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Jordan Peterson, intellectual fusspot and right-wing grifter extraordinaire, has gotten himself a new speaking gig: he’ll be one of the headliners at a crypto conference in Miami in April, which should give him plenty of time to learn the basics of cryptocurrency before speaking publicly about it.
But in many ways Peterson is perfect for the conference: he may not know much of anything about crypto, but he is something of an expert on turning nothing into the semblance of something, having transformed himself from an undistinguished professor of psychology into a multimillionaire “intellectual dark web” celebrity and bestselling author of two books of advice he doesn’t actually follow himself. (“Get addicted to benzos” is not to the best of my knowledge one of his 12 Rules for Life.)
The irony here is that the bitcoiners, or at least those who comment on the subject most loudly on Reddit, want nothing to do with this intellectual parvenu. News of his speaking gig was received in the Bitcoin subreddit this week with a sneer. Some were offended that someone with no discernable knowledge of crypto would be headlining a conference on the subject.
“Guy learned about Bitcoin 5 minutes ago,” complained someone called shaddowkhan.
“This guy is a moron,” wrote wheniwaswheniwas.
Congrats on being a self-help guru and making bank but there is little substance to what he does. … Guy learned about bitcoin last Thursday and now will probably give some cringe keynote speech about how hard it is to be a man and hodl [hold on for dear life].”
“JP doesn’t know fuck all about Bitcoin,” declared gzben.
I’ve watched a few of his interviews with Bitcoin ‘gurus’ on YouTube. He was talking about how he’s recently become interested in the Austrian school of economics and all the rest of it. He speaks like he’s an authority on subjects he’s really not very well qualified to speak publicly about. Climate change, economics…
Others were — wait for it — unhappy to be associated with a grifter.
“Horrible choice,” wrote THEmoonISaMIRROR. “He presents a bad image for crypto to be associated with. Bitcoin isn’t a grift.”
“He’s a grifting piece of garbage,” agreed PtansSquall. “I don’t want him and his awful reputation anywhere near this…”
“He is a know grifter and crypto is a space vulnerable to scams,” wrote MEGACOMPUTER. “Fuck this little benzo gremlin.”
These are crypto people. How much of a grifter do you have to be to offend them?
Still others were a little surprised by this line of criticism.
“Wtf are you talking about?” wondered Vladimus44 .
Bitcoin has essentially ALWAYS had shady pump and dumpers in the community. Literal felons who have fled the US government and gone onto create scam coins.
Why is everyone suddenly so shocked by this?
Some were troubled by his connections with the far right.
“Great, we’ve got Ted Cruz and Jordan Peterson,” wrote DismalSpell sarcastically.
Next lets get Alex Jones on our side. Really try and get Bitcoin adopted by the most controversial people possible, that’ll help convince everyone.
There were a few defenders of Peterson, and some of them insisted that their poor little subreddit had been invaded by Reddit’s leftists, eager for any chance to dump on Peterson. I have no way of knowing if this is in any sense true, but much of the anti-Peterson sentiment seems to me to be the work of actual crypto fans and not foreign infiltrators. Or in some cases questioning crypto fans, some of whom were led to challenge their own faith in crypto.
“Ive actually considered getting out of crypto because of this shit,” likedevo sighed. “If it’s the new alt right currency they can keep it.”
Dude, it’s been the alt-right currency from the very start. But good on you for at least noticing.
“Are we the baddies?” ChurchOfAtheism94 asked, referring to that famous skit by Mitchell and Webb.
Thanks, Dr. Peterson, for inadvertently leading some of the lost to these small moments of realization.
H/T — @TheKavernacle·for tweeting about this.