Beyond Binary: When choosing sides isn't an option

I need you to pick a side - quick! - are you a flat earther or are you a terrorist?

Too often today we are asked to “choose a flag” or “pick a side” as if we lived in a simplistic binary world and we were obligated to instantly identify and align with one side or the other.

Are you pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine? Are you pro-Ukraine or a Putin lover? Are you with Isreal or Hamas?

Bret Weinstein and I delve into the intricacies of recent global events that have left so many unnerved and sometimes intellectually or morally homeless. It turns out the binary choice is a false dichotomy. There are nuances and subtleties that matter, and more often than not there’s a third option that makes more sense.

For example, it’s possible to believe in some vaccines, but maybe not all of them, and especially not all of them crammed into a young body too quickly. And it should always be okay to ask questions about anything ever, always, if there are any obvious deficits in knowledge that can and should be cleared up.

As always, this is a deep and wide-ranging conversation which is the hallmark of a Bret/Chris session.

So grab a cup of coffee, find a task that needs doing, turn up the interview to a comfortable volume, and then join the conversation in the comments below.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Robert Kiyosaki Says…

There are 3 sides to a coin. Heads, tails, and The Edge.


The Age Old Question: The Origin Of Morality?

  1. Some absolute entity above humanity determine morality.
  2. Human cultures decide for themselves.
If you choose #1; your task than becomes a theological one. Which god is the true God? If you choose #2; than "right" essentially boils down to "might". (The guy with the most power is always "right"; and this is predicated upon the idea that all cultures are "equal" and no human opinion is "more right" than another. The major problem with #2 is that if this is indeed true; than you have no power to appeal to when you are on the receiving side of oppression. (This is the inherent fault in atheistic "evolutionary" theory. Life obviously does adapt to environment; but adaptation is not the same thing as Darwinian evolutionary theory.) So, whether humanity survives WWIII; or stopes it before we destroy ourselves; essentially boils down to this theological question. Personally, I don't see the answer as being a humanistic one. Machiavelli was correct in this assessment. Those who ascent to (particularly) global political power essentially become thoroughly corrupt. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely". Or in other words, no politician is going to save us. And of the inherent greed in humanity that causes war in the first place? What makes the "evolutionary biologist" believe that's ever going to end? So what are we then left with? Other than: It's up to God to intervene; because otherwise, all life on earth is toast!

Beyond Binary

What a fascinating discussion. I never realized that cobblestones had real advantages, or that baby health depends upon the smile returned, particularly by the mother.
Many women have jobs where they can bring a baby with them and interrupt the work while they nurse.
A large meta study of breast cancer reported in the Lancet a few years ago showed that the risk was inversely related to duration of lactation. Nursing is better for the baby and the mother.
Many women who don’t have children could still nurse babies for both their health and societal health.
Finally, as someone who had braces as a teen, the explanation of misaligned teeth developing from insufficient chewing, is very new to me and satisfying.
Nuance trumps binary.

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But who minted the coin in the first place?

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Isn’t that a binary question? I have a third explanation for morality – it is just one part of the blossoming of complexity and beauty that the planet (universe) has been on for a few billion years.
I’ve always viewed the moral codes about how we should behave to be the codification of how an animal with instincts to maximize its own personal resources and contributions to the future gene pool, how that animal reconciles those selfish drives with the requirement to live harmoniously in a peaceful society in which being altruistic is important, as well as the fact that someone exhibiting those selfish drives wouldn’t be tolerated for very long and the society at large would quickly put a stop to it, and worse (we typically call these people psychopaths or sociopaths, and from my understanding they actually have something physically wrong with their brains). Basically, as we quickly moved from small tribes up to cities and countries, clearly that’s going to create some conflicting drives in an individual since there is no way that our genetic programming for behaviour can change that quickly. It is interesting that the 10 Commandments and other similar religious guides on behaviour came out right around the time that small tribes were merging into much larger societies and started to increasingly face these tough moral questions…
Most people are able to reconcile these competing drives fairly easily in a society that is compassionate, has enough resources to keep everyone satisfied, and fairly rewards individual effort. It’s the sociopaths that can’t, and we all lament how it’s them who migrate into positions of power.
For example, if a polar bear had a 10 Commandments, they wouldn’t be the same as ours. Polar bears basically have no society and they can fall back on their quest to maximize personal resources and contribution of genes to the future without any qualms, since a polar bear has no need to do otherwise; to the contrary. But what if those polar bears started to live together in societies of thousands? What about the Kodiak bears in Alaska who come together to fish for salmon? Clearly there is some kind of a social structure in place which allows that plentiful resource to be more or less equitably shared by all the bears; it is in no one’s interest for one bear to go crazy and try to kill all other bears for being in its territory. They have to have some unwritten code for how they are to live together harmoniously for those few weeks of plenty. Do they have an unwritten 5 Commandments of Catching Salmon?
I agree that this is a very mechanical, materialistic and Darwinian interpretation of our behaviour, but it is undeniable that it explains very well these conflicting drives within our societies and ourselves, and puts them into perspective. But while I do believe that the classical interpretation of evolution undeniably describes the progress of life on earth quite well (including our behaviours), what I do disagree with is the HOW of evolution, both at the genetic level and behavioural. It is simply not remotely possible that a population of a few thousand rhinos could reproduce quickly enough to allow random mutations to express themselves upon which natural selection could act and change the species. I won’t discuss any of the genetics of this, other than to say that it is beyond ridiculous. There is something else driving complexity.
Many people have framed it as being one of two options: the world being either material reductionist (the atheists, in which case anything goes as long as it maximizes some measure of happiness or similar). This asserts that if you can understand the parts of the whole then you can understand the whole. Some determinists expand beyond this to admit that when these parts come together, sometimes the system is unpredictable because “emergent properties” occur, almost like it’s just because we can’t measure the starting conditions accurately enough to predict it; but ultimately everything is still deterministic even if we can’t measure it well. This is how they explain unpredictable biology.
The alternative to this of course is the explanation that some external force is driving the material world (the theistic religions). Forgive me if I am misrepresenting religious explanations, but I understand that the world was made by an immaterial Creator who shaped the material universe in His image. Our material bodies still retain some of this immaterial essence – in other words, our souls. This separates us from rocks or grass which do not have souls – they are mere materialistic objects. It is a dualistic explanation asserting that reality exists, and it is created by and described by immaterial laws of the universe from a higher creator. Since objective reality exists, it must exist within something bigger.
It is interesting that atheism basically emerged out of the church. Early evolutionists who were using the scientific method to discover and understand these laws of the universe created by God, some of them separated from the church and cast aside the idea of God and the soul, but kept the materialistic part, asserting that everything can be explained by a set of physical laws which form the basis of a deterministic universe. But it was still dualism – you have the material real world we can see and touch, in addition to a set of immaterial laws of the universe that we couldn’t see but whose effects we can see as they influence and govern the behaviour of material things. This world view made sense centuries ago since our ability to observe the universe was still pretty crude. Recently it has been creaking and groaning the more we learn about physics and biology.
The reason some things in the world are totally mechanically predictable (like an engine) is because their individual components are large enough to not be influenced by quantum effects. While the individual atoms in a metal part in your engine may be operating at the scale of quantum effects and not subject to deterministic behaviour, this collapses into something predictable when they are observed and created into larger objects by us because they number in the gazillions (Avogadro’s number) and therefore, statistically, are 100% guaranteed to collectively behave in a certain way. This is why the laws of thermodynamics are totally unbreakable, because statistically, when an object is created with many quadrillions of atoms, statistics takes over. But an individual atom can break the laws of thermodynamics no problem, when we observe it. This was alluded to in a recent podcast when it was mentioned that individual transistors in computer chips are now so small that they are no longer subject to deterministic laws and therefore cannot be relied upon to be repeatable.
Contrast this with biology, in which our minds work in an incredibly complex matrix of neuronal connections, where the brain’s complexity goes all the way down to the sub-cellular scale. It is entirely conceivable that a single synapse behaving non-deterministically can create a thought which causes someone to behave a certain way, in which case the bizarre microscopic realm of quantum physics gets translated into a macroscopic action on the scale of our bodies. A bolt on your car cannot do this because it is not this complex at the microscopic scale.
But even the above explanation is still materialistic – it is simply allowing for some “random” and weird phenomena happening at the tiny scale to influence a material reductionist explanation for reality. Is it really that we are basically materialistic objects mostly predictable, but which are subject to some quirky unpredictable behaviour due to our brains being so complex at the sub-cellular level? Or maybe it’s the other way around…
I take an entirely different interpretation, I flip it around. Consciousness isn’t just an emergent quality of other physical stuff. Consciousness IS the creative force. In other words, I disagree with the supposedly most basic truism of all - “I think, therefore I am”. Firstly, I do not separate myself from the universe. “I” do not exist in anything except my thoughts, since it is impossible to clearly draw a line separating my body from the rest of the environment around me as it is constantly in flux with its surroundings by the trillions every second. The only way that “I” could exist independently is if there was some immaterial part of me (a soul) separate from the material world. Secondly, there is no “other” thing to exist in, since that implies a greater framework outside of the world, which brings us back to dualism.
This so called “chaos” at the microscopic scale IS the consciousness that has created the so called material world. WE created the world because we are the world. There is no fundamental difference between the emergence of genetic complexity (“evolution”) versus any behavioural complexity or morality, since it is all part of “complexity”. They are just the same thing expressed differently. Our morality is an integral part of human society which itself is an expression of beauty in the universe. We are changing, we are driving it, and our “morals” will change over time along with the genetic drivers of our behaviour as the beauty of the universe continues to advance. It will happen faster than anyone thinks random evolution will drive it, but unfortunately it won’t progress nearly quickly enough to save ourselves from the inevitable collapse on its way caused by the behaviours of a few psychopaths in power whose brains are broken.


If it’s Krugman’s trillion dollar coin we’re most definitely on the edge.


I Just Can’t Chris…

….way too soon for me. Bret on The Twit trashing an independent Jewish journalist whom he dismisses as a partisan hack (he’s not) whom asked to talk with Bret. Just a young man searching for truth/meaning in his work and frankly far more informed. That I see him here…must be nice when one literally lives on an island.
I’ve previously commented re Bret’s smear of Roger Waters;
Recent convo with Roger & Glenn Greenwald from Brazil world tour stop. Talks about Germany stop etc. TEAM HUMANITY


”Wartime lies and propaganda” The Kim Iversen Show
I never heard Scott Ritter’s full back story until now. I did know how Biden showed whom he was when Ritter testified before Congress, as a UN weapons inspector. Fascinating convo with more inside details

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They’re Tapping Into What Is Sacred

I believe in God, and yet I can see beyond the narratives and conflation. This latest major enemy action is tapping into one of the last emotional and spiritual reservoirs that people have, and it feels so very immensely like something that is intended to divert our attention away from the significant changes being made to our world - primarily the implementation of digital ID and CBDCs.


Genocide Is Coming

I’m very glad you guys explored this subject. This needs openly talked about if we are to have any chance in mitigating the outcomes.
The world is facing a major available resource contraction, for which human populations will contract in response to our configuration to those resources. Those in power have very powerful weapons of war, and they rarely go down without exercising them first. Thus, the most likely outcome will be one or more genocides in our near future.
The question we need to keep asking, is which factions will try to clamber to the top, and which which side do I fall on? This is a very scary wheel to be on.
Will it be the woke mob coupled with liberal democrats that turn our own military on us to enslave the wrong ideology of the Maga republicans and freedom loving country foke?
Will it be a full blown war between various religions?
Will it be the deep state Russian heaters that seek to purge the non believers?
Will it be Putin and those evil Russians that defeat democracy across the globe?
Will it be a tipping point with the US boarder and actual race wars break out?
Will it be the WEF that programs our leaders to digitally enslave the masses?
Will it white supremacists?
Will it be anti antisemitists?
Will it be all of these at the same time?
Always there is some narrative that those people over there are the problem and they must be removed. Their actions much be justified.
Oh, why can’t we simply live rationally and sustainably?
Here’s a great Youtube channel. I encourage everyone to watch a number of these “Days in History”. What is certain, repeated over and over again throughout history, is that a few humans do really awful things to each other, and many others follow along with it.
Thus, what does our future hold? Will I be able to remain neutral, or have to pick a side? Will I end up on the wrong side? Will I have to turn a blind eye, or even participate in a full blown genocide simply to save my own skin?
For myself, I question things. I will always ask the questions for which others may not want answered, which doesn’t bode well for my prospects.


Agree, Toni. Weinstein’s slander of Roger Waters was disgraceful.
Like Jim Kunstler, Weinstein can be good on many topics but reverts to a tribal atavism on matters related to Israel/Palestine.
Don’t have much time for either of them as a result.


From Robert Malone


I feel very sorrowful when I hear intelligent, perceptive and decent Jewish people revert to primitive tribalism around this topic. Is is just so hard to have a world-centric viewpoint when the topic of Israel/Palestine comes up?


I did not know that you were such a deep thinker. :slight_smile: Nice to hear your ideas laid out here.

I suspect this is the reason the Oligarchy selected this time and place to start the Next War.
Hamas Leadership: lives in Qatar, worth billions, living in Luxury, utterly immune to consequence.
Netanyahu: force-vaxxed his population, in huge legal trouble. A distraction might be welcome.
Ukraine: War is over. No longer interesting.
Maybe things aren’t exactly what they seem. The little people on both sides are just the victims, to be “bred and slaughtered” (c.f. Dr Strangelove) by the Oligarchy in order to keep us distracted and to achieve their aim of global domination and slavery.
Will we fall for it?
Divide and Conquer is the oldest trick in the book. Gaius Julius used it in France, way back when, and it worked like a charm.
The innocents dying on both sides is a tragedy. Mostly the guilty leadership is immune to consequence. On both sides. Maybe they’ll meet at the next WEF conference, flown there in their own private jets.



Discussions never occur between people who agree. All they do is share agreement.
I am still not sure what evolution is being addressed. Nature is a constant fight over resources needed for survival. Humanity is not “sentient” as we humans claim. We are just a more successful part of nature. So, from whence comes this “success”? We humans are able to not just fight for resources, we are able to destroy our opponent. This is extremely rare in nature. The term “war” is nothing more or less than using the means to destroy those who would use resources we need.  That evolution resulted in a world population of a few thousands. But humanity, like birds, and other animals, evolved.
Civilization is a step on the evolutionary path of successes. Civilization implies civil behavior necessary for people to live in relative harmony despite their human proclivities to violence and taking. Civilization offers huge advantages over non civilized behavior. But it also creates clear Achilles Heel situations. For example, it is absolutely dependent upon lines of supply and internal policing.
Therefore, saying it is about “power and resources” misses the evolutionary aspect.  Power is not even in the evolutionary equation. Power is a nebulous term, the definition of which is never fixed.  Where is “power” when two individual humans compete over sustenance for only one.  It is like the term “money”. It is a nebulous human construct.
I strongly disagree with placing humanity on a pedestal above nature. I am not even sure what is meant by humans being “successful”. Successful at what? Procreation? Stripping the world of resources that we need right now? Converting everything we touch into a tool for our exclusive use? On the contrary, we are take-over experts driven by exactly the same fight instinct found throughout nature. We are nothing more than being that has monopolized this world. When we reach the limit of our environment, we revert to taking.
War is a human creation to describe the means to accomplish whatever we view as success.


Your explanation is similar to mine, but much more evolved and clearly expressed. Thank you. I had to think in a similar way when too many precognitive dreams and synchronicities accumulated in my life experience with odds of happening randomly in the millions or even trillions to one.
Another experience which needs a home that your theory a least begins to provide relates to question of what is that field I’m connecting too when I quiet my mind for a few seconds or (on my better days) a minute or two (sometimes multiple minutes or two separated by brief intrusions of ego). It feels like consciousness, a universal field of consciousness a bit of which seems to be my own self awareness, but in this state, the boundaries between me and the universal blur.
Do you have a way of incorporating such experiences into your explanation?
I’m also wondering about how to incorporate the dipoles of light and shadow (or darkness) or good and evil into this. In my mind, there is some greater consciousness that knows one isn’t possible without the other. To a greater or lesser degree, this consciousness cares greatly about individual beings, but much more so about the wholex interconnected network of creation, specifically, about the beauty resilience and unfathomable complexity and unpredictability of it all. If that weren’t true, why would the Sugar Maple in my front yard scatter tens of thousands o seeds each year, many of which sprout and only a few over it’s entire lifetime which grow to produce their own seed? This seems to be one of those times when something of this nature might be true for humans.
Finally, regarding souls. I don’t see how humans can be the only creatures with them. While there might be a question of degree of “soulness” to work out, probably based on the complexity of the organism, my subjective experience tells me all living beings and perhaps even nonliving ones have souls.
And finally, this brings us to the proposal that there is more to this soul than just this life in this body. What exactly, I’m not sure, but based on the evidence I’ve seen and perhaps a bit on my own experience, reincarnation seems like a strong candidate. Once death isn’t the end, then the issue of suffering, good and evil, light and dark, take on an entirely new meaning. They are no longer dreadful outcomes to avoid at all costs, but just another experience in this more-than-a-lifetime journey.
And finally for real this time, this allows another route for morality to appear as a tool to allow larger groups of humans or other creatures to get along with each other and build more complexity in our case, complex human societies. Until perhaps 7 to 10 thousand years ago, the balance between morality (which served in stabilizing human societies that ranged in scale from hundreds to a few thousand when resources were abundant, and selfishness which served to meet needs when resources were scarce, worked fairly well. Today it doesn’t work so well as there is no way to suppress the sociopaths during good times so they rise to the top rather than being outcast. As times get challenging, the sociopaths risk destroying it all as we now have powerful technologies that make that destruction a real risk. One could look at our current situation as a test: Can we develop a system (moral and/or otherwise) in which the sociopaths are suppressed enough that they don’t ruin it for everyone?

It’s contradictory to assume that a material universe created itself out of nothing. That’s illogical. If you at one point didn’t exist; how do you have a conscience to create self?
Unless you believe the material cosmos is self existent; thus its own god. And if that is your proposition of cosmic origin; than how did this divided cosmic existence come to being if “good” and “evil” are equal forces? (They’d cancel each other out.) Thus nothing would be able to exist period.
So assuming the logic that because this conversation is happening; negates the nihilists (obviously we do actually exist) There must exist some Entity that is beyond what the cancelation paradigm would present. (Thus we are back to the idea of Deity.)
And ultimately unless a Deity exists Who’s purposefully created us to some accountability; none of the rest of this matters.
“Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we ALL die!”

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I know that the term “emotional resilience” is tossed about here on PP.
I think we are looking at here is processing our grief at the terrible loss of life and the suffering of the survivors.
The die-off phase guaranteed to be full of pain and grief.