YOUTUBE (GOD) IS DEAD!!! (Secondary Knowledge vs. Firsthand Knowledge)
Why Watching Someone Talk About Soemthing They’ve Read, While not Un-useful, is Not the Same as Reading the Thing Yourself
6/9/17, 9:09 pm EDT
By John Corry
Like many as of late, I’ve been somewhat taken with a few new ‘intellectuals’ making their fame off the controversy of the Trump presidency and nothing more *Nothing *Nothing *Nothing : Sam Harris, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Joe Rogan, Adam Carolla, Maynard; pretty much all the dumbest people you could possibly waste your attention on. As I’m sure nobody in this crowd would know, indeed there is another potentially in this category: Jedi Dr. Jordan Peterson, also clearly working in secret for the emperor.
I’ve had a few conversations with peeps by now about Peterson. Dr. Peterson has become famous, particularly in the past several months, for taking a stance against potential Canadian laws forcing people to adhere to certain belief structures and modes of thought with punishments of fines or even jail time (and by belief structures and modes of thought, I mean words). I sympathize with the need to better understand situations different than your own, and especially when those situations are mired with historic misunderstanding or in some cases hate, discrimination and damnation, but I find that laws in themselves cannot directly affect human thought and/or emotion, as those are personal/Individual processes: they exist, originate and evolve in Individuals, and Society can only react to them, and potentially influence their relevance, dexterity, or, however this only indirectly, the processes themselves.
Peterson has been called a Nazi, a fascist and every horrible ting under the sun by what is indeed the more ‘understanding’ side of the political sphere. What one may miss by telling a ‘Jedi’ (Peterson in this case) what it means to be a Jedi without being a Jedi or even legitimately training to be one, is that Peterson has a long history of interesting psychological, philosophical and politically theoretical thought. To write off his knowledge of Nietzsche, Jung and the way Marxism has affected the world over the past century is not only dumb, but misses the entire point of being a human in the first place (to have new, positive experiences (thinking new, even dangerous thoughts, is a new experience)). To write off his damnation of postmodernism, and specifically the thought of the ‘French philosophers’ (Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Jean-Franois Lyotard), is no different than writing off someone like Stephen Hawking when it comes time to talk about astrophysics and black holes. It’s not to say that he is absolutely correct, only apparently knowledgable. You are entitled to your opinions, but it’s just plain stupid not hear someone out, and especially someone who knows more than you do.
In one of these particularly heated discussions of mine regarding Peterson, and, more specifically, postmodernism (we were drunk :/), I referenced a friend of mine who I’d talked to extensively regarding the subject several days before. This friend had just graduated with a BA and did his thesis on postmodernism.
After my buddy (henceforth referred to as: Drunkard) brought up Peterson and his, what seems to me right now to be relatively justifiable, critiques of postmodernism, I’d mentioned this friend, and the potential I’d gained after said discussions with the dude, and from reading his thesis, several days before, to understand that postmodernism may have some things to say that you can only understand by actually reading the postmodern philosophers themselves, or at least understanding what postmodernism is through looking at varying different takes and perspectives on the subject.
Long story short, Drunkard ended the night by saying that he would beat the shit out of my friend (intellectually speaking, of course) with no more knowledge on the subject of postmodernism than what he’d learned by watching Dr. Peterson’s videos regarding the topic on YouTube.
He’s a real thinker, that Drunkard *TheBestThinker *TheBestThinker .
While I’ve read a bit on the subject of postmodernism, aside from my friend’s thesis (he did mention Derrida as his favorite philosopher when I saw him #WhatAnObviousRetard ), I admittedly have yet to read any of the actual work of most of these philosophers themselves (Marx’s Capital is over a thousand pages long, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations even longer, and I haven’t even started A Song of Ice and Fire yet (HBO’s Game of Thrones starts in July, bro, *ForTheRecord –fucking July!!!)).
It was for these reasons that I mentioned my friend in my recent conversation with Drunkard; because my first-mentioned friend (henceforth referred to in this article as ‘Friend 1’) has read these things, has clearly looked into the actual literature and product of what we were talking about, far more than I have (in my opposition to the things he says, an opposition primarily based on what I’ve learned reading about them, and what Dr. Peterson’s take on them was), I can’t continue in the argument without being intellectually dishonest, pretending that I know something firsthand which I don’t, and, more importantly, being stupid, offended and ignorant of the potential for learning.
Obviously, my point here is that secondary knowledge (or: knowledge gained through lectures or writings of people writing about original ideas, or in response to them), while far from worthless or intellectually incapacitating, does not intellectually trump firsthand knowledge. Dr. Peterson has an innate and extensive knowledge on the subject of postmodernism, which is why it is a very good idea to watch his videos, and hear what he has to say, but that does not mean that his firsthand knowledge on the subject can take the place of your own, or make up for the fact that you do not personally have any, because you have not even attempted to understand the original material.
You’re like the 95% of Jupiter, which we know to be Jupiter, which is the atmosphere and the gas making up the bulk of its planetary material, being everything but the core /> however relatively small it may be, without the core, the planet doesn’t exist.
I’m really just upset with Drunkard here. In order to have knowledge or a right to a respected opinion on a subject, you need to actually look into the subject yourself–understand the product inherently and Individually (I can’t talk shit on Megadeth if I’ve never actually listened to Megadeth (as if you could ever talk shit on Megadeth anyway #FuckYouHaters ))–and cannot use the opinions of others as your only means of argument or debate; that’s plagiarism merely shined up by a self-described worship of society and a type of pseudo-Individuality-
Congratulations, you’re a postmodernist! (As far as my limited understanding of it at the moment goes.)
Using YouTube pundits (or any pundit for that matter), or even intellectuals like Peterson or Sam Harris, explaining what they know on a subject as your sole source of evidence in any physical debate not only distorts my understanding of what Peterson for example may be trying to say, in the sense that I’m getting his understanding of a certain topic through you, which is secondary, and misleading of the fact that Dr. Peterson was the original person with those ideas, but also, in the long run, in the sense that, after hearing this type of argument consistently enough to be able to remember any uniform idea representing one person or group, I, as the person receiving this secondary understanding of Dr. Peterson’s thought (remember, in this example, I have theoretically not read or watched him myself), begin to conflate his ideas with what my firsthand director (in this case, my drunk-ass libertarian friend #Burn #SuchAGoodBurn #GetIt?CauseLibertariansOnlyCareAboutFightingWithEachOther #Postmodernists? #LibertariansArePostmodernists??? ) thinks about them, as being the same thing.
My understanding of Peterson’s ideas on the subject are now just as distorted, after such time and consistent argument has gone by, as Drunkard’s are of postmodernism thanks to such an incessant need to use only Jordan Peterson’s interpretations of it as his sole source of knowledge, and to not take the time to look into the actual material himself (I know, it’s a pain the ass). This may be because Drunkard relatively already knows what Peterson’s thoughts are, and he’d rather bask in his knowledge that he himself (Drunkard) was smart enough to recognize how smart Dr. Peterson is instead of putting any work in.
In other words: this is lazy #FeelingTriggered? .
It is much easier to watch, read or hear someone else think about something than to actually think about it yourself, and if the first goal of postmodernism is to classify everyone into groups and to entirely get rid of the idea of Individual thought altogether (I am not trying to say that this is what I personally believe, though Dr. Peterson certainly makes a decent case for it), the first step to that would be to rid people of having their own thoughts, for the simple reason that others are more entitled to them.
There may be a multitude of reasons for this ‘entitlement’: bitterness, naiveté, laziness, the fact that somebody went to school for it, whatever the hell you want to say about it, I don’t care (but this does not excuse disrespecting your elders), but at the end of the day there’s only one way to ‘fight the postmodernists’ as Peterson so eloquently puts it (and, in my opinion, the Nazi’s and the fascists, on the other end, for that matter as well): by letting them talk, hearing them talk, and thinking about what they say (or, in this particular case: the things they say people shouldn't be doing), because as much as we all may wish it weren’t the case, they are humans beings just as we are, and if we deny that to them, we give them the power of Apparent Originality, though it, in every case (when it comes to the simple-minded and the inherently unquestioning @RichardSpencer) is indeed merely secondary knowledge (in this case shined up out the ass to come off as firsthand (because they have no other platform)), and we give them the source (through that ignorance and laziness to challenge ourselves intellectually) to use that against us.
Thanks a lot, postmodernists (you!)!!!