He absolutely needs to fine-tune his veracity, and could use to time away to deal with it.
Instead, Jordan Peterson is in rehab to try to help him deal with an addiction to a specific prescription drug, and PZ Myers wants to crow about it. Always one to celebrate the foibles of those he considers intellectual enemies (we don’t think Peterson considers PZ at all), we predict he’ll bring this subject up every time he mentions Peterson moving forward. When he’s not lying about Peterson, he’ll be reminding people about this stint in rehab to try to score points.
Today, he did both.
I liked this angle on the story: going into rehab was the right thing for Peterson to do, and he is to be commended for reaching out for help. But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s one of those tedious self-help gurus, a conservative version of Oprah, who is always telling people that their attitude is the problem, that they should pull themselves up by their bootstraps, when there are systemic problems that require social cooperation to accomplish real change.https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/09/22/a-good-take-on-jordan-petersons-rehab/
“Tedious self-help guru” is a pejorative way to describe a clinical psychologist who used to teach at Harvard, but PZ Myers has always shown a bit of flair for the unnecessary ad-hominem personal attack. While not technically a lie – Peterson did write a book called Twelve Rules For Life – it’s dancing all over the line.
The lie is later on in the paragraph – constituting the entirety of the blog post – when PZ describes what Peterson says. Accurately characterizing his opponents’ arguments is always a problem for him, and this is no exception.
We’ve listened to some of Jordan Peterson’s lectures and read parts of his book – we didn’t get through all of it – but we’re confident he has never said, nor would he ever think that someone’s attitude is “the” problem. Sixth among his twelve rules is this: “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.” In other words, there are issues in the world to criticize, but before you do that you should make sure you’ve taken a good look at yourself. He does say there are things you can do to improve your life – he is a clinical psychologist, after all, it would be a surprising for him not to say that – he never denies the fact that there are problems in the world requiring social cooperation. In fact, we’ve heard him speak often on the need for social cooperation, just not quite in the way PZ Myers might think of it.
Additionally, in PZ Myers’s world, the phrase “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” is an insult that suggests poor people are poor because they don’t work hard enough. That is another sentiment we’re confident Peterson has never expressed. In fact, we’ve heard him say exactly the opposite.
All of which makes this yet another PZ Myers lie.
Peterson speaks often of the need for balance between ‘chaos’ and ‘order’, writ large. PZ blithely calls him a ‘conservative’, and while we suppose that’s mostly correct it also misses Peterson’s real message.
He thinks it would be a disaster if one side were to win.
PZ can’t wait for the “revolution.” He wants his side – the progressives – to win and would love to see conservatives eradicated from the face of the earth.
Peterson thinks that would be a disaster (and so do we). According to him, we need the left and the right to maintain a certain sense of balance between chaos and order. When one side – either side! – gets too powerful, the results are devastating.
That’s not a typical “conservative” or “progressive” sentiment, but then again the vast majority of what Peterson talks about has nothing to do with politics, which is one of the reasons we’re pretty sure PZ Myers has spent almost no time listening or reading what he has to say.
Which, come to think of it, makes Peterson just like every other person PZ criticizes on Pharyngula.
Today: 1 science-related post, 4 posts on other stuff
Since 30 May 19: 109 science-related posts, 386 non-science posts.
22% of the posts on a “science blog” are about science.
Today: 1 PZ Myers Lie
Since 30 May 19: 124 PZ Myers Lies
Over to you, PZ. Until tomorrow.