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Old 02-03-2018, 10:02 PM   #31
xoxoxoBruce
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Some interviewers are a tad aggressive...
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:36 AM   #32
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In Peterson's mind, a single step toward group mentality or group protection is an inevitable death march to literal genocide a la Maoism. At the same time, he acknowledges that unchecked capitalism leads to increasing extremes of inequality that lead to an unstable-and-doomed-to-collapse system. He notes that "we have to figure out ways" to correct for that, and more specifically that we haven't come up with any such ways so far.
Can't stop thinking about this, I think it's remarkable that an avowed anti-Marxist acknowledges that Capitalism is a broken game. It feels like we've never had that before!

Similarly, Bret Weinstein, another important Rogan interviewee, comes from a rather lefty perspective, and then acknowledges that markets work and are very productive.

To me this is what we've needed all along. I feel like these new public intellectuals are onto something. It's very exciting! They start by breaking the standard identity politics at the university, now they want to break the standard thought about other things.

They are serious thinkers and absolute experts in their fields. (Peterson's work in Psych is very widely cited; Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist, whose work on genetics in mice may change all research science that uses mice.)

They aren't covered on regular media whatsoever because they can't possibly fit into a Bill Maher-esque left vs right scheme. The media can't understand or even recognize something outside the model, so... it attacks them!

And the best way -- maybe the only way to consume their ideas is in the form of 2 hour conversations, unbroken by commercials or any other interruption. And suddenly this is available to us all because Internet.

Viva la revolucion!
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:45 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Undertoad
And the best way -- maybe the only way to consume their ideas is in the form of 2 hour conversations, unbroken by commercials or any other interruption. And suddenly this is available to us all because Internet.
To be fair, though, similar things have been available on PBS for decades. But nobody watches PBS. And the only reason anyone listens to Joe Rogan's podcast is because he was a famous comedian who made idiots eat raw horse uteruses on reality TV. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm still an optimist, but it's hard to disentangle my optimism from my nihilism--like, if it doesn't work, America will fail, but the human race will go on anyway, and that's fine, too.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:17 PM   #34
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the only reason anyone listens to Joe Rogan's podcast is because he was a famous comedian who made idiots eat raw horse uteruses on reality TV
Naw, really, this is a phenomenon that's happening. I think he gets like 30M downloads per month these days. (Most downloads are audio, the YouTube numbers are a fraction of it)

Me, I despised FF, and I think Rogan is just an above-average standup.

But his thinky podcasts are brilliant: just a long conversation between a curious person and a serious thinker. Rogan is the conduit in this setting, and he does a fine job of it. He's bringing these people to the rest of us, and letting their ideas go out there.


Edited to revise number of downloads, and per month not per ep
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:45 PM   #35
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It is pretty exhilarating - there's something about it that reminds me of the 'pamphlet wars' of the 1790s.

I have to say he's made me reevaluate some of my own views/outlook. Not just him - I've been watching a lot of Stephen Pinker's stuff as well, but mainly Peterson.

I was never anti-market as such - I've always seen the value in markets for some kinds of things - trading is a pretty fundamental thing for human society and we couldn't very well continue with localised bartering systems with the human population as large ads it is - not without reverting to some pre-technological age

I also don't think I've ever been that into the idea of a revolution, frankly - except maybe for a brief spell when I was 18 and wanted to burn the world.

Marxism has always been more of an analytical tool for me - but with a bit of class loyalty thrown in. Dad was from a fairly wealthy, upper middle class background but mum was northern working class and hers is the family I was most connected to on a day to day basis. So I kind of arrived at socialism partly through being aware of unions and that kind of old school labour culture. Not marxist, just trade unionist.

Revolutionaries always seemed kind of heroic and exotic - except for the ones I met who were mainly ineffectual dicks.

What he has made me question is the emotional response I have to the hammer and sickle compared to the one I have to the swastika. The former always seems to me a noble but twisted dream, or broken promise. The latter encapsulates the evil man is capable of. Not because I am ignorant of the death toll under communism, particularly under Stalin, but because the original dream seemed a noble one: egalitarianism and an end to class oppression. And because an offshoot of that theoretical model articulates the nature of inequality and ways to ameliorate it.

But it is interesting to see the pathology behind marxism as a movement. Marx's philosophy was flawed because - ye know - he was a man of his time trying to understand a rapidly changed set of social and economic dynamics. The market as we understand it was pretty damn recent. The concept of paper money as we know it (as the thing of value itself and used as currency in the modern sense) was like 150 years old or thereabouts when he was born.

The shift to a primarily waged notion of work was a massive shift in how people saw themselves and their place in the social and economic system. Even thinking about it as an economic system at all was new.

And there was absolutely a sense of what we might now call class difference but what then may have been called breeding or quality that was a fundamental part of the existing social structure. It was voiced as such. If anybody started the 'class war' rhetoric it was the middle-class intelligentsia and their conviction that the lower orders were of a different classification of man which was given full voice during the run up to the age of revolution. The gradual compression of the middle class and the concentration of wealth upwards, the alienation of the labouring classes from some kind of comprehensible place in society into a waged workforce is an understandable direction to see things going. Things must have seemed so untethered.

But that period where notions of deep and immutable differences between social classes persisted into the explosion of markets and collapse of the pre-industrial setting only lasted maybe 200 years at most. A century either side of Marx's work. And at the other side of that the world looked very different to how he had pictured it looking as a result of all that.

But the idea of even approaching how we organise society in terms of oppressor and oppressed being a fundamentally dangerous notion is pretty compelling. It isn't that this is something I just now considered - but the current kaleidescope of oppressed-v-oppressor matrices has kind of stunned me - and I think Peterson's helped link those things up in a way I hadn't really done before.

When I think of political correctness, i think of the way racist jokes became something you just didn't say unless you were very sure of your audience, and the way it became socially unacceptable to call shops owned by Pakistanis, the 'paki shop'.

I think of political correctness as social and cultural pressure to try not to be a dick about race and gender, because more and more people thought that would be a good idea. And institutions trying not to be needlessly offensive about some of the people they served or catered to (replacing 'crippled' with 'disabled' in official publications and so forth). Led to a large extent by the media and a new generation of programme makers, stand up comedians, and (quite mainstream by today's standards) political activists

That's how political correctness seemed to start in the 80s/90s, from my recollection of it - and that doesn't seem like such a bad thing. A culture that values a responsibility not to needlessly cause offence or engage in casual cruelty towards those who are different seems a pretty good thing to me.

But a society that adopts a legal right not to be offended is a terrifying idea.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:54 PM   #36
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To be fair, though, similar things have been available on PBS for decades. But nobody watches PBS. And the only reason anyone listens to Joe Rogan's podcast is because he was a famous comedian who made idiots eat raw horse uteruses on reality TV. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm still an optimist, but it's hard to disentangle my optimism from my nihilism--like, if it doesn't work, America will fail, but the human race will go on anyway, and that's fine, too.

This is different though. PBS is the ideas. That's great and all, but it's kind of like any subject you might see an interesting documentary or current affairs programme about. This is the ideas + the zeigeist.

As someone with a background in history I am finding the whole situation fascinating.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:10 PM   #37
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Eric and Bret Weinstein together on The Rubin Report



2 hours and 47 minutes with maybe 10 minutes of intermission

Changed my mind about a lot of stuff! (Re-centered me on climate change!)

Here are the smartest brothers on the planet.

Brain now full. I'm exhausted. I may need to watch it again though.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:38 PM   #38
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the ideas + the zeitgeist
Sam Harris and Steven Pinker are co-headlining a show at LA's Dolby Theater next month. River Cuomo of Weezer is opening for them. It's a big place, 3400 seats.

to sum up, it's

2018: Intellectuals are selling out huge theaters... and rock stars are opening for them.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:48 AM   #39
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This is different though. PBS is the ideas. That's great and all, but it's kind of like any subject you might see an interesting documentary or current affairs programme about. This is the ideas + the zeigeist.
Eric Weinstein has dubbed it, now, the "Intellectual Dark Web" and yesterday there was an NY Times opinion piece on it.

(paywalled, so right-click and browse anonymously) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/o...-dark-web.html
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