Alex, author of Why Science Is Wrong...about Almost Everything is best known as host of the mighty Skeptiko podcast, which has hundreds of episodes up, chronicling his journey from skeptic to full-on consciousness explorer. It's an exhilarating progression, as Alex talks to scientists, mystics, conspiracy theorist, historians, and more. I encourage you to listen to the episodes in sequence. Alex is, in some ways, even more open and exposed than me, displaying all his misfires and new insights, his frustrations and his fascinations.
IN THIS EPISODE WE TALK ABOUT
- Time management as occultism
- My first memory was of the spiritual world
- How Alex decided to start a podcast and why you should too
- The power of self-doubt, and how to make sure doubt doesn't overwhelm you
- Why every discipline should seek to be obsolete
- Skeptical ethics
- The disconnection between political beliefs and action
- The trap of being a spiritual seeker
- Whether or not Alex is sick of Skeptiko after 300+ episodes
- Gloria Steinem, CIA agent
- Social Justice Warriors vs Free Speech Warriors
- When being victimization becomes a weapon
- Escaping centrism by disregarding the poles
- Defending Jon Ronson, Chapo Traphouse, and Camille Paglia
- When to speak up, and when to remain silent
The first time Alex and I talked is up as a transcribed conversation, "Fight Science with Science" on my blog.
Here's a link to the Self-Realization Fellowship that gave Alex a new perspective on spirituality.
Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People may seem a little self-help flakey. But that's only until you read it. It's good stuff, even if some of it has been so absorbed into culture that it seems just everyday now.
Some of the more painfully confrontational (AKA "really fun to listen to") episodes of Skeptiko are here, here, and here.
God and the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-Death Experience, by Dr. Jeffrey Long is a key text for Alex and Skeptiko listeners.
Here's my friend, Robert McDermott, brilliant Rudolf Steiner and Sri Aurobindo scholar, talking about Steiner at length.
Oh yes, Gloria Steinem certainly IS a CIA lackey. Did you think we were bullshitting?
In the end, Alex and I both end up professing our love for Jon Ronson. Here's Jon's excellent book (which Alex seems to have forgotten was a book and not just a movie - in fairness, he record years and hundreds of episodes ago), The Men Who Stare at Goats.
And here's Will Storr's great book before he got very, um, "I LOVE SCIENCE SO MUCH EVERYONE," Will Storr vs the Supernatural: One Man’s Search for the Truth about Ghosts
“Never complain, never explain” was originally stated by British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli who is just full of amazing quotes, however much you may find yourself aligned with his sometimes, uh, distasteful politics. Here’s a site with his quotes.