I guess I hadn’t stopped to think that one reason why government seems so insane right now is that the “governing” they’re trying to manage across wealthy, huge institutionalized structures like music, media, money, pharma, education, transportation— are fast becoming super-decentralized. All of them are fast evolving due to a tectonic shift in control. In this way, Governments themselves are just another “Woolley Mammoth System” like them. Like it or not, their Ice Age is ending. We’ve all watched various forms of power-decay impact these systems. Have you stepped back and wondered where all this is headed? That’s not what I anticipated talking about with this week’s guest, Jordan Greenhall. I thought we were going to talk about Nootropics. That’s where we started but Jordan quickly aimed the conversation at the dead center of these trends.
Experiencing time pass has to be one of the weirdest things. It surrounds everything around us yet is incredibly inconsistent. One moment it’s molasses slow, the next it was like it was never there. Scientists and philosophers have tried to explain time, how our brain makes it possible, for ions. Did we invent it? How do we all have such a unified experience with time? Is time passing or are we passing time? “Now” is a squirmy thing, the closer you get to it the harder it is to pin down. Time seems to be a sort of creepy mystery quietly packed with discovery and at least for me, it’s something I work hard at slowing way down.
Dayna Martin has four children ranging in age from 9yrs -18yrs old and all of them have been unschooled. They’ve never attended ANY school or institutionalized education program. Dayna has become an activist for the unschooling movement, in fact her book, “Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun,” was a launching pad that landed her on Dr. Phil, CNN, Nightline, 60 Minutes, The Jeff Probst Show, Wife Swap and yes, even Oprah.
It’s hard to imagine the bravery of deciding not to do what everybody else is doing. Can you imagine not sending your kids to school? The commitment? Having people at the grocery store ask you what grade they’re in? You’d have to constantly have to explain to everyone while they all talked behind your back. Those are the topics perfect for this show.
If you’re reading this and are middle aged (especially a man) you’re depressed and don’t have any friends. That’s right, I’m talking to you and so are big industries who capitalize on your sad state like pharma, shrinks, and the tornado of advertisers who prey on your pleas for help. Us middle-aged people are crying out for help, just like our babies who we put in nursery rooms by themselves. By now, our kids have left, our marriage may have left, and all the friends we used to have are on their own little islands, suffering just like us. We’ve all over-declared our independence, our society has built a super complex, reinforcing system around it. I’m one of these poor souls, too: a middle aged guy with my wife as my best friend, whose put everything I have into my family and most of those kids are now adults who have moved on and left poor, old me feeling really isolated and lonely.
Way outside our cities and towns are societies of disappearing and endangered indigenous people . Some of us may think that’s natural— it’s been happening forever. Others fight to protect those cultures and have very strong opinions about what’s right and what’s wrong for those people.
One of those opinions is whether there’s a “right way” to depict people who are different than us— who are not living in urbanized or Western societies. I was surprised by just how controversial this subject really was. I guess it’s ok that we’re surrounded by spectacular images that romanticize cars, sports, and marriage. Really anything commercial— but to apply a similar heroic lens to people who are different than us, well, that could be sacrilege. It seems there are people out there who believe that the only way to photograph those folks needs to be as an anthropological documentarian— capturing people only how they’re actually living vs in their Sunday best— proud, celebrated, glamorized.
As we begin to heal on the other side of a painful presidential election, we're left with deep cultural divides that frankly have been growing there for a while. So it's worth taking a giant step back and examining ourselves and the insulated bubbles we've put ourselves in. As comfortable as this social insulation is, it--along with a culture of intense sensitivity that lobotomizes what we say for fear of offending others-- keeps us from the free exchange of ideas. Instead we perceive someone with even the smallest deviation from our point of view as "one of them.” While those with extreme liberal views fight for a unrealistic level of absolute inclusion which flies in face of our objective differences, extreme conservatives feel their side of the coin is just as right and they passionately defending their own strict point of view and seek inclusion as well. Both sides arm themselves with friends and Facebook feeds which reinforce and fuel what they already believe. It’s worth taking a step out of that fray and examining ourselves and yes— fearlessly climbing out of our safe and comfy pods to try to understand and accept people who are different.
Way back before capitalism, it used to be that self-welfare was the key part of our lives. We would face formidable physical and situational challenges and have to endure them, alone and with our tribe. It was likely those trials were the most meaningful experiences for our prior relatives— the very thing they could depend on and take comfort in. Today we’ve lost that ability. Comfort is handed to industries that insulate us for a fee. We spend money and depend on hermetically sealed homes, cars, drugs, food and clothing. If things get rough we rely on doctors, pills, and booze. But recently, there’s a rising voice that we’ve come to the end of the Western Medical Model. An awareness that those things don’t make life better anymore. That there are other roads. Some, like this week’s guest Wim Hof, believe it’s time to tap back into our natural abilities. That they’ve been forgotten. If there’s anyone that knows about getting out of their comfort zone, it’s him. His journey started when--with four children at home--his wife took her life by jumping out an eight story window. To deal with his grief, he went out into the extreme cold. Since then, he’s shown through examples of enduring extreme cold like being submerged in ice for nearly two hours or using his mind to ward off disease, that anyone has amazing power to face anything and literally self-regulate. He’s now using the best scientists in the world to back up what he’s learned and therefore challenge science, culture and the very industries we’ve come to assume are the answer.
Have you ever looked at a super old picture and laughed at how mistaken all those people were about what they thought the we’d spend our time doing today? I know I look at pictures of myself as a kid and can’t believe I spent my time outside vs on a phone. Doesn’t sound like you? Well then maybe you were positive that the world would always adore Milli Vanilli. Regardless, it’s hard to argue that we’re incredibly blinded by the road we’re on, what’s coming and what we— as a culture— will value beyond today. Why is that? I had an interesting and hilarious conversation about that very thing with this week’s guest, famed pop-culture author Chuck Klosterman, who recently released the book “But What If We’re Wrong?” You might know Chuck, he’s got a pretty huge cult-following which started when he was a journalist for Spin, GQ, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and Esquire. Or maybe you’ve read his diverse, hilarious and insightful page-turning books ranging from Rock-n-Roll to Redskins, from Cereal to Serial Killers many of which have topped the New York Times Bestseller list.