Sam Harris on Joe Rogan Podcast 192


Joe Rogan: But how can you test something when it’s a unique event that very rarely takes place and completely uncontrollable and something that’s just almost like a natural phenomenon that rarely occurs.


I mean how do you put something in a testing environment. Environment of a laboratory


Sam Harris: oh no


Joe Rogan: and see if it really does make sense that you think about some other things.


Sam Harris: It might be Sheldrake who’s doing this. There’s a test of the phone call phenomenon where you get.. people can subscribe to get their..


They get a call at, they enlist like their 5 closest people in their lives and to call them at random intervals you know, I guess they disable their caller id or whatever and you can just set this up.


Joe Rogan: It’s still not true moment. Coz they’re acting on an experiment.


Sam Harris: But then it’s probably


Joe Rogan:  How do you know that someone calling you might not just be calling you ‘coz they tapped into this idea of loving you and this idea of missing you and that is the tune that breaks all the way into you and causes you to look at your phone when they tune in.


That’s not replicatable. Replicatable, is that a word?


Sam Harris: Yes. Replicable.


Brian Redban: Replicable. Replicable.


Joe Rogan: It’s not.. you know what I’m saying? It’s not the idea of unique events isn’t disproven by experimenting with it. Look, I’ve.. I don’t know that it’s true that sometimes you know when someone is calling you. But I have had the experience myself. But I haven’t had in years!


Sam Harris: Right


Joe Rogan: It’s been years and years since I knew who’s gonna call me and I looked at it. But I do remember that it happening having happened in my life several times.

What if it’s something like you know fucking summer solstice, the planets are aligned, your own biology, you have a certain amount of water in your system, and (snap) boom! The thought gets through. Is that possible?


Sam Harris: Well, sure, it’s possible. But the question is, even if it’s true, given this description doesn’t really seem to matter because and they’re all.. so.. so, coz it’s not


Joe Rogan: It’s fascinating


Sam Harris: No but it doesn’t. It’s like it’s not.. it’s not a matter of just. It’s not a sign of how connected you are with the person.


Because sometimes you know uh, it’s somebody you don’t even like, right? It’s not a measure of how crucial it is that they reach you at that moment.


Because sometimes it’s completely trivial and then other times when someone really had to get hold of you because your dad was sick, they couldn’t find you. You are just, you know, blissfully ignorant of the fact


Joe Rogan: Right


Sam Harris: the closest person in your life is having a medical emergency, right.


Joe Rogan: No one’s saying it works all the time. And that it works on a blue moon and that it can’t.


Sam Harris: But then, it’s not working


Joe Rogan: Well, it’s not that it’s not working, it just doesn’t work all the time. It’s a rare event. Is it, are they, is it possible that there are rare events like that?


Sam Harris: Well no


Joe Rogan: Or do you think they’re much more likely scientifically to be..


Sam Harris: Well given this.. given what we’re talking about now. This is all much more likely to be coincidence. It’s just.. you don’t have that many people in your life you  think about.


You think about them. You don’t have that many people in your life who call you. I mean we’re just actually run the numbers on this. One problem is we have very bad intuitions of probabilities. So have you heard of the birthday party problem?


Joe Rogan: No


Sam Harris: So, if I got a room.. if I put you in a room with just random strangers, alright. How many do I have to have in the room for you to be confident that 2 people in the room have the same birthday?

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