Jordan Peterson disrupted at Queen’s University

On Monday, the controversial Jordan Peterson gave a talk at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. I still don’t know what to make of him, as I haven’t had time to listen to his videos or read his books or other writings. He seems to have some sound views, but others that are wonky. But one thing he’s not is a white supremacist or fascist. He is serious and has things to say that even his opponents should hear (I doubt that many of those who protest him know anything about him beyond his refusal to be compelled to use “pronouns of choice. But that’s enough to permanently cast him into purgatory.)

As recounted in the school’s newspaper The Queen’s University Journal, and local  The Kingston Whig-Standard, about 150 students and others protested Peterson’s appearance, most of them apparently peaceful. But more than a handful were rowdy, with one even breaking the window in the lecture hall with her hand (she’s been arrested and charged). Others barricaded the front and back doors of the venues, shouting “Lock ’em in and burn it down!”, while still others shamed and vilified those who attended the talk as they were entering and leaving.

Two things about this protest are characteristic. First, many of the protestors aren’t content to mount a peaceful demonstration, but want to shut the talk down, and even talk of burning Peterson and those who came to hear him.  This is unconscionable. Second, the students are really, really angry, even though most of them (as with those who protest Charles Murray) are probably unfamiliar with the man’s work and thoughts.  That anger stands in sharp contrast to Peterson’s usual calm demeanor, similar to the restrained behavior Christina Hoff Sommers showed when she was attacked at Lewis and Clark College.

Here are four videos of the protests.

Barricading the doors, shouting at the attendees (“Shame!”), and trying to disrupt the affair by making a lot of noise,

Protestor breaks the window as Peterson speaks:

An angry and ignorant student tries to shame someone leaving the venue. Note that the protestors aren’t engaging with Peterson’s ideas (except for the Pronoun Issue), but denying his right to speak and calling him nasty names. These are privileged and spoiled kids who don’t have enough studying to do. Activism is fine, but this is embarrassing!

All of this, of course, makes the Left look really bad, even if most Leftists don’t condone the violence.  The main report I found in the mainstream media was in a conservative paper, the Washington Times, though of course right-wing websites like The Daily Fix are also crowing about the demonstrations.

It’s time to knock off the violence, deplatformings, and interruptions. They’re not only ineffective, but counterproductive, since they play into the hands of the Right. And for god’s sake, stop calling everyone you don’t like a “Nazi” or a “fascist”, like these Queen’s students do. Otherwise you’ll wind up like Dan Arel, screaming into an unhearing void—a figure of fun.

I just realized, as I was adding the video below (a compilation of the day’s protests) that the difference between the protestors of the Sixties and now is that the former were directed at policies and ideas, while the latter are directed at individuals.


  1. Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    They really are the most useful idiots, aren’t they?

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    These students are so privileged, they most likely have never been subjected to real violence. One day, because they are using an approach that escalates tense situations, they may be directly subjected to it. I think they will be very shocked at what it’s like to be truly intimidated and harmed.

    Further, they seem to get angry at feeling “unsafe” but take no issue with making others feel unsafe. It’s the height of privilege and lack of empathy.

    • darrelle
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink


      They read just exactly like bratty children desperately seeking attention and used to getting it. If only they could see themselves from a neutral point of view for just a moment they might realize that they aren’t fooling anyone into thinking that their behavior isn’t all about themselves rather than others.

    • Craw
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Plus a big, big, big 1.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink


    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:44 am | Permalink


  3. Rod
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Queens University is in Kingston, ON, not Toronto. Kingston is about 250 km. east of Toronto.

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      This would have triggered Don Cherry for sure.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        LOL Cherry and the rest of Ontario outside the GTA because all of Canada outside the GTA hates Toronto.

        • Gordon
          Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Ditto with London (UK) and Auckland (NZ).

          • XCellKen
            Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            I thought London was also in Ontario ?

            • Craw
              Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

              Paris too, and once Berlin. Warsaw.

              • Merilee
                Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:00 am | Permalink

                And Delhi, pronounced Del-hi.

              • XCellKen
                Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

                Everyone knows that Paris is in Texas

              • Mark Reaume
                Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

                Ontario is not very imaginative when it comes to city names. I’ve lived in Chatham, Windsor, London and Waterloo.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

                Someone from somewhere else: “What do you want to call this place?”

                Someone else from somewhere else: “I dunno, what did we call that place we came from?”

      • BJ
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Jerry better watch out. Cherry has probably already called Bob Probert and told him Jerry’s address.

    • Christian
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Uhm, isn’t all that just Downtown Canada anyway?


  4. Kevin
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Minor correction: Queen’s University is in Kingston, not Toronto.

    Before Ottawa was chosen, Kingston was once candidate for the capital city of Canada.

    Today, Kingston is a charming waterfront university town.

    (You should visit and give a talk, Professor Coyne!)

    • Kevin
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      (Wow, two comments about Kingston in a few minutes. Definitely triggered!!)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Did you see this Beaverton article about Queens & Kingston?

      • Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        That is hilarious. As someone who once lived in the QU Theme Park, I can say it is only slightly exaggerated.

    • Craw
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      I hope he does. I would make the trip to attend.

  5. Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone else see a parallel with the protesters spitting on soldiers returning from Vietnam?

    • Taz
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      There is some question as to whether that actually happened or was primarily an urban myth.

      New York Times Story

      • Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Interesting article, certainly rings true. Ken Burns’ “Vietnam” miniseries is where I first heard what seemed like plausible stories about the hostile reception of troops. Now I don’t know what to believe.

      • Diane G.
        Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:10 am | Permalink

        Interesting article, Taz, thanks.

        It should surprise no one that fake news has always been with us.

  6. Patrick
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for covering this one too. As a Canadian I may be biased, but I find this event even more dangerous and disturbing than the Lewis and Clark incident.

    Fellow reader Mark Reaume told us (in the comments to the Lewis and Clark post) that the woman arrested for smashing the glass window was in possession of a garotte. I’d like to hope there were no plans to strangle any speakers or attendees, but the mere possession of it by somebody willing to punch through a window is frightening.

    Something you touched on above that I also found funny is that these students are somehow enraged over the presence of someone that they also believe to be both unoriginal and dull:

    “Everything he says has been said before and frankly, in a shorter amount of time. I can’t watch one of his videos, it’s an hour long and he says maybe two things, it’s ridiculous.” – student protester dressed as a lobster

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      I put a link on the other article. She sounds very unstable. Not a student at the university, 38 & she got violent while being arrested & also tried to kick the window out of the cruiser. She was given some criminal charges so that might cool her off a bit.

      • Patrick
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for the link.

    • Davide Spinello
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      They could go have a drink with friends and laugh about it, or organize a counter event. But unfortunately their collective brain marinated in cultural studies and postmodernist BS cannot contemplate these possibilities. After all, they are fighting the Nazis.

      • Posted March 11, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Disturbing the speeches of actual Nazis in their time didn’t work well, either.

    • darrelle
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      A garrote? Damn. That is one of the most brutal means of killing there is. It’s difficult, takes some time and effort to do it, hands on, up close and personal, messy. I agree with Diana, she sounds unstable.

    • Simon
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      The shorter amount of time one reminds me of the blog spat equivalent, the word count. If you take the time to lay out your argument in detail your high word count is sneered at.

  7. Merilee
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Really looking forward to this debate, which all can watch online:

    • Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Frye and Peterson are going to destroy those two. It will not be pretty.

      • Craw
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        Pretty? That will be GORGEOUS.

    • BJ
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Stephen Frye! YEEESSSSS!

      Thank you so much for posting this.

      • BJ
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink


      • Merilee
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        I pay a small amt. every year to watch a few debates online in real time, but I think thet you can pay for them individually and possibly even watch them for free after the fact (could be wrong on the free… My subscription to the series gets renewed automatically and I’ve forgotten the details. I just know that most of the debates over the last 8 or 10 years have been well worth watching. You can sign up on the website to get alerted to all the upcoming debates.)

        • BJ
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          For anyone who doesn’t want to pay money for this: According to the membership plan I just read, I can watch any debates, past or present, with just a free membership. The only difference between the free membership and the other two is being able to get tickets in advance for the debate venue. I signed up for the free membership, so I should be able to watch.

          Thanks again!

          • merilee
            Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

            Good, BJ. I go to a lot of concerts at Roy Thomson Hall, the debate venue, but it hasn’t seemed worthwhile to actually go in to the debate when you can actually see the debaters closer-up online. Maybe I now just have the free membership; at least I always seem to get the notifications. Another nice feature is that if you’re busy the night of the debate you can watch it later. I think perhaps all the old debates are still online. I saw one with Hitch (from several years ago, obviously) mentioned below the link I sent.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

              Yeah I get the notifications & watch online as well without paying anything.

            • BJ
              Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

              I would pay several thousand dollars if Hitch was still around and I could sit first row on his side. I would love to watch and hear him in person.

  8. Merilee
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Sorry if this is a repeat. Looking forward to this debate with Peterson and Stephen Fry vs. two others. Available to all online.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Thank you!

  9. glen1davidson
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Brats being encouraged to be brats by professors.

    Education’s supposed to go the other way.

    Glen Davidson

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I suspect they were brats before professors got to them. Their parents had a big part in this. Parents are extremely involved in their kids lives – often university administrators deal directly with parents when it comes to building their schedule. The students don’t even build their own schedules. I will let that sink in.

      There have been cases where students have applied for campus paid positions and parents have come in to negotiate their pay. How weird is that?

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        I have not come across that before at my University, but things can be different in different places.

        But don’t get me started about students who want to miss all of their classes for a week or so and take an exam late because they are going on vacation with their family.
        In the middle of the semester. Trash all their classes. For a vacation. I tell them I cannot permit their taking a late exam for that reason, and they will get a 0 on their exam. And they go anyway.

        • Merilee
          Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          I once had a student’s father try to browbeat me into tutoring his kid, for free, after they went to Florida for a week mid-semester.

    • Patrick
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Brats encouraging professors to be brats?


    • Simon
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      While on the subject, the inimitable PZ just weighed in on the C H Sommers campus spasm. Apparently Sommers just doesn’t know how to handle these situations as well as a pro like him. Seems you just have to give the protesters a thumbs up and invite them to voice their disagreements. I don’t know if he’s truly ignorant of the fact that these SJW hissyfitts are about not letting the the “Nazi” get a single word out or if he is being disingenuous. Trying to get these SocJus academics to acknowledge any wrongdoing on the part of their student troopers is like threading a needle while wearing oven gloves.

      • Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

        I can’t find a post on his web site about that. Do you have a link?

        Anyway, did anybody tell him that the talk was supposed to have a Q and A section in which people can voice their disagreements?

      • Paul S
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        Give them a thumbs up because what they need is more encouragement to behave badly.

  10. Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Photos of Charles Murray now require a trigger warning:

    Editor’s Note: The Front Page Photograph

    I wish to explain the photograph on page A1 to the readers. I recognize that it may be especially jarring, particularly for students of color who feel that Charles Murray’s rhetoric poses a threat to their very humanity. I also recognize that Murray’s visit to campus last March is an open wound for a campus trying desperately to move forward from it.
    During a heated debate in the newsroom on Tuesday night, most of the section editors, and the managing editor, said that running this photograph would be inappropriate. Though I deeply respect the input of my editors, I decided to run the photograph anyway. I take full responsibility for this decision. It was mine alone, and any criticism should be directed at me alone.
    This photograph is not meant to troll, or to cause pain, but to ask how that protest still lives with us today, one year later. For many, this image is burned in our collective memory. As much as we try to distance ourselves from that moment, we are made from it.
    I recognize that running this photograph is a political act. Yet I see no way to comprehend this institution without seeing ourselves as part of American society, which is itself political.
    I also believe moving forward requires looking inside, however unpleasant that may be. We cannot escape our history. We can only confront it.

    Ethan Brady is the editor in chief.

    • Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      The comments beneath that editorial give me some hope for humanity.

      • Diane G.
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:56 am | Permalink


    • Patrick
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      A quick perusal of the comments on that embarrassing article is enough to raise one’s spirits a little.

      Murray may be a mild conservative that dislikes atheism, and he may or may not have correctly interpreted some population-level intelligence metrics, but he is clearly a thoughtful, calm, and intelligent person.

      The people who are labeled fascistic monsters these days are more liberal than millions of their fellow North Americans, and more mild and decent than the protesters themselves.

  11. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    “the difference between the protestors of the Sixties and now is that the former were directed at policies and ideas, while the latter are directed at individuals.”

    I can see that today there is a greater temptation to do this, although I think it is wrong, and often based on poor character judgment.

    A greater percentage of right-wing spokesmen today are genuinely noxious bastards, though NOT Christian Hoff Sommers.

    Back in the 60s, it was easier to see many conservatives as benighted, nescient, and retro (as long as you ignored Roy Cohn, Pat Buchanan, et al.) There were also many charming conservatives like William F. Buckley.

    But today the Right is more heavily dominated by folk of a noxious odor, Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, Karl Rove, Roger Ailes, and of course the DonAddled Bugle at the top of my list.

    So the temptation to protest individuals is much stronger today than it was in the 1960s.

    But the current generation seems to have NO(!!) ability to distinguish the really toxic conservatives from reasonably principled ones.
    Christina Hoff Sommers is a Democrat and not a fan of Donald Trump. Most of her protestors only know she shared a platform with Milo Y.

    • Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think you can compare even the most ‘noxious’ modern alt-righters with mainstream Sixties politicians responsible for shooting protestors or napalming kids.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        The shootings at Kent State were not ordered by any master politician but were a spontaneous act by a probably poorly trained and panicked local National Guard, most of whom were locals from a town 6 miles away from Kent, Ravenna, which has for over a century been far more right wing than Kent, and has since Civil War days had a kind of Hatfield-McCoy relationship with Kent.

        But I digress. I am comparing the rhetorical style of public speakers, not the actions of politicians, and even there I would claim that Bush’s Iraq war was equally as bizarre as Vietnam.

        Were there any conservative speakers on college campuses in the 60s as remotely bizarre as Ann Coulter?? “We should be fingerprinting environmentalists” “If Chicago had been hit, New Yorkers would not have cared”, etc. etc.

        • XCellKen
          Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

          I have relatives in Ravenna, Ohio LOLOLOL

          When I attended Kent Sate (79-83) No one ever paid any attention to Ravenna. We looked down upon Brimfield, and Streetsboro.

          One of my roommates my freshman year was a Communist. The stories I could tell.

          Have you ever been to New Philadelphia, Ohio ? My last name is on the historic plaque in front of the Tuscawaras County courthouse.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      I do not see how difference has any point at all. Either you have free speech or you don’t. Degrees in behavior difference or how they seem to you means absolutely nothing. I do not want them to distinguish between the generations, I would prefer they grow up, act like adults if that is possible and respect other’s rights.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        I also want them to show respect. I am analyzing motivations to temptation, not justifying actions.

      • BJ
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I don’t think it has anything to do with rhetorical style or respectability. It’s about how the views and behavior of young people have changed for the worse.

        Of course, these changes aren’t exclusive to the younger crowd, but they do seem to have swept further through their ranks and more extremely.

  12. Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I just read the Wikipedia bio on Peterson and his interview in Time magazine. What he has said does not appear all that provocative. Clearly, Canadian SJWs don’t have any US-style villains to go after if they are protesting this guy.

    • Christian
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Clearly, Canadian SJWs don’t have any US-style villains to go after if they are protesting this guy.

      For some reason these SJWs remind me of the immune system of a person suffering from allergies.

  13. Raymond Cox
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I think one of the problems is that these angry students have convinced themselves that the issues they oppose are literally a matter of life or death, so violent protest is justified. Misgendering a trans-person might make them suicidal and so misgendering is equivalent to murder.

  14. Stephen Barnard
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Jordan Peterson hss become a sensation, so …

    I’ve been listening to podcast interviews of Jordan Peterson. The first one with Sam Harris (#62) was unfortunate, as Harris acknowledged. The second (#67) starts out better, but I haven’t finished it. I recommend the Joe Rogan podcast (#1070). My respect for Joe Rogan is increasing. I haven’t seen Peterson’s youtube stuff yet. His views on free speech, political correctness, and postmodern neo-Marxism align with mine.

    I loved his somewhat reluctant quote in the Rogan interview, that was (paraphrasing) “I’m the only person who’s monetising Social Justice Warriors.” Apparently, his fundraising success on Patreon is driving them crazy.

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      His biblical lecture series on YouTube was painful to watch. The painful part for me was how much he was reading into the stories. He’s a big believer in stories (esp. ancient ones) having deep hidden meanings that reflect some deep truth about human nature. He wrote a book called Maps of Meaning which I gather is about this topic. The first lecture was about the book of Genesis, he read one line and then talked about how mind blowing it was for 2 1/2 hours 😛

      • Stephen Barnard
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        From what I gatherered from his interviews, his take on religion is nuanced. He’s interested in archetypes, hero stories, and Jung. I doubt that he’s a believer (though he avoids the question).

        • Mark Reaume
          Posted March 7, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          And he would say to that “Well it depends on what you mean by BELIEVE!”.

          That level of nuance gets old, fast.

          Having said that, I actually do enjoy much of his work that isn’t religion based.

          • Stephen Barnard
            Posted March 7, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            I feel the same way. He’s interesting to listen to.

            Aside: Sam Harris continues to amaze me with his ability (similar to Pinker’s) to emit, audibly and in real time, perfectly grammatical, to-the-point, and well thought out sentences at will.

        • Posted March 9, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          A clinical psychologist who is (still?) a Jungian is a huge red flag. He also seems to spell “being” like a Heideggerian.

          Smashing his room is *not* a way to combat such inanity. [sigh]

  15. Stephen Barnard
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion (and in Peterson’s) when someone is accepted to and attends an elite university they should forfeit their oppressed identity credentials.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:01 am | Permalink

      Good point.

  16. Craw
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    They Are privileged. Queens is Canada’s richest school, with a lot of trust fund kids, and a rich student body.

  17. Rick
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Although Peterson is best described as a conservative, he does not seem to be a fascist. To try to deplatform anyone is reprehensible, and in the particular case of Peterson it is also an overreaction.
    That said, the guy is a religious apologist, who believes only religion can function as a basis for morality. In an interview he said that it was evident Sam Harris lived in a Christian way, since he didn’t rape or murder.
    At the same time he makes a huge effort to appear neutral on the issue, refusing to say if he believes or not in god. During another interview, when asked if he believed in Jesus’ resurrection, his first answer was “Define Jesus.” Pressed to answer, he finally said he was agnostic on that particular issue.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      I like to engage Peterson’s ideas and rhetoric on issues other than religion. He’s confused on that topic.

      • Hemidactylus
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        And apparently comparative biology too. PZ ripped his lobster chapter to shreds. Human and lobster nervous systems are vastly different. Serotonin effects differ. Both extant groups may have converged on the hierarchy thing, but how far back do we share a common ancestor?

        I’m no sui generis pushing Durkheim, but hierarchy is at least partly institutionally oriented in humans versus lobsters and thus constructed socially. Institutions and social groups can develop a devolved flatter structure. And humans go from reciprocity to Singer’s expanding circle as Pinker argues. Lobsters don’t read fiction to empathize with others. Plus natural is not automatically conferred rightness. As Bulldog Huxley understood ethics is in fighting cosmically ordained realities tooth and nail. So damn how serotonin affects crustacean nervous systems. They don’t even have that nonsense structure alleged by Paul MacLean to be “reptilian”. And LeDoux deconstructed the alleged limbic “system”. Posturing lobsters are our role models? Really?

        Arthropods and chordates are quite disparate even if shared Hoxology underlies our segmentations. Peterson seems to confuse Jungian archetypes that reduce to biologically constrained social themes to Owenian archetypes that constrain phyla in their deep morphology. If I were to look for behaviorally salient homologues in generation of social dynamics I would look to our hominid brethren chimps and bonobos (with reservation) not forcefit frivolous convergent analogies with lobster distant relatives. And chimp have horrible posture compared to us.

        • Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          There are many things that PZ Myers might like to do to a lobster.

          • XCellKen
            Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

            And a squid

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      I’ll also comment, if you’ll forgive me, objecting to your use of the term “conservative”. There is nothing conservative about the currently denominated conservatives in the US. They’re radicals.

      The terms conservative and liberal have been distorted beyond recognition. Self=described political “conservatives”, by and large, are against conservation, except for conservation the status quo, and even conservation of discredited ancient statuses quo. They’re radicals — the political equivalent of flat-earthers.

      • Rick
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        When I used the term conservative I was thinking in terms of Canada. Peterson’s position seems in general quite close to that of the Conservative Party of Canada.

        • Stephen Barnard
          Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          Peterson doesn’t have A Position, and he’s not explicitly political. Yes, he has a position on Bill C-16, which made him a sensation and in my estimation a hero, but he has much more to say. I’m by no means a Peterson fan boy, but I like to hear him talk so far, in interviews.

    • BJ
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Peterson’s constant refusal to honestly engage in a conversation about religion and his own beliefs is infuriating, most because he insists on intellectual honesty from others and pretends to be intellectually honest himself. If an opponent of his discussing, say, pronouns or free speech dissembled as he does when discussing religion, he would rightly castigate them. On many other subjects, he’s a very good speaker with intriguing ideas, but I simply cannot tolerate his prevarication on this subject.

  18. Hemidactylus
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    The burning question would be whether I should look to lobsters as a guide for posturing within the human social hierarchy because serotonin. I recall a distinguished developmental biologist doing a solid takedown of Peterson’s first rule not too long ago.

  19. Posted March 7, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t any of the protesters just ask Peterson toss a few hardballs at Peterson during the Q&A session?

    While I can’t speak on Peterson’s larger project and his broader views, I do know that he’s risen to notoriety through his opposition to Bill C-16.

    But Peterson is flat out wrong about the implications of the bill.

    The protesters are basically proving Peterson correct regarding his concerns about authoritarianism — without even pointing out where the professor is empirically incorrect.

    • Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Yet the Ontario Human Rights Commission expressly states:

      The law recognizes that everyone has the right to self-identify their gender and that “misgendering” is a form of discrimination.

      And surely Ontario has penalties in place for discrimination.

      From your link:

      … pronoun misuse may become actionable, though the Human Rights Tribunals and courts. And the remedies? Monetary damages, non-financial remedies (for example, ceasing the discriminatory practice or reinstatement to job)…. Jail time is not one of them.

      Being hit with fines or losing one’s job are no trivial matter. Yet what if the improper pronoun perpetrator refuses to pay damages? Is jail time still not a risk?

      The bottom line is, Canada has made refusal to use made-up pronouns illegal.

      • Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        That’s simply not true. Note the sentence right before that passage:

        “The Ontario Human Rights Commission, for example, in their Policy on Preventing Discrimination Because of Gender Identity and Expression states that gender harassment should include ‘ Refusing to refer to a person by their self-identified name and proper personal pronoun’.”

        So, for instance, calling Caitlyn Jenner “he” wouldn’t lead to any legal action. The key is in the *refusing*. The same basic criteria would be used in the workplace, for instance.

        To me, Peterson comes across as a sort of anti-PC Reza Aslan (although, considering Aslan’s apologetics, I consider him pretty un-PC). Either he hasn’t read the bill, or he’s very unclear on a few basic concepts. Or both?

        • Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Peterson refuses to use made-up pronouns. (As do I, but for the time being that’s still legal in most of the US.) OHRC makes clear that “non-binary” pronouns are covered under their anti-discrimination policy.

        • Craw
          Posted March 7, 2018 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

          You are simply wrong. The law would impose penalties. For speech.

  20. Posted March 7, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Compelled speech is not an infringement upon free speech?

    • Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Why do you hate trans people?

  21. Jon Gallant
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Allusion to the protests of the 1960s reminded me of a story, no doubt apocryphal, from that era. Is it true that around 1968 a group of University of Toronto students staged a demonstration to protest the lack of anything in Canada to protest?

    On the other hand, I do recall the exploits of the Front de libération du Québec. After their “protest” movement turned to kidnapping and murder, the Liberal government of Pierre Elliot Trudeau made sure to lock them all up. I seem to recall one FLQ activist—an Anglo who was undoubtedly a failed U. of T. Sociology student—demanding that his trial be conducted in French, even though he didn’t know any French himself.

    The Queens University de-platforming activists seem to be in the same mould. Too bad that we no longer have real Liberals like Pierre Eliott Trudeau—and instead we have facsimiles, like his supposed son, the current PM Justin Bieber.

    • Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Okay that was funny.

  22. Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Peterson is their Emmanuel Goldstein.

    • Hemidactylus
      Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Did Goldstein make bizarre speculation about human society based on frickin’ lobster posture? I would not protest him. Oh hell no. The unintended comic spectacle would be too awesome to allow haters to prevent my fun. This is amazing stuff. Please let the guy make an ass of himself in public. I will need hernia surgery though after you pick my writhing convulsed body off the floor.

      • Posted March 7, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Having read Peterson’s lobster chapter, what are your critiques of it?

        • Hemidactylus
          Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:45 am | Permalink

          I’ve read mostly the first chapter so far especially since Pinker and Martinez are better uses of my time, but that posturing chapter is bizarre? Why across the phylogenetic bush did Peterson root his focus on lobsters as if they provide us any meaningful life message? The part about molted female lobsters hardening up after mating was crass as was most of the chapter. In Creating Freedom, Raoul Martinez talks of how ads have exploited status anxiety. Peterson, experienced psychologist as he is, may be marketing himself by getting deep into his reader’s (mostly male?) insecurities about status and fitting into the chain of command. Head high and shoulders back.

  23. Posted March 7, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    “the difference between the protestors of the Sixties and now is that the former were directed at policies and ideas, while the latter are directed at individuals.”

    This is an excellent point, and I think it jives completely with the infusion of post-modernism, subjectivity, and critical theory into so much of today’s political discourse. The individual struggle or identity is paramount. Ideas, values, and actions are all secondary to the superficial individual identity that you project (or that others project onto you). Gender, race, sexual orientation, age, (dis)ability, etc. are more important than ideas to this crowd. Thus, if you are not a member of some sufficiently oppressed group, and you say something others don’t like, that’s all these people need to come after you; your outward “identity” was already sufficient to put you on notice. And this is what is attacked because, in this critical theory logic, everything is secondary to the categorized identity of the individual.

  24. Posted March 7, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    “I still don’t know what to make of him” sounds like a regressive attitude towards his ideas and concepts.

  25. Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    ” Activism is fine, but this is embarrassing!”

    In this and pretty much all other cases of SJW protesting, there is nothing to protest about. These young adults invent narratives of oppression that don’t exist in order to fabricate an alternative reality. At best, they are delusional and need psychiatric help. The other alternative is that they are fully conscious of their acts and in that case they are cynically committing fraud against reality.

  26. adamsmith1922
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    Interesting observations especially at the end

  27. Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  28. Kjf
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Well he does have a large following amongst the alt right. Here he is cozying up with some of them (

    And here he is making an obviously racist statement towards Canada’s indigenous populations.(

    • Mark Reaume
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      If you scroll down on the “racist statement” tweet you will find the context for that statement. I’d hardly call Peterson a racist, he does make some ill advised tweets from time to time.

  29. Tim Dufka
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Interesting interview between Jordan Peterson and Russel Brand:

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