TOXIC MASCULINITY: The Rise & Fall Of The Red Pill Manosphere & Why Men FEEL LOST | Destiny | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "TOXIC MASCULINITY: The Rise & Fall Of The Red Pill Manosphere & Why Men FEEL LOST | Destiny".
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Everybody's like, in their house, they work in the cubicle, they go home, they go on Discord, they play a game, they go to sleep, they don't have any partners and they're f*cking miserable, but they don't know why. - When you look at Red Pill or you look at them, I assume, don't let me put words in your mouth, but I assume there are parts with you like, okay, these are actually useful ideas, that was my initial reaction. If we don't wanna blanket go after what the Red Pill community is chasing, what should we be aiming at? - One thing that I don't like about a lot of Red Pill creators and like the Tate's, I feel this thing, is people will always say things like, I'm luring you in with the cars and the money and the girls, but I'm ultimately trying to sell you self-improvement. I feel like that's a deal with the devil that just doesn't pan out. I don't think that you can capture interest with money, talk about money, money, money, self-improvement. Money, money, money, money, money, money, money, girls, self-improvement, money, money, money, money, girls, because what's happening is, you're fostering an attachment to and a desire for and a drive to acquire all of those material goods, and I don't think at the end of a two or three or process of that, can you just flip a switch and be like, you know what, actually, I'm just looking for like inner peace and self-fulfillment.
Aspects Of Masculinity And Success
Like, I think that has to be from the start. Like, I've never heard of like Buddhist monks that are like, I just need to buy one Ferrari so that I can realize how much I don't need cars in my life, right? Like, it doesn't work that way. I think you have to be on a journey from the very start, doing the things you're advocating for, doing the things that you think ultimately are gonna resemble what your end product is. You can't do this bait and switch or pretend that everybody's gonna get it. Like, my guess would be if you could find ways to pull people or stick a probe in somebody's brand and measure it, the people that follow these Red Pill Guys are probably some of the most materially driven people in the world, which is both ironic and sad because I think the Red Pill and the Ministry stuff, to some extent, is like a response to kind of like the empty liberal wasteland of I need possessions and objects to be my hyper-unique individual and not have any community orientation. I consider myself to be a very confident person.
For whatever reason, I've been very independent for my whole life, I've been very confident my whole life. - What's it anchored around? You're very smart, you think fast, is it that? - I was very much left to my own devices growing up. Like both my parents moved out about the time I was 15, 16, lived on my own work, like I was very much an independent kid. - That breaks most people, so why did it make you confident? - I have no idea, I can't give you the answer to that. - Can I guess? If you want to. - Interesting, are you nervous about my guess? - No, I can guess like 10 different things. I'm just counting about your guess. - Oh, please, your guess will be 'cause I don't wanna hear yours first. - All right, so my guess is you have a lot of intellectual horsepower, you are very tethered to reality. Therefore, you're building maps of the world that are actually effective, and I think the most unhappy people are the people whose base assumptions are least tethered to reality, and because of that, their prediction engine breaks. And when your prediction engine breaks and you can't figure out how, if I do this, I will get, if I do A action, I will get B result. If you can't figure that out, life is gonna be miserable and it will seem completely random, you will feel victimized, you will get paralyzed, and you will just throw your hands up 'cause you feel like the world knocks you around and you're just here for the ride. But if you're like you, and for whatever reason, I don't know you well enough to know how you ended up here, but you're able to build a rubric by which you think. It isn't random, like you really tether the way that you'll break down an argument, you'll be like, "Well, this is my North Star, this is what everything "is aiming at, this base assumption is either true "or false, you can test it against the world, "show me the data, you're very clear about that." It's something I call the physics of progress. There just is a physics to the way that one makes progress in the life period, I don't care who you are, and I have a feeling because of your intellect that you were very able to navigate the world well, doesn't mean you didn't end up as a carpet cleaner for a while, but you navigated your way out of feeling bad about leaving college, to take the job of the casino, getting fired from that, ending up in carpet cleaning, but you navigated it. And so I doubt you felt hopeless for any long period of time. - No, that's true, only a brief period when I did the carpet cleaning stuff. - It's actually at the bottom of my, mmm, Senate, yeah.
Its the luck in timing. (04:00)
- But even at the bottom of that, did you feel like I'm stuck here forever? - Yeah, you did. - Yeah, one of my ex that I had an abusive relationship with told me she was pregnant, and when I basically flunked school for music to work full time, after I basically entered a sophomore 'cause I had so many AP credits to flunk school and then to get fired from the casino job that I flunked school for. - Yeah, it was pretty, I felt pretty dumb. - Okay, so how did you get out? 'Cause that moment made me really-- - I got super, super, super lucky by stumbling out of the streaming stuff. It was, yeah, it was a really bad. It's always funny because the most libertarian or conservative it was in my life was at the height of the carpet cleaning, and then once I'd gotten into streaming and I've started to make more and more and more money, I'm moving further and further left because I realize how unbelievably horrible life is when you don't have money and how much things change when you do, but yeah, I mean, truly it was truly a lot of luck because I just happened to be born at the right time, I happened to play the right video games. Starcraft was the biggest streamed game basically in the world, and I happened to play a lot of Starcraft growing up, I happened to know a lot about computer technology, yeah, so I was just super right place in the right time, yeah. - You can't ignore luck and you need to own when you got really lucky, like my last company Quest, the timing was just luck, I couldn't have done anything and it was me getting really fed up at exactly the right moment, so I was just a little bit ahead of everybody else when we entered the world of social media, and so I will say that the rate of growth of that company is luck, but the fact that we were able to build that company was not luck. - There's a saying, there's a quote that luck is, preparation meets opportunity, so the lucky part is the opportunity, but you have to prepare to be ready to conquer, right?
What's the age to get lucky? (05:35)
- For sure. - And I agree with that to some extent, but not for kids, I think at kids it's just so like-- - What age are you drawing a line? - The whole, from zero to 18. - Got it. - So like for example, I mean-- - You found streaming after that? - Yeah, I think when I was 21 is when I started. Here's an example of like, I'm aware that I put in a lot of work too and everything, but I'd like to be mindful of how different my life could have been if one of you thinks would have been changed. So I discovered this about myself when I was studying for my son for whether or not he had ADHD, I'm pretty sure I have unbelievably unmanaged ADHD, but there were a couple things about it that I didn't understand until I started reading for my son. So in retrospect, I look at like my schooling life and I understand a lot. I was a horrible student. I was like, I had an assignment notebook that like my teacher had to sign on, my parents had to sign 'cause I was so bad about doing homework. Sometimes I would fall asleep in class 'cause I was like staying up with two like playing video games, just the worst type of student ever. But the types of video games I happen to like, and this is totally at random, I don't get credit for this, I really liked role playing games, like Japanese RPGs. And so that's one lucky thing. A second lucky thing is I happened to be born at a time when there was no voice acting. So I was such a good reader. I was in all AP classes, I did a lot of dual enrollment. - And you're saying you became a good reader 'cause you could read the words on the screen. - 'Cause I would play those types of video games. But let's say I would have grown up and I only played like first person shooters. I would have been, I don't wanna say a retard, but I would have been fucked. I would have been the dumbest kid in school ever. Because who would I be? 'Cause I don't spend any time studying, but because I was such a good reader, and I think reading is like the most important skill that you can probably have in school. And then for whatever reason, I had an aptitude for math, I don't wanna say a flourish to the school. I think I came out with like a, it was like a 2.9 GPA. But I was like three credits from going into the college's sophomore 'cause I'd done so much AP, so much doing a whirlwind and everything. All of that like academic, whatever you wanna call it, was completely luck based because I happened to play the right types of games growing up. And if I would have been born 10 years later, where everybody has voice acting now, I don't even know if I'd be able to read. I would just be like an idiot. I would be like, oh yeah, whatever. Like I would just be so much different, you know? And then the technology stuff, for whatever reason, I'm like very curious, but like I like to take things apart and put them back together. In the very early days of streaming, nowadays you push a button on OBS and you go live. Way back in the day, we had, have you ever heard of Programmable Flash Media Live encoder? Oh my God, it was this thing, you had to download like a different encoder to encode the video, you had to download a different program to capture the camera, we used, I think it was Camtasia Studio. We had to download something called virtual audio cables to route multiple channels of audio to one thing plus your headphone. You're running like six different programs and while you're doing all of this, you're only limited to stream like 300 kilobits per second. So this is way back then. But if you go back and you look at my videos on YouTube from like 12 years ago, they look pretty good. But it was because I spent so much time, like I remember the encoder, like people try to find like all these ways to make streaming and there's this like X264 encoder that was so good, but it was only Japanese. So when you downloaded it, all the documentation is in Japanese, I don't think there was Google Translate back then. Nobody knew what the fuck anything was. There were no forums to get help, but. - Do you speak Japanese? - No, fuck no. I just would plug it in and tweak settings until eventually I got a really good image. But like so much of that was I worked, I worked a lot, more than anybody else did to make it work.
The influence of luck has on success (08:53)
But the only reason I even had those tools was because there's so many little lucky things that just happened to fall the right way for me growing up, you know. - Luck means something to you. - It means it is not fair. I think that's the thing that bothers me the most and I see it especially through the eyes of my son. Like I was able to, when I wanted him to go to school, I bought a house in the best school district so that he could do that. And over like COVID, like when these kids are in kindergarten, I think they had laptops assigned to them or iPads in kindergarten, every single kid got one. And I moved from South Omaha where I lived and like some of these schools have like fucked like textbooks. And so when I see like no offense to my kid, I love him, but he didn't do anything to earn any of the advantages that he has, and to some extent he's just advantaged I don't know 'cause my mom was split, but like there are so many things that I could do to make his life easier just because I had a lot of money. And it's like then I think of like all the kids who are like kind of fucked because their parents just don't happen to have enough money. And I'm like, man, that's such bullshit. And then I think to myself, like I consider myself, if you respect me, I think I'm an intelligent individual. That's cool, but I was like one or two decisions away from, I would be the guy showing up at your house, like cleaning your carpet, and then that's all you would ever see me in and I'd leave. And that could have been like the rest of my life. You know, I was like one or two different decisions away from that being the case. - That's interesting.
How self-esteem powers destiny (10:07)
If you said there were like one or two traits that you had that helped you be successful, if I wanted to really mess you up, what would I damage about you? Or if you think of it as video game stats, what one of your areas of stats would I wanna knock down a couple of pigs to really mess up your life? - Well, something you're not talking about like naming me or physically. - No, no, no, no. Just think of it as game stats. - The most important attribute I have that I think powered me for every part of my entire life was I just have very, very, very high self-esteem. I think I probably got that to some extent for my dad. My dad is like a guy who will work. - And this is baseline. - Yeah, like he'll work an impossible amount to like make things work. Even if they make bad financial, he'll work 80 hours a week if you have to. And that was like the end of my life, the end of my like working life that was that like, I'll do whatever I need to do, I'll keep working, I can do whatever. But like I'm very self-reliant, very self-dependent, very self-confident, like I am my island, I'll figure my shit out like I'll do that. That ability or that fundamental trait has powered me through a lot. Like it helps me deal with a lot of hate online, helps to deal with a lot of like adverse environments, helps to deal with a lot of people that don't like me, death threats, whatever crazy shit you find online. Like I can deal with that way better than most people. And that's probably my most important attribute. - That's really interesting. Okay, so think of your son as a video game character. And at the end of this, I'm gonna ask you who the ideal like man is that you think people should look up to. If it's somebody, even if it's a pop culture character, we'll accept that answer. But I'd love to know, so he's a video game character, what attributes are we going to give him and what person real or character are we modeling that after? - I have no idea, I never figured that out.
What to do if adversity ruins you (11:50)
I feel bad for him 'cause he's 12 now, but like when I think of all the things that shaped my life, they were like kind of bad things and I don't want him to like. - That's interesting, what do you do with that? 'Cause I agree. 'Cause one of the reasons I didn't have kids. - Yeah, we did a lot of moving around. A lot of houses got foreclosed on, a lot of utilities got shut off, a lot of like them stuff like that, well, them being my own in a dark house and no electricity, just sitting there doing nothing. And I think a lot of these things went to shape my character. And I thought about that a lot with my kid. I was like, what should I do to this motherfucker to make him, but you're not really gonna do that as a parent, so I don't know. In terms of all I can do is I talk him as much as I can. I try to encourage him as much as I can. I see he has a lot of the same struggles in school as me, which is really fucking frustrating, because I remember there were certain math assignments that I would get and I would cry. And it's not hard math, but I would just cry 'cause I don't wanna sit down and do it. - He said you were good at math. - I was, but I didn't wanna sit down and do the homework. That was the stupidest part about it. And I see for him, he's like really similar, like he'll bring home, sometimes when I go back, I'll help coach him through or teach him certain things 'cause he's having trouble in certain things in school and I can help catch him up or whatever. And for a while he was having trouble in math and he would bring these assignments home. I remember there was a math assignment that he had. He had zero out of six of these questions correct. And I'm reading the paper and he says, the dumbest shit and I'm like, "Nate them, "we need to sit down and do this." He's like, "Oh, I wanna go to Target, "I wanna buy these things." I want the new Five Nights at Freddy comic, whatever. I'm like, "No, we're gonna send him to do it." And he's write shit and it's just stupid or whatever. If I get him to sit down and focus and talk, just make him work on it, he can do everything flawlessly. And I'm like, bro, you're sabotaging yourself. But I mean, he's like 11 when I'm telling him this. I don't know if he knew it was sabotaging man at that age. Or like, yeah, I see a lot of the similarities. So he has access to medication now for his ADHD at least, which apparently I didn't. So hopefully that helps a little bit. Like he does a lot better in school now. But yeah, I feel like the most I could do is I wanted to feel like he can communicate with me always. So we've had a lot of tough talks about online content and conversations with people, which are really weird 'cause I never had to deal with that growing up kind of, or it was a lot different. Yeah, but that's, yeah, I feel like it's the best I could do to make myself available to him. And then if he wants to hang out or do anything or chat about anything, like do that, yeah. All right, let's pretend that, God forbid, but something happens to you and you have to leave a set of ideas for him to grow into the man that you think will be, I assume you use the word fulfillment or something along those lines.
Dreaming of becoming a fulfilled man (14:03)
What would you want him to focus on? And this is all meant to be a proxy for like, if the red pill sucks, it's the right play. So here, this is something that I have an issue with. I feel like maybe everybody feels this way. So me saying it's just, this is just my individual frame of reference and I'm too dumb to realize I'm the only one that thinks this way, or that everybody thinks the same thing. I feel like you have, there's an idea to me of what a strong man is, and then there's like a caricature of a strong man. And I feel like that caricature is usually what sold a lot in the red pill spaces. When I think of all of the people that I grew up in respect of the most, they were men that commanded respect irrespective of any power they wielded. It was just like, if I try to think, so here would be an example, okay? There were certain teachers, I'll call these, they're the red pill teachers, everybody hates them. They give you demerits if you forget a book, they're screaming at kids in the hallway. And I guess to some extent they project what I was like, wow, that's like a manly dude, he's like, screaming at people, blah, blah, blah. Then there were two teachers, oh my God, I had a band teacher, okay? This guy for four years, 'cause I did win ensemble in school, this guy commanded an unbelievable amount of respect. He very, very, very rarely would ever write you a demerit, but he was really good at every instrument. He was really passionate about what he taught. He treated every child like an adult. Sometimes you're referring to people like, oh, Mr. Benel or whatever, that's right. Very, very quiet in terms of how I carried himself. But the worst feeling in the world was disappointing, Mr. J, Mr. Johnson. Like, we could be practicing or whatever, and you hadn't practiced your part, you didn't know it or whatever, and if you found out, sometimes he would stop rehearsal, and he would step forward and say, hey, why don't you just go ahead and pack your instrument away today and go out and take a study hall? And it was like the worst feeling, like that feeling was worse than any detention, any demerit, because you knew you disappointed him, because you commanded some respect. When I think of like manly manner, I think of like really masculine, respectable people, those are the types of people that I think about, are people that they just, they do what they do exceedingly well, they're very passionate about it, they treat everyone else around them with respect, and if they're disappointed in you, like you feel like you've lost the world, because it's like, this is a guy whose expectations you wanna live up to. So I guess if I died or something happened, or I would hope my kid would find somebody like that, but I don't know the, I don't know any mainstream figures where I'm like that guy. I feel like in old movies, I feel like that was kind of a common thing. - What was common?
Masculinity in old movies vs new movies (16:44)
- You had like that, like the quiet respectable man, I feel like when I think of like old stuff, it's funny now because I feel like if you remade a lot of these movies, people would just call it like, oh, you're just making fun of toxic mess. Do you ever see like the mighty ducks? - A long time ago. - Okay, you like, I feel like if I sat and prepared a list, you have a lot of movies where you have an adolescent teen and he's growing up and he's like, fuck my parents, I don't wanna do this, I don't wanna blah, blah, blah, blah, and then he usually he'll break from the team, you know, go play hooky or do his own thing. And eventually he comes back to realize like, okay, this coach before, he's doing things for a certain reason. He carries himself in a certain way, and he's aspiring to something greater that I need to control my, you know, my childish adolescent, manly urges, and I need to like be something greater than myself. And I feel like that was a story that was told over and over again through like film for young men and stuff. I don't know if you'd see those stories as much anymore, but yeah, so that was a really long run about. - Do you see those stories as much?
The new modern media machine grappling with modern masculinity (17:34)
That's a really good question, but the idea, so that to me is the modern media machine grappling with the fact that we no longer have coming of age rituals for men, because what that particular kid represents is the unchannelled male aggression. So he's got it, he's usually one of the best players on the team, but he's erratic, bad home life, nobody is shaping him, nobody's taking that energy and saying you need to be able to control this. And this is where I really fall on the whole idea of toxic masculinity is that masculinity is not toxic in and of itself, not by a long shot, but aggression can be wielded poorly, in which case it would look toxic, or you can not understand yourself. And so you're lashing out your emotions control you rather than you controlling your emotions. And so all of that then can lead to some very dark things, but like in Mighty Ducks, if you can have traditionally an older male figure who has learned to harness their aggression into something, especially in a team sport, where now you're also elevating your team, there's a level of competition, so sort of combat adjacent. And so it's tapping into all the things that young boys are already gonna be feeling, but you're showing them this is how you direct that energy into something positive, something that serves the group, you have to subordinate the sort of initial like, this is my sort of emotional feeling. And even though I don't remember Mighty Ducks well enough, I'm going to imagine there was a moment where they would show the kid with unchecked aggression, gets in a fight, whatever, gets ejected from the game right when they need him and they end up losing. And then in the final game, he gets provoked in the same way, shows restraint, controls his emotion, but then shows his competence and his toughness or whatever to get the winning shot. - Yeah, I think even more than that, I think in the second movie, it was not even getting the winning shot 'cause he was a puck hog or whatever, it was passing it back to the other kid and then letting him take the winning shot and it showed like the development of, yeah. - Yeah, that. - I feel like when you, now that we just had this conversation, when I think of a lot of the Red Pill space, there's a lot of the people that I know personally, they feel like the kid at the beginning of the movie, where they have amazing potential, they're really good at some of the things they do, they're funny, they're entertaining, but they haven't found a way to positively channel that energy, right? Like men are very strong in a lot of different ways and influence and power in just the presence they wield and wielded responsibly, it's like the coolest, most awesome thing in the world and then wielded irresponsibly, it's people, I guess, screaming at each other on camera, trafficking people and telling you that wealth and casinos and all this stuff at the moment, yeah. - Yeah, so it's interesting, I know sometimes people refer to you as the elder statesman of streaming, which is hilarious to me as you are so much younger than I am.
Having a mature, paternal mindset (20:13)
- Sure. - But when I look at the Red Pill community and I admittedly don't know it well, not like you, but it does bring out a paternal side of me. So I know you've debated or at least done commentary on just perley things, she made my radar a while ago and she really triggers like this paternal thing in me. So I'll tweet back at her, so she'll put something crazy, like divorce should be illegal. - Every two hours, yeah. - Yeah. And I'm just like, okay, look, I get the energy, I understand what you're trying to accomplish, but may I open your mind to that? And so there is, I want to engage more with that community in a way to be like, hey, there is a vision on the other side of this, coming from somebody, I've had all the success that you guys are aiming for. I used to be terrible with women, I could not get laid, I solved that problem, then I was fucking broke, I did not know how to make money, I solved that problem. And so all the trappings, and I never market myself around like private jets and big house and all that, like to your earlier point, it's a Faustian bargain. So I have long believed you want to add value to people in the way that, if you have a product, is how I normally explain it, you want to add free value in the way that you're going to add your paid value. So you don't ever want to cause that bait and switch. It's like, I want to paint the real life that I live as the thing that you should be aspiring towards, including the moment when I went from a normal amount of money to, because we sold a piece of the company, so it's literally instantaneous. So you go from, man, I hope I'm damaged, I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope, and then boom, in a 60 second span, you suddenly are wealthy. And I remember being like, oh wow, all of my insecurities are still present. And so it was like this really big wake up call of like, okay, cool, lesson learned, got it, I know that chasing money is never going to be the thing, because what really matters is how I feel about myself when I'm by myself. And so it's like, I was really freaked out when there was no red pill, and it was just all sort of men or bad. That, I was like, okay, that's a disaster waiting to happen.
Are toxic male traits salvageable? (22:26)
And I think that there are really bad problems that I think are still on the horizon that men have been, if you look at just participation in education, higher education, something very bad is happening, women are thriving and men are tanking was the face that I've misread data or-- - No, you're right, it's really bad. Not only is it bad in that like, it's, I don't wanna say sexist, but like, there was a huge push for women to perform better in school, which by the way, everything about that is really funny, because I think nobody wants to admit it, but I think for a long time, people, everybody just kind of assume that like, women are just kind of dumb compared to men, and they can't really, they're never really gonna be competitive in that environment, but then as more research comes out, it's really funny, 'cause it's like, fuck, actually, women might actually be better suited towards classrooms, 'cause guys like to go like, are a little bit more physically tuned, we wanna like run around and do stuff, maybe women are better students than men, but we've gone down that path, and women are like destroying men in college achievement now, but there's a lot of the old kind of, I'll say sexist expectations of society when COVID rolled around, and people needed to stay at home and work more, it was the men that typically did it. So more men dropped out of school than women, so during COVID, it got even more exaggerated, and socially, we are absolutely not in an area where we can begin to have the conversation of like, maybe we need to like, have some affirmative action for men getting back into school, that conversation is not gonna have it for at least 10 years, because there's just no way people will get you crazy, so. Yeah, that's kind of scary, the direction that we're headed at there. You can't, one thing that people on the left have a really hard time doing, have you ever heard of our Jordan Peterson talk about integrating your shadow? - Yes. - Yeah, so this is something, I learned it's a really early age for some reason, I'm so happy I did, but like, sometimes you can have a negative personality trait, and your immediate reaction is you just wanna not do that thing ever, okay, I don't need to get rid of that completely, but the problem is, you mentioned earlier, you said a phrase that I say a lot, I'm trying to remember what it was exactly, but like, you don't wanna completely get rid of a thing, you wanna be able to capitalize on the positives while downplaying the negative, or not downplaying, but like reducing the negatives as much as possible, and people don't ever seem capable of doing that. So you have these issues relating to like masculinity that's toxic, absolutely, and we need to like, deal with those things, but instead of like, dealing with them and kind of capitalizing the positive aspects, it's like, all of it is trash, throw it out, we need to feminize everybody, blah, blah, blah, I know that's not exactly what it is, but this one feels like sometimes, I think a lot of men feel that way, and it's so hard for people to just be like, okay, hold on, there's not everything here is bad, like can we like draw a circle around, like what's good and try to like salvage that, and then maybe like reduce some of the worse off things, it's like nobody can do that, it drives me fucking crazy. One of the, I tell this like, defining yourself in like the reaction, or as a reactionary to whatever particular thing you don't like, you define yourself as the opposition, it's just so dumb. - It's interesting, I agree, that doesn't make any sense, it touches on something though, that I think is really important. So I am a big believer that, whether you're talking about right or left, male or female, the reason that humans have done so well, is that we have those polarities, and it's the tension between the two that create a functioning society, and what worries me, is that I think a big part of modern culture is that we have created a sense of, it should be one or the other. - Like, I will just tell you right now, from whether we're talking about right or left, I think we need both, you have to have both, and you should actively be terrified, if you yourself ever have the impulse to get rid of the other side, because I think, and I suppose I should have set this up, my audience will be very familiar with this, but I just come from one of the base beliefs for me that make up my entire worldview, is that you're having a biological experience, and you cannot accurately predict your the outcome of your behaviors,
Understanding Liberalism And Value Creation
You have to have both. (25:27)
until you understand your product of evolution, and that you're part of your moods, or determined by these microbes that live in your digestive tract, that respond to the things that you eat, part of your energy, all of your energy level, is these little organelles that don't even have your same DNA that live inside of your cells, and you're just, you're so influenced by your biology, in ways that people can't even imagine, and so you have to understand, okay, you're having this biological experience, if you're a social creature, evolution is blind watchmaker, it's not thinking, I'm gonna present it as if it were thinking it's not, but this is how it feels. Okay, I have to get these people to cooperate flexibly in really large numbers, if I let everybody, so the left would be compassion, nobody left behind, and then the right would be personal responsibility, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, and it doesn't grow to generalizations, but it gets as in ball parts. And so, if we just, 'cause to me, as somebody who naturally leans left, when I hear that, I'm like, oh word, yeah, don't leave anybody behind, it's amazing, that feels good to me, and the problem is that it doesn't work, and you get what will round to, it's a very complicated issue, but will round it to the freeloader problem. Once people realize, oh, nobody left behind, word, go hunt for me, just bring me some back, and then people start to get pissed, like what the fuck? So, that community's going to implode, unless there's a countervailing force, which is the right, which is no, hold on, like if we're all gonna starve, we need to go out, hunt, we have to get good at hunting, we can't make excuses, we just have to go do this. And so, you need both, in my estimation. And the second that you no longer want the friction between the two, you have a problem. So now, if you apply this to male and female, the second you say one is bad, and you wanna get rid of it, and we wanna feminize men, which is what I feel like we've been doing over the last decade, maybe more. And as you do that, you end up not getting the tension between the two poles, and you begin to get things that become pathological. 'Cause I think it's pathology on both sides. I think if everything goes hyper feminine, you get pathology, if everything goes hyper masculine, you get pathology. And, but it's really hard for people to say, oh, I want to be kept in check. You can reboot your life, your health, even your career, anything you want. All you need is discipline. I can teach you the tactics that I learned while growing a billion dollar business that will allow you to see your goals through. Whether you want better health, stronger relationships, a more successful career, any of that is possible with the mindset and business programs and impact theory university. Join the thousands of students who have already accomplished amazing things. Tap now for a free trial and get started today. What I wanna know is, what do you think it says about modern civilization that, or modern culture, that Andrutate has become a target for a lot of young men to aim to be like? - I think that there are kind of these empty buckets in your head that need to be filled with things.
Epistemic Bubbles and Echo Chambers (29:25)
So that might be parents, it might be school, it might be media and entertainment, it might be sports. Like there are these kind of like really fundamental things that every person needs and role models and people telling you how to live your life and what to do is also probably an important thing for most people. I think that in the push to kind of like elevate women and minorities and all of these other types of people in society that historically didn't have the best representation, I think we've kind of made the mistake of turning like white people, young men into like the enemy because they had the stage for so long. Two is that he displays a lot of the stereotypical markers for success for men, girls, cars, money, travel, which is cool, I think that's probably why people look to them. As far as like any charges, somebody emailed me a paper recently, I just read it and it had to do with the difference between epistemic bubbles and echo chambers. And this paper goes on to basically say that like an epistemic bubble is you happen to live in a certain area and you only hear voices that agree with you and you kind of develop a viewpoint that way. And the way that you deal with those people will be different than people who live in the echo chamber. And an echo chamber is different than an epistemic bubble because in an echo chamber, you don't just have voices that agree with you, you actively try to discredit voices that disagree with you. When you're in an epistemic bubble, sometimes showing somebody another point of view can like open their eyes and broaden their perspective. You know like, hey, did you know that white people feel this way, black people feel this way, women feel this way, right? And like, oh, I didn't consider that before. So people in an epistemic bubble can be opened. People in echo chambers are harder because sometimes providing a contrary point of view reinforces the primary belief. So when you ask me, you know, for AndruTate is getting locked up or arrested, does that help or hurt them? Personally, I tend to believe that a lot of those people live in the echo chamber because they're actively discrediting outside voices. So when they're getting attacked from the outside, that reinforces the belief that they have, that it's actually probably good. It makes sense he is being arrested. All these charges are fake. Everybody's after them. The matrix is attacking them because they're like such truth sayers. So I think with their core fans, I think the way that a lot of controversy works is the amount of fans you have will start to narrow, but the core fans become more and more like obsessed or invested. Like I would say similarly for like Donald Trump and the indictments, every time like a new thing comes out, I think he loses a few fans or people like, this is too much, but the core fans that are still supporting are like, this is even better than before. I'm glad he's, you know, he should be doing these things. Like stick it to the guy and bubble, man.
Liberalism in the United States (31:55)
I'm a huge liberal, very much establishment, I love all of that. But for unironically, I am, I super am. We can fight over the FDA, I think I'm a CDC, I'll defend all of it, okay? But one of the good critiques, I think, of liberalism, liberalism sold this idea to everybody that you can be whatever individual you wanna pursue, any kind of lifestyle you want, irrespective of the roles pre-ordained by society or church or whatever on you, which to some extent, I think it's been a great success. So like I would point to women, right? They have reproductive control and they have the ability to work, right? Which are women are pursuing those lives, they're doing things that never could historically, like that's cool. In some ways though, there is a trade that we made where we traded away probably too much community in exchange for the individuality thing and individuality is cool and awesome, but I think as people we probably have a need, one of those buckets in our head, has to be filled with something greater than yourself. I think you have to live for something that's a little bit more than you. It could be family, it could be a church, it could be a community, society, whatever. It has to be something greater than you. And trading away that too much, I think is kind of in a very, very, very roundabout way, has led to this kind of super atomization where everybody's like in their house, they work in their cubicle, they go home, they go on Discord, they play a game, they go to sleep, they're making 120,000 a year, they don't have any partners and they're fucking miserable, but they don't know why, because they've hit like all the liberal markers for success. Good education, good job, making money, hasn't part yet.
Criteria for success (33:04)
So I think that a lot of these kind of new movements popping up, I think are in a response to that sort of like spiritual destitution, but then my critique was that a lot of them and around about way kind of chase the same dragon. It's very interesting. So I'm gonna restate what I think you just said and then if I'm on track. So you have a vision that the liberal mind, I don't know if the right way to, the liberal vision anyway. When I say liberal here, I'm sorry, I mean it in like the international, like capital L liberal, like the individualist. So like conservatives and liberals in the United States would both be like capital L liberals. Therefore like individual rights, individual pursuit of what makes you happy and everything is what I mean. - Right. So in that narrative becoming dominant, people pursued that. They atomize themselves. I think at the individual level, they pursue all the things that are painted for them, but that ends up creating a, either creating a vacuum hole in their life or it stops the normal mechanisms that would fill that hole from filling it. Is that accurate so far? - Yeah. - So that makes a lot of sense to me. So one of the questions that I wanna ask you specifically is somebody that debates a lot, is when I, a lot of times I'll be watching a debate and in fairness to you, you're the only person I ever see that tries to ground a debate. Like here are the terms, here's what we're trying to accomplish, but I think there's an even more meta thing here which I think what you're saying speaks to which is you need to know what your north star is. So as an entrepreneur, you always have to know what goal am I trying to accomplish so that you can get real world feedback. So I try a thing. Okay, I'm gonna pursue getting a good job, getting an education, doing the things that I love, me, me, me pursue that. And if the markers of success are like what you were, if we're tying this back to the Tate Brothers, if the markers of success are women cars, money, houses, girls, travel, jets, whatever. - Your KPIs are gonna be your bank account increasing. - Exactly. And so it may not have anything to do with what I'll call the evolutionary algorithm that's running in your mind, which tells you to in my estimation seek fulfillment, which is a completely different game. And so if you don't know what your north star is, you get very confused when you win the game and don't feel the way that you thought you were gonna feel, but you never really pulled out into the light to say, oh, what I'm actually optimizing for is a feeling. So that to me feels like the structure that's needed in a debate would be like, I would need everybody to agree first and foremost, what are we trying to accomplish? Like as we debate this point, there is some overarching thing.
Creating value (35:57)
So as you move through life, as you evaluate a stance on something, which you really are one of the most clear headed thinkers I've encountered in your genre of debate, which is not saying much, but-- - Well, often it actually is saying a lot. It's that far ahead of most of the people that are just bickering to bicker, but what is the most meta thing that you're aiming at? - The most, the most meta, meta, meta, meta, meta thing, if we've grown everything out, in terms of like moral philosophy, there's like a couple of like very fundamental beliefs I have. One is that epistemically, metaphysically, I exist, I perceive things, whatever, blah, blah. I exist as an individual. There's some amount of like things that make me happy, that satisfy me. And then there are other people in the world that have a 99% shared foundation, in terms of like having similar preferences. So we all wanna have food, shelter, clothing, families, friends, that's one aspect. And then a second aspect is, I think when humans collaborate with each other, they create value, right? So if you have like 10 happiness units on your own, and this guy has 10 happiness units, when you come together, you've created more than 20, you're at like 50 to 100, right? But the collection of human society is greater than the sum of all of its parts. There's something abstract that's like created there. So starting from that kind of like foundation, you can kind of like build out this idea of like, this Rawlsian sense of like justice, and these like social contracts, where the goal I think for any successful society should be to make it so you enable as many people to seek fulfillment or happiness or success as possible. And that's kind of how I orient myself around like my social or political positions. That's on the like the broadest, like, medicines, yeah. - I have a hypothesis, and my hypothesis is that there's only one thing any human being should ever aim at at the individual level, at the collective level period end of story, because of again, going back to just, there's an evolutionary algorithm that I believe is running in people's brains. You can say it was handed to you by God, or millions of years of evolution, however you want to look at it. But for the human animal, which is a social creature, and the thing that has made us the most dominant apex predator the world has ever seen, ironically, is our ability to flexibly cooperate. And when you look at, okay, what would need to be true given that nature only has two levers, pleasure and pain, there end up just being certain things that are true about the way that our brain operates. So I will say that I think the ultimate north star of everything, everything, everything, is human flourishing. Then if you were gonna say, okay, that's really vague, define flourishing, I would say there is one neurochemical state that is the closest thing to stable, what I think people would call happiness, but I think happiness is the wrong word because it's so transient. And that would be just fulfillment. Yeah, so now then I break down, I think that there's a recipe for fulfillment, which is that you have to work really hard, that's like a key thing, just you have to work really hard or it won't work. So you have to work really hard to gain a set of skills that matter to you, so it's exciting for you just to get good at that thing, so for you, whether it's music or debating, whatever, like you had to work hard, had to be something that you cared about, and it has to elevate you and other people. And if you do that thing, that sense of fulfillment will survive even something like grief, whereas happiness doesn't survive grief. And so as I like see people arguing, I'm just like, okay, well we have a mechanism by which we can determine which of these paths is really gonna work, which is one we have to be willing to encounter reality, so we have to get out of the theoretical and into, okay, you ran that trial, now look at the real world results, did it increase human flourishing or decrease human flourishing? And then you tweak the tests that you run until you get to something that's more and more high-functioning, but I often find that people end up debating at the ledger level, right? So did it make more money, less money, whatever? And if that isn't the North Star, you run into problems. - You're Sam Harris, friend? - I have learned many things from Sam Harris. I would say I recently disagree a bit with some of the things that he's focused on, but I haven't gone into researching him in years. - Oh, okay, gotcha. The human flourishing thing reminds me of his moral landscape. - Yes, that I would say is one thing I am completely in line with, with the idea of making that just the North Star, reduce suffering, that to me is a little too vague. Also, it is a move away from strategy versus a move towards. - I think I largely agree with what you say, but in kind of a meaningless sense, and that I agree that we should all pursue human flourishing, but it begs the question a bit because it's like, well, if it's flourishing, it's probably good, therefore we ought to pursue it. Usually the nitty-gritty comes down to what do we mean by human flourishing? That's always the tough one when people argue. Because technically, the maximum state of human flourishing in society would probably be giving everybody a lethal dose of heroin, because for a brief moment in time, we would be shining brighter than the brightest star in the galaxy, and then everybody would die. But then the-- - Hold on, that makes an assumption that is so cognitively jarring for me. It makes me realize I have some other program running in my mind. So clearly for me, though, this is unexplored, I have a longevity bias. So anything that, even if you sort of gave me peak emotion from a neurochemical manipulation standpoint, certainly if it breaks longevity, I would automatically reject it out of hand, which is interesting. I thought-- - I bet you wouldn't out of hand. Because I bet, if you're a big longevity guy, I'm sure you've heard of the term health span, right? I'm sure that there's probably some calculation where you wouldn't trade some amount of health span for lifespan. - Yeah, and you'd have to, now we get into thought experiments, which may or may not be useful, but for that, the thought experiment would need to be, if I knew there was no hope whatsoever of ever getting better, then immediately I click over into what are we doing here. I watched my cousin die of cancer, and I was just like, what are you doing? At the end, he couldn't be comfortable. The only time he was mildly comfortable was when he was sleeping, he was constantly gasping for air. I was just like, what the fuck? Like, you're never going home, you know that, right? Like, this is a one-way street. Medicine is not gonna change so radically, you're not gonna wake up tomorrow, and this is gonna be cured. So, if it were me, at that point, I for sure would have tapped out. But, if you told me, hey, if you just make it another three years, I know it's grueling, but if you can just make it another three years, I would want to.
Retirement and Having Fun Now vs Later (42:41)
So, there becomes a point where I would sacrifice. - Yeah, for sure, yeah. But, yeah, I'm saying, to some extent, though, there was a really interesting, there was a guy that, I always say, I feel you can learn, you can learn at least one thing from anybody, and there was a guy that I was arguing with a long time ago about investing, and he wasn't like the brightest cookie in the pack of cookies. I need a better one. But, I guess I'm not the best cookie in the pack of cookies. We were arguing about investing, and this is a guy, he was a, I think he was a streamer, and he made a lot of money, but he spent it like immediately. And, my money goes, my bank account, to my Vanguard account, to an ETF, all of it, okay? Just investing in everything, 401k, all right, 'cause I want to be able to retire when I get banned from everything, right? And, I remember this guy was like, oh yeah, I don't buy anything, like I try to save up enough for taxes, hopefully I've got enough in the end of the year, and I'm like, why would you waste all of your money, you're gonna be fucked up retirement? And, he said something that was so profoundly stupid, and just stunned me, and I actually stuck with me for a long time, and he's like, why I don't want to save up all my money, so that I can have fun when I'm 40 and 50, when I can have fun now when I'm 20 and 30, I had no response, and I still don't, and I'm like, it's kind of a good point. There is a moderating force, or there needs to be some balance, because would it be worth it? What is it called, do you've heard of fire, I'm sure, right? - Yeah. - Yeah, for people that obsess about trying to retire at 35, is that worth trading your whole 20s and early 30s to hit that early retirement? And now you're ready to party and have fun, but you're also 35, and it's like, everything's a little bit slower, and you've got all your friends that have all these stories and stuff from the 20s, and then it might not be as financially independent as you, but yeah, it was such a statement that just seemed on its face like so stupid, and I was like, maybe, you know, I'm not sure. - I think about this a lot, as we were talking about before, we started rolling, I've decided not to have kids, but I really had to think about, in each different phase of my life, I will have a different frame of reference. So when I'm 80, I will for sure be very traumatized that I didn't have kids, because you want to be surrounded by a sense of like, there's something living beyond me, somebody to love you back, you know, I mean, God forbid, my wife dies, let's say many of my friends have died, and the normal anchor that you would have, and of course, it can't be guaranteed, but the normal anchor that you would have would be the love of your kids, and so on for going that. And so I really had to step into the different phases of my life, try to project as much as I can, what my frame of reference will be, how I'll think about the world, and I thought, oh, by the time I'm 80, for sure, for sure, I'm in a regret not having kids, but I can deal with things, I can put things in place, whether it's mentoring people, or I mean, if I can make my company successful for that long, then certainly having a team that's counting on me, like that kind of stuff really means a lot to me. But I think you really do have to be able to step into that, and for people that have never heard me talk about frame of reference before, so I think frame of reference determines your entire life, and your frame of reference is the warped funhouse mirror by which you see yourself in the world. It is warped, it does not represent reality, but it is the set of beliefs, values that you carry, choices that you've made about what to believe about yourself, what to believe about the world, and it ultimately does change what you see when you look out at the world. And I don't think people understand how malleable their perspective really is. They think that their frame of reference is simply objective truth, and they don't realize how distorted all of our perceptions really are. And so when I think about that and looking at my life, like whether should I be saving that money, I've gone through that phase, and it was really fun. And I gamified saving money the way that I now gamified building a business. And so I was really having a good time, penny pinching, saving my money, like really trying to grow things that way. And so it really comes down to, can you get the dopamine, everything is neurochemistry, right? And so are you able to through fire or whatever, manipulate your neurochemistry so that you can get the result that you want? And going back to the Red Pill community, the thing that I worry about is that they have the wrong frame of reference. And so their frame of reference that they're living in, they look at somebody that has money and girls, and they say, oh my God, that is so cool. And I admire that person so much. And if I had those things, I would admire myself. It's not even that conscious. They just look at, ah, it's fun and cool. But what's really going on is that, that sense of, oh, if I have that, I will finally like myself in the way that I like them. And then they get those things and realize this didn't touch any of my insecurities. And so the frame of reference they expect to get upon having those things is not the frame of reference that they actually get. And it becomes so disillusioning that it can be very, very disheartening. - What you're describing to me sounds like a little bit like first principles for a business, that like you have like, this is your mission statement, this is what you're oriented towards, and everything is heading in that direction. I think ideally, if you do have that end goal in mind, every part of the journey, even the parts that have friction, should be somewhat fulfilling, right? We were kind of joking earlier about, before the camera, we were talking about like running and going to the gym or whatever. But I go to the gym, it doesn't necessarily feel good in a sense of like, oh, wow, I'm glad I moved stuff around.
Influencers, Representation And Internal Fulfillment
Influencers Have Insecurities (48:01)
But it feels good to make progress and it feels good to know that I did it, right? Like something, I'm sure everybody knows this by now, that like, sometimes there are days where you don't want to go to the gym and it kind of sucks. And you do it anyway, there has never been a single time ever where you didn't really want to go, and then you went, and then afterwards you were like, man, I really shouldn't have gone to the gym, I should have just stayed home. You always feel good that you did it, right? Because you're building towards something. But similarly to the analogy that I used before that deal with the devil, you can't build towards like massive wealth, getting the girls, and all these things, and build and build and build and build. And then once you've got that, flip a switch and be like, okay, well now I want like fulfillment and confidence and self esteem, because it's impossible to convince anybody after, otherwise, but like living in this world now and being around like somebody millionaires, so many incredibly beautiful people, men and women, it would blow people's minds how much insecurity there is here. I guess actually unbelievable. Like I will see people that are like Greek gods in terms of like attractiveness that think they have to like spend 12 minutes on face tune with every fucking picture on their Instagram to like make it look good, or people that think they're fat, or people that just like feel insecure about like the company around them or whatever. And on paper, their life should be perfect. But like fulfillment and happiness don't happen on accident. There's like a deliberate process that you have to do to build these things out. And it's never just gonna happen because you happen to chase something else. It's not like once you have five million in the bank, oh my God, I just got so much self confidence. Like it just doesn't work that way, right? Like if you're not confident when you're broke, you're not gonna be confident when you're rich, you know? You might feel some sort of like false sense of confidence, but it's a lot different, right? I always tell people when they come onto my stream, it's always funny, somebody will say something like, oh, like I'm so happy. Like the comments you're separate about me were like so good. And I'm like, that's the worst thing in the world. - All trouble. - Because if you like the comments when they're good, you're gonna hate yourself when they're bad. You have to exist like independent of it and build like out on something different. Yeah, but it's really hard to communicate to other people. - Agreed. So going back, if the way that the Tate brothers, if the message that they put out, and do you consider them a good representative of the Red Pill community? - The Red Pill community is so fractured right now.
Is Andrew and Tristen a good representation for the red pill? (50:06)
It's hard to say. Like the Red Pill community, I think, still tries to take ownership of Andrew and Tristan, but Andrew and Tristan are desperately trying to, not part of themselves, distance themselves from the Red Pill community. Like they literally tweet out, like Red Pill guys are goofy. Don't associate us with that movement. - Like interesting. - Yeah. - Upon what line do they differentiate themselves? - There's like a, Red Pill communities tried to incorporate a lot of like trad con ideas, but in some ways they're the least - Trad con, traditional conservative. - So like the idea that like your goal is to find a woman, like these are trad con ideas. I wanna find a woman with a low body account where I'm the leader of the relationship and the head of the household and I'm the man in the relationship. That's like trad con. - Got it. - But Red Pill is also, I need to fuck 50 women by the time I'm 35. I need to have three or four girlfriends at once. I need to ignore my main girlfriend so that she still likes me. And I need to constantly do things to increase my wealth or whatever, because that's like the most important thing at the end of the day. And maybe I need to get a vasectomy when I'm 20 so I don't accidentally have children. Right, like that's like Red Pill. So obviously there's a lot of conflict in these two worlds. And it's been super fascinating watching like Ben Shapiro and Matt Walsh fight with like a freshen fit like Myron and Walter freshen fit. Yeah, so the worlds have like divided quite a bit over the past like year. Like they came crashing together and now they're like flying a park. I don't know where, I don't know exactly where Andrew and Tristan are trying to end up. It's hard to know because there's a lot of media strategy that's probably being employed right now. Like they're trying to talk a lot about their case or they're trying to win in the public court of opinion. I don't know if maybe in Romania there's like a gag order once the trial starts. So they're trying to get everything out right now. I have no idea, but yeah. So I don't know exactly. Like when I'm looking at them, I'm seeing like a media empire with a guy that is like looking down the barrel of a potential big conviction for a trafficking. So their stuff is probably very strategic in terms of what they're trying to do. I don't know if it's like, this is just red pill or whatever. These are people that are trying to maneuver in some kind of intelligent way to save themselves or their careers. And how do you think about that? It's pretty dark, right? So you have said publicly that you think that they're guilty. Assuming everything they've said other videos is true, absolutely. But he might be lying in his videos or hyping stuff up maybe, but-- Playing a character or whatever. Possibly, but he plays it exceedingly well. Like he literally describes everything you need to do to be a pimp, everything you need to do to trap girls, everything you need to do to steal money from their taxes, everything you need to do to get this. Yeah, so I mean, yeah. But I guess it could be false. Like I've said it, I've said it before. I'll say it again a million times. Should wait for them to go to court, wait for the prosecution to present their evidence, let them fight it and see what happens, yeah. You can reboot your life, your health, even your career, anything you want.
Commercial Break (52:53)
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Video Game (53:21)
Do you play video games? Yes, but only one. What? Ironically, destiny. Oh. That is my game. I'm obsessed, dude. I love it so much. God, Jim. Do you ever hear of a play game called Eve Online? I know it well, but I've never played it. I know it well. OK. There's a lot of leadership stuff in leading lots of people, even in games that carries over to real life, which is really funny, in one to one ways. You've learned things about leading in games that carry over to real life leadership. And something I learned that was really important to me, somebody else brought this concept that I have realized is really important. Sometimes we would try to think of new doctrines for our fleets to go for. So different fits for the ships, different types of ships, different ammo, whatever. And we'd get a group of people together and we'd decide on a doctrine and we'd do things and they're fun, but sometimes we'd miss stuff or whatever. Something that I learned about halfway through my career, another person telling me this, is any time you want to make a big decision involving the entire corporation, it's really important to appoint a devil's advocate. You have to have somebody there that's advocating against and even if you're ultimately going to choose this, because something is there about the tension that will keep you a little bit more grounded otherwise. And that tension is really, really, really important. It's really important. So in business, they would call that red team, which I think is a term they stole from the military. So what I tell people on my team is, OK, what you want to do, don't try to bend everybody to be like you. So I'm a certain way. I'm the visionary leader. OK, so I'm going to be prone to excitement into rose-colored glasses. This is all going to work. It's going to be amazing. And there are other people on the team that are like me. Now when an idea is fragile, I'm going to go to the people that are like me. And I'm going to be like, yo, I have this idea. It's so cool. And it won't survive negativity. It's just I don't quite know how it's going to work yet. And so if people shit on it, then I'm like, half, and I'll lose my own excitement for it. So in the beginning, I go find the people that are going to be like, oh my god, that's amazing. And they see what I see. Then when we're like, hey, this might actually be real. Then you go find the people that are by nature, they see problems. And so it's normally you're going to go to somebody in operations. Now I'm thankful that my business partner is my wife. She is operationally minded. So when something needs to be assailed from just like a logistical standpoint. It's not like she's playing a role or trying to ruin it. That's just how she sees the world. And so she'll go and be like, oh, but what about this? And how are you going to pull that off? And what's that going to cost? And so then you start going, OK, cool. I see the problems. But if you don't-- if you're not checking yourself against reality, then you devolve into madness. I agree. And so bringing it back to what I hope these young men will begin to realize, you have to check your strategies against reality. And I think anybody in the Red Pill community, you're going to get slapped around by reality. And I think you already nailed exactly what that's going to be, which is you're going to find you have a hole in your heart and it never gets filled. Or it's created by the way that you act. I actually haven't thought enough about it to know if it's a hole that permanently exists and your job is to fill it. Or if it's something that arises out of lack, I don't-- I think there's probably like naturally in the human mind, we have a lot of-- there's a name. I'm trying to think of-- I should know this for my carpet cleaning days. Because there are these little octets or dossips or things that get filled with dye. I know it was true for carpet fiber. There are these little things, these little holes that get filled. I think naturally we have some of these in our head that need to be filled. So socialization, I'm pretty sure, is one of the most important aspects, even of our physical health. It's like socializing with other people. That's a natural thing that exists and it's never going to go away if you live as a hermit, well, maybe in the most extreme results. For most people, that won't happen.
Internal fulfillment (56:52)
Yeah. Yeah, there's-- one of the difficulties, I think, when it comes to red pill stuff or people selling a certain idea is it's really hard to sell an idea of internal fulfillment or happiness or also fulfillment. It's hard to tell people how important that is when it's so hard to show versus the other guys that have a lot of things to show. Like, if you put me in a room with any red pill guy, I would bet my whole life that I know I'm more confident than every single one of these people. But to a lot of people, they would look at me and they would go, you're coping, you're 100% coping, right? But it's because I've done a lot of these guys, like their lifestyles. They try to live it like as flashy as possible. There was a guy that I fucking argued with, a huge phony fraud guy. This guy fucking rents a Ferrari to drive to podcasts in Miami. OK. His name was MLD. I saw some of the friction between you guys and Mary's. Yeah, holy shit. Not friction. That guy is completely obliterated. He got lit on fire and fucking tossed into the wind, like the fucking loser he is. But he rents Ferraris to drive to podcasts. It's like, for who? Right? I saw a driver 40,000 dollars. He's like, OK, good. Yes. Yeah. Or it might have even been a Lamborghini, actually. It might have been a Lambo that he rented. And it's like, but how do you sell that idea of, listen, being confident in yourself? Even when I'm saying it, it sounds fucking lame, right? It only doesn't to me because I've lived my life and I know that is my most important asset. But yeah, I don't know how to sell that to people. I'm not sure, because it doesn't look cool. It doesn't look like, oh, I woke up today and there's another three YouTubers just made hit pieces on me. But I don't care about it that much. I know when people in my industry know that's a really good ability to have. But for most people, it's like, I think I'd rather just have the Bugatti and I'll have the lack of self-esteem. I think that's what most people would say. It's interesting. So I've thought a lot about this problem. And it is brutal that even I, who knew better, still had to chase money to realize that money-- it isn't that money can't buy happiness. And this is where I think some of these phrases go wrong. It's that money can't buy your self-respect. And what people don't understand that they're actually chasing is self-respect. And at the end of the day, for anybody listening, I'll just tell you right now, the only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself when you're by yourself. And all the amazing sex, all the money, all the cars, like it just can't touch that thing. And so if you're getting all the boxes checked but you hate yourself, it just feels really, really horrible. So while I agree with you that this is a very hard thing to market, it's at least an easy thing to explain. And so-- Well, but the problem that you run into is-- I feel like I've seen a meme like this, where it's like, Guy that fucks 100 chicks says, casual sex isn't fulfilling. Guy that's worth nine figures says, money can't buy happiness. Guy that lives in Hollywood Hills says, don't need a big house. It's hard because it's like, if I were to go back in time and try to explain this to my 18-year-old self, I don't know if I could do it. But now that I've lived it, I can. So it's almost like, is there a way to communicate? At least for me, maybe I'm dumb in some ways. I learned so wealthy experience. That seems to be the only way that I learned some problems. So how do you communicate that idea? If you're talking to a guy that's 32 years old and he had sex with one girl that gave him a hand job in high school, and you fucked 100 chicks, you're like, listen up, dude. I'm going to be honest, casual sex is not all that it's made up to be, I promise. That guy is never going to listen to you.
Warning About Money Happiness (01:00:17)
He's like, fuck you. How about I fuck 100 girls then all decide that it's not worth it for me? Yes, it's so hard to communicate. Which is what you're going to do. And I think, so do you know the Cassandra complex? I probably heard about it before. Brother, you're going to love this. So as a parent, you're going to be like, oh yes. So I am convinced, Greek mythology. I am convinced that this was written by somebody trying to capture what it means to be a parent. And so the Cassandra thing was she subbed the god or whatever. And when mythology always means you're going to get punished. And so her punishment was, Cassandra, you're going to know the future, but no one will believe you. And that to me is what it's like to be a parent. Or what it's like for me to really be the elder statesman here talking to these young, amazing people out there that I know are just trying to chase dreams and make things happen. But here's the reality. They aren't going to believe me. But I'm hopeful that if I can get them closer to the truth, that it will be a seed planted in their mind. And they'll ignore me at first. But then as life starts, because they're going to encounter reality. And then reality is going to prove me right. I just think that most people stop at money can't buy you happiness. But what they don't say, which I would like to tell people right now, is the right question to ask is why does the guy who says that money isn't a big deal, is saying it from the Beverly Hills mansion. And the answer is because money's powerful. Money's more powerful than you think. It just isn't what you've been told. And so the thing you want money to do, which is make you feel like you feel about that rich person that you're admiring, you want to feel that way about yourself. Money won't do that for you. But money is the great facilitator. And people will chase it until the end of time. Money has let me do things that I would not have been able to do without it. It is worth pursuing. It is worth accumulating. It is an incredibly powerful resource. But it's just a resource. So if you don't know what you want to build with it, it will be completely meaningless. And it will do nothing. And you'll buy a bunch of fancy shit. And you will be fucking miserable and really confused. Now I'll just say the obvious. I would much rather be sad and rich than sad and broke. But I would rather be happy and broke than sad and rich. So ultimately, all that matters is your neurochemistry. But that's real. Fame, same thing. Fame is a double-edged sword. It is not going to make you feel better about yourself. All the accolades in the known universe will not make you like yourself anymore. But fame is incredibly useful. And you can leverage it well if you know what you're doing. So it's like, there's a reason that people will pursue these things. And if you can have the right sort of frame on it, it won't disappoint you. Because you won't expect it to do something that it's never going to do. Yeah. In some ways, money is more powerful than you think. And in other ways, money is utterly hopeless to help you with certain things you think. Yeah. There is-- and all of it at the end of the day, there are all instruments to hopefully affect some other type of end. But if you're just getting it hoping that it's naturally going to make you feel a certain way about yourself is never going to happen. Sometimes I worry that I'm very poisoned against wealth in some ways because of my upbringing.
Mating Crisis And Reality Of Dating
Which Side Are You On (01:03:11)
But there's a very, very, very crystal clear dichotomy I have between-- my mom said to my family, they all came from Cuba. So I've got a lot of family in Miami, or I used to. And there was this crazy dichotomy growing up where my whole family, immediate family-- so all my siblings and my parents, all of them were very obsessed with the American dream. So it was the acquisition of large houses, multiple vehicles, try to do vacations, whatever. And I'm sure you've heard of the term lifestyle creep. So this is their money. This is their expenses. More money, more expenses, more money, more expenses. So everybody's got multiple foreclosures, multiple bankruptcies, a lot of stuff. And I remember, I've argued with my parents, my family for a long time. And it's like, you guys are going to work yourself into the grave. I don't think it's good. And it's always like, now, once we get this credit card paid off, once we get this card paid off, once we get this card paid off, once we get the house paid off, once we get the new pool, once we get this, we're going to be able to do all these things with the family. We're going to be able to do all these cool things. We're going to invite everybody over. And now as I watch my family aging, my mom is in the early mid stages of Alzheimer's disease. My mom's little brother, her older brother, and then her sister's younger brother died in a car accident like two years ago. And every in my aunt is working full time at Home Depot with a full 20 year NYPD retirement, trying to hold under her house. And then I think back to one of the most poorest places I've ever spent my time in was every summer I would go to Hylia to hang out with my grandma. And she lived in these row apartments on both sides. And we're talking like every time it fucking rained, there's nothing on the floor or on the bottom shelf because every apartment would flood three or four inches. And then it would stop raining and go down. This is how they live their life. But every night somebody was outside, barbecuing stuff, black beans and rice, plantains, classic Cuban shit. Everybody was hanging out, everybody was laughing and trying to make sure that everybody was having fun. Sometimes you'd have like 10 people in one room because the one kid had the fucking Nintendo 64. It felt like in this weird, like queer, ironic way that my wealthy family was like trying to get enough goods to live the lifestyle that like the broke family was like already living on a weekly basis. And like don't misunderstand me, all the people in the apartment townhouses, the row houses, I'm sure their life would have been improved by more money. They could have bought a better grill, they could have had a place that didn't flood, like they could have done things. But they were happier. And that's just a really hard thing for a lot of people to understand, I think, that all of these like money and all these other things, like you said, they're instruments to achieve something else. They don't produce happiness on their own. They can be a facilitator of happiness, but it has to be deliberate. You have to like put effort into, I got this thing, now I'm gonna use this thing to make myself happier, make other people happy. But sometimes in the pursuit of that thing, you're not even thinking of that. And now you spent so much time acquiring and pursuing things that you don't even know how to or you've lost the time now or the ability to even use them in ways to make yourself happy. And it's like fuck, yeah. - It's brutal. So that for me is again, frame of reference, how are you looking at it? What do you expect it to be? Have you outlined what do you think money is? What do you think money does for you? How is it going to make you feel all of that? And if you think it's going to allow you to buy cool things, but that's not gonna make you feel any differently about yourself or your life, cool. Yeah, it will let you do that. And if you have something that you wanna build and that's what the money's for, that will pay off in big ways. I don't think people stop to think about it.
Why people confuse marketing for reality (01:06:49)
I think they fall prey to a cool marketing message and money is the marketing around somebody like an andruite with fast cars, girls, private planes, lots of money, big cigars, et cetera, et cetera. That marketing feels so awesome. It makes them feel the way they want to feel. And then they just confuse that it's a marketing message and not necessarily a reality message. And so again, people need to define their North Star and then make sure that the thing that they're doing leads them to that. And now to your earlier point though, I think most people have to learn the hard way. Maybe, yeah. And that sucks. You don't have to learn the hard way. The alternative is you have a good family that gives it to you at birth and your North Star is kind of like set and you don't have to think about it, but it seems harder and harder, I think, for people to get that right message right up the stone. Like that's an exceedingly rare family, you know? But yeah. No doubt.
Understanding the mating crisis (01:07:44)
Talk to me about women. So this becomes one of the ones. It reminds me a little bit of diet. So you can't not eat. So if you have a negative relationship with food, I can't tell you to abstain. And I believe, and for now, just take the default heterosexual assumption. I do think that it was a very worthwhile endeavor for me to learn how to attract a woman because I didn't know how to do it. And so for a very long time, I could not get into a successful relationship, which I will say, this won't be universally accepted by the comment section or chat, as you would say. Okay. But I would say that I'll mark that in the early days as an ability to get laid. So I knew how to befriend and I knew how to have a meaningful emotional exchange for the woman. I did not know how to navigate crossing the line and being the kind of person that she would want to sleep with, which is a, I'm not, I'm not prudish about sex. I don't have like sort of a, I kind of what would you call it, tradro. I'm not sure. But I, so I'm not somebody that's trying to rack up like as many women as I can, but it was meaningful to me to have a variety. And that was a really important arc for me to go through of like, oh, now I know how to get laid. Like that was really, really meaningful. And that feels like a dying art. It feels like, I don't know if it's social media mixed with dating apps, whatever. Mixed with me too, mixed with video games and pornography. Like there's that cocktail, whatever that is. I would say, I buy into the idea that there's a mating crisis. I'd love to know if you think that we are, are we in an abnormal time right now? And either way, do you see a better path that we could be walking? As young men trying to have meaningful relationships with women. OK, that was a lot. Which part of that is going to go? Are we in the middle of the mating crisis? We probably are, but the answer for why is so, in my opinion, is so much more boring than people make it out to be. I think that when people talk about a mating crisis, they're like, we've lost the ability for men and women to communicate with each other. And men are becoming too feminine to get laid. And microplastics are drying up our sperm reserves and blah, blah, blah. I think that the actual answer is a lot more boring. And I think the actual answer is that given the ability to work jobs and have autonomy over their lives, women don't want to choose to be locked away as moms at 18, 19, 20 years old. That's a really hard sell. If you were to tell men that, hey, listen, when you turn 21, I need you to take seven years off your career building years to just be a father and do that, and then maybe go back to work. Almost no man would take that choice. Fuck that. These are the best working years, fucking years every year of my life. Why would I ever do that? And lo and behold, kind of with the education thing, there's a lot of stuff. This is why I always fight when people are like, oh, biology, men and women are different. We are different to some extent. But we're way more in common than we think. And I think for a long time, the idea is like, a woman doesn't want to go to school, doesn't want to work a job, doesn't want to have recreational sex. Like women don't want to do any of these things. Like that's biologically hardwired. But the reality is if you tweak like a couple things, now listen, we're like, you know what? I do want to work a job. I do want to travel. I do want to have freedom. I do want to be able to fuck guys and not have kids. So like women are enjoying that kind of like freedom. And that's a Pandora's box that when you open it, it's never going back. So anybody that tells you, well, the solution is we need to get rid of birth control. That's dumb. So we're past that point, right? So now the issue that you're contending with is life offers you so much fun and excitement at your fingertips, very easy to access, very cool, very awesome. Children in a family are a lot of work. There's a lot of friction. There's a lot of friction even finding a guy or a woman that you want to marry, right? There's even more friction about setting up the family. There's even more friction about maintaining the family and doing the growth, right? That having the opportunity to do that versus all of this other freedom, it's not surprising to me that more and more people are opting in this direction. And I'm pretty sure that that's a pattern that every single country in the developmental history of the planet is followed. As your country becomes more industrialized, as women gain access to more opportunity, that the number of children plummets. And in every single industrialized country in the world, I think except for Israel, I think every other country, the birth rate is below replacement. And yeah.
The decline of child birth rates (01:12:09)
- Now the question becomes, that is that like money where there is something really real there that you can get, but that people are framing it wrong and that's not leading them to happiness? 'Cause I have a base assumption that I think the wall, as they call it, where a woman will get to let's say partner at her law firm, she's 39, hasn't had kids yet, and all of a sudden she's like, "Why am I working this hard?" That feels, I haven't looked at the studies or anything, but that feels intuitively correct to me from a biological standpoint, where at some point, there is a whole, there's a hole in my heart for kids. Now maybe I'm a more effeminate man, I think that would be a very fair characterization. So I might be more prone to that than the next guy, but I would say that as a default, when I just look at it from an evolutionary perspective, a woman is going to have evolutionary wins at her back, pushing her to want a child. - I think the, so obviously this gets hard, especially when we're an evo-psych territory, I think the thing that to be careful when we say like evolutionarily is, there might, there sometimes triggers can be there in very unobvious ways, and it might be the fact that there is not as much an evolutionary push as we might otherwise think. So for instance, like here's a question I'm going to answer for you because I know your answer. If I were to ask you, do you think that evolutionarily we're supposed to be obese? The answer is obviously no, but then if you look, it's like, well, hold on, we love sugar so much, why? Well, the reality is way back in the days of our hunter gathering time periods, you know, 8,000, 9,000, 10,000 BC and earlier, that drive to consume sugary things, that was really good because you don't find that many of them in the wilderness. When you find it, you want to eat it and it's good. Your body's going to hold on to those calories as well as it can, but whatever. But who cares? That trigger can't possibly do anything bad to you, but evolution can't predict the future. We didn't know we would have mass carbs farming, all this stuff available to us, and now that drive gets tripped really hard when we're provided with those foods to eat constantly. I think when it comes to women and wanting to have children, I don't know if you need that like evolutionary kick at like 30 because my guess is going to be, when you go back in time, men and women, you actually know this because if you compare like wealthy people to poor people, men and women with nothing to do will fuck and make kids. I don't know if you need a push for it. I don't know if you need an evolutionary drive for it. I don't know if that's super hardwired biology. But I guess if you go back in time, like a 23 year old woman is not like, "Man, I hope my desire for children kicks in soon." There probably isn't much to do so they're just fucking all the time. That'd be my guess. - So that to me is the evolutionary push. - Sure. - What I'm saying is like when somebody is like 30 or 40, I don't know if like a woman feeling like, "I don't have kids." I don't know if that's like a strong like, "Oh my God, my biological clock ticked past 12 o'clock "and now I feel bad." Or if it's just like society is like, "Don't you want kids, shouldn't you have kids?" And you've seen enough baby movies and you're like, "Fuck, I don't know what the answer is." I'm just saying I could see it being like one way or the other. Like if somebody told me that there was no internal push to have children, I would believe it. If that was a fact, I would believe it because you probably don't need that push because everybody's fucking as soon as they turn whatever teen you're anyway. But I could say go any the way, yeah.
The Mating Crisis. (01:15:15)
- But if you look at the sex rates, which is the one sort of piece of data that I think I have a handle on, which is that at least leading up to COVID, it was declining. I've heard some conflicting data as to whether now it's going back up or if it's gone down more, but let's assume that it's renormalizing. But we had like that tremendous dip. And one of the things that I think led to that certainly is the choice, there's just more options. And so to your point of previously, women were artificially kept out of a lot of things, then motherhood was a very compelling thing that they could do with their life, which gave them fulfillment and gave them a sense of meaning and purpose and all of that. And so it makes all the sense in the world that they would pursue that. But then as your options widen, especially if you feel like, "Oh, I can wait, I can wait, I can wait," but then the stats in that are horrible and it really starts declining, I think, like after 30, where even though you can conceive in your 40s, now you're talking IVF, most people is not going to work. So you create a scenario, basically, I'm going to keep seeing if I can make this thesis workout 'cause this feels intuitively correct, but I don't have enough data. But I think it's just like money, where it is something that I get why people pursue because you want to, like even for guys, you want to be promiscuous, you want to run around, you want to not have kids, you want to play the game, you want to get rich, have a lot of sex, et cetera, et cetera. But then at some point, you realize, "Oh, wait a second, there is a hole in my heart "is how I think about it that hasn't been filled." And so that was something I thought a lot about. Okay, so that's sort of the thesis there, but I don't want to get too far afield. The real question that I want to ask is, going back to the mating crisis and men, how much do you think of the, if we're saying being male, typically male is bad and it's toxic, and so we're sort of culturally beating that out of men, we're giving them, I think they're called sedations. In researching you, I was introduced to that term, I had not heard that before. - Does it look like a bio-rography and stuff? - Yeah, porn, video games, whatever, things that make them not care to pursue it. I'll throw in a little bit of me too, in terms of the fear of just making the approach and looking like an asshole and getting blasted. So you've got this cocktail of things that makes guys more reticent to pursue that. Do you think that that's real, that we do have that contributing to this? So it isn't just that women have additional choices, it's also that men are, and I think this plays out twofold, men don't have a strong of an impetus to pursue women, and we're not doing anything culturally to say, "Hey, you need to get good at this." And then two, that there's a bit of, if men are really failing in some of the ways that it seems like they're failing, and hypergamy is real, where women just have a natural proclivity to date, across or up, then it's like they need men to be better, and they need men to perform well, and to be rising at least at the same rate that women are rising. Does that cocktail feel right, or do you think I'm off on something? - I don't think I conceptualize all of it in exactly the same way, but there's probably a lot of ways that I conceptualize that it would probably map on to what you're saying. There's a lot of thoughts that I have, there's a lot of thoughts I have when it comes to dating and sex that I almost feel like I'm on an island on these things, like it feels like at least in the space to talk about it, it's like I don't hear much. I actually thought a lot about this, 'cause I feel like I feel very comfortable around women, I've always felt comfortable talking to women and doing all of that, and I try to think a lot, like where did this come from? And I think in some ways, the answer's very illuminating, otherwise the answer's very disappointing. When I grew up, I had a lot of friends that were girls, and I think I took that for granted growing up, especially because my high school was an all-boys high school, so I would think if anything, I'm like at a big disadvantage, but do some incredibly random stroke of luck when I was 14, 15. There happened to be a girl that lived near me, and my dad had just moved away, I wasn't old enough yet for a driver's license, even if I was, I kind of poured a car, and she ended up being my ride to school. And because I was her ride to school, I was like her little basically, I was trapped with her, because I would go to school, it was a 20, 30 minute drive, and then once she dropped me off at school, and she went to school, she went to Marion High School, it was an all-girls high school, she would come pick me up, but she would wanna hang out with her friends and stuff, so I would basically be roped along, always hanging out with her, and then like her four or five friends. And so from a very early age, like I've always just been like talking to women, interacting with women, I think I dated like three different women in that group of friends, but not because I was like some Riz Master that read like all the perfect Red Pill stuff, but just because I happened to spend a lot of time around women, so it kind of made sense. - What were you picking up on though that let you be successful?
Insight on Samantha's experience in dating and relationships. (01:20:14)
- I think it's just an experienced thing, like you just like start talking to women, and it's just like whatever, you know? - That's-- - Like how do you-- - It's tremendously terrible advice, Destiny. Come on, come on. - So the thing that I always tell people is like, yeah, like the best time to learn how to like deal with women is like 10 years ago when you were in high school. - Because how do you deal with women? Like what was the punchline? Is it all intuitive for you, and you literally don't know exactly what you're doing? - In terms of like actual interactions, there's a lot of things that, I don't know, there's so many like random little things. Here's a couple that come to mind. I drew this graph on my stream a while ago. When people talk about like the balance between masculinity and femininity, it's like the ultimate man is like 100 masculine, like five feminine, and the ultimate woman is like 100 feminine, like five masculine. In my opinion, I think the best type of people like the best man is like 100 masculine, like 90 feminine. The best woman is like 100 feminine, like 90 masculine. When I think of like my way of like dealing with women, or if I think of like why people are attracted to me, like I think that's because I have a very contrasting set of characteristics. Like in one sense, there are some things I can do that some people characterizes like hyper masculine, like screaming at people online, getting very animated, blah, blah, blah, and to be able to go from doing that to like playing a nice song on my piano, or like hugging a plane with like your cat or dog, like that contrast in traits is I can tell one to interact with people, that's a really big deal for some people. They really like the aspects of me that are masculine, and they really like the aspects of me that are feminine. But when you go into like the Red Bull spaces, they say things like, oh, like feminine traits will turn a woman off completely. If you ever cry in front of a woman, she'll leave you immediately. And I know from personal experience, like if I cry in front of a woman, she's gonna stay with me forever. Because like, oh my God, that's such a special moment that like only I get to see blah, blah, blah. So that balance between like feminine and masculine traits is really important. Having like contrasting characters and personalities, that's like one aspect, a second aspect that I notice, and this is just a good people skill period. This manipulated shin strategy is so good, it works on me, even if I know somebody's doing it. Everybody at the end of the day just wants somebody to like listen to them and understand them. If you're willing to just like sit back, listen to people, ask enough questions to like let them kind of like talk about themselves and like, you know, flesh out their lives. Really lame questions like, how did that make you feel? For a lot of people, they've like never heard another person genuinely interested in like asking a question like this. And it feels so good to have somebody care about it like that and to share those things. Like, those are the types of things I'm thinking about when I'm like, if I'm like trying to get a woman to like me or I'm trying to pick somebody up or whatever, these are the strategies of, it's never like the red pill like ultra masculine games. It's usually things to do with like communication or making somebody feel like seeing or heard. But I'll say on the back end, it is important that I have like that masculine aspect too, because I'm not just here to be like a little simp beta bitch. Like, I'm gonna ask you how you genuinely feel about something and then I make fun of you a little bit for it. But you know, I don't actually hit you for it, right? Like that's like the balance that I think of. There's probably like other things that I'm play to. Like all of these things are like people skills. Oh, I will say this is funny and stereotypical as it is. I'm sure this actually had a lot of impact on how I dealt with people. Dale Carnegie's, How to Win Friends and Influence People. That should probably be like a must read book for like every single person in existence. There's a lot of really good like basic people skills. I think I learned like in, I think I read that like seventh grade. Yeah, but what were some key takeaways? Fuck, don't ask me that. I don't remember. What I remember was I remember reading the book and I remember trying some of the things on people in real life and being surprised, but I don't want to quote anything in particular because not worry that it wasn't in the book. But like, I remember for instance, like there were some kids, I did gymnastics growing up and I don't know if there was like a kid that like really fucking didn't like me for whatever reason.
Trust Issues And Communication Dynamics
And I want to say I picked this up as it was in that book. I think it had to do with like, if you're kind to people, if you compliment people, they cannot be mean to you. It is impossible that if somebody's treating you like shit and you're like, I'm sorry dude, I legit I fucked up. Like you're right. They can't be mean to you anyway. It's impossible to do it. And I remember like using that and I got that kid to like me a lot. Little strategies like asking people for help. It's like the most flattering thing in the world. If you've got a coworker that fucking hates you and whatever and you're like, hey listen, like you're really good at this. Can you show me how to do this? Like it just makes people feel like so good to be like, yeah, I can't help you with like, you know. Yeah, there was a lot of like getting people to compete with each other. Yeah, I don't remember everything. I just remember reading it in, I think, like a great school in high school and trying to incorporate a lot of that into how I deal with people. Very smart. Now do you at, so by the way, for people that don't know you, at least from what I saw online, you're in an open marriage? Yeah, okay. relationship apparently to all the red pillows. But yeah. Interesting, okay. That's a very direct way to say it. But so that means these are things that you're still deploying right now. So I want to understand, do you consider it to be good at enticing a woman? Do you consider it manipulation? This is something I've thought about for a long time. So like in my early to mid twenties, I think I was pretty manipulative in terms of like how I approach people. But I think I grew out of that. Like any, this is something that I hate saying this, is the worst thing in the world to say that, like be yourself thing. But most of the, almost every interaction that I'll have with a woman or a man, it stems from some genuine interest. Like if I'm asking you questions about something, it's not because I'm thinking like, I know that if I can get you to talk about yourself for like an hour that we'll be fucking late at night. Like I'm not thinking that usually just chicks up. I'm genuinely like, I'm kind of interested in like it's hard for me to hang around people that I don't like for an extended period of time. Like you're getting like 30 to 60 minutes max out of me. And then I'll be like, okay, I'll see you later. And then we're like done forever. So if I'm asking somebody questions, it's because like there is a genuine interest there. I am remembering things that are being said so I can make jokes or callbacks or references later. Like I am keeping track of like what's going 'cause I'm generally interested in the person. And if you can communicate interest to somebody like that feels good. Like is that manipulation? I mean, I don't know. To me manipulation implies like some level of being disingenuous and I'm not generally disingenuous. So yeah.
Another Word (01:26:04)
- I've long lamented that we need another word because my wife and I, we talk a lot about this. We've been married for over 20 years, in fact, almost 21 in a month. And one of the things that we've said is that we, and again, we influence maybe the closer thing but we've influenced each other a lot. And the one promise that we made to each other very early on in the relationship is look, I'm going to, back then we would have said manipulate. I'm going to manipulate you. But the only trick that I'm going to play on you is that I will always tell you exactly what I'm doing. And the reason that I'm telling you is I don't ever want you to feel like I'm, you know, doing something behind the back or whatever. Yeah, exactly. But at the same time, I want you to know exactly what I'm trying to get out of this. And so there's no way that I would have become as successful as an entrepreneur if I hadn't had my wife 'cause at the beginning of our marriage it was very traditional. She was a stay at home wife and I went out and worked. And so she was sort of maneuvering through the world through me. And so it was like if she didn't think I was being tough enough or asking for enough or pushing hard enough or whatever, she and the way that only a woman can would reward and punish, you know, based on wanting me to be tougher or more aggressive. And so that ended up being an amazing tool in my arsenal. And so likewise, if there were things that she was doing that I didn't like, it was reward and punish and you know, put punish in air quotes. But making sure that she really understood what I liked and what I didn't like. And by doing that, we've really shaped each other.
Tomi auroras story about her inability to trust (01:27:36)
And all of those tools are the thing that I had to learn to finally start getting laid. And so like you, I never felt like I was being manipulative but I knew what I was doing. And my journey went something like this. I was the cliche that people tried to warn you about. So I would show up on the first date with poetry, custom written for you. Oh yes, and flowers and unironically PS. And really was very confused that- - Right, unironically PS, what's that? - Just meaning I was showing up with flowers and poetry. For my generation, that was like that, even back then that was probably pretty cringe. But it felt right. It felt like a thing to acknowledge that I was very excited to be out with you that I thought a lot about you. - On my third time, my third date with my first kind of real girlfriend in high school, I brought her flowers and then she dumped me and I found out she was a lesbian. So I remember I had my cringe moment. - Surprise ending. So I finally, after years of this, went to this guy and was like, what's the secret? 'Cause he was very successful with women. What's the secret? He's like, oh, Tom, you just have to treat him like an asshole. And I was like, dude, come on. Like that's the most cliche shit ever. And I've seen him with women and he's not. And so I was like, what is he actually trying to say? And I realized just by looking at his behavior and saying, okay, he's calling it being an asshole, but what is it really? 'Cause he was very charming. And I realized, oh, what he is, is he's willing to walk away. - Yes, holy shit. So then I had to deal with so much in my life and people will say this not me constantly. People always say that like destiny, you're actually the way that you interact with them in a super red pill. You nag them all the time. You're constantly mean. You're such an asshole, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I never, I'm very, very, very rarely mean to somebody though. And I try to communicate this to my fan base a lot that like, if you ever see me interacting with somebody and I'm like, nagging somebody, it's always over stuff that is like fair game to be playful about, right? There's never been a girl that I've liked and we're like joking around and I'm like, yeah, that's true. You're kind of fat though. I never do that, right? Never, never. And I'm like making fun of things. The stuff that we know is like kind of, you know, we're like joking around. And for a lot of women, or it seems to be the case that for a lot of women, it's really hard to find a person that like is respectful of you, but will also give you a lot of shit.
Treat people like an asshole, ex a: destiny talks (01:29:55)
But we'll do it in kind of like a funny, playful way. Because it seems like you've either got, you can do like a liberal conservative economy. You've either got the guy in life who's like just the ultra simp and he's like texting you like, please tell me good night tonight, like you haven't texted me back right? Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Or you've got the guy who's like too far to the right, who's like kind of like funny and charming and shit, but he actually treats you like shit and doesn't respect you at all. And something I know, I notice this really early on, I think in my early college days that if I was talking to a girl and I notice a lot of guys do this, you talk to your girl like, oh, what's your favorite band? Third Eye Blind, oh mine too. What's your favorite movie? Oh, and it's like, oh mine too, right? You say these things that when if I was trying to grow on, she said some shit, I'm like, oh, what's your favorite band? And she's like, I really like Linkin Park. And I'm like, oof, horrible, horrible group of musicians. As soon as I say, like their eyes will light up and then we're like fighting over it. And that type of interaction I could tell for the girl was the first time that like a guy had ever said, like I think that I don't like that whatever thing. But I'm not like being here like you're tasting music and shit and you're just, right? It's just like a fun thing to fight about. But that what you talk about, a lot of people will see kind of the ways that interact with people and they're like, oh my God, like you're such an asshole. You're gonna go, I'm not, I'm an incredibly respectful person. And I'm pretty sure any girl I've ever interacted with will say as much. Like I'm never pushy for sex. I'm never like doing any like weird, like running game or being manipulative or being an asshole. Like I'm just like playfully like messing around with things that are fair game to mess around with. I bring this up too because sometimes I've gotten clippants of like fans doing things like in games or whatever where they're interacting with people. And then I see people try to copy some of the things but they are just being mean. And it's really hard to communicate with people 'cause sometimes my fans are like things like, oh like why did you get mad when this person said this about you? But you say this thing all the time. And it's like these are, it's not the same. I don't know how to communicate that like when I'm doing that, I'm just like playing around and everybody knows it. Yeah. Playfulness is a big part of the game. Playfulness usually comes when you have the confidence and also that you can see, if you understand what emotion you're trying to create and you can actually create that emotion. And if you can create that emotion in a way that keeps them a little off balance in a way where they don't feel unsafe, it still needs to be playful. I'll give you an example.
Creating unexpected moments. (01:32:19)
So the first sort of sexually charged words I ever said to the woman who is now my wife was sit your ass down, you're not going anywhere. Now the number of people that have heard me tell that story that then tell my wife, oh my God, like he's abusing you, like you've got to get away. And she of course finds out hilarious. But be given the context, given where we were in our relationship, she found it playful. And I won't say funny because she was excited because she was interested. So that was certainly a part of it. But when you can create a sense of like playfulness where almost like comedy where you say the thing that you're not supposed to say, but you do it in a way that like lets the person laugh or be in on it, that's good. Really quick on that. There's a really good clip that a lot of people didn't understand to joke about a thing. You have to have a full understanding of the thing. And that makes a joke where there's a show on, I think it was a jubilee dating show or something. And I think the girl asked this group of guys in front of her, she was like, if we had a fight, like how would you manage that in our relationship? If we had a disagreement. And one of the guys that answered, a guy who's wearing like a hoodie or whatever, and he was like, his answer was like, I think the first thing I would do would I would try to gaslight you into thinking it was your fault. I would create an unhealthy sense of dependence where you constantly felt like you were chasing my approval and I would give it to you in little bits so that you became desperate for my attention and I would have you like his whole, it was like a psychopathic answer. And in the end she ended up choosing that guy as the guy that she liked most. Everybody's like, oh my God, look, he was a total asshole and it worked. And it's like, no, it's because the joke like showed you that he was aware of all of these like toxic things but he could joke about it. But like, there's like a lot of like truth you can communicate with humor and stuff sometimes too. But yeah, it plays into that idea of like being playful and sometimes even being like, being able to say something, fuck, I hate this, I actually hate this conversation because like so much of this is like a learned intuitive thing. Like I don't think I could write a guide to it but there's a way that you can like shock somebody without actually like being crazy, right? Like, but it's hard to tell you where exactly you draw the line and there are even, there are probably times where I've overstepped. There are times where I've made jokes. I just had an abortion debate with like two women last night and I'm pretty sure before the show I could tell by the reaction that I was probably pushing a little bit too far. But like sometimes like depending on the person when anything context depends on the scenario like you could push really far with certain types of humor and it'll be like, like you said, it kind of keeps them off balance where they're like, it's kind of funny but you can't do it too much because sometimes you can go straight to the like that was way too creepy, way too far and I'm completely out of here but. - Yeah, but so it's interesting that you say this. So playing with that, you are gonna miss sometimes. - Absolutely. - But finding that edge is a lot of fun and you will sometimes miss. But if you can create like unexpected moments to get a reaction like there was a time, this is after I was married to trust me. My wife knows all about this story but I was being a wingman for a guy and so there was a girl that he really liked and that girl brought a friend and we were actually on a business trip and we're at this diner and I was like definitely flirting with the girl and I said, I'm gonna ask you to do something that's surprisingly intimate.
Sober calculated conversation. (01:35:15)
Are you willing to do it? She's like, well, no, you gotta tell me what it is before. It's like, no, no, no. I need you to say yes before I tell you what it is. - Okay. - Will you do it? And she's like, okay. I said, cool, I'm gonna take my sweatshirt off and I'm worried that my shirt is gonna pull up. Do you just hold my shirt down? And so she held my shirt down while I took my sweatshirt off and she was like, you're right, that was surprisingly intimate. And so it became this funny thing where the punchline was really mundane but by creating that unease of like, I'm gonna ask you to do something, it's gonna be weird but, and then delivering something that's ultimately safe, it really is like being good. It's a similar thing to being good at comedy. Like you have to know where you can push, you have to know what's gonna keep people off balance, give them a sense of uneasy anticipation and then you release it. - Yeah. And this is deliberate with lots of practice 'cause again, it's hard to write out. 'Cause the reason why these conversations suck sometimes 'cause I know there's somebody listening at home that's like very awkward, very kind of quasi autistic or whatever. And it's like, yeah. Like there are times where-- - But it is the truth. - It is, yeah. There are times when you talk about like, like people talk about like enthusiastic affirmative consent, you know, like in order to, you have to have a girl, you know, saying like, yes and getting blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's like, sometimes I'll go this route if I'm like very unsure, but like generally I think I can generally feel it out. But then sometimes people will ask like, well, hold on, well, I'm not sure blah, blah, blah. And it's like, okay, well, if you're asking, you probably should just get like the verbal, like if you can't tell like you, because there are even times where like even again, even for something like that, I can mess up sometimes or like I miss reading stuff, especially with like new partners and everything. Yeah, a lot of it is like, you have to practice it a lot. I will say one thing in regards to the me too thing.
Exploring Different Types Of Relationships
Making women feel safe (01:37:25)
This is something that I try to be very conscious of a lot. And it's something that I think would help a lot is when you're dealing with women, this is so weird because as a guy, you'd never ever ever feel this around a woman. It's weird, it's hard to empathize, but it's even hard to empathize because being around a bigger man won't give you the same feeling because bigger men don't touch you either. It's weird when you're in a position where you're gonna be engaging in an activity where there's a guy that could kill you at any moment if you wanted to or make you feel like you go, or make you feel really uncomfortable. And that's like part of your recreational get together with that person. This is like what sex is for women. So that arrangement is intrinsically, there's a lot going on there. A guy is thinking like, I just wanna fuck this girl and that's it. And the girl is like, I don't know if I wanna go, if I say no, is this guy gonna feel this way? Like is it like, it's like if I, well, there's like a million things that they're like thinking about or trying to manage. When I'm trying to get people advice like, what hit on people or how to pick up people, I don't that often 'cause fuck it. 'Cause you either know or you don't know. But like if you were gonna do something, something that this is like a deliberate, conscious thing I should have in my mind is always try to do your best to make the woman feels like she has a way out. And if you wanna call it manipulation, more often than not, that'll actually get you laid than anything else. So like it might be a really subtle thing. Like I'm driving, let's say that I go out on a date with a girl and we get back to my car. At this point, what I really wanna do is just turn my ignition on or drive it to my apartment. 'Cause if I get on my apartment, I probably would fuck, right? But rather than do that, attempting thing can be to ask a question like, hey, do you wanna go to my place? And you ask a girl that, and it's really hard, like if you give a woman, if you tell her like, let's go do this, and the only way out is confrontation, a lot of times she won't do the confrontation because she just doesn't wanna deal it. Because women are usually conditioned to acquiesce and to be submissive and agreeable. So she'll just kinda like keep going along until you've gotten her into a way more uncomfortable situation than you even realize. But sometimes asking somebody a question like, hey, do you wanna go over to my apartment or do you have like something going on in the morning? If you like offer like a little out like that, if the woman feels like she has you be like, okay, if I wanna leave, I can say yes, as long as somebody always feels like they have the ability to step out, people tend to be way more comfortable 'cause it alleviates a ton of pressure from the situation. So, sorry, that's like just a really round up way to say like anytime you're engaging with a woman, and there've been times where like, I could tell like, women's uncomfortable, whatever, like be willing to just like back off and like take a break and be chill. Because I think like the best thing for a woman in any type of new, especially sexual or any romantic situation, you always want her to feel like if she says no, or like even if she doesn't say no, if she just feels uncomfortable, that you can like put the breaks on and just like chill for a bit. And I think if more people had that kind of mentality, I think one, you would end up having more sex. Like this sounds manipulative, I don't mean to make it sound good, but I don't think there's ever been a time where I've sensed it goes like that, I was like, hey, let's just like take a break from it. Every single one of the situations that eventually resulted in us fucking, because usually it's like, okay, I feel chill or whatever. So one, it helps guys, I guess get laid. But then two, it helps you avoid those like me two things because it's very, very, very easy to get a girl in a really compromised situation that she wouldn't be in if she could have made the choice right from the start, but you've kind of like cleverly navigated her there the entire way without even realizing you're doing it. You know? That was a lot of yeah. - Interesting, my mom gave me a really good piece of advice when I was a kid that was so unintuitive but served me very well, which she said, for a woman to have an orgasm, she has to trust you. And I remember being like, what does trust have to do with an orgasm? Like that was so foreign to me. But that was the first time where I was like, whoa, then this is a very different experience for a woman than it is for a man. And because I got that advice before I started having sex, I brought that into the table where I was like, okay, okay. Like this is a totally different game, a totally different experience. And May P.S. have led into the me showing up with flowers and poetry and maybe I went a little too soft but that was a real key insight to your point about giving them an exit ramp, making sure they feel safe all the time that. - 'Cause ultimately that's what the trust means. Trust means like if I'm uncomfortable, are you gonna stop? Because it's fully, once a girl's in your apartment, like whether she lives or dies, like her entire destiny, her fate is now in your hands as the guy. And for a lot of guys, like you don't even realize what that experience is like, you know? - Yeah, no doubt. - So, and then also I'll do this 'cause I'm also bi too. Sometimes like really funny that I've noticed in terms of hooking up with guys and girls and I've hooked up with way more girls than guys and all the girls I've hooked up with, I think there's been one that I can remember that like really pushed my boundary in a way where I'm like, we're stopping, like we're not gonna do this. - Help me understand, how do you navigate an open marriage which sounds difficult? - Tenacious, yeah. Listen, here's what I think. I think all relationships are difficult to navigate. - Yeah, but you dialed that shit to hard. Like if we were to put this in video game context, this is like, what's that game that you just die every two seconds? - Dark Souls. - Dark Souls, yes. This is like Dark Souls on hard, ranked, like, yeah. Walk me through it. - I think polyamorous people can get jealous when people hooking up with people. Monogamous people get jealous when people are talking to people. - Are you polyamorous? Meaning multiple like actual relationships or are you able to have short-term sexual encounters? Those feel very different. - It's really hard to like, it's hard to like label anything for my relationship. - So you don't have like specific rules? - Yeah, we do, but they change. - Interesting. - I don't know how it feels, but here's what I'll say, like for me, and I think it's generally true of Molina. Believe it or not, a whole bunch of one night stands are actually not that much fun. Like my top five best sexual partners in my life, not even remotely close to anything, have been the five girls that are all dated long-term for a year or more, and two of them started off as basically like virgins and horrible sex. And by the end, it was like some of the best of my life. So one night stands for that much fun. Also, I kind of like to be friends with like the people that I'm kind of a, I'm like a cuddly, like I like being close to people and everything. So the idea of like fuck somebody and like you leave, there was one girl I've hooked up with in my life who was like super anti-cuddly. We like finish and she like rolls over and they go to sleep and I was like, what is feels really weird? So like generally there are gonna be people that I'm friends with and then we can fuck too. That's like, that's really fun and cool. And I think that's kind of the types of sexual relationships that I like to explore more rather than just like, I meet somebody hook up and then I maybe never see them again.
Friends with benefits vs polyamory (01:43:49)
So the reason why I say is because some people would say that that's not quite an open relationship because you're doing like romantic or friendship things with people, but then other people would say that's not really polyamorous 'cause you're not like dating multiple people. Other people would say if you're friends with somebody and you fuck them, you're de facto dating them. So I don't know what it is. That's whatever that is. - It's interesting. So this might be my age showing, but how do you conceptualize then what marriage is? If part of the marital component isn't that, 'cause like to be honest, I can understand swinging if the couple is together, but it gets weirder for me if it's like literally to completely detach separate experiences.
Parasitic Marital Relationships?"" (01:44:20)
- Okay, let's see if I can do this. So there are, firstly, my wife is what I live with and my life is structured around her. If I meet a girl I like in Seattle, I'm not gonna move to Washington, right? Like my life is structured around like, what is my wife doing? She's like the priority in my life. I'm not about to give half my money to a random girl I meet or whatever, but if my wife had to pay her Swedish taxes recently 'cause she couldn't transfer money, right? This is stuff I'm not doing for a random fucking girl, okay? So my wife is like my priority, number one. Number two, my wife should be the person that I communicate the most with. So in terms of friendship, romantic communication, connection, all of that, she's like the person that I connect the most with, and those are the things that make her my wife. The fact that she's my priority, the fact that I hopefully, assuming everything's running well, I'm communicating with her doing the most with her, and the moments of time that we are sharing are like the most special that we have, hopefully with any other person. The way that I view other people, this probably speaks to some level of selfishness that I have 'cause I'm greedy for whatever the fuck I want or whatever. It's really cool meeting new people. That's really fun for me. I like making new friends, I like talking to people that are interesting. Sex is really fun, it's really cool, it's a fun way to get to know somebody, be closer to somebody, and then those romantic sexual friendship moments, they're like these little special moments in time that you can carve out with a lot of different people that's special and fun and unique all on their own. And to be able to explore that and have that with other people, for me, that's super awesome. I love my wife, there are so many fun romantic things we've done together, more than any other individual, but there are also like a lot of, there are other cool people that I've met and it's super fun to share those moments in time with them as well. But it doesn't replace the feelings I have for my wife, it's just something separate. The way that I would describe it, nobody likes the analogy and I understand why, especially for like when I was people, but you can have a lot of different friends, having one friend doesn't take away from the time you spend with another, you can even have a best friend and have other friends and still have really special moments with all those people too. - Why don't people like that? Well, because I'm gonna say, having a friend is not the same as fucking somebody, or are you saying you're supposed to just your friend? - It usually is where people go, but yeah. - Interesting, that analogy works for me in some ways. It helps me understand how you see it. Now, when I think about, so do you see yourself as married forever or is it that a marriage is, it's a moment in time and I don't really think about the future, it's whatever, it'll do what it does. - Too much money now, it has to be forever, or somebody's dying. Okay, that's where we're married for life, one of us is. So, no, I mean, yeah, I mean, it's kinda weird, initially when we got married, it was just for the green card, because she lives in Sweden. - Legitimately just for the green card? - Well, I mean, I want her to live with me, she's my wife. So she lives in Sweden and out of America, so she either gets to see me three months a year, or we get married so we can live together like a couple that loves each other. So actually-- - You were already in love. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. - But you actually got married-- - Yeah, so we got like, living in a world. But then after that, obviously your feelings continue to grow for each other. And now I think the way that we approach our life, like the way that I've got everything structured is I hope we're together forever. That's like what I'm planning on, that's what she's planning on. Like obviously sometimes people break up, or divorce has happened or whatever, but like I don't have like an exit ramp in my mind right now for like, okay, well if Molina doesn't work out, you know, fuck that, there's a Norwegian check I can talk to her. Like that's not what I'm thinking, yeah. Hopefully she's thinking the same with me. Although-- - Do you guys know about that? - Yeah, no, of course we do. We just wanna like, like I think eventually we probably wanna have kids, but our relationship needs to stabilize a lot. Because there's a lot of, we have a really big age gap. So there's a lot of things that she's growing and learning, and there's a lot of things that I'm still like growing and learning. - How old are you? You're pretty young. - I'm 34. - How old is she? - 24. I guess at that age. - Yeah. - Fair.
polyamorous and jealousy? (01:48:21)
Okay, so then walk me through jealousy seems like the most obvious thing that you have to contend with. - Okay, I don't like to dive too much into this, 'cause I guess into weird asymmetries. For whatever reason, I don't know why. And it might be because of like my independence growing up. I am very, very rarely if ever a jealous person. It's just not something I tend to care about that much. There are so many things in my life that I can like pour my time into that like if my, like if my partner wants to go off and hang out with somebody else, or if somebody wants to do whatever she wants to do, like I can stream it and if I'm at a time, there's an if and if I'm at a thing I work on, there are other people that I can talk to. For me at the end of the day, like I would be sad if she was like I don't love anyone I'm leaving, like that would be sad to me. But as long as they feel like she loves me and at the end of the day, we could hang out with each other and chill and be together and do things. Like if she wants to hang out with other people in the meantime, like that doesn't bother me, I guess. I'm sure that like theoretically I'll say that, but I'm sure theoretically there could be things that would bother me. Like if she fucks somebody and came back and she was like oof, like riding it doesn't feel as good 'cause Alaska had like a 15 inch big white dick and now I've got your, you know, I'm like okay, well fuck me. I'm sure there are some things that like could bother me, but with the way that it plays out right now, like neither of them go on. - That was literally gonna be the question that I asked. Would it bother you if you knew she was having sex with somebody that she thought was better than you? - The, I'm like pretty competitive by nature. So like if people are like having good-- - You're gonna find a way. - Yeah, 'cause I mean like there'll be times where you talk, we're like oh you hooked up with a guy, like what did he do that you really liked? Like what was like really fun for you or like what's something that, you know, like ideally, assuming our relationship was healthy and everything's working. Like those are the types of conversations we should be having to like yeah, because you should, given the opportunity to be with a person for a long time, is like the biggest sexual advantage you could possibly have. And I feel like to monogamous people, like I always like flip it back and it's like everywhere that show me a guy that makes her laugh more than you or a guy that she thinks is like, you know, looks better than you. Like those people exist out there. I'm probably not the best person for my partner. There's probably some guy out there that's better than me at StarCraft, funnier than me, hard to imagine. More handsome, more whatever. Like that guy's probably out there, but we've got like a history together, time together, we've tested it and we're doing our best. So yeah, you've got like a, that time investment that you make is a skill that nobody else in the outside world can compete with. Right. There might be other guys that are tall of me, more handsome than me, bigger dick or whatever, but none of them have spent four and a half years of my wife. I've only done that, right? So yeah, I guess that's how I think about it.
Daniel vs. Traditional Relationships (01:50:44)
- It's very interesting. So your life, at least if I'm understanding you correctly, it seems clear that you believe your life is better living it that way. Do you think that your marriage would be stronger if you didn't? - I don't know. Sometimes I think my whole life would be better if I got an accident like chop my dick off. - Just because it takes too much energy, too much of your focus. - I make dumb decisions sometimes. Would my, I don't know, my wife likes to mess around too with other people. Like it's fun for her. I don't think I would ever do it one sided, where like I'm just at home and she's messing with other people. Like we'd always probably both be doing things. I think with the lifestyle that we lead with the things that I like, with the things that she likes, it's probably better to do what we do now. I don't think a monogamous relationship would be better for our relationship. I don't think so. If it would, the only aspect that would make it better is probably her number one complaint. And the worst part about dating me is sometimes my time can be highly restrictive. So, and also the way that I spend time with people is really, is different than the way that she spends time with people. So I'm noticed in life. Some people really like mundane time together. I love mundane time. I like cuddling with somebody in bed while we're both looking at our phones or working at someone in the laptop. Like holding somebody's leg while you're driving. Like these types of things mean, being jimmy with somebody, these like mean a lot to me. So I can spend like a whole week with her doing that every single day. We've jammed every day together. We've gone out to like three or four meals, sleep together every night, blah, blah, blah. And by the end of the week, she'll be like, I haven't seen you for a minute. - Oh my God. - I didn't anyway. - Yeah. - I know that drill. - Yeah. And for her, she's thinking like in her mind, okay, we do these things all the time, but when you go hang out with another girl, you're not just spending one day time, you're taking out to dinner, you're like going on fun events, like you're doing things like, I want to do those things. So for her, her special time is like really high quality time where we're doing like special exceptional things. So balancing that out for me is very difficult because she likes time a lot different than I do. So the only issues we run into is where like, if I'll see like another girl and we do like a fun special thing, just 'cause I only see them once or whatever. And then she's thinking like, okay, well, we don't do anything together. That's a conflict because in my mind, I'm like, motherfucker, I spent like 100 hours with you last week. And in her mind, she's like, you didn't spend a single hour doing anything special with me. So that's like a way different approach to. - I know it well. My wife is my business partner. And for me, that is extraordinarily quality time. I love building my business so much. It is my favorite game to play is to see if I can build this thing. And to do it with her is the great joy of my life. And so I'm like, yeah, we spent whatever, 90 plus hours focused on the same thing this week, often in the same room, pushing the same thing. And for her, just that clock doesn't start. And she likes the mundane stuff. So if I come and I work next to her, so she's watching TV 'cause I work more than she does. So if she's the sound to watch TV, she'll be like, ah, do you mind like coming and sitting next to me while you work? And I get nothing out of that. I get no sense of like, oh, I'm with you. If we're not focused on the same thing, that doesn't give me the same thing that does her, but it does her. So I'm like, okay, cool. I'm completely absorbed in my own world. That's very, very interesting. How do you deal, you're so open about this. How do you deal with the internet pushback? When people wanna do an ad hominem attack against you, they pull out what is one of the more sort of just for the average guy, the most scathing thing that they can throw at you. Yeah, that and they'll say horrible things about your wife. And I haven't seen, I haven't seen enough of your contents. Now, if you never do, I've never seen you even respond to it. - Sounds well, five with people. It's fun. This just comes from my background as being like very, very, very independent. Internet stuff doesn't hit me on like a very personal level. Like I'll get upset if people are saying things that are like wrong about me or if they're making like dumb arguments or whatever. But I figured this out like really early on in streaming, like I have to live with myself 24/7 and it's my life. I will never let the fucking internet dictate my life to me. Like there are different times where I dated a girl that my whole stream hated and like, you're like, why are you fucking with this chick? Well, I'm just like, well, cush, I'm dating her, not you motherfucker. I don't care if you don't like my fucking girlfriend. That's good for you guys, 'cause that's all you want. She's the one that I fucking live with, fuck you. But I understand it. It is exceptionally rare that a person, so something that I do that I think is exceptionally rare is when I live my life, I genuinely, I have like an internal schema that I like hold things to to see like through. So do I not want to do this? And I'm genuinely capable of interpreting all of those things for myself. I think for a lot of people, I think the interpretations are done on a social level. There's like this phenomenon I describe sometimes where like I'll ask somebody, I'll like ask a guy like, would you ever wear like a pink dress? And the response would be like, it's like this kind of thing where I feel like they're kind of like, what am I supposed to say? And then they'll give me the answer that like, closely resembles like the group that they're in. Rather than like, not to say that they should want to wear a pink dress, I wouldn't want to, but like I would think about it, I don't think I want to do this, right? But I don't feel like a pressure for other people to do it. I think for a lot of people, they feel the pressure to live a certain way. And part of feeling that pressure also requires you to reinforce that pressure. So that's where a lot of the comments come from. Like for a lot of people, because there's a lot of cognitive dissonance there too, if you see my lifestyle, it is impossible that somebody like me could ever be, because for me to be able to live my life in that style and to be happy with it would require for them to reorganize their whole worldview. So in order to resolve, 'cause we always work to resolve cognitive dissonance, in order to make my lifestyle make sense, either they have to reform how they view the world and they have to acknowledge maybe there are a lot of other types of ways to be happy, or I'm just a cuck who's hardcore coping and I cry to myself to sleep every night. And that's probably way more likely. So they just go with that basically. So I feel like having the understanding of like where they come from mentally, like I get it, helps me to like not carry as much. But then again, like I said, like at the end of the day, this is my life, like, why the fuck would I let strangers online dictate to me how I live, you know? - It's very interesting to me. So I, when I'm very good at controlling my emotions, but I definitely have a negative response to things, if I think the way that people come after you and the way that you're just like water off a duck's back, I would not enjoy that. Like that would really go-- - Which is super, that's like 99% of people.
How Destiny Deals With Online Hate (01:56:55)
That's 99% of talent of like online influencers. That's super, super normal, yeah. Some people feel really bad about that. But if I'm ever talking to a friend that's doing that, I always say, it is totally normal to feel this way. Like it's fine, like everybody deals with this. 'Cause people don't talk about it that much sometimes, so people start to deal with it and they feel really bad about it. And you have to remind them like, this is super normal. Like humans are social creatures. It would be bad if you like didn't feel that pressure from outside people, 'cause that's probably how a lot of society regulates itself, right? It's some amount of like external pressure affecting you. - What is your response to negative emotion? I've heard you say that you actually like the stress and you like it when people are coming after you and you're playing, I mean, there was one time you said that like someone's trying to come after me and like ruin my career or whatever you like. I liked that and having to figure it out. And I was like, God, that doesn't sound fun. Or in that moment, do you think that the sort of dial of intensity on that feeling is low? - There is a, I'll call this like righteous fury or righteous anger.
Handling Public Criticism And Understanding Context
Dealing With Stress and Criticism (01:58:00)
A more boring way to define this is, fuck, there's two words for this. One is you stress and one is-- - Distress? - Yeah. Most of the time when we talk about stress and it being negative, what we're really talking about is distress and being distressed means that you're in an area where you are very aggravated by the environmental circumstances and you don't have the tools to deal with it. It's a sense of hopelessness, it's a sense of fear, it's a sense of anxiety, it just destroys you. It's bad for you physiologically, it's just horrible. But then there's this concept called you stress where you're being actively challenged by your environment and there's a lot of external factors stressing you, but you do have the tool set to deal with it. And for whatever reason I've always felt like I've got the tool set to deal with things. Like if something bad happens, there have been sometimes where like a catastrophic thing will happen and I need to take a day to be like, I know I'm mentally fucked today. But then the next day it's like, okay, well, I'm not starting from carpet cleaning, I've got like a whole bunch of shit, we're going for me now. So what do I have going for me? Where can I go from here? What do I need to do? I had this moment I got fucking banned from Twitch when I got departed from Twitch. These were two like huge moments for me. It was like I've streamed this platform for like 11 years with the fuck. But yeah, there's time continues to move in one direction and whether or not you want to move along with it is ultimately up to you. So for whatever reason, I have a really good, adaptive mindset of like, I have to work and figure out what I need to do next. So that like tends to keep most of the stress at bay. There's that, there's two other big things. The second thing is that a lot of my life, I have like three secrets, okay? Other than that, like my whole life is basically open for the internet to scrutinize. So it's very hard for people generally to get any kind of like leverage or blackmail on me. Like more often than not, if somebody accuses me of impropriating, like, okay, well, let's just leak all of our logs and you can tell me like, well let the people decide, right? I might be cringish sometimes, but I'm not like a rapist or I'm not like abusive. I'm not doing anything like crazy or weird or whatever. So that helps a lot. And that like a lot of my life is public. And then the third thing, kind of going over the end of the seventh, the second thing, I think I would generally like a pretty good person. Like I haven't really fucked anybody over. The, I pay my employees well. I've never scammed anybody. I've never done anything. Like I've just never done anything like that bad. So usually when people are gunning for me, it's on some like total bullshit rumor stuff. And I know that as long as I put together good enough evidence, if I navigate it appropriately, if I control my emotional state and if I present a compelling case to the public, I'll always come out on top because I'm like conducting myself in a decent way. So that those are like the three big things I think that like kind of helped me navigate it all. - I know at one point you had a bad breakup or something and she leaked very sensitive photos.
Being Accused of Serious Accusations (02:00:26)
- First of all, that was not a breakup. It was a girl that I wasn't dating. I was a massive fucking dick. So I probably somewhat deserved it. Maybe not to that extent. But basically it was a girl and I that used to sleep together. And we were friends too. I should say that we were friends first so we also slept together. But I was sharing pictures of her in a group of a couple friends or whatever we were talking and we were making jokes about like the way that her face looked. Which was really horrible. I showed her that really shitty. But apparently one of the people in that group knew her, they told her and she had worked as an assistant for me and she found out how to get on my Twitter and she started posting pictures of me. I remember I was in the middle, fuck me. I'm in the middle of, do you know what MLG is? - No. - Majorly gaming. I'm in the middle of this fucking huge audience, okay? I'm sitting near the front 'cause I'm a big streamer, I remember whatever. And this guy in front of me, Jeff Robinson, I remember, he takes his phone out and he turns around and he's like, "Hey dude, nice dick." And I was like, "What?" And then I look and he's showing me my Twitter with a horrible fucker and I like get up and I'm like, "Holy shit." And it was like a pretty stressful day. - I would imagine. Now what was your response? How did you bounce back from that? - Well, my initial response was unhinged. I told her, "I'm gonna contact your school, "I'm gonna get you kicked out "and I'll destroy your fucking life, "you horrible fucking peaches, Jeff Robinson." - That is one reaction. - That was at the day after I was streaming again. This is something that I figured out really early on, okay? People, this is a bullshit really random. People only know you for your last three videos, okay? If you do something, if you fuck up, you do something stupid or whatever, you have to keep making content and you have to keep moving forward. So I'm pretty sure I was streaming the next day. A lot of people were making fun of me like saying dumb shit or blah, blah, blah. I kinda like joked around with it. By day two, it had dropped by like 90% and by three, there were just like a few people left saying anything. Something that I noticed that happens if you're a content creator, actually it's probably true of life in general. If anything really big happens, take the appropriate time you need to process it or figure it out, but oh my God, don't stop moving. You have to keep moving forward. I know so many content creators that went through a big piece of drama and they were like, I have to take like a month off and I'm like, take a day off, don't take a month off. Because what happens is you stop, that's the last thing people remember about you, you get out of the swing of doing content, the last thing people remember to do is really horrible. When you come back, two things are gonna be true. One, your initial audience is gonna be way smaller 'cause now people are forgetting about you and two, everybody's gonna bring up that last thing. So now you start your stream again, the horrible thing that made you quit is back with one fit the audience size and you're like, fuck it, I'm gonna take another one and then you're done. I've known, I've known like five or six different content creators that like had a big drama and this was their exit, they never came back from it. And I'm like, you just have to keep streaming, it sucks, it'll be, keep streaming, keep making videos, push through it and you'll come out the other side, usually okay, assuming you didn't like break or murder somebody, right? - Right, walk me through how like, as I was researching you, I started thinking, I'm not sure I'd be good in the format of a stream.
Changing over time in the public eye (02:03:16)
Like you are, A, you're playing games at the same time which I actually don't understand how you do. 'Cause we set up a Twitch channel, I was literally, we got all of it set up, I was ready to go, I was about to sit down and play. And I was like, I can't talk while I'm playing, this is not gonna be good content. I'm either gonna look so dumb playing the game that people like this guy is a loser or I'm not gonna say anything, I'm just gonna be completely sucked into the game. But also, you're having to think on your feet so much for so long, there's no sense of like, even the part who knows if we'll leave it in, probably. But like, I have the option to cut out some of your earlier comments if we think they're too hardcore, right? You don't get to do that on stream. So, how do you deal with years and years and years of that knowing that you're going to evolve as a person? - I just, my current strategy now is, it's funny, I did this several times yesterday. I wanna talk about the things that I feel, the ideas that I have, like those subjects, let's talk about them. As soon as people start accusing me of shit, I'll just like, yeah, and. So like, somebody says, I think he said this thing, like, I actually think you're pretty racist. Like, how do you feel about that? I'm like, yeah, I am racist. Like, what do you wanna talk about? Yeah, I am misogynistic. What do you wanna talk about? Like, I don't ever engage in conversations. Like, are you racist or are you misogynistic? Or are you, I just don't do it anymore. It's boring to me, it's stupid. It's usually based off of like one tweet or one thing. If you think I'm racist or misogynist, that's fine. But like, let's just talk about like whatever. Like, let's say I am, let's say I'm not. So I can change the conversation going forward. So to some extent, like, yeah, I just. - Does it set another way? Is that look at me by the ideas that I present here and now? - Well, oh, if you're talking about like, yeah, I mean, like sometimes my positions on things will update. Like, I'll change my stance on some things. But then I'll just say that too. I have no problem. Like somebody, like, I've changed my mind a lot on de-platforming, for instance. And people sometimes look at me and it's like, you're a total hypocrite. You said this in 2017. And I'm like, am I a hypocrite? 'Cause I changed my fucking mind. Like, how old are you? 25? Everything you thought when you were 15, are you a hypocrite? Like, what a stupid thing to, there's a, I don't remember, it was a Hemingway quote or something, but it's like when the facts change, I change my mind, what do you do, sir? Or when I learn something, do I turn, right? Yeah, there are gonna be things that I don't believe anymore, but usually, I can tell immediately there are some people I talk to that are really trying to have a conversation and there are other people I talk to that are not. So some people will say things like, hey, in 2018, 2019, you said this, do you still think this anymore? Or do you still believe this or why or why not? Like, okay, cool, that's an interesting conversation. Other times people say like, how do you feel about this? And I'll be like, oh, like, I think this thing. And they're like, really? Because in 2016, you said that. And it's like, yeah, I probably felt differently back then. Okay, well, no, what do you mean, you just like flip flopping? Whatever, it's like, no, like, right. You can tell like really quickly if somebody's genuinely interested in what you're saying versus if they're just trying to like, know you to the wall on gotchas or whatever. Now, are you at all worried about the Rogan N-word supercut happening to you? Like, as you get bigger, which I have a feeling you will, you've been at us along, you're good at it, especially as 2024 comes, you'll be like the political guy in that arena that people are gonna go to go to go to. Do you have a sense of the sort of damocles over your head that I am gonna have to go through this at some point? - I don't care. Like I said, I try to like short circuit or diffuse a lot of these conversations where like, if somebody says something, I was like, yeah, this is what I think about it. Like, you're gonna talk about it like, you're gonna talk about something different. I think that only because I'm independent from a lot of sponsors, I don't rely on sponsorships or teams, so I don't have to worry about that. And because I'm not bending the rules in a way that's gonna get me kicked off a platform. Like, I'm not like, like I might have stances on like, offensive language or slurs, but I'm not saying them on YouTube, right? So I don't think I'm gonna get banned for something like that. But I find humans are very reflexive in nature for how they deal with people. I don't know if you've noticed this for small children. This is something I learned a long time ago on my mom to daycare and I see it with my kid. When a kid is like running around, if they like bumped their head on something and they fall off the ground, the first thing they do is they like look to an adult for a reaction, right? And if you've got like the stereotypical mom, I was like, oh, my baby, like, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, the kid is gonna be crying.
Putting the Rogan controversy in context (02:07:21)
But like, if you walk up to the kid and it's like, you're fine, get up, like do whatever. Like, they'll wind for like two seconds, then they walk off and they do whatever. If somebody comes up to me and they're like, hey, I've got this clip back in 2019, I think you're racist. And I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, listen, listen, I swear to God, like, hold on, like, the way that this intro, like, if you give them the power, then they're gonna take it and they're gonna ride on that high horse and you're gonna empower them to do those things. Whereas, like I said before, I was like, okay, like, maybe I am, let's talk about something that you actually wanna talk about. My biggest complaint when it comes to like cancel culture and stuff is people give way too much power to the people that are trying to cancel people. But I recognize I say that from a position of luxury because I'm not part of an organization or part of something that could come down and punish me if I were to like give an outlandish view. Like, I might have a different perspective on this if I was like the CEO of like Pepsi or something else, you know, like, now I'm representing a lot of other people when I talk. So I wanted to ask the Rogan thing, when that all popped off, what did you think? Did he, as somebody who does have sponsors, do you think he handled it well? Should he have-- - Did he do anything about it? Or did he just keep trucking? - As far as I know, he made an apology. I didn't follow it super closely to be honest. - I think you should make out. He probably had to, but I don't, I just like, I really don't like you. - Okay, really? - Because the little of the like, what I would say like the misinformation that he hosts especially related to vaccines instead of a lot of it triggers me. But I don't think Joe Rogan is racist. I've like, I've never my life gotten the vibe that he's racist. And I don't like the hunting for like people's bigotry to like try to figure out like, did they say this word or blah, blah, blah. And I think I watched that clip compilation. It was a long time ago at this point, it was a while ago now. But I don't remember seeing it, and it was like, oh, that guy's really racist. It's just like, dumb. So yeah, I don't know. The thing that sucks about apologizing, and again, with Rogan, it's different because he's got like a bunch of employees that depend on him and sponsor deals and stuff. Maybe he needed to, but man, by apologizing, he gives so much more power to that group of people or it's like, yeah. Now you've made him that much more emboldened for the next person like, oops, sorry, for the next person that they go after, yeah. - Yeah, it's interesting. What, why do you dislike Rogan so much? - There's something my mom told me when I was in high school and it was don't ever let your mind be so open that your brain falls out of it. And sometimes I feel like with Rogan, he has this tendency to agree with anybody that's on a show or he gives a platform a lot to him. And one of the big, I shouldn't say I hate Rogan. I don't hate Rogan. He's just like a cool guy, actually. Most of the shows are pretty funny. The only issue that I have is right now there's a huge surge of anti-establishment sentiment. And as soon as somebody's willing to come on and say, "Oh yeah, the vaccines are fake. They're causing mushrooms to grow on your body." And the diet's suddenly documenting blah, blah, blah. And it's like, if you wanna have them, that's fine. But at least provide some kind of pushback, bring somebody on at the same time or at least have a real person on afterwards. It seems like 80% of the people that come on are denying all this pretty obvious medical shit. And that triggers me because Joe Rogan is so popular. I know that I need to watch this episode because I'm gonna be arguing with 50 different people that are gonna be echoing those same arguments later. So that's frustrating for me to deal with, I guess. I also, I don't know what you stand on a vaccine and somebody would agree with them completely, but yeah.
Tribalism/Navigating Ideas (02:10:21)
- I don't know where I stand on the vaccine. I think that you really have to look at it. So I'm not gonna make a decision unless I really dig into it. So I got vaccinated. And so I think vaccinations on the whole are a miracle. But I have no idea. I haven't looked at any of the data from the recent spout. So yeah, I am definitely, I, the way that I see it, a lot of people will say, "Tom, you never have to worry "as long as you only talk about things that you know about." And I have taken the exact opposite approach. I am more than happy to talk about things that I know nothing about. - Okay. - But I'm just gonna walk you through how I think about it. So the way that I would think about the vaccine is look at the data, right? So I don't, I think it is a huge problem that we face as a society that right now people think tribally and they allow themselves to, I've a growing hypothesis about this. In fact, one of the things I found most interesting about you is you don't seem to allow yourself to be ideologically captured by your own mind, by your own beliefs, by your-- - The opposition by being the opposite of them, yeah. - Yeah, like none of it. Including your own audience, which is we've all seen it happen where people get audience capture. That can be a very strong gravitational pull, so I get it. So what I do is say, okay, there is a path to understanding what this is and I'm gonna walk down that path and I don't care what the answer is. It's not that I don't care. What I care about is the truth. I care deeply about identifying the truth. Now, whatever the truth is, the truth is. And so unless it's something that we can change, then I just wanna know what are the facts so that I can adjust accordingly. And then if I find, okay, I know where we are today and it's something that's malleable, again, I still needed to know the truth. And so this is where I get heartbroken for people that don't want to engage with the truth. So there's a guy, I'm gonna make a prediction about you. I don't think you'll like this guy, but I'll be very interested to see. I'm missmapping your worldview. An economist named Thomas Sol. - Oh, geez. - And I assume you're not a fan. - Not too much. - Yeah, so. - He's a smart guy, yeah. - Yeah, I think he's brilliant. Is he right about everything nobody's going to be? I haven't read enough of his stuff to know where the edges are, but he gave me a quote that is so powerful that I think about him all the time. And the quote was, "The last 30 years have been marked by exchanging what sounds good, exchanging what worked for what sounds good." And I was like, "It suddenly made so many things click into place. There's two things that helped me navigate the times that we're living in." So I've been in LA now for almost 30 years. I have watched it change, man, and not for the better. And so I'm often asking like, what happened? And I really think it is very well-intentioned people. There's two things. I'll finish that statement. Well-intentioned people with terrible policies that they are not checking against reality, saying, "Hey, here's the predicted outcome. Did we get it? No, we didn't, then we have to change." Was it San Francisco recently that had the $10,000? I didn't hear about this. Oh, fuck. So in San Francisco. It was either San Francisco or LA where they wanted to make things to make women feel safe and also to give shade in the sun. So it's like a steel pole that comes up and it's got a cover and a light. And these installations cause like $10,000 each. And I think everybody was just like, it might even have been like San Francisco, I'm sorry, but there was just another example of like, yeah. Right idea, make them actually be safe, would be amazing, possibly wrong execution. So that is the first side of that equation. And then the second side of the equation is that you need to make sure that you're in that loop of does this thing actually work. And so often people are not willing to look at that. And I haven't entirely figured out why that is true. Okay, maybe I can give you an idea. It's interesting to say so I have a saying that encapsulates both of these points. When I'm telling people to think about policy is I try to tell people stop getting attached to the process, you have to be attached to the outcome. And I notice that what a lot of people do is they will tie an outcome together with a process and that process becomes unassailable because it is interpreted as attacking the outcome. So I can give a really good example. I don't know if you feel about any of these policies. So maybe you disagree on the merits. - I literally only care about the truth. - Okay, sure. Well, everything I say is right. No, I'm just kidding. There is only one way to deal with housing, okay? And it's to zone for more housing. Everything else sucks shit, okay? Just I'll just say that much. One of the ways that we combat housing issues is rent control. Rent control can temporarily alleviate the burden for some renters, it hurts new renters, it hurts development, it's not a good policy, right? In my opinion, and I think economically, I think there's a lot of research on this. But the outcome we're looking for is more housing for people, okay? Rent control is one way to effect that outcome, but if it doesn't work, then you toss it. But what a lot of people do in their mind is they'll take that rent control and that becomes an extra-believely link to reducing homelessness or helping people find more affordable homes. So when I come out and I say, hey, I don't think rent control is a good idea. And their mind, what they hear is you don't want affordable housing people and then they're attacking you based on that outcome because they can't separate that from any of the processes. The inability to separate those two things also hurts people to critically evaluate the effectiveness of any given process, because the thing that happens is, and this is important to know too, those outcomes are normative, they're moral in nature, wanting to have less homeless people, wanting to have people with healthcare. These are moral claims that we're making, that we ought to be doing these things, which is good. The processes are not moral. There's nothing moral or immoral about capitalism or socialism or single-payer healthcare or any of these things. The morality part will come at the end based on who's affected and how they end up playing out of the real world. But people have such an impossible time disentangling those two things that any time you start arguing against a given process because you don't think it's effective, they're just fighting you because I think you disagree with the outcome. I noticed for a lot of conservatives and liberals that fight with each other, they're fighting because they're tying the outcome to the process.
Example housing (02:16:42)
Earlier in the show, you had said something where it's like, I think that liberals generally believe in compassion and kindness or whatever, and conservatives generally believe in individualism and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. It was funny that you said that because in my opinion, I think that both sides actually care about being compassionate towards people, but that's kind of like their drive, and then the outcome is helping more people, but the processes are way different for both. To a conservative, compassion is, I go to my church, I tithe my income, I donate to charities that help the people that I wanna be helped, that I know will help them, and I think they can do that better than the government, and at the end of the day, the responsibility of my immediate community, my friends, my family, my neighbors, it starts and it stops with me. That's what a small town conservative thinks. There's nothing compassionate about the federal government stealing money from people in San Francisco to give food stamps to a homeless guy in my town that came from the East Coast. That's in their mind what they're thinking, right? So they have the compassion, the process is way, way, way different. And then liberals, in their mind, they're thinking like, okay, it's cool that you donate money to your church, but you don't know the homeless guy down the street, nobody's helping him, donate all the money you want, it's not to get this guy treatment for his schizophrenia, at the end of the day, there are some problems that only the government can solve. There's no such thing as the Catholic Church socialized healthcare system that's giving type one diabetic kids treatment, you have to go to their medical system for that, so the government has to be involved in some of these things. So this is a thing where you've got two different processes, but when conservatives and liberals attack each other, they don't say, hey, socialized healthcare, I don't think that's an effective policy, the liberal doesn't say, hey, caring about your community on just an individual, but that's not effective. Instead, what both sides are saying is, you hate America, you don't have compassion, you're not kind towards anybody, you're just trying to do like these evil things, because they can't separate the process from the outcome, I think.
Influence Of Media And Effective Decision Making
Why Trump failed as a good business leader. (02:18:20)
- I think that's really insightful and is exactly the way that I think we have to move forward. So when I think about politics and I think about the government, I've traditionally not been involved at all, and until recent events, I always said, if just an entrepreneur would run for president, like they know how to run companies and they'll understand so. - Oh no. - Our first go around did not work out quite the way that I had hoped. - You know what, I'm real quick on that. - Yeah. - I think it would have. I am fully convinced that Trump must have lucked into a lot of shit. I don't know if you're gonna luck at it being a billionaire, but you're so fucking ineffective at anything. I think that a good business leader, because if you think about a good business leader, like there are traits of a good business leader that Trump did not have. One of the aspects of being a CEO, or being, I know this from being a supervisor, okay? If I'm a supervisor and a restaurant and my manager or VP of Food and Beverage when it comes walking by, and they say, hey, your tables are dirty, I am never saying, oh, I had to employ slacking off, because it starts and stops with me. I'm the supervisor, they're my responsibility, I get paid the money to manage them. I can't fucking blame an employee when somebody else comes by a manager, ask me what's going on. But for Trump, you're supposed to be the CEO of a company. The brand starts and stops with you. You can tank a whole business stock with one tweet. You can't be passing the buck to every other person if you wanna run the country like a business, because ultimately, you know, today, being a CEO means being accountable, and he had no accountability. I'm sorry, that's a good thing for people, 'cause people will say that like, this is leader, can't run the country, 'cause Trump is like, maybe they could. Trump just didn't run it like a business leader, he ran it like a monarch, but that's sorry. - Yeah, the thing that I really wanna see people do whoever it is, is understand that every idea that you have process is, it's a test, and you're gonna try it, and you're gonna see if it works, and if it does, then you can do it more, and if it doesn't, then you're gonna change. And that's why I think everything really starts with the North Star, and I feel like political debate should always be arguing about, what are we trying to accomplish? Let's get it down in a single sentence. Don't obfuscate things with fancy language. Just in a single sentence, what are we trying to accomplish? Okay, cool. So now if we can agree on that, fine, fair. If left and right are really just debating about the method by which we get there, we're just gonna try something, and if it works, like, and this is physics of progress, I mentioned that earlier. So physics of progress, it is a set of steps, and they are very easy to run. It's the scientific method, recontextualized for businesses, where I thought of this. So you have a hypothesis. We would need to do this. It's just your best guess. You don't know, you have to try it first, but you have a hypothesis. Hopefully it's as informed as possible about what you would have to do to overcome the obstacle that stands between you and your goal. So you know your goal? You know the obstacle? You have a hypothesis on how you overcome that obstacle. You turn that hypothesis into a test, the thing you can do, but you have to have a metric that you say, I'm expecting when I do this test to get this exact outcome. And if I don't make meaningful progress towards that outcome, this test was a failure. And so then you try it and you say, okay, cool, we have new data, and now the question is, do we make enough progress that is worth running that test again, but improved? Or do we realize, oh, like, just altogether, this is not the right way to go about it. Now the more that we can steer by empirical data, the better off we are, but it feels like people are going way out of their way to make things more complicated, to silence dissenting voices, et cetera, et cetera, which then ultimately creates a problem. Obviously tribalism is a big part of this, it's a very complicated problem. But to me, the solution feels it is physics. Like what I just walk people through, there is no way around. There is no way to be successful in anything, politics, helping the homeless, anything, anything, anything, until you do that. - Yeah, that's hard sometimes because sometimes it can be very bureaucratic, so getting certain changes passed or approved, or even measuring them can be difficult. - And that's part of the problem you have to solve. But if we can't agree that effectively the scientific method is the only way forward. Like if we can't agree on that, if there are some people that are like, no, no, no, the only thing that matters is the idea has to sound good. The idea has to make people feel better, it has to be inspiring.
Justin's viewpoint on the influence of movies and video games on society. (02:22:50)
Okay, if I can't get you onto that the outcome is what matters, then yeah, certainly if you're talking to me, we're never gonna be able to make progress, 'cause that does not make sense to me. - Sure. I feel like a lot of even, when I think of the most capitalistic KPI driven, I think of tech world as I'm thinking, 'cause you could be so fluid and mobile with everything. I think it's funny that even in that world though, it seems like a lot of the decisions, it's almost like dominoes. I think it was, I wanna say Facebook started with the idea of an open office, and everybody copied them. And I think at the end of the day, the data came back and it just, it wasn't good to do, do you know what I mean? When I say open? - The floor plan? - Yes, yeah. That I think Facebook, it was a Facebook, or Google was the first one to do it, and then every company started to do it, like they're doing it, we're doing it, they're doing it, we're doing it. And everybody followed suit. And I think the data has come out of the show that it doesn't make workers more productive. - It's a cacophony of madness. - Yeah, it absolutely doesn't. But everybody jumped on it just 'cause they saw somebody do it. And I feel like a lot of the tech world like that is sometimes, do you remember a long time ago when Apple eliminated the headphone jack? - Yes. - I think it was either Galaxy or Samsung where it might've been Google, it was literally making ads, making fun of them, like, miss your headphone jack, at least we still have it next generation, nobody has a headphone jack anywhere, right? You saw recently Twitter in an incredibly unpopular move, was like, we're gonna start charging a lot more for like API access and verification, right? Well, Facebook started charging for verification, Reddit is not having a huge issue with their charging APIs. Sometimes I feel like everybody's looking around, it's like, okay, I really wanna do this thing, but I need this motherfucker with a public fall guy for first, and then we'll all do it immediately after, so, yeah. - Yes, in fact, that brings me to the Overton window. So there are just things that you can do, like that the culture will accept, and this is part of the problem. There's enough malleability in culture and people that there will always be a temptation to try to get what you want by manipulating culture or trying to introduce, I mean, I'm doing this, if I'm completely honest. I'm actually waiting for somebody to point this out.
Origin of Impact Theory (02:24:55)
So my whole thesis on impact theory was originally, I was just gonna teach adults, hey, the only, 'cause I took myself from scrounging in my couch cushions to find enough change to put gas in my car, to building and selling a company for a billion dollars, man. And so when you take yourself from, I can't even put gas in my car, to I'm fantastically wealthy, if you're wired like me, you start going, oh my God, I'm not smarter than the next person, but I have a better frame of reference, I have a better belief system, I have a better value system that really works. And so I wanted to just start giving it to my employees. So my whole mantra was, I want you to work here, A, for the exact number of days that is the most selfish thing that you could do, and then B, I want you to have the option to go work anywhere, because I am pumping you so full of skills that you could go anywhere, but you believe I care more about your future than your own mother. That was like my whole thing, I used to say it to my team all the time. Like I want you to be here, 'cause you know nobody's ever invested in you like this. And so we created this saying at the time, it was called Quest University, and I was like, think like this, act like this, read these books, do this, like it, it, physics of progress, I can't say that that one thing will work, but if you get in that loop, like you really will be able to make progress. And 2% of them did something with it, and 98% didn't. And so I was like, okay, I'm a scale guy. So I was like 98% are dead to me, I know too much now about human psychology, I'm going after kids. So 11 to 15. - That's a horrible quote. - Sounds terrible. - No, just the-- - 11 to 15 became our sweet spot. And so I was like, okay, we're gonna educate through entertainment, 'cause I'm like, don't try to change behavior, leverage it. So I'm gonna make video games basically that speak to 11 to 15 year olds, and I'm going to, instead of trying to make broccoli taste good, I'm gonna make junk food good for you. And that's what we're doing. And so it's like, the sort of scary part is, that really does work. The bad news is, like if I were doing that for evil intent, whoa, like mobile games, yes, I guess this one would have looked at it. But like, so our whole thing, the only reason that we exist is to empower people. But it's one of those where there just is a truth that at a societal level, you really can manipulate things. So I bring that up because as these companies look to their left and look to their right, and one of them does it, they know you've now conditioned society, and I can now pull the trigger on something like that. And that stuff works, and this is ultimately how as a society, we begin moving.
Leverage behavior don't change it (02:27:26)
- Yeah, that's cool. I don't think I've got anything out of that, but yeah, I mean, yeah, it seems like a cool concept, a cool idea. What do you, I'm trying to think because it harkens back to, I was educated a lot unintentionally through video games. I've picked up somebody random tidbits. You mentioning earlier the idea that we have an organelle with its own genetic code, like I know all about that because I played a game called Parasite Eve, like growing up. There's so many random things I picked up that, yeah, video games can be instructive as long as they have the right information in them, yeah.
Building a decision making framework (02:27:55)
- Talk to me about your ability to break down good ideas. I've said a couple times, I think you think very clearly. You seem to have an actual like structure to how you break down ideas. - Usually it's, you keep calling it that North Star thing. For me, it usually it's, I've got like some kind of like internal like guiding principles and everything will map on to that very easily, usually. In my opinion, I think the hardest thing to do in life is to figure out like, what do you really want? What do you wanna do? Like usually if I'm talking to a person, especially people that feel really uncertain about their future, usually what I try to hone in is like, what would you enjoy doing? Like what do you like? What makes you happy? Because, and then once you've figured out like, what do you wanna do? What's your dream job? What are you gonna do? The people think that questions given to them are so difficult to answer. Like, should I go to school here? Should I do this? blah blah blah. If you ever get a question like that, that's difficult to answer it. The reason why it's difficult to answer is usually because you don't have that internal question of like what you wanna be, what you wanna do figured out. You call it your North Star. Because once you've truly figured out like, listen, by the time I'm 30, I wanna be a lawyer, doctor, I wanna be an engineer. I wanna be a manager of a franchise at McDonald's or whatever, right? If you have that, then all of the other decisions in the interim usually become pretty easy for you. Because it's like, okay, I really wanna be a lawyer by the time I'm 30, at 22, I guess you can do pre-law or whatever for your undergrad or something. If you have, let's say like an opportunity comes up for you to help run the family business for like three or four years. And it might be like a decent chunk of change or you could go to law school. If you really wanna be a lawyer, and that's like something said in Stone for you, even though you've got a nice opportunity that comes up with your maybe family business, it's easier to say like, no, I don't want to because I know in five years, this is where I wanna be. I wanna be doing the lawyer thing. So I have to say no to that. Usually a lot of the confusion about like opportunities to the come up, usually it's because you don't really know where you wanna be going long term. And to try to navigate the world with no end point in mind is impossible, impossible difficult because every single decision requires you to evaluate every single thing about your life again. For me in politics and ideas, it's usually pretty similar. So I'm like, oh, well, why do you support this particular thing? And I was like, I don't know, well, let's boil it down to like it's most fundamental aspect. I feel about this or that. And then we look at this or that. And then we look at this or that. And then you just go from there. Say somebody asked me a question about like single-payer healthcare, right?
How Steven approaches controversial topics effectively (02:30:25)
For me, effective, so very fundamentally, two people come together. They make everybody happier than if they were apart, right? So fundamentally, we try to create a society of service that needs as many people as possible. If you're looking at single-payer versus multi-payer, then all we have to do at the end of the day is let's look at countries that have this healthcare system, measure healthcare outcomes, let's look at countries of this healthcare system, measure their healthcare outcomes based on spending, whatever, we could find out like what's more effective and then we move in that direction. Like that's how I navigate those conversations. I'll never utter something like everybody's entitled to healthcare or everybody deserves like, 'cause I don't, those are like platitudes. They're meaningless, right? At the end of the day, like you said, we have to find out what works the best and then we employ that system and then you go from there. So I think one of the big advantages is I stay away from normatively loading any process. I'll never, ever, ever, normatively load. Unless the thing is by default, like if somebody says, like we should make a society better by murdering children, it's like, okay, well that's not good. But yeah, generally I stay away from normatively loading anything, I try to evaluate everything based on outcomes. And then once we have all that information, then the moral decision of like, well, what's better because it serves some moral or ethical end is usually where I'll go from there. And how do you translate that into debate? So debating is something that you seem to have a unique gift for. It is not something that people are usually by default, are there strategies that you use or is it all intuitive for you? - No, there's tons of strategies.
Preparation For Debates And Understanding Audiences
How Steven prepares for a debate (02:31:51)
There's a lot of deliberate meditation on like figuring out like what works and what doesn't work. - From what perspective, what's going to capture the audience, what's going to-- - Super depends on the conversation. It super depends on who I'm talking to. - So you'll research that person. Are you mapping like their cognitive biases or anything? - I keep saying this is super depends. I'll give an example for their Rolo Tomasi red pill guy and then Michael Sartane, I think. - I don't remember the other guy's name, but I saw a part of this, "Unfresh and Fit." - Yeah. - Yeah, I saw that. - I had two days to prepare for that debate. So I took two days off stream and I wrote up an outline for all the data that I wanted. But at the very top of the outline, I very specifically had, these are my goals for the conversation. And these are the strategies that I'm going to employ. - Do you remember what the goals were? - Fuck, I have this outline on my phone somewhere. But I think it was something like, my goal is to factually destroy whatever claims they're making. My goal is to demonstrate to the audience that what I'm saying is correct. My goal is to specifically cite a source with like a name, publication, date, and everything, blah, blah. And then like I had like for strategies, it was like remain calm the entire time, minimize movement of hands, don't ever raise voice. Things that I know like in these audiences, I like to be bummed back, I like to shout and scream like, "This is fun for me." And this is more animated, but I know for like red pill audiences, they want to see you like communicate more like this. - Really? - Yeah, I hate that. I hate it, but it's a more effective way of communicating with that audience because they respect a person that's capable of doing this. - More than somebody's just like fucking screaming. - Because it's an emotional control thing? - No, just because they have a poor concept of what emotional control means. - Interesting. - But it's like their idea is just like, yeah, they want to see like men debate like this where they're perfectly stoic and blah, blah, blah. So yeah, but like that was like, so for an example for that debate, like I would try to be less animated than I would be. I try to like never interrupt, I try to be very calm and chill because I know that that plays well to that audience. When I'm doing shows like "Fresh and Fit" for instance, something that I've said a lot to people is, if you want to convince people to change their ideas, if you're trying to argue against something they believe, it's really important that they view you as like a friendly, amicable person. You have to be somebody that is like cool to them. So when I'm on these shows, I make it a point to always be having fun. You're never gonna see me on like, even in these really adversarial areas where the chat is like spamming horrible things or anything, I'm never like on the show being like, I disagree with every single thing you're saying, I want to make sure on this thing. We're gonna find a boat, like, I'll be like joking and laughing and like making fun of whatever. And I'll pick like there'll be some points like, I want to fight on this point. I think you guys are super wrong on this, let's go on this or whatever. And then I'll go back to kind of like laughing and joking. But in a "Fresh and Fit" episode, they might say a hundred things that I disagree with, I'm only gonna fight them on like five or 10 of them. And not everything else I'm gonna kind of like vibe with them and have fun and chill because it makes me look a lot more friendly to the audience. And if they see that I'm capable of like showing up and like having fun and being cool, maybe there are like some things where it's like, I don't fully believe it, but at least I understand your point of view. And that's like the start for me, yeah. - Okay, so are you ultimately trying to win the debate with the person you're talking to? Are you very aware that ultimately you're talking to the audience? - It's almost always talking to the audience. Depending on the debate, I'll explicitly say that. Like with the abortion debate yesterday, like I think I told the two ladies, it was like, let's be clear here. Oh, because one of the ladies is like, have you ever considered that you might be wrong? And I was like, let's be clear here. I'm an independent person on the internet who can think whatever I want. You two literally have like 1500 member anti-abortion pro-life organizations. You guys are never changing your mind, no matter what I say. But I'm flexible to like agree with or disagree with whatever. Most people are too burdened with audience capture to ever truly change their mind on an issue. So I'm generally not, maybe I can like at least slowly move them a little bit on some things. But overwhelmingly, I'm generally just communicating to their audience, my audience and anybody that might stumble into the conversation from the outside. - What's something you've changed your mind on? - I've changed my mind on so many things. Deep platforming is something that I radically changed my mind on. I used to think there were certain ideas that were like kind of like so toxic to the public discourse that they just, we shouldn't even talk about them 'cause they're just like infect people's minds. But then I realized for a long time that I think the reason why they're so toxic and infectious is because the people marketing them have done a really good job at making them appear to be that way. And people on the left don't like spend any time marketing their ideas at all. They tell you like either believe us or you're a bigot and you're canceled. And it's like okay. So deep platforming is something I've changed my mind a lot on. Citizens United lobbying is something that I had a huge change on. Basically like the existence of like lobbying and super PACs and stuff. I used to be seven years ago.
The issue is distilled down to distributions. (02:36:25)
I used to think that lobbying was the single most important issue in the United States. - That way to get rid of it? - Yeah, that we shouldn't have lobbying. And now when I look at how things work in the United States, I actually think our political system is really effective at representing the will of voters. I think the issue is one, who's voting sometimes. And two, that the reason why the system appears so broken is because it's accurately reflecting where we are at as a country. That we just are divided. - Yeah, people look at Congress but Congress can't do anything. We're, it's so partisan and divided amongst itself. And it's like okay, well in the real world, I think like 60% of Republicans still think the election was stolen. So it seems like Congress is actually what appears to be broken. It's actually mapping on really well to what the citizens think. We just, it's more apparent in Congress. Or you know, people will say things like, we're never gonna get good police reform because it's too corrupt. And it's like, you're not getting good police reform because police are controlled by your mayors that are voted on local elections that have a 22% voter turnout. And the only people voting in those elections are old, wealthy, white people that aren't getting pulled over for marijuana. Why the fuck would the mayor ever do anything about police reform when all of his voters only care about stuff that affects like older, middle class, wealthier people? Like I think a lot of problems come with that. But that's something that I've like dramatically changed my mind on. There probably been a few things more but like yeah, those are three off the top of my head. - And so when you're going through that process, are you in a constant state of I wanna, I know that there's a flaw in my thinking. I just don't yet know where it is. And so whenever I encounter an idea, even if it runs up against something that I really believe, do you have an internal mechanism that trips, this is up, reevaluate this? - Again, I'm not tied to any process. I just have like a core kind of belief system I have. And if somebody's capable of bringing up data or bringing up something to me and it causes like, I can't account for that, either I have to figure out a better argument against them or I just have to switch completely. I think on the Citizens United thing, I used to think like lobbying like destroys our system blah, blah, blah. And I got into an argument somebody and he asked me, he's like, can you think of, you keep saying that like lobbying destroys everything. Can you think of one policy that's truly popular with the American people that like lobbyists have shut down? And there are a couple things I can think of, but it's only things if you poll on them very simply, but when you get into the weeds, it gets more complicated. And then I started to realize like, no, actually I can't think of anything. It seems like if the American people generally want something, generally assuming there's broad support for it, it'll usually happen. And usually when people are saying like, the government's corrupted, we all want this thing, but it's not happening. Usually we don't all want that thing. We think we do. When you get into the weeds, the answers change a lot. A really good example of single-payer healthcare. When Bernie was pushing forward at its height, you could get like 75% of Americans would agree with a statement. The government should provide healthcare for everybody. And all the Bernie fans would say, look, there's a support for his policy right there. But if you polled, do you think that the private government should eliminate all private insurance to be the sole provider of medical insurance and healthcare, the support drops to 25%. So there are a lot of issues where people are like, oh, look, all of Americans want this. And it's like, I think when you really start asking, I don't think they would. Brexit is another really good example. Like 51% of people voted to Brexit, but then when it came time to figure out, well, what does that actually look like? Now you have a ton of people like, fuck, maybe we didn't all agree on this. Or it's like really hard to figure out what we even wanted to do from this point. Yeah, that is creating a good map of the world is something that is incredibly important. Being able to be flexible is important. Something that I think people really struggle with is what I'll call a heuristic versus a rubric. So it is very hard to hold nuanced opinions in your head, like what you just went through, where, hey, at one level, it seems like we all agree, but if you go two levels down, we actually don't agree. It's just hard. Like, that's already a hard thing. The amount of time and attention it was. It would take to drill into the issue to get to that point is going to be, most people are not going to do that. And so I think people are looking for a heuristic. So they want to rule a thumb. That rule of thumb tends to be either somebody that I listen to on the internet thinks this way, and so I trust them. And so I'm in a wholesale buy off. Or I'm on the left or the right. And so what's the position? And so I don't have to think through this on my own, and I'm just going to take that wholesale. That feels like it creates movements that are impossible to back out of. Like, they are just going to happen. And so it feels a little bit to me like when a car flips over the edge of a hill. It's like, there's no stopping it until it runs out of momentum and it's smashing to a million little pieces and it's at the bottom. There is no slowing it down. And so I'm curious, do you think, given that you were saying that the division in Congress maps to the division in reality, do you see a way? Will we just naturally swing back to unity? Does-- is Ray Dalio right that basically they're-- most of the time as we get divided like this, we end up colliding. There's a war. There's bloodshed. And that's the only thing that resets. How do you see our future playing out? Hopefully we come back to each other. Here is-- so here's an issue that I try to get people to understand that's very, very, very hard. I know this to be true and nobody really likes the statement. We have this default assumption that human beings are truth-seeking machines. That is absolutely not true. Truth is an instrument that we use to increase our pleasure. Humans at the end of the day are pleasure-seeking or preference-seeking, you can say. And if you keep thinking that humans are truth-seeking, then you've got a frame of reference by which to evaluate the world that breaks at every single turn. For instance, the internet exists today. Everybody should essentially be a PhD in every subject. If you really want it, you can know anything.
Truth is not truth anymore. (02:42:19)
But clearly, that's not how the internet is used. If anything, the internet has been used in some ways to further more disinformation than ever before or more misinformation that people are so wrong on things. But how could that be the case when all the information is right there? Because people don't use the information to seek truth. People use the information to make themselves happy. When you've got people in this mindset that they're truth-seeking, then they mistake all the pleasure-seeking they do for seeking truth. That's why I run out of so many people like, oh, yeah, I've seen all the studies on this, and I know this is true. They say, I've seen all the studies. What they really mean is they heard this on an episode of Joe Rogan or Temple. That's what they mean. And it's like, you haven't seen the studies, and you're totally delusional when you think about that particular thing. So my thesis is that we're living in not an unprecedented moment in history, but at a unique thing. And if you take Ray Dalio's framework, it feels directionally correct, which is that every empire goes through six cycles, and the sixth cycle is complete and total collapse. And he pegs us at somewhere five and a half, phase five and a half. And so my concern is, like the car that goes off the hill, because people are not thinking for themselves largely, they are taking this sort of group stance that you end up getting this increasing polarization, which we've seen over and over in history. And as you polarize, there's something that has to bring you back together. Now it can be something shared, right? So at the beginning of COVID, I think we all secretly hoped it was going to bring us together. And it did super, super briefly. And then we rebounded way back to where we were, maybe even farther. And then just throughout history, and Ray did a book called The Changing World Order, where he basically went over the last 500 years of history, showed every empire that rose, every reserve currency. They all follow this exact six phase pattern. And so there's, you can just sort of overlay where is the US? So Ray Dalio pegs the likelihood of US going into a civil war at 40%. And this is a guy nobody has spent more money researching this historical pattern. And nobody has proven that they can read the pattern better. He's built the largest hedge fund in the world by betting on these movements more effectively than anybody else. And so it was pretty unnerving for me to run into him backstage at Dubai. And he was just like, basically, it all comes down to how people are with each other. You want to live somewhere in the world where people are going to be good to each other. And he's like, I'm hopeful that America finds their footing. But usually at this point, it requires, not requires. Usually at this point, what plays out is some sort of violent movement that redistributes wealth and hits the reset button. Yeah. You see the movement in black? Yes. OK, there's a quote, there's an incredibly profound quote in that movie. That is very funny. I've spent a lot of time the past few weeks thinking about it. It's when Jay goes to Kay and he's on the bench or whatever. And he's asking him, like, why don't we just reveal that aliens exist? Like, why can't we tell people that? Like, people are smart. And Kay's response is-- or fuck, is it J or K? I forget which one.
Groups, The Reason We're In This Mess (02:45:34)
I don't remember. Tommy-- Tommy Lee Jones? Yeah, Tommy Lee Jones's character responds to Will Smith. He's K? I thought he was K. He responds. And he says, a person is smart. People are stupid. People are dumb panicky animals. And in groups, they always act in dumb ways. And immediately, that seemed like, oh, yeah, cool. That's true. Like, people have a lot of-- when they're in big groups, they do dumb things and mobs, whatever, and an individual person. And I started to think about that a lot more over the past couple weeks. It was like, why is that exactly? And I think that what happens is, in a one-on-one conversation, there is a lot of social pressure to at least let the things that I'm saying impact you in some way. You want to hear me. You want to engage in a conversation with me. In a one-on-one conversation, people magically become very, very, very reasonable. Because there's a lot of social reward for doing so. I'm rewarding you by listening to you. You're rewarding me by listening to me. And we talk to each other. There's a good thing that's happening there. But as soon as that person turns around and goes back to their group, there is very little social reward for being like, hey, maybe we shouldn't do this thing. Hey, maybe we shouldn't change our mind. You can get socially eviscerated for that. So there's a lot of social pressure to 100% act in accordance with the group. And when you look at the state of the United States, something scary that's happening is it's probably OK for those groups to exist on small levels. Because different people have different communities and you represent different things. But these groups are becoming more dissimilar to each other. And they're becoming larger and larger and larger and larger and larger. So you're growing these two massive groups that are becoming ideologically pure, even if they shouldn't. Should a liberal in Seattle really have the same opinions as a liberal in Miami? Should a liberal in New York really agree with the liberal in Los Angeles, maybe? But they are today. Nowadays, if you ask half the liberals or half the progressives in the country, who's your favorite person in Congress? They're going to say, AOC. And I was like, well, who's your representative? I don't know. So you've got these groups today becoming huge because of the internet and hugely ideologically similar. And I think that's the scary thing that's driving us apart from each other in a really negative way. Do you see a way to back out of that? Or is my greatest fear right that this only runs its course when it runs up against so much trauma that it sort of resets everybody's groupthink? Yeah, I mean, that can happen. We can all circle each other. And eventually, things will change. The optimistic path that I have is, I think people really like what I do. I think I have a lot of fans in my audience. I tend to work really well in every single show I go on. People like to watch me do things there. And I think part of what people like is the idea that when I'm trying to demonstrate it, you can be open to other people without being a spineless fuck hack by somebody like Dave Rubin. Like, you can be open to other ideas. Like, listen, I'll hear you out. I think you're fucking wrong. But at least I'll give you the time of day I'll listen to and I'll discuss why I think you're right or wrong. I think if more people started to take that approach, I think we would be in a much better spot for it. Because right now, the issue isn't that we disagree with each other. The issues we think the other side is fucking evil. Like, that's the problem. But then also, that's very hard to keep in mind is, like, historically, we've probably always felt like this too to some extent. So it's hard to know how unique it is. I think the internet makes it unique because the communities are growing larger and we can punish and reward each other on larger scales. I think that makes it unique. But-- Yeah, I also have a theory about the internet. It was interesting actually researching you. It's funny how you and I do very similar things, but they are really different as you start getting under the hood of the way that you refer to the internet, capital T, capital I. Like, how do you think of chat, the internet? Like, is it a sort of living breathing organism to you? How do you think about it?
Who Is Destinys YouTube Audience? (02:49:20)
Because when I think about it, it's servers and connections. But it doesn't have its own sort of personality. I don't think much about it anyway as having to-- Oh, I totally do. Yeah, it's something that got its own personality. It's like a whole other world, a whole other geography with other communities and sub-communities that engage with each other in certain ways and come together and split apart. Now, is that something that people need to become aware of if we're going to find a path to-- reconciliation on words in your mouth-- but easing the pull apart? That we have to be aware that the internet is like a living breathing thing that-- Yeah, like, do we have to come to an understanding-- for somebody like me who I don't think of it like that, so am I missing an opportunity? Am I tone deaf to-- I'm on the thing, but am I missing a way of communicating and connecting with that sort of special organism in a way that could be meaningful? I mean, I think it ultimately depends on who you're trying to communicate with and what you're trying to achieve. So like, if your goal is to connect with gamers on Twitch, then you need to be aware of that world and what the rules are and how everything works in there. Let me lay the problem out maybe more clearly. So what I see is a overarching problem that we have is there's a breakdown of narrative, that the internet, the way that I see it, is all of these-- it is a technological infrastructure that allows for hyperfragmentation and in hyperfragmenting in allowing people to go down these really narrow, deep rabbit holes. So with these very fragmented things, you start to get a breakdown of an overarching narrative and without that overarching shared narrative, this goes back to for me, and I think we agree on this. I think we live in a hyper-deterministic world and that the way that you say it is people may be irrational but they're never random, that feels right to me. And I feel like there are billiard balls bouncing into each other that if we step back, we'd be able to predict where this ends and my fear is that we can't stop it and that it ends somewhere in just complete disarray and dysfunction because of the hyperfragmentation but I really want someone to have the insight on how we stop it. That's my secret thing. I don't know how realistic that is. - I'm just curious, have you ever been in "Moger Solid" one or two or three or anything? - No, I don't even know what sounds you just made. - Fuck. - "Mocas Solid"? - Metal Gear Solid. - Metal Gear Solid, so I just didn't hear you. Yes, I did. I played Metal Gear Solid 2 fanatically. - Oh, okay. Fanatically. - Yes. - The end of that game is unbelievably prophetic about the state of the internet today. - Mind me.
Metal Gear Solid story (02:51:59)
- Mind me. - And the whole end of, so for Metal Gear Solid 2, the game plays a big bait and switch on you because you think what you're trying to stop at the end of the game is a giant mecca robot killing civilization. But at the end of the game, what you're actually stopping was the AI GW and it was basically just a bunch of statements on the problems of the internet, which were funny 'cause it's game kind of like 1998. But basically what the main characters were, it was like, oh my God, you're gonna be creating and rewriting history. And what the AI's were saying was, no, our goal is not to erase content but to create context. The big problem with the internet today is there's an ever-increased commit of information preserved in all of its triteness across servers all over the world collecting at accelerated rates where nobody has really any idea what's going on and whoever can control the overall context of the information is the one that basically has the key to controlling the narratives of the future. - Jesus. - Yeah, I know, and it's funny 'cause this game came up before the internet really existed. It was like 1998, we were using like AOL keywords. But yeah, I thought going back and like listening to a lot of those older conversations, like Jesus Christ, but I feel like the internet today is truly like that, that there is no overarching narrative. Discretely, epistemically, we live in totally fucking different worlds now, right? And that's my goal is usually, there's like some commensurability that exists in debate. That's why I like debate is because it forces two people with dissimilar views to have a conversation with each other. Those types of conversations need to happen way more. It's really, really, really important. And I think content creators can be the leaders on that. I think it's possible to do that. They just need to get off their ass and do it, yeah. - It's amazing, man. If people really embrace that and they took that clarion call, I think it'd be interesting. That was a big part of the reason. So I'm assuming you don't know my content and if you do, you certainly don't know my old content. So I used to do just empowering content. So it was all mindset focused. And then when the pandemic popped off, I got really scared enough for myself, but for other people, 'cause I had just sold my company. So previously, I had 3,000 employees, a thousand of them grew up in the inner cities. And so I knew poverty up close and seeing people that you love walking towards the precipice, 'cause I didn't know we were gonna print money. So I was just really freaked out. And so I was like, God, what am I gonna do? So I completely changed the structure. - It's a huge company, nice job, geez. - Thank you, man. So I changed the tenor of my content to try to as rapidly as I could address the biggest problems I thought they were going to face. So I started diving into finance and how to save money and like how to weather the storm. And so anyway, it ends up taking me very far field from where I started, but constantly trying to get to the point where I could help people think through, think well through the problems that they were going to face. And hopefully, and look, sometimes I feel like I'm spitting into the wind, but hopefully give people a framework by which we could come back together and not have to fly off the cliff. - Yeah, I think at the end of the day, the most important thing that you can get people to do is a very basic level is to talk to each other. The problem is that like our spaces are becoming so rapidly divided that you can select for people that agree with your opinion on a really negative way. I'm so lucky that I've had a foot in both worlds because I grew up before the internet was like really a huge thing. So even though I'm like, I'm a massive fucking internet geek now, right? Also like people like, oh, like what's it like living in Miami Beach? And it's like my apartment is air conditioning. That's really the only thing that fucking matters to me. So I'm very much like an online fucking geek guy, but I love real world interactions. If I can talk to people in the real world, if I can hang out with people, if I can speak in front of people, that's super fun for me, I love it. Nothing online replaces that. There's something to be said for interacting with different types of people in real life because you have no fucking idea one, what a person is actually liking to, the appetite that you can have for so many different types of people. Like when you get on Tinder and people start to start being like, oh, I wouldn't date him, he's a Republican. Oh, I wouldn't date her, she's got burn in hair. Oh, I wouldn't be with that guy, he's not really just, oh, I wouldn't be like, like people like try to hyper select for their groups of friends online and shit. And the reality is, is you could meet some people that are surprisingly different from you in so many ways. And you can still get along with them and have fun and like be chilling stuff. But it's getting harder and harder to create like those warm spaces where people can just be together and be talking with each other because man, I remember dude, even ideal events like in Tennessee and Alabama and shit, I think it was in Tennessee where I'm in very conservative areas giving speeches and like fighting with a lot of like really conservative people. And even when I go to the end, a lot of people coming out that are even fans of mine are fans of the other guy that I'm debating, they're conservative. I remember for one of these things I had, one of my fans came out to this and she's a trans woman. And just, I think that them interacting with her over like a two hour dinner probably did more in their minds to like positively impact their view of trans people than like a million hours of YouTube content ever could. Because it's, I've said this before, oh fuck here, I'll give another example. I know this from the world of gaming. It is very hard to be mean to people on voice chat. If you play CSGO, I don't know if it's true in Destiny, some people can voice chat, some people can type. If you were to play like CSGO and you hop into a game and somebody's typing, that guy is always the rager. They're always gonna start talking shit because it's just, it's too hard to be mean to somebody when you're here like a human voice. So bringing back these like spaces where we can be like talking to each other, like face to face and not like fucking screaming each other and dehumanizing each other on the internet. I don't know how you do it, but it ties into that problem with women too where it's like, well for men dealing with women, where like if you wanna get good at talking to women, you have to talk to more women, just be in spaces with them. If you wanna get good at like humanizing the political, politically different people then you just have to be space where you're talking with them and communicating with them, yeah. - Yeah, no doubt.
Personal Experiences And Revelation Of Truths
Talking to people in real life (02:57:37)
Tell me about your experience with drugs. - I have seriously contemplated doing psychedelics and honestly the only reason I haven is because they are illegal in California. But I was recently in New York, had I had one more day, I was literally in the store holding a pack of mushrooms and I'm like, like how long did they last? And as it turned out, he was like, oh, it's like four hours and it might mess up your sleeve and I was like, fuck, then I can't do it tonight 'cause I had to do something the next day. And then that was the only day that I was there. So I ended up not doing it. But I know that you've had some experimentation. Your first one didn't go well, but it seems like you've done since then and pulled the pour back. - Different drugs do different things. You could take them for different reasons. Just a drug is a drug, it'll alter your experience. The altered experience can give you a lot of perspective on your normal experiences though. You said something a couple hours ago about and it made me wanna bring up drugs. You said something about how, I think it was like people needing to realize how important like the emotional aspect of themselves are. There was something along those lines. I don't remember the context as we were talking about this, but when you said that, something that I wanted to respond with is if you wanna understand how much like your mood or your emotions or your environment affects you, a really good way to learn that is to do a lot of drugs when it comes to psychedelics. I always assume before doing mushrooms that like, especially me, I'm a very logical person. So my mind is probably like 95% logic and reason and like 5% like mood and dumb shit that I'm above and beyond. And after doing mushrooms, like breaking apart my mind a lot and becoming more aware of myself, I see now that I'm like 10 to 15% is like very logically driven and there's this whole emotional side underneath that I have to pay attention to because it can totally run all my other processes arrive. I'm not like cognizant of what's going on. - That's interesting. - Yeah. - So there was a quote, I'm gonna paraphrase that you said about your first experience and you said it was deeply unpleasant. You're trying to explain it to somebody and you said, it made me realize I felt like I had pierced through a veil to a deeper truth and I realized that sometimes the truth doesn't, isn't good or doesn't make you happy? I forget the exact quote, but it was like, truth isn't always good. And I was like, whoa. - Yeah. Oh, I said this earlier, the truth is instrumental for pleasure. It's not actually a good thing.
Nicks First Trip (02:59:56)
This is just a weird thing, but it's gonna be real, it's gonna sound really weird, it's hard to explain, okay? For, okay, just for a quick perspective, if somebody wants to take a fun dose of mushrooms, if it's your first time, you don't take a fun dose and you wanna see things and maybe feel things, two grams is like a really good starter dose. Maybe one, if you wanna be really safe, two is probably a good starter dose. 3.5 votes what's recommended to have like a full mushroom trip. So you're gonna like go places a little bit, you're gonna have like a really fun time, you're gonna see a lot of things, you're gonna be very high, it's gonna be very intense. Once you go to like five grams and beyond, you're in like some like otherworldly territory. The first time that I wanted to do mushrooms, I was with a friend, I smoked a bit of weed and done edibles and stuff and the impact that they had on me prior to mushrooms, it was just kind of like, I was like giggling and happy or whatever. And so I was like, I wanna just, I'm gonna have a full mushroom trip, fuck this shit, okay? So instead of doing two grams, I decided to do 3.5, so I want my full trip and I'm sitting there on the couch and all I'm thinking is 30 minutes goes past and I'm like, I know what's gonna happen, I'm gonna get high, it's gonna be giggling and fucking stupid and all these people that said that like psychedelics are like crazy blah blah blah, they're gonna say, oh it's 'cause you didn't do enough blah blah. So I decided to eat another seven grams of mushrooms. - What the hell? - Yeah, so how'd you pick that number? 'Cause I, well they were separated in bags, 3.5 each, so I took my bag and then I just took two more bags and I just ate it all. - Without talking to anybody? - Well there was another guy there and he was like, are you sure you went, rekful lecture is a guy, it's a term of the concept, but not because of that, sorry. But rekful was there and he was like, are you sure you wanna do this? Like, but what, I'm like, yeah, I wanna have the worst trip possible, I just went, let's make this the most insane shit because fuck it, why not? - Oh. - And yeah, so for about an hour past and then I started to see, I started to get high, which was like really cool, the colors on the wall, I've never seen anything like it and then about 30 minutes later, I'm like in tunnels of fucking black fucking, everything about my entire realities being shattered and fucking destroyed for the next like three or four hours. In the process of that happening, a couple of weird things happen. So at one part of this trip, I am very much, a lot of this is hard to describe because it's feelings more so than just things you're seeing, but like a feeling that I got, and there were a lot of different feelings, but at one point I'm like basically sitting on the couch and I kind of realized that like, I had taken enough drugs to break out of whatever bullshit I was taking before and now I discovered like the true reality and the true universe was me sitting on this couch with three other beings watching a universe TV that does nothing and this whole room is like the entire fucking, this is everything. And I just remember thinking while I was in that state, I was seeing the whole time, I was like, I made a mistake, I actually don't even care that this is reality, I understand the other thing was fake, but I really just wanna go back to the other thing where I thought other people were real and there was a whole universe people to interact with because this is horrible. And obviously coming out of the trip, there were a whole bunch of other phases to that trip too, which I took way too many questions, but coming out of that I remember, it was like that was a little bit of an interesting thing to me, it's like, I always would have thought that like, no matter how bad the truth is, I always wanna know what's true and real, but when I dig in a little bit deeper, that's not actually true.
The Truth I Need to Know (03:02:22)
The only truth that I really want is truth that I can act on to make my life better, and generally every single truth you learn, usually you can do that, but there's probably a lot of truths out there that are not, like do I really wanna know what's on like the other side of the moon, if there's like nothing I'm ever gonna do with that knowledge, probably not. And even if I think of like uncomfortable truths, usually they're truths that I can act on to make my life better. So for instance, let's say somebody says, well here's an uncomfortable truth, you're gonna die tomorrow, like wouldn't you wanna know that, or I bet you'd wanna know that, but that's not a good truth is it? And it's like, well no, that is a good truth 'cause if I knew I was gonna die tomorrow, I would act on that information today. I'd contact loved ones, gamble all my money, do whatever, you know. Yeah, but that was like a thing. Yeah, that was just like one thing that. Why do it again? Like if it's so horrible. I like to live my life turned up to 11, okay? I don't know, it's a really, it's-- You have a weird relationship with things that suck. Maybe, but it's very challenging and it's very cool. It's, there's like the crazy thing, you're gonna, how old are you? Do you ever say or? Yeah, I'm not, I'm an open book. I am 47. Okay, I was 30 even and it was like still like so long. You have 47, when you take psychedelics, it's gonna blow your fucking mind because there is a whole other, you ever play Zelda growing up? A little bit, yeah. Fuck. And a lot of Zelda games are like the first world and then you unlock the second world and usually through a Master Sword or through some other thing. There is like a whole second world right now that exists, you've never had access to before. And it sounds stupid saying that, but when you do, hopefully if you do, if you try mushrooms or LSD for the first time, it's gonna be like a whole other, it's so amazingly unbelievably cool. And it's hard because the only perspective you have on it right now, you drink? A little bit. It's nothing like being drunk. Because a lot of people think that psychedelics are like, oh, like you're like goofy weird. It's like an otherworldly lucidity. It's not just like you're like, I'm so high. It's like you're sober in another dimension. It's like a whole other fucking thing. It's so cool. Sorry. So Sam Harris is this funny. This is my only, I did microdose, psilocybin and I felt like I was getting tipsy. It was really-- Yeah, you feel like, yeah. I was hoping it would make me more creative. It didn't, so I was like, whatever. But Sam Harris's description of five grams, which is crazy that you did 10 and a half, was that he was like, I forgot that I even took drugs. It was completely horrible and you think it's gonna last forever. Yes. Oh, God. I don't get why we're doing this. The experiences are totally, totally, totally different. So like, let me give you an example. So like from that 10 gram trip, right, but first of all, the passage of time is on, you can't. It doesn't, right? There are times where I would, like let me give you an example for my trip. So here is a time where like, I would kind of like come in and then I'd like kind of feel out. And when I would sink back, I would have all these thoughts about being in houses or streets, like I'm living like months of time and just like-- And do they all feel meaningful? Some of them do, not all of them do, but I recorded this trip. It's on my YouTube channel. And when I play it back, when I look at like these moments in time, do you recorded this? Yeah, 'cause I wanted to, 'cause it was crazy interesting. Yeah, I wanna see what does it look like on the outside. - Now I gotta watch this. - And when I look at the, when I look at this thing happening, so I feel like I'm going back, having like months of time pass and coming back, when I watch the video, what I look like is, it's like two seconds of time is passing. And the passage of time is totally fucked on. It's like, there were so many times where I like pick up my phone 'cause it's like 942 and I'll set my phone down and I'm just like, it's so much is like going on. And then I'll pick up my phone again and it's like, it's still 942, not even a minute is passed. I'm like, no shot. It's just a crazy, crazy, crazy interesting. But, so that's like an example. And then there's also the like at the peak of the trip. I'm like, I can't see anything. I'm like floating another dimension. I don't even remember myself. I remember like a thing that used to be called me. I'm like completely blasted out of like, yeah. Like you get to pick my body up and movie around. I wouldn't have any connection to the outside world. That's like a crazy trip. A more fun trip is like you do psychedelics, the come up on motion is pretty rough, but eventually what'll happen is like, you could be like in this other world where your state of perception is completely altered. And if it's really fun and special, you're with another person and you can talk and have a conversation and you're just, you're connecting on like levels of deepness that you never even knew that you had with another person who's connecting on a level of deepness that you never knew they had. And you're doing it in this totally altered state of mind where the colors are different, where things are swirling, your feelings are different. And it's like so magical and cool and special. It's like you're going to like Disney World in your mind, except you're still like nine years old and you appreciate it all. It's very, very, very, very, very, very, very cool. And nothing is quite like it ever. And like we're LST, you can do this for 12 hours for five bucks. - Jeez. - But yeah. So not all of it has to be like traumatic and horrible and terrible, like on certain doses, just so much fun. We did, I did LST like a week ago with my wife and like walking outside on LST, it's just like seeing like the trees and how vibrant everything is, walking around the city, you hear everything. I hear people talking in alley, I hear the sounds of the cars. Everything is like three dimensional and rich environment. It sucks, I'm like explain this, but you know, like, when you try it, you'll, we'll have another conversation. Okay, and then you'll come back and you'll be like, it was everything you said in more, like trust is crazy.
Yeah. - No, I can't wait to try it. Actually pretty intriguing. - Yeah. - But where can people follow you? - YouTube.com/destiny, Instagram.com/destiny and kick.com/destiny. - There it is. All right, everybody, if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe and until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care, peace. - If you want to know what it means to be a real man, be sure to watch this episode with Chris Williamson. - It is a challenging time to be a man at the moment and it doesn't surprise me that guys are retreating into porn and video games, becoming nihilistic or cynical.