Sam Harris chats with Russell Brand

February 4, 2018 • 2:30 pm

I heard from Grania that this conversation took place, and could only imagine how it went down, especially given the difference in demeanor between these two guys.  Russell Brand can be quite funny and articulate, but he can also be gonzo. Sam is never gonzo.  I haven’t yet watched this two-hour video, but I’m putting it here in case you want some brain food instead of watching the Superbowl.

Apropos, here’s how readers predict the Superbowl outcome as of 2:30. (Not much of a vote, I have to say.) I voted for the Patriots, though all I know about this contest is that Tom Brady is a great quarterback. Kickoff is at 5:30 Chicago time, which is the same as Minneapolis time, where the game will be played. Yes, it will be played in the dark and in bitter cold; it’s insane that they’re not having it in, say, Florida.

 

On to the main event, which I’ll watch in pieces:

h/t: Vera

37 thoughts on “Sam Harris chats with Russell Brand

  1. The game will be played in a dome, one that was recently built (and therefore presumably well-insulated).

  2. They have to move these big money events around and give other cities a piece of the green. Football is just the same as anything else in Trump Land. It is all about money and how much of it can I get. Keep those concussions coming.

  3. The conversation between Sammy H and The Brand is audio not video – a shame, as I’d love to have seen Sam’s facial-expression when The B interrupts him for the umpteenth time refusing to answer any questions posed. Ultimately, a very frustrating two hours of listening – Sam has the patience of a (godless) saint, but I do wish he’d call-out his interlocutors sometimes, insist that they play the game rather than let them off the hook,
    Chris G.

      1. Oh I see, there’s a video version on YouTube, although for some reason the last 30 mins are audio only. I can’t sacrifice another 2 hours to go through it again (I listened to the audio from Brand’s website). I know you’re not a fan off the long-format conversations/podcasts, but did you watch any? How do you rate Brands style and content?

  4. I watched the first 25 minutes or so but it is going to be hard to take. Russel Brand is so (without knowledge) on so many things he really does not belong here. Just to throw out one commanding point of his, How to your separate the colonialism and all that excessive power to say this group is extreme for this purpose or that. Sam easily covers this as he always does in short order but as usual, this type of person just drives on down the road as if nothing is affected. Why have a conversation with a person if you really don’t want to listen but only give your own opinion.

    1. Bob Geldof had it spot on when he described Russell Brand. As this is a wholesome family site I won’t repeat it but it won’t take much googling to find out what I mean.

    2. “I watched the first 25 minutes or so but it is going to be hard to take. Russel Brand is so (without knowledge) on so many things he really does not belong here.”

      I can’t stand Russel Brand, and it’s mostly for this reason. He has many convictions of policy and morality, and he’s absolutely sure of himself, and will tell you his very superficial reasons as if they’re brilliant philosophy. He thinks he’s an expert on myriad issues, but he isn’t on any.

      And many of his views are nutty bananas.

      1. I started to watch the video, but find Russell Brand just about intolerable, and had to stop. I’ll try again later. Maybe have a drink, but why spoil a good buzz. I find him one of the most annoying, narcissistic, and overrated personalities of the day (right up there with Jordan Peterson, even when he’s right about something) — and, for good and ill, Sam Harris has had both on his program. For those who detest RB and are in a snarky mood, here are a couple of lists of his “controversial moments”
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11273422/From-hero-to-zero-Russell-Brands-biggest-gaffes.html; https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/russell-brands-7-most-controversial-4816132

  5. Screw the Patriots; they’ve won enough. Unless I’ve got a wagering interest pointing in the other direction (which, in this case, I don’t) always root for the underdog is my policy.

    Anyway, Trump is all buddy-buddy — or at least thinks he is — with Brady and Belichick and the Pats. That there oughta be enough to convince any right-minded person to root the other way.

  6. If listening to Brand starts to drive you insane, Steven Pinker was just on Joe Rogan’s podcast and although I haven’t listened to Sam and Russel’s convo, I’d imagine Rogan and Pinker’s to be a better discussion.

      1. He is, but he gets so many good guests. At least he doesn’t have a terribly irritating personality and is smart enough to admit there’s a lot he doesn’t know, which is more than I can say for Russel Brand.

      2. I’ve watched Rogan grow and change his views (for the better) over the last decade, and it is directly attributable to the conversations he’s had on his podcast. His thinking has become more evidence-based which is a great thing. The free exchange of ideas have had a positive influence on his mind. The moon thing might be his last hold out, but I believe he leans towards thinking it happened.

        Look no further than his podcast with Tom Delonge. Ten years ago he would’ve gobbled up what Tom was peddling but not now. I’d love to see PCC go on there.

        Note that I’m not claiming he’s some great thinker, just that having smart guests over the years has influenced his in mind in a more positive way.

        1. All good things, but I’d prefer to spend my free time listening to two intelligent people flesh out a topic, rather than listening to one intelligent person educate a tyro on the basics of a topic.

        2. Agreed, Rogan may not be an intellectual, but has certainly gotten better in his thinking skills over the years.

  7. Russell Brand is way too frenetic for me. I made it through 37 minutes and my whole system feels agitated. He’s so inarticulate. I can’t get his point half the time. Good for Sam Harris to be so focused and able to stay on track.

  8. I was one of the minority that picked the Eagles. So, I am pleased, but prepare for the God-talk since Philadelphia is one of the most overtly religious [xian]teams in the league.

    1. You were right. I hope you bet big. As I mentioned in the Hili dialogue, this was one of the wildest football games I’ve ever watched. Lots of risk taking by both teams rather than the more prevalent conservative play calling common in most games. Payed off for The Eagles.

  9. Oh I see, there’s a video version on YouTube, although for some reason the last 30 mins are audio only. I can’t sacrifice another 2 hours to go through it again (I listened to the audio from Brand’s website). I know you’re not a fan off the long-format conversations/podcasts, but did you watch any? How do you rate Brands style and content?

  10. Ouch. I’d just seen Brand for the first time on Maher and subsequently followed him on Twitter – someone who combined thoughtfulness with a humour based on true abandon and whimsy, it seemed then.

    After this video I’m not nearly as sure about the thoughtfulness. And the impulsiveness and the particular observations that seem to prompt what seemed to be humour and whimsy have made me reconsider that that’s what they are.

  11. I didn’t know this Russel Brand guy but I found him insufferable. He talks too much too fast mixing too many things with big words that I suspect are used improperly… and he sounded so pomo and relativistic. I come out of this experiences feeling more admiration towards Sam Harris: I couldn’t have kept my cool.

  12. Never understood the appeal of American Football.

    “Something interesting is happening, stop the game!”

    Still better than Russell Brand, though.

  13. Strange that virtually every commenter misspelled Russell Brand’s name.

    Although I found it hard to listen to, I did get through it. Brand effuses with many of the usual leftist tropes about how Muslim terrorists blow themselves for a deep and complex set of sociopolitical and historical reasons, not just to get to paradise. Sam tries (unsuccessfully) to disabuse him. Brand also invokes moral relativism again and again, which hurts to listen to. It was amusing to hear Brand call Sam “darling” and to tell Sam “don’t say that… that’s not loving” when describing girls forced into Burqas.

    I think it’s great that Sam went on Brand’s podcast; it will allow him to reach a new audience. Although Sam is already too mainstream for my tastes now…

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