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What I Learnt from Jordan Peterson

Be Or Act Like You Are On Top

Be Or Act Like You Are On Top

Given the world we live in, it’s easy to point the finger at capitalism (or something else) for creating rich and poor, have and have-nots.

Social hierarchies have been around since the beginning of complex life. That can be exploited by signaling that you are ‘high status’ so people will treat you as such.

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Ideologies ≠ Ideologues
Ideologies ≠ Ideologues

Ideologies: ideas that, disguised as science or philosophy, claim to explain the complexity of the world and offer remedies that will perfect it.

Ideologues: people who pretend ...

Virtue ≠ Virtue Signaling

Jordan Peterson observed that virtues aim for balance and to avoid the extremes of the vices. Cultivating judgment about the difference between virtue and vice is the beginning of wisdom.

Modern relativism asserts judging how to live is impossible, because good and virtue are relative. Thus relativism’s version of “virtue” is “tolerance.” This leads to people broadcasting their tolerance as a form of self-promotion, and secret vice, which is also known as virtue signaling.

Order and Chaos

Order is where the people around you act according to the established social norms, remaining predictable and cooperative. Society is simultaneously structure and oppression.

Chaos is where the unexpected happens. 

Expectations of marriage

People are increasingly seeking self-actualization within their marriages. On top of the age-old love and cherish, the hope is that our spouse will help us grow to become a better version of our...

The cultural shift
  • Before the 1950s, there were well-defined expectations for how people should behave. Women were supposed to be nurturing, but not too assertive. Men were supposed to be assertive but not really nurturing.
  • Around the 1960s, we rebelled as a society against the norms and preferred humanistic psychology with ideas about human potential and the possibility of living a more authentic life.
Fulfillment of goals

The changing nature of our expectations of marriage has made more marriages fall short and disappoint us. But the fulfillment of a new set of goals is now within reach.

We can have a beautiful set of experiences with our spouse. We can have a particularly satisfying marriage, but we can’t do it if we’re not spending the time and the emotional energy to understand each other and help promote each other’s personal growth.

The Flaw in Jordan Peterson’s Argument On Hierarchy

Peterson suggests human hierarchies aren’t socially created, but are effects of human evolution. His evidence for this is the fact that lobsters also have hierarchies.

Human and lobsters

The Flaw In Jordan Peterson’s Comparison Between Humans And Lobsters

Serotonin is linked to aggression and is found in the brains of most animals, humans and lobsters include, as expected of creatures with a common ancestor. But serotonin has a completely different effect in arthropods and vertebrates.

In vertebrates lowered levels of serotonin has been shown to lead to increased aggression, the opposite happens on humans.