Thursday, November 22, 2018

Trashing Jordan Peterson

Milo Yiannopoulos trashes Peterson:
Jordan Peterson has repeatedly betrayed everything he says he believes in for his own expediency, convenience and profit, at precisely the time it mattered most, and then lied about it all.
Milo and Vox Day take Peterson way too seriously. Vox Day writes:
Jordan Peterson is believed by many to be the greatest thinker that humanity has ever known. He is Father Figure, Philosopher-King, and Prophet to the millions of young men who are his most fervent fans. He is the central figure of the Intellectual Dark Web, an academic superstar, and an unparalleled media phenomenon who has shattered all conceptions of what it means to be modern celebrity in the Internet Age.

He has, by his own admission, thought thoughts that no one has ever thought before. He has dreamed dreams that no one has ever dared to dream before.

But Jordan Peterson is also a narcissist, a charlatan, and an intellectual con man who doesn't even bother to learn much about the subjects upon which he lectures. He is a defender of free speech who silences other speakers, a fearless free-thinker who runs away from debate, difficult questions, and controversial issues, a philosopher who rejects the conventional definition of truth, and a learned professor who has failed to read most of the great classics of the Western canon. He is, in short, a shameless and unrepentant fraud.
His fans also take him way too seriously. Peterson now has an amazing cult following, but he is just a psychology professor. The farther he gets from the subject of psychology, the more dubious his opinions.

Even some of his psychology is a little wacky, as he is a big believer in Jung and says:
I learned as a psychotherapist not to solve my clients' problems. You're a bad therapist if you offer advice. [Slovenia talk, at 0:52:40]
I just saw a conversation between two other public intellectuals, Steve Pinker and Michael Shermer. Their training is in psychology also. Why does anything think that a psychologist would have any wisdom outside psychology?

Psychology is a field that is overrun by kooks. Much of the textbook knowledge is based on sloppy research, and is probably false.

Here is a recent debate between psychologists over whether parenting practices have any beneficial effects on children:
But what if it’s all bunk? What if parenting doesn’t make much of a difference at all to the way our kids turn out? That’s the argument that will be made by the genetics experts in this major Intelligence Squared debate. We all know about the nature vs nurture argument, but it’s only recently that evidence has emerged revealing just how much of who we are is influenced by our DNA – from our personality and our likelihood of developing mental illness to how well we do at school. We might think that certain parenting styles produce certain kinds of children – for example, that overprotective parents cause their offspring to be anxious. But in fact, research suggests that these traits are manifestations of the same genetic influence working in both the parents and children.
See this summary or wait for the podcast to be available.

Isn't this one of the most basic questions of psychology? If psychologists cannot agree on an answer to this, then why would you listen to their answers to other questions, like global warming?

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