#300 – Joe Rogan: Comedy, Controversy, Aliens, UFOs, Putin, CIA, and Freedom | Lex Fridman Podcast

Check out the Lex Fridman Podcast episode page and show notes

Key Takeaways

  • Controversy is an opportunity to grow
    • It’s an opportunity to express yourself under pressure – you get the most honest version of a person when they’re under extreme duress
  • “I got to see the wiring under the machine on how the rest of media would try to take me out” – Joe Rogan
    • It’s easy to be adversarial, it’s hard to be empathetic
    • Traditional media outlets don’t spend much time on the latter
  • An opinion spoken out loud doesn’t make it any more relevant than if it was kept silent
    • Limit your critics to a small group of trusted people – “You’re not supposed to be taking in the opinion of the world” – Joe Rogan
  • You can learn anything from anyone, as long as you approach it with compassion
    • “Even people I don’t like. I try to look at the best aspects of how they live their life and recognize those aspects, admire them, and give them credit for it” – Joe Rogan
  • Art is a window into the culture of the time
    • Much of Lenny Bruce’s material (one of Joe’s favorite comedians) was taboo for the time, but it’s normal now—making it not that funny to the present day viewer.
  • Lex is heading to Russia/Ukraine to see what the war has done to the culture and the soul of the people—and comparing the conditions to his past experiences and understanding.
    • “Nothing reveals the spirit of a people better than war” – Lex Fridman
    • Buying a one-way ticket. Estimates he’ll be gone one month but doesn’t want to put a timeline on this exploration.

Intro

The Art of Living

  • “Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing. To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it. To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.” – Lex Fridman quoting Charles Bukowski
    • Practicing an art that no one appreciates doesn’t make it art
  • “The way people live life is art” – Joe Rogan
    • Discipline and kindness are two personal traits that Joe considers art
    • “Discipline is art…there’s an art to maximizing the grind” – Joe Rogan
  • You can learn anything from anyone, as long as you approach it with compassion
    • “Even people I don’t like. I try to look at the best aspects of how they live their life and recognize those aspects, admire them and give them credit for it” – Joe Rogan

How Joe Rogan Handles Controversy

  • How does Joe Rogan handle all the controversy that follows him? Mushrooms (micro-dosing 1 gram) and working out.
    • Brutal exercise makes everything else easier
    • “I create my own bullshit. And my own bullshit is so much harder.” – Joe Rogan
  • Controversy is an opportunity to grow
    • It’s an opportunity to express yourself under pressure – you get the most honest version of a person when they’re under extreme duress.
  • An opinion spoken out loud doesn’t make it any more relevant than if it was kept silent
    • “You’re not supposed to be taking in the opinion of the world” – Joe Rogan
    • Opinions are designed to drive a narrative that is not objective
    • Trust the opinion of your small circle before the angry mob
  • “I got to see the wiring under the machine on how the rest of media would try to take me out” – Joe Rogan
    • It’s easy to be adversarial, it’s hard to be empathetic. Traditional media outlets don’t spend much time on the latter.

Politics

  • The COVID pandemic was like throwing gasoline on the burning factions of thought in the United States
    • “Right-wing people tended to not want to be vaccinated. Then the left-wing people, for whatever reason, are trusting pharmaceutical companies explicitly. It was a weird time.” – Joe Rogan
  • Joe thinks that Trump would not be genuine if he came on JRE, thinks that he would attempt to put on a performance
    • Has no intention of giving him a platform to do so
    • Joe also believes he’s personally not well-versed enough in the political landscape to feel confident in the discussion

UFOs & Aliens

  • Joe didn’t smell any BS in Bob Lazar’s story
    • “It’s alarming how consistent his story is” – Joe Rogan
    • Joe struggles with the line between his desire for alternate life forms to exist and properly validating the stories and evidence
  • We may not see the aliens until they are already here
    • IF they get close to expanding at the speed of light…one day they won’t be here, the next they will.
  • If the military did have some revolutionary technologies, it’s likely that they would be kept a secret
    • Even tech for the stealth fighter was kept a secret for a long time
    • Won’t become public until it’s needed for use or viewed in the wild

Intelligence Agencies

  • “It seems like there is no line [intelligence agencies] are not willing to cross for the purpose of controlling people in order to gather intelligence” – Lex Fridman
    • The public is usually 20 years behind on this information
  • Joe has a suspicion that a guest on JRE was working for intelligence
    • “I’d imagine if you have the number one podcast in the world that people would want to infiltrate that” – Joe Rogan

Comedy

  • In Joe’s opinion, Lenny Bruce is the godfather of comedy
    • Art is a window into the culture of the time. Much of Lenny Bruce’s material was taboo for the time, but it’s normal now—making it not that funny to the present-day viewer.
  • Richard Pryor is Joe’s big inspiration
    • First saw him at 15 years old, and realized how funny the art of talking can be
  • “I don’t know if there’s any other art form that has such a low rate of success” – Joe Rogan
    • Most people who attempt comedy can’t overcome the psychological torture of unapologetically trying to make a silent audience laugh
  • Uniqueness can make a comic successful just as much as raw funniness
    • But you can’t learn comedy. You learn through doing.
  • Comics who put promote positivity and social issues first, do so because their jokes suck
    • “There’s not a fucking person on earth who’s changed their life because of a joke—that’s not what they are there for” – Joe Rogan
  • Norm Macdonald released a stand-up special after his death

Advice to Young (& Old) People

  • Find something you truly enjoy
    • Everyone thinks they are a loser until they start winning. Find that one thing you enjoy getting better at.
  • Understand who you are in the wake of criticism and don’t fold
  • If you want to find a great relationship, understand why you make a great partner first
    • Find someone you can grow with. When you surround yourself with growth, you’re inspired to grow yourself.
  • No matter how old you are, you can always change the course of your life
  • Never have moments in your life where you don’t have difficult challenges

Putin & Russia

  • Lex believes that, more than anything, Putin wants to uphold his legacy—dropping a nuclear bomb wouldn’t be great for that
    • Putin just wants to ensure that this invasion makes Russia a better place than it was before
  • ‘How healthy is this leader?’ has always been a propagandized question
    • Lex doesn’t believe the rumors that Putin has cancer
    • Joe believes there’s an obvious reason for concern with Biden’s cognitive function. Lex doesn’t think it’s horrible but wishes there would be a serious conversation to clear the uncertainty.
  • Lex is heading to Russia/Ukraine to see what the war has done to the culture and the soul of the people—and comparing the conditions to his past experiences and understanding.
    • “Nothing reveals the spirit of a people better than war” – Lex Fridman
    • Buying a one-way ticket. Estimates he’ll be gone one month but doesn’t want to put a timeline on this exploration.
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Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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