“Harvard Talk: Postmodernism & the Mask of Compassion”

Another great talk from Dr. Jordan Peterson:

“Uncommon Knowledge: White America Is ‘Coming Apart'”

“2017 Maps of Meaning 9: Patterns of Symbolic Representation” (Dr. Jordan Peterson)

Sitting with this lecture this morning:

“Mayhem while we’re freezing and starving: my talk at Western” (Dr. Jordan Peterson)

Dr. Peterson on Existentialism via Solzhenitsyn and the Gulag (2017 Personality course lecture)

That interesting lecture was brought to us by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, esteemed professor at the University of Toronto. Some of the material he provided there from various authors, particularly that of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, I am familiar with from listening to past lectures by Dr. Peterson; plus, plenty of us internet devotees were already aware of the “Hugh Mongous” fiasco whereby Zarna Joshi made an ass of herself (and the most-modern Feminist movement she belongs to) while trying to demean a man out in public because she felt so entitled to do so. So, having viewed all of that, I personally found the most interesting portion of this lecture to begin shortly after the 1:15:45 mark where Dr. Peterson goes into the biblical story of the flood and then the Tower of Babel, followed by his thoughts on nihilism/existentialism and individual responsibility.

The latter is a topic many of us revisit time and time again as we struggle to get our lives under better control. He’s absolutely correct that a sizeable portion of the suffering we experience in this life is due to our own choices and stubbornly not following our consciences. We know this, and yet we often don’t live as if we know this. “To know and not to do is not to know” — to repeat a quote that dates back across the centuries.

He’s right that each of our lives have a ripple effect on our communities and that one’s own pathology impacts the pathological nature of wider society. It can be no other way since society is composed of individual persons — it’s an aggregate of all of us. That’s all it is and all it ever was. Though it’s very easy for us to try to hide within it, to attempt to blend in so as not to be noticed too distinctly, to shirk responsibility because we’d rather avoid the headaches that go along with that. And somewhere in that equation is where the so-called root of all evil likely resides, at least in its primordial form.

I think we know this deep down, though we like to dismiss it as somehow less relevant than continuing to go along to get along. “Don’t make waves,” some like to say. “The raised nail gets hammered down” — another proverb used to admonish us to not draw attention to ourselves by stepping out of line from the rest. And so the herd mentality gets reinforced…

The biggest problem we humans face is our own humanity and the reckoning it requires of us at this point in our psychological, spiritual, and sociopolitical development. It’s an internal struggle with external consequences, as we can clearly see.

So often we look to others to change so that we might be made happy. But that’s not how it works. Never has and never will.

That was an excellent talk by Dr. Peterson. Glad that I awoke tonight and stumbled back across his channel once again.

Had a lively discussion tonight with a Nigerian man

Struck up conversation tonight with a native Nigerian man whom I spoke with on one previous occasion. Very nice man. Very kind and accommodating. Last time we talked he showed me a slideshow of his children and their “family house” back in Nigeria. His children are doing well, as are all of his direct relatives. This time I decided to question more deeply into his native culture and legal immigration into the U.S.

Love that guy. What a sweetheart! Such a nice human being. Our conversation wandered onto differences between Nigerian educational expectations and typical American black expectations on to cultural differences that he’s learning to adjust to, etc. Now that’s an immigrant who has his shit together and who’s helping his kids to become the best they can be in the U.S. I am seriously impressed. He’s a working man of obviously modest means or he wouldn’t be hanging out in that bar and interacting so much with the neighborhood locals, all of whom seem to appreciate him. The only damper on the evening was the (white middle-aged male) bartender approaching me while Gus was away to say that our conversation might potentially encourage others to join in and cause a ruckus, which never occurred. We both remained perfectly respectful toward one another and had a very engaging and interesting conversation that no one else attempted to butt in on. I personally gained a great deal from our interactions tonight and am grateful that Gus was so open and willing to share his opinions with me. So no problems for the bartender to worry about ever arose.

He educated me this evening in greater depth about his native country and the riffs occurring there. I asked about the Boko Haram debacle and he provided his honest understanding on the matter, which is (by my paraphrasing) that it’s totally fucked up and the northern Muslims keep attempting to enslave and mistreat the southern Nigerian Christians.  Was interesting to hear about it firsthand from a man who visits the region frequently and yet has learned to assimilate into the U.S. culture overall.

I explained to him my own background., so far as I’m knowledgeable about it. And we discussed how arranged marriages tend to be the norm where he comes from.

Very lively and interesting guy. Glad to have met him. He requested my number so as to notify him when I’m back at that particular bar for future conversations on such matters. Told him upon leaving that I’d like to hear next time his opinion about the Black Lives Matter movement, to which he chuckled. Surely he’ll give it a bit of thought before our next interaction.

Wish I could spell out all we talked about tonight but it’s nuanced and the night is growing dim on me now. Will just say that he’s an excellent example of a migrant to the U.S. who has heart and concern and who works hard toward helping his (now college-age) children to prosper. And that’s what I love to see. That’s what America is supposed to be about, in a nutshell. Not immigrants coming here who don’t give a damn and who openly state detestation of our country and its laws.

Anyway, in short, Gus is a great dude and I’m grateful to have run into him again tonight.

“The Architecture of Belief | Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux”