The Importance of Being Ethical
On April 20, I attended a talk given at Stanford University by Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson. It started with a one-hour taping of an interview of Peterson by master interviewer Peter Robinson. Then it went to Q&A.
The interview, part of the series “Uncommon Knowledge,” is here.
In a later post, I want to challenge something he said in Q&A that I had thought was in the interview but wasn’t.
Here are some highlights.
On how we got to wokeness so quickly.
14:15: Two streams of thought. First the post-modern stream, which he agrees with, is one part of it.
17:30: This is the part of the post-modern stream he agrees with: “We see the world through a narrative framework.”
Perhaps I missed it, but he didn’t mention the second stream that led to wokeness. Peterson is not that linear and I found it more frustrating than a lot of the audience seemed to. But seeing the video over, I had a very different reaction: I found him charming and lovable. I wanted to hug him numerous times.
19:20: How businesses get diverted by wokesters.
20:55: The weaponization of guilt.
23:00: Science depends on the concept of the divine.
28:20: No difference between free speech and free thought.
41:30: Justin Trudeau is a narcissist. His challenge to Trudeau: What if you don’t know what you’re doing?
42:40: Peterson, as a Canadian, observing U.S. culture and its ability to revive from dark places. You’ve got to watch this. He said it beautifully. I got goose bumps. I whispered to my friend Charley that Peterson had put his finger on why I love my adopted country so much.
43:40: Ray Dalio on China. Yuck!
45:00: Peter Robinson quotes Dostoevsky on why people fear freedom and challenges Peterson to answer it.
45:50: Confronting these challenges is difficult but necessary.
46:50: You need allies, which is what universities are supposed to be giving you.
47:20: Free trade as an eternal verity.
53:45: Peterson has spent time trying to understand what motivated a guard at Auschwitz. He thinks that you can get ordinary people to do those things and even enjoy them. Part of what drives them is envy.
55:00: “Never forget” the holocaust should mean don’t let it happen again.
56:00: Instead of activism put your own house in order.
59:10: In response to Peter’s request for a redemptive sentence to tell 18 and 19 year olds coming into college, Peterson says “Don’t be thinking that your ambition is corrupt.”
1:00:30: “You son of a bitch.” You have to watch this to get it.
1:01:40: In a very emotional ending in which Peterson is on the edge of tears, in talking about what universities are doing with their anti-human messages to young people, he says, “You have no idea how many people that’s killing.”