A writer at New Republic wonders whatever happened to Jordan Peterson, the erstwhile self-appointed secular saviour of humanity:
The Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson has been described as “the most influential public intellectual in the Western world.” He is an exponent of the Jungian concept of the hero’s journey, in which an ordinary person heeds a call to adventure and goes out into the world to struggle and suffer, only to return with heightened self-knowledge. (He has described himself, without apparent irony, as being “raised and toughened in the frigid wastelands of Northern Alberta.”) His stern ethos of self-help and bootstrapping has made him a darling of the so-called intellectual dark web, and a gateway drug for countless budding right-wingers who have stumbled upon one of his lectures on YouTube.
So it was something of a surprise to learn, in early February, that Peterson had spent eight days in a medically induced coma at an unnamed clinic in Russia…. If Peterson’s sad story has a moral, it’s that a drug problem is neither a dragon to be slain nor a sin to be ashamed of. It’s a mundane health problem that should be treated scientifically, without heroics.
I tend to disagree. The real moral is this: it is unwise to elevate gammas to positions of leadership, intellectual or otherwise. Peterson always knew he was a fraud, so the psychological shock of being so brutally and publically exposed as an intellectual charlatan was more than he could take without retreating into chemical reinforcement of his delusion bubble, especially when his wife’s reported illness deprived him of her maternalesque support.
To say that I was not surprised by Peterson’s retreat from the public stage would be an understatement. I fully expected some sort of theatrical dramatics from Peterson, I simply didn’t know what form it would take. I was assuming it would probably be some sort of fake overdose on Vitamin C or something equally ridiculous. “Definitely not meth” most certainly exceeded my expectations.
Predictive models. It’s all about the predictive models.