Last night, I got to hear Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, author of the best-selling 12 Rules for Life, speak at the Warner Theater in downtown Washington, DC. Before a packed house, he gave a 90-minute extemporaneous lecture on consciousness, honesty, setting goals, empathy, self-discipline, and the problem of not seeing gorillas. Peterson is on a worldwide speaking tour, accompanied by Youtube podcast host Dave Rubin. (I met Dave in the lobby after the show; nice guy!)
According to most of the establishment media, Peterson is a dubious figure “embraced by conservatives and the alt-right,” in the words of the Washington Post. (Needless to say, the Post promiscuously bandies about the term alt.right like a child yelling “cooties!”) But that characterization is mild. Peterson and his fans are often called much worse. (As I joked to some people next to me, as we stood in the balcony before the show surveying the happy, diverse crowd mingling down in the lobby, “Look at all those nazis!”)
I believe many of his speaking engagements are already sold out. But if you can’t get a ticket, check out his videos. He is a compelling speaker who offers much good sense in a time when that commodity is increasingly rare.