FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Burning ghost » March 3rd, 2018, 3:10 am

Count -

I agree with the above for the most part. People like Zizek admit they are not "popular" in academia, merely popular in the public eye.

Harris' defense against Chomsky was laughable. When you say it is not fair because Chomsky is "better a debate" then I am afraid it is like saying "I am less capable therefore it is not my fault I am wrong, therefore I am not wrong." (That was Harris' bizarre defense against Chomsky.)

As for Dawkins ... he is, and has, said some rather dispassionate things. But to giv ehim his due, he has admitted the limits of science (albeit reluctantly and sparingly.)

Peterson says he is out to make psychology of practical use to people. He is not really out there (IMO) to offer up new theoretical propositions (if he has I haven't seen them yet - but I've not read his main work "Maps and Meaning".) Peterson is a force for helping people understand themselves by bringing Jungian ideas into a more serious setting (and out of the New Age trash that attached to it.)

Even Chomsky can be held up to worthy critique. He is extremely careful with his words and very cool, calm and considerate of his presentation. Peterson's flaw is his obvious concern and passion (and that is also his boon.) Chomsky shows intelligence nad intellect no matter who he speaks to (watch Ali G interview him for his ability to make you think about what he is saying regardless of the setting or context.) He has been accused of being too "leftist", but I am not too sure. The problem is with many of these people in the public eye is that they cannot realistically give a reasonable picture of eveyr nuance of what they are saying.

Pinker? Again, not read much of him, but I am currently reading "The Language of Instinct," and I have watched a number of talks and debates with him. He seems reasonable, skeptical and altogether open to different views and perspectives and fully understands that what he says is, and should, be questioned and criticized by others (sounds good to me.)

The question comes down to who has left a mark? Chomsky most certainly has, Dawkins kind of rehashed Jungian thought into genetic terms (even though he didn't know he did) and I am in no position to say what Pinker has done. I can only thank them all for offering up something to the public so people can begin to dig deeper. Cox is someone who has offered an eye into a world that many don't find interesting and made it interesting to them - hopefully they'll inspire others in these subjects.

The field of psychoanalysis is important. Freud and Jung have helped a great deal and driven forward our ideas about consciousness in general. Neuroscience will necessarily have to address what they were investigating.

I don't think we should dismiss someone because they are popular or charismatic. Feynman was the last great mind of the 20th century as far as I can tell.

In 50 or 100 years whose ideas will we be talking about? Chomsky is already up there, Pinker I have no idea about, Dawkins "meme" (for good or bad) has a place in pop-culture now as well as his contribution to the "Atheist Movement", Cox will, no doubt, continue to be a bridge between mainstream physics and the viewing public, Harris (I don't think he'll remain more than a footnote) and Peterson will likely remain a footnote in the annuals of free speech too.

The one I do see as having some historical meaning is Zizek because he is looking more at the political and psychoanalytic side of things, he's charismatic, often provactive and it is more a case of whether he becomes more articulate and picks the correct debates and moods of the times.

I have listened to the Peterson and Harris debate. I could see that Harris was simply unwilling to remain mute and listen to what was being said, as if the person saying it actually had something worth saying. He seemed to come to the debate with the intent of "debunking" which is not really a way to move discussions forward or find common ground from which to work from.

I would love to see more of these kinds of debates where people just stated what they didn't know, what they found most puzzling, and what the strangest ideas they have about this or that are - that is one thing I appreciate about Peterson. He is not too worried about saying something that looks outlandish every now and again (not that I've seen him do so in interviews but I have seem him make highly speculative comments (and said they are speculative.) To see and hear these "intellectuals" voice their ignorance of matters is what I want to see more of. It is likely that coming from a Jungian school of thinking this is why Peterson is having success. Jung was happy to show his guilt, flaws and mistakes, and he was not ashamed of them.

Both Freud and Jung have been monumental to modern thought. Sadly the whole field has been belittled and, in Jung's case, framed as "mysticism." It is in the more elusive and inaccurate aspects of the human life where Jung and others swim. They don't pretend to "know" they merely express what they've found and offer up explanations. Today we are in a nice position, and a troubled position, because of the overwhelming dense amount of data coming in from neuroscience. We can see this with the popular debate of "free will" with the back and forth of sensationist news about how it is now "proven" we do or don't possess "free-will" - often with no attempt to show the accuracy of the data, what the scientists claim the data actually says (rather than offering suggestions), or without providing the counter data and history of the argument (not to mention the issue of defining "free-will" within a specific context; see Chomksy and others for the problem of language and interpretation.)
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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Count Lucanor » March 3rd, 2018, 6:54 pm

Burning Ghost:

In our intellectual life we all have our major and minor gods. The flaws we find in them are compensated by their virtues, all measured in relation to the overall contribution they make to our own, personal construction of knowledge. There's always the danger of confirmation bias, so we should take great care in remaining critical. I'm grateful there is a Dawkins that contributes to my materialist view of the world and I like him a lot, but I also see he is limited by some erroneous assumptions in the tenets of Evolutionary Psychology, assumptions that are grounded in philosophical views. So happens with Pinker, with the difference that I don't like him at all. And so I have mixed judgements about Zizek and many others, which nevertheless deserve our attention. Feynman I'm just starting to read, so I can't say much. Chomsky is an unavoidable reference in several fields. Freud, being one of the "three masters of suspicion", has a place in the pantheon of lesser gods, even influential to Critical Theory, but from a strictly positivist point of view, his work accounts as pseudoscience. I don't think Jung gets even further. Your assessments about Peterson and Harris as footnotes are completely accurate.

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Greta » March 3rd, 2018, 8:09 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 12:48 am
Greta wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 7:54 pm

What is it especially that turned you away from him?
I became acquainted with some of Harris' ideas after he published The Moral Landscape. I disagreed with a lot of them, but more importantly, I was suspicious of how he projected his own persona in the public domain. Perhaps he was a bit narcissistic, promoting himself disproportionately, I was not sure. And then he did exactly what you would expect from someone begging for fame: he challenged Noam Chomsky for a public debate. Chomsky declined, so their exchange went on private e-mails, which Harris later disclosed. And what was said in that exchange convinced me of what was Harris all about.
Actually, I thought that Chomsky engaged in far too much rhetoric whose only purpose is to undermine the other. Still, Harris does seem to have a blind spot regarding the US. If he was referring to most other western countries, he could make a fair claim of moral equivalence because they treat their own citizens and migrants much better than Middle Eastern nations. However, the US does not, tending to provide less support for the poor and greater punishments for crimes spurred by poverty than other western nations, not to mention being far more militarily aggressive and interfering.

To be fair, the former issue of harsh treatment of its own to some extent can be explained by their large population; governments of nations with large populations tend to be less humane than those with more manageable numbers. The latter problem of invasive foreign policy is simply the behaviour of an empire - the Romans, the Ottoman, The British, the American and the emerging Chinese empire.

Count Lucanor wrote:That's why specialists who perform very well in their fields, when trying to engage in broader topics, reach other fields that they just don't handle well and look very bad. There aren't many renaissance men nowadays.
An important point. Due to ever greater specialisation, and now automation, broader perspectives are contained in organisations rather than in individuals. As work increasingly split into specialist disciplines, generalists increasingly found themselves in management positions, overseeing disparate functions. Now specialisation has reached the point where the managers are no longer expert workers but their expertise is in management and leadership. So now, effectively, nobody working in any large organisation understands the whole entity, only bits. This is why I think AI and corporations will become synonymous - only the AI will have a global viewpoint.

Alas, the integration of disparate ideas in the heads of various specialist employees by corporate systems is far weaker than within individuals, so there has been ever deeper probing in many fields (generally practical or profitable), and also ever greater breadth of knowledge, but these advances comes at the expense of general integration of the conceptions.
Count Lucanor wrote:]
Greta wrote:
March 2nd, 2018, 7:54 pm
The new breed who are questioning theistic power and influence are of more sociological than philosophical interest. Those observers, such as Dawkins, Harris, Pinker and Cox were stellar in their earlier careers, which gave them the credibility to become dull, but perhaps necessary, political warriors. Dawkins on EB, Harris on the brain and consciousness, Pinker on psychology and sociology and Cox on natural physical systems were gifted and fascinating. The same could be said of Peterson. Keep all of them away from religious topics and they will be at their best.
But they will need to take a leap outside their narrow fields of knowledge to truly provide insights to the great questions. And I don't mean just wanting to have opinions on other topics, which of course they do, but being well educated in their theoretical framework. It would be hard to find a good contender to Chomsky.
I've not tended to be much keen, based on my very limited exposures to Chomsky. Too angry for my liking.

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by chondriac » March 3rd, 2018, 9:33 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
February 27th, 2018, 10:19 pm
But to be fair, in this other video the man looks brilliant.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x8XPX7YW14
I always say that this only happens because of the level of the opponents.
"What if I don't pay the fine"
You know he was thinking about Crito on that one! LOL

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Burning ghost » March 4th, 2018, 12:31 am

Greta -

Too angry? That really puzzles me. I have never seen him react emotionally to anything. If anything I would accuse him of being too apathetic in his demeanor.
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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Greta » March 4th, 2018, 2:25 am

I said this because his words towards SH struck me as angry. For all I know he was leaning back in a recliner as he wrote, taking a deep draw from a doobie and listening to Brahms' Lullaby but the below text, for example, struck me as overloaded rhetoric that's fair enough for forums but not for a professional:
... I am sorry to see your total refusal to respond to the question raised at the outset of the piece you quoted. The scenario you describe here is, I’m afraid, so ludicrous as to be embarrassing.

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Burning ghost » March 4th, 2018, 3:32 am

And this is what got me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOL3kUHjp2Y

That is just silly. Chomsky didn't want a public conversation, he was pressed and he responded privately.

http://www.critical-theory.com/sam-harr ... am-chomsky
The rest of the exchange is rather lengthy. Harris suggests to Chomsky that he “clean up” his pettiness should he want to publish it (Chomsky doesn’t care) and suggests that Chomsky’s emotions have gotten the better of him (they haven’t).

Harris finally concludes by saying (before asking Noam if he can publish it on his site):


I’m sorry to say that I have now lost hope that we can communicate effectively in this medium. Rather than explore these issues with genuine interest and civility, you seem committed to litigating all points (both real and imagined) in the most plodding and accusatory way. And so, to my amazement, I find that the only conversation you and I are likely to ever have has grown too tedious to continue.
The full exchange is here: https://samharris.org/the-limits-of-discourse

I don't see how showing your stupidity to the public (from private messages) and then claiming that showing your own stupidity, after the matter of fact, by publishing them for public consumption is in anyway honest. I imagine he merely hoped to turn around the exchange to be more meaningful in order not to feel like an idiot.

He is the one who plants the seed of Chomsky's "emotional response" he purposely states this and then wasted little time in making the exchange public. He does the same with Peterson. He doesn't want to discuss anything really. He merely wants to press his own point and refuses to move if he cannot glean any understanding. He seems to be able to drop something and move forward so as to gain a fuller understanding of the micro-position he is riling against which only really makes sense on a larger scale.

I look at some people's ideas and scratch at the surface by looking at who they talk to and what their general points and positions are. There is little Harris has ever said that inspires me to look deeper into his ideas and thoughts. There is not even enough there for me to look out of opposition - whereas when it comes to people I am more opposed to like Foucault, Derrida and Heidegger; I am, and have, looked much deeper.

Maybe it is a matter of taste. Peterson is more in my bracket of understanding than Harris is. It is likely a simple case of personality differences. I am more like Peterson than Harris, and more like Chomsky than Harris. This is because I find both Chomsky and Peterson to look at the wider picture rather than getting too caught up in individual situations - they both seem more able to appreciate the difficulties and nuances involved in playing the micro off against the macro and remaining cautious about declaring any particular action to take preferring to second guess themselves several times over before, and during, their attempts to deiver this publicly.

I am certainly not trying to make out Peterson is on par this Chomsky because they operate in quite different areas. Peterson's "Chomsky" is clearly Jung, and Jung would be nothing without Freud, and it seems to me most of the difficulties of the modern age were outlined by Nietzsche before they came to fruition - Nietzsche was an incredibly broad thinker; I've read (or should I say attempted to read) his works, but I've found myself having to tackle so many other topics (including psychology, linguistics, culture, religion, aesthetics, litrary theory and mythology - to name a few) in order to begin to get to grips with his work.

My very myopic perspective leads me to view Nietzsche as the instigator of Freud and Jung (as well as others I don't care to mention), and Marx as being more of the instigator of Chomsky - not that I am saying those that followed those gaem changers as being one's who've taken up the original aim, merely as being a product of opposition or re/development of their positions.

Funnily enough it seems Marx gave us the proponent of order and Nietzsche that of chaos (but hey! I'm inclined to take a Jungian view and inclined to look for the larger picture created between the details.)

Anyway, blah blah blah! haha!
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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Greta » March 4th, 2018, 4:57 am

Go for it, BG. You blah with style.

Harris was probably right with many points except the whole concept was problematic - he should have let it go. There was no useful benefit to exposing Chomsky's arrogance and rudeness, which was provoked to some extent. To attempt to publicly undermine the other under the pretext of pointing out issues in trying to discuss difficult topics struck me as disingenuous. Let it go, Sam. You stuffed up. Happens to us all at times. Move on.

Still, any public intellectual with the nerve to lead an atheist convention in a guided meditation deserves kudos IMO :)

As I say, for me, Feynman is about the only person I can think of whom I'd describe as a "hero", being inspiringly rigorous in his self-doubt and always provoking interesting and enjoyable lines of thought. I enjoy all of these thinkers in varying degrees - even Deepak :lol:

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Count Lucanor » March 4th, 2018, 10:08 pm

Greta wrote:Actually, I thought that Chomsky engaged in far too much rhetoric whose only purpose is to undermine the other.
Greta wrote: I said this because his words towards SH struck me as angry. For all I know he was leaning back in a recliner as he wrote, taking a deep draw from a doobie and listening to Brahms' Lullaby but the below text, for example, struck me as overloaded rhetoric that's fair enough for forums but not for a professional:
I think Chomsky treated Harris as a bug that came through the window and landed on his plate. He wanted to get rid of the annoying, unwelcomed visitor, as soon as possible. It might have looked rude, but Harris had it coming and he didn't get exactly what he wanted: to demonstrate that he was a big leaguer who could hang around people like Chomsky. That's what Harris was after, not the point in debate, but Chomksy's recognition that he's a player in the game.
Greta wrote: Still, Harris does seem to have a blind spot regarding the US. If he was referring to most other western countries, he could make a fair claim of moral equivalence because they treat their own citizens and migrants much better than Middle Eastern nations. However, the US does not, tending to provide less support for the poor and greater punishments for crimes spurred by poverty than other western nations, not to mention being far more militarily aggressive and interfering.
You're right. And it's certainly Harris' blind spot, to a point that it gets ridiculous. Hitchens, who against his own record, at some time also made the horrible mistake of advocating for the same military endeavors, was reasonable enough not to present the people instrumental for such interventions as representing a "well-intentioned giant".
Greta wrote:Due to ever greater specialisation, and now automation, broader perspectives are contained in organisations rather than in individuals. As work increasingly split into specialist disciplines, generalists increasingly found themselves in management positions, overseeing disparate functions. Now specialisation has reached the point where the managers are no longer expert workers but their expertise is in management and leadership. So now, effectively, nobody working in any large organisation understands the whole entity, only bits.
This is right, although I'd rather not talk about organizations vs. individuals, but about individuals vs. social institutions, which can only run successfully by way of organizations (public and private). Academia plays a role here that is not subject to the same problems of enterprise management. In the case of private, for-profit organizations, they became so big that the distinction between state-oriented policies and private enterprise was erased. This is also related to the level of development of productive forces and its tendency towards socialization. In any case, organizational theory and strategic thinking seem to be now entire fields to add to our inquiries, and I still believe they not only can be applied, but must be applied to public issues.
Greta wrote: This is why I think AI and corporations will become synonymous - only the AI will have a global viewpoint.
As you are well aware by now, I don't give any chance to AI to develop into something that could have a viewpoint. Corporations handing over decision power in strategic issues to computer machines most certainly will fail.

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Greta » March 5th, 2018, 12:05 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
March 4th, 2018, 10:08 pm
I think Chomsky treated Harris as a bug that came through the window and landed on his plate. He wanted to get rid of the annoying, unwelcomed visitor, as soon as possible. It might have looked rude, but Harris had it coming and he didn't get exactly what he wanted: to demonstrate that he was a big leaguer who could hang around people like Chomsky. That's what Harris was after, not the point in debate, but Chomksy's recognition that he's a player in the game.
Probably a fair summation, in hindsight. Mind you, people have quoted Chomsky on these forums at times and I've generally found his points made sense but weren't of much interest to me.
Count Lucanor wrote:
Greta wrote:Due to ever greater specialisation, and now automation, broader perspectives are contained in organisations rather than in individuals. As work increasingly split into specialist disciplines, generalists increasingly found themselves in management positions, overseeing disparate functions. Now specialisation has reached the point where the managers are no longer expert workers but their expertise is in management and leadership. So now, effectively, nobody working in any large organisation understands the whole entity, only bits.
This is right, although I'd rather not talk about organizations vs. individuals, but about individuals vs. social institutions, which can only run successfully by way of organizations (public and private). Academia plays a role here that is not subject to the same problems of enterprise management. In the case of private, for-profit organizations, they became so big that the distinction between state-oriented policies and private enterprise was erased. This is also related to the level of development of productive forces and its tendency towards socialization. In any case, organizational theory and strategic thinking seem to be now entire fields to add to our inquiries, and I still believe they not only can be applied, but must be applied to public issues.
Interesting point. I'm thinking too small by focusing on organisations - like the organs of the body of a social institution. Will need to think about this more.

Off the cuff, there is always the issue of any of these entities becoming unstable or changing their nature when they grow to a certain size. Physics limits the size that things can be before they either change state, divide or break down. Seemingly there are limits socially too - maybe it's a matter of physics too, just more oblique? A dynamic small business enterprise like Google becomes something quite different after its big bang-like growth spurt. It must necessarily lose focus as disinterested lawyers, accountants and administrators and staff are added to the fold. These is simply no way a large group can have the focus and unity of purpose of a few. Given what happens when they try, that's probably for the best.
Count Lucanor wrote:
Greta wrote:This is why I think AI and corporations will become synonymous - only the AI will have a global viewpoint.
As you are well aware by now, I don't give any chance to AI to develop into something that could have a viewpoint. Corporations handing over decision power in strategic issues to computer machines most certainly will fail.
Rest assured, humans will be plugged in to provide context :)

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Count Lucanor » March 5th, 2018, 10:18 pm

Greta wrote:Probably a fair summation, in hindsight. Mind you, people have quoted Chomsky on these forums at times and I've generally found his points made sense but weren't of much interest to me.
When I first learned about Chomsky, it was in the context of a never ending debate I have with a friend of mine immersed in cognitive theory and linguistics. For him, Chomsky was the turning point of his career. But I was skeptical. His language acquisition theory didn't entirely fit into my views and I felt I had to bring him down. In the process I learned more about his political and philosophical views, his clashes with other intellectuals and his vast culture. Ultimately I decided not to figth the fact that he's one of the most brilliant minds alive. I even might have no problem embracing his version of anarchism (libertarian socialism). So, although it cannot be said I'm Chomskyan, it's hard for me to be anti-Chomsky.
Greta wrote: Off the cuff, there is always the issue of any of these entities becoming unstable or changing their nature when they grow to a certain size. Physics limits the size that things can be before they either change state, divide or break down. Seemingly there are limits socially too - maybe it's a matter of physics too, just more oblique? A dynamic small business enterprise like Google becomes something quite different after its big bang-like growth spurt. It must necessarily lose focus as disinterested lawyers, accountants and administrators and staff are added to the fold. These is simply no way a large group can have the focus and unity of purpose of a few. Given what happens when they try, that's probably for the best.
No doubt about it. I used to work for a mammoth-size global company and it became evident that size does matter. You get in the dilemma: either centralized control and spreading homogenous standards towards the margins, or allowing autonomy to local branches, which means lots of strategies fighting each other. Things have gotten worse since the arrival of the apps economy. Small competitors with small budgets can move quickly and sell products or services that only the big companies could offer before. Their plantigrade, slow motion steps, are foreseen from miles away. Too much success is often the cause of your ruin.

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Greta » March 5th, 2018, 11:43 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
March 5th, 2018, 10:18 pm
Greta wrote:Off the cuff, there is always the issue of any of these entities becoming unstable or changing their nature when they grow to a certain size. Physics limits the size that things can be before they either change state, divide or break down. Seemingly there are limits socially too - maybe it's a matter of physics too, just more oblique? A dynamic small business enterprise like Google becomes something quite different after its big bang-like growth spurt. It must necessarily lose focus as disinterested lawyers, accountants and administrators and staff are added to the fold. These is simply no way a large group can have the focus and unity of purpose of a few. Given what happens when they try, that's probably for the best.
No doubt about it. I used to work for a mammoth-size global company and it became evident that size does matter. You get in the dilemma: either centralized control and spreading homogenous standards towards the margins, or allowing autonomy to local branches, which means lots of strategies fighting each other. Things have gotten worse since the arrival of the apps economy. Small competitors with small budgets can move quickly and sell products or services that only the big companies could offer before. Their plantigrade, slow motion steps, are foreseen from miles away. Too much success is often the cause of your ruin.
This brings us to the problem of governance itself. People become frustrated with all the chaos, fighting and seeming policy paralysis and start looking for a magic bullet solution, as offered up by simplistic populists, who appear to be of a similar ilk the world over - everything is a mess and all you need to do is x but no one is doing it.

The flaw here is that the "mess" is called life and need only be managed, not controlled, leaving room for growth as some parents might do with their children. Bringing together competing parts of a whole by communicating their common interests would seem to be a bit of an art. Many managers and politicians cannot resist the lure of the divide and conquer strategy, which is much easier than community and society building.

You will laugh at me but I think we badly need AI's capacity to handle complexity to play a role in governance. It's all too complex. No leader, party or administration seems to have much clue how to ride this, aside from pursuing naked short-term populism. We'd be better off with the robots than rabid populists with impulse control issues, don't you think, Count?

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Count Lucanor » March 6th, 2018, 8:30 am

Greta wrote: This brings us to the problem of governance itself. People become frustrated with all the chaos, fighting and seeming policy paralysis and start looking for a magic bullet solution, as offered up by simplistic populists, who appear to be of a similar ilk the world over - everything is a mess and all you need to do is x but no one is doing it.

The flaw here is that the "mess" is called life and need only be managed, not controlled, leaving room for growth as some parents might do with their children. Bringing together competing parts of a whole by communicating their common interests would seem to be a bit of an art. Many managers and politicians cannot resist the lure of the divide and conquer strategy, which is much easier than community and society building.
The Tragedy of the Commons? The problems of governance and populism are similar all over the world because the political system (call it bourgeois democracy, representative democracy, whatever) is taylored to reproduce the same social and political institutions, from which the typical politician emerges. "If it made any difference, they would not let you vote", said Mark Twain. A bit of exaggeration, as it does allow non-structural changes that give the appearance of power to the people, even though it is still a top-down hierarchy running things and behaving like a class on its own, associated in some type of guild called political parties, where private interests merge, disguised as public service.

A true democracy would resemble that "room for growth" where social life was determined by civil associations based on common interests. The only law: no one stays in a top hierarchy position for too long.
Greta wrote: You will laugh at me but I think we badly need AI's capacity to handle complexity to play a role in governance. It's all too complex. No leader, party or administration seems to have much clue how to ride this, aside from pursuing naked short-term populism. We'd be better off with the robots than rabid populists with impulse control issues, don't you think, Count?
Let's treat this as an algorythm: if real AI, then Singularity. If Singularity, then a distopyan Matrix-like future of humans reduced to crops. I'd rather take the red pill and run after divinely imperfect Carrie Ann Moss.

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Re: FINALLY! Someone offering some considered critique of Peterson

Post by Greta » March 6th, 2018, 6:27 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
March 6th, 2018, 8:30 am
Greta wrote:This brings us to the problem of governance itself. People become frustrated with all the chaos, fighting and seeming policy paralysis and start looking for a magic bullet solution, as offered up by simplistic populists, who appear to be of a similar ilk the world over - everything is a mess and all you need to do is x but no one is doing it.

The flaw here is that the "mess" is called life and need only be managed, not controlled, leaving room for growth as some parents might do with their children. Bringing together competing parts of a whole by communicating their common interests would seem to be a bit of an art. Many managers and politicians cannot resist the lure of the divide and conquer strategy, which is much easier than community and society building.
The Tragedy of the Commons? The problems of governance and populism are similar all over the world because the political system (call it bourgeois democracy, representative democracy, whatever) is taylored to reproduce the same social and political institutions, from which the typical politician emerges. "If it made any difference, they would not let you vote", said Mark Twain. A bit of exaggeration, as it does allow non-structural changes that give the appearance of power to the people, even though it is still a top-down hierarchy running things and behaving like a class on its own, associated in some type of guild called political parties, where private interests merge, disguised as public service.

A true democracy would resemble that "room for growth" where social life was determined by civil associations based on common interests. The only law: no one stays in a top hierarchy position for too long.
As far as I can tell, "true democracies" - much as I would aspire to see them become the norm - are systems that have rarely appeared in history and are short-lived. Perhaps in time that will change. Otherwise, there's no evidence of that being a "normal" state in the wild or human civilisation. There are almost always these hierarchies, and the wealth attracts more wealth like a large body's gravity attracts more material than a smaller one.

Thus, I always vote left or centre-left because the right is already powerful with a megaphone-like presence in the popular media, so it hardly needs help or encouragement from me, but I accept that that is seemingly how things are at present. Really, ATM I think China is the one to watch - are they left, right or what? - as their influence is going to spread rapidly.
Greta wrote: You will laugh at me but I think we badly need AI's capacity to handle complexity to play a role in governance. It's all too complex. No leader, party or administration seems to have much clue how to ride this, aside from pursuing naked short-term populism. We'd be better off with the robots than rabid populists with impulse control issues, don't you think, Count?
Let's treat this as an algorythm: if real AI, then Singularity. If Singularity, then a distopyan Matrix-like future of humans reduced to crops. I'd rather take the red pill and run after divinely imperfect Carrie Ann Moss.
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