Bill Maher and Jordan B. Peterson on PC and Resilience
By David Henderson
Somehow I missed this 9-minute video at the time.
A few highlights:
1:04: Maher gives his definition of political correctness and then Peterson gives his. Both are good but I think Maher’s is better.
1:50: Peterson: Not thinking is a bad idea.
2:25: More on political correctness.
2:40: Peterson blames political correctness on the universities, especially departments of education in the universities.
3:35: Maher makes a good point about freedom of speech including the right to be disrespectful, even to Barbara Bush after she died. Take that, Fresno State University president.
4:45: Maher has a great term to refer to college students who find nothing funny in humor from many comedians: “emotional hemophiliacs.”
5:30: Peterson on how to raise children so that they are resilient, which they absolutely need to be.
Note that this gets me only 60% through the video. There’s much more on how to raise children.
I remember first hearing about political correctness. I was living in Oakland between August 1979 and July 1980. (I was working at the Cato Institute in San Francisco at the time and commuting.) I had found a group of fun-loving people in Berkeley who played softball every Sunday morning. I was one of the worst players but I gradually moved from the 0 percentile to about the 25th percentile. One day in January–I remember because it was just after the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan–someone made a comment about something–I’ve forgotten what–and someone else responded that that wasn’t politically correct. There was no tone of irony or humor in his voice. I looked around and saw people either nodding or looking blank, but no one challenged it.
At the time, I thought it was a strange term. The person wasn’t saying the statement wasn’t correct. He was saying that it wasn’t politically correct. In other words, he was introducing some vague unspecified criterion for judging a claim, a criterion that only coincidentally would match a simple truth criterion. I thought at the time that that way of thinking would get someone into a trouble. I was too kind. As Peterson points out, it’s not a way of thinking: it’s a way of not thinking.