In the last few years, ISIS has attracted people who don’t feel like they belong in their own society to Syria with the promise that together they’re going to rebuild The Caliphate. From the outside, it’s pretty understandable. Being part of a revolution is exciting. You’re changing the world. You’re part of a great cause. And you get to destroy the old society which you feel treated you like crap. Revolutions are like start ups. The problem is that ISIS’ startup is trying to make a place filled with rape, slavery, beheading and the sort of anti-scientific attitude that will lead really bad internet speeds. It’s terrible really.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative. If you’re feeling dissatisfied with the existing system in anyway, then you can help us in building The Callenphate. All ideas and suggestions are welcome. It’s time to take Mixed Mental Arts out on the road and use it to beat up some of the world’s toughest problems.
There are some similarities but also some important differences between The Callenphate and The Caliphate. Both offer really good Arabic food but, in the Callenphate, you can drink it with excellent red wine if you choose. Both like sex but the Callenphate likes it to be consensual for both/all parties. Both believe that beheading looks really good on film but since ours is in Hollywood, we understand that you can do that with special effects, guys. You don’t actually need to chop a real person’s head off.
The Callenphate also has a very different relationship to the past. We don’t have any desire to repeat it. While the original Caliphates achieved some remarkable things, they still existed in centuries like the 7th and 12th. It doesn’t matter where you went in the world life in the 7th and 12th centuries just wasn’t that good. The reality is that the prosperity of the modern world makes it better to be a court jester like Bryan Callen or a court tutor like Hunter than a legendary King like Henry VIII. We have inherited the accumulated cultural progress of billions of humans from all around the world. The key to improving our lives is get better at setting the mood for idea sex than any group of humans ever have before. So, what is the idea sex equivalent of putting on some Barry White?
Well, it’s a lot of things we already know but that aren’t consistently done. It’s embracing and analyzing your mistakes to improve your performance. It’s creating a society that both takes care of its members and in which its members are constantly striving to be responsible for themselves. And it’s about creating a society, in which we all have the kind of purpose which makes humans happiest and most productive. And doing that is also the key to having the most successful life for you. These three ideas are beautifully summed up in Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, as autonomy, mastery and purpose. As Pink reports, research shows that people who tap into these forms of motivation are much more successful in the long run than people who are just trying to make as much money as possible. Pursue autonomy, mastery and purpose and money will follow. Pursue money first and it will be hard for you to compete and stay relevant in the Information Age. The Callenphate is built on living and spreading that kind of ethos. We don’t need to drop bombs. We’ve got knowledge bombs. And all we have to do is go around and take all the ideas that are already out there and put them together into one dynamite cultural package which we call Mixed Mental Arts.
Of course, any movement needs to be able to spread its ideas and that means not only understanding them but retaining them. And so, the episode ends with how Hunter remembers the names of these books and organizes these ideas. The secret it turns out is The London Cabbies. As Hunter and his co-author Katie O’Brien explain in The Straight-A Conspiracy, the map of London is way harder to memorize than the map of New York. It’s full of strange, twisty streets with odd names. To master this information–which cabbies call “The Knowledge”–requires far better memory techniques than just flashcards. And so, cabbies begin by memorizing the routes. What are the major routes through London? With those in place, they can build off that and add side streets. Like building a puzzle where you start with the edges, they then fill them in.
At the Bryan Callen Show, we’ve been trying to figure out how to get you the most powerful version of “The Knowledge” possible. It took Hunter years to learn the routes that serve as the backbone of Mixed Mental Arts. By learning them first, you can acquire the knowledge without having to spend the money and time that the majority of highly boring and massively repetitive nonfiction books require. Once you have those routes, then filling in the side streets will be easy and you’ll be able to dazzle people with your insight into them and the world. Together, we’re evolving an understanding of the world better than any the world has ever seen so that, one day, people centuries from now can look back on us and think we were dumb savages.
Oh, and by the way, The Straight-A Conspiracy is now available in Spanish as La Conspiración de las Calificaciones Perfectas: Tu Guía Secreta Para Convertirte en un Genio y Dominar el Mundo. Bryan is available in every language…because his communication needs no words. It’s all in los ojos.