On Jordan Peterson

He is a psychometric robot fashioned out of statistical analyses of human psychology; a machine credibly demonstrating what his data show to be the rightmost side of the bell curve.

Given his and our assumptions there is little else he can do. He is a persona made of repeatable ideas, the fruits of scientific labor. It’s a new kind of drama, analytical drama.

He demonstrates what many think about being human. Many don’t know what else to think.

Another famous psychologist does something similar, though his interpretation of the data rests more on compassion and understanding. Watch Allen J. Frances in the video at that link. You can hardly imagine a more kindly and intelligent speaker. Handsome, engaging, caring and alert, Frances displays the best human qualities expected of him. I see contradictions in his persona during the Q&A at the end because he models speaking to individuals in front of a large group.

When I first moved to California a friend took me to several in-home demonstrations given by people who were selling products or courses of study designed to make life better. Invariably, those people had shimmering good looks and charisma that was vibrant for the 90 minutes or so we saw them.

All of us are pressured by ever-changing bell curves.

I like all of the people described above. I hope Jordan become prime minister of Canada and/or keeps talking!

Real-time, real-world analysis of interpersonal communication

…From this, you can see that a percept is a “thing” in the mind, an electro-checmical “structure” with imagery, thought, and emotion. Based on what is known about the physical, brains (like all matter) are fields or fields intersecting; superimposed fields with remarkable stability and complexity.

If we consider the brain as some sort of field array and its particles as excited points on it, we can see how “mind” could be retained in the field array even though its brain particles have become unexcited through changed attention or death. (Source)

Is the greatest emotion taking pleasure in correcting our own mistakes?

Surely it’s in the top few.

In the Buddhist tradition, shame is sometimes called the greatest emotion because shame makes us open to changing for the better.

But shame can also be felt and avoided or hidden or misdirected. Shame here generally means something bothers our conscience.

Correcting our own mistakes often follows shame but not always. Someone may tell us of a mistake that does not make us feel ashamed.

Taking pleasure, even delight, in correcting our own mistakes is very close in time and psychology to actually making the correction.

Whether it is the greatest or not, the emotion that accompanies self-correction is well-worth cultivating.

Pope Francis: “There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”

Scalfari says to the Pope, “Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?”

Pope Francis says, “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.” (Source)

Facial expressions as tools for social influence

“This paper is an attempt to bring the field up to a scientific understanding of human facial displays, and to restore continuity with modern views of animal communication,” Fridlund said. “From preschool on, we see smiley faces with the word ‘happy’ written under them. We see sad faces with the word ‘sad’ written under them. That may not be the best way to understand facial expressions. A monkey at the zoo that smiles at you is not necessarily happy — it is giving a ‘submissive threat grimace.’” (Source)

The paper: Facial Displays Are Tools for Social Influence