If this gets out, our higher education system will be in trouble

What an insight! Why go to class when you can just listen to Joe Rogan?

Why spend my time sitting in two anthropology classes a week listening to some puppet talk about how the earliest advanced civilizations started around 7,000 years ago when one JRE episode with renowned egyptologist, Graham Hancock proves WITHOUT A DOUBT that highly advanced civilizations were around thousands of years before that? GOBEKLI TEPE, ANYONE? Has my anthropology professor ever talked to God through the use of Ayahuasca? I doubt it. Well Graham has, and he’s not charging me $20,000 a year to hear him talk.

How is anyone still paying for an education when a tool for personal development as effective and readily available as JRE exists?

At one episode a night, five days a week, that’s more than a full class load. Two semesters of that, summers off, for four years, and you’ve got one enlightened motherfucker on your hands. All courtesy of my personal spirit animal, Joe Rogan. And even at that pace there would be more than 200 more episodes left to digest.

I once listened to a Joe Rogan podcast, and it had the opposite effect on me — it was like that dumb meathead was reaching into my brain and shredding the information therein. I had to read a whole issue of Developmental Biology to recover. I think it’s really easy to teach people what they want to believe, not so easy to actually teach them things they don’t know.


  1. says

    The quoted text sounds sarcastic to me. I just cannot take something like this seriously even if I have reasons to believe that the person who wrote it actually meant what they said.

  2. hemidactylus says

    Joe Rogan might be an unintentional source of comedy (well beyond his stage act) if his podcasts weren’t so long. I think you inspired me to listen to his interview with Alex Jones a while back and I’m still recovering from the brainshock. I did see an episode of one of the Motor Trend garage shows where Rogan brought his sweet muscle car in for some reworking.

    I would say time spent listening to Rogan’s podcasts is an opportunity cost. There are far more edifying podcasts.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    I think it’s really easy to teach people what they want to believe, not so easy to actually teach them things they don’t know.

    I fear you’ve just written our civilizations epitaph, Professor.

  4. says

    It’s from a humor site. It’s telling that people need to take the trouble to say that.

    It’s true to life, though: the few times I’ve mentioned Joe Rogan (or Sam Harris, or Jordan Peterson, who all have pretty much the same schtick), someone will come along and explain to me that he’s a really smart guy, open-minded and thoughtful, etc.

    No, he’s not. He’s a transphobic, homophobic dumbass with a comfortable line of patter.

  5. nomadiq says

    I think Joe Rogan can be charitably viewed as ‘entertainment’ but in the balance is a net negative. Occasionally you might learn something new or something worth thinking about but the chances are low and the chances you’ll be sent down a rabbit hole of unbounded speculation or stupidity is to high. The show feeds too much off the sensational. This is precisely why it is successful and precisely why it is damaging to uncritical minds.

  6. nomadiq says

    Oh, yeah, and he has repeatedly made transphobic remarks. A huge negative- especially since he fails to see the damage in what he does there.

  7. cartomancer says

    So, who exactly is this discarded Mitchell Brother and why is he, even theoretically, worth listening to?

  8. peaches says

    Delurking to add that Hard Times is most definitely a humor site and the article is satire. But yes, it’s disappointing that this needs to be clarified.

  9. brutus says

    Can’t speak to the intent of the linked article. Perhaps there are a few who actually believe watching TV or YouTube is a reasonable substitute for a formal education. I know of none. Lots would argue that entertainment media are a good supplement.

    From the perspective of a man on the street, the JRE podcast has a lot to offer and a lot to discard. Many very interesting guests in long-form conversation provide something not easily found elsewhere. But those conversations are not generally academic in style and must be considered with circumspection if not outright skepticism. The most damning criticism I’ve seen is that the JRE podcast is where folks go to launder their ideas, which is frequently true. That Joe is unprepared to push back on transparent agendas except in a few areas where he has gained some expertise is not the worst criticism. That’s true of all of us.

    If you prefer to read textbooks for entertainment or merely to get your thinking straightened out, well, go for it, but academic media contain their own problems.

  10. says

    Delurking to add that Hard Times is most definitely a humor site and the article is satire.

    Well, that explains why this text sounded sarcastic to me.

    But yes, it’s disappointing that this needs to be clarified.

    When it comes to written text, usually there are no voice intonations or other markers to distinguish sarcasm. When it comes to the Internet, I know that some of the people out there say really stupid things and have weird worldviews. Thus clarification is needed most of the time if I want to be certain about whether some statement is or isn’t meant to be sarcastic.

  11. says

    brutus @#10

    Perhaps there are a few who actually believe watching TV or YouTube is a reasonable substitute for a formal education. I know of none.

    I believe that on rare occasions watching YouTube (but not TV) and supplementing this with books can be a substitute for formal education. I know a couple of people who actually are really good at their jobs despite being self-taught and having had no formal education in their field. Theoretically, I probably also qualify. I have a master’s degree in German philology, but I work as an artist despite never having had formal education in art.

    Of course, the emphasis is on “rare occasions.” I know many more people who imagine themselves to have learned a lot from YouTube videos despite being utterly clueless about what they are talking about. It also depends on what you are trying to learn. Self-taught artists aren’t a problem for the society. Self-taught doctors are disastrous.

    By the way, formal education can also suck. For example, I had a literature professor (at my university in Germany) who tried to teach us Freud’s Oedipus complex with a straight face. When I started loudly complaining about how this shit has been long debunked by actual psychologists, she admitted that she herself considers Freud’s theories problematic, and she is merely teaching the course as prepared by an older professor.

  12. Mark says

    Joe Rogan’s show kept popping up in my recommended YouTube videos. For years, I resisted. I finally clicked on a video. I felt like I was listening to snide radio DJs. In other words, there were plenty of hardened opinions with childish discussion and bad humor in between. Rogan has an internet mind — disjointed and fractured. He’s education for cynical ADHD kids.

  13. Artor says

    “Renowned egyptologist, Graham Hancock…”

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! That line alone is enough to let me know someone deeply un-serious is blathering.

  14. Robert Serrano says

    I can’t even with PragerU. It’s just pablum for lazy right-wingers who want an online safe-space when all the other right-wing safe-spaces just aren’t doing the job shielding them from opposing thoughts and opinions. And let’s not even consider the utter vacuity of the talking heads they have as presenters.

  15. lotharloo says

    The only episode of JRE that I have listened to was the one with Bernie Sanders. I liked that episode but my general understanding of him is that he’s a clueless dimwit who due to either lack of knowledge/expertise or inherent bigotry, would not push back on silly ideas presented in his show and will not even ask profound questions.

  16. Muz says

    I’m kind of “that guy” I guess. I think Rogan is mostly harmless himself. He’s mostly often wise enough, if you can call it that, to get out of the way of his guests and let them talk. So the show is generally as good as the guest. This is the epitome of damning with faint praise when talking about an interviewer. But it is what it is. He seems to clearly have his tilt and his many hobby horses like free speech and conspiracy theories. But he doesn’t let it overrule the conversation if it isn’t there. Or even if it is sometimes. People he clearly likes and admires have told him plainly that, say, all this stuff about college kids all being crazy left wing and its going to bring down the country is complete nonsense. And Joe agrees the issue is overblown! He still has Peterson or Weistein on for the millionth time a couple of weeks later to prattle on about “the psychology of the Left” largely unchallenged though.
    It’s a mixed bag is all I’m saying.

    Someone like Dave Rubin on the other hand, who brings this pretense of balanced intellectualism and then proceeds to suck both those things out of any conversation, is far worse, I feel. If we’re making a ranking that is.