You Gotta Believe

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S1: The following program may contain explicit language and.

S2: It’s Thursday, October 1st, twenty twenty from Slate’s The Gist, I’m Mike Pesca. New York Times headline President Perpetuates Falsehood Study finds who has study a rigorous study a lot. Also, besides double blind academic study might achieve such an insight, say perhaps merely glancing attention.

S3: How else would you find that the president perpetuates falsehood, maybe by occasionally lapsing into and out of a coma over the last four years? You might glean that information just in your mere moments of lucidity. The study was a contribution to the sum of human knowledge. In fact, actually OK, more of a confirmation of the sum of human knowledge. It was about to quote The New York Times of the flood of misinformation, conspiracy theories and falsehoods, ceding the Internet on the coronavirus. One common thread stands out. President Trump. They analyzed thirty million articles about the pandemic. Mentions of Mr. Trump made up nearly 38 percent of the overall misinformation conversation, which is to be the name of the signature show running against Bret Bears’ once Trump founds his own news network. Thirty eight million articles. He was thirty eight percent of them. So that’s what 76 million mentions, according to a Rhodes Scholar working in the CDC after he was forced into the job by Michael Caputo before he was institutionalized. OK, that’s not true. But this is true that Trump mentions comprised thirty seven point nine percent of the overall info Dharmic. That’s that’s what they call it, well ahead of the following category. Miracle Cures. That was twenty six point four percent of the info DEMICK, but a substantial proportion, maybe even the majority of the miracle cures topic was also driven by the president’s comments. So substantial overlap can be expected and also realized. I found out from reading the study that sixteen percent of the misinformation was within the context of a fact check. Right. You can’t check a fact or check a statement if it is a fact without relaying the statement. So you do that, but technically you’re passing on misinformation. But because Trump wasn’t doing any fact checking, it means that if you take out the fact checks, which is a force for good, even more than the thirty nine point nine percent of the misinformation originating from Trump actually originated from Trump. It reminds me actually of the recent report on Russian misinformation about this election. So in 2016, the Russians had to gin up fake stories to push out, you know, the pope and Hillary Clinton’s health and whatnot. But in 2020, all the Russians are doing it, just amplifying the things the president of the United States actually says. This study is, in fact, a damning piece of data, as obvious as it may seem. And it also holds the distinction of being the only academic study I’ve ever read which has an entire rubric titled Bat Soup, because my friends, we are in it on the show today. I spiel about the mute button. Oh, I love the mute button. More mute button. But first, David Eagleman teaches neuroscience at Stanford. He’s the host of the television series The Brain and is the CEO of New Sensory, a company that builds the next generation of neuroscience hardware. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to tell you that your brain is a complex, ever changing marvel. But in case it did, here is David Eagleman, author of Live Wired The Inside Story of the Ever Changing Brain.

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S4: Dr. David Eagleman is a polyglot, he’s a neuroscientist, he teaches at Stanford. He hosts the brain. He’s the CEO of a company called Neo’s Sensory, which will get into. And his new book is called Live Wire The Inside Story of the Ever Changing Brain. I’m excited to talk to him. Hello. Thanks for joining me, David.

S5: Hey, Mike. How are you doing? Good.

S1: So neuroplasticity is the word or maybe the old word for the concept of the brain is always changing. Live Wired is your take on neuroplasticity. What are the deficiencies of thinking of? The brain is plastic.

S5: You know, the term was coined about one hundred years ago by William James and he was impressed with plastic manufacturing, which is to say, you smush something into a shape and it holds that shape. And he thought, you know, that’s what the brain does. You you learn somebody’s name and your brain makes a physical change. It holds on to that. So he called this plasticity. And that has been a good term. And that is the term we use in the field. But the reason I wanted to coin a new term live wired is because what is happening is you have eighty six billion brain cells called neurons, that you’ve got two quadrillion connections, and these are changing every moment of your life. So you’re not just pushing a toy into shape and having it hold that shape. Instead, what’s happening under the hood is a dynamic living, an electric fabric that’s constantly reconfiguring itself every moment of your life. So I just felt that the days of being impressed by plastic manufacturing were perhaps over. And, you know, everything about the brain is so complex that it bankrupts our language and we need new ways of talking about it. And so I wanted to define this new term. It’s it’s not like hardware and software, which is everything we do here in Silicon Valley and around the world. It’s not like, you know, making trim, inefficient two layers that interact. Instead live where is something that reconfigures itself with every passing interaction.

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S1: I also think that the entire notion of plastic has changed, and I didn’t even know it went back as far as William James until you pointed it out. But in The Graduate, when when Benjamin asks what’s the future? And he’s told plastic, you know, that was that was an optimistic look at things. And now plastic probably has the connotation of giant swaths of it in the ocean and something that’s choking us all.

S5: Yet another good reason to coin a new term.

S1: Well, speaking of terms in you know, the book talks about this, how sometimes the language of things creates the reality of things. I just think about the idea of wiring and rewiring. And what if this weren’t the dominant metaphor? I mean, the brain isn’t really wired. And in a pre electronic society, they’d have some thoughts about the brain that would have nothing to do with wiring. So my question is, what do you think that the analogy of wiring has done to our understanding of the brain?

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S5: You know, I think there’s something inherently wrong with the notion of wiring. It’s an interesting question, because if we were a pre electronics society, we think of it maybe as as a jungle or something where you’ve got trees and bushes and vines of every sort and they’re all connecting with each other and laying on top of one another and competing for sunlight and so on. And I think that would make a perfectly good analogy as well. The idea with wiring is, you know, sort of like a circuit diagram and it’s OK to take that on board. As long as you understand that it is a wiring diagram that is totally in flux all the time. It’s things are unplugging and speaking and moving. And so I think that’s OK. The other thing, though, that’s very important, and this is one of the things I make in the book is, you know, A.I. artificial intelligence has taken off from neuroscience, but in a very sort of just from the first step of neuroscience where A.I. says, look, maybe you’ve got all these neurons that are connected to each other. So let’s just have these units that are connected and we change the strength of the connections. And that’s what I has done. And it can do some very impressive things. But it is nothing like what actually happens in the brain where you have not only changes of the connection strength, but who’s connected to whom all the way to the everything happening inside the cosmos of a single neuron. So you have changes in the receptors, in the biochemical cascades all the way down to the genomes and what genes are getting expressed and not expressed. So the limitation of a wiring diagram, I think fundamentally is that we forget about all the stuff happening on the inside of the neurons that changes the behavior of the network.

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S1: Right. And not only I mean, what your A.I. analogy reminds me of is another example that you give, which is these brilliantly complex Mars rovers. But if it gets its wheels stuck in a patch of sand, it can adapt as opposed to us and brains and the great machines that we are. Yeah, exactly.

S5: You know, the analogy that I use in the comparison to make in the book is comparing the Mars rover, which, you know, as you said, it got its wheels stuck and now it’s a multibillion dollar. Space junk to a to a wolf, which gets its leg caught in a trap and it’ll chew its leg off and then figure out how to walk with three legs and its brain is not pre-programmed to walk with three legs, but it just figures it out. And wouldn’t it be great if we could build our machinery predicated on the principles that Mother Nature discovered a long time ago, this live wiring where the Mars rover says, oh, crud, my wheels stuck and chew it off and I was going to figure out how to operate this body differently. That’s what wolves do because they operate in deference to hunger and safety and other sort of big things that they care about. And so they just figure out what their bodies let them do and how to make it happen and and the way they operate that way. And of course, we do this, too. We can jump on bicycles and skateboards and pogo sticks and whatever because we’re flexible. We say, OK, look, I want to make this happen. So I’m just going to figure out what my outputs are, what my inputs are, and do a little bit of babbling and figure out how to make this work right.

S1: So first of all, I hate to hear the Mars rover using such charged language as crud. First of all, let’s put that there. But second of all.

S5: Oh, I know. I know it was a great piece of machinery, yet it now is useless just because of the wheel. You know, when a person loses an arm or a leg in an accident, their brains just readjust to say, OK, here’s here’s how I tried this new kind of machinery. And I think this is really the important part to understand about the brain, is it is locked in silence and darkness in the vault of your skull and it doesn’t know what your body looks like. It doesn’t know anything about the world. This is trying to figure out how to make things happen. So it puts out motor acts. It sees how that changes sensory feedback as a result is this incredibly flexible system. And by the way, we don’t know how to build systems like this yet. And this is part of my purpose in writing the book was figuring out what are the principles going on here, because in a brain, let’s say a young brain, you can take out half of the brain. This happens all the time when kids have really bad epilepsy in one hemisphere, their brain. And so the hemisphere is removed and they just have half a brain and they’re fine. They’re completely cognitively fine because the remaining real estate just wires up all the functions that would have been on the other half. But the point is, you can’t do this with your laptop, your cell phone. You can’t tear out half the circuitry and expect it to still function just fine. So this is why my interest is in figuring out this completely futuristic, insanely futuristic, miraculous technology that we’re all walking around with three pounds of in our skulls.

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S1: Right. But there is a time, a temporal component in the life of a person where some skills cannot be acquired, like you write about the girl who was was she’s six and essentially raised fairly and she just couldn’t acquire language after that.

S5: Yeah, exactly. So this is something of a gamble that Mother Nature takes with humans. So with humans, we are the most flexible brains of any species and we drop into the world half baked. And as a result, we have these very long instances. You compare it to, let’s say a zebra zebra is running in forty five minutes or so. So Draugr, a dolphin is swimming straight away. But but humans are so slow to develop because we drop it in the world with these brains that just absorb everything around them. As a result, we don’t have to learn how to be a zebra again every generation. Instead, we’re born into the world. We get to absorb everything that’s come before us, all the technology, all the great ideas, great literature, the great science. And so then we springboard off that. And so it has proven very successful. We’ve taken over every corner of the planet. We’ve gotten off the planet. We invented the Internet, which is how you and I are talking right now. And so it’s been extremely successful. But it is a gamble in the sense that it relies on a certain amount of input, a certain quality of input to wire the brain up correctly. And so every once in a while, we have these tragic natural experiments where a child is born and severely neglected, you know, locked in a room just given throwing some food in the closet. And they don’t get the proper input, the love, the touch, the attention, the language. And, yeah, exactly as you said, what we see is that their brains do not develop correctly. They they don’t get the skill of language, for example. And after a certain window of time, let’s say five, six years old, that window closes and then they can never learn language.

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S1: So is it the case that there are some functions that are just so complex, like maybe language that you have to get to it early? But if we were talking about losing legs that the brain is able to rewire, even if you lose a leg in your 30s or 40s or go blind or something, that maybe is less quite complex. A motorcycle, but less complex than language.

S5: Yeah, it turns out that different parts of the brain have different windows where the critical activity needs to come in. So something like vision, for example, and language, those get nailed down pretty early. You need to have the right sorts of inputs for that to happen early. In contrast, something like operating and feeling your body that remains very flexible your whole life. And I think this has to do with the essentially the variability of the data coming in. So when it comes to let’s a vision, there’s only a certain number of angles in the world and shapes and colors, and that’s it. And so you’re your primary visual cortex essentially cements itself into place pretty rapidly. In contrast with your body. You know, you grow from an infant to an adult. Your body is changing a lot. And then you’re an adult. You get fatter, you get thinner, you jump on a bicycle, you jump on a hang glider. You know, all kinds of things are changing. And so that tends to stay flexible your whole life. But if you yeah, if you go blind at this age, it’s very difficult for the visual cortex to get taken over. But if you go blind at a young age, your visual system will get completely taken over by other senses.

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S1: Speculate with me. Let’s say there is a baby and the parents in a horrible experiment decide. Or maybe they just have a very severe aesthetic taste. They decide to raise her in a black and white world. Really, everything they see is black and white and all the you know, they control her environment and then she goes outside, I don’t know, picking age. She’s 10. Will she have certain advantages? Will she be able to see color? What would be the what would be the result of that, do you think?

S5: Yeah, that’s a tough one. This is a philosophical problem that gets discussed sometimes. And there’s no there’s no good way to to test this. The one speculation about this is that before she leaves the black and white room that you could try to describe, let’s say, purple to her all you want, and she might even pretend she understands it, but there’s no way for her to understand. But then when she exits the room, she’ll she’ll see purple is is one speculation. But it’s possible that depending on the age at which she leaves the room, she is no longer able to take in or make sense of that kind of data, know different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. And so she just she just simply does not see purple. So for better or worse, this is an experiment that we can’t try.

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S3: Now, there’s another thing that you wrote. You wrote about the role of prediction in in cognition. And you write about how that if we lose the ability, if we’re always correctly predicting things, we lose the ability. I guess, to be surprised, then that would have then that would also not imply that would come with it. We lose cognitive ability at that point, too. Is that am I getting that right?

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S5: Yeah, essentially what you lose is the ability to to be flexible in your thinking, and so what happens when people retire, for example, is their lives tend to shrink. And what happens is as their brain tissue starts degenerating with age or with Alzheimer’s, they really end up in trouble. They’re losing pathways. But there are studies on people who have kept themselves cognitively active until the day they die. Many of them, it turns out, have Alzheimer’s disease. But nobody knew it. They had no cognitive deficits. And it’s because they were always building new bridges. So even as the tissue is physically degenerating, they were finding new ways to build bridges all the time. And they get what we now call cognitive reserve, such that such that they were OK. So this is this is the key thing is to just always make sure that you’re you’re building new pathways. And, you know, the key is for in the year, twenty, twenty, all of us, in a sense, have gotten kicked off our path of least resistance. And so, you know, this is a lousy year with lots of stress and anxiety and depression all around us. But the one tiny silver lining that that we can all see here is that it’s forced everybody to be more creative, I mean, in the sense of figuring out new challenges. And I don’t mean creative like a great artist. I just mean I just mean figuring out how to solve things that you thought you already had nailed. Your internal model said, oh, yeah, I understand how the world works. I understand exactly how this operates. And for the first time in our lives, suddenly things didn’t operate that way. And so that’s actually from just from the brain plasticity point of view, very, very healthy for the brain to have to do that.

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S4: Oh, yeah. That is let’s hope that that’s true. But I was actually thinking more about when you were writing about prediction and the role of prediction and how it both helps us a little bit to recognize patterns.

S3: But if ah, if, if all the phenomena, all the input that we experience is things that we predicted, we perhaps begin to deteriorate in our ability to think. Is that right?

S5: Yeah, so, yes, there may be a couple different parts of the book you’re referring to there. One of them is that, you know, the job of the brain is actually if it’s doing its job one hundred percent perfectly, it’s predicting everything away. And so one way you can see this just isn’t. Yeah, just as an example is, you know, if you take a professional player at whatever, let’s say, soccer and an amateur player and the professional is dribbling down the field and making all kinds of amazing moves and avoiding people and so on, and the amateur is not getting stuck with everything. If you measure their brains, what you find is something surprising, which is that the pro has very little activity going on in the amateur. His brain is on fire with activity. And that’s sort of counterintuitive. But it’s because of the pro has put in the tens of thousands of hours of practice and therefore is has burned the skill of soccer down into the circuitry so that it can be fast and efficient. So that’s what the pro is is doing. He’s actually made soccer part of the hardware of his brain, whereas the amateur is still scrambling, trying to understand all the rules. So that is what we’re generally trying to do with everything is predict away what is what is going on.

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S4: Yeah, so we say muscle memory, but it’s actually brain memory. It’s memory. Memory.

S5: Yeah, exactly, exactly right.

S6: It’s much, I guess, what I was actually I guess what I was thinking of this, there’s this mode of thinking that the person will tell themselves I’m extra sophisticated, but maybe an outsider will say you’re just knee jerk cynical. And so no matter what the new piece of information is, this person will say, oh, yeah, I always expected that. I think about it again with politics a lot. Well, what do you expect? Well, what do you expect? And I think about Trump and all these revelations and there is this I understand it’s a defensive way of thinking, but it’s.

S3: Oh, yeah, nothing surprises me. What do you expect? I think that a lot of what you write about in the book leads me to believe that that person, by adopting that mode of never being surprised and at least he’s telling himself or herself that I could have predicted all of this is actually limiting the amount of cognition he does is actually limiting his brains ability to process.

S5: That’s interesting, yeah, I mean, look, this is what wisdom is, right, is understanding the complexity of the world and understanding that you can’t possibly predict much of anything about the world. I mean, just as one example, nobody predicted 20, 20. No one predicted the confluence of all these events of covid and George Floyd and everything that’s happened this year in the wildfires in California. And so no one sees this coming. Why? Because the world’s complex, everything is non-linear. And so, yeah. So it would be silly for any person or politician to imagine that they saw everything coming.

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S1: The name of the book is Live Wired The Inside Story of the Ever Changing Brain. Its author is David Eagleman. Thanks so much. Thanks, Mike.

S3: And now the spiel, the mute button, perhaps no innovation is as overlooked as it is useful, even essential without the mute button, everyone on that conference call with know that we’re taking a meeting in the bathroom or that the reason the other party cannot hear the game in the background isn’t because we’re not watching the game. It’s because we’ve muted the game. But that the mute button, we’d hear everyone else’s kids playing fortnight in the background during zoo meetings and immediately know they’re better than our kids at four at night. And we’d have to go out and hire fortnight tutors all hail them. Mute button. One of society’s under recognized gifts. Now the mute button has gone presidential. Here now, Fox’s John Roberts reporting on mute button developments.

S7: One of the things that has been kicked around in the last twenty four hours is this idea of the moderator having a mute button so that if the candidates refuse to stop interrupting each other or go over their time, they could just push the button and cut off the microphone. A source close to the negotiations told Fox News just a couple of minutes ago about that idea, quote, That was a specific request made a negotiating meeting yesterday morning by Biden debate negotiator Brady Williamson. The meeting was at 9:00 a.m.. Hours later, the commission issued their statement about changing the structure. The mute button is a Biden ask.

S3: No response yet from the Biden campaign to that charge, to that reporting was if you followed along that was leaked to Fox to make clear that the president does not want a mute button. Duh, but Biden does double the triple duh. And this is really a Dürer is that those inside the Trump camp think it’s a good message to be getting out to the world, that the president is against being muted and the dudd to the power of dog is that I saw this clip on the Twitter feed of the Trump re-election campaign. They want to silence us. Yes, it is a mainstay of the oppressed in general and Donald Trump in particular. Donald Trump the most heard from human being in the world over the last four years. It is bizarre, though typical, that they are making a huge deal about this, a huge braying, cacophonous deal of Trump being silenced. And it just shows me once more that the Trump campaign shows no nimbleness or no recognition of the problem. I’m not talking about how they’re often a problem for everyone else. They’re not acting in their own self-interest. It’s not that his cadre of magazine movies are ill served by the Trump campaign going on about don’t mute us. But the magazine biz, that lot they’re locked in. It’s that the Trump base has got Trump down nine points, nine and a half points in the four most recent national polls. And the way he thinks of changing this dynamic is doing what he did to get there, only more. So the fact that today’s talking point is the president has been muzzled as opposed to we agree the president needs to shush every once in a while. It tells you something about their theory of the case and how that theory is meeting reality. Let me channel the thing Mike Murphy said on the hacks on that podcast. He said voters might want a champion as president. They might want someone who sticks up for them. They might want someone who fights for them or who speaks for them. But you know what? No one wants an asshole. Well, 40 something percent of Americans apparently want an asshole, but not enough Americans want an asshole to have that asshole re-elected. He has locked up the asshole vote and even the asshole adjacent vote. In fact, let me let me clarify that remark. I know plenty of assholes who aren’t even voting for him, though. They’re Democrats, a different breed of asshole. But seriously, this entire incident waving the bloody shirt about how poorly you were treated during the debate and the fact that that is the reflexive White House reaction. It’s all exactly why he’s losing an election.

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S6: And the presidency itself is a lot of things as an institution. To some extent, it’s an experiment on theories of how to govern and how to run a presidency in order to get re-elected. But you do need the election to come along to tell you how the theory worked out. It is possible. And they are beginning to think it’s probable, quite probable that the Trump administration was pursuing a failing theory all along bass, bass, bass, bass, bass, and just never caring at all if you absolutely repulse everybody else. Now, it never seems smart to me. And it turns out it wasn’t smart. It is in fact incredibly dumb. And for all the anguish that those witnessing this theory have been made to suffer along the way and by those who have been made to suffer, I mean literally everyone not in the base, maybe a better reaction would have been, huh? This seems not to be. Working, guess what, it wasn’t now it’s a little different from a strategy that doesn’t work in another part of life because elections come by so infrequently. So we’re talking about a strategy for winning a baseball game or a war or for landing that job or that contract with those things. You get feedback more immediately and you could change with the presidency. Also, a bad theory has real world effects along the way. So this is also why, by looking at the theory from a step away, it’s not only that we are aggrieved by how he pursued the theory, some of the consequences of the theory just caused from an empirical standpoint, horrible things to happen. Right. So part of his theory is let’s do this travel ban, let’s say. And that seemed terrible because he was pursuing a travel ban. And perhaps we all said it’s such a dumb idea, but it did happen. And now a lot of Iranians can’t come to the United States who should be coming to the United States or, you know, the EPA. He pursued his theory of bad governance. The EPA got essentially neutered or taxes went into effect. That didn’t help the overall public and that also wound up not helping their electoral strategy. But along the way, it did reward many of the proponents of the strategy. So, again, I raise this to point out why an analogy to another walk of life maybe isn’t perfect. Like what would the war analogy be to Trump passing tax cuts? That seemed good in the short term for a few people. Maybe with war, it’s like an army going out and having a great time right on the eve of battle. It feels good in the moment, but it comes with a hangover and consequences. I have, I think, a very good sports analogy about how Trump has pursued his electoral strategy while in the White House. And it’s not about only taking half court shots in basketball or letting your crazy ass player take all the shots in a basketball game, because, like I said, it becomes clear pretty quickly that that strategy doesn’t work despite the objections of J.R. Smith. The analogy I’m thinking of is what if a baseball team tried to play offense like a normal team? So this is the equivalent of, you know, some of the stuff Trump does is what every Republican would do, appoint conservative judges, try to lower taxes, less in regulation. But on defense, the strategy of our baseball team, which is a stand in for the Trump White House, is we’re going to throw every other pitch directly at the opposing batters head. Now, it might seem like this could work in the short term. Maybe the opposing team thinks that this is impossible. This can’t be what’s happening. And they start swinging at every other pitch, you know, the ones that aren’t at their head and they start grinding out. So I don’t know. It seems to work. And also maybe a bunch of players on the opposing team are beaned and concussed and hurt. And our team, our crazy team, the stand in for Trump’s call column, the Arizona Diamond and Silk Backs, or the Philadelphia Phillies or the Washington National Disgraces or the Los Angeles Tax Dodgers, whatever you want to call them, they celebrate the opponent’s concussion. We own them. It’s working. But eventually the strategy will prove unworkable. A loser. But in baseball, it wouldn’t take the seventh inning. It wouldn’t take where we are now, which is like with an hour or two in the ninth, we would recognize that pretty early. And that is the problem with politics. There are all these inputs, thousands and thousands of pieces of data along the way, but very few renderings of judgment. I mean, there are polls, but polls are fluid and inexact. There are the midterms, which is a fine proxy, but not the presidential election itself. There is really just the next election. And in that case, we’ll know, you know, maybe in a month and two days plus. Let’s hope not too many days after that. But we’ll know we’ll quite possibly know very soon that this crazy, doomed to fail method of appealing to an electorate was just that could never work. And I don’t know what we’ll think of all the anxiety, stress and anguish that we experienced during the last four years. Pain tends to recede in memory. In fact, there is a word for pain from the past, and that is nostalgia. I hope we don’t apply that to the Trump tenure. But I hope we do talk about it quite soon in the past tense, so one one last baseball analogy to describe a feeling that people are expressing to me friends, this probably going on on your life or in your brain, that you just can’t believe that the lead that we’re seeing is true. You just can’t believe that things look as good for Joe Biden as they seem to look. You just can’t believe that Trump, who really by every objective measure seems to be failing, really is failing. You can’t believe that. You think he ultimately will fail because you remember and were burned by the lesson of 2016. But you know what this is like. This is exactly like a Red Sox fan in 2004. So in 2004, after that almost centuries long drought, they were up three. Nothing against the Cardinals in the World Series. But I got to tell you, no Red Sox fan was like, oh, I’m not worried. We got this one in the bag. But that uneasy feeling is just a feeling. Losing at that point was really unlikely for the Red Sox. In fact, it was more unlikely for the Red Sox than it is for Joe Biden now. And also, if you had a crystal ball in 2004, I could have told a Red Sox fan, not only going to win now, you’re going to win in three years and in six years after that. And again, another World Series, five years after that, it’s going to be fine. But of course, all they could think about was Bucky Dent and Mookie Wilson and KOMY and the servers. Wait a minute. I’m mixing up my analogy. But you see the point. You understand the difference. This is a terrible, uneasy feeling you’re probably experiencing. But it’s probably just a feeling, probably, especially so long as Trump continues to misunderstand the nation’s uneasy feeling. Things will be better if we can rely on his ignorant obstinacy for just a little while longer.

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S8: And that’s it for Today Show, Margaret Kelly really, truly produced the gist, Daniel Shrader, you know, he imbued it with his spirit. Jamila Bey notes Cubs fans also felt nervous in 2016, but they should have. They let the Indians right back in it. So I guess right now Democrats are hoping that Mike Pence has as little in common with Rajai Davis as we were always led to believe. Alicia Montgomery is executive producer of Slate podcasts. As such, she is inventing a podcast app that works not via the ears, but skin vibrations. But she’s also gaming the system so that if it’s the Joe Rogan podcast you’re listening to, it prompts a skin rash. The gist predicting is that Joe Rogan’s skin rash podcast becomes a thing all of the Joe Rogan fans will begin to identify as Rash Nation. And Rogen will endorse a line of CBD oil as an emollient in desperate to Peru. And thanks for listening.