Checking the Joe Rogan Experience!
The Joe Rogan Experience is the best podcast I’ve ever heard.
Joe Rogan is a comedian who serves brilliantly as the colour commentator for the UFC numbered events. Apparently he also hosted the US version of Fear Factor but I’ve never seen an episode. I’ve also watched twenty minutes of his stand up and it’s not for me.
But the podcast – JRE – is amazing. The typical format is him and Brian Redban host a guest and they chat for three hours. Normally (but not always) the guest has something to sell, which is important to keep in mind.
Rogan is interested in how we live – what to eat, how to exercise, the power structures in politics – and his guests reflect this. Guests have included:
- Tim Ferris (4 Hour Work Week, 4 Hour Body, 4 Hour Chef),
- Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist and a public figure in science),
- Greg Proops (Comedian),
- Amber Lyon (Investigative Journalist),
- Victor Conte (Previously supplied banned substances to athletes)
Rogan is smart. Or as he would put it “Powerful Rogan is fucking smart”. He holds some beliefs that I would find difficult to accept – but then he explains why he believes it and it shows that the guy can think. He is agnostic about whether Yetis exist – and to support this points out that we know that badgers exist but if you go out to try and find one, it’s really difficult. If you or I (or Rogan) tried to prove badgers exist, we’d have a hard time – and probably produce a blurry phone picture. So even for something we know to exist, it’s hard to obtain proof.
Let me be clear – Yetis do not exist. But that’s a really smart way of thinking about it. It shows thought, and that’s pretty rare.
Many of the things that interest Rogan also interest me – but I’m far more sceptical than Rogan is, and this is my only issue with the podcast. At times I’d like to hear some genuine questioning – although really I think that Rogan’s skill is in chewing the fat with these people and a more confrontational style would ruin this.
In particular, many guests are self-appointed experts in nutrition and/or exercise; if there are areas with more impressive charlatans I’m not sure I want to know about it.
Still, after listening to a podcast I’m often left wondering whether the weird and wonderful pseudo-science the guest has presented actually has any substance to back it up. So I’m going to check – and summarise what I find – so that I won’t get drawn in by something that sounds too good to be true (and therefore is).
The first example will be Dave Asprey – whose points are in this blog post by him. It sounds incredible – it sounds good enough that it could be true, and if it is true it’s really important, but it also sounds like it could be bullshit. Let’s see.