Excellent essay. I love the context of the 1000 year view. Here's to the next 1000 of becoming less wrong.
Thanks Sarah. I think your take here is spot on. Joe is not as influential as people give him credit for, and to be fair, he isn't trying to be. He just happens to be popular. The same charges used to be levelled at Howard Stern back in the day.
I’m so glad you covered authenticity, which is at the heart of this problem/discussion. It is so often casually overlooked.
This is the most insightful thing I’ve read on the subject. Trust is the key, and the traditional news media, the WHO, and many western governments have done themselves and society a lot of damage.
Excellent! I’m so glad about this new Substack Sarah. I feel you’re one of the most honest & sharpest minds in the “heterodox/atheist” space. (Aren’t you glad I didn’t say IDW? Ha!)
While I’m looking forward to disagreeing with you at some point (because when I do I’m sure your view will help me look at something a different way). But for now? I must admit I agree with you 100%. I actually DO listen to Rogan now & then if he has a guest on that I like. Although same as you I’ve taken all the vaxes & I do wish he wasn’t so skeptical.
But I feel that Rogan’s critics, in addition to not listening to him, they don’t understand his popularity. Like Trump, all this attention is just gonna make him more popular. Wether on Spotify or elsewhere.
“Old hippies don’t like Rogan? Dude, that’s awesome! We gotta have a Rogan superspreader kegger!”
What an excellent, comprehensive take on this.
This is brilliantly put in words. The whole situation has so many layers, that it is convenient for most people to just acknolwedge the aspects convenient to them, and what is really challenging but also needed is to actually recognise different concerns honestly and still make your argument, so kudos for that!
Great article. I call Rogan's show a 3-hour TED Talk for his guests. Someone comes on and talks about his or her life work - their expertise. Comedy, food, nutrition, mindset, exercise, technology, etc.
Rogan's greatest skill is leading the conversation to places that keep it interesting by focusing on areas that are not-often-discussed. He's generally very good at keeping the conversation interesting for 3+ hours.
In that sense, his show IS the platform for the 95% of thinkers who fall outside what you can hear on cable news 24 hours/day. It's not Rogan that people want to deplatform; it's the non-mainstream thinkers that appear on his show.
You make some compelling arguments, although you're far more gently than a media that's habitually and strategically lied about virtually every major story for the past 10 years deserves, but you have the evidence backwards regarding masks.
There are quite literally hundreds of studies proving that they simply aren't effective for airborne viruses like this, and indeed not very effective for much else either. Before mid-2020 there were even studies being published questioning the continued use of surgical masks in hospital settings since the evidence just wasn't supporting their effectiveness.
And that's before you consider that we have two full years of real world data from the largest natural experiment in human history. The evidence is indisputable, in the real world there was no meaningful difference whatsoever between countries with severe mask mandates and lockdowns and countries without them. Germany didn't fare any better than Sweden. Florida isn't much worse off than Hawaii.
Good article but you and all the others suggesting that people like Fauci go on Rogan’s show are either naive or disingenuous. They don’t avoid debate because of the other guests Rogan has on, they avoid debate so that no one can ever force them to acknowledge their own lies and flip-flops.
Very deep and all round analysis. It's on point. I salute you.
My only disagreement with you is that you did not give more thought to the vaccine hesitant arguments (including the risk/reward analysis for different age groups) and you're dismissal of ivermectin (which from my research, has some promise to it).
As you point out so wisely, trust is hard earned and irreplaceable. The unfortunate reality in the United States is that the polarization of minds is complete. There are 60+ million weaponized minds that fall into the tribe of "Republican" and will never trust a "Democrat" and perhaps 80+ million weaponized minds that fall into the "Democrat" tribe who will never trust a "Republican." All of this falls on the heads of the leadership of both parties because they both continue to insist this toxicity is the only way it can be and so are likely to usher in a civil war II. It would be so easy to allow other parties to have a place at the table. Ranked choice voting is simple and would allow an end to the deadlock.
Why would Fauci go on Rogan? From his perspective, best case it would only undermine his authority, worst case he’s exposed as an authoritarian fraud.
Considerations that might seem important to you, like public trust, simply aren’t germane. Liberals think civil servants should respect the citizens and be guided by what’s best for the people, but Fauci doesn’t share the old fashioned tolerance for public misbehavior. Rogan‘s biggest selling point is his sincere Everyman quality but to guys like Fauci this is precisely what disqualifies him as an interlocutor; and as a peer.
I have only watched Joe Rogan once. I found him to be thoughtful, well-prepared, and deferential to his guest. He never opined - he merely asked questions. While I can't say I'm going to make a habit of watching him, I was pleasantly surprised by his approach, questions, and demeanor.
You nailed the reasons folks listen to Rogan
Not sure you sharing your own 3x vax and paranoia re exposure added to your otherwise well constructed article.
I suspect that those who can, and do read data for a living, have data driven conclusions re vax impacts. These will also be borne out like lab leak and masks. But you, like Bari, should be forgiven for being swayed by the propaganda. You've opened the door to you stop trusting "experts." I suspect in time, you'll be writing about currently arcane subjects like ADE and negative vax effectiveness.
We'll check back in , in a year or so.