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Over two years ago the New York Times reported on “a group of heretics, making an end run around the national conversation”, the Intellectual Dark Web.

Since then the concept has been celebrated and criticised in equal measure. Rebel Wisdom talks to the man who came up with the name, mathematician Eric Weinstein, about the web and its critics.

What has been learned since 2018?

This interview was conducted in April 2020. This film is part of Rebel Wisdom’s Sensemaking Series, see part 1, ‘What the F*ck is Going On?’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkKnO…

Part 2 is: My Journey with Jordan Peterson & the Intellectual Dark Web: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXpWI…

And Part 3: The Death of Journalism? Jesse Singal & Katie Herzog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9AVo…

“I do feel like we are witnessing several sea changes, which I couldn’t have honestly said, you know, 15 years ago or 20 years ago. I mean something, you know, something has changed and some things have clearly changed for the worse, and maybe there’s a silver lining to this chaos, but I would be hard-pressed to find it at the moment.” – Sam Harris

In this Portal podcast clip, Eric Weinstein discusses his views on the intellectual unraveling of the modern world with Sam Harris.

Topics discussed:

What did Eric learn from his grandfather Harry Rubin? 12:05
How did Eric struggle with maths at school but go on to complete a Ph.D. in mathematical physics at Harvard University? 18:05
Eric’s adventures in finance. 21:16
What did Eric learn from the Global Financial Crisis? #holdthegold 30:25
What is Nassim Taleb’s Twitter strategy? 32:25
The time Eric met Jeffrey Epstein. 35:23
Lessons in physics and a taxonomy of theories of everything. 47:01
How the String Theory community “fucked up”. 59:43
When Eric presented his theory of everything, Geometric Unity, at Oxford University. 1:06:27
What’s it like working for and with Peter Thiel? 1:18:28
Why did Thiel support Donald Trump for President? 1:23:30
Eric’s work at Thiel Capital. 1:32:25
Australia and building The Intellectual Wild South. 1:38:22
Why has Western productivity growth stagnated? 2:10:10
How does the global economy keep growing sustainably? 2:23:55
Understanding ISIS execution videos. 2:30:25
What does Eric think of Sam Harris’s thesis in The Moral Landscape? 2:32:49
Has Eric learned anything new from his The Portal guests? How to raise children. 2:39:39
Standing up to the mob. 2:42:02
Rewards that await courageous contrarians. 2:48:31

Show notes:

The Good Cause Co.’s recommended charities for the Australian bushfires
The Portal, Eric’s podcast Duty to Warn Zero to One, by Peter Thiel
The Tyranny of Distance, by Geoffrey Blainey
The Lucky Country, by Donald Horne
‘Anthropic Capitalism And The New Gimmick Economy’, Eric’s edge.org article by Eric Weinstein
The Rise and Fall of American Growth, by Robert Gordon
The Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris

On this episode of The Portal, Eric talks to one of his closest friends, neuroscientist, philosopher and meditation-guru, Sam Harris. When Sam and Eric sit down they generally agree about a large number of things. So in this experiment of a session, Eric attempts to push the relentlessly reasonable and methodical Sam out of his comfort zone to highlight their genuine differences. These include: beliefs on religion, the logic of voting for unreasonable candidates, Jeffrey Epstein’s demise, the competence of the press, the ethics of immigration and more. 

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Waking Up with Sam Harris #112 — The Intellectual Dark Web with Eric Weinstein and Ben Shapiro