Jordan Peterson continues to delight for he eschews trite pop culture and politics and, instead, speaks about deep truths that go to the human condition.
I have wonderful friends. So wonderful that one of them invited me to join her and her family to see Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin last night. It was a delightful evening from start to finish. I could tell you all about the enjoyable conversations in the car (lots of driving), but I won’t. Instead, let me tell you about the main event.
As some of you may recall, I attended a Rubin/Peterson evening in San Francisco last year, so I knew the general outlines of what was to come. I knew that the crowd would be large (the auditorium was filled); that I would see a broad spectrum of people, covering all ages (including teens), races, and sexual orientations; that Dave Rubin would be witty, charming, and accessible (there’s a deep sweetness to that man); and that Jordan Peterson would be intellectually dazzling. The evening met each of those expectations.
As before, Rubin opened the show with some light humor and with an homage to the Intellectual Dark Web, which sees intelligent people of good will, and markedly different beliefs, come together to celebrate true intellectual diversity and free speech. Then he introduced Peterson. The crowd, predictably, went wild.
Peterson takes the stage almost hesitantly. He has no script and no shtick. Instead, he pauses to ruminate a bit and then, drawing from his capacious brain, announces that he thinks he’ll start the talk by looking at the centuries’ long struggle between science and religion. He speaks hesitantly at first. There are long pauses during which he plays an invisible piano while he gathers his thoughts.
For the first ten minutes or so, it’s easy to believe that, after last year’s grueling schedule (100 touring days, more than 100 talks), Peterson has burned out. Then, he slowly starts gathering speed. The words come faster, the literary, psychological, sociological, and scientific data flows in an unending stream of fascinating data. As he gains momentum, Peterson balances the data and in-depth analysis with merely funny asides, which he follows with profoundly funny asides and conclusions. [Read more…]