Jordan Peterson solves the Twitter problem

Appropriately enough, Jordan Peterson announced on Twitter that he is backing the formation of a new platform called Thinkspot. There are several hopes and purposes for this platform, providing a town forum where people can comment and have conversations without the threat of being banned or kicked off, and a new payment system to replace Patreon after they started banning creators due to public outcry. The internet is still the wild west and Peterson just started a new town with its own rules and a new sheriff. Criticism has already started to flood in through various news outlets claiming that Peterson will be shadow banning users from having their comments seen in threads. What they fail to see is that this policy solves the Twitter problem. Twitter will remove a person from their platform completely if comments are made that violate their policies, however policies are always changing and they are not uniformly enforced across the platform. Thinkspot has two things going for it that take this kind of policing out of the equation. Users will have to pay to participate, that alone will eliminate many trolls from using the site. Comments will be voted on by other members as to their importance in the conversation. If you have more likes you move up to the top of the thread, if you have move dislikes you move down likely never to be seen. People paying for a site will have an interest to have less of their time spent reading trolling comments and want more content in line with what the conversation is about. To survive on the site like this, trolls will either have to be creative and funny or have a valid point that other people will recognize. Posting comments like “your mom should have swallowed” will likely disappear and the thrill of being a douchebag on the internet will disappear on this site.
People I know have compared Thinkspot to Reddit but I have a feeling that the subjects discussed will be more concentrated on certain subjects as opposed to having everything under the sun discussed. In a sense Thinkspot might have brought democracy to the internet. It acknowledges that not every voice is equal, especially if someone is speaking without any substance behind their words, and the public can choose as to who is able to be heard more. This could literally be the opposite of our current news channels where the person who brings in ratings has more airtime. The users have a hand in filtering comments and therefore have a better experience online without needing to shuffle through garbage to find a gem.
I hope that more sites like this are created in the future, I can’t imagine that they won’t. even with Donald trump being the poster boy of Twitter the company has failed to make a profit in the last three years. Facebook might want to lookout as well. They haven’t made any friends with their policies over the past three years and with their involvement in the last election its not difficult to see why. I can’t see the Kremlin investing in infiltrating a site like Thinkspot only to have their content shuffled to the bottom of the feed and never seen.
The big question is whether or not people will be willing to pay to use a site like this. I am already on the waiting list and hope to have an invite to the beta version. If Facebook and Twitter have no interest in fixing their sites its nice to see that an alternative is on the way. Welcome to the new town of the Dark web. Read a book, have something to say, or your voice will not matter.


Turning 40 and the new you

Forty minutes ago, I turned 40. It hasn’t really hit me yet and I don’t feel any different. The difference I have noticed is from the things I have been doing over the last year that have slowly changed my life. There is a series of things that I did that have added up and made things better in my life including this blog. It started with having my daughter. Things were tough that first year and while she remains a challenge in many ways, things have gotten better. Realizing I needed to be a better man, a better person for her and my wife I started with some little things.
1. Less TV. I have to agree with David Foster Wallace on this one. Television is an addiction and one that barely offers anything in return. I still enjoy the occasional movie but having anything good to watch is rare. If I spend more than five minutes trying to find something to watch I turn it off.
2. Write every morning. Only on the weekends do I lose the chance to write something. Otherwise I try to put down at least 1500-3000 words. Currently I am working on a new trilogy of novels so I try to write a chapter a day. I also stopped listening to music during this time and write with the sound of my daughter playing in the background.
3. I stopped watching the news. This was a big one and it serves many purposes. The news made me depressed and pissed off half the time. Once I cut that out, I had a better outlook on life. My mind was able to focus more on the important things instead of what was happening in places that really didn’t affect me. I had less stress and my productivity grew. This also created more time to focus on what I really wanted to be doing.
4. Jordan Peterson. In his 12 rules for life Peterson discussed ways to improve your life and move in a direction you wanted to go. The following things are a result of listening to his lectures and reading his book.
5. Make friends with people who want the best for you. I started becoming picky with who I spent my time with. If I left a place feeling worse afterwards the odds were, I didn’t want to spend time with them. Life is too short to hang out with crappy people and in the end, I started to spend more time with people who wanted to better their lives and the lives of those around them. This led to doors opening and opportunities being presented. My friend Steve has always been a guiding light and an inspiration. Ben teaches me to be okay with my trashy side and enjoy myself from time to time, without guilt. Tai Po encourages me to move ahead with following my dreams. Mustafa helps me question things that I never really thought about before.
6. Bear your responsibility. I don’t hesitate to get things done that need to be done anymore. These days if you want something done, not just right, you do it yourself and get it out of the way. This helps with stress and because of this I have accomplished more in the last few months than I have in the last two years. Nothing ever got done by putting it off.
7. Appreciate what you have. There was a good chance that my daughter wasn’t going to be with us for very long when she was born. I have a wife that loves and supports me. I know of people who have crappy cars and can’t keep a roof over their heads. Some people have massive amounts of debt and forget how they got it. I like my car. My wife and I own three houses. I could go to the store and buy this laptop. I have a job that pays well and I enjoy. Sure, I have other dreams am I am working my way towards them. Hell, I was even able to go out and buy podcasting equipment without worrying about how I was going to pay for it. Life is looking pretty good.
8. Enjoy the little things. I enjoy smoking a pipe. It gives me time to reflect and I have met some very interesting people along the way. My YouTube friends, you know who you are, are a wealth of entertainment and knowledge.
9. Read. I listen to audiobooks at work and have enjoyed the works of Jonathan Franzen, David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, Will Self and many more. There is more to learn about my craft and these people have helped greatly.
10. Set goals. In the coming month I have three books being released on Amazon. Daisy came out today. I didn’t plan or expect to put out so much in a short period of time but sometimes you have to go with the flow. I started a podcast with some friends and have a second one offering free serialized audiobooks to those who want to listen to them. I don’t know where this path is going to take me but so far, I am enjoying the ride.
11. Drink less. I don’t drink like I used to and for the most part I don’t miss it. The last time I really indulged was with a friend and it was a moment that wasn’t surrounded by the drink. These days I regard it as a celebration, one to enjoy with friends. I used to enjoy a glass of wine while writing or before bed but now it doesn’t have the same appeal and I feel much better for it.
My thirties were a roller coaster and thankfully they are ending on a good note. I have seen divorce and death. Saw the birth of my daughter and married a wonderful woman. My finances are no longer the struggle they once were. I have friends I enjoy spending time with that make me feel like a better person. My hobbies are simple and the only thing I wish I had more of these days is time. We all get the same amount of it in the beginning, a lifetime. How we use it is up to us and these days I want to get the most out of it that I can. I have reached that halfway point; some say its only downhill from here but I would like to thing that I’m moving up. The list of things I want to do is growing and so is the list of things I have accomplished.


Price’s Law, why companies pay the price

I first heard of Price’s Law on a Jordan Peterson YouTube video months ago and something about it stuck with me. When he explained the principles, everything started to make sense. A small fraction of people does the majority of the work. I had seen this time and time again and never thought of it as some kind of law.
Here’s how it works, you take the square root of the number of employees and that is the number of people who do 50% of the work, which is a hell of a lot. Plus, keep in mind that means there are just as many, if not more, employees who contribute nothing to the company. The odd part is the people who do the majority of the work know who they are, most of the employees know who they are. Most of the time management doesn’t know who they are.
When a company starts to have a hard time, or the writing is on the wall to abandon ship the people in that bottom portion who are keeping things afloat are the first to go. They have options, they know they can get the same job or a better one for more pay elsewhere and they do. So now the ten people out of a hundred are gone and half the work is not getting done with the 90 people who are left. Things spiral out of control and the company turns to shit.
I watched this before when I worked at a hospital. The 13th year I worked there nobody got a raise, they were starting everyone at zero and depending on how you performed you could look forward to a nice paycheck. After a year the reviews started to come in. supervisors were bringing up things that happened years before, things that the employee had already been disciplined for and brought up in previous reviews. If you were sent an email reminding you about something you were marked down. Punch in a minute late during blizzard when most of the staff didn’t show up and called in, fuck you no raise. It was clear the hospital didn’t want to pay anyone more than they desired and the writing on the wall was to jump ship. This hospital was the titanic and I knew how to row a boat.
I was the guy who was sent the email reminding me of a meeting. I didn’t ask for an email, there was no reason to send one, but my supervisor did and so I was marked down. My raise that year, 5 cents. I quickly did the math I my head and told him that didn’t even cover inflation and that I was making less than last year. He nodded his head in agreement and went on with the review. I didn’t pay attention. I refused to sign the review, and in the end, turned in a three-week notice. “Find somebody to replace me, you’re going to need it.”
Within a week 12 more people turned in their notices to the same supervisor and the same thing was happening across the hospital. Everyone was jumping ship and leaving as fast as possible. I don’t know if this was their plan all along. I heard stories during those final days of the most worthless person on the floor getting a four on their review while the people pulling their weight were marked down for the dumbest of reasons. The scoring for these reviews were odd.
There were different categories and you could score 1-5. A 1 meant you sucked at your job and were looking at being fired. A five was deemed impossible to achieve, nobody got a 5. 3 meant you were doing what you supposed to be doing and a 4 was going above and beyond what was asked. Of course, nobody was allowed to talk about their reviews with other people but word spread and the hospital turned into a total clusterfuck of chaos.
I ended up taking a job with the county after that for the same pay and I wasn’t cleaning up body parts off the floor. A year after that I almost doubled my pay at my current job.
The year of FUBAR at the hospital wasn’t the only example I came across of this behavior. I watched people bid for jobs they were qualified for and be turned down for some office politics that did not take into account the most qualified person for the job and instead used some other criteria that nobody could figure out. When you work hard and do mare than is asked and are turned down for a position you start to wonder what is the point.
Canada had a program to bring in highly skilled people from other countries through there immigration policies. These people applied and from their skills they were brought in and made citizens of the country. It was a high honor that people strived for. Then the policy changed, numbers needed to be filled regarding race and gender. Suddenly the most qualified were being rejected for reasons that didn’t make any sense and the program started to be viewed as a joke.
A few years after I left the hospital, I ended up being a patient there. My daughter was in the NICU and everyday for 91 days I was there and could see how the quality of work had dwindled. Don’t get me wrong, the room was clean and the staff working with her was amazing, but the elevator was broken for a majority of the time we were there. The hallways were dirty. Cleaning staff was rarely seen except for the lunch rooms. I was one of these people, I knew what was expected of me back then. Somehow over the years, things had changed.
The people like me had left and found something better.
So, what is the lesson from all of this? If you are taken advantage of at your job find a new one. Go where your skills will be appreciated. If your job is telling you to be happy you have a job, that is a huge sign that they don’t give a shit about you. If you find yourself doing most of the work don’t be surprised when your supervisor has no idea what is going on. When they do know what is happening don’t expect them to stick around. The last good boss I had at the hospital was fired. The manager said they didn’t know how to do their job, then they were replaced with one of the worst bosses I could have had. If you know you are one of those people, those who do a majority of the work where you are, know that you have options. When things start to look bad, run. The two things that could happen is that you find something similar to what you’re doing, or you come across something better. Aim for better, don’t settle.


Peterson vs. Zizek, What Really Happened

After reading some of the poorly written articles regarding the Peterson/ Zizek debate, some of which were written before the event, I decided to add my own impression of the event. The topic was Happiness: Capitalism versus Marxism, a topic people might consider paying attention to with the upcoming United States presidential election likely facing off between a far-right capitalist and some form of socialist. This notion flew over the heads of many who pretended to cover the debate and I will come back to them later.
On April 19th, 2019 I watched the Peterson vs Zizek debate from a live feed and while I had some issues with losing the feed during the event, I was able to watch it again earlier today. The debate started out with Peterson making his argument for the first half hour discussing the ideas he found wrong in the Communist Manifesto, of which there were many. He narrowed it down to six and was able to finish his argument when his time was up. Having not read the Manifesto since college he read the document again to become familiar with it and make some precise arguments against Zizek’s defense, this turned out to be a futile gesture since Zizek did not defend Marx or Communism during his half hour that followed. Zizek took a different approach and attacked capitalism for its faults, political correctness, and never talked about Marx.
Peterson was caught off guard realizing that his opening argument was almost a waste of time with how Zizek came in never discussing what was supposed to be the topic at hand. The back and forth between the two became more fluid, more so with Zizek who is prone to droning on with his constant barrage of unfiltered thought. Zizek’s opening remarks ran over the time limit and his solution wasn’t to narrow down his final statement but instead asked for two more minutes to finish reading a page of material. Neither party became flustered or defensive and Peterson worked around Zizek allowing him to talk over him and ask questions when the roles were supposed to be reversed.
Some of the statements that came as a surprise involved Peterson and Zizek agreeing on many topics including the flaws in capitalism and how Marx wasn’t a great thinker or philosopher. At one-point Zizek even pointed out that he didn’t care for Marx and preferred Hegel for his ideas over Marx saying, “Hegel is what our world needs at this time.”
Zizek did go on the attack, showing that he had read 12 Rules for Life, asking about the rule to “clean your room.” But what if the room is dirty and your life is disorganized because of the rules put on you by society? This was a question that Peterson was able to work out by explaining that we can still make the world a better place by how we act and the things that we do, that which we are ultimately responsible for. Peterson had already argued this point in his book by describing how the people you live with might be confrontational with the idea of you cleaning your room, the idea that you might think you are better than everyone else of trying to discourage you through the question of why? Whether or not it’s the people you live with or the society you engage with the same problem is there, you navigate through the mess and try to claim some order for yourself.
There was a discussion about the social justice warriors and why they were considered Marxist? Peterson replied with a short history of leftist ideology on college campuses during the 1960s to today and Zizek agreed with his statement. But when the argument came to the topic of today, Zizek was insistent on hearing the name of someone who was a Marxist that was pushing the social justice agenda. Peterson couldn’t come up with a name but stated studies and numbers that had been done over the years. Zizek named off some professors he was familiar with that Peterson did not know and Peterson stated the studies Zizek didn’t know, in the end the question led to a stalemate.
Zizek on multiple occasions expressed his concern with the rise of China and how they were going to affect the world. The effectiveness of a communist government running a capitalist society must be admitted and while the benefits of a system like that can be seen, the horrors can not be ignored. The Muslims in work camps, the censorship of the internet and the crackdown of free speech only prove that with all the growth over the past two decades the flaws of communism are still abundant. This is the extreme end of what Peterson and Zizek both agreed what is needed in the future, Capitalism with regulation.
While some wanted this debate to turn into a fight, a battle of ideologies, their discussion came to some truths that others needed to hear or discover for themselves at these two men did. The old ideas of the twentieth century need to be left to that time. Both communism and capitalism, to their extremes, are horrible ideas that only hurt people in the end, and maybe that is the true answer to happiness. There is a balance that needs to be found and yet we have a right-wing agenda to deregulate everything and a left agenda to control all aspects of life. If democracy really worked well there would be a balance and that doesn’t exist. As Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is a horrible way to govern, except for all the others.” This last quote was used by Jordan Peterson in a rebuttal to Zizek pointing out the current dysfunctional United States government.
There is much more to cover, and I would encourage anyone to watch the debate for themselves when it becomes available on YouTube. While other articles consider the debate a “waste of time” trying to make the entire event seem like a farce, others decided to push their anti-Peterson agenda and poorly executed it. I don’t know if it’s a sense of jealously or if they are trying to get those “clicks” onto their 300 word toiletreadings but the opinion of a so-called journalist is not helping our society and I doubt it does much good for their paychecks.
The Guardian published an article today titled, the ‘debate of the century’: what happened when Jordan Peterson debated Slavoj Zizek. I read this article while putting my daughter to bed tonight and found a handful of misquotes and disinformation that made my head spin. Zizek made a reference to the apocalypse during his opening comment and, according to The Guardian, Peterson agreed with him. This isn’t true in the least bit and there will be video to prove it to people who have not seen it. Peterson said the apocalypse was a bit much and that in his research things aren’t as bad as some would say they are. He mentioned a bet that was made between two scientists, one arguing that due to overpopulation the world would start feeling the stresses on resources by 2000 with the rise in the price of commodities. Peterson did not agree with Zizek. In the little research that was done for this article Stephen Marche found a video on YouTube of Zizek eating two hotdogs while walking down the street saying that he was “more or less a Gen X nostalgia act.” Unlike the Guardian, Zizek remains relevant with his current critics of social events such as pointing out that Trump, for all his flaws, is not a fascist and that trying to label him as such is not helping the left in their fight against him. I wish that Stephen Marche was paying attention to that piece of wisdom.
As for other articles that didn’t bother to take this debate seriously there was The Stranger, a Seattle based online magazine. For a debate that was a waste of time Charles Mudede spent a lot of time writing about the event before it even happened. With such pieces as “Nothing is a greater waste of time than the planned debate between Jordan Peterson and Slavoj Zizek” and “what Jordan Peterson’s followers don’t know about Zizek or postmodernism” one can point out that it was important enough to write about on multiple occasions before it even happened. The first article turns into an angry manifesto on why Peterson is not worthy to debate Zizek and how he will be exposed as a fraud. The second article was a self-masturbatory mental stroking to make the author feel smarter than he really is. I’m sure that he of all people ended up watching the debate that in his words was a ‘waste of time’ and I hope that he cringed and remembered his words as he argued what kind of Marxist Zizek really is. In the middle of the debate Zizek admits to not caring for Marx and preferring Hegel’s perspective on things, oops.
I should not be surprised that the media didn’t take this debate seriously even though it sold out and had an online audience that paid $14.99 to watch it. It is difficult to take the media seriously when they don’t take intellectual debates seriously. There doesn’t appear to be a discussion happening in our world anymore, just yelling on all sides to be heard and forcing ideas on people who do not want them. For god’s sake convince me, make an argument, say something with meaning? That is why these men are talking, you aren’t. It is difficult to read anything of any substance these days because everything is the opinion of some no name, wannabe reporter with too much student loan debt and hoping to have that one toilet tweet go viral to make rent. Thankfully we have people like Peterson and Zizek to have these talks and we don’t need the media to fill us in on it, we can watch it for ourselves.


The Catch 22 of Journalism

An idea came to me recently and for some reason I felt the urge to follow it to its ultimate conclusion of disappointment. There is a debated scheduled for April 19th between Jordan B Peterson and Slovaj Zizek regarding Happiness: Capitalism vs Marxism and it’s being broadcast live online. The idea that came to me was covering the event for a magazine or some kind of online source. While it has been a while since I have done such a thing, the last I can remember is the series of articles I wrote about my daughter being born and staying in the NICU for 90 days, I realized that things like this are not being covered by the media anymore. I never saw a write up about the two times that Peterson had a discussion with Sam Harris, a sold-out event with millions of views online.
I thought about the historical aspect of magazines over the years and the part they played in cultural events. Rolling Stone once featured writers like Hunter S Thompson and David Foster Wallace. Esquire had the rebuttle to the Buckley and Vidal debate where the men continued their argument in the pages of their magazine. I could go on but let’s be honest and say that magazines played a big role in out culture during the last century.
When I did a little bit of research into what magazines would cover a story like Peterson vs Zizek I was stunned to find none. I knew things had gotten bad but I didn’t think it was that bad. Rolling Stone is now a victim of the click bate bullshit market and I have a feeling it will go the way of the dodo soon. Esquire has become the homepage of the SJW propaganda for men, not real men, just the men who hang out in the crowd and still try to get laid without appearing aggressive about it. Let’s face it they don’t get laid. Maxim is click bate with testosterone. GQ I can’t figure out, it says its for men but more like what women want men to look like while complaining they no longer look like men. The Atlantic, well the Atlantic appears to be real journalism but has never touched the subject of Jordan Peterson.
When I reached out to these magazines the first night was a complete waste of time. I spent an hour writing the query or pitch email and when I hit send I received a reply right away from the Rolling Stone address stating the inbox was full. The Atlantic got back to me but decided they would pass, I wasn’t surprised. With no responses from other magazines I have come to the conclusion that I am on my own.
A part of me can not blame them for this. Recently the New York Times published an investigative piece into the financial history of Donald Trump. The piece took over a year to put together and write. It was the top story for a day, one day. Then Trump tweeted something stupid and everyone forgot. A year’s worth of work had been forgotten before it was really discussed. It’s our fault, and the media’s fault for what is happening. Our brains have become soft, obese things that no longer function as they should. They live on a shitty diet of click bate and victim porn that only makes us more lazy and less likely to think. We have done this to ourselves snacking all day on garbage instead of sitting down to have a meal.
Media has forgotten what made it worth watching. There were talented writers that brought the reader in and hooked them to finish the story asking the question “where are you taking me.” Instead articles are limited to 50-500 word sound bites that only give the reader enough to feel like they know what is going on and in all likelihood giving them a dose of bullshit. In depth reporting is a thing of the past and out society is feeding off the same circle of trash that it once despised. Media is eating itself into a grave.
I have to think that somebody out there is trying to stay relevant and not go down the rabbit hole of fake readership numbers, click bate, and SJW porn that is the new chic. Trends come and go but if you are running adds that appear sexist or patriarchal good luck having those readers come to your page. And if you stop running those adds you aren’t making money. Welcome to the catch 22 of journalism, try to attract your readers while not offending them. Good fucking luck.
Two great minds from opposing worlds are going to face off and talk about what should be the topic of the day. Our next election will likely have a far-right capitalist and a socialist of one form or another. These two ideas are going to be featured whether we like it or not and the country will have to decide which road to take without really thinking about it. The debate that is going to take place is the conversation we should be having but we don’t talk to one another. There was a time when our media would show a side to the public that had not been considered. Stories weren’t just written for shock value but to help the public think. These days thinking is not required and from what I can tell not desired for publication.
Rolling Stone was recently sold and the magazine overwent an overhaul. The biweekly publication changed to monthly and sections changed for the new management. The first cover featured a pregnant rapper and the man who might be her baby daddy. I say might because, well, we know how these things go.
Meanwhile, I have never seen Peterson on the cover of a magazine. A man who wrote a book selling 3 million copies with the idea of personal responsibility A self help book that put the responsibility of the individual in their hands sold 3 million copies, and nobody wants to talk about this. When you built your marketing model around selling victim porn the best thing to do is not sell responsibility or as I like to call it the social condom.
Maybe I should apologize at this point, I didn’t include a number in the title of my article. The subject wasn’t about sex or how men fucked up the world. The story didn’t have an equal number of women in the topic. Instead of focusing on one side the story would have included thoughts from both sides of the debate. The people the article was about have an education and deep background on the subjects they would be discussing. The story was clearly racist because it featured to middle aged white males. Did I mention the two guys are straight?
Our media is fucked and until somebody stands up and says we are no longer publishing garbage it will continue this way. On our end we need to stop looking at the bullshit they are feeding us and demand some kind of real content. I remember a time when writing was a skill not something that could be mass produce from a sweat shop in idea. It is only a matter of time until our news article sound like the customer service rep from a cell phone company. We will see names like John Smith, Jim Anderson, and Mike Dunhill writing our story with stock photos used to show people who are not real. Companies will write articles for women to sell items with titles like: top 10 eye liner colors, the three sexiest outfits to get him in bed, five ways to cook with butter, 1 in the loneliest number so come to match.cum.
I will still write my article. I still have my blog and I love all five of you for reading it. We might not have the media that we want but we do have the media that we deserve.


Why the World Needs Jordan Peterson

I first came across Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan Experience. The college professor who made waves talking about free speech and fought against a bill that was going to be signed into law mandating language on a public who didn’t want it. Since then he has helped millions of people around the world through a commonsense program of personal responsibility and no non-sense lectures pointing out what man kind knew to be true only decades before. Somewhere along the way mankind lost its way and found itself in a desert without a compass or any hope of finding a way out.
As soon as I heard the first interview, I started to find Peterson’s lectures on YouTube and went down a rabbit hole that had my brain working again, asking questions like what was my purpose in life and could I really accomplish the goals that I had set out for myself. This came with the realization that other parts of my life needed to change and that up to this point I was responsible for my current position in life. Many people like to play the victim in the story of their life but when you learn that you can make a difference you are responsible for how your future turns out.
Peterson’s book was released last year and I went out and bought it for the cover price, something I never do, and ate the contents for a few weeks. Some of the things in it reminded me of choices I had made earlier in my life, stop hanging out with people who don’t have your best interest at heart. Clean your room, take care of yourself like you are somebody you are responsible for, and pet a cat when you see one are things I did back in my twenties but lost due to peer pressure by people who I thought knew better than me. This was a mistake I would come to regret and wonder why I didn’t listen to myself instead of people who were a complete mess in their own lives.
I followed the stories online regarding what was happening at universities with students demanding safe spaces and having people fired for not teaching what they thought was politically correct behavior. As a former college student, I remember seeing some of this coming down the pipeline with some of my professors talking about white privilege and trying to make a white trash child of the ghetto feel like I was at the top of the world while cleaning toilets to pay for tuition. Needless to say, the sociology class didn’t connect with me and the teacher had no idea what she was talking about, but she was a person in a position of power who could influence those that sat in her class.
People are not taught how to think for themselves anymore. Asking questions was taboo in class and debate was not an option when it came to discussing these ideas. It took a guy from Canada who said this is enough to make a dent in what had become the new normal on college campuses. The idea of arguing against what was the new standard had finally been brought to light and the world one all sides started to listen. Growing up I was taught to always listen to people in a position of authority while keeping in mind that if you were being told something morally or ethically wrong you should speak up. In my own life when I did this it never turned out good, for me. In the end the people with power are the ultimate judges of what is wrong and right and in the end these people are rarely found guilty of any wrongdoing, sometimes they are even rewarded. People tried to punish Peterson for speaking up and in the end, with his band of loyal followers and a press that continually failed to bring him down, it was Peterson that was rewarded for the work he was doing and not the establishment who was trying to design the world in their own dystopian way.
Changes to my own life happened as a result of Peterson’s work. I have a better job, less self-doubt than what I was raised with, I no longer hang out with people that don’t have my best interest at heart, and I try to take care of myself when I had given up and decided to just enjoy the food and drink because who knows what tomorrow will bring. This was a pessimistic view of the world that I still struggle with and I have to admit it is difficult to argue against with the type of people we have in charge. The world can feel like a truly gloomy place most of the time.
Looking back, I think Peterson hit his peak with the release of his book 12 rules for life. I hope this isn’t so. I know he is working on his next book with more rules and has been on tour for over a year now, and while I am glad he is out there still making a difference in people’s lives, I wonder how it will end. There have been a few great minds during my lifetime, Joseph Campbell, Christopher Hitchens, and now Jordan Peterson and while this may not apply to Campbell who died at old age, there is a tendency for these men to burn out and die earlier than anyone would like. I was watching a lecture that was recorded three days ago with Peterson where a man rushed the stage screaming that he was mentally ill and wanted to know Peterson better. This had me worried knowing that a person with Peterson’s stature will attract nutjobs and people who are mentally insane. Let’s not forget that John Lennon was shot by a fan.
The world needs Jordan Peterson and while that is easy to say the question I have is how much the world with get out of him. Has he already made his impact? Is there more for him to do? Clearly he thinks there is more to accomplish. The hours of YouTube material will be studied for years to come. I impact that one made has made so far in the world can never be measured. While he touched millions of people those fans will go out and do the same I their own communities and the message goes on from there. It would appear that I’m putting a lot of faith into Peterson and I am. This isn’t difficult to do considering what I can’t remember feeling better about myself because of changing my use of pronouns or the times I “checked my white privilege at the door.” These social justice policies have not made the world a better place and turned itself into a breeding ground for bullies and the socially inept. Someone finally spoke up and while people try to discredit Peterson because of his sex or race the easiest question to ask them is how racist can you be? Life isn’t a one-way street and thankfully those who oppose thinkers like Peterson only have control of a small part of the population. We need conversation. We need debate. There was a time when Gore Vidal and Buckley sat across from one another and had a conversation. There was a finical in our society that has declined to almost dueling status for the privilege of being right. The further we go into the future the more ideas regress into the primitive tribal behaviors of long ago. Bubbles need to be popped. Society can not function on victim porn. Men need to crawl out of the basements of their father’s house and make a road for themselves. The world is not a meme, it is a place to discover oneself and that journey is never over.


Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping

This title comes from the second rule of Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life. While the lesson may appear obvious it is harder than it looks. When my daughter was in the NICU for three months the staff repeatedly told us to take care of ourselves first. How useful were we going to be in helping her if we weren’t taking care of ourselves? This rule goes beyond everyday care, but also applies to the you of tomorrow and twenty years down the road. If you had to plan how you wanted to be in the future what would you do to help that guy? As a parent we do this type of thinking with our children. what school will she go to? How do I make sure she can go to college? What hobbies or sports should I encourage for the best outcome? We do this all the time except for ourselves.

Recently, financial security has been a concern for me. One of my goals for this year is to have a decent amount of savings for security. While researching for my podcast I came across some things in the market that had me concerned about the near future of our economy. So how do I help myself and my future self if something does happen? For starters I have to be more responsible with my finances. Spontaneous spending has stopped, I don’t buy anything these days unless I need it or plan to flip it for a substantial profit. I run an antique booth on the side and have found some ways of adding some profitability to the setup. Along with the typewriters I sell I also supply new ribbon and coming soon I will offer what I am calling “Kerouac paper.” Sales have been well but there are times when I consider closing the booth to spend time and money on other adventures. When I have these thoughts I am pulled back in by customers who are thrilled they can not only find typewriters that work but also the supplies to keep them going. At times I tried to branch off into other areas such as sewing machines but I have yet to sell one of the cast iron beauties I refurbished and restored. typewriters is where I will stay until they stop selling.

I have noticed a change in my behavior since I finished the Self Authoring Program. I am more focused now on the things I am working on. I have started projects I would have talked myself out of in the past. There is a new podcast, I am considering expanding the website beyond the free site so that I can offer more than these simple articles. I have a plan on where these projects are going for the next couple of years. The difference is that I now have a plan.

There are still other things on my list of goals for the year that I need to work on. I have kept up my hikes with Zoey and try to get outside more than I normally do. I budget my time more and accomplish a set list of goals per day. I stopped eating out as much and cook more often at home. I am already making some headway on how I want this year to go but it is a slow process and I have to make sure I stay on the path. I have to treat myself like somebody I am responsible for helping.


Tell the Truth or at least don’t lie

This weekend had me going to the store with a list of things that may come in handy in case the world decides to take a huge dump on itself and fling its poo into the ceiling fan. after hearing the news about the chemical attack in the UK and learning that Trump is planning to fire all of the people that talked him out of going to war with Iran, I decided to take a few things into my own hands and filled the trunk of my car with $120 of food. Granted, this is all in the moment and hopefully it will amount to nothing.

The other piece of news that had me concerned was regarding the lack of ice on the north pole on how the “polar vortex” has been out of whack, sending the north east into abnormal icy conditions while places like Alaska and the north pole saw temperatures above freezing. This is what concerns me most about having a child. what exactly do I tell her while she is growing up. “sorry kid, we tried our best but driving pick up trucks and dumping oil into rivers was just how we did things. good luck!” as the month progress and the news continues to flow in the time line for several things that were supposed to happen decades from now are already happening. We will see heat waves. Crops will fail and people will die. So yes, i bought a shit ton of canned goods (and a few hundred bullets) just in case one day the supermarket shelves are bare.

I have heard all kinds of advice on what to teach or tell children growing up in this world. Constantly move, be nomadic in how you live your life and move to where the resources are. Learn a trade to make yourself valuable. Invest in gold and silver in case the dollar collapses. then there is the crazy stuff. dig a bunker. Be prepared to marry your sister. find recipes for cat and dog.

I won’t lie to her. It would be nice to give her the bad news in a way that won’t make life feel pointless. Do I think the human race will go extinct? The way we currently live our lives not giving a shit about the debt that will be paid by future generations, sure. We are facing famines, heat waves, rising oceans, refugee problems, and diseases we have never seen before. Do I think the next generation may have a shot at changing things around? No, but i think they will be the crafty ones that learn how to adapt.

The start of Zoey’s life was tough and knowing that I can’t help but think that she will have a natural callus to tough it though the hard times. I can stock up the basement pantry and make sure that we are able to defend ourselves if needed but the real work comes when i start teaching Zoey how to thrives in the apocalypse.



Self Authoring for the Apocalypse

The weekend didn’t start out how i wanted it to. Zoey wasn’t acting like herself on Friday with a long drive to the doctor’s office an hour away. The appointment started late and we were back in town by one o’clock. Zoey didn’t eat much that day and threw up all of her food that morning. I found out later she did the same thing that afternoon and slept most of the day.

That night was the usual for me. I left work at midnight and had to be back the next day at one in the afternoon for some overtime. all morning I didn’t feel right, my joints ached and my stomach felt funny. I finished my shift and closed the building. On my way home I called Sarah and told her that I didn’t feel good. A few hours later i was running to the rest room. My palms were sweaty and my weak arms were heavy, no I wasn’t in a rap battle, everything felt cold and my breathing was quick shallow breaths. At some point i found myself in the bedroom with my phone in hand, sending Sarah a text downstairs since i was unable to talk. I wrote “help” and a few minutes later she appeared in the doorway. “What the heck!” she said finding me half dressed and delusional. I thought about telling her to call an ambulance but being the cheap ass that I am I knew that dying would be cheaper, hey at least life insurance would pay out. That night was a long journey through hell. every movement hurt. all my muscles and joint ached. walking 20 feet to the bathroom felt like a Crossfit competition being performed by a morbidly obese man. There were a few moments i seriously thought I might die.

I woke up the next morning, still alive. My stomach hurt and I knew I was dehydrated. This time around Sarah came down with the bug and it was her turn to sleep for 14 hours. We were both scared that Zoey might catch whatever we had but looking back she might have been the first one to catch it.

The day that followed had me waking up at 4AM. I couldn’t sleep anymore. My body hurt from being in bed for too many hours to count. I went down stairs and turned on the Self Authoring Program. If there is one motivation to change your life it’s thinking that last night might have been your last. Remember that scene in Fightclub when Tyler robbed the store and asked the kid what he wanted to do with his life? That was how the flu felt to me. Already this year a nurse at the local hospital died after catching it, she was 40 years old. I finally sat my ass down and finished the Past Authoring program, long overdue by the way. Next came the hard part, the future authoring program.

This program changes everything, no longer able to wing it, or stumble through, you have to sit down and shut up to figure out what you want to do with your life. Saturday night i remember thinking about all that I had accomplished until then. I wrote a few books, had a daughter who’s life I wanted to see, and well, not really much else. What the hell had I been doing with my life? I sure as hell hadn’t been enjoying it.

For three hours I worked through Jordan Peterson’s program and figured out some things about myself and my life that i really wanted to accomplish. Some of the goals I wanted to start right away, feeling encouraged by the event, but the flu had other plans for me. It may take time for me to recover but when I do at least I have a layout of what I want to do in the near and distant future. Finally, the task is finished and I can move ahead to something worth bragging about when the boatman comes to pick me up at the river Styx.

So what is my plan you may ask. I will save that for another time. The flu is not done with me yet. Until next time, clean your room.


Pursue what is meaningful

Another Jordan Peterson post here covering rule number 7 from his 12 Rules for Life. While i was growing up the opposite was told to me. when i said what I wanted to do with my life the response was, “You need to think about money.” I had, what i was told at the time, a good job. I worked for a well known organization and reach the top of the ladder in my department. That was it. no raise. stuck with nowhere to go and it wasn’t something i enjoyed doing. Regardless of my years in the department i had supervisors who hunted down things they could find wrong and in some cases made up something, anything to justify their position. after 14 years, I quit.

I currently have two dreams that I am pursuing. 1 is establishing a writing career. the second is to eventually work for myself in something that I enjoy doing and will become better at over time. I don’t find meaning in what i do. I think about the benefits of my position, the security, insurance, and of course the paycheck. But it isn’t something that i can look back on and proud of. My books give me a sense of meaning. Making a delicious meal and sharing it with those i care about give me meaning. Being able to support myself and the ones I love doing something I enjoy gives me meaning. There are necessities in life that you can not go without. Having something meaningful in your life is one of them. I don’t know how long it will take or how it will happen but eventually one or both of these things will become a reality.

There is more on my plate these days. Being the primary daycare of a preemie baby, taking care of two houses, and staying up late to write a little, like this post, his how my time is spent. I haven’t even finished the self authoring program that i paid for. I don’t know where to go from here, and that is why i haven’t continued. the future portion of the program expects me to know where i want my life to go. that is something new, scary, an unexpected change from the normal day after day grind that has defined so much of my life. to be in control of where my life is heading is fucking scary. I have had so many people over the years tell me what the right choice is, the safe option of any dilemma. When i was ready to sail into the wind and explore new territory there was always someone close to tell me I couldn’t, I shouldn’t, or you have go to be out of your mind. In the end it is my fault after all I am the one who let these people into my life. Maybe I should be concentrating on something else. Rule number 3, Make friends with people who want the best for you. It sounds like a solid place to start.