The Portal is an exploration into discovery, including conversations with thought leaders. Host Eric Weinstein, Managing Director of Thiel Capital, brings his unique expertise and diverse roster of guests for a wide range of discussions, including science, culture, business, and capitalism. The show will feature people whose lives demonstrate that portals into what we would normally consider impossible, are indeed possible. Guests include presidential candidate Andrew Yang, NY Times bestselling author Sam Harris, and retired Navy Seal and creator of the hit business podcast Jocko Willink.
42: Cashing Out My Trump & IDW Positions
53:25In this solo episode, Eric shares three related audio essays. In the first essay, Eric admits that he has spent the last four years asserting that Donald Trump represented an Existential Risk, but without the usual contempt for his supporters. Here, Eric finally responds to the frequent requests for clarification of his unusual position, by beginning to explain what is behind his view of the Trump and MAGA phenomena. In the second essay, Eric discusses the odd phenomena of Trump's post election strategy of contesting the election, and what to make of all those who refuse to accept Biden's apparent win despite the state of the legal battles and election certifications. In the last essay, Eric discusses loyalty in the context of close relationships where there are accusations of impropriety, and uses the framework set out to provide context for Sam Harris' public displeasure with still unnamed members of the Intellectual Dark Web. N.B. Eric and Sam have recently discussed the matter privately to make sure they have a generally shared mutual understanding of the events. Thank you to our sponsors: Netsuite by Oracle: Netsuite.com/portal ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN.com/portal Blinkist: Blinkist.com/portal Skillshare: Skillshare.com/theportal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
41: Douglas Murray - Heroism 2020: Defense of Our Own Civilization
4:52:13If you don't know Douglas Murray, in the estimation of the The Portal, this may well be the most important voice you will hear from the United Kingdom for some time. In the tradition of De Tocqueville and Alistair Cook's famous "Letter from America," Douglas Murray is America's true friend. He is not the man who tells you that you look great and laughs at all your jokes, but the one who pulls the big mac out of your mouth, flushes your cigarettes down the toilet, locks your liquor cabinet and personally drives you to rehab until you straighten yourself out. I have met many men who train in combat sports, or extoll the virtues of masculinity. However, I know of none braver than Douglas Murray. In our time, this is one voice of relentless reason that everyone needs to hear. Thank you to our sponsors: Skillshare: Skillshare.com/ThePortal for a free trial of premium membership Indeed: Indeed.com/Portal free $75 credit Netsuite: Netsuite.com/Portal for a free product tour Theragun: Theragun.com/Portal Try risk-free for 30 days See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
40: Introducing The Portal Essay Club - What if everyone is simply insane?
1:10:38If you have ever wondered whether you were crazy when everyone else claims to see things differently than you do, this is the episode for you. Book clubs are everywhere and we are always asked for book recommendations. But what about the great Essays, Interviews, Conversations, Aphorisms, Shaggy Dog Stories, Lyrics, Courtroom Testimonies, Poems, Movie Scenes, Jokes and the like? Sadly, there is almost never a club in which to discuss them. Yet there are Essays and offerings in other intellectual formats that are just as profound and meaningful as any book while having the advantage of being much more in keeping with modern attention spans. The Portal seeks to fill this obvious lacuna. We thus finish out the regular first year of the Portal Podcast with an inaugural episode of an experiment: The Portal Essay Club. In this episode Eric reads aloud an astonishing essay from 1944 by Arthur Koestler which changed his world. In the essay, Koestler wrestles with a difficult question that has plagued independent thinkers for ages: what if everyone who is supposedly 'normal' is actually a maniac living in a dream world? What if the only sane ones appear crazy just as the crazy appear sane? During the episode, Eric first reads aloud the essay "The Nightmare That Is A Reality." and then discusses paragraph by paragraph what makes this one of the most profound yet often forgotten essays to have appeared within the twilight of living memory (1944 as it happens). We hope you will enjoy this experiment and let us know what you would like to see appear next in this series. Thanks for a great first year. Thank You From Our Sponsors Mack Weldon: For 20% off your first order visit www.mackweldon.com AND ENTER PROMO CODE: PORTAL ExpressVPN: Protect your online activity today at www.expressvpn.com/PORTAL and get an extra 3 months FREE on a one-year package. NetSuite: Receive your FREE guide – “Seven Actions Businesses Need to Take Now” and schedule your FREE Product Tour at www.netsuite.com/PORTAL Unagi Scooters: Get $150 off your own Unagi E500 electric scooter while supplies last at www.unagiscooters.com PROMO CODE PORTAL See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
39: Admission To Sugar Baby U.
1:51:26One of the pillars of the American Dream has been that of seeing your children go to college. And, for the many families that can't afford the cost of soaring university tuitions, a new controversial institution has arisen to address the problem. That institution is Sugar Baby University, a tuition assistance campaign that attempts to allow attractive young women, and a smaller number of handsome young men, find generous older men to date in the quest to complete a new version of the American Dream by graduating debt free in an era which has made it all but impossible to discharge student debt even in personal bankruptcy since 2005. This year, Sugar Baby University is 'graduating' it's fifth class with thousands of alumni in its network that stretches from coast to coast and includes institutions of higher education from local community colleges to research universities and ivy league colleges. If you know many young graduates, the chances have been increasing that one of them has quietly matriculated in response to the crisis of crushing debt payments. Yet despite widespread awareness of the program on campuses by students and financial aid advisors via word of mouth, the world of Universities and mainstream media news outlets have tacitly given their approval to the campaign by remaining strangely silent as tuitions have continued to climb an unbelievable average of 8-9% per year. In this episode we do not pass judgement on Sugar Baby University, it's parent company 'Seeking Arrangement' or it's spokesperson Kimberly De La Cruz, who is our guest. Rather, we celebrate their openness to discuss the situation, and question, instead, the universities, politicians, media, and the lending industry, who have quietly created the desperate need for this program which they do not openly discuss and prefer not to address at all. We also note that Kimberly is approximately 15 years from the date she took on her own student loans which leaves her still approximately $50,000.00 in debt. We have asked her to start a GoFundMe campaign so that we could make a contribution of $1000 dollars to let her know that we appreciate her honesty in being willing to talk openly about the terrible crisis on which her very business and livelihood now depends. I ask my listeners, who can easily afford it, to simply donate $10 dollars as a simple show of appreciation and solidarity with a woman who I have no doubt would, if it were possible with the wave of a wand, put her own company out of business by making attending college the beginning of a new American Dream, rather than the start of a familiar financial nightmare. If $10.00 is too much, pledge the minimum you can just to send a message of solidarity. The show now gets hundreds of thousands of listens per episode. A small number of contributions will go a long way. Lastly: She's not the one asking for this. I am. And thank you. https://www.gofundme.com/f/em369-no-more-student-loans Thank you to our Sponsors Pitney Bowes: FREE 30-day trial PLUS a FREE 10-pound scale to get started at pb.com/PORTAL Skillshare: 2 free months of Premium Membership at Skillshare.com/PORTAL Four Sigmatic: receive 15% off your order at Foursigmatic.com/PORTAL Blinkist: start your FREE 7 day trial AND get 25% off a Premium Membership and up to 65% off audiobooks https://blinkist.com/portal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
38: Mass Media, Markets, and Human Malware: A Portal Q&A
57:41With this release, we try something a little different on The Portal. We begin an initiative to search for ways to feature members of the vibrant Portal sub-communities as part of the podcast itself, by requesting that listeners send in their questions around the prompt: “Mass media, markets, and human malware.” The questions that came in were interesting and enlightening, and we hope that you may find the answers similarly useful. We look forward to hearing your feedback on this new format as we continue to expand and experiment on The Portal. Hope you enjoy this episode. Thanks To Our Sponsors Blinkist: Get 25% off a Premium Membership and a 7-day free trial Blinkist.com/PORTAL Boll and Branch: Get FIFTY DOLLARS OFF any sheet set at Bollandbranch.com Code PORTAL ExpressVPN: Get an extra 3 months FREE on a one-year package ExpressVPN.com/PORTAL Athletic Greens: 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase AthleticGreens.com/PORTAL See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
37: Andrew Marantz - Surfing the Wake of The Woke
3:12:35New Yorker writer and book author Andrew Marantz and Eric became friends shortly before the 2016 election when Andrew set off to write the first profile of Eric and Geometric Unity, his theory of Physics. Coming from similar ethnic and politically progressive backgrounds they found plenty of common cause. With the rise of Trump, they then found themselves in subtly different places with Andrew more directly concerned with the rise of the Alt-right and Eric convinced that the Alt-right was likely a response to the transformation of the Democratic Party begun under Bill Clinton into a serious threat to National unity. In this conversation from November of 2019 in New York City, they discuss Andrew's theories of the rise of the alt-right and internet trolling as well as the research from his 2019 book Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation. They also explore the contradictions between traditional and woke versions of progressivism and where all of this may be leading the republic. Particularly interesting given the 2019 time of this conversation is the concern with civil unrest and revolution which was shortly to play out in the American street a few months later. Thanks To Our Sponsors Pitney Bowes: FREE 30-day trial PLUS a FREE 10-pound scale - pb.com/PORTAL Skillshare: 2 free months of Premium Membership at Skillshare.com/PORTAL Theragun: Try Theragun RISK-FREE for THIRTY-DAYS - Theragun.com/PORTAL Wine Access: Get $20 off your first purchase of $50 or more - Wineaccess.com/PORTAL See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
36: Dark Matter, Black Matters and All That Jazz
3:11:14Stephon Alexander is a first class jazz musician as well as a first rate physicist and a professor at Brown University. As the New President of the National Society of Black Physicists, Eric sits down with Stephon over a good deal of wine to discuss particles, politics, blackness and STEM, and other matters as they look back on the last decade of their friendship and their sprawling discussions across music, politics, mathematics, physics and beyond. Thank You to Our Sponsors: Athletic Greens: atlethicgreens.com/PORTAL Boll and Branch: bollandbranch.com promo code PORTAL Skillshare: skillshare.com/PORTAL Four Sigmatic: foursigmatic.com/PORTAL See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
35: Balaji Srinivasan - The Heretic & The Virus
3:20:39Investor Balaji Srinivasan is a highly original thinker in Silicon Valley on Biotech to Blockchain and everything in between. Most recently, he was quite early in warning us about the Corona virus and was ridiculed for his efforts by many in the world of institutional sense-making. That is before people realized he was not wrong, but simply early. In this episode Eric talks to Balaji on the topic of what it was like to see the future before it arrived and what his crystal ball suggests about what is likely to happen next. As Balaji understands our world, the Corona virus presents a complex set of challenges that will strongly discriminate between those who can pass it's tests and those who will fail them. He sees this resulting in functional Green Zones which will become dominant in the future and Red Zones which will be characterized by dysfunctional responses. Presumably this new divide will then be expected to take over from the "North-South" divide between industrialized and developing nations. Thank You to Our Sponsors: Personna: www.amazon.com/personna use the code RAZORS25 for 25% off Four Sigmatic: foursigmatic.com/PORTAL for 15% discount Blinkist: Blinkist.com/PORTAL Wine Access: Wineaccess.com/PORTAL $20 off your first purchase of $50 or more See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
34: Zev Weinstein - On Parenting, Boys & Generation Z
1:54:40This is the first episode of The Portal which was 100% recorded at home, during quarantine, under social isolation. The guest is none other than my own son Zev Weinstein and the recording was timed to straddle his midnight transition from being 14 into being 15 years old. Zev is currently a 9th grader who occasionally posts to his YouTube Channel GenerationZ (https://www.youtube.com/c/GenerationZW) and his Twitter Account @Zev__Weinstein (https://twitter.com/Zev__Weinstein). In this episode, we sit down to discuss history, poetry, COVID19, jewish humor and other issues, as well as the three questions I am frequently asked about on the topic of parenting: A) What is the proper approach to parenting a child whose learning differences are significant? B) Do you have any novel approaches to parenting? C) What is the best way to parent young boys in a world that cannot find a shared positive vision of masculinity worth celebrating? Rather than attempt to answer these questions entirely on my own, I thought it would make sense to bring Zev onto The Portal to discuss them with me in his own distinct voice. I hope you will enjoy this episode in the spirit with which it was recorded, and that you will encourage Zev to speak on issues of Generation Z. They are already quite well equipped to discuss how they view the generations above them in handling the world, whose stewardship they will soon inherit. Thank You to Our Sponsors: Express VPN: Expressvpn.com/portal Pitney Bowes: pb.com/PORTAL Skillshare: Skillshare.com/PORTAL Mack Weldon: mackweldon.com PROMO CODE: portal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
33: Josh Wolfe - The Mind Financing The Future
1:42:38Josh Wolfe of Lux Capital is a leading mind in the current wave of venture capitalists making waves. While aware of each other for some time, in this episode Josh sits down with Eric for their first meeting. Together the two explore various topics from comparing notes on their encounters with Jim Watson of DNA fame, to talking about what society gets wrong and how to see that as a source of opportunity. It is frequently asked what makes a great venture capitalist. This conversation reveals that it is likely not one thing but a combination of rigor, breath, flexibility of mind, openness, self-skepticism and mental courage to take on the unknown. That is because the myriad concerns that arise in any early stage attempt to grab the future by the tail from only the information available to us in the present will easily overwhelm those with narrow specializations. As the conversation takes many twists and turns, Josh's flexibility is put to the test as he freely doles out numerous wise observations from his wealth of experience. Thank You to Our Sponsors: Personna: Amazon.com/personna and use the code RAZORS25 Wine Access: Wineaccess.com/portal Express VPN: Expressvpn.com/portal Quip: Quip.com/portal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.