What first got me into him was the first Joe Rogan podcast. Maybe the conversational JBP could be a better intro? That's at least how I viewed it.
Pretty much the same experience here. Though to be honest I can see why my girlfriend wouldn't get into JP. She just doesn't have it in her to deconstruct the world down to the bones, and honestly that's kind of what I like about her. Things come very simply to her, and when I ask her "don't you want to know where meaning spawns from? Don't you want to understand the fundamental nature of reality?" Like honestly, that kind of material must be fascinating for everyone. Well, she responds, "I don't need to. I act out my life in accordance to my beliefs, and when I sense that my life is beginning to pull apart, I isolate the problem and fix it."
Fucking incredible. So in some ways I guess it's just pointless for her. I still think his personality lectures would be interesting though. But it sucks, because I've tried to get some friends into it too, and it's all been a wash, though I think that's an issue of effort on my part. All in all, it's just really fun to talk about deep shit, and talking about JP's material is like a fast track to that kind of conversation.
A longer term solution is figuring out the questions you have to ask someone to get a conversation to a deep place. That takes a certain mastery of your thoughts, and also some courage to eventually ask, "so what are your thoughts on cultural appropriation?" Because that's like an invitation to battle, but nobody can lose, because then someone gets upset and you both just loose, and that's like, a huge bummer, you know?
Ha literally the same with my girlfriend. I then told her about the Big 5 and she shrugged it off as more big picture JBP stuff. But then I started using the terms during our conversations like "you sister is low in openness so obviously she wouldn't like xyz".
All of a sudden she is starting to see the value once she can dissect her friends and families MOs. So instead of asking the "right" questions I just found an area of JBP and used it naturally to show her how his content could be useful in every day life. Will it become a gateway into Maps of Meaning, not sure but at least I found some utility for JPB in this context.
Yes, I thought of JBP PTSD related lecture on how we live with a map of reality that orients us to action. It operates like this on many levels from right now to life in general.
You can get lost in the beauty or truthiness of the high level (which I am prone to).
But also, you can move down the levels to how it points to the right action in the elements of here and now. i.e. What do I say now to my sister?
It took me at least 2 months and several tries to warm-up to Peterson. Initially, I wasn't sure whether he was an esoteric cook or not. Likely because I was somewhat ignorant about the topics discussed. But after reading for a few dozen hours on his favourite topics, learning about the authors and topics he is referring to, one can only agree that the man is a passionate communicator and educator, and he indeed masters his topics. I am still not sure he is someone who is adding large pieces to the epistemology edifice, but at the very leasy he demonstrates with force details how it's been built, and how to build one yourself. He certainly is a new beacon in my life.
don't worry babe i'll be your bf
[–][deleted] 7 points 11 months ago
[–][deleted] 3 points 11 months ago*
I was. Mentioned the content to my boyfriend (very disagreeable, very open, very skeptical and very critical) because I thought he'd be interested (plus I couldn't help it, JP also has had a huge impact on me). Recommended JP's youtube channel, sent clips. Initially he was very resistant and came up with arguments as to why JP does not emotionally resonate with him, and even criticized his ideas (he was very defensive, I thought this was because he was critical of my assertion that this was life changing content). Then he asked questions out of curiosity. Started looking at clips with titles he liked. Now he's more into the JP rabbit hole than me!
So I asked why he wasn't into JP initially and he joked that he "didn't want a woman telling him what to do". While he was joking, I think it was perhaps in his nature to want to get into JP on his own rather than because his lover told him to. Men map their own meaning, so to speak.
Your boyfriend might perceive JP as intellectual competition because his career is literally built on his ability to think critically (and you probably like him because he is smart), so it's possible that he subconsciously sees JP as the "competition". Or he needs JP's content to be personally meaningful to his life for him to get into it (dat huge impact happens when JP becomes personalized). Don't know your situation well enough to say anything conclusive though.
It might help to talk about JP's content without mentioning JP. Rather than forcing a JP convo, just bring it up if it pertains to something you're already talking about with him so he doesn't feel pressured to get into JP. Or rather than talking about JP's content itself, perhaps just focus on the significance it has had on your life. With time, he might get into it on his own. If not, perhaps there are other people in your life that you could talk to in person about JP... maybe not about everything, but maybe you know one person who'd be interested in the religious stuff, another interested in the personality stuff, another the political stuff, etc. Doesn't necessarily have to be all one person.
Anyways, it all depends on your situation, but I hope this perhaps helps. Good luck, fellow bucko!
[–][deleted] 2 points 11 months ago
I think you might be on the money with this one!!
While I don't know if my boyfriend would see it as a woman telling him what to do, I have had some feelings that he may see JP as intellectual competition. I think he's also mostly put off by the religious stuff (he's an atheist) even though it's explained in evolutionary terms. Which is fair enough, he was raised in a very religious country with religious educators so I understand the resistance.
I'll survive if he never gains an interest, and yeah I'm in the process of slowly trying to get all of my friends hooked ehehe
At first glance Peterson struck me as a very religious man. And while that is true on some level, it's not true in the way I first thought of it. What I first saw was a devout catholic nutjob with some good ideas about SJW's.
It took me several months of short update videos and debates about the whole pronoun debacle before I warmed up to the idea of looking at his lectures. I started with the biology/traits from his personality course, and before I knew it I was going through reference material and entire playlists of lectures.
I think your partner just needs to have a proper reason to delve deeper. Some nugget of information that sparks his interest. Personally I needed to know if there was more to Peterson than my initial impression. I needed to know if he was referencing proper research or bullshit papers with an agenda.
my friend can't listen to JBP because he is using "complicated words".
Hmmm... I'm an engineer but I love him. Complicated words? Engineers don't deal with complexity??? Like second order effects of potential failure modes? lol Maybe this is about liking things more than people.
If I could engineer a person, JBP describes the high level software architecture of what a person is running on their processor.
“I don’t really regard myself as a political figure,” Peterson says, but increasingly he is, embraced by conservatives and the alt-right, and viewed suspiciously by the left. It was politics that launched him to fame last year when he spoke out against a Canadian bill mandating the use of transgender pronouns, which he views as trammeling free speech.
A couple of years ago, Peterson was a respected though far from famous academic when he began posting his lengthy lectures online. Now there are hours and hours of his talks and interviews on YouTube, a viral Encyclopedia Jordanica with more than a million subscribers. Some of his video lectures clock in at 180 minutes with generous servings of biblical stories (but only for their moral teachings; Peterson abandoned organized religion as a teen) as well as Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn and his hero, Jung. Even the least popular talks of recent months have racked up more than 100,000 views.
Peterson elicits nearly every opinion except indifference. “The most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now,” wrote David Brooks in the New York Times, calling him “a young William F. Buckley.” Critics, and there are plenty, raise serious doubts.
“He takes a really simplistic approach toward gender inequality. It feels like a dressed-up version of misogyny,” says Gary Barker, a developmental psychologist who has studied ways to promote gender equality and violence prevention. “The scary part is it doesn’t provoke men to be better but to live with this inequality and get what you can out of it.”
Peterson rails against victimhood and “radical left-wing identity politics.” He’s an opponent of regulated equality and a skeptic of the notion of male or white “privilege.” Like many thought leaders who flirted with socialism in their youth, Peterson crusades against anything that he thinks smacks of Marxist tendencies and groupthink, which means a lot of inveighing against “postmodernist” scholars, who are probably a bigger nuisance at faculty confabs than in the lives of his fans.
His combative nature and mastery of video has proved to be catnip for extremely online young men. An interview with British broadcaster Cathy Newman
in which the two clashed on topics such as the gender pay gap, has been viewed more than 9 million times. (After Newman endured a hailstorm of misogynistic abuse on social media, Peterson cautioned his Twitter followers (now 642,000 strong) to “be civilized in your criticism. It was words. Words, people, words. Remember those?”)
Peterson now follows a “ridiculous” diet of meat, salad and water, promoted online by his daughter, with only turmeric and salt for flavor. “Turmeric and salt! Turmeric and salt!” he sings in the middle of Manhattan’s Bryant Park, mocking the entire business with an impromptu jig. The regimen, Peterson says, helped him go off antidepressants, which he once assumed he would take for life, and shed 50 pounds
t was on Sam Harris’ podcast "Waking Up" – another outpost of the Intellectual Dark Web – that I first heard Peterson say that "the most permanent things are the most real.” That instantly struck me as a logical fallacy, one of the first things you learn about when receiving a college education, particularly the fallacy of appealing to tradition or the idea that future things should adhere to the past.
Peterson’s philosophies seem to fall within those boundaries. His view is a synthesis of Jungian psychology with traces of evolutionary biology, the two combining for new meaning in his lectures and rants at breakneck pace. One moment Peterson is retelling the ancient Egyptian myth of Horus and the next he’s marveling over the phoenix. But his attention, more often than not, focuses on the Bible, a book he imbues with great mythological power that can be used to shape the world and one’s life.
This perspective amounts to a new brand of secular Christianity that appeals to men who question literal interpretation but still thirst for the benefits of orthodoxy. Peterson appeals to that thirst by parsing archetypes and suggesting that they hold knowledge of how the world should work, or that the world we know is in chaos because it has deviated from the world of ancient mythologies and, thus, its natural path.
In this philosophy, which Peterson likens to the symbol of the yin and yang, men represent the order of society and women the chaos of nature. The “hero” archetype we’ve all come to know is decidedly masculine, and he brings knowledge by braving the feminine chaos and returning it to order. If that sounds misogynistic, that’s only because it is.
The traditions Peterson appeals to are decidedly patriarchal – it bears stating that women, in these texts, are often the downfall of men and are responsible for great falls of individuals and societies – a fact never addressed in his “studies.” What he is doing, essentially, is examining the construction of the patriarchy and justifying its existence by pointing out that it was built in the first place.
One thing that’s for sure, however, is that the University of Toronto psychologist has benefited greatly from his recent attention and controversy. Peterson's lectures have become some of the hottest tickets in all of professional speaking and his books have sold millions of copies, including his most recent release "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos."
This success, however great, is a recent phenomenon for the Canadian academic, who only garnered international attention in late 2016 after his public opposition to Canada’s Bill C-16, legislation that expanded anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender citizens.
Peterson opposed the law on the grounds that it would curtail his free speech -- and instantly became a cultural hero of sorts on the right. The story, after all, was too perfect. Here was an academic putting his foot down and saying no to the progressive movement that’s so often associated with higher learning.
Peterson is easily one of the most sought-after personalities in this sphere and has garnered considerable controversy for his frequent criticisms of liberal politics and his insistence that the patriarchy -- the invisible construction of society by which men are granted privilege over women -- is a hierarchy of competence, while referring to feminists as “crazy, harpy sisters” who are “undermining the masculine power of culture.”
Though that kind of incendiary rhetoric certainly leads to uproar in the era of backlash-backlash, it also leads to power, influence and riches for a man who’s preaching to a choir that's starving for a particular kind of made-to-order science.
* * *
It’s important to note that “Intellectual Dark Webs” have existed as long as there’s been a society interlinked with science. There has always been an adversarial relationship between the unbiased accrual of knowledge for the sake of discovery and progress and the search for tainted “facts” meant to prove twisted hypotheses. Such intellectual expeditions have been carried out for any number of purposes, often in a quest for knowledge and often to prove ignorant racist worldviews, as was the case with craniometry or the bastardized popular versions of Charles Darwin’s theories.
The tradition of bad science, championed by scholars who either willingly or unwittingly set precedents for intellectualized racism, has been carried on by white supremacists who rebranded their hatred as “race realism.”
Demanding a return to patriarchy — as many in the alt-right, incel, and men’s rights activists communities have done, and as Peterson himself has done — aren’t particularly transgressive behaviors. Indeed, one might say they remain explicitly culturally sanctioned. But the Petersonian narrative is one that allows adherents to identify themselves as dangerous (even sexy) transgressive figures without making actual demands on them.
In writing this essay, I neither wish to condemn those who in good faith hunger for meaningfulness nor to condone the far-right political stances into which men like Peterson steer their followers.
The hunger for meaning, for surety, for “order” — to use Peterson’s well-loved term — is a legitimate one. So, too, is the aesthetic appeal of perceived counterculturalism: the idealized rebel who defies bourgeois social norms. The irony, of course, is that many of the young straight white men who see themselves as “countercultural” because of their “political incorrectness” are doing little more than reinforcing the status quo.
But how is it that right-wing movements capitalize so effectively on both?
The “aesthetic” mode has long been associated with right-wing movements
So what am I talking about when I talk about the “aesthetic” appeal of right-wing movements? German culture critic Walter Benjamin, in his in 1936 essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” writes that right-wing movements, which reach their zenith in fascism, represent “the introduction of aesthetics into political life.” While Benjamin is writing about fascism specifically here, his argument encompasses reactionary and right-wing movements more broadly.
While left-wing movements, he writes, work by advocating for “affecting the property structure” of capitalism, right-wing movements offer the masses a chance to “express themselves” while keeping the social order largely intact.
That does not mean that Peterson is right (the actual content of his self-help book is sufficiently vague and ill-defined that it’s really impossible to say he’s right or wrong); nor that we should all become traditional Catholics; nor (of course!) that the racism, sexism, and outright Nazism that defines so much of the alt-right is excusable.
However, understanding why these kinds of movements are attractive to a wide variety of people who consider themselves, accurately or not, to be disenfranchised demands a serious engagement with the aesthetic and emotional appeal of what, for lack of a better term, I’ll call traditionalism: largely but not exclusively right-wing movements loosely defined by the rejection of modernity and promise of return to a better time. (I’m distinguishing lowercase traditionalism from capital-T Traditionalism, Evola’s more technically conceived occult movement.)
This form of traditionalism is what Peterson talks about when he writes in 12 Rules that “we have been withdrawing from our tradition-, religion- and even nation-centred cultures” and that we must “find sufficient meaning in individual consciousness and experience” by revisiting “the great myths ... of the past.”
What traditionalist movements do, in their various ways, is provide adherents with two sensations. The first is the sense of the mythic. To be a believer is to live in a world of gods and monsters, good and evil, chaos and order. The world has an inherently meaningful and exciting structure.
The second is the opportunity to participate in that movement: a participation that blends the security of belonging to a cohesive group with the thrill of cultural transgression. To be a traditionalist is, increasingly, to be countercultural.
There’s an interesting moment in the book where Peterson talks about resentment as a “revelatory” emotion that can mean one of two things. One, you feel it because you’re immature, in which case you just need to buck up. Two, you feel resentment because you really are being oppressed or taken advantage of somehow. Your resentment shows you that something needs to change or that you need to assert yourself in relation to other people.