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Jordan Peterson's ideas on politis


Hans de Vries
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Just now, MigL said:

Getting back to J Peterson, somebody is going to have to post a clip where he says males are competitive and aggressive due to evolutionary factors, and their behaviour should be excused because they can't control themselves.

Every interview/debate I've seen involving J Peterson, it is the people arguing against him who are aggressive, and tend to lose their shit, while he remains calm and collected.

So the basic premise of those kind of arguments is that are certain behaviours and structure in nature and then argue that because of that, the same thing should be in humans. Especially (but not exclusively) in conservative cycles this is an often-used argument to explain why certain things are the way they are and why the should be like this. It is after all "normal" or "natural".

Now there are several issues with that. One is that of ethics. Just because things exist in nature (e.g. rape and killing) does not make those actions moral. But what I think is also important is that this argument completely ignores the variability and versatility in nature. For example, the almost archetypical explanation of hierarchies has been developed in wolves. I am sure you have heard about the strict hierarchy from alphas all the way to the submissive omegas. So the argument goes that this is universal and that is why we have same hierarchies in humans.

However, the funny bit is that this appeal to nature argument is actually wrong as those kind of hierarchies are not "normal" in wolves. You see, those behaviour were created under artificial conditions (e.g. zoos) whereas the structures of free-roaming wolves are familial packs, which I have mentioned earlier. See a nicely written article here.

So in other words, the presumed natural order only exist under artificial conditions. Thus if even animals have different social structure depending on their environment, how does it make sense to assume that we have a fundamentally "natural" structure if we, as a species, are masters in reconstructing our environment?

Again, it is an example of poorly understood concepts and blend it into a woo-narrative. Also, if he remains calm he obviously counters his own argument. Rather obviously he went into the submissive role as he did not really threaten violence. Probably he forgot that serotonin works differently in humans.

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3 minutes ago, MigL said:

All fine and dandy.
But I asked for proof that J P has actually said that, not an explanation of how the argument works ( or doesn't ).

I cited the lobster argument straight from his book (on google books around p.15 harping on serotonin (which is just bad biology). Not sure what specifically you want.

Or how about that (and I know it is going to be a whack-a-mole but at least with you it is likely to be less frustrating than with others). How about you provide a specific argument he made that you think is worthwhile to discuss and we do that. 

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And I can cite the bowling ball on a rubber sheet analogy from any elementary book on GR.
An analogy is only useful in demonstrating one particular effect, and is meant for lay-people.
But space-time is not a rubber sheet, and lobsters are not people.

More specifically, where has J P said that male aggressive behaviour should be excused/tolerated because of its evolutionary nature ?

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

And I can cite the bowling ball on a rubber sheet analogy from any elementary book on GR.
An analogy is only useful in demonstrating one particular effect, and is meant for lay-people.
But space-time is not a rubber sheet, and lobsters are not people.

More specifically, where has J P said that male aggressive behaviour should be excused/tolerated because of its evolutionary nature ?

Yes, but the rubberband has to make sense as an analogy. If I use the rubberband and claim that is what GR is about, I am doing pseudeoscience.

Also I have to say that I don't think I claimed that he said that aggressive behaviour should be excused (or at least it was not my primary intention if you are thinking about physical violence, though he does bring up the link when it comes to his lengthy musing about lobsters and he also mentioned in a different context I believe in terms of civil behaviour amongs men where violence is always implicit- but I do not recall details, it was part of a weird discussion I had with students and I am not sure how accurate they were). Rather he is saying that this behaviour is expected as fights for dominance is something that exist in all of our evolution and that this behaviour therefore determines your well-being. 

So the argument he makes in the book is the following: dominance hierarchies are the key element defining all life. It is ancient and controls all conscious and unconscious elements in life. We see it in lobsters which indicates it is an old evolutionary process. Specifically, we see how aggression is tied to dominant hierarchies. He has also mentioned at various points (and interviews) that the primary social hierarchy structures are fundamentally masculine. While he does not explicitly say that e.g. being violent is what takes you to the top (he drops in coalition-building, which counters the lobster example nicely). However, he does build (even in the imagery he is using, a strutting Clint Eastwood lobster) the idea that male swagger, being a manly man, is what makes you successful. Also, women in their own hierarchy, do not fight for the same thing as men do. No they really just want to identify the Clint Eastwood's and throw themselves at them (ok, now I see why that might seem attractive to you :)). 

The more aggressive (whichever form) you are, the more serotonin you have and the higher you climb in hierarchy. If you are higher in the hierarchy, you are healthier happier and so on. If you are low status the opposite is true, you are poor, unhappy and even if you have money, you will use it for drugs. And this is, according to him, all serotonin driven: If you are judged unworthy by your peers, your serotonin levels drop. He makes direct connections between serotonin, aggression and dominance. These are not analogies, but specific claims that are not backed by science.

So basically he claims that these dominance  hierarchies provide a direct  link to virtually all aspects of well-being. I.e. that in any context humans have this specific hierarchies which, as I noted do not necessarily exist in nature. So instead of using a rubberband to explain certain aspects, he is saying the rubberband (social dominance systems) are actually what determines all factors in live. Alphas are real and if you are not at least in that area you will suffer (and also your hormones will tell you that). For a psychologist this is hugely simplistic take on how disorders including drug abuse develop (which is ironic in more than one way). 

Now you could say that we should not talk about any of the specific claims they are just examples for his bigger points. But then if none of the examples are reflected by reality (or science) what actually is left? And that is the big issue, to me. Many followers of Peterson brush off the specifics of his claim and say, oh those are not relevant or just examples. But if you build your whole grand narrative based on examples that do not hold water, you are really just making a vacuous argument with some non-functional adornments on then. And if you do that as a (former) scientist you are kind of dismissing the actual work of folks who look into those details and figure out whether they are real or not (you know, science).

Edit: again, I mostly refer to his self-help book as source.

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20 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Everything is down to evolution; for instance, some men have grown up.

Agreed, however some have "grown up" more than others and there still remains evolutionary traits that date back thousands of years. Evolution is a long slow process comparatively. So I don't disagree that humans are evolving, of course they are, more civilised for one we could argue.  

18 hours ago, Phi for All said:

You and Peterson seem to claim evolution is forcing men to remain animals, and there's no hope of them being able to intellectually overcome this "sometimes uncontrollable aggression". Like evolution is at odds with what society needs, so we have to understand that men can't be held to societal norms the way women are. This is part of what gives some men a license to act out whenever they feel like it, and you give them a scientific excuse to rely on brawn over brain, on aggression over compassion, on constantly competing rather than cooperating. 

I don't think evolution is keeping humans behaving like animals. I think that's on you and others with this mindset that we need to be lenient on aggressive men because they can't help themselves. You may not be saying it that way, but that's how it's being abused. Y'all have been giving toxic men just what they've needed to perpetuate the social atrocities we keep hearing about. 

No, 

you completely mis-interpret and mis-represent what I'm saying. Myself, and I believe Peterson is saying that certain traits/instincts observed in males still exist that date back thousands of years and are likely inherent of the evolution process. 

No one, not even Peterson is saying that some of this behaviour is acceptable or uncontrollable. He is saying that to aid in controlling these urges/instincts understanding why they exist and what may trigger them is useful. 

On a recent thread about punishment, folk on here were advocating that rather than punishing criminals they should be either rehabilitated or efforts made towards prevention. Yet here we are slating a Phycologist for suggesting that some unacceptable behaviour is evolutionary, and should not be ignored, so that it can be addressed in a positive manner.  

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4 hours ago, Intoscience said:

On a recent thread about punishment, folk on here were advocating that rather than punishing criminals they should be either rehabilitated or efforts made towards prevention. Yet here we are slating a Phycologist for suggesting that some unacceptable behaviour is evolutionary, and should not be ignored, so that it can be addressed in a positive manner.  

I can't comment on JP because I have no idea what he's said/writen, but I do trust @Phi for Alland @CharonY, assessment of him.

It's a big step from punishment to attacking bad idea's, besides he's not being ignored he's being debated. 

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6 hours ago, Intoscience said:

No, 

you completely mis-interpret and mis-represent what I'm saying. Myself, and I believe Peterson is saying that certain traits/instincts observed in males still exist that date back thousands of years and are likely inherent of the evolution process. 

Please watch this short bit from YT, in his own words, and it will help you understand why my interpretation is not a misrepresentation, at least of what Peterson is saying: 

 

He claims that men can only respect each other when there's a threat of violence. Do you really believe that?

He claims women are crazy and men can't deal with them as effectively as they deal with other men because they can't threaten them with violence. Do you really believe that?

He believes men can only throw their hands up in "not even disbelief" when dealing with crazy women and there's no other step forward for them culturally than to be aggressive and physical. Do you really believe that too?

He claims that men can have no respect for another man who won't get physical with them, who won't fight them, and that this threat of violence is what keeps us all civilized. Do you really believe this as well?

I don't. Not at all. I think this is how animals try to justify their behavior, and intelligence is simply beyond them.

 

11 hours ago, MigL said:

More specifically, where has J P said that male aggressive behaviour should be excused/tolerated because of its evolutionary nature ?

Many of his videos talk about how fundamental male dominance hierarchies are, and rather than focusing on ways to use intellect to override baser animal instincts and behavior (which seems more in line with what a psychologist should be focused on), he instead claims the most natural thing to do is adapt to it, accept that men are uncontrollably aggressive at times, and move on from there. Do you agree with that?

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25 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

instead claims the most natural thing to do is adapt to it, accept that men are uncontrollably aggressive at times, and move on from there. Do you agree with that?

My opinion is that your biases are showing.
He says that when dealing with 'crazy' men or women, once civil discourse has come to an end, the next step is physical.
And that can be done with 'crazy' men, but obviously not with 'crazy' women.
Don't hear or see what isn't in the video.

 

10 hours ago, CharonY said:

Edit: again, I mostly refer to his self-help book as source.

Well that explains things.
I've never read his self-help book.
( being the Clint Eastwood type, I've never needed help )

And I hope I wasn't too rude when I asked about your area of expertse.
It was rhetorical; I know full well what your expertise is.
But I have to ask, if you wrote a book on genetic sequencing, meant for the general public, would you include some sensationalist elements to make it more 'interesting' for the lay-person ?
Might you include a chapter on how similar human genetic structure is to a lobster ?
And does that one specific similarity make us and lobsters the same ?
Do you think a pop-sci book is equivalent to J P's actual research and expertise ?
Do you also dismiss all of Michio Kaku, Brian Green, Stephen Hawking, and other's work, because they have written pop-sci books ?

Again, don't get your information from pop sci books, or, snippets of interviews on YouTube, taken out of context.

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8 minutes ago, MigL said:

But I have to ask, if you wrote a book on genetic sequencing, meant for the general public, would you include some sensationalist elements to make it more 'interesting' for the lay-person ?

Only when I have to eat...

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I don't doubt that J P is using his new-found notoriety to increase the amount he can eat ( wealth ), Dim.
So he is greedy, like the rest of us.
That makes no difference to the argument being presented.

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19 minutes ago, MigL said:

My opinion is that your biases are showing.
He says that when dealing with 'crazy' men or women, once civil discourse has come to an end, the next step is physical.
And that can be done with 'crazy' men, but obviously not with 'crazy' women.
Don't hear or see what isn't in the video.

He NEVER says "crazy men", only "crazy women". It doesn't seem much to matter that what he's talking about is assault and battery, and that it's the expected response between men when civil discourse fails (protip: laws help keep people from acting like animals, until the law looks the other way for some reason). And are you denying he seems to say men are hardwired this way through evolution and they can't deal intellectually with women who present them with challenges they'd normally fight a man for?

I DO have a bias against the toxic male attitude I see on the rise in the last several years. I've argued many times that it's polluting daily life for too many. Unnecessary aggression while driving, anti-intellectual stances on health and environment, and the daily pain some males inflict upon their society in the name of masculinity is being fed by stances like Peterson's. There is a time and place for aggressive action, and too many men have been taught that it's their only tool.

Thanks for letting me know this bias is showing! I'm rather proud of it.

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20 minutes ago, TheVat said:

Sampling can be useful.   One sip from a gallon of milk will inform you that it's turned sour.   Not necessary to chug the whole bottle. 

Sampling only that particular post, from your many excellent ones, informs me that you are a negative person, who sips gallons of sour milk.
Do you see how 'sampling' a snippet of a conversation ( and out of context ) is not a good idea ?

2 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Thanks for letting me know this bias is showing! I'm rather proud of it.

I'm glad that yu're proud of misunderstanding, and taking things out of context.
I wouldn't be.

Maybe you should find the whole interview, not just the particular section you misinterpreted.

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30 minutes ago, MigL said:

Sampling only that particular post, from your many excellent ones, informs me that you are a negative person, who sips gallons of sour milk.
Do you see how 'sampling' a snippet of a conversation ( and out of context ) is not a good idea ?

Wow, your sampling abilities suck! I think it's much better to sip gallons of sour milk as opposed to having to drink TheVat of it (wink wink). It's important to be able to spit out the crap.

30 minutes ago, MigL said:

Maybe you should find the whole interview, not just the particular section you misinterpreted.

I watched it start to finish. When this guy steps out of his area of expertise and tries to extrapolate in others, he makes errors as most people would. I don't assume that as a given, it's part of most criticisms on his teachings (especially his YT videos). 

It's not my interpretation of his stances that prompt me to take up a cause against them. It's too easy for anyone to justify their own actions by pointing to a scholar like Peterson and claiming science supports aggression and physical behavior from men as part of their genetic (evolutionary) makeup. Many men hide like cowards behind a double standard that gives them an excuse to choose violence when they're too intellectually challenged, and then they want to be forgiven for being "real men". They see the use of reason, diplomacy, compromise, and fairness as weak, and while your Jordan Peterson might deny identifying with men like this, he's giving them LOTS of encouragement to continue behaving in ways they see as masculine.

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First "vat" joke of the day tells me the whole day will be fun.   

One can poke a hole in my milk analogy,  fair enough,  but I was just trying to say that sampling is useful.  If I've read six articles by,  or quoting at length, JP,  and they're all similarly structured hogwash,  then I will conclude he's a pop culture hack.

If he wrote carefully researched scholarly papers on his various popular theories,  I would read one.   But he hasn't, has he? And that would be due to his following Jungian psychology which is more a school of literary philosophizing than a cognitive science.   He's more of a folklorist,  like Robert Bly or Joseph Campbell,  than a scientist.   And that's fine.   If I want to dip into some Jungian reflections, I'll check him out. 

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

But I have to ask, if you wrote a book on genetic sequencing, meant for the general public, would you include some sensationalist elements to make it more 'interesting' for the lay-person ?

If I wanted to add a hook, I would find one that is either sound science or where I make it clear that this is could be a dream realized at some point. I would never sell it as a fact. I have given local media news and because it could affect lives (COVID-19) I was careful to point out exactly where the science is (but also where the edge of my expertise is). Feeding folks false information is in part responsible for where we are today. To me it does matter little if it is a facebook post or a book. As a scientist you have at least some responsibility to uphold science.

 

1 hour ago, MigL said:

Might you include a chapter on how similar human genetic structure is to a lobster ?
And does that one specific similarity make us and lobsters the same ?

If there is something useful to say about similiarity it might be.

 

1 hour ago, MigL said:

And does that one specific similarity make us and lobsters the same ?
 

And of course not. But that is what Peterson claims in his book. It is a switch and bait tactic. We start off with something that may be true (there are some issues with his claims, but since it is popsci one might let the details slide) as the bait and talk about lobsters a bit. But then after all the lobsters he then suddenly shift gears and then claims (without evidence) that see, this is all priomordial and therefore in humans we humans also have these strict hierarchies.

So he does not actually provide studies or data on human hierarchies, he just magically established them to be true. He tends to do things in interviews and elsewhere too. He starts off with a claim that may be somewhat true and then makes a huge jump and claims that that somehow establishes his big narrative. If a proper scientist would want to make that argument one would first ask, are these male dominance hierarchies real? And what would be a good example. So let's say an average company. And the test the claims beign made. Are folks in higher management happier? Do they have more serotonin? Are they the only one with female partners? What about the women, is it true that they have different hierarchies and are mostly competing for men? Can we see test that?

And I am fairly certain if plot all the claims Peterson makes with regard to seronin levels, happiness, access to reproductive partners, we won't see the linear graph that he tries to paint. 

Quote

Do you think a pop-sci book is equivalent to J P's actual research and expertise ?

Most folks writing a pop-sci book write within their realm of expertise. I have read Hawking and while he some bouts of speculation outside his expertise, these are not the central themes. Peterson's theme are almost exclusively outside of his expertise. Maddeningly he does not seem to use his expertise when it comes to his own arguments.

He worked in addiction. So you would think that he know the lit (and I suspect he does). But in his book he just sold us the strict male dominant hierarchies and claims in the book that at those at the lower end, the diminutive and weak ones with low serotonin (and again, low serotonin is actually associated with low impulse control), then you are also prone to do drugs because you need it to control your misery.

And that flies directly in the face about what we know about addiction. If we look at our corporate model, do we really think that in the upper levels we won't see addicts? We could test that, too and try to plot our assigned hierarchy level vs drug abuse but what we know about the 80s cocaine waves as well as opioid crisis, we kind of know that drug abuse are not necessarily linked to social status.

And then we could continue to talk about the issues in fitting women into this model, which according to him are obviously not part of that hierarchy. They are only competing for prime sex partners, which again is just borrowing from semi-mythical animal models and then directly transplanting it to humans rather than highlighting specific human research to justify that. 

To perhaps make a comparison, it would be the equivalent of me borrowing concepts from GR and then somehow use that as justification why a certain diet would surely reduce your risk of cancer. It is not just nice story-telling. It is me trying to convince you of something using woo-tactics. And that is the part that I fine objectionable. I would be less annoyed if he was just a random woo-doctor peddling bad science. There are many of those around. However, he is one of the folks who kind of uses (indirectly) his credentials to boost his woo. Even intelligent folks like you therefore give him more  credence and assume that what he is talking about is really backed by science.

There is a difference in my mind regarding overhyping science (which I consider bad) and peddling ideology.

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

Again, don't get your information from pop sci books, or, snippets of interviews on YouTube, taken out of context.

How is an interview, freely (gleefully?) given by the subject 'out of context'? What larger context of a staged debate should one consider when listening to the debate? If the author of a pop- sci book cannot be taken to task for its content, by what can he be judged? The man presents a persona and a set of very strong views to the audience. The audience responds.  Where is the injustice? 

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5 hours ago, Phi for All said:

 

He claims that men can only respect each other when there's a threat of violence. Do you really believe that?

 

Hi Phi and everyone else, its been a long time - around 3 years or so since I've posted anything longer than a few words. I've been busy with my family and business, not enough time to post a lot anymore, especially that the majority of topics have been mostly pollitical and less physics/science focused which was the original reason why I came here.

I think what Jordan Peterson is claiming here is... let me give an example - if a man is hitting on your wife and he keeps on doing it despite civil discourse and does it again and again at a banquet or at a NYE party downtown, there comes a moment when you have to make a decision - you either take your wife and leave the place or stand up for yourself and tell the guy straight to his face to f off or you'll break his jaw. What Peterson is saying is that most men have a set of skills which enable them to detect which type of man they are dealing with during a normal, civilised, non hostile conversation - the leave the place guy or the break the jaw guy. I know that this might come as a  serious shock to many here but women and men do differ in many physical and even psychological aspects and this is an example of such a difference. It might come as a further shock to many that this is not mysogyny, patriarchy heck - it's not even a bad thing.

 

Edited by koti
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1 minute ago, koti said:

I think what Jordan Peterson is claiming here is... let me give an example - if a man is hitting on your wife and he keeps on doing it despite civil discourse and does it again and again at a banquet or at a NYE party downtown, there comes a moment when you have to make a decision - you either take your wife and leave the place or stand up for yourself and tell the guy straight to his face to f off or you'll break his jaw. What Peterson is saying is that most men have a set of skills which enable them to detect which type of man they are dealing with during a normal, civilised, non hostile conversation - the leave the place guy or the break the jaw guy. I know that this might come as a  serious shock to many here but women and men do differ in many physical and even psychological aspects and this is an example of such a difference. It might come as a further shock to many that this is also not a bad thing.

If we take this line of thinking apart it basically means male interactions are fundamentally a posturing where we assess the level of violence we should level at each other. This, to me sounds like an overly simplistic model, after all we have many, many everyday interactions and violence or even thoughts of violence are the extreme outlier (in my experience). So it would sound odd that this extreme outlier should somehow be a defining factor of our behaviour. It seems to me that he is taking an extreme outlier and then creates a model of human behaviour out of it. 

In fact I would think most folks nowadays would react to a sudden violent outburst with shock rather than with a skillful well-adjusted reaction, simply because we actually do not think in those terms. Moreover, society has a measures to outsource violence (e.g. police). Yet Peterson puts the threat of physical violence as a core concept in male behaviour:

Quote

“If you’re talking to a man who wouldn’t fight with you under any circumstances whatsoever, then you’re talking to someone to whom you have absolutely no respect.”

So thinking that we as men only respect each other because we know that we would beat each other up. And then if we tie it into his dominant hierarchy thinking it clearly depicts a worldview where men basically cannot interact without thinking in terms of physicality and all interactions are based on the assessment of these physical interactions (and again without providing evidence, but we can treat this more as his personal opinion rather than expert opinion for now). 

So the issue then is then strangely that he claims that the issue with women is that our normal male skill set suddenly fails and because it is not acceptable to hit women. So to me that is an utter turnaround. First he is saying that we are slaves to our primordial behaviour (and that in itself has issue in terms of the biology behind, but let's ignore that for now) and that we actually cannot act differently. But then he says that somehow society has stopped us applying our skills to women, which should not be possible it was such an universal mandate. As such I do not find his views on this matter internally consistent. If on the other hand our ability to learn and change ourselves which the environment and society (which animals also are doing) then the whole argument of underlying unchangeable and fundamental principles of male behaviour do not make sense. 

Realistically of course there are both things at play here, but by only using aspects that supports his ideology and ignoring nuance that counters it, he is basically using badscience as a justification for his opinion.

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11 minutes ago, CharonY said:

If we take this line of thinking apart it basically means male interactions are fundamentally a posturing where we assess the level of violence we should level at each other. This, to me sounds like an overly simplistic model, after all we have many, many everyday interactions and violence or even thoughts of violence are the extreme outlier (in my experience). So it would sound odd that this extreme outlier should somehow be a defining factor of our behaviour. It seems to me that he is taking an extreme outlier and then creates a model of human behaviour out of it. 

Peterson is making a statement, a claim, an observation, he’s not modelling a model. You on the other hand seem to be doing the very thing which you are accusing him of - taking an observation made by Peterson and implying that he’s making a model. Plus hes not claiming that male interactions are fundamentally a posturing where we asses the level of violence, we do it as only a part of our personality.

 

Quote

In fact I would think most folks nowadays would react to a sudden violent outburst with shock rather than with a skillful well-adjusted reaction, simply because we actually do not think in those terms. Moreover, society has a measures to outsource violence (e.g. police). Yet Peterson puts the threat of physical violence as a core concept in male behaviour.

Please elaborate on this, my English might be becoming a little rusty and I’m seeing you saying that if I was hitting on your wife/partner at a party you would call the cops? 
 

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32 minutes ago, koti said:

 

I think what Jordan Peterson is claiming here is... let me give an example - if a man is hitting on your wife and he keeps on doing it despite civil discourse and does it again and again at a banquet or at a NYE party downtown, there comes a moment when you have to make a decision - you either take your wife and leave the place or stand up for yourself and tell the guy straight to his face to f off or you'll break his jaw. What Peterson is saying is that most men have a set of skills which enable them to detect which type of man they are dealing with during a normal, civilised, non hostile conversation....

 

Wow.   You make the wife sound helpless and like some sort of possession ("you... take your wife and leave").  Have you met many American women?   Why would my confronting the guy be "standing up for myself"?  In your scenario he is hitting on her,  not me.   And my wife would definitely stand up for herself, an alternative you completely ignore for some reason.  (As well as that my wife would refuse to leave a party unless the building was under rocket attack)   And there's yet a fourth alternative where I do get involved and neither flee the party nor tell the guy rudely to leave or get punched - instead I simply tell him he is making my wife uncomfortable and he should stop.   And I'm aware of no evidence that any such pest would have "a set of skills" that allows him to predict my or my wife's response.   And,  from my experience, most spouses opt for the relatively peaceable "knock it off" response because they know the interloper will back away in embarrassment.  I think you may have watched too many violent American movies where everything must be resolved through some vigilante asskicking.   Social shaming is far more powerful.

 

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59 minutes ago, koti said:

I know that this might come as a  serious shock to many here but women and men do differ in many physical and even psychological aspects and this is an example of such a difference.

Yes. For instance, it does not occur to this man that his wife in this hypothetical situation might have a stake, and ought to be consulted rather than be a steak for two dogs to snarl and fight over. Another kind of man would not address the would-be Casanova at all, but noticing that his wife is uncomfortable, come over and say something tactful, like, "Honey, there's an old friend I'd like you to meet," and lead her away, rather than embarrass his wife, his hosts, the drunk he's offering to punch, and possibly himself if the other guy hits back harder.   

But, suppose the issue of contention is over some inanimate object, like a Mars rover and two member of the team disagree over the landing gear design. Can they really not respect each other without taking it outside or does the team leader have to step in and separate them, every time this happens?  Slow progress, I'd imagine. What if the team leader is older and less physically robust than the juniors who disagree? Can they still respect him? (In my experience of team efforts, there has never been perfect agreement, there has never been less than unanimous deference to an experienced and competent team leader, and there has never been a broken jaw - or even a shoving match - and work got done somehow.)

PS I'm too slow!

Edited by Peterkin
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1 hour ago, koti said:

Hi Phi and everyone else, its been a long time - around 3 years or so since I've posted anything longer than a few words. I've been busy with my family and business, not enough time to post a lot anymore, especially that the majority of topics have been mostly pollitical and less physics/science focused which was the original reason why I came here.

I think what Jordan Peterson is claiming here is... let me give an example - if a man is hitting on your wife and he keeps on doing it despite civil discourse and does it again and again at a banquet or at a NYE party downtown, there comes a moment when you have to make a decision - you either take your wife and leave the place or stand up for yourself and tell the guy straight to his face to f off or you'll break his jaw. What Peterson is saying is that most men have a set of skills which enable them to detect which type of man they are dealing with during a normal, civilised, non hostile conversation - the leave the place guy or the break the jaw guy. I know that this might come as a  serious shock to many here but women and men do differ in many physical and even psychological aspects and this is an example of such a difference. It might come as a further shock to many that this is not mysogyny, patriarchy heck - it's not even a bad thing.

Welcome back!

This sounds like another piece I read on Jordan Peterson, and one I'm going to use to show how his reasoning is being interpreted. He openly states that if you're a man and you're not capable of being violent, you can't claim it as a virtue. He claims you aren't competent UNLESS you can be violent. Is that your stance as well?

https://thefederalist.com/2018/04/27/jordan-petersons-right-become-dangerous-heres/

Jordan simplifies modern life down to a martial arts philosophy where you should learn how to be as dangerous as you can, then control yourself tightly. But, he also claims men are hardwired to be aggressive, and implies that it's normal and natural for men to sometimes be overly physical and threatening. And his words are being defined one way by the authors at The Federalist, and in completely different ways by men who love their toxicity.

It's insulting to those of us who don't accept that men are just brutes with no feelings or intelligence. Some of us would like to foster change when it comes to men assuming aggressiveness equals competence and confidence. I don't believe in "boys will be boys". I think some humans remain animals, and some learn that brains are better than fangs, claws, and brawn.

Edit to add: I forgot to point out how the supposedly "classically liberal" Peterson is the darling of the conservative publication The Federalist. Again, I think he's abusing the label to appear as something he's not.

Edited by Phi for All
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24 minutes ago, TheVat said:

 

 

Wow.   You make the wife sound helpless and like some sort of possession ("you... take your wife and leave").  Have you met many American women?   Why would my confronting the guy be "standing up for myself"?  In your scenario he is hitting on her,  not me.   And my wife would definitely stand up for herself, an alternative you completely ignore for some reason.  (As well as that my wife would refuse to leave a party unless the building was under rocket attack)   And there's yet a fourth alternative where I do get involved and neither flee the party nor tell the guy rudely to leave or get punched - instead I simply tell him he is making my wife uncomfortable and he should stop.   And I'm aware of no evidence that any such pest would have "a set of skills" that allows him to predict my or my wife's response.   And,  from my experience, most spouses opt for the relatively peaceable "knock it off" response because they know the interloper will back away in embarrassment.  I think you may have watched too many violent American movies where everything must be resolved through some vigilante asskicking.   Social shaming is far more powerful.

 

It's not that. Some men tend to be much more stubborn and explicit in those kinds of situations than women and despite the wife standing up for herself the guy might not give up and keep on hitting on her. It does happen in the movies youre right but I got news for you - it does happen in real life too.

 

24 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Yes. For instance, it does not occur to this man that his wife in this hypothetical situation might have a stake, and ought to be consulted rather than be a steak for two dogs to snarl and fight over. Another kind of man would not address the would-be Casanova at all, but noticing that his wife is uncomfortable, come over and say something tactful, like, "Honey, there's an old friend I'd like to meet," and lead her away, rather than embarrass his wife, his hosts, the drunk he's offering to punch, and possibly himself if the other guy hits back harder.   

But, suppose the issue of contention is over some inanimate object, like a Mars rover and two member of team disagree over the landing gear design. Can they really not respect each other without taking it outside or does the team leader have to step and separate them, every time this happens?  Slow progress, I'd imagine. What if the team leader is older and less physically robust than the juniors who disagree? Can they still respect him? (In my experience of team efforts, there has never been perfect agreement, and there has never been a broken jaw - or even a shoving match - and work got done somehow.)

So you would consult your wife and the guy how to resolve the situation in a calm discourse ?

15 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Welcome back!

This sounds like another piece I read on Jordan Peterson, and one I'm going to use to show how his reasoning is being interpreted. He openly states that if you're a man and you're not capable of being violent, you can't claim it as a virtue. He claims you aren't competent UNLESS you can be violent. Is that your stance as well?

https://thefederalist.com/2018/04/27/jordan-petersons-right-become-dangerous-heres/

Jordan simplifies modern life down to a martial arts philosophy where you should learn how to be as dangerous as you can, then control yourself tightly. But, he also claims men are hardwired to be aggressive, and implies that it's normal and natural for men to sometimes be overly physical and threatening. It's insulting to those of us who don't accept that men are just brutes with no feelings or intelligence. Some of us would like to foster change when it comes to men assuming aggressiveness equals competence and confidence. I don't believe in "boys will be boys". I think some humans remain animals, and some learn that brains are better than fangs, claws, and brawn.

I wouldn't build my life around it as a fundamental aspect of myself but yes, if you keep on hitting on my wife at a party where she feels uncomfortable and I feel I have to stop it or we have to leave, I will tell you that I will break your jaw and if you keep up what youre doing I will do it. I've only had to resort to violence once in my life in those kinds of situations and I presume that if it wasn't for my stance on this, I would have to resort to violence much more often.

Edited by koti
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