Joe Rogan Experience #1201 – William von Hippel

William von Hippel is a professor of psychology at the University of Queensland. His new book “The Social Leap” is available now via Amazon.


  1. There's this lovely passage in Njal's Saga (or maybe it's called "Saga of Burnt Njal" in English). So, there's this young fellow in Iceland, he wants to marry this girl a couple of farms over that hill. But he's not much of a man, yet, so he makes a deal with her father: She'll be "bound" to him for three years, while he goes out in the big world and makes a name for himself. So, off he goes, and sails to Norway with the intention to pledge his allegiance to the king. But oh! He meets his mother first, and she's some cock-hungry witch.

    "Stay with me and I'll make sure you'll earn a great reputation at court," she says. And so he does, he serves and services her and earns all the fame and honour a guy could earn at court.

    Now, three years pass and he figures he ought to go back home, meet with his prospective father-in-law, settle down, and seal the deal. So he prepares to leave. But the king's mother, she's not happy about this at all, and as he's leaving she puts a curse on him:

    "You'll never satisfy another woman."

    So, our boy goes back, meets with his father-in-law-to-be, they shake on it, settle on a proper dower, and he gets married. Some time thereafter, the young woman goes to her father and tells him the marriage isn't going quite so well.

    "Oh, dear daughter? What is the issue you are having?" he asks.
    "The problem is, father, that his cock is just so big! We can't even make an heir!"

    They eventually managed to settle a divorce, this all happening before Christianity became the ruling religion in Iceland.

    On the large penis bit, around 1:56:00

  2. Joe "do you know what ayahuasca is?" Rogan, went full blast rocket scientist for a second, on Bill "so remember" von Hippel who was like, "yeah… there is no evidence for what Ive been saying."

    Eh, I wouldn't have this guy back again

  3. No devaluing intended. I just wonder why this guy apparently has not seen any of the biological evidence to the contrary…and tons of it…that environment, particularly how a child interprets the emotional context interactions with caretakers actually changes the physical structure of the brain, which then changes function. Robert Sapolsky, Daniel Seigel, Marty Tischer from Harvards child development center, I could go on and on. I think the problem is new science confirming that genes don't control anything related to social behavior/interpretation is just now filtering down to the public. Here's a quote from Robert Sapolsky from his latest lecture on the biology of human behavior which I provided a link for. The idea genes "control" behavior implies one might not understand how genes actually work which is iterated in the link above.

  4. Bill's been my lecturer throughout undergrad for a few different courses, he's dope, always smiles and says hey when I see him in the hallways, so I assume he was chill with me rocking up to lectures drunk and being a smart alec.

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