A unique live conversation with Eric Weinstein & Garrett Lisi.


Transcript

00:00:00
Brian Keating: The Into The Impossible podcast, featuring a triality of guests. A threesome of the best kind. I don’t know if that’s true, actually. But I’ve heard things from Eric, no doubt. We’re gonna be joining—hundreds of people are watching out there in YouTube land. It’s such a treat. Whenever I gather with physicists to share good ideas, good company, and so forth, let me get a thumbs up out there if you guys can hear me. And I’m going to introduce my friends, doctors. Two doctors, actually three doctors if you include me as well. And that is Dr. Eric Weinstein, joining us from Los Angeles. How are you Eric?

00:00:47
Eric Weinstein: Doing well. Good to be with you.

00:00:50
Brian Keating: And it’s nice of you to dress up. Unlike Garrett and myself. I’m in the Hawaiian Islands mood we just finished with—

00:00:57
Eric Weinstein: What the hell has happened to your show, Brian? You can’t get dolled up for me to talk physics? 

00:01:02
Brian Keating: This is dolled up. This is my dress code nowadays. This is island time man, shakalaka. All right, Eric’s enjoying his vodka tonic, and I am enjoying a Mai Tai over here in San Diego and Garrett Lisi, welcome back. Welcome back, Garrett. Long time no, see, it’s been about four minutes. And you guys go way back as both friends and friendly arch nemeses. We’re gonna get into what does that actually mean. Your infamous appearance on The Portal, which was so well received. And this is kind of maybe a part two, an option for our guests on the Into The Impossible family to ask some questions about different competing theories of everything. And as I said earlier, we’re gonna have a nice clean fight. We are going to go toe-to-toe. 

00:01:50
Garrett Lisi: That’s a good one. 

00:01:51
Brian Keating: TOE to TOE getting—

00:01:52
Garrett Lisi: Well you know, I mean, Eric, it looks like you’ve trimmed down a bit. Did you end up adopting a ketogenic diet? or what have you been doing?

00:01:58
Eric Weinstein: You know, Garrett, it looks like you’ve been struggling a little bit. I think this has to do with some sort of a blockchain effect, where whatever weight I lose has to go over to you. I’m sorry to do that to you, buddy.

00:02:07
Garrett Lisi: I’ve built up the COVID 10, Yeah.

00:02:10
Brian Keating: Conservation of mass.

00:02:13
Eric Weinstein: How’s the surf been this winter?

00:02:15
Garrett Lisi: Oh, it’s been frickin fantastic. Yeah, it’s been, it’s been really, really good. Also, we’ve had fewer tourists here than normal, which is actually been nice, if not for nice reasons.

00:02:25
Brian Keating: Yeah, indeed, maybe we’ll talk about that, the impact on culture and physics as a whole. First, I want to be—I always like to be a little bit provocative if I can be indulged by YouTube guys. And that’s, you know, this conversation that Garrett and I had, you know, was sort of predicated on this question that I received a new book in the mail today, Eric, and it’s entitled, The Theory of Everything, by Norbert Schweitzer. And this is a very dense book. It’s full of equations and graphs, and I can’t wait to read it, and put it next to, you know, next to the stack of books behind me that I’ve been doing in pandemic podcasting. But why do we need a Theory of Everything, Eric? Why is it that people are so betwixt by theories of everything, and yet, as Garrett and I just finished, and you and I have talked about, there’s less attention to Experiments of Everything? Why do you think that is?

00:03:19
Eric Weinstein: Well, first of all, I don’t know that it makes sense to say an “Experiment of Everything”. One of the crazy things that we found out from our experimental friends, is that there is so much more order that appears to be present in the Standard Model, and in General Relativity, that, in a weird way, all of these disparate experiments have strangely added up to something unexpectedly coherent. And so I don’t think it’s important to focus on a Theory of Everything generally, because you’re usually not in position to get one. If you think about the time before Dirac, they knew about the proton and the electron, perhaps, but they didn’t know about anything else. And if they had tried a Theory of Everything, it would have almost certainly been wrong, because there was just no—they were nowhere close. Now, the problem that we have here is that we appear to be tantalizingly close, for reasons that we can get into or not, according to taste. And I think that, you know, there’s both a silly hope that you happen to be in the right generation to do a Theory of Everything, and an informed hope. And I think one of the things that you can tell when somebody attempts it is, do they appear to be well motivated in seeking a Theory of Everything? Or do they appear to just want to jump to the end of the book, no matter how many chapters they have to skip over? And I, you know, I would also just say, lastly, that it’s been so long since we’ve made progress, that it does sort of—one interpretation that one could make would be that we seem to be at a point where we have to get something huge because we’ve been stalled out with all the incremental measures which in previous areas have worked so well. And so one way of thinking about this is that we’re finally at the point where the conceptual difficulty, like, what would a Theory of Everything even mean? It’s one thing to say that you’re hunting a Jabberwocky. It’s another thing to realize that you have no idea what a Jabberwocky looks like.

00:05:15
Brian Keating: And when I think about this, you know, we talked a lot about our mutual friend, and I say that with all sincerity, Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder, who does great work, and, but as a known critic, I talked to Garrett about this before—maybe you and I have talked about this too, Eric, in reference to Professor Frank Wilczek’s recent trolling of of Sabine last week where she put out you know, “beauty is a terrible guide to physics”. And Frank wrote back, “it worked out pretty well for me”. You know, Garrett and I were kind of bemused by that trolling of Sabine by Frank. But of course, it was meant in a friendly way, I’m sure. But nevertheless, the question of, you know, kind of survivorship bias came up, and maybe Garrett, you can just kind of reiterate that. You’ve been, you know, lucky to be privately supported to do these things. Sabine even says it’s a good thing to have these things, but she doesn’t go deep. She’s claims to say it’s maybe not worth her time. But tell me something, Garrett, first of all, what when you think about, you know, how do you spend your time, you know, besides the stuff outside of academia, which we’ll talk about, hopefully, you’re the Richard Branson, of physicists, of course. And that comes with problems as well, as we talked about in the previous hour. But I want to ask you, when when you think about dividing your time, how much time do you spend thinking about Geometric Unity, about the Wolfram physics project behind me, and this giant book in the back, about this new book, this new Theory of Everything by Norbert Schwarzer, and Max Tegmark mathematical—how much time do you spend on it? And if you say “none”, why is that? Why wouldn’t you think about other people’s theories? So first, how much time do you spend on other theories?

00:06:57
Garrett Lisi: I think most theoretical physicists spend enough time on others’ theories in order to dismiss them.

00:07:07
Brian Keating: And so you dismiss like, Wolfram’s theory?

00:07:10
Garrett Lisi: Oh, yeah. So I’m not most physicists. I spend, for Eric, especially since we’re arch nemeses and friends, I’ve spent more than enough time to dismiss it.

For Wolf—

00:07:31
Brian Keating: Yeah, look at Eric’s reaction.

00:07:33
Garrett Lisi: For Wolfram, I’ve spent probably less than enough time to dismiss it. And that’s not because I don’t respect his work and the direction he’s going. It’s just that the direction he’s chosen to go in with cellular automata is so foreign to my area of expertise, that, although I could dive into it, and disentangle it and try to make sense, instead, what I do is I look at, all right, well, we have a rich model here with some grand claims. What’s the actual connection to known physics. And what I see, as I see over and over again, is that the connection to known physics is extremely tenuous, if there’s much there at all. And that’s usually the easiest way to dismiss work, is how—what’s the connection to actual physics? What’s the connection to the Standard Model? Are you getting three generations of fermions? Do you—are you getting a CKM matrix in some easy, nice, elegant way? How close is it? And by that metric, you can almost dismiss String Theory. I mean, it’s a very, it’s a very high bar. You can also dismiss my work. I’m not there yet, but that’s what I’m striving for. But that’s really what you want to look for. And, but in terms of how I spend my time, I do spend a fair amount of time looking at others’ papers. It’s mostly papers centered around the same area I’m working with, or the area I’m exploring. I’ll be spending a lot more time exploring papers, mathematicians’ papers on generalized Lie groups, colleagues’ papers, working on applying them to particle physics. I spend my—that’s how I spend a lot of my time. I’d say probably 90% of my time is spent reading other’s papers and only 10% working on my own stuff.

00:09:27
Brian Keating: So is it the case that you have spent so much time looking at Geometric Unity or sufficient time that you’ve achieved the necessary amount of time to dismiss Geometric Unity, or to maybe not not dismiss it, but not pay attention to it as much as say, you know, something more close to E8? Can you expand upon what you meant by that?

00:09:48
Garrett Lisi: Um, I—all I was banting, I was joking that I have spent some time looking at Eric’s work, more than I normally would if we weren’t so disturbingly close. 

00:10:00
Brian Keating: Well, let me let me follow up on that. So when I, when I look at these as an outsider as an experimental—

00:10:07
Eric Weinstein: You have to ask—you have to ask me the question too, Brian—

00:10:09
Brian Keating: I’m about—I’m about to get to that. So I want to I want to ask that question, but I want to ask it in a provocative way, because as Garrett knows, he started flying lessons, and one of the first things you learn in flying is to be very careful about flying into instrument conditions, namely, into clouds, which can obscure things but make you feel nice and comfortable, because everywhere you look, everything is nice, homogeneous, isotropic and uniform, like the inside of a ping pong ball. But Eric, you know, when you look at it, is there sort of a, you know, an outgroup bias, in that there’s so much groupthink in physics as it is, that now you’ve got these possible alternatives from Wolfram, from you, from Tegmark, etc. And that you guys are just gonna fight but really the the people who you are seeking are these people occupying this behemoth Cathedral called String Theory. How do you decide your time and how you spend it? 

00:11:00
Eric Weinstein: Well, I think that we have to clear something up. I don’t take Stephen Wolfram as having a Theory of Everything, or even a candidate. I take him as having a program to search for one. I don’t take Max Tegmark as attempting a Theory of Everything. I view him in some sense as a mathematical and physical philosopher, looking to make sure that when the theory is found, it will fit within the Tegmarkian perspective at some particular type of multiverse or some type, you know, because if ultimately the description is mathematical, the claim will be the Tegmark was correct, because he’s now somehow laid claim to the Mathematical Universe hypothesis, which I think almost every Platonist has considered. So I don’t quite understand that as a Theory of Everything. I certainly don’t see the Loop Quantum Gravity people as being serious about particle phenomenology. We know a lot about the particles in the universe. And actually, I believe that the two that I really take semi-seriously are Garrett’s and String Theory. So while Garrett may be claiming that he knows enough to dismiss mine, certainly that’s not true.

00:12:11
Garrett Lisi: No. What I said was that I’ve spent more than enough time with yours than needed to dismiss it.

00:12:18
Eric Weinstein: Okay. I forgot that Garrett is very spectrumy!

00:12:22
Garrett Lisi: That’s not imply I’ve dismissed that implies I spent more than that amount of time with it.

00:12:28
Eric Weinstein: Fair point, but to steelman Garrett’s point—and I do feel like there was a misimpression created by an artifact that happened when he appeared on my show—I don’t think that Garrett is the best person to extol the virtues of what he is up to. And I would say the following, you would have to give it to the String Theorists, if your principal concern was the idea that you wanted a renormalizable theory of gravity, however far away they may be from that. That is their leading contribution. You can say a few things about what they predict from black holes, and then you can also mumble something about how it’s useful in mathematics. 

Clearly, the String Theorists have gotten hold of a lot of advanced mathematics by going to geometry and infinite dimensions. And, in fact, it’s sort of like Finland finding Estonia and saying, “My God, these people, you know, are remarkable. This is confirmation.” But, in fact, Fins and Estonians are pretty much the same people just separated by some water. So I think that String Theory is largely an exclave of mathematics that is done and performed in physics departments. Garrett is doing something very different. If you asked what Garrett’s principal contributions were Forgive me, Garrett, you can correct me, given that you’re here. I love talking behind your back in front of you. 

Garrett’s principle selling points are the following: he is the most phenomenological of any theory that is not Geometric Unity. That is, his theory does the following sorts of things. First of all, it makes use of a unique and canonical structure that attempts to tell us why this world and not others, because he begins with something called E8, which is easily distinguishable in the mathematical universe as being the strangest of objects—the platypus, if you will, of mathematical symmetry. And second of all, he incorporates something that was found in the 1950s, by Madame Wu and Yang and Lie, which is the curiosity of the universe because one of the four forces seems to know what’s left from its right, that is, the weak force, it is astounding that there is this asymmetry. And E8 contains some of this asymmetry, which we might call Weyl fermions, as opposed to Dirac fermions, because E8 seems to know its left from its right, so he gets that right. And then there’s a subtle property of E8, which is actually disguised, and so most mathematicians and physicists don’t know about it. It’s manifest in something called Spin 8. And that’s the principle of triality. And so the idea that triality is present, and that we have three families, is tantalizingly close together. So I would say that, if you look at what Garrett—oh, furthermore, Garrett is focused on something called Cartan connections, in which you co-mingle something called an Ehresmann connection, which is what we have learned to use for the forces in the Standard Model since the work of Simons, Yang, Synger and Wu in SUNY Stonybrook in the 1970s. He combines that with this sort of Einsteinian perspective, built on Riemannian Geometry and the Levi-Civita connection. And somehow the Levi-Civita connection and this other object, the Ehresmann connection are combined in something called a Cartan connection, which is not really that standard, it fell out of favor in mathematics. So if you look at what Garrett is doing, and I believe even that Garrett has now strangely moved towards something called Superconnections, introduced by Daniel Quillen and others, and Jean Bismut

00:16:04
Garrett Lisi: Really, yeah. 

00:16:06
Eric Weinstein: So this, in fact, is some hope of incorporating the difference in quantization of forced particles and particles, which is one of the original failings of Garrett’s original first attempt at this, which is that he too tightly integrated matter and force, in some sense, into the E8 structure, so that the matter that was present, in fact, had to be looked at as force. 

So I think if you look at all of the things that Garrett is doing, well, maybe lastly, even another one, the fact that he’s trying to drag a canonical Lagrangian or master of the equations, from something like Yang-Mills theory, is yet another attempt at simplicity. And so you have him starting out with something that’s canonical, that knows its left from its right intrinsically, that seems to have three encoded into it when we see three copies of matter that we’re confused by, that combines General Relativity and the principle bundles that we’ve learned a second form of geometry, not due to Riemann, due to Ehresmann, and, in fact, the simplest of lagrangians. That is really why I’ve chosen Garrett for my archnemesis, because I don’t think anybody’s actually said this properly about Garrett. And so it’s important that Garrett also be curated, because, if you have to promote your own theory, it’s always suspicious that when a book is mailed to you, by its own author, then the idea is that a second person hasn’t said, “I see what that person is saying”. Now, the fact that Garrett is hopelessly and tragically wrong, in my opinion, is a secondary concern. But the fact of the matter is that I think I’ve chosen my nemesis well—

00:17:53
Brian Keating: Yeah.

00:17:53
Eric Weinstein: —and he may be more challenged in certain aspects of quantization and equations, but you have to admit that what he’s pursued has been completely outside of the norms, and, in fact, phenomenologically does far more than any other theory to attempt to come close to why we see the world that we do. And I just don’t think that there’s a single other person, including Lee Smolin, who can make the case as eloquently for Garrett, who is not Garrett himself.

00:18:20
Brian Keating: See, Garrett, you thought this was gonna be an intervention, but it’s not, don’t worry.

00:18:25
Garrett Lisi: I’m still waiting for the knife.

00:18:28
Brian Keating: That’s coming soon. That’s coming soon. But I want to ask both of you guys, and how you look at each other, because you guys have remarkable lives. I’ve gotten to know Eric extremely well over the last year. I feel blessed to do that. Garrett, I know you obviously by reputation. We’ve met a few times. And we’re obviously, you know, very affiliated with UC San Diego, and I enjoy that. But I also know that, you know, time is limited, and I’ve always been curious to get perspectives on people. So Eric is an incredibly courageous, brilliant person who doesn’t restrict himself to just thinking about physics. He goes on talk shows like Glenn Beck and gets, you know, half a million views, because he is just the exact person that is needed at this troubling time in America, to talk to people on the right about what people on the left, you know, think about the world and to reach consilience, but not just for its own sake. Garrett, you’re known for starting institutions, you’re known for having another set of influences on your time and on your life. Do you guys ever look at each other and say, God, that guy just spent more time on physics, we’d really advanced physics by a tremendous amount or do you look at it’s a guy that guy’s not that serious. Like if he was serious, you know, he’d be he wouldn’t be doing what that Keating guy does and just podcast all day, he would be doing stuff, you know, in his wheelhouse in his lane. What do you guys think about each other, and be candid, what do you feel, Eric, that Garrett should spend more time, you know, on the chalkboard and less time on the surfboard? Eric, you know—Garrett, how do you feel about what Eric’s involved with? Should he—is he denying, you know, physics or math, some sort of attention that it really rightfully deserves? Let me start with Garrett first. I know it’s uncomfortable, but let’s go there. 

00:20:10
Garrett Lisi: I think both of us have made extremely unusual decisions in life and push them to a extraordinary and successful degree. I think Eric has made choices early on that I didn’t. And I’ve made choices that Eric didn’t. And I think we’ve both found, perhaps unreasonable amount of success in that. And I really respect Eric a lot for his decisions. What he’s done in creating The Portal and basically bootstrapping himself to become one of the world’s leading intellectual voices has been fantastic. And I think a lot of people, especially our mutual friend, Lee Smolin, which is, who introduced me to Eric, saw this potential early on and, really, it’s been just inspiring to see Eric find such great success with that. Me, I’m a little—I’m a little less social. I’m a little bit more of an introvert, even though I sort of founded an institute here, it’s an institute for introverts with, like, separate cabins. So people can stay away from each other.

00:21:24
Brian Keating: The most social introvert in the world.

00:21:26
Garrett Lisi: There’s lots of social distancing, and I’m very comfortable social distancing. Eric has decided to form himself a independent intellectual online army, which is freakin fantastic. I’m a little terrified what he’s gonna do with it, which direction that’s gonna go in. But it’s been amazing. And I would be extremely hypocritical to look at someone else and say, “Hey, they should really be spending more time on physics is what they should be doing.” Because I’ve been spending most of my time for the past year actually working on like surfing and kite surfing and just trying to enjoy life, in the midst of a horrible pandemic. It’s been hard for me to concentrate on juggling equations. Right, and for Eric, he’s got, you know, he’s grown a wonderful family, who I enjoyed interacting with a great deal when I visited. And it’s, that’s been a wonderful thing to see grow. As well as, you know, he went off to work in Wall Street and financial management, and he’s had a wonderful career that way, and now working for Peter Thiel, who is also a maverick. That has been a great partnership to see. And he’s grown things in, you know, incredibly different directions than I’ve gone in. At the same time, I still know he’s a skateboarder down there underneath.

And I love seeing him, you know, I love seeing him on an electric skateboard. I love seeing him paraglide. I love seeing him do fun stuff. And if I influence them in some positive way, that’s probably the most positive way I can influence him.

00:23:12
Brian Keating: All right, enough of the kumbaya. Eric, should Garrett spend more time on the chalkboard?

00:23:18
Eric Weinstein: Sure, but that’s—but there’s a sort of a hidden problem in the question, which is, the people who send you books and who send you, you know, equations written in red crayon, you know, declaring themselves the next Einstein, in general are not very self conscious, they don’t understand where they are. And one of the problems is that when you’re actually working independently, if you’re doing it honestly, it’s almost impossible not to succumb to one mental problem or the other. Either you come to believe that you are the unique voice of God on earth. Or you come to see yourself as, you know, a failed loser outside of the system, scribbling things that mean nothing to anyone. And if you’re smart, you oscillate between them, in order to, you know, keep your sanity. So you do it dialectically, because it’s very hard to find a Schelling point in the middle. And I think that you have to look at what Garrett does as sustaining his ability to work outside of the system. The number of us who are serious and working outside of the system is certainly less than I can count on one hand. And so I believe that in part, just keeping your sanity while you attempt this, with everyone telling you that you’re an effing idiot, or a crazy person or an imposter or a grifter, or that you’re thirsty, all of these sort of insults that are hurled by people who don’t actually live this life.

00:24:51
Brian Keating: Have you been reading my mom’s text messages to me? How can ya—?

00:24:56
Eric Weinstein: Well, I have a pack of hyenas that follows me around the internet, so you’ll forgive me. The the point that I’m trying to get at is that if you think about what makes what we do beautiful, it’s perhaps best exemplified in places like Cloudbreak and Teahupoo and Ship Stearns, and, in particular Jaws, in Maui. These are waves, they follow wave equations and the ability to interact with, let’s say, the differential geometry of a ski slope, and the luxurious aspect of sitting in Maui and eating tropical fruit with a whiteboard is sustaining. And so this is what Garrett’s been on about with the Pacific Science Institute, which I heartily recommend people check out and try to get behind, is that Garrett has not only been amusing himself to death, but he’s also in fact, attempting to share what he’s figured out with the renegade scientific community. And I think that you have to view this as admirable when billionaires have stepped away from the private funding of science. When Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner can only come up with the Breakthrough Prize for giving people who are already in the system a little bit more encouragement to keep doing what they’re doing that doesn’t work, I think you have to look at what Garrett’s doing as being an incredibly constructive attempt to take a small amount of money that he’s turned into a larger amount of money through, I would say dumb luck, but he would call it investing, and that he effectively is trying to found something like Xerox PARC, or, you know, Tuxedo Park, or any of these great private endeavors in order to keep physics alive, which—it’s clearly in danger of dying. So I think that Garrett needs more encouragement. And if he was more encouraged, he would spend more time in physics, but it’s almost impossible to spend your time doing this, when it appears that what’s really going on is that your mind is unraveling, that you think that there’s something peculiar about you that will allow you to succeed where everyone else has collectively failed. And I think Garrett’s doing a marvelous job of staying in the game. The fact that he “wastes” most of his time on other pursuits may not be a waste at all, it may simply be, you know, a way of saving your sanity. 

00:27:15
Brian Keating: Now, we just had a conversation with Garrett that I asked the same question I asked of you a long time ago, but I’ll ask it again, and maybe Garrett can reiterate his opinions afterwards. Do we need a Theory of Everything? So people go on and on about these different theories of everything, because we don’t believe that in the current understanding of the laws of physics, that gravity is commensurate, compatible, and fits into a quantization scheme, wherein the wave like properties and Graviton like properties of a quantum truly quantum theory of gravity would take place. However, I always point out, and you guys have pointed out, you know, most of the scenarios where people talk about as Cameron Botha did on my show, as Juan Maldacena did on my show, they’re talking about gravity in anti de sitter space, and five dimensional, you know, spacetimes—

00:28:06
Eric Weinstein: You’re talking about an abstraction that is not gravity.

00:28:08
Brian Keating: I’m talking about abstraction that is not gravity, number one. And, two, they are solving, you know, they’re answering a question that I don’t believe anybody has fully asked from an experimental perspective. I’ll explain what that means. I said this to Garrett, so Garrett, bear with me, but John Preskill was on the show last week. And I said, John, you know, we say we need a quantum theory of gravity because we don’t understand gravity at the center of a singularity or in the beginning of the universe, if indeed, it had a Big Bang singularity at its origin. But what if, you know, we just—the universe is not described by a single Big Bang, it’s more described as Roger Penrose’s conformal acyclic cosmology or Paul Steinhardt, and Neil terex act parodic or bouncing, classical cosmologies. These have no singularities whatsoever, they’re not manifest at all. So that’s one motivation. 50% of the motivation of quantum gravity destroyed, nuked, wrecked, but, and similarly, we don’t believe there any such thing as naked singularities where we could probe a singularity visible. And I said John Preskill, you are the Richard P. Feynman professor of physics at California Institute of Technology, a small Technical College in Los Angeles County. I said, Feynman said, “I don’t care how beautiful your equations are, if it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”. Now, I asked you guys, we can’t ever hope to access these two different domains, which are the only two domains, to my knowledge, that quantum gravitational effects are manifest. Why would you guys spend so much time on this field where it may not even be necessary to unify gravity with quantum mechanics or is there a bigger project at work?

00:29:46
Eric Weinstein: Yeah, would you mind if I took that one first and then you back clean up?

Okay, first of all, let’s dispense with this issue of the task of this generation being to quantize gravity. This is a very particularly quantum field theoretic perspective, where the children of Bohr have always been pissed off that Einstein did so much better in some sense on his side of the ledger, that he cleaned things up, so that his children were impoverished where his Bohr failed to clean things up, so his children have had a much richer world to mine, okay. So the idea of getting Einstein to submit to Bohr has been a long held dream of a subset of the community. If you think about it differently, you could ask the question of, instead of “Why do we have to quantize Einstein’s geometry?” why not geometerize Bohr’s quantum, which is exactly what actually happened. So part of the problem is, is that when you get your information and your news updates from Ed Witten, or the Institute for Advanced Study, which has gone on—gone in heavily with String Theory, Nima Arkani-Hamed perhaps notwithstanding, what you start to realize is that you’ve been sold one particular story about physics. And it’s time to destroy the dominance of that narrative in favor of other narratives. Let’s talk about the Feynman quote. Feynman, I believe, was at Cornell when he made this comment that if your theory doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong. No, not right. Your—the instantiation of your theory is wrong. But this is the point of Dirac’s 1963 article in Scientific American where he talks about Schrodinger not incorporating spin, and failing to get agreement with experiment. The theory was basically correct, but, in fact, the instantiation was wrong. This is why the scientific method doesn’t get you out of as much when you apply it naively, nor does Popper. So people are not only in love with Popper and the scientific method, they’re in love with very simplistic versions of that, with the idea that you can always go home, and that rationality and the scientific method is enough to clean up physics. No, your copy editing physics, that’s not where the real magic happens. The real magic happens in a tiny number of places. And Sabine is generally, by the way, correct, that beauty tends to lead almost all physicists onto the rocks, and destroys their career and makes sure that they’re not very productive. The only problem with their theory is that it doesn’t work for the far right tail of physics, where it succeeds beautifully. And by the way, I don’t believe that Wilczek’s work is beautiful in the way that, let’s say, Garrett’s work is beautiful. It may be that Garrett’s work is wrong, but his ideas are definitely beautiful. The way in which Wilczek’s work is beautiful has to do with particular properties of, let’s say, QCD at an analytic level. And I think there are even different forms of beauty. Unfortunately, Sabine has decided that she doesn’t want to target String Theory directly, and so she’s decided that she’s going to be tilting at the proxy of beauty, because beauty is invoked by String Theorists in an attempt to shut everybody else up. Well, she’s quite correct that the attempt to shut everybody else up about the cosmic failure of String Theory to deliver on its promises is, in fact, a huge danger, and may threaten the destruction of the theoretical physics community, which we need for a variety of reasons, because it is our most accomplished intellectual community ever, full stop. Then you have this problem about Feynman. Now, Feynman, in many ways, exemplifies for many people, various things. His aphorisms, which I don’t think he would have taken as seriously as his followers seem to, are wielded as weapons. If you can’t explain it to your grandmother, then you don’t understand it. I do not, you know, “that which I cannot create, I do not understand,” blah, blah, blah. Well, okay, but then again, if you look at the conversation between Feynman and Dirac, it’s very clear that Feynman really never had a fundamental law of physics. And the number of people who’ve done that have been extremely few in number, it’s a very different club, and all of them appear to subscribe to the concept of beauty, which is what I view Garrett, for example, as pursuing. Now, Garrett is not going on to the rocks. His theory may be wrong, but it’s certainly something that needed to be explored. It’s a canonical theory, and I don’t mean Garrett any disrespect, but when I met him at a conference that I think Sabine actually hosted with Lee Smolin, I’d actually looked at E8 myself, for exactly the reasons that Garrett has. Now, I think I’ve detailed a number of things that Garrett did, that I didn’t do with that theory, I think it’s the second most interesting and promising idea. I don’t think it works. But it needed to be explored. And it needed to have an actual physicist exploring it. And I’m very, very happy, and you know, if my stuff—the only reason I want Garrett to be wrong, is that I want me to be right. If I turn out to be wrong, I would like nothing better than for Garrett to be vindicated in what he—what it is that he’s doing. 

00:34:39
Brian Keating: So you think he’s— 

00:34:40
Eric Weinstein: That is the real basis of this rivalry, right. But the issue is that I think that we’ve got all of these incredibly simplistic ideas. The most interesting thing that’s happened is that all of the people who’ve been telling you that they know how science works, it’s all about peer review, that it’s all about agreement with experiment, that you have to be able to explain it to your mother, that there doesn’t need to be a Theory of Everything, that beauty is a problem. None of these people have succeeded. Okay? So at some point, when you haven’t really succeeded in pushing things forward in 50 years, almost, in certain terms, you have to say, maybe all of the crap that we say is wrong. There’s this marvelous scene—I’ll close with this—in No Country for Old Men, where Anton Chigurh asked the character played by Woody Harrelson—I’ve forgotten his name, unfortunately, was it Carter? Can’t remember. He says, “if the path you took led you to this, what have what use was that path? And that’s exactly right. With all of these things that we quote, Popper, or “agreement with experiments”, “scientific method.” If everything has stalled you out for 50 years, why is it that you’re not listening to people who actually have new ideas? Ask yourself that.

00:35:54
Brian Keating: I think one might say, you know, that, that people are maybe overwhelmed with Popper. I mean, I use this example with Martin Rees when he was on the show, you know, if you look at the pinkening and the reddening of the sunset, as the sun goes down to the horizon every night, that you would be led most naturally to believe that the round Earth has been falsified, because it’s much more consistent with a flat earth, that the such behavior should take place in an atmospheric slab approximation. So I wonder if people aren’t overwhelmed by Popper, and overwhelmed by—this is the counter that someone like Lenny Susskind gave on the show, that people are obsessed with it. And I can give another example, so astronomy—astrology which I’m often confused for, you know, when I’m not confused for being a cosmetologist because of my awesome Weinstein-like coif, I am usually confused with being an astrologer. And I usually say yeah, oh, you’re a Pisces. That’s very interesting. That lump on your butt is cancerous. Go check it out. But seriously, I, you know, astrology has been falsified by numerous double blind tests, including one in Nature magazine. Does that mean it’s science? Because Popper says it’s not science unless it’s falsifiable. And obviously, that’s meant to be a supplement and augmentation. But Garrett, I wonder, what would it take to get you—and this, maybe—maybe it is an intervention. I’m sorry, Garrett, sorry to spring this on you—what would it take for you to put all your chips, all your Apple stock, all your Bitcoin into Geometric Unity? You know, for example, at what point would it rise—you say you’ve you’ve studied it enough. And you, tongue-in-cheek, say, you know, it’s, you know, enough to be wrong, but not to be right. I don’t know. But tell me, what would it take for you to pursue—because at the end of the day, we’re here on this blue marble for, you know, 120 years, hopefully, but probably, you know, less in some cases. So, tell me, what would it take for you to pursue, you know, another theory? Wolfram? Let maybe let’s not even make it personal, but, you know, with Eric, but what would it take 

00:37:52
Eric Weinstein: No, make it personal. 

00:37:53
Brian Keating: All right, so yeah— 

00:37:53
Eric Weinstein: That’s the point of having the two of us on this show.

00:37:55
Brian Keating: All right, let’s go for it, TOE-to-TOE, Theory of Everything.

00:37:58
Garrett Lisi: Eric has taken a—using a lot of the same tools that I’ve been playing with, he’s built up a very interesting theory in a very different way. So he has started with a 14-dimensional manifold that incorporates the metric, and then sort of gauge the metric in a way that accommodates its interaction with fermions in a way that is very different than any—and then how gravity is usually introduced to interact with the fermions. So right off the bat, he’s starting with a kind of outlandish structure, that nevertheless matches up well with known physics from a very different approach, which is a sort of thing that absolutely I feel in the same way should be explored, and I’m glad he’s exploring it, because it’s not the way that I would approach things. I wouldn’t start out by gauging the metric, I would gauge the frame, which is equivalent to the metric but is more natural for use with fermions. But Eric chose to start with a metric, and I think that’s a very valuable way to look at things, and to proceed. For me to jump onboard within going and swallowing and looking more into Geometric Unity than I have, I’d really like to see him get something like the CKM Matrix out, with mixing angles appearing in some natural, reasonable way. That’s a high bar. As far as I know, nobody can do this in a natural-looking way. I can’t do it. Others haven’t been able to do it, String Theory can’t do it.

00:39:40
Eric Weinstein: So do you want to just briefly say what the CKM Matrix is, for the kids at home?

00:39:43
Garrett Lisi: Right, so the CKM matrix basically tells you that for your three generations of matter particles, right, when you have like your you have your Up and your Down quarks, in your in your first generation, and your Strange and your Charm quarks in your second generation, and your Bottom and your Top quarks in the third generation. What are the masses of these things? Well, they don’t have distinct masses, if they’re identified as unique particles with respect to the forces. So instead, their masses are mixed between those three generations. And there’s a mixing matrix that allows them that describes how their masses are assigned between them, and how they can oscillate between them. And we also now have a similar matrix called the PMNS Matrix after the first theorists to write about it, for neutrinos and electrons, and getting these matrices out of a theory is necessary for matching up with known physics, and is necessary for—and this is where probably the new predictions will come from any successful unified theory, is with these, the parameters in these two matrices, and how they relate. And it’s very difficult to build your structure up, or break it down from existing symmetry, going the other direction, and get something like these matrices and their mixing angles out in a nice way. And it’s a very high bar. But if that were to happen, for a geometrically based theory, in a natural way, that didn’t sneak them in by hand, somehow, that that would immediately command my attention, and I would swap all my investment into looking at that. And I’d also see if it related to my stuff, because that’s what theorists do, theorists also always try to relate new stuff to theirs. But that would immediately command a whole lot of attention. And, like I said, it’s a high bar, and—

00:41:41
Eric Weinstein: Well, and I think Garrett is also, if I—I feel comfortable putting words into his mouth, since he can take them out, given that he’s here. I think that Garrett is using the CKM Matrix as but one of many examples. In other words, there are things that are concrete, that show that there is a new idea present. And what is particularly bizarre is when people say that they have a Theory of Everything, and there is no new idea that you can hear coming out of their mouths. 

00:42:07
Garrett Lisi: That’s right. 

00:42:08
Eric Weinstein: So a different way of saying the CKM matrix—keep in mind that I’m an imposter, rather than a physicist, so I feel uncomfortable saying anything to the folks at home. But you have a situation whereby the algebraically natural object, which might be called a flavor eigenstate, let’s say, and the observed object, the mathematically massive object in the theory are not necessarily exactly lining up. And one of the problems is that we don’t really know how to generate mass, except for this as-if mass that we call the Higgs mechanism. So, in fact, it’s not even real mass, the way we thought we were going to find mass, it has to do with another object called the Yukawa Coupling, whereby this Higgs field is lured away from its zero value, which would have all of us zipping around at the speed of light, to some finite value called a VEV. And then the idea is that it’s this VEV that requires explanation. The reason I bring this up, is that the old reductionist hopes that you would find the CKM Matrix, and other things of that nature, as fundamental values has been shown, in some sense, to be a very naive hope. That there’s some things that are encoded into the equations of physics, and there are other things that are encoded into the particular region and time of space that we find ourselves in, in the happenstance. So you’re never sure, if you have a number hard coded into the theory, as to whether or not that number exists as a scalar? Thinking of it in computer science terms, how do you cast that? Is it an integer? A ratio of integers? Is it a float? Or is it a field? And one of the problems is that we have these two things, the Cosmological constant, and the Higgs field, and maybe the inflaton, maybe three things, that may in some sense, be disguised as real numbers, but may, in fact, vary the way you wouldn’t say, “what’s the temperature on earth today?” You would say, “well, what’s the field of temperatures distributed over the earth?” So in our region, you might say, it’s 76 degrees Fahrenheit, but you might be fooled into thinking that it’s 76 degrees everywhere, because you’re just too focused on your own navel gazing. So if the CKM Matrix, in fact, is encoded field theoretically, as a bunch of numbers, that happen to be relatively constant at our particular moment in space and time, you know, that’s one thing. We don’t know fundamentally what it should be. We don’t know whether Yukawa couplings and the Mexican Hat Potential come from. All of these gadgets that feel artificial may, in fact, be accidents of an anthropic principle that they happen to be at these values for us to observe them. So one of the problems that’s developed of late in theoretical physics is how do you split up the things that are fundamental to the equations and the Lagrangian which governs the equations, and how many of these are emergent accidents having to do either with anthropics or the the good fortune just to be alive at this time and in this place? That said, I believe that Garrett will be working on Geometric Unity by the end of this year.

00:45:18
Brian Keating: Well that was a bold statement! Well, first of all, I want to take a little brief pause when that haymaker was landed. Let’s take a quick break to ask people to stretch your fingers. Do not get carpal tunnel syndrome. Do not succumb to carpal tunnel syndrome. Press the like button. Subscribe to the Into The Impossible podcast so I can get great guests like this. I’m going to have Carlo Rovelli on next week, I’m going to have Avi Loeb on in the next week. I’ve got a short track to maybe get on gjerde to PhD at OU ft. I don’t know how to pronounce it. He and I have been communicating and many many other great episodes, it would be great to have it hooked on this channel. By the way,

00:45:56
Eric Weinstein: Garrett, can we do something that Brian cannot do? And just—can you say what you think the quality of Brian’s guests, other than the crazy people working outside of the system has been?

00:46:06
Garrett Lisi: I went through his guest list and I was more than—more than impressed enough to come and be a guest myself.

00:46:13
Brian Keating: That’s right. And, and that was enough, actually— 

00:46:15
Eric Weinstein: It’s astounding, Brian.

00:46:16
Brian Keating: Thank you, Eric. And you were—I said on Twitter recently, you’re one of my main role models, as is Sabine and Lex Fridman, and all those great podcasters out there. But Garrett didn’t realize— 

00:46:25
Eric Weinstein: I want to say a little bit more Brian—

00:46:27
Brian Keating: Go ahead.

00:46:27
Eric Weinstein: You can’t say this.

00:46:28
Brian Keating: Alright.

00:46:28
Eric Weinstein: Your willingness to go outside of the system, and your ability to get the top people in the system is unparalleled anywhere else. You know, Lex Fridman is doing something like that, but you’re actually doing it from inside the system. And I don’t know of a single other person who is—maybe Max Tegmark would be the other person, through FQXI and his—and Anthony Aguirre, cofounder of FQXI. But, so far as I know, there are really two or three people who are risking their reputations to talk to people from outside of the system, and able to bring people into the system, I would say Perimeter, FQXI, and the Into The Impossible podcast. And it needs to be said that Brian is taking a huge risk talking to people like us, and taking it seriously, and that he’s managing to do it with so much integrity that he’s still able to get you the top people. And I just think it’s an amazingly courageous thing to do from the position of a chaired professorship. 

00:47:32
Brian Keating: Well, thank you very much. And that will do a long, good bit of help for me when I have people on like Deepak Chopra, who is also on the show in the following weeks, and I do get a lot of criticism, how can I have this crackpot on and, and actually, you know, one of the most most delightful things about this podcast is that I get to talk to people I want to talk to, people that excite and interest the mind, and that satisfy the intellectual curiosity of this podcast, is to create the university I wish I went to. And, although Garrett did go to this university called UC San Diego, one of the best in my opinion in the known multiverse, and he doesn’t know that actually Alumni Relations has a request for his donation of Apple stock later in the podcast, but we won’t get into that. No, I do appreciate that, Eric. It is—it’s not so—it’s not as courageous as the things that you guys are doing, but it is interesting to me, to keep my brain going, and talk to the people that I wanted to talk to ever since I was a kid. People at the forefront that have intellectual curiosity, and have courage. That’s an extremely rare trait. So yes, please help me spread the message about the podcast. Subscribe to my mailing list, BrianKeating.com. I’m sending out life lessons from Jim Simons, and for Michael Saylor, and from Eric Weinstein, and I’m gonna write up some life lessons I learned from Garrett Lisi as well. 

Let’s get back to this. I often hear, as I did, when I talked to Stephen Wolfram by himself, and then Eric and Stephen got together for a live debate over the summer as well. But I said, “which of you guys really thinks that this Theory of Everything is doing a disservice?” Because it’s actually, in my opinion, what Stephen has is not going to come up with the Aharonov-Bohm effect. Or maybe it will, but maybe it won’t come up with Bell’s inequality. In other words, it’s not really a Theory of Everything. It might be a unified theory, or something like that. So Garrett, let me ask you, is, you know, E8, is exceptional theory that you’ve developed, is that really going to come up with things like the double slit experiment? Is it going to come up with strange spooky-action-at-a-distance? Or is it, is it—and I’m saying this “merely”, but it’s not pejorative in any sense—is it restricted to unification via mathematical structures in this representation theory fashion?

00:49:10
Garrett Lisi: The short answer is no, because E8 does not inherently contain a geometric description of quantum physics, which is something that Eric said he was—that ultimately we’re going to need to go for. So if you really want a unified theory, and not be faking it, you also need a description of quantum physics in a natural way that includes the things you described. So that’s what I’m working on next. So I’m next working on structures such as generalized Lie groups that inherently contain descriptions of quantum physics that would start to be able to give you exactly the things that you described.

And Eric would it emerge from—you and I’ve talked about this, but for the record, let’s say it in front of Garrett, what—wherein lies things like the spooky-action-at-a-distance like Bell’s Inequality? Does that lie within the Geometric Unity purview?

00:50:39
Eric Weinstein: I don’t even understand Garrett’s response in his own theory. So let’s first of all criticize Garrett, before we put me in hot water. 

00:50:45
Brian Keating: Alright, go for it. 

00:50:47
Eric Weinstein: All right. The thing about I don’t think Garrett is actually accurate. One of the really important things about what happened in the 1970s, where we actually made progress, but we pretend that we didn’t make progress in the structure of mathematics, because we’re embarrassed where the progress happened. It happened around the mathematics of Field Theory, rather than in the specifics of the field theory that seemed to describe our world. In fact, if Garrett has a Lagrangian, which he does, and that Lagrangian is applied to the fields, which it is, Garrett will find that he will have something called a phase space. He’ll have a configuration space, he will have a phase space. The phase space will inherit a structure called a symplectic form. That symplectic form will become the curvature of a differential operator on something called a line bundle. And that line bundle is something like the xy plane, where you can look at functions. And those functions will become the quantum states of a quantum field theory. So I think that what Garrett just said is not actually accurate—

00:51:56
Garrett Lisi: But you have to—but you still need— 

00:51:57
Eric Weinstein: Even without—

00:51:58
Garrett Lisi: Where does Planck’s constant come in there? I mean, you don’t have quantum—quantum mechanics you have to add. It’s something you have to add. It doesn’t come out naturally from—

00:52:04
Eric Weinstein: No, I don’t agree with just necessarily. I believe that geometric quantization. There are some things that we say about Quantum Theory that I have not been convinced of one is that it’s an art rather than a functor. But I think the geometric quantization goes a long way towards saying that, just as vintners claim that wine is what happens when you stop grape juice from becoming vinegar, well, in some sense, classical field theory is what happens when you stop a mechanics from quantizing itself. And I think that Garrett’s theory is entirely capable of quantizing itself in a geometric quantization format, simply by virtue of the fact that, through a legendre transformation, he’ll get from a Lagrangian into a Hamiltonian picture, the Hamiltonian picture will turn out to be affiliated with a line bundle, and then the spooky-action-at-a-distance will come up in the multi-particle theory as his theory quantizes itself, and I don’t understand his pessimism. That’s not his problem. He’s got bigger problems.

00:53:09
Garrett Lisi: I think of quantum mechanics as bringing in a whole bunch of structural elements that either have to appear by hand, or I guess, I can see—

00:53:18
Eric Weinstein: There are a few pages out of Woodhouse, and I think that you’ll find you’re in far better shape if you can just get your stuff in order.

00:53:28
Garrett Lisi: Happy to have a look. I still think of quantum mechanics as a structure that most physicists would bring in as a toolkit to use with other things, rather than something that emerges naturally from a geometric system. 

00:53:45
Eric Weinstein: We’ll see, I’m a little bit—

00:53:46
Garrett Lisi: —from your point of view, how you’d see it that way.

00:53:48
Eric Weinstein: Yeah, I’m more sanguine that because Garrett has hugged the shore of geometry, he will be richly rewarded if he can ever get his stuff to really work.

00:53:58
Brian Keating: Well, let me ask some questions from the audience, because there’s over, almost—yeah, there’s 1100 people watching live. Thank you, we treasure each and every one of you. And I want to ask a question about the impact of String Theory. Why is it so worthy of at least somewhat muted derision, perhaps by basically everyone who’s got an alternative grand unified or super unified theory? Why is it—make the steelman case for String Theory first, Eric, and then and then I’d like to hear from from Garrett, although we did discuss that, so we’ll maybe ask an alternate question of Garrett so as not to repeat himself. But ask you, Eric, what’s the case for String Theory, even if not to devote—even if we ignore the amount of resources that have been devoted to it? Let’s just take the case of String Theory. Qua String Theory. What’s good about it? 

00:54:54
Eric Weinstein: Well, I mean, first of all, there’s a certain amount of naturality at the beginning of it, which is, “Why just generalize hard little balls, which aren’t exactly right? Why not start from things that are more interesting than hard little balls, like tiny little pieces of string and circles vibrating in some other space?” I think that then you ask the question about, “Why did gravity not succumb to the same tools that worked well for what we would call spin 1/2 matter, and spin 1 forces other than gravity, and now for the Higgs field, so, which is spin 0. Now, there are two other cases, there’s spin 3/2 and spin 2 before you crap out of this game, in which everything in the theory has to come with some fraction between zero and two.

In that situation, there’s a puzzle as to why gravity doesn’t easily submit to this quantum imperialism. And the hope was that if you found any circumstance in which gravity appeared to behave better, then, in that framework, then that would have to be right. And that was supplemented in the early 1980s, by some very bizarre discoveries, where there were some very narrow constraints, called an anomaly cancellation, which appeared to pick out a tiny number of candidates. And so what was tantalizing was that if somebody had actually found a way to circumvent the problems with quantizing gravity, and there were a tiny number of coincidences that were necessary, clearly, you know, the Good Lord Hashem was urging us on a path to find these things, and you could do it through process of elimination. At that point, String Theory turned murderous. And the murderousness is really the problem. It’s not String Theory, per se, that’s the problem. It was the behavior patterns of the physicists who became so drunk on power, and so completely, thoroughly obnoxious—and I want to talk about obnoxious above the obnoxious level that physicists are usually at. Physics is a very—physics is a very dangerous and difficult subject, and because it is the most accomplished of communities, arrogance has been a fundamental aspect of doing theoretical physics, just as humility has been an important aspect. And those two things are commingled. When physics had been failing for a relatively brief period of time, about 10 years, and String Theory was found to have this anomaly cancellation, the String Theory community went into some level of obnoxiousness that has never before been seen in physics. They became completely intolerable. They also started doing things like saying “Everything is String Theory”, just sort of like Bitcoin maximalists, where the Bitcoin solves everything. “I’m having a problem with my children.” “Don’t worry, Bitcoin solves that.” If you find anything that isn’t String Theory, don’t worry, we’ll just call it String Theory. Everything that you can do, we will write a paper called “Blank-Whatever-You-Did, Plus Its Stringy Origins”. It is that complete intellectual dishonesty, and the failure of the String Theorists who embraced it, to face it, and the fact that it’s concentrated in the Baby Boom generation, as a means of deferring the ultimate tango with reality, where they can keep pumping out papers and saying, “look, this is a bit of the 21st century that fell into the 20th century—it fell into the 20th”. No, it’s not. The fact of the matter is, it’s a bit of the 20th century that’s still hanging around in the 21st century. They refuse to ship a product for different reasons than other people who are struggling with it, and more neurons have been spent exploring this theory and failing to find a way to connect it to anything other than mathematical reality. So on the one hand, it’s been incredibly interesting because it backfired on the physics community. The people who thought that they would quantize Einstein’s geometry, in fact, got it exactly wrong. What they did is that they geometerized the quantum. And so people who earned as geometers, doing an infinite dimensional differential geometry, and the like, spent as String Theorists. They would accomplish things in mathematics, and then they would say, “this is exactly why String Theory is correct”. This is a bit what Milton Friedman did, when he earned as an economist, and he spent as a polemicist telling people what they had to do for their social society. Very often people earn in one place and spend somewhere else. So in part, the problem that we’ve had is that we have these people who we absolutely love, who have been doing amazing work, but it’s not the work that they claim that they’re doing. They’ve been advancing the mathematics of Quantum Field Theory. They’ve been exploring extensions of Quantum Field Theory. They are not—when they say that we’re doing something in gravity, usually, it’s not about gravity. When they say that they’re talking about particles, they’re not talking about particles. As I’ve joked, many String Theorists, I don’t think, could find the men’s room at CERN if their life depended on it. They are not in contact with the physical world. They forget things, you know, like the Gell Mann Nishijima formula, and things that, you know, Garrett probably still cares about. I think that the serious problem is that there’s no one in a position to tell some of the world’s most brilliant people that there’s an aspect of Q-anon in physics. This is the cargo-cult science that Feynman warned us about. And the fact is, we can’t necessarily just go towards Brian’s preferred answer about depending upon experiment, and we can’t trust the people who’ve claimed beauty, the way Sabine has been going after the String Theorists. And the fact is that the String Theory community has not been economically powerful, because we have economically undermined the physics community, as with every other academic science community. In order to have this work, you have to go back to the Political Economy of physics. The Political Economy of physics demands that the middle finger be accessible to every generation, so that we don’t wait for funeral-by-funeral. What’s happening now is that the Baby Boomers are eventually going to age out. The key dividing line is 1951. Frank Wilczek, who you’ve just had on your show was the last person, in some sense, to make contact with the Standard Model. Ed Witten, born in the same year, a little bit later in the year, is a guy who could not possibly have been denied a Nobel Prize at this age, in any other time period. This guy is one of the most brilliant people, and I hope to God, Brian, that you have him on your show. Despite my frustrations with him, it has been an honor to live in the same era as Ed Witten. 

01:01:21
Brian Keating: Well, he says there’s only room for one EW on the Into The Impossible podcast.

01:01:28
Eric Weinstein: And my response to that joke is “EW”. The point is that Ed Witten is one of the most important minds alive, and he has earned a tremendous amount of respect, based on what he’s done for geometry, but, more importantly, the mathematics of field theory to show that Quantum Field Theory, rather than a grab bag of strange things that happen to work, is a canonical and necessary mathematical structure. But what he has not done is to show us that String Theory is the likely winner. And the key problem is that we have got to have open debates in the community, where the people in the Holy of Holies, the Institute for Advanced Study, are actually on the same stage with people who can competently disagree with them, for the same reasons that it is important that many of us who do not support what’s going on with the Democratic Party of the United States, because we don’t think that it any longer represents a real and workable Left, and that we think that it is gone down an incredibly dangerous path, have to be allowed on the same programs as people like Brian Williamson—Brian Williams, rather—or Don Lemon, because what we have is an illusion. And the illusion of String Theory is what’s causing the bitterness. It’s not the String Theory, and it’s not even the work that the String Theorist has done. It is the murderous intent by which they have stunted other communities that have sought to challenge them, and say, “You know what, you haven’t gotten as far as you claim, and you’re not correct that other avenues shouldn’t be pursued so that you can gobble up the resources.” 

01:02:58
Brian Keating: Yeah, when I had the conversation I did with Shelly Glashow, and we’ll get to in a minute, you know, basically I said, you know, he’s a leader, and I actually communicated this with Ed Witten the first time. I’m not so easy to get—to dispose of, Ed Witten. Don’t worry, I’ll be back for more requests to have you on the Into The Impossible podcast. But I also said to Nima Arkani-Hamed, who is going to come on the podcast, I’ve got a lot of Institute adjacency to Ed. I’m hopeful that Edward will come on the podcast. But I said to Nima, “he’s a leader” and I started to think, “what is a leader?” and there was a wonderful statement made by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who Garrett Lisi, I’m sure, knows all about being a good Chabadnik, that Garrett—Garrett, you don’t know any of these words, probably. But there’s, there’s a form of Judaism—like Garrett, you know, you’ve done most of the hard work, you had the circumcision, you’re fine, that the rest is all downhill get. But the Lubavitcher Rebbe was a great, great leader. And he said, “good leaders—good leaders”—to Eric’s point—”create many followers, great leaders create many leaders”. And I see that as kind of happening, at least, not nearly to the same extent in theoretical physics as it is in my field of experimental physics. I know so many talented experimentalists that are far better than me, more creative, harder working, or more imaginative. The future of experimental physics I think is extremely bright, despite what certain naysayers will say. However, I think there is this reluctance to relinquish the stage, to enter and bow out, as Eric is alluding to, from some of the Boomers and so forth, and I’m getting up there myself, but nevertheless, in the theoretical community—and I wonder your reaction to that this following statement, for an experimentalist, it’s ironic, because I don’t believe that experimentalists do their best work by the time they’re 30, the way it’s often rumored to be true for mathematicians, and maybe theoretical physicists. In fact, experimental physicists get better with age, because we get better and better at knowing which experimental techniques work, which applications based on accumulated shared wisdom, etc., take place. So actually the opposite takes place. Your easier job of getting into experimental physics after having, you know, some exposure to it, than maybe theoretical physics, although you guys might debate that, but I want to talk about leadership in the field. You guys are both known for making prolific amounts of money and sums of money that are from your bets—from your bets with Nobel laureates, in fact—and I want to talk about the two bets that are most prominent in my mind. 

01:05:34
Eric Weinstein: Garrett really got paid. I got $1 off of Shelly Glashow after 27 years. Talk to Garrett.

01:05:38
Brian Keating: I know that well, that’s right. So Garrett, got a subscription to play—Nah, nah, I don’t know what he got. But I want to ask you guys, so let me first say this, the public bet that Garrett made with Frank Wilczek was that super particles would not be detected by the eighth of July, 2015. He gave him a one year extension for more data collection. Frank Wilczek conceded the super particle bet to Lisi in 2016. I had Frank on the show recently, I had on Shelly Glashow on the show recently. We were talking about the failure of of supersymmetry. So in this case, why isn’t it true that these Nobel laureates are taking the advice of their fellow laureate Richard Feynman? In other words, we know that it doesn’t agree with experiments. So why is this still so persistent. Is it an illusion? Let me ask Garrett, why do you think these things, like, Frank still believes that supersymmetry has a chance for success, even despite his pecuniary dilemma that he is in, and now, courtesy of you—actually, how could you take his whole salary? I mean, that he only gets five salaries from the five different institutions that have hired him.

01:06:46
Garrett Lisi: It didn’t even put a dent in it. But it did have four digits. So I was happy to receive it for the Pacific Science Institute. So yeah. And I was very—and he was a wonderful person for honoring that bet, and certainly for not bolting on it. I do have, I think, a good perspective on this. When I first built up this, you know, the the algebraic structure of the Standard Model and gravity into one algebraic hole, and just saw how perfectly it fit into E8, I was like, there’s got to be something here. There’s no way this is coincidence. Just algebraically is just—it would be an outlandish thing if this just was a coincidence. 

01:07:27
Brian Keating: Too beautiful to be wrong. 

01:07:29
Garrett Lisi: Yeah, exactly. It’s too beautiful to be wrong. And I think Frank Wilczek experienced—and I’m just guessing here—but I think he experienced something very similar when he did his calculation with a SO 10, Grand Unified model, extended with supersymmetry, and saw that the coupling constants, the way they run at higher energies—and if you do it just with SO 10, they just miss each other. But if you do it with supersymmetry, those coupling constants, when they run, they converge much more closely. And when he saw that, I think he had the same realization that this has to be true. This is too beautiful to be wrong. This supersymmetry, combined with this Grand Unified Theory, with the coupling constants merging to one value at high energy, that’s too beautiful to be wrong. I think he’s hung on to that ever since. What he doesn’t—may not have respected is that, you know, the super particles haven’t shown up. When you look more closely at the convergence, when you go to higher loops in the renormalization calculation, these coupling constants don’t merge perfectly with supersymmetry added. So it’s not as great of a coincidence as he first appreciated. And he just, you know, he had a very personal experience that caused him to have these beliefs. I think this is very similar to people, I mean, I do not mean this an insulting way, but I think many people can be misled this way, if they have personal experiences that lead them to believe weird things that aren’t true. I think people believe in God for this reason, I think people believe in astrology for this reason. It’s like, oh, I met this person there this sign, they match all the things in the sign, there must be something to it. It’s like, because of personal experience, we tend to draw unrealistic models.

01:09:20
Brian Keating: Eric, would—

01:09:21
Eric Weinstein: Does that apply to you?

01:09:22
Garrett Lisi: It does. I think that because I had this experience of seeing the Standard Model fit into he ate perfectly the first time, with this hint of triality for the three generations, I think that gave me unusual confidence that something along these lines had to be true.

01:09:37
Eric Weinstein: I think what Garrett is saying is profound here. This is really an important point. If you take the anomaly cancellation, if you take the triviality, together with the chirality of E8 for Garrett. If you take the running coupling constant convergence for Frank Wilczek, and probably also cancellations in the perturbation theory of supersymmetric theories when the supersymmetry isn’t, you know, too far off, or badly broken, in order to say why it isn’t here already—another one would be the convergence inside of spin 10 that Garrett is referring to of Georgi and Glashow, and there’s another version due to Pati and Salaam—all of these things have been extremely tantalizing, and the problem is that everything smells like we’re almost finished, if not with this whole story, certainly this chapter of the story. And I believe that that is driving many people crazy, which is really the steelmanning of Sabine’s point as to why this is happening. Now, Garrett, can—may I just ask, and sort of take Brian’s role here for one second? Why did you become confident enough to bet against Frank Wilczek, that, clearly, I know you have no penchant for losing money, and you put yourself in a very vulnerable position—what gave you the confidence that super partners would not be found? 

01:11:08
Garrett Lisi: Alright, I looked into— 

01:11:10
Eric Weinstein: You know what’s coming next, right, which is the fact that you’re using super connections, so that you are starting to move a little bit in the direction of supersymmetry—

01:11:19
Garrett Lisi: There is—

01:11:19
Eric Weinstein: Just as Wilczek’s money is moving into your pocket.

01:11:21
Garrett Lisi: —stuff that I’m not—that I’m aware of in my own work. But for supersymmetry and super particles specifically, it was work that I read from a paper in the 90s, I think by Peskin. And that work, just took the last stone out of the structure that was holding up evidence for supersymmetry. There are arguments for supersymmetry. And that stone was that with supersymmetry, you get a more successful renormalization for the Higgs field. Okay, that you get—that you can balance things better with supersymmetry, that super particles perform this role where you can get renormalization to work out better and more successfully in a more natural way. And this has been one of several arguments for supersymmetry that has been used to support it theoretically. And what I found in this paper by Peskin, I think it was from ’97 or something, was that if you just have more Higgs degrees of freedom, you can get the same sort of—same sort of balancing in renormalization. And that’s like, wow, that’s right. This argument really just comes down to one parameter to get something to match up. And if you can just wiggle some other parameter, you can get the same sort of balancing, get everything to work out. So you don’t need supersymmetry, you don’t need this whole Zoo of super particles. And at that point, the chain of logic required to support a belief in supersymmetry just totally fell apart. It’s like there’s just no evidence for this. Mathematically, from a mathematical perspective, I look at it, and it’s like, supersymmetry isn’t even that pretty mathematically. Mathematicians tend not to deal with it, because it’s just kind of not really mathematically elegant. And with so little evidence for it, it just seemed like there was a extreme unusual amount of confidence in supersymmetry among physicists among high energy theorists, and I had an opportunity at a conference to take advantage of Frank Wilczek and his generosity, and putting him on the spot during during a talk he was giving, and make this bet, and he took it because he—I know he had an unusual amount of confidence in the symmetry and he humored me in taking this bet.

01:13:53
Eric Weinstein: Well, this is part of his description of Jimmy the Greek in Vegas making money off people that wanted to bet that they could beat Jimmy the Greek, and that you—hubris is the source of profit. But Garrett, in a weird way, even though you’ve won Frank’s money by forcing him into a compromised position, where he has to support his unnatural exuberance, is Frank not, in some sense, winning this bet, as I watch supersymmetry start to invade your E8 program?

01:14:22
Garrett Lisi: Um, Frank Wilczek has won all sorts of ways, and he’s a great guy, and I think deserves it. He deserves everything he’s won. I’m not religious about anything. If it turns out supersymmetry comes in and solves really good problems for me, I may change my point of view about it. I’m not religious about anything, I will go with whatever works.

01:14:45
Eric Weinstein: 

So let me just make a point on that. I remember the first time I saw a giraffe in Africa on the savanna, and instead of seeing it in a zoo, where it looks like the most ungainly, ungainly, ridiculous animal, I suddenly realized how beautifully it was designed. 

01:15:02
Garrett Lisi: Yeah.

01:15:02
Eric Weinstein: Could the problem not be that we have always mis-instantiated supersymmetry, causing it to be relatively ugly, even to mathematicians. And that, in fact, it has infected all sorts of areas of mathematics, we can’t quite keep it out. It does occur in, you know, local formulas, for example, for the Atiyah-Singer families index theorem. Is it not the case that perhaps the problem goes back to what I was trying to say about Popper, that when something is mis-instantiated, it does not invalidate, in some sense, the soul of the idea? And that, what you see is that a lot of these ideas are mis-instantiated, causing people to get crazy. They see something that is, in fact, not seen by others. And then when they realize that they’re in possession of something, incomplete as it may be, they rush to over-instantiate it. And that that’s really the problem. And that, in fact, Frank has been driven slightly mad by expecting that the supersymmetry would occur in the most naive possible way, just as Georgi and Glashow were looking for proton decay in South Dakota abandoned mines, and didn’t find it. Just as Ed Witten was looking for a very simple story about the Einstein equations coming out of pieces of string, with the anomaly cancellation showing the way. And that, over and over again, Sabine is actually just, in some ways, doing a great job calling out many more powerful people for not actually getting things right, but is herself fallen in love with the idea that beauty is the source of the problem. Maybe the source of the problem is that we keep seeing glimmers of the truth that are almost always mis-instantiated. And that the real problem is that we are at the end, and it is the conceptual difficulties that are the biggest problem. When we say Theory of Everything, what do we even mean? We have these incredibly childish conversations: Do we need a Theory of Everything? What good is a Theory of Everything? But I think that the much more interesting question is, conceptually, do we even know what we mean, because, to the best of my knowledge, even though I’m assured that every theorist has a private collection of theories of everything in a drawer that they show no one, I’ve actually never seen a competent attempt at a Theory of Everything from anyone. It’s so difficult. We’re in such a straitjacket at the moment, that anybody who knows anything about this field effectively won’t produce a Theory of Everything candidate, because it’s instantly laughable. And that, in fact, we don’t even know what we’re talking about when we say the words “Theory of Everything,” because what does that mean? 

01:17:48
Brian Keating: Yeah.

01:17:50
Garrett Lisi: I think you really got it when you think—when you said perhaps we do are using the correct structures, the correct theoretical models, we’re just instantiating them incorrectly. And I think that could very well be the case with supersymmetry and how it’s instantiated. It could be instantiated in a different way, where it still maintains a form of supersymmetry, but you don’t end up with super partners, you don’t end up with super particles.

01:18:19
Eric Weinstein: Bingo.

01:18:20
Garrett Lisi: So it could be something just like that. And that’s very much the case if you look at the BRST technique for—

01:18:28
Eric Weinstein: You mean with ghosts. 

01:18:29
Garrett Lisi: —for Gauge Theory with ghosts, which are essentially, you know, they’re—it’s a sort of supersymmetry, but it’s not a superpartner supersymmetry. And that, and in that sense, it’s a much prettier structure, and I think something like that could be happening. And it could be happening over and over again, where we actually are dealing with almost exactly the right picture. We were just a little off, so totally missed it.

01:18:49
Eric Weinstein: What if the idea is in fact that you’re you’ve got Clark Kent and Superman, and you imagine that Clark Kent is something called Spider Man, and that Superman is, in fact, Peter Parker, and you keep waiting for Peter Parker and Spider Man and you haven’t put together you have Clark Kent and Superman. I mean, there are all sorts of things that can explain all sorts of older people going completely insane because they grew up—

01:19:18
Garrett Lisi: The reason this happens is because when we’re students and we learn this stuff, we see one way that was done specifically, and we now are familiar with the one way it was done specifically, and we lose track of the fact after hundreds of people have learned it this way, we lose track of the way that it could have been done slightly different, if they just made a slightly different choice of bat—

01:19:36
Eric Weinstein: Well, and also that when you allow older people to wrap their loving hands around the necks of anybody who would come to disagree with them financially, which you do is you interfere with the scientific process, and it’s certainly very expensive waiting for Plank’s aphorism to come true that science progresses funeral-by-funeral. It doesn’t need to if you solve the problem of political economy. And if there are any billionaires out there who would like to advance the human species, there’s nothing you could do better than free the people who need to be freed from the economic tyranny of the elders, to actually develop the ideas that they believe in so that we don’t keep investing in the failed ideas of others. A huge missed opportunity for interest

01:20:17
Brian Keating: Only if—Eric, if only you knew a billionaire, I mean, it would be so convenient if that were the case. Or me too. 

01:20:24
Eric Weinstein: Well, Jim Simons is available, I hope. Jim has been incredibly generous, and trying to figure out what to fund. I do not understand—if I were Jim Simons, and I wanted to leave the maximal stain in the human—I mean, this isn’t said because we want Jim Simons’ money. If Jim Simons wanted to do the maximal amount of good, I believe that Jim Simons could solve this problem overnight, because, to be honest, a lot of this is incredibly cheap.

01:20:51
Brian Keating: Yeah.

01:20:51
Garrett Lisi: Theorists are cheap.

01:20:52
Brian Keating: Yeah. When I hear that, of course, I’m reminded of the quote by Upton Sinclair that it’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. And I, you know, wonder, what about the people out there who say, “you guys are controversial, you guys are working at this, you know, kind of outsider’s perspective.” I know Eric hates this, but like, at least this guy, Norbert, you know, he’s written a book. And he’s got this book, he’s not doing a TED talk, like Garrett. He’s not doing a Joe Rogan as Eric does. What do you say to people like that? I mean, is this guy—should you just humor a person like this? And then he might be listening? I hope he is, Norbert, you’re all—more power to you for doing this.

01:21:38
Eric Weinstein: You looked through the book. What do you think of it? 

01:21:39
Brian Keating: Well, I just got it this morning, and it’s 190 pages, but it’s phenomenal.

01:21:44
Eric Weinstein: Doesn’t require that, you can figure out very quickly whether or not there’s something to it.

01:21:47
Brian Keating: Yeah. So I literally got it as I was setting up to interview Garrett. I will look through it because actually, it’s a tradition of mine to never throw away a book. I don’t care what it’s about, or whatever, even if it’s my own book, which I—

01:22:02
Eric Weinstein: Do mind if I—

01:22:03
Brian Keating: Yeah—

01:22:03
Eric Weinstein: —I answer that, because—

01:22:05
Garrett Lisi: Some books you have to throw down with great force.

01:22:08
Eric Weinstein: Brian, because there was a slight implication there, I will point out that I actually don’t—I’ve been very fascinated by the fact that I said quite a lot of things in the Geometric Unity lecture that I released, and the claim that you can’t understand anything from a lecture is itself preposterous. I remember very well, when what became to be known as the Seiberg-Witten equations were discussed at a seminar at MIT. I guarantee you the math community did not wait for a paper. They immediately tore into—a guy named Brian Knutson, I believe, asked Ed Witten, “Well, what are these equations?” and Ed wrote them on the board. The rest is history. The claim that, in some sense, you know, “paper or it didn’t happen”. This kind of internet tomfoolery has just showed you the degradation in the communications between the scientific community—name calling, and innuendo is really trading at a premium. One of the things that I really like about the conversation that we have been having is that it’s nuanced. I may resent Ed Witten’s leadership of the physics community, but I absolutely love his mind and what he’s done. Sabine pisses me off with her diplomacy when she says “I’m too busy to read this stuff”, when she actually means, “I don’t think it’s good enough to warrant my attention”. 

01:23:33
Brian Keating: Or that, yeah, she’ll say, I don’t understand it. Right. 

01:23:35
Eric Weinstein: But my point is, right. But my point is, is that there’s a tremendous amount of love in this situation for the—and compassion, for the people who are in this game. When you hold up that book, I see an earnest person, who’s almost certainly going to be wrong, who’s trying. And I think that there’s a beautiful thing that goes back to David E Kaplan, at Johns Hopkins, who did the film Particle Fever, who’s an unbelievable guy, and I hope you have him on your podcast. He is an honest broker. What he said is, “the entire circus of theoretical physics is what humanizes us”, the charlatans, the careerists, the backstabbing, the missed opportunities, the failings, and ultimately the successes, that the entire circus is, in fact, man trying to understand his own condition. It is we as the AI attempting to learn our own source code. We have emerged in the system out of nothing. It is as if we’ve been given a Game of Life in Conway’s sense, and we have somehow spontaneously erupted to try to figure out “what are we?” or if you want to look at it as Wheeler’s the universe inspecting itself, which he drew is a “U” with an eyeball looking at itself. 

01:24:53
Brian Keating: Yeah. 

01:24:54
Eric Weinstein: And I think that part of the thing that you would say is that, under David Kaplan’s concept of the physics circus, whoever’s book that is, I may never heard of that person, that person is trying. And you know, rather than denigrating that person.

01:25:10
Brian Keating: I can prove it to you on one leg that that criticism is B.S., because look behind me here. This way, this way, here, this purple kind of book right there, is Wolfram, a project for theoretical physics. Okay, so a project to find the fundamental theory of physics. Okay, so, he published a book, people don’t read it. The same people who say the same stuff about the two of you, say the same stuff about Wolfram. So that is proof positive that a book is meaningless, a paper is meaningless, having written—

01:25:41
Eric Weinstein: Wait, what do they say about the two of us? 

01:25:44
Brian Keating: Well, I think what they say about the two of you, is “Eric—”, and you and I have had this conversation, I’m not saying it behind your back, that “—you are an extraordinarily privileged human being who did, you know, went to Harvard, went to MIT, went to Israel, had all these postdocs, now is in a high power position, you call yourself not a physicist, but you really are a physicist—to shield yourself from the criticism that “he should know better because he’s a physicist”. You use this as a shield, as armor, to protect yourself. Garrett, they say “he’s not traditional academic role. He didn’t—” you guys are gonna fucking kill me, but I don’t care. I’m 1000s of miles away. But they’ll say, “Garrett is a showman. He is bright, but his potential is not being used, because he has enough gifts.” And they say the same about you, Eric, that you should be doing this full time. And I don’t agree with that, because I think you guys are making valuable contributions, arguably, Garrett, you know, if you break any more bones, I’m going to get pissed off at you. But the point—

01:26:42
Eric Weinstein: Actually, Brian, what you’re saying—if that was said publicly, those people would be short. And I want to bring up a very important story. There’s a difference between trying to snipe and trying to block. I said some very tough things about Ed Witten. Very hard for me to say that, because this is a guy that I admire, effectively, almost more than anyone else alive, right? When people refuse to go short in public, and they snipe behind backs, it’s really remarkable in some sense how at least Jacques Distler and Garibaldi, his coauthor, went short Garrett Lisi. This is the manner by which Erwin Chargaff went short Watson and Crick. There was nothing quite as beautiful as watching Chargaff come to understand how deeply and painfully he had gotten things wrong. And I think that one of the things that’s very interesting is, if people say that, you know, if I called myself a physicist, I guarantee you tomorrow, that criticism would convert 180 degrees, or pi radians, if you like, and that is it would be “How dare he call himself a physicist? He took one semester of mechanics WTF.” Okay? The key point is, most people are very reluctant, with love and care, to say what they mean and go short what they mean. And if I were to offer, “Would you care to give me 10,000 to 1 odds on Geometric Unity?” I guarantee you they’d say, well, let’s bet 100 bucks at 1 to 1. No, no, if it’s quite so ridiculous, if it’s funny, if it’s an internet stunt, I would be very interested in taking your house. And I’d be willing to put up you know, a little bit of money given that it’s such an outside bet. So, if you’re interested in going short, that’s not the problem. The problem is the sniping. The problem is the bitchy, catty little comments, and the avoidance, you know, I mean, I definitely can tell you that I have a lot of admiration, for example, as to what Sean Carroll has been doing, in terms of trying to push out various aspects of the toolkit of theoretical physics to a world audience. But I also find that there is an aspect of avoidance. And in the case of you, you are actually saying, “I want to sample what life there is.” And it’s very important to recognize that the difference between blocking and shorting is very important. If people will not professionally go short and say, I think that the odds that you have anything are miniscule and not worth worrying about. That becomes very interesting, because that’s something that can be falsified.

01:29:24
Brian Keating: Well, how about it? Shall we make it interesting, Garrett, you guys are known for winning bets with famous Nobel laureates, guys care to make it interesting? But how about this? How about we bet—well, no that wouldn’t be going short—I was gonna say Eric bets that Garrett’s right, Garrett bets that Eric’s right. But I’m trying to achieve comity, but that’s a problem, right? Because actually, I think that it’s benign bigotry, right. I think it’s—

01:29:46
Garrett Lisi: On what metric? Yeah.

01:29:47
Brian Keating: I think it’s benign bigotry to say oh, well, it’s good. Eric. Eric, good for you. Let me rub your beautiful Einstein hair—I think that’s insulting, and I think it’s detrimental, right, to say, “Oh, it’s good that—” and I do take issue with Sabine for doing that, you know, basically, I think that’s a cop out. She should say what she really believes is just, “I think it’s wrong.”

01:30:05
Eric Weinstein: Wait, wait, wait a second. Sabine is in a very vulnerable position. 

01:30:09
Brian Keating: Okay, fine.

01:30:10
Eric Weinstein: And I’m very defensive of Sabine, because Sabine has huge amounts of integrity. 

01:30:15
Brian Keating: Me too, I, yeah.

01:30:16
Eric Weinstein: I really believe that she intends to be as diplomatic as she can as a curmudgeon, and that she’s trying to keep—you know, we’ve got one lady in Germany trying to keep the entire field—the reason that we keep talking about her is because of her incredible courage and integrity. And so even though she’s wrong about beauty, and Garrett is wrong about E8, and I can keep going on and over and over about what my beliefs are, the fact is, these are people who are behaving, in my opinion, the most heroically, and the sniping, and the bitching and complaining and saying, “Well, you can tell that because they’re behaving in this way, if you avoid peer review, it means that—”, look, the key issue is I keep coming on your show, Brian, time after time. I’m on with Wilczek, I forget who else I’ve been on—

01:31:00
Brian Keating: Penrose.

01:31:01
Eric Weinstein: Penrose. No, we’re actually out here in public and vulnerable. And the key point is, if you want to go short, and you have an idea that this is so ridiculous, by all means.

01:31:13
Brian Keating: Well, here’s the—

01:31:14
Eric Weinstein: Let’s structure something so that you can express your view, and then it becomes much more interesting to go after it.

01:31:19
Brian Keating: Well, here’s a conversation you and I had when I came on The Portal, which will be released by the time the second—

01:31:26
Eric Weinstein: Inshallah. 

01:31:27
Brian Keating: —by the time the second Kamala Harris administration is in office. But I, you know, I said this, that they—and you and I talked about this, quite candidly, that Nobel Prize winners have this outsized risk/reward ratio that doesn’t favor them either opining about the peccadilloes, or flaws, in new Theories of Everything, and also, not being very willing to step out on a limb, right, because they don’t want to, you know, have their reputation—they have reputation bias, they have authority bias that comes courtesy of this—look, you guys both talked about Nobel Prize winners and so forth. And, you know, my theory on that, and that’ll come out when The Portal does come out with the two of us. But, the point being, you know, there’s this tremendous, you know, risk, so I don’t—on one hand, Eric, you’re saying we can’t criticize Sabine too much because she’s extremely courageous and vulnerable, and she’s doing a great job, but she’s not backed by this edifice of tenure and so forth that I enjoy. On the other hand, we can’t criticize someone like Wilczek, because he’s not gonna take the bait and possibly risk some of his hit points. And—

01:32:29
Eric Weinstein: Well, no, no, no, no, no, this is what—Feynman came out against String Theory, and he made the point, he said, when I was a young man, the old people got it wrong. So I’m going to be telling you that, as an old guy, I think the String Theorists have it completely wrong. Now, of course, he didn’t really mean that. He really meant, “I think the String Theorists are completely wrong. I’m not here just to entertain you.” The key issue is that the old guys who really still understood what the game was had won enough that they were in a position to get things wrong, and to be relatively undamaged and undeterred. The problem that we have now is that the leading lights of the theoretical physics community have, in general, not made contact with the unforgiving. That is, they have not made contact with the physical world, they don’t work in dimensions, or, you know, Spacetime signatures that are actually real, they tend to work in places where there is no chance of bumping up against anything other than mathematical reality. And so, by deferring that, what we have is, we have very vulnerable old people. We now have people dying, at the ends of their lives, who were considered leading lights of the physics community, who have never been proven to have accomplished anything, actually, in physics. And I don’t say this to be a jerk. I say this because the field is in danger. When you go for almost 50 years without making significant contact, from the theory perspective—we’ve had about three or four major updates from the experimentalists, to your point, Brian—you’re in danger of having very respectable people who it’s not even clear are physicists, in standard concepts of physics. When you talk about people like Ed Hooft, and Yang, and Weinberg, and Frank Wilczek, you’re talking about an extremely important, dwindling community, like the number of humans who have walked on the moon. Every human being who has walked on the moon is old, and everyone who has made contact with experiment from the theory perspective in fundamental physics is now old. This is a non-renewable resource. We are in incredible danger, because we have got to claim the people who sit in the chaired professorships are incredibly accomplished, but by physical standards, almost none of them are. And this is not me being a jerk. This is, unfortunately, the world being a jerk.

01:34:49
Brian Keating: How do you read world? How do you instantiate that though, Eric? How do you—look, “You’re not coming—get your damn hands off my chair!” You know, “I earned this chaired professor.” But— 

01:35:00
Eric Weinstein: I didn’t say experimentalist, Brian.

01:35:01
Brian Keating: I know, I’m just joking, but I am, to somebody else, I’m blocking somebody else. So I had this conversation with I think it was Cameron Hoffa, but it might have been somebody else, but, another person who’s done a tremendous amount of mathematical things. He’s very brilliant. I love him. He’s a mensch. But, you know, I feel like we have, we have a whole, you know, glut of very accomplished, brilliant theoreticians, theoretical physicists, perhaps, and there aren’t as many experimentalists doing the work, as Garrett said earlier, you know, it’s very expensive to do experiment, blah, blah, blah. But, but how do you physically get them to give it up? I want to propose in a faculty meeting, and now I’m tenured so I can say whatever I think about various ones—Naw, I love my colleagues, but I said, I think you theorists should teach two classes for every one class in experimentalist has to teach, because I’m traveling, I’m going to Chile, I’m going to the South Pole. I’m doing—and I’m running an enterprise with a budget annually of $1.7 million to put my students, for them to travel for them to go to Chile, blah, blah, blah. And they were like, “If you do that, I will make your life a living hell”, you know, basically, they’re not going to teach two classes in a quarter. They’re not going to do it—

01:36:08
Eric Weinstein: They shouldn’t be teaching, for the most part.

01:36:09
Brian Keating: How do you do that? How do you instantiate this thing of “get the old Boomers off the stage”? Look, we have a 78-year-old president right now.

01:36:17
Eric Weinstein: You need not to “get the old Boomers off the stage”. You need enough funding so that young people, their life—

01:36:24
Brian Keating: Okay, where—?

01:36:25
Eric Weinstein: —does not depend— 

01:36:25
Brian Keating: Where? Motherhood and apple pie. Where do we get the money? Let me ask Garrett. Garrett—

01:36:29
Eric Weinstein: Wait, wait, wait, one second. I’ve been on this program before. The US government needs to recognize that it is shooting itself in the foot by not honoring an agreement that was tacitly understood, which is, we create your economy, and for God’s sake, when we tell you that we need funding and we need some toys, shut up.

01:36:50
Brian Keating: Do you think we’re gonna get that?

01:36:51
Eric Weinstein: We created almost everything that is still working.

01:36:54
Brian Keating: No, I agree 100% with you on that, I’ve, obviously—and I—and by the way, I like to point out that nobody looked at the equations of quantum mechanics and said, Let’s make a LCD a transistor that will go on a smartphone. It came from experimental physics. I’m just teasing. But Garrett, maybe you haven’t heard this, Eric calls theoretical physics, the “SEAL Team Six” of intellectual capability. By the way, I have a lot of friends in the SEAL teams, and they’re just as talented. Eric, I know you mean that in the best possible way. And you have—

01:37:20
Eric Weinstein: You know, if I get taken out by SEAL Team three, I’m going to be terribly angry.

01:37:23
Brian Keating: Yeah, Jocko is coming back for more. Let me let me stop and take a pause for one second, just to remind people, please do subscribe to the podcast, please leave a comment. What do you think about these different theories of Eric’s and Garrett’s? And what do you think about the importance of, I believe, popularization that these are two of the greatest exponents? I think Sabine is an incredible expositor. She takes things in a different direction than I do. People that are actually doing research and taking courageous stands, you’ll be pleased to know that people like my friend, and upcoming guest, Avi Loeb, he is very much in the same camp as you guys. And he’s a theoretical astrophysicist. And he believes that there’s tremendous amounts of evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence that’s not being funded. Just the exact same arguments that Eric and Garrett might make, because of all the intellectual air being sucked out, and the financial capital getting sucked out. So Eric has made controversial, to me, suggestions that we should tax semiconductor instructions or somehow monetize these inventions of physics. I pointed out, Eric, I think, when you and I and Max Tegmark were on together, earlier this month—I’ll put a link somewhere in the notes to that—I pointed out that we’re doing it again, Garrett, we’re doing it again, we never learn our lessons. Quantum computing, the next big thing, it’s going to revolutionize our understanding. Artificial intelligence. We invented that in the form of what are called Josephson junctions. And I had John Preskill on about that. And we talked about quantum computing. We’re doing it all over again. When will we ever learn? How would you solve it? How are you optimistic, Garrett, politically speaking, that the new administrations are going to be more favorable to science and, more importantly, to physics, specifically, in terms of direct funding?

01:39:07
Garrett Lisi: I think the new administration is definitely more favorable to science, certainly to listening to scientists, if not actually financially supporting them. But I think some financial support will come just with the added respect. But respect isn’t enough to put food on the table. You also need financial support. And I think, you know, pulling from my own story, my advisor in quantum field theory passed away, and I was pretty much left adrift. But I had, you know, somehow, somewhat miraculously come up with my own financial support, through getting lucky in the stock market. So I was able to go off on my own, do my own thing, and got lucky with it. Now, I’m a horrible data point—

01:39:48
Brian Keating: Right. Survivor bias.

01:39:51
Garrett Lisi: But I think the best thing you could possibly do to get young people out from the tyranny of control from the elders, and allow them to explore their own ideas, their own creations, their own explorations in mathematical physics, quantum computing and everything, is to get your fingers off of their endeavors. And this happened with FQXI, where they started out, it’s like, well, you know, take proposals for all new weird ideas and give money out based on those ideas and see where it goes. And I had a weird idea. I’ve submitted it, I got funded. Wow, this is amazing. That was great. It all went into stocks. Now I’ve got a house. But what happened to FQXI is, now it’s changed. And now it’s directed. Now it’s like, well, we will accept research proposals on this one specific area of interpretations of quantum mechanics, and its relation to consciousness. And I’m like, Oh, Jesus, all right, they’re gone.

01:40:54
Eric Weinstein: Yeah, too much transparency, too much “best practices” too much administrative nonsense.

01:40:59
Garrett Lisi: All this stuff, all this over-management has to go. What you really want to do is have some rich patron say, “I’m just going to give a lot of money to a lot of smart young people, and let them have fun.” Just take really smart people, give them money, give them the support they need, maybe point them towards a community of people they can talk to, and let them, and just support them. Let them do what they want.

01:41:24
Eric Weinstein: You don’t have to say it is “fun”, Garrett. Look, they need to have houses, and children.

01:41:29
Garrett Lisi: Yeah, they need support. 

01:41:30
Eric Weinstein: They need to have a future. 

01:41:31
Brian Keating: I mean, the Perimeter Institute came close to that right? You guys both— 

01:41:35
Garrett Lisi: Just give more money to smart people when they’re young.

01:41:38
Eric Weinstein: Give money to smart people and stop—

01:41:39
Brian Keating: Yeah, but I, okay, so Jim Simons told me that—and he’s worth $20 billion, probably. He said, “If I gave $1 to everyone who said ‘I’m a super genius’,” he said, “even I would be broke.” In other words, there’s—everybody thinks that they’re—how do you have the knowledge to say which ideas are worth pursuing? Or you just give it to everybody? Because then you give it to nobody.

01:41:47
Garrett Lisi: IQ tests are pretty good, even IQ tests are pretty good. Give it—give money to top—

01:42:04
Brian Keating: I’ll fail! I’ll fail! I won’t get anywhere. I’ll be broke!

01:42:08
Eric Weinstein: Brian, the problem is that that’s a pretend comment. There really aren’t that many people with even a, you know, take every single person that you mentioned as having an alternative Theory of Everything. It’s a tiny number of human beings who are even trying. This is not like everybody, you know, with a story. The community of people who are actually trying to do something interesting from outside with any technical competence is relatively small. And this is just—this is a nonsense argument for holding on to the fact—Jim might be saying something else, which is, I don’t think any of these people are promising enough. Fair enough.

01:42:53
Brian Keating: Yeah. You know, you know, it occurred to me as you’re both speaking, that you guys are both kind of like orphans. And, in terms of not having advisors in the traditional sense, in graduate school, and I see you guys like brothers. And brothers can be best friends, but they also fight, as we know from our friends, Cain and Abel. And maybe that explains this Nemesis theory, the antimatter nemesis, but—and maybe it explains the conservation of mass between the two of you guys over the pandemic. And let me just pause for one—Oh, go ahead, Eric.

01:43:25
Eric Weinstein: Garrett’s been shredded for a long time, and I’ve just lost some weight after being, you know, too far north on the scale. So I don’t think that we should overdo that. I do think that it’s really important to recognize that the antagonism is real, the love is real—

01:43:42
Brian Keating: The love is real.

01:43:42
Eric Weinstein: —and that this is normal. And the reason that this has been able to work as a relationship for as long as it has, over a decade, is that we listen to each other, and we take each other seriously. When I tried to do a good job of saying why I think Garrett’s theory is one of the most interesting even though it doesn’t work, it’s this ability to go both long and short, and to say what’s positive and what’s negative. A lot of what you see, when somebody is just wholly negative, and they say, you know, “smart guy, but this, but that, but this, but that,” Jesus Christ. That stuff is getting confusing. The tiny number of people who are doing anything interesting, including Sabine crapping all over all of us, is—this community is fewer than 20 people. I don’t think—I just want to be clear that if Jim Simons doesn’t have 20 bucks, I can front it. 

01:43:54
Brian Keating: Right.

01:44:34
Eric Weinstein: I can get him 20 bucks.

01:44:37
Brian Keating: I told him, I told him, you know, if he had a down month this year, for the first time ever, I said, Jim, if you need a loan, Eric’s money is available. No, seriously, I did have just one thing to say before we turn to maybe a little bit of politics, and then we’ll finish up, because it’s been late and Garrett’s been so kind, and the waves are getting tasty down there. Shakalaka Garrett Lisi. 

01:44:56
Garrett Lisi: It is a good kitesurfing day today. 

01:44:57
Brian Keating: Triton class of—what year did you get your PhD.

01:45:02
Garrett Lisi: Ah, good lord. It’s either 98 or 99.

01:45:04
Brian Keating: Beloved son, prodigal son of the University of California, San Diego, my beloved institution. Eric Weinstein, proprietor of The Portal and all things mystical, magical and multifluous. And mellifluous, I should say. Eric, you’re quite an inspiration. We’ve had these conversations before. I want to talk about this phrase that actually, Garrett, you said a couple minutes ago. I wasn’t intending to talk to go here. But if you’ll indulge me, I know Eric will. It’s like catnip to his newfound pet cat. But I want to—his name is Schrodinger—that was a nice touch to get that cat, call it Schrodinger, keep it—no, I’m just kidding. Eric doesn’t have a cat, yet. He might, but he doesn’t yet. But, Garrett, you said—

01:45:46
Eric Weinstein: I do and I don’t. 

01:45:47
Brian Keating: You said listen. Good one, Eric. You said “listen to scientists”, now—unless you said “Lisi to scientists”, to what extent should we listen to scientists? I mean, I made this point on The Portal episode that’s locked in the vault for its controversial status, apparently. I said, Shockley, William Shockley was a scientist. He he co-created the transistor, he won the Nobel Prize in the 1950s for its invention. He believed deeply in eugenics, and the superiority of whites over blacks. Robert Millikan—his name has just been taken off of Caltech’s Millikan library for his belief in eugenics—won the Nobel Prize for establishing the fundamental quantization of electric charge. Who—James Watson has said things, that rich people should be paid to have children, because their children will be smarter than poor children. These are all scientists. Well, my favorite one—do you guys know about Fritz Haber, who won the Nobel Prize—first, one of the first Jews to win the Nobel Prize. He was a German Jew, who, in 1908, came up with the Haber-Bosch process, which we now know creates fertilizer for half the world’s food production. And then he turned his attention to chemical warfare, including overseeing a chemical strike in Brussels, in Belgium, I believe, in 1915, that killed 50,000 Allied lives. He was a scientist, he won the 1918 Nobel Prize after committing chemical warfare atrocities, to which Germany had signed against a treaty against it. These are all scientists. Should we listen to them?

01:47:12
Brian Keating: What—when do we stop—

01:47:12
Garrett Lisi: Well you’re talking about listening to scientists about what we should do, not what we can do, and there’s a difference. 

01:47:19
Brian Keating: Explain. 

01:47:19
Garrett Lisi: I think scientists are experts in what we can do. And a lot of other thought, in ethics, and philosophy, and the liberal arts, often areas in which our leadership is more educated, is more expert in what we should do. And eugenics is something that we can do. We can breed for intelligence in any creatures, including us, or other traits. Should we do it? No. So yeah, listen to scientists with what we can do, and what will happen if we do things, but not always with what we should do.

01:47:57
Brian Keating: So yeah, I always say science means knowledge. That doesn’t mean wisdom. But Eric, you know, to the extent that you could maximize funding, let’s say that’s all you cared about doing, is maximizing science, funding for the betterment and preservation of life on this planet, which you believe is facing an existential crisis, as, you know, as we’ve talked about on the Into The Impossible podcast, and you’ve talked about in The Portal, etc. So you think we’re facing—so why not submit to rule by scientific minds? What’s wrong with that? Scientists are pretty smart.

01:48:27
Eric Weinstein: Well, I don’t like the strawmanning of the question. I mean, you asked a really interesting question before, so I’m going to leave the provocation, and go to the original question. 

01:48:36
Brian Keating: Please. 

01:48:37
Eric Weinstein: You didn’t mention Paul Ehrenfest, who murdered his own, I think, retarded child maybe with down syndrome. Nor did you mention Pascal Jordan, father of quantum mechanics, who was a straight up Nazi. To say nothing of Heisenberg’s dalliance with national socialism in Germany—

01:48:55
Brian Keating: —and Frank Hertz and Otto Hahn. And yeah, 

01:48:57
Eric Weinstein: Right. So I can go through this. And, okay, so now, you know, this is like the moles all over my body—am I going to tear them all out? I had an African American dermatologist who said to me, he said, “You know, I could remove these things, but if I, if I really did what you want me to do, you’d have almost nothing left.” And I think the key problem is that you have to wrestle with scientists who have crazy ideas. And we regularly go crazy in opposite directions. You’ll find people who, you know, advocate for fascism, and you’ll have people who advocate for anarchy. The issue is that the Schelling points that are attractive to the scientific mind, can be quite extreme. Now we can all make fun of Jim Watson for saying a bunch of things which, you know, I’ve spent a week with him and let me tell you, he is attracted to outrage. And, in part, those outrages are provocations, the key question is, “well, what do you got to come back at me?”, so I got a chance to sock it to Jim Watson over and over and over and over again for stupid comments about women. 

01:50:03
Brian Keating: Yeah.

01:50:03
Eric Weinstein: But they weren’t stupid for the reason that everybody else said they were stupid. They were stupid because he didn’t actually know his stuff. And he knew his stuff in all sorts of other areas. It’s very, very scary when extremely smart people say things that challenge us. Now we can all agree that eugenics is bad. But then when we talk about, oh, well, this embryo apparently may have a bracket gene in it. Do you want that removed if we have the ability to remove it? Then we’re all gonna say, Oh, no, no, no, no. Why doom somebody to a radical mastectomy later in life? Well, guess what, suddenly you’re practicing eugenics. And you know what, when you take somebody out to dinner in a movie to figure out whether they’re an appropriate mate, you’re practicing weak eugenics. So part of the problem is, is that it’s much easier to pretend that all of these people have gone completely insane, and that they’re just ridiculous. And it’s much harder to say, “Well, if a leading mind is making this point, do they have something?” So my question is, are you afraid of Jim Watson? Are you afraid, secretly, that he might actually be saying something? If so, by all means, suppress him, you know. But in fact, if I believe that Jim Watson is not correct about most of these things, I would much rather share a stage with him, and go toe-to-toe and make the point that part of what’s motivating him is that he wanted to be free. And he saw the degradation of freedom inside of the Academy, and he became more and more obstinate, mischievous, and, as I’ve said, the problem is that the legacy of Jim Watson is so important that it cannot be left to Jim Watson. Jim Watson did so much and his story means so much, and his stupid ass stuff that he says late in life because he feels that his freedom has been eroded and that other people haven’t understood—No, Jim Watson has a lot of points, many of them bad. And Edward Teller, it would be another example. The person who, along with Stan Ulam, unlocked the power of the sun so that we can wield it against our enemies, giving us the power of gods and almost certainly dooming us to die on this planet was, in fact, arguably, a humanitarian that no one understood. And if you go back to his letter with Leo, to Leo Szilard, where he talks about the fact he said, “We cannot pretend that we have not allowed the genie to escape from its bottle, and our only hope is convincing us that war is an unthinkable prospect.” It’s not at all clear to me that when you remove Teller’s name from a building, that you’re doing humanity a service because you didn’t understand it. If I tell you that if you read Gandhi in the original, it’s very clear that he was pro-violence. Now you can decide that he’s wrapped in a dhoti, and he’s a kindly old man who freed India from British tyranny, just because his desire for pacifism, but Gandhi hated pacifism with a passion. And he far preferred violence to pacifism.

01:50:15
Brian Keating: When it serves a purpose— 

01:51:19
Eric Weinstein: Part of the problem is that we have too many children running around the stage pretending that they have some idea about what happened historically, and who are afraid because they’re incapable of wrestling with the most dangerous ideas that are extolled by some scientists. So my feeling is that the answer to bad scientific proclamations, where scientists are saying things that are unforgivable, that are dangerous, is better scientists. And the right way to solve this problem is allow people to share the stage with Jim Watson, and humiliate him when he goes after something that isn’t true. And if he says something that’s horrible, that, in fact, we can’t figure out what to say back to him, then that tells us that we’re going to have to wrestle with that sooner or later. 

01:53:35
Brian Keating: Yeah.

01:53:36
Eric Weinstein: And part of the problem is that we’ve all become incredible pussies, because simply having the word “eugenics” put next to your name is now the kiss of death. But when it comes to somebody who’s talking about bracket genes, you’re going to decide that the Russell conjugation is that this is “compassionate genetics”. Well, guess what? Jim Watson has a lot of compassion, and he’s got a lot of stupidity, and he’s got a tremendous amount of genius and originality, and we can either be pussies about the whole thing, or we can decide that, effectively, science is an absolute defense. If you’re behaving scientifically, you’re going to, in fact, be vindicated sooner or later. And so what we should do is, we should say, is the real problem that we are afraid that scientists may tell us things that we don’t want to be true? Or is the real problem that we’re afraid that they’re going to say wrong things and that they’re going to be so emboldened by their credentials, that it’s going to pick up an extra boost? And what my claim is, is that mostly what we’re doing is that we’re living in fear. You can’t trust scientists, by the way, if you don’t give them intellectual freedom, and enough resources is part of intellectual freedom. So part of the problem is, you can’t trust scientists now, because everybody’s living grant-to-grant, hand-to-mouth, and in fear of their colleagues. If you, in fact, go back to academic freedom, you will find that the scientific community is one of the best groups to advise you, and one of the things that they will tell you is that they shouldn’t be put simply in leadership positions, but that they should be advising people who are extremely good at leadership. And what we need right now is to—Eric Lander, if you’re out there, what a pleasure to see you coming in. Don’t overdo it with the biology, you have a history with mathematics, with all sorts of different areas. You know how important physics is. Make sure that you have people from a tiny group of people who are still really doing physics and mathematics and all of these beautiful things, computing, to give you the advice, and we’re so lucky to have a polymath of your quality advising the President. I don’t have a lot of faith in Joe— 

01:55:32
Brian Keating: Yeah, and another Eric— 

01:55:33
Eric Weinstein: —have a lot of faith in Joe Biden. But I can tell you one thing, that pick really excited me. Please, just restore something like the traditional relationship between science and governance. 

01:55:46
Brian Keating: And Francis Arnold, also was a selection, that made me very happy, although I was a little bit, you know, dismayed that it’s all applied. It’s attacking COVID, which is important, and quantum information, which is important, but nothing about the pure essence of the heart of reality that gives so much interest in the animated discussion than we’ve had today. 

Just in the last few minutes we have remaining I’d like to turn to something lighter, and a little bit more relaxing. So Garrett, what do you think about abortion? No, I want to ask. So Garrett, how do you how do you strike a balance between kind of the expansion of the mind and the body and so forth? The, kind of your spiritual side? What’s your daily routine like? You know, what animates you, you know, just gives you life? I always think physics is what makes, is what defends the planet, but the arts are what make the planet worth defending. Something clumsy like that. But tell me something, Garrett, you know, what is the day in the life of Garrett Lisi like, and what’s sort of, like, an ideal future for you, and maybe for the for the whole planet?

01:56:57
Garrett Lisi: Well, I mean, Eric really described it well, when he said that if you’re hyper focused on just one subject, and throwing all your time and effort into it, you’re either gonna mistakenly think in a megalomaniacal fashion that you have discovered and commanded all knowledge and are all knowing, or you think you’re like a horrible failure and totally worthless.

01:57:20
Brian Keating: Imposter.

01:57:21
Garrett Lisi: Yeah, so the answer is don’t focus on just one thing. You can have one high risk play. Great, put some attention into that. But some real work into that. And I do that, that’s my physics research. You also need some sort of project you can throw yourself into that’s guaranteed success. That’s what the Pacific Science Institute has been for me. If you, you know, if you give a place in Maui, where scientists can come and hang out and have a good time and enjoy the island, and go around and talk with them, and teach them how to surf and kite surf and have a good time, that’s guaranteed success. There’s no way that’s gonna fail.

01:57:57
Brian Keating: Well, it didn’t work so well on Hoboken, the Hoboken Sciences Institute. I’m just kidding, I love New Jersey.

01:58:02
Garrett Lisi: I’m not in New Jersey. 

01:58:03
Brian Keating: I’m joking.

01:58:07
Garrett Lisi: So yeah, this has been fantastic. And right now it’s just my house, which has delusions of grandeur. But, you know, I’m hoping to grow it. And so that’s fantastic. And I tried to spend a lot of my time doing that. I spent a lot of my time playing outside, staying healthy, surfing, kite surfing, paragliding, just doing ridiculously fun stuff. I like to do something fun outside, preferably in the ocean, every day, for a few hours, which is great. I also spend a lot of time reading about what my friends and other people are doing around the world, whether it be on social media, or in different news sources. And also keeping up on blogs, keeping up with other papers people have written, but also, so I try to balance things, I try to balance between, like, time with my girlfriend, very important, time with friends, hanging out and socializing, which has been a little harder with the pandemic going on, but still possible with a more restricted pod of social interactions. But really getting out in nature and enjoying nature, which is still very healthy and very protective, health wise, is probably my main thing.

01:59:17
Brian Keating: Would you say you’re a spiritual person by any means?

01:59:21
Garrett Lisi: No, I am not spiritual or religious.

01:59:23
Brian Keating: Good. Okay. Fair enough.

01:59:26
Garrett Lisi: I’m surrounded by a lot of spiritual but not religious. And I’m neither. 

01:59:29
Brian Keating: Okay, outside of physics, who would you most want to, you know, share a mai tai with?

01:59:36
Garrett Lisi: I don’t drink, so, well—

01:59:38
Brian Keating: A virgin mai tai. Who says you have to—

01:59:40
Garrett Lisi: I’ll have a margarita every once in a while. The … outside of physics?

01:59:48
Brian Keating: Even in history. Let’s go historical, even.

01:59:52
Garrett Lisi: Satoshi Nakamoto.

01:59:55
Brian Keating: All right, you guys can’t—alright, now we’re gonna do it. Now we’re going there. We got a lot of questions about Bitcoin. You opened it up. Eric, thoughts on Bitcoin? You tweeted about it recently. Tell me about Bitcoin.

02:00:05
Eric Weinstein: Well, I just want to get rid of the blockchain so that it’s actually a locally enforced conservation law that replaces spacetime with a system of computer nodes. And I believe that, because geometry and gauge theory is the one system that we believe never throws an exception, it’s important, if we’re going to use this, to actually liberate us from the tyranny of abundance, and to bring back scarcity so that the markets don’t cause us to have to embrace authoritarianism. 

Satoshi, if you’re out there, I very much want to talk to you about getting rid of Bitcoin, and moving to a standard beyond the blockchain, so that tokens, like gold, have no stench. And I’m very worried about recent comments of Janet Yellen, which seemed to indicate that people who play with fiat money—remember that, if you can’t govern, you must print. And when people print, Bitcoin does well, because Bitcoin can’t. Right? And so, effectively, the main use case for Bitcoin is hedging people who are incompetent, and therefore must print, by giving them an alternative where the Fed can’t get it. So the key problem is that a government—according to Weber—is a monopoly on violence. And so if you can’t actually break, elliptic curve, cryptography, or whatever it is that you’re using to protect crypto, because it’s a coin, determined by cryptography rather than violence, what we’re going to do is we’re going to bring violence to those who hold that which is enforced by mathematics. So it’s incredibly important, first of all, to get rid of the blockchain, to make sure that it has no stench, to see whether or not we cannot base it on something like a gauge theory, because what this is, is one of the most important intellectual developments of our lifetime. 

02:02:04
Brian Keating: Why is that— 

02:02:04
Eric Weinstein: The fact that makes people— 

02:02:06
Brian Keating: You say that but— 

02:02:06
Eric Weinstein: One second. The fact that it makes people rich has confused us about what happened. What happened is that locally-enforced conservation laws, which are, unfortunately, non-locally recorded, have been found to be done autonomously in a distributed fashion. And this thing effectively allows us to recreate the physical world inside of a computer world. The great danger of computers is that they’ve turned—as Marc Andreessen says, “software eats the world”. That means that things that previously were not public goods and services become public goods, because they’re in exhaust—small files are inexhaustible, and inexcludable, if they’re not protected. Ergo, the market cannot see them, therefore, value and price gap. This is one of the greatest dangers, because it allows in tyranny. When the market stops being able to function, the dream of abundance that is common in Mill Valley and at Burning Man is, in fact, a great danger to our society that almost nobody has commented upon. And bringing scarcity into the digital world potentially allows the markets to function so that we do not need authorities telling us what we can and can’t do. And, effectively, if you want to protect freedom, you are going to have to probably bring back scarcity, because the tyranny of abundance threatens to undermine our civilization. And I know that that’s going to be very unfamiliar to many people, so, Satoshi, I’m pretty sure that—if you’re out there, and I believe you’re probably a collective rather than an individual—it would be a pleasure. If I kept Geometric Unity quiet for decades, I guarantee you that I can keep a secret. It would be tremendously useful to try to liberate your great invention from the tyranny of the blockchain.

02:03:55
Brian Keating: Lemme just say one thing about that. So I had Michael Saylor on last week, a very provocative gentleman also. Also aligned with some of the things Eric is interested in, Peter Thiel is interested in. Decentralizing academia, at least at the undergraduate level, making all education free for millions of people around the world, a technical education, specifically. And—but I said to him, I said, you know, nothing that complicated about blockchain. I just said, yeah, it’s cryptographic, there’s—essence of it is, could have been done in the 1980s. So why wasn’t it done sooner? Eric? Or Garrett? Whoever wants to answer it. Why—I mean, why did it come about when it did? Is it—and is it the fact that it has this first mover advantage the only, kind of, secret that it has? That it is the Peter Thielian monopoly that cures all ills? I guess, Eric, you can start.

02:04:49
Eric Weinstein: No, it isn’t. We need something better than Bitcoin. I do think that it could have been done earlier. But I think that the fact, you know, as I point out, the rollerboard suitcase was only invented in 1989, and Ben Franklin could have done it. In general, we decide that someone is a genius because it’s cheaper than pointing out that the rest of us are morons. And Satoshi, in fact, you know, was the only non-moronic individual. Many people had this idea. I believe that, you know, Peter Thiel and Elon Musk were on this idea, and that became PayPal, and they couldn’t actually pull it off. So let’s just be glad that somebody was not confused, because certainly I didn’t think of how to do this. And I would point out that when it comes around that Bitcoin doesn’t solve everything, and its successor gets rid of the blockchain and you have perfect distributed computing without leaving a stench, you’re going to have a very interesting situation where we’re all going to have to explain why we were so moronic that we didn’t realize that the blockchain could have been disintermediated as well.

02:05:54
Garrett Lisi: Yeah, there is a negative with Bitcoin with its energy usage. And that’s a—that could end up being a very expensive mistake. So, but other than that, I think it’s a frickin fantastic idea and I’m definitely “long” it so, and I don’t have—as far as what you’re describing, maybe our universe is unfolding as some alien civilization’s blockchain. 

02:06:17
Brian Keating: Well—

02:06:19
Garrett Lisi: Maybe we are the computation of some very complicated hash that’s trying to get 10^20 zeros for the part for our knots when the—when our lives are done. Who knows. That’s probably—probably not. We’re probably in an entirely natural universe, as far as I can tell.

02:06:35
Brian Keating: Alright, guys, well, we set a record for one of the longest continuous streams that at least my bladder can tolerate. Thank you, guys, for your—

02:06:45
Garrett Lisi: You’re not using a catheter? How are you guys even surviving right now?

02:06:48
Brian Keating: Oh, yeah, well, you’ll learn when you get to be a pilot that your bladder can—when you get your license that you need an extra bladder—

02:06:55
Garrett Lisi: That’s a paragliding thing, like, so if you see, like, cross country paragliders, each of those guys has a tube going down their leg, and that’s how they stay in the air so long.

02:07:02
Brian Keating: You don’t need a tube I found actually. The yellow rain is over San Diego. Guys, any last things you want to plug or spin? Garrett what’s next on the horizon for you? I’ll point out, we did do a live stream right before this livestream, so find that on the Into The Impo—my youtube channel. Please subscribe to their Twitter accounts. I’ve listed them there, @GarrettLisi, @EricRWeinstein. Please subscribe to The Portal podcast. Please subscribe to the Into The Impossible podcast. Leave a review and a rating, etc. It really helps us out. We got Avi Loeb coming up. We have a Deepak Chopra coming up, again. And we’re going to have a phenomenal conversation with Carlo Rovelli. Stay tuned for that. Lee Smolin, and some people that you might not have heard of that I’m trying to get on to really boost up some of the signals that are out there. A critical biography of Stephen Hawking has just been published, or will be published. That’s going to be discussed in March or April, whenever it comes out by a professor at NYU. Anyway, I want to thank you guys. Anything you guys want to—Yeah.

02:08:06
Eric Weinstein: I’m concerned that I may be booted off of social media—

02:08:09
Brian Keating: Yeah.

02:08:09
Eric Weinstein: —with everything that’s going on. It would be great. If you wanted to stay in touch to get your email address. I think EricWeinstein.org is a means where they can’t disintermediate. I don’t know that they can throw me—well, with what’s going on, I’m very worried about redoing Operation Chokepoint in the Biden administration, because, while he did not win with a mandate from the electorate, the Capitol Hill insurrection is being treated as a mandate. And I think that you have to very much fear the idea that we’ve figured out that if we have no public options to communicate with each other, then all speech can actually be controlled through private companies. And the great danger at the moment is, we have to be able to stay in touch. So if you can find my RSS feed, so you don’t have to go through Apple or Spotify. And if you can give me your email address at EricWeinstein.org, I will attempt to get myself kicked off of social media by saying reasonable things throughout the year.

02:09:08
Brian Keating: All right, like me, I’m gonna go down—I’m gonna go down in a blaze of—

02:09:12
Garrett Lisi: —at all costs here, yeah. 

02:09:13
Brian Keating: Yeah, I’m gonna go down in the blaze of incompetence.

02:09:16
Garrett Lisi: —in your corner that way.

02:09:17
Brian Keating: Yeah. So yeah, I mean, I was worried about that as well. And I mean, I think it’s so unusual, Eric, for the first time in human history the media is not really beholden to a profit margin. We have the world’s richest man controlling the Washington Post, and, love him or hate him, that’s just a fact, that it no longer has a profit motive whatsoever. And similar for other news outlets, and—

02:09:39
Eric Weinstein: I didn’t know Elon had bought it. 

02:09:41
Brian Keating: So—

02:09:41
Garrett Lisi: Me neither. 

02:09:42
Brian Keating: Maybe the second richest one. Yeah, so the other—yeah, I do worry about that. And I wonder in the public’s interest, in the interest of honesty, you know, when Amazon has access, I mean, didn’t Barack Obama once say, “you didn’t build that,” you know, referring to the internet backbone.

02:10:00
Eric Weinstein: This is very dangerous. 

02:10:01
Brian Keating: It’s very dangerous. 

02:10:01
Eric Weinstein: We’re entering a period of authoritarianism, where the idea is that the price of keeping you safe will be your freedom. And I’m saying that from the left of center. My friends on the right of center are more commonly saying that, and it is incredibly important that we recognize that we want some risk. Particularly, we may have a reason to control the speech when it’s targeted at individuals. But controlling speech around ideas is a one way ticket to hell. We’re going to have to tolerate unsafe thought, unsafe ideas, and even unsafe people. And the current panic around safety not being weighed against the risks of authoritarian control of what we can say, and to whom we can say it, is a giant, glaring error. And the only way that this is possible is if no sensible people are ever let onto mainstream media. At the moment, there is a blockade of an entire wing, which I would say was the smart wing of American politics, who you will never see featured on MSNBC, and increasingly not even on NPR. And I think people have to recognize that what we’ve seen is a major transformation, where you are not allowed to communicate with people who will challenge the dominant narrative. 

02:11:16
Brian Keating: What feedback did you get after going courageously on Glenn Beck’s show, you’re not on the right, that’s clear. You don’t fit in anywhere. You’re Schrdinger’s pundit, when you put that on, but what’s been the reaction, and how come you don’t get invited to go on shows with your comrades, literally, on the left? How come that’s not happening? How do we broach that subject? I mean, people like Ezra Klein have gone on Ben Shapiro’s show, a mutual friend of ours, but, you know, how do we get to the, you know, The Young Turks, how do we get the message that you have to the—to your side?

02:11:49
Eric Weinstein: It’s not the Young Turks. I mean, as Dan Drezner, Washington Post’s contributor said, everything that I have to say that’s new is not true. And everything that I have to say that’s true is not new. So, in fact, part of the problem is that I am one of the least interesting people on earth. Somehow, I’m actually a moron. I have nothing interesting to say, nothing to contribute. And that is undoubtedly why you’re listening to Brian Williams and Mara Gay on MSNBC explain how, if Bloomberg’s campaign money were only redistributed, we would all be millionaires. Right now there’s a blockade of reality, because the business model of the Democratic Party has been shifted away from labor, and actually expensive things, like Medicare, and education, and all the things that we need to do. And, in fact, identity, to my wife Pia Malaney’s point, is the cheapest substitute. The problem is that the traditional Democratic Party would have to be going after its own donor class. And so, as a result, the affiliated media that we’ve previously trusted to call balls and strikes has never been perfect. It’s never been as bad as this. And the transformation that we’re seeing is effectively a blockade of all people of courage and intellect, who are no longer welcome if they will not file a flight plan with traditional media. And traditional media will go after each one of them, and they’ll tell you that they’re part of extremism, they’re the alt-right, they’re the far right, etc, etc. The reason—you asked about Glenn Beck? The amount of love that Glenn Beck and I generated from not agreeing with each other except on the issue of civility, brotherhood, togetherness, going forward, it’s electrifying. And everything that breaks up the business model that is division will no longer be welcome. And that’s what’s going on, is that if you’re not a division merchant, you will find that, in effect, you can no longer speak. I used to be welcome at the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR. I am no longer welcome, and it is clear that the transformation has occurred. The font is the same at the New York Times, but the contents and the writers are totally different. A tremendous transformation has happened. And I beg of you to listen to the fact that there are a large number of people, particularly on the left, who have been told that they are no longer on the left. And we’ve each individually been isolated. And one of the great things about recording something like this is we can say to each other, “Hey, are you still here?” “Yes, I’m still here.” What’s going on is that NPR and the New York Times and MSNBC will not communicate that many of us are fed up, as is the right, with the current direction of where everything is about identity, diversity, inclusion. And in fact, many of us who have fought for diversity and inclusion, my family for over 100 years, are appalled at the current version of these things, not because we don’t want a more equal, more just, more reasonable society, but because demonizing people who speak the truth, and intimidating people with cancel culture so that they can’t feed their families is not the way to a prosperous future. And so it’s incredibly important to leave these channels open so that we can humiliate the blockade of reality that’s coming through the people who traditionally were responsible for making sure that reality at least had a first draft in the form of journalism.

02:15:12
Brian Keating: Now let’s talk about the problems of GMOs. Okay, Eric, that’s phenomenal. And the last thing I’ll say, yes, I was very proud of you, as I always am, but you spoke up about this AP story that the last frontier of the radicals is on the podcast era. And I got shivers about that. Because, you know, who’s to say that because I had you on my show, not to mention that, you know, I’ve had Noam Chomsky on my show, I’ve also had Ben Shapiro on my show, Michael Knowles, and I did a podcast together, as you did with Michael Knowles. So, you know, the question is, are they—what are they going to—who are they gonna come for next? And then who speaks for the last person? You know, first they came for the gays. I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t gay. First—then they came for the communists—

02:15:52
Eric Weinstein: Come for me. This is my, this is my request. I’ve built an enormous audience. You want to play this game? Come for me. I’m willing to say all sorts of things that you don’t want said. I want to make it easy. You want to boot me off? You, Twitter Safety, are you interested in getting rid of me? Come for me. What I’m asking, increasingly, is that those of us stop—we stop cowering. You know, if this is the land of the free and the home of the brave, we cannot sit around saying “Oh my god, somebody’s gonna call me a racist.” Yeah, I’m a leader of the alt-right. I’m a Nazi named Weinstein. Jesus Christ. Grow the fuck up.

02:16:34
Garrett Lisi: —voices should not be silenced. 

02:16:36
Eric Weinstein: But let’s just look at how funny and ridiculous these morons are, who are dividing us. We need to approach them with love and compassion. They’ve chosen a terrible path, and they’ve radicalized us. And, you know, I believe that Donald Trump was a very dangerous thing to do. But the reason that we had Donald Trump is that the left conjured him out of the vacuum by denying increasing amounts of reality. And what is necessary is, yeah, I’m sure I’m gonna get canceled. I’m sure that they’re gonna come after me. Okay, we’ve got to welcome the fight, and the battle. And we’re not all going to make it, but this country was not built by people cowering under their goddamn kitchen tables. So enough.

02:17:17
Brian Keating: Yeah, you can go to Normandy and give up your life at age 18. We can certainly speak out on behalf of free speech, ironically enough, 

02:17:27
Eric Weinstein: Well—

02:17:27
Brian Keating: It’s the last freedom that we might enjoy in the Bill of Rights. Yes.

02:17:31
Eric Weinstein: As I said, you want to see male privilege? Take a look at the names on the Vietnam Memorial wall, you know? I mean, cut it out, grow up, just—if you’re going to come after somebody, come after people who are in a position to take it, because we’ve been on the left the whole time, and if you think you’re going to claim that I’m a member of the alt-right, boy, are we going to have an entertaining tango. I just—all I do is I ask you to dance.

02:17:58
Brian Keating: Well, Eric, I salute your courage. Garrett, I salute your ingenuity and your courage, and I feel like these kinds of conversations are really more valuable than ever. And as I said many times in the past, you know, when I have to talk to people for work, it’s because I have to talk to them, when I get to talk to you, my friends, is because I want to talk to you guys. You guys give me so much inspiration. And really, for my whole audience, I know I’m speaking on behalf of—sorry I didn’t take too many questions today. You guys can unsubscribe, I hope you won’t, but I can’t resist when I have such delightful company as these two gentlemen. I hope you’ll do a part two, maybe sometime down the road a little bit, as time goes on. Garrett, anything last that you want to put in a quick plug for, before? Cancel you maybe?

02:18:44
Garrett Lisi: No, I will be extremely disturbed if social media moves to block Eric in significant ways. That is extremely disturbing to me, because you’ve always been incredibly intellectual and rational voice online, and with your growing army addressing different issues. It’s been incredibly good to follow and see that growth. And I really, really will be disturbed if your silence and ways. I don’t want to see that—

02:19:09
Brian Keating: —of integrity. Yeah.

02:19:11
Garrett Lisi: Me, I’m not selling anything. I’m also shallow enough to be on Instagram, if you want to, if people want to follow me there and see fun pictures of Maui and so forth, which is, as Brian said, a little more on the light side. And I think light is important, with a lot of dark things having happened and currently going on, having more light in our lives is extremely important. So anyway, like I said, I’m not selling anything. And I don’t have any deep, politically motivated missions. 

02:19:41
Brian Keating: That’s right. 

02:19:42
Garrett Lisi: I’m just trying to have a good time. Yeah.

02:19:44
Eric Weinstein: Right, and contribute to the Pacific Science Institute. 

02:19:47
Brian Keating: Yes. 

02:19:47
Eric Weinstein: I mean, I think it’s a great thing that you’ve set up and people can find where can they find that if they want to make a donation putting

02:19:51
Brian Keating: I’m putting up—I’m putting up your website now.

02:19:53
Garrett Lisi: PacificScienceInstitute.org 

02:19:55
Brian Keating: Yeah? I’ll put up the website right now. Yeah, sorry we didn’t get to take too many questions from the audience, but yes, I implore you. I put up Eric’s website, right now is on the screen, EricWeinstein.org. And then PacificScienceInstitute.org is Garrett’s. Garrett, echoing what you said, as Martin Luther King said once, only light can drive out darkness. I think I’m optimistic. I don’t know if it’s going to be you know, this rosy, rosy, everything’s uphill from here. But I do believe that there’s just incredible potential around the corner. And as an astronomer, I don’t fear the darkness, I welcome the darkness, but I always know to be happy when there are rays of light. And you guys are rays of light in my life. You inspire me, you inspire my audience. Thank you so much for going Into The Impossible with me. Please stay in touch. BryanKeating.com and EricWeinstein.org and PacificScienceInstitute.org. You guys are much more philanthropic than I am, I guess. I’ll take you out with an outro from my good friend and veteran, Miguel Tully, who is the proprietor of the YetiTears Instagram account and also on YouTube. He’s made some lovely sketches of Eric, he’s made some artwork for me, which you can see maybe in the background, and he made this instrumental track to take us out. Thank you so much everyone. Be well, be safe. Enjoy this precious gift of life that we all have. Suck the marrow out, like Garrett, and don’t be afraid, as Eric has taught us, to take on giants. Goodbye, everybody. Thank you so much.

02:21:28
Garrett Lisi: Great talking with you Brian. And you too, Eric.

02:21:31
Eric Weinstein: Great being with you guys. Love you.

02:21:32
Brian Keating: Bye, love you guys.

Thank you all for going Into the Impossible, a little different. A little different episode for today’s choice, but I hope you will stay subscribed. As I mentioned, Katie Freeze is coming on the show. She’s one of the mothers of dark matter that we low and love and our existence to. She’ll be on the show in two weeks. This Tuesday, Avi Loeb, super controversial interview that I did with him about his upcoming book called Extraterrestrial, which will blow your mind, because he takes the position that science is going off the rails, and actually we need to look to the heavens, perhaps to this object that he spotted, along with colleagues, called Oumuamua, which is fun to say. It’s a Hawaiian word. And look forward to conversations with him. Stay tuned for a conversation with Leonard Milan, now, that’s on the show about Stephen Hawking. And then Hawking Incorporated, the business of Stephen Hawking, coming up soon, as well as a conversation with Carlo Rovelli. Let me know if you want me to make that a livestream. I haven’t decided yet. Would you guys like to talk to Carlo live? In a format like this? He’s generously agreed to come on, not once, but twice. Let me know if you want to have a conversation with him live and ask questions. I’m so sorry I didn’t get to take too many of your questions today. I do read each and every comment. So please do that. Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. It’s a little bit different than this one. And you can skip over all the annoying ads that YouTube presents to you. But for now, I want to thank you all for going Into The Impossible. It’s been quite a joy to be with my friends, Garrett Lisi, Dr. Garrett Lisi, Dr. Eric Weinstein, two Mavericks that lie outside the traditional academia role, as I am blessed to be within, and I appreciate them for the integrity that they have. I may not agree with them, as you noticed, on everything that they do, but it’s an incredibly vital contribution to all the scientific interest that I personally have, and I hope you have them too. Please subscribe to the podcast. As I said, also, don’t miss a special solo episode I did about Galileo’s Dialogue, which I have somewhere around here. Galileo’s Dialogue is perhaps the most influential book in human history, at least from a scientific perspective. Don’t miss that. I did a solo episode about the great Galileo, and I’m doing an audio book. I just got the rights to record the first ever audiobook, Galileo and I’m having a couple of my Italian colleagues and I are recording the first audio book in history with authentic Italian voices. Hopefully, it’ll be a nice kind of theatrical presentation. I hope you’ll like that. For now check that out. Check out on Prager University, I did a book club with Michael Knowles, who is controversial, but we only got into the scientific aspects of things. Stay tuned for that, and other many, many great guests. As I said, let me know should I have more live stream conversations, even if it means I don’t get to all your questions? Let me know in the comment section. For now, signing off. It’s been a long four hours, almost, of podcasting today. I am tired, but my mind is active. I hope yours is too. Stay tuned. BrianKeating.com, get on my mailing list. I’ll send you a couple of awesome free gifts, such as the astronomical great debate that we did last year, with Nobel laureates, including David—Adam Riess, and also friends like Wendy Freedman and others. And I’ll also send you my life hacks from Jim Simons and Michael Saylor, and many others. For now, signing off. Good night, and good luck, as they used to say, out there in the multiverse of minds that we connect together on the ends of the Into The Impossible podcast. Good night, everybody.

Eric Weinstein is not a conservative, but he talks to conservatives because he says, more often, they’re the ones who let him speak his mind without branding him (a Jew) a Nazi. He tells Glenn why, after many requests over the last few years, he finally agreed to this podcast. In the aftermath of the U.S. Capitol riot and President Trump’s second impeachment, Eric and Glenn probe the historical, economic, social, and even scientific reasons for the events of the last week. They also tackle some of the hardest questions our country faces: What do we do about a power-grabbing Big Tech, a dishonest media, Wokistan vs. MAGAstan, and the destruction of American culture? How do we restore civility between the Left and the Right? How do we save the UNITED States of America? In an honest conversation that will stretch your comfort zone, Glenn and Eric show us where to start.


Transcript

00:00:00
Glenn Beck: Today’s guest puts the intellectual into the intellectual dark web, literally. His brother and he are the ones that actually started and coined that term, the intellectual dark web. But also, because he has a PhD in mathematical physics from Harvard, he came up with a theory in physics that many people now compare him to Einstein because of that theory. This is a podcast that I have looked forward to for a very long time, literally, probably two years. He was on a very short list at the very beginning of this podcast. And, I’ve tried to get him and his brother over and over and over again, I continually have received a no, and that’s one of the things I have to ask him right off the bat. 

00:00:48
You know how I feel about political outlooks and differences in political outlooks. I don’t think it’s a weakness, I think it’s a strength, and I think America needs to get back to being able to have a conversation with people who don’t agree. We learn so much from each other when we do that. You, I think, are going to hear, and learn, and question, and disagree, or perhaps really agree. Like very few podcasts will push you to, you’re going to learn an awful lot. Today’s podcast, Eric Weinstein.

00:01:29
(Sponsor Segment)

00:03:39
Glenn Beck: Eric, I think I’ve tried to have you on this podcast—well, I mean, you were part of the original shortlist of maybe 8, 10 names that I wanted to talk to, and we’ve always been told no. And I’m wondering why, and why now, trying to have conversations with people that we clearly don’t agree on an awful lot. But we have some principles in place that allow us to have decent conversations. Why the change now? 

00:04:10
Eric Weinstein: Well, two things, and I appreciate you guys having me over. And it’s absolutely true that you have been trying, and I have been avoiding. Now I—no, let’s just do this. This is my chance to explain it to you. So there are two answers. Your question, rather, has a two part answer. 

00:04:25
Glenn Beck: Okay.

00:04:27
Eric Weinstein: The first part is why now, because we’re trifling with the dissolution of our national culture, and our national culture is what animates the country. If we lose the culture, the documents will not save us, okay? Let’s be very clear about that. So, I have a very strongly strategic perspective, which is that you save things up for an emergency. Well, we’re there now. 

00:04:54
Next point. The real reason that I don’t casually hop on over to talk has to do with a strategy that’s being employed to make sure that we cannot come together. And let me explain the strategy. Right now, conservative and center-right affiliated media are the only ones who will reach out to talk to their critics. So when Fox asks me on, I always make the same condition, which is that I get to call Fox a propaganda network, and they say sure.

00:05:24
Glenn Beck: Love it.

00:05:25
Eric Weinstein: You want to call us a conservative right wing propaganda network—which is in large measure how I’ve seen them over the years, although I do think that they may be changing a bit. Then their point is, they’re not scared of that. The real problem has to do with the center-left media, which still controls in some sense, the official version of events for the country, and the affiliated institutions, universities, the party, what have you. And their game is very different. So they used to talk to me all the time. I would be invited on to the news hour, for example, at PBS, or I would be invited on to NPR, I would be asked to supply information to the New York Times, Washington Post. That all changed maybe around eight years ago. And the reason for that is that—what they’ve done is to make a situ—rather, sorry, there’s a little bit of feedback again. The problem that we’re facing is that they figured out that if they will all plug their ears, and just say lalalala, and pretend that their critics don’t exist on the left hand side of the aisle, that long form podcasting doesn’t exist… If they can pretend that everyone who disagrees with them is alt-right, far right, neonazi, etc, etc, then they can avoid the deep criticism that the people on the left and progressives would be leveling at the terrible change in the business model of the Democratic Party, its affiliated media, and educational institutions. And so every time I go on a conservative program, as I did with Ted Cruz, as I have with Greg Gutfeld, as I, you know, Tucker Carlson has invited me on, I’ve declined. The key problem is that they’re counting on the idea that they can say Eric only appears on right wing media, ergo Eric is right wing, QED, we don’t have to listen to him.

00:07:17
Glenn Beck: But you’re not right wing.

00:07:19
Eric Weinstein: Far from it, I’ve never voted Republican. But my point is that it’s an active program to make sure that anyone who’s invited by only right wing media and accepts only right of center media, that person can be portrayed as if they were conservative. But, so, every time I appear on conservative-affiliated media, because NPR, MSNBC, CNN would never dare have me on because I’m a critic from their side of the aisle, they have the increased ability to pretend that I am conservative, because they can say well, you only appeared, let’s say, if I did it on Tucker Carlson, Fox, Breitbart, Daily Caller, etc, etc. And so that’s why, at some level, it’s not personal to you, it’s that I understand their strategy for trying to make sure that they never have to listen to anything I have to say. And right now, it’s worth spending.

00:08:17
Glenn Beck: I did the same thing. I mean, I tried to reach out to the left for a very long time, you know, the left outlets, and said look, let’s just have a conversation, we’re not going to agree with each other, let’s have a conversation. And they weren’t interested. some of them were, but I had to balance that too because it didn’t—my audience would be like wait, are you selling out? Are you, all of a sudden you’re on the left? No, I just think we should talk to each other. 

00:08:48
Eric Weinstein: Of course.

00:08:48
Glenn Beck: And I don’t know when that happened, where we couldn’t go our separate ways. Well, let me rephrase this. I have a sneaking suspicion: it came at a time—and I don’t know when—where we stopped believing in the Bill of Rights. Because that is our Unum. I believe all men are created equal. They have a right to, you know, they have a right to speak out, they have a right to a free press, they have a right to religion or no religion… We lost those Bill of Rights as our cornerstone, and so we can’t agree on anything anymore.

00:09:27
Eric Weinstein: Well, I think that that’s, in a weird way, true and not true, I mean—

00:09:33
Glenn Beck: Okay. 

00:09:34
Eric Weinstein: There is a story here that winds its way from 1945 into the present, which would be sort of the upgraded, secret history of modern America that I think nobody’s really told, which is why everything is falling apart, and yet nobody even seems to be looking for the explanation of how we’ve moved so quickly into madness on both left and right. And that has to do with economics, geopolitics, I’ve—I think I’ve been one of the only people I know even looking to tell a relatively simple story with a through line. I think what you’re talking about really happens after, strangely, the 2010 Colorado midterm senate elections, which is the latest chapter. I mean, if you think about this in terms of chapters, I can break it down for you. But, you know, the problem is that this isn’t a story that I think most people know. And instead, they’re content to be subservient to the story, because they don’t know it, and they are actors in it.

00:10:32
Glenn Beck: So, can you take us back to wherever you need—that you think this storyline starts? Explain the world. How did we get here?

00:10:41
Eric Weinstein: All right. The central concept that we’re going to go through is going to be called an EGO, or embedded growth obligation. So that is the central unifying idea that I have as to why so much has changed so seriously. But in order to get there, let’s begin very quickly in 1945, and hit the story, if we have the space, and tell it. In 1945, the country probably was at its most coherent. We had to win a war, government definitely existed, we were technologically capable, we turned a peacetime army into an incredible fighting force. Then, what happened was that we entered a different era, where we had incredible growth. It was very consistent. It was technologically led. It was broadly distributed. And this technologically led growth became an expectation between I would say 1945, and it lasted probably till about 1971 through ’73. During this period, a guy named Derek de Solla Price, who was at Yale, wrote an incredible book, called Science Since Babylon, and gave some lectures in which he pointed out that all technological progress was on an exponential curve. If you plotted any indicator, scientific and technological progress was moving ahead, so that pretty soon every man, woman, and child on Earth would have two PhDs in order for the trend to continue. And he said, therefore, that the trend cannot continue. And I believe that the Derick de Solla Price breaking of that trend happens in the late ’60s, early ’70s, and the growth pattern of the United States changes. So what happens if you look at median male income, for example, and GDP per capita, they’re in lockstep from 1945 until about ’71 through ’73. Median male income flatlines, growth continues, because of in some sense, how we account for growth. And, in effect, Derek de Solla Price’s prediction, I believe, came true. We just didn’t understand what the prediction was. We’d never heard of the guy. We didn’t put it together. That meant that for several years in the ’70s, we were lost. We started exploring ourselves what was wrong, we impeach Nixon, we had the Church and Pike committees, we changed the structure of university immigration, blah blah blah, until Ronald Reagan comes in in 1980.

00:13:14
Glenn Beck: So wait, before we get into the ’80s, let me make sure I understand the ’70s. You said that we didn’t really understand Derek—I’m sorry, what was his last name?

00:13:29
Eric Weinstein: Derek de Solla Price.

00:13:30
Glenn Beck: Okay, that we didn’t understand his theory. So I’d like you to explain what he was saying a little bit clearer, and does it also, this theory, include things like, you know, we had The Great Society, which promised war and an end to poverty, which led us to the end of the gold standard and the switching with Bretton Woods, and promising the world that we’ll buy their stuff. I mean, there was a huge change there. Dual incomes became, you know, a thing. We added women into the workforce, really, for the first time. So there was this huge change here, is that play a role with Price’s theory?

00:14:21
Eric Weinstein: This is my contention. I believe that Derek de Solla Price is somewhat north of things like the change in the gold standard. That if, in fact, we had been growing at an incredible rate, if, in fact, things were getting better and better, and that more people educated led to more technology, we could accommodate not only women into the workforce, which we’d been lousy on before this, but other underrepresented communities. The problem is that there’s so many distractions that nobody’s trying to figure out why did so much happened between 1971 and ’73. So every time you have a conversation, somebody will say oh I think it’s the pill. I think that, you know, it’s the gold standard. I think it’s the Arab oil shock. I think that it’s the Nixon administration. Forget all that for the moment. Here’s a different theory you haven’t heard, so it’s at least worthy of your time. 

00:15:13
In 1968, for example, we found out that there was quark substructure in every proton and neutron. It has no industrial applications. We kept progressing scientifically, but the ability to plow certain sorts of discoveries back into technologies, and creating new industries, and all these things, very few things continued from that time. Now, two huge exceptions have been communications and semiconductor technology, so everything from the World Wide Web, and the way in which you and I are speaking to each other continued. There are, you know, isolated things that happened, maybe fracking. But in general, part of the problem is this idea of the embedded growth obligation, or ego. If you believe that 1945 to 1971, ’73, is normal, you built your organization with the idea that it would always grow. And what you did—you might, like, work people very hard at the beginning and promise them a career and a future as a reward for their hard work, you didn’t understand that if growth ever ran out, that would become a Ponzi scheme.

00:16:20
Glenn Beck: Right. 

00:16:21
Eric Weinstein: So where we are now is that we’re in a situation in which Derek de Solla Price pointed out that exponentials can’t continue. And if the technology, if the science led the technology, and the technology led to the economic growth, and everything was on an exponential curve, and that was based on some ideas of how you plow the fruits of your labor back into your system, that was always going to change and shift. And that change and shift happened in the—like, if you subtract off the screens in your room, how can you tell you’re not in 1971 through ’73? You know, it’s very tough for most of us, because most of, mostly what happened was that semiconductors and communication kept going, and the rest of society didn’t move to the Jetsons, right? 

00:17:07
That caused this problem where you have this strange graph between median male income and GDP, where men can no longer expect that their career trajectories will grow. So all of us look back to people from before this time and say wow, how did how did a paper route and some student loans, which were quickly paid off, lead to a second home in your 20s—in your in your 30s—if you just worked hard? I don’t know how to do that stuff. I just bought my first home in my 50s. I think I’ve bought one car my entire life, I have a PhD from Harvard. Something really broke down in a very serious way. And, you know, I think what people don’t understand is that this thing happened, and, you know, maybe a third of economists should be trying to figure out what happened between 1971 and ’73. We should all be talking about Derek de Solla Price and the original singularity—in fact, nobody seems to know about it. 

00:18:02
So we start this problem of the EGOs. Every organization and institution has, effectively, an embedded growth obligation: how fast does it have to grow in order for it to keep from becoming sociopathic? Because when it becomes a Ponzi scheme, it will have to be headed by somebody who is willing to lie to new entrants about the nature of that scheme. Right now, we’ve just elected, for example, a 78-year-old president, 8 years older than the oldest president ever elected. Almost no commentary from it. You know, Nancy Pelosi, and what, Dianne Feinstein was conceived during the Hoover administration, Mitch McConnell is not a spring chicken, whatever this leadership class in the 1940s it’s an illusion. They are not a leadership class. They are peacetime kleptocrats. And the reason that peacetime kleptocracy is so important is because we are a high growth country that hit our stall speed. And like any plane, you can’t keep a fixed wing aircraft in the sky if it’s not traveling at an appreciable speed relative to the air mass. So that’s what is the central idea of how we started falling apart. We were a rich family, if you will, with a family business that had built up a tremendous amount of wealth. In the family business, the engine was sputtering. 

00:19:23
So what do most rich families do when you have such a situation? The first thing they do is they try to fix the business. They try to plow it back in. And I believe that probably Ronald Reagan and his cohort had this idea that they were going to stimulate the country back into productivity. We’d gone through Watergate, we’d gone through the Church and Pike committee hearings, we’d gone through, you know, inflation and whip inflation. Now, we were a very dispirited, navel gazing society that couldn’t even get our own hostages back from Iran. Ronald Reagan came in, and with his kitchen cabinet from California filled with certain ideas about supply-side economics, amd they tried, I believe in earnest, to restart the American miracle. And you have people like Paul Volcker, who, you know, wrung inflation out of the system by scaring the living crap out of out of us. 

00:20:12
And it played in—you know, as a Jew, I’m going to say something a little bit edgy. There’s a Christian meme called “daddy’s home”. And, you know, the idea is you’re misbehaving now, but when your father gets home order will be restored, and Ronald Reagan played right into the idea of daddy’s home. And so, daddy came in, and the red tape went away, we stopped enforcing antitrust, we started experimenting with all of these different things. 

00:20:38
Now, it’s very important to communicate something to your audience. In general, the idealism of every age is the cover story of its thefts. So for example, Manifest Destiny, you can figure out what the idealism of White Man’s Burden was all about. You have land that isn’t yours, and now you have an obligation to take it. In the ’80s, our idealism was about competitiveness, and in part that was about taking from organized labor in order to make sure that management had the ability to restart the engines of growth. And of course, what we found out was that all of these techniques didn’t work the way I believe the earnest supply-siders expected they would. And the baby boomers were watching, and in particular, the Democrats had watched 12 years of Republican rule, and they were thinking that it was going to be a permanent Republican situation, permanent conservative rulersh—leadership. And so, Bill Clinton decided to create a second Republican Party. And the Democratic Party shifted away from labor after PATCO was destroyed, and organized labor was attenuated. And so the idea is that that idealism of competitiveness had now worked its way through. 

00:21:47
With the fall of the Berlin Wall in ’89, we started a new idea, which is sort of the United Colors of Benetton, “We Are the World”, Davos idealism of globalization, you know? And that, effectively, allowed us to break the bonds to our fellow countrymen, and to attenuate the idea that a guy like me sitting in Los Angeles is bound to somebody in Eastern Kentucky, coming out of a coal mining background. If I can just free myself of my fellow countrymen, I’m free to move our factories to East Asia, or to, in fact, import our scientific labor force from abroad in order to get, effectively, slave labor, paid for by visas, so that scientific employers don’t actually have to pay our own people. So that’s when we start pretending that Americans are bad at science and technology, when in fact, I think we have the best educational system in the world, and we’ve got all sorts of incredibly creative people who are not preferred by our system because they’re not obedient. Americans aren’t obedient. I’m not obedient. If you train me to get a PhD, you think I’m going to listen to you just because you tell me exactly what to do? I’m not your hired hand, I’m your colleague, I’m your fellow citizen. That period goes through and, effectively, the rich family starts a kleptocracy, in which the center left and the center right kleptocrats start selling off all of the wealth of the family, and it becomes sort of a race, if you will, to pocket as much as you possibly can. 

00:23:24
This goes through up until, you know, the 2000s, we have the dotcom bubble. The dotcom bubble is replaced by a beautiful bubble about housing. Everyone deserves a house and the American dream. But of course, it’s financed by nonsense. This is called The Great Moderation by the supposed grown ups in the room, and you start to see that—you start to realize that Alan Greenspan goes from being an oracle to a guy who just doesn’t even get the basics. So people like me, in 2001, 2002, to start talking about mortgage backed securities. We’re laughed out of the room repeatedly. Nassim Taleb, by the way, super dangerous person. Have him on your podcast. Great friend—

00:24:01
Glenn Beck: What’s his, what’s his name again, and tell me a little bit about him.

00:24:05
Eric Weinstein: Nassim Nicholas Taleb? Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a former trader turned author. And his basic point has been that the establishment constantly minimizes the risks, the tail risks, in favor of looking at what generally happens in markets, but really what happens in markets is determined by extreme events. And so if you throw out the outliers, you throw out the entire story. And Nassim’s point is that all of this is understandable, and that what we have is a world of financiers, who through financialization have figured out how to get all of us, the citizenry, to act as the insurer and they simply help themselves to the profit and stick us with the tail risk.

00:24:51
Glenn Beck: I think this is one of the biggest problems, and—I mean, look, I’m not a… You know, I’m a self-educated guy. 

00:25:01
Eric Weinstein: You and me both.

00:25:02
Glenn Beck: And in 2006, I was looking at the the mortgage system and saying to my friends, who all were on Wall Street, and all bankers, and I’m like guys, this is not—this doesn’t work. This is going to fall apart. This just doesn’t work. And they talked to me about all their systems, and all the fail safes they had, and everything else, and it was all gobbledygook. And it failed. And I—it’s astounding to me that we ended up paying for their mistakes, and so, we never learned—they never learned from their mistakes, because no one’s ever responsible, except apparently the little guy.

00:25:47
Eric Weinstein: Wait a second. They didn’t make a mistake. Why are you saying they made a mistake?

00:25:51
Glenn Beck: Well, they didn’t make a mistake. They, they had faulty, or greedy desires. They were just, we’ll just keep piling it up.

00:26:02
Eric Weinstein: Glenn, let me explain this very clearly. I was in a small hedge fund at the time. And this small hedge fund, we’d decided that we were going to look for new prime brokerage, and we went over to AIG Financial Products Division. Of course, AIG was supposed to be an insurer, and we blurred the distinctions in financialization. We talked to their group, and they told us about how massive they were, and how they were able to extend services to us. And we started asking them questions—this is before the crash. And they told us about how they had tranched all of their exposure, and that in order for them to get hurt, it would have to go through all of these levels. And, you know, we asked the question, okay, so what happens if it cascades through all those levels? And the answer they gave should be known to everyone, and it is this: well, if it goes through all those levels, then we’re all screwed. In other words, we’re protected up until the point it becomes everyone’s problem, and then it’s not our problem anymore. They always knew. 

00:27:04
And, you know, this is the problem with this. The reason that I used to be invited to hedge funds’ conferences was because this is what I was saying. You know, of course, everyone knew this, and people would say well, I don’t understand what you’re not profiting from it. I don’t understand—well, you know, look, the party will go until it’s over. The smart people in finance weren’t convinced by the nonsense that they fed to the public. So I don’t think they made a mistake. We made the mistake. Who underwrites non-recourse loans? You know, the public didn’t even understand what a non-recourse loan was. So, in essence, basically, our financiers take advantage of our financial inadequacy. And I don’t know why we don’t hire the world’s best lawyers, the world’s best accountants, and the world’s best financiers; pay them enormous bonuses to take care of the American people. And, you know, effectively, we’re in there defended by, you know, a few guys with good hearts and, you know, to be attacked by the most sophisticated players in our society, we just sit down—we take it, over and over again. I don’t think they made a mistake, I think we made a mistake. We should have created the fact National Seashore in Long Island from the hip.

00:28:22
Glenn Beck: Okay, but wait, wait, see, here’s the problem, I think. It’s the greed of one group, and the willingness to gamble with other people’s lives, and the power and establishment in the government that knows that they can get elected if they can say everybody who is at this level, you’re going to get a home. You know, as long as they can play the Oprah card, you get a home, and you get home, and you get home! Even though the math just doesn’t work, nobody cares. They’ll deal with the aftermath later. So it’s this—it’s the collusion. It’s—I’m a free market guy. We haven’t done the free market in how long? How long? We haven’t had a free market. It’s, it’s—

00:29:15
Eric Weinstein: It’s an illusion.

00:29:16
Glenn Beck: Pardon me?

00:29:17
Eric Weinstein: It’s an illusion. Yes, you’re right. For some reason—you know, I’ll be honest. I finally live in my own home as if it’s really my own home. Of course, mortgage is another form of rental. My cleaning person drives a nicer car than I do. And, if you had to push me back into a studio apartment to have my country back, I’d go back to a studio apartment. 

00:29:41
Glenn Beck: I would too.

00:29:42
Eric Weinstein: I think, you know, there’s just—you’ve ridden on a private plane? 

00:29:47
Glenn Beck: Yes. 

00:29:49
Eric Weinstein: It’s not that great. It’s kind of cool the first time you do it, and it always feels a little, you know, but it’s just—there’s nothing in this money game that appeals to me as much as having my country and being able to focus, with freedom, on the things that I care about.

00:30:05
Glenn Beck: So let me let me just say this. I’ve owned my private plane, and it’s game-cha—the only thing wealth changes is a private flight. However, I’m with you. I’d I’d be penniless and start over if we could restore actual accountability, responsibility, and freedom.

00:30:31
Eric Weinstein: Yes. That’s what we would, I would like to think we would do. But I think a lot of people aren’t in that game. I think that a lot of people are desperate to feel that they’ve succeeded inside of the American story. So if we can pick up the main thread, I’ll try to finish it out as quickly as I can. We can go from the 1980s through Bill Clinton. So Bill Clinton, the idealism of that age was “We Are the World”, and the sort of Davos pluralism of globalization, that was about breaking the bonds to your fellow countrymen. Then we have the idealism of the “Technology Changes Everything” with the dotcom bubble, you see that that collapses. Then the idealism becomes “Everyone Needs a Home”, it allows the financiers to concentrate the gains, we are caught holding the bag in 2008. The world’s financial system falls apart, right? And then we have the idealism of stimulus, and a very strange thing happens in 2010 (around), which is the Colorado midterm senate elections. And I believe that the Democrats really have a tremendous amount of pain, and they have a bright spot in Colorado. And the Obama people say what happened in Colorado that was different? And it turns out that identity politics played a big role in that election, if I have my story right. At that point, Russlynn Ali writes a 2011 letter to the universities, called the Dear Colleague letter. The Dear Colleague letter put the university system on notice, which is of course beholden to the federal government because, effectively, it’s not—it’s a seemingly private system, of private universities that is entirely dependent on the federal government. And it says by the way, people, if you don’t get your stuff in order, with respect to Title IX, and women’s rights, and the terrible problem of attacks on women on campus, etc, etc, you’re going to be in a situation which you may not like, because the federal government may withdraw its support. 

00:32:29
So the universities scramble towards making sure that they are as compliant as they can be, responsive to the Dear Colleague letter, and that starts a chain of events whereby we start pumping out people who have spent four years coked up in an indoctrination camp, believing things that have always been present in the university system, but have been relatively small. You have to appreciate that intersectionality comes out of UCLA, the concept of unexamined privilege comes out of Wellesley, Mary McIntosh, and Kimberlé Crenshaw is the UCLA law professor. These ideas become supercharged after Russlynn Ali’s Dear Colleague letter. The Democratic Party goes hard to identity. And, to quote my wife and economist Pia Malaney, the Democratic Party had to search for the cheapest alternative to organized labor, and that was organized identity. So now you’ve swapped out organized labor, destroyed by PATCO and competitiveness, and the previous, you know, idealism that was cloaking a theft. And suddenly, the Democratic Party is the party of identity because it’s the cheapest substitute, and it buys time for the kleptocracy to continue looting the country, which gives birth to MAGA. Right?

00:33:46
And so in essence, and this is a really important point, I’ve never said it anywhere else, but I wanted to save it up for you, so let’s see how it goes. America has two twin aspirations: that of being a great society, and that of being a good society. And the left of center tends to overfocus on being a good society, and the right tends to overfocus on being a great society. By great, I mean a massive power. And by good, I mean a moral power. So when you have people like the Dulles brothers or J. Edgar Hoover, you have a situation in which the US perfectly well knows how to throw an election. We know how to assassinate leaders. We know how to gather intelligence, and we know how to take people to black sites and try to get information out of them. We know how to run the School of the Americas. There is this entire Howard Zinn history of the United States which is real and true, and coming from a progressive family, when the United States government chooses to visit you through spies and harassment, it’s no joke. And that causes people like me to be treated as if we’re paranoid. But what’s really going on is that our Bayesian priors are different. If you’re black, or if you’re, let’s say extremely progressive. You have a terrible history with your own country. 

00:34:57
So my country has mistreated my family. I love this country. You have to be able to put up with the warts of your country. This country is not always good. But it has been great for a very long time. We are now trifling with—we’re pretending that we’re trying to be good through all of this wokeness which I’ve called Wokistan, and we’re pretending that we’re returning to greatness with Magastan. Neither of these things are true. We’re about to lose both being great and being good. And so now, what’s going on is that in the modern era, post Russlyn Ali’s letter, you’ve got all of these kids who are hired in order to generate sales, and clicks, and ads, for legacy media—which the old line thought they could control. This is the idea that you’re going to have a tiger cub, And at the beginning, the tiger is going to be adorable—or a lion cub, you know, and then that thing starts growing and growing. 

00:35:53
And so if you look at the Harper’s letter, that was an attempt to say hey, all of us who hired the extremely radical woke products of the university system, we have—we are now being threatened by our own attack squad. We tried to let them loose on everybody else, but we thought they wouldn’t turn on those who hired them. Well guess what, we now have a problem. We recognize this is illiberal. Okay, so now this is what we have to recover from. And it’s almost impossible, because none of us can get access to institutional media, which is the only thing that our institutions have to listen to. They don’t listen—they won’t listen to The Blaze unless we screw up, and then they’ll take whatever we said wrong and they’ll put it in an infinite cycle. But right now, the problem is that Magastan is creating Wokistan, Wokistan is creating Magastan, it’s Escher’s hands drawing hands, the two of them, drawing each other into existence. The kleptocrats are busy stealing everything that isn’t nailed down. And the tiny number of people who are outside of this system, as long as they don’t really have any effect inside what I’ve called the gated institutional narrative, or GIN, we have no ability to reach the uni—we can’t reach the universities. I have a PhD from Harvard, an MIT postdoc, I’ve been funded by the Sloan Foundation: it is absolutely important to portray me as if I’m insane. Or, I’m a complete right-winger, or a Nazi with my Jewish surname. That is how desperate this thing is that I’ve called the DISC, the distributed idea suppression complex. Right now, there are crazy ideas that may be dangerous, and I understand that we’ve always had adjustments to free speech, but there are also ideas that are unifying ideas, ideas that bring us back from the brink. And the system isn’t as worried about going over the edge of the brink, because that will generate clicks and sales. It’s much more worried about unification. It is much more worried that Eric Weinstein can speak to Glenn Beck, and that you and I can disagree on a million things, and we can say I love you, I care about you, this is our country, it’s us.

00:38:06
And right now, we have to free ourselves from institutional media. We are coked up on our own institutions. They used to be the ones who told us how they would call balls and strikes, you know? We don’t have that anymore. Right now, everything worth listening to almost is outside of the institution. And the institutions don’t have to listen to us while we sit in these chairs. So the through line, the reason it’s all falling apart, has to do with a powerful theory. Now Richard Dawkins said that the power of a theory is what it explains, divided by what it assumes. In essence, the engine of this is we built a society around growth between 1945 and the early ’70s, which was unsustainable. And then when the growth went down, every institution became beholden to its EGO: its embedded growth obligation. That meant it had to be headed by somebody who could pretend the future—that our brightest days were still ahead if we just stuck with the model. 

00:39:09
And that would have been possible if we’d found new growth. But effectively, in this orchard, we’ve picked all the low hanging fruit, except for maybe communications, fracking, and semiconductors. We now have to go find new orchards. This is what Elon Musk is doing. He is going back and going forward to find new orchards so that there’s more low hanging fruit—because there’s a financial concept called beta. And in general, when we have something like electrification, or digification, or any kind of an -ification that changes everything, then everybody can get some exposure. Your local laundromat can get exposure to a digital era by broadcasting when the washing machines are free, let’s say. You know? They don’t have to be in the technology business. Right now, we can’t operate our society in a high growth mode. And when you lose growth, the only growth that’s left is not from growing the pie, but from eyeing your neighbor’s slice. And so right now, we’re each looking at each other’s slices of the pie. And instead of seeing a brother, a comrade, a fellow countrymen, we see a source of protein. And that is the terribly concerning thing, which is we have got to stop eating each other to get back to the business of innovation, because this entire nation won’t work until we return to growth. And what we’re doing is cannibalizing the very people who are capable of producing growth.

00:40:37
Glenn Beck: So, right, so here’s the thing on that. We can’t seem to produce growth because we’re being told to stay home, we’re being told to shut down our business, we’re being told, all through regulation that is coming under this new administration. We are, we’re also not the ones getting the bailouts, the big business, the connected business, the global business. And at the same time, many of us are being called horrible names. And they’re putting us out of business now, because of who we support, or how we vote, or what we believe. You—with the technological boom that is coming, just the impact on truck drivers in the next few years, with driverless trucks that are already on the road, you start changing the model, and you start changing and have this almost cotton gin kind of turnover… You can’t add on top of that distrust, abuse, and theft, and survive.

00:41:55
Eric Weinstein: There’s a problem here, Glenn, which is that there is a moral basis for the market, and there is a moral basis for citizenship, and they’re different. It’s sort of the way we used to have courts that would execute the law and courts of chancery that would focus themselves on fairness. Okay? I have two claims on my country. One is as a soul, and one is as a mind and pair of hands. And, in essence, when I work hard, if I don’t have the ability to benefit from my own labor, that destroys the moral basis of the market. If I see handouts being—or bailouts and handouts being given to large corporations, if I see laws that forced me to shutter my business while Jeff Bezos is celebrated in terms of how many billions, Amazon made, etc, etc, what we’re doing is we’re undermining the moral basis of the market, and you cannot shove that on to efficiency.

00:42:54
Glenn Beck: It’s the—it’s Moral Sentiments. It’s, I mean, everybody concentrates on Wealth of Nations, it’s Moral Sentiments: once you disregard or destroy Moral Sentiments, the Wealth of Nations is gone. It’s gone, or so corrupted, it destroys itself.

00:43:13
Eric Weinstein: In the 1970s, probably, there were some pretty bad things that happened, intellectually, to the economics profession. [Unintelligible] of, you know, distribution questions, say that’s somebody else’s issue, we’re just gonna focus on growth, and you can distribute that however you want. The old “Once the rockets go up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department’s says Wernher von Braun” line, so that they’ve punted all sorts of things. That’s why Piketty suddenly runs, you know, roars into view with our exploding Gini coefficients that measure our inequality. So, the economics profession is completely corrupted by the idea that it is effectively serving the concentration of wealth, as if efficiency and growth are the only two things that matter, and distribution, of course, is not an issue of economics. They pass over these ideas in silence after this. Now, that is a huge problem—is that we’ve created a world of people who don’t have to talk about reality. They don’t have to talk about the fact that souls have a claim on our nation’s wealth as well, and that’s what UBI is all about. It’s trying to restore some kind of basis, moral basis to the market, and saying a rich country can afford to make sure that nobody goes hungry and nobody has—is wanting for a roof over their head. And at the same time, we can’t destroy the incentives to hard work and pretend that everything is egalitarian. Now— 

00:44:38
Glenn Beck: That’s, that is—because I am a free market… really— 

00:44:46
Eric Weinstein: No you’re not.

00:44:47
Glenn Beck: I’m—I’m not?

00:44:49
Eric Weinstein: No, because you’re a smart guy, and you know that market failure exists. So for example, if I produce a public good, and it is both inexhaustible and inexcludable, do you want me to produce something of incredible value and to recapture none of the value that I create? No, you don’t. The free market, in its idealized, childlike sense, will make sure that I am punished for producing a public good. And no thank you, I decline your free market by market principle. So if you’re a sophisticated market guy, you’re not going to look to screw over your own scientists who’ve produced a public good for you. 

00:45:23
Glenn Beck: Correct. 

00:45:24
Eric Weinstein: Okay, so let’s—congratulations—

00:45:26
Glenn Beck: But, when I say free market, I must have an idealized vision of it. When I say free market, I mean a market where, generally, people play by the rules—the free market is, to me—the best capitalist is the one that says how can I help people? How can I make their life easier? Right now, our, many of our capitalists are like how can I get rich? Instead of—

00:45:55
Eric Weinstein: Glenn, we don’t have time for this. You’re not a free market guy anymore. That was then. We’ve entered into a—let me put it this way. Imagine that you have a pie that says all activity is in this pie (that’s economic). Okay? And a tiny sliver of it were public goods and services, which constitute market failure. What if everything that I could produce, almost, can be turned into a small copyable file? So I replace, you know, the calculator on my desk, etc, etc, all sorts of things. Suddenly, that little slice of the pie that represents market failure due to public goods starts growing. And, imagine in a future world, a crazy world, the part of the free market that your thinking applies to is a tiny sliver. We haven’t gotten there yet. But we could. Your point is, in a world in which most things are well seen by the market, and few things are not, we should do almost everything through the market, and then we should do the little bit that we can’t do through the market through taxing, like raising an army, you know? We can’t [inaudible], I wish to opt out of US Army protection. No, you have to tax people for an army. Okay, so my point is, you need to update fast, and I don’t have time to explain it. But—

00:47:08
Glenn Beck: Okay, but wait, wait, wait, but you’re saying—I agree that we’re gonna have to update that, because that’s what’s coming our way. But I don’t think that’s a good thing.

00:47:18
Eric Weinstein: Well, I’m not happy about it—

00:47:19
Glenn Beck: Yeah. 

00:47:19
Eric Weinstein: But that’s where we are. 

00:47:20
Glenn Beck: Okay. Yes, I agree with you on that.

00:47:22
Eric Weinstein: [inaudible] The best parts of capitalism… Free market ideology in the current era is not going to cut it. Because like, just what we’ve seen—

00:47:32
Glenn Beck: But doesn’t that include, I mean, I’m assuming you’re, you’re very well aware of The Great Reset, which is the public-private partnership, you know, and the almost a Chinese kind of model, in some ways… That requires angels to run the countries and the system, that have never existed. I mean—

00:47:55
Eric Weinstein: Yes, we don’t have—we don’t have the wisdom to take over from the market, Glenn. It’s a self-organized system. Nobody’s arguing that. What I’m trying to say is that we’ve got a bunch of simple answers, none of them work. I could say it’s all Ayn Rand, or what we need to do is recognize that Swedish socialism works. You know, all of this is garbage, or everything is gonna—put everything on the blockchain, blockchain solves everything. All of these are completely simplistic, and free market belongs in that group. And, if you’re like me, you want to save the best aspects of the market take over from the market. I agree with that.

00:48:33
Glenn Beck: That’s, you’ve—you’ve defined yourself as a conservative: take the best parts of things, conserve them, and throw the rest out.

00:48:43
Eric Weinstein: No, you don’t realize that you’re a progressive. Forgive me.

00:48:48
Glenn Beck: No, you’re a conservative.

00:48:51
Eric Weinstein: I’m gonna win this argument, you can laugh all you want. 

00:48:53
Glenn Beck: All right, go ahead.

00:48:55
Eric Weinstein: Okay. The point is that what has gotten more people out of progress is the market. If progressive means lifting people out of poverty, about giving people hope, literacy, access to clean water and health care—a progressive has to embrace the market, period, the end.

00:49:14
Glenn Beck: I agree with you. But that’s not a a classical definition of a progressive. That’s not a Woodrow Wilson, you know, FDR progressive.

00:49:26
Eric Weinstein: I don’t think you’re understanding me, let me try it again. We learn from our experience. Many of us believed, back in the 1930s, that progress, with the failure of the crash of ’29, came from embracing socialism. I mean, if you look at Milan Kundera’s discussion, he says very clearly that all the cool kids wanted socialism and communism because that was the hot new idea. Now we know where that goes. We know that, in general, it goes towards extreme levels of violence in order to beat down Gini coefficients, and it goes to a lack of productivity. I visited the Soviet Union at the tail end. You can’t be a progressive and still believe in those things if you’re paying attention to history. The point of being a progressive is progress. And this idea that this word and this concept have been co-opted by people who have no concept of the history of progressives, no understanding of all the great things that we’ve accomplished, you know, interracial marriage. You know, we’ve been behind all sorts of things from the get go. And the point is that those of us who are truly progressive are keeping going. I am pro-market where the market works, and I’m up for calling the market out where it fails. And claiming, “I’m a free market guy.” No, you’re not. You’re just not. You don’t realize that you’re smart person.

00:50:53
Glenn Beck: Yeah. I, I would agree with you—if this is the way you’re defining things, I agree with you. And I don’t—but that’s not the discussion that is happening in the world at all. It should be, it—with the digital revolution on our heels, we have to have this conversation

00:51:13
Eric Weinstein: Glenn, this conversation is taking place outside of the non-conversation. The gated institutional narrative is to conversation what professional wrestling is to mixed martial arts. Okay? It’s a simulated conversation. Say, you know, my wife will sometimes say to me oh, we have to go see this new movie, everybody’s talking about it. And then I say what do you mean everybody’s talking about it? And then she’ll point me at all of these different media outlets cross-promoting. No! And I say nobody’s talking about it. What’s going on is that the media is doing a cross-promotion. So the conversation that’s really going on about progressivism, and all this stuff, is not the progressive conversation. I mean, what is more racist than a bunch of African Americans throwing a white professor out who won’t repeat what they say, you know? It’s what happened to my brother. Okay, if I’m antiracist, I’m probably against what is being called antiracism, because the antiracists may be racist. So the [inaudible], you can’t get confused about what your ideals are, and what your idealism is, just because somebody has taken all your language and reprogrammed it. So none of this has anything to do with progressivism, and if it requires me shouting at a mob of 1000 people who are saying defund the police—my point is, that’s not progressive. That’s insane. Let’s not conflate insanity, and a bad business model built on division, with progressivism. Now, we progressives are still out here. We’re still smart. We just don’t have a voice. We don’t have a seat on the exchange of ideas that is called the gated institutional narrative.

00:52:51
Glenn Beck: So then you are, you would clearly separate the Marxists out of the progressive movement that have really hijacked the Democrats and the progressives. The progressive era, in my opinion, is over. We’re in the Marxist era, if you define progressive as it is usually defined, not the way you just defined it.

00:53:18
Eric Weinstein: Wait a second. Marxism was progressive—

00:53:22
Glenn Beck: Yes.

00:53:22
Eric Weinstein: Before we knew how it behaved. And then when we find out how it behaved—

00:53:26
Glenn Beck: Correct.

00:53:27
Eric Weinstein: You know, there was a point maybe where Stalin was progressive. Paul Robeson would write, you know, rhapsodically about, you know, the great leader Stalin and what he was doing, because he was saying, you know, African Americans were welcome in the Soviet Union, we have black churches in Moscow. And in that situation, maybe, before you understood that Stalin was one of the greatest killers in human history, you might have thought that was progressive. Maybe you thought that Mao was progressive, before you understood the Red Guards and the Great Leap Forward. But the key point is that it’s also the case that conservatives have screwed up all sorts of things. Free marketeers have destroyed the world financial system. It’s clear that supply-side economics doesn’t work. And so all of these things, it’s very important to remember—

00:54:11
Glenn Beck: Okay, so that’s a really good conversation, but I think we’re getting sidetracked a little bit, because I think we agree, in a very compact sort of way, that I’m comfortable with you defining progressivism the way you do, for perhaps you and others on a case by case basis. But generally what I’m talking about with progressives—AOC will call herself a progressive. She’s not a progressive, she wants to drag us back to an old, broken kind of idea of Marxism. Do you agree?

00:54:47
Eric Weinstein: No. AOC is partially progressive and partially insane. And part of the problem—

00:54:53
Glenn Beck: Okay, can you explain that?

00:54:57
Eric Weinstein: Well look, [if] you want to have a next level conversation, we’re not going to be able to just, you know, I don’t want to have Tarzan, you know, talking about Jane, me good, you bad, all that kind of stuff. AOC is a complicated phenomenon. She’s in part constructed, the actual human from which she’s constructed appears to have taken over something in that role. It’s kind of interesting. She has the strength to call out certain kinds of bullshit. She’s extremely talented. Not everything she says and does is stupid. And then there’s the madness of identity politics and effectively communism coming through identity. And the reason for that, we should just be very clear, if you look at a lot of the labor movement, it was always talking about the brotherhood of bricklayers, the brotherhood of to—

00:55:37
Glenn Beck: Correct.

00:55:39
Eric Weinstein: It turned out that that concept really didn’t work very well, because people knew that they weren’t brothers, they were just coworkers. How much did bricklayers say I, you know, I laid the best bricks and I’m proud that that’s what I did? In part, it was proud to bring home a paycheck and feed a family, and to be able to look occasionally at a building and say your father built that. The issue is that identity is much more powerful. So it’s a much more effective means of introducing Marxist ideas. And what I’ve said is, if you want to save capitalism, you’re going to need hyper-capitalism coupled to something like hyper-socialism, because the redistributive aspects of capitalism change character with the multiplier of algorithms, and as an algorithm becomes powerful, whoever owns the algorithm may be able to concentrate fantastic amounts of wealth and no human can afford to defend themselves in that market. 

00:56:31
Glenn Beck: Correct. 

00:56:32
Eric Weinstein: So we’re in an interesting situation, which is when you say I’m a free market guy, you’re applying—you’re appealing to a very old complex. And when I say, you know, that these people, you’re not a free market guy. AOC is not simply progressive. We have to look at Arnold Kling and his concept that the three ideas that animate conservatives, libertarians, and progressives are very simple. Libertarians cannot stand coercion, and they become single issue, which is that they don’t want to be coerced in anything. Progressives can’t abide oppression, so they fight everything has the sort of appearance, or sheen, of oppression. And if you label something oppressive, they’ll fight it. And conservatives are always angry that people don’t remember the hard-won lessons of the past. And so they’re always trying to hang on to the wisdom that has been built up historically in a society. Okay, it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good if you had to, sort of, get it down to its essence.

00:57:29
Glenn Beck: But if you take, if you take the three of them, and you—with moderation—and put them together, it works.

00:57:39
Eric Weinstein: Bingo, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing. Right, exactly.

00:57:42
Glenn Beck: But we are now facing a system that has gone half insane, on both sides, have their own equal problems. And everybody, it’s my way or the highway, and there’s there’s no difference.

00:58:03
Eric Weinstein: We are not doing that.

00:58:04
Glenn Beck: What?

00:58:05
Eric Weinstein: We’re not doing that. You and I are having a different conversation. If we have a conversation about oh, is it free market versus equity? What’s even the point? I might as well just—let’s call it over and let the Chinese come in and teach us Mandarin. You know, I don’t want to do that. The key point is I can’t stand coercion. I hate coercion. That’s why libertarians imagine I’m libertarian. I really believe in structural oppression. If you look at what Robert Moses did to New York City, tell me with a straight face oppression doesn’t exist.

00:58:34
Glenn Beck: Yep. Amen, I agree.

00:58:36
Eric Weinstein: Everything we built up, including our founding fathers—an actual patriarchy, which was somehow so wise that the fact that they had no women, they had no people of color in their group—they wrote with enough abstraction and headroom that we could actually get out of our own way. I mean, this is genius in the document. Imagine that all men created equal and you keep anything—any mention of the fact that you actually own other human beings?

00:59:01
Glenn Beck: Actually not, actually not true. I urge you to go back, read the original draft. 

00:59:07
Eric Weinstein: You just cut out.

00:59:09
Glenn Beck: Are you there? 

00:59:11
Eric Weinstein: You’re back. 

00:59:12
Glenn Beck: Okay. Read—I urge you to go back and read the original draft in Thomas Jefferson’s own handwriting, the one that was proposed to Congress. Remember, John Hancock said the king will weasel his way in and split us up. Do we all agree it has to be unanimous? They all voted yes, it has to be unanimous. He went to write it. He wrote it, and it’s an unbelievable paragraph about slavery, and the evils of slavery, and how the king has stopped them every step of the way. It’s the only place where his handwriting changes. He capitalizes the word—he says—and the king has continued to allow and stop every effort to stop the practice of selling—capital letters—men on the open market. He did that to tie back to the beginning, all men are created equal. It’s not as clean cut, as everybody thinks it is. These guys were deep thinkers, deep thinkers.

01:00:18
Eric Weinstein: Well, some of them got it probably at the time

01:00:21
Glenn Beck: For where they were, mhmm.

01:00:22
Eric Weinstein: I believe Wyoming was maybe the first to, you know, make sure that women had the vote. So, we have a very strange history. But my point to you is we did have, we did have chattel slavery up until, like, a 100 years before my birth or something.

01:00:38
Glenn Beck: Yeah, I agree. It’s horrible.

01:00:41
Eric Weinstein: However, we had the foresight to have an abstraction, because some people figured out how to do this, so that we could grow into the country that I think we were always meant to be. And there’s a very important concept that came out of France that was taught to me by, I believe a person who taught Bill Clinton history at Oxford, Earl Jamie—I can’t pronounce his last name—which is a nation is defined to be a group of people who have agreed to forget something in common. In part, we are supposed to remember a lot of the horrible things in our beginning to forget them later, so that we can become who we were always meant to be without being tied back to 1619, the way Nikole Hannah Jones wishes to tear us apart and to refound us. We have absolutely, very strong obligations, in particular to African Americans, but also to women who were denied the vote, you know, even in the beginning of my grandfather’s life. But we also have to realize that we have the blueprint for a country that can accommodate our best selves, and that this is the gift of a patriarchy. It may not resemble us, it may have been a white landowning patriarchy. But goddamnit if these people didn’t effectively have a blueprint that can accommodate people that look absolutely nothing like them. 

01:02:03
And the excitement that I have for our country, which is our trajectory—we haven’t gotten close. The people who are calling themselves progressives in the streets are correct, that the progress has been too slow. On the other hand, to give up this thing, in order to pursue fantasies, and phantoms, and… This is madness. So that’s where we are, we’ve got to do better. But look, the other thing is, we’ve got to talk about the two major cults, and what cults are, because I don’t think people understand what a cult is. In general, cults are not simply made up of crazy people. Whatever the dominant society is, [it] always has to throw certain items of truth over the city walls that it represents. Right? You have to ta—you have to forget certain things, you have to pretend that certain things that are true aren’t true. And in so doing, when you have a situation like that, there is always the basis to begin a new civilization based on the idea that the society always has to lie. If the society lies very little, it’s not worth joining the irregulars outside the city walls. But it is true that our culture has been throwing more and more truth over the city walls, and that has been the basis for the cults that have formed around Wokistan and Magastan. And we have to talk about the fact that both of them have a point, and both of them have become cult-like 

01:03:27
Glenn Beck: I agree.

01:03:28
Eric Weinstein: And are now therefore, a threat to our system.

01:03:30
Glenn Beck: Agree. 100% agree. There is a reason, there is a real good set of reasons that people marched with black lives matter. They have some really good points—not Black Lives Matter Inc, but black lives matter. What was happening with our cops, the whole experience of the past—and it needs to change. The same thing with the people who—and I want to be careful here—gathered last week and said hey, can we just have 10 days just to air these things? To make sure that we all check? I didn’t think that that would happen. I didn’t think that you had the time to actually make any progress on it, because the constitution is very clear. But you had a right to say that. No one’s listening to the the real plight, the people who really mean—the peaceful protesters of black lives matter, and not the radicals that want to abolish the family and everything else. 

01:04:35
Eric Weinstein: No, but wait a second.

01:04:37
Glenn Beck: What? And we’re dismissing, we’re dismissing the people who say I don’t think I can trust this system anymore. If we shut them down, we’re nitroglycerin in a paint shaker.

01:04:53
Eric Weinstein: Well, let’s be very clear about this. Do you remember the claim that black lives matter protests were mostly peaceful? The Capitol Hill protest was probably mostly peaceful. Right back at you. Right? If you want to play the game of mostly peaceful, okay, fine, you know, that comes back to haunt you. The key issue is who’s been calling balls and strikes out here? I hate Donald Trump’s presidency, I really do. He accomplished some amazing things, like the Middle East peace stuff, like getting critical race theory out, like not starting new wars. Before his presidency, I said he will be a superposition, probably, of the best and worst president we’ve ever had in our country. And, you’ve got a group of internet hyenas who whenever they hear anybody trying to promote a nuanced position, a long-short position, whatever you want to call it, immediately say whataboutism, or bothsidesism. Like, can you imagine if physicists looked at Schrodinger’s cat and said oh, it’s bothsidesism. You know? Is the cat dead or alive? No, you’re not getting it. 

01:06:00
The key point is, Donald Trump represents something to many people who hate him. He represent something standing in the way of a news media that cannot report that the mayor of Portland is in fact coordinating with an organization it doesn’t think—it pretends doesn’t exist—to firebomb our own federal courthouse in a completely bizarre, largely performative ritual of showing us what a breakdown of law and order is when we—I mean, no smart person talks about getting rid of the police. And by the way, there is no minority community in the country that can say we’re so oppressed that you have to understand we have a right to get rid of the police. Well, I guarantee you, people with my surname, what will happen if you get rid of the police? It’s going to be a very short ride. Don’t ever tell a Jew we’re getting rid of the police, all right? We’re in a situation in which the MAGA people have to be reached by somebody who hasn’t gone along with the lies, right? Yes, the media is lying to you exactly as you say the media is lying to you. Mayor Jenny and Mayor Ted Wheeler in Seattle and Portland are completely out of control. Everyone who failed to talk about that in real terms is completely out of control. You’re not wrong about everything, Magastan, by far. I’m not even positive that the election, the general election is free and fair. I don’t know. I don’t know.

01:07:27
On the other hand, let me tell you something that I’m very, very clear on. Assume all of your worst nightmares are true. Assume that you have an incredibly talented intelligence complex that views Donald Trump, incorrectly, as a puppet of Vladimir Putin and decided that it had to rig the election through fraud. All right? Just indulge your wildest, craziest claims. Go full QAnon: Justice Roberts is part of a pedophile conspiracy, etc. The Supreme Court pretends to be nine druids that can divine the truth, by taking on black robes speaking in Latin. It’s not true. They’re nine dudes and chicks like you and me, who are assigned to be the last word. And we as Americans agree to abide by the Supreme Court’s decisions, even when they’re wrong. So, if you want—if you tell me I don’t get it, and I haven’t looked at Benford’s law, and all of this stuff, and I don’t understand that the Epstein conspiracy reached the court—okay, fine. But you’re not talking about the United States anymore. You’re talking about a revolution to found a new country that doesn’t exist.

01:08:37
Glenn Beck: Yes, yes.

01:08:39
Eric Weinstein: And, what we need to say to our MAGA brothers and sisters, just like our Woke brothers and sisters, is you began around a system of truths that were excluded from the gated institutional narrative. That was your seed corn. Yes, structural oppression really does exist, you know? Yes, it is absolutely true that there are so many irregularities, to explain that Antifa is denied not reported upon, that you’re having the idea that you’re bigots and chauvinists shoved down your throat. There’s no shortage of reality that you have been denied. And now, you’ve attacked the Capitol building of the United States. And I can, I can spin it either way: I can decide that it’s a failed insurrection, or I could say it’s a mostly peaceful protest. Right? It doesn’t matter. The key point is the culture of the United States of America. And as I said recently to Saagar and Marshall over at The Realignment, the magic and genius of this country is the way in which the—what I’ve called the Oral and Written Torah of the United States—the Constitution and our culture interact. And what I love about this country is that I’m absolutely free to burn a flag and protest, and I have zero desire to do it. And the idea is, if you want to get rid of the culture of this country, you’re going to need laws and rules, and you can kiss your freedom goodbye. And so part of it is that even though this country came after my family 1953, I stand when the national anthem is played. I’m sure I would not have wanted to hang out with Francis Scott Key. But I heard Jose Feliciano sing his Puerto Rican version at Candlestick Park, and Jimi Hendrix, and I heard Marian Anderson do it, and Whitney Houston. We took that song, and we made it something absolutely incredible. And I stand whether I feel like it or not, not because I have to. I support the right to go down on one knee—by the way, a genius move, if I may say so, because sitting on the bench was a terrible move, it was incredibly disrespectful. Being on one knee is a way of communicating a certain form of respect. And I would prefer that you stand, but I celebrate your right to kneel. The key thing, though, is our culture is being destroyed. And, I don’t know how to say this. We have to go non-coercive, we have to respect our past, and we’ve got to get the boot of oppression off the number of people who can’t figure out—I feel like I did almost everything right, I did not have the career that I was expecting. Right? And it’s the same issue with Donald Trump. Let me tell you something, Baby Boomers do not like to be told to leave the workforce when it’s time. 

01:11:36
Glenn Beck: Right. 

01:11:36
Eric Weinstein: We got rid of mandatory retirement in all sorts of places in the ’80s. And, in part, that’s because the Boomers didn’t have enough wealth, and as a result, everybody else is in a holding pattern. And right now, the principle emergency is that we’ve got a ton of young men and young women who need to form families and homes. And I don’t care whether it’s two dudes raising a kid, or two chicks, or two people who are non-binary, but a continuing society is all about babies. And, creating the preconditions where people wish to keep their society going, so that people will care enough to sacrifice in their life for a legacy… When you start taking down all statues, not just the statues that were put up as a finger in the eye of somebody else—and there were some statues that were put up in that way—but when you started tearing down, you know, a statue of an elk, or Stevie Ray Vaughn, because you’re trying to make sure that nobody has a future, that there is no history of who cared, and who did, and who won for you, what you’re doing is you’re stopping the loop of sacrifice. You need to make sacrifice worthwhile, maybe not directly, but at least indirectly. 

01:12:48
And the future has collapsed for these people. There’s this thing I’ve called metastatic maternity, where when women realize that they’re not going to have a baby that they’re going to care for, they have to care for something else. And remember, the lesson of the wild is that mothers love their babies in a way that is violent. And if you’ve ever seen a mother and having was attacked, you have not seen what violence is. Incredible violence. And in effect, we have a lot of young women who are trying to take care of something, who may not be able to have kids because the market is completely taking away the ability to form families from our young people. 

01:13:29
And so right now, what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to get a bunch of old people out of their goddamn chairs. They’re an embarrassment. They’re completely failed. By the way, it’s not the fact that they’re old. Joe Biden entered the Senate in 1972, at the age of 29. It’s enough already. If he had something to say I’m pretty sure we would know about it by now. Right now, the big issue is that Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell don’t make sense, Nancy Pelosi, none of these people. We are talking about a world of technically incompetent people who grew up in an era, generally speaking, before the Great Society programs, born in the 1940s, who are not capable of living in a 21st century technological world built with all this change. And we need different people in the leadership position.

01:14:17
Glenn Beck: I was just saying on the radio today or yesterday. If it wasn’t unconstitutional, I would vote for somebody like Elon Musk, and not because I agree with everything he has to say. I think he’d be you know, a nightmare to me in many cases, but he, at least, is looking at a new world. It’s like we’ve got a group of people that want to keep us packed into the systems of 1950 that don’t work. Nothing, this, all of this doesn’t work. We need visionaries that can understand the technology of tomorrow, the social impact of those things, explain it, and help us get into that. And I see very few of them on the horizon.

01:15:09
Eric Weinstein: Yeah, I mean, you need to—my guess is that most of our leadership born in the 1940s can’t write a Hello World program in any computer language.

01:15:18
Glenn Beck: Yeah. Right.

01:15:19
Eric Weinstein: You know, at some level it’s enough. We’re in a technological world, we’re in a new age, and what their job has been, again, I have to quote my wife, which I resent, because she has a lot of good points. But her point has been that COVID accelerated the destruction of the dam that people born in the 1940s have been using to hold back all progress.

01:15:41
Glenn Beck: Yeah. 

01:15:42
Eric Weinstein: And so what’s coming… demography is going to take care of this.

01:15:47
Glenn Beck: So let me, because we’re running out of time, let me ask you two questions. I’m very concerned about this transition, because one person makes a mistake, it’s a Reichstag fire. I mean, and it doesn’t matter—it doesn’t matter if the Nazis of the communists did it. The impact of that event changed the whole world. And I am so afraid that it takes one lunatic or one group of lunatics, on either side, it won’t matter, and the world changes. Do you believe we’re that close?

01:16:24
Eric Weinstein: That’s, that’s right. We’re LARPing. The key problem, we’re engaged in live action roleplay. And if you see the woman who got shot on Capitol Hill—very clear that she walked right into a gun in which the officer who shot her had his finger along the barrel of the pistol. It came inside the trigger guard, it went back out along the barrel, it was shouted he’s got a gun. And she did not stop, because she LARPed her way into her own death. And I, if I may, I would like to address your audience, and I want to do it non-condescendingly because I’m not in a position to condescend. I’ve screwed up enough in this story. But look, I’ve been here the whole time, and I’ve been telling you, you guys are right about the center left media. It’s gone completely insane. It’s denying reality. It’s gaslighting you, you’re not wrong about that. You’re not wrong that critical race theory is insane. You’re wrong somewhere else. If you believe, effectively, that the court system didn’t hear the evidence, and it just didn’t give standing, and that the corruption has gone all the way to the Supreme Court and Justice Roberts, it may have. But there is no opportunity to save the United States if what you’re going to do is to talk about something above the Supreme Court. What you’re talking about, right now, is you’re talking about a new country that you’re hoping to found. And that new country is not the United States. 

01:17:50
And I’ll tell you, I am fighting very hard, as I can, using every tool in my arsenal to try to get people’s consciousness up that MAGA is not completely insane. I can see that from the left. Now I’ll be told that I’m not on the left because I can see it, but that’s not true. You can look at my credentials. I said that Donald Trump was an existential risk, at the beginning, to the fabric of the United States. Give me my due, tell me that I’m not wrong about that. Tell me that the fact is that he used the old Henry II tool of saying will nobody rid me of this quarrelsome priest, which is called direction through indirection. He told people to be peaceful. But there’s no way to overturn this election the way Donald Trump wanted to, there’s no way to go around Justice Roberts. You have to wait and take it on the chin. You have to take your loss. If you want to save the country that you claim—it’s not that you have no allies, it’s not that you haven’t been heard, and you made lots of real points. Donald Trump did many good things. No new wars is a heck of a big deal. Getting rid of critical race theory, he wasn’t wrong that our immigration policy has been structured around calling everybody a xenophobe who wants a border. It’s insane. But I want to give you your due, and I want to tell you also something: you’ve gone over the line. If you believe in zip ties, and you’re going to take back the Capitol, you’re coked up on an ideology, and if what you’re trying to save is the United States, your United States can only be saved by waiting it out. 

01:19:20
And I want to point something out to all of you. In 1971, a group called the Citizens’ Committee to Investigate the FBI created an incredible act of civil disobedience and broke into an FBI office and they stole a bunch of documents, because they were willing, as patriots, to pay with their freedom to expose the fact that the FBI was out of control. And that turned into the Church and Pike Committees in the mid-1970s. And for the first time, we investigated our own intelligence services, and found out the United States government was harassing and assassinating Americans citizens who were trying to behave in a way politically that was anathema to J. Edgar Hoover. [Inaudible] need to do is to look at the leader of that group, I believe his name was William Davidon, a student of [unintelligible]. Those guys, disciplined, organized, they found the word COINTELPRO, they created FOIA requests, they forced—I believe the New York Times wouldn’t run their findings, and they forced the Washington Post to have to investigate us. Right now, we need a redo of the Church and Pike Committees so that we know what our intelligence are up to. We need to inflict people who are actually progressive inside of center left media, which is demonizing everybody. And what I need from MAGA is—I need, I’ve got an outstretched hand, and it’s been outstretched for four years. And I’ve waited now, hopefully strategically, to talk to Glenn, because hopefully, this is somewhat electrifying. We’ve got to get back from the brink. 

01:20:59
And, I speak on behalf of a large number of people who have no voice, who have always voted Democratic, which is I love you. I love you. You guys are a part of what makes America great. There are certain aspects that I can’t do, because my left-of-centerness doesn’t allow me to do it. We benefit from being a great country and a good country. And I’ve tried to do both, but we have to have a conscience, and we can’t go down this route. You have to realize that the cult-like aspect of Donald Trump may have been necessary to the break the cabal that has been denying all kinds of truth—I’ve called it the DISC. I’ve talked about the gated institutional narrative—it’s over. The Donald Trump thing has to mutate into something that is pro-America, that is not based on a cult of personality. I know that many of you hate him, and support him because he was the only way to stop the denial that Antifa was attacking the federal courthouse, for example. All of these people born in the 1940s are going away because of father time. They don’t have much time left on this planet. And we are going to have to figure out how to unseat them legally. And with apologies to Malcolm X, you need to remove them by any legal means necessary. I apologize for the word legal, but it really does matter. What we need to do is to recognize that Magastan and Wokistan are two cults founded on reality. There really is structural oppression. There really is a denial of reality by center left media. And, we went over the brink. What we did at the Capitol was disgusting. And we [inaudible] in a mob mentality. That woman who died, from San Diego, LARPed her way to an early grave because of the contents of her mind—the software she was running—told her that she was as if she was in the Boxer Rebellion, that she had supernatural powers, that nothing would happen. If you look at that video, you look at all of the heavily armed officers behind her who could have stopped her. We have entered non-reality, and we are a thermonuclear nation with responsibilities to the entire planet. I keep hearing from black Americans that it’s finally our time, you’re not going to silence us, and you’re not go—nobody’s trying to do that. But you too have responsibilities to the planet, this is a thermonuclear situation.

01:23:15
And, you know, I appreciate that the killing of George Floyd had the optics of a police lynching, and that it plays into the denied reality of black America. Yes, your history has been denied. Just as my history is denied, just as everybody who understands Howard Zinn’s history has been denied. But on the other hand, I want to come back to one image. I had an idea that I was going to get the two guys on my show who engaged in an incident—Donald Trump said to rough up protesters and that he would pay legal bills, and a 78 year old man, a white guy, threw an elbow, sucker punching a black protester being led out of an arena. And what I found was that they had reconciled. And they’d hugged, and they’d put it behind them. And there were 20,000 views on video over four years, I think there were fewer than 20 likes. Just by pointing out that video existed, I think it went to 30,000 likes from my account alone. We love each other. And, we have to stop speaking through our media, and we have to stop speaking through our politicians, and we have to stop speaking through people who are pretending to be progressive, or pretending to be conservative. You can’t conserve the United States by going above the Supreme Court. And if you want to think that I’m soft on Jeffrey Epstein, take a look at the episode that I did specifically. Hey, news media. You have to ask the question, “Was Jeffrey Epstein attached to any intelligence service?” And if you get shut down and say we don’t discuss sources and methods, that’s fine, but the fact that you won’t ask the question about whether or not Jeffrey Epstein is attached to an intelligence service creates a vacuum, and that vacuum is going to be filled by people who believe fantastic things: the worst excesses of Alex Jones, or QAnon, or the Nation of Islam, or whatever. 

01:25:05
Right now, the problem is we have no adults. I’m pretending to be an adult on Glenn’s show. Maybe Glenn is pretending to be an adult. But those of us pretending to be adults are at least trying, because we’ve had a 75 year nap since the end of World War II, and it’s coming to an end no matter what. Whether it descends to bloodshed, or violence, or authoritarianism, whether we lose the right to speak to each other on social media because they take a power grab given what horrible things happened in the Capitol, we’ve got to come back to reality. There really was a direction to stop the steal from Donald Trump on January 6. There really was an admonition to be peaceful. He knows exactly what he’s doing, he sent twin messages. And that happened at the Capitol, where certain people were just going to a rave, some people were going to a revolution, some people were just reporting it. Nancy Pelosi is not the right person to bring impeachment proceedings. The fact is, whoever brought impeachment proceedings should have been talking about Mayor Wheeler, and Mayor Jenny, and their abominable performance as public services, allowing lawlessness, people to die. We’ve got to go back. We need effectively a national mikveh, to separate our unclean period from whoever it is that we’re meant to be and try again. And we need to cover structural oppression and end coercion in the conservation of our best values. And if that seems like a tall order, tough shit. That’s where we are. And, if you don’t want to do that, if you want to just say my free market, or my structural oppression, you’re not part of the American experiment. You’re part of its final act. And quite frankly, we’ve got to fight the kleptocrats in center left [and] center right, Wokistan and Magastan, and get back to the business of innovation. I’ve tried to give you a history that you probably didn’t know, involving a through line that is incredibly simple, that explains why everything is falling apart, and tried to use as few assumptions as possible. And it’s been an honor to do it on Glenn’s program. Glenn, it was never personal, it was always strategic. I’m sorry, I’m not a free market guy. I’m not a conservative. I’m an honest progressive from a different era. And, I know that you are not a free marketeer, you get that things have changed. We’ve got to find our way into the future and we’ve got to stop looking back for the answers. They ain’t there. We’ve got to invent the future anew. Thanks for letting me rant.

01:27:31
Glenn Beck: I have to tell you, Eric, if you were here, I’m a hugger. I would hug you. I would be your friend, I could be your neighbor, and we would never have an argument even though we may disagree on policies or things. This is the kind of conversation that America must have. And I hope this isn’t the last time you will join me, because I would love to hear more of your thoughts. Thank you so much.

01:28:04
Eric Weinstein: Thank you. Love you, brother.

Managing Director of Thiel Capital, Eric Weinstein, discusses how we can heal the country after a tumultuous year.

About Rising: Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan hosts that breaks the mold of morning TV by taking viewers inside the halls of Washington power like never before. The show leans into the day’s political cycle with cutting edge analysis from DC insiders who can predict what is going to happen. It also sets the day’s political agenda by breaking exclusive news with a team of scoop-driven reporters and demanding answers during interviews with the country’s most important political newsmakers.

Follow Rising on social media:
Website: Hill.TV
Facebook: facebook.com/HillTVLive/
Instagram: @HillTVLive
Twitter: @HillTVLive

Follow Saagar Enjeti & Krystal Ball on social media:
Twitter: @esaagar and @krystalball
Instagram: @esaagar and @krystalmball


Transcript

00:00:00
Krystal Ball: The pandemic, of course, continues to rage. We’ve got millions of people in fear of losing their homes, losing their jobs, we’ve got threats of more violence by extremists here within this own country. The country is clearly on edge. If there was ever a time when we needed a reconciliation and healing, it is right now. 

00:00:16
Saagar Enjeti: That’s right. So joining us now to talk about how to achieve that host of the portal podcast, Eric Weinstein himself. Dr. Eric Weinstein, great to see you, sir. Thanks for joining us. 

00:00:24
Krystal Ball: Great to have you. 

00:00:26
Eric Weinstein: Good to be with you both. Thanks for having me.

00:00:28
Saagar Enjeti: Absolutely. Eric. It’s something you and I have spoken a little bit about. And one, we wanted to make sure you got the opportunity to talk about it here on Rising as well. In the events of everything, what do you see as a way that this country can come together in light of, just, historic division.

00:00:44
Eric Weinstein: More or less, those of us who have a business model that is based upon dividing the country have to realize that we are about to saw off the branch on which we rest. So what you see is we’re liquidating our business models for the United States. And effectively, the apocalypse is going to be great television, so we’re all super excited to see it. And all of us have an exaggerated sense of importance. And it’s time to recognize that this is the moment where we either continue in what I would call Kayfabe, which is the system that professional wrestling uses to manage layered lies and deceptions. Or we get back to being the United States of America. And really, the choice is ours. And I think the key issue is that only a tiny number of people have tried to call balls and strikes, as opposed to demonizing one side from the other.

00:01:34
Krystal Ball: Yeah. And so be a little more specific when you say those of us who have a business model built on dividing the country, who specifically are you talking about, are you just aiming at the media or are there other people that you’re thinking of as well?

00:01:47
Eric Weinstein: Well, I particularly try to discourage audience members. I shrink my audience size by trying not to appeal to the limbic system, but going straight to the prefrontal cortex. And that’s what a lot of us used to do, whether it was the MacNeil Lehrer NewsHour, back in the day, or even network television news in the days of Eric Sevareid. In essence, what we have now is we have a limbic business model, and there’s nothing better than feeling that you are a part of an exciting team on a conquest to save the country for the good of the world. And it’s going to come as a huge shock that there are two cults which I’ve called Wokistan, and Magastan, and that neither of these things is particularly serious. They’re both capable of taking the country down. And the key issue that we face is that the kleptocracy in the center between the left and the right is sponsoring this exciting live action role-playing event, as we saw from the events inside the Capitol, where people LARP their way to an early death, in particular, a veteran from San Diego who walked right into a bullet clearly feeling that she was invincible, as if she was part of the Boxer Rebellion.

00:02:52
Saagar Enjeti: So let’s talk about that era, which is that what you described there is really the complicity of the leadership class. They’re the ones who got us to where we are, and they’re almost certainly the ones that can’t get us out. So when people are interested in actually getting something done, what is there to be done if the current system is so rotten?

00:03:10
Eric Weinstein: Well, first of all, let’s just recognize that in previous eras, that people born in the 1940s would be embarrassed to try to continue running the country. We used to have mandatory retirements before the 1980s. And in part, it’s necessary to renew your society, we are living in a technological age. I think if you had minimal technical requirements for the people who were part of our leadership class, or minimal honesty requirements, keep in mind that Donald Trump is clearly very sophisticated in the fact that he has incited a group of people to pressure him to win the election using the same technique that Henry II used to get rid of Thomas Beckett, which is called “Direction Through Indirection.” Somehow that’s confusing our talking heads, I don’t understand why. On the other hand, on the other side of the country, we have a mayor Ted Wheeler with an imaginary organization that firebombs a very real courthouse, and depending on whether it exists or whether it doesn’t, whether it’s allowed to direct traffic, or treated like an enemy has to do with where we are in the electoral cycle. None of these people are workable. And effectively, we have to remove three groups, the center, which has turned kleptocratic, an extreme Left group which is trying to get Marxism through identity politics, an extreme Right wing group that wants to return us to some era, which most of us are pretty happy that we’ve moved beyond. So I think it’s also really important to realize that many of us are captured by these cults. And we’re still good people, we’re just running really bad software. And the same thing you have to do when you have a child that succumbs to a cult. You’ve got to go in there, and deprogram and get them out with love. And very few people are in a position to say, “Hey, I love you and I understand why you joined, because there was a kernel of truth around everything that you were doing.”

00:04:57
Krystal Ball: Yeah, well, and it seems like there’s a real collective action problem here too, because all the incentive structure is to be the loudest, most aggressive, most, you know, out there member of the cult. That’s what gets you promotion. That’s what gets you social media love. That’s what builds your audience. That’s what really contributes to your esteem within your particular tribe, and any one person sort of de-escalating and coming back to reality, they’re just going to, they’re just going to disappear. Right? It’s against all of their interest to do that. So how do you deal with that collective action issue of when you need everybody to basically take a step back? 

00:05:35
Eric Weinstein: Well, I don’t think it’s a question of “everybody”. I mean, one of the reasons I asked to appear on Rising is that you guys aren’t following that model, and you’re crushing it. And I’m not following that model, and I’m crushing it. Now, I’m a 55 year old father of two, with a math PhD and I get recognized in mattress stores, you know. The country is hungry for reality. We are a reality-starved people. And what we need to do is, you guys were very smart to decamped from inside what I call the Gated Institutional Narrative, it’s time to take it back, because the institutions only listen to their own media. And right now, what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to reinsert the critics who are still capable of independent thought, enormous audiences, who are showing that, in fact, the amygdala is not the business model of the future. It is the prefrontal cortex. You guys wouldn’t be doing this well, if you were appealing to the amygdala. Most people are fatigued and exhausted. And it’s time for you guys to lead. I mean, I think that you guys are much more in the future. I’m here to be a handmaiden to help you get there. The reason that Rising is so important is that it has the optics of the Gated Institutional Narrative. You guys look like what they have to listen to. I’m just a guy on a Skype call with an anonymous wall behind me. But because of some production values, the amygdala accepts that you guys should be talking to the prefrontal cortex. And by the way, what an amazing job you guys are doing. And by the way, Krystal I’m very sorry, but your own show completely disproves your question and its assumptions.

00:07:07
Saagar Enjeti: What a pleasant way to end this conversation. Eric, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate your words at this time. I think they’re very important. 

00:07:14
Krystal Ball: Thank you, Eric.

00:07:15
Saagar Enjeti: Thank you. 

00:07:16
Eric Weinstein: Thank you both.

00:07:18
Krystal Ball: Coming up Joe Biden’s gonna need bipartisan support for his COVID relief plan. In front of the show, David Sirota is going to explain why his approach may not work out. That’s when Rising continues.

“Eric Weinstein, host of “The Portal” podcast and managing director at Thiel Capital, returns to The Realignment to discuss the state of the U.S. after the riot at the U.S. Capitol.”


Transcript

00:00:10
Saagar Enjeti: Dr. Eric Weinstein, welcome back to The Realignment—

00:00:14
Eric Weinstein: Careful with the “doctor”, I don’t want to be confused with somebody preparing to do surgery.

00:00:19
Saagar Enjeti: That’s true. But that’s also a pun, Eric. My parents are both PhD doctors themselves. So ever since the whole scandal on Jill Biden, I’ve been calling them both “doctor”. So I just think that it’s an honorific that we should try.

00:00:32
Eric Weinstein: Actually—

00:00:32
Saagar Enjeti: To give everybody—

00:00:34
Eric Weinstein: I’ll be entirely honest, I really don’t think MDS should be called “doctor”. If anyone should be called “doctor”, it should be PhDs. But I figure we should let it slide.

00:00:42
Saagar Enjeti: See, we’ve already got such good content. Eric, we wanted to bring you back to the show. Because you’ve been putting out some really just, I think, profound thoughts about where we are at the state of the country. I think you recently tweeted, you’re having trouble sleeping as a result of the capital riots and so much of what we saw, and I just want to give you the opportunity to just give us your thoughts and break down this terrible week in America, and how you think that we can get out of this? What can we do?

00:01:11
Eric Weinstein: Well, I want to even go—I think it is a terrible week. But I don’t think it’s a terrible week for the same reasons that everyone else seems to think it’s a terrible week. One of the things that’s going on is that we have a very strange selective memory. And the selective memory doesn’t remember the fact that we’ve had bombings in the Capitol Building, we’ve had a Jewish suicide bomber in the Capitol building in previous times. 

00:01:38
Marshall Kosloff: Puerto Rican occupiers, yeah, it goes deeper than that.

00:01:42
EW: Right. So the fact is that the optics of this week are absolutely horrendous. We had a police—law enforcement officer beaten to death with a fire extinguisher, which, you know, I don’t, I really don’t even have words for that. But I also think that, in part, we’re not really capable of having the discussion about what really happened. What—maybe we could—let’s start with the Viking, right, we had a Viking taking pictures, playing around, I don’t know, in the Senate or the House. And I think that this really gets to the heart of what’s going on, which is that we are LARPing our way into Armageddon. And the seriousness of this, you know, all of the talk of civil war and all this kind of stuff, is weirdly not getting our opportunity to find the off-ramp. In large measure, what we’ve got is two teams of Live-Action Role Players, or, so-called LARPers. And they’re engaging in something that I was worried about in, I think, 2013, and I wrote an article for the Edge Annual Question. And they asked, “What is the scientific theory that everyone should have in their cognitive toolkit?” And I had several ideas, I was going to write about regulated expression in genetics. And I said to my wife, you know, the thing I really want to write about is Kayfabe, and that is the system of lies and deceptions found inside of professional wrestling. Now, of course, that’s not going to be seen as an academic theory. But professional wrestling, and the intelligence community are the two places that understand nested levels of deception better than any other two groups. And they’re lightyears ahead of psychology departments. So part of what’s going on is that we’ve got two national LARPing complexes that are engaged in what I would call Kayfabe. So we have Vikings, people are posing, stealing the lectern, I don’t know, from the House of Representatives, thinking that they’re at some kind of a rave or a party, maybe it’s Burning Man for politics, not clear. That situation can go completely insane and become real in a way that I don’t think people appreciate. So I often pose the question, “Which is more real, mixed martial arts or professional wrestling?” And I would say professional wrestling by a longshot. If you look at the list of deaths associated with professional wrestling, it doesn’t get more real than that. I don’t think UFC has had its first fatality yet. And, in essence, what we have is we have a mock national conversation, one around “Stop The Steel”, which has rejected the United States justice system, which has refused to give Donald Trump much comfort. And the idea that you’re going to save America from its own justice system is pretty interesting, by going around the will of the courts. So I think what we have here is a national meaning crisis, where there are people who have very little future, and there are people who still have a future, and the people who still have a future are selling LARPing to two teams, you know, one of which is Wokistan, and the other of which is Magastan. And so we now have a war, mostly on the internet, mostly through Kayfabe, of Magastan versus Wokistan, which have to be two of the, you know, most intellectually crippled theories you could have, not because they don’t contain seeds of truth, but because they fill in what is missing with total nonsense. And I think that what’s going on, I—did you guys take a look at the video of the woman being shot in the capital?

00:05:46
SE: Yeah, we did.

00:05:47
EW: How closely did you study it?

00:05:49
SE: I think I saw it from three or four different angles. But I mean, I saw this woman literally leap towards a gun. And I just couldn’t stop thinking, I’m like, “What really compels somebody to do that?” I mean, it’s pure and genuine belief.

00:06:03
EW: Well, that’s exactly it. This is like the Boxer Rebellion in China, where you had people who were convinced that they had supernatural powers, or you know, you get kids, you know, on some powerful drug and you turn them into child warriors, and you make them wear dresses, and you tell them that the dress will make them invincible, or, you know, I forget what the general, you know, butt-naked or whatever it was in Africa—the sort of supernatural beliefs about what’s going on. One of the angles on the woman being killed shows the gun emerge first, pointed at the window that they’re trying to break through. 

00:06:42
SE: Right.

00:06:42
EW: And you clearly hear on the audio, “He’s got a gun! Gun!”, right? So that’s clear warning. You see that the finger that is, to pull the trigger is properly not on the trigger. It’s not inside the trigger guard. It’s along the barrel of the pistol. It comes inside the trigger guard, and then it goes back out. This is not somebody who is looking to discharge a weapon. This is somebody looking to not discharge a weapon. And the idea that this woman was climbing up on this, right into a gun, is bolstered by the idea that right behind her is—immediately after she’s shot, you see all sorts of law enforcement officers armed to the effing teeth, who are clearly behind her, who are not stopping this thing. We are not going to have an accurate discussion. What we’re going to have is a political football. And the political football is going to be used by anyone and everyone who has a partisan axe to grind in an attempt to divide the country into these warring factions. And we can’t get at these two insane mimetic complexes, because the center is actually sponsoring the lunatics. So figure that the center of the left and the right, the establishment, is busy looting the United States government, stealing as much silver as it can, cutting the paintings out of the frames, and they’re distracting the people with no future, as the people who still have a stake in the game and can hollow us out, keep amping us up. And I posted something on social media—if you recall, Donald Trump was encouraging people to rough up the protesters and beat them up, back in 20—the 2016 election, and one guy who was 78 threw an elbow into the eye of an African American and sort of Sucker Punched him with an elbow. And I went looking for those two guys thinking I should get them on my podcast. And I—I found that they’d reconciled, and they hugged in a courtroom, and they put this behind them. And in four years, the video had fewer than 20,000 views, and fewer than I think 20 likes. And I posted this, and immediately, just posting it, caused a 50% increase in the viewership over four years in a single day. We are being kept from coming together, we are being kept from getting rid of these people, and right now, the most important thing is that, by any—and with apologies to Malcolm X—by any legal means necessary, we have got to remove our current leadership. Period. The end. There is no more.

00:09:30
MK: So a question that comes to mind because it came up a couple of times during your statement there, LARPing. There’s a portion of the audience which isn’t online. If you’re not on Twitter, this won’t make as much sense for you. So can you just describe the phenomenon of LARPing? What is it and how does it manifest itself on the Wokistani side or the Megastani side if you will?

00:09:51
EW: Well, okay, sure. If you ever go to let’s say if you go to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, many of the most nerdy and kind of spectrummy kids are engaged—and by the way, I say that with zero disrespect, I’m proud to be part of that group—engaged in sort of live action versions of Dungeons and Dragons, and they’ve got foam swords and maces and all sorts of things. And there are very clear rules. And you get to play in a fantasy medieval war situation, let’s say. Now, in some sense, it’s like the Stanford Prison Experiment of Zimbardo, where you tell people, “you’re guards”, “you’re prisoners”, and sure enough, theater becomes real. There’s a limited ability to suspend the distance between our characters and ourselves. Our characters are, in some sense, real. And what’s interesting is that live action role playing can become immersive, you can forget that you’re in a game. And in Kayfabe, which is sort of professional wrestling system of deceptions, you break things into “work” or “shoot”. A “work” is a scripted activity taking place—by the way, Kayfabe is Carnival speak, for “fake”—and so a “work” would be if, you know, we agreed to have a fight on this podcast to drive your ratings through the roof, right?

00:11:21
MK: And I have some words for you, Dr. 

00:11:24
EW: Marshall, I’ve had about enough of your back-talking! Yeah.

00:11:27
MK: Let’s not call out CNN too hard here.

00:11:32
EW: So then, a “shoot” would be the spontaneous occurrence of reality in a scripted event. And then tertiary deception occurs, where you think you have a work where everyone’s in on it. By the way, if you don’t understand the professional wrestling is fake, you’re called a “mark”. If you understand that it’s fake, you’re called a “smart mark” or a “smark”, and one of the reasons I love this stuff is that I can’t get the language that the Espionage community uses to talk about deception, you know, like “false flags” and stuff like that, I mean, they’re very advanced, but professional wrestling by now is known to all. So the smarks understand that it’s all fake. But then you can have a situation where the fourth wall appears to break, and the people who are in on the idea that it’s a deception are suddenly freaked out to find out that it’s spilled over into reality, but that spill over into reality can in fact, be encased by another fourth wall. And that would be called a “worked shoot”. 

00:12:28
So what’s going on right now is that we don’t have language for the levels of theater, deception, fantasy, and we’re struggling. So what we do is we keep finding meaning. And if you’ll notice very carefully, what we’re doing this week is that we’re finding meaning, you know, “These are the darkest days of America. We thought it could never happen here, but in shocking footage released from Capitol Hill, we see the destruction of everything good about this country,” blah, blah, blah. That kind of mock seriousness is preposterous. I mean, this has been visible for the entire time that we’ve been engaged in this. And nobody cares about the fact that we are a thermonuclear nation, trifling with the very dangerous business of degrading the customs of the United States, which are used to evade the need for putting restrictions into law. Our culture has allowed us to be free. And right now what you’re seeing is the degradation of our culture, which will necessitate rules. Right? 

00:13:40
The old magic of America is it’s a country in which you have no desire to burn the flag, you have every right to burn. And when you lose that culture, you’re going to see a call to restrict free action. So the magic of the United States is not its constitution. I’ve compared that to the Written Torah of the United States. But the Written Torah is complemented in a duality by the Oral Torah. And the Written Torah doesn’t really work on its own. You need the Oral Torah and the culture to animate the document, the document can’t do anything. What we’re now seeing is a complete degradation. The great attack of Donald Trump was on the Oral Torah and culture of the United States. And a lot of people who found that very restrictive, it’s like, why can’t I tell Polak jokes? When was the last time anybody told a Polak joke? I grew up and there were books of Polak jokes. We don’t do that anymore. And that kind of behavior is something that we can do, we just choose not to. So we’re talking now about the degradation of our culture, where Donald Trump has pioneered the idea that if everyone is thrown out First baseball. Every president is thrown at the first baseball of the season, he realizes that there’s a huge win to be gotten by not going along with tradition, every time there’s a tradition or a custom, you can always just decide that you’re going to disobey it to show how independent, you know the fact let’s imagine it had been going on for 200 years, which it has, 

00:15:20
MK: Yeah. 

00:15:21
EW: Cool. “I’m the first person in 200 years to think for myself,” and that’s what Donald Trump has been doing. He’s been degrading the Oral Torah of the United States, which was holding things together so we didn’t need rules. And the people who didn’t like the Oral Torah, and wanted to be completely free to be, you know, their horrible selves were super enthusiastic about the idea that Donald Trump is finally “freeing” us. And guess what’s going to happen next, you’re going to see a move to shut down speech on the internet, you’re going to have the major tech platforms refusing to host, you’re going to have financial harassment, you’re—I’m already, you know, I’ve been making the joke for years, though, should republicans be allowed to use the streets?

00:16:04
That’s not a joke, I start seeing calls that Republicans shouldn’t be able to buy groceries. So I think that the problem is, I think this is a grave week, as Marshall says, I’ve been up, you know, I really am on no sleep. But I don’t think it’s serious for the same reasons. I think that the problem is that this LARPing can become reality, it can convert to reality, it’s a rehearsal, for something. And effectively, it’s like, if you’re waving a gun around with no intention of firing, and it suddenly goes off, you’ve just transitioned into a different world. And you see this all the time. And right now, what people are doing is they’re dancing on the eaves of a building, you know, and somebody’s gonna fall sooner or later, and the whole thing is going to convert in seconds.

00:16:50
MK: How does the leadership class distinguish between the LARPing and the actual danger moments, because, I think we’ve mentioned this, I’m from Portland, Oregon. And you see the example of this and the treatment of Antifa. Back in July, back in June, Mayor Ted Wheeler, the leadership class of the city say that it doesn’t exist, it’s not real. Anything that has happened, anything that does exist is basically referred to as LARPing. Come November, predictably, as soon as Donald Trump is no longer in the presidency, the mayor of Portland gives a very strong, very aggressive statement about Antifa not following the law, all these sorts of things. So that’s the center left to left-wing version, the right-wing version is

00:17:34
EW: Sorry, that isn’t the center-left to left wing version, that’s how I think—Ted Wheeler is an abomination unlike anything that we’ve ever seen on the center-left. I don’t know what that is. 

00:17:46
MK: My point is that I—here’s what I mean by that, I suspect that most mayors of most democratic cities would have operated in the sense that Ted Wheeler operated. And what I want to do is bring this back to what happened last week, if you went to most Republicans, Republicans who have now turned very aggressively against what happened at the Capitol, they would probably say, “there’s protesters, it basically doesn’t matter, there’s gonna be some MAGA people, there’s gonna be a couple of groupers, whatever, it doesn’t really matter.” Now, it matters. So from my perspective, on both sides of the aisle, you see a leadership class, it doesn’t seem able to navigate the LARP to real world dangerous scenario. How, from your perspective, should they think about that?

00:18:28
EW: I don’t think we have a leadership class. And Marshall, I don’t mean to say that I can’t understand your question. I mean, to say that we should reject your question, and I don’t—the frame is the problem. I don’t—let me make a more provocative statement and then attempt to back it up, because the provocative statement is gonna obviously sound insane. I don’t think the United States government really exists at the moment. I don’t think that there is a leadership class. I think what happens is that, you know, just the way you have an army during peacetime, which develops certain habits, you get peacetime generals, people play war games. It’s not really an army. And then you have a live action situation, and the thing has to convert into a fighting force. 

00:19:14
I think we don’t have a government. And I don’t think we’ve had a government for a long time. I think in some sense, the last time the United States clearly existed may have been 1945. And then it has been degrading in various fashions from that. So that was a pretty functional thing we put together during World War Two. And, you know, we were able to do the Space Program and, you know, the 1950s were an era of incredible scientific progress, unfortunately, also incredible military progress, and both us and the Iron Curtain, behind the Iron Curtain. But I don’t think that you understand how little the government actually exists now. And when Donald Trump got elected, I went to visit a colleague at the old Eisenhower office building off the West Wing, and as I was walking the halls, I noticed how many offices were empty, that seemed to have very important plaques on their doors. There was no Trump intellectual movement that you could staff the government with. 

00:20:20
And I think this goes back to something that Saagar and Krystal said beautifully on Joe Rogan right at the beginning, I recommend everybody at the beginning of that episode, that there are these two teams that get rotated in and out of government. And either you go into the think tanks, or you go into the office buildings, in government office buildings. Trump did not have an intellectual movement to put in. And so as a result, you know, it’s sort of the dream of the anti-tax movement, that you want a government so small, you can strangle it in the bathtub. And I think that, in part, he wasn’t able to staff, because Donald Trump really was the only thing behind trumpism. It was a completely idiosyncratic, drunken boxing movement, where Donald Trump understands a few things very well better than anyone else, and many things much worse than anyone else, or it’s just a horrible human being. But he’s at his best when he’s sticking it. To the left, the institutional organized left, which again, isn’t really left at all, based on its hypocrisy, he’s very effective at that he’s the only if you include military and administrative appointments, I don’t think we have had another president with zero government experience. And that’s an incredible achievement. And many people said, we’re never going to get another shot. Let’s get on this train, even though we can see the danger even though we despise him. Because the main thing is to stop the insiders, from selling us out to China from selling us out to Davos that the major business post the fall of the Berlin Berlin wall has been selling out those Americans too weak to defend themselves in order to get wealth by globalization, let’s say or financialization or anything like that. So we’ve been in a suicidal spiral, clearly, since Bill Clinton. And arguably before that. In such a situation, I don’t think we have a leadership class. And I think that the people who are sitting in those seats are children and their children who are in general. At the national level, many of them are born in the 1940s. I mean, somebody pointed out that. Well, one way of saying it is Dianne Feinstein was conceived in the Hoover administration. Most of these people were conceived in like, you know, the Truman administration. This is not a way to lead a technologically advanced society into the 21st century. These people can’t code. They’ve never used a pipette. They basically—they don’t know what the Teller-Ulam design is. They don’t—they’re not technically capable people. They’re professional peacetime kleptocrats. And the extent to which Ted Wheeler and Mayor Jenny destroyed confidence in the willingness to enforce the law created this thing that I got really attacked on social media for, which is that we created the “Never Trump” Trump voter—people who hate Donald Trump with a passion, who voted for him in desperation to stop Mayor Ted Wheeler and Mayor Jenny and their obvious attempt to allow a criminal element into the city for the purposes of provocation, allowing in particular in Portland, attacking the federal courthouse with—you guys remember the shaggy song, “It wasn’t me”? 

00:23:56
MK: Yes. 

00:23:58
EW: That was the strategy. “What Antifa?” Yeah, “there’s no Antifa! It doesn’t exist!”, and you know, Jerry Nadler was asked about this directly and I posted this clip where you know, you see this courthouse been firebombed. And the claim is that the group doing the firebomb doesn’t even exist! It’s a myth. And okay, this is why for example, Black Americans believe in chemtrails, because the Tuskegee medical experiment lets them know, Hey, we do anything. We’re so crazy. Given what we’ve already done to you. You have no reason to believe that chemtrails aren’t real. It’s what we would call Bayesian priors, you’re tutoring people’s Bayesian priors, that you’re completely full of shit. You have absolutely no integrity, you’re willing to engage in madness. And keep in mind that the one thing we know about LARPing is that the body count in Portland is so low because this is an agreed upon theatrical battle. 

00:24:53
MK: Quick, I have to ask you this. I’m not asking you this in the woke sense. So when we finish a thought here I’m from Oregon, as I said before, so I only mostly know white people. So everyone I knew growing up, who believed in chemtrails was white. So I get your point about Black People—why do white people believe in chemtrails?

00:25:13
EW: Oh, that’s a little bit different. The Pacific Northwest, because of its history of labor activism and communism, in part shares a lot of the history of Black America. So one of the reasons that people see me as conspiratorial is because I come from a progressive family. And so when the government has spied on your family, when it’s, you know, we locked Paul Robeson in the country by taking his passport, we locked Charlie Chaplin out of the country so that he left and we wouldn’t let him back in to go to his house. Once you’ve been the target of the United States government, you realize that the mainstream belief of all that all science fiction and you go to too many movies is complete nonsense. So I would say everybody who shares the history of being just being lied to and having their history completely denied—remember that the Weather Underground was a response to the assassination of Fred Hampton, at the hands of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department is directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the crime of introducing the rainbow coalition to decrease black fighting between gangs to create a political movement. We are that crazy. And because we are that crazy, everyone who is plugged into the Howard Zinn version of our history is not quite so sure that all elections are free and fair. You know, if you take operation Ajax, in Iran, we clearly know how to add a turn over $1.

00:26:42
MK: That was the overthrow of the Shah. Right? Yeah.

00:26:44
SE: Most of that, most of that.

00:26:45
MK: So yeah. Too many too many operations. It’s hard to keep

00:26:49
EW: Operation Condor in Chile. Yeah. Yeah. The issue is, if you don’t know your history, maybe all this sounds like conspiracy theory, if you do know your history, you know what we’re capable of. And there’s no question that we’re capable of throwing an election. And then now the problem is okay, he said that, it’s a little bit like saying, I don’t believe vaccines are 100% safe. Now, that’s clearly true. Vaccines are not 100% safe. However, there’s an expectation that nobody will speak. reality. If you’re part of, you know, if you’re like me, and you have advanced degrees in something, you’re supposed to deny reality, the way everybody denies reality, we’re now at the point where the public, so many members of the public have caught on to the fact that the national official narrative is total nonsense, and they’re willing to believe anything at this point.

00:27:41
SE: This is something I really want to focus in on with you, Eric. And I want to kind of turn it into where we are today. And something I’ve talked a lot about on Rising and talking about tomorrow, is about impeachment. And a point that I’ve been trying to make, and I’m curious to get both your guys’s thoughts on this, is that in the context of impeachment, the way I look at is impeachment is you have to have, this is essentially the most extreme act that you can go through as a democratic society, invalidating the election, the previous removing the democratically elected President of the United States. And I looked at the recent poll, and to the extent that we even have polling, and I don’t know if I even believe it, but what we have is this 56% of polls, 56% of Americans say that Trumps should go. And you could say that’s a lot. But to me, I’m like, wait, so there’s still a sizable majority of the country that says that he shouldn’t go, and then you look within republicans and you say 73%, or whatever still approve of Trump still, you know, think of the job he’s doing some of even, you know, justify the capital violence. And I’m not saying any of this with a qualitative judgment. What I’m saying is, is if your goal is to unite the country, if your goal is to move on, which is what Joe Biden and many of the case for him was, this seems to be the worst possible thing that you could do. But then with the other side, to impeach Trump to impeach Trump, either right now, or to impeach, and, you know, bar him from office in the future. Because the way I look at it is that would be one of the single biggest instances of trying to basically not even invalidate votes, but to tell a sizable majority, a sizable minority of this country 44% or so that the person that you have immense faith in is no longer allowed to represent you as President. And it seems to me that it could be could be I’m not saying it’s intentional, but it’s a cover for not wanting to address the reasons that Trump was elected in the first place. Number one, and this is what I said today, too, is Look, if you’re Joe Biden or the democrats and you want to make sure that Trump is never elected again, you don’t have to impeach him. Do you know, distribute a vaccine properly, and, like pass $2,000 checks for all Americans, you will win the presidency. It’s actually not that hard. I just want to get your thoughts on impeachment about the legitimacy of democracy. No, it’s fine. If you disagree, it’s fine. Because, my goal—what I know is that you’re trying to operate in good faith towards trying to be a more harmonious country. And it seems to me that a lot of this a lot of impeachment talking more is about punishment. It’s about penalizing, and I have to try and take Trump out of it, because I find what he did so odious, and all that, but we still have to live with many of the people who voted for him in this country, and we have to channel those concerns and more. Go ahead.

00:30:30
EW: We don’t have to live with them. They’re us. 

00:30:32
SE: Yeah. 

00:30:33
EW: Those are my brothers. Those are my brothers and sisters. And let me tell you something. You guys have kids?

00:30:39
SE: No. We don’t.

00:30:40
EW: Okay. Let me imagine you’re my kids. Okay. You get involved in a cult. You think I’m not coming back? I’m coming in for you to get you the hell out of there. You think that I’m not—that I’m just gonna, you know, dismiss you and say, “Oh, my God. They’re now part of a cult. And they’re beyond the pale and I just have to cut ties and I’m going to disavow them.” 

00:31:06
SE: Yeah, of course not.

00:31:06
EW: Fuck, that shit. Okay, MAGA is our responsibility. Those are my brothers and sisters. I’m not running away from them, I’m not interested in that. I’m not demonizing them. But a cult it is. I’m not gonna say it isn’t a cult. I’m also not gonna say that Woke isn’t a cult. It’s a cult. These cults are incredibly powerful. And some of us have been noticing that there is no class of “Break Glass In Case of Emergency” people in our country. This is sometimes what a monarchy is supposed to do. I was hanging out with a royal family in Europe, which will remain nameless. And— 

00:31:12
MK: There’s like three. So—there’s more than that. 

00:31:35
EW: There’s more than that. Yeah. And a prince was saying, “well, you have to appreciate we’re in a very bad situation. No one—there’s no justification for monarchy anymore. So we’re really sort of hanging on by a thread.” I said, Look, I’m anti-monarchy, but you should at least be able to stealman the case. They said, “Well, what do we do? What What is our function?” And I said, “You’ve had 75 years of peace since the end of World War Two. How often do you use a fire extinguisher? Almost never. Does that mean that you just get rid of the fire extinguisher? Because you haven’t used it? No, you check in on it. And when you need it, it’s there. And what’s the purpose? You’re supposed to walk the rubble when the bombs are falling, you know, on a city, for example. You’re supposed to give the people something to rally around.” 

00:32:46
And I don’t believe in doing that through monarchy, because I’m an American, we reject that. But I do believe in Buzz Aldrin. Right? I do believe that there are people who are apart. You know, like, when Killer Mike spoke in Atlanta, he seemed to be apart. I don’t know who that guy is. I’m not really a hip-hop fan, but I was really impressed with him. And if you, you know, in particular, I am a huge fan of black oratory. The skill involved in black oratory coming out of the black church is—it’s a really—it’s its own thing. And it’s one of the things I’m proudest of as an American. There are times when you have to address a mob or a crowd. The times you have to do what James Brown did after Martin Luther King—I’m going to get through this. We have got a situation in which we don’t believe in seating anybody who has those characteristics in the chairs. The reason that I want to do Rising more than I want to talk to the two of you, is not anything against Marshall. It’s about the optics. Rising looks like adulthood. It looks like it comes from the institutional complex. And the optics is the adults. The institutions don’t listen to anyone outside of a closed system. And effectively, they’ve put up this barrier where they call everything alt-right, or far-right, that doesn’t have the right characteristics, which is on the take. And right now the important thing is to seat the people who have tried to call both balls and strikes for four years and have been torn apart, who’ve had their families torn apart, who, you know—look, I work for a guy who supported Donald Trump in 2016, was noticeably absent in 2020. My entire ability to speak freely comes from my good friend’s money, and the fact that I disagree with him, and I love him so much that I trust that he will not sever me, because I’m undermining his political—I mean, this—my brother, for example, is ejected from Evergreen State College because he was willing to stand against racism, even if it comes from blacks. 

00:35:23
SE: Yeah.

00:35:24
EW: You know, the number of people who’ve tried to call balls and strikes for four years is tiny. And right now what I want to do is, I want to take Brian Williams and Mara Gay, and I want to give them a huge vacation. Let them go to Tulum. And I want to see different people in those chairs. If those people can’t figure out even how to add and subtract, speaking of their crazy idea that Bloomberg could have given everyone a million dollars with his campaign investment, there is no commentary class that’s competent, that sits in those chairs. It’s, you know, that the problem, as I’ve said, is that the system isn’t broken, it’s fixed. And until you actually seat your critics, until you do what we used to do, which is to see the Noam Chomskys at a place like MIT, so that the conscience of MIT lives inside of MIT, so that the Ombudsman can say that the paper is out of control at the New York Times, or The Wall Street Journal, when you don’t seat your critics inside of the organization, you are on the road to self extinguishing.

00:36:32
And right now the most important thing is to realize that we don’t have time to put everything on the blockchain, to build new institutions. The most important thing right now is to get the tiny number of people who’ve been calling balls and strikes, who were born after 1964, into those effing chairs, to tell the system, “You’re over, it’s over, you’re done. You people from the ’40s you’ve failed. You don’t understand where you are. You’re not technically competent. You don’t have the country’s best interests at heart. You’ve sold us to China. You’ve created incredibly deep fake stories about, you know, the intelligence complex taking over the world, or, you know, something about the desire to destroy America.” 

00:37:22
All of these crazy stories that we’ve built around Wokistan and Magastan have to go. And, they are responsive to each other. Woke creates MAGA, MAGA creates Woke, you know, it’s—the snake is eating its own tail. The whole way we get out of this is that we put the people we trust more—let me give you a very simple rubric. Take anyone where the official description of that person is maximally divergent from the actual description of that person. Like, “Ben Shapiro is a Nazi.” Okay, an Orthodox Jewish Nazi. That’s pretty interesting. You know, “Sam Harris is an incredible islamophobe.” No he isn’t. I know Sam, he’s like, he’s my good friend. All of these things, “Bret Weinstein is, you know, the far right.” Seat the people where the description of them inside the gated institutional narrative, or the GIN, is maximally divergent from the reality, because that’s the place that the system showed you. Let the system tell you who it fears, and seat the people in the chairs who are feared most, who are maximally misportrayed. And then you’ll have a solution.

00:38:41
SE: But here’s the question, Eric, which is that and oh, and for the record, Eric is coming on rising, so don’t worry about that he will be there and it’s going to be great. But here’s the problem. Democrats and democratic primary voters in particular who select our possible next president, they love Brian Williams and Mara Gay, and they love MSNBC and the msnbc lineup and Republican but they do they trust them? If you 

00:39:06
EW: They don’t.

00:39:08
SE: See, I don’t know. So

00:39:09
MK: I wouldn’t say dad, I wouldn’t say what’s good, a certain very influential and powerful part of the Democratic Party, people who live in Northern Virginia, people who live in the Long Island suburbs, the Park Avenue reference and everything. They certainly do like those

00:39:26
EW: Which Long Island suburbs? The Hamptons? 

00:39:28
MK: We’re reaching the limits of my East Coastness—

00:39:31
SE: The limits of our conventional wisdom, but I don’t want to make just one sec, I want to make this point to because the Republican Party does deeply trust Fox as well. And so to the point of the media actors who are coming, look, I mean, I would love nothing more than to be seated, but I i can tell you, I go on Fox. There is a character that they want me to play. Increasingly, I have been doing a lot less because they will ask me to come on, and all they want me to do is smack the left, smack the left, smack the left, or talking about culture war issues. And I’m like, No, because this is ripping this country in half. And I’ve increasingly turned down a lot of appearances unless it’s to talk about an economic

00:40:10
EW: Do you know what my condition is for going on Fox?

00:40:12
SE: Go ahead. 

00:40:12
EW: I’ve done this, like the last time, I think was probably Greg Gutfeld. I said, “If I come on Fox, I’m telling, I’m telling your audience that I view Fox as a propaganda network.” He said, “Sure”. I said—

00:40:23
SE: That’s great. Yeah, that’s good. 

00:40:25
EW: No, but I’m telling you, this is part of the deal, which is what’s going on is not quite correct. So let’s take Long Island. The Hamptons, loves Kamala Harris. Yeah. The Kamala Harris that is loved in the Hamptons is not the Kamala Harris that we see. In other words, it’s like a developer looking at a computer program, they see the code, we see the binary, we see the finished product without being able to see what’s actually going on. They specifically love Kamala Harris because they know who she is and what she’s going to do for them. And we see the front end, which is what she’s going to do to us. So first of all, no, I don’t think that they love Brian Williams. And if you think that they love Brian Williams, please allow me to go on opposite Brian Williams and Mara Gay, they’re gonna love him a lot less. Because, you know, it’s a little bit like thinking that the professional wrestlers—well, no, it’s like the Gracie challenge. We used to talk about karate and kung fu and all of these things. And Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wasn’t on anybody’s list of coolest martial arts back in the 1970s, right? It’s only when you actually start pitting these things against each other, that you stop believing that somebody is the coolest or the best, you know? 

00:41:48
SE: Right. 

00:41:48
EW: I mean, like Steve Vai seems to be the greatest guitarist in the world until somebody named Guthrie Govan shows up and then, like, check out what happens there. At some level, they live in a protected world, and in professional wrestling, it would be called a “promotion”. They’re not actually fighting. There’s, you know, Brian Williams is scripted to win. He’s a designated winner. So we have a designated winner system, and we can’t get away from them. But are you telling me that people wouldn’t—weren’t getting frustrated about what was done to Tulsi Gabbard? When Tulsi went after—

00:42:20
MK: There was like two people, Eric, Rick, that’s like two people who actually feel like I want to have a quick story about this because it reflects, I think, a danger and over valorizing Rising, no offense, Saagar. When I was doing Rising panels, back in January and February, every week, we were doing the polls, everything like that. I thought Andrew Yang and Tulsi were just crushing it because you’d say something nice about Andrew. And you would get I would get all these really nice comments that talked about how smooth my skin looked. Or I would say something about Tulsi, her foreign policy, he would say this young guy is the smartest young guy you’ve ever seen. But then the actual election happens and they get like four and two and 3% of the vote. It’s not my point. Well, but my point, though, is that if we’re talking about like, here’s a better put this, Brian Williams represents far bigger of a constituency, at least for right now, at least, for the subsequent future than anything Tulsi Gabbard is putting up there. Tulsi Gabbard bless. Like, bless her. 

00:43:18
SE: Yeah this is not an insult. 

00:43:19
MK: It’s not an insult. But Tulsi Gabbard is a—she’s this weird former republican who’s conservative in many socially conservative ways. She’s progressive in different ways. But that’s not an actual viewpoint which has a serious constituency. So I just can’t accept the idea that she, and a person who represents her ideology, is the inverse of Brian Williams. That’s my concern.

00:43:40
EW: Let me be very clear about this. I don’t think necessarily that Andrew or Tulsi would have won, I’m not claiming that they were set to win. What I am claiming is that when you starve people for airtime, when you publish, like, the ugliest picture of them, and the most attractive picture of somebody else, you do all the media tricks that we do every time and you drop people from your graphics, that has the effect of letting somebody know that person isn’t going to win. And we tend to take the message, we know that, I knew that Andrew and Tulsi weren’t going to do very well. That causes me not to want to invest in them. And so I know, I don’t necessarily, you know, I wasn’t I never signed on to Andrew or to Tulsi. What I am trying to say is that many of us face this accumulated thumb pressure on the scales of justice. And the justice in this case has to do with the primary. There was no primary. My claim is that the primary didn’t exist, it was not free and fair. It’s sealed in a particular way. I don’t think the candidates are allowed to assemble unless the event is sanctioned. The events that are given are given out to legacy media structures. The time given to the candidates is wildly asymmetric. There are all sorts of ways in which the rules are built to make sure that there has to be an appearance that anyone can enter, but that that will not actually happen in a way in which the General Election is threatened. An insider will always prevail for the General, and that’s what Donald Trump snuck through on the Republican side. Bernie almost snuck through it in 2016. And we don’t really know what would have happened with Tulsi and Andrew? 

00:45:27
SE: See, Eric I did this is where I want my question to, though, which is with even within this premise, which is that within the GIN—because, what you’re supposing is that, if you were allowed to go on Brian Williams, but then we both know that they’re not going to invite you. So I mean, this is part of what I want to get at, which is that, with—and I think your concept of the gin is incredibly important to anybody who’s actually trying to think about systems, because when you’re thinking about systems, that’s when you’re actually gonna think, generally on a much more structural level as to why incentives work, and the way that people respond to those incentives within them, which is that, at a bare, at a base level, your success, my success, you know, the reason people are even tuning into this conversation, is because Brian Williams will never invite you on, is that, I mean, they’re not gonna have me on MSNBC anytime soon. And it’s within that closure of the system, what my greatest fear is, I used to think that they have to eventually relent, because they’re losing market share, or whatever, but it’s just not true. The truth is that they got the result that they wanted, in the primary, and they’ve, they’re more profitable than ever, they actually have more viewers than ever by doubling down on the strategy. How can we? Is there a solution to that? That’s my question, because I’m not sure if there is right now.

00:46:49
EW: Well, what I’m trying to get at is, this is the Jayaprakash Narayan effect, if you know Indian history, during Indira Gandhi’s Emergency. All—most of the founding fathers of modern India had moved on from the independence movement, and it’d become bureaucrats, it’d become wealthy by, you know, getting in on the spoils of a new nation. And there was this one guy Jayaprakash Narayan, who’s sort of the patron saint of lost causes, whose heart was too pure to actually profit from the good work that he did. And when Indira Gandhi declared the State of Emergency as she did, which was highly unpopular, the cry went out in the darkness, “There is one light”. Jayaprakash, you know, is the word for light, right, “Prakash”? And the slogan was, “Sampoorna Kranti Ab Nara Hai, Bhavi Itihas Hamaara Hai”, “Total revolution is now the slogan; Future history is ours”. And that’s how this game works. You’re pushing the world towards the Jayaprakash Narayan moment. He didn’t matter except once. But when you need Jayaprakash Narayan, you’re not going to reach for Brian Williams. You’re not going to reach for Sean Hannity. You’re going to want to—there are people, you know people—I have not even set up a Patreon page, and I won’t do it until after the inauguration, you know, or some—people have no ability to contribute to me. And it’s probably an empty gesture. But the point is, you need people who are planning only for that one eventuality.

00:48:33
MK: I want to build on something here real quick, Eric, because this is interesting. It goes back to your earlier comment about leaders who are equipped the dynamic that Saagar’s speaking about, what’s happened with MSNBC and Rising, insert, Rogen, Sam Harris, and even the Patreon economy, is the idea that we no longer have big institutions, no one’s getting 30 million viewers, we instead see a dissemination of audiences. So the business model for you, if you’re doing a Patreon is you get 1000 people who love you the most, to give you $10 a month, etc, etc, etc. That’s a lot more valuable than getting 50,000 people who are giving you YouTube revenue clicks. The problem here is that the skill set that that’s selecting for is a skill set of appealing to niche niche audiences. If Sabra and I wanted to blow up The Realignment right now, what we would do is say, we think the DNC was stolen, in a sort of conspiratorial way, we would do all these little dynamics that wouldn’t necessarily be honest, but they would appeal to that niche audience. So how do we have a set of leaders? How do we create leaders? Or how do we fill people in different spaces, when what they haven’t been selected for is integrating their group into other groups or articulating their perspectives rather than what they’re doing? Yeah.

00:49:45
EW: The time hasn’t come. Look, I love money. Everybody says that they don’t care about money. I don’t know what they’re talking about. I just love it, because I can buy—I could buy Navy SEALs to protect my house, given what I’m about to say and do. I can boost my signal, I can hire assistance; right now I do everything myself. My problem is that I don’t love money enough. And I don’t think you guys love money enough. No, I’m not kidding.

00:50:12
SE: No we don’t. Yeah. 

00:50:13
EW: You know, but hopefully you love money, it’s just, not enough. And your time isn’t now. It becomes very clear. You know, why don’t I love money because I have things—money is very expensive. Most of the very wealthy people I know spend almost all of their time talking about money. And I don’t want that life, my time is too valuable. If time is money, my time is precious, and there’s not usually enough money to buy my time. What I believe is that nobody really believes that at the moment. We’re still caught in the old system about power, money, and who’s on top and all of this stuff. I want my children to survive in a country that I deeply love. And I don’t see anybody fighting for this. You know, the concept of being a patriot, I can tell you everything wrong with this country, this country has been horrible to my family. I love this country. And the idea that I get to push out a sophisticated version that is not immediately intellectually insulting, the idea that, you know, I’ve given up huge amounts of income by quieting my podcast because I knew that these cancellations were coming. And I did not want to give people the excuse to come after me. Our time isn’t yet, gentlemen. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. For 75 years, something hasn’t happened. And that’s so long, that people can’t remember that something is about to happen. We are about—

00:50:45
MK: What do you mean by s—What do—can you define 75? So do you mean like war? Right? What do you mean by something, nothing has happened?

00:51:52
EW: In the fall of 1945, we dropped some atomic devices in Japan. And with the exception in some sense of maybe The Great Leap Forward in China, we didn’t have 20th Century level tumult. So we’ve been through this incredibly quiescent period. And we are the children of The Great Nap. We grew up in a, you know, even with the Cold War, the storm clouds were always on the horizon, the Cuban Missile Crisis, they stayed on the horizon. So as a result, we don’t really know what reality is, we’ve been in a prolonged state of unreality. And when you look at what happened at the Capitol building, and you compare it to what happened at Stalingrad, you’re not even—these aren’t the same parts of speech.

00:52:44
The future is coming. And it’s going to come pretty violently, because nobody knows how to hold this thing together. And I don’t mean violently, necessarily, in terms of blood in the streets, it could be the disruption of our legal system. It could be any one of a number of things. But what’s happened is, we’ve held the future at bay. This is my wife, Pia Malaney’s observation. And Covid accelerated the future, because the future has been held back by the people born in the 1940s. The fact that all five of the major candidates left at the end of the election we’re all born in the 1940s—all of them would be the oldest person ever to take office—tells you something, because it was not even remarked upon. Effectively, what you’re looking at is the pre-Great Society world attempting to hold back the future, and this is their last, you know, when you corner a beast at the end of its life, it is maximally ferocious, because it has no reason to hold back. And what we’re seeing is a maximally ferocious group of septa- and octogenarians clinging to power, which is about to give way.

00:53:55
What I’m trying to tell both of you is your time isn’t quite yet. All you’re doing right now is you’re getting yourself set for what comes next. And the key question will be, how do we get rid of Brian Williams? How do we get rid of Mara Gay? How do we get rid of Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and get technically capable, social media savvy people who live in the modern world into the chairs that are needed to direct the institutions. If the institutions only listen to institutional media, what we’re doing is whatever Winston Churchill was doing before World War Two, and what I highly recommend, gentlemen, is look at Chamberlain speech of resignation. We always talk about Chamberlain waving the paper about “peace in our time” and “go home and get some sleep” and all this kind of stuff. That was his low point. Wanna know what his high point was? His resignation speech. It’ll give you chills. What he did was, he said, Hitler, I don’t know, had made it to Holland, maybe? I can’t remember exactly. And he says, Hitler is counting on our division, and you want to know what he doesn’t count on? What I’m about to do next. I’m resigning. I’m resigning to back Winston Churchill. And Winston Churchill has asked me to stay on. So fuck you. Well, Joe Biden, if he was an American patriot would resign at this moment, because he can’t give the speech that you just said. Joe Biden cannot give the Unity speech. Killer Mike could give the Unity speech, I could give the Unity speech, you guys could give the Unity speech. Joe Biden can do the Neville—try to imagine not being up to the level of Neville Chamberlain. If Joe Biden resigns, and he should resign, right? Like, this is my thing. People used to do this stuff. People used to understand that the commitment to country was a real thing. And that hanging on to power like for what purpose is Joe Biden hanging on to power? He’s 78. What’s he going to get from this? He can’t lead. He’s so tarnished. He’s so tainted. Maga is tainted. Everybody who only called balls and strikes for four years is tainted, you know. And my claim is that those of us who are untainted have this idea of, “Oh, we can’t sit down in the chair.” The fuck we can’t sit down in the chair, gentlemen. We can sit down in those chairs. I mean, what degree, from what university, does Brian Williams have that makes—is it his hair? He’s got better hair, in some sense, for television, than any of us.

00:56:49
Okay, is that the qualification? I mean, let me ask you guys a question: if he was doing a radio—a podcast that wasn’t institutionally affiliated, what do you think his numbers would be?

00:57:03
SE: Yeah, it would be low. But I mean, the whole point, right, is that he’s just been around forever. He’s actually pretty good interviewer. whenever it comes to some, you know, new segments. I didn’t say he was perfect. But look, this is the thing, is—

00:57:15
EW: No he’s not.

00:57:19
MK: I do have to cut in for something, Eric. Yeah. I really disagree with what you said about Joe Biden. And mind you, he can disprove all of this, but looking at the Democratic Party of today, looking at the terrible reality of what and obviously we started this conversation talking about how we should look to history and like, this wasn’t Stalingrad, et cetera, et cetera, cetera. I think Joe Biden is basically the only person within the institutional Democratic Party, who, (A) has an actual constituency that really matters, that, (B) has the capacity to make the unifying decisions that he has to make. He could totally fail to do that. He can make the wrong calls, but the fact that during the height of everything, Joe Biden has the confidence to say, “No, I’m not for defunding the police.” Or, “No, I actually know that most democrats and people in this country don’t support Medicare for all”, but that matters. That’s the difference—if he resigns, there is no Churchill waiting in the wings. That’s the problem. And the difference is Churchill, by that point too was, what, he was 65 years old? So it wasn’t as if there was these, like, young whippersnappers who were ready to go. I just don’t think the historical analogy works here.

00:58:31
SE: I guess the question is why—when Joe Biden seems to be, at least within the Democratic Party, the only person even wanting to do what you are alluding to there, Eric, what is to be done? Why should he resign?

00:58:49
MK: I think in everything you’re critiquing Kamala Harris would be worse, on every single count that we’re talking about right, I genuinely believe that Kamala Harris would be worse.

00:58:58
EW: Agreed. I don’t want him to resign so that Kamala takes over. What I’m trying to say is, the entire class is tainted. 

00:59:06
SE: Okay, yeah. 

00:59:06
EW: Right. And I was saying also, Marshall, what you were saying is that we haven’t created Break-Glass-In-Case-Of-Emergency people. And I want to be very clear about something. I am not interested in a political career. I would be a disaster. So let me destroy any hope—

00:59:22
SE: You’re too honest.

00:59:24
EW: No it’s not just too honest, you know, there’s certain—there are executive decisions. I’m a thinker, I’m not—the ability to make a strong decision on limited information, commit to it, and lead people is a special skill set. And I’m not embarrassed that that isn’t my skillset. I’m frickin terrific at all sorts of things. I’m not terrific at that. I am not running for office. I’m not trying to get power. I’m not trying—this is not part of a grab. You know, there’s this old Bill Hicks routine about marketing and sales, that once you start thinking in marketing and sales terms, and somebody tells you that they hate marketing and sales people, marketing and sales people say, “Oh great, you’re going after the anti marketing and sales dollar, that’s a good dollar.” You can’t get out of the mindset of,  everybody’s grasping for power. Power is fucking boring. I mean, I want to do math and physics. I want to push out all sorts of amazing things to my audience and delight the world. I want to go play the mandolin, you know, I’m not interested in government. What I am saying is, I’m interested in making sure that the Break-Glass-In-Case-Of-Emergency people get into a position where they can take over from the corrupt people. And I think that the problem, to be honest, is that you guys have Stockholm Syndrome from living in D.C. I mean, what we need, what we need currently is, and I understand what you’re saying about Biden, he threaded some line, but you know, he voted for the 2005 bill to make student debt non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. I can go through a million things that Joe Biden has done badly. You know, to tell people that he’s gonna prioritize everybody who doesn’t look like him for help with their business, well, Lord knows what Hunter Biden sells, you know, to make his millions. Enough. And I think that part of the problem is that we’re used to selecting from a pulldown menu, I would recommend that all of your listeners go to a Starbucks, and ask for a “short” coffee, because you’ll notice it’s not on the menu. And when you ask for the short coffee, they will give you the short coffee. There are things that are not on the menu that you have to know to ask for. And so right now, the point is, I don’t want to pull down Kamala Harris or Joe Biden, or Elizabeth Warren, or any one of these people. I want the short coffee, give me the short coffee. I don’t want Mara Gay. I don’t want Nicole Hannah Jones. I don’t want Sean Hannity, none of these people. And the problem is that most of us have the idea, well, if not A, then the other thing, then B. My point is, no. I want 37 you know, Q, and you’re just talking about A/B testing.

01:02:02
MK: So here’s a question that builds into everything you’re saying here. What because despite our D.C. Stockholm Syndrome, which is definitely a real thing, in many respects, we do largely agree with your critique. We, frankly, don’t want to run for office either. That’s the dynamic here. But, that being said, there are people who do want to run for office, there are young people who show up in D.C. I’m not going to name names here, but who build very big social media followings, and then come into office, like, I will name a name here, like Madison Cawthorne, you know, who has been a frustrating experience from my perspective, because, on the one hand, he starts out and he talks about how he wants to fix health care and be his generation’s leader, XYZ thing. And then on the day of his election, he’s tweeting, and he’s apologized for this, name you, but you know, “owned, Lib”, or just whatever, he’s falling—he—”Cry more, lib.” He’s falling back into the trap of that previous system. So what would you—what would your advice be for young people who are trying to not be—who want to be that break glass figure, but every single incentive is to push in the opposite direction. Everything is telling you to go speak at the DSA convention, or to go speak at the Turning Point USA conference.

01:03:12
EW: Well, first of all, if you speak at Turning Point USA, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with speaking at Turning Point USA. Just make sure that Charlie Kirk knows that you’re going to say something that isn’t so charitable about Turning Point USA, and that you’re going to thank him for the opportunity, the same way I do it on Fox News. So the first thing is, is that you can absolutely go on Fox News and tell them that Fox News is a propaganda network. And once you’ve done that, that’s fine. If you listen, I went on Ted Cruz’s podcast, The Verdict, but you got to be disagreeable. You can’t get swept up in the desire to make nice. You can’t sell your hosts out. I’m not gonna you know, go on Ted Cruz’s podcast to stick it to Ted Cruz. I really appreciate the fact, and I was polite as could be. On the other hand, I’m no pushover. Don’t be a pushover. Have your own independent sense of reality, and make sure that you carry it with you when you get onto that stage, and make sure that you try to call balls and strikes, and be prepared that you’re going to be called—you know, the amazing thing is, in the internet era, is that there’s a name for every ready-made argument. You know, “Oh, both-sides-ism. Oh, that’s just what-about-ism.” Okay, well, you’re gonna get the automated bot-level arguments, “Dude, I thought you had integrity. Now I realize you’re just a grifter”, blah, blah, blah. You know, these are the hyenas of social media. And they just nip at you to try to wear you down. Okay, what you need, you know, you ever watch hyenas going after a lion, you got 20 hyenas on one lion until the rest of the family shows up. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m doing this show. You guys are Break-Glass-In-Case-Of-Emergency people. You know, Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro—Ben Shapiro and I could appear together. If you want to see unity, Glenn Beck just reached out to me, said, you know, we need unity now. And I was never a Glenn Beck fan, but I just wrote one letter, you know, I think I just wrote one word, “In.” You know, what do you need? Let’s do this thing. 

01:03:12
So my claim is, lead by example. And you don’t have to be perfect. You know, I lashed out at Kyle Kashuv, you know, when he was, like, saying, “I tried to warn you about this. Enjoy, you know, your new Biden Administration.” And I deleted the tweets, you know, because I was on edge. You don’t have to be Jesus Christ, or some kind of a saint, you don’t have to be Mother Teresa. The key thing is, people eventually get that you really care and that you’re decent. And that, you know, maybe you want power or fame, you want to be thought well of. I know that I want status, blah, blah, blah, it’s not a big sin. What we’ve got to do is recognize our time isn’t yet, and we’re on the doorstep of our time, and we have to get there. And so what I would say to those young people is, don’t screw up your future playing in the present, while the present is unraveling. Better to forego it. Take a few years, you’re not going to get there necessarily. Maybe this whole thing blows up before you ever get there, in which case, I’m sorry. But your best bet is not to play in the present. The thing to do is to get the damn septuagenarians and octogenarians who do not come from the modern era, who come from the pre-Great-Society universe, off the stage, replace them with technically capable people who are better adapted to the modern era. And you can find these people by the people who are maximally demonized relative to their reality, because those—let the system tell you who it fears most. Go scan the list of alt-right people. Every person called a Nazi with a Jewish surname should be somebody that you’re probably interested in talking to. Every person who’s never voted Republican, who’s called “The Far Right” is somebody you should be interested in talking to. Everyone with an advanced degree in virology, who says the Wu Han lab hypothesis should not be off the table, because we don’t do science by putting our politics first before we examine all of the evidence. All of those people. I mean, it’s very hard when you can’t trust the CDC, the Surgeon General, Anthony Fauci or the W.H.O. to know what you’re doing, locked at home, while your business is crumbling—

01:07:17
SE: Yeah. 

01:07:17
EW: —not sure whether, in fact, this is actually a very serious pandemic, or a bad version of the flu, because I can tell you, I can’t figure it out. I’m a pretty smart guy, I can’t figure it out. There are times when I hear that the hospital beds are overflowing and we can’t—we don’t have space in the ICU, and we’re—we have triage deaths. And there are other reports I hear that we’ve got all of these beds ready, and that nobody’s inhabiting them. None of this makes any sense. So my claim is that if you feel like you can’t figure out COVID, you can’t figure out what just happened in the election, you don’t understand why the election is disputed in this way, join the club. 

01:07:56
I don’t know how much voter fraud there was in this election. What I do know is that our courts didn’t find any of this persuasive. And so if you’re going to claim, “Well, okay, no, the courts are actually under Russian control.” If you keep adding epicycles to your conspiracy theory, where the Donald Trump appointed justices aren’t affirming Donald Trump, there’s some point at which you’ve got to realize that you’ve been engaged in a massive LARP, and the LARP is based on a certain amount of reality. And right now what we need to do is to have a place to come back, and I just want to talk about this one woman in Texas. I saw on social media—she adores me, she says, you know, “You’re my favorite person”, blah, blah, blah, and it’s very touching. And I see her wrapped in a Trump cape, you know. And she’s at this January 6 rally. And I knew to fear the January 6 rally, and two days before I put out a tweet stream trying

01:08:50
SE: You did, you did. Yeah. 

01:08:53
EW: I called her up. And she’s like, “I can’t believe you’re calling me.” And I just said, “Look, you’re in college. And you’re going to something like a rave, and you’re having great conversations, and you’re having fun, and you’re trying to explain your patriotism. And you’re worried that you saw all of the thumb on the scales for media, and you’re worried that it extends to the election. And the person who got shot could have been you.” And she immediately talked to me about, you know, “Well, I can’t, how do I go towards Biden?” It’s like, no, neither! Get off that spectrum! Go to your studies! Go get drunk, you know. And I said, “Be young, wild and free. That’s your job right now. Get away from these old people!” These are crazy old people, and they have no future. This is all going to be taken care of by Father Time. In 20 years, Bill Clinton is in all likelihood going to be dead. Hillary Clinton. Very few of these people are going to be around. You are still going to be here. Stop investing in these old people. They’ve gotten control of our society. In any previous era, before the 1980s, before we started messing around with mandatory retirement, which was allowing our society to renew itself, these people would be embarrassed to be seeking office. You know, I mean, it—when was the last time an octogenarian showed up for a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photoshoot? At some level, it’s not appropriate. You know, it’s just—I appreciate that they want to stay engaged, but, you know, there’s a reason that Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale didn’t run in 2020. And it’s because they have better sense to realize it’s not their time anymore. And I probably would rather have had Jimmy Carter than Joe Biden!

01:10:56
SE: That’s when you know, things are really bleak. Eric, I want to end it there. Because I think that’s such an inspiring and important point. And I can say too, from personal experience, that you’re 100%, right. I mean, just small story, but, you know, whenever I was choosing between Rising, which, remember, at that time, there was no Rising, you know, it was like me, it was just Krystal, right. There was this show at The Hill, which was, you know, at 6000 subscribers on YouTube. It was like, literally nothing, not something people knew anything about. And I had another job offer as a White House correspondent, with a larger news organization here in DC. And everybody in DC told me to take that White House correspondent job, every single one—

01:11:36
MK: I remember this. People talked a lot of shit, it was a real thing. What’s Saagar doing? It was a whole thing.

01:11:41
SE: “What’s he doing?” They were like, “Take the DC correspondent job.” They’re like, “Who knows about this thing? Stay within your, you know, your path, keep doing these three minute Fox News appearances, right, over and over again, like, that’s the cache, Saagar, don’t you understand? Like, what are you doing?” And I self exited from the system. Before I got to it, I hit the red button. And I was like, “No, enough, I don’t care enough about Fox. I don’t care about being in the white house all the time. I don’t care about doing these Trump interviews. I don’t care about all of the traditional things in Washington media that we care about and that we are supposed to care about, in terms of your career.” What happens? A year later, “Holy shit, you’re on the Joe Rogan podcast!” Right? It was like this, it was like a—me colliding with a world that they knew tangentially, but didn’t value. And they didn’t understand, you know, the success of the program or the growth, and they minimized it, you know, basically until they couldn’t, until they couldn’t reckon with the fact about how big it had gotten and my ability to have you here to talk to you. I mean, I know people were like, I listen to Eric Weinstein to figure out what’s going on. And I’m like, “Oh, yeah, you know, I’ve talked with Eric, he’s been on my pod—”. They’re like, “Oh, my God, you actually know him?” And it’s just this, it’s this, this self-defeating problem that we have here in Washington and all establishment media in particular, where they’re always going to tell you to take the safe route. And the only way to succeed, and this happens with politics, anybody who is young, is you have to self exit and say, it’s like you said, you have to look to where the future is going, and you have to play that game, instead of doing what some, like, Boomer executives want you to do, and play within the role that you’re assigned yourself. So I just want to say again, like, thank you for underscoring that. And, really, in a time like this, I just, we had to talk to you, because you’re one of the few people here who, in good faith, is trying to reach—we want to live in a more harmonious country. And I genuinely know that whenever I talk to you, I don’t know that whenever I talk to a lot of people, left, right, I mean, all of it is about punishment. All of it is about exacting a cost from your enemies. I don’t know many people who would say about MAGA be, like, these are my brothers and sisters, we have to talk that way more again.

01:13:56
MK: I know we just said we’re gonna I know we just said we’re gonna finish up but I thought of a question that came up here. This is totally random. Apologies for that. But as we’re thinking about punishment, and cults, right, the use of cult was applied to Trump. I don’t know what you think about this, though, Saagar. Within Eric’s framework of what would you do if your kids were kidnapped by a cult? You go the fuck in, you do all that stuff. But you almost certainly would support the punishment of the cult leader, especially if that punishment prevented him doing that to other people’s kids. So, how do you think about the punishment framework within the contract you’ve created for Eric, because it’s unclear which direction it goes.

01:14:42
SE: I agree with that. I would say, and this what I said on my show this morning, which is that he lost the election. That’s the punishment. Like he lost. That’s the real price. He was humiliated on national stage and lost states that he won previously. Eric, I’m curious, before we go, what do you think about that?

01:14:59
EW: I have a very—people will not understand this. I’m hesitant to say it, but I think I probably should. I believe in smacking some people to the curb, and being the first to make sure that you offer them a hand back up. And my feeling is that right now Donald Trump needs to be smacked to the goddamn curb. And I also believe that at some level, you need to potentially offer, if not him, certainly people around him a hand back up and a way back. And the vengeance—the problem of social justice theory is that the justice is actually sometimes a euphemism for vengeance. A lot of us feel very humiliated, we feel very jealous. And Donald Trump is going to be built back up by overreach of the Democratic Party because the Democratic Party is not without its own blood on his hands. And, in essence, the Democratic Party created the presidency of Donald Trump, in my opinion, by saying, how do we get somebody to irradiate themselves? Well, we’ll give them cancer and then they’ll need to irradiate themselves. Inside of that framework, I don’t think that the Democratic Party is in a position to do this. I do think that the tiny group of misfits to which you guys belong, and I can’t tell you how touched I am that you guys think in these terms, let me just say that for all future appearances on anything you do you have a general “Yes”. I don’t give out a general “Yes”, but I so admire what you guys are doing, that, just don’t even ask me to come next time, whenever you want. 

01:16:37
What I’m really thinking is that at some level, you do need to smack some people to the curb. But you also need to recognize that religions that are around for 1000s of years have forgiveness and grace, and redemption. And this passion for the destruction of the individual, the cancellation of an entire human being, and the social isolation from deplatforming is a recipe for creating people with nothing left to lose who have access to fertilizer, and potassium nitrate, and worse. And, you know, my claim is that most of us need love and admiration and trust. And look at my, look at my timeline. The number of people who say “Eric, I always politically disagree with you, but I never feel that you’re condescending—” Never use words like knuckle draggers, or make fun of the inability of people to spell. I talk a lot about the fact that my IQ is a bit lower than most people imagine, because of my learning issues. I talk about the fact that I am disgusted with the tote bag conspiracy, you know, if you have if you have Karl Castle on your answering machine, that you’re so proud of the fact that you’re not like “those other people” in the center of the country who, by the way, all those farmers actually know genetics, probably better than you do, because you just don’t even understand what’s going on in Kansas or Montana or whatever, ranchers. 

01:18:06
We need to basically realize that the rest of our country is being driven insane by its media, but that person-to-person, human-to-human, most of us are better. And one of the things that I really think, you know, the cure for anti-semitism is getting to know more Jews as friends. The cure for anti-black prejudice is, you know, hanging out in black spaces and experiencing the warmth and hospitality. Part of the problem is that we’ve learned to distrust each other and to look down on each other. And if you will just come forward with an open heart and an outstretched hand, almost everybody immediately realizes that they’re coked up on institutional media, and once that kind of haze and fog lifts, we get back to the business of being who we are, because frankly, if we’re going to be “we’re great, and the other side is horrible,” That’s not America, you’ve already given up on your country. And so I just want to say what a pleasure it is to be in a position where whatever our differences are, I know you guys have your hearts in the right place. I just view myself as a supporting actor. You guys are the future, and anything I can do to help you get you there will be my honor.

01:19:20
MK: Likewise, Eric.

01:19:21
SE: Thank you so much.

“Join me and my friends Max Tegmark and Eric Weinstein to chat on the last day of 2020! Let’s say ‘good riddance’ with good friends and great conversation! We’ll talk a bit about #ArtificialIntelligence, Theories of Everything & the seemingly impossible challenge of building a positive future for humanity.”