H.I. No. 109: Twitter War Room
|"Twitter War Room"|
|Hello Internet episode|
|Original release date||September 11, 2018|
"H.I. #109: Twitter War Room" is the 109th episode of Hello Internet, released on September 11, 2018.
Website description[edit | edit source]
"Grey and Brady discuss: complaining on Twitter and the clap emoji, laugh inflation and linguistic treadmills, the long half-life of the Hello Internet vinyl edition, Brady is a hotstopper hero, Grey is a villain, Fire in the National Museum of Brazil, Fake or Fortune and Leonardo da Vinci, Listerine on Instagram, Project Cyclops, Grey's Drama Llama theory, and YouTubers burning out."
I realized that the final step that I almost forgot is I had to change out of my noisy pants and into non-noisy pants. You can't record a podcast if you're in your noisy pants. I'm not happy, Gray. Why? Well, you're off Twitter at the moment, I believe. So this is the sort of thing you're being spared. But what's happened is, oh, a few weeks ago now, I had something printed for me by a printing company, some posters made. Okay. And yeah, it was a perfectly fine commercial transaction. But I thought under this new regime or world of this GDPR or whatever the European law is, where people can't keep all your details and start spamming you. Right. I would be safe from spam. But this printing company has been spamming me relentlessly since in my email. I've been getting a bit cheesed off by that. So in like a moment of peak as I want to do sometimes on social media, I wrote a tweet. I wrote congratulations at Instant Print UK for appearing to be given a rare exemption from Europe's GDPR laws and being allowed to send me loads of spam after I used your service. So I was being a bit cheeky, wasn't I, you know? That's what the Twitter is for to be cheeky. Exactly. And I'm not kidding you. Five minutes after I wrote that tweet, there was a ring at my doorbell. I went downstairs to get the post, the postman handed over all the letters. And one of the letters, letters, physical letters was from my good friend's at Instant Print. And they were sending me physical spam. And this is why I was straight afterwards. I couldn't believe it. So I rushed back up to my tweet deck. Took a photo, took a photo of the envelope. And I wrote, as if on cue, the doorbell rings and they're physically spamming me too, very naughty, Instant Print UK, very naughty. And then I guess temptation got the better of me. And I opened the letter that they sent. Right. And what it was was it was kind of portrayed as like a greeting card. It's got a big love heart on the front. And it says, thank you. And inside it says, we hope you love your print and welcome you to the Instant Print family. Oh, the family. Wow. Yeah, I'm part of the family. And then I'll send you this because what they have is they've obviously got the signatures of everyone in the office like printed on the card. So it's like it's signed from everyone who works at this company. One eagle eyed Twitter follower noticed that one of the names has been printed on there twice. So anyway, I saw this is another chance to be amusing because I tweeted this picture of all the signatures and I wrote at least they didn't all write to me individually. Small mercies. Thinking, okay, that's enough. I'm going to go easy on them now. They've had this shaming. Oh, yeah, you're going to take a break from your your hard labor in the Twitter war room. Until well, I haven't replied to this yet, but the completely tone deaf person who's arming the Instant Print social media Twitter feed today, replies to me. writes, Hey Brady clapping hands emoji, which I don't know what has been clapped, but hey Brady, clap, we're glad you received our thank you card. We always like to welcome our customers into the Instant Print family. And then they write, as per your request today, you are now unsubscribed from all our channels, Becky at Instant Print. Oh, I wonder if Becky signed the card, hang on. I wonder if she must have been away that day when they were signed in my card. Yeah, that she must have been or she must be very new. One of the two, that must be it. Maybe she's new, but I think she's missed the tone if she thinks I was in any way glad to receive that card. A card which by the way had like a, you know, a 10% off your next order thing. So let's not fool anyone here that this was purely marketing and advertising. What's with those clapping hands? I don't know what those clapping hands are. I suspect maybe that's Becky failing a little bit of the Twitter touring test is what's occurring there as she's not she's not getting the tone of how to reply to this person and is revealing her bot nature. What you think, Becky's a bot. Becky, maybe a person, Becky, maybe one of those auto text expanding snippets, which is a bit like a cyborg, right? A human may have typed the keys, but then a machine took over a partway through. She only had very limited Lego pastes. She was allowed to use. And yeah, a human is driving, but there's a flowchart somewhere of these are the only acceptable things to say to the individual customers. Okay. I love your faith in the GDPR as supposed to having saved us from spam. I think it's only purpose really is that somewhere you have to have clicked a box that grants permission in some way or other for a company to reach you. I don't think it's your spam savior here, the GDPR. Oh, no, I think people are scared of it because sometimes now when I still get spam email or a more an email, this from a PR company, I sometimes write a personal reply to the company or the person sending it. And I just drop the letters GDPR and privacy in my reply. And I always get very quickly a very bespoke reply and a promise that I won't get anymore emails. I think they're companies may be scared of it because it is a mammoth bill that is poorly understood. And I found out to be individually adjudicated in each of the courts of all of the countries of the European Union so that there can exist contradictory rulings on what it means, which boy, that's great. So yes, I'm sure companies are frightened of it, but I simply mean in the way that it was if you're thinking it's an automatic savior, it is not. Do you want to talk to me about these clapping hands? Because I'm fascinated by them. Well, this is a strange moment from your Brady, because I have had in our show notes document one of my complaints simply labeled as clapping hands emoji, but I'm now in the position where this feels like a complaint from another universe like this person who was on Twitter had this complaint. And so I will take this moment to complain about it as my little parting from Twitter. There is a thing that people do on Twitter and I know people who do this. It's people who put clapping hands emojis between either every word or very brief sentences. Right. I think this is maybe the most obnoxious thing you can possibly do to get your point across on Twitter. I have never seen one of these things that doesn't just make me totally irritated with the person who has sent it. It almost always falls into this category. Person is making very obvious point that no one can disagree with. They're saying essentially the version of bad thing is bad, right? Yeah. But then with the clapping emojis, you're supposed to read it like you're in kindergarten and you're all clapping along. So it reads like bad thing is bad. Bad thing is bad. And I just it's like, yeah, yeah. Of course, of course bad thing is bad. We all agree. Whatever it is you're complaining about, you have no power to change and putting in your little clapping hands emojis to make like an emphasis after every word just makes you sound. I don't know pedantic or just like so dripping with condescension. I feel a little bad even saying it because like people I know my friends have done the clappy hands emojis and I have read them and it's just it's terrible. Is that what the clappy hand emoji means? I never thought that's what the clapping was. I always imagined it more as like a clause. So it'd be bad thing is bad. Yes, yes, bad thing is bad. Not like clapp along with like, you know, row row row row. Now here's how I take the emoji grammar of the clappy hands. Right. If there is one, say for example, a tweet says, hi Brady. Yay for Brady. Yay for Brady. The clappy hands emoji and then it just goes on the rest. It's supposed to be like an applause. Right. Maybe I'm wrong. I think the grammar of the internet is that when you put a clappy hands emoji between every word or every other word, it's supposed to be read in that primary school way. Like we are all following along. Aren't we? We're saying a thing that's so obviously true, but we're still going to clap because we want to get the point across. Like I think that's how you're supposed to read it. How could that possibly be executed in a way that is not incredibly annoying and condescending? How would that even be possible? I don't think it is possible. So one thing I am not going to miss is clappy hands emojis that get retweeted and people all agree with. I've got an emoji that annoys me more at the moment from its overuse and I think inappropriate use. Okay. Please tell me. That is the face of laughter, but really, really strong laughter with tears coming out the side of the eyes. Like because to me, that is like really, really hardcore laughter. Like, you know, I'm rolling on the floor. My sides are hurting from how funny that was. Right. Like ruffle. And that's like maybe a once in a lifetime. Once a year, at least like laughing moment, but people use it like multiple times in a text or a tweet. For something that's just like mildly amusing, like, yeah, that brought just a little smile to the edge of my lips maybe that I'm using thing. And then they'll reply with, it's like, no, I made the joke and it wasn't that funny. So don't reply to me pretending that it's that funny. Like, I think people are laying on the laughter way too thick. And that laughter with like the side on face and the tears bursting out the side of the face should be reserved for things that are super funny. I feel like I'm being patronized when people send that to me. I mean, I know that was a crap joke. Don't give me the tears of laughter. We all know what's going here. Yeah. I will agree with you. But this is just the sad inevitability of human interaction. It's laughing inflation, isn't it? Or it's a specific example of a general instance of linguistic inflation, like across all things that if you have two versions of a thing, a mild thing and a stronger version of the same thing, people just tend towards using the stronger version of the thing as soon as it's available. And that just gets us on this treadmill where you have to keep inventing even stronger versions of it. Like, I'm sure at some point in the emoji release set, they're going to have to have like a passing out on the floor emoji to indicate the next level of humor. And then some kind of combination of the laughing plus the head exploding emoji after like you're just going to have to have this increase. Like you see it across very many areas. And what I was just thinking of when you were telling me that is I remember in high school when you know texting with people, if you got someone to type the letters L-O-L, it felt like a huge victory. You believed they were laughing at that. Because it meant that through the cleverness of your words alone, through the constrained medium of not but text, you had caused a real physical reaction in the person with whom you are conversing. And they were going to the trouble to tell you. You did it. You made me laugh out loud. That's how good you are. They wanted you to know. Achievement get L-O-L. But now as far as I can tell, L-O-L is another kind of comma in sentences. That is what has become of the poor L-O-L. It's basically a comma and it means nothing. Yeah, my neighbor is really bad for that. If she texts me, she'll say like, oh, I slipped in this morning. I guess I'll have to have like breakfast. Well, I'm like, what's funny about any of this? Like, I know you're not laughing at lab, but I don't even know why that's amusing. The usage of L-O-L to me is almost bizarre how far it has fallen. From a real visceral feeling of victory to basically an indicator that there should be a pause when you're reading the sentence. That is what has happened to poor L-O-L. Yes. Because this is where the English language has also failed, though. I think we're going to have to invent a new case after lower case and upper case. Because it used to be that you would like, we need, we need a supper case, right? Yeah. There used to be an upper case, like, you know, a capital letter at the start of a word indicated some importance to that word. And then we started uppercasing a whole word to show that that word was important. Now, everything just gets uppercased. It's like, you see this in YouTube video titles, don't you? There's this inflation. It used to be, have a look at my uppercase amazing Mars Bar feet or something. And now it's like, everywhere it gets uppercased. And we've got like, there's nowhere to move now. Like, we need another case. Yeah. Get on an internet. We need super case letters. It's a linguistic treadmill and it exists even for emojis. It exists in all aspects of human communication and it is terribly tiresome. Got some merchandise, just little updates and developments. There are still a few Halloween, Internet, or vinyl episodes in existence. I have a few returns and I also have some mint condition ones still in a box. So I do very occasionally distribute these in various ways. And I just wanted to let it be known that the best way to get one for free is to be a Halloween Internet patron because once a month or once every couple of months, I do a special random draw and I've come up with this incredible algorithm for deciding it because it's like it's weighted towards, you know, people that have been patrons for longer, but even people who are brand new patrons have got a chance. And so it's all very, it's all very scientific and complicated. But there does seem to be a bug in my algorithm because I've done it twice so far and both recipients have been named Keith. Oh, okay. You think there's a Keith bias somewhere in your formulaing? So if your name is Keith and you're not a Halloween Internet patron support yet, get on the case because I think there could be vinyl coming your way. Something's going on. I adore how long the half-life of these Halloween Internet vinyl episodes has been. I'm sitting here trying to remember when we actually did that episode and I have no idea. That is in the distant mists of time as far as my brain can be called. When we did a podcast, we're on vinyl. But like I still get messages every once in a while for you or comment about a return that you have to manage and I think, what? How is that even possible? That's crazy. That's crazy. Although this is amazing, the second Keith that got one emailed, because I, when someone gets an IE mail them specifically to say you're getting one is just the right address and everything. The second Keith that got one said, oh, I bought one when you first released them. So don't bother sending it to me. Let another Tim have it. How gracious is that? That's incredibly gracious. I was like a little bit offended too because I autographed the ones that get sent out now. So he didn't want one signed by me. He wanted his like unsullied one. That was scribbling all over it. Well, I mean, that is totally understandable. I can see wanting an unsullied one. But he's got an unsullied one. He could have also had an autographed one. Maybe he didn't realize it was going to be autographed and how precious that would be. It is very precious when Brady signs things. Everybody remember it's super precious when Brady signs a thing. But I can understand wanting an unsigned thing. Like I get that. Yeah. I get that too. I get that too. So I was on the train the other day in London and I had three or four hot stoppers in my pocket because I was thinking of maybe doing a hot drop. And I didn't end up doing the hot drop. But this woman came up and sat next to me on the train. She was just, I don't know what she was doing. I think she was listening to music or something. And she was holding a pret coffee cup with a plastic lid on it. And it didn't have any kind of protection. And I was just looking at this like the gaping hole and the potential for hot spillage. For burns. I think and I've got like a pocket full of hot stoppers here. What do I do? You could be a hot stopper hero. Yeah. Do you know what? I did it. I'm very proud of you Brady. I pulled out a hot stopper and I leaned over and I said, excuse me, this is a bit weird. But I've got a hot stopper here that you can put in your drink. And because I'd like pulled it out of my back pocket and it was going to have like lint and stuff on it. I thought she was going to go, thank you. I'll use that one day. And she was like, oh, thank you. That's great. And she popped it straight into her drink. I think this is because of your charming aura, Brady. I think if I was in that same situation, I'd look over at the woman and I'd think about being a hot stopper hero. But I also know that there's no way I could pull it off without getting arrested. I just think it would go so poorly if I tried to do this. But you have this friendly Brady aura that you give off that I am envious of in some moments. You're friendly too, Greye. I've seen you in action. You're very charming too. I tell you how well it went though. Before we got to her stop, she had Hello Internet on her podcast. This was the opening to a sales maneuver is what this was. Well, it wasn't my plan. I even said to her multiple times, I don't think you'll like the show. But it was on there. It is a very difficult show to recommend when people ask. Because she pulled out, we were talking about podcasts and she pulled out her phone. I couldn't say the screen of her phone. She said, I watch your podcast, Cole, and I said, I'll Hello Internet and then I said, I want podcasts to you. Listen to me. We just talked about podcasts in general for a while. And then later on on the journey, the screen of her phone tipped towards me and I could see it. And I saw the Hello Internet icon on her list and I was like, oh my god, she does listen to Hello. Oh no, she just put that on, didn't she? She just put it on then. She wasn't already a listener. So I kind of had missed that she put it on there. And for a moment or two, I got all excited. I wonder if she even listened to 10 seconds or she just deleted it as soon as she got off the train. Away from the weird guy in the cave, her plastic hot stuff. Again, I just, I can only imagine being in that situation and the more you explain the weirder it gets if I was doing this, like, oh, I do a podcast. And this is the thing. Like I had one tiny moment of this, which is when I did the hot stop drop that I put up on Instagram where I put five of them around London. And this woman saw me hiding the hot stoppers that I put in the telephone booth. And I walked away and I had seen this woman looking and I was suspicious. And so I hit around the corner and waited and watched. And sure enough, she made a b-line straight for the phone booth and went in and found the hot stoppers that I had placed. I wonder what she thought she was going to find. You know, as I said, drug drop, you know, was there money there? I don't know what she was thinking. But I confronted her. And said, oh, hey, and then she saw me and looked really guilty. What did you say to her? Well, I don't know how it started, but I recognized very quickly that I was in the situation where if I had thought it through for a few moments, I would have just let her leave and then replace the hot stopper. That's what I should have done. That would be the gray way. But no, now I found myself in this incredibly awkward moment where I was explaining, oh, I do a podcast. And I hide these hot stoppers, which are for your coffee, which don't really have anything to do with the podcast, except that I hurt myself with coffee a while ago. And I talked about, and I'm like, and I'm talking and I'm talking. And I was like, do you want to keep the hot stopper? And she was like, she's like, no, no. And she never asked what the episode or what the show was that we did. So did she hand it like, had she taken it was in her hand? And she handed it back to you to it. It was in her hand. She handed it back to me. She never asked what the show was. And then I was like, well, okay, bye. And I put it back in the telephone booth and then she wandered off. This is what my human interactions are like. It's weird that she took it in the first place. Like, what was she going to do with it? She didn't know what it was. Like, it's clearly not a valuable thing. I don't know. Maybe she was going to the police to see if it was made out of cocaine. I have no idea. Oh, yeah. She thought you were doing like some, ah, yeah. I don't know. It was very awkward, but also seemed very typical of my unplanned human interactions. I would have been so good if you'd put on like some Russian accent and just told her, you should drop that immediately. Yeah, that would be much better. That would be great. Just because people demand to know the results of these sorts of things and if we didn't address it, I mentioned it now. If you ask a direct question on a podcast, you're going to get a lot of feedback and we got a lot of feedback on the hero versus villain question. And at least last time I looked, the numbers were something like 85 to 15 in those poll results. Well, as in who's the hero of the podcast, Greya Brady? As in the overwhelming, overwhelming consensus is that Brady is the heroic one. Hmm. I think this question also depends on the framing of it though. I think people deep down would think, yeah, Greya is the hero of the show. He's the protagonist. But if you then ask the question, who's the villain of the podcast, notice him? Yeah. But if you then ask the question, who's the villain of the podcast, I think Greya would win that one as well. Okay. Well, I will not be opening that link, but if you open that link and click on the survey, I believe the way the top voted up one was worded is Brady hero, Gray villain, Gray hero, Brady villain, both the villain or neither the villain. I think those were the options, something like that. That link just goes straight to the whole big long reddit discussion. So I can't find the poll. Oh, you're going to make me ugly read it. Just like, no, I'm not going to open reddit. Don't break your streak. I just realized I can't on this computer anyway because I've got the same block in me. But is it like command F hero? That's the way it was. The top one was worded, I thought, in a pretty good way. I think if it was if there was no villain option and it was just Brady hero or Gray hero, the results would be very different. You're asking for another another straw poll on this. No, you seem very reluctant to take over your hero mantle here, Brady. I think maybe hero and villains are the wrong way of putting it. I feel like more you're the protagonist. Well, there was much discussion about what our various roles are in various ways. Not as much discussion as who's left and right. That's that remains the most discussed issue in the history of the podcast. It seems it remains so discussed. I saw it spilling over everywhere on the internet. It feels like a topic that we should never touch again for fear of it consuming the comments. No, you're right. Thank you, everyone, for, well, I don't know if I should thank people for voting for me as a hero. I think I will. Who doesn't like being a hero? That's what a true hero would do. He'd thank the people for voting in the pool. Woody, or would a true hero be more modest and say, I'm not a hero. You're the heroes. Everyone who voted, you are the real heroes. I'm just playing the cards I was dealt. See, you're an actual athlete, this really. I tell you what, I know you're off Twitter, so you won't have seen this. But I finally saw a tweet the other day. Thank you at Knee Pads. Oh, Knee Pads. I see what you've done there. Knee Pads, who is Nahirika Prasad, hence Knee Pads. Very clever. I saw an Insta story from my 16-year-old cousin that said recent, so it's not just you. So we've had one spotting of recent in the wild amongst the young ones on Instagram. So I'm building this case just one instant at a time. One example at a time. That's amazing. I don't know how I like to say to you, as you're going to build up a portfolio of use of the word recent. I mean, does my use on the last podcast count towards the inevitable crushing use of this? No, you're ironic. No, no. No, no. Brady, I would never use recent in an ironic or sarcastic manner. That is entirely unlikely. I wouldn't do that. I think it's a very catchy word, and it's what the young people say, and I want to be sure to be ahead of this train, to be a trailblazer in youthful linguistic trends. It's nice being out, taking a walk among the trees. Much nicer than sitting at home at your computer, doing boring paperwork or invoice work that you don't want to do. But how can you save the time to be able to go into the great outdoors, but also know that you've got done what you need to get done? Enter today's sponsor, FreshBooks. 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FreshBooks is just a beautiful and clean system. I really recommend that you go give it a try if you ever send out invoices or deal with payments or anything like that online. So to give that a try, just go to freshbooks.com slash hello, and enter hello in the How Did You Hear About a Section. This will give you an unrestricted 30-day free trial of FreshBooks. That's freshbooks.com slash hello, and enter offer code Hello in the How Did You Hear About a Section. Go do it right now and get those hours of your life back. Very sad news, Gray. Did you know about this fire at the museum in Brazil? No. Should I open this link? I had the BBC News One. You should open not the Atlantic one because the BBC News One cuts a bit more to the chase. The Atlantic one's a bit more poetic. It was a good article, which is why I put it in the show notes, but it doesn't really give you the key information until you know that sometimes you read a newspaper story and you want to know the story, but it starts with you know Bill Smith walked into the room and wiped his brow. He looked to his left and saw a palm tree, and you're like, come on, just tell me the information. I don't need this purple prose. Yeah, before you tell me about this tragedy in Brazil, I think of the tragedy of the millions of lost man hours reading the first two paragraphs of so many articles that have to tell you about the person who's behind the thing. It's like so many articles have the belief that you can't possibly be interested in this thing unless we conceptualize a person who's in the story to talk about first. It's like, yes, when reading articles, it's like just skip the first three and then maybe you'll get straight to the point. I don't understand this. I didn't realize there's a word for it. It's called purple prose or interviews with celebrities where the journalist is really insistent on making the story about the fact they met the celebrity. So it's 4.30 pm and I'm 15 minutes late for my meeting with Tom Hanks at the Ritz Hotel. I sit down at my table and have a black tea with two spoonfuls of sugar. I check my Cartier watch. Hanks is himself is 15 minutes late now. I wonder what he'll think of my pink blouse. It's like, oh, God, I'd say, I just want to hear what Tom Hanks has got to say. Don't care about the fact you met him. That's just like a thing that had to happen for me to find out the stuff. You're not a gonzo journalist, right? Just to get to the point. Sorry, there was one. He was amazing. You're not him. Don't try to be him. I'm trying to find, oh, God, where was it? There was the most, yes, there we go. Here it is. Oh, this was so deliciously, deliciously terrible. Okay, so this was making the rounds in the Apple World a while ago. There's something like Watch magazine called Houdinkie. Yeah, that's like the Watch Bible. I just realized, of course, of course you would know what Houdinkie is. Do you read Houdinkie Brady? I don't know, but I'm familiar with it. There was this amazing article that this guy wrote about having an interview with Johnny Ive and the whole article is just that. It is the man who wrote it is talking about everything that he is wearing and he's talking about the things that the Apple PR people are wearing. It is like an inhumanly weird article. The only way I could describe it, it's like the guy from American Psycho interviewed Johnny Ive and he's talking about like all of these details that have nothing to do with like Johnny Ive sitting across the table from you. It was a downed it. It's like, I don't know who you are, journalist. This is a mate, yeah. The second paragraph starts the day before I entered terminal five at JFK with my two-be-in-toe, making my way towards the security line and pulled out my, like, well, what, what, I don't care what you were doing the day before. I began to text my fiancee who was back at an apartment. I asked if she had woken up yet and how she slept. This is like what I did in my holidays, day one, I got up and had a bowl of wheat. Okay. This is maybe one of my favorite paragraphs. This article is super long. This is still only 25% of the way in. So he has arrived at Apple Park, right? I was greeted by a team unlike any other in Silicon Valley. Their veterans of places like GQ and Harper's Bizarre, they've studied at the Sorbonne and served in the White House. They're not dressed ostentatiously, but you know those understated boots must be St. Lawrence or maybe Boteca Vita. It's a subtle reminder that Apple isn't just a tech company. It's potentially the greatest luxury brand in the world. Upon entering the park, that's Apple, not Jurassic, comma, though I imagine the feeling would be similar, comma, and walking towards the immense glittering structure. It's just like craziness. It is, like, this is the Maryland point of this kind of style. Like it is so bad. It's like an epic masterpiece of the worst this style can be. I've never seen anything like it. It's so terrible. I almost feel like I desperately want to meet the man who wrote it. Next week on Hello Internet, Benjamin Climber from Who Thank You Magazine. We'll be joining us. Yeah, but it's like who writes like this? I'm sorry. I know Benjamin Climber, you're a person, obviously, but this article reads like it's written by a total psychopath obsessed with the prices and luxury of everything. It's just so weird. But you said Maryland point. Does that mean it's so bad that it became good again? Did he put his head so far up his own ass that he came back out and was still normal person again? I do mean Maryland point that it's amazing. That's why I use the American psycho example. If you've ever read that book, it's hard to read at parts because just like the intensely self-absorbed descriptions are so much and they're so over the top. But that's the style of the book and it totally works in the context of the style of the book. That's what this is. It's like this is American psycho in article format. It's kind of an amazing achievement, but I don't think it's what the author was going for. I mean, I guess the problem is you've got this interview with Johnny R. Ive, which is like a kind of a big deal. Johnny R. I've pretty experienced give of interviewers, meaning he won't say anything interesting. So it's going to be a pretty big waste of your time. So you need to like pad it out somehow because everyone's going to be like, oh my god, I can't believe you got that interview. You have to write a really long article and really like milk it for all its worth. So the only way you could probably add any content would be to write about stuff that wasn't the interview with Johnny Ive because that was probably a 15 minute quite boring little encounter. But Brady, I pulled out my iPhone and began a voice recording. I then pulled out a small Sony voice recorder for a backup recording, a habit that simply won't die from those 24 months in journalism school. I hadn't used one a while. I don't do much writing these days. So I bought this one at JFK for $39 from an uninterested saleswoman with three inch fingernails. I placed this black wad of plastic on the table next to my masterpiece of steel and glass. The scene was startling. Anyway, sorry, tell me about this fire in Brazil. It was a dark night in Rio de Janeiro. Okay, I'm interested. I'm very interested. Go on. It had been a 24 hour flight that day. What were you wearing? Who is this? Who served me on the plane had smelt faintly of? No, it was basically the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro has been totally destroyed by a fire. It was just full of amazing stuff and it's all gone. It was a really heartbreaking story. I know there are worse things that can happen. And obviously because of the people I follow and social media and stuff, I'm going to be exposed to this in a different way. But there's a lot of heartbreak about it. And I didn't know if you'd seen it, but I was just, I don't know. Although you don't like objects, I know you're always a person who likes the idea of museums and these repositories of important stuff. No, this is be clear. I don't like objects in my house. I'm not against museums. Just want to be clear. So I'm not misrepresenting. No, I don't think you're going to be thinking, oh, this is good. A good purge is good every once in a while. Yeah, like, come on, we got to clean up all of this history. Although I was the man who suggested pressing a history eraser button. But let's put that aside for the moment in a normal scenario where you can't simultaneously erase the memory of history from all human minds at once, losing a museum. The reason it's such a tragedy is an irreplaceable set of objects. Things are in museums because you have a bunch of copies of them. Things are in museums because there only exists one of them. And if there's something that I've learned from being in London and also learn from direct exposure and influence from you, Brady, is that whatever you see as the public side of a museum is a tiny, tiny fraction of whatever they have. I still remember when I came to London, one of the most mind-blowing things was the Museum of Natural History had a behind-the-scenes tour in which you got to see some of the behind-the-scenes, even then only a tiny collection. It was honestly almost like a dizzying experience to realize the multitude of things that are kept in a museum. Like, you think there's a lot of stuff upstairs? Like, oh no, downstairs is way bigger. Yeah, the thing about the coverage of this fire in Brazil that I guess hit home with me more than anything else. It wasn't just like the loss of the stuff, the unique material, which is like kind of the obvious and the headline of it all. And the fact that we won't get to see this stuff anymore. And this was covered very well in the Atlantic article, which we'll try to remember to put in the show notes by written by Ed Young. The thing about his article, and he does start at Haudenke style in 1784, a Brazilian boy who was looking for a lost cow, found a gigantic meteorite instead. The 11,600-pound rock was so cumbersome to transport that it took people almost a century to get it to the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro where it has since been on proud display. Then he gets to the fire. But surely that rock survived the fire, right? I mean, if anything's going to survive it, the giant rock. He goes into some detail about that, about how you'd think, you know, a rock would survive, but the fire causes problems. But the thing that Ed covers in his article and a lot of the other coverage I read has highlighted to me, which is sort of a different way of thinking about this tragedy, is all the careers that have literally gone up in smoke. And like the future careers, like all the different researchers and people associated with the museum and people whose area of expertise depended on all these collections, what they'd done before, what they were going to do in the future, has all just like ended. And this has held network of associated people and jobs and research projects and things like that that have all just been described to a halt because all these important collections and objects have just gone overnight. There's lots of heartbreaking stuff. As the fire was happening, you know, some people were trying to get access to certain areas to pull out what they could because this was like their life's work going up in smoke. So more than a lot of other tragedies like this, that has really hit home for me more than kind of feeling bad for the objects themselves. And the fact, you know, we can't look at them and tourists can't go and say them and that it's all these research careers that are like almost completely rebooted now and have to reset. Terrible. I know I have heard from black people in Brazil, like on social media and stuff who are like just people who aren't associated with it, who are really heartbreaking about it. So it's like it's a big deal. It's like if the natural history museum in London just went tomorrow, can you imagine what a tragedy that would be. Apparently, this is the equivalent for like South America. This is like the museum of South America by some accounts I've read. That's very bad. It's very sad. I never know how to sign off from bad stories, Brady. No, I was having this feeling like I should really wrap this up with a neat little bow. But like there's just a smoking hole in crushed careers in Brazil. When you talk to people who like read the news for a living, like news presenters and anchors and that, one of the great skills of their job is transitioning from sad stories to happy stories in like half a heartbait. There's a real skill to looking all sombre and sad about the fire and then going, now I can't let that can talk. I think one of the keys to that move, you have to shift to a different camera, which also then makes you change your body position. And I think in human minds that kind of lets you get away with it. It's like, oh, oh, now we're doing something different. But in podcasts, there's no version of like, now I'm going to talk in microphone number two. And like, no, it's like, now we're going to switch left and right. And that Brady would be on the left. Oh, yeah, maybe there is a way that one could switch angles. Let me make the transition easier for you, Gray, because I want to talk to something a little bit related to museums and objects of great value. I mean, you are the newsman. I expect you to be able to make this transition. Well, yeah, I think I do the transitions pretty well. You do, you do, Brady. And I was doing one until you interrupt. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I did, like, I've messed up the professional in his work. I know. First, you said how awkward you are and you can't do it. And then I came to your rescue to do it. And you awkwardly interrupted and stopped me doing it properly. Okay. I'm just going to be quiet now. Paintings, Gray, paintings are also valuable objects that we all hope will not catch fire in museums. I agree. I agree. 100%. Paintings have been a bit in the news this week. And I've been going down the rabbit hole of reading about paintings and things like that. There've been two stories. The first one is, there's a TV show in the UK called Fake or Fortune. I think it is. I love that title. I feel like I know the whole show. It's actually like a BBC show. And it's hosted by this quite classy presenter called Fiona Bruce, but it's got a really trashy name. I think Fake or Fortune's are really trashy name for quite a classy show that's about, you know, and it's sitting on English castles and they're all very distinguished, posh people talking about art history and things like that. And they've called it Fake or Fortune. Did they say it like that? That's terrible. They don't say it like that. But it's a trashy name for a classy show, in my opinion. I mean, if you say it like that, yeah. But, you know, if you say it, you're welcome to fake or Fortune. I think you could try to class it up a little bit. You can't use the word fake in a word that doesn't make you sound cheap. Fake is like a cheap word. Say fake in a way that's classy. Forgery is classy. Yeah. Okay. Oh, yeah. I think this painting may be a forgery. I think this may be a replica. But you can't say, oh, Rick and it's fake. Real or replica? I don't know. Forgery or forgery? I don't know. That's going to be our spin-off show. It's real real replica. Real or replica? Oh, we've never heard of Fake or Fortune. I don't know what that is. We're the thinking man's fake or fortune. I mean, they might as well call that lots of money or not lots of money. I mean, you know, because that is what the show is ultimately about people bring on these paintings. That's when people care about, right? That's that's all anybody wants to know on anti-grudge show, you know, which is exactly the same thing. Which is also hosted by Fiona Bruce, by the way, it's the same host. Oh, okay. So yeah. So like the money, that's what they want to know. And the big story this week was there was, I don't know, there was some painting, some English painting that was someone had bought for 30 or 40,000 pounds or some great amount of money. And then they took it on fake or fortune and all the experts poured over it and they did all the tests and all the different things you do to decide if a painting's worth lots of money or not lots of money. And in the end, they decided it was fake. And it was like this great scandal. But then there's a controversy about whether the verdict was right and it goes in all the papers and stuff like that. So that got me in the painting rabbit hole, right? And then I actually saw just a very minor story and I still don't know what story behind the story was, but it sent me down another rabbit hole. And the story I saw was that this painting, which is the most expensive painting ever, the Salvatore Mundi, Savior of the World, which is this painting of Jesus supposedly by Leonardo da Vinci sold for 450 million a little while back. And it was going to go on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which I think is a massive sellout. But anyway, that's a whole other discussion. Wait a minute, there's a Louvre in Abu Dhabi. Yeah, no, no, no. Talk about following the money. This is the second disenchantment of the Louvre that I've had recently because I happen to just be there recently. I didn't want to go inside because museums are mostly boring. Oh, is it a bad time to say that on the episode where we're talking about the museum right right now? Anyway, so like I was in the area and I thought there's no way I'm going into this museum because there's just be tons of people like forget it. But in wandering around, I don't know if I just never thought about this right, but whenever you see a picture of it, you see that glass triangle in the courtyard. The pyramid. Yeah, sorry, the glass pyramid. That's the iconic image of it. Yeah. And I had always assumed that the museum was under that glass pyramid that this must be, you know, like, oh, like what an amazing architectural feature to have in your underground museum. But spoiler alert, there's just a mall under there. It was such a strange experience. And the remains of Mary Magdalena, but that's another story. I know, I know nothing about that. And the mall did not indicate to me anywhere. Where is the Mary Magdalena? I'm making a joke about the Da Vinci code, but a big spoiler joke about the Da Vinci code. Okay, I didn't remember from my reading the Da Vinci code that closely. What's saying a mall? That's just where they've put the new entry atrium for the museum, which obviously is in the old Louvre palace, which extends everywhere. It surrounds the pyramid. Yeah, I know, I know. Like, I realized that when I was there, but in my head, the pyramid is always such the focus of the photo that the palace that surrounded it, I just thought of it as background noise, right? Oh, that's not a thing. And it was just a weird mental inversion to realize that, oh, no, the thing in the background is the thing that I thought was the museum. And the thing in the center is a skylight on a court where there's an Apple store directly below there. It was very strange. Anyway, tell me more about this painting. Well, there was just this very short article I read about the fact that it's now not going on display there or there's been some delay. The painting was bought by, you know, some Abu Dhabi Prince for this museum. And they're saying, oh, it's been delayed or it's not going on display. And there was no more explanation. And I have no more explanation, by the way. So I don't know what the story is, but it got me interested in this painting again and got me reading about it. And then it just got me thinking about the value of paintings and this whole fake or fortune debate because this painting, there's a lot of debate about whether or not it is by Davinci or it was just like, you know, one of his students. And there are a lot of people who know a lot about Leonardo Davinci think that he didn't paint it. And yet, enough people have said, oh, no, he probably did. And when you read all the history of it and you read about why they think it, sometimes it's pretty sketchy reasoning, in my opinion. This is crazy. And some will pay $450 million for it on a, maybe he did or maybe he didn't kind of think. This is totally crazy. I'm looking at what you sent me here. And there's a link that says there's only 20 confirmed works of Leonardo Davinci. I had no idea. Yeah. There's at the bottom a bunch of disputed paintings. Yeah. I didn't realize that there were only 20 that we can consider solid. And I mean, Wikipedia seems to think that Salvador Mundi, it's going with that this is by Leonardo Davinci. Well, they do. But then when you read the article, it kind of erodes its headline because at the start it says it's a painting by Leonardo Davinci. But as you read through the article, there are lots of moments where they say, maybe it's not the world's leading Davinci expert who has like the official publication of what our Davinci works and what aren't. I don't think that person has it down as a Davinci. I don't know. And it's like heavily restored. It was like painted over. And this is kind of they've scraped off all the paintings. This is what they found sort of situation. And 450 million, someone was happy to pay it. So I don't know. I don't know if I'd be comfortable with that. Yeah. You'd have to think real hard before you pardon with 450 million for the painting. It would give you a moment's pause. Yeah. I'd almost pay it and then just put my fingers in my ears and say, I don't want to hear anything else about it. I don't want to know it's fake. It's like if you buy like a fake autograph on eBay of someone who's like your hero, it's like, I'm going to buy a Neil Armstrong autograph on eBay 99.9% chance it's fake like all the other Neil Armstrong autographs on eBay. But I'm just going to pay for it and never look at it again. Right. I don't want to know straight into the trunk it goes and you just get your satisfaction of knowing you have a Neil Armstrong autograph. That's what you get. I don't want anyone looking at it and saying, but hang on, that's not how you spell Neil. This is on card stock that was printed in the 1990s. The other thing about this that amazed me though was I was reading about the auction. They actually paid 400 million for it and there was a 50 million dollar buyers premium which I think is the auction house as fee and I never cease to be amazed. It seems a lot of fees and the buyers premiums that auction houses like Christie's and all these people charge for selling paintings. I think it's slightly exorbitant. What are you paying for? I don't know Brady. It's a 12.5% finder's fee. That doesn't seem so bad. I would have run the auction for 10%. That would have saved a fortune. I would have gone up the front and said, all right, who wants it? Yeah. You at the back put your hand up if you want it. Brady's is going to be undercutting Christie's by doing a mere 10%. You could say, okay, you're paying for the prestige of buying it from such an authoritative dealer who presumably has done all the checks to make sure it's legit. But if they're getting that much money for selling it, they're totally interested in telling you that it's a divinci. They're not going to say it's not the real thing. Are you sure it's a divinci or 50 million bucks? Yeah. For 50 million bucks, I'll tell you anyone painted it. I'll tell you, it's a self-portrait. The fake or fortune phenomenon is such a weird thing. I watched a documentary on Netflix maybe recently, which was talking about fakery in the wine industry, which seems like it's just a smaller version of this. But it was an interesting case about how someone was bidding up all of these fake and rare wines that he himself was injecting into circulation than acting as the validator for in terms of the price. So going in and making sure to outbid everybody on these rare Jefferson wines that he himself was supplying. There's so many things here. It's an intersection of the uncertainty of history, which my take on that is always, history is much more uncertain than people think in their heads. You're a kid and you go to school and you read history books and they don't kind of plays out. There was a bard who was there the whole time writing down what was occurring. I think you have in your head a much more solid idea of what the history is. And then you realize rewind the clock back to anything before 1900. The number of primary documents or accounts of anything is dramatically smaller than you think it is. The story of history is so constructed from these little fragments. But there could be many, many different versions that still fit those constructed spots. Do we know if Leonardo da Vinci painted this painting? It's just an unknowable thing in history. So you take this aura of unknowability with, I don't quite say arbitraryness, but I will, to some extent, say, arbitraryness of particularly in the art world the way we select it. Like, these painters are the important painters. Yeah, these are the celebrities. These are the glamour ones and these ones aren't. Yeah, so yeah, then you get like this weird market around it and I don't know, I feel like it manifests some human behaviors in a strange way. Does this appeal to your brain gray or like, does it repose you? Like, how do you feel about it? This weird market, this weird thing that exists that you're talking about? Do you look at it and go, and I love it and I love that happens. It's so much fun and interesting and quirky. Or do you look at it and go, this is baffling and stupid and we should stop it. This is not the way humans are supposed to behave. Okay, so past gray would have gone with the latter. LOL, this is ridiculous. Look how dumb these people are. You're about, you know, Empress New Clothes, you're a bunch of fools, not paying all that much. Yeah, you're a bunch of fools. But this is a thing that I've slowly changed my mind on and it's a bit hard to articulate, but I now think of this kind of thing and the same category of lots of things that I used to think were dumb and arbitrary. So things like fashion or jewelry or lots of things that humans value that don't have a very clear intrinsic value. The way an apple does. I think of them now as things that are real because of the structure of human brains and that to deride them as not real is making a kind of knowledge mistake. The human brains are a thing that exists in the universe and as a result of their structure, you get things like fashion and jewelry and painting collection and obsession over rare wines. These are external manifestations of the internal structure of human minds. So I think they're real. I don't dismiss them in a way that I would have before. I think it is real, but you have to think about it in a particular way. I think of it as one level abstracted. It is a real thing in the universe. It is probably less irrational than it seems because it's very likely that the buyer of this painting or the institution that will end up holding it in 50 years will be able to sell it at a profit. That's again, like a result of the structure of human brains. You're making a market bet here. Will people think Leonardo da Vinci is less important or more important 50 years in the future? Well, I would make the bet on people will think he's more important because there's a chance that of the 20 known paintings. One of them will be destroyed, say in a museum fire, which then increases the value of all the others. There's also just this effect of that the most known person in a field continues to be the most known person and others disappear. It's like how many classical composers can you name? Oh, Beethoven and it's getting real hard after that Chopin. You can come up with maybe three or four, but if you had to bet in 300 years how many composers will the average person be able to name it? Probably Beethoven will win that. He'll be the name that has last forgotten. I think Leonardo da Vinci is in the same category of. As far as art goes, he's in a not likely to be forgotten category, which means his art is probably going to be more valuable in the future. So even though all of this money was spent, I think they might turn a profit on that down the road. Yeah. I'm looking down this list of Leonardo da Vinci works on Wikipedia. We seem to have these categories of generally accepted universally accepted, like Nernmonellisa, and our friend, the Salvatore Mundi, gets a generally accepted, not a universally accepted, with a caveat of but disputed by several specialists. So it's not even in the second highest category, but it isn't in the disputed attributions list. So we'll see. Wow. I can't believe what I think of in my head as what Leonardo looks like, which is called portrait of a man in red chalk, is in the disputed category. I think if I had to think of Leonardo da Vinci paintings off the top of my head, I would have been able to come up with three. And that would have been one of them. And I just assumed that must be a self-portrait of Leonardo, because I don't know. That's the way he looked when they visited him in Star Trek Voyager when they went in the past. Like I just don't know. I don't know what I'm facing that on. There we go. Paintings. Do you like looking at paintings? Do you go to art galleries and stuff or not your back? Yeah. I don't think I'm a cultured enough person for this. This falls into the category of things that I want to care, but I kind of don't, like when I was in the haig, like the haig is incredibly impressive. It's a huge museum. It has like all of these famous paintings in it. And the last time I was there, I was walking through and all I could keep thinking of is how many human hours of effort I'm just blowing past. Some poor guy spent months of his life 300 years ago on this painting achieved tremendous success in the art world. His painting is hanging in the National Museum of the Netherlands. And it's in this corner of a room and people give it a quick like, oh, that's fine. And move right along. Yeah, I'm oppressed by the man hours that have gone into these things. Slap watching the first 25 seconds of a number five video and then moving on to the next thing. Yeah, I think that's exactly what it's like, Brady. Yeah. Maybe in a thousand years people will be wondering, is this really a Brady original or is it not? Hey, everyone, why not turn your next big idea into a website with Squarespace who is sponsoring today's episode. Squarespace is a smooth, easy interface to design your website. Start with a huge variety of classy and beautiful templates. 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I used their customer service page, which made it really easy just to send them a message and say what was going on. Then I went to Twitter thinking, oh, I'll tweet Squarespace to see if they could speed things up. But you know what? Before anyone had even seen my tweet, a Squarespace representative from the original message had got back in touch with me, super clear explanation of what I'd done wrong, a really quick way to fix it. And my website was back up and running literally, or immediately, I reckon it took about 20 seconds and everything was sorted. No VIP treatment because I was a sponsor, it was just fast, efficient, and effective customer service. So now, when I refer to Squarespace as award-winning customer service, I really know what it's all about. It was a really good experience, even though I was bit of an idiot. Now, go to squarespace.com slash hello internet and you can have a free trial. And when you're ready to launch your site, if you use the offer code hello, you'll save 10% of your first purchase of a website or domain. That's squarespace.com slash hello internet, free trial, and then 10% off with the code hello. Our thanks to Squarespace for well for helping me out this week and for also being a great sponsor of the show. Speaking of beautiful works of art and masterpieces, there's another story that caught my eye this week and I'm really quite sympathetic to it. It's an Instagram story. So you won't know anything about this. I'm sure you don't follow the Instagram user Scarlett London. No, I'm unfamiliar with her work. Who is kind of like what I consider to be your typical Instagram, caught, you know, young, glamorous woman who poses very beautiful pictures of her amazing life. Right. And she posted one very typical picture recently, I've sent you an article which is her and these pink pajamas sitting on a bed with some pancakes and strawberries and balloons and like having a cup of tea, having this like perfect morning on her beautifully made bed. The morning wheel dream of having. Do we? I'm not sure I dream of having this morning, but okay. No, well, yeah. I think that's about as ungray a morning as you could possibly have. She has pictures. Strawberries on her bed. Don't bring food into bed that's disgusting. Well apparently also that real pancakes. They're just tortillas that are made to look like pancakes with a picture. Oh, is that what it's supposed to be? I thought it was on a purse or something. And the cup of tea apparently is empty. And you'll see like in this absolutely perfect room, there's a bottle of listerine on the sideboard. That's because the post is sponsored by Listerine. Okay. Right. Makes sense. That's legit. But like if I was Listerine, I think I'd want something better for my money. It looks like she's just like left it there. It looks really out of place and yucky. Like why have you got a bottle of listerine on your side of your bed in your perfect room? Anyway, unless you drink the listerine, like you have to spit it out somewhere. That's the way the products used. Well, but anyway, because of this one particular photo, which I think is so typical of Instagram photos, it just got picked on. Like the internet just turned on. And one of these, you know, so you've been publicly shamed moment. Like I think one or two of the wrong famous people saw this picture and thought, this is bad. This is like everything that's wrong with Instagram. And then the internet just like tore her to pieces. And like for a few days, she was just like this pariah was having death threats and all sorts of stuff. And I feel really, really bloody sorry for her. I mean, yeah. This is not the corner of the grand world that I followed. No, it seems pretty typical of the Instagram. But I remember, like obviously I'm sure you do not advocate people being mean to this woman. Right. Yeah. No. That's not really my point. But the reason they were mean to her and turned on her was because of this like bigger picture of does people portraying this really non realistic, perfect life. And this is about as unrealistic as a picture can be because the pancakes aren't even real. There's no tea in the drink. It's like it's just it's completely set up. It's not even like she was having breakfast and thought, oh, this looks nice. If I just straighten up the bed, it'll make a nice picture like clearly the whole thing is just a photo shoot. But then portray it as this is my morning. And I remember you talking about how Instagram has this like bad effect on people. Like, do you think this is what's wrong with Instagram? Or do you think this is okay? And we're all I mean, I don't know. Like this is a problem of the context of the thing because I think if I saw this photo just regularly, it looks like a like a photo set. I don't know what her caption or like what her description of the photo was. I'll tell you what it says. I'll tell you I'll read you the caption. The best of days start with a smile and positive thoughts and pancakes and strawberries and bottomless tea. My morning routine is now live on YouTube and while I don't show you my real bed here, trust me, it's not pretty. I do give you a little insight into how I start a day in a positive way head over to my stories for a swipe up link and let me know what you think it features my morning habit of rising with the history and advanced what? What my teeth? This is a paid partnership with the story. Okay, well, like now. All right, the description does get her in a little bit of trouble because she's heavily implying that this is her morning, right? Whereas I thought maybe the description was going to be something much more along the lines of. Listerine is great. Hashtag paid promotion, right? Something like that. No, no, she talks about this as you know, start your day positive with pancakes and strawberries just like me. Okay, well, okay, now I feel less empathy. Yeah, fair enough. Fair enough. I mean, it's deceptive, but I do it. You know, if I go on a holiday and I see something that looks amazing, I'll go off and get my wife and say come back over this way and take a picture of me looking brutally over this beautiful mountain range because it's such a good picture. It's not like I've been caught in a candid moment. I've sort of seen the opportunity to make my holiday look awesome. Like we'll do it. It's just where's the line? Where's the line between like putting the best possible spin on things and deceiving people? Yeah, I mean, well, there's a couple of lines here. I mean, the first line is these Instagram photos that you're arranging. I'm presuming that you don't carry with you a bottle of Listerine that Listerine is paying you to have. I do fracture the moments afterwards. Okay, yeah, but where is the line? So you're posting on Instagram and being like just enjoying this sunset with my wife and my dog and my bottle of cool mint Listerine. That's like a weird line. Yeah, okay. I guess I wasn't talking about the paid promotion side of it as a whole another thing. Yeah. I guess I was just talking about making your life look unrealistic and everyone else who follows you thinking, oh, well, my life's crap. Yeah, I crap the bed last night and she's got spoilers and phone cuts. Wow, that's a dark comparison. That's real dark. That's real far. I don't know. There's this army of professional Instagram women who, this is how they make a living with product promotion and by being business savvy and attractive and taking great photos of their life, which may or may not be sponsored by Listerine and posting them. And their businesses and there's something about that which makes it feel just different. And I don't really have a problem with that. The feeling of Instagram for me was more, I think there's something different about seeing people you know in real life, but then only seeing these constructed moments of their real life. I actually think that's more insidious. And I think it's more insidious both for the like the receiver and for you like in that moment where you're describing where you see like, ah, here's an opportunity. This beautiful moment. Bam, this is going to get me some grams. Like I think it's bad for you to be thinking that in a moment. And then it's weird for your friends to only see these constructed moments. And while everybody knows that they have these constructed moments on Instagram, because it's your friends, I feel like your shield is down much more than if it's a celebrity or someone who's basically like a like a professional on Instagram. Yeah. Do you feel that way or like do you follow professional Instagram people like of one brand or another? I don't follow people who I would describe as professional Instagramers, but I do think it's unhealthy. I went on a holiday a while back and it was two like a you know, a Maldives Island. And they had paid for this by coincidence, they'd paid for this Instagramer to come out this like, you know, exactly. It looks just like this girl who's getting picked on actually. She was this like, you know, very glamorous and very, very fit exercise-y type Instagramer and that. And they were having her there for four or five days. So I saw her all around the island and stuff like that. And she was there with her mother, her mother seemed to be, she was like a real stage mother type scenario to her mother seem to like be her business manager and organize everything. And I remember thinking she seemed really like quite like Salon, like she seemed quite, quite person and didn't seem very smiley and happy and I don't know where, like I don't know, I never spoke to the woman. But she didn't seem like, you know, like a happy bubbly person. And then I went through her Instagram at the same time while she was there, of what she was posting. And it was like, it was the exact opposite. It was like a different person as she was happy and positive and like it was like the experience that she was putting out there was clearly very different to the experience that I thought she was having. And it did make me think, this is that, yeah. But okay, you know, this has been going on since magazines existed. So this is not new. I think it's important to always say that yes, of course, the stuff has been going on with magazines forever. It's been going on since we've been printing the face of kings and queens on gold coins for a thousand years. But it is true that with many things, a difference in amount becomes a difference in kind. And I think that the Instagram reaches that point where it can really be a difference in amount is a difference in kind that picking up a magazine and seeing the pictures is different from in every spare moment, opening up Instagram and just flicking through and seeing what everybody else is up to when you're in a bored moment. Like that becomes a very different thing. And then you layer on top of that, the stuff that really concerns me about Instagram, algorithmically picking the photos that are most likely to be engaging to you in some way. And then it's another, like, another difference in kind on top of that. So yeah, I still think it's kind of weird that I had a such a strong reaction to Instagram in this way. And from everyone I've ever spoken to, I'm the only person who holds the opinion, oh, Instagram made me sad, but I really like Twitter. There's nobody in the universe who seems to hold that opinion. But there's something about it that just struck me as just a strange experience. And if something like this is obviously fake and it's an ad, even though she's sort of portraying it as her morning, it's like whatever. But the effect of everybody arranging their lives to present their own little version of this, that I don't think is good. So obviously Instagram is no longer a problem for you during project site clops. We discussed in the last episode, is it going to be a four month withdrawal from certain aspects of online life? Has this now begun? Yeah, well, I mean, I think it rapidly escalated from when we spoke about it, even editing the podcast after we recorded. I think you can hear me becoming more and more certain that this is a thing that I'm going to do as the conversation went on. And it's interesting doing podcasts. You suddenly are talking about a thing that's been mulling over in your brain for a while. And yeah, that rapidly escalated. And then as soon as it was on the internet, it went from a maybe project to a, oh, for sure, I'm definitely going to do this. Have you implemented it pretty much as discussed? I mean, my memory of it was you were going to stop using redder hacker news, all social media and podcast listening. Yeah, that's the basic idea. I'm in what I'm thinking of as like the beta mode or the release candidate mode of this right now, where I'm on the lookout for problems. So I'm not doing anything yet. Like I ran into a little issue about how I was trying to set up automation so that the discussions would still get posted to Reddit without me. And obviously in order to check that the changes I had made actually worked, like I need to be on Reddit and that was fine or whatever. Yeah. And there's been a couple little things here and there. Like I was traveling to an undisclosed location. I'm recording right now from an undisclosed location. And when I grabbed my laptop, I hadn't set up anything on the laptop and I was taking this lovely train ride. And I thought, oh, let me just, this is a great time to do a little bit of relaxing work. I opened up my laptop. And of course, there were all of these tabs open from Reddit and hacker news. And I was like, oh, well, I know I should just, you know, check that everything was fine in these tabs before I close each. I got kind of caught out in this weird moment. And I think like that's a great example of getting mindlessly caught out in this train. So it's like I should be enjoying this beautiful moment on the train. But like instead, I'm reading some comment thread that I opened up weeks ago on this laptop now that I'm on the train. But anyway, I installed some software on the laptop to lock down all of that stuff. I think everything is mostly locked down. I'm just trying to see if there's any unexpected problems right now. But I think I'm going to go into like full, serious hardcore mode. And I'll probably run like the 12th or so. I think that's kind of what I'm looking at. A bit of an elephant in the room that we didn't really discuss, but a lot of people have asked me about since you announced this was the whole issue of the fact you're locking down podcasts. And yet you produce podcasts. Some people think there's some degree of hypocrisy there. Should people still be listening to Hello Internet? I feel like they should. Yeah. Well, I think I had not fully thought through the self sabotage that I had set in motion with discussing this idea of maybe people shouldn't watch YouTube videos or beyond social media or particularly listen to podcasts. And yeah, I hadn't really thought that one through. Go all these gray wannabes are going, oh, I'm going to try that as well now. And well, it goes your audience. Here's the thing. Pretty. I care about the audience. And if an audience member thinks that maybe this is a good thing for them to do, who am I but to encourage them? Although, you know, I do also think if you want to grant a special exemption for Hello Internet so that you can listen to your buddy Gray as he goes through the same thing as you do, that seems fine. It's like you're making a podcast tutorial about how to not listen to podcasts. I don't know. It was very interesting reading through all that feedback. There were not a small number of jokes about Gray doesn't want to get high off his own supply, which I thought was like it's a funny comment, but there is something sort of truthful to that. Like, we've discussed this idea of the attention economy before on the podcast and that I that the attention economy is just consuming so much of the modern world. And I am a humble merchant on the attention economy. Like the way I make my life is by aggregating the attention of an audience. But because of that, I think it's also part of the reason I just end up thinking about this stuff. A lot. And I'm really not concerned about any of the individual producers of media. You know, you make YouTube videos, I make YouTube videos sometimes, I make podcasts, you make podcasts. Like we're all producing stuff. And I don't think it's so much the stuff itself. It's the environments in which all of the stuff is presented. You know, when you're watching videos on YouTube, the YouTube algorithm is always working to have ready at a moment's notice. Other videos for you to watch should your attention but waiver for a second. And that's a very different experience than if we imagine an alternate universe where videos over RSS had gotten established instead of like a YouTube platform. If you were just watching videos on an individual person's website that you had to remember, like, oh, I go to BradyHarrin.com to see what the latest science video is that he's posted. And it just exists on your site and it's not competing with all of this other stuff. So like I'm worried about the effect of the platforms. And like anything can be distracting. I just think we have these really big players in the technological world that are all in this this evolutionary race with each other to capture human attention. I don't know, the podcast thing is super interesting because both in the feedback that was in the Reddit and like a surprising amount of feedback from people I actually know, that really seemed to resonate with lots of people. The idea that they have a tremendous podcast queue and that podcasts have just invaded every corner of their life. Like they're always listening to podcasts. Greg, you sort of say with a, I don't know if it's with your tongue in your cheek or twinkle in your eye that if anyone's going off podcast, they can have like an exception for Halloween today. Have you given yourself any exceptions on this massive diet you've created? No, I haven't. And that's why I'm deadly serious. Even though it's like, oh, look, look at this pistol I'm taking out. Look at me aiming at it at my foot. Oh, let me pull this trigger. It's so satisfying. I really do mean it though that for people who this seems to have resonated with strongly, like maybe it's not a bad idea to take a break from this stuff. I'm doing it just because I have this strong feeling like I need to regenerate a bunch of space and I need to refigure out a few things and like retrain my brain in the way that it focus its time and attention. And I just know from me personally that it's it's way easier for me to just say no to all of these things than to make some exceptions. All or nothing. Yeah. How's the early stages? Was it an easy, was it easy going cold turkey? Has it been a clean break? Well, the funny way that recording schedules work and the when that episode went up and when I actually started, it has not quite yet been a week. So we're still in the very early stages, but I decided to get serious about it on September 1st. And my initial feeling was just a feeling of real relief. It was hard to describe, but it really was this feeling of, oh, I don't have to check these places to read these things. I'm going to put this aside. The feeling of relief of like, oh, I'm just not going to do this was really kind of nice. It happened to coincide with traveling somewhere without very much internet, which made the initial transition much easier. I mostly just felt relief, but I was a little nervous that I've kind of locked myself into this idea of I'm going to do it until the end of the year, which is a pretty long time. I mean, it's four months. It's like a third of a year. You don't have to do it, right? By the way, like if you stop after a month, it's not like, you know, you don't lose anything to you know, I'm going to get in trouble. No, I'm not going to lose anything, but like I've done this before. I've done a very similar thing before and I did it for about a month. And when I did that, I feel like all of my concerns were similar, but coming at it from a different angle. And the reason that I want to do this for a much longer stretch of time, to me, this really doesn't feel like, oh, I want to change the way I use social media. I want to take a little bit of a break and then come back, which is the thing I recommend. Everybody does like, I think it's a good thing to do. I think you should do it sort of regularly. You know, I've even done little mini breaks like that all the time without ever mentioning it. Where it's like, oh, I'm just going to take three days and I'm going to be off Twitter and I'm going to do some other stuff. I think that's really healthy and good. But the reason that I want to do something that is much longer and much more serious is because of many of those concerns that I talked about last time. Like this real awareness that just like my ability to pay attention and to focus and to keep my mind on what I want to keep my mind on seems surprisingly diminished. Like I've had this weird experience. So now that I'm not on the internet, like what am I going to do with my days? It's like, well, I went walking in the woods and you know, it's nice. But when I sit down and when I when I've wanted to read some books, I've noticed the same feeling of like, man, it is harder to read than it used to be. The other thing that I find concerning is it's hard to describe, but it's a lack of interest in things that I really find myself in this past week, like just burning through Kindle samples and boy, am I glad Audible? Let's you return audiobooks. You know, hashtag Audible is not sponsoring this section right now, but they do sponsor the show sometimes. But it's like, I can't get into a bunch of books. Like I find my brain just immediately zoning out. And but just lots of nonfiction books that I know I used to read way more of this. And that I feel is like, okay, this is exactly the sort of thing that I think I need a bunch of time to to like rewire my brain on that my brain is just too used to small, immediate and easy as far as information sources go. You know, Gray, when you were telling me about this in the last episode and when you're talking about it now, part of me has wondered whether you have like misdiagnosed the cause of all this. And I don't base this on any knowledge and I could be like way off the mark or way out of line. But when you were talking about it last time and this time, my mind went to this other thing that I've been reading about all the time lately, which is this kind of burnout epidemic that's been particularly talked about in like our world in this like YouTubey world where all these people, all these video makers on YouTube have been complaining about, well, they call a burnout, you know, working too hard and they've had too much and they're all, you know, some of them been taking all these extended breaks from the platform. And they complain about different things, different aspects of it, some of them complain about this like massive hamster wheel, you know, where they're having to put videos out every day. Clearly, it hasn't made a problem for you. I was going to say, yes, no Brady, I am so exhausted of the hamster wheel that I am upon. I'm not saying it's exactly the same, but I did wonder whether or not just, you know, as someone who has been doing this for a while now and you do make, you know, podcasts and things like that, part of me wondered whether or not you were just suffering from like a, I wouldn't call it a burnout, but I would call it like kind of just like a jadedness and like just a fatigue of the internet and the world of comments and the world of content and things like that. And you're sort of giving it this quite intellectual explanation of this fractured attention and this attention economy. Maybe you're just like a bit tired and a bit sick of it and you just need a rest like you need a holiday. I think the burnout thing is like a parallel issue for YouTubers and like I know what burnout feels like. This isn't that. Like I remember I like I burned out hard when I first transitioned into YouTube. Like I had really given it everything. It was the worst here of my adult life. Just working too much when I was still as the teacher and like transitioning into YouTube and I had a big gap right when I suddenly became a professional YouTuber. I do think there are some, there are some parallel issues like when I was listening to me talking about it this topic last time when I was editing the show. I was just so aware that there's like a million little sub-bullet points for me under this topic. You know, I didn't want to talk about all of them and I felt like I was rambling enough as it is. But like the reason I think some of the YouTubers feel this burnout is I really think again a difference in amount becomes a difference in kind that the nature and volume of comments on the internet and the fact that everybody is on the internet now has caused a lot of people to go kind of crazy in ways that manifest very differently. Like the flat earth stuff that we talked about a few episodes ago. It's kind of connected to that. And if you spend a lot of time on social media you're more directly exposed to that kind of stuff. Like let's walk around this morning and I was trying to think about how to articulate a particular idea on this. But one of the things I think is important about growing up and human interactions is to recognize drama llamas in your life. Everybody knows when you're a kid like there's someone in your circle of friends who is the I don't like drama person who is always surrounded by drama. And eventually you realize oh that person despite their protestations of being uninterested in drama is the manufacturer of drama. Intentionally or not they are always making sure that they are the center of every dramaful moment that could happen and that they also re-broadcast out to everyone that they possibly can all of the drama. And you know growing up you learn okay those people not everybody needs to be part of your life and don't associate with people who just attract drama and want to be the center of attention in that way. But it's like the playing field of the internet is tilted towards drama llamas. It's really in their favor. It feels like there is this difference on the internet that like this is the place where the drama llamas can now rule. That like whoever wants to kick up like the biggest fuss and to make sure that they are the most center of attention they have like this weird edge to it. Like they have a kind of natural victory. And because it's the internet you can't do the thing that you would do in real life which is like okay well I'm just not going to associate with that person. Because on the internet the drama llamas are everywhere. They get the most engagement with their crazy comments. They're just sort of present. Like I love comment threads. I love screwing around on Twitter. But I do think that something has changed and you're at the receiving end of more of this kind of crazy interaction from the comments or sort of drama llama. How can I take this thing and explode it up into something bigger. I actually have a good example which was just before I left. This thing happened where long story short doesn't really matter. I was having difficulties connecting several very expensive pieces of computer equipment with USB C cables. And as you do I went straight to the Twitter war room and I was complaining about USB C cables on the internet. Right? Like as you do not that anyone can help me but I'm just complaining like USB C cables are garbage. Yeah. And so like I'm talking talking talking and in the middle of this this tweet storm I make a joke about why is my life so hard. Right? Which to me seems like an obvious joke. But this is maybe like the closest I've come to having a Twitter thing just blow up because holy hell did that comment get a lot of replies. Well you kind of saying it to be funny like in a meme-y way and then people thought you were being serious. Yeah so I meant it as a joke because it's like oh I can't connect my expensive laptop to this brand new gaming eGPU to play my truck simulator game because this USB C cable doesn't work. Full stop new sentence why is my life so hard. Yeah. But like a fool it was two tweets not one tweet they were separated. Yeah. And like I got so much feedback which is the kind of thing that we discussed where people like take you very literally or what I also think in a drama llama fashion almost willfully misinterpret what you're saying. Because it's a good story. Oh exactly. The white male you know successful business person is complaining. It's like an easy target. I got a ton of that stuff. That's like I got so much like I can't like I can't believe that you would dare say this kind of thing about your life. Don't you know how hard other people have it compared to you. You might like but here's where it starts to turn into a little bit of a storm because because this tweet is getting so much interaction and because Twitter shows you things in this algorithmic fashion. Now lots of people were seeing just this tweet at the top of their timelines totally disconnected from anything. That's how I saw it. That's how it got delivered to me. I had no idea why you'd written that. Great. And then even further I had many people write me an email because Twitter had sent them a direct email about hey have you seen this thing on Twitter which is CGP Gray said why is my life so hard. Right so now it's like super duper removed from context. It's not even on Twitter. Someone's just getting an email. I have people like are you okay? Is everything okay in your life? I was like god damn it. Like I was complaining about USB C cables. I wasn't for putting on a separate tweet yet. Not empty. Like here's the thing. I will 100% grant. It should not have been on a separate tweet that was totally a dumb thing. But nonetheless there's a certain kind of exhaustion from dealing with that sort of thing. And yeah. It is a contributing factor. I want to be really clear. The main thing I'm concerned about is what I view as my attention and manifesting in inability to read and always listening to podcasts. That is concern number one. But on a very long list of why am I taking such a dramatic step away from things. Also is this feeling more and more like a herd of drama llamas has invaded the internet. And I just don't want to deal with it. I still think you're taking a very extreme solution. Like you're saying, I don't like this aspect of social media. And therefore I'm just going to completely banish social media. I guess you figure you can't filter it any other way. There's no work around. But it does seem a bit like I don't like X, Y and Z. And therefore I'm not going to use any letters of the alphabet. I know that my personality favors abstention. And that's what I'm going for here. But it is also this feeling like I want to create this space in my life. And there's there's no version of future gray who doesn't continue to use Twitter and Reddit. And like I'm going to use these things again in the future. But what I'm trying to do is have a reset and a recalibration. And this is the best way I think to do it. But I do also think like that tweet was just an interesting example of getting it wasn't really a problem. But I was aware like, oh, this is the closest I've had to something like blowing up in a super dumb. So you've been publicly shamed way. Right. And you're always just going to be blindsided by something like that. Yeah. If I was a bigger YouTuber, for sure, there would have been completely dumb news articles written about like, YouTuber complaints about amazing life. Yeah. But you can't know when those things are going to happen. And so then it feels like, oh, this thing where I'm just like having a fun time joking around on Twitter and like most of my audience enjoys this interaction. But like, oh, also every one of these things is maybe like a tiny time bomb. It's probably too early to ask. And I'm sure we'll talk about it again in upcoming episodes. And I know you also have been traveling. So it's not a normal period. Yeah. Traveling is always a total cheat. It makes things much easier. Yeah. But if I was if I was a fly on the wall watching your life, because obviously you're still using computers and you're still using headphones to listen to audio books and things like that. If I was a fly on the wall watching your life, what am I going to see differently during project site clubs? If I couldn't see your screen, so I couldn't see what you're looking out on your screen. And I was just watching you as a person. What would I notice? Would I notice less screen time? Would I notice more walks in the woods? Would it look all look pretty much the same? You just looking at different things on that screen? Yeah. I think you'd notice for sure right now more walking in the woods, which is nice. Yeah. You'd notice dramatic kindle usage. But like I said, that is has this weird not solution problem for me. I'm like, oh, I'm having a hard time getting into these books. Or the other thing that I'm super aware of is like, I'm trying to finish off this trilogy of books, the blue ant trilogy. It's like, I'd been stuck on the middle book for like six months. And I finally finished it off in the last couple days. But part of the reason I was having a hard time finishing that is I feel like my mental eye is just weaker. And so I'm having a harder time just reading this fiction and like keeping track of who are all these characters. And what's going on in this moment? But so you'd see more Kindle use. And I'm still using the computer. But yeah, it's just not it's just not going on social media. I've used this really great program, by the way. I recommend called self control, which is just the like the easiest way to block things everywhere. And you can jimmy around with it and like set it for longer lengths of time. So I've been using that. But like today, the actually most of the day was spent in the morning just I was working on a little script for something, which may be a super dumb video to post. It might be a totally terrible idea. But I've probably spent like the longest straight time writing in a really long time this morning. And like and that was most of my morning before I then wandered into the center of town to get some food and have some lunch and read on my Kindle and then walk around and prepare for Hello Internet sort of thinking about things in my head and then trying to set up a very jury rig solution to talk to you on a podcast. So that was my day, Brady. Can I ask you one more opinion on the YouTube burnout issue? Oh no, I want to talk about the YouTube burnout. I think I just think it's a slightly separate issue, but I think it's a super interesting thing. Come on. We all know you've done it. No matter how connected from the internet you may ever be, you're always going to have your phone with you because you never know when a good picture moment is going to come up. Now of course, maybe you're going to put that picture up on Instagram for the grams, those fleeting ephemeral grams. They don't last. You know, you're out walking maybe in nature and suddenly you come upon a beautiful scene. Maybe like me, you've just found a waterfall along the path. This is truly a special moment. Time to take a photo. But what happens to that photo when you get back, it just becomes one of thousands, one of tens of thousands in your endless library. Well, no longer. That's what today's sponsor is here to save you from. Don't let those special photos become just part of an endless stream. No, fracture them and display their specialness. Fracture prints your photos directly onto glass. It's so simple. You just upload your photo on their website and you'll get a box containing your fracture ready to mount on the wall. Speaking from personal experience, fractures are just gorgeous. They're lightweight and I absolutely love the sleek, frameless design. So I think right now of a photo that's special to you or maybe a photo in your library that's special to someone else in your family. Fractures do make excellent gifts, you know. With that photo in mind, go to fractureme.com slash hi for a special discount on your first fracture order. That's fractureme.com slash hi. Thanks to fracture for supporting the show and for rescuing your photos from digital oblivion. I've been reading a little bit about it and I know all the different people that are having problems with YouTube burnout are on like a spectrum of severity and some people are just a bit tired, need a rest. Other people have serious mental health issues and so I'm just talking in generalities here. But in the articles you read about it, one of the things that comes up is whether or not YouTube has any obligation as a company to help or support or assist these people. I don't know what I think about that and I'm really curious about what you think about that. Well, okay. Let's actually just frame it for people who might be less aware. I would say the abbreviated version is that a lot of YouTubers are burning out, kind of flaring out in sometimes quite dramatic ways. And they're pointing to the pressure of the YouTube system and the pressure of social media as the general causes for the burnout and the flare out. Because of this belief that regular like content is essential to be successful and the algorithm rewards that. So just doing the gray model of a video every few months isn't what you're supposed to do. They feel this pressure to be uploading every day or every week. It's a real feeling that they need to keep feeding this machine and I don't think they're wrong if they're playing the game of daily content. Like that is a very different game and I think if you are doing like the daily vlog thing and that is the space in which you're computing, I don't think they're necessarily wrong about wanting to maintain their careers that they need to upload quite frequently. So anyway, that is sort of the general problem that a lot of YouTubers are talking about. But do you have thoughts on if YouTube has any responsibility? Like do you think that complaints are even valid in the first place? I think there's a full spectrum. I think there are people that have got really serious problems with it. Some of them caused by the circumstances. Some of them caused by predispositions and some of it maybe some drama alarm or as well. There seems to be a little little industry in making videos about your problems. They seem to be very successful. So people are like making them as well. But I think the full range is covered. I think the bigger question is does YouTube have any kind of the culpability and responsibility for that? I've got quite mixed views on it. I do think the YouTube ecosystem does feed the problem. But whether or not they should therefore be responsible for it. There's the part of me that is quite kind of sympathetic and thinks, yeah, they should help. They're a big rich company and they're causing these problems and they should help people. Another part of me thinks, well, it's a business and they're just a platform and how you use the platform and how fast you run in the hampster will is your issue and when you choose to get on and off the hampster will is your issue. I think YouTube have made themselves more culpable by the very large amount of the money they take. I think if YouTube said, wash their hands of us and said, hey, we're just the platform. We're just this common carrier that you're all using to be successful and not successful. And if you misuser or you burn out, that's your problem. That would be all right. If they were just taking, they were just wetting their beak to keep the system running. The fact they take 45% of the money, so they make a lot of money out of these people does make me think this is veering more towards a relationship where they do have some responsibility here. And if someone has finds themselves in problems because of, you know, their employment, I don't know. I think that large amount, that large percentage puts them in an interesting situation. They're becoming like the Christie's auction house taking a really big slice. And if you want to take the $50 million slice of the painting, then you're responsible for what happens next. So my answer is I don't know, but I see both arguments. That's an interesting point about the large percent. I don't know if I agree with that or not, but I think that's an interesting point to raise that with that percent, YouTube is much less than the traditional platform role, which may only be 20 or 30%. It's much more like, hey, we're 50, 50 partners in this thing. Yeah. That's an interesting point I hadn't considered. What do you think? There's a meta thing here, which is you can't draw general conclusions about a population by looking at the successful outliers. Pretty much by definition, that people being talked about in these articles and the people flailing out are these super successful outliers. Because no one cares about the person who burns out after making 100 videos that have 10 views. Yeah. And there also are personality characteristics of these people, which may like, there's a real intersection between the phenomenon that YouTube is the New Hollywood and people who want to flock to the New Hollywood and those who will be successful in the New Hollywood. I don't know. I can never quite get used to how many people have YouTube as their career target. It just always seems strange to me. I just cannot mentally wrap my mind around that. But of course, you have people who've grown up with YouTube their whole life and it's like, that's what I want to do. But the kind of person who was going to make it, no matter how flippant they may seem on camera, like they're going to be a driven person who is industrious, who is focused on growth, like who is all of these things? A bit of a workaholic sometimes. Yeah. More than a little bit of a workaholic and sort of mention this from my experience as YouTube. Sometimes empty people desperately needing to fill themselves up with the love of strangers. That's kind of a thing that sometimes the world of fame attracts. That particular cross-section of traits may be particularly susceptible to the inevitable slowing of success or the like a reversal of success. Because nobody grows forever. Every channel is going to plateau and no channel lasts forever. And so you may have a particular selection of people who are very sensitive to those kinds of shifts. You're being so diplomatic, Greia. I love it. You're such a diplomat. I don't feel like I'm being super diplomatic. I'm trying to describe like a set of characteristics of it. But what would you say? I mean, what you're saying is that some of these people are having a hissy fit because they're starting to become less successful. That's not really what I'm saying. They're reacting poorly to the fact that their channels are slowing in growth and plateau. No, I'm saying that they're more susceptible to these fluctuations. Or like look, think of it this way. Listen, think back to your high school. Think back to the people who were in the drama club. Were they a nice cross-section of the general population? No, they were not. Well, guess what? The people in the drama club are also the same people on YouTube. That's the same group. The people who want to stand up on a stage and have everybody love them. Those are the people who are like headed straight towards YouTube. Why are you laughing, Frey? He like, it's true. That's what, because I was in the sco-flag. Yeah, but you're not, you're not really on camera, Frey. It's different. No. So I'm just saying like there may be people who are like this weird combination of industrious and sort of fragile who end up at the top. Like they're both of these things. It's an unusual combination of traits. That doesn't really answer the question though about whether YouTube should have any responsibility for their well-being because of the amount of money and the relationships they've had with them. Well, if there's one thing we have learned from the ad-pocalypse is that boy does YouTube care about bad PR. And so if a story really gets rolling about, hey, YouTube is destroying the mental health of the people held up as the paragon of success on its channel. That's not a good story. So whether or not they do have an obligation or not, it might be in YouTube's best interest to do something. Now YouTube, I have a suggestion that you can take. I have a very great solution for you that I think would help. I've tried to pitch to YouTube this idea. YouTube should remove all of the view numbers, subscriber numbers, and comments and like and dislike ratios from all of the videos on the platform. Now I was told never in a bazillion years will that happen? Not only never in a bazillion years will that not happen, but they want to bring comments to their premium service, which I think is a terrible idea. Just a second, great. There are no comments on their premium service. At least as of right now, there are no comments on the YouTube premium stuff. On the premium content, you can't comment on it. There's no space for comments. It's not like if I sign up to YouTube, read all the comments, disappear below. No more videos. No, no, yeah, it's that if you produce a YouTube read, now YouTube premium show, that won't have any comments below it. Tell me what's a good idea and why they won't do it. Okay, well, I think it's a good idea for the mental health of their creators. Is it a good idea for their platform? Maybe not, but I don't know. This has been on my mind ever since I started going to VidCon. And VidCon, I think it's obvious to anyone who watched my vlog about visiting VidCon. It's not like my favorite place in the world. I have to say that the organizers of VidCon have been very nice to me. That's great. But it's in basically the heart of LA. And it's like this weird beating heart of the YouTube community. And one of the things that makes it just weird and stressful and awful is basically everybody knows everybody else's popularity numbers. And it's oppressively inescapable. It's like this horrible position of being in high school all over again, except imagine if in high school, you didn't just know who the popular people were, but they all had numbers that told you exactly how popular they were. That is a thing that I think aggravates an already bad situation. Popular clicks in high school are bad. What's worse is ranking all of the students from one to a thousand on exactly how popular they are and how many friends they have in the school. That's worse. There's a certain amount of ambiguity can be good for social situations. And there's just like this such a weird interaction with other people when you have these big number disparities where you can feel like, oh, someone else doesn't want to waste their time with you or you feel like you're wasting the time of somebody else who has bigger numbers. And it's just weird. Everybody kind of talks about it, but it's also inescapable. I think there are a bunch of channels that have burned out. And the reason that they freak out is that they have these super visible numbers always of how well they're doing. Like I think about it too, there's there are channels where you go to see a channel and it's like what happened here? Like here's a channel that used to get millions of views of video and now gets tens of thousands of views of video. Like I know a bunch of channels like that or channels that have just these crazy disparities between the numbers of subscribers and the numbers of viewers. I don't think it's mentally good for the subset of people who are going to be successful on YouTube. Like this constant comparison. And I think the existence of things like Netflix and Amazon Prime and like all of the other streaming services demonstrates that we don't like you don't need view numbers below everything that you're watching. And in fact, like if you think about Netflix, I don't think there's any disagreement that Netflix would be worse if they had view numbers next to all of the shows. It also causes you to prejudge like, oh, the series is less popular than this other one. Yeah. You can't come to it just as a thing to be consumed and taken on its own. The numbers are a form of prejudgment. You could also argue there are form of you also argue against this, but you could also argue there are form of kind of quality endorsement. Yeah. Like that is a certain function of the numbers. If I was arguing for YouTube, what I would argue that they should do instead is a kind of Netflix style. They give a percentage which is basically like how much Netflix thinks you'll like this percentage. And I think that's actually a pretty good idea for how to rate things. And no doubt viewing figures are part of the algorithm that creates that. Yeah. Like Netflix knows the number and Netflix knows what you watch. I've thought about that a bunch like, boy, that's actually a really great way to solve this problem of which of these things do I want to watch? And when you're scrolling through Netflix, you know, I won't always follow it. But if Netflix says there's only a 25% chance you'll like this, like, okay, maybe I'm going to avoid that one. Can I ask you another hypothetical question? If they introduced your plan and they took away view counts and all the stats, which I think is really interesting. But the creators and the people making the videos still had access to these numbers, which I imagine they probably would have to for various business reasons. Yeah, I would assume that yeah, you still have the numbers. Yeah. Yeah. What would you think would happen? Like what would your Logan polls and people like that do? Would they just start tweeting out the view counts of all their videos? Like what would yeah, what would the work around be? Would would view counts disappear or would they become used in a new way? Oh, for sure. I think you'd have tons of channels like brag about their view numbers. I don't doubt for a second that that would happen. But I still think is a very different thing to be one layer of removed about it. Yeah. And for another great example of this and what makes me think about it is the podcast world. And anyone who listens to a lot of podcasts knows that podcast producers almost never tell you the size of their audience. But everybody who makes a podcast has a dashboard where they can see at least a ballpark estimate of what the listeners are. But comments about listenership size are very rare. And like it's just because like well, when the information is private, the natural state is to not share those things. And so yeah, having some professional involvement in the podcast world, like I'm often surprised at like a show that I like and listen to. If I find out the like the listener numbers and those listener numbers are smaller than I think it's it is always a weird moment of like, oh really? Like only that many I'm very surprised. And so like that's I don't think the the knowledge of the numbers improves the actual listening experience. Yeah. I think a lot of people would be less likely to start smaller and weird podcasts if those numbers had to be public. Last summer at VidCon, I was I was really trying to push this hard on a couple of YouTube engineers and they were like, no, this is this is never going to happen in a million years. And I was like, look, I'm just going to leave, leave this seed here. Atop your mind and maybe if God smiles upon it at exactly the right moment, it may be able to take but the barest of root. Like I think this is a good idea. I think it could change the nature of the content. And I have a tiny insight into this gray. Yeah. And that is it's a little bit corrupted. But you know, I made this video on number five years ago about when the view counter three or one sticking three or one. It used to get stuck at three or one. And I talked about why this happened. And a couple of years later for a joke, the engineers at YouTube decided to change the view count on that video to three oh one. Yeah. And it's been stuck at that ever since. And so even though I mean, the video has been watched millions of times. But the view count is just says three oh one. And obviously people are drawn to look at the view count number on that video because of what the videos about. So I realized it's a bit corrupted. But there is nothing I get more comments about on number five than that video and that view count figure. People are absolutely obsessed with the fact they can't look at the view count of that video. They always look to it. They can't see it. And they always comment on it. And it's like every day there'll be dozens and dozens of new comments. Well, I mean also it's a weird anachronism now because the three or one thing doesn't even exist in. Yeah, of course. Now it's part of the historical record that we all won. Right. Only early 20 teens, YouTubers will remember like the three of them. But it does give me an insight. I always sadly, it does give me an insight into how people react if you take the view count away on YouTube. And they certainly comment on it and get really like obsessed with it. Well, I mean, that's why I know I was talking with some other people about this. And I have yet to meet a creator who is not receptive to this idea. Almost everyone I've spoken to about this in person responds initially with a, oh, that's crazy. And then warms up to the idea real fast. At mate to that list. You hear that YouTube? You hear that YouTube? All the creators like it. But one of the problems is there's a kind of game theory. So lots of creators have said something to me like, man, I would love to do that for my channel. But for the fact that where any one person to do it, the assumption would be that, oh, you, you must want to be hiding something that, you know, your channel is tanking and you want to hide it or you're afraid of criticism in the comments or you don't want people to see the light just like. But any one player loses. And there's no way you could get a bunch of people to coordinate and do this together. Even if everybody individually wanted to do it, why will YouTube not do it? Because I could just give it to advertisers. So it's not like that can't sell advertising. Yeah. I suspect it's a bit like their problem with the subscriber numbers that again, for legal reasons, I won't call fraudulent. But I will simply say that the subscriber number on any channel is wildly misleading compared to the reality of like what people think of when they think of subscribers. But they're backed into this dumb corner because they've been giving out trophies based on how many subscribers everyone has since the dawn of time. YouTube is in this, backed into the same corner. Like, oh, we always value the view numbers. We love to talk about the view numbers. You know, and it's like, it's, it creates a kind of frothiness for them. And they probably want creators that are also really obsessed with increasing the view numbers. Yeah. That's what I think. Took away the view numbers. Yeah. You're taking away this hamster wheel. At the moment, people, YouTubers, won't work on their art house project that've been planning for 20 years because it'll tank. And they don't want everyone to see it tank with the viewing figures. So, and YouTube like that. Like, it totally affects creators. Everybody thinks about it. Because I'd be willing to make a video that tanked and like made me no money. But I don't like the idea of putting a video on the channel that gets really, really low viewing figures because it's a bit like, no, now everyone's going to be nasty. Yeah. Well, I'm in a funny position because the thing that I mentioned I was writing this morning is, I'm in exactly this situation that if I put this thing up, I know this is a video that the people who subscribe to my channel, like they did not subscribe for this. And I can pretty much guarantee that it won't get great viewing numbers. But I think like, maybe for the people who see it, it would be important. Even as I'm working on it, like I have the algorithm in the back of my head. It's like, oh, yeah, this is a thing that you could probably produce relatively quickly and you could put it up. And if it just existed on its own in a world where there were no view numbers or thumbs up and thumbs down, like I wouldn't hesitate in the slightest. But I do hesitate because I know that it probably won't be well received on the channel. Yeah. It's like a embarrassing. Yeah. And it really is this game theoretic problem. I actually was just this morning, I was like, I was toying with the idea of like, maybe I do put up this video without view counts or comments or thumbs up. But like it runs into the exact same problem. Yeah. What are you hiding? Yeah. What are you hiding? This is a totally different thing and you just don't want people to see that it sucks. Yeah. And that's just like completely unavoidable because it's such an uncommon thing. And even I who suggest that YouTube do this problem, when I come across a channel that disables comments, I always have such a negative mental reaction to it, right? Which is super dumb. Like I'm the guy who's stepping back from the internet. Like an FICI YouTube video without comments. I think, oh, they can't handle the feedback. We're just so dumb. Like it's such a dumb feeling, but it doesn't change like my reflexive reaction to that because it's so anti the YouTube culture. Maybe we should mark it down or something here. Just discuss more down the line. We'll come back to you within the future. Yeah. I mean, I have been sitting down talking with you for a long time. I do like talking with you, but I got to go for a walk in the woods. Yeah. And also, you're just talking to me. You're talking to the 28 million people who listen to every episode of Hello Internet. I'm really glad that they listen. I try not to think about all of them at once. Oh, was I not supposed to make that figure public? Look, Brady, and I record the podcast. It's just you and me and the listener.
References[edit | edit source]
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "H.I. #109: Twitter War Room". Hello Internet. Retrieved 11 September 2018.