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leftous wrote

That chapter is titled “Stand up straight with your shoulders back” and counsels readers to learn to stand up for themselves by, metaphorically speaking, embracing their inner lobster. The lobster, Peterson argues, shares many of the same neurological structures as its human cousin, especially those areas of the brain concerned with social hierarchies. Studies show that lobsters who lose enough fights (inter-lobster conflict being common on the ocean floor) and therefore lose their social status, stop producing serotonin, which leads to deep depression.

In other words, lobsters, like humans, become clinically depressed as they tumble down the social hierarchy. The lesson derived by Peterson is the need to change your self-destructive habits and take control of your life, thereby improving your social status and brain chemistry.

He's just some self-help guru who twists his 'antidote to chaos' bullshit centrism into some scientific and philosophical breakthrough. His other words of wisdom include "Make your bed" and "Defend the West".


quadrungle wrote

Peterson is a Psychology professor with some odd views about the nature of belief and the value of myths and some such… but he's not a self-help anything, i.e. he's neither career-wise nor thought of by anyone (even those who like him) as a self-help guru. He he may express views on how one should live, but that's not making him a self-help guru. RMS states opinions on how to live, e.g. reject proprietary software, and that doesn't make him a self-help guru.


leftous wrote

Being a psych professor doesn't preclude him from being a self-help guru. Most of what he talks about has nothing to do with psychology; besides what he cherry picks to fit into his personal misguided and wildly inconsistent philosophy.

Just check out his book on amazon - it's clearly a self-help book and reiterates a lot of what he talks about in his discussions. Not only is it in the self-help category of books, but many of the editorial reviews the publisher includes identify it as a self-help book.

It's also clear from the way many of his former supporters talk about him, he did fit that role of a self-help cult leader whose empty rhetoric eventually became apparent.

I think this article does a good breakdown of his self-help approach, and (often hateful) right-wing bullshit.


quadrungle wrote

I hate that I have to consciously do some weird routing around your amazon link to avoid things on the internet connecting my IP with liking his book or something (this goes for tons of everything these days, total tangent…)

Anyway, I guess you're right. He's veering on self-help guru. (Obviously, I don't read his stuff or I would have known about this direction). And in your other link, there you go: 3rd-party media using that very language. So, I guess I was wrong, nevermind. Just I thought of "self-help guru" as generally some pop-culture out-of-the-academy type people, and Peterson gave me more of the professor-in-the-ivory-tower sort of impression…

Anyway, the tidbits I got from him what's that he was just this intellectual, I dunno, was going to say masturbator. He's smart in a certain way. He's good at identifying and critiquing some bad intellectual arguments from some people, but his own conclusions are based on just some weird philosophical foundations. He's a weird mix of "not even wrong" and "sorta, almost, partly right" in some ways.

I don't know how much he has hate, but it's one of those cases where hateful people love what he has to say.

Let me put it this way: I read the article you linked, and I'm convinced that there's just a lot of communication failure going on. Peterson sounds more like a classical liberal in some ways than right-wing. He certainly doesn't know how to speak effectively to people who disagree with him in a way that would actually achieve some understanding. In that second video linked in the article, the guys standing near him who were supporting Peterson were horribly, cringily awful. The worst part is his failure to rebuke that stuff, but I don't want to jump to saying that if you don't rebuke something it equals endorsement. I'm pretty protective of ideas of greyness, spectra, etc. and refusing to take black-and-white partisan views.

Overall it seems tragic that Peterson is getting so much attention. He's obviously failing at having an overall positive impact on discourse.


leftous wrote

I think you've summed it up nicely, and I agree for the most part except:

The worst part is his failure to rebuke that stuff, but I don't want to jump to saying that if you don't rebuke something it equals endorsement. I'm pretty protective of ideas of greyness, spectra, etc. and refusing to take black-and-white partisan views.

He's not merely "failing to rebuke" them. He's actively rallying them with rhetoric that targets the most powerless groups in society. He's acting like marxism is the dominant ideology that must be slain, and transpeople are coming to steal your rights.

He may have good intentions or not realize that he's encouraging hate against groups who have to deal with it on the daily. Moreover, he doesn't seem to ever say anything when actual free speech is threatened (e.g. hate speech laws? anti-BDS?).

This imo adds up to someone who is full of shit.


quadrungle wrote

Well, I mean, I could imagine inadvertently rallying people to those ideas, but if I somehow did that, I'd then be shocked to witness it and react with a "holy shit! Don't talk like that, is that what you thought I meant‽" and so on…

Like, he has a legitimate complaint about the idea of slippery-slope worries about legislating speech. but to then hear his wannabe-sidekick try to argue that laws against housing discrimination only [should] apply to government housing‽ I could see making the original legal argument, but if you see others associated with you getting everything all wrong…

Hanlon's Razor though… maybe Peterson is shitty at handling these things more than actually believing the real reactionary nonsense… I don't know