H.I. No. 24: Mr Complainy Pants

From Podpedia
"Mr Complainy Pants"
Hello Internet episode
Episode no.24
Presented by
Original release dateNovember 2, 2014 (2014-11-02)
Running time2:10:31
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Call of the Postbox"
Next →
"Fantasy Stage"
List of Hello Internet episodes

"H.I. #24: Mr Complainy Pants" is the 24th episode of Hello Internet, released on November 2, 2014.[1]

Official Description[edit | edit source]

Grey and Brady discuss singing, the San Francisco world series, Hollowbrags, Humblebrags (yet again), reverse call of the void, reading instruction manuals, flying to America, space crash corner, preparing to prepare, lightbulbs revisited, family screen time, email vs social media for professional creators, iOS 8 thread notifications, Pixar, the United States midterm elections, and compulsory voting.

Show Notes[edit | edit source]

Fan Art
I'm like, God, this is crazy. People are running through the streets, shredding their startup business plans. When you're not online yet, and I'm just testing the sound on my computer, the thing I always do is sing, like I sing a little segment of a song, and then listen back to test that the microphone worked. Uh-huh. And now that I've figured out how to work my microphone a bit better, I've realized, I am a really bad singer. Oh, yeah. Really bad. Are you a good singer? Because you have a nice speaking voice. I think you have a good speaking voice. What's your singing voice like? I'm not gonna ask you to sing, because... Because I won't. That would be ridiculous. Yeah, exactly. Like, I'm not even gonna waste my breath. You can ask, oh, you want. This is not going to happen. What would it take? Will I ever hear you sing? Like, if you have lots and lots of wine, will you sing, or are there circumstances under which you would sing in my presence? Uh... Probably not. Maybe if it's your birthday, and everybody's singing you happy birthday, but that's not really singing. Now that's more like public chanting. And you never do karaoke, for example. No, no. Are you crazy? Of course I wouldn't do karaoke. I can stand up on the stage there and sing. Like, everybody in the whole wide world, if you ever sing, you sound reasonably good in your own head. But if you ever have to face the cold, hard reality of the recorded version of your voice, you discover that you don't sound good. And... Just like with people hearing their recorded voice in general, when you are singing, you're pitching your voice to the voice in your head, which literally does sound different than the... you're speaking voice. So that causes the horrifying disparity. It is worse singing. I mean, I don't like listening to my voice back, even on the podcast. Nobody does. I can tolerate it, yeah. Nobody does. But singing just like, wall man, that's like... That is an audio-care crash. Will you sing for me? No, no. Oh, okay. Oh, no, I do karaoke after I've had enough drinks. I love karaoke. Ah, well, now we need to go to a karaoke bar, I guess. Oh, yeah. I'd love that. And I think I'm amazing. And obviously, I'm not. So... I'm sure you are, I'm easy, Brady. I remember one time I was doing karaoke and a friend of mine, and I did read my mind by the killers, which is one of my favorite songs. And I was amazing, you know. It was incredible. I think, you know, people whipped. So anyway, I thought, I must own that song. And then another time I was out at some place. And me and another mate crashed this karaoke party. I don't know. It's a long story. We crashed this karaoke party. And then I was like, okay, everyone, I'm gonna blow you all the way with a read my mind by the killers. And it turns out this was a slightly younger audience. And they had not even heard of the song. And I was literally, they literally turned me off halfway through. Like, they just stopped the song. And I had to just walk out and shame. Ooh. That was a, that was a humbling moment. Yes, that is a genuinely humbling moment. Man, to get turned off at a karaoke party. Because not only was I singing terribly, I was singing a song terribly that no one had heard of. So I was like, and I was a stranger, they didn't know me. So there was no good will. So it was just like, everything was gang against me that day. Yeah, that is the hat trick of karaoke terribleness that you've pulled off there. Bad singing voice, they don't know you or the song. Yes, I can see. They're gonna pull the plug on that one. I came back, they let me back in later and I did a few single lungs, but they were no more, they were no more solo performances. I'm sorry to hear that. Yeah. But anyways, hey, how was the baseball game? I saw on Twitter that you posted a picture of your hot dog at the San Francisco World Series. Well, that's not a, if that's not an enticing description of a photo to get everyone looking. Come and look at Brady's hot dog. The, it was, it was really good. It was really good. I'm really glad I went. Good. It was the, I went to game five of the, which was the final game in San Francisco. And it was good for a few reasons. It was interesting actually that they had like a tribute for Robin Williams at the start of the game, because he was obviously a San Francisco guy. And like his kids came out and did the first pitch and Billy Crystal came out and spoke to the audience. And then they played this video of Robin Williams into firing up the crowd before a previous game that he'd been to. So that was really, that was really nice. The game was excellent. And San Francisco won, which was really good, because that meant there was a really great atmosphere in the stadium and everyone left and it was really happy. But almost more importantly, San Francisco went on to win the series in the seventh game. So, and that means obviously, you know, that's great. They won the World Series, but it's great for me too, because it means I can say, oh yeah, I once went to a World Series game. And you know, it was in San Francisco and they won. And it was a World Series they won. I sort of feel a bit like if they'd ended up losing the series, I would have been left with a pretty, a pretty hollow bragg, wouldn't I? Because I would have been saying, yeah, I went to the World Series in San Francisco. Yeah, they actually lost that series, but anyway, I went. So this may I can say, yes, I was there. I was part of, I was part of the victory. I played my small role. This makes it even better. Exactly, it enhances the bragg. Some people have accused, or they haven't accused me, some people have used the term humble bragg when talking about me going to the, to the game. This is not a humble bragg. This is just a plain bragg. I think people need, I think that people need to understand that I am not humble bragging. I am just bragging. But it would have been my new term, hollow bragg. It would have been a hollow bragg. You're going to start new ones to confuse people. But I've been thinking, I haven't thought about it, but I'm now thinking on the spot. I'm trying to think of examples of hollow braggs. And I think maybe another example of a hollow bragg could be, if you meet someone really famous, for example, and have a selfie taken with them, and then they become disgraced, and like, you know, end up going to jail for some terrible abuse or something. And you say, oh, yeah, I met that person. Here's a photo of me and that person. And that person's not so great anymore. That could be a hollow bragg, couldn't it? I challenge people to come up with hollow braggs. Oh, God. OK. Hashtag hollow bragg. Dear internet, only send these to Brady. No, don't send them to me. Tweet them. Hashtag hollow bragg, put them in the reddit. I'm going to come up with some more examples. So my hollow bragg would have been going to see San Francisco in the World Series and them losing the series, which is not what happened. That's not what happened. Narrowly avoided a hollow bragg. But ended up with just a straight one. I mean, if I was going to, if I was going to humble bragg, I would say, which is true, I would say, oh man, I went to game five of the World Series, and I was in like nosebleed seats at the very top of the stand, at the very end, like miles away. I could hardly see. That would be a humble bragg. Like, you know, oh dear, I've got altitude sickness from the seats at the World Series. Yeah, I think mentioning that you have altitude sickness. That falls much more into the humble bragg. I don't know. Did you see, because I have been so frustrated by the humble bragg thing, why do people not get this when I was editing the podcast last time? I usually need something to do while I'm editing it, because it's largely just I'm listening through and trying to catch errors and things. And cutting out my big long boring stories. Yeah, I have to find the start and end point in the half an hour Brady story, so I know where to cut it out. But so I do need something else to do while I'm editing the podcast, sometimes it's gaming. But this time I got frustrated about some people sending me not at all humble braggs on Twitter. So the thing that I made during the last edit was the How to Humble Bragg page, which is now on hellointernet.fm. Did you see this? I did see it. I did see it. Not only do you explain what a humble bragg was, you included an example of a humble bragg from yourself. Yes, yes. So let me, let me, which was very humble of you. Let me just, let me load up here. So yes, I have the How to Humble Bragg page on hellointernet.fm. It says a humble bragg requires two parts. Part number one is a self-deprecating remark. So this is the part that most people miss. You have to be putting yourself down or criticizing yourself in some way. That is part two, you're making that remark to draw attention to something awesome about yourself. Yeah. And yes, there was, I had a perfect moment on Twitter to make a humble bragg, which I prefaced by telling people, listen, I'm about to humble bragg. This is how you do it. And so on Twitter, I said, seriously regretting, not fixing that Twitter typo, now that Gruber linked to it in his daring fireball, iPad review. This is a humble bragg. The only reason I would be talking about that Twitter typo is to really tell people, oh look, John Gruber mentioned my tweet in his iPad review. There is, I do slightly disagree with the definition though. OK. In that, I don't think a humble bragg has to be self-deprecating of oneself. It just has to be couched in the terms of kind of negativity. For example, you could say, oh man, the gear change on my new Tesla is really rough. That would be a humble bragg, because you're being critical of like the car, for example, and saying, oh man, the gear shift on my Tesla is really not good. But really, it's an excuse to say, how cool am I? I've got a Tesla. But you're not criticizing, you're not being self-deprecating there. But you are being deprecating. You are deprecating something. But I don't think it has to be self-deprecating. I think that it has to come across as if you're being kind of, oh, you're being humble or negative. So that's the only slight addendum I would add to the definition. I feel like that example is a perfect example of advanced level humble bragging. You very well understand what the humble bragg is. And you know how to play in that gray zone of, is this a humble bragg or is this not a humble bragg? The people that this page is made for, they're not at advanced level humble bragging yet. They need to start with the basics. And we need to make it really clear that this is the starting point. So this is what I made this page is mostly a joke. But seriously people, try to get it right if you're sending me your humble brags. I will say one thing about the world series. And maybe it is because I went as a neutral. This is, I guess we are getting into the realm of humble bragging now because I'm going to start saying the things I didn't like about going to the game. But I did feel a bit like the atmosphere was very good, very good. But it felt pretty much on par with some of the better Yankees games I've been to because the Yankees is the team I kind of support. And it didn't feel like orders of magnitude more amazing than some of the Yankees games I've been to. And I don't know if that's because those games in New York, just because they're such a well-supported team, it's just always a really good atmosphere at the games. Right. Or I'm invested in the Yankees more so I care more about the result. But I did come away thinking that was really good and a really good atmosphere. But it didn't feel that much more amazing than some of the other games I've been to. It's definitely amazing. Just not just not like that different. That's, that's, I'll say it. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Giants fans. I now have, you're now my second team because, you know, we've bonded, we've imprinted. But I did, I did come out of the stadium thinking that I did think that was really good. But like, it didn't feel that different. It didn't feel that much more expensive. That's for sure. Oh, okay. Okay. So your complaint is that your increased enjoyment was not proportional to the increased cost of the ticket. Is that what you said? That, that is probably the case. That isn't, that isn't the point I was making. I was just making, you know, regardless of, regardless of ticket price. Yeah, but I'm trying to quantify this. Yeah, I mean, I mean, you know, Yankees tickets are expensive anyway, but that wasn't the point I was making. And if I'd gone to both games for free, I would have thought the same thing. I just think if we're going to start talking about the increased ticket price, we need to have a discussion about the marginal value of dollars. You know, what, what happens as you increase the price of something and your increased value that you get from it? And what is the value of the next dollar? Economics is very good for these kinds of things. But, well, that sounds like a fun. We should do it sometime. That sounds fun. Yeah. Economics with gray, that would be great. I'm sure people would love that. I feel like that's almost every conversation with you. I guess, I guess in some ways it is. In some ways it is. But, but yeah, so anyway, that's what your complaint sounds like to me. So I paid three times more for this ticket, but it wasn't three times more fun. That was not my thought. And at no point, during or after the game, did I ever think about ticket prices? I really was just comparing how did that compare to other games I've been to. It is a great, it is a wonderful stadium where San Francisco player, you can sort of see the water and it's a... Yeah, I saw that from your hot dog photo. It looked great. Your hot dog had a great view of the game. It is a fantastic location for a stadium. San Francisco have done very well. I can't, there can't be many better situated baseball stadiums. What else have we gotten follow up? Reverse coal of the void. Oh, yes. Just very quickly. This is one of the frustrations of editing your own podcast. So last time we talked about the coal of the void as you brilliantly related it to post boxes and hovering above the post box before you put in your mail. And there were very many people on the Reddit who sympathized with this. And they were talking about their own call of the blanks. I saw something that I really liked in there. There was a call of the garbage bin, which is true. You can have that same feeling. There was a call of the blanks in the apartment building, especially. Yes, yes, those as well. So several people were talking about their own call of the X feelings when you're hovering over something. But when you do your own podcast, it can be so frustrating to listen to yourself talk. And this is one of these cases where you feel like, why has passed me such an idiot? And in this case, past me is not referring as I normally do to someone who was, you know, existed a year ago or 10 years ago. In this case, past me is yesterday me. And you can't blame the exuberance if you thought that. That's exactly it. Whereas, you know, well, I did something two years ago. Yeah, that guy's dead. He doesn't exist anymore. I have no interest in his life. But when it's yesterday me, you can't get away from that. And when I was editing the podcast, the final version that the listeners heard, I only mentioned reverse call of the void twice. But I must have cut out 10 times in that conversation where I interrupted you and inexpertly tried to explain my feelings about, oh, but it's a reverse call of the void because and then I had some terrible thing that didn't make any sense. And it's just listening to it. I'm like, why, why passed me? Are you just completely unable to express a very straightforward thought? Have you crystallized it now for me? Yes. All it is is about the action. In both cases, the call of the void is something that is irreversible. But the reverse call of the void is you have to take the action and it is irreversible. And the call of the void is you have to not take the action because it would be irreversible. Jumping off a cliff when you fail that feeling that I'm just going to leap into the grand canyon. That's call of the void because you shouldn't do it. Ignore the void. The void is being a bad influence. Whereas when you're posting a letter, the void is saying, send me, send me your letter. That's a good call. That's the call of the void being good. Yes, you have to listen to that call of the void. But it is still nonetheless a scary experience because the action that you take is therefore irreversible. But last week ago, me was just completely incapable of expressing this thought in an adequate way. And normally, I know I cut out your boring stories and things, but this time I was like, what is wrong with me? And I kept hearing me like, interrupt you again and go, let me tell you about why I think that's the first call of the void. And then void and then just said something moronic. So I just wanted to put that in there. As mainly this follow-up section is just for me. I have to get this off my chest. But yeah, if you ever do a podcast, people, you will experience, too, listening to yourself say things that you can hardly believe that you were saying or that you just can't express and wondering. That's pretty much every episode for me. The void is a really cool term, isn't it? Oh, yeah. That's just a great word. I was about to say I'm surprised. It hasn't been used as a villain yet. The Borg or something in a TV show or movie. But I'm now sure 400,000 people are about to email and message me and say, well, actually, the void was the super villain in Spider-Man comic, 163. Yeah, there's something is tickling my brain, where some show I watched, the void was a very present, very present word. But yes, the void is just, is a great word. And then really it really expresses something quite visceral that feeling. So, nice. Anyway, let's follow it maybe. Unless you have anything else you want to follow up on? No. Oh, quite a few people have commented that my voice is sounding different on the podcast. Yes, including me. And yes, in fact, yeah, in fact, last podcast, before we even started, when we just first called up on Skype or whatever we were using at the time, you said, wow, you sound so different. And I thought it was because I wasn't feeling 100%. And I still don't know, and I thought, maybe I just sounded a bit croaky. And I'm also recording in a room that has slightly better acoustics. But I have now realized the true reason for it. And that is when I traveled over to the US, because I'm still in the US at the moment, I packed my microphone up and wrapped it in socks and things and put it in my suitcase. And I accidentally knocked a switch on the back of my microphone and put it into a different mode. And apparently that is the mode I should have always been using for recording podcasts from the very start. So, for the first time, I'm actually using the microphone properly. So, and I'm sure that doesn't surprise you. I'm sure you were. When we realized this a bit earlier, I'm sure internally you were just shaking your head at your stupid caveman counterpart. So, Serendipity has brought us a better microphone quality from your end. You're using a better or maybe just a more accurate depiction of my voice, which is maybe not for the best. I guess I just assume that you would. Because you're using the Yeti too, right? Is that the microphone you have? I have got a Yeti, yes, the blue. When I first got this microphone, they have an adorable little instruction booklet, which has a bunch of pictures of Yetis engaged in various microphone-related activities and showing you which setting you're supposed to use, depending on which Yeti you happen to be. And there was some podcasting Yeti and it showed the correct little setting on the back. So, I assume that you would have read through that delightful, colorful Yeti-related book. I did look at it and thought it was nice and then sort of tossed it away and then I'd... Oh, how pretty this is. And then you just filed it somewhere. And didn't actually take a moment. It doesn't use instructions, Gray. I do often have that feeling where in my household, my wife will read the instructions. And I like an Yeti often when we get something, just think, oh, I can do it without the instruction booklet. I don't need to look at that. And of course, my wife reads the instructions and then figures out the correct way to use all sorts of things or tells me how what I'm doing is going to break the washing machine or the dishwasher. But when I see those instruction bookers and like, ah, the hell with this, right? I can figure out this new washing machine. But a instruction booklet that is full of colorful Yetis, that's about my level for what I'm willing to accept with an instruction booklet. You'd think that'd be the one that would work on me. I generally agree with that cliche. You know, I'm not always one for kind of, you know, gender cliches. But I do see some truth in that. But it is not the case in my house, particularly when it comes to Ikea instructions and like assembling furniture. I am probably because I've been born to so many times. I am religious about following the instructions from furniture companies about how to make a bed or things like that. And my wife is the exact opposite. And she always likes to skip ahead and just give that a whack and that looks right. And it is a source of friction between us because she thinks I'm too slow. As I patiently try to figure out which screw really is screw A and which one is screw B. And she's like, if it fits, do it, chuck it in, bang it in, say. I don't know that Ikea stuff. I'm with you here. They have some of those screws which are the, you can't undo them, screws, or things have to be tightened in just the right way. Yeah, Ikea stuff. Don't, yeah, I agree with you there. Don't mess around with just trying it with Ikea stuff. You only get one crack at some of those things. But also, Ikea just like the Eddie instructions. There are no words. They're just friendly pictures on Ikea. And that I don't mind so much. So I guess that's one of the one from all of my instruction booklets is just Egyptian style pictograms. That is what I require. Oh, words, I can't do this. If aliens come down and land in Ikea, you want them to be able to assemble a furniture without knowing our language. That is exactly right. But you heard it here, instruction manual makers, pictures. We'd like to thank audible.com for their support of this episode of Halloween Internet. If you haven't heard of audible.com, well, I don't really know what to say. I guess I'd better explain what they are. They are a leading provider of, well, audio books and other spoken material. Now, if you're not into audio books, well, you're halfway there anyway because you're listening to a podcast. And it's a really great way to catch up with, well, latest releases, old books, things you've always wanted to read, things that are newly out. Really good if you're someone who has a commute to work or walks to work like I am at the moment. If you need to be using your eyes for other things, besides reading a book, well, your ears are still free. Now, audible have got an incredible range. I think I've read 150,000 titles last time I checked. Anything you could possibly want, no matter what your interest, they're guaranteed to have it. Now, one of the things we love about audible is they basically tell us just recommend a book that you think people should listen to. And I'm going to recommend The Martian by Andy Weir. I don't know if I've recommended that before. I can never remember what we've said. But I'm going to recommend it again anyway. It's an absolutely fantastic story set in the not too distant future. And it's about, well, it's about a mission to Mars and one of the astronauts being stranded on the planet when the others have to leave. I won't tell you too much more about it. Lots of stuff going on on Mars itself, in space, on Earth. It's really one of the stories I've most enjoyed recently. I can't recommend it highly enough. And the audiobook itself is done in a really compelling way. Really good listen. And I've also just heard that Ridley Scott is making it into a film starring Matt Damon. So, well, before the film comes out, you've got to know what happens in the book. So there you go The Martian. But if that's not to your liking, well, there's a 149,999 other titles to choose from or something like that. audible.com is the place to go. And if you go to audible.com slash hello internet, well, they'll know you came from us, which is good for the podcast. But it also means when you sign on, you'll be able to download your first book for free, which is a great offer. Get the Martian for free. And then if you like that, go ahead and get some more. audible.com slash hello internet. And thank you to them for supporting our podcast. We really appreciate it. Speaking of pecking up things for America. Yes. You are going to be doing that. Ah, soon I expect. Oh, God, yes. Yes. We will be we will be in the same location in about two weeks, won't we? Yeah. Just don't say I'm too excited about it. Sorry. Let me, let me, I'll cut that out. That's where there are two parts to this. The part that I am excited about, I think maybe the next time we talk to each other, I will be seeing you in person in Alabama, because we'll be getting together to hang out with Destin and the crew and taking part in the Random Acts of Intelligence show, which has come up very, very fast on my calendar. So that, that is an exciting part. I'm looking forward to that. There are still tickets, by the way, I see. So if people want to come to Alabama and hang out with CGP Gray, me, Destin from Smarter every day, Henry from Minute Physics, and Derek from the Verisette. Verisette. Veritasi. Verisette. Veritasi. Don't get it right. I wanted to. I know you. I'm not a fan of him. I want to say it wrong every time. That's my plan. Oh great. I love this. Yeah. So, so, so, come and come along. I just not that. I think people should come. People are coming quite far by the sounds of it. So, uh, Yes, Destin has sent me some emails from people who are coming from crazy far distances. And I think last time I got an email update from him, it's about 80% sold out. So if you are listening to the sound of my voice, well, I was about to say right now, but of course, definitionally, if you are listening to sound, you were listening right now. Even though, again, it may be hundreds of years in the future long after you and I are dead. But if you, uh, so I guess I would say, if you are listening, in quotes, right now, and it is before the 14th of November, 2014, you may want to look into getting a ticket relatively soon, because I think last time Destin told me it is about 80, maybe 85% sold out at this point. If it is in the very distant future and we're dead, again, this is creepy. We are now ghosts from the past, but otherwise get a ticket. You're interested in coming. Okay, yeah, if we're dead, like, I don't know, I don't really care what you do now. Thanks, thanks, too. Thanks for listening, I guess. We're talking to you again, Tim. Yeah, that's right. Future space, Tim. You've got spaceship crash, oh, I was going to say spaceship crash corner. That is very unfunny at the moment. Uh, we have to come onto that. That is terrible. That's actually like, could I have blended into a worse thing to say, but we'll talk about, we might talk about that in a minute, so. Yeah. Why don't we just do that now? Let's, let's, let's, let's look at that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, like, now that we have the world's worst segue, let's explain it. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. The, because some people have, some people have been in touch, obviously saying, if we're going to do a plane crash corner, this week, I guess, something relevant to bring up is too, too incredibly unfortunate incidents that have both happened to do with space travel and kind of rocket ships. There was an, there was an an Terry's, is that he say, an Terry's? I am the wrong person to ask. Yeah. It was a supply rocket that was taking, taking some things up to the space station and that, that blew up on launch. And sort of that, I think that was a real kick in the guts, you know, to real kick in the guts, I imagine, for sort of, you know, spacey rocket stuff when that happens. Yeah, that was an unmanned mission. It was unmanned. It was an unmanned supply vehicle. There was a kickstarter project on there. It was a kickstarter funded science experiment, if I remember correctly, which is a, so a lot of, a lot of people were personally bummed by that one. I didn't, I didn't realize that. Yeah. Um, and then there was even worse news. I think it was, as we record, it was yesterday, I think it was yesterday, the sort of their, the latest test flight for this sort of virgin galactic spaceship, two craft, which is planned to take, you know, people into tourists into space. Hmm. They were doing a test flight in the, uh, California desert and they were actually two, two test pilots aboard. And that malfunctioned in spectacular fashion. And as we record, I think a co-pilot died in that incident and, uh, pilots quite badly injured. There's still not a lot of news about that. But, um, you know, these very, two very public, um, Miss fortunes for space travel were kind of, you know, and not, not, not good when these things clustered together. But I do wonder, I mean, surely this was even hit your radar. I'm imagining. I, I following Lemosca on Twitter. And I, I saw him mention something about condolences to the family. So I looked it up to see, um, I'm interested in the, in the projects that he is involved in. And so that, that's how, yes, it, uh, it did cross my radar through the Twitter verse. Uh, and, and of course it is, it is unfortunate. And, uh, that's, you know, whatever. I never, I never quite know what to say when we do Plank Crash Corner. No, I know it's actual like, you know, the, the, the human tragedy, the human tragedy aside had before this had happened, did you have, particularly have views about this kind of space tourism? You know, you know, you know, rich people have been buying tickets, pre-bying tickets to go on these flights and think, lean out of decapriote as the name. They always say as one of the people who's, mm-hmm, put down an enormous amount of money to go up into space on one of these things. Have you ever had a view on that, you know, we talk about the value of money and world series tickets? What do you think about, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars for a suborbital dip into space? Well, I get this, this is a perfect example of the marginal value of dollar. If you are a Leonardo Caprio or if you are a multimillionaire, dropping a hundred thousand dollars to be one of the early people who does something, that is not like you are a normal person who takes out a mortgage on your house to buy a hundred thousand dollars, take it to go into space. So I am, you know, if basically however we need to fund space travel and space exploration, whatever works I'm perfectly okay with. So if that means we need to do it through government means, or if it means we need to do it through private ways, I am uninterested as long as it gets more spacecraft and more people up into space. So it currently seems like all the action is in the private sector. And again, if that's working, that's great. So if people want to drop a hundred thousand dollars on a ticket to fly into space, thumbs up for me on that one. That seems great. Where do you, what about you though? Because I think if you was quite a risk averse person, and this week has shown more than ever how much risk is associated with space travel. Well, this is a bit like talking about the risks of aircraft travel in 1930 is the equivalent. We're at the dawn of private individuals still going into, any of you even hear spaces is like in quotation marks. We're really talking low earth orbit situation. So yeah, it is risky, but it's not exactly fair to compare it to something like aircraft travel now, which is incredibly safe. No, no, no, but we are talking about space travel and it is now. So it is risky. Is it a risk you'd be willing to take if you were offered, if Richard Branson or Elon Musk or someone called you up and said, Gray, we think the podcast fantastic. We'd like you're, we'd like you're, you're ready to do the first podcast from space on one of these, you know, one of these flights. Would you do it? Would you do it if money wasn't a factor and you just were assessing the risk? It's that's a difficult question. My, my inclination is no, because space is deadly. I mean, I often joke about deadly, deadly nature in my videos, or I've mentioned it on podcasts, but you know what is more deadly than nature? The void is more deadly than nature. Absolute terrifying, nothingness is more deadly than nature. And so when you are going into space, you are surrounded by the void and literally death awaits you inches away in every possible direction. So the, the, the risk of space travel, even low-worth orbit space travel is just, for me right now, that is, that is way too, too far to the, might die end of the, end of the spectrum. I think even if we imagine 50 years in the future, I would, I think I would be very hesitant to do space travel under, under very many circumstances. So that's, that's kind of my feeling about it. So we cannot do the very first podcast from space. But what about you if, if they said, well, Gray's not coming along, but the ticket's still available to you, Brady, would you take it? I, I mean, at a time like this, you know, this week is always a bad time to ask, isn't it, because of the, the risks of front and center once again. But I think this is the perfect time to ask this question. With the risks front and center, would you still say yes? I am inclined to say yes, because I'm, I'm a bit more, I'm a bit more of the, as I've, as I'm getting a bit older, I'm a bit more of the thought that I want to experience things and I'm willing to take, take the risk for the experience, because, you know, I don't see the point of being 80 years old or 90 years old and thinking, well, I made it to 90, but I didn't do much stuff. But, but I also have to say like I'm, I'm people who know me know I'm a bit of a space nut. But they, what they don't realize is I'm surprisingly unimpressed by sort of suborbital flights or even, even like low or even like sort of space shuttle stuff has never excite. I am more excited by an unmanned probe landing on Mars than I am the space shuttle. Because I, yeah, that's fair. I think that's completely fair. I always think just orbiting the earth is just, you're just flying really high. You're just flying so high. You're flying so high above the earth that, that, that air resistance is no longer a big deal. But whereas if you actually set sail for somewhere like the moon, that impresses me more because you've got like a, you're going to a different place. So, so those kind of, these sort of suborbital hops, I think a bit of a con and yeah, you'll get a bit of weightless and yeah, you'll be really high and you'll see the earth's curvature and the sky will go black. But I still think you're just really high. Oh, no, but the thing, but the other thing I wanted to talk about in the context of the, the Virgin Galactic, this crash. And again, you know, we're both really conscious that someone's died here and that comes before all else. But just in more general terms, it has made me think, you know, about PR and publicity. I mean, there's no one who's, there's no company and there's no person more kind of, you know, PR hungry than Virgin and Richard Branson. And you know, they, they plaster, you know, they're always releasing pictures and hyping things up and plastering their logo all over everything. And it's at times like this that it does come back to bite them in the back side a bit, isn't it? Because like the, the defining pictures that are coming out of this disaster are bits of wreckage on the ground in the desert with like the Virgin logo plaster. Of course. All over it. And often, you know, to come back to kind of the plane crash corner, I think I often do think that in plane crashes, like, you know, having your logos all over your planes. Of course, you have to do it for various reasons. And it would be ridiculous to suggest not doing it. But it is something that does come back to bite you in the back side, you know, when you see these, these seminal, these defining photos of like the Pan Amrichage from Lockerby or the tale of the Air France plane floating in the, in the Atlantic after the terrible Air France disaster. These big, these big logos on the planes, which always seem to be on parts of the plane that don't get too badly destroyed by a crash. I always wonder how these companies and these corporations feel about that. The logo that they fight so hard to get into our public consciousness sometimes become more famous for being plastered all over a bit of wreckage. Yeah. Well, I mean, but that's that's good. That's the purpose of a logo is I want companies to feel like, boy, I really don't want us to have plane crashes because people will see our logo and associate our airline with plane crashes. That's a good point. I never thought of that. Yeah. The purpose of a logo is to be associated with the company, whatever that means. And it's the company's job to make those associations good and to avoid bad associations. So, yes, they, they, I agree, they don't like it. And they would think, boy, I really wish that, that tail fin didn't make it through the crash. But I think it is, it is good for society as a whole that the tail fin does make it through the crash. Is that, I want them to be concerned about that. Good job, logo. Do your job. It's, that's, that's one of the cases where sort of the advertising and branding and logos are doing us a bit of good, aren't they? Yes, yes. So anyway, after that, premature segue, we were going to talk about that, but I kind of forced us into talking about early with my poor choice of words, but coming back to preparing for America, come along, come along to random accent, tell the disabled, jump on a plane, fly through the air, hurt a little, a hundred miles an hour to come and see us. Oh, god, I really don't know that. But how's your, you know, you work, yeah, well, every time I bring up you packing for America, you start going, it's true. Well, I think I've said before, I just, I find the whole experience kind of stressful, and I don't like it. And I don't like to think about playing crashes when I'm getting on a plane. But it is, usually for, sorry, thanks, Brady. For me, usually the source of stress comes from projects that I need to finish before I leave. So we happened to be recording this on Saturday night. And my plan is, this is going to be, this is going to be dangerous talking about this in advance. But my plan is to have this podcast up on Monday morning. And I also want to have a very, very quick new minute and a half long vlog up on my channel on Monday morning. So I am trying to get two things done before I go because I have blocked off before the random acts show. I have blocked off about a week of time that I'm going to be spending with my family. And I want to try to make sure that during that time, and then also during the time that I'm in Alabama, I can actually focus on what I am there to do. So that means I want to make sure that I have a couple things up very quickly at the start of November. And then I can relax and say, okay, I'm in North Carolina now. I can just be with my family. I will be doing some work, but I don't have to feel under the gun to hurry up and get a podcast episode out or another video out because I've just done something, even if they're relatively small, it's still there. And then I can relax. So that is where the source of stress comes from for me is whenever you have a clear date like a I am flying out on Monday kind of date, you very naturally start dividing your life into all of the things that have to get done before that day and everything else. And I just find myself almost always with more things that have to get done before that date than might always be practical. So that is why I partly find it a bit of a stressful experience. But there's no way you're going to get a podcast and get a video done on the same day. I've actually I have just before we called, I just finished recording the audio for the next little vlog that I'm going to do. So I know if I can get to that stage, things are looking pretty good. And I can say this is going to be a very, very simple little video. So I think I'm going to make it. But I'm nervous now when we're recording this because I feel like I'm jinxing myself. So you dear future listener on the internet, you will know if I made it in time to have both of those things up on Monday before I leave. But currently, Saturday night, me does not know, but he's feeling confident. He's feeling confident. I always know when you're working on a video, even when you don't tell me, because your your replies to me, if they come, if they come, become more hurt. Like the other day, I I messaged you or was talking to you about something. And I was getting these really hurt replies. And then like a few hours later, or your kind of footnote videos for the election stuff came out. And I was like, ah, there you go. Then explain it. So yeah, like an old married couple, I can read, I can read you. I know what you're up to. There you go. How much time do you have to block off your packing and stuff? Because obviously, you know, you're going to activate your checklist. I already have a little program in OmniFocus that creates the new template for me. So that is that is already up and running and on my list of things to do. And I have started to prepare. Some things are a bit pre-packed already. So as I've been able to try to get ready for that, I have been doing that. So you're preparing for your preparations? Well, you have to do pre-preparations. No, but you laugh, but there are many things that are pre-preparations. For example, I have to make sure I have the right files on my computer. So I have some things that are stored on an external card. Preparation? That's just preparation. I feel like preparation is putting things in the bag. Pre-preparations is getting things ready to be in the bag. For example, I have to make sure everything that I'm going to bring with me is charged. I have an external backup battery for my iPhone. So I have to make sure that that is charged. But I can't charge that on the day. So that has to fall under pre-preparation. There are things that you get. You can charge it when you get to America. You know they have electricity over here. I do know. I do know they have a, but the point is to be prepared for all contingencies with the bag. Under what content if there's no electricity in America? I think you've got bigger problems than whether your phone works. No, no, no. I need a backup battery for my phone because you never know. You never know when you're going to be in a situation where you need all of your iPhone battery. This is a fair enough. I don't know if I've mentioned this before. I feel like I've mentioned this before. But now we are in that that zone. Like we mentioned last time. Have I told this before? Have I not? I have no idea. It's too many episodes now. My mom was a flight attendant for very many years. And one of the perks of being a flight attendant family members can fly standby very often when I'm traveling to the United States or from the United States. I am flying standby, which means I don't exactly know which plane I'm going to get on or exactly what time I'm going to leave. You should explain why that's a perk because so far it just sounds like an enormous pain in the backside. I'm sorry. I guess that's right. It is a perk because one, it is vastly cheaper than buying a ticket. And the second perk is that if you are lucky, sometimes you can end up in a business seat or a first class seat. That is game changing. However, if you are unlucky, you end up in a middle seat in economy. Sitting next to me most likely. The coin goes both ways on this one. It's like, oh, heads, oh, look at you. You're in business class. Isn't that great? Tails, nope. In the middle of five in the back of economy. But my calculation on this is the cost saving plus probability of business class is worth it. But it does mean that I sometimes have longer days at the airport. And this is why I feel like I need to be prepared. If I'm going to possibly be spending a day at the airport, I want to make sure I have everything is ready to go. Like I'm camping, I bring my own food. I want to make sure that I'm all set with everything I could possibly need under all circumstances when traveling. Do you get to go into the airline lounge if you're on standby in that situation? Do you get the, because then you get food and power. No, no, no, that lounge is only for people who have actually paid for business class and for his class. They don't let us stand by plebs into that lounge. I've never been in any of those lounges. I don't know if they look like. They seem like magic or places. The door is open, cool, fresh air that smells like a beach. Comes rolling out. I have been in there many a couple of occasions for various reasons. Oh, Mr. Fancy. Yeah, it's a long story, but they are nice. I mean, you can get ones that you paid go into. And they're quite nice too. I think they're sometimes they're worth a little bit of money. If you're going to be at an airport for a long time. But anyway, I keep that in mind. All right. Yep. Okay. So you're pre preparing and then preparing and you've written something here in the notes about light bulbs. No, I was just thinking about this trip because it was a good, it was a good example of what we've talked about on one of our early podcasts, which was the four light bulbs episode about balancing work and family and friends and your health. Sort of managing these four areas of your life and you only have. Grace famous four light bulbs. Yes. Which is terrible analogy for many reasons, but the gist of it is fine that you only have so much energy to put into all of these different areas. I'm very aware of on this trip having made some decisions because for various reasons, the past two summers that I was supposed to see my family in the States, I was not able to do this in adequate ways. Two summers ago, I was not able to pay as much attention as I would like to have because of some work stuff. And this most recent past summer, I just wasn't able to go at all. I'm aware of the family light bulb has been lower than normal. So this is, that's part of the reason why I've been aware of trying to to one clear the decks for this trip so that I can just kind of be present in the moment so I can have the family light bulb higher. But everything in life comes at a cost. And so it has to come from somewhere and the place that it has come from in this case is work. So I have had to dim down that that light bulb. But as I said before, I really think it's useful to think about everything in terms of trade-offs. And for me, the one example that is a trade-off here is when Destin first started talking about doing this as a like some sort of stage show and having us be all together in Huntsville, my one requirement to Destin was, I am on board as long as I don't have to do any preparation. Can I just show up? We're going to do a panel. I can take some questions. You know, we can do a meet and greet. We can, you know, whatever. As long as I don't have to prepare for some kind of I am going to do a song and dance on stage, I am in. What about that, you and I are going to do? Read my mind by the killers. Little do you know, that's just going to be you. That's right. My aunt just typed the microphone out of your hand anyway. But yeah, so this to me is one of these times where, ideally, I would love to actually do something like a more formal presentation. But I know from myself and from talks and things I've given in the past is that I prepare a lot for these kinds of things. And so I have to make a decision that if I'm going to do a presentation that like you can't just pretend like you have infinite time. And so I know that making that decision means saying no to family for basically the third time in a row. So I had to make a decision about that that like I can't. I have to make an adjustment here in the way that I think is reasonable. So it's just one of those cases where like I said, it is useful to consciously know how you are and how you're going to react under particular scenario. So family life is slightly higher this November than the work light bulb would otherwise be. So how do you like spend all this like I love my parents and I know you love your parents. And I'm always glad to say them and we both have parents that you know live in other countries. So that opportunity is limited. But even when I go all the way to Australia and you know we will have a meal together and a catch up and tell some stories within about three or four hours. I feel like all right here all set. Yeah how can you like say okay I'm going to spend a whole week with my parents like I'm just curious about how you feel that much time with some with people who who you love enormously and who brought you into the world and have great interest in each other. But you are like different generations and you know how can you spend a whole week doing stuff with your parents and not doing anything else. I wouldn't know how to feel the time. Yeah the the key word there is availability. I want to be there and be available. But that does not mean that my parents and I are sitting in a room looking at each other for eight hours a day all day every day. That's not how it goes. I keep what I think of when I'm visiting as a work light routine. So instead of working almost all of the day I'm usually working in the mornings. Instead of having like a full work day I basically do a half work day. And then I am available if my parents are around but if they are also very busy people they happen to be retired but they are the busiest retired people I have ever seen ever. They're always going off to something or other. So they might not be around. If they're not around then I will continue to work. But if they happen to be around then I just I want to potentially be available. And one of the things that can soak up an enormous amount of time which I think will sound familiar to lots of people is tech support for the parents. So my parents they literally keep a list of all of the things that they want me to fix or take care of from the last time I was there until the next time I am there. So I am in receipt of a list of things to do when I come and visit. So there is much to be done and this time in particular my parents are in the middle of possibly moving. So there are very many more things for me to help out with around the house then under normal circumstances. So that's what I mean I want to be available but that doesn't mean that we are spending all of our time together 100% of the day. I've got such a funny picture of you and your parents just sitting in a room together looking at each other in silence. That's not the way it goes. That's not what happens. Even when we are in a room together my wife commented on this behavior which I never even noticed because of course it's just what I grew up with. But when we are even if it's even if the TV is on or we're together and it's sort of dinner time everybody is on their own screen. Even we're together everybody is also sort of half in their own little virtual worlds but yes it is a screen full house whereas in my wife's family that is not at all the case. Everybody does not have their own screen that they are also partly on so it is a very different environment but for me I always thought it was normal. I go, is it every family like this and then I found up for my wife? No, not every family is like this. Do you have to de-screen when you're hanging out with the in-laws then? It wouldn't be bad for you to have your laptop open all the time when you're with them? Yes, when I was visiting my in-laws in Hawaii I was very aware of consciously de-screening during dinner time. Oh, we're actually going to all sit around this table together. You're going to say I was very conscious of not using my computer too much. You're saying you only put it away when this when you're eating food. That was the time when I was I was aware of it. Like oh we're actually all going to. I'm terribly sorry if we're going to eat I'll put on my Google Glass. That's so funny I thought yes I was very conscious to not use my screen at dinner time. That's terrible. Today's episode of Hello Internet has been brought to you by Squarespace the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website, portfolio or online store. Squarespace has been around for 10 years and they're constantly improving everything they do from the platform itself through to the designs they offer. And for someone as design challenged as me I'm constantly impressed by their sort of pre-made templates they've got available. They don't only look great but they can be customized and tweaked for your own purposes. Each of those designs also has a mobile version or mobile version if you're American which is great because you want to have a site that looks good not just on a grown-up computer but also well on your phone your iPhone or Android of course. Squarespace is easy to use simple drag and drop tools but if you do need help they've got a great support team on hand 24 hours a day seven days a week and there's also a customer help site full of useful articles and video workshops. If you're a bit of a number fan Squarespace also has a metric app for iPhone and iPad. This allows you to check site stats, page views, unique visitors, social media follows all that sort of stuff a brilliant way to well to waste time or if you use it properly to improve your performance. Now you may be aware that Gray maintains the hello internet website with Squarespace and there's really no better advertisement than that. You may have figured out by now he's a bit of a fussy chap when it comes to this sort of stuff he doesn't use anything that hasn't passed about a million checklist criteria and a forensic style cost-benefit analysis so don't take my word for it take Gray's Squarespace he's absolutely brilliant. Prices start at $8 a month that includes a free domain name if you sign up for a year you can start a free trial with no credit card just start building your site see how it looks see what you think and then if you do decide to sign up make sure you use the offer code hello internet hello internet all as one word and you get 10% off and it will also share your support for our podcast that's hello internet as the offer code thank you to Squarespace for their support Squarespace everything you need to create an exceptional website so do you do you want to talk about the thing that I wrote about Twitter and email lists? I would love to talk about that I read your blog it was a couple of weeks ago now wasn't it that blog I think but I have no sense of time I guess so yeah past me made that I took I took from that that you're tired of all the different media platforms from pulling the rug out from under you and your your transitioning more to email or I don't know I don't know you just tell people you wrote it you're more eloquent than me I was going to say I'm glad I'm glad I clearly communicated the intent of that article I don't know what you wrote something about email whatever I just do it basically wasn't it just a big long wasn't it just a big long plug for your email list it was it was actually kind of a plug to unsubscribe for my email list but I will here let me let me get into that that's no that's that's well exactly what I was really okay well talk about that so you explained to me I wrote this piece on my website I called it the professional shareer and what I was talking about is a certain kind of of problem for I would say very broadly people who work in the public sphere in almost any way so if you are a person who whose livelihood is in some sense dependent upon other people paying attention to you then then you have to be wary of social media platforms so the pattern that I have seen over and over again is that there's some new platform you face or whatever it is and you have you have people on that platform who are sharing creations that they make so I make a video I post it to you face and people who are following me on you face see that video yeah and this is kind of the the promise of what platforms are you you follow me you get the thing that I've made it's very simple but so beyond beyond just beyond hosting content this is sort of delivery this is a delivery platform as well yes it's a delivery platform so now some places like YouTube may host the content as well so my videos actually live on YouTube but if I post something on Twitter the video doesn't live on Twitter but I'm still people follow me on Twitter presumably because they want to see when I post new stuff yeah and so they can see on Twitter oh he mentions he has a new video up or whatever it is sort of like a like a social network yes like a social network I'm using the term platform because this is this is the kind of business term as social networks get bigger and bigger and bigger eventually they start manipulating the relationship between people who are posting things and people who are receiving things and so Facebook is the most famous example of this where I think most people know by now that when you log on to Facebook you don't see everything that your friends on Facebook post you see some subset of everything that has been posted and it is Facebook that is making a decision about which things you see so they have little bots that watch what you click or what you don't click and and they are using that information to determine what it is that you should see and I always want to specify there's nothing there's nothing bad about this I don't have a problem with the existence of that and in very many cases people log on to Facebook and they don't want to see everything that everybody posts they're very happy to have Facebook automatically filter that stuff for them and this is this has been a kind of hula baloo in the YouTube world is complaints for years about the way YouTube handles how do subscribers receive the videos and YouTube has been very consistently transitioning from the clear relationship you see every video that everyone year subscribe to posts to what they have now which is defaulting to the what-to-watch page which is again it is YouTube curating for you what videos they think that you should watch presumably as YouTube becomes more and more mature I guess you know people start subscribing to hundreds and hundreds of channels and they could be a bit they're figuring people could be a bit inundated or lost by under the avalanche if they get every single video delivered to them so yeah that's the justification but yeah yeah that's there's two parts to this which is one YouTube has the data they know and and maybe they're making a decision about we can see that the average subscriber numbers are just so big that no person can possibly watch all the videos to everyone they're subscribed to so we're going to make this algorithmic decision the moment that a social network becomes large enough the interests of the people using the social network and the interests of the social network itself start to diverge a little bit and and this is where you if you are the owner of the social network you can start telling the bots that you want to optimize the site for X and one of the things that you can do is say look we want to optimize this site to generate revenue so when you are deciding what to show people if there are things that make us more money show them more of those things yeah or at least at this current stage you know what what what people presume and what we're inferring that YouTube does is that YouTube is optimizing for two things which is watch length so how long do you watch particular videos for and they're also optimizing for how long is your YouTube session so how long do you stay on the web page yeah and you can see why this is in YouTube's best interest but maybe it's not in the users best interest because they're showing you things that that will get you to stay on YouTube but that is not the same as as showing you things that you decided that you wanted to watch on purpose yeah that's that's the the moment when a social network becomes particularly big and we mentioned a couple episodes ago the Twitter had made a testing the waters announcement that they were going to start to use bots to adjust the timelines of people and a couple weeks ago I saw for the first time when I logged into the Twitter website oh this is different from what I know is the fact of the order in which messages have been posted to my Twitter so it was the first time I saw Twitter has decided that they are actually changing the way the timeline works and that put me over the edge so you've outlined the problem and this is this is an agile problem and we've seen a few social networks going down this path now where their job is kind of just a sort of a neutral middleman is becoming distorted you think email is the answer it doesn't matter any future platforms that come along if they're owned by a single company it doesn't matter what they are they're all going to suffer from this same problem that if they get bigger the incentives are always in this particular direction to start using bots to optimize for whatever it is they want to optimize for and there happens to be a new social network that's trying to get off the ground right now called hello I think and hello has made this big deal about how oh we're not going to have advertisers we're not going to use bots and it's like you know what it doesn't it does not matter what they say because if the company ever gets sold or it gets bought out by somebody else this can change so you didn't they like make some big hoar about signing an official charter though like a legally binding document that they would do it yes or is that just pure from what I was able to investigate it is essentially a a PR move where it is like yeah yes this is legally binding for this company but there are many ways around this which is okay well you just when you sell off the company well you happen to sell the assets and the assets are the users and now some other company owns the user and so like from the outside it doesn't look like anything has changed but legally you're able to get around this because it's a new corporate entity that is not bound by the agreements of the previous one yeah it has nothing to do with a network in particular and it has everything to do with the incentives of the players involved and so my my conclusion is the only way around this is to use a very old technology which is email I love that you just call it a very old technology well it is actually when I wrote the article I looked it up about when was the first email sent and like many things it depends a lot on what you want to account as email but it is sometime during the 1960s depending on where you want to put that line so I think that that at this stage that counts as very old I mean 1960 was yeah I mean that's not really that's not really email that was as you and I know but anyway yeah but I think I think it's fair to say that how old is the light bulb you know the light bulb is in more than a hundred years old but those original light bulb are not there but the nut that's letting me say how old is the helicopter and then you saying oh well Leonardo da Vinci did this actually never built a helicopter then I need a working a working prototype here and in the 1960s there was working email not oh I just made up a thing and I drew it on a piece of paper you know he didn't invent the helicopter he drew a nice picture that looks like a helicopter it's entirely different I think that's pretty to know there I just that that kind of stuff just to just irritates me Leonardo da Vinci gets so much cred if I oh what this great inventor now he wasn't a great inventor he was a great sketcher he was a fraud that da Vinci he was a total fraud I'm not saying he's a fraud because I don't think he claimed to have invented these things I'm just saying he drew some nice things in a notebook and some of those things happened to become real later on but he didn't build that tank he just thought about it doesn't count if you just think about it people who make the prototypes that's what counts sorry I didn't mean to didn't mean to go off there but so I do think it is fair to say that email is a very old technology I guess is where the conclusion of why is email the solution to the problem unlike a social network email is not centrally controlled so the Twitter company has complete control over everything about Twitter and they can unilaterally make changes to anything that they want at any time but email is much more like an agreement between different parties it is it is an agreement between lots of machines that use the internet about how to communicate with each other and so since it is not as centrally controlled there's nobody to say oh we are going to be the ones to make changes across all of email to how people are ever going to receive email in their own inboxes nobody nobody has that control it is the one medium that exists that you can still have this direct relationship between the person who shares something and the person who wants to receive something and you can count on that to continue to exist into the future as well because email has been around for quite a while so it is reasonable to assume that email will continue to be around for quite a while so you basically want to email every every single person who is a CGPGRA fan you want to send them an email every time you make a video I am making available an email list that people can subscribe to is not a requirement I'm still going to be using Twitter and Facebook and the wild these successful Google plus I will still be posting things on there because people want to use them and some people Facebook is their primary place to see stuff and last time I checked my referral logs Facebook is still the number one source of traffic to the videos outside of YouTube itself so I'm going to use all of those things but I want to have some kind of broadcast medium that is under my control and that I can reasonably trust in the long term and the only solution to that is email so it is in an additional place where people want to they can subscribe but it's not like I'm I'm resigning from the internet and I'm saying I'm not going to use any of these newfangled technologies that the kids use these days and I'm I'm only going to use my old man email that's that is not the that is not the case but I think it is a question of control and I really I really think that if if there is anybody listening who like I said does any kind of work in the public sphere you want to make an email list an available option for people to follow you I think I have done so on your advice gray I started one as well oh yeah I saw that you started one I saw that you started one but but you you you have a very timid sign up form on your your email list do you think it's something like oh I promise never to email you I think is what you say on your well that's not what I say but let me say why I have a timid sign up because it leads to my next question and that is I guess my sign up form reflects in some ways my attitude to my email and that is for me email is kind of like a refuge it's like a it's more of a it's more of a private place where you know my friends and family and you know and I try to keep it uncletted and I do badly at that but the idea of people who I don't personally know but follow you know on Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and that suddenly having access to that as well and deluging me there as well it's a bit like oh for goodness sake now where can I go wait where these people can't get me like you know if I want if I want to you know get things from these people I feel like I will go to them and I feel like it's a very exclusive circle being in the email club and the idea of having having the outside world raining down on me there just means I'll need to suddenly put a whole bunch of controls in place there to keep those people out and then it defeats the whole purpose when I wrote that post somebody made a funny little meme image that was a picture of my stick figure face and it said something like at the top I want to send you a whole lot more email at the bottom it says please don't ever email yeah because you I mean you famously don't like receiving emails don't you say yes that is entirely that is entirely true and that's why I really got a good laugh out of that one because it did it did kind of capture the situation and that that's why I'm making this is optionally available for people but I agree with you email is of email is a very very sensitive subject and it can already be a very busy channel there there are a lot of people who are competing for time and attention in your email inbox so that's why I wish that there was some kind of other solution for this and many people have have mentioned to me oh why don't you use RSS so RSS for those who might not be aware is really simple syndication I think it's a technology that is used to notify computers about updates and changes to websites and it seems like it is the perfect solution but I have to disregard RSS because it is too technical for a normal person to use granted this is exactly what RSS was designed for but the reality of the situation is that when I think about some of the people I know who who subscribe and follow my stuff there's no way they're going to have an RSS client to follow RSS feed so even though that would be the perfect solution it doesn't pass my can everybody use this test so yes in an ideal world RSS would be what I use but that is not an ideal world so see I guess another reason I've been more timid in my my selling of my email list as well is that you don't create as much content as me so signing on for a CGP-gray email feels like oh well I might get an email every few weeks about about a video or a podcast whereas people know sort of you know I put a video up every day and I so I want to make abundantly clear to people when they sign on to my thing they're not going to get an email every day saying new video new video in fact since I started a month or two ago I've only sent two emails so I kind of I will only send an email when I think it's something super special like I sent one for the pie video you know because I've because I put so much effort into that video I thought you know so maybe maybe I do need to beef it up a bit and encourage people to sign on more but my timidity is also born of that I don't want to I don't want to scare people off in that way but you've you've you've thought about this as well by the looks of it because you've made some changes to your sign on well yeah there's there's three there's three points to this the first which is to get back to why did I write this was because when I when I first made my email list I had a similarly I promised not to email you very often sign up for them as if this is I'm only going to use this for occasional things the whole reason that I wrote this post was it was intended for the pre-existing subscribers on my email list to tell them look you subscribed under very different circumstances yeah I want to let you know that I have been kind of forced to make some changes to this system and I'm giving you the option to unsubscribe right now before this happens because this was not this was not the deal that we agreed to so you're kind of just letting them know you're going to move the gall posts a bit yeah and this is this is one of the cases where you know it's it's very strange being a one person business but you can make you can make decisions that a real a real business with many people wouldn't make a real business would not send an email out to people saying you might want to unsubscribe from our email list but I'm trying to think about it like if I was my own subscriber even if I was okay with the changes I would still want to I would still want to get something there was a notification that things are going to change yeah so that that is why I wrote it and then once I had written it I thought oh well actually I can post this on my blog as well and so I did get additional subscribers from the blog post but I did also get a decent number of people unsubscribing when they got that message because they they and they I got a couple nice emails from people which I didn't reply to but I did read them saying thank you for letting me know about the changes for you I have to say I I would feel like a terrible call of the void feeling putting my email into an email list for you because I would be worried as a man very protective of his email inbox I would be flooded that would be there goes any chance of any of our listeners signing on tomorrow and I've only sent tune history like what's like I'll sign up and I'll click the confirmed link and I'll go get a sandwich and I'll come back and there'll be 20 emails I am so mad that you've said that that you now have to sign up to my email list and I'll be checking that you do okay okay maybe I just approve that it's not like that one of the reasons also that I like email as a potential option even though it does have problems is first on on my end I happen to be using MailChimp at the moment to manage my email list and so am I because I just use whatever you recommend there we go hey MailChimp you want a sponsor an episode maybe she get in touch don't need to now you always say that but maybe they will send the email to me because Gray went red it that's true I was poking around in their settings and I discovered that I can arrange it so that people can say what things they do and what things they don't want to subscribe to so they so I can send out a message only to the people who want articles or only to the people who want podcasts and not annoy people because I'm very concerned about I don't want to be sending messages to people who don't want to get them that defeats the whole purpose the implicit agreement here is that you want something from but I don't also want to send you stuff that you don't want there's control on this side where I can say okay I've set it up in this particular way and the person can choose what they want to receive or what they don't want to receive but the other thing that I like about email is how much control the end user has so like you mentioned I have an enormous number of filters in my Gmail system I actually counted it the other day and I have something like almost 70 various filters for my email inbox and I like a system that lets the users control how they want things to be for example if I sign up to your email list I will almost certainly set up a filter to put it in a folder to review later because I don't want to see it necessarily right when it comes out but I do want to review it at some later point and I like a system like that that lets people choose for themselves how do they want to receive things when do they want to receive things as opposed to a system like Facebook where you don't have control over how you're going to receive the things that you've signed up for Facebook has all of the control about how are you going to see things or how are you not going to see things the day after I put that post up Google announced that they have a new program called Google inbox I don't know have you seen this at all no no Google currently has their Gmail so you go to gmail.com but they currently have a new interface that they're calling inbox and the best way to think about this is the Facebookization of your inbox so what Google is going to do is they are going to use bots and algorithms to try to optimize your inbox based on how you interact with it and how you reply to messages to try to prioritize things for you that's craziness well here's the so I put up this big thing about saying how like oh email is great it's this one thing that we can trust and then the next day Google basically says we're Facebookizing email so I got a lot of people saying what do you think about this and my response is I'm perfectly okay with this as long as as long as there are other options like you know as long as we're not all four shoveled into that I am okay with it because it is still end user choice if you want to use a Facebookized email and you can like that is up to you and if you like that better that is perfectly great but how do you know it's not the thin end of the wedge gray and they're not going to like you know the phase out the Gmail web interface over the next five years and start and then start integrating Google plus into this and that and we're all going to I don't know man I'm worried I can see why that you're worried and and there may be a reason to be a little bit worried because Gmail is such a huge portion of the email world but I still say that as long as as long as Gmail has an option to use external email clients so Gmail is my back end but I use the mail application on my Mac to actually access it that's fine right I am still in control of how am I going to receive my email but what if they then turn off that capability so if Gmail turned off that capability then there would be some complaining but but my bet is that even even Google would know that that is a bridge too far that they they can push and encourage people to use the the inbox but if they require that if everybody who uses Gmail has to use the inbox that is the point at which I switch email providers because like that is that is just too much but but even with email you can do all kinds of great things that you can't do like with Facebook where you can set up forwarding addresses in email you I have many many old email accounts that are like this where the email account is inactive but it has a rule that says any and all messages that come to here just forward it to the next email account and I have several chains of that you know going back through time with my own email my old email messages back to your 1960s email address that's exactly right when I was negative 20 I don't know when I was just you and Leonardo DaVinci yes that's right so so that's why again I'm I'm perfectly fine with the the Google inbox project I took I took a look at it I have to say I like the visual look of it I think it's much cleaner than the terribly ugly Gmail interface so I'm very happy for people to be doing interesting new projects with email and I I give it a thumbs up but I think most people who were messaging me were expecting me to talk about how terrible it is but that's that's not the way I feel at all as long as the user has choice about how they receive things I don't I don't mind if my emails get filtered into a subfolder if that if that is what you are choosing to do I want you to receive things from me in the way you want to receive them and email is is the only choice that that can really meet that criteria and that's why I said and anybody who does anything in public I think that they should start an emailist if they don't already have one because that's probably something that you can depend on existing in basically its current form and still be useful for a long time in your career well I followed your advice only for you to then tell everyone listening to our podcast not to sign on demand so I don't know I didn't say don't sign on I said I would feel a call of the void that is not the same thing as don't sign up well you can sign on to grays they'll be a link in the show notes and there'll be mine to be in the show notes too and you'd better put mine you'd better put mine in capital is with big asterix is next to it now listen listen Mr. Complainy pants I put your subreddit in a nice big prominent position and I checked just now and you got something like a thousand extra subscribers to your subreddit yes because of you because of me I'm going to take 100% credit at that I am the kingmaker as you said on the reddit thank you I will put your email list in there as well people you you you you can subscribe with Brady although my question Brady is are you going to send more email messages are you going to change the way you use your email list no I'm not going to start sending them for every every video I didn't say every video but are you going to send it more more than two the plan is to send more than you know one every couple of months but I don't know I mean maybe maybe I mean you suggested to me that maybe I should set up a system like yours for like different projects of people like number file but don't like periodic videos or you know they like deep sky videos but don't like 60 symbols they can you know they can tweak it so maybe I'll do that down the track but at the moment it's just for like really occasional special things that I feel like I want to tell people you know gosh guys maybe because YouTube and Facebook and Twitter are rubbish you don't don't realize this things happened but I just really want you to know about it this has been a this has been a particular bug bear in the in the YouTube world of people who is complaining about videos not not showing up on their messages every time I post something on YouTube I get several emails from people saying that that the it never showed up in their own their own what to watch list and they they wouldn't have known if they hadn't followed me on Twitter or something else so yeah it's a it's a slippery world I think you're talking a lot of sense on this and I see problem I see problems ahead as more and more people realize this and then email becomes the default thing to use for people like us then I think people you know civilians will have to put up and hold new bunch of shields and filters and there'll be a whole bunch of new middlemen that will come in to help out and it'll it could turn into the same thing all over again and I still wonder if email is kind of like a semi sanctuary but I think you're right and maybe email will become this special little cave that just people let their favorite providers into you know I think that's what I hope will happen you know someone who who who does like a bit of privacy in their email but really loves CGP great videos will just let those exclusive few into that little circle yeah I mean that that's that's kind of how I use it right now so I because I am a technard I have an RSS reader that I use and I am subscribed to a whole bunch of websites with that RSS reader but there are a a subsection of those websites where I have signed up to their email newsletter and I have a filter for that which puts it immediately into my flagged folder so I can I can review it but I don't sign up for the email lists of every website that I use so I do have these kind of two tiers of I'm thinking of my head I have two websites that I really like that I have their email lists because I want to have them above everything else and then everything else is in the RSS reader where I can kind of check it all at once and so I I feel like that's a reasonable way and while you can't expect most people to use an RSS that you can expect Facebook to be the equivalent of that that people sign up as fans of a bunch of stuff they like and then maybe only two or three or four things that they really like they also sign up to get that stuff in their their email inbox but I think it's a bit sad that YouTube has gone down that path though maybe I maybe I'm biased and I'm too blinkered here but I do feel like YouTube was was a platform where there was more of a bond and a sign up when when you subscribed to a channel it was more of a commitment that you wanted everything and I feel like that the movement of those goal posts is less fair but maybe I am not a good judge of how people use YouTube and people are subscribing to a billion channels without care or thought and a trusting YouTube to sort the week from the Jeff but I didn't feel it was that way I felt it was more of a contract but yeah it's it's this is again is what what I trust that YouTube does things that are in YouTube's best interest so I I know that that is what they are going to do so if if for whatever reason they want to optimize for watch time or YouTube sessions I trust that the changes they are making will do that and so people often complain when YouTube make changes they go why is this happening I'm absolutely confident that YouTube has very good internal reasons for why they have have done the things that they have done yeah I just say vaguely like I have spoken to people within YouTube and I confirmed this for some things that seem like they are strange changes and then someone tells you the reason you go okay that makes total sense why you didn't and that doesn't necessarily like thinking of you specifically that doesn't necessarily align with your interests well yes that that's what I mean is is is that YouTube I can imagine a CGP graph and in particular is the sort of person who might say I think most videos on YouTube are rubbish but I really like grays so I just watch here's and then I go off and you know do my own cool thing in the robot world and don't watch another video so if so if someone who watches your videos aren't are only watching like a five minute video and aren't hanging around and watching 20 more videos and your videos are quite short you know you're not good for watch time and you're not necessarily good for stick ability on the website YouTube and I may have overlapping interests but that is a very different thing from having aligned interests and especially as I talked about the professional share as the article title is that as soon as this becomes your living if you are the person who are making things you have to think about this in a very very different way and you cannot if you're going to have a long term career completely bank on a third party entity and you having interests that are aligned forever that that there may come a point at which they make changes which don't benefit you in in the same way and like you said with with the subscriber thing that has definitely changed over time in a way that I find less useful and I used to be subscribed to a bunch of channels on YouTube and at at this point I have actually just unsubscribed from everything I am not subscribed to a single channel on YouTube anymore because from from my perspective I just found it useless like why am I subscribed to these things this whole system just does not fit the way that I want to use YouTube and so I'm just I'm not even going to pretend that this is the case anymore but again I trust that YouTube is doing that for reasons that are in YouTube's best interest but this is this is a case where I want to give people who want to use it in a different way the option to do that an email is is the only way that I can think of that would that would solve that that issue but yeah subscribers definitely mean something different than they did years ago I think of it now is when someone presses the subscribe button what they're really doing is giving the YouTube bots an additional data point for what to recommend them on the what to watch page like it is it is a suggestion to YouTube of things you might want to see it is not a request to YouTube to guarantee that you will see those things that's a very different relationship so I also think that as YouTube makes those changes it's very likely that it affects user behavior that it pushes people to subscribe to more things if they don't feel like it's as big of a commitment that when they log in they're going to see oh I have 20 unwatched video so maybe that's why they make the change I don't know all right do you think there's enough first world YouTuber complaints about how it's not fair that all of ad million subscribers don't get every video and I guess so that gold button for it was a bit less special now I'll tell you that I guess since we have been discussing email so very much I thought I would mention a little thing about managing email which someone might need if say they've subscribed to both of our email lists there is a there's a new feature in iOS 8 that I have been playing around with and that I think I like quite a lot which is thread notifications for email so in iOS you have normally been able to designate people as very important people and so you can have your phone or computer buzz when a very important person emails you and that was in iOS 7 I think and I tried it out and I ultimately decided this is entirely unsatisfactory because while people may be important in my life not all of the things that those people send are important and so I didn't I'm kind of feeling looked at at the moment I am I am making no comment about anybody who may or may not have been on a very important email list I have a lot of puppy photos I need to say you great and those puppy photos need to be sent they are super cute and again I'm not commenting about anyone in particular but I'm just I'm just saying in general I tried it out for a little while with VIPs and came to the conclusion that my computer is beeping far too much this is this is too much noise and not enough signal for me to actually use this yeah so but in iOS 8 they have a new feature which is thread notifications and so what you can do is when you send a message to somebody you can say I just want to notification when there is reply to this email thread not to a message from this person in general and I have been finding this a very useful feature although it it comes a bit of a cost for me because as I mentioned on previous shows normally I have my iPhone set up so that I do not have access to email at all which is the ideal case for me I don't want email on my phone but this thread notification feature currently only works with iOS it does not work with OS X so I have to have it on my iPhone or my iPad so I went with my iPhone and so it is really great for this kind of situation where you want to keep the ball out of your court so my example is the video that I most recently released which is the single transferable vote video I was working with the very excellent canoe to do the artwork on that one and he's the same person who has done a couple of the amazing pieces of hello internet fan art so I got in touch with him to ask him to help me out with some of the artwork for the video and because the turnaround time was very short on this I always wanted to know whenever he emails me I want to see that immediately so I can tell him you know thumbs up or a thumbs down on a design change that he made or suggest something that I want done a little bit differently but we have to keep this moving because he's always going to be waiting on me to hear the the thumbs up or thumbs down or changes that need to be made yeah and there's a couple of other things that I've used the thread notifications for as well some things with like I'm always complaining about my taxes that I have to do because I'm not a bear there's a few things like that where I know I want to get the notification back straight away and I have put you sometimes on the thread notification but not always you know to turn to turn stuff around that needs to get turned around so I have really liked it but it does come at this cost of having email on my phone all the time which I don't like and so I do find myself much more than I really want to just checking email which is a terrible habit to get into of oh let me just look and see what's in the email inbox in the scenario where I can't reasonably do anything about anything email should be a tool where you sit down and say right I'm going to burn through a bunch of email right now and this is like what I'm dedicated to do not just like oh let me fall into it and sort of look and maybe I'll reply but I can't really because I'm on my phone and I have this tiny keyboard so it does come at my pretty much my life you're describing to anyone yes that's terrible that's not what you want to do that feeds your dopamine addiction to always be checking the email but I like this feature I think people should should try it out but it does come at this cost and one of the times when it came at a tremendous cost to me or I just felt like a total jerk was I was out with my wife and we were trying to find a new pair of glasses for me so we're like we're out with a with a job in mind we're here we need to find new glasses which is a whole story of tragedy that we'll have to save for another time that could go on for hours but we were going to very many places trying to find a new pair of glasses that is acceptable to both my wife and to me ultimately we were unsuccessful during this adventure at one point we're like well we need sustenance because otherwise we're just going to pass out so we went to go get dinner together and I am very firmly of the position that if you are having a dedicated dinner with someone you shouldn't be on your phone you know you you can look at the phone when the other person gets up to go to the bathroom or something but you're not on the phone with the person either you're spending you go to the bathroom sneakily just to check your phone if you are a dopamine drug addict then yes you can do that otherwise I would say no but anyway so while I was having dinner with my wife my phone beeps that it's a message from Canute and he needs some feedback it happened to be we were going back and forth about the queen lion which was many many emails about actually checked it that something like 60 emails back and forth with Canute to get these these drawings done over the space of I'm very difficult person to work with this is why I don't know how many people but it was one of those moments in life where my wife did know what was going on I had explained to her in advance that I'm trying to get this stuff done but suddenly I realized I am that guy now I am that guy who is out of dinner with his wife but his phone has beeped and now he's going to take 10 minutes to respond to somebody who's not physically at that dinner about a work related thing but the funny thing as well though it's not like it was about like a whole bunch of stocks that were about to plunge in value by 10 million dollars and cost you your house yes it was like should the queen lions eyebrow be a little bit higher in the first picture it was actually a discussion about the expression on the queen lion's face was the email that was being turned around but but it's one of those funny moments in life where you think oh I'm not this guy and then I discovered oh I kind of end this guy in this moment and I've never done that before taking a moment that is supposed to be a I'm with a person and we're spending some time together moment and turning it into oh guess what I'm doing work because of my phone so that I think that is one of the one of the very many reasons why I don't like even having the option of email on my phone but I have found the thread notifications ver- valuable enough that I am experimenting with this as as a feature for the moment so just want to mention you just remind me yes something that I forgot to mention when we do the part where we talk about what we've been up to and it was a brilliant chance for me to brag uh-huh and it was to speaking of animators I went to Pixar this week oh very exciting and I haven't got much to say about it I was just there making a number file video which will come out eventually but the thing that I found really interesting was they they had the best one of the best bragg things I've ever seen and that is you know they've got this cool place you know it's just this ridiculously cool campus there on and you go into like the main building which is called like the Steve Jobs hole or the Steve Jobs building or whatever with big and you walk in and the first thing you see on the right is this enormous glass cabinet full of Oscars and it's awesome and it's got all these other trophies it's like the best trophy cabinet I've ever seen I mean you would hate it because you know of your position on trophies but it's different for a company a company is not a human being they can have a trophy cabinet full of other things the company has accomplished because that is there to inspire the workers it's very different from a person having a trophy cabinet of all the awesome things they have done but can you be in spot like if you want to bunch your trophies as CGP Gray the filmmaker I guess you get up in the morning and see your trophies and think you know I am loved there's just very different I get if you're a total narcissist you know what do you know what I don't think it's very different but all right I don't think it's much different that picks are having a bunch of trophies to inspire the workers and you having one a few awards and having them on your mantelpiece to inspire you I think that we are talking about almost the exact same thing it couldn't possibly be more different it's so different I don't even I don't even know how we're having this conversation really what do you think true I don't know so what is what's picks are working on I know I know well I mean you know they're they're pretty pretty secretive place and they're they're pretty limited where I was allowed to go where I was allowed to point cameras but their next movies are like I was like can you tell me what movies you're working on and she's like oh yeah we've publicly announced that so the next three films they're working on sort of public knowledge anyway I have come away with no information that I didn't have before other than the fact they have a totally awesome trophy cabinet oh and one other thing which I thought you would like is when you go you get if given a visitor's badge and the visitor's badge has those little little aliens from the the claw yeah yeah and and it has your name on the name underneath next to that alien it says it says like a stranger from the outside world you're like identified as an alien while you're in the building that is the best visitor's badge I have ever heard about yeah and I know you like I know you like those little aliens so yeah I'll I'll take a picture I'll send you a picture of it and you can you can I would very much like to see that yeah you can share it with people whatever no one's reminding me because you know while you're dealing with the canote I'm dealing with Pixar so we're both dealing with animators of the highest caliber so speaking of canote doing this animating for you you put out another video you actually put it out during head put it out before our last podcast but I was so busy talking about myself and my video that we never we never ever mentioned the fact you put a video out so we must talk about it because it is also extremely timely because it's about elections voting yeah yes is the next one in the politics in the animal kingdom series and I figured I did want to get this out before the next midterm election so it is up I had intended to get it out for the last midterm election but I missed that deadline so it has it has been only I looked it up there's been only something like three years and 11 months since the last installment of the politics in the animal kingdom series but so I have finally finally been able to update some of those annotations which embarrassingly one of my early videos said something like single transferable vote in the works coming soon and that had been up for three years well four years more like it but yes there's much more like four years but I felt a bit of a oh because I've got a couple of videos like that still in the works where I've promised sequels and then just thought I think I'll do something else and the sequel is still still coming and I am midterm elections before I ask you about the video and single transferable vote midterm elections I'm going to show my ignorance here because I'm you know although I've although I've watched the entire series of the West Wing three times I just want to be clear on what happens at midterm elections is it like half the congress or half the Senate or what happens at what's who's getting who's losing their job and who's being reelected what what happens at the midterms all right so there's running this off of memory so I think this is this is right but the the situation is that the the the legislative branch of the United States is broken up into two parts there is the Senate which represents the states which is two senators per state and there is the House of Representatives which is roughly but not really by population of the states okay the House of Representatives has some major problems with the way they allocate votes but that's a whole other story so when the midterm elections take place all of the House of Representatives is up for election so they they have to be reelected every two years or every congressman so everyone in the House of Representatives so they only do two two two year terms two year terms all right that is the House of Representatives I thought for some reason I thought they had four year terms but they were half half out of sync okay so so what you're thinking of is the Senate the Senate they have six year terms but it is staggered so that only a third of the Senate is up for election every two years certainly I'm wondering how did the Senate get started with staggering things like were they for the first Senate did they draw hats and the unlucky guys only got it to you by four years and just have because then you could have one senator from each state up for re-election each two years but yeah interesting that they did it by that way it seems doesn't quite seem logical but the midterm election is a bigger deal than I thought then because they're actually sweeping out the whole the whole House of Representatives the whole the whole bunch of being swept out and swept back in you say something like it's a bigger deal than you thought but the actuality of the situation is while it should be a big deal you can almost not believe how much of a non-event the midterm elections are in the United States I have spoken to several people over the last couple of weeks who were Americans who basically said oh are the midterm elections happening I guess that's right I saw I saw a sign somewhere about electing our local guy you know whatever my personal position on this is that in the United States the executive branch with the president gets way more media and attention than it deserves relative to its power and the legislative branch gets way less media and less attention than it deserves relative to its power and I think that that's partly because it is just easier to focus on a single individual and to imbue that individual with all of the responsibility of the entire government and there's the gladiatorial contest isn't there a presidential elections far more compelling than all these tiny little skirmishes yes that's that's exactly it whereas you know in a vast simplification of it in many ways a lot of the business of governing is done in the legislative branch that like that is where laws get written that's where a lot of stuff gets hashed out and the president is basically the thumbs up thumbs down guy on the pre-existing laws from from the representatives so I think there should be much more media attention on those races but again for various reasons that media doesn't want to recover I mean almost 500 separate races I mean that's a very local a very local news event and the other reason why it tends to get very little attention is you know this is a particular United States problem is especially over the last 10 years the districts that people get elected in are so gerrymandered that the number of elections that are taking place in the midterms that are actually competitive is very very few it's something like 50 seats maybe out of the almost 500 are in any kind of contention and the whole rest of them are done deals right from the start that how do you mean uh done deals in the way that the boundaries were drawn up for done deals like so that that's that's what the what gerrymandering means basically is that you are packing like voters together so yeah you have a district that will be 80 percent one party or 80 percent the other party and so there is just no chance of the opposing party ever getting elected and the way it works is that the in most states California is a notable exception but in in most states it is the politicians themselves who get to decide where do those boundaries go even opposing politicians have an incentive when does when designing the borders to collude with each other to make sure they both have very safe seats and so that's another reason why yes even though the midterm elections should be incredibly important actually for the vast majority of Americans they are almost certainly in a district where their vote doesn't matter at all like there's there is no chance of changing who the elected representative is it's only a very small number of of districts that there is any chance of it going one way or the other so there are many problems with the American electoral system and it's a very frustrating very frustrating system i guess the question i have about the gerrymandering then is how do you how do you actually end up with seats that are a fair contest like how do how do the unrigged ones even come into existence it seems like things are so set up for the the collusion this this is this is an excellent chance to plug my own gerrymandering video the the answer to the question is is basically so here's the imagine that that that you know you have the two opposing parties they are arranging the districts together and what what you want to do when you're drawing the boundaries is make sure that you have safe seats so it's usually like 55 45 split is is safe enough that you can be pretty sure the elections never going to go the other way yeah so you are you are arranging districts that have a surplus of voters but what can very much happen is if you have say five five districts in a state to create you can make four very safe districts but it just so happens that because of the number of people in the state and the and how you have had to pack those other districts with voters that you want you basically end up by accident with one last district that you can't manipulate in any way that is a side effect of having already arranged districts the way that you want now it all sounds very mathematical well this is one of the reasons why I can completely geek out about over the abstract of politics because it is very much a question about math and that's where the particulars of politics I have very little interest in but the but the abstract nature I think is is fascinating because it really is a it is really one of these places where mathematics intersects with normal people's lives and it sort of affects these very grand scales that the the way you set up the voting system is a is a math side effect so I refuse to believe though that all these videos that you've made about election systems and politics and voting and things like that have been driven by your geeky interest in mathematics because you're so passionate about it and like it's you're like there seems to be things you think are right and things that you think are wrong that kind of while you while your videos are very factual they're called this series is quite underpinned by some some sort of feeling of righteousness and I don't believe that's just mathematical I don't understand well I don't know I guess why you make all these videos what's driving it what's what's caused this huge interest in politics I enjoy them and I just but I was wondering if you have ever expanded on that or if you would I'm almost not quite sure what you're asking why do you make all these videos why do you make them this is honestly one of those cases where I am making videos for me with these election videos so again with my very accidental YouTube career when I made the very first video which was about why the the voting system that most people use which is called first pass the post or plurality depending on where you are is a terrible voting system and the alternative vote is a much better system though not a perfect system it was it was because I was just incredibly obsessed with the referendum that was taking place in the UK about the voting systems and I had never really thought about it before and I got very interested in the mathematics of it and I ended up having lots of interesting conversations with co-workers about how to do this and I just really like the topic and I basically ran out of physical humans in my life to talk to this about and so I was like well I still want to think about this and so I made that video as a way to kind of get this out of my head of those first two videos and and since then I had become more interested in electoral systems and their mathematics and advantages and disadvantages of different systems so it is it is really for myself because I am under under no illusion that the United States is going to switch over to something like single transferable vote that that to me is a shockingly low probability event so the video is not an advocacy video in that way it's just I am really interested in this and so I'm making these videos as a as a outcropping of that interest so you don't you're not carrying this sort of burning torch for the people who you feel are underrepresented because of an unfair voting system it's not like it's not something you're particularly passionate about it in a kind of justice sense it's more just you know isn't this isn't this really interesting these different mathematical models that can be made and the the merits and problems with H. Well I don't know I mean even I do get this is one of the topics that I do kind of get really riled up about and I do feel a certain kind of injustice towards it and particularly with the United States I swear the United States electoral system just the whole thing local elections all the way up to the presidential election it's like at every possible decision someone could have made about oh should we do this or we do that they chose the worst option every time there is there is no country that is a democracy that has picked all of the wrong choices like choices that you can demonstrate mathematically are the wrong choice every time and so like the the UK government and the US government are in some ways very similar but the UK one isn't as frustrated because there are some of these choices where you know the UK zigged in the right direction where the US said nope we're going to keep zagging in the wrong direction and and so the US in particular has a lot of problems that kind of that feed on themselves that make the pre-existing problems even worse and so I do feel a kind of a sense of a fury and injustice about that and you know in very many ways if if I look at the US and it's like it's hard to take a lot of the politics even seriously when the whole system that creates it is just is just so broken I mean it's a bit like it's a bit like and when I made the humans need not apply video and you were talking about other problems that I might be concerned about in the world and I said oh no but this is this is the biggest problem that affects all of the other problems and I feel a similar way about the the electoral system in the US in particular is it's like if you're not having a conversation about the system of the US government you're not having a meaningful conversation because it is so broken at that level that it's it's almost hard to take the higher level stuff very seriously because it's just it is brought about in a in a quite terrible way so and you wouldn't have any sympathy for the school of thought that would say well what does it matter anyway which because whichever party you get it's pretty much the same well it's almost like that you know there were powers beyond them anyway that control of direction things head I do have I do have some this is one of these cases where I do have some sympathy for that that there are there are powers beyond the the the direct politics for for I don't know if I just just thinking something I happen to just watch a series which ended sadly too soon but it is called boss with Kelsey grammar have you seen this no I don't know I really like it's it was a political drama it was only on for two seasons it ended far too soon it was one of those shows that I watched primarily because Kelsey grammar is just amazing in this role as the mayor of Chicago and he's it's like I'm so used to him as phrasier and he's just completely different in this role and does it does a really great job but there's a kind of theme throughout that show where the the financiers behind the politics so people funding campaigns have a little bit of an unofficial slogan which is change on the outside continuity on the inside meaning that they know they're very happy to have new political faces come on the scene as long as the internals are still operating the way that they always have and this is kind of a theme three even yes minister and yes prime minister as well and some wise yeah I do I do want to watch this so like I acknowledge that that there is an element of that in the real world that the the the people financing elections are in some ways much more important than the elections themselves and this is again one of the ways in which the US is particularly broken in the way that it deals with money and politics but I also just say that when people the two parties are the same you get two parties that are the same as a result of the system that you are using to vote and so the the plurality system used in the US where you get one vote for your favorite candidate you can you can work out the math of that and the correct optimal solution to that voting system is to have two parties that are actually very much the same that are appealing to the extremes in opposite directions like that is the optimal mathematical solution and so the problem is not oh these two parties the same the problem is you are using a voting system and the answer to that is two very centrist parties that are trying to pretend that they're they're appealing to to more the extremes whereas if you have a different system you can have a much more diverse choice of people to actually vote for but you're not going to have that under first pass the post so that's why I view it as this is the fundamental problem the like oh the parties are the same is a byproduct of the fundamental problem and this you think it's good to have two similar parties you know like that's another question maybe that maybe that's a good system to have yes and so this is part of why doesn't sound like it is but well this this is exactly why I kind of love the the whole the whole question about voting systems and which one do you want and which one do you not want because while you can say something like the solution to plurality voting is two centrist parties ultimately a human has to make a judgment is that a good thing or is that not a good thing math can't tell you is that good or is that not it can just tell you what is the optimal strategy given a certain set of circumstances and so that that's why I think it is kind of fascinating and whenever I put out one of these videos you all the election nerds come out and there these huge arguments about one system or the other in the comments people are trying to argue with math things that fundamentally come down to subjective opinions and so you can have a question like should an electoral system have local representatives there's no there's no math answer to that that's a question about how do you how do you feel that a government should be set up should you have local representatives or should you not have local representatives math can't tell you that but people do like to try to argue with math about which system is is better than the others but you can demonstrate with math pretty pretty conclusively that plurality voting first pass the post voting is the absolute worst of all possible voting systems that you can have it is just terrible but the thing I do want to ask your opinion on is compulsory voting should voting be compulsory because in Australia voting is compulsory when I say compulsory you have to turn up to the election both and they across your name off a list right you don't have to vote but you have to be there right is that the first 10 and I guess they figure if you attend you'll probably vote but yeah you could spoil your paper or do whatever do whatever you want but it is compulsory and you get fined if you don't do it I don't actually know anyone who's ever been fined I don't know how vigorous they are pursuing the offenders but it's compulsory when I move to the you when I move to the UK the idea of sort of this apathy about the election where people be saying are you going to vote are you going to turn out are you even going to bother it was like a whole new novelty to me the idea that I could be so apathetic that I could just go about my business all day and not even have to find my way to at least to an election polling site was very new and I've become accustomed to it now and you know you get people who are really vigorously saying we must vote it's really important and I've you know obviously I've seen the similar attitude in the US come on guys we've got to get off our back sides and turn up and to an Australian to the what to the Australian in me that was like a completely that's a completely foreign debate like that there is no debate about apathy at least about voting whether you care enough about the right issues is another debate but so it's interesting that that and everyone says they think it's crazy that voting could be compulsory in Australia but it certainly takes that is sure way yeah but what so you lived under both systems what do you think when I first moved to the UK I thought compulsory voting was a good thing because this whole debate about apathy I thought well you're crazy guys if you just use our system no one's apathetic and you know that and I understand the whole debate that as well that well you know you can't complain about who you got in Australia because you all turned up on election day so everyone had their say but over the years I guess I've softened a bit in in lots of things in life and and I now have this kind of thought that well okay well it you know is is the ultimate freedom the freedom to not even turn up on election day is that is that you know is that part of democracy that right to the right to not care and the right to not care and still complain about the government so I think over time now that I've become a bit older and wiser and a bit more understanding of everything and you know you know understanding of all arguments I can appreciate I guess what I'm saying is I can now can appreciate both arguments so I've gone from thinking compulsory voting was a good thing to not knowing what do you think well I was asking your opinion because this is probably one of the questions I get asked the most from people because oh really in terms of if if somebody's going to know about different voting systems it they most likely know about compulsory voting in Australia so I get asked this a lot and I I think it's funny because I can never decide I go back and forth on this issue all the time and there there isn't any mathematical answer to this this is again a kind of subjective question yeah and I think it is is one of the more interesting questions because I I just don't know I don't I don't pick a team in this one but present me right now who future me might disagree with currently leans more towards the that compulsory voting is a good idea and it's partly because of my experience in the United States with the the push to get people to the polls and I think that that encourages a certain kind of of it encourages scare mongering tactics um to get people to the polls on the reverse side of scare mongering I don't know if this is exactly a word but say hope mongering which is the reverse of of hey everybody we're going to set expectations so unreasonably high that you have to go and vote and you know your vote really matters which it doesn't but like your vote really matters and you need to go to the polls because aren't we great and we're going to change the world so you like both of those things I think are kind of in some ways a bit of a dishonest representation of what should be a relatively mundane thing which if you make voting compulsory is like look you're just going to go to the polls and you have some decisions to make and you get to tick some boxes and then you go home and that like it just it pushes the thing in these two extremes of oh we're going to oversell voting because you can change everything about the way the world works or we're going to uh scare you about oh if you don't go all of these terrible things would happen so I don't like that I think it distracts from potentially the actual issues that the voting is about and the other thing that I don't like so much is you you often see these get out the vote campaigns in the US and to me they are often deeply intrinsically cynical because they are about getting out a particular vote if they're not really interested in everybody voting they're interested in you know the the people that they have in their demographic voting so if someone has a particular party they want to win they've got some data that suggests the lack of voters is hurting them yes that's when they started get out to vote campaign that that's exact neutral but it's not neutral it's not neutral and in the last lecture I read up on a bunch of just again people sort of like the humans need to apply video again people just have no idea the the kind of working technology now a similar thing is people have no idea the kind of big data demographic computer number crunching information that is available to the political parties now like they they can know exactly who and where they need to approach and how many flyers to send to to get the vote in the way that they want to have it and narrow it down to very exact addresses so you get out the vote campaign is actually only hitting one out of every three houses on the block and again obviously you're going to promote your own self-interest you know if you have some audience that maybe listens to you say oh go go vote but I just I don't know there's something about those things that sometimes strike me as is like intrinsically cynical would you still be doing this get out the vote campaign if you knew that the result would be against your own interests no of course you wouldn't so I do think compulsory voting takes that off the tables and I don't want to get into the details but everything that I have just said now is ten times worse in primary elections in the United States which if you think nobody votes in the midterms really nobody votes in the primaries I think the prime reason was I don't know I mean I know what they are and how they work well I think they're a crazy thing anyway yeah no they are they are every problem that you can think about elections is ten times worse with primaries so they're up well I haven't asked you much about single transferable vote but people should watch your video to find out about oh oh okay I just I just I before I forget before I forget I have to I have to mention something here so remember how last time we had a we're making a chart about who was right and who was wrong with various bets with your plane hey you remember so I have I have a two nothing on the gray versus Brady who was right chart okay I thought I was I was going to I want to bring up I want to bring up a case where I have lost something though sadly not with you so I lost a bet with Derek about how the Australian single transferable vote system works and I cannot remember we were in person I don't know where this was single transferable vote if you I'm gonna assume people have watched the video but just very briefly the only thing you need to know is that you as a citizen go into the voting booth and you rank your candidates in order one two three four five of your preference and Australia I knew that Australia happens to do a couple of things that are kind of not the best way to set up a single transferable vote system and so a couple of elections ago there was there was one election in particular where there were something like 50 candidates running and Derek was telling me that single transferable vote was no good and his reason was that you have a ballot with 50 candidates and you have to rank everybody from one to 50 which of course is just wildly beyond what you can expect a normal person to do I mean even if the people I know in my life if you if you gave me a list of 50 people that I personally know and asked me to rank them from one to 50 in order of my favorite to my least favorite that would be pretty hard right like you can do maybe the top 10 and you can do maybe the bottom 10 but the the middle 30 it's like well yeah I like him a little better than her I don't know sometimes he gets annoying but in a laugh is terrible right you just he can't you can't do that reasonably so anyway I was telling Derek no you in single transferable vote you can rank as far as you care to and then you can stop you don't have to rank the whole thing and Derek Derek said do you want a bet on it and I said yes and we shook on it and sure enough Derek Derek was correct that it's one above the line or all below the line yes that that you do have to rank every candidate if you want to pick them individually if you don't want to do what you've just referred to there which is the above the line vote which is basically saying I am delegating my voting power to this particular party to make the decisions for me so I did lose I did lose a bet there my my score chart on the gray versus Derek chart is zero I'm not taking a point in there too because I knew that but I didn't bet you you don't get a point for that you know I don't know but if you brought it up with me I wouldn't got it right but this is like this is like your theoretical friend who could have scored a point against you had you made a bet we never made a bet you don't get a point you don't get to to scoop in on Derek's point as well Derek gets a point not you I'm sorry that's not the way this works you thought Nobel laureates which is nominees but we also didn't make a bet there making a bet everybody knows making a bet is a different thing this is not just a bet on we didn't bet on either of those things I gave you a point for I just gave you points we didn't bet on the seven four seven thing we just had different opinions that's entirely true but you voluntarily turned over two points to me that's not my thoughts it's not my fault that you scored two own goals|}
==Episode List==

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "H.I. #24: Mr Complainy Pants". Hello Internet. Hello Internet. Retrieved 12 October 2017.