Episode 19

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Published on:

11th Sep 2021

Jordan Hall: Sensemaking, or the superficial pitter-patter on the neocortex?

This episode is about sense-making... if you are not sick of that term yet, trust us, you soon will be.

To get things rolling, Matt and Chris launch the podcast with a pair of rants. Chris vents about the lab-leak theorists who plague his mentions and Matt gets triggered by US libertarian takes on the military dictatorship apparently taking over Australia. He needs to get his thoughts out there before the secret police come and drag him away.

Then we get the point (relatively quickly this time - see, we're getting better!) and leap into a truly indulgent level of sense making meta dialogue. Matt and Chris talk about a conversation between David Fuller and Jordan Hall, who are themselves discussing another conversation that Jordan Hall had with someone called Brandon Hayes.

Yes, in this episode, you'll be listening to a conversation about a conversation about a conversation. It's like a podcast version of Inception, including a large amount of ponderous and ambiguous dialogue - you'll have to dig deeper, engage your sense making muscles, and it'll maybe make sense once it's all over.

Anyway, so Brandon Hayes is a 'Propertarian', which appears to be an anti-semitic, ethnonationalist 'philosophy' with fascist and eugenic elements created by an odd American man called Curt Doolittle, . Cool, cool... David Fuller is raising some very legitimate concerns, and pulling Jordan Hall up on what seemed to be a rather generous and pally interview he conducted with Brandon.

But it's Jordan's responses that really sparked the interest of the duo. He responds and explains. Or does he? There's a lot of reflections on the co-participatory seeking of Truth, the importance of the conversational process, the transformative nature of challenging relationships, but no real interest in the actual content of what people believe and promote. In this framing, a conversation with an anti-semite who promotes a neo-fascistic ideology becomes primarily just a stepping stone on a spiritual journey of transformative self-growth.

As Jordan says, the literal content is just the superficial pitter-patter on the neocortex. But he's interested in something deeper, ineffable. The language Jordan uses is a tour-de-force in guru-esque 'sensemaking'. In a linguistic sense, he's like the bastard lovechild of Jordan Peterson and Eric Weinstein.

Anyway if that sounds good to you then tune in, check it out, and if you manage to stick it out all the way to the end you are rewarded by Chris and Matt mulling over the validity of a harsh one-star review.

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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.