June 27, 2017

Prof. Jordan Peterson: What post-modernism gets wrong — and right

Rebel Staff

Among the many highlights of our recent TheRebelLive gathering was a talk by Dr. Jordan Peterson, who received a standing ovation.

In this excerpt, he explains what post-modernism is, and how it became the default worldview of the academic left.

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commented 2017-06-29 03:17:05 -0400
@Bill Elder….one of the things I heard in a lecture that showed rhetoric to be a higher understanding than syllogist logic…and a good example relating to aeronautic engineering was this.

Engineers from Boeing would examine flack and interceptor damage on B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft when they returned to England and make recommendations based on re-enforcing the places where holes were found. There was no improvement in rate of survival of the aircraft. A rhetorical thinker suggested that this was the wrong approach. If the aircraft made it home with holes in these places then those places were not the problem…map out the places where no hole has ever been seen on a returning aircraft and put the re-enforcement there. This changed the whole approach to military aircraft maintenence and prototyping.

People do walk I beams high above the ground. It is simply a matter of confidence and nothing to do with the air. It would take a wicked wind to blow you off that I beam on the ground….or in the air.

I took advanced training from a karate coach who was a member of the SAS who served in South East Asia. He made us face our fears. I feared heights and spiders.

With patience and persistence I could walk a four inch beam at dangerous heights and spiders really don’t bother me anymore.
commented 2017-06-29 03:02:39 -0400
I sat through a number of Peterson’s videos, and even listened to him co host with Andrew Lawton. I honestly have no idea why he is held up in such high regard. He rambles incessantly as he mindnumbingly over analyzes every stupid little thing. As somebody that has a degree in psychology, I can say with confidence that clinical psychology professors like Peterson are not worth the cost of tuition.
commented 2017-06-28 23:16:13 -0400
By the way, Bill and Glen, you’re both approaching this from your own areas of expertise. As, obviously, you’re both highly educated men, all be it in different fields. I barely made it through high school, and went straight from there to the logging camps on the west coast, so maybe you can take my observations with a grain of salt. But, hey, Abraham Lincoln had almost no formal education and he did OK for himself…. Well, except for the getting shot part.
commented 2017-06-28 23:01:29 -0400
Bill Elder, I still think Glen Craig makes A valid point. I believe the vast majority of people make decisions for emotional rather than logical reasons. For the longest time I believed I was above that. And, frankly, I still believe I’m more motivated by evidence-based logic and reason than most people out there. But if i’m going to be truly honest with myself, I have to admit that I’m reluctant to let go of long-held, cherished beliefs about reality when confronted with evidence to the contrary. I do let go of them, but I don’t like it.
commented 2017-06-28 20:42:03 -0400
Glen Garaig – sounds like your profession is one which doesn’t demand both mathematical and formal logic. As an engineer I studied both mathematical, formal and syllogistic logic (deductive reasoning) and it has served me well all my career and life. One cannot make a conctete statement which can be logically proven false and hope to preserve one’s personal integrity and self respect.
Abstraction to reasoned example and logical deconstruction is a common practice in design – for instance, your walking an I-beam example does not pass reasoned scrutiny because walking at ground level and at 60ft are different physical efforts impacted by air pressure on inner ear (balance), wind, and optical depth perceptive issues all of which place physical restrictions on the act (for many people) so fear is only one of many factors. – this logically deconstructed analogy is closer to the truth than the example which was an conceptual abstraction accepted as fact.
commented 2017-06-28 15:36:51 -0400
Yesterday afternoon a couple of F-18’s (I think) came out of nowhere, passed over my head, then screamed off across the wilderness lake I live on, on the Chilcotin Plateau, and disappeared with a roar and a shudder into the West. Phewwww.
Which is pretty much what it felt like today hearing the professor’s lecture and reading these comments…
commented 2017-06-28 04:45:04 -0400
Glen Craig, you are absolutely correct. I wish you weren’t, but you are. I’m someone whose intellectual curiosity is driven by the pursuit of objective truth. I like to think that I’m objective in that pursuit, but as much as I hate to admit it, I’m not. When my preconceived notion of what is true comes up against irrefutable evidence that contradicts my belief, I am drawn kicking and screaming into the reality that my beliefs are wrong. It takes a good long while for me to come around. I’ll try every which way I can to prove my case…. even long after I know in my heart I’ve lost the argument. That’s particularly true of many historical figures that I hold up as my personal heroes. Over time, it becomes difficult to separate fact from legend. Often the legend is not only more fun, but more inspirational than the facts. And as for their warts, I really don’t want to know about them. And as for your last point, I guess that comes down to the difference between intellectual assent to the truth of something without any emotional attachment to that truth, and the courage to put that truth into practice without being distracted by the fear of all the possible “what ifs”. Myself personally, I’m scared to death of heights. There’s no damn way I’m walking that beam if it’s 60 feet in the air.
commented 2017-06-28 00:17:54 -0400
@Bill Elder…I studied “rhetoric” back when that was a legitamit study. I don’t reget it, it has served me well.

One of my professors was a die hard logician. What he never got was that people are not motivated by logic. They are motivated by hope and fear. And that people do not solve puzzles or “reason to belief”…instead they take small clues and jump to conclusions. Logic sets in when they are challanged to defend the conclusions they have jumped to….the prime example of this is crossword puzzles.

Logic is fine in the realm of arithmatic. Numbers have no nuance of meaning and syllogisms can be formed from unassailable premises. The problem is that outside of the realm of arithmatic there is no such thing as an unassailable premise.

To paraphrase something that Blaise Pascal said…..nobody capable of normal walking would have any difficulty walking a steel I beam placed on the ground. When it is sixty feet in the air no amount of logic will persuade them to walk it.

commented 2017-06-27 23:35:45 -0400
You can tell if your interpretation (understanding) of anything abstract is correct is by making the abstract concrete with an example then logically examining the example for flaws.
commented 2017-06-27 23:33:34 -0400
Indeed a few things are just black and white. The really important ones.
commented 2017-06-27 22:43:45 -0400
“Shadow and shape mix together at dawn..but by the time you catch them simplicity’s gone”

“And the reason that she loved him, was the reason I loved him too, he never wondered what was right or wrong, he just knew, he just knew”