Jordan Peterson hangs it up as a professor

January 20, 2022 • 9:30 am

Reader Duff called my attention to a piece by Jordan Peterson in—where else—Canada’s National Post, announcing that he’s quitting as a professor at the University of Toronto.  You can read the piece by clicking on the screenshot below:

As I’ve said before, I know virtually nothing about Jordan Peterson, though of course you can’t be living in this bubble without occasionally hearing of his doings. Jordan Peterson refuses to agree to mandatory pronoun use. Jordan Peterson near death’s door from disease and depression in Russia. Jordan Peterson clashes with British t.v. host, trounces her. Jordan Peterson writes bestselling book on how to live. And so on and so on.  When I’ve heard bits of his videos, I tend to agree with sp,e of what he says, but I claim no knowledge of his general views nor about his writings. (I tried to read his big academic book, and failed.) But I admire his honesty and his eloquence, though sometimes exercised in the service of causes I don’t support.

So I don’t have a strong reaction to the news above, nor endorse all that he says—except about the fulminating wokeness of academia, which is apparently what impelled him to resign. (I don’t think it hurt that he probably has about a gazillion dollars from his books and lecture fees!). I think he goes too far in indicting virtually the entire West for wokeness, though some of what he says rings true. Here’s one quote that I like.

We are now at the point where race, ethnicity, “gender,” or sexual preference is first, accepted as the fundamental characteristic defining each person (just as the radical leftists were hoping) and second, is now treated as the most important qualification for study, research and employment.

Need I point out that this is insane ? Even the benighted New York Times has its doubts. A headline from August 11, 2021: Are Workplace Diversity Programs Doing More Harm than Good? In a word, yes. How can accusing your employees of racism etc. sufficient to require re-training (particularly in relationship to those who are working in good faith to overcome whatever bias they might still, in these modern, liberal times, manifest) be anything other than insulting, annoying, invasive, high-handed, moralizing, inappropriate, ill-considered, counterproductive, and otherwise unjustifiable?

And this is credible; one of the reasons he resigned:

Second reason: This is one of many issues of appalling ideology currently demolishing the universities and, downstream, the general culture. Not least because there simply is not enough qualified BIPOC people in the pipeline to meet diversity targets quickly enough (BIPOC: black, indigenous and people of colour, for those of you not in the knowing woke). This has been common knowledge among any remotely truthful academic who has served on a hiring committee for the last three decades. This means we’re out to produce a generation of researchers utterly unqualified for the job. And we’ve seen what that means already in the horrible grievance studies “disciplines.” That, combined with the death of objective testing, has compromised the universities so badly that it can hardly be overstated. And what happens in the universities eventually colours everything. As we have discovered.

All my craven colleagues must craft DIE statements to obtain a research grant. They all lie (excepting the minority of true believers) and they teach their students to do the same. And they do it constantly, with various rationalizations and justifications, further corrupting what is already a stunningly corrupt enterprise. Some of my colleagues even allow themselves to undergo so-called anti-bias training, conducted by supremely unqualified Human Resources personnel, lecturing inanely and blithely and in an accusatory manner about theoretically all-pervasive racist/sexist/heterosexist attitudes. Such training is now often a precondition to occupy a faculty position on a hiring committee.

This is what I object to most about current academic culture: it forces people to either lie about their feelings or to shut up.

But, as critical as I am about DEI statements (he calls them “DIE statements,” which doesn’t help his cause), I still believe in affirmative action in some spheres, including academia. Since he’s uniformly opposed to it it any way, I can’t sign on to his views in toto.  I can’t claim, for instance, that current efforts to diversify universities will “compromise them so terribly that it means the death of higher education.” Nor do I think that DEI initiatives will produce a generation of researchers “utterly unqualified for the job.”

I do, however, hate to see institutions dedicated to pursuing truth nevertheless lie and dissimulate about their motivations, and chill the speech of who would disagree with “conventional” (in academia, that’s “progressive liberal”) views.

I suspect many readers know a lot more about Peterson than I, so do weigh in below. One thing you have to hand the man: he says what he thinks, even if others disagree strongly with him. That’s opposed to the many academics who say (or are forced to say) what they don’t think, or keep their mouths shut rather than buck the latest ideology.

55 thoughts on “Jordan Peterson hangs it up as a professor

  1. I can’t claim, for instance, that current efforts to diversify universities will “compromise them so terribly that it means the death of higher education.” Nor do I think that DEI initiatives will produce a generation of researchers “utterly unqualified for the job.”

    I agree with you. IMO there are many more qualified post-docs for entry level academic positions than there are academic positions. So increasing the number of minority acceptances for such position should not, in general, require any lowering of standards (though the distribution of candidates for various positions is obviously not uniform).

    The same goes for college applications in many cases, IMO. Top tier schools get way more well-qualified applicants than they have freshman spots; if a university really wants to make their classes demographically look like the population, then for most schools that should not require any lowering of standards or eliminating standardized tests.

    The problem, I think, in both cases is that we have a “best of breed” application system rather than a satisfice system. You get 1,000 applicants for 100 spots and you think 300 of them could cut it and do well, our current systems generally use “take the best 100” rather than “take from the top 300 who can succeed.” So minority candidates can’t simply be good enough, they have to be best. Which is a much harder proposition, given background class and financial inequalities. And it leads to lying: lying on resumes, lying by review boards, students puffing up their transcripts with extra-curriculars and having to write statements about social outreach few of them do (and fewer still care about), and so on. IMO Universities should set application requirements based on evidence of what it takes to succeed within 4-5 years, and put every candidate who meets those qualifications in the pool to be drawn from with little regard to extra qualifications. If statistical research tells you there’s no difference in on-time graduation rates between the 1400 and the 1600 SAT scoring students, but that below 1400 there’s a drop-off in on-time graduation rates, and the problem is you really want to take that 1400 candidate over the 1600 candidate, the solution is not “get rid of the SAT,” it’s “treat any applicant scoring above 1400 as equal on that criteria.” That would also relieve some pressure on the kids, too.

    Professionally it’s a little harder because you often really do want ‘the best’ candidate. But if diversity is an important goal of your organization, then I think setting an expectation for publications, grants, and other demonstrations of academic success – and then treating candidates that meet them as professionally equal – is still probably better than the current system which forces people to lie about diversity statements etc. in order to try and achieve “best of…” rather than “meets requirements.”

    1. I think the premise that everyone has equal opportunity is an unqualified good, of course.

      But that does not mean some individuals will either take advantage of, or be hindered, by unpredictable events – “luck” perhaps – that adds up to a significant difference on the table of applications for a position (of any sorts). E.g. someone gets ill and an important exam is fumbled, while another might have studied more because a friend helped them out. Their permanent records being irreversibly set in stone. That example sounds contrived, but I bet that stuff happens, and contributes to “success” vs. “failure”.

      Identity politics – I think – assumes that everything about the candidate is determined by the self, or, a permanent and lasting oppression… and is independent of that individual’s relationships, environs, locale, etc…. orrr.. IDK .. but I’m getting out there now… just writing to get ideas up in the air…

      1. I agree with you about luck and circumstances. In my mind, those are arguments that favor a satisfice decision type over a ‘best of’ decision type. When you take best of, you’re probably getting the people who are competent AND lucky in life, when really you only care about the competent bit.

      2. I finally found the thought I was looking for :

        The notion that luck – or perhaps more precisely, stochastic processes – are at play, means that _all_ candidates – and, by extension, all employees …(?)… are not immune to it. Just because a famous professor is “white” does not mean they (she) never overcame some obstruction presented by the “real world”.

        Identity politics leads one to consider, perhaps, the famous “white” individual has never met with challenges that can occur to _anyone_ – the famous/rich/successful “white” individual with a good job may well have met “real world” challenges more difficult than others have, and yeah, the outcome is, superficially, an “injustice”….

        I’m reaching the stratosphere again…

    2. “make their classes demographically look like the population”

      Universities don’t really want that — they want to admit more blacks and Hispanics to show that they are virtuous. If they were truly interested in equal demographic representation, the percentage of whites and Asians admitted would equal the general population, which it doesn’t.

      The key question: should 18 year-old whites and Asians be discriminated against due to the sins of their fathers (actually, grandfathers)? I would submit no. The solution to racism is not more racism.

      1. I think different schools can have different goals in terms of the makeup of their student bodies. I’m not defending a specific outcome. There’s no one affirmative action to rule them all here. I’m pointing out, however, that taking a “best of” admission policy and then rigging it to get the outcome you want is (IMO) worse than being up front about your goal and using a satisfice policy to get it. Even if the result is the same, the latter is more honest, communicates more clearly the University’s goals and policies, and makes life easier on the applicants to boot.

        1. If you want affirmative action, the “good enough” policy is less bad. but (I believe) is legally not allowed in the way you describe it because racial quotas violate civil rights (I may be mistaken, or possibly this applies only some states). A lottery among the satisfactory candidates however should do the trick and would save a lot of work.

          1. Looked this up. Racial quotas were prohibited by SCOTUS, although they would be a less costly and cumbersome and less dishonest option to achieve better representation.

  2. I can hear “Oh, no its not like that at all” from here.

    Its funny he wrote out the meaning of BIPOC, and more so that I recently observed that I could not recall what “I” stood for.

    I’ve seen ostensibly neutral, great places (call it “Museum A”), all about science, work diversity into their mission, and their disseminated media (email ads), so much so, that when Museum A comes up in conversation, the big thing on my mind isn’t the science, its how to navigate the identity politics that apparently is the important thing driving the ship – and what I am doing to serve The Mission.

    1. In Canada, the “I” is the only thing that really counts. Sure, we have to do “B”, too, because the Americans do and our Black students don’t do very well, either, especially males. This even though they or their ancestors came from independent majority-Black countries where they have been running their own show for decades….or from failed states in Africa. So if slavery and Jim Crow can’t explain it, I guess it must be structural racism.

      The catch-all “POC” generally excel because of passion for education, provided not held back by Wahhabism, and it is disingenuous to include them in an acronym for oppression. These applicants are, of course, actively discriminated against in some places, though not to my knowledge on Peterson’s turf.

      On Peterson himself I have no opinion. Funny how you can spend a long time in a silo of a large university, particularly in an affiliated teaching hospital off campus, and hear so little elsewhere. I will say there is no inherent reason why a psychology department or a medical school class should “look like” the population. It is patronizing to assume that new Black MDs will want to set up general practices in blighted Black neighbourhoods just because they are Black. If they excel, they will want to get in to competitive specialties such as plastic surgery, dermatology, and cardiology just like everyone else and more power to them. The undesirable jobs will go to those of any race in the bottom third, and to foreign medical graduates. I don’t see how DEI changes any of that.

      1. POC, such as Indian Americans (here in the USA), are often highly successful. Indian Americans are the most successful ethnicity (on average) in the USA. So the Woke lump then with whites in their statistics! Indian Americans are POC by any standard.

        The Woke project is not racial “justice”. It is social leveling on a Marxist model.

        Why else would they publish the “Aspects of Whiteness” on the website of the National Museum of African American History and Culture? Because they want to advance the idea that people who do not practice such things as: Deferring gratification, working hard, showing up on time, valuing a stable nuclear family, valuing education, etc., should be rewarded equally with people that do practice these things.

  3. Jordan Peterson is a pseudo-intellectual who cares about persuasion insofar as it feeds his ego. Much like the Weinstein brothers, Gad Saad, PZ Myers, Geoffrey Miller, Glenn Greenwald, Douglas Murray, Ezra Klein and Ben Shapiro.

    1. Certainly he has an ego, like every heathy human being, but I would give him more credit than you do. Peterson does seem to lean towards the right, but he in no way compares to Weinstein brothers. I don’t even understand trust comparison. Let me add I greatly appreciate a diversity of opinions: Gad Saad is challenging, like Peterson, as is Greenwald. Life could get boring if everyone agreed with me.

    2. Before his 15 minutes of fame, I only knew him as the cranky contrarian they would occasionally bring out on TV Ontario’s The Agenda.

    3. Perhaps you would care to also evaluate the extent of ego-feeding among Ibram X. Kendi, Robin De Angelo, Nicole Hannah-Jones and their ideological ilk.

  4. I don’t follow him, but I can see features that lends fuel to his critics. He claims that the push for DEI is “demolishing universities” (!), and will yield a “generation of researchers utterly unqualified for the job”. That is pretty much hyperbole, imo.

    1. Exactly my thought on reading “demolishing”.

      Great word to use to keep a spoken conversation going – not necessarily precise in writing…. perhaps shows how doing “TV shows” wears on Peterson.

    2. Yes, I’ve found that even when he’s making good points, he seems to me often to exaggerate, or to jump to unwarranted (or at least unargued) conclusions. For a politician that might be a useful strategy (though I don’t like it even in such people), but for someone who wants to be seen as an intellectual, an academic, a psychologist, etc., I think it’s counterproductive.

    3. To me, universities are to spread the best knowledge available, to exchange ideas, and to reward the young recipients based on meritocratic criteria. DEI ruins all three. When I was young, I wanted to study at a US university. Days ago, I recommended the mother of a double citizen to keep her daughter out of US universities. And she knew perfectly well why I thought so.

  5. People may differ in estimating the degree of harm from possibly unqualified academic applicants. But the fact that the trend in harassing and firing dissident academics has not decreased but increased, and the fact that more universities are capitulating to DEI demands supports Peterson’s fears much as we might believe otherwise. Time will tell but as of now things are getting worse, not better. If those who disagree with him take issue with this, why don’t they produce evidence for their view that academic excellence will not be impaired under DEI? Peterson put this issue on the map before just about anyone in this country, at great personal risk at the U. of Toronto, and he has
    publicly and emphatically taken up the defense of free speech and dissent, unlike the phony
    liberals (I call them paleoliberals)in this country who have let important events be ignored, such as the Evergreen State College harassment of Bret Weinstein and Heying, one of many such cases that keep appearing daily. The liberals in this country are cowards, to put it mildly. Peterson spoke out
    forcefully and set the standard for principled dissent. He deserves our support and respect.

    1. Well-stated! Far too many on the left in 2022 are, however, not “liberal” in the slightest on issues such as freedom of speech or diversity of opinion within academic disciplines. The very fact that DEI statements are often mandated constitutes sufficient proof that American colleges and universities have gone very far astray, nor is there yet any real evidence of an imminent return to sanity.

    2. One must undoubtedly admire how he’s embraced the MRAs and incels at great risk of reaping a huge financial windfall for himself.

    1. I do not see anything that Peterson said on your link. Only an accusation that he said that the ancient Egyptians knew about the double helix. No direct quote whatsoever, we call that hearsay.
      Note, I don’t say it is not true -I’m not familiar with his views other than in the OP article-, but I say it is an aspersion your link does not provide any serious evidence for.

        1. A good example of why the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.

          Theory: in countries with proportional representation, wokeness makes fewer inroads, because people are accustomed to there being more than two viewpoints. In a two-party system, one is expected to agree with the majority of a party on all issues, or risk having no influence in that party. How many people despise wokeness but don‘t say so loudly because Trump supporters also despise it? How many don‘t say so loudly because they fear being branded as Trump supporters (even if that is objectively ridiculous)?

      1. I’m sorry, I genuinely thought the link I gave had the video. My mistake. But now someone else has already posted it, so we can stop dealing with that straw man.

    2. And, has been noted here, frequently, it’s a commonplace for a person to be correct on some issues and wrong on others.

      1. It’s not a matter of “being correct”, it’s a matter of a so-called intellectual espousing evidence-free views that are essentially at the same level as claiming Elvis is still alive.

          1. I don’t understand the tension here. Jeffrey Shallit didn’t make any argument about DIE. Jerry pretty much asked for commenters opinions on Peterson in the OP and Jeffrey gave some information and an opinion on that. I agree with him too. Sure, he happens to be on the correct side of the DIE issue but lots of people are. I wouldn’t recommend him to anyone for anything, except perhaps entertainment.

  6. I first encountered Peterson in viewing a video of a debate between him and Sam Harris. Shortly thereafter I viewed videos of criticisms of his work by Drew of Genetically Modified Skeptic and Stephen of Rationality Rules. I glanced through his bestselling book 12 Rules for Life. I found the book somewhat anodyne, but I figured if some are inspired by reading it to, say, make their beds after getting up in the morning, there is some benefit to it. I can’t endorse Peterson’s religiosity or psychoanalyzing. In Jerry’s quotation of him above, I did glom onto a phrase that I can relate to and agree with, to wit: “Not least because there simply is not enough qualified BIPOC people in the pipeline to meet diversity targets quickly enough.” In my profession of librarianship there is an obvious lack of Black male librarians. Decades ago the American Library Association instituted the Rainbow Initiative to train, recruit, and place more BIPOC in the profession. This initiative has been a qualified success. The ALA has had many more BIPOC and LGBT people in positions of power and influence in the profession over the ensuing decades. But, though this is really a success to be celebrated and though the current immediate past president of the ALA is a Black man ( [BTW, one of the past presidents you’ll see in this list, Loriene Roy, is a Native American. And you’ll also see Carla Hayden in the list, a Black woman who is the current Librarian of Congress.]), there is still a dearth of Black male librarians in the profession at large. A while ago the ALA determined that this dearth is a result of a pipeline problem, since young Black men don’t find the profession of librarianship attractive and so don’t go into library school. Now, I don’t hear anything about this situation being a pipeline problem, because the ALA early on in 2020 engaged in the self-flagellation of publicly admitting that there is structural racism in the association and the profession as a whole. When I read that admission, I shook my head silly, since, as you can see from my brief recap above, the profession of librarianship is one of the least racist of any professions. Such are the times we live in!

    1. It also illustrates the real harm wokeism can cause, even in the communities it wants to support. When ALA first identified a pipeline problem, they created a pipeline solution and this was partially successful. But since this generation isn’t interested in the pipeline problem, they won’t create follow-on pipeline solutions, so the problem will not get any better.

      This is (IMO) one of the key lessons from Feynman’s famous “nature will not be fooled” argument: if you fool yourself about the existence or characterization of a problem, you will not create a working fix for it.

      1. It also makes it worse in a more direct way. When you misdiagnose under-representation as a result of rampant, structural racism, sexism and so on in that field, you make these fields even less attractive to groups who are already less motivated to join them.

        I like to call this the “Watson Effect”, named after a certain Rebecca W. who thought the best way to make atheism more interesting to women was to continiously assert how outright dangerous, triggering, and unsupportive it all is (and of course ignoring all data from all sorts of polls which show that women are more likely to be religious, for reasons —including patriarchal, societal etc— independent of any atheist movement).

        I come away thinking this is a form of gatekeeping, and redirecting resources to one’s own preferred turf which then so happens to cater to a specific subset of people who go into a field like a missionary goes into a unknown, possibly dangerous, territory prepared to sacrifice for the cause. You get more of a specific type of person who is maybe only secondarily interested in whatever the field is about, but who happen to support the gatekeeping.

  7. The imposition of “Diversity Statements” as a requirement for faculty employment and (in Canada) for the award of grants will unavoidably lead to the outcome Jordan Peterson predicts. Our progress in that direction is already evident in the laughable misconceptions about statistics, genetics, and biology proclaimed by seemingly credentialed authors in Scientific American. As Professor Peterson points out, the effects of woke ideology are already on display in the various grievance studies departments and in their journals. We are in the process of discovering how the spread of this new Lysenkoism into every academic subject will affect the rest of higher education.

    At a lower level, the education establishment’s continuing assault on advanced classes, knowledge testing, and standards of accomplishment will not help with the pipeline problem. But, looking on the bright side, there will no longer be a pipeline “problem” when all forms of knowledge are replaced by Diversity Statements. The effects of this development on medical research, airplane design, and bridge construction might turn out to be a little uncomfortable—-but hey, the USSR survived 25 years of
    Lysenkoism and 65 years of imposed unanimity with all the comforts that were evident in 1991.

  8. My only exposure to Peterson was when Sam Harris made a valiant effort to engage with him on his podcast, and he could not even get Peterson to agree on the meaning of “truth”. That was enough for me to ignore anything else he’s done or said since.

    1. Yeah, but he explained that was because he’d had a sip of apple cider containing sulphites just before, which caused him to be “done for a month”.

    2. I recalled the conversation from some time ago and managed to dig it up:

      Peterson presented the hypothetical situation of the hydrogen bomb wiping out the human race. He went on to say that ‘the proposition that the universe was best conceptualized as subatomic particles was true enough to generate a hydrogen bomb but was not true enough to stop everyone from dying.’

      I think he was equivocating.

      1. Later in the discussion, he admits to ‘gerrymandering the definition of truth’. So he understands ‘truth’ as correctness, but chooses to extend its meaning. I guess that’s all right then 🙂

  9. I haven’t seen a whole lot of Peterson, but from what I have I would try to sum it up as assumptions that he rattles off as facts, and bases his conclusions off of those incorrect facts. He might be right, after all, that requiring more BIPOC inclusion could lower the standard, but it assumes there aren’t enough qualified BIPOC candidates. It seems like he has a feeling about something, then uses his intellectual brain to go back and try to justify it, landing on a strawman, then working that back forward to his conclusion. It’s literally the same thought process that “justified” laws against gay marriage.

    1. The lack of enough qualified BIPOC candidates is a universal assumption. This is why diversocrats push them relentlessly in place of more qualified white candidates (and also Asians who are considered honorary whites). If BIPOC candidates were as qualified as others, the efforts would go into color-blinding as many exams and admission procedures as possible. Instead, tests are eliminated, and the tradition of listening to candidate musicians behind a curtain is attacked because it doesn’t produce enough non-white winners.

      1. If you are trying to sound like Jordan, you are doing very well.

        1) claim a universal assumption without any evidence.
        2) Ad hominem attack on people that have a desire for diversity.
        3) sweeping claim with no evidence.

        Specifically on that last point, (and I believe we are talking about academia, as that was Jordan’s complaint) I just recently witnessed two people gain access to higher education, and they had to meet certain testing gates. So I’m not sure what it is you speak of. Please elaborate.

        1. There is no lack of “BIPOC” candidates in sum, but there is a dearth of black candidates, specifically American descendants of slavery, in the upper academic echelons in the US (and certainly also of North American natives with reservation background, who are th most neglected minority in the US). US blacks are underrepresented among the highly qualified. As far as I know this is not controversial. That is why they universities are now castigating gthemselves. The problem starts in grade school and possibly even earlier and trying to fix it by affirmative action in the higher spheres of academia can lead to unintended and undesirable consequences. Affirmative action in the form of lowered academic standards happens in higher education, this is also not controversial. Black people need lower scores of whatever test is used to get into a select medical or law school than Asian or white people (depending on the state and the institution). The precise mechanism by which this is achieved varies.

        2. If you are trying to sound like a creationist, denying any facts that contradict your preconceived beliefs and projecting onto your opponent, you are doing very well.
          What I meant was that the affirmative action in admission and appointments that leads to ditching more qualified white and Asian applicants in order to free slots for less qualified black applicants, is based on the expectation that on a level playing ground, black applicants will be unable to occupy anything close to their share in the population.
          I fully believe your report that (some) universities still use tests. The problem is that nothing obliges the university to let in the candidates with the highest scores. On the contrary, it is considered very progressive if black candidates with lower scores are given preference over melanin-deficient ones with higher scores.

            1. Hey, did not notice your comment with the article when I replied. I’d like to point out that while it is true that this is an example of a school that does not use standardized entrance exams, it also is true that many “uneligible” students thrived in higher learning environments. This would indicate not that the tests actually test for the best, but instead test for an arcane, less than useful metric.

              If I test 100 people and only 40% pass, but the failures are able to do the job at a 80% rate, my test is poorly constructed. That is a hypothetical, but it is also what I believe this article is getting to.

              1. I think that a well-constructed test will have some failure rate (depending on the circumstances; at the medical school where I work, it is about 50%), and also will clearly scale those above the bar so that the university can pick the best performers.
                Of course, there is no perfect justice in life, and a kid growing in a well-connected, well-to-do family will cope better than an equally gifted child from a less fortunate background, other things equal. Yet there is some universal truth in the admission of students based on an anonymous written exam with clear rules. Even those left out have some peace of mind – didn’t score enough, case closed.
                While not perfect, our system works. We have a good pool of both sexes (though sex quotas are used to guarantee equal number of boys), and of all minorities with one notable exception, the Roma. Years ago, Roma applicants were tutored and then let into the university in a sort of affirmative action. It was an utter failure, they continued to struggle, and the fund provider discontinued the experiment. As Ruth said, if a community is disadvantaged since birth, by the time high school graduates apply for a university it’s too late to do anything constructive. Another proof that those who fail our exam are not able to do the job are students who in the USA would be legacy admissions. Their parents use loopholes, such as transfering them from other universities with lower rejection rates, and then the kids occupy a steady bottom position, and we are often forced to fail them despite the small NATO standing behind every one of them. Whatever people say, the performance of a student at a standardized entrance exam is an excellent indicator of his future performance.
                The American admission system (I don’t know the Canadian one) has always amazed me with its subjectivism. Most Americans with whom I have discussed it are convinced in its superiority, yet my impression is that every applicant left out considers himself a victim of injustice (as I would), and every few years major “improvements” are considered necessary and tried.

              2. Mayamarkov, thanks for that comment.

                I suppose every field has the no-shit stuff you just need to know, and the subjective stuff you can’t test for, and in different amounts.

                I used to test combat units and their leadership, via a realistic exercise. Failure or success in that type of environment led to real world failure or success respectively. It was a mix of specific tasks and data along with more subjective qualities such as tactical awareness and leadership.

                I’m not in the medical field, but I know enough to know subjectivity is less a factor.

                Considering Jordan is a clinical psychologist, I don’t give a hill of beans what he thinks about sociology, or education in the broad sense. He MAY have a point specifically within his field, or more likely within his department at his university. But this is not what he said. He painted a very broad brush, itself a fallacy.

                The other thing you noted was that universities are not supposed to fix the problems inherent in early education and I agree, however once again this is more or less subjective depending on the area of study.

                And in the end, you cant get a PhD without a whole lot of hard work and a whole lot of research and a whole lot of other PhDs looking over your shoulder. If you get through all that crap, who cares what you scored on a test once upon a time?

                (I am in no way against the ACT or SAT, hell I did just fine on mine. But I dont advocate it should be the sole metric, and should be weighed more or less depending on the area of study.)

          1. Lol! You like to poke at people’s ego like I do. Well played.

            I will, however, note that I did not reject your premise with prejudice. I rejected it as lacking evidence. Further, I noted that the “not enough qualified minority candidates” argument is mathematically difficult to support. Depending how you slice it, minorities are about 1/3 of the population. I do not buy the excuse that a university with a few dozen professors can’t find some highly qualified minority ones. That ia just an excuse of laziness.

    1. Thanks for sharing this! Peterson is a horrible misogynist as well as a pseudo-intellectual, illogical idiot and I’m surprised it’s taken this far into the thread for someone to point this out!

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