Jordan Peterson et la la nouvelle trahison des clercs

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-5-46-57-pmRight now there are only two Canadian academics with the requisite scientific, philosophical, literary and historical literacy that have stepped up to the plate publicly for TEAM TRUTH (there are others but understandably they are less reticent). One leading light is Gad Saad whose praises I’ve sung in previous posts; the second is Jordan Peterson who has recently been forced into the limelight. Peterson is well on the way to becoming the sort of public intellectual that Jonathan Haidt has occupied for several years — i.e. a paragon of humility, modesty, fairness, integrity, wisdom, intellectual honesty, guts, and fortitude. There are good interviews with Peterson but the one with Joe Rogan is best since both participants are on top form and the discussion is expansive and nuanced — religion, meaning, ethics, ideology, politics, genocide, science, consciousness, literature, and opening with a swipe at ((the cipher [0] or the biggest “cuck” @ 9:16)) — Trudeau. As a true conversationalist and by bringing much to bear on any topic, Peterson is always eminently quotable. Given that Joe and Jordan chat for almost three hours it means the intellectually lazy (you know the profile . . . activism posing as inquiry types . . . increasingly anti-science, invoking the usual analytically bereft buzzwords such as “identity”, “power structure”, “gender”), reheated “Reader’s Digest” Marxism for people who have never even read the more accessible “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon” or “On the Jewish Question”, recent Marxist toughies such as Jerry Cohen or “Croicks” and certainly not trenchant critics such as Raymond Aron or Arthur Koestler. As Peter Boghossian writes:

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Does anyone remember the wonderfully delicious Sokal Hoax? Each one of these genuine intellectually inbred abstracts listed here seem to squarely fall under the Sokal piss-take. The virtue-signaling swarms of self-righteous faux indignation (“intellectual”=mercantilists/hucksters/clerisy/ersatz intellectuals) will not give the aforementioned thinkers a fair hearing and will typically double down as rattled clerisies are wont to do. They should cogitate on Peterson’s Solzhenitsyn-inspired (skin-in-the game) message — the best place to affect meaningful and lasting change in the world resides with ones self:

I don’t think that you have any insight whatsoever into your capacity for good until you have some well-developed insight into your capacity for evil.

. . . but it is also the hardest of processes — hence what Oakeshott called a “crib” (an ideology, a gospel) — fulfills the need for easy and superficial salvation (i.e. “identity” politics). With a job and associated social status entitlement (i.e. as “professional thinker”) to vociferously protect, why should intellectual honesty and integrity intervene upon their quickly corroding good thing? Not to worry, since they have perversely written off pretty much most of the population in their “oppression Olympics” hierarchy, the anti-liberal regressive left is eating itself via social media (a digital analog reminiscent of the Great Purge), because as the most vulgar of rationalists in denial about social or scientific reality (complexity), there is no other place for them to exercise their ever-shrinking (and consequently now heightened bullying) power. They have been well and truly “tango’d” (by you know who); hoisted by their own petards with narcissistic and disreputable navel-gazing.

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Faith and the Compatibility of Science and Religion

Here’s an interview with Vernon Smith concerning the relationship of science to religion. I had no idea Vernon felt this way until I read his Discovery – A Memoir (which he so kindly sent me a few years back), so this interview is of no surprise. Despite Vernon’s genuine achievements the fashionably atheist philosopher would “cock a snook” at Vernon’s outlook. If anyone is interested in this topic, I have edited two “symposia” in ZYGON: (a) Walker Percy and (b) Michael Oakeshott.

The underlying reality is mystical, not “material” . . . You do not have to be brought up on it to have a sense of the spiritual. It’s human, in the image of God. Maybe all roads lead to this same understanding.

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Christmastime in New Orleans

The Nola Players have just released their big band Christmas CD. I’m very much looking forward to hearing it in full and replenishing my Christmas selection with a bunch of stuff en route to me from the Louisiana Music Factory. In the meantime I’ve been playing a few other Christmas CDs because they work very well purely on a musical plane as opposed to being merely Christmas kitsch: Sharon Jones (who recently passed away), Nick Lowe and Debbie Davis/Matt Perrine and just to yank the chain of the humourless PC authoritarians John Valby.

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The wrong anti poverty recipes of the left

The always challenging and informative Deirdre McCloskey one of the few taking on the tired, false and persistent inequality memes. Of course what the regressive left have done (and incoherently so) is to conflate patterns of inequality (access) with patterns of inequity (outcome).

Worldwide even the income gap between rich and poor has radical [sic] declined. If you arrange individual incomes in a Gini-coefficient manner, in the past 30 years inequality has declined sharply.

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Music and Alzheimer’s: Glen Campbell

There are two reasons to check out this documentary on Glen Campbell. First, is his going public about his cognitive decline. The trials and tribulations of Glen and his family will have resonance for anyone who has had experience of caring for a dementia sufferer. Cases such as these provide philosophical food for thought about personal identity and sense of Self. Indeed, just as Otto’s notebook was his “extended mind“, this role was filled by Glen’s wife Kim. Not surprisingly, Glen’s deepest existential marker, i.e. that of being a musician, was what held his mind together while all else was fraying. And like Glen, my mother always retained a sense of humour despite her decline. The second point that this film brings out, is to remind people of the understated musical genius of the man. Glen has never sung a bum note, his choice of material impeccable, a mean guitarist and for many, might just have been what drew us into country music — without us ever realizing it. Glen Campbell classics have always loitered in an unfussy transcendental way much like the work of Burt Bacharach, Herb Alpert, The Carpenters and Lou Rawls.

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Walker Percy Wednesday 113

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“He told me that he had—ah—discovered a mathematical proof of what God’s will is, that is, what we must do in these dangerous times.”

*****

There was more excitement in prison, more argument, more clash of ideology. In Alabama we were polarized every which way, into pro-nukes and anti-nukes, liberals and conservatives, atheists and believers, anti-Communists and anti-anti-Communists, born-again Christians, old-style relaxed Catholics, lapsed Catholics, Barbara Walters haters, Barbara Walters lovers.
Nothing like Alabama!
The warfare in that quonset hut at Fort Pelham!
We inmates, or rather detainees—assorted con men, politicians, ex-Presidential aides, white-collar crooks, impaired physicians pushing pills, mercy killers, EPA inspectors on the take from lumber and oil barons—criminals all, but on the whole engaging and nonmurderous. And next door, Hope Haven, a community of impaired priests, burned-out ministers and rabbis, none criminal, none detained, but all depressed, nutty, or alcoholic, generally all three, who had not run afoul of the law as we had but had just conked out, and so had great sympathy for us and made themselves available.

*****

“It is not a question of belief or unbelief. Even if such things were all proved, if the existence of God, heaven, hell, sin were all proved as certainly as the distance to the sun is proved, it would make no difference, would it?”
“To whom?”
“To people! To unbelievers and to so-called believers.”
“Why wouldn’t it?”
“Because the words no longer signify.”
“Why is that?”
“Because the words have been deprived of their meaning.”
“By a depriver.”
“Right. Once, everyone admits, such signs signified. Now they do not.”

*****

He has the super-sane chipperness of the true nut.

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