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.

Another evening of existential reckoning (oh joy)

Was actually perusing a Sam Harris clip like I so very rarely ever care to do. Never been much of a fan of the guy. But found a segment where I agreed with him how people are factioning off into political tribes. Guess this is what Religions dying can morph into. Gotta put that energy toward something, somewhere. And now politics is the name of the game. The new beacon on which to direct our religious devotion.

Human beings are religious by our very natures. Have always been inclined toward religiosity and still are. Evolved this way. So even though we like to think we’re dropping all that and turning our attention toward the formation of a secular society, that inclination still resides within us, whether we’re conscious of it or not. Expresses itself in various ways. Political tribalism to whatever degrees. New herds to lose ourselves within.

Lots of things to lose oneself in nowadays. So much freedom we barely know what to do with it.

Freedom to make all sorts of (good or bad) choices too. That’s one of those natural rights granted to us by Nature. Some call it Free Will, though it can’t help but come with limitations.

Still. Pretty darn free in the U.S. currently.

Free to buy an assortment of delicacies and enticements. Free to partake in a number of legal drugs, including alcohol (and marijuana in some states). Free to think whatever we want. Free to vote for whomever we want, assuming our nation’s voting apparatus is even trustworthy any longer, and assuming you’re not barred from doing so due to certain felony charges.

Free to read books. Tons of libraries around for folks who lack funds. Inexpensive entertainment as well as educational if we push ourselves to seek and explore. But that’s a choice. Comes back to exercising all this Freedom we’ve been blessed with.

Choices. Attention paid to where? Habits. Options. Alternatives. Decisions. Backed by actions.

Come to find out, it’s very easy to get lost in this 21st Century. lol  True story.

Values. What matters most?

What were the seven deadly sins again?

SLOTH

ENVY

LUST

GLUTTONY

GREED

PRIDE

WRATH

Good to keep in mind. As I sit here tonight as a sloth, once again, pondering while wandering around the internet. Satiating my legal vices. Ever look at that list and wind up having to check every box? Whether past or present, all the same we are afflicted by excesses that can prove destructive, and not only to our own selves. Obviously.

So then what? Wait for motivation to come and sweep us along on our way? Doesn’t work like that.

Some good books I’ve been contemplating on over the last several months are:

Thinking of canceling my Audible subscription for a spell so I can just refocus on these and other titles. Those books there are really informative and thought-provoking. Not needing to continue on in my studies until I get re-oriented with the aid of those books. They do help. But of course it ultimately comes down to one’s individual efforts. Application of lessons learned.

Milo and the Freak Show

Not a big fan of Milo Yiannopoulos. Have listened to some of his stuff over time but am learning more about him in the last few weeks due to the riots at UC Berkeley. Then all this went down in recent days. Oy. Was already on the topic of pedophilia due to Andy Warski’s videos on that Omnipolitics16 guy. Then some Deep Web-related YT channel told of that Australian man convicted for creating snuff child porn videos in the Philippines.

Anyway, here’s the Drunken Peasants podcast from back in January 2016: episode #193. Relevant portion begins at approximately 51:26 in:

?t=51m26s

About 52:45 in they show a video from somebody who included some footage from Milo’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Pausing 1:05:08 into that DP podcast…okay, I do comprehend the importance of distinguishing between actual PEDOPHILES (people sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children) versus HEBEPHILES who are interested in very young pubescent youths (in the age range of 11-14 generally). That is a noteworthy distinction because the two involve differing psychologies. That does matter. Because the Law does not make this distinction in its wording, the public is being misled. I do understand that and have openly discussed this since back in my undergrad criminal justice curriculum. But I also grasp that so far as legal purposes go, the lines drawn must be pretty damn clear in order to enforce them effectively. Hence why we have age of consent laws and yet there is leeway granted for youths only a few years apart in age, dependent on the state in question. AND the authority of the adult party in question. A priest or a teacher are in a special classification precisely because of their sway and influence over youths as well as the community-at-large. So they do deserve to be more heavily scrutinized due to the authority their positions grant them. Same with law officers.

Now, I’ve viewed several videos on this ordeal and read and watched Milo’s recent responses on the matter. Posted up his resignation from Breitbart speech. Watched Styxhexenhammer666’s first (now removed), second and third videos covering this topic. Watched Milo’s recent Bill Maher appearance. Read an article about Bill Maher basically defending the same thing back in 2007 and before. And am generally not a stranger to the controversy over age of consent laws and specific cases where victims claim they weren’t harmed, etc.

But I have to say that people who are sexualized young wind up seeming to mature sexually earlier. That’s apparently a byproduct OF early sexualization of youths. I understand it from my own perspective and upbringing, as well as through taking in so many, many stories from others over the course of my life thus far. Any defense of that shit does get me prickling with aggravation precisely because I do comprehend this complex situation personally and the mixed emotions that can and often do arise from it. And it does differ between hebephilia and pedophilia — that is true. But people who are sexualized explicitly when they are very young and pre-pubescent, it tends to incline them toward greater promiscuity once they do hit puberty. And though they are inclined this way, it doesn’t mean they are emotionally mature enough to handle the potential consequences. Sometimes that promiscuity continues on well into our 20s or 30s before we even seriously start grappling with its origins and its impact on our lives. All is not a bed of roses there. Many regrets are common for such terrain.

This is where I get to thinking a much more nuanced discussion on these matters certainly is warranted. But one of the problems that arises there is our own biases and sorting out how much of our opinions evolved out of a drive toward self-protection and/or “owning” our experiences. Though we may be made “stronger” as a result of what we’ve been subjected to, we also tend to get a bit mentally fucked up. Let’s be honest here. So our own relation of experiences on this topic can very easily be skewed if we developed close bonds with the persons we were sexualized by. Our loyalties wind up screwed up as a result, hence why our boundaries tend to become so loose and permeable. We don’t wish to live as “victims,” yet we can also do a disservice to others by downplaying such matters and trivializing them. So sometimes our contributions to such conversations wind up doing more harm than good since we’re coming from a place where that seemed normal to us, at least at the time. Or we had no basis for comparison to anything else. Even now, as grown adults, we can’t erase that early programming (which is essentially what it is). It’s a part of what all has constructed us into who we are now. In short, we cannot help but be biased there. It’s sown into us.

I’ll be honest. Milo creeped me out at times as well. Kinda like how Justicar did also, before he too came out with claims that at age 9 he felt sexually mature enough to consent to sexual acts with a man in his 20s. That was very disturbing to read (hence why I screen-captured it and posted it elsewhere on this blog back in 2015 — Justicar has since deleted the relevant videos). Sickens and saddens me to read that sort of thing because it definitely does serve as justification to pedophiles and hebephiles interested in pursuing young individuals, whether the one who experienced the early sexualization is aware of that or intends it or not. That really does matter here. It’s not all about the particular victim in question and their own thoughts on the subject; it’s also about the ramifications of sharing such thoughts openly and widely and allowing them to further entice those who are inclined that way. As omnipolitics16 demonstrated himself, these people tend to be on the lookout for anything and everything that supports their attempts to justify their actions against children. They want to believe it’s not so bad for them, that kids aren’t horribly harmed in many cases, that psychological injuries aren’t a direct consequence of their sexual activities with immature minors. They want to believe the pleasure they may experience in the moment trumps the potential for long-term pain.

Each individual child likes to think they know what they are doing. They see no problem with staying up super late despite it leaving them tired the next day at school. They would eat whatever they fancy if restrictions weren’t imposed upon them by external authorities. And they will harm themselves unintentionally in countless different ways if not provided proper and healthful guidance from others who genuinely care about their individual well-being.

There are lots of wolves out here in the world, let’s face it. Lots of selfish opportunists who will take advantage where they think they may be able to get away with it. Children are especially vulnerable in this regard, and that includes young teens who are in the process of budding into adulthood. We don’t yet know at that age what the wisest decision might be, what the long-term consequences may prove to be, how momentary slips can haunt a person literally for years. We had no way of understanding all of that back then. But that consideration never stops those who are out in pursuit for their own jollies. They may have been harmed themselves when young and therefore have fetishized what they themselves were subjected to (or whatever else their sexual compulsiveness drove them toward exploring). The effects spread out and can impact generations of people. This is certainly no small concern when countless people’s psychological well-being is at stake. Pain pays forward, in one way, shape, or form.

I also find it interesting how many homosexuals I’ve personally met who were sexualized early on as kids, whether in an outright abusive fashion or through grooming by older individuals they trusted at the time. Began noting that back in my teen years and have only uncovered more evidence of this trend ever since. Should look into what research studies might exist on the subject.

Anyway, today I listened to Styx’s update on Milo’s situation:

I find it very interesting what he said there about how the political Left isn’t so much in favor of NAMBLA types as it is in trying to justify Islam and its Sharia Law. Hmmm. I can see that, but I also see where both wind up justified regardless. It’s a disturbing trend either way.

Recently heard about what Salon magazine put out in the past. Rarely read that rag anymore. Gonna look more deeply into what Salon published in a new post.

“House of the Rising Sun (art of Auguste Rodin)”

“Meditating” (so to speak) again on this one tonight…

VERY interesting conversation between Tommy Sotomayor and a woman named April

Hmmmmm…very thought-provoking. Worth a full listen, now paused 1:17:09 into it. Continuing watching…

We are indeed our own worst enemies sometimes…

[Hadn’t yet watched the former video referenced in that one before viewing it.]

Did wind up watching the preceding videos, but they’ve since been marked private, which I can understand.

Still observing racial and gender-bent movements

American politics continue to blow my mind. Blew it hard enough that I pretty much gave up on the presidential BS from 2008 onward. Didn’t watch speeches from either Hillary or Trump, just as I didn’t listen to speeches by Obama or Romney or McCain back before. Don’t care. *shrugs* Same old, same old every time. Already know plenty of what Hillary Clinton talks about, seeing as how she’s been in the political spotlight since Bill was in office in the ’90s (during my teenage years). Gave up on so much of that shit. Had to. Continued volunteering for a local “peace-building” nonprofit organization until 2011, mostly because the international economic situation and war-mongering were hardest to ignore and not speak out about.

Still care. Just not quite as much, or at least not in the same way as once upon a time. Beginning in 2012 I wound up re-exploring gender relations issues discussed online, having around then initially stumbled upon the so-called “manosphere” which includes men’s rights advocates/activists (MRAs), MGTOWs (“Men Going Their Own Way”), PUAs (pick-up artists, as described by authors Mark Manson and Neil Strauss as well as Roosh V). Learned about feminism in the past and returned over the last 4 years to observing it generally as a movement, witnessing it transforming into this weird, new “SJW” (“social justice warrior”) hybrid (thanks to intersectionality conglomeration). Taken me some time to make better sense out of what all I’ve been looking at — an ongoing struggle, to be sure.

But went there, been doing that. Still, when the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election began over a year and a half ago (ugh), I opted to tune out. Didn’t want to care. Know already plenty of reasons for why I don’t like and would never vote for Hillary Clinton. Saw no reason to concern myself with Trump. *shrugs* Sticking with Gary Johnson, so fuck it. That’s been my attitude for a long while now. Not been watching the news barely. Haven’t subscribed to cable television in my home for many years. Lack enough fucks to give to all that nonsense. I care enough to continue reading books to gain a better sense of perspective on where we are at this point in history, where we’ve been, and where potentially we might be headed, intentionally or otherwise. Occasionally share titles with pals open to giving them a perusing. Most aren’t. Living in my woman cave, working and paying bills and handling my own shit. What goes on in Washington D.C. is just more fuckery so far as I can ever tell.

Social relations matter more to me than politics. Probably because they’re down here on the ground where we individually actually have some direct control and power. At least can learn to better control our own selves, so far as we need to. But down here at ground level it’s clear that we’re not all constituted equally. Doesn’t break down purely according to racial or sex/gender or purely socioeconomic demographics — no, it’s far more complex than that. It comes down to us as individuals and what we’re apparently made of, what potential we might possess and whether we choose to work to unfold it. No one can determine that outcome — nobody but our own selves. And we divvy up across the spectrum in that regard, as is clearly evident to any of us who take time to look around.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is bugging me a bit lately in terms of what videos I’ve been watching on youtube. Watched quite a few over the course of the last few days, particularly paying attention to post-election protesters. Also went back and observed footage of campus protests in both the U.S. and Canada. Listened to law enforcement commentators and congressmen speaking on the subject. Today I came across an author, Colin Flaherty, who’s very critical of the state of the black community, calling hypocrisy on black people’s explicit racism against whites, examining news reports and showing displays of unjustified violence committed by black individuals against various others. Was an interesting channel. Is he racist? I don’t rightly care since he primarily focuses on numerous specific examples that we can then investigate for ourselves and form our own opinions on. Subbed.

Earlier today I also happened across a YT channel by Oshay Duke Jackson. Opted to subscribe to him too.

A few years before my Papa died, he warned me that there will very likely be a civil war during my lifetime and it will be race-related. Took that piece of advice and considered it in the years since. Initially assumed him to be wrong that the civil war would be race-related, though yeah, a civil war unto itself may occur. Tensions are mounting in this country and have been for a long time, and various factions seem intent on pushing the situation into the red zone. But race-related? During my lifetime it appeared that race relations were overall improving. Sure, we had the rise of gangsta rap during the ’90s and that set a trend that has yet to lose steam. But more interracial mixing has been occurring. Upon visiting my hometown in Mississippi, I’ve frequently been amazed at how much interracial dating is permitted and tolerated in recent years. Wasn’t like that even when I was a teenager a couple decades back. And I remember how racial divisions back then were sown and enforced by both older whites and older blacks, meaning black mamas and papas and grandmas took just as much issue with their child dating outside of their race as white mamas, papas, and grandmas did. See, people up north don’t seem to understand that fact. I come from a hometown where our high school then and to this day has segregated proms. Why? Mostly because black students throw a fit about changing this setup. It’s primarily their decision, so far as I’ve ever been able to tell, for why prom hasn’t been integrated yet. Yet we non-black folks are accused of being racist for this reality, which is basically to say they’re called racist for accommodating black people’s preferences in that town and school. Can’t win for losing there.

I’ve grown up observing a state known for possessing the highest black population in the union (nearly 40%), the highest out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy rate, the highest obesity rate, and one of the highest social welfare-dependency rates. Mississippi has the poorest public education ratings in the nation (switching places with Arkansas occasionally for 50th), high drop-out rates, and low economic opportunities throughout the state. Hence why people with ambition tend to leave, as did I at age 21. Kind of a depressing place to be, having lived in a few far-flung cities across Mississippi during my time down there, as well as attending Mississippi State University for a couple years. So I come at these topics with a perspective informed from what I have witnessed and directly learned about, not just what others may have told me.

Are most people racist? Probably. At least prejudiced to whatever extents. Appears to be a part of human nature. We may aim to take people as they come, but we still do tend to form opinions of demographics based on what our exposure to them has shown us. Oftentimes our exposure is too narrow and needs expanding, for which I’m grateful for the opportunity to live in the Midwest to juxtapose with Southern living, as well as my social science curriculum that did help in fostering a wider appreciation for what others may be facing, from Papua New Guineans to American black folks to Hispanics aiming to make a life in the U.S. due to widespread economic hardship in their native countries to Native Americans losing their cultures to the white Europeans originally brought here under indentured servitude, etc.

BUT…after college, a whole new education unfolds before us. How do those social theories perform when rubber hits the pavement? Do current socioeconomic and racial differences justify violent revolts? What other factors may figure into these situations beyond what was mentioned in the social science theories we were once educated on? When studying collectives, is it not an error to overlook the actions and choices of the individuals therein? Does that not produce a bias?

While no human is fully 100% an island, neither is he or she simply an irrelevant cog within some sort of hive-mind borg, individually obscured through a commonly shared identity.

I’m reflecting on Papa’s words tonight, pondering the possibilities for the future. I’ve said before that we can’t fight this system through the use of direct violence, because we wouldn’t win. Violence begets violence, and the State has more firepower than all of us combined. Act like a hooligan and expect to be treated as such. Harm innocent people who in no way have violated your rights to a similar extent, then don’t expect sympathy. Because that’s misguided. Won’t help anyone, including yourselves. Just turns more people’s hearts cold.

It’s almost as if some are pushing a self-fulfilling prophecy where they show up hostile and chaotic but see any response to that as proof of racism or sexism or homophobia or whatever that somehow justifies their initial aggression. But that’s not logical. It’s a skewing of reality, setting up a situation where defensiveness is paraded as some sort of offense. Why? To aid in perpetuating their own sense of victimhood. When aggressors are not plentiful, create them by making people stand up for themselves and others and then flip the script on them.  straight_face

That’s a shitty way to behave. Yet we see plenty of examples. Seems like more and more over time. I’m not okay with that. Nor am I okay with so much of the public kowtowing to political correctness requirements to where they’re unwilling to state the truth plainly, fearing social and possibly professional repercussions. Got people in a weird bind these days. Making cowards out of folks. Don’t want to us be reactionary in our responses to one another, but also don’t want to take shit lying down with our eyes and ears firmly closed. That’s not helping anybody either.