The Jordan Peterson Thread

I thought it was really interesting. They went into his background a lot. Most of that stuff was in the first half of it. It was interesting hearing Peterson’s take on the issues at hand as well, it seemed like he hadn’t heard about it at all.

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The first 15 minutes are completely different from what I’ve seen before. You’re right, much like a psychoanalysis session.

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I’m about halfway through, and getting the distinct impression that JP is treating this as a therapy session for himself. A lot of cutting Weinstein off to interject with a non-sequitur (or something only tangentially related).

However when JP stays on-topic and doesn’t ramble, there’s a really engaging intellectual discussion going on here.

I recommended skipping the first 38 minutes for this reason. JP often interjects a lot, but a lot of the early stuff did seem like JP working some things out. A lot of the last 20 minutes was that way too, IIRC. Bret was very patient and supportive.

Yeah, I’ve never seen him speak before (although I recognise him from the debate that JP mentions) and he comes across as a very principled, decent guy, so no surprise he was targeted by the we-hate-everybody brigade.

I hadn’t actually heard the full story of what happened to him, so that was quite interesting.

What especially struck me was his answer to JPs question: why did you do it? Why did you stand up and say ‘enough’ in the knowledge that it would destroy your career? He seemed almost surprised that anyone would ask, and his answer boiled down to “what else could I have done?”.

“Here I stand; I can do no other” has probably been said many times in history. Even if Luther never actually said it.

Still working through the rest of it, in odd moments.


Well, I still haven’t finished it, but so far I’m impressed by the quality of the debate and Weinstein’s expository skill. He must have been a very good lecturer. I’d just like to pick up on his comments about COVID (which I think JP didn’t agree with, but the debate moved on). Around 53:39, he basically says that the vaccines probably aren’t going to work well and we “should have” done a six-week hard lockdown at the beginning. This surprised me given his intellect (which is probably plus-three-sigma) and it made me ponder on the intersection between raw intelligence and experience.

What I would have said in response is something like this:

In theory that might have worked. It sounds plausible enough that it would have been worth a try [and given Weinstein’s academic background, I’m sure he knows exactly how plausible, so I’ll take his word for it]. But how would we have actually done that?

  • While people were locked in their homes, how would they get food and water (for drinking and hygiene)? Because a “hard lockdown” means shutting down the food infrastructure.
  • How would waste be disposed of, including sewage? Because you’d have to shut down the water supply/disposal systems.
  • People might have been able to forego heating and cooling in March, but what about cooking? Because you’d have to shut down the power plants.
  • What would you do about people who became ill? Because you’d have to shut down all healthcare and associated support services.
  • How would people communicate (particularly in the case of emergencies)? Because the comms network would go down with the power system.
  • Who would go around and slaughter all the chickens, pigs and cows that nobody would feed or monitor? How would we dispose of the corpses? And how would we restock at the end of six weeks?
  • What would we do about the crop failures following six weeks of neglect, and the accompanying food shortages?

The obvious response, of course, is: oh, but all of those essential things would be kept running.

And the response to that is: well, you don’t have a hard lockdown then, do you?

And perhaps it would go on: we’d have those people isolated in a ‘bubble economy’, away from others, sleeping in their offices, control rooms, and barns.

And I’d respond: really? We could re-jig the entire economy to work in this way in the required timeframe, ie., a week or two, and not bugger it up?

In short, it could not have been done in practice even if it sounds alluring in theory. Which is why it was not done.

A big problem with modern society is that people don’t realise that there’s no such thing as a “non-essential business”. People aren’t getting up in the morning and scooting around for no good reason. Everything is interconnected, and rather fragile. Shut down enough stuff, for long enough, and you’ve wiped out civilisation. You cannot do six-week “hard lockdowns” in countries like the USA. It is impossible.

I hear similar from many people who said the same this time last year, but a global 6 week lockdown would never have happened. It would either have to happen virtually 100% or it doesn’t work.

That too! Keeping one country COVID-free when the pandemic rages around you is a short-term solution at best (-cough- Taiwan).

People really do think it’s that easy to do a “hard lockdown”. The average person (including the average politician) is completely oblivious to all the economic activity that keeps Civilisation humming.

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Hard lockdowns are a first world privilege.


Really-Taiwan would have been so much better off if we just let 'er rip.

Who are you talking to?


I assume you were being sarcastic, but you have misunderstood the point I was making.

It’s a popular idea that if only we had all done this or that in the beginning, everything would have been fine. But most of these hypothetical “if onlys” such as “hard lockdowns” were completely impractical at the time. Not only would it not have worked, a hard lockdown could not have been implemented. It would have been physically impossible. And the point of all that musing was “how is it that this did not occur to a very intelligent person”?

Taiwan has rather dug a hole for itself, as I mentioned several weeks ago. Eventually it was bound to succumb. It’s just a pity that that happened before an adequate vaccine supply had been secured.

I don’t understand what you are suggesting should have been done:

How has Taiwan succumbed? The 21 cases just reported? There might- emphasis on ‘might’- be a serious outbreak down the line before vaccinations kick in, but there is no indication of that so far.
(probably better in the Taiwan-Covid thread)

I’m not suggesting anything. Taiwan did fine. My acknowledgement to BD was related to the original “hard lockdown” suggestion. Eliminating the virus by “hard lockdown” would have required the entire planet to go into hard lockdown, causing about as much damage as a global nuclear war. It therefore wasn’t an option. And a single country suffering the pain of hard lockdown would have been pointless, because the virus would not be eliminated.

Taiwan didn’t eliminate the virus as such. They excluded it, and no hard lockdown was required or contemplated.

Well, I agree. It’s hard to tell right now. But this is drifting a bit OT. My comment was related to intelligent people not having sufficient experience to gauge the practicality of their ideas (in this case the idea of a “hard lockdown”), not COVID as such.

Nope, ask a Cambodian.

Not that the practice actually matches the theory though, and not that I would recommend it either.

People don’t, generally, go hungry during lockdowns in developed countries. Therefore, it’s a privilege. At least, I doubt the hungry Cambodians are feeling particularly privileged.


My original assertion was that it isn’t possible anywhere. Nobody has actually done a “hard lockdown” of the kind that Weinstein envisaged. They’ve done cargo-cult lockdowns (lockdowns that cause enough misery to look superficially like a hard lockdown, but in fact are not, from an epidemiological viewpoint). It cannot be done without causing widespread mayhem. Cambodia, of course, doesn’t care about causing mayhem.

I think BDs point was that, if you attempted it all, the “first world” at least theoretically has the resources to keep people fed for six weeks, if not necessarily alive and healthy. Theoretically.

But there probably wouldn’t be a lot of difference. In the third world people are more accustomed to living on the edge; they have no lifelines to cut in the first place, so they may well survive for longer than the average helpless city-dweller deprived of the supermarkets, power, water, and flush toilets (nevermind toilet paper).

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Hardness is relative. :diamonds: :eggplant: :cactus: :2cents:

Best part for me: around 1h03 he says he wonders if we’re in a civil war between “those for whom the real [physical] world has primacy and those for whom the online world has primacy”. :yin_yang:

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