Wiki Contributions


For everyone who wanted to participate in the poll but didn't because it seemed like too much work – I updated it! Here's the updated version. It should be easier to answer now :) 

Thank you so much for the feedback! I think you're totally right. Here's the updated poll

That's a very good point! I haven't considered that excessive faith comes with its own problems. Thanks for pointing that out!

Thanks for the context! 

I think your reading is in fact over-charitable. He is clearly referring to "weird creatives" as people who behave oddly without explicit negative effects, and is trying to argue that oddness has some diffuse, unobservable cost on society

So far, three different interpretations of weirdo have come up. If weirdos are social non-cooperators, then the statement that society should grudgingly tolerate them is at its strongest. The argument becomes weaker if the word refers to highly flexible and open-minded people who might make mistakes because they are traversing unmapped territory. It's at its weakest if a person who behaves oddly without negative consequences counts as a weirdo.

I think it's also important to remember in these discussions that there's often skin in these games. Trying to find baileys to which bigots can retreat might promote dialogue and openness that results in wandering truth-wards, but may simply spread misinformation.

In this post, I'm assuming that Peterson is making a good faith argument. The agreement extent game is only valuable when you believe the other person is acting honestly. I'm not claiming that Peterson is factually acting in good faith, however (it's beyond my expertise to judge that).

The approach I outlined wouldn't work well if the opposition is arguing dishonestly, pining for another goal. Honestly, I don't know what an optimal strategy might be in that situation. It would presumably involve some degree of politicking. It's worth digging into this from the perspective of truth-seeking. Good strategies would probably account for different settings (public vs private setting; written vs spoken; face-to-face vs writing). Right now, I have a blind spot when it comes to this. I'm getting hyped to learn more about this, though!

What I try to do isn't so different, just less formal. I usually simply agree or disagree directly on individual points that come up through trying to understand things in general.

I don't think you need the agreement-extent game then :) This more formal approach is probably helpful for people like me who tend to go on the offensive in face-to-face interactions.

How much does the original sound like your version of the argument? Is this their argument in your words, or your related argument?

Most of what I wrote is my version of the argument. The two quotes I included are the extent to which Peterson presents his position. The video was on a somewhat different topic, so it's not surprising that he didn't explore it too deeply. He probably has a more elaborate explanation of his position somewhere on the web.

I think that one of the biggest problems in my country (America) is that the people trying to change society don't put in the effort to figure out the reasons why things should stay the same, thus completely destroying any cost-benefit analysis of the policies they propose.

I have a similar impression of European politics (though there's probably less polarization than in the US). I agree that it's a fatal flaw! 

Thanks for your perspective! I had the impression that Peterson used the words creative and weird almost interchangeably in the video. Looking back at it, I think my reading is uncharitable. It's not unlikely that I have a pro-unconventionality bias, so I associate weird with something positive by default. "Weirdomay be a stand-in for a social non-cooperator. Given that meaning, the argument does become much more solid!

Weirdos are valuable, but should be somewhat rare. Further, weirdos have a much wider distribution of success, with many living miserable lives, and a few living great ones.  Trying to adjust this is a harmful encouragement for normals to be weird.

Your point about the normal2weirdo-ratio is excellent! I haven't considered that yet. I agree that you're more likely to struggle when you're an outlier than be a success story. 

Additionally, even if an unconventional set of behaviours benefits an individual, it might not be scalable. An example that comes to mind is people foraging for food in dumpsters (are they called freegans?). While that might sustain a few people per city, it's hardly a population-wide solution. Generally speaking, adhering to the norm should be more scalable.

Thank you! It took me some courage to post here, but I'm glad I did. 

I don't remember Peterson mentioning that. The two quotes I posted are pretty much everything he explicitly stated on that topic. It's in the spirit of the agreement extent game to generate your own pro-arguments for the opposition's point, though. 

I think you make an intriguing point with the "check your privilege" argument. Another example of social norms that protect poor/oppressed people is the idea that certain things that are off-limits to acquire/take – even if you have the recourses to pull it off. We would probably have many more Jeffrey Epsteins if not for that norm.