As an atheist I found his explanations extremely interesting. Peterson is a brilliant scholar and draws connections between psychology and brain structures, human evolution, and religion.
I don’t believe in any trascendental being, but listening to these lectures made me understand better the psychological and moral value of these stories, regardless of belief in the supernatural.
Roughly speaking ;)
Previous attempts stalled because I couldn't really make sense of it, and because it didn't seem very interesting.
I get a certain feel of skepticism every now and then whether he actually represents any fascist ideas. Not because of his talks, but rather how they are edited out of context, used in "Stupid liberal got owned by Jordan Peterson" videos with these kind of aggressive titles.
That aside, he is really enlightening in these frustrating times.
They are usually one-hour long videos or more, I know. But that clears every doubt.
He should maybe adopt a more journey-like story telling, or more analogies. Maybe avoid references to "whatever-isms" etc. Also less tangents and sticking to main topic would improve.
I'd urge you to listen to their 2nd conversation or watch any JBP lecture.
You might enjoy the Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell.
I'm really skeptical about IQ in general, but anyone popular with the far right really makes me suspicious.
I'll take a look at the link you provided...But man, there are an awful lot of 1488 types that support this guy. It really makes me question where he is coming from.
But I've made an exception for Peterson. He's not as super left wing as much university staff, sure, but to call him extreme right is very far fetched.
My impression, if this means anything to you, is that his political opinion fits well with that of centrist Christian Democrat parties in Europe (eg Merkel's CDU). That makes him more conservative than me, but because he's also totally brilliant, I don't mind.
I don't know why the alt right likes him, but my guess is that he's a great speaker who presents something like a very moderate version of alt right opinion.
I guess the most extreme thing he did, that he's somewhat infamous for, is refusing to use different singular personal pronouns than "he" and "she". While I think that he was an ass about that, to call someone far right for not wanting to say "ze" in a classroom is a few bridges to far for me.
EDIT: I got 4 downvotes already but really tried to make a balanced argument. Maybe I missed some of his "oeuvre" that would change my mind, maybe I'm outright wrong somewhere? Would appreciate someone pointing it out.
I don't think this is a very good representation of Dr Peterson's position. He has said, I believe on The Agenda, that he'd consider using those words depending on the motivation of the person requesting it. If the person making the request is playing an ideological game, he will refuse. I think he also said that in the future, if the words naturally enter common parlance, he will consider using them. (I know you didn't argue this, but I'll add it:) he has also said that he would use the pronouns associated with the gender presented. E.g. for a biological male presenting themselves as female, Peterson would automatically refer to them as "she".
The main thrust of his protest that made him famous in 2016 was against compelled speech, that is, being able to force someone to use the words you choose with the force of the law. He says that his position is informed by decades of study of left and right authoritarian systems.
I think it's predominantly because his position on free speech, personal freedom and the academy intersect with some alt-right (itself no longer a useful term, IMO) perspectives on the culture war(s). That deepens a bit further with his work and comments on religion and philosophy. There's a kind of 'the enemy of my enemy' about it. But I think both aspects are easily misunderstood and/or mischaracterised by his superficial support as much as it is by his detractors on the extreme left etc. Meanwhile, I would be surprised if those on the most extreme fringes of the alt-right - ethno-nationalists, white supremacists, neo-reactionaries etc. - ever took to Peterson, based on his espoused views and/or his work on the psychology of tyrannies (notably the Third Reich) and the caution he urges as a consequence of that.
To me, he's fairly precise in talking about what he thinks (which may be right or wrong) and I think that's where it's easy to misunderstand what he's saying, which may have a specific, implicit point (and eventually ends up misinterpreted and misrepresented as something wholly different). Despite that, I've picked up on a tendency to offer views in the realm of civil rights and academia that are more off-the-cuff since gaining public attention. Sometimes these can come across as unusual or even pandering, and I think he's at his best when he's not being wheeled out as some sort of 'conservative' oracle (he's neither). The increasingly combative tone also doesn't seem fitting for someone who rose to prominence on the basis of presenting himself and his views relatively thoughtfully and reasonably.
Check out this video for the best example: https://youtu.be/XbOeO_frzvg
They see a professor making headlines because he's vocal about the problems with the alt left. That's all they know and they're assuming that means he's on their side (the alt left also makes this mistake). But that's absolutely not the case and is clear to anyone that actually watches his lectures.
(though I should've said SJWs for short since that's what Peterson usually calls them in this context, IIRC)
You should convert some of that politically biased
'skepticism' into dispassionate inquiry.
What of all of the other areas of psychology? If IQ was found to be completely spurious, we'd still have other psychological research. IQ is not foundational like he claims.
It's like Peterson has never read the criticisms of the Bell Curve and believes it in its entirely. His lectures and interviews on the subject are really just a rehashing of the same, mostly discredited arguments. Even Charles Murray has stepped back from a single number determinant of a single kind of intelligence.
I'll try to summarize his position on IQ without doing him a disservice.
* IQ is highly correlated to intelligence (what is called technically g). Highly enough that you can use it as a measure of general intelligence.
* IQ is the only test we have that accurately measures intelligence and that is not a self-report test.
* IQ has been shown to be the highest predictor for success in life. Highest does not mean only. In fact, its correlation is .35. Conscientiousness is the second best predictor, but amounts to half of IQ.
* There is no way to raise IQ, which is genetically determined. But there are many ways to lower it.
It also very important to consider that a) he made a lot of highly cited research on the topic, b) he is very knowledgeable on the literature and c) he says many times that the results of these studies are disheartening and nobody likes them (him included).
He never implied, for example, that there is an inverse relationship between IQ and crime, quite the opposite. IQ is related to the Opennes personality trait.
Crime is caused by low Agreableness, which is another personality trait. He also cites often the work of Martin Daly, which studied how crime is correlated to a too steep inequality, where the social ladder is too hard to climb, which makes people turn to crime as the only alternative.
So I don't know where you got that idea.
Can you link to (or synthesize) a criticism of something the man has said himself?
Also, would you consider that it's all right to ask questions about correlations between race/ethnicity and the incidence of heart disease / hypertension / sickle-cell anemia etc., but not about correlations between race/ethnicity and IQ?
(I don't have a dog in this fight, and I understand that IQ measurement is a very unreliable and culturally predicated way of measuring intelligence; I am just curious about the way that people who are indignant about such inquiries think.)
What gives you the idea that it is unreliable?
It is one of the most consistent and reliable measurements in psychology.
> culturally predicated way of measuring intelligence
In what sense?
In the sense that it is only a good indicator for success because of the way our society is currently setup?
Quite possibly. But I don't see that as a criticism of IQ.
It is really a criticism of the disturbed individuals using "intelligence" as the key driver of human worth.
By the way that kind of thinking is more prevalent with the intellectual elite who visit hacker news than it is of the average alt-right supporter.
IQ is BS and is just a stand in for implying inferiority.
That's unfortunate. Results of scientific inquiry should not depend on who is asking the questions.
So... where did you get the idea that this is a credible takeaway from his work?
(Also, he'd probably be the first person to agree with the assessment that university employment or credentials doesn't necessarily mean that your claims or research are any good...)
Do you have any evidence?
> Isn't Jordan Peterson also famous for being a proponent of racial IQ theories?
If he is, it's remarkable that I've been able to miss that over listening to his course lectures since 2015 on top of the more recent bible/other lectures.
My personal location on the political spectrum right now is pretty partisan Democrat, largely out of the opinion that the Republican Party and most of the conservatism in the US is a dumpster fire, and in particular that the GOP is almost completely incapable of doing policy in the public interest. I say this to make it entirely clear that I'm hardly "far right." :)
And I still think taking in Peterson's stuff has been probably the single best thing that's happened to me for sharpening my thinking over the last few years.
I also think there are some reasonable arguments that he's wrong about a number of things, and I think you should be suspicious about how some of his ideas are functioning in certain political conversations. I see lower-resolution versions of his thinking being pressed into service of conventional conservative partisan narratives. But I strongly suspect that the solution, if there is one, is going to be engaging with the political ideas and trying to criticize them as effectively (and intellectually) as he advocates for them. Ad hominem attacks aimed at his status are only going to feed the beast.
And to the extent that you think progressivism or liberalism or centrist technocratism or whatever are based in reason and argument (and I do), it would be a gift if Peterson's thinking became more prominent, even where it might be wrong. You can engage reason and argument with reason and argument. It's pretty hard for me to tell how to engage Trumpism.
And finally -- Peterson is super popular in large part because he's primarily working in the realm of applied personal philosophy. He's done a lot of compelling work to distill the interpretation of religious narratives, philosophical thinking, and psychology into some concrete guidance that's digestible for those of us culturally centered in western modernity. I think it'd be a rare person who can't find some of what he has to say interesting and useful.
How about start with a list of Trump supporters concerns?
Then try and understand why they are concerned.
To force yourself to be honest try and argue in support of some of their key positions.
There are many other things that correlate with race, both phenotypically and genetically, there advantages and disadvantages to different ethnicities and races. Why is it so radical to say that IQ is different between races? Is it really different from saying that the fastest runners are black?
The only exception was when he talked about how Ashkenazi Jews have an IQ that is on average higher than normal. Which explains why there are many of them in high positions like doctors and scientist, instead of some idiotic conspiracy theory.
I'm having trouble recalling places where he's drawn any correlation between race and IQ, except some rather narrow cases like the Ashkenazi Jews.
And I'm not familiar with any research that conclusively establishes a connection between racial categories (as often constructed in US/western discourse, anyway) and IQ:
Here's a discussion on the alt-right following of Peterson on his subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/JordanPeterson/comments/7gb5af/is_j...
Prof. Peterson is possibly the furthest thing from a "neo-nazi".
> KEK boys. Seek your 4chan. Don't stay in the underworld. Author your future. Code PEPE. Free 4 U 4 1 wk.
Again, you should be ashamed of yourself.
But I'm puzzled by the statement that the comment you're responding to accurately describes Peterson's views on race. Except maybe in narrow categories that don't match up particularly well with a broad conception like "race" (e.g., Ashkenazi Jews), I can't recall any instances of him asserting a correlation between race and IQ, though it's possible I've missed something, and I'm open to visiting anything you might want to point out.
And I also think that it's a mistake to boil the alt-right relationship down to race issues. I think it starts elsewhere. In addition to the points in that reddit discussion, I think there's a fundamental shared narrative that goes something like this:
"Some (or all!) of the people and institutions that make up society are hostile to people speaking the truth freely. Maybe even more hostile to it than they were in the past. They are hostile to it because they are weak and corrupt and tyrannical. But it's important thing for people to speak up anyway."
Peterson absolutely says this, repeatedly and quite clearly. And it resonates, because most people probably have been in situations where they've faced hostility and even retaliation for saying something that others didn't like.
And I think if you pressed Peterson, he would probably say that this narrative is part of the human condition, and the reason why he frames the problem as people being weak and corrupt and tyrannical is that it's a known failure mode for pretty much all of humanity and it's probably true in some degree inside every single human being. And it's important to speak up anyway not necessarily because you are the sole promethean bearer of The Truth, but because nobody is the lone possessor of the truth and we will likely do better at working things out if we have conversations and negotiate. I think this line of argument has some limits that I'm not sure are sufficiently explored, but it's a pretty compelling one based on my own introspection and observation of humans, though I also find that the degree of "corrupt"ness in the hypothetical human you're dealing with matters a lot, and I also think Peterson may underestimate the downside of using language like "weak and corrupt and tyrannical" because it invites contempt into the understanding of the situation and that usually doesn't make things better.
But for some segments of the right (among other people), I think this narrative often goes farther. It is not a description of part of what it's like to exist as a human among other humans, it is part of repeated liturgy about the problem of being a conservative in a society besieged by malevolent political opposition. It says that conservatives in particular are unjustly singled out for this kind of treatment, and that it's much more often because of bias rather than any flaws in their own position, and that the weak and corrupt and tyrannical people are Marxists who want a totalitarian state, and what you have to say is not only important because the process of dialogue helps with synthesis but it's important because it's the Capital-RT Real Truth whose only flaw is that too many people aren't brave or strong enough to look it in the eye and understand it, and the only hope is that you repeat it often and strongly enough without being seduced.
(And again, the right is hardly the only segment of humanity that starts to think like this, but I don't think there's any credible argument that this narrative isn't deeply embedded in current political conservatism in the US.)
Now, I happen to think that there's an important distinction between the former and the latter formation of this narrative. But no matter how nuanced someone is being, if you lower the resolution at which you're listening to someone present both, you might not be able to tell the difference. One could imagine that someone who can't tell the difference between "IQ matters and has a genetic component" and "you can make sensible generalizations about a person's IQ by race (and we should!)" might have precisely that problem.
And though I think JBP tends to be nuanced and I try to pay attention to that... frankly, there are times when I can't tell the difference between the former and the latter (which seems weird to me considering how widely prevalent and accepted many conservative ideas among my social circle and in the institutions I tend to participate in. But then again, I don't work at a University, and I grew up in a conservative state and am part of a religious subculture, and so most of the time when I'm facing an uphill battle in a discussion it's quite the opposite).
So I think that's where the love-in begins. It probably also helps that JBP defends the value and message of traditional religious stories and focuses quite a bit on personal responsibility (perhaps as contrasted with state measures) and the merits of conscientiousness and bringing order into the world -- all things that are likely to resonate with conservatives.
My main point is that it is not a surprise that he attracts alt-right types when he is tweeting dog whistles while claiming not to be a member of that group.
This is not as much of a slam-dunk as one might think. There's a need for more very careful work that attempts to isolate race from culture.
Race is not even a well defined concept, although obviously heredity works, and we understand a lot of the detailed biology behind it (heredity).
If you come from a culture of learning, with centuries of history of scholarship, and many scholarly role-models, it's going to affect how you do on IQ tests. It's not nature OR nurture, but BOTH.
As a programmer and scientific-minded person, I can't overstate how much I can teach my kids about the areas I'm highly trained in, almost independent of their interests or even aptitudes.
There's a reason why children of lawyers become lawyers, why children of doctors become doctors, and why children of athletes become athletes, etc. It's not just genetics, although it can seem that way.
By modeling behaviours in the home you teach so much more than kids learn at school, etc.
So ... be very careful not to conflate race and culture, and if you have any info on how people have systematically tried to isolate the two, I'd be interested in refs. Thanks.
Wrong. Individuals are not populations. The most you could say is that if someone guesses a large number of times they'll be right slightly more often than not. This is not a trivial point.
I get where you're coming from, racism sucks.
Statistically the odds are different, stereotypes are usually pretty accurate.
Think recruitment and probability, let's say it cost you $200/hr to screen a candidate from CV to interview and you have $1000. We have law to ban it as an assessment criteria, on paper. It's also morally wrong (at level 3 or level 4 of the moral pyramid).
Warm fuzzy feeling is just that, politically correct is easy. Personally I think nationalism is stupidity, but that's our history and who we are. I feel comments like these is head burying in some way, that masks us from the actual fixable problems like unconscious bias. How about we acknowledge the act of giving equal opportunity to assess people individually as a good act of social responsibility while we're still trying to fix environment and education for the less fortunate.
I'm not accepting as fact that there are innate intelligence differences, but for the sake of argument let's postulate small differences between race/ethnic/gender populations. When you screen that way you throw away almost half your candidate pool for no good reason. You achieve worse results than if you use some other, not quite as lousy, method of culling. You'd probably have to work at it to find as weak a correlation. Sexism and racism aren't only evil, they're stupid too - even if the tiny intelligence differences that disputed authors claim to have found were real.
So in what way are stereotypes "pretty accurate" in the context of hiring? You aren't hiring a population so small population differences aren't super useful - except perhaps at the tails of the distribution. If you attract just the cream of the crop, you might have an argument. That population is likely to be very skewed.
I actually started referring to them this way because of an email from Curtis Yarvin to Milo Y. He was giving Milo advice about dealing with 1488 types in a way that doesn't alienate them as an audience.
Compiling C to printable x86, to make an executable research paper https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA_DrBwkiJA
HDR Photography in Microsoft Excel?! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkQJdaGGVM8
Zebras All the Way Down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE2KDzZaxvE
Solving Layout Problems with CSS Grid and Friends https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XkzpgWoYEI
Console Security - Switch https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-8941-console_security_-_switch
Let's move SMM out of firmware and into the kernel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GEaw4msq6g
Bringing Linux back to server boot ROMs with NERF and Heads https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-9056-bringing_linux_back_to_serv...
Sharing the Chisel https://youtu.be/2C8F7GBRluY?t=11m31s (looks like the actual conference video wasn't released)
Dude, you broke the Future! https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-9270-dude_you_broke_the_future
Pointing Fingers at 'The Media' https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-9106-pointing_fingers_at_the_med...
Social Cooling - big data’s unintended side effect https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-8797-social_cooling_-_big_data_s...
Full list here: https://media.ccc.de/c/34c3
We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_we_re_building_a_dy...
The Ultimate Apollo Guidance Computer Talk (https://youtu.be/xx7Lfh5SKUQ)
Whether you like Elm or not, Czaplicki is an highly charismatic conceptual thinker and his talks are very relevant.
Michael Kreil: Social Bots, Fake News und Filterblasen
(German talk, but the video contains an audio track with a good English translation.)
My favorite talk that I watched in 2017 was Durham Goode's talk at Git Merge 2017, concerning scaling Mercurial at Facebook. It's always good to share knowledge about version control and scar difficulties:
My favorite talk that I gave was at GitHub Universe. I spoke about how Microsoft adopted the Git version control system and - ultimately - open source:
Really changed how I think about programming.
About the application of Lisp on quantum hardware.
"Artificial intelligence is not like electricity (quoting Andrew Ng), but alchemy"
New Tech Start-Up Bubble
An amazing introductory video to Functional programming from a hardcore Java developer.
As it presented an interesting technique I'd never heard of before, along with an implementation.
Also I thought the 'Breaking the x86 Instruction Set' talk was extremely clever - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrksBdWcZgQ
A small group of people could use AI and social media to virtually sit down with every single person and convince them of something using a detailed micro targeting profile. It would be like diapatching an individual evangelist to work on each of a billion people in parallel.
We saw very primitive and still largely manual versions of this in 2016. When the real thing arrives it will be the hydrogen bomb of persuasion.
This is also what I think an "AI takeover" would look like. Forget about terminators. A superintelligence would find us trivial to con and manipulate. We will just be convinced to do what the AI wants. Skynet will launch words not bombs, but much like the nukes in the Terminator story we are building the infrastructure of our own destruction ahead of time.
Maybe a bit on the optimistic side? But exciting to consider the possibilities!
- How the reputation economy is creating data-driven conformity https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-8797-social_cooling_-_big_data_s...
- DEF CON 25 (2017) - Weaponizing Machine Learning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbRx18VZlYA&t=2121s
- BlackHat 2017: Breaking the x86 Instruction Set https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrksBdWcZgQ
It's nothing I didn't know intuitively, but it really lays out, with great examples, how to provide feedback accurately while not forgetting about being kind and humble. This is in stark contrast to an attitude I see often that confuses being direct and critical with being hostile or rude. It really deconstructs some of those dynamics in a way I hadn't paid attention to before. Also, it has a great summary of a simplified version of "getting things done" that made it appealing to me.
Saw this in-person and really recommend it. Detailed historical example of revolution and key takeaways for establishing a great culture at your company.
"A deep dive into Bitcoin Core v0.15" http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/gmaxwell-2017-08-28-deep-d...
"Advances in block propagation" http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/gmaxwell-2017-11-27-advanc...
"Discreet log contracts" http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/discreet-log-contracts/
"Signature aggregation" http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/bitcoin-core-dev-tech/2017...
"Programmable organoids" http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/hgp-write/2017-05-09/organ...
"Ultra-safe cell line" http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/hgp-write/2017-05-09/ultra...
"New address type for segwit addresses" http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/sf-bitcoin-meetup/2017-03-...
Bram Cohen on merkle sets and memory management http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/sf-bitcoin-meetup/2017-07-...
"Making humans a multiplanetary species" http://diyhpl.us/wiki/transcripts/spacex/elon-musk-making-hu...
LAMBDA Functions: Powerful And Elegant Abstractions - https://youtu.be/OLH3L285EiY
Andy Wingo's talk "Channels, Concurrency, and Cores: A new Concurrent ML implementation"
Because it made me discover that concurrent programming can actually be nice.
Computer History Museum
Hear the stories from the computing legends themselves with video selections from CHM’s oral history collection
* Stop Rate Limiting! Capacity Management Done Right. Jon Moore is the Chief Software Architect at Comcast Cable, where he focuses on delivering a core set of scalable, performant, robust software components for the company's varied software product development groups.
* Keeping Time in Real Systems. This talk will tour the fascinating timekeeping mechanisms used in real systems. We will explore atomic clocks, NTP and GPS through systems that use them, and logical clocks in the context of systems built on logical time.
* Level Up Your Concurrency Skills With Rust. This talk will show you how Rust will catch many concurrency errors at compile time.
* Diablo: A Classic Game Postmortem. Diablo developer David Brevik returns to the GDC stage to give a classic post-mortem on Blizzard's action RPG hit Diablo in this 2016 talk.
* The Flash Games Postmortem. In this 2017 GDC talk, Kongregate's John Cooney attempts to encapsulate the immense history of Flash games and how it has shaped the current game industry by giving game developers their first chance to build and publish their games quickly to the web.
* Siege Battle AI in Total War: Warhammer. In this 2017 GDC session, Creative Assembly's Andre Arsenault shows the approach used in Total War: Warhammer to create the very specialized high-level AI to guide these massive armies in a way that provides a convincing, epic-scale battle.