welcome to the neutral ground podcast
this week we have a very special guest
in fact it's our first guest for the
show
so help me warmly welcome dr matthew
jacobson to the neutral ground
dr jacobson received his phd from the
university of oklahoma where he focused
his dissertation on podcasting rhetorics
so in this episode we're going to take a
look at two titans of their industry
verbally sparring
no i don't mean me and matt
we're gonna take a look at the infamous
joe rogan episode with bill burr from
2020 and break down what's going on
there rhetorically
we're also going to talk about three
important podcasting rhetorics that help
shape the way that we interact with our
podcasts that we listen to
and finally we're going to
talk about how podcasting in general
over the years has helped to shape
public opinion in various ways
so
i hope you enjoy my conversation with
dr matthew jacobson
welcome to the neutral ground podcast i
am incredibly excited today because i
have my first guest and i i i find the
topic that we're going to discuss here
really fascinating i have got dr matthew
jacobson
and matt did his study his dissertation
on podcast rhetoric's insights into
podcasts as public persuasion so we're
going to get into the nitty-gritty here
a little bit about kind of how
podcasting works how it it interacts
with us how we interact with it as well
so first let me say welcome matt it's
great to have you yeah thanks for having
me joe sure so let's get a little bit of
background into here because there's
always some kind of interesting stories
involved into how we get into our fields
of study here
how did you come to this topic or want
to come to this to studying this topic
for your dissertation
yeah so it's kind of a
it's a bit of a long story i'll try and
hit the hit the highlights here um i
i started listening to podcasts through
my masters when i was uh
interning at special collections uh in
the library university library and i had
to scan
these massive dots like scan these
documents these random like brochures
for ships and things and it would be at
this really high resolution like
thousands and thousands and thousands of
pixels it would take
it would take five minutes to scan one
side you know five minutes to scan the
other so i had all this time and i
started listening to um
you know just uh stuff you should know
and podcasts like that when i was just
by myself in the in the library so i had
that podcast fan background going back
you know two thousand but 2012
around there which you know podcasts
have been around but as you probably saw
in the dissertation they've just been
just exponentially growing in terms of
audience awareness and public interest
so i listened to podcasts i they were
always in the back of my mind i took a
classical rhetoric course with kathleen
welch at ou um and she does some
technology stuff but she's a really
well-known classicist and i so reading
some of plato's uh dialogues and
thinking about dialectic i thought oh
this is like podcast conversation
i think i wrote a paper called you know
from
like podcasts and plato which someone
actually in the field had had written
something with a similar title before so
that i have to uh i wasn't able to use
it but um right but that connection of
like just conversation and conversation
being this way of um achieving this this
higher knowledge right in philosophy
it's uh
you know plato will say like
where's character socrates will say that
the conversation is what moves the soul
and interacting and talking about ideas
and it's a little ironic you know
because socrates always knows what's
best and he's going to tell everyone so
it's kind of a one-sided conversation
which you see in podcasts sometimes but
uh i just thought oh it's so fascinating
that this is kind of like a modern space
for
these classical rhetoric ideas and
dialectic um but what really got me
thinking about podcasts was i took a
course with my advisor will crelincas
and just it was a directed study all
about rhetoric of technology
um and philosophy of technology which i
found i found to be the most
mind-blowing thing i had ever ever read
um just all these different books so we
started with some comprehense stuff
but we really got into like uh
langdon winner who's this uh
political
scientist at rensselaer polytechnic and
andrew feitenberg i don't know where
he's at but he
these great books that just go into like
here's how technology
functions in society and here's
arguments that technology makes right
here's how it directs
how we exist and gather and what we
think is possible as as human beings
so i got really like
it's like oh gosh the tech the
technology became this really attractive
thing and you know uh you know in the
pre
in the preamble you talked about how you
have a computer science degree my my
background technology is nothing i mean
i really like
until i started comprad uh i had no
like no experience uh with it but i
found it like really interesting how it
how it works right like even
you know right now i've got these
i have the audience can't probably see
but i have a headset on like a gaming
headset with a wire and a microphone
attached right and that dictates even
how i'd navigate the room so my friend
if i'm talking to my friend then he's
got a wireless headset he's much freer
to navigate right but he might run out
of batteries and that's just tiny things
right
but um one of the big takeaways from
that that rhetoric technology stuff is
that just um we review how technology
works as this inevitable thing right
everything is this inevitable evolution
but that's just um
kind of a myth it's called technological
determinism right so what makes
we can if we approach it from a design
perspective which is what feinberg
suggests we can come up with alternative
ideas for technology for you know just
better society and we don't have to fall
into that trap of well this is how it is
this is how we have to deal with it it
kind of challenges us to
look at how things are functioning and
how they can be improved so that was
something um i eventually thought well
maybe we could look at a podcast like
this uh so i i approached from a design
perspective got really into design
literature
i cited none of it in my dissertation
but i
that happens yeah yeah but i found it
really fascinating to think about okay
how does design work and you know if you
think about the users of podcasts the
audience and and also the uh the people
you know the podcast hosts and producers
what how does the technology shape what
they're doing and communicate how
they're communicating and how does that
you know how could that
be different and what arguments does the
technology sort of make so i got really
interested into the technology aspects
at the same time
i got into this whole public argument
stuff which at first i i thought oh it's
just so boring right like i don't know i
always liked the kind of boutique craft
stuff
but i got into public argument through
the curriculum at ou uh teaching first
year composition and i worked as an
administrator there in the like a not
not a real wpa but kind of a junior wpa
writing program administrator
working on the curriculum and designing
it and it was all about
you know issues of public importance you
know the things that people talk about
understanding uh where people are coming
from who has stakes in an argument
um complexity all this stuff
so i thought
podcasts kind of just they do everything
right and then i was also listening to
podcasts a lot um i was you know when i
would drive i drove from
florida to uh wildwood new jersey the
summer before i started my phd program
to help my friend out with this shop
listen to podcasts the entire drive
listen to podcast cleaning everything so
i was just consuming
so many of them and i thought wow i'm
really
mentioning them a lot when i'm having
discussions with friends and they're
mentioning mentioning material they
found and it's kind of like this whole
oh it's on the internet with with
podcasts where you're like oh yeah i
heard this in a podcast right and it's
like this is
you know i think i'm pretty responsible
but i'm wondering if maybe i'm
misrepresenting stuff or if information
is being misrepresented and then
misrepresented again in this sort of
telephone uh game of uh
trying to remember what's been what's
been said
uh so that's kind of how i got into it
but then i also noticed you know one of
the the guy who introduced me to
podcasts who showed me you got to watch
this and he showed me like the streaming
joe rogan and he sit down for three
hours and it's just him talking and it's
really i don't know how people sit there
and watch it to be honest but
i it's that's what got me into it but i
noticed he started being more and more
kind of
having these more extreme viewpoints
um
as as we kept kept conversating or
conversing and i was you know in
oklahoma he was in florida and
eventually i was like oh
how how much are podcasts contributing
to this i was thinking ah there's a
controlling question right yeah that's
sort of the controlling question here
that led you to really kind of refine
refine down where you were going well
let me ask you this because we're gonna
we're gonna get into
you know rogan in the the episode that
he has with bill burr that you you go
into in your dissertation here your
study
but i'm curious after you started doing
your your research into all of this
did it affect how you listened
to podcasts as a listener did it have an
effect because you know we're going to
get into your your three analytics
as well of podcast sound uh but did it
affect you right away when you started
studying it
yeah you know i i i it does um so mark
twain has this quote that i always found
fascinating uh i'm gonna butcher it of
course but uh you know mark twain for us
i'm sure you're well aware uh is it just
means like the low the shallowest safe
depth of patch passage for like a
steamboat or something he's fascinated
by rivers but he said you know when he
was a kid he would sit and look at the
river
and he would he'd get this one
experience looking at it where he would
just you know kind of appreciate it and
just enjoy watching boats go by and and
watching the water but once he became a
steamboat captain or steamship captain
which he did briefly i think right but
right the start of the civil war um he
after that experience he couldn't look
at the river the same way he would he
would look at the
the swirls and the eddies and kind of
read it in this you know more critical
way which wasn't better or worse but it
was irrevocably different from how he
looked at it when he was a kid and
didn't understand those undercurrents
and and what they meant for traveling
right so i even you know
being aware of the possibilities that
podcasts can can contain these arguments
you know it sort of instantly changed
how i started thinking about them right
whereas before i was kind of inductively
noticing and hearing these things i'm
like oh that's kind of weird i'll just
ignore that though but you know
cataloging it but kind of not not paying
much attention
um i started really fixating on those um
you know these
how how people were arguing on there so
so absolutely and what i've just tried
to do with this dissertation is refine
that sort of process of listening in
these in these different ways so that
you know i could listen more
productively while also still totally
enjoying podcasts i listened to podcasts
this morning that's fantastic so it
hasn't ruined it for you that's even
better
you know this idea because oftentimes
you know anybody who's who who has
written anything of some length right
uh sometimes you come out the other end
and and the texts or the ideas are sort
of ruined for you so i'm glad to hear
that this hasn't happened it hasn't been
ruined
yeah it hasn't um it makes some more i
think you know it's really interesting
and one thing about technology
that heidegger says is basically
everything that's bad about it can also
be good about it yeah i think that's
true for podcasts my committee you know
mentioned in my defense like oh you
focused a lot on you know the negative
aspects of podcasts
but you know what are the good ones and
i had a whole
spiel about that too because i mean
there are they are really good it's easy
to get caught up in being critical about
them and we should be critical about the
media we consume but uh you know there's
so many good things that can happen i
really like the idea for your podcast as
you pitched it to me is like oh yeah
this is exactly what podcast should be
used for you know
discussing things and kind of getting
away from that extremism yeah so
absolutely right and and of course part
of that too is we have we have to
acknowledge the the extreme ideas so
that we can kind of move if we can a
little bit more toward the middle where
we can just discuss
ideas in general and then you know pull
out what we need to sort of continually
move forward as a species really is what
it's about right what we're going to use
well let me let's start getting into
some really specifics here
so you you mentioned three analytics of
podcasting
and i found this section to be
fascinating because again you're
thinking about it in a way that i think
most people
maybe intuitively do
but don't
write it down like you did and clarify
it the way that you did and and i found
it wonderful so could you talk a little
bit about those three analytics of
podcasting yeah absolutely so
i i try to look at these sort of three
features or levels of podcasting or
things that happen with it that would
would have the most impact uh
rhetorically so i mentioned the
technology and i think that's the most
important thing about podcasting because
it's what defines what podcasts are
it's what separates them from from radio
and allows them to be this sort of new
medium where
um
you can really say or do do whatever
maybe
people shouldn't but you can right so
the
the uh the lack of regulation
that podcasts have is an internet medium
i thought well this is so this is all
i'm like technology this is this is what
matters right it's what podcasts are in
this very particular precise way
so you know i define podcasts and my
dissertation as a low-cost sound-based
subscribable downloadable internet
native medium with technology whose
primary content is audio of the human
voice all right so i had a but that's a
technology based you know definition
with subscription everything else um so
i thought all right this is like the
first the first layer of of how this is
this is the interface this is how people
create podcasts share podcasts listen to
podcasts
so how do we understand
the technology uh of it so i looked at
with that technology analytic i looked
at
a couple different things regulatory
context first
then production post-production
technology then distribution and
listening tech which people might also
call you know circulation technology and
then also promotion and marketing
so that's the first analytic is just
sort of how do podcasts get created how
do they get out there how does that
affect how people use them to argue and
discuss important ideas
and the second analytic i use was sound
i think you know it's one of those
really obvious things right podcasts or
audio
but
what does that mean in terms of
arguing and talking about issues how
does sound
affect
how people communicate and how they're
affected by communication
so with that with that sound question
i kind of in my dissertation approach
looked at it as all right how do we
listen to podcasts productively for
sound because in the in uh
in sound studies and rhetoric uh sound
studies as well
there's often a divide
uh between
affect so how how sound works
emotionally and um language and how it
works you know
to
to overtly argue there's this like you
you take
someone wrote i'm trying to think who uh
uh if you speech is if you take
like a language written language is
basically
speech stripped of everything
but
text
so we get all these different things
when we're listening
uh these nuances uh intonation all this
stuff that that i thought this might
really impact
the persuasive power of the medium sure
right something about a a phone
conversation versus um
you know an im conversation not that
one's better than the other but they
they work in
different different ways so i i wanted
to to look into that
um yeah and i think you're right just
just to kind of connect with you here a
little bit i think you're something that
i often talk to my students about too is
i'll ask them just for fun usually
toward the beginning of semesters you
know how many of you even make phone
calls to your friends anymore
versus like you know sending a text or
something like that and we talk a little
bit about the
hearing the other person's voice
as a means of trying to gauge how are
you really doing right because a text
you know i'm fine
is tough to read
how they're really doing but sometimes
we can get feelings that they're not
doing as well so then we might follow up
with a phone call
to kind of hear that so i think you're
right right to think about that that
difference there between the the sound
of it the sonics of it
there's so much in
in you know verbal
communication that just gets
gets lost in uh in alphabetical you know
textual language printed down or or you
know uh typed out um and it's not again
it's not that they're one's better than
the other but they're but they're
different right and we're we spend our
entire lives whether we think about it
or not sort of
getting used to and understanding and
interpreting human voice it's how we
learn about sort of everything
so um yeah it's this natural thing but
yeah we kind of ignore it and it was a
hot topic
in the in the 30s and 40s when radio was
like this this major presence and then
it just kind of like
just kind of fell out of the the
analytical consciousness but uh but yeah
yeah so yeah it's a great question for
students i will say
i i'm one of those people who i love
conversations with my friends if i have
to call a stranger especially about
something business related i'm like ah
let me just put this off for two weeks
you know
force myself right if i can order some
food online i'm super happy to do that
you just you absolutely just stated a
couple of years ago i had a student when
we were talking about this and she said
i've never called a pizza place
yeah she said no she goes i just tweet
at the time i don't even know if you can
still do this you could tweet like a
pizza emoji
and they can send it to you or something
and i thought oh wow i don't even know
what to do with that quite honestly
that's too much power it makes it makes
pizza too convenient
what are you gonna do if you can just
get pizza all the
time eat it enjoy it it's true yeah i
miss i miss new york pizza
so uh so
tell me a little bit more about so we've
got the technology aspect of it yeah and
what else did you did you looked into
here
yeah so we've got the technology we've
got sound and the third the third one is
um
it's just conversation right and this
this isn't something that happens
as the framework for every podcast
you know uh there you know there's a
there's a podcast by josh clark who's
one of the hosts of stuff you should
know
uh called the end of the world where
he's just basically
painting out the scenario that looks at
these different existential risks to
humanity and in existence or whatever so
that that one is like it's not obviously
conversation but in in a lot of ways
conversation is is one of those
it is the it's a foundational aspect of
podcasting too because even if you're
just monologuing into a microphone
you're you're thinking of some audience
right you're sending it out to some
audience it's it's a one-sided
conversation but it's still a
conversation in some form um in a lot of
podcasts we'll have snippets of
conversation
this like your podcast right now this
this episode is is like heavily
conversation based it's all about that
the um you know the back and forth
between hosts and guests but um
there's always moments of conversation
and conversation is kind of this fraught
this it's wonderful but it's also really
fraught because it takes
it speeds up communication in in ways in
a lot of ways right and and speed can be
problematic
so when we go into uh conversation
you know we're relying on things like
memory uh in the classical rhetoric
sense but just in the you know general
modern definition of like what can i
remember here and memory you know is is
quite problematic in some ways or it's
not it's it's very imperfect right uh
the great thing about writing and the
invention of writing is just
externalizing your memory and being able
to count things down and remember how
many sheep you have or whatever keep a
record
um but
spoken spoken language is hard to do and
it's also hard to recall what people
have said you can't look at
this record of what's been what's been
spoken or what's been said you can't go
back
so
conversation is this is this weirdly
persuasive thing um and i also think you
know i
listening to podcasts i thought
if i'm going to study these you know i
really want to know how conversation
works because
so often what makes it into news media
and things when something really
controversial happens is a small moment
of a large conversation that might be
99 benign or whatever
but then you get these explosive moments
where it's like wow but how did how did
we get here and what did what's the
impact of
listening to someone
thinking through and discussing uh with
someone else this idea right if we're
reading a platonic dialogue and socrates
is talking to uh
gosh what are all their names all the
people on the names of the dialogues
you know republic book two i think yeah
yeah yeah yeah yeah
but yeah but yeah are gorgeous uh but um
so yeah you have these
because i haven't read the republic
you have these you know these
conversations getting modeled right the
whole point of a platonic dialogue is
this modeling of conversation that
arrives at some arguments that are
convincing because of this flow
and we have
that happening in podcasts but we're i
don't think a lot of you know it's
i don't know if we look at enough how
that that
long-form sort of discussion works to
convince people of things and if someone
changes their mind and we can hear them
think oh you know actually i hadn't
thought about that that way before right
what does that mean for for audiences um
so i uh for for looking at conversation
i was like all right we gotta look at
the most popular podcast that's ever
existed yeah and that leads us right
into of course uh mr joe rogan yeah and
the specific episode that uh i was
actually uh
i was actually drywalling the room
behind me listening to that episode when
it first dropped and uh like you i had
i had this moment of realizing that the
episode where rogan is talking to bill
burr and they start talking about mask
mandates and things like that i had this
moment where i just stopped and i just
listened like i stopped what i was doing
yeah and it's because you've got these
two
giants
right not simply even in the work that
they've done in comedy which they both
have paid their dues and and rose to the
tops of their professions
but they're also
tops in the podcasting profession as
well they've been doing this a long time
both of them
and
i i found it interesting how you you
started breaking down that conversation
itself that section of the of their
episode about the masks could you tell
me a little bit about
what what um
what was it like let's start maybe with
just what was it like diving into
a podcast like joe rogan and then we'll
we'll get into the specific parts of the
episode
because he does so much and he's with so
many different people what was it like
trying to get into that
yeah so
i've been listening probably joe rogan's
podcast was the first podcast i ever
listened to
um and i liked it because it was long
it's like three hours an episode
probably on average maybe even longer i
think the shortest episode that i ever
heard was like an hour and that one was
like
jam-packed too so i like that there's
just there's so much content um but that
also makes it difficult to to study and
figure out where to where to look and
where to listen uh but i had just
listened uh to
so many jre episodes joe rogan
experience episodes you know prior to
the dissertation you know hundreds
uh i think he's i don't know if he's hit
2000 yet but he's he's getting close to
that but i've probably listened to over
a thousand episodes
um so i so that's three thousand hours
of listening just to to joe rogan which
is a lot of a lot of time to spend i was
gonna say that's a good amount of
research if you can say that you've done
3000 hours of research on something hey
that's really good it's a long time yeah
i wish i'd been taking notes the entire
time but then i wouldn't have uh
i wouldn't have gotten to that
point being able to write
but yeah
so i kind of listening to him for so
long and the different guests that he
has cause he'll have some very reputable
guests he'll have some some out there
zany wacko guests which can also be
entertaining uh depending on how you
approach it and then they'll have you
know a lot of comedians comedians are
all over podcasting it's you know bill
burr has this monday morning podcast
that you
alluded to and um a lot of top podcasts
are just kind of humorous yeah um
but uh yes i was i just thought okay
i have listened to a lot of joe rogue
and there's certain episodes that i find
you know interesting and um interesting
because i'm like wow i can't believe he
just said that or or whatever but i want
it to be kind of fair because i think
you know a lot of um
a lot of reporting about the podcast
makes it sound like some really shameful
horrible thing right and there's
certainly aspects of it that are
problematic but it also is really
entertaining and there's also probably a
lot of good that happens with it and and
most of what goes on and it isn't really
that uh what i'd call it dangerous or
anything although the masked stuff is uh
highly
well let's get into it right yeah
because that is a difficult topic to
discuss primarily and you make a good
point about it in your own research why
it's difficult to discuss maybe even
particularly in this kind of medium of
podcasting so what did you think about
when you were sort of going through and
transcribing the episode itself even
that must have been interesting right is
to see it written to try to transcribe
it because i believe you mentioned in
the dissertation i transcribed this
yeah and so
you had to now do that kind of cross
medium
thing where you're trying to say how do
i represent the
oohs and oz
and laughters right in a way that would
make sense to podcast listening so what
was that like
it was trying a lot of trial and error
it takes forever to transcribe a podcast
i mean and the technology
that is used to do it has improved so
much since i started
working on this project you know in 2017
2018 whenever i first gave my
presentation my first presentation which
was on the jaw reading experience
where you just used to just have to type
it slow it down whatever pause type type
double check it takes like three to four
times the listening time to transcribe
for this i was able to use
this software called otter ai which does
a pretty good job of breaking down
speakers and words but of course there's
still a lot of cleaning things up
and then just figuring out yeah how do i
deal with uh representing conversation
in in textual form and it seems like
it's this
this easy thing to do but a lot of uh
literature on transcription is just
about interview transcription yeah and
uh when people are interviewing
for a dissertation project or something
there's usually a question and then
there's a long answer and there might be
the occasional interjections of oh
or yeah yeah you know but it's it's very
um it's it's highly structured with the
with you know with joe rogan and his
guest they're interrupting overlapping
shouting laughing you know and so much
of that um
that verbal communication that shows oh
he's
he's joking here he's still saying it
but he's you know joking uh you need to
i you know represent that so it's it's
just um
it was it was tough i feel like i lost
the question a little bit there but yeah
no no you didn't and and you came around
to it uh something that i appreciated in
reading that that section was you would
mention
uh bill interrupts joe here yeah or oh
it speaks over or joe speaks over what
bill is saying here and i thought yep
that's you trying to represent the
medium the way it's as best as can be
and i thought that that was important
because
it shows that kind of uh
the looseness of the medium something
else you talk about the the idea that
well we can we'll jump into it now i'll
just maybe ask you and then we'll get
into the the idea of trying to represent
it as text again
in rebuttals to the episode what did you
think of the episode itself how did it
hit you as either
matt the listener or dr jacobson the
researcher because these we have these
two different kind of identities
sometimes with this
yeah yeah that's a great question
because you know on the one hand
and the on the uh the ethical
uh concern about society
hearing these arguments against mask
wearing right on rogan's part even you
know humorous or not um
it's concerning to hear him say these
things because because
because i just know that people are you
know millions of people are listening um
millions
and and they're
they have this relationship with with
rogan as a host because they've listened
to him for so long right so i i knew it
could be very
uh effective persuasion and even if it
fails sort of our structured logical
test doesn't mean it's not going to be
persuasive because so many aspects of
persuasion aren't based on logic uh or
anything like that it's more like
community identity and um
you know whether
and on spoken premises and all these
other things right so on that hand i'm
like oh this is really concerning but
it's
that exchange in particular i think is
really it's entertaining it's got it's
kind of you know
i'm glad i had that preface first but
it's an entertaining
banter because you have bill bill burr
this legendary uh roaster
you know on the spot comedian who can
just every i think i mentioned in the
dissertation but he's sort of became
really famous after this
this rant uh i think philadelphia in
philadelphia yeah where he just roasted
he just roasted an audience for like i
don't know his entire set time in the
really knowledgeable ways of yeah like
philadelphia
uh things and sort of like became this
this
superstar because of it and he's he's
amazing at ranting and when he gets
fired up you're like oh this is gonna be
so good because he's just gonna he's
gonna say something and he did you know
in that in the uh exchange where it's
like wow this is um
these are like oh you're you're so tough
with your open nose and throat or
whatever yes that line at the end
towards the end of that exchange you
know and they they talk about of course
masculinity and and something that
you had mentioned before right about
again these ideas of mediums and picking
up different kind of communicative data
points right yeah
as i'm listening to it like most people
do
what i'm not getting a hundred percent
of
is when rogan initiates the conversation
if you watch him the video of it
on let's say youtube or or spotify
wherever it is now
if you look at his face
you can tell
that he's just trying to start something
and there's a point there where he knows
that he can push his friend's button
but you don't get that i think initially
when you just listen in the audio it
becomes i think clearer later on because
you know logan starts to laugh and this
and that yeah oh yeah that initial
mass question where he says very flatly
very seriously about you know let's get
into it let's talk about it you're
thinking oh there's a tense a tense
moment there for a minute
where you're like oh something is about
to happen between two giants yeah we're
gonna see it's like you know king kong
versus godzilla it's a titan war all of
a sudden right you're like oh boy what's
gonna happen here that idea and
i thought your your point about the the
the rhetoric of masculinity there
and this is where i'll i'm going to
quote you here because i thought it was
fascinating you you mentioned that
newsweek after hearing that there was a
lot of blowback against rogan for that
exchange and and particularly
and you had mentioned that someone like
newsweek had written a piece on it and
had laid out facts
that kind of went against
what rogan was saying but you added
something to the end here you added a
possible problem you said in fact
highlighting which is what they were
trying to do the dangers of coronavirus
may have the opposite effect leading
such audiences to believe that not
wearing a mask
is even more masculine and brave
possibly even heroic because of the
undeniable danger
and i thought
that's fascinating how trying to provide
elements of of facts
thinking maybe they can undercut what
rogan is saying and you're sort of
saying well
that might not actually work it might
even be worse so can you clarify and
talk a little bit about that
yeah yeah and that so that's um that's
more of i you know i don't have
concrete you know studies or anything
that would say that that's the case or i
can't cite any at the moment um but it
kind of points this issue with
communication right when someone is
going in and saying just all right we're
laying out facts in this uh
in this article
right and we're going to debunk
something or just or just point it out
um
in some ways it's kind of
ah i don't want to say that it's like
totally moved because i i think people
do learn but
the the people who are reading that
article based on the headline
already have their ideas about um mask
wearing and it's its effectiveness right
so having all these facts useful but
what i mean it's not going to really do
much to convince people who are
skeptical right who are skeptical of
traditional media which which rogan's
podcast is an alternative to in some
ways
um but yeah
there's there's so many reasons that
people who don't wear masks rhetorically
um
could argue for not not wearing them
right it's uh if it's not brave because
it's um
because there's some real danger out
there
then it's brave because people are going
to judge you for it it's just kind of
this contrary thing like oh i'm not
concerned about other people's opinions
of me i'm going to do i'm going to keep
going and behaving this way you know in
spite of them and in fact that might
that might fuel me and if i do believe
in the in the uh in the science of it
well then
i'm confident in my immune system
because i take all these vitamins that
rogan sells through on it that i will be
uh totally protected against this this
virus and i have i have no reason to
worry so i'm i'm
i'm being tough by by being willing to
test my uh
faith and my confidence in my own body
um in this in this performative way in
in public so i mean
you just never know right how hard
you're gonna work yeah you're 100 right
right what they're doing there and even
if they
even if they don't know it which i'll be
honest i'm not sure they do or not
actually even if they don't know it
they're they're putting on a kind of a
performance of masculinity to a degree
right like they're saying
joe is on the side of of i'm going to
uh be masculine in my defiance against
somebody trying to assert a certain will
against yeah i have to do this and in
order to
make sure that i can keep my
uh individual sovereignty i'm going to
say no
and
what i found interesting was how quickly
burr
i think picked up on the situation
at hand and sort of said oh boy okay if
i don't say something
i'm going to be
in this group in this cluster
yeah you know of of kind of my
masculinity
being tied to whether or not i wear a
mask
and he
rhetorically undercut it right away
and sort of said oh so yeah you're a big
big strong guy for not doing this you
know this kind of thing and he did it
through comedy of course which is his
tool his tool of the trade and joe to
his credit
he he turned it into a fun moment a
funny moment in a sense where it's like
okay i'm i'm willing to play too and
i'll go after your definition of
masculinity as well here and try to
undercut it
and
the question becomes
the audiences right because i've always
found it interesting
that you follow for the most part now
you follow and it becomes almost a kind
of religious experience that you follow
these people
so what do the two audiences do with
this moment yeah that's what i was
fascinated with here did you did you
have any thoughts about that moment in
terms of its impact
to their followers i'm curious
yeah i don't know if i talked about it
in particular in in that uh that bit of
analysis but it but when you point out
the two audiences right it's really
interesting because they they overlap so
audiences are fans of
of burr and they're fans of rogue and
that's something what happens with the
podcast you have the host fans of the
host and fans of the guest and and
sometimes guests will bring in a bunch
of people but in this case they're
probably
there's probably a large overlap between
fans of of rogan and fans of bird
whether it's through comedy or
entertainment or or whatever just just
podcasts
so it is an interesting like oh which
parent do you know have you seen those
tick tock videos where it's or or i i
don't really watch tick tock but like on
on other social media where they post it
second hand right you the test is you
you have your family pet in the middle
and then the two owners
walk equally
distant away at the same time and and
whoever the
dog runs to that's that's their favorite
and you see these dogs like
running in circles barking in one way
barking the other way not knowing uh
where to go
um so it's
that's really funny i already know that
our dog is going to go to my wife i
don't even need the test whoever has the
snacks right
but
that's true we could cheat
yeah
but yeah
go ahead well so so in this case you
have you know it's rogan's home turf
here it's he's got the home field
advantage uh but
i think you're you're right the way that
burr
points out what
so so much in podcast argument is um
it's what's left on said
right these ideas about these these
ideas that that fuel the argument right
in logic you know i think aristotle said
that most people don't argue with a
full-on um syllogism which is like you
know if a is
oh god
logician's gonna skewer me but you know
basically if if the major premise leads
to a minor premise and the conclusion if
it if it draws on them is going to be
factually correct with these with an
enthymeme uh which is what aristotle
said most people rely on for persuasion
you're missing the major premise right
so the major premise here might be that
uh being masculine
is is
certain is this is really a noble uh
important thing for for people for for
men or whatever and um wearing wearing a
mask isn't masculine and that's kind of
what's on stated so that all of his
arguments
are they're based on that and they draw
on that and audiences who share those
beliefs are gonna find what he's saying
convincing but burr points them out he
just brings them right to the forefront
and targets the actual overall premise
rather than the argument that follows
from it so it's it's incredibly um
astute
a bit of conversation and i i don't know
another guest in that moment you know
might have just been yelling facts at
rogue and that wouldn't have made for
as interesting a moment and it wouldn't
have made for maybe as effective uh
communication i think
burr being able to speak in a way that
brogan's audiences would respect that
kind of uh
you know not censoring themselves
uh just saying how they feel being
emotional being loud being funny
mocking those sorts of things he was
able to use
you know their their language and what
they find entertaining to to uh question
this this major idea that wasn't wasn't
brought to the forefront it's a
really an amazing moment
um but yeah so it's kind of like oh
where what are the audit what do they do
here you know what what do they keep
what's the takeaway and i think one of
the cool things about persuasion
and the frustrating things when you're
studying it is usually it's hard to know
how
how someone's going to be moved by
something and there might be people go
well rogan's point about you know
the immune system is the most important
thing not the mask you know that's what
matters or you know burr's point about
like oh you you think you're tough
because you you know your throat's open
then
like
i could see people taking different
things away depending on their
their prior uh you know their their
world views and everything and um
and there are truths involved in both
right obviously we want stronger immune
systems
i can't see a reason why anyone wouldn't
want a stronger immune system right like
that's a good point absolutely
and
i thought it was interesting that burr i
think you're right
burb brought
the best out of i think rogan in that
moment
by simultaneously finding that
that line of
wit
and and humor
at the same time right like wit is
usually a combination of kind of logic
and humor in a sense
and i thought that
i thought that bird did a really good
job of recognizing the moment how he
wanted to take it that would be both
entertaining and conversational and in
some ways in a lot of ways meaningful as
well yeah yeah and that's the so the
definition of rhetoric in a lot of
people's uh minds is just uh
it's
being able to locate the available means
of persuasion and in that moment bird
does that you know perfectly and within
the context of the communication event
where he's going okay i'm having a
conversation with a friend
right but people are listening
if i'm mean
it's going to inspire meanness it's not
going to make for it's not going to be
convinced it's going to make people
defensive rather than
listening and open to being you know to
these new ideas or
in some cases not new but uh you know
someone they trust in some way is saying
them right so in every level of it he's
just it's just a really nice uh response
um but yeah the conv conversation is
responsible for that sort of approach i
think
you know newsweek isn't making jokes
they're writing the facts down um
because a lot of people think that facts
are what's going to be most persuasive
evidence and everything like that
but it's not it's not usually not yeah
it's whatever the logic is of the
community that you're speaking to so
bill responds to that logic and that's a
it's a cool podcasting one but yeah it's
all it's also only a small part of the
of the episode and and rogan
speaking of you know immune systems
being good is it's important absolutely
but
to start off that moment
he
burr is talking about how the pandemic
has sort of shaped him as a as a as a
person and a father yeah right and he's
going into this really
deep sort of consideration of you know
really really touching uh he's analyzing
himself yeah he's saying i learned about
myself in this moment i use this time
yeah yeah and rogan interrupts him
yes and says basically if we want to
boil it down
he says i don't think you know the
government should have any ability to
regulate how people are and uh you know
if
i i don't think protecting sick people
or or vulnerable people is a good enough
reason for me to change my behavior in
any way
yeah and the reaction of of burr in that
to that statement you can tell he really
was kind of like oh come on don't
we we were having a nice conversation
here i'm trying to talk about something
that's important to me you know as the
guest of the show it's almost like a
birthday podcaster
was in the seat yeah and was like we
were talking and i was giving you
something meaningful for your guests
about me that i'm you know analyzing
where i am and now you're going to bring
it to this
and he just and he you could just the
not so much dismissiveness of joe but
the dismissiveness of the interruption
of the moment yeah the narrative breach
that occurs yeah in there where he's
like oh okay uh are we going to do this
are we really going to do this
and and that ability to go into like
uh burr as podcaster
mode where he is
once he starts going in that like
there's no shutting him down and rogan i
think a lot and a lot of he's he's an
intimidating presence for a lot of
guests he's uh
incredibly muscular you know
martial artist um
martial arts commentator super physical
bow hunter everything else all around
knowledgeable yeah things he really is
yeah yeah he's he's knowledgeable about
a lot he's been he's had more
conversations than a lot of people on on
the planet have had so he's really uh
talented conversationalist but he's also
a bulldozer in some respects when he's
not when he sort of doesn't when he gets
really impulsive he will just say
whatever he thinks
um and he'll and he'll just go go into
it and that'll shut a lot of people down
or they'll just sit back and listen and
berg's not gonna have that he's gonna
use his boston accent and just
point out what you're doing you're not
gonna speak over me joe you know and
then go into it right he's going to
highlight what's happening
and then and then attack it um and you
probably get the sense like oh he's he's
he's had so many conversations with with
rogan over the years he knows what's
happening here oh he he interrupted me
again you know but also those impulsive
moments
um
i couldn't find the exact podcast where
he says it but a couple of times rogan
has said the reason i got into
podcasting is because i've been punched
in the head so many times that the
ability to care about what people think
about what i am saying and the ability
to regulate myself just isn't there he's
like the reason i podcast is because i
can just say whatever i want and it's
because of essentially like brain damage
um but he's he's joking but he's he said
it seriously a lot of times he's like
okay the reason i say these things is
because i just
like can't
not say them so you see those in some in
some moments where he's um
boom he just goes into it yeah no he's
great at the in in the moment
disclaimers right like there are times
when he'll just flat out say uh
look don't don't get your science or
your you know whatever it is from me
okay i'm a guy just talking and i do
think he means that when he says it in
the moment like he's like look i i'm
i'm just talking from what's coming out
of my head that's it and asking
questions and in a lot of ways that's
what made him has made him so successful
is having a little bit of that that open
gateway in his mind to say well that's a
question let me just ask it it's it's
it's as close to um you know it's this
really manufactured type of conversation
but it's as close to natural as you can
get and that's one of the appeals of
podcasting content is just being able to
have these kind of private conversations
that people can can listen to um and
rogan does an amazing job and in some
cases maybe too amazing maybe too
faithful to a private conversation where
it's like okay
we should be aware that we're saying
this to millions of people um a to claim
a disclaimer in a in a small
conversation
i think valid and i think it's valid in
a podcast too it's definitely valid
but i could have written a whole
dissertation on like
these disclaimers just just just rogan's
disclaimers right because he can say
these things but then i'll have a legit
scientist on but then i'll have you know
alex jones on and you know the the
disclaimers do a lot of work in
allowing him to maintain that presence
and it's the reason why spotify has only
pulled
40 something of his episodes and not
hundreds of them because it's okay he's
he's arguing right so like in the last
chapter i talk about this conversation
he has with um alex jones conspiracy
theorist and tim dillon that wasn't
pulled from spotify and spotify's
reasoning is well joe's you know he's
pushing back against these ideas
and he's really not
you know because he's sort of thinking
them as entertaining he's saying oh we
should push back and then he kind of
doesn't right so like the disclaimer of
oh i'm an idiot i don't know what i'm
saying you shouldn't listen to me right
that's kind of like the um
yeah gosh um in the movie jackass i
don't know i probably shouldn't say that
word but the movie jackass right where
they have the decline disclaimer right
do not try any of these things at home
right these are trained professionals
whatever that means they're they're
doing these stunts
right don't send us videos of you trying
this and then how many people were like
i'm gonna jump onto a table from a
letter so
you know i'm gonna let my friends swing
a whiffle bat at my head or something
right you know you can have the
disclaimer and that's great for legal
reasons how much does it actually
prevent people from taking what he's
saying seriously they might actually
think oh well rogan's just really uh
it's really honest and but if it's
something that they believe because they
share this prac this unspoken premise
they're just gonna i think probably
ignore the disclaimer because what
what's being said aligns with their
world views whether they're aware of it
or not so it's like ah it's a good
performance and he does i'm sure he
means it i'm not questioning it sincere
his sincerity at all
um
but i think it's also like oh there's a
lot of people listening how much does
the disclaimer really really matter it
creates the ability to say outrageous
things
i didn't mean it it's podcast right but
people are are listening to it but yeah
you know i never thought about it until
just now when you mentioned it but we
oftentimes most of the time we think of
disclaimers in terms of their their
legal power right
but
the disclaimer the on-the-spot
disclaimer
that rogan uses here as a way to
to forget the legal part a way to just
show um
conscientiousness
right an awareness of the moment and use
that as a way in to share these ideas
right in some ways he's telling he he is
sort of he being sincere he's telling
the audience
look don't take this 100 at face value
and and stuff like that but at the same
time he is saying
what i'm about to say however has value
yeah
and it needs to be said
and in order to do that i need to first
open up this conversational space
and i'm going to do that with a
disclaimer that functions more on a
conversational level than it does on a
legal level
than anything else and i never really
thought about that space um as being
just purely conversational
as opposed to legal until just now when
you were we were talking about it and it
really does work quite well it's worked
on me
because i've uh i mean i i remember it i
know when he says that how he uses that
as this tool to say you know i'm just a
guy with a microphone who used to fight
and this and that and in some ways it
has that effect on me
i'll give him then
space to listen to what he's about to
say and and do so
with more of an open mind
yeah and it's something that
conversation makes it because it happens
in conversation it seems more
sincere more natural yeah and we're and
we're probably used to people saying
this like oh gosh
you know i probably shouldn't say this
but you know it really frustrates me
right
all these things that happen when people
are talking and these are just
techniques to just keep keep
conversation going keep communication
open allow humanity to exist right to
and uh
interface with new ideas and and um
and stuff so it's it's highly effective
it's and we often don't think about it
and it's not like he's oh i'm gonna say
this so that i can you know argue
i just winked but you know argue with uh
with people
this is uh you know i don't
blah blah blah but um
it really yeah conversation is this
really interesting thing that happens on
podcast where he's like you said
creating a space and that's you know in
the third chapter i talked about like um
theories of ethos
as a dwelling space right a podcast has
its own ethos and it changes
um
episode to episode or moment to moment
even like the ethos in that moment of
burr
arguing with rogan is different than it
was in earlier moments when he's talking
even when he's talking about his um
you know his interiority and and how the
pandemics affected him totally different
totally different space right in the
same conversation
conversations like that it's it's really
fascinating thing i think podcasts would
be worth studying
just to look more deeply at conversation
but they also have all these other
things i don't know disclaimers are a
cool thing no i like i like what you
said too about this idea of a kind of
traveling ethos
right that moves in and out of these
conversational uh almost episodic within
an episode yes spaces
and how the audience is
especially if you're listening to
someone
you know like like both of these guys
carry big audiences like you said they
cross over quite a bit
how you are able or how we're all able
to move with those ethos as well
and kind of say oh this is bur the
comedian like i just did
before right and you did it so well for
the podcaster right the um
uh oh the self-aware
you know kind of bill burr and even with
rogan he has his his things too right
where he he moves in and out of ufc his
ethos in uh just podcasting as a
questioner and and all these kind of
areas i never thought about it as a
concept of a kind of traveling ethos and
that's how we just don't even question i
mean we move with them and we don't
question
which ethos is speaking at the moment we
really don't that's fascinating yeah and
people switch between different areas of
expertise right if rogan's going from
talking about fitness which he's for
sure an expert on or or fighting which
he's an expert on to
education is one thing that i always
when people talk about education and
podcasts i'm like here we go here's
someone who has no idea what the yeah
two i think rogan did teach a class at
boston um boston university back in the
day when he was like 17 about
martial arts
yeah yeah but um
but he's not you know
people often have these ideas about how
education works and how universities
work right that ignore
they're so on expert an expert whatever
but but because someone switches from
talking about something they know a lot
about to like oh well let's you know
education's brainwashing blah blah the
universities are these really liberal
spaces it's like okay well yeah let's
take a look at the board of regents and
see if you think that you know who's
who's allowing who's running these
things right you have these these like
ad hoc kind of just attacks on education
is this particular portrayals of
education this particular way that a
non-expert someone who hasn't
gone through the labor of you know
getting a phd or getting a master's and
teaching and and working within those
structures would think
this this makes a lot of sense yeah i
have heard that uh people are
brainwashing other people in college or
blah blah blah and so he gets stuck in
that sometimes he'll get stuck in these
uh popular modes of discourse yeah
especially if he collects a lot of
different guests who have that similar
kind of of idea he'll run with them i've
noticed that i think a bit more since
his move to spotify especially
is he's he's i said on a on a reddit
form i said i thought that he could use
kind of a break to be honest and i meant
it yeah from just a human level he just
seems very tired to me lately and and
overworked and he's kind of repeating
himself a lot and that's not the best
space for him he does his best work when
he's there he's cognizant and he just
lets his questions fly sometimes
questions that i wouldn't even think of
that i thought are really interesting
stuff but again he's
he's getting trapped a little bit in
these cultural spaces
of of any areas quite honestly yeah and
it doesn't function best for him i i
completely agree uh in rhetoric we call
those common places and those are like
usually how
peop people hold these ideas
you know about education or whatever um
but i i cole and red and rogan is
getting stuck in them i think it and i
think uh he kind of doubled down with
all this so people who don't know he
moved from you know los angeles to
austin texas
uh recently to kind of get away from
the liberalism or whatever of california
and he he will define himself as a
liberal and in some ways he is very
liberal i don't want to paint him like
ultra conservative person yeah but he's
more of like a libertarian than anything
else so he moved to austin
to escape but like i have noticed you
know over the course of working on this
dissertation and i haven't listened to
too many episodes with him that recently
i think the last one i listened to was
actually the chef uh
maddie mathison is that his name the uh
i don't know if you've seen it about the
restaurant business yeah yeah yeah that
was an interesting one yeah so i know
that chef from youtube that's why i was
like oh i should watch this but he
really has got has this issue lately
a couple like the last couple months
where he he will just get fixated on
something and then just say what he
thinks
in a very matter-of-fact way and repeat
himself and it's like okay well
i'm trying to listen to um
an expert interviewer and smart person
talk to a really interesting guest which
is what made this podcast
the phenomenon phenomenon that it is and
instead i'm getting this kind of like
lecture
from a
who is very intelligent about
how to do the interviews but but yeah i
think the main thing for me is just he
just seems like he could use a break
yeah so he's just a little a little
stuck i think maybe it's too much nerves
maybe he's just maybe he's just quite
literally
tired
yeah you know i'm not tired of doing it
but but yeah i know really he comes out
with a lot of episodes honestly too much
for me to even keep up with but yeah
it's a lot of work and that's one of the
things with like talk about technology
of podcasts
um the pressure and the and the um the
way that algorithms and and indexes work
to privilege the constant release of new
content
to grow shows i mean releasing three or
four episodes a week
is gonna it's gonna make your show
take off if you can be consistent and do
that every week i mean
the the way that the internet works
is this um long tail medium
where
uh
you can get niche audiences and build a
sustainable audience through that
um
that really privileges like constant
content and and newest con if you look
at your pot whatever app you use um
you're gonna see that the if you look at
your feed the latest episodes top of the
feed right so if someone's only
releasing something once a week they're
probably gonna be seven eight
spots down
on the episode list
and they might get they might get
ignored so taking a break probably would
make for better episodes but it would
probably hurt his um
his audience engagement a lot and
podcasting at the highest level
is nowadays it's all about marketing and
it's all about selling products i'm not
saying that's why people get into it but
if you look at um
you know any data that exists on
podcasts pretty much any data it's
marketing data yeah it's thinkpiece is
about marketing and about advertisements
and the host reads or at uh host ads and
um that's why spotify
you know
they they paid 100 million for for rogan
to go on there for a couple years but
they've invested over a billion dollars
in podcasts in the last few years
um and and rogan's he's the biggest
individual deal i think
but you know they they've they're trying
to take over apple podcasts
um and having these exclusive podcasts
is a way to to do that to get more
you know advertising and revenue and
maybe it's not totally advertising for
spotify but it's um
it's it's it's them taking over it's
it's kind of like advertising for their
stockholders
in a way they can overtake apple apple
podcasts and continue to to grow so it's
like the investment isn't oh we really
like what
rogan's doing here they and they might
but it's like all right we're gonna
we're gonna
take so much market share i would love
to see the contract and see like if he's
required to release a certain number of
episodes or what it you know what it
says yeah well you mentioned in your in
your dissertation you had a great
statistic where you talked about um i
think was nielsen
who
mentioned the idea that you're almost
with a 50 percent more likely to uh at
least maybe buy or be interested in
because you a product or an idea because
you have such a trust
with that podcast host and i thought to
myself
you know a lot of people i'm sure
they'll say maybe they'll skip skip
through the advertisements at the
beginning of a podcast or something like
that but but
i do know of the cash app
yeah yum
joe hogan mentioning it all the time
so even if you don't use like i don't
have the the cash app i don't use i've
never used it but i know of it and you
know what that translates into a kind of
marketing success still yeah yeah that
awareness right so um
bitcoin i had i wouldn't have known
about bitcoin if not for rogan's podcast
people probably it probably wouldn't
have had a huge burst of attention it's
not like they were advertising on there
but i think he had you know he had some
real die-hard cryptocurrency people on
there to argue it and yeah same with
cash app being mentioned things that are
the awareness is just there i'm trying
to think of you know certain brands of
coffee black rifle coffee yeah exactly
um
they're
having a host tell you in their own
voice
about a product
is really it's really moving in a way
that even like an ins a sponsored
instagram post that is totally on brand
isn't gonna be probably not be as moving
as
you're engaging with the host as a
listener you're listening this episode
and then they tell you about something
you're already like keyed in and then
they're going to talk to you about
something and make it entertaining
right it's it's it's a totally different
uh
interaction and it really does it sells
things and i yeah i think i've said well
how does it work for ideas but yeah it's
it's
my dad so i haven't had a chance to
check this yet but i was telling my dad
about this about my dissertation i was
forced to or something and
he mentioned um
i would love to check this is my
disclaimer here and this is a good
example because you're in the moment
disclaimer
meta analyst analyzed like what's going
on but uh so i will give a disclaimer
here because i'm not certain
um
but he told me
and then i'm blaming it on him if he's
wrong that uh
host ad reads were
illegal in radio
for a while i don't know if they still
uh but they probably still aren't but uh
he said there was a time when they were
and he's um
a lawyer so i would hope that he's
accurate but he's not a radio lawyer
he's just a maritime so
you know i don't know if that uh very
interesting but it would make sense
because if you have a host just telling
you something it's like oh gosh
especially in that authoritative
radio is a different beast
but um just that authority of it but
yeah it would be cool to see a study of
like
brands mentioned on podcasts and how
how they've grown based on
you know public awareness
through podcasting like stamps.com and
other and other things but
i'm not equipped to do that but
but it is interesting why they would
have not allowed that
earlier in radio right because in some
ways you're
that i mean the person is the product
right that voice actor or whoever's
doing the radio show and so maybe you
might not want to take the chance of
kind of be smurching the product
possibly
with something whereas it's interesting
that maybe now what we're saying is
you can't do that so much
the product is not going to be smirch or
the you know the whatever's being sold
is not going to besmirch the
host
yeah
that that podcasting can in some way
whether that
may be better than other mediums even
because it becomes the advertising
becomes content but but in a very uh
direct way instead of like product
placement in a movie or something where
you see cans of coca-cola or whatever
or a certain car being highlighted in
these sweeping shots you get um you know
the actively acknowledging the product
which
i think talking about like that trust in
an audience trust right if a host is
saying okay i'm gonna mention i'm not
sneaking this advertisement to you
i am going to
one of this really funny moment happened
in uh and
did you listen to wtf with mark maron
uh sparingly i have listened
yeah he he does these monologues before
his podcast interviews and he talks
about his cats a lot and uh
there's one he's actually uh a lot of
really sad things have happened with
marion last year
yeah yeah but uh he had this one uh
this one podcast years ago
and he was talking he was talking about
his his cat who passed away and he was
crying and he was going into it and then
he went right in to a host ad
first for lifestamps.com or something
and i was like this is like one of the
most amazing podcast moments because
he's like crying
about his cat and just feeling alone or
whatever and then
and
then just going right like not even
separate audio it was the same recording
right into this ad reader i'm like wow
and you moved with him didn't you you
moved right through it like you
acknowledged it in your mind but you
moved with him which is the fascinating
part and it worked as a palette cleanser
in a lot of ways okay we're
transitioning from in the same way that
a lot of music works in in the really
really highly produced podcast where you
signals next segment or whatever that
switch to the ad is also can can be a
nice
way to redirect audiences um
expectations and things
so that's kind of yeah but but i thought
it was pretty pretty funny sorry mark
marion if you're i know it's so yeah no
it is rough there is an intimacy there
that
mark maron kind of uh accepted from the
beginning which is why he was also kind
of a
you know
godfather figure
podcasting because he he
opened himself up
very early
and people loved him for it you know
that sincerity of it was he was rewarded
for it and and rightfully so honestly
yeah and and rogan i think does that
yeah does that too he'll cry on a
podcast he'll cry a lot he cries often
oh that no and he's not
where he was talking about someone who
was uh
sent to prison
uh but but he wasn't actually guilty
yeah and he's crying there because he's
really putting himself in that position
like what what would you do what would i
do if that were me and i knew really
knew i was innocent and here i am i'm
gonna spend the rest of my life
in prison and you you love that moment
because you do kind of know he's being
sincere
yeah
and and
uh
trusts
his audience enough to to allow himself
to be vulnerable
um
which
i think makes a really engaging engaging
content and it really um something that
if you're listening to a radio show and
someone starts
you know someone just starts crying on
the in the air
this is really that would be an
incredible moment
right yeah it's very different it rarely
happens because they have these external
commercial breaks that come in and
interrupt things and pre-recording they
say oh you're crying about this maybe
we'll just do a different segment and
not put that in we'll take it out
um
but yeah you get these really human
moments through through podcasting that
are very attractive to uh audiences that
you're really
hard to find anywhere else
yeah yeah well let me let me ask you
this we'll start start making our way
here toward putting this all together
now i'm curious what
one uh what did you learn at the end of
all of this
about podcasting like what is one thing
that you learned and then also if you
can kind of piggyback on the end of that
do you do you where do you see this all
going
right do you see more evolution possible
of the medium or what do you think what
are your kind of final thoughts here on
this idea
yeah so i'll uh i'll address the first
question first so i think the big
takeaways that i got from this was that
you know technology
and podcasts in particular really shapes
public communication and these these
profound ways right i think um how we
think about conversation how we think
about talking to one another
and how we think about audio it's um a
lot of a lot millions and hundreds of
millions of people are listening to
podcasts and it's and they're growing up
with them
they're learning from they're getting
their news from them
it's really it's it's very um impactful
in their lives right um so
that's just the state of things right
they are they are impacting us and
that's a that's a big takeaway i think
people should
try and be cognizant of what we talked
about throughout this episode of knowing
okay here's a disclaimer right what's he
saying
what are the ideas
shaping what's being said
um so i think a takeaway would be that
seeking out
complexity
in in media especially about
issues of public importance right
um if it comes to masquerading there's
there's a lot of complexity in there um
and
i'm not saying that one well i will say
that wear a mask but
but
there's there people have
valid feelings and opinions even if
they're not um
you know rooted in scientific evidence
that people should be aware of right um
that that verb demonstrated an awareness
of and was able to make him you know
more effective but it's just things are
things are complicated they're complex
there usually aren't easy answers to
anything and if if someone suggests one
in a podcast
probably look into it a little more as a
flag
um and then just um
yes spoken arguments are i have a new
appreciation for for for
for conversation and speech in arguments
and arguments being you know i use the
word argument
but um
arguments are so subtle often sometimes
it is just
the
the acting or expression of
of a take or opinion based on a
viewpoint that you hold that isn't
telling someone to go do something right
just just the approach the understanding
of oh
um we're going to privilege a certain
position in this podcast or we're going
to include or exclude
people that's those are those are
arguments in their own way so it's not
always if listeners shouldn't expect
that the only arguments that happen in
podcasts are you should do this
or you should think this they're often
just very subtle demonstrated
through the host's attitude and
expression of their worldview and the
guests right so just
i don't know just something to think
about and in terms of where i see all
this going
podcasts i think are they're going to
grow
a lot and i think it's going to be
technology that's going to
to make them even more accessible
so
some of the things we talked about were
you know it's hard with audio to
trace back moments of conversation and
respond if you want to share a podcast
you pretty much have to rip a video or
rip audio from from an episode which
takes a high degree of um you know maybe
there's a there's
for someone with a computer science
degree it's probably not that hard or
someone with editing experience
but you have to download a program you
have to or you hold your phone recording
up and then play it on your computer or
something it's very it's very
complicated to get moments of a
conversation or moments from a podcast
to bring to other social media or even
conversations with friends right you
might say oh
you gotta listen to this podcast here's
the entire three hours to listen to
right who has time most people don't
have time for that right so i think in
the future i expect technology for
podcasting if it's going to be more
equitable and more
you know more able to be sort of fact
checked or corrected right without
requiring a ton of work on the host
who's already moving on to the next
episode
right to get that engagement going um i
would love to see technologies that
make sharing snid bits of audio
uh you know and commentary
very feasible like and i can see that
being built into twitter
instagram uh facebook and if i were
working at those companies i would say
do this you know work on it make a you
know
what's to be
why not why not have it so that people
can can discuss moments
of a show and and and have the and and
podcasters want it too
because even if they're being criticized
if they have the audio
that nuance that the wink the
the joke the laughter that gets
translated as well so being able to get
like snid bits of podcasts and and share
them um i think spotify is testing uh
trans automatic transcription
uh for their podcasts i don't know if
every user has access to it and there's
probably a long way to go with how it
works because transcribing
audio is just
super complex and probably there may not
be something more complex than podcasts
when it comes to
to transcription i mean just thousands
and tens of thousands of words in the
space of an hour
um
i think transcription
better transcription will make podcasts
more accessible they'll make it
they'll make parts of podcasts more
indexable and searchable um which is
what makes podcasts
work in the
internet in the first place is people
can research them and look them up and
find them right um so just having having
access to transcription right and of
course we're talking about listening and
stuff you know there's a large
percentage of the population that can't
but there's there's a significant
percentage who can't can't access
podcasts in any way shape or form um
this uh rhetoric scholar uh sean
zdenek i i know i'm sorry sean i don't
know how to pronounce your name
what happens
yeah he talks about um he's got a couple
articles uh he works with closed
captioning a lot he has a book on it um
but he also has some articles on
podcasting and you know basically how
they're not accessible
to a lot of people because there's no
transcription requirements apple doesn't
require transcripts when you're
submitting a podcast spotify doesn't
require all these indexes you don't have
to have transcripts for right so people
can't
can't look at them
um
and you might say oh well this is you
know it's what podcasts are about but i
think you know they're they're important
um so just technology that makes
podcasts a little more
open to
conversation with the world rather than
being these static
blocks of um
you know audio these these audio
monoliths that are really hard to to get
through
um i think will
be a be a huge step forward but yeah i
think the engagement's gonna happen
because you know we have so many
so many activities as human beings that
we're not using our
you know we have our ability to listen a
wide open right and and podcasts are
entertaining in a way that radio
isn't i mean music
like streaming music has transformed how
people listen to
to audio and they're in their cars right
and then going about their day their
workouts podcasts are doing the same
thing there's a lot of there's a lot of
available time for entertainment in
people's lives like commuting for
example or just going for a walk right
um so i see podcast i think podcasts are
going to be here to stay there they're
not regulated they're this authentic
sort of communication that you can't get
in a lot of other mediums so i think
they're going to be around and you know
they just continue if you look at the or
year by year the awareness of them
everything they continue it continues to
grow
so um and and marketers love them as
well
so i think yeah it's gonna keep going
and there's a lot of opportunity in
academics for them too i mean
uh you type in podcasts you throw it
into a database of a general database of
any sort and you're going to see
20 different fields having uh
discussions of podcasts for education in
the respective
fields so i think they're they're
they're here to stay and that means that
we should
pay more pay more attention to them
yeah i agree nicely done yeah i think
and and again i want to commend you on i
think this study raises really good
points that are really important about
how we consume them and if nothing else
uh we're all about
thinking about how we consume things
right because i think probably you know
we have the old adage you are what you
eat but yeah in a digital age you are
what you consume
more than anything
and so this is one of those aspects
people are consuming a lot of podcasts
and
you want to at least be aware of what
you're consuming
and the possible effects that it has on
us
i totally agree and you know
you couldn't have known this because i
didn't send you my dissertation slides
but the last slide for my defense was a
photo from um
this website uh onsplash which just has
all these royalty-free photos and it's
just a neon sign on a brick wall that
says you are what you listen to oh there
you go so that's i think the way you put
it's like that's that's you know one of
the main reasons to
to be aware of it right to know what
well that's great and and matt can you
tell people uh anywhere that if they
have questions where they can maybe ask
you or something like that do you have
any any presents you would like to to
let us know about
sure sure i'll give a i'll give a huge
disclaimer first about uh so i have a
twitter that's probably the the that
might be one of the easier ways to reach
me because my email name is super long
the email not the uh university of
oklahoma email right but my gmail which
i'll say that too
but so my my twitter is at making
arguments just two words making
arguments right um i'm on there way too
often um but it's not so and sometimes
and i you know i have this audience of
professors in academics and i i barely
ever i
just i'm all over the place there so i
it's not don't expect like a super
professional i'll probably say
outrageous things right
but if you if you want to have a if a
listener wants to talk more with me
about this dissertation
um or or uh this podcast um appearance
then my gmail account which is just my
full name what it's matthew with two t's
vincent jacobson j-a-c-o-b-s-o-n
gmail.com so it's a huge address i'll
make sure to put it okay there's a link
in the episode notes people can just
kind of look at the the episode notes
for the links and stuff yeah and you can
maybe relate this but you know with the
gmail i i had this like 20 000 whatever
email backlog and i thought oh well my
university email is going to expire i
never groomed it or organized it anyway
so i gotta i gotta make do i gotta get
my gmail together so i did that so so i
will see if someone sends me an email
whereas if it hits my university email
it's going into the the thousands and
thousands and thousands of spam and uh
absolutely mass emails so yeah your
regular gmail travels with you
right yeah that's the thing you survive
i have an a university of arkansas email
somewhere that may still be getting
emails but i haven't seen them in
probably 10 years so
no idea absolutely well matt this has
been an absolute blast thank you so much
for sharing this with us and and we look
forward to uh to reading more of it and
interacting with you and learning more
about what you have to say here
yeah thanks joe i i've
enjoyed this so much i really really
enjoyed this a lot um and i'll keep you
updated if uh something happens but yeah
feel free to please stay in touch um
you have my you have my gmail so
yeah i love i love it i'm excited to
hear more episodes
of your podcast appreciate it thank you
very much
well i hope you've enjoyed that
conversation with dr matthew jacobson
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i'll be more than happy to use it on the
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together so until next time
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and have a great day