The Joe Rogan Experience #1203 – Eric Weinstein

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Key Takeaways
  • We should all be mature enough, to be able to point out that there’s something wrong with someone’s idea, and have it not become a big personal thing – but that’s often not the case
  • Not being easily swayed, and sticking to your own principles, is the best way to avoid getting swept up in the madness of others
  • Tragedies tend to bond people together
  • “A lot of things that are in the neighborhood of bullying, might actually be intimacy building”
  • What does it mean to say the universe is “expanding”?
    • It does NOT mean that the matter in the universe is moving outward
    • It technically means that the “space time metric, on space like cross-sections… its volume form, when integrated is higher” – This probably doesn’t make any sense without watching
  • This (the video on the left) is a very confusing visual image of the fundamental unit that you need to appreciate, to understand what gauge symmetry is all about
    • Eric calls this “the most important object in the universe”
  • “Spinners” are objects, which don’t come back to themselves after 360 degrees of rotation, but require 720 degrees
    • Here’s an example
    • “This 720 degree theory, is entirely responsible for the world that we live in, and no one knows about it”
  • “Most learning disabilities are actually teaching disabilities” – People don’t know how to teach the smartest kids
  • Every single person should learn to play the harmonica
  • Check out this video – look how intricate and large ant colonies are
  • We need an appreciation for each other, that everyone has their own opinions/perspectives – have empathy, and agree to disagree if need be
  • A good thing to do, practice asking yourself – “Why am I so sure I’m correct?”
Intro
It’s Weird Out There – 00:10
  • All these people get upset at almost anything you do 
  • It’s the “era for disagreeability”
    • Not being easily swayed, and sticking to your own principles, is the best way to avoid getting swept up in the madness of others
  • Joe – We should all be mature enough, to be able to point out that there’s something wrong with someone’s idea, and have it not become a big personal thing – but that’s often not the case
  • An interesting thought
    • When someone says, “I’m above this type of behavior,” what’s most likely, is they weren’t above that type of behavior at some point in their life, or they’re currently not above that type of behavior, and they wish they were
      • OR – The part of them that’s speaking is above that behavior, but that’s not the part of them that’s going to be operative at 11pm on a Friday at a bar
      • “We are permanently in our own blind spot, because the part of us that is just, and good, seems to know very little about the other part”
  • We work to be accepted instead of being honest about who we are/how we operate/how we think and behave
    • We project an image
Vice Signaling and Virtue Signaling – 5:35
  • What’s vice signaling?
    • Example – an alcoholic really opening about about their problems
    • Or another relevant example – Think what Dan Blizerian does
      • Check out the new house that Dan Blizerian just bought
    • It’s basically radical honesty
    • Joe also does this to a certain extent – he openly and honestly talks/promotes about things people don’t want to really talk about
  • “In this world of virtue signaling, vice signaling is really the growth industry”
    • That’s what’s working for good people
  • “We only have 100 years if everything goes perfect, why does anyone give a shit?” – Joe
    • But they do…
Tragedy and Togetherness – 11:30
  • The recent California fires
    • Joe had to be evacuated at 2:30am
      • He got a hotel
      • He told his family – just get up and go, forget grabbing things – “It’s either replaceable or you don’t need it that much anyway”
  • In a way, tragedies bring people together
    • “This is strange feature of the world. A random arrival of adversity is very often what bonds you to some particular human being.”
    • “If you avoid adversity in groups your whole life, you probably don’t realize that you’re never fully activated as a human being.”
  • “Often men need to give each other shit, to form very deep bonds”
    • This is in a similar fashion to how dogs, or bears, play fight
    • “A lot of things that are in the neighborhood of bullying, might actually be intimacy building” – Like fraternity hazing
      • “The fear of the ‘hazing ritual’ gone wrong, may actually stop people from ever actually forming the really deep bonds to last a life time
We’ve Gotten Too Sensitive – 19:50
  • People blew up in the comments when Joe posted this picture
    • “When you go that hard to define yourself, that’s needy as shit. It’s fucking annoying.”
    • “People shouldn’t get mad that I said, ‘That’s a little nuts,’ it is a little nuts!”
  • Eric says he has maquillaphobia– the fear of cosmetics
    • “I have a feeling that to other people, cosmetics look very different than the way they do to me”
    • “We all have these weird quirks, but the question is, with whom should we be sympathetic, and with whom should we say ‘You’re being judgmental’?” 
      • So do we sympathize with people like Eric, or the people wearing cosmetics
  • Women’s shoes with the giant stilettos freak Joe out
    • “I can’t imagine wearing something to the point that would physically compromise me from running away”
    • A cool fact – high heels were originally developed for men, so they could better ride horses
      • High heels eventually got taken over by women
    • The way Eric thinks about them – “The cost of the heel is part of the communication.” – By wearing them, you’re saying something like “I’m willing to do something that is clearly not comfortable, or for my benefit in any other way, so much so, that you can tell that I must be interested in sending a signal”
  • Wearing a tie, is something similar that men do
    • According to Joe, you could easily kill a man with a tie
The Health Concerns with MMA – 32:27
  • Number 1 is the weight cutting
    • How does this work? If you wanted to compete in the 170 lb. division, but weighed 190 lbs., a few days before the fight you dehydrate yourself very radically, and then rehydrate yourself (in conjunction with other electrolytes and nutrients) to get your weight up as high as possible
    • This is very dangerous and unhealthy
      • Especially for your kidneys and other organs
    • Head trauma, to someone who is dehydrated, compounds the severity
    • Why is this a concern? – There’s not enough weight classes  for MMA (there’s 155lbs. and 170lbs.)
  • Number 2 is the broken bones etc.
Explaining Complex Topics to Lay People – 41:01 
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson does a good job of explaining astrophysics
  • “When people say the universe is expanding, what the fuck does that mean?” – Eric
    • “The infinite universe is getting more infiniter?” – Joe 
    • It does NOT mean that the matter in the universe is moving outward
    • It technically means that the “space time metric, on space like cross-sections… its volume form, when integrated is higher”
      • Eric explains this with a water bottle – if you think of the water bottle as the universe, it’s not expanding, the cross sections of the water bottle are expanding (Note from Podcast Notes – this probably doesn’t make any sense without watching)
  • Joe doesn’t understand the big bang (he’s not alone)
    • Eric has a good point – We’re probably less sure of how this happened that we’re making it out to be
Gauge Symmetry50:20
  • This (the video on the left) is a very confusing visual image of the fundamental unit that you need to appreciate, to understand what gauge symmetry is all about
    • Eric calls this “the most important object in the universe”
    • It’s a 2D sphere (that is the surface of the earth), where an extra circle is included at every point on the surface of that sphere, and that extra circle (called the fiber)…when you take the totality of all those circles together, one for each point on the surface of the sphere, they create something called a “3 sphere” (all the points that are 1 unit of distance away from the origin in four dimensional space)
      • The three dimensional sphere, is an analog of the two dimensional sphere sitting in three dimensional space
      • Think of it like caramel being wrapped around an apple (a sphere) – the video is the 3 dimensional version of caramel wrapped around the 3 dimensional apple/sphere sitting in 4 dimensional space
  • So what’s gauge symmetry?
    • When doing differential calculus (like calculating slopes – the rise over the run) a question arises – where you do you measure the rise from?
      • If you were measuring the height of Mount Everest, you’d say it’s X ft. above sea level
        • That reference level is the magic of gauge theory
        • The rise over the run is measured based on a custom level
    • OR think about it this way
      • An employer pays an employee a fixed salary, despite high inflation, but the employee suggests he be paid by not a constant amount, but based on his purchasing power
      • In the employee’s world – the salary should not be constant, but be calculated relative to purchasing power (a custom reference level)
    • Gauge theory brings in a reference level
    • Those stairs, in gauge theory, would be the reference levels for the derivative
    • Eric challenges Joe to take a coffee cup, held from the bottom, and without moving his fingers, rotate it 360 degrees
      • It would be done in a similar fashion to the above video
      • This requires 720 degrees of rotation unexpectedly
    • This cup-arm system is an example of the fact that there are objects, which don’t come back to themselves after 360 degrees of rotation, but require 720 – these objects are known as “spinners”
    • “This 720 degree theory, is entirely responsible for the world that we live in, and no one knows about it”
      • Without this, you wouldn’t have the Pauili exclusion principle or the exclusion of matter
Discovering the Hidden World with Square Roots – 1:19:08
  • Someone takes Ayahuasca (or any other psychedelic), having no idea that their brain is capable of this alternate state
  • “Psychedelics are like square roots. They can take you from a place you know, to a place you never imagined could have existed”
    • Example – Take the square root of (-1) …we go from real numbers…to complex numbers (two different domains)
    • “The square root is the most profound object in mathematics to me”
  • This is really what physics is all about – discovering more and more about what we did not know to ever exist
Why don’t we really dive deep, and teach kids theoretical physics? – 1:21:55
  • “I think people are terrified of just how smart children are”
  • “The differences between children have to be buried” –
    • Some children are great at “abstraction”, but a lot of the children that are great at abstraction are “learning disabled” in the eyes of the teaching system
  • “Most learning disabilities are actually teaching disabilities” – People don’t know how to teach the smartest kids
The Big Bang – 1:32:15
  • ~14 billion years ago
    • This is very hard for humans to grasp – we know what 100 yards looks like, what a year feels like etc. – but to actually grasp how long ago 14 billion years was, is a challenge
Space-Time – 1:34:01
  • A space-time metric = 4 degrees of freedom plus rulers and protractors
    • What does this mean? – So you can measure length and angle (including in the time direction)
  • Eric wraps everything together
    • The space-time metric generates a derivative operator (which is rise over run relative to a custom reference level), the custom reference levels generate the Escher stair case, and that generates the curvature tensor, which generates gravity
    • This is theoretical physics – 4 degrees of freedom, plus rulers and protractors, which give you derivative operators with custom reference levels. The custom reference levels don’t knit together, which leads to the Escher stair case, the degree of “Eshcerness” is the curvature tensor, and the curvature tensor generates the gravity which holds us to the earth.
Why Everyone Should Learn to Play the Harmonica – 1:40:20
  • “Everyone should learn to play the harmonica or know why they’re not doing it. It’s so nice, it’s so simple, and there’s such a small number of people that can play. There’s so few secrets to it. You have to have a reason for not being able to play it. I can feed myself, I can meet people, I can get housing, shelter, and all I have to do is carry around this piece of plastic with some metal on it.
More on Psychedelics – 1:45:45
  • Joe says one of the best ways to get out of a bad trip, is to sing your way out of it
  • Joe said, while tripping to this, he saw geometric conscious entities/patterns – “Like the hallucinations are actually supposed to dance”
  • “My hypothesis has been, that the music acts as a prosthesis, to sort of lock you in because a psychedelic experience is so powerful” – Eric
    • Think about it – we don’t use shamans and music when we drink a glass of whiskey
Obligate Siblicide – 1:56:55
  • This is when one sibling (of some animal – like a bird) kills its other sibling, in front of the parents, when the two siblings are still very young
Are humans really more important than ants? – 2:09:30
  • If humans didn’t exist, and were wiped of the planet, all the other animals would be okay
  • It’s been proven, that if all insects were wiped off the planet – it’d probably collapse all the ecosystems needed to sustain human life
  • “If I can just piss on your house while jogging, I’m a more important thing than you.” – Joe (is high)
    • A cool fact on ants – When combined, all ants in the world weight about as much as all human beings
    • Check out this video – look how intricate and large ant “houses” are
  • “The really interesting thing about humans, is we’re the only species that understands the game we’re in, and we can reject the game” – Eric
    • Every other species is playing the game
  • Think about life this way – “There’s no significance to the game [of life] if you just take a completely materialistic view – It’s one rock, one speck, big deal”… (The “big deal” is sarcastic)
Weird Creatures – 2:20:55
Bear Hunting – 2:28:50
  • Bear hunting is one of the only ways to control the bear population
  • Joe prefers to hunt deer and elk – he says they’re the most delicious to eat
Politics, The News and More – 2:48:50
  • Eric asks Joe, “Is there a way in which this political “epic” comes to an end?”
    • “The only hope that I have, is if reasonable dialogue becomes an accepted and celebrated thing” – Joe
    • There’s such stupidity to this team mentality we have – the right vs. left (Joe)
    • “Most reasonable people have a collection of ideas that they share from both the right and the left” Joe
      • We need an appreciation for each other, that everyone has their own opinions/perspectives – have empathy, and agree to disagree if need be
    • A good thing to do, practice asking yourself – “Why am I so sure I’m correct?”
  • They go on for a while here, none of which is all that interesting. start at 2:48:50 to hear the whole discussion, here are some highlights:
    • “Every news outlet that has a grand narrative, cannot report the news that goes counter-narrative” – Eric –  3:12:00
      • Example – Racism by blacks against whites, cannot be reported by any outlet that believes racism by blacks against whites is impossible
    • The Victoria Secret lingerie division head, recently had to step down, after the company had said they didn’t want trans people walking the Victoria Secret runway – 3:14:45
    • Joe and Eric chat about of Bret Weinstein and Richard Dawkins, and a recent discussion they had – 3:25:48
Twitter – 3:47:30
  • Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter. has teased about deleting follower counts and the likes, so they’re no longer viewable
    • Joe thinks this is stupid
Random
  • Eric did stand up recently for the first time – he now realizes how hard it actually is
    • Just like there’s only around 1,000 people in the world who understand gauge theory, Joe estimates there’s only around 1,000 true stand up comedians
  • Joe has bunnies, and he says all they do all day long is beat each other up
    • One is actually missing – he thinks it got eaten by a coyote or a hawk swooped down to grab it – 1:53:00
  • Eric wants to start a podcast
  • Check out Jordan Peterson’s interview with GQ
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