Sunday, February 24, 2019

Darkstream 20k

To celebrate this subscriber milestone for the Darkstream, I've uploaded this one-hour 43-minute excerpt from the Jordanetics audiobook, which includes Milo's Foreword, my own Introduction, and chapters one and five. If you haven't read or listened to the book yet, this extended audio sample provides a solid foundation for the book's case against Jordan Peterson and his evil philosophy.

It includes one of my favorite sections of the book, which addresses the oft-heard claim that Jordan Peterson's thinking is simply too advanced for less-refined intellects to understand. The claim is particularly amusing for me in light of how few recognize, or even notice, my occasional literary pyrotechnic.

Objection 1: Jordan Peterson is a complex thinker with a Platonic approach that is easily misunderstood by those who don’t carefully follow him. You just don’t understand him.

I answer that, It is true that Peterson is inclined to excessive wordiness and run-on sentences, his references are often obscure, and the examples he provides are frequently too loosely connected and meandering for the average person to easily follow. But the nebulous word salad Peterson customarily presents in lieu of logical arguments is not at all typical of a genius-level intellect, to the contrary, it is much more commonly observed among academic poseurs who wish to be mistaken for one.

If you have actually read the great thinkers of whom Peterson is almost entirely ignorant, one thing that will often strike you is the intense clarity of their thought processes. Their genius stems from the way in which they enlighten the reader, from the way they turn dark chaos into orderly light. They do not confuse, to the contrary, they clarify.

As an exercise, compare the following four sentences, all of which are more complex than the norm these days. I ran each of them through the Gunning-Fog Index, a weighted average of the number of words per sentence, and the number of long words per word. The index provides a number that is supposed to indicate that the text can be understood by someone who left full-time education at a later age than the number; the higher the number, the more complicated the text. But it’s really just an objective measure of textual complexity.
  • We must be able to employ persuasion, just as strict reasoning can be employed, on opposite sides of a question, not in order that we may in practice employ it in both ways (for we must not make people believe what is wrong), but in order that we may see clearly what the facts are, and that, if another man argues unfairly, we on our part may be able to confute him. (GFI 31.6)
  • In like manner the poet with his words and phrases may be said to lay on the colours of the several arts, himself understanding their nature only enough to imitate them; and other people, who are as ignorant as he is, and judge only from his words, imagine that if he speaks of cobbling, or of military tactics, or of anything else, in metre and harmony and rhythm, he speaks very well –such is the sweet influence which melody and rhythm by nature have. (GFI 21.9)
  • The great dramatists and religious thinkers of the world have been able to grasp this fact, at least implicitly, and to transmit it in story and image; modern analytic thinkers and existential theorists have attempted to abstract these ideas upward into “higher consciousness,” and to present them in logical and purely semantic form. (GFI 18.2)
  • We have considered that students in this doctrine have not seldom been hampered by what they have found written by other authors, partly on account of the multiplication of useless questions, articles, and arguments, partly also because those things that are needful for them to know are not taught according to the order of the subject matter, but according as the plan of the book might require, or the occasion of the argument offer, partly, too, because frequent repetition brought weariness and confusion to the minds of readers. (GFI 40.2)
Were you able to distinguish the Peterson quote from the Aquinas, the Aristotle, and the Plato quotes? If you noticed, the Peterson sentence, which is the third sentence, is considerably shorter and less structurally complex than the other three examples, but it is also observably less clear than them. Whereas the Aristotle sentence in particular is rich with meaning, as it implies a vital distinction between rhetoric and dialectic that many today have trouble grasping even when it is explained to them in no little detail, but nevertheless clarifies the relevant point for the reader, the Peterson sentence unnecessarily complicates what is a fairly simple and straightforward observation about the mythopoetic human response to the concepts of good and evil.

And yes, the GFI on that last sentence was a respectable 36.3. But it wasn’t actually that hard to follow or understand, was it? Complexity is neither ambiguity nor nebulosity, and insight does not require complexity. Also, in case you’re interested, the authors of the four sentences, in order, were: Aristotle, Plato/Socrates, Peterson, Aquinas.

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Blogger Jemison Thorsby February 24, 2019 1:04 PM  

Congrats on the subscriber milestone. May the reach of the Dark Lord continue to increase!

Blogger Justin Bailey February 24, 2019 1:06 PM  

Been watching the dark stream since the first episode on periscope. Very cool to see it grow as much as it has.

Blogger sammibandit February 24, 2019 1:07 PM  

Brilliant. This new series of extended audio excerpts reminds me of talk radio on the AM band. So much better to take in wholesome media. Yesterday I did chores while listening to TIA.

Btw, I got my copy of There Will be War Vols 1 and 2. I like the binding a lot because if I crack the spine it lays as flat as as hardcover of its size can. Very happy with that design. Nice paper too.

Blogger Dr Caveman February 24, 2019 1:09 PM  

IGG class action folks, check your email

Blogger InformationMerchant February 24, 2019 1:28 PM  

Congratulations. The time it took you to go from 10k to 20k is very interesting.

Blogger David The Good February 24, 2019 1:37 PM  

20k! You're gonna catch up to me within the year. Congratulations.

Blogger Doktor Jeep February 24, 2019 2:06 PM  

Onward to 30K.
Then if I recall correctly, your livestreams can go members only and the trolls will have to pay to troll you.

Blogger VD February 24, 2019 2:14 PM  

Yeah, 30k is the immediate goal. It would be useful to be able to lock out the trolls from time to time.

Blogger Zaklog the Great February 24, 2019 2:27 PM  

I'm just a little proud of myself for correctly identifying the four authors before I read the whole thing. I would have recognized Aristotle without any help because of the subject matter, and, from my admittedly scant reading of him, I recognized Aquinas's style. Plato/Socrates was therefore a matter of elimination because all of them were easily distinguishable from Peterson.

I really need to re-read (or give a first read) to some of these philosophical classics. Unfortunately, having a second kid with 2 parents working full-time has absolutely destroyed my reading habits the past couple of years, although I could reclaim some of my late nights for actual reading rather than goofing around online.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore February 24, 2019 4:14 PM  

Off Topic: Alt-Hero Q backers, check your email. Time is of the essence.

Blogger Matt February 24, 2019 4:45 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Chad Thundercockovich February 24, 2019 5:15 PM  

I thought I was smart before I started reading this blog. Thank you for this, I was taken in by this charlatan and am happy to read at the height of my ability.

Blogger Living in a Fallen World February 24, 2019 5:52 PM  

As translated by my 85 IQ:

1. If you want to make folks believe what's right, you should also know how to make them believe what's wrong.

2. Poets are tricky. They talk so pretty you almost think they know what they're talking about.

3. There's wisdom in them there stories.

4. These books ain't written in the best way if the goal is learning.

Blogger VD February 24, 2019 6:24 PM  

I'm celebrating by buying a bunch of Castalia House audiobooks!

An excellent choice. Clearly you are a man of good taste and style.

Blogger VD February 24, 2019 6:26 PM  

As translated by my 85 IQ

It's interesting to observe that Peterson's is the only one you did not get essentially right, especially considering that it is the least complex of the sentences.

Blogger Johnny February 24, 2019 6:32 PM  

Something about mental illness that is easy to overlook is that what is called an illness by outsiders, is often for the mentally ill person a solution. The craziness is the manner in which they are overcoming some internal difficulty.

I think that explains his messianic quest. He needs it because he needs the feeling of importance.

That also explains his peculiar definition of truth. That is him excusing his tendency to lie.

The book he should write is, "Success and Fame: How to Turn Craziness Into a Successful Career."

Blogger Mark Stoval February 24, 2019 6:36 PM  

As VD mentioned Aquinas, I thought of this anti-Islam quote. I hope some will enjoy it. I know it would get Aquinas banned from Twitter if he lived today. And it is very clear, just like the sentence VD picked.

"He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected; he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity."
~ St. Thomas Aquinas

Anonymous Anonymous February 24, 2019 7:00 PM  

"...Those whose gifts are most completely in harmony with their times"


Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia February 24, 2019 7:41 PM  

I read the first sentence, and thought, "It's really pretty good..." thinking that it's a JP sentence, and they you SNOOKERED me by doing the old "one out of 4" trick.

Clever Boy!! Or I am just reading too fast.

Anyway, as you point out, the GF index is just a measure of sentence complexity, though it's often used as a cudgel to critique long sentences as not good, per se.

There are long sentences that are fantastic, and short sentences that suck. Length is not the issue: it's (a) content and (b) readability.

Read "Middlemarch" to see how a long sentenc can be fabulous. To wit, the second sentence in the opening lines of the novel

Redolent with meaning.

[i]Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress. Her hand and wrist were so finely formed that she could wear sleeves not less bare of style than those in which the Blessed Virgin appeared to Italian painters; and her profile as well as her stature and bearing seemed to gain the more dignity from her plain garments, which by the side of provincial fashion gave her the impressiveness of a fine quotation from the Bible,—or from one of our elder poets,—in a paragraph of today's newspaper.[/i]

Blogger Gianna February 24, 2019 8:30 PM  

Thank you for the sample. I just finished listening and will purchase the audio book. I always found JBP a bit too gamma for my liking and ultimately depressing but the book is interesting. The narrator is very entertaining and his Peterson impersonation is hilarious. I had to rewind at the passage about Peterson on the playground. " I threw him 30 feet - Oooh nooo, I didn't."

Blogger Living in a Fallen World February 24, 2019 8:30 PM  

@15 Vox --in fairness, the other three quotes made sense.

In general, I only understand a percentage of what Peterson says, and the bulk of his content, at least to my understanding, almost always defaults to: there's wisdom in them there stories.

He seems to be talking about a sort of existential physics, as far as I can figure.

For instance, in the same manner that a baseball pitcher can throw a baseball at a target without calculating the inherent physics involved, so too does the storyteller organically capture some conceptual wisdom which is inevitably embedded via symbolism within the tale or myth or what-have-you, and arguably, it's that very wisdom that enhances the actual entertainment value of the story, thus allowing for the forward propulsion of the knowledge throughout generations.

And so if the storyteller, or dramatist if you will, is like the baseball pitcher exercising physics without the knowledge of physics, then the modern analytical thinker is like the actual physicist, carving out the core bits of wisdom in definable chunks. Here's a truth, here's a truth, here's a truth....

Anyway, that's my best stab at deciphering whatever he's saying. If I'm still wrong then I'll either have to be walked through it or learn to live with being wrong.

In short, I don't think Peterson has the foggiest clue what God is. He sees divinity as profound knowledge, with profound being defined as whatever knocks his hair back and knowledge being defined as neat ideas that either summarize suffering or point toward methods to cope with and survive suffering.

I don't have enough years of life left to give all of this proper thought, especially because I think so slowly. But when Peterson talks, what I hear is him saying that we basically find God in the framework of creation. But let's use art as a substitute for creation. Thus we see God in the framework of art. Within art, whether that art be painting, sculpture, or word, we find the presence, face, and breath of God. Therein we come as close to personal enlightenment as possible.

If there is only one Creator, then the artist is a tool of the one Creator. A vessel that the creation flows through, leaving behind the taint of the tool along with the fingerprint of the divine.

Blogger VD February 24, 2019 8:50 PM  

You're banned. Phillip George. Stop trying to comment here. Your comments will always be deleted.

Blogger Dave February 24, 2019 9:45 PM  

Guess who's back on twitter?

Godfrey Elfwick @PureGodfrey

I currently have to take meds every day because of an ankle injury I sustained playing badminton. This week my GP told me brexit could mean a severe shortage of Ibuprofen into the UK, so I've elected to have my foot amputated.

This is the cold harsh reality of a no deal brexit.

5:22 AM - 23 Feb 2019

Blogger Dave February 24, 2019 9:51 PM  

Someone has a new album coming:

Blogger Dave February 24, 2019 9:55 PM  

Ok last one, but look how much fun they're having:

Blogger stevo February 24, 2019 10:00 PM  

I was a Peterson enthusiast as well. But when I bought 12 Rules I found myself bored and never got past chapter 3. When Vox presented his takedown I was shocked yet I already knew deep down who I could trust. Thanks for helping me learn more about myself than JPB could ever teach.

Blogger ghostfromplanetspook February 24, 2019 10:36 PM  

But does Aristotle talk about the lobster hierarchy?

Blogger Rickaby007 February 24, 2019 10:49 PM  

1/5 of 100,000. Not bad. Growth will grow exponentially as the videos get more and more selected by their algorithms.

Blogger Gurpgork February 25, 2019 1:20 AM  

Al From Bay Shore wrote:Off Topic: Alt-Hero Q backers, check your email. Time is of the essence.
I did not receive any email and yes I did send all the required info late december.

Blogger Rickaby007 February 25, 2019 2:40 AM  

Beginner's algebra textbook VS Jordan Peterson:

"InChapterIthe analogy between integers and polynomialsin one indeterminate over the rationals, reals, or complex numbers appears already in the first three sections. The main results of these sections are theorems about unique factorization in each of the two settings. The relevant parts of the underlying structuresfor
the two settings are the same, and unique factorization can therefore be proved in both settings by the same argument. Many readers will already know this unique factorization, but it is worth examining the parallel structure and proof at least quickly before turning to the chapters that follow."

22.32 on the index. Algebra textbook for highschoolers beats Jordan.

Blogger Northwest Watching Thing February 25, 2019 4:54 AM  

I have to admit that I find Aquinas' style difficult to parse, and generally have to reread each passage multiple times just to understand what his point is. But unlike Peterson, at least once it's deciphered, there's an actual point to be found.

Blogger artensoll February 25, 2019 5:10 AM  

@29 "I did not receive any email and yes I did send all the required info late december."

Same. I was too late?

Blogger Dave Dave February 25, 2019 5:17 AM  

Even Adam Smith, who writes with so many unnecessary words, is more coherent and easier to follow than Peterson. I can quite clearly understand Aristotle, Plato and Aquinas, but what Peterson is saying eludes me. There's missing context, but even that aside, it's difficult to follow what he's saying.

Blogger nswhorse February 25, 2019 6:02 AM  

I didn't watch it (I never do), but apparently one of the pre-recorded questions for JBP on Q&A tonight was from none other than Milo. Spewing I missed that bit at least.

Blogger Fozzy Bear February 25, 2019 7:51 AM  

Initial thoughts: I’m surprised they didn’t put Jordie into the token conservative slot. I wondered which trannie they’d put against him, Group Captain Cate (Malcolm) McGregor is an interesting choice. Great Q from Milo.

Blogger MightyKevster February 25, 2019 4:55 PM  

The side-by-side comparison was very illuminating, thank you. Also, I am humbled by my obvious need for more Aristotelian readings.

Blogger Living in a Fallen World February 26, 2019 10:05 PM  

By far the most substantive critique of Jordan Peterson I've come across. I long to one day finish the book. Again, thank you for the extended upload.

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