Hi, Friend.Remember Dr. Oz? He rose to popularity in the 2000s, as an “expert” on various talk shows, and then later, of course, his own talk show. Regrettably, his education as a surgeon and his long standing post at Columbia University did not prevent him from touting all kinds of garbage on this show, from dodgy supplements to questionable weight loss products. When it came to nutrition questions, and wonderings in 2000s, Dr. Oz came up A LOT. So much so, that I figured IF I had a list of people to kill (that’s a reference to a scene from Billy Madison), Dr. Oz would absolutely be on that list.
anti-intellectualismOversimplification. The invariable result of a layperson interviewing the expert, is that you end up with grossly oversimplified takeaways where all nuance is gone. This is how “meat has lots of protein, and protein is good for you” turns into “you should only eat meat, and vegetables are bad”. Expert says a thing. Joe: So what you are saying is - twists the thing to fit his own agenda. Expert (visibly appalled): "Well, no, not quite". *tries to bring nuance back, and mostly fails. Repeat ad infinitum. False equivalence. When two people are put side by side, the impression of equivalence is created - no matter how false that impression might be. Registered dietician and Reiki master are not equally equipped to discuss nutrition, and yet… if it’s happening on JRE, it very well appears so. Misinformation. Few years ago, Rogan dropped a false story in an episode without fact checking - the story has already been debunked by multiple sources. Joe issued an apology, and managed to make even THAT relatable and endearing. Everyone makes mistakes! Everyone DOES make mistakes, however, a lack of due process of fact checking, given the size of the platform, is concerning, to put it mildly. This was not the only instance of Rogan saying something and then walking it back to “I was a moron” days later. Unfortunately, I doubt his audience is keeping close track of the walkbacks. Mainstream media has its downsides, however, proofread-condense-spell check-fact check flow is standard. Meanwhile, “alternative sources of information” is JRE and some other dude’s YouTube channel. Who the hell is keeping track of the walkbacks and “oopsies” that only show up on Twitter? Anti-intellectualism. In Joe Rogan land, “smart” is an insult, and ignorance is displayed as a badge. We, simple folk, is “we”, and scientists are “they”, and what do “they” know anyway? This shift has been happening for a while - Tom Nichols talks about it in “Death of Expertise” - in less than a decade we went from peer reviewed something (anything!) to cute reels as sources of information. Today, Joe Rogan is telling me what to eat, and whether or not to get vaccinated, and IG mom is telling me how to parent my children. And that’s… terrifying. And this brings me to Chinese food.I’ve been approaching Joe Rogan the same way I approach really greasy really shitty Chinese food. It’s Thursday night. Your friends are hungry, there is nothing else around, so you get some. You eat it, and you almost enjoy it. Almost. If not for all that cognitive dissonance. It’s not good for you. It’s not even that… good. Oh, and you really hope your neighbors don’t see you. It is (maybe) worth it. Maybeeee. Like… once a year.