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Jordan Peterson's ideas on politis


Hans de Vries
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I didn't become a Peterson fan. That snide bit about "What percent have I benefited from white privilege?" pretty much scuttled him. (Actually, John Oliver answered part of that question.) "The Left" shouldn't engage in identity politics; you should fight each issue of discrimination individually, without annoying anybody....

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38 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I didn't become a Peterson fan.

I'm sure J P is disappointed, and I'm sure it isn't a popularity contest.
Sometimes honest opinion and facts, can be hurtful, offensive and come across as 'snide'.

Wait a minute, J P has said that also !

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59 minutes ago, MigL said:

I'm sure it isn't a popularity contest.

Of-bloody-course it is! In every public appearance, he's scoring points with his target audience, selling books and speaking engagements and raking in the money.  He's not so much debating as self-promoting.

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3 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Of-bloody-course it is! In every public appearance, he's scoring points with his target audience, selling books and speaking engagements and raking in the money.  He's not so much debating as self-promoting.

This is hard to disagree with. This plus his uncanny command of the English language which seems to be there for the sole reason of bulding likes/views/clicks is something that draws me away from him. His English is impressive though when put out of context. 

7 hours ago, TheVat said:

I don't live in 1870's Deadwood,  or wherever Koti  lives…

I live in the outside world of the 21st century in a middle class family and circle of friends and business interactions in Europe. You know, the place that is not the internet forums, the other place (it’s there I assure you) 

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20 hours ago, dimreepr said:

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. 

I never said he was being or should/shouldn't be ignored, I like, Peterson is saying that we should not ignore instinctual traits that date back thousands/millions of years of evolution when considering behavioural situations. In that, to be able to better control these inherent instincts, the ones especially bad for modern society, it pays well to consider them, what they are and where they come from, then work towards ways to control them in a positive manner.

Suppression of these can be as harmful in the long run, as allowing them to act out in a negative way. Finding ways to control them without prejudice and suppression in an acceptable manner is a positive approach, in my humble opinion.

Regardless of intelligence, we all bare our ancestral instincts some more or stronger than others, we all deal with them in our own way, some positive some negative. Anyone who ignores this fact is either lying or naïve.   

This is one thing which I agree with Peterson on.

5 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Of-bloody-course it is! In every public appearance, he's scoring points with his target audience, selling books and speaking engagements and raking in the money.  He's not so much debating as self-promoting.

So who doesn't, if they have the opportunity? Every celebrity in the public eye does the same. Doesn't make them wrong or right, or any more or less an expert or professional in their field. 

Its down to the individual in the audience to decide on whether they agree, disagree or get convinced or even brainwashed into believing something or not. I watch and read many of the "pop" science books, YouTube videos and pod casts. I'm not naïve enough to fall into the trap of assuming everything is correct and also appreciate that many things are sensationalised or written in an analogous way to gain more interest or appeal to the layman.

  

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I'd like to start my response by stating that the first time and only I have heard of Jordan Peterson, let alone his ideas, was in this thread.
I can't say that what I have learned has led me to want to know more.

I note that no one has introduced the issue of 'nature v nurture' here in this thread.
I consider this aspect of vital importance to the question.

I understand Jordan is a professor of Psychology, which makes his stance all the more surprising to me, as it only addresses nature.

Human beings are amazingly adaptable creatures, in no small part as a result of their powerful ability to learn.

In other words humans can be programmed and reprogrammed -  this is the nurture part.

Obviously they can only be programmed to think and act according to their capabilities and capacities.

But we know that some ordinary citizens (ie those who would not ordinarily even dream of doing such things) can be programmed (taught) to sneak up behind someone and strangle them with a garotte wire.

 

 

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54 minutes ago, studiot said:

I'd like to start my response by stating that the first time and only I have heard of Jordan Peterson, let alone his ideas, was in this thread.
I can't say that what I have learned has led me to want to know more.

I note that no one has introduced the issue of 'nature v nurture' here in this thread.
I consider this aspect of vital importance to the question.

I understand Jordan is a professor of Psychology, which makes his stance all the more surprising to me, as it only addresses nature.

Human beings are amazingly adaptable creatures, in no small part as a result of their powerful ability to learn.

In other words humans can be programmed and reprogrammed -  this is the nurture part.

Obviously they can only be programmed to think and act according to their capabilities and capacities.

But we know that some ordinary citizens (ie those who would not ordinarily even dream of doing such things) can be programmed (taught) to sneak up behind someone and strangle them with a garotte wire.

 

 

My understanding is that J.P is arguing for nurture to combat nature. He recognises that we have genetic evolutionary traits that are inherent and instinctive, some that are negative within modern civilised society. the argument is that we should consider these traits and recognise that because they are natural instincts we should investigate ways in which nurturing them will help to control the negative ones in a positive manner.  As apposed to relying solely on "intellect" and suppression, but to channel the instincts in a productive manner.

For example,

Some kid is aggressive and struggles with behaviour. He may have home or upbringing issues that require addressing, or he may to some degree, just be naturally aggressive. Rather than teaching him just right from wrong and persisting that he refrains from violent behaviour, or continuingly punishing him. Consider introducing him to a sport, maybe even a combat sport, where he can positively channel the aggression. This nurtures the natural instinct that he was born with, in a way that he can learn to control and positively channel his aggression, without the need to continually suppress it. Where without this nurture, even with good education, as he grows into an adult it may have an adverse effect, possibly leading to criminal or violent activities and a possible threat to society.

Obviously this is not exclusive to children per say, and can be useful for adolescent and mature men who struggle with controlling aggression. The argument is, intelligence and education are only part of the solution, understanding the basic inherent instincts and dealing with them positively, both for society and also the wellbeing of that person, is also a major part of the solution and should not be ignored.          

Edited by Intoscience
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1 hour ago, Intoscience said:

Regardless of intelligence, we all bare our ancestral instincts some more or stronger than others, we all deal with them in our own way, some positive some negative. Anyone who ignores this fact is either lying or naïve.   

It's naive to think that you haven't evolved past an amoeba, every generation evolve and everyday we too evolve emotionally, but hey boys will be boys.

Edited by dimreepr
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13 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

It's naive to think that you haven't evolved past an amoeba, every generation evolve and everyday we too evolve emotionally, but hey boys will be boys.

You've lost me, what's an amoeba got to do with this discussion?

It took billions of years for us to evolve from amoeba to humans. Modern humans have only been around 10's of thousands of years, so comparatively not really had that much time to evolve the basic instincts, wouldn't you say?

Regardless, we haven't evolved past many of the natural instincts inherent thousands of years ago. Why would we assume we have suddenly evolved into any thing majorly different in modern times? Yes we can argue we are more civilised and more intelligent, or rather, better educated. But many of the basic natural instincts we still share with our long ago ancestors. 

So yeah - "boys will be boys", "men will be men", this is the point, isn't it? 

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49 minutes ago, Intoscience said:

You've lost me, what's an amoeba got to do with this discussion?

It's one of your ancestors.

50 minutes ago, Intoscience said:

So yeah - "boys will be boys", "men will be men", this is the point, isn't it? 

Not really, there's nothing wrong with learning from the past, just don't make it an excuse to not think about it... 

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So you have evolved past instinct and hard-wired brain function, Dim ?

Try to stop breathing.
Or involuntarily kick when your knee is tapped.
Or yawning when you see someone do the same.
Or recoiling after touching something hot.
Or ...

J Peterson is being criticised for comparing one ( or more ) human traits to that of lobsters.
Meanwhile Dim thinks comparisons to amoebas to prove his point, are acceptable.
Oh, the hypocrisy !

 

9 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Of-bloody-course it is! In every public appearance, he's scoring points with his target audience, selling books and speaking engagements and raking in the money.

Of course he is.
I have stated that numerous times already.
He has been able to quit a tenured professorship and a clinical practice because of the amounts of money he is earning from his notoriety.
He has that other instinct we all possess; greed.
But I was talking about OUR discussion, when you said you ween't a fan, and I replied it isn't a popularity contest.
You don't have to like the man to agree with some of his views.

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46 minutes ago, MigL said:

He has been able to quit a tenured professorship and a clinical practice because of the amounts of money he is earning from his notoriety.
He has that other instinct we all possess; greed.

So he takes a popular approach to subjects he's not an expert in. I know how much that changed the way I was learning physics when I first joined PhysicsForum many years ago, and they had a deal with Michio Kaku to promote his books. I don't know why you think notoriety and pop-science sensationalism is so acceptable, especially since I've learned WAAAAAAY more about physics reading YOUR posts than I ever did following Dr Kaku.

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41 minutes ago, MigL said:

No, Dr Kaku is an actual Physicist.
I just make up stuff as I go along.

I have to agree with Phi here. I’ve learned way more from your physics related posts than I did from Michio Kaku.

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6 hours ago, Intoscience said:

Suppression of these can be as harmful in the long run, as allowing them to act out in a negative way. Finding ways to control them without prejudice and suppression in an acceptable manner is a positive approach, in my humble opinion.

Yes, it leads to much strife and suffering. However, the suppression of primal impulses and natural instincts is what civilization has been about, culminating in state-instituted* Christianity, which rejects them altogether, along with the body they rode in on. But Peterson didn't address any of that in the videos and excepts I've encountered in this thread (I certainly think the subject merits its own separate discussion, with or without the learned professor.) I didn't see much in the way of political ideas, either, beyond a beautifully stage-crafted long version of "Don't tell me to be care about other people!"

(*State instituted religion means that all the laws and mores of the society are based on the tenets of that religion. That - all that that entails - was absent from the Peterson appearances I've sampled. )

 

1 hour ago, MigL said:

But I was talking about OUR discussion, when you said you ween't a fan, and I replied it isn't a popularity contest.
You don't have to like the man to agree with some of his views.

I was responding to the long video, wherein the other two people are explaining their position, while Peterson is performing set-pieces for his Libertarian patrons. (Not sure why Stephen Fry is playing the role of a pompous refrigerator) This 'debate' not only failed to change my earlier impression of Peterson, but convinced me that he has no substantial "views" to agree with - or even consider.

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10 hours ago, studiot said:

I'd like to start my response by stating that the first time and only I have heard of Jordan Peterson, let alone his ideas, was in this thread.
I can't say that what I have learned has led me to want to know more.

I note that no one has introduced the issue of 'nature v nurture' here in this thread.
I consider this aspect of vital importance to the question.

I understand Jordan is a professor of Psychology, which makes his stance all the more surprising to me, as it only addresses nature.

Human beings are amazingly adaptable creatures, in no small part as a result of their powerful ability to learn.

In other words humans can be programmed and reprogrammed -  this is the nurture part.

Obviously they can only be programmed to think and act according to their capabilities and capacities.

But we know that some ordinary citizens (ie those who would not ordinarily even dream of doing such things) can be programmed (taught) to sneak up behind someone and strangle them with a garotte wire.

 

 

I think you are close to the core issue here. The most disingenuous part (I think) is that he drives home the nature part quite a bit, and on the one hand almost paints an inevitable picture of how our society is the way it is because of nature and then suddenly crosses the line in a sneaky way which makes it hard to spot whether it is still nature or nurture and then builds from there. A bit issue is that he kind of rejects that civilization is a construct with rules that moderates our "natural" responses. And by obscuring the line of what is our base nature and how we learn to behave (by liberally drawing from random examples in nature and implement them in humans) he almost argues that nurture is not relevant.

Again it is taking a grain of truth (we are animals at base) but then wipe of all nuance and knowledge about human (or animal) behaviour in order to sell his book and ideology.
And then he extrapolates it to extremes.

For example:

Quote

Women don’t even like harmless men; they hate them. They like to claw them apart. What women want are dangerous men who are civilized; and they want to help civilize them. That’s Beauty and the Beast.

It is fine if you are pickup artist promoting a book, but again for presumably a researcher it is a bad look. That being said, I was not aware that he left University, which makes me somewhat less annoyed.

 

 

18 hours ago, MigL said:

For men dealing with men, these interactions span the range from civil discourse on one end, all the way to the physical on the other end.
The 'physical' end of the interactions is usually limited to dealing with anti-social men. The 'crazy' men, if you will.
In modern society, that end of the interaction spectrum is no longer available for men dealing with women, as anything even approaching the physical is severely frowned on.
Since there are also anti-social women in this world, the 'crazy' women, if you will, the problem is then, how do you deal with them ?

That is an interesting take, however how does his claim that the threat of violence is actually what allows civil discourse? He does not say that this only kicks in at the extreme range of actions (at which point I would argue that the chance of discourse is long gone) but that it is at the heart of it?

He also mentioned that folks not willing to fight would not be respected which again shows that in his view it seems that men are more civil than women since they are perhaps kept in line due to an implicit threat of violence. It is also interesting that I cannot really find something that would explain how women would function in such a society.

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4 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Not sure why Stephen Fry is playing the role of a pompous refrigerator

I, on the other hand, thought he was the only one who actually addresses the topic.
And he did t in a nice, polite way; unlike some of the other participants.

44 minutes ago, CharonY said:

He also mentioned that folks not willing to fight would not be respected which again shows that in his view it seems that men are more civil than women since they are perhaps kept in line due to an implicit threat of violence.

If a crazy person comes at you, intending to do you harm, you have a spectrum of responses, from civil discourse, all the way to breaking his arm so that he can't.
If that person is crazy enough, he will harm you no matter how civil you are, because he is long past respecting civility.
I have no problem dealing with crazy,violent men, who have made that choice.

How do you deal with crazy, violent women ?

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41 minutes ago, CharonY said:

It is also interesting that I cannot really find something that would explain how women would function in such a society.

I'm not sure they're supposed to function. They're more by way of prizes on the shooting gallery wall. 

 

3 minutes ago, MigL said:

I, on the other hand, thought he [Stephen Fry] was the only one who actually addresses the topic.
And he did t in a nice, polite way; unlike some of the other participants.

That's true enough. He never engaged with anyone enough to be rude, or ruffle his perfect equanimity. He was quite clear on disliking 'political correctness' in public discourse - as he has made clear many times before. "I'm not bothered about what I'm called." He seems entirely unconscious of a population of less exalted mortals, whose experience of systemic prejudice is .... let's say, more hands-on.

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51 minutes ago, CharonY said:

I think you are close to the core issue here. The most disingenuous part (I think) is that he drives home the nature part quite a bit, and on the one hand almost paints an inevitable picture of how our society is the way it is because of nature and then suddenly crosses the line in a sneaky way which makes it hard to spot whether it is still nature or nurture and then builds from there. A bit issue is that he kind of rejects that civilization is a construct with rules that moderates our "natural" responses. And by obscuring the line of what is our base nature and how we learn to behave (by liberally drawing from random examples in nature and implement them in humans) he almost argues that nurture is not relevant.

Again it is taking a grain of truth (we are animals at base) but then wipe of all nuance and knowledge about human (or animal) behaviour in order to sell his book and ideology.
And then he extrapolates it to extremes.

For example:

It is fine if you are pickup artist promoting a book, but again for presumably a researcher it is a bad look. That being said, I was not aware that he left University, which makes me somewhat less annoyed.

 

 

That is an interesting take, however how does his claim that the threat of violence is actually what allows civil discourse? He does not say that this only kicks in at the extreme range of actions (at which point I would argue that the chance of discourse is long gone) but that it is at the heart of it?

He also mentioned that folks not willing to fight would not be respected which again shows that in his view it seems that men are more civil than women since they are perhaps kept in line due to an implicit threat of violence. It is also interesting that I cannot really find something that would explain how women would function in such a society.

Who are you CharonY? We've been sharing pretty intimate dialogs over the years on this forum and it has been very apparent who I am because I GAVE IT ALL UP while you have been pretty much in the shadows. Are you married? do you have kids? What exactly do you do for a living? What are your pronouns? 

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2 minutes ago, koti said:

Who are you CharonY? We've been sharing pretty intimate dialogs over the years on this forum and it has been very apparent who I am because I GAVE IT ALL UP while you have been pretty much in the shadows. Are you married? do you have kids? What exactly do you do for a living? What are your pronouns? 

Yes, no, work, don't care. :)

 

27 minutes ago, MigL said:

If a crazy person comes at you, intending to do you harm, you have a spectrum of responses, from civil discourse, all the way to breaking his arm so that he can't.
If that person is crazy enough, he will harm you no matter how civil you are, because he is long past respecting civility.
I have no problem dealing with crazy,violent men, who have made that choice.

I am not so interested in the crazy part, as in my point of view that would be an extreme part of interactions. And to perhaps to make it clear, IMO that extreme part is not what defines all other interactions. Peterson on the other hand takes that extreme part and basically says that that part is the foundation of all interactions (i.e. we are prepared to deal with crazy with violence, ergo we need the threat of violence also in civil discourse- or rather that it creates the civil discourse).

 

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4 hours ago, CharonY said:

ergo we need the threat of violence also in civil discourse- or rather that it creates the civil discourse

It may be somewhat true, that the possibility of escalation to extremes is what keeps most people's face-to-face interactions civil, and why a lot of online interactions ( where that threat is removed ) emboldens some people to be as rude as possible.
( not you guys 🙂 )

4 hours ago, Peterkin said:

He seems entirely unconscious of a population of less exalted mortals, whose experience of systemic prejudice is .... let's say, more hands-on.

That seems pretty judgemental for a tolerant, enlightened, progressive.
Ahh well, we all have opinions.

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6 minutes ago, MigL said:

That seems pretty judgemental for a tolerant, enlightened, progressive.

Just reporting what I saw on that single video, not passing judgment on the man or his oeuvre. As for the labels you assign to me - HUH? 

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21 hours ago, MigL said:

So you have evolved past instinct and hard-wired brain function, Dim ?

No, I've learned to live with them, and think past them; I evolved that ability. 😉

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On 10/9/2021 at 7:38 AM, CharonY said:

I am not so interested in the crazy part, as in my point of view that would be an extreme part of interactions. And to perhaps to make it clear, IMO that extreme part is not what defines all other interactions. Peterson on the other hand takes that extreme part and basically says that that part is the foundation of all interactions (i.e. we are prepared to deal with crazy with violence, ergo we need the threat of violence also in civil discourse- or rather that it creates the civil discourse).

Yes, that makes sense, and is what I learnt from further research into this charecter JP.

The following also sums him up nicely as well......from...https://www.vox.com/world/2018/3/26/17144166/jordan-peterson-12-rules-for-life

"The answer is that Jordan Peterson is tailor-made to our political moment. His reactionary politics and talents as a public speaker combine to be a perfect fit for YouTube and the right-wing media, where videos of conservatives “destroying” weak-minded liberals routinely go viral. Peterson’s denunciations of identity politics and political correctness are standard-issue conservative, but his academic credentials make his pronouncements feel much more authoritative than your replacement-level Fox News commentator. (I reached out to Peterson; a spokesperson turned down my interview request.)

Peterson is also particularly appealing to disaffected young men. He’s become a lifestyle guru for men and boys who feel displaced by a world where white male privilege is under attack; his new best-selling book, 12 Rules for Life, is explicitly pitched as a self-help manual, and he speaks emotionally of the impact his work has had on anxious, lost young men."

another extract from that article....

"What happened in the fall of 2016 is that Peterson inserted himself into a national Canadian debate over transgender rights — specifically by refusing to refer to a student by their chosen gender pronouns.

At the time, the Canadian parliament was considering something called Bill C-16, a bill banning discrimination against people on the basis of “gender identity” or “gender expression.” In September, Peterson released a series of YouTube videos attacking the bill as a grave threat to free speech rights. He said he would refuse to refer to transgender students by their preferred pronouns; separating gender and biological sex was, in his view, “radically politically correct thinking.” He argued that C-16 would lead to people like him being arrested.

“If they fine me, I won’t pay it. If they put me in jail, I’ll go on a hunger strike. I’m not doing this,” Peterson said in an October 2016 TV interview. “I’m not using the words that other people require me to use. Especially if they’re made up by radical left-wing ideologues.”

Experts on Canadian law said that Peterson was misreading the bill — that the legal standard for “hate speech” would require something far worse, like saying transgender people should be killed, to qualify for legal punishment. This is an early example of what would become a hallmark of Peterson’s approach as a public intellectual — taking inflammatory, somewhat misinformed stances on issues of public concern outside his area of expertise.

But it worked for him. Peterson’s videos on C-16 and political correctness racked up more than 400,000 views on YouTube within about a month of posting. There were rallies both for and against Peterson in Toronto; he made the rounds on Canadian television".

While he obviously mis-interpreted these new changes in Canadian law, for his own benefits I have no doubt, personally in some circumstances I do see political correctness, sometimes being taken into the realms of stupidity and totally inane.eg: Before I retired I was working for our national airline, when an edict came down from top management that manhole covers were not to be called manhole covers anymore...we were to use the term access holes covers. Our union, plus first line management simply laughed at it, and ignored it totally. Nothing anymore was ever mentioned about it and whether a person called it an access hole or manhole was his choice.

That apparent similarity in his and my view on politicl correctness, does not alter my overall view of this man and his politics in general, as totally abhorent to me.

Edited by beecee
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On 10/8/2021 at 8:28 PM, MigL said:

It may be somewhat true, that the possibility of escalation to extremes is what keeps most people's face-to-face interactions civil, and why a lot of online interactions ( where that threat is removed ) emboldens some people to be as rude as possible.
( not you guys 🙂 )

Though if one would take it to the level of Peterson it would mean that civil discourse with women would be impossible or at least much harder than with men, and that is clearly not empirically supported.

It also strikes me as extremely funny, considering that academics (including Peterson) typically are only able to be a threat to donuts much less projecting violence. I am going to amuse myself with imagining the head of Fine Arts and the Dean of Engineering taking down the provost due to some disagreements.

 

On 10/9/2021 at 2:55 PM, beecee said:

Before I retired I was working for our national airline, when an edict came down from top management that manhole covers were not to be called manhole covers anymore...we were to use the term access holes covers. Our union, plus first line management simply laughed at it, and ignored it totally. Nothing anymore was ever mentioned about it and whether a person called it an access hole or manhole was his choice.

I tend to dislike the term political correctness as it typically is used in an antagonizing manner. Fundamentally it refers to certain levels of self-censoring based on (perceived) social norms. i.e. using lingua that is considered polite or civil (many words, phrases and topics have changed over time to become either more or less acceptable to be used in public). The problem of course is that regardless motivation, it is not always easy to hit the right tone. 

Often this gets amplified in organizations as they try to establish a public image and often aim for the least possible offensive stance , but depending on the folks deciding on it, it may be way off the mark. But the issue is that some folks use PC to disparage almost any restrictions required for civil discourse.

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