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The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Future of Everything With Derek Thompson, Plus UFC 300s Missing Main Event and the Rocks Turn With Ariel Helwani
The Future of Everything With Derek Thompson, Plus UFC 300s Missing Main Event and the Rocks Turn With Ariel Helwani

The Future of Everything With Derek Thompson, Plus UFC 300s Missing Main Event and the Rocks Turn With Ariel Helwani

The Bill Simmons PodcastGo to Podcast Page

Bill Simmons, Derek Thompson
19 Clips
Feb 16, 2024
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Episode Summary
Episode Transcript
Coming up the future of everything plus some you have seen W next. It's the Bill Simmons podcast presented by FanDuel. The NBA season is that it's Midway point, so don't forget to shoot your shot in America's number one sports book as we hit the home stretch build lab. Same game parlays for every NBA game check out the explore page for the simplest way to start betting the parley Hub the home popular parlays and you can bet the biggest storylines in the NBA with featured by bets on the pulse plus get paid instantly when you win so download the app today bet with
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You a Chinese food restaurants. We're going off the menu. You can't find this boost right now. You're going to be able to find it on Friday. I'm going to Tweet it out as well Milwaukee to win the division with the Lakers. And where's to be playing teams? And we're going to try to get that 421 maybe even higher than four to one. So stay tuned. I will tweet it out and it will be on their app as well speaking of things that are coming tape Frazier.
A Carolina favorite coming home to do one shining podcast live from Durham the night before Duke UNC and right before everyone starts dying selection Sunday, Friday March 8th. He's at the Carolina Theater Durham tickets available at Carolina Theater dot-org theaters, but the fancy way with the re at the end Carolina Theater dot-org. Hey, you saw what happened at the Super Bowl Parade in Kansas City. It was horrible condolences to everybody that
I even known anyone that was involved with that just horrible.
I want to go check out when you have time gun violence archive.org because they have all the stats. They have all the stats for mass shootings for mass murders children killed 02:11 teens killed 12 to 17 willful malicious accidental deaths. It's just got everything there and just look at how different the numbers start to look from 2014 all the way through 2023. They have charts and Maps they have Congressional.
Reports they have explainers.
If you haven't looked at that stuff, I would encourage you to look at it.
And I don't have any answers for you, but the data is the data.
So there you go coming up on this podcast Derek Thompson who hosts plain English and writes for the Atlantic and pops on this pot every couple of a couple times a year to talk about the future things. We're going to talk about the future everything in 2024 and then re o hoani who owns the ringer i'mi'm a show for us with PT and check he's going to tell us about UFC 298 why they haven't announced the main event for UFC.
Yet why my son is now demanding to call him every three weeks, which is the thing that's actually happening and we're going to talk WWE as well as it's been a tumultuous fascinating WWE here on top of the fact that this WrestleMania main event is getting more Buzz than anything in the last at least in the last few years. So this is an interesting podcast. It's coming up next first our friends from Pearl Jam.
Derek Thompson is here from the plain English podcast. We're going to talk about the future of everything but you're like a secret sports fan not even secret, but you don't get to do it on the plain English podcast that much.
Don't get to write about a nail in it that much but you follow all this shit and you're kind of a secret, you know, you're no stranger to basketball reference baseball-reference and you know some of the steps so when you're following the Mahomes Brady stuff what your instant smart guy reaction to all of this. Whoo,
man, I don't know much. I don't know if I have an ability to improve on I think it take that you had maybe earlier this week Mahomes clearly has the best start to a career in the history of NFL quarterbacks.
He combines the physical talents of Aaron Rodgers with the regular season Siskel achievements of Peyton Manning with the postseason statistical achievements of Tom Brady. And we've never seen anyone do all of this the same time Rogers didn't have the Championships. Peyton didn't have the Championships. Brady didn't have the regular season stats. So
he's he is the
Triple Crown of Excellence for the first decade of quarterbacking but again, and I might just be ripping off your point, but I think it's the right Point. What makes Brady Brady what makes LeBron LeBron me either.
Even say what makes Jordan Jordan because you came back and won the three-peat again is longevity and
well, that's really I was Kobe more than anything Kobe the second part of his prime was what elevated him the what he did from 08 to 2012. Yeah, right when it's supposed to be going backwards and it went the opposite way which is what happened to Brady
and that's what we don't know. We don't know what the next decade and a half from homes career is going to look like we don't know if he's going to get as lucky as he has been and this is one place where you know, I was
I was a Peyton fan more than a Brady fan. And so I became Adept I guess you could say it making excuses for Peyton Manning and one of the excuses I would make for Peyton Manning is Tom Brady is absolutely fantastic. But lots of his Super Bowls were really won by the defense they were won by defensive coordination and to a certain extent. I think you could say, you know of Brady's career. He was both extraordinary because he had individual ability and extraordinary because he was inside of a context where if he didn't have it for a Super Bowl
Say it's the you know, the the early three Super Bowls made a man. He was fantastic and some of them but the game against the Rams for example where they actually shut down Jared Goff through a couple Super Bowls. He didn't put up 20 30 points and he still won and that's how I felt about Mahomes this year. We're even if he didn't have it for two and a half quarters, right? And he scored what these courts six points in the last two quarters of the AFC Championship game and the first two quarters the Super Bowl like they do this court at all for you know, four straight quarters, but the defense was extraordinary and it kept the minute and that's also a
Brady asked to be within a system that always gives you the opportunity to be the hero in the fourth quarter and it's an extraordinary early career. And what's going to determine whether he's the goat is whether he can keep it up because that's the difference between, you know, a Larry Bird style career and LeBron stuck here.
Yeah. I think the cool thing is that we have somebody who has a chance to be legitimately great versus when we try to talk ourselves in this somebody being great and to me it's like it's a little bit
You know it when you see it took a while for Brady, but it really wasn't until the 14 and kind of that middle 2010 stretch that he went up a level where he was having a great career, but he was going to lose statistical arguments to Manning and you know, Montana had the four Super Bowls the only two three and then it ascended the interesting thing with Mahomes is that the inevitability that we're talking about on some days pod is already there where you feel like. Oh man, they left the door open. This is a wrap, which is such a rare.
Air quality, I don't even really know if LeBron ever totally got there as an NBA player was like, oh man, they left the door open the bronze closing it now. It was never Jordan was the only guy in the last 30 years that you would really feel like. Oh man. They fucked up. There's too much time on the clock. It's such a rare quality in any sport that just to have somebody that has it again is pretty cool. Tiger had it forever. We're like, oh man you missed that putt that that like the other guy missed a putt tiger tigers taking them down now.
This is a wrap. You know,
I wonder if that's an idea the inevitability built, you know, if you went back 30 years and looked at who has the inevitability about right now right in the late 80s early 90s, even in the mid-90s you say Jordan clearly has it may be in the 80s you'd say it's Gretzky with the inevitability belt
or bird. I really felt like bird was in there probably mid 80s and then Gretzky to ya gut the thing is Gretzky's team was so loaded and I do Gretzky's I mean, I think he's the best ever.
But that team it was almost like the team had the inevitability belts like oh my God, you just gave the Oilers a power play. This is over there definitely scoring, you know, yeah, there's some boxers that probably had
it too.
Yeah, I remember eating in the fourth quarter and you know over time when in both cases, I walked out with my friend miserable and I was just responding because I was rooting for the manage the time and I was like, he's you know, he's going to do it, you know, he's going to do it and it was so interesting to see everyone use the same word inevitability inevitability, but that's when that's when you've reached a point the cultural Consciousness where everyone expects you to do the impossible and you do it like that is a very special moment. And I agree that that does feel more Jordan asked and
Brady asked that then it is, you know LeBron
ask, you know the sport that has the most of this as tennis because it almost seems like a prerequisite for being a great tennis player as you hit this point where he was like, oh man that guy double-faulted. He had a chance to take down that set Federer's taking them down now, but it seems like that there's been way probably as many tennis players combined who have had the inevitability as all the other sports. It's so hard and football Manning never had it in my opinion. There was a mutt there were stretches, but then he would have
Have like the Saints Super Bowl and Stage. She's he just never got over the up. I do feel like Montana had it when in the 80s to some degree, but the game was so much more violent back then, you know like that. I don't know if you watch that Jim Burt hit when he knocked Montana out in the championship game. It is like if this happened now, we would be like, oh my God, we have to ban ban football. One thing you did a podcast on recently was about Aid Switching gears anxiety.
How when something's in the air and people are talking about all the times does that effect?
How people start feeling about whether they have whatever people are talking about what it what did you learn to? Can you just summarize the podcast for my people that might not listen to it?
Absolutely. So I did a podcast with a USC clinical psychologist named Darby Saxby who introduced me to a term a few months ago that I've never shaken which is prevalence inflation. And her theory is we live in a world where anxiety and mental health issues have been D stigmatized. It used to be shameful to say that you had depression or anxiety.
T clearly people cover that up with substance abuse for decades. But today there's a way in which mental health issues anxiety and depression have become kind of like identities people talk about them openly and sometimes even proudly on social media and she said I wonder whether the pendulum has swung a little too far where we aren't just getting the benefits of d-segment ization, but actually the prevalence of these ideas that the normal problems of Life are actually disorders of
Citing depression
that might be making people
sick. It might be getting them to think of just the normal warp and weft of life is being a sign of anxiety disorder, which makes them think they have anxiety which makes them draw back from The Real World from the physical world, which means they ruminate over their thoughts which actually gives them anxiety. And in this way. She said you can see how the internet and the way the internet talks about mental health might be really bad for our mental health, and we need a better way.
Way of talking about anxiety and depression on the internet if we actually want to dispel this stuff rather than just marinate in it well and then the irony of social media is triggering some of this stuff to begin with because there's so many studies now about the more you're online the more in social media the worst that is for your health in general. So it's almost like a double whammy I was talking to my wife about this because we were just talking about, you know, we have son in high school and a daughter is a freshman in college and it's like
Alright, it just seems like this is way more of a conversation than it used to be. But in my wife said well, it's way harder to be a teenager. Now, he had so many things through way more aware of things don't like is it harder to be a teenager now like I I was a teenager in the 80s, it sucked like we didn't have the internet. We didn't have a lot of this stuff. It's sometimes it was super lonely. Like I was an only child. I didn't have any brothers sisters to play with, you know, if you're not dating somebody or you're not in a friend group.
Like that can even at least the the internet being online gives you like some sort of community to join back in the 80s had its own. I just feel like every error is going to have some sort of detriment right if you're grown up in the 1880s. I maybe you know, it's like hey, it was depressing bunch of people stole our horses today. I don't know. It's just like isn't every generation going to be depressing or anxiety filled in some way. I don't think this is a unique
Time this is a huge debate among psychologists and among people who follow mental health in America is how much of the Mental Health crisis is what you could call material conditions in the world. And how much of it is just basically phones and phone culture. And when I look at you know, the conditions of the world, you're absolutely right, you know, you go back to sure we go back to the 1880s when people were dying at bacterial infections all the time. That's certainly made it hard to be young certainly in the 1970s 1980s crime was much higher.
Around the country and so crime clearly impacts people's childhood
today in around in a weird way session. You think the Great Depression was like a barrel
laughs and you had a lot more depressions and a lot more panics and financial crises before the so-called moderation of the last 50 years. So to your point, I think there's a lot of Grist for the argument that the world has gotten better in a lot of ways and we can't simply lean on the problems of say climate change or fears of the upcoming election as being the explicit and exclusive drivers of Mental Health.
What I would say is the physical world has gotten a little bit safer. But the emotional experience of teenagers has gotten worse and I think it's basically gotten worse because of phones. I think it's gotten worse because I'm going to talk about this a little bit a little bit later in our in our teacher of everything. So I'm not going to I'm not gonna spoil everything about to say but a lot of young people have traded four to five sometimes even six hours of a day if they would typically spend in the so-called physical world hanging out with their friends reading a book.
Children for online time hanging out in here in Terrence hanging out with their parents and the internet is not well made for protecting our mental health in many ways. It is a hellscape for our mental health. There's an idea in Psychology called cognitive behavioral therapy CBT. One of the lessons of CBT is don't catastrophize things. If something is only a little bad don't tell yourself. It's the worst thing in the world restructure your thoughts to say I can get through this but on the internet the best way to
Make any idea go viral is to catastrophize it. So we created a digital environment that totally obliterates the lessons of therapy. And so I absolutely think that it's not that the physical world has gotten so much worse in many ways, you know teens drink less they're having premarital sex less. There's all sorts of things about the physical world that are safer than they used to be. I think what's changed for the most part it's a complicated issue. Which changed for the most part is the emotional experience the emotional texture.
Of being a teen is a lot harder in a world where you're getting the Judgment of social media plus the architecture of social media, which is just not designed to make you feel good about good about yourself.
Yeah, there's more subtle ways to be super mean which we've talked about on previous podcasts, you know, the birthday party that there's pictures and there's seven people in the birthday party and you realize you weren't invited all that stuff is terrible comments, you know any sort of message board.
It does feel like stuffs a little better than it was a few years ago because there is a little bit of a code of
what you can and can't do people are definitely better at that than they were 10 15 years ago, even think about the early days of Twitter like some of the tweets from 07 a 2009 where was almost like treating it like it was an anonymous writer board, but it wasn't it was your name on it. It's like oh shit. I said that and so many people got into trouble once people went back and looked at Old tweets. So I do feel like people are getting more sophisticated. But at the same time the amount of time people are on their phones.
I think you know you could see it in the Facebook hearings and some of the stuff that was coming out and that right. I mean, I'm sure you followed that and you've done some podcast stuff on it, but like Facebook new they're like, yeah, we don't we don't care like we want to make as much money as we possibly can. There's same thing with Instagram so until there's full accountability on
You know detect the technology players. I don't know how much this changes
the only parties agree with and I think I disagree with the pretty strongly as it. I don't think it's gotten better. I think if you look at the official data from the CDC the youth Behavior risk survey teenage, xiety sadness hopelessness. It's just going up and up and up. Obviously. It's operated by the people
have a treat each other. I don't ya that. I know the numbers are worse.
Yeah, and so and so the numbers are just getting worse and you know, because I can't see how everyone is treating each other online. I'm just
To assume that it's actually not getting better. There's actually all sorts of subtle ways. I think in which the meert amount of time that we're spending with. Our phones is its own detriment to our mental health. So even if Facebook is a little bit more aware of misinformation and even if Instagram is a little bit more mindful about negative social comparison and even if Tick Tock is doing something at the margin to make sure that people, you know don't send certain kinds of you know, whatever anti-semitic messages to each other. Okay what you're putting out.
Here's in the middle of like a continent-wide conflagration. Yeah, you're not actually fixing the fundamental problem, which is that fundamentally human psychology is dis evolved improperly evolved for a world where we are getting our sense of self from a screen from a phone where we're open to the opinion of anonymous hordes. We're not built for that. And as a result that the results are are plain to see you right by rocketing rates of anxiety and depression and suicidality.
T were just not meant to live through
screens. Well, how much did the when they're trying to evaluate all this stuff how awful was the covid and the isolation from that for 18 to 20 months depending on how long wherever you were living? How damaging was that? Because to me that's that's the number one monkey wrench with all this in a bad way.
It seemed to make everything worse. I mean, you know pick any metric and it seemed to make it worse. It seems to make loneliness.
It seemed to make aloneness worse time spent alone. It seemed to increase anxiety. It seemed to increase depression, you know people again, I don't think are are built are naturally selected to spend that much time away from other people and as a result the pandemic was, you know, people make decisions In the Heat of the Moment and some of those decisions I think in retrospect were good and some of those decisions I think in retrospect were Overkill and I think a lot of people clearly see in the data that being away from other people is really really bad for human psychology.
I'd love to know the day the data for like people over 65 with that is that think it had this this really strange and bad effect on older people and I've seen it with some family members, especially people who were alone a lot who are older and just thinking about their own mortality. It's a not awesome was in town. It's been a hard thing. I think for a lot of people to snap out of it. Alright, we're going to take a break. We're going to come back and we're going to do the future of everything. I don't know.
Over the last time we did this but it was maybe like seven eight months ago somewhere in the summer before he disappeared. I think it was about a year I think was about a year ago before I Do Is Right by be ripe for you had to like, you know your date you had a whole dad you were but I think it was added before then. Yeah, risen. We did AI we did whole bunch of things. So we're gonna take a break and hit all of it.
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All right, come back future of everything. We're doing what do we say sports culture Tech and health.
That's exactly right. That's what I got.
Well, let's go. Let's leave sports for last will go in reverse order. Let's go. Why don't we go Health First what do you have for health the future of Health?
We got to talk about the Olympic Revolution. There's so much to say and plain English we get to podcasts about it, but fundamentally, I want to summarize those two podcast right here and say there are three things that I think most people are under rating about the O's epic class of drugs. And the first is right there in the name the has a revolution in so many ways those epic is old news was epic is what's called a glp-1 agonists it mimics a good hormone called glp-1 which glucagon-like peptide one, but that's just
Start there's another drug that a lot of people have heard of for diabetes and weight loss moon jarrow or zip sound from Eli Lilly which mimics to hormones glp-1 and Gip and that's not all Eli Lilly's testing another drug called Rosetta tide, which has three targets glp-1 and Gip glucagon and with each additional pathway and each additional Target. They're seeing more Effectiveness. So true zepa tied in Phase 2 trials is showing on average 25% average weight loss that is
Crazy, we have stumbled onto an absolutely revolutionary drug class, but at least number two, which is that most people think of these drugs is weight loss drugs and I am on the train of no, you should actually maybe think of them as psychiatric drugs that work through your gut like we don't know exactly. How is them pick works? It's one of those spooky stories of like we built the machine and then we learn the science but one of the most important things the way that makes me
nervous and that's what all this stuff like makes me super nervous because I know it's great.
Second is it
yeah, and I want to talk about that just a second because we did we did these two episodes in one of the interviews was with a guy who just talked about the downside. So I want to hold the downsides for a second. But this is really important on these psychiatric part these drugs seem to send a message to your brain that says I'm full but that's not the only message they send to your brain one trial found that people on his epic went on longer walks. There's a Morgan Stanley survey that found that patients on GOP ones eight sixty percent less candy.
And 40% more vegetables. It seems to reduce smoking for helping addicts gambling for gambling
gambling. I've heard of yeah,
and even for some compulsive nail-biting so it's kind of like this is a way I can see the say that's how you know, I'm not on
a exempt because the gambling and completely nail biting. Yeah. I'm still I'm still 100 out of 100 on both.
It's almost like you have these, you know the angel devil on your shoulder when you make me certain decisions about cake or gambling. Yeah what this seems to do is like it turns down the volume.
Of the compulsive voice and allows people to have more moderation over their behavior across categories not just food but nail-biting and gambling and that's where again you can call it amazing. You can call it spooky. You can call it surely effing terrifying but the way these drugs work is essentially like a psychiatric drug and I as a journalist find that completely fascinating
I would go as spooky. What was the third thing
the third thing is so there is concerns.
That and this is a real concern about these drugs. They definitely don't want to make it represent. Like I just think everyone should take them and the end it's a miracle drug. One of the big problems of these drugs is that with really fast weight loss people tend to lose both fat and muscle and for older people really for anyone must pretensions really important. Like there's no 90 year old grandmas out there that are like, I wish I had less muscle know like sarcopenia is bad. So what they're doing at Novo Nordisk the Danish company that makes those epic and Eli Lilly they're starting to
Think about pairing these glp-1 drugs with muscle retention or muscle growth drugs. And so the example Revolution is stimulating a revolution in muscle growth medicine. It is possible build that like the way the Olympic Revolution like cashes out for someone like you or your friends isn't weight loss drugs at all. It's that Downstream of the Olympic Revolution is we uncork some discoveries about muscle retention and muscle building and a lot of people end up taking a healthy FDA.
Approved, you know muscle retention muscle-building drug that happened because all these companies reporting all this money to counteract the effects of glp-1 drugs. So a lot of people going to hate that they're like, well you take one drug and it creates a problem you take another drug that creates another problem. I don't like the path leading down but as a journalist who's just interested in in this is a phenomenon It's Fashion to think about his epic as being the beginning of a revolution in a lot of different aspects of bodily health.
Yeah, it's I mean, you're basically saying stay safe steroid. Yeah, I don't I don't yet know how these I'm there's very little information yet about how these how these muscle drugs would work but the effect I suppose would be essentially that of a safe steroid potentially. So the muscle mass thing is the part that has been swept under the rug with this because I know a couple people that are that are using one of the drugs and one of the things that they're being told is you have to go to the gym more.
You have to work out you have to because you're going to lose muscle mass. So you got to like basically replace the muscle mass. If you're going to do this you're going to lose weight, but then you also have to put the muscle back that made me super suspicious of just all of this in general. It's like wait a second. So I'm losing weight. I'm gonna you know, some of the some of these urges I have are going to be tempered down, but I'm also going to lose muscle. I've never heard of anything really like you're going to lose muscle other than
Like being super sick or having cancer or something. So that's why I like I almost feel like with these drugs they came so fast. I know a bunch of people that are dabbling. It feels to me like when like the first iPhone happened or the first Vision Pro happened and then they perfected it by like the third or fourth or fifth time. I don't know if I want to dive in on the 1.0 version of all these drugs. It just might make me nervous, but I'm more of a hesitant person with stuff like that.
Well, I validate the fear. I definitely don't want to be a guinea pig either and the fears about muscle loss are absolutely legitimate. I would say though that because glp-1 drugs have been around for 10 or 15 years for diabetics. Yes, people taking them now are not the guinea pigs people them people who are taking them in say 2006-2008. They were the real guinea pigs. They were taking a drug that has never been tried before this point. We have 10 to 15 years worth of data for
bugs like those epic and it doesn't seem like there are significant long-term side effects or side effects that present in that medium term that said this goes to a second criticism of the drug, which is that if you stop taking it you tend to not still enjoy the benefits. It's like statins. It's a drug that you do seemingly have to take for the rest of your life. A lot of people are going to be really uncomfortable taking a drug like this for the rest of their life, especially when it changes the way they think
The world so dramatically so this is this this is serious stuff. I hope in the podcast I didn't and again here that I represent both like The Wonder of these drugs that obesity is a huge problem in America and there are all sorts of of cancers and diseases that are Downstream of the Obesity crisis in America and this seems to really combat it. But at the same time it's a serious drug the side effects for some people are very serious. You do have to stay on it for a long long period of time and it's true.
Ooh that you want you have to worry about and think about the muscle loss because muscle retention is so important for longevity and just living a healthy later life.
Well, I think about in the 80s and 90s these those fad diets that people would do and they lose the weight.
And then you stopped doing the diet and what happens, you know your and then in some ways it's even harder for your body to lose the weight the second time. There's been there's like some versions of this that are a little less owes empathy where that like people peptides have been around for a while, right? There's been you know, modified versions of peptides just like to maybe get it going a little bit but not exactly the same. I guess the the muscle mass part just in general is the part. That makes me sorry.
I lost all this weight now. I'm off as MPEG. All right. Now I'm putting the weight back on and I've lost 20 percent of my muscle that's never coming back. So I don't know how that's a wind. So it away they're trapping you to just take the stuff forever, which I don't that that makes me nervous too because it's like who benefits from that the people making these drugs?
I think you're right to see this is a cost benefit ratio. And that makes us focus on the benefit, you know, if you have 30 40 percent of Americans who are obese, and we don't have a an answer to obesity at the food system level. We don't have an answer to a Visa T at the behavioral level. There's no like, you know master class that we can like show people online that gets people to totally change their diets. This is one of the only things that works and if people who
are suffering from severe obesity and I should say it also seems to help people who are type 2 diabetic but if someone suffering from obesity and they haven't been able to lose weight and they take a drug that has a relatively safe side effect profile that caused them to lose weight. And also we're in the doctor encourages them to go to the gym a lot and live rates that all sounds positive. That's that's what that's what you're that's all together an obvious Improvement, but you're right to point out that all right for some people it's this is an obvious diagnosis.
Or prescription but there's but for a lot of people it's a marginal cost benefit and I think it's really important to be clear about both the extraordinary promise of these drugs and the very real fact of their side effects and downsides.
I'll tell you this very popular job drug in the Los Angeles area. Is that right? He had theirs
What do you what one do culture next let's do culture next and we'll do Tech then we'll finish with sports. Give us
shelter. Okay, so culture a few years ago. I played around with the idea for a book that I ultimately abandoned and the title of that book was going to be everything is a cult and everything is a call sort of yeah, you have to start by defining what is a cult right a cult is an intense and relatively novel.
Ain't that defines itself in opposition to a mainstream right? Fundamentally. It's about how the normies are bad at Foster's intimacy within the group through a blend of resentment and superiority over the mainstream and adopts ideas or rituals that bind people within the group but those same ideas and rituals seemed effing and saying to people outside of it and everywhere. I look in media. I'm like, I see more and more Cults the the first place I started to feel like everything is a called is in news media. Yeah our business.
News media to me is clearly becoming more caught like I don't know if you saw Tucker Carlson's little videos from Russia. I don't know how maybe it was you so's yeah, just give me
my radar.
Okay. So tell your Carlson takes his little, you know xvideo team to to Russia and it's not what he said or you know, he had this two hour long interview with Putin. It's the way he sold what was being said, which I'm starting to hear everywhere. The media is lying to you they and it's always that amorphous undefined day.
They they don't want you to know the truth about the war. They don't want to know the truth about reality. This is advertising by conspiracy. It's straight out of the cult Playbook, right? The mainstream is poison. It's designed to build this Allegiance around a cult and it's funny. But even like non Tucker news sites that are launching their thesis upon launching is always like they've got it wrong. No one in sports is covering sports, right? We'll get it. Right. No one in Tech is covering Tech right? We'll get it right. That's what you have to say to enter the mainstream.
As a result in order to be a new entrant you have to criticize the mainstream. So media is becoming called Lake celebrity fandom is becoming caught like I'm not just talking about the Taylor Swift fans. Love you guys. The fragmentation of media means you have like all of these incredibly powerful Affinity groups in YouTube and Tick-Tock forming around people that most Americans have never heard of right culture splintering off into Cults politics. Finally clearly is becoming more caught like it's not just polarization where Democrats don't understand Maga Republicans and Meg Republicans have no idea why
Anyone would vote for Joe Biden but also the big sort how people move around the country means that the two sides barely speak to each other because all the Liberals live together and all the conservatives of together. So culturally that my sort of future of everything in culture is that the erosion of the mainstream across categories news and politics and celebrity media has turned culture into a portfolio of Cults and that's made it really hard for people to talk to and understand each other. That's really good. It's like Colt
Sure, but mostly yeah, yeah exactly called. I was on I went on Dana Carvey and David Spade's podcast, but it hasn't run yet. So I don't want to spoil too much but it was really fun. But one of the things we're talking about was when they were on that show in the early 90s and they did this sketch. It was The Partridge Family versus The Brady Bunch and Susan Dey was the host right? So I was in college and literally that sketch everybody watching that sketch.
Understood the sketch because we had all Grown Up With The Brady Bunch in The Partridge Family. There's two generations. We only had a couple channels. So it's like this is yeah. This is like a 100 percent approval rating and we were talking about like SNL in 2024. I think one of the problems with it is there's no sort of mainstream backbone like that anymore. Like if you're 18, what's your backbone? It's like Taylor Swift. Maybe it's some some NFL stuff. I don't even know if the
the NBA's and there you might have an opinion on Olivia Rodrigo, but then everything else splinters and all these different directions. So what's the version of The Brady Bunch Partridge Family sketch 10 years from now for my daughter when she's like 28. What is it? What are her common culture experiences there buddy else. It's basically like Taylor Swift and a couple songs and something like those Netflix movies with Jacob a lordy, you know and net and did other piece of this is Netflix is a way.
Bigger piece of this now than I think people fully realize because this whole generation of 22 and under that's the first place they go to that is cable basically in general for them. So anything that's been on there in the last 10 years is some sort of reference touch points in them. And then it just turns in all these Tick Tock like the David dobrik all those they YouTube and all that mr. Be stalled and maybe that's what it is, but I don't know how you would have uniformity on what that
Partridge Family Brady Bunch sketches. I don't know if it
exists and I feel like I almost wish we could like bringing Klosterman here to talk about this. I know that he's obsessed with this subject. But I am so interested in the relative anonymity of enormous hits these days right? Like how a YouTube clip can be absolutely ubiquitous among 18 year olds, and I don't know who made the clip. I do understand what they're talking about. It might as well be an alien speaking in a foreign language and it's there are to a certain extent, you know.
The popularity of even big podcasts like Rogan where they'll be some crazy Viewpoint that's shared there for 25 million people. I won't even hear about it for six months and it's like one of the one of the biggest news Platforms in the world. You can do this for so many different hit one thing that I found. I think I was talking to Matt Bellamy about this when Netflix released its it's ours watched lists.
Oh my God, I was gonna buy that list. So goodnight engine.
It's the right. The night agent was listening to was
Something like, you know seven trillion hours. The mother was the most popular movie of or one of those popular movies of the first half of the year and in the six months of data that was shared by Netflix the mother I think was one of the most popular films and I did the math and according to the math. How do you fact check by this? The mother was watched the same number of hours on Netflix as Barbie was watched in movie theaters in 2023. Wow.
So I'm not saying the mother is bigger than Barbie. That's not my point. Barbie is going to be released or has been released on whatever it is Max and it's going to get it another trillion hours of viewing their but in the same period of time as much time was spent with humans watching the mother on Netflix or Netflix as people sitting in movie seats watching Barbie. I don't know what the mother is. I had to look it up and see this relative anonymity of hits seems to me to be absolutely Downstream of the phenomenon.
Of culture is now a bunch of Cults. Well it also
how do we measure audience because like the night agent which solid show it was like in the 24 phylum was like 24 for the 2020s. I watch the entire show.
I don't think I fully watched even five minutes of it. It was on and I was kind of looking up and doing work and looking up. I'm like out but if you like quiz me if you gave me a quiz right now and like what happened on the date agent. Can you name for characters? I'm not kidding. I watched every episode. Can you name for night agent characters? I cannot have the night agent end. I just remembered something was outdoors and people blew up. So I think it's almost like passive viewing is at an all-time high but like
like I don't know in the 80s like we watch it because that was it was like I'm gonna watch this what else am I going to do? And now it's like with people doing five things. So when I saw those Netflix numbers to me, it was like the passive, you know, passive watching like that show the Summer I Turned Pretty am is the my daughter likes to show an Amazon my wife watched it. But if I quizzed her on and I don't think she would be able to name two characters, but I know she watched the whole show there was some movie they had this week called players and my wife was watching it.
It was a rom-com and but she wasn't really watching it. She was texting with my daughter we FaceTime and I was just kind of going
And that just seems like where we are now
Ginny and Joe Joe be that for my wife. I've seen we had at least six total minutes of Jenny and Georgia walking in and out of my bedroom while my wife, you know, folded clothes or sat with our dog or did work in the bed. Jean-Georges West on you know, might as well have been like
Jean-Georges for the fight and you're like, oh what's going on here and watch for 2 minutes then go back to the laundry, right? Exactly. Yeah. These are it's weird. It's weird times for Content one of the things I don't know if I'll get in trouble for this.
But one of the you know Spotify and they do all the data on what people like podcast consumption and what they've really found with the data over the last year's and it's not rocket science, but like everybody has 2527 podcasts and that's it. It's really hard to crack that list. Once you have it people have their go twos right? They might love you. They're like, you know what Derek's on twice a week when I see that pop up. That's my guy. They don't have 30. It's five to seven.
I might be less than that of might be 3 and might be to maybe it's eight but it's somewhere in that range and that's that's real consumption. But we need think like how many podcasts are there now like three million two million.
Right actually build the hit to actually like get traction is harder than ever it because not only are you competing against the three million pods, but you're also competing against the circle that you've already decided on like 20 24, I guarantee maybe you were listening to a little more because you're a media consumer, but just in general you're going to have your hits like an NBA team. I can only play Five Guys I can play eight guys Max. That's it. That's all I can do any last thoughts.
Thoughts on this or should we go to the next
one this go the next one.
All right, let's take a break and then we'll go to the next one.
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All right future of everything. We have two left. I mean this is I am on the edge of my seat for this one with no want to know what your future of everything for Tech is Let's Hear It
All right. So last year feature everything for Tech. I did a I I still think this really compelling evidence called AI adoption. Yes. Yes
article solid W for you,
you know, I could I could keep talking about it. But the truth is I don't think there's a huge demand for me to keep talking about a I said everything I had to say.
Say about it last year. I want to talk about Vision Pro about Apple's new mixed reality headset and I want to talk about it in a way that might be a little bit unexpected. So the reviews are rapturous. The price is exorbitant. The price is in fact so high, you know $3500 and really more when you when you add all of the add-ons that I'm a little bit interested in how it acts how it works in the marketplace of attention like I could imagine rental markets. I could even imagine like
theaters that sell Vision Pro access like you can get a seat you can get an IMAX eat or you can get a Vision Pro Rental where we you know antiseptic wash the the division Pro we put it on your face. You're not watching, you know Oppenheimer on a screen you are immersed in Oppenheimer. I'm interested to see for example, I think Ben Thompson wore it on a plane our mutual friend. No relation ventas, honestly.
Yeah. I had the same thought I
was thinking what if United.
For $150 rented sterilized Vision Pros to people and Coach to allow or In First Class to allow people to immerse themselves in Barbie or whatever. You won't even notice. If you're sitting in coach that they've you know Shrunk the distance between coach seats by 6 inches if you're strapped into your Vision Pro, so, you know, they get an extra upsell. They put a Vision Pro on your face they get to share more people into the into the airplanes, but the point I really wanted to make about Mission Pro is that if the extrapolation of a trend which is ever
Higher quality screens ever improving resolution ever more content and you just been talking delivered closer and closer to our faces and in the last 15 years.
You and I and everyone we know have participated in experiment. We've been enrolled in an experiment to see what happens to the human brain as we spend more and more time in front of screens and less time in the physical world and division Pro is the most spectacular screen that's ever been invented. I just wrote an article in the Atlantic about what I called the sudden decline of hanging out in America. It was good last 20 years bill average socializing time average face-to-face interactions between humans.
Declined 30 percent for men and women in America and 50% for teenagers and most that decline has happened in the last 10 years what happens when we make screens 10x better. I don't know that I want to know the answer to that question. It's not clear to me that even though I am a huge technology booster. I'm a huge fan of physical world invention. It's not clear to me that better and better screen technology is really the medicine.
That we need to fix our problems. And so I am both kind of excited about Vision Pro but also like fundamentally concerned about what it says about the future of human psychology. So
obviously I read bends review and was it was just classic been it was he was mad at certain things. But then when he started talking about what the experience was on the plane, that was the first time I was like, oh,
But I have to get one of these in your brain starts going. All right, what else would this look like? Could I watch a Celtics game for my dad's seat? Is that is that where we're heading is like I put these things on which we've been talking about really for a decade. But I put these things on what are the possibilities am I all of a sudden an IMAX theater. Am I all of a sudden courtside at a Celtics game because they put a camera on the basket support right under the basket and now I'm now I'm sitting Courtside with the best seats in the House watch.
These guys and I'm able to turn and go that this goes back to what we talked about with his impact. Like I want to know what the 3.0 version of this thing is as as the experience gets better as they figure out stuff. I still the part you said about how this will lead to less interaction less people being social less people wanted to be around other people.
Maybe that's just where Society is headed. But that's my biggest fears. Like it's not just like people are hanging out less are people going to want to hang out people going to still want to be with each other and 15 years. If we hit that point like the to me that's a fucking game Ender if we're not interacting with each other and instead I would just rather be home with my Vision Pro on and that's and I'm 40 years old and that's it. That's going to be my Friday and Saturday night.
That's not I don't see how that's normal for your brain.
I don't see was normal either and it's really hard to predict the future of technology. But one thing that kind of freaks me out a little bit is as you think about various, you know use cases for Vision Pro. One of them is that it allows any space you're in to be turned into your living room or your home office. Yes, you think about a coffee shop and you think about the culture of a coffee shop you think about the historical role the coffee shops have played in human history.
Straight they've been places where people come together and share ideas launch revolutions launch political parties. Sometimes just hang out, you know, get a little bit of work done and hang out with your friends coffee shops are really important third place, you know, not your home not your office but a third place that builds community and in any neighborhood what if a bunch of people realize that with Vision Pro 5.0 in 2027 or whatever you can go to a coffee shop and you can put your opaque glasses on.
And you can just turn that coffee shop into a virtual home office with 17 different screens that you can use to do your day trading your your Excel file in your group or just washing your from
five feet away. No bill. No one's
watching from five feet away because they're wearing their Vision Pros to and so the coffee shop ends up.
So he's like that's a it's a pro coffee shop.
It's so I'm saying if this technology becomes as ubiquitous as the iPhone, then it's not just everyone with naked faces any abilities.
Each other looking at their iPhone, it's everyone with these opaque goggles on sitting in a coffee shop doing their work training that coffee shop in their home office. I mean, there's a way in which I thatthat sounds may be weird and dystopic, but it's actually you could see how an on a one-to-one basis for every individual person. That's a benefits right there. Like, oh, it's fun to be able to like go to a third place and get my coffee and then turn in my home office, but collectively it ruins the culture of that coffee shop. It ruins the culture of third places.
So, why would I
Go to the coffee shop with my with my goggles on if I could just do that at home. What's the point of even being in the coffee shop? Oh
because you know your other people you want maybe want to get away from you want to get away from you know, your family you want to get out of the house for the first part. You need to be closer to the office. Maybe you just need maybe you line generator that
Coffee-Mate. Yeah it away from your roommate. Right
exactly your and you always have the ability of course just take off the goggles and then, you know walk around and you know, get your scone or whatever and bring it back to the table. So it's a way to be away from
Home while also, you know creating whatever kind of room you want to be
a those sounds depressing
it does it is and that's that's why you know, I think that I'm simultaneously interested in you know, what Vision Pro represents for Content what it represents for entertainment how for example it could allow you to enjoy just sort of like Co stream your father's experience of a Celtics game. That sounds kind of cool to me, right? Yeah and an amazing like 3D version of like mad
10:27 that seems kind of cool to me. So it's not as if I want to write off the metaverse entirely and say this is only going to be bad. I don't think that at all. I just think that we need to analyze the societal implications of a technology like Vision Pro as if it's the extension of all other screen to technology and with screen technology the history of screen technology, I think teaches us is making more content ever more available to us. Yes allows us to amuse ourselves, but
Choose to be alone. When were amusing ourselves in front of the screens and that kind of sucks because it means that socialization declines by 50% among teenagers and anxiety right Rises to all-time high levels. So I'm not trying to exclusively like should on the technology, but I do think that especially with the with like the rapturous reception that Vision Pro God we should sort of keep in Balance the explain the incredible achievement at the tech with it's possible - vacations for society.
So if we had
a tech czar
and this person was in charge of basically all behavior and things were allowed to do with all the tech like within reason and the techs are was like you can use these things but it can only be for three hours a day. We don't have enough studies yet to know whether how damaging this could be. If you're using this for 10 hours a day people by no way that's not constitutional. We can't do that but it really does seem like these things should have time limits. I think all this stuff, you know, should you be on your iPhone on FaceTime and and all the social?
Apps for more than like 4 hours a day probably not they're never going to the parents could put time limits on it for their kids.
But do we need like when I think about this Vision Pro thing?
What if somebody's just on their Vision Pro for 14 hours a day? What is that going to do to their brain after a while or they even going to be able to interact with other people after like six months I did with there's so much. We don't know
there's so much. We don't know and you know, the metaphor that I've used before is that social media in particular and I guess to a certain extent you could say screened content in general is a little bit like attention alcohol. I love whiskey and I love wine.
And I don't drink beer as much anymore. But like I love making Mezcal Cocktails. So I drink a lot of alcohol but there's also like an understanding with alcohol of how much is too much and we have a social infrastructure and social vocabulary around telling each other and telling ourselves. You've had too much to drink and you should also drink your drink this with water and you should drink with responsibility and you know, make sure that you eat food before you did. We
how we live for thousands of years with this.
this technology, you know, we yeah, and we know how wonderful it can be and we also understand that we can use it to access to a certain extent. I see screens is being analogous because I think that I've that the iPhone is unbelievably useful to me. I think social media frankly even Twitter is incredibly useful to me. I'm very happy the Netflix exist. I've gotten a ton of joy out of it and the truth is I probably will use the Vision Pro at some point in my life and do something that's a lot of fun with it. So in that way all these Technologies are kind of like
An alcohol but we need a clearer understanding. So if I'm the texts are I'm like, let's study this we have so much research on the effect of alcohol on our livers and our minds and our metabolism and you know rates of you know substance abuse and you know how to wean people off of it and the effect of Alcoholics Anonymous. Why don't we have any of this for social media? How do we build this sort of research backbone for a similar understanding of what this is doing to our bodies? That's where I would start before, you know ramping down.
Like the like the CCP and essentially saying like you can't use this technology. No one no adult can use this technology for more than x hours a day.
We feels like we're in the same spot with gummies and micro dosing. We're all they got gummies. There's there's so much more trial and error in the gummy Community the micro Tessa Community. It's like, oh man. I took two gummies yesterday and I was under my bed for nine hours at that that just kind of popped out of nowhere we do.
Don't we know people here who like they just microdose every day. Now, that's a No-No so totally safe. It's like is it then this stuff just started a couple years ago. Does that how my moods much better now? It's great is it
we had a we had an episode on the show about ketamine and about Helens another one. Yeah about psychiatrist researching the effects of ketamine because as you know, I'm very interested in mental health ketamine seems to have incredible effects for reducing depression really quickly and
Roll months so it's different than you know, if you see a therapist which many people should that affect can take a long time to materialize with ketamine that's really fast. But what's interesting is even experts don't really know what's going on. They don't understand the mechanism is it the high that people are responding to is that the molecular experience behind the high and so yeah, we're allowing ourselves here to be to be guinea pigs for drugs that do seem to be doing something good, but the mechanisms of their success or pretty mysterious
last thing of the Vision Pro the
Like You by One your wife can't use it right it's tied to you. That's what Ben was saying like you can't buy like a Family Vision Pro and then just anyone could put it on its tailored specifically to you
II don't know enough about that to be sure but let's say that that is right on
that point.
That seems like something they could adjust for the 2.0 3.0 like the price is going to come down. Maybe it's tailored almost like IE of the Netflix account with the five people on it. I ate that just seems like that's probably where we're headed for future iterations. All right, last one sports. Are we doing micro dosing for the MBA? What are we
going you? Yeah, you stole it right out of my mouth its micro testing for the NBA. No, so I would here's I want to do for sports. I want to describe to you.
Bill my relationship with the NBA and then I want you to tell me if I'm crazy. So I listened to you and Ryan and the NBA show and mismatch. I probably listen to hundreds of hours of NBA podcasts every year. Do you know how much basketball I watch before may like probably 20 minutes like this year and my best friend's bachelor party. We watch the fourth quarter of a Knicks game at our ambient Florida. That's it. So I was doing the math on this and I was like my consumption of professional basketball. He is 100 hours of ringer podcast about basketball.
All to every 20 minutes of watching the actual NBA that's a 300 to 1 ratio of analysis to actual sporting event. And on reflection. I was like this is kind of psychotic behavior. It's totally counterintuitive. I can't really even explain it to myself in what interview I said. It's kind of like the NBA is a piece of audio gossip for me. It's like a reality show that lives in my ears for six months but transforms into a live sport Every Spring and if this is common and I get the sense that it is
Kind of common that a lot of people have this kind of relationship with sports. I wonder what it means for the economics of sports media from a consumer standpoint because there's a way in which I