47 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
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

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!

    *Patreon Preview* Malone & McCullough: Gurometer Ratings

    *Patreon Preview* Malone & McCullough: Gurometer Ratings

    This week a bonus Gurometer episode has sneaked out from behind the golden curtain of the DTG Patreon pay wall.
    We aren't out of the Rogan-verse yet. Our last task is to try and scientifically quantify the precise guru nature of the two good doctors using our patented Gurometer instrument. Are they guru wannabes, mid-tier, or high level? Join us to find out.
    Next week, we will be back with a full length guru episode!
    ...and for those who would like to see all the ratings of previous gurus, you can find those https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Oe-af4_OmzLJavktcSKGfP0wmxCX0ppP8n_Tvi9l_yc/edit?usp=sharing (here).

    • 52 min
    Robert Malone & Peter McCullough: A litany of untruths

    Robert Malone & Peter McCullough: A litany of untruths

    Matt and Chris return to the Joe Rogan-verse much quicker than they would have liked to take a critical eye to two recent episodes (6 more hours!!!) offering controversial takes on Covid 19 and the dangers of vaccines. Yes, that's right more fear mongering, more global conspiracies, and more unrecognised heroes of science that Joe needs to promote to his large audience.
    In this case, we have Dr. Robert Malone, the *self-proclaimed* inventor of mRNA vaccines, and Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist who was recently sued by his old hospital for using its name when promoting his covid theories. Both figures are well documented promoters of covid misinformation, including in various appearances on extreme right wing conspiracy sites like Alex Jones' InfoWars.
    Matt and Chris are no medical experts nor do they play them on podcasts (if you are looking for a point by point technical/medical debunking, we would recommend following the links at the bottom of these show notes). But what they are very familiar with are modern gurus and conspiracy theorists. So in this episode, after twenty plus episodes of calibrating the Gurometer(TM) with known gurus, they take it for a new test with these two maverick doctors. Applying the well-developed science of Gurometry(TM) to a novel dataset. How do they fare? Guess...
    Honestly, this is probably the darkest and most depressing episode we've done. It was not fun and we would really prefer to be talking about something else but here we are. Hopefully we will not be back soon...
    Links
    https://open.spotify.com/episode/3SCsueX2bZdbEzRtKOCEyT?si=BcWVL9R2T3ya9Ck2nzS4Mg (The JRE 1757: Robert Malone)
    https://open.spotify.com/episode/0aZte37vtFTkYT7b0b04Qz?si=e992543918df4b5d (The JRE 1747: Peter McCullough)
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/08/robert-malone-vaccine-inventor-vaccine-skeptic/619734/ (The Atlantic: The Vaccine Scientist Spreading Vaccine Misinformation)
    https://forbetterscience.com/2021/10/04/how-dr-robert-malone-invented-antivaxxery/ (For Better Science: How Dr Robert Malone invented Antivaxxery)
    https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/07/13/is-mrna-vaccine-inventor-robert-malone-being-erased-for-his-claims-about-covid-19/ (Respectful Insolence: Is “mRNA vaccine inventor” Robert Malone “being erased from Wikipedia” for his claims about COVID-19?)
    https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/12/17/dr-robert-malone-goes-full-antivaccine-conspiracist/ (Respectful Insolence: Dr. Robert Malone goes full antivaccine conspiracist)
    https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/05/17/latest-antivax-lie-covid-19-vaccines-are-killing-people/ (Respectful Insolence: The latest antivaxx lie from Peter McCullough, Mike Adams, and RFK Jr.: “COVID-19 vaccines are killing people!!!!”)
    https://www.politifact.com/article/2022/jan/06/who-robert-malone-joe-rogans-guest-was-vaccine-sci/ (Politifact: Who is Robert Malone? Joe Rogan’s guest was a vaccine scientist, became an anti-vaccine darling)
    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/depopulation-by-covid-19-vaccines/ (Science Based Medicine: “Depopulation” by COVID-19 vaccines?)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFqn3uy238E (Kurzgesagt: We Lied to You... And We'll Do it Again!)
    Technical Rebuttal Resources
    https://youtu.be/xjszVOfG_wo (Debunk the Funk with Dr Wilson: Robert Malone goes full anti-science on Joe Rogan's podcast)
    https://youtu.be/8pcIbVvHI2c (ZDogg MD: Joe Rogan's Interview With Dr. Peter McCullough | A Doctor Explains)
    https://youtu.be/GwzfnZfo-rU (Rebel Wisdom: Yuri Deigin Responds to Bret Weinstein on Vaccines, Ivermectin and Quillette)
    https://medium.com/rebel-wisdom/on-vaccine-safety-ivermectin-and-the-dark-horse-podcast-an-investigation-f32491d4c970 (Rebel Wisdom: On Vaccine Safety, Ivermectin and the Dark Horse Podcast: An Investigation)

    • 3 hrs 17 min
    *Patreon Preview* Decoding Academia #2: False Positive Psychology

    *Patreon Preview* Decoding Academia #2: False Positive Psychology

    The New Year is upon us and the gurologists thought they should contribute to the holiday cheer in the only way they can... releasing a rambling podcast about academic minutiae!
    This is not a new guru episode, instead it is a preview of our Patreon bonus series 'Decoding Academia' in which we discuss research that has influenced us and we think is relevant for understanding the gurus (or in this case approaching research critically).
    The paper in question is a classic social psychology paper that slightly pre-empted the Replication Crisis with very timely warnings about lax methodological standards. The paper is titled 'False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant' and is by Simmons, Nelson, and Simonsohn (2011).
    If you want to read the paper yourself it can be freely accessed https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956797611417632 (here).
    It introduces the concept of 'Researcher Degrees of Freedom' and also statistically *proves* that listening to certain music can make you physically younger.
    How? Join us and find out!
    Finally... just a quick note to say Happy New Year from Chris and Matt! We will be back early next year with our Robert Wright episode and many gurus thereafter.

    • 59 min
    Joe Rogan: Just an average Joe?

    Joe Rogan: Just an average Joe?

    Joe Rogan is a world famous podcaster, a martial artist, a stand-up comedian, a MMA commentator, co-founder of the Onnit supplement company, the ex-host of Fear Factor, a long term friend of Alex Jones, and recently a major outlet for promoting 'alternative' Covid facts.
    And yet despite all these 'achievements' and his recent multi million dollar deal with Spotify many argue that a large part of Joe's appeal is that he is just a 'regular Joe'. Joe himself has said he's just a 'f**king moron' and that people should not take his opinion seriously... but does he mean it?
    Join Matt and Chris as they break out their dusty gym bags and enter the house of pain that is long form podcasting to try and imbibe the full Joe Rogan Experience. To aid in this glorious quest, the guys sought out the most testosterone laced JRE episode they could find and inevitable landed on a recent episode with ex-navy seal and motivational author, Jocko Willink. This is a man who everyday posts black and white photographs of his wristwatch at 4.30am with captions like 'Ready. Set. GET SOME' and 'Default: AGGRESSIVE'.
    If you think this means the episode will be covering the sexually arousing nature of armoured cars, the beauty of handcrafted knives, and how to revive the American manufacturing industry... you would be right. But that's not all.
    You will also discover surprising non-partisan 'facts' like how Tulsi Gabbad is the centrist messiah, George Soros is responsible for recent US crime waves, Nancy Pelosi is an assassin, and the Hunter Biden laptop story is the biggest story of the modern era. Oh and, of course, that Covid vaccines are dangerous and effective alternative treatments are being hushed up.
    Wait... what?
    So rev your engines, sharpen your handcrafted knives, and get ready to smash headfirst through brick walls of ignorance and faux expertise in this testosterone soaked episode as Matt and Chris refuse to acquiesce to the 'burden of civility'.
    P.S. Did Matt mention that he had to listen to 6hrs this week?!?
    Links
    https://open.spotify.com/episode/1utiTB2HB5GGnYGX3gtgTP (The JRE 1740: Jocko Willink)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL5RzI5LyVc (The JRE 1492: Jocko Willink)
    https://open.spotify.com/episode/0aZte37vtFTkYT7b0b04Qz?si=a5944c4af02a4686 (The JRE 1742: Peter McCullough)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5KxwPk40OU (Andrea With The Bangs Interview with Chris and Matt)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFqn3uy238E (Kurzgesagt- We Lied to You... And We'll Do it Again!)
    https://arxiv.org/abs/2112.03460 (TIm Nguen's 'A Response to Economics as Gauge Theory')
    https://ravenmagazine.org/magazine/twitter-the-intimacy-machine/ (Thi Nguyen's 'Twitter: The Intimacy Machine' at the Raven)
    https://www.samharris.org/podcasts/making-sense-episodes/270-what-have-we-learned-from-the-pandemic (Sam Harris and Nicholas Christakis 'Waking up #270 - What have we learned from the Pandemic?')
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pcIbVvHI2c (ZDoggMD 'Joe Rogan's Interview With Dr. Peter McCullough | A Doctor Explains')

    • 3 hrs 7 min
    Special Episode: Guru Right to Reply with Chris Williamson

    Special Episode: Guru Right to Reply with Chris Williamson

    Listeners might remember Chris Williamson from our episode on Gad Saad. He was the former love island contestant who interviewed Gad and appeared to have taken an IDW turn. So while Matt and Chris focused their critical attention primarily on the master of irony, Gad Saad, they also raised a rather skeptical eye towards Chris Williamson as well.
    And listeners, they were not kind. Not at all...
    Nevertheless, Chris W. reached out and accepted our standing offer for any guru covered to come on to the show and respond to the criticisms we made. The result was an interesting and wide ranging exchange that covered issues such as what it's like for a non-specialist to interview famous academics, the incentives and pressures at play in the modern social media ecosystem, and how DTG commentary feels when you are on the receiving side!
    For fans of cringe comedy this episode might be particularly enjoyable as off-hand comments and cutting remarks are discussed and dissected for their fairness. But (spoiler!) everyone survives to the end. Chris (Kavanagh) also took a degree of pleasure in watching the alleged 'nice guy' of the podcast squirm over his cheeky remarks. All in all there is some nice symmetry, in that everybody had something to cringe about.
    But perhaps this dialogue will alchemically transform that cringe into spiritual gold, and we can all learn something and grow a little as people or podcasters? Or maybe not? Time will tell, ay?
    Have a listen and see what you think!
    P.S. Sincere apologies for the audio quality, especially on Matt's end. We recorded this at an ungodly hour of the morning and Matt was too zombified to select the good microphone. Or the DISC could have interfered with it... Something like that.
    Links
    https://decoding-the-gurus.captivate.fm/episode/18-gad-saad-oh-my-gad-its-the-saadfather (The original DTG episode on Gad Saad with Chris Williamson )

    • 1 hr 47 min
    Decoding Academia: Matt on his ENTIRE research career *Patreon Sample*

    Decoding Academia: Matt on his ENTIRE research career *Patreon Sample*

    So, what even IS the deal with Matt? Is he a proper psychologist or does his past conceal something darker, aside from his bronzed skin-tone? Until now, he's been a mystery hidden in a enigma and wrapped within a svelte Australian shell.
    Well, enquiring minds need to know, so that's all about to change! Here it is - The Story of Matt. The ins, the outs, and the 'what-have-yous'. The false starts, the missed opportunities for fame, the many entry roles as a research 'shit-kicker', and his final glorious ascension to his ultimate form as a white haired tenured Professor.
    You'll learn why being an English language teacher is not a real job, how Matt could have been a contender in the massively lucrative and prestigious field of artificial intelligence, where all the fish live (under the sea, mostly), the powers and ideologies at play in gambling research, why Matt isn't impressed by Taleb's claims about fat tails, and so much more.
    You'll be left wondering, "How can one man, even if he is very ancient, do so much? Is he a polymath? Or does he just have a short attention span, and trouble holding down a job?" And finally, as an exercise for the listener, like Chris, you will be left to wonder "is convolve a real word?"
    Here it is: the backstory of Matt.
    Links
    https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=g0Dr9csAAAAJandhl=en (Matt's prolific research output)
    https://www.insidegambling.com.au/editions/4/feature/gambling-harm-impact-on-community-on-par-with-depression-and-alcohol-abuse (Inside Gambling article on Matt's research)
    https://www.stitcher.com/show/tea-for-two-with-iona-italia-and-helen-pluckrose/episode/72-matthew-browne-why-people-gamble-public-limited-version-80344533 ('Two for Tea' podcast episode with Matt on his research)

    • 1 hr 3 min

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