The New York Times has intellectual lightweights who resort to narrative hacks instead of facts to inform the public.
Jordan Peterson isn't an idiot, but his entire thesis is based on facts, but is still hopelessly flawed and wrong.
But try as they might, journalists get trounced by him as he builds his own intellectual empire.
The Times has a very long and pathetic profile on him here. Trying to stick your nose in the air doesn't make you right, and Peterson thrives -- not in order, but in chaos.
He quietly creates chaos when he debates, and that alone disproves his theory that men are about order and women are about chaos. That's hogwash. Men constantly create chaos to grab power -- that's why an entire patriarchal system has wars and campaigns, and not order.
Men are disrupters. They are the ones who create riots, anarchy, and terrorism. It is a myth that men bring order to the table. They love the labels of rebel, maverick, and visionary -- all titles that suggest revolutions and changes are imminent.
Women are not given those indulgences. They, for centuries, have been trained with rote tasks that have drilled the desire for order and predictability as well as stability.
Even in storytelling, the Hero's Journey is always about bringing about radical change -- in the protagonist -- and his environment.
Peterson's hypothesis is laughable on every imaginable level to the point of childish absurdity, but he excels at trouncing those who are not schooled in the ways of psychology -- which, in turn, gives an appearance that he is right, and those who disagree are wrong -- and whiny.
The Times' piece just gave the man free advertising to those who like to tweak the noses of the politically correct who are genuinely terrified of Peterson.
I am neither fearful of him -- or impressed. He is not a big thinker. He is not an intellectual heavyweight. He isn't even remotely correct. He is merely the equivalent of a Dr. Laura or Dr. Phil for men. He is pop psychology for cowards who must retreat into a man cave and are resentful that sometimes the wife has some say in the environment she shares with the man she reproduces the next generation.
Life is hard.
The problem is that the white men with degrees such as Peterson can go unchallenged where it counts because journalism was never equipped with understanding human behaviour.
In other words, they have no background in psychology.
And you absolutely need it if you are going to chronicle the goings on of human beings.
My undergraduate degree is in psychology, and I can tell you that it has always been my faithful companion. I have been able to make use of it in my career as first a journalist, and then as an author.
A true alternative to journalism would focus on the psych stuff -- the realm where Peterson has the clear advantage. Had journalists been blessed with such a training, they could easily show the numerous weaknesses of Peterson's various musings to those who would normally be attracted to his narrative.
And that's an important skill: not to act as a stenographer, but as a fact-gathering -- a science that is about experimenting, then comparing and contrasting the results before presenting those tested facts to the public.
And that's the reason we need that kind of alternative: to have newsmakers as subjects to observe and test before giving those results to the public. Journalism should have always been a science of emotional intelligence, and Peterson's rise is proof we need critical thinkers who can rationally see the weaknesses, test them, before exposing them in a way that reaches people regardless of their leanings and beliefs.
Just the facts. It is a simple mandate, and one where journalism could never reach -- but it doesn't mean an alternative would fail as well...