Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Is Your Phone Addiction Ruining Your Life? Watch This | Peter Boghossian | TECH | Rubin Report

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- Let's take a step back, so, the reason that we do that

is so we can have more authentic relationships.

And not be looking at our phone like you said,

when you're at a restaurant, when they open them back up,

I love that idea, everybody stacks their phone

and the first person to look at it pays the bill.

That's fantastic.

- [Dave] You're paying the bill, yeah.

- We need to get back to these face-to-face,

to actually listening to people and hearing them

and being heard.

(rhythmic synth music)

Hi, my name's Peter Boghossian from

the Don't Burn This Book Club, with Dave Rubin,

and this is chapter 10, Move On with Your Life,

and it is a genuine pleasure to do this.

I love the book, I love chapter 10,

and I'm just gonna jump right in, Dave,

and I'm gonna ask you some questions.

So, first, in your opinion, one of the things

that you said in the book that's been tormenting me

since I wrote it was how you put away your devices

and you get off the grid.

Tell me a bit--

- [Dave] Yeah.

- How do you that?

I mean, like, even my phone, I even use as an alarm

to wake me up, I don't have an alarm clock,

I look at the time.

How do you do that?

You also mention don't put your phone in your room

because the bedroom isn't for that.

How do you get started with that?

- Yeah, so, first off, I just wanna say

thank you for doing this, Pete, and you were,

when we looked at the 10 people

that I wanted to hit these 10 chapters,

I knew that you were the guy I wanted to do chapter 10 with

because our friendship and I think the things

that you've tried to put out into the world

for whatever our minor political disagreements might be,

you wanna live in the same place that I wanna live in

and you've stood up to the mob in so many ways.

For those that don't know, you're up in Portland,

that's not an easy place for an anti-social justice warrior

free-thinker to be, so you've been in the thick of it.

So, to answer your question specifically, well, look,

first off, I lay out a couple tips and tricks

you can do to get rid of the phone because right now,

although I wrote this, obviously, before coronavirus,

it's like we were all obsessed with the digital life

and big tech was already in control of so much

of our information before corona and now we're in lockdown,

and it looks like in certain states,

probably our two states, we're gonna be in this thing

for quite some time.

Big tech and Twitter and YouTube and videos and information,

it has more of a hold on us right now than it had two months

ago when it already had too much control of us.

So I do lay out a couple of tips.

I mean, one thing, you might have to get

an alarm clock, Pete.

I know it feels very old-school but yeah,

we all use our phone now as the alarm.

So that means you probably bring it into your bedroom.

- I do.

- But one of the things that I've found, we all do,

but one of the things that I've found is,

if you bring that thing into your bedroom,

it will be the last thing you look at at night

and it will be the first thing that you look at

in the morning.

And for guys like us especially,

it is not good to start your day and open up Twitter

and have an anime pink fox tell you that you're,

yeah, that you're Hitler, in essence.

That's not what you should be seeing before you go to bed.

So I do believe that the bedroom,

we don't have a television in our bedroom, either.

I believe that the bedroom

is basically for sex and sleeping.

You can probably add a couple other little things in there.

You can read, read a book in bed, that's good,

or on your Kindle.

But I think figuring out the little moments

to detach from all of this is just super important.

- Right, and so, let's take a step back.

So the reason that we do that is so we can have

more authentic relationships and not be looking

at our phone like you said, when you're at a restaurant,

when they open them back up, I love that idea, you know,

everybody stacks their phone and the first person

to look at it pays the bill, that's fantastic.

- [Dave] You're paying the bill, yeah.

- Yeah, we need to get back to these face-to-face,

to actually listening to people and hearing them

and being heard.

My problem, though, is, so I'm trying to walk 12,500 steps

a day and I was thinking, well, jeez, I'll leave my phone.

But if I left my phone, I wouldn't listen to your podcasts

or podcasts or music or a book. Do you know what I'm saying?

It's like they're all, the phone is so integrated

into our lives but yet, and you're right,

you mention in the book that it's an addiction.

I think we all have a low-grade, or some people

have a high-grade addiction.

What advice can you give people

to really bracket technology in their lives?

Like, you've gone off the grid for weeks.

We know why you should do it,

to re-inject the humanism in our relationships.

How do you get started with that?

'Cause I'm trying to figure that out.

I don't know how to do it.

- I think the first thing is realize

that we don't have to be endlessly entertained or amused.

So, you're a dog guy, you've got a couple dogs.

One of the things that I do,

Clyde's sitting right here right now,

when I take him out for a walk,

I do not take my phone.

So, yes, that means I am not listening to a podcast.

I have a lot of friends who are podcasters,

there's podcasts that I enjoy,

but I'm not listening to a podcast.

I'm not looking at my phone.

I'm not waiting for emails to roll in.

And we take a walk.

And you know, it's so funny because that sounds

like a unique thing,

my God, you walk your dog with no device.

It sounds like some sort of crazy thing.

That is how we all lived a mere 20 years ago.

Let's not forget.

I got my first cell phone, it was a little Nokia,

one of those little bars,

that all you could do was play snake.

I got that thing in 2000, that's when I got my first phone.

Only 20 years ago.

So, part of the issue related to tech,

and why we all sort of feel crazy all the time,

and sometimes you're on your phone and your wife

or your husband, whatever it is,

is literally talking to you and you hear them talking

but you don't respond, and we're all guilty of this.

You go, "What, can you repeat that?"

And it's like, man, that's what people do

when they're 80 and 90.

And I think it's done all sorts of stuff to re-wire us,

to short-out our attention span, and all of these things.

So I think partly, I think the first step

is just realizing that just because we have this stuff

doesn't mean we should need it all the time.

Now, I say that as someone, I admit this in chapter 10,

I have a terrible sense of direction.

So when I went off the grid in August,

well, I still do have GPS in my car so it's not that

I had no screen whatsoever.

But even on the news front,

I've taken these last three Augusts where I do no news.

And guess what?

You don't miss much.

Now, August is a little down, anyway.

The year before last, I believe,

it was when John McCain died, I didn't hear about that.

Then there was three weeks of hearing about

Michael Cohen testimony against Trump.

It's like you realize that these things,

we feel like they're so important on any given moment,

and then you realize it doesn't really matter.

And that's why I start the chapter with the story

about the Australian woman. - I was just gonna say that.

Yeah, you started the chapter with something

that we've all heard about hospice stay

and what people value toward the end of their lives

and what gives their lives meaning.

I wanna know, so when you do go off the grid,

and you don't talk to people when you have your device,

do you feel that you gain more meaning--

- [Dave] Yes.

- And you feel more closely connected, yeah.

- Yes, I feel more patient, I feel more calm, I know,

you know, I'm pretty friendly, I'm fairly outgoing

in general but I know that when I'm at a store,

I'm friendlier with the cashier.

Normally you can go to a cashier,

you're on Twitter the whole time, you don't even look,

in some ways you don't even realize it's a human.

But when you go there without a phone,

"Oh, hi, how are ya, nice to see you again,

"how's your day going?"

And then people start looking at you.

- Right, and so let me ask you a question.

So, then, for you, in your life, the thing that gives

the most meaning, is that your interactions with people?

Like your relationships with people?

Like relationships with your husband and your friends?

Is that ultimately, to you, what it's about?

- You know, I think ultimately that is what it's about.

I've had a lot of time, just like everybody else,

to think about my life while we're in quarantine here.

And one of the things that I've been thinking about

is I'm very satisfied and I would say blessed and lucky

that I live in the house that I wanna live in.

I don't really want any physical things.

We don't have a ton of stuff but we have the things,

we share one car, it's a nice car,

but I don't want more cars.

There really aren't physical things that I want.

Now, that's not to say I don't wanna be more successful,

I don't wanna continue to enrich my mind

and continue to have an influence

in all of the things that we do.

But my relationship with my partner is pretty great.

I've been working harder, even through writing this,

I think it's made me a better person,

so I've been working harder at some of the interpersonal

family stuff and that kind of thing.

And I think a lot of people are feeling this right now.

In the midst of quarantine, it hit me the other day,

it'll be really nice when I can see my parents again

and hug them, just literally hug them.

We Facetime all the time but just to hug them.

And I know you lost your dad in the last few years

and it's like we all forget that this is just temporary.

And we're so caught up in nonsense that that's why

I started the chapter like that, talking about

this woman taking care of these hospice patients

because nobody said, "I wanted to be at work more."

Nobody said, "I wish I had paid more attention to politics."

Nobody said, "Oh, I should've been fighting

"with my neighbor more."

Every single person said,

"I should've followed my passion more.

"I should've done what I wanted to do.

"I should've followed that love that I let get away."

And all those things.

And it's like, we know this.

This is not rocket science, we know it.

- Right.

So let me ask you a question.

The theme that emerges is let friends be wrong.

And you have friends, people you have significant

political disagreements with and they're still your friends.

And for some people, that idea is just like a toxin.

Like they're just incredulous.

My guess is it would be with folks who are younger.

How do you navigate those differences with your friends

if they have different, 'cause you're a political guy

and you think about this stuff.

How do you navigate those differences with your friends?

People who have substantive, maybe, I guess,

how do you do that and are there beliefs that people have

that would be a deal breaker for you in your relationships?

- Yeah, there's a guy that I know that wrote a book,

I have it right over here.

It's called "How to Have Impossible Conversations."

It's a pretty good read. (laughing)

And you're somebody that's been trying to do this

and you go to public places sometimes

and you welcome people to argue with you

and counterpoint with you and all that.

I actually don't think that our position on this,

to agree to disagree, is really against

what most people believe.

I think the people that don't believe it right now,

or let's say the people who are so angry all the time

and try to de-platform us.

I mean, we've done events together where we had

protestors calling us Nazis and try to shut down

the event and call fire alarms and the whole thing.

I don't think they really believe it.

I think they're scared and I also think

that their set of ideas is so conflicting

and so compounding and I always say this,

in many ways it's anti-human.

You know, this idea of social justice

and this idea of grouping people, it's anti-human.

Because what's human is to be an individual, right?

You're Peter Boghossian, who should be judged

on your ideas and actions and thoughts.

You're not just, oh, middle-aged white guy, must think this.

And I think what happens, why so many of them go crazy,

is because once you take a set of ideas

and apply it to yourself that is actually against you,

it's against you as a person, as an individual,

you start getting more hysterical.

So what I try to do, and it is why I started doing

the off-the-grid thing and why I try not to tweet

on the weekends, which I haven't don't that well

during coronavirus 'cause the weekend is sort of,

the week and the weekend have blended

into one endless thing.

But the reason that I try to do it is we shouldn't always

be doing this thing.

You shouldn't feel, oh,

it's why I only do one or two shows a week, by the way.

People always say to me, "Dave, why don't you do

"five interviews a week?"

Now, I know we could do more and I'd make more money.

And we could do all that kind of stuff.

And it's not for a lack of working,

I bust my ass every second of the day.

It's because I don't wanna keep hitting people

with this stuff.

It's like, if you give me an hour of your week,

if I have one solid interview with whoever it might be,

and you give me an hour of your week,

well, then, I assume you might have given Sam Harris

some time in your week, you might have given Joe Rogan

some time in your week.

The litany of other people and not just politics,

whatever you do.

And I want people to do all those other things.

Care about the world, but care about yourself first.

I think that really is the message.

- And that makes you less attentive to the people

you have if you're cramming in more people, right?

So, it makes those interactions, I would think, less,

you'd be less present for them, is that right?

- Well, absolutely, and the other thing here,

and I think this is probably a very Jordan Peterson notion,

and I know that, since you read the book,

you know chapter nine and the way

that Jordan has affected me.

But a lot of times I'll see, because we all get

so much hate online, and it's just devolved

into something that it wasn't supposed to be.

It was supposed to be social media, make us social,

and we're social creatures and we all thought

it was gonna build something amazing

and not to say it hasn't.

Look at our lives, how they've been enriched,

we know each other because of this thing.

My show, I'm not denying that it's been good.

But I would say social media and the internet,

you know, it's like fire.

Fire can cook and it can warm you up

and it can also burn the house down and kill the family.

So it's sort of like that but one of the things that I see,

which is why I think getting out of this thing is important,

is that all the people that are sort of the endless haters,

all the anonymous accounts and the people

that just wanna destroy all the time

- [Pete] Sock puppets.

- and silence everybody.

It's like, if you guys would just clean your room,

that's what Jordan's message was.

Meaning, I would guarantee you that most of the people

that spend all day long sowing chaos across the internet,

it's because whatever their internal stuff is.

We've all had it, right?

We've all had it, we all have it.

But if you don't solve your internal stuff,

you will send the world into chaos.

And that's why I think his message really resonated

with so many people.

Because it was like, set some order in your life

and then you might set some order in the world.

And I think partly not being obsessed

with the online adventure and understanding

that we're organic creatures in a real world,

I think that's part of how you do it.

- Let me ask you two questions, two finishing questions,

about the process of writing the book.

What did you learn from the process of writing this book?

'Cause I know people are out there listening, like,

"Jeez, I'd like to write a book."

What have you learned from this?

- I love that you're asking me that.

Well, first off, if you're thinking about writing a book,

just start doing it.

I know it sounds simple.

It's like, what kind of advice is that?

It's like, "I wanna write a book." "Yeah, start doing it."

"Okay, no shit."

But it's like, really, just like, sit down

and sit at that computer and pump out a couple things

that you think are important and then see if you can just

make them into even essays, whatever they are.

Everyone has a different process.

You were one of the people that I called

every now and again to kinda work through

an issue as they were coming.

What I realized for me is my process,

I would get up in the morning, Emma, our previous dog,

was still alive, but she was in her last days,

I would get her out to pee, she'd come into the room

with me and she'd lay there and I'd have my coffee

and then I would go.

And it would be at about 7:00 a.m. usually

and I could go sometimes 'til 2:00 p.m. without stopping.

Sometimes forgetting to eat.

I've been telling people,

David would literally open up the door,

slide a sandwich in on a plate as if I was in

maximum security prison,

and sometimes I wouldn't even eat that.

I could go and go and go and then when I hit the wall,

I was done, I would not start again at five o'clock.

But everyone's process is different.

Some writers, I'm sure yours is different.

- Do it is your main piece of advice,

just sit down and do it. - Right.

- Allocate certain time.

- Whatever your way is, right.

I'm not here to tell you, oh, you have to do it,

yeah, precisely, I'm not here to tell you

you have to do it my way.

I'm sure your way, Pete, of writing is different than mine.

Maybe you picked it up a couple times during the day.

Maybe you'd have a week where you wrote hard core

and then you take a week off, whatever that might be.

You have to do what works in your brain,

what works in your rhythm with the world.

But what I really did love about it that I didn't know

is the discipline of doing it,

it forced me to think through my issues better,

to really understand why I thought the things

and I gotta tell ya, man, when the box arrived

and you see this thing, you see this physical thing,

and you're like--

- [Pete] I know, it's pretty amazing.

- I did that?

And then as you know, Clyde literally ate the box

of the first copy and the first copy of my book

is eaten by the dog.

(laughing) So here we are.

- [Pete] That's not a referendum on the book, though.

- Eh, you know.

- So, is there anything that you became,

that you changed your mind about when you wrote the book?

Or is there anything that you, and I'm asking these

questions 'cause we're doing chapter 10

and it's the conclusion of the book.

Is there anything that you became more convinced of

through the process of thinking about it

and writing the book?

- Gosh, you know, the chapter...

Let me see.

You know, truly, the key to this was really making sure

that what I say and what I've been preaching on the show

and on Twitter and everywhere else is really what I believe.

That really was the key to the whole thing.

And I did find myself challenging some of my thoughts.

So the hardest one for me to write, in many ways,

was the abortion chapter, or the section on abortion,

because I think you're probably feeling

a certain version of this too,

as the Left has gone so off the deep end

on the pro-choice side, meaning eight-month abortions,

let's talk about post-birth abortions.

I mean, just sort of all sorts of stuff.

And you're pro-choice, right?

- Yes.

- Yeah, so, but as let's say our team

or our old team, whatever you wanna call that,

as they've lost any sense of what would be moderate,

and by the way, when I interviewed

several of the candidates, the more moderate candidates,

Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang,

when I asked them about abortion,

they really wouldn't say, well, Yang, particularly,

wouldn't give me a cut-off point.

Tulsi sort of said the first trimester thing,

which I think is fair and that's the position

I lay out in the book and by the way,

I make a point of saying I do believe it's a life

but we have to have some parameters

to have all sorts of people with all sorts of thoughts

in the country to have some sort of cohesive society.

So I really had to challenge myself through that one

and as you know, we're in the process of surrogacy now

so we're looking at egg donors and we were getting

our surrogate and all that so I was intimately involved,

I'm literally going to the clinic to donate sperm

and they're talking to us about how they're gonna

take that and put it with the egg and then put it

in the surrogate and all these things.

I was literally going through that as I was writing it.

And I would liken that to when people ask me

about my libertarian economic beliefs,

and small government and low taxes and things like that,

it's like, those ideas, they were first ideas for me.

But then, as you know, I've built a really nice

small business here and I've been able

to treat my employees well.

And I love that and my guys work hard for me

and we try to take care of them and I know that if,

I live in one of the highest taxed, most regulated states

in the country if not the highest on both fronts,

and I know that if the government would actually

cut my taxes, I could pay my guys more or hire more people.

So I think, really, the rubber met the road, I think,

as I wrote this.

I started going, whoa, these issues that I talk about,

they're not just things I talk about.

(dog barking)

Now Clyde's freaking out.

They're not just things that I talk about.

(Pete laughing)

They're actually ideas that I put into place in my own life

and I'm very proud of that.

- Well, good, good.

Well, speaking of dogs, we adopted a dog, too,

she's right here and barking

so excuse me if you can hear her.

So, what is the thing,

we're coming up to the end of our 20 minutes,

I think we're a little-- (dog yowling)

- Yeah. - There she is.

- Yeah, she's in on it, too, boy.

- Here, hold on a second.

Come here. (Dave laughing)

- Mostly, people just want, yeah, what a beauty,

what a beauty.

And you got her because of the lockdown,

I love that, I love that.

- Yeah, we got her for my daughter.

The day that we got her, just parenthetically,

the day that we got her, literally the day, Dave,

she became sick and had to go to the ICU

and it cost us $1,000 a day for seven days.

But she's great, she's been a joy

and she's part of the family.

(clearing throat) Excuse me, she's wonderful.

Okay, so, chapter 10, I love the advice about the devices.

I love the advice about thinking back about regrets

and what is the most meaningful things in our lives.

And I'm gonna try to do that.

I think I will get an alarm clock.

I was gonna ask you about that.

And I think I will be,

'cause I notice that when I have my devices,

I'm less present even at the dog park

or walking the dog or-- - Yeah.

- I do think it takes something meaningful

out of those relationships and it makes you less mindful

in the moment as well so I think that there are some things

that we can all benefit from.

And I also liked the, I want to reiterate if people

are thinking about writing a book,

I think your advice is fantastic, you just have to do it.

Perfection is the enemy of done,

don't get caught up in this stuff, just sit down.

And I'll add to what you said, by telling people

in your life I'm committed to this, I'm gonna write a book.

So, you had the support of your husband

who slid food to you and so I think if you tell people

in your life, like, "I wanna write a book,

"this means something to me."

And then I like the idea that when you said

that you thought about and reflected on

abortion or things in your life that, when you write often,

it can help clarify or crystalize things.

What do you wanna leave people with after they read,

again, I'm (coughing) excuse me, asking this question

'cause it's chapter 10.

People read this, what do you wanna leave them with?

- Truly, what I wanna leave them with,

and I try to say this at the end,

and it was exactly why I had the length

that I had and everything else,

is that I wanted people to be able to read this thing

in a couple days.

I wanted them to start thinking about

the issues that I talk about.

I wanted to give them some tricks

and tips to stand up to the mob.

I wanted them to be brave enough to fight

for what they believe in.

You don't have to agree with me.

I know a lot of conservatives

are not gonna agree with me on abortion.


We know that.

And that's okay, by the way.

And by the way, I'm getting a ton of email right now

from conservatives who are saying,

"Dave, I love the book, love everything in it,

"but you're wrong on abortion and

we'll get you one day."

But they do it kindly and nicely

and that's a beautiful thing.

But what I want more than anything else

is for someone that reads this book,

if it hits you in any way,

I know that means that there's someone in your life

that you should hand this thing to.

And if you hand it to them with some grace,

and not club them over the head with it, but just say,

"Ah, you know, this was sort of interesting,

"the guy kind of agrees with you

"on this, this, this, and this.

"But you might not agree with this."

They might read it and then maybe, maybe,

we can start fixing this thing.

And I think we're already doing it

but our work is cut out for us.

- Yeah, you know, when I opened the book,

thank you, your remarks were totally lovely.

(coughing) Excuse me.

When I opened the book and I saw

that it was devoted to Ben Affleck, I just lost it.

(Dave laughing)

I couldn't stop laughing.

And I wanna bookmark that with the last thing

that you wrote, the last line, because I think it's so true.

The book started humorously, it made me laugh,

and it just made me think through the whole way

and it's just so clear.

The last thing you write, the last sentence is,

"Thinking for yourself is all you need

"in an age of unreason."

I mean, that is so true and so profound at the same time.

But yet it's so difficult for all of us, right?

To think for ourselves.

Right, to be honest with ourselves,

to be sincere with other people,

to be forthright in our speech, to say what we mean.

And like what you say, to make sure that what you say

on the show and the book and you live what you do,

it's that idea that you judge a person,

or we ought to be judged, at least,

by what we say against what we do.

And I think that there's something,

there's a timeless message in that,

of thinking every age that we have has some,

we all are myopic, right?

We all think that some value, the values that we have now

are universal, timeless values.

But the key is, you said it in the book,

it's the theme throughout the whole book.

It's thinking for yourself and what that means

and how to be honest with yourself, right?

- That's it, my friend.

That was why, as every other author

in the history of the world,

I wrote the final sentence about 80 times

It was like the same idea, 80 times over.

And I was like, this is it, no, this is it.

Could this be funnier?

No, it's a little too serious.

Emphasis on this word.

But that was the takeaway, the takeaway was you don't

have to buy everything that I'm selling,

figure it out for yourself.

And that's it.

- Figure it out for yourself and if someone comes

to a different conclusion, that's okay, too.

That's the beginning of the conversation.

- That's it, my friend.

- I love it, I can't stress it enough, truly fantastic

and it's an honor to be with you and talk through it.

Dave, thank you so much and thank you for your friendship

and what you do, thank you.

- Right back at you, brother, I'll see you soon,

hopefully in real life.

Eventually in real life, right?

- Eventually. - Maybe one day, perhaps.

- I'm looking forward to it, thanks, Dave.

You're a good man. - All right, be good.

If you're looking for more honest and thoughtful

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check out our tech playlist.

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