H.I. No. 103: Don't Read The Comments
|"Don't Read The Comments"|
|Hello Internet episode|
|Original release date||May 31, 2018|
I will burn the world to the ground before I wear that watch. It's had. It's a man-filled to even talk about. It's terrifying to even discuss on a podcast. A moment was afraid to ask. Yeah. Has there been movement on the Garth, the dear front? Are you inquiring as to the successor otherwise of my investigative journalism? I know. You sounded very excited last time and I figured probably the moment we hung up the podcast, you were busy making calls to Australia and trying to find out whatever you could find out. So I kind of assumed that there is something to report from investigative journalist, Breathing Harron. So for people who are listening to their first ever episode of Hello Internet, in the previous episode, we discussed a little short article I wrote in a newspaper in Adelaide in 1995 about a baby deer, which I was then allowed to name and I named Garth. And we were saying, oh, it must be dead by now. But then we looked at the lifespan of fellow deers and it turns out it was possible that deer could still be alive. Right. So I vowed to try to contact the Gorge Wildlife Park in Cudley Creek, Adelaide, South Australia. Sorry, I was having a hard time with those names. You definitely watched those names. You're crazy. Australia names required many teaks for me to get even vegan right. Cudley Creek is one of my favorite place names in Adelaide, but it sounds like a nice place to visit. I like to imagine that it's filled with nothing but poisonous spiders and snakes and spiky plants. I'm like, oh, come to Cudley Creek. No, I don't know. Anyway, so I got in touch with Gorge Wildlife Park and asked about the deer. This was the response I got very quickly on my ad as well. Kudos, Gorge Wildlife Park. They said, hi, Brady. No. Unfortunately, that deer is definitely not with us anymore. It would be interesting to see your story, kind regards. That definitely, definitely hangs over you, doesn't it? It feels like an uncomfortably unnecessary statement. Was there any more information provided than that's the entire message there? That was the entire message. Obviously, that sparked my interest. I feel like I would want to write back as well because that definitely sounds like, oh, yes, you haven't heard about the great, fallow deer tragedy of 2000, right? That was definitely dead. Well, first thing I did was I went to the Gorge Wildlife Park website, because I wanted to see where the deer enclosure was. It turns out there was no deer enclosure that I could see. It was all Australian native animals. I wonder whether they transitioned out and said, let's get rid of anything that's not like pure Australian maybe. It's time for a more Aussie focus. That was something I assumed because of that, definitely. How could she know so quickly? Yeah, because that was my speculation last time is there's no way that a wildlife refuge back in the mid 90s was tagging the deer. I thought there's no way they even have any kind of record. Who knows? There's just going to be some deer in the park. But that definitely makes it sound like, oh, we decided deer were not the way to go. We had a solution for getting rid of all of them. That's what that sounds like. It also says not with us anymore. Does that mean not with us as in, not with us here on Earth or not with us just at the wildlife park? Maybe they escape all their deers to a deer farm. I needed more information. Yes, that's what happened. They went to a deer farm upstate. That's the way I would interpret that sentence. I wouldn't interpret it at all as like a polite way to say they're dead. Don't say that because I'm right now looking at that cute little picture of Gareth in the grass with his tinsular and his neck. No, but that's why he's in deer farm upstate. He's fine. This is what I wrote back in part. I wrote some nice stuff first. I wasn't like, you know, I broke the ice and I had a little, so few emojis and showed that we're all good. We really have some emojis in there. I did a wink. Oh, you did a wink. And then I said, do you know what happened? Like is there a record that might say when it died or was transferred, etc. Is there any info or is it just that you don't have deer anymore? I'd love to have a bit more information when I report back on what I learned. Any more sort of detail appreciated. You know, I wrote some other stuff. I think the tone of the email was nice. I've heard nothing back. Okay. I'm going to open question. Now, it's only been a couple of days, but given how quickly they replied last time, I'm a bit worried that maybe I've spooked them. Right. They're thinking either do like an animal rights advocate or something. The other thing I did, which was probably a mistake in hindsight in my PS, I wanted to show that we cared for animals. That might have been a terrible mistake in this situation though. Maybe you're right, but I sent them a link to when we sponsored CGP Gray the Penguin, like a blog post I did about it. Right. And it just occurs to me at the bottom of that post, there's a little PS that CGP Gray the Penguin had died in a transfer. Right. So I've probably spooked them if I was running that refuge. A man sends me a link about a penguin related to the podcast that has died during a transfer. And now I'm getting contacted about an animal who is no longer with us. I feel like I would be ghosting you immediately on that after doing a quick reward versus risk calculation on writing back to you. Like, what's the best thing that could happen from this and what's the worst thing that could happen from this? And the best thing is a podcast on the other side of the world mentions you once in a show. The worst thing that happens is some kind of PR disaster, depending on how you know that the deer are definitely no longer there. No, the best could go another way. And this is what I tried to subtly hint in the other part of the email. The best is we could sponsor one of their animals. We could drop cash here. I still think if I was there, that best is not good enough. I thought you were really going to be reaching for the stars and being like, oh, the park becomes a Hello Internet pilgrimage site. And you know, fans will come from all over the world to visit. Then I would have argued like that's a dreamland idea. And also something that would be very hard to sell the person. But even the more modest one of a week in sponsor one of your deer, I'd feel like looking at the PR disaster on the other side, I wouldn't make that risk of reward calculation. So who wouldn't want to go to the Hello Internet CGP grade koala enclosure? Only monsters would not want to go. I look forward to hearing if there are any more developments in this story, but I will not be surprised if there are no more developments in this story. Great. You know who you're talking to, don't you? Are you seriously going to be surprised if there are more developments? You know, when you're saying something and your brain tells you a thought midway through the sentence, but you just have to finish the sentence. My brain whispered to me as I was wrapping up that previous sentence like, you know, he might go there in person. Oh, that's a given. That's a given. I'm not going to rest until I have a little tray with gaths, bones in them. It's going to be like a full investigation. Right. There's going to be an archaeological dig. I know this. And I don't know why we're saying that sentence like, oh, it'll just end when someone stops emailing you because that's where I would stop. I feel like, well, this trail's gone cold. Nothing else to do here. There won't really be an archaeological dig, but I am going to make further inquiries. And I'm not ruling out a visit to Gorge Wild Life Park. I know that pretty. I can see that. And in their defense, by the way, it's only been a short amount of time. The person just could be off work at the moment and will reply to me tomorrow. So I'm not claiming that they're like, you know, snubbing me yet. You know, I could get an email tomorrow. And the first email was very prompt and polite. So pro tip for listeners, the distance between podcast episodes airing often does not have anything to do with the distance between the recording dates of those podcasts. I know it always seems that way to the listeners, but it's not always true. Anyway, we've probably given enough time to a deer that was born in 1995. Possibly 1994. Not just any deer. It's a deer that was part of the great multi-decade saga that was released by Lines. Okay. Now, let's be honest. Are you listening to this episode laying in bed? Because, and this is just between you and me, I'm recording this sponsorship message lying in bed. And not just any bed, a bed fitted with a Casper mattress. Casper mattresses are designed to mimic human curves, including mine at this very moment. They're made with multiple supportive memory foams for the perfect amount of both sync and bounce. So whether you like sync or bounce, Casper's got you covered. They've got a breathable design to keep you cool and regulate your body temperature through the night. And if you're in the US and Canada, you can have them shipped for free. And if you've never experienced Casper shipping, well, this is something to behold. They come in their staggeringly small box. I still have fond memories of carrying mine upstairs up a narrow stairway, taking it into the bedroom, breaking the special seal and watching the mattress. Just casually expand to its full size. It was, it was magic. It was, it was like, it was like the TARDIS. I don't know how they do it. We're super happy with the Casper here in our house. And I'm pretty sure you will be too. But you don't have to worry about that either because Casper has their 100 night risk-free sleep on a trial. And who doesn't like a bit of risk-free sleeping? Hello internet listeners can also get $50 towards selected mattresses by going to Casper.com slash H.I. And using the promo code H.I. at checkout. That's Casper.com slash H.I. and the code H.I. Bearing in mind, terms and conditions apply. Our thanks to Casper for supporting Hello Internet and also for at this very moment, supporting my human curves. I am very comfortable laying here right now. I don't think I'm going to get up. Luckily, the episodes already recorded and I'm doing this afterwards. So you can keep listening to the episode and I can just lay here and I think I might fall asleep. I think that's going to happen, you know. You've got a bit of unfinished business I say here. I do have unfinished business and it's one of these things about podcasts. I've been doing this with you for years. We have show notes and make little notes to myself about things that we're going to talk about during the show. And it never ceases to amaze me. How often, whatever I think are some of the most important points for topic discussions, I just never get around to it or like the conversation just goes in a different way and we get to reality. Like, ah, whatever. And the last episode in particular, there were three topics, all of which I felt like I missed the most important point. And I'm not going to go back and revisit everything. But I did just want to revisit secret cinema briefly because we left out one of the parts of that whole experience that I found the most interesting and the most rewarding. And I wanted to mention it here because I think for people listening to us describe, like, you know, going to this big amusement park, it's built around the movie and this whole experience. There is one thing that fundamentally changes. How do you imagine what this was like in your head? And that is the fact that at the secret cinema, there were no phones allowed. They gave you a little evidence bag to put your phones in and it was very clear that while you're in this environment, you're not to take out the phones, you shouldn't be taking pictures of anything that's going on. And I thought it was such a great thing. And I was amazed that looking around for the whole evening of the hundreds and hundreds of people who were there, I never saw anybody violate that constructed social norm in the building. And just like we were talking last time about how I was trying to suggest you take Twitter off of your phone because you don't realize that you're running this process in the back of your mind, thinking about things to tweet all the time, simply because you have the option when Twitter is on your phone. It's the same experience in something like secret cinema where if it's like, well, you just can't take out your phone here. Everyone will disapprove of you if you do. It totally removed that same demon process that runs in the back of your brain, which is, oh, I should take a picture of this. Or for someone like me like, oh, I should shoot a little video of this. Maybe I could use it later. It's kind of cool. And I just, I so appreciated the lack of phones. I feel like I almost can't put it into words. It was so worth it to pay for an experience where there were simply no phones and to not have that as something where you're doing like metacognition about the event itself, like where you think I will take a picture of this thing as opposed to, oh, I want to just look at this thing because it's interesting. Or like, oh, what's going on over there? And to not feel like, oh, I need to whip out my phone in case it's something really interesting. So I totally love that part of the secret cinema experience. You're right, especially because everyone was in fancy dress and looked amazing. And there was so much amazing scenery around you that they'd created the temptation to use your phone would have been irresistible to most people. It would have been totally irresistible. And I think it was such a smart little move that they gave you a bag to put your phone in. But you totally ignore that when I gave you the bag, it was conspicuous to me that you wouldn't put your phone in the bag. Well, okay, so there's a little thing here, which I was unsure if they were going to take the phones away. I will hand over my phone to another person never. Unless I am crossing a border and like, you are a US law official, like there is no way I'm handing my phone over to somebody else under any circumstances. It's a very strict, gray industries company policy that employees are not allowed to ever have their phones given to a third party. So I was acting as though I didn't have a phone simply because I was going to be like, I won't take out the phone, but there's no way I'm going to give it to someone if you have little lockers for the phones or whatever. Yeah. So that's why I was feigning like I didn't have a phone on me. And I told one of the people who looked at me, I said, like, I was told not to bring a phone, which is a very different sentence from, I don't have a phone with me, but that seemed to satisfy her. So that's why I didn't take it out and put it in a little bag at that moment. And then as we mentioned last time, there were so many pockets and I couldn't keep track of things anyway. It's like, I had no idea where my phone was anyway, right? It's like, I'm too busy keeping track of all the other million objects that they had. But I mentioned the bag because I think it's a useful thing for most people that it's a little bit of a physical reminder of like, put the phone in the bag and put the bag in your pocket. And like the tiniest of barriers, I think mentally helps people not engage in an activity. And so that was also to help with waterproofing of the fine because of the rain environment. Oh, yeah, I didn't even think about that. Yeah. Yeah, you're totally right. And even though we were in just the world's smallest environment, I also found it so interesting that like we lost track of our wives at one point, we got separated as a force them. And like it didn't matter because we know we're in this tiny environment, but it was just interesting. Like, oh, we can't coordinate where to meet up. We're over at the noodle bar or anything. It's like, well, we'll just bump into each other at some point when we do. It's like, oh, right, I forgot about this world, like this world where you don't always know where everybody is all the time or like you have to establish that there's a meeting point or any of those things. I can't believe there was a time I used to do that. I used to be, let's meet in town, we'll meet at the Rundle Mall Silver Balls at 1230. Yeah. If someone didn't turn up, what did you do? You just waited like, yeah. You had a grace period of some amount of time and then it was like, well, I guess they're not coming and you just go. And yeah, it's like, I remember the experience of you show up too late and nobody's there, right? Which is why it's like way more important to be on time in the past than it currently is. In addition to all the novelty, I found it another feature that I think really added to and elevated the entire experience. And I thought like, man, I would totally pay for other experiences like that where it's like, this is a no-phone environment and it's going to be enforced and everybody's going to agree and it completely changes the feeling of it. I mean, how different an experience would it be if you were walking around that Chinatown environment and every 20 meters there was another couple having an Instagram moment? Because there would have been Instagram central that place. It was built for Instagram. That's the interesting things. Well, I was reading this article about like how many restaurants and retail places intentionally trying to build Instagramable spaces or Instagramable meals. And it's like, this is part of the whole idea that like we want to make sure that there's an environment where you cannot just come with your friends. You can also make sure that you get the grams as I hear the kids say like that's the things that matters a whole lot. Or like when I was at VidCon last year, Instagram had a space that was like a lounge. And it was kind of genius, but it also made me like the saddest human being in the world somehow where they had all of these spaces that were just set up so that you could get interesting photos for Instagram. There's something about it where it's like what when this thing is constructed to become part of your online persona, it just feels fake and inauthentic. Inauthentic in a way that makes me sad. It's shallow and vacuous with the two words coming. Yeah, shallow and vacuous is great. That's entirely right. The secret cinema space. It's a bubble of suspension of disbelief. And if you're then using it to be part of like look at the cool thing that I did, it also shatters any kind of feeling of realness there. Because then everything just looks like oh, this is a set for Instagram. So big thumbs up totally loved it. I thought it was great. We'll do it again. But I have one enormous complaint that I have to mention. And it was the number one thing that my wife and I were talking about immediately after the evening was over after we dropped you off. And we went back home and you know when something bothers you how you talk about it and then the conversation dies down and you switch back to something else. And then you're like, I still can't believe what and like you keep keep going. My wife and I were doing this for days afterwards. And the thing is Brady, there was no popcorn at this movie. I don't understand how they can expect you to watch a movie without popcorn. I saw a mobile popcorn salesman, I'm sure. I didn't see anybody eating popcorn. I was looking around. I had my eyes open. My popcorn radar was set to maximum. I was not able to find it. And the whole time like while I was watching Blade Runner, I just kept thinking I should be eating popcorn right now. Why is there no popcorn? Like secret cinema, you're leaving money on the table. And I'm sure they'd be like, oh, popcorn is not thematically appropriate to Blade Runner. Like I don't care. When you're watching a movie, popcorn is thematically appropriate. Like this is what has to happen. Because we were hungry at that point. And I think I remember seeing a guy walk up the aisle up your side with popcorn because I thought when he comes back down the other side of my side, I was going to stop him. And I didn't ever see him again. So in fairness, I think there was popcorn, but it was scarce. Okay. I don't know. I could be wrong. You could be wrong movies. They cannot exist without popcorn. I didn't need any popcorn because I ate your entire house out of popcorn about two hours before we went to secret cinema. I mean, you don't need to specify that we had an enormous amount of popcorn before the movie. And then I won't need to specify that my wife and I were so annoyed at the lack of popcorn during the movie that maybe we went to the local corner store at midnight and bought some popcorn just to make it to have it to feel like I've been cheated out of the popcorn that I'm supposed to have during the movie. We don't need to specify those details, but we'll cut that bit. Yeah, we'll cut that bit. So I saw a news article, Gray, and struck me as Hello, Internety, a little bit CGP grayish. Because it's about a big debate that's been going on over the trademarking of a shade of pink or magenta if you want to be like, you know, on point. It says T-Mobile, which I think is owned by Deutsche Pellacombs, someone they have this shade of pink that they associate with their T-Mobile brand. And it seems that other phone companies in particular, I think AT&T tried to use that shade of pink plum color with something it was doing. And the court has said, no, T-Mobile has trademarked and owns the pink. You can't use the pink. I'm imagining this only pertains to kind of the mobile phone world. I don't think they can stop people using the pink everywhere, but I thought it was interesting. You can't even use the color. That's our color. Yeah, so I'm looking at it here. It's Pantone 676. Yeah, which is, I would say it's more magenta, even pink. I don't have a problem with this stuff. I feel like this is a genre of news story, right? We hear like, oh, company X owns the phrase Y, even like this very headline from the Washington Post, right? Court says T-Mobile owns the color magenta. I remember coming across these kinds of things and thinking, it's appalling that we live in a world where T-Mobile can put a ring fence around the color magenta and they just own it and it's theirs. That's crazy. But as always, is the case. Oh, the title is not just wrong. I think it's really misleading because almost all of this stuff, whenever you look into it, it's some kind of trademark. And if you've ever filed a trademark, say, for example, you're trying to gain control over something like an Instagram handle. And you need to have a trademark in order to show that this is a thing that you've used in business to represent yourself. Like as a theoretical case, if you've ever filed a trademark, one of the main things that makes it very different from copyright is you can't file a trademark broadly. It has to be filed in a narrow sense. Otherwise, it won't be granted. It's kind of like the reverse of a patent where patent, the whole goal and the whole aim is to get the dumbest, broadest patent you possibly can. And the patent office will totally rubber stamp and approve ridiculously dumb and broad patents. But the trademark office can and totally will reject your application if it's considered to be overly broad. Even just skimming through the article here, it's like, oh, yeah, it's a trademark. And so that almost certainly means they have a trademark for in the mobile phone world when you're advertising it that T-Mobile has established that that color magenta is so associated with the brand. That it would cause confusion among customers if a competing brand like if E in the UK, which usually uses like this late tealish bluish green color. I give they suddenly started having all their marketing stuff in magenta. It genuinely would be totally confusing to customers. So I don't know. I agree it's a bit misleading saying they own the color. But I haven't seen what the AT&T brand, this AIO, which was some brand they had within AT&T. I don't know. Like if they're using different words and different iconography and logos and that. I mean, how far do they have to stray from the pink before they can use it? I don't know. Great. I kind of agree with you. And I also agree that the headline is misleading saying that they own the color magenta. But where does this stop? Like if another brand is using different words, different name, different logo, different shapes. But they want to use like a pinky magenta color. How many numbers or how many shades do they have to move away from the magenta before they can use it? Like it seems like owning a whole color in a field and a market as big as mobile phones and communications. I mean, I wasn't sitting in the court case. I don't know what was going on. And I also don't know how close this AT&T went in their design in other ways. But how many shades do you have to move away from that before you're on safe ground? That is kind of what I wonder immediately is a whole strange thing about color perception is a very hard thing to nail down. Like for example, humans, I mean, obviously with almost everything, like you can tell the difference between things when they're side by side much more clearly than you can just seeing them on their own. And color perception is so wacky. Like that's a particular field where that's the case. I feel like I'm more okay with it in a field like telecom because there's so few players anyway. Like it's a field with just hardly an infinite array of different companies. Whereas I think if some YouTube channel tried to get a trademark that said we own the color magenta, that would seem outrageous to me. Because there's like, but there's a million YouTube channels using that in their logo. I think something about it's an industry where there's fewer players makes it more okay. But I could easily imagine yeah, like if a YouTuber tried to own a particular color that would seem ridiculous and outrageous. We both sent each other some comparisons of the logo and the colors. I was pulling it up to take a look at the two of them. I don't think that's similar. Like now looking at the logos next to each other. I think AIO wireless is okay. I think that they're okay with this. They're not using the magenta. Again, I think there's a little bit of we're looking at them side by side. So it's more clear that they're different. This is also the problem where like a trademark is a thing that a company applies for and they get and then they can use it to tell other companies to stop doing something and looking at them side by side. I think they would be in the clear. There's is more of like a maroonish pink plum. They call it. Oh, yeah, that's good. It says here. I'm reading from this vergi article. One point of contention in the case was that AIO doesn't use the exact same color as T mobile. The former is a bit more plum than magenta. The court had little issue with the differences in color deciding that the color and services offered by AIO were similar enough to cause confusion. However, the preliminary injunction is limited to only one shade of plum. The decision specifically says that the injunction blocks AIO from using large blocks or suites of pantone 676C. And confusingly similar shades in its advertising marketing and store design. The court specifically says that the rolling does not require AIO to abandon all uses of plum. Just the particular color pantone 676 and similar shades again similar shades. What does that mean? I feel like that ruling is self-contradictory. Yeah, it's like, oh, you can't use this specific color. But you're not forbidden from using this plum color. But don't use shades that are similar to the team. I feel like it contradicts itself. Like that doesn't make much sense. If I was AIO, as always with these things, if you're like, okay, what do you need to tell me to make this clear is how close can I be? You know, I'm using the zero to two 55 sliders in Photoshop, right? How many numbers do you need me to subtract on the hue scale before it's okay? And you can't say something like similar. What does that mean? We have to keep playing this guessing game. I'm reading the judgment now. I've gone down the rev. And they're using confusingly similar plum color is the term used in the in the rolling. I don't know. I think that's no good. I totally switch sides. Like now I'm on the underdog side for AIO wireless. This is ridiculous. This trademark for team mobile. Ridiculous and outrageous. Anyway, maybe we'll link to the judgment in the show nights and people can pour over the details and tell us their legal opinions. Right after this podcast I'm going in trademarking the color gray. I have a huge amount of travel coming up. And I don't know about you. 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No questions asked. So you have nothing to lose except that old suitcase of yours that you are going to replace. Ditch that thing. Go to away travel.com slash H.I. And get $20 off your new suitcase today. That's away travel.com slash H.I. Thanks to away for supporting Hello Internet. And thanks to away for making everyone's difficult time traveling that much smoother and that much easier. Are we friends? I think we're friends. Do you think we're friends? I think we have to be because according to this new study, it takes 200 hours to become best friends with someone. So we might not just be friends Greg. We might be best friends. We might be BFFs. No, wait a second. Wait a second. Before we even get to this article that you have here. I have a whole problem with the nomenclature of BFFs. First of all, I don't think that grownups have best friends in the way that you have a best friend when you're in high school. And secondly, I disagree with kids who are like, I have a lot of best friends. And I feel like you do not understand what the word best means. If you're in high school and you have like, I have 10 best friends, you have no best friends. That's how this works. There's one. And then you have friends. But the very concept of best friend is like a thing that children and students use as like a game where they're learning about and navigating the social world. But whatever I hear an adult talk about like, oh, someone's my BFF. It just always mentally mark them down is like, I don't think you've like fully matured as a human being yet if you're using this language from high school. Don't you think there can be like a hierarchy, though? Like friends are like, you know, MBEs and OBEs. But if you're a best friend, it's like you've got a knighthood. Because I would tell you a story about someone like a friend of mine, something that happened to a friend of mine. But if I told the same story and it happened to someone I was much, much closer to and they were more important to me, I'd kind of want to differentiate it. Like, great, this isn't just like some dude I know. This is like, my best friend this happened to. I'm closer to this story than you even realize, because this wasn't just like a guy who I occasionally play cricket with. This was a guy who was like, you know, at my wedding. I don't know. The wedding is a good one. Like, there are people that you would invite to a wedding. And then there's even different roles within a wedding. And it like, this is what makes weddings a particularly socially fraught event is because you have to do this kind of explicit hierarchy among friends. Whereas like, who's going to be the best man? Who's going to have some kind of job at the wedding? And like all of these different things. I think that's what makes those things really uncomfortable. And it's like different people play different roles in your life. But I don't know. There's something about the language of best friends. And in particular, BFFs that just strikes me as weird if I hear someone in their 30s or 40s talking about. Because it's associated with the language of youngsters. Yeah, exactly. But obviously like there are variations on how close or how not close you are to someone. And I also think for people sort of in our positions, it can also be the strange thing like with this where how many hours have we spent talking to each other over a distance. And also while being recorded, like that number vastly outweighs how many hours we have spent together in person. Kurekan. Oh my god, it has to. Because if you think about it, right, we meet up for dinner on occasion when it works out for both of our schedules. Yeah. We have been at conferences together. We have been at secret cinemas together. We have spent boxing days together. And so we tend to have like if you were time tracking your life, like bursts of large numbers of hours together. But you also have to put like about 30 or 40 minutes either side of each podcast recording while we set up and gossip. Yeah, yeah. So I was going to say the actual podcast recording itself, we're talking for maybe two hours on average. And yeah, there's easily at a bare minimum 30 minutes of like chit chat on either side. And then that's a very different thing. But I feel like that is almost an example of different roles that friends play in your life and friendships have different roles at different points. And so it's like, we're talking now. But it's again, you're always like aware that there's an audience there. And then that makes it a different thing. So you're saying we're not friendship building at the moment. Well, this is just for show. Well, Brady, I'll put it this way. Yeah, I feel much closer to you when the show is over. And we're just chit chatting. Right. Right. Then we're very close. Right. But now there's a weird thing where there's other people listening. Lots of other people listening. And so your article here talking about 80 hours to become friends. If we're doing all the math here, I feel like in person hours totally count for us before and after hours for the show definitely count for us. Yeah. And I would probably say show hours count 75% as much. Oh, that much. I would have said less. But yeah. Oh, see, now, now we're at different levels of friendship. I consider your friendship much more valuable than you consider my. It hurts. It hurts my feeling so much. It hurts to know that. So this research, called Jeffrey Ho has made all sorts of findings in this paper. He thinks a person's brain is capable of handling about 150 friendships at once. It's a sound right to you. The number I first came across a long time ago in a book. I still remember that was impactful at the time I read it called grooming gossip in the evolution of language by Robin Dunbar. I think I remember that like back in high school or something. But that book, I think they pegged it at about 120. And it's been called Dunbar's number since then of this concept that like somewhere in this range. If you get much beyond this size, you start to lose track of your ability to keep track of people. I do have a little asterisk on that. And I do kind of wonder because part of the assumption of that was like 120 people in a military unit or in a tribe. People with some kind of physical proximity. And we're talking about how like you can't keep track of the political dynamics and the relationships when the group gets larger than that. But I do wonder because I feel like a lot of my friendships exist as individual things like you and I are friends. And we are in a group of like educational YouTubers. But I feel like those friendships are not necessarily like a big web. It's like a series of one-on-one things. Or like I know a bunch of people who are not connected then to that group. But I know them in a one-on-one way. That's not unusual. That's like, this not how everyone works. What I mean is like I wonder if the Dunbar number is low and that if you're thinking about a person moving through different social groups. You can actually keep track of many more than 120 because you don't have to think about the connections between groups that are not connected. No, I think the number has to be low-grade because it's finite. And the reason it's finite is friendships require like maintenance and time. And if you aren't giving them maintenance and time then they aren't friendships. They're just like acquaintances or people who you have met in the past and may meet again in the future and whose name you know and whose face you recognize. That's not like a friend. Okay, right. So it's like how many hours per week do you have to dedicate to interactions with people? That number is actually relatively small. And so that's the gating factor on people who you actually, okay, I see what you're saying there. Yeah, that's a good point. Like if we didn't talk for four years, we'd be coming close to not really being friends anymore, just like a guy who I used to have a podcast with. Yeah, if we didn't talk for four years, we wouldn't be the acquaintances anymore at that point even really. It's like a guy I used to know. So anyway, the results of this study also showed 40 to 60 hours to form a casual friendship, 80 to 100 hours to be upgraded to friend. And 200 hours to become good friends. I can take those numbers at Fees Value. That kind of sounds right. I wonder what the degradation factor is in this, because I've got mates like in Australia who I might see anywhere every couple of years for like a few hours. And we hardly talk on email at all the phone because you know, we're guys like that. Yeah, but they're still really, really close friends of mine. Like I would still consider them, you know, best friends. I'm going to guess that they're people you grew up with or spent time with. Yeah, or have spent a long time with yeah, definitely we've gone through that process. Can that not now be unlocked? Is that like, you know, are we forever friends? Yeah, it's an interesting question. What would be the calculation on the half life for this? Is there a point at which when you reach a certain level of activation energy that the bond cannot be undone? I think that is the case. But I also think those things are much easier to form when you are younger versus when you're older. Yeah, it is something interesting in modern society that I do see come up on like hacker news or reddit discussions all the time is people as adults talking about how they feel like they don't really have any friends. And you know, it's like, oh god, that's always really brutal to read. But one of the key underlying factors is always just about like how much time do you actually spend around other people? Yeah. And particularly like other people like not necessarily in a work environment where you also have the fraught workplace politics. And yeah, it's like you just have to put in a bunch of time. Yeah. And a lot of the way that a modern world is set up does not super facilitate adults spending lots of casual unstructured time with each other. And then especially like as you get older and you get more responsibilities and like even more limited time. I've seen some really horrific numbers like particularly with men about like talking about that degradation of friendships over time that like men tend to end up spending like less and less time on social bonds, the older they get. And then it's like, oh god, you realize you're 45 and you kind of like don't really have any friends. And it's very hard to figure out how do you spend unstructured time with other people? I remember when I used to work back in the newspaper days, I had a mate of mine who went out to like you know a bar or a club or something with his girlfriend and some people. And he met this guy and he just liked the guy like he thought you're a cool guy, you're the sort of guy that could be my friend. And then the next day we were like in the newsroom just chatting and stuff and he was like, I don't know what to do. Like I want to be his friend, but can I call him and ask him to come out with me again? And he was like angsting over at like a teenager trying to ask someone out on a date. And he just wanted to make a new friend, but he didn't know what to do. Like he was so angstred and is he going to think I'm weird if I call up and say do you want to be my friend? And like do you want to like come out again? Like he was trying to manufacture because there was like you're saying there was no structured way for him to see this guy again. He just met him randomly. You know you and I have to be friends because we talked to each other for hours every month. Structure has made us friends, but he didn't have that with this guy. He was like, what do I do? What do I do? That's the problem we have now. And it really is a problem of modern society. And it like it totally is the case that like you and I are closer now for having done this podcast. Then we ever would have been over the comparable time if we didn't have a project together. But it's also the case like you have projects with people and then if a project ends like well. It's harder to manufacture reasons to continue to be in touch with someone because it's easy to keep prioritizing the things that you're doing for work. There is something about the structure of the modern world. While even though I'm always like Mr. Modern and like oh civilization is fantastic. There are these things which are not good. And the like the inability for adults to have unstructured repeated interactions with other people like the lack of that does cause problems for. I think a pretty wide group of society. And I remember having this this exact same experience where you're in college and college couldn't be the more perfect pot to brew friendships. You have a limited number of people because you're in a major together. And so you're going to keep bumping into the same people repeatedly. You're in an environment where you're not co-workers so you don't really have office politics. But you do have a common purpose. And it's easy for you to try to help each other out towards that purpose of getting through college. Everybody is always at their height of popularity in college. And then it ends. And it's like, oh everybody moves off to different cities and you go to different jobs. And lots of people have a hugely difficult time with that transition. Like how do you get into the real world? And one of those problems is friendships. And it's like, yeah. I remember that very well. Like moving especially again from America to London after college. And it's like, I had so many friends in college. And it's like, I'm also moving to a foreign country. And I had a couple of false starts. And it was just like, it was a hard time at first with that. And I think a lot of people deal with that kind of thing. Because there's just no equivalent to that for adults. There's no play space for grownups. And there's no space for unstructured time. That was a great thing about going to work in a newsroom with lots of people who are all like you and sociable. And people and newspapers also go to the pub after work a lot. So I didn't find that when I went to work. I actually found that even better than university. I could see that though with the newsroom, like a big open space and it's frantic. Like there's a lot of energy. I remember messaging a bunch of my friends from college though. And there were like a lot of, I'll describe it this way. A lot of people who were very sad in cubicles. Like I'm just here alone all day. I don't know what happened all of a sudden now that I got dumped out into the real world. But I could see a newspaper being a different kind of thing. And going into teaching is not the same as that. But it's like, oh boy, the teacher's lounge is a great example of unstructured time. And also a place where you don't have competitors. You're all kind of doing your own thing. And then of course, the best thing, you all have a central thing to talk about. Which is the students and how unbelievable some of them are. It is one of the biggest downsides of having moved into like, you know, being self employed and the YouTuber and that is you have less social interaction and you make less friends. Like I still have friends and I have friends because of YouTube. And I still see lots of people in the course of my work. But that solitary existence is a downside when people say, do you miss newspapers and TV and that sort of thing? The thing I miss the most is the newsroom and being surrounded by people all the time. Yeah, I can definitely understand that. And the other part of it that's a weird thing is especially because I have tried very hard in the past. A year and a half or two years to do more things like conferences to either go to YouTube conferences or sometimes you get invitations to other kinds of conferences. And I really made more of an effort to do that partly because of the novelty thing that we were discussing last time. Like even though I kind of never want to go, I'm always glad that I have gone. It does create a strange class of friends who are kind of like conference friends or where it's people who, oh, I see it at events. And we're definitely friends. Have these your CFFs? Yes, CFFs. That's right, Brady. I do kind of wonder sometimes, you know, especially because I'm not always super great at this stuff. I do wonder, like your friend who's like, oh, I met this guy at the bar. Like, I want to be friends. I don't know what to do. I often have the same feeling of like, I don't know how much I should stay in touch with conference friends between times that I see them in person. Usually if something comes up and I'm like, oh, I think this person would be interested in it. I sort of send it along to them like through a message or an email or something. But I do sometimes wonder like, is this too far? Is this like socially inappropriate? Like, oh, we know each other at conferences. We don't know each other over instant message or email. That's a whole other negotiating issue of modern friendship. It's like, what level of communication are you at? I'll let you eat my sloppy buns at a conference, but I'm not sending you a direct message. Exactly. Hello, Internet. Suppose that you are a master, barista. You know exactly how to make the cup of coffee. You know where the lid is supposed to go relative to the seam. You know all the tricks of the trade. And you want to share that information with the world. In order to do that, in order to make a beautiful portfolio of all your coffee knowledge, you're going to need a website. And if you're going to make a website, you should check out Squarespace. With Squarespace, your ideas, nay, your dreams can become reality. Squarespace makes it dead easy to build a website that showcases your work. They do this by having beautiful templates created by world-class designers. 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Okay, Brady. I asked you if you wanted to read a book. And my understanding is that you have read a book. I did. I did my homework. Actually, I enjoyed the book, but I wasn't reading it as fast as I should. And I got to a point last night where I was like, Oh, Jay, I've got to finish these last few chapters before tomorrow. It's the first time since high school I've had that feeling of cramming, like doing last minute homework before it has to be finished. Yeah, I did wake up to a message from you where you said, Oh, I finished. And I looked at the timestamp and it was like 11, 30 at night. It was like, that was totally, yeah, like, oh, I'm finishing the homework right before. Yeah. But anyway, I wasn't sure if you would want to read it. The book is Conspiracy by an author named Ryan Holiday. What a co-night, by the way, friend. Oh, I know. Like, I keep thinking of Wyatt Earp. It's all like, I keep thinking of it. It's like, oh, he's like, Wyatt Earp crossed with Doc Holiday. Like, what a holiday is an awesome author name. Many author names of nonfiction books. I feel like I can't remember the name, like it just doesn't stick in my head. But that one's a pretty good one. Yeah. But yeah, so he wrote a book called Conspiracy. And it is a book about an incident that took place several years ago where Hulk Hogan was involved in a lawsuit with like a gossip website called Gawker. And I read this a few weeks ago and I wanted to bring it up on the show because I think it's an interesting book. And I found that it's a book that I keep thinking about. And part of the reason is it's a book that pushes up against some of my thoughts. It feels like it's a book where it pushes my opinion in different ways than it might normally, especially on some of the topics that we've been discussing recently, like free speech. It comes at it from a very different way. And I feel like it makes me reevaluate some things. But anyway, I really liked it. I thought it was interesting. I think you should probably give a bit more of an overview of what the story is because that's all pretty important. I mean, obviously there are spoilers, but this is a book about a real thing that happened as well. So, you know, we have already established at some point. Yeah. Real life does not have spoilers. There are no spoilers for World War II. Although, I don't know. I did recently watch a documentary called Wild Wild Country, which was about a real world incident that I need nothing about. I did watch that too. I never more felt like I don't want any spoilers for the real life incident than I happened that one. Because I was like, oh man, I got a binge watch this all the once because I don't want to know what happens at the end. Yeah, yeah. That was interesting that show. Maybe we can talk about that at some point, but there's spoilers for this. So, we need to rewind back to 2007. And we have two main players. The first one is a guy called Nick Denton. And he created this website called Galker. And Galker was a bit of a... I'm going to characterize it as a, like a gossip media empire. Galker would categorize itself as a journalistic endeavor, but they largely focused on salacious celebrity news. And they were super duper upfront about that in their editorial policies and discussions. They had just had all of these internal documents about like, this is what we're going for. Salacious gossip. They presented themselves as the underdogs who wanted to talk about the things that people knew but wouldn't discuss in public. So, I'm going to characterize it as a kind of gossip website. I think gossip columns and gossip reporting for lack of a better word is a subcategory of journalism. It's not one that a lot of people are particularly proud of. I think it's like one of the more questionable aspects of journalism. But it's a gossip website. It reports gossip where the gossip should be reported is a whole other question. I feel like you've instantly changed my mind that no, you are right. If we're building a vendiogram of what categorizes different kinds of activities, I think you can fairly say that gossip is a subsection of journalism. It's a kind of journalism. It's not as separate as I'm thinking of it in my mind. So, then I can still call it a gossip website and just say, yes, that is a kind of subsection of journalism. It's a gossip website. It reports gossip. So, Nick Denton, Runner of Galker, he's player number one. And then player number two is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist called Peter Teal. And Teal made his fortune. He was one of the, I think it was five co-founders of PayPal, along with Elon Musk. And Elon Musk went off. He took his money and went off to build Tesla and SpaceX, as we've discussed on the podcast before. And Teal took his money and decided to go into venture capital. And one of his big early investments was Facebook, which paid off for him very well. In current day time, Peter Teal is a bit of a controversial billionaire. Back in 2007, he wasn't really in the public eye in the way he is now. But he was already a very successful venture capitalist. But he was still kind of making a name for himself in the broader world at that time. But he was a billionaire, multibillionaire. He wasn't a billionaire until after the Facebook IPO, which happens after 2007. But he's like, he's already a hundred millionaire. He's a man not lacking in resources in 2007. But I'm just trying to portray that. If people know the name Peter Teal now, like he was not the guy he is now then. He was just a very successful person, like a crazily successful person. He wasn't a public figure at that point. So Peter Teal operated in these venture capital Silicon Valley circles. And you know, it's his whole business to make investments in companies. And the intersection between these two men is when Galker runs a story outing Peter Teal as gay. The headline, very Galkery kind of headline was Peter Teal is totally gay people. Which Peter Teal was not happy about. Peter Teal, not happy about it. We can get into the precise details of why a little bit later. But this incident and this article where they outed Peter Teal is not a thing that he let's go. It was part of a series of articles. Nick Denton interestingly is also gay. And he was of the belief in 2007 that gay people should not be in the closet. Like that the world was a worse place because of that. And I think it's important to also remember that like in 2007, none of the potential presidential candidates endorsed gay marriage. This is a social issue upon which the world has changed its mind in the relative blink of an eye. And so like 2007 feels like the modern world. Like that's when the iPhone comes into existence and the internet has already been around. But on this issue, it was still not the modern world as it is now. And I think it's useful to just kind of make a note of that. So Nick Denton felt like he was on a bit of a crusade to out people who he regarded it as being an open secret that they were gay. And he considered Peter Teal to be one of these people. And there were a series of similar articles outing other people. And so Peter Teal, like it wasn't just about him. It was also about the way Gawker was operating. To editorialize somewhat like Gawker was a really salacious gossip company. And Peter Teal also thought that like they were not good for the world. But he kept this in his mind. And eventually what happens is that Peter Teal. He's chewed, right? He's chewed. I think it is fair to say that he was stewing about it over time. There's a lot of descriptions about how he is talking to other powerful friends about what he's describing as like the Gawker problem. And he's looking for some way to push back against Gawker. He actually ends up having like meetings with the reporters to try to see is there some kind of truce that they can have here. And that doesn't go very well. But yeah, I think it is fair to characterize that some part of his brain is stewing on this as a problem. And he's looking for what can be done about it. And what eventually happens like four years later is that he is pitched an opportunity to try to sue Gawker. To essentially create a little bit of a law firm that Peter Teal will be separated from that he won't be publicly known to be involved in. And that little law firm, their whole purpose will be to try to comb through everything that Gawker has ever published. And look for potential suits that they can bring against Gawker for wrongdoing. But not the two when it's important to point out not the one that upset Teal in the first place about himself. It's about other third parties who are being done over by Gawker. This is where it starts to get interesting. And this is why the book is called conspiracy because it is fair to say that Peter Teal is conspiring. At some point he stops talking to his friends about the Gawker problem in any public way. He doesn't mention them in public anymore, but he brings into existence this micro law firm that is going to be looking for plaintiffs against Gawker, but not him. Like they're not going to bring him in as a plaintiff. And so Gawker has no idea who is coming for them. And so like this law firm is brought into existence. They're going through and they're looking for a bunch of clients like people to bring suit against Gawker for some kind of wrongdoing. And just shortly after it's formed, Gawker publishes a sex tape involving Hulk Hogan. The important thing to note though is that Hulk Hogan didn't know he was being filmed. He never even knew this thing existed until it came out. Yeah. Hulk Hogan is recorded without his consent or knowledge. There's a whole big hula belu about how the tape gets out that doesn't really matter for the core story. But like the tape is leaked to Gawker and Hulk Hogan is blackmailed and like there's a whole big thing. But yeah, Hogan doesn't know that the tape was made. It wasn't made with his consent. It wasn't released with the consent of the woman who was in the tape who was not his wife who was the wife of a friend. It's a big complicated thing. But let's just say some celebrities can release a sex tape and benefit from it. They can make a whole career out of it. And this was not Hulk Hogan's intention. This was not what he wanted. And it was complicated by the fact again. It's not totally relevant to the story we're telling. But he was also captured in these tapes saying like inappropriate things, like racist things and things like that. So the release of the tape hurt him on a lot of different levels. It really like decimated his career at the time. It was not a good look for Hulk Hogan. And I think part of the reason it blew up as this whole story is because it's precisely because he had crafted this image of himself as like this all American wrestling hero guy. And I totally remember that as a kid like Hulk Hogan is awesome. Yeah. Which I think made it very striking because Hulk Hogan then becomes a plaintiff against Gawker. And I just have in my mind like these very striking images at the time the trial was happening of like much older now Hulk Hogan, like wearing a black bandana over his head and like being in court. And it's like, oh, Hulk Hogan, like what happened to you? I'm so sorry you're in this situation. Like I remember you in some terrible movie about conquering space when I was a kid, like how did how did we end up here? But yeah, it's it is important to note like he did not want this to happen, which is what this ends up hinging on. But yeah, so Peter Teal's law firm approaches Hogan and says they will fund his case against Gawker as far as he is willing to take it. And Hogan doesn't know that Peter Teal is backing this. He just knows that they have some backers who are supporting these lawsuits against Gawker. And many, many, many things happen over the course of this book, which are interesting and not quite relevant to the main story. But the bottom line is that Hogan's verdict is successful against Gawker. He wins a $150 million verdict against Gawker, which is the largest verdict against a publisher in history. And because of the details of Florida law, when a verdict like that is reached in order for the defendant Gawker to appeal it, they would have to put up all of the money for the verdict in advance. They don't have that money and they go their bankrupted out of existence because of this lawsuit. Initially, it looks like it is this underdog versus the media company story, but it eventually comes out that Peter Teal was backing the lawsuit the whole time. Then I think a lot of interesting discussion occurs around this idea of like the power of a billionaire with a grudge over a long period of time. That is, I think the most concise way I can try to describe most of the relevant events in this story. I'm not sure I would also describe that as a concise summary, but it was a good summary. Well, like I'm trying to think about what are the all of the relevant points? Yeah, because it's a complicated thing and it's like the details here do matter on a bunch of different cases. And it's like one of the things I want to talk about as a detail in particular going back to the beginning. But yeah, like anything else you think I've left out that matters at this moment. I don't think you've left anything out. I don't want to put you on the spot here, Brady. But I have to say when I was reading this book, I did think about you a lot because... It's because we're friends. It's because we're friends. And it's because, as we know from the top of the show and our dear related adventures, you are a journalist. I am. A very thorough journalist. This is such a story that brings up these complicated questions about power and freedom of the press. And I just, many times I found myself wondering like, I wonder what Brady thinks overall of this event and what has occurred here. As someone who actually worked in the news media. And I remember this at the time, like when the verdict actually came out, I originally had it as a topic to discuss on the show. But we kind of never got around to it. And then it felt like it wasn't really a timely thing and we just dropped it. There was definitely this shift in the media when it was revealed that essentially like a billionaire with a grudge had bankrupted a journalistic endeavor. And that caused a lot of concerns for people. And I was just kind of wondering like overall, how do you feel about this case? Like I'm happy to leave my cards on the table first if you want me to, but I'm very curious, what do you think about this? Can I just comment on something about the book itself? Yeah, because there was something about the book that kind of didn't seem quite right to me. And that is how much emphasis the author with the awesome name Ryan Holiday, who's a very good writer clearly. How much emphasis he put on the conspiracy side of it and like the whole book is framed as a conspiracy and a rare chance to see an insider conspiracy and every chapter starts off with all sorts of platitudes and sayings and quotes and historic accounts of previous conspiracies and that he pegs this whole story all the way through to the idea of conspiracy. And it made me have to kind of reshape and rethink how I define a conspiracy. He told the story in an odd way by framing it so much around how this is all about conspiracy and secrecy. I mean, it is part of it, but I found it really distracting at times. And I think too much emphasis is placed on the conspiracy nature of it. I mean, the book's called conspiracy. He's clearly using the concept of conspiracy as a framework upon which to hang the story. Yeah. And I do agree, like, because I did find myself a few times thinking like, how would I define a conspiracy? Like, what precisely does that mean? And I think that by framing the story as a conspiracy, it does allow him to bring in a bunch of historical examples. And at least for me personally as a reader, I felt like, yeah, they're interesting. And I can kind of see why you're bringing up these historical examples at this point. But I'm mostly interested in the Galker Hogan case. And like, I sort of don't care what happened to you, Lissie's, that's grant a hundred years ago. I think the thing is, Gray, that the book kind of portrays Teal as this genius mastermind, puppet master, who like brought Gorka down. But I didn't read a lot in the book about what ideas and intellectual things and cleverness Teal brought to it. I just think Teal gave them the cash and said, keep my name out of it and keep me up to date with what's going on. Like, I didn't see any genius ideas Teal was having or no guys, you're doing it wrong. This is what you've got to do. He was just like a guy that hated Gorka with lots and lots of money. And someone said, oh, Eric, and we can take him down with the lawsuit. Which I think anyone could have done because Gorka had left itself so terribly exposed. And Teal just said, yeah, all right, you can need a lot of money for that. You can have my money. So the conspiracy thing I thought was a bit of a distraction, but what actually happened? And the fact it was enabled by a large amount of money is interesting. Yeah. I too was thinking like, this is like the minimum possible conspiracy because there's really three people, one of whom is a character called Mr. A, who has pitched the idea to Peter Teal, who is acting as the intermediary between Peter Teal and the law firm. And the law firm is mainly one lawyer who like does have other interns and stuff going through stuff. But it's, I think why I didn't mind the framing of the conspiracy, even though I will agree with you that at some points it was a little much. I think there's some framing of Teal that I, I wonder what Peter Teal would really think about it. Because there's a few points in the book where Ryan Holiday is saying like, oh, in order to get this done, like you really have to tear out your own heart and you have to think about it in this totally ruthless way. And like, you know, it was not an easy thing to do. I kind of imagine Peter Teal in the same way that you do where he's like, here's a bunch of money, do the thing. And like, maybe he just doesn't think about it very much because he's got a whole bunch of other things to do. And like, there's a section at the end where they're talking about how they figured out the psychological profile of the jurors that they want on the case. And it's like, oh, they're using the past experiences of these jurors towards their own end. But that's the kind of thing that you have to do. Again, like, I can't imagine that Peter Teal or any of the lawyers is like really agonizing over juror profile selection. Like, I think this just would you do when you're trying to win? You're like, what kind of person do we want on the jury? Yeah, it's just like what a law firm would do. Yeah. I think he's f-flogs a dead horse with the conspiracy side of things. And in the end, I'm just like, tell me the story. Tell me the story of what happened. And then let's, you know, the thing that I thought was most interesting just about the conspiracy thing though is, it was just simply the idea that like, you're trying to achieve a goal and you're not telling people about it. And I do find that there's something interesting about that. And I don't think that that's something most people could do is be really trying to achieve a goal and also be very serious about not making that goal public in a way. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but that was much more what I just found interesting is that Peter Teal was able to maintain the secret for, I mean, the duration from, you know, 2007 to the verdict is like nine and a half years. And it doesn't come out that he's involved until afterward. And I do think that that is genuinely impressive and not something that many people could do. That is impressive. And in Ryan Holiday's defense, by the way, this was a conspiracy. I looked up the definition, a secret plan by a group. So it's secret. There is a group, three of them at least, to do something unlawful, that technically they went unlawful or harmful. And they were doing something harmful. So it was a conspiracy. I'm just saying it reshaped what I think of a conspiracy. To me, a conspiracy is more elaborate. It has more moving parts. This just seemed more like a financial arrangement that was kept confidential. Like faking the moon landings is a conspiracy, right? So many people, right, hundreds and hundreds of people and like that's a conspiracy. Yeah, that would be a conspiracy. But this is more like if you're a big, powerful businessman, sometimes you want companies to exist that your name isn't directly attached to. And there's many mechanisms for doing that. But I'm curious, what do you think about the concept of a billionaire with a grudge, bankrupting a media company, bankrupting a journalistic endeavor? I think Gorka brought itself down. Holiday writes the line himself in the book, Gorka mostly beat itself. I think Gorka was acting incredibly recklessly. It was waiting for this to happen. I think if Teal hadn't done it, someone else would have. And I think they seem to be acting really inappropriately. It's obviously it's an important part of the book that it was privacy issues that the court battle was fought on because they didn't think they could win on first amendment free speech issues. But really there's a lot, there is also free speech issues at play here. Oh yeah, always. I think I'm always very torn about free speech more so than you. And this book tore me even more. Because I'm kind of, I'm in favor of free speech, but I think that it's not always treated the way it should be treated. And there's a couple of lines in the book that were so good that I've written them down. Because they sum up my two problems and the two halves of the way I think about this. It says in the book that there was a hard line faction in Gorka that believed that the truth itself is the only necessary defense. Things are allowed because they are real. That was this prevailing belief in Gorka and why they thought they were going to be okay. But then these are holidays words and I think they're really interesting. This kind of purity is childish. The domain of people who live in the realm of theory and words and recoil from the real world. Where someone can punch you in the face if you say the wrong words to the wrong person. There is always a defense necessary. Discretion is the responsibility of freedom, the obligation that comes along with those rights. And I think this is Brady talking about. I think these people who live in theory land and think free speech is all important. Very rarely think about the discretion and the responsibility that comes with it. Gorka most certainly didn't think about the responsibility and discretion that comes with both free speech and the power of their free speech because they were such a popular website. But just quickly to put the other side before I let you loose. Because I am aware of the other side that suppressing free speech in any way is the thin end of a wedge that can be very dangerous. And again, holiday says in the later on in his book journalist living in fear of being sued and put out of business is dangerous. They may hold powerful people less accountable. They may tell the truth less directly. This could ripple through democracy in dangerous ways. And I also agree with that. I was going to say after that first one like, oh, I highly that passage as well. I thought it was really interesting. Turns out I've highlighted both of the passages that you have highlighted. Because I agree. And it's why I keep thinking about this book because on the spectrum of where opinions can lie. I'm much more of a free speech absolutist. But this book really does raise a lot of uncomfortable questions. And it's like I'm reading through it and the actual lawsuit is not about free speech for legal technical reasons. But it is like a free speech issue. It comes down to an article that they posted that caught Peter Teel's attention. Although there's some details about that that I want to mention later. It's a question about can gocker say a thing that is true. And then also editorialize about that thing, which they do later and is largely what actually anchors Teel. And I can't say no, but I have all of these complicated feelings. And I always find it interesting when you come across an area where your thoughts are inconsistent about something. And I do think that it's like a pointless endeavor to try to be perfectly consistent in all cases all time. Because it's just again, that's not how the real world works. But it's still interesting to note like where do you find yourself being inconsistent on things? And this book more than any book I've read in a long time, I found myself like, oh, I feel this way. And it's like, ah, but now I feel that way. And going back and forth and it's like, gocker, should be able to post an article saying Peter Teel is good. But like I can also think that Nick Denton is a total monster for going around and outing people who don't want to be outed. Like laying my cards on the table very fully here. It's like when gocker existed, I thought they were just appalling, like so unbelievably appalling as an organization. I think the first thing they ever did that caught my attention was they built this thing called the gocker stalker. Where they encouraged everybody to send in real time sightings of celebrities. And they were doing like an Uber live map of where celebrities were at any particular point in time. And I was like, wow, maybe this is legal to do. But like you are terrible for making this thing. I can you should feel bad. And like in many ways, it's something like the least of what they did. And there's such an appalling organization that I can't not have my mind be kind of making this this exception of like they're so appalling, screw them. They need to go away. But it's like, but boy, it's very easy to not be consistent about that. Like and that's a terrible way to make decisions. Like, oh, you know, this organization is completely awful. And I think the things that they do were appalling. And so a billionaire can come in and just crush them. And I feel like thumbs up Peter teal on this one. Like the world is a better place for gocker not existing. But it's just like I find it just really complicated and brings up these questions of power. Like what do you do if a billionaire holds a grudge against you and does nothing but act within the law. But like the power disparity there is so great that your whole life can be destroyed in a completely legal way. Like if Peter teal said, all right, now I want to destroy CTP Gray because I don't like his UK video that much. Or even if he listens to the podcast and he's like, I don't like the way they talked about me in the podcast, right? Hello, Internet is going to be destroyed. Yeah, but the hope is that we have acted legally and we haven't left us all exposed to the way gocker has. I feel like gocker was easy to put out of business and the only reason it was difficult to put gocker out of business was the cost of the legal system. There's a floor with the legal system that makes it really expensive to see a case to its end. And I would like to hope CTP Gray or Hello Internet or Brady is not exposed in that way. I know that's I know it's pretty naive. But I'd like to think I'm not sitting there and exposed. And as long as the billionaire was availing themselves of legal means to put me out of business. Yeah, which Peter teal did. Yeah, he was either they very specifically limited themselves to legal means only. Yeah. So is the debate not here? Oh, the power of billionaires have his not fair. Isn't the debate the legal systems too expensive to access for normal people? And Hulk Hogan could never have done this on not the Hulk Hogan's that normal. That Hulk Hogan could never have done this on his own. And he needed the money to avail himself of completely legitimate tools to deal with a completely crummy organization. Just a pause here. One of the other things I really like about this book is that Ryan Holiday had direct access to Nick Denton and Peter teal to talk about the book and the writing of it. This is not just a person being a third party and co-relating everything together. Like he has conversations with Peter teal and Nick Denton about what went on. So he's able to have direct quotes from both of them in the book about like what were they thinking at various times, which I think makes it so much more interesting and insightful as to what happened. But no, I agree with you that it's like the legal system is very messed up in the expense of it. And the quote from Peter teal, I don't have it highlighted, but it's something like Peter teal says Hulk Hogan can't do much because he's just a single digit millionaire. Which is like an amazing line. But it's like, oh, of course, if you're a billionaire, you can think about things like where it's like Hulk Hogan had a fortune compared to almost everybody on the face of the earth, unless you're comparing to Peter teal. And then Peter teal has a category in his mind, which is single digit millionaires. And it's like, oh, a single digit millionaire can't successfully fund a lawsuit against Gawker. And I totally agree with your point Brady, that's crazy that but a single digit millionaire cannot successfully launch a lawsuit against a company that has done something as appalling as putting a sex tape of them up on the internet. There are very many other problems, but the reason I think it's interesting is is in many ways because at least my interpretation of it is Gawker is so appalling that they have all of these time bombs that are just ticking away. And Peter teal got hands on just the right one. And it blew up in Gawker's face. But there's a totally different version of this where in an alternate universe, a different billionaire bankrupts a different media company simply by filing a million lawsuits against them that they have no intention of ever winning just to totally destroy the resources and suck up all of the time of that company. Like that's a different kind of thing where instead of spending, I think was like $20 million on this billionaire says, I'm going to spend $100 million and I'm just going to fund every frivolous lawsuit in existence against this company until they go away. Yeah, okay, but there's a there's a hundred ways a billionaire could ruin a company. Oh, I know. Yeah, that's the interesting thing. So by using it, it's not fair that rich people are rich because they're really powerful and maybe that's true, but that's like I'm not saying it's that rich people shouldn't be rich that they're really powerful. I'm just saying it brings up an interesting point. And I'm not saying Peter teal shouldn't have his billions or he shouldn't use his billions in whatever way he wants to like it's his money he can do what he want. There's a way in which if this case was less clear, where if Peter teal wasn't strictly sticking to the law, if Hulk Hulgan wasn't a kind of American hero who then had this tragic downfall. And if gocker wasn't just vile that I could imagine a different version of me arguing that this was like a horrible thing. But in this universe with this exact set of things, I feel like this is mostly a good thing in the world. The world is better without gocker and Peter teal having destroyed it was good. But I find it interesting because it does so much in my mind depend on the particulars and I feel like I always want to try to think about things one level up from the particulars but I just I kind of can't in this case. And that's what I find interesting and that's why I keep thinking about it is to me it's almost not generalizable. And I want everything to be like a specific case of the more general and I can't conceive of a way to think about this as a specific instance of general principles. And that's why I find it so interesting. And speaking of the particulars, what I loved about this book and the fact that Ryan Holiday was able to talk to the principles involved is I had always thought about this case in this compressed version that gocker, out at Peter teal as gay, Peter teal was quite impressively able to hold a grudge for 10 years and destroyed gocker over like this grudge. But the thing that I found so incredibly, incredibly sympathetic as a person who lives in the public eye to a much less extent than Peter teal is this comment where I'm going to say, comment where Ryan Holiday is talking to Peter teal about like why like why did this bother you. And Peter teal's answer is that it was never about the article that was written. It was never about the outing. It was about Nick Denton's editorial comment below the article in the comments section of his own website. Don't read the comments, Peter teal. I know. Lesson one, don't read the comments. Here's what happens. You release a video on YouTube and then you read the comments. And the next thing you know, you're involved in a 10 year long conspiracy to destroy someone. If you hadn't read the comments, it wouldn't have happened. So here is Nick Denton's quote verbatim because the article says something a little bit about like, oh, it's something strange. So Nick Denton says the only thing that's strange about teal's sexuality. Why on earth was he so paranoid about its discovery for so long? That's close quote. That's Nick Denton's comment. That's the comment under the article that enraged to under the article that is outing Peter teal. And I feel like I understand you Peter teal because he goes on to talk about how it's not the fact that he's gay, but it's the fact that this reveal is now being framed in this way that is like impossible to escape as well. So now it's not just that he has been outed, but he was someone who was paranoid about its outing. And he talks like you can't undo that kind of thing, especially at this point in his career. He's incredibly successful, but he's still also like building himself up to be even bigger. And so he discusses how like he didn't want to be thought of as like a paranoid gay venture capitalist like he wanted to be thought of as a venture capitalist. And then this framing of it perverts it in people's minds. And I think there's a real way that when people say things like this, like I have seen it happen to other people, like it's happened directly to me where like someone frames a comment in a particular way. And it's like impossible to undo that framing in people's minds. And certain words really stick. And one of those words is like paranoid because if you say someone is paranoid, it's like a total Kafka trap, right? Because the more they talk and try to say, I'm not paranoid at all. It just sound more paranoid, right? It's like saying someone is defensive about a thing, right? And then like the instant they defend themselves as not being defensive, it's like, aha, like look at you, you're like, you just can't get out from under it. Or like if you say someone is obsessed with the thing, it's like you can't get out from under that stuff. And so there's a whole bunch of comments from Peter Teal about that that like from his perspective. Most of the people in the world didn't have any idea who he was. He was just one of the many successful PayPal guys. And then this is like the first time that many people ever hear about him that he's like this guy who has been paranoid about his sexuality for so long. That's what bothered him. And it's like, ah, I feel like I really understand that that's the kind of thing where you can maintain a grudge about, whereas like 10 years later, like in 2017, does anybody care that Peter Teal is gay? No, right. Whereas in 2007, I get may have been a legitimate business problem for him. Like there's talks about like some of his foreign investments like this could actually be a problem. And so I could see like, oh, he could intentionally care about it in the past. But how could you hold on to that grudge for 10 years? Now I understand how you can hold on to that grudge for 10 years. It's this poisonous framing of the thing. It's not the thing itself. So I found that super, super interesting. I mean, yeah, I don't know what it was like to be Peter Teal then and how it affected his life in his business. But obviously it affected him a lot. One thing I always like, I always try to say to people who are upset about things on the internet is, you know, people think about you a lot less than you think they do. Oh, yeah, no, of course. You know, if it was costing him deals or it was affecting his life or it caused problems in his personal relationships. Well, that leads into this other thing, which is something that I would say I find frustrating with the news media. There's this thing which happens in the book. And I've seen happen to people where so Galker can write the story about Peter Teal being gay. And then the very fact that people are discussing it is then justification that this is a newsworthy thing. Right. And so then Galker is able to turn up the volume on this because they say like, oh, people are interested in this thing. Yeah, it's the thing that's got all of Silicon Valley talking. Yeah, because you wrote us a gossip thing about it. Yeah, exactly. And I find that infuriating and appalling. And if you tune into it, it's totally something that happens where you're like, you created the thing that you want to talk about. And now you use the fact that people are talking about it as retroactive justification for his newsworthiness. That's also how polling works. We poll a thousand people and 57% said that we're going to vote for CGP Gray. And that's suddenly it's a story. The story is the poll, but you did the poll. Right. Yeah. You made this thing that you wanted to talk about. Yeah. But so it allows them to then turn up the volume and Galker then outs Peter Teal's boyfriend. And then it's like, oh, man, now you've made it really personal. I hate that side of this like public discussion about public figures where I think you're going to have a question. Where I see it online where people say like, oh, but this person's in the public eye. So like everything in their private life is totally legitimate. And it comes up again in like Galker's defense of the whole Kogan sex tape where like in their legal brief, they do this filing where they're like, well, people were really interested in whole Kogan sex tape. So there by definition, it was newsworthy. Right. So we were totally okay in running it. It's this circular self serving logic that I just find totally appalling. And they use the same thing for like perfectly fine to mention who Peter Teal's boyfriend is. He's a public figure. It's well known that he's gay now because we published it. Right. So now we can publish what who his boyfriend is. I find it so gross, but it can spiral up into this big thing. And it's like it's a pattern that you see over and over again. But you wouldn't let yourself slide against it. Right. Like that's it. I don't know how to feel here. Right. Because like if you really pushed me up against the wall, would I say that it should be illegal for Gawker to do what they did in this case on a free speech basis? Like no, but I do feel like there's some kind of human privacy here that is violated. That's different from free speech, but how exactly like I don't know how to articulate it. That's because people will start using privacy to hide things right now. If someone was involved in like a great corruption, right. You can't be like, but it's my private life. Right. That's not my public life. Right. You can't write about that. Like well, that would obviously be dumb and stupid, but there's some kind of unclear gray line here. Like if the United States government said, hey, why don't you just rewrite all our laws surrounding this stuff? I'd be like, I have no idea how to write this in a consistent way that would make sense across a whole bunch of cases. Because I really do. Okay. I'm going to pull maybe a little bit of a Brady here. But I really do feel that when people report on the private details of someone's life that it is a kind of theft that cannot be undone. Because like you can never go back to being a private person. Like once you have been launched into the public sphere, like it never ends. And then that becomes like a self justification for why more and more of your life is totally legitimate to be dragged into the public eye. Until you're like poor Hulk Hogan and they're like, everybody was really interested in what is sex life is like. So we can publish this tape. I mean, the thing Gorka used by the way, just on that Hulk Hogan thing. There's no way I think that takes should have been published. But Hulk Hogan had like publicly talked about his sex life a lot before. Like in his TV show, his reality TV show and things like that. So that was what Gorka was using as well. They were using not just he's a public figure. That was saying he's a public figure who has traded off his sexual history. There's two little branches off from that. Like I think a public person should be able to talk about what they choose to talk about without feeling like they're opening the door to like, hey, everybody come on in and see everything that I do in private. It feels like that's a hell of a leap from one side to the other. Hogan's defense, it did make me chuckle a little bit because it's a thing. I don't want to name any names. It's like it's a thing a lot of YouTube people do where Hulk Hogan was like, oh, that was not me Hulk Hogan talking. That was the persona of Hulk Hogan who is a character. Right. And so like there is this fiction about the persona versus the person and like, yes, in many cases, that's true. I know of people will say who are like, oh, my public persona. Like that's just a character I play. It's like, yeah, but you're exactly that person in private life. Like, okay, you can say this and it acts as a kind of shield here. Are you referring to me being hard as now is both on the podcast and in real life? Yes, to be clear, yes, you are hard as nails on the podcast and in real life. And also for the record here, this is where I am going to state for any and all future legal depositions that everything I do when the public eye is the persona of CGP and the gay, it has absolutely nothing to do with the private life of CGP right. So it's like this is this is a character that I play. It's totally not me. In real life, you're really disorganized and I will show off a real party animal and yeah, many things. The last thing about like why did Peter Teal pursue this for so long was there's a big section in the book which is talking about gossip columns and like the existence of gossip columns in the world. And I just never really thought about it, but one of Peter Teal's big concerns is also just like the effect that gossip columns and gossip reporting have on public discourse and people's willingness to do risky things. Maybe that's a justification for his actions. Maybe it's not who knows, but either way I think it is an interesting point that he makes where if there exists something like a gocker, which was intensely focused on Silicon Valley gossip, it sets on edge. All of those people and it makes them feel like they need to be much more cautious and to say less in public than they might otherwise and that there probably is a real measurable downside to something like that where if every one of your public statements, you don't just have to worry about what you say. You also have to worry about how like the gossip column is going to report it or how social media is going to spin a comment in a particular way that is an interesting point in how these how these things can have a negative effect on the broader discussion in society. And of course, if you don't have a free pass watching and listening and reporting on what incredibly rich and incredibly powerful people do, you have other problems that come with that as well. But that's why it's so interesting because I can't also get on the other side of be like, well, you should be able to say whatever the hell you want any time and nobody should be able to criticize you like that's not the counter point, but it's it's interesting. That's why this book I just felt like I'm flip flopping through every page and how I feel at any particular moment and like in the last episode where you're discussing how human communication is hard and how you're really hitting a moving target. I feel like even right now as we're discussing it like my feelings about this are still this moving target sounds like this book didn't tell you any good, right? It was a mistake even rating it. No, it's great. I really liked it. That's the best kind of thing is when you are thinking about something. I don't know. There's lots of books where I read and I feel like I just don't think about them afterward and then there's a bit like, well, I don't know what the point is like I wish I could find more books like this where there's a thing that's not clear. And I feel like it's pushing up against some of my assumptions or some of the ways that I think about stuff I wish I could find more stuff like this. So the ending of the book I found interesting about the last couple of chapters. Because like I think throughout the book I felt like the author was was pretty balanced but maybe sort of tipped a little bit towards team two. If anything. Yeah, I think I'd agree with that reading of it. And then the last couple of chapters he turns on till like a nasty pet dog. And I think it's because clearly this writer is not a fan of the current US president and Peter Till went on to support and help him get elected. And it's like the whole end of the book suddenly like conflates the story that came before with Till's association with Trump and kind of makes the two somehow mixed together and it feels like it feels like he really turned on till at the end in a really funny way. Did you feel that when the Galker verdict came out that they had been bankrupt. That was the first time I think I had ever heard of Peter Till. Right. And since then like no matter what you think of him, he is an interesting person whether or not you agree or disagree with him. And he is an interesting person who's also willing very clearly to make big public very unpopular bets. And Peter Till's support of the now current president. On sites like hacker news, I can only describe it as that like tore the Silicon Valley world apart. I don't even know quite how to describe it, but it was in some ways it feels like, oh, this is the most Peter Till bet to ever possibly make is like you bet on the person that almost everybody else is betting against because if you win, he's like the only guy from Silicon Valley who supported the current administration. Whereas if it had gone the other way, Peter Till would be one person on a line of thousands of Silicon Valley types who had gone the other way. It cost him a huge amount of his reputation and his career. And he used to do work with a company that I followed for a very long time called Y Combinator, which is a venture capital firm out in Silicon Valley. And like he was ejected from Y Combinator and he became just a total black sheep in this world. And he has since left Silicon Valley. And yeah, the ending of the book, it was interesting to read, but I also felt a bit like I don't know if this really needs to be here because it's not really part of this story. It felt like he was just giving him a spanking for supporting a candidate that he doesn't lock. Yeah, but I feel like it's part of the interestingness of Peter Till and it almost changes the book at the very end to be more kind of like a biography. But I agree it did feel like a bit of a shift. And I think Ryan Hall Day was very publicly against the current president and he wrote a big op ed piece which is like called a letter to his father. So yeah, it does feel like a thing that he wanted to tack on at the end. And in a way, I can kind of see that a lot of people reading the book, even though I don't think they should feel this way, would feel like you have to mention Peter Till's political views like that you have to discuss that you can't just leave that out. It's a thing I always find disappointing in people, but like people can't separate out different things. And there becomes a way where it's like, oh, if you don't like the current president and you know that Peter Till supported him, well then Peter Till is a villain and you have to discuss his villainousness throughout the Gawker case like it retroactively changes everything that happened. And I think if you try to think about everything all at once, you can't make sense of the world. And you should be able to think about the Gawker case as isolated from other things. What are Nick Denton's politics? I have no idea. I can't be relevant to the book. It never comes up. But for some reason, like it has to be included what Peter Till's politics are. I don't think that that was a necessary end part of the book, but I can also suspect that a lot of readers, if it wasn't mentioned, would feel like Ryan Holiday was just ending up being like a huge Peter Till cheerleader. He was in bed with the enemy. Yeah, and like maybe that is also why Ryan Holiday wants to include that at the end, because I agree with you like for 80% of the book. While he goes back and forth and writes a bunch of things, it feels like he's mostly on Teal's side. And then maybe he wants to finish the book with a very clear like I am not on Teal's side. Like he and I are 100% not on the same side. Like this is not an endorsement of Peter Till and then therefore not also like by a transitive law that doesn't really exist and endorsement of the president. I imagine if you wrote the book, Grey, those final two or three chapters would have all been about Teal's interest and investment in life extension. Well, like I would have wanted to talk about his investment in the C setting institute. Like yeah, there's other weird stuff to talk about. But here's the thing with Peter Till's political views, like I'm kind of glad that you brought this up at the end because even when we're discussing the case, I can kind of feel that looming over our discussion. And you know, going back to what we were talking about last time, I just worry that even like people take things the wrong way where you say a thing like Peter Till is an interesting person. Somehow in listeners or commenters minds like that gets translated into I support everything that Peter Till has ever done and also support everything that everyone he's ever supported has also done. Right, which is like the dumbest thing ever, but I see those kinds of comments all the time and you know just just like the concerns over gossip columns are concerns about like a lack of subtlety or nuance of thought sometimes that this same thing happens when you're discussing anything that like you can't say a thing is interesting without saying it is good or bad like there's some way that everything gets flattened down to. It has to be good or bad and like that's not what a word like interesting means and I don't know if I was Ryan holiday maybe I can imagine like I've written this book and at the end you feel like oh man if I don't address this in some way like people are going to totally crucify me so I have to address it in some way at the end. I don't know, but now we've addressed it at the end.
References[edit | edit source]
- "H.I. 103: Don't Read The Comments". Hello Internet. Retrieved 31 May 2018.