Joe and I Don’t Understand

 

I don’t understand.  I’ve never had patients send me links to podcasts about high blood pressure or gastroparesis, but with COVID, it’s every day.  I’ve never been threatened by insurance companies that if I use a certain drug to treat a certain disease, they will remove me from their plans.  I’ve never been threatened by the CDC that I could lose my medical license if I don’t repeat whatever it is they’re saying today.  This is so odd.  I really don’t get it.

Joe Rogan must be thinking the same thing.  Some group has demanded that Spotify no longer carry Mr. Rogan’s podcasts (which average 11 million listeners EACH), with a letter which includes the following passage:

The episode has been criticized for promoting baseless conspiracy theories and the JRE has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals.

So they’re worried about an entertainment streaming service hosting a podcast by a stand-up comedian because they disagree with one of his guests.  Strange that they chose this particular guest.  Think of some of the other guests that Mr. Rogan has spent three hours with:

Bob Lazar is a physicist who claims to have worked on covert operations within Area 51 that were focused on reverse engineering alien technology taken from alien spaceships in the possession of the United States government.  Who knows, right?

He discussed with Graham Hancock his belief that human civilizations extend back much further than what is accepted in academia.  Graham also theorizes that these civilizations excelled in arts, science, and technology at levels we can not even comprehend.  These civilizations and their progress have since been wiped clean entirely due to dramatic shifts in the earth’s composition.

He’s had Sam Harris on, who proposes that science can be used to identify values, which he defines as “facts that can be scientifically understood: regarding positive and negative social emotions, retributive impulses, the effects of specific laws and social institutions on human relationships, the neurophysiology of happiness and suffering, etc.”

I could go on and on.  He’s had a lot of guests (around 1,800) with a lot of controversial beliefs.  That’s why he has them on — their outside-the-box thinking makes them interesting, and makes for entertaining podcasts.  I’m not criticizing these guests or anyone else.  They may be right about some of these things, even though their beliefs are considered to be outside mainstream thought.  I admire Mr. Rogan for at least listening respectfully to them, even though I suspect he doesn’t buy all of what they say, either.  At least he listens.

And he is allowed to listen.  Until the guest discusses COVID and says something that is not in step with whatever the CDC says this week.  Then, Mr. Rogan is not allowed to listen.  And neither are you.  And neither is anybody else.

Once a guest says something provocative about COVID, then Mr. Rogan changes from a stand-up comedian to a threat to humankind.

I find it fascinating that liberals hate Mr. Rogan.  He voted for Bernie Sanders, but he’s hated by leftists.

Why?  Because he listens.

He has people on his show that he doesn’t necessarily agree with, but he politely asks questions, and respectfully listens to their answers.  Leftists hate that.

And conservatives love it.

And leftists are open-minded, and conservatives are closed-minded.

I think that leftists really believe that.  I think they honestly believe that they are open-minded, and at the same time believe that people shouldn’t be allowed to discuss opinions that those open-minded leftists disagree with.  Maintaining both of those thoughts in your head at the same time should be impossible, but I think it’s common.

I don’t understand.  Neither does Joe.

I should be allowed to say what I want.  So should Joe Rogan.  You disagree?  Fine — let’s talk about it.  We’ll probably both learn something.  Maybe we’ll learn a lot.  Maybe we’ll learn less.

But we can’t learn anything when we can’t talk freely.

I had a patient tell me that she was glad that the “COVID fake science” theories were being taken off of Twitter and YouTube.  I asked her when, in history, has censoring ideas, and destroying those you disagree with — when has that, in retrospect, been a good idea?  When have the book-burners ended up being the good guys?  Has that ever happened?  Ever?  Perhaps — but I can’t think of an example.  She couldn’t either, but she was peeved for my temerity.

Tough.  It’s ok to be peeved.  That’s what happens when you disagree.  We argue our point.  Sometimes we get peeved.

But when we’re not allowed to disagree, then things tend to escalate beyond “peeved”.

Disagreeing is better than stifling.  Let the pot boil sometimes.  If you try to contain it, it will blow up.  Eventually.  Every single time.

This is scary stuff.

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  1. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    It is about *fear*, I think…if people are scared enough, then some of them–a significant number of them–will want certainty, even if illusory.  Tolerance for ambiguity, never high among some people, declines sharply as fear escalates.

    I remember when, shortly after 9/11, he idea of arming airline pilots was first muted, lots of people were horrified.  One TV personality said that it would make her “nervous” to know that the pilot of her plane was carrying a gun. Thus, she would rather accept an increased risk of her own death….and the deaths of hundreds of others…than be made to think, even incidentally, about an unpleasant matter.  Ostrich, much?

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Remember Art Bell? if we could survive ruminations on the fate of Atlantis, we ought to be able to handle just about anything.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

    — Thomas Jefferson

    • #3
  4. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Do any of these would-be cancellers claim the job title of *scientist*?  They should be introduced to Freeman Dyson’s statement:

    “If science ceases to be a rebellion against authority, then it does not deserve the talents of our brightest children.”

    …Dyson being one of the most famous physicists of the 20th century.

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Dr. Bastiat:

    He’s had Sam Harris on, who proposes that science can be used to identify values, which he defines as “facts that can be scientifically understood: regarding positive and negative social emotions, retributive impulses, the effects of specific laws and social institutions on human relationships, the neurophysiology of happiness and suffering, etc.”

    Does science also tell us which emotions are the positive ones, or are we sneaking in some evaluations from elsewhere alongside our recognition that happiness is good?

    I could go on and on.  He’s had a lot of guests (around 1,800) with a lot of controversial beliefs.  That’s why he has them on – their outside-the-box thinking makes them interesting, and makes for entertaining podcasts.  I’m not criticizing these guests or anyone else.  They may be right about some of these things, even though their beliefs are considered to be outside mainstream thought.  I admire Mr. Rogan for at least listening respectfully to them, even though I suspect he doesn’t buy all of what they say, either.  At least he listens. 

    We do need more thinkers like that. Keep the normies on their toes. Sometimes–sometimes–correct them. One reason I like Delingpole. Jerry Marzinsky–now there’s a contrarian view I’m interested in, which I might never have heard of outside his show.

    • #5
  6. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    I do not understand because I can think of many times that yesterday’s “conspiracy theory” or “crazy idea” became today’s accepted reality or real product. Basic recognition that none of us have omniscience should keep us humble about preventing the discussion of ideas. A little humility can be very valuable in the development of knowledge. 

    I dismiss a lot of ideas as crazy and not worth my time investigating further myself. But if someone else wants to explore it, a lot of the time they will confirm its craziness. But every once in a while that crazy idea becomes the foundation of something useful. Knowing that should keep people (and organizations formed of people) modest in their declarations that certain topics are off-limits for discussion. 

    • #6
  7. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Dr. Bastiat: When have the book-burners ended up being the good guys?  Has that ever happened?

    It isn’t always clear in the moment what’s right. That’s why we have rules.

    Never mind the question whether some of the rules have exceptions. Exceptions are extremely, extremely rare even when they exist.

    Tell the truth.

    Love your neighbor as yourself. Do not do to others what you want them to not do to you. Mind your own business. (All three, in some sort of balance.)

    “Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.” “When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.” Earn the trust of the people by being trustworthy.

    Know what you don’t know.

    Freedom of speech.

    It should be a major clue that something was wrong with our Covid policies that they involved breaking so many rules from Confucius, Socrates, Kant, Mill, and the Bible. And nearly every rule we’ve learned from the past every time people have done terrible, terrible things to each other.

    • #7
  8. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    I put Spotify on my Roku TV just so I could watch these “banned” Joe Rogan episodes.  I understand why the fear porn purveyors want him silenced.  I can’t understand why anyone of good will would want him silenced.  But then, it is easy for me to classify those who are using Covid hysteria for power and money to be not “of good will”. /:

    • #8
  9. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    There’s a lot I don’t get either, but I get some of it.  Someone wants to control us, and not just control, but harm us.  That’s clear, right?  Right now these someones are operating through NIAID, NIH, the WHO, the CDC, the FDA, universities, state medical boards, insurance companies, governors’ offices, prime ministers, legislatures, etc., etc.  Seems to me that their game might be a warm-up for something more efficient, but I don’t know, because it also works as one little part of someone’s project to tear us apart bit by bit.  You left out the wearing down of religious institutions, but I understand you can’t include everything.  Anyway, it feels like war to me and Joe Rogan is a problematic public enemy.

    What part do you not get?

    • #9
  10. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    The whole fact checker / cancel / silence the opposition thing is just Stalinist Evil.

    • #10
  11. Hans Gruber Pfizer President Inactive
    Hans Gruber Pfizer President
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #11
  12. Hans Gruber Pfizer President Inactive
    Hans Gruber Pfizer President
    @Pseudodionysius

    Further insight on Dana White, experimental medicine, and what he *really* thinks of American medicine when he got treated for Meniere’s Disease in 2013:

    https://youtu.be/Eaq32M2L9iI

    • #12
  13. Dominique Prynne Member
    Dominique Prynne
    @DominiquePrynne

    Imagine a young or mid-career doctor…especially one from a humble background that has enormous student loans and a growing family.  Said doc is really just an employee of the clinic group he works for.  A memo comes out of the (non-medical) executive suite that you are not to Rx HCQ or Ivermectin because if you do, by your individual act of individual medicine, jeopardize funding from CMS (that’s Medicare/Medicaid) for the entire clinic group.  And if you still do such a thing, because, in your professional medical opinion, such an Rx is the right treatment plan for that specific patient, you are threatened with being fired, privileges at the local hospitals revoked, and a complaint made with the state medical board against your license that you still owe big bucks on for the medical education that enabled you to get it.  You risk economic and professional ruin.  Rationally, most every doctor in such a position would keep his mouth shut and toe the line…regardless of the fact that you now have non-medical administrators dictating medical decisions.  These are the strong-arm tactics being used.  We won’t know if a critical mass of doctors have shades of or outright disagreement with the powers that be, because the chill exuded by the non-medical administrators over our medical system is enormous.  

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Thomas Malthus, “An Essay on the Principle of Population.”

    Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb.

    Erich von Däniken, Chariots of the Gods.

    Konrad Kujau, The Hitler Diaries.

    Barack Obama, Dreams of My Father.

    We’ve dealt with fatuous nonsense before. Censorship means the censors lack the courage of their convictions.

     

    • #14
  15. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Dominique Prynne (View Comment):

    Imagine a young or mid-career doctor…especially one from a humble background that has enormous student loans and a growing family. Said doc is really just an employee of the clinic group he works for. A memo comes out of the (non-medical) executive suite that you are not to Rx HCQ or Ivermectin because if you do, by your individual act of individual medicine, jeopardize funding from CMS (that’s Medicare/Medicaid) for the entire clinic group. And if you still do such a thing, because, in your professional medical opinion, such an Rx is the right treatment plan for that specific patient, you are threatened with being fired, privileges at the local hospitals revoked, and a complaint made with the state medical board against your license that you still owe big bucks on for the medical education that enabled you to get it. You risk economic and professional ruin. Rationally, most every doctor in such a position would keep his mouth shut and toe the line…regardless of the fact that you now have non-medical administrators dictating medical decisions. These are the strong-arm tactics being used. We won’t know if a critical mass of doctors have shades of or outright disagreement with the powers that be, because the chill exuded by the non-medical administrators over our medical system is enormous.

    This is one reason  it’s important to support the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons,  which is trying to support independent physicians and the private patient/physician relationship.

    • #15
  16. Hans Gruber Pfizer President Inactive
    Hans Gruber Pfizer President
    @Pseudodionysius

    Question of the year: Why is John Oliver so convinced Big Pharma is evil on Opioids but saintly on COVID shots?

     

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The only reason the anti-covid-vaxers have any credibility at all is because of attempts like this to stifle them.  Makes me wonder if they’re in cahoots with the leftwing censors. (How do you like that for a conspiracy theory?) 

    • #17
  18. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    This was an interesting thread until you shoved John Oliver into it. I hate his punchable face.

     

     

    • #18
  19. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    About those 270 “Doctors” who want Spotify to censor Joe Rogan . . .

    Well, I reviewed this open letter, and it turns out that only around 100 of the 270+ signatories to the letter are people with qualified medical degrees. And a large chunk of that 100 or so medical doctors are MDs employed at universities who are not in fact practitioners of medicine. 

    Yet part of the letter reads:

    As physicians, we bear the arduous weight of a pandemic that has stretched our medical systems to their limits and only stands to be exacerbated by the anti-vaccination sentiment woven into this and other episodes of Rogan’s podcast.”

    Paradoxically, the disseminators of this petition are guilty of the very misinformation label that they’ve attached to Rogan. In fact, neither of the two reported co authors of the letter — Jessica Rivera and Ben Rein — possess medical degrees. Rivera holds a master’s degree and Rein is a PhD academic who researches psychiatry.

    The letter denouncing Joe Rogan and pressuring Spotify to censor his speech has all kinds of random signatories. By my count, the letter is signed by over 50 PhD academics, around 60 college professors, 29 nurses, 10 students, 4 medical residents, and even a handful of… science podcasters. 

    The letter, which uses the word misinformation nine times in five paragraphs, concludes with a call for Spotify to censor Rogan as part of a policy to “moderate misinformation on the platform.”

    Notably, there is no information on who or what group is behind the creation and circulation of the open letter. Rivera, the reported lead author of the letter, is associated with the far-left Rockefeller Foundation and The Atlantic, and she is a CNN contributor.

    • #19
  20. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Tough.  It’s ok to be peeved.  That’s what happens when you disagree.  We argue our point.  Sometimes we get peeved.

    Doc, you’re just getting too “peevish” for your own good, ya know?

    • #20
  21. Hans Gruber Pfizer President Inactive
    Hans Gruber Pfizer President
    @Pseudodionysius

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    This was an interesting thread until you shoved John Oliver into it. I hate his punchable face.

     

     

    So do I, but doesn’t that drive the point home?

    • #21
  22. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The only reason the anti-covid-vaxers have any credibility at all is because of attempts like this to stifle them. Makes me wonder if they’re in cahoots with the leftwing censors. (How do you like that for a conspiracy theory?)

    I would say it’s pretty good!

    • #22
  23. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    I don’t know when  we moved from trying to counter misinformation with reasonable persuasion to suppression and ridicule.   Yes I do.  The infamous “cabal” article in Time Magazine on the election said they found that countering misinformation just led to it becoming more widespread due to social media algorithms so they moved to suppress it:

    ***

    “Laura Quinn, a veteran progressive operative who co-founded Catalist, began studying this problem a few years ago. She piloted a nameless, secret project, which she has never before publicly discussed, that tracked disinformation online and tried to figure out how to combat it. One component was tracking dangerous lies that might otherwise spread unnoticed. Researchers then provided information to campaigners or the media to track down the sources and expose them.

    The most important takeaway from Quinn’s research, however, was that engaging with toxic content only made it worse. “When you get attacked, the instinct is to push back, call it out, say, ‘This isn’t true,’” Quinn says. “But the more engagement something gets, the more the platforms boost it. The algorithm reads that as, ‘Oh, this is popular; people want more of it.’”

    The solution, she concluded, was to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place.   ” … Quinn’s research gave ammunition to advocates pushing social media platforms to take a harder line.”

    ***

    The PSAs that I’ve seen promoting vaccination are geared to pajama boys and are even sometimes mocking in tone.  If I hadn’t been vaccinated, they would have just hardened my resolve not to get the vaccine because they seem designed to make the creators feel good about themselves rather than to persuade.

    • #23
  24. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I don’t know when we moved from trying to counter misinformation with reasonable persuasion to suppression and ridicule. Yes I do. The infamous “cabal” article in Time Magazine on the election said they found that countering misinformation just led to it becoming more widespread due to social media algorithms so they moved to suppress it:

    ***

    “Laura Quinn, a veteran progressive operative who co-founded Catalist, began studying this problem a few years ago. She piloted a nameless, secret project, which she has never before publicly discussed, that tracked disinformation online and tried to figure out how to combat it. One component was tracking dangerous lies that might otherwise spread unnoticed. Researchers then provided information to campaigners or the media to track down the sources and expose them.

    The most important takeaway from Quinn’s research, however, was that engaging with toxic content only made it worse. “When you get attacked, the instinct is to push back, call it out, say, ‘This isn’t true,’” Quinn says. “But the more engagement something gets, the more the platforms boost it. The algorithm reads that as, ‘Oh, this is popular; people want more of it.’”

    The solution, she concluded, was to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place. ” … Quinn’s research gave ammunition to advocates pushing social media platforms to take a harder line.”

    ***

    The PSAs that I’ve seen promoting vaccination are geared to pajama boys and are even sometimes mocking in tone. If I hadn’t been vaccinated, they would have just hardened my resolve not to get the vaccine because they seem designed to make the creators feel good about themselves rather than to persuade.

    Long-term, it’s all an exercise in promoting the very information they don’t like by rendering themselves obnoxious and untrustworthy.

    • #24
  25. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Good post, Doc.

    Dr. Bastiat: I had a patient tell me that she was glad that the “COVID fake science” theories were being taken off of Twitter and YouTube.  I asked her when, in history, has censoring ideas, and destroying those you disagree with – when has that, in retrospect, been a good idea?  When have the book-burners ended up being the good guys?  Has that ever happened?  Ever?  Perhaps – but I can’t think of an example.  She couldn’t either, but she was peeved for my temerity.

    Well, there was the whole Moses-and-the-Golden-Calf thing.  Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.  Jehu and Hezekiah.  Josiah, too, though that turned out to be too little, too late.

    • #25
  26. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    The PSAs that I’ve seen promoting vaccination are geared to pajama boys and are even sometimes mocking in tone.  If I hadn’t been vaccinated, they would have just hardened my resolve not to get the vaccine because they seem designed to make the creators feel good about themselves rather than to persuade.

    I saw some of those a few days ago when I was helping my wife watch a basketball game on TV.  Made me glad I had already been vaccinated and didn’t have to listen to those people creep me out and drive me away from it.

    • #26
  27. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Good post, Doc.

    Dr. Bastiat: I had a patient tell me that she was glad that the “COVID fake science” theories were being taken off of Twitter and YouTube. I asked her when, in history, has censoring ideas, and destroying those you disagree with – when has that, in retrospect, been a good idea? When have the book-burners ended up being the good guys? Has that ever happened? Ever? Perhaps – but I can’t think of an example. She couldn’t either, but she was peeved for my temerity.

    Well, there was the whole Moses-and-the-Golden-Calf thing. Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Jehu and Hezekiah. Josiah, too, though that turned out to be too little, too late.

    The traditional line in modern thought is to censor speech that promotes (directly) violence and maybe also some sexual perversions, but to censor little or nothing else.

    These Canaanite religions are demon-worshipping, child-sacrificing, sometimes cannibalistic, worship-by-adultery religions.  On the traditional modern line: Open for censorship.

    • #27
  28. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):
    The PSAs that I’ve seen promoting vaccination are geared to pajama boys and are even sometimes mocking in tone. If I hadn’t been vaccinated, they would have just hardened my resolve not to get the vaccine because they seem designed to make the creators feel good about themselves rather than to persuade.

    I saw some of those a few days ago when I was helping my wife watch a basketball game on TV. Made me glad I had already been vaccinated and didn’t have to listen to those people creep me out and drive me away from it.

    The first commercial I heard on the radio as I drove off from my second jab was praising all the vaccinated for “being brave.” Silliest expenditure of government money in the Trump Administration.

    • #28
  29. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Hans Gruber Pfizer President (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    This was an interesting thread until you shoved John Oliver into it. I hate his punchable face.

    So do I, but doesn’t that drive the point home?

    But does it drive my fist right into his nasal cavity?

    • #29
  30. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    “Misinformation” is best understood as “stuff the ruling class doesn’t want you to know.”

    • #30
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