Tim Pool and Joe Rogan take Twitter to task
Today on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Tim Pool and Joe Rogan unleashed a torrent of research and specific proof that seemed to confirm that Twitter is censorious, has a bias against conservative users and operates with ideological blinders on.
The guests on the podcast were independent journalist Pool, Twitter boss, Jack Dorsey, and Head of Trust and Safety, Vijaya Gadde.
“You people” were supposed to be Cherry’s last words but they weren’t.
Once again, cancel culture missed the mark.
Mainstream media still hasn’t gotten the memo that podcasting will eventually be their demise. If you got fired for something you said on a network twenty years ago you were pretty much out of options for reaching the public on a mass scale after that.
Twenty years ago, people weren’t getting fired for misspeaking or a controversial opinion so it wasn’t a big issue. These days, everybody on a network starts out on thin ice and there they stay. What is interesting, however, is that as the networks continue to tighten up their leashes the technology for an open and honest dialogue is expanding. Anybody can start a professional sounding podcast for no more than a couple hundred dollars. It’s a one time fee and you’re set for life.
So it’s no surprise that the canning of Cherry from Sportsnet won’t be the last time his fans will get to hear from him. The downside of Cherry’s new podcast is that there is no video to see him in his flambuoyant suits and it’s missing his once-loyal sidekick, Ron MacLean.
That being said, the podcast feels like you are in the living room with Grapes. So at a moment in time when the mainstream media would have you believe that Cherry is just a loud, obnoxious one-trick pony, listeners are actually now getting a calm, lucid and sentimental Don. He talks with his son and daughter on the podcast about all things hockey.
The first podcast saw Cherry briefly address the firing but he didn’t seem bitter about it, “when one door closes, another opens,” he said. Then it was back to hockey. Cherry shared an old interview between himself and the man of hockey folklore – Maurice “The Rocket” Richard.
In another episode, Cherry recounts his dog, Blue, getting into it with a skunk and having to wash out the stench with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, then it was back to discussing hockey.
One can only suspect that Cherry, 85, is going to put more money into the podcast and get a small studio up and running. There’s no shortage of legendary players both past and present who would want to be guests on Grapevine 2.0.
If Ron MacLean remains a good boy perhaps Sportsnet will even let him go on as a guest one of these days. And why wouldn’t they? Grapevine 2.0 was the number one podcast in the country two weeks ago, beating out the Joe Rogan Experience. Rogan’s podcast averages approximately a billion downloads annually so it’s no small feat to top him in Canada, if only momentarily.
Grapevine 2.0 has remained in the top ten streamed podcasts in Canada since its inception. I guess some people still really like Cherry after all.
U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience from Moscow Wednesday, and promptly reminded us why we should all be terrified of the “brave new world” that humanity is marching towards now.
Snowden, who was chased out of his home country for disclosing sensitive information, appeared on the show to remind the masses that the neon gods of technology to which we bow and pray each day are doing much more harm than good. And to promote his book about his life.
Specifically, Snowden forces the listener to reassess the role that smartphones have in our lives.
“The big thing that’s changed since 2013 is now it’s mobile-first everything,” explained Snowden, who went on to explain how the mobile tech boom has radically shifted the way that our lives function at an almost metaphysical level.
Snowden’s descriptions of how cell phones collect data and transport information to nearby cell towers, how obscure and ephemeral moments in one’s life no longer exist as a concept. Nothing enters the void, and everything is documented.
The reality that Snowden describes goes as follows: As a person who carries a cell phone around, you are agreeing to a lot of things that may not be obvious to the user.
For one, there is now a record of your presence at any place, at any time (that has a cell phone tower nearby). These records are being stored by companies that do not need to keep this information, as “there is no good argument for it to be kept forever, but these companies see that as valuable information,” something that Snowden calls “The big data problem.”
“This is all information that used to be ephemeral; where were you when you were 8 years old? Where’d you go after you had a bad breakup? Who’d you spend the night with? Who’d you call after? All this information used to be ephemeral—meaning it disappeared like the morning dew, it would be gone, no one would remember it—Now these things are stored.”
Snowden explains that unless the battery is removable from a device, it’s not guaranteed that it’s actually “turned off.” A phone can power down and brick itself until the power button is pressed again, but that’s not an actual indication of it being powered down.
And that’s just what happens when you connect your phone to a network. “That’s not talking about all those apps that are contacting the network even more frequently,” said Snowden.
What Snowden depicts is truly a Pandora’s box. There isn’t a way to undo what we’ve done.
The idea that there are moments in history that I cannot recollect, like who I was with or what I was doing 4 years ago, but observable metadata can find those things, is tremendously sad.
And that’s sticking to what Snowden discussed in about 10 minutes of his nearly three-hour appearance.
The problem is this: We are now less valuable than the data we produce. We’re now nodes, or leaves on a virtual tree, providing information to companies and artificial intelligence systems that seek to predict human behaviour, all in order to sell ads.
The more data collectively we provide, the better an algorithm can tailor advertisements to our needs. With different apps tracking where we are, what we’re doing, and often times what we’re saying to one another, is a grim sign that if the end of individuality is not near, it’s at least barreling towards us.
And no, it’s not just your paranoia. Your smartphone is listening to you in order to better serve ad space. Everyone has a story about saying something to someone and having a Facebook advertisement appear the next day.
This goes beyond “apophenia” or any other type of “pattern recognition.” According to Dr. Peter Henway, the senior security consultant for cybersecurity firm Asterix, and former lecturer and researcher at Edith Cowan University, cell phones are certainly listening to us, but not at all times.
It’s not a big secret, either. Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa has been used in courtrooms to solve murders. We’ve wiretapped ourselves, all in the name of convenience. To discredit what Snowden is saying because he’s a “whistleblower” or traitor is foolish.
Though solutions are few and far between, it does make the idea of dropping everything and moving to a cabin in the woods all the more romantic.
We love dunking on low-information people when they say “video games cause violence” because, of course, they don’t. But nobody expected Joe Rogan to jump on this sinking boomer boat.
Yes. Joe Rogan.
In a video on his show titled, “Video Games Romanticize Wars,” Joe Rogan agrees with his guest Sgt. Dakota Meyer that video games are bad.
I felt as a gamer myself, and someone rather well-versed on political theory, that I had to launch the war-cry, “SILENCE! JOE ROGAN!”
Breaking the video down
The video, an extract of a longer conversation, talks about the helpfulness of the American people.
The conversation, however, quickly flowed to how technology has made us less empathetic and sympathetic to people. Naturally, video games were spotted on the radar for the next attack.
Meyer claimed, “[Video games make people feel like] I just wanna go kick in doors and shoot people in the face.”
He further expressed his views by adding, “Kids talk about ‘did you kill somebody?’ There’s nothing cool about taking someone’s life.”
Of course, there is nothing cool about killing someone in real life. But moving on, Meyer began rambling about how the more graphic violent video games are, the more they desensitize players. “We have pushed ourselves away from being more empathetic.”
Joe Rogan eventually jumps in agreement. “We’ve had more violence in film and video games ever, but yet we’ve never had less ‘violence’ violence.” He added, “people who play these games have never seen a body. To them, it’s empty to shoot people.”
Rogan concludes by saying that people are being numbed by “fake violence” and have no experience with the “real stuff” so they conflate the two.
“What good comes out of shooting hookers in GTA V?”
So. Many. Hot. Takes. To. Take. Down.
The evidence against Rogan
According to Psychology Today, “there is not solid, irrefutable evidence that violent video games lead to aggressive behaviour.”
While reports and studies have, at times, shown mixed results. It turns out that there is no correlation or causation between the two variables.
Research conducted at Oxford University concluded the same. Professor Andre Przybylski says, “the idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time. Despite interest in the topic by parents and policy-makers, the research has not demonstrated that there is cause for concern.”
“It is a red herring to blame video games,” says Patrick Markey, director of The Interpersonal Research Laboratory and professor of Psychology at Villanova University.
Rogan’s, and Meyer’s, claims are false. In a broader societal aspect, too, do we see a confirmation of the research conducted.
“We live in a society”
Meyer’s claim, that people are becoming eager to “kick doors” and “shoot people in the face” is largely false.
A survey conducted by the RAND corporation found out that most people that join the military do so due to economic reasons, rather than patriotic.
In fact, a third of the soldiers said welfare benefits (healthcare, education, etc) were the main reason they joined the military.
With the power of the military-industrial complex and its connections to sway narrative in the mainstream media and Capitol Hill, it should come as a surprise to nobody that war is a business more than it is a desire to “kill terrorists and spread democracy.”
I am pretty sure that when Rambo came about and openly supported the Mujahideen against the Soviets, no American teenager seriously wanted to immediately go fight in Afghanistan.
This goes on to explain why candidates like Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, and even Libertarians such as Rand Paul, receive huge praise when they call for an end to wars.
As we move away from the dodgy claims of the “romanticization of wars,” we move to another obvious target: gun violence.
Guns have existed for a long time. In America, they have been legal since America has existed.
Yet, we see a spike in gun violence only in recent times. This violence has to do with tribalism and alienation more than it has to do with video games.
As a society, the rise of populism came from a general dissatisfaction with neoliberalism. The “End of History,” as Francis Fukuyama put it, is rubbish, as Fukuyama later corrected himself for.
Karl Marx, in an economic sense, has extensively written about alienation. That people cannot afford the fruit of their own labour. In an America that has seen a humungous rise in income inequality and lack of basic services for the poor, alienation should come as no surprise to anyone.
This alienation leads to anxiety which leads to a desire for change. This culminates in populism which can be championed by both the Left (Bernie Sanders) and the Right (Donald Trump).
This intense division, coupled with anxiety caused due to economic and even social alienation, leads to tribalism and radicalism.
Video games have absolutely no part to play in the culmination of our society to this stage. The US isn’t even the largest consumer of video games, for that matter.
Clearly, Joe Rogan must dig deeper, like he always does, instead of relying on cultural panic.
Gamers will win
There is no scientific evidence that highlights violent video games cause aggressive behaviour. Scaling this up, there is also no evidence that video games romanticize wars or gun violence.
In fact, as Joe Rogan quite rightly said about the video game God of War last year, violent video games are “BADASS!”
A new petition has popped up online requesting that UFC commentator, comedian-podcaster Joe Rogan moderate the 2020 Presidential Debate.
“We are petitioning for the Commission of the Presidential Debates to elect Joe Rogan as one of the moderators for the 2020 Presidential Debate,” reads the fast-growing petition. The change.org page lists three reasons why the world’s largest podcaster would be a worthy host.
The first reason they list is that Joe Rogan is “a widely respected host who has hosted interviews with politicians, economists, scientists, and other popular figures, who come from various walks of life.”
The second reason points to how well-seasoned Rogan is at politician interviews. Rogan has already had Democratic candidates Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, and Bernie Sanders on the platform, as well as 2016 Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
The third reason points to Joe’s vast audience, and how politically diverse it is. “Joe Rogan is not registered under any political party and is well-known for having civil, productive, and interesting, conversations about political issues without partisan bias.”
Of course, a Joe Rogan hosted Presidential debate is a fever dream that Joe himself would probably be fearful of. Based on how inefficient Rogan believes the “debate” format to be, it seems as though the only way we’re going to get to see Rogan interacting with Democratic candidates is via the multi-hour podcasts which propelled him to the top of the podcasting world.
The petition itself has gained a head of steam. It has grown by nearly 55,000 signatures since its release.
You can sign the petition here.