9 months ago
Andrew Huberman, PhD, is a neuroscientist and tenured professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Andrew is also the host of the Huberman Lab podcast, which aims to help viewers and listeners improve their health with science and science-based tools. New episodes air every Monday on YouTube and all podcast platforms. www.hubermanlab.com
I guess this is an opportunity to bring up Jeff Epstein. So, you know, people sometimes wonder, you know, like, we're scientists, you know, you know, hanging out with him to get, you know, to get with these young women or something. I know scientists. There are some scientists like that. They were spending time with him because he was giving their laboratories money that they didn't have to write grants for. Why was he doing that? Oh, there are very strong opinions. He under I never met him. I know people who knew him, but he clearly understood social engineering. He understood that rich people have they can get anything they want, anything they want, except the one thing they can't easily control is their reputation because that requires other people's perceptions. And just being rich doesn't make you necessarily respected by certain people. Yes, by certain people. He understood that very wealthy people feel more important and can derive more sense of self-respect when they are surrounded by brilliant people. And he was very good at bringing truly brilliant people into that mix. People like Murray Gell-Mann, who discovered the quark, right? He's a particle physicist. I mean, head of the Santa Fe Institute, Nobel Prize. I mean, he's Gell-Mann used to pick on Richard Feynman. He was one of the few people who could maybe not verbally joust with him, but at a scientific level could pin that guy. So they were on more or less equal tier, but Gell-Mann was right up there. So Epstein understood, like bring around the Gell-Manns. Bring around the top genetic researchers from Harvard. By doing that, he made these rich people feel like they were in the company of interesting, important people. Interesting. And why would scientists spend time with rich people? I'll be really honest. I do a lot of work for these days for talking about science and then trying to generate science philanthropy. That's a big part of my life now, trying to generate money to give to studies that are really interesting and valid. We could talk about that if you like. Scientists will show up to dinners that normally they'd rather be in their labs or writing grants or with their families, frankly, if there's the possibility of money being given to their laboratory because then they can hire more people and do more science. Money alone doesn't drive good science, but the more money you have, the bigger margin of error you have. If Epstein offered laboratories a million dollars a year for four years, to a guy of that wealth is trivial, to a laboratory, that is four national institutes of health grants per year. The workload to maintain those four grants is immense. They'd show up with the possibility of getting money. That's where they were hanging out with a dirtbag like him. They had blinders on. Either they knew or they didn't know what he was up to, but they had blinders on because they weren't thinking about the implications. Well, it was also one of the things about something like that must be that if you go there and you see Steven Pinker and you see Lawrence Krauss and you see Bill Gates, it seems like you should be there. It seems fine to be there. Also on sinister, diabolical, narcissistic and sociopathic, but brilliant social engineering on the part of Epstein, he understood that they felt comfortable in the room because of who else was there. Rich people will show up to a place for who's not there, as we know. They like to have space. Scientists generally don't like to hobnob. It's not really their thing. What they like to do is work on their projects. They're a little bit like comedians in the sense that they have a craft they want to be working on. They're only going to do things like go out and get money if they have to get money. They do a lot to get money. Well, I'm sure there's a lot of social aspect of it, hanging around with other brilliant scientists at a wonderful place. You have good food and drink and there's pretty girls around. It's probably exciting. It's probably exciting, although I think that at some level, scientists, real scientists, dyed in the wool scientists, would rather just be doing science and living their lives. I'm sure. I mean, this is a very rare occasion. I'm sure that they're doing this. So he had the whole thing, the Harvard shirt. He ingratiated himself in this community. He just understood. It was sort of like I do some work with some professional sports teams, right? The only people that they look up to are tier one special operators. You tell a pro NBA player like, oh, in the NFL, they do this. They're like, whatever. You tell them that, you know, this will increase your output by 10 percent. They're like, whatever. They don't care. They want to play video games. They do not care. They want to hang out with their girlfriend or their four girlfriends, whatever it is. You tell them tier one operators who do high risk, high consequence work and are on deployment schedules that would dissolve you into a puddle of your own tears because it's a vampire schedule. You can sleep when you want to and you get you potentially die. You potentially all die and they're running times are faster. Their recovery times are faster. Their shooting accuracy is far better than your shooting accuracy. And that's what a gun and getting shot at. And they go, OK, I'll listen. They look up to tier one operators. That's a fact. And so if you want them to listen, you understand that fact. You look at what tier one operators are doing. That's what professional sports teams are trying to glean that information. Billionaires, they have different interests, obviously. Some race yachts, some what, you know, want to start new projects. But they want to be around really innovative, interesting people. And in academia, there are very small subset of those running big laboratories. And Epstein just got that down to the detail. And then he understood, I think, with politicians, they can their reputations are everything. And so he gave them a vaulted world where they could behave how they wanted. In some sense, I mean, his story is one of multiple psychology is not just his. Yeah. That's why people that have studied him and the whole case believe that and from other evidence and information as well, that he was part of some sort of intelligence operation and there was compromising these people. Oh, I'm sure that at some point he had information on other people and he just used it as a. And it doesn't have to be strong hand blackmail, right? He could just say, you know, we've got information, we'll hold it secure. Well, you would just you don't even have to blackmail someone if you know they have information on you and they have not used it, you will act in their best interest to try to get them on your good side. Well, I mean, in the in the unraveling of the all the the dark sorted shit around Weinstein, it was discovered, I think in New York, like in near that avenue down in alphabet city police precinct. It turns out that there were, you know, a boatload of files that date back ages and you know, there were it's not that cops are corrupt, it's that they're incentivized by certain things, too. And their bosses were telling them you got to do certain things. You got to put away certain files. And, you know, people are trying to make careers. I think that's why that show it's a little outdated now. But from technology standpoint, but the wire was so brilliant is that every aspect of that was a human endeavor and science is a human endeavor. We're kind of paying attention to the the darker unfortunate side. There are also again, I always feel like I got to shine light where it belongs to, which is that a lot of amazing science is happening because of excellent philanthropy of people that are not pedophiles. Yes, yes. Right. And those people, you know, and but let's be honest, walk on to any university campus, look at the names on the sides of the buildings. Do you think they're there to honor those people because those were great people? Sometimes they're great people. They're there because those people donated 50 to 100 million dollars. Right. I mean, and this has been known in in law schools and business schools for a long time because you'd see it on this. That was kind of more accepted there because it's business and law. Right. But if you walk on to any campus, I don't care if it's UT Austin or Stanford or it's Harvard, the names on those sides of buildings, sometimes it's the Kennedy Building. Sometimes it's the Rockefeller Building. More often than not, these are names of people you don't recognize anymore. And names of people don't even live in the United States. They gave 100 million dollars for a building that trains medical students. Universities are a business too. Yeah. 100 percent. And it doesn't mean that they're trying to corrupt anybody, but they have to survive. You have to pay the janitor. Yeah. You have to pay the cops. You get on the campus. I mean, so it is a business. And I think you that's the human side, actually, to your credit, I learned from you. I think you may or may not remember, but a few years ago we were talking about everything was going on in the public health thing. And you're like, the reason I'm curious about this and I don't trust this, these were your words more or less, was because I know about people. And that's at the end of the day, it's all about people and their psychology.