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OCON 2018

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Will any readers here be attending TOS-Con 2018 in Richmond, VA? I know David Veksler will attend; he is one of the speakers there. 

My own interests in this conference would be the lectures on

Aristotle/Rand in Ethics

Frederick Douglass

Jean-Baptiste Say

The Secular Source and Nature of Rights

Rand’s Novels

Alexander Hamilton

There are several other presentations, especially appropriate for persons at an earlier stage of life than mine (I’m almost 70). Not sure yet if I’ll attend (still recovering from a foot injury of a few weeks ago), but if you are planning to attend, let us know. Would be delighted to meet you in person there.

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I won't be attending, but I recently got an email saying Jordan Peterson is going to appear.  He's to do a panel with Dave Rubin, Yaron Brook, and Onkar Ghate.  That session will probably make its way to YouTube.  I find Peterson interesting.  I'd characterize him as a cross between Joseph Campbell and Dr. Laura.  He's certainly not an Objectivist. 

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7 hours ago, Ninth Doctor said:

I find Peterson interesting.  I'd characterize him as a cross between Joseph Campbell and Dr. Laura.  He's certainly not an Objectivist. 

Carl Jung more so.

From what I gather, he was only invited because of his free speech position. But his viewpoint isn't particularly special, and he doesn't offer any new approach. Certainly nothing from an egoistic perspective on rights. 

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7 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Carl Jung more so.

From what I gather, he was only invited because of his free speech position. But his viewpoint isn't particularly special, and he doesn't offer any new approach. Certainly nothing from an egoistic perspective on rights. 

Jung was one of Campbell's primary influences, so we're on the same page.  Unless you meant to swap out Dr. Laura.  Peterson's view on religious belief reminds me of her.  I recall a quote from her, paraphrasing it amounted to: everyone needs a religion, so pick one. 

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That was a good panel-discussion. It was interesting to see the differences between the two sides get highlighted so clearly,  to hear Petersen make counter-arguments on core topics that would be familiar to most of an OCON audience, and to see people debating things with civility.

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A funny segment is 30:20 to 30:58. At the end Jordan Peterson says, "The rumor is that finance guys have no soul."

That reminded me of an actuarial joke: What is an actuary? A mathematician without a personality. 😊

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On 7/3/2018 at 5:25 AM, softwareNerd said:

to hear Petersen make counter-arguments on core topics that would be familiar to most of an OCON audience

When he talks about philosophy, he says a whole lot in order to say nothing at all. "They're some other form of truth". 1:04:00 - 1:05:35. It sounds like he's trying to be profound, but doesn't have a point. 

It's unfortunate he was there. He only muddied the discussion.

Salmieri was very articulate and brought clarity.

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It's fine if he disagrees. But there are much better options than a psychologist trying to talk as if he were a philosopher and ends up saying a whole lot of nothing. He was basically talking to himself the whole time - a very opaque way of speaking that requires having already studied other things he has said. I'm fine when he talks about his knowledge gained as a practicing therapist, as he did with his recent book, but past that... 

If he had good counter arguments, or spoke clearly, I'd have a different opinion.

In other words, I don't know what he was supposed to bring to the table. 

Edited by Eiuol

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His "way of speaking" I think you're referring to his literary/Freudian approach to philosophy. While one might criticize it as being a flawed epistemology to bring to philosophy, it does have its place, and is actually the more common way day-to-day people get philosophy: from tales. Objectivists would do well to learn the approach and counters to the approach.

On "what he brings", a speaker often needs a foil. Salmieri could have stood up and given a lecture with only his own content  and it would have been far more bland, and he likely would not have made all the points he ended up making. A socratic approach can can bring out points that a lecture wouldn't; but, more importantly, the "drama" and tension is engaging. Most of the day-to-day dispersion of philosophy is done by the socratic approach: families and friends just chatting about stuff (not to mention TV). Objectivists would do well to practice the approach.

Finally, Peterson is the "intellectual of the moment". I know Hillary supporters, who did not know he was associated with the right, but had read his NY Time bestseller book and loved/recommended it. To have him on the stage, to present some of his opinions (as weak as they may be),  to an audience interested in intellectual trends, is a value in itself. The fact that many in that audience like some aspects about Petersen makes it even more valuable to see how his ground is so shaky on some topics.

With that said, tastes differ. I suppose some in that paying audience "wanted their money back". I would guess that the majority thought it was worth the price of admission.

Edited by softwareNerd

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8 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

His "way of speaking" I think you're referring to his literary/Freudian approach to philosophy

Not exactly. I didn't have any particular issue with him in the earlier portions. He wasn't trying to be a philosopher, mostly just discussing ideas relevant to his professional expertise. But when he was getting into a discussion of objectivity, notions of truth, it turned into a lot of jargon that wouldn't even resemble day-to-day discussion, and not even the jargon a philosopher uses. Brook isn't a philosopher himself either, and offered some ideas, but he doesn't try to talk beyond his expertise. 
 

8 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Salmieri could have stood up and given a lecture with only his own content  and it would have been far more bland, and he likely would not have made all the points he ended up making.

You're right, it should be a discussion, not some kind of lecture. But that's how Peterson talked. He was talking as if it were a lecture. 
 

8 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

 to an audience interested in intellectual trends, is a value in itself.

There are plenty of people available who are part of ongoing intellectual trends. Why Peterson specifically? Forget if he's right or wrong, his importance has been vastly inflated. From what I can tell, it's just because Rubin asked to bring Peterson. I don't know if it's true, but they already know each other.

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On 7/10/2018 at 7:54 AM, merjet said:

A funny segment is 30:20 to 30:58. At the end Jordan Peterson says, "The rumor is that finance guys have no soul."

That reminded me of an actuarial joke: What is an actuary? A mathematician without a personality. 😊

Good one.

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