Dr. Jane Goodall and Cal Fussman — The Tim Ferriss Show

Dr. Jane Goodall and Cal Fussman — The Tim Ferriss Show

Start (00:00:00)

  • Tim Ferriss introduces the episode's sponsors: Eight Sleep and Momentus.
  • Eight Sleep's Pod 4 Ultra offers automatic cooling, heating, and elevation adjustment for optimal sleep.
  • Momentus provides high-quality supplements tested by Olympians, Tour de France winners, and professional sports teams.
  • Momentus products are third-party tested and contain ingredients that are Informed Sport or NSF certified.
  • Tim Ferris welcomes Dr. Jane Goodall and Cal Fussman to the show.
  • Dr. Goodall is a renowned primatologist and anthropologist who has dedicated her life to studying chimpanzees in the wild.
  • Cal Fussman is a journalist and author who has written extensively about Dr. Goodall's work.
  • Tim Ferris begins the interview by asking Dr. Goodall about her early life and how she became interested in chimpanzees.
  • Dr. Goodall shares her experiences growing up in England and her love for animals.
  • She describes her first trip to Africa and her encounter with chimpanzees in the wild, which inspired her to dedicate her life to studying them.
  • Tim Ferris and Cal Fussman discuss Dr. Goodall's groundbreaking research on chimpanzees, including her observations of their tool use, social behavior, and emotional intelligence.
  • Dr. Goodall emphasizes the importance of understanding chimpanzees in their natural environment and the need to protect their habitats.
  • She also discusses her work with the Jane Goodall Institute and its efforts to promote conservation and sustainable development.
  • Tim Ferris and Cal Fussman ask Dr. Goodall about her thoughts on human nature and the relationship between humans and animals.
  • Dr. Goodall shares her insights on empathy, compassion, and the importance of respecting all living beings.
  • She emphasizes the need for humans to live in harmony with nature and to take responsibility for our impact on the environment.
  • Tim Ferris and Cal Fussman conclude the interview by thanking Dr. Goodall for her contributions to science and conservation.

Notes about this supercombo format. (00:05:04)

  • The podcast has reached its 10th anniversary and surpassed 1 billion downloads.
  • This episode is a compilation of the best moments from over 700 episodes.
  • The goal is to introduce lesser-known individuals who have had a significant impact.
  • Bios of all guests can be found at tim. blog / combo.

Enter Dr. Jane Goodall. (00:06:07)

Connecting with Louis Leakey and becoming his secretary. (00:06:35)

  • Dr. Goodall met Louis Leakey, a renowned paleontologist, at a party.
  • She was passionate about animals and impressed Leakey with her knowledge.
  • Leakey needed a secretary after his previous one quit, and Dr. Goodall was hired.
  • Leakey believed women made better observers and were more patient.
  • He wanted someone to study chimpanzees to gain insights into human evolution.
  • Dr. Goodall's lack of formal education and being a woman were seen as advantages.

Gaining acceptance among chimpanzees. (00:09:59)

  • Jane Goodall spent five months in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, gradually gaining acceptance from chimpanzees.
  • One particular male chimpanzee named David Greybeard played a crucial role in helping Goodall gain acceptance by gradually allowing her to get closer.
  • The first time Goodall came close to a group of chimpanzees that didn't run away was a proud moment for her.
  • When Goodall finally had the opportunity to look deeply into a chimpanzee's eyes, she realized she was looking at a thinking and feeling being.
  • This realization wasn't entirely surprising as she had always believed animals were thinking and feeling beings.
  • The chimpanzee, David Greybeard, looked back at Goodall instead of running away, creating a magical moment of connection.

Primate personalities, compassion, and the story of Old Man saving Marc Cusano. (00:13:25)

  • Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees using and constructing tools, challenging the belief that they were purely vegetarian and had no distinct personalities.
  • Marc Cusano was employed to look after three chimpanzees on an island, including Old Man, who had been captured from the wild and subjected to medical research.
  • Despite warnings about the chimpanzees' aggression, Marc gradually built a friendship with Old Man through acts of kindness and care.
  • During an incident where Marc accidentally frightened an infant chimpanzee, Old Man intervened to protect Marc from the mother and two other females who attacked him.
  • Marc believes that Old Man saved his life, demonstrating the capacity for compassion and selflessness in chimpanzees, even those who have experienced abuse from humans.
  • Goodall's observations challenged the traditional view of chimpanzees as aggressive and violent.
  • She found that chimpanzees have complex social structures, form strong bonds, and exhibit a wide range of emotions, including compassion, altruism, and reconciliation.
  • Goodall's work has transformed our understanding of primate behavior and has had a profound impact on the field of primatology.

Observations of chimpanzee compassion and violence, and inferences about human nature. (00:17:50)

  • Chimpanzees, like humans, exhibit varying levels of aggression.
  • Frodo, a chimpanzee observed by Jane Goodall, was particularly aggressive due to being spoiled by his high-ranking mother and brother.
  • Frodo would bully other chimpanzees and even attack humans, but Goodall believes he did not intend to cause serious harm.
  • Frodo's aggression was likely a way for him to assert dominance over others.

Explaining variance in chimpanzee attitudes toward dominance. (00:19:35)

  • Chimpanzees employ different strategies to achieve dominance.
  • Some, like Frodo's brother, gain dominance through aggression and intimidation.
  • Others form alliances and strategically challenge higher-ranking males with the support of their allies.
  • Still others, like Goblin, persistently challenge superior males until they eventually give up and allow him to rise to the top.

Cultivating hope to overcome apathy. (00:21:11)

  • Apathy is the greatest danger to the future.
  • People feel helpless because they don't know what to do.
  • Every individual makes a difference.
  • Millions of people making ethical choices are moving the world in the right direction.
  • The youth are inspiring and influencing others to make positive changes.
  • The youth: They are inspiring and give hope for the future.
  • Human intellect: Despite the destruction caused by human intellect, there is potential to use it for good, such as developing clean energy technologies.
  • Resilience of nature: Nature has the ability to recover if given a chance.
  • Indomitable human spirit: There are people who tackle seemingly impossible challenges and succeed, inspiring hope.

Mr. H, Gary Haun, the indomitable human spirit, and overcoming adversity. (00:26:35)

  • Mr. H is a stuffed chimpanzee given to Jane Goodall by Gary Haun, a blind man who became a magician.
  • Despite his blindness, Gary Haun learned to paint and taught himself to do various activities like skydiving, cross-country skiing, and scuba diving.
  • Jane Goodall uses Mr. H as an example of the indomitable human spirit and shares the story to inspire others.

Dr. Goodall's billboard. (00:29:53)

  • If Jane Goodall had a billboard with a message for billions of people, it would simply say, "Remember that you make a difference every single day."

Enter Cal Fussman. (00:31:36)

  • Cal Fussman is a bestselling author, writer at large at Esquire International, speaker, and host of the podcast "The Big Questions with Cal Fussman".
  • Tim Ferriss is excited to have Cal on the show and is a fan of his work.
  • Tim wants to turn the tables and interrogate Cal about his process of asking questions and crafting conversations.

Quincy Jones' unique book signing practice. (00:33:12)

  • Tim and Cal were discussing a live event in LA and Tim mentioned that he stays for an additional 2-3 hours after the event for Q&A.
  • Cal says that this is straight out of Quincy Jones's book.
  • Quincy Jones has a unique book signing practice where he doesn't just sign his name and move on, but instead stops to ask everyone who they are, engages in a conversation, and writes a personal note in his book to them.
  • He will stay until 3 in the morning to make sure everyone gets a chance to interact with him.

Cal's pivotal childhood moment. (00:34:35)

  • Cal Fussman had a pivotal moment in second grade when President Kennedy was assassinated.
  • He wrote a letter to Lyndon Johnson asking how it felt to become president after Kennedy's death.
  • Six months later, he received a response from Johnson's personal secretary, Wanita D Roberts.
  • The letter treated Cal like a legitimate adult, which made him realize that asking questions is natural for him.
  • Cal doesn't recall the type of paper he used to write the letter, but he thinks it was loose-leaf paper.
  • Robert Caro, a historian who wrote about Lyndon Johnson, got excited when Cal mentioned Wanita D Roberts and asked him questions about the letter.

Deconstructing the skill of asking great questions. (00:39:11)

  • Tim Ferriss believes that asking great questions is a skill that develops over time through experience and learning.
  • Ferriss compares the ability to ask great questions to being born with a natural talent, like having big hands for basketball.
  • Ferriss credits his childhood hero, Muhammad Ali, for inspiring him to ask questions and think critically about the world.
  • Muhammad Ali's actions and words made Tim Ferriss question social injustices and political issues.
  • Ali's defiance of the government and refusal to be drafted into the Vietnam War made Ferriss think about the ongoing conflict in Vietnam.
  • Ferriss was inspired by Ali's ability to make predictions with poetry and use humor to make people laugh.

Contrasting interview styles from different life stages. (00:42:59)

  • Cal Fussman describes his early understanding of interviews as being similar to those seen on Meet the Press or in a locker room after a sporting event.
  • He attended the University of Missouri's journalism school, learning the basics of journalism during a time when journalists were highly regarded for their role in exposing the truth, such as during the Watergate scandal.
  • After graduating, Fussman quickly rose in the sports journalism world, becoming a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at age 22 and later joining the prestigious Inside Sports magazine in New York.
  • Inside Sports attracted renowned writers and provided Fussman with the opportunity to work alongside some of the best in the field, including Hunter S. Thompson and David Halberstam.
  • Despite its success in attracting talent, Inside Sports faced commercial challenges and eventually folded.
  • After achieving his childhood dreams in journalism, Fussman felt a sense of uncertainty about his future.
  • He decided to take a break and travel, embarking on a 10-year journey around the world.

University of Missouri Journalism's role in Cal's career. (00:48:41)

  • Cal Fussman credits the University of Missouri's journalism program for his successful career.
  • Graduates from the program were highly regarded in the industry, and Cal was able to easily connect with them for job opportunities.
  • After Inside Sports folded, Cal reached out to an editor from the program who had moved to the Washington Post Sunday magazine.
  • Cal's interview style remained consistent throughout his career, focusing on gathering information to fill out a story.
  • In the early days of his career, he spent a significant amount of time with his subjects, sometimes up to two weeks, to get to know them and understand their stories.
  • However, as the media landscape changed and more people sought interviews, it became increasingly difficult to secure such extensive time with subjects.
  • Cal's interview style changed when he left Inside Sports and began traveling the world.
  • He shifted from focusing on the basic details of a story (who, what, when, where, why) to exploring the underlying aspects of a person's life, such as their childhood experiences.
  • This change in interview style allowed him to create more in-depth and personal stories.

Drinking with Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp. (00:52:40)

  • Hunter S. Thompson was a funny storyteller who enjoyed sharing anecdotes at the bar.
  • Johnny Depp portrayed Hunter Thompson in a movie and embodied the character's mannerisms, such as smoking long cigarettes and using a carrot as a prop.
  • Depp mentioned that the Hunter Thompson persona occasionally resurfaces within him.
  • Thompson was a regular guy who shared stories about his experiences, such as being a bowling writer in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • The speaker's drink of choice at the time was Guinness, black and tan, or gin and tonic.
  • The speaker was sent on a story with a photographer who had previously worked with Sports Illustrated.
  • The photographer demonstrated how to use an expense account by ordering expensive drinks at a bar before any work was done.
  • The photographer emphasized the importance of running up a bar bill to be perceived as successful in the industry.
  • The speaker compared the situation to the movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
  • The speaker felt a sense of disillusionment when the magazine eventually folded.

Cal's start in international travel (and my family trip to Iceland). (00:56:01)

  • The speaker's trip to Iceland through Iceland Air resulted in an unforgettable experience of seeing the aurora borealis seven out of ten nights, exceeding all expectations.
  • The speaker's mother, who inspired the trip, reacted with childlike joy and wonder upon witnessing the Northern Lights.
  • Hotel Ranga is recommended for accommodations in Iceland, but activities are limited and excursions like helicopter rides or snowmobiling can be costly.
  • Tim Ferriss, along with two friends, traveled to Europe and encountered a story about a farmer living in the 18th century on the other side of a mountain in Italy.
  • Tim's skinny friend was eager to visit the farmer, while his portly friend preferred to stay in town.
  • Tim decided to go after his portly friend returned home, marking the beginning of an addictive journey seeking unique and unforgettable experiences.

How a single question got Cal six months of lodging. (01:06:50)

  • Dr. Jane Goodall traveled with limited funds and relied on the kindness of strangers for accommodation.
  • She missed an opportunity to connect with supermodel Petra Nemcova due to her assumptions about the woman's interests.
  • Dr. Goodall encourages men to approach women they find attractive and treat them normally.
  • She met an elderly woman on a train in Hungary who invited her and other passengers to her home for a goulash feast.
  • The delicious goulash led to a series of invitations from the woman's neighbors and friends, resulting in Dr. Goodall spending six weeks exploring Hungary and experiencing local hospitality.

Common mistakes and lessons learned about the art of asking questions. (01:15:01)

  • Curiosity is essential for asking questions, and people enjoy sharing their lives.
  • Spontaneous questions can elicit more genuine responses than prepared answers.
  • Traveling transforms perceptions and interactions, facilitating trust and open conversations.
  • Strangers, like those encountered on planes or in foreign countries, are more likely to confide in others they believe they won't meet again.
  • Questions that make people feel valued and in the spotlight can enhance their feelings of self-worth.
  • Traveling offers endless possibilities for spontaneous adventures.
  • The author recounts an impromptu trip to Tunisia to witness camel races.
  • Platforms like Couchsurfing connect travelers with others, providing affordable accommodation and opportunities for cultural exchange.
  • Couchsurfing fosters connections and storytelling among people from diverse backgrounds.

Honing the ability to tell stories. (01:23:46)

  • Jane Goodall honed her storytelling skills through writing, specifically by structuring interviews and observations in a way that draws readers in and keeps them engaged.
  • She uses various techniques to captivate her audience, including starting in the middle of the action, using subtle twists to hint at what's to come, and slowly revealing information to build suspense.
  • Goodall emphasizes the importance of delivering a satisfying payoff at the end of the story, comparing it to the pleasure of tantric sex.

A life-changing event at the end of Cal's travels. (01:27:27)

  • Cal Fussman was traveling the world for 10 years and had built a network of people who would host him.
  • He received a call from The Washington Post Sunday magazine asking him to write about a great beach in Brazil.
  • Cal knew of a remote beach in northern Brazil that was difficult to reach, but he decided to go there.
  • He arrived in the city of Fort ala just as the first tour bus was leaving for the beach.
  • Cal met a woman on the bus and they got married, moved to New York, and had kids.

Perfecting the conversational interview. (01:31:59)

  • Tim Ferriss learned how to conduct interviews from his experiences on buses and trains.
  • He has been conducting interviews for almost 20 years with various notable people.
  • His approach to interviews is to make it feel like a casual conversation rather than a formal journalistic interview.
  • Tim Ferriss interviews Dr. Jane Goodall and Cal Fussman about their lives and work.
  • Dr. Goodall is a primatologist and anthropologist who has studied chimpanzees in the wild for over 60 years.
  • Cal Fussman is a journalist and author who has written extensively about Dr. Goodall and her work.
  • Dr. Goodall began her work with chimpanzees in 1960 at the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.
  • She was the first person to study chimpanzees in their natural habitat and made groundbreaking discoveries about their behavior and social structure.
  • Dr. Goodall's work has helped to change the way we think about animals and our relationship with them.
  • Cal Fussman has written several books about Dr. Goodall and her work, including "TheChimpanzees of Gombe" and "Dr. Jane Goodall: A Life."
  • Fussman's writing has helped to bring Dr. Goodall's work to a wider audience and has inspired many people to learn more about chimpanzees and the natural world.
  • Dr. Goodall is a passionate advocate for chimpanzees and the environment.
  • She believes that we can all make a difference in the world by making small changes in our daily lives.
  • Dr. Goodall's message of hope has inspired millions of people around the world.

Speaking at Summit at Sea. (01:33:59)

  • Tim Ferriss gave an impromptu speech about his experiences interviewing famous people to a surprisingly large audience on a cruise filled with entrepreneurs.
  • Cal Fussman's event on the art of interviewing unexpectedly attracted over 150 attendees, exceeding its original capacity of 10 people.
  • Fussman kept the audience engaged during his hour-long speech by ensuring their wine glasses remained full and received positive feedback afterward.
  • Fussman shared the "Dr. Dre story" as a method to assess a person's passion by asking about their longest sleepless work period on a passion project.
  • Dr. Jane Goodall and Cal Fussman discussed the challenges of hiring and maintaining a company's essence during rapid expansion.
  • Dr. Goodall is actively seeking insights from others to effectively address the issue of ensuring new hires share a company's core values and vision.

What Mikhail Gorbachev taught Cal about the art of the interview. (01:46:31)

  • Cal Fussman, a journalist, interviewed former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
  • Despite limited time, Fussman asked Gorbachev a single question about a lesson from his father, leading to a captivating story.
  • Gorbachev shared a childhood memory of an ice cream, linking it to his ability to make peace with Ronald Reagan and end the Cold War.
  • Fussman emphasizes the power of asking heartfelt questions for deeper connections and meaningful conversations.
  • The key to successful interviews or conversations is to engage the heart, then the head, and finally the soul.

Boxing Julio César Chávez. (01:56:01)

  • Tim Ferriss, despite lacking formal training, participated in the Golden Gloves tournament in New York, relying on his aggressive style.
  • Cal Fussman, after being knocked out in the first round of his Golden Gloves match, challenged Julio Cesar Chavez to a fight to regain his confidence.
  • Tim Ferriss trained with Harold Weston, a former boxer, for his fight against Chavez, learning valuable techniques from Weston's experience.
  • Cal Fussman underwent intense training with renowned boxing trainer Harold Smith, adopting a unique fighting style inspired by Joe Frazier.
  • Despite Chavez's reputation for durability and powerful punches, Ferriss managed to land several hits on him during their fight, surprising both Chavez and the audience.

Why Alex Banayan and George Foreman define success for Cal. (02:30:47)

  • Alex Bayan, a USC student, interviewed successful individuals to understand their perspectives on success.
  • George Foreman, a former heavyweight boxing champion, faced challenges such as poverty and bullying.
  • Foreman's aggressive punching style and intimidating presence made him a formidable opponent, but he lost to Muhammad Ali due to his surliness and anger.
  • After his defeat, Foreman underwent a positive character transformation and made a remarkable comeback at age 45, winning the heavyweight title against Michael Moorer.
  • Another story involves a fight where a weaker fighter named Michael won by conserving energy and positioning himself strategically.
  • Michael, known for his anger and criminal record, disregarded his trainer's advice and won with a single shot.

Most gifted books. (02:43:14)

  • Dr. Jane Goodall recommends books based on individual needs and interests.
  • For high school seniors, she suggests "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which provides insight into the experiences of black males in America.
  • Another recommendation is "Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln" by James C. Humes, which offers tips on effective public speaking.
  • Dr. Goodall shares an anecdote about Ronald Reagan's early struggles in radio and how he improved his speaking skills by learning from FDR's Fireside Chats.
  • Cal Fussman, a guest on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast with Dr. Goodall, shared a technique he used to improve his public speaking skills by memorizing phrases and delivering them conversationally.
  • Fussman successfully applied this technique in his radio advertisements.
  • The book discussed on the podcast provides additional tips to enhance public speaking abilities.

Favorite documentaries and movies. (02:50:03)

  • Tim Ferriss highly recommends the documentary "Man on Wire" for its cinematography, pacing, and reenactments, and the 3D IMAX movie "The Walk" for its immersive experience.
  • In "The Walk," there's a scene where Philippe Petit slips while learning to walk the tightrope, and his teacher advises him that the last two steps are the most dangerous.
  • Tim Ferriss encourages people to see "The Walk" in 3D IMAX if possible and suggests that the filmmakers consider releasing it in virtual reality.
  • Dr. Jane Goodall and Cal Fussman discussed their experiences and insights on the Tim Ferriss Show, exploring the possibility of creating an immersive experience based on their conversation, potentially involving Oculus or other studios.
  • Dr. Goodall expressed her enthusiasm for the idea and suggested a potential future collaboration.

Cal's billboard. (02:55:53)

  • Cal Fussman would put the word "listen" on a billboard.
  • He believes listening is an underused art form that can lead to great things.

Advice to Cal's 30-year-old self. (02:56:24)

  • Jane Goodall would not give her 30-year-old self any advice.
  • She believes that everything happened the way it needed to in order for her to meet her husband and have her children.
  • She advises college students to take advantage of the opportunity to learn multiple languages and study human behavior.
  • She recommends the book "Chimpanzee Politics" by Frans de Waal as a resource for understanding human behavior.

Overcoming writer's block with Harry Crews' advice. (02:59:21)

  • To become a successful writer, one should start writing consistently and find platforms to share their work, even if it's through a blog.
  • Financial necessity can be a powerful motivator for writing, as it encourages consistent content production.
  • Writer's block is not as common as perceived, and discipline is crucial in meeting deadlines and producing work regularly.
  • Cal Fussman's experience as a sommelier in New York City highlighted the connection between wine and memorable experiences.
  • After the 9/11 attacks, Cal struggled with writer's block for years, despite support from his editor, and was unable to write the expected story.
  • The author overcame writer's block after recalling a phrase from writer Harry Cruz, "the good [__ __] sticks," which meant that truly great moments would stay with him.
  • Years later, the author suggested a wine class to a woman interested in dating again, leading to a conversation about wine at a bar.
  • The author explained to a bartender how they could tell the wine was bad by comparing it to an off-key singer in a choir, which the bartender appreciated.
  • The author wrote an article titled "Drinking at 1300 Feet" about this experience.

Parting thoughts. (03:19:12)

  • Cal Fussman's website, Calfussman.com, offers storytelling, interviewing tips, and job interview advice.
  • Tim Ferriss' weekly newsletter, Five Bullet Friday, provides curated articles, books, gadgets, and tech tricks.
  • Momentus, endorsed by Tim Ferriss, is a high-quality supplement brand used by Olympians, Tour de France winners, the US Military, and over 1075 college and professional sports teams.
  • Momentus collaborates with experts like Dr. Andrew Huberman, Dr. Kelly Starett, and Dr. Stacy Sims to develop world-class products, including those specifically designed for women.
  • Momentus products are third-party tested and certified by Informed Sport or NSF, ensuring accurate labels and international shipping.
  • Dr. Jane Goodall, a renowned primatologist, and Cal Fussman, a renowned interviewer, discussed chimpanzee behavior, intelligence, and the importance of compassion and understanding in interactions with animals and the environment on "The Tim Ferriss Show."
  • Cal Fussman shared his experiences interviewing notable individuals and emphasized the significance of curiosity, empathy, and a willingness to learn from others.

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