Episode 10

Published on:

29th Jan 2021

Special Episode: Interview with Thi Nguyen, a Gurometer's Guru

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.

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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.