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Jordan Peterson on Mythology, Fame, and Reading People (Ep. 60 — Live)

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Mercatus Center
Feb 13, 2019 · 37 min read
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So do you escape from the tyrannical conditions and enter the promised land? No, you end up in the desert for 40 years. And it’s a mystery, practically speaking, why it took Moses 40 years to wander through the desert because it wasn’t that big a desert.

But if you’ve ever popped out of a system that was maybe somewhat tyrannical but that provided you with structure, you might think long and hard about the fact that you can spend 40 years in the desert.

You see this in the broad political scale. There’s tremendous — what do you call that pining for the past? What’s the word for that? Nostalgia. Nostalgia for the former Soviet Union in Russia. You see that in Eastern Europe as well. “Well, the good old days were much better than what we have now.” It’s like, “Well, yeah, the tyranny had its advantages.” And now you’re cast out into horrible, horrible freedom. And that is a desert through which you wander.

On marriage and fame

COWEN: Here’s a reader-request question. What is it like being married to you?

I’ve always been careful in what I said, but I’m way more attentive to what I say now than I was because, well, for about a year and a half, I was one slip away from disaster. There were a perfectly large number of people who were combing through absolutely everything I ever said and recorded to find exactly that one slip.

And it came close a couple of times, more than a couple of times. I’ve always watched what I said, but I really watch it now.

On what the Intellectual Dark Web gets wrong

COWEN: Your peers in the Intellectual Dark Web — the best of them — what is it they’re wrong about?

On America and Canada’s ability to assimilate immigrants

COWEN: Do you think we are underrating or overrating America’s ability to assimilate its immigrants? And what would a Jungian perspective bring to bear on that question?

On exercise and depression

COWEN: What is the role of exercise and weight lifting in your view of the good life?

It’s terrible. Because if the armed forces is approximately as complex as general society is — which I think is a reasonable supposition — it means that 10 percent of the population cannot find meaningful, productive, and engaging work in a modern society. And that proportion is probably, although not inevitably, expanding. That’s a huge problem. That’s a huge underclass problem.

People who hire also don’t understand the role of temperament, and how that can be assessed and measured, and how different temperaments really do predispose people to different areas of skill.

On fixing universities

COWEN: If we’re going to fix higher education, what is actually the point we should start at?

On becoming a good educator

COWEN: Two final questions. Let’s say a young person comes to you and says something like, “I’d like to be Jordan Peterson of the next generation, not doing exactly what you’ve done, but something broadly analogous.” I’m sure this happens to you. What advice do you give that person? Let’s say you think they’re quite smart. Maybe there’s some chance they could aspire to this. What do you say?

Conversations with Tyler

A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages…

Mercatus Center

Written by

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas.

Conversations with Tyler

A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages with today's most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

Mercatus Center

Written by

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas.

Conversations with Tyler

A podcast in which esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages with today's most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

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