Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life

Peterson’s 12 rules

Rule 1 Stand up straight with your shoulders back

Rule 2 Treat yourself like you would someone you are responsible for helping

Rule 3 Make friends with people who want the best for you

Rule 4 Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today

Rule 5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

Rule 6 Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world

Rule 7 Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)

Rule 8 Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie

Rule 9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

Rule 10 Be precise in your speech

Rule 11 Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding

Rule 12 Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

They are from this article, via Michelle Dawson.


One - sometimes wrong. Try a double Axel with that attitude and you will make Scotty Hamilton like an alpha male. Three -wrong, make friends with people you want to see succeed because you like them. Five, wrong, for obvious reasons. Nobody likes anybody much, learn to like people who do things you don't like. Better: simply don't let your kids do evil things. That would be a deal breaker. I don't like soccer or football but if my kids want to squander their genetic fortune on being bad football or soccer players instead of the genius baseball or basketball players God wanted them to be, I will not dislike them.

Rule 8, rich people can afford to always tell the truth. Poor people lie to me all the time, I am not concerned.

Rule 9 - how agreeable!

Rule 10 = no, no, no. Make people think they have something interesting to say. They all do. When you are too precise you freeze most people out - think about it next time. Remember, Moe was the only precise Stooge and he is the least loved of all, all these years later.

Rule 12 - in Canada, maybe. The cats in my neighborhood don't like people and don't want to be touched.

That being said, Professor Peterson has much more good advice to give to people than I do, so there's that.

He didn’t say don’t let your children do anything you don’t like.

No, he said this, which is absurd - 'Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.'

You do not own your children, regardless of the apparent aspirations of some parents. Your children, as part of their actual growing up, will do things based on their judgment, not that of the parents. One can piously hope a child will not doing something that causes a parent to dislike them, but it is not because of a parent letting a child actually grow up and making their own decisions.

You are misreading him. He did not say 'don't let your children do things you do not like'. If they are doing something so severely wrong that even you don't like them anymore, it's your job to intervene.

The quote is there, and to be honest, anyone can make up their own mind about what it means. Your opinion seems to be more than a bit of a stretch however, especially this part - 'it’s your job to intervene'

No, there comes a point when a child is old enough to make their own decisions, and you no longer have a job at all. (Which is not exactly a fixed age, however.)

"there comes a point when a child is old enough to make their own decisions" - usually we call that person an adult, not a child.

'usually we call that person an adult, not a child.'

Sure, which is why the point was made this is not of a fixed age. A 3 year old is not the same as an 11 year old, and neither are the same as a 17 year old. Any parent with grown up children is fully aware of this, and it is extremely hard to imagine any 3 year old whose parents will dislike them because of what they allowed that 3 year to do. The same applies (to a lesser degree in a certain sense) to the 11 year old. But somewhere between 11 and 17 (or 19, or 16 - this is not fixed), someone who may not precisely be described as an adult has emerged. It is part of growing up.

The quote is from a book. If you read the book and that is what it says, fair enough, If that quote out of context is all you have, maybe reconsider your right to comment?

If someone's kids are doing something so bad that the parents dislike them, then surely other people will dislike them for it too. Not correcting that behavior is a disservice to the children.

I frequently misread the written word.

Exactly. I see rule 5 as being an important psychological prompt to parents that something needs attention, even if you can’t put your finger on the issue straight away. However, rule 5 does not work as a stand-alone piece of advice; it would regularly impinge on a child’s autonomy. It only works when used in conjunction with rule 6.

Rules 5 and 6 are a feedback loop. If you feel dislike for your child because of something they’re doing (rule 5), it’s an important cue that needs to be addressed, as such parental instincts likely have a sound evolutionary basis. However, your first task is to thoroughly explore “what is MY problem with this?”(rule 6). If you are a thoughtful person and conclude that you’re not being unfair or unreasonable, then it is likely there is something amiss with the child’s behavior that should be addressed.

I’m all for allowing children find their own way in the world, but continually letting things go is not parenting.

Rule 5 is very important in the present era, started around 1990 by Oprah, in which parents are afraid of their children and let things slide, but instead build up dislike and resentment that persists decades later.

Peterson says that’s a bad choice.

God gave Moses ten rules to live by.

Rule 13 - You are not the Center of the Universe.

Rule 14 - Never apologize, it's a sign of weakness.

Rule 15 - Turn off your smart phone.

Before that, He gave Adam one rule to live by, and that was too hard.

One interpretation of the Fall is that *knowing* good and evil had the sexual *knowing*, implying a mastery or at least partnership in the nature of morality. That we decided we could apply our will over morality and could vote/decide what is good and not. A relativistic approach to morality, as we can technically do the same with arithmatic and it's equally valid. The opposite approach is that righteousness is a thing to be discovered and submitted to, beyond our power to decide. It is somewhat backed by the way Adam and Eve behaved - they hid because they were ashamed because they knew they did wrong, but when confronted they created legal loopholes in the Law, or excuses.

The first rule: don't make excuses, but seek to do good.

Excellent - make no excuse. Take responsibility. Learn from mistakes, take corrective actions, and don't repeat. Don't whine.

Words to live by. Nearly 50 years ago, I was whining about some nonsense when my closest friend gave me advice I hold to this day. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Another in that vein, "Life is hard. Then, you die."

St. Augustine wrote about free will. I don't know. Apparently, we had it before the fall.

I'm not a biblical scholar or theologian. It seems that Genesis 1:22 (I think prior to Adam in Eden) "Be fruitful and multiply" may be the first commandment directly from God Almighty to all creations. Of all God's creatures, fallen man can't handle that one, either.

I have seen that sexual context.

In fin, the male is ever the coward. The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

I was never your friend.

Yeah, that reference comes first in the Bible, but the creation stories were meant to be in parallel, not in series, I think. But if we can't even manage "be fruitful and multiply", it means we're eating the seed corn.

Why not apologize when you've done something that merits it?

Apologizing is not a sign of weakness, but of humanity. Never apologizing is a sign of being an arrogant prick.

14 is a John Wayne quote (from "Yellow Ribbon" if I remember correctly). There is also his other quote (to the guy about to pet the dog that doesn't want to be petted in "Hondo") "A man oughta do what he thinks is best."

You apologize assuming it will be well received as a sign of character. Would you still sonut in front I’d a hrpu

Rule 5 is awful. Did Jordan ask his mommy and daddy if they would let him write it?

+1. Children need to explore the world. And if they’re truly comfortable at home they’ll lash out at their parents because it’s a place to let their guard down. Are we to not let them explore or lash out? Both seem like nonsense.

This is the first I’ve read of Peterson and I doubt we agree on much, but this is a good list.

We talk about lashing out like is normal! It didn’t use to be.

What so you think its a good idea to dislike your kids? He didn't say you should prevent them from merely doing *things* you dislike.

What so you think its a good idea to dislike your kids?

Whether it's a 'good idea' or not, the young have free will. The results are often unsightly.

I think the point is that disliking your children will net out more destructive for them and the family than the inconvenience of having to discipline them. I think it is based on the idea that people will mostly be what they are by genetics and the unshared environment, so that most discipline should be to maintain your relationship in a good state and your home in harmony, rather than trying to mold them to what you want.

What an odd reaction. Healthy, well-adjusted people don't dislike others for making different choices. They dislike others for being rude, cruel, dishonest, lazy, and so forth.

Agreed. The problem is reflexive parental authoritarianism. Parenting is (well, ought to be) about guidance, not doling out permissions. If you dislike a child during the ages it's appropriate to set hard boundaries, then you're mostly a jerk. Afterward, it's your job to guide, not play power games.

And I assume as a parent there is a difficult line to draw between when to discipline your children (and thus inculcate good habits) and when when to pull back and avoid authoritarianism. Peterson is giving us a nice guiding principle for that line-drawing excercise.

Jordan Peterson has been mentioned three times this week on MR! Tyler must love his anti-complacency message, as do I.

Or is interested in a generating a bit of synergy.

Or possibly in discovering these secrets, from - 'As a Harvard professor, he was nominated for the prestigious Levinson Teaching Prize, and is regarded by his current University of Toronto students as one of three truly life-changing professors. .... Dr. Peterson’s YouTube channel, Jordan Peterson Videos features his university and public lectures (including the most recent 15-part biblical series), responses to the polarizing political crises of today, and interviews with people such as Camille Paglia, Jonathan Haidt and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. As of December 2017, the channel has 300 videos, 550,000 subscribers, and 30 million views.'

Admittedly, it is unlikely that Prof. Cowen will be building a 'Native American Long-House' in the upper floor of his home any time soon -

I forgot about that post. Maybe Peterson is the new 'World's most interesting man'.

I would definitely choose another type of adjective than 'interesting,' but it appears as if someone is helping Prof. Peterson avoid the sort of adjectives that apply to what appeared from his web site in the past.

Please tell me you are posting Peterson as a joke and not because you actually find the man insightful.

Peterson is a reputable psychology professor, and whether you agree with him or not he has mastered the arts of rhetoric and dialect. Of course, he is (not all that surprisingly for a Canadian) a little too impressed with Jung's educational background (for the record, Jung's grasp of classical Greek thought was not all that impressive, no matter what Peterson thinks), and he (Peterson) is probably a little too impressed with his own "practical" "wisdom", as almost all of us are (or would be) when we have the luck to marry well and young and enter a career path that provides a nice house and few economic worries. Still, how many smart and famous people did not have an easy path in life? Let's be fair.
Krugman and Oprah Winfrey are smart too, and they get discussed a lot in this neighborhood, even though lots of people could easily point out that they are not all that. Do people show up every time those guys are quoted and say this must be a joke?

'Peterson is a reputable psychology professor,'

To the extent that reputable and psychology can be considered a word pairing. Much like economist and science.

'he has mastered the arts of rhetoric and dialect'

He doesn't sound like a Canadian, eh?

You'll get no argument from Peterson on the state of social science and humanities departments in current academia.

That isn't to say that one economics professor or anthropology professor or psychology professor can't be better than another one.

Daniel Kahneman is a good example of a psychology professor that has done landmark work, even if some of his own thoughts were colored by the replication crisis in psychology.

You are never more obviously a bitter ankle-biter then when you go on like this.

I'm probably a neo-Marxist ankle biter, right?

"To the extent that reputable and psychology can be considered a word pairing."
Insurance companies would not be paying hundreds of millions of dollars to psychologists every year if it wasn't a reputable practice.

He's also a classical liberal who is concerned about the erosion of free speech.

Which has never existed with the legal protection of the 1st Amendment anywhere else in the world. And there is no erosion of the 1st Amendment going on in the U.S. - well, apart from the illusion being peddled by those who enjoy pointing out what is going on in other countries. Often in an attempt to cause people to think that the Founders of the U.S. were not aware of how British ruled colonies never had free speech, while ensuring that their revolutionary experiment would.

One shouldn't necessarily equate freedom of speech with the first amendment. It leads to the conclusion that as long as the government isn't restricting your speech then everything is hunky dory.

Thank you p_a, we are all aware of the centuries of wonderful example Germany sets in this regard.

Germany is one of the nations that basically needed to be conquered by the U.S. before something approaching the American idea of free speech became part of the government.

However, there are a couple of restrictions in the Grundgesetz that do not exist in the U.S. For example, after a genocidal totalitarian German government killed millions of human beings, it is not legal to advocate for genocide, or to pretend it did not happen - no slippery slope argument in Germany. The other thing is that you are permitted to gather in public, as long as you are not carrying weapons. Call it a practical concern of the immediate post war government.

The vast majority of Germans, and not too surprisingly vast majorities in all the countries that were conquered or invaded in WWII by Germany, wish to avoid a return to a period where the German government was bent on racial hygiene, the exploitation of Untermenschen, and the complete elimination of Jews as part of its 1000 year plan.

(Why it remains necessary to keep repeating this escapes me, to be honest - it isn't as if anyone is actually unaware of what happened in Germany between 1933-45.)

Well, he can go to Beijing. I heard it is freer than California.

Tyler said a few days ago that "In my view Peterson is one of the five most influential public intellectuals today."

Please tell me you are posting Peterson as a joke and not because you actually take him seriously as a thinker.

Anyone who stands up to the authoritarian half wits in the canadian 'human rights' commissions deserves every plaudit they get. They are doing a service to humanity.

Let us know when he writes a stirring defense of freedom of speech from a Canadian jail cell.

I think it would benefit the world if, in addition to being fired for cause, you were fleeced of your savings by an administrative tribunal;.

Don't feed the troll

Pure ad hominem "I don't have any ideas or evidence, but I at least can lash out under a pseudonym"

Let me guess, the equally empty but positive messages are fine?

Personally, I am concerned by this:

He simply laughed. “No, I think I’m someone who is properly terrified. I’ve thought a lot about very terrible things. And I read history as the potential perpetrator – not the victim. That takes you to some very dark places. Also, this book isn’t only written for other people. It’s a warning to me. I’m also saying: ‘Look the hell out because the chickens come home to roost.’ If I’ve learned one thing in 20 years of clinical practice, it’s that. I swear I’ve never seen anyone get away with anything in my whole life.

“Nietzsche pointed out that most morality is cowardice. There’s absolutely no doubt that that is the case. The problem with ‘nice people’ is that they’ve never been in any situation that would turn them into the monsters they’re capable of being.”

That seems an echo of a long time cop, who starts to see everyone as a perp, who just hasn't been caught yet.

In other words, a lifetime of listening to problems might help you understand problems, and help you forget how normals live.

^^^ Hey look, the guy who would have hid Anne Frank is here! What are the chances?

Speaking of morality, it is easier when your family have set a good precedent. Yes.

What he means is that the book originated in his thinking about the horrors of WWII and the brink of nuclear disaster during the Cold War.

Malevolence and cruelty are all around us, even in your own heart.

Actually, stray cats are violent and can be dangerous.

+1 Toxoplasma gondii for cat petting is bad. Here in the Philippines, there's even rabies for wild dogs, despite the free vaccines given by the PH government.

The rules are all pretty bad, designed for page views and free publicity, even the seemingly good Rule #1,"Stand up straight with your shoulders back" is based on faulty knowledge: today, doctors say that walking upright and with feet pointed straight don't really do anything significant for you. That said, it's been said that North American Indians used to walk straight since they walked all day and having good posture helped track down game like deer (sometimes you can outwalk a deer until the latter will stand still from exhaustion, allowing it to be captured). But in the modern age, having duck feet is no real disadvantage.

I have Ray's 3 Golden Rules:

1) Do onto others as you would have them do onto you, assuming you're not a psychopath
2) Get a colonoscopy above age 50. I know, I know. And I haven't had one yet either.
3) The Golden Rule: those that have the gold, make the rules. It helps to win the parental lottery too, and be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, like me, though I never was given a taste of the good life by my parents, who hoarded money (and still do; they're in the 1% but I've had to make my own way. Same with my uncle: I only graciously accepted his money after he turned --nearly, says my lawyer, always say nearly-- senile and rescued half of it from deceitful domestic servants bent on getting it all; it was hairy, I thought for a while they would kill me but I outsmarted them, it would make a good movie, like most of my life).

This is why I'm leaving my money to the stray cats.

Thanks, daddy-o!

You're welcome.

Don't tell them. They would kill you for them money with mo remorse.

It is a good thing cats have no interest in money being unable to actually use it in practice or conceptually, and since banknotes are made from tuna repellant linen or mylar, one thing you never have to worry about is a cat being interested in either your wallet or your money. Something that can’t be said about dogs.

Actually, cats have intermediaries who get the dollar bills and buy bitcoins for them.

Tell the guy to keep his rules less than three, easier to keep on the mind.

I think some posters may be conflating "dislike" with "disagree". My children have done lots of things that I disagree with. They have yet to do anything that makes me dislike them.

Honestly, I rather pity anyone with parents who automatically disliked what they disagreed with. Such an attitude would have destroyed meaningful conversations/arguments with my sons, or with my father, or (according to my mother) my father's debates with his father.

I would say rule #5 is wrong not because I can't tell the difference between dislike and disagree but that I don't have a distorted view about the amount of power I have over my kids.


There's a difference between not "let"-ting them do something and forcing them to not do it. You certainly have a lot of power over underage children, and you still exert a lot of power over your grown children. It seems perfectly sensible that you should assert your power to prevent your children from doing things that make you dislike them.

I can't understand why you wouldn't? If they're doing something that makes you dislike them, why should you stand down? The only things that would make me dislike my child are destructive behaviors.

It's not that you have no power over them. You can refuse to carpool them to an alt-right rally, but if they really want to go, they'll go. Didn't you ever sneak out of the house or do something that your parents didn't want you to do when you were in middle school (or high school), let alone when you're a grown-ass adult. Do you even have kids? Were you ever a kid? I guess you might have power over your kids if you make them beholden to you (like paying their rent when they're 25), but then I would say rule 5a would need to be "don't parent such that your kids do what you want because you're a d-bag who leashes them to home."

I'm for not supporting them doing something that will make them not like you, but it seems that there are several people commenting who have an inflated sense of the power they can exert over their kids.

+1 Tom West

I assume Peterson means underage children, as you can't make them do anything once they are adults; and that you like your kids to begin with.

If they are doing something so bad that even you, the parent, don't like them anymore then you have a moral requirement as a parent to correct their behaviour. As for legal, you are responsible for their actions until they are 18 (in the US).

+1 exactly right.

Why so much Peterson content lately? Trying to book him for an interview?

Well, it does appear that Dr. Peterson is going on tour to promote the book '12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos' -

Though how those rules are supposed to be antidote to chaos likely proves that anyone who finds such a title ludicrous is unlikely to pay much attention.

Prof. Cowen, on the other hand, seems enthralled. Maybe because Prof. Cowen also dreams of flying a hammer-head roll in a carbon-fiber stunt plane, or of exploring an Arizona meteorite crater with a group of astronauts. Getting high on his own supply. And steer clear of cats.

I recall you or someone posting this thing before about JP saying his IQ > 150, and I don’t understand your point. Is it that 150 is high (so he’s boasting) or low (so he’s not that smart)? I would think the IQ of an average tenured academic at a good university is at least 150.

I'd be amazed if it were 130.

I was close

To me, there are several things about it that undermine the notion that he's a serious intellectual figure.
One, serious people are disdainful of the question. This should be particularly true of someone like Peterson who seems to embrace the idea that life is this noble and sustained project of cultivating our best most capable self. Yet, here Peterson goes out of his way to answer the question directly (self-selecting a question submitted online).
Two, the only thing less intellectual than bragging about your IQ is lying about it. Here there's abundant evidence Peterson is lying about his IQ. He doesn't quite remember his IQ, other than it being "in excess" of 150 but he remembers his exact percentile on the GRE quantitative and his exact percentile on the GRE verbal? And that quantitative score is a rather pitiable 75th percentile (which seems incompatible with an IQ of 150)? Even a 95th percentile on the GRE verbal suggests an IQ much lower than that.

I think these rules may be addressing millennials men who are confused or a little lost in life and are meant as a sort of compass.

1- stand like a man
2- charity begins at home
3- choose your friends wisely. Bad company can easily lead you astray
4- measure your self improvement step by step
6- See the beam in thine eyes
7- to thine own self be true. etc..

Somewhat helpful homely precepts but nothing earth shattering here.. He also could have included " If it's raining bring an umbrella" to similar effect.

Does this really square with " One the five most influential public intellectuals today" ?

"He also could have included 'If it’s raining bring an umbrella” to similar effect.'" It is cold, should I take a coat with me?

Addressing millenials? I bet more boomers and X-ers would benefit from these rules than millenials.

It does when the entire intellectual class has gone stark raving mad and works overtime to deny self-evident truths. Yeah, could just as easily say go read Aesop, but to reach "intellectuals" he has to bury him under two hours of Jung, Campbell and Girard.

What's the idea behind the cat and skateboarding rules?

The idea behind the cat is how to deal with life circumstances that are horrific, which is to shorten ones time horizon until it becomes manageable, and notice the small things that are good and beautiful when everything else is falling apart.

The idea behind the skateboarding one, is that when boys (in particular) are doing things like skateboarding, they are practicing bravery and related masculine virtues. And that society is overly safety-oriented, punishing masculine virtues and creating a class of men which are grown infants, unable to take responsibility and resentful towards the world.

"The idea behind the skateboarding one, is that when boys (in particular) are doing things like skateboarding, they are practicing bravery and related masculine virtues. And that society is overly safety-oriented, punishing masculine virtues and creating a class of men which are grown infants, unable to take responsibility and resentful towards the world."

So that's why some boys become resentful criminals, they hadn't a skate. I believed it was because they hadn't Nike shoes and got traumatized. Also, I never realized how character-building skates were. Can't we just send skating boys to the Army? I am pretty sure whatever it is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" "Do Ask, Do Tell Me More, Dear" the law of the land they still do macho things there.

Do you know what an analogy is?

Only in Portuguese

I never thought skate boards were brilliant analogies for manhood. My bad. Grown up, freak!

I SORT OF agree with Peterson's skateboarding rule, i.e., "Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding." I'm guessing the rationale is that kids need to rebel and risk injury a bit to grow up, which is actually true I think, and plus it's good for them to master a physical skill and get themselves indoctrinated into a benign gang of some sort. HAVING SAID THAT, it must be remembered that kids like skateboarding in part BECAUSE the activity is disapproved by grownups and suppressed to some extent. It's good for parents to pretend like they disapprove some activities of their kids, even if they secretly approve of them, to encourage the productive agon between the old and the young.

Yep. Want your daughter to date that nice kid up the street? Tell her to stay away from him.

Nope on the cats thing. He must not live somewhere where there are many feral cats. Playing with them will at best get you scratched, and may result in getting bit. Even if the encounter goes well, you may get fleas or any number of icky issues from them.

OK - just noticed he's from Canada, not India or China where cats on the street are likely feral...

I don’t know about India, but Chinese cats are feral and vicious, but they are often treated that way. However in the Middle East for example the cats are often the most genuinely friendly part of the population. After all petting a cat is often a gateway drug to feeding one.

The domestic cat’s evolutionary niche is either inducing people into feeding them or at the very least being inoffensive enough that people selectively remove most predators that are not cats. They are biologically programmed to be seducers.

"Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world"


Very good.

It's a silly rule. Whose house is in perfect order?

If everyone followed the rule there would be no meaningful criticism at all. How would that improve things?

To be honest I don't trust people who have super neat and clean houses, it seems like they are trying to compensate for something. But I suspect this is meaning, don't criticize people for their behavior unless you can show your behavior is perfect. Which really means, don't criticize. But sometimes hypocrisy can raise overall standards - if you are arguing for some particular position often the first person you convert is yourself. I often use this as a psychological trick with my employees, get one of the ones who lack awareness of a particular issue to make a presentation to the others on why that issue is important. Often they become an advocate.

#1. Is wrong. Don't take my word for it, ask any orthopod*. Given that level of ignorance, I'll not read the rest. *Make that any orthopedic specialist who has studied posture and mechanics of the spine and gait. It isn't rocket science. The abnormal "straight" posture is horrible for us.

Hard as it may be imagine, the Prussian parade step is bad for the knees too. Though if wikipedia is to be trusted, it is now used by the militaries of over seventy countries, comprising three-fifths of the world's population.

ITT dozens of people that don't understand analogies.

I bet "Be precise in your speech" is one of the things that triggers so called liberals the most. We have a whole common words that are crucial to the current political dialogue, which seem to almost have situational definitions.

This includes racism, multiculturalism, and global warming. None of these words has an adequate commonality of accepted meaning to enable discussion.

Just applying precision to a set of key words (and forcing us to use other words or terms for what is left out), is probably a key step in enabling us to discuss issues.

Ecclesiastes book is shorter and less complacent.

And demonstrates the brilliance of 'In Praise of Commercial Culture' - some of those words became the lyrics of a popular hit song - - and we have been listening to those words ever since.

Though possibly Prof. Peterson considers such things a part of the neo-Marxism he is verily struggling against.

In case there is going to be a conversation between Tyler and Peterson, some questions to ask:

Peterson's 12 rules or the 10 commandments, which are more likely to create a better (richer? more peaceful? more equal? more meaningful?) world? Which will make (most) people ultimately happier? Which set of rules is easier to follow? Which are the best and worst of the 10 commandments? In what ways would the world be different, if instead of the 10 commandments, God had given to the people of Israel Peterson's 12 rules?

The 10 commandments:

1 You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.
3 You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
5 Honor your father and your mother.
6 You shall not murder.
7 You shall not commit adultery.
8 You shall not steal.
9 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10 You shall not covet your neighbor's house, wife, or property.

"In what ways would the world be different, if instead of the 10 commandments, God had given to the people of Israel Peterson’s 12 rules?"
You mean if God told Moses to walk upright and skate-board? I am pretty sure the Jews would have a newfound appreciation of Pharaoh's sanity.

The preferred written form is 'Conversation' - please stand straighter in the future, and try to be precise.

Tyler's late to the party, I pegged Peterson as being a major figure back in august. His core audience seems to be made of young men who don't find much of anything appealing in mainstream progressive or feminist (or conserviative?) values. He offers a way of channeling their enthusiasm and energy into productive lives with meaning, which the left isn't really doing any more than the right is at present.


"""A BRITISH woman is fighting for her life in Australia after being struck down with a rare form of blood poisoning from a stray kitten. Scarlet Goodrich, 22, faces spending Christmas in a Melbourne hospital after contracting meningitis, blood poisoning and swelling of the brain"""

Another new source of danger:

"""intentional fire-spreading by the fire-foraging raptors Black Kite (Milvus migrans), Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), and Brown Falcon (Falco berigora) in tropical Australian savannas. Observers report both solo and cooperative attempts, often successful, to spread wildfires intentionally via single-occasion or repeated transport of burning sticks in talons or beaks."""

They have outdone Hitchcock.

I started reading the book but the foreword is by the execrable blank slatist and charlatan Norman Doigle (author of "The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity") and I almost threw it away. But once the book proper started it seems more readable.

I like Peterson but I couldn't get past the fucking lobsters.

Some mysteries are slowly being revealed as the book PR starts wending its inevitable way.

For example, this just might explain the public intellectual part - 'But then Peterson is in a different intellectual league from the authors of most such books. Camille Paglia estimates him to be “the most important Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan”.' Though is youtube a hot or cool media (and does screen size/definition and download speed make the difference?), or just the final step in creating the global village?

Though on the other hand, this makes Peterson a bit less typical than most of those figures so excellently highlighted by this web site - 'although his support for socialised healthcare, redistribution of wealth towards the poorest and the decriminalisation of drugs suggests this is far from the whole story.'

But his distaste for America and the reason it exists is clear - '“It’s all very well to think the meaning of life is happiness, but what happens when you’re unhappy? Happiness is a great side effect. When it comes, accept it gratefully. But it’s fleeting and unpredictable. It’s not something to aim at – because it’s not an aim. And if happiness is the purpose of life, what happens when you’re unhappy? Then you’re a failure. And perhaps a suicidal failure. Happiness is like cotton candy. It’s just not going to do the job.”'

Sounds like a two front war on his part. Both against neo-Marxism and the Enlightenment, as reflected in these words - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.' But then, what would one expect from a group of men so foolish as to sign such a document immediately underneath this line - 'And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.'

Ooops - the link to the review is

Peterson looks like Erich Fromm plus a little bit of PUA.

I will not become a groupie anytime soon, provocateurs are so passé for a woman of my age. But looking past the comical rules, there is substance.

1. "Happiness is like cotton candy."

2. "The problem with ‘nice people’ is that they’ve never been in any situation that would turn them into the monsters they’re capable of being.”

3. "We are corrupt, pathetic and capable of great malevolence."

“The problem with ‘nice people’ is that they’ve never been in any situation that would turn them into the monsters they’re capable of being.”

This is the one that is by far and away the one that is a banal observation wrapped into dramatic language. And not exactly correct - it still seems really, really hard to get Jehovah's Witnesses or Mennonites to kill other people, to the point that it is the Jehovah's Witnesses or Mennonites that end up dead.

Peterson's point is the individual, every single human individual has a dark/shadow side but (thankfully) most of us are never in a position to fully unleash it.

Your comment is more about Jehovah's Witnesses and Mennonites having socio-religious philosophies that all things considered do a good job of giving their followers' lives meaning and help them keep their shadow selves at bay.

'Peterson’s point is the individual, every single human individual has a dark/shadow side'

Prof. Peterson, meet Jung. Have you been introduced to Dr. Arendt and Dr. Fromm yet, Prof. Peterson? Possibly you might be interested in discussing something along the lines of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or Taoism.

Or, if you prefer, about how you have been inducted into the coastal Pacific Kwakwaka’wakw tribe.

Why so snide? He's getting a lot of information out to people who want it. He didn't originate it and he's pretty clear about that, he's primarily a practioner and a popularizer not a theorist AFAICT

A lot of what he says is also straight out of initiation into manhood ceremonies around the world, he's offering young men a vision of manhood that's far more appealing than any politicians or economists or theorists are.

'Why so snide?'

There is absolutely nothing snide about pointing that Peterson cannot actually be ignorant of Jung, Arendt, or Fromm. Or that he is unfamiliar with both popular culture and a thousands year old religion/philosophy.

That he seems to be able to safely assume the part of his audience that takes him seriously is ignorant isn't snide, either.

'he’s offering young men a vision of manhood'

So what? Manhood is not what is required of citizens in a democracy, nor is it something that one can achieve by standing straighter and being more precise.

"he’s offering young men a vision of manhood that’s far more appealing than any politicians or economists or theorists are."
So did the Nazis. That his is merely ridiculous ("pet a cat when you encounter one on the street") instead of tragic is onemof those small things to be grateful for. So that is what intellectuals are supposed to be now: nannies for retards... (Exactly why economists should be offering young men an appealing vision of manhood is left as an exercise for the reader, I guess).

Are you seriously asking prior 'why so snide?' must not come around here much.

I'm more curious where, on the doll, did Peterson touch clockwork_prior to justify his hate boner.

Strange - I found the first mention of Peterson at this web site (one assumes unintentionally - the Onion rarely is so pitch perfect) hilarious, and he is still extremely amusing. Clearly, the reason for that hatred must be that I have never piloted a mahogany racing sailboat around Alcatraz Island

clockwork_prior: obviously you have a bone to pick with Jordan Peterson. Why not just come straight out a say it?

I've avoided him because he seemed, at the time, as a self-help guru type.
A mistake. I found his interviews very lucid and interesting

He does seem brilliant and impressive. Will be reading.

Rule 1 Stand up straight with your shoulders

Can't manage for medical reasons. Never could.

Rule 2 Treat yourself like you would someone you are responsible for helping


Rule 3 Make friends with people who want the best for you

They don't. That's my job.

Rule 4 Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today

Sixteen tons...

Rule 5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them


Rule 6 Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world

I take it you'd like a world free of criticism. You first.

Rule 7 Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)

Expedient is about the best most of us can manage. You're marriage isn't 'meaningful'. It just is. Stick to it.

Rule 8 Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie


Rule 9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

I'll do that. I'm 10x as likely to encounter someone who fancies the issue of his imagination is real or the issue of his prejudice is knowledge. Many such people have PhDs.

Rule 10 Be precise in your speech


Rule 11 Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding

Never done it. Last skateboarder in the family hung up his board in 1968.

Rule 12 Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

No. The cats you have at home have an acute olfactory sense. And they want you all to themselves.

"'Make friends with people who want the best for you'

They don’t. That’s my job."
Maybe they want moderately good things for you...

"Manhood is not what is required of citizens in a democracy"

Maybe not required in your view but wanted by many and not yet illegal (sorreeeee... it really isn't....).

'Maybe not required in your view'

And not required in the view of the 19th Amendment.

But still a popular idea with many or most of the male persuasion. And not yet outlawed, so someone who can propose a model that resonates with young men will find an audience... as Peterson has.

'But still a popular idea with many or most of the male persuasion.'

Well, leaving aside most men who are married, have children, or otherwise have zero reason to care about persuading anyone else about their maleness.

He is talking about teenager retards. Most of them have neiher wife nor children.

He should still a tip from Snoop Dogg: "smoke weed everyday".

#13 While you are younger than 65 yo save at least $100/week especially if you make less than $400/wk as hard as it is for many to believe most people in the USA could do it on minimum wage at about 40 hours a week you may have to be creating though.

These rules seem fine. Number 5 is oddly worded, for a boundary condition. But whatever.

And I have travelled in enough less developed places to find stray cats pretty skeevy.

You should interview him.
The most interesting and wise Canadian in existence.

Hey, f*** you hoser!

Re the skateboarding:

At recess time when I was little the middle-aged teacher ladies opened the door of the classroom and let the kids out to do whatever, certainly not going outside to observe us. They stayed in to grade or read the paper or nap, I don't know what.

Discovered when my child entered school that the teachers now watch the children play, collect tattles, and enforce peculiar rules like no climbing up the plastic slide (this in particular amounted to what can only be recalled as a mass hysteria).

A few intrepid souls used to fly on skateboards down the big hill past my house, but I don't think they're making those kids anymore.

In general kids around here are very closely-supervised around the clock, whether by parents or teachers or after-school caregivers, their activities monitored and their disputes adjudicated.

Then they turn sixteen and are given the keys to a 5,000-lb. vehicle, encouraged to drink by local custom, and turned loose. And childhood, as opposed to infancy, now begins. It's a strange system.

@peri, You sound like you live in a typical upper middle-class neighborhood, where skateboarding is seen as very counter-culture. In that kind of suburb, "counter-culture" means counter-preparing-for-Ivy League-college; counter-tennis-lessons, and counter-anything-that-goes-against-upper-middle-class-culture. Look at your typical skateboarders 2018. Many of them are great kids, but they are most likely high school or college dropouts, probably unemployed, perhaps in trouble with the law. They are not on the upper middle class "track," and that's why you don't see them in your neighborhood.

The rules look somewhat odd without understanding their context. You really have to listen to Peterson to understand his points.

Then maybe they shouldn't be presented as deep wisdom without that context. They sound like mostly poorly thought out pop psychology to me.

What does #3, "Make friends with people who want the best for you," even mean?

My parents wanted the best for me, but I don't think of them as having been "friends," particularly. I do have friends who cheer my successes, sympathize with my failures, and certainly wish me no harm, but that doesn't seem like the same thing to me.

"Great public intellectual?" I think not.

Who are the great public intellectuals afoot today in your opinion?

Regarding Rule 12:

"A cat that scratched a woman Friday in Wilmerding has tested positive for rabies, according to the Allegheny County Health Department...“We strongly urge all residents to avoid any kind of contact with a wild or stray animal, particularly those in Wilmerding, where the rabid cat was found,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, director of the county department. “If any animal appears to be acting strange or becomes threatening, residents should notify their local animal control service, the police or the Pennsylvania Game Commission immediately.”

The fact that he calls its 'skate-boarding' with a hyphen reveals that he doesn't quite connect with skateboarders. Good enough though...

Some followers appear to ignore one of the rules

Everyone should read this book!

Comments for this post are closed