Streaming, Politics, & Philosophy | @destiny | EP 433

Streaming, Politics, & Philosophy | @destiny | EP 433

Tour info 2024 (00:00:00)

  • Jordan Peterson announces his new tour for 2024, starting in early February and running through June.
  • The tour will visit 51 cities in the US.
  • Peterson will discuss ideas from his forthcoming book, "We Who Wrestle with God," which will be released in November 2024.

Coming up (00:00:40)

  • Peterson discusses the fall of the Soviet Union and socialist/communist regimes.
  • He argues that redistribution was not the main issue in these failures.
  • Peterson questions the scientific credibility of climate models and the claim that we are heading in a certain direction.
  • He criticizes the argument that Putin and others should have called out the COVID-19 pandemic as horrible as it was.
  • Peterson doubts the ability of individuals to evaluate the scientific credibility of vaccine trials.

Intro (00:01:18)

  • Jordan Peterson introduces his guest, Destiny (Steph banel), an American streamer, debater, and political commentator.
  • Peterson explains that he decided to talk to Destiny because it's not easy to bring people with left-leaning political beliefs into a studio for a conversation.
  • The discussion will cover the differences between the left and the right, the dangers of political ideology, the use of power versus invitation, and other heated and contentious issues.

Early days of streaming, how Steven entered political commentary (00:02:22)

  • Destiny, a popular streamer known for his combative debates, initially focused on the game Starcraft 2 before transitioning to political commentary around 2016.
  • His argumentative personality, shaped by his upbringing and experiences, contributed to his success in both gaming and political commentary.
  • Destiny's shift to political commentary was driven by his desire to improve the quality of political discussions and contribute to better conversations within his online community.
  • Despite the benefits, his temperament also posed challenges, making collaboration difficult.
  • Destiny's loyal fans have followed him from his gaming days to his current multi-topic discussions, which include politics, science, and current events.
  • His reputation as a multi-topic streamer has allowed him to establish a diverse and engaged audience.

Changes in thinking: shifting to the left (00:07:40)

  • Destiny's political views have shifted from conservative to left-leaning.
  • Initially, he was a conservative, supporting George Bush and traditional conservative policies.
  • In high school, he became an atheist and a libertarian, influenced by Ron Paul and Ayn Rand.
  • As he gained life experience, including becoming a father and experiencing financial success, his views began to change.
  • He became more attuned to the consequences of inequality and developed sympathy for left-leaning ideas.
  • Destiny's core beliefs have remained largely the same, but their application has changed.
  • He believes everyone deserves a chance to go to school and have an education.
  • As a libertarian, he thought that as long as a school is available, everyone has the opportunity to study.
  • As a liberal or progressive, he believes that there should be programs in place to ensure that children have the resources they need to attend school, such as food and funding.
  • He believes that if people are deprived of basic necessities, it becomes difficult for them to take advantage of equal opportunities, even if they are presented to them.
  • He supports state intervention at the level of basic provision to make opportunities more accessible.

The key differences between left and right worldviews (00:12:11)

  • The left believes in collecting taxes from a large population and using the government to redistribute the money to those in need.
  • The right believes that individuals and communities, such as churches and families, are better equipped to allocate their own money to help those in need.

Intervention, distribution, gigantism, and populism (00:13:29)

  • Both the left and the right are skeptical of large, powerful entities, but the left believes the government can act as an agent of redistribution, while the right is more skeptical of government intervention.
  • The left has allied itself with pharmaceutical companies despite its historical skepticism of big corporations.
  • The current political landscape is characterized by a rise in populism and anti-institutionalism, with conservatives becoming less trustful of big corporations.
  • The left-right divide may not accurately represent the current political landscape due to similarities between the far left and the far right.
  • People's beliefs are often influenced by what satisfies them or makes them feel good rather than by principles or moral codes.
  • Social groups influence people's positions on issues, leading to strange alignments, such as anti-vaxxers being associated with both hippies and conservatives at different times.
  • The concern about "gigantism" may be a proxy for other dislikes, such as distrust in large governments.
  • A free exchange system, while not eliminating inequality, reduces absolute poverty and has been demonstrated to lift more people out of poverty than any other system.
  • Free trade and the maintenance of some degree of inequality are necessary to avoid causing other serious problems.

Redistribution and command economies, can they work? (00:23:42)

  • The speaker defines "leftist" in the context of relative inequality and resource distribution, advocating for state-sponsored economic intervention.
  • Despite being pro-capitalist and pro-free market, the speaker rejects the label of "leftist" as commonly understood in Europe and worldwide.
  • The speaker argues that the collapse of the Soviet Union and socialist/communist regimes was not primarily due to redistribution, but rather due to the inherent problems of command economies controlled by the government.
  • Capitalism and free market economies have an advantage over command economies due to their dynamic response to shifting consumer demand.
  • The speaker distinguishes between a state that redistributes to foster equality of opportunity and a command economy, using Scandinavian countries as examples of the former while acknowledging their unique circumstances.
  • The pursuit of redistribution by governments can be challenging due to ideological biases and a lack of recognition of the benefits of mixed economies.
  • Mixed economies, combining free market capitalism with government intervention, are the norm in today's world, and recognizing the advantages of both capitalist and socialist systems is crucial for creating a fair and effective economic model.

Negative externalities, balancing free markets with incentivized behavior and their effects on the poor (00:29:32)

  • Free market economies are efficient due to their distributed computational power, but they cannot account for complex externalities.
  • Command economies cannot compute the right decisions due to the computational problem.
  • Carbon pricing is not a computable externality, and there is no evidence that it should be controlled by warping the economic system.
  • The fastest way to achieve a sustainable planet and alleviate absolute poverty is through cheap energy.
  • Meddling with the development of cheap energy by focusing on hypothetical detrimental externalities like carbon dioxide is counterproductive.
  • The argument that policies disproportionately impact the poor is not sufficient to justify their support or opposition.
  • Policies that disproportionately impact the poor, such as taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, or sugar, require careful consideration to determine if they are beneficial or harmful.

Climate and economic models: two Towers of Babel (00:37:34)

  • Climate models predict the future of the climate over a century.
  • Economic models predict the economic consequences of climate change.
  • The accuracy of climate models is questionable, especially over long periods.
  • The accuracy of economic models is also questionable, especially over long periods.
  • The margin of error increases as projections are made further into the future.
  • The margin of error for economic models is potentially larger than for climate models.
  • The disagreement is on the facts, not on the philosophy of controlling externalities.
  • If climate and economic impacts can be accurately predicted and are severe, then action to mitigate climate change may be justified.
  • Current climate models are not sufficiently accurate to make reliable predictions.
  • Climate models have a large margin of error and do not accurately model cloud coverage.

The timeframe of C02 models changes the outlook, so how far back should we consider? (00:40:57)

  • The timeframe over which climate fluctuations are evaluated is crucial in determining the impact of carbon dioxide (CO2) on global temperatures.
  • The variation in temperature over the past 100 years may not be significant, but considering longer timeframes like 150,000 years or 10 million years can provide a different perspective.
  • The timeframe becomes particularly relevant when considering the increase in CO2 levels since the Industrial Age, which has led to a departure from the expected temperature variations observed over longer cycles.
  • Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph, which shows a sharp increase in temperatures in recent decades, is currently under legal scrutiny for alleged data falsification.
  • While the models may not be perfect, the evidence suggests that there is an undeniable impact of human activities on the climate across the planet.

The green guise of compassion obscures underlying intent (00:43:12)

  • The impact of climate policies is uncertain due to unreliable data and measurement issues.
  • The green movement's compassion narrative is similar to past ideologies that led to significant human suffering.
  • Global elites are pushing for a utopian future through organizations like the WEF, which has devastating consequences for the poor.
  • The number of people at risk of food deprivation has risen from 100 million to 350 million in the last five years.
  • Climate policies are not the primary cause of increased hunger in Africa, as African countries are being discouraged from using fossil fuels.
  • Renewable energy sources lack energy density, are not truly renewable, and are not environmentally friendly.
  • The left's support for carbon dioxide externality control has negative consequences for the poor, leading to deforestation, animal extinction, and environmental destruction.
  • Despite the stated goal of fixing the environment, climate policies have made energy more expensive and polluting.
  • The left's support for these policies is difficult to understand, given their negative impact on the poor.

The psychology of those who utter, “There are too many people on the planet” (00:47:34)

  • Destiny questions the motivations and goals of those who advocate for the idea that there are too many people on the planet.
  • He expresses strong disapproval of this view, comparing it to being possessed by Satan.
  • Destiny emphasizes the potential consequences of such a mindset, drawing parallels to genocidal societies and the mass destruction of millions of people.
  • He criticizes the current situation in Germany and the UK, where energy policies have resulted in increased poverty and worse air quality.
  • Destiny expresses confusion about the left's opposition to nuclear energy, given its potential benefits in reducing pollution and improving air quality.

Destiny’s Jenga Tower, an analogy for how people become stuck in their beliefs (00:49:46)

  • People often inherit a set of beliefs from their social groups, which can limit their ability to critically evaluate those beliefs.
  • Belief systems can cause anxiety and negative emotions when violated.
  • Destiny worries that this phenomenon prevents people from rationally considering issues like climate change.
  • Climate change is evident through observed temperature increases and changes noticed worldwide.
  • Economic models are not precise enough to predict the long-term consequences of climate change.
  • Climate models can predict average surface temperatures over extended periods, unlike weather models.
  • Investing in green energy, such as solar power, has led to positive outcomes, making it competitive with fossil fuels in some areas.
  • Solar energy is less effective in cloudy regions or at night and varies in viability depending on geographic location.

Why people fear nuclear energy (00:57:00)

  • People fear nuclear energy because they associate it with nuclear meltdowns, Chernobyl, Fukushima, atomic bombs, and other scary events.
  • The radical left opposes nuclear energy because they perceive it as scary and untrustworthy, similar to how the right opposes vaccines.
  • Unlike vaccines, nuclear power plants cannot be imposed by force, and people have the choice to buy or not buy nuclear energy.
  • Large nuclear power plants can be frightening, but there are now technologies that can address this issue.

Realities of the green energy pipe dream (00:58:30)

  • Germany shut down its nuclear power plants and California is considering doing the same, despite having to import power from France and burn coal, which is worse for the environment.
  • Renewable power sources such as solar and wind are not energy-dense, require tremendous infrastructure to produce, and are not renewable at the raw materials level.
  • Renewable power sources are also insanely variable in their power production, requiring a backup system of reliable fossil fuel or coal to support them when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow.
  • While there may be specific niche locations where solar and wind energy are useful, nuclear power would be a more logical antidote to the problem of reliability and carbon emissions.
  • The green movement has not advocated for using fossil fuels for fertilizer and feed people, or using nuclear power to drive energy costs down in a carbon dioxide-free manner.
  • The driving force behind the green energy movement is not necessarily a concern about carbon dioxide, as evidenced by their willingness to sacrifice the poor.

Is it malevolence or ignorance that drives bad ideas? Motives versus public perception (01:00:32)

  • Misinformation and ignorance are more likely explanations for bad ideas than malevolence.
  • The global elite's investments in aid and anti-malarial efforts contradict the idea that they want to depopulate the planet.
  • Hitler's cover story of creating a glorious Third Reich did not match the outcome of his actions, which suggests that his true motives may have been destructive.
  • There is no reason to assume that the current situation is not similar to Hitler's, with leaders having hidden destructive motives.
  • Hitler's motives were not a secret, and his actions were not hidden from the German people.
  • Comparing people worried about climate change to Hitler is not valid because Hitler's motives were clearly destructive, while those worried about climate change have benevolent intentions.

Both parties wield power when they have it, so how do we mitigate it? (01:03:19)

  • The standard of evidence can be applied to both conservative and leftist beliefs.
  • Conservatives may be just as morally flawed as leftists, but they are not organized with the same gigantism in mind and are therefore not as dangerous at the moment.
  • People are motivated to seek power to implement their core concerns.
  • Cancel culture is a good example of how both sides wield power when they have it.
  • Decentralized government, psychological, and philosophical solutions can help mitigate the tendency for power to be abused.
  • Abjuring the use of power as a principle is one possible solution, but it is tricky because there are exceptions, such as dealing with psychopaths.
  • The conservatives are not necessarily any less tempted by the calling of power than the leftists, but the leftists have the worst record in terms of sheer numbers of people killed in the 20th century.

Was WWII Germany right or left wing? (01:07:37)

  • The left defeated the right in WWII because the right wasn't trying.
  • It's unclear whether Hitler's policies were right-wing or left-wing.
  • The National Socialist movement's "Socialist" part wasn't accidental.
  • Hitler's policies didn't prioritize redistribution.
  • The Nazi regime was an authoritarian, ultra-nationalist regime.
  • People get upset when something is labeled far-right or far-left.
  • A study could be conducted to determine the degree to which left and right beliefs influenced the rise of National Socialism.
  • Such a study has not been done, so it's a matter of opinion.

Moses and the desert (01:09:19)

  • Moses' story illustrates the danger of using compulsion and force.
  • An alternative to tyranny is to have conversations aimed at clarifying things, like Destiny and the guest are doing.
  • People have the right to make their own choices, even if they lead to negative consequences, as long as they don't significantly harm others.
  • Power-hungry individuals can exploit the fear of impending disasters to justify their actions.

Living in separate realities and bridging the divide (01:13:56)

  • People live in separate realities and have different perceptions of basic facts.
  • For example, there is a significant difference in the estimated number of illegal immigrants in the United States, with some conservatives believing it to be in the millions while the actual number is closer to hundreds of thousands.
  • The Pew research group has established that the variability of illegal migration in the southern border over the last 20 years is between 300,000 and 1.2 million.

MRNA, validity of rollout and excess deaths (01:15:50)

  • Excess deaths in Europe have increased by about 20% since the end of the COVID pandemic, excluding factors like the Ukraine war.
  • Possible explanations for the excess deaths include disruptions to healthcare systems due to the focus on COVID-19, leading to delayed treatments and increased mental health issues, as well as potential adverse effects of inadequately tested COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in young men and children.
  • While vaccines have been effective in reducing transmission, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, concerns have been raised about the potential risks of myocarditis, especially among young men, although this risk is generally lower compared to the risks of contracting COVID-19.
  • The progressive left's alliance with pharmaceutical companies has been criticized for aligning with radical utopian visions and undermining skepticism towards corporate influence in healthcare, raising concerns about the prioritization of profits over public health.
  • Despite the historical success of vaccines in childhood immunization programs, concerns remain about the potential risks associated with the current vaccine schedule.

It wasn’t just the left (01:24:34)

  • The mRNA vaccine was sped up due to panic, similar to the current panic over climate change.
  • It was surprising that the left, which is usually skeptical of large corporations, supported the COVID vaccine.
  • People may have assumed the vaccine was safe because governments, institutions, schools, and private companies worldwide endorsed it.
  • Force is used for various public health measures, but vaccine mandates have not been widely used historically.
  • The scale and rate of vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic were unprecedented, resulting in billions of people receiving an experimental vaccine.

Weighing the fear of a crisis against the use of experimental technology (01:26:27)

  • The mRNA vaccine technology is a radical qualitative leap forward in technology.
  • It bears very little resemblance to any vaccine that went before it.
  • The mRNA vaccines were called vaccines because it was a brand name that had a track record of safety.
  • It was one of the ways to make sure that people weren't terrified of the technology.
  • The mRNA technology is an extraordinarily novel technology.
  • The potential danger of its mass administration was highly probably highly prob to be at least or more dangerous than the thing that it was supposed to protect against.
  • There is no evidence that the excess deaths are caused by the vaccines.
  • There are so many different people that are motivated to call this out if it was a bad thing.
  • There are no governments, academic institutions, or other private companies calling out the vaccines.

Mass consensus (01:30:00)

  • The speaker questions the hypothesis that excess deaths in Europe are solely due to the COVID-19 vaccine and criticizes the use of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data as the gold standard for determining vaccine safety.
  • Longitudinal perspective randomized control trials are a more reliable method for determining vaccine safety and efficacy.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic response involved the use of force, such as vaccine mandates, which raises questions about the definition and ethical implications of force.
  • Skepticism towards private companies, including pharmaceutical companies, is important, but it should not lead to blind adherence to the opposite of their claims.
  • While some degree of force may be necessary for a cohesive society, it should be minimized and is often a sign of bad policy.

Psychopathy and levels of malevolence (01:37:38)

  • Psychopathy is characterized by short-term gains at the expense of long-term relationships and is considered the pathological core of antisocial personality disorder.
  • Psychopathy can be influenced by both environmental factors and genetics, with certain personality traits like disagreeableness, extroversion, and unconscientiousness increasing the likelihood of developing psychopathic tendencies.
  • While addictive behaviors like obesity share some similarities with psychopathy in terms of short-term prioritization, psychopathy involves a predatory and parasitic element not found in other addictions.
  • Gossiping or trash-talking others can be considered a form of psychopathy as it contributes to the demise of the person being talked about, even if the gossiper feels bad about it.
  • The speaker differentiates between two types of malevolence: hatred-induced malevolence and popularity-inducing malevolence, arguing that the former is worse than the latter.
  • Most malevolence in the world is driven by selfishness or inconsideration rather than hatred, according to the speaker.
  • The speaker draws on Dante's "Inferno" and its depiction of levels of hell as a framework for understanding the structure of malevolence.
  • Betrayal is considered the worst form of malevolence due to its potential to cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

Do marriage and society exist without force? (01:43:10)

  • The discussion centers around whether marriage and society can exist without the use of force.
  • The concept of force is explored, including withholding sex as a form of force and negative punishment as a means of control.
  • The conversation delves into the emotional aspects of disagreements within marriage and the potential for manipulative behavior.
  • The tetrad of traits (narcissism, melanism, psychopathy, and sadism) is introduced as a framework for understanding manipulative behavior.
  • The idea that force may be necessary in certain situations, such as the incarceration of repeat violent offenders, is acknowledged.
  • The speaker expresses agreement with the notion that force should not be the primary basis for a civilized society and emphasizes the importance of creating policies that are compelling enough to encourage voluntary compliance.

Tit-for-tat, force or justice? (01:47:50)

  • Cooperation is essential for society, but force may be necessary to maintain order and prevent exploitation.
  • Tit for tat punishment can be a part of justice, but it must be limited to prevent abuse.
  • The compassionate left and the forgiving right can both have problematic approaches to justice.
  • Poverty does not necessarily lead to criminality, as many abused children do not become abusers themselves.
  • Violence in impoverished neighborhoods is often driven by young men seeking social status, not just poverty.
  • Crime, especially among young men, is often driven by status-seeking rather than economic inequality.
  • People in economically prosperous areas may also engage in status-seeking, but they do so with a longer-term vision and through economic prosperity.
  • Human beings may prioritize safety, security, and status-seeking over economic prosperity.
  • Having children can change one's perspective on status, as it becomes more about providing for and caring for the child's well-being.
  • The concept of "tit for tat" punishment may have biological roots and is observed in the animal kingdom.
  • Just punishment can provide relief and atonement for those who have transgressed moral rules and become outsiders in society.
  • The use of force to implement policies, such as mandatory vaccination, can be counterproductive and erode trust in public health systems.
  • Forcing people to do something can lead to generalized skepticism and resistance.
  • The temptation to use force is a problem on both the left and the right, and it can impede progress.

Why Steven debates (01:59:11)

  • Destiny believes that debate and argumentation are beneficial because they force individuals to make their ideas understandable to others, preventing unproductive shouting matches.
  • He expresses concern about the far-left leanings of administrators in academia and suggests that conservatives should remain engaged in the system rather than disengaging or encouraging others to do so.
  • Destiny acknowledges political polarization but notes that the data on whether this is primarily driven by homogeneous information bubbles is unclear.
  • He suggests that the internet may be contributing to increased homogeneity as bubbles become larger and more internationalized, leading to situations where individuals have strong opinions about national figures but little knowledge about their local political scene.
  • Hyperconnectivity may have unintended consequences, such as driving levels of connectivity that become rigid and fostering an inability to tolerate differing viewpoints.
  • Engaging in conversations can lead to the challenging of cherished beliefs, causing discomfort and potential suffering, but it can also facilitate personal growth.

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