30 votes

Why Is Joe Rogan so popular? He understands men in America better than most people do. The rest of the country should start paying attention

34 comments

  1. [6]
    Gaywallet
    Link
    This was a bit longer than it needed to be, but the author touched on a lot of the same points as to why I never really could get into Rogan's media. I respect him, in a lot of ways, for the same...

    This was a bit longer than it needed to be, but the author touched on a lot of the same points as to why I never really could get into Rogan's media. I respect him, in a lot of ways, for the same reason the author does - Rogan is often genuinely trying to get people to expand their view of the world and wants people to self educate and pursue a greater self. This is a message I can very much get on-board with.

    However, Joe also regularly hosts guests and voices opinions that do not need to be aired. I believe in his own personal quest for knowledge he views these people as a having a "different viewpoint" rather than a negative or harmful one. I want to believe that his tolerance for the intolerant is a way to attract individuals to listen to his show in the hopes that they might learn something and change their minds, but his inability to challenge beliefs which should be challenged because they are toxic makes the outcome questionable. The author muses on whether he's helping these individuals grow into better selves or whether Rogan is radicalizing them. I'm not sure I know either, but this question only exists because Rogan either actually holds some of these same beliefs or because he is willing to tolerate them and neither reason sits well with me.

    36 votes
    1. [3]
      NaraVara
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The thing is, many of those beliefs are built up around legitimate (or at least understandable) fears or sources of pain. They're just being used to build up an ideology that is toxic and focuses...

      I'm not sure I know either, but this question only exists because Rogan either actually holds some of these same beliefs or because he is willing to tolerate them and neither reason sits well with me.

      The thing is, many of those beliefs are built up around legitimate (or at least understandable) fears or sources of pain. They're just being used to build up an ideology that is toxic and focuses on catharsis in the face of those concerns rather than healing or reconciliation with them. Lots of people share those underlying kernels that are sympathetic, but don't want to think too hard about the nastier parts of the ideologies that are specifically trying to address them, they just like to hear that it's being voiced.

      So, for example, a guy like Joe Rogan cherishes a certain indifference to rules or structure. It is a masculine equivalent of being a free spirit. So when "social justice warriors" come around saying "Hey man, these things you're doing aren't really cool and also, owing to your outsized influence and lack of socialization into these issues as a White man, you need to be a little extra sensitive about how your behavior affects others" that stings for him. He may not agree with "and therefore we must build a wall, get rid of the (((postmodern, neomarxist feminists))) with extreme prejudice, and put women back in their place to save the Western Culture" but the fundamental axioms that lead the shitheads to those conclusions are things that they share in common.

      And unfortunately, Rogan just doesn't have the intellectual chops to critically examine those positions in a live setting. Even if they run up against whatever visceral moral compass he has hard-coded into him, he doesn't have the vocabulary or intellectual framework to actually articulate why those things don't sound right to him. So they just float out there, unchallenged, indoctrinating new people.

      This is one of the main challenges with arguing against fashy people. They're indifferent to the truth value of their statements. They're specifically geared towards exploiting misperceptions or vague, inchoate sentiments and pegging them to certain articles of faith. It's meant to foster tribalism and motivate action on a gut level so they're not there to attempt to reach truth or understanding or even operate on a level of reason or logic. Trying to reason with them is a total waste of time and letting them maintain the fiction that they're here as good faith participants in the market place of ideas is a mistake. They're not. They view discourse as an exercise in power and dominance, not discovery or understanding. Hence why these idiots think tweeting "debate me coward!" at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as if it's a duel constitutes some kind of epic own.

      37 votes
      1. [2]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        To me this feels less like a situation in which Joe or his listeners lack the "intellectual chops" to understand why being tolerant of intolerance is a bad thing, but more that they haven't...

        To me this feels less like a situation in which Joe or his listeners lack the "intellectual chops" to understand why being tolerant of intolerance is a bad thing, but more that they haven't necessarily considered or examined in detail the downstream effects of allowing toxic discourse a platform upon which they are not challenged. Combine that with the American ideology of free speech above everything else, and it's easy for many to have a gut reaction to any idea of censorship, leading them to be defensive and dismissive of any challenge to this assumption.

        It's an extremely complicated situation. I'm not trying to excuse Joe's behavior, but I don't think it's fair to definitively paint him as "not smart enough". I've seen plenty of people (including myself when I was younger) fail to understand why unlimited free speech is a bad thing and more often than not it's because they are either sheltered from reality (read: not enough experience in the world yet) or because they never challenged this belief because they didn't feel there was a good reason to.

        14 votes
        1. NaraVara
          Link Parent
          I didn't mean "intellectual chops" to be read as not smart enough so much as lacking the requisite skills or knowledge. It doesn't really have to do with the raw intellectual horsepower so much as...

          I didn't mean "intellectual chops" to be read as not smart enough so much as lacking the requisite skills or knowledge. It doesn't really have to do with the raw intellectual horsepower so much as a lack of training about how to apply into this specific kind of discourse.

          20 votes
    2. [2]
      aphoenix
      Link Parent
      Your point, and this that I lifted from the article, are why I do no longer listen to or support Joe Rogan. It's great to have lots of people with different beliefs on his show, but allowing the...

      And a key thing Joe and his fans tend to have in common is a deficit of empathy. He seems unable to process how his tolerance for monsters like Alex Jones plays a role in the wounding of people who don’t deserve it.

      Your point, and this that I lifted from the article, are why I do no longer listen to or support Joe Rogan.

      It's great to have lots of people with different beliefs on his show, but allowing the dissemination of the unabashed horror that comes out of Alex Jones' mouth, to pick just one of the problematic guests on his show, without continuous refutation is just irresponsible.

      18 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. elcuello
          Link Parent
          This is a really good point. Jones actually got the time he’s always complaining about not getting, to explain himself and in that he outed himself completely. Not surprisingly but maybe still...

          This is a really good point. Jones actually got the time he’s always complaining about not getting, to explain himself and in that he outed himself completely. Not surprisingly but maybe still valuable to more people than expected. Now it's up to the listeners to make a choice some of us think you shouldn't even have to think about and the mere fact that you are thinking about it is worrying to us. The worrying attitude is often seen as arrogant from one point of view and puzzling from another because you know - it's just mind expansion. The feeling of being a victim of arrogance is easy to understand in itself but hard to accept and the worrying is beautifully summed up by @NaraVara in another comment about debating people like Jones:

          They're indifferent to the truth value of their statements. They're specifically geared towards exploiting misconceptions or vague, inchoate sentiments and pegging them to certain articles of faith. It's meant to foster tribalism and motivate action on a gut level so they're not there to attempt to reach truth or understanding or even operate on a level of reason or logic

          We worry about peoples sudden need (without any real explanation) to get all sides of the story no matter how ridiculous because the above mentioned approach is not always clear and understood by all involved

          5 votes
  2. [23]
    actionscripted
    Link
    I'll chime in and say that the other comments in here sound crazy. How anyone in this thread can wax on and on about the mystery around JRE's appeal shows how out of touch maybe some folks are. In...

    I'll chime in and say that the other comments in here sound crazy. How anyone in this thread can wax on and on about the mystery around JRE's appeal shows how out of touch maybe some folks are. In the last month there are something like 65,000,000 views/listens and he has ~6,000,000 subscribers

    I do not agree that just because you see something as toxic means it is not worth at least trying to understand. Toxicity is subjective and personal and there aren't hard and fast rules about what one person should be allowed to say or what should be allowed to be broadcast. The notion that there are thoughts or ideas that are so harmful they should never be discussed seems silly. We're dealing with humans, not a Harry Potter villain.

    I also don't think that the millions of listeners/viewers are all just insecure teenagers seeking masculinity. Or that it's just a bunch of juiced-up fanboys flexing while fantasizing about monkeys taking DMT.

    I'm a 35 year-old software engineer from a large, progressive town and I love JRE. I don't listen to be told how to think or because my testosterone is low. I listen because it's funny, sometimes there are great interviews. In the last couple weeks I've heard Tom Papa talk about hookworm, Bernie Sanders talk for more than a few minutes, a jiu jitsu expert tell his story, etc.

    You don't like it? Cool, no sweat. It's not for everyone, and that's 100% fine. But stop painting his motives or his audience as something that's easy for you to hate. You're being judgemental and throwing a lot of your own hurtful stereotypes around.

    30 votes
    1. [18]
      Amarok
      Link Parent
      I'm with you on this one. The fact that people take Joe seriously is what amuses the hell out of me. He isn't trying to be an intellectual, or be rigorous, or be some kind of gatekeeper of...

      I'm with you on this one. The fact that people take Joe seriously is what amuses the hell out of me. He isn't trying to be an intellectual, or be rigorous, or be some kind of gatekeeper of knowledge tasked with safeguarding precious snowflakes against triggering ideas. His clips begin with the phrase 'what's up freak bitches' and that should be your first clue that he's not broadcasting from the Smithsonian.

      He's just a jock with a podcast who likes to talk, and he's good at it. All this nonsense about Alex Jones? Has anyone even bothered to watch some of the outtakes? Does that sound like Joe is taking him seriously? Who can honestly watch that and believe that anyone could?

      I nearly blacked out laughing at some of the insanity that comes out of Alex's head. He's a poster boy for what happens when children turn into adults without learning critical thinking skills. He's a rage addict and he's far from the only one I see out there. People can and do get addicted to the dopamine rush of attacking others' ideas and defending their own. They aren't interested in learning or thinking, they are just looking for the next argument and the next rage hit. A better article would have asked if Joe was exploiting Alex for the views his craziness generates, rather than wringing hands about giving him a platform.

      The reason we're all stewing in this nonsense has jack shit to do with politics and radicalization anyway, and I'm getting sick of hearing that stupid idea trotted out as an excuse to justify censoring this or that thing while the real causes are conveniently glossed over to further this dueling agenda of idiocy and hatred on both sides. Do people really think that just hearing some of these ideas is enough to turn someone into an 8channer or antifa or some other internet hellspawn? I hate to burst your bubble, but the world doesn't work like that.

      It happens because people are in dire economic straits or otherwise being disenfranchised and denied their basic humanity. They get angry or lonely or desperate, they start looking for reasons to justify their situation, looking for people or groups to blame, spreading any dogma that helps them rationalize their situations. They don't get to feel much of anything, so the hate itself is now a good feeling - water in the desert. If no dogma is presented for them to dig into, they'll create it themselves. They grow up with their faces welded to screens and a lack of real world social interactions to balance them out as people. Before that, they got their two minute hate on in church, or town halls. Now they can all do it from their sofas.

      These are broken human beings, not hellspawn - but we can only talk about them as if they are satan incarnate, since nobody bothers asking why this happens or giving a damn about the perpetrators. Their minds are poisoned, and we should be more worried how that happened than what particular poison is in there. If you'd lived their same lives and circumstances, you would be in the same situation.

      It's very, very easy for con artists and demagogues to draw these people into a cult and turn them into useful idiots. All they have to do is pretend to care and pretend to take these people seriously, which is more than most real people those useful idiots have met have ever done for them. That's more on society failing to take care of its own than it is on the demagogues. If those people weren't already in a hateful mood, hateful ideas wouldn't find any fertile ground to take root in the first place. America's classic and oft-praised 'fuck you, I've got mine' attitude is doing nothing to help this situation, either.

      Are there still some silly people who think it's possible to censor anything on the internet? Apparently they slept through the last three decades. Knock down all the toxic people and sites (for whatever definition of toxic floats your boat) and they'll just pop up again and be more resistant to takedowns. Deplatform all you want, the platforms themselves self-destruct and new ones replace them, often started by the disenfranchised. This is a Sisyphean task that will never end, because unless something is done to address the situations that predispose people towards this sort of hatred, it will never change and there will never be any progress made. It'll remain a pendulum that keeps on swinging from one side to the other, mowing down bystanders with every swing, year after year, topic after topic, movement after movement.

      We need to find ways to solve those problems rather than whinging about all these terrible, terrible human beings who dare to have openly triggering conversations in public. This trend lately towards intellectual gatekeeping is starting to bother me. Who is this author, or anyone else, to make the decision for other people what topics and ideas and people are worthy of discussion? We have laws, none of them are being broken, and that's that.

      Plenty of my left and right leaning channels are getting caught up in the kind of crossfire the author of this article is interested in generating, just to pad the views on his scribbles so he can get paid by the advertising revenue. He's trolling Roganites for views. He'll get them, too - and The Atlantic's reputation will slide a little further, until the churn washes them away with the rest.

      I do wonder what happens when decentralized tech finally makes progress, and platforms emerge that are beyond all forms of control. Perhaps then we'll be more worried about root causes of trauma and hatred and willing to deal with them, since even the hope of censorship will be off the table forever. Censorship has always been a mirage online, but perhaps it'll no longer be a distraction in the future.

      That's my rant for the week. Now get the fuck off my lawn. :P

      19 votes
      1. [6]
        Deimos
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I'm disappointed this is seeing so much support, because this is exactly the mindset that's causing so much damage to the internet and world at large right now. There are a lot of more divisive...

        I'm disappointed this is seeing so much support, because this is exactly the mindset that's causing so much damage to the internet and world at large right now. There are a lot of more divisive and political topics related to it, but I'll try to pick one that—I hope—isn't controversial: measles is (are?) back as a direct result of this mindset, because of major platforms treating all information about it as equally valid and helping misinformation propagate.

        You're right that the base issue is that people are unhappy and vulnerable, but that's exactly why it's important that we help them find their way to proper support when they're in that state. Cults and scams prey on those vulnerable people, which is why we need to keep them away from them, not promote them on platforms that help give them an air of legitimacy and make it easier for them to reach their targets.

        Of course there will always be ways for people to post the same information even if they're "deplatformed"—we already have a fully decentralized platform that can't be meaningfully censored. It's the web. But it's never really been a significant problem that anyone can set up a site saying that vaccines cause autism. Nobody was ever going to find the Vaccine FACTS Geocities Page and take it seriously. The problem happens when the information gets promoted through the established platforms that people give some inherent trust to (even though they really shouldn't), and this is where the issues are coming from now.

        We don't say, "oh well, we can't stop them from starting a website, so we might as well let them put up posters inside hospitals too." The source of exposure makes a huge difference to how susceptible people will be, and major issues are being caused by internet platforms being unwilling to make any judgments, whether the platform is Facebook, reddit, Joe Rogan's podcast, Twitter, etc. By not doing anything, they're helping give legitimacy to these ideas and are causing harm.

        It's become extremely obvious over the past few years that the "marketplace of ideas" and "sunshine is the best disinfectant" concepts do not work. At all. Things are only going to keep getting worse until we're able to recognize that, and people and companies with influence start using that influence in positive ways instead of just shrugging and continuing to let the bad-faith actors take advantage of their complacency and use them as amplifiers for their harmful messages.

        It honestly really worries me that people like you—someone I know has spent a ton of time thinking deeply about online communities—are still completely failing to see the problems that approach is causing, and still advocating for it. If even you still can't see it, I have no idea how bad it's going to need to get before the general public can recognize it.

        37 votes
        1. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          This always bugged me about discussions about de-platforming. Do people not remember how Alex Jones being de-platformed caused him to lose a ton of his followers? He's still on the internet, just...

          This always bugged me about discussions about de-platforming. Do people not remember how Alex Jones being de-platformed caused him to lose a ton of his followers? He's still on the internet, just somewhere else, and even when he has platforms available to him to promote where he ended up, the simple fact that he was removed from the major platforms that people typically go to dropped his viewership, listener-ship, and income extensively.

          Is he still on the internet? Yes. Is he still available to reach a vulnerable population? Absolutely. This doesn't matter. What matters is that it's more difficult to get access to his message. The barrier to entry is what matters and even the smallest amount of difficulty is going to dissuade some people. Yes, others will never be dissuaded no matter how difficult it is, but the amount of people willing to jump through hoops to get where they want goes down as the hoops get more difficult to jump through.

          Furthermore, the argument that de-platforming is a Sisyphean task is misleading at best. As already noted, the more difficult we make it the less reach these platforms have, but this entirely ignores the fact that we do plenty of "Sisyphean" things. Roads will always break down, so why partake in the "Sisyphean task" of repairing them? Terrorist organizations will continue to pop up and exist, so why bother dismantling them? Our body is going to break down and we will eventually die, so why bother exercising and eating well? We do these things because the today matters. Unlike Sisyphus, we do see gradual increases in the quality of life the more we attack these problems.

          15 votes
        2. [3]
          Amarok
          Link Parent
          I'm glad it's getting solid support, it's hardly a controversial position. It's fairly mainstream in America, even among liberals. I haven't given up on the marketplace and sunlight yet, even if...

          I'm glad it's getting solid support, it's hardly a controversial position. It's fairly mainstream in America, even among liberals. I haven't given up on the marketplace and sunlight yet, even if crapping on those time-tested ideas is trendy right now because the internet has thrown all of this into hyperdrive as the world gets online. Nothing like a big dose of internet panic to blow everything out of proportion.

          The mad rush for views and ad revenue, which prioritizes polarizing and rage inducing content, is I think muddying the waters there. It's pretty hard to make progress towards common ground and prioritize facts/knowledge when all of the largest platforms we use are at least in part just fancy skinner boxes built around monetizing hate. That which is controversial gets the most views, comments, retweets, and neverending knee-jerk arguments, driving up engagement and traffic. That's what I want to get away from, more than anything else.

          I think our disconnect comes from how valuable we view this deplatforming solution to be in the long term, and in how far we are willing to take it. Some think it's a solution, I see a flimsy, temporary band-aid. Was 8chan a large, popular website compared to youtube or twitter? Yet how many shooters have been directly linked to that place? An underground website is still capable of enabling massive damage. What's worse, those communities have already formed. When you shut down 8chan, there's going to be an existing community looking for (or building) the next 8chan. The community doesn't vanish just because the website is down. If you want to reach these people to help them, you won't be able to do it by taking their sites down. That'll just convince them you're out to get them and make them double down on the crazy.

          Sure, they hemorrhage some users, and people who weren't already a part of the place are less likely to be sucked into it. That only holds true until the next iteration is up, and then the same cycle starts all over again. The wheel continues to turn. Everyone assumes that it's making a massive difference - it looks more like internet business as usual to me. This problem will still be here long after twitter, facebook, instagram, and youtube have joined friendster and myspace in the internet dustbin. There is no source of truth, there is no magical fact-based website that everyone can agree to use, and as long as we're still using something as primitive as language to communicate I doubt there ever will be.

          As I said in other comments, I don't mind seeing crazy people like Alex Jones kicked off of youtube/facebook/twitter/etc. Yes, that definitely made the world a better place. In any sane world, youtube's algorithms wouldn't have been funneling millions of views to him in the first place, and he'd have remained a fringe channel. They just couldn't resist that ad revenue, and the only reason they pretend to care now is because congress is breathing down their necks. I pin more of the blame for this on youtube than I do on Alex.

          As for the vaccines and measles outbreak - I seem to remember that was a problem being caused by airhead celebrity promotion on television, in magazines, and newspaper opinion pieces long before youtube came into the picture. Are we really going to pretend that our social media sites are the be-all, end-all battlefield for these problems when they have all existed long before the net did? Until very recently, these social sites didn't even have the reach of traditional media.

          Shall we just make a nice, big censorship list and bar everyone who ever says anything stupid from ever being able to talk in a public forum, forever? Clearly, we'll be adding everyone who ever talks to someone on the list to that list as well. That's where this line of logic leads. Everyone will end up on that list, because everyone will eventually say something stupid. Charitable interpretations are out the window at that point.

          When just interviewing someone like Alex Jones triggers a cacophony of calls to shut down anyone who dares to talk to him, I take issue with that - and not in a minor way. That's going much too far away from freedom of speech and free association for my tastes.

          We could put it in a simpler way. Alex Jones and Joe Rogan both ask for Tildes invites. How many invites do you send? What happens if a couple months later, they each PM and ask for a large block of invite codes? Exactly how far does your commitment to applying charitable interpretations go? I'd be charitable to Joe, but not to Alex. Not unless he'd had some therapy and made some kind of major turn around, at least.

          I'll let Rogan explain it. Keep in mind that clip is from just before he decided to interview Alex again. Perhaps Rogan is guilty of being too charitable. Let's shut the poor bastard down, he just doesn't know any better.

          All I see in this thread are flimsy justifications for heavy handed censorship, and a handful of people who are as perplexed by that as I am. I doubt we'll be solving this age old issue today.

          I am glad we have a forum where we can talk about this stuff without resorting to name calling and endless attacks and mob mentality. Whatever the solutions are, we're never going to find our way to them with that noise in the room.

          8 votes
          1. [2]
            Deimos
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I'm going to reply as acknowledgement, but I don't want to continue debating it. You've made a bunch of incorrect conflations and statements that contradict actual evidence in here, but I don't...

            I'm going to reply as acknowledgement, but I don't want to continue debating it. You've made a bunch of incorrect conflations and statements that contradict actual evidence in here, but I don't want to go through and pick it all apart since I know there's almost zero chance of changing your mind overall anyway. We've both expressed our general feelings about it, and it's obvious that some of the core values are just opposed, and that won't change.

            Regardless, I think we're actually somewhat agreeing at the bottom of it all. I'm not saying that people like Alex Jones should be completely prevented from having their own sites, I'm saying that we shouldn't be treating them uncritically and handing them an audience (especially a vulnerable one), and it seems like you do recognize that issue too.

            16 votes
            1. Amarok
              Link Parent
              Yeah, we're on the same page there at least. My major issue is the worry that this trend of suppressing channels is going to spiral into a new wave of censorship. That's a serious risk to be...

              Yeah, we're on the same page there at least. My major issue is the worry that this trend of suppressing channels is going to spiral into a new wave of censorship. That's a serious risk to be taking on what to me seems like flimsy evidence and not much of it. I've seen this hit dozens of channels that aren't nearly as controversial and dangerous as Alex, so it's already beginning. Even Pakman and TYT got hit by it.

              Youtube does seem to be handling it better than I expected, though. Almost all of those outlets were able to appeal and continue. Some had to make a few changes (for the better imo) in their language and presentations. Perhaps the threat of being shut down will be enough to foster improvements.

              9 votes
        3. Loire
          Link Parent
          It all seems very Chamberlainian. Appeasement updated for the digital age. If we make a concession here and a concession there eventually they'll see the error of their ways and this whole...

          It all seems very Chamberlainian. Appeasement updated for the digital age. If we make a concession here and a concession there eventually they'll see the error of their ways and this whole alt-right thing will just fade away.

          In truth, the culture of the American Right has been so profoundly inundated with the concept of "free speech at all costs" they will make any excuse for it in the face of mounting evidence that it's failing.

          5 votes
      2. [11]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        No, no, no, and a thousand times more - no. You can't look at these people and just blame it all on them being poor. It is just plain insulting. I grew up in a poor household and you don't see me...

        It happens because people are in dire economic straits or otherwise being disenfranchised and denied their basic humanity. They get angry or lonely or desperate, they start looking for reasons to justify their situation, looking for people or groups to blame, spreading any dogma that helps them rationalize their situations. They don't get to feel much of anything, so the hate itself is now a good feeling - water in the desert. If no dogma is presented for them to dig into, they'll create it themselves. They grow up with their faces welded to screens and a lack of real world social interactions to balance them out as people. Before that, they got their two minute hate on in church, or town halls. Now they can all do it from their sofas.

        No, no, no, and a thousand times more - no. You can't look at these people and just blame it all on them being poor. It is just plain insulting. I grew up in a poor household and you don't see me advocating for racial purification. And it's not like the mouthpieces these people listen to are known for being poor; People like Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, and Ben Shapiro are certainly not poor.

        It's certainly more than just poor people who are likely to be caught up by these ideas. The truth of the matter is that people in general are very persuadable. That's why advertising works. And to give these people a soapbox to stand on is the same as advertising for them. That's the problem here.

        Do you want to know what I find the most insulting? The idea that you think that we don't care about these people. It is precisely because we care about these people that we do not want these garbage mouthpieces to have platforms to let their shitty ideas spread. Do you want to know the best way to cure someone with a venomous snake bite? Prevent the bite from ever happening.

        Are there still some silly people who think it's possible to censor anything on the internet? Apparently they slept through the last three decades. Knock down all the toxic people and sites (for whatever definition of toxic floats your boat) and they'll just pop up again and be more resistant to takedowns. Deplatform all you want, the platforms themselves self-destruct and new ones replace them, often started by the disenfranchised. This is a Sisyphean task that will never end, because unless something is done to address the situations that predispose people towards this sort of hatred, it will never change and there will never be any progress made. It'll remain a pendulum that keeps on swinging from one side to the other, mowing down bystanders with every swing, year after year, topic after topic, movement after movement.

        The goal is not censorship, it is to foster better communities. Deplatforming works, weather you believe it or not. When haters are told they are not welcome in a community, they will look for communities that will welcome them. Just look at platforms like Voat, where people constantly talk about killing jews. Average people will know better than to go there.

        We need to find ways to solve those problems rather than whinging about all these terrible, terrible human beings who dare to have openly triggering conversations in public. This trend lately towards intellectual gatekeeping is starting to bother me. Who is this author, or anyone else, to make the decision for other people what topics and ideas and people are worthy of discussion?

        This decision needs to be made by anyone who is in charge of creating media for public consumption. This is a basic rule in journalism. Everyone asks this question. Deimos does when he moderates this site. Facebook has a whole complicated rulebook about what kind of speech is allowed. Newspapers have editors who decide what kind of stories they will publish. It's a civic responsibility.

        I do wonder what happens when decentralized tech finally makes progress, and platforms emerge that are beyond all forms of control. Perhaps then we'll be more worried about root causes of trauma and hatred and willing to deal with them, since even the hope of censorship will be off the table forever. Censorship has always been a mirage online, but perhaps it'll no longer be a distraction in the future.

        This already exists. It's called email. I'm sure you don't need to be told how you enact censorship on your own inbox.

        There are other unmoderated spaces on the internet, there is a reason why they are unpopular: they are a screaming cesspool of the worst people on the internet. Once again, take a look at Voat and Gab.

        15 votes
        1. [9]
          Amarok
          Link Parent
          Good thing I didn't, then. I called them disenfranchised from their humanity. You immediately jump to assuming I mean poor, and only poor, and that's on you. Ask incels if poverty is their problem...

          Good thing I didn't, then. I called them disenfranchised from their humanity. You immediately jump to assuming I mean poor, and only poor, and that's on you. Ask incels if poverty is their problem - it's not. Their problem is loneliness. Ask young teenage girls who are suffering record levels of depression thanks to social media. That's yet another form of disenfranchisement. We could go around and list a thousand ways to disenfranchise people, but that doesn't change the argument. So, yes, yes, yes, ten thousand times yes, this is the problem to be solved. These people are not having their basic human needs as human beings met, and it predisposes them to lash out.

          This disfranchisement doesn't automatically curse everyone affected by it to become monsters, nor does exposing them to hateful ideologies once they are primed to hear them. Some people are tougher than others. All I'm claiming is that the more disenfranchisement we tolerate as a society, the worse this problem is going to get. It's been getting steadily worse for a while now, and it's related to the drug epidemic, the outbreak of gun violence, the spike in suicides, and America's life expectancy declining for several years in a row, like we're back in spanish flu territory. Look up what happened during the last industrial revolution - you ain't seen nothing yet, it's going to get much worse unless we take immediate action.

          But clearly, kicking Alex Jones off Youtube will save us all. We should ban that hack Rogan, too - after all, he had that evil Alex Jones back on his channel, so we've got five more shootings next week to look forward to. This entire line of thinking is illogical and insane on its face and I'm constantly amazed how pervasive it is. This kind of reasoning right here is what puts me off on the left's world view. What will they say, I wonder, when the next shooting happens, and 8chan isn't there to take the blame? Which site do we blame our mistakes on next? I kinda hope it's reddit, but then, I am an asshole. :P

          Whack all the sites and platforms you want for the next ten decades, and you'll still get nowhere despite shrill claims that deplatforming works. Show me some proof that it works long term. Gab/Voat seem to indicate the opposite. Seems like all you're doing is re-platforming them in a new place after a time delay and calling it a victory. The violence and hate will continue, because you're ignoring the root causes in favor of playing whack-a-mole with the people who want to capitalize on the miseries of the disenfranchised, and doing nothing to actually prevent people from falling into these traps in the first place.

          I'm all for whacking asshats like Alex, but I'm not going to pretend it solves the problem, or even makes a fart in the wind of a difference. Jury's still out on that one. When folks like Joe get caught in the crossfire, that's when I stand up and shoot back.

          Education has a role to play here too - critical thinking and civics are sadly missing from the American primary school curriculum. I think if you could improve primary child care, quality of home life, and early education, you could successfully inoculate people against falling into these particular traps in their lives. That's probably the single best way to beat the problem. I believe almost all of the true hard cases suffer traumas in childhood, that's the number one trigger for turning people into monsters of one stripe or another. Living in impoverished homes dramatically increases the chance that sort of thing happens.

          This already exists. It's called email.

          No, you need to think bigger. Let me paint you a picture of the possibilities. Any video, audio, or text, eternal on the internet, at the same URL, for all time. No ability to take it down, because it lives everywhere and nowhere. It's on fifty servers in fifty countries, encrypted beyond any ability to track it down on storage services that move around by the hour. The URL scheme is similarly fossilized into a blockchain like namecoin or some other unalterable mechanism that has replaced DNS. Accessible from any web browser, using encrypted communication so there's no opportunity to filter a damn thing. Routed through something like Tor, so there's no tracing things. One giant, binary, obfuscated, cancerous blob out on the internet.

          That would mean Alex's channel would be there forever. Worse, it means every child with internet access would have access to every beheading video. Keep on gatekeeping platforms, and someone's going to apply this kind of a permanent solution to the platforming problem. Luckily, we haven't got the network capabilities to scale something like that yet. Someday pretty soon we will. Then we get to have these arguments again, but without pretending that censorship is a solution.

          I'd love to be wrong about that, but I just don't see it being avoidable. The tech has been moving that way for decades, one painful hack at a time.

          12 votes
          1. [5]
            NaraVara
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Part of the confusion might be that you're using the word "disenfranchisement" wrong. The franchise is the right to vote, and enfranchisement is about people having the ability to exert political...

            Part of the confusion might be that you're using the word "disenfranchisement" wrong. The franchise is the right to vote, and enfranchisement is about people having the ability to exert political power. People who are voting in fascists are explicitly not disenfranchised. If they were, they wouldn't be causing problems, but it is especially pernicious that we're allowing the people who hold most of the cards to continue pretending they're powerless and "disenfranchised." They're using the franchise irresponsibly and against their best interests, but that's different from being powerless.

            The actual disenfranchised people aren't able to vote. And the people you're claiming are "disenfranchised" are literally voting to keep it that way. It's bass-ackwards.

            9 votes
            1. [4]
              Amarok
              Link Parent
              Ok, that's a fair point. What is the right word for me to use to illustrate that people are being deprived of their basic humanity? How exactly do I express that sentiment?

              Ok, that's a fair point. What is the right word for me to use to illustrate that people are being deprived of their basic humanity? How exactly do I express that sentiment?

              3 votes
              1. [3]
                NaraVara
                Link Parent
                Sounds like you're trying to talk about anomie.

                Sounds like you're trying to talk about anomie.

                Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a "condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals". This evolves from conflict of belief systems and causes breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community (both economic and primary socialization). In a person this can progress into a dysfunctional ability to integrate within normative situations of their social world e.g., an unruly personal scenario that results in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of values.

                The term is commonly understood to mean normlessness, and believed to have been popularized by French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his influential book Suicide (1897). However, Durkheim first introduces the concept of anomie in his 1893 work The Division of Labour In Society. Durkheim never used the term normlessness; rather, he described anomie as "derangement", and "an insatiable will".[3] Durkheim used the term "the malady of the infinite" because desire without limit can never be fulfilled; it only becomes more intense.[4]

                For Durkheim, anomie arises more generally from a mismatch between personal or group standards and wider social standards, or from the lack of a social ethic, which produces moral deregulation and an absence of legitimate aspirations. This is a nurtured condition:

                6 votes
                1. [2]
                  Amarok
                  Link Parent
                  Any day where I learn a new word and it's juuust perfect for what's in my head is a good day. Thanks for that. <3 I've got some reading to do. :D

                  Any day where I learn a new word and it's juuust perfect for what's in my head is a good day. Thanks for that. <3

                  I've got some reading to do. :D

                  5 votes
                  1. NaraVara
                    Link Parent
                    This social psych article might be interesting to you. Just bear in mind that it's from the late 90s and "postmodernism" has a different meaning in this context than the ways guys like Jordan...

                    This social psych article might be interesting to you.

                    Just bear in mind that it's from the late 90s and "postmodernism" has a different meaning in this context than the ways guys like Jordan Peterson or Sam Harris use it.

                    3 votes
          2. [3]
            Akir
            Link Parent
            If the poor are not the disenfranchised you speak of, then you have still to describe any truely disenfranchised people. You speak only of people who falsely believe themselves to be...

            If the poor are not the disenfranchised you speak of, then you have still to describe any truely disenfranchised people. You speak only of people who falsely believe themselves to be disenfranchised. Incels are a perfect example; their disenfranchisement is based entirely on a series of misunderstandings and simple myths regarding sexual behavior. Much how white supremacists are terrified with the idea of white extinction.

            Moreover, the things you talk of as disenfranchisement don't actually meet the definition of the word. Drug epidemics and online bullying don't take away rights and privlages.

            The last thing I have to say about that topic is that you even bring up the industrial revolution this time. How are we not talking about the poor, again? Oh wait, I guess we are, since you just blamed the "worst cases" on poor households.

            I will say this one more time: deplatforming works. Just look at Reddit today and see how much less common hateful comments are now than they were just a few years ago. Do you know why? It's because the admins have taken efforts to remove subs that haters revolve around. It's because moderators in most subreddits have become more strict. Heck, look at r/truereddit. It decided that it's near-zero moderation position wasn't working anymore, and as soon as they added new moderators and rules, the racists and other deplorables left that subreddit nearly overnight.

            Do you know how to train an animal? You scold it when it does the wrong thing. That is what moderation is. The goal of moderation is not to eliminate hate, but to have a cohesive community by removing destructive behavior. By maintaining healthy communities, we are telling these people what is wrong with them and with some hope some of them will finally learn something. That is how society as a whole works.

            Forgive me for ignoring your comments on decentralized internet, but it's late and it seems to my groggy self that you may have missed the point of my earlier rebuttal.

            6 votes
            1. [2]
              seizethegoddamngap
              Link Parent
              This was on the front page.

              I will say this one more time: deplatforming works. Just look at Reddit today and see how much less common hateful comments are now than they were just a few years ago.

              This was on the front page.

              1 vote
              1. Akir
                Link Parent
                One example does not disprove a trend. Why don't I defend my words with an actual scholarly paper? That being said, I know tired me tends to oversimplify, so let me add some depth. If a community...

                One example does not disprove a trend. Why don't I defend my words with an actual scholarly paper?

                That being said, I know tired me tends to oversimplify, so let me add some depth. If a community stops policing standards, unsavory behavior will almost definitely come back. Reddit's biggest problem is how little action the admins take. Just see how long it took to take any action on r/the_Donald. Even without that particularly egrigious example, Reddit takes a long time between actions against hate subreddits. I've noticed r/pussypassdenied is not a stranger to this kind of content, but the admins have not stepped up to them to my knowledge.

                Heck, everyone on tildes should know that Reddit is not the shining bastion of social media. That's why most of us are here in the first place!

                11 votes
        2. Whom
          Link Parent
          Yeah, the fact that there are real anxieties behind the alt-right and such is relevant, but it's not the whole story. Rage against the status quo (or how you perceive the status quo) on its own...

          Yeah, the fact that there are real anxieties behind the alt-right and such is relevant, but it's not the whole story. Rage against the status quo (or how you perceive the status quo) on its own isn't a bad thing. Every good political movement in history also ran on that rage! It's the particulars of what they blame and what to do about it that cause large-scale problems and not just individual angry people.

          How do they come to their specific conclusions together? How do they gather under the same banner? How do they organize and carry out actions based on those conclusions? Those don't naturally follow from their lives being shit. That comes from what they're exposed to, what they're given as legitimate possible answers to their problems.

          Sure, if we want the ideologically pure solution, we solve those anxieties. That's a large part of why I have the political views I do! I think we fall short if we only care about controlling the growth of movements like these. Solving the problem entirely is a whole lot harder. But in the meantime, stopping their propaganda work from getting unopposed mainstream eyeballs (and opposing people who do that work for them, like Rogan) is important.

          11 votes
    2. [2]
      FZeroRacer
      Link Parent
      To me, this is Peak Centrism. Would you like to discuss the positive benefits of genocide? Or how about how if we just killed all those damn gay people how much better the world would be? Yes,...

      The notion that there are thoughts or ideas that are so harmful they should never be discussed seems silly

      To me, this is Peak Centrism. Would you like to discuss the positive benefits of genocide? Or how about how if we just killed all those damn gay people how much better the world would be?

      Yes, some ideas are Bad To Discuss. And the fact that Joe Rogan entertains people like Alex Jones without an iota of friction considering the harm he's done I think is a more than worthy point of criticism.

      18 votes
      1. actionscripted
        Link Parent
        Have you even listened to the show or did you just pick an easy target based on what you think you know? Like I get Alex Jones isn't someone we should extol but you're dead wrong about how Joe has...

        without an iota of friction

        Have you even listened to the show or did you just pick an easy target based on what you think you know? Like I get Alex Jones isn't someone we should extol but you're dead wrong about how Joe has handled him.

        In the last Alex Jones interview there was a TON of friction and making-fun and more directed at Alex. Alex himself said, "I gotta be honest I'm kind of retarded" and in a few newer episodes Joe has brought that up. He knows Alex is a rage monster who's a little crazy and he's super transparent about that in his show.

        9 votes
    3. [2]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Because I'm sitting in this same thread with a highly voted comment, I'd like to know what in specific was crazy about what I said? Or was this just a stab at the general air of the comments in...

      I'll chime in and say that the other comments in here sound crazy.

      Because I'm sitting in this same thread with a highly voted comment, I'd like to know what in specific was crazy about what I said? Or was this just a stab at the general air of the comments in this thread and not meant to be all inclusive?

      It wasn't my intention to exclude anyone from discourse or to imply that Joe is a morally corrupt guy (or his listeners, for that matter), and so it was disconcerting to me when you stated the following:

      stop painting his motives or his audience as something that's easy for you to hate. You're being judgemental and throwing a lot of your own hurtful stereotypes around.

      Any help in pointing out to me where I implied this would be very useful. It was not my intent to convey this message, but I also recognize that communication is difficult and I'd like to learn from my mistakes.

      21 votes
      1. Stroh
        Link Parent
        I am not an avid listener but he has mentioned that he has quite a bit of self control to not attack people for their views. To get in the room with some people can be interesting to him and...

        but his inability to challenge beliefs which should be challenged because they are toxic makes the outcome questionable.

        I am not an avid listener but he has mentioned that he has quite a bit of self control to not attack people for their views.

        To get in the room with some people can be interesting to him and others. A three hour conversation can be very revealing.

        6 votes
  3. [4]
    imperialismus
    Link
    This piece, frankly, reads like an overlong attempt to salvage a failed assignment. The author failed to get an interview with Joe. He dropped the conceit of "living like Joe Rogan" before the...

    This piece, frankly, reads like an overlong attempt to salvage a failed assignment. The author failed to get an interview with Joe. He dropped the conceit of "living like Joe Rogan" before the halfway point of the 5000+ words. His "Joe Rogan Experience" consists of watching JRE on YouTube and offering hot takes. It's not that I feel the need to speak up for Rogan: I like him well enough as a UFC commentator, but I'm not a big fan of his podcast. It's just that this article failed to give any real insight into anything. It could have been cut in half and still been too long.

    Which is a shame, because it is an interesting question: just what do people see in JRE? My little brother is 18. He's fit, healthy, doesn't get into trouble, and not particularly conspiracy-minded, but he's also young and prone to getting taken in by stuff like "History Channel" specials about how Adolf Hitler secretly escaped to Argentina. And he loves JRE. I wonder what he sees in it, since his politics, such as they are, certainly don't line up with Joe's. Nor is he American for that matter, and just recently old enough to be called a man. So, I doubt it's because Joe understands "men in America" better than most people.

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      CALICO
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I see a man with a thirst for knowing and the platform to quench it. I've watched quite a lot of his podcasts, and I think many people are incorrectly under the assumption that Joe is some...

      just what do people see in JRE?

      I see a man with a thirst for knowing and the platform to quench it.

      I've watched quite a lot of his podcasts, and I think many people are incorrectly under the assumption that Joe is some alt-right kind of figure. Yeah, he's done shows with far-right people, and considers wackos like Alex Jones to be among his friends. He's also expressed quite a lot of sympathy towards Democratic-aligned issues, and is on the record as being left. I could probably find an exact quotation and timestamp for one of his more explicit examples of this.

      My read on his character is that he's an earnest man, with a big-heart, and has a lot of views that shouldn't be all that surprising coming from a GenX'r who clearly isn't balls-deep in politics.

      I love the JRE, but I don't watch every episode. I skip every MMA guest, and most comedians or musicians. I live for the episodes when the guest is a scientist, researcher, or drives the conversation towards philosophy. The fringe ideas are a lot of fun too. Graham Hancock is a blast to listen to, and while he goes quite far in a few places he is being partially vindicated by new evidence. Eric Weinstein thinks he might have a Theory of Everything, feels apprehensive to publish, but plans to. Then there's figures like Aubrey de Grey, Brian Cox, David Sinclair, Rhonda Patrick, Lex Fridman, and others. Joe gets these fascinating people to sit down, for hours, to talk about anything and everything entirely unscripted. Any other interviewer would get maybe an hour, at best, and the conversation would be far more superficial. Joe gets people to open up. He throws them weird questions the type of which that only somebody genuinely fascinated could. He doesn't even really interview people most of time. They're often proper conversations, and they're human. There's not anywhere else that I know of where I can regularly expect that kind of thing.

      12 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. CALICO
          Link Parent
          Mmmm, soft-disagree. Joe is a big fan of the ol' THC, but the JRE isn't the kind of 'get-high, ramble' format that Getting Doug With High is. Sure, there's plenty of episodes where Joe and the...

          Mmmm, soft-disagree.

          Joe is a big fan of the ol' THC, but the JRE isn't the kind of 'get-high, ramble' format that Getting Doug With High is. Sure, there's plenty of episodes where Joe and the guest are greener than Mother Earth—#1313 w/Duncan Trussel is a fun example of the very thing. But even that hilarious mess has a depth to it under the giggles.

          Just as well, there's more episodes where the vice is some whiskey, and even more are sober entirely

          Joe isn't exactly a scholar, granted. But I sure hope not very many people were operating under that assumption in the first place. But he does retain some information, which can inspire questions with another guest. I see that mostly with scientific guests.

          Overall, the whole podcast is largely apolitical in conversation. It's relaxed with a variety of guests from all sorts of backgrounds, and I find it difficult to condemn the whole thing just because of some guests like Ben Shapiro or Alex Jones. Most guests aren't them, and I enjoy JRE despite those episodes—although the most recent Alex Jones episode had me rolling along with Joe at some of the shit tumbling from Jones' mouth like pearls of nutcase-ness.

          6 votes
    2. Loire
      Link Parent
      There is a sense of uncertainty and maybe insecurity concerning manhood at the moment, especially with a younger generation. A lot of activities and characteristics considered "manly" are becoming...

      There is a sense of uncertainty and maybe insecurity concerning manhood at the moment, especially with a younger generation. A lot of activities and characteristics considered "manly" are becoming undesired in modern society. Young men might find themselves out of place or uncertain of their place in society.

      I don't watch the JRE but Rogan presents as very masculine. He hunts, fishes, he fights, he's in great shape, he owns a bunch of guns, he's confident. He doesn't particularely conform to the newer societal expectations. Perhaps a 16 to 20-something dude see's a masculine role model in him.

      6 votes
  4. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. krg
      Link Parent
      Looks like a cross between a hot-dog and an earthworm.

      Looks like a cross between a hot-dog and an earthworm.

      4 votes