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Episode 206

You Made It Weird

Brian Greene: Theoretical Physicist

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You Made It Weird #206: Brian Greene: Theoretical Physicist

Brian Greene (theoretical physicist and string theorist! The Elegant Universe! The Fabric of the Cosmos! TED Talks!) makes it weird!

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23 comments

  • Great podcast up until the omnivore/vegetarian/vegan conversation. As a defacto farmer, I love plants. (and animals for that matter) Pete makes the comment, “how can you eat these living things.”  Vegetarians kill plants to survive. You know what I like seeing, majestic trees, but I also need a house, therefore I recognize that as a heterotroph, in order to survive, a living thing needs to die, plant or animal. Its a matter of how you treat your future metabolic energy that counts, and it damn well better be humanely. (Which I am sure I violate because I don’t always consume locally produced non-CAFO meats and I do struggle with this.) Vegans are also crazy because they wont consume animal by-products (cheese, milk, etc) …Last I checked, even if you are only eating the fruits of a plant, you are consuming the reproductive organs of the plant. You are eating embryos, future plants, and living things. The uppity self righteous bullshit of vegetarians/vegans drives me insane because just because a plant cant speak, shed a tear, or have big dough eyes, doesn’t mean you aren’t killing to live. 

    • You don’t get it. It’s not that plants aren’t living things, it’s about suffering. And if one day there’s credible evidence that plants do suffer, it would still make more sense to eat only plants since you need less plants for humans than for growing meat so humans can eat them.

  • Ahhh I can return to listening to this podcast again. It was getting so New Agey and frankly, a couple episodes were downright hostile toward science. Glad we got someone on here to balance the scales a bit and remind everyone that there are actually provable facts in the world.

  • A) Love the new site design!
    B) Thank you so much for this amazing interview! I’m super glad that Pete really is expanding his selection of guests and finally had a real scientist on. Terrific!

  • “I feel like I have money and you have gold.” – sums up the two perspectives so well! 
    So many things to absorb in this one but I’ll highlight that I like and relate to Pete’s idea of “fleganism” – certainly there are instances in which preserving a moment (such as his example with accepting the cookie, where courtesy is a concern) is more valuable in the big picture than being picky about whether there are non-vegan ingredients in what you’re eating.. assuming your choices are not for health reasons I feel such choices are perfectly justifiable. 
    Great episode :)  

  • Hi Pete, I loved this one. It’s refreshing to have a rational person as opposed to some pseudo science folks. Brian nailed it when he talked about experimentation and observation. Some of the “New Age” folks don’t provide any evidence which turns off the listeners that are into science. I hope you get Bill Nye or Neil deGrasse Tyson as those conversations will be just as good or better. 

  • Pete, this guest was really refreshing, given the pseudoscience bend.  However, was your constant giggling because you were disagreeing with him?  If so, say something!  That way, he can blow some of your more out there ideas out of the water.  Life is all about challenging the ideas you’ve been surrounding yourself with, and I think you’ve done yourself a disservice in more recent times.  Peace.

  • Wow…I fucking loved this. Oddly, I’ve seen many Brian Greene videos online…and never really took a liking to him. It all seemed a bit too pop-science for my tastes. I’m no physicist…BUT, I’d much rather someone talk down to me…than try to level with my own sensibilities.

    Pop-science is like that…and it’s why I’m not much of a fan. But…having said all that…I fucking loved this episode. Isn’t Pete just the best? Seriously. The man’s a national treasure. He brings the best out of people like no one else. And he did that with Mr. Greene.

    I’m now a fan…a huge fan…of Brian Greene. He comes across utterly aware and cognizant of his place in things. He’s a smart guy…AND a cool person in general. I never got that from his pre-planned TED talks. But, I sure got something out of this talk. I can’t say enough positive things about this.

    So glad I finally stumbled upon Pete’s ‘cast. I’m a huge huge Duncan Trussell fan…ever since day 1 of his own podcast. And I discovered Pete via Duncan. And now I’m discovering all these amazing people via Pete. Life is grand, aint it?

  • Awesome! This is exactly what science minded weirdos like me have been waiting for.

    Brian made a very forceful and clear case for the importance of the testing and verification of claims, something that the “new agey” guests seem to have no interest in.

    I still listen to every episode, even when I know the guest is going to have me rolling my eyes. I’m glad you were able to book a guest that could make such a strong case for the scientific worldview. Love the show Pete, keep up the amazing work!

  • I love this episode!  *It’s refreshing to hear a respected physicist speak to the value of academic philosophy (esp. philosophy of science). 

  • Thank you for this! I heart Brian Greene & Pete Holmes. This made my day! This made my week! This made my whole year! Thank you so much! :)

  • Pete – I think you should see the movie “Under the Skin” with Scarlett Johansson. It is a sci-fi flick that is criticizing corporate farming. It seems like it’d be right up your alley. Aliens are harvesting humans for their skin, which is apparently a delicacy to their kind. Warning – it might be the weirdest fucking movie I’ve ever seen. Very very weird. Like a weirder version of Clockwork Orange. But again – it’s a pretty fascinating argument that I think you’d be in to. Also, if that isn’t enough – ScarJo spends a good quarter of the movie naked. You know – if I haven’t already convinced you to go see it… 

  • such a good episode! in the middle of it i paused it, got up for a beer only to discover the beer fridge was empty. EMPTY! when it was full last time I saw it. What if in an alternate reality the fridge still was full. What if I was in that reality and we constantly jump realities. Since they are so many and the changes may be very very subtle what if we don’t realize this. Thats why we remember conversations and other people don’t? de ja vu? I thought i’ve had for a while. 

  • Oooh, excited for this ep. Can I make a guest request? I heard Armen Weitzman on Who Charted recently and I think he’d be great on this show! He’s open, positive, and very weird.