Jordan Peterson’s psychobabble.

Vox Day links to an article about Jordan Peterson’s deceitful tactic of attempting to redefine words when it suits him in order to mask the meaning of what he is supposedly attempting to say.

Communication becomes extremely difficult if we allow ourselves repeatedly to be drawn into a labyrinth of semantic distinctions. That is precisely why there has to be some fundamental agreement about what words actually mean at the beginning of any conversation. This is something Peterson can be particularly bad at doing, when the mood takes him—just listen to his excruciating two-hour conversation with Harris that never managed to get past the disputed meaning of the word ‘truth.’

‘When the mood takes him’ is an extremely generous way of describing such opportunistic behavior.

Peterson’s legions of mindless followers will no doubt rush to their guru’s defense with claims that it isn’t Peterson’s responsibility to define words, repeat ad nauseam. Or perhaps they will shout something along the lines that Peterson is attempting to answer infinitely complex questions and thus has some sort of special leeway to turn common language inside out and upside down. After all, complex questions require complex answers, and if you’re not complex enough to grok the meaning then that’s your problem, isn’t it.

Peterson’s answers are incredibly complex because Peterson deliberately constructs them in such a way that his answers are opaque and clouded in obscurity. Nicholas Taleb holds particular disdain for those who deliberately confuse and complicate language in order to seem more intelligent, worldly or knowledgeable on any given subject manner.

Which is a rather long-winded way of saying that Peterson is full of shit.

Vox has this to say on the subject:

As I call it, bafflegarble. It’s nonsense that baffles the insufficiently comprehending.

I’m not a fan of bafflegarble, particularly as there is already a perfectly good term to describe this condition: Psychobabble, which was defined by writer Theodore Dalrymple as “the means by which people talk about themselves without revealing anything.”

There’s a cool song on the subject by Alan Parsons too!

 

 

29 thoughts on “Jordan Peterson’s psychobabble.

  1. Meh, he’s a psychologist so it shouldn’t be surprised that he falls into this. I find Harris, like most atheists and leftists, to be just as big at redefining the language to suit their needs. The fact that, as you’ve correctly pointed out in the past, that Peterson comes from the left of the political aisle is probably part of the reason he does this as well.

    My thought is that he’s helping move the frame of discussion a bit in the right direction in some areas. And if you’re willing to sort through the psychobabble, there are questions in there worth pondering. Would it be better if he dropped the BS? Yes. I think some people just can’t help but think and talk in that way though.

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  2. Doug Huffman

    LOL. Name-dropping is Old Style® virtue signaling positioning you within – within only – your social hierarchy.

    You have faith in Vox Day, but not in Jordan Peterson. I can’t imagine why you mentioned Nassim Nicholas Taleb but to name-drop.

    Speak for yourself.

    Like

  3. Joe

    I give your blog another chance only to see another swipe at Peterson… he’s living in your head rent free.

    If you put out even a 10th of the content he has – content which btw is meant to help young men in an age where help for them is largely absent – you’d have a leg to stand on. I don’t see anything here other than you giving your opinion – hubris.

    Instead you complain that his speech isn’t coherent enough for you and name drop.

    He’s playing 3D chess, you’re playing checkers.

    Like

    1. Oh bullshit. I haven’t written about Peterson in months. You can stick your chance where the sun doesn’t shine.

      As for your and the other Peterson fan boy’s accusation of name dropping, not only is it incoherent, it’s pure projection on your parts.

      Like

      1. Troy

        Clear giveaway you’re a Leftist when you call Peterson’s followers “mindless fanboys”. Saul Alinsky tactics straight from “Rules For Radicals”. Demean and belittle people with opinions you don’t like in an effort to marginalize them. Actually, you just can’t understand the concepts he relates. So you’re a little slow I’d say.

        Like

  4. Pingback: Late Night With In The Mailbox: 07.24.18 : The Other McCain

  5. Billy bob

    Lol someone is a bit butt hurt… If you can’t understand what he is saying than re listen it is pretty easy to follow.
    I don’t understand why Vox and other dribble sites are so aggravated, you guys are the worst for naming and shaming, get some integrity about yourself and focus on doing some good in this world instead of whining all the time.

    Like

  6. KP

    So funny that you would accuse JP of being deceptive with words when here is an entire article with baseless accusations entirely devoid of any evidence whatsoever… Lol Vox!

    Like

  7. Moritz Kraemer

    Maybe we should just write down the names of Blabberson defenders and call them out when their crazy christ is exposed to the world (roughly 18 months from now)

    Like

  8. Roderick Banks

    So Mr. Adam. Given you don’t like Jordan’s complex answers to complex questions, you must be a fan of Donald Trump. One liners and 3 word slogans, sufficient short and cutting that a 5 year old can understand….. Because that’s the alternative.

    Like

    1. The fact that you believe Donald Trump is THE ALTERNATIVE to JP shows how uneducated you are and how you have adopted the positions you think make you look smart when in realty you’re an insecure mediocrity.

      Like

  9. MatrixTransform

    meh, I dont really get the JP bashing though it is fun to read, and the comments from fanboys gives plenty of good chortle.

    Dunno if JP is full o’ shit or only partly full, but the semantic game is a give away.
    Personally I just take the bits that resonate and ignore the bits that don’t.

    Anyway, the quillette article was very interesting (as they often are) and the snippet about being “drawn into a labyrinth of semantic distinctions” was of particular interest.

    for example…It’s what women and feminists do when they’re manipulating
    I want to feel safe — means bring me things boy, provide for me.
    I dont feel safe — awful man, you raised your voice, now shut up and bring me things.
    etc etc

    Labyrinth of semantic distinctions …or, Wiggle Words which is what I call em because I reckon theyre invariably used to get wiggle room.
    Usually for the purpose of power over somebody else (ie whoever has to listen to that shit)

    So I wonder what JP wants when he wiggles like that? My guess is that he wants to give lip service to those religious people so that he can get on to delivering other messages without getting bogged down in dogma.

    but IMO, if he wiggles … he wants something.

    Anyway thanks for the Quillette link, I would have missed the article without your reference.

    Like

  10. Resovea

    Damn how can one even begin to defend themselves after being relegated to mindless status.

    I don’t know how I got here, but I just gotta say. If one person can make you do this and imply his fanbase to be nothing but mindless, then you’re nothing more than a let down that has nothing to really contribute.

    Invest in a hobby, you sound like you need one.

    Like

  11. Joanna Rillo

    A typical response from the left. The millions of JP followers are mindless or stupid but you have a superior intellectual pedigree that gives you a position to insult us.
    Pathetic.

    Like

  12. Phillip M Neeves

    I do think JP brings a fresh look at words and how we tend to look at them personally and to me that’s the word PERSONALLY if his articulate insight into your own thinking is not helpful,change.
    It’s all about our own personal journey,live it and love.

    Like

  13. Phillip M Neeves

    I do think JP brings a fresh look at words and how we tend to look at them personally and to me that’s the word PERSONALLY if his articulate insight into your own thinking is not helpful,change.
    It’s all about our own personal journey,live it and love it

    Like

  14. The left started internal wars over who was the most politically correct some time ago. Now we are doing it, and it is not good.
    Here we have one of our strongest advocates and because we can not quite agree with the personality we call it psychobabble and wait for the incoming attention.
    Shooting one of your own Generals for talking in his sleep is traitorous.
    Not good Adam. Divided we will fall.
    Incoming dumbass comments is a gratuitous dumb arse comment.
    Over at Remus , the Appalachian icon and prepper you will not read too much criticism of fellow warriors. Here he is Remus at the > Woodpile report.
    Adam, at Pushing Rubber Downhill, has a few words for those too high-minded to fully engage SJWs:
    Cuckservatives have been trotting out the “not stoop to their level” line for decades now and the end result has been an almost complete victory for the left in the culture wars…
    Everyone wave around their arms in the air and repeat it with me – we’re stooping to their level! No, we’re not. You don’t become your enemy by using their own tactics against them. What you do is you beat them. And defeating people is a rough, cruel and brutal process.

    Like

  15. Al Jahom

    And so another pot of agar is poured into the Dunning-Kruger petri dish of JP Fanboys.

    May as well tell the Ayatollah that Mohammed is a false prophet, mate.

    Like

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