H.I. No. 131: Panda Park

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"Panda Park"
Hello Internet episode
Episode no.131
Presented by
Original release dateNovember 19, 2019 (2019-11-19)
Running time1:36:20
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"H.I. #131: Panda Park" is the 131st episode of Hello Internet, released on November 19, 2019.

Website synopsis[edit | edit source]

Episode 131 on the podcast YouTube channel

"Grey and Brady discuss: veganism and murder rooms, Brady visits China, how brains visualize things, many much podcasts, weekly TV, Plane Crash Corner without planes, The Buzz without bees."[1]

Release and commercial performance[edit | edit source]

"Panda Park" was released to podcast clients on November 19, 2019.[2] The corresponding video was published on the Hello Internet YouTube channel on the following day and received 20 thousand views within its first seven days of release.[3] The audio is set to a repeating montage of short video clips which depict giant panda cubs in captivity.


You well? I'm doing alright. I mean, it's a little strange because aside from going to the gym, I haven't left the house since we last spoke and you've been to China since we last spoke. We haven't had a lot of contact lately. I feel like I've lost touch a bit, even by our standards. Yeah. You have been a world traveler and I have been vastly more of a hermit than I normally am. I'm sporting like a real proper crazy person, scraggly beard at the moment. So it's like yes, I've been very much like an indoor person for work reasons. Have you been on some work project that's been keeping you in? Yeah, mainly. It's just been doubling down on a couple of projects that I want to finish. And then it's like, oh, my world narrows down to but there's tiny slice of things. So yes, I have no sense of time. And in a weird way, I feel like, didn't we just talk? And then I have to remember you've been on the other side of the world and back. Well, I'm home now. How's the veganism going? Well, perhaps we should talk about my trip to China because that's where it was put to the test. Okay, if you think so. If China and veganism go hand in hand, let's do that. And again, like I don't know how many times I have to tell you this, but I'm not going vegan. I'm trying to go vegetarian. You're going plant-based diet is what you're going? No, that's veganism. No, but the Reddit told me plant-based diet isn't a code for veganism. It's just a new way to talk about this. Well, I think it is code for veganism. I think it's code for veganism, too. But it's because veganism has a new meaning. Veganism also seems to come with a whole bunch of ideologies and political beliefs that people don't want to be associated with. So I can see how people can say plant-based is different to veganism, but it's only different if you think veganism means all those other things. Okay, so your take on it is plant-based diet is veganism minus vegan politics? Yeah, and like vegan personality. And veganism I think got sort of taken over by a certain type of person in the zeitgeist. And not everyone wants to be associated with that type of person, whatever that means. Before you started in China, I think this is a good moment for a lesson from grizzled veterans who have been around on the internet for a long time. And the danger of applying labels to yourself is whatever labels come along always get co-opted by the most extreme version of the people who have those labels. And then everybody else who feels like a normal person slowly exits and needs to find a new word. And then the whole process just starts over again, right? Which is like this happens with everything. And it's generally why like don't put labels on yourself. Just do whatever you want to do because you're going to get burdened by the craziest people who use that label. And I can't think of any label that is going to morph more quickly than plant-based. Because plant-based already sounds like a certain type of nature-y green thumb type personality. Like that's going to morph really quickly until like a stigma as well. Although I do have to say I was very appreciative of the Reddit. I felt like the conversation was much more civil than I had expected. Whenever you talk about diet like diet is a very touchy subject. And I feel like the Reddit was very calm and very civil. And there were just conversations about the topic. So I was like, well done everyone. We managed to keep it calm. You said a few things in the last episode that have been making me think actually. Yeah. Because to sum up what I think your position is, is you think that eating meat and animals is like a little bit immoral. But we do it. But you think we shouldn't do it. And you are very much looking forward to the time when there is a meat substitute that is so much like meat you can't tell the difference. But doesn't come from the killing of animals, right? Yeah, that's broadly correct. But in a way, isn't wanting like a true meat substitute that is so much like meat you can't tell the difference kind of defeating the purpose? Like can you imagine if they created a resource or you could argue maybe they have created these resources in video games, but they created a resource where you could go into a room. And they had like a simulated human that you could kill because you just wanted to kill people so much. But you knew it was bad to kill people. So they created these murder rooms all around London where you could go and experience the thrill of murdering a person without actually murdering a person. That would kind of still seem immoral to me. Like you're still pandering to an impulse that is wrong. And if you think eating animals in meat is wrong, isn't having like a true meat substitute that simulates meat in all ways, still pandering to that immoral impulse? Because I was talking to my wife and she said, are they going to have these simulated meats that even have like blood and stuff like that? And you can't tell the difference. And I'm like, well, hang on a second. Like aren't we still pandering to that base desire then that we think is so wrong about us? To amplify your point, the only reason I hesitated before about agreeing is that what I don't want is the like simulacrum that is created right now of meat where like we have constructed a thing that isn't meat but is able to fool your mouth and taste buds so that it feels like meat. My target to make the morality of this more complicated is muscle grown in a vat like actual meat. Okay. Yeah. Which is almost like even worse. Like I'm trying to think about the murder room thing that you're saying. Like oh, if there was a place where you could experience the thrill of murder, right? But nobody is harmed. Is that bad? Yeah. I think all questions of morality come down to a like a question of suffering. Like the moment you stray away from who or what is suffering, the questions of morality get much murkier. Yeah. I think they tend to come down to like gut feelings of uncomfortableness that are not necessarily the same as a question of morality. So like I think this came up when we talked about Westworld forever ago that you know if a murder simulation room exists like it's an incredible VR experience. I don't think there's anything morally wrong with that. And there's a way in which if someone felt like I have this really intense need to kill people and I can see she ate it through VR like surely that's better than actually killing people. I don't think anybody would disagree with that. Yeah. But it doesn't change the fact that if you knew someone spent all of their free time in a VR murder room, you'd feel a little bit uncomfortable about that person. But now this is like like an orthogonal angle from is it immoral? Like that's kind of my thought about the burger is like to bring it back as like the clearer example of this. Yeah. I don't think that the impulse to eat meat is intrinsically immoral. I think that impulse just it's a byproduct of the way humans eat. And so if you're able to satiate the desire for meat and you can't point to any animal that has suffered, I don't think there's any problem there whatsoever. Like even in the growing meat in a that scenario, I don't think morality enters the question. As long as that muscle tissue is not able to experience pain while it's in the that then it's you know it strikes me as a nothing. I had a vegan hot dog for dinner tonight. Yeah. Oh it was brilliant. It was as good as the real thing. Yeah I mean I've had some of those substitutes and they can be quite convincing. And vegan cheese when it's melted is quite good too. It's not so good when it's not melted, but melted vegan cheese is fine as well. What is vegan cheese made out of? I don't know. I don't ask these questions. See yeah that is my one concern with the things like the impossible burger. Like I'm very interested, but there's a part of me which has caution over this new sort of food group. Yeah it did occur to me that like in a year we're going to realize we shouldn't have been eating this and it's like killing us all. Yeah it's not that I think that is the case. It's more just a question of caution. Yeah. I think like the thing we discussed on the podcast before about vaping, in which I'm like how annoying vaping is. Yeah. Every day vaping is getting in more trouble isn't it? Yeah I mean the other day I was thinking about our own podcast when I like believe it or not got into an elevator where someone vaped in the elevator and it was like it was all I could do to not murder the person. How rude are you? This is unbelievable. But I think the vaping one is actually an interesting case where like our own old man complaining about the actions of people who do it. The intent of it is oh this should be like a way to satiate your nicotine addiction without all the negative health problems of smoking. Like that was the reason it was invented. And it seems like it was successful but now I keep seeing more and more headlines that raise the question of what are the actual long-term health side effects of something like vaping and it's a bit unknown. So I feel like I have a little bit of that asterisk in my brain about things constructed to seem like they're meat that aren't actually meat. All right. Well anyway. So how is it going? It's going well but for my few days in China the no-meat thing went out the window pretty quick. Okay. I mean it didn't have to. I would be lying if I said I had no choice. I did have the choice but just for partly for politeness and to experience. Like we went out to these things they love in China called hot pots where you sit around this boiling vet of oil in the middle of the table and you just throw stuff into it and it just boils in front of you like in the oil and cooks and then you take it out and dip it in stuff and it was good fun. But like everyone was just chucking meat in there and putting it on your plate and like to have said oh I'm vegetarian would have been a problem and then the meat was cooking in the same vet anyway and I was just asked stuff at you know when in Rome. You know I want to I want to have the full experience and I've decided I'm not going to be completely like draconian about it. Like if I'm in a social situation where eating mate is a thing I'm open to the idea of it but I am trying hard not to and since I've been back I haven't touched mate. I'm doing pretty well. Yeah. Oh that was a judgy sigh. No no no it wasn't a judgy sigh. What I was thinking there is it's just the complications that food have in social situations. Yeah. It really throws a monkey wrench into all sorts of situations and like like you're describing right there where even if it's very likely that the people that you're with wouldn't have cared a lot about you not eating meat. Hmm there's always this phenomenon of you assume people notice and care much more than they actually do. Yeah. I have a personal example of this where over the past I don't know like two years I've basically completely stopped social drinking which is a thing that I used to do like I just get a glass of wine or something to just be polite and I've slowly totally phased that out and like no one has ever commented or cared like nobody notices I don't think anybody pays any attention. Yeah but you're totally the sort of person who you would expect to not drink alcohol though. I mean maybe that's the effect but I do also think like my estimation of like what you're talking about there like I'll just get a glass of wine to go with this meal and you know it's fine and it just it's like it makes things easier. Yeah. It was an over estimate of how much do the people that I'm with notice or care. I agree. I totally agree. But I also just wanted to experience the experience. Right. Well but what I was going to add though the problem with with socialness and I'm curious about exactly the situation you were describing but if it were to come up then you would be forcing on the other members of that group the questions of oh we're all throwing meat into this oil like is that okay right and then suddenly you become the person that people have to be worried about fussiness with right and like that's the kind of social situation that you like you want to avoid. Yeah. You don't want to like impose upon others. Yeah. But so like you describe that very casually but I need more details when you say we are all just throwing things in the vat of oil. Yeah. I do not have a good picture in my head of what this means. Let me send you a picture because I do not have. Funnily enough I lost my phone this night which was a very big part of this evening. But I got it back right at the end so I was able to take a picture. Let me send you a picture of us. See there's that thing of oil in the middle with a dragon's head on it and all these chilies in it and they keep bringing you out plates of raw food including lots of veggies but also lots of meats and you throw the hot stuff into that pot which is deeper than it looks and is bubbling and then after two or three minutes it's taken out and put into your bowl in front of you. I'm glad you sent me this picture because in my head I was imagining something more like a barrel for crude oil that was just like bubbling with oil and you're like throwing things in. I just wasn't really thinking it through. Yeah. This is like your deep frying Mars bars in this oil is sort of what's going on here. Kind of. Yeah. It's very communal. Yeah. That was a great nut. Yeah. You had a good time with this. Yeah. Yeah. Dude. I didn't know that. What happened was loads of us because I was at this conference. Loads of us got taken on these two buses to this hot pot restaurant and I was chatting to someone as I got off the bus and when I got into the restaurant I realized I didn't have my phone which caused me like incredible anxiety especially because I was like a broad. Right. And the buses had been driven away like 40 minutes away I was like, so they said, well call the bus driver. They called the bus driver and he checked the seat where I was sitting because I was in the front seat of the bus and he said, can't find your phone, can't find it anywhere. The bus driver said, I'll drive back to the restaurant 40 minutes so you can search the bus yourself. So for 40 minutes I was really stressed and then the bus arrived and I looked at the bus and straight away I went, oh that wasn't my bus. I was on the other bus. Oh. So they called the wrong bus. So they phoned the other bus driver and he went and checked the seat straight away and said, oh yeah, got your phone. So then I was completely relaxed and that bus driver then drove into the city as well and brought my phone back for me. But it did mean I couldn't take pictures of the hot pot until the very end. But also I think like the anxiety about my phone which was all consuming for like an hour to an hour and a half was happening at the same time as this food situation and I was just like, look, just I'm just going to eat whatever's there here. You know, this can't be an issue as well. I'm not going to be stressed about my phone and food and everything else. Just like, give me the mate. Yeah, I mean, well, that's the other thing. Something, I mean, at least this is what I find in life. Something always has to give, right? You can't do everything to the maximum level that you always want to do. Like there's always got to be a compromise on something. Stress can break the food, right? You're just you can't deal with this at the same time or like you're in another country, you're with a group of people who you're trying to be friends. Like you can't maintain everything all at once. Life is nothing but these trade-offs. So I think that's a totally valid pass on the veganism there. Oh, sorry, vegetarianism. Sorry, plant-based dietism. You still getting it wrong, but I'm just going to let you go now. Vegetarianism. Vegetarianism, yeah. Okay. Let me see if I can send you this video. I want to show you what the hot pot looks like when it's boiling. I can't say it looks delicious. It was actually quite nice, but I can say it looks cool. Yeah, it was fun. It's also very China-themed as in the oil itself is red and gold. It's not just the dragon on the edge of the plate. It's like everything looks very China here. What's because that outer ring of oil has got lots of chilies in it and the inner ring hasn't got chilies in it. So it depends how hot you want your food. Okay, that's why that works. So anyway, I'll tell you one more China story because I think it will amuse you. Okay. So the main reason I was there was to give a talk. It was like this high-level economics finance conference, which obviously I have no place at. But as part of the conference at the university, they do one like public talk. They have someone come and do a talk to university students and stuff. That is runs in parallel. So I was sort of the speaker that was going to come and talk to students about something interesting, you know, economics undergrad students. So I was talking about number five and making videos and stuff. So this was a university event that you were invited to? Yes, it was a big economics university in a city called Chengdu. So I actually had to give my talk the day I arrived. I arrived at like five in the morning and I had to give my talk in the afternoon. But it was fine. I'd slept all the flight and I was there to give my talk. And I was taken to the building where I was doing my talk. So I turned up at the building and there's this big sign out the front like announcing my talk. And it was massive. It was like the size of a house with this big sign announcing that I was giving this talk. And like it was way more important than I had realized. Is that the title of the talk? Is you gave it or is that a translation of the like, I love numbers, Brady Harion. That's the title I gave it except I used a heart emoji because I was hoping that would use the heart emoji but they turned it into love. I told them I wanted the emoji because I wanted a talk to have an emoji in the title but that was obviously too much. It's a very professional sounding talk. I love numbers, really Harion. Exactly. And if you look down at the bottom of that picture I sent you, if you can get enough sort of, they have like a little description of who I am. But it's just been copy and pasted from Wikipedia. And obviously like whoever did it didn't know where sentences started and ended and it just cuts off mid-sentence. The most notable being periodic videos and number file, full stop. Brady's videos, the end. So anyway, so I was like, wow, this looks really lovely. And then I went inside and the theater, like the auditorium where I was doing it, had this incredible screen that was like, it was incredible. In fact, I can show you a picture of that too. I thought, oh, is it going to be some poxy little PowerPoint projector and it's going to be a real struggle and I turned up and it was incredible. I mean, I haven't been to China in a long time. But my understanding is, modern China does things big. I mean, look how big the sign is. They have to be putting you in a gigantic auditorium with a sign that big. Anyway, that's by the by. The thing that was interesting was, before my talk I was told a half an hour before the talk, someone wants to meet you, like people are going to meet you who are like, you know, the teachers or the bosses or something. So I thought, I'm giving a talk to the students. Obviously, a few of the lecturers are going to come down beforehand and do the niceties and shake my hand and say, thank you for coming, all of that. So half an hour before the talk, I'm waiting around. And this woman comes down and introduces herself and she says, I'm the interpreter. And I'm like, oh, wow, an interpreter. Oh, fair enough, I guess, you know, some people don't speak English. It's fair enough. And then a couple of minutes later, this little entourage arrives. And I'm like, what's going on here? And then I was taken into this like green room, this side room behind the lecture theatre. And there were these two sofas that had been set up. And between the two sofas was like a little coffee table with name plates, a name plate that said Brady Harron and a name plate that said someone's name in Gideys. Okay. And a little T set and drinks and things. And then I sat down next to my name plate. And this other chap who was like the vice president of the university or something, sat down next to the other one. And then all these video cameras and cameras came into the room and set up and started filming us really professional. And all this little entourage and people were all around, like behind the scenes, watching. And then like this official discussion began where he was speaking in Chinese. We are greatly honored to have you here and stuff. And then it was all being interpreted for me. And it was just like one of those like world summits where like presidents meet. Okay. The cameras. And like I suddenly felt like I was on the international stage and everything I said had to be really important. And I was like I'm just there in like jeans and a t-shirt. I'm so confused. You didn't know that this was going to happen? Like I... No. No. I was just like shepherd into this room and I started, have a look at this picture. You look a little taken aback. And that photograph, Brady. I'm not going to lie. You look a little bit like a man who's been surprised. And I'm having to say oh it's a great honor to be here. And thank you for... And like this went on for half an hour. I mean in the end, we kind of like after about 10 or 15 minutes, because every time you speak it feels like it has to be... Because it's going through an interpreter. Right. It feels like it has to be this really important thing you're saying. Like everything has to be this grand gesture. And they'd read about me that I'd like been to, you know, the Himalayas and made videos and man, everything stuff. So they were talking to me like I was this man who'd conquered Everest and right, international traveler and stuff like that. Not only is he a tremendous athlete, but he's also like a doctor of philosophy. Yes. I can imagine quite easily how this is going. But I mean by the end of it, like there was a bit of a rapport and there was a bit of a joke that we didn't speak each other's language and like we were laughing a bit and it was all fine. But for the first 10, 15 minutes, it was like those moments, you know where someone like a taxi driver turns up at the BBC and they make a mistake and they accidentally put him on air because they think he's an expert. It happened at the BBC a few years ago. This taxi driver got ushered into a studio and was introduced as a well-expert on politics, live on air. And he was like, whoa, I'm just the taxi driver. Any heart, the language? I felt like that. I felt like there was some mistake and they thought I was like, you know, the prime minister of the UK or something. It's very strange. That's a strange experience. And it seems odd to me that you weren't prepped ahead of time. Like I just sort of wonder, like do you have any idea what that's going to be used for? Oh, probably. Like, you know, they're in-house corporate stuff and all that. I didn't mind. It was just like a surreal experience. What is the difficulty level of having a conversation through a translator? Because that seems to me impossible. I especially my sort of conversation where it's all about, you know, telling a young and building up to a joke and stuff like that. Oh, I didn't think of that. Right. So you have to break it up into like three or four pieces and decide where to break the chapters off of the interpreter. Because you don't want to give them too much at once. Mm. Yeah. Yes. I didn't think of that. But yeah, I feel like your personableness perhaps is lost in translation. Well, in the end, it went through. Because we were like, we were joking. And he was making jokes about the fact he couldn't speak English. And I couldn't speak Chinese. And we were like, you know, there was a bit of a gag. But it's almost like, I'm thinking when's this going to end? So every time you say something, you feel like this has to be the big ending statement. Right. It's so funny. When there's lots of cameras pointing at you and you're sitting in this scenario that you can see, you feel like you always have to lean over and shake the other person's hand. Look at the photo moment. Mm. But I always felt like every time I said a sentence, I should be shaking his hand for the cameras. Your life is very strange, reading. This was strange. This was strange. It's also strange from my perspective that I know that you go to the spiritual home of number file. But you sent me a message and you're like, oh, by the way, I'm going to China. Like this thing has just happened. Oh, okay. I guess Breed is going off to do that. And so after this international press conference that was a surprise to you, then what then they shuffle you out on stage and you give the talks to the university students. I gave the talk. Yeah, I gave the talk. And the whole time I was there, they had given me these two students who obviously some of them were capable undergrad students, who were just like at my back and call. For everything. So like took me everywhere, everything I wanted and sorted everything out for me. They were like your personal butler, which was really cool. But I mean, I know it's a joke on the podcast about Brady not getting the respect he deserves. This was two or three days of me getting way more respect than I deserved. And it was a bit claustrophobic. They were fantastic hopes. So I'm not like slaying it off. But it was way more respect than I deserved. And then like there was this final banquet dinner on the last night, which was a room full of tables and there were Nobel laureates and all this sort of stuff there, because after the conference, economics conference and stuff. And I turned up for the dinner again, just in my jeans and my t-shirt, like skulking around looking for a table at the back where I could sit. Because I'd made friends with some of the delegates the night before, like out for drinks. So I thought I'll sit with them and have a laugh because we got along. And someone saw me and said, oh no, you have to go and sit at table one. And I had to sit at like the top table with all the like VIPs and everything. And you know, the Nobel laureates and the president of the university who then came up with his interpreter and spoke to me and gave me the big thank you talk for coming. And I felt like a fraud. But it was buddy great. Are you in this moment daring to edge over into the YouTuber thing? I felt like an imposter. Like I had imposter syndrome. Is that what you're doing in this moment, for you to? I did have imposter syndrome. Like, and I'm not the overly humble here. It's just that, you know, if I was at a YouTube conference, I'd feel like, oh yeah, okay, yeah, I'm a pretty successful YouTuber. But here I was surrounded by like economists and it was just not my world. You know, it was just a different world. So anyway, they wanted me to come and do the talk. So the talk went well. It is a bit weird because YouTube is blocked in China. So it's not like I was like a celebrity who all the students have been watching for years and years. Although from talking to people, like, you know, VPNs are pretty common. Like I was talking to a few people saying, oh, you've probably never seen my videos and all the students like just roll their eyes and say, you know, I know what a VPN is. So, and then you're giving a talk, talking about YouTube all the time, this website that, you know, they're not supposed to watch. How does that feel? How do you handle that? It was fun. Like when I was sort of saying on social media, I'm in China. Everyone's all like, oh, China and like, yeah, you know, China's got some issues that people don't agree with, but I wasn't hanging out with the Chinese government. I was hanging out with a bunch of cool people. Students and economists and stuff. That was great. I tell you what, the Chengdu Panda Park, unbelievable. Talk about charismatic megafauna. My previous experience with pandas is something you just see at the back of an enclosure that's asleep and not moving. And they're always the biggest anti-climax in history. Not at the Panda Park. It was crazy. Okay. Why? It was pandas everywhere, eating and running around and fighting and playing and you could get really close to them and baby pandas and pandas of all ages. It's fantastic. So, your overall impression of China, well, actually, is thumbs up like, have you been to China before? Was this the first time? I have been a couple of times before. Always very fleeting visits. And this was a fleeting visit too. But let me send you some pictures from the Panda Park. Where's my favorite panda video? Oh my god, I've never seen a panda move so much in my entire life. Oh, and I see you brought some hot stoppers to China as well. Yes. Were there some Chinese hot stopdrops? Yes, those, my hosts, were the recipients of some hot stoppers. Did you give them to the recipients? Or did you have to hide them somewhere in Panda Land and then let them know where they were? I just gave them. I wasn't going to go clandestine dropping things around the place in China. Ah, okay. All right. When you're the only non-Chinese person within 100 miles. I like your panda hat there. Yeah. I had to get those panderies. As soon as everyone in the Panda Fight was wearing those panderies and I was like, I'm getting some of them. Right. Well, you would have stood out without the panda ears. Yeah. If you didn't have panda ears, everyone would have laughed at you. So you have to get the panda ears. Yeah. I don't mean to go back to it, but I do find it very interesting. The idea that you are a professional YouTuber, giving a talk that revolves around YouTube in a country where YouTube is blocked. It's just weird. Even if the students are like, LOL, you know, it's trivial to circumvent and I've totally watched your whole back catalog. I mean, I'm not going to weigh into the politics of China. I like this million things you could say about that. Most of which I'm very ill-informed about. But the message that I was trying to get across to all these, you know, future economists and undergraduates, was communicate your work, share with the world your work. It's really interesting. I've been doing it using this online video platform for the last 10 years with some success. And maybe it's something you want to think about too. You've got your own video platforms you can use. Get the word out. Don't just sit in your ivory towers and do economics. Share with the world some of the amazing stuff you're doing. And that question asks is at the end, some of them are saying, I'd like to make online videos about economics. What would you suggest? How do I do this and that? So I think there are parallels to be drawn and lessons to be learned from the experiences. I'm interested in the positive experience you have on this trip because I'm aware that in the last year, I feel like on the map that I have on my wall, where I have crossed off enormous swatches of the world and entire continents. I feel like I have felt my pen hovering over China. As you mean as in places you're unwilling to go? Yeah, places I'm unwilling to go. And also being very aware that if I cross out China, the world of places I will travel to is now very small. Like China is the last big area left that I could possibly not have crossed off. So you've crossed off Australia and New Zealand and stuff? No, no, Australian New Zealand are fine. They're still there. You've crossed off South America, haven't you? Yeah, all of South America. I look basically it's, are you North America? Are you the European Union? Are you New Zealand, Australia? Are you Japan? And previously like China was still on that list, but I feel the marker coming down. Fair enough. It's also just interesting because it has been relatively recent, probably about eight months ago. There was a thing that happened where there was a possibility of me going to China for a project and it just sort of didn't work out. And at the time, I didn't give it like a second thought, whereas now I'm very aware like if the same situation had come up, I don't know what my response would be, but I could say that I would like, adhesitate. I don't know if I'm being too cautious there. I mean, one of the things I find most noticeable about China, and everyone says this before you go, and I always dismiss and say, surely, I can't be like that. But it is amazing how I feel un-far. English takes you. Really. I was given people who spoke English to look after me. But like I stayed at the best hotel in the city, and this hotel was impressive. This was probably one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in for luxury, and niceness, and opulence and stuff. It was really good. And the English there of all the stuff was terrible. And when you go out and walk in the city, I went for a couple of walks on my own just to have a, you know, get a feel for the place. There's nothing written in English anywhere, even in like, you know, a touristy part of town, and no one speaks English in the shops, you know. I went into Starbucks and couldn't order anything. I went into a KFC at one point, and couldn't get anything done. Like, English, they're like, they just couldn't give two hoots. And it also feels like that language barrier is quite high of the difficulty of communication between Mandarin and English. It's going to be a lot higher than if you're in a German town, and they don't speak English. It's like, yeah. But you could probably try to work your way around it, or at least have some kind of communication, whereas that seems like you have a much bigger gulf between the two participants of the conversation. You are really at say in terms of your language in China. But that's part of the interestingness of travel is being out of your depth. But it's interesting that you found that to actually be the case. I can't say that I'm surprised by that piece of information. I was surprised in the hotel. I thought in a hotel like to get a job there, you would have to be able to have some English. Same in Starbucks, you know. Like wherever you are in the world, it feels like if you go into those big American multinationals, that's the one place you feel like you're going to be able to order a drink or get some food or something, because that would employ people who speak a bit of English. But in China, it was not the case. I mean, you know, I'm sure it's a different experience if you go to Shanghai and Beijing. And I want to see more of China. I really liked it. I was very nervous going into the country because I'd come from America where I'd been filming and making podcasts and videos. I was like laden down with electronic recording equipment. So I thought, I'm going to go into the country and they're going to like see all these cameras and microphones and think I'm some undercover BBC journalist because you know, you Google me and BBC comes up within five seconds. Right. And it caused me problems in Russia, as I think we've discussed before. Yeah. But no, I mean, this is the second time I've gone into China with a whole bunch of camera equipment. Nice, fine, nothing. When I applied for my visa in London and I had to put who I'd worked for and included the BBC, that did ring an alarm bell and I had to sign a separate form to say that I wasn't going to be doing any journalism in China. Mm-hmm. But you know, I was happy to sign that because I wasn't doing any journalism in China. I also imagine I don't think the who are you a journalist thing is particularly unique to China. I'm pretty sure America does the same thing. Yes. If you put down that you work for the BBC, I think they're going to want to know are you a journalist coming here and I think plenty of countries do. That is true. It does. It does cause problems going into America as well. You're right. Yeah. There is just be like an extra level of concern sometimes traveling if you're a sort of public person in the world. Say for example, you're a former BBC journalist or maybe you've made a video about Hong Kong. You might want to pause for a minute when you're thinking about these things. You always worry about it more than you need to though. I find it's always blowing up in your head. Yes. As long as everything's fine, as long as everything's fine. Until it's not. Yeah. And then the downside of it of not is really bad. Right. That's the concern. I'm very interested in going back to China because the one trip I did years and years ago was very interesting. And I barely saw Hong Kong in China. But it was a really memorable trip that I was lucky to be able to do. And it had been on my mind of like, I would love to go back and see the tremendous change in China and see what it's like now because it's such a dominant player on the world stage. And it's at the center of everything. I guess one of the few places that I can say I have an interest in traveling too. Yeah. But it's also why I'm just aware of this hesitation of like, I'm not sure if this is a thing that will happen or not. And you're right. I may be wrong, but the risk-reward calculation in my head is hard to account for. And you are a bit of a warrior. I'm not a bit of a warrior. I'm just thinking about it. You are. No, Brady, I don't think it's fair to say that if you've made a video about how Hong Kong is a country, you might want to pause for a moment before you think about like, your travel into China. That's not like a, oh wow, what an irrational worry. I think that's a reasonable thing to like hesitate over. The other thing that really struck me while I was there was there were these trucks driving down the street that were blowing all this watery mist into the air like behind them in this huge plume. And all over the city were these little poles, these like 20-foot high poles like reaching into the air like all along the streets and through the gardens and that with just like a fine mist of water being blown out the top. And I couldn't figure out what they were. And I eventually asked a few questions and someone told me. And it's because there's so much construction happening in China, you know, in Chengdu. That they're just putting water into the air all the time to damp down the dust in the air. And I was one of the buildings where everyone was getting on their bicycles after work. And everyone who was getting on their bicycle had to spend a good minute or two completely dusting down the bicycle because leaving a bicycle out in the open for eight hours result in it being absolutely caked in dust because of all the construction sites and the construction everywhere. Everything's dusty because there's so much building going on everywhere. That is also impressive and breaky-ly terrifying. Yeah. But man, that doesn't sound like an environment you really want to be breathing in a bunch. I'm glad they're doing something to get all the dust out of the air. But, woof. Yeah. Yeah. It just sounds like such an interesting place. Like the very fact that this tremendous amount of construction is occurring there is, it's such an indication of activity and interestingness. I'm glad you went. I want to poke you more about it at some point. But like, I've been looking at this picture of you on the stage, looking like a much happier Brady, giving his talk. But now I'm wondering how many people in the audience do you think understood your English or was it being translated live? I don't think they had translations. I think most of it was understood. Like, you know, people laughed at the jokes and also I just went culturally like, you know, my jokes wouldn't work. Mm-hmm. But it felt all right. It felt like I was getting about 80% of the mojo that I would have hoped for. That's pretty good. Hang on, there's a video of the truck with all the mist behind it. Wow, it looks like a cement truck blasting water up into the air. That's really interesting. Yeah, they're pretty cool. I wonder what the efficacy of that is. Yeah. I've got one of those little monitors in my office. You know, it's like this EU system which tells me the temperature and the air quality and other stuff. Yeah. And it's just interesting to see that if I open the window to outside, like it loses one little heart of air qualityness, I would kind of love to know after a bunch of these trucks go by if I put one of these little things on the street, like what kind of measurement would I get? London air quality is terrible as well, though. That's why when I open the window, my air quality measurement thing is like, I'm sure you want to do that. Maybe you should keep that window closed. Uh-uh. China. I don't know if I'm going. Hello, Internet. Are you ready for deliciousness? Then you're ready for HelloFresh. HelloFresh is America's number one meal kit. Easy, simple recipes and pre-measured ingredients delivered right to your door. All you have to do is cook and enjoy. You know it's a miserable experience. Going to the grocery store. You know it can be even worse trying to decide what take out everyone is going to eat. The horror. HelloFresh removes that from your life. 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So that's hellofresh.com slash HelloInternet9 to get nine free meals with HelloFresh. Go give them a try. And thanks to HelloFresh for supporting the show. I have a little bit of feedback from the last episode where we were talking about how people think. Do people think in the first person? Do people think in the third person? Man, people love talking about that on the reddit. Yeah, they do. Do you have any impression from that before I say anything? Because like you've actually hit upon something. Not just my impression was God people love this subject. Yeah. I was too overwhelmed to come up with any kind of sense or sorry thing. I was just amazed how responsive people were to it. Yeah. So there's something about the responsiveness that raises slight suspicions. It gives people an unfalcifiable way to talk about how they're interesting. And I think sometimes people like to take those sort of opportunities. So I was very aware of the really large volume of feedback as well. And it also led me down a couple of little rabbit holes. So one of the things that came up is I was asking again, like I want some brain science about people in MRI machines, reading books or thinking about things. And it got completely derailed by a whole conversation about how people visualize things at all. And the number one piece of feedback directed at me was Oh, Gray, I've listened to the podcast and you must have Anna Fantasia. And Anna Fantasia is a brain situation where you have no mental eye whatsoever. You're completely incapable of imagining things in your head. Right. Like I got that feedback from a lot of people and I kept looking at and thinking I don't understand how you could have listened to the podcast where we talk about describing how we see things and come to the conclusion that I'm incapable of seeing things in my head. You keep saying that word. I don't know what think it means, what you think it means. Yeah, or it's like, like our whole conversation was about first person or third person memories and describing how things look to us. And then people were like, oh, you must not have any mental eye whatsoever. Which then causes me to have this down like, am I misunderstanding what this word means? But now like I sort of went down the rabbit hole. There's a number of YouTube videos about this topic. Anna Fantasia and how much people visualize something in their head. And so like one of the questions about this is if you're trying to imagine an apple on a scale of one to 10, 10 being you see an apple in front of you and one being you see nothing, how clearly do you see the apple? And like what answer would you give to that question, Brady? Well, 10. I mean, I'm seeing other things at the same time. I'm seeing my microphone and stuff. Yeah, but if you imagine an apple on the table. Yeah, I can see it. It's red and it's got a white background. And yeah, I can see it. I'm visualizing an apple. You would rate that like 10 out of 10. It looks just like a real apple. Well, I guess I'll give it a nine because I have to leave room for a real apple, which is a different experience. Okay, but your description is it's very close. Yeah. So that's interesting because like on that scale, I would probably rate it like a four. What's the problem? What's stopping it getting a higher score? What's stopping it getting a higher score is just it's not super clear. Do you know what color it is? It's red. Is it a gray and apple or red? I can be whatever I want. Like it's an object I can rotate it in my head. Like I can imagine an apple. But it's a very different experience from it being a real apple. I would describe it as like ghostly or lacking clarity in a way that's difficult to describe. But still visualized. Like it's there in my head. Well, I mean, when you start saying things like that, I say, yeah, one mind's a bit like that too. But that's just how imagination works. Right. Like I'm just used to that. This immediately gets us into the question of like last time. How much is this language problem versus how much is this like bringing a different kind of problem? Yeah. Again, like it's just I find it interesting that you would describe the situation as very close to seeming like a real apple. Whereas I would say it's visualization, but it's quite different. But there is some class of people who score that as like a zero on the scale. Right. Where their answer is nothing. So if I said right now, I imagine an apple and then I said what color is it? They would say, well, I can't say it. So I don't know. Or like the descriptions that I was going down the like the rabbit hole of are they're people who have always taken descriptions of imagination as like poetic, right or non-literal descriptions. I don't know. I just thought that was sort of interesting. But like with many of these things, I need more solid data. Because like the Wikipedia page for Anaphantera basically says there was a guy in the 1880s who like originally came across this term. And it seemed like it was a bit of a thing at the time. Like a debate between scientists, the reality of imagination. And then like fast forward until 2005. And there's like nothing has happened since then. Some other dude does a study and that's like basically the end of it. And it's like, you know, listeners, somebody out there is looking for a PhD thesis. And this is your PhD thesis. Like put people in MRI machines like let's get it. I swear there's got to be a way. To get an actual answer on some of this stuff. And the one I was thinking about with Anaphantera is, I remember when I was a kid, we had to take these standardized tests in New York. And one of the questions that you had to do was they would show an object that was made of cubes. And then you had to pick from these multiple choice options about which of these other objects could be the object above rotated. And so it's like, okay, which one of these is the same. And it's like, oh, this seems like that's got to be a way to get at the actual question of Anaphantera. Right? That like you should be able to see that some portion of the population is incapable of answering these questions better than chance. Like surely that gives some kind of indication that it's an actual thing. Like I sort of take people's words for it. That it's a real thing because I have no reason not to. But it still feels like this is very interesting. But why is there no rigorous science whatsoever? Or my question last time about, haven't we made people read books in MRI machines and then see if the like, which part of their brains light up? It's like there was nothing really solid. There was like one person who like sort of did something related, but it wasn't really close enough. So I still feel deeply unsatisfied by this. And it's interesting that people have such a strong reaction and they really want to talk about it. And that there's also just, there's nothing solid here. You know that thing you said a minute ago about it's a chance for people to talk about how interesting they are. Yeah. And like that's a real human trait, isn't it? Yeah. Do you think the boom of podcasts is plaguing into this? What do you mean? Because like having a podcast now is like just crazy. It's like almost having a Twitter handle, it seems. Oh, you know, here's my Twitter, here's my Facebook on, here's my podcast. And I appreciate the irony of us talking about this who are both podcasters. But it seems like as podcasts are getting more mainstream and easy to make and popular. Like when blogs took on. Yeah. I don't know. The blog thing is interesting because the like the blog world, you know, my take on it is with a few exceptions, that's an ecosystem that has mostly collapsed. Yeah. You know, there are some blogs that are still like, survive that comment from space, which I guess was, was YouTube. I don't exactly know. It was like when Google Reader died, like all the millions of things that existed in that ecosystem all went with it. I like that comment from Spice Google, the blogs. But it is true. Like it used to be a real thing. And now it's like, oh, you know, we've lost all of those. They're all gone. It's like having a VHS recorder now having a blog. Yeah. I could be wrong. But my gut feeling is that podcasts are the like geological age of podcasts will last longer than the age of blogs did. Yeah. Because I almost think that the like the golden age of blogs was a side effect of the kinds of people who were on the internet in the beginning crossed with the still technical difficulties of the internet before its popularization. Yeah. And that, you know, like once you have everybody on the internet and you have network effects for content aggregators, like you just have this very different system in which blogs kind of can't survive anymore. Just to back up and say like all of these people are having podcasts and talking about stuff. I think the like the demand side of it is really high. And this is like what a way that blogs got kind of out competed is that people like to listen to people talk. That's one reason why everyone in the world seems to be starting a podcast. And I don't think that the satiation point of the general public of podcast consumption is remotely there. Like I think the area has a huge place to grow because this is one of the things that I was concerned about in myself when I started project cyclops ages ago. But I do think lots of people's lives actually have a lot of space that podcasts can fit into. And people like listening to people talk. That's part of what being human is. It's like oh, let me have some company while I'm washing the dishes for cleaning the house or like while I'm driving to work or whatever. What about the sustainability of it though, Gray? Like for example, I don't follow many people on Twitter. Like what do I follow? 180 people on Twitter. If only 40 of them had a podcast, it would already be absolutely impossible for me to listen to all their podcaster. So is it going to get to a point where if too many people have podcasts and it all gets so fragmented? That's great. You know, it's great for the listener. But will it get to a point where it's really hard to make a sustainable podcast and then you have to stop doing it? Like I don't know. I haven't thought about this before. It's just coming into my head now. Like it just seems if everyone's got one, that's great. Like I've got loads of friends and things and people I follow that I would love to have a podcast but it doesn't make me realize I would ditch loads of the other podcasts. And if we all start ditching all their podcast, like would there be no room for sustainable ones? I don't know. This strikes me as a little bit like a conversation of, oh, there's so many channels on TV. How can they all exist? Right. It's like, I think the demand for entertainment is vast. Like it's a vast, almost unfilable ocean of content. It's not just that the demand is vast but it's also the preferences of people. And so I really do find it funny. You know, sometimes I'll log on to like, I'm looking for something to watch. Like it's the evening time and like I want to watch something. And being in this funny phenomenon of I have more at my fingertips than the whole of the human race has ever known. And I can't find something that I actually want to watch. Right? It's like it's also the things that people like. So, you know, the YouTube channels or the documentary series that I watch or like the shows on Netflix or whatever. It's like if you like them, they can never produce enough for you. So it really strikes me that like the human demand for entertainment and the entertainment market is a thing that I feel like I didn't understand how almost limitless this market really is. That like the demand for entertainment is astounding. And there's a weird way in which I've kind of thought about this almost as a tremendous achievement of human civilization that like this much leisure time can even exist in the world is like baffling. It's absolutely baffling. So you're pretty comfortable about the state of the podcasts. Yeah, I don't think there's anything to worry about. I mean, as a general statement, I'm always happy when technical barriers get reduced so that if someone wants to make a YouTube channel, it's easier now than it was years ago. And if somebody wants to make a podcast, it's easier now than it was years ago. You wouldn't think so listening to the stop of every fine conversation we have trying to set up this thing. Yes, that is true. Somehow we're still always not quite able to get things right. So like I think that's good. And I just wonder, I feel like you had some other point that I don't quite understand about concern about people being easily able to talk into a microphone. I felt like there was something else there where do you not think it's good that people can like casually discuss a thing and put it up on the internet? Or is there something else that you're concerned about there? I guess I feel like there's no quality control. Yeah, but that's the internet. There's never really been any quality control. Yeah. I think like this is the burden that then gets placed on an individual person's life. Is you the person have to be the one who decides what comes into your life and what doesn't come into your life? It's just like it's everyone you meet now. Here's like I said before. Here's my Twitter. Here's my Facebook. Like that's an easy thing to follow someone on Twitter and that. But everyone having a podcast, that's like a massive commitment. That's like half an hour an hour. It's now a big footprint that everyone's putting out there. Yeah, but it's not like a TV show where you have to sit down and give it your full attention. Yeah. You know, Brady, I'm sure every minute of what we're saying here is incredibly gripping. But I'm willing to bet that it a huge portion, 95% plus of the audience right now is not sitting down and only listening to us talk. There's no way that more than 5% of the audience is doing that except you Tim. No, no, not even Tim. Right? Because like honestly, 5% is just my margin of error, but I feel incredibly confident that that's already a ridiculous overestimate. How many people would what? Like sit down and put it on and just sit still, close their eyes and like listen to the show. I feel like I do pay good attention to my podcasts. Now paying good attention is a different question from, but are you also doing something else? When you're paying good attention, presumably, I mean, do you ever just sit down and you're one, aside when you're editing one, are you 100% paying attention to a podcast when you're listening to one? Very often I'll set aside times to lie on the sofa and listen to one and I will say listen to really bad. Yeah. Okay. I have one further question then. Are those like edited shows are those conversational podcasts like the thing that we're doing? They're conversational ones. They're often about things like politics or sport and stuff like that, but they're usually people talking conversationally. So you're really just sitting there and you're listening to the thing and everything else is happening. It's like something I look forward to all day. Like, I can't wait to have an hour of just listening to a podcast and nothing else. Okay, that is amazing to me and that also explains where your concern is coming from because yes, if you have to sit down and just listen to a show, then yeah, you're going to run out of time in your day, really fast when all your friends have podcasts that they want you to listen to. Well, because there's no other time I can listen to podcasts except exercising. All other time, because most of my time I'm editing videos or filming videos. My ears are otherwise engaged. Yeah, I just think my experience, of course, is the reverse. I don't think I've ever listened to a podcast while not also engaged in some other activity. What other activity can you do while listening to a podcast? Running errands, tidying the house, just plant like a really enjoyable leisure time is to listen to a podcast and play a video game at the same time. That is a high enjoyability of leisure time kind of thing. Okay. So that's the closest I'll come to giving a podcast 100% of my attention. You never sound more American than when you say leisure. Lessure? My leisure time. Lies your time. Yeah, but that is the closest I can think of to paying 100% attention. Otherwise, I almost always combine it with some activity that just doesn't require me to listen. Like, I'm just cleaning up files on my computer or like I'm going through something else. Like I cannot imagine just sitting down on the couch and listening, but that's why you're worried about the world running out of time because there's too many podcasts is because you're sitting on the couch nice and comfy listening to a show with your full attention. Hey, everyone. Are you using backblaze to backup your computer? Even as I speak now, my computer silently and constantly keeping itself backed up to the cloud, it means peace of mind for me in case something terrible happens here at home. Backblaze gives you unlimited cloud backup for max and PCs for just five bucks a month. One handy thing about it is you can grab individual files remotely if you're out on the road. But the big thing, of course, is in the event of a catastrophe. You can download everything back to your computer from the cloud or they'll send you an encrypted drive overnight via FedEx. So if something goes wrong, you're safe. I was reminded just how much I love backblaze recently because as you might know, I've been on the road for a few weeks and that met my computer at home was switched off. Sure enough, after a couple of weeks, I got a reminder email from backblaze telling me there'd be nothing going on for a while. No backups is everything all right. Of course, everything was all right. There wasn't supposed to be new backups. My computer was switched off, but it was a nice reminder to me that if anything ever goes wrong and that background link between my computer and backblaze happens to fail or not be there, I'll be told about it. Another reason to sleep easy at night. I know that backblaze has me covered. Thanks, Gus. If you want to give them a try, go to backblaze.com slash hello internet. I'll say that again, backblaze.com slash hello internet. That means if you do use backblaze, they'll know you came from here and they'll think nice things about us here at Hello Internet. Get onto it, people. You never know when your digital day of reckoning will come and you don't want to lose all those zeros and ones. Thank you backblaze for supporting Hello Internet and thanks for backing up my computer. Since we were just talking about media, have you watched any of the Apple TV shows that have just come out? No, it's completely passed me by. I know Jennifer Aniston's been in the news. Oh, and Reese Witherspoon. They got some show, but that's all I know. Apple's gotten into the Netflix game of making their own TV shows and it's just come out this month. But here's the thing. I don't have any questions for you about the actual shows. Here's the meta thing. Apple seems to have decided that we're going to go back in time to like 1999 and they're releasing their shows on a weekly basis. So instead of like Netflix does, hey, here's a new season of the show you've been waiting for and you can watch the whole thing at whatever pace you think is appropriate. You have to watch it on a weekly basis. You have to wait for the next episode to come out. What are they doing? Is this because Tim Cook's in charge? What makes you say that? He's so old-fashioned seeming to me. Because he's the guy that always wants like, naff old-fashioned bands at Apple launches and stuff. Like, better like 10 years ago, they were cool. He just seems a bit behind the times for someone who leads the company he leads. And it seems like something he would have insisted on. All right. The kids are going to love this live YouTube concert at the end of our WWBC. Yeah, exactly. Let's get Fleetwood back. I didn't think about it. But when I first heard the plan and I knew that this was coming down the line, I thought, oh, that's kind of interesting. You know, I haven't had to watch a show that way. Maybe this will be a different new experience in the digital age. And now two weeks into this experiment, I'm like, no, no, no. There's a reason that we moved away from this model. Because it sucks. I don't want to have 10 shows running in parallel. And you just have to watch them when the episodes come out and keep all the stories straight in your head. That's what sucks about it. It's not that just where the impatient generation will need it now because we're greedy. It's having to hold so many, oh, you know, where was this at again? Oh, that's right. That's right. She was pregnant. Oh, no, no, no. No, she was with the... Oh, I can't remember now. Oh, is he still alive? I thought that, you know, and they've got this going with all these different shows. We can't do that anymore. Yeah, I completely agree. I'm glad you're on I side with this. And there's a slightly cynical side of me, which is I think Apple might be doing it for a couple of reasons. One of which is they don't have very many TV shows on their system. So they're trying to like spread it out, right? They could look like, oh, we've got a lot going on, right? Just, you know, oh, stretch it out. Yeah. But the other thing I realized about why I absolutely cannot abide by this policy of shows coming out on a weekly basis is because I think it also allows mediocre shows to trick you into watching them longer because of this like gap, right? Where if you're just binging through a show, it becomes very clear like, oh, I don't actually care, right? I like I'm on episode three and I'm just like, I'm not interested anymore. And I don't care. And I think there's something about like spreading things out weekly, like that just allows a mediocre show to sort of hold you more because you like forget the details and then every episode sort of restarts up the whole story. So yeah, anyway, this is like my paper cut of I'm furious with this. I don't want to go back to a world where shows are coming out, spread out over time. It's like full seasons are nothing. That's what I want out of the world. I already have the shows any good? Okay, they're okay. I haven't watched the one that you would probably like the most, which is about space. So I can't give you that one. But they're fine, you know, not amazing. They're not terrible. They're fine. But that's also why I'm aware that like the weakliness of them is like holding me longer than I think it would have otherwise if I was just binging through them. So yeah, I am getting a bit frustrated by the number of streaming services that I feel like I'm going to have to sign up to just for like one show or something. Like I think this new star was Mendeleuroy and one looks like it'd be pretty good. Am I going to have to start by the Disney one for that, you know? You are going to have to buy the Disney one for that. And I know that we have been talking about the Star Wars movie that's coming out so soon that will be the end of all of this. But even I saw the trailer for the Mendeleuroy and I was like, oh god, dammit, Disney, you're going to get me right? You're going to get me. Looks pretty cool. There's always one show that makes you have to get like a game of thrones or something that makes you have to get this one service. No more weekly shows. I only want season dumps. I've got two Twitter paper cuts for you. Oh yeah. And there's with someone does a tweet that goes viral for whatever reason. It's becomes one of those shared things like, you know, figure out what your Star Wars name is or something like that. Right. And everyone plays the game and the tweet goes viral. The person who does the original tweet then like replies to their own tweet, promoting themselves and what they do. And it's usually completely unrelated to the original tweet. And it just feels icky and ugly that people do it. So it's like say I did a tweet where I said made some joke about politics. Right. And it went viral and it got like 50,000 retweets. Okay. I would then go and reply and say, hey everyone while you're all looking at this, did you know that I make number for our videos? If you're interested in mathematics and want to learn more about numbers, go to youtube.com slash number file and check out what I'm doing there. Gross. Yeah. It's gross, isn't it? I also just wonder, can that possibly be effective? Surely not. It's a bad look. Does your replies show up at the top of a Twitter thread or can you turn it into an official Twitter thread? And then this looks like it's part two. I don't know. Because I was playing one of these games on Twitter today. It was like, you know, it was some joky thing about movies. It was a fun thing that someone came up with. So I did it. And I wanted to look at what everyone else's reply was. And then the person who'd done the original tweet, like the top thing underneath that was, oh, by the way, everyone, I've got like some gaming YouTube channel, you know, something completely unrelated to, and I'm like, man, have a bit of class. Did you immediately check it out? No. Of course not. But it made me think it's just not a good look. It's not for Twitter. But one of the things that is my version of this where I always feel like, come on guy, just be classy is on Reddit. If someone makes like a really good joke, you can sort of tip them with Reddit gold, which gives them extra features on the site. Yeah. And I don't know why everybody then feels the need to go back to their Reddit comment. I mean, like, oh, hey, thanks for all the Reddit gold, everybody. I really appreciate it. And it's always like, dude, it totally ruins your joke. Whatever the funny comment that you've just made is completely destroyed by you going back and saying, oh, I'm so glad that everybody enjoyed the thing that I said. You've lost that cool moment where you just walked into the room and then dropped the mic and walked out. Exactly. You say, oh, man, favor. That is also part of it. Reddit is so pseudonomous. It's like, hey guy, I don't want to break your heart here. But this is a thousand anonymous voices talking in a room. And yours is the top comment on this thread. But nobody knows or cares who you are. This is about the discussion that's happening. Yeah. You don't need to make an acceptance speech. It's not the opposite. This isn't about your moment for being the top comment, right? Or the slightly better version is like someone will say a thing and then they'll get a lot of replies and they'll write back. They'll be like, wow, RIP my inbox. And it's like, yeah, I totally didn't expect this to go viral. Yeah, it's like, please, Redditers, please. If someone gives you Reddit gold or acknowledges the joke, just let the joke stand. I don't know what you're trying to accomplish by going back and thanking everybody who liked your joke. It's such an awful, cringy move. Can you imagine if a stand-up comedian every time they got a laugh said, you like that one, did you? That's a bit like what it's like. But it's even worse. It's like if you're in a room and the lights are turned off and everybody's just yelling out jokes and someone is able to get a joke that really lands. And then going like, oh, thanks, everyone for laughing. We don't know who you are. This isn't even about you. It's the thing. It's so, it's one of my least favorite little internet cultures things. And I get it. I understand the temptation for the individual person. Yeah, but this is why it's like Uncle Gray is trying to give you some advice here that the cool move is like, don't go back and edit your Reddit comment. Just let it stand, man. It's so much better. You can DM the person who gave you go to thank them because he is good man as I guess. Someone has given you something of actual value. Yeah, you can totally do that. You get a message saying like a person X gave you red a gold. And you could message them on the slide and be like, Hey, thanks, man. I appreciate it. Thumb down. And then you can have like a little interaction with an actual person instead of yelling into the crowd your gratitude. I love your goofy voice. That's almost as good as a nerd voice. I like how it's just slightly breaking. Like it's obviously someone who's like a teenager. I can't help read some comments like that that way in my head like that. That is the sub vocalized voice in my head at some of those sorts of things. And it's part of why it's like, Oh, it is a funny, funny world with a thing where people are taking advice on how to be cool from Gray and Brady. Do you know what we haven't done for a long time? What have we not done for a long time? Playing Crash Corner. And I've got a good one. Look at me. I was literally loading up a thing about B's and Brady cut me off with playing Crash Corner. Okay, go. We do play Crash Corner and then we do the buzz. Okay, what playing Crash Corner do you have, really? Because this plays into something that will surely piss you off. This is a very special playing crash. Okay, this happened in special play. America, Texas. I put the link there. Basically, this was a agenda reveal moment which has become a new thing. Are you familiar with gender reveal parties and gender reveal moments? I don't know what you mean by this. Where people reveal the gender of their baby in some spectacular way. Oh, okay. So this particular one was happened in Texas and someone wanted to reveal the gender of their baby presumably to some kind of audience and they hired a plane to fly over and as it flew over, it would release a spray color of water to reveal the gender. In this case, it was to be a big pink plume of water coming out the back of the plane. Okay. So the ground would be like, Oh, it's a girl. I don't know. I find this bit of a naff practice in general. But the eye when he was here, the plane slowed down to do the reveal and it slowed down too much and crashed. And I can joke about it because no one died. Okay. That's always the part that I'm waiting for. Right? That's always like, does anybody die? No one died, which is why I can do it in a semi humorous manner. Okay. Rather than talking about the crash because I think it's, you know, just be of a boring crash probably. I just wanted to know what you felt about gender reveal parties. It felt like something you probably would have been to by now. No, I've somehow avoided this. There's been babies in my world. But I think actually, I'm just trying to think the people I know who've had babies, I think it's either a hundred percent or a near hundred percent have known the gender of the baby ahead of time. Okay. I don't think I know anyone who's decided to be surprised. That's what's happening with the gender reveal. I believe that the baby hasn't been born yet. This is the way that you tell your friends what you're going to have. I don't think you have the baby like in the hospital. Then you order the pink water, right? There's like barrels standing by and you're going with this. I think this is like, you know, we're having a baby in a couple of months, but today's the day we're going to let you all know what we're having. So, you know, what presents to buy us. Oh, God. I'm just having such a hard time understanding this whole concept, right? So again, I'm assuming this is like, this is the baby announcement, but you're saying this is a whole separate attention seeking event that parents can have about the fact that they're having a baby. This is a separate one. Okay. So it would be, yeah, it'd be like, I'm having a baby in a couple of months. Let's all meet in the park on Thursday and look at the chimney on my house. And if pink smoke comes out, it means we're having a girl and a blue smoke comes out, we're having a boy. There's actually a quiet, if you google it, there's quite a long history now of people having disasters when they do this. I'm just reading this article here. In Iowa and October, a 56 year old grandmother was killed on a device meant to shoot out colored powder exploded instead. In Arizona in 2017, a man fired a rifle at a target that exploded, releasing blue powder to reveal a boy. It also started a wildfire that burned 73 square miles of forest service land. And the man was ordered to pay nearly $8 million in restitution. Oh, Jesus. Okay. It's an expensive baby. These baby reveals they're perilous. I mean, I don't know. Careful what you say, Gray. You may be invited to our next week. Yeah. No, I know. I know. Like this is the danger of having a podcast, right? Where you're just talking and do a microphone and then you say something and then people hold it against you forever. Tomorrow, one of your good friends calls you and says, oh, we had a $50,000 gender reveal party. This is totally passed me by. So this is the first time I've come across this. Yeah. And it seems I look like I sneaked into a plane crash corner. You did. Yeah. It seems like unnecessary attention seeking. Maybe. Yeah. It is the way I would carefully put it, especially the bigger of an event that you want to have, like hiring a plane to dump 350 gallons of pink water on people. That seems like maybe it's much more about you than it is about your baby. It's not exactly like your wife getting a text message and turning to you and saying, oh, Sandy and Bill are having a go. Yes, I was going to say that is how the gender of babies has been revealed to me 100% of the time. Second hand through text message, right? And then a few months later, you're showing a black and white grainy picture where you have to pretend that you can acknowledge this penis there that clearly you can't say. I'm trying to back up and think about this from a society wide perspective because nobody in person is going to tell you your gender reveal party for your baby is ridiculous. Yeah. It's not going to happen because we as a society, we all agree that no matter what anybody says about their baby, there's nothing but positivity that can come out as a response. Yeah. Right? Where it's like, it doesn't matter what it is. Maybe like, great, there's going to be this party where we're going to tell you if it's a boy or a girl. And if someone was having a baby and they told me about it, I'd be like, wow, that sounds amazing. Yeah. We as a society have like fixed all of the responses to be 100% positive. There's no room for this. I have to admit, if I was at the party too, I think I may get a little bit excited. But that's because you like surprises, Brady. You know, that's because you like fun and parties and all the rest of it. But yeah, so it just feels like this is a thing that can escalate forever because there's never any negative feedback. And also, it will get to a point where there's a pressure. Oh my goodness, you're not having a gender reveal party. You're not a good parent. Yes, that's true. That's true. Yeah. You don't love your baby. If there's one thing parents like to do, it's shame other parents. That's true. Yeah, 100%. I have to say though, like as silly as it is, I think one of my favorite traditions in all of culture is the way that they reveal they've elected a Pope with black or white smoke at the Vatican. Like, I love that. I think that's like, that's one of my fascinations. What do you love about it? It just tickles my brain. Like, I just, I just think it's cool. And I remember around the time they elected one of the Popes was also around the time there was an election in the UK and the Sun newspaper right before an election would have a tradition of like revealing which party they were going to support, like throw their support behind in the election. And this year they did it. They had like a board meeting where they decided which party they were going to support. And then they put smoke at the top of a chimney at their like newspaper office. And it was like red smoke or blue smoke depending on which party they decided to support. And I thought that was quite clever of them. Like, is it going to be labor or the conservatives? Oh, it's the blue smoke, it's the conservatives. I feel like you must have done a periodic videos at some point about how to make the black or white smoke. Okay, you do that. Okay, you have done that. We use the exact recipe that you use at the Vatican. Okay, I've got I have to watch that one because I remember when I made my video about how the Pope is elected. Yeah, this is like one of the pieces of information in it. And I remember having to decide to, you know, like sometimes when you're making something you come across these moments, every single article will use a phrase like they burn the votes clean. And it's like, oh, that gets you white smoke or they like they don't burn them clean and you get black smoke, something like that. And this is always one of these things where if you're researching a topic, you sometimes come across these phrases that you realize, it's not really an explanation. And everybody uses the exact same phrasing and it always like starts to throw up my radar. I'm like, what does this mean? Right? Or like what's behind this? But I remember whenever I was making that video, I thought I don't have time to investigate this, right? Like I'm just going to use the exact same phrase everybody else is using. And I can't get on a tangent here about what exactly does this mean. So I will have to investigate your video to find out the answer to that because it's been on my mind ever since. This episode of Hello Internet is brought to you in part by Ting. Ting is a different kind of mobile carrier rather than just charging you a flat fee every month. With Ting, you pay a simple and fair price for the talk, text, and data that you've actually used. Use less pay less. It's that simple. Think about the way you use your phone. You're probably around Wi-Fi almost 80, 90% of the time that you're using your phone. You're not using your cell phone data then. So why pay for it? With Ting, you don't have to. Ting offers nationwide LTE coverage on two networks. So the phone you already own will likely work with Ting. Just grab a SIM card from the Ting shop and you're good to go. And the more phones you use with Ting, the less you pay per phone because usage is shared across all your devices. And you can always bring your current phone number to Ting. Make the smarter choice for mobile and get $25 off your phone bill if you go to high.ting.com. That's h i dot ting dot com to let them know that you came from Hello Internet. That gets you all signed up with Ting and it gets you $25 off your phone bill. And since the average Ting bill is just $23 a month per phone, that's essentially a month of free service by using high dot ting dot com. Thanks to Ting for helping people save on their mobile phone bills and for supporting Hello Internet. High dot ting dot com. Talk to me about bass. What's the buzz? So you have a plane crash corner that's not about plane crashes. And I have a buzz that's not about bees. So this is perfect. So there was a thing making the rounds on Reddit, which everybody in the world sent me, which is a link to the bees act of 1980 in the UK. This is one of these these like fun facts that goes around. I can't believe no one has sent it to me to show you. I think that shows how effective I've been with muting every single person who has ever said, can you show this to Gray? Because if you've ever sent me a tweet saying you need to show this to Gray, you have been muted by me. And I think maybe I've done this so effectively that now, repeat offenders not getting through. So this is a thing that popped up on on Reddit as like one of these fun facts. And so the fact as described is that like authorities in the UK are allowed to enter any home or any vehicle if there is suspicion of foreign bees in the domicile. All right. And so of course this catches my attention. I think, oh, this is interesting. But as so often these things are looking into it very quickly, it reveals, oh, this isn't remotely what people think it is. Yes, if you just read this one part of the bees act of 1980, then it sounds like any authorized person is allowed to enter anywhere if they think that there are foreign bees. But the real question is what does it mean to become authorized, which then is a much less interesting question. And it's like, oh, yes, there's this whole process, but it's not like a police officer can walk by your house. And he goes, I think I heard some buzzing in there. But it doesn't sound like domestic bees. Yeah. I don't need a warrant. And they can just knock on your door and come in and be like, do you have any foreign bees in here? And they're like, oh, no, no. And in the background, you hear like le buzz le buzz, right? And it's like, okay, you're in trouble. Yeah. So this is like one of these things on the internet where it's like, oh, people now get a fact in their head and it will just exist for forever. And it doesn't seem to be the case. But this isn't about the bees. What this actually is about is like, I have tremendous, tremendous frustration at legal language. And I don't understand why legal language is written in the way that it is. And I'm particularly bothered about this because just the other day, I was trying to make my way through the founding document for the state of Rhode Island. So it's like the charter from the King of England saying Rhode Island exists. Now, granted, that is a couple hundred years old at this point. So there's a time difference. But it's like, I am reading this thing with 100% of my attention and find it almost completely inscrutable to be like, what do you mean? Is this allowed or is this not allowed? And then like, you read this B thing and it's I feel like it's also a good example of why is legal language written this way? So for example, it says, for the purposes of exercising any power conferred on him by or under section one of this act, an authorized person may at any time enter any premise or other place or any vessel, boat, hovercraft, aircraft or vehicle of any other description on or in which he has reasonable grounds for supposing there are or have been any bees or other things subject to control under an order under that section. This is just one sentence from this long law about bees. Why is it written in this way? It's like almost every group of three words I can find a problem with. And it's like it takes so much effort to try to understand a sentence like this. So like lawyers, can somebody tell me why on earth do you have to write it in the way where you say any premises or other place? It's all it's all asked covering isn't it? It's I assume they're probably thinking like you, like they're warriors, oh how could someone try and get around this? They could argue that it's not a premises. So maybe we should put or other place to get around the person who says this isn't a premises and like that's how I always read this legal stuff. It's so that although it creates lots of ambiguity in your mind, isn't it to remove any possible ambiguity in a courtroom? I can sort of understand that's the idea. They're trying to cover everything. Yeah. But surely a sentence like an authorized individual can go anywhere in which he has reasonable grounds for supposing there there have been or our bees. Like surely just replacing all of this with something like anywhere is more but covering than to try to name a bunch of stuff or like I find it this sort of thing is so baffling words like any vessel boat and then hovercraft aircraft. Yeah. Like and just to be clear for the listeners, it's not hovercraft comma aircraft. Right it's hovercraft aircraft or vehicle of any other description. It just totally melts my brain and there are so many things with legalese and it like it comes up in contracts and it comes up in all of these other places and it is just like genuinely brain melting to try to like read these things that for all intents and purposes are basically written in like another language or like you have to spend so much mental effort to try to like decode it and to have it make sense in your head. Another part of this be law like just another sentence. The Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Wales acting jointly, may by order make such provision as they think fit for the purpose of preventing the introduction into or spreading within great Britain of pests or diseases affecting bees. And it's like there's got to be a simpler way to say that sentence like why it's so wordy like it's so hard to understand and I was looking up some stuff related to like legalese just out of sheer annoyance. And there's like a Wikipedia article on legalese that mentions things that like it just didn't even occur to me but like things that happen in legalese is this one's my personal annoyance here is the combining of many words that mean the same thing. Yeah phrases like null and void fit and proper care and attention terms and conditions controversial your claim cease and to assist why why do you have to say cease and to assist like these two words mean the same thing do you buy into the sort of cliched argument that things like legal documents and accountancy and that is made deliberately complicated so that no more people can't do it and it sort of keeps self-sustaining for the professions. I don't know how much to buy into an argument like that right like this depends on how much do you want to catch me as being cynical yeah and so I don't think it's an intentional thing so like I work with lawyers when you have to get contracts written up and one of the services that a lawyer can provide is hey here's some edge cases that you might not have thought about you know you working in this business or like you have a contract with this other person here's some things that like happens sometimes that we just want to like set up ahead of time what should happen but I'm always kind of astounded by how what strikes me as like the normal conversation is then turned into a document that I cannot understand yeah right yeah and it's like I can never quite understand like how do we go from normal conversation to document that I guess I just like take your word for it that this document says what we said in the conversation yeah you know like I don't feel like I'm like a really dumb person here but like I cannot read these things in the way that it's written I don't think it's on purpose to keep the jobs around I don't know it's just like I'm expressing this frustration with the way documents are written and I don't understand why does it have to be this way why can it be simpler and just like this bizarre situation we are in the world where they're like these arcane priests who create these legal documents that like let's be real no normal person can read and understand and unlike many other technical language which I think is necessary so like I was thinking in comparison like you have got physics and engineering and there's plenty of technical language and physics and engineering that when you're writing about something in physics it's not screw to the outside person like in a way it doesn't matter because it's communication between professionals but like contracts and the law I feel like need to be held to a different standard yeah when you're doing some work and someone says I'll send you a contract help make sure you read it before you sign up I feel like laughing in their face like what good is reading the contract going to do me yeah I could spend a week reading it and I won't understand it yeah there's an example that I like to use from physics which is if you're a layperson reading something that's written about physics you can come across a paragraph that you think you understand because it uses words like energy work and force and you have an idea in your head of what those words mean but it doesn't even cross your mind to realize that those words have different meanings in this context right and so like even if we start from the place of oh I can understand all the words in this document it doesn't mean that I know them as they're being used as like in the technical sense hmm I think these things are literally non-understandable and these are laws that are just supposed to like affect people in the world it's such a weird situation and I don't think that makes lawyers smart that they can do that I think it makes them dumb what do you mean like if they were so smart they would write documents that we could all understand do you fall on the cynical side then like do you think this is to keep a job or you use the word crutch there what do you think causes this I think a lot of it is tradition and like an inertia to change and make things better and it's just veered off on the wrong course and it's just going further and further of course and it doesn't get changed because of the old-fashionedness of the industry hmm so you think it's like a historical way of writing that's just very hard to budge and it's become so isolated like it's on an island that it's becoming more and more non-understandable it's like a regional accent that's been cut off from the rest of the world for so long that a thousand years later it's like it's become a whole new language and it's like what the hell happened except it's among us and I think anyone knew who comes into it like young lawyers probably if they ever went to like you know their legal professor at Harvard and said professor this is ridiculous that we're writing like this they would be told from on high I know this is the way it's done and it always has been and you will continue the great tradition yeah and it's a bit emperous new clothes and no one ever says you realize you guys are a bunch of wankers and we can't understand a word you say that's an interesting point like one of the things that backs us up which I never even noticed until I came across something pointing it out is that legal documents are often intentionally written without punctuation so like this is apparently considered good style in legal documents to use as little punctuation as you possibly can right and it's like I'm sorry what this is the idea that like oh the punctuation gets in the way of the words that all of the meaning should be contained within the words and that you shouldn't use punctuation and this is the tradition of legal writing it's like oh that react that you sent through it's the latest version if you click on original as enacted the older version there is a comma between hovercraft and aircraft oh wow just so you know so anyway this is me just complaining about this thing but yeah it's been bothering me because there's areas of life where I think understand ability is a really important thing another example of this is I've talked about voting systems a lot and everybody has their own pet voting systems but I think the ability to explain a voting system great not everybody has their own pet voting system otherwise just like okay you know what you probably write about that but like okay so people I argue with about voting systems I am often on the side of arguing against voting systems that are like a 2% improvement depending on what characteristics you're trying to optimize for but that I view are 90% less explainable to a person right where it's like there's this thing about like you know voting on projects and you're like oh we're gonna everybody gets a certain number of votes that they can spend and what we're gonna do is we're gonna take the the square root of everybody's votes that they want to spend and then square the result in comparison it's like guys guys I understand like what you're going for here and there's maybe a theoretically very optimal system but this is totally gonna fail when you try to explain to other people how they're supposed to spend their 100 voting tokens it's not gonna happen I'm sorry I get what you're going for but the ability to like explain how a system works is really important and it's it's why I think like oh approval voting is a system that is pretty good because it like it gets you a lot of the advantages and it's also relatively quick and easy to explain and it's important that people can understand how the voting works and it's like it's just been really getting under my skin about laws and contracts and terms of service that like I think these are all the same thing where it really matters that people can understand what these things mean and there's like you know there's a lot of society that we all pretend that people can possibly understand the laws as passed or can possibly understand how the contracts are written or can even attempt to read terms of service that they're agreeing to and then a company gets to say like oh yeah no you agreed to that and it's like it's very unfair yeah I think it's really wrong you know it's like a tool of obfuscation that shouldn't be used that if like other important things in public life were this difficult to understand people would be angry about it and like revolt against it but this sort of stuff is just like accepted as it is and we all we all just go along with it and I'm furious about it if you had to understand the terms and conditions of Netflix before you could give them the money everything would change wouldn't it's bloody easy to give them your subscription money yeah yeah you know what yeah that's a good point like if people had to take a test that proved they actually understood what they agreed to yeah it's just it's just very frustrating and so yeah this has been my like bug bear for a while and now here it is on internet like hello internet me just complaining about the stuff all right well chop down job done

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "H.I. #131: Panda Park". Hello Internet. Retrieved 19 November 2019. 
  2. "Hello Internet – #131: Panda Park". Overcast. Hello Internet. Archived from the original on 19 November 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019. 
  3. ""H.I. #131: Panda Park" – Archived via archive.today on 19 November 2019 at 23:10:26 (UTC)". YouTube. Hello Internet. Archived from the original on 19 October 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2019.