Engaging Jordan Peterson is enlightening and frustrating


I’ve made two videos about Jordan Peterson now: in the first, I addressed the basic errors in biology he made in a television interview, and in the second I drilled down into the bad biology in the first chapter of his book, where he would have presumably been more rigorous in his treatment (he wasn’t). The results have been interesting. Note that what I was doing was cutting through the fog of obfuscation he throws up around one simple point, and was actively avoiding any temptation to deal with extraneous issues, like social justice, or mere feminism, or his confusion about whether behaviors are culturally or biologically determined.

It sort of didn’t work.

The comments have been weird. A fair number of his fans are willing to admit that I popped Peterson’s balloon on that one point — he really is making illogical arguments, and you can’t simply announce what ideal human behavior is from the behavior of lobsters, and Peterson is just wallowing in the naturalistic fallacy — but they don’t care. They just move on to something I didn’t address here and announce that he’s still right.

Peterson can be confusing to listen to. I think he makes some excellent points…. but we gotta give PZ the nod with respect to evolutionary biology.
This video has confirmed that we need to be careful when listening to Jordan Peterson. Some of what he says…particularly with respect to religion….seems purposefully obscurantist and unnecessarily confusing.

I’m right there with him on the “pronouns” issue though. There is only XY and XX. Anything else is pretense. (notwithstanding the 1% of people born intersex)

I wonder if this person has even seen his karyotype? Probably not. Very few people have. But the thing is that I did not address Peterson’s gender misconceptions in either of these videos, so why fall back on something that I’d have to make another video to address?

And then there is this sentiment:

Even if ALL of Peterson’s scientific references are incorrect, his greater messages are more important, and that’s why his book is waking the globe.

These are young men who mostly identify as skeptics and atheists and hard-bitten realists (although I don’t know about this specific individual), and look what they’ve sunk to. That’s pure faith-based acceptance of a conclusion while seeing the evidence for it debunked. It’s sad to see. This is where organized skepticism has led us — to a tool you can use as a blunt instrument, without comprehension, to shout down science while waving science as a banner.

Some don’t even bother with argument.

And the thing is … Peterson makes a strong and persuasive case against the SWJ woo that you appear to promote.

PZ, you are a clown. The only reason anybody takes you seriously is that because those who do are brainwashed social justice warriors who will support anybody, no matter what they say, who loudly spouts their rhetoric. Take the SJWs away, and you would just be the laughing stock of everybody.

Nothing in those videos was “SWJ woo” — it was straightforward, basic biology and science. I focused on the narrow point at hand. It doesn’t matter. Any criticism of Peterson will be dealt with by huddling with the ideological tribe and cursing those damned sssjooooos.

If I were to do it again — I do not plan to do it again — I wouldn’t be so restrained. I’d point out that his book is terribly written, relying on a fog of flowery prose and long digressions into irrelevant issues to conceal his central conceits. If he embeds his message in a cloud of noise, you can still see it as a negative space, his readers can imbed it in their brains, but he never has to expose himself to the risk of a direct statement…and when you do catch him saying something specific, he can trust his fans to defend him by saying, “Hist, poltroon, look over there in the mist, a vague outline of something that refutes what Jordan said, therefore he didn’t really say what you caught him saying!” But wink, wink, nudge, nudge, they know exactly what he’s saying, his “greater messages” that are “waking the globe”.

I’ve written about his inanity on gender issues, but you can read far more from Siobhan. His fans sound even worse, but that’s only because they don’t have the political sense to conceal their views behind a cloud of evasion and verbiage.

I recommend this video by Peter Coffin. He takes the opposite approach from what I did — instead of taking a microscope to one narrow point and stabbing it with a micropipette, he steps way back to look at the big picture and expose Peterson’s general strategies. It’s good.

Obviously, the comments are predictable, claiming that he’s strawmanning and taking Peterson out of context. That’s what happens when you try to argue rationally with people who have abandoned all reliance on reason.

Comments

  1. says

    I wonder if Peterson’s supporters realize that the correlation between XX & XY and the number of pronoun genders in (some forms of) English is not universal in human language? In German, it’s standard to refer to children using the gender-neutral pronoun. Hungarian doesn’t have gendered pronouns. XX & XY may be (oversimplified) biology, but pronouns are mere human convention.

  2. kome says

    It’s just godless religion. Peterson’s fragile fanbois want everything about religious dogma – the feeling of divine/natural superiority to others, the easy answers that require no hard thinking or introspection, etc. – except the actual deity because somehow that’s more unbelievable than the other tripe that comes along with religious ideology. Seriously, at this point, the existence of a deity is slightly more believable to me than the notion that out there among all of nature there are only two genders or that race is somehow genetically essentially tied to intelligence.

  3. pocketnerd says

    It’s just godless religion.

    Yyyup. Unbelievers are heretics — whoops, sorry, “SJWs” — and can therefore be safely ignored; meanwhile, it doesn’t matter if “ALL of Peterson’s scientific references are incorrect” because “his greater messages are more important”. I like his conclusions, therefore facts and evidence are immaterial.

    This is why I lost faith (pun intended) in the YouTube Atheistbro brand of atheism. I realized most of these people aren’t actually interested in rational thought; they just want for themselves the deference, privilege, and authority generally accorded to religious majorities.

  4. Björn Carlsten says

    As someone who occasionally finds Peterson interesting, I’ve got to admit PZ’s argument in these two videos is devastating. No ifs or buts about it. Peterson should address this criticism, which undercuts a significant claim that he makes, and if he can’t rebut it—which I don’t think he can—he should revise his position accordingly…if he’s as principled a scholar as he pretends to be.

    I will keep the relevant sensory organs primed for any response from Peterson on the points raised by PZ. I suspect little will forthcoming, since I haven’t seen Peterson defend some of his other controversial positions against the strong counterarguments that are out there.

    All in all, excellent videos. Youtube needs more of this.

  5. says

    There’s a video by Peterson on youtube that’s supposedly about cultural marxism and post-modernism. Being a sort of anarcho-marxist, I was naturally interested, and checked it out. Imagine my surprised when I discovered that what Peterson is doing is using “post-modernism” and “cultural marxism” as vaguely-defined labels to demonize ideas that he doesn’t like. He doesn’t actually explain what is bad about ‘cultural marxism’ or even what it is. Surely, a professor of psychology could not be so sloppy! But then I remembered, it’s psychology; speaking as a holder of a psychology degree (a lowly BA) I feel he’s taking a bit too much advantage of psychology’s self-awarded privilege of slinging pseudo-scientific bullshit.

  6. says

    OOps, hit ‘post’ before I was done my thought.

    I tried to sit through it, so I could do a point-by-point assessment of what he’s talking about, but I can’t find anything there but a ton of assertions and bafflegab. It’s amazing that anyone takes that person seriously at all. The commenters certainly do.

    Hint: Marxism is an analysis of economics, and a social theory. It is not an ideology about social media or popular culture. A cultural marxist would be, presumably, dissecting the effect of capital on society (which Marx already did a lot of) not going around doing whatever Peterson appears to be imagining they would do. I can’t even tell what Peterson imagines Marx would have to say, frankly. I can imagine what Derrida or other post-modernists might have to say, and I suspect they would sound a lot like Peterson: bafflegab, labelling, terminology used all wrong all over the place, and sloppy argumentation. The difference is that Derrida was interesting.

  7. sherylyoung says

    Because my daughter has Turner Syndrome, xo, I’ve become well aware of the many permutations of x and y.
    Willful ignorance is maddening.

  8. says

    RE Marcus Ranum @6

    “Cultural Marxism” is the (conspiracy) theory that Jews are funding and fomenting civil rights movements to destabilize or destroy “Western civilization”.
    I believe there’s a detailed write-up on Rational wiki.

  9. Mark Dowd says

    Even if ALL of Peterson’s scientific references are incorrect, his greater messages are more important, and that’s why his book is waking the globe.

    Even if he’s totally wrong, he’s still completely right.

    Excuse me, I need a neck brace from that whip lash.

  10. raven says

    Cultural Marxism doesn’t even exist.
    It’s imaginary.
    As soon as you see that term, you know whoever it is has nothing coherent.

    Post Modernism does exist, sort of.
    It’s long been discredited to the point where most Post Modernists deny being…Post Modernists.

  11. says

    John-Henry Beck@#8:
    “Cultural Marxism” is the (conspiracy) theory that Jews are funding and fomenting civil rights movements to destabilize or destroy “Western civilization”.

    Yes, I am familiar with that. But, that’s nothing to do with Marxism; calling it “Marxism” is a lie, intended to conceal what they are really talking about. How does one respond to such a lie? Way #1 is to point out that it’s a lie and #2 it’s incoherent if you take it at face value.

    The whole idea that Marx was jewish and went to all that trouble to write so much and think so hard as part of some conspiracy – it leaves me speechless with wonder. There are many who disagree with Marx but I don’t think it’s possible to say that he wasn’t a serious thinker, and that he didn’t make some extremely interesting and accurate observations about capitalism. In my opinion, the worst one can accuse Marx of is being obscure – but his dialectical approach is (I think) necessary when talking about things like value, which morph and shift and can only be talked about contextually. Claiming that Marx went to all that effort as part of some conspiracy is “protocols of the elders of zion” laughable conspiracy-mongering bullshit.

    Now, if someone wants to come out and say “there’s a jewish conspiracy to destroy western civilization” then, OK, let’s talk about their evidence for that.

    Or perhaps if someone wants to say “western civilization should be destroyed” we can even talk about that, and what that means. Some of us might agree with some parts of that idea. But he’s just labelling and consequently isn’t really even making an argument, it’s just whining.

  12. bcwebb says

    Seems like Peterson is mostly doing a Gish gallop, throwing up so many weakly supported and ambiguous non sequiturs that the interviews can’t keep up.

    Well, Jordon Peterson is a psychologist, an area of study where there are far more theories than data. Reminds me of the old joke about philosophers: “The dean was complaining about how much it cost to fund all the labs, computers and equipment that the scientists demanded. ‘Why, look at the mathematicians, they only need pencils, paper and erasers… and the psychologists: they don’t even need erasers.’ ” badda ba bing.

  13. mnb0 says

    “his book is waking the globe”
    Which shows that according to this fan the globe coincides with his backyard.
    Seriously, does he really think his hero is that well known outside the USA?

  14. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I’m sorry, but I read ““his book is waking the globe” as “his book is wanking the globe”.

    I think it makes more sense my way.

  15. David Marjanović says

    In German, it’s standard to refer to children using the gender-neutral pronoun.

    Not true. What is true is that the word meaning “child” is grammatically neuter; in English, when you start a sentence with “the kid”, you can refer back to that kid as “he” later if the kid is a boy, but in German that’s not an option – either use “it”, or you should have said “the boy” right away.

    That said, the word meaning “girl” is grammatically neuter, too (…because it’s historically a diminutive, and all diminutives are neuter). Most people ignore that as soon as the next sentence and then say “she”, but in parts of western Germany the opposite has happened and “it” has basically replaced “she” when referring to people.

    Hungarian doesn’t have gendered pronouns.

    Most languages actually don’t.

  16. KG says

    The blanket sneers about psychology (@5, 12) are as sloppy as Peterson. Psychology includes a huge range methodologically, from empty blather to complex simulations to experimental approaches as rigorous as anything in physics or biology. I’m not up to date on the latest work, but anyone taken in by Marcus Ranum or bcwebb should take a look at the work of Herbert Simon, or Kahnemann and Tversky, or Gerd Gigerenzer (these are from the subfields I know most about), or recent work on the neuropsychology of memory and language, or Andrew Whiten’s work on comparative psychology of learning and culture.

  17. grasshopper says

    I have no idea who Jordan Peterson is, but your review of his offerings and observations about humanity evoke memories of how Sir Peter Medawar eviscerated the conceits in the supposedly profound book “The Phenomenom Of Man” by French author Teilhard de Chardin.

    Here is an example of de Chardin’s style

    Reproduction doubles the mother cell. Thus, by a mechanism which is the inverse of chemical disintegration, it multiplies without crumbling. At the same time, however, it transforms what was only intended to be prolonged. Closed in on itself, the living element reaches more or less quickly a state of immobility. It becomes stuck and coagulated in its evolution. Then by the act of reproduction it regains the faculty for inner re-adjustment and consequently takes on a new appearance and direction. The process is one of pluralization in form as well as in number. The elemental ripple of life that emerges from each individual unit does not spread outwards in a monotonous circle formed of individual units exactly like itself. It is diffracted and becomes iridescent, with an indefinite scale of variegated tonalities. The living unit is a center of irresistible multiplication, and ipso facto an equally irresistible focus of diversification.

    And a quote from Peter Medawar

    How have people come to be taken in by The Phenomenon of Man? We must not underestimate the size of the market for works of this kind, for philosophy-fiction. Just as compulsory primary education created a market catered for by cheap dailies and weeklies, so the spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.

    http://bactra.org/Medawar/phenomenon-of-man.html

  18. kurt1 says

    You could describe the Frankfurt school of thought as “cultural marxist” but there is no cultural-marxist movement on the left (as far as I am aware). The term as seen on the internet is being used by the right as a label for left ideas and people they don’t like, it’s no different than SJW, soy (boy) or snowflake. I think Breivik used it in his manifest and it was picked up by is fanboys.

    Having read all or most of the youtube comments (because apparently i hate myself), I share PZs sentiment, it was a stunning Dunning-Kruger parade.

  19. birgerjohansson says

    In BBC TV series “Qi” I learned that until the fifteenth century all children were referred to as “girls”. “Boy” was a term for “servant”.
    And until the beginning of the 20th century, blue was the color associated with gills and pink with boys.
    If Marcus Ranun read more history his head would explode.

  20. birgerjohansson says

    Typo. I meant “Peterson ” not Ranum. Exposure to alt-right ideas is burning up my brain :(

  21. themadtapper says

    In my experience with the deranged right, “Marxism” to them is essentially the opposite of “meritocracy”. In glorious meritocracy, one is rewarded based on their true value and contribution, but under evil Marxism everyone is treated as equal regardless of their true worth. Why is being treated equally a bad thing? Why, because there’s all these leeches and moochers who take from the hard-working decent folk of course. By sheer coincidence I’m sure, the “leeches” are always those minority groups they hate, and the “hard-working decent folk” are always the people exactly like them. “Cultural Marxism” to them, by extension, is the idea that all cultures should be treated as equally valid and respected, which therefore devalues and diminishes the truly valuable and superior cultures, which of course by sheer coincidence happens to be their cultures. And yes, as has been pointed out, there are a lot of bigots out there who believe that culture mixing / race mixing is secretly driven by Jews in order to weaken the “superior” western cultures and cause them to collapse.

  22. says

    KG@#17:
    I’m not up to date on the latest work, but anyone taken in by Marcus Ranum or bcwebb should take a look at the work of Herbert Simon, or Kahnemann and Tversky, or Gerd Gigerenzer

    By “taken in” it appears to me you’re trying to imply that I am being deceptive. Are you?

    There are plenty of people who are doing good work in psychology, but I don’t see how that automatically redeems the field, any more than when I point out the amount of bullshit, methodological flaws, and outright fabrication that has also gone on. If we take the field as a whole, it was almost entirely bullshit until the mid 1970s – which is interesting because mostly the increased use of evidence-based methods was a response to the anti-psychology movement, which effectively gutted most of psychology’s epistemology up to that point. If you’re familiar with Kahneman’s history, for example, you’d know that he started off doing bullshit (trying to come up with probability models for behavior) and wound up doing … economics. And, ironically for your point, he won the Nobel Prize for showing a lot about how human cognitive biases work – showing (among other things) how much of the work in psychology up to that point was biased. Hey, that’s like citing the guys who identified the replication problem in psychology as “doing good work in the field.” I mean, it is, if your analogy is that plowing up the field is necessary as a way of stimulating the growth of new work.

    It’s my opinion that you can throw a dart at a dartboard of the history of psychology and you’re most likely to land on bullshit. I have never, not once, attempted to discredit the many scientists who are working in the field, trying to improve our understanding. I have never, not once, failed to (as I am doing now) point out that since the 1980s, neuroscience has been doing good work and that psychology is embracing it and making progress as well (i.e.: psychology is becoming neuroscience)

    In another 100 years, psychology will probably be on a sound basis as a science, having completely repudiated all the “pull something out of your ass” social theories of Freud, Maslow, Jung, ad infinitum – and perhaps it will even recover from evolutionary psychology (prediction: evolutionary psychology will become genetics)

    I am not trying to mislead, so unless you believe you can show I am being deliberately deceptive, I’d appreciate if you’d just assert I’m wrong and I’m a poopyhead or whatever. I can deal with that.

  23. says

    themadtapper@#24:
    In my experience with the deranged right, “Marxism” to them is essentially the opposite of “meritocracy”. In glorious meritocracy, one is rewarded based on their true value and contribution, but under evil Marxism everyone is treated as equal regardless of their true worth.

    Ah! You just explained a bunch of stuff. It’s probably counterposed to libertarianism and their endless desire to feel that their privilege/advantage is justified, and is not a result of them being exploiters.

    I’d been looking for a connection for why so many privileged whitebros are so against “Marxism” (usually a caricature of it) and perhaps that’s it. They see it as a threat to their imaginary meritocracy in the same way that many of them see (a caricature of) feminism as a threat to their porns.

  24. themadtapper says

    I’d been looking for a connection for why so many privileged whitebros are so against “Marxism” (usually a caricature of it) and perhaps that’s it. They see it as a threat to their imaginary meritocracy in the same way that many of them see (a caricature of) feminism as a threat to their porns.

    A common thread you’ll find among people who rail against Marxism, socialism, communism, and liberalism (almost invariably with no understanding of what those words actually mean) is a disdain for “forced equality”, whether economic or cultural or moral. They believe that the existing hierarchies are natural and that attempts to “level the playing field” are inherently unnatural and detrimental. Poor black people are poor because they’re lazy, so forcing society to help just encourages laziness; women are underpaid because they’re just not made for a man’s job, so forcing society to stop discriminating reduces the quality of the workforce; gays are all morally bankrupt, so forcing society to treat them as normal human beings causes the moral fabric to unravel. Ultimately “Marxism” or “socialism” are simply scare words; what they oppose and fear is losing a status quo that current benefits (or that they mistakenly perceive benefits) them and their ideals.

  25. says

    “Culture Marxism” is basically an insult towards a part of society someone doesn’t like every usage I’ve encountered. It’s only power is in their mutual acceptance of it at face value. I’ve started routinely demanding a user unpack it and demonstrate situational relevance. It’s fascinating and annoying to see the new ones pop up. “Fake news” so they don’t have to actually engage with it.

    Peterson’s lobsters are the new version of an old social tool. Of course they will drop the old tool in the dirt and insist they still need the tool since they still want that social control. It’s very primate of them. I’ll of course be primate right back and learn to better anticipate their next convenient irrational symbol. We at least have the advantage that bigots must create identifiable social patterns to have social effects.

  26. ikanreed says

    Contray to other commenters, I’d like to make the case that you can make a coherent idea of “cultural marxism”. Not that the people using the term do themselves in any affirmative sense, but there’s an unstated intuition they use.

    To wit, they’re asserting some essential element of marxist theory that is deeper and more fundamental(and possibly contrary to freemarket capitalism) than the labor theory of value, revolution, dictatorship of the proletariat, and all the mixture of bullshit and genuine political philosophy that made up karl marx. To me it seems that “essential marx” is questioning the fairness of society from an academic perspective. And since a lot sociology, gender studies, queer studies, african american studies, social psychology, and ethical philosophy does exactly that, it contains this marxist essence.

    But because a lot of is still fundamentally liberal, rights oriented, freedom-centric, and non-revolutionary, they recognize they can’t just call everything of that sort “marxism”. So they invent the term. And because it challenges them on their ideology and assumptions, “post modern” isn’t a bad term to throw into the mix.

    Alright, there’s my best attempt at giving them credit for coherence. Still seems like they’re full of shit tho.

  27. nathanieltagg says

    PZ: I would say you DID succeed. Remember that you weren’t going to convert anyone.. but you got several people to admit that Peterson was wrong about a specific thing.

    That’s how we get people. “He was wrong about that thing. Why was he wrong about that thing?” Suddenly they are looking at his comments critically. Sure, they might still think most of it is right, but he’s gone from ‘expert at everything’ to ‘guy who says things’.

    I’m not saying the other approaches are invalid, but I think it’s how we convert ANY skeptical person: carefully punch a hole somewhere.. and wait for the stress to build up and turn it into a tear.

  28. Rob Grigjanis says

    KG @17: I watched a talk by Kahneman a few years ago on the local public TV. Excellent stuff, and luckily still around.

    Marcus @25:

    he [Kahneman] started off doing bullshit (trying to come up with probability models for behavior) and wound up doing … economics.

    Well, you’re the expert, but I thought the “bullshit” (Prospect theory?) was the basis for his Nobel.

  29. grasshopper says

    @27 themadtapper your term “forced equality” brings to mind the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    The story, for me, illustrates the confustion between excellence vs meritocracy vs equal rights.
    The opening paragraph :-

    THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

    The story is online here.

  30. jrkrideau says

    @ 17 KG
    Everyone knows everything about psychology because they took the SAT, an IQ test, or even Psych 101. Marcus is the exception and I get the impression his department was still in the 1920’s or possibly the 1220’s when he was there.

    Many of his criticisms of parts of the field are/were quite valid but I get the impression that his knowledge is narrow and often out of date.

    Let us not forget some of the wackier social psychologists that get the press and taint the entire discipline. Bem anyone?

    I don’t think anyone outside of psychology, and most within it, including me, understand the breadth of the discipline and how disparate it is.

    You might want to add Elizabeth Lotus and Dan Ariely to your names. Thanks for Andrew Whiten’s name. I was not aware of his work. Oh, we must mention the sainted Skinner!

  31. einsophistry says

    Re: the professed love of meritocracy: I think it’s important to note that “merit” here is usually construed as either individual potential or group achievement, rather than individual achievement. Most of these dudes are youngish and have done very little to create any tangible value in the world, so they cling to things like IQ and the “achievements of Western Civilization,” as if those alone entitled them individually to respect and prestige.

    Peterson is so popular with these types because of the signaling value of agreeing with him. What he essentially says is “Follow me and you can be Top Lobster.” Ergo, if you want to be perceived as a Top Lobster, shout that allegiance from the rooftops. It’s a helluva lot easier to tell others to “clean their rooms” and thereby give the impression that one has already done so than to actually undertake the difficult work of becoming a person of value.

  32. consciousness razor says

    Marcus:

    I’m not up to date on the latest work, but anyone taken in by Marcus Ranum or bcwebb should take a look at the work of Herbert Simon, or Kahnemann and Tversky, or Gerd Gigerenzer

    By “taken in” it appears to me you’re trying to imply that I am being deceptive. Are you?

    I don’t think that implication is evident. If you’re not being deceptive (intentionally) when you offer me a claim/theory/opinion/etc. which is confused or mistaken or in some way problematic, I may still be “taken in” by that problematic idea.

    If you genuinely believed in geocentrism, for instance, and you argued on the basis of evidence that you sincerely rationally thought supported the notion that celestial bodies orbit an unmoving Earth, then it would be totally appropriate/idiomatic in English to say that I could be “taken in” by your incorrect astronomical model/theory. It would not necessarily be a claim that you had deceived me deliberately (i.e., you were lying/bullshitting, and I know this, and now I am telling you I know so). Nonetheless, the arguments/evidence might be characterized as such, in the sense that “appearances were deceiving” (possibly to both of us) and they were not supporting your idea as well as you should’ve hoped (because in fact geocentrism is wrong, contrary to your evidence/arguments).

    It wouldn’t be very typical for people to say that I was “taken in” by a correct/good/useful idea – maybe as a joke but not a sincere statement. So there is the implication that you’re wrong. But of course this just amounts to saying that KG was expressing disagreement with you, which (1) was already abundantly obvious, but more importantly (2) not something you have any reason to dispute.

    From Rob’s wiki link to “prospect theory”:

    The theory was created in 1979 and developed in 1992 by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky as a psychologically more accurate description of decision making, compared to the expected utility theory. In the original formulation, the term prospect referred to a lottery. The paper “Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk” (1979) has been called a “seminal paper in behavioral economics”.

    Note that you could (as wiki does) categorize it as “behavioral economics” or at least mention that it’s important to that field. However, it is a model that’s motivated by psychology and evaluated on the basis of its psychological merit/accuracy. Not in the least surprising, since economic systems are comprised of people, those people behave, their behaviors are largely expressible as products of their minds, psychology is the study of such phenomena…. well, I think I’ve connected enough dots at this point to make it clear that your “he didn’t do psych, it was econ” retort about as compelling as a wet noodle.

    You could also talk about it as just a set of purely mathematical formulas, which by themselves would have no application whatsoever, not in the real world, nor in Discworld, nor in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie, nor in any other imaginable place or time or context. But understandably, not many people beyond mathematicians would be terribly interested in that. The sensible thing to do is to apply it, since it’s apparently designed fairly well for the purpose, to human beings who (as discussed above) have psychological states, again to the surprise of nobody whatsoever. Those states can be studied scientifically, like anything else, and that’s what some people do for a living, as you undoubtedly know. It’s not as if we have a choice in the matter, Marcus – psychology is the science which covers that territory, no matter how much bullshit that involved historically.

    Your habit of taking a big fat dump on the subject at every opportunity certainly makes it hard to know when to take you seriously and when not to (I generally pick “not” in these circumstances), even if you do concede that there are “plenty of people who are doing good work in psychology.“ There is no need for something which “automatically redeems the field,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.

    It isn’t presently in a state which gives us all of the answers we’d probably like (or expect), but that’s how science always goes, is it not? There’s plenty more work to do, progress to be made, mysteries to be solved, theories to build and revise and toss out, etc. It may never be amenable to the kind of analysis that we can already do in physics, for example, or at least that’s such a distant goal that it isn’t much of a concern, so you should set your expectations to something closer to a reasonable level, something that actual humans beings with jobs (called “psychologists”) could actually do to study the actual phenomena we know can be studied scientifically. But beyond that, I can’t name a single science that doesn’t have its fair share of bullshitters and/or people who are simply bad at their jobs. That’s just how it fucking goes, in my experience. Your (presumably negative) experiences as a psych BA might seem more salient, so you may assume the field is especially unusual/suspicious in that respect, because in fact you don’t have equivalent expertise about other such fields, no basis of comparison or stable reference point as it were. But that would just be your ignorance talking, not your knowledge, in which case Dunning-Kruger strikes again.

  33. hemidactylus says

    25- Marcus Ranum
    If we take the field as a whole, it was almost entirely bullshit until the mid 1970s

    Hebb and Festinger published crap then? May as well through out the synaptic postulate and lobby people to cease using the term cognitive dissonance. Rational emotive therapy is more an application than a science but Ellis may have been ok too. He did publish a witty takedown of Objectivism.

    Hebb was one of the cognitive pioneers that took some wind out of pure behaviorism’s sails. Lorenz did too, but he had a not so nice backstory, so let’s shift focus to his Nobel co-winners shall we. Organisms have cognitive capacity and fixed action patterns underlying behavior ignored by Skinner and his ilk, not that behaviorism was entirely wrong.

    I don’t know much about Peterson except that he seems to have a thing for Jung and the psychological archetypes. He said some not so nice stuff about Jung critic Richard Noll in this video (around 19 minutes in):

    https://youtu.be/8r8ISkQ4exM

    And check for Noll’s responses in the comments.

  34. chrislawson says

    Rob Grigjanis@31

    I don’t know enough about Prospect Theory to have an opinion on its worth, but it should be remembered that the various Nobel committees, aside from the inevitable criticism from overlooked worthies…

    gave the Peace Prize to Henry Kissinger…
    gave the Medicine Prize to Johannes Fibinger for work that was completely wrong while conspicuously rejecting similar work by Katsusaburo Yamagiwa…which turned out to be right…
    gave more Literature Prizes to Swedish authors than all of Asia…
    gave the Physics Prize to Enrico Fermi for work that was completely wrong (although at least he was a worthy winner for other work)…

    in short, winning the Nobel is no guarantee that the honour is deserved.

  35. chigau (違う) says

    I took undergrad courses in psychology in the mid 1970’s.
    They™ taught me that FreudAdlerJung had valid things to say.
    They™ were mistaken.
    I lost interest and went into archaeology.

  36. Rob Grigjanis says

    chrislawson @39:

    winning the Nobel is no guarantee that the honour is deserved.

    I’m quite well aware of that. Marcus was saying that Kahneman’s early work was shit, and that the work leading to the Nobel had merit. My point was that they seemed to be the same work, or at least closely related.

  37. cartomancer says

    I have to say I’d never heard of this person before PZ started talking about him. He seems like a total arse, so I won’t bother pursuing his nonsense any further. If I want to read pompous regressives who combine highfalutin philosophical language with a craven respect for outdated social hierarchies then there are plenty of ancient Roman writers I can turn to.

    They, at least, have the advantage that society hadn’t moved on when they were writing, so their regressive positions are actually sincere. This one is clearly just doing it for the money – I don’t believe for one second that he actually believes any of the guff he warbles about. He knows that there is a market for reactionary patriarchal poison, and caters to it.

  38. eleanor says

    kurt1: “I think Breivik used [“cultural Marxism”] in his manifest and it was picked up by is fanboys.”

    I was involved in feminist online forums in the late 90s and early 2000s which regularly attracted angry men ranting about how the feminist agenda was seducing the youth into “cultural Marxism.” So a good decade before Breivik. Then as now, it was a catch-all phrase for “anything connected to socialism, women,* non-white people and/or Jews, and therefore inherently bad.”

    (*any women, but especially lesbians; as I recall, they tended to hold the view that gay men were tolerable provided they were in agreement on the inferiority of women.)

  39. doubtthat says

    Take any claim Peterson makes and submit it to an expert in that field and you will get one of two responses:

    1) That’s flagrantly wrong
    2) It’s way more complicated than that

    This has held true with the law, philosophy, sociology, history, biology, physiology, psychology…I may be missing some.

    Dude just sends out shotgun blasts of horseshit.

  40. ledasmom says

    “It” used to be an unexceptional way of referring to a small child in English, and not just a child in general but a specific child. See, for example, “Dracula”. It’s as if language can change.

  41. says

    Hey, this bog and it’s comment are a good microcosm of what’s wrong in the world.

    Everyone assumes the worst about everyone else. No one considers reaching out to Peterson for clarification or debate, but instead just assume he is intentionally deceiving or willfully ignorant.

    If Peterson is a true scientist he would be open to new or unknown to him evidence.

    Instead everything devolves into intellectual lassism, where the majority of people in the world are not worth explaining difficult concepts to. Shame! Shame! Shame!

    There are a few things that have made Peterson popular. He speaks the truth as he knows it. He does this regardless of consequence. Think it’s easy to say the pay gap is not caused exclusively by the patriarchy? It isn’t because you get rabid leftist trying to get you blackballed out of everything in your life

    Second, he takes the time to explain complicated concepts to the best of his ability. This is huge, even if he is wrong.

    If everyone was like this, instead of devolving into tribal cult like behaviour on both side, we would be a lot more educated

    Also, why has no one dealt with his citations. I believe it was to a 1989 study of the function of seritonin in lobsters to help undestand the role of serotonin in humans. If there is no genetic connection between humans and lobsters, why are people studying lobsters in hopes of understanding seritonin in humans?

    I find it amusing Myers gives people like Hitchens a pass for dumbing down evolution for the masses, but Peterson gets raked over the coals. To me this either shows Myers to be biased prolly due to the lack of alignment over the role of religion, or he extended the courtesy to Hitchens to clarify what he meant, which for some reason (bias?) he has not extended to Peterson.

  42. John Morales says

    Stephen Westner:

    Everyone assumes the worst about everyone else. No one considers reaching out to Peterson for clarification or debate, but instead just assume he is intentionally deceiving or willfully ignorant.

    A jaundiced view, but notably you are part of “everyone”.

    There are a few things that have made Peterson popular. He speaks the truth as he knows it. He does this regardless of consequence.

    Um. That’s not the assuming the worst — which contradicts what you claimed earlier.

    Also, that Peterson is popular is not in dispute, but his popularity is irrelevant to the merits of his claims. And why he became popular, as you understand it, is therefore also irrelevant.

    I find it amusing Myers gives people like Hitchens a pass for dumbing down evolution for the masses, but Peterson gets raked over the coals.

    PZ wrote about “basic errors in biology” and “illogical arguments”. Is he wrong?

    (Also, what Hitchens has to do with this escapes me — I have no idea to what you refer.
    Note that even if he really did give “people like Hitchens a pass”, it would still not affect whether PZ is wrong about Peterson’s claims)

    But I gotcha. You are amused that PZ is a hypocrite and gave Peterson no charity, by making a video detailing where Peterson goes off the rails.

    PS

    Second, he takes the time to explain complicated concepts to the best of his ability. This is huge, even if he is wrong.

    This is what PZ does for a living; this blog is his avocation.

  43. paxoll says

    @Stephen,
    I see this defense a lot in discussion about Peterson. The whole charitable interpretation defense. The first thing to say in this particular case is that correcting factually wrong information or pointing out an unsound argument has nothing to do with charity. If someone tells you the bus comes at 2:30 and it is actually scheduled for 2:15, its not uncharitable to point it out.

    Secondly, you can only respond to what someone actually says (the people in this forum are particularly bad about quote mining, but that isn’t what PZ has done in these videos). Peterson in the channel 4 interview said very clearly and succinctly that, the gender pay gap doesn’t exist. When the interviewer attacked this obviously wrong statement. Peterson then went on to explain in a more nuanced way what he meant. Well, sorry but that is what he said and it is pretty important to say exactly what you mean. If she didn’t confront him would that more correct explanation have been made? How many people came away from that interchange STILL thinking that the gender pay gap doesn’t exist regardless that he specifically says later that it does exist?….apparently most of Petersons fans.

    Lastly, does someone deserve charitable interpretation? If this was a random topic that Peterson was commenting on off the top of his head, it would have been very reasonable to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, Peterson is a very practiced clinical psychologist, he is a teacher/lecturer who has spoken about these topics extensively. Being charitable on his biology and science bullcrap is reasonable, if he didn’t spend so much time researching it for his book. I bet a simple walk across campus to speak with his biology colleagues would have corrected his argument. So the question becomes, did he not bother to talk about that with someone more knowledgeable? did someone give him wrong reassurance? or did he know and purposefully put forth a fallacious argument because he knew that it would be persuasive for most of his audience? For any person on any topic, I think eventually you have to sit down and make a judgement call on whether someones mistakes are intentional or not. When someone in a comment section of one of his videos starts some bullshit conflation of gender with sex, I’m pretty damn sure they have been exposed to the information that they are not the same and are conflating them to be purposefully obtuse, so I feel generally justified if I call their ignorant comment out as scathingly as possible.

  44. hemidactylus says

    Ok so I am on my new books kick here impulsively trying to read Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life [I blame PZ] and Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now [I hold PZ harmless].

    Anyone want to guess which book will be most illuminating or which I might manage to finish? I have a crapload of other books on my plate. Pinker started off ok. Peterson’s gendering of order and chaos was disconcerting given his book’s subtitle. I am starting the lobster part PZ rips apart and already wanting to escape over to Pinker’s expert brain massage (even though he cites Hayek and von Mises early on).

  45. says

    Hey John Morales,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    Do I really need to spend time explaining the combatitive tone you guys have against lobstertarians (or they have with you)?

    I agree, his popularity has no impact on the validity of his arguments. My point was that if atheist were able to do the same…be polite, explain things clearly and be as truthful as they can, they might enjoy the same level of popularity and exposure.

    As someone just passing by, it doesn’t seem like the friendliest place.

    As far as giving Other atheist a pass…My point wasn’t that he was a hypocrite. Again, bad intentions are assigned. I found it amusing as it seems to be a blind spot in an otherwise intelligent man. There is some irony in that, and I find irony amusing

    I would also argue it does change PZs accuracy. Had he reached out, or asked for clarification, he could be sure he was not straw manning petersons arguments, or that Peterson was not in using research Myers was unaware of. It prevents strawmen. One of the thing I admire about Harris is his concept of iron manning your opponents. Harris believes in making the strongest case for your opponent so you end up,with the best answer.

    I get this was what PZ does for a living. Maybe he should start recording his lectures and put them online. Not that he is obliged to, but if his goal is to educate, well it has worked for Peterson. I would happily watch them.

  46. John Morales says

    Stephen:

    Do I really need to spend time explaining the combatitive tone you guys have against lobstertarians (or they have with you)?

    You fit right in.

    I agree, his popularity has no impact on the validity of his arguments. My point was that if atheist were able to do the same…be polite, explain things clearly and be as truthful as they can, they might enjoy the same level of popularity and exposure.

    There’s an alternative explanation for his popularity; he validates the stance of a certain demographic group. Certain other atheists do likewise regarding that same group.

    Interestingly, you earlier wrote “Everyone assumes the worst about everyone else. No one considers reaching out to Peterson for clarification or debate, but instead just assume he is intentionally deceiving or willfully ignorant.”

    Again, is PZ wrong about his critique of Peterson’s claims?

    If not, those are essentially the only plausible alternatives.

    But fine, your insinuation that Peterson is merely unintentionally deceiving and ignorant though not willfully so is duly noted.

    You might be right.

  47. says

    @john

    Do I really need to explain : I fit in because i genuinely asked if you missed the point?

    Alternative explanation : yup, assigning the worst intentions again.

    Is PZ wrong about peterson : Its hard to say, because PZ himeself admits he doesnt understand what Peterson is saying in a number of instances, and he has never said…’hey peterson, is this what you meant?’

    But you insinuation : nice one…got me there, thats exactly what i meant.

    If you don’t feel like speaking in earnest, please do not respond

  48. John Morales says

    PS

    As far as giving Other atheist a pass…My point wasn’t that he was a hypocrite. Again, bad intentions are assigned. I found it amusing as it seems to be a blind spot in an otherwise intelligent man. There is some irony in that, and I find irony amusing

    I don’t believe your purported pass ever happened. I already noted I have no idea to what you refer.

    When did Hitchens (presumably Chris) make an evolutionary argument which was similarly wrong and to which PZ gave a “pass”?

  49. John Morales says

    Do I really need to explain : I fit in because i genuinely asked if you missed the point?

    No, because you are no less combative. :)

    Welcome to Pharyngula.

  50. says

    @paxoll

    I’m not really arguing for a charitable interpretation. More for clarification to make sure we are all on the same page. It comes back to the Harris argument. We should Iron Man our opponents arguments. Not strawman them. The only way to do that in earnest is through conversation/communication. If we do that, we are more likely to reach the truth.

    Also, regarding the Newman interview. His definition of the paygap had to account for her definition. He did not want to agree it existed solely on the basis of gender discrimination, and we all knew that was what she meant, which is why he had to disagree and then qualify. And I think the default position in the media is that the paygap exists exclusivley due to discrimination, so if he had not qualified, people would have gone on believing the medias position.

    And sorry for my ignorance. But what bullshit arguments about gender and sex? I have scoured everywhere for the literature on this but can not find anything that is not all feel good talk. I believe that petersons claim is that gender and sex do not vary independently. My interpretation is that when experimentation is done there is a tight correlation between gender and sex (e.g. if a variable associated with one changes, some aspect of the other will change.) Is this incorrect? What are the canonical papers/research on the topic?

  51. says

    @john

    I am trying my best not to be and if i come off that way, my apologies. I can totally admit there is some cognitive dissonance I am trying to get by here, but having people exercising their sophistry doesn’t help. And I am not always sure being combatitive is a bad thing. Ideas need to be challenged. Its when it starts to stand in the way of finding the truth that it becomes irksome.

  52. Rob Grigjanis says

    Stephen Westner @56: If you have the time, watch this discussion with Peterson taking part. The irony is that he accuses his opponents of being resentful and uninformed, while he epitomizes both qualities. He either doesn’t understand, or deliberately misrepresents, what Bill C-16 says. Nothing about this discussion says that he is someone to take seriously on any subject. And personally, I found his aggressive petulance annoying.

  53. jrkrideau says

    @ 40 chigau

    They™ taught me that FreudAdlerJung had valid things to say.

    You went to the same school Marcus did?

    I did my undergrad psych in the early 1970’s and never even heard them mentioned in a class. I think the first time I read anything about Jung was in a science fiction story set on the moon. I still have no idea who Adler was.

  54. says

    Just popping into the thread…

    I did my undergrad psych in the early 1970’s and never even heard them mentioned in a class.

    You took psychology classes in the 1970s and never heard Freud mentioned? That seems…bizarre.

  55. says

    @rob

    I have. The problem is I came out siding with Peterson. If he seemed a bit resentful it might have been because Matte was calling him abusive, and violent.

    I actually live in Toronto and find the concept of compelled speech disturbing. I take you have seen the videos of the protest against Peterson as well?

    (i grabbed the first one from google, apologies if the title is offensinve)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-nvNAcvUPE

    People say Peterson is misrepresenting the law. But I think he has some valid points.

    His university sent him legal notices because they thought they could be legally challenged for refusing to use specified pronouns. He has had lawyers tell him the same thing, and a lawyer testified in front of the senate committee and gave the same opinion.

    He also has a point that if you do not pay the human rights tribunal its fine, they will imprison you….indefinitely

    Well, anyways, after watching that video, i went on a hunt for material by NIcholas Matte who claimed that there was no such thing as biological sex.

    I found this :
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2X3mwQTRQ8S7-poc20aWdg

    and watched all the videos there. But they were all puff pieces. And comments were closed, so I couldn’t ask questions

    And ever since I have been looking to validate Mattes claim with no success.

    Listen, everyone says this cultural marxist thing is overblown. I’m not so sure it can be dismissed so easily. The Lindsay Shepherd incident shone some light on that. And thats not to say its a concerted effort by all university staff. It only takes a few people with the right connections to make things happen.

    Anyways, there is more to it then the interview.

  56. unclefrogy says

    stephen:
    what is cultural marxism actually?
    where does the disparity in pay come from then if it does not come from discrimination? what is discrimination then?

    uncle frogy

  57. says

    @65

    Bill C-16 had nothing to do with the human rights code and fines he is discussing in the video. He is conflating it with the Ontario Human Rights Code. C-16 applies to federal crimes and employment neither of which would affect Peterson unless he committed a violent hate crime against someone in the trans spectrum. Under that situation he would perhaps face increased criminal sentencing for the evidence of his bias against trans people. The human rights code fines he is talking about come from the Ontario Human Rights Code which was not the subject of his protests and had already passed much earlier. He is correct that he could be fined under this code or lose his employment because as a university professor because education is under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. He would deserve this penalty for not using correct pronouns however because that is a specific condition of his employment. His right to say what he wants does not supersede the rights of students to have a safe and supportive learning environment. It is similar to any kind of bullying or harassment from professors on the subject of race, gender, religion, etc.

    There is no compelled speech just the consequences for bigotry and inappropriate treatment of employees and students. If a Walmart greeter refused to treat people coming in the store with respect they would face the same consequences.

  58. paxoll says

    @Stephen

    His definition of the paygap had to account for her definition. He did not want to agree it existed solely on the basis of gender discrimination, and we all knew that was what she meant which is why he had to disagree and then qualify

    First he does NOT have to first disagree, that is absurd. Secondly you are saying that Peterson and yourself are ASSUMING the other persons beliefs and definitions. This is exactly what you are complaining about.

    As for the bullshit arguments of gender and sex, I already stated

    conflation of gender with sex

    Sex and gender are closely correlated, but correlation and causation are different. Sex is a biologic expression of genes, gender is a social construct around expected sex roles. The definition of ‘Tomboy’ pretty much encompasses what anyone needs to know about sex and gender.

    As for the Canadian law, there is no compelled speech, and misgendering someone is no different then using a racial slur. It is not discrimination to be racist, its discrimination when you do something because of your racism. Discriminatory speech is evidence that something you did was discrimination. Using someones preferred pronoun is no different then using someones preferred name. If you do it for everyone else, but not one person it is evidence you are discriminating against them.

  59. rietpluim says

    Using someones preferred pronoun is no different then using someones preferred name. If you do it for everyone else, but not one person it is evidence you are discriminating against them.

    QFFT

    This is simple and very easy to understand. People who claim otherwise, just don’t want to understand.

  60. scoobie says

    @49 Stephen Westner
    +1000 to you sir. Nail on head. “So you’re saying … we should [live] like lobsters? © Cathy Newman” is about as intellectual as it gets. The ‘left’ has become so accustomed to dealing with rightwing loons that when they have to respond to someone (who’s not even from the ‘right’) in possession of intelligence, insight and integrity they literally shit their pants. Of course it would have been preferable for PZ to have reached out to Peterson in the spirit of advancing the sum total of human knowledge instead of just hunkering down inside his echo chamber. That way either Peterson could happily admit that he’s got his facts wrong or PZ could admit he’s missed the point. Or both.

  61. someone1242 says

    Peterson in the channel 4 interview said very clearly and succinctly that, the gender pay gap doesn’t exist.

    This statement is false, and its falsity is easily verifiable, but it doesn’t matter much. If you’re still talking about the arguments used in that interview, it’s (as Peterson would say), the wrong level of analysis. The only thing worth considering in that interview is the inability for a genuine dialogue to take place, save for one moment. Peterson’s thought process in that interview was something like “this person is possessed by an ideology and is not speaking to me with a sincere desire for clear communication and exchange of ideas.” His only objective became dispelling the interviewer’s mask, which he did. The arguments are quite literally beside the point. I offer this written interview where he makes these points for himself: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-guest-room/201802/jordan-peterson-knows-what-you-re-thinking

    As someone just passing by, it doesn’t seem like the friendliest place.

    It clearly is not a friendly place to those who hold ideas contrary to the thoughts of those who frequent this place. I’m just someone who found this website by searching for “postmodern neomarxist” to find actual criticism of Peterson. The general tone and ideas presented on this website are not surprising.

    Look, plainly, it’s intentionally and willfully dishonest and disingenuous to portray Peterson as anything other than a reasonable person. If you can’t do that, I seriously doubt your ability to be reasonable towards any person whatsoever. This is a low bar to clear, and his character should be obvious from that interview alone. Hours of videos are available of what amount to his thoughts transcribed or as unedited speech. I’ve yet to see anything that would cause me to lose any respect for him, such as actual displays of bigotry. So when someone actually attempts to assert a characterization that Peterson is somehow a monster, they are portraying the same persona that Newman did in the interview. It’s conspicuous, and does not persuade me.

  62. rietpluim says

    And why he became popular, as you understand it, is therefore also irrelevant.

    Obviously, because many of the populus are sexist, racist or otherwise -ist, and are happy that Peterson is giving them excuses. I’d say that’s very relevant.

  63. rietpluim says

    Look, plainly, it’s intentionally and willfully dishonest and disingenuous to portray Peterson as anything other than a reasonable person. If you can’t do that…

    PZ just did that. Twice. So there you go.

    Peterson is not a reasonable person. There is nothing reasonable about spreading plain and obvious falsehoods, especially not if it is used to support injustice.

  64. says

    @70 “The ‘left’ has become so accustomed to dealing with rightwing loons that when they have to respond to someone (who’s not even from the ‘right’) in possession of intelligence, insight and integrity they literally shit their pants.”

    Let me take those one at a time:
    Intelligence: Peterson does not seem to understand that Bill C-16 and the Ontario Human Rights Code are not the same piece of legislation yet he spouts off on them anyway. He clearly also does not understand basic evolutionary biology. Intelligent? Not so much
    Insight: He seems to think women’s main motivation is mating displays. Quick fact: it is not. Insight? Nope
    Integrity: He refuses to treat his trans students with the same dignity as his other students. He also was trying to start a website to drive student’s away from his university colleagues he does not like the politics of. Integrity? Not that I can see.

  65. says

    @72 “I’ve yet to see anything that would cause me to lose any respect for him, such as actual displays of bigotry.”

    Refusing to use correct pronouns and advocating against human rights legislation to protect trans individuals is not bigotry? Doing so in the capacity as a professor of a trans student would not be creating a climate of fear, prejudice, and bullying for the student in question? Because he is on record as saying this is exactly what he would do.

  66. says

    Of course it would have been preferable for PZ to have reached out to Peterson in the spirit of advancing the sum total of human knowledge instead of just hunkering down inside his echo chamber. That way either Peterson could happily admit that he’s got his facts wrong or PZ could admit he’s missed the point. Or both.

    Peterson is an idiot. Reaching out to him does not increase human knowledge — it would just be pandering to people who can’t see through his bafflegab and think he has something serious to say.

    But you know what really annoys me about your idiotic comment? hunkering down inside his echo chamber. This is something I publicly posted on fucking YouTube, a slimy nest of the worst people on the internet, where the vermin can flourish in a climate of anonymity and self-reinforcing lies. I said what I said openly in a place that is a perfect habitat for assholes like Peterson, and you, you fucking ignoramus, you twisted, lying ideologue, come along and claim I’m hunkering down in an echo chamber.

    Fuck you, #70. And fuck you too, #49. I have no idea what Christopher Hitchens has to do with this, but I’ve never hesitated to “rake him over the coals” when I disagreed with him.

  67. says

    #72:

    This statement is false, and its falsity is easily verifiable, but it doesn’t matter much.

    That statement is a near-perfect encapsulation of the typical Peterson fanboy. Truth? Lies? They don’t matter much.

  68. raven says

    PZ
    Peterson is an idiot.

    Quoted for truth.
    The best theories are simple, elegant, and predictive of future behavior.
    This isn’t even just a theory any more.
    There are mountains of data that make it a fact as well.
    He’s also a sexist bigot.
    And basically a boring internet troll with a following of boring internet trolls.

  69. raven says

    The only thing worth considering in that interview is the inability for a genuine dialogue to take place, save for one moment.

    Having a genuine dialogue with Nazis, misogynists, racists, fundie xians, terrorists, idiots, etc.. is usually a complete waste of time.
    You can’t argue people out of fact free ideological belief systems by using reason and facts, when they didn’t use facts and reason to get where they are in the first place.
    At some point, all you can do is defend yourself and society from them, contain them, and wait until they die out, while hoping they don’t do too much damage.

  70. paxoll says

    @Someone1242

    Peterson in the channel 4 interview said very clearly and succinctly that, the gender pay gap doesn’t exist.

    This statement is false, and its falsity is easily verifiable, but it doesn’t matter much.

    You are correct, it is easily verifiable. https://youtu.be/aMcjxSThD54?t=336

  71. Zmidponk says

    someone1242:

    Peterson in the channel 4 interview said very clearly and succinctly that, the gender pay gap doesn’t exist.

    This statement is false, and its falsity is easily verifiable, but it doesn’t matter much.

    Well, technically you are correct, he did not specifically say ‘the gender pay gap does not exist’. However, going by what he said there, he clearly seems to think that the fact that women are paid less than men has very little to do with them being women. Instead, it is a concurrance of various different factors that makes this fact occur more or less by coincidence, or, at worst, some very vague, indirect, nebulous connection with gender that is not really very important at all – which is basically acknowledging that women are paid less than men, but denying this has anything to do with any gender pay gap. The interesting thing is, the only one of these factors he gave still boils down to women being paid less than men because they are women.

    If you’re still talking about the arguments used in that interview, it’s (as Peterson would say), the wrong level of analysis. The only thing worth considering in that interview is the inability for a genuine dialogue to take place, save for one moment. Peterson’s thought process in that interview was something like “this person is possessed by an ideology and is not speaking to me with a sincere desire for clear communication and exchange of ideas.” His only objective became dispelling the interviewer’s mask, which he did.

    It is quite possible Peterson did think that, so he began to start to try to ‘win’ the interview. At that point, a genuine dialogue did, indeed, become impossible – because of Peterson. He no longer was interested in actually stating or explaining his points (though, to be honest, an interview like that isn’t really a good format for that anyway, in my opinion), but simply was trying to make it look as if the interviewer was wrong. In parts, he even succeeded. However, certainly to me, he made himself look even more wrong.

  72. Zmidponk says

    paxoll:

    You are correct, it is easily verifiable. https://youtu.be/aMcjxSThD54?t=336

    I missed that little line. So he not only dedicates a significant part of his answer to explaining how the gender pay gap isn’t really a gender pay gap, he does specifically say it doesn’t exist, so someone1242 seems to be just totally wrong there.

  73. says

    uncle froggy @66

    The paygap is caused by a number of factors, discrimination being one. An other factor to consider is biological predisposition.

    Leaving behind the lobsterian arguments, women still need to contend with life choices earlier than men since they only have a limited time to have children if they CHOOSE to. This means they have less time to do as much or more as men do to get to the same spot.

    There are also vocational choices, work life balance choices, etc.

  74. says

    anna @ 67

    Here is the argument the lawyer who testified to the senate on C-16
    https://litigationguy.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/bill-c-16-whats-the-big-deal/

    Here is the now archived link that tells the criminal code to refer to the HOC definition
    http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/pl/identity-identite/faq.html

    So the conflation comes from the government itself. The fact it tried to hide this fact is disturbing.

    And here is how people at the administrative level are interpreting it :

    http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/what-the-wilfried-laurier-professors-got-wrong-about-bill-c-16-and-gender-identity-discrimination

    She showed the episode of the Agenda linked to in @61, and was brought before an internal social justice tribune for hate speech.

    And that’s the problem, pretty soon everything is going to be hate speech.

    And just to be clear, since we have a lot of people throwing words like bigot, transphobe etc. I have no using preferred pronoun to the best of my ability. And yes, I do think trans people should have protected status under the OHRC

    But I also think this equivocation of speech with violence is getting out of hand and is being weaponized.

  75. says

    @paxoll

    The problem with agreeing is that she could then quickly move on and not give him a chance to explain.

    I understand this, tactics have become so dirty, and people so jaded, that it is hard to have a meaningful conversation. Its more about winning than finding the truth. And yes, this is exactly what I am complaining about, and it happens on both sides, and neither side will stop out of fear the other side will continue, it is a big mess.

    For compelled speech, all someone needs to do is make the case that not using a pronouns is hate speech. This is not a far stretch. Check the links in @85

    About gender. I found the word kayron somewhere above. Its amazing how one word opens up a lot of avenues to research. If nothing else, at least I learned that from this thread.

    So the argument is that gender is 100% socially constructed. Let me start with something I am not sure is a valid point, if for no other reason than to be corrected.

    There are primate populations (iirc it was one of the great apes) where gender preference are pronounced. So little girl apes prefer objects that are more people oriented (like dolls), while little boy apes prefer things that are more thing oriented (like cars)

    Is it valid to infer from this that not every species gender specific behavior is learned?

    If not, when does studying animals help understand humans? We hear about it all the time. People studying animals to better help understand humans. How does that work?

    From what I understand the same experiment has been done on human babies with the same results.

    All that to me would suggest, that we need to at least ask the question, ‘to what extent is gender socialized’, because it seems an open question to me. If there is any research you know of to the contrary (ie that shows gender has no biological basis), I would love to know where to find it.

    There is no compulsion for me to call someone by their name. If I feel like constantly referring to people as idiots, i am free to. If that were not the case, PZ would have been jailed long ago. The type of vitriol he has for people not with him is as hateful a stance as I have ever seen.

    After posting here, I went and did research on him and this board, and it makes a little more sense now. Its like part of this boards mission to be SJW oriented. Unfortunately it takes the bad parts of SJW mentality as well, particularly the intolerance and vitriol against people who do not understand.

  76. says

    rietpluim @69

    And I have no problem voluntarily using someones pronoun. And neither does Peterson. See his talks with Theryn Meyer.

    The problem comes when you have people screaming in your face what you have to do. I think in those circumstances I would refuse to acknowledge the person, never mind use their preferred pronouns.

  77. rietpluim says

    An other factor to consider is biological predisposition.
    Like… What? How? Annual income is in our genes now?

  78. says

    @someone1242

    That is exactly how I landed here. They definitley could do a better job spreading their message.

    Here is my problem. I can not intelligently defend a leftist perspective well. I am sick of just falling back to the common ad hominems of racist, transphobe etc when I come up against genuine racists who have well thought out ideas.

    So I start searching for some decent arguments, only to land in places like this, be told im stupid for not understanding, and am prolly a whateverphobe

    And people wonder whats wrong with the world.

  79. Rob Grigjanis says

    Stephen Westner: You’ve mentioned the Lindsay Shepherd “case” several times now, without saying how it turned out. Funny, that.

    @91:

    I come up against genuine racists who have well thought out ideas.

    I’d love to hear some of these “well thought out ideas”, and what problems you have dealing with them.

  80. says

    PZ Myers @77

    It wouldn’t be pandering, it would be educating. You really come off as a vitriolic little man. Or are you just appeasing your audience with this type of language?

    And calling youtube a cesspool while fostering this type of attitude on your own blog seems hypocritical.

    If you are really bothered by the youtube climate, why would you recreate the same hate over here? There are people legitimately trying to understand, but it is impossible to get anywhere because people are so hateful on both sides. I take it, since you are an educator, you are not impartial here.

    And the Hitchens comment. It might have been Dawkins, I forget, I am on information overload. But the gist was, one of the big atheist used the analogy of DNA being like software to make it more palatable to the masses. Not exactly the same as Peterson, but you did get clarification before attacking if I understood the video. If I am wrong on this, I apologize. I am trying to find the video, but cant seem to right now.

  81. says

    rietpluim @89
    Yup, noticed that too. Was going to correct, but there is no option to edit. Not sure why it auto corrected to that. But should have read ‘biological realities’

  82. says

    rietpluim @90

    I was referring to the protest where protesters were literally screaming in Petersons face, so he refused to use their pronouns.

    He even says it depends why they were asking to use their pronouns.

    He then goes and does interviews with trans people, and uses their pronouns. But still refuses to do so as under threat of compulsion. So there is more to it than being transphobic.

  83. chigau (違う) says

    There are primate populations (iirc it was one of the great apes) where gender preference are pronounced. So little girl apes prefer objects that are more people oriented (like dolls), while little boy apes prefer things that are more thing oriented (like cars)
    vervet
    vervetvervet

  84. says

    Rob @92

    The school ended up apologizing and creating a inquiry board to improve the process. Thats as transparent as the school has been thus far. There was no discplinary action or anything like that.

    Also, Lindsay is no blackballed. By here account the on campus the tension against her is palpable.

    Again, please try not to assign bad intentions. I didn’t mention it because it didn’t seem relevant. If you find some relevance, I am happy to discuss.

    As far as the well thought out arguments on the other side. That is a big can of worms that is hard to not let sprawl all over the place. That is, its hard to keep it relevant to this thread.

    But as an example, when people come with cross species research that states it is done to help humans. How do you show the research is not valid? Or how does one know on what cases it is valid. The lobster example is just one area where this happens. Apes, mice and whatever else are often cited as being studied for the advancement of human behavioral understanding.

    So how do you address that in detail. I would prefer not to just say, its bad science, but explain why. This is what attracted me to PZ’s video. But we need waaay more of it. Not that its his responsiability, just something the world needs more of in general.

    There are also white identitarians popping up. These people are hard to refute without seeming like a hypocrite. And the whole prejudice plus power definition of racism is flawed, since people just move the locus of power to something they do not control.

  85. says

    @85 Your links are meaningless. The first link is not to any professional organization. It also conflates Bill c-16 and the OHRC which is wrong, They are not even from the same level of government. Also both your two first articles are talking about hate crimes which cannot be prosecuted ON SPEECH ALONE. If the person has committed a violent offense against a group in question their speech against that group can be used as evidence of bias in deciding it is a hate crime on top of a normal crime. There is no compelled speech.
    As for your third article it makes the opposite point to what you are using it for. I quote from the article “C-16 added gender identity and expression as grounds for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, but this applies to people employed by or receiving services from federally-regulated industries, such as banks or the public service. In other words, not a university.” Therefore it does not apply to Peterson. Please read your own sources.
    Finally, I know you also seem all upset about Lindsey Shephard but she faced no consequences for her actions because it did not apply to either the federal statutes under bill c-16 nor under the ontatrio human rights code. Proving that neither force compelled speech. She was exonerated and reinstated.
    Also, I never called you a bigot but I will say this: if you belive that speech is not violence try being a minority group that is hated by many. You will find very quickly how speech can be violence. Saying it isn’t is absurd and naive.

  86. consciousness razor says

    Stephen Westner:

    The paygap is caused by a number of factors, discrimination being one. An other factor to consider is biological predisposition.

    So you don’t actually have shit … we’re just “considering” random things now? One possible factor is Jupiter’s alignment with Neptune in Scorpio, not to mention the texture of a goat’s entrails on a warm spring morning, which many of have suggested may prefigure a great battle. Have you considered those things too?

    Leaving behind the lobsterian arguments [a wise choice, however evasive — CR], women still need to contend with life choices earlier than men since they only have a limited time to have children if they CHOOSE to. This means they have less time to do as much or more as men do to get to the same spot.

    This explains nothing. Men and women in such relationships tend to be about the same age, so if they CHOOSE* to have children, then the timing is roughly the same for both. This just underlines once again the socially, not biologically, different expectations for men and women, as it is only as a matter of custom that women need to do “more” to get to what you call “the same spot” (which it never really is).

    And of course there may be additional assumptions that it’s no problem at all if men are absentee fathers, that they have no responsibilities to help raise their own children (thus putting career advancement, etc., on the backburner), that they do (or should) commonly have partners much younger than themselves, that they have nothing in particular to do with their lives other than getting rich/powerful/etc. and squirting man-juice into the appropriate receptacle whenever they feel like it.

    Anyway, you say there is supposed to be something “biological” in any of this, but I don’t fucking see it. It looks like a bunch of self-reinforcing horseshit to me. And it looks like you need to take an actual biology class, instead of getting your “information” by apparently watching assholes ranting on youtube. If you simply had no clue what the fuck you’re talking about, then I guess that would be one thing. We could have a long conversation to correct you on every bit of presumptuous idiocy that you’re trying to peddle, but this shit goes well beyond that. Besides, I’m not in the mood for it.

    Speaking of vitriolic cesspits … you definitely smell like you’ve been in one for far too long, and you say (whether or not you actually mean anything you say) that you don’t like them. All I’m saying is that perhaps the problem is on your end, not ours. I’m pretty sure you don’t know a fucking thing about me or most of the others here, so accusing us right out of the gate of all manner of things that you think are Wrong With The World™ is at least jumping the gun a bit. But it’s a bold move, I’ll give you that — you just don’t see projection of this magnitude every day, so you may just be hoping that it will take us aback and confuse us, at least long enough to think you might have made a substantive point about something. Given all this, I do have a few relevant and constructive criticisms (you might have noticed them fly over your head earlier, or you might not have) which may want to take in consideration while taking a break from the incessant whinging and handwringing. If you would just kindly cut the shit, get a fucking clue, and last but not least, go fuck yourself, I think that would be most helpful.

    I can not intelligently defend a leftist perspective well.

    It’s not clear that you can intelligently do anything. Writing comments, for instance — no signs of that so far.

    *The all-caps is just fucking pointless, as in the original.

  87. says

    @Stephen Westner (@88 and 91)

    No one here has called you a transphobe. Look back that is just in your head. Also you said that “And I have no problem voluntarily using someones pronoun. And neither does Peterson.” This statement IS verifiably false. Peterson came to national prominence specifically by refusing to use non-binary pronouns (what he called “made-up pronouns”). A two second search will give you article from every major Canadian Newspaper as well as the BBC and elsewhere confirming this.

  88. consciousness razor says

    And, oh fuck, the vervet study, published I believe in the journal Pareidolia For Assholes…. But we should duly commemorate the first bit of evidence (however shoddy) presented by Stephen Westtner. It may be some time before we see any more.

  89. paxoll says

    @Stephen, Gender is a social construct because you don’t know someones sex without a level of intimacy you will not have with 99.9999% of the people you interact with. Those experiments are descriptive observations, when society uses them they become prescriptive. Females like playing with dolls more then males, becomes playing with dolls is a female behavior and we are going to classify that as girls or women. It is using social cues to make an educated assumption about someone in order to categorize them and reduce them to their most basic trait. What is a “he” or a “man”? Someone with a penis? Someone who acts “manly”, dresses “manly”, is sexually attracted to females? The answer is…yes, at least that is how it’s been used. The problem is we know all males don’t act “manly” or dress “manly” or are sexually attracted to women, or even have a penis, so if its not true why would you use it? Does anyone have the right to categorize you in this way? The answer to that is also yes, you can categorize people any way you want. I categorize Peterson as a fraud and asshole. Should I? Do you think Peterson or anyone would find that dehumanizing and offensive? Those are just pronouns.

  90. rietpluim says

    But should have read ‘biological realities’
    Ah, much better! So now annual income is not in the genes, but in… what? Hormones? Organs?

  91. says

    consciousness razor @100

    If it is hard to see how child rearing is harder on women (like carrying the baby for 9 months while working, and then bonding process, postpartum etc ), I am not sure where to start. We can farm most of this out. Have a baby in a petridish, send them off to daycare the day they are born. But that is not the choice women are making even though its an option. Maybe we should just let men have the babies. Oh thats right, we cant, its biologically impossible. Damn biology, always getting in the way of ideology.

    And I don’t think absentee fathers are a good thing. So that’s your own assumption.

    You also mention some astrological mumbo jumbo, but in no way offer anything more. If you have some studies that show the wage gap is totally a function of gender discrimination, then please point me in the direction. All the studies I have found do not suggest that.

    As far as knowing who you are, your right, i don’t. All I know is how you treat people who ask questions, which is hatefully. Ironic isn’t it. That’s always what lefties accuse the other side of. Being hateful. I came here in good faith asking questions and get flamed by people who are desperate to make themselves feel intellectually superior and revel in their righteous indignation. Grow up.

    You think on a board of people who consider themselves rationalist, there would be a lot more rationalization, and a lot less emotional reactions. Its as bad as going over to a fundamentalist christian board, and requires about the same amount of evidence and indoctrination to be a part of

    Anyways, thanks for being an asshole. Carry on.

  92. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Stephen Westner: “I am sick of just falling back to the common ad hominems of racist, transphobe etc when I come up against genuine racists who have well thought out ideas.”

    What the motherfucking hell? Racists who have well thought out ideas. I have never in my life come across a racist who was not an utter, fucking moron–and that includes William Shockley, who gave a talk on campus when I was an undergrad. He might have made sense talking about silicon, but he was clueless when it came to carbon-based life forms.

    Every racist I have ever come across is stupid, lazy self pitying and pitiful. White supremacy is negated by the existence of the white supremacist.

  93. rietpluim says

    I am sick of just falling back to the common ad hominems of racist, transphobe etc
    Stephen Westner obviously missed the part where PZ fell back on logical thinking and actual data.

  94. Zmidponk says

    @Stephen Westner

    First of all, Peterson DOES have a problem with using someone’s preferred pronoun, voluntarily or not. He has said, quite clearly, that he will refuse to use any gender neutral pronoun at all. Period. Full stop. End. Finito. Finish. He says doing this is giving in to authoritarians asking him to use ‘made up words’ in an attempt to ‘control the ideological and linguistic territory’. As far as transgender/transsexual people, he says that “”If the standard transsexual person wants to be regarded as he or she, my sense is I’ll address you according to the part that you appear to be playing”. In other words, if you are a trans male, but don’t appear to be male, to Peterson, he will call you ‘she’, even if you ask him to use the standard male pronouns, and vice versa.

    Secondly, as far as the gender pay gap goes, you are doing the same as Peterson was in that interview – you are going ‘it’s not gender, it’s other factors’. Fine, what other factors? List them. Explain how these factors affect the pay between men and women, and how, together or separately, they do not boil down to women basically being paid less than men because they are women.

  95. rietpluim says

    I’d like to add that the pay gap is real even after correction for other factors like women working part time more often than men, making career more slowly, et cetera. Women are paid less for the exact same work. Now what more other factors can there be?

  96. consciousness razor says

    If it is hard to see how child rearing is harder on women (like carrying the baby for 9 months while working, and then bonding process, postpartum etc ), I am not sure where to start. We can farm most of this out. Have a baby in a petridish, send them off to daycare the day they are born. But that is not the choice women are making even though its an option. Maybe we should just let men have the babies. Oh thats right, we cant, its biologically impossible. Damn biology, always getting in the way of ideology.

    Wake the fuck up. What fucking ideology are you talking about? No more vague innuendos and accusations which come out of nowhere and mean nothing. Just cut the crap and spit it the fuck out already. What exactly do you believe you’re talking about, and what could you point to which is meant to lead to this conclusion? I am a leftist, and that is my ideology? Or what the fucking fuck is it, precisely?
    And which biological facts are supposed to pertain to work, when and where and why and how people do it? That phenomenon happens in what I thought was a social/economic system crafted (and to varying degress supported) by us, one which is not identical to every other culture of our species.

    And I don’t think absentee fathers are a good thing. So that’s your own assumption.

    Then give a biological explanation there is a pay gap. Why, biologically and not socially, don’t fathers have to take time away from work, etc., in order to raise their children (assuming they will do it at all), while mothers can’t do the same? You still haven’t said anything coherent which could explain that. There is a pay gap. Being pregnant for 9 months would not explain it. So your blather above is irrelevant. What does explain it? You had promised us something, or you act as if you’ve already offered it, but it is nowhere to be found.

    If you have some studies that show the wage gap is totally a function of gender discrimination, then please point me in the direction. All the studies I have found do not suggest that.

    I don’t need to offer any such thing. You claim there is something biological about it, so it’s up to you to support that claim with evidence, not speculation, coming from biology, yet you have not done this one simple task which you set out for yourself. What are these studies of yours, and what do they suggest? You say nothing. Just crickets. If there is nothing, you should not lie about it.

    As far as knowing who you are, your right, i don’t. All I know is how you treat people who ask questions, which is hatefully. Ironic isn’t it. That’s always what lefties accuse the other side of. Being hateful.

    Well, it’s more like disgust than anything else. And I think you’re pathetic. That’s pretty much it.

    Still, I think you should be regarded as an equal, treated fairly, and you should be afforded civil and human rights, like any other person, including of course murderers and rapists and groups of any other description. Lefties accuse the Right more or less of betraying humanity, in this way, and indeed of being hateful toward women and minorities, because they are not willing give up their privileged positions in order to make that a reality. If that’s not what motivates you, so be it, but that is the end result.

    I have no position over you here. I’m not taking away your rights. I’m not saying you’re any less of a person than a murderer is, for example. And although you and murderers should be treated fairly (otherwise “fairness” just doesn’t mean anything), that obviously does not imply we must approve of your actions or think that they’re good for society. I think your bullshit is just plain factually incorrect, but it’s also stupid and harmful and hateful. And it is disgusting to me that you hide behind some bizarre notion of “civility” while spewing such crap. That right there is fucking ironic, not what I’m doing. At the same time, it’s also a little amusing that you think you have a leg to stand on and can somehow pull off shit like that around anybody who has a lick of sense. Not so.

    I came here in good faith asking questions
    I don’t believe a word of that. That’s also not “hate,” by the way. It’s incredulity. You may not recognize it, as you seem to be a rather credulous person.

  97. someone1242 says

    What vitriol are you referring to? I really don’t give a fuck about tone and I don’t see a problem.

    It’s probably a reference to the comment where the author says “fuck you” to specific dissenting commenters. If that’s how it is here, so be it, but don’t expect to attract any worthwhile debate.

    PZ just did that. Twice. So there you go. Peterson is not a reasonable person.

    That was not point I was making. To be explicit, I was attempting to tactfully assert that I do not find the author to hold a reasonable attitude towards Peterson.

    Well, technically you are correct, he did not specifically say ‘the gender pay gap does not exist’.

    And annoyingly, it was still an ambiguous statement. “Multi-varied analysis of the pay gap indicate(s) that it doesn’t exist”. It seems quotes without context are especially worthless with Peterson, given he is used to long-format answers. Part of my intent for even bringing that up so confidently was to get people to review the source. I’m happy it was linked with a timestamp. Still, wrong level of analysis. Nobody became interested in Peterson for his views on the validity of a gender-based pay-gap one way or another.

  98. says

    anna @99

    Sorry i missed your response and thanks for taking the time.

    The first link is from the lawyers website who spoke at the senate hearings. So was not random, and he is a professional practicing law in Ontario.

    There is some confusion here, but the federal model was based on the Ontario model, which again had the law refer back to the charter for guidance on defining terms. You hear one of the commissioners on the senate committee say this during the hearings.

    I also agree that under the law this would be hard to be charged with. But as a human rights violation, it would have a much lesser burden of proof.

    The route to compelled speech is fairly straight. You are already making the case for speech as violence. Is it really such a leap start seeing this type of reasoning show up in a court of law?

  99. John Morales says

    someone1242:

    Well, technically you are correct, he did not specifically say ‘the gender pay gap does not exist’.

    And annoyingly, it was still an ambiguous statement. “Multi-varied analysis of the pay gap indicate(s) that it doesn’t exist”. It seems quotes without context are especially worthless with Peterson, given he is used to long-format answers.

    Heh. From the OP:
    “Obviously, the comments are predictable, claiming that he’s strawmanning and taking Peterson out of context.”

    But you are wrong; it is not ambiguous, it’s a cavil.

    (Are you familiar with recent events regarding the BBC and the “pay gap” issue?
    Here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_gender_pay_gap_controversy )

  100. Rob Grigjanis says

    It’s amazing how the largely fictitious molehill of “compelled speech” totally obscures, for some people, the mountainous reality of transgender folk who live under the constant threat of abuse, beatings and murder. Nah, maybe not so amazing. The fucking idiots will always be among us.

  101. says

    @anna 101

    You are correct. No one has called me a transphobe. My bad.

    What people have done is question my intelligence, insinuated I smell, juxtaopsed me to murders, told me i disgust them. And a number of other things.

    I can live with all that. Whatever.

    What I really really have a problem with is all this is done to try and shame me into silence. That is unjustifiable and inexcusable. And that’s right from the top down. PZ Myers himself does it.

    The media in no way treated Peterson fairly. They went with soundbites. I get it, you guys here this a lot. But like i said, he has no problem using someones pronouns. Check out his interactions with Theryn Meyers @20:35.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kasiov0ytEc

    He has stated he will not use them under threat of law, social justice law or otherwise.

  102. John Morales says

    I can make unambigous declarative statements: The gender pay gap demonstrably exists.

    Peterson’s overall obfuscation aside, it is clear he essentially claims it’s due to gender issues (general) excepting the specific issue of gender bias.

    (Or: the demonstrated outcome* is due to nature not culture)

    * Just like women not being able to vote, not that long ago. Was that culture or nature?

  103. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He has stated he will not use them under threat of law, social justice law or otherwise.

    That is being an arrogant asshole, not a person of principal. He has no morals….

  104. says

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space @ 108

    My guess is that you have not taken the time to listen to any of the alt-right figureheads. Mike Enoch is fairly well spoken, and Spencer has some strong arguments.

  105. says

    Brony, Social Justice Cenobite @104

    Seriously. In any case, whatever. I am fine with name calling, and demeaning language and whatever.

    What I really find appalling is it is done to shame me into silence. That is a problem.

  106. says

    paxoll @105

    Thanks, I find this answer informative. So its not really that gender has no biological foundation, but that by letting the biology be used a descriptor, we end up being prescriptive, which causes a lot of trans people problems. That I can understand.

    Do you find social queues and categorization unimportant? The implication seems to be we don’t need them.

    As far as categorization goes, I agree. It should be a matter of decorum, not law. And as far as it being dehumanizing, not really. It is an obstacle to communication, but shows one sides ignorance more than the othersides lack of being human.

  107. says

    rietpluim @106

    No it is in the fact that if you are puking your guts out for 3 hours a day for 2-9 months while pregnant, it is going to be difficult to keep up with a person who is not doing the same, especially in a highly competitive endevour where every minute of every hours counts.

    Have you ever done anything highly competitive? And then taken some time off? Or stopped practicing as much as your opponents. How did it work out? Did you remain on top? Granted there are some prodigies out there, but for the rest of us, we generally end up back on bottom with little chance of making up the lost ground

  108. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gee what an unevidenced (real scientific evidence, not imagufactured bullshit used by Peterson) asshole/troll Westner is being.
    Recalls me of Shiloh, a godbot trying to prove his imaginary deity existed. Goalposts in a continual Mobius strip motion without conclusive evidence to make them a serious debater.
    Until Westner is able to admit they can be and are wrong, they are wrong.

  109. says

    Zmidponk @ 111

    No, not full stop. He is not doing out of hate of trans people. He is doing it in defiance of the what he considers a dangerous ideology.

    And if you are a male, appearing female wanting to be called male, i think the vast majority of the people will call you female, due simply to appearances.

    This is where it starts to get fuzzy to me. Why would someone do that?

    No one says that there is no pay gap, the only contention is that it is not due solely to gender discrimination. I am not sure why people hear otherwise?

  110. John Morales says

    Stephen Westner to Anna @ 118:

    He has stated he will not use them [someone’s pronouns] under threat of law, social justice law or otherwise.

    Such principle! Such integrity!

    (Also, such puerility! Such reactance!)

    You seriously buy into his narrative of “compelled speech”?!

    Look, you might think it’s silly, but do you really think it’s something to be proud of to be willing to go to jail by being obstinate about using someone’s preferred pronoun?

    (I think he’s blustering and knows full well that’s not really on the cards)

    [you to rietpluim]

    No it is in the fact that if you are puking your guts out for 3 hours a day for 2-9 months while pregnant, it is going to be difficult to keep up with a person who is not doing the same, especially in a highly competitive endevour where every minute of every hours counts.

    Ahem, it is also the fact that even if no puking or pregnancy is at hand.

    e.g. (further to my previous allusion):
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42598775

    The BBC’s China editor Carrie Gracie has resigned from her post, citing pay inequality with male colleagues.

    […]

    Ms Gracie said she was dismayed to discover the BBC’s two male international editors earned “at least 50% more” than its two female counterparts.

    US editor Jon Sopel earned £200,000-£249,999, it was revealed, while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned £150,000-£199,999.

    Ms Gracie was not on the list, meaning her salary was less than £150,000.

    […]

    In her open letter, Ms Gracie said: “The Equality Act 2010 states that men and women doing equal work must receive equal pay.

    “But last July I learned that in the previous financial year, the two men earned at least 50% more than the two women.

    “Despite the BBC’s public insistence that my appointment demonstrated its commitment to gender equality, and despite my own insistence that equality was a condition of taking up the post, my managers had yet again judged that women’s work was worth much less than men’s.”

    You really should consider the issue ceteris paribus.

    PS Transgender woman breastfeeds baby in first recorded case, study says

    A transgender woman has been able to breastfeed a baby in the first recorded case of its kind, researchers say.

    The 30-year-old wanted to breastfeed after her pregnant partner said she did not want to do it herself, according to the Transgender Health journal.

    She was able to breastfeed after taking a course of drugs and breast pumping, the US case report said.

    A UK expert said the “exciting” research could lead to more cases of transgender women breastfeeding.

    If sex and gender are the same, so that (via multi-variate analysis perhaps? ;) ) transgender women are really men, this implies that men in general can indeed breastfeed.

    (Ain’t C21 wonderful?)

  111. says

    consciousness razor @ 113

    When I said carry on, I didn’t mean at length. I meant like, keep walking, you are of no help here.

    Interesting the admission of disgust. Disgust is the emotion that drove Hitler to exterminate the Jews.

    Psst, your evilness is showing.

  112. John Morales says

    Nerd, I really doubt Stephen is trolling. Partisan, perhaps.

    No one says that there is no pay gap, the only contention is that it is not due solely to gender discrimination. I am not sure why people hear otherwise?

    Oooh, I can do that, too!
    Here: No one says that there is no lung cancer, the only contention is that it is not due solely to smoking.

  113. consciousness razor says

    Yes, criticizing ridiculous trolls and expressing disgust about their bigotry…. It’s almost as if we’re barely a step away from the holocaust. At least it seems to be for a desperate bullshit artist such as yourself. Even so, I’m not sure what you think a civil and constructive discussion is supposed to look like, if this is how you think it should go. Or do you not subscribe to the idea that one should lead by example?

    Anyway, if you still genuinely have no idea why the left accuses the right of being hateful (I guess that’s at least conceivable), that is to say, something which in fact has no analogue with the contempt I’ve expressed for your bullshit in my comments, then let’s just move on to the fact that you’ve got nothing and are full of shit on numerous other points. Would you care to address that or not?

  114. says

    John Morales @130

    Thanks for another interesting post.

    Compelled speech is a concerning issue to me, and Canada in particular seems pointed in that direction. Or at least has the appearance to be. I know that is a vague assertion, but it is these types of issues that bring me to places like this to build up the other side of the argument. I can say I am 50/50 on it and will keep watching closely for any developments

    I believe Peterson believes it, and admittedly that is what makes some of his case compelling. So yes, I honestly believe he will go to jail if someone brings him to the OHRT

    Do you believe that all hollywood actors should be paid the same? Or that every women in hollywood should be making as much as the top paid man? It seems if your job is a popularity contest, the most popular person gets paid the most. This can be determined by the ratings to some extent.

    Is the argument here that we should move women into the more popular shows? If so, what happens if we do and the ratings drop? Should she still get the same pay?

    Linking to a BBC article that doesn’t reference any studies is not really helpful as it is not easy to tell how politically biased the media is. Some studies that show the same thing would be great.

    And I find the breast feeding trans fascinating. Thanks for the read.

  115. says

    consciousness razor @134

    Ad Hominem attacks are not critical. And yes, trying to silence people is a step closer to the holocaust. Civil discussion would involve giving up the ego, trying to understand both sides to the best of your abilities, and then formulating an argument.

    I think I understand why the left calls the right hateful. I just disagree. Most people have good intentions, but different ideas on how to get there. Take for instance a right winger who wants to get rid of welfare. The typical leftist view is that he is doing it to try and hurt minorities. In his mind he more than likely sees it as harming minorities. Maybe he has the philosophy if you give a man a fish today, he will just starve tomorrow.

    Instead the too many on the left sees every righty as hardcore racist who thinks minorities are lazy.

    As far as having nothing. I didn’t come here to win. I didn’t come here to convert anyone. I will gladly admit I know nothing. I am not sure that makes me full of shit. I am speaking my beliefs as best I can with as much precision as I can, and hoping in the process I can correct what is wrong with what my own views. I am sorry if that falls short of your standards.

    What seems to cause issue is that I do not take what anyone says at face value, which makes it seem like I am being contrary when in fact I am just looking for enough evidence to change my opinion

  116. says

    John Morales .@ 133

    You are correct, I am not trolling. And I am partisan to the left. My whole life I have been pretty hard left. My whole family is. My cousin was the NDP MPP in my riding before the last election, and his grandfather was the right hand of Tommy Douglas.

    Although lately I am starting to question my political affiliation and politics in general. No one seems to be interested in truth anymore or interested in solving anything anymore. It has become a team sport where one side wins and the other looses. HTF did that happen.

    I am not sure terminal illness has to do with any of this, but if there were multiple causes I would like to know what they are and see if they too can be prevented

  117. John Morales says

    Stephen:

    I believe Peterson believes it, and admittedly that is what makes some of his case compelling. So yes, I honestly believe he will go to jail if someone brings him to the OHRT

    It shouldn’t. If you rely on his supposed expertise (which is psychology), his personal belief in his evolutionary, biological or legal claims is compelling to the degree he has credibility; alas, his credibility has not been helped by experts in those disciplines having demonstrated his claims to be specious. Yeah, I know you dispute the legal contention.

    (So… not very)

    But hey, if he can contrive a way to manage to get jailed over this, I will be impressed by his pointless petulance. Seriously.

    Do you believe that all hollywood actors should be paid the same?

    Heh. Obviously not. But that is not the point, is it? It’s about an apparent discrepancy.

    What you presumably intended to ask is whether I believe that male Hollywood actors should be paid the same as female Hollywood actors. And then, I would have answered yes, ceteris paribus. I favour egalitarianism, not gender bias.

    Again, you can Google the Hollywood pay gap. The probability density function for actor’s remuneration as it exists demonstrably differs by gender.

    (cf. http://metro.co.uk/2017/08/23/highest-paid-actor-mark-wahlberg-earned-42m-more-than-highest-paid-actress-emma-stone-as-the-hollywood-pay-gap-is-exposed-6871827/ )

    Is the argument here that we should move women into the more popular shows?

    Nope, not even slightly.

    Anyway, this is far from the gist that Peterson imagines the extant bias is due to natural factors, as illustrated by lobsters.

  118. John Morales says

    Stephen Westner:

    And I am partisan to the left.

    That you seek to exculpate Peterson’s regressive antipathy towards what he terms political correctness and cultural Marxism indicates otherwise.

    Although lately I am starting to question my political affiliation and politics in general.

    :)

    See, I don’t have that problem. I don’t worry to what degree my affiliation or politics matches some grouping; if anything, I worry to what degree some grouping’s affiliation or politics matches mine.

    I am not sure terminal illness has to do with any of this […]

    Parallel construction. Equally true. Equally equivocally misleading.

  119. says

    ~~~
    It shouldn’t.
    ~~~
    Why. Is it not important the person you are listening to believes what they are saying? I mean it obviously shouldn’t be the only factor. But would you listen to someone who didn’t believe what they are saying?

    ~~~
    If you rely on his supposed expertise (which is psychology), his personal belief in his evolutionary, biological or legal claims is compelling to the degree he has credibility; alas, his credibility has not been helped by experts in those disciplines having demonstrated his claims to be specious.
    ~~~
    i would add the degree he has credibility is also effected by the evidence he provides. And he does provide evidence. His written work has lots of citations (which no one knocksover). There are other professors stepping forward. There are Professors with backgrounds in evolution debating him without taking issue with the lobster :)

    Add to that, most of the experts opposing him were known to have extreme political biases.

    Add to that, if you get around all the highfalutin talk, his message does not seem to far off reality.

    ~~~
    Heh. Obviously not. But that is not the point, is it? It’s about an apparent discrepancy.

    What you presumably intended to ask is whether I believe that male Hollywood actors should be paid the same as female Hollywood actors. And then, I would have answered yes, ceteris paribus. I favour egalitarianism, not gender bias.

    Again, you can Google the Hollywood pay gap. The probability density function for actor’s remuneration as it exists demonstrably differs by gender.
    ~~~

    What do you mean by apparent discrepancy?

    And if all males are not paid the same, how could you determine what a female should make? Sorry, im am not seeing how this should work. How do we determine if roles in a movie are of equal value? How do we determine if one male anchor should make more than another male anchor, never mind a female anchor? Should the female not be subjected to the same forces that determine the pay of male actors?

    Wouldn’t we need some sort of system to govern pay to do this? Like a payscale or something. Otherwise we could never be sure what was driving the salary. Gender or market forces.

    ~~~
    Anyway, this is far from the gist that Peterson imagines the extant bias is due to natural factors, as illustrated by lobsters.
    ~~~
    Agreed. Is that a no-no around here?

  120. says

    ~~~~
    Parallel construction. Equally true. Equally equivocally misleading.
    ~~~~

    Is the premise here that every factor I have mentioned involves gender to some degree?

    So if i say personality type can help predict salary. And agreeable personality type is less likely to be paid as much as disagreeable. And that it has been observed that more women are agreeable than men.

    Is this now a gender issue?

    If so, how can we fix it? By making men more agreeable? Or women to be less so? Like what are the options?

  121. John Morales says

    Stephen:

    [1] Is it not important the person you are listening to believes what they are saying? I mean it obviously shouldn’t be the only factor. [2] But would you listen to someone who didn’t believe what they are saying?

    1. No. That’s just basic epistemology.
    2. Sure. Without listening, one cannot make a determination about their claims’ merits.

    i would add the degree he has credibility is also effected by the evidence he provides. And he does provide evidence. His written work has lots of citations (which no one knocksover). There are other professors stepping forward. There are Professors with backgrounds in evolution debating him without taking issue with the lobster :)

    Add to that, most of the experts opposing him were known to have extreme political biases.

    Add to that, if you get around all the highfalutin talk, his message does not seem to far off reality.

    Oh dear. You really are out of your depth.

    But sure; care to adumbrate his message?

    (As I make it, something along the lines that power hierarchies are natural to [at least some] animals and therefore to humans, and that pronouns other than ‘he’ or ‘she’ are pernicious so that rather than use them one should go to jail. It’s really that important!)

    What do you mean by apparent discrepancy?

    A discrepancy that is evident when one is not purblind. A phenomenon, whatever its explanation. One where the only salient determinant (ceteris paribus) is gender.
    An objective and intersubjective observation about the relationship between gender and remuneration, in many spheres other than Hollywood. A fact.

    (Did you even look at my link? Do you dispute the evident facts?)

    Agreed [that that Peterson imagines the extant bias is due to natural factors, as illustrated by lobsters]. Is that a no-no around here?

    Nope, that’s the very basis of the OP.

    I suspect that you just find it hard to admit that justifying the status quo by appealing to nature or tradition is convenient to those who feel threatened by egalitarianism, though it’s a fallacious approach.

    (What again is the problem with not using pronouns other than ‘she’ or ‘he’?)

    PS HTML is not that hard.

    One can use <blockquote> and </blockquote> to quote portions of text, and nest those markups. This is how I have been quoting you.

  122. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales
    I admire your ability to grok what Stephen Westner is boarding about.
    I got overloaded a while back.

  123. rietpluim says

    Stephen Westner @125

    Pay gap does not only exist in highly competitive endeavors. It exists virtually everywhere.

    Also, if an endeavor favors people who cannot and will not get pregnant, that is also sexist.

    I don’t know about the US, but in The Netherlands it is explicitly forbidden to ask applicants during job interviews whether they are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It is also illegal to fire someone for a pregnancy, or even for absence due to menstruation pain. Doing so would be discriminatory for the simple reason that men cannot menstruate and women can.*

    Besides, even highly competitive women who are not and do not plan to become pregnant, are experiencing the pay gap.

    So there you are again. Every “other factor” boils down to sexism one way or the other.

    Stephen Westner @128

    Life choices, priorities and preferences are not “biological realities”.

    * My apologies to people for who this statement is not true. I wrote it this way for simplicity’s sake.

  124. A. Noyd says

    rietplum (#146)

    Also, if an endeavor favors people who cannot and will not get pregnant, that is also sexist.

    Yep. Part of living in a sexist society is that women don’t get equal say in what society values. If women can’t “keep up” with the things that “matter,” it’s because sexist societies deliberately put higher value on things that men are able to do better—whether because of their biology or, far more often, because of their social privileges. And the latter is self-reinforcing; the more privileges men award themselves, the more they’re able to out-perform women in the things they’ve chosen to value.

  125. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    A.Noyd,
    I echo rietpluim’s praise. The idea that pay is in any way correlated with skill, value to society or anything else is belied not just by the gender pay gap, but by many other disparities as well. Our society underpays first responders–so, clearly valor and altruism are not valued. It underpays teachers, so clearly investment in the future isn’t a priority. It underpays scientists doing basic research. It grossly overpays venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, CEOs and greedheads of all stripes.

    In fact, if you look at who gets overpaid and who underpaid, the strongest correlation is altruism–and it’s negative. A willingness to put the welfare of others or society or the truth before profit results in lower pay. I’ve even heard the left-handed readers* of Ayn Rand say this is a good thing, because you don’t want altruistic professions to attract greedheads. Unfortunately, they keep cutting back on the crumbs they let fall to the altruists until starvation is the price of altruism. We need a better class of rich person.

  126. says

    @Stephen Westner
    You are communicating now. If you choose to be silent the reasons matter. If you can’t state the reasons in a useful manner how am I to determine if I want to care?

    That’s what victims go through. Lots of little and fewer bigger social dominance displays from bigots. It’s a general social tool and this community chooses how it’s focused. As long as harassment is used to silence victims public criticism is acceptable.

    Jordan Peterson is simply the next example to focus on. Criticism feels bad by it’s very nature. I’m sure there are ways to augment it but if you don’t offer victims something useful and you criticism is a defacto benefit to bigots you will keep getting focused on.

    This community experienced it’s in sustained, long-term harassment campaigns that have emotionally scarred many people here. All the victims wanted was harassment and assault, both sexual and non taken seriously in the same old areas (race, sex, gender…). Years later with codes of conduct being taken more seriously and the metoo movement in action I do not have a reason to listen to you, quite the opposite.

    You can do better with your fear.

  127. says

    @someone1242
    I rarely have mere debate in mind but I understand how it can look. Think of it like dissecting the behavior related to harmful social problems that the other person happens to be connected to. Feel free to express your concerns more deeply if you wish. It just makes me more effective.

  128. Crys T says

    Ffs, is no one going to ridicule Stephen’s comment about pregnant people with morning sickness puking for 3 solid hours? I mean, I’ve heard of extreme cases before, but that would surely be a record.

    Reminds me of a similar commenter (man, of course…of COURSE) on another blog who opined that the worst part of having a period would be “the time suck.” How much time do they think it takes to change a pad or tampon?

    No wonder so many of you think pay gaps are fair: you have completely unrealistic ideas of how bodies with uteruses, etc function.

  129. Zmidponk says

    Stephen Westner:

    No, not full stop. He is not doing out of hate of trans people. He is doing it in defiance of the what he considers a dangerous ideology.

    I said ‘full stop’ in reference to his utter refusal to use gender neutral pronouns, not anything to do with trans people, per se, so I think you’re maybe getting a bit confused. If he genuinely thinks doing this is defying a dangerous ideology, then he’s a complete fucking idiot, quite frankly. Using a person’s preferred pronoun, when requested to do so, I file under ‘minor thing to do as a matter of common courtesy’, in much the same way as using someone’s preferred name is.

    And if you are a male, appearing female wanting to be called male, i think the vast majority of the people will call you female, due simply to appearances.

    Personally, if I was informed I was using the wrong gender pronouns, I would begin using the correct ones, even if the person appears to me to be of the wrong gender for those pronouns. I would consider not doing so to be the sign of a top-tier, premium grade arsehole who is deliberately trying to be offensive. Seemingly, from what he’s said, this would include Peterson, as he will only use the correct pronouns for the ‘role the person appears to be playing’, in his personal opinion.

    This is where it starts to get fuzzy to me. Why would someone do that?

    A person’s natural genetic and biological make-up is one possible reason. Even leaving aside transgender people and non-binary/genderqueer people, it is entirely possible to get a 100% cisgendered man who naturally looks feminine, or a 100% cisgendered woman who naturally looks masculine. When you add back in transgender people and non-binary/genderqueer people, you realise there is a whole plethora of possibilities, which can lead to errors being made. As long as you are open to the idea that you have made such an error, and react accordingly when informed of it, it’s no big deal. Peterson, though, has made it abundantly clear that, according to him, it is his perceptions and personal opinion of other people that matters, not what those people are saying and expressing about themselves, so rejects any such notion.

    As for the gender pay gap, you have done the first of the three parts I asked of you, so that’s a start – you’ve listed them. You still have to explain in what way they affect pay, and how they don’t boil down to women getting paid less because they are women. As for that last part, you have a problem – all three you have listed have the same issue, essentially. Within each one, there are things traditionally considered right for men and wrong for women. These are financially better than those traditionally considered right for women and wrong for men, with no real clear reason as to why.

  130. logicalcat says

    Stephen Westner

    No one is trying to silence you with shame and rudeness. If they wanted to silence you, you would be banned already and actually silenced. The fact that you are not, means that we are not(trying to silence you).

  131. says

    rietpluim @146

    It was an example since salaried jobs (with bonuses) are where the dicrepencies are the widest.

    My understanding is that wage earning have almost reached parity.

    It is illegal in Canada to do the same. But it misses the point. I’m a software developer. I stay ahead by studying 4-5 hours a day on top of my regular work day. Anyone, man or women, who comes in and tries to keep up working 7 hour days is not going to advance past the people working 12 hour days. I see this happen everywhere at my work. The point is, if you can’t put in the time you fall behind. And that is not saying there are not women who are keeping up. Just that we all work long hours to do it.

    How is that fixable? Do we allow for a skill gap to close the wage gap?

    Besides, even highly competitive women who are not and do not plan to become pregnant, are experiencing the pay gap.

    There are a lot of details that would need to be filled in to determine if that is due to discrimination (industry, position, personality etc)

    Besides, even highly competitive women who are not and do not plan to become pregnant, are experiencing the pay gap.

    So there you are again. Every “other factor” boils down to sexism one way or the other.

    Read this…
    http://www.nber.org/papers/w21913

    It corroborates much of what you say, and rejects other parts. It is detailed and nuanced, and looks at all sides.

    What it doesn’t do is say that the wage gap is solely a function of gender discrimination.

    This is also what Peterson is arguing.

    If you don’t understand the nuance, how can you be trusted to fix it?

    Stephen Westner @128

    I never said everything that causes the wage gap is biological. That would be ridiculous.

  132. says

    A. Noyd @147

    Why do you discount supply and demand? Its all about money.

    It pisses me off to no end that hollywood actors make millions while teachers struggle.

    But whenever I start hating on capitalism, I have a Russian friend that points out it better than the alternatives. Our debates are somewhat ironic, considering you usually have him from a communist country arguing for capitalism, and me from a capitalist country arguing for more socialism

  133. says

    Crys T @152

    I love how you jump right to ridicule.

    My wife was sick for 3 hrs every morning with our first. Perhaps I was hyperbolic with the puking part. She was not spewing for the whole 3 hours. She would do it in 15 minute intervals. So she would puke for maybe 4-5 minutes (or at least be hanging over the toilet) and then break for 10.

    Does the example seem particularly egregious for some reason? Or are you just generally angry?

  134. says

    I said ‘full stop’ in reference to his utter refusal to use gender neutral pronouns, not anything to do with trans people, per se, so I think you’re maybe getting a bit confused. If he genuinely thinks doing this is defying a dangerous ideology, then he’s a complete fucking idiot, quite frankly. Using a person’s preferred pronoun, when requested to do so, I file under ‘minor thing to do as a matter of common courtesy’, in much the same way as using someone’s preferred name is.

    Are you an expert in dangerous ideologues? Have you heard what he has to say about them? How can you judge otherwise.

    You still have to explain in what way they affect pay, and how they don’t boil down to women getting paid less because they are women

    Its all in here…
    http://www.nber.org/papers/w21913

  135. rietpluim says

    The point is, if you can’t put in the time you fall behind.
    No, the point is: first you build an environment where people who can’t put in the time fall behind, and then you blame them for not putting in the time. Because biology.
    Dude, do you even logic?

  136. rietpluim says

    P.S. “Putting in the time” is not a skill. Software development is a skill, and your boss is stupid for not hiring the best skilled people because they “cannot put in the time”. Nobody needs to work 12 hours a day, and even if they do, it is still not some natural law but your employer’s own conscious choice to value time more than skills.

  137. A. Noyd says

    Stephen Westner (#156)

    Why do you discount supply and demand? Its all about money.

    I didn’t discount supply and demand. It’s not relevant to what I said. If you think it is—though, agreeing with 149 would be a contradiction of that—it’s probably because a) you’re as ignorant about economics as everything else, and/or b) you can’t grapple with what I said and want to change the focus of the argument to something you feel you have a better handle on.

    But I don’t want to play with an attention-hungry, muddle-minded twit like you. That’s why I wasn’t addressing you in the first place. So how about you fuck off and go pretend you won your “debate” (or whatever you think you’re doing here) because enough people were mean to you.

  138. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Stephen Westner: ”The question is what can be done about it?”

    How about public employee unions who can make the case for the value of the services provided by altruistic public servants?
    How about a taxation system that harnesses the winnings of the greedheads who play the lotto referred to as hedge funds?
    How about public funding of education so that students aren’t too crushed by debt to start their own businesses?
    How about a social safety net so that when people take the risk of entrepreneurship, they aren’t risking the welfare of their families.

    I could go on, but you’ll reject these ideas because–oh yeah–freedom.

  139. Porivil Sorrens says

    Oh joy, I figured the Harrisites we used to get were the worst, but I guess ideologue fanboys are a universal constant.

    Personally, I’m interested in hearing what “Strong Arguments” Stephen thinks Richard Spencer has made. That’s a pretty bold claim.

  140. Porivil Sorrens says

    I would also question the idea that someone who goes on unhinged rants about how “xe/xem/xir” pronouns are an evil cultural marxist conspiracy and got in an idiotic simian staring contest with a toddler is any kind of “reasonable”.

  141. paxoll says

    @Stephen

    I agree with just about everything you said there.

    The question is what can be done about it?

    The past 40-50 years has seen the wage gap drop by a lot. So the simple answer to your question is, we continue to do what we have been doing. What is that exactly?

    We do research, the Consad report is the “go to” bullcrap that people like Peterson believes, which is from a research standpoint a horrible piece of crap. It uses 20-30 year old studies and poor data. New research is able to tease out much of the confounding factors that are presented in the report. Does it make sense to study government/military workers whos’ salaries are pretty well fixed? Does it make sense to study jobs where no one wants to share information and compensation is largely hidden (I bet the prostitution industry does not have good numbers available). I think the medical industry is a good place to get data, the regulation on the industry makes getting the data very easily, the industry is very progressive in seeing the data and making changes (relatively), and the people in the industry are pretty equally devoted to their work seeing as the amount of education that is involved in starting their careers. What essentially all the research shows is a gender wage gap.
    So we know the problem has gotten better and we know there is STILL a problem.

    We also promote education. Many jobs or industries require education and in the past 40-50 years through encouraging women to work and go to school, we now have near parity in college enrollment. This has led to a huge increase in women in highly educated careers, reducing that wage gap.

    Lastly we make social changes with help from legislation to encourage women to live the lives they want. That is everything from trying to change the idea that video games are for boys, to making sure abortion is available and affordable to any woman that wants one. One thing in this area is changing the social environment that encourages management to think that things like “aggressiveness” is a desired trait in management. Some of the biggest companies such as Google are turning these antiquated ideas on their head. Most of my personal experience has shown that women are VERY often better managers, and lead to more loyal and productive employees.

    This is ALL understood and part of every feminist organization that is talking about the wage gap. Petersons arguments begin with a strawman that his opponents don’t know what is real about the wage gap, they do. The real problem is that Peterson’s position leads to stagnation and regression, if people don’t think the wage gap is real, then people stop trying to fix it. A perfect example of this is the repeal of some of the Civil Rights act, historically racist states claimed that they have been no more racist then any other state so the oversight on their voting laws should stop. Then virtually 100% of those states began trying to pass voter suppression laws. The need for feminism doesn’t end when we reach whatever level of equality is possible, because it will be needed to KEEP that system in place.

  142. Crys T says

    @Stephen You’re the one stomping & sulking​ & screaming about how you’re being victimised & silenced just because the commenters here aren’t falling into poses of adoration over your every utterance.

    Newsflash: your wife (and I’m really having to.suspend.my disbelief to accept her existence) isn’t all women. Her bodily functions are her own & in no way represent any other woman’s reality. Are you capable of understanding that? Women are not the Borg, believe it or not.

    Also, I’m bored with your adolescent defences of institutionalised misogyny. I’m under no obligation to debate my humanity or my right to receive the same remuneration for my efforts as your stupid ass does.

    So I’m not going to do it, and I’m not going to pander to your delusion that you’re in any way engaging in reasoned debate. You’re not. You’re having a hysterical fit of denial.brought about by a toxic blend of hatred, fear, and an overweening sense of entitlement.

    You are not better than me. Being born with a penis is not a personal achievement that should entitle you to any more respect, riches, or ease of movement through the world than anyone else. No matter how loudly you scream or how hard you kick your feet.

    Grow the fuck up.

  143. hemidactylus says

    @167 Porivil Sorrens or anyone else interested at this late point in the thread:

    In my quest to understand what a Jordan Peterson is I am listening to Sam Harris interviewing him #62- “What is True?” podcast where they beat epistemology into a dead bloody horse.

    Harris early on horribly seemed to be in full agreement with Peterson on the pronoun preference issue in Canadian law. Harris needs to gain better perspective and empathy on trans issues.

    Going beyond that jarring pothole in the discussion, I began feeling bad for Sam arguing against Peterson on epistemology and truth. Where Harris grounds his views on morality and values reductively in science (which I disagree with), Peterson seems to pull a similarly silly 180 by grounding pursuit of fact and truth entirely in pragmatism and also moral value itself. Here is where a solid distinction between fact and value has merit. Harris gets understandably frustrated with this guy who seems to obfuscate behind a mysterian cloud and no matter what tactic you try (Harris did so capably) you are wrong. True Jungian guru there. I wonder if his presumed mastery of Nietzsche and Jung’s Collected Works makes him far wiser than us mere mortals.

  144. Porivil Sorrens says

    As far as I’m concerned, Harris vs Peterson is a classic “Whoever wins, we lose” situation.

    That said, I find Peterson fans to be significantly more annoying – they have all the negatives of Harrisites (ie cultish fervent belief in an ideologue, rampant sealioning, any criticism being written off as being ‘taken out of context’), with the added negatives of worshiping someone’s unhinged grandpa.

  145. Zmidponk says

    Stephen Westner:

    Are you an expert in dangerous ideologues? Have you heard what he has to say about them? How can you judge otherwise.

    You’ve never heard of the Courtier’s Reply, have you? What Peterson (and seemingly yourself, given you appear to be agreeing with him) is suggesting is that, if someone informs me that I have inadvertantly misgendered them, I am caving in to, or perhaps even actively supporting a dangerous authoritarian neo-Marxist ideology that will enslave us all if I begin using their preferred pronouns. I do not need to be an expert in dangerous ideologues to point out that is utterly fucking ludicrous.

    Its all in here…
    http://www.nber.org/papers/w21913

    Firstly, instead of pointing me at a general source that you claim that explains what you’re talking about, and expecting me to trawl through a 75 page paper, looking for the exact portions you’re referring to, why don’t you actually explain it yourself?

    Secondly, just skimming that, it didn’t actually take me long to observe that your own source actually seems to suggest that, whilst it isn’t totally conclusive, and the gender pay gap has narrowed, by and large, various forms of direct and indirect gender discrimination seem to actually be the reason for the gender pay gap that remains. If you don’t get what I mean, you can try just reading the conclusion (page 48-50), bearing in mind the kind of things that are traditionally seen as ‘womens work’, or the women’s role in the typical family. This is in contrast to what Peterson claims, which is that multivaried analysis reveals that the gender pay gap doesn’t actually exist.

  146. rietpluim says

    Let me put it simply: implicit sexism is still sexism.

    If biological differences between men and women are causing differences in income, social status, political influence, or otherwise, then it is sexist to accept those differences as a matter of fact without trying to compensate for them.

    Every “other factor” is sexist as long as you’re not willing to do something about it.

    Having said that, the biological differences are in no way a sufficient explanation for the difference we’re experiencing, which makes things even worse.

  147. says

    rietpluim @163, 164

    The point is, if you can’t put in the time you fall behind.
    No, the point is: first you build an environment where people who can’t put in the time fall behind, and then you blame them for not putting in the time. Because biology.
    Dude, do you even logic?

    Wow. So people built the company, economy…whatever environment, and then started to try and make money once they had an airtight environment to keep women out.

    And this is where logic brings you?

    Hey, here is an alternative theory. People started trying to make money and the environment evolved around it.

    I am not sure you would recognize logic if you saw it.

    P.S. “Putting in the time” is not a skill. Software development is a skill, and your boss is stupid for not hiring the best skilled people because they “cannot put in the time”. Nobody needs to work 12 hours a day, and even if they do, it is still not some natural law but your employer’s own conscious choice to value time more than skills

    Putting in time is how you develop skills. And the people who work 12 hours develop more skills than the people that put in 7. This isn’t rocket surgery. For someone constantly insinuating i lack intelligence, you seem to have trouble sussing out the simplest of ideas

  148. says

    A. Noyd @165

    I am not trying to win a debate. I profess my ignorance. All I am trying to do is find honest answers to honest questions.

    When I saw PZ response to peterson, I thought, great, here is another scienctist with a different opinion, lets see what he has to say. I had visions of his blog being filled with talk on the different research being done, and all the solid proofs that make you folks so sure of yourselves. Instead its just as bigoted and hateful as any other cesspit on the internet.

    So have fun becoming what you hate.

  149. says

    Porivil Sorrens @167

    I am not going to do the arguments any justice spitting them out in point form, but most of the white identitarians are arguing something along these lines :

    – there is no evidence that multiculturalism works from a historical perspective.
    – there is evidence multiculturalism can be detrimental (usual siting the fall of Rome)
    – most people naturally sort themselves into racial categories ( if you look at something like churches, which are voluntary congregations of people, and tend to be heavily racially segregated

    Thats off the top of my head. Obviously the details make a difference here. I would suggest watching his videos. I know its painfull, but ignoring instead of understanding is dangerous. Unless you would be happy with another 4 years of Trump

  150. blf says

    Putting in time is how you develop skills. And the people who work 12 hours develop more skills than the people that put in 7.

    Possibly. However, after developing the requisite skills, then continuing to put in “12 hours” is not about developing the skills, or even necessary for improving them.

    This isn’t rocket surgery. For someone constantly insinuating i lack intelligence, you seem to have trouble sussing out the simplest of ideas

    Rocket surgery? A lack, perhaps, of the “12 hours” developing reasoning skills… ?

  151. says

    paxoll @169

    Dude, that was a great answer.

    Do you know of any other decent studies besides the Consat? Its the only one I could find that seemed unbiased (and peterson did not post this study, I cam across it myself a while ago)

    Regarding the Peterson strawman. It might be, but I am not sure it is intentionally so. Just from talking to people in this thread, the general opinion does not seem a balanced as yours. I can really see how he would come to the conclusion the people opposing him are unreasonable. Very few people in this thread seemed reasonable. They seemed more interested in doing harm to anyone outside there clique than helping.

    I wonder how much of this unreasonablness is from fear of stagnation, and how much of it is just unreasonable people.

  152. says

    Crys T @170

    Settle down, no one said they were better than you, and I never said men are better than women.

    I could care less what you call me, and I in no way consider myself a victim. I just expected more than I found here.

    I am sorry if I offended you in any way.

  153. says

    Zmidponk @173

    No, I never had heard of the Courtiers Reply. Thanks, its a very interesting concept. I am not sure thats what is happening here though. It seems I/we are having trouble seeing each others points. I have seen this happen when people are coming from very different places. All I can say is I do my best to understand.

    From Peterson’s perspective though, I believe it seems very real. The more I see of educational institutions, the more I see why.

    Honestley, I can’t decide if I am just a newb that walked onto the activist scene and has been taken aback by the culture, or if there really is a deeper political issue here. Since Trump happened I started thinking the latter

    Sorry about not breaking down the paper more. I agree the paper does attribute much of the pay gap to gender differences. The term gender differences itself is becoming problematic because I don’t think we are using it in the same way. It also cites other factors. The fact many people here do not acknowledges any of these other factors makes them hard to trust since they come off as biased (for lack of a better word).

    Saying he thinks the gender paygap is incorrect. If you think that is his belief, then you need to listen closer. I know you can grab soundbites, but should someone be defined by soundbites, or what their actual message is?

  154. says

    rietpluim @174

    Yup, I was missing this point and it made for some confusing exchanges. I am not sure I agree, as the definition of sexism has changed from what I was taught. There was an element of intent involved.

    I need to consider weather this is something I believe.

    Also, I don’t think anyone is arguing its all biological, or all gender. At least I always thought it was a mix of those and other factors. And some of it being more egregious and absolutley need correcting, like sexual harassment or discrimination.

    But what about parts that are not so easy to change? What if women in the end prefer some careers over others and will always be underrepresented in some areas, just as men will?

    I know childhood education helps, I have seen that over my lifetime. But in the end do we just end up legislating quotas everywhere? That seems like a step in the wrong direction.

  155. Porivil Sorrens says

    I’m aware of the “white identitarian” arguments, I just don’t find any of them remotely compelling. The appeals to Rome are largely based on ahistorical “common knowledge”, for example.

    Part of what made Rome able to expand as far as it did was the increased manpower it got from subsuming and absorbing other cultures, which is why Rome could bounce back from military defeats and establish massive supply chains. Simply waiting for Roman population growth would be a horrible strategy, since they had a high infant mortality rate.

    The “fall of Rome”, insofar as it can even be called that, is better situated as an argument against political corruption and mistreating one’s foreign neighbors than an argument against multiculturalism.

  156. Tethys says

    stephen westner

    Regarding the Peterson strawman. It might be, but I am not sure it is intentionally so. Just from talking to people in this thread, the general opinion does not seem a balanced as yours. I can really see how he would come to the conclusion the people opposing him are unreasonable. Very few people in this thread seemed reasonable. They seemed more interested in doing harm to anyone outside there clique than helping.

    Whether Petersens straw fallacies are intentional misrepresentation or merely due to failure to research the subject in question really is not the important issue. Long-winded lectures based on being wrong aren’t generally compelling. Try thinking just a bit harder before you decide to splain at length how we are all wrong and mean for mocking your attempts at rational thought.

  157. Porivil Sorrens says

    Funnily enough, I hadn’t seen that article before, this is just from classes. Looks like a good overview.

  158. A. Noyd says

    Stephen Westner (#176)

    All I am trying to do is find honest answers to honest questions.

    Aaaahahaha! The fuck you are.

    You started with a big ol’ defense of Peterson, a fuckton of assumptions, a side of finger-waggling smugness, and a dash of both-siderism. And you’ve shown so much more of your ass since then, your pants are around your ankles. Whatever you’re about, it’s nothing to do with honesty or finding answers.

    I had visions of his blog being filled with talk on the different research being done, and all the solid proofs that make you folks so sure of yourselves.

    Oh, so you invited yourself to what you thought was going to be a 101 class and, despite not even being qualified to attend that, you found a graduate level discussion, which you can’t even recognize for what it is. Now you’re in a snit of blaming others for your inability to keep up. It’s no wonder Peterson appeals to you with his insistence that accountability is for everyone else.

  159. says

    blf @179

    Possibly. However, after developing the requisite skills, then continuing to put in “12 hours” is not about developing the skills, or even necessary for improving them.

    I am not sure how to say this so people will understand, but there is no such thing as developing the requisite skills. The person with the most relevant and developed skills wins. A developer who knows html, javascript, css and react, is going to get the job over someone who just knows html, even if the job description only asks for html. And there is no end to the skills you can keep adding that are relevant.

    Rocket surgery? A lack, perhaps, of the “12 hours” developing reasoning skills… ?

    I will spend more time developing my reasoning if you spend more time developing your sense of humor.

  160. says

    A. Noyd @189

    Aaaahahaha! The fuck you are.

    You started with a big ol’ defense of Peterson, a fuckton of assumptions, a side of finger-waggling smugness, and a dash of both-siderism. And you’ve shown so much more of your ass since then, your pants are around your ankles. Whatever you’re about, it’s nothing to do with honesty or finding answers.

    Thanks for that insight into my psyche. There is nothing more enlightening than a self righteous, pretentious, contemptuous know it all. A dash of disgust, a bit of anger and you have all the makings of a sociopath.

    And yes, anyone as rude as you should have a finger wagged at them if for nothing else than a lack of manners.

    Oh, so you invited yourself to what you thought was going to be a 101 class and, despite not even being qualified to attend that, you found a graduate level discussion, which you can’t even recognize for what it is. Now you’re in a snit of blaming others for your inability to keep up. It’s no wonder Peterson appeals to you with his insistence that accountability is for everyone else.

    I didn’t realize an invitation was needed to an open forum. Guess I still need to work on my logic. And before you go patting yourself on the back for being a graduate, why don’t you make some graduate level arguments instead of spewing hate. Give some citations, or seminal works that everyone should read to get on level. Nothing to time consuming. Just a ‘hey read this if you really want to get it’. Nope. Instead you make some half assed argument, make lip service to reason, logic, intellegence…whatever…and then throw your hands up in the air and declare yourself winner.

    Here is some news. I am really not trying to win. I really am trying to build up an argument in your favor so I can speak knowledgeably on these things when confronted in the real world.

    You should also look into this thing called humbleness, it really helps build character.

  161. says

    Tethys @186

    What I meant about the strawman being unintentional was that the position of the SJW is not always clear (or the position is so clear that it has to be a simplification), so how could he not create strawman. If everyone gave answers like yours, it would go a long way to alleviate the issue.

    I see this happening a lot in this very thread. From both me and those responding. I say something and it is misunderstood. Someone else says something and I misunderstand. And it is not a total misunderstanding, just a lack of understanding of where the emphasis of the argument is. I wonder how much this problem occurs in the real world, and if it has any bearing on the current divisions in the West. It seems to happen a lot in the protest culture that has sprung up lateley

  162. Tethys says

    Protest culture? Like it just appeared with no cause whatsoever? The real puzzle is all the men who keeping popping up to claim that Jordan Petersen has anything worthwhile to say. He is the stereotypical aggrieved yet deeply privileged white dude with a degree, who is deeply wrong on pretty much every claim I’ve heard him make. From his reasoning from lobsters, to his testerical claim that being forced to use gender neutral pronouns will be the downfall of civilation, it should be clear he is nothing but a pompous, sexist windbag.

  163. says

    Tethys @193

    I didn’t mean to imply it appeared for no cause.

    Do you know what the downfall society looks like? I mean Nazi Germany is the go to. But can you tell me what it looks like when it happens in other places, like Russia, China, Cambodia…wherever.

  164. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Stephen Westner wrote:

    We can farm most of this out. Have a baby in a petridish, send them off to daycare the day they are born. But that is not the choice women are making even though its an option.

    What planet are you from? This technology does not exist currently. Experimentation with parts of the technology required to pull this off is currently happening on animals. At this point it’s been built as a life support system for the prematurely born, not from conception. And even if or when such a technology is fully realized, it’ll take at minimum a decade or two before it’s approved for general use on humans.

    So, no, this is not possible. Babies still have to be made and grown the old fashioned way.

    Maybe we should just let men have the babies. Oh thats right, we cant, its biologically impossible. Damn biology, always getting in the way of ideology.

    This is disingenuous. The actual fix to this problem is proper paid “parental leave” that has both parents have a significant amount of time off work (without employer retaliation) to raise the child during the most critical time. Some research in Sweden after a change to the parental leave laws resulted in data showing that for each month that a father takes off for parental leave, the maternal parent’s income increases by 6.7%, with no impact to the father’s long term income.

  165. paxoll says

    @Stephen
    I find this kinda amusing

    Do you know what the downfall society looks like? I mean Nazi Germany is the go to.

    Because Peterson loves Hitler and Nazi Germany. One of the most dumbfounding thing I ever listened to him say (sorry I don’t remember exactly what video) was him describing how Hitler manipulated people into following him, and he was exactly describing how he was and how his followers were acting. For a minute I actually thought that this was some giant experiment for him proving some theory that what happened with Nazi Germany can happen again in modern western civilizations.

  166. Zmidponk says

    Stepehen Westner

    No, I never had heard of the Courtiers Reply. Thanks, its a very interesting concept. I am not sure thats what is happening here though.

    Then you don’t understand what a Courtier’s Reply is, even though it is fairly easy. You quite specifically said that I cannot judge as I am not an expert on dangerous ideologues. The Courtier’s Reply is, basically, dismissing what someone has said because they are not an ‘expert’ in [insert what you consider a relevant field/subject here].

    It seems I/we are having trouble seeing each others points. I have seen this happen when people are coming from very different places. All I can say is I do my best to understand.

    If your point is not what you have said, you need to learn to express yourself accurately.

    From Peterson’s perspective though, I believe it seems very real.

    So Peterson is not a fucking idiot, he’s totally deluded and has utterly lost touch with reality. How is that any better?

    The more I see of educational institutions, the more I see why.

    Given this part of the discussion has been entirely about Peterson’s point-blank refusal to use gender neutral pronouns and his limitations on using the correct gendered pronouns for transgender people, this would appear to suggest that you think that educational instututions should join Peterson’s (and your) fight against the authoritarian, neo-Marxist ideology threatening to enslave us all, by employing the devastating weapon of misgendering people. All I can say is that, given I would like to think I am at least moderately intelligent, and fully in touch with reality, I disagree.

    Sorry about not breaking down the paper more. I agree the paper does attribute much of the pay gap to gender differences. The term gender differences itself is becoming problematic because I don’t think we are using it in the same way.

    In the context of the gender pay gap, it means factors that cause women to be paid less than men because they are women. Any factor which causes this is gender discrimination, regardless of whether it is direct discrimination (such as a woman being paid less than a man for doing the exact same job) or indirect discrimination (for example, a general type of job being undervalued, and therefore low paid, for reasons that boil down to it being traditionally considered ‘women’s work’ and/or predominantly done by women).

    Saying he thinks the gender paygap does not exist is incorrect. If you think that is his belief, then you need to listen closer. I know you can grab soundbites, but should someone be defined by soundbites, or what their actual message is?

    My characterisation of Peterson’s argument is a pretty much word-for-word quote from him in the interview he did with Cathy Newman. Given this, I would suggest that it is either you that needs to listen to Peterson a bit closer, or you’re saying he’s flat-out lying about his own position.

    From the rest of this section of that interview, it seems clear that what he means by this is that, although women are paid less than men, this is due to many different factors all happening to line up that causes this, with any actual connection to gender being, at most, a very vague, nebulous, indirect one that doesn’t really matter (even though the only one of these factors he gave basically boiled down to women geting paid less than men because they’re too agreeable to get the money they actually deserve, which he hastily claimed only accounted for ‘about 5% of the difference’ when Newman pointed this out). This is in contrast to the paper you provided yourself.

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