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Decoding the Gurus
88 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Special Episode: Interview with Daniel Harper on the Far Right & IDW Criticism
In this episode we have an engaging discussion with Daniel Harper host of the anti-fascist podcast 'I Don't Speak German' about his experience covering the Far Right and what constitutes responsible engagement/coverage of various online figures.We cover the role of political perspectives when examining online figures, the use of social media by far right figures, and the use and abuse of political categories. We also cover some potential criticisms with the DTG approach and in so doing answer an eternal question of the ages: 'Are we the baddies?'Join us for a fun discussion while accepting our apologies for the self-indulgence of an episode that, to some extent, involves us talking about... ourselves. We will be back with a full Guru episode very soon!LinksI Don't Speak German PodcastEpisode 88 of IDSG Podcast: The Long Shadow of New Atheism, with Eiynah Mohammed-Smith
62 minutes | Jul 2, 2021
Special Episode: Interview with Amanda Montell on Cultish Linguistics
Amanda Montell is an author, linguist, and podcaster with a new book 'Cultish' on "how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language" to manipulate followers and cultivate power.In the interview she offers fantastic insights that cover not only guru linguistics but also the social dynamics of modern cults and 'cultish' phenomenon. We learnt a lot from Amanda and hope you will too!LinksAmanda's WebsiteCultish: The Language of FanaticismSounds like a Cult Podcast
126 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
Anthony DeMello: The Bob Ross of Spiritual Gurus?
Well, the hosts have had a good long taste of the culture wars and friends, it is a bitter, bitter draught. As a palette cleanser, we return to a simpler time, a better(?) time... The 1980's! When Chris Kavanagh was young and innocent, running about in short pants with a twinkle in his eye and (I assume) lobbing bricks at RUC armoured vehicles for the craic. At nights he would curl up and listen to CASSETTE tapes of a fellow called Anthony De Mello, while the eyes of Pope Ratzinger would stare at him disapprovingly from the poster (I assume) that was on the wall of his room.Yes, we're returning to the gurus our decoders were fans of during their young and impressionable years. And Chris rather liked Fr. Anthony De Mello. Who is he? A Jesuit priest who sounds more like a Buddhist monk with a message of peace, detachment, and the recipe for happiness. He says that society trains us to act like robots, encouraging us to go through life in a depressed haze. After you apply his recipe, you'll still be depressed, but you'll realise the depression is like the clouds, but you are the sky. He's got the good vibes of Bob Ross, but does that conceal something darker? Was spiritual self-help better or worse in the 1980s compared today? Listen, and you shall know all!LinksOne of DeMello's Waking Up Talks on Daily MotionDeMello's Spirituallity CenterMatt and Chris' 'You're Probably Not Galileo' article for Skeptic UKTim Nguyen's appearance on Eigen Bros
76 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Special Episode: Interview with Jesse Singal on Quick Fix Psychology
Another week and another extra special interview with journalist, podcaster, and Twitter outrage lightning rod, Jesse Singal.We discuss his new book on Quick Fix psychology, the fallout of the replication crisis, and why we should be skeptical of anyone peddling simple 'one size fits all' solutions to complex social & psychological problems.We have a fun wide ranging discussion covering social media dynamics, the dangers of audience capture, and the goddamn lab leak hypothesis! We also discover the dictionary definition pedantism and abuse Jesse with unending uncomfortable questions about culture war controversies.Jesse provides keen insight and is a good sport when it comes to critical topics, we really enjoyed having him on and hope you guys enjoy the result!LinksJesse's new Book: The Quick FixBlocked and Reported PodcastJesse's Singal-Minded Substack
72 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
Special Episode: Interview with Tim Nguyen on Geometric Unity
Despite promising to leave Weinstein world for an overdue holiday, Matt and Chris have been lured back by a world shattering theory with a cosmic vision of ultimate unity! We are speaking, of course, about Eric Weinstein's revolutionary theory of everything: 'Geometric Unity'. To help uncover the mysteries embedded deep within this scientific Rosetta stone, Matt and Chris are joined by a special guest Tim Nguyen. Tim is a mathematician and the co-author of a recent paper that tried to mathematically construct and critically assess the theory of Geometric Unity as laid out in Eric's content.Eric has not exactly welcomed the critical feedback and has accused Tim and his co-author, Theo, of having nefarious motives and being very bad guys. So we thought it was worth talking to Tim about their real motivations for the paper, their criticisms of Geometric Unity, and whether they are official DISC agents.Join us as we leap one more time into Weinstein world!Notes provided by TimResponse to Geometric Unity paper by Timothy Nguyen and Theo Polya and corresponding blog post. The paper provides 25 clickable timestamps to Weinstein video segments to let the reader confirm directly the veracity the criticisms. Clubhouse recording with Eric evading questions about Geometric Unity and implying his critics are bad actors.Technical notes on Weinstein’s limited responses: 1) Weinstein confesses on Joe Rogan Episode #1628 that “one of the criticisms is valid but is something that I would have brought up anyways” (see time near 73:30). Correspondingly, in Section 8.2 of Weinstein’s Geometric Unity, he admits that “unfortunately, the author is no longer conversant … and has been unable to locate the notes from decades ago that originally picked out the [Shiab] operator”. The inability to construct the Shiab operator remains a fundamental objection to Geometric Unity. 2) Weinstein says here, the authors misunderstand GU as being chiral. But the objection is that the theory has a chiral anomaly, which is not contingent on the theory being chiral. 3) Weinstein suggests here (and on Joe Rogan) that there is incorrect inference that he is using supersymmetry in 14 dimensions. The interview referenced in the response paper suggests otherwise, where he explicitly mentions supersymmetry.The “sign flip” discussion Nguyen used to deduce that Weinstein does not understand the Seiberg-Witten equations concerns the issue of obtaining a crucial bound on the spinor field (as discussed in the Wikipedia article) needed to obtain compactness. Having the wrong sign makes the entire theory ill-behaved.
194 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Bret Weinstein & Jordan Peterson: Two gargantuan intellects stare into the abyss
The big dog of the Intellectual Dark Web, Jordan Peterson, is back! And this hero, this mythical archetype, is welcomed back from his long hiatus by DTG regular, Bret Weinstein . To his credit, Bret does the impossible and makes Jordan seem surprisingly humble and reflexive simply by virtue of comparison.The duo cover a lot of territory, ranging from hot takes about how hospitals probably kill more people than they save (Peterson), the evolutionary modules controlling rape and genocide (Weinstein), how religion contains the ultimate evolutionary cheatsheet to ascend the hierarchy (Peterson), and how they are both absolutely crucial for understanding everything wrong with what's going on these days (BOTH).So yes... Chris and Matt couldn't resist returning to this epic crossover of two guru favourites one last(?) time for a bit of decoding. There's a heaping of the usual trademark guru dynamics on display, as well as the obligatory ersatz academ-ese, mutual back-patting, and huge leaps of speculative reasoning. These guys ping-pong back and forth to build up a pretty impressive synthesis of latent religious symbols and Bret's bespoke alternative evolutionary theory of 'lineage selection'. You will come away with your brain a smouldering ruin after dealing with so many high level ideas... you have been warned!P.S. If you make it all the way to the end you'll get to hear Matt DESTROY a so-called philosopher's Low Quality Criticism with REASON and SCIENCE.LinksDarkhorse Podcast: Jordan Peterson is Back!Jordan B. Peterson Podcast S4E10: Minefields and the New Political Landscape | Bret WeinsteinCritical Article on Peterson that appeared in the Times that he complains aboutTWiV 760: SARS-CoV-2 origins with Peter Daszak, Thea Kølsen Fischer, Marion KoopmansTWiV 762: SARS-CoV-2 origins with Robert Garry Nice blog debunking the claims made in Wade's Medium piece on the Lab Leak Detailed Twitter thread by virologist Kristian Andersen discussing lab leak investigationsP.P.S. The Alternative Title: 'Lineage selection hierarchy heroes 2: Choose your guru!' suppressed by the Distributed Australian Dilettante or DAD.
113 minutes | May 22, 2021
Brett Weinstein & Heather Heying: Why are 'they' suppressing Ivermectin, the miracle cure?
This episode wasn't meant to be about Ivermectin, or Bret and Heather's unique ability to apply an 'evolutionary lens' to understand everything, including virology, epidemiology, immunology and the culture war... but it is.....We meant to make a few topical comments prior to the main episode, but the comments led into some rants, and then with the clips, those rants metastasised into a full-sized episode. So the duo had to travel back in time to record a new introduction, and back again, forward this time, in time, to record the outro and it all got very complicated.Anyway, it is what it is!Bret and Heather are 95% sure that the COVID vaccines are like playing Russian Roulette with a loaded gun, and that the scientific and public health authorities are lying to everyone, and we would be better off avoiding these risky vaccines and taking Ivermectin instead. Bret even demonstrates how to swallow a pill live on air. But they are not anti-vax! No not at all. They're not conspiracy theorists either! Of course they're not. Conspiracy hypothesisers, maybe... but there is a crucial distinction there. Either way they have concerns, and Matt and Chris have concerns with their concerns. So enjoy this very special 'meta' episode.Also, stay tuned after the music ends for one of Matt's rare rants. Live mic situation, and Chris snuck it in there.LinksDarkHorse Podcast Episode 80: What Covid Reveals About our LeadersDarkHorse Podcast Episode 79: #NotAllMiceDarkHorse Podcast with Geert Vanden Bossche & Bret WeinsteinScienceBasedMedicine article examining the new hype over IvermectinNew Discourses Podcast Episode 35 (James Lindsay): How to End Vaccine HesitancyGood article on Politifact covering the lab leak 'controversy'
198 minutes | May 6, 2021
Michael O"Fallon: The Jacobins are Back..... To Reset..... Everything.... Dun Dun Daah!
Just as the Terror was used by Robespierre and the Jacobins during the French Revolution two centuries ago, fear and draconian control is being used today to usher in... The Great Reset.Or so Michael O'Fallon would have you believe. O'Fallon is the founder of Sovereign Nations, a Christian nationalist organisation that aims to "prepare warriors for the battleground of ideas". He's recently been collaborating with James Lindsay, renowned culture warrior and online troll, to teach us all how critical theory and social justice are hell bent on destroying Our (or at least Western) Civilisation.Chris and Matt are joined by Aaron Rabinowtiz, host of Embrace the Void (@ETVPod) and Philosophers in Space podcasts, PhD student and lecturer at Rutgers University. Aaron has Done the Work, he has the Documents, he's been privy to the secret conversations, and he's here to help the boys decode just WTF is going on here.So, what's the deal with O'Fallon? Is he a sorely-needed, breathy and bombastic prophet bearing a critical message of our impending doom? Why does he take such long pauses? Where did he get such a laughably inaccurate understanding of the French Revolution? We can't promise all the answers in this episode, but we're going to give it a shot. The Future of our Civilisation.... Depends Upon It.........Dun Dun Daaaaah!LinksSovereign Nations' The Causes of Things Podcast Episode 25: The Great ResetEmbrace The Void Episode 150: Sovereign Nations and the Grievance HoaxersPhilosophers in Space Facebook GroupSovereign Nations Website
150 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
Gwyneth Paltrow: Crawling with parasites and in need of a cleanse
Who would have thought it, the Hollywood A-lister and founder of the luxury lifestyle brand 'Goop', Gwyneth Paltrow also finds time to host a podcast. Making her a prime target for Matt and Chris, who simply cannot stomach the competition!Fans have the option to join Paltrow in questing for the eternal and well-guarded secrets of health and wellness. But unless you're only after some lip-balm, this total holistic and integrative lifestyle is not going to come cheap! As we learn from her special guest Kristine Gedroic you are also going to need some precision medical diagnostics to balance with your biome, cleanse your cell membranes, and undo the horrors of 5G. And that isn't even addressing the panoply of parasites that we are all (apparently) infested with. So this is why Matt and Chris haven't been actualising their spiritual selves recently. In some ways, this health and wellness space is familiar stomping ground for Matt and Chris (and maybe for many listeners too). However, the duo reckon that Paltrow, Goop, and the whole industry is very 'Now' and might even hint at some exciting new directions elite culture is taking. Check it out! And get yourself checked for bespoke parasites while you're at it. Seriously... we are all riddled with them.LinksHow do we deal with- and prevent- chronic illness? Goop Podcast with Kristine GedroicGwyneth Paltrow: Ask Me AnythingHard Talk interview with Gwyneth Paltrow
63 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
Special Episode: Sam Harris & Meditation is all you need
Sam Harris is a public intellectual who inspires strong reactions both positive and negative. Here, Matt and Chris dip their toes into Sam's introspective universe by analysing a recent 9 minute mini-episode of his Making Sense podcast titled 'Some Points of Confusion'. Sam intended to clear up some recurrent misunderstandings he has observed with maybe as much as 99% audience with this episode. What could be causing such a fundamental error and does he succeed in resolving the confusion? Join us to find out.In the episode you will learn about the true teachings of Jesus, how incredibly niche Chris' undergraduate degree was, the introspective case for social welfare, and why all meditators inevitably deny the existence of free will.This is an interesting one. And whether you love or hate Sam, we hope you find some value in our non-enlightened ejected introspections.LinksMaking Sense Episode 243: Some Points of Confusion
63 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
Special Episode: Interview with Phrost on Bullshido
Matt and Chris are helped again by a guest in their endless quest to get the bottom of what the Hell is Going On and What It's All About.Phrost describes himself as "the world's most dangeous nerd" and is not only an expert in the fighting arts (like, actual real fighting) but is also no slouch when it comes to combatting bullshit.He identifies as a soldier, a scientist, and as a shill for "Big Reality".And his site bullshido.net as well as his podcast The Art of Fighting BS comes up with the reality-based goods. Not only in debunking bullshit in martial arts but also with regard to miracle health cures, supplements, pop psychology, COVID and many other honey traps for the curious and the unwary.Tune in as Matt and Chris compares notes with Phrost on how and why people delude themselves. Marvel at Phrost's offers to fight Alex Jones, Steven Seagal, and (gasp) Gwenyth Paltrow (for Science!). Matt himself accepts the the offer to fight Phrost, conditional on him being ensconced comfortably within a properly equipped Armoured Fighting Vehincle.
46 minutes | Mar 12, 2021
Ibram X. Kendi: Gurometer Rating (Patreon Preview)
In this episode we provide a special preview of our usual Patreon content with the follow up discussion and our Gurometer™ scores for Ibram X. Kendi. You can find a summary of all our Gurometer scores thus far available here.Our new subreddit can also be found here.
163 minutes | Mar 6, 2021
Ibrahim X. Kendi: Inside you are two wolves. One of them is racist.
Ibrahim X. Kendi is a Professor of history, director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, and a research fellow at Harvard University. He is also the author of several best-selling and highly influential books on race in America.It seems like everybody has an opinion of Kendi, and when it comes to the online commentariat, those opinions can get pretty hostile. Even among activists and anti-racists, he seems to spark division, with some grouping Kendi together with other controversial writers like Robin Di Angelo. Kendi is often accused of peddling a pop 'anti-racism' which is at best devoid of substance and at worst toying with totalitalitarianism. With his infamous proposal for a 'Department of Antiracism' that would have power over all aspects of governance, and recent illustrated children's book titled 'Anti-racist Baby', these criticisms are perhaps understandable.But what about the man himself, who in his lectures and interviews, comes across as something of a calm and reasonable voice amongst the culture war maelstrom?In this episode, Matt and Chris, until now famed for being not racist (honestly), courageously hurl themselves onto the pyre of American racial politics. Will they reveal their total lack of understanding of critical race theory and are they racist or anti-racist according to Kendi? Listen and find out.LinksShort interview with Kendi from 'The One You Feed' PodcastInterview of Kendi by Ezra Klein for Vox ConversationsKendi's article advocating for an Anti-Racist constitutional amendment
101 minutes | Feb 20, 2021
Special Episode: Interview with Matthew Remski on Conspirituality
Today we talk to Matthew Remski, co-host of the Conspirituality podcast, writer, yoga practitioner, and independent journalist. Matthew is a font of information on the alternative spirituality and health and wellness spheres and he gives Matt and Chris a crash course on the dynamics of those spheres. We discuss a range of topics including the growing overlap between spirituality and right wing politics, the enlightened locker room dynamics of male influencers, the role of invented traditions and the spirituality sphere and why Matt should grovel at the feet of his muscle master.Matthew provides a wealth of insight into the gurus we've examined as well as an entire host of new characters. As ever, we greatly enjoyed the chat and hope you do too!--------------------------------More from Matthew Remski: Matthew's Personal WebsiteThe Conspirituality PodcastMatthew's work on MediumHis investigative book on Pattabhi Jois’s Ashtanga communityAnother great interview with Matthew by Stephen Kesting
108 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Nassim N. Taleb: Everything these idiots, frauds, and assholes don't understand
Nassim Taleb, what a mensch. He's got the confidence of a bull in a china shop that has just bought a lycra muscle-shirt and knows it looks great on him.Our guru this week has surveyed the fields of statistics, economics, psychology, actually all of the social sciences, and finds them populated by a gaggle of pale, thin wristed, pocket-protector wearing wimps. Although, he's equally scathing towards COVID-sceptical libertarians, and Matt and Chris (in a totally unbiased manner) find him pretty funny and accurate there.More seriously, Taleb is a smart guy and quite fun to read and listen to. But he's also an infinite singularity of arrogance and hyperbole. Matt and Chris can't help but notice how convenient this pose is, when confronted with difficult-to-handle rebuttals. Taleb is a fun mixed bag of solid and dubious claims. But it's worth thinking about the degree to which those solid ideas were already well... solid. Many seem to have been known for decades even by all the 'morons, frauds and assholes' that Taleb hates. To what degree does Taleb's reputation rest on hyperbole and intuitive-sounding hot-takes? Will he ever un-block the co-hosts on twitter? Should Matt, a statistician and psychologist, re-train in a field where he can actually contribute something useful to the world?All of these questions, and more, will remain unanswered in this fresh new DTG episode!LinksThe Antidote to Chaos interview discussed in the episodeThe original Bloomberg interview that was deemed too reasonable for the episodeSam Harris' amusing take on Taleb
98 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Special Episode: Interview with Thi Nguyen, a Gurometer's Guru
Today we talk to C. Thi Nguyen, a philosophy professor at University of Utah. He has some excellent insights into the kind of discourse that *feels* like it gives us insight, that wonderful 'aha' moment. Basically, what happens when unscrupulous actors aim to optimise that feeling - putting aside concerns as to whether or not it's the real thing.Thi has previously studied 'moral outrage porn', which is a bit like food porn, but for your emotions. You might say "X-porn" is any material that gives us the fascimile of the thing, without having to put in the hard yards of actually doing the thing.You might also say there's such a thing as 'insight porn' and maybe that's what Gurus deliver! Matt and Chris feel like they got some real insights (touch wood) from their chat with Thi and they hope you do too!--------------------------------More from Thi Nguyen:Thi writes about many things, including echo chambers, epistemic bubbles and the seductive feeling of clarity. A free preview of the first chapter of Thi's Games bookMoral outrage pornThe op-ed version of moral outrage pornThe echo chambers paperHow Twitter Gamifies CommunicationRecommendation from Thi: The best book on Echo ChambersAnother recommendation: A great recent book arguing for the large-scale misinformation thesis: and it’s open access.Thi's appearance on ETV pod discussing Cheap Talk.
167 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
Douglas Murray: Can indulgent dinner conversation save OUR civilisation?
Douglas Murray is a British conservative columnist, social pundit, and veteran culture warrior famed for his biting wit and eloquent intellectual speech. But just how much of that is actually down to him having a posh British accent and a tendency to rant about whatever 'bloody' topic he's took a fancy to? Join Matt and Chris for their latest therapy session as they try to process what they've done to their brains by listening to an indulgent and meandering 4.5 hour conversation between Douglas and the IDW's über guru Eric Weinstein. Along the way you will learn the *real* truth about the coronavirus, the value of memorising Shakespearian sonnets, how embarrassing it is to eat bats, and just how sacred dinner tables actually are. ...GUFFAW...LinksThe Portal Episode 41: Douglas Murray- Heroism 2020: Defence of Our Civilization
81 minutes | Jan 9, 2021
Special Episode: Calibrating the Gurometer
Chris and Matt take a break from examining the endless stream of Guru galaxy brain takes to offer their own and calibrate their newly minted Gurometer.The Gurometer is composed of 10 key characteristics of guruosity which the decoders will be using to score the Gurus in future episodes.Listeners will learn about important concepts, like science hipsterism and pseudo-profound bullshit, and discover just how bad both Chris and Matt are at segways!LinksThe Gurometer 'current draft' Google Doc
118 minutes | Dec 28, 2020
Contrapoints: Making Philosophy Fabulous Again
Natalie Wynn is kind of a big deal. Her YouTube channel Contrapoints explores not only philosophy, but also politics and social issues. Praised by august publications such as the New Yorker and the Atlantic, there's little doubt that she has her finger on the pulse of contemporary internet culture (and its wars). The production values, costumes, and set dressings are all a sight to behold... and completely invisible on this podcast.Nevertheless, armed with a menagerie of alter-egos, Contrapoints does delve into some pretty deep waters and has garnered quite a cult following, despite (or perhaps because of) her self-deprecating humour and refusal to take herself too seriously.So, what is going on here, behind the cat eye contact lenses and elaborate costumes? Does she actually back up the insights she purports to provide with careful arguments? Will the duo decide that Contrapoints is just like Russell Brand: all style and no substance? Is her deprecating humour merely cover for a rampaging and performative ego? Will Matt ever find out where he can get his hands on that fabulous wallpaper?All these questions, and more, will be answered in this exciting new episode!LinksJustice (Part 1) VideoNew Yorker article on Contrapoints
88 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
Special Episode: Entering the Portal
Chris and Matt take a peak behind the curtain at Guru Community dynamics in the Web 2.0 era in an extended interview with Dan Gilbert, a self described 'Discord creature'. Dan provides insights from his long term participation in Eric Weinstein's 'Unofficial Portal' Discord and reveals the mystery behind the 'mentally unstable' community member!If you ever wanted to learn about the intricate distinctions between Geometric Unity, and Geometric Marginalism or the ill fated outcome of Eric's 'Experts only' forum... now is your chance.We will be back next week with our regular episode on Contrapoints.Dan's apology song to EricFollow Dan on Twitter (@thebadstats)
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