Episode 36

Published on:

19th Feb 2022

Robert Wright: A Cosmic Journey Across the Bob-o-verse

Matt and Chris finally leave the Rogan-verse behind, activate their Infinite Improbability Drive, and blast off for the Bob-o-verse. In an off-again / on-again, will they / won't they battle of wits, we outmanoeuvre Bob by covering an episode that he planned to record for our benefit, which we then explained we wouldn't cover because that would violate our rules, which he decided to record anyway, and we then decided it would be alright to cover because he thought we weren't going to cover it. Which one of us is playing 4-dimensional chess and who's playing Hungry Hippo? We're not sure.

Robert Wright is a journalist, author, independent commentator, and podcaster. A stalwart of the public intellectual scene, he never joined the Intellectual Dark Web. How's that for a recommendation!? He's written and thought, or thought and then written about so many topics it's impossible to mention them all, but they span evolution, Buddhism, geopolitics, philosophy, and everything in between.

But is he a guru?

(Spoiler) Of course he is. Yes, definitely. But is he a good guru? Well, we're not going to tell you. You're going to have to tune in to find out. Chris and Matt are simple folk, but they do their best to wrap their heads around Bob's cosmic philosophy, which spans the fundamental algorithms of evolution, black holes, alternative universes, and how we should probably all be nice to one another if we want to create a global brain. You might think grokking those ideas would be like watching Koyaanisqatsi while tripping on ayahuasca, but actually it all makes sense. We think.

But is it true? Is it real? Is Wright right? That my friends, is up to you to decide. But in this episode we will open the door.... (and possibly resolve the mystery of consciousness at the same time, turns out there was no problem all along).



  • Check out the sponsor of this week's episode, Ground News to compare news coverage. Spot media bias. And be better informed. Download the free Ground News app at ground.news/gurus.


Thanks to Mark Ledwich (@mark_ledwich) and Elsa Jansen (@ElsaJansen) for the coverart this week! Contributions for coverart for upcoming episodes always welcome.

Show artwork for Decoding the Gurus

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.