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February 24, 2020
Philosopher and University of Chicago Professor Agnes Collard sits down with Eric on this episode of the portal. Agnes is a champion of the philosophical tradition of attempting to detach the capacity for inquiry and reason from the fog of feelings and societal taboos that often keep us from delving deeper into the questions that animate our lives.  Agnes began this unusual back and forth by writing an article about status negotiation in first meetings shortly after the pair first met. Eric and Agnes then use the opportunity of this episode to continue this line of thought by exploring the limits of courage and meta-cognition within the examined life of a modern Philosopher. This results in a real-time exploration by two people who mutually respect each other as to whether they can actually negotiate a detached discussion in real time on the very issues of status, feeling, and taboo that may divide them and/or arise between them.  As Agnes has written thoughtfully about the many layers of anger, the conversation culminates by exploring dyadic feelings of hurt and indignation with which we all struggle and suffer in our relationships. Ultimately the two finish this experimental conversation with good cheer, together with a wish to continue the discussion at a later date under continuing mutual fondness and admiration. Our Sponsors Post your job today at Indeed.com/PORTAL For 20% off your first order, visit mackweldon.com AND ENTER PROMO CODE: portal Receive 15% off your Four Sigmatic purchase go to foursigmatic.com/PORTAL
February 16, 2020
Eric sits down with leading fitness geek, guru, thinker and human guinea-pig Ben Greenfield to learn how one of the world's most highly regarded trainers and fitness experts cuts through the nightmare that is our medical literature.  The academic and medical literature in health and medicine is a disaster. Studies are performed and reported in non-standard and idiosyncratic ways which are then further distorted by a press often looking more for headlines and scoops than facts and rigor. In this episode we get to ask one of the most sought after fitness optimizers how ordinary people can better understand their own minds, brains and bodies in light of the cacophony of 'expert' opinion. Ben, here in his role of master pedagogue, gives detailed implementable answers as well as simple to follow priorities that sum up his years of study and training for the mere mortals who wish to better everything in their lives by tackling health at the fundamental level.   Our Sponsors Pitney Bowes: Special offer for a FREE 30-day trial PLUS a FREE 10-pound scale using PB.com/PORTAL Blinkist: Try it FREE for 7 days AND save 25% off your new subscription using Blinkist.com/PORTAL Athletic Greens: 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase using Athleticgreens.com/PORTAL SkillShare: Two whole months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free Skillshare.com/PORTAL
February 1, 2020
Historically, fighting obscenity and indecency charges has always been a central part of the free speech movement. Jim Morrison, Mae West, Lenny Bruce and George Carlin have all been arrested for exciting the public in ways that authorities have found threatening. Recently, however, the erotic and comedic arts have undergone more cryptic attacks via Operation Chokepoint, "cancellation", "no platforming", and inadequate press coverage given to cases of legal intimidation (e.g. the federal case under Miller v California standards brought against director John Stagliano).   In this episode, Eric sits down with the business woman who created the enduring character of the unlikely top pornstar Riley Reid. Continuing the theme of the DISC (Distributed Idea Suppression Complex) we discuss issues like Operation Chokepoint and obscenity law as well more subtle issues like the difficulty of finding vendors willing to cross the Rubicon to work with legal erotic businesses.  Ashley, in the role of the Riley Reid character, has defied all pornographic convention by embracing body positivity, forgoing plastic surgery and opting for natural body hair at times. Additionally she has made a social statement by doing a popular artistic scene which makes a political and business case for greater transsexual acceptance. Her main tool appears to be a palpable human decency and sweetness coupled to an uncanny ability to asses, manage and survive extreme business risk within a poorly understood industry that has confounded all expectations.  While this episode is generally not explicit, it is not for everyone given the content and so listener discretion is advised.  Our Sponsors Athletic Greens: Get 20 FREE Athletic Greens Travel Packs, valued at $79, with your first purchase athleticgreens.com/portal Blinkist: try it FREE for 7 days AND save 25% off your new subscription Blinkist.com/portal Quip: Join over THREE MILLION healthy mouths and get your first refill FREE today Quip.com/portal
January 25, 2020
Roger Penrose is arguably the most important living descendent of Albert Einstein’s school of geometric physics. In this episode of The Portal, we avoid the usual questions put to roger about quantum foundations and quantum consciousness. Instead we go back to ask about the current status of his thinking on what would have been called “Unified Field Theory” before it fell out of fashion a couple of generations ago. In particular, Roger is the dean of one of the only rival schools of thought to have survived the “String Theory wars” of the 1980s-2000s. We discuss his view of this Twistor Theory and its prospects for unification. Instead of spoon feeding the audience, however, the material is presented as it might occur between colleagues in neighboring fields so that the Portal audience might glimpse something closer to scientific communication rather than made for TV performance pedagogy. We hope you enjoy our conversation with Prof. Penrose.
January 18, 2020
All of our Mice are Broken. On this episode of The Portal, Bret and Eric sit down alone with each other for the first time in public. There was no plan. There was however, a remarkable story of science at its both best and worst that had not been told in years. After an initial tussle, we dusted off the cobwebs and decided to reconstruct it raw and share it with you, our Portal audience, for the first time. I don't think it will be the last as we looking for our old notes to tighten it up for the next telling. We hope you find it interesting and that it inspires you younger and less established scientists to tell your stories using this new medium of long form podcasting. We hope the next place you hear it will be a biology department seminar room in perhaps Cambridge, Chicago, Princeton, the Bay Area or elsewhere. Until then, be well and have a listen to this initial version. Our Sponsors: Quip: Getquip.com/portal Wine Access: Wineaccess.com/portal Indeed: Indeed.com/portal Blinkist: Blinkist.com/portal
January 15, 2020
This "housekeeping" (cough cough) episode of The Portal is only for the hard core listeners who launched this experiment with us. This year we begin to take on the idea of the Distributed Idea Suppression Complex or "DISC".  From "Terms of Service" changes, to selective enforcement of rules, peer review, "Strategic Silence", 'authoritative sources only', deboosting, shadow banning, down ranking, "unbiasing", "Good Censorship", 'diversity and inclusion' oaths, 'cancel culture', no-platforming, mob shaming, certification requirements, "trust and safety" and quality control, we are surrounded by others interested in various forms of idea suppression who would prefer to work in private. Obviously some, but not all, of those ideas are truly dangerous. But many of those ideas never reached us because they threatened institutional players rather than public safety.  This is the year we begin to do the unthinkable: attempt to fully reveal and slip the DISC. Stay tuned to the Portal for 2020. Or feel free to unsubscribe right now before we change it up...hope to see you soon. Our Sponsors Two whole months of unlimited access Skillshare.com/PORTAL Get your first free refill at Getquip.com/PORTAL Twenty free travel packs with your first purchase Athleticgreens.com/PORTAL
December 21, 2019
Somewhere on the road between Stalingrad and Forever21, something essential got misplaced amidst the bathos. Eric works through a bottle of Red wine on air with social, literary and artistic theorist Anna Khachiyan (co-host of the explosive and popular Red Scare podcast) to find out what is brewing on the anti-woke Left among the intellectual daughters of Camille Paglia. Anna takes us through her project of the reconstructed feminine combining irreverent intellectual dominance with a return to valuing motherhood informed by her claims on Soviet & American heritage. The intellectual foundation of the intersectional “oppression Olympics” and reparations discussion is further dissected amidst the twin specters of the Armenian & Jewish genocides which mysteriously appear not to register at all with today’s progressives.  No puppies were eaten during this podcast, but an ambient trigger warning is otherwise in order for those with exquisite sensitivities. Caveat emptor and welcome to the Grand Finale of the inaugural year of “The Portal.”  See you all again in 2020! Skillshare: Get two whole months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free Skillshare.com/PORTAL Chili: Save up to $300 on Chili sleep systems with visit chilitechnology.com/PORTAL Phlur: Get 20% off your FIRST custom Phlur sample set phlur.com/PORTAL
December 17, 2019
In this episode, Eric sits down with Tyler Cowen to discuss how/why a Harvard educated chess prodigy would choose a commuter school to launch a stealth attack on the self-satisfied economic establishment, various forms of existential risk, tech/social stagnation and more. On first glance, Tyler Cowen is an unlikely candidate for America's most influential economist. Since 2003, Cowen has grown his widely read and revered economics blog Marginal Revolutions with lively thought, insight and prose resulting in a successful war of attrition against traditional thinking. In fact, his well of heterodox thinking is so deep that there is an argument to be made that Tyler may be the living person with the most diverse set of original rigorous opinions to be found in any conversation. The conversation takes many turns and is thus hard to categorize. We hope you enjoy it.  Wine Access: Get $100 off your first purchase of $250 or more wineaccess.com/PORTAL ExpressVPN: Get an extra three months of ExpressVPN for free when you signup at expressvpn.com/PORTAL Lamps Plus: Get up to 50% off HUNDREDS of lights, furniture and décor between November 25 and December 24 lampsplus.com/PORTAL Four Sigmatic: Get 15% discount on all orders placed on foursigmatic.com/PORTAL
December 6, 2019
Garrett Lisi, the so called "Surf Bum with a Theory of Everything (or T.O.E.)", is a PhD theoretical physicist who has refused to be captured by the theoretical physics community. By making shrewd investments, he has avoided holding meaningful employment for his entire adult life. Instead, he lives in Maui and travels the world chasing the perfect wave. In this episode Garrett and Eric sit down to discuss the current status of Garrett's ideas for a final theory based on a mysterious object called E8, perhaps the oddest of mathematical symmetries to be found in the universe.  Garrett and Eric have held each other in mutual “contempt” for over a decade. By vacationing together and staying in each others' homes, they had hoped to hone and deepen their mutual disgust for each other's ideas. However, as the theoretical physics community moved away from actually trying to unify our incompatible models of the physical world, it became intellectually unmoored, and drifted toward a culture of performative Cargo Cult Physics. The antagonists were thus forced by necessity to develop a begrudging admiration for each other's iconoclasm and unwillingness to give up on the original dream of Einstein to unify and understand our world.  The discussion is rough but a fairly accurate depiction of scientific relationships belonging to a type that is generally not shown to the public. This may be uncomfortable for those who have been habituated to NOVA, The Elegant Universe, or other shows produced for mass consumption. We apologize in advance.
December 1, 2019
What happened to the Mathematical and Scientific art movement after MC Escher? It went underground.  In this episode of the Portal, Eric begins tracking down the leaders of this hidden movement; one that is smuggling higher level science into transcendent art forms. Eric had to coax one the movement’s foremost members, London Tsai, to come out of obscurity where he had been preserving his mathematical art in sarcophagi of unopened bubble wrap sitting for decades in various New York City studios.  London is just the first of these New Escherians we’ll be profiling. These modern day Prometheans are stealing higher level mathematics from the professorial priesthood replacing the Seraphim and Cherubs of antiquity with topological paintings, protein sculptures, and light symphonies that speak to our hearts, minds and desires for transcendence. The podcast will be released later with video showing a taste of Tsai's groundbreaking work.
November 23, 2019
In this cordially combative episode, Eric sits down with Russian chess legend, multiple-year champion and (inarguably) one of the greatest players of all time, Garry Kasparov. The two discuss transcending AI-induced demotivation, AI brilliancy (and lack thereof), the perilous time for global democracy in Russia, America and globally and Garry's penchant for risking his life for what he believes in. Beyond Chess, Garry is an active political dissident and truth seeker; founding the Russian "United Civil Front" and speaking out against Putin since his retirement from the game in 2005, he's an ardent defender of democracy in Russia and abroad. 1997 was also a watershed year for Garry; it was the year that AI - in the form of IBM's Deep Blue - was able to beat the best chess player in the world (Kasparov). Since then, Garry's been thinking deeply about the role of a newly positioned mankind in the world of a rising AI. From tech displacement to political unrest, please enjoy this wide ranging episode covering some of the most crucial issues of our time.  ExpressVPN: Visit expressvpn.com/PORTAL you can get an extra three months of ExpressVPN for free! Four Sigmatic: Visit foursigmatic.com/PORTAL to get a 15% discount on all orders SkillShare: Visit Skillshare.com/PORTAL and get two months free when you sign up
November 21, 2019
In this episode, Vitalik Buterin sits down with Eric to discuss ethereum, the wider world of crypto and heterodox economics. Taking note of the new development of blockchain in 2010, Eric wrote an essay called “Go Virtual Young Man”. A few years later, a Thiel Fellow named Vitalik created a virtual machine with an idiosyncratic smart contract system and a currency. Ironically, Eric had recently become a Managing Director at Thiel Capital. Perennially circling each other intellectually, the two now sit down in person to discuss economic paradigm shifts, crypto and the future of online sovereignty and social coordination.  Wine Access: WineAccess.com/Portal to get $100 off your first purchase of $250 or more Chili Technology: chilitechnology.com/PORTAL Save up to $300 on Chili sleep systems with 25% off the chiliPAD (code: portalchili) or 15% off OOLER (code: portalooler) Phlur: phlur.com/portal to get 20% off your FIRST custom Phlur sample set! Blinkist: blinkist.com/portal try it FREE for 7 days AND save 25% off your new subscription.
November 15, 2019
On this episode of The Portal, Eric talks to one of his closest friends, neuroscientist, philosopher and meditation-guru, Sam Harris. When Sam and Eric sit down they generally agree about a large number of things. So in this experiment of a session, Eric attempts to push the relentlessly reasonable and methodical Sam out of his comfort zone to highlight their genuine differences. These include: beliefs on religion, the logic of voting for unreasonable candidates, Jeffrey Epstein's demise, the competence of the press, the ethics of immigration and more.
October 31, 2019
Eric sits down with Julie Lindhal, author of "The Pendulum". What happens when a German girl growing up in Brazil gets curious to finally make sense of her family history to stop the cycle of dysfunction? Julie Lindhal's new book "The Pendulum" shows us what it can take to find a portal out of inter-generational trauma. Eric welcomes his house-guest Julie Lindhal to tell her extraordinary story on this episode of The Portal. The episode is raw and recorded at home on a hand held device; there will be no video. Four Sigmatic: FourSigmatic.com/PORTAL and use discount code PORTAL to get a 15% discount on all orders Chili Pad chilitechnology.com/portal and use code “PORTALCHILI”
October 31, 2019
Eric sits down with friend, philosopher, comic, actor and fighter Bryan Callen for a wide ranging conversation on camaraderie, conflict and comedy. Over the course of 2+ hours, the two discuss difficult topics like the holocaust, gender dynamics and the legacy of the enlightenment on the eve of the 2020 presidential election. Bryan and Eric oscillate between levity and intensity as they navigate these hard-to-broach topics. Hilarity and good insights ensue.  Four Sigmatic: FourSigmatic.com/PORTAL and use discount code PORTAL to get a 15% discount on all orders Skillshare: Skillshare.com/PORTAL for 2 months of Skillshare free ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN.com/Portal for 3 months free Wine Access: WineAccess.com/Portal for $150 off
October 2, 2019
In this episode of the Portal, Eric checks in with his friend Andrew Yang to discuss the meteoric rise of his candidacy; one that represents an insurgency against a complacent political process that the media establishment doggedly tries to maintain. Andrew updates Eric on the state of his campaign and the status of the ideas the two had discussed as its foundation when it began. Eric presents Andrew with his new economic paradigm; moving from an 'is a [worker]' economy to a 'has a [worker]' economy. The two also discuss neurodiverse families as a neglected voting block, the still-strong but squelched-by-the-scientific-establishment STEM community in the US, and the need to talk fearlessly - and as a xenophile - about immigration as a wealth transfer gimmick.  Sponsors: Reverse-Sponsor: https://www.drbronner.com/ Skillshare: Skillshare.com/PORTAL for 2 months of Skillshare free Boll and Branch: BollandBranch.com $50 off with promo code: PORTAL No risk, 30 day trial period with free shipping
September 30, 2019
Eric sits down with Bret Easton Ellis; the two Gen X’ers graduated from rival high schools in a disaffected 1982 Los Angeles that inspired Ellis’ first novel “Less Than Zero”. In this conversation, they reflect on LA, Generation X, and the different notions of childhood held by Gen x and Millennials.  Sponsors: Plur: Plur.com/portal for 20% off Boll and Branch: BollandBranch.com $50 off with promo code: PORTAL No risk, 30 day trial period with free shipping Four Sigmatic: FourSigmatic.com/PORTAL and use discount code PORTAL to get a 15% discount on all orders Skillshare: Skillshare.com/PORTAL for 2 months of Skillshare free
September 7, 2019
Jocko Willink is a retired navy seal, author, and podcaster. Sponsor: Netsuite: netsuite.com/portal
August 31, 2019
Beyond New Atheism: is a constructive adult relationship possible between atheism and religion? On this episode of the portal, Eric hosts leading conservative rabbi David Wolpe and explores the possibilities for, and problems with, a new synthesis of atheism and religion in our modern era that avoids special pleading. Sponsors of this episode of The Portal: Skillshare: https://www.skillshare.com/portal ExpressVPN: https://www.expressvpn.com/portal Netsuite: https://www.netsuite.com/portal
August 20, 2019
What if everything we are taught in economics 101 is not only wrong, but may even be setting us up for populism, dictatorship or revolution? On this episode of the Portal, Eric is joined by Renegade Economist Professor Timur Kuran whose theory of Preference Falsification appears to explain the world wide surge towards populism, and is now threatening to rewrite the core tenets of modern economics. This could well be the most important economist you’ve never heard of.
July 25, 2019
Episode 3 of The Portal is with film director Werner Herzog.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 19, 2019
What is the portal?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
July 17, 2019
Welcome to The Portal. Episode 1 is a conversation with Peter Thiel.Please subscribe to The Portal anywhere you listen to podcasts, and leave us a rating and review in Apple Podcasts.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 24, 2019
The Portal is hosted by Eric Weinstein. Coming in July 2019. Subscribe in iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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