12 Rules For Life, Beyond Order, and Unions
A pleasant September evening without biting insects, Nigel Stately playing in the background, a little Drake, Gunna and Wiz Khalifa was thrown in later, (We Dem Boyz), ice-cold Peroni, Corona and Sapporo in the blue cooler to my right and the hum of the vibrant city noises receding but not irrelevant. The smell of weed was in the air. Not so bad a night – we laughed in celebration until I wilfully boasted at some point to my assembly of young ingrates – some of my dearest amigos – that if they brought up “50 must-read novels of all time” on Google, I’d have read all of them. The phones came out like sabers. I come from back in the day when you called your good friends the ‘Bee’s Knees’ and ‘Cat’s Meow,’ back when ‘assume’, meant makes an ass of u and me. I assumed I had read all 50? Currency was coined and those thankless belligerents, yes, my dearest bee’s knees took my hard earned cash! I missed the mark by five works of fiction: Invisible Man, Mrs. Dalloway, 1001 Nights, Beloved and Lolita. Books about a black man nobody can see no matter what he accomplishes, a day in the life of a wealthy high-society English woman just after WWI, an incredible adventure of fascinating tales back at the height of Islam when Aristotle still meant something to them, a ghastly ghost story about a family of American slaves, and lastly, the rationalization of a pedophile about his prepubescent fetish. You can see that I have since rectified this deplorable situation.
In Search of Lost Time was in the first spot, it was 8000 pages on my reader, over 4000 pages in print. It is not the most fun book to read, such as might be with War and Peace, The Lord of the Rings, The Brothers Karamazov, The Count of Monte Cristo or Huckleberry Finn (all on the list), but for a technical reason, it does deserve to be in top spot. Proust’s narrative voice is so consistent and flawlessly executed that he remains unmatched either in his own time or even now. His honest and neurotic Point Of View is about as good as it gets, – “Go sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here. – Poor human beings.
Here are 12 Insidious Modern Myths
1. Crime today in the world is, (per capita), greater than yesteryears. Back in the sixties, I’d Marxist friends who believed that the Soviet Union had little crime just as they proclaimed. Failure to report actual crime rates and stories in independent newspapers and journals allowed a belief in this utter nonsense. One of the leading causes of death in the 20th Century was democide, much of it due to Marxist ideology and the cold-war warriors who fought them. America remains one of the most dangerous places in the world, oddly enough, it is safer now that it was in the fifties, sixties and seventies, see, Manufacturing Crime.
2. Rural living is preferable over urban living for health and longevity. Not true; and augmented as well with rural over urban crime rates.
3. Getting cancers is an unlucky break which is distributed evenly to everyone; it’s just blameless ill-luck. Not completely true. While cancers might possess important genetic components or elements, many cancers can be assuaged by better life-style choices such as a proper low carbohydrate diet, exercise, and other good habits. Here are a few other similar myths: sugar isn’t as bad as artificial sweeteners. Are you insane? Processed sugar is deadly and you’d be wise to eliminate it completely from your diet. People need salt. Sure, if you’re a professional soccer player or an Olympic athlete and under 25 years old playing some extreme sport, then you could add a little dirty salt to your food. Jarred Diamond studied a tribe of African Hunter-Gatherers who had less salt in a year than you’d get from a single tiny bag of chips. Another: Everyone knows the rule is ‘Calories in, calories out’, right? No, not true. It takes way more energy to burn your excess body fat than to put on that surplus fat in the first place, and by the way, if you cut open a human cadaver their fat looks just like beef, pork or lamb fat in your fridge, yuck! Next.
4. Your IQ or mental acuity is fixed by genetic makeup, your DNA and environmental conditioning. Completely and easily refuted.
6. Drugs expand your mind; totally utterly unintelligent. Hard work, reading, puzzle solving, earning degrees (paid for or otherwise self-administrated), learning new languages or how to play musical instruments, creating ideas, things and art, etcetera, increases your inner universe.
7. Porn leads to male aggression—“What? You like to watch that shit? What the hell? I thought your dick was different than the other dicks.” – Sex is sex and love over money should rule the heart. Rapists are among us as surely as are psychopaths: you should take care if you are vulnerable. And better to masturbate than make a fool of yourself and porn certainly helps with this goal! Porn seldom leads to sexual aggression, more likely to sexual dim-wittedness with your romantic other.
8. Abortion is bad. No. It has a moral factor but no government and no male should have an opinion on it; for there is no greater wrong today than bringing an unwanted child into this overcrowded world or forcing a woman to have a baby she clearly doesn’t want. I say with Chappelle in regards to this issue: “If you have a dick, shut the fuck up.” (About abortion).
9. The Millennials and Gen X are entitled, lazy, spoiled and something less than the staid, wise Baby Boomers. Here the truth’s almost exactly reversed. They (baby boomers) are leaving their kids and grand-kids a gigantic unpayable debt to cover their love-fest; they’ve made slaves of them all. They are unconscionable buffoons and swindlers.
11. Minimum wages are beneficial: No this causes unemployment in the most vulnerable labor sectors, especially young men with criminal records, no high school diploma and/or little human capital. No matter how many Noble economic prizes they give to the Kahneman's, Krugman's or Card's of the world, if it had no unintended consequence, we could move the minimum wage to $200 an hour without any chaos and we all could afford government supplied housing. Total nonsense.
12 You can get certified info in totality online from bloggers and by googling what you need if you are careful. No, absolutely false. You must read books, and read, long tall and hard for many decades. You must never try to cheat on the 10,000 hour rule. You must not believe in conspiracy theories, if you do, it is because you believe in some manner or other that there is a supernatural or teleological order, and therefore your threshold for belief because of it, has been diminished. Just as the human auto-immune system is weakened by eating processed food and not doing enough exercising, you deteriorate the rational faculty of your mind by believing in shit without evidence! Don’t consider the airy-fairy. If you want to understand ‘The Theory of Relativity’ then guess who wrote a book for the laymen called ‘Relativity’? Nearly all accomplished scientists – thousands of them – have written and summarized their theories for the Invisible Pedestrian. That’s you and me. People say no one reads anymore: TFB. (Total F--king Bullshit.) and BBB (Bullshit Baffles Brains). Smart people, (and dumb people like me who try to be smart), read. Five hundred pages a day or three books a week, that’s the rule (and read above your level as often as you can), and do at least one hour of vigorous exercise a day (and hike, jog, swim, walk and bike as much as possible).
So you get the sense now what a modern myth is. When I was maturing as an intellectual whether at York, U of T, Glendon or Scarborough College over the many years of my scatter-gun approach to learning, the tale of organized labor in general and the Canadian Labor Movement in particular, was one of the silliest modern myths I ever had the misfortune to come across. That the unions saved us from certain exploitation of the market place came from my mother, where I worked, from professors, the history books I read in the college courses and the people with whom I associated. It was everywhere like the view that the ‘means and ends’ just depends on who pays and what the results are. Ends NEVER justify means. You can never sacrifice others; you can only sacrifice yourself.
When I started to read alternative theories which differed from neo-Marxist ones and second-thought Keynesian versions of truth, (that is, the individual Classical Austrian Economists), I at first thought this view unworthy of serious attention. I was not yet a libertarian but had read Thomas Szasz with some sympathy. In a lecture on Keynesian economics at university, a random fellow student rose in the Q and A, and asked the Neo-Marxist professor what he thought of Friedrich Hayek. His response was exceedingly negative and defensive going so far as to suggest to the entire lecture hall not to bother even to read him as he had been completely refuted. The next day I read The Road to Serfdom, and soon also his other endearing and important works. I eventually came to realize that he was one of the most profound thinkers of our times, a philosopher of reason.
Modern thinkers—themselves part of the current political class by tenure, media income, government positions, paid think-tanks, publishing deals and other such inter regime phenomena—lack a certain scepticism of the modern social osmosis of scientific platitudes which are held in their mental portfolios with little empirical data (i.e. held as modern myths -- over 20 percent of social scientists are neo-Marxists, many are biased Christians or religionists, and not sincere scientists at all; most all are utilitarians, always willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the state). This is their common handicap plus a misunderstanding of Human Nature. Shockingly many are unfamiliar with John Locke and The Standing Rule to Live By. [Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society and made by the legislative power vested in it and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, arbitrary will of another man.] While most of them are complete reads on Plato, Jesus, Marx and Mohammed, many have not heard of, let alone have read, The Wealth of Nations, The Constitution of Liberty, Human Action, the philosophers of reason, or Basic Economics.
Not understanding how human capital is directly attached to the open market economy and our basic mammalian human nature is a real nuisance to scientific understanding of the world. It would be like thinking Marx’s Labor Theory of Value had any merit whatsoever when it is human capital which produces real sustainable wealth. It would be like believing that the Gleiwitz Incident in Poland was a legitimate reason for the Germans to invade and set off WWII or that the English Appeasers were right in criticizing Winston Churchill for opening up a third front in WWI causing the Gallipoli Disaster when his admirals, Carden and Robeck would not attack despite the singular favourable advantage as the complete withdrawal of the Turks from the peninsula.
I am always suspicious of modern intellectuals but when they start talking memes, unemployment being caused because of robots, human misery in the midst of wealth and have hundreds of footnotes in their books on religion, Marx and psychologists and not a single one on reason, the rational mind or liberty, then I’m pretty sure we’re reading someone on the Spectrum and given all the current know-it-alls and talking-heads out there who are exceedingly ignorant on economic theory but quite at liberty to whine about capitalistic exploitation, the spectrum must be wide indeed.
What does this have to do with Unions?
The myth of unions promoted as a religious tenet by Marxists and other socialist ideologues is that market economies – the un-wielding, impersonal, alienating, systemic exploiters – gobbles up its poor human resources without any conscience whatsoever and that the only way to stop it is the use of direct force (strikes) or indirect force (labor laws and taxes), or even better, both. Organized labor is NOT neutral: it is a subsidized member of the political class. Though it preaches love and equality for all human beings (just as teachers’ unions state the student comes first and proceed to behave as though the student indeed comes last, below even the janitors and school bus-drivers) organized labor without the state-protected labor laws would have to compete with the non-unionized labor pool and their accompanying lower pay rates. [FYI: Teachers' associations are the second most powerful unions in the world, the first? licensed medical practitioners.] The myth is that they say that they have no stake in the game when they know damn well that they are subsidized by the non-unionized tax payers. This is outright deception. Watch what they do, not what they say! Should unionized bus-drivers make more than non-unionized caregivers in private institutions for looking after the elderly and many other more vulnerable people? They should be open to market forces like their poorer fellow non-unionized labourers. See also, The Evolution of Union-Busting, for a different POV.
Later that same night, we watched Jordan Peterson on Bill Maher’s show via YouTube. Afterwards, someone asked me if I had read 12 Rules for Life, and I had. I said that I found the book full of common sense and that it indeed compared to books I had recently read, such as Permanent Record, The Better Angels, Factfulness, Skin in the Game, Upheaval, The Evolution of Everything, Good Strategy Bad Strategy, Talking to Strangers, and Aftermath.
However, two intellectual motivators for Professor Peterson are Jung and Nietzsche whose works I’ve likewise read and who I consider incautious and sometimes irrational authors of the last century. Both are unscientific, undemocratic and spew theories not well thought out and with as much nonsense as there is brilliance in them. Besides, there is really only one rule for life: find your own individual voice of reason inside your head and let it light up the path to your future.
Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life.
RULE 1 Stand up straight with your shoulders back.
RULE 2 Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.
RULE 3 Make friends with people who want the best for you.
RULE 4 Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.
RULE 5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.
RULE 6 Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.
RULE 7 Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient).
RULE 8 Tell the truth—or, at least, don’t lie.
RULE 9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.
RULE 10 Be precise in your speech.
RULE 11 Do not bother children when they are skateboarding.
RULE 12 Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street.
For a much preferred redo of 12 Rules, see his 2021, Beyond Order which philosophically destroys modern moral relativism with its ancient aphorisms and wisdoms. It is also a great guide for why and how we should find romance in our lives and why and how to hold on to it through our long-term commitment. On the other hand, The New Great Depression (Aftermath's 2021 update) was hard to swallow after his predictions about BRIC and the price of gold, for even if true, they seem a long time coming, let alone his unashamed praise for Trump, who even in the best light, is a deeply flawed politician from a libertarian perspective. Hooray for Glenn Greenwald, now there's a book worth reading and a hero who made democracy happen in real time; the very definition of courage. Matt Ridley's amazing How Innovation Works surpassed The Evolution of Everything but Gladwell's 2021 The Bomber Mafia didn't come close to Talking to Strangers.
My top things to incorporate into a lifestyle change: 1, What you eat should mostly come from the produce department and acceptable protein sources like range eggs and wild salmon for instance, (and get on the scales daily). 2, Exercise as much as you can but at least one hour per day. 3, Fast for a whole day once a week; or a two day period once every two weeks. 4, Sleep in a dark quiet room for eight to ten hours every day. 5, Your gut health
is essential to your long term health (i.e., multiple BMs daily). 6, Manage stress without the use of drugs or alcohol, i.e., by community involvement with sports, games, neighbourhood events, etc. 7, Find friendships, romance, ambition and meaning for your wonderful, adventurous modern life. 8, Don’t diet! As Mark Twain put it in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: “To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.” Only a lifestyle change will get you to a better place; diets mostly don't work and will depress you when you fail; failure should not be an option. For this kind of personal lifestyle revolution to take place, you have to have a lot of clear bright lines
or hard fast rules in your life about your action and behaviour: eating, exercising, virtue, romance and all other things. Then follow these stringent, bright shining barriers and be healthy, physically fit, morally good, loving and fulfilled using your increased willpower
. . . As an added bonus, in the course of time, these vivid paths and strict regulations that are at first imposed with self determination, evolve into an automated system of how to respond to day to day temptations and challenges with hardly any sacrifice or self-control at all—Indeed without even thinking—they become your new habits. You won’t need to make constant resolutions or feel guilty for stumbling about and not meeting the goals you have set for yourself. You will succeed and build self-discipline which you didn’t even know you had. This is The Power of Habit
. And just maybe, I should add one more thing, your bird and mammalian pets love you, especially dogs and cats, “As Frans de Waal, who has spent a lifetime studying emotion in animals, points out
, this argument [that your pets can’t really love you back], is rooted in assumptions of humans being not just exceptional, but wholly different from the other animals with which we share ancestors.” From, A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to thhe 21st Century
Last thing: Our evolution induces us to eat and not to do fasting (Comfort Gene); indeed to over-eat and never do fasting. It encourages us from millions of years in the dark forests, dry desert plains, and blackest nights to lean negative and this is now like the Comfort Gene, a defect (Negativity Bias); be of good cheer in these modern times. We have evolved a brain to see patterns where there are none, and to miss patterns right in front of us, (Agophenia Bias and Cognitive Dissonance). The brain assesses all of the available data and draws conclusions completely wrong, this is especially true if we are receiving all our information through news media, internet sources and gossip, (Availability Heuristic); to counter this read books written by scientists and philosophers of reason. It also compels us to sexually reproduce, (with the force of seeming like our very own survival is at stake), when it is completely unnecessary, often detrimental to our current plans, and when we are frequently ill-equipped for a two-decade investment as a parent, (this is the hidden force of DNA Replication inside all of us). Evolution impels us toward a confirmation of our subjective beliefs—we choose books, articles and associates who “see and listen” akin to us, i.e., like our tribe, (Confirmation and Egocentric Biases). ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’ appears to be genetically hard-wired in humans (and other primates), just like our fear of spiders, snakes and big cats, and this has led to much calamity and genocide in our sorted history; so, open up your heart to humanity. We are far, far more similar than we are different. Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, Muslims, Christian, Marxists, all the cultures, all societies, and especially, all the races are in essence the same. This said with the codicil that race is an illusion itself & there are really no races; we are only one singular species. The concept of race is a social/cultural construct. Our evolution as well, leads us to a modern bias to think that exercise is optional and riskier as we age, that, “We should take it easy on ourselves as we age”, that, “We can over do it,” (which is only mildly true in a small minority of cases; consult your healthcare advisors), that, “As we get older you should be more careful and that a little fat can’t hurt,”; this is mostly false: so if you’re feeling old, then, walk instead of run, swim instead of wind surf, bike instead of kick-box or bowl instead of skate, or whatever, and so forth, but for the love of life, exercise. We also have a deadly, Loss Aversion. It is the bias that muddles our thinking about investment; about understanding that over time, money makes money if you do all the right (but only mildly complicated) things. It, in addition, compels us to accumulate unnecessary material things which only supply the illusion of happiness. Clean out your garage, attic and closets, and donate to Good Will, or who ever. Purge, fast, exercise, dance as fast as you can, embrace reason, read scientists, listen to people with whom you disagree and take a break from the sources of information that are easily available to you.