I’ve been learning advanced physics today!

It’s easy and exciting!

It’s OK that my instructors are Joe Rogan and Alex Jones, a pair of world-class assholes, right?


  1. Dave Grain says

    Alex Jones is playing a character, he is just a long-standing an art installation. Why do you guys take what he says so seriously? Grow up you lunatics and find some real shit to get offended by.

  2. weylguy says

    As a retired physicist I am greatly offended by such blatant stupidity and ignorance. No wonder the country’s fucked up.

  3. stormfield says

    Alex Jones is a horrible person in every way. But, I got to say he has the ability to deliver verbal diarrhea better than most anyone I’ve heard. Just amazing!

  4. says

    Oh man, I couldn’t even make it to 1:10. Yikes. Nothing like promoting obscurantism in 12 layers of bonnaconshit. It’s scary, how many people listen to such shit.

  5. says

    #5: OK. I’ve been rather offended by this asshole Dave Grain who keeps plopping his shit into my blog. Or is he just some lunatic I should ignore?

    There are a couple of unpleasant characters I’ve been trying to ignore for some time here. Maybe I should do something about them, since Dave Grain thinks I should find some real shit to get offended by.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Got half way through the idiocy before my bullshit detector hit “super red alert”. What an ignoramous, liar, and bullshitter, who should be jailed for deliberate lying about reality.

  7. vucodlak says

    @ PZ Myers, #9

    I’ve seen Dave Grain make maybe two comments that didn’t read as pure, unadulterated attempts at shit-stirring, out of perhaps 2 or 3 dozen that I (vaguely) recall. Once in a great while, a valid point is buried in those comments, but I suspect that’s accidental.

    I’d give Dave Grain’s trolling a solid ‘D,’ overall. The comments are superficially well-constructed, but fail even at their apparent purpose roughly 4 out of 5 times.

    I don’t actually have any opinion about what you should do about Dave Grain. I’m just saying that, if even a gullible creature like me can see through their bullshit then, well, it’s just sad. Maybe you could find some frowny-face stickers with sad eyes that you could put by their comments?

  8. John Morales says

    Chopra index is high.

    Dave Grain:

    Alex Jones is playing a character, he is just a long-standing an art installation.

    Sure. Hardly an exception, but. So what?

    Why do you guys take what he says so seriously?


    Among other responses, I could note he’s profitably popular with a particular demographic, or that even flat-earthers are featured here, or that PZ is free to post whatever the fuck he likes, or that it requires little nous to figure PZ ain’t being serious.

    Grow up you lunatics and find some real shit to get offended by.

    The irony is strong, if inadvertent.


    I’ve been rather offended by this asshole Dave Grain who keeps plopping his shit into my blog. Or is he just some lunatic I should ignore?

    Chewtoys are rare these days, but I understand that is now deprecated.
    It’s an old story that someone has antipathy towards your blog and its ethos, though.

    [obscure ref]


  9. gijoel says

    Dave were you a drive in theatre in a previous life, cause that’s a lot of projection there.

  10. says

    Okay, let’s say “Alex Jones” as we know him is a character portrayed by Alex Jones. The problem is that there are a lot of people who believe every word he says.

    Why do you guys take what he says so seriously?

    Because. There. Are. People. Who. Believe. Him. Asshole.

    Ask the Sandy Hook parents who have been harassed by InfoWars listeners how things have been. We have to take him seriously because he’s doing very real harm to the world, asshole.

    Grow up you lunatics and find some real shit to get offended by.

    Fuck you, asshole.

  11. malachiconstant says

    As a high school physics teacher let me say: AAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUGH!
    This makes me feel a little bit of the pain I’m sure philosophy teachers feel when kids start talking about The Matrix during class.
    “Not even wrong.”

  12. hemidactylus says

    If you’re an aficionado of guano dropping you need to start this rant from around 1:47:00 into the full show:


    They had been drinking whiskey and smoking something. Pizzagate, chemtrails, and HAARP were topics along the way. Alex Jones has a weird way of believing we actually went to the moon. Eddie Bravo disagrees. Jones says some stuff about Delta Force as agents provocateur during Seattle WTO protests. Rogan is either believing Jones or egging him on most of the way.

    But in the interdimensional false hologram pedophilic alien transhuman integration excerpt above Rogan has a dumfounded expression and actually pushes back a bit on Jones. He didn’t seem to be partaking in the bizarre physics.

    Now I need whiskey to brain bleach that. Thanks PZ 🤮

  13. billyjoe says

    I live in Australia and I don’t know Alex Jones very well. However, in this particular instance he is what is called a Crank:


    Actually, he is listed there! – which I don’t know before looking for a reference.
    That’s all that needs to be said about him on this particular topic.

    But what did Rogan do wrong? Firstly, he didn’t say a word. But I suppose he invited him on the show. But that’s not automatically a bad thing. I’d have to see the whole interview to see whether Rogan deserves to be pilloried. If he showed him up as a crank, fine. If not, and it was just free publicity for a crank, then not fine.

    Maybe Rogan has a past history I don’t know about but, even then, we should judge each case on its merits. I’ve only seen him interview Sean Carroll and Sam Harris, and I thought he did a great job in both (over long, though, at 2 hours each).

  14. billyjoe says

    Here is the full interview:


    But it goes on for nearly four hours!!!
    I’m afraid I don’t have the time or inclination to watch it to see how Joe Rogan handles him. Has any one seen it, or part of it? If so, how did Rogan handle him? I’m thinking it wouldn’t be hard to show him up – just let the idiot speak and he’d likely just hang himself. But it has to work for Alex Jones’ supporters, because everyone else has surely already got his measure.

  15. hemidactylus says

    @13-John Morales-
    Chopra index is high.

    Is Chopra that toxic. I wonder if it is possible to build a Random Alex Jones Quote Generator and if it is moral to unleash such a thing upon humanity.

    I wouldn’t suggest trying to watch all of it. But starting around 1:47:00 you can get a fuller rendition of this particular rant and Rogan’s reaction. I didn’t have the stamina to watch past 2:30:00 and I feel something may have broken in my brain before falling asleep on this thing.

    I just woke from the most bizarre dream about rotund amphibian monsters inside a boat in the ocean contained in a friend’s backyard. There was also a toilet to the side of the boat surrounded by insurmountable obstacles. It was stormy. Afraid to go back to sleep.

  16. Nemo says

    @SC #18:

    Alex Jones is playing a character, he is just a long-standing an art installation.


    His lawyer said he was, but then Jones denied it. But he would, wouldn’t he? I mean, if he were staying in character.

    Anyway, he lost custody of his kids over it. That’s real commitment to his art.

  17. komarov says

    Well, the projection / hologram stuff is nonsense of course. You can tell by how the US military isn’t working on a weapon to interfere with the hologram (i.e. destroy reality) to, ahem, deter various undefined and shifting enemies. The same goes for trandsimensional WMDs; since there aren’t any there aren’t any targets in other dimensions. I’m tempted to dismiss lizard people because there aren’t any weapons tailored to them. But then why would anybody want tailored weapons when collateral damage is considered perfectly acceptable? So while that’s not proof at least the Argumentum ad Runaway Militarism can’t be used to dismiss lizard people.

    P.S.: Just in case, the above is sarcasm. I’m not a conspiracy theorist nor am I secretly conspiring to become one.

  18. hemidactylus says

    I’m going back in… starting at 2:03:30- Jones gives bizarre history of ideas lesson where a hallucinating Darwin channeled ideas from demons (confused with Alfred Wallace?); Jones launches into tirade about Darwin, Galton, Huxley and others developing superhuman breeding program (inspired by interdimensional messages?), Galton predicted double helix based on symbol of medicine with two snakes https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caduceus_as_a_symbol_of_medicine

    …Darwin’s origin of species is galactic stuff, Jones has odd conception of history of science based on genetic memories and archetypes, then Jones uses “epigenetics” as buzzword in strange leapfrog mental guano dropping juxtaposition (is Rogan hiccuping or mocking him?), Jones makes a big deal out of chickens instinctively fearing hawks to prove the Darwin conspiracy (I am guessing?)…Hemi brain shutdown…reboot sequence…BSOD

  19. gijoel says

    @BillyJoe From memory Rogan was a noted moon landing denier and all round crank. He also does commentary for Bellator and other UFC contests and his style of alpha male posturing brings nothing to sports commentary.

  20. blf says

    I just woke from the most bizarre dream about rotund amphibian monsters inside a boat in the ocean contained in a friend’s backyard. There was also a toilet to the side of the boat surrounded by insurmountable obstacles. It was stormy.

    Sounds like you stumbled on one of the mildly deranged penguin’s forgotten cheese stores (yes, it does happen, mostly because she spots some more cheese nearby), or perhaps a misplaced cache of cheese someone was hiding from her. In either case, the cheese had probably become a bit ripe. Clearly not too ripe, as you didn’t mention gas masks. Or biohazard suits. But that’s still a slightly-ripe cheese dream.

    Well, probably a dream. Ripe cheese can get a bit lively, and some cheeses are fond of practical jokes. There are a couple of tests for checking if your dream is a nightmare or just normal reality. (As an aside, the “What is the colour of the sky?” test isn’t very helpful here — besides the problem of possibly being some other planet, it’s usually not a good not to stop and check the colour of sky when running, screaming, away from whatever’s chasing you.)

    One test is if the video in the OP makes sense. If it does, then it isn’t normal reality. Or even an abnormal reality. Hence, it’s a dream. And you should probably seek help. (And don’t worry about getting eaten whilst watching the video: That video is a powerful nasties repellent.)

    Another test, more easily applied, and probably less damaging to your sanity, is to simply ask the “rotund amphibian monsters”. What you ask them doesn’t really matter. If they reply, no problem, it’s just a dream. If the boat replies, it’s normal reality. Anything else (other replies, you get eaten, the toilet flies away, or so on…) is just an hologram of quantum vibrating epigenetics.

  21. blf says

    From memory Rogan was a noted moon landing denier and all round crank.

    Yes. From the Encyclopedia of American Loons (June 2014):

    #1078: Joe Rogan

    [… He endorses] virtually the whole gamut of conspiracy theories — yes, Rogan is just JAQing off, except that, as with most people JAQing off, he isn’t really just asking questions. He is finding holes in the official stories. And you know what that implies about his mindset. And to add fuel to the fire Rogan seems to bring up his conspiracy nuttery at pretty much every and any possible opportunity.

    The moon landings? You can see him raise some “tricky” issues for Phil Plait [… and then] completely in line with the results from research on memory bias Rogan couldn’t remember at all what happened a few weeks later and — despite being utterly refuted and debunked — misconstrued the discussion so as to conclude that no one were able to answer his questions, which they rather evidently were.


    Of course, Alex Jones also has an entry (one of the oldest, #197, May 2011).

  22. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Does Alex Jones Matter?
    If he were merely a lone voice narrowcasting to a couple hundred other nutjobs all wearing tinfoil hats, the answer would be no. Unfortunately his audience numbers in the tens of thousands, and it includes Cheeto Hitler on Pennsylvania Avenue. And then there is the eliminationist character of Jones’ diatribes–by accusing anyone left of Mussolini of the most heinous crimes his fetid, feverish and feeble imagination can conjure, he makes violence against them not just acceptable but praiseworthy. Once someone’s followers start showing up at pizza restaurants with loaded guns or sending death threats to survivors and families of victims of school shootings, they matter–and not in a good way.

    In the absence of 35% of the US population being deranged, Alex Jones would not matter. Accounts of his stupidity would be mere scornography. But there are people out there who feel they must destroy America to make it great again.

  23. Ragutis says

    I have little knowledge of astronomy/astrophysics beyond a 101 course at a CC, COSMOS on DVD, following Phil Plait’s blogging, and being a NDGT fanboy. But, I’ve watched many episodes of How the Universe Works while pretty darn high, and I can’t even understand how this idiot/arsehole can get things so wrong. And to see uber-loon Joe Rogan (who I must admit was awesome in News Radio ) giving him the “WTF are you talking about?” look… It’d be funny for me to ask “what the fuck drug is he on?”, but I think I should so I can make sure to avoid ever trying it. It’s like no matter how many times the teacher gives a kid two blocks and then two more and they triumphantly shout out “Rosemary!”.

    Whether or not AJ is deluded, divorced from reality, certifiably mentally ill or just playing a character doesn’t really matter. What’s fucking scary is that MILLIONS of people listen to him daily and take him seriously. I’ll never run into him. But how many of my neighbors are buying into this? As frightening as this sounds (which says a lot as I live 15 mins. from Scientology Central) , it appears that he’s becoming the new Rush Limbaugh of the Right.

  24. says

    gijoel@30 Rogan hasn’t done any work for Bellator, which is a separate organisation from the UFC owned by media conglomerate Viacom. You might be confusing him with Jimmy Smith, who was the colour commentator for Bellator between 2011 and 2017. When Rogan has his head shaved they sort of look alike. And now it will be even easier to confuse them, as Smith has been hired by the UFC for their broadcasts.

  25. billyjoe says

    Well, that’s just weird about Joe Rogan.

    I just now watched him interview Neil de Grasse Tyson. Joe Rogan soaked up all the scientific knowledge imparted to him by Tyson and was eager for more. He was totally into Tyson pointing out the non-science in sci-if movies and ridiculing all the anti-scientific garbage out there. Several times Tyson praised Rogan for his inquiring mind, wide interests, and his intellect.

    Is there another Joe Rogan?

  26. billyjoe says

    Sorry, once more…

    Regarding Joe Rogan and the teaching of physics:

    Have a look at the first 30 minutes of the following video where Joe Rogan interviews Lawrence Krauss. Joe has read his book and gets him to explain gauge symmetry (which is fundamental in physical theory) and later on the meaning of fields (which is fundamental in quantum field theory). He gets the fields but doesn’t quite get gauge symmetry, but he tries and he shows great appreciation for science and the scientific endeavor.

    Joe Rogan, at least in those videos where he interviews science educators really is teaching us (and himself) physics. Even advanced physics. (I noticed on the side bar that he has also interviewed Brian Cox, so I’ll be listening to that next).

    So, yeah, careful about criticising Joe Rogan.

    Maybe he has done some dubious interviews, but he certainly can help us learn some physics through interviews with some of the world’s great science educators. And they’re willing to speak to him for over 2 hours. So, at the very least, they must trust him enough to do that.

  27. Rob Grigjanis says

    billyjoe @37:

    He (Rogan) gets the fields but doesn’t quite get gauge symmetry

    The first 10 minutes or so makes it clear why he doesn’t quite get gauge symmetry; Krauss does a crappy job of explaining it. He’s talking about changing all positive charges to negative, and vice versa, which is a discrete transformation (charge conjugation, sort of), while invoking Noether’s first theorem. The theorem is about continuous symmetries (e.g. gauge symmetries), not discrete ones. He knows this, since he talks about energy and momentum conservation as following from invariance under time and position translation, respectively. But he yammers on about a chess board, and switching black and white squares. No surprise that it’s confusing.

  28. Muz says

    Rogan went back on being a Moon Landing Denier a while ago. He’s talked about the experience on occasion. He’s still into some kooky stuff but seems to be getting more skeptical and better at it, generally.
    I reckon he’s alright in essence. He’s said before he has Alex Jones on and just gets him whiskeyed up and lets him talk to see what happens. Which is funny but I’m not sitting through it..
    But Rogan skims over every little social justice internet controversy too and seems to only get people on from one side. I don’t know how he books his show. A lot of it is PR/book and whatever else promotion, but it seems like he just wants to talk to some folks since they didn’t have anything in particular to sell sometimes except themselves. So he’s had people like Shapiro, Sargon, Crowder, Peterson, TJ Kirk, Milo and so on several times.
    He’s milder and far less overtly political than anyone else of his broad category of broadcaster. He describes himself as a Libertarian leaning Liberal, yet is apparently listening to a lot of crypto-right and blatant right wing people on a lot of popular topics. So he’s emblematic of a lot of young dudes of recent years in many regards.
    I find him tolerable-to-good with a bit of curation and aside from internet politics stuff he can have quite interesting people on and just let them talk, which is often worthwhile (I don’t mean Jones. I mean people like ex-scientologists, Megan Roper, that kind of thing)

  29. lumipuna says

    Nemo, on Jones’ custody case:

    His lawyer said he was (acting), but then Jones denied it. But he would, wouldn’t he? I mean, if he were staying in character.

    Anyway, he lost custody of his kids over it. That’s real commitment to his art.

    I suspect any public reporting on this case would’ve been simplistic and slightly garbled. Jones smacks as the kind of person who isn’t rage maniac but acts one very easily and convincingly. That shit can be scary in person. What bets he uses the rage act in his private life to intimidate/manipulate relatively powerless people, including his children?

  30. billyjoe says


    I don’t understand, when there is so much to criticise about Alex Jones, why you need to resort to slamming him for probably doing things that you have no idea whether he has done them or not.

  31. billyjoe says

    Regarding Joe Rogan…

    In the Brian Cox interview, Rogan mentions some things he believes are true that are actually BS. He didn’t go into any detail but, half way through the interview, he mentions with some credulity, Sheldrake and what Sheldrake called “morphogenetic fields”. He also described, without naming it, Lamarkian inheritance via epigenetic mechanisms.

    Maybe he just needs a better BS detection meter.

    (Ironically Brian Cox mentioned the “BS detection meter” towards the end of the interview – though he didn’t direct this at Rogan)

  32. bryanfeir says

    Even if Alex Jones is just a character, well, Kurt Vonnegut’s line comes to mind:

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

    Especially given that most research I’ve seen recently says that angry outbursts like what Alex Jones specializes in aren’t really pressure releases like the old ‘catharsis’ model… they’re practice for being angry all the time.

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