January 23, 2018

"Let me get this straight. You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?"

From "Why Can't People Hear What Jordan Peterson Is Saying?/A British broadcaster doggedly tried to put words into the academic’s mouth" by Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic.

The quote in the post headline is what Cathy Newman said after Peterson said:
There’s this idea that hierarchical structures are a sociological construct of the Western patriarchy. And that is so untrue that it’s almost unbelievable. I use the lobster as an example: We diverged from lobsters evolutionarily history about 350 million years ago. And lobsters exist in hierarchies. They have a nervous system attuned to the hierarchy. And that nervous system runs on serotonin just like ours. The nervous system of the lobster and the human being is so similar that anti-depressants work on lobsters. And it’s part of my attempt to demonstrate that the idea of hierarchy has absolutely nothing to do with sociocultural construction, which it doesn’t.
Lots more quotes from the interview and analysis of what's going on at the link. I just want to quote something from the movie "The Lobster":
HOTEL MANAGER — The fact that you'll turn into an animal if you don't manage to fall in love with another person during your stay here is not something that should upset you... Have you decided what animal you would like to be if you end up alone?

DAVID — A lobster.

HOTEL MANAGER — Why a lobster?

DAVID — Because a lobster lives to be over 100 years old, has blue blood just like an aristocrat and stays fertile all its life. And I like the sea very much. I water-ski and swim quite well, ever since I was a teenager.

HOTEL MANAGER — I must congratulate you. Usually the first thing people think of is a dog and that’s why the world is full of dogs.* Very few choose to become unusual animals, which is why they are endangered. Rarely does someone choose to be a tuna fish, due to the dangers it faces, or a polar bear, due to its adverse living conditions. A lobster is an excellent choice.
And here's the great David Foster Wallace essay "Consider the Lobster." Excerpt:
Still, after all the abstract intellection, there remain the facts of the frantically clanking lid, the pathetic clinging to the edge of the pot. Standing at the stove, it is hard to deny in any meaningful way that this is a living creature experiencing pain and wishing to avoid/escape the painful experience. To my lay mind, the lobster’s behavior in the kettle appears to be the expression of a preference; and it may well be that an ability to form preferences is the decisive criterion for real suffering. The logic of this (preference p suffering) relation may be easiest to see in the negative case. If you cut certain kinds of worms in half, the halves will often keep crawling around and going about their vermiform business as if nothing had happened. When we assert, based on their post-op behavior, that these worms appear not to be suffering, what we’re really saying is that there’s no sign that the worms know anything bad has happened or would prefer not to have gotten cut in half.
______________

* Notice that "the British broadcaster doggedly tried..."

220 comments:

1 – 200 of 220   Newer›   Newest»
Earnest Prole said...

Scott Adams devoted a Periscope to the BBC conversation.

Kevin said...

"Let me get this straight. You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?"

The more the elites yap away, the more they undercut their credibility to make decisions for the rest of us.

I'll take this over smug smiles any day.

Gregory said...

She persisted.

Lyssa said...

One of the reasons that I've lost a lot of interest in politics lately is that I often really can't tell whether or not people are actually incapable of understanding arguments that they disagree with, or if they're somehow pretending to, I don't know, get attention or get a reaction. It often seems like they don't know the answer, either.

If you can't understand the other side and intelligently grasp the rational, even if you disagree with it, then you don't understand your opinion, either, and have no business discussing it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Scott Adams devoted a Periscope to the BBC conversation."

Yes, I saw that too, and it caused me to watch the whole video of the event, but I didn't blog it because it was all video, no transcript, and I can't even see how to do clips from Periscope.

Adams's idea, if I remember correctly, is that the woman was "hallucinating." It's some version of the idea that people are always interpreting what they hear, so they impose the template of what they want to believe or already believe. In Adams's view Peterson is super-powerful and induced hallucination in the woman. Or am I misremembering and "hallucinating"?

Sebastian said...

Cathy Newman is the very model of a modern prog.

The "interview" displays wonderfully the sheer thickheadedness, the preening self-righteousness, the imperviousness to evidence of our patronizing inferiors.

Newman may be just naively clueless--itself a tell on modern prog culture--but in the aggregate such cluelessness becomes malicious. Progs scorch minds before they scorch the culture.

Ann Althouse said...

If the women were a comedian like Steve Colbert or John Oliver, "Let me get this straight. You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?" would have been an absolutely perfect response. But people don't think women are being funny (so deadpan is usually missed). Would it have killed him to laugh and have a little fun with it for 5 seconds? What a stuffed shirt!

Tim in Vermont said...

DFW is the best. You should try reading Infinite Jest at a leisurely pace, mixed in with other stuff. He reminds me of Anthony Burgess.

Ann Althouse said...

Lobsters never laugh.

And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries.

Ann Althouse said...

"You should try reading Infinite Jest at a leisurely pace, mixed in with other stuff."

You mean like for 100 years?

rehajm said...

Lobsters in a tank will gang up on one of their own and eat them. You find an empty shell in the morning. How's that for sociocultural construction?

Owen said...

Jordan Peterson was justly well-known before that interview by Newman, but she put him into Galaxy-class fame. The best part was that she destroyed herself in the process: and didn't even understand what she had done.

Tim in Vermont said...

You and your time-sink blog is what he was trying to warn us about!

Tank said...


Ann Althouse said...

If the women were a comedian like Steve Colbert or John Oliver, "Let me get this straight. You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?" would have been an absolutely perfect response. But people don't think women are being funny (so deadpan is usually missed). Would it have killed him to laugh and have a little fun with it for 5 seconds? What a stuffed shirt!


There's nothing funny about what she is trying to do to him in that interview. As an SJW leftist, she is trying to destroy him, to ruin him, to end his career.

Michael K said...

" What a stuffed shirt!"

Peterson is a Canadian national treasure but, like so many national treasures, he is unappreciated by many.

I have watched about ten of his videos.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why I’m Waiting for The Right Man to Tell Me I Should Read ‘Infinite Jest.'" ("As a woman in the dating world, I’m constantly trying to find the right man to spend the rest of my life with. So many people ask me when I’m going to settle down and have someone tell me to read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest....  Call me old fashioned, but I don’t take being told I should read Infinite Jest lightly. I’ve seen relationships crumble because the man rushed the woman into reading the book too quickly.... Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of the day I’d like a boy so much that I’d read a big dumb book just because he told me to. And then we’d watch the Jason Segel movie together and be like, 'This is…fine.' That’s the dream I’ve had since I was five, and I know one day it’s going to happen for me."

Ann Althouse said...

"Peterson is a Canadian national treasure but, like so many national treasures, he is unappreciated by many. I have watched about ten of his videos."

I watched one called something like 10 Things to Stop Doing and I got about halfway through. I turned it off and later, talking about it, found myself saying "He's talking about being exactly the kind of person I've always not wanted to be."

Ann Althouse said...

It's just about the exact opposite of "Flow."

Quayle said...

"Adams's idea, if I remember correctly, is that the woman was "hallucinating."

Have to disagree. She knows how to drive ratings. She's driving ratings, and that's driving money - lots of money in the network's pocket, which translates into money - a lot of money - into her pocket.

Modern "news" today is about garnering and keeping eyeballs. Eyeballs equate to revenue. It is a modern, less violent form of circus gladiator fighting, and tickets are charged for everyone that attends and watches. (Except in our modern world, the ticket isn't charged to the viewer, it is charged to those who want to display or capture the attention and dollars of the viewers.) But it is Roman arena. Which means that it is about keeping up the show and the battle. It's all there. The Pompa. The Lions and Christians. Gladiators and other gladiators. The harrumphing Senators watching from the boxes. "Ave imperato morituri te salutant!" It is all theater. It is all capitalism. It is all money.

Nothing more.

Nonapod said...

If the interviewer wanted to a picky pedant, she could have pointed out that we actually diverged from the lobsters something like 500 million years ago.

A while back Sam Harris had Peterson on and they spent an hour going round and round about what constitutes "truth". It was pretty funny,

Ann Althouse said...

"Peterson is a Canadian national treasure but, like so many national treasures, he is unappreciated by many."

Notice that I am observing that he doesn't appreciate her. He doesn't treat her like a human being, just keeps going on and on with his thought-out thoughts. She's much better at doing conversation: She's trying to make a show that will include the audience and create a human social environment. He presents himself as an expert on human behavior and he's tightly wound up inside his shell of predetermined expert opinions. I'm not surprised that she yields to the temptation to equate him to a lobster when he gives her a chance.

traditionalguy said...

I want to come back as Moby Dick, the whale with white privilege. And Moby Dick doesn't need to be a Victim to feel powerful. In an hour Cathy Newman only proved that she is a retarded idiot-in-charge.

Fernandistein said...

Michael K pontificated...
I have watched about ten of his videos.


Wow! That sure is a lot of video-watching!


"You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?"

That MSM interviewer should probably live in a hole on the ocean floor and communicate by squirting urine and pheromones on other MSM interviewers.

Earnest Prole said...

Or am I misremembering and "hallucinating"?

You have it right. Adams' point is a variation of his "two movies" thesis from his Sam Harris interview on Trump (which I would recommend to everyone): Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias mean people can view the same facts in radically different ways. He uses the term "hallucination" here because he claims the BBC interviewer unknowingly substituted her own prejudices for her subject's more than a dozen times in the interview.

Tim in Vermont said...

That brought laughing tears to my eyes.

Quayle said...

"It's just about the exact opposite of "Flow.""

Have to disagree. The issue with flow always boils down to what constraints - what ties or boundaries - do you really want. Or more usually, what ties or boundaries do you really NOT want.

I posit that some adopted and protected ties and constraints can lead to far greater resulting freedom and flow.

Example: Graham Nash just reveals that he never performs high, because his musicality and sensitivity to his playing and expression is dulled when he is high. A constraint adopted to enable greater "flow".

From all I've seen of Jordan Peterson's prescriptions, he's talking about those kinds of enabling boundaries - ties that set us free. You probably have naturally or from your family foundation have so many of them, so you don't stop to consider how they've set you free. But he's talking to people who came out of their families with little or no structure or foundation.

Leland said...

Adams seems to be over the top on manipulation of people's thoughts through persuasion. Between Adam's hypnotism training and medical marijuana (maybe some magic mushrooms); he's able to see things others may miss, like others hallucinating.

I think Newman walked in with an agenda and had no interested in being knocked off it. Pedersen came in with one too, but was more successful in staying on point.

Sydney said...

Neo Neocon had a good analysis of what was happening in that interview. She makes a persuasive case that he was using his treatment techniques as a psychologist on the interviewer. As a clinical psychologist, he's used to dealing with people who aren't thinking logically.

Quayle said...

"Graham Nash just reveals that he never performs high"

Or was it David Crosby. Too lazy to google and look.

dreams said...

I liked that guy and I thought that woman was just dumb, extremely thick. I posted that video on Althouse a few days ago on one of the talk about whatever posts.

Robert Cook said...

"Lobsters in a tank will gang up on one of their own and eat them. You find an empty shell in the morning. How's that for sociocultural construction?"

This supports the human/lobster evolutionary link.

JPS said...

Alyssa, 8:54:

"One of the reasons that I've lost a lot of interest in politics lately is that I often really can't tell whether or not people are actually incapable of understanding arguments that they disagree with,"

I keep thinking of Daniel Dennett's first rule of composing a successful critical commentary:

"You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, 'Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.'"

Prof. Althouse:

"But people don't think women are being funny (so deadpan is usually missed)."

Not a matter of her gender, but of her politics. I know hilarious liberals, but there is a strain of leftism that Does Not See Anything Funny About This, and finds you very insensitive if you do. I assumed Newman to be part of it, but I hope you're right. Regardless, you raise an interesting criticism of Peterson.

Earnest Prole said...

I didn't see the problem with the BBC interviewer's questions: She presses him hard and he offers interesting responses; they are both doing their jobs. By coincidence I had just rewatched the movie Frost/Nixon. I wish America had a cultural expectation that its leaders should answer tough questions regularly from the opposition, like the UK Prime Minister must do weekly during Question Time in Parliament -- it's good for the opposition and even better for the leader (provided he or she is competent).

Chris N said...

There’s so much trouble at the Temple, even Althouse seems to be reverting back to emotional and social appeals. Please help clean the Temple first, and see what’s inside there worth saving and sharing, because it excludes me by definition. What’s good for you may not be a good for me.

What matters much more to me is what’s true, and what’s to be said publicly in pursuit of the truth.

Cathy Newman wields a lot of ‘social’ appeal, partly because she’s climbed within a large mandatorily funded institution, and she’s likely never had to be challenged on many of these particular beliefs because people with similar beliefs run the institution

When challenged, she could at least rise to the challenge. She didn’t, and I’d argue its partly due to the flawed application of emotion to ideological structures which discourage reason, valuing group solidarity, grievance, and the victim/oppressor view of the world (power theories) more than reason.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Notice that I am observing that he doesn't appreciate her. He doesn't treat her like a human being, just keeps going on and on with his thought-out thoughts. She's much better at doing conversation: She's trying to make a show that will include the audience and create a human social environment. He presents himself as an expert on human behavior and he's tightly wound up inside his shell of predetermined expert opinions. I'm not surprised that she yields to the temptation to equate him to a lobster when he gives her a chance.

This is demonstrative of the fact that people all see things through filters, what Adams calls hallucinations are just the filters we use to make sense of the world. Watching the interview I saw someone who was trying to express his opinions, based on fact and careful, deep thinking, and was faced with someone who was either deliberately misrepresenting his positions or incapable of grasping them. As for the lobster comment, that was not dead pan humor, it was an attempt to paint him as a kook.

dreams said...

Via the Instapundit.

Owen said...

Prof. A: "...[Newman] is much better at doing conversation." Huh? She kept hijacking his words to drive her own prearranged agenda of manipulative slogans designed (and no doubt successfully) to drive her ratings. She wanted heat, not light. To vary the metaphor: Peterson used a rapier and kept his thoughts and words focused on the real topic; she crashed around with a dull hatchet, unable to engage effectively. I have never seen a more one-sided performance.

As for your characterization of Peterson as too tightly wrapped (antithesis of "Flow,") --maybe so. But most people who think they're going to "flow," end up in a puddle. I think Peterson has got a strong approach to reality, and his crackling verbal skill is instructive and even inspiring. He is not without humor: that "Gotcha" interjection shows that he knows this is a game, it takes both of them to play it, and she is acknowledged as a worthy (but vanquished) player. IMHO. (See the "Neo-Neocon" blog for a nice analysis yesterday of the Peterson-Newman interview).

bgates said...

I didn't see the problem with the BBC interviewer's questions: She presses him hard and he offers interesting responses; they are both doing their jobs. By coincidence I had just rewatched the movie Frost/Nixon.

So what you're saying is you think Peterson should resign?

buwaya said...

Scott Adams is quite wrong in this case.
He assumes honesty on her part.
There isn't any. She was not incapable of understanding.
Her approach was calculated, in order to make a political point.

This is typical of the MSM media disingenuity in cases like this.
It is a calculated pose.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Ann Althouse said...
"You should try reading Infinite Jest at a leisurely pace, mixed in with other stuff."

You mean like for 100 years?

1/23/18, 8:58 AM


Like, with a cloth? Ohoho I get it now. Too bad I can't go back in time and vote for Hillary, that scamp!

How mental are you? You were just slobbering Peterson's knob when he Gotcha'd her, now you turn and complain that he's got no sensayuma?

Do you believe anything you say?

The only reason there would have been for him to humor, or rather, patronize her, is if he wanted to hit that later after the show.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaydub said...

Why is it so difficult for some to take the time to completely develop their thoughts before jumping in to comment? Wouldn't it be better to state one's case succinctly the first time rather than reposting every time a new thought strays into one's head? Specifically, is it not better to have thought-out thoughts than to have unthought-out thoughts? Is it not reasonable to assume that one who has been at the top of his field for 25 years or so and is invited on a show to discuss his latest book should be expected to be somewhat of an expert on the subject? Asking for a friend.

Bueller? Althouse?

Pookie Number 2 said...

Notice that I am observing that he doesn't appreciate her.

You're missing the fact that she was intentionally misrepresenting what he said. That counts, too.

Freeman Hunt said...

So many (nearly ALL!) interviews are like this. What's the point of watching? Might as well watch someone talk to a quacking duck or a barking dog. Garbage.

Plus, as Althouse wrote about yesterday, the weird looks. It's all too bizarre. People overmade like they're prepared for stage plays pretending to be unable to understand the people they're talking to. Tedious and weird.

Why does anyone watch news on TV?

Freeman Hunt said...

He should have said, "Yes, just like lobsters. And we should begin by having mechanical claws attached to our arms. Everyone should be enrolled in scuba diving lessons to advance us toward the goal of living in the sea. Just like lobsters."

Tim in Vermont said...

EP, Such a system could have spared us the Hillary candidacy. Instead, the press flushed their credibility with cheerleading. See the obsequious Glenn Thrush email to Hillary. Now nobody believes them and they blame Trump.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Because a lobster lives to be over 100 years old"

Well, unless it ends up in a trap and is subsequently dropped into a pot of boiling water and served with drawn butter. That kinda puts a kibosh on the 100 year life expectancy thing.

Kristian Holvoet said...

Example: Graham Nash just reveals that he never performs high, because his musicality and sensitivity to his playing and expression is dulled when he is high. A constraint adopted to enable greater "flow".

Anymore. With a new liver. That he got because 'Celebrity'.

rhhardin said...

She's just sticking to talking points.

Traditionally, his response to her doing that just puts him in the group of deplorables, where he's exiled as a non-person.

PC is not saying what you notice. Once a large group is not saying stuff, you're in control.

It's the same old thing, and I don't see why it's treated as special this time. It's no worse than what's been going on for decades.

rhhardin said...

I bailed out of The Lobster early.

Tim in Vermont said...

Imagine a Democrat candidate battle tested in the red states. Never happen, the power is all wasted in the hothouse.

They could win without importing millions more poor, but they would have to shift slightly to the right, and that is completely unacceptable.

bgates said...

If the women were a comedian like Steve Colbert or John Oliver, "Let me get this straight. You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?" would have been an absolutely perfect response. But people don't think women are being funny

That's an odd dichotomy, between men who are nominally comedians pretending to be impartial journalists and women who are nominally impartial journalists. Why not say "If the woman were a comedian like Samantha Bee..." or "If the woman were a man like Jorge Ramos or Anderson Cooper..."?

buwaya said...

Post-interview party line was that the hostile commentary, incl nasty comments vs the interviewer, "invalidates" the interview, or refutes Peterson, or whatever.

This reveals the purpose of the piece, which was fundamentally a premeditated attempt at ruining Petersons reputation. Every single MSM interview of a right-wing (or not quite left, like Peterson) is similarly malicious.

These things are never what they seem, there is no innocence to them, no "conversation". Every one is a trap, laid by professionals.

Freeman Hunt said...

"I bailed out of The Lobster early."

So did I.

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe if television people accepted looking uglier, their shows would be better. Too much effort put into the Appearance Box and not enough into the Interestingness Box.

JML said...

Have to disagree. The issue with flow always boils down to what constraints - what ties or boundaries - do you really want.

'Boil' is a triggering word when discussing lobsters. Shame on your micro aggression.

rhhardin said...

Lobsters are supposed to keep blacks from rising out of black dysfunction.

Gahrie said...

Would it have killed him to laugh and have a little fun with it for 5 seconds?

He was under attack by a hostile interviewer..there was nothing "fun" about it. But...he made a woman feel bad, so he clearly is at fault.

Women must never be made to feel bad about, or responsible for, anything, ever.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Another example of mental filters influencing how we see the world is the insistence of talking heads on MSNBC and CNN that Trump is authoritarian and dangerous to our democracy. To me he seems to be effectively using the institutions of the government, within the constraints of the constitution, to enact the very changes in policies that he campaigned and won the election on while also fighting elements of the government that are engaging in an attempt to overthrow the election.

To the left those self same actions are a nefarious attempt to destroy democracy and institute a "Handmaiden's Tale" dystopia, or worse.

I don't see anyway that those two viewpoints can be reconciled. You have to have some filters to make sense of the world. The purpose of education and indoctrination (which are often the same thing) is to create those filters in the first place. It is obvious that the filters used by significant portions of the US populace have diverged to the point where living peacefully with each other may be unmanageable.

buwaya said...

You cannot concede a comedic purpose to people like Colbert or Oliver. They put on the clown nose to invite their victim in to a whimsical exchange, and then whip off the clown nose for a gotcha. And then put it on again, to do some mockery.

They are not in that business for innocent reasons. They are not "entertainers". They are highly disciplined, extremely capable propagandists.

rhhardin said...

I saw a Peterson video on his psychology class telling some student that what people think of him isn't up to him.

It struck me as pretty good but I can't refind it. He has so many videos now, not up to that standard of goodness at all.

dreams said...

This is what I think. Liberals and womyn!

"And now we have Peggy Noonan writing that "America Needs More Gentlemen." No doubt, but first we have to win, and not just win the decisive battle of the shutdown, or the midterms, or the 2020 election. We have to demolish liberals every day before breakfast like Jordan B. Peterson demolished Surrey Girl Cathy Newman last week in a decisive battle on BBC Channel 4."

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/01/1_22_2018_0_7.html#ixzz551TQE8Fj
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

rhhardin said...

Colbert was good on his original show, where everybody was saying he was doing a parody right-winger.

I saw him as baiting left-wingers, not as actually believing what he was saying.

He was seeing leftwing buttons to push.

Henry said...

Would it have killed him to laugh and have a little fun with it for 5 seconds?

So what you're saying, is you think she wanted to kill him? Are you saying lobsters are like preying mantises?

Chris N said...

Also, there’s a kind of postmodern stance downstream of much German idealism, through Schopenhauer’s will and Nietzsches will to power, which also came of age just before/alongside Emerson, just as Darwin’s ideas had sent some ripples outwards (Peterson engages in a kind of biological determinism with the lobster argument).

It’s helped to create the Romantic to Modern to Postmodern pursuit of individual genius and the genius who must make anew from whole cloth, creating values rather than discovering observable reality (or without engaging in the previous metaphysics).

Some of Peterson’s work seems in this vein ( I’d have to look more).

There’s enough social science, empirics, and genuine statistical modeling to help him declare a victory for psychological and some biological self determination over postmodern collectivism however, the grievance crowd reacting against everything and the bureaucratic rot once these ideas take root.

I’d rather side with many new atheists over the muddle headed postmodernists and the dangerous authoritarian collectivism that fills the hole.

robother said...

I think Peterson would come across as less of a stuffed shirt, if he had responded to her suggestion that he wants to reorganize society along lobster lines by whipping out a giant lobster claw and snapped off her head.

Ratings gold for BBC, and he would pwn youtube forever. Go with the flow.

buwaya said...

There is no purpose in any right-or-center public figure giving an interview to any MSM outlet. There is no real upside in it - even Peterson pulled out a draw, at best, he made no friends in the other camp, ref. Althouse.

The degree of mutual hatred, based on divergent interests, is too extreme.

MaxedOutMama said...

As I have commented before, the Left talks about science but refuses to accept evolution's implications in human beings. They make it all up and then demand we accept the falsity, embrace the falsity, live the falsity, and finally redirect the anger engendered by the inevitable consequences of living a lie toward those who tell the truth.

As a socio-cultural system, it is exemplified by the Iranian government's prosecution of those poor young people who made the "Happy" video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg1fxPrZ8zs

The Russian videos made me think about the Happy videos from Iran (the original was followed by others)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OWYCgGOSMA

And, for spice and contrast, a different video from a Saudi:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZMbTFNp4wI&index=17&list=RDRYnLRf-SNxY

There is something in the human spirit that seeks freedom, and laughter can be a terribly strong weapon against cultural oppression. It doesn't beat guns, but it can force cultural despots to violence, which makes things a lot clearer.

CStanley said...

I watched the interview yesterday and found it fascinating. I definitely thought Peterson got the better of the interviewer, and I felt that her attempts to (incorrectly) restate his positions set him up perfectly to demonstrate how he's being misquoted and misinterpreted. Each time she lobbed one of those over the net he drove the point home.

And as for his general philosophy, this was my first exposure to it but my impression is that he's very good at helping people, particularly women, learn to compete successfully in the real world. This involves behaving in ways that are contrary to many women's natures, and his attitude seems to be that they need to face that reality and either decide to change their behaviors accordingly (if they value the goal enough to want to do that) or recognize that the goal isn't valuable enough to do that so they should choose a different path that's more congruent with their natures. That seems like eminently sound advice to me.

On the other hand, the interviewer is of the opinion that reality should change to suit the goals of women whose natures are not suited to compete in the environment of the current real world. The discussion circled around this a bit when she asked if the corporate world couldn't perhaps become more feminine. I think this was a missed opportunity because she seemed to be flailing at the idea rather than having prepared to press the point. If she had had prior understanding of his views I think she could have pressed the point, and given specific examples of how women can compete in ways that are more feminine and how corporations might compete in the marketplace by displaying these softer sides. I think that conversation would have been more productive in terms of pushing back at his views.

A lot of what it comes down to though is whether women should compete as individuals to get the best deal they can or if they should attempt to use collective means of changing the landscape. Unfortunately I don't believe women are very good at doing the latter and even more unfortunately the feminist movement has completely melded with leftist authoritarianism, so I will never feel inclined t join in their efforts.

Sebastian said...

"Notice that I am observing that he doesn't appreciate her." He does--as a perfect foil. He's having a good time, he can tell she's no match, he senses that this is going to be big, and he appreciates her for making it possible.

"He doesn't treat her like a human being," True. He treats her as a posturing, uninformed prog interviewer--performing a role.

"just keeps going on and on with his thought-out thoughts." Scandalous! He gets invited for an interview and he keeps going on and on! He has thought-out thoughts!

"She's much better at doing conversation: She's trying to make a show that will include the audience and create a human social environment." Yes, because what human wants to listen to an expert going on and on with thought-out thoughts. Much better to hear a nonexpert screech about the 9% gap. 9%! 9%! Now that's conversation for you.

"He presents himself as an expert on human behavior" A UT psychologist presents himself as an expert on human behavior! The arrogance!

"he's tightly wound up inside his shell of predetermined expert opinions." Man comes ready for battle, responds to nitwit questions with "predetermined expert opinions," as opposed to spontaneously fabricated BS, completely outmaneuvering the prog interviewer. For someone so tightly wound inside his shell, he did a remarkably good job coming out of his shell and communicating his actual thought-out thoughts.

"I'm not surprised that she yields to the temptation to equate him to a lobster when he gives her a chance." Here I agree. I am not surprised either.

I did laugh throughout the interview, but not because of the woman's "deadpan" humor.

dreams said...

And this.

"Christakis mentions two important things about Newman. First, she seemed hostile towards Peterson, clearly going into the interview with a moral prejudice towards him. Second, she seemed unable to engage with his arguments, instead misrepresenting them (“You’re saying women aren’t intelligent enough to run top companies?”) or taking issue with them (during a conversation about unhealthy relationships, Newman asked: “What gives you the right to say that?” Answer: “I’m a clinical psychologist.”) At one point, she was rendered speechless."

http://quillette.com/2018/01/17/jordan-b-peterson-critical-theory-new-bourgeoisie/

Unknown said...

David Crosby is the one that is on his third liver.

Peterson is a gem. He was brought on so that he could be attacked. He refused to give in. How many times did he have to correct her mischaracterization of what he said or has said? I thought he did a fine job of conversing and listening, and was quite polite and measured in his responses.

-sw

dreams said...

That woman didn't display any humor.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The degree of mutual hatred, based on divergent interests, is too extreme.

buwaya, as usual, nails it. Your filters are based on your perceived interest. If you are a winner via globalism, identity politics, etc then Trump supporters are deplorable. Its self-evident. No need to try to see things from their point of view because they are, after all, literally Hitler.

robother said...

Also, "doggedly" is not the technically correct adverb for the female of the species.

rhhardin said...

Old New Yorker cartoon, woman to husband, "Now, don't try to reason with me."

Greg Hlatky said...

If he was there to say Trump is nuts, she would have been fawning all over him.

Jay Vogt said...

The time might be right now for a new tag: "crustacean politics".

Lewis Wetzel said...

As far as I can tell, Peterson's "big idea" is that people make sense of the world by interacting with a narrative framework that models what they believe is the real, objective world. People get in trouble when the confuse this model, which is their creation, with the real, objective world. This is a variety of the old school of philosophy called "British Idealism." If you've read Tolkien or C.S. Lewis, you've read the last popular authors who were educated by British Idealists.
I do not know if Peterson knows that he is echoing the British Idealists. I can't find any references to British Idealism in his work, but I have not done an rigorous search.

Amadeus 48 said...

Cathy Newman has the typical BBC approach to adversary interviewing. They do it every morning on the Today Show on Radio 4, particularly with Tory cabinet ministers. They overstate or misstate the subject's views to get a reaction via a correction or counter-assertion. It is very effective in clarifying matters. American interviewers are tedious and fawning by comparison, and their interviews are not very enlightening. Think about most interviews on NPR. One exception to this is Hugh Hewitt's radio show.

Conor Fredersdorf lives in a bubble of liberal groupthink. He needs to get out more. Intelligent interviewees like Jordan Peterson can handle Cathy Newman's tactics. Watch the judo move he made on her when he pointed out that she wasn't worried about offending HIM when she asserted that transgender people have a right not to be offended. If you are seeking truth, you have to risk offense.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Last night I watched that episode of Star Trek TOS where Flint makes the perfect woman but he needs Kirk to prime the pump, so to speak. Surprisingly good, I thought, despite Shatner's playing to the cheap seats. He claims to have trained as a Shakespearean actor so you'd think he'd have taken it maybe a little bit more seriously, what with The Tempest and all.

Anyway, after Star Trek came that episode of Frazier where Niles is fully smitten with Daphne but she thinks he wants her to help him tell some other woman that he loves her. Maybe that description doesn't narrow things down very much.

Anyway, the point is: That episode of Frazier was a huge disappointment. They weren't playing it for yuks at all. Niles suffers throughout. It was like that David Hyde Pierce guy was trying to make it into something tragic because of his pity for his character. Didn't want to be mean to the poor guy by having us laugh at him.

Sometimes I wonder whether I shouldn't have pursued my high school ambition of becoming a playwright. I never got started at all because I didn't know how. But it seems to me, now, with the benefit of some decades in the rear view mirror, that I could have simply conjured up some circumstance and then transcribed and translated the processes of my mind into the form of a script.

Shop it around as tragedy. If that didn't work, shop it around as comedy.

Either way, consider the lobster.

dreams said...

"I think Peterson would come across as less of a stuffed shirt, if he had responded to her suggestion that he wants to reorganize society along lobster lines by whipping out a giant lobster claw and snapped off her head."

Some of you apparently see that as joke, if so, it was at his expense and also, she was trying to demean his argument so why should he acquiesce.

Unknown said...

I think our host sounds a little defensive. The interviewee pretty much demolished some sacred shibboleth of pay equality, women CEOs, etc.

Birches said...

I don't think she was joking. I imagine if he had laughed, all the feminists would be saying he belittled her.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

When brown shirts ask questions.

tolkein said...

I thought the interview was quite humorous and Cathy Newman was honest enough to realise she had to rethink at least one of her points - about free speech and the right to be offensive. I thought it wass a bit flirty at times.

Cathy Newman is a C4 employee, not BBC. She's also not at all stupid - she got a First in English at Oxford. That's a serious degree from a serious University. Yes, she's a progressive, but it wasn't the car crash interview it's been portrayed - and I'm v sympathetic to the Peterson position. Journalists shouldn't be cosy, and I thought she was a good foil to Peterson.

Fritz said...

The hournolist has zero clue what a multivariate analysis is, and what its implications are. And she doesn't want to.

robother said...

Lobsters enjoy physical humor; they appreciate a snappy response.

Virgil Hilts said...

A: "...[Newman] is much better at doing conversation." I thought this was more of a debate. I picture Ann having a blogging heads debate with someone (man or woman, I don't care) who tried to use Newman's tactics on Ann.
Maybe Ann would have done even a better at appreciating the other person, and treating them like a human being, but I thought Peterson was incredibly civilized and that is why this interview went viral. A lot of us are sick of the Tucker Carlson approach (he used to be great, years ago, but is almost unwatchable now). This was a breath of fresh air.

Bob Boyd said...

"Would it have killed him to laugh and have a little fun with it for 5 seconds? What a stuffed shirt!"

He was laughing on the inside...where it counts.

Francisco D said...

Over the past 30 years, I have noticed two emerging phenomena.

First, people seem to cherish the role of the victim. They want it to be part of their identity so it protects them against real or perceived threats to their world view. It gives them the moral high ground.

Second, people are increasingly limiting their access to different points of view. They are doing so, in part, by villianizing divergent views. Thus, they cannot reasonably argue with those views. (This is essentially what Steven Pinker was pointing out).

Shows like The McLaughlin Group used to be fun because you got a sense of how your political opponents thought. When those shows became screamfests or gotcha moments, I tuned them out. The dialogue between liberals, conservatives, libertarians and other strains of thought no longer seems to exist.

Fernandistein said...

buwaya said...
She was not incapable of understanding.


I think she was incapable of understanding, and that's why she sounded so ignorant: because she is ignorant. And very manipulative but not bright enough to pull it off.

The quillete link posted by dreams repeats Pinker's point that "these arguments have largely been banished from contemporary mainstream news media and entertainment [and standardized education]."

Robert Cook said...

"Colbert was good on his original show, where everybody was saying he was doing a parody right-winger."

He was...he was mocking Bill O'Reilly, hence the show's name, "The Colbert Report," a joke on "The O'Reilly Factor."

Lewis Wetzel said...

I don't consider O'Reilly to be conservative. His favored policies (as far as I can tell) are pre-1968 democrat.

Owen said...

Sebastian: your comment at 9:51 absolutely crushes it. Thanks.

Amadeus 48 said...

"She's much better at doing conversation."

You have to be kidding. Is your idea of conversation to mis-characterize your counterpart's views in the most obstreperous and insulting way and to engage in non-stop accusatory questions? Nah. You don't believe that.

It was an adversary interview, it was interesting, and it was fine for what it was.

Owen said...

Lewis Wetzel: Your 10:04 discussion of British Idealism is most interesting. To what extent is that approach necessary (or at least widespread) among psychologists, clinical and theoretical? Isn't that idea (there I go, using that word!) inherent in the "reality principle"? Are we not all smashing ourselves constantly like bugs on the glass, and trying to model its dangers and rewards in an efficient predictive story?

Howard said...

Althouse, like many women suffers from the boyfriend privilege. They expect to be humored and seduced by men whom are expected to repeat the feline opinions in a deeper voice to make it sound real. When they do not receive this accommodation, it is an affront to their girl power. Call it mansplaining, sweetie, then get your hair dyed.

Bob Boyd said...

Next fad in Silicon Valley, lobster serotonin injections.

Bill Peschel said...

Afterwards, on Twitter, her producer posted a picture of her looking at the negative reaction and laughing her ass off.

They pulled it and later released a statement saying she feared for her life from all the negative reaction.

That pretty much sums up her worldview.

"Would it have killed him to laugh and have a little fun with it for 5 seconds?"

Ann, would you have said that to a serious female colleague?

Sebastian said...

Thanks, Owen.

buwaya said...

It is a terrible mistake to assume incapacity in people like the interviewer.
They are far from stupid. On average they are, probably, as smart or smarter in an objective sense than the commenters here.
If you are ever up against one of these people it would be wise to completely shut up.

She is as capable of understanding Peterson as you or I would be of understanding anyone she favors.
Some humility is required.
The rank and file on that side may be incapable of understanding another POV, but that's not true of their professionals.

Darrell said...

"Let me get this straight. You’re saying that we should organize our societies along the lines of the lobsters?"

Peterson: Interesting idea. Let's try a little experiment--do you have any butter on you?

Fernandistein said...

buwaya said...
It is a terrible mistake to assume incapacity in people like the interviewer.


Observed, not assumed.

They are far from stupid.

High-V, low-M. They can bullshit well enough to fool themselves and each other.

On average they are, probably, as smart or smarter in an objective sense than the commenters here.

Not touchin' that one!

Mcbean. Coco Mcbean. said...

I'm actually quite surprised by the althouse response to this interview. One of the things that I like best about this blog is Ann's usual ability to call out people being disingenuous, on both sides of the aisle. The sheer number of times that Ms. Newman mischarecterized what Peterson said, and always (always!) in a very negative way, was remarkable. The fact that the response to the interview was an apparently quite negative impression of Peterson, who if nothing else, was unfailingly polite, surprises me. As I mentioned. :P

Darrell said...

Pro Tip: First see if there are any CCTV cameras that dispute your claim.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMJ_rkCGc48

Tim in Vermont said...

On average they are, probably, as smart or smarter in an objective sense than the commenters here.


Got the first bit of data to back that one up?

buwaya said...

And its a mistake to think that Peterson "won".

He may have won Game A, which he thought he was playing, but whiffed it on Game B, which his interviewer was also playing.

If she did not crush it on Game B - which she would have done had she actually caught him in a gotcha, and scored there as she would have in Game A - she did score what Althouse for instance probably considers sufficient style points in Game B - a good chunk of her audience probably reacted as Althouse did, and found Peterson distasteful. Which was a goal of both Game A and Game B.

Its very very hard for a professional interviewer of this sort to lose. The games are not the sort that any conservative can ever "win", in any way that's worth the risk. All of this is completely rigged, because, among other things, the well is thoroughly poisoned.

Tim in Vermont said...

he rank and file on that side may be incapable of understanding another POV, but that’s not true of their professionals.

I think you are wrong, and I think that is why they failed so miserably in the shutdown. The Kool-Aide drinkers are now in charge.

buwaya said...

"The fact that the response to the interview was an apparently quite negative impression of Peterson, who if nothing else, was unfailingly polite, surprises me. As I mentioned. :P"

That's because you are not the audience the producers of this show were targeting.
They were targeting people much more like Althouse.
People vary, and in the modern world they have nearly completely sorted out into mutually hostile camps.

Tim in Vermont said...

I think you misread Althouse, but what really amazes me is the lack of a Zoidberg appearance anywhere in this thread.

Lem said...

Funny, I bought Infinite Jest the night Althouse posted his suicide.

The book confused me. I didn't finish it.

Years later, reading about Aaron Swartz, I found out he had a theory about the book. He also committed suicide.
https://www.reddit.com/r/davidfosterwallace/comments/16hrf5/the_recently_deceased_aaron_swartz_is_the_author/

buwaya said...

"Got the first bit of data to back that one up?"

I have watched a great deal of these people. It is my impression.

Get past the initial urge to shout back, and see how they structure their questions (as in this interview, which was fairly crude of its sort), their responses, and how they strategically overtalk to interrupt what would be telling points, or eat up airtime as a smokescreen. And then there is the attention paid to emotional responses, or the evoking of emotional response in their target audience. There is meticulous method to all of it.

There is no honest exchange of views intended in any of this. They don't care if you have facts or logic on your side, any more than Inga or Ritmo or PB&J do. Those malicious commenters want to get you emotional, but the TV professionals want to get their audience emotional. They know their audience better than you do.

Carol said...

people seem to cherish the role of the victim. They want it to be part of their identity so it protects them against real or perceived threats to their world view. It gives them the moral high ground.

Also, with any luck you get a cash settlement.

Anyway, I'm liking this Peterson guy, whom I'd never heard of until today. Great taste in writers and nice take on nihilism.

BDNYC said...

That was one of the most irritating interviews ever, but I was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of sympathy for Peterson. There are still honest people alive today who, whatever their beliefs, do not like the manner of argument used against Peterson. Basically, Peterson would say something and the interview would dishonestly reframe what he said to sound as extreme and unhinged as possible. He would correct her, he would say something else, she wouldn't listen, wash, rinse, repeat.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Owen said...
Lewis Wetzel: Your 10:04 discussion of British Idealism is most interesting. To what extent is that approach necessary (or at least widespread) among psychologists, clinical and theoretical?

I don't know how many psychologists apply the principles of British Idealism to their practices. Anyone who says "be the hero of your own story" is an idealist of some sort, because they see the world we live in as a thing we create.

Tim in Vermont said...

Maybe if you can completely understand the book, which I know I can’t, it becomes clear that suicide is your best option? It’s just that Althouse keeps quoting the guy, and the book is pretty similar to her quotes, in a lot of ways. Of course, that’s like saying you enjoy a teacup of rich bouillabaisse with some oyster crackers, doesn’t mean you want to eat a stock pot full with a rasher of baguettes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The main issue with these (so called) journalists and interviewers is......

They don't effing listen to their interviewee. They don't even listen to themselves! When you go into an interview with a preconceived agenda and are not willing to listen, but instead have the goal of forcing your preconceptions, you are a failure at your job.

They are nothing more than propagandists.

Dr. Jordan Peterson was MAGNIFICENT. I highly recommend that people take the time to watch the entire interview. Well worth your time.

Lem said...

"Let me get my camera..."

Link

Birkel said...

buwaya:
I have been around people much smarter than this interviewer. I am much smarter than is she.

And I don't think intelligence matters one bit when, as in this interview, it becomes disconnected from the way things work. People who start every thought puzzle believing they can think themselves out of reality will be consistently wrong.

Why was Krugman so hysterical when Trump won? Why was he so wrong? He is objectively smart and a fool, to boot.

Your opinion of the effects of propaganda is strangely unrelated to reality. It is your flaw.

Tim in Vermont said...

By the way, lots of people read these comments, so making arguments in this forum is a way to fight back. It’s not like we are silenced peasants in the United States that have zero voice. One of the things that infuriates the left is that they managed to suborn the press right at the time the press has lost its primacy in political discussion.


https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/althouse.blogspot.com

Sigh, upgraded to Sierra and still can’t get a hotlink past javascript in this browser.

Lewis Wetzel said...

If you go to Amazon you can read quite a bit of Peterson's _Maps of Meaning_. It was written in the 80s & was supposed be some kind of thesis. It is not pop psychology. Anyway, it is pure British Idealism as applied to psychology. Peterson's style as an interviewee in the video is an attempt not to relinquish control to the interviewer. He succeeds.

Tim in Vermont said...

That MSM interviewer should probably live in a hole on the ocean floor and communicate by squirting urine and pheromones on other MSM interviewers

Nailed it!

Bad Lieutenant said...

Howard said...
Althouse, like many women suffers from the boyfriend privilege. They expect to be humored and seduced by men whom are expected to repeat the feline opinions in a deeper voice to make it sound real. When they do not receive this accommodation, it is an affront to their girl power. Call it mansplaining, sweetie, then get your hair dyed.

1/23/18, 10:37 AM


I LOVE YOU MAN! Here, have my Bud Light.

https://youtu.be/uf2UZTXlkfc

Sebastian said...

"The games are not the sort that any conservative can ever "win", in any way that's worth the risk." Depends on what the meaning of "win" is, but I disagree. Persuading female progs may be hopeless, but simply fighting back in the culture war without giving ground counts as a win to me. As progs know all too well, each "game" is just a tactical maneuver in the larger war. Approaching it that way, as Peterson does, also is a step forward--a local "win."

CStanley said...

I don't think buwaya is wrong, exactly but the intelligence factor is EQ instead of IQ.

EQ serves her goals well (propaganda through emotional manipulation of her viewers) and although she also seems quite smart (IQ) she neither wants to understand Peterson nor wants her viewers to understand and possibly agree with him.

It's also true as buwaya notes that the game played by journalists creates a no win situation for conservatives, but Peterson at least brought it to a draw which is an impressive feat.

buwaya said...

"People who start every thought puzzle believing they can think themselves out of reality will be consistently wrong."

People whose intention is to persuade, not to "be right", are correct (usually) in ignoring reality. Reality is irrelevant, they themselves are insulated from reality by money or social position. They make their money and achieve power by manipulating opinions and world-views, not reality.

History is not comforting about the value of realism vs propaganda. You can go very far indeed with propaganda, short of complete disaster.

buwaya said...

"Why was Krugman so hysterical when Trump won? Why was he so wrong? He is objectively smart and a fool, to boot."

Krugman has not really suffered for being wrong. He said what was expedient, for him and his employer, at the time. It seems foolish to us, but we are not his audience.

MikeR said...

Kind of surprised at Prof. Althouse's reaction. Newman was just mind-bogglingly clueless. It felt like she was just incapable of even thinking about the "wage gap" outside of the way she already thinks about it. As Sam Harris said, a "nearly terminal case of close-mindedness".

Lem said...

"...the idea that people are always interpreting what they hear, so they impose the template of what they want to believe or already believe."

Consider our reaction to Dylan Farrow sexual abuse allegations... had the allegations against Woody surfaced closer to Weinstein's time in the boiling pot... maybe things would've turned out different.

Darryl Thomas said...

I watched the full interview and did not conclude that Newman was as bad as many people assert. Perhaps, this was because I am accustomed to hearing that manner of basic “gotcha” cross-examination where the questioner tries to trip up the witness by pulling out a phrase from a long answer and highlighting it.

Then I read the (partial) transcript in the Atlantic. Newman comes cross as entirely a one trick pony. If you prohibited her from ‘retorting’ with “so you are saying...” Newman would be rendered speechless.

And, I was thoroughly impressed with Peterson’s remarks as transcribed. Agree or disagree with his conclusions, he makes (for a television interview) complex multipart arguments coherently and well phrased. In a live interview with no notes...

buwaya said...

"When you go into an interview with a preconceived agenda and are not willing to listen, but instead have the goal of forcing your preconceptions, you are a failure at your job."

It depends on your conception of your job. If the whole point of your job is to force a certain set of preconceptions on your audience through some tricks of emotional manipulation, then you have done your job, regardless of how some idealized debate moderator would score the game.

If it helps, assume, going in, that the interviewer, her producer, her crew, her network boss, the owner of the network, and on up are your worst enemies, and moreover they consider you inconvenient to their purposes. Because they are and they do.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Peter Hitchens (brother of the late Christopher Hitchens) is a conservative who is often interviewed on Brit TV. He is far to the right of the Tories, and always faces a hostile interviewer. But Hitchens seems to love the game of making his liberal interviewers insist that women can have penis's and make men pregnant, or that drug use is okay for everyone in Britain other than their own children, etc.
Like Peterson, Hitchens does not seem to have many female fans.

buwaya said...

"As Sam Harris said, a "nearly terminal case of close-mindedness".

Sam Harris (I read his piece), like so many others, is unused to brutal politics.

Insect politics (see above).

They can't get past the assumption of goodwill.

n.n said...

His confidence and style are remarkably similar to Camille Paglia, which is, according to feminists, arguably masculine (e.g. self-assured, aggressive) gendered. I wonder if reactions to him are influenced by gender, sex, or ideology. Some people may be more willing to accept a masculine female, than a masculine male, or are influenced by the voice or the look. There was an SNL skit that highlighted tolerance and acceptance are correlated with attraction (e.g. "color"). For her part, Newman is the feminists' feminine female, and that gender and sex may have been selected with its own popular appeal.

Tim in Vermont said...


You can go very far indeed with propaganda, short of complete disaster.

Propaganda can be countered. It really can. That’s. why it is so important to the left to burn books, etc.

buwaya said...

"Like Peterson, Hitchens does not seem to have many female fans."

No, he probably doesn't. He is also probably (unwittingly) serving his opponents purposes.

They like having him on for a reason. He may please the likes of us, but for their immediate purposes we are irrelevant.

Birkel said...

buwaya:

Again, you overestimate the value of propaganda. When people are able to see, in real time, the inadequacies of the manipulators -- that the interviewers are all naked -- the interviewers lose their effectiveness.

Krugman cried wolf, again. And anybody who runs to the fields to see if he is correct will see their 401k is unmolested. Sure, he is protected from his own wrongness. But consider the way blue collar folks voted in the Blue Wall.

They knew the propaganda. They could quote it, chapter and verse. But they were unswayed in a world where they could see the shuttered businesses in their communities.

This is NOT 1930s America in which FDR can destroy wealth and people won't notice.

Propaganda works when it resembles the truth. Propaganda has to be within shouting distance of true. Propaganda cut from whole cloth and shown in REAL TIME to be false degrades its future effectiveness.

buwaya said...

"Propaganda can be countered. It really can."

Yes, with an equal or greater megaphone.
But "our" side does not have such an equal megaphone.

Nonapod said...

People seem to be confusing being factually correct with winning a debate in the eyes of a particular audience. Just because you're able to make a cogent, logically watertight argument does not mean that you "win" the emotional battle that's going on for the audiences approval. Sure, being factually right can help with that battle, but (as Scott Adams is fond of saying) being factually accurate isn't always useful. Winning hearts is almost always more significant than winning minds.

netmarcos said...

Lobsters walk straight (crabs walk sideways).

n.n said...

In a progressively diverse society, we organize ourselves along the lines of crabs, crawling over each other hoping that their "color" will be selected.

Birkel said...

Nonapod:
On what time frame?

Michael K said...

"Those malicious commenters want to get you emotional,"

A good part of the reason I quit commenting.

I comment elsewhere where the hostility level is lower.

I still skim the comments looking for good commenters, of which there are quite a few.

buwaya said...

And on the matter of Newman's humanity.

She is not "human" in this context, not at all.
She is a servant of her employers, and does their bidding, plays a role, to suit their purposes. She doesn't go into these things with opinions of her own. Her opinions probably overlap a great deal with those of her employers, but they are irrelevant.

As for her reactions, emotional reveals, and etc. - These people are actors. They play a role. They are there to charm their audience, or that portion of it that they target. All of their "humanity", their "personality" is a role, a deliberately worn facade.

Assume she is a hunter, in a blind, using a duck call. The ducks are meant to be fooled by the innocence of the scene and the charm of the call.

In this role, as a hunter, she is certainly not a "duck", and as an interviewer she is not "human".

Tim in Vermont said...

But “our" side does not have such an equal megaphone.

I think you are misreading history. The left, by which I mean fascists and communists, are very assiduous about shutting down opposing points of view, look at AntFa and their “de-platforming” campaign against Trump, for example. It’s because this stuff isn’t questioned publicly when everybody is afraid to question it publicly, and people live in their socialist misery alone, each thinking they are the only ones.

Why do they hate Fox News, with its relatively tiny audience, for example? You are talking about societies in which violent brownshirts, like AntiFa are rampant, not just a few little ignorant spoiled rich kids and their college professors (also spoiled rich kids “grown up”) In places like South Africa, when Botha was put in power, these people had uniforms and state backing.

BTW, I use Botha because he was a fascist, like Hitler, and used the same brownshirt tactics, but the left is deaf to Hitler arguments, and besides, they think, Hitler won!

Ann Althouse said...

"Prof. A: "...[Newman] is much better at doing conversation." Huh? She kept hijacking his words to drive her own prearranged agenda of manipulative slogans designed (and no doubt successfully) to drive her ratings. She wanted heat, not light."

It was a show. She was imposing the needs of putting on a show. He would talk in a long, complicated way and she'd paraphrase it in a very short way that kept the audience excited and invited him to say why the short version isn't true. People who are saying she's dumb are not appreciating the multidimensional task she's trying to do. I've experienced this on bloggingheads, where the other person is going on way too long, without accounting for the annoyance or boredom of the viewer, and I've tried to inject short provocations with the intent to make it more appealing to the viewer, more fun and interesting.

A lot of professors go long and don't worry to much about being entertaining because they have the regular task of filling an hour and they have a captive audience.

I'm not saying Newman did it all that well, but she was focused on making the show a show that people would stick with.

"As for your characterization of Peterson as too tightly wrapped (antithesis of "Flow,") --maybe so. But most people who think they're going to "flow," end up in a puddle."

Flow is a mental state of intrinsic reward rather than doing what gets you to something else that you want. I don't know about the flow people you've encountered, but I'm strictly speaking of the idea in the Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi book "Flow," where he identifiesf 8 components of "flow":

"First, the experience usually occurs when we confront tasks we have a chance of completing. Second, we must be able to concentrate on what we are doing. Third and fourth, the concentration is usually possible because the task undertaken has clear goals and immediate feedback. Fifth, one acts with a deep but effortless involvement that removes from awareness the worries and frustrations of everyday life. Sixth, enjoyable experiences allow people to exercise a sense of control over their actions. Seventh, concern for the self disappears, yet paradoxically the sense of self emerges stronger after the flow experience is over. Finally, the sense of the duration of time is altered; hours pass by in minutes, and minutes can stretch out to seem like hours. The combination of all these elements causes a sense of deep enjoyment that is so rewarding people feel that expending a great deal of energy is worthwhile simply to be able to feel it."

Peterson talks about goals and how to achieve them. But I realize that he might respond to me by saying that having a life of flow can be my goal and then I should do what gets me to that goal. Can my goal be not having goals? That's kind of a Zen koan.

Meade said...

Ann Althouse said...
Lobsters never laugh.

And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries.
------------------------

And a rock lobster feels even less pain than a plain old rock. (unless the rock lobster has its poetry to protect it.)

But every island cries sometimes. Because ballistic missile scares.

Unknown said...

On behalf of the British people, I would like to apologise for Cathy Newman and for the idiots that think she should be conducting an interview of this nature.

narciso said...

Because heretics are always unwelcome Tim,

rehajm said...

Everybody had matching towels...

buwaya said...

"BTW, I use Botha because he was a fascist, like Hitler,"

One of the more interesting bits of the WWII situation.
It was not just the Soviet Union that was objectively "fascist".
Nor were most of the allies, in their political structures or humanitarian behavior entirely up to what we moderns imagine to be democratic civic standards.

South Africa was an openly racist, rather oppressive regime and its governing coalition, or much of it, was sympathetic to the Axis.

Poland was an authoritarian collective dictatorship (led by the heirs of the dictator Pilsudski).

Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium all had immense colonial empires, where they maintained their rule (almost always) against local public opinion, and used methods that would have been decried as despotic in Europe, the sort of thing the Germans and Italians were hated for. Its not at all clear that the Italian empire was more despotic than the usual standard of behavior by the other colonial empires.

And etc.

WWII was more morally ambiguous than most, then or now, like to think.

Meade said...

If you watch the interview all the way through you'll get to THIS. Lordy, they practically have sex together right there on the spot.

narciso said...

Yes Jan smuts had persecuted Gandhi for the better part of 20 years, Britain was perhaps the kindliest overseers but they still were one, somewhat like the Romans.

Pw botha was a warlord of sorts, the last a long line that began with malans
National party. If say byrnes had succeeded Truman and no opening had occurred I suppose we might have had a spear of the nation, the panthers were near beer.

Sebastian said...

"She was imposing the needs of putting on a show." Imposing the needs of prog show to suit lefty women. But intentionally creating hilarity among non-prog men.

"He would talk in a long, complicated way" And we all now that can't be "fund and interesting," unless a clueless prog woman translates it for us.

"she'd paraphrase it in a very short way" She'd misconstrue it in a very short way.

"that kept the audience excited" True: a portion of the audience got more and more excited at the take-down in progress.

"and invited him to say why the short version isn't true." And isn't that a wonderful conversation, a human conversation, with a real human, where the other human "invites" you to say why their clueless misconstrual isn't true.

"People who are saying she's dumb are not appreciating the multidimensional task she's trying to do." Not dumb: clueless. Anyone can appreciate the multidimensional task of actually having to deal with an argument that stops you in your tracks, having to acknowledge that you hadn't even thought of an obvious rejoinder to your drivel, and then going on as if you are still a serious interviewer.

"short provocations with the intent to make it more appealing to the viewer, more fun and interesting." Newman's "provocations" did set up fun and interesting take-downs. But, but 9%!, she sputtered, provocatively ignorant, all for the sake of being fun and interesting. Let me take this opportunity to thank her for a job well done.

Meade said...

Though after about 23:15 she gets right back to hating him.

Anonymous said...

test

Nonapod said...

Meade: for a time jump in a youtube URL use a '#' rather than a '&'. So #t=22m25s

n.n said...

Interrupting her guest didn't help her cause. Newman lost the floor when she went Mao. A leftist who believed in progressive diversity (i.e. denial of individual dignity) and was rabidly Pro-Choice, the State's Choice, and denied lives deemed unworthy on an unprecedented scale. Well millions, which is comparable to progressive Choice, but over a compress period. The National Socialists were relative interns in that ideological spectrum.

As for gender. Sex is genetic and binary. Gender is phenotypical, realized in physical or mental (e.g. behavioral) traits. For some reason, there is an acute phobia in the Western world to include homosexual, bisexual, tranvestite, and crossover in the same "rainbow" spectrum, or significantly divergent from normal. Then, of course, there is exclusion of other trans orientations, including social, ideological, etc., culminating in transhumanism which excludes lives deemed unworthy, inconvenient, or profitable.

Michael K said...

I'm strictly speaking of the idea in the Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi book "Flow," where he identifiesf 8 components of "flow":

Csikszentmihalyi's best illustration of Flow in normal life is driving. It involves skill and mastery,

n.n said...

She misses the point entirely. Peterson focuses on the trees, while she, and others of the left-kind, focus on the forest. The issue is not trans-whatever as individuals. Everyone is welcome to their physical or mental aberrations. The issue is when leftists force people into classes, including color, gender. The former is meaningful in attraction. The latter is meaningful in fitness. The issue is the left's predisposition to construct political congruences ("="), which are by design exclusive, and ethereally judgmental. The issue is the mental state which deems lives unworthy or diverse, and rationalizes abortion and recycling by the millions, annually, as a wicked solution, or final solution.

n.n said...

South Africa was an openly racist, rather oppressive regime and its governing coalition

The targets of the Mandela faction were native blacks, presumably those people who cooperated with native whites, or a Hutu-Tutsi cycle of retributive change. Whereas the targets of the international consortium was native whites, and the goal was redistributive change a la Libya, Serbia, Ukraine in modern times.

Anonymous said...

(Sorry for the above. Have had a flaky problem trying to post here.)

I agree with the "show" part of Althouse's comment. A good show could have been had by asking intelligent questions, listening to the response, and then pushing back with an intelligent counter-point. She could have asked, for example, about what the other factors are that contribute to the 'pay gap' and where gender ranks among them. She could have had an informative, entertaining show. She (and he) could have modeled good, intelligent, relevant, informative discourse.

Instead, I saw reason and clear thought modeled by a calm, informed, dominant male and silly, unintelligent, insincere, uninformed argumentation put on display by a confused, unprepared female.

It is an odd philosophy indeed if one can only defend it with nonsense and misdirection.

narciso said...

That's how it ended up, particularly majority khosa vs buthelezis Zulus for instance, but it was the national party Boer fried Jim crow that allowed a common front. Malan was a lot like Woodrow Wilson o. This narrow sense.

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Notice that I am observing that he doesn't appreciate her. He doesn't treat her like a human being, just keeps going on and on with his thought-out thoughts. She's much better at doing conversation: She's trying to make a show that will include the audience and create a human social environment."

I am reminded of your contention that it is not enough that a person consents to have sex with you, you must be sure that having sex with you is a good idea for that person. Are you now saying that it is not enough that you are sure your interlocutor is an ideology-addled simpleton with a chip on his shoulder and an axe to grind, you must also be sure that being exposed as an ideology-addled simpleton with a chip on his shoulder and an axe to grind will be a rewarding experience for said interlocutor?

walter said...

Next up: Is it a dog eat dog world?

Gahrie said...

Csikszentmihalyi's best illustration of Flow in normal life is driving. It involves skill and mastery,

How about it should involve skill and mastery?

One of the major problems with freeway driving in So Cal is the number of people too scared to drive with mastery and too ignorant to drive with skill.

Tim in Vermont said...

Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium all had immense colonial empires,

Yeah, Churchill could have made a better deal for her majesty’s empire with Hitler, undoubtedly. Just didn’t want to let him into the club. America and the Soviets were revolutionary nations, with little sympathy for the old European empires.

n.n said...

Is it a dog eat dog world?

In an amoral society, yes. It's more like a bucket of crabs clambering over each other, hoping that their color will be selected, and that their life will not be Planned.

Crazy Jane said...

Newman was overmatched.

Peterson has collected his thoughts and constructed his arguments over a career. All she had were assertions that "Everybody KNOWS that _____________ is true." That and reductio ad absurdum.

If she were more self-aware, she would have let Peterson say more and, by her lights, expose his views as ridiculous. Instead she took a side, and her side lost.

Peterson is not infallible, but like Camille Paglia (as someone else noted here) is comfortable thinking for himself (herself) and not threatened by people who disagree. I like them, as I liked Christopher Hitchens. Better discussions than the usual dueling talking points.



narciso said...

No that was the kind of category error, ghandi indulged in, Peterson is using science Newman sentiment, its like fish talking about air outside

Ann Althouse said...

"If you watch the interview all the way through you'll get to THIS. Lordy, they practically have sex together right there on the spot."

Exactly. (And that's one thing I love about Meade.)

"I am reminded of your contention that it is not enough that a person consents to have sex with you, you must be sure that having sex with you is a good idea for that person. Are you now saying that it is not enough that you are sure your interlocutor is an ideology-addled simpleton with a chip on his shoulder and an axe to grind, you must also be sure that being exposed as an ideology-addled simpleton with a chip on his shoulder and an axe to grind will be a rewarding experience for said interlocutor?"

I've mostly been concerned here with the over-harsh criticism of Newman (and I, like you, really enjoyed Peterson, but I start pushing back at some point, and I find the overpraising of him cloying and annoying).

Beyond that, I have an awareness of the needs of the audience and the host's sense of obligation to them. Peterson is leveraging that and trying (very successfully) to get the upper hand. I want to see the situation for what it really is.

A good show (which should be ethical) can be had with high levels of confrontation (as we see here) or with more affable collegiality. It's not like sex, which doesn't make a good analogy. During sex, everyone gets to continually say what they want and expect to get it. In an interview, you take risks and accept that there could be fighting and unpleasant surprises. You're putting on a show for an audience.

Eleanor said...

Lobsters are the cockroaches of the ocean. Real bottom feeders. Are you sure we aren't already behaving like lobsters?

Jim at said...

First, people seem to cherish the role of the victim. They want it to be part of their identity so it protects them against real or perceived threats to their world view. It gives them the moral high ground.

Oh, don't you know it.

Most of what we see today is people constantly trying to out-victim everybody else.

It's beyond tedious.

Sack up or shut up.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I've mostly been concerned here with the over-harsh criticism of Newman (and I, like you, really enjoyed Peterson, but I start pushing back at some point, and I find the overpraising of him cloying and annoying).

I mostly have a problem with the fact that despite him being very precise in what he is saying, she refuses to actually listen to him and then proceeds to try to restate his words as something entirely different from what he actually said.

Either she is actively refusing to listen to his words because she already has decided what he is going to say....or she is maliciously reinterpreting his words to try to make him look bad...and by that also make herself look good. Maybe both.

There is very little good back and forth or debating of his points and he has to spend most of his time correcting her misstating and misrepresentations of his thoughts. What could otherwise have been a good debate and persuasive conversation has devolved into one person saying something and the other talking past and over him.

If it were a man doing what Newman is doing, in this interview, to a woman, we would probably be discussing how rude he is to not listen to the woman and how mean to constantly misrepresent her statements. I guess it is ok because Newman is a woman. (/s)

If this is what her audience wants or considers good debating or conversation then her audience consist of partisan and uncritical thinking morons.

Meade said...

@Nonapod, Thanks!

janetrae said...

Speaking of Paglia and Newman as unafraid to say what each thinks, look around the interwebs for the 1:48 hours long interview Newman conducted with Paglia about postmodern thought. Brilliant!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Un critical. I meant the inability to think critically about topics.

Sebastian said...

"have an awareness of the needs of the audience and the host's sense of obligation to them." Sure, she understood the needs of prog women watching very well. She felt a strong sense of obligation to them, not letting Peterson getting away with stating arguments correctly but instead misconstruing them for the comfort of her viewers. Of course, we all know that prog interviewers under no obligation to get the opposition's arguments right. The host was just a very "human" person having a real "conversation"--which, we've been told, she is so much better at--"inviting" him to explain why her "provocative" summaries of his "thought-out thoughts" are not true.

Which turned out to be very entertaining, including Althouse's rationalization of her performance--the latter nicely showing her awareness of the needs of the audience and the host's sense of obligation in serving up a little red-meatish auto-trolling. Well done all around.

Phil 3:14 said...

I watched the whole thing. I agree with DBQ, she wasn't listening. she only listening for a phrase that could lead to one of her "so your saying..." retorts (they weren't questions but statements.) He could have just as easily said "no" to each of those and let her take another stab at it but he did seem to like the joust.

I was most frustrated with her seeming ignorance of the idea/concept of multivariant analysis.

He could have smiled more.

and he did exude a "I'm smarter than you" air.

(And in fact he was smarter than her.)

I was also intrigued by his leaning backward, a posture of disdain.

Pookie Number 2 said...

You're putting on a show for an audience.

I'm puzzled as to why you think this is okay.

Pick a minority group that you believe is treated unfairly, and imagine someone of influence effectually advocating and thereby perpetuating that unfairness. Do they also get a pass for being entertaining?

Dr. Peterson's point is that blindly swallowing political correct falsehoods makes many people worse off. Challenging him honestly would be a wonderful thing, but doing so dishonestly - as happened here - will lead more people to accept these false beliefs to their own detriment.

(To be clear - I'm not advocating censorship, but I am definitely advocating criticism.)

n.n said...

Peterson is speaking from first principles. Newman is interrupting to frame her subject.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Dust Bunny Queen wrote:
If it were a man doing what Newman is doing, in this interview, to a woman, we would probably be discussing how rude he is to not listen to the woman and how mean to constantly misrepresent her statements. . . .

It would be interesting to have the interview redone by actors, with a woman playing Peterson & a man playing Newman.

Karen said...

Chris N said...
Also, there’s a kind of postmodern stance downstream of much German idealism:
If you spent time listening to his work on youtube (the Maps of Meaning series, the Psychology of the Bible, Psychology of Personality) you would not only discover hundreds of hours of opportunities to learn and be entertained simultaneously, but you would also find that your judgement of him and his ideas is 180 degrees off.

Birkel said...

If buwaya is correct, this interview is centrally planned and the interviewer is merely a human prop.

Somehow I find considering that point and Althouse's points simultaneously revealing.

Karen said...

Ann Althouse said...
It's just about the exact opposite of "Flow."

Althouse, if you get beyond the edited compendiums like the "10 things" video and actually watch one of the two hour lectures (I've watched about 40 of them), you will see that he considers "Flow" one of the magnificent opportunities of a life lived forthrightly in the world. If you are interested in seeing a good interviewer, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6qBxn_hFDQ&t=5124s

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...

"A good show (which should be ethical) can be had with high levels of confrontation (as we see here) or with more affable collegiality. It's not like sex, which doesn't make a good analogy."

You liked it well enough when Meade used it.

Actually, I used to have a girlfriend who *really* liked to wrestle. And she wasn't kidding around, she was an athletic little creature. I had to fight for my right to partay.

Jon Burack said...

"Notice that I am observing that he doesn't appreciate her. He doesn't treat her like a human being, just keeps going on and on with his thought-out thoughts. She's much better at doing conversation: She's trying to make a show that will include the audience and create a human social environment. He presents himself as an expert on human behavior and he's tightly wound up inside his shell of predetermined expert opinions. I'm not surprised that she yields to the temptation to equate him to a lobster when he gives her a chance."

I don't think I've ever disagreed more with Ann Althouse than I do here. I watched this with my wife. We both could not believe how rude, uncomprehending and interrupting the interviewer was. In fact, it was she, not Peterson, who constantly interrupted and went "on and on with HER thought-out thoughts" - or should I say thoughtlessly thought-out thoughts. Peterson is not a "national treasure," he is an international treasure. He is also courageous and honest. Yes, Ann, he is very serious and focused. I am sorry, but when did that become a fault? And by the way, he is in fact an expert on human behavior in so far as anyone can be. However, contrary to what you say, he also DOES respond to her with humor at several points and I find it amazing you missed this. At the end he even complimented her for keeping the talk lively and challenging him even though he also makes it clear he disagreed totally with her. For reasons SHE never once seemed to fully understand. I am astounded by your reaction here, frankly.

Caligula said...

"I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas"

(Said Prufrock in the T.S. Eliot poem. But, can we go from "ragged claws" to "lobster"?)

Karen said...

buwaya said...
And its a mistake to think that Peterson "won".

Peterson does not think he won. Check out this more recent interview with him in which he dissects the Newman interview and clearly articulates in what way neither of them won, and details what would have been a preferable result for both of them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6qBxn_hFDQ&t=5124s


JaimeRoberto said...

When an interviewer is combative or asks stupid questions, I try to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that 1) he's trying to play devil's advocate, 2) he's trying to get the interviewee to sharpen or better explain his position, and/or 3) asking questions that people in the audience want asked.

Arguably she succeeded in getting him to explain his position well. But I really don't think she understood his positions to begin with. He stumped her at one point, she doesn't seem to understand the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of results, and she clearly doesn't understand statistics. This tells me that she didn't treat him as a person and try to understand his positions during her preparation for the show.

Mcbean. Coco Mcbean. said...

@buwaya

I must confess - I myself was being more than a little disingenuous. I've noted on other occasions that the good professor is less neutral than usual on this this specific subject (that being the gender pay gap - female power/participation in the workforce). Interestingly, there is a substantial difference in tone between the initial description of the reaction to Peterson, and the later comment @2pm. Immediate moderation in tone. Influenced by Meade finding humor in the situation, perhaps?

Earnest Prole said...

living peacefully with each other may be unmanageable.

Whenever I hear from someone who finds opposing opinions to be physically threatening, I think, "What a pussy."

Chuck said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Prof. A: "...[Newman] is much better at doing conversation." Huh? She kept hijacking his words to drive her own prearranged agenda of manipulative slogans designed (and no doubt successfully) to drive her ratings. She wanted heat, not light."

It was a show. She was imposing the needs of putting on a show. He would talk in a long, complicated way and she'd paraphrase it in a very short way that kept the audience excited and invited him to say why the short version isn't true. People who are saying she's dumb are not appreciating the multidimensional task she's trying to do. I've experienced this on bloggingheads, where the other person is going on way too long, without accounting for the annoyance or boredom of the viewer, and I've tried to inject short provocations with the intent to make it more appealing to the viewer, more fun and interesting.

How do you ever get though an entire Scott Adams periscope?

For my part, I'm quite used to such treatment here on these comments pages. Here, I am labeled as being for "open borders"; I am a Hillary supporter; an adoring fan of Rachel Maddow; an abuser of Barron Trump; an attacker of Greta van Susteren; a hater of Justice Scalia, a paid Soros internet troll, etc., etc., etc. When in fact I am none of those things and have said so explicitly and have taken explicitly opposite or at least differing positions. And it seems to not matter whether I deny those false appraisals of me with patience, or with exactitude, or even with excited aggression and profanity. All that seems to matter, and all that such mischaracterizations of me are dependent upon, and in relation to, is the extent to which I offer any criticism of Donald Trump.

Before I was a Trump critic, I was never mischaracterized in these ways on Althouse comments pages.

Jupiter said...

Earnest Prole said...

'Whenever I hear from someone who finds opposing opinions to be physically threatening, I think, "What a pussy."'

And yet, somehow, physical violence does occur. Are you saying that this phenomenon has nothing to do with the "opinions" of the people involved? When your neighbor says you are a kulak, you should just respond that "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but opinions will never march my family off to the Gulag"?

Birkel said...

Dear fopdoodle,
We apologize for observing your hysterics.

Better?

Jupiter said...

When someone expresses the opinion that it should be illegal to express the opinions I hold, I take that as physically threatening. And I am hearing that more and more. I sued to think it could not happen here. I don't think that any more. Does that make me a pussy?

Jupiter said...

"Before I was a Trump critic, I was never mischaracterized in these ways on Althouse comments pages."

Correct me if I have forgotten something, but my first recollection of you commenting at Althouse was during the Presidential election, at which time you claimed to be saddened by the fact that Trump, who had won the nomination, was the only candidate who could not possibly win the election. Now that Trump has proven you were incorrect about that, you seem to have found other reasons for sadness.

You claim that you voted for him, so as to avert the disaster of a Hillary Clinton presidency. That disaster has probably been averted, but that does not mean the peril has passed. If you were what you claim to be, you would see that, and see that your continual attacks on the President are not helpful to the cause you claim to support. Your failure to make that elementary deduction is why I believe that you are a highly competent, and therefore probably Soros-paid, troll.

Earnest Prole said...

When someone expresses the opinion that it should be illegal to express the opinions I hold, I take that as physically threatening.

By that measure, most Americans should have been hyperventilating through most of American history.

Birkel said...

Earnest Prole:

And college campuses, dominated by Leftist Collectivists, wish to, and actually do, suppress expression of unpopular speech.

The successful lawsuits against the colleges have not changed the trajectory.

The IRS operated to suppress the civil rights of U.S. citizens. I assume it does still.

The Leftist Collectivists are not just speaking. They are acting.

Are you concerned?

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