Joe Rogan on Language Learning: Disappointing in My View.
People, in other words, who don't believe everything they hear.
In fact, those same people will believe anything.
Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here, and today I'm going to talk about something
a little different than normal.
I'm gonna talk about Joe Rogan and language learning.
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Now, why Joe Rogan?
Well, first of all, I didn't know who he was.
I'd seen references in media to him.
I knew he was somewhat controversial.
Someone sent me, uh, two links to, uh, videos, which were part of podcasts
that he did that included the discussion of language and learning languages.
So I watched them and very interesting.
Joe Rogan, apparently, I looked him up, he ha he is the most
popular podcaster on the planet.
He has 11 million subscribers.
He puts out three or four podcasts a week.
Each one is like two hours long.
So that's an awful lot of content.
Uh, I don't know if every one of his 11 million
uh, subscribers listens to every two hour podcast every, however many times
he, he puts them out each week, but he obviously does influence a lot of people.
So it was very interesting for me to, to look at those videos.
Um, this is gonna be a bit of a ramble.
I haven't got it all thought out ahead of time.
I will see how it goes, but my, my impression was somewhat negative.
Now that's probably not surprising given my age and given, you know, I'm
not in tune with the modern, sort of, um, you know, social media sphere,
but I don't like the way he speaks.
He is very incoherent.
He jumps around, he makes exaggerated statements, he
uses a lot of foul language.
Uh, nothing of any great consequence is said.
Um, and I guess this contributes to his success because he is successful.
He's the most successful podcaster.
Uh, I saw where when he had one rant where he, uh, was strongly anti-vax
or something, that there was a lot of controversy because it was picked
up by CNN and that boosted his, uh, audience by another 2 million people,
which he's attributed to the fact that everybody knows how unreliable
CNN is, which is again, sort of this typical exaggerated extrapolation.
There are undoubtedly reports on CNN or any of the media that are not accurate,
but that doesn't mean that everyone thinks that they are always unreliable.
I would still consider CNN a more reliable source of information than Joe Rogan.
And uh, you know, it's interesting, this idea that, well, you can't
trust this, you can't trust that.
This idea of, well, you can't believe that.
I, I think a lot of these people who say, you know, I don't, don't believe
everything you read or everything you hear, uh, on CNN or don't believe what the
experts tell you, people, in other words, who don't believe everything they hear.
In fact, those same people will believe anything, in other words,
uh, completely without any proof or any, uh, uh, you know, evidence.
Uh, if someone postulates someone like this Joe Rogan guy, and if this person is
popular, then uh, this becomes sort of a symbol of, I don't believe everything that
I'm taught, but you'll believe Joe Rogan.
Anyway, bit of a, an introduction to the subject.
So then I listen to him interviewing this guy and the conversation is
kind of like, like, man, like, uh, look at this crazy f*ing writing
system like Chinese or Russian, like, how can you ever learn that?
That's crazy, man.
That looks like, looks like a spade with a knife through it.
Like, that's crazy.
Well, yeah I learned, uh, Spanish at school for a year and, uh,
got to where I could almost speak and then I forgot it all.
It's just crazy.
Well, yeah, like, man, like wow.
Um, you know, learning a language is the hardest thing you can do.
It staves off your mental deterioration, like, or atrophy he
said, like, it's all exaggerated.
I prefer people who, and I would definitely suggest to people who
are working on their English, don't speak like Joe Rogan.
Uh, learn to speak, you know, in, in, in a way that makes sense.
That you know, where you, arguments are built up logically where things are
explained based on available evidence.
Where it's measured.
There's a bit of this and a bit.
It's not to say that, by the way, I'm leaving the links to those two videos
in the description box, but I mean, there's stuff there that's perhaps
true or partly true or or legitimate, but there's a lot of very incoherent,
childish, um, misstatements or exaggerations or childish observations.
And I really don't understand why anyone would listen to much of that.
Um, but I, I made some notes of what he said, but I'm not gonna bother with it.
Um, yeah, uh, I mean, you're not learning to speak English
well if that's why you listen.
You're not learning anything meaningful.
Listening to Joe Rogan, I think there's a, there's a, a definite lack
of respect for language like, Uh, some other writing system: Arabic,
Chinese, Russian is not crazy.
Uh, you know, they took, he says at one point they took our
letters and used them backwards.
They're not your letters.
It's a Latin alphabet.
There is a Cyrillic alphabet, which he calls acrylic.
Each one of those is, has had its own development.
Like it's this whole idea that, you know, we are the norm and everything
else is weird, crazy strange.
Actually anyone can learn any language.
No language is strange.
No language is weird.
Uh, so there's this lack of respect for a variety of, of, of, of
languages, our ability to learn these languages, but we have to stay with it.
And, uh, making it seem like some very strange, weird
thing, very difficult to do.
And whatever time you put into it, you're gonna lose it right away.
And none of this is true.
Um but, uh, by all means, people should, should listen to whatever they wanna
listen to and draw their own conclusions.
But the important thing is to draw your own conclusions.
And I think too often in today's world, it's more a matter of saying
something, you know, outrageous.
And if what you say is outrageous enough uh, people will follow
you.,As was the case with Joe Rogan, who picked up 2 million
additional listeners simply by saying something outrageous about vaccines.
There seems to be this competition of who can say the most outrageous things,
and not only outrageous, but incoherent.
So if you combine outrageous with incoherent, then you're
challenging common sense.
You're challenging the accepted, accepted wisdom and therefore you're worth
listening to because you're kind of way out there and throwing a few F-bombs
and, and foul language and a few wows here and there, and some strange obser...
And this seems to appeal to people.
Unfortunate, I mean, he has 11 million listeners to his podcast.
That is an awful lot that makes him very influential.
Uh, I don't know.
A best seller is a million copies.
People don't read those books necessarily, even if they buy them.
Uh, it's easy to listen to a podcast.
You're listening in your car, you're hearing all this stuff, uh, based off
and on very little, just the sort of impulse of a guy like Joe Rogan, his
prejudices, what he heard somewhere, not quite sure where he heard it, but
it must be true because it's contrary to what they say in the mainstream.
And all of this stuff is, I think, let's just say I don't like it.
I think that, uh, to learn languages, you have to respect
the language you're learning.
You have to respect the process of learning a language.
You have to respect people who speak different languages.
In other words, treat the subject with respect.
And if we want to encourage people to learn languages, which I try to
do at this channel, then um, we need to present it in a positive way.
Now he's not interested in promoting languages.
He just wants to sound off and thinks he's funny and get somebody on there that will
chime in with him and drop a few F bombs.
And that's his shtick and it seems to work for him.
And uh, obviously he's really wealthy from doing that.
But, uh, being wealthy and having a large following doesn't necessarily
elevate him in my, uh, mind.
So there you have it.
You might be interested in a video that I did a while ago on Jordan
Peterson, who is another popular figure in this sort of social media sphere
challenging established, uh, you know, conventional wisdoms and so forth.
Um, and, uh, maybe another one that's a little bit more positive about
the importance of language learning.
Thanks for listening.