last updated: Dec 27, 2021
Jordan Peterson is one of the most influential thinkers of our time, for both his following and the controversy that has followed him. If you’re interested in his backstory, there are numerous articles, YouTube videos, and documentaries that will do a better job than I could. It should become quickly apparent that most content on the subject falls readily into two categories: ardent followers and ardent critics.
I decided to read “12 Rules for Life” after watching clips of Peterson on YouTube and deciding that I wouldn’t develop an opinion on the man before reading his work in depth. The following series of 8 essays (plus overture, coda, and foreword) is an attempt to reorganize and distill what I thought were the core ideas of the book into ~8,500 words. I think I’ve captured much of Peterson’s worldview, starting with the quasi-religious and ending with the political, and I’ve tried to misrepresent as little as possible. I suggest reading these in order.