Subject: Beyond Yes and No

24 Feb 2019 From Phil Bachmann

Professor Jordan Peterson

Dear Professor Peterson,

Your current visit to Australia piqued my interest and caused me to have a look at your writings. Scanning randomly through your blog, I found a post you’d recently written entitled: “Notes on my Kavanaugh Tweet”.1

The post talks about a tweet you'd written which, it turned out, a lot of your fans did not enjoy reading. You responded to them by saying, in effect, “Hey, cut me a break – I was only making a suggestion!” Specifically, you said:

“I would like also like to point out that I am not claiming that the opinion I put forward—the alternative I offered—is or was correct. I am accustomed, as a research scientist, to generating hypotheses: “this is what everyone thinks the problem is, but maybe it’s this, or this, or this, or this” or “here is a potential solution, but here is another, and another, and another” and “let’s discuss these various possibilities and test them.” It is very easy for me to forget that in these heated and impulsive times thoughts and simulations are immediately regarded as canonical opinions, indelibly defining personality and character now and forever.”

You go on to lambast yourself for trying to use Twitter to express such a sophisticated idea.

As an alternative to blaming Twitter’s terse style, may I suggest next time you use the word PO? PO was invented by Dr Edward de Bono almost half a century ago and neatly encapsulates what you were trying to say in the abovementioned paragraph (and more). Using PO would allow you to fit a lot more into your tweets.

PO: Beyond Yes and No

You will, of course, have to explain this word to your fans, but this wouldn't cost you anything and I'm sure they would be grateful.


Phil Bachmann

24 Feb 2019

1 Peterson Notes on my Kavanaugh Tweet


Mr Phil Bachmann responded on 11 Mar 2019

Dear Dr Peterson,

On 24 Feb 2019, I wrote you a letter, published it on my website, and invited you to comment on it. I informed you of my letter via the discussion board attached to a blog post of yours.

A couple of weeks later I visited your blog post and found that all the comments attached to it had been deleted. I checked your other blog posts and found comments related to your other posts were still there.

It is your website, of course, and you can do what you like with it. However, it would assist me if you made the comment rules clear beforehand. For example, if you want to block people from embedding links to third-party sites on your discussion board, just say so. Or, if you reserve the right to delete any and all comments without warning and without reason, just say so.

Every respectable newspaper does this. Why can't you?

Yours faithfully,

Phil Bachmann