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Jordan Peterson's ideas on politis


Hans de Vries
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24 minutes ago, Intoscience said:

To begin with I cannot comment on the biology side,

etc

+1 for another well thought out and balanced assessment.

(Background sounding of Copland's "fanfare for the common man")

You have advanced the cause of rational thinking by "non experts" substantially.
More so in my opinion that the subject of this thread, even though I have little symapthy for him.

 

15 hours ago, MigL said:

The science I'm familiar with tests for repeatability.

A Psychologist can take any two subjects, and the same stimulus will produce differing results. The best outcome expected is a statistical correlation ( because it is almost impossible to isolate other variables ). 

 

16 hours ago, MigL said:

Well, he is a psychologist.

At the risk of offending some people, it is a fair stretch to call Psychology a science.

Hi MigL, I am going to both agree with you and disagree with you.

Yes I agree that I find current Psychology , as a Science, at about the level of Physics in the time of Francis Bacon.
They are just beginning to find their way by feeling for the variables/parameters to observe and consider.
As such they have yet to develop any really effective tools, just as mechanics was before Gallileo and Newton.

Today we know a lot more about mechanics (who would be brave/foolish enough to say we know everything ?).

In particular I am suprised at your declaration of repeatabilty.

Yes it is a desirable outcome, but not always attainable, even in mechanics.

We know of at least three factors that mitigate against the possibility of repeatabilty.

1) Statistical variation, leading to the development of limit state theory amongst other techniques.

2) Chaos theory leading to multiple (unrepeatable) outcomes.

3) Catastrophe theory, leading to uncertainty of timing of a mechanical outcome.
 

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3 hours ago, studiot said:

As such they have yet to develop any really effective tools, just as mechanics was before Gallileo and Newton.

The add man can...

He can persuade you to think you're a mechanic...

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On 11/16/2021 at 4:04 AM, Intoscience said:

To gain public interest you often have to use stories and anecdotes so people can relate to, or at least find an easier understanding. You see this quite often with popular scientists, even great well respected scientists like Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking... used this technique and many still do today. Unfortunately, these stories often promote sensationalism, inaccuracies or even exaggerate facts... knowledgeable and professional scientists like yourself will easily pick these apart, and most likely not use this technique to teach your students. I'm not saying you are wrong to do so, JP does appear to have some of his "facts" out of place or lacking some credibility mainly in areas outside his expertise. 

No, I think that is fine, and I do that, too. However, at some point you have to drive down to the details where you get to the testable hypotheses (or equivalent). You cannot just remain on the narrative level and claim those as facts. The reason is that strong narratives are often counterproductive to critical thinking. The hypotheses and evidence to support or refute those are those that often challenge narratives and is why science works. 

 

On 11/16/2021 at 4:04 AM, Intoscience said:

He is obviously intelligent and does perform well in debates, but isn't that a strength rather than a weakness? If he failed in his debates then he wouldn't gain the interest he does, and not ever be taken seriously, he would be totally dismissed by all as a fool, crackpot or worse, as he already often is by his opposition.

I think that it is dangerous a it makes it easier to obfuscate the fact that one actually does not have expertise in a topic. I.e. misleading folks and selling narratives without the evidence. An actual educator should have a balance in these things.

 

On 11/16/2021 at 4:04 AM, Intoscience said:

Regarding the data, I don't agree with you. I think (in most arguments, but not all) he actually cites creditable data from many scientific studies taken, takes the data and forms a considerate opinion or idea.

Here I can say that your reading is really different from mine. What he does is, for example to take a factoid (lobsters compete with each other aggressively) and then uses that to explain complex human social dynamics. In a science paper that would be a clear misquotation as the studies only apply to an entirely different (non-social) species. Even findings he cites in the psychological area tend to be massive overinterpretation, i.e. he draws conclusions which are actually not part of the study. Together with his debating style he therefore ventures far out away from the actual state of knowledge and sells them as facts. He is therefore more a pundit equivalent than an educator and together with his seemingly convincing debating style, he is far more persuasive than the data and science allows. The annoying bit is that at least some folks still see him more as an educator (or even scientist) rather than a pundit.

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Can anyone tell me what is meant by

Politis in thread title ?

It's all Greek to me.

I also wonder if, having been mentioned in the current BBC drama, JP will become a latter day Harvey Smith ?

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28 minutes ago, studiot said:

Can anyone tell me what is meant by

Politis in thread title ?

It's all Greek to me.

I also wonder if, having been mentioned in the current BBC drama, JP will become a latter day Harvey Smith ?

I assumed it was a typo. Politics.

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3 hours ago, CharonY said:

he therefore ventures far out away from the actual state of knowledge and sells them as facts.

I stand by my 'cruel' assessment of Psychology.
It is not quite a science.
At best, what JP sells is opinion, not facts.

You, as a biologist, would know that what we consider the 'brain' of a lobster, is actually still incorporated into a part of our brains.
This purely instinctive, hard wired, response mechanism is controlled and kept in check by the rest of our brain ( which allows for thought and social behaviour ).
The Psychologist's job is to determine when a 'thinking' individual loses control to the base, instinctive part of their brain, and engages in anti-social and physically aggressive behaviour.

JP is entitled to his opinion as to when that happens, as are other Psychologists you may actually agree with.
The 'error bars' around these opinions are huge.

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7 hours ago, MigL said:

You, as a biologist, would know that what we consider the 'brain' of a lobster, is actually still incorporated into a part of our brains.

As a biologist I know that not to be true. What you state is part of a larger evolutionary narrative where biological structures, such as brains are build up successively from simpler to more complex form. Only, that is not the case, it is more like a broad branch of different structures to fulfil sometimes similar functions. It is like saying that modern microchips incorporate vacuum tubes.

Specifically, the "old" structure, responsible for fear and aggression is mostly the amygdala, but is only found in vertebrates. Lobsters, for starters do not even have a brain and we do not share the same structures or responses. I.e. it is not more insightful than e.g. saying that folks should always stand their ground, like trees. Those that uproot themselves will die of nutrient deprivation.

Or men should never procreate otherwise the women will behead them and use them as snacks. It only sounds insightful if you do not think about it. Also delicious (actual) brains.

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That would be why I put lobster "brain' in quotations.

Arthropods don't have a brain as we know it, rather a bunch of nerve endings ( ganglions ). Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin are common to arthropods and primates ( us ), and serotonin is highly connected to dominance and aggressive social behavior.

( that last bolded part is what JP claims, but I don't know enough Biology to know whether it's true )

 

Edited by MigL
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7 minutes ago, MigL said:

serotonin is highly connected to dominance and aggressive social behavior.

So are air, food, water, and sleep. And having eyelids. Oh, and kneecaps, too. 

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

That would be why I put lobster "brain' in quotations.

Arthropods don't have a brain as we know it, rather a bunch of nerve endings ( ganglions ). Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin are common to arthropods and primates ( us ), and serotonin is highly connected to dominance and aggressive social behavior.

 

Except of course that in humans the relationship  is at best  inverse, as I mentioned before. Abnormally low levels are correlated with aggressive behavior, further highlighting the differences between lobsters and humans. I think I may also have provided some info on the more complex relationship between dominance and aggression in primates, which are arguably better models for humans than crustaceans. 

So while the bolded part might be true for lobsters (and likely there are caveats, but it is not my field), it is certainly not true for humans or animals more similar to us. 

1 hour ago, MigL said:

( that last bolded part is what JP claims, but I don't know enough Biology to know whether it's true )

Don't  worry, Peterson doesn't know much about Biology, either. Just say that it is the fault of chaos dragons and you are good.

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The sister website to this one (same URL except it's dot com) has several new JP threads started.  Mostly some guy named Victor who posts a video and says look at this great video!    Really sad that people waste their time on this dude's verbal flatulence.  The main virtue of this thread is that it spins off other discussions that are not about JP and his misinformation factory. 

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22 hours ago, swansont said:

I assumed it was a typo. Politics.

Well, I did wonder.

But Google has plenty on 'politis' a Greek concept of a citizen and his rights and duties.

So my question stands.

 

As regards lobsters,

I remember some years back visiting the Aquarium and Marine Biology labs whilst on holiday in Pembrokeshire.
I was impressed with the work and projects they had going on with local schools.
One project was a huge tank for the study of the marine environment.
Listening to the guide I learend that the marine invornment was far closer to the 'law of the jungle' than ouit own.
Everything was easy prey to something and even fierce looking creatures like lobsters would be quicly gobbled up if they strayed too far from their shelter.
Definitely a constantly dangerous and aggressive environment.

Edited by studiot
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12 hours ago, CharonY said:

So while the bolded part might be true for lobsters (and likely there are caveats, but it is not my field), it is certainly not true for humans or animals more similar to us. 

Sttill not an expert in biology, but Phi's quote in the spun-off thread indicates that it is an area of ongoing research. Maybe 'certainly' is too strong a word to use until further research clarifies the matter.

I did, however, learn ( relating to Studiot's comment ) that lobsters may never have evolved the ability to feel pain; as they are usually swallowed whole by their predators, the ability to feel pain in a particular area so as to protect it, has no selective advantage.

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29 minutes ago, MigL said:

Sttill not an expert in biology, but Phi's quote in the spun-off thread indicates that it is an area of ongoing research. Maybe 'certainly' is too strong a word to use until further research clarifies the matter.

Well, first of all, if it is still under investigation, you cannot claim it is true and then use that to build an argument on top of it. You are also missing the bigger picture that you cannot just take an organism that is so far away and lacking basically almost all of the relevant features (including a brain) and then use it to explain complex behaviour (again, at that point you can take any random trait from any random animal, you will always find similarities somewhere). Thus, the whole argument is bogus.

Second, it is not that we know nothing, it is clear that the mechanisms are very different. Folks with high aggression levels and impulse control (which goes into a similar circuit in humans) are not usually very dominant, again, in direct opposition to lobsters. So considering same input and getting different outputs I would claim that these are certainly different systems (and we also know that from a physiological standpoint as the structures are very dissimilar to begin with).

Just as a note, lobsters separated from us roughly the same time frame as say, mantidae. As such my example is about as valid as his (which is to say, not very).

Again, if he actually did a minimum of research and wanted to make an evolutionary argument (even a very sketchy one) he should have looked at our closer cousins. Except he can't as social structures in primates is very complex and would counter his basic arguments. Therefore he chose a model and ventured into the not even wrong region.

 

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I am not making the claim; we are examining JP's claim.

I did read your response in the other thread about serotonin and anger, and I agree with your assessment, as it seems to re-enforce something I previously said ...

22 hours ago, MigL said:

The 'error bars' around these opinions are huge.

 

Edited by MigL
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20 minutes ago, MigL said:

I am not making the claim; we are examining JP's claim.

I did read your response in the other thread about serotonin and anger, and I agree with your assessment, as it seems to re-enforce something I previously said ...

 

But I think Charon's error bars are narrower than his.

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

Error bars apply to the 'experiment', not the 'experimenter',

Hmm. I dunno. I’ve made far more errors in bars than in other places. 

In related news:

https://fullstackeconomics.com/no-the-real-inflation-rate-isnt-14-percent/
 

Quote

No, the real inflation rate isn’t 15 percent

Jordan Peterson and Jack Dorsey are touting a bogus theory about the inflation rate.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the official inflation rate had soared to 6.2 percent in October, the highest level in decades. But some conspiracy-minded analysts insist that the true inflation rate is much higher. Last Wednesday, for example, self-help guru Jordan Peterson tweeted a chart that purports to show the year-over-year inflation rate is almost 15 percent, not 6 percent.

<…>
as we will see, his numbers appear to be based on a basic mathematical error. They also fly in the face of common sense.

 

I’m inclined to give JP a hard time for being so consistently wrong and misinformed on so very many issues, but (much like with Trump) I feel the bigger issue is with just how very many people are willing to listen and accept his nonsensical falsehoods as true. 

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43 minutes ago, iNow said:

Hmm. I dunno. I’ve made far more errors in bars than in other places. 

In related news:

https://fullstackeconomics.com/no-the-real-inflation-rate-isnt-14-percent/
 

 

I’m inclined to give JP a hard time for being so consistently wrong and misinformed on so very many issues, but (much like with Trump) I feel the bigger issue is with just how very many people are willing to listen and accept his nonsensical falsehoods as true. 

It's not objective accuracy that matters with the naive audience, it's appearing to be confident and showing conviction. Scary really.

Edited by StringJunky
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10 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

It's not objective accuracy that matters with the naive audience, it's appearing to be confident and showing conviction. Scary really.

Exactly. Add to that some sort of credentials and folks can become really aggressive followers to an almost cult-like degree.

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21 minutes ago, MigL said:

Holy cr*p !

6.2 % ?

Well, that makes my raise meaningless.

That was the one month (last month) number. Will likely be higher this month, maybe next month, too. Then it should flatten early 2022, and start dropping again somewhere around summer. Before this time next year, normal inflation numbers are expected globally once more (con men and authoritarian tyrants willing).

Your raise will persist even after we transition past this temporary inflationary spike that COVID and supply chain issues have caused.

25 minutes ago, MigL said:

thank God I don't have a mortgage, once they start trying to control inflation

Not relevant with fixed mortgage, which is most. Only relevant on variable rates, or if you’re buying into the bubble with a new mortgage (in which case you’re part of the inflation problem).

I’m sure JP would tell me I’m wrong because sea scallops taste good with butter or some dumb shit like that, but there you have it 

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14 hours ago, iNow said:

I’m sure JP would tell me I’m wrong because sea scallops taste good with butter or some dumb shit like that, but there you have it 

Easy, INow.

It seems that when JP discussess biology he is rightfully condemned by all for being outside of his area of expertise, and CharonY does point out some valid objections to his understanding of biology.

Yet when he discussess human behaviour, and our thinking/emotional state, an area where he is a prominent accredited expert, being a much published Psychologist,you guys still insist he doesn't know what he is talking about.

When did you, and the others, get your degree in Psychology ??
( what's good for the goose, ... 🙂 )

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