People have been asking what I thought of the Jordan B. Peterson and Sam Harris interview episode of Waking Up. Since I serve the people, I thought I’d give them what they want.
Fortunately, the power of pattern recognition that comes with Mixed Mental Arts makes it pretty easy to do. Here’s what happened:
Here’s what could have happened if Sam Harris had listened to Jordan W. Peterson rather than atomistically that he fixated on the meaning of the word truth:
And here’s what I would have said to both of them if I’d been there:
That is the great, old secret of human progress. When people respect each other, they engage in an undoing project together. They both get wiser.
Of course, I haven’t shown any respect to the New Atheists or the Anarcho-Capitalists or any of the other Fundamentalists I’ve taken issue. Why is that? Why does it bother me so much? Why have I waged an Intellectual Jihad against Fundamentalism? Why has the normally nice Bunny turned vicious?
Well, the Bunny has been wondering this too. And then, he finally started listening to a book that had been on his list for a very long time.
And I realized what this past week had been about for me. I’m deeply egalitarian. I hate hierarchy. I believe that freedom is worth fighting for and must be fought for. And being placed in a school of English aristocrats drove me nuts. And though my father’s name is Maats and he’s Dutch, my mother is from Kansas and her maiden name is McNeal. My grandfather Eugene “The Machine” McNeal is a tight-lipped, son of a bitch of Scotch-Irish, Protestant stock who fought in the Korean War. Every summer, I would go spend summers in Kansas. I love my mom’s family. They’ve fed me. And I also love that Honor Culture that has fed me repeatedly: the Arabs. I am a cultural mess and have spent my life sorting through my various loyalties.
And, in the end, it comes down to this. Nothing annoys me more than people who have great educational opportunities and then sit around telling people who don’t have those opportunities that they’re idiots.
If you’ve ever taught in Abu Selim, Tripoli’s poorest district, or at Christian Fundamentalist schools as I have, then you realize that those kids aren’t any different from you or me. They just grew up in a different culture that they then blindly picked up.
Of course, so is Sam Harris. He’s a rich kid from Brentwood. I’ve paid my bills tutoring them for the last 12.5 years so I had the time to figure out the problem of culture and how we can use that knowledge to improve the lives of people who don’t have those opportunities. And now, Bryan Callen and Katie O’Brien (notice those last Scotch-Irish last names) and me are going to fight an Intellectual Revolution and I have little patience for the feelings of any of the Intellectual Aristocracy. Three of the fighting Irish are going to band together with the honor cultures of the world and fight a War of Ideas.
Culture is powerful stuff. The Celtic culture has persisted over 2000 years. Armies have come and gone. Empires have swept over them. They’ve lost their language. They fled from religious persecution. They have fought America’s wars. They have bled. They have died. And their blood runs through the Bunny’s veins. And I guess this week I found out that so does their culture. And so, I am beyond rage. Beyond rage that for so long the ideas that we have needed for humans everywhere to achieve their potential have sat trapped in books.
And so, the McNeal came out from behind the Maats name. I will not cry for mercy. With my dying breath, I will do what Americans of Scotch-Irish descent have always done. We will forsake personal gain because we believe in the cause of American freedom. They do not know yet how to fight for Intellectual Freedom. I will teach them. And so, I will meet with the English King and I will parlay but I will not kneel to any man intellectually. And though I am not seven feet tall and cannot fire bolts of lightning from my ass, I will keep speaking as clearly as I can until they fight for what is theirs.
There are many Honor Cultures around the world whose reputation has been assailed for too long. Give them the ideas and they will fight a war of ideas that will give children everywhere the opportunities they so richly deserve.
In the year of our Lord 2017, the Mixed Mental Artists of the World armed with the wisdom of all times and places charged the fields of the internet. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Butt Parrots. And won their intellectual freedom.
If Sam Harris is Waking Up, he’s doing it very sloooooooooowly. Spirituality without religion. That’s some Brentwood shit if I ever heard it. How about just admitting that spirituality is just what hippies call disorganized religion? You know who else lives in Brentwood…
If there’s one thing the various kind of Rednecks love it’s trash talk. Well, here’s some for you. Sam Harris is the Gwyneth Paltrow of intellectuals. Isn’t that right, Derek?