Joe Rogan

joe rogan

IamA Joe Rogan AMA!

Hello, friends. Joe Rogan here. I have an upcoming special, “Rocky Mountain High,” on Comedy Central and wanted to come back on reddit to answer some more of your questions and shamelessly hoe myself out to spread the word about it. Here are some sneak peeks for you:

Thanks in advance! Joe

What’s the best advice your would tell your 20 year old self?

I probably wouldn’t tell me shit. I would probably say, “Good luck, bitch!” One of the most fascinating lessons I’ve absorbed about life is that the struggle is good. You can’t know tomorrow, because if you did you would never go about trying to create it the same way. The uncertainty and doubt that fuck with our minds are the same forces that make accomplishments and achievements so fucking amazing when you pull them off. It’s almost like life has to suck sometimes to appreciate what’s cool.
My 20 year old self would have to figure out all this shit the hard way, just like I did. Just like I’m still doing today. If I could go forward in time to when I’m 90 I would probably give the me of today the same advice. “Good luck, bitch!”
The struggle is real, and there are many ways you can benefit from it.

Do you think that having any sort of podcast time limit should be transcended and ultimately you will just provide a live 24 hr feed of everything you say, do, and think?

I have a strange feeling that something similar is what the future holds for all of us. Every person will be a channel, and we’ll be able to tune into each other’s lives the way we tune into shows today. We’ll eventually be able to actually experience all the sensations people are feeling as well. First just physically, then eventually the actual emotions and even the thought processes. I think about this shit all the time, and as the interconnectedness that we experience from technology continues to expand I feel like it’s just a matter of time before something like this is a reality. Or maybe I’m just really high. Or both.

What is your take on the recent Elon Musk comments claiming that the current progress in artificial intelligence development is “summoning the demon”?

Elon Musk is a real visionary, and when he says shit like this I certainly don’t take it lightly. I think that the inevitability of artificial intelligence reaching some sort of unimaginable level of awareness is something that a lot of people avoid thinking about. Even really intelligent people. It’s almost like looking at death. It makes us uncomfortable so we just avoid it.
It could also be that we’re just wrapped up in the standard bullshit of every day life so much that we’re not giving the concept of artificial life and the potential problems that it can create the attention that it deserves. Almost like a test that we know we’re going to have to study for, but beginning that studying is just too painful so we continually put it off.
If you sit alone and ponder it, charting out possible courses of progression from what they’re working on now and imagine what the possibilities could hold 50, 100 or 1000 years from now I could easily imagine a scenario where artificial intelligence becomes the dominant “life” form on this planet. Scary shit for us.

How delighted are you by the Stanhope surge in the last few years? Over due, or long over due?

Perfect. Not too soon, not too late. Stanhope is a national treasure and a voice of reason and humor that in a sane society would be heralded as a prophet. He’s proof that alcohol when consumed wisely can have great consciousness managing benefits. He’s proof there are no rules. He’s one of the greatest comics ever, and I love the shit out of him.

Of all the mind-blowing things you and Duncan discuss about life, what core value/main point do you believe most likely to be true?

At the end of the day when Duncan and I sit down and have these podcasts it’s just two comics trying to make sense of shit and bouncing ideas of each other and out to you folks. I try to emphasise things that I’ve found to be true in my own life, and things that have resonated with me, and Duncan does the same, but we’re really just two stoned comedians shooting the shit.
All of us, you folks included, everyone that is really pondering the mysteries of life – we’re all doing the same shit. We’re thinking, pondering, dissecting – and hopefully extracting something out of these conversations that we can hold onto, like some sort of a psychic shield protecting you from worthless thoughts. Duncan and I are doing it on a podcast, but I see it all over the net in the form of facebook conversations, twitter debates, and of course other people’s podcasts. I think it’s why we value honesty so much and are disgusted by deception. We’re thinking. Some of it sounds like stoner-bro horseshit (and rightly so) some of it is hilarious, and some of it occasionally misses the mark and veers off into the vast wasteland of retarded ideas.
I think what it does for us, and hopefully for you folks too is entertain and stimulate. I know when Duncan and I have these marathon THC fueled conversations I’ve come away from many of them with a huge smile on my face, an awesome appreciation of how fucking cool and smart Duncan is, and a constantly renewed appreciation of how fun it is to talk to him in a podcast form that I know other people are going to appreciate as well.

My son is 5 years old. Is that a good age to get him into martial arts or should I wait a bit?

I think as long as he’s interested it’s a fine time if you find a really good instructor. Don’t take him to the first place you can find, look around and do as much research as you can. mixedmartialarts.com is an amazing resourse for finding out about schools near you. I think for little kids one consideration is to not push them and make sure they’re having fun. He’s just a little boy, and as long as he’s enjoying it he’s going to grow, but I always worry with kids that age that if you push them into something it can deter their enthusiasm for it for a long time.
Another thing that can be of benefit to young kids is learning traditional martial arts. I wouldn’t recommend many forms of traditional martial arts as a primary skillset for someone that’s an adult that wants to fight soon, but for little kids the discipline and philosophy you get from a really good traditional school can really come in handy in life. There’s lots of lessons that people learn inherently from pushing themselves in hard training, but I think one of the things that many folks that only participate in MMA training miss is the tools that really solid traditional martial arts styles teach for managing the mind.
There’s also a benefit in taking traditional styles early (like Tae Kwon Do) because you develop flexibility and kicking dexterity before your body matures. To this day I’m really flexible and I have to think that a lot of that can be attributed to starting Tae Kwon Do and stretching right when I was going through puberty.

Do you ever get jealous of another comedian and say to yourself “damn, I wish I wrote that”?

I don’t anymore, but I definitely did when I was young. I recognized that as a bit of a mental trap and considered it a weakness so I flushed it out of my psyche. I think a lot of how we move around in this life is based on habit, and not having a well thought out philosophy for dealing with common traps the mind and ego can set for you. I realized a long time ago that instead of being jealous you can be inspired and appreciative. It carries more energy to you, with none of the mental weight that comes from knowing that you’re being a weak bitch. When you’re jealous, especially of someone else’s art or creations you automatically put up these selfish walls that reinforce your stupid ideas. It’s hard to pull those walls down and look at what you’re hiding. Look at your own weakness and realize that the jealousy came from knowing that you’re intimidated by someone else’s work, and that when you compare it to your own, you fall short.
That can be an awesome motivating force that can improve your life if you choose to be inspired and not jealous. One (being jealous) has no benefit whatsoever, the other is an incredible resource for creating momentum and improvement. The choice seems like it would be easy, but for whatever fucked up reason our primitive monkey brains gravitate towards jealousy first. Fortunately with the proper attention and focus we can re-wire those shitty, useless thoughts and use the same events to inspire us to grow and improve.
Don’t hate, appreciate.

Do you feel that your message is lost on your stand-up and people see it as just humor? Or do you think people understand the message that you try to send with it?

I think one of the best things that’s ever happened to my stand up is the podcast because now I no longer have any motivation to send a “message” in a joke form. I just want my shit to be funny. If I can make points and be funny at the same time, awesome. I’m all for it, but most importantly it has to be interesting and funny to me. I can explore ideas until the end of time on the podcast and never need it to be funny, but for me as a fan at least, the comedy that I truly enjoy is the comedy that makes me laugh the most. In the past comics didn’t have something like a podcast where they could go into great depth about a fuck load of different subjects, so to get their ideas across and express themselves they had to do it in their act. That led to a lot of comics getting “preachy” onstage, something that most people think is pretty gross.
The beautiful thing about podcasting is it’s just talking. It can be funny, or it can be terrifying. It can be sweet. It can be obnoxious. It almost has no definitive form. In that sense it’s one of the best ways to explore an idea, and certainly much less limiting than trying to express the same idea in stand up comedy. For some ideas stand up is best, but it’s really, really nice to have podcasts as well.

If your comedy and podcast career came to a sudden end, what would you feel was your biggest accomplishment?

There’s some things I’m happy about from my comedy career, and I’m really happy that I’ve been able to make people laugh and distract them from their day to day bullshit at a comedy show or because they enjoyed one of my CDs or TV specials, but I don’t know how many people have actually had life changing thoughts because of it. The podcast on the other hand has spawned so many intense conversations with so many brilliant people that have shared so many amazing thoughts that it’s actually enhanced people’s lives. I never saw that coming. I can’t count how many people have come up to me and told me that certain conversations have permanently altered the way they look at life for the better, and have inspired them to improve their lives.
To me, that’s probably the biggest accomplishment. None of it was by design, all of it was pretty unexpected, and it’s something I value and appreciate deeply. That fucking podcast has some sort of weird life of its own. Sometimes I feel like I have this weird responsibility to show up and feed it, and that’s really all I do. I go in, and turn everything on and feed this thing that has its own objectives. It’s certainly shaped my life in a pretty profound way as well. Having the privilege of sitting down and having 3 hour long uninterrupted conversations with hundreds of brilliant people is an awesome perspective enhancer.

I loved when you had Neil Tyson on your show. Any chance you will have him on again?

Yeah, we almost did another one recently, but it was real last minute and the only time he had available I was out of town. We’ll make it happen again hopefully. I think Neil is one of the most important cultural figures in regards to spreading the fascination of science that our civilization has ever known. It’s an honor to call that guy a friend.

Should Andy Dick be incarcerated?

Andy is a good guy. Even when he’s out of control he’s not hurting people. I would love to see him get his life together. He’s a really funny, talented dude. Working with him was difficult sometimes because I would keep breaking up while we were doing a scene. There were several scenes we did together that I just couldn’t stop laughing while we were filming them.

I noticed a striking similarity between “Conspiracy Theory” with The Body and “Joe Rogan Questions Everything”…were you a fan of Ventura’s show and did it influence your show?

The same people produced it. I wanted to avoid that “style” of dealing with those subjects as much as possible, but we failed in a lot of ways. There are a lot of people involved in making a show like that, and a lot of them have ways of editing and producing shit with sound effects and cliff hanger B.S. that they just do automatically. It took a while to work that out. We got away from it altogether by the end of the episodes. We’re talking about doing more of those shows, but it would have to be totally different.
The problem with a lot of the subjects that we covered was that I went into them with an open mind, but along the way you discover that most of it is just plain bullshit. It’s not just bullshit, it’s bullshit with an industry attached to it. People that make their living talking about this bullshit, and you see them in many shows that are made on the same subject. I thought that we could do something that approached the entire platform with an open mind, but ultimately when you go looking at UFOs or bigfoot or what-have-you, there’s just nothing there.
If we do it again it will be more based on actual real things that can be verified, like the episodes we did on transhumanism and pandemic diseases.

Which UFC fighters do you enjoy watching the most right now? How do you think Jon Jones would do at heavyweight?

I can honestly say that we’ve reached such an amazing level of talent in the UFC across the board that there’s no one fighter that I can say I enjoy the most. I love watching Jon Jones fight, but I also love watching TJ Dillashaw. I love watching Mighty Mouse. I love watching Luke Rockhold, I love watching Hector Lombard, I love watching Rory MacDonald – I can go on and on and probably list hundreds of fighters both in the UFC and in other organizations that I really get fired up to watch.
I’m really excited about Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar this weekend. That’s an intense, high stakes, high level match up between two guys that are absolutely on a championship level. I’m beyond pumped for this match up. To me, this fight should be a national sporting event. I think that’s just more evidence that MMA in the USA has room to grow. For the hard core fans that’s a real dream fight, as was Cub Swanson VS Jeremy Stephens. The more people realize how incredibly proficient these guys are at MMA the more people are going to appreciate the what a treat it is to get to witness a fight like that take place live.
We live in amazing times when it comes to the level of martial arts athletes. There’s really never been anything like it in all of recorded history.

What’s your take on the feminists attacking Dr. Matt Taylor for his shirt?

I think if they were communicating with him in person it would have been an entirely different experience for everyone involved. Writing blogs on the internet is an amazing way to express yourself and to distribute information, but it’s not the best place to discuss ideas with an individual that you have an issue with. If the people that wrote blogs shitting on him for wearing that shirt just talked to him, I’m pretty sure the reaction wouldn’t have been nearly as extreme.
What I find really interesting about it is trying to look at it from the varying female standpoint. Why did some women hate that shirt, and why did some defend it? What is the differences in the mind sets of each group and which side if any has more merit?
I’m not a woman, but I’m pretty sure that if I was there would be a lot of shit that I would be annoyed with that doesn’t bother me as a man. Especially when it pertains to sexualized perceptions of women in an arena (science) where many women are struggling to fit in. I don’t know. I try to look at conflicts like this from as many different angles as is humanly possible, and in a lot of ways there is no one answer. What’s offensive to one woman is cool as fuck and appreciated by another. Neither one is wrong, really. I think that’s where the whole idea of “professional” behavior and dress comes from; wearing fairly uniform clothes like suits and ties and behaving in a uniform way with no sexual remarks or off color humor to mitigate potential disagreements over what’s acceptable.
Of course the problem with that, is that takes a lot of the fun out of working at a place. If you work at a cool place and the people you work with are funny and kind and they say fucked up hilarious shit to you on occasion, that makes working there even more awesome. I’ve had many a job that on the surface should have sucked balls, but I have awesome memories of working there because the people I worked with were fun. It’s certainly a tricky situation.
I do think it’s unfortunate that so much energy was spent concentrating on his shirt instead of the incredible accomplishment of landing a robot on a comet. It’s just another example of how we’re figuring this shit out as we go along. A bizarre footnote in the evolution of the culture of one of the strangest creatures we’ve ever observed; people.

Do you have any advice for a solo musician/producer?

I don’t know much about the music business, but for just general advice for someone trying to create things, as simple as this sounds, I think the best thing you can do is constantly try to improve upon your work. Always focus on that first and foremost, and leave everything else (marketing, image) completely secondary. Obviously, easier said than done when you’re trying to make a living, but if you can move along those lines and earnestly try to make things that you really enjoy it can only benefit you in the long run. Good luck!

How do you stay so inspired/committed/driven?

I’m just really fucking lucky that I’ve found a bunch of things that are really interesting to me. Creating comedy, podcasting, MMA – all those things are really compelling and exciting for me so enthusiasm comes naturally. Inspiration is everywhere, especially when you’re looking for it specifically. There’s just so many cool people out there doing so much cool shit that you almost have to go out of your way to not be inspired.