It was a perfect evening in Queensland’s capital. It was cool, I was off work… the only thing that made me want to be indoors after gazing at this sunset was the fact that I was about to see Jordan Peterson talk live. He was on stage at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and I made sure I got myself a ticket.

Now I knew he was in Brisbane doing shows, but after not getting a ticket the first time round I assumed my chance had been and gone. However the night before this current show I was working a late shift. My supervisor told me she was sorting a group arrival for tomorrow and flashed a piece of paper at me with a few names on it. ‘Peterson’ was one of those names and immediately I checked our reservations screen and Dr. Peterson’s tour dates and put two and two together. He wasn’t just in the city tomorrow but he was staying with us! I put a welcome card in his room with my name on it, finished work and bought myself a ticket. Thankfully I had a day off (although it would have been amazing to see him in person when he checked in) and after being out with a friend all morning and afternoon, headed on inside to the show.

I am blessed in regards to my work. I work in hotels, always have. And since being in Australia I have worked in two 5-star properties, both in which involved working with VIP’s and tour groups. I would never disclose who is staying prior and during a stay, nor would I disclose where I work. I like to keep my work and blog separate. Hotel work is relatively low-pay but amazing for opportunities. You never know who is going to walk through the door and offer you a backstage pass to a gig or tickets to the next football game.

Not that this occurred this time around, I paid my money for the ticket and so pleased I went. Jordan Peterson is currently touring for his book 12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos. A book doing very well. It is a self-help book with, as you can probably guess, 12 rules to help live a better life. Now I will admit, I haven’t read the book. However I have seen many lectures and conversations involving Jordan so I have probably soaked up much of the book through these. I will read it, I just haven’t gotten around to it.


Jordan is liked by many, disliked by some. He has said many things that people feel are controversial, however I believe people can find pretty mundane things controversial. His audience is mainly male, which I assume has contributed to the illusion that he must be somewhat misogynistic. This isn’t the case from anything I have seen, and from his devoted wife going on tour with him and listening to his daughter on the Joe Rogan Experience, he seems like a great husband and father. Various opinions have formed due to his talks on the gender pay gap, gender identity and other touchy yet important subjects. Amusingly whilst on stage he joked and addressed his audience of ‘young, angry white men’, the girls on either side of me laughed with me. Maybe it was a glorious coincidence that I had a girl seated on either side of me, the row behind -or at least the few seats directly behind me- were indeed all males. I had a chat to them and a nice chat with the girl to my left before the lights turned off and Peterson walked on stage. Contrary to the photo, he stood up for the whole 1 hour and 40 minutes as he talked through the twelve steps and sat down only for the Q&A session that required his laptop.

Yesterday he tweeted this article he wrote on his current international tour, a nice little insight.

Now I am a fan of his not because I agree with everything he says, I don’t. For example he is pretty religious and I am not, and when in conversation with atheist Matt Dilahunty I didn’t really side with him on a lot of subjects. But I do agree with a lot of what he has to say and as he is a tolerant person, so I respect him. As I get older I am deciding to give more time to people that have respect for others, even if I disagree. If a conversation can be had and both people are able to both speak and listen in equal measure, that is when we see progress. And we desperately need this.

What do you think of Jordan, have you heard of him before and if so, are you a fan? Let me know and I will see you in the comments!


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44 thoughts

  1. So, I hear a LOT about Jordan Peterson. It’s actually hard not to have an opinion on him around these parts, because he’s a professor in my uni’s psychology department. And people are pretty polarised about his views: you love him or you hate him.
    But he’s a good professor.

    1. Oh he is at your uni?! That’s amazing! I have always wondered what it would be like to have a professor so well known…

      1. I’d love to know too! It’s a little strange to hear his name around and know that he might be somewhere on campus! I’ve never had classes with him, because he teaches a very specific second year psychology course, and a fourth year course. And he’s on leave this year (as you no doubt saw!)
        But I’m sure (or I’d really hope!) there are a few known faces in the computer science department too!

      2. He is indeed on leave haha! I would be upset if I was in the class and he was touring, bad timing for them I guess! Maybe you will see him one day.. and who knows you may get taught in your class by someone that goes a world tour, remember all of your professors names xD

  2. I admire him, though I don’t agree with all of his opinions. He does provide many thought-provoking views, and I really appreaciate his spirit of defending freedom. He dislikes labels. He doesn’t take something for granted, he thinks independently instead. Like you said, I think he is tolerant and he tends to talk with people in an equal manner, which is very valuable nowadays.

    1. Yes it does seem like he truly values freedom, even if an opinion is one he doesn’t favour. He defends the right for it to be said. Great to see you like him! I appreciate you providing your thoughts here.

    1. Thanks for your honesty here, I feel the important thing is respecting other beliefs and hearing them out, and having conversation about them. The only way to a better world!

      Thank you for your thoughts and kind words 🙂

  3. Very well written…you are a lucky guy, Sam…well, I am actually adding you in my blog’s team….
    I think u can help me in running our blog well….i have always needed a person whom i can trust…and I came across u
    Pls don’t deny my proposal…Thanks 😁

    1. Haha well thank you! I appreciate it. The only problem is I hardly have enough time to run my own xD

      Thanks for the kind words on my blog 🙂

  4. I saw him on QandA last week, he was quite coy about any religious beliefs so I was surprised to read that you said he was “pretty religious”. So to answer your question, initially I thought he was very blunt and deliberately controversial, however seeing him in discussion with others, and his responses to questions, made me a bit more open to listening to what he has to say.

    1. I watched highlights of the Q&A, he often refers to God however anytime he has been asked about his religious beliefs he kind of dances around the topic. He mentioned God during the talk I attended too. I think he is pretty religious, he just doesn’t like to explain why or talk overly about how he comes to that conclusion. That is how I have viewed it anyways 🙂

      I am pleased he has changed your view of him with the discussion, I truly feel he isn’t out there to simply be controversial!

  5. You are a lucky man and I understand that this was a great experience and maybe just once in a lifetime.

    I’ve heard about him, read about him and watched him on television, and I’m fascinated. Have a bit of the same opinion as you.

    I very much agree with your last paragraph of your post. To disagree, but to have respect, listen to eachother, but still have a different opinion must be okay, but respect must go both ways …

    Good Post Sam, I really like to read it, thank you, and many great memories you make your self.
    Happy blogging and take care.

    1. Thank you for the feedback here, really appreciate it and I am glad you feel the same way. It was a great talk and I wanted to see him as like you said, it may be once in a lifetime!

  6. I’m a fan. It’s about time someone was courageous enough to be blunt. I hope he doesn’t burn himself out. As for the religious thing, it’s fashionable to be atheist. This is just a new religion, really..People with rich, nutritious spiritual lives aren’t “religious”. That is spirituality, not religion. I don’t ever hear him being religious. One last point, he has millions of women followers too. Lucky you got to hear him speak!

    1. Glad you are a fan too! I like how he isn’t afraid to confront people he doesn’t agree with, but does it in a respectable manner. I too hope he doesn’t burn himself out.

      I wouldn’t agree that atheism is fashionable, I would probably say it is a fashionable as being gay… more people are comfortable speaking about it however it still isn’t easy in many countries! He isn’t going around preaching I admit, but he does mention it on the odd occasion and have the occasional debate, such as with Matt Dilahunty.

      Also, it was nice to see many women in attendance, and I have found out that although his YouTube audience is mainly male, his book sales are mainly from women. I feel very lucky to watch him speak 🙂

      Thank you for the comments!

  7. He did a really excellent debate with Stephen Fry versus two people whose names escape me, regarding Social Justice / Social Justice Warriors. I thought it was fascinating but it’s also kind of funny to me. He’s a brilliant man to be sure, but by no means conservative. He and Stephen Fry represent moderate liberalism, which was being presented in the debate as the conservative alternative to the ‘SJW’ phenomenon.

    But that speaks more to the era. Peterson is a counterpoint to the fashionable ideologies of the day, which I think is good. But I can think of a few places where he doesn’t quite go far enough. Conservatism (or probably more accurately, non Classical Liberalism, whichever ‘ism’ that is) is largely unrepresented and would be interesting to have had on the stage when He and Fry were debating the so-called ‘SJW’s’.

    1. There are too many of these terms and labels for me to keep up with! But this is because I don’t look into it enough and should do more as it is fascinating.

      I did watch highlights of this debate, as I found a video of the opposition calling Jordan a ‘mean angry white man’ and that led me to look into the debate further. I need to watch it all the way through for sure.

      Thank you for the comments and reminding me of this debate!

  8. I agree with you Sam, from everything I’ve seen he seems like a good guy. Have you seen his answer to a suicidal fan? Very moving. And I love his yin yang explanation. Both on YouTube, obviously.

    1. I have seen it, but I may give it another watch to refresh my memory. His yin yang explanation I will have to look up. Thanks 🙂

  9. Thanks for the follow, Sam! What an interesting blog you have here – I am slowly working my way through your posts, and this little gem caught my eye: “As I get older I am deciding to give more time to people that have respect for others, even if I disagree. If a conversation can be had and both people are able to both speak and listen in equal measure, that is when we see progress. And we desperately need this.”

    I agree 100% with this statement! I live in the United Kingdom which, as you may (or may not) know is in the midst of political turmoil right now with Brexit (which is the term given to when the UK will leave the European Union on 29th March). I have engaged with many people on both sides of the Brexit divide (Leave and Remain) and there is a sad lack of respect for the opposite view in many of the posts I see on social media. I wish it were not so, and that people would be more respectful. Name-calling never got anyone anywhere, and if you want people to come around to your view, then it definitely doesn’t help!

    I look forward to reading more. Oh, and some of the comments to your posts look pretty interesting, too! 🙂

    1. Oh trust me, as a fellow Brit (from Durham up in the north east) I am fully aware of this Brexit mess haha. And the debates and arguments around them are pretty ugly. I am really pleased you have been enjoying the posts and have the same thoughts on trying to find common ground in our differences. It would help us get places so much quicker!

      Apologies, I am only just getting round to responding to comments so I have just responded back to a couple of yours. And re-read your truck post!

  10. I haven’t read his book but I’ve heard him express some incredibly problematic views, particularly with regards to Islam. He also talks about sociological theory, such as postmodernism, in a way which instantly tells me (as a sociologist) that he hasn’t done his reading. I find him to he quite a dangerous character, even if some of his views are reasonable. For example, his videos often show up alongside alt-right videos on YouTube, and promote some of the same ideas. That said, I would like to read his book to be able to see for myself and provide a critique from a sociological/cultural standpoint.

    1. I honestly don’t think he is a dangerous character. He has the tolerance and patience to sit with anyone and have a civilised discussion, which I am seeing less and less with some of the left! I do see myself as a leftist however the people I am enjoying listening to the most are not considered to be on the left and even labeled ‘alt right’, Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro, Joe Rogan’s podcast, Jordan Peterson… and hilariously most of these guys disagree on a lot of things.
      I find that if someone is willing to have a discussion about anything and not resort to violence, then that should be cherished. I find Islam much more dangerous than Jordan Peterson, but I am not religious at all and have criticisms for every religion.

      I am not a sociologist so I could not comment on this aspect at all, and I do disagree with some other things he says and stands for. But I find his talks admirable and inspiring.

      Thank you for the comments!

      1. It seems to me at least that it depends who you talk to. I see myself on the left however I know there are some people on the left that would see someone as alt right when I may not. I am sure with some of my posts some people would see me as alt right! It is all down to peoples personal perspectives and these vary wildly 🙂 (I know this wasn’t a response to my comment but I thought I would comment too, haha)

      2. What do I consider to be alt-right? Well, thinly veiled racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, pedaling lies and misinformation about minorities and traditionally disadvantaged social groups, attacking ‘political correctness’ (i.e. attacking the idea that we should treat each other with respect), promoting fear-based populism, deliberately misrepresenting theories from other paradigms of which you are not an expert (Peterson is a psychologist, but frequently espouses ‘knowledge’ on topics outside this paradigm such as postmodernism and feminism (sociological concepts) – I’m a sociologist with a PhD and he is very mutch butchering these theories to promote his ‘ideas’ and whip up fear), promoting a false concept of ‘free speech’ in order to attack actual free speech (i.e. one where he has the right to promote hateful and discriminatory views, or endorse such views, from a position of power, while decrying other groups whom simply want the same rights as he does as a cis, white male), anyone who actively fights back against progress for women and minorities, anyone who acts as a gateway to more violent right-wing rhetoric… This list is not exhaustive.

        Jordan Peterson ticks most of those. Most pyschologists are out there trying to help people with their mental health, whereas Jordan B. Peterson uses his considerable platform and power to promote fear in order to sell his books and talks. That tells you all you need to know about the man and his alt-right ideology.

      3. 1. There is no such thing as “islamophobia.” It is a false narrative whipped up by the Left. They’re the same ones who tried to push and then indoctrinate people into thinking there is a “muslim ban” when it was only a few countries and most muslims live in Indonesia. A much better case can be made that Christianophobia is a much, much more prevalent force–not just in America, but around the globe.

        Feminism is terrible. 3rd Wave Feminism, not feminism as a whole, is one of the worst things women have ever created. It originally started out as “equal rights,” which I think is great, but now it has quickly diverged. They believe men suck, especially “straight white males” and that women should rule–in short: women>men. This is exactly the opposite of what feminism was meant to be. They assault people who disagree, even elderly. They even rip their clothes off and protest naked in some places. So there goes that argument.

        Political correctness is a joke. In fact, it is government interfering in everyday life more and more. Not do be a dick, but for a sociologist, you don’t seem to understand basic history. The Left has pushed “political correctness” because their primary goal is to increase the government’s size, until eventually we’ll be dealing with a fascist or communist system. Here’s the evidence. If you don’t “be kind” or whatever bullshit they’re shoving now, you can be incarcerated or thrown in jail. If you don’t bake a cake for a gay couple just because of your religious beliefs, oh boy. You’ll be financially destroyed. Understand now? To live in a free market system, aka capitalism, you must be willing to face shitty people. You will be heckled. You will be hated by some. But that is the risk you must be willing to take. If you can’t handle it, it is nobody else’s fault but yours. An entire country who CAN handle it will not be screwed because you can’t. And then, the more government interferes, the larger it gets. The larger it gets, the closer we move to a centrally-planned and eventually totalitarian system. History repeats itself constantly.

        You repeated “fear” sveral times in your reply. If you are not afraid of the path America is going down, that’s a problem.

      4. OK… Everything you’ve just said is nonsense, and there’s decades of evidence to prove it. I’m not even going to challenge your points because, as stated, it’s a load of nonsense and you provide nothing to back it up. You’ve actually proved my point that Peterson is a gateway to the alt-right/far-right. Anytime I criticise Peterson online someone comes and says almost exactly what you’ve just said, anti-feminist, anti-muslim, anti-not being a dick to your fellow hunans. And it’s just regurgitated from all the right wing crap I’m almost positive you watch online. Read a peer-reviewed paper on these subjects, or talk to a muslim or a woman or a gay person or anyone who isn’t a middle class straight white male (not your mum). Who am I kidding, you’ll do none of that, because you’re emotionally invested in this crap. Sincerely, someone with a Bachelors, Masters and PhD in sociology, psychology and social policy (which I’m sure you’ll say is a Mickey Mouse subject anyway). Good day buddy.

      5. I’m almost positive you swallow everything the media tells you buddy. Go back to them. All your arguments are a total joke my dude. I literally disproved all your claims. This entire reply is your liberal pissed off response. You didn’t even tru to prove me wrong. Back to your PhD. Nobody cares.

      6. I don’t even watch TV or read newspapers. I actually work with charities who support immigrants, that support abused women, and their experiences alone are enough to demonstrate that what you’ve said is lazy conspiracy theory parroted from a YouTube video. Thank you so much for proving my point, again. Keep flailing about the internet spreading baseless conspiracy theories and popping up to defend peterson. What you said doesn’t need to be proven wrong, it’s patently and predictably wrong, literally laughable, literally the same thing every alt-right Peterson fan regurgitates because they absolutely refuse to think for themselves. It borders on robotic honestly. Please speak to someone who isn’t white, someone who has had different life experiences from you. You might learn something. Thanks, good talk.

      7. Actually, I have tons of black friends. They all realize how terribly downhill the Black community has gone since joining the Democratic Party. Literally straight to hell. The single parent homes have skyrocketed. Their poverty rates are still enormous. The number of abortions they have is consistently larger than any other race.

        Since you “support immigrants” I guess you work with the people from across the world who try to get in the country legally? Or do you support illegal immigrants, who have smuggled heroin and cocaine into the US, or even murdered citizens? Do you care about finding a home and shelter for OUR homeless or do you just want to welcome everyone in like some rescue mission?

        You didn’t deny any of the points I made. You didn’t deny that Christianophobia is far more prevalent in society, including the fact that tens of thousands are martyred every year. But you wouldn’t care, because, you know “muh Muslims!” By the way, did you ever tell a single Muslim to stop wearing that ridiculous hijab? It’s a symbol of male dominance. I thought you support women’s rights?

        And, like I said, your bullshit response to the “political correctness” was astoundingly naive and stupid. Like, you’ve reached a new plateau of stupidity. News flash: enlarging government does nobody any good–ever.

      8. By the way, i find it hard to believe you “don’t watch TV or read newspapers” when every single one of your arguments is derived from a liberal source. Try harder next time.

      9. Finally, don’t say there is “decades of evidence to prove it” and then just keep blabbering. Either show up to a debate with said evidence or you just look extremely lazy to do research.

        You also keep mentioning “please speak to someone who isn’t white.” Like I said, I have many black friends.

        Oh boy, like blacks have such a terrible life! Boo-hoo!

        They live in a free society today, in the greatest and most prosperous nation on the face of the Earth. And if you want to talk about slavery, don’t. You know who were the original slave owners? Blacks. Africans in Africa sold the slaves to the despicable Whites who brought them to America. Now begone.

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