The Failing Scapegoat Machine

David Gornoski starts the episode with a reflection on how statist monopoly over violence has disrupted American society at every level and why we must reject the Left vs. Right dichotomy to find solutions. Join David as he analyzes the latest news stories such as the recent impeachment against President Trump, Uganda inadvertently banning and exposing Twitter’s hypocrisy, the demands for secession, and more. Plus, David’s THINGS HIDDEN collaborator Shannon Braswell calls in to expand on the crumbling of DC’s scapegoating machine.

Hindsight is 2020, The Great Start of 2021

“The world offers a Great Reset, but what we need is a Great Start!” David Gornoski starts the episode with an analysis of the rampant authoritarianism as evidenced by the notorious lockdowns around the world. Why has Dr. Fauci completely ignored information on nutrition and our immune system? Joining David to see what lies ahead in 2021 is Shannon Braswell. The two discuss the anthropological work of Rene Girard and how Girard has provided a thorough dissection of our modern-day socio-political landscape. Listen to the full episode for all this and more.

THINGS HIDDEN 22: Twilight of the American Gods

Shannon Braswell and David Gornoski return for another exciting episode of THINGS HIDDEN. The two address Kanye West’s appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast, the concept of the holy fool, the cultural decline in France, the rise of suicide terrorism, the rise of troll culture, the need for distinctions and role models in society, and more. How do we cultivate good role models in today’s culture of top-down coercion? What does putting skin in the game mean? How does Christianity help us in overcoming human barriers in a way other religions could not? Listen to the full podcast to find out.

THINGS HIDDEN 21: Jean-Michel Oughourlian Interview

In this THINGS HIDDEN conversation, David Gornoski and Shannon Braswell are joined by Jean-Michel Oughourlian, psychologist and author of The Mimetic Brain. Oughourlian starts the discussion with an insider’s perspective as Girard’s collaborator and how he found breakthroughs in the field of psychotherapy upon studying mimetic theory.

“The mirror neuron is something fantastic,” Oughourlian remarks, “because if you experiment, if you put a CT scan or PET scan on your own head and mine, and I’m drinking a glass of water, and you are on the other side of the Atlantic just looking at me, in both our brains the same regions will be activated the same way. In other words, whether I do the action or whether you look at it, the brain functions the same way–it mirrors what I’m doing.”

How does this discovery relate to the right and left-hemisphere brain study by Iain McGilchrist? How has mimetic theory helped Jean-Michel Oughourlian in the field of psychotheraphy?

“What I try to do when I see a patient is not so much find out what he is suffering from but to find out who he is suffering from. In other words, who is his rival,” Oughourlian states, “This becomes extremely tricky because some people look like friends but they are your enemies, some other people you think are your enemies but they are friends, they want to help.”

Is mimetic theory connected to physics? What is consciousness, or more precisely, how does consciousness function? Since we’re all compelled to imitate, how should we select our role models? Listen to the full podcast to find out and more.

Buy ‘The Mimetic Brain’ on Amazon.

Our Cannibalistic Desires: Shannon Braswell Interviews David Gornoski

Shannon Braswell, in his first episode of Polymath’s Paradise, sits down with David Gornoski. The two resume their discussion on the works of Rene Girard. David takes us through his disillusionment with mainstream Christian talking points and his introduction to Rene Girard.

“Jesus was basically an object for folks rather than the subject of your life,” David says, “Jesus had become an object with people to have a social status in comparison with others.” How do we make Jesus the subject of our lives?

How does the eucharist relate to cannibalism? How is civilization, as we know it, rooted in cannibalism? How has Christ affected humanity through this ritual consumption of the other in our species? Listen to the full podcast to find out.

THINGS HIDDEN 20: Founding the Galilean Global Village

Jerry Bowyer, editor of Townhall Finance and Affluent Investor, joins David Gornoski and Shannon Braswell to discuss his new book ‘The Maker Versus the Takers’ and other topics such as the effects of socialist-centered liberation theology and mainstream evangelical theology. Jerry Bowyer argues that both of these theologies were premature in their conclusions due to the lack of archaeological findings that we have today. Once we consider the recent archaeological findings, Jerry says, we can know more clearly about the socio-economic environment of Jesus’ day as well as what Jesus taught about wealth.

What is the Christian approach of reconciliation towards those calling for a revolution? How do we apply the principle of Jubilee in today’s society? How can we build a “global movement of Galileans” that would solve problems in non-violent, entrepreneurial ways? Listen to the full podcast to find out and more.

Buy Jerry Bowyer’s book on Amazon.

Battle of the Scapegoats, Keith Weiner on GDP, Inflation

David Gornoski and Shannon Braswell return for a conversation on economic stimulus and welfare, scapegoat narratives in politics and culture, and more. Plus, Keith Weiner of Monetary Metals calls in to talk about the latest news on the economy such as the Fed becoming the 1/3rd owner of US mortgages, the 3 trillion deficit of US budget, JPMorgan abusing government relief funds, and more. What is the broken window fallacy? Why does the “hate has no home here” crowd push for endless wars overseas? Listen to the entire episode to find out and more.

THINGS HIDDEN 19: Big City Blues

David Gornoski and Shannon Braswell are back with another discussion. This time, the two have an exciting conversation on mimesis in an increasingly technological world. How has the end of witch-hunting accelerated scientific innovation? What are the modern-day scapegoating institutions that have brought innovation to a standstill? Is the profit model desirable in the field of science and technology?

Christians need not conform to the secular dialectic of science vs the church, Shannon says. What sort of course should Christians embark on when it comes to scientific innovation? Should we continue on the mainstream trajectory of innovation like the state-enforced patenting system and big tech information monopoly, or should we aim towards something much more different?

The conversation also moves to a study of technological development in pagan cultures like Japan, anthropology of the Catholic church, setting up labs in the basements of churches, and more.

THINGS HIDDEN 16: Giants of the Law

Shannon Braswell and David Gornoski are back with another exciting conversation on envy, greek philosophy, the Old Testament narratives, and the West’s cross-haunted culture.

Why are successful, creative people derided in society? Shannon and David explore this question by looking at the trajectory of the Old Testament stories from scapegoating to self-reflection; they are then led to the ancient Greek philosophers, the Jewish interaction with ancient pagans, and whether we can look to the Old Testament the same way as we look at the New Testament.

How important are the Mosaic laws when it comes to the development of western civilization? How has our cross-haunted thinking affected our foreign policy and our justice system? Listen to the full podcast for a bold discussion on how to reject the timidness of coercive institutions and get our courage and creativity back as a culture.

THINGS HIDDEN 15: India Edition


Listen to the podcast:

How do we see the hidden victims of violence in Indian mythology? What are some of the sacrificial underpinnings of modern-day institutions? How has Christ infected the Indian psyche? Join David Gornoski, Shannon Braswell, and Surit Dasgupta as they tackle these questions while trying to understand some of the major differences between an archaic society that hides its victims under the veneer of grandiose narratives and a cross-haunted society that causes its inhabitants to struggle greatly in their search for scapegoats.