Episode 264: Jon Ronson

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Journalist Jon Ronson, author of the best-selling books The Men Who Stare At Goats and The Psychopath Test, came by Going Off Track to discuss his friendship with Alex Jones, our collective obsession with public shaming and his new Audible series The Butterfly Effect. Along the way we also discuss the new Netflix film Okja which he co-wrote, why it’s so difficult to work in the pornography industry and the saga of Justine Sacco. We also talk about how our political state got so polarized and what we can do to try to come together and try to start moving things in the right direction. “Someone said to me today how can you be a moderate now and I didn’t reply because I didn’t want to get into a big fight but what I would have said is that extremism is why we’re in the mess we’re in,” Ronson says at one point. “If being a moderate means listening to people and trying to understand each other and trying to be humanistic instead of trenchantly ideological then I think that’s the way out of this mess.” As difficult as that may seem in practice, it’s sound advice and we’re thankful to Ronson — who has appeared on podcasts ranging from The Joe Rogan Experience to WTF With Marc Maron — for making the time to come in for this enlightening conversation.

Jon Ronson’s website

The Butterfly Effect on Audible