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 book
- Moral outrage porn
- The op-ed version of moral outrage porn
- The echo chambers paper
- How Twitter Gamifies Communication
- Recommendation from Thi: The best book on Echo Chambers
- Another 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.