Episode 17

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Published on:

23rd Jul 2021

Carl Sagan: My God, it's full of stars

In the second instalment of the personal gurus season we take a look at Matt's childhood science guru: the famed astronomer and science communicator Carl Sagan.

Sagan's regarded as an intellectual hero amongst skeptics and supporters of science but is the admiration warranted or is this a halo effect enhanced by youthful innocence and the distorting mists of time? Was Matt's first science crush justified? Is Carl as 'right on' as popular sentiment suggests? Join us as we struggle to peer into the vast abyss, stare deep into the heart of the guru constellation, and uncover the truth. It's time to take a long hard look at a small sliver of our demon haunted, pale blue dot.

Along the way we address the burning issues including: whether Carl Sagan is actually a woke cuck, how Chris feels about chimpanzees in lipstick, if humility might actually be a good thing, and whether the universe was actually created for rocks.

So join us as we return to a simpler time, when scientists wore turtleneck sweaters, ill advised tweets were not yet possible, and gurus were REAL gurus.

Also featured in this week's episode: Weinstein Watch, Viewer Feedback, the Next Guru Announcement, and an illustration of how to provide an even tempered & measured response to critical feedback.

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About the Podcast

Decoding the Gurus
A psychologist and an anthropologist try to make sense of the world's greatest self-declared Gurus.
An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!
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About your hosts

Christopher Kavanagh

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A Northern Irish cognitive anthropologist who occasionally moonlights as a social psychologist. Chris has long standing interests in the psychology of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience. His academic research focuses on the Cognitive Science of Religion and ritual psychology. He lives happily in Japan with his family.

Matthew Browne

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An Australian psychologist and numbers-guy. He does research on all kinds of stuff, but particularly enjoys looking into why people believe the things they do: religion, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and stuff. He's into social media in the same way people slow down for car accidents.