The following is a conversation with Michael Malus, an anarchist, political thinker, author and a proud part time Andy Kaufman like troll in the best sense of that word on both Twitter and in real life. He's the host of a great podcast called Your Welcome spelled y o u r. I think that gives a sense of his sense of humor. He is the author of Dear Reader The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il and the New Right, A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics.
This latter book, when I read it, or rather listen to it, last year helped me start learning about the various disparate movements that I was undereducated about, from the Internet trolls to Alex Jones to white nationalist and to techno anarchists. The book is funny and brilliant, and so is Michael. Unfortunately, because of a self-imposed deadline, I actually pulled an all nighter before this conversation, so I was not exactly all there mentally, even more so than usual, which is tough because Michael is really quick witted and brilliant.
But he was kind, patient and understanding in this conversation. And I hope you will be as well. Today, I'm trying something a little new, looking to establish a regular structure for these intros.
A first during the guest intro, like I just did a second quick one or two sentence mention of each sponsor. Third, my side comments related to the episode. And finally, fourth, full ad reads on the audio side of things. And I need to go straight to the conversation. So not doing the full Slattery's and as always, no ads in the middle because to me they get in the way. The conversation. So quick mention of the sponsors.
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I really work hard to be open minded and let my curiosity drive the conversation. I do plead with you to be patient on two counts. First, have an intense, busy life outside of these podcasts because for A.M. right now, as I'm quoting this, sometimes life affects these conversations. Like in this case, I pull an all nighter beforehand. So please be patient with me. If I see something ineloquent, confusing, dumb or just plain wrong, I'll try to correct myself on social media or in future conversations as much as I can.
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And now here's my conversation with Michael Mallis. There was a Simpsons episode where he starts mixing like sleeping pills with like pep pills and he's driving his truck and like, I want to see what happens with this Red Bull at night called for the line of drugs.
So. This is. Yeah. Let's start with love.
Yes. That's valuable to us. Yeah. So one thing will eventually somehow talk about it'll be a theme throughout is that you're also Russian. Yes. A little bit less than me. But how and why? Because I'm from Ukraine. Oh, you're from Ukraine. OK, well, not because you came here a little, but when you were younger. Yeah, I, I came here when I was 13, so I saturated a little bit of the Russian soul.
I marinated in the region so little.
I haven't told anyone this, but I'll be glad to tell you to Whiteish. I haven't been back since I was two. And next summer it looks like me, my buddy Chris Williamson, who's also podcasters, British modern wisdom. He looks like Apollo. We looks like we got a videographer, Apollo, Apollo, the God. He looks like the Apollo. He's like a mother of Tamarac.
So we're going to go for the first time to see where I came from, which is film Ukraine.
We're going to go live and either St. Petersburg or Moscow, probably St. Petersburg or both. It's going to be intense, it's going be a lot of panic attacks, I feel. And your Russian is OK, just got to do it. I'm not sure, but, you know, you can talk Russian Ukraine or it's like they get offended.
Yeah, but then you also want to go to Russia. Yeah. I don't know, for me, there are several people in Russia I want to interview on a podcast. OK, so one of them is Google Perlman. She's a mathematician and the other person is Putin.
You know, my favorite food and story is this. When he had Merkel with him, do you know this story? Merkel scared of dogs like petrified of dogs. So he brings in his like like like a black lab that's a Labrador is like the sweetest animal. And it's all over her. And there's pictures that she's sitting like this actually terrified. And he's like, what's wrong, Gogola? He's just completely trolling her. Yeah, he's aware of the sort of the narrative around him, yeah, and then he plays with it.
Yes, he enjoys it.
It's a very Russian thing. My friend want to do a film about me. He goes, I realize you guys aren't like us at all. You just like, look at us. And then I started telling him stories about the upbringing and he's like, oh, my God. And it's I'm telling them like, wow, this stuff is really crazy.
Like how we are wired.
Who's the we your friend is Russia, the friends of America of saying the way Russians are brought up and the way maybe I don't think it was just my family. But you had similar things like here's an example. I was I had a buddy staying with me.
He had a problem with his roommates. He crashed in my place. Fine.
I went to the gym and I come back and he goes, oh, there was at my apartment building, this for four apartments. So it's not like a huge thing. He goes, oh, there was someone knocking at your door. So, you know, I told him a lot and and for me and I won't know if you're the same way. If I'm at someone's house, that's not my own. And some knocks on the door, I wouldn't even think to answer it.
Like if I had an apple here, maybe I'd eat it. I cut it, whatever. I'm not going to it just doesn't enter my head to smash into my face the thought of answering the door. It's not my house.
It would never enter my head. Would enter your head. No, but why?
He's an American. So someone's at the door. He goes and opens it, even though it's not his house. I would never do that. I would never think to do that. That is so strange that you pick some very obscure thing to delineate Americans. I don't think that's obscure because I think it speaks to how we perceive strangers with Americans. Everyone's friendly and with us.
It's like like you have that moat. And I think it's a that percolates into many different aspects of how we relate to people. And I tell you a lot of that. That's true. You're right. There's the relationship I formed in Russia or very deep. Yes, close. And then there's the strangers, the other that you don't trust by default.
It takes a long time to go over the moat of trust for a long time, until recently, whenever I said anything to anyone, my brain ran a scan that said, if this person turns on you with this, can they use this against you? And I would do everything I said with strangers. And after a while, it's like, you know what? Maybe they will, but I'm strong enough to take it. But this is not how Americans think.
Or here's another one. Let me ask you this. Sorry, I'm taking over the interview. People asked about advice for work, right? Like I had this there was this party I went to and basically everyone had their own problems and everyone else gave their advice. Right. And someone was having a problem with the coworker. And the advice these two Americans gave them is, oh, sit down and have a talk with them. And to me, this is like the last case, last resort.
Like first you have to see what you can without showing your hand, showing your vulnerability. Only when everything hasn't worked out, you're like, all right, let me sit down with you and try to have it out with you probably. But for them, the first thing is like sit down and be like, oh, you're causing me problems of law. So I proceed the right.
Who is the threat that this person is an antagonism between us and also is a weakness that I'm getting to them. So my reaction isn't how do I make it better? My reaction is to reinforce my position and see what I can to marginalize them. Usually I haven't worked in a corporate setting in a long time, but it's not I don't approach it the way an American would like. I'm glad you came and talk to me now. I probably would, because it's going to a friend.
So you attribute that to the Russian upbringing as opposed to you have deep psychological issues?
I think those are synonymous with why would you think differently maybe a few years ago?
I don't know, I think you lost me at the because you kind of said that you're kind of implying you have a deep distrust of the world.
Like the world does. I think the default setting would be distrust. Yeah. I would put it differently is I almost ignore the rest of the other one, even acknowledge it. I just save her. I save my love and trust for the small circle of people.
I agree. But when that person is being confrontational or as they perceive it as being open now there's a situation. How do you how would you handle that?
Like like a cold wind blows, you just kind of like that. Yeah, but it's not like this is an opportunity for us to work out our differences. It's a cold wind. It's not a hug. That's my point.
But I don't think it's a hug. I suppose you're so suspicious.
What it really is is a cold wind. I'm sorry. You mean to be scared of it's a cold wind person, but it's great.
But it's not a source of like I'm not suspicious of I'm not anxious, I would say, or like living in fear of the rest of the world.
Oh, I agree. But you're not receptive to that person, right? That's all I'm saying. And they are good at it.
So speaking of which, let's talk about love. Yes. Which requires to be receptive of the world. Yes. Of strangers. I agree.
How do we put more love out there in the world, especially on the Internet?
What mechanism I have found to promote increased love. And that's a word that has many meanings and is, you know, used in a very intense sense and it's used in a very loose sense. Can you try to define love? Sure. Love is a strong sense of attraction toward a another person, entity or place that causes one to tend to react in a disproportionately positive manner. That's off the top of my head, disproportionately. Yes.
So, for example, if you're not proportionally because like if you're someone's about to who you love is about to get harmed, you're moving heaven and earth to make sure or like a book you love. You know, like I love this book, like you're going through the fire to try to save it.
Whereas if it's a book you really like, it's like, oh, I'll get another one if I don't, you know, at a book, kind of a loose example. But so you're going with the love that's like you're saving for just a few people, almost like romantically like love for a close family. But it's all about just love to even the broader like the kind of love you can put out to people on the Internet, which is like just kindness.
I would say in that case, it's important to make them feel seen and validated. And I try to do this when people who I have come to know in the Internet and there's a lot I try to do that as much as possible because I don't think it's valid. How on social media and I do this a lot myself, but not towards everyone. It's just there to be aggressive and antagonistic. You should be antagonistic towards bad people and that's fine.
But at the same time, there's lots of great people and especially with my audience and I would bet disproportionately with yours, there's lots of people who are, because of their psychology and intelligence, are going to be much more isolated socially than they should. And if I and I've heard from many of them and if I'm the person who makes them feel, oh, I'm not crazy, it's everyone else around me who is just basic. The fact that I can be that person, which I didn't have at their age to me is incredibly reaffirming.
You mean that sort of love, but I mean love in the sense of like, you know, you care about this person and you want good things for them, not the kind of romantic way. But I mean, you're using a broad sense now. Yeah.
But you're also a person who kind of. I mean. Attacks the power structures in the world by mocking them, yes, effectively, yes, and. Love, I would say, requires you to be non witty and simple and fragile, which I see it as like the opposite of what trolls do. Trolls are.
If I if there is someone coming after what I love, there's two mechanisms, right? At least two. I go up and I'm fighting them. And in which case you bring in if you are getting hurt in a knife fight, even if you win the knife fight or if you disarm them and you preclude the possibility of a fight and you drive them off or render them powerless, you can you keep your person intact as yourself and you also protect your values.
So how do you render them powerless, as you just said, by mocking them one of the most effective mechanism for those in power. We're much closer to Brave New World and 1984. The people who are dominant and in power aren't there because of the threat of, you know, the gulag or prison. They're there because of social pressures. Look at the masks. I was on the subway not that long ago in New York City. No one cared who I was for after that.
I was in the subway that long in New York City. And I put this on my Instagram. I've told this story before. There was an Asian dude in his early thirties. He was like in Western clothes. It's not like he had a rickshaw or something. An older man in his fifties stood up over him on the subway, screamed at him, said, Go back where you came from, you're disgusting. I'm going to get sick. If you think this guy's a vector of disease, which is your prerogative, why are you coming close to him?
Why are you getting in his face? And what was there to say? So was because he was Asian.
It was both. It was the not having a mask, gave him the permission to act like a despicable, aggressive person toward him. Right. And the point being, a lot of these mechanisms for social control are outsourced to low quality people because this is their one chance to assert dominance and status over somebody else. So the best way to diffuse that isn't with weaponry or fighting. It's through mockery because all of a sudden their claims to authority are effectively destroyed.
So let me push back on that. What about fighting with with love, with patience and kindness towards them? I don't think kindness is I think that would be a mismatch and inappropriate there. Superman is Batman and Superman. His job is to help the good people of Batman's jobs, to hurt the bad people. And I will always be on the Batman side, then the Superman side.
Both were silly type costumes, one has pointy ears. Both are ridiculous. So it's it was a billionaire who gets, you know, his swimming in trim. Which one is a black man?
OK, I'm educated on OK, I'm the superhero movies. I apologize.
OK, but but you're just saying, you know, your predisposition is to be in the Batman side is to fighting the bad guys.
Yeah, that's what I'm good at. That's what you're good at.
But just to play devil's advocate or actually in this case, I am the devil because that's what I usually do. Should definitely hear angels advocate. Exactly. I'm allowed to be the angel advocate. Yeah.
Is like I feel like mockery is is a is a path towards escalation of conflict. Yes. In many ways, yes. So you're not.
I mean. It's kind of like guerrilla warfare. I mean, you're not going to win, I am winning. We're all winning. We're winning on a daily this is my next book. We're winning. We've won before. I'm not joking. Then the topic of the next book. Yes. Is the white pill. White pill is that we're going to we are winning.
The most horrible people are being rendered into laughing stocks on a daily basis and social media. This is glorious. Thach So I disagree with you. I disagree with you because there are side effects that are very destructive. It feels like you're winning, but we're completely destroying the possibility of having a like a cohesive society that's called oncology.
What's that mean, curing cancer? Now, your concept of a cohesive society is in fact a society based on oppression and not allowing individuals to live their personal freedom.
Oh, so you're a utopian view of the the utopian you're saying Kohji society? I'm saying I don't need that. I'm saying there's going to be conflict. Right? There's going to be conflict. You and I disagree right now. That's not cohesive. Doesn't mean we like each other less, doesn't mean we respect each other less cohesive doesn't it's just a euphemism for everyone submitting to what I want.
No I mean cohesive could could. Could be that. It could be. It could be like enforced with violence, all that kind of stuff.
The libertarian view of the world, but it could just be being respectful and kind of each other and kind towards each other and loving towards each other. I mean, that's what I mean by cohesive. So when people say free, it's funny. Like, freedom is a funny thing because freedom can be painful to a lot of people. It's all matters how you define how you implement it, how it actually looks like. Sure, and I'm just saying it feels like.
The mockery of the powerful leads to further and further divisions. It's like it's turning life into a game to where it's always your plant. You're creating these different little tribes and groups and you're constantly. Fighting the groups that become a little bit more powerful by undercutting them for guerrilla warfare kind of thing, and that's what the Internet becomes as everyone's just mocking each other and then certain groups become more and more powerful and then they start fighting each other into the form groups of ideologies and they start fighting each other in the Internet where the result is.
It doesn't feel like. The common humanity is highlighted. It doesn't feel like that's a path of progress. Now, when I say cohesive, I don't mean like everybody has to be, you know, enforcing quality, all those kinds of ideas. I just mean, like not being so divisive. That's so is going back to the original question of like, how do we put more love out in the world on the Internet?
I want divisiveness. I think divorces. It's that goal. It's the goal. So you started this conversation. Where you talking about you have love for that small group? I think we both would agree to have a bigger group be better, especially if that love comes from a sincere place. I think our country specific I wrote an article on this four years ago that it's time to unite the states and to secede. This country has been held together with at least two separate cultures with thumbtacks and string for over 20 years.
There's an enormous amount of contempt from one group toward another. This contempt comes from a sincere place. They do not share each other's values. There's absolutely no reason, just like any unhealthy relationship, where you can't say, you know what, it's not working out. I want to go my own way and live my happiness. And I genuinely want you to go your way, live your happiness. If I'm wrong, prove me wrong. I'll learn from you and take lessons and vice versa.
But the fact that we all have to be in the same house together is not coherent. And that's not love. That is the path towards friction and tension and conflict.
Do you think there is concrete groups like is it as simple as the two groups of blue and red?
No, it's also very fluid because you and I are allied as Jewish people, as Russians, as males, as podcasters. You're an academic. I'm not. So there's where we're different, but we each are a Venn diagram even within ourselves. And I can talk to you about politics and then we can talk about Russia stuff. And then you could talk about your work, which I don't know anything about. So that would be where you're way up here in a way down here.
So there's lots every relationship with just between individuals. It's very dynamic. So how do we succeed? Like how do we form individual states? Sure. There's a little bit more cohesion. Sure.
And volunteer cohesion. So the first step is to eliminate and the concept of political authority as legitimate and to denigrate and humiliate those who would put themselves in a position in which they are there to tell you how to live your life from any semblance of validity. And that's starting to happen if you look at what they had with the Lockdown's Cuomo and de Blasio in New York. We have I was tired a couple weeks ago and I said to my friend, oh, just click, maybe I've covered.
And he goes, it's not possible. OK, what do you mean?
And he goes, We haven't had any deaths in like two months. And there's like one hundred cases a day for like two months. And I go, you're exaggerating because everything was still closed. And I looked at the numbers and he wasn't exaggerating. And there's no greater American dream to me than an immigrant family comes to the states, forms their own little business. Maybe Mom's a good cook. Is the restaurant dry cleaner fruit stand and those people aren't going to have a lot of money.
Those are the first ones who lost their companies because of these lockdown's they. Cuomo, who's the governor of New York, opened up the gyms. He said, you're clear to open up, de Blasio said, and we don't have enough inspectors. You can have to wait another couple of weeks to regard that as anything other than literally criminal is something that I am for having a harder and harder time wrap my head around.
You said I mean, that's something I'm deeply worried about as well, which is like thousands, actually millions of dreams being crushed.
That American dream of starting a business, of running a business.
What about all the young people who you and I have in our audiences who are socially isolated at best, and now they can't leave their homes? Isolation and ostracism are things that are very well studied. Psychology, these have extreme consequences. I read a book called Ostracism, and this wasn't scientific, but basically the author was a psychiatrist or psychologist, whatever, and he had one of his colleagues. They did an experiment. Let's for a week you ostracize me completely.
We know it's and he goes even knowing it's the experiment, the fact that he would make eye contact with me and the fact that he ignored me had extreme emotional impact on me knowing full well this is purely for experimental purposes. Now, you multiply that by all these the suicide, the number of kids who think that suicide was through the roof during all this. And my point is, until these people it's going to I predict like twenty, twenty four, that's what we're going to have to start having conversations about, what personal consequences have to be done for these people, because until then, they're going do the same thing.
So you think there's going to be society wide consequences of this that we're going to see like ripple effects because of the social isolation? I know.
I mean, we. Also need to talk about consequences for Cuomo and de Blasio, because if politicians respond to incentives and the incentives are there for them to be extremely conservative, because if you have to choose, as Cuomo said at a press conference, between a thousand people dying and a thousand people losing their business, it's not a hard choice that he's right. But at a certain point, it's like, all right, you're losing both. You're losing, not losing that you're making these decisions and not having consequences for it.
And you're going to do it again the next time. So we need to make sure you're a little scared. And I don't know what that would mean.
But you're laying this problem, this this incompetence.
I don't think it's incompetence. I think it's very competent. I think they're doing their job. Malevolence.
Yes, but. Well, but you're laying it not at the hands of the individuals, but the structure of the of government. It's both. Yes. How would we deal with the better without centralized control? Well, we didn't really have centralized control because every country and every state handled it in a different mechanism. But a city has centralized control just yet, right? I mean, no, that's not true.
It's a common de Blasio. They had a lot of disagreements over this over the months. And this was actually a source of great interest and tension. De Blasio wanted at one point was talking about the quarantining people in their homes was like, you're crazy. Something thing with the school, same thing with the gyms. And there are other such examples.
But the point being, this was an emergency. This is World War One. I talked to us in Temple Show was very dangerous because it gave a lot of evil people some very useful information about what the country put up with and what they can get away with under wartime. And this set the model for things like the New Deal and the other things of that nature. It is undeniable neuroscientist's you understand this perfectly well, that this lockdown gave some very nefarious people some very valid data about how much people will put up with under pressures from the state.
So fundamentally, what is the problem with the state, that existence?
OK, well, but to play Angel's advocate again, you know, government is the people. Come on you don't you?
Do you really think this is best? I think it's possible to have representative representation.
Can you imagine if you have an attorney, you're like, oh, you can't have the attorney you want. You're going to have this guy who you absolutely hate, who share your values with. Why?
Because he drives I mean, leaders, political leaders and political representation drive the discourse like, you know, the majority of people voted for him or whatever.
However, how we define that and now we get to have a discussion, well, was this the right choice? And we get to make that choice again and in four years and so on.
First of all, the fact that I have to be under the thumb of somebody for years makes no sense. There's no other relationship that's like this, including marriage. You can leave any other relationship at any time, number one.
Number two, is it always impeach what they did, that part of it and just think that the mechanisms are flawed in many ways.
Yeah, right. And so that's number one. Number two is it doesn't make sense that if I don't want someone to represent me, that because that person is popular that they are now in a position to.
So having representation and having citizenship based on geography is a pre landline technology in a post cell phone world. There's no reason why I have to just because we're physically in between two oceans. We all have to be represented by the same people, whereas I could very easily have my security be under someone and switch it as easily as cell phone providers.
So, OK, but it doesn't have to be geographical. It can be ideas. Surely this country represents a certain set of ideas. Yes, it started out geographically. It's those, but it started off as ideas as well. It was like it's it was intricately I mean, that's the way humans are. There's I mean, there was no Internet. So it was your geographical same location. And you sign a bunch of documents and then you kind of debated and you wrote a bunch of stuff and then you agreed on it.
OK, so you understand that no one signed these documents and no one agreed to it. As Lysander Spoonhour pointed out over 150 years ago, the Constitution or the social contract, if anything, is only binding to the signatories, and even then, they're all long dead. So it's this fallacy that somehow, because I'm in a physical place, I have agreed, even though I'm screaming at your face, that I don't agree to be subordinate to some imaginary invisible monster that was created 250 years ago.
And this idea of like, if you don't like it, you have to move. That's not what freedom means. Freedom means I do what I want, not what you want. So if you don't like it, you move.
OK, just to put some I don't like words and terms.
One one one zero one one one zero. Yeah, exactly. What your language it is translating it all in real time.
But would you call the kind of ideas that you're advocating for and we're talking about anarchy. Yes. Anarchism. Yes. OK, so let's get into it. Can you can you try to paint the utopia that an anarchist worldview dreams about?
The only people who describe anarchism as utopia are its critics. If I told you right now, and I wish I could say this factually, that I have a cure for cancer, that would not make us a utopia. That would still probably be expensive. We still have many other diseases. However, we would be fundamentally healthier, happier and better off all all of us then democracy.
So democracy. I jumped back from the cancer. No, then democracy or government. So it's only curing one major, major life threatening problem. But in no sense is it a utopia.
So what can we try to answer this question? Same question many times, which is what exactly is the problem with democracy? The problem with democracy is that those who need leaders are not qualified to choose them. Those who need leaders are not qualified. To choose them, so that's the central problem of democracy, not all of us need leaders, right? What does it mean to need a leader? Are you saying, like people who are actually like free thinkers don't need leaders kind of thing?
Sure, they don't like people.
Like you don't. OK, so do you acknowledge that there's some value in authority, in different subjects? So what that means is I don't mean authority, somebody who is in control of you, but you're doing the definition switch.
Because I am I am, you're right, you're right, it's unfair. OK, that's bad, but that's what they do. That's their trick. And this is one of the useful things. By the way, let's just tell the sidebar. If people ask me for advice, I always tell them if you're going to raise your kids, raise them bilingual because I was trilingual by the time I was six. And that teaches you to think in concepts, whereas if you only know one language, you fall for things like this because using authority in the sense of a policeman and someone in authority in physics, it's the same word.
Conceptually, they're extremely different. But if you're only thinking in one language, your brain is going to equate the two. And that's a trap that people who only speak one language have.
But even if you know multiple languages, you can still use the trick of you. Sure. Where your convenient to to manipulate the conversation. You want to do that. But you fell. I accidentally did it. We all tend to do that if you only speak one language and think of one language. But if I guess let me rephrase it. Are you against do you acknowledge the value of like offloading your own effort about a particular thing to somebody else?
Like an accountant. A lawyer, doctor. Absolutely a chef.
Infinite. Isn't that ultimately what a democracy is broadly defined? Like you're basically electing a bunch of authorities, using the word you in two senses, using the word you, meaning me as an individual, not using you as a mass. Yes, as a mass, not you as an individual. So I have I would absolutely want someone to provide for my security. I would absolutely want someone to negotiate with me for foreign powers, something like that. That does not mean it has to be predicated.
And what lots of other people who I do not know and if I do knew them probably would not respect think about. It's of no moral relevance to me nor I to them. So do you think this kind of there could be a bunch of humans that behave kind of like ants in a distributed way that could be an emergent behavior in them that results in a stable society? Like isn't that the hope with anarchy is like without an overarching.
But I mean, they're the worst example here because ants have a very firm authority. The Queen. Yeah. And they're all they're all drones. They're all clones of each other. Yeah.
But so you forget the queen, their behavior, their wealth, from your perspective, from your human intelligence perspective, from their perspective, I probably see each other as a bunch of individuals. No, they don't. Ants are very big on altruism in the sense of self-sacrifice. They do not think the individual matters, they routinely kill themselves for the sake of the hive in the community, but they see this from the outside perspective, from the individual perspective of the individual.
They probably they they don't see it as altruism. Right. But they they view and they're right because life is very ephemeral and cheap, that it's more important to continue this mass population, that that one individual can live like bees are. Another better example, the honeybee, when they sting, they'll sting once and they die and they do it gladly because it's like, OK, this community is much more important than me. And they're right.
Yeah, OK. So fine and dandy. But it's important.
I think I just for the sake of being pedantic, but there is something beautiful that I won't argue about because I do. There's an interesting point there about individualism events. I do think they're more individualist, but this gives your view of ants that they're communists. OK, let's go with the communist view of ants.
Yeah, but there's still a beautiful emergent thing, which is like they can function as a as a society and without, I would say, centralized control. Yeah, yeah, so is that the hope for Iraqis like you just throw a bunch of people that voluntarily want to be in the same place, under the same set of ideas, and then kind of like the doctors emerge, the police officers emerge, the the different necessary structures of a functional society emerge.
Do you know what the most beautiful example of anarchism is that is just beyond beautiful when you stop to think about it? I'm not being tongue in cheek language.
There's infinite languages. Language, the things that language can be used for. Ah, bring tears to people's eyes quite literally. It's also used for basic things. No one is forcing us. We speak two languages each. At least no one's forcing us to use English. No one's forcing us to use this dialect of English. It's a way. And and despite there being so many different languages, lingua franca merge the language and everyone Latin. Even in North Korea, they refer to the fish and the different animals by the Latin scientific that no one decided this.
So there's an organization that sets the binomial nomenclature, but there's no gun to anyone's head referring to see MOTHE as a Pegasus species. And when you think about how amazing language is and in some other context, we say like, well, you need to have a world government and they're deciding which is the verbs and you have to have an official definition and an official dictionary. And none of that happened. And I think anyone, even if they don't agree with my politics or my worldview, cannot deny that the creation of language is one of humanity's most miraculous, beautiful achievements.
So there you go. There's one system where a kind of anarchy can result in and beauty stability like sufficient stability. And yet I know the ability to adjust it and so on. And the Internet helps it. You get something like Urban Dictionary, which which starts creating absurd both humor and wit, but also language and syntax and jargon.
Immediately you size people up. If you use if you say vertebral, I know you're a doctor because that's how they pronounce the spinal column. I'm sure in your field there's certain jargon and right away you can know if this person is one of us or not. I mean, it's infinite. I mean, I don't need to tell you X emojis to. Yes. There's so much there to study with language. It's fascinating. But do you think this applies to human life, the meatspace, the physical space?
Yes. These that kind of beauty can emerge without. Without writing stuff on paper, without laws, you could have rules you don't need, you don't have to be laws so enforced by violence like that's what's a law. Unless a law is something that is unchosen, a rule is something. If I go to my pool and I sign up to remember pool on the wall, there's certain things. It's like, you know, certain number of people in the pool.
No peeing in here. Good luck enforcing that one.
And so on and so forth. Well, this is the problem. Aren't you afraid that people are going to pee in the pool?
That's not as big a concern as mass incarceration as the fact that the police can steal more money than burglars can. The fact that innocent people can be killed with no consequences. The fact that war can be waged and with no consequences for those who waged it. The fact that so many men and women are being murdered overseas and here and the people who are guiding these are regarded as heroic.
So you think that in an anarchist system, there is a possibility of of having less wars and less, what would you say, corruption? And less abuse of power. Let's talk. Yes, and let's talk about corruption, because and I made this point and Rogan, you and I, again, the Russian background, we realize that when it comes to corruption, American is very naive. Corruption, they think. So I got my brother a job and he's getting money off the table.
That's not when we're talking about, like state corruption, things that are done in totalitarian states and even to some extent in America, like Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Maxwell, things that Stalin did, things that Hitler did, you know, in the CIA was torturing people at Gitmo. They had to borrow KGB manuals because they didn't know how to torture correctly, because they never thought of these things. We it's very hard for us to get into the mindset of someone who's like a child predator, someone who.
Let me give you an example from my forthcoming book. There was a guy who was the head of Ukraine in the 30s. I forget his name. Now, these old Soviets, they were tough. I mean, they started them in steel. You know, they pride themselves in their cruelty and how strong they were. And this was the purge. You know, Stalin is trying to, you know, killing lots of people left and right. And his henchmen.
Beria had to, quote, find me the man. I'll find you the crime. You know, they would accuse someone and they would torture him until he talked and confessed. And then he had to turn people in and they took this guy in, like, begin the year. I think it's thirty six. Thirty eight. He was had Ukraine by May. He's arrested and they take him to the Lubyanka, the basement in the Red Square where they're torturing people.
And they put they did the works on him and he was a good Soviet and he stood up and they who knows what they did to him. He didn't talk. So they said, OK, one moment they brought his teenage daughter in, raped her in front of him. He talked. So when we talk about corruption. We would never in a million years think of this. That's not how our minds work. So when you're talking about states and people where you don't have ease of exit, where you are forced to be under the auspices of an organization creating a monopoly that leads to in extreme cases, but in not as extreme cases, really nefarious outcomes.
Whereas if you have the option to leave as a client or customer, that would have a strongly limiting effect on how a business and what it can get away with.
So but don't you think maybe I don't know who the right example is, whether it's Stalin, I think Hitler might be the better example of, don't you think, or Jeffrey Epstein, perhaps. Don't you think people who are evil will?
We'll find ways to manipulate human nature to attain power no matter the system. Yes, and like the corollary question is, do you think those people can get more power in in a democracy?
You know, when there's a government already in place, they can easily get more power, more dangerous to have a government place. First of all, sociopaths then over their charm and for their warmth. Here's the two situations.
In a free society, I'm a sociopath.
I'm an evil person on that basis. In a state society, I'm an evil person, I'm a sociopath, I'm the head of the US government, which of these are you more concerned with? It's like night and day. So you would have far more decentralized military. You have far more decentralized security forces, and they would be much more subject to feedback from the market. If you have an issue with Macy's or any store with a sweater. Look at that transaction.
If you have an issue with the state to hiring a lawyer costs more than a surgeon to even access, the mechanism for dispute is going to be exorbitant and price poor people at the market for conflict resolution immediately. So right away you have something that's extremely regressive. And even though this is touted as some great equalizer, it's quite the opposite. So in current society, there's deep suspicion of governments and states not that's not really well, like just your example of Macy's.
I mean, don't you think a Hitler could rise to be at the top of a social network like Twitter and Facebook?
OK, let's suppose Hitler on Twitter. OK, let's take this thought experiment seriously, literally. What could he do? So all the only tweets are going to be about how much the Jews suck.
Right? OK, fine. OK, all the cool people are leaving.
There could be some compelling like you said, evil people are charming. That could be some compelling narratives. That could be with conspiracy theories, untruths that could be spread like propaganda does.
Every criticism of anarchism is in fact a description. Well, the strongest criticism of anarchism are, in fact, description of the status quo. Your concern is under anarchism, propaganda would spread and people would be taught the wrong ideas. Unlike the status quo.
That's not even a criticism of anarchism. I'm not actually criticizing. It's an open question of it's an open question of in which system will human nature thrive? B, be able to thrive more? And in which system would the evils that arise in human nature would be more easily suppressed while there?
That's still a scientific experiment. And I'm asking only from a perspective of the fact that we've tried democracy quite a bit recently. And we I don't maybe you can correct me. We haven't yet seriously tried anarchy on a large scale. Well, we don't need to try to save. Anarchy isn't like a country. Right? It's like you can't I'm not it's like saying, well, if anarchy works and we've never had an anarchist government. Right. So anarchism is a relationship and language is an example of this.
It's a worldwide anarchic system. You and I have an anarchist relationship. There's almost no circumstances we be calling the police on each other.
I mean, it's I'm asking the same question on a bunch of different directions out of born out of my curiosity is why is anarchy going to be better at preventing the darker sides of human nature, which presumably a criticism of government because it's this because of decentralization. So the darker side of human nature is an extreme concern. Anyone who says it's going to go away is absurd and fallacious. I think that's a non-starter when people say that everyone is going to be good.
Human beings are basically animals. We're capable of great beauty and kindness. We're capable of just complete cruel and what we would call inhumanity. But we see it on a daily basis even today. And what's interesting is the corporate press won't even tell you the darkest aspects because that's too upsetting to people. So they'll tell you about atrocities and horrors, but only to a point. And then when you actually do the homework, you're like, oh, it's so much worse than like the thing about Stalin.
Right. So we know in a broad sense that Stalin was a dictator. We know that he killed a lot of people. But it takes work to learn about the Holodomor. It takes work to learn about what those literal tortures were and that this is the person who later FDR and Harry Truman were shaking hands with and taking photos with and was being sold to us as Uncle Joe. You know, he's just like you and me. So when you have a decentralized information network as opposed to having three media networks, it is a lot easier for information that doesn't fit what would be the corporate America narrative to reach the populations.
And it would be more effective for democracy because they're in a much better position to be informed. Now, you're right. It also means, well, if everyone has a mic, that means every crazy person and with their wacky views and at a certain point, yeah, it has to become, then there's another level which is then the people have to be self enforcing. And and you see that social media all the time. When someone says this, the other person jumps, then you think, but isn't social media a good example?
It's like so you think ultimately with all centralized control, you can have stability.
Like what about the mob outrage in the mob rule? The. How are the mobs that emerge, power of the mob is a very serious concern. Gustav Liban wrote a book in the 90s called The Crowd, and this was one of the most important books I've written because it influenced both Mussolini and Hitler and Stalin. And they all talked about it. And he made the point that under crowd psychology, human and lynching is another example of this. None of those individuals or very few would ever dream of doing these acts.
But when they're all together and you lose that sense of self, you become the aunt and you lose that sense of individually. You're capable of doing things that like in another context, if you like, I should kill myself.
I'm a monster. So you're worried about that.
But I is in the mob. Doesn't a mob have more power under anarchy?
No. The mob has much less power and anarchy because under anarchism, every individual is fully empowered. You wouldn't have a gun restrictions. You would have people creating communities based on shared values. They would be much more collegial. They'd be much more kind, as opposed to when you were forcing people to be together in a polity when they don't have things in common. That is like having a bad roommate. If you're forced to look at jails, if you're forced to be in locked in a room with someone, even if you had first like them after a while, you're going to start to hate them.
And that leads to very nefarious consequences. So as an anarchist, what do you do in a society like this? Thrive, I think of doing OK. No, I mean, um. I mean, there's an election coming up. There's as you talk.
Uh, you're welcome. Is one of the 15 shows that you host.
The one is the one where I'm a big fan. You you talk about libertarianism a little bit.
Yeah. I mean, is there some practical political direction, like in terms of where the society should should go?
I don't mean we as a nation. I mean we as a collective of people should go to, uh, to make a better world.
From an anarchist point of view, I think politics is the enemy. And anything you define politics dislike the government. So anything that lessens its sway on people, anything that delegitimizes it is good. I wrote an article a few years ago about how wonderful it is that Trump is regarded as such a buffoon because it's very, very useful to have a commander in chief who's regarded as a clown because it's going to take a lot to get him to convince your kids to go overseas and start killing people and making widows and orphans, as well as those kids coming home in caskets.
Whereas if someone is regarded with prestige and they're like, oh, we need to send your kid overseas. Oh, absolutely. I mean, this guy's great. So that is a very healthy thing where people are skeptical of the state.
But there's a lot of people that regard him as as one of the greatest leaders we've ever had.
Yeah. Dinesh D'Souza, he's another Lincoln.
I when you talk shit about Trump or talk shit about Biden, I think. I'm trying to find a line to walk where they don't immediately put you into this person's from derangement syndrome or have the other alternative to.
I'm more than happy when people are preemptively dismissing me because I don't have to waste time engaging with them because those people would be of no use to me.
When I was on Temple recently, Temple Show Temple is known for his little like hat. I got a propeller beanie motorized and it was just spinning the whole two hours. I this think the point being I wore it because there's lots of people who would say I can't take seriously someone who wears a hat like that. And my point being, if you are the kind of person who takes your cues based on someone's wardrobe as opposed to the content, your ideas, you're of no use to me as an ally.
So I'd be more than happy to preemptively abort rather than waste our breath. But this is the deep this is a very, very deep thing that you and I disagree on, which is this is goes to the trolling versus the love is I believe that person instinctually dismisses you on the very basic surface level. Yes. But deep down, there actually there is a wealth of a human being that seeks the connection to seeks to understand deeply, to connect with other humans that we should speak to.
I complete disagree. So you're saying I'm saying there's no mind there, literally.
OK, so let's I think that majority so I naturally think the majority of people are have the capacity to be thoughtful, intelligent and, you know, learn about ideas, ideas that they instinctually, based on their own current inner circle, disagree with and learn to understand to empathize with the other like. And in the current climate, there's a divisiveness that discourages that.
And that's why I see the value of love, of of encouraging people to to to strip away that surface instinctual response based on the thing they've been taught, based on the things they listen to, to actually think deeply.
Have you ever had gone to CVS or Duane Reade and your bill? How much you owe them is six dollars and you give them a ten dollar bill in a single and watch the look on their face. You watch them avoid their bowels and panic because you've given them 11 dollars on a six dollar bill. This is not a mind capable or interested in thoughts and ideas and learning.
No, you're talking about the first moment of a first moment where there's an opportunity to think they are desperate to avoid it.
No, they're just it's an incapable of it. They have the same exact experiences I have every single day when I know it's time for me to go on a run of five miles or six miles or ten miles, I'm desperate to avoid it. And at the same time, I know I have the capacity to do it and I'm deeply fulfilled when I do do it, when I do overcome that challenge. You are one of the great minds of our generation.
You were telling me that any of these people can do anything close to the work you do. Not in artificial intelligence, but in an inability to be compassionate towards other people's ideas, understand them enough to be able passion requires a certain baseline of intelligence because you have to perceive other people as being different, but of value.
Yeah, that's a sophisticated mindset, I think.
I think most people are capable of it. You don't think so? No. And nor are they interested in it. But in that kind of if you don't believe they're capable of it, how can anarchy be stable if you have a farm?
There's one farmer and 50 cows, it's very stable. You're just not you're not asking the cows what, over the farm things.
Yeah, but the cows aren't intelligent enough to do damage cows of cows, certainly bulls, because they could do a lot damage.
They could trample things. They could attack you cows.
Look how much they weigh, like 4000 pounds. Can you connect the analogy then? Because, like, sure. You can't expect saying a cow is a cow isn't a slur. It's not saying you hate cows, cows or even let's say the example I always use with good reason is dogs. OK, I always say to study how human beings operate. Watch Cesar Millan because human beings and dogs have coevolved, our minds have both evolved in parallel tracks to communicate with each other.
Dogs are can be vicious. Dogs, for the most part are great, wonderful. But you can't expect the dog to understand certain concepts. It's not that most people are. Are you saying like a dog? If you're a dog person like I am, this is actually a huge compliment. Most dogs are better than most people. But to get the idea that this is something that is basically your peer is nonsensical. Now, of course, that sounds arrogant and elitist and so on and so forth, and I'm perfectly happy with that.
But it is very hard to persuade me or anyone that if you walk George Carlin has that joke. Think how smart the average person is. Then realize 50 percent of people are dumber than that. If you walk around and see who's out there, these people are very kind. They are of value. They they deserve to be treated with respect. They deserve to be secure in their person. They deserve to feel safe and to have love. But the expectation that they should have any sort of semblance of power over me or my life is as nonsensical as asking Lassie to be my accountant.
So that goes to power that not to the ability, the capacity to be empathetic, compassionate, intelligent. What if I were to try to prove you wrong? That's a great question.
OK, what would what would what would you be impressed by about society?
How do I show it to you? That's a good question. How would you show it to me? Because I think something has to be falsifiable if we're going to make a claim. Right. So what would it.
What would it. Because we both made claims that are kind of our own interpretation based on an interaction like when I opened Twitter. Everyone seems to say I only follow one person.
Who do you follow? Who is the one person you follow? So, Acampora I follow a lot of people. I have a script. I have a script. Of course, I have an entire interface.
So I think Twitter is really this is real love. It's not ironic love.
I love watching and I'm sure you do, too. I love watching a quality mind at work because when someone has a quality mind, they're often not self-aware. I catch this on myself of how it operates. And then when other people see it, they're like, oh my God, this is so beautiful because there's such an innocence to it. Yeah, but like when I opened Twitter. I'm energized, there's a lot of love on Twitter, people say, like, I love to agree, I hope you don't think I have a lot of love on Twitter.
My fans pay my rent. I mean, I don't know your experience of Twitter, but when I look at it, which is a fundamentally different thing, I'm saying my experience from the. So maybe you can tell me what your experience is like as a human. So when I observe your Twitter, I think.
I don't I wouldn't call it love, I would call it fun, yes, and because of that, that's a different kind of that love emerges from this because people kind of learn that we're having this is like game night, like. Yes, you know, we can talk shit a little bit. We can and you can you can even like pulling you can make fun of people. You can have the crazy uncle come over. That is a huge Trump supporter, somebody who hates Trump.
And you can have a little fun. Yes. I guess it's a different kind of thing.
I, I wouldn't be able to be the. You're the host of Game Night.
Yes. Yes. So I wouldn't be able to host that kind of game night. That's your robot and you're asking what is fun and that's sparking exactly what is fun. So the robots in my life that survive are the ones that don't that, like, survive that whole programming process.
So they're kind of like they're kind of like the idiot from this desk. They're very simple minded. Robots is moving a can from one to another as game night for for kids. You know, what I'm on my quotes is and I think about this every day and I mean it with every fiber of my being. We're born knowing that life is a magical adventure and it takes them years to train us to think otherwise. And I think that Willy Wonka approach, it's a very camu approach.
It's something I believe with every fiber of my being. I try to spread that as much as possible. I think it is very sad. I'm not being sarcastic. It comes off as condescending. I mean it at face value. It's very sad how many people are not receptive to that. And I think a lot is a function of how they were raised. And I, I could have very easily with my upbringing, have not maintained that perspective.
And there's a lot of I have a lot of friends in recovery like AA and they have an expression, not my circus, not my monkeys. Right. That you can't really take on other people's problems on your own. At a certain point, they have to do the work themselves because you can only do so much externally. And there are a lot of very damaged people out there and there are damaged people who revel in being damaged and they are damaged people who desperately, desperately, desperately want to be well, who desperately want to be happy, who desperately want to find joy.
So if I can be the one and organize the sounds on it, who does give them that fun? And to tell them it doesn't have to be like you thought, like it could be it's going to hurt. It's going to suck. But it's still a magical adventure and you're going to be OK because you've been through worse like that. If that could be my message, I would own it all day long.
And so what is the adventure look like for you? Because I mean, it actually boils down to I still disagree with you. I think trolling can can be and very often is destructive for society.
Yes, I want to destroy society. That is the goal. I want I want to help many people, ironically, unironically, is. What do I do with that? OK, so what you do with that, Will, is the whole of the law, like I just want to see your hosting game night and I just want to play Monopoly. I want to play what's the risk? OK, I want to play these games and your sense of games.
Yeah, I was trying to think, like, away from their game, but they're all kind of aggressive. Fattal's access allies, you know, fun stuff.
But like so that's an adventure.
But you're saying that we want to destroy everything, even like the rules of those games are are not like you voluntarily agree to those rules.
The point is, if someone comes in who's not who no one invited to game night and are telling, you know, when you play Monopoly, you have to get money when you land on free parking or you don't. Yeah, it's like, who are you?
We're having our own fun.
And you smell I don't know. But there's an aggressive there's an aggression.
Let me let me speak to that which I picked up on. I had a friend named Martha Marshall excuse me. She ran something called Cuddle Parties, which people left out about like back in the day. And the premise of the cuddle party is everyone got together and cuddled. Right. And it's like, ha, that you stop to think about. You realize physical contact is extremely important and a lot of people don't have it. And if this is a mechanism people people getting that, it actually is going to have profound, positive psychological consequences.
So after she explained it, I'm like, OK, we laughed at this because it's weird. And now that I think about this wonderful and and I asked her about like like the tough question, I go, what if guys get turned on and on their website? It's even has a rule like do not fear the erection. Right, because it's going to be a natural consequence of physical proximity. And the point she goes she said this, I think about us all the time.
People will take as much space as you let them. It is incumbent on each of us to set our own boundaries. We all have to learn when to say, no, you're making me uncomfortable. If someone doesn't respect your right to have your boundary to be uncomfortable, this person is not your friend. Now, they can say, I don't understand. Like, why is this OK? Why is that not let me know you better. So I'm respectful of you, but if they roll their eyes and they're like, get over, I'm going to do what I want.
This person is not interested in knowing you as a human being. OK, that is the aggression it is, you have to draw those lines. I mean, but that's a very positive way of phrasing that aggression. I'm a very positive person, but the trolling does a destructive thing to it. Yes, that hurts others. Yes, but it's not bad people. So I only troll is the reaction or towards those in power.
OK, so maybe let's talk about trolling a little bit because trolling when it can. Maybe you can correct me, but I've seen it become a game for people that's enjoyable in itself. I'm not.
I'm not. I disagree with that. That's not a good thing. If you are there just to hurt innocent people, you are a horrible human being.
But doesn't trolling too easily become that I don't know about easily?
Let me give you an example of the trolling came from the original troll was Andy Kaufman. If he was on the show Taxi, he was at his performance artist, not a standup comedian. And this is a quintessential example of trolling. He had a character where he was basically like a lounge singer. He had these glasses on and just a terrible, terrible singer and so on, so forth. And he denied it was him and he came out and I'm blanking on the guy's name.
I can't believe Tony Clifton. Yeah. Yeah. He came out in the audience and he goes, you know, my wife died a few years ago. Every time I look at my daughter Sarah's eyes, I see my wife Sarah come out here, let's do a duet. And Sarah was like eleven, sits on his lap. They start singing duet. Her voice cracks, he smacks her across the face. What the hell you're doing? You're making ass mean.
These people, they're there. She starts crying. The audience is booing and goes, don't go. Are you just going to make a cry more now?
It ends this wasn't his daughter. It wasn't even a child was an actress, this is all set up. He's exploiting their love of children in order to force them to be performers. That is troubling. No one is actually getting hurt. It's a humorous, though twisted exchange. If you go online looking for weak people and you are there to denigrate them, just for them being weak or in some way inferior to you, that is the wrong approach.
I am best on the counterpunch. A lot of times people come to me and they'll be like, I hope you die. You're ugly, you're disgusting. And there's this great quote from Billy Idol, which I'm going to mangle his substance effective. I love it when people are rude to me. Then I could stop pretending to be nice. Then you start fights. Now it's chance for me to finish it and make an example of this person. But that's very, very different from I'm going to go around and humiliate people for the sake of doing it, in my view.
And I can see how one would lead to the other.
Yeah, but that's my fundamental concern with it. So I my dream is to put use technology, create platforms that increase the amount of love in the world. And to me, trolling is doing the opposite. So. Like Andy Kaufman is brilliant. So I love this sounds like I'm a robot saying I love humor. OK. Humor is good. One one one zero one one one one.
But but like, it's I just see like 4chan. I see that you can often see that humor quickly turn.
Because what happens is a lot of low status people. This is their one mechanism through sadism to it, feel empowered and then they can hide behind. Well I'm just joking as this dark. Yeah. That's not acceptable.
Well that people do which is like they'll say like the shittiest thing. Right. Because they feel that LOEL after like as if I don't even know like what is happening in the dark mind of yours because they are feeling powerless in their lives.
Right. And they see someone who they perceive as higher status, more powerful than them or even not appear. And they threw their words cause a reaction in this person. So they feel like they are in a very literal sense, making a difference on Earth and they matter in a very dark way. It's it's disturbing. This is not I mean, it's unfortunate that that term trolling is used for that as opposed to what Andy Kaufman does, as opposed to what I do.
It's it really is a sinister thing. And it's something I'm not at all a fan of or how do we how do we fight that?
So like a neighboring concept, that is conspiracy theories, which is, I don't think the neighboring at all. Because let me let me give us a naive perspective. Maybe you can educate me on this from my perspective.
Conspiracy theories are these constructs of ideas that go deeper and deeper and deeper into creating worlds where there's powerful pedophiles controlling things like these very sophisticated models of the world that, you know, in part might be true.
But in large part, I would say are are figments of imagination that become really useful constructs and self reinforcing, self enforcing for then feeding, like empowering the trolls to attack the powerful, the conventionally powerful.
I don't think that's a function of conspiracy theories. Now, let's talk about conspiracy theories, because one of my quotes is you take one red pill, not the whole bottle. This concept that everything in life is at the function of a small cadre of individuals would be, for many people, reassuring, because as bad as it looks, you know, they whoever they are, usually the Jews aren't going to let it get that bad that they will pull back.
Or the black pill is that they are intentionally trying to destroy everything and there's nothing we can do and we're doomed. And there's an amazing book by Arthur Herman called The Idea of the Klan Western History. It's one of my top ten books where he goes through every twenty years, how there's a different population that say it's in the world. Here's the proof. And very often the proof is something that is kind of self-fulfilling, where this it's not falsifiable.
And we both have to think of ways to falsify our claims from earlier.
So it is a big danger. It's a big danger online because very quickly, if someone who you thought was good but now is bad on one aspect, well, they're controlled opposition or they've been taken over or they've been kind of appropriated by the bad people, whoever those bad people would be. I don't know that I have a good answer for this. I don't think it's as pervasive as people think. The number of people who believe conspiracy theory. Right.
I mean, and also conspiracy theory is a term used to dismiss ideas that have some currency. The constitutional convention was a conspiracy. The Founding Fathers got together secretly under swore to secrecy in Philadelphia that we're throwing out the Articles Confederation. We're making your government right. Yeah. And Luther Martin left and he told everyone this is a conspiracy and they're like, yeah, whatever. Luther Martin. So and Jeffrey Epstein was a conspiracy. Harvey Weinstein was a conspiracy.
Bill Cosby a conspiracy. They all knew they didn't care. Communist infiltration in America. There's a great book by Eugene Lyons called The Read Decade. They all knew the every atrocity that was done under Stalinism was excused in the West. And if you didn't believe it, oh, you've got this crazy anti Russia conspiracy. So it's a term that is weaponized in a negative sense, but that does not at all imply that it does not have very negative real life consequences because it's kind of a cult of one.
Right? Like I'm at home on my computer. I buy into this ideology. Anyone who doesn't agree with me, they are blind. They're oblivious. Mom and dad, my friends, you don't get it. We were warned about people like you. And I think there's a. Very heavy correlation, and I'm not a psychiatrist, of course, between that and certain types of mild mental illness, like, you know, some kind of paranoid schizophrenia or things like that, because after a certain point, if everything is a function of this conspiracy, if there's no randomness or beauty in life.
Yeah, I mean, I don't know if you can see anything interesting about it in the way of advice of how to. Take a step into conspiracy theory world without completely going like diving deep, because it seems like that's what happens, people can't look at Jeffrey Epstein. I can tell you the device. I'd have thought seriously and rigorously without going, because you can look at Jeffrey Epstein and say there's a deeper thing. You can always go deeper. Right.
It's like Geoffrey Robertson was just a tool of the lizard people and the lizard people are the Satanists in this case.
But somehow recently very popular pedophiles somehow always involved. I'm not understanding any of the money. I legitimately I say this both humorously and seriously. I need to look into it. And I guess the bigger question I'm asking, how does a serious human being, somebody with a position at a respectable university, like look at a conspiracy theory, look into it when I look at somebody like Jeffrey Epstein who had a role at MIT. Yeah. Oh, yeah.
And I and I think. I'm not happy personally. I didn't I wasn't there when Jefferson was there. I'm not happy with the behavior of people now about Jeffrey Epstein, about the bureaucracy and the everybody's trying to keep quiet, hoping it blows over without really looking into any like looking in a.
Deep philosophical way of like, how do we let this human being be among us? Can I give you a better example? Sure.
That is kind of conspiratorial. The speaker of the House, the longest serving Republican speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, was a pedophile. He went to jail. The Democrats don't throw this in.
The Republicans faces every five minutes, not even Democratic activists. I find that very, very odd and not what I would predict. Now, I'm not saying there's some kind of conspiracy, but when it comes to things like sexual predation, which is something that I'm very, very concerned about, I have an uncle now. My sister just had her second kid recently. He's adorable.
It's something that I don't understand if it feels as if there's a lot of people who want this to go away. Now, I think it's also because we don't have the vocabulary and framework to discuss it, because when you start talking about things like children, these kind of issues, we want to believe it's all crap because it's for those of us who aren't in this kind of mindset, the idea that this happens to kids, it happens frequently is something so horrible that it's just like I don't even want to hear it.
And that does these children and adults survivors an enormous disservice. So I don't know that I have any particular insight on this. But see, like, how do you think the Catholic Church. Again, there's all these topics that public school teachers are far more proportionally predators of children than the Catholic Church may. I don't know what.
You're right. You're right. Perhaps some I've been, you know, reading a lot about Stalin, Hitler. Somehow it's more comforting. Yeah. Like to be there and then. And then. And then the atrocities that are happening now, it's a little bit more difficult.
But there was a New York Times article, Sadr City, where they had people tracking down child pornography. And I think the article said I didn't have enough people just to cover the videotapes of infants being raped and we couldn't even wrap our heads around, like Reading Lolita, like, OK, she's 14, 12, OK, it's still a female, an infant. It's something that, again, like with the Stalin example, we sat down here for 100 hundred years.
We would never think of something like this in a sexual context. That makes no sense. Yeah, so and the fact that this is international, OK, we eliminated completely in America.
Well, then they're going to go find it as if it's all over the world. There's video cameras all over the world. So then it has to become a conspiracy because someone has to film it. I'm filming it. You're buying it. Your kid. It is literally a conspiratorial not in the sense of like a mafia conspiracy or some government Illuminati, but there is are networks designed to produce this product.
But like what I am trying to do now, I'm part of one of the nice things with like a podcast and other things I'm involved with is removing myself from having any kind of boss so I can do whatever. Yes, it's oh, it's so it's so wonderful that I just happened to me. It's it's the most wonderful thing ever.
So I could do. I can actually immoderation consider like look into stuff. Careful though. I was going to write a book about this and the people pointed out you should want to do this research because you start Googling around for this kind of stuff. It's on your computer. Oh, in that sense, yeah, I'm more concerned about, you know, the nature thing looking into the abyss like you want to be very. Yeah, I believe I can do this kind of thing in moderation without slipping.
Yes. Into the depths, of course. I think that's that's intelligence. That's like I recently, quote unquote, looked into like the UFO community, the extraterrestrial whatever community. I think it always frustrated me that the scientific community, like, rolled their eyes, that all the UFO sightings, all that kind of stuff, even though that could be fascinating, beautiful physical, like, first of all, there could be lightning or the ball lightning. Right.
That that's at the very basic level is a fascinating thing. And also, it could be something like I mean, I don't know, but it could be something interesting, like worth looking into.
My grandfather was an air traffic controller back in the Soviet Union and he said, we saw this stuff all the time. These are planes that were not moving or whatever, things that were not moving according to anything we knew about. So it's absolutely real. He's not some jerk with the iPhone in his backyard. This is a military professional who understood technology. He knew where the secret bases were. So if he's telling me it's something doesn't mean it's Martians, but he's telling me there's something there.
And there are many examples of these like military people. These aren't some laymen who see people. Yeah. And so it's you you can dismiss when you're talking to professionals who are around aircraft all the time, who are familiar with aircraft at the highest levels. And they're seeing things that they can't explain. It's they're clearly not stupid and they're clearly not uninformed. So there's different ways to dismiss ideas. For example. I am you were saying that trolling is a good mechanism against that, but I'm not dismissing it by, like, rolling my eyes.
I'm considering legitimately that you're way smarter than me and you understand the world better than me. Like, I allow myself to consider that possibility and thinking about it, like maybe maybe that's true. Like seriously considering it. That's what that's I feel the way people should approach intelligent people, serious quote unquote, people scientists should approach conspiracy theories like look at it carefully.
You know, is first of all, is it possible that the earth is flat? It's not trivial to show that the earth is not flat. It's a very good exercise if you go through it. Yes. But once you go through it, you realize that the based on a lot of data and a lot of evidence and there's a lot of different experiments, you do yourself actually to show that the earth is not flat OK, with the same kind of process can be taken for a lot of different conspiracy theories.
And it's helpful and without slipping into the depths of of lizard people running everything, that's where I have now.
Listen to two episodes of.
Of Alex Jones's show, because he goes crazy deep into. Into different kind of world views that I was not familiar with, right, and I don't know what to make of it. I mean, the reason I've been listening to is because.
There's been a lot of discussions about platforming of different people, and I've been thinking about what is censorship mean, I've been thinking about whether because Joe Rogan said he's going to have Alex on again and then I enjoyed it as a fan, just the entertainment of it. But then I actually listen to Alex.
As thinking, is this human being dangerous for the world, like is the idea? He's saying dangerous for the world.
I'm more concerned with the Russian conspiracy that we had for three years. The claim that the election was not legitimate and that everyone in the Trump White House is a stooge of Putin and the people who said this had no consequences for this. Alex Jones doesn't have the respect that they do. These are both areas of concern for me.
But he might if there's if he's given more platforms like the people who and I'd be curious, I'm also a little bit I don't know what to think about the idea that Russians hacked the election.
It seems to easily accepted in the mainstream media, as Hillary Clinton said, that how they did it was they had ads on the dark web. Now, you and I both know what the dark web is. So the possibility of Athen, the dark web having an influence from a proportional influence on the election is literally zero.
Perhaps I should look into it more carefully, but I've found very little good data on exactly what did the Russians do to hack elections like like technically speaking, what are we talking about here?
Like as opposed to these kind of weird like the best thing, there's a couple of books and like reporting on like farms, like solar farms, troll farms. But let's see the data. Like how many exactly what are we talking about? Like what were they doing? Relet, not just like some anecdotal discussions of but like.
Relative to the bigger the size of Facebook, like if there's a few people, several hundred say the posting different political things on Facebook relative to the full size of Facebook, let's look at the full size.
Right. Like assigned to the actual impact, like the because it's fascinating. The social dynamics of viral information of videos when when Donald Trump tweets something that I think that's understudied the effect of that.
Like he retweeted a clip with Josh Rogin and Mike Tyson where Mike Tyson says that he finds fighting orgasmic. I don't understand it, but it would be fascinating to think like what is the ripple effect on the social dynamic of our society from retweeting a clip about Mike Tyson.
What's your favorite Trump tweet? I I tuned them out a long time ago, unfortunately, I. I have, um, this goes to the you and I have a different relationship with Donald Trump, you appreciate the art drawings on sexual non-sexual. Yeah. So I, I tend to prefer Bill Clinton. He's more my type. I'm just kidding around. You don't like that concept stuff because now I know you appreciate the art form of trolling. And Donald Trump is is a master.
He's the Da Vinci of troll. So I tend to think that trolling is ultimately destructive for society. And then Donald Trump takes nothing seriously. He's playing a game. He make a game out of everything. A lot of things.
Seriously, I think he's very committed to international peace. So I shouldn't speak so strongly. I think I think he takes. Yes. A lot of things seriously.
I meant on Twitter and the game of politics. Yeah, he is, um. He only takes irreverently. Yeah, yeah, and, um, I appreciate it. I just would like to focus on, like, genuine real expressions of humanity, especially positive.
Well, this is my life. This is my favorite tweet. My fans got it. The laser etched and put it a block of Lucite for me. And he said, every time I speak of the losers and haters, I do so with great affection. They cannot help the fact that they were born fucked up. That's an actual Trump. It's like the. And that's kind of nice. That's love. That's love. That's the kind of affection that I mean, exclamation point even.
Um, I'm Froglets, what is love? Yeah, the sparks are flying, but I have to kind of analyze that from a little literary perspective, but it seems like there's love in there, like a little bit a little bit lighthearted because he's saying even when I'm going after them, don't take it so seriously.
Yeah, that's that's nice. It is nice acknowledging the game of it. Yes, that's nice. He's not always the same. He's very, very vicious, very vicious. He's done things that I can tell you about that I'm like, this is a bad person. What do you think about one of the. OK, listen, I'm not I for people listening, I do not have Trump derangement syndrome. I, I don't I see I try to look for the good and the bad and everybody one thing perhaps it's irrational, but perhaps because I've been reading history, I the one triggering thing for me is the delaying of elections.
I believe in elections and this is this is the part that you probably disagree with, but I you know, I believe in the value of people voting and I just seem to me dictators, the place where they finally the big switch happens when you question the legitimacy of the election, which in questioning the legitimacy of elections for the last three years, I've only heard Donald Trump do it last year. But the last three years, you're saying somebody else.
You don't think not my president is legitimate. We're not going to normalize him as president. Russia had this election impeached. You're not a real president. You don't think that's questioning legitimacy of 2016? It's a good I haven't been paying attention enough, but I would I would imagine that argument has been. I haven't actually heard too many people, but I imagine there's been a popular. Yeah, OK, I. But nevertheless, that's a part that didn't.
That's not a statement that gained power enough to say. That Barack Obama will keep being president or Hillary Clinton should be, Newsweek has that article, how Hillary Clinton could still be president. Newsweek. But she's not. That's what I'm saying. My worry isn't my worry isn't saying that the election was illegitimate and people whining and scale. And then Fox News or CNN reporting for years or books being written for years, my worry is legitimately martial law. A person stays president.
So here's the issue. Like, there's a there's a big shift that I have not I did a book on North Korea. I'm not someone who thinks dictatorships should be taken lightly. I'm not someone who thinks it can't happen here. I think a lot of times people are desperate for dictatorship. So I'm with you. And I think this is something if you're going to hand wave it away. Everyone else had waved it away. Hitler's never going to be chancellor.
He's a lunatic.
He's a joke that he could they couldn't find a publisher for Mein Kampf in English because this is a guy from some random minor party in Germany spouting nonsense who's going to read this crap, you know, so I completely agree with you. I don't think we're there. My point is Donald Trump this year had every pathway open to him to declare martial law. The cities are being burnt down. He could have very easily sent in the tanks and people would have been applauding him for this.
I feel so good right now. But am I wrong, though? Not by what he did. He tweeted out to Mayor Wheeler of Portland. He said, call me. We will we will solve this in minutes, but you have to call. And he sat on his hands and they said, oh, it's his fault. This city is burning down. He's not doing anything. And he goes, I'm not doing anything until you ask me to do it.
So I think that is even if you think he's an aspiring dictator, that is at least a sign that there is some restraint on his aspirations. Can I just take that in as a beautiful, like moment of hope, so I'm going to remember this beautiful dead.
I'm going to remember that. I mean, I, I should say that perhaps irrationally, this is the one moment where I feel myself being a little I don't feel rational.
I think there's an asymmetry because it's kind of like, OK, either if I leave the house, it's like Russian roulette. Yeah. Maybe it's like a one in six shot. I'm pulling the trigger. I'm killing myself, but that's one in six. That's not then. And the consequences are so dire that a little paranoia would go a long way.
There's something that you can't go back. Yeah. You get an asymmetry. And the thing is, the thing that makes Donald Trump new to me and again, I'm a little naive in these things, but he surprised me.
In how many ways he just didn't play by the rules? Yeah. And he's made me a little ant in the sand colony think like, well, do you have to play by the rules at all? Right. Like, why are we having elections? Why just say, like, it's coronavirus time, like it's it's not healthy to have elections. Like, we shouldn't be like I could if I put my dictator hat on. Nancy Pelosi said that Joe Biden should debate.
Yeah, did she? Yes. She says she shouldn't dignify Trump with a debate. He's the president. He could be the worst president or an evil, despicable monster.
I'll take that as an argument. So she's playing politics, but she's I don't think that's playing politics. I think when there's a certain point where things and when things get when you start attacking institutions for the emergency of the moment and acting arbitrarily, that is when things are the slippery slope. So you're saying debates is one of the institutions? That's one of the traditions to have the debates. I think the debates are extremely important. And now I don't think that someone's a good debater is going to make a good president.
I mean, that's that's a big problem. But you're just saying this is attacking just yet another tradition, yet another, you know, like how if you're datings, if you're married to someone and someone throws out the word divorce, you can't unring that bell. You threw it out there. I'm saying you don't throw things out like that unless you really are ready to go down this road. And I think that is there's nothing in the Constitution about debates.
We've only had them since 1980. But still, I think they are extremely important. It's also a great chance for Joe Biden to tell him to his face, you're full of crap. Here's what you did. Here's what here's what you did. So fascinating that you're both. You acknowledge that, and yet you also see the value of tearing down the entire thing, so you're both worried about no debates or at least in your voice, in your tone.
There's a great quote by Chesterton's.
I'm not a fan of his at all. But he says, before you tear down a fence, make sure you know why they put it up first. So I am for tearing it all down, but there's something called a controlled demolition like Building Seven or allegedly.
We knew we were in Tel Aviv and Ashton's building, so we knew we were in Tel Aviv.
You're faster than me. You're you're operating at a different level. We need to upgrade my operating system.
I told you it was 95. Yeah, I'm good.
So if you're going to. It's like Indiana Jones, right? If you're going to pull something away, make sure you have something in place first as opposed to breaking it. And then just especially in politics, because if it escalates and when things escalate without any kind of response, it can go in a very bad. That's when the polling comes in.
So what's your prediction about the Biden Trump debates? Again, I just have this weird maybe we'll return to maybe not in this how do we put more love into the world? And like, one of the things that worries me about the debates is it'll be it'll be the world's greatest troll against the grandpa on the porch who crapped his pants.
And it will not put more love into the world. It will it will create more mockery.
Like Joe Biden did a great job against Paul Ryan in 2012. Paul Ryan was no lightweight. No one thought he was a lightweight. Joe Biden handed Sarah Palin her ass in 2008, which isn't as easy to do as you think. She's a female. So you're going to come off as bullying us and you have to worry about. So the guy isn't I think he is in the stages of cognitive decline. So I think it's going to be interesting.
I want it to be. Like Mike Tyson beating up a child, because it'll be a source of amusement to me, but I don't know how it's going to go because it's possible that Joe Biden will be the Mike Tyson. Yes, because in his last debate with Bernie, he was perfectly fine. And again, the guy was a senator for decades. And I don't think anyone, if you looked at Joe Biden in 2010, would have thought this guy is going to be have his ass handed him a debate.
You would think that at all. So I don't know who we're going to see. Plus, he's got a lot of room to attack Trump, so I'm sure he's going to come strapped in ready. And he's going to have his talking points and watch Trump dance, try to tap dance around him. And if he's in a position, I know the rules of the debate are to actually nail into to the wall. It might actually I'm sure he's going have a lot of lines to the problem if Trump is the master counterpuncher.
So like when Hillary had her line, she's like, well, it's a good thing that Donald Trump isn't in charge of our legal system. He's like, yeah, you'd be in jail. It's like it's like like, lady, you set him up.
It's painful to watch those those debates. I mean, there's something I think it's actually analogous. Come to think of it, your conversation with me right now, some sleep. I'm playing the role of Joe. I actually connect to Joe because there's so incontinent.
There's like these weird pauses that I do.
I do the same I do the same thing and annoys the shit out of me that like in midsentence I'll start seeing a different thing and take a tangent. I'm not as slow and drunk as I sound always. I swear I'm more intelligent underneath the less drunk.
Exactly. But the result one of those is true, but not both. Yeah. And and Trump, just like you, are a master counterpunch.
So it's going to be messy.
And here's the other thing. In all seriousness, Chris Wallace is the moderator. Chris Wallace has interviewed Trump several times and he was a tough, tough questioner. So I don't think he's going to come in there with softball questions. I think he's really going to try to nail Trump down, which is tough to do. I like him a lot. Yeah, he's he's like, Mr. President, sir, that's not accurate. Blah, blah, blah.
He's done it. And Trump gets very frustrated because he doesn't just let him say whatever he wants. And he he hits them with the follow up. He's he's I guess he's on Fox News and he I listen to Sunday program every once in a while. He gives me hope that I don't know, there's something in the voice like that he's not, but he's I there's no question he's going to take this seriously, which I think is the best you could hope for in a moderator.
Like, it feels like there's people that might actually take the mainstream media into a place that's going to be better in the future and like we need people like him. You mean like Robespierre? What do you mean? Like taking the mainstream media to a better future, like bring out the guillotine, like the you you put your anarchist hair back on.
I don't think there's much of an anarchist, but yeah, I get what you're saying. Yeah. You don't think there should be a centralized place for news.
There isn't now. Well, that was what mainstream media is supposed to represent.
Well, it's not whatever would you call that a place where people traditionally said was the like the legitimate source of truth? Now, that's what the media was supposed to represent.
That's their that's their big branding accomplishment that was in that picture. Yeah, because if you here's what happens. We remember the Spanish American war. Remember the main we have to take Cuba yellow journalism, Willie Randolph Hearst, right. Then record scratch. And then we were all objective. Like, when did this transition happen, according to people when you were saying that the Kaiser is the worst human being on Earth, when you were downplaying Stalin and downplaying Hitler's atrocities, when you were saying we had to be in Vietnam, at what, WMDs?
When did it change?
It never changed. You just are better con artists at a certain point and now the mask is dropping. Yeah, but don't you think there's at its best, like investigative journalism can uncover truth in a way that that like Redit Subrata can't, you know, read it? Sure. I agree at its best, absolutely. It's not in dispute but like. Don't you think of, like, fake it until you make it is the right way to do it, meaning like the news?
No, no, no. I meant the news saying like we dream of doing, of arriving at the truth and reporting the truth. They don't say that CNN had an advertisement that said this is an apple. We only report facts. That's a lie. Not now and now. It's clear things have changed and they haven't changed you just more you're more aware, aware of chicanery.
But OK, so how many people died in Iraq because Saddam Hussein was about to launch WMD?
To add consequences for this, No one. This isn't a minor thing, this is lots of dead people, yeah. And also, I mean, dead people. It's horrible, but also the money which has, like we said, economic effects that Marianne Williamson, I think it was it was had to trump, both of them had a great point. That goes there's like a trillion dollars. How many schools were that built? How many roads were that built even here?
Why are we building hospitals in Iraq that we destroyed? We could building hospitals here? It makes no sense. It's horrifying.
So who's responsible for that? Who? Alex Jones. No, I meant for. Well, so who's responsible for arriving at the truth of that or speaking to the money spent?
I think the wars in Iraq is one of the great things about social media. Twitter, you have faith in Twitter, not just not specifically Twitter, but yes, social media to Hollywood, anyone. Here's a great example.
Before, if you were talking about police brutality or these riots, you would have to perceive it in the way it was framed and presented to Nicholas. Sandman's another example, Brianna Taylor. All these things, whether you have footage of her, you would have to perceive in the way that it's edited and presented to you by the corporate press. Now, everyone in the video has a video camera. Everyone has their perspective. And it's very useful when these incidents happen where you could see the same incident from several angles.
And you don't need Don Lemon or Chris Wallace to tell me what this means. I can see with my own eyes.
Yeah, I've been very pleasantly surprised about the power.
See, like the mob again gets in the way. They get emotional and they destroy, like the the ability for people to reason. But you're right that truth is unobstructed on social media. Like if you're if you're careful and patient, you can see the truth. Yeah. Like, for example, data uncovered. Some of the best sources are doctors. If you want to know the truth about the coronavirus, what's happening is there's follow people on Twitter.
Yeah, there's certain people. There's Yes. Like source of information versus the CDC and the show. It's that's that's fast. I mean, it was kind of inaccurate. Yes, it is. It is anarchy. Yes. I mean, well, there's some censorship and all that kind of stuff.
You have censorship under anarchy in the sense that you're talking about, like people who kicked off a Twitter.
That's a drawing that somebody OK, so I mean, it's a private company, private company, most people wouldn't say Twitter is working, but they that's probably because they take for granted how well it's working and they're just complaining about the small part of it that's broken. Yeah. OK, another question about feel better. Not by the way, I mean, I had a personal gripe with the situation about the. Not a personal gripe, but I felt overly emotional about the possibility that there would be some of Donald Trump messing with the election process, but you made me feel better, like saying like if he had a bunch of opportunities to to do what I like to do, what I would have done if I was a dictator, I would be the first time those guys over George Floyd, I would instituted martial law.
Do you know what I remember very vividly is after 9/11 and everyone was waiting for George Bush to give his speech and he had 98 percent approval rating. And I remember very vividly because if he had said we're suspending the Constitution, everyone cheered for him like he couldn't get enough support at that time and he didn't do it. And I can't say anything really good about George W. Bush. I'm not a fan of his, to say the least. So I think you and I and other people who are familiar with totalitarian regimes to some extent from our ancestry or whatever from research, should always be the ones freaking out and warning.
But we should also be aware of we got a ways to go before it's Hitler. And thankfully, there are a lot of dominoes that have to fall into place before Hitler. It's like the game secre Hitler. It's a board game before Hitler becomes Hitler, like it's not especially in America. There's lots of things that have to happen before you really get to that point. I mean, FDR was for all intents and purposes, a dictator. But even then, the worst you could say, and this is not something that you take lightly, was internment of Japanese citizens.
But they weren't murdered. They weren't, you know, under lock and key in the sense of like in cells. So things could have gotten a lot worse for him.
We have to I mean, Hitler, such a horrible person to bring up because Mussolini Mussolini is better because Hitler is so closely connected to the atrocities of the Holocaust. There's all this stuff that led up to the war in the war itself say that there was no Holocaust. Hitler will probably be viewed differently. Yes, I think so.
Well, I mean, but you think that's a very controversial stance. You think Hitler be viewed differently if it wasn't real?
Well. I mean, would but it's a funny thing that the the the I would say the death of how many?
40, 50 million. I mean, I don't know how you calculate it as this is not seen as as bad as the six million. Oh, yeah. Because of Mao and Stalin. Yeah. Yeah. And but it's interesting working on it. You're working on the next book I'm reminded reminding what's good.
I'm glad. Good writers. Because the one that reminded my last book, The New Right, you know, had to deal with some like the Nazis. And one of the points they make is how come everyone knows about the Holocaust but no one knows about the Holodomor. And they're right. We should know about this because it is a great example of both how the Western media were depraved, but also what human beings are capable of. And those scars are still you know, many Americans think Russia and Ukraine are the same thing.
You know, that Trump's in bed with the Ukrainian troops about the Russians. They think it's the same thing for us. It's lunacy. But this is the kind of thing where Pol Pot is another example where people have no clue of what has been done to their fellow man in the face of this earth.
And they should know how much of that do at the hands of communism. How much are you with? Like a Georgian person who has is intricately connecting the atrocities, like like you're saying 1930's Ukraine where people were starved? Um, I recently saw my grandmother recently passed away, and she she she survived that as a kid, which is is for those people. I mean, just their tough. They're tough, like that whole region is tough because they survived that and then right after the occupation of Nazis.
Yeah, of Germans. How much you weigh that? At communism as an ideology versus Stalin, the man I think, you know, Lenin was building concentration camps, you know, while he was around and slave labor, I don't I think it's clearly both. There are certain variants of communism that were far like Khrushchev and Gorbachev, the reason the Soviet Union fell apart. And this is kind of going to spoil the end of the book. There's an amazing book called Revolution in 1989.
Like most people, the book of a read by Victor Sebastiaan. He's a Hungarian author. And basically what happens in 1989, Poland has their elections. And then in 1990, they kind of led in the Labor people to the government. And people start crossing borders, you know, in the Eastern Bloc. And you had Honaker from Eastern Germany and Ceausescu from Romania calling Gorbachev because those are the two toughest ones by communist standards. They go they're just escaping.
We're going to we're going to lose everything. You've got to send in the tanks like you did in Hungary, like you did in Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia in 68. And Gorbachev goes, I'm not sending the tanks. And they go, dude, if you don't sing in the tanks, it's all done. And he goes, nope, I'm not that kind of guy. And they were right. I mean, Kucharski was personally shot with his wife up against the wall.
Honaker, I forget what happened to him, but they all self liberated my friend who was born in Czechoslovakia. His mom was pregnant, you know, under communism, and she never even imagined he'd be free. And he was born under free. And they were all looking around all these countries that self liberated because they're like, this is a trick, right? They're just they're trying to figure out who is not good so that they can arrest us en masse.
And they didn't.
So I'll even within communism, there are bad guys and better guys, but. We talked about Iraq, you talk about democracy. Do you see, like there's democratic socialism conversations going on in the popular culture? Socialism is seen as like evil or for some people, great. Sure. What like what are your thoughts about us and a political ideology? Evil if you're on the evil side? Fundamentally, yes. What what is it? You know what?
What makes it evil? What's like structurally? If you were to try to analyze why? Sure. I say three ways. Morally, no person has the right to tell another person how to live their life economically. It's not possible to make calculations under socialism. It's only the price, the prices that are information that tells me, oh, this is we need to produce more. This is less of this. Without prices being able to adjust and give information to producers and consumers, you have no way of being able to produce effectively, efficiently.
And also it is it turns people against each other when you force people to interact, when you force them into relationships and you force them into jobs and you don't give them any choice when there's a monopoly, the consequence of monopoly everyone's familiar with ostensibly under capitalism, but somehow when it's a government monopoly, all those economic principles don't work, doesn't make any sense. But there's force in democracy to just. You're saying this is a bit more force and and socialism.
Yeah, but that's interesting that you say that there's not enough information. I mean, that's ultimately you need to have really good data. Yes. To achieve the goals of the system, even even if there's no corruption. Right. You just need to have the information. Right. Which you can't. And capitalism provides you. Like, really strong, real time, real time information that and if, like, capitalism is best and cleanest, which is like perfect information is available, there's no manipulation of information.
That's what you know, that's one of the problems. OK, can we talk about some candidates, the ones we got and possible alternatives? So one question I have is, why do we have within the system? Why do we have the candidates? We have. It seems maybe you can correct me highly unsatisfactory, like the like, is anyone actually excited about our current candidates? I'm kind of excited because no matter who wins, the elections can be hilarious.
So that is something that I'm excited about from a from a human perspective. Yeah. Is that what the whole system is?
So that's one theory of the case, is that the entire thing is optimized for viewership and excitement by definitions of like the reality show kind of excitement. I think it is. If you look at what happened, Brett Kavanaugh, this is not a career that would draw people who are, you might say, quality, because no matter who they are, there would be a huge incentive from the other team to denigrate them and humiliate them in the worst possible ways, because as the two teams lose their legitimacy among Gen Pop, it's going to get harder and harder for them to maintain any kind of claims to authority, which is something I like, but which does kind of play out in a certain nefarious ways.
So people the best of the best are not going to want to be politicians.
Yeah, because I could have a job where I have a job interview and I'm running Yahoo! Or whatever, or I could for 18 months have to eat corn dogs looking like I'm going down on someone and shake hands and have all of my family. And on social media daily called the worst things for what? And then I'm still not guaranteed the position. But the flip side of that, like from my perspective, is the competition is weak. Meaning like?
You need a certain minimum amount of eloquence, clearly, that I don't the bar, which I did not pass, I don't think either of them would be considered particularly eloquent.
Biden or Trump. No, I know. But that's I'm saying the competition. Like, if you were wanted to become a politician, if you wanted to run for president, the opportunity is there. Like if you're at all competent, like if you are so like Andrew Yangs, an example of somebody who has a bunch of ideas is somewhat eloquent. The young, energetic, it feels like there should be thousands of Andrew Yangs. But that would enter the domain and he went nowhere.
Well, well, I wouldn't say he went nowhere. He generally quite a bit of excitement, he just didn't go very far. That's OK.
You don't have to run for president to generate excitement for your ideas. You could be a podcast host. I'm not even joking. That's right. That's right. That's right. And he's both angry. And he's a podcast is a podcast called Yeng Speaks. No. OK, well. Oh, wow, the music of the way, he said, yeah, cool is the way my mom talks to me when I tell her something exciting going on in my life.
Oh, that's nice, honey. You know, let us cool makes Coffield is the single, aren't you?
Huh. I wonder why. I wonder why you still feel that way. Give me some grandchildren.
Uh. OK, but first of all, OK, let me ask you about Andrew Yank's, he represents. Fresh energy, you don't find him fresh or energetic, you know, like is there any candidate you wish was in the mix that was in the mix you wish was one of the last two remaining? Yeah, people like Marianne Williamson, I thought was great. Tulsi, I thought was great. Amy Klobuchar got a bad rap. I think she held her own smart.
She wasn't particularly funny. That's OK. I think she was non-threatening to a lot of people. What did you like about them? I guess it's named all women. It's interesting. It wasn't even intentional. Tulsi, I like that she was aggressive, has a good resume and is not staying the course for the establishment. Marianne Williamson, I like because she comes from a place, from what it seems, of genuine compassion. Maybe she's a sociopath.
I don't know. I read her book and it actually affected me profoundly because it's very rare when you read a book and there's even that one idea that blows your mind and that you kind of think about all the time. And there was one such idea in her book about she was teaching something called A Course in Miracles in Hollywood. I think she still teaches it. And this was during the eighties to hide the AIDS crisis. And all these young men in the prime of their life were dropping like flies.
And she's trying to give them hope. But good luck. They're dying. No one cares. And they're like, you can't tell us that they're going to cure this. Like, you know, that's a lie.
And she goes, What if I told you they're not going to cure it? What if I told you it's going to be like diabetes? They cut off your foot and you're going to go blind. Would that be something that you can hope for? And when you put it like that, it's like, yeah, like if you talk, it seems like a homeless junkie and you're like, you could be a doctor. You're a lawyer or a lawyer.
Like Cool Story. Like you could have a studio apartment with a terrible roommate and a shitty job. But when you're on the street, you know, cooking breakfast in a teaspoon and you hear that you're like that really be so bad. Is that really so much worse than this? No. And it becomes something. So when she put it in those terms, I'm like, wow, this woman that really did a number on me in terms of teaching people how to be helpful.
But it's but it's also then it becomes less of I need a miracle to be like, oh, this is really cool. Yeah. It's it's absurd to think it's impossible.
What about what's your take on you. Twenty twenty. That was then pushed forward.
It was DOA. He couldn't even stand up to Twitter dead on arrival. Arrival. He couldn't even stand up to Twitter let alone or to Facebook.
They got blocked, let alone hugely problematic by the way that Twitter would block that. Not at all.
I don't know why they blocked it, but I believe I don't know, problematic means. That's the word that does a lot of work that people wanted to do conceptually. The idea that, like unity is like taking the rejects from each party and we're going to like have something that no one likes and therefore it's going to be a compromise is absurd. The last time we had this kind of unity ticket was the Civil War, where you had Andrew Johnson from the Democrats and Lincoln from the Republicans.
This is not something that ended well, particularly nicely for both halves of the country. So that's the way you see it is like the way I saw it. I guess I haven't looked carefully at it. I haven't either, to be fair. Yeah, the way I saw it is emphasizing centrists, which is how stealthy centrist Tosa was involved. Yes, he's trying to push Tulsa and like Jesse Ventura or something.
Oh, so ok, ok. I don't know. I don't know this. As a scientist, you also know centrism is not a coherent term in politics.
But see, now you're like, what is it? Pleading to authority? No eating my ego.
No, no. I'm pleading to how you approach data. If someone is saying the mean is accurate, that only me I mean the mean could be anywhere.
It's a function of what's around. It doesn't mean it's true. I don't even know what census is supposed to mean for what it means to me. There's no essentially centrist. There's more of a center right or center left. To me, what that means is somebody who is a liberal or conservative, but is. Open minded and. Empathetic to the other side, Joe Biden had the crime bill, Joe Biden voted for a Republican Supreme Court justices, Joe Biden voted for a balanced budget.
Joe Biden voted for Bush's war. He and I'm sure probably haven't looked at the Patriot Act. If you want a centrist, you have Joe Biden. Yeah, he's worked very well with the Republican argument could be made, of course, that everybody will always resist that argument.
It's undeniable. In fact, during the campaign, some activists started yelling at him at a town hall, not yelling, just saying, hey, we need open borders. Joe Biden says, I'm not for open borders. Go vote for Trump and literally turn his back on the man. And this is during the primaries where it would behoove you to try to appeal to the base.
And of course, you can probably also make the argument that Donald Trump is right, if not senator left.
Well, I mean, he's he's very unique as a personality. But if you look at his record and his first of his rhetoric, you can say he's not centrist at all. But in terms of how he governs the budgeting, I mean, he's been very moderate. It certainly hasn't been like draconian budget cuts. The Supreme Court, you could say, OK, he's hard, right? Immigration, you could say in certain capacities it's hard. Right.
But in terms of pro-life, what has he done there in terms of, you know, in many other aspects, he's been very much this kind of meta Republican. But certainly the rhetoric, it's very hard to make him the case that he's a centrist. So you don't like is there any other idea you find compelling, like what I like about Unity 2020? Is this an idea? For a different way, feel like a different party, a different path forward.
So ideas, just like energy, is an interesting idea that that leads to discourse, or at least I don't think it's interesting at all. And here's why. I think it's interesting that Sweden has eight parties in its parliament. Iceland population is like 150000. They've got nine, I think it was Czech Republic has nine. Britain has five. So the claim that two parties is the censorious of speech, but three oh, now all of a sudden it makes no sense.
It's important that the number one number two is Donald Trump demonstrated that you can be basically a third party candidate, sees the machinery of an existing party and appropriate to your own ends as Bernie Sanders, Bernie, that Bernie Sanders has never been a Democrat. Major credit to him for. That's not easy to be elected. As Sanders, an independent, he's done it repeatedly. So these are two examples of ossified elites ripe for the picking. So to have a third party makes no real sense.
Speaking of which party you talk about quite a bit and let's look, this is a personal challenge to you. Let me bring up the Libertarian Party, and the personal challenge is to go five minutes without mocking them in discussing and discussing this idea.
So first of all, what I've been told. Yeah, OK, I've been I think Joe is the fun friends.
There is an episode where Chandler had to not make fun of people like can you go one day Chandler and Phoebe starts telling him about like this UFO she saw. And it's like, that's very interesting for you. This is exactly that.
OK, so a true master would be able to play within the game, within the constraints. No, I'm pretty sure your stomach them, but no, no, I'll stick to the rules.
Five minutes. So first of all, speaking broadly about libertarianism, can you speak to that, how you feel about it, and then also to the Libertarian Party, which is the implementation of it in our current system?
So I think libertarianism is a great idea, and I think there's many libertarian ideas that have become much more mainstream, which I'm very, very happy about. I remember there was an article in either New York or New Yorker magazine in the early 90s where they talked about the Cato Institute, which is a libertarian think tank, and they refer to the fact that Cato was against the war and against like regulation with a wacky consistency because they didn't know how to reconcile these two things.
I remember the two things were, but I remember that expression, wacky consistency. And it wasn't we were all taught and this is very much before the Internet that there's two tribes. And if you're pro-life, you have to hate gays. And if you're for socialized medicine, that also means you have to be for, you know, free speech.
It was just this very and like there's a whole menu and you got to silence all of them. And that menu's terrible. They hate America. They to destroy it all like it. Those horrible evil. This is the menu you want. And the Libertarian Party to some extent, and just libertarians as a whole said, you know, you can do the Chinese buffet and take a little from column live from Coulombe and have an ideology that is coherent and consistent, an ideology of peace and non-aggression and things like that.
The Libertarian Party takes its model from like the early progressive and populist parties from the early 20th century, which were not very effective in terms of getting people elected, but were extremely, in effect, effective in terms of getting the two major parties to appropriate and adopt their ideas and implement them. And in Britain as well, the Liberal Party got destroyed and became taken over by Labour as the alternative party to the Tories and have those ideas basically become mainstreamed. So I think that and the Liberals, my friend who passed away, Eric dearly, was their webmaster.
And his whole point is, if you don't think about it in terms of party, in terms of getting people elected, but if you think of it as a party, in terms of getting people educated about alternatives, then there's an enormous use for that. That was his perspective. And I don't think that's an absurd perspective. But here's some libertarian ideas that have become extremely mainstream. War should be a last resort. This is something we were taught as kids and we all say, but for many years it's been like they don't think of it as a last resort.
It's like something's bad. Well, it's like the first instinct now. It's like, let's really give it a week, just a week. Like what's going on in Syria? Is there really going to be a genocide? The Kurds, you know, things like that. So that's one. Another thing is drug legalization. This was, you know, when you and I were kids. Oh, it's crazy. It's only hippies want to smoke pot now.
It's like I was on a grand jury.
And the point that people make is, are you sure that the 16 year old who's selling weed, let's say selling, should his life be ruined?
Should he be imprisoned with rapists and murderers like. If you say yes, say yes, but you are you you have to acknowledge that that's what you're meaning, and then a lot of people are like, wait a minute, there's got to be a third option. Then he has no consequences or he's in prison with the rapists. Like, I'm not comfortable with either these. And I think the other one is a increasing skepticism. This libertarians are on top of this first and the hard left of the police.
As of now, asset forfeiture steals more from people than burglaries, where people don't know about what asset forfeiture is. If the cops come to your house and they suspect you, you haven't been convicted of using your car or your house or whatever in terms of selling drugs, they can take whatever they want. And then you have to sue to prove your innocence and get your property back. It's a complete violation of due process. People don't realize it's going on.
It's a great way for the cops to increase their budgets and it's legal. And libertarians were like the first big ones saying, guys, this is not American and this is crazy. And now increasingly people are conservatives and leftists like, wait a minute, this this is even if you are selling drugs, like to take your house, what are you talking about? So I think those are some mechanisms that libertarianism, but not by name, has become far more popular.
So the idea. Yeah. A coherent set of ideas that. That eventually get integrated a two party system. Yeah, the war, that's an interesting one. You're right. I would want I wonder what the thread there is. I wonder how it connects to 9/11 and so on.
But I think I think the Patriot Act, Patriot Act for people who are politically savvy were like, oh, OK, this is not a joke. This is really a crazy infringement. Our freedoms and both parties are falling over each other to sign into law. And the Orwellian name you don't want. How can you be against patriotism? Kind of personal, you know what I mean? So I think for a lot of people, especially both civil libertarians on the left and a lot of conservatives who are constitutionalists are like, wait a minute, this isn't I'm not comfortable with this.
And I'm also not comfortable with how comfortable everyone in Washington is with it.
You're right. Probably libertarian and libertarians and libertarianism is a place of ideas, which is why I have a connection to it. Like I like I like the every time I listen to those folks, I like them. I feel connected to them. I would even sometimes, depending on the day, call myself a libertarian. We're all on the spectrum. So that's why we're on the spectrum. Yeah, but like when I look at the people that actually rise to the top in terms of like the people who represent the party, this is where like five minutes right out.
Right. Can I could go allowed. You can go.
Why are they so weird. Why aren't. Strong candidates emerging that represent as political representatives or as like famous speakers like that represent ideology, I think libertarians. I think John Height in his book and his research, he's a political scientist and he does a lot of things about how people come to their political solutions and what factors force people to reach conclusions. And he found that libertarians are the least empathetic and most rationalistic of all the groups. And by that he means like they think in terms of logic as opposed to people's feelings.
And that has positives and has negatives.
It would. And we have the AB testing with Ron Paul. Ron Paul ran for president as a libertarian nominee. He was the nominee. He got pretty much nowhere in 1988. Then he ran as a return to the Republican Party, as a congressman for many years from Texas. He ran for the presidency in 2008 and 2012. And in 2008, he stood on stage with Rudy Giuliani and told him that they were here and 9/11 because we were over there, which would have been a shocking, horrifying taboo a few years earlier.
Many people were like, holy crap, this is amazing. Giuliani was all offended. And Ron Paul's like that took some guts.
I did when I heard that it was so refreshing that not what he said, but the fact that he said something that took guts. It made me realize how rare it is. Yes. For people, for politicians, but even people to say something that takes guts.
Well, it's also the idea that, like, you can't even if you think America has a right to invade any country on Earth as much as it wants and kill people as a consequence of war and blow up their buildings and destroy their country, you can't with a straight face, not expect us to have consequences, even if their consequences from evil people, even if we're 100 percent the good guys and they're 100 the bad guys, those bad guys, some of them are still going to try to do something.
What happens next? You know what I mean? So that kind of concept that there's any American culpability was where America where, you know, we're the good guys. By definition, we're not culpable to have people start thinking about what if there's another way, you know, what if we're not there and then they're not here and we're kind of doing a back door, we're talking so different scenarios.
So the fact that he got so much more traction as a Republican, the fact that Donald Trump, who came out of nowhere, became the not only the candidate, but the president tells people it's like getting a book deal. Right. You can either go there's three choices. You can either self publish mainstream publisher or independent publisher. The independent publisher is the worst of all choices because you're not getting a big advance. They're not going to be able to promote you a lot and they don't get the distribution mainstream.
I've done mainstream itself, right. With self. I don't have the cred. The respectability of a mainstream cachet can be a New York Times bestseller.
It takes a lot of work, but I get a lot more of the profit if it looks good on the shelf and Amazon looks identical, so on and so forth. With the mainstream, the benefits and costs are pretty much obvious to most people. So the same thing. It's like you can either be an independent like Ross Perot or you could be just sees when the party apparatus, which the benefits are enormous there. But in terms of going third party, I don't know the Libertarian Party apparatus other than maybe some ballot access is really that efficacious.
And then you're going to have a lot of baggage, because if you hear independent Jesse Ventura, Ross Perot, you think of the person now you have to define yourself and you have to defend the party. That's two bridges for most people.
Brilliantly put. OK, thank you. Let me speak to you because I'm speaking to John Brooks and, uh, yeah, I like him.
Yeah. So but that's another example.
I was him to tell you a joke about Ayn Rand, if he can do it. So there that's one criticism I've heard you say, which is they're unable to speak to any weaknesses in either Ayn Rand or Objectivist worldview.
Yes, that's really where you put it. I know you're half joking, but that's actually a legitimate discussion to have.
And I'm not joking at all, because that's to me, one of the criticisms and one of the explanations why the world seems to disrespect Ayn Rand, the people that do, as she kind of implies that her ideas are like flawless.
She says they correspond to reality.
That's the term she uses that. I mean, objectiveness in the name is, you know, it's just facts like it's impossible to basically argue against because it's pretty simple, it's just all facts and all that it's possible to argue against. But she would say she's never met a good critic who can argue the facts that misrepresentation. And she's not entirely wrong. She's often caricatured because she is a very extreme personality and extreme worldview.
But that to me, I mean, some people there's a guy named in the physics mathematics community call Stephen Wolfram. I don't know if you've Wolfram Alpha. Yeah, OK. He has a similar style of speaking sometimes, which is like I've created a science, but that turns a lot of people off like this kind of weird confidence. But he's one of my favorite people, I think one of the most brilliant people.
If you just ignore that little bit of ego or whatever you call that, that there are some beautiful ideas in there and everything, and that for me, objectivism undereducated about it, about it, I hope to be more educated. But there's some interesting ideas that, again, just like with UFOs, not that there's a connection to bring that up to your own.
He won't like it. Friends like UFOs. Oh, no, no, no.
This interview is over. That's a good yarn.
OK, but, you know, you have to be a little bit open minded. But what's your sense of of objectivism? What are there interesting ideas that are useful to you to think about? I own her copy of the first printing of The Fountainhead. So that should tell you a little bit about how my affection for Miss Rand, how heavy that goes. I Ayn Rand does not have all the answers, but she has all the questions. So if you study Rand, you are going to be forced to think through some very basic things and you're going to have your eyes open very, very heavily.
She was not perfect.
She never claimed to be perfect. She was asked on Donahue, is it true that according to your philosophy, your perfect being? She said, I never think of myself that way. And she said, but if you ask me, do I practice what I preach, the answer is yes, resoundingly. She's a fascinating woman. What is really interesting about her, and it's something you'd appreciate personally, is when you read her essays, she'll have these weird asides and she would talk about art and she'd be like, and this is why the U.S. should be the only nuclear weapons.
And when you follow a brilliant mind making these seemingly disparate connections, it's something I find to be just absolutely inspiring and awesome and entertaining. I think there's lots of things about her that people like Iran would make uncomfortable.
Well, like she they so objectivism, like any other philosophy, has all these techniques to kind of hand wave away things you don't want to talk about and like pretend that. So they talk about things like having no metaphysical significance. Right. So that that means it's like, well, what about this? I don't talk about it.
It doesn't matter. Like, it literally needs a philosophical purpose. Doesn't matter. Or they will say correctly that it's very twisted in our culture that when we have heroes, we look for their flaws instead of looking for their virtues. That's a one hundred percent valid perspective. However, if I'm sitting here telling you that I think this woman is a badass and she's amazing and she should be studied. But there's also these idiosyncrasies. They don't want to hear it because they and I think it's very convenient for them because there's a lot of things you did that work.
Here's an example. Rand was very, very pro, a happiness and pure pleasure. She was very Prosek's, which is kind of surprising looking at her and how she talked and how strident she was as a result of this. She never got her cats fixed to deny them the pleasure of orgasm. So her male cats are spraying up her entire house like that is I mean, that's her putting her plus philosophy into practice, but it's still gross. Yeah.
So that's the kind of thing where I don't think another thing is Rand had an article on a woman president and she said a woman should never be president. Right now, when Rand says things that are too goofy for them, they say, oh, that's not objectivism. That's her personal preference. It's like she did not have these lines. Objectivism was always defined as Ayn Rand's writings, plus the additional essays in her books. So if this was in part of those books, this counts as official objectivism, but they pretend otherwise.
So that's another example.
Plus, they she was and I bet you she was on the spectrum to some extent. I'm not joking. I'm not using that derisively. She was of the belief and not inaccurately because that humor is used to denigrate and humiliate. And she was thinking about the Jon Stewart type before there was a Jon Stewart. And a lot of times how I use mocking. But she was resentful correctly that a lot of times people who are great and accomplished little nobodies will make a punch line just to bring them down and just bother.
Here's an example I just thought of. I remember in I remember when it was most in the nineties, they had a segment on MTV of all these musicians. Who were making their own perfumes, right, and this girl grabbed princess perfume and before she even smelled it, she had the joke, right? She just oh, this smells almost as bad as music lately. It's like, first of all, I'm sure the perfume sign. Yeah. And second of all, this is Prince.
He's one of the all time greats.
And you can't wait to denigrate him like I want to be like around like, how dare you? Like, as if as if this perfume in any way, in any way mitigates his amazing accomplishments and achievements, you horrible person.
But I do have some great Ayn Rand jokes, and he would not be happy about them.
The perfume thing. The problem with is just not funny. Not that he sucks. OK, great. Not that they dared to try to be humorous because I don't know why you mentioned just because jousters pretty can be funny. Right. But he taught a generation. You still see this on Twitter where things have to be inherently sarcastic and snide. But isn't it I mean aren't you practicing that irony and sarcasm? Here's an example. When people like you say something and someone reply to be like, last I checked, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And I said, I see. I go, what do you think? Saying last I checked, added to your point, you're giving me valuable information and data, but you are trained to believe that it has to be couched in this sneering. It doesn't just give me the information. This is useful information. That's that's true. It's a knee jerk fancy. Jon Stewart did it masterfully. And they don't. And they don't. It's like people copy certain comedians.
You try to copy them and you lose everything in the process of copying how the. Yeah, OK.
But in terms of the philosophy of, you know, selfishness, this kind of individual focused idea and I imagine that connects with you. Yes.
And I think it would connect with more people if they understood what she meant by Nathaniel Branden, who was her er until she kind of broke with him and he was the code to dedicated of Atlas Shrugged said no one will say Ayn Rand's views with a straight face. They won't say, I believe that my happiness matters and is important and is worth fighting for. And that Ayn Rand says this and she's dangerous. Now, it's very easy to say this could have dangerous consequences if you're a sociopath.
But to put it in those terms, I think is extremely healthy. I think more people should want to be happy. And I think a lot of us are raised to be apologetic, especially in the cynical media culture, that if you say I want to be happy, I want to live my life, that it's just like, OK, sweetheart, and the eye rolling. And I think that's so pernicious. It's so horrifying. And this is why I'm a person, because we thought the arch enemy was cynicism and I could not agree more.
Like if you are the kind of person if someone likes a band and you're like, oh, you like them on the block, it's like this gives them happiness. Yeah. Now there's certain exceptions, but it gives you happiness. It's not for you. That's cool.
OK, this is beautiful. I, I so agree with you on the eye rolling. But you see the best of trolling is not the eye roll. Correct.
Of course not. The best of trolling is taking down the high rollers. I'm going to think about that, OK. Because I have Red Bull. Yeah.
Because I put a blood type is Red Bull.
I kind of put them all in the same bin, OK? And they're not. They're not. They're not OK. All right. Here's another example of trolling. I was making jokes about Ron Paul. He just had a stroke. Right. And someone came at me and they're like, oh, blah, blah, blah. You know, you're ugly. I hope you have a stroke. I hope you're in the hospital. And I just go, I just did have a stroke on your mom's face.
So they came at me. Yeah. And now they got put in their place. With a subpar I mean, that wasn't clever, you weren't you weren't clever. Not particularly, no.
Well, one of your things you do, which is interesting, I mean, I give you props in a sense, is you're willing to go farther than people expect you to. Yes. That's fun. Yeah.
In fact, I'll probably edit out like half of this podcast, because the thing you did was she kept in should mention McKayla Peterson as a podcast, which is nice, I guess. Was it on her podcast? She was at mine. She was on yours. We did both. But this is when you're referring to when she was on mine.
She was right and you went right for the fourth.
So I'll tell you what it was, you know, so I opened up. I say, you know, she's Jordan Peterson's dad. And as many people know, Jordan, he's her dad. Yeah. He's had a long issue with substance addiction. And I said to her, you're you know, you're most famous for being, you know, Jordan Peterson's daughter. You know, many people. He's changed so many lives around the world. He's and he's been such an enormous influence to me personally that I've started taking benzodiazepines recreationally.
And she's like, oh, my God, Michael, I saw you because you pulled me in with this because you thought I mean, you know, because he's going through a rough time now. She's going through just everything was just you pulled me in emotionally. I was like, this is going to be the sweet Mike is going to be just this wonderful and then just bam. So that's that's that's that was props to you on that. It wasn't whatever that is, that is an art form.
When done well, it can be taken too far. My criticism is that that feels too good. For some people, what do you mean for, oh, they're too happy being irreverent because to show that they don't care about anything, that's another form of cynicism, though, right?
So if you because you think it's possible to be a troll and still be the live life to its highest ideal in the commercial sense, I try that's kind of my ideal.
I believe it's not. It becomes a drug. I feel like that takes you. I think love ultimately is the way to experience, like every moment of every day.
You don't think that was an expression of I honestly think, well, let's let's let's split hairs here, because I think there's something of use here. I do think that me and me being able to make her laugh about this year of hell she was in does create an element of love and connection between me and her.
Yeah, but I know she would say that. Yes, it wasn't that. It was what you said in combination with the sweetness everywhere else, the kindness. It's a very subtle thing. But like it's like some of the deepest connection with others is when we, like, mock them lovingly or. Yes, that's correct. But like there is stuff. There's kindness around that. Yes, not in words, but in, of course, subtle things because it creates an air of familiarity, of being familial, like we're through this together, like.
Yeah. Yeah, that's missing. That's very difficult to do on the Internet. I agree with you. I agree with you. That's why am I like my general approach on the Internet, is to be more like simple, less witty and more like dumbly loving. But that's not your core competency, being witty. Me, yeah, but I could be witty, you can be, but I'm saying that's not your core competence of the thing. You're bad at it, but I'm saying that's not where you go, like, organically.
Especially with strangers. I just feel like nobody's core competence on the Internet is, I guess if you want to bring love to the world, nobody's core competence is given the current platforms. Nobody's core competence is what it's very difficult to be witty on the Internet with while still communicating kindness like see another example in the same way that you can in physical space. I'll give you another example. Someone came at me and they were like, give me a donation.
People do this all the time and they go, Oh, like I started reading your books because of my wife. And, you know, now watch your shows together, keep up the good work. And I go, what is her boyfriend think? So that is an example of wit and love because that person feels seen. I'm acknowledging them. Yeah. I'm also making jokes at their expense.
We all know it's a joke. So I think we have good point. Language is often used in non literal ways to cue emotional and connectivity is difficult, but it's very difficult.
What you've done is as difficult to accomplish. We've done well and you do like you did. You been doing these last strains, which are nice that people give you a bunch of money and donations and stuff, and then you you'll often like make fun of certain aspects of their questions. And so.
Yeah, but it's always like it's not from love that is genuine annoyance because they ask me some really dumb, but there's still underlying it's not even like there's a kind person under that that's being communicated. That's interesting. But I don't know if I get that from your Twitter. I know I get that from the video. The something about the face, something about like.
Yeah, it's much more the more data, the more easy it is to convey emotion and subtlety. Absolutely. If you only have literally black and white letters, it's going to be or whatever, white and black. If you have night mode, it's going to be a very different it's much more limited information.
Yeah, but this is the fundamental thing is like it's another example. Like if they had access to my face, like a lot of times some people don't know who I am and they come at me, call me a Nazi antisemite. Right. And I start talking about the Jews and just how terrible the Jews are. Now, all my audience knows I'm Jewish, that I went to a Shiva. So they're sitting there laughing because this person is making ask themselves, that person has no idea.
But if there was video, then they would be like, OK, wait a minute.
Something. Yeah, yeah. Something's up. I don't know. I think it's entertaining. I think it's fun, but I just I don't think it's scalable and ultimately. I'm trying to figure out this whole trolling thing, because I think it's really destructive. I've been the outraged mob, the outrage mobs, just the dynamics of Twitter has been really bothering me, OK? And I've been trying to figure out if we can try to build an alternative to Twitter, perhaps, or try to encourage Twitter to be better to have nuanced, healthy conversations.
Like the reason I talk about love isn't just for love sake. It's just a good base from which to have difficult conversations because it's a good starting point, because if you start like I would argue that the kind of conversation you have on Twitter is fun, but it might not be a good starting point for difficult, nuanced conversation.
Well, I'm not interested in having those conversations. Most people know. I know. But I agree with you. And your point is valid. Yes, but like I'm saying. So if we were trying to have a difficult, nuanced conversation about, say, race in America or policing, is there racism and institutional racism or policing? OK, there's the only conversations that have been nuanced about it that I've heard is in the podcasting media, which is the magic of podcasting, which is great.
But that's the downside of podcasting is it's a very small number of people. Even if it's in the thousands, it's still small. And then there's millions of people on social media and they're not having this conversation at all. They're not capable of it.
That's the difference in that's why I believe they are. So there's no doubt of that. And then both of us being not scientific, you don't have data to support your world either.
You're making the claim. Well, you are to know I'm not if I'm looking at an object, the claim that it was broken. Well. No, no, your claims that people are fundamentally stupid, are you a martial artist? Yes. How does it feel to you?
But you really don't think people are deep down like capable of being intelligent? No, not at all.
Not that deep down that surface. I'm not joking and not being tongue in cheek and not being cynical. I do not at all at all think they have this capacity.
I'm going to because you're being so clear about it. You're not even I'm going to say here's here's a here's evidence for my position, not proof. And this is, of course, data that is of little use, but it's of interest. A lot of times when you have an audience as big as mine and people come at you, not only will people say the same thing, the same concept, they'll say the same concept in the same way.
That is not a mind. Yeah, that's surface evidence. You're saying this iceberg looks like this from the surface. I'm saying there's an iceberg there that, if challenged, can. Can rise to the occasion of deep thinking, and you're saying, nope, nope, it's just frozen water, but it's not the Russian expression that's ice cream. No, not my admiration doesn't mean much like no one's there. Actually, I don't know. Yeah, it means like.
Yeah, it's like thought it means to you chordoma. OK, well, so you're challenging me to be a little more rigorous. I think I'll try to challenge you anything. I'm just saying. No, not challenging me, but like I'm challenging myself based on what you're saying, because I'd like to prove you wrong and find actual data to just show you wrong. And I think I can, but I would need to get that data.
That's funny. You said I think I can. When they were working on my biography, Ego and Hubris, the title I had suggested was the little engine that could but shouldn't.
And they didn't like it. I think that's a great title. Pretty good. Yeah.
Speaking of biographies, I mean, when I read your book or listen to your book, listen to this. An audio book for you, right? Yeah, I did the audio. Yeah. Yeah.
You read it. My goal is yes. OK, so this is this is I didn't do Yaroun Brooks voice in the book. I did all the different voices because he has a lisp and I didn't want to sound like I was making fun of him. Yeah, I remember you reading it, but it was I was really enjoying this, you know, it was good. It was like a year, year and a half ago that I can prove this.
Well, let me at a high level see if you can pull this off. If I ask you, what's the book you write about? It's about a group of people who are united solely by their opposition to progressivism who have little else in common, but who are all frequently caricatured and dismissed by the larger establishment media.
But you give this kind of story of how it came to be sure. And to me, like we're talking about trolls, but the Internet side of things is quite interesting, though. First of all, how does. All right. Connect. So the right is the subset of the new right, which feels that race, not racism, is the most or one of the most important sociopolitical issues.
Are any of those folks? Like part of the mainstream or worth paying attention to, not only by the mainstream, the alt right, by definition they would be part of the mainstream, they would not be part of the now, they would not I don't know that any of them well worth.
It's not a position. I'm not in a position they are worth. I would say that it is of use to be familiar with their arguments because to dismiss any school of thought, especially one that has historically gained leverage, especially one that has historically gained leverage in very dark ways, especially in America, in Europe and other places, just to say, oh, they're racist, I don't need to think about them. It doesn't behoove you. So what what lessons do we draw from the 4chan side of things like the Internet side of the movement tits or get the fuck out?
Can you define every single word of this, our breasts, or get the fuck out? That's from 4chan. OK, that's what's what's it mean? Oh, sometimes like a woman will appear on 4chan and they'll just reply tits or get the fuck out. I'm trying to understand what oh, oh, that's the way I just very slow, so that's OK.
So that's very disrespectful towards female members of the community. I don't understand the rules of this community. And one of them is we're not very good with women.
Is that that's one of the principal rule with the principal. We're not going to ever get laid. That's a fundamental principle, is they're going to get fixed picks sometimes.
Sometimes on the Internet, they go, OK.
So is there other actual principles of so like it's from maybe naive perspective is they have like the darkest aspects of trolling, which is like take nothing serious, make a game out of everything. That's not 4chan per say.
One of the things that you will learn 4chan, which I think is very healthy, is if you have an idiosyncratic or unique worldview or focus on an aspect of history or culture, you'll be able to find like minded people who you will engage with you and discuss it without being dismissive. That's an ideal that they well, it's not ideal, it's something that happens a lot, not for chance, not really. Paul is there bored with politics, but they will get into some like the people there are much more erudite than you think.
So they do take my my perception was they take nothing seriously. So there's things that they take seriously, like discussing ideas. I'll give you one example. There was a video someone posted of a girl who put kittens in a bag and threw it in a river and they found out where she was within a day and got her, like, arrested. So, yeah, they do take some things very seriously. OK, but that's such an extreme that I mean, that's good.
First of all, that's heartwarming, that they wouldn't somehow turn that into a thing that feels like more of what is it? What's the other one? HCN, which is twice as good as 4chan.
That's their slogan. But it feels like they're the kind of community that would take that kitten situation and make a mockery. Yeah, there are darker than 4chan.
Yeah. I don't I'm not allowed to talk about 16.
I'm already overwhelmed clearly by 4chan lingo.
I have. I literally wrote down in my notes, um, like in doing research for this conversation, I learned the word pleb.
And I wanted to ask you what this pleb mean, you know, flood means no, I don't. When I saw I mean, actually, no, I don't.
You know, the plebiscite.
I just I don't know what love is like a plebiscite or plebian, OK, but it doesn't mean something more sophisticated.
No, it's a very unsophisticated mechanism of being dismissive of, like, the regular people. You someone who comes at me on Twitter, OK. All right. So back to the 4chan.
All right. There wasn't those are very different concepts. Don't don't conflate them. But which Internet culture was the right born out of?
All right. Was more born of blogs and people had different blogs. They were posting what they call like racial realism, scientific, which is scientific racism, so-called, and, you know, breaking out issues from a racialist perspective. So that wasn't 4chan is much more dynamic. It's a message board. It's a very fluid. So it doesn't lend itself to these kind of in-depth analysis of ideas or history, but it spreads them like the spectrum is. Meems.
And, you know, but but it's not it's not an essential mechanism of of the right. Historical. No, no, no. Don't know most about blogs. OK, so what. What do you make of the psychology of this kind of worldview when you have this goes to your conspiracy theory subject earlier, when you have a little bit of knowledge about something that history that no one's talking about, and there's only one group that is talking about it and they and you have no alternative answers, you're going to be drawn to that group.
So because issues about race, anti-Semitism, homophobia are so taboo in our culture, understandably, there's good reasons if you start putting things like how old should you be who have sex with kids, just have regular conversations. Eventually some people are going to start taking some positions, you know, like so some things have to be sanctified. To some extent. They're the ones talking about it. You're going to be drawn to that subculture.
And where does the race stand now? I mean, I hear that term use the term has been weaponized by the corporate press for people that they want to read out of society. So it's used both on individual levels, like people like government and guess the military anapolis some others. I mean, I think they refer to Trump isn't right. And it's become a slur, just like Insull or Bot that has become largely removed from its original meaning. Do you have a sense that there's still a movement?
That's right. Or like. Yeah, they call themselves now. OK, so there's something called the dissident, right. And they say we're completely not like the old right because the rights A, B and C and we're BCD. There's a huge overlap.
It's very much the same people is they're intellectuals that still represent some some aspect of the movement. I mean, you're tracking this not not that much anymore.
I think they've they're I don't find it particularly as now that the book's done. You know, my I'm looking more into history from my next book. You mentioned communism. I'm going to talk a lot about the Cold War. So this kind of stuff has largely fallen away from my radar to some extent.
And they've also been the it's been a very effective movement to get them marginalized and silenced. So they're not as deep as of a concern in terms of concern and not just their importance is much less than a year or so as a troll on Twitter.
Yeah, in the best sense of the word. What do you make of council culture? I think it's Maoism. I mean, the corporate America has done a far better job of implementing Maoism, the Communist Party ever could, you had this meeting that the longer term, I think, is Northwestern University Law School, where everyone on the call got up and said that they were racist. I mean, this is something that legally you should be very averse to saying, even if it were true.
And it's this kind of concept of getting up and confessing your sins before the collective is something completely roday sorry they admitted this of themselves.
Yeah, they were like because they're saying because they're white, they're inherently racist. So my name is John. I'm a racist. My name is this I'm a racist. It was, it was you hear it and you're like, OK, this is Looney Tunes. So you're saying that. Wow, that's much. You took a step further. So you're saying there's like a a deep underlying force which says council culture. It's not just some kind of mob.
It's not at all.
It's it's a systemic organized movement being used for very nefarious purposes and to dominate an entire nation. How do we fight it, because I sense it inside. You know, I used to defend academia. More because I still do to some extent, it's a nuanced discussion because, you know, like folks like Jordan Peterson and a lot of people that kind of attack academia, they prefer they really are talking about gender studies in certain departments. And me for my Mittie, you know, at the University of Science and Engineering and the faculty there really don't think about these issues or haven't traditionally thought about is beginning to even infiltrate.
There is the, you know, starting to infiltrate engineering and sciences outside of biology. Yeah, let's put biology with the gender studies, like I'm talking about sciences that really don't have anything to do with gender. It's starting to infiltrate. It worries me. I don't know exactly why. I don't know exactly what the negative effect there would be, except it feels like it's anti intellectual. Yes, of course. And I'm not sure what to because. On the surface, it feels like a path towards progress.
At first when when I'm, like, zoomed out, you know, just like like squinting my eyes, you know, not even in detail looking at thing, but when actually join the conversation to like, listen in the conversation on quote unquote diversity, it quickly makes me realize that there's no interest in in making a better world.
No, no. It's about domination. It's about getting. Yeah. It's a way for if you are a lowest status white person, using anti-racism is the only mechanism you will have to feel superior to another human being. So it's very useful for them in terms of fighting it. One of my suggestions has been to seize all university endowments, which are the crystallisation of privilege, and distribute that money as reparations. So be very effective by turning to populations against each other and strongly diminishing the university's intellectual hegemony.
The universities are absolutely the real villains in the picture. Thankfully, they're also the least prepared to be aggressed upon. And after the government and the corporate press, they are the last leg of the stool and they don't know what's coming. And it's going to get ugly and I cannot wait.
So this is where you and I disagree. Part one would. Yeah, we disagree in a sense that you want to dismantle broken institutions.
I don't think that policy of working like by design, I think for over a hundred years they have been talking about bringing the next generation of American leaders, which is code for promulgating an ideology based on egalitarian principles and world domination.
Let me try to express my lived experience, shirker. My experience at Amitay is that there's a bunch of administrators that the bureaucracy. Sure that I can I can say this is the nice thing about having a podcast I don't give a damn is they're pretty useless. In fact, they get in the way. But there's faculty, there's professors that are incredible. They're incredible human beings that all they do all day. They're too busy, but for the most part, they do all day is just like continually pursued different little trajectories of curiosities and in the various avenues of science that they work on and as a side effect of that.
They mentor a group of students, sometimes a large group of students, and also teach courses, and they're constantly sharing their passion with others. And my experience is this just a bunch of people who are curious about engineering and math and science, chemistry, artificial intelligence, computer science, what I'm most familiar with. And there's never this feeling of MIT being broken somehow like this kind of feeling like if I talk to you just now or like Eric Weinstein, there's a feeling like stuff is on fire.
All right. There's some kind of broken. But when I'm in in the system, especially before the covid, before this kind of tension, everything was great. There was no discussion of even diversity, all that kind of stuff, the toxic stuff that we might be talking about right now. None of that was happening was a bunch of people just in love with cool ideas, exploring ideas, being curious and learning and all that kind of stuff. So I don't my my sense of academia was this is the place where kids in their 20s, 30s and 40s can continue the playground of science having fun.
It's if you destroy academia, if you destroy universities like you're suggesting, kind of lessening their power, you take away the playground from these kids to to to play.
It's going to be hard for you to tell me that I'm anti playground.
Yeah, well, I guess I'm saying you're at certain kinds of playgrounds, which is. Yeah. The ones that had the broken glass on the floor. Yeah. I am against those kinds of playgrounds. No, no, you're you're you're no, you say that you listen to the other.
Yeah, I, I would say you're being the watch for mother. Who the one kid who hurt themselves in the glass. One kid. It's the sergeant is generation after generation.
I'm not a watcher, mother. I'm the guy with the flamethrower now.
I understand that. But you're using the one kid who was always kind of like weird gender studies department that that hurt themselves on the glass as opposed to the people who are like, obviously having fun in the playground and not playing by the glass, the broken glass. And they're just I mean, to me, some of the best innovations in science happen in universities. OK, you can't forget that. Universities don't have this liberal like politics literally in. Every conversation until this year, until this year, there's something happening, but every conversation I've ever had, nothing to do with politics would never Trump never came up.
None of that ever come up. Nothing like all this kind of idea that there's liberal all the time, but that that's in the humanities.
Yeah, but do you think MIT, Massachusetts Institute technology might be a little bit of an outlier?
Yeah, that probably is. Yeah, but I, I don't I honestly don't think when people criticize academia they're looking at they're in fact also picking the outliers, which is they're picking some of the quote unquote strongest gender studies department is nonsensical. When I was a Bucknell and I was a college student, we had to take, you know, a whole bunch of electives. And I want to take a class on individual American individualism. One of the architects of the five that we had to read was Birth of a Nation, the movie about the Klan.
Yeah. So there is no department where these people are not thoroughgoing, hardcore ideologues.
This is not an agenda that's fine. All the humanity. It's not just gender studies. OK, fine. I can give you history.
English. Yes, all of them. Every university, as you know, has it mandatory in the curriculum. They have to take a bunch of these propaganda classes.
I look forward to YouTube comments because you're being more eloquent and you're speaking to the thing that a lot of people agree with, and I'm being my usual self and people are going to say not very nice things about me. Don't say anything. Not nice about LAX.
Please let me try to just just shoot up a school that would be preferable. There he goes again.
Only that he goes to the darkest possible place, the sunshine baby schools. That's where everyone goes to be happy playgrounds.
There he goes, dark here. Just dives right in like a just go dark and then just comes back up to the surface.
Not to feel this way anymore.
One day you're probably a figment of my imagination. I'm not even having this bike that well. 18 Red Bulls. I'm surprised you could see anything.
This is like fight for the area.
Yeah, like I got into it at Norton yesterday on the Twitter. Oh, really? Yeah. The like the rest of the celebrities, he's like, oh, this is an existential threat to America trumps the fascist. He's delegitimizing the Oval Office. They said we're not endorsement of Trump.
We should have went to Brad Pitt.
He might have a different opinion, but that's fight club reference. Yeah. This conversation is over. It's interesting. I'd like to draw a line between science and engineering and science, not including like the biological aspect, the parts of biology that touch and humanities and biology like I feel because humanities, if you just look at the percentage of universities, it's still a minority percentage. And I would actually draw a different I think they serve very different purposes. Sure.
And that's actually a broken part about universities. What like why why some of the best research in the world done at universities that doesn't like there might be a different like MIT. It feels weird that a faculty. Yeah, these are conceptually different things. Like we do research and we teach why this. The same guy feels weird, but that's just. But I'm also coming to the defense of the engineers that never talk. I'm not like like my mind isn't I'm not like deluded or something where I'm not seeing the house on fire.
I'm just saying I am seeing the house because I also lived in Harvard Square. I'm seeing Harvard.
But even you see the tanks coming. They're coming like, that's going to be so beautiful. I'm going to be like American Beauty, the plastic bag. I won't be able to stop crying. So beautiful.
Yeah, thanks. I could really I can already see it, but the but the engineering departments were like I believe that the Elon Musk's of the world, that the the like, the innovation that will make a better world is happening and like let's not burn that down because that has nothing to do with any like they're all like sitting quietly while like well the the humanities and all this kind of diversity problems.
They're not having any of these discussions.
Listen, my Soviet brother, you both know we both know that ice water runs in our veins. So if you're calling for mercy, that is not how I'm wired, but I'm not closing the door.
Yeah. I'm actually realizing now for people listening to this, I probably prepend this and saying that I'm even slower than usual. I didn't sleep last night, but I feel I'm actually realizing just how slow I am and how much preparation I need to do in. If I would like to defend aspects of academia, I better come prepared. I don't think you need to defend them.
I think I'm granting you your premise freely.
No, you might be OK.
I don't think the the world is I think you just defeat your own argument because you because it is not at all have to be the way that phenomenal research institution like MIT, which no one disputes, has to also be an educational establishment. These two things are not at all necessarily interconnected. But then you have to offer a way to separate. Correct. But like, I'm not a big fan, everybody is different. But I'm not a fan of criticizing institutions without offering.
Sure. A way to change. And especially when I'm like have ability to change. I'd like to yeah. I'd like to offer a path like what if they weren't students?
They were all men. Like like like what's the opposite of a mentor mentee protege?
What's the term when you graduate, when you work at a place like interns, not interns either. I'm thinking of that anyway. Like basically they're working there instead of going to college.
They're it's possible, but it's going against tradition. And so you have to build new institutions and and then have these engineers building new things. That's crazy. Yeah. These research engineers, well, they're going to be building things.
Well, one of the things is you're kind of apprentice. That's the way I was looking at Apprentice, which is ironic. We're talking about Trump. We can think of The Apprentice. Yeah, well, then we should both be fired.
You go these Russian Jews so quick with their wit. But the thing is, you're a fan of freedom. I am, and there's there is intellectual freedom. This is what I was trying to articulate. I'm failing to articulate. But there truly is complete intellectual freedom within universities on topics of science and engineering.
I believe you. I agree with you. I don't think it's going to take much persuasion. But I'll give you an example when that I'm sure you know more details about this than I do when that scientists engineered that probe to land on that comet. And the articles are written because this Hawaiian shirt he was wearing head like Pin-Up girls on it, which I think is female student sewed for him or something, ex-girlfriend. And he had to apologize. This is what Rand was talking about.
Yeah. That the great accomplishments of men have to say, I'm sorry to the lowest, most despicable, disgusting people. Yeah, I don't know, you know, let me bring this case up, because I think about this. This might not mean much to you, but it means a lot to certain aspects of the computer science community. There's a guy named Richard Stallman, none of you know who that is. He's the founder of the Free Software Foundation.
He's a big Linux. He's one of the key people in the history of computer science, one of those open source people. Right. But he is like I believe he's the one of the hardcore ones, which is like all software should be free. OK, OK. Very interesting personality, very key person in the news, just like Linus Torvalds, the key person. So but he also kind of speaks his mind and on a certain chain of conversations.
At MIT that was leaked to The New York Times, then was published, led him to be fired or pushed out of MIT recently, maybe a year ago, and it was that weird with me. So what happened is. There's a few undergraduate students that called Marvin Minsky, not sure if you're familiar with that is I've heard the name. He's one of the seminal people in artificial intelligence. They they said that they called him a rapist because he met with Jeffrey Epstein and Jeff Epstein, solicited to.
These are the best facts known to me that I'm aware of that was stated on the chain is he solicited 17, but it might have been an 18 year old girl to come up to Marvin Minsky and ask him if he wanted to have sex with her. So Jeffrey Epstein told the girl, yeah, she came up tomorrow and miscues at that time as I think seven years old and his wife was there to make his wife and he said no or like, you know, awkwardly.
Thank you. Thanks.
And. That was stated in the email thread as Marvin participating in sexual assault and rape of this unwilling sexual assault, and it was called rape of this person, of the woman that proposition him. And then Richard Stallman, who's the he's kind of known for this is his you make fun of me being a robot, but he's kind of like a debugger.
He's like, well, that sentence is not what you said is not correct. So he corrected the person, uh, basically made it seem like the use of the word rape is not correct, because that's not the definition of rape. And then he was attacked for saying, oh, now you're playing with definitions of rape. Rape is rape is the answer. And then that was leaked in him defend. So the way was leaked, it was reported as him defending rape.
That's the way it was reported.
And he was pushed out and he didn't really give a damn it, he doesn't seem to make a big deal out of it.
He just left me an example of him that made an example and that and everyone was afraid to defend him. So there's a bunch of faculty want to hear from the Soviet Union that had close to home for you. I don't know what to think of it. It hits close to home, but it was basically at least in Amitay and it is such a light place with this. It's not common in City, but it was like 18, 19 year old kids, undergraduate kids with this kind of fire in them, just very few of them.
But they're the ones that resolve this kind of fuss and. The entirety of the administration, all the faculty are afraid to stand up to them.
It's so interesting to me, like, I don't know if I should be afraid of that, you don't think you should be afraid to read someone who's trying to be specific when it comes to charges of violent assault is looking for that clarity, can get their life on searches, letting them give you more context.
There's a little bit more context.
Richard Stallman, which is he was also no doubt that party like people, but he had a history through his life of, you know, every once in a while wearing the Hawaiian shirt with like he would make his fat. Sorry, but he's a fat, unattractive like what Trump referred to the guy in the basement. That's Richard. You know, this is you know, he is what he is. You know, people he like he would eat his own.
He picked skin from his feet in lectures and just eat it. OK, yeah. This is him doing this.
I'm not joking. He must really be high on the spectrum then. Yeah. Yeah.
And and you know, he, I think this and his office door, he wrote something like a like hacker plus plus lover of ladies or something like that.
Like something kind of. Yeah yeah. Yeah.
So professional young professional and a little creepy. Yeah. Yeah. You know that's fair.
So he was also so they're looking for an excuse to at him it sounds like.
I know he was just a who's they.
The administration. Yeah, probably, probably a lot of times what people don't realize, and this would be my defense of Cancela culture, a lot of times when someone gets fired over something like this, this isn't why this is just giving them cover to get rid of them without getting a lawsuit. Yeah, but it's still so I think I guess what I'm trying to communicate is he was a little weird and creepy and he may not be the best for the community, but that's not necessarily the message it sent to the rest of the community.
The message was sent to the rest of the community that being clear about words or the usage of the word rape is like you should call everything rape. That's basically the message you sent for. You should call that we say rape, rape. It's about submission.
I think you'd be very happy to know that there's a lot of people and she's very conservative ideas like Betsy divorce, the a part of education who are aware of this. They are aware that this completely contradicts due process. They're aware of how a rape accusation is something not to be taken seriously, but because it's not to be taken seriously, it has to be also taken seriously out of context that, you know, once that word is around a male, this can ruin his entire life.
And that's that's the sticky thing of the word. Like I. Like, I think about this a lot, that. Like, how would I defend it if somebody like I've never I can honestly say I've never done anything close to creepy in my life, like with like with women, but you wouldn't know it if you had.
Right. That's the thing. A lot of these creepy guys don't think they're creepy. They think they're being cute.
Yeah, but I'm just telling you, even like, fine. Let's say. Right. Let's say I'm not aware of it. But the point that I am aware of is that somebody can just completely make something up.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. OK. And like, what a world. I know he denied the charges. There's an article about everything he did supposedly. And he goes, Mr. Freeman denied the charges.
Yeah, but what creeps me out that happened.
Can I interrupt? Zora Neale Hurston is one of my favorite writers. She's from the Harlem Renaissance. She wrote their eyes were watching God, a couple of other books. She was just an amazing, amazing figure. Her biography is called Wrapped in Rainbows. It's just a masterpiece like I think I read it one day. Can recommend her now. Fascinating. Fascinating woman during the 30s, I think it was her 1940. She was out of the country.
She was accused of molesting a teenage boy. She wasn't in America. This could be proven. So there is absolutely false. Not even a question. She was indicted. And she wanted to kill herself because she's like people are going to see these things and they're going to think maybe there's some truth to it, maybe it's voluntary, what they're just going to and you could understand why she'd be suicidal over this. So, yeah, this this this is something that's been going on for a long time.
And the fact that it's becoming I do agree. It's important. I know a lot of women who have been sexually assaulted more than I am happy that I know. And if I know that, maybe that means there's more. So I don't I think it's a good idea that they feel seen, that they don't feel wounded, they don't feel damaged. They can talk to their friends. And I'm like, this sucks has happened to you. And I don't think you're a slut.
I don't think you're asking for it. I think you feel violated. I think it's gross. Talk to me like I do think that that's important. And I also think it's important, though, like when things get kind of in a frenzy that a lot of people like you, I also had something happen. And very quickly, the line between he grabbed my boob and he violently raped me. I don't think these two things are the same at all.
I think they're both sexual assault. But in terms of what someone can deal with the next day, the next month, 10 years later, I don't think there's similar scenarios. Yeah, I had Juanita Broaddrick on my show and hearing her talk about, you know, her alleged rape by Bill Clinton was very disturbing for me, very disturbing to hear because it was like half an hour.
So we think of these things and think, OK, hold her now, blah, blah. And it's done half an hour when just even someone physically holding you down for half an hour, like not even a sexual assault.
Yeah, like that's traumatic. Yeah. You think am I your brain is going to think, am I going to die when I zoom out?
I think the ultimately this is going to lead to a better world, like empowering women to speak to those kinds of experiences. The benefit of it outweighs the the issue is whenever people are given a weapon, some are going to use it in nefarious ways. And that's the lesson of history. Males when males, females, whites, blacks, children, adults, when people are given a mechanism to execute power over others, some are going to use it.
Can I ask you for therapy thing?
Sure. And controlling in a sense, because I mentioned somebody making up something about me. I feel because I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm not good with these attacks like I've been attacked recently, just being called a fraud and all that kind of stuff, just like stuff like, you know. It was like it hurt. OK, well, let me help you. Maybe it's because I'm a New Yorker. No, I'm serious. Here's why.
In New York.
A lot of times you'll be walking with your friend and a homeless person will come up to you and start yelling things that you your reaction isn't in those circumstances. Let me hear.
So your reaction is physical safety and getting away. Now, it's not impossible that that homeless person is actually saying the truth.
This happened to my friend, but this guy wasn't homeless and he's walking down the street on Smith Street and he's just talking out loud. And it goes, why they call them hipsters. What are they hip to? And she chuckles and it goes, what are you laughing at, fatso? You start something, I finish it.
And she she just couldn't move. Yeah. And it's like it's my weight problem because that's the first thing he went to. And there's I don't know that I have any advice, but when you hear something like this, this is I think you need to be better in terms of boundaries. I think you should not perceive this as a fellow human, but as a crazy homeless person. Because if this fellow human if I thought that you were a fraud in some context, that's a very weird word to use because fraudulent podcasters, these are real mikes.
But if I was a scientist or human, sure. But I would ask myself, is this person in a position to make this judgment or are they backing it up? Are they saying, here are your conclusions were wrong, here's some mistakes in your data and you can engage them in ideas. But whenever someone uses a word to entirely dismiss your life without having the knowledge of your life, you do not have to take that seriously.
I appreciate that kind of idea. But the some things aren't about data. Like, you know, I see myself as a fraud often, and it's it's more psychology of it. Um, if I can reduce something to reason, I can probably be fine. My worry is the same as the worry of, like teenage girls. They get bullied online. It's like when I'm being open and fragile on the Internet. It affects me in a way where I can't reason, doesn't help you, helps me, you don't block people enough.
I'm very happy with the blocking. No, I see I'm very heavy block called banality.
I block immediately. I also think time is going to help. I don't think you're like one of your podcasts. Right. That wasn't your aspiration. So in some sense, you are going to feel like a fraud because you're like, I don't have any training for this. I'm training for a scientist. I can talk to you about artificial intelligence for literally hours. But in terms of this thing I'm doing, I'm kind of. So when they call you a fake, it's like, yeah, you're kind of right, because, like, I did kind of stumble into this.
Yeah. This is not my pedigree. So I think that kind of probably speaks to you on some level.
But they're they're attacking not the podcast, but more like the same people call Elon Musk of fraud, to which that's the way I rationalize it. Like, well, if they're calling him a fraud and they're calling me a fraud. The like, even if you have rockets that go into like if you successfully have rockets landing back on Earth, reusable rockets, you're still being called a fraud, then it's OK.
Not necessarily. It could be that he's not a fraud. You really are. That's but not resonating with you because your brain knows the logic, so you can write. But yeah. Yeah, but I don't know this whole trolling thing, you seem to be much better at seeing it as a game. You know why?
Because you are under the delusion that every human being is capable, intelligent, reasoned decision. They'll think I'm right and I perceive them as literally animals. So when a dog starts barking, all it's saying is that the dog is agitated and this is not going to change my life one iota other than crossing the street.
Perhaps I'm going to prove you wrong one day if you're going to kill yourself because you know, the first shoot up a school. But if I don't, I'll prove you wrong. I'll bring the data and they'll be like, you're right. I have the receipts, the receipts.
OK, so we mentioned. Oh, yeah. Love him.
Is there this is this is this is a question that people like love when I ask a very smart people or does love know what what books.
Let's say three books if you can think of them. Technical fiction, philosophical. Would you had a big impact on you or would you recommend to others or the Machiavellians by James Burnham.
This is a book about how politics works in reality as opposed to how people imagine it working. Mencius Mahlberg, who's a figure in these circles, who's respected by a lot of people. I was giving a talk and there was a bunch of panelists and we were asked, what book would you recommend? I said, the Machiavellians independently of me. That was the book he had recommended. It's out of print. It's hard to find, but that would be one.
Is that his book? James Burnham came out in nineteen forty one?
I think so. Can you pass on the mulches with Just Bug? That's a code name, right? The guy named that guy PNC Arbain. This is real name. He's in his suppose in your circles, which he does some kind of program is originally program, yet he comes up as a person that I should talk with or should know about. But then I read a few of his things and they're quite dangerous. They're very long and verbose. But I think he's an amazing thinker.
Yeah, but he's the one who had the idea of sending the tanks to Harvard Yard. But doesn't he have like.
He's some radical I forget what they are, very radical views. Yeah, he was a military coup. But you're saying he's a serious thinker, this is worthy of not worthy. I don't know that you would enjoy having a conversation with him. I think a lot of people enjoy seeing it happen, but I think would be a lot of talking past each other and it would be interesting. What do you agree with? What do you want to do?
OK, what do you agree? What you disagree?
I agree with him that politics has to be looked at objectively and without kind of an emotional connection to different schools. I talk about him a lot in my book on the new right. Disagree. I don't think a military coup is a good idea. He's he doesn't think anarchism is stable. I disagree.
I mean, you mean him, I did his last year with him, we just talked a lot about history and like, you know, people have fallen in the memory hole. So, I mean, he's got a lot of writing, so.
So, you know, the sense I got from him was that if I talk with him, a lot of people will be upset with me for giving him a platform.
Yeah, I think he's on that edge where they want to read him out of what is acceptable discourse. What's his most controversial? I mean, you can mention the tanks. Is that the most controversial viewpoint? Does he have a race thing?
No, he's the the ultra doesn't particularly like him in many ways because he's not a big on the race thing. I don't know what would be his most controversial view, to be honest. I think because he is radical in terms of his analysis of culture, any time someone's a radical, that is dangerous. OK, book. So that's one the fact that his head, which is a I would say Al shrug no. And if you read Atlas Shrugged before reading The Fountainhead, you're doing yourself an enormous disservice.
Don't you dare do it on the philosophical, because every novel, every every level Fountainhead is a better novel. Fountainhead superfluous. If you read Atlas Shrugged first Fountainhead is about psychology and ethics. It does not have to do with her politics other than its implications. So it's by far the superior book on the third one.
Oh, this is a good one question. Let me see. Well, there's so many good books out there that I love.
I I'm going to this is not really my third choice, but I'll throw it out there because I this is such an important worldview, especially for people on the right, because, you know, this is counter signaling that it's Russell's book, A Renegade History, the United States.
His thesis is that it's the degenerates that give us all freedom and things like prostitutes, things like madams, things like slaves, things like immigrants, because they were so low status, they could get away with things that then people who have higher status demanded and so on and so forth. So I think that thesis and it really has extreme consequences in thinking. And no, on Jonathan Haidt, the righteous mind, that's those are the four. Is that his best I haven't read any of his stuff.
Don't know what you want. OK. That was for but of course, forgot that he would now forget that is this those are the three.
So we talk about love. Let me ask you the other question I'm obsessed with, are you. Do you ponder your own mortality?
I do a lot, especially now that I'm an uncle, especially now that I have, like, these younger people that I mentor. I was just yesterday my friend John Gurgis, who did my theme song for my podcast, who did the book cover for Dear Reader, who's like the most talented person I know. His song came on the iPod at the gym, and I almost message to him, I go, you know, one day one of us is going to bury the other and it's going to be really sad.
And I thought about that. And it was kind of like, oh, man, that's really going to suck. And, you know, I don't know which scenario would be better like I do. I will be very sad. If he's gone, I'm sure he'll be very sad if I'm gone. I mean, what are you afraid of it? No. You know, Rand had this quote about how I won't die, the world will end.
So I've had enough experiences that I, I really at this point and everything is icing on the cake. So if you if I were to kill you at the end of this podcast, if it's painless, they'll be OK.
Yeah. You know, why does anyone know you're here with me?
You know why. I'll ask you for free. Here's why. There's that wite. Save that for Twitter. Do they call you Sasha? No, I'm Alyosha.
Oh, that's my sister's husband.
OK, so here's why I strongly believe and this is a very kind of Jewish perspective, that you just have to leave the world a little bit better than you found it, that all you could do is move the needle a little. And one of the things I set out to do with Dear Reader, my book in North Korea, I said I was at a point in my career where I could do something to make a difference instead of just writing like coauthoring books with celebrities, which I'm very proud of.
But, you know, neither here nor there. And I thought, all right, I know how to tell stories. I know how to inform people in one hundred, ten people. If I move the needle in America cares. We got a really good here. If I move the needle in North Korea a little bit, the cost benefits through the roof.
I never thought of that. Actually, I never thought it deviated from that perspective.
So when I set out to write it, I'm like, OK, what can I do? I'm not going be able to liberate the North Korean regime.
What I can do is the camera right now is focused on at the time, Kim Jong Il, not Kim Jong un. And I can do just this just this a little bit. And I go behind that guy who you think is funny clown. There's millions of dead people. There's children being starved. There's people who are performing because they have a gun to the kid's head. And if someone put a gun to your kid's head, you put on those dancing shoes real quick.
And I and others have managed to change the conversation about North Korea in terms of look at those silly buffoons to those poor people. So the fact that that little thing I can say with a straight face I did doesn't make me a great person. But it does make me someone who if I have to go tomorrow, I can say I did a little bit to make the world a better place. What do you think is the meaning of life? I think the meaning of life is.
Why are we here? Oh, well, that I'm a camera person, so I'll give the camera answer. So there's two types of people, those who know how to use binary.
No, thanks. Thanks for relating to the audience.
One one zero zero one two two downvote freak is this length. So and I use this example in my forthcoming book. You go into a countryside about inside and you see a blank canvas on an easel and one kind of mentality goes, this is just a blank canvas. This is stupid. This is what am I looking at? And the other type goes, what a great opportunity. I'm in this beautiful space. I have this entire canvas to paint.
I could do anything I want with it. So I very much of that type to person and I hope others start to think of life in that way. You and I have both been more successful than we expected to, especially growing up and in ways we did not expect. And when you're young, you are so intent on driving the car and after a certain point you realize it's not about driving the car. You're being a surfer, that you can only control this little board and you have no idea where the waves will take you.
And sometimes you're going to fall down and someone's going to suck a sucker. They're going to swallow some saltwater. But at a certain point, you stop trying to drive and you're like, this is freaking awesome and have no idea where it's going to go. Beautifully put, I know I speak for a lot of people, first of all, everyone loves the game you play on the Internet. It's fun, not you make the world not every day.
They came for me hard, but it makes the world seem fun.
And especially in this dark time, it's it's much appreciated. And we can't wait till the next book and the many to come and to hopefully many more Joe Rogan appearances. You guys do some great magic together.
That's you. Yeah.
You're one of my favorite guests on his show, so I can't wait, especially if you can make it before the election. Thanks so much for making this happen. I'm glad you came down. You're awesome. Thank you so much.
What a great company. Thanks for listening to this conversation with Michael Mallis and thank you to our sponsors, ACM Rush, which is a CEO optimization tool, Doordarshan, which is my go to food delivery service and master class, which is online courses from world experts. Please check out the sponsors in the description to get a discount and to support this podcast. If you enjoy this thing, subscribe on YouTube, review it with five stars and have a podcast.
Follow on Spotify, support on or connect with me on Twitter, Elex Friedman. And now let me leave you with some words from Michael Mallis. Conservatism is progressivism driving the speed limit? Thank you for listening. Hope to see you next time.