It might sound like the plot of a science fiction movie, but Joe Rogan believes that in the near future people will be able to read each others minds. Talking on his March 11, 2021, Joe Rogan Experience podcast with former CIA officer Mike Baker, Rogan began exploring the way that humans will interact with each other as technology evolves.
“One of the things that I’m worried about, and this is going to sound really weird, what all of this dissent and confusion is going to bring about is the rise of some sort of technological symbiosis where we can read each other’s minds, where we can understand each other better,” Rogan told Baker. “It’s going to make us less human than we are currently. I’m really worried about that.
Rogan added, “I’m worried about these weird interfaces. Like Elon Musk is trying to do this Neuralink thing. And I think he’s doing it because he wants to increase the bandwith between human beings and information, which is a very noble concept. You’re going to make people smarter, give more access to information. One of the things he said to me is, ‘you’re going to be able to talk without words.'”
Neuralink is a company founded by Musk that is working on “developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers,” according to its website. The company’s plan is to create FDA-approved brain implants that will wireless interface with computers. The technology could help people with neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s, dementia and spinal cord injuries, Musk has said.
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Rogan Said He Thinks a Technological Tool to Read Each Other’s Minds Is ‘Inevitable’
Rogan told Baker, :I think ultimately there’s going to be some sort of technology that literally allows people to understand people’s intent and to read their thoughts and their ideas. And it’s not that far away. It may be 50 years or whatever it is. We’re moving in this direction where we’re going to be less human.”
Rogan said social media and the polarization of the culture is going to lead to the new technology.
“And because of all the bulls*** that’s been created by social media and by these conversations and by these algorithms that encourage people to be upset about things, they encourage outrage, that we’re going to have to move into some weird place where we’re going to have to change who we are in order to recognize what are the motives behind these different programs and campaigns that are forcing people into these situations where they hate each other,” Rogan said.
Baker, who worked for the CIA for 17 years and now runs an investigative company, talked about how a tool like that could be used in counterintelligence, where the polygraph is currently unreliable because it can be beaten. “If we could create something that could read people’s minds, great, because you know what that does? It allows us to identify the traitor inside the group, the mole a lot quicker. Counterintelligence operations are always an enormous lift,” Baker told Rogan.
But Baker added, “Do I want us to develop that ability in general? No. I think that’s f***** up.”
Rogan replied, “I think it’s inevitable, I think it’s coming whether we want it or not. I think if you go back in time and you go to Martin Luther, you go to the printing press and the ability to translate the Bible into a phonetic language and the changes that had on society, and you move that into the future and you go to the free press and you got the internet and you go to social media and you go to where we are today, one of the things that is common, is that there’s a course in this path that seems to be inevitable. That there’s a shrinking between the distance between human beings and information.”
Rogan Said He Thinks Information Will Be ‘Instantaneously Accessible’
Rogan told Baker, “Information is far more accessible than it has ever been before. And there is some resistance to that. … Ultimately, all technology is leading into, there is a boundary between human beings and information and it’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller. To the point where information is going to be instantaneously accessible. Whether it is a decade from now or a month from now or a 100 years from now it is inevitable, in my opinion, that as technology continues to progress and innovation continues to be something that people value and that is prized and is rewarded, we’re going to move to a position where you’re going to be able to read people’s minds. You’re going to understand people’s intent. And we’re not going to trust people who aren’t willing to do that.”
Rogan said, “it’s going to help people in a lot of ways. Because lying doesn’t just hurt the people that you lie to, it hurts you. Because you’re living some bulls*** life where you’re trying to pretend that you’re something that you’re not. There’s going to be people that fall by the wayside and people who rise because of it. And it’s going to help culture ultimately.”
Rogan said he thinks it will be embraced because it will eliminate propaganda. “You can’t have propaganda if people can actually understand what people’s intentions are,” Rogan said.
Rogan previously talked about his ideas about mind reading and the shift in culture with Malcom Gladwell in November 2019. Rogan told Gladwell about reading minds, “I don’t think we’re far away from that. I think we’re a few decades from some technology that allows people to establish intent and see thoughts. There’s some sort of theoretical work they’re doing on this now, there’s different models. I think that’s going to eliminate a lot of the bulls*** of communication and it’s going to happen really quickly.”
But Gladwell had a different take, telling Rogan, “If we were able to read someone’s thoughts, intentions, what we would in fact discover is even more confusing than what we know now. In other words, maybe what’s inside my head now are 35 different thoughts and intentions warring at each other … Think about the list of possible thing that come out of my mouth at this very moment is infinite. There are at this very moment God knows how many scenarios swirling around my head about what should I say next. … All those are in play, so you really want to look inside my head? You’re not going to clarity. It’s going to be. a mess.”