Unable to grapple with his arguments on religion, culture, and society, many of Jordan Peterson’s detractors turn their attention to his diet. Searching for a way to swiftly discredit him, they make fun of his strict program of beef, salt, and water. Surely a man following such a strange diet is a lunatic! Peterson’s pseudoscientific worldview goes far past a mere obsession with rekindling toxic masculinity, they argue. It embraces a fad diet which rejects well-established science in its reckless promotion of red meat.
(Note: See here for discussion on this post.)
With Peterson’s personal disaster comes a horde of vicious haters using it as an opportunity to tear him down. When he was well, they twisted his words. And now that he’s sick, they’re using it as a chance to launch a new type of offensive. They rejoice in his suffering, and ask what they consider to be a slam-dunk question: “If Peterson can’t keep his own life together, then why should we listen to his life advice?”
(Note: See here for discussion on this post.)
Mikhaila Peterson just came out with a video where she gives an update on Jordan Peterson’s health. He almost died, in large part due to a “paradoxical reaction” he got from a particular anti-anxiety medication. When I watched the video, I immediately remembered something that Peterson said long before any of this happened: “I’m surfing a 100-foot wave, and generally what happens if you do that is that you drown.”
When deciding what to eat, aesthetics should hold no less important of a place than nutrition, even for the utilitarian. The artistic presentation of food not only provides the connoisseur with an outlet for pleasure, but also provides the dryly practical individual with valuable information. The presentation paints on the outside an aesthetic which reveals to the cultured mind what exists within the internal substance.
We have programmed into us a system where consuming certain substances changes our neurological settings in one way or another. People take for granted the fact that you can take an anti-depressant to improve your mood, but there’s no reason an organism must be built that way. Why can you swallow a pill and have it change your emotions? If all your digestive system does is take plant parts and animal flesh, and break them down into building blocks for the body and usable energy, then why can you put a small object containing certain chemicals in your stomach, and have it change your mental parameters? Why do mind-altering drugs work? Clearly there’s something more involved going on in your digestive system.
Biologically close to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, modern humans nevertheless work as a team to operate technological societies of millions upon millions of people. As the requirements of civilized life differ sharply from what it was like to hunt animals and gather plants in an ancient tribe, it was mostly up to cultural evolution to take human psychology and adapt it to civilization. While humans are biologically wired to find it intolerably boring to sit alone at a desk entering data into spreadsheets all day, the spontaneous order of society has evolved a solution. With enough coffee, sugar, and ADHD medication, it’s possible to hold down such a job. Civilization-era foods, stimulants, and psychoactive drugs help people fit into modern life.
If I told you that we already know how to prevent or even cure cancer, autism, and many of the other diseases and disorders that plague civilization, you’d be forgiven for assuming that I must be deluded. Surely I know nothing of the greatness of science. I’ve been led astray by the cranks, quacks, and charlatans on the Internet peddling nonsense. With many billions of dollars allocated to cutting-edge medical research, and many of the best minds in the world working tirelessly on the problems, it’s absurd to suggest that a loosely organized group of amateurs on the Internet have come up with cures where so many professionals have fallen flat on their face. My convictions must be more akin to religious faith than rational science.
Those who have learned a foreign language to a high level will usually be well-acquainted with the strange stage where you’re able to understand nearly everything when you’re talking to a friend one-on-one, but shockingly little when you’re in a group setting, even if that same friend is present. Learning a language is more than just learning vocabulary and grammar. It’s also a matter of learning culture. When you’re talking one-on-one with someone you know well, they can break things down for you instead of assuming you have all of the cultural context. But once you’re in a group situation, the communication begins to leverage deep cultural context, and it’s easy for a foreigner to get lost.
Imagine that you have two countries. One’s population is entirely neurotypical, while the other’s population is comprised of 95% neurotypicals, along with a sprinkling of 4.99% typical autists and 0.01% autistic geniuses. All else equal, if these two nations went to war, which side do you think would win? To defeat a first-world power in an armed conflict, you need people who are motivated to weaponize their genius within fields like aerospace engineering. The few autistic geniuses who are uniquely capable of such feats are indispensable.
In the mainstream, autism is seen as incurable pathology. It’s viewed as an “inborn, lifelong developmental disability”. In my opinion, however, it needn’t be either of these. Asperger’s isn’t always permanent, and it isn’t always pathological. With the right knowledge, you may be able to increase or decrease your autistic traits. But whether you would want to actually do that, and in what way, is a whole different story.