Jordan Peterson on the gender pay gap, campus protests and the patriarchy

On hierarchies, which Peterson addresses, the “third way” is to get away from them, stay away from them. Ignore them reasonably and live by your own lights. This is a basic urge in many of us. In a very similar manner, many of us refrain from anger and hatred and enjoy following moral precepts and find freedom in them.

I make this point because Buddhist practice is based on freedom through ethics and because many social psychologists today are saying what Peterson says about hierarchies. Sometimes we do have to stand up for ourselves, but I do not believe most of us need to do this often or should do it often.

Furthermore, I do not believe that social status is any more fundamental to human nature than murder is. Humans also possess reason and spiritual inclinations both of which can guide us away from status competition if we decide to do that and/or our conditions allow. ABN

Arm’s length communication can be dangerous

By arm’s length communication I mean “our deepest levels of meaning, emotion, and intention are either implied or more often concealed from the person(s) we are speaking with.” (see: Communication at arm’s length)

When we do arm’s length communication too much, we retard both psychological and sociological growth. We harm both ourselves and others.

Arm’s length communication is often a type of “sociological communication.” That is, communication that holds cultural, sociological or historical assertions above individual psychological experience. This can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing.

It’s good when it helps us see and bad when it blinds us. Bolsheviks were blinded by sociological fantasies that led them to murder tens of millions. It is good for us to understand that today, especially as our society is being torn apart by arm’s length fallacies.

I will now present an example of this tragedy as it is playing out this morning. What happened is Trump allegedly asked an intelligence analyst of Korean extraction, “Where are you from?”

As someone who has extensive experience with East Asia and Asian-Americans, I am aware that this question drives many of them up the wall. One example:

This makes my blood boil. It must have been so awful to be standing there having her expertise invalidated and trivialized. (Source: asianamerican)

As an ordinary American, I am also aware that this question with precisely that wording was extremely normal well into the 1980s and beyond. A younger friend I discussed this with this morning said she still considers it to be a normal question.

“Where are you from?” means what is your ancestry. When most Americans ask this of each other it means what is your ethnic background, what ethnicity or mix of ethnicities do you identify with or feel close to. It does not mean I think you are a bad person or are not an American. In a nation of many immigrant groups, it is a normal thing to ask. Indeed, it is the quintessential American question. Or used to be before SJWs came along.

Information about your ancestry or ethnicity says something (arm’s length) about your psychology and some levels of your “identity.” Isn’t it ironic that a commenter on an Asian-American site would be incensed that the president asked someone about their identity and then proposed that that identity might well-serve US national interests?

Here is another comment from a South Asian that says the opposite:

Being a Chinese speaking South Asian that type of response isn’t surprising. (Source: AZNIDENTITY)

Having lived in East Asia for a long time, I am well-aware that “Where are you from?” is almost always the first question anyone asks me in that part of the world. Chinese, Japanese, Australians, Europeans, other Americans all ask it. It can become boring to answer when the query is rote arm’s length stuff coming from someone who obviously does not care, but that is nothing to be offended by.

We are in a semiotic pickle and I don’t know what to do about it either. There are many other examples of the above, most of them stemming from identity politics in one way or another.

What is happening is that arm’s length identity concepts are being idiosyncratically defined by identity groups and then the demand is made that those definitions be known and accepted by everyone else or “blood will boil.”

Sexual misconduct and American culture

As a Buddhist, I am in favor of good sexual conduct, which in Buddhism means not harming anyone by your conduct.

As an American, I am frankly delighted to witness some of our most hallowed cultural hierarchies being undermined by recent sexual misconduct charges. Hollywood, mainstream media, and Congress are all experiencing major damage to their very highly undeserved reputations as “cultural leaders.” Yuck, I have learned more from cats.

As an individual, I also have to say that at least some of these misconduct charges are surely bogus, some are so minor and happened so long ago they mean nothing today, and some of them were surely enticed, if not by conscious design then at least by the way our culture operates. Just compare how men and women dress. And consider that women (I have been told) also lose their shit when around male dancers.

Cultural revolutions need to happen from time to time and often yield good results if they are nonviolent. The Czarist regime in Russia was too slow to change nonviolently and thus was overthrown violently. The KMT in China was similar.

I hope we are now living through a nonviolent cultural revolution that overthrows undeserving cultural hierarchies and the celebrities who represent them. I also hope that though the battering ram today is sexual conduct, tomorrow it will be intellectual honesty across the board.

In that vein, I hope academia falls next. No major public institution in America could possibly be 85+% liberal without also being totalitarian, excluding those with different views.

A word to whoever controls the Deep State or oligarchy, accept deep change now or be like the Romanovs.

 

American semiotic circus

American semiotics are delightfully absurd today from a semiotician’s point of view.

Step back and appreciate the humor of the whole picture: Moralist are trapped in mono-dimensional positions.

Our post-PC culture still strictly does not permit nuance.

Even though our airwaves are filled with mega-babes dressed—or half-dressed—to the nines, you are not allowed to look down if you happen to have the good fortune of working with them.

No, I am not laughing at the victims. I am laughing at the absurdity of a culture that cannot untangle the many inevitable ramifications of human sexuality.

This is truly theater of the absurd, a semiotic circus that evokes sadness as well as laughter. The joke’s on us, after all!

A murky accusation that reaches across forty years of cultural change to discredit a politician on the eve of an election brings out establishment moralists who simply must weigh in. But then, almost on cue, the photo of a now-former-moralist senator groping a former playmate through her flak-jacket effectively parries the charge!

If Hillary or Demi Moore does it, it’s OK. And that is how it should be, to be honest.

My sense is deep down we are witnessing a massive cultural change taking place in part due to (and despite) the semiotic shallowness of PC and post-PC public life in America.

My partner this morning said with real feeling, “Don’t people realize these sex stories are [evolutionarily] a million years old and our continuing to discuss them like middle- schoolers is actually hiding much worse stuff beneath them?”

I bet most don’t.

My hope is that these semiotic weapons (the accusations) are the start of a real battle against The Swamp alluded to by my partner. All cultures need deep change from time to time. Usually that change is violent. I hope this one will continue to be (mostly) nonviolent and absurd, a mixture of sadness and humor, profundity and nonsense.

Hollywood: Two more shoes waiting to drop

Beyond the casting couch for adult actors, two more shoes are waiting to drop—organized pedophilic abuse and sex-trafficking and Jewish supremacy, both of which extend far beyond Hollywood.

In spiritual terms, these are demonic forces that defile our society as well as our individual minds. They seduce us with pleasure and then frighten us when we try to break free.

Pope Francis said something about this on Friday:

The demons… start being part of the man’s life. With their ideas and inspirations, they help the man to live better and entering his life and heart and start changing him from within, but quietly without making any noise. (Source)

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10/16/17 related: What #HarveyWeinstein Needs to Say to Bring Down the #Hollyweird Hypocrites Who’ve Disowned Him

10/17/17 related: An undercover reporter secretly records how the Israeli Embassy directs local groups

10/17/17: Former Miramax Screenwriter Posts Harvey Weinstein Mea Culpa: “Everybody Fu*king Knew” BTW guys, everybody also knows about the Jewish supremacy. Here’s a view of how deep that goes: Mountebank’s Monster and His Mom: a peculiar resurrection. Jodie Foster needs to read this book.

10/22/17: The third shoe dropping: 38 women have come forward to accuse director James Toback of sexual harassment