Jordan Peterson has been on a speaking tour of Europe and the Anglosphere for most of the year 2018. On the surface, this grand tour of the western world is about promoting his latest book, Twelve Rules for Life. On a deeper level Peterson is reminding modern humans that their comprehension of meaning and social cohesion depends upon very old traditions, myths, and stories.
In addition to his “book promotion lectures,” Peterson is giving a large number of media interviews as well as appearing on university campuses to speak to groups of students — as in the above video at the Cambridge Union in England. So many appearances and interviews have been stuffed inside Peterson’s tour that one wonders when the professor has time to eat, sleep, and do the necessities.
Jordan Peterson is Making Big Waves
Back in January of this year, when Peterson’s book was just published and his interview with UK Channel 4’s Cathy Newman was beginning to attract attention, few would have expected Peterson’s speaking tour to become such a world phenomenon. But as the weeks and months went by, more and more cities were added to the tour so that what was meant to be a tour of a few dozen cities has morphed into an ongoing march across the world of the west — Europe, North America, and Australia/New Zealand.
More on the tour from Dr. Peterson:
I have now lectured publicly in 90 cities since the end of January 2018. I am going to visit Honolulu in late November and return to LA, Calgary and Vancouver in early December. About 250.000 people have attended the lectures, to date. The best of them will be posted as podcasts in the near future.
A return tour to Australia and my first trip to New Zealand is in the works for late February, and a sojourn to the remainder of Europe is planned for late March and all of April. I’m halfway through my current European tour, mostly Northern Europe and the UK… __ https://jordanbpeterson.com/events/
Jordan Peterson is Still Evolving
Professor Peterson’s best communications of meaningful ideas can be found in his classroom lectures on YouTube and in his books, 12 Rules for Life and Maps of Meaning. His university appearances are quite good — especially the one at Lafayette, the video above from the Cambridge Union, and a video at Harvard. His interviews with media and web podcasters are of mixed quality, but can be worth watching to see Peterson’s sleep-defying prowess.
As for Jordan Peterson’s evolution as a public figure, the best way to measure the change and growth is to compare early talks and interviews with later appearances.
Bottom Line: The Ability of Human Beings to Think
You can be excused if you believe that the Peterson phenomenon is about selling books. That is certainly a part of it, and many books — over 2 million so far — are being sold. But it is really about reminding human beings about who they are, how to think, and how they can live in the way they wish to live.
Today’s university students and graduates are not, on the whole, being given these necessary tools of life. Instead universities, governments, and the news & entertainment media at large are doing their best to muddle the ability of people to comprehend and deal with the world unfolding around them.
And so a huge hole in the world has opened up as a result of the designed failure of modern social institutions to prepare human beings to set and meet rational goals of personal fulfillment.
Personal meaning and fulfillment is what Peterson’s lectures are about. Out of personal meaning and fulfillment, social meaning and fulfillment arise. In reality, the social and the personal entwine and evolve together.
The Mainstream Wants a Different Outcome Than Does Peterson
In the world of mainstream pseudointellectual “thought,” if there were no miscomprehension, there would be no comprehension at all. Or so seems the thrust of modern “education,” media, government, and other social institutions.
You have other choices, and had best make them in as informed a manner as possible.