This isn't the same account as Joe Rogan used last time: /u/JoeRoganForReals
Please tweet this out for verification.
I lost the password for that account and I couldn't get anyone at reddit to respond to my requests so I created a new account. I tweeted it out so if people go to my twitter you can see that this is legit.
Have you ever had a guest come on the podcast that you regretted or thought perhaps you should have done more research on before inviting on?
Not really, because even the ones that were weird or off, I just sort of turn to redban and we start fucking around. The whole thing has been a real learning process and I don't think that would be possible without the sucky podcasts being in the mix.
When speaking with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, you told him you realized thinking the moon landing could have been faked was kinda silly and got him on your side and then started bringing up all these Youtube clips for him to watch that shows it may have been faked. Did you really change your opinion on the moon landing or was it your way to set him up for some honest opinions on what most consider crazy to even consider?
Edit: Reading the replies, a lot of people seem to be talking shit because he is open to the idea that (parts) of the moon landing could have been faked. That was not the intention of this question. I love that he is always willing to consider the extreme position with a completely open mind. That's why I listen to his show. Not many celebrities or redditors for that matter would do that in public without registering a throwaway account. Huge props to Joe and keep up the good work!
I love "conspiracy theories." Always have. I'm not sure if the origins of that are from some deep seated distrust of authority, or just what little information I have that's provable of known fuckery that leads me to ponder how much we don't know. That said, I try to always have an open mind when it comes to almost everything, and I try to group my possibilities into camps of likely and unlikely based on the thinking of the brightest minds and their take on the subject.
When I do that with the moon landing clearly the brightest minds and the most trustworthy sources believe the landings actually happened. That said I not-so-secretly hold out hope that some stunning piece of evidence would emerge that throws the entire subject into chaos. Why? Because I'm a silly bitch and I get a rush out of dumb shit like that. That's why I watch bigfoot shows, and that's why if I'm anywhere near a graveyard at night and there's no one around I'll get out of my car and look for ghosts for a few minutes if I have the time. Like I said, I'm a self professed silly bitch.
If you asked me for an honest opinion, I would say that when you look at the evidence it's certainly most likely that we went to the moon. That said, that's not nearly the dumbest thing I've held out hope for. For a long time I was fascinated by these things called "roswell rods." There was this video about them detailing this fascinating new life form that could only be caught on video because they moved too fast for the human eye. I watched a few shows on this subject, and spent hours discussing it and even contemplated getting a video camera to see if I could find them in my neighborhood.
Well, it turns out that these stupid fucking things were just bugs filmed with cameras that couldn't quite keep up with the movement of the bugs so it would create this weird video artifact that made them look like tubular flying squids. They cracked the mystery on the show "Monster Quest."
That might have actually been the only positive thing that ever came out of that monster quest show. Other than that, ever episode was them pretending they might have found a monster only to disappoint the fuck out of you in the end. Really it was a hilarious premise, because there should be absolutely no suspense in those shows in this day and age, because if they had actually found some real monster we would have heard about it online way before the episode ever aired.
Have any desire to podcast with the RZA? His interviews and books show a supremely intelligent, interesting mind. I know you like Wu-Tang, plus he follows you on Twitter...so I mean it only seems right!
I would love to. There's a lot of people I would love to get on the podcast, but there's only so many days in a week and lately I've had more possibilities and desires for guests than I've had time.
It's a good problem to have. Hopefully one day we can make it happen. I would have never thought that a year or two ago, but after David Lee Roth it seems like almost anything is possible.
Do you appreciate when the savages of the "Rogan Army" blast peoples twitters for you to get them on the podcast, or is it one of those things where you want to handle it yourself?
As long as people are respectful I appreciate their enthusiasm.
What is your favorite book that you have read?
Fiction - probably either Steven King's "Pet Cemetery" or "Christine" and non-fiction "The War Of Art" By Steven Pressfield.
The reason those two Steven King books are my favorite has as much to do with the time in my life in which I was reading them as it does the content. I've always been a huge fan of Steven King. I just really enjoy that kind of book where there's no obligation to be realistic, and his imagination can take you on the craziest of rides where a car can possess the soul of a dead man, or the next door neighbor could become a werewolf.
Also, when I was reading those books for the first time it was when I was riding the T into Boston to take Tae Kwon Do classes and I was on a wild adventure in my life. It was the first time in my life I felt like I was accomplishing anything. It was a 30 minute ride into town ever day, and I looked forward to Steven King books to keep me company.
The war of art is an amazing non fiction book that's really been inspirational to me and many of my friends. I believe I found out about it from a John Mayer tweet, and once I started reading it I was hooked. I actually bought many copies and handed them out to friends. Many people that I gave it to said that the book changed the way they approached their craft - be it music, writing, comedy, even people involved in non-creative businesses. It's a powerful book about the creative process.
I just want to say thank you for calling out Carlos Mencia for being a joke stealer and a talentless hack. What motivated you to call him out?
Having a thief creeping around a comedy club is a stifling thing. It's a terrible feeling especially for young unknown comics that are terrified that this person is going to take from them and leave them with no recourse. It's also really frustrating when you find out that no one is willing to do anything about a thief as long as there's profit to be made.
I had never seen a plagiarist on that level before, in person on a regular basis. It was like having a creative vampire that haunted the hallways and we had to all band together to make sure none of us were turned into his victims. Instead of crosses and stakes we had code words we would shout out when he was in the room so that the comic onstage would stop doing material and would start just doing ad-lib crowd work until he left.
I never meant to "call him out" but when he challenged me that night to come up onstage and "say that shit to his face" I was more than happy to do so. It was something that had been building up at the comedy store for a long, long time, and after it was over it really did feel like we took down a monster.
I think in the long run it's better for him this way too. Karma is some real shit, and running around profiting off of stealing shit from people for that long has got to tax the shit out of your self esteem unless you're a serious sociopath.
What's the hardest you've ever bombed on stage?
I've eaten shit onstage with spectacularly disastrous results, but if I had to isolate the worst time ever I would have to say it was around 1992 in a weekend I worked with Jim Breuer.
It was a perfect storm of conditions that led to the most epic bombing moment for me; first of all I was headlining, and I really had no business closing any professional comedy show. I had only been doing stand up for 4 years, and although I could have some good sets now and again, I really had no solid stand up chops, and if anything went wrong I didn't have the experience, the talent or the material to stop the show from going off the rails.
I had just moved to NY and gotten a new manager, and I exaggerated how much time I could do so that he would get me work as a headliner. I really only had about 20 solid minutes of time, and that would only work under ideal conditions. On this particular weekend there was a whole laundry list of shit that was wrong. I had just broken up with my girlfriend. I had just torn my ACL ligament in my knee and for the first time in my adult life I couldn't work out to blow off steam and get my head straight. It was also a time where my new manager had convinced me that I should "dress nice" onstage. I was wearing some idiotic outfit that I would wear if I was going out to a club to try to get laid, and I felt particularly not funny dressed that way. That night it was the first and only time I tried dressing that way.
Jim and I were in the same boat at the time, and he could have headlined just as easily as I could have. We were both doing comedy for about the same amount of time, and although he was probably a bit stronger an act than me at the time, the shows all went well until the late show Saturday night.
The first show was weak, but I got through it. The second show however saw Jim in RARE form. He just fucking destroyed. I mean obliterated the room. It was one of the strongest sets I had ever seen at the time. He did well all weekend, but on this particular show he really caught a gear and took it to the next level. He had this closing bit about coming home drunk and his mom was a demon. It was a fucking hilarious bit, and that night he just smashed it out of the park. His closing bit was incredibly powerful, and he beat that audience into submission. It was really awesome to see, but backstage I was shitting my pants.
I was backstage watching him from the sidelines, and I knew I was fucked. I was standing there dressed like a club going douche bag, limping on my bum knee thinking about how my ex girlfriend is probably long over me and getting plowed by some new guy right now while I'm waiting to go onstage and make a feeble attempt to stretch my shitty 20 minutes out into a 45 minute closing act after watching Jim Breuer have one of the most explosively funny sets I've ever seen.
I went onstage scared, and from the moment the first words came out of my mouth I sucked. It was humiliating. I somehow managed to stay up there for 35 minutes while the audience was moaning and telling me I sucked. After it was over I was seriously wondering if I had what it took to make it as a comic. I was devastated.
What came next after the humiliation settled though, was a newfound determination and focus. I now knew what the highest level of eating shit onstage felt like, and I wanted to make sure that never happened again. In the next 6 months my act improved tremendously. I tightened up old bits and through out ones that were dead weight. I wrote new stuff and put much more time into performing and writing. I took the whole process to a completely different level.
When I look back now there were several times where I bombed onstage, and although every one of them sucked hard at the time, the terrible feeling that came with bombing motivated me to improve more than any good set I ever got. Two things happened that night; one was that I realized I had no business headlining, and that I needed to seriously overhaul my act and get to work. The other was that Jim Breuer really inspired me.
If I hadn't had to follow him I would have still been inspired, but because I did have to go onstage after him and I had to compare my performance in the same crowd as his, and realize there was no one to blame for my shitty performance but me it was a real learning experience.
It was a terrible experience at the time, but ultimately a very important learning moment for me, and it marked a very important growth point for my career. I never forgot that night, and although it doesn't haunt me, I will forever remember that feeling that comes with being out of line and disrespecting (even if unintentionally) the brutal nature of the art of stand up. That bombing made me a much better comic.
What do you think is the most positive thing someone can realistically do to change the world?
I think the best thing we can do to change the world is to inspire young people. The more people realize that the key to happiness in life is to surround yourself with good friends, to be a good friend, to challenge yourself in honest ways, to not take short cuts but rather to rise to the challenge and grow from the struggle. To not be jealous of each other's success but rather be inspired by it. The more we realize that the key to happiness doesn't lay in numbers in a bank account but in the way we make others feel and the way they make us feel. The values of true community.
Although these values are massively important and resonate with every honest person when they're discussing "meaning" and "happiness" in life, they're not taught in school. We learn the building blocks of mathematics, the fundamentals of language, the facts of history - but we never learn how to manage our minds. We never learn how to live by a code and to surround yourself with like-minded people and to inspire and encourage each other.
Occasionally we're fed clumsy, abstract shit like "think positive!" but no one ever gives us a clear path of what the fuck that means. No one ever tells you that all the success in the world will leave you a miserable wreck of a person if you stab your brothers and sisters in the back in your attempt to reach victory. No one ever tells you that all the money in the world ain't worth shit if no one gives a fuck about you and you have no friends.
The quicker we all realize that we've been taught how to live life by people that were operating on the momentum of an ignorant past the quicker we can move to a global ethic of community that doesn't value invented borders or the monopolization of natural resources, but rather the goal of a happier more loving humanity.
People can still make money and still find success while doing it all ethically. We live in a time where we're seeing corporations acting as remorseless, profit seeking monsters with each human part required to keep it moving feeling free of guilt because of the diffusion of responsibility that comes with being a single piece in a huge machine. Too many people have the attitude that this is the only way to do big business. That's a pile of weak bullshit, and this generation may be one of the first generations that has the information available to make that distinction and stop that flawed model from being acceptable.
The more people require the highest level of friendship and love of themselves the more other people will be inspired by them. If that sounds like some hippy, utopian bullshit... it's because it is. It also might be the only way people are ever really going to change. One person inspiring another, each commiting to upholding a higher standard until it becomes the norm.
Humanity has changed drastically over the past few thousand years. It used to be when people you didn't know showed up in town they were there to rape and murder. Now, they're tourists and they're welcomed with open arms as a valuable part of the global economy. One day I believe that if we don't blow ourselves up, or poison ourselves with polution, or get wiped out by a super-bug or an asteroid impact we'll slowly come to the understanding that we really are just one species, and that the only way to truly be happy is if everyone around you is happy as well.
Joe I love the podcasts, especially the one with Les Stroud. So are you and Les still planning on the search for Bigfoot in British Columbia?
We've talked about it recently in email, but nothing has been set in stone. We talked about Northern California and Alaska as well, as Alaska is where Les had his own bigfoot encounter.
Normally I listen to bigfoot stories with one eyebrow firmly raised, but when Les told his story I didn't sense an ounce of bullshit. If I had to bet the ranch on whether or not bigfoot was real I would lean towards no, but holy fuck would it be awesome if I was wrong.
I've seen you talk about the futility of drug prohibition, but have you considered doing more to get involved in ending the war on drugs? Teaming up with a nonprofit organization like the Drug Policy Alliance (which has a very impressive Honorary Board: http://www.drugpolicy.org/staff-and-board/board-directors#honorary ) could go a long way. Think about it and reach out to us on Twitter if you want to discuss more. @DrugPolicyNews
p.s. I'm also a huge Game of Thrones fan and your recent podcast about getting your custom box set from HBO was great!
I think the best thing that I can do other than voting (which I'm not entirely convinced helps on the federal level) is voice displeasure and do my best to make the war on drugs look like the ridiculous shell game that it is. Information is our best weapon, and slowly but surely the paradigm that's in place now is becoming unsustainable. If you have other ideas that you really believe in I would be happy to listen though. I'll follow you on twitter now.
I know you've mentioned it a while back on the podcast, but since then, it has really exploaded (price nearing an all time high of $90 at this very min). New people are getting introduced to it everyday, more and more merchants are adopting it as an accepted form of payment, and the attention it's recieving has never been higher (especially with all the news surrounding Cyprus). If you could so kindly help increase awareness by mentioning it again on the podcast or maybe even have your company Onnit (www.onnit.com) start adopting bitcoin payments, that would be so awesome!
Quite honestly I'm absolutely fascinated by the idea, but I haven't given it my full attention. I've sort of been sitting back watching it from a distance and waiting to see if it takes root. If it does, I honestly think it could really shake up the global economy. Obviously we can see from our own controversial bailouts, and the shit that's going down in Cyprus that the system that's in place right now is massively flawed and being managed by fucking criminals. I'll look further into bitcoin. Lord knows we could use some new options.
What has been the most surreal moment for you on the podcast? Talking to Neil Tyson, David Lee Roth? You even admitted conversations like those would have been impossibilities for you before the podcast existed. Love the podcast - keep it up.
Neil Tyson and David Lee Roth were both equally bizarre. Maynard from tool was weird as fuck too, especially since he reached out to me on twitter. I can remember looking at his tweet thinking, "Am I really fucking talking online to Maynard from TOOL and is he really fucking saying that he wants to do my podcast?" Until he walked up to me and shook my hand I wasn't really sure if it was actually him I was talking to online. That was a fucking trip.
What a cool motherfucker he was too. Man, I love that guy.
In your interview with Cara Santa Maria you expressed the view that consciousness has little to do with nonclassical effects in the brain. However, in your interviews with Dr. Amit Goswami and Dr. Bruce Lipton you seemed sympathetic to less mainstream ideas like Penrose's Orch-OR (which apparently gets 9% of the vote in a poll of experts in quantum foundations).
Lockheed Martin (and the CIA) recently bought a working, scalable quantum computer (called the "D-Wave One") that solves hard problems that used to be exclusively tackleable through the application of trained human action. In short:
The D-Wave can get you quantum speedup for a range of tasks that humans are good at, but that classical computers (the digital ones, at least) are bad at. I have my own suspicions about the physical reasons for this, but suffice it to say that most of our cognition boils down to running a single algorithm [more info] that doesn't scale well on any of the hardware we've tried so far. Historically, we solved problems that required this algorithm (and, pre-digital revolution, problems requiring any kind of algorithm) by coming up with a cultural role and sticking a person in it (painter, blacksmith, photographer, architect, hunter, gatherer, etc.). When cheap digital microprocessors became ubiquitous they didn't fulfill the core computational requirements that had necessitated the creation of these roles, but they did speed up the rate at which old roles were replaced by new ones. This is because much of the instruction and training that defined previous roles involved getting people to do stuff that computers are naturally good at (hippies call this "left brained nincompoopery") and as computers got good at making computers gooder (Moore's law and such) cultural roles were more frequently changed to continue making efficient use of the capacities of the new machines. (Source)
My question: In light of the info above would you consider interviewing Sir Roger Penrose or Hartmut Neven (a Google employee) about their respective views on nonclassical happenings in the human brain (1, 2)?
I've entertained just about every feasible idea in terms of the origins of human consciousness. I would be far more conservative in my willingness to contemplate radical ideas if I hadn't had psychedelic experiences, but since I have, and since those experiences have been WAY weirder than anything I could have possibly imagined prior to taking those psychedelics I leave room for a lot of possibilities.
Often times, whether I'm talking to someone who is skeptical like Cara, or someone who is almost certainly out to lunch like Melissa Ethridge, what I'm trying to do is get them to expand on their beliefs as far as they're willing to take it. This can often get people thinking that I believe what they believe, or disbelieve what they're skeptical of. Most of the time though, I'm just trying to get in their head.
I try to not believe anything. "Try" is the key word, because my mind bounces back and forth occasionally with decisions and judgment, but my honest intentions are always to remain as open as possible.
I don't know if consciousness is resolved in the brain, or if the brain is just a biological antenna tuned to the intelligence of the universe, using the firing of neurons to decode reality. That certainly sounds like the sexier idea, but ultimately I'm in the "who the fuck knows" camp.
I would LOVE to get either Sir Roger Penrose or Harmut Neven on the podcast. Them, and a thousand more brilliant, mind blowing people. Any and all. It's the most beautiful thing about the podcast; getting to have conversations with all these fascinating people that would be almost impossible to hold down for a 3 hour conversation without it.
How many times a day do people quote that Dave Chappelle Fear Factor skit at you?
It's pretty rare now, except on twitter. On twitter it's several times a week. During the heyday of the Chappelle show though it was a DAILY thing. Everywhere I went people would scratch their neck and say, "There's something you might not know about me, Joe Rogan..."
He was never an atheist. More of an agnostic with a passion for simulation theory.
What he said.
I don't think it's ever easy. It requires focus, experience, reflection - none of those are really easy. The key seems to be getting on a path of intent. Wanting to expand your consciousness is one of the most important aspects of actually doing it.
I've met a lot of people that have done massive amounts of mushrooms but they remain idiots.