Now I know for sure that Jordan Peterson is delusional


Jordan Peterson has a brilliant idea. Not this one…

He’s pushing a new forum idea, only it’s not so new.

Jordan Peterson, the Canadian academic whom I think I could absolutely describe as a “Dingus Supreme,” has a new idea for an online platform. This is very important to Peterson because he and his largely alt-right fan base need a safe space online to share controversial opinions and practice free thought. So Peterson is launching Thinkspot, self-described as “a collaborative community where individuals can explore and exchange ideas in a thoughtful and respectful manner. The platform is an intellectual playground for censorship-free discourse.” It will also shadowban users.

The grand idea of Thinkspot, as far as I can tell, is that it’s a place for people who know how to be racist and sexist in a more dog-whistle-y way, not in the more direct way you might see on Twitter — or on Gab, the platform for people who are somehow too racist for Twitter.

I have so many questions! Here’s one. How will he coax “thoughtful and respectful” ideas from his existing fanbase of alt-right fanboys?

On his podcast this week, speaking with guest Joe Rogan, Peterson outlined how he planned to keep Thinkspot from spiraling out of control: a minimum word count. “If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it,” Peterson said, as recapped by the right-wing site NewsBusters. “Even if you’re being a troll, you’ll be a quasi-witty troll.” I’m maybe a little more skeptical that Peterson and Rogan’s crowd — the one that spends hours at a time watching men yell into a microphone on YouTube — will have trouble coming up with 50 words to fill space.

Um, the cliche is “brevity is the soul of wit”. Long-windedness won’t help, although I am not surprised that Peterson thinks rambling on and on is the same as erudition. Also, you know that the regulars will evolve ways of turning empty noise into repetitive phrases to lengthen their comments to the appropriate length. This place is going to be the domain of droning bores practicing their mansplaining.

Here’s another scheme he has “invented”.

Even weirder was Peterson’s reveal that the site will hide downvoted comments. “If your ratio of upvotes to downvotes falls below 50-50, then your comments will be hidden. People will still be able to see them if they click, but you’ll disappear,” he said. What Peterson described is a completely valid form of site moderation. The tactic is also what conservatives have often misconstrued as “shadowbanning.”

You mean like Reddit and Disqus? All this is going to do is reinforce the majority view. Actual dissenting voices will be swiftly downvoted into oblivion. It sounds like a formula for building the most sanctimonious and stupefyingly maundering heap of trollery ever. It’s going to be a goldmine for ridicule.

I have another question.

Who pays for it? Who profits from it?

Those questions remain unanswered.

Comments

  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    “If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it,” Peterson said

    nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    If your ratio of upvotes to downvotes falls below 50-50, then your comments will be hidden. People will still be able to see them if they click, but you’ll disappear,” he said.

    And this qualifies as “censorship-free discourse”? Because the censorship is done by other commenters, not the site manager?

  3. blf says

    (This is a reconstructed & slightly edited cross-post from poopyhead’s earlier Is there something funny going on at Patheos? thread.)

    Related, Jordan Peterson launches anti-censorship [sic] site Thinkspot:

    Rightwing academic enlists failed Ukip MEP candidate Carl Benjamin to test subscription-only platform

    Jordan Peterson […] has launched a new anti-censorship website that will only take down offensive content if specifically ordered to by a US court.

    The psychology professor from Toronto said that Carl Benjamin [Sargon of Akkad], the failed [NKofE†] Ukip MEP candidate who speculated about raping the Labour MP Jess Phillips, had agreed to test the subscription-only site, named Thinkspot.

    […]

    Peterson said he hoped the site would be a censorship-free alternative to Patreon, an online membership service that at one stage made the Canadian $80,000 per month.

    He said: It’ll be a subscription service. And so that’s partly what makes it a replacement for Patreon to some degree, because we want to be able to monetise creators.

    The terms of service for the new site take an extreme position on free speech. Peterson said: Once you’re on our platform, we won’t take you down, unless we’re ordered to by a US court of law. That’s basically the idea. So we’re trying to make an anti-censorship platform.

    Note that he appears to be talking about the bloggers, such as Sargon of Akkad, rather than any commentators (readers). It is fairly easy to guess readers will be censored in the usual freezing peaches style. Which, in fact, he then all-but-confirms later in the article:

    Comments on the site would be voted on by users on a thumbs up or down basis. If your ratio of down votes to up votes, falls below 50/50, then your comments will be hidden, Peterson said.

    Presumably — absurdly — he isn’t lying, that 50/50 rule turns it into an automated echo chamber. His final quote (in the article) tends to confirm, It would be nice to have a censorship-free platform if we could figure out how to do that.

    In the far more likely case he is lying, it will still be an echo-chamber. The article isn’t clear (he probably isn’t either), but I presume the readership must pay a fee to hear others reinforce their fascism.

      † NKofE: North Korea of Europe, formerly know as the UK. Both the N.Korea in Asia and teh NKofE are nuclear-armed authoritarian failed states “governed” by a small paranoid cabal.

  4. says

    Shitty comp101 length requirements? Check!

    A voting system likely to descend into mobocracy? Check!

    What else will they implement to make this just bad? Janitor mops based on post count?

  5. nomdeplume says

    “Who pays for it? Who profits from it?” The Super Rich is always the answer to both questions.

  6. ColeYote says

    Well, Jordan Peterson seems to confuse being long-winded with being smart, so I’m not too surprised he thinks a 50-word minimum is gonna keep things from being terrible.
    By the way, just for some perspective on how few words that actually is, this comment is 51 words long (including this sentence).

  7. blf says

    this comment is 51 words long

    You cheated by using hyphens (“50-word”) and contractions (“I’m”) to reduce the count. </snark>

  8. seleukos says

    “Who pays for it? Who profits from it?”

    According to the Guardian, it’s gonna be a subscription-based site, so the readers will be paying for it and the bloggers will be profiting (as JP already does through Patreon).

    It might be amusing to see what kinds of echo chamber depths this will reach, but I’m not gonna pay to find out.

  9. blf says

    What else will they implement to make this just bad?

    Speculating:
    ● Selling the subscribers lists.
    ● Hiding the sources of funding.
    ● The stated model of no censorship implies they will become a site for child p0rn and terrorist plotting.
    ● Conservapædia links only.
    ● Up/down votes weighted by fees paid and purchases made; i.e., the more you spend there, the more your votes count.
    ● And so on…

    The claimed so-called beta testers (see @3/@4), which includes both Michael Shermer and Sargon of Akkad (Carl Benjamin) —among others — probably, by itself, makes the claimed site just bad.

  10. PaulBC says

    “If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it,”

    All work and no play makes Jordan Jordie Petey Pete Peterson a dull boy.
    All work and no play makes Jordan Jordie Petey Pete Peterson a dull boy.
    All work and no play makes Jordan Jordie Petey Pete Peterson a dull boy.
    All work and no play makes Jordan Jordie Petey Pete Peterson a dull boy.

    There, that’s 56, and he wasn’t such a bright boy to begin with. What do I win?

  11. blf says

    What do I win?

    A collector’s edition of The Collected Writings of Jordan Peterson, hand-delivered by himself, who will lecturebellow at you until you pay him enough to go away. He will then publicly thank you for your large voluntary donation, and send your details to the hair furor recoronation mafia.

  12. jrkrideau says

    The psychology professor from Toronto
    Humm, I begin to see why most Canadians hate Toronto.

  13. gijoel says

    “If minimum comment length is 50 words, you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it,” Peterson said

    Is that with or with out All-Caps?

  14. nomdeplume says

    “you’re gonna have to put a little thought into it”. Yes, well a little thought is all you’d need.

  15. DrewN says

    I thought all the alt-right snowflakes who need a safespace for their hate (a hatespace?) have started shouting into the void on Gab.

  16. raven says

    It’s going to be a goldmine for ridicule.

    Not really.
    My life is finite and my time is valuable.
    The amount of time I will spend at a kook echo chamber is zero.

    Peterson’s sole redeeming feature is how wildly wrong about everything he is.
    It’s so wrong, it is actually funny, both funny weird and funny amusing.
    But after laughing at him for a while, it just ends up being boring.

  17. raven says

    What else will they implement to make this just bad?

    They can borrow the new word filter list from the…Patheos website.

  18. chigau (違う) says

    I really good filter would allow all comments but strip-out the offensive words.
    Maybe replace them with 🐇bunnies.

  19. unclefrogy says

    another scheme to exploit his audience for money without having to justify anything he says?
    uncle frogy

  20. says

    @John Morales:

    Get a 50-word sig. Simple.

    Hmm….

    –Crip Dyke, known world wide for the charming sentence:
    The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy, obtuse Jordan Fucking Peterson during his attempt to “guess in a dreamlike way” that human beings intuited the structure of DNA at least ten thousand years before Rosalind Franklin took the molecule’s picture.

    Not, y’know, perfect. But the strategy shows some promise.

  21. says

    Word censors can occasionally produce interesting results. There’s one on the comments section of David Willis’s webcomic Dumbing of Age. At some point he got annoyed at commenters using b**ch in excess. So any attempts to use it now end up with the word being turned to bongo. Of course long term commenters sometimes use the term bongo deliberately.

  22. Owlmirror says

    I know it’s supposed to be Think-spot, but I can’t help parsing it as Thinks-pot. A pot for thinks. You put your thinks in the pot. You pot your thinks. You make your thinks and they go in the potty.

    Holy crap, it’s a toilet.

  23. petesh says

    Software eated my wonderful comment even after I previewed it. Trust me, it was great. Earth-shattering. A blinding flash of inspiration. I do this for love, of course, but donations to the PZ legal fund are probably appreciated.

  24. dontlikeusernames says

    So pathetic.

    At least Reddit has what the film approval board would call “Occasional Humour”. Well, that and occasional non-toxic subs, but… you have to go pretty niche for that. I guess I’m 75:25 on Reddit approval.

  25. says

    A lot of these ideas seem to be cribbed from the SomethingAwful forums. Forums, I will point out, that created the execrable 4chan as a ‘no censorship’ honey trap to lure away the worst dregs of their commenting base.

    Oh, I need some length. Lorem ipsum. . .

  26. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Aachen on the Plains wrote:

    What else will they implement to make this just bad?

    I will be entirely unsurprised when I find out that this bastion of unrestricted free speech has implemented a bad word filter. Or alternatively, they find out that they’re drowning in a sea of spambots (a US court will never demand these removed, so…). Either would be amusing.

  27. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Also, I’m entirely unsurprised Sargon is involved. When I heard the name, I could not help but think of Carlgon’s awful video series The Thinkery. Dull minds think alike, I guess.

  28. John Morales says

    ck, heh

    Dull minds think alike, I guess.

    IDW — Intellectually Dim Web

    (I mean, they might not be bright, might even be dim, but surely not dark)

  29. blf says

    Peterson also claims Michael Shermer is involved (see the Grauniad article, @3/@4). So one person (Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad)) who has publicly threatened to rape a woman, and another (Michael Shermer) who is plausibly accused of raping a woman. Thinkspot is presumably named for what these people have on their mind, “thinking” about some spots of a woman’s anatomy.

  30. alexanderjohannesen says

    Ouch. I’ve got thinkplot.org. Does that mean I should probably change? I’d like to stay a number of paces away from alt-douche …

  31. Kagehi says

    The tactic is also what conservatives have often misconstrued as “shadowbanning.

    Yeah, lets just ignore the fact that conservatives, and media sites, use this all the time to block, but not actually ban, people that protest too loudly against certain right wing thugs. Get enough negative emails sent in, and you will quietly disappear, and not even your friends will know why your account has, mysteriously, stopped (in the case of Facebook, for example) sending out notices to everyone, including the people actually subscribed to you.

    Peterson’s absurdity is a milder form of this, but its still the same thing, “You can’t hear someone, and their irate, and obviously disruptive, ranting, which contradicts your righteous and totally valid views, if they have been safely gagged!” Its works just as well for a real skeptic attacking Peterson as it does to hide all the annoying things from native people, or victims of crimes, or anyone else that might “inconvenience” the people they are challenging.

    Color me unsurprised that this vast bastion of pseudo logic and self promotion thinks its a super great idea…

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