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Jordan Peterson’s Politics Make Life Harder for Young Men

El gurú de la autoayuda de derecha quiere ayudar a los hombres descontentos, pero aboga por políticas (y políticos) que les impidan casarse y tener hijos.

Aunque el psicólogo canadiense, autor de autoayuda y comentarista político solo ha reanudado sus publicaciones durante unos días, ha tuiteado tanto como muchas personas en un mes. Y un vistazo rápido a su línea de tiempo deja muy claro que se convirtió en democrático.

Él prodiga elogios al multimillonario de derecha Elon Musk, y no solo porque el nuevo jefe de Twitter restauró al propio Peterson en la plataforma. Él regularmente tanto el NDP socialista democrático (Nuevo Partido Democrático) en Canadá como sus equivalentes aproximados en el “Escuadrón” estadounidense de progresistas del Congreso. Odia obsesivamente al primer ministro liberal de Canadá, Justin Trudeau, y cree que el Partido Laborista Británico, dirigido por el insípido centrista Keir Starmer, convertiría al Reino Unido en Venezuela. Peniques.

Todo esto se burla de las afirmaciones de Peterson a lo largo de los años de sentir una profunda necesidad de ayudar a los jóvenes confundidos y alienados que identifica como su público principal. Si estos jóvenes no se están casando, formando familias o teniendo buenas carreras, eso tiene muy poco que ver con fantasmas petersonianos como las feministas universitarias o los tediosos seminarios corporativos de “inclusividad”.

El núcleo de su problema es la precariedad económica, y Peterson se ha aliado con la facción de nuestra política que más está haciendo para empeorar ese problema.

Cuando Jordan Peterson saltó a la fama por primera vez hace unos años, ya sonaba como un conservador. Fue inflexible en su defensa de la “jerarquía”. Pero a veces le gustaba posicionarse hablando desde una posición elevada por encima de la refriega de la política cotidiana. Sus críticas siempre estaban dirigidas a la izquierda, pero a menudo las enmarcaba no como un rechazo a los impulsos más fundamentales de los progresistas, sino como una crítica a la forma en que la izquierda podía ir “demasiado lejos”.

A key component in his initial rise was his fierce opposition to Bill C-16—an anodyne proposal  to expand Canada’s pre-existing human rights law to include gender identity that Peterson had somehow convinced himself was a law to force him to use trans people’s preferred pronouns. The synergy between his prominence as a critic of C-16 and the runaway success of his self-help book 12 Rules for Life more-or-less created Peterson’s current public persona.

But that was a relatively rare instance of Peterson commenting on a specific policy. He liked to spend most of his time in deeper waters—talking about philosophy and Bible stories and Jungian psychology and gender roles. The leftists he spent the most time attacking were left-wing academics. His favorite targets were Marxism and postmodernism—which he conflated into a single beast, “postmodern neo-Marxism.”

Philosophy grad school dropout turned YouTube star Natalie Wynn tried to explain to him in a very funny way back in 2018 that these are very different schools of thought—and that his use of it as an umbrella concept to cover everything from actual Marxists to corporate DEI officers to purple-haired college kids yelling at him about pronouns was incoherent. Not only are they not a unified faction but, she pointed out, many of these groups actively despise one another. Needless to say, Peterson ignored the critique.
The primary danger posed by “postmodern neo-Marxism,” in his telling was that leftists influenced by this ideology went beyond reasonable calls for “equality of opportunity” to call for “equality of outcome”—which Peterson saw as a demand so at odds with human nature that it led straight to the kind of horrors Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn described in the archipielago Of course, a moment’s thought would complicate this distinction, given that one generation’s outcomes are the next generation’s opportunities. (Compare the life prospects of Jeff Bezos’ children and the children of the workers at his warehouses—never mind the children of people who aren’t even lucky enough to have those jobs.)

And we could ask deeper questions about what “equality of opportunity” really means. Socialist philosopher G.A. Cohen, for example, argued tha the deepest kind of “equality of opportunity” would be incompatible with capitalist markets that often distribute outcomes on the basis of dumb luck.

But as   unconvincing and politically reactionary as all of this was, Peterson in 2019 wasn’t Ben Shapiro. Even when he spoke out against Bill C-16, Peterson said that his only issue was about free speech and that he would personally be respectful enough to call his students by their preferred pronouns within reason. (He drew the line at ze/zir and the like.) And he sometimes waxed poetic about the cosmic need for balance between the Left and the Right.

These days, he literally works for Ben Shapiro’s media organization The Daily Wire. And the reason Musk had to intervene to restore him to Twitter was that he’d been suspended for a tweet obnoxiously referring to trans actor Elliot Page as “she”—a tweet that struck some observers as designed to provoke an attention-grabbing suspension. Indeed, Peterson could have un-suspended himself whenever he liked by deleting the offending tweet, but he melodramatically claimed that he’d “rather die” than do so.

Whatever ambiguity there used to be about his political position, it’s a distant memory.

In a recent with Piers Morgan, Peterson criticized Donald Trump’s personality but defended the former president’s policy record on the grounds that he hadn’t started any wars and that he was good for “the working class.” But he said that he’d personally prefer that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis be president next time.

The claims about Trump’s record are ludicrous.

If the United States didn’t start any new full-scale wars during the four years that Trump was president, it also didn’t start any during the last four years of Obama’s presidency.

And Trump’s record was anything but dovish. He tore up the Iran nuclear deal,assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, and brought us closer to all-out war with that country than we’ve been since the hostage crisis. He doubled the rate of drone strikes in Yemen. And while he committed himself to theoretically withdrawing from Afghanistan in his second term, I have my doubts about whether he ever would have ripped off the band-aid.

If anything, the claims about Trump helping the working class are even more absurd. His signature domestic policy accomplishment was a sweeping tax cut for the rich. He filled the National Labor Relations Board with hard-core union-busters. And for all his bluster about “bringing the jobs back,” as left-wing commentator Kyle Kulinski tried to explain during Peterson’s recent appearance on his podcast, the Trump administration saw a net loss of American manufacturing jobs. And of course, Peterson’s preferred candidate, Ron DeSantis, would govern in precisely the same way. If anything, DeSantis—by virtue of not being as frenetic and unstable as Trump—would probably do a better job of carrying out the economic agenda of the Chamber of Commerce.

And this gets us to the giant contradiction at the heart of Peterson’s politics. He regularly moves himself to tears when talking about the confused and alienated young men who come to him for advice. These men, he tells us, don’t have fulfilling lives. And he has a lot of ideas about how they can get them—starting with rules like standing with your back straight, cleaning your room, and focusing on advancing through life instead of criticizing the world around you. And as you might expect given Peterson’s preoccupations, he’s a big fan of marriage and child-rearing. Dabbling in criticizing the world around him after all, Peterson has argued that our culture   doesn’t do  enough to “enforce” sexual monogamy.

But if these young men don’t feel a sense of security and stability and connection to others in their lives, the primary culprit isn’t feminism or casual hookups. We live in a deeply economically precarious society, where unionized cab drivers with benefits and retirement plans have been replaced by Uber drivers who the company is desperate not to have to classify as its employees.

Even academics are far less likely to get jobs as tenure-track professors than to spend all their time driving around between three campuses where they have gigs as adjuncts. If they’re attracted to socialist politics, it’s less because they’ve been indoctrinated as “postmodern neo-Marxists” than because they don’t have health insurance.

the year before, couples who want kids but don’t have them, or who haven’t had as many as they would like, cite primarily financial reasons for that, too. The most commonly cited reasons are almost all economic—“child care is too expensive,” “worried about the economy,” “can’t afford more children,” “waited because of financial instability,” “not enough paid family leave,” and “no paid family leave.” Out of the top eight most commonly-cited reasons.

the only one that’s not straightforwardly economic is “want more time for the children I have”—and that one starts looking a lot more economic when we remember that the United States is the only that doesn’t mandate that employers give workers even one lousy day of paid vacation per year.

It’s hard to imagine Peterson’s dream of “enforced monogamy” being realized in 21st-century North America. (He’s clarified that he’s not saying that the state should force anyone to get married at gunpoint, which is nice, but he doesn’t really spell out what he does mean. Does he think we should go back to the days when unmarried couples had to pretend to get married to check in at hotels? If so, all I can say is “good luck with that.”)

What could really happen though is that we change material conditions in a way that would give young people who want to do the things that Peterson preaches a fighting chance at happiness.

Jordan Peterson podría prestar su considerable megáfono a esos esfuerzos, por ejemplo, al hablar del lado de los trabajadores de Starbucks que se han sindicalizado en cientos de tiendas en los Estados Unidos y Canadá y se han enfrentado con feroces (ya menudo ilegales) represiones sindicales. O podría apoyar al NDP en Canadá y a políticos como Bernie Sanders en los EE. UU. que quieren promulgar políticas que le darían a la clase trabajadora mucha más seguridad material.

En cambio, elogió el historial de políticas de la administración Trump, que fue, en la práctica, de recortes de impuestos, represión sindical y desregulación. Y quiere que el próximo presidente sea Ron DeSantis, quien fue un aumento del salario mínimo que fue aprobado abrumadoramente por los votantes de su estado. En otras palabras, está dispuesto a apoyar a los políticos que quieren empeorar los problemas por los que lloran.

Tiene razón en que muchos hombres jóvenes, y ya que estamos en eso, mujeres jóvenes, no tienen muchas esperanzas sobre su futuro. Pero con amigos como Peterson, no necesitan enemigos.

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Where Tech Talent Goes To Thrive

here is a worldwide shortage of digital skills. In a world increasingly reliant on technology, demand for technological skillsets is rising by as much as 50%. Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters of today’s workers don’t feel equipped to learn the digital skills needed by businesses.

The most acute shortage is in advanced skills like programming, especially for new technologies like AI and blockchain.

This demand gives skilled tech workers, entrepreneurs, and leaders the pick of where to base themselves. As cities and nations compete to attract tech talent, what makes these prized individuals choose one place over another?.

Initial Attraction
In a survey of ‘tech migrants’, Boston Consulting Group identified a mixture of short-, medium-, and long-term levers businesses and cities could use to attract talent.

The initial attraction is often brute economics: higher pay and lower taxes. That’s certainly what brings people to Dubai, says Vladimir Vrzhovski, Tech and Digital Lead at Mercer: “Dubai pays about 30% higher than most of the mature tech hubs around Europe and Asia.” It also has a lower cost of living, especially when its 0% income tax is taken into account.

Businesses operating in the city’s free zones – like the tech-focused Dubai Internet City (DIC) and Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Innovation Hub – also benefit from 0% corporation tax. BCG credits the incentive with bringing big names like Amazon, Google, and Oracle to the emirate.

It is an echo of London’s rise to tech prominence, offering tax relief on tech investments via its Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to funnel the city’s vast pools of finance towards digital businesses.

The presence of blue-chip names affords another major draw for tech talent: opportunities.

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Adding exercise into treatment may reduce substance use, study shows

One key to fighting addiction may be exercise, according to a new study.

Researchers undertook a review of the existing literature around physical activity and its relationship to substance use, and they found that regular exercise was associated with lowered use in about 75% of the studies investigating that question, according to the analysis.

The review, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at 43 studies with more than 3,000 total participants. In addition to a reduction or cessation in substance use, the studies also found improved markers of physical health and decreased depressive symptoms, the study said.

“People think that during treatment people should only do psychotherapeutic treatments … but that’s not what we’ve seen in our study,” said lead study author Florence Piché, a doctoral student and researcher at Université de Montréal in Canada. “It’s very beneficial to do physical activity in addition to the treatments.”

There are limitations to the findings. The review found that most of the studies the researchers examined had a high risk of bias, meaning more research is needed to confirm their findings, said Dr. Aaron Kandola, research fellow at Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at University College London.

The studies were also not directly comparable enough to build a comprehensive and generalizable understanding of the relationship, Kandola said in an email. Kandola was not part of the research.

However, the findings were still significant and useful, he added.

“Substance use disorders are a major public health problem lacking low-cost, evidence-based solutions,” he said, adding that substance use disorders are worsening in many high-income countries — including the United States.

Finding more accessible solutions to this disorder is especially important because it often occurs with other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, which disproportionately affect people with fewer socioeconomic resources and areas with higher deprivation, he said.

Physical activity may be a useful and accessible part of a treatment plan for substance use disorder, said Dr. Mark Smith, professor of psychology at Davidson College in North Carolina. Smith was not part of the research.

“I think there’s now a sufficient amount of data to indicate that various forms of physical activity and exercise are generally effective at reducing substance use in individuals seeking treatment,” he said.

What exercise does
Most people can benefit from engaging in physical activity, Kandola said.

One benefit the studies found is improvements in physical health such as cardiovascular endurance or muscle strength, Smith said. And although that may not be the primary goal of the research, he said this finding is important because it shows the physical activity is doing its job to promote physical health.

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Blood sugar drug tirzepatide also leads to substantial weight loss in diabetes patients, Eli Lilly says

There’s more evidence that the injectable drug tirzepatide helps people with diabetes lose weight as well as control their blood sugar, according to the drug’s manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company.

In a new study, more than 900 adults with obesity and diabetes took the drug for a year and five months, and those on the highest dose lost an average of 34 pounds, or nearly 16% of their starting weight. It also helped people reduce their blood sugar, the company said in a news release. The data has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal.

“We have not hit 15% in any other phase three trial for weight management in this type two diabetes population,” said Dr. Nadia Ahmad, an associate vice president at Eli Lilly and medical director of obesity clinical development for the company.

Ahmad said the company was pleased with these results, given how hard it is for people with type 2 diabetes to lose weight.

Tirzepatide is currently sold as Mounjaro and approved to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar.

Lilly says it will use the new study, along with results from an earlier study of weight loss in people without diabetes, to ask the US Food and Drug Administration to fast-track approval for tirzepatide purely for weight loss, which would make it a direct competitor to the blockbuster obesity drug Wegovy.

Plenty of people aren’t waiting for the FDA’s nod.

“I am aware of and I’ve heard, you know, it being sort of used off label for weight loss and individuals who do not have diabetes,” said Dr. Kimberly Gudzune, medical director of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Gudzune was not involved in the tirzepatide study.

Gudzune points out that once a drug is FDA approved it can be prescribed for any reason a doctor sees as medically necessary.

Tirzepatide, along with several similar types of drugs taken for diabetes, went into shortage last year as success stories posted on social media fueled runaway demand for their weight loss benefits. The shortages made the medications difficult for patients with diabetes to get.

Tirzepatide works by mimicking the action of two different gut hormones. When blood sugar rises after eating, the drug stimulates the body to produce more insulin, which lowers blood sugar. It also slows down the movement of food from the stomach, making people feel fuller for longer. In clinical trials, people who took tirzepatide experienced more nausea, vomiting and diarrhea compared with those who took a placebo injection.

Semaglutide, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, has also been approved as a weight loss medication for overweight adults with at least one associated health problem since 2021. When prescribed for weight loss, it is sold under the brand name Wegovy. When prescribed for diabetes, the injection is sold under the brand name Ozempic.

High demand, coupled with manufacturing problems, threw Wegovy into shortage for much of the last year. That shortage then rippled into shortages for diabetes patients as doctors began prescribing other diabetes medications off-label for weight loss.

There has already been a lot of buzz about tirzepatide’s potential as an obesity medication. In a clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year, people who were overweight or obese, but did not have diabetes, lost an average of 52 pounds on the highest dose of the drug, or more than 20% of their starting weight.

“In the last year has been really exciting just to have more tools in the toolbox, so to speak. And tools that, you know, we’re seeing really achieving outcomes that patients for the longest time have been hoping to achieve,” Gudzune said.

If those results hold up in the real world, that would make it the most potent of the injectable weight loss medications.

Indeed, this week Lilly aims to begin a study that will test Mounjaro against Wegovy head-to-head in 700 participants at 61 sites in the United States and Canada, according to The study will conclude in February 2025.

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