Joe Rogan is a commentator on MMA, a comedian, and a former martial arts practitioner . He is also the host of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. The JRE is approaching 800 episodes, I’ve only listened to a fraction of them. His guests include his fellow comedians, MMA fighters and people who Rogan thinks are interesting.
Generally, his podcasts are around 3 hours each where he has a long conversation with a guest in the studio. What I like about them is that 3 hours is plenty of time to really talk to a person find out what it is that makes them tick, what they believe and why they believe it. In the podcast format is much easier to digest than reading a book, which means you can listen to people you wouldn’t normally invest time and money in by buying their books and read them.
He’s had some very rational guests: Michael Schermer and Sam Harris are recurring guests; Brian Cox and Neil Degrasse Tyson have also been on the show. The podcasts I’ve found most interesting, though, are the fringe characters such as Rupert Sheldrake. Sheldrake is a proponent of morphic fields, which is the idea that knowledge can be passed telepathically through nature and social groups. I’ve heard and read about him and I thought he must be delusional. After listing to him on the podcast – I still think he’s wrong- but he’s very eloquent and can explain lucidly and convincingly his experiment and strange phenomena that he has observed, but then jumps to the ‘magic’ explanation. He is a true believer, he’s done experiments with Steven Rose and Richard Wiseman, Sheldrake interprets the results one way, Rose and Wiseman the opposite. It’s fascinating that intelligent people can look at the same data and reach a different conclusion. In fairness to Sheldrake, he posts both papers by him and his critics on his website.
An interesting guest he had on recently was Scott Adams, best known for creating the Dilbert comic strip, he also predicted over a year ago that Donald Trump would win the US election in a landslide. Adams is also a hypnotist, and he believes that Trump is one of the most persuasive politicians there has ever been because he uses some of the tricks that hypnotists use. Also, Trump’s hyperbole and rhetoric give him a lot of latitude for comprising somewhere in the middle in a way that a moderate candidate couldn’t.
A criticism of the JRE it’s maybe a little too open minded, some people can just say things that are obviously ridiculous, but he doesn’t challenge them that often. But it is nice that you can list to different points of view (with very little effort) from people you would not normally hear from, especially in these days of social media echo chambers. The podcasts with comedians are often very funny too.
Some interesting people I’ve found through listening to the JRE:
Scott Adams (see above)
Dr. Rhonda Patrick: biochemist and health and nutrition expert (recurring guest).
Prof. Gad Saad: An Evolutionary biologist who studies the evolutionary basis of consumerism (recurring guest).