Harris: Writer or Podcaster? 

 
AtariKo
 
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AtariKo
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27 December 2017 13:38
 

I am a big fan of Harris’s podcasts. I think he’s an excellent interviewer. But I generally don’t enjoy his books. Not because of the writing (that I think is fine—if verbose), but I tend to think his thinking is muddled. Any of you feel the same way? If so, what accounts for this? Or would you reverse it?

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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27 December 2017 21:47
 

He is just not that great a thinker.

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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28 December 2017 07:48
 

I’ve read 3 of his books and listened to several segments of his podcasts.
Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree.  /shrug

I imagine podcasting helps pay the bills, or he’d be doing more writing (which also helps pay the bills).

 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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28 December 2017 11:42
 
AtariKo - 27 December 2017 01:38 PM

I am a big fan of Harris’s podcasts. I think he’s an excellent interviewer. But I generally don’t enjoy his books. Not because of the writing (that I think is fine—if verbose), but I tend to think his thinking is muddled. Any of you feel the same way? If so, what accounts for this? Or would you reverse it?

I agree with this review on the back cover of the paperback THE END OF FAITH:  “The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood.”  -  Natalie Angier, New York Times

That’s why I joined this forum.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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28 December 2017 14:26
 
unsmoked - 28 December 2017 11:42 AM
AtariKo - 27 December 2017 01:38 PM

I am a big fan of Harris’s podcasts. I think he’s an excellent interviewer. But I generally don’t enjoy his books. Not because of the writing (that I think is fine—if verbose), but I tend to think his thinking is muddled. Any of you feel the same way? If so, what accounts for this? Or would you reverse it?

I agree with this review on the back cover of the paperback THE END OF FAITH:  “The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood.”  -  Natalie Angier, New York Times

That’s why I joined this forum.

I felt that way when I read it too, but in retrospect it’s what I wanted to hear at the time, other people who I could pump my fist in the air with while shouting kill the faith, kill the faith. After a while of following SH you come to realize he is really just an average thinker with a skill to put it in writing.

 
 
June
 
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June
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28 December 2017 16:15
 

I would reverse that depending on the topic and who he is speaking with while interviewing.  Some of the people he interviews have written books, a few of which I’ve read and the interview comes off as if he has either not read their material or has and is centering the conversation to counter,  while missing the crux of their argument.  David Benatar comes to mind.    The number one book of choice for me had been The End of Faith, which now appears as short sighted and somewhat removed both from reality and a historical perspective, while looking back on the twentieth century.

 
 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
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28 December 2017 16:47
 
GAD - 28 December 2017 02:26 PM
unsmoked - 28 December 2017 11:42 AM
AtariKo - 27 December 2017 01:38 PM

I am a big fan of Harris’s podcasts. I think he’s an excellent interviewer. But I generally don’t enjoy his books. Not because of the writing (that I think is fine—if verbose), but I tend to think his thinking is muddled. Any of you feel the same way? If so, what accounts for this? Or would you reverse it?

I agree with this review on the back cover of the paperback THE END OF FAITH:  “The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood.”  -  Natalie Angier, New York Times

That’s why I joined this forum.

I felt that way when I read it too, but in retrospect it’s what I wanted to hear at the time, other people who I could pump my fist in the air with while shouting kill the faith, kill the faith. After a while of following SH you come to realize he is really just an average thinker with a skill to put it in writing.

Indeed. Of the “Four Horsemen,” it was Christopher Hitchens who always seemed to stand out the most remarkably. Some cliche about the light that burns twice as bright goes here.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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29 December 2017 07:13
 

I love his style. I think the podcast is a good display of how well rounded he is. He doesn’t seem to be stuck to anyone specific discipline so his conversations tend bring out angles on topics I hadn’t considered with any great depth. Sometimes he takes that depth and runs with it when it’s not necessarily a major issue, but what else is knew for podcasts. Gotta pay the bills. Besides, he has way too many political and public consumption rules to adhere to for all of his discussions to hit the nail on the head every time. Most people aren’t that ready for how raw and real he probably could be. Still, when it seeps out, it’s golden. And his demeanor is cool. I think he’s probably a chill cat.