After having read his book and following him for a few years, I recently saw this movie about Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. I have gone through various feelings towards him through the years but this movie highlighted a few things I felt were important to note.
The documentary is called “The Rise of Jordan Peterson” and is available on Amazon Prime (maybe available on other platforms as well). I think it doesn’t do justice to both sides of the picture that is the life of Jordan Peterson at this stage. There is his life as an individual and a public intellectual while there is the second part that is his role in the minds fo the audience that interpret his message to the world outside. I still grapple with the role of a public intellectual or an influencer. I don’t know to what extent an individual has authority over how their message is interpreted by the public or the mob. However, there is an aspect of that that needs to be explored. While the documentary does explore some parts of that picture it is more heavily weighed towards the story of him as an individual. It does not make the story wrong, just incomplete to an extent.
The second part is that JBP has been a strong influence on me. I think that is important to state at this point. While I agree with a lot of his messages, there are parts of his message that could be incorrectly interpreted if the intent is not taken into consideration. I’m not sure how intent can be measured and it is getting even harder with the increasing noise on most platforms both the internet and traditional media platforms. His personal story does help to interpret the intent but to understand intent completely there is some work that is needed on part of the audience as well. There is some basic understanding of history, culture, art and science required to interpret most things. However the more nuanced a conversation gets the more it behooves us to enter with apriori knowledge. Again, thanks to the almost seemingly inifinite dissemination of information due to new media this is getting harder because of the level of noise.
I hope I can bring some clarity to what I’m trying to communicate. However, there will be some level of familiarity with the topics that will be required as time moves on in my life. I will not always be able to explain the chain of events for how I have framed opinions because most of that knowledge will become “tribal” at some point. What i perhaps need to ask of the reader is to appreciate that the intent is always good. Perhaps another blog post to describe what good means and entails but for now that is all I have to say after watching that documentary.