The Portal

Oct 24 2020 122 mins 25.7k

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.







40: Introducing The Portal Essay Club - What if everyone is simply insane?
Aug 12 2020 70 mins  
If 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



39: Admission To Sugar Baby U.
Jul 30 2020 111 mins  
One 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




37: Andrew Marantz - Surfing the Wake of The Woke
Jul 01 2020 192 mins  
New 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






34: Zev Weinstein - On Parenting, Boys & Generation Z
May 13 2020 114 mins  
This 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




32: J. D. Vance - American Dreams and Nightmares
Apr 30 2020 138 mins  
It is said that there is not one American dream but many, and few have lived more than JD Vance. Growing up in Appalachia on the border between poverty and the lower working class, JD knew economic fear first hand as well as the cultural devastation of the region's post-coal era. Working his way up, he joined the elite US Marine Corps and entered Yale University to attend the countries most exclusive Law School. Not content to stop there, he found his way to Venture Capital in San Francisco while marrying into a multicultural relationship with a wife of Indian descent, herself supercharged with a dynamism informed by the classic immigrant experience. So it was something of a surprise when JD became a national best selling author with his book Hillbilly Elegy which poignantly tells the tale of growing up in a family under pressure rocked by one of the most difficult economic experiences to be found anywhere in the United states. Eric and JD sit down to discuss the history of coal and politics, the evolving American Left in the era after the demise of organized labor. Through it they discuss the difficulty of finding out footing in the collision and disappointment of so many American dreams which all too frequently remain tantalizingly out of reach for the majority of those who dare to dream them. Thank You To Our Sponsors Lamps Plus is offering up to FIFTY PERCENT OFF HUNDREDS of lights, furniture and décor go to Lampsplus.com/portal SkillShare: Get two whole months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free at Skillshare.com/portal Athletic Greens: Claim your special offer today of 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase go to athleticgreens.com/portal















26: James O’Keefe - What is (and isn't) Journalism in the 21st century
Mar 19 2020 149 mins  
James O'Keefe is a dangerous man. He records people without their knowledge and publishes the results using the full power of our technological toolkit. He is well versed in the details of the law as to what can and cannot be legally recorded and/or published without the consent or even awareness of his targets. He is willing to risk prison to capture his stories and he has developed a policy of not settling out of court, even when it would be financially advantageous to do so. Clearly, he is willing to risk ruin and hatred for what he is doing, and is therefore not a man to be lightly trifled with. In this episode, Eric sits down with James to try to understand the mutant future of journalism as it reckons with the power of new technology, while continuing to move away from traditional newspapers and reporting. Eric tries to discover what is truly motivating O'keefe and why he would want to come on a show that has been so openly critical of his organization. James has many who see him as a crusading hero. He has also been accused of unethical deception, trespassing, entrapment, selective editing, and an entire litany of ethics complaints from traditional media. Oddly, however, more standard reporters working for traditional news desks openly discuss among themselves the professional need to deceive their targets in order to get the truth, or at least the story. Such strategies include using disingenuous flattery, pretending to be the source's friend, threats, the lure of fame, and a host of other edgy techniques to get people to say things that the reporter knows will likely be personally disastrous for the person being quoted. This raises the question of just what it is that makes James O'Keefe different from a more mainstream reporter. Is it his method, more than his chosen targets? Is it that he really doctors his footage or instead that he has revived older journalistic techniques to hunt new journalists? This interview may not answer all of these questions, but we hope it may prove to be a conversation unlike any you have previously heard on this topic. Our Sponsors: Skillshare: Skillshare.com/portal Blinkist: Blinkist.com/portal Pitney Bowes: PB.com/Portal Vincero: VinceroWatches.com - use code PORTAL


25: The Construct - Jeffrey Epstein
Mar 07 2020 69 mins  
Over half a year ago, immediately following the reported death of Jeffrey Epstein, Eric recorded a solo episode that he never released in hopes that its subject matter would be overtaken by investigative journalism. As this has not happened, it is being released with some trepidation in March of 2020 due to the issue of state involvement with Jeffrey Epstein. Eric discusses his memories of his single bizarre meeting (circa 2004?) with Jeffrey Epstein in Epstein's 71st St townhouse in Manhattan. While at that meeting, Eric was surprised by Epstein's strange behaviors and came to the conclusion that it was highly unlikely that Epstein was likely to be the money manager he claimed. Instead, Eric came to the conclusion that the person with whom he was sitting was more probably a construction of one or more intelligence agencies, interested alternatively in powerful actors and scientists. This 15 year hypothesis and Epstein's mysterious death lead to Eric's four questions: A) Where are the newspaper stories tracking the financial records from the Villard House offices on Madison Avenue of Jeffrey Epstein's hedge fund and financial management firm J. Epstein & Co.? Who holds these records? What trades do they show? Who were the prime brokers? Where are any former employees who executed trades? Was there never a hedge fund at all? If not, is the inexplicable Epstein fortune and the missing Robert Maxwell fortune actually one and the same fortune? B) Where are the newspaper stories detailing the known border crossings where Ghislaine Maxwell's passports were last presented to the immigration agents of any government? Where was her last known social engagement? Is she continuing to file and pay taxes? Why is she not being sought by law enforcement and where is the government request for any information as to her last whereabouts? How did this person simply vanish in a world where Tech tracks everyone at all times? Where did her digital trail run cold? C) Where are the newspaper stories asking whether Jeffrey Epstein was known to be connected to any US or foreign intelligence agencies? Where are the on-the-record stories asking if the US and its allies categorically deny refusing to work with any known child sex traffickers? Why has have such questions not terminated in at least a categorical denial or "no comment" response or even a refusal to discuss "sources and methods"? D) Why is there no routine call from Journalists, Senators, Congressmen and women, Academics, Clergy or Business leaders for hearings into the intelligence communities in the wake of Epstein and related affairs, as there was during the 1970s when the Church and Pike committees uncovered dirty tricks campaigns against lawful citizens? Why are these agencies now protected and immune in a way that they were not previously?



24: Kai Lenny - To Play and Flirt with Giants
Feb 29 2020 115 mins  
In a world which is often slow-moving and even stagnant, there are always sectors and individuals who buck the trends. In this episode of The Portal, Eric sits down with his favorite surfing hero Kai Lenny who is pioneering a new approach to big wave surfing. By availing himself of the latest technology and dedicating his life to innovation and discipline, all-around waterman Kai Lenny is redefining what is possible with boards and waves. Whether it is kite surfing, hydrofoils, paddle boards or towing into monster waves, Kai is not only riding, but playing in the biggest surfable waves as if they were up to an order of magnitude smaller. Eric attempts to understand Kai's approach to innovation and how he can be so carefree and seemingly casual when he is always flirting with death within some of the most powerful structures and forces nature can through at a single individual from Jaws in Maui to Nazaré in Portugal. Please Subscribe to the Podcast wherever you listen to The Portal and make sure to check out our YouTube channel and click the bell icon to be notified when our next episodes appear! Hope you enjoy this. Our Sponsors Athletic Greens - Get 20 FREE travel packs valued at $79 with your first purchase AthleticGreens.com/portal Theragun - Try Theragun risk-free for 30 days or your money back Theragun.com/portal Wine Access - Get $100 off your first purchase of $250 or more WineAccess.com/portal Clear - Get your first two months of CLEAR for FREE at Clearme.com/portal


23: Agnes Callard - Courage, Meta-cognitive detachment and their limits
Feb 24 2020 131 mins  
Philosopher and University of Chicago Professor Agnes Callard sits down with Eric on this episode of the portal. Agnes is a champion of the philosophical tradition of attempting to detach the capacity for inquiry and reason from the fog of feelings and societal taboos that often keep us from delving deeper into the questions that animate our lives. Agnes began this unusual back and forth by writing an article about status negotiation in first meetings shortly after the pair first met. Eric and Agnes then use the opportunity of this episode to continue this line of thought by exploring the limits of courage and meta-cognition within the examined life of a modern Philosopher. This results in a real-time exploration by two people who mutually respect each other as to whether they can actually negotiate a detached discussion in real time on the very issues of status, feeling, and taboo that may divide them and/or arise between them. As Agnes has written thoughtfully about the many layers of anger, the conversation culminates by exploring dyadic feelings of hurt and indignation with which we all struggle and suffer in our relationships. Ultimately the two finish this experimental conversation with good cheer, together with a wish to continue the discussion at a later date under continuing mutual fondness and admiration. Our Sponsors Post your job today at Indeed.com/PORTAL For 20% off your first order, visit mackweldon.com AND ENTER PROMO CODE: portal Receive 15% off your Four Sigmatic purchase go to foursigmatic.com/PORTAL




21: Ashley Mathews (aka Riley Reid) - The mogul and brains behind America's Sweetheart
Feb 01 2020 112 mins  
Historically, fighting obscenity and indecency charges has always been a central part of the free speech movement. Jim Morrison, Mae West, Lenny Bruce and George Carlin have all been arrested for exciting the public in ways that authorities have found threatening. Recently, however, the erotic and comedic arts have undergone more cryptic attacks via Operation Chokepoint, "cancellation", "no platforming", and inadequate press coverage given to cases of legal intimidation (e.g. the federal case under Miller v California standards brought against director John Stagliano). In this episode, Eric sits down with the business woman who created the enduring character of the unlikely top pornstar Riley Reid. Continuing the theme of the DISC (Distributed Idea Suppression Complex) we discuss issues like Operation Chokepoint and obscenity law as well more subtle issues like the difficulty of finding vendors willing to cross the Rubicon to work with legal erotic businesses. Ashley, in the role of the Riley Reid character, has defied all pornographic convention by embracing body positivity, forgoing plastic surgery and opting for natural body hair at times. Additionally she has made a social statement by doing a popular artistic scene which makes a political and business case for greater transsexual acceptance. Her main tool appears to be a palpable human decency and sweetness coupled to an uncanny ability to assess, manage and survive extreme business risk within a poorly understood industry that has confounded all expectations. While this episode is generally not explicit, it is not for everyone given the content and so listener discretion is advised. Our Sponsors Athletic Greens: Get 20 FREE Athletic Greens Travel Packs, valued at $79, with your first purchase athleticgreens.com/portal Blinkist: try it FREE for 7 days AND save 25% off your new subscription Blinkist.com/portal Quip: Join over THREE MILLION healthy mouths and get your first refill FREE today Quip.com/portal













15: Garrett Lisi - My Arch-nemesis, Myself.
Dec 06 2019 105 mins  
Garrett Lisi, the so called "Surf Bum with a Theory of Everything (or T.O.E.)", is a PhD theoretical physicist who has refused to be captured by the theoretical physics community. By making shrewd investments, he has avoided holding meaningful employment for his entire adult life. Instead, he lives in Maui and travels the world chasing the perfect wave. In this episode Garrett and Eric sit down to discuss the current status of Garrett's ideas for a final theory based on a mysterious object called E8, perhaps the oddest of mathematical symmetries to be found in the universe. Garrett and Eric have held each other in mutual “contempt” for over a decade. By vacationing together and staying in each others' homes, they had hoped to hone and deepen their mutual disgust for each other's ideas. However, as the theoretical physics community moved away from actually trying to unify our incompatible models of the physical world, it became intellectually unmoored, and drifted toward a culture of performative Cargo Cult Physics. The antagonists were thus forced by necessity to develop a begrudging admiration for each other's iconoclasm and unwillingness to give up on the original dream of Einstein to unify and understand our world. The discussion is rough but a fairly accurate depiction of scientific relationships belonging to a type that is generally not shown to the public. This may be uncomfortable for those who have been habituated to NOVA, The Elegant Universe, or other shows produced for mass consumption. We apologize in advance. Skillshare: Get two months free when you sign up at Skillshare.com/PORTAL Wine Access: Get $100 off your first purchase of $250 or more at Wineaccess.com/PORTAL Chili: Save up to $300 on Chili sleep systems visit Chilitechnology.com/PORTAL Blinkist: Try it FREE for 7 days AND save 25% off your new subscription Blinkist.com/PORTAL


































4.3 • 13 Ratings

Leopold Kuttner Aug 27 2020
Eric has a beautiful mind. Come here to hear things you will not hear anywhere else. Maybe sometimes Eric seems to take it just a bit too far, but what comes of it is part of what makes this podcast outstanding! Keep them coming.

chrismoz Aug 22 2020
I love this podcast. Educated talks that aren't constantly dumbed down for the audience. It makes for a smooth flowing, cohesive mind fuck that at times is confusing, but more often than not brings me along for an amazing conversation between mental giants.






Linus Aug 19 2020
A positive addition to the stream of consciousness I live in. Recommend this

Dan Jul 22 2020
I'm really liking the question and answer format!

nevik Jul 07 2020
Eric has an amazing mind. Coming from a working class background it's nice to hear nuanced views on many subjects which I wouldn't normally come across. Great podcast!

Skepticl1 Jul 02 2020
Very enjoyable to hear folks have calm discourse, if a bit in a bubble sometimes

DERohne Jul 01 2020
I listen to this podcast often, the sound is so poor on this episode, I can't listen. Too bad, one of my favorite podcasts.

Snielsss Jun 27 2020
Most of us go through their lives without really questioning the rules we humans created. The irony of course is so many, especially in the rich west, aren't happy with their lives. Eric and his guests enter portals of vastly different worlds, with vastly different outcomes for us humans. Which trough all the messiness, give the most rewarding feeling ideas can produce: hope for a better world. Thank you Eric and your guests for sharing your thoughts. My brain itch is finally adressed.

ModernViking May 20 2020
One of the most interesting podcasts I've ever listened to, every episode is an apple of knowledge from a tree I had never examined before.

Barrio Lemieux May 19 2020
The content is usually well presented. I take away 2 stars for the condescending tone and demeanor of the host. He really thinks alot of himself.






MKS May 06 2020
Great

Daily Stir Apr 13 2020
Eric sometimes has trouble learning. James patiently tries to explain every decision and Eric is just unhappy it isn't done HIS way. You're rich Eric, start your own Veritas and do it your way. Eric has trouble being humble and just thanking warriors for doing what he isn't doing. Every third Portal episode is average like this. But the great episodes are GREAT.

twosmartcookies Apr 12 2020
Eric, you handsome devil. We're gonna need you and your noodle power to stick around please. You have our support financially (because we can), emotionally (because everything suffers), and physically (because we're bad mthrfckrs). Long live Geometric Unity. Long live the Weinsteins. Do not stop your podcast. Peace.