Jordan Peterson about Universities, Education and personal Growth

well it's just so strange that these sort of courses and these sort of ideologies are thriving in universities and it's really disconcerting to someone who has children you know that your children are gonna go there and they cancel trade schools you know I think I think that Wow I think I used to teach in Harvard just as said in the trade school I think the universities I think the universities I think you can make a reasonable case that the universities do more harm than good now I hate to say that well this also this is a strange time where access to information is so incredibly easy you can get you could educate yourself right seemingly endlessly online and with books and just there's so much information available this is not the 1930s this is not a time where it was difficult to get an education outside of us yeah well the university the universities may have or the University which is like the repository of human wisdom and the attempt to expand that may have already moved outside the universities you know just because an institution calls itself a university doesn't mean it is and many disciplines have turned into ideological factories and so where's the university I mean the universities where where anyone wants to learn about their culture and where anyone wants to expand the domain of human competence and a lot of that's happening online now so maybe that's the future the only thing the universities have now I think that that people can't get elsewhere is accreditation but they're doing everything they can as fast as possible to make their accreditation valueless anyways so yeah it's really it's yeah it's a terrible thing to say that the universities may do more harm than good and and I haven't come to that conclusion lately well there's also say it I'm sure you do there's also a gigantic financial stake the the amount of money that you well doubt and this is especially the case in the u.s. I mean one of the things that's happened over the last thirty years is that the the proportion of university expenditures that's gone to the administration has has massively massively increased and at the same time the student loan burden has increased and so what's happened in the weird senses that the administrators have conspired to steal the future earnings of their students and then you can't declare bankruptcy so to me it's indentured servitude you can't declare bankruptcy on student loan right it's very important you cannot declare bankruptcy on student loans so you think about that you tell me what difference there is between that indentured servitude there's not much because it's the only thing that I can even think of where that corporations can go bankrupt right this rules can individuals can businesses can fail you you can be deemed in incompetent or not capable of paying your debt in every other case but not with universe yes right that is crazy it is crazy it's crazy because they were just trying to combat the issue where so many kids were defaulting on their student loans they try to make you perpetually responsible for it or you know the idea is that these kids have to learn responsibility is that the way to do it by overcharging them for some use we also say that it's not a particularly useful to to burden your citizenry with with a massive debt as soon as they graduate at a time when they're most likely to take entrepreneurial risks yes you know you're not going to take entrepreneurial risks if you're so burdened with debt you can't get yourself off the ground yeah and we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt with people that if you're lucky you're going to make what forty fifty thousand dollars a year straight out of college if you're lucky so you're dealing with the amount of money that you would have to make if you didn't pay any taxes or didn't have any expenses you'd have to work for four or five years longer than you would actually be in college to get that degree in the first yes it's insane it's insane what you've done in your youtube videos which i think is an amazing form particularly for what you're doing is document and describe in great detail the issues with every single one of these problems with no interruption and I think that's one of the best things about it about the fact that there's not really a whole lot of forums that will give you the chance to express yourself I've seen some of your videos have hundreds of thousands of views and there's not a whole lot of forums where you can do that and speak for I mean they're all like an hour long right I know I know means it's amazing it is amazing YouTube is YouTube is well I started I post started posting my lectures on YouTube my classroom lectures in 2013 and in really bare-bones form there just an iPad recording of me lecturing I didn't edit in the slides of the images partly because that's very time-consuming but then I watched it for about two years and by September of this year it had climbed to about a million views and then I really started thinking about YouTube because YouTube was cute cat videos you know and Justin Bieber songs for a very long period of time but it's not that anymore and that's probably been about two years or maybe two and a half years but then I realized that YouTube is actually a revolution that's as as overwhelming as the Gutenberg press revolution Gutenberg invented the printing press and because for the first time in human history a lecture can have the same reach and the same longevity as a book and it's a lot easier for people to listen and that the time lag to publication is basically zero right I mean because you can do it live I guess as we are right now or you can post it in a day or two after publishing it and and you have access to this insanely large audience and the other thing that's really interesting about YouTube with regards to my especially the more academic videos is there's only one reason that people are watching them one it's not the production quality the audios okay and I'm a good speaker but it's not the production quality the reason they're watching them is because they want to know and that's something that's really cool about YouTube and YouTube also seems to be quite skeptical about advanced production values you know the people who are who are popular are often people like you who are basically sitting there talking and everyone's listening it's like oh well people are actually talking about something and this turns out to be interesting it's like the rebirth of genuine journalism so yeah YouTube's a god only knows what YouTube is but wife it's a social revolution I believe you're right and I think the Internet in general is this really new thing in terms of the ability to express yourself I mean it's only existed for 20 plus years and in terms of human history that's a blink of an eye and it's only really been used as you over the last couple of years in this form and so I'm not cynical about the future but I do believe that we're in an unprecedented state of indetermination indeterminacy and flux and god only knows what could happen I'm not having said that I wouldn't say I'm optimistic about the possibility that the universities will reform themselves because I think that well even with the free speech debate that the University of Toronto hosted they did three politically correct things during the debate which which I thought was really interesting because if I would have staged the debate and been working on their side let's say I would have said strategically speaking no politically correct maneuvering during this debate because all it's going to do is discredit us but that isn't what happened the university opened up by noting that the land on which we were having the debate was once the what was once property owned by the original native Native Americans which is something I find it boring because on the one hand we took it and now on the other hand we want to be friends it's like that's I don't think you get to have both sides of that moral play at the same time but that's okay that's how the university opened the debate and then the next thing that happened was that they announced that there would be councilors waiting outside for anybody who was too traumatized by the contents of the discussion and then they closed they closed by announcing the trans Day of Remembrance you know and but the reason I'm pointing this out is because it just shows you the fact that those things happened they weren't even strategic that's just how things are at the University and they didn't even notice that people were going to turn themselves inside out noticing that saying well god this is so biased I can hardly believe it which is exactly what happened that's how saturated the universities are with this kind of thinking and I don't have any idea what can reverse that collective decisions on the part of citizens a to stop sending their children there B to stop donating money and leaving it in Wills and C to pressure politicians like in my Wilder moments I think cut the funding to the universities by 25 percent and let the faculty have a war about what's important and maybe what would be left over with what the university should be but I really think it's with the exception of the science technology engineering and mathematics ends of things I think it's come to that don't you think that what you're doing when you're making these videos is in a sense branching out away from just a university and teaching online because you are like I said I think that that you could make a case that that's where the university is because that's where people are going just to get knowledge they have no other they have no other motivation and this is a renew thing obviously but at one point in time so is the printing press right and there's this this new ability to disseminate information seems to me to be more effective more accessible more reasonable yeah and it's entirely possible that what we're looking at is the future of Education the university's better be careful because they're dumping their content online as fast as they can they're going to make themselves completely superfluous and some smart person I've been thinking about this for 20 years it's going to take over the accreditation end because you know all you'd have to do is set up a series of well-designed examinations online and only let a minority of people pass you have instant accreditation credibility it's like here's an entire three years worth of psychology courses here's the exams you take them only 15% of the people pass why only 15% why would you limit the number because it makes the accreditation valuable but you would limit the number based on what if you had a much larger group than 15% that were effectively absorbing the information you did well fair enough you'd have to you'd have to toy with you'd have to toy with the accreditation mechanisms but I mean part of part of the utility and accreditation is that it's inequality if everyone gets accredited then the accreditation is worth let me just make it difficult because that's what you do yeah it difficult yeah but instead of limiting difficulty right okay so you wouldn't necessarily be limiting the number you just make it so difficult that the number would be added almost – that's right well I think I'd probably make it I'd probably live yes that's exactly right I wouldn't limit the number of times people could take the exams that's a great idea as well so as long as he hit threshold I mean that's what happens often say with with like if you're trying to try to pass the bar or something like that you get to take it a number of times but you have to you have but we've tried we've tried other online interventions too so I have my these YouTube videos up but we also designed I work with some corporations awhile back because I've done some consulting and I had designed tests to help people hire better employees which I still do and in fact I work with this company up in California called the founder Institute and it's the world's largest stage early technology company incubator it's created 2,500 companies in the last four years and we test now in a hundred and thirty-five cities but when I was marketing these tests to companies they kept asking me what could be done about their poorer performing employees and I said well I didn't know because it's not that easy to if you have someone who's problematic who's troubled it's not that easy for a manager to figure out how to straighten them out and they just don't have the time they don't have the time they don't have the manpower they don't have the training usually to do that but I designed this set of programs called the self authoring suite and one of them the future authoring program helps people write out a plan for their life so it helps them to ask you some questions about six dimensions of your life you know your your health mental and physical your use of drugs and alcohol your wishes three to five years down the road for intimate relationships for family for career for education and so on it asks you what could your life be like three to five years down the road if you set it up for you like you or someone you were taking care of so I asked you those six questions then it asks you to write for 15 minutes about about your vision for your life you get to have what you want and what would be good for you what would that be and then it asks you to write for 15 minutes about what your life would be like three to five years down the road if you let your bad habits and your you know idiocy z' and your foolishness is and your weaknesses take the upper hand and auger you into the ground because everyone knows about that so it's like you get to design a little heaven to strive for a little hell to avoid and then you write four then you basically turn that into an implementable plan that's the second part of the program we've used that with about five thousand five to seven thousand University students now mostly in Europe at the Rotterdam School of Management and we've raised there a grade point average of their kids twenty five percent drop their dropout rate the same and has had a walloping effect on men and on non-western ethnic minorities it's moved the non-western ethnic minority student population performance at Rotterdam School of Management from 70 percent below the average to above the female Dutch natives and so the other the reason I'm telling you this apart from the fact that it's a very good program and we did it at Mohawk College in Canada a year ago and we drop their dropout rate in the first semester 50% and that especially again worked well for men because men are at more risk of dropping out now and especially for men who didn't have good grades in high school so not only is there the possibility for the net to provide tremendous dissemination of intellectual material but there's also the possibility for the net to provide dissemination of psychological interventions that have major impacts on people's mental health and productivity at almost at extraordinarily low cost so that's really being fun too so I think providing some that sort of a structure and a framework giving people the tools just in form of asking them questions what would you like to do please describe this what is your view and when you do that you sort of allow them to help themselves outline what they would like to accomplish which most people don't do know alone our education system our education system was designed in Chicago in the late 1800s to produce factory workers because it was set up when when rural people were migrating to the cities on mass because their kids first of all we're likely to get factory jobs and second of all if you were working in a factory your kids needed to be taken care of and so the purpose of the schools was to Train factory workers which is why everyone's lined up in rolls rose and why there are bells it's a factory model the problem with that is that now people's careers basically have to be sell determined but that's never that's never part of the education system part of the reason I developed these programs was because I realized this is the same course where I'm teaching students that if they would have been in Germany in the 1930s they would have been Nazis I'm trying to get them to design their lives and it's way better to have someone articulate their own plan you actually neurologically rewire people by having them formulate their own thoughts which is why you know your school teachers used to say put it in your own words it's actually very good advice if they would explain what that means it's like if you have to conjure up the thoughts and you have to articulate them then they change you and so well and so this program has had the the effects have been absolutely overwhelming for us as researchers because it's very very difficult to produce an intervention that actually has a positive effect on people you know you hope it does but generally when you test it out it's like not doesn't do what you thought it did or sometimes it even has the reverse effect that sounds fascinating how do people have how can someone a regular person have access to yeah it's called self authoring so that's SEL F authoring like like writing a book self authoring calm and the programs I gave away the future authoring program I think it might still be free it was yeah it is till the end of November I did a video called message to Millennials where because one of the things Jonathan Hite said about he called Karl Marx the patron saint of the social justice warriors and John Stuart Mill the patron saint of people say who stood for objective truth and freedom of expression and I thought that was really smart he said Brown University is number one for social justice warrior universities in Chicago for truth universities but one of the things that Marx has over John Stuart Mill is that Marx is the social revolutionary and young people like to think about ways to change the world right and that's actually a positive part of their development it's a stage that the developmental psychologist Jean Piaget called the messianic stage and he associated that with late adolescence it's like while young people want to change the world the problem is is that that's being harnessed into attempts to change other people but that isn't what you should do if you want to change the world you should change yourself and I don't mean that some cliched sense I mean it in the sense that Alexander Solzhenitsyn said when he analyzed the Soviet Union he said don't be thinking that the line that divides good from evil runs down a political spectrum or or countries or something like that it runs down right down the middle of your soul and if you want to sort out the world and what you do is you sort yourself out it's a serious business right they say it's more difficult to rule yourself than to rule a city and that's the truth because you're complicated and there are horrible monsters inside of you that need to be tamed and to be brought and to be brought into alignment and submission so that you can be as powerful and useful person and I gave away the future authoring program as part of this video I made suggesting to Millennials that instead of rushing out there to change the world by changing other bad people that they should look inward and sort themselves out properly and I think we've given away about four or five thousand of those programs so far I said rose about three till the end of November and what happens with it it's well the self or the future authoring program is regularly $14.95 and the whole self authoring suite which involves it's a program that helps you write an autobiography so it helps you sort out things about your past that are still burdening you you can tell a if if you have a memory that's more than eighteen months old approximately and when you pull that memory up to mind if you still have an emotional reaction that means you haven't fully articulated the memory you haven't analyzed it causally you haven't you haven't freed yourself from its grasp and you're carrying it like a weight and your brain responds to that like the more more weight you're carrying like that more baggage let's say the more of the stress hormone cortisol your brain produces and cortisol makes you old some of this work has been done by James Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin because he he started to pioneer these sorts of writing programs and he found that if people wrote about uncertain things past present or future so they could be traumatic things they could be uncertain things that their physical health improved and he he did a lot of detailed research trying to figure out why that was and basically came down to the explanation that it was something like an uncertainty reduction mechanism at work because your brain is always figuring out how well situated are you in the world how much do you not know compared to how much have you mastered and you can tell that you've mastered things because when you go somewhere and you act things turn out the way you want them that's an indication of mastery and your brain is sort of keeping track across your whole life of how many places you've been where things haven't worked out compared to how many places you have been where they have worked out and if all those places in your past where things haven't worked out you need to map and master and that that decreases the existential load on you but that actually decreases your psychophysiological load it makes you healthier it makes you less stress and so we put all that together in this self authoring suite to help people write about their past to sort it out in a in a detailed autobiography that asks you questions about your past it says divide your life up into six epochs and then divide each of those that might be say old birth to kindergarten and then maybe elementary school and then maybe junior high school however you want to do it and then to write about the emotionally significant events in each of those epochs and then to describe their effects on you and then to analyze how you did in those situations what you might have done differently what you might have do differently in the future to straighten out your past and I've done that with my students in my maps of meeting class for about the last ten years and some people have written 15,000 words it's not that uncommon for students to write 15,000 words in their autobiography Wow so that's such great advice that's such great advice about reconciling with your past because so many people just carry it around yeah well if you're if you're thinking about your past what it means is you haven't analyzed the causal change because you might say well why do you remember your past well you might say well it's in order to have an objective you know record of the past it's like it has nothing to do with that there's only one reason you remember the past and that's to be prepared for the future that's why you remember the past and so what you're supposed to do is take the past and extract out from it wisdom and wisdom is the ability to avoid stumbling blindly into ditches and so you think well here's a time in my past I stumbled blindly into this horrible ditch and terrible things happen to me it's like okay you need to take that apart you need to figure out how was it that that events conspired with your participation voluntarily or involuntarily so that that terrible consequence emerged you need to know why that happened and how you could react differently in that situation and as soon as you do that your brain will leave it alone you won't obsess you about it anymore because the anxiety-producing parts of your brain are basically trying to tell you where there are obstacles in your environment it's like look out don't go there don't go there it's like well don't go there there's fire well maybe you could master the fire right then you're a wielder a fire you're not just a victim and lots of situations our dangers are not dangerous depending on your level of mastery right life is like that and so a negative emotion that's associated with a memories is something that's crying out for mastery and writing can really help with that so you're reorganizing your brain when you write autobiographically you're basically the emotions imagine emotion memories can be stored at different levels of your brain some from sort of primordial reptilian image Laden areas that are very emotional up to finally articulated plans for your future life well you want to take everything that's negative and emotional and transform that into a fully articulated vision for your future and that frees you of your past you shouldn't be thinking about your past I mean maybe if you're 80 and you know you're going over a well-spent life that's a little different thing but if you're thirty thirty-five or twenty and most of the time you're thinking about your past it's like it's like your soul is trapped back there and you need to you need to free it through investigation and the metaphysical language is appropriate because that is in a sense what you're doing you're trapped in the past it's like you got to break free of that so you can use all your resources to move ahead into the future

33 thoughts on “Jordan Peterson about Universities, Education and personal Growth

  1. "With the exception of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics" keep calm and study STEM (physics)

  2. After 8 years in college, I've been telling people to go to trade school also. College is a waste of money unless you need it for professional programs in medicine or law.

  3. I agree with Jordan Peterson 99% of the time, but the bankruptcy rules are setup that way for a very specific reason – obviously a HUGE number of students would abuse it to death. The COUNTRY would go (more?) bankrupt, because we'd obviously "insure" those loans. It's the largest unsecured loan most people will ever have, there's a lot of people who would love to do 8 years of school and then file. Based on the average student loan debt as of 2018, if only 6.1% of students filed for bankruptcy, the country would lose $10 BILLION dollars, if 21% of student filed, that's 1% of the entire federal budget.

  4. Telling people to send their children to trade school is dangerous. While it’s appropriate for many people, a liberal arts education is INTEGRAL to creating a knowledgeable and empathetic society. Also, education solely through the internet is also dangerous because too many people aren’t capable of disseminating between truth and lies. What we need to do is make college cheaper and be vigilant about free speech.

  5. College just like the first 12 years of school is used to indoctrinate young minds and force young people into debt slavery. Its that simple.

  6. People who say "you can just educate yourself online" never seem to account for (1) literally no one ever does that, and (2) if you tried, you'd likely come out with a terrible, half-baked 'education'.

  7. If universities are obsolete or causing more harm than good, then I think HR policies in most big companies are just as bad, demanding a lot of experience on top of a degree or some such.

  8. Part of going to school is being on time, getting along with others and taking directions. You can't get that from an online education.

  9. Good I'm not a student of this man! Although he's smart and talkative but he comes across as so difficult to satisfy as a teacher.

  10. If kids were exposed to Petersen lectures rather than the socialist propaganda they get from school teachers they might grow up to be great human beings rather than the weak, feeble minded and feckless individuals our education system seems to churn out currently.

  11. 19:05mins "If u have a memory greater than 18months old and there is still an emotional reaction to it, you haven't freed yourself from its grasp."

  12. As junior student of economics I can attest to this. I wouldn't virtually never hire any of my peers, if a position too. I think there is a slim chance I'll do anything with my degree and I feel the majority of the time my classes are wasting my time. That being said I'm too deep and you need a degree to virtually do anything. My biggest fear in life is that I will work at Costco my entire life doing the same thing everyday.

  13. No you can't educate yourself. Publications are not public. You still need to pay for new information or be part of the team to see it.

  14. People who are applying for universities especially not planning on going to the top 20 should really pay attention to this. This is like so relevant sometimes universities can be more harm than good but you still need to find a way to learn to be intelligent and powerful and make a living.

  15. colleges and universities are simply a scam and a debt trap. period. you can learn literally everything they teach you practically for free

  16. Air makes you old too, Peterson. Question for Peterson, if slaves looked outward in the world what would they say. Nice blog btw

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