Jordan Peterson (beliefs)

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Jordan Peterson

Personal Responsibility

  • Young men are thirsty for someone to talk to them about responsibility, as opposed to simply rights
  • Every persons actions are partly responsible for the culture. The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being (Solzhenitsyn). If society becomes evil, it is incumbent on you to assess how you contributed to that
  • Set your own house in order before you criticize the world
  • Becoming a more responsible person is started as the accumulation of small acts (like cleaning your room, or don’t tell a lie)

Psychometrics

  • IQ is valid, has predictive power, and makes a significant difference
  • the Big-5 Personality test is the, and the only, psychometrically valid test of personality. it ranks people on agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and openness
  • IQ is the only valid test of intelligence, and when you adjust for personality, the predictive power of all other intelligence tests goes away
  • Psychometrics can predict political views. Generalizing the data, we can conclude that the right wing responds better to borders, literal and metaphorical.

Hierarchy

  • Societies trend towards hierarchy
  • Hierarchy is desirable for the individual because there needs to be a reason to strive for something, for society because it allows us to harness the efforts of the most talented individuals
  • If the bell curves traits for two populations differ slightly in their averages, one population will be especially disproportionately represented at the far side of the bell curves, despite the fact that the averages don’t differ that much (because of the math of bell curve)

Morality

  • Principles of morality are originally derived from power relations, i.e, negotiations positions in a hierarchy, however, it is not true that the most oppressive person always gets to the top of a hierarchy. Negotiating power is a complex process that takes into account many people’s preferences, deriving abstract principles
  • Mortality is stored and passed down in archetypical stories
  • Are you moral or are you just weak? It is better to be someone who has the capacity to be dangerous but keeps his sword sheathed (Nietzsche)

Gender

  • It is reductionist to point to the people at the top of hierarchies, say that men are overrepresented, and use that as evidence of patriarchy. Getting to the top of some hierarchies demands an almost irrational commitment to one’s work in some cases, and it’s not apparent that it is ideal to strive for that.
  • Countries with more gender equality have more gender-skewed results in the jobs people choose, the opposite of what feminists might expect
  • The concept of the patriarchy is reductionist. It’s not true that men oppressed women for recorded human history. both genders suffered in different ways
  • Men are the competitors, women are the choosers, analogous to the selection mechanism in Darwinism, analogous to nature

Archetypes

  • Factual truth is not the be-all end-all, there is also wisdom contained in archetypical stories (I’m steel-manning a bit, what I’m calling wisdom he would call another version of truth)
  • Religious stories are much older then we think
  • Archetypical stories contain abstractions of principles for how we should live

Anti Political Correctness

  • Equal opportunity is desirable, equal outcome is not.
  • Free speech is the great value with which we organize all other values
  • Kicked off his fame by opposing bill c-16 which he argued would lead to compelled speech
  • Young men are sick of being told they are oppressive
  • The problem with identify politics is that you can continue to sub-divide identity all the way down the the level of the individual

Personal

  • Says he is precise with his speech
  • Extremely touched by people telling him they helped him
  • Advice in book 12 Rules for Life
  • Visited Russia to help with anti-depression drug withdrawal; he took the drug after his with was diagnosed with terminal illness