Episode 61

Published on:

29th Dec 2022

Elon Musk: The Techno Shaman

So here we are rounding off 2022 with a Guru of the moment, Elon Musk.

Trust us, we want to stop hearing about him as much as you do but we have long had him scheduled as the finale for the tech season. Unfortunately, the Decoding the Gurus curse (most of the people we cover quickly become worse and spiral into conspiracism) seems to have become more potent. Now we don't even have to cover a Guru just announce that we will and the spiral occurs. And with Elon what a spiral it has been.

But we *try* not to dwell much on his recent antics and instead focus on decoding our chosen material. In this specific case, it is a recent wide-ranging interview conducted by a fellow billionaire and large Tesla investor, Ron Baron. This proved to be one of the most sycophantic interviews we have ever examined, which is a real achievement given the competition.

Musk himself is an interesting figure. Softly spoken, prone to mumbling, he can even seem self-effacing, and yet he is also a prolific hype man, prone to hyperbole, and self-mythologizing. Is he the master engineer and polymath he claims? The ultimate conman? And how has he become the guru for so many gurus? Join us as we try to disentangle the Elon puzzle box and see if there is actually anything interesting inside.

Oh and also Happy New Year! Remember to keep an eye out for those pesky Distributed Idea Suppression Complexes.


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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.