The following is a conversation with Stephen Bunnell,
also known online as Destiny.
He’s a video game streamer and political commentator,
one of the early pioneers of both live streaming in general
and live streamed political debate and discourse.
Politically, he is a progressive,
identifying as either left or far left,
depending on your perspective.
There are many reasons I wanted to talk to Stephen.
First, I just talked to Ben Shapiro,
and many people have told me
that Stephen is the Ben Shapiro of the left
in terms of political perspective
and exceptional debate skills.
Second reason is he skillfully defends
some nuanced, non-standard views,
at the same time being pro-establishment,
pro-institutions, and pro-Biden,
while also being pro-capitalism and pro-free speech.
Third reason is he has been there at the beginning
and throughout the meteoric rise
of the video game live streaming community.
In some mainstream circles,
this community is not taken seriously,
perhaps because of its demographic distribution
skewing young, or perhaps because of the sometimes
harsh style of communication.
But I think this community should be taken seriously
and shown respect.
Millions of young minds tune into live streams
like Destiny’s to question and to try to understand
what is going on with the world,
often exploring challenging, even controversial ideas.
The language is sometimes harsher
and the humor sometimes meaner than I would prefer.
But I, Grandpa Lex, put on my rain boots
and went into the beautiful, chaotic muck
of online discourse, and have so far survived
to tell the tale, with a smile
and even more love in my heart than before.
On top of all this, we were lucky to have Molina Gorinson,
a popular streamer and world traveler,
join us at the end of the conversation.
You can check out her channel on twitch.tv slash Molina,
and you can check out Steven’s channel
on youtube.com slash Destiny.
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And now, dear friends, here’s Destiny.
I don’t know if you watched me watching your yay interview.
Yeah, thank you so much.
I’m so curious,
when you’re navigating a conversation like that,
are you, how intentional is the thought process
between like building rapport and pushing
and giving a little and letting like-
Zero, zero intention.
I was watching and thank you so much.
It was very kind for you to review that conversation.
It meant a lot that you were complimentary in parts
on the technical aspects of the conversation,
but no, zero.
And I’m actually deliberately trying to avoid,
I think you’ve called it debate brain,
which is just another flavor of thinking about
the meta conversation, trying to optimize
how should this conversation go?
Because I feel like the more you do that,
the better you get at that,
the less human connection you have.
Like the less genuinely you’re actually sitting there
in the moment and listening to the person,
you’re more like calculating what’s the right thing to say
versus like feeling what is that person feeling right now?
What are they thinking?
That’s what I’m trying to do is like putting myself
in their mind and thinking,
what does the world look like to them?
What does the world feel like to them?
And so from that, I truly try to listen.
Now I’m also learning, especially because Rogan
and others have been giving me shit for not pushing back.
It’s good sometimes to say from a place of care
for the other human being to say, stop.
What did you just say?
I don’t think that represents who you are
and what you really mean.
Or maybe if it does at that time represents who they are,
I could see a better world
if they grow into a different direction
and try to point that direction out to them.
There’s a really complicated dance
between letting somebody share their full story
versus letting somebody like essentially,
I guess like proselytize your audience.
And it’s like, okay, hold on, let’s take a minute here.
But yeah, I used to be four or five years ago,
it was attack, attack, attack, attack, attack,
whatever you said.
And now I’m leaning way more towards the like, okay,
well, tell me how you feel about everything
and then we’ll go from there.
So a lot of people like my new approach.
Some older fans will watch and they’re like,
why are you letting this guy just ramble on?
You know, he said like five or six wrong things
and you’re only gonna call him out on two of them.
And it’s like, it’s just different styles of conversation.
Do you do a lot of research beforehand too?
Depending on the conversation, yeah.
So if we’re gonna talk like vaccines and stuff,
yeah, that’s a ton of reading and stuff
that I’d never thought I’d know going into it.
If it’s a more personal,
like political philosophy conversation,
there’s not as much you can prepare for just,
it truly depends on the conversation.
How much are you actually listening to the other person?
I’m always listening, you have to listen.
Because as soon as you stop listening,
the quality of everything falls apart.
The connection disappears,
the quality of the conversation disappears.
But my natural inclination is to just be
way more aggressive than normal.
So I have to constantly remind myself,
I guess you would call it a meta conversation.
When you’re like, okay,
he’s probably saying this because of that
or we’ll let him go here and then we’ll stop later.
But yeah, because my preferred style of conversation
is like, I’m gonna talk
and the second I say something you disagree with,
then let’s iron it out, right?
I got like, I think in like syllogisms,
like, okay, here’s premise A, good, okay.
Premise B, okay, and then conclusion.
And then as long as we’re both deductively sound,
we’re not crazy, no psychosis,
then we’re gonna agree on everything.
Whereas other people like to,
most people think in stories, like narratives,
like a whole, there’s a whole like narrative
and the individual facts don’t matter as much
because they’ll pick and choose what they want.
And it’s really hard because everybody thinks narrative
so I have to function in that world.
But it’s frustrating for me sometimes.
Well, I’ve seen, you’ve had a lot of excellent debates.
One of them I just recently last night watched
is on systemic racism.
And it’s the first time I’ve seen you
completely lose your shit.
Oh, shoot, who was that against?
I’m not sure exactly, but you were just very frustrated.
Sorry, not lose your shit, but you’re frustrated constantly
because of the thing, let’s lay out one, two, three.
And every time you try to lay it out, it would falter.
I think it had to do with sort of,
can you use data to make an argument
or do you need to use a study
that does an interpretation of that data?
And then there’s like this tension between,
I think this is a behavioral economist
that you were talking to.
You do this kind of nice layout
that the whole point of behavioral economics
is says there’s more to it than just the data.
You have to give a context
and do the rich, rigorous interpretation
in the context of the full human story.
And then there was like a dance back and forth.
Sometimes you use data, sometimes not,
and you’re getting really frustrated and shutting down.
And so that felt like a failure mode.
I’ve seen Sam Harris have similar sticking points.
Like if we can’t agree on the terminology, we can’t go on.
To me, I feel like sort of the Wittgenstein perspective
is like, I think if you get stuck on any one thing,
you’re just not gonna make progress.
You have to, part of the conversation has to be
about doing a good dance together
versus being dogmatically stuck on the path to truth.
I think the true challenge is identifying
what of those sticking points are important
versus what is not important.
It’s like if I’m having an argument with somebody
about like Jewish representation in media,
they might, it might be like a big conversation
and they might say a couple things.
Like I think Jewish people, you know,
they tend to help their own or whatever.
And it’s like, yeah, okay.
But like for the purpose of the conversation,
we can keep moving.
But if they casually drop like, you know, yeah.
And I think that’s why the Holocaust numbers
are blown up from like 100,000 to 6 million.
And that’s why, and it’s like, okay, well, hold on.
Wait, wait, if you think this, we have to stop here
because this is gonna be,
it’s not just a language game in this part.
If you really believe this fact,
then the whole rest of the conversation
is gonna be informed by that belief, you know?
And it has to be something
that doesn’t bother you personally.
You have to step outside your own ego.
So Holocaust denial is somebody
that would bother a lot of people.
And there’s some things, just observing you,
I feel like when you get really good at conversation,
you can become a stickler to,
you might have your favorite terms
that really bothers you
if people don’t agree on those terms.
Begs the question.
You mean raising the question.
Yeah, I usually just want,
if people say stuff, I just let it slide, yeah?
Because if you fight,
when you’re having a conversation with somebody
and you’re talking to their audience at the same time,
because that’s really what’s happening,
you never want to come off as overcombative
or overaggressive because it puts people in like,
there’s like a trigger in your brain.
And this is true of relationships or friendships
of persuasive rhetoric or whatever.
There’s a trigger in the brain.
And as soon as that defensive trigger gets like flipped on,
everything is over.
You’ve lost the ability to persuade
because everything becomes a fight at that point, yeah.
Well, I wanted to talk to you
because I heard somewhere that you were referred to
as the Ben Shapiro of the left.
And since I’m talking with Ben as well,
I wanted to sort of complete spiritually
this platonic political philosophy puzzle in my head.
You are a progressive,
but a progressive with many nonstandard progressive views.
And you had a heck of a fascinating journey
through all of that.
And like I said, I think you argue with passion sometimes
with excessive amounts of passion.
That’s a really polite way of saying that.
Almost always with good faith
and with rigor, with seriousness.
I asked on your subreddit, which is an excellent subreddit.
Shout out to the Destiny subreddit so much,
at least for that particular post.
What I really loved is when I asked for questions for you,
they were like, holy shit, there’s adults in there.
Let’s all behave.
Like, nobody say incest.
I was like, what, what’s going on here?
But actually the questions that rose to the top
were really good.
So somebody said that Destiny was,
speaking of your journey,
was a conservative in his early teens.
Then he became a libertarian.
Then he became a left-wing social justice warrior.
Then he flirted with socialism.
And now he is a social democrat liberal.
I’ve also heard you refer to yourself as a far left person.
So to the degree that is true to that journey,
can you take me through your evolution
through the landscape of political ideologies
that you went through?
So my dad comes from Kentucky
and my mom is a Cuban immigrant.
Cubans are notorious for being very conservative
in the United States for historical reasons
and for other reasons.
But my upbringing was a very Republican one.
I grew up listening to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck,
Michael Savage, on the radio, Billy Cunningham.
I think Sean Hannity a little bit later on,
but that was my whole upbringing politically.
I remember I was writing,
I’d written articles for the school journal
in favor of defending the war in Iraq
and defending Bush from all the criticism, et cetera.
So that was my upbringing.
I think once I hit high school, college,
I had my edgy libertarian-esque high school phase
of reading Ayn Rand, of figuring out that,
oh my God, nothing in life matters
except for class and money.
That’s actually the answer to everything.
And I got to college.
I became a Ron Paul fan, very big Ron Paul fan.
And then from there, I kind of work, do life.
At kind of the lowest point of my life
in terms of where I’m working financially,
everything is kind of in ruin in my life.
There’s just a whole bunch of dumb stuff that’s happened.
Probably my most conservative point,
I don’t know what it is about being poor
and thinking you can work your way out of it,
you can do whatever.
It’s just my upbringing is always just like,
if you’re not having financial success,
just work, work, work, work, work.
And then I got into streaming.
Very, very lucky break.
Everything just lined up at the right time.
And then as I’ve progressed through streaming,
I would say through the years,
I’ve gradually fallen more and more to the left,
especially once my kid turned four, five, six years old.
And I started to see how much different his life was
just because of the financial opportunities
that I was able to provide for him
through no merit of his own.
And that started to radically change
how I viewed the world in a lot of ways.
So actually, let’s linger on that low point.
You worked at McDonald’s, you worked at a casino,
you did carpet cleaning.
What was the lowest point?
Definitely the carpet cleaning.
Why was it the lowest point?
That’s when you were just flirting with starting streaming?
My whole life has been a series of lucky breaks,
I grew up playing a lot of video games,
but back in my day, our day, you had to read.
There was a lot of text on the screen.
Back in my day, we used to play-
They didn’t all talk to you.
Yeah, because nowadays everything’s voice acted,
but back then you had to read a lot.
I was a really good reader and a really good vocabulary.
I’ve heard you actually say that.
What games are we talking about?
What do you mean just reading?
You’re talking about like RPGs?
So like Final Fantasy games, Phantasy Stars,
like any RPG that would have been
on the SNES, Sega, PlayStation.
These are the things that I’m-
Let’s pause on that.
I just talked to Todd Howard,
who’s of the Elder Scrolls fame
and the Fallout fame and beyond.
What’s your thoughts on Elder Scrolls?
Why is Skyrim the greatest RPG of all time?
Man, I really don’t like Skyrim or Fallout.
You don’t love it?
No, not at all.
Why do you hate Skyrim?
Yeah, so I really like characters
and like compelling stories
and narrators around those characters.
And I like to see them kind of like grow and change,
kind of like a movie or a story.
So in your like Final Fantasy games, you’ve got characters.
There are a lot of like classical tropes
of like a character starts off kind of like edgy, angsty,
all on their own.
They develop relationships, friendships.
They realize that the life is more about themselves
and they do that.
So I like that growth.
That’s kind of what you see
in all of those old role-playing games.
I didn’t like the open world ones as much
because your main character is just like a blank slate,
It’s for you to like project onto,
but there’s not the same like linear narrative
of like growth for the character.
Oh, that’s fascinating.
There’s an actual story arc to the character
that’s more crafted in a beautiful way
by the designers of the game.
I don’t think one is better or worse.
I tend towards like, I want to hear a compelling story
around like a set of characters
that like grow and change as the game goes on.
Oh, that’s beautifully put then.
I just really loved being able to leave the town.
You go outside the town and you look outside,
it’s nature and the world of possibilities is before you.
You can do whatever the fuck you want.
I mean, that immensity of just being lost in the world
is really immersive for me.
But yeah, you’re right.
Whatever attracts you about a world.
So you were just starting to play video games.
You grew up playing video games.
That’s one of your lucky breaks.
There’s just like a lot of random skills you pick up
depending on the type of game you play.
I played a lot of text-based games on the computer.
So I was a very fast typer.
I’m still a very fast typer.
Read a lot, learned weird kind of math stuff
for some of the calculations, some of the games.
I think I’m pretty good at getting information,
figuring stuff out, learning patterns, all of that.
And then that plus the reading
and everything with the games meant that I,
I don’t want to say I excelled in school
because my grades were pretty bad,
but I was in like all honors, all AP classes or whatever.
A lot of dual enrollment,
a lot of AP credit going into college.
So I did pretty well in school,
probably better than I should have,
but it was because I had the game stuff
that was like really powering a lot of my brain there
while I was trying to sleep through class.
So you’re able to soak in information,
integrate it, quickly take notes.
Generally, I think I’m pretty good at that, yeah.
You do this a lot when you stream, you’re typing stuff.
Is there a system in that note-taking?
And what note, what do you use for note-taking?
Does it matter?
I use a notepad.
Like notepad.exe notepad?
Yep, notepad.exe, not the plus plus, not.
Is there genius to the madness behind that,
or you just don’t give a shit?
No, I mean like,
it’s gonna depend on the style of conversation.
If I’m with somebody
that is very meticulously organized their thoughts,
and they’re a, find a better word here for rambler,
you can edit that in, better word for rambler,
somebody that talks a lot and a lot,
I’ll start like taking notes, bullet points,
like this, this, this, this, this, this, this,
because there’s a style of conversation
where I say seven or eight different things,
and then when you go to respond to everything I said,
I cut you off immediately, and we argue that point.
But if somebody’s gonna do that,
you’re just like, hold on,
you just said these eight things,
I’m gonna respond to every single one,
I’ve written them all down,
and then you can go,
if you wanna go point by point, we can,
but you just said all this, and I wrote it down,
so now we’re gonna go.
So what are you actually writing down,
like a couple of words per point they left?
there are very few unique conversations in politics,
like a lot of them are kind of retreading old ground.
So if we’re having a debate on abortion,
somebody might say like,
oh, well I believe this thing about viability,
and I believe this thing about, you know,
when they’re a fetus versus a human,
and I’ll just write down like those points,
so that when I go to respond,
I kind of have like a, like note cards,
like a guiding thing there
to keep me centered on my response.
Political discourse is a kind of tree,
you’re walking down, and I got it,
and you’re like taking-
Just to keep my focus guided,
so I’m not like running off on a weird tangent,
or responding to something I didn’t say or something.
What about like doing research?
It’s just, is there a system to your note taking?
Because mentally you seem to be
one of the most organized people I’ve listened to,
so is there, is it in your mind,
or is there a system that’s on paper?
A little of both.
I feel like the human mind is a beautiful thing
if you have interest in an area,
so like what I’ll tell people is,
let’s say there’s like a totally new topic
that I’m researching, I don’t know anything,
and I’ll do a couple of these on stream,
I think they’re boring, but people watch it.
I might open a Wikipedia article,
and I’ll read, and I hit something I don’t know,
and then I open the next Wikipedia article,
and I’ll read it, and then I might have like seven tabs open,
and I’ll read, and I’ll read, and I’ll read,
and I’ll read a ton of stuff,
maybe for an hour, two, three, four hours of stuff,
and then by the end, you know,
someone in chat will ask me like,
do you even remember like this particular thing?
And I’ll say, not really, no, not too much.
But what happens is, as long as you’ve seen it once,
what’ll happen is like the next day, the day after,
we’ll read something else, and we’ll be like,
oh, I remember that thing from this thing.
I remember like vaguely that.
And then if you see it like a third time,
you’re like, oh, this makes sense,
because especially when it comes to,
oh, here’s like a little trick on stuff.
If you’re ever reading any news,
and there’s a place that pops up,
always look at it on a map,
because so much of history is like on a map.
It’s so important to like know the geography.
It makes things make so much more sense.
But yeah, once I start to see stuff over and over again,
just because I’ve like read it a few times,
stuff will start to kind of connect to my mind.
And I’m like, oh yeah, well, this makes sense.
Of course, these people believe this, because of this.
Or of course, like this happened here.
It’s because, you know, that happened there.
So yeah, it’s a lot of that.
If there’s like a topic that I’m doing specific research for,
so like vaccine-related stuff is a big one.
The Ukrainian-Russian conflict is a big one.
That, I’ll break out a note.
I’ll probably get like a Google Doc,
and I’ll just start like writing like an outline
of kind of the rough points of everything,
just to organize my thoughts around different topics, yeah.
We’re just gonna go tangent upon a tangent upon a tangent.
We’ll return to the low point of your life at some point.
Always returning from the philosophy to the psychology.
So you did the Ukraine topic.
One question is, what role does US play in this war?
Could they have done something to avoid the war?
Did they have a role to play in forcing Vladimir Putin’s hand?
Do they have a role to play in de-escalating the war
towards a peace agreement and the opposite?
If it does escalate towards something like
the use of a tactical nuclear weapon, are they to blame?
Are we to blame?
Oh man, somebody sent me an email a while ago
with great words.
There’s a specific way to navigate a conversation
where you can kind of like contribute to a negative event,
but you’re not really the one responsible for it.
Like the classic example is,
a woman goes out late at night,
gets a little bit too drunk, and then something happens.
And it’s like, while there might’ve been steps
she could’ve taken to mitigate the risk,
it’s not her fault of what happened
because the responsibility rests on the agent
making the choice, right?
There’s a chooser at some point
that is choosing to do wrong or evil.
I don’t believe in any of the arguments
that say the United States has contributed
to Russia’s position on Ukraine
or the actions that they’ve taken on Ukraine.
There are several arguments that some people,
some even political scholars are putting out there
to say that the United States is to blame,
but I find them completely unconvincing.
I think that when you ask the question of like,
what is the United States role or what has our role been?
I think it’s really important for us.
I don’t think we even agree as a country
on what our role should be,
which I think is a hard one
because you’ve got this kind of,
there’s this growing populist movement in the United States.
It might be the far left and the far right.
And I think populists tend to have this kind of
isolationist view of the world
where the United States should just be our own thing.
We shouldn’t be telling anybody what to do.
We shouldn’t be the world police.
And then kind of more in these
like center left, center right positions.
And then across a lot of Europe, you’ve got, well, okay.
The United States is kind of like the big kid on the block.
Like we’re looking to them for guidance and leadership
on situations like what’s going on in Ukraine.
So insofar as the original question is like,
what is like the United States responsibility?
I think we have a responsibility to ensure
the relative like freedom,
prosperity and stability across Europe.
I think that defending Ukraine’s sovereignty
and right to their borders is a part of that.
And I don’t believe that prior to the invasion in 2022,
I don’t think the United States was contributing
to Russia invading that country.
I know there are arguments given that like
the expansion of NATO has something
that’s been threatening to Russia,
but the Baltics joined
and Russia didn’t do anything about it.
The invasion to Crimea was very clearly a response
to the revolution in 2014.
The invasion on the borders is clearly a response
to Ukraine winning that civil war in the Southeast
and the Donbass and Russia becoming more aggressive.
I don’t think that you can blame any of that
on NATO expansion.
There’s no NATO countries that are threatening Russia
or debating Russia.
Do you think there is a nuclear threat?
Do you think about this?
Do you worry about this,
that there is a threat of a tactical nuclear weapon
I think that possibility exists either way.
And I think the responsibility for that is on Russia
because it just can’t be the case that if you have nukes,
you’re allowed to invade countries and take their land.
Because if anything, I think that that down the road
also increases the potential for nuclear problems
in the future, right?
Because at that point, either every single country
has to acquire their own nuclear weapons,
because if you don’t, Russia’s gonna mess with you,
or every single country has to join NATO.
And now what, we’re back at square zero,
ground zero, square one, where people are like,
oh, well, look, all these countries joining NATO
is aggressive towards Russia.
Like, what are you gonna do?
Yeah, you’ve mentioned that there’s a complicated calculus
going on with the countries that have nuclear weapons.
And what’s our responsibility?
Are you allowed to do anything you want
to countries that don’t have nuclear weapons?
That’s a really tricky discussion.
Because what is US supposed to do
if Russia drops a tactical nuclear weapon?
There’s a set of options, none of which are good.
And it’s such a tricky moment right now
because the things that Biden and other public figures say,
I feel like has a significant impact
on the way this game turns out.
Because I think mutually assured destruction
is partially a game of words.
I mean, I believe in the power of conversation,
of leaders talking to each other.
I feel like you have to have a balance
between threat and compromise,
and like empathy for the needs,
the geopolitical, the economic needs of a nation,
but also sort of respect and represent your own interests.
So it’s a tricky one.
Like how do you play the hand?
It reminds me of, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard
in like evolutionary psych or evolutionary biology,
there are things called tit for tat strategies.
It kind of reminds me of that,
where it’s like there are a whole bunch
of these little biological mechanisms
where creatures will develop,
like socializing like tit for tat.
If you do something bad to me,
I’m gonna do something bad for you.
And then more complicated schemes will come out
where it’ll be like tit, tit for tat,
where it’s like, you can make one mistake
and then I’m gonna get you if you do a second one,
or it could be tit, tit, tit for tat,
or they’re gonna be tit for tat, tat for tit.
There’s like all these like back and forths
where creatures kind of optimize themselves.
And yeah, I think something the United States did really well
in terms of that kind of conversational strategy.
And I approved of this in the beginning
was Biden was very clear about setting out
like the exact level of US involvement for the war.
We’re not gonna do a no fly zone.
There’s not gonna be US troops on the ground in Ukraine,
but we are gonna send a whole bunch of money
and a whole bunch of arms and a whole bunch of intel to them.
And I thought he did a good job at laying out
like the limitation of the US involvement
while opening as much as we could
in the ways that we could help.
But yeah, that looming threat
of some sort of tactical nuclear weapon,
I think on the table right now is like,
it’s gonna be the annihilation
of like Russian sea forces and everything.
But what happens if it continues to escalate?
That’s like a world that nobody wants to be in, yeah.
So we talked about difficult conversations.
And again, thank you so much
for reviewing the yay conversation.
Let me ask you about Putin.
Speaking of difficult conversations.
So if you sit down,
if I sit down with somebody like Vladimir Putin
or Vladimir Zelensky,
what’s the right way to have that conversation?
We can talk about that one,
or we could talk about somebody more well understood
through history, like Stalin or Hitler,
somebody like that.
Maybe that’s an easier example
to illustrate how to handle
extremely difficult conversations.
Yeah, I mean, I can handle really difficult conversations
between like two people.
Leaders of countries though,
there’s so much that you are representing
in that conversation.
I guess the thing that would be interesting to me
would be like, what is Vladimir Putin’s interest?
Like what is the genuine interest
that he has in the conflict?
Because I think finding out like,
what is your buy-in or what is your,
like what is the driving force keeping you here
is probably the most important thing.
I think for Zelensky,
I think it’s quite a bit more simpler
because he’s on the defense.
So it’s defending his country and his people.
For Putin, I’ve heard all sorts of things.
Dugin has his writings on like the East versus the West,
the collapse of the West in the face
of like all of the liberalism
and the weird LGBT stuff that they criticize.
You’ve got the desire to like return
to this like former Soviet Union-esque thing.
You’ve got Putin’s quotes
that collapse of the Soviet Union
was the biggest geopolitical disaster
of 20th century.
And I guess figuring out like, what is Putin after?
I’m not actually sure.
I don’t know the answer to that question.
I know a lot of people write about it, but yeah.
Well, there’s a lot of answers to that question.
There’s a lot of answers
that he can give to that question.
So say I sit down with him for three hours
and talk about it.
I think this is a really interesting distinction
because you do do difficult conversations
in the space of ideas.
But also in your stream, you have,
I mean, there’s a bunch of drama going on.
There’s a human psychology is laid out
in its full richness before you.
So to me with leaders, I think a part of the conversation
has to be about the human psychology.
Not like a meta conversation,
but like really understand what they feel,
what they fear, who they are as a human being.
Like as a family man,
as a person proud of their country,
as a person with an ego,
as a person who’s been affected,
if not corrupted by powers,
all of us can be and likely are.
So all of that, that gives context
to then the answers about what do you want in this war?
Is that the answers about what you want in this war
will be political answers.
It’s like a game that’s being played again with words
and politicians are incredibly good at playing that game.
I think the deeper truth comes from understanding
the human being from which those words come.
And I think that’s what you do.
I don’t know if you do those kinds of conversations where-
Never talked to any country leader, so.
No, not a country leader,
but say a controversial figure
or somebody that represents a certain idea.
Don’t just talk in the space of ideas
or challenge the ideas,
but understand who is this person,
how did you come to those ideas?
Oh yeah, when I’ve had,
there’ve been a couple of very controversial
So the two, obviously the mainstreamers for me
are Lauren Southern and Nick Fuentes.
And those types of conversations
initially aren’t very political at all.
Yeah, it’s more like,
obviously we believe in very, very, very different things,
but beliefs don’t happen accidentally.
So how did you get to where you are?
Those are way more personal conversations, that’s true.
Is there things you regret about those conversations
where you failed?
Is there things you’re proud of where you succeeded?
For things that I’m proud of,
I feel like I’m really good at attempting
to understand people without judgment.
That I think a lot of people feel like
they can have conversations with me
where they can share a lot.
And I’m not gonna jump down their throat
for them having a politically incorrect observation,
or for them being judgmental of somebody else,
or having a feeling that’s maybe not something
they should have, something they’re embarrassed about.
So I think I do a really good job at that.
And then by extension of that,
I’ve gotten the ability to hear perspectives
from so many different people
that I think I can understand
a lot of different perspectives.
For failures of mine,
I mean, it’s always gonna be on stream.
It’ll be like, I didn’t push back hard enough,
or I didn’t know a certain fact for a conversation.
These are usually the,
they’re gonna be on these
very technical grounds generally.
I’m pretty happy with the direction
my conversations have gone recently,
especially over the past six months.
So your goal is to de-radicalize
the audience of those folks.
So that used to be my goal.
My goal was de-radicalization.
Now I’m kind of hoping that that’s just the byproduct.
So the goal, I think, is to talk to somebody
and to show they believe this because of these reasons.
And if you wanna change people’s beliefs,
we have to talk about the underlying reasons
for why they think the things they think.
It’s not enough to just say, like, that belief is bad
because it’s like, well, they believe it
for a whole bunch of things that are true and real,
to them at least.
So you have to address all of the underlying things
that they believe before you can change
the overlying belief.
So if I’m having a conversation with somebody,
it’ll be like, okay, why do you feel this
about that, that, and that?
Okay, I understand that.
Maybe like a better way to solve that
would be like this or that instead of this thing.
So to what degree do you have to empathize
with the person’s worldview versus pushback?
That’s always the hard one.
When I’m talking to other people,
it’s almost always me stepping as much inside their bubble
as I can.
I have to like live and breathe their worldview
and be able to speak their worldview
in order to like navigate their thoughts
because my worldview is, I don’t even,
I’m not even using this as an insult.
I don’t know if I am a little bit autistic or something,
but when I break apart things,
I just wanna see like study, study, study,
fact, fact, fact.
That’s how my mind works for everything.
That’s what I like to see.
Like personal stories don’t do much for me.
Narrators don’t do much for me.
Just show me like the data and the studies or whatever,
but for other people,
I think most brains are more human than that
and they tend to see things
that more kind of like surreal pictures
that are kind of painted
and the brushstrokes are way broader
and they don’t care about the itty bitty tiny fact.
So if I’m talking to somebody else
and I’m trying to get into their head
and I’m trying to change their mind on things,
I’m gonna be stepping into their world
and I’m gonna try to be working through that framework.
A really good example might be,
we’ll say like when it comes to trans issues for minors,
16 or 17 year old needs to get on puberty blockers.
The way that I want that debate to play out
is let’s look at all the data,
let’s see what are the outcomes,
let’s see what are the processes for getting a medication
and then we’ll evaluate all of that
and then we’ll go in whatever like points more favorably,
but that’s wholly unconvincing to most people, right?
So as a parent,
if I’m having that conversation with another parent,
the easiest way for me to have that conversation
is like, hey, we both have kids.
Imagine how horrible it would be
if we felt like our kids needed help
and the government was trying to get between us
and their doctor in that conversation.
That might be how that talk plays out,
which I don’t think that’s a really good argument
because I think there probably are times
that the government should get in between it,
but I’ll have that conversation
because now I’m in a world
where they understand what I’m saying,
I’m resonating with the way that they feel about things
and then I can make progress
with the way that they’re kind of viewing the world
because I’m talking in a language they understand.
So on this particular topic of trans issues,
is that the reason you were banned from Twitch?
I’m not sure, I don’t know.
They just said hate speech,
but I don’t use like slurs or anything,
so it’s hard to know exactly.
So I think you made the claim
that trans women shouldn’t compete with cis women
in the women’s athletics.
Can you make this case
and can you steelman the case against it?
I think in your community,
there’s a lot of trans folks who love you
and there’s a lot who hate you.
And so if you can walk the tightrope of this conversation
to try to steelman both sides.
One of the argumentative strategies I say
is that like anytime you have a conversation,
you should be able to argue both sides
better than anybody else.
So for the my side, the genuine belief side,
it feels like overwhelmingly all of the data is showing
that trans, mostly trans women,
even after I think three years on some sort of like HRT
or estrogen stuff,
they’re still maintaining these advantages
from their male puberty over cisgender women.
And if that is the case,
if we are gonna draw these distinctions around our sports
between women and men,
it feels unfair to have a category inside the women’s sports
that are maintaining advantages
that are coming from a male puberty,
regardless of the amount of time they’ve spent
on hormone replacement therapy.
So that would be my argument on that side.
So it’s unfair from a performance enhancement aspect.
So the same way we ban performance enhancing drugs
that involve increasing of testosterone
in that same way would be unfair.
So what’s the case against?
The key, yeah.
So the case in favor of them competing together
is that realistically,
there’s not gonna be a trans sports category.
Realistically, trans women
aren’t gonna be competitive with cis men
because they’ve gone through these huge,
you know, like hormone changes
by the medication they’re taking.
And that when we look at how sports are kind of done anyway,
there’s a whole bunch of biological differences
between people within sports categories
that are determining their placement
in the professional world.
So for instance, somebody like me
is probably never gonna go far in the NBA
because I’m not tall enough.
I think the average height in the NBA-
Don’t doubt yourself.
Don’t doubt myself, yeah.
I wanna say it’s like six or something.
They’re huge people.
Or, you know, you look at like Michael Phelps
as a classic example of a guy
whose torso is like so long,
his body is built for swimming.
And I think there are some trans people
that will look at that,
or somebody advocating for this position,
they’ll look at that and they’ll go,
the way that Michael Phelps’ body processes lactic acid,
the shape physiologically of his body
is gonna put him in a level of competition
that so many men are never gonna reach
just because of biology.
How is it fair that you can have these biological outliers
competing in these categories,
but then when we come to like sports categories
with trans and cis women,
you’re gonna take trans women
and say that they can’t compete against cis women.
Can’t you also just say
that they have some level of biological difference there?
Like, is it really gonna be that great of a difference
than what Michael Phelps has versus the average swimmer,
or an NBA player has versus like the average height male?
Yeah, do you think we’re gonna get
into some tricky ethical territory
as we start to be able to,
through biology and genetics,
modify the human body?
I feel like those things are coming sooner
than we wanted them to.
Oh man, dude, have you seen the AI art?
Of course, I’m an AI person.
Oh, okay, then yeah, yeah.
That’s always been like,
what’s gonna happen when robots
can do art better than humans, LOL?
Like, well, we’ll see in 20 years,
in 20 years, in 20 years.
And now you have AI art winning competitions.
And it’s funny because robots are essentially-
There’s a robot behind you, by the way.
A robot behind me.
Robots are really good at-
Careful what you say.
Yeah, oh God, I’ll be careful.
That’s not like one of the Chinese ones
with a gun on it, right?
We’ll see, depending on what you say, yeah.
Robots are really good at showing
the limitations of the human mind
in categories that we didn’t believe
we were limited before.
I think that humans have this idea intrinsically
that we have some type of innovative,
creative drive that is just outside
of the bounds of physical understanding.
And with a sophisticated enough program,
we see that maybe that’s not actually true.
And that’s a really scary thing.
Philosophically to deal with,
because we feel like we’re very special, right?
We own the planet, we make computers.
And the idea that you can start to get these robots
that can do things that’s like, okay,
you can do math, fine.
Okay, you can do calculations, fine.
But you can’t do art.
That’s the human stuff.
And then when they start to do that,
it’s like, oh, shoot.
And that terrifies you a little bit?
Like the human species losing control
of our dominance over this earth?
I don’t think it’s necessarily losing control
of our dominance.
I mean, I guess like a Skynet thing
could come in at some point.
But I think it brings us
to this really fundamental level of like,
what does it mean to be human?
What is it that we’re good at?
What should we be doing with technology?
We never really ask that question in the Western world.
It’s always the technology is like normative
in that technology equals good
and more technology equals better.
That’s been like the default assumption.
In fact, if you ask a lot of people,
how do you know if civilization has progressed
over the past 100 or 200 years?
They don’t say we have better relationships,
we have longer marriages, blah, blah, blah.
They’ll say technology has improved.
We’ve got crazy phones, we’ve got crazy computers.
And the idea that more technology might be bad
has never even crossed somebody’s mind,
unless it’s used for like a really bad thing.
Well, it’s interesting.
We kind of think as more and more automation is happening,
we’re going to get more and more meaning
from things like being artists and doing creative pursuits.
And here’s like, oh shit, if the art,
if the creative pursuits are also being automated,
then what are we gonna gain meaning from?
What are the activities from which you’ll gain meaning?
You know, my whole life I’ve been working
on artificial intelligence systems.
There’s been different revolutions.
One of them is the machine learning revolution.
And it’s interesting to build up intuition
and destroy that intuition about what is
and isn’t solvable by machines.
I think for the longest time, I grew up thinking
Go is not, the game of Go is not solvable.
Because my understanding of AI systems
is ultimately that it’s fundamentally a search mechanism
that is fundamentally going to be brute force.
There’s no shortcuts.
Sure, like if it can’t solve the traveling salesman problem,
it’s not even gonna be able to give you an approximation.
So most interesting problems
are giant travel salesman problem.
And then, so of course,
it’s not gonna be able to solve that.
And then you, then the deep learning revolution
made you realize, holy shit,
these large neural networks with a giant number of knobs
is able to actually somehow
estimate functions that can do a pretty good job
of understanding deep representation of a thing,
whether that’s a game of Go
or whether it’s the human natural language
or if it’s images and video or audio and even actions
in different video games and actions of robotics and so on.
And then you realize with diffusion models
and different generative models,
you start to realize, holy shit,
it can actually generate not just interesting representations
or interesting manifestations
of the representations of forms,
but it’s able to do something
that impresses humans in its creativity.
It’s beautiful in the way we think of art is beautiful.
Like it surprises us and makes us chuckle
and makes us sit back in awe and all those kinds of things.
And yet the thing that it seems to struggle with the most
is the physical world currently.
So that’s counterintuitive.
We humans think that it’s pretty trivial,
the being able to pick up a cup,
being able to like write with a pen,
like in the physical space, we think that’s trivial.
We give ourselves respect for being great artists
and great mathematicians and all that kind of stuff.
And that seems to be much easier than the physical space.
The bodies are really cool.
There is a, I don’t know,
it’s probably Asimov or somebody.
There was some science fiction writer
that had a short story and it was like an alien
that had landed on earth.
And it was describing our bodies
from a totally alien perspective.
And when you think about all the things we can do,
it’s pretty cool.
We can climb through a whole multitude of environments.
We can exist in a multitude of temperatures.
We can manipulate things just with our hands
and the way that we can interact with things around us.
And yeah, we’re very capable on like a physical level,
even though, like you said, we think about ourselves like,
oh, well, human beings have really big brains.
And we do, we’re really intelligent as well.
But yeah, our bodies are pretty cool too.
And it’s a fascinating hierarchical biological system.
We’re made up of a bunch of different living organisms
that all don’t know about the big picture of our body.
And it’s all functioning in its own little local world
and it’s doing its thing.
But together, it has a, it forms a super resilient system.
All of that comes from a very comprehensive system
compressed encoding of what makes a human.
You start with the DNA and it builds up
from a single cell to a giant organism.
I mean, and because of the DNA,
through the evolution process,
you can constantly create new humans
and new living organisms that adapt to the environment.
Like that resilience to the physical world,
it seems like running the whole earth over again,
the whole evolutionary process over again
is, might be the only way to do it.
So to create a robot that actually adapts,
is as resilient to the dynamic world,
might be a really difficult problem.
Well, I was gonna say like in a programming environment,
you can do things on timescales
that are impossible in the real world, right?
Like the benefit to AI and computers is computationally,
they can compute so much data so quickly.
Whereas on human timetables, we have to wait.
When you talk about evolution,
it’s generation after generation after generation.
Maybe in a virtual environment that could be simulated
and then those changes could happen a lot quicker.
Well, that’s on a human timescale,
but you have to look at earth as a quantum mechanical system,
the computation is happening super fast.
This is a giant computer doing a giant simulation.
So just because for us humans, it’s slow,
there’s like trillions of organisms involved in you,
destiny being you.
Sure, but the next iteration of like from human to human,
on the quantum level, there’s a lot of stuff going on.
You talk about like changes in DNA, for instance, right?
That’s happening from a generation to generation timescale.
Like in a virtual environment,
that could theoretically happen.
Well, it already is.
There’s like protein folding, like huge cloud computing,
probably ML stuff that’s like working
and doing all of that stuff.
And it’ll run like trillions and trillions of simulations
every second and stuff.
Maybe not every second, but.
Still slower than the actual protein folding, much slower.
The, that’s for the problem of solving protein folding
to estimate the 3D structure,
but the actual body does the actual protein folding
So like we’re, the question is,
can we shortcut the simulation of human evolution,
try to figure out how to build up an organism
without simulating all the details?
Because we have to simulate all the details of biology
where we’re screwed.
We don’t have.
I’m not sure we’d have to put something in a pond
and then watch it for a billion years.
That might be the most efficient way to do it.
That’s what the universe most likely is,
is a kind of simulation created by a teenager
in their basement to try to see what happens.
It’s a computer game.
That might be the most efficient way
to create interesting organisms.
But within the system, it’s perhaps possible
to create other robots that will be of use
and will entertain us in the way
that other humans entertain us.
And that’s a really interesting, of course, problem.
But it’s surprising how difficult it has been
to create systems that operate in the physical world
and operate in that physical world
in a way that’s safe to humans and interesting to humans.
Because there’s also the human factor,
the human-robot interaction.
To me, that’s like the most interesting problem,
to figure out how to do that well.
And so Elon Musk and others, Boston Dynamics,
have worked on legged robots.
So I really care about legged robots.
Those are super interesting.
How to make them such that they’re able
to operate successfully in a dynamic environment.
It’s super tricky.
They’re like the dumbest of dogs,
speaking of which, there’s a dog barking outside.
I mean, it’s really tricky to create
those kinds of organisms that live in the human world.
Then again, if more and more of us
move into the digital world, so you stream a lot,
part of who you are exists in the digital space.
The fact that you have a physical representation also,
maybe more and more will become not important.
I hope that’s the case,
because I bought a lot of stock in Meta,
and man, it’s down a lot.
Meta the company.
Is there some degree, can you look at yourself,
like Steven, the physical meat vehicle,
and then the destiny, this digital space,
like digital avatar.
Do you sense that in a certain way
you’re the digital avatar?
I’ve always tried to keep my on-stream personality
as genuine as possible, so they’re one and the same to me.
I don’t really view them as two separate entities,
but I mean, I always view myself as Steven,
the real-life person.
Destiny’s my online name, but.
No, but because so many,
your social network is established in the digital space.
So many people know you through the digital space.
Can we swap out another person that looks like you?
And like an AI system,
and then that entity known as destiny
will continue existing.
So I mean, I must be like,
there must be some level of sophistication
that could emulate a human brain, I would imagine, right?
Probably the tech’s not there yet, but.
Well, the question is,
what’s the level of sophistication of the audience
that would recognize that something has changed?
Like, it’s the Turing test.
How hard is it to trick your audience,
your large audience of fans that watch your streams,
that when you swap out an AI that emulates you,
that nothing has changed?
And the question is,
do you have to really simulate
so much of the human brain for that?
I don’t think so.
So, I mean, like you said,
a lot of political discourse
is just walking down the tree together.
So you can probably emulate a lot of that discussion.
Yeah, it would depend on if you’re doing old data sets
and you’re training on that,
and I’m having conversations about abortion
and you’re creating vaccines,
I imagine it could do it for quite a while.
The only thing that would be weird
is when novel issues pop up.
Then you probably need a more sophisticated resemblance
of the inner brain, right?
You have to keep training on the internet,
so how the language models,
and that’s the most incredible breakthroughs,
is the language models.
You just have to keep retraining the system on Reddit,
which is actually what a lot of it is trained on,
which is hilarious.
I do think it’s really interesting
that kind of like funny problems,
like the trolley problem,
that we can kind of work
through our normative ethical systems on,
are now like real questions.
If you’re driving a Tesla and it’s on autopilot
and you’re gonna hit somebody,
but it can swerve and hit somebody else,
what ought the system do?
We went very quickly
from fun kind of like project in philosophy class
to we need to solve this for insurance purposes
as quickly as possible.
It’s kind of interesting to think about.
Well, I actually have,
I’ll bring up the trolley problem with you later.
There’s a fascinating version of it that I find hilarious.
Okay, let’s return to your low point.
You started playing video games.
That was a lucky break.
You did text-based ones.
That was a lucky break
because you’ve gotten to be pretty good at learning.
And then you started thinking about going to college
and so on.
What happened next?
I mean, I went to like a prep school,
so you kind of have to go to college after.
That’s like the point, right?
I was also a millennial.
All of us had to go to college.
That’s always what they told us, so.
My life was kind of, it’s hard to describe.
I didn’t really think much of the future.
I was just kind of enjoying the day-to-day
because everything in my life was pretty weird.
Both my parents had moved to Florida
by the time I was 16, 17.
I was living with my grandma.
I was working.
I had a girlfriend, moved out.
We got a place, did college.
By the time I got into college,
I had transitioned from working at McDonald’s
to I was like working in a casino restaurant, basically.
And I was really good at that job.
So high level of patience for drunk people and sane people.
And I was doing music in school
because I’d really grown to love music.
And my kind of thought process was,
my thought process was I can do music as a hobby, I guess,
unless I get really good
and maybe I can make money with that.
But otherwise I love music.
I’m okay going to school for music, getting good at it,
and then just doing that on the side.
And then my main job would kind of be
this career I was building at the casino.
And basically the trying to balance personal life
plus graveyard shift, six to eight weeks at a casino,
and then a full-time music degree was not possible for me.
And eventually I had to drop school
after I think it was like three years.
And after I dropped school to maintain my casino job,
after a few months, I got fired from my casino job.
So I’d essentially just thrown away
like the past like three or four years of my life.
Why’d you get fired from the casino job?
I heard there’s a story behind that.
Yeah, there’s a story.
Basically, I was just really dumb
when it came to understanding corporate politics.
And this is funny
because the same attitude kind of followed me
into the streaming world.
My thought process has kind of always been
that like as long as I’m really good at what I do,
I should be untouchable.
If I’m really good, you can’t do anything to me.
I don’t have to play any dumb games or whatever.
And at the casino, I think I was the youngest.
It was originally shiftly
than supervisor position at the casino.
And when I started to get my own shifts,
there were problems that I would run into on graveyard shift
because of carryover from the swing shift.
I remember one of these problems
was underneath the soda machine,
they weren’t cleaning it properly
and fruit flies were showing up.
And the manager came in one morning and she was like,
hey, what’s going on with the machine?
And I was like, listen,
I can’t take everything from swing shift
and do everything at grave shift.
I can’t do this.
They need to figure out their stuff better
or I need more employees.
It’s not possible for me.
And she’s like, what did you tell anybody else?
Like, yeah, I complained to the supervisor
on the swing shift all the time.
And she told me,
if you’re not getting the answer that you like,
then it’s your responsibility to email the next person up.
And I was like, oh, okay, that’s interesting.
And some months went on and I ran into more problems
because on graveyard, here’s how,
I don’t know if it’s everywhere,
but morning shift is the easiest
and that’s when you’re the most overstaffed
because that’s when all the VPs are in
and that’s when all the managers are there
and everybody blah, blah, blah.
Swing shift is the most challenging.
That’s where your highest flow of customers is.
You’re also decently staffed there,
but there’s a lot of stuff going on.
And graveyard, nobody cares at all about you.
They don’t give you any employees.
You might get swamped, you might not.
Make sure it’s clean for day shift.
That’s the only thing that matters.
A quick question for sort of clarification.
So this is 24 hour?
24 hour diner, yeah, inside the casino, yeah.
So it’s a diner in a casino.
Oh, by the way, I had an amazing moment
at a diner in a casino recently.
It’s a special place.
A diner in a casino is a place of magic.
There’s a lot of, I don’t know if I’d say magic,
but there’s a lot of other worldly stuff going on.
There’s characters, there’s,
and I had an interaction with a waitress
that was the sweetest waitress in the world.
And it was just like, I don’t know,
made me feel less alone in this cruel world of ours.
So graveyard begins when?
For me, my shift was 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Or sometimes I get called in early,
so it’d be 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
That’s no love for that shift.
No, especially not trying to do school at the same time.
But yeah, basically, long story short,
I ran into a problem with my,
where I didn’t have enough employees on my shift.
VPs were coming in in the morning.
They’re just like, hey, the diner’s kind of dirty.
And I’m like, you’ve cut all my employees past 4 a.m.
Like on some nights, I’m literally cooking
and doing front of house, like all on my own.
Like, I can’t do this.
And my manager, Pam, told me,
well, you’ve got to figure it out.
And so I remembered her advice.
So I emailed the VP of food and beverage and I CC’d her.
And I said, I’m not getting the help I need
on my restaurant.
Now, I didn’t know at the time
that I was basically completely throwing her under the bus
because of that email.
But retroactively, when I look back on things,
or retrospectively, I see that was the moment
that I got like marked for deletion.
And I didn’t really understand it,
even though I’d heard terminology
for papering somebody out the door.
But after that point, I started to get written up
for like a lot of little random things.
Like I’d missed one day of work
in my three years at the casino.
And I started to get written up
for like showing up like one or two minutes late.
I think that’s kind of weird.
I don’t know, that’s whatever.
Or written up for random ways about filing paperwork.
And then eventually there came a situation
with another employee where they were,
it’s complicated, it has to do with like call-out stuff.
But basically they wanted to come,
or they wanted to call out.
And I told them if they called out,
they were gonna get fired because they were at like 10 points.
They were at nine points and 10 points is firing,
blah, blah, blah.
Pam told me, you can tell her that she’s gonna get a point,
but you can’t tell her she’s gonna get fired.
I don’t know what that meant.
And then I told her that if you call out,
you’re gonna get, you know, you’re fucked,
you’re gonna get fired, or you’re gonna be at 10 points.
And then I got called in early, like three days later.
And Pam was like, you inappropriately communicated
with an employee because you said the F word
in a text message.
And I’m like, really?
There’s no shot.
And she’s like, well, you also tried to fire the employee.
And I was like, no, I told her she was gonna get 10 points.
She’s like, well, you used the F word.
I’m like, this is insane.
And I didn’t, just because I was such a high-performing
employee, I was like, there’s no way I’m getting fired.
And then I did.
And I was like, yeah.
Cashed out my 401k and moped for like three months
because I had thrown away school for this casino job.
And then I got fired from this job that like,
yeah, nobody believed I got fired.
It was just insane, yeah.
So if you look back, if you were allowed to,
not just to look back to your own memory,
but actually watch yourself,
like somebody recorded a video that whole time,
do you think you would be surprised,
you would notice some things like potentially
of not having a self-awareness,
not having like social, like a civility and social etiquette
that’s played in the human relations?
So is that at the core of it, essentially?
Yeah, I think so.
I mean, that follows me even to this day.
There’s a lot of, I don’t know if you’re recording or not,
but when we spoke earlier about like meta conversations,
I have to think a lot sometimes about meta conversations
because the way that I want to drive a conversation
will sometimes be way different
than what is like the best way to have a conversation.
Whereas I just want to like go really hard
on like some itty-bitty, like some idiosyncrasy
at some factor, figure, whatever,
but that’s not like the human conversation
I need to have, you know?
So you got fired slash left that job
and that took you to the job that would be the lowest point.
Yeah, because there was a huge downgrade in pay.
I went from getting like, I think at the casino,
because I worked so much overtime,
I was getting like 22.50 an hour on all my overtime.
And this was back in 2008, 2009 as like a college student,
like it was amazing pay.
I had benefits, like everything was good.
And then the carpet cleaning was like,
I was probably getting my paycheck like every other week
was maybe 1,500 bucks or $1,000.
And I’m working like 13 day stretches,
like I have every other Sunday off.
And it’s so many hours.
Like I have to show up at the shop at like seven or six
and then I go home at like eight or nine,
depending on when my jobs are throughout the day.
You’re doing businesses or residential
or what are you doing?
Are you working for a company that does carpet cleaning?
Okay, and so like there’s a schedule thing,
you have to go to it and so on.
Yeah, but so like this is why the schedule would suck,
is sometimes I’d show up at,
I think we had to be in the shop at,
I think it was 7 a.m.
We show up at the shop at 7 a.m.
First job might be at eight or nine,
but that job might be like a one hour job.
So I might show up at 7 a.m.
and have a job from 8.30 to 9.30.
Then my next job might not be from,
until like say 11.
So from 8.30 to 9.30 I’ll do one job.
And then I’ve got a job from like 11 to 12 or something.
Then I might have like a decent job from like five to eight.
But like my whole day is destroyed
and I’m doing like three smallish jobs.
So I’m getting like 30 bucks maybe for being in the shop
or at my job for like 10 or 11 hours
and it’s just like horrible.
So you’re somebody that seems to be extremely good
at thinking and conversation.
And so have a bit of an ego perhaps
in both the negative and the positive sense of that word.
Was there some aspect of working at McDonald’s
and then working at the casino
and then working for the,
as a carpet cleaner that was humbling?
I had a-
The ego burned bright through it all.
Or no, you can push back on the ego.
Yeah, no, I understand.
I totally get what you mean.
I had a really close friend growing up whose name was Chris
and I think we probably met when he was,
we were like four or five, I think.
He lived behind me and I grew up with him
and I’d always been kind of an outsider
to the world that I was in
once I got to high school for sure
because all of those kids were incredibly wealthy.
You know, Corvettes and Mustangs when they turned 16.
It was a prep school and I was doing the,
they had like a work study program there
where you could stay after school from 2.30 to five
every day to kind of like work to pay for your tuition.
So I’d been working like throughout all of high school.
I got another job at McDonald’s when I was 18,
worked at the casino.
Like I’d always been doing that kind of work.
I never really viewed it as like beneath me or anything.
It’s not like I don’t have like a family of doctors
or lawyers or anything.
And then me and my other friend, Chris guy,
we’d always make fun of everybody else
for being kind of like, you know,
like preppy kids and everything, so.
So there’s some pride to that sort of hard work.
Yeah, I guess a little bit, yeah.
Because, you know, looking especially at my dad,
like the solution to every problem
was just throw more hours of work at it basically.
So that was always my, yeah, go-to and I never, yeah.
What was psychologically the low point?
I think psychologically the low point was that
as I’m doing this carpet cleaning job,
driving around my city, there’s like this feeling of,
I guess for a lot of people it’s probably college,
but there’s a feeling when you’re in high school
that everything is like so exciting
and the whole world is kind of in front of you
and there are a trillion, trillion
different branching paths of possibilities.
And, you know, even through high school,
you’re thinking like, am I gonna be a doctor or a lawyer
or can I join the MBA or can I do this or that?
There’s all these things in front of you.
And when I especially felt it
when I was doing these carpet cleaning jobs
and I think it was in the fall,
I’d be outside some of these houses
and I just kind of look around
and I’d recognize a lot of these neighborhoods
that I’d drive around with friends in
or I’d, you know, be walking through.
I ran cross country, some of them,
I’d be running through these neighborhoods
and it was just kind of like this feeling of looking around
and it was like, when I was here in the past,
this was like kind of like a transitionary phase of my life
where I’m doing this and it’s so fun and exciting
and then I’m gonna move on to something else
and it’s gonna be fun and exciting and awesome.
And then like, you know, two years later,
my whole life has collapsed.
Like I’m in a house that I can’t afford anymore.
My ex that I hate is pregnant with my kid
and I have no money, I’ve got no upward mobility,
I failed college, my job is horrible.
Like just every single, like this is like,
all of those, the way function had collapsed into one thing
and that one thing was the worst thing
that could have possibly been at the time for me.
Yeah, like everything was gone and horrible.
So yeah, that was the feeling I had at the time.
Do you ever contemplate suicide?
I thought about thinking about it,
but I’ve just never been that kind of person, so.
I mean, basically as a way to escape from the hardship.
Something that I’m so incredibly lucky,
I don’t know why or how,
I’m just gonna chalk it up to biology.
I’ve always had really high mental baseline.
I’ve like depression and all of that.
There’ve been a few short stints I’ve dealt with at past 30
because I did a lot of drugs.
But other than that, my mental baseline is just so high.
And even in the carpet cleaning days,
like if you, man, the videos might still be there.
I think on my old YouTube channel
where I’ll be like playing StarCraft
when I first started getting into streaming
and I’ll be calling up customers like,
this is Steve from Guaranteed Clean,
we had to move your job back one hour,
is it okay if I show up instead of 2.30?
And then I hang up, it’s like, all right guys,
we got three more games and it’s like, let’s go.
Like stuff like that.
So my baseline has always been like really high
for mental function.
Even in the low point that you had strength,
is there anything you can give by way of advice
from people for whom the wave function collapses
as it does for many of us?
Like, holy fuck, the world is not full of opportunity
and you’re kind of a failure.
Like I’ve been there.
Yeah, I don’t know.
It’s rough because like I usually ask for compassion
from people that have it better off.
Because like once you’re down there,
like the only reason, I say I got lucky,
but it wasn’t even really lucky.
Or it was lucky, but it was more lucky.
It wasn’t just lucky that I got into streaming.
It was lucky that I was into computers at an early age.
It was lucky that I played video games at an early age.
It was lucky that all the tech came up
at exactly that right point in time.
Like I was a pretty smart guy,
but it was definitely preparation meets opportunity.
And that opportunity was like
at the exact precise moment of my life.
If anything had gone differently,
then I would just be cleaning carpets today, so.
So in the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
This is like one out of like.
There’s many, many Stevens
that are just still carpet cleaning
and they’re full of pain and resentment.
The one piece of advice that I give,
and I hate that I have to push back
against all these crypto bros and everybody online.
For decently intelligent people that are successful,
I’ve never heard anybody give a contradiction to this.
Maybe you will.
You can tell me if you disagree.
I always look at kids in high school
and I’m like, just try a little bit harder.
Like 30 minutes a night, if you don’t study,
just do 30 minutes, just do a little bit more.
You’re laying the foundation for the rest of your life
and you can’t appreciate it in high school and college.
But oh my God, when you get out,
everything in your life is so much easier.
You have probably more responsibility
over the direction of your life
when you’re like 13, 14 years old
than you ever will once you’re like 25 and older.
Because this is like when you’re determining
the foundations that everything’s gonna be built on.
First of all, it does seem that
the liberating aspect of being young
is like anything you learn.
So working hard at learning something will pay off.
In like nonlinear ways, like you said with video games.
I feel like, so like people who are like, I hate school.
All right, well, fine.
But find something where you’re challenging yourself,
you’re growing, you’re learning, you’re learning a skill,
you’re learning about a thing.
Of course, you could push back and say,
well, there’s some trajectories that might not be productive
like if you spend the entirety of your teen years
playing, I don’t know, League of Legends game,
you have a love and hate relationship with.
No, just a hate and hate relationship.
Okay, well, we’ll talk about,
I think you have a love-hate relationship
with hate in general.
We’ll just, in love.
We’ll try to decomplexify that one.
I think in general, just investing yourself
fully with passion really does pay off.
But that said, also school,
I feel like doesn’t get enough credit.
Like high school in particular,
middle school and high school,
because it’s general education.
I think if you’re,
especially if you’re lucky to have good teachers,
but honestly, I haven’t mostly.
The textbooks themselves with good teachers.
It’s a one chance in life
you have to really explore a subject.
Getting good grades is a tension, I would say,
with actual learning, that is true.
But just get a biology textbook
and to explore ideas in biology
and allowing yourself to be inspired by the beauty of it.
Yeah, I don’t know.
I think that really, really, really pays off
and you never get a chance to do that again.
And maybe not even textbooks,
like reading, straight up reading.
I think if you read, this is a one time in life
you get a chance to read, really read.
Like read a book a day, read.
You can really invest.
You can really grow by reading.
I mean, Elon Musk, all those guys talk about it.
It’s very, very rare that you meet
like a dumb person who reads a lot.
I don’t know if that’s ever happened in my life.
Dumb or not successful.
And the cool thing is it seems like the reading,
it’s like investment.
The reading you do early on in high school
pays off way more than the reading you do later.
So like the really influential reading
is during those high school years.
Because you’re basically learning from others
the mistakes they’ve made, the solutions to problems.
You’re basically learning the shortcuts to life.
Like whatever the hell you want to do.
Music, read from the best people that the music theory,
like learn music theory.
Learn, read biographies about jazz musicians,
See all the mistakes, see what they did,
see the shortcuts.
If you want to do podcasting, read about other podcasts.
If you want to do streaming, read about other streamers,
physicists and so on.
And I feel like you figure out all the mistakes
and you get to shortcut through life.
Because most people show up to college
without having done that.
And now you get a chance to shortcut your way past them.
But nobody really teaches you that.
They’re like, go to school from this time to that time.
Shut up, this is just what you do.
Eat your broccoli.
I think it’s like there’s two huge problems.
One is now that I’m older,
because you don’t know anything as a kid.
You can’t really criticize adults as a kid.
Because you’re a kid.
You’re ageist, if I may say so.
I am, I am super ageist.
And as I get older, I get even more ageist.
There are a lot of people where I argue with them.
I was like, man, dude, you’re really 22, aren’t you?
I can tell every word you say.
There’s seeps of like 22 year old-ness.
But that’s okay, I love that for you, yeah.
I could just say, because you mentioned this.
Your wife is a fellow streamer, Melina.
You mentioned that this is a source of fights
for the two of you that, and I could just feel that.
There is truth to what you’re saying,
which is like, all right,
you’re saying that because you’re 22.
Just wait until you’re 25,
and you won’t be saying that anymore.
Now, that is the most annoying thing for people to hear.
Yeah, you can’t ever say that, of course.
Because it’s actually usually true.
Because we do go through phases in life.
And you can understand that most things are phases.
So just in general, you can say, just wait.
You won’t see this, you won’t feel this way.
Again, I could say that to you,
you could say that to yourself, just wait.
Whatever you’re feeling like, just wait.
In five, 10 years, you’ll be a different person,
and you will laugh at the things you take seriously now,
that are causing you pain now, all that kind of stuff.
But people hate hearing that.
I think the joke that I always say is like,
if I could literally step into a time machine,
and I could come back out and see myself as a 17 year old,
and I could say, hey, I am literally you from the future.
You see the time machine.
And I would look at me, and I would see the time machine.
And I would give myself the best advice in the world,
to be the most successful person.
I would ignore all of it.
Even knowing it came from myself,
I’d be like, this guy sold out.
This dude doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about.
Like, nah, I’ll figure it out better.
Like, he must’ve made some,
that’s what I would think as a 17.
Even if I knew it was myself from the future,
I would just 100% never believe it.
And knowing that is very frustrating.
But I keep that in mind when I deal with younger people.
That’s why like, I never,
I always say on stream when I’m talking to,
like there’s been stuff with like Sneako,
there’s another girl on my stream called Lab.
Like when I see the way the,
I see the mistakes they’re making.
Oftentimes, because I’ve made all of these mistakes,
sometimes in the most public and horrible fashion ever.
But I’m never like a mentor.
I’m not gonna sit there and like tell you like,
oh, do this or that or that or that.
Cause like, I don’t know if you’re gonna listen to me.
And I don’t want to condescend to you.
And you know, you figure stuff out
and I’ll be here if you want to talk about it, but yeah.
There was a, one of the stories,
there was a company that didn’t work with me
because I was very adamant on defending
like very radical notions about language
and racial slurs and everything.
When I was like 22 or whatever.
And there was a company and they said,
well, we don’t want to work with this guy for an event.
And after they’d said that,
I had written an article on my website
called the company was Gigabyte.
They make motherboards.
I said, fuck Gigabyte in the ass.
That was the title to my article.
And it was like, well, if they don’t want to work with me,
I’m going to blow them up
and never do anything ever with them again.
And it was just like, like looking back at it now,
obviously as a, as an older person, like,
hey, you need to pump the brakes and chill.
You’re destroying yourself.
But yeah, as a young person, it’s like, yeah, you’re 22.
Of course you think that you can say whatever
and do whatever.
As long as you’re good at what you’re doing,
you’ve got the whole world behind you.
And yeah, geez.
Well, let’s go there.
You have a history of using offensive language,
like the R word, the N word,
including the N word with a hard R,
calling women bitches,
talking about rape in a nonchalant way.
What part of that do you regret?
And what part of that do you not?
Language is very complicated.
When it comes to stuff relating to slurs,
there’s been like a whole trajectory of feelings
on everything related to language.
For you personally and for the internet as a whole.
Yeah, I don’t care about the internet.
Almost for me personally.
In my early twenties, I’ll say like 22, 23,
I think probably when I first started streaming,
my feeling is that any word is just a word.
And if it hurts you, that’s your fault.
Take responsibility for yourself.
This probably came from my background
of being like a really independent person.
So that’s just kind of like the mind
that I had for everything.
And there were basically,
there were like a collection of experiences that I had
that as I grew, I started to realize like, okay,
well, I feel differently about some of these words
depending on the context.
And I can see how they can affect other people
depending on the context.
So as I’ve kind of like grown,
I think I’ve developed a more sophisticated understanding
of how different words are used
and how they affect people, whether they like it or not.
And more importantly, whether I like it or not.
And that words can, even if I don’t want it to be,
they can be a vehicle for emboldening
certain types of ideas that I don’t want to embolden.
And yeah, that’s kind of been the whole like growth.
I’ve been lucky that in the time
that I came up on the internet,
I was able to learn these lessons
because if I was trying to learn those same lessons today,
I would have been completely destroyed
because I had insane views on language like 10 years ago.
We could talk about the past.
We could talk about the present.
Let’s talk about the past first.
So how do you deal with the fact
that there’s videos of you in the past
saying the N word, including the N word with a hard R?
And what’s the context?
Can you give me like, what would be the context usually?
When I lay out this defense,
it’s not because I wouldn’t have used the N word.
Generally, whenever I said the N word,
it was usually in an example of like,
this is something that like a racist person would say.
I don’t think I’ve ever, on the internet,
I don’t think I’ve ever called anybody
like the N word with a hard R.
Not because I wouldn’t have,
but just because it wasn’t in my vocabulary.
I played RTS, real-time strategy,
and we use the F slur for gay people.
That’s the one, and I use that one a ton.
And I’ve called people that a ton in the past.
So I should actually just, as a small tangent-
Yeah, go for it.
And this is what I’d like to explore with you.
There’s a ruthlessness to the language in the gaming world.
And there’s different communities.
They have different flavors of language-
Of hate speech, yeah.
Of hate speech, essentially.
And there’s also a humor to it,
which really bothers me in a dark way
that I haven’t been able to really think through,
because humor seems to be a kind of catalyst for hate.
It seems to normalize hate.
Like you say, basically, it’s like Louis C.K.
says a lot of edgy things,
but you take something Louis C.K. says
and do it in a non-funny way,
and do it over and over and over,
and keep increasing the hatefulness of it, the vitriol.
And somehow you find yourself like Alice in Wonderland
in a world full of hate, where there’s no good and evil.
It’s all the same.
In fact, the good is to be mocked,
and the evil is to be celebrated for the humor of it.
Basically not taking the ideas of evil seriously.
And I don’t know what it,
it reveals something about human nature that you can let go.
The moral relativism that can happen
when you do that kind of stuff.
At the same time, I’m a fan of dark humor when done well.
Anyway, for people who are not familiar,
I just wanted to mention that some of the worst hate speech
that ends in LOL happens in gaming communities.
And that’s where you come from in a certain part.
So a lot of people don’t remember this,
or don’t know this because they’re younger,
but way back in the day, in the late 90s,
early mid 2000s of the internet,
the way that online kind of like shit talk worked was,
you were just trying to ramp up
to the most insanely edgy, crazy stuff you could say
to like provoke a reaction.
Have you ever heard of something called the aristocrats?
That it’s like a joke, the joke?
Oh yeah, the joke, yeah, there’s a movie on it, yeah.
Okay, basically every single like shit talk
back and forth on the internet was like that.
Like what is the most increasingly depraved,
and back then, you didn’t get banned for slurs
or anything on any of these chat rooms.
So it was just like insane world to walk into.
And I was fully 100% a part of, a product of,
and a contributor to that world.
So that probably still goes on on the internet in some way,
and that probably still goes on in the internet
in a maybe more pacified way.
Only in darker parts of the internet.
I’d say for the most part, most,
well, compared to back then, compared to 20 years ago,
the internet is way cleaned up now.
There are still gonna be boards you can go on,
or parts of the internet where you see that type of humor,
but not, nowhere near as mainstream.
Like back then, you could open your mic on Xbox Live
and hear some insane stuff when that first started.
Nowhere near what you’d hear today.
Although it’s, yeah.
There’s still elements of escalation that happen
that just seems to be part of human nature on the internet.
Because we don’t get the feedback
of actually hurting people directly.
So the trolling, like for the lulz,
you’ll do like whatever, like you will still escalate.
Within the bounds, you’re just saying
that there’s more bounds now.
On Reddit, there’s more bounds, and so on.
So there’s moderators that kind of yell at you,
that ban you, and so on, if you cross those bounds.
But overall, that basic human instinct to escalate,
especially under the veil of anonymity, is still there.
I don’t know, it’s dark, it’s dark.
Yeah, just, there’s a lot of different ways to look at it,
and there’s different ways you can break that arc.
Like for instance, like you mentioned dark humor,
and you say that like, sometimes dark humor is funny,
and sometimes it’s not.
I think that it’s really important to dig into
and figure out like why certain things are funny,
and why certain things.
Can I give you an example?
It’s from your subreddit.
No, that made me laugh, and I felt wrong about it.
So this is a…
I already know what this is, yeah.
So this is a trolley problem.
To me, it connects because I think about the,
it keeps, because I worked on autonomous vehicles,
the trolley problem, the philosophical thought experiment,
keeps brought up a lot.
When AI is part of making the decision,
do I kill three people here, or five people here,
and AI makes that decision, how do you do that calculus?
And this particular, there’s a deep,
so it’s satire that reveals some kind of flaw in society.
I feel like that’s what-
That’s what dark humor does?
Successful dark humor does.
And I don’t know if this-
It reveals a flaw.
I feel like there’s a certain brand of dark humor,
and I think the reason,
I think the reason is why it’s good,
or why it is good humor,
I think it’s because it,
I don’t think it necessarily reveals a flaw.
Sometimes I feel like it reveals a kind of virtue, I think.
If you look at this particular thing-
Can I explain what we’re-
Yeah, go for it.
Oh yeah, sure. We’re just listening.
The title of the Reddit post is,
you know what to pick.
And it says, five people are going to die either way,
but if you flip the lever,
the trolley will do a sick fucking loop first.
And also the top comment is a question saying,
which I think is also part of the dark humor
Can I get the gender and ethnic backgrounds
of the groups first?
And the top answer is,
both groups are each comprised
of five white, orphaned, cis male,
heavy meth users who are consistently
in and out of drug rehab,
all who identify as right-wing extremists.
It’s such a sophisticated thing that we engage in.
Humor is really complicated.
But I would argue that hopefully the humor here
shows the virtue of this is obviously horrible,
but that’s kind of why it’s funny.
It’s funny because it’s such a horrible question to ask.
Do we kill five people in a boring way
or in a really entertaining way?
And it’s like, that’s really-
And then when you ask even more,
what are the ethnic backgrounds?
That’s even worse to say that.
So I feel like that’s the type of-
There’s a way that you can engage with dark humor
where it’s like, oof.
It’s funny because it’s so wrong and so taboo.
And we all know that it’s wrong and taboo,
and that’s kind of where the shared laugh comes from.
So for me, the question,
asking the diversity question
is a sophisticated way of revealing the absurdity
of asking about diversity
when it’s talking about human life.
Because the way that I took that was,
I think it reveals the absurdity
of how people will weigh different ethnic backgrounds
so differently when it comes to value of human life.
Like, I’m actually thinking of that
in terms of an immigration-related question,
where people are really keen and quick to dehumanize
black or brown people.
So the question is like,
well, if five of them are brown and five are white,
well, I know which one I’m gonna pull the lever for.
That’s how I read that.
But it’s satirizing that aspect.
Yes, of course, yeah.
But that’s what I mean, that that’s the flaw.
To me, at least, it showed that humanity
or social networks that are easy to be outraged
and love the outrage and the chaos,
that Twitter and social networks will pull that lever.
Like, they would always try to maximize the fun.
And there’s a sick aspect to all the atrocities,
all the tragedies that happen in the world
that we kind of always lean towards
the outrageous narrative weaved around it.
Yeah, the one that leads to sort of the most clicks,
to the most attention, to the most outrage,
to all that kind of stuff.
So that’s almost like a satire of society.
When they are faced with tragedy, they will maximize.
I’m trying to think of a word that’s not fun, but-
Maximize the entertainment, yeah.
This is a big criticism I give,
especially to conservative crowds.
Left-leaning people, everybody does it.
I don’t like when people blame the media
for the state of the media today.
I very much believe that everything in society
is a feedback loop, and that if you’re really unhappy
with the state of the media,
I think that the media is a good reflection
for what people wanna see.
Because there is a room right now in the United States
where somebody could start a company
where all they do is completely factual reporting,
they don’t have a political slant,
and they’re not giving you these
sensationalist narratives or stories,
and that media company would fail in two weeks,
because people don’t wanna see that, generally.
People really wanna see the,
show me the guy that really believes in what I say,
that calls the other guy an idiot,
the guy that are screaming on TV or on the radio,
like, this is what I really want.
And people will engage in that,
and that feedback loop will continue for generations.
And then all of a sudden people are like,
why is the media so biased?
Why is the media driving so many narratives?
And it’s like, well, what do you mean?
This is exactly what you wanna see.
And that’s frustrating for me.
That’s one of my big, kind of,
when I defend establishments,
or when I talk about the interplay between citizen
and all these institutions we have,
that the institutions are very much a reflection
of the population, at least in democratic societies.
And I think that people very much try to elude
the personal responsibility
or the country’s responsibility
to why some of them look the way that they do.
But that takes us back to the N word with a hard R.
For the particular examples that I was given,
or for the particular conversations that I was having,
if you’re gonna have challenging conversations
around certain words,
I think you should probably be able to say them,
otherwise it feels really ridiculous to me.
That’s like my-
Do you still believe that?
And not like calling people those words,
but in having conversations about those words,
I would say that I still believe that, yeah.
But don’t you think, as you said,
that using those words
actually gives motivation and strength
to people who have hate in their hearts?
I think, depending on the context of what’s going on,
I think that that’s gonna be a big driver
in terms of how people are going to perceive or take it.
So, in a conversation about the N word,
I don’t think I would normally say the N word,
we would just talk about the word,
much the same way that, say, like in a movie,
like in Django, people use the N word.
Should that be censored in that movie,
or in the context of that movie,
is it being employed in a way
where these aren’t good people,
you’re not supposed to like them,
and that’s what the audience walks away with?
Yeah, but that context is different in the conversation.
It feels like in conversation,
you using that word normalizes it.
And normalizing that word is going to make it easier
for people who use that word in a hateful way to use it.
Same with the F word, the F slur.
If you use that casually and normalize it
in a way that’s not hateful,
you use it in a way that’s not hateful,
but the side effect is that it normalizes it,
then people who do use it in a hateful way
will be more likely to use it.
Therefore, mathematically looking at the equation
of the number of times the N word or the F word
is used throughout the world,
it increases the number of times it’s used in a hateful way.
Yeah, I think that human beings-
And you’re a part of that problem, Steven.
I don’t agree.
I understand the thought process,
but I don’t know if using certain words
within different contexts is going to necessarily normalize
the hateful use of that word.
That is an argument that I’ve heard people use.
Somebody will say like, okay, well, hold on.
That should never be used ever
because by virtue of you normalizing it,
even in an inoffensive environment,
you increase the proclivity for people to use it
in a potentially more offensive environment.
My argument is always that like,
no, I don’t think that crossover exists,
but if you did want to take that argument,
and maybe you do feel this way,
I think that you get really problematic
when you run into communities that do use certain words
that people would say, well, they should be allowed to do it.
So for instance, if you think that any utterance
of the N word at all is highly problematic
and might increase hatred,
then the entire rap industry has to dramatically change
the way that they engage with the N word.
And obviously a lot of people that criticize
people’s use of the N word aren’t gonna turn to rappers
and say, well, you guys can’t say it either.
No, it’s who, I mean, it’s who uses the N word,
that’s what, it’s not, so it’s not just the word,
it’s the, it is context dependent,
but I would say that you as a white person
having conversations, the context there
is the kind that would lead to an increase in hate.
Do you think the N word should be censored in the dictionary?
No, and I believe there’s a Wikipedia page on it
and it’s not censored.
Yeah, I don’t, I think it should be in the dictionary.
I think the context of casual conversation,
like I said, I just believe that on the internet,
having humor, having fun conversations as you have
on your streams, that leads to the normalization
of the word without any educational value,
without significant educational value.
Yeah, I would agree with that.
I think I would, I think I would agree with that.
No, sorry, so there’s a difference between F slur
and N word and both I think should not be used
in a fun way, but the F word was used in a fun way
for the longest time.
And I’ll tell you something that bothers me
about your streams, not your stream,
your streams and basically every other stream
is the casual use of the R word.
Oh, the ableism, yeah.
I don’t know if it’s about the able,
I don’t even know, listen, it’s complicated.
I’m not like virtue signaling here.
No, ableism isn’t virtue signaling.
I mean, it’s a legitimate, yeah.
Like I get emails from fans that say like,
hey, like I deal with this particular issue.
Every time you use this word,
it kind of feels like you’re attacking me.
Like just like, so it’s not, it’s a valid concept, yeah.
It’s just something cuts wrong for me.
Like for example, I’m not bothered by,
I am bothered by the excessive use of the word fuck.
In the same way that.
Moderate use of the word fuck.
What is it, I’m curious,
and when somebody calls somebody an R word,
what is it that, what is the feeling that you get
that makes you feel bad about it?
It signals to me that you don’t give a damn about
people who are struggling
in ways that you are not struggling.
Like that, that signals to me.
Like about the experience of others.
Do you think that there are other words also
that could convey like a similar feeling to you,
or why, because it feels like you’ve drawn
a pretty special circle around,
because like I imagine, oh, this guy’s,
you’re an uneducated dumb fuck,
or you’re a networker.
Like, those words probably don’t feel it.
That circle keeps changing.
Which it can, which is fine, it does.
I think that’s what the whole point with the culture.
So I’m trying to feel, my feeling is a kind of,
you know, I’m a human being that exists
in a social context that we’re all evolving
that language together and just feels wrong.
Like, you know, the word bitch, for example,
it really, like I’ve heard on your streams
and in general, calling a woman a stupid bitch
really bothers me.
But it’s not just the word bitch, it’s context.
Like, for example, me personally,
I’m speaking to me personally,
like badass bitch is different than stupid bitch.
Sure, like a bad bitch or something is different than,
yeah, of course.
I think it speaks to a bigger sense of civility
and respect for human beings that are not like you.
That’s what, that’s the feeling that I’m bothering.
So I guess what I’m trying to say here is,
just because people speak in this kind of way
in the gaming world and in streams,
doesn’t mean that you, like a lot of people look up to you.
It doesn’t mean, young people especially,
doesn’t mean that you don’t have the responsibility
to sort of stand alone from the crowd.
Because you’re somebody that values
the power of effective discourse.
And to be effective discourse,
there’s some level of civility.
So you can be the sort of the beacon of civility
in that world versus giving in to the derogatory words.
Because like, you have to lift people out of that world,
out of the muck of, what I would say is like drama
in effective discourse.
It’s like, I think that’s one of your missions, right?
Is like to inspire the world through conversation,
through debate, through effective discourse.
So I guess I’m just calling out that I think using our word,
for me personally, as a fan that believes in your mission,
it just makes you look ineffective and bad
and uninspiring to young people that look up to you.
Because those young people are going to use those words
that you’re using, and they’ll do it much less effectively.
That’s the problem.
Yeah, I guess the challenge is always just like
finding the line.
Like my vocabulary shifted dramatically from,
even from like two or three years ago,
I think my vocabulary shifted quite a bit
as we’ve kind of gotten rid of some words
and some things are kind of coming out.
The R word is one that has kind of gone out and come back
and gone out and come back.
That one we’ve definitely gone back and forth on.
I know there are different thoughts about it
in different communities on the internet.
This is interesting.
I mean, I’m just telling you, for me, it cuts,
and I’m not a social justice warrior type,
it cuts pretty hard.
What you’re saying is I’m going to lose a subscriber
if I’m, no, it’s not a subscriber.
I actually have to empathize harder
because I’m like, maybe this is not a very good person.
That’s what I feel.
Like if you’re so carelessly using that word,
then maybe you’re not actually thinking deeply
about the suffering in the world.
Like to be a student of human nature,
you really have to think about other humans
and other experiences that are unlike your own.
Yeah, of course.
And so that’s the sense I get.
But at the same time, you’re also like the grandpa,
I mean, ageist, who’s trying to be cool with the young kids.
A lot of the reason young kids look up to you
is like you also know the language of the internet.
Yeah, but I mean, that’s not an excuse
to use words that we think shouldn’t be used.
I guess the question that I would have,
because it’s always a struggle,
and to some extent it’s kind of happened,
is let’s say that like three years ago,
I would have said I’m no longer saying the R word.
I’m just going to get rid of that in my vocabulary.
Like is there a chance that today
we would be having a conversation about like,
why do you call people dumb fucks?
Like is that really appropriate?
Like does this attack at the core
of like somebody’s like level of intelligence,
education, opportunities in life, like, is that worthy?
You don’t think so?
I think that’s a, as the kids say, cope.
You really think so?
I think that’s-
Because the words have definitely moved in a way
where it’s like, this was okay, now it’s not,
this is okay, now it’s not.
So you’re standing your ground by using,
listen, you could, you could, you could.
But I think it’s better to use those words,
if you want to defend the ground words stand on,
to use them rarely and deliberately
versus how you currently use them,
which is to express an emotion.
Like you, I’m going to be honest,
you use R word, not when you’re at your best.
And so that’s not-
That’s generally, that can be true
for a lot of swearing too though.
But yeah, I know what you mean.
No, but like, you know that R word is offensive, you know?
And there’s part of it is like the,
you tell yourself that like,
you’re still kind of fighting political correctness
by using it a little bit when you say it.
No, I don’t think so.
I think, I’m trying to think in terms of like,
where is the virtue, where,
like there’s a whole bunch of arguments
for why some words are okay,
some words aren’t okay or whatever.
And I try to like think more along those lines rather than,
but like, there’s going to be like a lot of phrases
where like, if the R word has come out,
the conversation is over.
Like, I know that, like things,
my brain is shut down, the person I’m talking to is,
but there’s like, there’s a lot of words also
in terms of like, it like,
if you ever hear me say like fucking moron in a debate,
it’s like, it’s done.
Like this conversation is over.
There’s no way that anything productive
is happening past that point.
I think fucking moron is not,
I think it’s ineffective.
It’s not civil, but it’s not,
it doesn’t bother me in a way.
It’s basically when you speak in a way
that I know there’s a group that’s going to be hurt by that.
Not only do I think about the hurt that group experiences,
I think of you as a lesser intellectual,
like as a lesser person who’s thinking about the world.
What bothers me the most is just what kind of mindset
that inspires in young people,
or especially when you’re a public figure
and a lot of people look up to you.
So I definitely don’t think sort of this idea,
the R word is not the battleground
of expanding the Overton window of discourse, okay?
Like I don’t think it’ll lead to dumb fuck being canceled
two years later, unless that word
is hurting people’s experience,
which I don’t foresee that happening.
I think legitimately R word and F slur
and calling women bitches,
context matters here too, like of course,
but just the way I’ve heard you use it,
it is not, it’s from emotion and it’s from frustration
and it ultimately is rooted in disrespect.
I think it’s ineffective.
And of course, like who gets to say, I don’t know,
but I’m saying somebody who,
I admire effective conversations
and I admire great humor, dark humor, wit.
To me, oftentimes the use of the R word
in the way you’ve used it in the way I see the community
use it is none of those things.
It contributes not at all to the humor and so on.
Now I could see it might contribute
to the camaraderie of that particular group,
especially when they normalize the use of that word.
You kind of take some of the edge off,
but you forget that there’s a large number of other people
that don’t have the chemistry,
don’t hear the music of the friendship that you have,
the relationship you have.
And instead they hear the normalization of a hateful word
and it ultimately has an impact that’s hateful.
And then people like me who show up,
I haven’t watched much of your stuff.
It turns me off from,
a couple of times your content came before me
and I listened to it a little bit, it turned me off
completely, I didn’t understand how good your heart is.
I didn’t understand how your mission of actually
de-radicalize people, help people,
and increase the level of good faith discourse in the world.
I didn’t understand any of that,
because what I was hearing is pretty rough,
like the R-word type of stuff.
And I just feel like the benefit-cost analysis
is heavy on the cost.
So I just have to sort of call this out.
And I straight up think it’s wrong.
Why do you think it’s wrong?
Because it’s hurting people
without any benefit to you whatsoever.
When you say hurting people,
do you mean the person I’m using it at
or do you think there’s like the affected third group?
The third group.
It’s good feedback, right?
I always consider everything,
especially I respect you a lot, you’re a really smart guy.
Something that I always kind of like fight over
in terms of like language or like who to attack
or what to attack or what to do
is that it’s very hard to draw like what boxes
are okay to insult people on versus what aren’t.
So for instance, if I call somebody like a Nazi
with a lot of vitriol, I am okay with every single Nazi
being negatively affected by that,
because that category intrinsically calls upon it
some level of more condemnation for me, right?
Whereas like if I’m out there,
I try not to do like image related jokes, right?
I don’t want to call you like,
oh, you’re a fat fucking loser,
because there’s a lot of people that are fat
that are overweight where I don’t want them to feel bad.
I don’t want them, I’m not trying to call you out
or like insult you.
So there’s like a lot of, you say cost benefit.
I look at like a lot of collateral damage
from a word like that,
where there’s no purpose in doing that.
So certain words are easy to get rid of.
They’re off the table, right?
EPSILER, N-word, like these are not words you call people
because there’s so much collateral, it’s not worth it.
We’ve got some words where it’s like,
if you have some form of like mental thing,
it is a bad thing, you’re not a bad person,
but just using that word
could feel like a collateral damage to those people.
And then there’s other categories of words.
So like, if I say that like,
this person is like, it’s a stupid fucking Republican,
There’s probably some Republicans that aren’t dumb,
that I don’t want to feel called out by that.
Like, are those types of phrases that you think
should be completely removed as well?
Or I’m kind of curious.
This completely removed, just so we’re clear.
I’m not referring to censorship.
Oh no, I’m not even talking about this.
I’m just a person like emotionally like.
Removed is the wrong word though.
Like I care about like,
I’m not trying to listen to people on the internet
saying like, you shouldn’t say that word, that’s not good.
I mean, I’m trying to look to your mind and heart.
And the reason we’re talking today
is you’re betraying your gift.
You’re better than this.
You think it’s indicative of like,
a more flippant thought process
where it’s like, the only way you can say that word
is if you’re ignoring the hurt and suffering of those people.
And if you’re somebody that says-
Not even those people,
you’re ignoring the state of language.
Because I think you’re getting to the point,
because it’s not about a single word.
It’s about like, it’s music.
And I just feel like there is a-
Very strong note.
It’s a strong note that ruins the melody.
And I don’t think I can say,
you shouldn’t use the R-word or whatever.
I’m just speaking to,
I’m just listening to music and reviewing the final result.
It’s not necessarily,
because maybe one use of the R-word strategically
or part of an actual like,
or when you’ve built up a camaraderie
that’s sandwiched in like, some love,
but then you try to reveal their,
because you’re talking about a lot of,
there’s a bunch of drama.
You have friends with whom you’re worrying and stuff,
and they’re all a little bit beautifully insane.
And you’ve said that you are becoming more and more insane.
It’s beautiful to watch.
It’s the human condition laid before us.
And some of that is swearing and so on.
So it’s a tricky thing.
But the whole skill of discourse,
just like it is with dark humor,
is walking that line.
I just feel like it’s a overuse of the R-word.
And I don’t want to die in that ground,
because I don’t think it’s that representative.
Like, there’s certain things like that,
it feels like it ruins the music.
And I don’t, you know,
it’s the same like a dumb Republican or a dumb Democrat.
I don’t, yeah, that ruins it too a little bit.
Depends on how you use it.
You can be lazy with that.
You know, like even overuse of the word,
I think bots is what’s used for people
who don’t think or something.
I don’t actually know the definition.
I’m offended on behalf of robots.
That might be a compliment soon.
But I guess bot means you don’t think.
Yeah, you’re like an NPC.
You just copy and paste.
Again, I’m offended on behalf of NPCs.
I count myself as one.
But there’s a sense if you say bots too much,
that you’re just dismissing people.
Like everything I say is right.
And anyone that disagrees with me is a bot.
That’s lazy too.
Sometimes it’s funny.
Sometimes it’s effective.
Basically saying a lot of people in the mainstream media
or something like that are bots.
Okay, that’s, a little bit of that is effective.
But too much, it becomes ineffective.
And I’m trying to speak to that.
And I’m just, the reason we’re highlighting clear examples
like the N word, Joe Rogan had to contend with that.
I think it’s ineffective.
It makes you less effective at this course.
But like you’ve talked about many times,
language is a tricky one.
It’s always hard
because you talk about like constructing a melody.
There’s not one melody that sounds good to everyone.
But there are probably certain notes
that like if you got rid of them,
everybody’s still gonna like it about as much
and you don’t really lose anything.
There’s a whole other part of an audience
that might be more willing to listen, of course.
And it’s not about losing the magic of that melody.
Like you don’t wanna be vanilla.
I just feel like there’s stuff
that doesn’t need to be there.
Yeah, for sure.
But then again, you’re,
the other thing that people should understand
that might be listening to this,
you’re streaming many hours a day for many years.
I don’t know, it’s 11 or 12, I think, yeah.
Started in 2010.
And so one of the things that people can do
is just clip out anything.
You’re going through the full human experience of emotion,
anger, fear, frustration, all of it.
So of course, there’s going to be moments
when you’re not the best version of yourself.
Anything else to say about the language?
I’m still always trying to figure it out.
There are opinions that I have
that have changed throughout the years.
It’s possible that the R word has always been
the next one on the chopping block
that we’re all kind of looking at,
but people are always worried about that treadmill.
But it’s possible in a year or two,
I’ll have a different view on it
or I’ll have changed away some of the words I use.
Yeah, it’s definitely like a,
it’s always like a work in progress.
There’s always like different communities
that feel different ways about different words, yeah.
Yeah, but do you acknowledge that there’s people out there
that are never gonna talk to you?
They’re never gonna think of you as a good man
because you used the N word with a hard R publicly.
In the past?
I mean, yeah, those people exist,
but I mean, there are some people that are beyond my reach,
which I’m okay with.
Like there’s gonna be some people
because of things that have been involved,
or even ideas that I have now
that might make them beyond my reach.
Something you said earlier was very true.
I think the goal is to like identify
what are the elements that you can cut out
that aren’t integral to your message,
but could be alienating to more people.
And those are probably the things that you identify.
But I think that you can get lost in yourself,
or lost in the internet,
or lost in the outside of yourself
if you’re trying to appeal to every single person.
It’s just never gonna be the case.
And for, I actually, I like that I’ve had,
the journey that I’ve had on the internet,
that you can find me saying and defending
a lot of insane stuff 10 years ago,
because I think it shows like a level of progress.
And I think I do get a lot of respect
and buy-in to certain communities
where it’s like I’m not just some random dude
telling you that like,
oh, you shouldn’t say the F word or the N word.
Like I’m a guy that’s been there, that’s done it,
that’s defended it, and you can see my whole past,
my whole history is laid bare for you
to watch every thousands of hours of it.
But I can show that like there’s growth
and evolution and change that can happen in a person, so.
Yeah, and you’re honest about that growth.
It’s a tricky thing,
because people just call,
bring up stuff from your past, right?
I hope we figure out as a civilization
a mechanism to clearly say this was me two years ago,
this was me five years ago.
I’m a different person.
And like, because Twitter doesn’t care about that.
These social mechanisms that bring stuff up
doesn’t care about that.
It’s like one stupid thing you say,
it becomes like a scarlet letter.
And I don’t know how to fight that.
It’s tricky to fight that.
Have you ever seen Men in Black?
When KJ on the bench and he says a person is smart,
but people are stupid, dumb, finicky animals or whatever,
there’s something that changes for human dynamics
when there is a group of people
that make it so hard to control.
I think one-on-one, anybody can sit across from somebody
and admit to some horrible stuff.
I used to be, I abused my husband when I was 20,
and now I’m 35 and I see it’s wrong,
or I did this, I was addicted to whatever,
and I made these mistakes.
One-on-one, it’s always easy.
But in group environments, that in-group, out-group,
tribalistic thing of identifying one thing
and then coming to destroy a person’s life
is such a huge impulse we have.
And I think probably when we were hunter-gatherers
in the forest, it’s probably good,
because you really want to push weird people out
or anything like that.
But now on the internet,
when we can hunt for any dissenting opinion
and just with ruthless precision
destroy somebody’s life over it,
it’s a pretty scary dynamic.
I think one of the mechanisms that could fix it
is make it super easy for each individual person
to analyze all the stupid shit
they themselves have said in the past.
Like a full recording.
Because I think people are just honestly
paint a very rosy picture to their own brain
of who they have been in the past.
Yeah, of course.
If we can have empathy for the fact
that we’ve said stupid shit,
or we’re drunk, the ridiculous things you say,
the offensive things you might’ve said,
the offensive things you might’ve done,
I just feel like that would give us
the ammunition to have empathy for others
that are like, okay, yeah, this guy five years ago said this.
Maybe that doesn’t represent who they are
any more than stuff I said five years ago
represents who I am today.
I feel like technology can actually enable that.
Maybe, although you’re talking about more recording
and more stuff which people are already wary of.
It’s a double-edged sword.
I think there is going to be more and more recording.
We have to figure out how to do that
in the way that respects people’s privacy
and gives them ownership of their data and so on.
I’ve looked at the search history I’ve done on Google,
which for most people is available,
like your Google search history.
It’s fascinating to watch the evolution of a human being.
It doesn’t seem like the same person.
It’s like a different person.
It’s also hard, too, with the internet today.
I’m gonna be ageist again,
but now all of the people are thrown together,
whereas I don’t want a 27-year-old judging
the language of a 15 or 16-year-old.
Obviously, he’s in high school.
There is that story that came out of the,
there was a kid that saved a recording of,
I think it was some white girl.
I think that she got her driver’s license
and she’s like, I can drive now, N words,
with the A or whatever.
It was dumb.
She shouldn’t have said it,
but I think she was like 15 or 16
when she TikToked this or whatever,
and he held on to that recording
until she applied and got accepted to college
three years later, and then he released it
to get her kicked out of college,
and I’m like, damn.
Everything that I had ever said as like a 15, 16-year-old
was like immortalized on the internet.
My life wouldn’t have even begun,
and those are insanely high standards to hold people to.
Not that, like obviously you shouldn’t be saying those,
you shouldn’t be saying certain words or whatever,
but you have to be able to make mistakes in adolescence
like everybody does.
We all did.
Everybody did it growing up, you know?
Why do you think there is so much misogyny
in the streaming community,
and how can you fight it?
Because you’ve shown a lot of interest in fighting it,
trying to decrease or eliminate misogyny
from your community.
I think it’s really difficult.
I think that eliminating racism
is easier than eliminating misogyny,
because I don’t-
On the internet, you mean?
You mean anywhere, because I think fundamentally,
I don’t think there’s that much difference
between like white people and black people
and brown people and Asian people or whatever.
You know, we have different cultures and stuff,
but at the end of the day, we’re all people,
but I think there are differences between men and women,
like throughout all of history and time,
and then even today in every culture,
and when real differences do exist,
it’s harder to account for them in a way
that can we have conversations with each other
without it becoming very gendered in a negative way, right?
Negative way of gendering something
would be like a misogynistic way of doing it.
Of course, it’s unclear to me that it’s so difficult
to avoid the negative gendering versus the positive,
because there’s a lot of positive to the tension,
the dance between the different genders and so on.
Maybe in this particular moment in history, it’s not,
but it’s not trivial to me that racism
is easier to eliminate.
It’s an interesting hypothesis,
just because there’s more biological difference
between men and women.
That means it’s harder to eliminate, but-
I don’t know if this is true.
I hear this a lot.
I read this somewhere,
but I need to get a better source
before I repeat it everywhere.
I’ve heard that in the US military, for instance,
they’ve gotten exceedingly well,
they do an exceedingly good job
at getting different people of different races to integrate,
and it’s not a huge problem
once you’re through basic training,
all the training, everything.
But for different sexes,
it still represents a significant problem
that the military hasn’t figured out.
And I actually looked at like,
well, what’s the military doing?
Because if something was solvable,
like can we sleep for four hours a night and be healthy?
If we could, I bet the military would know.
So I kind of look sometimes at them
to see their integration,
it might be that there are other issues there
that make it kind of-
Yeah, it feels like the military
is a very particular kind of-
For sure, yeah, it could be.
The actual task at hand
might bias the difficulty of the process.
There’s been a lot of interesting talk
about like women integrating into male groups,
and how do you do this in a way
where everybody is happy with the outcome
and there’s not like issues.
I think Jordan Peterson spoke about this a little bit,
and then Workplace Culture speaks about this a bit.
Would you happen to remember,
I wanna say it was like five or 10 years ago,
there was a big tech conference,
and there were two guys behind a woman,
and they made a joke about like a USB dongle,
like dongle was a dick.
And this woman turned around,
she tweeted pictures of them,
spoke about like misogyny,
and then that blew up into a huge ordeal that like, yeah.
There was this interesting phenomenon
that in a less misogynistic
and more inclusive workplace environment,
some women might end up feeling worse,
because in a more misogynistic environment,
you’re thinking like, okay, that’s a woman,
she doesn’t get our humor,
I’m gonna treat her in a very indifferent,
very dispassionate, cold way, and whatever,
and then I’m gonna have my boys over here.
And then you’ve got like these environments
where they’re a little bit more warmer,
and it’s like, oh cool,
we’re gonna bring this woman into our environment,
and we’re gonna make all the same types
of like crass jokes we did before,
and it’s actually worse now.
Now the woman feels even more otherwise,
because like, oh my God, why do you talk like this?
I think that internet communities,
especially online ones that do like political debate
and video games, are very much like big boys clubs.
So it’s not enough to just say,
you can’t be misogynistic to get rid of misogyny,
there’s always gonna be an othering effect on women.
There’s a lot of like behaviors that are unintuitive
that you have to account for,
and you’ve gotta try to like push that back.
And that’s just a very, very, very challenging thing to do.
So I like to deal with concrete examples more.
So here’s a concrete example.
And this is like a recent initiative in my community,
because I’m trying to like be,
because misogyny hasn’t been fixed
anywhere on the internet, and I’m curious,
well, there are ways that I can push my community to do this.
I don’t think you should almost ever make a comment
on a woman’s appearance, ever,
if they’re appearing in like some political
or professional manner.
Even if it’s a positive comment,
I think it’s equally bad to a negative comment.
It’s just never good to do.
And that’s kind of an unintuitive thing,
because it’s like, well, a woman appears,
wow, she’s really cute.
It seems like a nice comment, you’re being nice,
you know, she looks cute or whatever,
but it’s like, that’s not at all the point
of why she’s there.
And just by saying that, you’re kind of like
otherizing her as like a person to like,
think she looks good, rather than listening
to anything she has to say, you know?
Well, there’s a lot of stuff that you’re saying,
and that is a part of misogyny,
and it’s almost like obvious,
like any woman will tell you that.
Woman will, yeah, but they’re not in these spaces,
and a lot of the guys don’t know, yeah.
But I think what that requires is just empathy.
You don’t need, you need to consider the female experience.
That’s it, like you have to either read about
or talk with women.
You learn, like the low-hanging fruit
is very easy to learn.
It feels like just the level of social skill,
oftentimes, in internet communities is quite low.
I disagree, I don’t like to say,
here’s the problem with empathy,
is it’s very hard to have empathy for experiences
that are so outside of your own.
Well, maybe some people, there might be some people
that can do it, I can’t.
There’s a lot of stuff that I had to learn.
Women are half the population.
But they’re women, they’re totally different.
So here, we talk about, yeah, yeah, here’s a,
they’re not totally different.
So here’s an example, okay?
So, especially for me, my archetype makes up
a lot of the internet, white man.
There’s never been a point.
The name of a beautiful woman.
Who might be a dancer.
What’s the backstory, from New Orleans, or from?
I haven’t thought that through yet.
Yeah, it’s ambiguous, okay?
Like an open world.
An open world, I want you to project wherever you want
Destiny the Dancer to be from, that’s in your mind, okay?
All right, I’ll save that for later tonight.
As a white guy, I don’t know if there’s ever been a spot
that I’ve been in, where I’ve been made to feel like
I don’t belong there, just by virtue of who I am.
I don’t, I actually don’t, it’s impossible for me
to empathize with that,
because I don’t even have that experience.
If you go back eight, nine years,
one of the big issues that came up
was harassment in gaming against women.
And I was one of the big debaters against that,
saying that like, sure, women might get harassment,
but everybody gets harassment.
If you’re a woman, and you’re in gaming,
and you get harassed, congratulations,
you’re being treated like a man.
What you’re actually asking for
is for us to actually treat you differently.
You don’t want to be insulted.
You don’t want to be treated like a man.
And that’s actually misogyny, is women making that argument.
Do you still stand by that?
Is that a problem if I do?
No, I’m just kidding.
Okay, almost, hold on.
So a little while after.
I disagree with it.
Sure, okay, that’s good, you should.
A little while later, I had a friend, Jessica,
super cool girl, we go to play games.
She’s between jobs, and she’s like,
I’ve got like two months, and we’re gonna grind CSGO.
And I’m like, okay, this is awesome, let’s do it.
CSGO, Counter-Strike, Global Offensive,
shooter game, FPS, microphones.
First day, we start playing, okay?
Hop into our first game.
Obviously, she talks, everybody’s making,
is that a 12-year-old boy?
Why aren’t you making sandwiches?
Blah, blah, blah, yeah, okay, whatever.
Play our first game.
Play our second game, same jokes.
Third game, fourth game.
By like the fourth or fifth game,
I was actually starting to feel triggered.
Like every time the game started, I was like,
can you just like talk so we can get over
like the stupid fucking jokes?
It was so fucking stupid.
And you hear the same fucking joke every single time.
And it took one day of that experience
for me to realize it’s not about being insulted,
it’s like this othering feeling that you don’t belong.
And I’ve never felt that, because I’m a white guy.
Not to be like virtue signaling,
but like there’s just, there’s no places
where it’s like, you’re white, you don’t belong here.
You’re a guy, you don’t belong here.
Like I’ve never felt that non-inclusion.
And playing with her, there’s a different feeling
when it’s the same types of jokes
coming from a group of people
to make you feel like you don’t belong there,
where I was like, damn, this actually feels really bad.
And it feels bad in a different way,
where it’s like, if you call me like an F slur
or any other type of swear word or insult,
like, yeah, you can call me that.
But at the end of the day, like,
we’re all kind of the same.
We’re all white dudes and we call each other names.
But like, this is a woman and this is not her place
and she doesn’t belong here.
Kind of the analogy that I would make,
because after getting these experiences,
I would learn this afterwards.
If I tell you that there’s another guy in a room
and you need to think of the worst insults
ever for that person,
without ever knowing anything about them or meeting them,
if I tell you that it’s like a white straight guy
and you have to write insults, you’re fucked.
Maybe you can do like school shooter,
but there’s not really much you can say
at the end of the day.
But if I tell you it’s a woman,
we could, there are so many different jokes you can write.
If it’s a black person,
so many different racist things we can say.
Are you sure?
I can come up with a lot of stuff for a white guy.
In terms of stuff that is just intrinsic
to him being a white guy?
Yeah, like there’s-
Wait a minute, what are you talking about?
There’s a lot, the internet has sharpened that sword.
In terms of like jokes that are targeted at his sex?
Incel, virgin, weak.
Some of the incel, virgin, maybe,
yeah, that’s getting there, sure.
That’s for sure.
That’s recent though, sorry, I’m older on the internet.
We didn’t have those words way back then.
When I was making these analogies,
that incel and virgin-
Back in my day, we didn’t have gender prioritization.
There were no incels back then.
None of us had sex, we just accepted it.
We were all computer gamers.
Nobody had sex to play video games back then, okay?
People don’t remember that.
It wasn’t the Big Bang Theory.
You were just a loser that was stuck in-
You guys didn’t even know sex existed
so you could use it as an incel.
We had to download sexual pictures
and it took two minutes and you didn’t even know
if you were gonna get the right thing
by the time it finished loading.
But what I’m saying is like, okay,
I think you agree that if somebody gives you a race,
like a black person who’s a woman,
we can write very cutting, scathing insults for that person
that are very otherizing.
Or words that would really hurt if they were spoken to.
Yeah, that are very cutting to the person.
But for a white guy, it’s kind of hard
because that’s the default.
It’s not as much otherizing of those people.
Yeah, that’s kind of the-
So the insults you have from white guy to white guy,
the insults are much harsher.
So when you start to apply the same kind of harshness
to other groups-
You can make them feel like they really don’t belong.
And that otherizing effect is something
that’s very hard for me.
I can’t really empathize with it because I’ve never felt it.
So I have to intellectualize it and then sympathize with it.
It’s like a whole process I have to go through.
And then I try to walk other people through that
because if you’re a white guy on the internet,
which is a lot of the internet,
you really don’t know what that feels like.
You’ve never felt like that before.
So you’re now in a leadership position, grandpa destiny.
So that’s, a lot of people look up to you for that,
for that sort of pathway to empathy.
How not to otherize.
I mean, you have felt otherizing.
You mentioned the high school people not being-
Yeah, but those were always for things that,
it’s different to insult somebody
for a non-immutable characteristic.
Like, okay, you think poorly about me
because I’m not enough money or I don’t have money,
but I could get more money and I could change that.
But it’s different for somebody to really attack you
for, like, your gender or attack you for, like, your race.
A lot of the attacks that hit the hardest
is not about gender.
I do think that they’re, like,
the way women are attacked on the internet,
it’s the same kind of attacks you would do
towards other guys, but you’d go harsher.
I feel like they’re fundamentally different.
I feel like when we’re attacking guys,
I’m not usually attacking you
on, like, the virtue of you being a guy.
But, like, if it’s a woman and she’s typing something,
like, oh, did your boyfriend type that for you?
Or, like, what are you even doing here?
Like, shouldn’t you be trying to find a husband?
Or, like, oh, you’re, like, a stupid cunt.
Like, go start an OnlyFans or whatever.
No, but the stupidity, the intelligence aspect
is what’s attacked.
Yeah, but it’s so much different.
Like, you can call a guy stupid,
but that’s because he’s a guy that’s being stupid.
But when you call a woman stupid,
she’s stupid because she’s a woman.
Yeah, but I honestly think that women are called stupid
more than men on the internet.
It’s nothing to do, like, the attack is not gendered.
It’s the gender inspires an increased level of attack.
I feel like it is gendered.
I wish we had data on this.
Have you ever heard of the XKCD comics?
It’s a really good comic where,
and this is something that I’ve dealt with
a lot in my community, okay?
There’s a guy at a board, and he fucks up a math equation,
and it’s like, wow, you suck at math.
And then the next panelist, there’s a girl that does it,
and she fucks it up, and it’s like,
wow, women suck at math.
And there’s that feeling that happens where,
when I bring on, I won’t use names,
but there are YouTube people that I’ve brought on
that have crazy opinions.
And when they’re men, that person is crazy.
Oh my God, he said the crazy stuff.
He’s so dumb, he’s so crazy, he’s so stupid.
But when it’s a woman, it’s like, oh my God,
why do you always bring dumb women here?
Why do so many women on the internet have crazy opinions?
There’s a different minority character
that has to stand and represent their whole group
where white men don’t typically have to.
Speaking of groups versus individuals, yes.
But then what I feel happens is then another person
from that group comes, another woman comes,
and people, before she says anything,
will already feel like they’re ready with that attack.
But they’re ready for the attack because she’s a woman.
They’re gonna call her, she’s stupid because she’s a woman,
not because she says something,
but just because she’s a woman.
So the group in their brain accumulates
all the negative characteristics
of the individuals they’ve met.
Not the positive, the negative.
And it becomes like this ball of stickiness,
and then that becomes the bias for their judgment
of a new person that comes.
With white men, there’s more of a blank slate
in terms of bias of how they analyze the person.
With any of the minority group,
they basically make a judgment
based on the negative characteristics
of the individuals they’ve met in the past.
That leads to a system where you’re just harsher
towards minority groups and towards women.
How do you solve that?
The most important thing for any problem ever
is step one is to be aware of it.
If you’re not aware of it,
then you’re hopelessly lost at sea.
But yeah, the first thing I like to say
is just be aware of it.
There’s a girl that I’ve had on recently,
and she says a lot of, in my opinion, kind of crazy things,
but people will use her as like,
this is why women shouldn’t be here.
This is like, she’s crazy and she’s a woman,
and blah, blah, blah.
But I can bring on a guy who says similarly dumb things,
and he’s evaluated on his own merits,
because it’s a guy.
There’s never, ever, ever been a case
where I brought a stupid guy on stream,
and everybody’s been like, this guy makes me hate men.
This guy makes me hate white people.
That has never happened.
But then there’s other women that come on,
and it’s like, now I know why incels exist,
or I totally understand where
red pill ideology comes from.
And even if the statements are kind of true,
when you’re making these observations
over and over and over and over again,
it damages your ability to individually perceive somebody.
And then two people that make the same statements,
one can be perceived more harshly
just because of that group bias you’ve got built up.
I think there’s something about streaming
that just brings that out of people,
because you have to talk for seven hours,
so you’re like, all right,
well, whatever psychological issues and complexities I have,
I’m going to explore them.
They’re gonna be magnified.
Magnified, and then it’s, as you talked about,
the mimetic theories, or Girardian,
like whatever, the things that are very similar,
and you’re going to magnify the conflicts that you have,
and you’re going to explore all the different perspectives
on those different conflicts.
And I mean, I don’t know if it’s just anecdotal,
but it’s nice to have women on stream.
I think the dynamic that you guys have is wonderful.
It’s really interesting.
So it’s just the female voice in general.
I love having women on the podcast.
The female voice, I feel like,
is under-heard on the internet.
And I would love the internet to be a place
where women feel safe to speak.
All right, given that you’re,
like we talked about a progressive
with non-standard progressive views,
so you’re very pro-free speech, pro-capitalism.
So given that, it’s very interesting
that you’re also pro-establishment and pro-institutions.
So right now, if you look at the world,
there’s a significant distrust of institutions,
at least in sort of public intellectual discourse.
What is the nature of your support
for government and institutions?
Can you make the case for and against them?
Broadly speaking, there is a synergistic effect
when two humans come together.
If I can speak very broadly in terms of,
we’ll say utility, okay?
My happiness with one person might be 10.
The happiness with another person might be 10.
When they come together,
it’s like 50 between the two of them.
There’s like this synergistic effect
when humans work together
that the sum is greater
than all the individual parts or whatever.
There’s like an emergent thing that happens there.
There’s a capacity, there’s a possibility of that.
Yeah, a possibility, sure.
Things could go really wrong.
There could be a cannibalistic tribe
that all eats each other, sure.
But for the purpose of this-
There’s other failure modes, but yes.
Okay, sure, yeah.
But I think broadly speaking,
are you gonna be the well-actually guy?
Okay, if you wanna well, okay.
Well, actually, sometimes-
Sometimes cannibalism is actually good for both.
True, yeah, sometimes things do go wrong.
But I think broadly speaking,
the fact that you’re sitting here
in clothing that you didn’t make,
and I’m sitting here on an airplane
that I don’t know how to fly or build,
there’s a lot of cool stuff that happens
when people come together and they make civilizations.
And part of that civilization building
is the fact that we can specialize,
and it’s the fact that we can offload
a bunch of trust onto third parties
that we delegate the power
to make important decisions about our lives.
I don’t know anything about how to build
like a combustion engine,
but I know that when I push the button on my car,
it’s gonna drive around,
and the fumes aren’t gonna kill me,
and I can park it in garages,
and the building’s not gonna collapse.
And the only reason all of this works
is because I’ve offloaded a lot of trust
onto these third-party things.
And I would say that the pillars
of these third-party things that society is built on
are, roughly speaking, institutions.
So that might be the institution
of peer review for scientific articles.
It might be the institution of voting for government,
or the ability for us to vote in that whole process.
It might, yeah, the FDA,
all of these institutions are things
that they need to exist
because we don’t have the time
or the capability to individually sort
through all of these things individually.
We have to rely on some third-party to do it.
Okay, so you believe at scale,
when we’re together,
we’re greater than the sum of our parts.
That’s the case for institutions.
What about the inefficiencies of bureaucracy?
Is there some aspect when, at scale,
different dynamics come into play
than they do when there’s two people together,
two people that love each other,
the birds and the bees,
is there some aspect that leads more
to cannibalism at scale?
So like corruption, inefficiencies
that are due to bureaucracy and so on.
Bureaucracy, which is not,
I hate it when people try to say bureaucracy is government
because bureaucracy exists a ton
in private environments as well, right,
in businesses and everything.
Bureaucracy introduces its own set of problems,
but I mean, a bureaucracy is necessary
because it’s coordinating all of the underlying things
in order to create something that’s greater
than the sum of its parts, right?
Like all of the software developers in the world
are useless without being paired with good designers
in order to make their products usable by a person.
And the coordination of those people
and the coordination of increasingly more and more things
necessitate some level of bureaucracy.
I think we always say bureaucracy when it’s like a bad,
it’s like a slur almost,
like you’re a bureaucrat, you’re bureaucratic.
The bureaucracy is slowing everything down.
It’s like, sure, the bureaucracy slows things down,
but bureaucracy also gives us things like safe medicine
and safe water to drink for most of the US
or safe buildings to live in or safe cars to drive, so.
So the managers in institution
versus like the software developers and the designers,
the managers is the bureaucracy.
The reason bureaucracy is used as a slur
is that something about human nature
leads to bureaucracy often growing indefinitely.
And becoming less and less efficient without,
I mean, this is where capitalism can come in,
that capitalism puts a pressure on the bureaucracy
not to grow too much
because you want the bureaucracy to be useful,
but not large.
Yeah, to be a certain size, yeah, of course.
To be the minimum size to get the job done.
And so capitalism provides that mechanism.
Government does not always.
And so that’s the criticism of government,
of institutions where it can grow
without a significant mechanism that says
there’s a cost to bureaucracy
that’s not being accounted for here.
We’re just paying for the increasing size of government
without the benefit.
Yeah, government is a special institution
because it doesn’t have to show itself
to be financially viable.
And we kind of live in a capitalist economy
where that’s generally the case.
So government gets its powers from votes from the people,
which introduces a whole new set of possible positives
and possible negatives, right?
Having something, for instance,
that gives food or shelter to homeless people,
maybe you don’t want that to have to run at a profit.
But giving an organization that can self-justify
its budgets perpetually and indefinitely growing,
maybe that’s not the best thing.
Yeah, we always have to figure out
how to do the constraints there.
What about the corrupting nature of power?
That comes with institutions as well.
So then you better pick your style of institution
I think that the democratic institution
we have in the United States today,
I think works very well.
But I mean, there are other styles of government
that have been tried in the past
that I think lend themselves more to corruption.
Not to say that, by the way,
there’s not corruption in the United States.
Of course, there’s gonna be varying levels of corruption
at all levels.
But you ran into this interesting problem
where authoritarian regimes can act
with ruthless precision and swiftness
because they don’t have to ask any questions.
They just do, do, do, do, do, and that’s it.
But the problem is it’s an authoritarian regime.
They’re prone to missteps.
They’re slow to respond to changing or evolving needs.
There was an interesting study that was put out a while ago
that showed that every single famine
that happened around the world,
almost 98% of them happened under authoritarian regimes
where freedom of speech is very limited.
It’s very rare for a famine to happen under a democracy
because press and everything makes the government
more responsive to the needs of the people.
Power can corrupt.
There are levels of corruption,
but you have to have a system of checks and balances
on all of those different levels
to make sure it doesn’t run off the rails, I guess,
and do a sick loop-de-loop
and half the population gets.
There’s a lot of people that will listen to you say
that the democracy in the United States
is working pretty damn well
and they will spit out the drink
if they’re drinking a drink and be very upset.
Can you make the case that they’re right and you’re wrong?
Can I make the case that-
Can you steel man?
They’re right, yeah.
Well, the steel man for them
is that people have a lot of problems on the day-to-day,
and when they look and they see what government is doing,
they might see potholes outside their house,
homeless people all over their downtown,
and the United States just approved
another X billion amount of dollars for Ukraine,
or they might be living in a city
where half the factories are shut down,
a lot of their people out of work,
but the president is on the TV
talking about how to find jobs
for immigrants coming in from Mexico,
and for these people,
they have problems that exist in their lives.
Some of them are paying taxes to alleviate these problems,
and then when they listen to the government talk,
it feels like the government is not responding
to the needs that they have,
and then that’s one problem.
Then on top of that,
you’ve got all of these people working in alternative media
that can show you,
well, look at this politician wasting this much money,
or look at him double speaking here or there.
Look at Hillary Clinton saying
she’s got a private position and a public position.
Look at how all of these politicians have family members
that are getting rich
because of their relationships with people in Congress.
Look at the revolving door
between capitalist companies and the government.
How can you look at all of that,
take into account that the government’s
not responding to your needs,
and then really feel like it’s a government
that’s for and by the people and for the people?
Yeah, this was a very good steel man and good question.
How can you?
How can you tell that they’re not just politicians
that care more about continuously winning the elections
versus running government effectively?
They should care about winning the elections.
That’s the first misconception.
A lot of people say,
this guy only cares about getting voted in.
This guy, he doesn’t even believe in fracking or abortion.
He just changes his opinion to get voted in.
Anytime somebody says that,
you should say, that’s really good.
You want them to change their opinion
so they get voted in.
That’s the whole point of a democracy.
You don’t want them to remain obstinate.
You don’t want them to say,
I’m not changing my opinion no matter what the people want.
You want them to evolve and adopt new opinions
based on what the population,
their constituents are voting for.
Yeah, but the cynical take is that they’re,
on the surface, they’re changing their opinion,
but that there’s a boys club,
where boys means the elite,
that under in the smoke-filled rooms in secret,
they’re actually have their own agenda
and they’re following that agenda
and they’re just saying anything publicly
to placate the public based on whatever the new trends are.
So here is-
The cynical take a pull-up.
Yeah, I understand.
Somebody asked me this question and it flipped,
I 180’d completely.
I was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016
and my single issue voting thing was lobbying.
I thought that lobbying, the government was corrupt,
they weren’t responding to the needs of people.
It completely destroyed my faith in government and everything
and I had one question posed to me by a conservative
that used to come on my stream and chat with me
and he said, and then he asked me,
can you think of any popular opinion
that the American public has
that the government is unresponsive to?
Is there some big piece of legislation or policy
or whatever that people want that the government isn’t doing?
They asked me that, I couldn’t think of a single good answer
and I’m like, oh, geez.
There’s a good answer.
Legalization or drug, hold on a second.
Yeah, go for it.
Oh, shoot, you’re doing the Joe Rogan thing.
You’re pushing back because I brought up weed.
I have become meme.
I don’t even, I don’t want to interrupt your poll
because there’s memes upon memes upon memes
I can go with here.
But no, because people bring up, okay, there’s no issues.
There’s no issues that the government
is not representing of the public.
So here’s the issue.
So somebody will bring up like,
well, what about the legalization of drugs, okay?
The first issue people have is one,
they look at national polling.
Very few things are decided on a national level.
So that’s the first huge mistake.
Arguably, a lot of BLM made mistakes in this arena
where they’re saying like,
why isn’t the government doing anything about policing?
Federal government can’t do anything about policing.
That’s going to be your,
sometimes it’s going to be your state government,
sometimes your local city government.
The people that like your chief of police,
your police commissioner,
that’s coming from your mayor, right?
So you’ve got people looking,
one, at the wrong parts of the government
to even figure out the solution to the problem.
Two, oftentimes for polling,
the questions are vague enough that you can pull very high.
So when you get into the weeds on things,
no pun intended,
you start to realize like,
oh shoot, this is more complicated than I thought.
I don’t know the numbers in particular
for legalization of marijuana,
but this is what I’m going to guess is the case.
If you poll and you say,
should we legalize marijuana?
That number might poll at like 65, 70%,
but that’s including people
that are in favor of medical marijuana.
If you were to poll like,
should we decriminalize recreational use of marijuana?
That number might drop to like 52%.
And then if you poll like,
should we completely legalize,
not just decriminalize,
but completely legalize recreational use of marijuana?
That number might drop to like 40%.
There’s like all these different ways
you can pull around issues where people are like,
oh no, we broadly agree on this topic.
But when you really figure out, well, do you?
Do we really agree?
Or is there just like broad consensus
around a thing that’s never going to show up
like in a piece of legislation?
A really good example,
one example I do know is socialized healthcare.
I think if you poll,
there was a time a few years ago
where if you poll America,
do you think every American citizen
should have access to like free healthcare?
I think that answer,
that poll like 74% yes.
But when you asked,
should the government be the sole provider of healthcare?
It dropped to like 26%,
dropped 50 points.
And you could see,
it was both asking questions about single payer,
but the way that it was asked was so different
that even if you all,
it looks like there’s consensus.
There’s not nearly as much consensus
as people think around certain ideas.
We can argue.
You’re right, you’re right, you’re right, you’re right.
That polls, the way you ask the polls really matters.
When you ask,
should the government be in charge of a thing?
That also biases the answer, right?
Because there’s such a negative experience
with government creating a dot gov site
that runs the thing.
But sometimes, sometimes.
I think if you dig in,
if you have a one hour conversation
with each individual citizen.
I think you will understand that yes,
there is support for socialized medicine.
Like it’s not.
The argument has to be made though, yeah.
What do you mean,
the argument has to be made?
If you just ask a conservative,
like what about single payer?
They’re gonna tell you no.
You might be able to build up to an argument for it,
but you’re gonna have to make the case for it.
No, but I thought we’re talking about
the feeling deep inside your mind and heart.
Does the government represent that?
So it’s not like some shallow surface layer public opinion.
Does the government effectively represent
what the people want?
Not a shallow survey, but a deeply what they want.
I’m not actually that familiar
with the debates over healthcare,
but let’s maybe look at an easier one.
Maybe you’ll say it’s harder.
War is a really good example
where the government was very responsive,
I think, to the people.
You think so.
So Iraq, Afghanistan,
the government didn’t manipulate public opinion.
There’s an argument to be made
that they did in terms of like WMD and everything,
but after 9-11,
were you in the United States after 9-11?
After 9-11, I legitimately.
That seems accusatory.
Where were you on 9-11?
Just checking, okay.
All right, cool.
I have evidence and witnesses.
No, okay, all right.
Well, I’m very defensive right now.
It’s very strange.
Look into it.
I think after 9-11,
we could have gone to war with any country in the world.
We were ready,
because all of America was like, oh my God,
and they pointed to Iraq,
and the reasons for the WMDs was kind of dumb,
but I don’t think we even needed WMDs to go to Iraq.
We could have just said,
Saddam Hussein was giving medical aid to Taliban,
Al-Qaeda, Iraq, let’s go,
and we would have gone for it,
Iraq was for a while popular,
and then became obviously deeply unpopular,
Iraq and Afghanistan,
and I think you could see that influence
other foreign policy that the United States had.
we opted more towards drone warfare
than troops on the ground for places like Yemen.
We opted more towards kind of like sending money and help
instead of boots on the ground for places like Syria,
and I think that a lot of that was kind of in response
to how unpopular the Iraq stuff had became,
and when you looked at a lot of elections afterwards,
even for Obama,
like one of the defining characteristics
of a lot of campaigns were like,
I’m gonna close Guantanamo Bay,
I’m gonna get us out of foreign wars,
even up to Trump,
I’m going into,
I’m not gonna stop doing all this weird stuff
in the Middle East.
But they didn’t still withdraw from Afghanistan.
They didn’t withdraw,
but they definitely like tapered off
and weren’t like as aggressively pushing
those types of conflicts,
because they knew it was unpopular.
But I think if you also consider perfect information
or good information,
if you ask a lot of people,
are you okay spending this amount of money
for this purpose,
so a military conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan,
I think almost from the very beginning,
they would say no.
I feel like-
Maybe like a few days after 9-11.
Like what was-
I remember Freedom Prize.
We were so mad at-
Well, there’s some memes and so on, yes,
but the nature of the public support for the war,
was there public support in 2003,
which is when the invasion happened?
I feel like initially there was a lot.
I remember seeing it on,
but then I also lived in a Republican household
and I was not very like media savvy at the time,
so my parents-
And I don’t know if the nature of that public support
had to do with WMDs or with 9-11,
because the weird-
It became about WMDs.
But I wonder what is the,
if you were to poll people and let’s say,
hypothetically, there was above 50% support for the war,
what would be the nature of that support?
And to what degree is the government
actually representing the will of the people
versus some complex mechanism
like the military-industrial complex
is manipulating the narrative
that’s controlling public opinion?
And then there’s the media that gets a lot of attention
by being divided and how they’re shaping the narrative
through the mechanism of division.
There’s a lot of complicated things out there.
It’s not just like the people and then the government,
and that’s, yeah, for sure,
I agree that there are gonna be different elements at play.
And how much of those elements that lead us astray
can be attributed to the largeness
of the different systems and the different institutions,
like the media institutions and government,
the institutions that have a monopoly on violence,
let’s put it this way,
which is one way to define government.
Sure, it’s complicated.
There’s definitely gonna be different institutions at play,
but I think that all I would say is,
in reference to my original point,
when there becomes broad consensus around a thing,
I think the government will usually follow.
It’s not gonna fight.
It’s gonna follow more often than not.
But I think that a lot of times,
I think Americans think that there’s more consensus
around certain issues than there actually are.
So a really good example, we’re on that war point too.
What caused the lowest dip in Biden’s approval rating?
I’m pretty sure it was right after
we pulled out of Afghanistan,
which I think if I would have asked people
a year before, like,
let’s assume that we could pull out of Afghanistan.
The government’s probably gonna collapse after we leave
because they just don’t have the will to fight.
They don’t have the support.
They don’t, whatever, it’s just not gonna work.
But like, no Americans are gonna die.
It might be a couple other people,
but like, no Americans are gonna die.
We’re gonna get out of Afghanistan.
Would you support that?
I think broadly speaking,
I think like more than 60 or 70% of Americans are like,
yeah, that would be fine.
But then when it actually plays out on TV,
when we see the people hanging onto the planes,
when we see like helicopter embassies,
some of the courts and politicians,
well, now it’s like, oh my God, this was horrible.
And it was so botched.
It could have gone so much better.
It’s like, well, could it have gone better?
Like, maybe, maybe not.
But I mean, it seems like you can have consensus
around a certain opinion,
but the way that things play out
and the way that people actually feel,
it’s actually way, way, way more complicated.
And there’s not usually this broad consensus opinion.
All right, yeah, go ahead.
I’d like to believe that.
I mean, just to lay my cards on the table,
I have faith in the power of effective government.
I just have a lot of concern about what happens
as institutions grow in size.
And I just have a lot of worry
about the natural corrupting influence
on the individuals and on the system as a whole,
like the boys club nature of it.
I don’t know, there must be a better term.
But basically they agree to the game
and they play the game
and there’s a generational aspect, momentum to the game.
And they more and more stop being responsive
to the people that they represent.
I just feel like there is that mechanism.
And I think the nice thing, democracy elections
are resistance to that natural human mechanism.
Also the balances of power
is a resistance to that mechanism.
In some ways, the media that reveals
the bullshit of politicians
is also a resistance to that mechanism.
It’s hard to be full of shit as a politician
because people will try to catch you on it.
So there’s a honesty method there that keeps you honest.
It’s to some degree.
But it still feels like,
it still feels like politicians are gonna politician.
Yeah, they definitely play their games.
That is true.
There’s probably always gonna be that meta narrative
over like governance that just develops
as like you have to form relationships and play games
to get legislation passed and everything.
The only reason why I don’t like it
when people attack institutions
is because one, institutions are incredibly important,
No, they are to keeping society running.
And two, I think sometimes when we shift the blame
onto institutions too much,
I think that we lose sight of what the real problems are.
So for instance, in the United States today,
people might be very critical of the government
not getting much done,
but then everybody turns their eyes to the government
for being ineffective.
But what I would argue is I would say
the government is actually incredibly effective
and it’s showcasing the will of the American people
really well right now,
which is we are historically more divided
than we have ever been.
And if I were to just look at the people
and I were to say we have a historic divide
that is getting like rapidly blown apart
by things like the internet and the media, right?
If that exists,
well, what would I expect that government to look like?
I wouldn’t expect the government
to be governing very effective.
I would expect that government to show
that legitimate divide in people.
Do you think that divide,
we have a perception of a large divide
between left and right.
Do you think that’s a real divide that’s in this country?
Narrow the language.
What do you mean by real divide?
Do you think there is that divide in ideology,
that there’s a large number of people
that believe a certain set of policies
and the different set of policies?
Or is it just the perception on Twitter?
No, I think there is a large divide in terms of belief.
I don’t think there’s very much divide between any people
in terms of like what they,
like on the most fundamental levels want
in terms of like human beings.
But in terms of like Democrat versus Republican right now,
I think there is a huge divide
in terms of the direction they wanna see the country go
and what they believe really
and what they even believe is reality, right?
Unfortunately, that’s where we’ve gotten to.
Can I just speak about the mechanism
of the left and right here?
Maybe on the mimetic rivalry aspect.
Is there some aspect to the left
on which you’re a part of that attacks their own
for ideological impurity more than the right does?
Is it the bigotry of small differences?
There’s a name, there’s a concept where
when you’re near somebody
who is very slightly different than you,
you wanna destroy it.
But when you’re with somebody that’s way different than you,
I think the left does it,
but I think the right does it too.
I didn’t realize it until I started dipping more
into conservative communities, but oh my God,
the people from the Daily Wire
and the people from Turning Point and the America First,
but all these different groups of people hate each other
and they fight each other so much.
They hire and fire sometimes employees,
they talk smack about each other.
I think there’s a lot of political division
between both sides.
I think that the left just kind of gets highlighted more
because it’s like the internet
and a lot of the internet spaces
have a lot of left leaning people.
So you see like the crazy communist
and the crazy progressives
and the crazy center left liberals
and the crazy blah, blah, blah.
Whereas like a lot of the right leaning people
have kind of been pushed off of the main areas
of the internet now.
My sense was that it’s hard to exist on the center left,
but maybe because I just don’t have the full spectrum view
of the political divide.
It felt like center left is a difficult position
Yeah, I would definitely say so, yeah.
I don’t know if it’s that difficult to be center right.
It’s very difficult to be center right.
I think actually maybe even more difficult
because a center right person might be somebody
who’s like conservative, but not a fan of Trump.
And you’re like over.
Like look at like Liz Cheney, right?
You’ve had politicians that are just like,
they didn’t back the Trump stuff and now they’re gone.
Or you might be like center right,
but like you don’t think the election was stolen.
And now you’re like half the Republican Party
is looking at you like you’re crazy, you know?
That’s true, that’s true.
I think there’s a Ben Shapiro who I’m talking with.
I think he publicly spoke against Trump, right?
He did initially,
but I felt like he softened his language up on him
pretty significantly, but.
So there’s a significant pressure
to kind of cop out to a certain kind of messaging.
Which the whole Republican Party is feeling right now.
Geez, that two years from now,
that election is gonna be insane.
It’s just hard, okay.
So to generalize, it’s hard to be in the center,
it feels like.
To center and then like do like a random walk
among the policies around that.
I don’t know what that mechanism is.
I mean, it makes people like me not feel good
being in the center.
It seems like people are just not nice
to people in the center.
Like the public, the Twitter machine is not nice
to the people who are open-minded in the center.
Is that, is there some truth to that?
Two reasons for that.
One is because I think a lot of people
that market themselves as center
are legitimately spineless cowards
and deserve to be called out.
I’ve never killed a man, but today might be my first.
And I’ll take over, like I told you,
I’ll take over your stream.
With the AI, yeah, we’ll see.
Is that guy gonna be streaming in the background?
Okay, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha.
Lots of gotchas, lots of gotchas.
And decrease the, which already is a pretty low level
of emotion, just decrease it completely.
When people are screaming at you and accusing stuff,
just remain calm.
The gaslighter strategy.
Okay, so what we’re talking about.
So I don’t.
I don’t even, I don’t ever identify as center anything
because it’s got such a bad reputation because some.
Fuck that, I stand center with a spine.
It’s called being open-minded.
And it’s not center left and right,
those are just labels.
Here’s a really good quote my mom said to me
when I was really young.
She said, Stevie, don’t ever let your mind be so open
that your brain falls out.
And that’s what I find that a lot of center people do.
That’s not what she told me last night.
Why are you like this?
I’m sorry, man.
Okay, I’m glad I can, glad I can bring that.
I’m glad you feel like this is a safe space.
Like I said, people are not judgmental.
If you want to talk about fucking my mom,
you know what, you’re totally within your rights.
I didn’t say that.
You said that.
I didn’t say that.
I support that.
She’s a beautiful woman.
Her husband probably wouldn’t be too happy about it,
but you know.
I didn’t say there’s any sexual relations.
It was just that having a conversation with her.
You projected that.
That says more about you than me.
Anyway, go ahead about spineless center.
There is some aspect to that, which is like amorphous.
To me, center means you think freely
about each individual policy without being stuck to a can.
Yeah, but a lot of people don’t do that.
They call themselves centrist,
but then they’re anti-establishment,
essentially, on everything.
I don’t know your position on the vaccines or anything,
but I met a lot of free and open thinkers
who were like, you know what, I am open to everything,
and it’s an experimental vaccine.
I’m going to eat hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin
because that’s what the institutions
are telling me not to take,
and I think Fauci got too much money from that company,
and these are, but I’m an open thinker,
and what open thinker becomes.
I’m at MIT.
What do you think my position on vaccines is exactly?
I hear a lot of crazy things from a lot of people, okay?
You might be from MIT,
but I know you from the internet, okay,
and people from the internet are weird and crazy, so.
I don’t like arrogance,
and I have criticized scientists during COVID,
a lot of people, but scientists included,
are having arrogance.
Which is fair.
And I think there’s a lot of good criticism
to be made of different scientific
and medical establishments over a lot of stuff,
but nobody can make those good criticisms
because they’re too obsessed over just trying
to have the anti-establishment answer,
and that is what is upsetting me the most.
Like, I think there are good conversations to be had
about a lot of stuff related to
how we handled the coronavirus.
You know, were lockdowns effective?
Was there enough data to support the huge measures we took?
You know, why didn’t we have the option to show
I was infected a month ago?
Why do I need to be vaccinated?
Why wasn’t that option ever a thing in the United States?
I don’t think it was.
There are really good questions to be asked there,
but all the people asking the questions
are also trying to tell you that ivermectin
and monoclonal antibodies are the way to go for everything,
and the vaccine is evil,
and it’s gonna turn you gay like the frogs.
And it’s like, Jesus, like,
there’s like no place to reasonably criticize from
because all of the people that are criticizing
aren’t doing it with an open mind or, you know,
they’re not reading studies or doing anything.
They’re saying like, I do my own research,
which means they listened to whatever
the last guy on Joe Rogan said,
and now they are parroting that opinion 100%.
Easy now, easy now, bros.
The last guy on Joe Rogan, not Joe Rogan, okay?
That Robert Malone guy on Joe Rogan
got me real fucked up.
That’s one guest.
People see him as like the father of mRNA technology.
He published one paper, okay?
What do you mean people?
Which people think that?
Joe Rogan fans.
I get, like, I run into these people.
I start arguing with people, and they start citing me.
Well, what about-
I’m a Joe Rogan fan, and I appreciate the vaccine.
I’m glad you do.
But there’s definitely-
Sorry, but you said there’s a type.
There’s a type.
What’s the type?
What’s the type of Joe Rogan fan?
I think that’s not Joe Rogan.
That’s a general public discourse.
There’s a default anti-establishment.
On the right and the left,
that’s the default easy thing to go to.
I think Joe Rogan fans are definitely
a certain type of anti-establishment, though.
Like, I could guess the Joe Rogan fan.
Like, if I were to do general population
versus Joe Rogan fan,
who do you think is more likely to be anti-vaccine?
Do you have data on this?
Or are you just guessing?
I think you are actually judging.
I am, yeah.
I think you’re judging.
Because I think you’re also,
the beautiful thing about podcasting,
this could be similar to streaming,
is there’s a large number of people
that just listen.
Like, what does it mean to be a Joe Rogan fan?
I don’t think you just listen.
I think people listen and absorb the information.
I would say that the Joe Rogan fan base
is as divided in the vaccine as the general public.
Man, I’m gonna look for polling data on that.
I’m sure somebody’s gotta have done it out there, but.
No, but you’re basically revealing the fact
they have no data.
You’re using your own judgment.
Based on how he’s had conversations
about his experience with the coronavirus,
and then based on the guests that have come on
that have talked and echoed
a lot of anti-vax talking points
and been completely unchallenged,
and then based on statements he’s made
about myocarditis and the vaccine and everything as well,
So it’s the level of challenge or not that he’s doing.
Well, yeah, and then what his true positions are,
and then the types of guests he typically chooses
to bring on to talk about the vaccines, yeah.
Okay, but that represents somehow
a deep anti-establishment feeling
versus just the vaccine.
I mean, I’ve seen the vaccine and other things
being a thing that broke people.
I think all the coronavirus,
that whole one or two years broke a lot of people.
There’s a lot of emotion,
and that emotion quickly solidified into an opinion
that almost had nothing to do with thinking through
and updating your knowledge and so on.
You just made up your mind.
Yeah, but I think a lot of it comes
from that anti-establishment place.
The vaccine represents the ultimate of establishment.
It was a huge private company
backed by a huge public government,
and there’s Fauci, and there’s Biden, and there’s Pfizer,
and there’s all these countries locking us up in our homes,
telling us to do a thing.
The vaccine was the ultimate submission tool
to show you that the government owns you.
Not only do you have to get injected once, it’s a series,
and then you gotta get boosters,
and it’s like they’re trying to keep you under their thumb,
and that’s the control.
I feel like that vaccine
became the ultimate rallying cry
between do you support, are you a sellout
that is gonna believe whatever the government
tells the sheep to take,
or are you gonna be the guy that stands against the crowd
and gets fired from his job
and pulls his kids from school
because they’re not gonna let the evil Fauci medicine
jab them in the arm?
And the funny thing is the crowd that stands against
the institution is not larger than the crowd of sheep.
There’s like one sheep standing there.
Sure, yeah, or it feels that way sometimes.
One vaccinated sheep.
Well, okay, what’s the defense of institutions?
How do you regain the trust of institutions?
First of all, do you think that there’s ways
in which WHO, CDC failed,
and do you think there’s criticism towards Pfizer
and the big pharma companies that’s deserved?
Damn, it’s the pharma companies, I’m not sure.
For CDC and WHO, so here’s a criticism that I have
of all of academia,
and I feel it stronger and stronger every day.
I don’t think it’s enough to be a researcher
or to be correct about issues.
Academia needs to increase its ability to communicate.
It is just an unbelievable, unmitigated failure
that academics are unwilling to wade
into the complicated topics that exist today
because other people are, you know?
First you call me spineless,
and then you call me a bad communicator.
But no, look, you’re here, you’re doing it,
so you get props for me, okay?
But there are like so many, but I’m sure you’ve,
I’m sure that you must have heard another fellow academic,
a fellow colleague, express some amount of frustration
about like in their specific discipline,
they know something to be true,
and they know that like a lot of the messaging
is like wrong or bad in the public about it,
but they’re never gonna step out and say anything
because either one, they’re very measured
and careful with their take,
which they feel is incompatible
with what people wanna hear,
or two, they’re really worried that they might be incorrect,
so they’re gonna be cautious
while everybody else is going out
and like hard-courting their opinions.
And they also don’t have the support of institutions
for them to go out on a limb.
Yeah, that too.
So like to take risks.
For example, I’ve heard that with lab leak theory.
I’ve had a lot of biologists, virologists friends
that are like, yeah, it’s obviously leaked from a lab.
Like early on.
Oh, maybe, okay.
We can fight over this one.
But sorry, go ahead.
No, no, keep talking.
We can fight over this.
But like they, okay, I should sort of backstep
and say like that’s like you talk about shooting the shit.
You haven’t really investigated, but it’s your gut.
Like this doesn’t make any sense.
They would never say that publicly.
Mostly because you’re saying like what they would all say
is like we want to see data.
Yeah, which would be good, which is fine.
So they’re going with like this is too many coincidence
in the same place.
That’s the logic.
But they don’t want to say anything
because there’s no data.
You need to have evidence.
You need to have actual evidence
to say one way or the other.
But there’s also just like you said.
I mean, effective communication.
You’re a fan of Sean Carroll.
He’s like one of the only people in this whole planet
that I like besides you.
I love Sean Carroll.
Anytime Sean Carroll is brought up as evidence,
there’s a smile that comes over your face.
Of like joy, of like a little kid
thinking about Santa Claus.
Okay, I love Sean Carroll too.
People should listen to Spock.
I love Sean Carroll because I hate this divide
between like you’re either STEM
or you’re like philosophy, arts, and all that other stuff.
And the two worlds kind of cross.
And I love that he was so good at physics,
but like explores and pays attention
to all of the like sociological stuff too.
It’s so rare to find that quality in a person.
One of the really, really, really special minds.
But you don’t have to be a Sean Carroll.
You can be just a little better at educating.
Another person in the medical and the health space
is somebody named Andrew Huberman,
a friend of mine from Stanford.
He’s an incredible educator.
There’s a kind of process in science
they usually call like review or survey papers
where you basically summarize all that’s going on,
integrate it, and like draw wisdom from it,
and also project like where is the discipline headed.
And Andrew does that basically on all these subcomponents
of the different stuff going on in neuroscience,
in biology, neurobiology, all of that.
He does a podcast called Huberman Lab
where he just summarizes all and is able to explain
like what does that actually mean for your life
in terms of protocols of how to make your life better.
I feel like people should be able to do that more and more.
But with virology and, oh boy, that’s a tricky one.
That’s a really tricky one.
I wish that people could have honest conversations.
Like I attack a lot of people
that do the lab leak theory stuff,
but truly we should be able
to have that conversation publicly.
The people that are having the conversation
don’t ever really want to have the conversation.
They’re not being honest.
I’m a guy that like does his own research,
and it’s so boring reading studies,
and a lot of it I can only do abstracts,
and like it’s so much work,
but I’ll never ever say that about myself.
I’m a guy that does his own research
because every time I hear somebody say that,
they don’t do any research.
When they say they do their own research,
what they mean is they’ve seen one podcast
and their opinion on it is completely-
What podcast is that?
Definitely not mine because if it was mine
I wouldn’t be criticizing anything they say.
But yeah, so like lab leak is another one.
It’s like, well, how do you know it’s lab leak?
How do I know it’s lab leak?
Because Fauci lied, and Hunter Biden lapped up,
and it’s like, okay, come on,
you haven’t engaged with it at all.
There’s really interesting research
that shows there’s a really strong study
that shows that there’s like a high degree of certainty
that it came from the wet markets.
Very, very high degree of certainty.
And there was an article that came out recently
where it’s like Senate concludes that virus
actually came from the Wuhan virology lab or whatever,
and that whole article, if you actually read it,
it never says that in the article.
I don’t know why they tweeted it with that headline.
But yeah, to back up, I’m sorry.
I think we should have good-
You should be sorry.
Yeah, I’m not sorry, actually.
I get to ramble here, okay?
I’m here for a long time.
I rescind my apology, okay?
I actually rescind my apology.
We should be able to have challenging conversations
about things, but you gotta, man,
be well read on both sides.
Not this like, I do my own research,
so I don’t believe anything that Fauci says.
Like, come on, dude.
Dude, you can do better than that.
Not you personally, but gotcha.
How does that feel?
So for people who don’t know, that’s the catchphrase.
Through all tragedy and triumph,
through all the rollercoaster of life,
your response to it is gotcha.
It’s, well, actually, let me jump to that
before I continue with political discourse.
Psychologically, you are in a lot of heated debates,
and you’re usually super calm under fire until you’re not.
Sometimes you lose your temper completely.
Very rarely, but.
That’s like your opinion, man.
Let me ask about your psychology.
What are psychologically your strengths and weaknesses
that you’re self-aware about?
I think I’m very nonjudgmental,
so I can entertain a lot of different thoughts
without agreeing with them or condoning them.
I think that’s a really big benefit to me.
For whatever reason, I seem to be pretty calm
in dealing with annoying people.
It’s why I got promoted at the casino so fast.
I could deal with drunks or whatever.
Like, it just didn’t affect me that much.
What percent of the population is annoying?
Depends on how you’re engaging with them.
Most people aren’t really annoying ever.
But if you’re in a political debate,
what percentage is annoying?
I guess it depends on who I’m debating
and what the topic is.
Well, I guess I’m trying to point out the fact
that sometimes you can say that reveals something about you
if you think a large percent of people are annoying.
Well, I would say working graveyard shift
when alcohol is involved,
that percentage of people goes very, very, very high.
Or to be more fair, actually,
it’s not a high percentage, truly.
But if you’re a server,
one bad customer can ruin the rest of your shift.
So you only need one or two people acting in that manner
to just totally throw you off.
And you’re able to, at least these days,
not allow that one customer to throw you off,
Yeah, I’m very much like a,
I noticed this especially after having a son.
There’s something about six-year-old kids or whatever
where it’s like, if they get mad,
they’re never gonna be mad for that long.
They’ll move on.
That’s my mentality.
I’m like a six-year-old kid.
I might be mad about something,
but I’ll get over it in 30 minutes or an hour.
I’m pretty good about not carrying that through.
It’s very rare that I’ll hold a grudge against anybody
or be angry about something
or really disaffected by something over the long-term.
That almost never happens to me.
What are your weaknesses psychologically, would you say?
I still have a problem with projecting,
I think we all probably do,
but my mind onto others.
It’s like, if I understand this and I’ve said this,
you should understand it.
And if you’re not, you’re dumb.
That’s an issue that I,
I still have that where I project too much.
What about holding grudges and stuff like that?
I never hold grudges.
I’m like the least grudgy person ever.
It’s kind of a meme in my community
because anybody can always come back
as long as they’re acting different.
What about the, as long as they’re acting different?
As long as they’re acting different.
I mean, all right.
The reason why I say that is because,
so for instance, nobody likes this,
but I have a strong stance on apologies
and that I hate them.
I don’t ever want to hear an apology.
I don’t care about them ever.
They don’t mean anything to me.
If you did something bad,
as long as you’ve fixed the behavior
and you’re not doing that thing,
then we’re generally chill.
So there’s been a lot of people
that have been involved in weird stuff with me,
but then they go off, they do their thing,
and they come back and it’s like, okay, cool.
As long as you don’t do it again, we’re fine.
Like, it’s all good.
I’m sorry you feel that way.
It’s not your fault, Steven.
It’s not your fault.
You’ve said plenty of negative stuff,
positive stuff and negative stuff about Hassan.
This is my podcast.
So I get to get you to force you to say positive things.
What do you love?
I’m all about love.
Let’s go back to grilling me on the R word stuff.
You’re gonna make me compliment Hassan?
This is gonna be a harder conversation than that.
We’re gonna get you to feel emotions.
So he’s, for people who don’t know,
he’s another popular political streamer.
I think you had, as the kids call it,
a bridge burning over Bernie Sanders.
I don’t know.
My research is very limited on this.
But what do you respect and love most about Hassan?
He puts in a lot of work.
When he was growing his stream
from 2,000 concurrent viewers to 15,000,
he was streaming, it was like 12 hours a day,
every single day.
So that was admirable.
He did a lot of work.
He does seem to be pretty good at networking
and socializing and making the correct friends
and connections to continue to build his business.
What about him as a political thinker?
I know you don’t think highly of him in that regard,
but I think that’s unfair.
I think that’s unfair.
I honestly wanna push back on that because.
I have zero respect for him as a political thinker.
Oh, there’s not gonna be almost anything.
So you can’t.
Oh, I will say, I admire the fact
that through no actual capability or ability of his own,
he manages to wind up at some of the correct answers
just because he’s towing the line.
So good job for him on that.
He’s got a lot of correct opinions,
just he has no idea why, so.
I think that’s undeserved.
I think that’s too harsh, man.
The reason I bring that up is I feel like
there is a deep grudge in there somehow.
So you’re the father now, so since you’re so old,
the grandfather of the political debate on stream,
So there could be some grudge about that split that happened
or not enough credit given or all that kind of stuff.
I just think he’s somebody that has a left-leaning ideology
that’s different than yours.
He was a Bernie supporter, right?
And I guess you were not.
Can you explain to me what the division is?
He exemplifies everything that I absolutely hate
Which is what?
Which is shallow engagement, heavily ideologically driven.
And you’re not ideologically different, right?
Absolutely not, free of ideology.
That’s what we’re talking about,
like the free thinker in the real meaning of that word.
Yeah, so the way, let me qualify.
Issue by issue thinking.
Let me qualify what I mean when I say that.
I spent a lot of time, unfortunate time,
delving into the boring world of philosophy.
I spent a lot of time thinking about like,
what are my ethical positions?
How do I feel about myself, the people around me,
and how that relates to the world around me?
And then from all of these positions,
I think you might’ve used the phrase
first principles earlier.
From these kind of like first principles,
out of that is where all of my political positions
are built out of, like full stop.
So if you ask me a question like,
how do you feel about like the right to own a firearm?
Or how do you feel about social healthcare?
Like we can walk through,
well this is how I feel about it
as like a thing from the government.
This is where the government gets its power.
This is ethically how groups of people
are supposed to function.
This is morally how we relate to each other.
And personally, this is how I feel like.
Like I’ll be able to do
every single political belief back there.
It’s not like I’m telling you,
like if I were to ask Hasan,
what do you feel about this political topic?
He’s gonna tell me what progressives are supposed to say.
I don’t know what he thinks about it.
I don’t know if he thinks about it.
Don’t you think that’s a cynical take?
Why is he, just because his views coincide
with the mainstream narrative,
mainstream viewpoints of progressive thinkers.
I mean, why does that mean he’s not thinking?
Because his engagement with every subject
is incredibly shallow, 100% predictable.
Like I could write like a,
I could probably program a script
to like give you every single potential answer
you could have to any single question you could give him.
Again, I think that’s pretty cynical take.
Okay, it could be the case
that his brain perfectly aligns
with every single mainstream person.
No, but I don’t know if you know it as perfectly aligns.
Because I think you’re just taking a very select,
just like streamers do of each other,
a very select slice that represents the perfect alignment,
as opposed to looking at a person struggling with ideas
and thinking through ideas,
and then giving them a pass.
Like a lot of people, like I give you a pass.
Just the fact that you say a lot of crazy shit
on stream for drama, like which is-
I don’t say things for drama.
That might be dramatic, but.
I mean, you’ve evolved as a fish evolves legs,
you’ve evolved a mechanism which creates controversy.
That you could say it’s not intention, but it happens.
I think you- Okay, sure.
The extremists kind of learn that kind of thing.
And so I’m sure Hasan does the same kind of stuff.
And so like underneath it,
there’s still a thinking being
that’s contending with political ideas.
You don’t think so?
He does a really good job at hiding it.
There are other political figures that I really don’t like
that I wouldn’t say the same thing about.
So like, I don’t know if you have Vosch written in there.
I’m like, okay, that’s a person that-
He also split out of my community and grew up to something,
and now he hates me, and he’s an anti-fan community,
and they all hate me.
Okay, tell me something you love about Vosch.
I can tell you a lot of things about Vosch.
I think Vosch legitimately thinks
through a lot of his political positions.
I admire, or did admire, that he has like his own
positions he would take sometimes contrary
to people further left than him.
He’s got some positions that don’t fit his ideology
kind of at all, like he’s his own intermittent thinker.
Rhetorically, he’s very effective.
He was willing to sit down and do research
for like his debates and everything.
He would spend a lot of time practicing
like his rhetorical effectiveness
and navigating conversations.
He intentionally and purposefully built like a community
that exemplified his values.
Yeah, I’ve got a lot.
I don’t, we are completely split and hate each other now,
but like I have a lot of-
Why, why, why?
First of all, hate is a strong,
why the hate?
Okay, I don’t hate him, but he hates me
because we had a couple of really big debates.
Well, one had to do with whether or not
you should live your values.
And can you give me the story
that’s a charitable interpretation?
I always give charitable interpretation.
You don’t, you don’t.
I absolutely do.
Wait, name one time it happened.
Five minutes ago, you talking about Hassan.
Everything I said about Hassan is true.
There is no steel man there, okay?
That’s not charitable interpretation.
I’m sorry, if you can prove me wrong,
I would love for you to do it, okay?
I’m using my gut instinct.
Usually when somebody feels strongly
about another person in that way,
it’s not coming from a place of data and reason,
it’s coming from a place of emotion.
It’s coming from a place of resentment
and grudge and all that kind of stuff.
Yeah, I understand.
There’s emotions deep in there.
So the got you is hiding,
the got you is a surface of an iceberg
and there’s a deep ocean underneath
that you yourself have not explored.
I disagree, but I understand what you’re saying.
And love is actually a doorway,
the young love is a doorway for you
to explore the depths of you.
Get into that ocean to find my fish, my pre-evolved form.
I understand why you think the way you do
and you should, you shouldn’t believe me.
And I understand that
because if somebody told me the same thing,
I’d think you probably just really don’t like this person
for a reason or two.
I understand why you think that way, okay?
The reality is though,
for any political person that I disagree with,
like I can give them a fair shake.
It’s one of the few things
I think I do exceedingly well on my stream.
Even with Hassan, there’s been drama
that he’s been involved in
and when I’m involved in drama,
he’ll always throw me under the bus.
But when he’s involved in stuff,
I’ll always say like, oh,
like I think Hassan was right here
or I think that he meant this.
There was a thing that came up once.
We’re on livestream fail.
He was getting roasted because he referred to somebody,
he used the expression shitskin
to refer to somebody’s like the way they looked.
And I have only ever heard that
in the context of 4chan people
talking about like Indians or like black people,
like it’s a racial thing.
But I could tell the context
and everything that he was saying,
he was insulting some guy.
I think it was kind of like Incel, Virgil, whatever.
He was going for like acne skin.
I think that’s what he meant when he said it.
And there were a whole bunch of people
that were insulting, like, oh my God,
did he just say racist term?
And I was like, no, I don’t think he was racist.
I think he was like, he was just reaching for words
and that’s what came out.
So like, that’s an example of me
being charitable towards him.
Okay, but didn’t you criticize him for something?
I was trying to, I like Googled
why the hell you guys split up
because I thought your friends,
you should be like-
Split up over a Kamala Harris video,
but go ahead, what were you-
Is that why, is that the,
I feel like you criticized him over something.
And I, okay, this is very vague memory,
but you criticized him over something
and I felt that criticism wasn’t charitable.
Was it Pete Buttigieg stuff?
Yeah, Pete Buttigieg, yes, yes, yes, yes.
Yeah, so I’ve said this a million times,
but no amount of context or no amount of nuances
is ever acceptable to people.
I don’t think Hasan is homophobic,
but I think the comments made about Pete Buttigieg
were really homophobic.
That’s what he said, right?
Yeah, and there were a lot of people
making a lot of comments
that made me really uncomfortable about Pete Buttigieg
that was insane to me.
Spurred by the comments of Hasan?
No, but it was an environment of progressives,
all the progressives were attacking Pete
and I felt like his gayness became like the subject.
Yeah, but why throw Hasan under the bus for that?
Because he was jumping along
with all of those types of like insults.
You don’t think you’ve done the same kind of stuff?
If I do, call me out on it
and I’ll probably say I shouldn’t have done it.
That’s what the R word was about.
It’s fine, that’s a good call out, yeah.
No, but like your friend,
like you should privately tell him, right?
Well, no, by then we were sworn enemies, so.
So that wasn’t the reason.
No, no, no, it was over a Kamala Harris video.
He hates me.
What am I supposed?
Listen, for all of these people,
I will accept them back into my life
if they ever want to come back in at any point in time,
but usually they’re the ones that-
If they correct themselves, right?
No, I’m not expecting anybody to.
So here’s the deal with Vosh and Hasan.
These are like the three, we’re the three guys online.
None of us will talk to each other.
Hasan because he won’t give clout to anybody
and Vosh because he thinks I’m bad faith.
And then neither of them will talk to me
because they both hate me.
You guys should go like on a camping trip together.
It’s like Brokeback Mountain, but three-way
and just like rejoin, refine.
Yeah, that could be a thing.
Refine the patient for each other.
Honestly, just from the internet perspective,
for me as a, just stepping into this world,
there’s some aspect to which you have a responsibility.
I hate that word.
You have an opportunity.
You have an opportunity.
I wish you guys would kind of be the beacon
of forgiveness and friendship and camaraderie
and that kind of stuff.
Yeah, I agree.
And even if we disagree, it would be really good content
for us to argue with each other.
Yeah, like shit talk, like friends shit talk
versus not, like the fact that you guys
don’t talk to each other.
Like I would love for you to shit talk publicly
with a camaraderie always there.
Like there’s love in the beginning, love in the end,
but you beat the shit out of each other in the middle.
And that’s what live streaming is for,
the political discourse.
That’s great political discourse
versus I think what underlies it is some jealousy
and so on with this.
You get this many follow-ups.
I just wanna make sure you’re clear to your audience.
Everybody has, to your audience.
I’m sure you have flaws and I’m just not,
in this dynamic.
Hard to find, you know, because I’m.
Your only flaw is you’re too modest.
Yeah, so why did you guys split up?
Because I would love it, honestly,
just let me just put that idea out there
for you guys to make up.
Yeah, it’s out there.
Of course, as everybody talks,
me, Vash and Hassan, it’s crazy that the three largest
political debate left-leaning people online
can’t do any type of content or collaboration at all.
It’s so stupid.
Yeah, it’s strange.
What was the reason you guys split up, the Kamala Harris?
So Hassan’s entry into kind of like
the Twitch political debate world was in, I think, 2018.
I think he did a debate with Charlie Kirk
and he reached out to me to kind of review that debate,
to go over it on stream.
And he came on, we went over it,
and then we kind of friendship developed.
We hung out in real life.
I think when I came to LA, I think I slept on his couch,
we played with his dog, we were kind of friends.
And as time went on, I think he was a little bit more,
he was farther left than he let on.
So I was a social Democrat, he was a social Democrat,
but back in those days, like 2018,
when people said they were a social Democrat,
they really meant socialist,
but they just didn’t want to say it.
So he was farther left than me,
and we had a lot of deep divides
in our approach to politics.
Whereas I was very much like a first principles,
this is my whole political position,
and he was very much kind of like a,
this is like the political ideology I’m involved in,
and this is kind of like the field
that I kind of like navigate in.
So there were a couple instances
where these divides would be laid very bare.
One was when, it was either him or the Young Turks,
I think it was him, there was a shooting in a neighborhood
where very young black child gets killed by a white shooter.
And they did a video about like hate crimes
and how hate crimes are on the rise between races
and white people are evil and blah, blah, blah, not that,
but like white people committing hate crimes
against black people.
And I remember saying to him, I was like,
hey, we don’t have all the data yet for this.
It feels really bad to make videos about this beforehand
because it’s the same type of shit
that happens at airports.
Is there a thing going on?
Was it a brown person?
Are they Muslim?
It’s Islamic extremism.
We see this played out so many times in recent history,
probably not a good idea to jump to conclusions.
And he’s like, well, no, you don’t understand,
like it’s not that big a deal, whatever.
And obviously as the story goes,
tale as old as time, the data comes out,
it was just an errant shot.
There was like gang violence,
shot goes out of nowhere, hits a kid in the car.
It wasn’t like a hate crime.
The guy was trying to kill a kid.
But yeah, we basically, we bump up against a few
kind of political disagreements like this.
And an annoying thing is happening in my community
where Hassan is like the serious political figure
because he’s from the Young Turks.
And I’m just kind of like, I do politics, but I also game.
And anytime I criticize Hassan, people like destiny,
you need to be more respectful.
He does this full time.
If you’re gonna bring criticisms,
you need to be like really well read and researched
because he’s got a more serious, whatever,
which I thought was ridiculous.
By the way, if people don’t know,
he worked at the Young Turks,
which is like the largest left-leaning YouTube channel,
At least at the time, yeah.
So finally, he did a video on,
we skip ahead to some more minor disagreements.
He does a video on Kamala Harris.
He calls it Kamala Harris.
And it’s like seven or eight horrible things
about Kamala Harris.
And I’m like, okay, I know at least one or two
of these things are not fully accurate.
So I’m gonna do all the research.
I’m gonna have all the sources
and we’re gonna have a long conversation about it
so that now when I provide criticism to him,
it’s not gonna be like this horrible,
like just me saying something flippantly or whatever.
It’s gonna be like substantial criticism.
So I was on a plane ride, JFK to Orlando, whatever,
flying to Sweden to visit my wife.
And on the plane, I review all of the video,
all the data, do all the research and I write everything.
I’m just like, okay.
I get to my wife’s dad’s house and I’m at the table.
We’re having a conversation like,
hey, we should talk about the Kamala Harris stuff.
And he’s like, okay, well, let’s do it.
And we go over it and I’ll leave to the audience
to watch the video.
Enough people to say this,
I feel pretty confident saying this.
I was pretty reasonable, pretty measured,
pretty calm the whole time.
And I think he started to get increasingly irritated
that I was levying like more and more serious criticisms
at like the quality of work that he did.
Probably because he felt a little bit intimidated,
I think by my willingness to like dive
through political stuff.
There’d been a couple of awkward blow ups
where like on, there’s like a show called the Raj Royale
where sometimes politics would come up
and Hassan would kind of try to explain something.
And there was another person one time on the show
that made the joke.
It was like, instead of Hassan taking 10 minutes
to explain this, can Destiny just come here
and explain it in 30 seconds?
And he like exploded at that.
He got so fucking mad at that.
So yeah, I think that when I made that kind of call out
or critique of him over the Kamala Harris stuff,
he’s probably feeling like increasingly irritated,
And then that’s kind of what began
the huge split from our-
So you don’t think you were a dick at all?
I don’t think so in that conversation.
Especially given that like, at that point,
cause this is still 2018 or 20, this might be 2019.
I’m still known at that point as being very aggressive
towards conservatives or alt-righters.
Yeah, so, and with lefties is what I call them.
I think I’m being like very general.
Like my conversation side with conservatives
is like, you’re a fucking idiot.
You’re so dumb.
Like, that’s how I’m like doing it.
So like with him, I’m like, well, don’t you think
that like, this is like a little bit
of like an inconsistent presentation about like,
I feel like it’d be nice.
But I always leave to the audience
so they can go and watch that Kamala video,
Kamala Harris video, Destiny of Son,
if they think that I was being a dick at all.
But a lot of people watching said
I was being pretty gentle, so.
Well, let me say, as a new fan of this space,
I hope you guys make up and I hope you guys fight it out
in the space of discourse and ideas.
And also with empathy, understanding what the strength
of the other person is, what their buttons are.
And you know, there’s like an unspoken rule
that you don’t press the buttons that you need to.
Unless you’re doing it mutually and it’s fun.
Cause you know, it’s fun to piss each other off.
That’s kind of like what friends do.
You don’t cross a certain line.
But then other than that, you fight it out.
Okay, let’s step back.
One other super interesting aspect of your worldview
is you’re a big supporter of Biden.
Can you explain what you love about Biden?
Do you love Biden more than Sean Carroll or less?
Sean Carroll is just like in another world of admiration.
I feel like I’m culturally appropriating you
by saying gotcha now.
But it’s so convenient.
It’s an easy word.
We’re on the same wavelength.
Okay, we’re synchronizing.
I mean, it is really interesting
because even the people that support Biden
usually don’t say they love sort of,
they don’t support it strongly, you know.
the reason why I like Biden is because he’s really committed
to this bringing the left and right together,
which is something we so desperately need in the country.
And his, you know, statements over and over again
of like, I’m not the Democrat president
or the Republican president.
I’m the president of the United States.
His desire to bring Republicans together
to work on things like the infrastructure bill,
that’s so incredibly needed.
And I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for him
for trying to push through on that message.
Do you think then it’s unfortunate
that he made that comment about MAGA?
Yeah, I mean, I forget what the comment was,
but MAGA Republicans are not good people kind of.
I watched the full video and he’s right.
There is this toxic aspect.
And it’s hard to call out
because they’re always gonna spend like,
oh, he hates our Republicans.
He’s not, if you watch the quote,
he’s very specifically calling out
like this group of people
that think that the election was fraudulent.
Is it clear?
That’s what he meant by-
We can bring it up.
All right, this is-
But I remember watching it on stream.
He was like, if he said it, yeah, that’s bad.
You can probably like YouTube MAGA Republicans Biden.
But like, it feels like it’s pretty clear
he’s talking about the people that are like election denying.
Too much of what’s happening in our country today
is not normal.
Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans
represent an extremism
that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.
Now, I want to be very clear.
Listen to this part.
Very clear up front.
Not every Republican,
not even the majority of Republicans are MAGA Republicans.
Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology.
because I’ve been able to work
with these mainstream Republicans.
But there’s no question that the Republican Party today
is dominated, driven, and intimidated
by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans.
And that is a threat to this country.
I disagree with that, man.
He didn’t clearly say extremist ideology.
He didn’t say the people that doubt
the validity of the election.
I mean, that’s Donald Trump.
No, but there’s-
That’s all the candidates that Donald Trump is supporting.
How many, what is it, like 40, 50?
How many candidates right now
that are MAGA candidates are election deniers?
No, but there’s 80 million
of whatever people voted for Donald Trump.
You could say that’s the MAGA Republicans.
So to me, it sounded like he was referring
to not even the majority.
I mean, that’s one nice, helpful, clarifying statement.
But it’s basically there’s the mainstream Republicans,
and then there’s those that voted for Donald Trump.
That’s the way I heard it.
And it’s like, so-
Maybe he should’ve done a better job at clarifying, but.
I feel like there’s a clear,
there is a huge problem with this group of Americans
that think that the election is stolen.
I feel like that’s what he’s trying to call it.
But no matter if that’s what he meant,
even flirting with that line
is not a person who’s bringing people together.
I feel like the extending a hand to the most,
I’ve worked with Republicans in Congress.
Not even a majority of Republicans are like this.
But why say not the majority of Republicans are like this?
Say we’re one country, we believe the same thing.
So focus on the uniting part versus saying-
He does before and after.
That was 50 seconds, okay?
But that, you never,
the point is you never say something like that.
Listen, that, you’ve spoken about the Bosnia speech,
which is your favorite of his.
I went back to it and listened to it.
Before I move to that, just on this,
it’s really hard for him to call out
that group of election deniers,
I think, without it always feeling like-
Why call them out?
Because it’s arguably one of the most destructive forces
that exist in this country today.
Did it destroy anything?
They were trying to.
Did it, though?
It didn’t, did it?
So does that mean we don’t call it out?
We wait till next time?
No, because calling it out is giving fuel to the division.
Like the people that doubted the validity of the election,
that’s anger, that’s frustration with the other side.
You heal that as opposed to saying
all those people that believed that at any time are idiots.
I mean, they don’t think the election was real.
I don’t know if Biden has the ears of these people at all.
I don’t know what he can do for-
There’s people that believe the same thing in 2016
with the Russian hacking, right?
That is a super not fair comparison.
There are definitely, the mainstream Democrat opinion
was that Russian intrusion
in terms of social media and stuff happened,
but there was never a claim that the election was stolen.
Or at least, I don’t know of any mainstream Democrat
that supported that.
Donald Trump is not just saying
there was interference and blah, blah, blah.
Donald Trump is literally saying
the election was literally stolen,
that ballot boxes were hidden,
that vote tallies were manipulated.
I think the claim is there’s a huge gulf
of difference between the two.
So you can attack Donald Trump for that.
I believe it’s not the words of a uniter
to attack people that believe that.
You could argue maybe it’s okay,
but especially not being super clear about that,
about who you’re referring to when you say MAGA Republicans.
Because MAGA is a hat and a slogan
that refers to whatever the number is,
70 million people, whoever, that voted for Donald Trump.
Of all the Republicans that consider themselves
MAGA Republicans, what percentage of them do you think
believe the election was stolen?
I feel like that number is, I don’t have the palm,
but I feel like that number is probably more than 70%.
What’s a MAGA Republican?
Maybe I’m not familiar.
Like a Trump-supporting Republican, a MAGA Republican.
They’re there for Trump.
What’s the difference between somebody
that voted for Trump and a-
And a MAGA Republican.
So my mom is a MAGA Republican.
If Trump ran independently and DeSantis ran
under the Republican ticket, my mom would vote for Trump.
She’ll follow him to the end of the earth.
That’s like a MAGA Republican.
I think it’s easy to mistake that distinction
in these kinds of political speeches.
Because to me, anybody who voted for Trump
can easily, in the context of the speech,
be interpreted as a MAGA Republican.
I understand what you’re saying.
Maybe it could have been more clear,
but I think in listening to that,
I think it’s pretty obvious who he’s talking about.
But I guess if you have an emotional response to it,
I can understand the emotional response.
There’s a lot of people-
If I have an emotional response,
I just don’t like, I think I’m with, what is it?
Michelle Obama, they go low, we go high.
Meaning like, to me, a uniter doesn’t participate
Sure, a uniter might not, but a leader has to be able
to accurately assess the situation before him
and make people aware of what’s going on.
You mean all the impeachment trials,
all the censoring from social media,
all of that didn’t do the job?
That’s not his job.
I don’t know about censoring any of that.
That mechanism, his job is to inspire a nation
to unite a nation.
How can he do that when half the people don’t believe
that he was even legitimately elected?
Like, I think he’s done a good job at working on legislation
and doing stuff that hopefully benefits all Americans.
But I think it’s important to recognize
that there is a contingent of Americans
that don’t even believe that this is really crazy.
There are plenty of people that recognize that
and are fighting that and are constantly screaming that
from the rooftops.
His job is to be the inspiring figure
that makes the majority of Americans be proud
for him to be a president of the nation they love.
And that’s what the uniting aspect is,
is you remind people that we are one
and we love this country,
we love the ideas that it represents.
He does that in other parts of that speech.
It’s like a 20 minute speech, isn’t it?
But that’s a fuck up.
You just don’t participate in that division.
Anyway, I understand, I understand.
I just wanted to push back on the saying,
one of his strengths is that he’s uniting.
But yes, that is an ideal, that is a goal, is a great one.
And he is one that espoused that goal for a long time.
Do you think, what else?
So from policy perspective and so on.
I thought the way he’s handled Ukraine and everything
thus far has been almost perfect.
I think he did a really good job
at the political maneuvering
of bringing other countries into the fold,
at establishing clearly what our mission was
in relation to Ukraine.
I thought he did a good job there.
I admire him for pulling out of Afghanistan,
even if it was a little bit rough around the edges,
like we got out and we’re gone,
no American lives were lost.
The domestic policy, he’s passed more major legislation
than I think anybody thought possible.
The green energy stuff with the last bill,
the infrastructure bill,
a lot of the coronavirus relief I thought was really good,
especially the expansion of the child tax credit.
So from a policy perspective, foreign and domestic,
I think he’s been successful.
Rhetorically, I think he’s generally been above board
in terms of not attacking people or being too divisive.
He’s trying to bring people together and work on them.
What do you think about the sort of popular in the media
criticism of his mental decline?
Do you think he’s experiencing mental decline?
You know, he’s an old guy.
But do you think, I mean, do you?
Yeah, maybe a little bit,
but he’s still doing a good job, so, you know.
Not from a speech perspective,
you mean from a policy perspective?
Yeah, I’m analyzing it as a job, yeah.
From a speech perspective, maybe not the greatest,
but yeah, I mean, he’s definitely, what is he, like 80, 81?
How old is he?
I lose track after so many years.
But you did say that he’s probably going
to run in 2024 and he’s probably going to win.
Did I say that, that he’s probably gonna win?
No way did I say that.
I heard that somewhere.
He’s probably gonna run.
Who knows who will win?
But I think, I feel like the incumbent advantage
is so strong.
Are you really gonna throw that away?
Like, I think it’s been like one or two times in history
in the US, right, where like the non-incumbent,
the parties put somebody else up.
Yeah, I mean, the concern is like the,
just the age and the mental decline,
just the wear and tear of the campaign,
all of that kind of stuff.
All of the speech you have to make,
the debates and all that kind of stuff.
Yeah, I guess we’ll see what happens.
The least excited.
I mean, two years from now is a long time.
At his current mental state, he could run and do it.
He could do a possible job.
In two years, man, I don’t know.
I’ve seen videos of Bill Clinton recently.
He’s looking pretty rough.
You know, if Biden is looking a lot more rough,
worse for wear in two years,
then maybe they actually do have to dig out another person
for running, who knows?
What do you think about Trump, when he won in 2016,
I think is when you came to fruition, politically speaking.
So what do you think his winning
the 2016 election represents?
So for me, Trump, the reason why I got into politics
was Trump was like this new epistemic force
in American politics that like,
you kind of have to like flirt with facts before,
even if you wanted to be non-factual.
He super didn’t care.
Lying was like a first language to him,
just like in speaking in terms of like,
the way that he used language to just say to you
what he felt like you needed to hear to support him
and not care at all about what is going on about,
yeah, that’s what Trump represented to me
in terms of like things that I cared about.
He also represents a lot more, obviously,
that there was this undercurrent of American opinion
that a lot of people didn’t know still existed,
and it did, he got elected,
that the Overton window was misidentified
by even a large amount of the Republican Party,
that populism was a lot more popular
than a lot of people figured.
Yeah, there’s a lot that I guess he represented.
Do you think Trump should have been banned from Twitter?
Can you make the case for and against it?
So you’re a big supporter of free speech.
Yeah, so the case in favor of it.
Do you think he should be brought back as Elon tweeted?
Yeah, because if he gets brought back,
there’s a higher chance that I’ll be brought back.
So I’m supporting that all the way.
Thank you, Elon, unbanned my account.
So because you called me weak-spine,
I’m gonna have to message Elon.
Okay, at Omnidestiny, it was a verified Twitter account.
No, no, I’m just kidding.
Why’d you get banned from Twitter, Destiny?
I don’t know.
I’ll add that to Elon.
I saw that there was a screenshot of you
referring to the rape of somebody.
Okay, that was on an older Twitter account,
and that was a bad tweet.
You have multiple Twitter accounts,
so you’re trying to go around the bans
that you keep getting.
Okay, hold on.
You’re slandering me a lot right now, okay?
Let’s get the facts straight, okay?
I don’t even remember why my first account got banned,
but it was a wild account.
I tweeted some wildly inappropriate things.
I don’t like that word.
I’m gonna give the answer that most people give,
that’s like, I don’t regret it,
because I learned a lot.
So I’m glad I had the bad experiences that I did.
Why don’t you like the word regret?
I think if we look at where we are,
how do you feel about determinism?
I believe in the hardest of determinism.
That’s who I am, okay?
So who I am today is the culmination
of everything that’s occurred in the past.
I believe you speaking of, sorry to interrupt.
I believe in you speaking about regret
is a nice way to communicate
that in this deterministic world,
you’ve analyzed the acts of the past,
and you’re no longer that person.
Yeah, of course, for sure.
That’s what regret usually means.
Okay, thanks for giving me the human explanation.
In a sense, there’s a lot of things I’ve done that I regret.
Oh, what are you?
You’re not human, you’re a bot?
NPC is my preferred term.
Okay, all right.
I wish I would have been smart enough at the time
to not have to have had made those mistakes.
Okay. There you go.
But yeah, obviously, really dumb,
really crazy, off-the-wall tweets.
But that account got banned,
but then I made another account called,
I can’t believe I’m giving you a history
of my Twitter accounts,
but I had another account called OmniDestiny.
It’s an honor.
And that was my, I got verified, I was cool,
they let me have that account,
because originally they banned it,
and I said, appeal, and I was like,
oh, let me have one more.
And back then, Twitter was cool,
and they were like, okay, go for it.
And that account lasted for a long time.
And I don’t actually know 100% why that account got banned.
I believe that the tweet that showed up in the final,
I got banned for hate speech.
And it was because I was,
there was a picture that I tweeted
with three different alt-righters
that are kind of like neo-Nazi people,
and they were all like mixed-race people.
And I said, like, the new alt-right
looks like a Disney Channel original movie,
in terms of racial composition.
And somehow they got flagged
for instigating violence against minorities, I think.
And I think that’s the tweet that got me banned,
because I think that’s what showed up in the final report.
But I don’t know, maybe there were other reasons,
because nobody ever communicates.
But ever since that account went under,
it’s just been ban evading ever since, so.
Oh, ban evading ever since.
So all my new accounts that got banned just get banned,
because they finally figure out it’s me,
and then they ban evade.
There’s like one dude at Twitter HQ
who’s like constantly looking for my new accounts,
and they get me, yeah.
So post-Trump world.
Do you think, okay, I mean, this-
Oh, should he be banned?
Oh, you asked me to make both cases.
Should he be banned?
I mean, damn, dude, when you’re tweeting out shit
that’s arguably leading to stuff like January 6th,
I can understand why,
because it’s like, what else is this wild dude
gonna tweet out?
Like, is he gonna start instigating other violent events?
So I’m sympathetic towards the like,
okay, well, he can’t just be here saying stuff like this.
We’re gonna ban him.
Instigating actual physical violence in the physical world.
Yeah, like if I were to tweet stuff like that,
I would get banned, probably.
On the flip side,
this is the President of the United States.
It seems like he’s like doing presidential decree
by social media sometimes.
Like, is it really right that one public,
or private, I should say,
one private company can like erase
the President of the United States words
from the eyes of a lot of Americans
that are using these social media feeds?
And one big one, which I for sure am against,
is the permanent ban.
Yeah, I don’t like that.
I hate that.
Even in my community.
If somebody comes back after like a year,
like, I mean-
Did you just compare yourself
to the President of the United States?
No, I compared myself to Twitter
banning the President of the United States.
Let me put it this way.
If I ban Donald Trump in my chat room,
I’d unban him in a year.
What’s the process for unbanning Donald Trump?
What would he have to do?
Usually, people send me an email,
and they’re like, listen, I did this stuff.
I’m sorry I was dumb.
I’ll give him another chance.
But a year?
What if they send an email a month later?
Usually, I’ll unban him.
That’s usually my policy.
I ban pretty quickly in my community,
but if you ever ask me to come back-
You’re a big softie.
I usually let him back, yeah.
Well, because I used to be
the worst type of internet person,
and I think I’m a little bit better than I used to be, so.
Now that you’re older.
Yeah, now that I’ve matured, yeah, of course.
Age bestows a wisdom
that just can’t be gotten any other way.
What’s your sense in general?
Is there something interesting you could say
about your view on free speech?
It seems like one of those terms
that’s also overused to mean a lot of different things.
What does it mean to you?
If you have a democratic style of governance,
you are entrusting people
with one of the most awesome
and radical of responsibilities.
And that’s saying that you’re going to pick the people
that are gonna make some of the hardest decisions
in all of human history.
If you’re gonna trust people to vote correctly,
you have to be able to trust them
to have open and honest dialogue with each other.
Whether that’s Nazis or KKK people or whoever talking,
you have to believe that your people
are going to be able to rise above
and make the correct determinations
when they hear these types of speeches.
And if you’re so worried
that somebody’s gonna hear a certain political figure
and they’re gonna be completely radicalized instantly,
then what that tells me
is that you don’t have enough faith in humans
for democracy to be a viable institution.
Which is fine.
You can be anti-democratic,
but I don’t think you can be pro-democracy
and anti-free speech.
So what’s the within reason?
I mean, you can’t post like child porn
or something on Twitter
where people try to get you on that stuff.
Or like direct calls to violence are probably not.
You shouldn’t be tweeting out like,
we’re gonna meet up tomorrow and go bomb,
blah, blah, blah, probably not.
So do you think it’s okay to allow racism
and antisemitism and hate speech?
Hate speech, yes.
Because that can be very broadly defined.
I can understand there being some basic rules
of like no slurs on like a platform
that gets into like acceptable forms of moderation
or like excessive harassment and bullying,
I can understand.
But past that, when the moderation becomes ideological,
I get a little bit nervous
because there’s a whole other host of reasons.
Of course, it’s all a gray area,
but when it feels like ideology
has seeped into the censorship, not good.
Yeah, which it’s so fascinating to think,
especially now that Elon bought Twitter,
how do you engineer a system
that prevents ideology from seeping in
and nevertheless is able to create a platform
that has healthy conversations?
Because if you have one guy
who’s just screaming nonsense nonstop,
it has this effect where the quiet voices
at the back of the room are silenced.
So like, that’s what you usually don’t talk about.
Like if you let one annoying, loud person in,
that’s actually censoring the voice of a lot of people
that would like to speak, but they don’t get a chance.
That’s one of the things,
especially around like trans discourse,
I have to constantly do that,
like reminder for my audiences.
So like when I’m dealing with these types of people
on the internet, a lot of them might seem really crazy,
a lot of these types of people might seem insane,
but like in the real world,
outside of like the crazy Twitter activist world,
like the vast majority of people
you’re meeting from LGBT communities
are like the coolest, normalest people.
All they want is the right to live their life
in the way they want to and to be like unobstructed.
And like, yeah, but people will get this impression
of like an online activist,
like a vegan or LGBT person or whatever.
And then they think that every single person
in real life is like that.
And it’s a really negative stereotype.
And then even the other people in that group.
Oh, is Melina coming over?
Oh yeah, I don’t know if that’s her.
Okay, Melina just joined us.
What were we talking about?
Was it interesting?
You were saying that you were gonna talk to Elon
about getting at Omnidestiny,
the verified Twitter account, unbanned.
I said, that’s so-
That sounds like a lie.
That’s so gracious of you.
I can’t even believe you would do that for me.
And then you admitted that you tried
to evade the ban multiple times,
which I’m sure would be very looked upon.
You know, I heard that in Norway, in their prison system,
they don’t actually punish you for trying to escape jail
because that’s like the natural human thing to do.
They hug you?
What do they do?
I don’t know if they, but they don’t punish you
because of course you’re trying to be free.
That’s all I’m trying to be on Twitter.
I’m just trying to be free.
That’s the natural humanistic-
That’s the natural, of course, it’s the banning of it.
You’re not a destructive force.
No, I’m a positive, I’m a force for good.
That’s why all my accounts only get banned
for banning banning.
I don’t get banned for doing bad things.
And I’m a progressive show.
I’m like far left.
I love like progressive causes.
I thought this is what you criticized Hasan for being.
I show them from a place of first principles,
not from a mindless AI echoing kind of thing, you know?
Okay, so you’re a free thinking bot.
All right, cool.
Well, I’m sure we’ll return to some politics.
That was beautiful.
Malia, can you tell us about yourself?
You’re also a fellow streamer.
Yes. What’s your story?
I stream and I started streaming
because I met him basically, kind of,
but I don’t do the politics.
I do like travels or talk about relationships,
talk to my audience, basically.
You’re from that part of the world, right, Sweden?
So did you escape from prison and they didn’t-
That was Norway, you just went to Norway.
It’s a different-
I actually really, I’ve been to Sweden a bunch of times.
I love it.
There’s a tech sector there
that’s really, like, flourishing.
Where did you go?
I went to Stockholm.
I think I gave a few lectures there.
There’s a vibrant tech sector, it was cool.
And people are super nice.
Yeah, we’re friendly.
We’re not, like, very deep.
Like, we don’t really have much deep conversation.
It’s like a meta conversation.
Oh, there’s not many intellectuals that come from Sweden?
We don’t really speak very highly of ourselves.
We kind of, like, just chill all the time.
We don’t make a scene.
We don’t, we’re just, like, talking, you know?
Do you know what the name for that is?
There’s a specific name for it.
Oh, there’s a philosophy behind it.
When you’re part of, like, Sweden or Norway,
you, like, you don’t talk too highly of yourself
because it’s seen as kind of, like, rude.
Like, think of, like, America as the exact opposite.
You don’t even really want to, like,
you don’t want to make yourself into a victim too much.
You don’t want to be too much of anything.
You’re just, like, sticking to the group.
Don’t make a big scene about yourself.
But that said, you came here
and you put yourself in front of a camera
and became a streamer.
Yes, do you understand how weird that is
for my friends in Sweden?
Do you have anxiety?
I just didn’t talk about myself
and just, like, make a big deal about myself
for hours every day.
Was that, like, terrifying?
Did you have anxiety about that?
No, because I don’t see them.
But then I come back and I’m like, ooh.
Also, what do you feel like when you’re actually streaming?
You feel like you’re just alone in a room?
One-on-one type thing?
No, I see Chad and I’m thinking,
oh, they’re like little fairies.
They’re not really real.
They’re just, like, out there.
I don’t know what they look like.
I just see little demons and they’re just cute.
And just colors, you know?
You’re talking to little fairies inside your head.
Yeah, that’s what I do.
Is that how you feel about Chad?
They’re demons for me, but-
Okay, my Anna fairies.
Are they, so is Chad a source of stress or happiness?
Like, is there a-
No, for me, it’s a source of happiness.
I’ve been very intentional
with, like, the construction of my community,
so I’m really happy with where it’s at.
How are you able to actually have deep political discourse
while playing a video game at the same time?
I have a really good chat room
in terms of, like, the way that people
engage in conversations.
Like, I was one of the earliest people
to embrace the philosophy of, like,
I am in total control of what people watch me think,
that, like, I have a high level of responsibility
for how they conduct themselves,
and that if I conduct myself in a certain way,
I can expect a certain level of conduct from them.
And for the most part, it’s, like,
worked pretty well for the past,
you know, nine or 10 years, yeah.
What about the actual playing of the game?
Like, you’re able to parallelize the brain, like-
Like, it seems, like,
Factorio seems like a super complex game.
Yeah, I don’t actually think that’s possible.
I don’t think multitasking for a human brain is possible.
If you see me playing a game,
usually what’s happening is the conversation is, like,
I’ve had it a million times,
so I’m not thinking about it.
I’ve automated that.
Or if the conversation is very challenging,
then if you watch me,
if you really watch what’s happening in the game,
I’m probably just running around in circles
because I have to think about the conversation.
Because with Factorio,
it looks like a lot of stuff is going on.
So it’s hard for a person who hasn’t played the game
to detect that you’re not actually-
Does that come off as, like,
you’re super intelligent and multitask,
or does it come off as, like,
he’s not interested in this conversation at all?
Yeah, there’s a coolness to it.
Like, when you’re not paying attention,
like, if you’re looking elsewhere,
like, you’re checking your phone,
you’re too cool for this conversation.
There is a sense like that.
Yeah, the reality is, though,
is if you watch,
it was easier to see in Minecraft,
because in Minecraft,
when there was a challenging conversation,
if you watch me play,
I’m literally just running around and jumping in circles
because I have to think about the conversation 100%.
I can’t do a complicated task
and think about the conversation.
Or, like, the people always joke in my chat,
like, oh, no, the notepad came out.
If it’s a really challenging conversation,
I’ll get rid of the game,
and I’ll bring out a notepad,
and I’ll start writing stuff down
to keep track of what’s going on, yeah.
So what kind of stuff do you stream?
So advice, you talk about-
Yeah, like, either I talk to chat
or I travel around, basically.
Like, have a conversation,
so we, like, go to countries.
I’ve been to, like, Italy.
I was in Italy for, like, one and a half months,
just, like, traveling around alone,
going to cities,
like, having, like, my camera with me
and, like, streaming for hours.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve been to?
It’s probably New Zealand.
I think so.
After that, it’s probably gonna be Italy, I think,
because I like history and, yeah.
Oh, so both history,
because New Zealand is also beautiful.
So it’s both natural beauty and historical beauty.
Yeah, for sure.
I think I just really like the Polynesian sort of culture.
I think it’s very interesting,
like the ocean people,
and it’s just really beautiful.
People are very relaxed, chill.
They’re very far away,
which is interesting as well,
because whenever they talk about politics
or they talk about just, like, the world,
it feels really far away.
So where’s home for you?
Is Austin home?
It’s home for me.
A human being is home?
We’ve lived in a lot of different places
and traveled around a lot.
So that’s why you think of home as, like, humans?
I think so, yeah.
I mean, if there’s gonna be a place,
it’s probably gonna be, like,
my childhood places, probably.
Like, my old country house or something like that.
We don’t have it anymore,
but, like, that’s, like, home for me, I guess.
So how’d you guys meet each other?
You’re currently married.
To each other, yeah.
To each other.
Just making sure we’re on the same page.
All right, cool.
How’d you guys meet?
I was watching his YouTube stuff, like, 2018, I think,
like, because it was the Swedish election around that time
and I was interested in politics.
And then I think he said in one of his videos
that he had an Instagram
and that he needed people to stop DMing him
that wasn’t cutie pies.
And then I messaged him and said,
am I a cutie pie?
And then you replied in, like, two minutes.
And then, that’s when I was in New Zealand.
And I guess you wanted to escape America
or, like, LA for a little bit.
And that included New Zealand.
Where were you mentally there?
Because we’ve talked through this timeline.
Was it 18, 19?
Where was the low point?
Or that was way earlier?
Low point, carpet cleaning.
That was, like, 2010.
2018 was probably your peak.
Every day now is my peak.
What do you mean?
Why would you say that?
Nobody ever admits being past their prime.
Just so you know.
Well, I mean, my prime is still coming up.
It was probably around the time
where you were getting a lot of lefties
through your community
and you were really, like,
thinking about that they would go too far.
I think that was still when Hasan and Vosh
were both in my community.
So I would say it feels like
there was not really, like, much issues
when it comes to your stuff
or, like, your work stuff back then.
Oh, something we didn’t talk about is that, like,
there were no politics on Twitch.
I exclusively inhabited that place
for, like, two years
because nobody else did it
because it was a really toxic environment for politics.
So for a couple of years as it grew,
like, I kind of grew the whole space
because it wasn’t, nobody was doing it yet.
What did that look like?
You’re having, like, political debates,
Yeah, mainly, like, going into YouTube people
to try to argue with them
or just doing politics on stream,
like reading stories, researching stuff,
talking about stuff.
But there’s not, like, other people on Twitch
to debate about politics
because there was no politics.
It was, yeah.
Was there a debate in the space of communism,
socialism, social democrats,
are you trying to outline your own position
during that time?
I think it was mainly me fighting against conservatives
because it was, like, Trump stuff.
And then it was coming off the back of, like,
there was this movement called Gamergate
and there was all this anti-SJW stuff on the internet.
And I was, like, the SJW, like, the progressive
that was fighting on the progressive side of things.
So I think that’s what I was known for.
But I was fighting with people off of Twitch
because on Twitch,
there weren’t very many political discussions happening.
So you were holding the SJW flag.
To what degree do you still hold it?
Like, what’s the best,
what’s the steelman case for SJW?
I mean, like, I’m still very much that SJW
from 2018, 2019.
But the positions have moved so much farther left
that some people might not call me that anymore.
I’m not sure.
It depends on who I’m talking to.
So it’s basically, what is social justice?
Were you, like, being sensitive to the experience of others?
Yeah, being sensitive and empathetic
towards the experience of others
and then trying to build a better world
that, like, suits as many different types of people
as possible while being, like, aware of, like, their needs.
So you guys met, like, from your perspective,
is that, is she telling lies?
Is it accurate?
No, it’s pretty accurate, yeah.
Okay, when’d you guys actually meet?
I flew out in 2019.
19, yeah, and, like, in February.
Yeah, basically, there was, like,
weird stuff happening in LA.
I’d just come off of kind of a weird,
not kind of sort of relationship,
and I just wanted to, like, go away for a while.
Another company reached out to me,
and they had, like, a fun streaming device,
and they said they’d sponsor a trip if I went somewhere.
And I was like, oh, well, I know this person.
I know a couple of people in New Zealand.
Melina’s one of them.
It’s like, I’ll go to New Zealand.
It’ll be fun.
And, yeah, I did that for two weeks.
Do you guys believe in love?
I feel like you lack the gotcha got us into this.
I’m not sure to the degree to which you have human emotions.
I have quite a few.
Okay, from your perspective,
when did you fall in love with Melina?
When did you fall in love with Meli Mel?
The minute I saw her.
I don’t know.
Our first two weeks together were a lot of fun.
We had a lot of chemistry in person.
I was kind of shocked I wasn’t thinking about it,
because we spent a week together,
and you said, I really want to tell you something,
and you were stalling that for the longest time.
I think she was…
Oh, she said, I love you?
No, he basically just said,
I really like you, and it never really happens.
That’s what he said.
And I was like, oh, and I thought, hey, I thought.
So let’s still run.
We said Trump getting banned from Twitter.
Is that what we were talking about before?
Hey, you agreed to me coming on here.
Of course I’m gonna be doing this to you.
So how long did that take?
Two weeks, you said?
It took like a week.
No, I don’t know.
I think it was just like…
The thing is, my mind processes information so quickly.
Two weeks to somebody like you is actually years for me.
Oh, like me?
Yeah, so there was a lot of factorial type
of strategic thinking going on.
I was seeing all the events,
like Dr. Strange or whatever in the Avengers,
when he’s seeing into all the futures.
Oh, so when you saw me, you just saw the future?
Yeah, I was looking at all of them, yeah.
You were doing some game theoretic simulation
of all the possible outcomes?
But no, yeah, it was probably pretty soon I realized
that we had a lot of chemistry.
I think before I left after my two weeks there,
I was like, we need to make sure you got a ticket
to come visit me in the United States
because it’ll be fun and everything.
We kind of decided that last minute too.
It was really like five hours before your flight back.
We kind of realized because it was kind of like,
men, it’s just like a one-time thing.
And then that was it.
But we’re like, oh no, this is a lot of fun.
We should probably hang out again.
Oh, so you realized you would miss each other.
This was a one-time thing.
The melancholy side of love.
Okay, when did you fall in love with Steven?
I thought he hated me.
I don’t know.
I thought, not hated me.
She still thinks I hate her.
No, I remember what he said that he really liked me.
I was a little shocked about that.
Cause I don’t know.
There was a lot of random things happening in New Zealand.
It was a lot of fun,
but it was definitely very interesting things that happened
because I was around a lot of other people as well.
So I thought he might’ve had a really bad time.
But when he said that, I was thinking about it more.
And then we spent more time together a week after that.
And then it felt like that was more real.
And I think when he was about to leave,
I kind of realized like, no, I really like him.
Do you guys ever say love to each other?
Like, I love you?
Yeah, of course.
Okay, all right.
I wasn’t sure.
Why would you ask that?
What has he said before?
Cause I haven’t, I don’t think I’ve heard you speak.
The only time I’ve heard Steven talk about love
is when you’re like criticizing the Red Pill community,
saying they don’t ever talk about love in relationships.
Almost all the time I’m giving criticism to people.
Like I said, I’m kind of stepping in.
I’m very disconnected from my own emotional experience
because I’m trying to talk within there.
So it’s pretty rare that I’ll talk about.
What is your own emotional experience exactly?
Highly blunted, I guess.
There’s a lot.
What does that mean?
I mean, what’s deep in there?
Are you, is this just who you are genetically
or are you running from something?
I think I have a pretty good understanding of myself.
A lot of people make that accusation to me,
but I don’t think I am.
This is just who you are?
It’s just who I am, yeah.
This is not childhood stuff like trauma?
It’s all sorted and done.
You figured it all out?
I figure old age as I grow every year,
I figure out more and more.
He did mention, I think I heard this somewhere
that this is a source of fights
for the two of you, the age thing.
I felt the ageism throughout this whole conversation.
He’s basically, he’s saying that he gambles like with time.
He’s just like, oh, I think she will be good later.
And then just like-
It’s like an investment, yeah.
It’s like what he’s doing.
When this treasury bond matures,
I’m gonna be able to cash out.
What do you think so far?
Is the stocks going up or?
What’s that mean?
It’s like Bitcoin.
Like Bitcoin, crypto mill.
If you guys don’t mind,
one interesting aspect of your relationship
is you’re in an open relationship.
What’s that like?
From a game theoretic simulation perspective,
what went into that calculation?
And like, how does that-
Like how it started or?
Yeah, how did that started, sure.
The only relationships I’ve ever done
has been open relationships
since I was like in high school.
Cause I didn’t really understand
like why wouldn’t you be able to like
do other things with other people,
but then just like have your main partner basically.
So what is an open relationship generally speaking?
That means you have one main partner?
Not a monogamous relationship.
Like you’re somehow allowed like in different ways.
You can see other people sexually.
Sexually, but like there’s one main station.
It doesn’t have to be there for some people,
but like I think it’s probably easier
and we probably don’t really have time
or the energy for like more than
like one person to like really like-
What about like emotional?
There’s a lot of complicated stuff going on
under the hood there.
I think broadly speaking,
you’ve got like polyamorous relationships
and you’ve got like open relationships
where polyamorous is like,
oh, I’ve got like three different girlfriends
and we all hang out or sometimes even live together
or three boyfriends, whatever.
And then you’ve got like open relationships,
which is like, oh, you know,
like you can basically hook up with other people
and then you’ve got like your main relationship
and that’s it.
I think ours is probably somewhere in the middle of that
to where like we’ve got like long-term friends,
some of them we hook up with
and that’s kind of how we, yeah,
it’s a delicate dance that explodes
every six months on itself.
So it does explode, you guys fight over it?
We fight over some things, yeah.
It things happen, yeah.
I think it’s mostly because a lot of people can’t handle it
and they agree to something
and then they realize that we’re way too cool
and then they get really obsessed
and they think that they can like get in there
and then it gets really dramatic.
Have you figured it out?
I feel like we figure out things more and more
like when it comes to like what’s a good person
for us to hang out
and what’s not a good person for us to hang out with
or like I probably have more opinions
on like who he hangs out with
because he likes the fucking psychos.
Yeah, so you like to surround-
He likes the nut, like the crazy ones,
like the baby trap sort of women.
That’s the ones and I don’t like that
because that affects me.
That affects your game theoretical relation.
Right, you like to surround yourself
like in general you’ve talked about with crazy people.
I say crazy and I really shouldn’t.
It’s a humorous way.
It’s like, yeah.
They’re very unstable.
Can be unstable, but people that are very unique.
Like when I meet this person, that’s like-
Yeah, not boring, yeah.
And you said that you’re progressively
becoming not boring yourself.
No, I think I’m pretty stable.
I don’t let them affect me much, but-
So you don’t think they affect your-
No, if I’ve said that, I said it jokingly.
I think I’ve like, I’ve got my stuff
like really well figured out.
It’s what allows me to engage with people like this
so easily because I can engage,
I can make them feel seen and heard
and then if it gets insane, I can cut off
and I can be chill.
Like very few things affect me in the longterm.
Do you guys experience jealousy?
Usually like whenever I feel like he’s not spending
the like the amount of time that I’m asking for
and he spends it on his video games or his stream
or like he sees someone else like more than he sees me
or something like that, that would like not be good
because then it affects like our relationship.
Do you have a good sense of like,
is it literally time or is it the energy put into the-
It’s probably like if he’s with me,
that like the attention and the time
like when he hangs out with me
and then there’s also probably the time.
So if I feel like something else is distracting too much,
like it could be work or it could be a friend
or it could be anything.
Like if I feel like it starts to take away from like me,
then I’m having an issue with it.
I don’t think he really cares much.
I guess the only jealousy you experience
is probably when you feel like,
like if I get upset about him seeing someone too much
and then I go see someone more
and then he’s like, why can’t I go see my friend more
like as much as you?
So like, that’s the sort of like thing
that we’re trying to navigate on, I guess.
I think we are like diametrically opposed sometimes
in terms of how we view like engagement with people
or engagement with the world sometimes.
So like on her end of the spectrum,
like a perfect week for her might be like being in a cabin,
watching like fireflies at night,
going hiking every morning, going swimming at the beach
because it’s like, you’re taking in
like the grandeur of nature.
You’re like connected with yourself.
You’re like very at peace.
Everything is like chill and cool.
There’s the wind, the feeling of nature, everything.
That’s like her peak living experience.
I like being present.
Yeah, and like my peak experiences
are like people trying to destroy my life,
like the challenge of like navigating
really complicated discussion,
like, you know, several different dramatic events
unfolding in my career.
Like these things are like very,
I like the stress and the action and the entertainment
and everything’s like very cool for me.
So when we’re together,
she generally wants me to be like more chill.
But if I don’t feel like I’m being like stimulated a lot,
then it’s easy for like my mind to wander.
To wander somewhere else.
That’s kind of the issue.
We have a very different way of like engaging with the world.
So how can you find happiness in the stillness?
I feel like if we’re just like aware of it
and we’re trying our best,
like whenever we like we’re supposed to do this one thing.
So let’s say that we want to go to New York
and I’m like, we should just like go out
and do this one specific thing.
We try to find something that he enjoys doing.
Like now that we’re in Texas,
we can go shooting or do something fun that he enjoys
then we can do it.
And then I think like,
just like for me also to be aware
that like when he spends a lot of time on crazy people,
it’s not because he like loves them
or wants to be with them.
It’s just because he likes having his life destroyed.
Like you said, which I don’t really do.
It’s just a completely different thing.
So like for me to like understand more like how he’s thinking
because it’s so different from mine
and for him to understand how I’m thinking about things
and like what I prioritize in my life,
I think that’s like how we navigate.
But I think it’s good.
I think the differences can be good.
Like when we’re finding a way, yeah.
Well, I think you’re, you’re relatable.
More of a human, you’re an AI.
No, I’m definitely very difficult to get along with.
Like I always tell people that,
that like if you’re dating me for like more than a few years,
like you get like an award for that.
It’s like a war zone that you’ve survived.
That you’re like a veteran, you get medals and stuff.
And it’s always like,
I think there’s probably been like six different,
I don’t think she says it anymore,
but there were like six different times in our relationship
where she’s like, is it always like this?
Is this actually right?
And like every next year, it’s like-
You lied in the beginning of about,
like you were lying about that.
Well, it got worse.
You were like, no, it’s just like right now,
I’m having a huge argument online
about saying the N-word in private.
It’s just going to be like this,
and I’m going to be streaming 24 hours a day.
And I’m like, when are you going to go to bed?
It’s been a week.
Did playing League come into this?
A little bit, but I’m clean.
I’m clean of League like six months right now.
What do you hate about League of Legends?
I never got-
Well, speaking of which,
my participation in League involved on the robot side.
That’s an improvement.
Because both with StarCraft II and League of Legends,
because OpenAI and DeepMind
both participated in creating bots in those.
I was a professional StarCraft II player,
so I remember when the AI started to play.
It’s interesting, the types of restrictions
that you would have to put on like a gaming robot
to make it like functional
and not totally unfair to the other side.
Yeah, to make it human-like.
Was that interesting to you,
to see AI be able to play those video games?
I think in some ways,
people think things are more complicated
than they actually are.
And I think video games is one of those things
where we’re like, oh my God,
there’s like a million possibilities at every second
and who knows?
And it’s like, no, there’s like three or four things
going on at any point in time.
And I’m willing to bet that like an AI
could probably solve some of these games like pretty easily,
especially if there are no constraints
on how they can learn, yeah.
Can I talk to you about relationships?
Yeah, we already have, so.
Yeah, I know, but more generally speaking,
we didn’t get a chance to talk
about the Red Pill community.
Well, first of all, what is the Red Pill community,
the metasphere in general?
I’d love to get both of your opinions on this.
I know you’re probably not as opinionated on that whole.
I’d say, what do you think I am then?
Like, probably not as much as you,
but I do have opinions.
You do, okay.
I usually don’t like speak out too much on it
because I feel like there’s like a language barrier.
That’s why I don’t really do politics
because this is my second language, yeah.
That’s right, you have to know the.
A little bit like that, yeah.
You know how to use,
have to use derogatory terms every other sentence
so they understand you, right?
I don’t know anything about that.
But you also, you need like a good,
like you need to be able to like speak really well
for people to take you seriously, I think.
And like, that’s the thing,
like if I don’t have like the words
and I don’t have the,
like I can’t pronounce things correctly,
then people are not gonna say.
And a ESL person searching for words looks stupid,
That’s how people view it, yeah.
Tell me about it.
I have a podcast that a bunch of people listen to
and I mumble and they, yeah.
Wait, what’s your first language?
I speak both languages horribly.
I’m just not, I’m not like,
there is definitely a big disconnect
between my brain and my mouth module.
Like I’m not able to generate the thoughts efficiently.
Like the things you’re able to do,
like the da-da-da-da-da,
like speak like that, I’m not.
It’s very, very tough.
Plus there’s a huge amount of anxiety
and social interaction that I have,
which makes speaking even harder.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I understand it, man.
The gotcha is both a symbol of compassion
and derision at once.
I’m just letting you know,
I understand what you’re saying.
I’m just gonna sit there and stare at you in silence.
No, you can just say like, yeah, I get it.
Yeah, I get it, gotcha.
No, no, gotcha sounds, no, it’s so short.
It’s like, say a longer sentence,
but that means the same thing.
I understand you.
Yeah, good, that’s good.
That’s like, not chills, you know?
You get chills, so you understand me.
Yeah, it feels good.
I hear you.
I hear you.
And like, if you just like hold the other person’s hand,
that’s even better.
You gotta put in some emotion there, okay?
Show that you have some.
What do you think about, gotcha.
What do you think about red pill?
What, sorry, what is it, first of all,
for people who don’t know?
Yeah, the red pill community,
obviously it’s the matrix reference.
The red pill that you take is when you realize
what dating standards and norms really are in the world,
that men are providers and have to become some great thing
to hunt and attract, you know,
the woman who are just kind of there,
floating around, looking for people
to give them the most resources.
And it’s like coming to a realization
of what the world of dating really is,
broken away from the Hollywood standards
and the romantic stuff that they try to sell you
in, you know, stores.
So there was kind of,
maybe you can kind of educate me on this,
but red pill used to be associated with just,
maybe anti-establishment views, I don’t know,
maybe Republican conservative viewpoints,
maybe alt-right. People use,
yeah, they use red pill a lot in like different communities.
Like when you say the red pill community.
Yeah, that usually means dating.
The dating thing.
But a lot of people say, oh, Trump voters, they’re red pilled.
Are you red pilled on like politics or whatever?
People will say stuff like that, yeah.
And then there’s like the manosphere,
that’s all the similar type of stuff.
And Andrew Tate is somebody that represents
kind of the figurehead.
Of the manosphere of like the red pill stuff.
Yeah, I would say so.
I’m pretty sure, yeah.
Okay, all right, cool.
So what are some ideas that they represent
and what do you think about them?
I think they do a good job at speaking
to disaffected young men who feel like
the rest of the world has kind of left them behind
or isn’t willing to speak to them.
And they do identify some true and real problems.
It feels like on the left,
we have a really hard time doing like self-improvement
or telling people how to better themselves.
We focus too much on like structural or systemic issues
rather than what can an individual do
to uplift or empower themselves.
And it also feels like they do a good job
at speaking to some of the positive aspects of masculinity.
That it’s okay to be like strong and brave
and a soldier and a warrior and provide for your family
and blah, blah, blah.
So I would say like those are like positive messages,
like self-improvement and everything
that come from the red pill community.
What’s the negative?
I think the analysis on how men and women interact
is a way too transactional.
All of like the romanticism and love and chemistry
is totally sucked out of it.
Everything is very like sex-based,
like how do you basically have sex
with the most amount of women possible
and that’s gonna make you happy.
And then I think people’s motivations sometimes
are just spoken about in such a shallow derogatory way
that I don’t think is always reflective of reality.
Like a woman only wants you
because you make six figures and you’re tall
and a guy only wants you
because he wants to have sex with you and blah, blah.
Like it feels like there’s a lot of that going on a lot.
Yeah, and that misses some fundamental aspect
about relationships, about meaningful relationships
and so on.
I don’t think, I’ve never heard red pill people ever,
ever talk about like meaningful relationships.
It’s always just how to get in one
or how to have sex really.
Mel, what bothers you about some of that philosophy?
I feel like the people that are like the red pill people,
I feel like their solution
is something that doesn’t actually work out.
Or it works out for some people,
people that makes a lot of money
and is like really successful in that sort of way.
But it’s not gonna help most men out there.
So I feel like it’s just like a pointless speech
to give to these like really lost guys.
And they really do believe that they can become successful,
they can get money
and when they get all these things, they can get girls.
But most of them is not gonna achieve that ever.
To get the money part or become successful?
Just become a billionaire,
and you will get all the girls and which is true,
but not everyone can do that.
So I feel like when these guys are speaking to these men
and they’re just like,
we just care about these men out there,
they need to hear this.
It doesn’t really help a lot of them.
And it doesn’t inspire them to develop compassion
towards the opposite sex,
which is probably something required
to have a meaningful relationship.
And also like they seem to complain a lot about women,
like only wanting men that have money and that’s tall
and that’s muscular or whatever, all those things.
But they complain about that,
but that’s like also kind of what they’re trying to
make the men try to do for themselves.
So they kind of like fall into the same sort of behavior
and it seems like they’re kind of unaware of that as well.
They’re just playing a part of the game
instead of trying to find a woman
that doesn’t look for those things
and that are looking for not those things, yeah.
I actually would love to have like straight up data
on people in that world versus not in that world,
how often they get laid.
Like literally, so I think for sure,
people in that world have fewer meaningful
long-term relationships that are fulfilling,
that actually helped them succeed in life,
that helped them be happy and content
and all that kind of stuff.
But just even the straight up,
the shallow goal of getting laid, I wonder.
Because it’s very possible that like just the roughness
with which they treat intellectually women,
that might lead to lower success, not higher success.
It’s very adversarial,
which I think is always disappointing.
Anything that talks about men and women,
I think it’s good to acknowledge differences,
but when it becomes like adversarial,
especially when you talk about sex,
sex is something that men are getting
and it’s something that women are giving
and that type of like trade-off
and the way they talk about it is like,
yeah, it sets people against each other
in a really toxic way, I think.
How do you talk to people from that world,
from the red pill world?
Like would you ever talk to like somebody like Andrew Tate?
Oh yeah, if I had the chance to.
I’ve been on the Fresh and Fit podcast a few times
and then I’ve got a friend, Sneeko,
who’s like very red pill, that stuff.
If I’m trying to talk to them,
usually it’s kind of like approaching it like a scared cat.
The first thing you have to do is like be very gentle
and say like, I understand your issues,
I understand your complaints,
I know that I’m scary because you think I’m gonna say
like toxic masculinity and feminism
and all these scary words at you.
So the first thing is always to recognize it.
Like a lot of what they talk about,
there are like true aspects to what they’re talking about
that people on the left won’t recognize.
So I think it’s good to acknowledge those things
that like men and women are kind of different.
We do look for different things in general
when it comes to relationships.
It’s okay to say that, there’s nothing bad there.
And then it’ll usually be like, once I’ve got your trust
and I’m in your bubble,
like let’s talk about the things that you want
and maybe some of the strategies that you’re employing
aren’t necessarily gonna get you
some of the things that you want.
So for instance, if you’re really worried
about like shallow girls, like ruining your life,
like Melina said, it’s probably not best
to build your entire worldview
around trying to get shallow girls
that are gonna ruin your life.
Like if your way of attracting a girl
is to go to the gym, get a whole bunch of money
and try to like flaunt your wealth as much as possible,
you’re gonna be attracting the very same type of women
that you’re here like decrying on your stream.
You think we talked about that on the podcast,
like you probably wanna have a woman that’s gonna be there
if you lose your job, it’s still there.
Like that cares about the things that’s not just your job.
It’s more stable.
And also I don’t help you become a great man
or a great like grow.
Like I feel like a great friendship and a partnership,
like it helps you make you a better person.
Some of the most successful people I know,
I mean, they have families
and there’s clearly a dynamic there
that’s like that makes them,
they wouldn’t be that without.
They’re not an island, yeah.
Yeah, and the kids actually a big part of that too.
Like for most people, if you’re like a good parent,
they make you step up somehow in life.
You have to take responsibility
for getting your shit together
and excelling in ways that I guess the philosophy
of the Red Bull does not quite get to.
That’s always an interesting,
I think I’ve asked that a couple of times
where it’s like,
would you let your daughter date Andrew Tate?
And it’s always funny to watch them
kind of like squirm around those answers sometimes.
But see, if they don’t have a daughter,
like I don’t have a daughter,
I think your whole philosophy changes
once you have a daughter.
But even at that, like they can,
they know that what they’re answering,
they feel a little bit weird about it.
It’s funny to watch them,
even they know it’s like, ah, fuck, you know?
Well, they might say like,
I want my daughter to date like a high value male
to the degree that he’s a high value male, yes.
But like, I don’t think you’ll feel that way.
The definition of high value changes completely.
Certainly the stereotypical measures of value
contribute to the calculation,
but it’s so much more than that.
I think the chemistry of the whole thing is bigger.
You’ve also mentioned about body count.
You guys both have a high body count.
Does body count matter?
Or it depends, like you said,
it’s low in some people’s eyes,
it’s high in other people’s eyes.
Does body count matter in relationships?
Does the past matter?
Well, the past matters.
I don’t think body count.
Not to me, I don’t really care.
Not just as it is, no.
I mean, it could be.
What the past does.
Well, the past is who you are, right?
Like somebody tells me like they have a 200 body count
and they’re 16.
Something’s probably going on there that’s not good.
I was thinking about that too, like,
because it could be like really young people
that are having some sort of like mental.
What’s going on?
Or somebody is like 45
and they’ve like never had sex before.
There’s probably something going on, right?
So it could be indicative.
But if somebody is like in their 20s
and they’ve had sex with, you know,
a hundred people or 50 people, whatever,
it’s, you know, whatever.
There’s more experience, which can be good.
Okay, so that just represents you’re like sexually open
and so it doesn’t really necessarily mean any kind of.
Not necessarily, it could though.
The number alone doesn’t mean anything.
Well, you could meet a guy that’s like,
I just really, really like when I fuck a lot of people
because it makes me so cool.
Like, you can meet someone like that,
which is like, maybe.
So the body count doesn’t matter,
but like where it comes from.
Like, yeah, like why have you slept
with the people that you slept with, I guess.
Does it hurt like the romantic aspect of the relationship,
knowing that there’s a lot of people in the past?
I don’t know.
Not for us.
Is a part of the relationship fundamentally romantic?
Yeah, I’d say so.
Yeah, for us, yeah.
You come off as such a cold person.
No, I was just in my head thinking
and I wanted to just say gotcha right there.
It’s so judgmental.
I think when it comes to the sex thing,
there’s always like, the way that I explain it is,
and I understand like, I have to say this
because I don’t advocate for what I do for everybody
or what she does for everybody.
Because obviously there’s a whole bunch
of natural feelings of jealousy
that pop up for a lot of people.
But when people ask me, you know, it’s always like,
oh, like, isn’t this like horrible
that you guys are doing this and you don’t love each other?
From my perspective, I can have sex with like any person
and it can be sex.
Like, that’s not like a special thing
between two people in my eyes.
It’s like, anybody can have sex.
But there are like certain activities
and ways that you can spend time with each other
where you’re like carving out
these like precious little moments in time
with a certain person that can do things
that are special to that person.
And those are the kind of like events
that I remember more than anything else.
So like the idea of like, oh, wow,
I had sex with a person that was so special
doesn’t mean as much as like, you know,
us traveling to like New Zealand
or sharing some special moment
doing like some really fun activity or event or whatever.
That’s usually how I look at it, yeah.
So a shared intimate moment.
I kind of agree,
but I can definitely connect the romance with sex.
I’m curious why you can’t do that.
That’s because she’s a woman.
See, that’s where the red pill’s right.
It’s exactly what you said.
We also talked about misogyny,
which is clearly the embodiment of that.
What were you saying?
So there’s some, there’s a connection between romance and-
Yeah, I think it is
because I think sex could be a lot of things, right?
It’s some sort of bonding, I’d say, in some way.
Let’s say that you really like BDSM.
You kind of like, you become submissive to someone
or you take control over someone.
It’s like a very bonding, intimate moment, I’d say.
And that’s romantic.
The intimacy is romantic.
I think it is.
If you can show yourself as really submissive or weak,
or you have absolutely no control over yourself
and you let someone else do it,
or you are the one being that,
like you are the dominant for someone,
I think that’s a really intimate thing
because you show the weakest part of yourself, kind of.
I just feel like I personally,
to me, some component of romantic,
but to me, this is not judging to others.
Maybe it’s how I was brought up.
The romance increases if the number of intimate interactions
are limited to one person.
For me, for some reason, spreading it out
decreases exponentially the feeling of romance you feel.
I don’t know what, that could be just like
sort of having grown up in the Soviet Union.
There’s a kind of, there’s the fairy tale stories
and you’re kind of maybe living through them.
Yeah, I mean, I think what you’re saying
is like really normal.
Most people probably feel that way, yeah.
But because you guys are able to successfully not do that,
I just wanna question my own understanding of it, you know?
Like why is that?
Why is that?
Why am I being very jealous for no reason?
Maybe you can maximize the number of intimate experiences
if you just open up and let go of the jealousy, essentially.
I feel like in Sweden, like in Scandinavia,
we’re extremely just sexually open, like in general.
We’re not like super religious either.
We’re very like relaxed.
We don’t feel bad about ourselves.
It’s just like a different sort of thing.
And I would say like we’re more progressive
when it comes to feminism and stuff.
So it’s more common they will meet women
with a higher body count than like,
when I meet like American girls,
all of them have like vaginismus,
like super suppressed like sexually.
And they have like-
Wait, what did you just use?
They have like issues to like,
they can’t relax during sex, so it just hurts for them.
Vaginismus, isn’t that what it’s called?
So like I meet so many girls
that are having like a lot of issues with sex
and they have like a very low body count
because they just can’t relax or they, yeah.
And it’s probably, and usually they come
from like a very religious background.
So they have just been told, like, you cannot wear that.
You cannot be like that.
You can’t like, you know, and like where I grew up,
it was not like that at all.
We just see it as more like a casual thing.
So then you could just maximize
the awesomeness of the experience.
Yeah, I guess.
You don’t have to trouble over it.
I think the important thing I think for everybody to realize
is there’s always pros and cons to everything.
Like my lifestyle,
like obviously I get to have a lot of fun experiences.
That’s like a huge pro and that’s super cool.
And if you’re like a more monogamy brain person,
you’re not gonna get those experiences.
But if you’re a monogamy brain person,
like when you’re sharing that special moment in time
with somebody else,
like that moment can be really, really, really special
because now it’s the thing that you’re showing yourself
and opening yourself up to another person
and they’re only trusting you to do that.
And that’s like a really special thing
that only the two of you are sharing with each other.
So, I mean like there’s always like pros and cons
Like, I think we both would say like,
like doing an open relationship is probably not,
like we would not recommend it.
Yeah, no, of course not.
I don’t think we would, no.
Yeah, I recently fasted for three days
and I ate a chicken breast at the end of that.
And it was like the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten.
So like there’s some aspect of fasting and scarcity
and so on that like,
and you have to figure out what for your own psyche,
what works the best.
I think it’s good to be a little bored
or like not do something or like work
because you can just enjoy the time
when you’re doing something really fun.
It’s more fun, otherwise you’re just gonna get numb
in general with everything, yeah.
Yeah, I personally just never get bored.
Like, I guess the boring thing is exciting to me.
You’re like me because everything I like is boring.
I gotta ask you, we talked about misogyny
and he’s trying to battle it out on the internet.
What’s your sense as a woman
about the level of misogyny in the internet,
in the streaming community and how to fight it?
For me, I guess I get it every single day somehow.
Like, because I have an online,
like I have a chat that’s live, right?
But I have like mods moderating that all the time
so I don’t really need to see much of it.
I think it’s just pretty annoying
because you get to like see it all the time.
So it’s become like background noise?
Yeah, a little bit and it’s like the same comments
over and over again.
But it’s usually for me,
I don’t personally care that much.
I understand that other people do,
especially when it comes into like,
when there’s like a lot of sexism and stuff.
And when there’s a lot of like men
not taking women seriously, like I definitely get that.
And I used to get that even more like a few years ago
with my accent and everything.
And like I used to be blonde as well, like a few months ago.
So I feel like people wouldn’t take me seriously
because of that.
That’s a bit annoying,
but I feel like it’s pretty easy to like see through
when someone acts that way.
And for me personally, I don’t really care,
but it’s a bit annoying.
And like being online
and like getting stuff every single day,
I would say like probably the worst thing is
when you feel like you put in a lot of effort
into some sort of work,
everyone is just gonna say,
you just got that because you’re a woman
and you’re attractive.
And that’s probably like the worst thing.
Is there a way to fight that you think?
Yeah, I don’t think you can.
I think it just comes up all the time.
It’s just like, it is what it is, I guess.
You just gotta keep doing whatever you do
and like not let it like emotionally control you somehow.
I think having more women in those spaces is always good.
It’s probably good, yeah.
Like a lot of the guys you can tell online
that they don’t ever-
Don’t bring on the worst ones then, Steven.
See, she just did it.
She did the misogyny thing.
By having some bad women on,
she’s saying all women, see?
Well, you know it’s true, right?
See, but I disagree with you
and I’m older than both of you
and therefore wiser, right?
Well, combined, we’re older than you.
I think we’re old.
We’re one only matronomy.
Yeah, we’ve got combined age.
Or it could be the same thing as like,
also the age thing and like the woman thing.
A lot of people think that I’m just copying
every single thing that he says,
which I think is a bit annoying as well.
So I can never really like-
Oh, Sonic used to have that one thing.
Yeah, which is a bit annoying.
I don’t think I like it so much, you know?
It was about the defunding police.
Like my dad is a cop.
I like friendship, camaraderie and love and respect,
which you both have had for a time and have lost
and I would like you to regain it.
Let’s try to increase,
not decrease the amount of love in the space.
What do you think about some of the harshness
of his language, which we talked about?
R-word in the past when he used N-word,
all of that kind of stuff.
Funny what he used to do.
No, like, what do you think about it?
Like, do you give him advice?
To not speak a certain way?
No, like a little more civility.
I was just trying to get a second opinion on this.
Second opinion about-
Normie people, non-internet people
are way more extreme than she’s way more extreme.
No, that’s not true.
Okay, so here’s the thing for me, okay?
I was not online until three years ago at all.
Like I would watch YouTube.
That’s pretty much all I would do.
I wouldn’t do anything else, really.
I didn’t grow up playing video games or anything.
So I’m like extremely new to everything.
So when I came into this world
and I started seeing clips from him in the past,
I don’t think I really had much of an opinion
because it just sounded like it was just a different,
like words that we’re using, but it didn’t mean anything.
That’s what it feels.
It was just like, if you’re saying the R-word,
it’s because you just want to call someone stupid,
but you want to like do it a little bit more.
Like, but it’s not like,
it didn’t feel like it was like a,
it’s not like racist, more like, you know, it’s not-
Agreement on this side here, right?
So like, if he was saying the F-word
because it was just like a word to like insult someone
and he was like, I don’t think he was ever,
I don’t think you were ever homophobic back in the day
or anything like that.
But I think it was just like a way
to express yourself maybe back then.
I don’t know, I didn’t do it.
There’s no videos of me or anything
because I wasn’t even online back then.
But I don’t know.
So my case was, I definitely don’t think
Steven is homophobic or racist or any of those, obviously.
So there’s a good heart there and a good mind.
I was just saying-
He just likes being mean, I think.
Well, there is some, you lose yourself
and forget the bigger picture that he’s pushing
for more effective discourse on the internet.
He’s like an inspiration to a lot of people,
especially now, of like how you can use
effective conversation to make for a better world,
to radicalize people and so on.
And then you lose some of that power
by losing yourself in like the language,
just more language of emotion
versus effective communication.
I would say-
But it’s a gray area.
I would say like something that is probably
recently done in that case,
because he’s been joking about women a lot.
Like it’s women’s fault, they’re bad.
Like it’s just, it’s been like a lot of jokes
when it comes to misogyny, I guess, in your community.
And I think it’s actually turned people
a little bit that way.
That’s why we’ve done the recent misogyny.
Yes, so that, I guess that’s actually true
because I don’t think it was pretty,
I don’t think it was clear enough.
I don’t think it actually was.
I think you did that mistake.
But I think back then I was even saying like,
hey, you should probably not,
like you probably should not do that.
Because it actually is pretty hard for me
because whenever I come into his community,
like his chat, people are just gonna spam.
It’s like a woman moment.
It’s a woman moment whenever I say something
and it’s kind of like, yeah, it’s getting pretty annoying.
As I said, it’s just annoying
when you see it every single day.
There you go.
Wisdom from somebody younger than you.
Wisdom can come from all kinds of people.
Yeah, of course.
Just sometimes in very limited quantities
depends on the age.
You can learn something from anybody.
What advice would you give to young people,
the both of you?
That you have both audiences
where young people look up to you.
In general, if you were to give advice
to somebody in high school,
like how to create a life that can be proud of,
what would you say?
The most important thing that I’ve learned
is to view people as different and not better or worse.
And when you view people as different
instead of better or worse,
you learn that there’s almost something
that you can learn from anybody.
Like be open and empathetic
towards other people’s experiences.
Nobody does anything by random choice.
Like there’s always reasons why people act the way they do.
And as long as you’re willing to kind of like
be open and receptive to the lived experiences
of other people,
you’re gonna be able to gather information
and create like a more cohesive
and better view of the world
than any of your peers will.
Do you have any kind of advice
you can give to young folks?
I feel like something that I see,
especially in America a lot,
is that a lot of people kind of get told what to do
early on, like in high school,
they’re supposed to become this thing,
like education wise,
like they’re supposed to like become a doctor
or this thing or whatever.
And then they kind of just like give up on things
that they’re actually passionate about.
So I think a lot of teenagers get really confused.
They get an education and then they get that job
and they hate everything.
And they think that when they’re reaching the job,
when they’re reaching like the journey,
they’re gonna get happy.
That’s like where the happiness is gonna be.
But then when they get to there,
they just hate everything.
And then they become really depressed.
And I’ve seen this so much.
Like I’ve seen this all the time.
And it’s pretty sad to me to see so many people
that are just wasting time.
And then they just get really confused.
And I don’t know,
it’s the same thing with relationships too.
No one really knows what they want anymore.
I feel like everyone is just kind of doing whatever
like society is saying,
or their parents are saying,
or their friends are saying.
And they’re never really doing anything
that’s super meaningful anymore.
And like they don’t,
so what I would say is like try to find something
that is important to you.
It could be anything really,
like some sort of passion,
maybe like your friends,
maybe like what matters to you.
Like figuring those things out,
I think is really important.
And that comes from being able to listen
to like some inner voice.
So it’s not gonna come from elsewhere.
Yeah, I guess, it’s really hard
because you’re living the life
and like there’s things happening around you
and people tell you what to do
and what not to do.
No one really has like their own opinions.
Everyone is just kind of like listening
to the cooler thing or, you know.
Except Steven, he seems to stand on his own.
Yeah, I guess.
Yeah, I’d say so.
And like something I realized too,
like, cause we just went to TwitchCon
and we were talking to a lot of streamers.
How was that?
It was interesting.
I thought it was interesting
because the few people that I feel like I,
that seem really cool
and that I look up to like in the streaming world,
all of them wants to quit streaming.
All of them wants to do it.
No one wants, like no one likes it.
And they’re so successful.
Like they are around successful people.
They’re working every single day.
They’re working hard.
They’re making so much money
and everyone is just complaining.
And like, they’re complaining about
like not being able to see their partner or, you know,
because they need to live somewhere else.
Because I see these things
and they seem extremely unhappy.
But it’s so hard for them to just like
cut all this successful stuff off
because that’s like what you, you know, learn to do.
And that’s like supposed to be like your happiness,
but it isn’t.
Everyone is really unhappy.
Yeah, there’s something about,
maybe streaming is different,
but YouTube folks too have interacted with a few.
And even in podcasting space,
people become obsessed about the views
and numbers and subscribers and stuff like that.
So I turn, I never talk about that.
I don’t pay attention to that.
I feel like that’s a drug that destroys your mind.
Your mind as an artist,
ability to create truly unique things.
Also your mind in terms of the anxiety,
the ups and downs of the attention mechanism.
And then also being just,
if something that you make is not popular,
but it meant a lot to you,
you will think of it less because it’s not popular.
That’s a really dangerous thing.
And because everyone around you is reinforcing,
like I’ll get messages like,
wow, this thing got this many views or something.
It’s like, no, you don’t get it.
That’s not, everyone is enforcing this language
of views and likes and so on.
And it’s correlated of course,
because truly impactful things
will get a lot of attention often.
But it’s not, on the individual local scale,
like temporarily, it can really fuck with your mind.
And I see that in the creators,
they become addicts to the algorithm.
Lost in chasing views.
We know friends that, we know cool people,
and then they start streaming
and eventually they’re like chasing the dragon of like.
And they change, yeah.
It’s like hard to engage for them anymore.
This is something I’ve always said,
one of the biggest blessings and biggest curses of humanity
is we are very good at acclimating.
You can become paralyzed,
you can have all sorts of horrible things happen to you,
and you’ll get used to it and you’ll be okay.
You’re gonna have a good baseline.
But it works the other way too,
in that you can get more and more and more and more
and you acclimate to it almost immediately.
There’s like, this is a phenomenon
that I bet it happens in the YouTube world,
but I know it happens in the streaming world
where you’re streaming 1,000 viewers every day,
huge event happens and you blow up
and you got like 15,000 viewers for a day or two.
And then it starts to go down and down and down
and down and down.
And then after all the drama stayed off,
you’re at like 3,000 concurrent viewers.
Now in the macro, you went from 1,000 to 3,000,
that feels awesome.
But you actually feel like shit the whole time
because you’re remembering when you had 10 or 15,000
and now everything feels horrible.
And you’ll see people climb over time and like, fuck,
like, but whatever that one huge stream I had,
I’ve never been able to,
and it’s like, dude, you’re doing great.
Yeah, that happens a lot.
There’s so many people that we know
that we find super, super cool.
They’re passionate about things.
They have so much interest
and then they just get like so addicted to these numbers
and like all the, everything is just ruined.
Like all the cool things about them is ruined
because they stopped doing the things
that they actually like to do something else
that gives them more viewers and more money.
And it’s really sad to see.
Yeah, that temporary sacrifice that seems temporary
is that it actually destroys you.
Like for one time, making a choice,
because I come across those choices often.
Like I can do this.
You can kind of know what’s going to be popular and not.
And you have to ask yourself the question,
like, is this going to sacrifice?
Because people are sacrificing like intimate relationships.
They’re sacrificing time with their family.
They’re sacrificing time with the things
that they feel good about and that they like.
And that’s something I kind of realized last year
because I was working so much
and I was just grinding, grinding, grinding.
But it was because it was kind of new for me.
And then new years came by and I was like,
wait, what did I even do like the entire year?
Like I traveled to a bunch of places,
but nothing actually really meant anything to me
because I felt like I was just working the entire time.
I felt like I was just numb through the entire year.
And I was really scary.
Like I rented like a super pretty house
like for a week with my dad and my sister
because I wanted to spend time with them.
But the entire time I was just streaming
and I actually didn’t ever like calm down
and just like chill with them.
And I like, that’s like time I’ll never get back.
I don’t give a shit about the money that I made that week,
but I lost the time.
And like, that is really important to me.
And I, yeah.
And a lot of people are doing that.
And I feel like you, as you said,
like you can definitely see that in like artists for sure.
I feel like if you look at like artists
like back in the sixties or seventies,
I feel like things were just so much better back then.
And it feels like they were actually making music
that meant something to them.
They were actually making art.
And I feel like today everything is just kind of like
whatever is cool, whatever sells, whatever, you know,
sounds in a certain way,
everything is kind of the same thing.
And everything that is very artistic and very cool
is actually not that popular at all.
And that’s kind of sad, I think.
Yeah, of course, there’s now bigger mechanisms
and platforms to spread stuff, music.
So as long as you could be content with not being popular,
I think you can still create art.
Yeah, but not like when people get a little popular,
they get addicted to that so fast.
Yeah, it’s weird.
You have been somewhat good,
at least from my outside of perspective,
because I think you, I can at least imagine
you making choices that could make you more popular
and you don’t seem to make those choices.
Like sabotage my career, like frankly.
But it is very intentional, like you said,
and I made that choice at every single stage of my life.
One is because from the perspective
of being a carpet cleaner,
my life is way better than that was or ever would have been.
So I’m already doing way better
than I ever thought somebody like me ever could be.
But then two, I super love my job.
Every time I wake up,
every time I fly to a place to do a podcast,
every time I get to talk to really cool people,
like every single part of my job, I super like.
If there’s something I don’t like,
I just cut it off because I don’t care.
Because I’m already making plenty of money doing what I do.
And why would I ever wake up and not like what I’m doing
when I can like what I’m doing?
How do you guys find through that,
given that you love it
and you sometimes maybe lose yourself in the drug of it,
how do you find like work-life balance together
inside a relationship?
Like time for each other?
I don’t at all.
So I’m not a good person to ask.
What do you love more, Mel or Factorio?
Factorio is a really good game.
That’s like not a fair comparison, okay?
You’re talking about one of the best, cleanest games,
best support ever made, cleanest code base.
Yeah, this is-
I think I understand also another reason you said that.
It’s more Factorio time for me.
Starting to understand where the misogyny comes from.
By the way, is Factorio legit a really good game?
Yeah, of course, yeah.
Do you enjoy programming?
Of course, that’s all I do.
To me, programming is the game in itself
that I enjoy probably more than anything else, but yeah.
It’s very much a game like that.
If you’re into stuff like that,
you can lose hundreds of hours very quickly to,
you have a problem and then you think of a solution
and then you iterate on that over and over and over again
in larger, larger schemes.
Sometimes you’ve got to redesign stuff.
Sometimes it’s a very much like that kind of game.
So you’re essentially building a factory,
like what, on a foreign planet or something like that?
Basically, it’s like a bunch of,
you’re trying to automate different problems
so that you can build bigger things,
so that you can automate bigger problems,
so you can build bigger things
and automate bigger problems, yeah.
So it’s more complicated than like a city building game,
like some city type of thing?
I wouldn’t say it’s more complicated.
It’s more, it’s like,
Factorio is like a game of like logic,
like strictly like logic.
Oh, so you’re almost like building a circuit or something.
There’s like, there’s circuitry
and you’ve got your N-ORGs, ORG-AIDs,
like there’s stuff like that.
It’s very much like that, like problems.
What are the enemies in the game?
They’re like zogs that try to bite you
and you can get guns and shoot and kill them,
but it’s like a-
I saw there’s like shooting going on.
Yeah, but that’s like a minor,
it’s just like another problem to solve
in the game, basically, yeah.
Okay, all right.
So you see what we did there?
We just started talking about the game
as we’re trying, oh my God.
That’s like a-
That’s a really good game, okay.
Anyway, is there, is that basically the struggle,
not a struggle, how to get human,
like intimate human time?
I feel like it was like that a little bit more in the past.
I feel like it’s been better lately,
but I think it’s because when we started dating,
I wasn’t streaming and I kind of just like gave up
like my trip in New Zealand.
I give up, like I left Sweden.
So I was just like in LA, which I hate.
I hate LA, I don’t like LA at all.
It’s hard to make friends that are like real,
that are into the same stuff as you.
It was just really hard for me to connect with anyone,
especially also like being a European
and like being around Americans was very strange.
So the only thing I had when I came here was him.
And I didn’t expect-
Because, yeah, because we had like two weeks of hanging out
and like he would be on his computer sometimes
and like do emails and stuff,
but I wasn’t thinking that he would stream
like 12 hours a day.
And it was pretty, like it was pretty intense
like in the beginning of it as well.
And I realized it was really hard to like get attention
or get time because his like love meter would be like full
if I was just in the house.
And that’s just kind of like the way he is.
And for me back then,
when I didn’t have anything else to do,
was kind of like a, it was kind of crazy for me.
I feel like right now, because I do work as well
and I have things going for me
and I have other friends now that I made,
I feel like it’s a lot easier.
Cause, and I can definitely like enjoy
just like being in separate rooms
and just like hear him in the background is really nice.
So I can sit and paint and like in my room
and I will do that for hours
while I’m just like hearing a scream in the background.
It’s kind of like comforting that he’s just there.
I like it.
Cause to you, that’s the sound of happiness.
Yes, because I know he’s right there.
Yeah, it’s nice.
And they’ll come in and check on me sometimes.
And it’s, it’s kind of like, it’s actually very comforting.
It’s very nice.
I like it.
I think that’s kind of what a relationship is.
Like you do fun things together
and you share moments together,
but also just like having someone like around you
is really, really nice.
And I think that’s probably, maybe it’s me growing up.
Maybe that’s what it is.
And like, I started liking like the kind of,
I feel like we’re like an old couple,
like we’re like 80 and we’re just like around.
We don’t really have to talk much.
It’s nice to just do that.
And that fills your love meter?
I like this terminology, love meter.
I need both.
I mean, okay.
You’re making it sound like,
that I’m like craving like crazy time.
I’m not saying anything.
I haven’t said a single thing at all.
Yeah, you’re making face right now.
I know exactly what you’re thinking.
There’s so much judging going on.
There’s no judging at all.
No, but like we, I think,
I think whenever we do plan something out,
like if we go on a trip,
like every other month or once a month,
I feel like usually like that’s enough.
As long as he’s not playing Factorio the entire time.
Like if I feel like he’s going on these trips for me
and he’s not like doing things for me
or he’s not interested in like spending time
or like being present with me,
then I’ll feel like,
I just feel like I’m just wasting time right now.
And then I get kind of disappointed.
But otherwise I think this, like, this is fun.
I think this is like spending time together.
Cause we’re like doing something together.
It’s fun, yeah.
My love meter is full.
Your love meter is full.
It’s my social life.
We like to think about it that way,
that like, I need like a little bit more
of like this one thing, like quality time.
And he needs like almost zero quality time.
But like, let’s say that we took away like physical touch,
you would probably not be very happy.
So you need physical touch.
So it’s not just Factorio, huh?
No, I’m a very cuddly person.
Like cuddly and then you’re like,
I guess like acts of service.
Like if I do something for you, you get really happy.
Like hot chocolate.
Like if I give him hot chocolate in the morning,
he gets really happy.
The actual, it’s not the hot chocolate,
it’s the giving of the hot chocolate.
No, it’s just the hot chocolate.
But if she gives it to me,
I didn’t have to get it myself.
Maybe it’s just physical touch that you like.
That’s really nice.
All right, well, if you had to choose
between Factorio and the drama or political discourse.
Which one would you choose?
Probably political discourse, probably my calling,
but I am a good Factorio player.
What role exactly does Factorio play
in your streaming life?
Oh, well, right now it’s just,
usually there are like these games
that I play in the background as I have conversations,
because it’s hard for me to just sit on the computer
and just talk and not like be playing a game
at the same time.
So it’s just something to keep me kind of like occupied.
You know, I was gonna go buy
like little like widget things, I guess.
Yeah, that’s what yours is.
Yeah, basically, yeah.
It’s like Minecraft or Factorio for me.
Well, my love meter is full from this.
Mel, thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you for having me.
This was really fun.
You guys are fascinating human beings.
Thank you for existing.
I’m glad to live in a world where you exist.
I can’t wait to see what kind of beautiful
thing you create next.
And the crazy kind of art that you create
through the different people you interact with.
Destiny, Steven, you’re an amazing human.
Thank you so much for talking to me.
It’s an honor.
Hope to talk with you again.
I’m talking to Ben Shapiro.
You’ve given me a lot of inspiration.
It’s an honor to talk to the Ben Shapiro of the left.
Well, thanks a lot for having me.
I appreciate it.
Thank you, guys.
It’s been fun.
Thanks for listening to this conversation with Destiny.
To support this podcast,
please check out our sponsors in the description.
And now, let me leave you with some words from Lewis Carroll.
It’s no use going back to yesterday
because I was a different person then.
Thank you for listening,
and hope to see you next time.