No Minister

A warning from the recent past

with 7 comments

I admit that I don’t have a lot of time for Jordan Petersen, the Canadian professor of psychology who has gained quite a bit of media fame in recent years since his famous interview on BBC TV about the fight between free speech and the growing constraints on words that are “permitted” for use. In that case the interview was over his objection to being forced to use “gender-neutral” words in Canada and he rather made a fool of the interviewer and her “So what you’re saying” schtick! It’s worth watching.

But I’d read his first book, Maps of Meaning, years before and found it to be such unreadable wank that I quit just two chapters in. To me it actually seemed to have been influenced by the very obscurantist clap-trap of post-modernism that feeds so much of the Politically Correct (now “Woke”) and Identity Politics bullshit we’re being fed.

Still, this would hardly be the the first time that a person I consider wrong on some issues gets other things right, and the following is one of them. It’s actually from a few years ago and is an interview on the Joe Rogan Show where he talks about how people get slowly manipulated in the modern era with small-scale propaganda and efforts rather than the vast, revolutionary leaps used in the past.

“If I encroach on you and I’m sophisticated about it, I’m going to encroach right to the point where you start to protest. Then I’m going to stop. Then I’m going to wait. Then you’re going to calm down, and I’m going to encroach again right to the point where you protest.”

“Then I’m going to stop, then I’m going to wait. I’m just going to do this forever,” explained Peterson. “Before you know it, I’m going to be back three miles from where you started, and I’ll have done this one step at a time. Then you’ll go, ‘how did I get here?’ and the answer was, well, I pushed you a little further than you should’ve gone.

The Joe Rogan Show itself is an example of pushback as the former actor has turned himself into a “radio” personality. Or more accurately I should say an Internet personality via his podcasts that have numbers of viewers and listeners that traditional MSM sources would kill for. Rogan himself appears to be getting increasingly red-pilled away from his traditional Hollywood “liberal” beliefs on various issues.

Incidentally the process described by Petersen here is merely a version of “Nudge Theory”, which got a big public push in 2008 with the book Nudge:

The book draws on research in psychology and behavioral economics to defend libertarian paternalism and active engineering of choice architecture. The book also popularised the concept of nudge theory. A nudge, according to Thaler and Sunstein is any form of choice architecture that alters people’s behaviour in a predictable way without restricting options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must require minimal intervention and must be cheap.

Without restricting options or changing economic incentives! Hahahaahhaahah.

A “nudge unit” is already inside the current British Government, as described by Brian Easton in this Pundit article, and the head of that unit has visited New Zealand several times, so it is not a surprise to find on the website for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, a section on Behavioural insights.

As one critic noted of the whole theory:

If the “nudgee” can’t be depended on to recognize his own best interests, why stop at a nudge? Why not offer a “push,” or perhaps even a “shove”? And if people can’t be trusted to make the right choices for themselves how can they possibly be trusted to make the right decisions for the rest of us?[31]

Well if they’re credentialed enough then the assumption is that they can be. Whether credentialed equals educated, let alone wise is a larger, often unasked question.

Naturally Brian wonders if we’re “nudging enough” and I expect he’s fully in favour of many a “shove”.

7 Responses

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  1. Politicians are natural liars and full of deceit – perhaps the only more contemptible form of humanity are pedophile rapists and that is only perhaps.

    Andrei

    December 9, 2021 at 3:29 pm

  2. The nudge theory perfectly explains the vaccine roll out.

    Uncoffined

    December 9, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    • Not really – that is a combination of fear propaganda and coercion and is the most malignantly evil thing a New Zealand Government has ever done – which has transformed a liberal democracy into a Fascist State

      The nudge theory explains how “Gay Marriage” went from being a Monty Python absurdity to an actual thing over a period of about twenty years

      Andrei

      December 9, 2021 at 4:45 pm

  3. Hi Tom,

    Have recently ‘discovered’ Jordan Peterson myself. Both my boys & husband got into listening to him a number of years back, but that was when I was disengaging from all the battles online. They were just getting far too stupid for me. Silly me, the stupid has built on stupid.

    Anyway, have been going through JP’s stuff and found a recent interview where he was really, really annoyed that he did what was expected of him (ie got the 2 shots) and he still isn’t being left alone. Then listened to more of his stuff and have found I agree with him at about 70% plus, which I find the max I generally agree with anyone about. You can’t find 100% out there, because that would just be a clone of yourself, and how boring is that!

    So, from what I can see is that he is actually fighting all the woke stuff at it’s core. It took me a while to understand what ‘woke’ is. Somewhat confusing as people use it in all sorts of ways. He has spent lots of time trying to understand why people did terrible things in totalitarian states, which immediately puts him on the side of the good guys, from my POV.

    He recently interviewed Angus Fletcher and oh my goodness, that was interesting. I think JP interrupted a bit too much on when he agreed with Angus, which was little frustrating at times. But that’s ok, will probably relisten to that one again and then leave my comments on youtube. He says he takes note of the comments & will use what people say to inform future interviews. Point being in that one was Angus Fletcher’s opinion on AI, which aligns with my own, which is that it doesn’t connect with reality in the way that human beings can.

    I was thinking when I was listening to the interview Michael Malice on 4chan, trolling and humour, that you might enjoy that one.

    Back to this nudge thing, JP in one of the lecture snippets I watched referred back to a book called “Ordinary Men” on how ordinary men become killers. That really is the culmination of nudging when you are trying to get people to do what they don’t want to. Pretty incredible stuff, but takes away the arrogance many would have that we enlightened souls in today’s times would never do what those Germans did in the 1940s.

    JP’s a very interesting guy, always asking and always learning. He’s said that he speaks out not because he is brave, but because he’s more afraid of what will happen if he doesn’t. That’s where I’m at now as well.

    Lucia Maria

    December 9, 2021 at 5:56 pm

  4. Jordan Peterson’s youtube channel link https://www.youtube.com/c/JordanPetersonVideos/videos

    Lucia Maria

    December 9, 2021 at 5:59 pm

  5. I read Maps of Meaning too. It was confused. Some of the Mythology stuff was interesting. But then he ends up in a Russian rehab for a meth addiction, and the confusing writing made sense. His sickly daughter ditched her infant child to hang out with a porn star, bucko needs to clean his own room. His time with the intellectual dark spiders sent him over the edge. He does nudging for Rockefeller’s. Allegedly

    Pb

    December 9, 2021 at 8:16 pm

  6. ‘Nudge” is alive and well in New Zealand.
    Its called the ‘behavioural insights team’ and is referred to by Parliamentary staffers as ‘The Nudge Unit’
    it website is https://www.bi.team/bit-offices/wellington/
    And yes – the whole Covid programme has been orchestrated by them – nudge, nudge……..

    Barry

    December 10, 2021 at 12:47 pm


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