How We Think Shapes Our Reality

In this episode (which is optimized for both video and audio-only podcast), Tom and I delve deep into the some of the psychology that drives distorted and erroneous thinking, starting with anti-vaccine activists and going well beyond. Trigger Warning: contains all the curse words, so don’t let little Billy watch unattended!

We also dive into mental illness and the possibility of misdiagnosing what Sigmund Freud termed “ordinary misery” while discussing techniques to alleviate the suffering that comes with distorted thought patterns.

As is often the case, our podcast inevitably shifts to my favorite topic: the nature of consciousness and the paradox of choice. Is choice an illusion? Do we really have free will, and if so, what allows us to best manifest choice to relieve suffering?

We end with some positive message for those in the trenches of healthcare as we head into 2019. How can we do better this year?

The one important equation discussed in this episode:

Suffering (S) = Pain (P) X Resistance (R)

Note: as R approaches zero, S approaches zero. So while pain is inevitable in life, suffering is optional.

If you’re running short on bandwidth, you can listen to the optimized audio-only podcast version here on iTunes and Soundcloud.


– So. Z-Pac, you are catching us mid-start of a podcast, we’re doing a different thing today. We are doing a video, and audio podcast at the same time, hence these penises in our face.

– Robot, robot penises, yeah.

– Robotic–

– Yeah.

– Electronic penises.

– This is why people come to this podcast, for these kinds of metaphors, and analogies.

– It’s true. And, so for people who are listening just on the podcast, we’re trying to expand the podcast, make it more comprehensible, instead of just porting over videos like we normally do. And that means that I gotta get my shit out of the way real fast here, which is, we love you guys, do us a favor. Open up the podcast app if you’re an apple person, search for incident report, pull it up, scroll down to where the reviews are, click write a review, give us some stars. ‘Cause it helps a lot. For some reason, all the podcast people love it when you leave reviews, and it bumps us up the charts, which makes this dope, so we can give, you know, people like the Curbsiders a run for their money. Joe Rogan, he’s going down, ’cause he’s clearly just science and medicine, just like us. And–

– Bro-science.

– Bro-science.

– Bro-science.

– Bro-science. I, by the way, I got bro-chitis over the holidays, and–

– I heard, yeah, yeah.

– And man flu.

– The anti-vaxxers said it was because you, Your cold morphed into the flue.

– Oh my God.

– They didn’t understand the jokes.

– You know, this is a thing. We were talking about this before. Lemme get one other thing out for the podcast people, real quick. Go to, forward slash, become supporter, forward slash ZdoggMD, and for $4.99 a month, you can help support the show, get exclusive live content, and soon, CME and CEU credits for things that we do. All right, now back to anti-vaxxers and how fricking dumb they are. So, I did a show on man flu over the holiday, and, ’cause I had a cold, and it turned into man flu, meaning I was complaining a lot.

– Yeah.

– And my wife commented that I must have man flu, because I was complaining.

– No, it’s a real thing. It’s a real thing.

– You know, man flu is really–

– The women don’t understand the pain that we go through.

– Him-fluenza.

– Yeah.

– And bro-chitis, I had all those things. I had he-bola. And, I did a post about it. The anti-vaxxers on Stop Mandatory Vaccinations, which is apparently a private Facebook group,

– Oh God.

– Which you can get banned for by being a part of any real science group. If they see that you’re in a science group, they ban you, the moderators ban you from their group, because they’re like, you have no place here! Science! And so they took what I said about man flu, I said my cold morphed into man flu, and they said, they made a stupid meme, which, by the way, they’re really bad at making memes. Like, really bad.

– They’re terrible, yeah.

– We need to send them back to meme camp.

– Mm hm.

– Like, you know how they had space camp?

– Yeah.

– They oughta have meme camp.

– Meme camp.

– Equally useless for, you know, people who are just out to lunch. So these guys wrote, “See? “ZDogg got the flu shot, he got the flu. “So therefore flu shot doesn’t work.” They confused my joke about man flu with this. So what we realized is, first of all, they’re dumb.

– Mm hm.

– Second of all, they’re concrete thinkers.

– Exactly.

– Explain, ’cause you were explaining it to me.

– So, well, you know those Dairy Queen, the concretes that they have there?

– Yes.

– It’s like that. But for thinking.

– Thank you, Tom Hinueber. You’re adding tremendous amounts of intellectual value to this discussion.

– No, it does, they have no ability to think abstractly. So like, when they read the insert, they’re like, you know, oh, it says there’s mercury in here. That mercury is bad! They don’t realize the dose makes the poison, and then, you know, there’s probably like, trace amounts of mercury, or whatever. Because they can’t think abstractly.

– You know what, I think–

– And how can you operate the modern world when you can’t think abstractly? You know what I mean?

– You know, it’s fascinating, because you said this to me this morning, and it never had occurred to me that they just lack abstract thinking skills.

– Yeah.

– Anti-vaxxers.

– No, a 100%.

– And you’re absolutely spot on, because they’re so concrete, that when you argue with them, it’s like literally arguing with a concrete wall.

– Well it’s like, remember, they show, okay, they showed up, and they banged on the glass behind you when you were interviewing Paul Offit, who is sitting in my seat now, and they had a picture of their dead daughter, which, or, one of them had a picture of his daughter who had died from SUDS, he said, and we can’t see it through the blinds back here. Like, when you look at Z’s shot, it’s hard to see through that at night.

– Right.

– Right? So–

– We just saw crazy. Yeah.

– Yeah, so when you go you go on the anti-vax pages, they’re basically saying, oh, ZDogg laughs at dead child. That’s like,

– Right.

– Well no, we’re laughing that you’re like, even here.

– Yeah.

– That you’re interrupting our shit, and that you, you know what I mean? Like–

– And that it was so predictable that Paul Offit comes on the show, they find us, and they try to disrupt it, because that’s what–

– And they’re banging on the glass, and, calling you Z-Knob,

– Because they’re concrete.

– Like, that’s funny. It’s funny to us.

– It’s funny to us. Now the thing is, so we didn’t realize, you know, oh, he lost a daughter. Now, again there’s no real evidence that it was from vaccines, but that’s irrelevant. He lost a child.

– Right.

– That is something to, you don’t make fun of that, and I never have. The other thing that a concrete–

– They think you have, though.

– No, they think I have.

– ‘Cause they’re such concrete thinkers.

– Because they’re concrete thinkers.

– Yeah.

– The other thing that they’ve done that’s concrete is, you and I were shooting a flu vaccination video, where we got our flu shots at UMC hospital, and I made a joke about you. You were about to get your injection, and I said, now, okay Tom, are you prepared to become autistic? And that, they, in their concrete thinking, said ZDoggMD makes fun of autistic children. Now, of course, not at all. First of all, I’m making fun of you. Second of all,

– Right.

– I’m making fun of them. But they don’t have enough abstraction to be able to see that. And what’s fascinating is they also don’t have the abstraction to realize that when they say that they would rather see a child die of a preventable illness, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, pertussis, et cetera, than be autistic, that that’s more horrible to people with intellectual disabilities, or autism, than any joke that I’ve ever made, which has nothing to do with those with disabilities.

– Right.

– They can’t see it. So anyways, Screw them all.

– Well no, I, it is interesting, because, you know, there was, I think there was a, like a survey, like 130 years ago or something, and then they asked people, what’s the difference, or what are the similarities between a crow and a fish. And you know, normal people back then would be like, there are no similarities. They’re, one’s a crow, and one’s a fish, what are you talking about, right?

– Right.

– So they couldn’t think abstractly to be like, they’re both animals. They couldn’t even get that far, you know, and we’ve seen that, as IQ has risen, people have been able to think more abstractly, so, not being able to think abstract is basically a sign of low IQ.

– You know, and I think even IQ is a, ’cause it’s one measure, but I’d say being unable to abstract is a sign of not being an adult.

– Yeah.

– So, children don’t abstract very well.

– Children are concrete thinkers.

– They’re concrete thinkers.

– They have no–

– PIAGET stages of development.

– Exactly, they have no theory of mind, they think that what they think is what you know, and that we’re all thinking the same thing, right?

– Right.

– It’s why you can’t follow their stories.

– It’s a great example. A concrete thinker sees a bunch of needles stuck in a baby, and goes, oh, that’s terrible! You’re toxifying that baby with poison!

– Right.

– Whereas any normal grown up with abstract thinking skills, and maybe a basic biological education would say, no, actually, there’s more nuance to this.

– Yeah.

– These are antigens, which are actually fewer in number than they were in the old days, even though there’s more injections, ’cause of more vaccines, because science. And it induces an immune response that then helps protect us against future infection.

– Right.

– They are associated, in very rare instances, with some adverse effects. Most of them are like, red skin, soreness in the muscle, low grade fever, but in very rare instances, they can cause, you know, other, more difficult side effects. But the risk of those side effects is so small, that you would not, not wear a seatbelt because there’s a small risk of you being decapitated by the seatbelt, in an abnormal type of collision. You’d still wear your belt, because on average, it’s gonna keep you alive. And it has, we’ve seen that.

– Yeah.

– And same thing with vaccines, one of the great public health triumphs. So, you know.

– Now people say, and like, to be fair, we have said that we’re not gonna talk about anti-vaxxers. Ooh, I think what we meant though is we’re not going to allow them to propagate their nonsense

– Right.

– On our pages. It doesn’t mean we’re not gonna talk about what’s going on, because the reason it’s important to talk about it is because they’re what Nassim Taleb calls an intransigent, or an intolerant minority. People who are, you know, groups of collectives of intolerant, intransigent minorities, are the people who actually move the needle on things, because they just sit in one spot, they’re human anchors, and they’re like, no! I’m not gonna go anywhere. Now sometimes this can be very positive. Martin Luther King led an intolerant minority, right? But it can be very negative, and have very negative use cases, anti-vaccines. So.

– Interesting, ’cause I haven’t heard about that intransigent minority. It makes a lot of sense, and the idea that they will actually not move until damage has been done.

– Exactly.

– Consistently. So that’s my stance is, look, I’m not against, I’m not for de-platforming people, interfering with free speech, however, my platform is not your free speech. You don’t get the right to come and comment on my shit,

– Right.

– If you’re anti-vax, I’ll just delete you, ban you for good, because you are an intransiged, I like this now, intransigent minority,

– Yeah.

– That is harming people.

– Or intolerant minority. And throughout history, you know, like the Suffragettes, were an intolerant minority, but that has, you know, positive benefits going throughout, or, you know, and so you can use it, it’s a tool, and you can use it either direction, but I think it’s interesting to note, because, like, okay, we had your friend, Pierre Etaix on the show recently, who is, you know, one of the smartest people I’ve ever talked to, you know, ever listened to. And even he said he skipped his two month vaccination schedule to wait until six months. Why? He didn’t really know why, he didn’t really have an answer. I think it’s because he lives in, you know, one of these liberal, bastion cities, San Diego, and he’s getting bombarded with that message all the time, from the intolerant minority. And so even as a very smart thinking, rational person, like, he pushed it off four months, just because, why not? You know what I mean?

– Yeah.

– But it’s like, that four month window could be disastrous for your child. Now, I’m sure Pierre did everything to keep his child safe, but I’m saying, you’re increasing risk when you do that. You’re increasing the attack surface.

– Well actually, this gets to the point of the delayed vaccination. So people will say, well what’s the harm? You know. There’s–

– Slow, this is slow vax, is what it’s called.

– Slow vax.

– Slow vax.

– Right, right, right, right. It’s a whole movement.

– Yeah.

– Slow vax, for 2019. The thing about this idea, is first of all, there’s no evidence that it decreases adverse events.

– Mm hm.

– The premise upon which it is based, there are too many injections, too fast all at once for a young immune system, is flagrantly, it’s just not correct.

– Yeah.

– So we actually have less antigens in these vaccines collectively than we did in the old days, and our own body is exposed to vastly more antigens when we eat a Ho-Ho.

– Yeah.

– So, it’s based on false stuff. Now the danger is, you open up windows. The reason these schedules exist is because you don’t wanna expose a child to a vulnerable window where they’re in daycare, or wherever, and they end up getting exposed to a kid who hasn’t been vaccinated, or someone who, the vaccine didn’t take, or they can’t be vaccinated, or someone comes from abroad who wasn’t vaccinated, or got measles abroad, which it seems to be happening, comes to New Jersey and exposes people. You miss that window, and then you end up with one of the communicable diseases of all time, which is measles, is spreading rapidly through this faulty armor, and faulty herd immunity, community immunity, so, there’s really not a rationale for delaying. Now the thing is, if you’re dealing with one of these intolerant minorities who’s like, listen, I will do it only if I can delay the schedule, then, you know what? You take,

– By the way,

– It’s harm reduction.

– You shouldn’t pluralize it, when you say intolerant minorities, it sounds terrible. One of these intolerant minorities!

– You know, this is gonna be one of those situations where I get CK’d by the press, right? Like, ZDoggMD referred to minorities as intolerant. I’ll be like, well, no. Well, kind of yes, but not the way you think? I mean, that word doesn’t mean what you think, oh, God damn it.

– Well, put it like this, okay. I have a six week old right now, right? And so we’re gonna do the big vaccination push in two weeks here. And, you know, right now, it’s like, there are days where she’s just so fussy, crying, whatever, and you know, obviously know vaccinations have been given, but if one of those days happen to line up, and I correlated it, and then later she ended up having a problem, like she was autistic, or something, you can’t tell now, like, newborns won’t even look you in the eye.

– Yeah.

– It’s hard to tell if anything’s going on with them developmentally, like, you know.

– Right.

– If that correlated, I would immediately think, especially if I was somebody who had no science background, was a concrete thinker, I’d be like, oh, the buh, the needle, and then the baby cry, and then, and then, she was like, uh, and then now, you know what I mean? That’s how I would think.

– Now, any you know, and again, and not to put too fine a point on this, the lack of abstract, nuanced thinking.

– Mm hm?

– Critical thinking. And the thing is, but they all say, well, no, no, you guys just, or you’re the ones who aren’t critical thinking, because you’re just blinded by Pharma money,

– Yeah.

– And by greed!

– Who’s paying you to say this?

– Who’s paying you?

– Who’s paying you?

– Who’s paying you? Hours of this. That’s literally what, ’cause it’s concrete, it’s like a cave person just banging a stick.

– Yup.

– And here’s the interesting thing. Like they, they will agitate, and they will get really mad, because what they’re not used to are the other side of the equation, like the doctors, like myself, coming back at them with equivalently concrete, just like, you’re dumb!


– No, you’re dumb! No, here’s the thing, listen to me carefully. You are dumb. And the thing is, I’m not kidding.

– Joe Rogan has an amazing bit where he says that all you need in order to be king of the dumb people, is confidence. Right, so it’s just like,

– Mm hm.

– A bunch of dumb people’d be like, I dunno what’s going on. Do you know what’s going on? I dunno what’s going on. I’m pretty sure, I think I know what’s going on. Pretty sure. That’s all you need.

– That’s all you need!

– Just got, that’s con-man. You just need confidence, yeah.

– It’s kind of the story of my life.

– Yeah, exactly.

– Yeah. I’m a con-man for higher IQ people.

– Right. So all you have to do is be somebody like, J.B. Handley, who’s just like, I’m pretty sure, I think I know what’s going on.

– Or somebody like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who’s like, I have a law degree, and the name Kennedy after my name.

– Exactly.

– Or Wakefield, who–

– It’s like, what have you ever done? Nothing.

– You know, you know what’s interesting about Wakefield? He’s a high IQ individual.

– Yeah.

– Who actually is very smart, he’s actually openly, see, the thing about him is, he’s deceptive. So he’s actually a true con-man in the sense that he’s trying to make money on the thing, you know, he was being paid by lawyers at the time of his now retracted article.

– Mm hm.

– He’s just a bad, evil person.

– Yeah.

– And again, and again now, lemme be careful. ‘Cause I’m falling into dichotomous thinking, I’m, John Hyde would yell at me for saying that, because people aren’t black and white, there is no good versus evil, it’s everybody thinking they’re doing the right thing. He’s thinking he’s doing the right thing, it just turns out what he’s doing is abjectly evil,

– Yeah.

– And his motivations are not, you know, they accuse us of being motivated by money, it’s really, look at the supplement industrial complex,

– Right.

– The anti-vax industrial complex, the, you know, essential oil industrial oil complex.

– Hitler, Mau, Stalin, they all think they’re doing the right thing, you know what I mean?

– Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

– Like, it’s interesting.

– Yeah.

– We as humans have to believe that we’re right in order to do atrocious things.

– We have to, I think.

– Yeah.

– You know, I don’t think, I think only psychopaths, they don’t even know right and wrong, you know.

– Look at this with medicine, too, like all the procedures that get done that doctors think need to be done, but we both know they don’t need to be done. Right?

– Mm hm.

– I mean, there’s harm being done, and this is where the anti-vaxxers are right. There’s harm being done in the modern medical system every single day.

– This is a central premise of what I wanna work on in 2019, actually, is raising this awareness that a lot of what we do is not helpful.

– Right.

– You know, when we had Robbie Pearl on the show, he talks about this in his book, Mistreated, quite a bit, you know, and here’s the thing. There’s a conflict here. The CEO of the Kaiser group, right? So it’s like, well yeah, they’re always incentivized as a kind of health management entity to do only the minimum necessary to keep patients healthy,

– Yeah.

– Because anything else is coming out of their pockets. But the thing is, in an optimal world where you optimize for that, that means you figure out what works, and you ditch what doesn’t. And it turns out, a lot of what we do doesn’t work. If anything, part of the reason Kaiser hasn’t succeeded more, is that they’re under pressure from patient expectations, because the community does procedures at a certain level. Yeah, you get a knee arthroscopy, or yeah, you get an unnecessary spine surgery, or yeah, you get whatever, and so now Kaiser gets pressure to do the same things, or else those patients are gonna, next year, when they re-up with their employer, they’re gonna pick the plan that is maybe a little more expensive, but allows them to do all this stuff that doesn’t necessarily help them, but maybe has a strong placebo effect, or is just an expectational thing, that they want a magical answer to things that are not magical.

– Yeah.

– And you know, and this relates to anti-vaxxers in that, they pick up on this, in some sense, they’re concrete thinkers, but they’re actually rather intuitive in the sense that they can smell, kind of conflict, and one of the thing I think they sense in, and I can’t believe I’m defending anti-vaxxers, but I’m gonna do it. What they sense in the medical establishment is a failure to be transparent, a failure to own up to when we do get it wrong.

– Mm hm.

– A lot of conditioning in our own education, and this is all true, but it still, it’s the best thing we have, we should get better. I’m here just telling people we need to get better, as a kind of a product of that, environment, you know.

– Yeah.

– But then you have guys like Andrew While, say who, yeah, he’s a doctor too, but it’s hard to know where a guy like that comes from, and he’s selling a lot of, you know, supplements, and alternative medicine stuff, but at the same time, a lot of the stuff he says is accurate in terms of the failings of western medicine. So what we have to do is again, we have to go beyond our concrete thinking, be able to think nuance, and take Johnathan Hyde’s advice, which is, don’t fall into the traps of distorted thinking.

– Right.

– Including dichotomous thinking, people are either all good or all bad. Negative filtering, always seeing the world through a negative lens, you know, should be,

– Mm hm.

– There’s a million different distortions that cognitive behavioral therapy, and meditation, other things will help you transcend. Now what the problem with the anti-vaxxers is, they have a good point in that, no, we don’t know everything, yes, things do have adverse events, sure, we should talk about that. But, when you actually go into the nuance, and you look at it, and you look at the data, and you actually go through everything, you go, yeah, I, it’s assured that you should vaccinate your children,

– Yeah.

– As a hedge against all the terrible things that can happen.

– It’s a classic, throw the baby out with the bathwater thing.

– Right.

– Because they’ve made like, sort of an accurate assessment, which is like, there are some real significant problems here, and nobody’s quite listening to me, and nobody, you know, people are doing things because their incentives are misaligned with my incentives as the patient, so that’s all true, and then they throw out one of the best things we do in medicine, which is vaccines, like, that’s one of the, that’s one of the things medicine does really well.

– Really well.

– Really well. You picked up on,one of the things that’s working, man.

– Yeah.

– You know?

– Well, you know, it’s, I’m in a unique position because I get a ton of messages.

– Yeah.

– Like, so many messages that I had to create an auto responder droid in Facebook to respond and say, look, I’m not being a dick if I don’t respond. I read every single message, it’s brutal sometimes, but it’s so rewarding most of the time, because you get a feeling for what’s going on in the world of health care, and the impact we’re having, and also ideas coming in for shows, and things like that.

– Right.

– Well, some of the most interesting, and rewarding messages I get are from parents who are on the fence about vaccines. And they say look. I know what you’re saying, I’m still very scared for these reasons, I’ve heard this and this, I want what’s right for my kid. And you look at that person, and you go, this is a good parent, trying to be a better parent, and then I will always drop whatever I’m doing, and write whatever it takes,

– Yeah.

– To let them know that first of all, I hear that they’re trying to do the right thing, so whatever they decide, it’s coming from a place of, they’re trying. And then I say, this is what I would do for my children, and this is in answer to your questions, and yes the link that you shared with me looks scary, but look at the source. You know, Health Impact News is not a real, legitimate, medical source.

– Right.

– And since the birth of the internet, it’s very difficult for non-medical people to tease out what’s useful and what’s not. And, you know, sometimes WebMD is wrong, right? I mean, WebMD, as a lot of muggles go, the non-medical people go to WebMD, and go, oh, yeah, yeah, this has gotta be. But again, it’s not a doctor.

– Right.

– It gets things wrong. Imagine now you go to Health Impact News, or Natural, or one of these anti-vax sort of places, you’re gonna get a very, it’s like you said, it’s like the concrete thinker.

– Yeah.

– Who says with absolutely certainty, they know what’s correct. Anytime someone says that without a nuance, your radar should start to trigger.

– Yeah.

– Like if you hear a doctor say, no, vaccines are 100% safe, nothing bad will happen.

– Right.

– You must do it, you better go to a different doctor, just ’cause their communication style is wrong.

– Yeah.

– They oughta tell you, look, everything has risks and benefits. Turns out the risks are tiny whiny, benefits are huge for vaccines. So if it were my child, I would do it.

– Yeah.

– If a doctor told you, look, Tom, lemme ask you this question as a patient. If a doctor said, well here’s what I would do for my mom, or my dad, or my kids, would that be compelling to you, or would you be concerned by that?

– It’s hard to put myself in the mindset of one of these people.

– Put it in your mindset. So you’re trying to make a decision for you–

– No, in my mindset, it’s not compelling, because I don’t care what you do, anecdotally, like, with your own family.

– Right.

– I only care what consensus is as a whole.

– Right.

– So like you as an individual know it in the network, like you may be signaling bad information to me, so I only care about consensus, right? And the wide scientific consensus is that vaccines are safe and effective. So even if I had a, you know, it’s like, I went in and we had a nurse who is like, you know, oh, they say vaccines cause autism, I don’t know. And so she’s kind of sewing doubt in this, and so I don’t care what she says, because I know that wider consensus is that vaccines are safe and effective. You know what I mean?

– Mm hm. Now what’s interesting is–

– I wouldn’t take it for an individual, like I wouldn’t, yeah, I wouldn’t allow one individual to sway my opinion.

– Mm hm, so you’re an outlier in the sense that you’re looking at consensus and science, and that kinda thing. Now imagine you’re an anti-vaxxer, and you’ve already made up your mind based on your ideology and your elephant reaction of like, oh, I don’t like authority, I don’t like violating my body with quote, unquote toxins.

– Right.

– And I believe these people that I resonate with, Jenny McCarthy, et cetera, Jim Carrey, whoever the hell it is.

– Yeah.

– Fricking, who’s that guy who played the, Rob Schneider is,

– Rob Schneider is,

– The carrot!

– The stapler, yeah.

– Rob Schneider

– Rob Schneider.

– Is a freaking piece of shit. If you’re listening to Rob Schneider for your vaccine advice, you can go fuck yourself.

– All right, all right.

– Like, really. That dude’s–

– Deuce Bigalow, vaccine gigolo.

– Come on, dude.

– Come on.

– So,but this is what, but so, they’re gonna come in with their confirmation bias, and what I’ve found as a clinician is, if I say, listen. We both wanna do the right thing for our kids. Here is my kids getting a flu vaccination, we did it live on Facebook.

– Right.

– And you know what, if they’re so intransigent that they still don’t, they actually think I faked it, and it’s fascinating because, the anti-vaxxers’ll say that. They’re like, no, that’s impossible. They can’t nuance their way into imagining that I would actually inject my children with vaccines, because–

– Yeah, this is one of the things they said, they said that you gave your children fake vaccines.

– Right.

– Yeah.

– Because they know that I’m a shill,

– Right.

– And that I’m only selling this poison to make money, but I would never give it to my own children, ’cause I know better.

– Right.

– That’s insane.

– They’re, oh, by the way, they also, for people who don’t know this, said that Z’s net worth is three quarters of a billion dollars.

– Yeah.

– And I said, I was like, why have I never been invited on your yacht, ZDogg?

– ‘Cause I only invite the cool kids, Tom. Really.

– you know, it is true, I will tell you people that Z drives a Camry XLE. Hybrid.

– That’s true.

– That’s the nice Camry, y’all.

– Hybrid.

– Yeah

– It has a moon roof. And I upgraded it because at the last minute, I’m like, you know what? I’m rich. I’m gonna spend that $2,000.00 and get that moon roof. And it’s a write off.

– It has faux wood interior, which is nice. Yeah.

– You know what? I pronounce it fox wood, because it’s, it feels a little more upscale.

– Well you know, all right, so the thing I was saying about consensus, right? Like, that just used to be called common sense. You know?

– Right. Right, common census.

– It’s just common sense.

– Yeah. Well you know, you know, and again, because we’re more polarized now,

– Yeah.

– Because we’ve, we don’t have a common enemy in the form of the Soviet Union anymore, and because the internet has given everybody an equal opportunity to be a dipshit, to experts, that there’s a death of expertise, all the things that we talk about.

– Now some experts need to die, we’ve talked about this before. You know who I mean?

– Oh yeah! Oh!

– Soft sciences, that we don’t need experts in economics or sociology, or.

– Have we talked about that?

– Yeah, a little bit.

– Hm.

– Yeah.

– I’m not sure I agree 100%, so–

– Well, you’re wrong.

– Are you with me on this?

– Stop trying to be an expert!

– Why do we not need economists? ‘Cause they’re all full of shit?

– Yeah. 100%.

– Okay.

– Macro economics is nonsense.

– Ah.

– Right?

– Well you know–

– Macro economics is just you saying, okay, which way is the fed gonna pull the lever on race. That’s not, that’s not being an economist. That’s just you speculating on an outcome of a centralized institution. Right?

– You know Tom Hinueber, I’m gonna say something now, and it’s coming from a place of deep hurt. And that is that I took AP Economics.

– Mm hm?

– Micro. Micro economics.

– Micro is correct.

– I got a five out of five on the test. Okay, and just for fun, I never took the class. And now I’m starting to realize I’m supporting your point here. I never took macro economics, never read a page of it, decided I would sit for the AP test,

– Yeah?

– Macro economics, thinking, hey, I’m here anyways. I got a five out of five. On macro economics.

– Right.

– I was an 18 year old boy, growing up in the Central Valley. As good as a macro economist, at least as far as the AP test was concerned.

– Right.

– So, maybe you’re right.

– Well, it’s a soft science, because, you know, all, and I don’t wanna too deep in the woods on economics, but like, all economics that are taught in schools are Keynesian economics, which is just inflation is good, you know, we should produce more cheap plastic crap, and consume, and people shouldn’t be able to hoard money, is what Keynesian economics says. And it’s just not true, and it’s a small speculative bubble that we’re seeing.

– Well see, now we’re dipping into the iceberg that is Tom Hinueber, So the tip is that, and if you actually ask him to elaborate, it’ll be a four hour discourse on why crypto currency is going to decentralize power, we’re gonna remove violence from the implementation of money. Yeah.

– It’s true, and it all comes out of the Austrian school of economics.

– I knew it, I knew it had to be

– Yes.

– With Falco.

– So, what I’m saying though is, it’s not necessarily about economics, and particularly this is just an area of interest where I think experts are wrong, people like Paul Krugman, or Nouriel Roubini. Like, they go on and pontificate as political pundits, and they say we need to raise rights because of X, Y or Z, but there’s no data to support what they’re saying. There’s just a bunch of statistical models that back the structures that be. Same thing with, you look at like, sociology departments in college campuses, right? Like, there was a group of guys who got all these, you know, papers about the faux penis published, and all this sort of nonsense,

– Yeah, right.

– Because all you have to do is talk their language, and you’re–

– Dog rape culture, it sounds like that.

– Yeah, exactly. You just have to saw white power, which privilege, allyship, whatever the nonsense words of the day are.

– Intersectionality.

– Intersectionality, and then you’ll get in and be published as, it’s like, idea laundering. You’d be published as though you are a real entity. So these are soft sciences, like, you can, you know, there’s a replication crisis in psychology for a reason. You know what I mean?

– You know what’s interesting? So this gets to our own, because we all have our own things, right?

– Yeah.

– That’s your platform that you’re gonna stand on is, is that economic platform. In other words, that’s one of the things where you’re like, experts are wrong, and there’s a wave of right that’s coming, that they will never recognize because they’re stuck in this old way of thinking. I think in medicine, it’s the same thing. I actually think there’s an old way that’s just absolutely wrong, and the new wave coming up is saying, no, actually, we could focus on disease prevention, in a way that actually is story driven, and relationship driven, but empowered by technology. That, and then clicks those boxes that we don’t need to click, and does the population health kind of, connecting the dots in the larger community, and it’s actually human dependent, but it’s also impossible without advanced AI and technology. That I think is what’s coming, and the old school people are like, I give losartan for high blood pressure because of kidneys.

– Right.

– That’s going away. But the other, so this is my little piece, right? The people who think about philosophy and consciousness, and stuff like that, that’s my hobby, my passion outside of work, whatever work is. When I look at reductionists trying to explain consciousness arising from the brain, and these experts of, well, there’s this thing called Integrated Information theory, that the more complex the system is, then a consciousness emerges from that system.

– Right.

– And I’m sitting there going, yeah, we call that magic. Where I come from. Whereas, you know, when we had Hoffman on the show,

– Right.

– This idea that, now well what if we just flip that, and the consciousness is the primary concession of reality, and everything else emerges from it, and you can actually describe it precisely in scientific terms, it’s not magical thinking. So I get passionate about that, and I look at the ex-person and go, you guys are dumb. So, I think, look. You have to question experts.

– Wait, this gets to the heart of what, I think what is going on, because, okay, like, there is a decentralization movement happening, and this is not about bitcoin, this is just about the entire internet. The entire internet is decentralizing everything, right?

– Mm hm?

– And so what you’re seeing is a virtual land grab. So the death of experts is part of the virtual land grab. Like why do we see things like, you know, why is the transgender thing such a big push in today’s current climate? Because on the internet you can be a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter, you can be whoever you wanna be. Like, that can be your new identity, right?

– Mm.

– So all the rules are up for grabs, that’s why we see post-modernism having a large effect.

– Mm.

– Because the internet is a new frontier, it’s a new playground. People like me are concerned about laying down digital property rights, you know what I mean?

– Mm.

– Other people are concerned about, you know, free expression, and, you know, genderfluid identity, whatever that means.

– So how does net neutrality effect this then.

– Yeah, that’s interesting.

– Isn’t that a kind of decentralization?

– It’s dead. Ajit Pai killed it.

-Oh, that guy! Hey, he’s a fellow Indian, okay buddy? Don’t, don’t mess with him.

– He had a really big mug, is what I remember about him.

– Ah, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

– Yeah.

– But, you know, this idea of decentralization meaning the network makes decisions.

– Yeah.

– In other words, you have all these little network nodes, human beings, data points, exchanging data freely, in a way that what emerges out of that are decision that are somewhat coordinated by nodes in the network.

– Right.

– But there’s no central government or resources or entity making decisions for people anymore. Including in democracy.

– Right.

– So is this the end of democracy?

– Yeah, 100%. Yeah.

– Yeah, I agree with you. I think liberal democracy as a thing has run its course, it was necessary, but the next thing is going to be,

– Yeah.

– You know, what Yael Harari would say, is a kind of AI enabled network, dataism as a religion, dataism as a moral, so the free flow of data, so that decisions can be made based on the absolute availability of data in any given second.

– Yeah.

– Which reminds me–

– There’s sorta been a lid on human expression, in the last hundred or so years, while everything has been so heavily centralized.

– Right, that’s true.

– Do you know what I mean?

– Everybody had to play by the same rules, and think and act the same way.

– Mm.

– So yeah, we’re gonna see a lot more free expression, that’s gonna result in tribalism, like, it’s just gonna,

– It already has.

– It’s bound to happen.

– It’s already–

– Yeah, and it’s bound to continue happening, you know.

– Yeah, I think though I’m an optimist, I think that as we will eventually transcend the tribalism that’s resurgent right now, that’s really a response to

– Right.

– The lack of central authority. ‘Cause, you know, in the old days, in the U.S., and I think Hyde and others have talked about this in their work. The U.S. had a common tribal identity, which was, we are not the Soviet Union. Or we are the bastion where the, you know, Reagan’s beacon on the hill, or,

– Right.

– Or, what was it? Light on the hill?

– The city on the hill. City on the hill.

– City on the hill, that’s right, I knew it was something. You got damn Mon-go-rean! We tear down your shitty wall! Every time I think of city, I think of that South Park quote. Which was very racist.

– Yeah.

– And would never fly today.

– No, never.

– Because of our hyper-politically correct culture.

– Mm hm.

– Even Apu can’t get a break.

– I know.

– You know, what I’m saying?

– He had to shut down the Kwik-e-Mart.

– They shut it down!

– They shut it down!

– Thank you, come again! But don’t, because we’re shut down!

– The Slurpee machine is broken. Please come again.

– Ah. So, So in, you know, I think we needed this tribal identity as one, so there was always an American identity, and then the sub-identities were fine. You know, and they were either a suppressed, as in African Americans, et cetera, or assimilated. It was about assimilation. Now, there’s been a fragmentation, where everybody has a voice, and they want that voice to be heard, but there are two types of this identity tribalism. There’s common humanity tribalism, which is, yeah, we’re being discriminated against, not being given opportunities to compete in an equal world, in our own, you know, competence hierarchy. We can’t, because there are systemic things that keep us from doing that. And I’m appealing to you, Tom Hinueber, as a white male, and your common humanity to say, don’t you want everyone to have procedural justice, to be able to compete? And that’s what Martin Luther King did.

– Right.

– So his movement was a common humanity identity politics, where it’s like, we’re African American, but we’re appealing to the larger society and saying, don’t you wanna share the shame human, you know, rights that you have with others? And it worked.

– Yeah.

– But now what we’re seeing is common enemy identity politics, where it’s saying, listen, you know, as a, you know, cis-male, brown, you know, Zoroastrian, I have been systematically oppressed, by you, Tom Hinueber, and your people.

– Yeah.

– The people who hold power, which are white males. And because 1% of you guys run everything, therefore it is an intentional, systematic oppression of me. So therefore in the call out culture that currently exists, it is noble and moral for me to call you out for your racism. If Louie C.K. says something inappropriate, I have to call him out publicly on Twitter, and rally my troops, and that works in the sense that my crowd will really be energized by that, and it’ll increase tribalism, and will the outcomes be better for the world? No, because what often happens is a series of mistakes. In identity common enemy, identity politics, first of all, there’s a confusion of correlation and causation, same with the anti-vaxxers. They say, well, there are not enough women in the sciences and math. Therefore it is white male oppression that is causing this to happen.

– Right.

– Now, surely there is a component of discrimination and unconscious bias and so on in hiring women in the maths, but, could it be there are actually differences in predisposition and desires among the genders? And it seems like data suggests that there are some, but even by talking about that, so yeah, there’s more men in engineering, but why is that? Is it because women are discriminated against, or is it because they’re societally encouraged to like, have Barbies, and make homes, or is it because there is some tendency of women to be more relationship driven, less, you know, interested in things and material gadgets, which again, the data seems to show that men are more interested in those things. So even having that conversation would violate the common enemy identity politics. So in other words, feminist groups could attack me for even discussing that, because it’s a sign of my male privilege to continue the oppressive dominance hierarchy by having that discussion. I think that’s really, it’s not fair to an intellectual discussion, it doesn’t lend itself to progress, and it’s scientifically wrong. So study the hell out of everything, and I think vaccine guys are the same thing. They correlate, oh, the emergence of autism’s often diagnosed around the same time you get vaccines. Well, but that doesn’t mean the vaccines cause them.

– Right.

– So, that’s my long answer to, I don’t know what we were talking about.

– Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot, I mean there’s a lot going.

– Right!

– It’s, but it’s–

– And it’s nuance, it’s not concrete!

– Yeah, and it’s all, it is all a power grab. Because think about is, like, for instance, the feminism argument, it’s like, do you just wanna discount, you know, the millions and millions of years of collaboration that men and women had to have to get to this place where we are now? Because it was really hard before it was here. You know what I mean, like, it hasn’t just been men oppressing women for millions of years. Like, it’s been in collaboration. Because before the pill, women had basically no reproductive choice, so, you know, if you were gonna have sex, which you’re compelled to have sex ’cause it feels great,

– Mm hm. Mm hm.

– Right? Then, you’re gonna end–

– That’s your rape culture speaking, Tom.

– You’re gonna end up with a baby, and then you’re gonna have to take care of that baby. And men are ill prepared to take care of a baby. I have a six week old right now, every time I try and comfort this baby, it’s like, hey, what’s up baby? And it’s just like, I’m not happy to be in your arms right now. I want mommy back. And I’m like, okay, I love you, Here you go. Just give her.

– Well you know, the interesting data is in countries where it is very egalitarian in terms of opportunity, for women and men,

– Right.

– Both get paternity and maternity leave, et cetera, there’s more discrepancy in outcome.

– Yeah.

– So there are yet more men in the sciences and stuff, and engineering, and less women, because given openness, and ability to do what they choose, the genders may well choose things based on their strengths and weaknesses, and it turns out women are really good at relationships, they values those, at least, in a stereo, not stereotypical, in a aggregate area under the curve, there are always outliers in any group. But if you look at take personality tests for women and men, women score higher in agreeableness than men, there are real differences. Now, again, we can’t even have those discussions now. Like, even just this discussion we’re having right now, there’s a part of me that’s uncomfortable. Because–

– I’m not. I wish we could go further.

– But see, you– Exactly, if you and me were talking like we were offline, it would be, believe me. There would be thousands of people coming after me, because that’s the climate that we’re in right now.

– Yeah.

– And it’s absolutely terrible. Now here, okay, here’s one thing I will say. This will inflame at least five people. The whole Louie C.K. thing that happened over the weekend, where the press picked up that like, some leaked audio from a stand up comedy thing that Louie C.K. did about Parkland shooting survivors, whatever, but one thing that he said in that comedy routine was, who the fuck are these children,

– Right.

– In this call out culture, that are pointing at adults and saying, you don’t get to say that, that’s racist, or that’s whatever. You don’t get to express yourself that way, I know what’s right, you need to shut up. And C.K. is like fuck you! I’m the grown up here.

– Right.

– I have the experience and the wisdom of being alive and having actually made money, and having a job, and having a wife, and having kids, and having made mistakes, and you, you fucking little twat, are coming at me, and telling me to censor my speech. Fuck you, and honestly, I got so pissed off when I, I was like, yeah, fuck yeah dude. ‘Cause I feel that way, like, these kids will be like, you need to stop. Shut the fuck up. If you can’t have an open conversation, and use some of the curse words, and, oh, but you’re a doctor, and it’s unprofessional. No, it’s unprofessional not to fucking have this conversation. It’s unprofessional to shut other people down, call out culture is unprofessional. Right? Trigger warnings are unprofessional, and I’ll tell you why. You do not treat PTSD with trigger warnings. You treat PTSD with slow and clinical exposure.

– Exposure therapy. Yeah.

– So by hiding, you’re actually prolonging. It’s a symptom of the disease, not it’s cure. The other day I think there was a post on Facebook, and you know, it was, I think a physician had passed away, and the person had posted, trigger warning, this is about the death of a physician. And I was like, well, first of all, trigger warnings are dumb, but second of all, you just triggered whoever was gonna be triggered by talking about the death of a physician. I mean, that’s the trigger.

– Yeah.

– So, I think what we have to do is first of all, we have to manage our mental health crisis better than we have, which, that’s a whole, we’ve done shows on that.

– People say that all the time, and like, what’s it mean?

– Oh, what it means is–

– What’s it mean?

– Because you know what–

– Because, here’s, here’s the thing, I’m gonna tell you right out, straight up, I don’t care if anybody’s mad about this. Most of you don’t have mental illness. Like, you have ordinary misery,

– Yeah.

– Which is what Sigmund Freud called, you don’t have mental illness. You need to just get your shit together.

– Well, and–

– You know what I mean? Suck it up, go for a long walk, listen to classical music, stop eating junk food, suck it up. For most of you.

– Fuck yeah. And this is what I think. It’s not their fault that they’re labeling, or that they’re getting diagnosis. It’s the system that diagnoses them, but it’s also, we talked about this in our other podcast, you know, the coddling in the American mind. We are creating an anxious, depressed generation, partially by labeling them anxious and depressed, but partially because we’re giving them devices, we’re connect them to social media, we’re depriving them of play, we’re over scheduling them, we’re creating

– Yeah,

– A political polarization that make an us and them, evil and not evil, all, and we’re in our college campuses are encouraging distorted thinking that a cognitive behavioral therapist would look at and go what the hell are we doing to our children? And then we wonder when Louie C.K. has to look at these children and say, shut the fuck up. Right? And again, here’s the thing. In the 60s, kids were standing up to adults and saying, hey don’t trust anyone over 30, fuck you, you know, we’re right. Hey, that’s great man. That’s the energy of youth, and you find that those people become progressively more conservative as they get older,

– Oh yeah.

– As they start having responsibilities, and realizing that life isn’t all reducible to a simple black and white ideology, it’s much more nuanced. But listen, the way it’s gotten now, we’re partially created this. Now one other thing I’ll say, Tom, to double down on your comment about mental illness, is that I don’t think we’re handling mental illness right at all.

– No.

– I don’t think we even understand, we’re reducing it to chemicals,

– Right.

– And, it is a complex, like, if you’re a subscriber like I am, that we’re all just mind system interacting with itself,

– Yeah.

– Dysfunctional mind system means a complex, nested, fractal web of disfunction, that needs talk therapy, it needs behavioral therapy, it needs some degree of mindfulness training, and it needs medication, all together. And who’s gonna do that? Who’s gonna pay for that? Who’s got the time, who’s got the training? Oh, and don’t forget, it needs psychedelics, occasionally. ‘Cause increasing evidence,

– Potentially, yeah.

– Potentially, that those can be transformative in this hands of a therapeutic practitioner.

– When it’s also, you know, it’s interesting, because people say, you know, like take your pills, you know, for mental illness, like, just take your pills, and you’ll be okay. No, no, like.

– It doesn’t work like that.

– Mental illnesses, for people who have real mental illness, it’s so severe that there is no cure, right?

– And let’s just contextualize this. Your mother has severe mental–

– My mother has severe mental illness. She’s schizo-fact ever, bipolar too, somewhere in, who knows that the diagnoses is, right? But she hears, the radio talks to her.

– Right.

– So she’s that mentally ill.

– Yeah.

– This is where I come from. So when I look at a bunch of people, and like, I’m depressed, ’cause they’re on a college campus. Some of them are, some of them are clinically depressed, like, that’s real. But it’s a very small percentage of people. Very small.

– Well what I think is, by de-stigmatizing somewhat, depression, what we found now is there’s big, long lists of wait list for college psychologists, to see students.

– Yeah.

– Because they’re all identifying as depressed. Now the problem is, there is a kind of distorted thinking, the negative filtering, that feeds on itself when you diagnose yourself, or are diagnosed with depression, which is, now I have this thing, which means my negative feelings from the unconscious,

– Right.

– Are acted on with negative thoughts, which then perpetuate the negative feelings, which causes cognitive triad of misery. I am worthless, my future is bleak, and there’s no hope.

– Have you been depressed?

– Oh hell yeah.

– Yeah, me too.

– Mm hm.

– It’s like, a normal symptom of being human.

– And it can be–

– It can last for months.

– It can last for months, it can be–

– It could last for years.

– Debilitating.

– Yeah.

– There’s probably ways to break out of it much faster, including CBT, and, and medication.

– You know what the truth is? And like, people don’t wanna hear this, but like, the truth is, it’s a choice. Everything’s a choice. You’re choosing to be depressed. Yeah, for most people. Not for people who have, maybe a chemical imbalance, but for most people, you’re choosing it.

– Okay, lemme, I’m gonna say what I think, which is I think, obviously, free will is a complicated subject, and I think it’s a bit of an illusion, but, that doesn’t obviate the fact that the voices that you listen to in your head, that then provoke feelings of depression in a loop, it is possible to intervene and choose differently.

– That’s where choice happens, yeah.

– Yes, now, what I will say is, you are choiceless if you’re not aware of that. So in other words, if you have no awareness that you have the ability to train your mind, to take medication, to be with a therapist,

– Yeah.

– If you don’t know that, you are gonna fall into a pattern of automatic behavior that is choiceless. Now, the thing is, once you know there’s a possibility to actually go, oh, okay, this is a terrible thought I’m having that I’m never going to have a podcast that’s as good as Joe Rogan’s. That means I am–

– That’s true.

– It is true. Joe Rogan is a piece of shit, all right? The only way I’m gonna get even close to him is by badmouthing him constantly. No, he’s amazing. If I had started having negative thoughts about my ability in social media, I’ll say, well, I’m not gonna reach people, we’re never gonna encourage change, that means I’m a worthless piece of shit, which then makes me feel bad, which then encourages more thoughts. Oh, you know the other reason I’m a worthless piece of shit is this. Now if I don’t have the understanding that I can look at that thought for a second, step back from it, and go, oh, that’s interesting. Is there validity to that? Well, lemme see, what cognitive distortions out of the list of 12 or 14 am I using? Lemme write them down. Negative filtering, I see everything as negative. Dichotomous thinking, I’m either all good or all bad. There’s a million of ’em. Like, should I, thinking. Which is, I shoulda done that, I shoulda done that,

– Yeah, yeah.

– I shoulda done that, I regret. Well, once you start to recognize those, then you can go, let’s look at the situation as it is. Is that really true? Oh, we have a pretty good movement going of passionate people who send these beautiful messages, which I filter out, because I have negative filtering. All of the positive messages that make me feel good in that moment, I discount, and go, well of course, they’re just saying nice things.

– Yeah.

– Whereas in reality what’s happened is, somebody’s life has been changed, somebody has vaccinated when they wouldn’t have, somebody has opened a book that they would never have bought, somebody has looked at their job in a different way, so that they now have compassion instead of empathy, they’re not burning out, they have their endless reservoir of love for other human beings. That’s a huge positive. So now I think, even now as I think about it, I’m like, I think we’re doing okay, Tom Hinueber. If you didn’t realize that that was something that you could do, then you have no choice. But once you realize, then there is a choice, and then it is on you.

– Yeah.

– That’s what I think.

– Even between that though, you’d have to associate, you’d have to be like, you know, whatever I do on social media, like, ultimately doesn’t even, it’s not tied to me, it doesn’t even really matter. You know?

– And that gets to the sense of oh, who is me?

– Right.

– So,well then it goes deep.

– It’s the self. Then it goes deep.

– Then it goes deep.

– But everybody runs across awareness at some point. So it’s not saying that like, you’re gonna be trapped in it forever, and there’s no escape. There are no people that that happens to.

– Well–

– Like, unless you have severely diminished cognitive abilities, in some regard, you know what I mean? Or you have a mental illness, you can get caught in a negative feedback loop, a real mental illness.

– Real, yeah.

– Yeah. Serious, but for most people, you run into that brick wall of awareness at some point, you know what I mean? I mean, you run into it all the time. You’re obese because you ate your feelings, and then all of a sudden you get on the scale, and you’re 400 pounds, you’ve never been 400 pounds before, that’s telling you something, right?

– Yeah.

– Like, and this happens in all manner of ways.

– Yeah, well and, this is an eternal discussion of how much of our behavior is automatic, and conditioned, and genetic, and educational, and how much of it is free choice. Now, what I think, and again, this is subtle nuance, but when I was talking to Hoffman about this, it opened my eyes to this idea. You know, if a human mind is a series of, like, we have a high level awareness right now. You and I are aware of the room,

– Right.

– And we’re aware of what’s going on, and, we’re aware of our thoughts arising. Okay, where are those thoughts coming from? Am I the author of my thoughts? Well, not really. They’re arising from darkness. I’m seeing them and I’m deciding then at that point, I make a decision, do I act on this?

– Yeah, yeah.

– Do I, now there’s the choice. What we don’t have choice on directly is what thoughts are arising, and what motivations are happening, unconsciously now.

– Yeah.

– If you meditate or you do CBT, or other things, you start to realize, oh, but there is a source for those thoughts. They are the sub-minds underneath that make up our mind as a whole. Those sub-minds each, in the theory, that I think I’m a believer in, is they’re each conscious agents made up of sub-minds. They condition free will, sub-minds above them, so in other words, our overall consciousness.

– Right.

– And minds below them, so everything that we’re exposed to, every thought we have at a high level conditions our sub-minds downwards, and it constrains their free will choices, and we can either do that in a good, positive way, that improves suffering, and well being, or the opposite.

– Right.

– And listen, dude, like, Buddhists and ancient Vedantic Hindus and others have been saying this shit for millennia, and some of them have been practicing it, and they are some of the happiest people you will ever meet. Why? Because they recognize thoughts as either being, you know, wholesome or unwholesome,

– Mm hm.

– Meaning they’re gonna improve my suffering or not. Other suffering, or not. They’re gonna fill me with love an kindness, or they’re not. And then make a choice in that moment.

– Well that’s what choice comes down to, too, is like, you know, okay, yeah. You had a shitty childhood, or like, you don’t know me, man! It wasn’t easy for me man, like, you know what I mean?

– Yeah, yeah, yeah.

– It’s like, yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s the past.

– Yeah.

– Right now, we’re now.

– Yeah.

– We’re now. And choice happens going forward, so everything is a, you know, you’re seeing the negative thought and the positive thought arrive. It’s your choice to go with the positive thought. Lemme read you this thing by Jordan Peterson. He said, “Consciousness is a mystery, “that faces the mystery of potential, “and turns it into actuality. “We do that with every choice we make. “Our choices determine the destiny of reality. “By making a choice, you alter the structure of reality.”

– Yes.

– “So you do always “have that choice, starting now.”

– Now, now, and now.

– Right now, right now.

– And now, and now.

– You don’t have the choice from the past.

– But lemme, okay, so,

– Yeah.

– Yes. And so lemme elaborate on that in a way that reconciles this idea that we’re victims of our past, with we’re authors of our future, which is, from the beginning of when we’re born, from the beginning of the big bang, really, causes and conditions have been set into motion, that condition the next moment. So in other words, in the stream of reality, you know, like, here I am in this moment, and the next moment, and the next moment, what happens in this moment, creates a momentum that drives what happens in the next moment. They aren’t unrelated. In other words at no point do you have a hard reboot where you’re like, I’m a brand new person that has no past conditioning, and no momentum being made.

– Right.

– But that stream of momentum that causes and conditions, that create reality in the moment we’re in, by recognizing what it is, and going, that’s who I am right now. So who do I wanna be next? Well, here’s my baggage. I’m gonna work hard on releasing the baggage, and conditioning myself, reconditioning myself, so that the next moment is more positive. That’s what Jordan Peterson’s really saying, is we create reality, yes, but we’re also easily caught up in the tide of consciousness as it’s evolved from our birth, if we don’t recognize that yeah, man, I was a victim when I was a kid of whatever sexual abuse, or physical abuse, or financial abuse, and that conditioned me to behave a certain way, to have these chronic disease, and all these other things. So what do I do now?

– Yeah.

– Well, I’m a, in every new moment, moving forward. I can change the path of that stream by starting to divert it, you know, with a rudder going in a different direction. But it involves knowing that I have that choice, knowing the nature of reality, and the fact that we are agents of choice in any given moment, and we’re paralyzed by automatic behavior if we don’t recognize that.

– Yeah.

– Yeah.

– Are we paralyzed, or are we just locked in? Like, I mean, it’s semantics, but.

– Paralysis I think refers to choice, so in other words, our choice is paralyzed if we don’t realize that.

– Yeah.

– But we still continue as an entity. In other words, we will unfold as a creature that lives a life, has emotions, has relationships, does things and dies. Automatically on autopilot, all our life.

– There’s a real momentum to it too, because, you know, if you choose to live in denial, you will wither, and your ability to make choice will go away. And that can be self imposed. ‘Cause you can run into one of these like, I’m aware now, and you say, I wanna go back to sleep. You go right back into denial. So it’s, I dunno that it’s so clear cut as like, you were asleep, and then you were awake. Right, like–

– Oh, I agree, there are very few stories where people just wake up.

– Yeah.

– It’s more a slow enlightenment.

– Yes.

– You slowly, for me, personally, it’s been a process of seven years of being in Las Vegas.

– Yeah.

– Slowly waking up. And today I’m more awake than I was yesterday.

– And the more choices you make, you know, it sort of begets choice. Like, it eats itself. You feel more powerful making the next choice.

– So there’s a mind moment theory of consciousness where consciousness isn’t continuous, it’s a series of discreet events and, kind of the basic neuroscience seems to back this up, that any moment of awareness is a series of synchronized, you know, gamma and delta waves in the brain, that synchronize in certain frequency. Without the synchronization, you can have sensory input, but it doesn’t register in awareness. So I was just reading about this again, actually, ’cause I thought it was fascinating, because the Buddhist talk about mind moments as these beads on a string where, each moment is like a bead of pearls on a string,

– Block chain, yeah.

– And, it’s like, a block chain.

– It’s like a block chain.

– And as it spins through awareness, it creates a feeling like a movie where things are happening in real time, and every like, fourth mind moment is a binding moment that actually takes everything, every sensory piece, and puts it in one place and says, I’m in a room with Tom, talking on a show. Whereas this raw sensory data in the mind moments, is, blue shirt.

– It’s a zipper. It’s a zipper.

– It’s like a zipper, yeah.

– Yeah.

– That’s actually an interesting analogy. Well, so with each mind moment comes an intentionality component. In other words, a mind moment has input from the senses, or over the mind, or whatever.

– Yeah.

– And then it has this availance of, what’s the next mind moment gonna be?

– Yeah.

– And it turns out, intentionality is what drives success in meditation. I am intending to focus on the breath. It derives success in life. I am going to be better tomorrow about being diligent, about doing my taxes before the deadline.

– Yeah.

– Whatever it is. Intentionality drives the next mind moment, like you said, it’s a momentum.

– Have you ever noticed, and maybe this is only true for me, but I can only be truly happen in the past, in my memory.

– Mm.

– Because I look back and it’s like, oh man, you remember when we did that thing, and this, and that, ’cause it’s locked in amber. It’s free from all of the anxiety of the present,

– Mm.

– Like, of that next choice.

– Mm hm hm.

– You know, all the choices have been made, and it’s like a movie I can look back on.

– Hey, well, and then, but on the opposite of that is regret.

– Yeah!

– And depression. I should’ve done, I can’t believe, I have had sleepless nights where I sit in bed, just thinking about some shit I said on a show, or something I said to somebody, or an interaction I had by E-mail, where I am so filled with regret that it’s paralyzing. And the present moment would be free of that.

– This is why I always accept pain. Because pain is a fact of life. Like, you’re going to have to experience pain. I don’t know that you necessarily have to experience regret, right? So you should suffer now, to not regret later. Because if you ever see somebody who’s, you know, in the nursing home, and they have regret in their eyes?

– Mm.

– You can see it, it reeks off of them,

– Mm.

– And it’s horrendous. Like, it’s, it hurts to be around them.

– Well, there was a famous zen master in the U.S. who had this formula, which is suffering, S, equals pain, P, times resistance, R.

– Right.

– And resistance is saying I don’t accept what this pain is, or I’m concerned about it, or I regret something.

– Yeah.

– So when resistance goes to zero, when you accept everything, then P times zero is zero, so pain times zero is zero, so suffering equals zero. So pain is never optional. You’re gonna have pain.

– Yeah.

– But suffering is 100% optional.

– Optional, yeah.

– And I think regret is a big piece of it. Now you said you can never be happy in the present moment.

– Truly happy.

– Truly happy. I’m gonna say, and this just comes from recent experience in meditation, and recent experience in waking life, with screen free Sundays, and things like that. I have, through practice, diligent practice,

– Yeah.

– Been able to focus so much on the present moment and let go, relax, let go of resistance, that a sense of wellbeing and joy well up. And this is a real phenomenon that meditators talk about all the time, but, it’s so pervasive that you wanna stop whatever you’re doing, and go pick up the phone, and be like, Tom, you fucking can’t believe how happy I am right now. This is fucking amazing. And then the future impinges, you start worrying, or the past comes back, or you get distracted, but it’s real. And I think when you look at someone like Dalai Lama, or one of these adepts, they live in that state, in bliss.

– Oh yeah. I’ve been trying to get there. It’s hard.

– Oh, you’ll get there, yeah.

– It’s hard.

– Oh, it’s just diligence. I’m still working on it every single day. This morning I meditated for an hour and five minutes, and it was, not that I count, but I do.

– Well, for instance, like, okay, so I have a six week old at home, right? And like, you know, she crying, or, like, really severe crying, colicky the last few days,

– Mm.

– And it’s, you know, it’s a nightmare to deal with that.

– Ooh.

– And so you’re in this like, it’s sort of a living hell, ’cause you haven’t slept and like, you can’t calm this baby, and you want nothing but to calm her down, and, you know, all that kind of stuff.

– Mm.

– But I find myself going, you know, okay, just wait it out, it’ll be over, wait it out. It’s like, no, but man, this is my life. Like, and it’s gonna slip by one moment at a time if I keep thinking that way.

– Mm hm.

– If I keep being like, it’ll be over, what am I gonna do? Keep putting it off until I’m just dead? You know what I mean? No, no, this is what’s happening now, this baby is crying her eyes out, and you know what? I’m so thankful that she’s even here, in the world.

– Mm hm.

– And that I get to be her father, that I don’t care if she’s crying, you know what I mean? Yes, it’s painful. But I can sit with it and endure the feeling, rather than just trying to push forward to the next moment.

– And look how you did that, it gets back to closing the loop on this choice thing. You step back from your feelings, which are, oh God.

– Yes.

– This kid!

– I lived alongside with my feelings, in that moment.

– Right, right!

– It was like, it was as though I had put my anger, and my, or not my anger, but my frustration, you know, here, and I’m, and me and frustration are both looking at the situation, and frustration’s like, this sucks, man! What are we supposed to do? And I’m like, over here like, well you know, it’s okay, it’ll be, you know, we’ll calm it down, and like.

– And that’s what, that’s the secret. A lot of people get this wrong, they go, no, you wanna squash the frustration. You make it go away.

– No. You have to–

– No, you, you’re there with it.

– Yeah.

– You accept it, but you don’t become identified with it, and the great thing about the reality is, it’s impermanent from second to second.

– Right.

– Five seconds later, that frustration may be gone.

– This is in the, in Buddhist scripture, where Mara comes at Buddha with, you know, swords and arrows, and the Buddha just imagines them to be flowers, and all of a sudden the environment changes, like, yeah,

– That’s right.

– This whole environment changes. And you can have the same sort of thing happen on like, a psychedelic drug. You can be having negative thoughts, and, you know, if you’re on a severe, or, powerful psychedelic drug, you’re seeing negative imagery associated with that, because you’re tripping your balls off, man. And,

– Yeah, yeah.

– If you change your thought process, the imagery will go positive too, and it’s like a physical embodiment of what they’re talking about in Buddhist scripture.

– It’s absolutely true.

– Yeah.

– Remember when we had Peter on the show, he was asking me if I’d ever has a transformative psychedelic experience, and I said yeah, I’ve done psychedelics, but the transformative experience was high dose, heroic dose cannabis. Recently, you know, and what it was, was, there were two, one I talked about in that show, but the second was me trying to understand the nature of how conscious awareness changes under the influence of THC, and realizing that I was having these paranoid thoughts, and these self referential, like, I’m not a vary good person,

– Mm hm.

– And not very good at what I do, and, you know, all the negative stuff

– Yeah.

– That happens, people say, ah, I get real paranoid when I get high. That’s me, typically. But having done a lot of meditative training now, I was able to see that, go, oh, that’s interesting. This is a negative thought. Now what if I just reframe this, just take a click over, where everything, instead of being this, is just, oh, I’ve amped up my perception of inadequacy high, so maybe I’ll just switch it over and focus on positive stuff. Within a breath, I was just ecstatically, well, I had a sense of wellbeing.

– Right.

– And all that negativity, I saw it just dissolve. And it’s, again, it’s suffering, is pain times resistance. When you resist, when you’re like, oh God, ah! You know, you’re resisting, if you’re resisting the child crying, or, what is, which is you have a beautiful kid that’s there, that’s having colic, it’s the middle of the night, you haven’t slept, you can resist it, but what will it accomplish you?

– Nothing.

– But suffering. Yeah.

– Yeah, but just suffering.

– Right.

– Yeah.

– And I think part of the problem in America now, bringing it back to healthcare, as we approach an hour and three minutes, is we expect our suffering to be managed magically with pills and with interventions, and surgical stuff, and social media is gonna help us, and this and this.

– Yeah.

– It’s not how it works. It starts with us recognizing how reality is actually constructed, and then acting in every moment to do our best to make it better.

– You know, another thing I would say about that too, is our audience tends to be, you know, people who are highly responsible.

– Right.

– Right? And they’re not only responsible for themselves, but responsible for others, right? And I think, oftentimes the people that go into that sorta, that take on that role willingly,

– Mm.

– They have a childhood trauma where they were made to feel like, maybe they were worthless, or whatever happened to them, and so they take on responsibility in order to be worth something for other people. They’re basically hustling for their worthiness.

– Mm.

– And I would say that if you are one of those people, and you’re listening to this, I’m one of those people, and I have just given myself permission lately, to be happy, and to not have to feel like I have to make myself some weapon of ultimate, you know, responsibility, and look out for all these people, in order to be worth something. But just being here right now, like, I have self worth, I’m worth love, I’m worth, you know, happiness, I’m worth everything. So that’s what I would say to people.

– You know, that’s advice that I can’t top. And I dunno how we got from anti-vaxxers, to that. But that is our podcast, in a nutshell. I think we were intending this podcast to be about lessons learned from turntable health, and moving forward into 2019, and transforming healthcare, but we’re just gonna have to shelve that for another time, because talk about what we wanna talk about, ’cause otherwise it’s gon’ be fake.

– Well I think it’s interesting, because, you know, if you’re hearing this, you’re probably one of the people who, you’re either behind us on the journey, or way ahead of us, ’cause we’re just like, muddying around in the middle. You know what I mean, like.

– That’s true. Yeah, we are in no way adepts at this journey, yeah.

– Right, so, maybe it’s inspiring if you’re beneath us, and if you’re above us, you’re like, Jesus, these guys have a long way to go.

– Exactly, and it’s level of humility, Tom Hinueber, that I think separates us from the anti-vaxxers who always think they’re right. And bringing that to a close, the calls to action are, review this podcast on the podcast app, if you use Stitcher, we’re based on Sound Cloud as well, we’re gonna have a website, we have, obviously a web post, but where the video is gonna be, and where you can get links to become a supporter on Facebook, which really, really helps us in 2019. Also, E-mail me, guys, on the podcast, who don’t watch the video. Zubin, Z, U, B, I, N, at, I’ll put it in the show notes, because I wanna hear your feedback. I love getting emails, I do. You think that I don’t, because I get so many, sometimes I can’t respond. But I read every one, and they’re helpful to me, and it inspires me actually to continue doing what we’re gonna do in 2019, which is fuck shit up. Woo, woo!

– Woo, woo!

– Woo, Logan! On that note, Z-Pac, I love you. And parting words, Tom Hinueber.

– We’re coming for you, Dr. Oz. You’re a bitch-ass-bitch.

– I hate you so much, Tom Hinueber. And yet you’re right. Peace out.

– Suck it, Oz!