H.I. No. 6: Delete, Flag, Delete, Reply
|"Delete, Flag, Delete, Reply"
|Hello Internet episode
Episode 6 on the podcast YouTube channel
|Original release date
|March 10, 2014
Official Description[edit | edit source]
Grey & Brady talk about clutter, Tesla Motors and Email.
Show Notes[edit | edit source]
- A Beautiful Home
- All the pointless crap in the above
- Merlin Mann's Inbox Zero talk
- Drafts for iPad / iPhone
Other[edit | edit source]
Grey 0:00 The more we do these podcasts, the more I think I realized how different we are.
Brady 0:05 What numbers this?
Grey 0:07 This is number six.
Brady 0:09 Number six. I need to apologize in advance if I sound a bit off my game. I know normally I'm you know, incredibly sharp and witty. You are you are, I might be a bit I might be a bit off because I haven't been having a lot of sleep lately. I have had issues, what issues have you had? I will I will tell you about my issues as as briefly as I can. I am as you know, currently in Berkeley, California, and I've been staying sort of in a in a condo that I've rented a room in. And I arrived the other night and it turns out there was some issues because what's going on is the guy who's like renting out this room when he hasn't got paying customers like me. He allows these these couch surfers that stay for free. You know this couch.
Grey 0:55 I know couch surfing.
Brady 0:56 Yeah, it's a good thing. Anyway, hey, those couches It's to stay for free. Which, you know, isn't the nicest thing to know about when you're paying for the place. But anyway, what he does with his apartment when I'm not there is not my business. But the problem was, when I arrived, this couchsurfer person was still there. And he didn't know the couchsurfer it was still going to be there. And this particular woman, who I would describe as eccentric owns three cats. She had the cats staying in the place. Now I'm, I am not anti cat. But this woman was out a lot and her cats were not particularly controllable. She certainly had no control over them. And there were three of them in this tiny place. And as they know, so there's a cat litter tray in the kitchen and food everywhere and hair everywhere and cats everywhere. So, no, I was telling the landlord, this probably wasn't ideal and, uh huh. And he was mortified. She was basically squatting this point. So He sent people around his friends to try and get rid of her and she wouldn't go and then she bunkered herself in the other room with her cats. And it was all very awkward and made and so anyway to cut to cut a long story to a medium length she, she left eventually, thank goodness took her cats but the problem was obviously before she left during this period where she was bunkered in the room hiding from everything. The cats the cats paid the room she was staying now smells unbearably bad, really bad like so I've shut up and locked it up and put that blankets at the bottom of the door to sort of sit seal it perfectly. But let the smelly standing to escape and in the middle of last night about two in the morning. The smell finally thoroughly permeated the room I'm sleeping in and so bad that it woke me up. And I couldn't get back to sleep. So I have been kept awake all night by the smell of cat pee. And I come to this podcast now a product of that lack of sleep. And what do I gotta
Grey 3:15 ask? I gotta ask. You can stay there. I mean you're in you're in San Francisco for like a month aren't you?
Brady 3:25 Yeah, well, I'm the got the land that was really nice. I don't
Grey 3:28 care how nice the landlord is. That could not be more irrelevant, my landlord and
Unknown Speaker 3:37 the place is nice.
Grey 3:40 Yeah, keep telling me about how nice it is. I want to hear more. You like the interior decorating. Perfectly great except for the cat being everywhere.
Brady 3:51 The location is excellent. So I'm giving him a day off to to get a professional cleaner in and also I'm pretty lazy and I don't want to repack and you know, have to find a new place and move with all my bags and my kids
Grey 4:08 reacted to this whole situation could not be more different from what my reaction would be.
Unknown Speaker 4:12 Yeah.
Grey 4:14 Sorry to hear about your cat pee troubles, but it seems like you're not doing a whole lot to extricate yourself from the situation now. Move your bags.
Brady 4:25 And now, now that I said out loud, I say that sounds silly. But from my perspective, leave it with me. Let's do some follow up from the last episode, which I believe was about was about all sorts of things as usual. It was about advertising clutter in the house, funnily enough. Yes. There was a bit of bit of freebooting in there as well. Yeah, many things. Were there any things you you were particularly keen to follow up? I've probably talked enough for now.
Grey 4:51 Yes, well, the first the first thing that I wanted to follow up is talking about reviews that we have gotten so the iTunes reviews that people have left And so I was checking this afternoon and I made a little spreadsheet. And so at the beginning of Episode Five, yeah, five, I think we had four new countries that had left reviews last time for this episode.
Brady 5:14 We actually have a bunch of the new countries or is it too long at least see if you've been to any?
Grey 5:18 Okay, here we go. I'm going to run down. I'm going to run down the list and this is have as of this morning, so in alphabetical order, they are Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Vietnam. So I think that is an incredibly impressive showing. And I just want to thank all of the listeners who left iTunes reviews in those various countries. I was
Brady 5:59 having all those people Fullarton written reviews are they just like given like a five star or three star or have actually written stuff.
Grey 6:05 So iTunes counts it if people leave a star review. So that that just counts as as as star reviews. They are not all written reviews. But I have to say, almost all of them are written reviews we have we have a great ratio of people who leave written reviews versus star reviews. So yeah, I just I was quite impressed. And I just wanted to thank all of our listeners. And it's very cool just seeing that that people write in from all of these various places. And they
Brady 6:30 may tell you, let me say thank you as well. Thank you. It's, it's amazing.
Grey 6:35 Yeah, they go through and leave very nice reviews. So yeah, just very impressive. This whole bunch and I was particularly of all those countries, sorry. I'm going to pick one out to talk about just a little bit. But I was very happy to see that we had Iceland there. Iceland was the the least populous of the bunch of countries that left reviews. They have 321,000 people and we got to review from there. And I'm very, I was very happy to see that because I actually went to Iceland for a trip with my wife A while back when we were newly married. And it was just one of my favorite trips that I ever took the country was just beautiful. And we did a road trip that went around the whole exterior of the island and it was just amazing. And if I'm ever fortunate enough to have the chance, I will totally love to go back to Iceland at some point. So did you go into the interior? No, we didn't go into the interior that that I think might maybe again, if I get to go again, we might do a trip sort of across the island going into the interior. I don't know.
Brady 7:38 Have you been to Iceland? I have not I really want to go i'm i've been reading a lot about it lately too, because I've been reading all these chess books and obviously the the Bobby Fischer Boris Spassky sort of the century was was held in Iceland and Bobby Fischer ended up in Iceland as well. So he has a he has a big association with the country which is further furthered my interest It has not been I've not been I really want to go.
Grey 8:03 It's beautiful. And I will just I will say one of the thing about Iceland, there seems to be, per capita an unusual amount of artistic creativity that comes from Iceland. So I there, there are a lot of bands that are from Iceland that are unusually good. And on Flickr, for example, it's a photography website. Some of the some of the most amazing photographers you're ever going to come across. They're all from Iceland, partly because they have amazing things to photograph but the technical quality of their photos are so great. And it just it comes up all the time. And I wonder if this is a byproduct of since they're so far north, you have a lot of time during the winter to try and you know, perfect your craft. You know, you don't have a lot of distractions. So I wonder if people are indoors, you know, working on and thinking about their own particular hobbies and creative pursuits, because it seems like an unusually creative country per capita anyway. So Iceland, I have a lot of positive feeling. towards them. This episode of Hello internet was brought to you by the Iceland commission. Yes. I have
Brady 9:06 a gray like correction to make. Oh, do you? I wouldn't normally do this, but I thought it would just appeal to you.
Grey 9:13 I'm very intrigued.
Brady 9:15 In the previous episode, I refer to Mr. Johnny fingers from the Boomtown rats, who I had met a few times at a Japanese music festival. And I refer to him I believe, was an Englishman. He is of course and very obviously, Irish. That's bad, Brady. I know that is bad. Especially someone you know, Irish heritage like myself, so I apologize for this mistake. I realized it very soon afterwards. thought maybe I'd get away with it. Someone did pointed out on the Reddit. Apologies.
Unknown Speaker 9:51 Good. I'm glad I'm glad you've corrected your error. I noticed I thought you'd like that you love that kind of stuff.
Grey 9:57 I appreciate that. You took the time to say The record straight.
Brady 10:01 Yeah. All right, you got another follow up. I've got a couple here.
Unknown Speaker 10:05 What do you have clutter?
Brady 10:07 Yeah, in the house. Yeah, I thought I thought that was an interesting discussion we had last time. This was obviously the fact that you sort of despise objects and trinkets and items in the house. And I remember thinking at the time to myself, as the conversation unfolded, everything that was said, just made you sound like this Uber cool man of the future and this sort of high tech, amazing person and made me sound like some weird hoarding person who probably walks around the streets with plastic bags full of junk. And I found it very refreshing in the comments on the subreddit, which is obviously very, you know, skewed towards you because it's, it's your subreddit. I thought this was going to sort of this was going to be the tone of the conversation. And I found it very refreshing. How many people thought you were the crazy one.
Grey 10:56 What I would say to that is yes, there was there was definitely a whole bunch of agreement agreement with with you that I sound a little bit crazy. But I still, I still defend my position. I do want to say a couple of people and I've been doing this on the Twitter as well. We're directing me toward the minimalism section of Reddit says there's a whole subsection for discussions about minimalism. And I would not say that I am just to be clear people I'm not like a minimalist. I would I would think that I am more just a functionalist, that I don't like objects that aren't doing something in the house. They're serving some kind of purpose if you know if it's just if it's just there. I don't know I don't like them. I was I was complaining about it on Twitter earlier and I was I was tweeting some pictures of some houses that were beautiful houses but they're just filled with with pointless stuff, like a decorative horn on a table or like plants all over the place. Especially fake plants all over the place like that.
Brady 12:03 So when you tweeted that great, I saw that when you tweeted where you said, beautiful house. I can't believe how they've ruined it with all the clutter. Yeah, so I went home to look at the pictures. And there wasn't that much stuff in it.
Grey 12:14 Oh, no, no, that was pretty spot and now did you are okay, you know what? It's making me angry. Okay, so people, I'm going to put a link to this thing. I'm going to put a link to this thing.
Brady 12:24 I'm not saying it was like all white was it didn't have stuff in it. Don't get me wrong. But it wasn't I was expecting it to be one of those, you know, TV show documentary house from hell, up to the ceiling with rubbish and it would just had a few nice objects. I'm seriously thinking of withdrawing the invite that I've extended to you to come to my new place. I don't think you'll be able to handle it again. I haven't even got that much stuff.
Grey 12:47 Well, well, you forgot I was in your old house. And also, you forget I when I'm looking at these things, I'm judging them by the standard of what I want to live there. And so I don't when I go into somebody else's home, I'm not thinking, oh god, look at all This person's stuff because I'm not in that mindset of what I live in this person's house but I'm visiting somebody else's house. It's totally different.
Brady 13:07 So you're saying you wouldn't have lived in my house?
Grey 13:09 I would well not the way not the way you had decorated No, I would not have lived in your house the way you would rejected I'm sorry, to you and the missus. But no, if I lived there, I would decorate totally differently. But I'll put I'll put a link to this this place. So there's this is this lovely? Your house is lovely. I'm not going to argue that but it's a different question of what I decorate your house the way that it is decorated? I would not. Okay, anyway, people I'm going to put a link in the description to the show that you can go look at. And it's the the interior of a house which I think is beautiful because I like the the the textures. So I don't actually like empty white rooms for various reasons. I don't like being in a place that is all white. So this house has like gorgeous mountain views and the walls are stone and the floor is wood and it's beautiful. But I'm just looking at these pictures and They just have like a dead tree branch that's acting as ornaments in one location. There's there's this twisted horn on a table that serves absolutely no purpose. There's gross just a flip
Brady 14:14 side and the heritage of the place in the forest.
Grey 14:17 Now they have this horrible like crystal lamp that just ruins absolutely everything.
Brady 14:24 I'm not saying the place was to my taste it wasn't I just don't think I just wouldn't have described it as cluttered.
Grey 14:30 I'm not saying it's cluttered I'm just saying that they they ruin it with all of their stuff up and in the bathroom here as the worst is like just a chunk of Amethyst. Randomly on on the counter and like a little cactus or something something horrible. has like why don't you just have that beautiful countertop clean. Just don't don't put something totally pointless on there. It's just it's infuriating.
Brady 14:55 Like, like the stone walls though and all the word even though that comes from nature in it. Dude, Yo, I think I think maybe a cow booed on that stone once and things like that
Grey 15:05 is clean. But no, the reason I The reason I picked this house out in particular is because I love the look of the dark stone walls and I love the look of the word textures. I just think just like you don't you don't need all these fake plants. You don't need a ram's horn on the table. You don't need all of this junk on your lighting fixtures like, Oh, it's just hideous, like the things that they put there. So anyway, that's that maybe that's enough about this, but yeah. I've I've had a few interesting conversations over Twitter about about this stuff. The last last couple of days.
Brady 15:41 We spoke quite a lot about advertising last time. Hmm. I feel like we have there's a lot more to say about advertising Not today. But yeah, I can imagine that we will talk about advertising again because we we discussed we concentrate on a very small aspect of it and there's there's there's been lots of feedback and lots of things said One, there was one thing I wanted to bring up. And that was, again, a comment someone made. During the talk, I spoke about how when I listened to American sports commentary, I find it strange that suddenly though, you know, in the middle of talking about a play that just happened, they'll say, by the way, you know, you should go and buy a Toyota from New York Toyota dealers. They're wonderful. And I thought that was jarring. And someone, by the way, that I would never criticize American sports commentary, by the way, because I think American sports commentary, funnily enough, it's probably the best in the world. I think, as I turned to a grumpy old man, I don't like a lot of sports commentary around the world. But I think the American commentaries have a very high standard. But I do find these, these ads in the middle of things strange. And someone pointed out to me, Oh, so you find that strange, but you don't find it strange that in other countries, they have advertising plastered all over the shirts. And I thought that was a really interesting observation. It was something I was aware of. But I hadn't thought about at the time. And that is, although I associate the United States with kind of, you know, you know, capitalist place and everyone's out to make a buck and advertising, sports shirts have remained a kind of a holy, sacred cow, I guess they won't put ads, you know, you won't see an ad for Toyota or across the front of the New York Yankees top or something like that. Whereas in most other countries, you know, English football shirts are covered in advertising. I found that a really interesting thing that kind of, in the the American sport has held and that respect and won't sell that valuable, valuable real estate to advertisers, generally,
Grey 17:40 is this is a case where I don't watch sports. I didn't. I didn't realize that was the case. And I'm thinking, I guess maybe in my head I'm thinking of visit NASCAR. This like there's some outfits that have logos on
Brady 17:53 NASCAR is not an example of that. But I have but you have a lot of baseball teams or I think but you know, football and bass Couple things like that. I mean, I'm sure people will point out all the areas where there are exceptions to this and you do get small sponsors logos for Nike or whoever made the, the shirt. But generally you don't get big brand sponsors across the front of the teams. Whereas whereas, you know, in most other countries that happens. So it was it was interesting. I don't know, I don't know why it is, people would no doubt point out some mistakes, but they also might point out some theories as to the rules or the reasons that this that the shirt, the clothing has remained the sacred cow in America.
Grey 18:35 Yeah, you know, just I don't I don't watch sports enough to know but it's googling for a couple sports uniforms. I can see they're all relatively relatively clean. But not not NASCAR. NASCAR is not
Unknown Speaker 18:46 no not necessary. So
Brady 18:52 I think that's the most of my most of my follow up
Grey 18:55 for good. there's anything else that I think we need to mention in and follow up for For this week,
Brady 19:00 if this is the point where you are now going to insert our sponsors message, yeah, it's probably going to be really weird, isn't it? Because I've just like, talked about sacred cows and not having advertising. That's true. And now this generate a little noise and grades gonna read the ad.
Grey 19:14 That's true. I was I was about, well, this, this is the point at which I would normally cut to add. And now you're making me feel really awkward about it. So well, I'll let you I'll let you
Brady 19:26 edit your way around that. We'll find out how you deal with it later.
Grey 19:29 But maybe I won't, right, maybe any second. Now the little doodle is going to come up. And I'm going to switch into my more professional voice for doing announcements. But no, you're making me feel real awkward now. So let's see what there's gotta be one more little things I could talk about.
Brady 19:44 Now. Just keep the noise flat now. Do it now. On the count of 3123.
Grey 19:51 Hello internet. Today's sponsor is audible.com a leading provider of spoken audio information and entertainment, listen to audiobooks whenever and wherever you want. Last time I told you about how I listen to audiobooks all the time every day. And here again to recommend another book for you to listen to this week. And this time it's going to be what would Machiavelli do by Stanley being? The best way to describe it is basically to say that it is a kind of fake business book. It's written full of advice and the stories about modern day business people and how they became successful, but written from just a completely satirical very ruthless perspective. It's a rare book that manages to be kind of both interesting and informative and funny at the same time. But again, I'm picking this one because it's another example of a book that is just made much better by the actual narrator. This time, it's not narrated by the author, actually, it's narrated by a guy called Philip Basco, who is an actor and he'll show up in movies, usually in small roles where they need someone to be this sort of evil corporate owner or just generic businessman, and he really just has the absolute perfect voice to narrate this kind of book. It just impossible. Listen to him talk through this one and not feel like you're in some kind of exclusive business guy clubs sharing cigars with this dude as he unloads his years of experience and tells you tales of backstabbing in the business. This is a perfect example of a book that I might not have read just on my own, but the narrator just really, really does a great job with this one. So I highly recommend it. It's again, what would Machiavelli do? It's by Stanley being and the narrator is for the Basco and if you want you can listen to it for free by going to audible.com slash Hello internet all one word with over 150,000 titles and virtually every genre you'll find what you're looking for, get a free audiobook and a 30 day trial today by signing email@example.com slash Hello internet. That's audible.com slash Hello internet. And as always, we'll put a link in the show notes for you to click and follow.
Brady 21:52 So there we go. We're back. We're back from the professional Ed.
Grey 21:56 Yes, we are. That was an amazing product or service that I am advertise, which currently does not know what it's going to be. But you, dear listener, know what it was. So there we go.
Brady 22:07 And can I just add my endorsement to that product, which I also don't know what it is yes. But if it has been chosen by you or me, I think it means we do support it because we wouldn't do a read for someone we didn't like
Grey 22:19 that product or service is an excellent product or service
Brady 22:22 as I was at the other night, and I was offered a lift home by someone of somewhat more means than me. And he drove me home in his Tesla motika Ooh, this was quite an experience. Hmm. And I was very impressed. I'm not a car guy. And I don't know if you are but I'm pretty sure you don't own a car.
Grey 22:47 Well, I'll let you take a guess. Do you think I'm a car guy? Or do you think I'm not a car guy?
Brady 22:50 You're not a car guy. You win. But this would have changed your mind. This was if CGP Grey was going to love a car. This was the car. This car I described as like a MacBook Pro with wheels. It was like because it was silver and cool. It was quite functional. It was functional. It had like the guy said, Have a look at this. And he opened up the front the what would you call that? The hood or whatever? Yeah. And it was this huge expanse of space. There's obviously no motor there. Huge amount of storage. And then we went around the TARDIS like you were thinking how can there be this much room in the car, and then we went around the back and he opened the back. Again, no, no power system. They're just a huge void for storage. I don't know how the thing moves because I never saw whether the engine could be. Then we then we got in and it was like, it was lovely looking and everything was beautiful. And it was all screens and high tech. And he just said the address where we wanted to go and then the map popped up on a different screen. Right next to the electronic speedometer, and it was like, and they will touch screens everywhere and he could surf the web while he was driving.
Grey 24:08 And I've actually terrible I think, but
Brady 24:10 Well, I say I did say that to him. But he said he's had the video disabled like that, like that made okay. But he does do like web pages. But like, it was, it was just, it was really lovely. It was really high tech, everything was functional, every you know, and you could go into all these touch screens and systems to do with controls of the car. And, you know, it was silent like these electric cars are and I asked, Well, you know, does that mean it's a bit gutless? And he was like, watch this and planted his foot and it was like, the space shuttle launching, it was so powerful, fast. It was that it was lovely. It was a lovely thing, and I think you would have approved
Grey 24:49 it. It's interesting to hear you say that because well I am. I am not a car guy in the least. I have been kind of following the news with Tesla for a while because Both I think that their company and their founder, Elon Musk, or Musk, I'm not quite sure about anything. Yeah. Elon Musk. Yeah. Yeah. So both the company and the founder are very interesting. And I'm not I'm not a news person that it's like I don't keep my fingers on the news all the time and I'm not really interested but there are a few things that I do kind of search out every once in a while that I keep on my radar and Tesla Motors is one of those companies I think they are
Brady 25:32 unusually interesting. And and I suspected that I would, I would like the car from what I have seen online, have some some demos of it, or some people taking it for a ride. So it's interesting to hear that you like it. When this one that is interesting, you should say that though this one I went in, as I said, the gentleman who was kind enough to give me a lift was had enjoyed some business success over the years. So he he was actually this one I was in was one of the first hundred that was made that made more net with this was one of the original,
Grey 26:01 one of the original original ones, right? Yeah.
Brady 26:03 So he was saying he, you know, he paid for it and put the money down. And with the knowledge and the pink told from the start, if this fails, you're not going to get your car, and you're not gonna, you're not going to get your money back. But he was sort of enthused enough about the project to say, I'm all in goodies, goodies flash car now.
Grey 26:23 Yeah, they're very, they're very cool. And at least at the time that we are recording this, but you know, if you're listening to in the future, you may know if this has or hasn't happened, but there are some rumors swirling about possible Apple acquiring Tesla Motors. Both Tim Cook and I know the the CEO of Tesla have acknowledged to have talks with each other that they've been chatting, they won't really say about what and so there's, there's just rumors about maybe Apple's going to acquire that company, which would be interesting and the things that I've heard is, is that they're there. overlapping interest is in battery technology, that that even though they seem like these companies might not have very much to do with each other, that they are actually their interests are aligned in improving battery technology, and maybe there are ways they can work together to solve this problem, but so, future listener, you may know if that ever happened, but at least it's an interesting rumor that's going around nowadays and it does seem like like the design of these companies might be somewhat compatible and yeah, anyway, I just think i think that that is interesting. I'm not putting any money on that but it's it's an interesting prospect.
Brady 27:42 The car felt like an Apple product in some ways. I don't know. I know that's a controversial thing and people will get upset.
Grey 27:49 Yeah, and no, Apple just came out with their their car OS this week as well. So Oh, yeah,
Brady 27:54 I haven't I saw that. I haven't read about it. So the The other thing I wanted to just talk to you In this context of what's been going on with me was, we mentioned I was in Berkeley. And you even said yourself, you're in San Francisco. Yeah, I did. What's this? Where do you stand on this situation? Where? And I know, I know it sometimes it depends on how far away you are from the place. But let people in I consider myself to be in San Francisco, you know, I look out the window, and it's the Golden Gate Bridge and the big pyramid building and, and the bay. But everyone here refers to Berkeley, like it's completely removed from San Francisco. Like, I would never say San Francisco. What do you think about that? And I know this is true in lots of different places to like people like to sort of consider themselves to have this different identity but
Grey 28:47 well, this is this is the called the narcissism of small differences. Right, which is, I first I first came across this I remember in college right where I discovered it You're talking to random people, and you're likely to get into an argument. You get into arguments with two kinds of people and the people who are on the opposite end of the spectrum from you. And so I was doing physics at college, like and you get into some argument with like an art major, if you're a physics major about something. Yeah. But then the other people that you have arguments with more intense arguments are the people who are close to you, but ever so slightly different. And so like, the most intense arguments ever would happen between the physicists and the chemists. Right, like you're both these like this hard
Unknown Speaker 29:38 was it was a nuclear physicist in the quantum physicists. Yeah,
Grey 29:41 yeah. Or like, within the fields, right. And so I think that that's, that's the same kind of thing that that from an outsider's perspective, like, like, if you're an English major, in some sense, like the difference between different hard science specialists is like kind of irrelevant from your perspective. It doesn't really matter. Like, oh, they're just science majors. It's like, Oh, no, no, no, I'm not a science major, right? I'm a physics major, this is incredibly important to me. And so it's always just a matter of perspective. And like, so for me, as someone who doesn't live near the San Francisco area, and has been to the San Francisco area four times in my life, maybe you know, and twice was for those very brief YouTube conferences. If you made me sit down and think about it, I would probably recognize that Berkeley is not San Francisco. But since I'm not from there, like this distinction is not as important or as as as foremost in my mind. And that even goes for, like I know, very consciously like everything from Mountain View up to San Francisco in my brain is just San Francisco, even though I know those are those are different places, to the people who live there. So
Brady 30:58 the other thing I wanted to ask you about was just more to just sort of gauge American knowledge of these things. And that is universities, because I also went to Princeton last week, it was like the middle of nowhere, I go to train in new in New York and out into the middle of New Jersey for two hours, and then change them to this other little poodle, and train out to this little place. And that and there was Princeton, and I didn't really, you know, Princeton's one of these places, you know, the name. And maybe, you know, it's in New Jersey, I think maybe, probably a lot of people don't. You don't know where these places are. And I think Berkeley like, you know, probably for a long time as well. A lot of people probably know the name Berkeley, but might not know that it is, you know, sort of in San Francisco. And there are all these famous universities with these names that don't really give away where they are the way that the University of Nottingham kind of gives
Grey 31:51 away where it is. Yeah.
Brady 31:54 You know, Cambridge,
Grey 31:56 Oxford. Yeah.
Brady 31:57 Yeah. So do most of Americans who are obviously more familiar with the University System immediately know where all these places are. And as as an outsider, am I still learning? Or do you think a lot of Americans also are a bit in the dark as to where these places actually are?
Grey 32:13 I i'm i'm not sure that I could speak for most Americans here. I mean, you hear about the Ivy League, you know, as the as the top tier universities. And even off the top of my head, I couldn't name all the universities in the Ivy League and I know there is one funny one. Because the Ivy League, you think of Ivy League is having to do with like the top universities, but the Ivy League actually has something to do with something else. It's like sports team related.
Brady 32:41 That sounds like a CGP Grey video I've ever heard. But
Grey 32:45 yeah, so I guess I would say that that in here is here's my biases, right, like so I grew up in New York. And so obviously, the East Coast of the United States is the best Coast of the United States because that's that's where I'm from. So, like a ton of these universities, so when you hear like, I mean, you think of names of famous University, so you have like, like, there's Harvard, there's Cornell, there's Columbia. You've got Yale, you know, all of these places in my whole brain, right? It's like, Oh, yeah, all of those awesome places. They're just on the East Coast somewhere. Because obviously, the East Coast is awesome. And it has all the best schools. And Berkeley is like the, I only know the Berkeley is like, quote in San Francisco, because that was the one that was just the oddball out from my experience. It's like, Oh, yeah, and there's Berkeley but it's all the way over there in California, right? Whereas I just know that all of these other awesome universities are vaguely around where I am and and i don't know too specifically exactly where they are.
Brady 33:48 He's basically Ivy League. It's not though is it anyway?
Grey 33:51 No, I don't I don't think it is Ivy League. Again. I think the Ivy League is a weird it up.
Brady 33:57 Let's make this public as well. I think so. Although It's got this huge prestige. I think it's a different classification as well.
Grey 34:04 Yeah. So I'm just I'm looking at so on the Wikipedia the source of all human knowledge. Yes. The Ivy League is a Collegiate Athletic Conference composed of sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the northeastern United States. And yeah, it's it's brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, the one that I was thinking of is there, the odd one out in my mind always is University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. Good old Wikipedia, the very next sentence is the term Ivy League has also has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions and social elitism. So there we go. That's what Wikipedia says about the Ivy League. Enough. But yeah, so anyway, I don't know about most Americans, but all I know is east coast is awesome. And that's why the best schools are there.
Brady 34:58 I do find I do find The knowledge of where I know we've discussed this before, personally, but I find it really fascinating about people's knowledge or lack of knowledge about where things are. And I happens, you know, I'm, I'm the worst of all it happened. It happened to me. A few weeks ago when I was looking at a map of San Francisco, and I saw San Quentin Prison. Hmm. And I've heard of San Quentin and knew that it was his famous prison. But I didn't actually I never thought about where it was before, then I wouldn't have known it was in San Francisco, and probably wouldn't have guessed it either. So it's amazing, though, that there are lots of places that you are really familiar with it seem really familiar to you. And then if someone ever says, Do you know where that is? Or could you point to on a map? I think a lot of people would get found out. Yeah, Not that it matters to the point on a map, but I think it's useful. It's probably something I should be able to do.
Grey 35:51 Yeah, but it's always this is always the issue of like you were saying before that like the relative differences for the people who are in a place versus the people who are not a place In that place and so, you know, speaking of, of East Coast West Coast thing, my wife sort of grew up in both Hawaii and on the west coast. And so from her perspective, all she knows about the East Coast, it's just a like, Oh, it's all those little states over there. And I always find this incredibly infuriating. Because I'm from the inside, I know the geography of the East Coast very well. And like we, as you know, as a family, we went to all of these different places. And it's, it's the same it's just like the Berkeley San Francisco thing, right? Like, are you telling me it Connecticut is anything at all like Massachusetts, because like, cuz you are wrong, right? Like these, these places are totally different. Right? And don't even bring up main like main might as well be a different country. If you're talking about New York versus Maine, like what do you mean, they're all just a bunch of little states over there, and they're all kind of the same. It's like they're totally different places, but Hmm. But like, again, I can, I can appreciate that to somebody who spent a lot of time in like, Oregon, Oregon is huge compared to Rhode Island. And so it just, it all depends on where you're from and what matters to you in that location. And you can't expect people elsewhere in the whole wide world to know these things. Actually, I'll tell you this, this brings up one thing that I've always found an interesting exercise to do with students that I used to teach and and they really liked. This is a bunch of English Kids, which was the name the 50 American states game. And, you know, because I'm an American, the kids always knew it was America and and if I just had some time to kill and a lesson, I would sometimes do this and the kids were always really interested in this. And the thing that I found most interesting was how often they would, instead of naming states they would name Prominent cities and thinking that they were states. And so this would happen all the time. And I'm asking people name 50 states and I would get answers like Chicago, Dallas. And like that, I think is very interesting just to get a little perspective on like, what do people know about America who didn't grow up in America? And again, it's not reasonable to expect a 16 year old English boy to be able to name all of the 50 states and it's more just an interesting exercise to see like, what has he heard of? That might plausibly be a state? Yeah.
Brady 38:35 And that's why I always like doing I mean, that's not just kids. I know loads of adults. In fact, I'm sure if I was put on the spot for long enough I could even fall into that trap, but I know loads of adults that will go Oh, yeah, Chicago is that state but yeah, I mean, that's, that's super common for people of all ages. All right, then. Got any got any videos coming out anytime soon?
Grey 38:55 Well, yeah, I think I've settled on the topic from my next video, but it will. It will not be out anytime soon. And that's partly because of the move that I mentioned last time that I'm still involved with smooth. Yeah. So I think I've settled on the topic, but don't expect that soon people.
Brady 39:18 All right. I'll ask you what the topic is when we're off air, because you probably won't tell me I just said, view mean listeners don't feel like you're missing out on something. He went to me either. But I asked him,
Grey 39:28 you can you can ask me about this too. I will not tell you.
Brady 39:34 What are we going to talk about today we have got a topic is something is something you suggested. I know you're on Twitter, asking the listeners for suggestions. What have we settled on? Yeah, I was asking people for suggestions. And
Grey 39:43 it is partly because I'm still not confident that we're going to make it to 10 because I'm very nervous about picking topics but
Brady 39:50 right. We spent 10 minutes talking about cat pay. And I think we're going to struggle to come up with 10 topics.
Grey 39:55 Yeah, but I hope to god that's never our topic in the future. Like that's really going to be you know, scraping the bottom At the barrel, the thing that I thought maybe people would be interested in a little bit is how we deal with email. And it's partly that's been on my mind precisely because of the the move. So I've been in our new flat, and my gracious wife has been arranging all kinds of people to come to the flat like setting up the gas or setting up the internet or you know, delivering furniture or installing something or having it taken out. And so my days have been very, very interruptible bowl and very broken up. And so I know on days like that, okay. Don't even try to do something like work on a script for the next video because I need to block out chunks of time to do something like that. And so the past two days in a row in particular, I've been just doing literally email all day long, both days and so that's why it has it has been on my mind is Potentially something to talk about.
Brady 41:03 I don't know. Yeah. Yeah. Sounds good to me. Okay. Hey Minnie Mouse when it's one of the bane of my existence,
Grey 41:10 so why is it the bane of your existence? What
Brady 41:15 makes it because I because I get so much of it?
Grey 41:17 Yeah. Is that is the volume of it is what just makes you sad?
Brady 41:22 Yeah, I guess it's and also I guess, you know it like creating things and replying and dealing with emails is not a particularly creative endeavor. So it is it is more of a chore. You know, quite often I'll think, oh, I've got a whole bunch of things that require emails. And then I think maybe I'll just go and edit a quick number for video. I'll go and have a look at that period of video I wanted to cut and then I'll handle the email later, because then I'm making something and that's what makes me happy.
Grey 41:53 I was gonna ask do you have like a ballpark for how many emails you get a day and the idea
Brady 41:58 you know, I don't I guess people who follow both of us on twitter if there are any such people that have done so for a long time, we know that we have a bit of a running joke that I am I sometime partly because of volume, but also because it just annoys you because you're so organized. I sometimes I sometimes we'll screen grab the Little Red Badge showing how many unread emails I have, and just message it to you or send it to you just because it infuriates you to see my lack of organization. But those numbers are, you know, obviously have been in the hundreds of thousands, but that is a number that incorporates you know, some emails from YouTube as well automatic stuff. So that would be cheating. I don't get hundreds of thousands. But I would guess I easily get 50 to 60 emails a day that probably in a perfect world would require my attention, huh? But they don't get my attention.
Grey 43:02 Yeah, that's that that is kind of the ballpark. I was trying to just look at a couple previous days. And that's the same for me. 52, maybe 100 emails a day that again, in a perfect world would require some kind of response. Yeah. And yeah, my archive. I was just looking it up now, because I've been keeping all my emails in Gmail for a long time. I have nine gigabytes worth of email in my Gmail archive. So it's some enormous amount of actual individual messages. So yeah, it is. It is huge. And yes, your endless list of unread emails just infuriates me when he sometimes tweeted to me, show me that that little bad because I cannot I cannot possibly live like that. But I think email is different from all of the others because at least on on something like Twitter, one of the reasons I really like Twitter and I'm very active on Twitter is it doesn't feel like there is the same kind of social expectation that the person you're tweeting at is going to reply to you. You know, and so there are there are tons of people that I follow on Twitter who I tweet at them when they say something, and I have no expectation that they're going to reply back, you know, because they're just, they're more popular than I am or, you know, or they're just, I know, they're very busy people. Which raises the question about why we tweet in the first place, but I think that that's just a that's a nice thing about Twitter is that from both ends, you know, the person receiving the tweets is not under a kind of social obligation to reply to each individual one. And then you can also just message at people and you don't have the expectation that they're going to reply. So I think that that's good. Whereas with email, I think the expectation is much higher that you're going to get a response That I think is why email is partially much more problematic, because the sender has a greater expectation that you are going to reply.
Brady 45:10 Yeah. And
Grey 45:12 and that's why I think it's it's leftover from letters right emails are still formatted like letters. And I think about this a lot of the times when I'm sending email messages, especially with people I communicate with regularly is is the point at which you start to drop the the salutation and the goodbye at the end, right? Because at some point, you realize, I know who I'm sending this to, they know who they are, they know who I am. It says my name in the top right, I don't need to sign this like it's a letter. But if I'm emailing someone who I have never contacted before, I will always write it you know, dear professor, whoever and then sign it with my name on the bottom. So emails in this this funny world where it's still kind of feels like a letter. And so that's why I think there, it is more troublesome because there is this expectation of reply. And
Brady 46:07 okay, well, the expectations there. Yeah. There, do you?
Grey 46:12 Oh, man. So, right. It's this. This is where I may come off as just a like a total jerk. But it's just the realities of being in this position is that I reply basically to probably less than 1% of the of the email messages that I actually get. I very much scheduled my email in a particular way. And so this is how my system works. Just Just to preface how this happens. Yeah. People may be familiar with the system. I'm basically using something called Inbox Zero. I'll find a link for the show notes. But there is a sort of internet famous talk done by a guy called Merlin man at Google A number of years ago, talking about a system for managing Email. And it's basically if you've ever read getting things done the book, which I highly recommend, Inbox Zero is getting things done, applied to email. And so here, here's the basic, you know, way that it works is that messages come in, you have your email messages, and you have a limited number of things that you can do with those messages. Right, you can reply to them immediately. You can delete them. Or they can be a kind of pending message, you need something to happen at a later time. So you can file it under like a waiting for kind of system. Yeah, or you can file it as something to be action later. So there's like four things that can happen. And this is the way my system works. And I try very, very hard to really only look at my email maybe once or twice a day. It's not always perfect. But when I open up my email inbox, Basically I just do this. Okay, I'm going through the inbox. And all I'm deciding is okay, am I going to reply to this message right away? And that usually only happens if it's incredibly brief. So like, you will sometimes get one sentence emails from me. Yeah. Or it's incredibly important, which luckily doesn't happen too often. If it doesn't get replied to immediately. The next question is, do I need to reply to this at some point? Maybe not right now. And if that's the case, on my computer, I flag it. So I have a little keyboard shortcut. So I can hit Control F. and it automatically archives the message but also flags it so it shows up in my folder of flag messages. And so that is going to be replied to at some point in the future.
Brady 48:50 Wow, that that that folder would grow very fast.
Grey 48:53 Yes. Well we will get to this
Unknown Speaker 48:59 and or Delete the message. That's basically what happens. And do you feel a little pang of sadness when you delete someone's
Brady 49:08 you know, beautifully written missive without even replying to? What's something you would delete? Give me an example of things you delete
Grey 49:14 the answer to your question, but do I feel sadness is that I used to. So I don't know if you've, you've had the same experience. But I have had this progression over my YouTube career as I have been fortunate enough for the videos to become more and more popular, that the number of things that I can possibly reply to has decreased over time. But in the beginning, I used to reply to everybody who emailed me and even on my early videos, you can see I would reply to almost every single comment if I possibly could like that, that is that is still there. But as time has gone on that is that is less and less practical. And so there wasn't there was a period in which I did feel sort of guilt about not being able to reply to all the email messages that I received, but at this point Like, I have gotten so used to being able to quickly filter out my email inbox that I do not have any guilt, because I don't have any time to have any guilt. Because I've just gotten so fast at the at the keyboard commands that like delete, delete, delete, flag, flag, flag, delete, delete, flag, flag, reply, type, type, type, type, enter, delete, delete, delete flag flag, like that's what I do, when I check the email, right? It's like, as fast as I possibly can, like a robot. No, no, it's it's just that you acknowledge it to write the email can be this endless time sink, right? And an email is not your job, right? You're not getting paid to reply to emails, right? Like my if I just spent all day replying to all the messages that come in, like, I will not have YouTube career and my wife and I will be out on the streets, right? So like, I can't, I can't spend a lot of time I want to get email done as fast as humanly possible because this is not how I should be spending my day. And I think for people who like my videos, I think they would agree, right? If you like my videos, you want me to spend more time making those videos and less time getting into a back and forth discussion with you know, some person who happens to have emailed me about a particular thing in a previous video, like I get 10 of those a day, that could be messages that just end up back and forth forever and ever, you know, at a at a minimum and so I just have to delete those kinds of things. And so, I guess the thing that I'm thinking of is like you asking what do I delete? This is gonna sound terrible, but if people email me that you first have to find my email address, you don't have to be like Sherlock to figure out what my email addresses but I you know, I don't make it public anymore. And that certainly has cut down on the volume a lot. Because when it used to be there, like at the apex of when I was getting quite popular on YouTube but still had my email listed on the homepage like, email me with your thoughts. At some point I was getting just hundreds and hundreds of emails and I thought like, okay, I can't do this anymore and I took it off But people can still know what my email addresses. Yeah. But so as people messaged me, and I would say that any particular email message that comes into my inbox, it has three seconds to convince me to not hit the delete button. And that is that is an absolute max. And I've gotten very, very good at kind of getting the gist of an email almost immediately. And just being like that delete. Goodbye message.
Brady 52:47 Awesome. What a foot before I ask you about best practice to me some of the worst practice what's going to get me deleted.
Grey 52:54 Right. Yeah, so this is, this is also it's really interesting to be in this position. Because, because I like to contact experts if I can for my own research projects. I'm in this interesting position of I am also a person who is trying to get the attention of other busy people who probably do the same kinds of things who get lots of messages and just delete a whole bunch of them. And so it's it's very interesting to to be on both sides of that. And I have to say I, I have very high response rates for the emails, I send other busy people who don't know who I am. And I think that that's precisely because I've gotten so many messages to me where you can just see, okay, don't do this. So the things that I'm going to say, you can take it as a like a lesson in like how to contact a busy person and get a reply. Yeah. So I would say, instant death is a message that goes beyond the screen of my computer. Like if as I'm deleting messages if something comes up, and the scroll bar pops up on the side, so I can see you have written so many paragraphs, it goes off my screen, that is almost a guaranteed instant delete,
Brady 54:11 even even if they have like a killer first sentence that says, you know,
Grey 54:15 hit right. So what I say I have three seconds, right? You basically what that means is I'm very aware that I tend to read the first sentence of the first paragraph and the first sentence of the second paragraph at most, to see if it's going to like stay my hand on the delete button. Yeah, and I have learned that if those messages are really long, those first two sentences that I read, never convince me otherwise. It's like, you know, you said you're afraid that someone has sent you like a Nobel Prize winning email and and you know, you haven't gone through it. Like that can totally be true, and I will fully acknowledge that maybe someone has sent me a like an important long message that I would have like to have read that I haven't. But because of the time constraints of the real world, you can't make decisions like that you can't read every email as though it's going to be possibly incredibly important. You have to use these kind of mental heuristics. And one of the things that I have learned is that basically, the length of the email is almost always inversely related to its potential importance. So emails that I'm going likely to respond to you are relatively short. And that's one of the reasons why if I'm emailing a professor that I want to have him look over my script or you know, a researcher or someone my emails are as brief as they can possibly be. They're basically you know, three paragraphs each paragraph is about two sentences long and each paragraph is designed to hit a very particular point. So my message is to other people basically start with Here's why you might want to read this, you know, here's a link to the thing that I would like you to take a look at. And then I finish with the paragraph of, here's who I am. And that's the kind of message that I send out to somebody else. Because I'm aware that that is relatively effective when people are trying to get my attention. get straight to the point. And tell me later who you are, you know, don't don't start an email with like the two paragraph CV, like, I want to know, why are you contacting me? And then later, I want to know who you are.
Brady 56:38 That's good advice. And I, I am maybe I don't follow that enough. I have a reasonable response rate to but maybe maybe it would be better. That's That's good advice.
Grey 56:47 Because it's something Oh, yeah, I would say it's something I'm really aware of when I'm reading emails. And that's why I do the the first sentence of the first paragraph in the first sentence of the second paragraph. Because almost always that first paragraph is some kind of introduction. who the person is? And like, I understand, like you have maybe accomplished many great things in your life. But I can't evaluate that in context until I know what you're asking me. Right? What like, What do you want? And then if it's an interesting question, or you know, it's an interesting proposal, then I want to know more about who you are, I don't just want to know who you are in the abstract. You know, again, this is for designing emails that are going to get a response from a busy person not emailing your friends, obviously.
Brady 57:31 So that's like best practice. And that's actually, I found that really interesting myself.
Grey 57:37 Actually, the funny funny thing is, for me anyway, the subject field doesn't really matter. Because when I'm blasting through emails, I don't see the subject field. The way it's the way it's set up is when I hit delete, like the next message, just loads. And so again, I'm kind of doing first sentence second sentence scanning. So subject doesn't actually matter a whole lot to me, but that's just the way I have my own. Email Setup.
Brady 58:02 Good idea, bad idea.
Grey 58:04 I don't think I've ever opened an attachment that anybody has ever sent me. Like, it's just not gonna. It's just not going to happen people like unless I know who you are. I'm not opening up some attachment that you have sent me is
Brady 58:19 what about that? What about someone you know, someone like me whose name you know? How often do I end up in that deleted bin?
Grey 58:27 Ah,
Unknown Speaker 58:28 well, do I get an extra sentence Grace?
Grey 58:31 Well, what you you end up? Well, really? I guess basically, you end up in the, I'm saying delete it, but actually I archive it. I do keep all the messages. Okay.
Brady 58:44 Even though you know that Nobel Prize email is still sitting somewhere.
Grey 58:47 Yeah, I mean, archive is is almost functionally equivalent to delete in 99% of cases. But basically, if you've sent me an email and I don't reply to that email, I have archive that email. So that That does happen and it's it's because sometimes you send me an email and it just doesn't warrant a reply. You're just telling me something which also gets into the weird email etiquette, which is just sometimes uncomfortable with people you think. Oh, you've told me this thing. Do I need to just say thanks? Yeah, yeah,
Brady 59:15 it's just like Have a look at this link or this video. I thought you might like it.
Grey 59:19 Yeah, that that can be a little weird sometimes. And and, and again, it It sounds crazy to hesitate over sending a thanks, link. But if you know the other person is also receiving lots of email every day. All of those things start to add up over time, right like that can become that can become quite monstrous.
Brady 59:41 I guess. Like I like some acknowledgement that things have been received there. Okay, like because I can ignore effects. But it but not knowing. The worst thing for me though with that is when you when I when someone says Let's film together, and I'll email back and say brilliant. Wednesday, three o'clock is good. And they don't reply. And until they reply that extra time, right? And say, Yep, it's going, like I won't put it in my diary. And then I just don't turn up somewhere. And they're like, I got your email saying Wednesday, three o'clock. I was waiting here. But until I get that confirmation, and I know this, I know that's more extreme than thanks for their email. But
Grey 1:00:18 I find that totally baffling, who are you working with? Who doesn't reply to confirm? calendar dates, academics, academics with their heads in the clouds, right? Because I would act the same way as you until I get a reply or something like that. It does not count. I'm not putting you in my calendar until I get a reply for that. Forget it.
Brady 1:00:37 I guess Do you sometimes like, like, you've got all these met these, you know, procedures in place. And that's good. That's good. But do you sometimes just reply on a whim to something you normally wouldn't reply to?
Grey 1:00:51 Yeah, every once in a while, someone sends me an email and I will I will just reply but that that is so Random and such a tiny percent of my outgoing email that it basically doesn't matter at all. But it does happen on occasion that something will just randomly catch my attention.
Brady 1:01:12 What up weirdest way it is just out and out. And I say this like, you know, like Brad Pitt or something and obviously they're not but when you do get fan mail someone just saying thanks for the videos you making they're really good and they mean a lot to me. Do you reply to those ones?
Grey 1:01:26 I Okay, okay, this is gonna sound really awful. But no, I don't reply to them. And this is this is where it comes into the question of like, is a thanks is sending just the word thanks worse than not replying. us a thanks just feels like it's totally empty and devoid of any meaning. Right? Like thanks. I have made no comment at all about the things that you have said to me. And so like sending a message is so yeah, it's just so devoid of meaning that it feels more honest to not reply. And and, and frankly this this goes I can't I can't sound like a terrible person but I don't know. I don't know if people are interested but but interested in just how things are from a certain perspective like this is this is going back to a few conversations ago we were talking about Derek's comment, Derek veritasium pretty Derek, his comment that like the value of positive feedback goes to zero as you get more and more of it. And it's it's interesting because it's like very many. I hate the word fan. I really hate the word fan. But yeah, it's it's an awful word because it is it describes qualities of the person that I don't think are fair, but let's let's say appreciative emails that you get, yeah, are almost The same and it's like this quote that that, you know, all happy families are identical but miserable families are all miserable in their own unique way. And, and it's the same thing with feedback, right? Positive emails are almost always all the same, but people who hate you have their own really particular reasons for hating you. And so the the negative mail is much more varied in its content than the positive mail. And I don't really reply to either but it's it's interesting when you start talking about getting lots and lots of email messages from people to to see that. And it's very rare that there is something unique in a positive message that that catches my attention. And I will mention one that stuck with me like, you know, there aren't very many, but somebody sent me a message where they said that they they hadn't really been speaking to their brother in a while. But at a Thanksgiving dinner, they discovered that they had both watched and liked my videos. And that they had had a whole conversation about my videos, and it was really nice to be able to have a starting point for, you know, a new conversation with a family member. And I thought oh, that you know, that's really nice and that's very specific and I you know, I I appreciated hearing that and I think I replied to that person. But yeah,
Brady 1:04:23 it's interesting to hear and I might take this further in a minute depending on my mood but it's interesting what you're talking about in replying and this feedback about what you you know, what you get from it. But should we should both of us be thinking about what the recipient will get from us taking five seconds to reply? Well, it means what it means to them and I know that he's all these 510 30 seconds add up. But yeah, what it did pop into my head that thought I'll tell you why in a minute.
Grey 1:04:54 I have been on the other side of this and so I have definitely Sent fan emails I guess in the internet age to people who I thought were just totally awesome. And I would say that the thanks email I honestly found a worse experience to receive than the nothing email. Fair enough. I mean that that is just my personal experience.
Brady 1:05:20 So you may see me
Grey 1:05:22 again, I don't know. I have I have messaged famous people and gotten back the one word thanks.
Brady 1:05:29 You've got to tell us one even if it's not someone who's gonna things people are going to want to know who CGP Grey center fan.
Grey 1:05:35 No, I'm not going to. You don't even tell me one thing your business
Brady 1:05:40 was my business. You can still tell us? No, it's not gonna happen. How you administer your emails, not my business. I spent the last 40 minutes telling me about that.
Grey 1:05:49 Yeah, but I'm choosing I'm choosing to I'm choosing to mention that I'm not gonna mention CGP Grey outbound fan email.
Brady 1:05:58 Sorry, everyone. I asked. But let me tell you why I brought it up. This is something this is a this is a slight tangent. Yeah. But it's something that was in my head. I was reading through some one of the Reddit feedbacks about advertising. And this person wrote a comment about all the things they hate about advertising. I hate this. I don't like this, this bugs me. And it wasn't that long ago comment. But they used the word I, I think 10 times in the comment. And never once did they mentioned the person who made the free video they were watching and what benefits they may or may not get from advertising. And I do think it's all very selfish.
Unknown Speaker 1:06:48 I guess that's that's the nature of,
Brady 1:06:51 you know, humans. But I do think it's easy to and I promise you, I ignore more emails than you So I am not, I'm not being high and mighty. But I do sometimes feel bad about people who've taken a long time to write something from the heart. And if I think they've written something from the heart, I know that sounds really stupid and mushy, because I think they've written something from the heart. I will write something and I will make sure it's more, I will say, thanks. And then I'll make sure there is one sentence or one phrase in there. That proves that I read the email, even if it Yeah, even if it's their name or something like that. Because I think, you know, these people have taken, taken some trouble, and I know Yeah, I'm not being you know,
Grey 1:07:39 I just I just want to interject here because I just I think, yeah, it was this morning. I don't know my sense of time is all messed up. But I think it was just this morning, I actually left a comment on someone's YouTube channel widget who just made a YouTube video, just basically saying that they enjoyed the podcast and they enjoyed the videos that I made. And I have the same experience that you do, which is that if I'm going to leave a thank you comment, I want the person to know that I actually watched the thing. Yes. And so I was going to just write thanks. But then I added another little comment just just to prove. Yeah, you know, I didn't just see that you made a video about this podcast, I saw that you made the video and I actually watched it. And you can know that through the comment that I've left. So that that that I agree, and that's also why I feel I feel very strongly about this, like just sending the thanks is kind of worse. Yeah, not replying. Because the not reply is, is much more honest. Especially like when I'm being a robot. And I'm just delete, delete, delete, you know, archive, archive, archive all these messages. You know, if I scan it very quickly and see that it is it is a, an email that is positive, like I appreciate receiving that but I'm not going to plie thanks 50 times a day to a message that, like you don't get anything from the thanks. And, you know, it's just it but, but again, these expectations with email that these are like letters is makes email much more complicated. And even though I don't have any guilt about archiving those messages, because it's just a practical necessity, that, that that feeling of hesitation is still much more there than something like Twitter, you know, or Reddit messages, you know, which I've just feel no obligation to not, you know, to reply to it in the slightest.
Brady 1:09:33 What about the concern night because not everyone is as savvy as you with their writing. And you know, they might, they might bury the lead, as you say in newspapers and put the important stuff down the bottom. And what if that means a missed opportunity for you? What if someone says dear grey, this is who I am, this is my life story, and I think you're wonderful. And then their last sentences. And by the way, I just found a huge diamond in my backyard and I want You to have it. And you've you've never even got to that because you've deleted it by just that, because that would worry me that worries me that
Grey 1:10:09 or I don't worry about this at all, not Not in the slightest. And, and again, it's because you can't evaluate things individually. the only the only question is, what is the correct system for maximizing the value that you get from email? You're such a robot? No, but but like, what is your argument that you want to spend all day using email inefficiently? Like your argument is just crazy, right? My argument is correct. That if if I if I have seen over time, a particular pattern that certain emails that match certain heuristics, in my mind, just have nothing to reply to or have no value. I mean, sure, I guess I could read every single every single message that comes in every day. But like that argument is equally valid for all of the spam I get right when I look at my spam folder, because because My email was much more public on the web. years ago, I get thousands of spam messages a day. I mean, my spam folder is just enormous, right? your argument is equally valid. What if, what if the guy with the diamond sends you a message and it got caught in the spam? So, like, you're, you're,
Brady 1:11:21 I mean, you're treating you're treating it. I know there's a balance here, but you're treating it like the Large Hadron Collider, you know, and you've got 300 million collisions, a second to progress and you've got to start applying blanket rules and, and maybe they do miss the Higgs boson every now and again, because of all these filters they apply at the LSC, but these aren't these aren't political Coalition's these are human beings and
Grey 1:11:46 I would say that human beings are like particle collisions. And the thing that I will give you for this is that I think I think, you know, some some listeners may know in college, I did a dual major, I did physics and I did sociology. I was originally going to do physics and psychology was my original plan. But after a few psychology courses, I kind of came to the conclusion that these people were not sufficiently rigorous from my perspective. And that human beings, it's much more like an ideal gas, right? trying to imagine the individual motivations of an individual human mind is just you never going to get anywhere with that. But if we look at humans in a collective manner, like sociology does, yeah, you can draw meaningful conclusions from the behavior of hundreds of people in a way that like pontificating all day long about like what a particular person's dreams mean, right? Or like, why did they do this thing? That's just a total waste of your time and your life but like, what do 100 people do in this situation? Great. Now we can draw a bell curves about expected outcomes. So I think the same thing applies to the email. Yes, I understand that there are human beings on the other end of that email, but it doesn't change that, from my perspective, this has to be like a heuristic beezy and kind of calculation, right? I've discovered from experience I very long emails almost always have nothing of any value in them. So if you see a long email, you can just assume you can delete it almost immediately, like, just do a quick check. And they're like, Nope, sorry, but you know, gone. And, you know, again, there's certain certain kinds of ways that people open emails, like just the first sentence, I can know Okay, this this email falls into a particular category. And if I'm, if I'm wrong, sometimes that's going to happen. But I think that the the number of times that I am wrong, does not outweigh the time that I saved by not going over each individual email with a fine tooth comb.
Unknown Speaker 1:13:55 And,
Brady 1:13:56 yeah, it's two quick things. I have you read the film. series by Isaac Asimov.
Grey 1:14:02 I have read the first two. I have not read the full series.
Brady 1:14:07 I love them. They're my favorite books. But they they're interesting because they apply the soul treating
Grey 1:14:11 huge masses of course, psycho history right?
Brady 1:14:13 Yeah. Yeah. So that that just made me think. But the other thing that's popping into my head is, I mean, exactly like you I receive a lot of emails from people wanting to work together in some business way.
Grey 1:14:24 I have some thought about this. And don't let me forget.
Brady 1:14:26 Yeah, okay. The enemy, you know, will you join our network? Or can we advertise our new semi automatic weapon on your channel or something? Yeah. But, and I don't reply to those. But the reason I'm sitting in Berkeley talking to you today is because I did open one of those. And it was someone wanting to collaborate with number five, who is now a really important collaborator with Numberphile Mathematical Sciences Research Institute here at Berkeley. I'm here working with their mathematicians and making all these cool videos and That wouldn't have even happened if I had seen the email and thought, here we go again. What I really want to do now, and I will do and maybe we can follow up next time, is I want to go and find the email that was first sent to me by the director here that started the conversation. I mean, he's a really smart, excellent man. And I wonder if he followed the CGP Grey rules of attention getting, I wonder if he was smart, more I got lucky, or I read too many emails and it paid off, but I will find out I will dig out that email and find out whether it was whether it was my stupid old fashioned panning for gold, or it was your theory that was well written and cut to the chase.
Grey 1:15:45 Yes, yes. Because it is a to two things about this. The first as a slight tangent, is that I actually got the most valuable thing My life from email, which is my wife, and I met my wife through email from an earlier internet project that I was running that she liked. And she sent me an email, you know, just as a as a random person on the internet. And that eventually led to us meeting and getting married. And her first email was very good, right? It was it was an email that indicated that that she actually knew who I was. And, you know, we had common interests. So
Brady 1:16:29 having mail to that email
Grey 1:16:30 Oh, yeah, I have I still have that, that.
Brady 1:16:33 I knew he was sentimental. So that
Unknown Speaker 1:16:35 is a value possession of course not in a position
Grey 1:16:40 you misunderstand I have not not sentimental now I definitely have that. And, and it is great. And every once a while I go back and look at that. It's interesting to know that my whole life has changed because of that particular.
Brady 1:16:50 So do you know yes, you do what you should have printed and make it big for a man of D horns, and put it out. Oh,
Grey 1:16:57 yeah, that sounds like my style. The directions is a nice touch. I like that. And the second thing so to sit now to get back to unsentimental to get back to business, right. And to your your comment is that I have the same kind of heuristic, which is trying to identify very quickly Is this some kind of business email? And again, like the podcasts of first world youtuber problems, right? Oh, people send me business deals. Yeah. And and I definitely, if it looks like it is some kind of business to like you said someone who wants to collaborate. I do read those much more carefully. Still very quickly. Yeah, but more carefully than normal. Yeah. Because I'm because this is the case where, like your situation, I'm aware that something valuable may come out of this Now, to be fair, I mean, you know, and I think the other YouTubers who were sort of friends with they know of all of us, I am definitely the most cautious person and I am the person who says no to the largest number of things. But I still do read through those just in case something comes along that I do. I do think it's valuable. But
Brady 1:18:07 just to point out, you say no to most business deals, but you are the one who married someone who emailed you said, Oh,
Grey 1:18:12 yeah, that's true. But But yeah, even the business deals, I mean, people would not believe how how many terrible, terrible self destructive offers, you can get as a as a professional YouTuber. I mean, just some, some of the worst things where people, people, and I think this relates to, you know, maybe a future topic, but people have written me emails where they want to pay me, I'm gonna say substantially, like sizable numbers of money to make a video. That is just a terrible advertisement for their product basically. And I think one of the worst I ever got was from a company who wanted who wanted me to flog their new internet sales. process, they want to be like a new kind of PayPal. They're like, Oh, here's what you're going to do. We're going to give you a bunch of money. And you're going to make a video about the history of commerce on the internet. And it'll end with our product as the future of commerce on the internet. And it just just like, I'm never going to do that. And this like what I think might be an interesting topic for the future is like, the value of the people who give you attention. Like I'm very fortunate to be in a situation where people want to watch the videos that I make, but I am keenly aware that one of the reasons so many people watch my videos is because they know when I release something, it's something worth watching. Yes, and that's why I get just awful, awful business deals, to flog other people's stuff on the channel. It just isn't worth it because like I'd be portraying the people who have subscribed to my channel. Bye Here is a video but it's sort of actually an advertisement like that. And it just gets back to like why it was it was kind of upsetting for me when people thought the Reddit video was an ad like I was really surprised and caught off guard by that. But that's again, that's another topic for a different time. But yeah, business emails I read more carefully. But still, almost all of them are just terrible, terrible things I say no to.
Brady 1:20:24 I write down a few things I was going to ask you, but I think you've covered most of them. Was there anything else you wanted to anything else you wanted to point out on all of this topic?
Grey 1:20:32 Um, I think I think maybe just the the final thing that I would say, Oh, actually, Yeah, I was gonna say the one thing I didn't I didn't quite explain, which is the whole reason I started talking about this is my always happens with you.
Brady 1:20:47 Yeah, some topic and at the very end, you go Oh, but last thing. This is the whole reason I went about it.
Grey 1:20:52 Yeah, that's it. I'm sorry for doing this. I don't know how long you've been recording. Now. It seems like a long time. I'm sorry people. I'll try to edit this down. So much shorter.
Brady 1:21:00 definitely gonna have to edit a bit because we've said a few things that make us sound like real douchebags,
Grey 1:21:03 Jeff, we might, I might, I might, I might.
Brady 1:21:06 Yeah, you end up sounding brilliant now sound like a douche bag.
Grey 1:21:12 It's all in the power of the editing Brady, I want to edit these things. You've got the fan channel that one time, I know how to edit stuff.
Brady 1:21:20 I'm paying the penalty for that one
Grey 1:21:22 video. Now, I guess all I was gonna say is email system that worked very well for me. Funnily enough, when I was a teacher, I actually kind of got in its own ways I got more email than I do now. But that is because at one school and this is I've talked to people who work in corporate settings. in corporate settings, you have the like death by carbon copy, where everybody sends an email to everybody else in the whole business. And at this one school I remember once I was out sick for a few days and I came back and I opened up my email and I forget The unread message thing was over 1000. And I had been out for like three days, like, Oh, my God, and just going going through all of that it was just cc on all kinds of stuff. So you can get a lot of email, you don't have to be like, a YouTube person to get a ton of email. And I found that when I was a teacher that that email was more stressful because it was trying to find the needle in the haystack of like, which of these things are relevant to me? What do I need
Brady 1:22:26 to know about it was released at least now or your emails, love or hate? Or about you?
Grey 1:22:29 Yeah, it's it's relevant, which makes it easier, to some extent, but but what I was going to say is that the system that I used and that I still use, and when I really recommend for people with that, that flagging system of I'm replying to an email now, or I'm not replying to it, or I'm going to reply to it later. The thing that really works for me about that is that that later bit, and so when I was having a more regular job, I had a real schedule of every Wednesday. I would clear out my flagged folder. So the rule was all of the messages that had a flag on it. They had to be cleared out of that folder, I had to reply to them or take the information out of them or do something with them. But they couldn't stay there in that in that flag folder. You know, past that Wednesday,
Brady 1:23:20 you st disciplined you like a Jenna, like I might, if I did that, I'd be like, push it to Monday.
Unknown Speaker 1:23:27 But when I get back from holiday,
Grey 1:23:29 but here's it like, if if I don't think of myself as a particularly discipline, disciplined person, but I'm aware that in certain contexts, there's a huge amount of payoff, to following a couple of rules. And so, for people doing email in an office situation like I really recommend this system of check your email sort of twice a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and flag stuff that can wait until whenever you're scheduled. period for replying to emails are, you know, that worked really well for me when I was a teacher that and the thing is, that works well for me now. But the reason people will see me complain on Twitter about email is that my cycle now is a mentally flagged stuff that I can deal with after I finished the next video, right, but since since my video cycle is somewhere between four to six weeks, it means like what like what has been driving me crazy the past couple days, is that I will end up with a flag folder that has 300 emails in it. And those are all messages that need a real reply, right? That's stuff that has passed the initial response, the deleted, you know, I need to reply because this is about you know, something with advertising with the podcast or, you know, this is a reply from some professor, I emailed or you know, this is something about a research project that I'm working on. And so that's why I attend To have these just huge batches of two days in a row, three days in a row, sometimes, like nothing but email, because I've like blocked it all off in one period of time. But I actually think that that that works really well like I like batching similar tasks together like that. And so I think it's better to do email and blocks, you know, and if you're doing it on a weekly basis, like okay, Wednesday mornings is like nothing but email. I think you're much more effective that way than if you just kind of have email open all the time and the patching I like, I like just a little bit of this and then a little
Brady 1:25:36 bit of that and reply to an email. And that reminds me of something else I want to look at on Wikipedia.
Grey 1:25:41 Yeah, well, I was gonna say you reply to email suspiciously quickly. So I assume that you just have it open in my background. I check my email.
Brady 1:25:50 Once every 1520 minutes, at least at least, it's like that. It's terrible.
Grey 1:25:56 That is literally there's literally a dopamine addiction
Brady 1:25:59 and So I've, I've got to a point now where sometimes I take, I take it out of my Taskbar on the Mac, because even if it's closed, I will just instinctively go down and open it. Like even if I don't want to open it up, just go down and click on open. I'm like, oh, I've opened it. I didn't even want to open up but I've just done it like as a, as a reflex. So I've gotten to a point now where I've to try and wean myself off, I'm taking the email out of out of the taskbar. It's terrible, and it's a real problem
Grey 1:26:31 that that is, that is really terrible. You gotta you gotta break that dope. I mean, the diction buddy,
Brady 1:26:36 it is it is a completely is it's a real, it's a real problem. And you know, so, but those ones I'm checking all the time. You know, I'm looking for emails from my friends or my collaborators and
Grey 1:26:48 you know, something like to them because it gives you an example of something I've been, I've been experimenting with. As part of my problem is that you know, when you don't check email, very Often you're concerned about missing emails from important people. And so I have, I have been experimenting with Apple's feature to mark certain people as VIPs. So they have a, they have a higher level of notification across various devices. So you may have noticed you've gotten, like faster replies from you lately,
Brady 1:27:18 but I really like two to three days.
Grey 1:27:21 Yeah, faster than weeks. You know, we're down two days but, but I've been I've been playing with that, but I still don't I still don't like it. And I think I'm going to stop using the VIP system at all because, to me the real value in email like I run my whole life through email, my wife knows if she needs something done. The best way to make sure I do it is to email it to me, because then an email is the starting point that filters through to the whole rest of all my organization systems, which we might talk about someday.
Brady 1:27:50 But just to clarify, you're not a robot.
Grey 1:27:52 I am not a robot. No I wish I was a robot but sadly I
Brady 1:27:54 am not a but you have like this data entry point to your information. organizational systems. Yes, yes.
Grey 1:27:59 And my wife knows that email is the correct protocol for making sure that the right system is talking about but but but yeah, so I have found that the the VIP thing, kind of it moves email to be more like instant messenger like a back and forth and so I'm not happy at all with getting notifications from from VIP. So I think the value in email is, is it's a synchronicity, right that you deal with it when you have time for it. Otherwise, you're just inviting interruptions from the whole rest of the world. Yeah, in and I'll tell you, I'll tell you maybe this will be our final thing about so you might my super pro trick here with email, you know, because email can just be incredibly distracting. You know, you open it up and you see all this stuff from other people. And so in the mornings, I try to wall off my life from external distractions as much as possible. It's not always perfect but but I try very much But of course, something will often happen where you think, Oh, I need to email this person about whatever. Yeah. And so to do that, you would need to open up your email. But then if you open up your email, you see all the messages from other people. And I want to try to avoid that until I'm ready. And so I use my iPad for just just almost absolutely everything. And there's a couple of ways to do this, but I use a program called drafts which basically allows me to send an outgoing email message without ever having to open up the email program properly. Yeah, so I can if something's on my mind, before I forget it, I can send it out into the world without having to actually like let the whole rest of the world in. And I do do a similar thing on my phone. My phone actually isn't even set up to get email on it because I don't I don't want the the temptation of being able to check my email. Every single second of the day. So I have a I have a kind of outgoing only email account set up on there so I can send messages out. But everything that comes into that account is just forwarded to my real account. So I don't see people's replies or anything until you know, it's time for me to check email at some point in the afternoon. So
Brady 1:30:18 anyway, you don't have that addiction. I have to just to one of people that I wanted to bring a robot.
Grey 1:30:30 I see I totally disagree with you here. And I am not joking when I say that it is a dopamine addiction. Like you've you've really trained yourself in this particular way. Yeah. And and I was aware for a while that Twitter had become that for me that I was constantly checking Twitter, doing the same kind of thing like oh, Twitter's closed, and I'm working on something and then Oh, hey, how did Twitter get open? I didn't remember clicking that button, but obviously I did. Yeah. But But to me, that's a real warning sign of, of this kind of feedback loop that your brain is getting into
Brady 1:31:06 you Saturday series. You sound like you're like a doctor knows no, but and you are right, by the way, but yes, you sound worried about me and I don't I don't want to worry, you
Grey 1:31:16 know, but I think this I think this stuff is very seriously like, um, you know me I'm very concerned about decision making and thought processes. And that's like this is this is like, the heart of my interests. And because I noticed that kind of behavior with myself with Twitter, I have intentionally tried to cut it back to do a whole bunch of little things to make Twitter less immediately accessible and to make more conscious decisions about when Twitter happens. Yeah, but it is hard. And I'm just aware that that is something you have to consciously fight but it is totally feasible. And I think it is it is valuable to fight that kind of impulse.
Brady 1:31:54 I'm trying gray a promise. I'm trying and I'll keep trying I, I
Grey 1:32:02 do it on your on your, your email, if you have it open, you know, you can just at the very least set in preferences so that the email thing only checks every hour instead of checking every minute, you know? Yeah, do that.
Brady 1:32:15 Yeah. And I've turned off the Little Red Badge now. So I don't know when new ones come in.
Grey 1:32:19 Good. Okay, at least at least that's a start. Start.
Brady 1:32:23 All right, but I actually have to go now because I
Grey 1:32:25 want to check my email. All right. I'll let you go read those messages. It's super important, buddy. Bye. All right. Take care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Episode List[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "H.I. #6: Delete, Flag, Delete, Reply". Hello Internet. Hello Internet. Retrieved 11 October 2017.