The Atlantic staff writer Helen Lewis spent much of last year knee-deep in gurus — the Steve Jobs, Robin DiAngelos, and Jordan Petersons who captivate (and capture) audiences with their ideas, spiritual aura, and (increasingly) podcasts — while reporting The New Gurus for BBC 4. She postulates that they derive their popularity, in part, to the decline of religion in our societies, a topic she started to explore in her reporting for The Church of Social Justice and The Roots of Woke Culture. In this convo, we cover religion, gurus, genius, feminism, and her infamous interview with Jordan Peterson.
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On the agenda:
-The first Uncertain Things event! [0:00-3:21]
-Setting up Helen [03:22-6:50]
-The decline of religion [06:51-20:38]
-Words, names, and language [20:39-29:26]
-The Joe Rogan test [29:27-43:23]
-Gurus, genius, and the content economy [43:24-51:33]
-Journalists, human-sized narratives, and strong men [51:34-1:09:32]
-How to Interview Jordan Peterson(s) [1:09:33]
-Religion replacements [1:22:04-1:26:36]
Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday rumination, subscribe to: uncertain.substack.com.