H.I. No. 126: Team Woo Woo

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"Team Woo Woo"
Hello Internet episode
Episode no.126
Presented by
Original release dateJuly 27, 2019 (2019-07-27)
Running time1:23:56
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"H.I. #126: The Sand Must Flow" is the 126th episode of Hello Internet, released on July 27th, 2019.[1]

Website synopsis[edit | edit source]

Episode 126 on the podcast YouTube channel

"Grey and Brady discuss: a new low for safety videos, Tesla's Auto Navigation beta, the 50th anniversary of Apollo, and meditation."[1]

Release and commercial performance[edit | edit source]

"Double High Five" was released to podcast clients on July 27, 2019.[2] The corresponding video was published on the Hello Internet YouTube channel two days later and received 18 thousand views within its first eight days of release.[3] The audio is set to a looping animation of the moon rotating in place.


Brady, I'm traveling all over America on United because of my special relationship with United Airlines. And this summer has been a new low for in-flight safety videos. I didn't think I could go any lower, could I? I agree. I too thought, how could this get lower than it already has? We've discussed some terrible, terrible in-flight safety videos. But here is the new low Brady. Imagine you're watching a safety video. A video that, in theory, is supposed to be a toolkit for how to save your life in an emergency. But what if we could also advertise a movie to you at the same time? So that the in-flight safety video isn't just vital life-saving instructions, but it's also a commercial for Spider-Man that keeps interrupting the actual safety video with nonsense. Honest to God, I could not believe what I was seeing. Product placement in safety videos. It is not product placement. It is a straight-up trailer for the new Spider-Man movie. So talk me through how it would work. Talk me through one scene. The way the safety video starts is there's the usual thing. There's like, oh, there's a captain and they're talking to you about, oh, thank you for flying United. Blah, blah, blah. And it's a scene on an aircraft. And then what happens is the camera pulls back and you realize, oh, you're in a corner deli in New York and the deli owner is watching the airline safety video on his TV in the deli. Like you do. Like you do. Yeah. Everybody likes to watch them for entertainment because they're so good. And then the deli owner notices that there's some sketchy-looking people outside his deli who then come into the deli to rob him. And Spider-Man shows up and rescues the deli owner. And then throughout the rest of the video, they keep flashing back and forth between describing to you important things you might need to know about saving your life or how to buckle a seat belt. But also watching Spider-Man pursue the criminals. How long do these diversions last usually? Long enough, long enough because here's the thing. I should have seen it coming because I was in Chicago, which is a major United hub. And the whole Chicago airport is decked out with all of these giant United Spider-Man crossover ads. Or it's like United Airlines. Fly like a superhero, which bothered me for many reasons. One, Spider-Man does not fly. Perhaps we could have a different tagline along with this. Then what it get on the airplane, the little sleeping mask that they have for you, it's a Spider-Man mask, which is kind of adorable. I'm not going to lie. Like that's like, oh, okay, you got me there with your product. I'm on with that. Yeah, I'm not going to be angry about this. But I had a feeling like I've never seen brand integration this deep with an airline before. And then when the actual safety video ends up being a trailer for the movie, I had my jaw on the floor. And part of it is I felt like, okay, we have given up all pretense now of what this safety video is. If it is now also a billboard space, let's not pretend that this is a thing to inform us about how safety is. So that's why I say this is a totally new low. Spider-Man's all throughout it. His like co-star from the movie also shows up to tell you how funny he is in the movie. The ad part of it totally distracts from the few pieces of information that are genuinely relevant, like where's the life vest. And then to crown it off, when the safety video finishes, fade to black. And then over the speakers of the aircraft, they just straight up play an actual trailer for the whole movie of Spider-Man on all of the screens over the loudspeaker system. And I was like, I can't fucking believe this. Like, I thought I just saw the ad, right? But someone was like, oh no, I don't think that they get it. I don't think they understand well enough that we really want them to see Spider-Man. So we're also going to play a straight-up ad over the PA system in the aircraft. It was absolutely shocking to me, really. I like the idea that like something goes terribly wrong and engine flames out. And you guys have all been so well conditioned that as the plane plunges toward the city, all you want to do is watch a Spider-Man movie. It really was a new low for me. I just, we cannot pretend anymore. And as a final little insult to anyone who's watching and paying attention, they made it so movie-like that they actually insert a will-helmed scream, this very famous action movie sound effect into the trailer. I'm watching it now. You've sent me the link and I'm looking at it. Captured the plane also kind of looks like CGR. I think the captain is standing against a green screen. That's the way I think it's filmed there. Oh my goodness. I'll put the link in the show notes. So you two can learn to fly like a superhero ununited. I mean, to advocate for the airline for a moment, I mean, you watched it, which is something you normally wouldn't do. So maybe just this year, unexpectedness of it made you watch it and taught you something. I don't know. That's weak breeding. That's weak. We all know what this is. I mean, to be fair, I would sit through four minutes and 44 seconds of this in exchange for a cool little Spider-Man sleep mask. I mean, I guess the other thing that's weird about this trailer slash safety video is, and I can't wait for it is I realize, oh, Spider-Man is the perfect character to do a brand integration for, because you don't have to ever have him talk, so you don't have to pay the actual actor to be Spider-Man. Yeah. I forget the actor's name, but the one who's currently playing Spider-Man, who I think is actually really great in the role, was like, oh, United doesn't have to pay him. United can just license the image of Spider-Man from wherever. And so I just kept watching this trailer thinking, come on, have him say something. I know you're not going to have him say something because it would cost more. But it's like, then I'm also watching this thing on this bizarre meta level of like, they're not going to have him speak. I'm sorry. I had to put up with that. There's something about ads on the back seats of aircraft. Ever since the InFlight Entertainment systems have come in, where it's like, oh, there's sort of ads here, and I've never really liked it. And it's like, okay, but whatever I understand how the world works, you know, if a business has to go after additional marginal dollars, whatever. But there really is something that, even though I've always hated these stupid safety videos, it feels like Sanctity has been violated somehow in this. Well, this is something you have to watch, too, like your mandate to watch this by law. I can't think of any good example, except if you were in church and they took a little break to tell you about how great Pepsi is. Right. Well, you know, and then like, went right back into the service. Like, maybe not here in this moment. Yeah, it's like Coca-Cola paying the Vatican to insert a reference to Coke into the Lord's Prayer. Give us this day our daily bread and Coca-Cola. Yeah, so refreshing. Something that everyone is expecting me to talk to you about has to be dealt with, but it's going to be dealt with briefly. Okay. This is the Cricket World Cup Final. Okay, Cricket World Cup Final. I think I told you that the Cricket World Cup was on, because I was at a previous game when I kept getting fleshed up on the screen. On the big screen. Okay. This sounds vaguely familiar. I'm glad you paid attention to my stories. Brady, Brady, I do try to give you all of my attention during sports ball corner. I try very hard. I sent you the pictures. I'm looking it up. Is this the ICC Cricket World Cup? ICC is the International Cricket Council that runs Cricket. They're like the NFL of Cricket. So is the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup? Is the full name. I think it's a official name is the ICC World Cup. Okay. Look, basically the final was between England and New Zealand. All right. Right. And for someone who understands the rules of cricket and has watched a lot of cricket, this was a truly, truly remarkable game that finished in this crazy, crazy way that involved numerous things that I have really seen before and tested my knowledge of the rules of cricket. And there's debate about certain things that happened. And it then went to this weird tie break situation which became even more strange. And it ended in a very thrilling fashion with the last play of the whole old-day game. All right. Okay. Now, as soon as it happened, I was tweeting about it like crazy because it was like, it was making my head explode. And as soon as it finished, can't wait for Brady to tell Gray all about it. And it is true that if Gray was a cricket fan and understood the rules of cricket, there are many, many deep, meaningful, probing questions and issues. I would love to speak about with him. Right. And, you know, to get his wisdom and interesting take on things because Gray obviously is an interesting person and always has a new perspective on things. I see where this is going though. But there are two reasons I'm not going to do it. One is because England won and I don't want to talk about it. But secondly, you cannot discuss this game with someone who hasn't watched cricket for many years and knows all the rules and the intricacies and the history and the technicalities. Because this was like pushing the laws of cricket and the spirit of cricket and everything about cricket to the limits of human imagination. And while for a cricket fan, this was like an incredible experience. I mean, as much as I hate what happened, it was the most amazing game of cricket I've ever watched. There was no way I could talk about this with Gray because this would be like talking about the proof of Femars last theorem with a preschooler. Like, where would you start? I would have to start from the beginnings of cricket and the creation of the laws and all sorts of history and technicalities and rule changes and you have to understand the spirit of cricket. Right. Gray has none of this. And for that reason, cricket fans who are tuning in for this long-awaited talk about the cricket world cup final and was it fair and should it be done differently and all those sorts of things, while I have many, many views on it, you would not be getting that today, I'm afraid. Thank you, Brady. I cannot begin to express the relief that is flowing through my veins in this moment. Because I do think this gets to one of the fundamental problems of people who are really involved in anything, be it sports or a TV show or anything. And you run across the person who's not interested. It's like you have to load into their brains so much to explain what the interesting part is that you will lose them. And everyone knows those moments when you're stuck in the conversation and someone's like, there's amazing thing happened on Game of Thrones and you're like, oh, I don't watch Game of Thrones. And then the person says, well, let me explain to you the past five seasons. So you can understand why this thing was really amazing. It's like, no, please, please don't. There are sports topics that I can talk with you and we have done it. Like, you know, should fans watching things on TV be allowed to dobbin golfers who break the rules and like things like that are simple to explain. But what happened in this game of cricket and why parts of it are interesting is not in that category. This episode is brought to you in part by Ting. Go to high.ting.com to get $25 off your mobile phone bill. Ting is a different kind of cell phone company. There's no contracts or anything and at the end of the month, you're just billed for the talk, text and data that you actually used. With Ting, there are no strings attached. You're not tied to them and you can use any phone you want. Even the latest Galaxy Note 9 or iPhone XS and still have an affordable bill. If you're like most people, you're around Wi-Fi all the time. So why do you need to pay for a set monthly data plan? With Ting, you just pay for what you use. But when you are out and about, Ting offers nationwide LTE coverage on both T-Mobile and Sprint. All you need to do is grab a SIM card from the Ting shop and you're good to go. The average bill on Ting is just $23 a month per phone. So when you go to high.ting.com to get $25 off, that's basically like getting your first month for free. So make a smarter choice for your mobile phone and get $25 off at high.ting.com. That's high.ting.com. Thanks to Ting for supporting the show and thanks to Ting for helping people save money on their mobile phone bills. While I've been in America for this time, when you're in America, you need to rent a car to get around. This summer, I was able to rent one of the new Tesla's, like the Tesla Model 3. Kind of drive it around for a while. And my wife was here as well and she got to drive it around. And it has been, if I'm counting in terms of anniversaries or summers, it's been three summers since the first time that I drove a Tesla. And I've just been thinking about autonomous cars a bunch. I think that video that I originally made that was largely about autonomous cars was like five years ago. And just sort of thinking about where this stuff is now and where it might be going. But part of the reason was because the car that I rented, I don't know how this works, but it was part of some sort of beta program with Tesla to try out their new features. Yeah, I'll tell you, it is a little bit of a moment where you think in this car that I'm about to drive. Do I want to press this button that says yes, please enroll me in the beta software? I would like to try out these beta features. It's a little bit different than just like, oh, I'll install this beta application on my phone or I'll give this beta application a try on my computer or whatever. But Tesla makes you click a lot of buttons that says, hey, this is beta software. You need to be super serious and then they throw up another button that says, I don't know what you think you're doing, but just so you're clear, this is not an autonomous vehicle just because of this beta software. But of course, I wanted to give it a try and check it out. It was a very kind of interesting experience. So here is what I would describe as the current state of the software. They have this thing that they're calling highway auto navigation. So three summers ago when I drove the Tesla for the first time, the thing that it could do is you could get on the highway and then you would enable what they called auto pilot. The Tesla would stay in the lane and it would keep a distance from the car in front of it. And you could also tell it to change lanes. So to move one lane over, move one lane back. And it's very impressive and really helps with driving. But it's not exactly something that you could call self-driving in a real way. I think it would have been much more fair to call something like that instead of auto pilot, which is a really big word, making a lot of promises. It'd be much fair to call that smart cruise control would be a more correct description. Yeah. Have you ever driven a car that does the stay in lanes things? Because I know a number of cars have brought this on as a feature since Tesla did it a few years ago. No, I haven't. I've been in cars with it, but I've not driven one. My wife's new car has lane sensors and if you stray, it shakes the steering wheel and says, hey, what the hell are you doing? But she can't take her hands off the wheel for a moment and it will stay in the lane. Okay. I ask because it's an interesting thing. I had been in Tesla's before and people had demonstrated it to me, but it really is a thing that you have to experience for yourself to really understand what it's like. And especially with this new thing that they're calling auto navigation. So here's what it will now do. When you are on the on ramp, the car says, hey, do you want to try our beta software auto navigation? And you say yes. And the Tesla will merge into the highway traffic, which let me tell you, is a real hold your breath moment the first time it does it. Yeah. As long as you are on the interstate highway system, if there are any breaks in the highway, where the highway diverges into say, no, the north path and the south path, or I think like those complicated highway interchanges, where I don't know what the name for these things are. They're not off ramps, but I think of them as water slides for cars, where you're now in like one little path on the concrete you're flying over the big interchanged and it drops you down on some other area of the highway. The Tesla will automatically turn into one of those. It will take it. It will re-merge into the highway on the other side. So it will follow all the diverges and converges of the highway system. If you're stuck behind a slow car, it will automatically pass that car and it will try to get out of the passing lane whenever it can. So it's not being a bad driver hogging left side. And then it will merge out of the highway and then do a happy little charm to tell you when you're on the off ramp that it's time for you to really take control of the car again. Is it legal in all states? That is an interesting question. I don't fully understand the regulatory system here. And I suspect that Tesla is getting around it by saying, don't take your hands off the wheel. The car isn't driving, you're driving. And you need to be prepared at any moment. That's kind of why I asked if you've driven any of this stuff because it's a weird experience and it's partly why I sort of thought about it as a bullet point for the show because in some ways it's very impressive but it also is a different driving experience where I feel much more like I'm driving with the car like we car and me are driving. And it's not exactly like this car is completely autonomous because you do have to take control at any moment and you can run into situations where it's like yes you better have your hands on the wheel and take control. But it's a strange feeling of like cyborgness. Like we are both doing this thing which makes it easier for me as the driver but I can't totally give up control. It sounds like almost it would be less like you'd have to be in some kind of permanent state of like hypervigilance like not only you driving but you're having to backseat drive for the car as well. It almost sounds like it would be more cognitive load the way you describe it. Yeah so like this is a very interesting thing so my parents have a car that does a lot of the auto lane and smart cruise control stuff. And I drive that when I'm visiting them a lot. And I think one of the things that's really interesting and why the Tesla feels different is all of the other cars I've seen don't give you a very clear visual indicator of how confident is the car in its current situation. So like my parents car just puts a little like steering wheel icon on the dashboard which says hey I can drive on the highway a little bit. Whereas the thing that Tesla does and this is what I think makes it a very different driving experience is it's constantly trying to relay to you how well of a sense the Tesla has about what the environment is around it. So like it puts a little picture of the car in a right below the steering wheel depending on which model you're driving. It shows you a map of the little world that the Tesla envisions. It uses a color code to show you how confident it is about where the lanes are. It shows like which cars is it keeping extra track of. And so it's less cognitive load because the Tesla is giving you a whole bunch of feedback that you don't see in other cars. And it was interesting to see like my wife who had never driven one before. She had the same experience like we spent all day driving on the road. And I think we were driving for something like four hours. And she commented on how even though it was a totally brand new car and she'd never done this before, she felt much less drained after a big day of driving than she normally would. But I know like it was an interesting thing. I just I sort of don't know what to think about this because in some ways it's incredibly impressive. But it's also a thing where thinking about self-driving cars is like it's still not there for you can just let go and have the thing take total control. Baby steps, girl. We're getting there gradually. You should be pleased that this is another step. Oh no no like do I get me wrong? I am super pleased about it. And I found it very impressive. And in particular when I first tried it, like some cities have these very complicated double eight interchanges. Whereas like oh you're switching between three different highway systems that are all crossing in the center of the city. And the Tesla totally did all of the like merging, getting off here, scooting over two lanes, taking the the correct diverging path, and zipped around these like interstate highway traffic interchanges in a way that 100 percent I would have been too timid of a driver to do it correctly the first like I would have been one of those people who gets spit out on the wrong side of the highway because I wouldn't have been able to zip over quickly enough and to get into the right place. Yeah. So it's it's incredibly impressive. I guess the thing that I'm interested to see and the thing that I'm I kept thinking about is I wonder if this is almost at that very first step where long haul trucking becomes basically autonomous that you can have long haul trucks do 95 percent of the boring driving on the interstate highway system. And maybe they just like stop outside of town somewhere at a depot where then a human driver takes over and brings it into the city. Which I think is the thing that I had kind of expected years ago when we first talked about this stuff of like I think this seems like the low hanging fruit and this Tesla if they can iron out some of the things that made me a little bit uncomfortable or maybe like catch my breath in the beta software. I guess what I'm saying is I don't have a sense of like how close is this to that scenario where you could have a long haul truck start from outside of a city center and then stop outside of a city center without any human intervention. I don't know the answer to that but I've been thinking about it a lot and it's been a very interesting experience to be in this car that I sort of simultaneously think of as oh this is totally a self-driving car and also but it really isn't as well. Well you mentioned low hanging fruit. Have you seen all the stuff about I don't know if I call them driverless or captainless ships and boats. No. That was in the news last week. I have heard none of this. They did like a matriol with just a boat. I think it was just somewhere in England or Europe or something. Did a little crossing with just a tiny little bit of cargo on board just token like like a cargo ship kind of boat. It wasn't like cargo ship size I don't think. And then that got me reading other articles where they were saying this is going to be like the pioneering is going to be the captain the humanless ships. And at first I was like oh I'm way more comfortable with that than I am with cars and planes and things like that. But then I thought gosh if one of those things goes rogue that's quite hardcore in this like you know. But then I started thinking like exonvailed East up stuff. Never before you just mentioning it now has it occurred to me about driverless boats. It just never thought about it. Not's the big thing. They've been doing some trials. It does seem like yeah that's that is sort of low hanging fruit. I know the main problem with all of those ships especially like a fully loaded cargo boat is you need a long time to stop that that is the main problem is like those boats. You need to know two days in advance when you want to stop because when you have that many tons of inertia stopping quickly is simply not an option. It doesn't matter how many engines you put in that ship like that thing is going to cruise for a while. Here's a story from me in a sign of things to come on autonomous boat has just made a cargo run from the UK to Belgium. The 12 meter long uncrewed surface vessel sea kit max lima carrying a box of oysters. It relied on a range of technologies to safely navigate was one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. The boat's owner says the trip was the first commercial crossing of the North sea to be made by an autonomous vessel. I like that. That's like you know the first message on the telegraph you know what hath got wrought as a trivia question. I'll be like oh what was the first cargo delivered on an autonomous boat. Some oysters, box oysters that's all we had. You got to start somewhere. I feel like Gray what's on your mind here. I feel like there's something you can't get out. What's your problem? You've seen full of angst about this how issue? Okay let me try to articulate it better. I think my angst has been I don't know where to set my expectations. I think that's what it is. I don't know should I be super excited or not and I keep thinking about it a lot and watching and being very interested in how the car handles a bunch of different situations and going back and forth between oh my god this is an unbelievable miracle of technology to the situation that it seems the worst at doing is to say like say you're merging onto the highway and this happens with human drivers as well and you get into that situation where it's like on ramp chicken where you as the person trying to merge onto the highway you're running out of merging ramp and maybe the driver next to you just isn't yielding by either going forward or going back or you know you sort of both decide to try to slow down to give each other time and it's like oh that is always the most stressful part of driving and by far and away that's the part where I feel like I have kicked the Tesla out of autopilot the most of like no no no we're gonna run out of on ramp before you merge properly but I guess my conflict is also the experience of driving it is I don't know when I am just being chicken like would the car handle this yeah you know it's like some of the off ramp situations like the car takes turns sometimes much faster than I would be comfortable with and I kick it out of autopilot and then always think am I being chicken right or is the car totally fine and I think that's also messing with my head of not having a good ability to understand where the system is and the place that I am not gonna roll the dice is to say I don't feel comfortable in this driving situation but I'm gonna see if the car can handle it right that is that is not a move that I'm gonna make but I think that's why you're hearing this frustration in my voice is I don't understand where the limit is is the limit more in situations with the car or is the situation more like the human driver is being too cautious and then I also don't understand like the statistical overview of how well is the system performing not just antichdotally with me as a driver but like how many times globally does it have to get knocked out of autopilot because even if that number is a very very small number you don't need a big number to make the scenario before of trucks driving on the highway autonomously totally unviable even if it's a tiny percentage of the time that the truck can't handle the situation you don't need a lot of that to say like oh this is totally unviable so I think that's my frustration is I just I can't get a good sense of where is this thing is this 10 years away or is this two years away and part of me feels like I could imagine trucks being a two year away situation maybe but maybe it's still a 10 year situation I just don't know I think that that's the frustration that I've been having it's impossible to know but it's been very interesting to drive and see what this beta program is like I have to say that idea of merging into the traffic and that kind of standoff you sometimes have with another driver about which one of us is going to you know blink first makes me very nervous not because I don't trust like the car or the technology but I don't trust the other driver because when that happens it's always a calculus between two humans and there's like a whole like poker thing going and if the other driver doesn't know that you're letting a computer do it and they think it's you it's like playing poker against someone and you don't know who the other player is that is an excellent point and it's it's something that is very hard to describe the car also just sometimes changes lanes in a way that no human ever would and part of it is this game of like the merging situation we are all humans and we all know that we're humans trying to negotiate here to make this thing happen and the car does not act that way at all and I do think that that actually runs into some problems with other human drivers yeah as a good example if you are the one driving on the on the highway so you're not the one merging but you're in the the right most lane where the merging occurs the Tesla will follow what technically the law is that if you're on the highway as the driver you should not change your speed it's up to the people merging in to adjust yeah you're not supposed to as the driver on the highway help the people merging but no human acts like that right everybody plays the game of like let me help you yeah and so even though the Tesla is like following the actual rules of what's supposed to happen no driver merging in is expecting that behavior and so I feel like there's been a bunch of situations where we end up with on ramp chicken because the driver merging is quite rightly expecting that I am a human in the car who's going to help them try to merge and the Tesla gives no ground in that situation and yeah I think that's a really excellent point that drivers not knowing that it's not the human driving it's the computer driving in theory should change behavior but it it doesn't actually and so yeah it ends up being a strange situation and I've I've never been more aware of not exactly like this social dance but being in this situation on of we are two humans trying to do something even though we can't communicate but we're still going to be able to accomplish that task and really feeling like oh I've never really been aware of this so much until one of us isn't a human in this task and now suddenly it's way harder and I think sometimes it can be more dangerous in what's occurring have you been honked because of a decision that the Tesla made yet no I haven't been honked at because of a decision that the Tesla made I think the problem is actually that it can be a little bit too cautious sometimes so like if you're stuck in traffic and trying to merge a lane over that Tesla really wants a lot of space to do the lane change right and so again in situations where a human driver would completely start inching out and the guy behind you knows that you're trying to merge in you can end up in a situation where the Tesla leaves on his blinker for forever and clearly the guy behind just gets annoyed and it's like what are you and more on like you have all the space in the world to change in and out of these lanes and you just don't so great cars come with brake lights they come with indicators and all sorts of other things so that you could signal to other drivers do you think cars should have some kind of signal to other humans when they're being controlled by a robot yes 100 percent I think they should right I think that there should be like another set of lights above the tail light to indicate that there's some kind of assistive driving going on yeah sure actually I mean I guess in theory it should be entirely around the car but I do think that that's the case that there should be something that signals to the other drivers at least in this transition phase where we have some cars that are semi-autonomous I think it would be helpful and it's made me as a driver a little bit more aware of other Tesla's on the road as well and thinking like okay I can expect that maybe this car doesn't react in exactly the way I would expect a human driver to react but yes I would be in favor of some kind of indication to the other drivers that there's more going on with this car than just a person this episode of Hello Internet is brought to you in part by molecule molecule is a beautiful air filter that I have sitting next to me right now in my office when you think of air filters you're thinking about 70-year-old antiquated technology the last major innovation and air purification was in the 1940s with the invention of the HEPA filter during the second world war molecule is an air filter that introduces breakthrough science finally capable of destroying air pollutants at a molecular level molecule's technology goes beyond HEPA filtration to not just capture but completely destroy the full spectrum of indoor air pollutants 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dollars off your first order thanks to molecule for supporting the show and for keeping the air in my office nice and clean literally as we record this we are coming I think even like to the hour to the anniversary of the first step on the moon the 50th anniversary the Apollo 50 hashtag Apollo 50 happy anniversary and great I know you're still going through project cyclops so I don't know how aware you are of this but as someone who is on social media and probably has quite you know a nerdy cotery of friends and people I follow the Apollo 50th anniversary has been omnipresent in social media mainstream media TV newspapers my Twitter feed is just picture after picture after picture of satin five rockets and buzz olden on the moon right you must be in heaven breeding gray I am not in heaven I'm not going to make a lot of friends with the space to your pressure people out there but I'm going to be a little bit glad when this is over you have such a complicated relationship with this whole space thing Brady this has been a difficult time for me and I'm going to be glad when it's over why has it been a difficult time is it because you were into a Apollo before it was cool and now that everybody's celebrating the anniversary it you don't like it or I still never really like you love this based stuff but you seem to not like it when other people also love I know and I know how that looks it's not a good look Brady I had a bit of spare time this morning okay and I've I've written something down because I felt like if I just like questions and freestyle okay you have a prepared state I wouldn't get out the things I want to get out about it okay can I read you my speech about why I'm grumpy about the Apollo 50th anniversary and I don't want it to come across that I'm really mad about it and like I'm fuming and I hate it but it's not made me as happy as people would think okay and I want people to understand why are you ready mm-hmm you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger Apollo enthusiast than me whatever you think of the motivation behind it sending astronauts to the moon is in my opinion humankind's grandest achievement maybe not the greatest or the most important but certainly the grandest and the most inspiring I wasn't even alive when it happened and it still inspires me so why am I a little fed up with all the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary let's do with the elephant in the room first there was probably a degree of the petulant child here not liking the other kid playing with my toys the newbies who are sharing information about Apollo 11 like they've come down from Mount Sinai with new insights and anecdotes from God himself that kind of sour grapes is kind of normal when people step on what you think of as your turf perhaps it's a perceived attack on one's individuality or maybe it's a frustration that your area of expertise is not being done justice by all these Johnny come lately's I can't deny this plays a part in my general grumpiness and that's on me but I do think my grievances run deeper having worked in newspapers and TV for many years maybe I see things differently I see this media circus traveling from town to town from topic to topic from event to event as more of a parasitic swarm than a glowing spotlight I see it as a ship full of Vikings hell bent on raping and pillaging my town before moving onto the next one I see the TV stations filling airtime newspapers filling columns and selling souvenir additions even YouTube is gaming the algorithmic wave and hoping for a few extra spots in the recommended video slot I see companies jumping on an advertising opportunity selling a few more moonwatches or promoting that one giant leap for cheeseburgers and money is behind all of it we'll be back after this break this tribute to the Apollo program was brought to you by www.slashoffercode and I also see it's built on a foundation of pure hypocrisy with hushed tones journalist speak of mankind's greatest achievement the importance of space exploration those same people will next week be talking with equal enthusiasm about world pancake day or the super bowl or whatever that week's course celebs may the saturation coverage and I mean saturation coverage also highlights just how unoriginal and uncreative almost everyone is the same jokes the same puns the same photos the same topics they flooding my timeline I guess social media this river of tweets just highlights this problem when you see them all juxtaposed in the series of columns 10 things you didn't know about Apollo who was the real Neil Armstrong when will we go back it also highlights the small parochial nature of the media how our Australian satellite dish made it all possible how our British dish made it all possible how the man from your town or village made it all possible but Brady I hear you say it's the 50th anniversary now to this first I must say there is a delicious irony in celebrating an astronomical achievement by imbuing significance on adversaries astronomers more than any other profession have a disdain for placing importance on the position of the planets yet the earth passes around the sun exactly 50 times and suddenly Apollo matters well for a day at least on this one day we'll speak about mankind's greatest achievement and the importance of space exploration but tomorrow it's back to normal programming is this so very different from say a Christian who only talks about God on Easter Sunday or a terrible sun who only visits his mum on Mother's Day I know we can't celebrate Apollo every day of every week and there are many people who desperately try to raise awareness of the importance of space exploration this anniversary is given them a rare opportunity to be heard above presidential tweets or the latest news from La Violand I'm also aware this phenomenon is not restricted to Apollo it happens pretty much every week of the news calendar I guess it's just that this week it's my town that's being raped and pillaged so I'm more sensitive to it now lastly I did make mention of hypocrisy and I'm also very aware that I'm culpable myself in many of the sins I've just outlined I've written scrapbooks full of Perennial newspaper stories and I've jumped on plenty of bandwagon chasing some YouTube spotlight I've even been involved in Apollo content this week links in the show notes and I'll certainly be guilty of this again before the earth has completed another rotation of the sun but maybe that's part of my grumpiness the mirror it holds up to me into the media into this whole circus so come at me with your cheer pressure my grumpiness is strong fueled by a timeline full of the same three or four photos those same lunar listicles those same two or three unoriginal profile pieces but know this when the circus leaves town and the media starts congregating around that next tent pole event there's one thing that will remain truer than my grumpiness and that's my undying love for Apollo no matter how many years ago it happened I'm glad to hear that you still love Apollo break I don't know quite how to describe what it seems like your internal emotional temperature is there but I'm glad that you still love Apollo I'm glad that you can still find warmth in the chest of photos and memorabilia you have next to you in office right now and whatever you've moved into the storage space across town I'm glad you still like those things but I have to say I never thought the day would come when you describe the media as a bunch of reaping Vikings as a very broad media I was talking about there too by the way I'm not talking just about legacy media mainstream press it just maybe think like sort of related but I I had some conversations with people who just in a general way have gotten swept up into media storms and had had those sort of same descriptions of here is this system that is trying to extract advertising dollars out of like a thing that happened to me right and it's like feeling like they're just part of that system and it's just interesting to then here you say the same thing of like oh you have this feeling towards this thing that you like it's obvious though that like everybody reporting on it they're not all Apollo fans they're just doing it because oh this is going to be as you too often likes to tell us a tent pole event around which so much content can be created like they wouldn't make Apollo videos any other time they're making Apollo videos because it's this thing and so then it just feels like it's completely arbitrary is that sort of a fair re-description of what you were saying there yeah I don't think everyone who's reporting on something can legitimately be expected to be like a world authority on the topic I don't expect that of my journalist so I don't mind that I'm being told about Apollo by someone who you know doesn't collect moonwalk autographs I'm trying to remember the name of this the name of the effect as the Murray-Gelman amnesia effect about how like oh when you see people talking about a topic that you know a lot about you tend to see the parts that they have simplified or things that have been described incorrectly and then sort of go back to just consuming regular content and feeling like oh that person's an expert on everything they just did a really terrible job with the thing that I happen to know yeah is that also part of what this is like it hasn't made a lot of that it's not a lot of the I mean obviously I'll sit there and yell at the radio when they get all the facts wrong but that's not really what it is it's not that I feel like everyone's getting up wrong as always with the shape of a Brady mind I feel like I can understand but I simultaneously don't so let me say that was a very well written statement Brady very well done you should read the one I wrote about the cricket World Cup final I'll pass just everyone knows I didn't write about the cricket World Cup final so don't tweet me about it so I I understand what you mean but then I also sort of don't understand how you don't think this all the time about everything that like the media is covering in the broadest of all possible senses because it is like this giant system that needs to be fed content and this is the content that is being fed it today it's because of the arbitraryness of this 50th anniversary I think I always have an issue with anniversaries like anniversary media reporting is bit of a bug bear of mine I find it so arbitrary like fair enough if a big disaster happens right like you know some huge disaster and the media is swarming all over it and every second story in my timelines about a plane crash and we're seeing stories about the victims and was the pilot drunken how did that happen and okay a huge thing is happening there's lots and lots of interest in it because it's happened and I kind of get that like if it's a story I'm not interested in oh well I'll avoid it or think or I might think they're putting too much importance on a story because you know I don't think that's that important you should be covering less of that and more of that whatever but this the anniversary stuff is just so artificial it's like just creating a story out of nothing I guess I celebrate birthdays and kind of but like you know you and I are always complaining about world puppy day yeah last week was world emoji day yeah we create these like fake days to generate buzz and it just feels so artificial and so hypey I hate hype like just hype for the sake of hype I'm anti hype I think that's why I have that all that resistance to all the SpaceX stuff because besides being like a really interesting technology in a rocket company it's like a hype machine and I hate hype just let things stand as they are don't manufacture hype and that's caught 50th anniversary's and 20th anniversary's arts like just an excuse for hype I will actually take the other side of anniversaries being arbitrary I understand on a cosmic scale that yes this is totally meaningless the earth has gone around the sun 50 times there's not the way human beings are wired at all and even if you're just counting the time between British heat waves in the summer like well this happens once a year when the earth goes around the sun and so I think it's like it's very natural to think about oh what happened this time last year and then in a non-arbitory way of this time last summer or this time last winter well this time 50 summers ago I think that the like the anniversaries are just a natural extension of that idea I think this is sort of built into human so I yes like 50 being a big number is sort of an accident of the number system that we have happened to choose but counting isn't arbitrary history could have gone different and we could have ended up with a base 12 number system or base 60 number system and so you'd end up with different numbers that were like big deals in that system when you roll over to the next digit but I don't think the concept of an anniversary can be written off as arbitrary I think it's a side effect of humans count you need systems to count and counting systems create numbers that seem more important than others to human brains and I don't know like I found out about the 50th anniversary from you two hours ago when he said I hope you're ready letting me know in preparation for the recording and sure the number 50 doesn't really matter it is somewhat arbitrary but it did get me starting to think about I didn't realize it was that long ago or I just sort of hadn't really you know the only time I think about Apollo is when it comes up on the show and 50 is like it's a significant number in our counting system and then it feels like oh that is a long time ago and there's interesting things to think about what does it mean that this grand event took place this long ago and particularly with Apollo there's a very interesting question of what does it mean to say that this grand event took place 50 years ago and has basically not been replicated since I am going to take the other side of the arbitrariness now of course I have not been exposed to the torrent of attention that you have but I don't think it's wrong to say like hey let's spend some time on the Apollo 50th anniversary and discuss this as an event. Well first of all just absolute clarity I'm not saying it should have been completely ignored and can I also say you are in the majority in your opinion on this judging from every newspaper TV show TV news YouTuber tweet and social media posts I've seen over the past four or five days you are definitely in the right on this one. I think there really is a big part of what you're saying here that there is a created event around this of let's create a bunch of content around this event because we need to fill the airwaves and the radio waves and the YouTube channels and like we you know we have to keep making this stuff so there is but you think it's entirely justified as well. I'm not saying I'm saying I understand that that is a thing. Oh well yeah in my defense I do understand the notion of anniversaries and number systems and round numbers and years and things like that. I understand it. Yeah I just think it's like I'm pushing back against the concept of like arbitrary but you kind of did argue for the arbitrariness of it when you talked about you know we just happened to end up with this number system and if we ended up with base 12 it would be different. That shows the arbitrariness of it. 50 as in 50 circles around the sun is arbitrary. I will not disagree with that point at all. Do you know what this is when I think when Neil Armstrong died. Yeah. That was a great time to reflect on Apollo because something happened as well. It was legitimate you know it was a human event and it wasn't just like everyone had decided this is the day Neil Armstrong's gonna die and we're gonna have all our posters ready and our YouTube videos ready to roll and you know it happened and it was like sobering and it made me think about Apollo and like you know and it made everyone talk about the moon and what happened and you know that felt more sincere to me like you know it was a gut punch and it was a news event and it was like a significant day in history that this famous person who was like you know the pin-up of this program had you know left his mortal coil like that felt legit and but this 50th thing like you know I do think it should have been marked and there should be a ceremony and buzz all during a Michael Collins should be wheeled out and do a press conference but it's just been so much about this time. We've handled out that's a brutal way to describe it. It's been I know people who know nothing about Apollo and don't care about it who've said to me God if I have to look at one more photo of Neil Armstrong I'm gonna scream you know and they're people who just don't who didn't know what Neil Armstrong looked like a week ago. Well I don't know I can see that actually being worse you're catching it from the wrong end of you don't care at all and then you have to look at this maybe this is optimal for the person who has minor interests in the space program but it's it's a much worse experience if you know a lot or you know nothing about the space program to be inundated with this stuff. But just just to quickly finish the thought like just to make it clear like yes 50 is arbitrary but I don't think the concept of anniversaries is arbitrary. This is always going to fall out of like the way math works and the way planets work and the way brains work is that you're going to have anniversaries. It just whichever number system you happen to land on doesn't matter but there's going to be this kind of thing. But what do you think about it being 50 years ago? I saw someone post something today that a greater time has elapsed since you know Uighur Gagarin and Apollo then has elapsed between the Wright brothers and Uighur Gagarin. Okay. I didn't actually I didn't check the math let me do it. When did the Wright brothers fly? I can do this. Oh I should know this because it's all over the North Carolina license plates. North Carolina first in flight I feel like it's what 1912? I thought it was 18. There was 1900s wasn't I have no idea I could be off by 50 years on that date 1903. I'm going to say that was pretty close. I was within 10 years. I'll take that as a win for history. When did Gagarin fly in space? 61. So 58 years. It's been 58 years since yeah. So that statement is correct. But what do you think of that? It does feel like we stalled. That was my reaction as well to you Tommy it was the 50th anniversary. Yeah. Sounds terrible but feels like it could have not happened and nothing would be different in a way. It's an interesting statement to go back to Vikings. This comes up sometimes if you're saying a topic of like who in a thousand air quotes discovered America right and you grow up in America and the correct answer is Christopher Columbus right and then someone will come along and say no no no the Vikings discovered America 300 years earlier and like there's always there's always examples of like someone else coming to America earlier. Yeah but those sorts of answers always seem dumb to me not least because of like one there were already people here but two if the Vikings came to America and you know and they landed on American shores and then never came back I feel like sorry Vikings that doesn't count and it's like well the European showed up and then they kept showing up right like that counts that's the historical marker for when the continents became joined not when like someone happened to make the journey the first time and the moon feels like like that is the comparison as far as the frontier goes of we made it to the moon we stepped on the moon and then we never went back in my head thinking about the 50th anniversary I think it really clinched that idea to me like I don't think we've really been to the moon but you know like we have stepped on it but there's no one there now I don't agree with that I will make the argument that it doesn't matter because there's no one there now not it's so different like because the Viking argument A if the Vikings did make the crossing first and got there first then I start I think they did do it first yeah I'm pretty sure that's true but also it's not as monumental as like the daring feat of crossing the void of space to touch the face of another world which is what Apollo was like doing that first counts for something even if you don't set up a McDonald's there can I say I just love your language really about it so intrinsically poetic it's so it's so stirring so if one day the moon is swarming with Chinese bases I think it will still count that back in the 1960s there was like a small group of people that took that first leap and took the adventure and took the deer and showed it could be done you could show it was even possible like when the Vikings were sailing around America it wasn't considered impossible to sail across the sea and set foot on another piece of land everyone was doing it all the time but like Apollo people didn't even know if that you could do that like the rockets work in space it wasn't that long ago that we didn't know that yeah it's a to that will you step off the ladder and sink into like dust like does any of this work like this was like proof of concept and you can never take away the first person to do something like Edmund Hillary never climbed another big mountain he never went to the top of Mount Everest again but when everyone was beginning to think is it possible people were dying trying to do it hey along with Tenzing with the guys that were like yeah you can do it we did it first that shouldn't be forgotten and it won't be forgotten this brings us back to that book with the story in it about like you know what are the last names to be forgotten like or how long are you going to be remembered yeah and you raise an interesting point there Brady with like say obviously China settles the moon because if anyone's gonna do it is totally gonna be China and in a thousand years when the history is retold I can imagine a version where whatever the first Chinese settlement is you know Chinese Plymouth on the moon that that is sort of told as like oh this is when we went to the moon and someone well actually's them with oh let me tell you about the Apollo missions that got there first in totally the same way that if you say oh Columbus quote discovered America that someone well actually leaves you with the Vikings and it's like yeah it's true it's totally true Vikings made the journey first but it's not the impactful one from the perspective not now but from the perspective of a civilization 200 years in the future right like I completely grant you all the grandness now but I can imagine a future civilization caring much less that they care about whatever the first settlement actually was and that's the like year zero for space starts now on the grand scale of time and history and the limited ability to remember who did what when well I mean you make a good point and I'm obviously aware that the victors are right history but hey you and I are talking about the Vikings right now so you kind of make my point too right but can we name one of them uh Bjorn Bjorkson well you also won't be able to name like the first Chinese people to set up that base they probably will come a time where you can't name the country that did it everything gets forgotten yeah well that not everything but it's like it sure gets compressed down into very few names this is also on my mind because I was just having a conversation with someone where we're trying to play the game of how many people can you name from X century and it's like boy does that list drop off real fast real quick of like how many famous people can you name from the 1700s it's like oh I can pull out a few okay 1500s zero right it's just like it's an interesting drop off effect answer me this grey yeah in what year do you think someone with no access to Wikipedia or books or literature just their general knowledge in what year do you think there'll be fewer than a hundred people alive who know who Neil Armstrong was I thought you were going to go a different way and what I wonder is I'm thinking was Neil Armstrong on that general knowledge quiz that we did I can't remember if he was or not I don't know fewer than a hundred is a problem because if human civilization is around a long time from now I expect there's going to be way more people yeah but grey fewer than a hundred people can name the first Viking to sit foot on America and that wasn't that long ago that's different because I'm willing to bet no one can because it's lost a time yeah I actually think it's harder to find a piece of information like the one you're specifying now where there's a very small number of people who know it but that number isn't zero how many years in the future will Neil Armstrong be forgotten completely for all intents and purposes I'm going to say a thousand years I'm very certain about that the for all intents purposes it's like okay who cares but between zero and a thousand is very hard to say and we all we also run into the very many topics we've discussed on the show like well what do you think is the probability that AI kills us all between now like is there a civilization that exists what do humans look like in a thousand years like all of that actually starts to muddy the waters very quickly who that's alive right now okay or has been alive in your lifetime do you think will be remembered in a thousand years because there are people from thousands of years ago we can name I mean if I have to put police a bet on that I would say no one no one I would take that bet all day long would you will hitler be remembered in a thousand years oh man that's a good question because we do have like you know tyrannical rulers like Herod and people like that who are over a thousand years ago who's name is still known I don't know who her it is who's her it well her it was the king that was having babies killed when Jesus was born ah my Sunday school teacher would be very disappointed in this moment like Herod I don't remember oh hang on I'm getting my Bible stories mixed up too now but yeah it was a bad king from Bible days yeah so Hitler is a really interesting question and I think Hitler will be remembered in a thousand years maybe just because it's like Hitler is morphed into the idea of the worst person who exists right you know like internet memes kind of keep this alive of you have conversations and you know the old joke is like the first person who brings up Hitler loses in an argument like you've just you've gone all the way to the edge right first one dimension the Nazis is the loser in this argument that you're having and you don't think that Neil Armstrong is a candidate for the opposite to be that kind of space Jesus figure that kind of you know the antithesis of a hero even if people don't know what he'd look like and that he just becomes like the default name for hero explorer I don't think so yeah fairer because I think bad guys have an advantage in memorability yeah that's heroism is obviously better but is kind of boring and he was a boring guy yeah yeah like we watched that movie and I was like well what a steadfast man who just did the job he needed to do I mean I'm perfectly aware that a lot of young people now don't know who he was and that's exactly like villainy is intrinsically more interesting because it cuts against the social grain see walking to any bookstore and compare the how to be a hero section to the true crime section of the bookstore and the difference is is massive and so that is a really interesting point about Hitler and I think World War II will kind of never be forgotten because it's like a perfect concept of a war like you have such villainy on one side and it's like it's so clear cut is not like a giant bowl of spaghetti mess like World War I so I think World War II has a real chance of being a historical event that's remembered for all of time like when very many other things fade away it was also ended so spectacularly didn't it like a movie not only that's true like D-Day which was like a movie but you got the nuclear bombs like you just got you just got everything that is true that's another point in the favor of memorability for World War II whereas stepping on the moon again from modern perspective very glorious but perhaps when there is a transplanetary civilization it seems about as exciting as stepping on an offer bus and it's just not something that captures the mind in the same way yeah but Gray just to come back to that though I mean you and I step off planes quite a bit but the first flight at Kitty Hawk is still like given a lot of kudos I see it on a lot of license plate let's revisit this in a thousand years and see who is right I would very much like to revisit this topic in a thousand years the problem is if we actually do live for a thousand years at that point we'll have augmented memories that will never forget anything so I think that I think this whole concept would actually become irrelevant and is based on a strange idea of there are people who are like people today but exist in a thousand years and I that that is not going to happen but it's sort of the concept of the argument and the idea for whatever happens with augmented memories if you and I live for a thousand years I can think of at least one guy who's still going to remember Neil Armstrong I'm often asked for Apollo recommendations so today I'm going to give you three must listen audiobooks from our sponsor which is you guessed it audible now you've heard all about audible before huge library of audio books and other spoken material a great apthia phones and tablets and all that you've got those audible originals these are exclusive bits of content that are often read by interesting celebrities or other notable people actually I was just looking through some audible originals on my phone just now and they've got a version of murder on the orient express by Agatha Christie which is a story I really enjoy and it's narrated by a whole cast of actors playing all the different people on the train and there are sound effects and train noises and footsteps going up and down the carriages really great now as usual you can get started with a free audiobook and trial by going to audible dot com slash hello internet or texting the code hello internet to 500 500 that's hello internet like as one word but if you happen to be listening in July 2019 and you're an Amazon Prime member there's another offer you should know about you guys can save 66% on your first three months on audible that's a total of 30 dollars off that's like three months for the price of one you'll pay just four dollars 95 a month for the first three months and after that it's only 1495 a month that offers available to the 31st of July now when you're on audible you get a credit each month good for any audiobook and two of those audible originals any unused credits roll over to the next month by the way so what are you going to listen to first here they come my Apollo recommendations top of the list you've probably heard me talk about it before a man on the moon by Andrew Chacon this is the definitive Apollo account in my opinion runs us through all emissions not just Apollo 11 and it's full of great details but without being like really dry or technical it's a must listen if you're interested in Apollo now if you want an audiobook that was written by an actual Apollo astronaut Michael Collins from Apollo 11 wrote carrying the fire and many people hold that up as the best autobiographical Apollo book it's also unaudible and it's a cracker finally perhaps the all-time classic astronaut book is Tom Wolf's The Right Stuff this deals with Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier then moves through the Mercury astronaut selection and all sorts of other great stuff it was made into one of the all-time great films I think it was 1983 and the star of the movie The Right Stuff was Dennis Quaid he played the pilot turned astronaut Gorda Cooper now Brady why do you're talking about the star of the movie there is a reason it's because Dennis Quaid narrates the audiobook of the right stuff that you get on audible that makes it even better he's great the book's great it's one you've got to listen to the address again audible.com slash hello internet or text the code hello internet to 500 500 that'll get you started it'll also let audible know you came from here and don't forget there's that extra deal for Amazon Prime members during July that I mentioned earlier thanks audible for supporting the show right Brady there's something that I want to try but I need to put myself a little bit on the hook publicly for trying it because I have tried and failed many times before yeah and that thing is meditation right and I feel I don't know I have very conflicted feelings here I feel kind of weird even bringing it up as a topic because it's very woo woo it's very like yeah center your chakra and raky healing and all the rest of this hmm but so many people I know in respect have recommended this to me in a way that I can say maybe a little cult like right where people are like oh join the meditation or the like the self reflective train here and like when we did low these many years ago a fit of tron 5000 one of the things that I got out of that that was the best for me was knowing I'm not a runner I'd had people in my whole life tell me like oh you should give running a try you really have to give this everybody can be a runner and everybody will love it and I feel like during that time of the podcast I gave running a real shot and I came to the solid conclusion I'm done with this this is a closed project forever I'm not for running there's nothing here for me and in the future when someone says oh but you haven't really tried running I can say yes I haven't I'm done with this you should try to get in great I really like it I'm done with this right but it's like it's just not for me and I know that in a very solid way okay and so I feel like I want to do this again but I'm gonna with meditation of like I've had people recommend this to me I've made a couple of lame attempts at trying to do like mindfulness practice and I've always given up relatively quickly but so what I'm gonna do is like I think for like about a month after this recording finally goes up yeah I'm gonna try to do it on like a very regular basis and and see what the deal is because smart people who I respect make big claims about the benefits of a you're you're laughing there like have you heard claims about meditation Brady like do you know what I'm talking about nothing at the whole smart people I respect line because it's like it's such a loaded phrase what do you mean Brady it basically means there are certain things about you that I think you're right about but that particular one you're an idiot no no no that is okay that is actually not how I mean it I mean it much more in the dismissive way of there are very many people who would recommend things to me whose opinions I would not take seriously at all right whereas whereas this one is then falling into the category of smart people I respect means I take you at your word that there is something that is beneficial here that you are getting out of this whereas you take a trip to say Sedona Arizona the hippiest town on the face of the earth and people will promote all sorts of stuff and I will give their opinions zero weight when they're telling me about how you know the vortex healed the aches and pains of their life it's like okay I don't weight this opinion at all but the mindfulness stuff has come from just like too many corners that I do weight it a little bit tell me this then Gray yeah because to me I'm like team woo woo when it comes to meditation right but to me meditation has always been like this thing that happens behind a curtain in the Holy of Holies and I don't actually know what they do like is it just sitting and being quiet because like I do that when I go to bed is it humming and going mm and like putting face making your palms face the ceiling because if it's that then it sounds like woo woo when you do your meditation right you when you start this month long trial if I was secretly watching you through like a hole in the wall it's creepy okay what would I see what you would see is me just being still and not making any noise sitting or lying down or yeah like sitting or something in a chair yeah sure I guess where are your arms uh wherever is comfortable to sit for 20 minutes are your eyes closed I would close my eyes yeah so sitting in a chair with your eyes closed for 20 minutes right but not napping I'm really ideally I think are you allowed to think about whatever you want okay so when I say what this thing that I want to try the reason I'm intrigued is because of one very particular subset of all of this hmm so there's there's a whole bunch of woo schools about meditation there's sort of this like subcategory which is often defined as mindfulness and the way it is described to me is it's a bit like you're turning your mind on itself or the other language it's often used is you're trying to focus your attention on the very concept of attention itself and so one of the like end goals that is often described by people who do this is that it is a skill that you can learn where you turn your mind on itself and you sort of lose the sense that you have a self at all and that this is this is like a state of mind that can exist that you can practice and you can experience and is different from just the normal experiences of life I find that intriguing because that's an actual claim about something like oh if you do this here is a possible result I think there is totally a non-zero possibility that this is a kind of cultist self delusion as well but that's why I use the phrase like smart people I respect say that there is something here in a way that I wouldn't necessarily take this claim seriously from just anybody but I also wonder because some of the many claims that people also make is they'll say things like oh you realize that you and your thoughts are not the same thing that like you you can realize that there's this distance between your thoughts and yourself and when people say this I always have the reaction of I don't understand what you mean isn't that totally obvious like who thinks that their thoughts are themselves like I don't even understand how you could be confused about this in the first place so I don't know there's another part of me which is just a little bit intrigued of like oh maybe I just have a totally wrong brain for this and I'll get nothing out of it I don't even understand that statement yet alone whether it's obvious I know it's like someone saying to me Brady your YouTube videos are not you yeah no there were there a thing I made and now I'm making another one that's a great comparison because that is sort of my reaction when people say something like oh I realized that my thoughts are not me I'm like how could you be confused about that neither are your facts Brady have I told you before your language is so poetic I don't know great all I can say is if there's anyone in the world who I think should not be messing with more ways to withdraw from their work and their life and society it's you and just when I thought you found every possible excuse to withdraw and disappear from the universe you're going to go and find another one oh I didn't think about that it is sort of on brand isn't it yeah it's like you're giving a new drug to a drug addict oh there's another way I can just go and disappear and be absent I did not think about it in those terms but my my expectation my expectation is coming out of this it's going to be like the running that I feel like I've given this a real try and at least for me there's nothing here maybe this is beneficial for other people I'm not even saying that it's not real in this in the same way like I don't deny the reality of running but I have found this a topic that is just vaguely frustrated me and has been on the edge of my mind for a long time and I just want to get this resolved one way or the other like is there something interesting here or is there not and you know I have had this in the show notes for like a year as well of just like oh at some point I want to mention this and I've just decided like forget it like I'm just doing it now enough people sort of mention this to me on my travels this summer I'm like okay god damn it I'm just going to do this and give it a shot so if any listeners want to come on the journey as well if you've ever been annoyed by meditation maybe now is a time to like give it a shot I guess and we'll all we'll all meet up together in a few episodes but this is a thing that I'm going to try I'm going to imagine that you have no interest in trying this not really I'm not even going to try to convince you to do it but this is me getting it on the record for me that this is a thing that I now actually have to do and that we can revisit as a topic I'm at the highest stress I think I've ever been at like in terms of just all the stuff going on and I do feel the stress for the first time so pardon me thinking oh I'll wait for you to do it okay I'll hear what you report back because you want to report back because you're someone who's like opinion I respect what's the word again smart people who's opinion what's the thing you are already forgotten you've broken it in my brain I can't remember what the phrase is but whatever the phrase is you're one of them so if you if you report back that it helped although you were wrong about the apple pencil right okay yeah I'll report back to you later Brady report back and if it works then I'll consider it have you got like a space where you're going to do it like where are you going to do it my vague plan is I think the place that this would fit best in my life is post exercise that's roughly my idea so it's like oh I'll consider this part of the like the vague health routine is like I'll go to the gym and then after the gym I'll meditate at home like at a space in your home yeah or like my gym has a sort of area to sit in like maybe this is a this is a thing to do like send type rooms with yeah yeah where I can look like a total hippie yeah that's vaguely my thought but I also do feel like that I have to connect this to some other part of my life because there's no way I'm going to ever decide you know what I'm going to do right now meditate right just out of out of nowhere in my head that's all you ever do like not in like an eyes closed hum kind of way but like I just I imagined you spent hours just sitting in a chair just like thinking about stuff in your next video and because I can't see what else you do you do with your time right I imagine you in this kind of permanent state of like semi meditation anyway like yeah that's me Brady I'm just I'm just a Jedi master floating above a chair I'm not taking the piss I'm not like I'm not even like I don't know you seem like someone who meditates on things a lot anyway well you know we'll see we'll see we'll see yeah I expect it will be a total failure but I'll see how you didn't learn how to do it is there an app or have you read a book or there's a few apps and I think I'll give them a try this is the idea the like guided meditation oh yeah no I'm I'm familiar with them my my wife does them sometimes so I have I have listened to them a lot and there have been times where she where I've been like lying there and she said oh I want you to try this and I've like I've done that four or five times you know now imagine you know you sort of work your way through your body now your toes and work your way yes those sorts of things though like this again is where I'm not in this for the woo I'm in this for some kind of skill that's the stuff I have no patience for the like oh those sorts of things are like the difference to me between say like a like a relaxing massage and something that's like a therapeutic massage right where I'm not looking for someone who's just like a nice voice to make me feel relaxed I'm trying to extract the things that people seem to describe about changes in mind state what is it about you that you're trying to fix or add to like what's the problem being solved by meditation fear if it works oh nothing I'm not trying to solve any kind of problem this is totally just it has been described to me that like there's this other area of life that is experiential through skill it's like them like taking drugs or something that this is it's this concept of oh there's this other way that your mind can be that you kind of have to practice to try out you know it is it is 100% exploratory I'm not trying to like solve a problem right like I'm not in this situation where you describe oh you feel particularly stressful and you're looking for this as a problem to solve I'm coming at this much more from just a an exploratory perspective of this is a thing that people say is real and I want to try to see if I can see that it's real and I'm not going to go wander into the desert and take some LSD to experience an altered state you know at least not yet and this is this is a way to try to see a little bit a little bit of that until smart people who's opinion your respect tell you you should go try it let's say the desert well you know depending on who asks that might be an invitation hard to turn down

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "HI #126: Team Woo Woo". Hello Internet. Retrieved 28 July 2019. 
  2. "Hello Internet – #126: Team Woo Woo". Overcast. Hello Internet. Retrieved 30 July 2019. 
  3. ""H.I. #126: Team Woo Woo"". YouTube. Hello Internet. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 8 August 2019.