite Canadian psychologist to pull the mask off these statists so easily?

Daniel Ream

Dodd cuts him off to use another example as if he's proven his point

It's an extraordinarily common tactic when arguing with those who have an inflated sense of their own mastery of rhetoric - behaving as if finding a single outlying contradiction magically disproves a large and obvious trend or pattern. As if every observation about society is some kind of absolute mathematical proof that completely unravels if you merely tug on the right string.

Horace Dunn

I'd love to see Peterson as an interviewer. I'd love to see him interview Cathy Newman and the rest of them, and ask then to make their assumptions stand up.

When Peterson is interviewed he always starts on the wrong foot, because the basic premise is: "Here's that hateful right-winger, and we're going to see if he can justify his appauling views". The fact that, as far as I can tell, he usually manages to win people over during these media struggle sessions, is testament to his good-natured braininess.

Wouldn't it be interesting to see Newman, McElvoy and Dodd have their assumptions tested in an interview with Peterson? Certainly it would.

It ain't gonna happen, though.

David

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Newman, McElvoy and Dodd have their assumptions tested in an interview with Peterson?

I’d subscribe to that channel.

Ten

I wonder how McElvoy's arrogance and presumption - that smug tone and delivery - plays into her standing as a predictable, unimaginative gatekeeper for the type. I can't recall ever hearing anything quite like her particular oozing, yet I find it represents a thoroughly pedestrian milieu.

The psychology is interesting, if truly eye-rolling. This spirit is intellectualism's professional wrestling: A loud, smelly spectacle of cartooned opponents sold to the masses.

fnord

Peterson must find it extraordinarily wearying dealing with this endless procession of intellectual flyweights. Not to mention the pathological levels of dishonesty. It's like the Wild West where the fastest gun is challenged by a parade of wannabes.

Horace Dunn

I’d subscribe to that channel.

Me too. Listening to that interview with McElvoy, I'm struck by how, when Peterson starts (from about 20 minutes in) detailing the various scientific findings about gender which have informed his views, McElvoy's questioning becomes confused. A grown-up interviewer would either challenge the findings, or challenge why those findings should lead to Peterson's views. McElvoy does neither. Her take is "I'm not sure how far that is taking us..."

As an interview gambit, it's effectively an anti-Enlightenment approach. Transparently so. And even us plebs can spot it. Those establishment types need to up their game in they're going to keep us in thrall.

David

Peterson must find it extraordinarily wearying dealing with this endless procession of intellectual flyweights.

I don’t think it’s necessarily an issue of intellectual heft or of not being familiar with some of Peterson’s more esoteric influences. Any reasonably intelligent person could grasp the nuts of what he’s saying, as it were. But if someone is determined not to concede certain possibilities, because their self-image or in-group status depends on them not conceding such things, and if that person is prepared to act in bad faith, on national TV and radio, or to play three-against-one or whatever, then it’s all but impossible to get past that kind of imperviousness.

While Peterson is usually, so far as I can tell, acting in good faith, his interviewers sometimes aren’t, sometimes to a degree that’s hard to miss, and so Peterson’s desire to communicate with them is often futile. Which, as you say, must be wearying. Happily, however, these doomed attempts tend to reveal things anyway. Whether the interviewers like it or not.

Ten

While Peterson is usually, so far as I can tell, acting in good faith, his interviewers sometimes aren’t, sometimes to a degree that’s hard to miss, and so Peterson’s desire to communicate with them is often futile.

I think Peterson's thing is ultimately self-terminating. He doesn't take his activism far enough, which is back to a simple, stark reality that completely upends the progressive psychosis and its postmodern swamp. He's a fairly passive voice. He deflates a third of their talking points, as if burnt out. Not that any normal mind wouldn't burn out, weaponized, projecting social justice being the disorder it is.

Cultural Marxism is about extinguishing a people and a culture. Peterson needs to go to their active defense. Maybe the right should discover Jared Taylor too.

Sam Duncan

“This recent interview with Phillip Dodd from the BBC is a classic example.”

Peterson misses an open goal about halfway through when Dodds brings up his home town suffering from mass unemployement, the consequent drug and crime problem, and how this is an earth-shattering issue of “social justice“ that vastly outweighs the decline of the academy.

It's only since the ideas that you don't have to set your own house in order and that you're not primarily responsible for your own actions have become prevalent that mass drug usage and near-uncontrollable crime have followed economic strife as night follows day. The 1930s were far tougher than the 1980s. I don't recall there being much of a drug problem back then. Yes, some turned to drink, but they were frowned upon and ostracized by the majority who thought more like Peterson (and don't tell me I don't know what I'm talking about; my grandparents were there, and I heard it from their own mouths). Peterson's Rules would have been uncontroversial - indeed, very much of the times - in those days. And that kind of thought was deprecated primarily through the mouths of graduates in the media.

The rise of collectivist fallacy is intimately connected with these problems.

Turk Turkleton

Dodd was a lot angrier than Peterson.

No, see, he was "angrying up", so it's fine. It's all in the Social Justice Flow Chart you received at the beginning of the semester.

Pogonip

That 29-page flow chart with the 672 “genders” on it? I was going to study it but the cat puked on it.

David

As a Yank I recognize Dodd as the normally soft spoken intellectual voice of the BBC that shows up on our Public Broadcast Services here in the US. To hear him get angry like this was actually hilarious.

He’s been a part of the bien-pensant landscape here for as long as I can remember. The BBC, naturally; the New Statesman; the ICA; and various taxpayer-funded hustles. Given this background, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Mr Dodd doesn’t take well to his leftist assumptions being challenged. I shouldn’t think it happens terribly often.

TomJ
Dodd argues that Martin Luther King never really had his house in order, so had he listened to Peterson we never would've had the civil rights movement.

I haven't watched the interview, but it might have been interesting to suggest that an MOK who had got his house in order might have been a more effective proponent of civil rights…

JS

Significantly, Dodd immediately launches into Peterson's christian influences and doesn't shut up about it for ages. In the UK, unlike the US, even most christians would roll their eyes or look suspiciously on anyone who banged on about religion outside of a church.
Dodd knows that if he can paint Peterson as a frothing-mouthed Old Testament evangelist then most of the UK audience unfamiliar with Peterson will be safely put off him from the start.
Peterson might be christian but there doesn't seem to be much about his advice which is uniquely or excessively so (even for an atheist like me). It rather seems as if Dodd didn't have much more ammunition than Cathy Newman but realised that the "sexist" and "right-wing nut" attack hasn't been too successful so tried a slightly different tack.

That and nit-picking about the book's title at some length!

Dodd also seems to think that Hillsborough proves a clear-cut point about the benefits of social activism when it seems to me it was an early Grenfell-esque example of activism (allied, of course, to the appalling behaviour of the police and press) making it impossible to reach an entirely considered unbiased conclusion. (Shhhh! Don't mention any fans at the back!)
Of course Dodd shroud-waves Hillsborough knowing that Peterson either won't know the details of the case well enough to argue and/or will know that anything he would be allowed to say in a short space of time would only be be a gift to his enemies.

Dodd ultimately either doesn't know, or purports not to know, how unbelievably bad things have become in North American universities. As most of his audience won't either it's easy for Dodd to use his own ignorance (feigned or not) to paint Peterson as being paranoid or deluded. Sadly, I suspect this may well have worked with many of the audience.

John Brady

The most interesting thing about the Dodd interview was that Dodd didn’t appear interested in what Peterson had actually written. Instead, the interview was focussed on what Dodd thought he should have written, and Peterson’s failure to stick to approved topics meant that he needed to be scolded. Repeatedly.

His intro was also particularly slanted, and made a number of demonstrably false claims in quick succession:

“He refused to use gender-neutral pronouns” - no, he protested against compelled speech.

“Defending... the need for men to be tough” - no, he encourages everyone, male and female, to shoulder their burden.

“Defending... hierarchy” - no, instead he argues that hierarchies are not primarily a social or patriarchal construct and have biological origins.

Also, I noted Dodd’s claim that “It’s the case though that common courtesy leads us to to address people in ways that people feel easy with”. Idi Amin as King of Scotland? Hilary Clinton as Madam President?

From that unpromising start it only went downhill.

David

The most interesting thing about the Dodd interview was that Dodd didn’t appear interested in what Peterson had actually written.

Yes, that’s sort of what I meant upthread about Peterson’s desire to communicate with such people, i.e., in good faith, often seeming futile. (Dodd didn’t appear interested in hearing why some of his own assumptions - “Capital!” - might be inadequate and repeatedly shut down attempts to explain.) And to the extent that there’s any listening happening on the part of the interviewer, it’s generally subordinate to the attempt to win. Or punish. Or misrepresent.

You could compare how Peterson has often been approached by supposedly impartial interviewers – with naked hostility from the first breath – with how, say, Peter Robinson interviews his guests.

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