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What is it about Jordan Peterson’s book that has leftists going crazy?

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Lately, Jordan Peterson has caused quite a stir. This has largely to do with the fact that he’s a Canadian college professor that doesn’t toe the line for the left-wing agenda. He has also written a book that has gotten loads of attention, and has even been banned by a distributor in New Zealand.

Considering the controversy surrounding his book, it caught my curiosity, and I decided to go out and purchase a copy, wanting to know what it says. Because the hard left is making out Peterson to be some radical icon of the far-right, one might expect the 21st century equivalent of Mein Kampf.

The book is titled, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

Hmm… With a title like that, Peterson’s book sound more like some kind of self-help or self-improvement book than a political manifesto. However, there’s got to be something about this book that has leftists riled up. What is it about Jordan Peterson’s book that has liberals everywhere going crazy?

Let’s take a look at some excerpts from Peterson’s book, and perhaps we’ll see just what’s got them worked up:

“Rule 1 – Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back”

This would be the title of the first chapter of Peterson’s book, and my impression is that he’s trying to encourage good posture. One can understand why this would be beneficial; it’s not just about maintaining physical structure, but also boosting one’s confidence and presenting a positive self-image. That’s the impression that I get, which seems far different from an admonition to act like an early 20th century German dictator. I suppose that different people can take different things from the same message.

“Rule 3 – Make Friends With People Who Want the Best for You”

I’m kinda picking up a self-help or advice vibe. It’s really hard to argue with the point being made. Sometimes, people really do settle for some duds when it comes to friends, and the result is being seriously dragged down.

You might know someone who acted on a dare because they thought that doing so would result in them being respected. In fact, the person acting on it was being respected less, and was being treated as a toy for someone else’s amusement. It was easy for the one kid to ask the other to act on a dare, because the asker didn’t have to face the potential consequences of what he was asking the other kid to do.

Or perhaps you’ve seen someone who seemed a little disappointed to hear that you succeeded at something. That’s a sign that the person might not be that great of a friend.

So, Peterson is advising readers to seek out people that would make good friends. That doesn’t really sound like “evil monster” material, to me.

“Rule 8 – Tell the Truth – Or, At Least, Don’t Lie”

Here we go, now I’m beginning to see what the problem is. In today’s “post-truth” society where kids are taught that lies are acceptable as long as they further the cause, I can see why an admonition not to lie can cause some ripples.

One thing I’ve noticed while looking at the book’s illustrations is that the protagonist character depicted in them is actually a girl. If Peterson’s position is supposed to be sexist, that seems kind of counterproductive.

“Rule 6 – Set Your House In Perfect Order Before You Criticize the World”

Again, there’s some serious self-improvement vibes, here. In fact, it seems like Peterson’s book is about building character.

Another thing about Peterson’s book and the few of his lectures that I’ve seen is that he seems to embrace theology, Christianity in particular, as being something positive for a person’s mind. That certainly goes against the idea that theology is outdated. Of course, most of humanity has been theologically involved throughout our entire history, even today in the modern age, so one can make the case that it’s something that humans are well-adapted to, and therefore is good for one’s mental health.

There does seem to be something about a theologically-inclined college professor who is a psychological practitioner that challenges perceptions about what those in the field are about. While one can argue about what his beliefs are and how he presents them, there’s something notable about the fact that he presents religion as approachable to those who might not otherwise consider it.

“Rule 12 – Pet a Cat When You Encounter One on the Street”

It’s a bit of a stretch, but the act of petting does involve gesturing your body in a manner that somewhat resembles a stiff-arm salute.

From what I’ve read, it seems like the point of Peterson’s book is “be a better person”. If the book were really intended as some manual on how to usher in a racist age of darkness, Peterson is mind-blowingly clever at hiding it.

Based on what I’ve read that Peterson has written and what I’ve heard him say, he doesn’t seem like he’s the monster he’s made out to be. But then, I actually listened to him speak for himself rather than just go with what some Tumblr snowflake was passing along in a deliberate attempt to make him look bad.

Peterson had twelve chapters in a book enumerating principles on living life, and he made one of them about petting cats. This is the guy that leftists are comparing to Hitler.

Mysterious Pink Salt

Check out what I found at the store today:

pink himalayan sea salt

It’s pink Himalayan sea salt. You know, sea salt. Right from the shorelines of the Himalayas:

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If marketers can sell burnt ash as “activated charcoal” to impressionable people as though there’s some mysterious benefit to it, why would it be a stretch to get the same people to buy sea salt that came from a mountain range that’s pink for some reason?

If you really want to convince anyone that your potential is going to waste at your lousy job…

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I know what it’s like to have a horrible job that goes nowhere and feel like your potential is being squandered doing it. I know that I’m not the only one out there that had a job like that, and that there are many people out there that are in that kind of position now.

But here’s the thing: If you really want anyone to believe that your potential is going to waste at your lousy, dead-end job, you must do the job that you have now as though you have potential.

While I’ve been thinking about it for a while, I bring it up now because I’ve noticed an increase in the number of disinterested young people who obviously don’t want the jobs that they have, and many of them seem to have the idea that the way to get back at the society that did them wrong by “giving them that job” is to take it out on their customers by being passive-aggressive with them and intentionally performing poorly.

About that “giving them that job” quip: No, society didn’t conspire to decide that your job was the job that you had to have. You chose your job, and decided to apply for it and attend an interview for it. If “the government” or Google or whoever exercised some sort of mind control to get you to seek a job and then follow through with it by making you go to work day-to-day, society would have far worse problems than whether you’re brewing coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts.

You chose your job, and if you didn’t want it, maybe you shouldn’t have applied to it to begin with. If you no longer want it, find a different one, and let someone have your old job who wants it. Life is too short to spend most of your waking hours doing something you can’t stand.

Until you can find that job that you would prefer to do, the best way to convince anyone that your potential is going to waste is to demonstrate that potential by doing excellently at the job that you already have.

About a decade back, I had a job that I hated working, which was at a register in a supermarket. After a while, I got fed up with it, and decided that a better bet for a brighter future would be to get a college education. I did some research, and did some studying. But in the time until I was to start attending classes, I still had a job to do.

So I did a great job at it. The store displayed the stats for how fast cashiers were, and I was consistently on top. My prize for doing so well? Pretty much just to say I did. Not even a pat on the back.

I worked in nearly every other department in the store, and did a great job at those, too. There were days in which I was the only person working in two departments; everyone in the department had off on the same day, including the managers. I carried two departments by myself on the same day.

My way of demonstrating that my potential was going to waste at my terrible job was to get really good at it. I left no doubt that I could do better, and eventually I did.

Now, what is a person supposed to think when someone does a poor job and continually makes mistakes at an easy job where the stakes are low? When you clearly ask for dine-in at a fast food joint and are then handed your meal in a bag, one would get the idea that the cashier isn’t very dependable. When you ask for a hot coffee and get an iced coffee instead, you might feel inclined to think “there’s a D-student”.

Among the reasons why many jobs don’t pay well is because fewer people are counting on the staff, and the repercussions for a mistake are usually much lower. If you work at a fast-food joint and make mistakes with people’s orders, you might just be in the right place. You wouldn’t be convincing very many people that you’d make a great doctor.

People aren’t really perfect at their jobs, but they can at least try to do well at the ones that they have, even if they’d rather be doing something different. That way, when you finally start doing something you’d rather do, at least you’ll be convinced that it wasn’t a mistake that you got there. Doing a great job at stuff really pays out in the long run, but intentionally doing a terrible job just to spite your employer has obvious ways of backfiring very quickly.

If you’re smarter than your job, that’s great! But at least put some effort into proving it, you know?

Voice your opinion on the future of Magnetricity

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I started this blog in the year 2012, and since then, this has been my E/N blog, and it has gotten a surprising number of views. I’ve been thinking about the direction of this blog, and I’ve decided to ask for your input.

The decision would remain my own, but I would value input from my readers. But from what I’ve seen in my referral logs, a huge percentage of visitors have come looking for opinions about Pokemon.

Seeing this has made me feel a little concerned that perhaps those visiting to see Pokemon content may feel alienated when they see off-topic rants and political opinions shared largely for humor. I suspect that I’d do a better job of retaining a viewership if I were to keep my content focused, particularly on what matters to a large number of my readership.

I’m considering giving this blog a stronger Pokemon focus. Not only that, I’m also considering moving much of my non-Pokemon content to another blog where it wouldn’t distract from what may be the main thing a substantial portion of my readership may have come for. By keeping different blogs for different content, I may be making the most people happy.

Please leave your opinion in the comments below. You don’t have to, but if you don’t, this post can be taken as a warning that this blog may be taking a more focused direction, soon.

-Raizen

Vegans take twice as many sick days, says UK study

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A study conducted in the UK has found that vegans take twice as many sick days as meat eaters.

Source: Daily Mail

The findings of this study goes against conventional thinking, though I’ve known for some time that veganism is not a healthier lifestyle. The difficulty in obtaining protein and the near-impossibility of finding alternative sources of necessary B vitamins (a deficiency of which can result in irreversible neurological damage) makes veganism a disastrous lifestyle choice.

By the looks of it, science is increasingly backing up the understanding that veganism is terrible for one’s health. This understanding may make it more difficult to conduct studies on the topic, as one can certainly question the ethics of asking someone to undertake a particular diet with the potential of causing neurological damage for science. However, the information we already have access to is sufficient to conclude that a vegan lifestyle should be avoided.

Still, those pushing the vegan lifestyle do succeed in winning impressionable minds to their cause. Among the selling points are treating vague symptoms like “brain fog” or “fatigue”, or appealing to an inordinate sense of guilt. “Brain fog” is a concept that is vague enough that one can easily make the case that just about anything can be blamed for it, and “fatigue” is a natural consequence of doing stuff. After going on a long hike, fatigue is normal. One can even experience fatigue after a few hours of typical activities. It’s not realistic to feel alert and focused all day, every day, no matter what your diet may be.

And the guilt thing a person should easily get over with a simple dose of realism: human beings are biological constructs suited to a predatory lifestyle. We’ve hunted and ate meat over the course of aeons, and our bodies are well-suited to this.

When a person goes against what’s worked well over the course of human history, it shouldn’t be surprising when things don’t go very well for that person. For example, that person may get to be in poorer health and require more sick days for convalescence as a result of their impractical diet.

What’s more, the study showed that vegans took more time off from work to recuperate from the cold or flu, minor ailments that most people just shrug right off. That vegans have a much more difficult time with what most of us consider a mere inconvenience doesn’t really make their diet seem very effective.

While vegans imagine that the rest of us like meat just to be mean, we eat it because it plays a critical role in maintaining good health. It certainly helps that it’s delicious.

What’s In a Thinking Man’s Bug-Out Bag?

I’ve learned about bug-out bags a few years ago, and I took interest in them because they appealed to a sense of survivalism and emergency preparedness. Since then, I’ve had time to think about the kind of things that would be best for a bug-out bag.

But then I got to thinking: What kind of emergency would a person be most likely to face? If one were to consider most bug-out bag configurations that are easy to find on survivalist websites, it would seem like people have an unrealistically high expectation of having to go on an emergency camp out, or be on the run from law enforcement.

Think about it: If law enforcement decided to come after you, how would you be able to determine this before the moment that they show up on your doorstep to make an arrest? How would the intent to come after you be telegraphed if the most practical course of action they could take is to ensure that you’d have the least amount of warning to escape with a few things to spend a few days in the woods? And considering how persistent they can be, in the event that you escape through a window or something, you’d be buying yourself a few days at best (assuming that they don’t anticipate that you’d pull such a thing and station someone in your back yard).

So, it doesn’t seem like there’s much point to entertaining a paranoid fantasy of a life on the run. Here’s a cool idea: if what you’re doing is highly illegal and can get you into loads of trouble, you’re probably better off not doing it.

A more realistic thing to prepare a bug-out bag for is a disaster of some kind. This can be something like an earthquake, flood, or fire. Or perhaps you’d benefit from having one around in the event that you have a falling-out with someone you’re staying with. Stuff happens.

If such an emergency were to come up, where would you be most likely to go? Into the woods for a while where you cook some wild animals and eat some berries? Not likely. The place you’d be most likely to go would be a friend’s or relative’s house, provided they have room for you.

That being the case, the kind of bug-out bag that you’d be more likely to actually get a use out of would be one that’s filled with some supplies for short-term living at someone else’s place. With this in mind, I’ve assembled a short list of items that are generally a good idea to keep in a realistic bug-out bag, which can be called The Thinking Man’s Bug-Out Bag.

Suggested items for The Thinking Man’s Bug-Out Bag include:

  • A change of clothes

Or two, if you can find room for it. If all you have to wear is what’s on you, things can get kind-of awkward on laundry day. And laundry day might end up happening kind-of often.

  • Several day’s supply of socks and underwear

Having just a few day’s supply of clothes will be easier to stretch when you can at least change your undergarments. That might not sound ideal, but remember, you’d be making do with a little you brought with you in response to an emergency.

  • Some bedding

Comforters and pillows might take up a bit much room in your bag, but getting some sheets in there should be easy.

  • An extra charger for your phone

Your host probably doesn’t have the kind of charger you’d need for your phone, so it’s not a bad idea to keep an extra in your bag.

  • Some cash and quarters

This might be the most versatile thing you can keep in your bag, as there might be a situation that comes up in which you’d think “It’d be nice if I had…” With some cash in your bag, you’d be able to buy it. Whatever amount of money you decide to keep in your bag, it helps to keep it in denominations that are reasonable, as some stores don’t accept one-hundred-dollar bills. Quarters can come in handy if you’re in a place where the laundry is done in a laundromat.

  • Toothpaste and toothbrush

Where you go might not have an extra set of dental hygiene products.

  • Body wash, trial size

When we’re talking about limited space, it’s a good idea to consider versatility. Body wash can be used as soap, and can be used to wash hair. If you can find it in a trial or travel size, that would make it even better for your bug-out bag. Some stores have a section for travel-size items, so it might be a good idea to add some of those to your kit, as well.

  • Bottled water

It might take a little time for you to get where you’re going. It wouldn’t do for you to get dehydrated on the way there.

  • A little shelf-stable food

It wouldn’t do to starve, either. What you add is your choice, but mind the expiration dates. Also, be sure that the food is either ready to eat or you have the means in your bag to immediately open, prepare, and consume it. To pack canned food but no can opener would be self-defeating. If you need a dish or utensils and don’t bring them, eating your food might be a challenge. But something requiring no preparation like granola bars would usually do just fine. Beef jerky is also a great choice.

  • A notebook and writing utensil

If you’re in an emergency situation or getting situated in new surroundings, you’ll likely have a lot of information to take down. If you have what you need to write down things like addresses, appointments, and contact information, you’d be well-off. You’d also be glad that you packed it if you happen to like sketching or journal-keeping.

  • A replacement laptop and charger

In the event of a fire, you probably won’t have time to get your expensive gaming rig out the door. Wherever you end up going, it’s likely to have wi-fi and you’d probably benefit from using it. A laptop would be great if you stay wherever you end up going long-term. If your laptop has important files such as a copy of your resume, you’d be pretty well-prepared. If a laptop seems a little expensive to add to your emergency kit, or you’re running out of room, you can at least keep a flash drive with some important files in there.

  • A mini First Aid kit

Emergency situations are usually highly-dangerous, so it’s not a bad idea to have the means on hand to tend to minor scrapes and bruises.

  • Rain gear

It might be raining when disaster strikes. Having a poncho or umbrella in your bag can keep you and your emergency kit dry.

This bug-out bag should be easy for the average person to assemble, because it consists of items that people usually have around the house, and it’s relatively easy for a person to head to a store and pick up a few items to complete it. This is the kind of bug-out bag that people would benefit most from having, as it concerns the most realistic emergency scenarios that a person can face.

Is there anything you’d add to this bug-out bag?

The Theatrical Implosion of Channel Awesome

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Channel Awesome is experiencing a SHTF moment. Several former members of their talent have come forward and have alleged wrongdoing in a long Google Docs file.

The Google Docs file can be read here.

As a result of fan backlash, Channel Awesome’s YouTube channel has experienced a dip in subscribers. As of this posting, periodic refreshing of their channel’s page shows their subscriber count steadily falling. It’s kind of amusing to watch.

The debacle is interesting and somewhat disappointing to behold considering that the names and faces involved are entertainers that many of us have enjoyed over the years, and we’d like to imagine that online companies are above the politics associated with traditional media. The alleged mismanagement of Channel Awesome and mistreatment of its talent shows that this is not the case, and can be a real slap in the face for those of us who elevate online content producers.

To be realistic, it really isn’t unusual to work with and for people who make decisions that you don’t immediately understand or who don’t seem to have any idea what’s going on. I think we all experience that to some degree. You can probably think of a few experiences of your own.

As for me, one of my previous jobs had me work with an old man who was my supervisor. The problem was, the old man was clearly well past the point of senility, and seldom (if ever) produced anything of value. For the most part, the rest of the staff joked about him and merely tolerated him, even as he racked up overtime pay just to socialize. We had a nickname for the guy: Deadwood. After a while, I came to find out that upper management was well aware of how useless Deadwood was, and the reason why he was still employed was because Deadwood was friends with the company president. A little while after that, I parted ways with the company and went on to work someplace else, and I later found out that two people were hired to replace me (no joke), but after Deadwood finally left, someone else was made supervisor, but he otherwise wasn’t replaced.

It’s really nothing unusual that you work with and under people who don’t know or do your job as well as you do, and this seems to be more and more prevalent the more technical your job is. With large websites like Channel Awesome, there’s a lot of potential for someone to be in charge whose job was merely to be in charge, and issue orders regardless of whether they have any idea what it takes to produce the content (believe it or not, it takes more to make videos than just pointing a camera at someone and turning it on).

What’s really alarming are the allegations of chauvinism favoring the men, and mistreatment of the female talent. One of the complaints was about a rape scene which was changed due to objections from the talent, but more alarming still was that one of the women was physically suspended to the point of fainting!

We should all know at this point that the truth of a matter is not determined by mere allegation. Though as more people come forward with the same allegation, it increasingly shows that they aren’t just some pie-in-the-sky complaints from disgruntled former workers. Not only that, other staff members have responded by leaving the company, which lends weight to the claim that there was something seriously wrong.

Fans have likewise responded by withdrawing from the Channel Awesome viewership. This being the case, it’s going to be interesting to see how Channel Awesome copes with this negative publicity, or whether they could recover from it. I would think that other media companies that have had similarly bad practices would take note and come to understand just how severely things can backfire when the talent is mistreated.

Even non-media companies can take note of how these events are playing out. After all, companies are composed of people who bring something of value, and if the people are mistreated, the company is setting itself up for disaster.