I Am Not Talking About Vancouver
Tomorrow, 23 June 2018, Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris will attempt another futile debate on the relative merits of their divergent epistemologies. The event at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver is sold out.
The next day, 24 June 2018 — again at the Orpheum — Harris and Peterson will have a moderated debate, with Brett Weinstein presiding as intercessor.
The fact that both events have been sold out for some time highlights the public interest in both Harris and Peterson — as well as for Weinstein, in the second event.
They Are Where They Should Be On the Larger Stage
Beyond Vancouver and all the other cities where these men are individually sharing their ideas with an interested public, their presence is being felt around the world on podcasts, YouTube videos, books, media interviews, and even testimony before the US Congress.
Where Were They Two Years Ago?
Two years ago, Weinstein was teaching biology at Evergreen State, Peterson was teaching psychology — doing research — seeing clients at U. of Toronto, and Sam Harris was writing books, practising meditation and Brasilian jiu jitsu, and attempting to refine his podcasts to reach a wider public.
But over the past two years the public has been taking greater note of these three — along with others who have been christened members of a group known as “The Intellectual Dark Web (IDW).”
People such as Camille Paglia, Christina Hoff Sommers, Jonathan Haidt, Eric Weinstein, etc. have been around for a long time — but are suddenly receiving more popular attention for their outspoken viewpoints, which often clash with the dominant politically correct postmodern neo-Marxist vision that guides most of the media, academia, foundations, activist groups, and many of the deep government states of the world.
It is not important that these persons are not perfect avatars of truth or deep intellect. Each is human and has significant flaws of both a personal and intellectual nature. If you are looking for a messiah perhaps you should convert to messianic Judaism.
In a world drowning in the stifling suppression of free thought and speech — especially in academia, media, and many governmental jurisdictions — the willingness of individuals such as those in the “IDW” to take public stands in person and on new & old media, holds the door to daylight and fresh air open — if just a crack.
Donald Trump is Something Else That Changed
Two years ago, Donald Trump was campaigning through a fierce primary schedule in the quest for the Republican nomination for US President. His chances were slim and no one knew what they might expect from a “President Trump,” however unlikely the prospects for such a thing might have been.
Two years later and Trump continues to be full of surprises, keeping his critics in frantic confusion, off balance. By keeping the news and entertainment media fixated on his tweets and other public statements, Trump has opened considerable room in the back spaces of the public sphere for new voices — including the voices of people who thoroughly hate the US President.
But it is not so very important, exactly, what all of these people are saying word for word. As long as they are openly giving thinking people around the world more choices in what they are able to think about and talk about.
Universities, media outlets, foundations, corporate bureaucracies, and deep states have been thoroughly infiltrated by the stifling ideologies of political correctness and a painful hobbling of speech and inquiry. It will take much more than is being done to bring about a renaissance of ideas, visions, and launchpads for new cultural freedoms and human potentials.
But in just two years, a lot has already changed. After you finish cleaning your room, consider what you might do to assist in the cultural blossoming and transformation.