As the sons of two Citibankers, we grew up all over the world. Moving between countries like Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Lebanon, Greece, Brazil and India before settling down in the US made it very clear to both of us that different cultures believe totally different things and yet each of them thinks they see the world as it truly is. While each culture we encountered found their own worldview satisfying, moving between different cultures us dissatisfied with all of them and so, for our whole lives, they’ve been on a search for a worldview that was grounded in our shared humanity but that made sense of our cultural differences. Although it took us a long while to get it, we now realize that the view of life we’ve been looking for is the one featured on This View of Life.
When Hunter moved out to Los Angeles in 2004 to act, his mom begged him to contact the only person she knew in Los Angeles: Bryan Callen. Bryan had made a similar move some number of years earlier. You probably think that number is quite low. As in, maybe Bryan is only a year older than Hunter. But actually it’s higher than that because Bryan lives on a diet of raw seal placenta face creams which he ingests to let his beauty shine from the inside out. It’s not so high though that he could be considered old. It’s some number that leaves you impressed by how good he looks but makes you still feel like he’s in his prime. Pick that number in your mind. That’s how old Bryan is.
And yet, in spite of being not that old but in incredibly good shape for his age, Bryan is very wise. And that’s because both Bryan and Hunter learned from their dads the importance of constant and diverse reading. This is not a common cultural practice in LA and so they clung to each other like two castaways on an intellectual desert island. At the time, Bryan was hosting a podcast that interviewed such luminaries as porn stars, stand up comedians and MMA fighters and Hunter casually suggested that given the size of Bryan’s audience he could easily get some of their intellectual heroes on. And so, they did. And a lot of the people who liked the show when it was interviewing porn stars and MMA fighters stopped listening but Bryan and Hunter didn’t care. They wanted to talk to smart people and so they found a new audience. Over two hundred episodes, they interviewed every big thinker they could find from Jared Diamond, to Daron Acemoglu, to Larry Lessig, but it was in the work of evolutionary biologists that they found an organizing principle that could take all these different insights and turn them into a view of life as a whole. As they came to understand the power of this way of thinking, they began to feel that it was their responsibility to share it with the broadest possible audience and so they tapped back into the roots of the podcast. How could they take all these brilliant thoughts and put them in a form that people who liked the show back when it was all about porn, comedy and MMA? And that’s when they decided to bring it all together in a new way of thinking they called Mixed Mental Arts.
For 150 years, scientists have tried to sell the public on evolution with limited success. The truth is that where fish came from doesn’t have much obvious practical relevance in people’s day to day lives and a process that happened over billions of years at the genetic level isn’t one most of us can easily confirm for ourselves. However, cultural evolution, group selection and evolutionary psychology provide answers to every human being’s favorite riddle: why do people do the things they do? Globalization and technology mean that even if you live in one town for your whole life you are constantly exposed to other cultures. Welcome to Bryan and Hunter’s childhood–humanity. As more and more people become dissatisfied with the view of life promoted by their own culture, they will naturally gravitate towards the view of life that transcends all cultures. That is cultural evolution in action. Adopting This View of Life is your chance to get ahead of the curve and you can complement that training by studying Mixed Mental Arts with Bryan and Hunter on their podcast, The Bryan Callen Show. It’s like this website but only much less classy.
For More on Bryan and Hunter’s Work:
The Bryan Callen Show: http://bryancallen.com/podcast-2/
Bryan’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/bryancallen
Hunter’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/huntermaats
Hunter’s Book: The Straight-A Conspiracy: Your Secret Guide to Ending the Stress of School…and Totally Ruling the World
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