Podcast of the Week - Johaan Hari

Update 8/4/18

In this edition of Podcast of the Week, we are going to cover Johaan Hari (TW: @johannhari101) on the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE). 

This podcast exemplifies what makes then so wide-reaching and why it's beneficial to listen to many different people that don’t buy into a niche all the time. Going into this I knew absolutely nothing about what this would be about or what ideas would be covered. A little background on Johaan Hari. He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers of Chasing the Scream and most recently Lost Connections. These books circle around themes, and he has given TED talks on these ideas as well. I'll put all links for you to follow and explore on your own!

In the conversation, it covers topics from both books mentioned and good commentary with what are some of the issues in modern society. There's a point I want to emphasize on the episode were Hari brings up many negatives to the use of anti-depressant drugs. But puts a caveat on that point saying that if the benefits out way the negative then keep using them. I think this distinction is necessary and in researching this post, some of the criticism on the book missed that point which he did state but with less emphasis.  

 One of the more exciting parts of the podcast is the discussion turns to how to change the norms that cause people to have anxiety and depression.  He If you're a frequent listener of the JRE you know that he is a complete believer in picking yourself up by your bootstraps. That was grinding it out for yourself will allow you to accomplish your goals or dreams. Hari, on the other hand, says that humans do much better when able to contextualize within a group to achieve a shared vision. Joe pushes back on this premise because what his experiences are. 

They also have a more semantic disagreement on how to best create change. The point Joe Rogan makes his that it’s much easier to change one persons' mind and Hari's point is that banding together as a group to affect change is much more straightforward. In my opinion, I think both sides are right it just a matter of what has a more substantial impact, both are part of how change happens. 

Overall, I would say this podcast was an extreme eye opener as to how we as a culture have a considerable shortcoming when it comes to belonging and working with each other on this planet. Especially, here in the US where many of us craved self-sufficiency when humanity as a species was able to thrive because we learned to work together. One analogy I like to think of is that modern society has created our own cage.  Just like animals who are put in zoos and don't survive we have done just that eliminating our natural habitat. Hearing stories like this can help reintegrate how best maximize our needs as humans. 

Finally, I believe that many poeple are circling these ideas from similar areas. People like Sebastian Junger who wrote Tribe, Daniel Coyle who wrote The Talent Code all have ideas that all circle around how best to get humanity back into a place that we can work together as a group in a natural way to leverage all the benefits. But that is a top for another post down the road. For now, go enjoy the podcast and other useful links below.


TED Talk