133 episodes

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!

Decoding the Gurus Christopher Kavanagh and Matthew Browne

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 159 Ratings

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!

    Supplementary Materials 8: Lab Leak Discourse, Toxic YouTube Dynamics, and the Metaphysics of Peppa Pig

    Supplementary Materials 8: Lab Leak Discourse, Toxic YouTube Dynamics, and the Metaphysics of Peppa Pig

    We stare into the abyss and welcome darkness into our souls as we discuss:
    Feedback on the Žižek episodeMiddle Aged Men's Health UpdateAlina Chan and the newest round of Lab Leak DiscourseDiscourse Surfing PunditsAlex O'Connor cornering Jordan Peterson on the resurrectionThe philosophical and Marxist implications of Peppa PigPotential Alternatives to Hipster Christianity and New AtheismAndrew Gold's Heretics Channel and Toxic YouTube DynamicsEditorializing and Responsible CriticismBalaji Srinivasan's Waffling Defence of HubermanThe 'Elite Defector' PoseVerbal Fluency vs. SubstanceHeterodox and Anti-Vaxx Incentive StructuresJames Lindsay's most recent idiocyDesperate Call to Action
    Links 
    Alina Chan's NYT Article on the Lab LeakOur episode addressing Alina and Matt Ridley's points with relevant expertsJordan Peterson's Podcast: Navigating Belief, Skepticism, and the Afterlife | Alex O'Connor @CosmicSkeptic | EP 451Andrew Gold - Heretics: EXPOSED: I Didn't Show THIS in Viral 'Woke' Debate with Eni Aluko (4K)Balaji's huge Twitter thread defending HubermanSummary of Huberman's Math MemeTop Earning Substacks 
    The full episode is available for Patreon subscribers (1 hr 14 mins).
    Join us at: https://www.patreon.com/DecodingTheGurus

    • 42 min
    Slavoj Žižek: When is a shark not a shark?

    Slavoj Žižek: When is a shark not a shark?

    Join Matt and Chris as they plunge into the heady mental universe of Slavoj Žižek, the Slovenian philosopher known for his eclectic and provocative ideas. The duo parses Žižek's 'unconventional' takes on ideology, consumerism, and revolutionary theory, peppered with his playful movie criticism of films like Jaws and a Clockwork Orange and even a few that he hasn't even watched.
    We delve into snuffle-laced discussions of transgressive acts, revolutionary politics, moderate conservative communism, consumerist psychology, and musings on whether Jaws is really about a shark. Throughout all Žižek's dramatic flair is shining through, but is he actually as provocative and hated as he likes to suggest? Matt and Chris have some thoughts...
    Expect to reconsider everything you thought you knew, listen to some edgy book blurbs, and finally collapse in a puddle with the deconstruction of your ideology.
    Links
    Novara Media: Our World Is Coming To An End | Aaron Bastani Meets Slavoj Žižek | DownstreamThe Pervert's Guide to Ideology (2012) - Slavoj ŽižekJacobin: Žižek’s Left-Wing Case for Christian AtheismPhilosophize This- Episode #196 - The Improbable Slavoj Zizek - Pt. 1 (Also, there are three other Žižek episodes in this series!)Article on the speech Žižek gave at the Frankfurt Book Fair
    Join us at: https://www.patreon.com/DecodingTheGurus

    • 2 hrs 33 min
    Supplementary Materials 7: Guru Oneupmanship, Hard Ad Pivots, MOOOINK, and Left Wing Populism

    Supplementary Materials 7: Guru Oneupmanship, Hard Ad Pivots, MOOOINK, and Left Wing Populism

    We curse the dark omens emerging from the Gurusphere as we consider:
    The Illusion of Disciplinary BoundariesFlint Dibble Feedback and Rays of HopeRussell Brand and Bret Weinstein: Guru One-upmanshipBret Weinstein loves MOINNNNKHard Ad Pivots and Peasants Popping out of WellsKen Klippenstein and Populist RhetoricQuestioning mainstream narratives and their so-called 'experts'QAnon Anonymous missing Left Wing Populism?Alex O'Connor, Jordan Peterson and the costs of indulgent podcastingChris reaching across boundaries to Jonathan PageauOur only comment on the Drake and Kendrick FeudThe beautiful ballet of reaching across the aisleTerence Howard on Rogan
    Links
    Russelling with God | Russell Brand on DarkHorseKen Klippenstein- Why I'm Resigning From The InterceptA Farewell To Bad News feat Ken Klippenstein (E278)Navigating Belief, Skepticism, and the Afterlife | Alex O'Connor @CosmicSkeptic | EP 451Terrence Howard is Legitimately Insane
    The full episode is available for Patreon subscribers (1 hr 13 mins).
    Join us at: https://www.patreon.com/DecodingTheGurus

    • 37 min
    Destiny: Right to Reply

    Destiny: Right to Reply

    Matt and Chris jump into the world of debates, dramas, and online personas with the ever-controversial streamer, Destiny (Steven Bonnell). We discuss our Decoding episode a little bit but mostly broader issues including the value of 'debate porn', edginess & Twitter bomb-throwing, reality TV orbiter drama, and the perils of hero worship and parasocial relationships.
    As you might anticipate, we also cover various 'hot-button' issues including Destiny's involvement in Israel-Palestine discourse, the ethics of engaging with extremists, and whether Destiny was genuinely arguing for the right to murder the DDoS kid. Finally, we wrap up with some discussion of media literacy, the challenges of navigating online discourse, and strategies for laypeople to better engage with research.
    Links
    Our Decoding episode on DestinyDestiny's Gurometer EpisodeDestiny's Positions as summarised on his WikiDiscussion with a Lawyer about the DDoS kid
    Join us at: https://www.patreon.com/DecodingTheGurus

    • 2 hrs 3 min
    *Preview* Decoding Academia 27: Dark Triad Authenticity

    *Preview* Decoding Academia 27: Dark Triad Authenticity

    We do bonus episodes every month that are focused on analysing academic content or discussing research and we thought it might be useful to let new listeners know! So find attached a preview...
    In this episode of Decoding Academia, Matt and Chris delve into a paper that explores the complex world of dark personality traits and their impact on authenticity. They examine how traits like narcissism and psychopathy might intersect with the concept of the true self, and consider whether cultural differences in self-conception play a significant role. The episode also features reflections on Logan Roy from Succession and a friendly disagreement between Matt and Chris about labels in psychology.
    Paper referenced: Bulbuc, A. A., & Visu-Petra, L. (2024). Shedding a light on authenticity in high dark trait individuals: A morally grey territory? Personality and Individual Differences, 224, 112632.
    The full episode is available for Patreon subscribers at the Revolutionary Genius tier (1 hr 9 mins).
    Join us at: https://www.patreon.com/DecodingTheGurus

    • 30 min
    Supplementary Materials 6: Christian Sensemaking, Hipster Race Realists, & Marijuana Pseudoscience

    Supplementary Materials 6: Christian Sensemaking, Hipster Race Realists, & Marijuana Pseudoscience

    We shake our heads in despair at some truly terrible Guru crossovers:
    Old Man Health Routines: Jogging, Diets, and the Pursuit of 'Wellness'Jordan Peterson and Russell Brand offer the apotheosis of indulgent Christian-themed sensemakingTaylor Lorenz and activist journalismAre Twitch Streamers the Future of Journalism? No.Huberman gets himself in hot water over Marijuana episodeThe Value of Debating Pseudoscience with HubermanCasey Means: Cramming all the pseudoscience red flags into a single TweetWhen Red Scare met Steve Sailer: Ironic Hipsterism X Old Skool Scientific Racism
    Links
    JBP Podcast: The Collective Unconscious, Christ, and the Covenant | Russell Brand | EP 444Washington Post: Twitch streamers become go-to news source for campus protest coverage (Taylor Lorenz)Red Scare: Sailer Socialism w/ Steve SailerHuberman Lab: Dr. Casey Means: Transform Your Health by Improving Metabolism, Hormone & Blood Sugar RegulationCasey Means Red Flag filled Pinned TweetNew York Magazine: The Man Who Invented Identity Politics for the Far Right
    The full episode is available for Patreon subscribers (1 hr 43 mins).
    Join us at: https://www.patreon.com/DecodingTheGurus

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
159 Ratings

159 Ratings

🐗🐗🐗 ,

Awesome pod

You have helped me understand why Lex Fridman and Andrew Huberman always gave me an ick. And why I could never listen to Jordan Peterson or Joe Rogan. Many thanks gents.

FathomlessSeer ,

Great show for my fellow squishy dem socialists

For anyone who enjoys informative deep dives into grifters and galaxy-brains of all stripes and appreciates content creators who aren’t afraid to put forward reasonable internal critiques of the left where appropriate, I highly recommend DTG.

The Lorix ,

Gurometer, deconstruction, and humour - what’s not to love?

I love the format: a in-depth conversation about the gurusphere that gets us into the details with loads of examples. Chris and Matt are great hosts who are well informed, opinionated, and able to disagree heartily and respectfully. I’m fairly new to the pod and will be heading back into the vaults to listen to some of the earlier gems.

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