Jordan Peterson gets email

He gets evidence that those damned Leftists are corrupting the purity of STEM, and shares it with the world. It’s embarrassing. He doesn’t understand anything he’s talking about.

Well, I’m just going to have to spit out what went through my mind as I read it.

I would like to inform you that your assertion about post modernism bastardizing the sciences is an accurate one.

Anyone want to take any bets on whether either of these bozos understand what “post modernism” is?

I am taking a Big Data certificate program at York University. We are, for no apparent reason, being forced to read a book about how data analytics is creating inequality and discrimination in our society.

If you bet that he did, you lose. Post modernism is not the same as recognizing structural inequities in society. Expecting students to understand the consequences of their work is not outside the bounds of a course.

Oh, but he is being FORCED to read a textbook for no apparent reason. I would think that a fellow academic colleague would know about this bad attitude: a student comes into a class, thinking they already know it all, and anything the professor assigns is a priori deemed irrelevant. They why are you taking the class, bucko? Did you forget that you’re here to learn new things?

I think there is an apparent reason the student is assigned that book. It’s because Big Data fucking matters. It has an impact on society. You need to be conscious of that fact, here’s a book that is going to make you think about what you are doing.

Unless, of course, you’re a cocky Peterast who thinks actions don’t have material outcomes.

This seems wholly inappropriate for a course that is fundamentally structured around learning computer programming.

Where you, the student, know better than the instructor what is “appropriate” in a subject you haven’t learned about yet.

The specific author we are being forced to read is Cathy O’Neal

FORCED!!! Wait, wait. Cathy O’Neil? MathBabe? @mathbabedotorg? She’s brilliant. Your course sounds like it must be very good, sharing interesting perspectives.

who is part of occupy wall street, black lives matter, and who is a blue haired third wave feminist who uses her credentials to push her ideology.

Yeah, credentials! Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard, taught at MIT, left academia to make money in the financial industry, left that after discovering how soulless it is, has written several well-received books on data science, you know, that subject you claim to be studying. But she has blue hair.

Here’s a short video in which O’Neil explains how data science algorithms are not intrinsically objective.

That sounds like an important perspective, to me. Maybe you ought to pay attention in class, Big Data Person.

She has written about how all university admissions are biased, not just Harvard’s, and this is primarily because the SATs and other intelligence testing is correlated to income, and without proof, concludes that this necessitates bias towards privileged people.

If you find in your data analysis that rich people are preferentially getting into college, then that is evidence of a bias. If your hypothesis is that rich people are more intelligent, you need to provide independent evidence that that is the case. (I know what to expect: the circular argument that well, rich people are admitted to college, therefore they must be smart. I got into college, therefore I am smart enough to spot a logical fallacy at a thousand paces.)

It is actual insanity that this woman is regarded with high enough esteem to be teaching her perspective to people who are learning data analytics techniques.

Why is it insane? Because she has blue hair and is a woman, therefore everything is ideological? Read her book. Learn to analyze the information she presents, because that’s what she does. It is, supposedly, what you are taking a class to learn more about.

It appears they want to instantiate an ideological motivation into our purpose for analyzing data.

I know this one, too. You want to pretend that your ideology that data is totally objective and unbiased is not an ideology. You cannot simply “analyze data” without awareness of the assumptions and hypotheses that surround that analysis.

I see this sentiment at my job as well where we have employees who are PHD level social psychologists conducting research projects around the concept of implicit bias testing even though they claim a comprehensive understanding of quantitative analytics.

I don’t get it. This clown is writing to Peterson, a PHD [sic] level psychologist, implying that PHD [sic] level psychologists can’t possibly have a comprehensive understanding of quantitative analytics? I know a few psychologists. Many of them have a better understanding of statistics and mathematics in general than I do. Yet Peterson considers this a valid complaint? Much confusion here.

Also, that understanding of implicit bias comes from a quantitative analysis of data. Try reading the literature…which is what your instructor is trying to get you to do, while you run crying and screaming to Jordan Peterson to get the bad blue-haired lady to stop making you think.

I don’t know how I’m supposed to take my place in this realm with confidence when I am being force fed this propaganda on all fronts.

FORCE FED!! How dare teachers make you aware of what you don’t know. It might hurt your self-esteem. Where’s the hug box for aspiring data scientists who don’t want to be FORCED to think about the meaning of their work?

It is hard to move forward with this constant bombardment of counter factual forces that we are being obliged to follow or be termed unqualified for the position.

FORCES! If you refuse to consider the effects of and reasoning behind the algorithms you use, then it’s true: you’re unqualified for the position. You want to be a mindless coder. That is not what a data scientist does.

Man, that was painful. That Jordan Peterson thinks it was persuasive in any way, rather than just the entitled whine of a selfish child who doesn’t want to learn, should tell us that he is just another know-nothing anti-intellectual.


  1. bcwebb says

    Clearly, there should have been a trigger warning for the rationally challenged to protect this guy from having to learn anything new. What’s classic is this guy would think it appropriate here while denying any justification for topics involving abuse or violence.

    ““You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry” (Canby) ― Norton Juster

  2. raven says

    Brain dead troll in school:
    It is actual insanity that this woman is regarded with high enough esteem to be teaching her perspective to people who are learning data analytics techniques.

    I made it this far before giving up.
    This is just an assertion without proof or data and may be dismissed without proof or data.
    No it isn’t actual insanity that this woman (she has a name, Dr. O’neal), is regarded in high esteem. She earned it by hard and intelligent work.
    The whole rant is intellectually empty.
    It is a bunch of assertions without proof or data linked together.
    And, he clearly has no idea whatsoever about what he is complaining about.

  3. quotetheunquote says

    @ Cat Mara #3

    Okay, you got me… well played!

    One of my favourite ornithologists is a tenured professor at York U… she studies migrant songbirds, mostly of the Hirundinidae family (martins, swallows, that sort of thing), and has done some pretty amazing things with miniature tracking devices. I doubt very much that her research is being much influenced by “postmodern” anything.

    She would probably have a lot to offer on the subject of forced feeding though!

  4. says

    Since when is a reminder that “garbage in = garbage out” considered irrelevant for people learning computer programming?

  5. garnetstar says

    I’m going to get one of my students to complain to Lobster Man that I forced them to listen to lectures, and to read about, green chemisty. And the research on reforming CO2 into useful chemicals, to get it out of the atmosphere. And the procedures for not just dumping chemicals into the drinking water, and for remediating those that have been.

    Because, I’m a post modernist, even if no one knows what that is. I have the far-left belief that they need to know how to work with chemicals and not pollute, and not poison people. That this is wholly relevan to, and require for, their future jobs and research is just coincidental, I just want to force my ideology onto them.

  6. says

    quotetheunquote @ 4:

    Okay, you got me… well played!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist– Peterson (whose lobster fixation & all-beef diet have led me to dub him Professor Surf ‘n’ Turf in my head) and his pseudo-scientific posturing piss me off that much

  7. Sastra says

    I don’t know how I’m supposed to take my place in this realm with confidence …

    “This realm?” What, has Jordan Peterson actually been crowned king now?

    Or perhaps the correspondent is referring to the physical realm of the world, a strange and frustrating place after the aerified freedom of the spiritual reality to which he has been accustomed.

    Either way, it’s odd. Which, isn’t odd.

  8. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Yeah, it would be so much better if you (the idiot letter writer) only learned how to write algorithms, with no freaking idea how to use them, when to use them or how to read the results.
    That would be so much better. I’m sure that would make you a very productive worker. There is place for code monkeys, but I don’t think Big Data is it.

  9. says

    Complaining about Ms. O’Neill’s blue hair is a pretty big tell to me. Lots of people on the MRA/PUA/incel axis just can’t abide women with “unnatural” hair colours. Letter writer would probably have trouble with her even if she had normal coloured hair and wasn’t being all “post modern.”

  10. christoph says

    I remember an analogy about pouring a gallon of knowledge into a shot glass of a brain…

  11. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    If it wasn’t the hair, there would be something else. She’s probably conventionally attractive enough that she can’t call her ugly, so he had to reach a bit.

  12. tbrandt says

    This might be a good time to recall Amazon’s experience trying to automate the ranking of job applicants. The fanciest machine learning algorithms in the world will learn to faithfully reproduce the biases and preferences of their training sets.

  13. lanir says

    The student who wrote the letter sounds like he’s making a critical error that his field cannot be allowed to make: he assumes he knows the data already.

    This is the equivalent of hiring a researcher only to have them cash your check and tell you they know the answer already. The whole point is to find the answer and document the process. If even that basic understanding of his field escapes him, he’s an incompetent hack and will have a hard time performing his job in any organization.

  14. Rich Woods says

    @christoph #12:

    I remember an analogy about pouring a gallon of knowledge into a shot glass of a brain…

    And regarding Peterson’s overblown view of himself: “a ten-gallon hat on a two-pint head”.

  15. says

    I am taking a Big Data certificate program at York University. We are, for no apparent reason, being forced to read a book about how data analytics is creating inequality and discrimination in our society.

    One of the big problems with big data is “garbage in, garbage out” – your model is based on selected data, which means your output tracks your model. That’s also a problem in social science studies, which is basically what big data is for. I would say any course on big data that omits analytics problems is pretty lightweight “load it into hadoop and magic happens” stuff. Incomprehension of these problems with big data are how Cambridge Analytica was able to BS so many people. This stuff matters.

  16. zenlike says

    He has zero knowledge about the field, zero knowledge about the subject, and zero knowledge about the book the anonymous crybaby is whining about, yet he has zero issue with condemning it anyway.

    Anti-intellectual indeed.

  17. bryanfeir says


    “You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry” (Canby) ― Norton Juster

    Which, of course, the Humbug actually does not that long after, unlike everybody else in the party.

    (Yeah, The Phantom Tollbooth is one of my favorite books, especially for the wordplay. Peterson reminds me in some ways of the Everpresent Wordsnatcher… the Nuisance from Context who hates his hometown so much he spends all of his time Out of it.)

  18. nomdeplume says

    That “inviolable” is the key. So what Peterson is saying is that STEM disciplines should be absolutely free of any consideration of the consequences of their findings.This is the corporate approach to the economy – they should be free to do anything they like while being also free of any responsibility for, say, cleaning up oil spills, protecting the health of people exposed to noxious gases, compensating for damage caused by faulty technology etc etc etc. Privatise the profits, socialise the losses. You don’t suppose that Peterson is a knowing stooge for the corporations do you?

  19. militantagnostic says

    Tim @11
    And I thought perhaps Ms. O’Neill would have been acceptable if she had green hair. As far as I understand she did not become involved with Occupy until after the end of actual occupation. She was passing on her knowledge of how the financial system worked to give the Occupy people a better understanding. She is definitely on the left, but hardly a radical leftist

  20. suferable says

    I have a friend who is a Peterson fan, I have noticed he is obsessed with media bias, he is always going on about how biased media is constantly manipulating us with certain key words and phrases. He tries to spin it in a way where it’s about all media not just “liberal” media but in my experience it’s only right leaning types who have this media bias obsession. He recommended I check out a site called The Knife Media, so out of curiosity I looked them up. Weirdly I saw every post about them had been removed everywhere I looked, it was scorched earth, I checked their facebook site, I googled them (Both of these are “liberal leaning” according to my friend) all their articles had been taken down. I dug a little deeper and found out they were associated with the NXIVM cult. The Knife Media ceased publishing as of August of last year. So pretty much not trusting any more recommendations from my friend.

  21. says

    uses her credentials to push her ideology

    Well. It’s a good thing Peterson never used his PhD or his position at the most prestigious university in Canada to push his ideology to, y’know, radio listeners or TV audiences or Freuding Parliament or anything.

    I am taking a Big Data certificate program at York University. We are, for no apparent reason, being forced to read a book about how data analytics is creating inequality and discrimination in our society.

    The nerve! As if they train biology PhD students in the ethics of conducting and applying biological research, or psychology students in the ethics of conducting and applying psychological research or chemistry students in the ethics of conducting and applying chemistry research or medical students in the ethics of conducting and applying medical research … Is there no end to this horror?!?

  22. raven says

    The NXIVM cult didn’t look familiar.

    NXIVM has also been accused by former members of the organisation of being a recruiting platform for a cult operating within it (variously called “DOS” or “The Vow”) in which women were forced into sexual slavery and branded.
    NXIVM – Wikipedia

    They don’t sound like our sort of people at all.

  23. mcfrank0 says

    I am currently in the process of applying for job that is now under the “Big Data” umbrella. I originally assumed that this was just a trendy label. This post caused me to (finally?!) research the name and I find that it’s the study of the difficulties of analyzing large data sets. One source suggests that “Big Data” is the study of five “V’s”:
    – Volume
    – Variety
    – Velocity
    – Veracity
    – Value

    Looks like value judgements are inherent to the field of study! Hardly the realm of pure algorithms…

  24. nomadiq says

    Cathy O’Neil’s book is great. Maybe a touch long-winded by I really enjoy brevity. It should take this guy not too long to understand the fundamental message in it.

    I think the problem boils down to this. The kid just wants to learn cool stuff. Knowing cool stuff will make said kid feel powerful. Everything else is a distraction from moving to that place of perceived power. In fact some of that ‘distraction’ will teach that with power should come responsibility. Ego is meeting super-ego and it’s ugly. And this kid is simply not mature enough to understand the importance of context and how that understanding IS power.

    To put it another way, imagine a chemistry teacher teaching a class about the varieties of ways mercury forms inorganic (and organic) compounds. But fails to mention how detrimental inorganic mercury compounds are to the environment and biology because such discussions are not about chemistry, and kinda sounds ‘touchy-feely’. Like what do valences and d-orbitals have to do with the welfare of the kids in some kindergarten next to a poisoned river? ‘No need to mention that these compounds are very toxic….’ – ugh – of course some context is important here. Same goes for algorithms. I’m not surprised some kid freshly out of high school hasn’t developed that understanding yet – it’s one of those skills
    to be developed at their age. Jordan Peterson though? I guess he is a lost cause – but he is poisoning the well, just like inorganic mercury compounds.

  25. anbheal says

    In high school trig or geometry we were FORCED to read Edwin Abbott Abbott’s Flatland. Then in a very advanced and rigorous graduate level technology and programming curriculum, we were FORCED to read Tracy Kidder’s Soul Of A New Machine and Robert Pirsig’s Zen & The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance. Oh dear, oh my, a bit of what’s that thing called, context? And honestly, what’s the problem — math and programming courses can be dreadfully dry, some sections excruciatingly boring, and often extremely complicated and demanding, intellectually. What’s not to like about taking a bit of a breather, and sitting down after dinner with an entertaining read? And of course it all has social ramifications — Flatland explicitly satirized the conventions of Victorian society. Heck, even Godel’s Proof, which I was once FORCED to read, dredges up a vast array of questions about what math and science can truly say with certainty, outside of built-in assumptions, that may well have a social context.

    There is no possible way the kid didn’t enter that classroom with an axe to grind, from Day 1. And that he wrote to Petersen, rather than, say, Hartmut Neven — a guy who knows big data, if ever there was one — merely confirms that he simply doesn’t like his classmates and teachers being more liberal and tolerant than he. And presumably smarter.

  26. deepak shetty says

    That Jordan Peterson thinks it was persuasive in any way

    It was. It persuaded me to buy a copy of Cathy O’Neil’s book.

  27. chrislawson says

    There’s an important paper called Ethical challenges of Big Data in Public Health from 2015. Basically our correspondent is claiming that he does not need to know about issues in his chosen field that have been a core part of the published literature for several years. It is about as bad as insisting on studying nuclear engineering but demanding not to be taught anything about nuclear weapons, waste management, or reactor accidents because those are “political”.

  28. davidnangle says

    This “third wave feminist” stuff stopped me, as I tried to parse what I don’t want to know more about. I’d noticed years ago that these assholes had to invent fictional definitions of feminism in order to properly hate them, because, “someone who wants equal treatment for women” isn’t enough grist for their hate mill. So this “third wave” stuff must be a whole new family of lies and prevarications the monsters called “feminists.”

    So I want to know what the official definition of each “wave” is. But I also don’t want to know.

  29. John Morales says


    So I want to know what the official definition of each “wave” is. But I also don’t want to know.


    Well, you can’t fail there, can you? Either way, you’ve achieved what you wanted.

    If you don’t know, you’re good. If you do know, you’re good.


  30. raaak says

    This seems wholly inappropriate for a course that is fundamentally structured around learning computer programming.

    Actually, no. A data analysis course is NOT really centered around learning computer programming. Learning programming is not really essential for someone who aspires to learn data science and statistical machine learning. Machine learning is more about statistical models that use historical data and a definition of success (borrowing from Dr. O’Neil’s definition) while traditional programming paradigm is centered around a machine that is fed the data and makes a decision about the data. I would argue that learning linear algebra, and statistics is much more important for a person who wants to make something of themselves in the field of data science.

    This is the problem when people are told they can learn a whole science by just taking a course or two. They think they can throw a bunch of data into a computer tool and feel cool about it!

    This guy is just a student and might be forgiven for not having an in-depth knowledge about the theory of computation and its enormous complexity or history. The cure for him is to review his undergrad theory of computation course to remember how complex this stuff can become before questioning someone with a PhD in math!

    Jordan Peterson is a professor for Bog’s sake. He has absolutely no excuse for disseminating this nonsense.

  31. zetopan says

    Assuming that Peterson didn’t actually write that letter himself, this only shows that willfully ignorant students can easily be attracted to crackpots. In a similar vein (or in Peterson’s case vain), psychopaths are naturally attracted to each other. Look at all of the psychopaths in the Trump administration for another simple example.

  32. says

    The official definitions of each wave are highly contested and frequently debated. The original model was generational and applied mostly to the USA –

    1st wave: 1848 – 1919/1929 (depending on the person)
    2nd wave: 1963ish and onward

    The wave theory as it was initially proposed was more rhetoric to take courage from earlier successes but also to gird ourselves for a long fight, as it took 70 years to get suffrage. The problem was that we hadn’t really taken into account how different philosophically different participants in the so-called 1st Wave really were. The marxist feminists, anarcho-feminists, free love feminists, religious feminists and contractarian feminists all had different ethical bases for their feminism and frequently had differing end goals. One thing that nearly all of them had in common in the earliest days was a tendency toward abolitionism. It was those deeply involved in advocating for the personhood and legal rights of then-slaves who had the best early grasp of how to argue for the personhood and legal rights of women. Near the end of the 1st wave, temperance (meaning a ban on alcohol) was a common issue, and although suffrage itself drove much of the action in the late stages of the movement, in part because of the success of the 19th amendment (and the failure of the 18th), temperance became “the issue” identified with women’s marches.

    However, there were also strong trends towards empowering women to control their fertility. Some of this was pretty brutally racist and classist – the “poor/Black folk shouldn’t breed, so let’s give them condoms” kind of thing. The fights for working conditions and unionization combined with women’s reproductive rights were major focuses in the decades neglected by early wave theory.

    Once 2nd wave had been coined for its inspirational and rhetorical purposes, however, inevitably people started talking about the differences within feminist movements as necessitating a new, better feminist movement that they started to label the “Third Wave”. This aspirational 3rd Wave was thus purposefully named before anyone believed it had arrived. It was in part aspirational, “If we can do this and that and this other thing to become a new, stronger, better feminist movement, we would be a Third Wave even more powerful than this Second Wave occurring right now.”

    But once that occurred, some people started thinking of themselves as doing feminism better, and at the same time there were daughters of 2nd Wavers (both literally and intellectually) who thought of themselves as doing feminism in a “new way” that was largely connected to prioritizing certain issues that were believed to be more relevant than some issues that had been strongly associated with the 2nd wave
    but also partly by using new language to describe and advocate the same issues to a new generation. Some of these people began describing themselves as Third Wave. Organically this language spread, but exactly why the feminism of, say, the 1990s would be a separate wave became a highly debated topic.

    I think the best rationale is to separate waves based on a combination of goals and philosophical underpinnings – what ethical claims does a distinct feminist movement make to justify their practical and policy positions? However, if we do this, then the 1st Wave would have to be broken up, and the continuity of socialist feminisms would require more recognition than it now receives, and not everyone is comfortable with granting socialist feminisms a place of priority, however valuable they might have been in maintaining and developing feminist institutions between the 20s and the 60s.

    So we have a very uncomfortable and inconsistent wave theory of feminism. We’ve more or less come to agreement that a 3rd Wave is here, but why, whether it’s generational, philosophical, or issues driven, and whether or not this is a positive development are all up for debate.

  33. wzrd1 says

    I say, let the brat have his way. He opposes didactic education, teach him entirely via the Socratic method, letting it take the much more lengthy way of guiding via “ignorance” to the proper development of mathematical models consistent with modern life.
    He’ll remain in college for a thousand years, at a minimum.
    Despite the advantage of having that which the Greeks lacked, a knowledge of zero and a second advantage of knowing that negative numbers are a thing in mathematics.

    One thing I’ve been, for much of my adult life, is a peer advisor or even at times, an educator for those junior to me, either by age or experience or knowledge, seeking specific knowledge in subject matter expert land. Things like cryptology, previously, specific electronic circuits (back when people still repaired circuits, like phase locked loops, yeah, I trained them, switch mode power supplies, trained them, enough said), I actually gave a class to an entire LAN/WAN team on cryptology and what is required to have a properly working key to operate this specific device, showing the entire logic, minus the math that wasn’t required at that level, just to get them to get the FQDN of the frigging device, which is always called by its pseudonym functionally, by FQDN hostname for management.
    An example, for the authentication methods challenged, I have a server named locally and even in Active Directory (or whatever version you’re using), as hemorrhoid.asshat.asshole.universe.saga*, but is addressed by users as, the certificate should be, for this mathematical reason, drawing a black box at some points and telling listeners, I can provide the math if you need it – offline.
    A few asked for that math, I sent it along.

    Dealt with kids like him early on. Learned of two methods, one highly effective, one that’s most common, ineffective.
    Ineffective, using an authoritarian method, “You are HERE to learn from ME”, utterly ineffective. Incessantly taking down the sharpshooter student, highly effective, since it undermines peer support of malcontents, destroy and rebuild their self-worth, with close observation, supremely effective.
    That works in a civilian learning environment and a military environment, the military environment is far superior for that method, as suicide is a risk and close observation is required.
    For some, far too often, those actually promising, if they’d actually fucking learn, one has to destroy their self-worth system, then coddle them while remolding them. Loads of man hours per individual, used it precisely twice in nearly 28 years.
    And I was also the NCO that was sent the “hard cases” that the local command wanted to salvage and only referred two over that entire career for separation from service, due to behavior associated with their addiction suggestive and later confirmed behavior. I didn’t have an edge to stand upon and hold the carpet from the precipice and they reported to duty intoxicated, caught by the drug test and my former recommendation stood.
    What they actually needed was beyond my ability to access, a full psychological program, addressed via a junior disciplinary process, which is available to active duty components.
    I was reserve toward the end. Two failures that I couldn’t reach.
    Tossed dozens of lifelines and floats, they embraced the sinking anchor chain.

    Hope both or at worst, one, found the way out of that downward spiral. We don’t especially reward those coming back up from the bottom. :(

    My most successful student was granted a compassionate discharge, which I fully supported. He got an honorable discharge from a command that usually granted a general discharge under similar conditions, after the loss of wife and children.
    Pending mobilization, my best student, capable of maneuvering like infantry or SF, in an infantry unit as a medical NCO and also learning how to accurately call out ten digit grid coordinates from me (that’s 1 meter resolution for real world folks) with nothing but a map and a military compass, ended up with mobilization orders and a suicidal wive, SWAT bound in house, children as hostage.
    Screw that noise, go home and take care of your family, NOW!. I’ll clear it with command – somehow.
    Turned into a goat screw for a bit, then I simply called the division commander and explained the situation and PR disaster from hell that’s being defused by my initiative.
    Destroyed six officer’s careers, a dozen NCO’s and officers advanced.
    Was a gamble, but it worked and I used an established method to jerk a chain of command – the open door policy.

    What I taught was, first off, use the ultimate weapon – your mind. Knowledge is always power.
    So, on that format, that kid is utterly powerless.
    As, I work with information scientists, IT professionals as a peer and well, since retiring in 2009, specialized in IT. Worked with it offline, for money, when I was newly junior, while still also experienced.
    Today, I’m a generalist, with a sub-specialty of Windows and Linux, dabbled with pretty much every other currently remaining OS and the extinct or nearly extinct others.
    So, I’m the guy who killed and can easily kill people, who can fix your OS or computer hardware or peripheral equipment that I had previously never heard of, but schematics, even in block diagram are provided.
    Killing time, drinking coffee and having a smoke (sue me, it’s in the smoking break area), figuring out the functions, analog or digital.
    Taking a break to guide a coworker to the chaplain for guidance after a familial loss and knowing how to address that brief loss of production in a competitive environment of a DoD contractor.

    That kid couldn’t manage to figure out even .01% of that.
    Old Dave had the right of it.
    Old age and treachery will always defeat youth and exuberance.

  34. hemidactylus says

    I try to avoid JP lately as his 15 minutes should be up soon. But over at We Hunted the Mammoth this Majority Report video was shown highlighting a snippet of an interview of JP on Joe Rogan’s show where he takes down Peterson’s Incel Marxism:

    This gets weird. Joe Rogan uses a line of reasoning I find somewhat objectionable about an hypothetical womanizer who monopolizes all the sex, but he torpedoes Peterson by pointing out his hypocrisy. Peterson finds Leftist arguments for economic or power based equality of outcome to be out of bounds. But we should have enforced monogamy to ensure sexual equality of income for dudebros living in mom’s basement. Masterstroke there Rogan! Check 15:05 onward for Peterson’s perplexity when Rogan punctures his bubble of inconsistency. Priceless! Of all the people in the world who have addressed JP’s nonsense, I would not expect Rogan to be the one who would basically tap him out (in MMA parlance).

    Peterson even goes down a path where hierarchies are problematic and destabilize society. Wow!

  35. John Morales says

    hemidactylus, JP might be a wanker, but not as much as the guy who hoots and carries on in that clip. That’s Sam Seder, is it?

    Cringe-worthy (and I don’t mean JP).

  36. madtom1999 says

    Can someone point out to him that the ‘-‘ sign does in fact represent the horizontal vagina and he should realise that its women that take away everything and without them his bank account would only go up and up an up.

  37. auraboy says

    Well, out of curiosity, had a quick look at the course in question.
    Firstly, it is a post graduate/in employment certification program so I’m not sure we can excuse the letter writer as a ‘kid’, given he’s in full time employment, post graduate and enrolled on Big Data further education course.
    Secondly, the basic course description describes the analysis of bias and sociological impact of Big Data as a core module, with one of the main lecturers promoting the understanding of Big Data analytics into real world problems such as participatory democracy. So it seems this Data genius did not analyse his own course description or module requirements that carefully. I hope this is taken into account when he’s assessed.

  38. hemidactylus says

    @42- John Morales
    Not familiar with Seder aside from maybe stumbling upon his videos once in a blue moon. Crap what did he do? Just checked Wikipedia which said he made a disturbing comment on Twitter almost a decade ago wrt Roman Polanski. Is that it?

    Still the focus on Rogan pointing out JP’s inconsistency on equality of outcome and apparent Incel Marxism was illuminating. I landed on it from We Hunted the Mammoth:

    As Trump said “The buck stops with everyone” so I’m passing the blame.

  39. Muz says

    Seder just got trolled by Cernovich. Like a few people recently (although even less deserving since he was being very sarcastic. Which is different than re-hashing the dark humour of James Gunn at least. Even though that was unnecessary as well).
    I think the issue is his on screen manner, maybe? Sitting around and mocking philosphical foes is a show format that’s not for everyone, it must be said.

  40. ck, the Irate Lump says

    hemidactylus wrote:

    Just checked Wikipedia which said he made a disturbing comment on Twitter almost a decade ago wrt Roman Polanski.

    This so-called disturbing comment was mocking those defending Roman Polanski (i.e plenty of people were suggesting that Polanski’s rapes should be overlooked because of his great skill in film making). It was completely obvious, but those who wanted to silence him (Cernovich and his allies) decided to take the tweet entirely literally to end his career on TV. He was fired for a couple days as a result.

    Muz might be right that John may have only be referring to Seders style of stopping the video every 15 seconds to talk about the video. He does stop the video far more than he should, but I can’t put him on par with Peterson based on that.

  41. DanDare says

    When I did computer science at uni I was forced to read “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics”. Oh the horror. I was indoctrinated into thinking that data could be……….manipulated!

  42. coreyhammer says

    Heh…as a Ph.D.-level psychologist we are explicitly taught that all data collection is implicitly biased in some way because of our background and thinking processes.

    When I was still earning my doctorate, I also taught a class called “quantitative reasoning.” In the first lecture, we had an open discussion on what “100” represented. The actual content of the topic didn’t matter so much as the point got across that all data have a context and you have to that context into consideration as you interpret those numbers.

  43. methuseus says

    I am interested in Big Data and data science crap. I listen to multiple podcasts about it. I also follow many real-life data scientists on Twitter. They are always talking about being careful about bias in data science. Practically everyone in data science that anyone actually listens to talks about how bias is the worst thing for data science, and that it’s more important than in most other programming disciplines. So this guy is a real tool, seeing as he’s railing against his whole career.
    I really wish Peterson had included the idiot’s full name so his employer could see that he doesn’t care about data science or his career. I weep for his employer, truly.

  44. mailliw says

    Many thanks for making me aware of O’Neal’s book, which I have just started reading.

    As someone who works in data management I view the whole “data science” hype with considerable scepticism. In order to have any credibility as a “data scientist” you need to have at least a degree level knowledge of statistics, a few courses on Coursera and learning Python doesn’t really cut it. This is why I have resisted the temptation of the “data science” Euro. Like most things in an industry as fashion driven as IT, the hype will blow over shortly and I don’t want to get caught out by that.

    The other thing that bothers me is how absurdly old fashioned and unreliable most of the highly touted “data science” tools appear to be. The avoidance of logical contradictions is absolutely fundamental to ensuring data quality. If your DBMS indicates that someone is both alive and dead at the same time then you probably cannot trust any query you make against that database.

    Yet Hadoop, for example, has absolutely no mechanisms whatsoever to enforce the logical consistency of the data. Furthermore its hierarchical method of data representation is something that was already widely used in the 1960s and found to be inflexible and extremely difficult to maintain; partly because hierarchies necessitate the widespread logical duplication of data – thus inevitably leading to logical inconsistencies.

    Given that we have modern tools that are (albeit too loosely) based on sound mathematical principles of predicate logic and set theory, Hadoop looks like a retro-hipster piece of technology. Especially as you appear to have to have programmers to write queries who then submit “jobs”. This is straight out of 1970s vintage mainframe talk, that we youngsters at the start of the 80s were going to sweep away with interactive, online systems that always gave you up to date data without having to wait hours for a batch to run.

    If you work with data you cannot avoid post-modernist ideas, but I might explain why I believe that later. I’ve gone on long enough here.