3 posts tagged


Jordan Peterson, Personality #7: Carl Jung and the Lion King (part 1)

Watched another “Personality” lecture: Carl Jung and the Lion King (part 1).

I have kinda ignored the parts that I couldn’t readily apply to my own life – like Simba being little Jesus (I mean, of course he is, it’s just I can’t do anything with it), or discussions of the Nazi symbolism:


I learned a new word:

comport /kəmˈpɔːt/

(comport oneself) (formal) conduct oneself; behave: “articulate students who comported themselves well in interviews”.


[Sex and aggression], say, unlike thirst or hunger, are much more difficult to integrate into proper social being, and tend to be excluded and left unconscious. And so a lot of Freudian psychology – and I would say psychology in general – is focused on the integration of sexual impulses and aggressive impulses into the psyche.

I think that by “integrate” Peterson means “acknowledge that they exist – and they are a part of you, not something that simply happens to you from time to time”.

This is spot on. Until a couple of years ago my views on sex and aggression were basically “oh my god, this is so uncivilized” – to the point where I was successfully radiating an impression of being asexual. An impression of never being angry was harder to maintain, admittedly, but I think I would have still agreed that “it is never right to be angry” if asked.

I haven’t consciously tried to integrate them yet, but I will, and we’ll see how it goes. Or maybe I will see and you won’t see. I can’t promise that I will remember to write about it.


“Posture helps with looking dominant, which in turn helps with being dominant.” I have already been working on my posture for unrelated reasons, but okay, thanks for extra motivation.


Something I don’t really understand:

[...] there’s an old idea that the way to full maturity is to find what you lost as a child and regain it. That’s a brilliant idea (and that echoes through myths all over the world), and that means you have to regain your capacity – once you’re disciplined and you know how to do something – you have to regain your capacity for play and, sort of, for wide-eyed wonder.

And that’s maybe the childlike part of your spirit, and the reintegration of that childlike part with the adult grown-up part revivifies the adult grown-up part and allows the child to manifest itself in a disciplined way in the world.

I’m tempted to link it to Kegan stage 5, where after figuring out your wants and relationships and principles and values and everything, you realize you actually don’t know all that much and you start hunting for unknown unknowns (which can be done by following your childish whims, among other things). But there is also likely another perspective on it, one that doesn’t involve Kegan almost at all, and I don’t yet know what it could be.


Imagine you’re watching a gymnastics performance, right? And it’s [...] at a high level world-class performance. And someone comes out there, and they do this routine that’s just dead letter-perfect, you know. And they stop and everybody claps like mad, right, and it’s perfect.

And so then the next contestant comes out – and they’re basically in real trouble, because, you know, this person just got 9.7 out of 10 and it was perfect, so how do you beat perfect? And so [...] they come out there, and then you watch them, and you’re right on the edge of your seat – because what you see them do is something extraordinarily disciplined, just like the last person did, but they push themselves into that zone that’s just beyond their discipline capacity. And you can tell every second you’re watching it that they’re that close to disaster. And so you’re right on the edge of your seat, and you know that they’re doing a high-wire act without a net.

And so when they finally land triumphantly, you’ll all stand up and clap spontaneously. And it’s because you’ve just witnessed someone, who’s a master at playing a game, who’s also a master at improving how to play that game at the same time. And people love that more than anything.

I don’t actually realize that somebody is doing something extraordinarily disciplined when I watch a gymnastics performance. But anyway, the point about “master at improving how to play the game” is interesting. I see many more stories of the “I’m good at X” type than the “watch me become good at X” type, and I can’t say I like the second type of stories more, but I will watch out for those stories more closely in the future now that I’ve been pointed at the concept.


“Your flood will be caused by your own wilful blindness” (cf. Mufasa not keeping a close eye on Scar).

Alright, which floods will be caused by my own wilful blindness? I know at least one: all my projects will fail because I know there are problems with them and I am ignoring those problems. What else?

(Also see: Murphyjitsu.)

 No comments   2019   peterson

Jordan Peterson: Who Dares Say He Believes in God?

I watched another Peterson’s talk: Who Dares Say He Believes in God?.

Basically, people kept asking Peterson whether he believes in God, and he kept getting annoyed and wishing he had more than one minute to articulate the answer. So he went and talked about it for like an hour and a half. He also hinted that a thousand years would have been more appropriate but compromises had to be made.

The actual answer can be summarized as a) “I act as if God exists” and b) “but if you took the idea of God seriously, you would try to be a Really Good Person, and I don’t quite see anyone taking the idea seriously enough to make it believable that they actually think God exists”. The rest was spent talking about various things, including for some reason Marxism, which was kinda out of place but whatever.

And now the notes, which are really more of random things I will think about in my spare time and not really notes. First of all:

[...] values like nobility, endurance, courage, responsibility [...]

I spent about ten minutes afterwards trying to figure what exactly nobility was. You see, I’m trying to join the ranks of nobility myself:

My best idea is that nobility is playing in hard mode. You do [something] that makes your life harder and then you have to work harder to regain the losses, over and over again. Lying to avoid hurting other people is easy, not lying and still not hurting other people is (sometimes) hard, etc; same for begging. N=2, must be true.

I haven’t thought about the other three but I should. “Should” is a tricky word though. Whatever, “I will unless for some reason I won’t.” Okay, next:

Treating yourself as if you have inherent moral worth is a rather cool idea, and an extremely non-obvious one. If you do that, your life will improve for [some reasons that I don’t remember].

This goes on my list of hypotheses to check.

God is dead, meaning that now we have to create our own values. But we can’t actually create values that would be completely our own. Try doing that for a week, you will fail.

I wish I had found Peterson when I was trying to understand what the hell David Chapman (meaningness.com) was talking about. He says “Meaning is neither objective nor subjective” a lot and never quite explains it in a way that would be understandable.

Collective guilt is a stupid idea.

I always thought collective guilt was a stupid idea but at the same time thought it was kinda reasonable to feel that somebody could be blamed for what their [group] did. Now I wonder why exactly it is reasonable to feel that way. This goes on my list of things to think about.

I don’t have that many lists. But I do have, like, several.


It’s easy to hold several contradicting thoughts in your head if you’ve never gone into the world and tried to do something. You can say “A” today and “not A” tomorrow, and you will notice the contradiction only when you try to act on it.

Does tweeting count? Probably not.


 No comments   2019   peterson

Jordan Peterson, Personality #6: Jean Piaget & Constructivism

Finished the sixth lecture from Jordan Peterson’s “Personality” series: Jean Piaget & Constructivism. I didn’t take notes during the first half, but here are some from the second half. All quotes are paraphrased and in some cases blatantly misremembered.

If a child for whatever reason doesn’t play with other children (when the child is between 2 and 4 years), the child’s development will get screwed up and not much can be done about it later on.

This is kinda bad to hear given that I didn’t play with other children in that period. Gotta think about it more.

Ecstatically jumping into whatever is interesting at the moment, and then losing interest very quickly, is something kids do. And they have to be taught how to stop doing it.

Hmmm. Hmmmmmmm.

By getting dopamine immediately after X you are building an X-wanting monster in your head.

By “monster” Peterson specifically means a bunch of neural pathways that get strengthened and can not be un-built – you can only build something else to override those pathways. He gives cocaine as an example but in my case it’s probably Reddit.

Okay, knowing that it can’t be un-built (even if I don’t exactly believe Peterson about everything, but I’m willing to pretend) should make it easier to stop building bad habits.

“You will always keep doing horrible things and you won’t ever change” is something that should earn you a punch in the face because any discussion is impossible after that point.

I already suspected it wasn’t exactly a good thing to say/think after I kept doing it to my girlfriend and she left, but it’s nice to see this suspicion validated.

The best way to screw someone up is to either ignore or punish them when they do something good, especially if they do it for the first time / are testing the waters.

Alright, will stop doing so.

Rolling eyes at people means a divorce is coming and there’s no way back already.

Probably also applies to rolling eyes at friends or whoever else.

The stress in “Nobel” is on the second syllable.

All those times I didn’t say “Nobel”, I was saying it wrong. Dammit.

 No comments   2019   peterson