Study at Reykjavik University



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Our international students describe their RU experiences.

Reykjavik University, 2017

Reykjavik University is very closely
connected to the industry of Iceland. This gives our students a unique opportunity in
a very close-knit, advanced, developed industrial society to have access to industry, specialists and
opportunities that very few universities can offer. I really like the place. Everybody is very nice
and is always willing to help you. I selected Iceland mainly because
of Iceland itself, because of the nature. But on the other hand the
school is also very good. It’s a very high
energy environment. We have geothermal and
we also have a lot of water because it rains a lot,
hence hydropower. And there is
also a lot of wind. It’s an opportunity for me to learn a number of
innovative renewable energy technologies and be able to utilize
them when I go back home. In corporate finance we are few people,
small classes and a lot of discussions. A lot of interaction between students and teachers.
So it has a personal feel to it. Here in the computer science department
there is a very advanced course Here in the computer science department
there is a very advanced course for game design and virtual environments.
So that’s the main reason that brought us here. Classes are a lot smaller here and
you have a lot more regular assignments like group work
and presentations. I feel that there is a much more direct
relationship between teacher and student. With much more dialog which
can really help improve your studying. We really sit down with our students
and we tailor the program to each student. Our primary purpose is to educate the
specialists and the leaders of the future. I’m working in the subfield of mathematics
called combinatorics and I work with quite simple
mathematical objects. We’re teaching the computer how to prove
things about these mathematical objects. This is very new. You have study spaces
you have lecture halls and you also have a very nice
library where I study a lot. I think it’s really advanced, a lot of
access to innovative and modern stuff that really makes learning
and studying easier. It’s been really nice. We have met
a lot of different people and we are always doing
something. We have full schedules. We live in the capital and
there is always something to do a lot of cultural events, dancing and places
to meet people and just hang out. At one point it was
a hard decision for me. But when I came here then I knew it was the
right decision. So I’m very happy here. Something that I really liked
was that it was Iceland. So it was perfect, I could study and come
to an amazing place at the same time.

Iceland 12 Rules for Life Tour Lecture 1



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(NO CLAIM WHATSOEVER IS TAKEN FOR THIS CONTENT. ALL RIGHTS ARE THE CREATORS AND ALL LINKS ARE PLACED IN THE VIDEO DESCRIPTION. I JUST POST THIS MATERIAL AS I FOUND THE CONVERSATION ENLIGHTENING AND INFORMATIVE)

There are two videos from Iceland, covering different material. This is the first. The second is at (TBA).

I have been touring since January, discussing my books, 12 Rules for Life and, to a lesser extent, Maps of Meaning (see www.jordanbpeterson.com/events for details, including upcoming tour dates and cities.

I was in Iceland in June and gave two lectures (June 04, Lecture 1; June 05, Lecture 2), followed by a Q and A. I was hosted by Gunnlaugur Jonsson, who also introduced both talks.

I’ve been using the lectures as an opportunity to extend, develop and publicly test the ideas I presented in 12 Rules and Maps of Meaning.

My wife Tammy and I had a remarkable and memorable trip to Iceland. My mother and aunt also came for the adventure, and were treated with exceptional care by Gunnlaugur and his crew. We are looking forward to returning to Iceland in 2019,

Thank you very much to Halldór Fannar Kristjánsson (Sigurgeirsson) for the video recording and editing.

Additional relevant links:

My new book: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos:

12 Rules for Life Tour: Dates, Cities and Venues:

My first book: Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (I recorded the audio version release June 12, 2018)

Dr Jordan B Peterson Website:

Self Authoring Suite:
Understand Myself personality test:

Blog:
Podcast:
Reading List:
Twitter:

Patreon:

@freespeech @12rulesforlife @jordanpeterson

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of The World by Niall Ferguson Epsd. 6 (Full Documentary)



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Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of finance, from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance.

Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it’s the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it’s the chains of labor. But in The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What’s more, he reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history.

Through Ferguson’s expert lens familiar historical landmarks appear in a new and sharper financial focus. Suddenly, the civilization of the Renaissance looks very different: a boom in the market for art and architecture made possible when Italian bankers adopted Arabic mathematics. The rise of the Dutch republic is reinterpreted as the triumph of the world’s first modern bond market over insolvent Habsburg absolutism. And the origins of the French Revolution are traced back to a stock market bubble caused by a convicted Scot murderer.

With the clarity and verve for which he is known, Ferguson elucidates key financial institutions and concepts by showing where they came from. What is money? What do banks do? What’s the difference between a stock and a bond? Why buy insurance or real estate? And what exactly does a hedge fund do?

This is history for the present. Ferguson travels to post-Katrina New Orleans to ask why the free market can’t provide adequate protection against catastrophe. He delves into the origins of the subprime mortgage crisis.

Perhaps most important, The Ascent of Money documents how a new financial revolution is propelling the world’s biggest countries, India and China, from poverty to wealth in the space of a single generation—an economic transformation unprecedented in human history.

Yet the central lesson of the financial history is that sooner or later every bubble bursts—sooner or later the bearish sellers outnumber the bullish buyers, sooner or later greed flips into fear. And that’s why, whether you’re scraping by or rolling in it, there’s never been a better time to understand the ascent of money.

The best place to be a woman? | The Economist



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In the battle for gender equality Iceland is leading the world. The tiny island is pioneering news ways to close the gender pay gap, root out stereotypes and get more mothers back to work.

Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube:

Supported by Mishcon de Reya

Today women around the globe have less access to power wealth and education than men – but one tiny island is leading the world in bridging these gaps. Iceland is pioneering ways to get more mothers back to work, to root out gender stereotypes, and to close the pay gap.

Could Iceland inspire the world to solve one of its greatest problems?

Iceland has topped gender equality rankings for nearly a decade. One of the secrets to their success? Start early. This kindergarten in the capital Reykjavik focuses on challenging extreme gender stereotypes before they take root in boys and girls. It’s a mission that’s led to the creation of 17 schools across this tiny country – all focused on developing a healthy balance of characteristics in both sexes. Girls and boys are separated to allow girls to nurture traits traditionally viewed as masculine, like being bold, independent, and taking risks. And boys are given time to learn traits traditionally viewed as feminine, like being more group oriented, empathetic, and caring – and the signs are that this is working. Research suggests that in later years children from this school have a greater understanding of gender equality when compared to children from other schools.

Iceland is also promoting gender equality by encouraging fathers to share the childcare burden with mothers. In 2000, it introduced what is known as a daddy quota – three month statutory paternity leave. It’s an allowance that goes much further than most other countries in the world. Here over 70% of fathers take up the full three months leave. Why? Because the state covers 80% of a salary during this period up to a cap of $4,600 a month. One beneficiary of this generous system is Egill Bjarnson who is looking after his son Valer. Egill believes the high cost of the daddy quota to taxpayers is justified because it helps get more women into work.

But even in Iceland men are still paid nearly 6% more than women for similar work. This year Iceland became the first country in the world to pass legislation not just to expose but to tackle the gender pay gap. Companies with over 25 employees like Reykjavik Energy now have to prove they are paying men and women equally for similar jobs. Every job at the company must be measured against a set of criteria – this produces a score. For jobs with the same score workers must be paid the same. When Reykjavik Energy used this pay calculator the inequalities came into sharp and immediate focus.

The company rectified this by raising the wages of its female employees. Critics of the law point out there will be significant financial consequences for companies as they rectify their pay inequalities – but many argue this is a necessary price to pay. Gender equality will be an ever more pressing challenge for wealthy countries across the world. Could the ambitious measures being tested in Iceland provide practical solutions?

What are the forces shaping how people live and work and how power is wielded in the modern age? NOW AND NEXT reveals the pressures, the plans and the likely tipping points for enduring global change. Understand what is really transforming the world today – and discover what may lie in store tomorrow.

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today women around the globe have less access to power wealth and education than men but one tiny island is leading the world in bridging these gaps Iceland is pioneering ways to get more mothers back to work to root out gender stereotypes and to close the pay gap it's a human rights issue isn't it paying the same wage for equally valuable jobs could Iceland inspire the world to solve one of its greatest problems equality is absolutely the key to everything Iceland has topped gender equality rankings for nearly a decade one of the secrets to their success start early this kindergarten in the capital wreck of egg focuses on challenging extreme gender stereotypes before they take root in boys and girls for boys for example always be strong always decisive always taking charge they will enter bullying fighting breaking rules will do it with a curse as well if you're always helpful caring things about others always looking as a friend for acceptance you will have forgotten about yourself we need to get away from the extreme qualities we need to get more in the middle all of us it's a mission that's led to the creation of 17 schools across this tiny country all focused on developing a healthy balance of characteristics in both sexes girls and boys are separated to allow girls to nurture traits traditionally viewed as masculine like being bold independent and taking risks um boys are given time to learn traits traditionally viewed as feminine like being more group oriented empathetic and caring and the signs are that this is working research suggests that in later years children from this school have a greater understanding of gender equality when compared to children from other schools there is nothing like our quick fix to this shoots yes then at last we will catch Amish rest Iceland is also promoting gender equality by encouraging fathers to share the childcare burden with mothers in 2000 it introduced what is known as a daddy quota 3-month statutory paternity leave it's an allowance that goes much further than most other countries in the world here over 70% of fathers take up the full three months leave why because the state covers 80% of a salary during this period up to a cap of $4,600 a month one beneficiary of this generous system is Eagle be honest in' who is looking after his son Varla echo believes the high cost of the daddy quota to taxpayers is justified because it helps get more women into work imagine having some applicants from a man and a woman you need much less likely to take into the equation that the woman who could have a child in the future and go on a leave because the man is also going to do that so it does create a more equal field out there but even in Iceland men are still paid nearly 6% more than women for similar work this year Iceland became the first country in the world to pass legislation not just to expose but to tackle the gender pay gap companies with over 25 employees like Reykjavik Energy now have to prove they are paying men and women equally for similar jobs every job at the company must be measured against a set of criteria this produces a score for jobs with the same score workers must be paid the same when reykjavik energy used this pay calculator the inequalities came into sharp and immediate focus we noticed that there was a pay gap there between the unskilled workers that were outside and the unskilled workers inside the outside unskilled workers are mainly men and the unskilled workers inside that's the cleaning staff was that in the kitchen that's the mostly women what's important to keep in mind is the gender pay gap it's not there because there's a couple of evil men making decisions to pay women less it's this unconscious bias that we all have we place more value on traditionally male-dominated jobs the company rectified this by raising the wages of its female employees critics of the law point out there will be significant financial consequences for companies as they rectify their pay inequalities but many argue this is a necessary price to pay it's a human rights issue isn't it paying the same wage for equally valuable jobs having a law that requires company to have this it makes everyone a comfortable gender equality will be an ever more pressing challenge for wealthy countries across the world could the ambitious measures being tested in Iceland provide practical solutions you

Milton Friedman – Why Economists Disagree



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citizen I guess I'm ashamed to tell you they have very little knowledge of the economy or the economy of the United States well I just go by what I read in the magazines and what I see in the media I mean whatever they say I have to go by I have no thought of it on my own economists could be very effective if they didn't let their job get involved in politics I think if they could keep politics separate from economy and economists can make a big difference I would like the security of someone on top telling me what to do and yet the adult in me is saying when they do come at them on top to say what we're going to do it's the little guy who has no money who has no power to get front on a lot of promises are made to all kinds of horrible ways and I find a difficulty step to practicing patent so I really have no confidence I'm marina Whitman and tonight on this economically speaking special we look at the state of economics with two of its most eminent practitioners Walter Heller is Regents professor of economics at the University of Minnesota he served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Kennedy and acted as adviser to President Johnson a widely published author professor Heller contributes regularly to both the wall street journal and Time magazine Milton Friedman is professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976 professor Friedman is the author of more than 20 books and writes a regular column in Newsweek although he has never accepted a full-time government position he has served as an advisor to many political figures including Richard Nixon and Ronald Regan and before we get into a discussion of why you two particular economists disagree let's take a look at what one young student has to say about the two schools of thought and what the nature of the disagreements are Africa knowledge is the measurement and fictive the other half is the abilities and the values involved in economics which I feel is the most important part everyone places different values on unemployment on inflation on recession some of the monitors may say that you may have better off to go through assessment a lot of unemployment you don't have go through a lot of inflation where is the changing they say no that's not sure you should know you have to go to a better assessment for five years and for twenty million people out of work – or you know get rid of inflation well is that a fair statement about what you disagree about Milton no I don't believe it's a fair statement about what we disagree about at all I think it's an understandable statement I would see that many people would get that impression but I don't believe it's I don't believe it's a correct statement because I believe the difference in values that is important in that particular issue is not a difference between unemployment and inflation it's partly a difference of time perspective whether you look a long time ahead or whether you look only in the immediate future and it's partly a difference of scientific judgment those of us like myself who believe that it is urgent to follow policies which will slow down inflation even though a side effect of those policies will be a higher level of unemployment temporarily believe that if you don't follow that policy the end result will be even worse we'll get more unemployment we believe and again maybe we're wrong but this is a factual judgment a scientific judgment not a value judgment we believe that the only choice this country faces at the moment given the past mistakes is between having higher unemployment while slowing down inflation or having still higher unemployment while increasing inflation that unfortunately there isn't a good choice ahead that once you've gotten a economy sick there's no way you can immediately emerge into a healthy state and I would say that the major differences among those of us who argue for a steady policy of restraint not a sudden shock but a steady policy of restraint and those who argue for continued stimulation is either in the time perspective or in the scientific judgment about the consequences but not in the values Walter well how do you feel about that differently of course I let me say two things first of all I noticed the young man on the screen a moment ago tended to identify monetarism with conservatism that isn't unnecessary no relation and so the fact that the Chicago Twins of monetarism and less a fair happened to be born together was a sort of an historical accident but I don't want to accept the view that laissez faire is conservatism additions it's liberalism in the true sense of believing in freedom oh wow the token service today are people like yourself were back in the New Deal it's nice to be called a conservative now then but the you know you could be a monetarist and believe that the Federal Reserve should be pulling the levers all the time and let's use a different term the question is of being an activist into sin in fine tuning monetary and fiscal policy Orion if you don't like that word an activist in the discretionary use of an operation versus a pacifist well not pacifist isn't the right thing it's a question of whether your emphasis is on the day-to-day activities that you engage in on pushing the monetary button a little harder now in the fiscal button by you you having the government I mean the government or governmental officials or whether your policy is one of trying to set forth a set of rules and operating according to rules rather than Authority now I think that's a much more fundamental that isn't that is a fundamental distinction and you've always been a little distrustful of human beings it seems to me in positions of authority I've been very trustful of them I've known exactly what I could count on them do mess things up that's shall we trust not lack of trust that's your definition but the and there are those distinctions I think we ought to recognize them very now namely that you may differ on theory and analysis you may differ on facts you may differ on interpretation you may differ in values and it is true that noting Friedman unlike myself feels that you ought to set things going in effect automatically not accept feedback information which I believe you should if the economy and if your analysis if the facts provide some indications that you ought to change course because of some external events whether it's jump in the OPEC oil price or whether it's because suddenly people have a surge of consumer spending or maybe because business gets its animal spirits up and that's in a lot of investment my feeling is that it's the better part of valor better part of common sense and better for the economy if there is someone at the command post of monetary policy and fiscal policy who says oh yes I'll take that information into account and I'll change signals because the economy has changed isn't there a particular problem in economics or maybe not can you have such a thing as value free economic analysis you cannot I doubt very much that there are any value for the economist but that doesn't mean that there cannot be value free economics whatever my values are before I as an economist want to see something done I would like to know what the results are and the question of what will be the effect of doing such and such is a factual question and I may not get the right answer and I may be biased in my interpretation of the answer by my values but in principle that question is a scientific question which has no values in it although it's awfully hard to comb all values even out of our scientific judgments and analyses because you know you're starting with a certain framework let's say a market system that itself expresses the value but I think one thing the economists or our audiences and our students and those whom we advise is a sharp differentiation between where we're talking science where we really are saying well now we think at this point we and try to reduce unemployment for example inflation accelerates versus which might be called set of a pivot point versus saying yeah I don't want to settle for that as my goal my goal is value charged I think that we ought to get to a much lower level of unemployment and I think that we don't do that very well we often in the if not in the heat of battle but even in teaching and so forth we don't sharply enough differentiate where we're charging a particular statement with values and where we are making a centrally scientific judgment we try but time it again I think we slip a little out we don't we don't always make it back at the beginning of this discussion Milton you made quite a specific statement you said that we have only only two choices we can either restrain the economy and get inflation down and tolerate more employ unemployment temporarily or we can try to stimulate the economy and in the end get both more inflation and more unemployment now Walter I know there are many occasions at least on which you disagree with Milton I guess this may be one of them you would say I gather and I don't want to put words into your mouth that no we can stimulate the economy and thereby reduce unemployment without down the road getting both more inflation and and more unemployment now that is a question of fact assumably this kind of disagreement between you two and there are many others of this sort should be amenable to resolution by observation and testing and something that scientists would call proof is it or isn't it and if it is how come you're still disagreeing well yeah let's try to let's try to disentangle that I think empirical and a as a matter of fact we can show that in the recovery from the deepest recession since the Great Depression they move the 73 to April 75 recession we had stimulus from tax cuts and relatively easy money and so forth that translated not into higher prices but into higher production and more jobs and so forth the record of the past of the three years from April 75 to april 78 pretty well shows that the inflation rate stayed pretty steady the rate of employment rose dramatically and so on then there's the next question and this goes more to the heart of what milton was saying a while ago what about the use of restrictive monetary and fiscal policy to try to squeeze inflation out of the economy now there we've had no but you're going to stop before you get to that is let's keep the discussion orderly because your your chart you are saying well I'm going to take the first effect of the policy and not look at later effects there is no quarrel or dispute between you and me or between those who analyze things different ways but the initial effects of a more expensive policy will be felt an out but not in inflation the problem is of what you are now dealing with is a hangover from precisely those expensive policies the argument the the scientific proposition that underlies the view I said is that there's a difference in the time lag between the the difference in the time which it takes for expensive monetary or fiscal policy to affect output and the time which it takes to affect inflation within the history of the United States and if countries like the United States it has taken something like six to nine months from a more expansionary policy in 1975 it was even less than that it's taken between six and nine months on the average before a more expansionary policy effects output it increases incomes and to begin with that certainly does take the form of more out burn more employment but that's a first effect we have to carry it all the way through in at the same time it sets in motion forces which later will come out in inflation so that the evidence from history for the United States and countries like that is that it takes another 18 months before it comes out in front so if we take those three years inflation actually came down during the first year and a half of the expansion but it came down as a result of what had happened two years earlier the very monetary restraints that had produced the severe recession had it carry over and they enabled you for an interim period of a year-and-a-half to have both increasing employment and reduced inflation but then beginning in the fall of 76 December 76 you started to get the delayed effects of the more expansion era policies now again if we turn to the other side which you were going to have using restrained policy you will agree that you also have those different effects well this is a place marina where we really do read the evidence differently and I think our audience should be very much aware of it what has happened in these three years actually from 75 to 78 was that we still had a policy with a great deal of slack in it a lot of unemployment a lot of unused means economy with a lot of CEQA yeah that's right and inflation got stuck inflation got stuck right around didn't get stuck at all level inflation I'll draw up Milton just just a darn minute as the expression goes in 1974-75 we had ferocious double-digit inflation touched off by a 400% jump in the oil price and a forty percent jump in food prices in two and a half years you can't explain inflation why a rise in prices inflation is a rise in prices non-food and non fuel commodity prices up a hundred percent that we took off wage and price control so we had a pop up effect after the controls came off and we had a devaluation of the dollar of about 20 percent which raised import prices now almost all of those forces that led to the double-digit inflation of that period are outside the a central control or realm or influence of fiscal policy and monetary policy you can say well if you didn't have the quantity of money to validate those price increases you wouldn't have had the price increases no but you would have had a depression I you know I really think this discussion so far has established a couple of things and one is that two leading economists really do interpret the evidence differently and second is that there is no general and commonly agreed theory of what causes inflation oh I don't believe that's right go slowly we do interpret the evidence differently but there is an accepted agreement about what ultimately causes inflation there's no there's no gross the word ultimate right we really ought to we really ought to look at that a little more closely because that is rather fundamental to the whole question of what you use by way of instruments to try to cure inflation but go go to that question there is no disagreement among economists about this proposition I think where Walter will agree that you cannot get a long-continued inflation without a rapid growth in the quantity of money without a let me not say rapid without a correspondingly roughly corresponding he not precise but a roughly correspondingly rapid growth in the quantity of money yeah then you have to move to the question of but you would agree with that yeah I agree I agree the doctrine of original sin this is not the knowledge we can go back to the garden this is not the doubt and of original sin because the fact is that a very large fraction of non economists do not believe in it do not understand it and that while economists always Express agreement with it when it comes to actual policy conclusions they often act as if they didn't but Milton the reason that the layman does not accept it and does not agree with it is a perfectly good one because in the real world that's not the way things work what happens is you build you have certain institutional changes things get into the wharf and wolf of the economy let's take the wage price or price wage spiral let's take OPEC oil prices that's you know that cartel which is lasted far longer and open Friedman thought it would is is a fact of life now you can say well but we'll just slow down the rate of increase in the money supply and those things will all take care of themselves in the long run but here I am a Keynesian in the long run we are all dead so what things are really extreme so what you're saying I get there is that you would agree with milton statement as he made it but you would also argue and i think this is the big difference between you here that you can get causes of inflation initially which are something other than printing too much that there's not only causes of higher prices well and let's not know let's just to lay it out this way it causes that monetary policy simply can't ignore when there are two or three bad crop years there isn't really very much that the Federal Reserve can do about the weather and the Great Plain I know we have not exhausted this argument but I would like to move on because I didn't want people to have the idea that there's only disagreements among economists and talk a little bit about the areas in which economists do agree which is also very important and I think I'd like to have from the two of you what you think the important areas or the nature of the important agreement among economists of course milk and I have both dealt with this question and we agree that surprisingly enough given our discussion up to this point that there are more areas of agreement and disagreement Milton and I were encounter about a decade ago debate in New York at the Salomon Brothers lecture New York University and I recall so vividly and I think it's being somewhat duplicated tonight I recall so vividly Milton when we were in front of that large audience that at NYU and talking about monitoring fiscal policy about unemployment about inflation about growth we were you know we were at sorts points we were at each other's throats those are the great questions of what we in our jargon called macroeconomics and then afterwards we repaired to the 21 club with a small percentage of the audience I guess we had 60 or 70 people it was just a question and answer session and almost all the questions we're about such things as well the structural or what we are micro economic questions questions in the marketplace like what do you think about antitrust policy what about protectionism what about negative income taxes what about tax exemption of municipal securities and in almost every case one or the other of us said so and so and then the other one would say I agree much to the puzzlement and amazement of our audience at the end of the evening I remember note you turned to me and he said well Walter tonight we showed them that economics as a discipline after all well I say that by way of saying that on questions of government regulation on questions of antitrust on questions of tariffs and so forth is a tremendously wide area of agreement even on some of these questions that we've been seemingly disagreeing on on in the macro end of the field we do have a certain disciplinary base that on which we agree and even in these areas I could agree my experience more generally has always been that if you put three or four economists together with a group of other people I don't care whether they're sociologists or political scientists or they're physicists and take the economists from those widely dispersed views in economics as you can get into any discussion even of inflation or monetary and fiscal policy and within 15 minutes the economist will all be one group against everything I guess does that really cover the whole profession that is aren't there some people in profession who really would reject the whole analytical apparatus that all three of us share in common what sort of argue that we're looking through the wrong end of the telescope if you like there undoubtedly are these are very small numbers of radicals in the one hand the more of the extreme Marxists and the other of course I say extreme Marxist because as Marx accepted most of this discipline in fact in the area of monetary Theory he was on my side rather than Wohlers he was a strict quantity that's why I'm not a Marxian well neither am i but you know as I was saying before we got a recognized science wherever science is and mustn't let it be determined by who says it I was involved in a an interdisciplinary discussion the other day and finally a good friend of mine who turned to me and said an absolute exasperation the trouble with economist marina is you insist on assuming that people always behave rationally and everybody knows that's nonsense what about that is we don't insist on people that people always behave rationally what we insist on is it it's not really you're not very you're not able to predict random irrational behavior and therefore the only kind of behavior that you can hope to predict is behavior that has some regularity and one individual may behave any way at all but we're not really concerned with individual behavior that's the role of the psychologist or of the physician we're concerned with group behavior and if I take a lot of people many of them may behave in all sorts of crazy ways but the group as a whole the common tendency the thing that's going to come out of it is something which will be as if it were rational behavior hiving bones a little bit overstated our case we have an awful lot or a great deal more difficulty isolating the impact of a particular move private or public on the course of the economy the physicist is in a little better position than we are to do so the method is scientific the material we're working with as witness the difference between us on interpreting certain economic events the material we're working with is a lot more difficult but I think that's important too well I think that may well be I as I said to say that something is a science doesn't mean that you know the answers no no they're very different and there are many things in which we do not we're not able to make very good predictions but on the question that marina raised we can only hope to have some successive predictions insofar as we are able to find a systematic pattern expressed in the average behavior of groups of people each of whom separately may be –have in a very erratic and unpredictable yeah we are saved by the law of large there's no question the public has lost some of its faith in economists in recent years but there are some very useful things that economists can do let's see what Wall Street economists Larry Kudlow has to say about that economists have in the past decade or so promised too much and thus the higher the expectation the more the greater the disappointment when we can't deliver on premises that oughtn't have been made in the first place but I do think economists can play a very useful role in first of all decomposing problems into specific areas that can be understood and second of all we can predict trends in markets whether it's labor markets or product markets or financial markets we can predict trends and third of all I think we can offer government policymakers a useful framework of analysis with some accompanying prescription to deal with problems yes I think there's a terrific contribution that can be made in this area would you Milton and Walter agree with that particular list of the useful functions economists can perform well I'd say first of all was rather limited but basically if he says that economists are useful in explaining options in explaining the costs and benefits of different options of quantifying for the policymaker in business or in government what's involved in a particular change in policy yes I would agree with that the problem of policy is twofold one is what do you want to accomplish and the second is how do you accomplish it economists have very little to say about what you want to accomplish that is the question of values that's where the philosopher or the anybody everybody is an expert but it's a job for the much-maligned political process in a democracy isn't it to decide what it is you want to accomplish it certainly is but we're economists can make a special contribution is not in telling you what you want to accomplish but how to accomplish it or how not to accomplish it there was no doubt the vehicle excuse me Milton but sure were a point on which again I think you and I agree for example if the body politic feels as you're one of your mentors henry simons put it but the present distribution of income is distinctly evil and unlovely that's another judgment we should make but if they tell us it's distinctly evil and unlovely they want to correct it presumably the economists can help them can help the policymaker find a way out let's take a very much simpler matter if you want to know how to solve the problems of shortages and lack of availability of oil and gas we can sure tell them that the way to do it is not to have a set of price ceilings and arbitrary allocations not to set up a ten thousand man Department of Energy now you may still want to set it up for other reasons but it won't achieve that objective we can't say you shouldn't set up the Department of Energy what we can say is if you insist on holding down the prices fixing the prices of all kinds of gasoline unleaded leaded whatnot you are going to get yourselves into trouble you're going to have a certain predictable effects as long as we're on examples of sake and even simpler well let's take the minimum wage the minimum wage is an excellent you know I might feel it's terrible to pay somebody less than two dollars and ninety cents an hour you know but as an economist and I don't want to say economists aren't human beings but I but as an economist I would have to say and then I would agree that if you increase the minimum wage from 265 to 290 this will cause so on so much inflation so maybe you know 0.2 0.3 on the cost of living and so and so much unemployment to more important so much unemployed so you're saying I think the two of the the economists can certainly do two things one they can help define the issues or break down a problem into parts which can be managed analytically and they can define the trade-offs what the economist sometimes called the opportunity costs and they can set up the options you know we've been talking about what economists can do but let's get to the bottom line do you think that say over the past decade or any time period you want to pick what economists have done and what economists have advised and the advice that's been carried out has helped or hurt the the American economy only problem with that is the difficulty of distinguishing between what David Wiley advised and what has in fact been done I think one of them there are two main problems as I see it in this one is that I think economists we have over promised we have professed to be able to do more than we could by we I don't mean each individual one among us but the economics profession as a whole has given the public the impression that the problem of employment of stability and so on had been solved that we had fine delicate tools by which we could push this button and push that button and we could keep the economy on a steady keel and I think that we are now reaping the harvest of that in the form of the extraordinarily difficult inflationary problem we follow in the form of the reduced rate of real growth in the economy real productivity growth I think we have done a great deal of harm as a profession by over promises but on the other hand we don't deserve all the blame we've gotten because of the fact that's so often political considerations have overridden economic advice so so you're really saying I think that the attempts if you like to fine-tune the economy actually made the relationship among inflation and growth and unemployment deteriorate over the last 10 or 20 years I met those are fighting words to Walter and what do you say about first of all fine tune there's a fighting word very much misinterpreted in the mid-60s as being fine tuners maybe we are by Milton Stephanie said you were fine looters what are you kidding yourselves no the the concept that you know we were sitting at a console where we felt we could control every little movement in the economy is quite wrong no one ever had that conception all you have to do is read you the reports of the Council of Economic Advisers to see that that was exactly the conception which you had not every man where is that date we just have to agree to this disagree on that mill let me just pursue one sort of point that you've been stressing we should take the long perspective not just the short one all right let's take the long perspective let's look at the pre-war and post-war period pre-war period the world in the 30s very much in chaos nineteen nineteen percent average unemployment in the United States for a ten-year period a post-war period vastly lower levels of unemployment rapidly much more rapid growth in other words a world that operated at much more that a much higher percentage of its potential now among the major variables was that before the war we had very little of a what should we say modern economic management and after the war there the role of the economists was much greater in that long-run perspective the combination of activism which is the word you want to use Keynesianism perhaps that I want to work use and the role of that in governmental policy has a the correlation is unquestioned I was Walter you said in your Friedman Heller debate if I can call it that of ten years ago that there is a strong correlation historically between the use of active activist monetary and fiscal policy and a high employment and relatively stable economy do you still after all that's happened between 68 and 78 used to agree with that or would you modify it in any way first of all let's start with 48 to 78 of course I have to agree now when we talk about the instabilities of the 70s I'm not about to fold my tent and say economists are responsible for that instability and economists know nothing about how to cope with it not at all do economists there's some responsibility do economists have an easy answer well the answer to the first is yes in the answer to the second is no we don't have a nice answers I've got to obtain easy answers any easy answers are just wrong but I'm going to object to the whole historical picture that Walter painted because it's wrong the fact is that the 1920s and 30s were a period of a highly activist policy the the in the United States the key thing was the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 which is signed to the monetary authorities responsibility for monetary policy and they were a very activist group you read what they were saying in the 1920s and it sounds like the reports of the Council of Economic Advisers in the 1960s about the capacity of the Federal Reserve with its new Tila tools of monetary controls to keep the economy on an even keel in my opinion the Great Depression of the 1930s and this is not an opinion which I come to lightly and I'm not willing to document was caused precisely by the mistakes which the Federal Reserve made so far from the 1930s being an evidence of the need for activism it's about as strong evidence as you can find for how much Harnam discretionary authorities can do when they have in their hand so powerful a weapon that's controlled of the money supply when they produced a decline in the quantity of money of one-third from 1929 to 1933 if you really want to get a period of comparing activism with non activism you have to have an even longer historical perspective you have to take the period before 1913 and the period since 1913 and they're you know I hate to have to stop this because I think we could go on for quite a while talking about the new ideas in the profession but we have an audience in the studio with us today including both economist and non economists and they've been waiting very patiently during our discussion but now we'd like to give them a chance to ask some questions yes I'm Laura Tyson from the Department of Economics at Berkeley professor Friedman stated in his discussion that there is a consensus view and many economists about the causes of inflation and I would like to ask both professor Friedman professor Heather if they think there's a consensus view and when economists about the causes of unemployment and also are there developing any new theories of unemployment these days and that passing applications might these new theories have well that's a very big question and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to give any kind of an answer because I believe almost all economists would agree that it's very misleading to talk about unemployment as a single magnitude unfortunately the public at large tends to look at one number the percentage unemployed as if somehow they correspond it to something it doesn't it makes an enormous amount of difference whether the person who was regarded as unemployed is a college student was trying to get a part-time job in Karen Canada where as a head of a family in which he's a main breadwinner talking about the unemployment numbers I think it's worth another moment to recognize that in some ways the present unemployment the official unemployment statistic may overstate unemployment in other ways it drastically understate it doesn't include the people who have dropped out of the labor market the dropouts the discouraged workers who are simply not counted it doesn't include the 3.5 million part-time workers who are looking for full-time work in other words it does not define the whole reservoir of unemployed labor and looked at just as an economic concept but of course when you get down to proximate policy is what do you do about unemployment what do you do about inflation there no matter what our basic analysis may be in terms of say the long-run underlying supply of money and so forth I think you'd find some rather substantial differences than our answers yes I have a concern that relates to employment and I'm sure all of us know that unemployment among minorities is very high and given the fact that the barky decision has had a great deal of influence on the educational opportunities and today I heard further that it's spilling over into employment I'm wondering what do you see as the possibility of our society making an effort to find a way that minorities can better participate in the economic structure of this society well I would be very glad to answer that because I believe that the major handicap to minorities are the governmental measures that are enacted in the name of helping the minorities I've often said over and over again that the most anti-negro books on the law in law the most anti-negro law on the books there's a minimum wage right the second most important source of minority problems in my opinion is a lousy schooling that is available to youngsters in the ghetto and the reason that schooling is so bad is because it's provided by the government and what minorities what we need to do to have more opportunities for minorities to have more opportunities for everybody to give minorities the same ability to control their own lives that we give to other groups I believe that if you really wanted to do something to promote the welfare of minority the most effective single thing one could do if you could get by the school teachers is a voucher system for school and that would provide minorities with an opportunity to have the same kind of control and choice over the schooling of their children as most of us are able to do that's where the fundamental problem I think starts because what happens is we give them a double whammy we first provide him with lousy schooling and then when they get out of that school all we say but you can't go to work unless you are sufficiently skilled to be worth the minimum wage that's allowed to be paid and that handicaps on doublet I could go on but I'm trying to suggest that you must look beyond the stated objectives of measures things which are enacted in the name of helping minorities often hurt the minorities and we have to look at the actual effect of those policies and not the suppose it effect well on this point I just have to agree disagree with a fundamental thrust of what Milton Friedman has just said because while you can point to some cases where government regulations may interfere with hiring of minorities particularly hiring of minorities of miserable wages on the other hand you can appoint you can point to a great deal of progress that has been made not nearly enough but an immense amount of progress that's been made in the opportunities that have opened to minorities and in the jobs that minorities now hold in terms of their as I say their job opportunities and the actual numbers you still have this incredible youth unemployment level among non-whites its what thirty four thirty five percent that's a terrible blot on the American discussion that has something to do with a minimum wage but by no means everything that you need is a full opportunity economy you need high employment that is the best solvent because the minorities by and large not entirely are the last to be hired and the first to be fired and unless we maintain even if we don't accomplish our full anti-inflation objectives unless we maintain a high level of employment and opportunity the minorities are going to suffer I I think the proof of the pudding is in the eating and I think the eating is very clear as you were quite properly saying I think you want to beware of this kind of a device so far as the minorities are concerned I don't want to make it have any misunderstanding I welcome the Bakke decision except I think it didn't go far enough I think that any program by government which specifically labels certain groups as getting preferential status is going to hurt those groups and not help them because what it means is that it established and establishes an official imprimatur on the idea that that group is inferior and need special advantages I think that what we want is not legislation for groups with legislation for individuals that every individual ought to have equal opportunity regardless of his color regardless of his religion regardless of anything else but not in terms of his group characteristics before we go on to the next question you know did you identify it as ailment before you follow up I endorse home from the College of Alameda from the College of Alameda that's an Oakland area I have one question for you dr. Friedman given the past history whereby people did not permit minorities to have a fair share in the educational structure nor the job market what makes you so sure are so certain that we've had a complete change of heart and this will happen we have not had a complete change of heart that's my whole point well how can your point is that if you haven't had a complete change of heart these same measures which are enacted in the name of helping the minorities are going to be employed by the people who haven't had a change your heart to prevent their having the effects that they claim they have and then what we need is not a situation in which you depend on majority views in favor of minorities but in which you don't prevent that minority among us who believes that people ought to be treated as people from doing what we think right from choosing the best people what I'm saying to you is do not depend on the vote of a majority to give you special privilege because that way what about you 70 flat you ought to have equal rights but equal rights is not special privilege equal rights is not the same as saying that 10% of all people hired have to be of a certain color it's not the same as saying that there should be quotas that isn't equal privilege for individuals not and tall but and the people who are going to be hurt by that most are the ablest among the minorities they are the ones that are going to be hurt human progress is invariably come from the ablest among groups being able to move up and help the rest of their fellows get up not by pushing everybody up from the bottom I I will cease by saying that I must say that I disagree with you thank you line yes rather than which resolved center for environmental conflict resolution professor Friedman you said that an economist job should not be to define society's goals but rather to tell us how those goals can be reached and that furthermore they can explain the trade-offs that are involved in those various policies but do you think that economists really can explain the trade-offs and the costs and benefits of various policies when environmental damages aesthetics civil liberties or the values of future generations might be involved well if they can't who can is there somebody else who can many of these questions do not admit of any good answer obviously there are many questions we don't have answers for but the question is is there some other discipline that can offer answers to this are these things that people can pull out of the air in some cases a care person who studies the issues will be able to tell you something about what evidence there is about such effects in many cases you may not be able to tell you anything because there's no way of knowing so the issues are no different than they are in any other let's take a specific example you say you're with the Environmental Council no it's resolved its center for nominal conflict resolution zero organization all right but take the environmental problem pollution for example what does pollution do it Dirty's the air and water it has impact on health and it occasionally causes people to die now the economists can set up the problem in such a way that the costs and benefits in terms of impact on dirt on health on Clinton that they cost of cleansing water for human consumption and so forth that can be measured against the costs of ending that pollution now when it comes to putting a value and I think this may in part lie behind your question when it comes to putting a value on human life that is kind of an infinite that's extremely difficult for for anyone but in setting up the problem what was quite right the economist has a framework for doing it there are parts of that framework which there aren't any data or which they as I say the value of the human life you don't know how to plug that in and that's where a public judgement a value judgment is going to have to be made that's well beyond the scope of anything economics can do now further as long as we're on the environmental problem for a moment one of the things the economist can do is say well there are better and worse ways of handling the problem one of the worst ways is to handle it by regulation and prohibition well some things have to be prohibited because they're just so environmentally devastating mercury DDT and so forth Milton might not I would but by and large we would both feel and I think I can speak with some confidence for both of us that you're much better off using the marketplace here and saying well you know about what you want by way of air quality or water quality and then put a tax on the emissions into the air that would provide an incentive through the private profit motive to get people to pollute less make pollution expensive make deep pollution profitable and you'll be able to do it through the market system rather than a con juries of regulations that result in essentially on economic solutions to the problem well that's one of the examples of where economists really very much agree can I add mining prices rather than regulation I add one thing to this statement of Wolters which I think all three of us agree with and I think most of our profession would too and that is you say that economists recall and I think each of us individually does from placing a value on human life but the fact is society is constantly implicitly placing values on human lives and I think one of the duties of the Economist show that's right one of the duties of the economist is at times to force people to make these valuations explicit maybe that's why we're called the dismal science because we really do in the process of setting up a framework for decision making saying okay this is the kind of valuation you have to confront however difficult you may find it because you're doing it implicitly anyway and maybe the results that you get when you do it implicitly aren't the best ones aren't the ones that society really wants to see yes my name's Sam Swift on the lawyer rather than an economist there's been I think some agreement between the two of you that the public sort of distrust see economists at the risk of putting myself in the school of the the Finnish schools that you mentioned before I might suggest that maybe it's the public who dis trusts the economy and the economists who defend it rather than distrusting the economists themselves isn't it true that the that the existence the historical experience of a cyclical crises that we've had with unemployment and inflation suggests that whether it's a question of fine-tuning the economy and trying to level out those booms and bust periods or a question of mr. Friedman would suggest of just sort of letting the economy run its course through those cycles that we that you two gentlemen would basically agree that those crises those periods of recession leading into depression and periods of boom which result in inflation or inevitable cycles of the system and not something that that either one of you think can be very much can be done about and therefore you as economists from your various schools have really very little to offer in solution to those problems I know is that right at all here's where you and I both jump on them because the problem with your discussion is to talk of those cycles of recession and inflation as if one was a duplicate of the other as if there was only one kind it makes all the difference in the world whether you have a recession or a depression like 29 1929 to 33 which is a catastrophe by anybody's name or whether you have a mild recession like that of let's say 69 to 70 or whether you have a still a more severe but still by comparison with 29 to 33 milder recession like that of 74 4 to 5 now I think it is true that there is no human activity of any kind which precedes in Street strictly steady work and I have no doubt that there will never be a possibility of having an economy or Society of any kind whoever controls it that will not have its ups and downs but we would both agree and there are questions of degree and that it would is perfectly what we would hope we may disagree right now about how to do it but we were both agree that as we understand more about the economy it should be possible to devise institutions and arrangements which would greatly reduce the amplitude of those fluctuations and get them down you see you're using the word crisis would you use the word crisis to refer to a recession like 69 to 70 well if you if you look at it in terms of the effect on real people and you guys have talked a lot about statistics unemployment you look at as a mechanism for resolving a problem was unemployed not at all cattle not at all we don't just as we look at unemployment in this context is a side effect of measures taken for very different purposes of course it's a real human being these are real problems but there's a difference in magnitude there isn't such a thing as perfection on this world you've got to go to the next world for that so that I go back to you are you going to lump into one single class a recession well I got a 69 to 70 and one like 29 to 33 oh absolutely not there's no way but then it but you're still assuming the basic continuation of those cyclical crises and the fact that there's virtually nothing that can be done about it except minor modifications in its severity you're using the word minor I do not regard it as a minor modification in severity to eliminate episodes like 29 to 33 that's not minor in the slightest whether they can firmly eliminate finally eliminate it remains to be seen well that may be maybe as I say maybe we will fail that's a different question but you're asking what is our hope and expectation and I agree that we do not believe we're going to get utopia I regard the the big recession of 73 74 actually ended in April 75 I regard that as a pretty disastrous thing and if you were one of the three million who became unemployed in that period and remember now today one percentage point of unemployment means 1 million people our labor force is a hundred million right now and if you were one of the people that were actually almost 5 million from the lowest unemployment to the highest unemployment you wouldn't consider it anything but a crisis and I think that we have rather different evaluations of what should have been done under those circumstances I think it was absolutely disastrous that we maintained a fiscal policy that was getting a budget policy that was getting tighter all year long and amidst in the face of that high unemployment that we maintained a tight money policy that we didn't recognize that the OPEC oil potentates were sucking about 30 billion dollars of purchasing power out of the economy per year I think we could have moderated that and I don't come back to some agreement with Milton I do believe that in the in the years to come economists for all their failings and limitations are going to find ways of moderating those swings which you cannot eliminate but I think they can be substantially moderated have to get my nickels worth in here on another part of your question you said something which is very often said you economist accusingly no you guys look at the statistics but what about real people well we look at the statistics because it's the best way we know about getting information about large numbers of real people because there are what 230 million Americans and we cannot be informed on each one of them individually but there is a difference let me give you an analogy of automobile accidents when one single individual dies in an automobile accident clearly that is the ultimate crisis for that person and his or her family but it's not a national crisis what may be a national crisis is when suddenly the number of people who die in automobile accidents Rises very suddenly and stays high then we think perhaps we ought to do something about it in a policy sense we are clearly not willing to institute policies that will reduce the number of deaths and automobile accidents to zero well similarly for any individual who is unemployed it is a very real crisis but the simple fact is nonetheless you can talk about whether we are having a national crisis or not depending on the size and the severity of the recession and how many millions of people are caught up in that kind of individual crisis but what you all are going on but never stating until you finally push to the wall to do it is that those cyclical periods of unemployment and then inflation in cycles are inevitable and that it's only in a moderate way that those cycles can be ameliorated but that economists of your stripe can do nothing about it can anybody else excuse me you said economists of our stripe what economists can't do anything about it but there are different social systems oh but they have the same fluctuations if you look at the tail at the records of Russia or China you have even more extreme fluctuations they don't show up in the same way but don't kid yourself in supposing that you don't have ups and downs in economic productivity and well-being in the case of Russia in the case of China just look at the convulsions through which China has gone through just look at the my goodness how do you how can you look at Russia and not recognize the millions of people who were killed in the collectivization crisis of the of the 1920s or if you look at the the agricultural failures and the number of people who starve to death or been in poor condition on account of that you are just kidding yourself if you think that somewhere in this world and there is a fluctuation free society the plain fact is that nobody of any stripe has been able to show how you get a perfectly stable steady certainty kind of a world except in two places a prison and a grave time has come to thank our audience and most particularly my guest Walter Heller and Milton Friedman for a discussion which I think has shed some light on the profession of economics and the fact that there are many questions we economist agree on and many problems we can help solve but as we've seen during this past hour there are still major issues about which economists strongly disagree disagreement perhaps the most fundamental disagreement involves the proper role of government in the economy and one crucial problem economists have still not solved is how to achieve steady growth high employment and price stability all at the same time it may be that during the optimistic period of the 1950s and early 60s the profession did promise too much the dream of prosperity for everyone has proved to be very elusive in the real world but to write off economics as a failure because it hasn't solved the problem of stagflation would be like dismissing modern medicine because it has not yet found a cure for cancer the economic shocks of the 1970s have pushed economists into the limelight they also sent the profession into a turmoil and destroyed the old consensus making room for new ideas and new approaches Fox will soon see the emergence of some new grand synthesis that will reconcile the factions now at odds with each other but given the complexities in unpredictability of human nature it seems unlikely that economists will run out of problems to wrestle with and given the important role of values in determining economic opinion it seems even more unlikely that economists will ever stop disagreeing I'm marina Whitman goodnight economically speaking was produced by wql and public communications which is solely responsible for its content you

Difference between Nordic and Scandinavian countries – General knowledge for SSC/UPSC



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How the World Map Looks Wildly Different Than You Think



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All of us have seen a world map at some point in our lives before, but it is very difficult to imagine how certain countries and parts of the world compare to each other in size that are far apart. In this video, I explore why the world looks very different than how it is portrayed in the Mercator Projection map. I then go on to explore how certain countries are unexpectedly larger or smaller than what they appear to be, and how some places looks wildly different than our perceptions.

PS; Don’t totally hate on the Mercator Projection, it’s actually a really useful map for navigation and on keeping the correct shape of countries while sacrificing the size that we can all laugh about!

Music is by Ross Bugden. He makes excellent music, please check out his channel!

Link to channel:

Link to song used in this video:

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Link to TheTrueSize.com

The map of the world
is a lot stranger than you think it is,
especially this map. You've probably seen it a lot in
classrooms or office buildings. But this map is extremely,
very badly wrong. As we can all hopefully agree
upon, the Earth is a sphere. And that means that it is
impossible to accurately depict her surface on a
two-dimensional map. This particular common map is
called the Mercator Projection. And if you'd like to experiment
with countries for yourself, please go to this website
called TheTrueSize.com after this video to see
what I'm talking about. Let's take the US state
of Wyoming as an example. Under the assumption
that Wyoming is actually a real place and not a
land full of tumbleweeds with a population less
than downtown Baltimore, this example will
work perfectly because of the state's square shape. As we stack one unit of
Wyoming on top of each other, we get more and more distorted
as we approach the North Pole, to the point where we
don't even really recognize it's familiar,
boring shape anymore. When we move our
Wyoming stack south, they get more squished together
as we approach the equator. This will happen with every
other landmass in the world. But first, let's take a look
at some other US states. They say that everything
is bigger in Texas. But what is Texas
itself bigger than? Moving the borders
over to Europe, the answer may surprise you. Texas is much bigger
than Spain and Portugal put together and is also
even bigger than France. But Texas is only the second
biggest US state behind Alaska, which seems
absolutely gargantuan at the top of our map. But while Alaska is large,
it isn't that large. Taken down to the US mainland,
it compares like this. And taking it to Europe,
it looks like this. And while we're here
in Europe, let's take the time to understand
how much bigger Europe seems than what it actually should be. Let's start by taking
France and moving it down to Africa to get our
first glimpse at this. The United Kingdom seems
pretty large as well. But let's take India
and move it over to see just how
small it really is. The United Kingdom
is actually smaller than quite a lot of
places in the world that you might
not expect, places like Japan, the Philippines,
Sumatra, Madagascar, and New Zealand. Next door to New
Zealand is Australia, and the UK looks so small
just off the east coast in comparison. And Australia, in
fact, is much bigger than most people
believe it to be. It can be placed to cover almost
the entire continental US. Interestingly, the combination
of the following countries will not cover that same area–
Portugal, the Netherlands, Estonia, Albania,
Hungary, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Austria, Croatia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Serbia,
Switzerland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Denmark, Ireland,
Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, the United Kingdom, Italy,
Germany, France, Spain, and Norway. And that's not even factoring
in big but not too big Alaska to the north. Between Alaska and
the United States is Canada, which also
seems huge up here. And while Canada is
a very large country, it's actually roughly
the same size as China but still looks
like a colossus when placed in Europe, where it
stretches from east to west to Portugal to Iran and up
north into the Barents Sea just above Russia. Slightly off topic– Japan
is another bigger place than most people
believe it to be. If Japan were placed
off the US East Coast, it would look like
this in comparison. But much, much bigger than
Japan and also not often thought about is Brazil, which is an
absolutely massive country. It doesn't really look
like it on our map. But when we move
it to Australia, we can actually discover that
Brazil is much bigger, which makes Brazil larger than one of
the world's seven continents. Brazil is also almost larger
than the United States, spans almost all of Europe, but fits
rather snugly into Africa. We are about to discover that
Africa is a colossal continent that we don't often realize. It can almost fit the
entire contiguous United States into just
the Sahara Desert, and the continent
can also squeeze in China, Western
Europe, India, Argentina, Scandinavia, and the UK and
still have some room left over. Russia is another
place that looks pretty big at the top of the map. But drop it down next
to Africa, she also seems much smaller than what our
map was telling us beforehand. While we're still
here in Africa, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo used to be a colony of Belgium. But Belgium, in comparison,
looks like this. Finally, we need to look at
a few other places on the map to the north and the south. Let's start with
Sweden, which looks big. But comparing it to
Madagascar, again, we see that it actually isn't. Iceland also seems
like a large island, but it's actually roughly
the same size as Tasmania just south of Australia. And finally, we have
the white elephant in the room of
Greenland, which towers like a behemoth of
the top of the map. Greenland masquerades as being
a continent in her own right, looking bigger than
Australia, South America, and being comparable
to North America. But in reality, Greenland
is much, much smaller. The globe reveals Greenland to
be the island that she pretends that she isn't. And we get a much more
accurate depiction this time when we compare her to
Australia, South America, and North America. And of course, we can't forget
about the most shy continent in the world that
everybody always forgets about– Antarctica,
who spends her time hiding away at the bottom of the map. Most people don't truly
have a good understanding of the size of Antarctica,
which could probably go either way between being
larger or smaller than you think. But the truth is Antarctica
is a huge continent. It is much bigger
than Australia. It can stretch all the
way from Kiev to Uganda and, incredibly, can be placed
between the southernmost tip of Texas in the United States
and stretched all the way into the northernmost
islands of Canada. There are many more
examples like this, but you have probably
understood the point by now. The world is both a bigger
place and a smaller place than you previously
thought it to be. Leave your comments
below saying what you found to be the most
interesting or another crazy fact you may have discovered
or already knew on your own. You can check out
this brilliant website that I used as a resource for
making this video over here at TheTrueSize.com. And I hope that you'll
subscribe to my channel by clicking here if you're
interested in watching more content like
this in the future. As always, this
was RealLifeLore.

Jordan Peterson – **IMPROVED AUDIO VERSION** – Iceland Tour 2018 – Lecture 1



Views:20007|Rating:4.77|View Time:2:40:13Minutes|Likes:315|Dislikes:15
I’ve used a compressor and then EQ’ed the voices for optimum clarity and listening pleasure. Here are Dr. Peterson’s notes for this video:

“There are two videos from Iceland, covering different material. This is the first. The second is at (TBA). I have been touring since January, discussing my books, 12 Rules for Life and, to a lesser extent, Maps of Meaning (see www.jordanbpeterson.com/events for details, including upcoming tour dates and cities.

I was in Iceland in June and gave two lectures (June 04, Lecture 1; June 05, Lecture 2), followed by a Q and A. I was hosted by Gunnlaugur Jonsson, who also introduced both talks.

I’ve been using the lectures as an opportunity to extend, develop and publicly test the ideas I presented in 12 Rules and Maps of Meaning.

My wife Tammy and I had a remarkable and memorable trip to Iceland. My mother and aunt also came for the adventure, and were treated with exceptional care by Gunnlaugur and his crew. We are looking forward to returning to Iceland in 2019.

Thank you very much to Halldór Fannar Kristjánsson (Sigurgeirsson) for the video recording and editing.

Additional relevant links:

My new book: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos: 12 Rules for Life Tour: Dates, Cities and Venues: My first book: Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (I recorded the audio version release June 12, 2018)

Dr Jordan B Peterson Website: Self

Authoring Suite: Understand Myself

personality test:

Blog:

Podcast:

Reading List:

Twitter:

Patreon:

you know when I give the cat patron a certain came from taco coma I'm gonna switch to English since we have since Jordan hasn't had dr. Peterson hasn't had time to learn enough Icelandic yet so thank you all for coming this has been amazing first when I got the idea to book him to Iceland I had no idea that others had been watching him on YouTube so as it turns out a lot of people have been and of course he's exploded since then in in popularity so we've sold out this venue which is almost three times larger than the first one we had and we've sold it out two times so that's pretty good [Applause] so he's gonna come up here and he's gonna speak for one hour and 15 minutes just about then he's gonna take a four minute break and go offstage before the Q&A you can submit questions to the QA and we're gonna use a similar system that he's been using on his trips in America with Dave Rubin so I'm gonna serve as a surrogate Dave Rubin here or slightly less gay Dave Rubin so and I'll bring I'll ask him the questions and you will put them online on a site called slide though so it's spelled SLI dot do slide though I'll say it in Icelandic as well as at a punter Dao Slater so it is customary to introduce the speaker as if you know me better than him but and and usually when someone is being introduced people tell things about him things that are true about that speaker now of course you've all come here because you know who that guy is but so and I'm gonna do a different thing because I think it has tells you more deeply something about what is going on with this guy so I'm going to read you a few things that are wrong about him so these are actual things that have been said about him in media mostly in hit pieces and you know character assassination attempts and there has been one each day just about for a long time and some of them in big big media so he's a he's a far-right guy Hitler he wants to force young women into marriage he's the stupid people's smart person that's actually not that bad about him but so and that's the reason they say that they want you to become afraid to admit that you like him or go to his talks well-groomed all right at least he's well-groomed a messiah comes surrogate dad for gormless dimwits so that's another one directed at you I I'm one of you as well because I don't know what gormless means so but I suspect that having a Gorm is preferable so just stay away from this guy dimwit Jordan Peterson has nothing of value to say he's a patriarchal pseudoscientist he encourages young men to see themselves as victims he's a mash-up of he has he delivers a mash-up of Cosmo tips and my first book of myths he's the professor of piffle he seems like a terrible therapist he's a bad political and social thinker an angry white guy and the line between Peterson's authoritarianism and Richard Spencer's Paley on Nats ISM is a blurry one he's a Jewish shill and if you're gonna be a shield you you you want to be a Jewish show and he's a fascist miss miss desist and this is just a small sample of what has been going on and it's all wrong perhaps you know depending on how you define she'll-she'll can sheila's okay but it's all wrong and that tells you something a new one every day too miss inform people about that man and you can demonstrate it it's demonstrably false everything and there are some people that see him as a risk to their agenda and their world we do for some reason but he's a he's a reasonable balanced moderate truthful man and I've never seen such a campaign against any thinker ever in the world not even someone that is untruthful or as despicable as they make him sound like so this tells you something this is the reason I was reading this this tells you something about the importance of his message and I'm not gonna I'm not gonna theorize about exactly what that is because there are lots of theories about exactly what it is in what he's saying that is threatening and and to whom it is threatening and and I think actually many of them are correct but let's just listen to him and let's hear what he has to say and we'll figure out why it's threatening later so please give a warm welcome to dr. Jordan B Peterson [Applause] [Applause] well that's an introduction that I'm going to have to live up to so I was mmm thinking the other day about numbers you know there are mathematicians who think that there isn't anything more real than numbers and that's an interesting proposition I mean it's obviously the case that once you invent or discover numbers that that confers on you a tremendous power and who knows the limits of that power and the claim that numbers are more real than anything else is predicated in part on the fact that when you discover them or invent them and start to utilize them that your ability to operate in the world expands immensely and so that's one of the ways of judging whether or not something is real is whether or not when you use it that facilitates your means of operating in the world interestingly numbers are abstractions and so that raises another question which is well what's more real the thing that's being abstracted from or the abstractions and again that's not obvious and maybe the question of more real isn't germane maybe it's a question of equal reality but it's not obvious that abstractions aren't real and you can make a damn strong case that they're more real than anything else and so then you might ask yourself well then what are the most real abstractions and so that's what I'm going to start to talk about tonight I'm going to talk about it in relationship to as many rules as I can lay out simultaneously I'll go through the rules first so rule 1 is stand up straight with your shoulders back and rule 2 is treat yourself like you're someone responsible for helping on number 3 which is very tightly associated with number 2 they're sort of variations on a theme is make friends with those people who want the best for you and by the way these last two rules aren't injunctions designed to make your life easier they're actually injunctions designed to make your life more difficult Kierkegaard said at one point that his role in life given that everything was proceeding to become easier and easier in all possible ways that there would come a time when people would cry out for difficulty and so that's partly how he envisioned his role in the world interestingly enough as a universal benefactor of mankind who would strive to do nothing other than to make life more difficult for everyone right and so rule two and three are like that because treat yourself as if you're someone responsible for helping isn't the same as be nice to yourself it's not that and to associate with people who want the best for you means that they get to demand the best from you and that's also not an easy thing rule 4 is compare yourself to who you were yesterday and not to who someone else is today and that's an injunction about envy right it's easy you need people who you need things that are above you because you need to do something worthwhile with your life you need something to aim at but one of the consequences of that is that you can become envious of people that you believe have attained more in a deserve adore undeserved manner and that can make you bitter and so it's much better to compare yourself to yourself and to use yourself as the target for improvement and comparison rule 5 is don't let your children do anything that makes you dislike them and the rule of thumb there is if you dislike them then other people will and it's a bad idea to allow your chill to act in a way that makes other children dislike them or adults dislike them given that they're going to have to deal with children and they're going to have to deal with adults so your primary responsibility as a parent is to help your child learn how to behave so that the social world opens up its arms to them and welcomes them at every level and you've done your job if you can manage that and it's not a simple thing to do rule 6 is put your house in perfect order before you criticize the world and that's not take no action for others until you have your act together that isn't what the rule means it means that bind your ambition with humility and work on what's right in front of you that you will suffer for if you get wrong before you engage in the large-scale transformation of other people rule 7 is do what is meaningful and not what is expedient and I would say in some sense in some sense that's the core ethos of the book not exactly because rule 8 which is tell the truth or at least don't lie is a necessary conjunction to that or a necessary additional element because I don't think that you can pursue what is meaningful without telling the truth and the reason for that is if you don't tell the truth or let's say if you lie which is an easier way to think about it you corrupt the mechanisms the instinctual mechanisms that that that manifest themselves as meaning and then you can't trust them and that's a very bad idea so the fundamental reason to not lie is because you corrupt your own perceptions if you lie and when you corrupt your own perceptions then you can't rely on yourself and if you can't rely on yourself then well good luck to you because what are you going to rely on in the absence of your own judgment your you've got nothing if you if you lose that rule rule eight is as I said tell the truth or don't or at least don't lie rule 9 assume that the person that you're listening to knows something you don't and that's not so much a mark of respect for the person although it is that it's a mark of recognition of your own unbearable ignorance you know one of the things you have to do in life is decide whether you're more you have to make friends more with let me see let me just let me rephrase that properly you have to decide what's more important what you know or what you don't know first of all there's a lot of what you don't know and so if you make friends with that if you decide that's important then well that's a good thing because you're going to be surrounded by what you don't know your entire life and so if you're appreciative of that then that's going to make things go better for you but but the other element of that is well why should you be appreciative of what you don't know and answer to that is well you shouldn't if your life is absolutely perfect in every way you have exactly what you need didn't want you've put everything in order around you then what you know is sufficient but if you believe that things could still be put right around you in your own personal life and with regard to the effect that you have on other people then obviously what you don't yet know is more important than what you do know and you should be paying attention to find out what you don't know at every possible moment and if you're fortunate when you have a conversation with someone and you're actually interested in what they say then even if they're not very good at communicating even if they're awkward or even if they display a certain amount of enmity towards you there's always the possibility that they might tell you something you don't know in which case you can walk away from the conversation less ignorant and corrupt than you were when you started the conversation and if your life isn't everything that you would like it to be then being slightly less ignorant and corrupt is probably a good thing and so rule 10 is be precise in your speech and that's that's an observation I would say that that's a variant of a New Testament in junction which is or maybe a description of the nature of the world which is knock and the door will open and ask and you will receive which is a very strange theory let's say but which I would say is far more in accordance with what we know about the psychology of perception let's say then you might imagine because it is the case that you don't get what you don't aim at you might get what you do aim at and your aim might get better as you aim as well which is something to consider if you specify the nature of the actually if you specify the nature of the being that you want to bring into being then you radically increase the probability that that's what will occur and of course you all know that because you regard yourself at least to some degree as active creative agents right your fundamental attitude towards yourself at least in the manner that you act towards yourself is that you wake up in the morning and you have a landscape of possibilities that lay themselves open to you and you make choices between those possibilities and determine in consequence how the world is going to manifest itself so you confront a field of potential that's a good way of thinking about it and through your choices you determine which elements of that potential are going to concretize them selves into the real world and you are very unhappy with yourself if you don't do that properly and you're very unhappy with other people if they don't do that properly and you're very unhappy with other people if they don't treat you like that's what you're like because part of what you demand from people let's say in terms of sheer civility is that they act towards you is if you're the locus of voluntary choice in a world of potential and you upbraid each other for that as well if you have children and parents your parents will say to you if you're fortunate you're not living up to your potential which is actually a compliment in a sense even though it's also a judgment and the compliment is I know perfectly well that you could be more than you are and you'll hang your head if you have any sense and you'll think like you think in relationship to your own conscience that yes I have a lot of potential that I'm not fully realizing and that actually constitutes a transgression against the good and I don't I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't believe that if you if you have a reasonable conversation with them it just seems self-evident I mean maybe now and then you meet someone who's narcissistically self-satisfied but then they're narcissistic and that's not good that as a medium to long term strategy that's a catastrophe that ends in disaster you know it's a short term it protects people but long term it's it's not good in the least and of course other people don't appreciate it as well rule 11 is don't bother children when they're skateboarding and that's actually a discussion of courage of encouragement more specifically because I've I've been trying to understand for example what role parents play in the lives of their children and I would say this is a role that that that is of fundamental importance as well as attempting to guide your children so that they act in a socially desirable manner so that the world opens itself up to them you also want to encourage them which is not the same as sheltering them it's not the same at all and to encourage someone is to say something like or to act out something like look kid as you the world's already difficult because the world isn't easy for children any more than it's easy for adults that the difficulties are they're not the same they're child size difficulties but they're still difficulties the world is a very hard place and it's a bitter place in many ways and it's not only a hard and bitter place it's also touched with betrayal and malevolence and that's the fundamental bottom line but there's something in you that is capable of taking that full-on and transcending it and that's encouragement you say well as difficult as things are your to the challenge and to interfere with children when they're skateboarding for example when they're doing let's say in advisably dangerous things which kids of course do if they're skateboarding to interfere with that is to interfere with the child's willingness to voluntarily expose themselves to the risks that they need to expose themselves to in order to develop the sort of competence that allows them to thrive in a world they cannot be sheltered from and so to interfere with children when they're taking necessary risks is not love or empathy but cowardice on the part of parents and it's deeply damaging to children and I can tell you as a clinical psychologist I've never had a client come to my office in all the hundreds in in all the hundreds of encounters I've had with people in my office I've never had a client say my parents made me too independent right that hasn't happened once right now my parents made me too dependent or I conspired with my parents to perpetuate my dependence that happened all the time so there's a rule of thumb which I think is a good one which I believe is often applied in nursing homes by people who work in nursing homes which is of course a very difficult job and the rule is do not do anything for anyone they can do for themselves and the reason for that is that it's a form of theft right you don't first of all if you if you do something for someone and it facilitates their movement forward then they move forward because you helped them which is something I was very careful about as a therapist I don't want to give my clients advice first it might fail in which case they are going to pay for my advice and second if it succeeds then I get to be the successful one and I don't want to steal the success from my clients that's a bad idea I want to help them figure out what it is that they should aim at and then help plot out a strategy for attaining that but I want to ensure that it's their destiny not something I'm imposing and of course the imposition of that sort of thing is the hallmark of a bad I would say therapeutic relationship but also a bad relationship period right so one of the things you want to do with your partner's your spouse you say your husband or wife and also with your children is to listen to them so that you can figure out what their problems are and figure out with them because they're gonna figure that out by communicating and then perhaps aid them in the development of a strategy but you have to ensure very carefully that you're not imposing your own structure in a manner that's going to steal from them what's rightfully theirs so well so rule 11 is an injunction to courage as the fundamental because you could say well what's the antidote to the catastrophe of life and one answer might be safety it's like well you know look everyone sensible enough to know that a certain amount of provision for safety is worthwhile you should probably wear your seat belts when you're driving around in your car because why take foolhardy risks but given that there is no security in life in the final analysis then encouragement is a much better medication than sheltering and so and that was what that's that's I think in keeping with the idea that what life is essentially is not a place to attain happiness or even to aim for happiness even though you should be grateful if some comes along now and then but a call to something like adventure and I think that's the proper way of conceptualizing it certainly if you go watch a story a movie you read a book something like that if you encounter a narrative that's gripping whether it's a romance or a classic adventure story then the element of it that's gripping is the adventure and so to portray life as an adventure in romance and and in the world is the proper way to portray it and the way that you facilitate the adventure is through encouragement I had a client once I really liked him he was a good guy his smart guy good-looking young guy had everything going for him you know he's a good musician he was a talented athlete but he hadn't been encouraged I wouldn't say he told me about his relationship with his girlfriend he said his girlfriend wanted to go biking around southern Ontario she was about 19 or 20 and he thought he might join her and when she went and talked to her parents they made every provision possible to help her prepare for the journey to make sure her bike was in good shape to make sure she had the right equipment to help her plot out a route and when he went and talked to his parents all they did was worried that he was going to get hurt and like he might get hurt because people get hurt but they didn't understand that they were choosing between the hurt that he might encounter by going out in the world and having an adventure let's say with his girlfriend or the hurt that he would encounter by staying at home cowering in his basement under the protection of his over loving parents while his girlfriend ventured bravely into the world you think well which of those two things is most likely to be damaging and the answer to that is well his parents wouldn't worry as much as if he was in the basement and that's the wrong worry even because they should worry more not less so in rule 12 is pet a cat when you encounter one on the street and it's a oddly enough a meditation on fragility it's a discussion of what you do when you don't know what to do and that's really when things have gone badly for you when you face a terrible tragedy in your own personal life or in your familial life or perhaps even in life of your community when things come crowding in ant you too quickly in in in the case of a death in the family or a terrible illness or the collapse of a dream or any of the things that can flip your world upside down is how do you cope with that and that chapter contains discussion of the necessity of narrowing your timeframe you know because sometimes the right way to look at the world is across years and sometimes it's across months and when things are more out of control perhaps it's across days and when things are really when you're really up against the wall it's acro across hours or even minutes and during those minutes then you concentrate on doing as well as you can with what's right in front of you for the longest unit of time that you can tolerate conceptualizing maybe that's what you do at someone's deathbed and while you're doing that and suffering away madly then you also take the time to appreciate everything you can that manifests itself that allows itself to be appreciated and so that's the metaphor of the cat I suppose and so that's the 12 rules and I'll return to rule one which is stand up straight with your shoulders back and I'm going to use it as a platform for laying out the abstractions that I talk to at the beginning of the lecture so some of you might be familiar with the central Taoist symbol and it's a symbol of Dow and Dow is a very strange word it doesn't have an easily translatable single meaning at least in English it means a variety of things it means the path of life so that would mean that the path that you take as you move forward through life but it would mean more also the proper path so it's that it's the proper path through life so the idea now is a symbol of reality and one of the things that means is the path you take through life and so there's an implicit idea there that the fundamental reality of life is the path you take through life it's not a materialist idea it's a different kind of idea it's the idea that life is a journey while we're mobile creatures and we're on a journey and the best way to conceptualize reality is as the place that you journey through and the question is well what are the elements what are the constituent elements of the place that you journey through because that's also part of Dow and the Taoist believe that that's yin and yang and ian is the black serpent because those are two serpents head-to-head that make up the totality of the world and the black serpent is yen and yen is feminine classically speaking from the Taoist perspective it's a symbolic representation doesn't mean that women are Yin and that man men aren't it's not that it's an attempt to use sexual symbolism to represent a deeper underlying reality and yang is masculine Yin is dark and Knight and there's a white dot in the black serpent and there's a black dot in the white surf and the white serpent is the daytime and masculinity and it's the interplay between those two things that make up reality and one can transform into the other at any moment and so that's the taoist idea of reality and so there's yin and yang and they make up the world and the question is perhaps our question is well what exactly does that mean well it actually means something it's a kind of abstraction and it's actually an incredibly helpful abstraction once you understand the abstraction it might be the most real abstraction there is so I'm going to lay out a little bit I'll lay out for you a little bit about what these two domains refer to and then I'm going to make a case that they're real and then I'm going to tell you what it means that they're real so you could think of Yin as chaos now we need to know what chaos is no chaos is what God made the world out of at the beginning of time so one of the things that chaos is is it's something like potential and so you can imagine and this is not how we think as modern people because we tend to think in a materialist way but it is how we act and as I said already you act as if you confront potential and you treat potential leaven as if it's real and if your attitude towards it confers on you a certain moral obligation which is why you know what people mean when they say you're not living up to your potential no one ever says well what do you mean by potential not unless they're being argumentative because you already know and very few people say while I'm fully living up to my potential so you admit to the reality that undergird that conception that makes that question impossibility immediately the potential is while potential is the future that's part of it and we believe in the future we believe that it exists even though it isn't here and it's not measurable it's it only exists as a potential set of realizable possibilities that's what the future is and it's really what we contend with we don't really contend with the present precisely we orient ourselves towards the future and the future comes at us from every direction and we we decide as we encounter the future which parts of it we're going to interact with and how we're going to construct the present in the past as a consequence of doing that and so part of chaos is potential and that's the positive part it's like if you're in a bind what you look for is potential is there another way of conceptualizing this do I have a different way of acting can I make another plan is there something that I'm not taking into account that would make this terrible situation tolerable that's all an attempt to to call upon potential and to use it to transfigure a reality that's intolerable and maybe it's intolerable because of the way you're conceptualizing it now I'm not being naive about that I understand perfectly well that people can find themselves so badly cornered in life that they're basically done no matter what they do people obviously develop fatal illnesses and and they die and and their businesses collapse and genuinely terrible things can happen to you that aren't your fault that you can't fix I'm not saying that you can just gerrymander the world by changing your attitude it's not that straightforward but I am saying that you have a tremendous ability to transform the landscape of possibility that reveals itself in front of you and that when things are terrible that's your best bet it doesn't mean it will succeed it just means you don't have a better option and so chaos that potential is also something that manifests itself in a terrible manner so imagine this this is a good way of thinking about it so imagine that you have a an intimate relationship let's let's say a marriage and the marriage is predicated on trust and fidelity which is a variant of trust and that the trust and fidelity is an axiom of your memories you might think well what does that mean it's like well let's play it out imagine you've been married for 10 years and then your wife tells you that she has had three affairs each of them lasted three years and the last one has lasted five years and it's still ongoing or maybe you discover that okay so then you might say well what happens then well what happens is that everything you thought was wrong right and this is such an interesting thing because it actually means you had the past and you think the past is fixed it's done with that's why it's the past but all of a sudden you find out that one of the things that you thought about the past and it happens to be a very important thing wasn't true at all and so what that means is that whole past that you thought was what it was wasn't what it was at all and so it transforms itself from in actuality into potential and most of that potential is negative and unless you're relieved that your wife had an affair well but that's an important consideration because you know you can imagine a situation where your marriage is dreadfully unhappy and you're just looking for an excuse to leave it's possible that that revelation even though it would be shocking would also come with a fair bit of relief and so this potent the potential that manifests itself even when it's unexpected doesn't only necessarily manifest itself in a negative guys it can also free you you know and and if your marriage was unhappy even if you wanted to cling to it if your marriage wasn't happy and the betrayal was revealed and you're divorced and you set yourself up in two years you might be in a better place than you were it's not a pathway I'm recommending by the way I'm just saying that it's more complicated than it looks that's the introduction of chaos into order right and the the the oldest story we have is something like order is susceptible to disruption by chaos and the human that the fundamental demand that's made on the human being is to contend with the chaos that disrupts order not to live in order and not to live in chaos but to be able to contend with the chaos that disrupts order and so when you encourage your children for example what you're doing is encouraging them to become the Masters of the chaos that can disrupt order rather than denizens of order which makes them tyrants or denizens of chaos which makes them nihilistic and hopeless so you train your children you encourage your children and yourself and your partner if you have any sense to be a master of emergent chaos and to be able to contend with that and so so chaos is potential and it's this disruptive it's the capacity of the infinite world to disrupt your finite considerations that's another way of looking at it another way of looking at it is it's the serpent in the Garden of Eden and the reason that that story is set up the way it is is because it's trying to represent that there's no place that's so bounded and secure even if it's set up by God himself that doesn't have an agent of chaos inside it it's exactly the same idea that the Dallas put forward with their with their symbolic representation it's just portrayed in a different manner and the question is well what do you do in the garden given that there's a snake in it and the answer to that is something like you become the master of snakes and so and that's a deep idea that's the same idea as confronting the dragon and getting the treasure that's the same idea as going to the bottom of the ocean and rescuing your father from the belly of the whale it's the same idea and that's an element in the greatest of stories and the greatest of stories is heroic heroic story and heroic story is to voluntarily confront the unknown when it manifests itself and to gather something of value as a consequence and to share it with the community there isn't a story that's more emblematic of what it means to be human than that that that is us that's our best bet alright so chaos chaos is the catastrophe that will suddenly enter your life chaos is the flood that's definitely coming chaos is the ever-present possibility of apocalypse in your personal life in your familial life and in this broader social life right chaos is the consequence of your finite fragility existing in a world that's beyond you chaos is potential chaos is what lies before you chaos is what you can call on when you need something to rescue yourself from malfunctioning order it's a permanent element of existence chaos is what you don't know chaos is what's outside the fire chaos is what's outside the walls of your house chaos is what's outside the walls of your town chaos is what's outside of the borders of your country all of that is chaos and potential order order is where you are when what you're doing is working in the manner that you intended okay it's a very specific definition how do you know that you know what you're doing well you don't because you don't know what you're doing because you don't know everything everything you do is bounded by ignorance well you still have to operate in the world and so what you do is you make finite plans and the new execute plans and then you execute strategies to to make those plans manifest themselves and if the plans manifest themselves the way that you desired then you regard your knowledge as sufficient that's your definition of truth and it's the only definition of truth that you can use because you don't have everything at hand and when you're where what you're doing is working that's order and you might think well I should just stay there because that's a comfortable place to be and there's a certain amount of truth to that except for one thing if you've defined a domain of order and you stand in it and you wait the disorder will enter all by itself because things aren't static things change all the time and your attempt to bind yourself within a static structure is destined to fail because everything around you is in flux and the thing that you've parceled out as permanent will transform itself across time here's an example let's say you're a perfectly well adapted eleven-year-old and it's actually possible to me to let eleven-year-old children are often very delightful because they're like adult children they're not teenagers they're like as they're they're the most mature form of children and they can be really delightful people and then like three years later you hate them and and the reason for that is that of course as soon as they hit puberty which is the emergence of chaos into the into the already developed childhood structures really the emergence of sexuality into a structure that didn't have to adapt to sexuality and maybe even the emergence of aggression to some degree but mostly sexuality if the child maintains only the 11-year old personality by the time they're 16 they're no longer a delightful eleven-year-old there are very immature 16 year old and the reason that I'm pointing that out is because just because something works for you now doesn't mean it's going to work for you five years from now and so in order to remain stable you can't be stagnant they're not the same thing stability is a dynamic not a not something static and so not only do you have to be where you are but you have to be going to where you're going and you have to be participating in both of those things actively so it's stability plus transformation and and I would say that manifests itself you know when you're there because that manifests itself as meaningful that's actually the the instinct of meaning which is an instinct and perhaps the deepest instinct is precisely the instinct that tells you when where you are is sufficiently stable but you're transforming yourself at a sufficient rate to keep up with everything that's changing and you know that because if you're at your job you might say to yourself well my job is really secure but it's not very challenging and you think well why do you care about that it's very secure and the answer to that is well if it's not challenging it's it's deadening in a sense right the spirit goes out of it if it's not challenging you need to be challenged and why is that well the answer is well tomorrow is coming and whoever you are now isn't enough for tomorrow and so today you also have to be preparing for tomorrow and next week and next year and if your job isn't challenging then it isn't doing that for you and you find it deadening not meaningful and the reason for that is that it violates your most essential instinct and your most essential instinct is the instinct for meaning and it signifies that it actually signifies that you have the balance between chaos and order right deeply right which is why it's the most fundamental of instincts because chaos and order are the most real of things all right so you have the chaos that surrounds you and in some some sense infinite in scope and then you have the order that you produce which is your mastery of it well let's take order apart for a minute we want to think about the structure of order and and I'm not saying that chaos is bad an order is good I'm not saying that at all that's not the right way to look at it it's the balance beat it's the balance between them that's of crucial importance they just think they exist as super ordinate categories whether you like them or not is really not that relevant there there there there are the fundamental constituent elements of reality you might say well what's your evidence for that and I can tell you one piece of evidence which I won't go into for very much time you have two hemispheres and each in your brain the brain is composed of two hemispheres which implies something about the nature of the world given that your brain is hypothetically adapted to the structure of the world it's not just your brain because animal brains have the same fundamental structure this bifurcated structure and the bifurcation indicates that there's two fundamental realities because otherwise why would you need a bifurcated structure or maybe you need a triune brain or one that's divided into four but that isn't what you have you have one that's divided into two and if your working definition of reality is scientific biological let's say then your definition of reality is reality is that which shapes life you can't actually do better than that from a Darwinian perspective and if the reality that shaped life produced a bifurcated representational structure then that implies that the proper way to represent reality and perhaps that reality itself is in fact bifurcated and I believe it's bifurcated in the manner I just described and the neurological evidence for that is actually quite overwhelming it's come from multiple sources some of them Russians some of them American that's where most of the work has been done your left hemisphere is specialized for operation in those situations that you know and understand and your right hemisphere is specialized for operation in those situations that you neither know nor understand and the proper way to orient yourself in life is to get the balance between those two sets of operations correct and the way that manifests itself in your subjective experience is as meaningful engagement and so that's not a bad first pass what would you say justification for the view that these two domains are the most real domains okay so order what is order well if you just sit there and do nothing that will be chaos why well because you'll you'll suffer and die that's what will happen so without action on your part deterioration and death is a certainty okay so you need to act well then we built on an action-platformer I mean we're the consequence of three billion years of evolution for action action movement forward in the face of necessity is the prime dictum of life that's a good way of thinking about it we're embodied action what do you have to do when you act well at minimum you have to do whatever keeps you able to act these are truisms right I mean you have to have something to eat you have to have some fresh water you need some shelter right you need some companionship you need a sexual partner you need children you need play you need to be touched there's there's a and I mean I actually mean need by the way people deprived of play go insane people who aren't touched die these things are necessary well assuming that survival itself is necessary but we'll start with that we'll start with the assumption that just sitting there and suffering and dying is not the right solution okay so you have to act in the world you have to act in the world that in a manner that stops you from deteriorating and dying at minimum and that means that you have to address the problems that are intrinsic to that destiny now you have all sorts of systems that evolved have evolved to help you do that motivational systems we have to eat so you get hungry you have to find water and consume it so you get thirsty you get lonely you get curious there's there's there's specialized biological systems that are very very old you get aggressive you get afraid you you suffer pain all those specialized systems for all of those unidirectional systems of orientation in the world and they help you figure out what to do so when you're hungry it's time to eat and when you're thirsty it's it's time to drink and when you're lonesome it's time to seek out some companionship and you have specialized systems that help you do that but they're not enough because well they're not very bright that's one way of looking at it they're kind of uni dimensional and you also have the problem of organizing all of them it's like well you have to eat now and you have to drink now and you need a companion it's probably time to play and you have to do something about shelter and there isn't just you right now there's you now and tomorrow and next week in a year from now and five years from now so you have to plan across all those stretches of time and there isn't just you now in the future you there's you plus your family and your community and so all of that has to be taken into account while you're plotting your movement forward it's very very complicated you have all these problems to solve simultaneously and your motivational systems anger hunger and so forth can help you solve one of those problems now but not all of them permanently that requires higher cognitive function and that's part of what drove the evolution of our complex cognitive systems that's how do you propagate the game across time in a complex environment the left hemisphere operates when where when what you're doing works and so a lot of what you do during your life is to keep your right hemisphere off people don't like it going on accidentally it's the home of negative emotion it's the home of pain and anxiety it's the thing that turns on and freezes you and your tracks when something that you deeply did not expect happens and it prepares you to deal with the onslaught of what you didn't expect now it's not all bad news because to use the right hemisphere in a judicious manner is also something that adds intrigue and interest and artistic expression and all sorts of positive things to your life so because potential is not only negative it's also positive it can be it can be dealt with in ways that are deeply enriching and meaningful order okay so you have to do something otherwise the consequences are dire to do something you have to value something it's it's it's a definitional issue because to do something is to act out the proposition that the thing you're doing the thing you're aiming at let's say is preferable to the thing you have and preferable means you'll do it so those things are tied together so tightly you can't disentangle them if you say I'm aiming at X but I don't value it then there's something wrong with the way that you're conceptualizing this statement because to aim at something and to work to bring it into existence is the same as valuing it and if you say well I don't value it then something's out of kilter either you're acting out a falsehood or you don't know what you're talking about it's one of those two things you meet people like that or deeply confused they're their action patterns and their verbal self-representation don't mesh but that doesn't mean that they're critics of value it just means that they're deeply confused so you have to act or you suffer in order to act you have to have a value structure because to act you have to value one thing more than another which means that you have to inhabit a structure of value you have to okay so you need a structure value because it's the antidote to catastrophe now if you act out a structure of value socially which you will because your social you're not gonna pursue your aims in isolation because you're not you're not a solitary animal you're a social animal you're a tribal animal deeply tribal we live in groups we live in families we live in communities we live in large societies we're social at every level of analysis and we've been social for as long as we've been primates so maybe that's that's at least six million years and it might be more like 60 million years it's really a long time so it's not an arbitrary social construction it's far far deeper than that now what happens when you act out a structure of value in a social environment you produce a hierarchy inevitably well let's think it through why well let's say that you say that one thing is more worth doing than another whatever happens to be and then you tell a bunch of people about what you're doing and they decide that they're gonna come along and help you do this thing that's valuable because they also think it's valuable and maybe you get 20 people together to do this thing whatever it happens to be and the first thing you discover is that some of the people are way better at doing whatever it is that they're doing that other people so and that and who knows why that is because it depends on what you chose to do you know if you chose a then it would be a different group of people who were good at it than if you chose B because people differ in their abilities but one thing you will not escape from if you make an organization to do something valuable is the brute fact that it will be a minority of the people who are good at doing it and there's actually a law it's called prices law and it's a real law it even governs the size of cities and the mass of stars and the heights of plants in the jungle it just doesn't govern human interactions and prices law says that the square root of the number of people engaged in an enterprise will do half the work so if you have ten people doing something three of them will do half the work but if you have a hundred people doing something then ten of them will do half the work and if you have 10,000 people doing something then a hundred of them will do half the work and you know how wealth distributes itself such that a minority of people have most of the money 1285 richest people in the world have as much money as the bottom two and a half billion it's something like that and everybody goes oh my god the 1% it's like well first of all you're all the 1% so get over yourself because you're you know Western European roughly speaking and by world current world standards and certainly by historical standards you're all well ensconced in the 1% so if that's a problem well it's a problem for all of you and some of you might be you know richer than that but that doesn't mean all of you aren't in the same boat fundamentally the fact that wealth aggregates in the hands of a small number of people is part of the general expression of prices law there's nothing special about the distribution of money you see the same thing in every creative domain I mean how many of you have have recorded a gold record how many looks like zero up there's one one person okay there's 850 people in here so there's one in a thousand so that's one tenth of one percent something like that how many of you have written a piano concerto how about painted a painting that's hanging in a National Museum oh look it's none of you again right well and how many of you have been a member of a professional sports team okay look up one one so that's one in a thousand well you get the point here well there was a couple there is okay so looks like it's easier to be a member of a professional sports team or my or my audience is set is biased the samples biased but but it is the case if you look at high levels of creative achievement of the sword I've just described they can they characterized a staggering minority of people and so the rule is is that you produce a value system which you better produce because otherwise you suffer and die and it isn't only that only that it's like look here's something else you all know as far as I can tell we start with the idea that there's an intrinsic chaotic element to life and that includes the inevitability of suffering and malevolence betrayal at the hands of yourself and other people so that's the baseline and that's intolerable in many ways because life is in many ways intolerable and the question is well what do you do in the face of something that's intolerable and the answer is well you try to find something that justifies it right you want to have something that gets you the hell out of bed in the morning and not just any old morning but a morning when your father has Alzheimer's disease and your daughter has an incurable illness because you need something to get out of bed for in those mornings – and that better be the purpose that you found in life and if the purpose is going to be such that it gets you out of bed in those mornings it better be a pretty damn noble purpose because otherwise why would you bother and so not only do you need a value structure you need one that's of sufficient tension let's say or sufficient value or sufficient nobility so that it's worth suffering for because you're going to suffer and you better have something that makes the suffering justifiable and so not only do you need the value structure so that you don't just deteriorate and die you need the value structure so that when the flood comes in your life as it certainly will that you have built a vessel that will sustain you through the catastrophe and that's not this pursuit of happiness it's not even the pursuit of security it's none of that it's your the orientation that you've managed to produce in your own life towards a higher good that's so high that it's worth bearing the burden of being to produce you implement that in the world you produce a hierarchy now you might say well and then you have the problem of hierarchy and the problem of hierarchy is a very few people are going to be very good at whatever that hierarchy does and then you have the second problem with hierarchy which is the problem I just laid out when I asked you about your spectacular levels of attainment and found out that they were very it was very unlikely I'm not saying that you haven't attained worthwhile things that's not my point my point is is that very high levels of attainment are extraordinarily rare and that's an inevitability as soon as you decide that something's worth doing to inevitabilities people stack up at the top minority of people stack up at the top and take most of the proceeds whatever they happen to be or deserve them or earn them whatever however I don't care how you conceptualize it and almost everybody else stacks up at the bottom and so the problem with hierarchies is that even though they're necessary they tend to produce a situation where most people stack up at the bottom and so that's the next thing that we have to contend with you can't get rid of the hierarchies because if you get rid of the hierarchies there's no value structure and if there's no value structure not only do you deteriorate and die you want to deteriorate and die and that's not a good solution but if you do generate a hierarchy then you have the problem of the hierarchy and the problem is the hierarchy is that it will dispossessed most people now to the degree that the post modernists have something to say that's what they say is hierarchies dis possess okay and then we can look at that clearly and carefully and we can say that doesn't mean a that hierarchies them elves are corrupt or that we can dispense with them but it also doesn't mean that we have no moral obligation to the dispossessed and we say well how do we deal with that politically conceptually and the way we deal with that at least in part is to produce a political spectrum that ranges from left to right that deals with hierarchy and the problems that hierarchies cause so one of the things that you can reliably assume about someone who's on the right is that they will be patriotically in favor of the current hierarchy or even more abstractly they're in favor of the idea of hierarchy itself and you say well more power to the people on the right because you need hierarchies so they should support them but then you have to take the people on the Left who say yeah but what about the people who are dispossessed by the hierarchy and what you have to say to them is yeah we actually have to do something about that and you think well how do we do something about that and the answer is we don't actually know because there's no permanent solution to the problem of dispossession by the hierarchy we don't know how to fix it say well we can flatten the hierarchies it's like not without disrupting the value structure that's a price you don't want to pay well we could take from the top and put it at the bottom it's like yes hypothetically we could but it turns out that when you try that in practice it's very very easy to rapidly go too far and then what you end up with naught is less dispossessed you end up with no one who has anything and that's not a good solution to the problem of scarcity right to make everyone equally dead or equally starving which is essentially what the Communist states did across the entirety of the twentieth century is not the proper way to address the problem of hierarchy now it has to be addressed even if you're on the right because here's one thing that happens hierarchies tend to ossify you know because what happens is that the people at the top maybe they got there by merit but it's easy for them to gerrymander the system so they can stay there without merit or perhaps their children can stay there without merit or they can or the hierarchy becomes corrupt so that people who only use tyranny and power can climb it and so you don't have a hierarchy of competence and value anymore you have a hierarchy of brute power which looks like a tyranny so there's all sorts of ways that hierarchies can deteriorate and we have to be awake to ensure that that doesn't occur also if the hierarchy gets so steep that everybody stacks up at zero and no one can climb it which is basically the definition of a malfunctioning tyranny than all the people at the bottom rightly think well why don't we just destroy the game because we're already at zero so what the hell do we have to lose and so one of the things that you want to do if you're a sensible conservative is make sure that the hierarchy maintains its rooting incompetence that it's transparent and that it's Klima below otherwise it will ossify and steepen and then it will destroy itself and if you're a conservative and you value stability and the hierarchy then you don't want to set up a situation where the most likely outcome is that the hierarchy destroys itself so so we can be intelligent about this we could say look don't be thinking you can get rid of hierarchies they've been around this is why I wrote chapter 1 I talked about lobsters the reason I talked about them is because not only is the hierarchical structure itself as a permanent feature of existence at least a third of a billion years old which by the way means that you cannot attribute it to capitalism the free market or the corrupt patriarchal West unless you're willing to make the case that all three of those elements contributed to the existence of dominance hierarchies among crustaceans which seems highly unlikely so and and this is actually something that's that it's you could think about it as an idea that's actually directed towards the productive left if you want to help the dispossessed don't blame the existence of hierarchies on capitalism because it's wrong it's wrong that the problem is way deeper than that and here's something else that's very interesting about capitalism a couple of things you might consider you know we have become spectacularly wealthy since 1895 right first in the West iceland's a classic example I mean you guys are so much more wealthy than you were a hundred years ago that it's absolutely impossible to believe and so that's first happened in the West exponential economic growth starting in about 1895 there's a long tail I mean people were improving before that but it really kicked in around 1895 and first happened in the West and now it's happening everywhere in the world I don't know if you know this but you know the UN set a goal in 2000 to have the level of absolute poverty in the world by 2015 which is the fastest rate of economic growth ever recorded we attained it in 2012 three years ahead of the most optimistic projections right and so people are being lifted out of poverty at a rate that has never been seen in the history of the world hooked to the power grids provided with cell phones provided with free with access to fresh water provided with access to medications that decrease child mortality like if you look at the statistics there are so many things getting better so fast you cannot even believe it and that's and here's that's a consequence as far as as far as the data indicate of the operation of the free market system which does produce inequality that's the thing but as far as I can tell the only system that has ever produced wealth and as law or has every system produces inequality but the only system we know of that produces produces wealth and inequality is the free market so here's a question for everyone left and right how many units of inequality will you tolerate to produce one unit of wealth and if the answer is zero then you've gone too far you're outside the appropriate political debate that's the wrong answer and if you try to impose that all there will be as mayhem because the price we pay for wealth is inequality now that doesn't mean that you can let inequality run to its ultimate extreme because then you run into the other problem which is the monopoly problem you've all played Monopoly I presume what happens in every Monopoly game if you play it out everyone stacks out at 0 up at 0 except one person now if you play it 50 times you'll find that it's hardly ever the same person because it's basically a game of chance and there's a fair bit of chance by the way operating in the distribution of money in the world it's not all chance but there's a fair bit of chance but the logical conclusion to a hierarchy that can play itself out totally is that one person has everything and everyone else else has nothing obviously that's not a useful outcome so so you know and the way there are ways that we fix that in our society we have progressive tax policies and you can argue about their utility but that's one way of rectifying it potentially another way of rectifying is that we don't have one game right in a pluralistic society we have many many games that people can play and so if you can't be a successful lawyer then maybe you could be a successful plumber and if you can't be a successful plumber maybe you can run the small restaurant or you know there's a diversity of games and so that's a good way of of allowing of increasing the robustness of the system so that you don't get hierarchies that are so steep that they collapse in and I'm in and upon themselves and so those are sophisticated approaches and perhaps your other approaches too but it's an intractable problem it says in the New Testament it's one of the things you'd swear would be edited out because it's such a harsh statement the poor will be with us always well what's that in reference to it's also in reference to the Matthieu principle which is another New Testament statement and happens to be an economic axiom to those who have everything more will be given from those who have nothing everything will be taken that's the structure of the world and you can't lay it at the feet of the West it's the structure of the world now that means we have to contend with it and it's not an easy thing to contend with and part of the reason that we have a continual political dialogue and that we need to have a continual political dialogue is to make sure that our hierarchies exist and remain intact but don't become so steep corrupt that they destroy themselves and you need a left and a right for that and if and buts that means the left half has to admit that hierarchies are not only necessary but valuable and the right has to admit that despite their necessity in value they tend to stack people up at the bottom and that actually constitutes a continual problem you see that in you see that in the old testament because one of the things that happens in the old testament is israel struggles up to state and empire status six times it struggles out of the chaos up to empire status and then it gets corrupt it loses the way it isn't balancing things between chaos and order properly the kings get arrogant is so to the people and they forget their relationship with god that's another way of thinking about it and then a prophet comes up and says you aren't paying enough attention to the widows and the orphans you better look out because that displeases God and the Israelites who are stiff-necked and arrogant think yeah what's God going to do to us which is not a very wise way of thinking and so they don't take the steps necessary to rectify their deviation from the proper path and they get absolutely flattened and the consequences of that lasts for generations like seven generations and then they struggle their way up to something approximating Empire status again and exactly the same thing happens they forget and they collapse there's six stories like that in the Old Testament it's all documented by a man named Northrop Frye who is a Canadian literary critic who wrote a couple of books on the Bible one called the Great Code and the other called words with power which I I would highly recommend it's an analysis of the Bible as literature brilliant for those of you who might be interested in Union thinking Frey's thinking is a nice adjunct so alright so so that's the nature of the world order chaos and order and your goal is to keep those the relationship between those two things optimized and you do that by doing what's meaningful not what's expedient that's rule 6 and you ensure that you have the construed properly by following rule number eight which is tell the truth or at least don't lie you don't want to pathologies the instinct that Orient's you in the world and you will pathologize it by engaging in habitual deceit and the reason you do that is when you practice something you build structures that specialize in that and then they run automatically so if you're living a lie which is a very common thing for people to do then you're building neurological mechanisms that view the world through that lie and once they're built there you and good luck unbuilding them it's very very difficult that's in part what happens to people who are addicted by the way they build mechanisms of search neurological structures that are focused on the drug and those systems are alive and all they want is the drug and they're they're not it's not psychological exactly it's psychophysiological don't build structures of cognition predicated on deception because you will pay for it and so if you're going to guide your life with the orientation of the instinctive meaning then you have to be very careful with what you say and write and think because every time you say or write or think something you build a little neurological structure that's specialized for that and it participates in this parsing of the world so alright chaos and order then you can say the order orders a hierarchy okay so here's the next question next to questions is order a hierarchy and then a subsidiary question would be if order is a hierarchy what's what either what is at the top of the hierarchy or what should be at the top of the hierarchy instead of hierarchy is a structure value so that's the question is what should be of all commit value okay so now we're gonna take that apart a little bit the first thing I would say is order is not a hierarchy order is a set of hierarchies that's a different thing so I'll tell you how to think about that I think so imagine you have a child and they're playing soccer and your child's a pretty good soccer player no I'll tell you a different story this actually happened so I'm gonna tell you a story about hockey and I'm since I'm Canadian what the hell I might as well tell you a story about hockey my son played hockey he still plays hockey he was a pretty good hockey player and my wife and I used to go watch him play hockey there was an arena just down the street from us and there was a nice neighborhood League there and so they'd sort the kids into teams and then they'd let them play a few demo games and if any team was getting stomped flat or any other team was winning too much then they'd rebalanced the team so that they were approximately equal in skill so that was the sorting of the teams so and then they then they were on their teams and then they play you know 15 games during the regular season they and have a little tournament see who won and it was really good it was good friendly League and so my son's team was in I think it was the championship game if I remember correctly and there's one kid on his team who is the best player on the team but by quite a margin you know he was very fast on his feet he could he could skate rings around a lot of the kids he was good at stick handling he was a good hockey player but he had some problems this kid one problem was he wouldn't pass the puck now you think well why the hell should you pass the puck if you're the best hockey player which is pretty much what he thought and the answer is well you're part of the team right you want to be the best person on the team fair enough and you want to win the hockey game but you also want to what make your team mates better players how's that maybe you even want to make the people on other teams better players I mean I know that's going a little bit too far but you certainly want to make your teammates better players and you might think well why would you do that because if they're better then maybe you won't be the best well that's a boneheaded way of looking at the world because first of all if you amp up the competition around you maybe that'll motivate you to be even better and it's a hell of a way to win by making everyone else lose that's not much of a victory and so if you have any sense you pass the damn puck even if you're the better player especially you especially do that let's say you've got a comfortable two goal lead well then maybe you can risk taking the time away from that specific game to build up the confident confidence and ability of your teammates and then maybe everybody thinks that you're a bit of a leader and they make you team captain not even so much because you're the best hockey player but because well because why that's the question okay so we're watching the game and it's pretty exciting and it's real close game and it's like 3 2 3 and it's a minute left and the other team zips down the NIH's and scores a really brilliant goal and so my son's team loses except that they were in the championship and it was a really good game so you know whether or not they lost is not all that obvious they lost that game but you know there's a broader context to take into consideration ok so this kid the this this the star goes nice and he takes his hockey stick and he smashes it on to the cement and he's all angry because as far as he was concerned he was robbed and maybe that's because of his useless teammates who he didn't really spend any time helping by the way and maybe it's because the referees were unfair and who the hell knows why but it wasn't fair and his idiot father rushes over to him and consoles him in on his loss and supports him in his notion that he was robbed and I thought you unspeakable son of a bitch because he was an arrogant narcissist and it was way more important to him that he had a son who was a star than that he had a son who is a good person and that's absolutely inexcusable he made the wrong choice he sacrificed his son's soul in part to help him save face for a hockey game that's not acceptable okay so here's what you tell your children it doesn't matter whether you win or lose it matters how you play the game and so that's what the father should have told the son and he should have meant it and even better he should have known what it meant but who knows what that means because you tell your children that and maybe they're not so happy because they lost a game and they look at you like you're an alien and they think well what the hell do you mean by that because obviously it matters whether you win and it does matter whether you win so what is it that you mean when you say that and your kid asks well what do you mean by that and you go well I don't know what it means but it's a good rule so what do you mean by that here's what you mean and it relates to rule 5 which is don't make your don't let your children do anything that makes you dislike them because other people will dislike them then and you don't want other people to dislike your children unless you want your children to inhabit a world where everyone dislikes them and maybe you do because you don't like your children and maybe you don't like your children because you let them behave in ways that makes you not like them and so the way you take revenge is by not correcting them so that other people will punish them because you don't have the courage to discipline them and if you think that people don't play that game then you don't know much about people because they play that game all the time all right so it matters how you play the game it doesn't matter whether you win or lose let's take that apart well so the first thing is and this goes back to the idea the hierarchy is order a hierarchy and the answer is no it's a set of all hierarchies or you could say it's the it's the set of all possible hierarchies because you know in a society at a given time there's hierarchies that function but that transforms and then there's new hierarchies that function the the specifics of the hierarchies change but the fact of the hierarchies remains and so you can imagine a hierarchy as a meta structure that consists of a multitude of possible hierarchies and that's going to change as life continues and so what you want for your children is not to be the master of a hierarchy you want for your children to be the master of the set of all possible hierarchies because then no matter how things change they're ready say well how is it that you get ready for things to change and the answer is play so that people will invite you to play right and there's a rule for for children for raising children and it really it's a rule one of the things you can do with your children this is something good for men because men are more likely to do this than women although women can do it too but men are more likely to do it it's really good for children to engage in rough-and-tumble play play fighting first of all if you have children and you've played with them physically you know that they absolutely love it they will rough-and-tumble play with you until you are completely exhausted and they're not even vaguely ready to quit they have an inexhaustible hunger for it and they like it they like to be pushed to the edge so I knew this when I was a new father partly because I read work by a man named Jacques panksepp who was a genius an effective neuroscientist one of the world's great neuroscientists perhaps the world's greatest neuroscientist although there's four or five people that might compete with him he wrote a book called affective neuroscience emotional neuroscience which is a work of real genius he discovered the play circuit in mammals because there's a separate play circuit in mammals a specialized circuit and he did a lot of work on rats and showing that in order for a rat to become socialized because rats are highly social they had to engage in iterative bouts of rough-and-tumble play and here's a cool thing it's a ridiculously cool thing so and this has to do in some sense with the postmodern critique of the patriarchal tyranny so if you take two juvenile rats males and you imagine you give them an opportunity to play so you throw two of them into a little play arena and you let them wrestle okay the next time that you bring them to the same place you can measure how much work they'll do to open the door to the arena how many times they'll push a button say to open the door or haw-haw-haw hard they'll pull if you tie a string spring to their tail and so you can get an estimate of their motivation because the more motivated they are to play the harder they'll work and rats will work really hard to play so you know that they want to play I mean assuming that you're willing to accept the fact that if you work for something you want it it's like an operational definition so rats will work to play now if you let the rats out in the play arena and one rat is ten percent bigger than the other then that rat will win you might say well what does winning mean and rats wrestle like people wrestle they even pin each other and they manifest play behavior to begin with like dogs playing in a park you know how a dog looks when it wants to play sort of hunkers down a little bit looks up at you like expectant expectantly kind of move back and forth which is like okay human I'm ready to play and if you have any sense and you know how to play then you look at the dog and you sort of go like this and the dog goes like this and you cuff the dog not too hard and the dog bites you not too hard and then you can play and you're both happy with that and kids can do that with dogs because kids understand dogs and dogs and kids know how to play if if your dog can't play then you should not own a dog because you're not smart enough to own the dog so it's true huh and if you have a dog that can't play then don't have a kid right it's true stupidest dog I ever saw was owned by a psychologist that was really embarrassing so okay so you put the rat two rats together and there's the ten percent bigger rod and there's the 10% smaller rat and the ten percent bigger rat stomps the small rat and pins him so he wins and so now you're a postmodernist doing the experiment and you say powerful tyrannical rat dominates hierarchy really really that's what you conclude end of experiment and your and it looks correct because powerful dominant rat dominated and one it's like okay except for one thing rats live with rats they don't wander they're not psychopathic individuals wandering from isolated community to isolated community they know all the other rats and that means they have to keep playing with them and the rules for playing with someone thirty times are not the same as the rules for playing with someone once so panksepp had the rats play repeatedly and what he observed was okay now the next time you put those rats together the situation is a little different the little rat comes bouncing out and does the playful dog thing too the big rat so now the rule is you're the little rat you lost you have to be the creature that invites to play that's now your status so you bounce around and you know the big rats all cool and he's smoking a cigarette he doesn't want to doesn't want to play but it'll flick it away at some point and think all right what the hell you know and so then he gets in it and so he can stomp the little rat again because he's a bigger rat if the big rat doesn't let the little rat win 30% of the time across repeated play boats then the little rat won't ask him to play anymore you think well if you think about you don't think so what you don't think why did your tank Sepp waste his time studying playing rats you think oh my god that's an absolute miracle because it shows you that there's an ethic of fair play that emerges as a consequence of repeated bouts of play even among rats it's so basic it isn't even human that ethic the ethic of fair play is deeper than human it's real and it's the ethic that governs iterated interactions and it's not just in rats that we've seen this so you know chimpanzees are pretty damn brutal they're way more brutal than you think and they're really really strong maybe six times as strong as an adult male now there's the estimates vary but they're plenty strong enough to tear you to bits and that happens now and then people have chimps for pets and they become adults and it's like don't mess with the chimp because it'll tear you to pieces and so and chimps are brutal and this is interesting because they're our closest relatives and so Jane Goodall discovered in the 1970s that rats our tribe or chimps are tribal they live in tribal groups like we do and they have a territory that's the known territory and there's a perimeter that's the unknown that's chaos and other chimpanzees inhabit the chaos foreign chimpanzees and the juvenile chimps patrol the perimeters in groups of four or five and if they spy us a foreign chimp or two of them if they outnumber them because they can't count but they have a sense of quantity if five chimps come across to foreign chimps they will tear them to bits and I actually mean that literally that's what they do and chimps also hunt they hunt colobus monkeys and they weigh about 40 pounds and they're quite carnivorous and they will eat them alive well they're screaming so there isn't a lot of empathy regulating chimp aggression which is something to think about when you think about human beings because it's not obvious what regulates our aggression and you might think well it's your conscience and like yeah maybe it's your conscience and maybe it's something else if you read the book of you read The Rape of Nanking for example and you'll start wondering very very rapidly about whether people have any conscience at all so that's a story of absolutely atrocious Japanese behavior in China at at the beginning of World War two it's a horrifying book so read it with caution but it's very instructive so anyways the chimps the chimps are very brutal creatures and so you might think well let's look at a chimp hierarchy because chimps have dominance hierarchies and they're basically male-dominated although there are lots of powerful female chimps say ok who becomes the dominant chimp and the answer might be and this would be the postmodern answer the most powerful tyrannical brutal chimp rules because its power that moves you up the hierarchy it's like that happens sometimes among chimps but you know what happens to tyrant chimps they have an off day and to subordinate chimps each 3/4 the size gang up to make a one and a half super chimp and then they tear him to pieces right so here's the rule if you're a chimp tyrants meet bloody ends so how do you conduct yourself as a chimp if you want to be at the top of the hierarchy and have preferential access to the things that being at the top of the hierarchy would give you and the answer is engage in mutually reciprocal interactions with your peers the chimps that rise to the top that stay there stabili and also have the most stable functioning troops by the way are the ones that have friends that are long-term and permanent and engage in reciprocal interactions not only with their friends but also with the females and the infants and so even among chimps patriarchal tyranny a is not the norm and B is not the proper mode of approaching the situation and so that speaks to a broader ethic the same kind of ethic that is spoken to with regards to the rat studies of play behavior and you can see this sort of thing throughout the animal kingdom there's a there's a of reciprocal interaction that seems to stabilize social animals that isn't predicated on brute force now maybe the simpler the animal the more it's predicated on brute force but we are by no means simple animals and the idea that our hierarchies are fundamentally tyrannical the patriarchy which is a word that nobody who thinks carefully should ever use casually that term is predicated on the idea that a that our hierarchies are tyrannical which they aren't although they can become that way and be that the most reliable means to attaining status within a hierarchy is through the expression of power and both of those things are wrong they're wrong and nonetheless that's the primary theory of the social sciences and the humanities enough of that we've we have enough data to indicate that none of that's sufficiently sophisticated to constitute a reasonable explanation of the world so we should dispense with it as fast as possible all it's doing is dividing us into tribes and it's not solving the problems that it's hypothetically intended to solve so ok so now back to the question so there isn't that hierarchy there's a set of hierarchies and it's like the set of games so here's what you're telling your child when you say doesn't matter whether you win or lose it matters how you play the game what you're telling them is life is not a game it's not even a sequence of the same games it's multiple sequences of different games and if you want to be a successful player in the set of multiple sequence of different games then you have to adopt a higher-order ethic and you don't subordinate that ethic to victory in any one game ever so you put the manner in which you play above your victory in in each instance and the reason that that produces the best possible outcome for you is that you get invited to play the largest number of games and so let's go back to rule 5 don't let your children do anything that makes you dislike them okay so let's say you like your children let's say you love your children and you want the best for them you detach yourself a little bit you think well I'm not gonna be around forever and they're going to deal with a lot of different people single people like individuals groups of people children and adults and what they have to be prepared for is to interact with that set of people in the best possible manner because and so what do you want well let's say your child's too and it's still pretty egocentric because children shoot two-year-olds are quite egocentric they can't share yet they don't really learn how to share in any technical sense till they're about three it's hard for them to learn to share between two and four they learn to share and to play and the way they learn is by at least in part by engaging in reciprocal interactions with their parents now what is it that it what is it that's your job when you're socializing a child who's 2 to 4 you have to do it between the ages of 2 & 4 by the way because if you don't manage it by the time they're 4 then you might as well give up because it isn't going to happen and the literature on antisocial behavior in children is crystal clear on this point if your child's antisocial at 4 you failed and there isn't anything that can be done about it it's a dismal literature and believe me psychologists and sociologists and anthropologists and criminologists have tried for like 6 decades to figure out how to remediate antisocial behavior in older children and adolescents and they haven't managed it so so between 2 & 4 is crucial you want to help your child become the sort of person that other children want to play with and the reason you want to do that is because from 4 onward other children are the primary agents of socialization and so if your children are accepted by other children then they're on their way because other children will socialize them doesn't mean you're not important as a parent but it means they find their peers who are at the same developmental level as them and they start to reciprocally socialize one another and they do that through play and so if you've prepared your child to be a great play companion then you can just stand back and let it happen and you have to be around when something breaks down when the system doesn't work properly you have to be there as a resource but basically you can sort of push them out onto the playground and say you know you know what to do go play and play is of absolutely crucial importance as documented by people like Jean Piaget so you're trying to make your child maximally attractive as a play partner and the ethic there is well the world is made out of a sequence of hierarchies that transform and so you want your child to be the sort of person who's invited to participate in whatever hierarchy organizes itself and how and what should a child be like to do that well they have to be reciprocal take turns right you don't always get to pick the game you have to find out what other people want to do they have to want to play – like there's all these sophisticated ethical rules that go around play and you know if you're playing with some of you have played with kids that aren't fun to play with well what are they like if something doesn't go their way what happens they have an emotional outburst so they revert to the behavior of a ill-prepared two-year-old they have a temper tantrum they burst into tears they thrash around on the floor it's not fun because when you play if you don't lose sometimes then no one else ever wins so who the hell's gonna play with someone like that a downtrodden victim that's all it's not no kid with any sense is gonna put up with that all they did this is exactly what kids are like if they find out that their potential play partner is a whiny two-year-old even though therefore they just stop playing and they go find another kid that's exactly what happens and so if you want that for your kid then make sure that their whiny and every time they lose a good way to do that is to never let them lose it anything so they don't get any practice well I don't want my kid to lose it's like wrong you don't want it you don't want your kid to lose in an unsophisticated manner that's not the same thing at all if you think the way you accomplish that is by never having your kid lose then well then well then we're back to the you shouldn't even own a dog problem all right so then you might take apart what does it mean to be a desirable play partner assuming you're gonna play reciprocal repeated games across all sorts of different contexts well there's a there's a whole ethic that emerges from that see Nietzsche back in the late 1800s he was the first person to kind of caught on to this sort of thing because until then people tended to think of morality as something that was invented rationally and then imposed from the top down but Nietzsche being a very intelligent observer noted that well that wasn't really the case there was a ethic already built into human interactions that we all acted out but that we didn't really understand very well so here's a way to think about that so imagine you're watching a wolf pack and wolves compete for dominance and so the way they do that is they basically have a play fight about it now it's this fairly serious play fight and so two wolves that are engaged in a dominus dispute will sort of sand sideways to each other you know how cats do that you ever watched two cats fight cats stand sideways I think well why does a cat stand sideways when it's fighting it's because a sideways cat is a bigger cat than a head-on cat so the cats trying to intimidate the other cat so it stands sideways then it puffs itself up including its tail and the reason it does that is so that it looks bigger because one cat isn't the cats don't want to fight they want to threaten until one cat backs down and so they puff themselves up and they make horrible noises and they face off against each other but they don't want to fight because the two cats that are fighting might damage each other then a third cat comes in and like winds it's a stupid strategy so it's it is so most animals don't like to fight because they might damage themselves and then another interloper will just win it's a stupid strategy and human beings are quite a bit like that we do a lot of posturing and defensive display and aggressive display and all that but we don't fight very often for that for the same reasons and it's only when those other mechanisms break down that we actually fight so what happens in a wolf dispute is this the Wolves square off and they amp up the threats in the hope that one of the wolves will back the hell down because what will happen is the wolf will chicken out one of them and then when it does it rolls over and shows its neck why well because when wolves hunt they go for the neck generally like wolves are quite cruel creatures in some sense and they'll actually eat moose standing up but generally speaking if they can manage it they go through for the throat and they'll bring the animal down and so what the wolf is basically saying is well you scared me half to death I'm a useful moot I'm a useless moose you might as well tear out my neck and the other wolf says yeah you're pretty detestable and you're kind of like a moose but I might need you to hunt tomorrow so I know I could tear out your neck but I won't and then the defeated wolf stands up and he's not very happy and he's kind of a low status wolf but at least he's still got his neck and the Victor wolf gets to be high status wolf and he gets to go hunting with his partner the next day and so you might think well wolves have a complex procedural morality and the morality is don't tear the neck out of your out of the purr of the out of the creature you defeat that's wrong and then you might say well that's the rule that wolves follow but that's wrong because wolves don't follow rules because wolves don't have rules because they don't have language and they don't think not like us they act like they have rules they act so that if you watch them act you could label what they're doing with the rule that's how we got our rules that's how we got our rules we acted out in ethic and then we watched and then we coated it in stories that's what our religious stories are they're the consequence of us watching what it is that we do when we act ethically and then transforming that into a story and everyone's intent on that story it's absolutely intent on the story of good versus evil let's say because that's the fundamental story and why do you want to watch that story because you want to know how to be the victor in the set of all possible games and that's what that story's about and that's what movies are about and that's what books are about and that's what religious narratives are about that's what everything that grips us at a literary level is about and the reason that it grips us is because that's what the world is made of and that's what we need to know so then you might think so here's something to think about I'll give you a symbolic representation of this okay so there's this idea in Christianity and I'm not talking about this from a religious perspective okay I'm talking about this from an anthropological perspective or a biological perspective or a that'll do an anthropological or a Biola or psychological perspective so there's this idea in Christianity that Christ is whatever Christ is is the king of kings okay so I'm going to take that apart so imagine that you have a hierarchy whatever it is and there's someone at the top of it and so that's person has the attributes necessary to be at the top of that hierarchy maybe it's a hockey team and you go home and you tell a story about how the best hockey player on your team played while they were being the best hockey player it's a little hero narrative it's a little fragment of a hero narrative and maybe it's hockey soccer plumbing law business art there's all these hierarchies and then there's the thing that's at the top of all of them and the thing that's all that at the top of all of them has something in common that's whatever it is that's in common across all the things that are at the top so imagine this okay so you could think about this imagine that you're a novelist and you want to distill some characters and you want the good evil character because what the hell good is your book without a good evil character and you want a good good character because the same problem place you don't want to just tell a story about some guy's day right you don't want to say well John woke up at 6:00 and then he smacked his lips four times and blinked twenty times and then he swung his feet over across the bed and walked into the bathroom because who cares about any of that they don't need to know that because you know how to move your mouth and COFF and walk to the bathroom it's not helpful you want a distillation you want the novelist who have watched a bunch of people and abstracted out someone who's good in a way that's good across a bunch of people and you want them to have abstracted out someone who's evil that's abstract across a bunch of evil characters so you see that in Hamlet for example you see that Dostoyevsky where the where the characters are bigger than life and you want them bigger than life because you want it distilled so that you can learn from it and what you're learning is that ethic okay so then imagine that you have a hundred hierarchies just mundane hierarchies then you take the people at the top of all those hierarchies say that you grouped them into groups of ten okay so you take ten admirable people and then you say well we're gonna average across them and we're going to come out with the most add with a composite admirable person made out of those ten you have a hundred to begin with so you let's say you have a thousand to begin with you distill them to a hundred admirable people then you take that hundred admirable people and you distill them into ten and then you take those ten admirable people and you distill them into one and what that one is is what's admirable across the entire set of admirable people that's a divine figure in a mythological story that's what it is and so the Christian idea is Christ is the king of kings and that's what it means you go into a cathedral and the cathedral is a cross by the way and the cross is the place where suffering is accepted and the cross is a dome over it then that's the sky okay so there's an idea in the Cathedral and the idea is that the place of the Cross which is where suffering occurs is the center of the universe which is the dome and then you look up at the dome and you see this figure staring down at you that's the king of kings and that's how to behave in the world that's what that image represents and you think well what does it mean well here's a way of unpacking it and this is associated with its associated with the idea of how to behave across the set of all possible hierarchies well what should you do well according to rule one you should stand up straight with your shoulders back okay now the people who've been some of the people who've been criticizing me say well because I point out that hierarchies exist I'm justifying them it's like pointing out that something exists is not the same as justifying it it's just pointing out that it exists and pointing it out that it exists without justifying it is certainly not saying that the way to attain dominance in a hierarchy is through power which is the other thing that I've been criticized for which is not what I'm saying in fact I'm not saying that no I'm not even saying that a little bit it's exactly the opposite of what I'm saying say well if you stand up straight with your shoulders back isn't that a powerful stance and the answer is well actually no a powerful stance is this right well not really because I'm not very good at it but high if I knew what I was doing this would be it and I put myself sideways so I'm uh not much of a target and I'm ready for attack okay that's not this stance this dance is different right and then that isn't this stance either this is a defensive Crouch this is what happens if you're depressed and anxious right this dance is I'm willing to take what the world throws at me right and that might be the trials and tribulations that are associated with the hierarchy because that's a tough battle in and of itself but it also might be all the terrible unknown things that are going to come your way and what's the right attitude stand the hell up with courage and take it right voluntarily with courage so it's actually a stance of maximal vulnerability vulnerability adopted voluntarily that's what the crucifix represents just so you know it represents the willingness to take on the suffering of the world voluntarily the whole thing and that's associated with what's ever at the top of the hierarchy so the idea is the best possible strategy that you have to be successful across the set of all possible hierarchies is to maximally accept the fact that your vote that you're vulnerable to accept that as the price of being and that's the essential message it's not only the message of Christianity by the way you see this sort of idea expressed in all sorts of religious structures I mean the Daoists to return to them say well where should you be in the world the world is made out of the catastrophe of chaos and the tyranny of order where do you stand in that place and the answer is with one foot in chaos and one foot in order that's the line down the middle that's the dow that's the way that's the point of meaning it's the same place that's at the center of a cathedral it's the same idea you stand there because you're secure because you have tradition and the power of your civilization behind you and you have one foot in chaos because that's not enough and never will be and the instinct that puts you there is the instinct of meaning and you can use that as a guide and it's a deep neurological instinct it's not some epiphenomena it's the most real thing there is as far as I can tell and associated with that is a certain attitude towards life which is to venture courageously out into the unknown is to put yourself on the line right to heed the call of adventure to risk yourself voluntarily you have no choice anyways right because you're in this all the way there's no out that isn't death the full catastrophe is at your feet you can't evade or escape that but what you can do is choose how it is that you're going to confront it and so rule one is to stand up straight with your shoulders back and to manifest and this is the thing that's so amazing about this I think and that what lends a kind of ultimate reality to the idea of positioning yourself properly you might say well let's presume that you're a very pessimistic person or a very realistic person and you say well what's the fundamental reality of life you say well it's suffering and malevolence it's like okay it's a hard argument to forestall but I don't think it's true it's true but it's not it's not the final truth the final truth is despite the fact that that's true the ability of the human spirit to prevail is more powerful than death and evil that's the truth and you know that you know that first of all you know that because you're ashamed that you're not everything you could be you know that because the people that you admire are people who manifest courage in the diarist of straights and you know that as well because when you meet people like that and you're not like that they shame you that speaks to your deepest possible instinct you know what you could be and you know to that you see people contend with situations that are so difficult that it's truly a miracle that they can contend with them you know and I think of people well I think of people who work in funeral homes that's a good example that's hard right that's death and grief everyday and it's not something that you can avoid it's like it's right there it's as real as it can possibly be I'll tell you a story about that right a client who was very afraid of being alive and she wanted to sleep all the time and she took sleeping pills and all sorts of other things so that she could evade the burden of being conscious and she was a very good dreamer and she she wasn't doing well in the university and she had a dream one night that gypsy told her that she was actually lucid during her dreams by the way and she could ask her dream characters what they meant and they would tell her which was something I'd never seen anyone else managed in any case she jumped of this gypsy that she met in the forest and the Gypsy told her that unless she learned to unless she could learn to work in a slaughterhouse she'd never finished her degree and so she told me that story I don't know if you know this but the classic treatment for people who are afraid of things is to expose them to what they're afraid of which is a good lesson if you have children because you want to expose your children to challenges because that makes them stronger it has to be done voluntarily but if you have post-traumatic stress disorder let's say you're the victim of a vicious sexual assault by a stranger and two years later you have post-traumatic stress disorder the most effective treatment is to get you to relive the experience in as much vivid detail as you possibly can and experience all the emotions that occurred while it was happening and if if you do that the more upset you get when you do that if you do it voluntarily the faster you get better and the longer you stay better and so it's a general rule of thumb in psychotherapy is if someone's avoiding something find out what they're avoiding break it into manageable pieces and have them voluntarily expose themselves to it and they they will be cured and that's the dragon fight in in clinical practice find what you most want to what you most need will be found where you least want to look right that's a hell of a statement so she told me this dream and I thought well I don't know how to arrange for you to work in a slaughterhouse that doesn't seem like very she wouldn't eat meat by the way she wouldn't go into a butcher store I took her into a butcher store once and she had a very catastrophic reaction she couldn't handle it anyways I said why we can't arrange the slaughterhouse thing why don't you go away and for a while and come back in a week and see if you can come up with an old her native so she came back and she said I want to see an embalming and I thought oh god okay how the hell am I gonna arrange that so I phoned a couple of funeral homes and I said look I've got this person who's really afraid of death and she had this dream and I told them the story and they said no problem bring her in and so I wasn't looking forward to this by the way so we went and she was very very nervous because she certainly didn't think she could handle that and you know as I said already I wasn't exactly thrilled about it either but in for a pound in for a penny in for a pound as they say so anyways we went to the funeral parlor and they showed us around and we asked a bunch of questions like how the hell did they cope with their jobs because that's just a mystery to me and they said well it was actually really useful for them to guide people through the process of grief and that their experience was that that had given them a renewed appreciation for life which is well that would account for why they were able to do it because it seems like a very hard job and so we went into this room and watched this embalming and I was about eight feet away from this small room it's a pretty gruesome operation as you might imagine and my client was sitting beside me and I was watching her and watching the embalming as well and for the first while she was just looking to the side which was I'm not here and I certainly can't handle that and no bloody wonder literally and so but then she would take the odd glance say she'd go like this and then look away and then as the minutes ticked by but fairly rapidly she was spending more time watching and less time looking away until she was finally doing nothing but watching and then at some point she asked if she could come in and and put her hand on the body and so they gave her a glove and she did that and then she went and sat down and she was quite quiet about all this and quite quiet afterwards and well so what did she discover well she didn't discover the death was wasn't horrible she didn't discover that and she didn't discover the death wasn't terrifying because it certainly was but what she did discover that she was a hell of a lot tougher than she thought and and much quicker than she would have believed and she went away thinking huh look at that I did the thing I was most afraid of doing and Here I am and not only am I not more damaged than I was I'm actually better than I was and so from then on she had a reference point right which is an interesting thing I think this is why primordial people initiate there especially their young men because it sort of happens automatically with young women they expose their young men to something absolutely terrifying genuinely terrifying so that for the rest of their lives they know the difference between what's actually terrifying and what's just sort of normal catastrophe because you really need to know that right because you need to know that you can prevail and one of the things she learned as a consequence of that exposure was that she could prevail despite the realities of life of course that's what you want to teach your children mostly by example is that they can prevail despite the realities of life of course that also means that you have to have admitted to what the realities of life are but the thing that's so interesting about that here's another story so you know the story of King Arthur and the Holy Grail the Holy Grail is the ultimate value that's it's a symbol of whatever the ultimate value is and King Arthur assembles his knights around the round table and it's a round table because they're all equal despite the fact that they have a king they sit as equals at the round table and they all decide to go off to seek for the Holy Grail it's either the cup that Christ drank out about the Last Supper or the cup that held his blood on the cross it's one of those two things it doesn't reman it's a symbol of what's redemptive that's what the Holy Grail is so it's a representation of the ultimate value the question is where do you go to seek out what's of ultimate value an answer in in the tale of King Arthur and the Holy Grail is that each Knight entered the forest when they began their search at the place that looked darkest to them so that the thing is that it's necessary if you're going to stand up straight with your shoulders back to confront the darkness of the world head-on to take responsibility for the tragedy of existence and for for malevolence that's what it means that's the what the Christian injunction to take the sins of the world onto yourself means it means it's your bloody problem and to confront Satan in the desert is the same idea is that not only do you have to take on the tragedy of the world as if it's your responsibility but you have to contend with the spirit of malevolence while you're doing so and it's in doing that that you find your destiny that's where you find the highest of possible values and that's the call and that's the call to the nobility of being because you might think well what could possibly justify your life more thoroughly what could make you the best player of all possible games than to take the tragedy of the world onto your shoulders and to fight with all your ability against the malevolence in your own heart thank you the first one I'll choose here thank you for coming to speak with us what do you think of Iceland well first of all thank you all for coming it's quite remarkable to see so many people come out for such a serious conversation it isn't exactly what you'd expect so everyone has been ridiculously hospitable to me and my family we've seen some beautiful things we were at the Blue Lagoon which was very impressive we went to the house today where Gorbachev and Reagan met in 1986 and that was very interesting I went and saw some rare manuscripts at the University this morning goon lugar and his crew of people have been very organized and you have a beautiful little capital city that's extraordinarily impressive and you've produced this amazing venue and your country is cruising along on all cylinders and it's a hell of an achievement so that's what I think I think that almost all the time when I come to a European country it's amazing how well it works I mean it's a harsh place you know it's you made a lot of what you have and it looks to me like it's just getting better and so it's peaceful and productive and civilized and beautiful and hospitable and good for you and thank you for inviting me this one the the next one is regards the hit pieces on you when such an article is written what is your interpretation of the course or further what potential explanations are there for this phenomenon well I think there's you know we could start with what I might be contributing to it you know one thing I've had to learn I've had some interactions with public exposure for probably it's 15 years because I worked a little bit with a public television station in Ontario before all this blew up my producer who is someone who was very much on my side so I worked for a public affairs show first of all as a regular panelist and then as a columnist for a couple of years my producer who was a level-headed guy well-versed in what worked well in panel discussions told me to be very careful about controlling my proclivity towards anger because it doesn't play very well publicly and so no I kept trying to learn the doctrine of minimal necessary force I mean I think that aggression is a good thing if it's controlled I think it's a good antidote to fear I think it's one of the things that can help you maintain your ground in the face of resistance but it has to be applied very very judiciously and it isn't obvious that I always do that as well as I might and if you're going to deal with difficult and dangerous and contentious issues then you're going to get punished for your failures and so I'm trying to learn to detach myself and to not not in it not in and I don't care away you know but in a watchful way and to keep all of that under control as much as possible and to use minimal necessary force and it's hard to learn to do that well and so to the degree that I don't do that then I instigate more opposition than I might now I have a hard time with that to some degree because I do find some of what I have been let's say opposing what would you say I'm it it makes me deeply it disturbs me deeply and makes me unhappy and ashamed that's particularly the case when I see what's happening at the universities I'm not impressed by what's happening in the social sciences and the humanities I'm not impressed with the post modernists I'm not impressed with the Marxists and I'm certainly not impressed with the people or the theories that juxtaposed the two in this particularly ideological brew that's been fermenting say since the 1960s and so it's not easy to maintain equanimity in the face of that but it doesn't matter because it's still necessary do you think their ideology has permeated all of media or because not all of it yeah I mean that's the other thing is that and this is why dealing now now we can turn to what the media might bring to this well ideological or ideological pre commitments that's certainly the case an inability to see anything other than in politicized terms like I don't view that what I'm doing as fundamentally political actually in fact I don't view the battle that's raging in the ideon 'el sub structure over Society is fundamentally political I think it's deeper than political it's at least philosophical and it's probably theological but the but the people who've been pilloried me let's say who tend to be the postmodern neo-marxist types or at least lean in that direction cannot conceptualize anything that isn't political in their world there isn't anything that isn't political one of the things that you might consider for example is you know I've been perhaps represented as an as an advocate of free speech and of course there's a lot of debate about what free speech really is from the radical leftist types and here's something that you have to understand from the collectivist perspective that dominates the radical left there is no such thing as free speech it's not that they oppose it it's that it isn't a move in their game it doesn't exist so if you stand up and say I'm manifesting my opinion as an individual then that's not a acceptable move because you aren't an individual you're an avatar of your dominant group and whatever you utter regardless of why you think you're uttering it or regardless of whether you think it's your individual opinion is nothing but a power move in your dominance hierarchy and so it's not like they oppose free speech it's that it doesn't exist in their conceptual framework and so that's one of the things that drives they hit pieces because mmm I do believe in the individual and I do believe in free speech and I do believe in a world outside the conceptual realm all sorts of propositions that aren't part and parcel of the postmodernist / neo-marxist game and they're not very happy with that it's I'm not playing by the rules and so they don't know what to do about that the simplest thing to do is to call me far-right or all right because then they can first of all that's an evil category and that dispenses with that but it also means they don't have to contend with any of my arguments and that's convenient so it's easier to demonize than it is to contend so it doesn't seem to help them because the more they scream the more people that actually listen to you hear that you're not far-right you're not all trite and they stop believing them well that's the other thing like I've talked with my wife about this because it's been in Veen it's produced a lot of tension in our family because it's very stressful I mean for all sorts of reasons but that's certainly one of you know I mean it's certainly not the case that when I read a hit piece that I'm very pleased about it and I'm often quite worried about it like the New York Times piece for example is a good example and it's idiot what would you call it insistence that I was promoting you know monogamy with the weapons of the state of all the insane ideas I mean who the hell believes that it's like some Isis guys that's about it so so it's an it's a completely absurd accusation and and it certainly bore no resemblance to anything that I meant but you know it's a powerful media organization and lots of people warn me in the immediate aftermath of that that it would be my downfall including people who were less they weren't fearful people and so it's very stressful so one question is well should I be doing interviews like that at all because one of the things I've thought is no written interviews only live interviews only the whole thing so the one today you had is the last one well see I don't know because there's another side of it which is the side you laid out it's like this happened with the some of you have seen the Channel 4 interview that I did with Kathy Newman and you know and that was I would say that was a stressful interview and I would say that the two weeks after the interview were also very stressful because you know first of all there was the interview and I thought they just cut it to seven minutes and pillory me and leave it at that but they cut it to seven minutes and pilloried me and then they posted the whole interview which just shocked me but here's the shocking thing the people who posted that interview thought it went well that's why they posted it they didn't think oh my god this is contentious we better put it out believe me they didn't think that that is not what they thought they thought it went fine and so then there was this overwhelming response to it and that was completely unexpected and then the counter response was Peterson's army of alt-right trolls is victimizing Kathy Newman and that was that that was the response of her employers the technical response because that's what they published they said we had to call in police to evaluate the threat it's like well so what anybody can call in police to evaluate a threat it doesn't mean that the threat justified police intervention or that there was a threat it just meant that that's how you responded to it and then they spun the victim narrative for Kathy which was I think reprehensible given that I don't know what Kathy Newman is exactly but she's not a bloody victim she's not powerless she's one of the most powerful women in the United Kingdom and she has a salary that's commensurate with that and good good for her that's absolutely fine but you don't get to have that and also be a victim it's not the right way to play the game and so then a whole bunch of newspapers laid out the story that poor Kathy was being trolled by my legion of all right angry people but then the numbers started to mount you know and after it was like four million people it got the whole troll argument got hard to sustain unless you think they were like well now it's perhaps thirty million people have watched either the whole thing or major clips from it maybe it's more than that it's hard to sustain the old troll argument when it's thirty million people but it was very I thought that narrative was going to prevail for a while that you know oh she got victimized and it was all these terrible people that went after her but that collapsed but it's very stressful but and this is something that I've learned so I've been obsessing about another statement in the New Testament for about two years I've been trying to figure it out and it's it's the statement that you should turn the other cheek and that's a tough one man because well because first of all who wants to do that because you want to explode in righteous anger or at least you want to defend yourself you want to do one of those things so what the hell does that mean and partly what it means is if you're attacked and you're innocent and look I'm not saying I'm like globally innocent or anything like that but I'm not guilty of the accusations that are levied at me or at least I'm not guilty in the manner that the accusations would indicate if you're being attacked and you're not guilty of the accusations then the attacks say more about the attacker than their intended target and so so far I've been able to withstand the attacks and the consequence of that is that it said more about the attackers than about me and then the question is can I tolerate that because it's still very stressful and I very a waiver on that back and forth and then of course the other issue is is that some people in the media have pilloried me but many haven't you know there's been very many thoughtful people that have written thoughtful pieces about me there's a Canadian consortium of 200 newspapers the post media group and they came out the entire group came out in favor of my stance in relationship to Bill c16 in Canada which was a compelling and so well so so far in same with the protests when people come out to protest against me with the first video that really went viral was a protest at the University of Toronto and after the protest was over that the the pro the the anti free speech people at the protests took the microphone away and and blasted white noise made it impossible for anyone to speak even though it was an open mic event so that got broadcast and then about two hours after the event I went down to talk to the cops to see if anybody had been hurt or anything like that and then on the way back into the university I got accosted by half a dozen like radical types and about thirty of their hangers-on and then there's a crowd of people that I would say we're probably supporting me that that gathered around me and they went after me and videotaped all of it on their cell phones and then they posted that and the idea was that that was going to do me in but what happened was the comments were a hundred to one in favor of what I was saying so that was another example where the protests were more damaging to the protesters than they were to me and that's been luckily fortunately miraculously all of that a recurrent pattern and so the question is whether or not I can tolerate it and whether my family can tolerate it and so far look if you're trying to do something difficult let's say the right amount of controversy isn't zero the question is how much controversy can you handle and how much of the mud that's thrown will stick and then how much of it deserves to stick all of those things you go to scour your conscience under those circumstances but so far I've been fortunate it seems like you've taken on this track and voluntarily it seems like from the beginning you've known that this for example when you spoke up against Bill c16 in Canada you knew that this might become tough well a guide taught people to negotiate in my clinical practice for a long time you know I've had lots of clients many of those clients were female and the the goal in my consulting with them was to double or triple their salary within five years and so that wasn't necessarily the only goal we discussed all sorts of goals but that was often one and so I was very accustomed to organizing people to negotiate and there's if you want to negotiate there's a couple of rules the first rule is you have to be able to say no and what no means is there isn't anything you can do to me to get me to do that that's what no means no like you can be you can have different degrees of seriousness about no but if you're gonna go she ate with your boss say for a substantial raise no means if I don't get it then I will leave that's fundamentally and that leaving will cost you more than it's not a threat right it has to be the observation that me leaving will cost you substantially more than giving me the raise you have to be in a position to make that case or you don't win the negotiation and so I always put my clients in a position where if they went and asked for something they were in a position to win because we didn't go and ask before that so when I made the video criticizing bill c16 I thought I'm not abiding by this damn piece of legislation and then I thought well what does it mean that I'm not and I thought well I had multiple sources of income so I was read I was really bleep positioned to tolerate a fair bit of pushback I mean I could have got wiped out have things gone sideways but it would have been difficult to take me out completely and I thought there's no way I'm biding by this piece of legislation I was willing I thought through the negative consequences now I didn't of course think that any of this would happen because this is just completely preposterous and no one could have possibly foreseen it but so I would say there were certain things I faced in doing that but I couldn't have foreseen the absolutely explosive consequences I'm not unhappy that I did it I would do it again I am still doing it I suppose so which of your 12 rules do you break most often I could probably still be better at listening to people I like I have these I do interviews with people I call them discussions because they're not really interviews probably they're not interviews because I talk too much so I had to call them discussions but I would say the most common criticism of those discussions is that I interrupt the people that I'm discussing things with and and tilt the conversation probably a little bit more towards me my thinking than theirs now part about I think is my natural tendency towards like I've always talked a lot ever since I was like three like continually so it's I'm there I'm verbally fluent you know it's it's part of my nature and extroverted but you can always get better at listening you know and so I can listen and and I practice that because I'm a therapist but I would say that's probably the rule I break that's rule 9 like assume that the person you're listening to know something you don't it's like I'm not as good at that yet as I could be because I wouldn't get that criticism if I was like it's not every comment or anything it's probably like every xx comment or every xxx comment but it's but it's still it's consistent and so every time I have an interview I think ok I'm gonna try to shut up a little bit more but then I get excited about what's happening and you know and talk too much one thing related to that sometimes you seem to go off on a tangent when you're discussing something you go into you know something related to it and then you come back to a greater structure of things do you have you laid all this out before you say it or do you just go from one topic to another and they somehow relate together and become whole and both both yeah but so before I do a talk like I have to say I think about the talk all day before I do it like not a hundred percent of the time but it's it's in my mind all the time and what I'm trying to get is the basic narrative and it's something like you can only use a metaphor to really describe it's imagine you wanted to cross a swamp and there are stones under the surface you need to know where the stones are to get from one side of the swamp to the other and so then that's what I do in my imagination I think okay well there's this area I have to traverse and there's steppin stones along the way I need to know where they're located and so that might be like 12 points or something like that that's the rough path and then I have a whole corpus of stories that fit each of those points and then I can choose how I'm going to weave those together but I have to remember where I'm going and if I'm well like if I'm healthy and functioning properly then I can go way out on a tangent and I can still remember oh yes I have to tie that back to this point and move to the next step so it's I like I think it's like jazz improvisation essentially you know you have the melody and it has to organize the melody has to organize all the improvisation and then I have all these stories that I know but I every time I tell this story I try to vary it so that it brings in something I haven't brought in before integrate something you know like what are the things I was trying to do tonight I've been trying to figure out for a long time is how to integrate the idea of the good player of games with the idea of voluntarily shouldering your the catastrophe of life I know those are the same thing but it's not obvious why and I'm still not completely obvious to me but I know the connection exists and I got a fair bit a fair ways tonight farther than I had it stacking those concepts on top of each other so the other thing I'm always trying to do is to take each of these sets of ideas and to wave them together more tightly but also to push them further in their development so and you've been doing that on this tour have you been developing your ideas oh absolutely absolutely there's you can't give an effective lecture without so you don't deliver a talk to an audience first of all it's not a talk second you don't deliver it third it isn't an audience like all of that's wrong you talk to individuals in the audience one at a time and they're representative of the whole but you're not talking to the audience if you're afraid of public speaking it's because you're talking to the audience it's like forget about that you just talk to people you know how to do that and then you're not delivering a talk because then it's a canned product you must have just hand people pieces of paper that they could read it's more efficient why not do that what you're doing if you address people properly is that you involve them in the process of furthering exploration of important concepts and you think well how can you do that because they're sitting there passively it's like well you're not passive you're not verbal but you're not passive like I listen I listen to whether or not everyone's rustling around if you're rustling around then I'm not balancing chaos and order properly you're not gripped if you're if I can hear noise in the audience it's not right I watch people one by one and I see sometimes they're shaking their head like this sometimes they're nodding sometimes they look confused if if people look confused I think well I haven't got that right I have to be watching people and seeing that they're understanding they're following along and that indication that they're falling along helps me figure out if I'm in the right place and so there's a dynamic that goes along with it and so all of that and that's what you're doing if you engage the audience properly is you shouldn't be talking about things you don't know enough about to talk about so if you have to read your notes it's like sorry you don't know enough to talk about that because you need notes now maybe when you're first starting to talk about something you need notes but if you need notes you haven't prepared enough you should know like ten times as much about the topic then you're gonna talk about in the talk otherwise who the hell are you and so well right I mean you're supposed to be the authority so you need to know these things and so and then knowing these things you want to stretch them further because when you're this is a Theatre in lecture theater theater is drama so why is it a lecture theatre because lecture is drama what's the drama drama delivering a talk no there's no drama in that a tape recorder can do that the drama is to engage with the ideas actively in real time and to discover with the audience what the consequence is and that's what makes a novel great for example the reason the Dostoyevsky novel is great is because Dostoyevsky did not know where he was going when he started he had problems you know like Crime and Punishment is a great example he wanted to explore the relationship between crime and punishment he didn't think well I'm a postmodern neo-marxist and I have a solution to the problem of crime and punishment and I'm gonna write a novel describing what the right solution is he thought here's a problem man this is a major problem I'm gonna divide myself into ten characters and I'm gonna have a war and I'm gonna see what prevails and he takes you along on that voyage and it's that's what makes Dostoyevsky different than ain't Rand for example cuz ain't Rand already knew who the good guys and the bad guys were and maybe she was right and maybe she wasn't doesn't matter what matters is that what she did wasn't literature it was just sophisticated propaganda no like it it taps into literature upon occasion but but she knew where she was going whereas das Dostoevsky he discovered it along the way and so he takes you along on the journey and that's any great artist does that takes you along in the journey that's why it's so revivifying to encounter anything that's genuinely artistic is because you're along for the conflict between chaos and order and now it's way more interesting than it having a talk delivered to you is it possible that that journey might lead to a bad place in some cases you've spoken of Hitler when he was speaking to audiences and he was listening to the audiences and that and he started to find what really engaged them and made them yeah excited yeah what he was saying yeah is it possible that you might get it wrong because you might not me oh definitely and it's a terrible threat to get it wrong because you know in rule three make friends with the people who want the best for you there are other rules that were associated with that that I didn't write about like make friends with people with oh no let's see be very careful with who be very careful about who you shared good news with that was one rule and another rule was be very careful about whom you share bad news with and those are sort of hallmarks of friendship if you have friends you can tell good news to you know what it's like to tell good news to someone that you shouldn't tell good news to it's like they're not happy about your good news they're bitter about it and and they'll show it in some way maybe they'll trump your good news or they won't listen or they'll bring up another topic or they're secretly angry or whatever you walk away from sharing the good news thinking you should have kept your damn mouth shut and that's not a good sign and and then but some people you can tell good news too and they'll be happy because they have enough sense to know that life stick catastrophe and if something good happened to you then hooray you know because and then bad news is the same thing it's like if you tell bad news to someone they need to let you suffer right they shouldn't make you feel better quick because they're upset because you're upset none of that they just have to take it and that's hard so the Oh think I forgot what the hell the question was here I'm getting tired so I'm losing my ability to go back where that you may get it wrong when you're interacting with the audience yes look what Hitler did was this far as I can tell I've talked to politicians who've built grassroots political parties about how they did it too so the audience talks to you when you when you deliver when you when you when you speak publicly they talk to you with their emotional reactions and then you can learn how to say what produces a given emotional reaction especially if that's what you want if you want say control over the crowd or maybe you want you want to harness the anger of the crowd let's say because your own motivations what–we're Hitler's motivations here's the psychoanalytic answer if you cannot understand the motivations look at the consequences and infer the motivation what's the consequence Hitler blows his brains out in a bunker under Berlin when Europe is info on fire what was the motivation a suicidal apocalypse that's the motivation how do you generate a suicidal apocalypse you aim at it how do you get the crowd to go along you speak in that manner and you watch for the emotional response and when you get the anger that you're after you facilitate it and you let your imagination dwell on that and you become a master of that and that's what Hitler did and it wasn't like the Germans weren't angry and they had their reasons World War one was brutal they lost the Versailles Treaty was a catastrophe in the 1920s every decent hard-working German lost all of their savings in hyperinflation and the entire country was threatened by a radical leftist revolution it was rough and people were not happy and many of them had been terribly brutalized by World War one so there was no shortage of anger to capitalize on and Hitler was just the guy annoyed as he was example that he was rejected from art school three times despite it despite having a fair bit of artistic talent he had his reasons for resentment and and and hatred and that's just a tiny part of it yes these things can go terribly wrong it depends at least in part on what you're aiming at people ask me what I'm aiming at and I would say I mean who knows right because you don't know yourself and I don't know myself not to the final depths but I think what I'm aiming at I'm hoping is exactly what I say I'm aiming out I hope that what I'm aiming at is to tell people stories and provide them with clinical intervention information that's derived from the best literature and science that I know so that they can be fortified in their ability to contend with tragedy and malevolence and the reason that I'm doing that as far as I'm concerned is because when I wrote my first book which was maps of meaning the audio version of which is out next week by the way I think it'll be easier to understand because it's read and the intonation is all there I concluded after studying the psychological dynamics of the Cold War that the only proper medication to tyrannical collectivism was the sovereignty of the individual and that as a consequence that the sovereign individual needed to be strengthened that that was the path forward with least harm and most potential good and I think that's what I'm doing my evidence for that is that I've been doing it for thirty years I taught courses based on that at Harvard and at the University of Toronto consistently the lectures were made into a television program in Toronto that was popular the lectures became explosively popular online everybody can see what I'm saying as far as I can tell and apart from the hip pieces which are perhaps valid criticisms although I don't believe so the overwhelming evidence as far as I can tell is that it's having a positive consequence so and I'm hoping and I have people watching me and criticizing me like friends of mine and my family trying to make sure that this all works and so hopefully I'm not doing something that isn't good we'll see but yes so the last last question what did you think of the last Star Wars movie I've gone I don't know if I saw the last Star Wars movie but I saw one of the last I've probably seen three of the last and five Star Wars movies I would say and I thought they were all the same movie as the first Star Wars movie so so I haven't they haven't been my cup of tea let's say having said that it's obvious that you know the superhero movies the Star Wars movies the Star Trek movies the fantastic success that Marvel in particular has had with their superhero Pantheon like those are the most expensive artifacts that people make a those movies that's something to really think about you know people put 200 million dollars into the movie like that it's not the most expensive thing we make but it's bloody well up there I can tell you and it's pretty interesting to realize as well that making the special effects for those movies which is which is a form of artificial reality let's say as part of what's driving computational sophistication forward because the big processors are being used most intensively to render reality and so whatever's happening in those movies is something far more significant than you might think I think it all speaks to the unquenchable power of mythology and its proclivity to manifest itself in a multitude of forms and and and to be internally compelling to people and so generally that seems to be a really good thing to me so I mean they're a Harry Potter series I think is a better example than the Star Wars series because I think that I think that the Star Wars series is a bit too consciously contrived whereas the Harry Potter series is genuinely to my way of thinking anyways is a genuine intuitive production and rolling got her mythology she's so good at that I just can't believe it it's just absolutely unbelievable and you think of the consequences of that she wrote with seven books about wizards like teenage wizards and child wizards in magical castle threatened by giant snakes and portrayed the battle between good and evil on a landscape of chaos and order and you know sold I don't know what's her empire worth in terms of total financial consequences it would be it's in the tens of billions of dollars certainly she got all these kids to read 600 page books they produced all these movies that were fantastically expensive everybody read them and went and watched them it's like and what do you see there it's a dying and resurrecting hero fights a satanic figure and attains final victory through death and resurrection it's like you know and it wasn't contrived that came out of the story and so the mythology seeps in no matter what and it's I think and this is something I learned from you is that it's time for us to understand it it's we can't just live by it unconsciously anymore we have to understand it as well as living by it and that's the task of the 21st century that's what it looks like to me so if we understand it then maybe we can fortify our self against collectivist ideology for example I'm hoping because that's a bad pathway so you were able to turn that question in two very good final words somehow good so thank you thank you very much [Applause]

Iceland: 12 Rules for Life Tour: Lecture 1



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There are two videos from Iceland, covering different material. This is the first. The second is at (TBA).

I have been touring since January, discussing my books, 12 Rules for Life and, to a lesser extent, Maps of Meaning (see www.jordanbpeterson.com/events for details, including upcoming tour dates and cities.

I was in Iceland in June and gave two lectures (June 04, Lecture 1; June 05, Lecture 2), followed by a Q and A. I was hosted by Gunnlaugur Jonsson, who also introduced both talks.

I’ve been using the lectures as an opportunity to extend, develop and publicly test the ideas I presented in 12 Rules and Maps of Meaning.

My wife Tammy and I had a remarkable and memorable trip to Iceland. My mother and aunt also came for the adventure, and were treated with exceptional care by Gunnlaugur and his crew. We are looking forward to returning to Iceland in 2019,

Thank you very much to Halldór Fannar Kristjánsson (Sigurgeirsson) for the video recording and editing.

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you know when I give the cash paid Rosetta Thornton came from Tacoma I'm gonna switch to English since we have since Jordan hasn't had dr. Peterson hasn't had time to learn enough Icelandic yet so thank you all for coming this has been amazing first when I got the idea to book him to Iceland I had no idea that others had been watching him on YouTube so as it turns out a lot of people have been and of course he's exploded since then in in popularity so we've sold out this venue which is almost three times larger than the first one we had and we've sold it out two times so that's pretty good so he's gonna come up here and he's gonna speak for one hour and 15 minutes just about then he's gonna take a four minute break and go offstage before the Q&A you can submit questions to the Q&A and we're gonna use a similar system that he's been using on his trips in America with Dave Rubin so I'm gonna serve as a surrogate Dave Rubin here or slightly less gay Dave Rubin so and I'll bring I'll ask him the questions and you will put them online on a site called slide oh so it's spelled SLI dot do slide though I'll say it in Icelandic as well as at a punter Dao Slater so it is customary to introduce the speaker as if you know me better than him but and and usually when someone is being introduced people tell things about him things that are true about that speaker now of course you've all come here because you know who that guy is but so and I'm gonna do a different thing because I think it has tells you more deeply something about what is going on with this guy so I'm going to read you a few things that are wrong about him so these are actual things that have been said about him in media mostly in hit pieces and you know character assassination attempts and there has been one each day just about for a long time and some of them in big big media so he's a he's a far-right guy Hitler he wants to force young women in Toomer he's the stupid people's smart person that's actually not that bad about him but so and that's the reason they say that they want you to become afraid to admit that you like him or go to his talks well-groomed all right at least he's well-groomed a messiah comes surrogate dad for gormless dimwits so that's another one directed at you I I'm one of you as well because I don't know what gormless means so but I suspect that having a gourmet is preferable so just stay away from this guy Tim wits Jordan Peterson has nothing of value to say he's a patriarchal pseudoscientist he encourages young men to see themselves as victims he's a mash-up of he has he delivers a mash-up of Cosmo tips and my first book of myths he's the professor of piffle he seems like a terrible therapist he's a bad political and social thinker an angry white guy and the line between Peterson's authoritarianism and Richard Spencer's Paley on Nazism is a blurry one he's a Jewish shill and if you're gonna be a shield you you you want to be a Jew issue and he's a fascist miss mist assist and this is just a small sample of what has been going on and it's all wrong perhaps you know depending on how you define she'll-she'll can Sheila's okay but it's all wrong and that tells you something a new one every day too miss inform people about that man and you can demonstrate it it's demonstrably false everything and there are some people that see him as a risk to their agenda and their world we HBU for some reason but he's a he's a reasonable balanced moderate truthful man and I've never seen such a campaign against any thinker ever in the world not even someone that is untruthful or as despicable as they make him sound like so this tells you something this is the reason I was reading this this tells you something about the importance of his message and I'm not gonna I'm not gonna theorize about exactly what that is because there are lots of theories about exactly what it is in what he's saying that is threatening and and to whom it is threatening and and I think actually many of them are correct but let's just listen to him and let's hear what he has to say and we'll figure out why it's threatening later so please give a warm welcome to dr. Jordan B Peterson [Applause] well that's an introduction that I'm going to have to live up to so I was mmm thinking the other day about numbers you know there are mathematicians who think that there isn't anything more real than numbers and that's an interesting proposition I mean it's obviously the case that once you invent or discover numbers that that confers on you a tremendous power and who knows the limits of that power and the claim that numbers are more real than anything else is predicated in part on the fact that when you discover them or invent them and start to utilize them that your ability to operate in the world expands immensely and and so that's one of the ways of judging whether or not something is real is whether or not when you use it that facilitates your means of operating in the world interestingly numbers are abstractions and so that raises another question which is well what's more real the thing that's being abstracted from or the abstractions and again that's not obvious and maybe the question of more real isn't germane maybe it's a question of equal reality but it's not obvious that abstractions aren't real and you can make a damn strong case that they're more real than anything else and so then you might ask yourself well then what are the most real abstractions and so that's what I'm going to start to talk about tonight I'm going to talk about it in relationship to as many rules as I can lay out simultaneously I'll go through the rules first so rule 1 is stand up straight with your shoulders back and rule 2 is treat yourself like you're someone responsible for helping on number 3 which is very tightly associated with number 2 they're sort of variations on a theme is make friends with those people who want the best for you and by the way these last two rules aren't injunctions designed to make your life easier they're actually injunctions designed to make your life more difficult Kierkegaard said at one point that his role in life given that everything was proceeding to become easier and easier in all possible ways that there would come a time when people would cry out for difficulty and so that's partly how he envisioned his role in the world interestingly enough as a universal benefactor of mankind who would strive to do nothing other than to make life more difficult for everyone right and so rule two and three are like that because treat yourself as if you're someone responsible for helping isn't the same as be nice to yourself it's not that and to associate with people who want the best for you means that they get to demand the best from you and that's also not an easy thing rule 4 is compare yourself to who you were yesterday and not to who someone else is today and that's an injunction about envy right it's easy you need people who you need things that are above you because you need to do something worthwhile with your life you need something to aim at but one of the consequences of that is that you can become envious of people that you believe have attained more in a deserve adore undeserved manner and that can make you bitter and so it's much better to compare yourself to yourself and to use yourself as the target for improvement in comparison rule 5 is don't let your children do anything that makes you dislike them and the rule of thumb there is if you dislike them then other people will and it's a bad idea to allow your children to act in a way that makes other children dislike them or adults dislike them given that they're going to have to deal with children and they're going to have to deal with adults so your primary responsibility as a parent is to help your child learn how to behave so that the social world opens up its arms to them and welcomes them at every level and you've done your job if you can manage that and it's not a simple thing to do rule six is put your house in perfect order before you criticize the world and that's not take no action for others until you have your act together that isn't what the rule means it means that bind your ambition with humility and work on what's right in front of you that you will suffer for if you get wrong before you engage in the large-scale transformation of other people rule seven is do what is meaningful and not what is expedient and I would say in some sense in some sense that's the core ethos of the book not exactly because rule eight which is tell the truth or at least don't lie is a necessary conjunction to that or a necessary additional element because I don't think that you can pursue what is meaningful without telling the truth and the reason for that is if you don't tell the truth or let's say if you lie which is an easier way to think about it you corrupt the mechanisms the instinctual mechanisms that that that manifest themselves as meaning and then you can't trust them and that's a very bad idea so the fundamental reason to not lie is because you corrupt your own perceptions if you lie and when you corrupt your own perceptions then you can't rely on yourself and if you can't rely on yourself then well good luck to you because what are you going to rely on in the absence of your own judgment here you've got nothing if you if you lose that rule rule eight is as I said tell the truth they're doing or at least don't lie rule 9 assume that the person that you're listening to knows something you don't and that's not so much a mark of respect for the person although it is that it's a mark of recognition of your own unbearable ignorance you know one of the things you have to do in life is decide whether you're more you have to make friends more with let me see let me just let me rephrase that properly you have to decide what's more important what you know or what you don't know first of all there's a lot of what you don't know and so if you make friends with that if you decide that's important then well that's a good thing because you're going to be surrounded by what you don't know your entire life and so if you're appreciative of that then that's going to make things go better for you but but the other element of that is well why should you be appreciative of what you don't know and answer to that is well you shouldn't if your life is absolutely perfect in every way you have exactly what you need and want you've put everything in order around you then what you know is sufficient but if you believe that things could still be put right around you in your own personal life and with regard to the effect that you have on other people then obviously what you don't yet know is more important than what you do know and you should be paying attention to find out what you don't know at every possible moment and if you're fortunate when you have a conversation with someone and you're actually interested in what they say then even if they're not very good at communicating even if they're awkward or even if they display a certain amount of enmity towards you there's always the possibility that they might tell you something you don't know in which case you can walk away from the conversation less ignorant and corrupt than you were when you started the conversation and if your life isn't everything that you would like it to be then being slightly less ignorant and corrupt is probably a good thing and so rule 10 is be precise in your speech and that's that's an observation I would say that that's a variant of a New Testament injunction which is or maybe a description of the nature of the world which is knock and the door will open and ask and you will receive which is a very strange theory let's say but which I would say is far more in accordance with what we know about the psychology of perception let's say then you might imagine because it is the case that you don't get what you don't aim at you might get what you do aim at and your aim might get better as you aim as well which is something to consider if you specify the nature of the actually if you specify the nature of the being that you want to bring into being then you radically increase the probability that that's what will occur and of course you all know that because you regard yourself at least to some degree as active creative agents right your fundamental attitude towards yourself at least in the manner that you act towards yourself is that you wake up in the morning and you have a landscape of possibilities that lay themselves open to you and you make choices between those possibilities and determine in consequence how the world is going to manifest itself so you confront a field of potential that's a good way of thinking about it and through your choices you determine which elements of that potential are going to concretize them selves into the real world and you are very unhappy with yourself if you don't do that properly and you're very unhappy with other people if they don't do that properly and you're very unhappy with other people if they don't treat you like that's what you're like because part of what you demand from people let's say in terms of sheer civility is that they act towards you is if you're the locus of voluntary choice in a world of potential and you upbraid each other for that as well if you have children and parents your parents will say to you if you're fortunate you're not living up to your potential which is actually a compliment in a sense even though it's also a judgment and the compliment is I know perfectly well that you could be more than you are and you'll hang your head if you have any sense and you'll think like you think in relationship to your own conscience that yes I have a lot of potential that I'm not fully realizing and that actually constitutes a transgression against the good and I don't I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't believe that if you if you have a reasonable conversation with them it just seems self-evident I mean maybe now and then you meet someone who's narcissistically self-satisfied but then they're narcissistic and that's not good that as a medium to long term strategy that's a catastrophe that ends in disaster you know it's a short term it protects people but long term it's it's not good in the least and of course other people don't appreciate it as well rule 11 is don't bother children when they're skateboarding and that's actually a discussion of courage of encouragement more specifically because I've I've been trying to understand for example what role parents play in the lives of their children and I would say this is a role that that that is of fundamental importance as well as attempting to guide your children so that they act in a socially desirable manner so that the world opens itself up to them you also want to encourage them which is not the same as sheltering them it's not the same at all and to encourage someone is to say something like or to act out something like look kid as you the world's already difficult because the world isn't easy for children any more than it's easy for adults that the difficulties are they're not the same they're child size difficulties but they're still difficulties the world is a very hard place and it's a bitter place in many ways and it's not only a hard and bitter place it's also touched with betrayal and malevolence and that's the fundamental bottom line but there's something in you that is capable of taking that full-on and transcending it and that's encouragement you say well as difficult as things are you're up to the challenge and to interfere with children when they're skateboarding for example when they're doing let's say in advisably dangerous things which kids of course do if they're skateboarding to interfere with that is to interfere with the child's willingness to voluntarily expose themselves to the risks that they need to expose themselves to in order to develop the sort of competence that allows them to thrive in a world they cannot be sheltered from and so to interfere with children when they're taking necessary risks is not love or empathy but cowardice on the part of parents and it's deeply damaging to children and I can tell you as a clinical psychologist I've never had a client come to my office in all the hundreds in in in all the hundreds of encounters I've had with people in my office I've never had a client say my parents made me too independent right that hasn't happened once right now my parents made me too dependent or I conspired with my parents to perpetuate my dependence that happened all the time so there's a rule of thumb which I think is a good one which I believe is often applied in nursing homes by people who work in nursing homes which is of course a very difficult job and the rule is do not do anything for anyone they can do for themselves and the reason for that is that it's a form of theft right you don't first of all if you if you do something for someone and it facilitates their movement forward then they moved forward because you helped them which is something I was very careful about as a therapist I don't want to give my clients advice first it might fail in which case they are going to pay for my advice and second if it succeeds then I get to be the successful one and I don't want to steal the success from my clients that's a bad idea I want to help them figure out what it is that they should aim at and then help plot out a strat for attaining that and but I want to ensure that it's their destiny not something I'm imposing and of course the imposition of that sort of thing is the hallmark of a bad I would say therapeutic relationship but also a bad relationship period right so one of the things you want to do with your partner's your spouse you say your husband or wife and also with your children is to listen to them so that you can figure out what their problems are and figure out with them because they're gonna figure that out by communicating and then perhaps aid them in the development of a strategy but you have to ensure very carefully that you're not imposing your own structure in a manner that's going to steal from them what's rightfully theirs so well so rule 11 is an injunction to courage as the fundamental because you could say well what's the antidote to the catastrophe of life and one answer might be safety it's like well you know look everyone sensible enough to know that a certain amount of provision for safety is worthwhile you should probably wear your seatbelts when you're driving around in your car because why take foolhardy risks but given that there is no security in life in the final analysis then encouragement is a much better medication than sheltering and so and that's what that's that's I think in keeping with the idea that what life is essentially is not a place to attain happiness or even to aim for happiness even though you should be grateful if some comes along now and then but a call to something like adventure and I think that's the proper way of conceptualizing it certainly if you go watch a story a movie you read a book something like that if you encounter a narrative that's gripping whether it's a romance or a classic adventure story then the element of it that's gripping is the adventure and so to portray life as an adventure in romance and and in the world is the proper way to portray it and the way that you facilitate the adventure is encouragement I had a client once I really liked him he was a good guy his smart guy good-looking young guy had everything going for him you know he's a good musician he was a talented athlete but he hadn't been encouraged I wouldn't say he told me about his relationship with his girlfriend he said his girlfriend wanted to go biking around southern Ontario she was about 19 or 20 and he thought he might join her and when she went and talked to her parents they made every provision possible to help her prepare for the journey to make sure her bike was in good shape to make sure she had the right equipment to help her plot out a route and when he went and talked to his parents all they did was worry that he was going to get hurt and like he might get hurt because people get hurt but they didn't understand that they were choosing between the hurt that he might encounter by going out in the world and having an adventure let's say with his girlfriend or the hurt that he would encounter by staying at home cowering in his basement under the protection of his over loving parents while his girlfriend ventured bravely into the world you think well which of those two things is most likely to be damaging and the answer to that is well his parents wouldn't worry as much as if he was in the basement and that's the wrong worry even because they should worry more not less so in rule 12 is pet a cat when you encounter one on the street and it's a oddly enough a meditation on fragility it's a discussion of what you do when you don't know what to do and that's really when things have gone badly for you when you face a terrible tragedy in your own personal life or in your familial life or perhaps even in life of your community when things come crowding in ant you too quickly in the case of a death in the family or a terrible illness or the collapse of a dream or any of the things that can flip your world upside down is how do you cope with that and that chapter contains discussion of the necessity of narrowing your timeframe you know because sometimes the right way to look at the world is across years and sometimes it's across months and when things are more out of control perhaps it's across days and when things are really when you're really up against the wall its acro across hours or even minutes and during those minutes then you concentrate on doing as well as you can with what's right in front of you for the longest unit of time that you can tolerate conceptualizing maybe that's what you do at someone's deathbed and while you're doing that and suffering away madly then you also take the time to appreciate everything you can that manifests itself that allows itself to be appreciated and so that's the metaphor of the cat I suppose and so that's the 12 rules and I'll return to rule one which is stand up straight with your shoulders back and I'm going to use it as a platform for laying out the abstractions that I talk to at the beginning of the lecture so some of you might be familiar with the central Taoist symbol and it's a symbol of Dow and Dow is a very strange word it doesn't have an easily translatable single meaning at least in English it means a variety of things that means the path of life so that would mean the the path that you take as you move forward through life but it would mean more also the proper path so it's that it's the proper path through life so the idea now is a symbol of reality and one of the things that means is the path you take through life and so there's an implicit idea there that the fundamental reality of life is the path you take through life it's not a materialist idea it's a different kind of idea it's the idea that life is a journey while we're mobile creatures and we're on a journey and the best way to conceptualize reality is as the place that you journey through and the question is well what are the elements what are the constituent elements of the place that you journey through because that's also part of Dao and the Daoists believe that that's yin and yang and ian is the black serpent because those are two serpents head-to-head that make up the totality of the world and the black serpent is yin and yen is feminine classically speaking from the Taoist perspective it's a symbolic representation doesn't mean that women are yen and that men men aren't it's not that it's an attempt to use sexual symbolism to represent a deeper underlying reality and yang is masculine yin is dark and Knight and there's a white dot in the black serpent and there's a black dot in the white surf and the white serpent is the daytime and masculinity and it's the interplay between those two things that make up reality and one can transform into the other at any moment and so that's the taoist idea of reality and so there's yin and yang and they make up the world and the question is perhaps our question is well what exactly does that mean well it actually means something it's a kind of abstraction and it's actually an incredibly helpful abstraction once you understand the abstraction it might be the most real abstraction there is so I'm going to lay out a little bit I'll lay out for you a little bit about what these two domains refer to and then I'm going to make a case that they're real and then I'm going to tell you what it means that they're real so you could think of Yin as chaos now we need to know what chaos is no chaos is what God made the world out of at the beginning of time so one of the things that chaos is is it's something like potential and so you can imagine and this is not how we think as modern people because we tend to think in a materialist way but it is how we act and as I said already you act as if you confront potential and you treat potential level as if it's real and if your attitude towards it confers on you a certain moral obligation which is why you know what people mean when they say you're not living up to your potential no one ever says well what do you mean by potential not unless they're being argumentative because you already know and very few people say while I'm fully living up to my potential so you admit to the reality that undergirds that conception that makes that question a possibility immediately the potential is while potential is the future that's part of it and we believe in the future we believe that it exists even though it isn't here and it's not measurable it's it only exists as a potential set of realizable possibilities that's what the future is and it's really what we contend with we don't really contend with the present precisely we orient ourselves towards the future and the future comes at us from every direction and we we decide as we encounter the future which parts of it we're going to interact with and how we're going to construct the present and the past as a consequence of doing that and so part of chaos is potential and that's the positive part it's like if you're in a bind what you look for is potential is there another way of conceptualizing this do I have a different way of acting can I make another plan is there something that I'm not taking into account that would make this terrible situation tolerable that's all an attempt to to call upon potential and to use it to transfigure a reality that's intolerable and maybe it's intolerable because of the way you're conceptualizing it now I'm not being naive about that I understand perfectly well that people can find themselves so badly cornered in life that they're basically done no matter what they do people obviously develop fatal illnesses and and they die and and their businesses collapse and genuinely terrible things can happen to you that aren't your fault that you can't fix I'm not saying that you can just gerrymander the world by changing your attitude it's not that straightforward but I am saying that you have a tremendous ability to transform the landscape of possibility that reveals itself in front of you and that when things are terrible that's your best bet it doesn't mean it will succeed it just means you don't have a better option and so chaos that potential is also something that manifests itself a terrible manner so imagine this this is a good way of thinking about it it's imagine that you have a an intimate relationship let's let's say a marriage and the marriage is predicated on trust and fidelity which is a variant of trust and that the trust and fidelity is an axiom of your memories you might think well what does that mean it's like well let's play it out imagine you've been married for 10 years and then your wife tells you that she has had three affairs each of them lasted three years and the last one has lasted five years and it's still ongoing or maybe you discover that okay so then you might say well what happens then well what happens is that everything you thought was wrong right and this is such an interesting thing because it actually means you had the past and you think the past is fixed it's done with that's why it's the past but all of a sudden you find out that one of the things that you thought about the past and it happens to be a very important thing wasn't true at all and so what that means is that whole past that you thought was what it was wasn't what it was at all and so it transforms itself from an actuality into potential and most of that potential is negative and unless you're relieved that your wife had an affair well but that's an important consideration because you know you could imagine a situation where your marriage is dreadfully unhappy and you're just looking for an excuse to leave it's possible that that revelation even though it would be shocking would also come with a fair bit of relief and so this potent the potential that manifests itself even when it's unexpected doesn't only necessarily manifest itself in a negative guys it can also free you you know and and if your marriage was unhappy even if you wanted to cling to it if your marriage wasn't happy and the betrayal was revealed and you're divorced and you set yourself up in two years you might be in a better place than you were it's not a pathway I'm recommending by the way I'm just saying that it's more complicated than that look that's the introduction of chaos into order right and the the the oldest story we have is something like order is susceptible to disruption by chaos and the human that the fundamental demand that's made on the human being is to contend with the chaos that disrupts order not to live in order and not to live in chaos but to be able to contend with the chaos that disrupts order and so when you encourage your children for example what you're doing is encouraging them to become the Masters of the chaos that can disrupt order rather than denizens of order which makes them tyrants or denizens of chaos which makes them nihilistic and hopeless so you train your children you encourage your children and yourself and your partner if you have any sense to be a master of emergent chaos and to be able to contend with that and so so chaos is potential and it's this disruptive it's the capacity of the infinite world to disrupt your finite considerations that's another way of looking at it another way of looking at it is it's the serpent in the Garden of Eden and the reason that that story is set up the way it is is because it's trying to represent that there's no place that's so bounded and secure even if it's set up by God himself that doesn't have an agent of chaos inside it it's exactly the same idea that the Dallas put forward with their with their symbolic representation it's just portrayed in a different manner and the question is well what do you do in the garden given that there's a snake in it and the answer to that is something like you've become the master of snakes and so and that's a deep idea that's the same idea as confronting the dragon and getting the treasure that's the same idea as going to the bottom of the ocean and rescuing your father from the belly of the whale it's the same idea and that's an element in the greatest of stories and the greatest of stories is heroic Roark's story and the heroic story is to voluntarily confront the unknown when it manifests itself and to gather something of value as a consequence and to share it with the community there isn't a story that's more emblematic of what it means to be human than that that that is us that's our best bet alright so chaos chaos is the catastrophe that will suddenly enter your life chaos is the flood that's definitely coming chaos is the ever-present possibility of apocalypse in your personal life in your familial life and in this broader social life right chaos is the consequence of your finite fragility existing in a world that's beyond you chaos is potential chaos is what lies before you chaos is what you can call on when you need something to rescue yourself from malfunctioning order it's a permanent element of existence chaos is what you don't know chaos is what's outside the fire chaos is what's outside the walls of your house chaos is what's outside the walls of your town chaos is what's outside of the borders of your country all of that is chaos and potential order order is where you are when what you're doing is working in the manner that you intended okay it's a very specific definition how do you know that you know what you're doing well you don't because you don't know what you're doing because you don't know everything everything you do is bounded by ignorance well you still have to operate in the world and so what you do is you make finite plans and the new execute plans and then you execute strategies to to make those plans manifest themselves and if the plans manifest themselves the way that you desired then you regard your knowledge as sufficient that's your definition of truth and it's the only definition of truth that you can use because you don't have everything at hand and when you're where what you're doing is working that's order and you might think well I should just stay there because that's a comfortable place to be and there's a certain amount of truth to that except for one thing if you've defined a domain of order and you stand in it and you wait the disorder will enter all by itself because things aren't static things change all the time and your attempt to bind yourself within a static structure is destined to fail because everything around you is in flux and the thing that you've parceled out as permanent will transform itself across time here's an example let's say you're a perfectly well adapted eleven-year-old and it's actually possible to meet it 11 year old children are often very delightful because they're like adult children they're not teenagers they're like as they're they're the most mature form of children and they can be really delightful people and then like three years later you hate them and and the reason for that is that of course as soon as they hit puberty which is the emergence of chaos into the into the already developed childhood structures really the emergence of sexuality into a structure that didn't have to adapt to sexuality and maybe even the emergence of aggression to some degree but mostly sexuality if the child maintains only the 11-year old personality by the time they're 16 they're no longer a delightful 11 year old there are very immature 16 year old and the reason that I'm pointing that out is because just because something works for you now doesn't mean it's going to work for you five years from now and so in order to remain stable you can't be stagnant they're not the same thing stability is a dynamic not a not something static and so not only do you have to be where you are but you have to be going to where you're going and you have to be participating in both of those things actively so it's stability plus transformation and and I would say that manifests itself you know when you're there because that manifests itself as meaningful that's actually the the instinct of meaning which is an instinct and perhaps the deepest instinct is precisely the instinct that tells you when where you are as sufficiently stable but your forming yourself at a sufficient rate to keep up with everything that's changing and you know that because if you're at your job you might say to yourself well my job is really secure but it's not very challenging and you think well why do you care about that it's very secure and the answer to that is well if it's not challenging it's it's deadening in a sense right the spirit goes out of it if it's not challenging you need to be challenged and why is that well the answer is well tomorrow is coming and whoever you are now isn't enough for tomorrow and so today you also have to be preparing for tomorrow and next week and next year and if your job isn't challenging then it isn't doing that for you and you find it deadening not meaningful and the reason for that is that it violates your most essential instinct and your most essential instinct is the instinct for meaning and it signifies that it actually signifies that you have the balance between chaos and order right deeply right which is why it's the most fundamental of instincts because chaos and order are the most real of things all right so you have the chaos that surrounds you and in some some sense infinite in scope and then you have the order that you produce which is your mastery of it well let's take order apart for a minute we want to think about the structure of order and I'm not saying that chaos is bad an order is good I'm not saying that at all that's not the right way to look at it it's the balance piece it's the balance between them that's of crucial importance they just think they exist as super ordinate categories whether you like them or not is really not that relevant they're there they're there the fundamental constituent elements of reality you might say well what's your evidence for that and I can tell you one piece of evidence which I won't go into for very much time you have two hemispheres and each in your brain the brain is composed of two hemispheres which implies something about the nature of the world given that your brain is hypothetically adapted to the structure of the world it's not just your brain because animal brains have the same fundamental structure this bifurcated structure and the bifurcation in it's that there's two fundamental realities because otherwise why would you need a bifurcated structure or maybe you need a triune brain or one that's divided into four but that isn't what you have you have one that's divided into two and if your working definition of reality is scientific biological let's say then your definition of reality is reality is that which shapes life you can't actually do better than that from a Darwinian perspective and if the reality that shaped life produced a bifurcated representational structure then that implies that the proper way to represent reality and perhaps that reality itself is in fact bifurcated and I believe it's bifurcated in the manner I just described and the neurological evidence for that is actually quite overwhelming it's come from multiple sources some of them Russians some of them American that's where most of the work has been done your left hemisphere is specialized for operation in those situations that you know and understand and your right hemisphere is specialized for operation in those situations that you neither know nor understand and the proper way to orient yourself in life is to get the balance between those two sets of operations correct and the way that manifests itself in your subjective experience is as meaningful engagement and so that's not a bad first pass what would you say justification for the view that these two domains are the most real domains okay so order what is order well if you just sit there and do nothing that will be chaos why well because you'll you'll suffer and die that's what will happen so without action on your part deterioration and death is a certainty okay so you need to act well then we built on an action-platformer I mean we're the consequence of three billion years of evolution for action action movement forward in the face of necessity is the prime dictum of life that's a good way of thinking about it we're embodied action what do you have to do when you act well at minimum you have to do whatever keeps you able to act these are truisms right I mean you have to have something to eat you have to have some fresh water you need some shelter right you need some companionship you need a sexual partner you need children you need play you need to be touched there's there's a and I mean I actually mean need by the way people deprived of play go insane people who aren't touched died these things are necessary well assuming that survival itself is necessary but we'll start with that we'll start with the assumption that just sitting there and suffering and dying is not the right solution okay so you have to act in the world you have to act in the world that in a manner that stops you from deteriorating and dying at minimum and that means that you have to address the problems that are intrinsic to that destiny now you have all sorts of systems that evolved have evolved to help you do that motivational systems we have to eat so you get hungry you have to find water and consume it so you get thirsty you get lonely you get curious there's there's there's specialized biological systems that are very very old you get aggressive you get afraid you you suffer pain all those specialized systems for all of those unidirectional systems of orientation in the world and they help you figure out what to do so when you're hungry it's time to eat and when you're thirsty it's it's time to drink and when you're lonesome it's time to seek out some companionship and you have specialized systems that help you do that but they're not enough because well they're not very bright that's one way of looking at it they're kind of uni dimensional and you also have the problem of organizing all of them it's like well you have to eat now and you have to drink now and you need a companion that's probably time to play and you have to do something about shelter and there isn't just you right now there's you now and tomorrow and next week in a year from now and five years from now so you have to plan across all those stretches of time and there isn't just you now in the future you there's you plus your family and your community and so all of that has to be taken into account while you're plotting your movement forward it's very very complicated you have all these problems to solve simultaneously and your motivational systems anger hunger and so forth can help you solve one of those problems now but not all of them permanently that requires higher cognitive function and that's part of what drove the evolution of our complex cognitive systems that's how do you propagate the game across time in a complex environment the left hemisphere operates when where when what you're doing works and so a lot of what you do during your life is to keep your right hemisphere off people don't like it going on accidentally it's the home of negative emotion it's the home of pain and anxiety it's the thing that turns on and freezes you and your tracks when something that you deeply did not expect happens and it prepares you to deal with the onslaught of what you didn't expect now it's not all bad news because to use the right hemisphere in a judicious manner is also something that adds intrigue and interest and artistic expression and all sorts of positive things to your life so because potential is not only negative it's also positive it can be it can be dealt with in ways that are deeply enriching and meaningful order okay so you have to do something otherwise the consequences are dire to do something you have to value something it's it's it's a definitional issue because to do something is to act out the proposition that the thing you're doing the thing you're aiming at let's say is preferable to the thing you have and preferable means you'll do it so those things are tied together so tightly you can't disentangle them if you say I'm aiming at X but I don't value it then there's something wrong with the way that you're conceptualizing the statement because to aim at something and to work to bring it into existence is the same as valuing it and if you say well I don't value it then something's out of kilter either you're acting out a falsehood or you don't know what you're talking about it's one of those two things and you meet people like that or deeply confused they're their action patterns and their verbal self-representation don't mesh but that doesn't mean that they're critics of value it just means that they're deeply confused so you have to act or you suffer in order to act you have to have a value structure because to act you have to value one thing more than another which means that you have to inhabit a structure of value you have to okay so you need a structure value because it's the antidote to catastrophe now if you act out a structure of value socially which you will because your social you're not gonna pursue your aims in isolation because you're not you're not a solitary animal you're a social animal you're a tribal animal deeply tribal we live in groups we live in families we live in communities we live in large societies we're social at every level of analysis and we've been social for as long as we've been primates so maybe that's that's at least six million years and it might be more like 60 million years it's really a long time so it's not an arbitrary social construction it's far far deeper than that now what happens when you act out a structure of value in a social environment you produce a hierarchy inevitably well let's think it through why well let's say that you say that one thing is more worth doing than another whatever happens to be and then you tell a bunch of people about what you're doing and they decide that they're gonna come along and help you do this thing that's valuable because they also think it's valuable and maybe you get 20 people together to do this thing whatever it happens to be and the first thing you discover is that some of the people are way better at doing whatever it is they're doing than other people so and that and who knows why that is because it depends on what you chose to do you know if you chose a then it would be a different group of people who were good at it than if you chose B because people differ in their abilities but one thing you will not escape from if you make an organization to do something valuable is the brute fact that it will be a minority of the people who are good at doing it and there's actually a law it's called prices law and it's a real law it even governs the size of cities and the mass of stars and the heights of plants in the jungle it just doesn't govern human interactions and prices law says that the square root of the number of people engaged in the enterprise will do half the work so if you have ten people doing something three of them will do half the work but if you have a hundred people doing something then ten of them will do half the work and if you have 10,000 people doing something then a hundred of them will do half the work and then you know how wealth distributes itself such that a minority of people have most of the money 1285 richest people in the world have as much money as the bottom two and a half billion it's something like that and everybody goes oh my god the 1% it's like well first of all you're all the 1% so get over yourself because you're you know Western European roughly speaking and by world current world standards and certainly by historical standards you're all well ensconced in the 1% so if that's a problem well it's a problem for all of you and some of you might be you know richer than that but that doesn't mean all of you aren't in the same boat fundamentally the fact that wealth aggregates in the hands of a small number of people is part of the general expression of prices law there's nothing special about the distribution of money you see the same thing in every creative domain I mean how many of you have have recorded a gold record how many looks like zero up there's one one person okay there's 850 people in here so there's one in a thousand so that's 1/10 of 1% something like that how many of you have written a piano concerto how about painted a painting that's hanging in a national museum oh look it's none of you again right well and how many of you have been a member of a professional sports team okay look up 1 1 so that's one in a thousand well you get the point here well there was a couple there is okay so looks like it's easier to be a member of a professional sports team or my or my audience is set is biased the samples biased but but it is the case if you look at high levels of creative achievement of the sword I've just described they they characterized a staggering minority of people and so the rule is is that you produce a value system which you better produce because otherwise you suffer and die and it isn't only that only that it's like look here's something else you all know as far as I can tell we start with the idea that there's an intrinsic chaotic element to life and that includes the inevitability of suffering and malevolence betrayal at the hands of yourself and other people so that's the baseline and that's intolerable in many ways because life is in many ways intolerable and the question is well what do you do in the face of something that's intolerable and the answer is well you try to find something that justifies it right you want to have something that gets you the hell out of bed in the morning and not just any old morning but a morning when your father has Alzheimer's disease and your daughter has an incurable illness because you need something to get out of bed for in those mornings – and that better be the purpose that you found in life and if the purpose is going to be such that it gets you out of bed in those mornings it better be a pretty damn noble purpose because otherwise why would you bother and so not only do you need a value structure you need one that's of sufficient tension let's say or sufficient value or sufficient nobility so that it's worth suffering for because you're going to suffer and you better have something that makes the suffering justifiable and so not only do you need the value structure so that you don't just deteriorate and die you need the value structure so that when the flood comes in your life as it certainly will that you have built a vessel that will sustain you through the catastrophe and that's not this pursuit of happiness it's not even the pursuit of security it's none of that it's your the orientation that you've managed to produce in your own life towards a higher good that's so high that it's worth bearing the burden of being to produce you implement that in the world you produce a hierarchy now you might say well and then you have the problem of hierarchy and the problem of hierarchy is a very few people are going to be very good at whatever that hierarchy does and then you have the second problem with hierarchy which is the problem I just laid out when I asked you about your spectacular levels of attainment and found out that they were very it was very unlikely I'm not saying that you haven't attained worthwhile things that's not my point my point is is that very high levels of attainment are extraordinarily rare and that's an inevitability as soon as you decide that something's worth doing to inevitabilities people stack up at the top minority of people stack up at the top and take most of the proceeds whatever they happen to be or deserve them or earn them whatever however I don't care how you conceptualize it and almost everybody else stacks up at the bottom and so the problem with hierarchies is that even though they're necessary they tend to produce a situation where most people stack up at the bottom and so that's the next thing that we have to contend with you can't get rid of the hierarchies because if you get rid of the hierarchies there's no value structure and if there's no value structure not only do you deteriorate and die you want to deteriorate and die and that's not a good solution but if you do generate a hierarchy then you have the problem of the hierarchy and the problem of the hierarchy is that it will dis possess most people now to the degree that the post modernists have something to say that's what they say is hierarchies dis possess okay and then we can look at that clearly and carefully and we can say that doesn't mean a that hierarchies themselves are corrupt or that we can dispense with them but it also doesn't mean that we have no moral obligation to the dispossessed and we say well how do we deal with that politically conceptually and the way we deal with that at least in part is to produce a political spectrum that ranges from left to right that deals with hierarchy and the problems that hierarchies cause so one of the things that you can reliably assume about someone who's on the right is that they will be patriotically in favor of the current hierarchy or even more abstractly they're in favor of the idea of hierarchy itself and you say well more power to the people on the right because you need hierarchies so they should support them but then you have to take the people on the left you say yeah but what about the people who are dispossessed by the hierarchy and what you have to say to them is yeah we actually have to do something about that and you think well how do we do something about that and the answer is we don't actually know because there's no permanent solution to the problem of dispossession by the hierarchy we don't know how to fix it say well we could flatten the hierarchies it's like not without disrupting the value structure that's a price you don't want to pay well we could take from the top and put it at the bottom it's like yes hypothetically we could but it turns out that when you try that in practice it's very very easy to rapidly go too far and then what you end up with naught is less dispossessed you end up with no one who has anything and that's not a good solution to the problem of scarcity right to make everyone equally dead or equally starving which is essentially what the Communist States did across the entirety of the twentieth century is not the proper way to address the problem of hierarchy now it has to be addressed even if you're on the right because here's one thing that happens hierarchies tend to ossify you know because what happens is that the people at the top maybe they got there by merit but it's easy for them to gerrymander the system so they can stay there without merit or perhaps their children can stay there without merit or they can or the hierarchy becomes corrupt so that people who only use tyranny and power can climb it and so you don't have a hierarchy of competence and value anymore you have a hierarchy of brute power which looks like a tyranny so there's all sorts of ways that hierarchies can deteriorate and we have to be awake to ensure that that doesn't occur also if the hierarchy gets so steep that everybody stacks up at zero and no one can climb it which is basically the definition of a malfunctioning tyranny than all the people at the bottom rightly think well why don't we just destroy the game because we're already at zero so what the hell do we have to lose and so one of the things that you want to do if you're a sensible conservative is make sure that the hierarchy maintains its rooting incompetence that it's transparent and that it's Klima Bowl because otherwise it will ossify and steepen and then it will destroy itself and if you're a conservative and you value stability and the hierarchy then you don't want to set up a situation where the most likely outcome is that the hierarchy destroys itself so so we can be intelligent about this we could say look don't be thinking you can get rid of hierarchies they've been around this is why I wrote chapter one I talked about lobsters the reason I talked about them is because not only is the hierarchical structure itself as a permanent feature of existence at least a third of a billion years old which by the way means that you cannot attribute it to capitalism the free market or the corrupt patriarchal West unless you're willing to make the case that all three of those elements contributed to the existence of dominance hierarchies among crustaceans which seems highly unlikely so and and this is actually something that's that it's you could think about it as an idea that's actually directed towards the productive left if you want to help the dispossessed don't blame the existence of hierarchies on capitalism because it's wrong it's wrong that the problem is way deeper than that and here's something else that's very interesting about capitalism a couple of things you might consider you know we have become spectacularly wealthy since 1895 right first in the West Iceland is a classic example I mean you guys are so much more wealthy than you were a hundred years ago that it's absolutely impossible to believe and so that's first happened in the West exponential economic growth starting in about 1895 there's a long tail I mean people were improving before that but it really kicked in around 1895 and first happened in the West and now it's happening everywhere in the world I don't know if you know this but you know the UN set a goal in 2000 to have the level of absolute poverty in the world by 2015 which is the fastest rate of economic growth ever recorded we attained it in 2012 three years ahead of the most optimistic projections right and so people are being lifted out of poverty at a rate that has never been seen in the history of the world hooked to the power grids provided with cell phones provided with free with access to fresh water provided with access to medications that decrease child mortality like if you look at the statistics there are so many things getting better so fast you cannot even believe it and that's and here's that's a consequence as far as as far as the data indicate of the operation of the free market system which does produce inequality that's the thing but as far as I can tell the only system that has ever produced wealth and as law or has every system produces inequality but the only system we know of that produces produces wealth and inequality is the free market so here's a question for everyone left and right how many units of inequality will you tolerate to produce one unit of wealth and if the answer is zero then you've gone too far you're outside the appropriate political debate that's the wrong answer and if you try to impose that all there will be as mayhem because the price we pay for wealth is inequality now that doesn't mean that you can let inequality run to its ultimate extreme because then you run into the other problem which is the monopoly problem you've all played Monopoly I presume what happens in every Monopoly game if you play it out everyone stacks out at zero up at zero except one person now if you play it 50 times you'll find that it's hardly ever the same person because it's basically a game of chance and there's a fair bit of chance by the way operating in the distribution of money in the world it's not all chance but there's a fair bit of chance but the logical conclusion to a hierarchy that can play itself out totally is that one person has everything and everyone else has nothing obviously that's not a useful outcome so so you know and the way there are ways that we fix that in our society we have progressive tax policies and you can argue about their utility but that's one way of rectifying it potentially another way of rectifying is that we don't have one game right in a pluralistic society we have many many games that people can play and so if you can't be a successful lawyer then maybe you could be a successful plumber and if you can't be a successful plumber maybe you can run a small restaurant or you know there's a diversity of games and so that's a good way of allowing of increasing the robustness of the system so that you don't get hierarchies that are so steep that they collapse in and I'm in an you know in upon themselves and so those are sophisticated approaches and perhaps your other approaches too but it's an intractable problem it says in the new testament it's one of the things you'd swear would be edited out because it's such a harsh statement the poor will be with us always well what's that in reference to it's also in reference to the Matthieu principle which is another New Testament statement and happens to be an economic axiom to those who have everything more will be given from those who have nothing everything will be taken that's the structure of the world and you can't lay it at the feet of the West it's the structure of the world now that means we have to contend with it and it's not an easy thing to contend with and part of the reason that we have a continual political dialogue and that we need to have a continual political dialogue is to make sure that our hierarchies exist and remain in tact but don't become so steep and corrupt that they destroy themselves and you need a left and a right for that and if and buts that means the left half it has to admit that hierarchies are not only necessary but valuable and the right has to admit that despite their necessity in value they tend to stack people up at the bottom and that actually constitutes a continual problem you see that in you see that in the Old Testament because one of the things that happens in the Old Testament is Israel struggles up to state and Empire status six times it struggles out of the chaos up to Empire status and then it gets corrupt it loses the way it isn't balancing things between chaos and order properly the kings get arrogant is so to the people and they forget their relationship with God that's another way of thinking about it and then a prophet comes up and says you aren't paying enough attention to the widows and the orphans you better look out because that displeases God and the Israelites who are stiff-necked and arrogant think what's God going to do to us which is not a very wise way of thinking and so they don't take the steps necessary to rectify their deviation from the proper path and they get absolutely flattened and the consequences of that lasts for generations like seven generations and then they struggle their way up to something approximating Empire status again and exactly the same thing happens they forget and they collapse there's six stories like that in the Old Testament it's all documented by a man named Northrop Frye who is a Canadian literary critic who wrote a couple of books on the Bible one called the Great Code and the other called words with power which I I would highly recommend it's an analysis of the Bible as literature brilliant for those of you who might be interested in Union thinking Frye's thinking is a nice adjunct so all right so so that's the nature of the world order chaos and order and your goal is to keep those the relationship between those two things optimized and you do that by doing what's meaningful not what's expedient that's rule 6 and you ensure that you have the world construed properly by following rule number eight which is tell the truth or at least don't lie you don't want to pathologies the instinct that Orient's you in the world and you will pathologize it by engaging in habitual deceit and the reason you do that is when you practice something you build structures that specialize in that and then they run automatically so if you're living a lie which is a very common thing for people to do then you're building neurological mechanisms that view the world through that lie and once they're built there you and good luck unbuilding them it's very very difficult that's in part what happens to people who are addicted by the way they build mechanisms of search neurological structures that are focused on the drug and those systems are alive and all they want is the drug and they're they're not it's not psychological exactly it's psychophysiological don't build structures of cognition predicated on deception because you will pay for it and so if you're gonna guide your life with the orientation of the instinctive meaning then you have to be very careful with what you say and write and think because every time you say or write or think something you build a little neurological structure that's specialized for that and it participates in this parsing of the world so alright chaos and order then you can say the order orders a hierarchy okay so here's the next question next to questions is order a hierarchy and then a subsidiary question would be if order is a hierarchy what's well either what is at the top of the hierarchy or what should be at the top of the hierarchy said hierarchy is a structure of value so that's the question is what should be of all commit value okay so now we're gonna take that apart a little bit the first thing I would say is order is not a hierarchy order is a set of hierarchies that's a different thing so I'll tell you how to think about that I think so imagine you have a child and they're playing soccer and your child's a pretty good soccer player no I'll tell you a different story this actually happened so I'm gonna tell you a story about hockey and I'm since I'm Canadian what the hell I might as well tell you a story about hockey um my son played hockey he still plays hockey he's a pretty good hockey player and my wife and I used to go watch him play hockey there was an arena just down the street from us and there was a nice neighborhood League there and so they'd sort the kids into teams and then they'd let them play a few demo games and if any team was getting stomped flat or any other team was winning too much then they'd rebalanced the team so that they were approximately equal in skill so that was the sorting of the teams so and then they then they were on their teams and then they play you know 15 games during the regular season they'd have a little tournament to see who won and it was really good it was good friendly League and so my son's team was in I think it was the championship game if I remember correctly and there's one kid on his team who was the best player on the team but by quite a margin you know he was very fast on his feet he could he could skate rings around a lot of the kids he was good at stick handling he was a good hockey player but he had some problems this kid one problem was he wouldn't pass the puck now you think well why the hell should you pass the puck if you had the best hockey player which is pretty much what he thought and the answer is well you're part of a team right you want to be the best person on the team fair enough and you want to win the hockey game but you also want to what make your team mates better players how's that maybe you even want to make the people on other teams better players I mean I know that's going a little bit too far but you certainly want to make your teammates better players and you might think well why would you do that because if they're better then maybe you won't be the best well that's a boneheaded way of looking at the world because first of all if you amp up the competition around you maybe that'll motivate you to be even better and it's a hell of a way to win by making everyone else lose that's not much of a victory and so if you have any sense you pass the damn puck even if you're the better player especially you especially do that let's say you've got it comfortable two goal lead well then maybe you can risk taking the time away from that specific game to build up the confident confidence and ability of your teammates and then maybe everybody thinks that you're a bit of a leader and they make you team captain not even so much because you're the best hockey player but because well because why that's the question okay so we're watching the game and it's pretty exciting and it's real close game and it's like 3 2 3 and it's a minute left and the other team zips down the nice and scores a really brilliant goal and so my son's team loses except that they were in the championship and it was a really good game so you know whether or not they lost is not all that obvious they lost that game but you know there's a broader context to take into consideration ok so this kid the this the star goes off the ice and he takes his hockey stick and he smashes it on to the cement and he's all angry because as far as he was concerned he was robbed and maybe that's because of his useless teammates who he didn't really spend any time helping by the way and maybe it's because the referees were unfair and who the hell knows why but it wasn't fair and his idiot farther rushes over to him and consoles him in on his loss and supports him in his notion that he was robbed and I thought you unspeakable son of a bitch because he was an arrogant narcissist and it was way more important to him that he had a son who was a star than that he had a son who is a good person and that's absolutely inexcusable he made the wrong choice he sacrificed his son's soul in part to help him save face for a hockey game that's not acceptable ok so here's what you tell your children it doesn't matter whether you win or lose it matters how you play the game and so that's what the father should have told the son and he should have meant it and even better he should have known what it meant but who knows what that means because you tell your children that and maybe they're not so happy because they lost a game and they look at you like you're an alien and they think well what the hell do you mean by that because obviously it matters whether you win and it does matter whether you win so what is it that you mean when you say that and your kid asks well what do you mean by that and you go well I don't know what it means but it's a good rule so what do you mean by that here's what you mean and it relates to rule 5 which is don't make your don't let your children do anything that makes you dislike them because other people will dislike them then and you don't want other people to dislike your children unless you want your children to inhabit a world where everyone dislikes them and maybe you do you don't like your children and maybe you don't like your children because you let them behave in ways that makes you not like them and so the way you take revenge is by not correcting them so that other people will punish them because you don't have the courage to discipline them and if you think that people don't play that game then you don't know much about people because they play that game all the time all right so it matters how you play the game it doesn't matter whether you win or lose let's take that apart well so the first thing is and this goes back to the idea the hierarchy is order a hierarchy and the answer is no it's a set of all hierarchies or you could say it's the it's the set of all possible hierarchies because you know in a society at a given time there's hierarchies that function but that transforms and then there's new hierarchies that function the the specifics of the hierarchies change but the fact of the hierarchies remains and so you can imagine a hierarchy as a meta structure that consists of a multitude of possible hierarchies and that's going to change as life continues and so what you want for your children is not to be the master of a hierarchy you want for your children to be the master of the set of all possible hierarchies because then no matter how things change they're ready say well how is it that you get ready for things to change and the answer is play so that people will invite you to play right and there's a rule for for children for raising children and it really it's a rule one of the things you can do with your children this is something good for men because men are more likely to do this than women although women can do it too but men are more likely to do it it's really good for children to engage in rough-and-tumble play play fighting first of all if you have children and you've played with them physically you know that they absolutely love it they will rough-and-tumble play with you until you are completely exhausted and they're not even vaguely ready to quit they have an inexhaustible hunger for it and they like it they like to be pushed to the edge so I knew this when I was a new father because I read work by a man named yak panksepp who was a genius an effective neuroscientist one of the world's great neuroscientists perhaps the world's greatest neuroscientist although there's four or five people that might compete with him he wrote a book called affective neuroscience emotional neuroscience which is a work of real genius he discovered the play circuit in mammals because there's a separate play circuit in mammals a specialized circuit and he did a lot of work on rats and showing that in order for a rat to become socialized because rats are highly social they had to engage in iterative bouts of rough-and-tumble play and here's a cool thing it's a ridiculously cool thing so and this has to do in some sense with the postmodern critique of the patriarchal tyranny so if you take to juvenile rats males and you imagine you give them an opportunity to play so you throw two of them into a little play arena and you let the wrestle okay the next time that you bring them to the same place you can measure how much work they'll do to open the door to the arena how many times they'll push a button say to open the door or haw-haw-haw hard they'll pull if you tie a strength spring to their tail and so you can get an estimate of their motivation because the more motivated they are to play the harder they'll work and rats will work really hard to play so you know that they want to play I mean assuming that you're willing to accept the fact that if you work for something you want it it's like an operational definition so rats will work to play now if you let the rats out in the play arena and one rat is ten percent bigger than the other then that rat will win you might say well what does winning mean and rats wrestle like people wrestle they even pin each other and they manifest play behavior to begin with like dogs playing in a park you know how a dog looks when it wants to play it sort of hunkers down a little bit looks up at you like expectance expectantly kind of move back and forth which is like okay human I'm ready to play and if you have any sense and you know how to play then you look at the dog and you sort of go like this and the dog goes like this and you cuff the dog not too hard and the dog bites you not too hard and then you can play and you're both happy with that and kids can do that with dogs because kids understand dogs and dogs and kids know how to play if if your dog can't play then you should not own a dog because you're not smart enough to own a dog so it's true and if you have a dog that can't play then don't have a kid right it's true the stupidest dog I ever saw was owned by a psychologist that was really embarrassing so okay so you put the rat two rats together and there's the 10% bigger rod and there's the 10% smaller rat and the 10% bigger rat stomps the small rat and pins him so he wins and so now you're a postmodernist doing the experiment and you say powerful tyrannical rat dominates hierarchy really really that's what you conclude end of experiment and you're and it looks correct because powerful dominant rat dominated and one it's like okay except for one thing rats live with rats they don't wander they're not psychopathic individuals wandering from isolated community to isolated community they know all the other rats and that means they have to keep playing with them and the rules for playing with someone thirty times are not the same as the rules for playing with someone once so panksepp had the rats play repeatedly and what he observed was okay now the next time you put those rats together the situation is a little different the little rat comes bouncing out and does the playful dog thing too the big rat so now the rule is you're the little rat you lost you have to be the creature that invites to play that's now your status so you bounce around and you know the big rats all cool and he's smoking a cigarette and doesn't want to doesn't want to play but he'll flick it away at some point and think all right what the hell you know and so then he gets in it and so he can stomp the little rat again because he's a bigger rat if the big rat doesn't let the little rat win 30% of the time across repeated play boats then the little rat won't ask him to play anymore you think well if you think about you don't think so what you don't think why did yo King Sepp waste his time studying playing rats you think oh my god that's an absolute miracle because it shows you that there's an ethic of fair play that emerges as a consequence of repeated bouts of play even among rats it's so basic it isn't even human that ethic the ethic of fair play is deeper than human it's real and it's the ethic that governs iterated interactions and it's not just in rats that we've seen this so you know chimpanzees are pretty damn brutal they're way more brutal than you think and they're really really strong maybe six times as strong as an adult male now there's the estimates vary but they're plenty strong enough to tear you to bits and that happens now and then people have chimps for pets and they become adults and it's like don't mess with the chimp because it'll tear you to pieces and so and chimps are brutal and this is interesting because they're our closest relatives and so Jane Goodall discovered in the 1970s that rats our tribe or chimps are tribal they live in tribal groups like we do and they have a territory that's the known territory and there's a perimeter that's the unknown that's chaos and other chimpanzees inhabit the chaos foreign chimpanzees and the juvenile chimps patrol the perimeters in groups of four or five and if they spy us a foreign chimp or two of them if they outnumber them because they can't count but they have a sense of quantity if five chimps come across to foreign chimps they will tear them to bits and I actually mean that literally that's what they do and chimps also hunt they hunt colobus monkeys and they weigh about 40 pounds and they're quite carnivorous and they will eat them alive well they're screaming so there isn't a lot of empathy regulating chimp aggression which is something to think about when you think about human beings because it's not obvious what regulates our aggression and you might think well it's your conscience and like yeah maybe it's your conscience and maybe it's something else if you read the book of you read The Rape of Nanking for example and you'll start wondering very very rapidly about whether people have any conscience at all so that's a story of absolutely atrocious Japanese behavior in China at at the beginning of World War two it's a horrifying book so read it with caution but it's very instructive so anyways the chimps the chimps are very brutal creatures and so you might think well let's look at a chimp hierarchy because chimps have dominance hierarchies and they're basically male-dominated although there are lots of powerful female chimps say ok who becomes the dominant chimp and the answer might be and this would be the postmodern answer the most powerful tyrannical brutal chimp rules because its power that moves you up the hierarchy it's like that happens sometimes among chimps but you know what happens to tyrant chimps they have an off day and to subordinate chimps each 3/4 the size gang up to make a one and a half super chimp and then they tear him to pieces right so here's the rule if you're a chimp tyrants meet bloody ends so how do you conduct yourself as a chimp if you want to be at the top of the hierarchy and have preferential access to the things that being at the top of the hierarchy would give you an answer is engage in mutually reciprocal interactions with your peers the chimps that rise to the top that stay there stabili and also have the most stable functioning troops by the way are the ones that have friends that are long-term and permanent and engage in reciprocal interactions not only with their friends but also with the females and the infants and so even among chimps patriarchal tyranny a is not the norm and B is not the proper mode of approaching the situation and so that speaks to a broader ethic the same kind of ethic that is spoken to with regards to the rat studies of play behavior and you can see this sort of thing throughout the animal kingdom there's a there's a pattern of reciprocal interaction that seems to stabilize social animals that isn't predicated on brute force now maybe the simpler the animal the more its predicated on brute force but we are by no means simple animals and the idea that our hierarchies are fundamentally tyrannical the patriarchy which is a word that nobody who thinks carefully should ever use casually that term is predicated on the idea that hey that our hierarchies are tyrannical which they aren't although they can become that way and be that the most reliable means to attaining status within a hierarchy is through the expression of power and both of those things are wrong they're wrong and nonetheless that's the primary theory of the social sciences and the humanities enough of that we've we have enough data to indicate that none of that's sufficiently sophisticated to constitute a reasonable explanation of the world so we should dispense with it as fast as possible all it's doing is dividing us into tribes and it's not solving the problems that it's hypothetically intended to solve so ok so now back to the question so there isn't a hierarchy there's a set of hierarchies and it's like the set of games so here's what you're telling your child when you say doesn't matter whether you win or lose it matters how you play the game what you're telling them is life is not a game it's not even a sequence of the same games it's multiple sequences of different games and if you want to be a successful player in the set of multiple sequence of different games then you have to adopt a higher order ethic and you don't subordinate that ethic to victory in any one game ever so you put the manner in which you play above your victory in in each instance and the reason that that produces the best possible outcome for you is that you get invited to play the largest number of games and so let's go back to rule 5 don't let your children do anything that makes you dislike them okay so let's say you like your children let's say you love your children and you want the best for them you detach yourself a little bit you think well I'm not gonna be around forever and they're going to deal with a lot of different people single people like individuals groups of people children and adults and what they have to be prepared for is to interact with that set of people in the best possible manner because and so what do you want well let's say your child's too and it's still pretty egocentric because children shoot two-year-olds are quite egocentric they can't share yet they don't really learn how to share in any technical sense till they're about three it's hard for them to learn to share between two and four they learn to share and to play and the way they learn is by at least in part by engaging in reciprocal interactions with their parents now what is it that it what is it that's your job when you're socializing a child who's 2 to 4 you have to do it between the ages of 2 & 4 by the way because if you don't manage it by the time they're 4 then you might as well give up because it isn't going to happen and the literature on antisocial behavior in children is crystal clear on this point if your child's antisocial at 4 you've failed and there isn't anything that can be done about it it's a dismal literature and believe me psychologists and sociologists and anthropologists and criminologists have tried for like six decades to figure out how to remediate antisocial behavior in older children and adolescents and they haven't managed it so so between 2 & 4 is crucial you want to help your child become the sort of person that other children want to play with and the reason you want to do that is because from 4 onward other children are the primary agents of socialization and so if your children are accepted by other children then they're on their way because other children will socialize them doesn't mean you're not important as a parent but it means they find their peers who are at the same developmental level as them and they start to reciprocally socialize one another and they do that through play and so if you've prepared your child to be a great play companion then you can just stand back and let it happen and you have to be around when something breaks down when the system doesn't work properly you have to be there as a resource but basically you can sort of push them out onto the playground and say you know you know what to do go play and play is of absolutely crucial importance as documented by people like Jean Piaget so you're trying to make your child maximally attractive as a play partner and the ethic there is well the world is made out of a sequence of hierarchies that transform and so you want your child to be the sort of person who's invited to participate in whatever hierarchy organizes itself and how and what should a child be like to do that well they have to be reciprocal take turns right you don't always get to pick the game you have to find out what other people want to do they have to want to play – like there's all these sophisticated ethical rules that go around play and you know if you're playing with some of you have played with kids that aren't fun to play with well what are they like if something doesn't go their way what happens they have an emotional outburst so they revert to the behavior of a ill-prepared two-year-old they have a temper tantrum they burst into tears they thrash around on the floor it's not fun because when you play if you don't lose sometimes then no one else ever wins so who the hell is gonna play with someone like that a downtrodden victim that's all it's not no kid with any sense is gonna put up with that all they didn't this is exactly what kids are like if they find out that their potential play partner is a whiny two-year-old even though therefore they just stop playing and they go find another kid that's exactly what happens and so if you want that for your kid then make sure that their whiny and better every time they lose a good way to do that is to never let them lose it anything so they don't get any practice well I don't want my kid to lose it's like wrong you don't want to you don't want your kid to lose in an unsophisticated manner that's not the same thing at all if you think the way you accomplish that is by never having your kid lose then well then well then we're back to the you shouldn't even own a dog problem all right so then you might take apart what does it mean to be a desirable play partner assuming you're gonna play reciprocal repeated games across all sorts of different contexts well there's a there's a whole ethic that emerges from that see Nietzsche back in the late 1800s he was the first person to kind of caught on to this sort of thing because until then people tended to think of morality as something that was invented rationally and then imposed from the top down but Nietzsche being a very intelligent observer noted that well that wasn't really the case there was a ethic already built into human interactions that we all acted out but that we didn't really understand very well so here's a way to think about that so imagine you're watching a wolf pack and wolves compete for dominance and so the way they do that is they basically have a play fight about it now it's this fairly serious play fight and so two wolves that are engaged in a dominus dispute will sort of sand sideways to each other you know how cats do that you ever watched two cats fight cats stand sideways think well why does a cat stand sideways when it's fighting it's because a sideways cat is a bigger cat than a head-on cat so the cats trying to intimidate the other cat so it stands sideways then it puffs itself up including its tail and the reason it does that is so that it looks bigger because one cat isn't there cats don't want to fight they want to threaten until one cat backs down and so they puff themselves up and they make horrible noises and they face off against each other but they don't want to fight because the two cats that are fighting might damage each other then a third cat comes in and like winds it's a stupid strategy so it's it is so most animals don't like to fight because they might damage themselves and then another interloper will just win it's a stupid strategy and human beings are quite a bit like that we do a lot of posturing and defensive display and aggressive display and all that but we don't fight very often for that for the same reasons and it's only when those other mechanisms break down that we actually fight so what happens in a wolf dispute is this the Wolves square off and they amp up the threats in the hope that one of the wolves will back to hell down because what will happen is the wolf will chicken out one of them and then when it does it rolls over and shows its neck why well because when wolves hunt they go for the neck generally like wolves are quite cruel creatures in some sense and they'll actually eat moose standing up but generally speaking if they can manage it they go through for the throat and they'll bring the animal down and so what the wolf is basically saying is well you scared me half to death I'm a useful Moo I'm a useless moose you might as well tear out my neck and the other wolf says yeah you're pretty detestable and you're kind of like a moose but I might need you to hunt tomorrow so I know I could tear out your neck but I won't and then the defeated wolf stands up and he's not very happy and he's kind of a low status wolf but at least he's still got his neck and the victor wolf gets to be high status wolf and he gets to go hunting with his partner the next day and so you might think well wolves have a complex procedural morality and the morality is don't tear the neck out of your out of the purr of out of the creature you defeat that's wrong and then you might say well that's the rule that wolves follow but that's wrong because wolves don't follow rules because wolves don't have rules because they don't have language and they don't think not like us they act like they have rules they act so that if you watch them act you could label what they're doing with the rule that's how we got our rules that's how we got our rules we acted out an ethic and then we watched and then we coated it in stories that's what our religious stories are they're the consequence of us watching what it is that we do when we act ethically and then transforming that into a story and everyone's intent on that story it's absolutely intent on the story of good versus evil let's say because that's the fundamental story and why do you want to watch that story because you want to know how to be the victor in the set of all possible games and that's what that story's about and that's what movies are about and that's what books are about and that's what religious narratives are about that's what everything that grips us at a literary level is about and the reason that it grips us is because that's what the world is made of and that's what we need to know so then you might think so here's something to think about I'll give you a symbolic representation of this okay so there's this idea in Christianity and I'm not talking about this from a religious perspective okay I'm talking about this from an anthropological perspective or a biological perspective or a that'll do an anthropological or a viola or psychological perspective so there's this idea in Christianity that Christ is whatever Christ is is the king of kings okay so I'm gonna take that apart so imagine that you have a hierarchy whatever it is and there's someone at the top of it and so that's person has the attributes necessary to be at the top of that hierarchy maybe it's a hockey team and you go home and you tell a story about how the best hockey player on your team played while they were being the best hockey player it's a little hero narrative it's a little fragment of a hero narrative and maybe it's hockey soccer plumbing law business art there's all these hierarchies and then there's the thing that's at the top of all of them and the thing that's all that at the top of all of them has something in common that's whatever it is that's in common across all the things that are at the top so imagine this okay so you could think about this imagine that you're a novelist and you want to distill some characters and you want a good evil character because what the hell good is your book without a good evil character and you want a good good character because the same problem place you don't want to just tell a story about some guy's day right you don't want to say well John woke up at 6 and then he smacked his lips four times and blinked 20 times and then he swung his feet over across the bed and walked into the bathroom because who cares about any of that you don't need to know that because you know how to move your mouth and COFF and walk to the bathroom it's not helpful you want a distillation you want the novelist who have watched a bunch of people and abstracted out someone who's good in a way that's good across a bunch of people and you want them to have abstracted out someone who's evil that's abstract across a bunch of evil characters so you see that in Hamlet for example you see that Dostoyevsky where the where the characters are bigger than life and you want them bigger than life because you want it distilled so that you can learn from it and what you're learning is that ethic okay so then imagine that you have a hundred of hierarchies just mundane hierarchies then you take the people at the top of all those hierarchies say that you grouped them into groups of ten okay so you take ten admirable people and then you say well we're gonna average across them and we're gonna come out with the most out with a composite admirable person made out of those ten you have a hundred to begin with so you let's say you have a thousand to begin with you distill them to a hundred admirable people then you take that hundred admirable people and you distill them into ten and then you take those ten admirable people and you distill them into one and what that one is is what's admirable across the entire set of admirable people that's a divine figure in a mythological story that's what it is and so the Christian idea is Christ is the king of kings and that's what it means you go into a cathedral and the cathedral is a cross by the way and the cross is the place where suffering is accepted and the cross is a dome over it then that's the sky okay so there's an idea in the Cathedral and the idea is that the place of the Cross which is where suffering occurs is the center of the universe which is the dome and then you look up at the dome and you see this figure staring down at you that's the king of kings and that's how to behave in the world that's what that image represents and you think well what does it mean well here's a way of unpacking it and this is associated with its associated with the idea of how to behave across the set of all possible hierarchies well what should you do well according to rule one you should stand up straight with your shoulders back okay now the people who've been some of the people who've been criticizing me say well because I point out that hierarchies exist I'm justifying them it's like pointing out that something exists is not the same as justifying it it's just pointing out that it exists and pointing it out that it exists without justifying it is certainly not saying that the way to attain dominance in a hierarchy is through power which is the other thing that I've been criticized for which is not what I'm saying in fact I'm not saying that no I'm not even saying that a little bit it's exactly the opposite of what I'm saying say well if you stand up straight with your shoulders back isn't that a powerful stance and the answer is well actually no a powerful stance is this right well not really because I'm not very good at it but high if I knew what I was doing this would be it and I put myself sideways so I'm ooh not much of a target and I'm ready for attack okay that's not this stance this dance is different right and that isn't this stance either this is a defensive Crouch this is what happens if you're depressed and anxious right this dance is I'm willing to take what the world throws at me right and that might be the trials and tribulations that are associated with the hierarchy because that's a tough battle in and of itself but it also might be all the terrible unknown things that are going to come your way and what's the right attitude stand the hell up with some courage and take it right voluntarily with courage so it's actually a stance of maximal vulnerability vulnerability adopted voluntarily that's what the crucifix represents just so you know it represents the willingness to take on the suffering of the world voluntarily the whole thing and that's associated with what's ever at the top of the hierarchy so the idea is the best possible strategy that you have to be successful across the set of all possible hierarchies is to maximally accept the fact that your vote that you're vulnerable to accept that as the price of being and that's the essential message it's not only the message of Christianity by the way you see this sort of idea expressed in all sorts of religious structures I mean the Daoists to return to them say well where should you be in the world the world is made out of the catastrophe of chaos and the tyranny of order where do you stand in that place and the answer is with one foot in chaos and one foot in order that's the line down the middle that's the DAO that's the way that's the point of meaning it's the same place that's at the center of a cathedral it's the same idea you stand there because you're secure because you have tradition and the power of your civilization behind you and you have one foot in chaos because that's not enough and never will be and the instinct that puts you there is the instinct of meaning and you can use that as a guide and it's a deep neurological instinct it's not some epiphenomena it's the most real thing there is as far as I can tell and associated with that is a certain attitude towards life which is to venture courageously out into the unknown is to put yourself on the line right to heed the call of adventure to risk yourself voluntarily you have no choice anyways right because you're in this all the way there's no out that isn't death the full catastrophe is at your feet you can't evade or escape that but what you can do is choose how it is that you're going to confront it and so rule one is to stand up straight with your shoulders back and to manifest and this is the thing that's so amazing about this I think and that what lends a kind of ultimate reality to the idea of positioning yourself properly you might say well let's presume that you're a very pessimistic person or a very realistic person and you say well what's the fundamental reality of life you say well it's suffering and malevolence it's like okay it's a hard argument to forestall but I don't think it's true it's true but it's not it's not the final truth the final truth is despite the fact that that's true the ability of the human spirit to prevail is more powerful than death and evil that's the truth and you know that you know that first of all you know that because you're ashamed that you're not everything you could be you know that because the people that you admire are people who manifest courage in the diarist of straights and you know that as well because when you meet people like that and you're not like that they shame you that speaks to your deepest possible instinct you know what you could be and you know to that you see people contend with situations that are so difficult that it's truly a miracle that they can contend with them you know and I think of people well I think of people who work in funeral homes that's a good example that's hard right that's death and grief every day and it's not something that you can avoid it's like it's right there it's as real as it can possibly be I'll tell you a story about that tonight a client who was very afraid of being alive and she wanted to sleep all the time and she took sleeping pills and all sorts of other things so that she could have the burden of being conscious and she was a very good dreamer and she she wasn't doing well in university and she had a dream one night that gypsy told her that she was actually lucid during her dreams by the way and she could ask her dream characters what they meant and they would tell her which was something I'd never seen anyone else manage in any case she jumped of this gypsy that she met in the forest and the Gypsy told her that unless she learned to unless she could learn to work in a slaughterhouse she'd never finished her degree and so she told me that story no no no if you know this but the classic treatment for people who are afraid of things is to expose them to what they're afraid of which is a good lesson if you have children because you want to expose your children to challenges because that makes them stronger it has to be done voluntarily but if you have post-traumatic stress disorder let's say you're the victim of a vicious sexual assault by a stranger and two years later you have post-traumatic stress disorder the most effective treatment is to get you to relive the experience in as much vivid detail as you possibly can and experience all the emotions that occurred while it was happening and if if you do that the more upset you get when you do that if you do it voluntarily the faster you get better and the longer you stay better and so it's a general rule of thumb in psychotherapy is if someone's avoiding something find out what they're avoiding break it into manageable pieces and have them voluntarily expose themselves to it and they they will be cured and that's the dragon fight in in clinical practice find what you most want to what you most need will be found where you least want to look right that's a hell of a statement so she told me this dream and I thought well I don't know how to arrange for you to work in a slaughterhouse that doesn't seem like very she wouldn't eat meat by the way she wouldn't go into a butcher store I took her into a butcher store once and she had a very catastrophic reaction she couldn't handle it anyways I said why we can't arrange the slaughterhouse thing why don't you go away and for a while and come back in a week and see if you can come up with a No turn ative so she came back and she said I want to see an embalming and I thought oh god okay how the hell am I gonna arrange that so I phoned a couple of funeral homes and I said look I've got this person who's really afraid of death and she had this dream and I told them the story and they said no problem bring her in and so I wasn't looking forward to this by the way so we went and she was very very nervous because she certainly didn't think she could handle that and you know I as I said already I wasn't exactly thrilled about it either but in for a pound in for a penny in for a pound as they say so anyways we went to the funeral parlor and they showed us around and we asked a bunch of questions like how the hell did they cope with their jobs because that's just a mystery to me and they said well it was actually really useful for them to guide people through the process of grief and that their experience was that that had given them a renewed appreciation for life which is well that would account for why they were able to do it because it seems like a very hard job and so we went into this room and watched this embalming and I was about 8 feet away from this small room it's a pretty gruesome operation as you might imagine and my client was sitting beside me and I was watching her and watching the embalming as well and for the first while she was just looking to the side which was I'm not here and I certainly can't handle that and no bloody wonder literally and so but then she would take the odd glance say she'd go like this and then look away and then as the minutes ticked by but fairly rapidly she was spending more time watching and less time looking away until she was finally doing nothing but watching and then at some point she asked if she could come in and and put her hand on the body and so they gave her a glove and she did that and then she went and sat down and she was quite quiet about all this and quite quiet afterwards and well so what did she discover well she didn't discover the death was wasn't horrible she didn't discover that and she didn't discover the death wasn't terrifying because it certainly was but what she did discover that she was a hell of a lot tougher than she thought and and much quicker than she would have believed and she went away thinking huh look at that I did the thing I was most afraid of doing and Here I am and not only am I not more damaged than I was I'm actually better than I was and so from then on she had a reference point right which is an interesting thing I think this is why primordial people initiate there especially their young men because it sort of happens automatically with young women they expose their young men to something absolutely terrifying genuinely terrifying so that for the rest of their lives they know the difference between what's actually terrifying and what's just sort of normal catastrophe because you really need to know that right because you need to know that you can prevail and one of the things she learned as a consequence of that exposure was that she could prevail despite the realities of life of course that's what you want to teach your children mostly by example is that they can prevail despite the realities of life of course that also means that you have to have admitted to what the realities of life are but the thing that's so interesting about that here's another story so you know the story of King Arthur and the Holy Grail the Holy Grail is the ultimate value that's it's a symbol of whatever the ultimate value is and King Arthur assembles his knights around the round table it's a round table because they're all equal despite the fact that they have a king they sit as equals at the round table and they all decide to go off to seek for the Holy Grail it's either the cup that Christ drank out about the Last Supper or the cup that held his blood on the cross it's one of those two things it doesn't really matter it's a symbol of what's redemptive that's what the Holy Grail is so it's a representation of the ultimate value the question is where do you go to seek out what's of ultimate value an answer in in the tale of the of King Arthur and the Holy Grail is that each Knight entered the forest when they began their search at the place that looked darkest to them so that's the thing is that it's necessary if you're going to stand up straight with your shoulders back to confront the darkness of the world head-on to take responsibility for the tragedy of existence and for for malevolence that's what it means that's the what the Christian injunction to take the sins of the world onto yourself means it means it's your bloody problem and to confront Satan in the desert is the same idea is that not only do you have to take on the tragedy of the world as if it's your responsibility but you have to contend with the spirit of malevolence well you're doing so and it's in doing that that you find your destiny that's where you find the highest of possible values and that's the call and that's the call to the nobility of being because you might think well what could possibly justify your life more thoroughly what could make you the best player of all possible games than to take the tragedy of the world onto your shoulders and to fight with all your ability against the malevolence in your own heart thank you [Applause] the first one I'll choose here thank you for coming to speak with us what do you think of Iceland well first of all thank you all for coming it's quite remarkable to see so many people come out for such a serious conversation it isn't exactly what you'd expect so everyone has been ridiculously hospitable to me and my family we've seen some beautiful things we were at the Blue Lagoon which was very impressive we went to the house today where Gorbachev and Reagan met in 1986 and that was very interesting I went and saw some rare manuscripts at the University this morning goon lugar and his crew of people have been very organized and you have a beautiful little capital city that's extraordinarily impressive and you've produced this amazing venue and your country is cruising along on all cylinders and it's a hell of an achievement so that's what I think I think that almost all the time when I come to a European country it's amazing how well it works I mean it's a harsh place you know it's you made a lot of what you have and it looks to me like it's just getting better and so it's peaceful and productive and civilized and beautiful and hospitable and good for you and thank you for inviting me this one the the next one is regards the hit pieces on you when such an article is written what is your interpretation of the course or further what potential explanations are there for this phenomenon well I think there's you know we could start with what I might be contributing to it you know one thing I've had to learn I've had some interactions with public exposure for probably it's 15 years because I worked a little bit with a public television station in Ontario before all this blew up my producer who is someone who was very much on my side so I worked for a public affairs show first of all as a regular panelist and then as a columnist for a couple of years my producer was a level-headed guy well-versed in what worked well in panel discussions told me to be very careful about controlling my proclivity towards anger because it doesn't play very well publicly and so you know I kept trying to learn the doctrine of minimal necessary force I mean I think that aggression is a good thing if it's controlled I think it's a good antidote to fear I think it's one of the things that can help you maintain your ground in the face of resistance but it has to be applied very very judiciously and it isn't obvious that I always do that as well as I might and if you're going to deal with difficult and dangerous and contentious issues then you're going to get punished for your failures and so I'm trying to learn to detach myself and to not not in that not in and I don't care away you know but in a watchful way and to keep all of that under control as much as possible and to use minimal necessary force and it's hard to learn to do that well and so to the degree that I don't do that then I instigate more then I might now I have a hard time with that to some degree because I do find some of what I have been let's say opposing what would you say I'm it makes me deeply it disturbs me deeply and makes me unhappy and ashamed that's particularly the case when I see what's happening at the universities I'm not impressed by what's happening in the social sciences and the humanities I'm not impressed with the post modernists I'm not impressed with the Marxists and I'm certainly not impressed with the people or the theories that juxtaposed the two in this particularly ideological brew that's been fermenting say since the 1960s and so it's not easy to maintain equanimity in the face of that but it doesn't matter because it's still necessary do you think their ideology has permeated all of media or because not all of it yeah I mean that's the other thing is that and this is why I dealing now now we could turn to what the media might bring to this well ideological or ideological pre commitments that's certainly the case an inability to see anything other than in politicized terms like I don't view that what I'm doing as fundamentally political in fact I don't view the battle that's raging in the ideon 'el sub structure over Society is fundamentally political I think it's deeper than political it's at least philosophical and it's probably theological but the but the people who've been pillory me let's say who tend to be the postmodern neo-marxist types or at least lean in that direction cannot conceptualize anything that isn't political in their world there isn't anything that isn't political one of the things that you might consider for example is you know I've been perhaps represented as an as an advocate of free speech and of course there's a lot of debate about what free speech really is from the radical leftist types and here's something that you have to understand from the collectivist perspective that dominates the radical left there is no such thing as free speech it's not that they oppose it it's that it isn't a move in their game it doesn't exist so if you stand up and say I'm manifesting my opinion as an individual then that's not a acceptable move because you aren't an individual you're an avatar of your dominant group and whatever you utter regardless of why you think you're uttering it or regardless of whether you think it's your individual opinion is nothing but a power move in your dominance hierarchy and so it's not like they oppose free speech it's that it doesn't exist in their conceptual framework and so that's one of the things that drives and they hit pieces because mmm I do believe in the individual and I do believe in free speech and I do believe in a world outside the conceptual realm all sorts of propositions that aren't part and parcel of the postmodernist / neo-marxist game and they're not very happy with that it's I'm not playing by the rules and so they don't know what to do about that the simplest thing to do is to call me far-right or all right because then they can first of all that's an evil category and that dispenses with that but it also means they don't have to contend with any of my arguments and that's convenient so it's easier to demonize than it is to contend so it doesn't seem to help them because the more they scream the more people that actually listen to you hear that you're not far right you're not alright and they stop believing them well that's the other thing like I've talked with my wife about this because it's been in been its produced lot of tension are in our family because it's very stressful I mean for all sorts of reasons but that's certainly one of them you know I mean it's certainly not the case that when I read a head piece that I'm very pleased about it and I'm often quite worried about it like the New York Times piece for example is a good example and it's idiot what would you call it insistence that I was promoting you know monogamy with the weapons of the state of all the insane ideas I mean who the hell believes that it's like some Isis guys that's about it so so it's an it's a completely absurd accusation and and it certainly bore no resemblance to anything that I meant but you know it's a powerful media organization and lots of people warn me in the immediate aftermath of that that it would be my downfall including people who were less they weren't fearful people and so it's very stressful so one question is well should I be doing interviews like that at all because one of the things I thought is no written interviews only live interviews only the whole thing so the one today you had is the last one well see I don't know because there's another side of it which is the side you laid out it's like this happened with the some of you have seen the Channel 4 interview that I did with Kathy Newman you know and that was I would say that was a stressful interview and I would say that the two weeks after the interview were also very stressful because you know first of all there was the interview and I thought they just cut it to seven minutes and pillory me and leave it at that but they cut it to seven minutes and pilloried me and then they posted the whole interview which just shocked me but here's the shocking thing the people who posted that interview thought it went well that's why they posted it they didn't think oh my god this is contentious we better put it out believe me they didn't think that that is not what they thought they thought it went fine and so then there was this overwhelming response to it and that was completely unexpected and then the counter response was Peterson's army of alt-right trolls is victimizing Kathy Newman and that was that that was the response of her employers the technical response because that's what they published they said we had to call in police to evaluate the threat it's like well so what anybody can call in police to evaluate a threat it doesn't mean that the threat justified police intervention or that there was a threat it just meant that that's how you responded to it and then they spun a victim narrative for Kathy which was I think reprehensible given that I don't know what Kathy Newman is exactly but she's not a bloody victim she's not powerless she's one of the most powerful women in the United Kingdom and she has a salary that's commensurate with that and good good for her that's absolutely fine but you don't get to have that and also be a victim it's not the right way to play the game and so then a whole bunch of newspapers laid out the story that poor Kathy was being trolled by my my legion of all right angry people but then the numbers started to mount you know and after it was like four million people it got the whole troll argument got hard to sustain unless you think they were like well now it's perhaps thirty million people have watched either the whole thing or major clips from it maybe it's more than that it's hard to sustain the old troll argument when it's thirty million people but it was very I thought that narrative was going to prevail for a while that you know oh she got victimized and it was all these terrible people that went after her but that collapsed but it's very stressful but and this is something that I've learned so I've been obsessing about another statement in the New Testament for about two years I've been trying to figure it out and it's it's the statement that you should turn the other cheek and that's a tough one man because well because first of all who wants to do that because you want to explode in righteous anger at least you want to defend yourself you want to do one of those things so what the hell does that mean and partly what it means is if you're attacked and you're innocent and look I'm not saying I'm like globally innocent or anything like that but I'm not guilty of the accusations that are levied at me or at least I'm not guilty in the manner that the accusations would indicate if you're being attacked and you're not guilty of the accusations then the attacks say more about the attacker than their intended target and so so far I've been able to withstand the attacks and the consequence of that is that it said more about the attackers than about me and then the question is can I tolerate that because it's still very stressful and I very a waver on that back and forth and then of course the other issue is is that some people in the media have pilloried me but many haven't you know there's been very many thoughtful people that have written thoughtful pieces about me there's a Canadian consortium of 200 newspapers the post media group and they came out the entire group came out in favor of my stance in relationship to Bill c16 in Canada which was a concern that compelled speech and so well so so far in same with the protests when people come out to protest against me well the first video that really went viral was a protest at the University of Toronto and after the protest was over that the the pro the the anti free speech people at the protests took the microphone away and and blasted white noise made it impossible for anyone to speak even though it was an open mic event so that got broadcast and then about two hours after the event I went down to talk to the cops to see if anybody had been hurt or anything like that and then on the way back into the university I got accosted by half a dozen like radical types and about thirty of their hangers-on and then there's a crowd of people that I would say we're probably supporting me that that gathered around me and they went after me and videotaped all of it on their cell phones and then they posted that and the idea was that that was going to do me in but what happened was the comments were a hundred to one in favor of what I was saying so that was another example where the protests were more damaging to the protesters than they were to me and that's been luckily fortunately miraculously all of that a recurrent pattern and so the question is whether or not I can tolerate it and whether my family can tolerate it and so far look if you're trying to do something difficult let's say the right amount of controversy isn't zero the question is how much controversy can you handle and how much of the mud that's thrown will stick and then how much of it deserves to stick all of those things you go to scour your conscience under those circumstances but so far I've been fortunate it seems like you've taken on this track and voluntarily it seems like from the beginning you've known that this for example when you spoke up against Bill c16 in Canada you knew that this might become tough well a guide taught people to negotiate in my clinical practice for a long time you know I've had lots of clients many of those clients were female and the the goal in my consulting with them was to double or triple their salary within five years and so that wasn't necessarily the only goal we discussed all sorts of goals but that was often one and so I was very accustomed to organizing people to negotiate and there's if you want to negotiate there's a couple of rules the first rule is you have to be able to say no and what no means is there isn't anything you can do to me to get me to do that that's what no means no like you can be you can have different degrees of seriousness about no but if you're gonna negotiate with your boss say for a substantial raise no means if I don't get it then I will leave that's fundamentally and that leaving will cost you more than it's not a threat right it has to be the observation that me leaving will cost you substantially more than giving me the raise you have to be in a position to make that case or you don't win the negotiation and so I always put my clients in a position where if they went and asked for something they were in a position to win because we didn't go and ask before that so when I made the video criticizing Bill c16 I thought I'm not abiding by this damn piece of legislation and then I thought well what does it mean that I'm not and I thought well I had multiple sources of income so I was read I was really the bleep addition to tolerate a fair bit of pushback I mean I could have got wiped out have things gone sideways but it would have been difficult to take me out completely and I thought there's no way I'm biding by this piece of legislation I was willing I thought through the negative consequences now I didn't of course think that any of this would happen because this is just completely preposterous and no one could have possibly foreseen it but so I would say there were certain things I faced in doing that but I couldn't have seen the absolutely explosive consequences I'm not unhappy that I did it I would do it again I am still doing it I suppose so which of your 12 rules do you break most often I could probably still be better at listening to people I like I have these I do interviews with people I call them discussions because they're not really interviews probably they're not interviews because I talk too much so I had to call them discussions but I would say the most common criticism of those discussions is that I interrupt the people that I'm discussing things with and and tilt the conversation probably a little bit more towards me my thinking than theirs now part of that I think is my natural tendency towards like I've always talked a lot ever since I was like three like continually so it's I'm there I'm verbally fluent you know it's it's part of my nature and extroverted but you can always get better at listening you know and so I can listen and and I practiced that because I'm a therapist but I would say that's probably the rule I break that's rule 9 like assume that the person you're listening to know something you don't it's like I'm not as good at that yet as I could be because I wouldn't get that criticism if I was like it's not every comment or anything it's probably like every xx comment or every xxx comment but it's but it's still it's consistent and so every time I have an interview I think ok I'm gonna try to shut up a little bit more but then I get excited about what's happening and you know and talk too much one thing related to that sometimes you seem to go off on a tangent when you're discussing something you go into you know something related to it then you come back to a greater structure of things do you have you laid all this out before you say it or do you just go from one topic to another and they somehow relate together and become whole and both yeah but so before I do a talk like I have to sit I think about the talk all day before I do it like not a hundred percent of the time but it's it's in my mind all the time and what I'm trying to get is the basic narrative and it's something like you can only use a metaphor to really describe it's imagine you wanted to cross a swamp and there were stones under the surface you need to know where the stones are to get from one side of the swamp to the other and so then that's what I do in my imagination I think okay well there's this area I have to traverse and there's stepping stones along the way I need to know where they're located and so that might be like 12 points or something like that that's the rough path and then I have a whole corpus of stories that fit each of those points and then I can choose how I'm going to weave those together but I have to remember where I'm going and if I'm well like if I'm healthy and functioning properly then I can go way out on a tangent and I can still remember oh yes I have to tie that back to this point and move to the next step so it's I like I think it's like jazz improvisation essentially you know you have the melody and it has to organize the melody has to organize all the improvisation and then I have all these stories that I know but I every time I tell this story I try to vary it so that it brings in something I haven't brought in before integrate something you know like what are the things I was trying to do tonight I've been trying to figure out for a long time is how to integrate the idea of the good player of games with the idea of voluntarily shouldering your the catastrophe of life I know those are the same thing but it's not obvious why and I'm still not completely obvious to me but I know that the connection and I got a fair bit a fair ways tonight farther than I had it stacking those concepts on top of each other so the other thing I'm always trying to do is to take each of these sets of ideas and to wave them together more tightly but also to push them further in their development so and you've been doing that on this tour have you been developing your ideas oh absolutely absolutely there's you can't give an effective lecture without so you don't deliver a talk to an audience first of all it's not apt talk second you don't deliver it third it isn't an audience like all of that's wrong you talk to individuals in the audience one at a time and they're representative of the whole but you're not talking to the audience if you're afraid of public speaking it's because you're talking to the audience it's like forget about that you just talk to people you know how to do that and then you're not delivering a talk because then it's a canned product you must have just hand people pieces of paper that they could read it's more efficient why not do that what you're doing if you address people properly is that you involve them in the process of furthering exploration of important concepts and you think well how can you do that because they're sitting there passively it's like well you're not passive you're not verbal but you're not passive like I listen I listen to whether or not everyone's rustling around if you're rustling around then I'm not balancing chaos and order properly you're not gripped if you're if I can hear noise in the audience it's not right I watch people one by one and I see sometimes they're shaking their head like this sometimes they're nodding sometimes they look confused if if people look confused I think well I haven't got that right I have to be watching people and seeing that they're understanding they're following along and that indication that they're following along helps me figure out if I'm in the right place and so there's a dynamic that goes along with it and so all of that and that's what you're doing if you engage the audience properly is you shouldn't be talking about things you don't know enough about to talk about so if you have to read your notes it's like sorry you don't know enough to talk about that because you need notes now maybe when you're first starting to talk about something you need notes but if you need notes you haven't prepared enough you should know like ten times as much about the topic then you're gonna talk about in the talk otherwise who the hell are you and so well right I mean you're supposed to be the authority so you need to know these things and so and then knowing these things you want to stretch them further because when you're this is a theater and lecture theater theater is drama so why is it a lecture theater because lecture is drama what's the drama drama delivering a talk no there's no drama in that a tape recorder can do that the drama is to engage with the ideas actively in real time and to discover with the audience what the consequence is and that's what makes a novel great for example the reason that Dostoyevsky novel is great is because Dostoyevsky did not know where he was going when he started he had problems you know like Crime and Punishment is a great example he wanted to explore the relationship between crime and punishment he didn't think well I'm a postmodern neo-marxist and I have a solution to the problem of crime and punishment and I'm gonna write a novel describing what the right solution is he thought here's a problem man this is a major problem I'm gonna divide myself into ten characters and I'm gonna have a war and I'm gonna see what prevails and he takes you along on that voyage and it's that's what makes Dostoyevsky different than a rant for example cuz ain't Rand already knew who the good guys and the bad guys were and maybe she was right and maybe she wasn't doesn't matter what matters is that what she did wasn't literature it was just sophisticated propaganda you know like it it taps into literature upon occasion but but she knew where she was going whereas Dorsky dosed skee he discovered it along the way and so he takes you along on the journey and that's any great artist does that takes you along in the journey that's why it's so revivifying to encounter anything that's genuinely artistic is because you're along for the conflict between chaos and order and that's way more interesting than having a talk delivered to you is it possible that that journey might lead to a bad place in some cases you've spoken of Hitler when he was speaking to audiences and he was listening to the audiences and that and he started to find what really engaged them and made them yeah excited yeah what he was saying yeah is it possible that you might get it wrong oh definitely and it's a terrible threat to get it wrong because you know in rule three it's make friends with the people who want the best for you there are other rules that were associated with that that I didn't write about like make friends with people with oh no let's see be very careful with who be very careful about who you shared good news with that was one rule and another rule was be very careful about whom you share bad news with and those are sort of hallmarks of friendship if you have friends you can tell good news too you know what it's like to tell good news to someone that you shouldn't tell good news to it's like they're not happy about your good news they're bitter about it and and they'll show it in some way maybe they'll trump your good news or they won't listen or they'll bring up another topic or they're secretly angry or whatever you walk away from sharing the good news thinking you should have kept your damn mouth shut and that's not a good sign and and then but some people you can tell good news too and they'll be happy because they have enough sense to know that life stick catastrophe and if something good happen to you then hurray you know because and then bad news is the same thing it's like if you tell bad news to someone they need to let you suffer right they shouldn't make you feel better quick because they're upset because you're upset none of that they just have to take it and that's hard so the Oh I forgot what the hell the question was here I'm getting tired so I'm losing my ability to go back where you may get it wrong when you're interacting with the audience yes look what Hitler did was this far as I can tell I've talked to politicians who've built grassroots political parties about how they did it too so the audience talks to you when you when you deliver when you when you when you speak publicly they talk to you with their emotional reactions and then you can learn how to say what produces a given emotional reaction especially if that's what you want if you want say control over the crowd or maybe you want you want to harness the anger of the crowd let's say because your own motivations what–we're Hitler's motivations here's the psychoanalytic answer if you cannot understand the motivations look at the consequences and infer the motivation what's the consequence Hitler blows his brains out in a bunker under Berlin when Europe is info on fire what was the motivation a suicidal apocalypse that's the motivation how do you generate a suicidal apocalypse you aim at it how do you get the crowd to go along you speak in that manner and you watch for the emotional response and when you get the anger that you're after you facilitate it and you let your imagination dwell on that and you become a master of that and that's what Hitler did and it wasn't like the Germans weren't angry and they had their reasons World War one was brutal they lost the Versailles Treaty was a catastrophe in the 1920s every decent hard-working German lost all of their savings in hyperinflation and the entire country was threatened by a radical leftist revolution it was rough and people were not happy and many of them had been terribly brutalized by World War one so there was no shortage of anger to capitalize on and Hitler was just the guy annoyed as he was example that he was rejected from art school three times despite it despite having a fair bit of artistic talent he had his reasons for resentment and and and hatred and that's just a tiny part of it yes these things can go terribly wrong it depends at least in part on what you're aiming at people ask me what I'm aiming at and I would say I mean who knows right because you don't know yourself and I don't know myself not to the final depths but I think what I'm aiming at I'm hoping is exactly what I say I'm aiming out I hope that what I'm aiming at is to tell people stories and provide them with clinical intervention information that's derived from the best literature and science that I know so that they can be fortified in their ability to contend with tragedy and malevolence and the reason that I'm doing that as far as I'm concerned is because when I wrote my first book which was maps of meaning the audio version of which is out next week by the way I think it'll be easier to understand because it's read and the intonation is all there I concluded after studying the psychological dynamics of the Cold War that the only proper medication to tyrannical collectivism was the sovereignty of the individual and that as a consequence that the sovereign individual needed to be strengthened that that was the path forward with least harm and most potential good and I think that's what I'm doing my evidence for that is that I've been doing it for thirty years I taught courses based on that at Harvard and at the University of Toronto consistently the lectures were made into a television program in Toronto that was popular the lectures became explosively popular online everybody can see what I'm saying as far as I can tell and apart from the hip pieces which are perhaps valid criticisms although I don't believe so the overwhelming evidence as far as I can tell is that it's having a positive consequence so and I'm hoping and I have people watching me and criticizing me like friends of mine and my family trying to make sure that this all works and so hopefully I'm not doing something that isn't good we'll see but yes so the last last question what did you think of the last Star Wars movie I've gone I don't know if I saw the last Star Wars movie but I saw one of the last I've probably seen three of the last and five Star Wars movies I would say and I thought they were all the same movie as the first Star Wars movie so so I haven't they haven't been my cup of tea let's say having said that it's obvious that you know the superhero movies the Star Wars movies the Star Trek movies the fantastic success that Marvel in particular has had with their superhero Pantheon like those are the most expensive artifacts that people make a those movies that's something to really think about you know people put 200 million dollars into the movie like that it's not the most expensive thing we make but it's bloody well up there I can tell you and it's pretty interesting to realize as well that making the special effects for those movies which is which is a form of artificial reality let's say is part of what's driving computational sophistication forward because the big processors are being used most intensively to render reality and so whatever's happening in those movies is something far more significant than you might think I think it all speaks to the unquenchable power of mythology and its proclivity to manifest itself in a multitude of forms and and and to be internally compelling to people and so generally that seems to be a really good thing to me so I mean they're a Harry Potter series I think is a better example than the Star Wars series because I think that I think that the Star Wars series is a bit too consciously contrived whereas the Harry Potter series is genuinely to my way of thinking anyways is a genuine intuitive production and rolling got her mythology she's so good at that I just can't believe it it's just absolutely unbelievable and you think of the consequences of that she wrote with seven books about wizards like teenage wizards and child wizards in magical castle threatened by giant snakes and portrayed the battle between good and evil on a landscape of chaos and order and you know sold I don't know what's her empire worth in terms of total financial consequences it would be it's in the tens of billions of dollars certainly she got all these kids to read 600 page books they produced all these movies that were fantastically expensive everybody read them and went and watched them it's like and what do you see there it's a dying and resurrecting hero fights a satanic figure and attains final victory through death and resurrection it's like you know and it wasn't contrived that came out of the story and so the mythology seeps in no matter what and it's I think and this is something I learned from you is that it's time for us to understand it it's we can't just live by it unconsciously anymore we have to understand it as well as living by it and that's the task of the 21st century that's what it looks like to me so if we understand it then maybe we can fortify ourselves against collectivist ideology for example I'm hoping because that's a bad pathway so you were able to turn that question in two very good final words somehow good so thank you thank you very much